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Table of Contents:

  1. Intro

  2. Setup

    • Gear

    • Skills

    • Attributes

    • Consumables, Race, and Mundus

    • Champion Points (CP)

    • Rotation

    • Misc Information

  3. Tips

Intro

Sustain

This build is very flexible with sustain options thanks to the Nightblade’s great passives and abilities.

Tankiness

While we can’t sit out in the open and take pressure as much as other classes, the Nightblade has a ton of tools to avoid damage through other means.

40% Complete (success)

Healing is quite low with this build unless you decide to give up some power.  Vigor is your primary means of healing off damage.

We boast some of the highest burst in the game thanks to crazy strong class skills.  People will fear you.

40% Complete (success)

Contrary to popular belief, the Stamina Nightblade isn’t a faceroll class.  In order to truly shine with this class, you’ll need a strong concept of game mechanics and overall class interactions to discern when and when not to fight, get defensive, and so on.

40% Complete (success)

This build works great in no CP or CP environments, and excels at smaller scale combat.  We begin to greatly falter in large scale combat, or “zerg v zerg” fights, due to our lackluster AoE production.

Setup

Beginner Setup

Anti Sloadblade

Champion Point Environments

 

Refer to the Misc tab to find where to find the sets!

Dual Wield Bar (Main Damage Bar)

  • Rending Slashes (morph of Twin Slashes | Dual Wield skill line) – An incredibly potent and easy to use Damage over Time function, use this on targets you need to focus if you’re fighting less than four enemies at a time.  It also has a nasty Snare, helping lock opponents in place.

    • If you’re fighting large groups use Steel Tornado (morph of Whirlwind) for damage or Deadly Cloak (morph of Blade Cloak) for some supporting damage and damage mitigation.

  • Relentless Focus (morph of Grim Focus | Assassination skill line) – Your main means of killing an opponent who knows what they’re doing, this ability is massive in terms of burst potential.  After 5 Light or Heavy Attacks you’ll be able to shoot try, but try and pair it with a CC first to ensure it lands, since it is easily dodged or blocked.  The buffs it gives are also fantastic.

  • Surprise Attack (morph of Veiled Strike | Shadow skill line) – Our main spammable ability, offering great damage and utility.  Slotting grants us Max Health, casting it grants us Major Ward and Resolve (8% damage mitigation), and also applies Major Fracture (~8-11% extra damage to targets applied to) to the enemy.  Use this with Light or Heavy Attacks to get your Spectral Bow ready.  You can also cast this from Stealth or Invisibility to Stun and set the target Off Balance, which is very strong for burst.

  • Killer’s Blade (morph of Assassin’s Blade | Assassination skill line) – An execute of great power.  When a target is at 25% or Below, use this skill instead of Surprise Attack to do bonus damage.  It’ll heal you if the target dies within 3 seconds of using, so it can be used in risky situations to heal and maintain momentum.

  • Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Alliance War Assault skill line) – A solid Heal for yourself and nearby allies.  Keep this up anytime you’re taking pressure to allow you to push through and remain offensive.

  • [Ultimate]: Incapacitating Strike or Soul Harvest (morph of Death Stroke | Assassination skill line) – A great single target skill that’s primarily used either in Execute for extra damage, or to offer group utility when paired with an item set.  Incap offers more raw damage and a stun, while Soul Harvest offers more ultimate generation when landing killing blows.  Incap is usually preferred unless you’re doing massive AoE fights.

Two Hander (Buffs and Supportive Damage)

  • Shadowy Disguise (Invisibility | morph of Shadow Cloak) – The iconic Nightblade ability that everyone loves to use, and hates to fight against.  After activating you become invisible to your opponents for the duration unless they use special abilities or potions.  This skill lets you maneuver the battle field freely and lick your wounds when you bite off more than you can chew.  Keep in mind that this skill has an insane amount of counters that make it useless, so you might want to consider the alternative.

    • Shadow Image (Repositioning & Debuff | morph of Summon Shade) – Truly a blessing in the Summerset patch, this ability places a shade of you that attacks targets from a range (very little damage) and applies Minor Maim to them.  You can also reactivate the skill if you are within 28 meters of the Shade to jump back to that position, helping line of sight opponents and retreat when Cloak would otherwise fail.

  • Mass Hysteria (Crowd Control & Debuff | morph of Aspect of Terror) – One of the strongest CC abilities in the game, dubbed “Fear”.  Casting this skill makes the two nearest targets to you to flee in terror, unable to act for 4 seconds or until they CC break.  After the effect ends they are Snared and afflicted with Minor Maim for 4 seconds.  This ignores dodge and block, making it very strong at fighting anything in the game.

  • Forward Momentum (HoT & Buff | morph of Momentum) – A boon to anyone in PvP environments, this skill does a lot.  Granting Major Brutality for 33 seconds, it also heals us for a decent amount every 2 seconds.  On top of that, when you initially cast this skill you gain immunity to Snares and Immobilizations for 8 seconds, making it very helpful in freeing mobility.

    • You can opt to use the other morph, Rally, for a bigger heal when the skill ends or is recasted.  If you want to retain Snare Immunity, you’ll need to run Medium armor and run Shuffle as well.

