Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (2022)

The Nightblade gives players of The Elder Scrolls Online the ability to become one with the shadows. In their escapades, the Nightblade relies on their nimbleness and skill with their blades to eliminate opponents swiftly and quietly. As such, fans of The Elder Scrolls with a knack for stealth games will definitely enjoy this class.

Nightblades don't rely on chance, and instead become an agent of chaos, taking advantage of missteps and wrong moves to eliminate opponents when they least expect it. Their health-draining skills and stealth-oriented playstyle makes them primed for powerful DPS and single-target builds. ESO playersshould try their stealth with some of the best Nightblade builds the game has to offer.

Updated November 8, 2021 by Erik Petrovich: Nightblades in The Elder Scrolls Online are known usually for their being one of the best classes for pure DPS output, though there are some notable exceptions. When it comes to damage-based builds, the use of damage over time spells and AoE is paramount to success, while Tanking and Support builds get a little bit more niche. Spend some time looking over the benefits and drawbacks of each build before choosing one so you don't end up with a setup you don't like (and to avoid wasting time hunting down specific item sets).

16 One Bar Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (1)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Simple to learn rotations, good for first-timers or casual players
  • Weaknesses: Not as effective as more complex builds with twice the number of ability slots available

One bar builds are becoming all the rage as more players jump into The Elder Scrolls Online who want to take their time learning the game's unique flow of combat. This build from Hack the Minotaur turns the Nightblade away from a barrage of multiple abilities and towards a more focused fusion of self-sustain and DPS. It uses a Two-Handed weapon only with the Incapacitating Strike ultimate for its sheer damage output.

Abilities used by the class include Stampede and Carve for great AoE damage as well as Dark Cloak and Relentless Focus to keep the Nightblade going. Three sets are used for this set, primarily for their increases to Critical Chance. The Medusa and Hexos Ward sets increase Critical Chance and overall damage output, with the Hexos Ward set also granting a shield. The Selene set adds Stamina and has a chance to call upon a spirit for even more damage output on one's own.

15 "Toxic Raider" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (2)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Simple to learn rotations, good for first-timers or casual players
  • Weaknesses: Not as effective as more complex builds with twice the number of ability slots available

The Nightblade is a powerful close-range class, to be certain, but the class does just as well when away from the fray as it does duking it out in close combat. The Toxic Raider build from Hack the Minotaur is another one bar build, this time forgoing the Dual Wielded weapons in favor of a Bow (specifically a Thunderous Volley bow).

Abilities like Poison Injection and Toxic Barrage help give the Nightblade reliable damage over time, while Relentless Focus and Killer's Blade fuse together healing and damaging abilities. The Swamp Raider set is used for its increase to Disease and Poison damage, the Kinra's Wrath and Slimecraw sets are used for Critical and Damage increases, and the Harpooner's Wading Kit is used for its stacking bonuses to Critical Chance.

14 "Death Star" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (3)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Great for PvP, especially against stealthy targets, and great for ultimate generation
  • Weaknesses: Not as many single-target abilities as other builds, player must keep killing to get full benefits

Nightblades do their best when they are able to dart in and out of close combat, dealing lots of damage over time and using long-lasting AoE abilities before jumping into melee range for a barrage of attacks. The "Death Star" build from Hack the Minotaur puts together abilities, armor sets, and other build tips that turn the Nightblade into a whirlwind of death and ultimate-generating chaos, especially in PvP play.

The Dual Wield front bar uses abilities like Whirling Blades and Sap Essence for effective close-range AoE alongside Inner Light and Camouflaged Hunter for their ability to reveal invisible and stealthed enemies. The Bow back bar is more focused on multi-target, damage over time, and AoE attacks. The build uses the New Moon Acolyte set for increases to Critical Chance and overall damage output alongside the Dead-Water's Guile set for its across-the-board resource boosts as well as its huge boost to ultimate generation when killing enemies.

(Video) The ULTIMATE Nightblade Class Guide for ESO

13 "Siphoner" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (4)
  • Resource Focus: Magicka
  • Strengths: Great self-sustain and mix of single-target and multi-target attacks
  • Weaknesses: Not as complex as builds with another bar for abilities and synergistic skills

The Nightblade strikes fear in the hearts of enemies with its uncanny ability to sap life. Mechanically, players can do the same with the Siphoner build. This one-bar killing machine capitalizes on the Nightblade’s AOE potential with a dash of self-healing. As a result, the Siphoner becomes a decent asset in both solo and team-based encounters. Its one-bar setup needs the Lightning Staff and builds damage via Lotus Fan, Unstable Wall of Elements, Twisting Paths, and Merciless Resolve.