  • Mirage (Buff | morph of Blur) – Granting Major Evasion (15% dodge chance) and Minor Ward and Resolve (2% damage mitigation), this skill is very helpful at passively avoiding or reducing damage.  It also grants us Assassination passives, and costs Magicka instead of Stamina, helping our sustain.

    • If you’re using Rally, this slot is where you place Shuffle.

  • Leeching Strikes (morph of Siphoning Strikes | Siphoning skill line) – Primarily serving as a form of resource management, this skill will also help your healing output a tiny bit as well.  Similarly to Relentless Focus, you’ll need to Light or Heavy Attack consistently to utilize this skill’s strengths.

    • If you have access to the Psijic Order skill line, Deep Thought (Heal & Resource Return | morph of Meditate) is a fantastic option here as well.  This skill synergizes amazingly with Shadow Image, since you can use it around a corner without worry of interrupt.

  • [Ultimate]: Dawnbreaker (Either morph | Fighter’s Guild skill line) – Offering immense AoE burst potential, and some extra staying pressure for 3 seconds, this skill works wonders against groups of enemies.  It has a stun as well, and does bonus damage to Vampires and Werewolves, making it very nice in a pinch.

    • If you want a more defensive option, either morph of Soul Shred is great.  Soul Tether retains some offensive power while adding healing, while Soul Tear offers insane healing to you and your group but does no damage.

 

Avoid putting points into Health if possible.  If you feel you need more Health, try using a Health Enchant on your armor instead.

Food Options: Dubious Camoran Throne or Artaeum Takeaway Broth will be the best bets with this build.  Takeaway is Dubious 2.0 but is incredibly expensive.  You can also run Lava Foot Soup-and-Saltrice if you want some more offensive power at the expense of Max Health.

Potion Options: Immovibility Potions (Columbine, Namira’s Rot, and Blessed Thistle) offer fantastic mobility and Stamina return.  “Tri” Healing Potions (Columbine, Bugloss, and Mountain Flower) are solid for resource management and healing as well.  Potions are especially helpful on the Stamina Nightblade with your catalyst passive, so even consuming junk potions will help!

Race OptionsThe order for races in terms of holistic power is as follows;

Redguard (best sustain and overall damage) > Orc (very close overall damage) > Imperial (best survivability and damage mix) > Wood Elf (solid sustain and decent damage) > Khajiit (Nice critical damage and stealth amps) > Nord (Immense survivability at expense of damage) > Dunmer (Low damage output but versatile between many playstyles).

Mundus Stone Options: If fighting tankier opponents with a lot of mitigation, and no damage shields, use The Lover (Physical and Spell Penetration).  If you want damage and healing capabilities use The Warrior (Weapon Damage).  If you’re struggling with sustain, you can also use The Serpent (Stamina Recovery).

Poisons Or Enchants: 

  • Dual Wield Bar; Poison Damage on your main hand and Berserker (Increase Weapon + Spell Damage) or Disease Damage on your off hand are ideal for enchants.  Your Poison/Disease enchant will proc every 2 seconds, and your Berserker will be a buff that lasts 5 seconds on a 10 (5s if using Infused trait) second ICD (internal cooldown).

  • Two Handed Bar; Damage Health Poison IX is ideal.  These are a crafted poison that require Fleshfly Larva, Nightshade, and Violet Coprinus. These should have two components, “Deals X Poison Damage per second for 4.5 seconds.” as well as “Deals X Poison Damage per second for 6.4 seconds. (10s cooldown)”  The 4.5s and 6.4s will only be that high if you have Rank III Medicinal Use passive.  If you aren’t keen on constantly spending money to get these poisons you are free to use an Absorb Stamina enchant instead.  You will deal MUCH less overall damage however.  You can also opt to use plenty of other poison combinations, as there are tons of options.

Below is a suggestion to CP for environments with them enabled.  Keep in mind that CP is player based and not a one size fits all, so don’t follow this to the ends of the earth.

The Mage (Blue)

  • Mighty – 43

  • Shattering Blows – 40

  • Master-at-Arms – 66

  • Physical Weapon Expert – 14

  • Precise Strikes – 52

  • Piercing – 22

  • Thaumaturge – 13

    • The main focus here is ensuring you have 120 points into the Atronach to reliably proc the Tactician passive, to ensure that the Armor of Truth set is up.

The Thief (Green)

  • Tenacity – 49

  • Mooncalf – 49

  • Warlord – 40

  • Sprinter – 33

  • Tumbling – 56

  • Shadow Ward – 23

The Warrior (Red)

  • Elemental Defender – 37

  • Hardy – 37

  • Ironclad – 73

  • Thick Skinned – 23

  • Resistant – 45

    • Keep in mind that each class you encounter has its own damage mix up.  If you’re trying to specialize against specific classes, break down their damage into categories and spend your CP accordingly. 

While there is no rotation in PvP, below will be a guide line in terms of how to tackle combat.

  1.  Apply Buffs.  These include; Relentless Focus (20s duration), Leeching Strikes* (20s duration), Forward Momentum (33s duration), and Mirage (26s).

  2. Always ensure your target is afflicted with Rending Slashes for some nice pressure and a snare.  It’s best to Heavy Attack weave this for extra burst when moving into apply, and it helps your sustain as well.  If you’re fighting out numbered against a lot of AoE Damage, this will be Blade Cloak instead.

  3. Apply pressure by Light or Heavy Attack weaving Surprise Attack on the target.  This is best done after the target has been Crowd Controlled with Fear or Surprise Attack from Stealth.  Once your target runs low on resources, shoot a Spectral Bow after you Incapacitating Strike or Fear them to get a kill.  Killer’s Blade will help finish off any target low enough.

  4. If you’re getting pressured, make sure you cast Vigor and Forward Momentum, and then either enter Cloak for a few seconds to let them get you to full, or use Shadow Image to displace yourself from direct confrontation.  Remember, we’re not tanky enough to fight head to head for prolonged periods of time, you’ll need to use the art of deception to kill and avoid being killed.

*denotes an optional step that might be irrelevant if you’re running a different skill in its place

Set Locations

Shacklebreaker

Where to get;

Requires 6 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Zergonipal – Morrowind

How it performs;

This set is meant to offer beginner players a powerful crafted set that can transition extremely well into advanced play.  This setup is incredibly stat dense, making it very good for PvP.

 

Hunding’s Rage

Where to get;

Requires 6 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Reaper’s March – Broken Arch

  • Bangkorai – Wether’s Cleft

  • The Rift – Trollslayer Gully

How it performs; An incredibly solid setup that offers us some nice Weapon Damage.  This makes a prime candidate for a versatile setup between damage and healing, as well as AoE or single target damage.

 

Monster Sets

Shoulders come from the chests at the Undaunted Enclave.  Helmets drop in their respective dungeons.  Play around with configurations you like.

 

Agility/Endurance

Where to get;

Comes from treasure vaults inside Imperial City Prison.  Also drops from doing Random Daily Dungeons in the Group Finder.

How it performs; Mainly meant for beginner players who don’t have access to Jewelrycrafting, or dungeon sets, it won’t help you break any records but it’s a nice and easy to obtain BoE set that will help your damage and healing.

 

Meridia’s Blessed Armor

Where to get;

Drops from overland events in Coldharbour; such as chests, dungeons, quests, and rare drops.

How it performs; This set is incredibly powerful for a defensive set, that allows us to maintain aggression or ensure recovery.  It causes enemies to miss all damage for 5 seconds after proccing, but it does require us to block to get it up, so it’ll take time to get used to.  Use this if you’re sick of Sload’s users.

 

Master Daggers/Stinging Slashes

Where to get;

Drops in Veteran Dragonstar Arena, as well as placing on the Weekly Veteran Dragonstar Arena Leaderboards.

How it performs; This set adds an insane amount of pressure to your Rending Slashes ability, helping wittle opponents health bars away.

 

Bone Pirate’s Tatters

Where to get;

Drops from Normal or Veteran Blackheart Haven, located in Bangkorai.

How it performs; A super solid set that adds a bit of Stamina and Stamina recovery, making it a no brainer for players who want more sustain on their characters.  Keep in mind you’ll have to use a Drink with this set to ensure you actually gain anything out of it, so Dubious Camoran Throne is your go to consumable for that.

 

Armor of Truth

Where to get; Drops from Normal or Veteran Darkshade Caverns I & II.

How it performs; In Champion Point environments where you can unlock the Tactician passive in the Atronach tree, this set becomes ideal.  Granting a huge boost to Weapon Damage after setting an enemy Off Balance, this set helps you crush your opposition, and help your healing.

 

Impregnable Armor

Where to get; Battleground end of match and daily rewards, as well as the Battleground merchant at any of their camp locations (Vvardenfell – Morrowind, Starting Zones, DLC areas, etc).

How it performs; Undeniably the most stat dense set in the game, this set alone allows us to be as tanky as a Heavy Armor user, whilst in Medium Armor.  This makes it have offensive and defensive power both, and comes in any weight to boot.

Tips & Tricks

  • Get ready for a long learning process with the Stamina Nightblade.  Try and get a solid grasp on a mechanic known as “weaving”, which is simply squeezing in a Light or Heavy Attack between each ability you cast.  This is vital for both your damage, healing, and sustain management as a Stamblade.

  • Mistakes are learning tools.  Death is going to happen a lot with this build when you’re new to it, but instead of getting mad about them; learn from them and question what you could do next time.

  • Any time you see an Off Balance proc (denoted on a target by a dizzy symbol above their head) try and get 1 or 2 Fully Charged Heavy Attacks off.  This will help your sustain incredibly!  You can force proc this by using Surprise Attack from Cloak.

  • Don’t hesitate to experiment!  If something doesn’t work for you, try something else.  You can always revisit specific interactions or suggestions I’ve referenced when you feel confident.  Take things slow at first if you need to, and tack on more pieces of the puzzle as you get more comfortable.

  • Burst damage is our main focus, so try and always line up as much damage as possible when your opponent is crowd controlled.  Try using Incap Strike after you have enough stacks for a Spectral Bow, for insane pressure.

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