If fighting a single enemy, the Siphoner can use Swallow Soul and Soul Harvest Ult for maximum damage. Alternatively, the Siphoner can use Sap Essence and Soul Tether Ult to finish off mobs. In terms of items, the Mother’s Sorrow set helps the Siphoner sustain the high-Magicka costs for its rotations. Likewise, the Bahraha’s Curse can boost overall resources and comes with a handy magic-based lifesteal attack. Lastly, the Iceheart Monster Set can give the Siphoner much-needed defensive boosts through its damage shielding.

12 "Blood Mage" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (5)
  • Resource Focus: Magicka
  • Strengths: Good at PvP and PvE equally, balanced mix of self-buffs and damage
  • Weaknesses: Not singularly focused on any one thing, "jack of all trades but master of none"

Players looking for a decently-balanced Nightblade can use the thematic Blood Mage to suit their all-around needs. This build boasts decent damage potential and great sustains via self-healing. With its toolkit, the Blood Mage can hold off on its own in PVP or support teams in PVE. With the Inferno Staff, the Blood Mage can easily dish out both attacks and healing magic without much interruption. They can do this with Inner Light, Impale, Swallow Soul, and Merciless Resolve.

Depending on the situation, the Blood Mage can use Sap Essence for the nifty lifesteal or Dampen Magic for the debuff. Likewise, the Soul Harvest Ult is a massive damage dealer, whereas the Temporal Guard Ult provides decent sustain. Items-wise, the Blood Mage relies on the War Maiden to sustain its Magicka-reliant damage. Combined with Innate Axiom, the Blood Mage gets a much-needed healing and damage boost. Iceheart becomes a great asset for defenses, as its damage shielding can add sustain when going solo.

11 "Catalyst" Nightblade

  • Resource Focus: Stamina and Magicka
  • Strengths: Great survivability, DoTs, self sustain and self buffing
  • Weaknesses: Not as high raw damage output as other DPS builds, intended more for solo and PvP

Players who want a Nightblade that boasts a solid offense and defense could rely on the hybrid Catalyst PVE build. At its core, this build combines the best qualities of Blood and Shadow Magic to create a potent fighter in both PVE and PVP setups. At its core, the rotation heavily relies on certain buffs and debuffs to capitalize both lifesteal and damage. With an Inferno Staff back bar, players should start their rotations with damage-over-time via Endless Hail and Debilitate. After that, they can swap to their Dual Wield main bar with Blood Craze, Sap Essence, Deadly Cloak, and three Surprise Attacks.

All the while, players should maintain buffs via Leeching Strikes and Merciless Resolve. And with these, they should also debuff enemies with Dark Shade and Elemental Drain. In terms of items, the Catalyst Nightblade can use the Clever Alchemist and New Moon Acolyte to get that great boost to Spell and Weapon Damage. When paired with Balorgh, the Catalyst Nightblade can also enjoy decent buffs to Weapon and Spell Damage.

10 "Azure" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (7)
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  • Resource Focus: Magicka
  • Strengths: Powerful combination of good DPS output and health siphoning abilties
  • Weaknesses: Lots of abilities to keep up, low party support functionality

The Azure Nightblade boasts great damage output thanks to Incapacitating Strike as well as handy sustain and healing with Siphoning Attacks. This Magicka build by AlcastHQ begins its rotations by activating Channeled Acceleration, Merciless Resolve, and Siphoning Attacks.

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Its front bar skills debuffs enemies with Degeneration and Elemental Drain, with Impale providing a handy finisher. Moreover, Soul Harvest grants increased damage while reducing enemy healing. Meanwhile, its secondary skillset provides buffs with Harness Magicka and Twisting Path, with Elemental Blockade and Consuming Trap serving as AOE. Lastly, the ult Elemental Rage deals massive damage.

9 "Rampage" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (8)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Great AoE and single-target damage
  • Weaknesses: Not much focus on self-sustain or survivability, better for group PvE

The Rampage Nightblade works well as an AOE setup but unleashes devastating attacks on single targets. Nightblades take full advantage of their light attacks with buffs from Leeching Strikes and Incapacitating Strike. This build from AlcastHQ has a dual wield main bar that incapacitates enemies with Barbed Trap, and buffs attacks with Relentless Focus. Deadly Cloak and Surprise Attack boost damage, with Killer's Blade serving as a great finisher.

Meanwhile, the bow secondary bar buffs the Nightblade with Resolving Vigor, with Endless Hail and Dark Shades picking off enemies. Consuming Trap serves as a great lifesteal for weak foes, with Flawless Dawnbreaker providing massive damage as an ult.

8 "Focus" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (9)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Great ranged damage through AoE attacks and self-sustaining abilities
  • Weaknesses: Two bows limits the number of abilities that players can use

The Focus Nightblade serves as a hybrid ranged/melee build for players, with Killer's Blade and Incapacitating Strike serving as emergency melee maneuvers. This build from AlcastHQ can rotate between two bows, as all its skills can be used at maximum range.

The bow main bar rotation buffs attacks with Lethal Arrow and Relentless Focus, with Leeching Strikes providing adequate lifesteal. This rotation also uses Acid Spray for decent AOE. Meanwhile, the secondary bow skillset uses Endless Hail for its AOE damage, with Shadow Image and Mirage providing defense. Poison Injection buffs attacks with poison, and Resolving Vigor giving the Nightblade significant heals. Lastly, this secondary skillset unleashes a hail of arrows with its ult Ballista.

7 Werewolf Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (10)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Powerful PvP build with lots of crowd control available
  • Weaknesses: Relies on werewolf form to be effective, low overall damage output in favor of PvP skills

Werewolves bring an entirely new powerset to ESO characters, as their wolf form empowers them with ravaging strikes and buffs. The Nightblade benefits from this the most, as their werewolf form can save them in tight situations, especially when ambushed. And as ordinary humans, Nightblades have the full versatility of their build.

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In essence, AlcastHQ's Werewolf Nightblade can have alternating Dual Wield and Bow skills to accommodate multiple combat situations. Their Dual Wield skills tap into stunning targets and stealing their health, with a Werewolf Berserker to finish them off. Meanwhile, the Bow skillset deals immense damage from afar, coupled with some immobilizing spells plus an Incapacitating Strike if they get too near.

6 "Bomb Magicka" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (11)
  • Resource Focus: Magicka
  • Strengths: Optimized for AoE damage in a PvP or group PvE situation
  • Weaknesses: Low self-sustain, Inner Light and Camouflaged Hunter must be switched out if not doing PvP

The Bomb Magicka Nightblade takes after its namesake, as this build relies on "bombing" stacks of enemies. This build's dual-wield skillset relies on Camouflaged Hunter and Inner Light to reveal and debuff hidden opponents. Concealed Weapon gives damage boost, Sap Essence provides lifesteal, while ult Soul Tether ravages multiple opponents.

Meanwhile, the Restoration Staff secondary set lets Radiating Regeneration and ult Light's Champion give massive heals. Moreover, Dampen Magic and Channeled Acceleration gives added buffs, Shadow Image lets a mirror image provide extra damage, and Proximity Detonation releases AOE damage around the player.

5 "Silencium" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (12)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Revealing enemies as well as being stealthy oneself, good self-sustain and self buffing
  • Weaknesses: Relies on the PvP skill line to be developed in order to access certain abilities, reliance on invisibility with back bar

The Silencium Nightblade from AlcastHQ focuses on high-damage ranged combat. Its bow main bar buffs the Silencium Nightblade with Relentless Focus and Slimmering Frenzy. Invisible enemies get debuffed with Camouflaged Hunter, and receive devastating damage with Silver Shards, Focused Aim, and ult Ballista.

Meanwhile, its 2H secondary skillset helps the Nightblade be invisible with Shadowy Disguise. Forward Momentum, Resolving Vigor, and Channeled Acceleration provide damage buffs with Concealed Weapon dealing damage. Temporal Guard resets health, stamina, and Magicka to their value four seconds ago, which helps with emergencies.

4 "Siphoner Tank" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (13)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina and Magicka
  • Strengths: Taking damage, self-sustain, resource recovery, and crowd control
  • Weaknesses: Low damage output (keep in mind this is a Tank build)

Siphoner Nightblades rely on damage dispersion (Mirage), health recovery (Dark Cloak), and soaking damage to tank for dungeons. This build from AlcastHQ easily grants survivability. Moreover, Leeching Strikes and Spell Symmetry handle resource recovery.

Their S&B build aims to disrupt enemy focus with relentless attacks. Heroic Slash and Pierce Armor debuff enemy defenses, with Incapacitating Strike giving additional Reave benefits. Meanwhile, their Destro Staff set bolsters allied defenses, with the Aggressive Warhorn giving buffs for additional damage.

3 "Illusion Healer" Nightblade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (14)
(Video) ESO PvP Tier List | High Isle 2022
  • Resource Focus: Magicka
  • Strengths: Support-oriented build for Nightblades, healing-over-time
  • Weaknesses: Not as effective as some other support-oriented classes

Illusion Nightblades make great support in teams thanks to their healing abilities. Moreover, they compensate for their light armor with resource management and healing potential. Illusion Nightblades get a massive boost in their abilities with the Atronach Mundus Stone and the Magicka Recovery Glyph.

In this build, Illusion Nightblades have a healing-oriented toolbar for the Restoration Staff, which contains the bread and butter of the Illusion Nightblade's gift of healing. This skill set has most of their healing and healing-over-time. Meanwhile, the Shock Staff build guarantees bolstered defense with Elemental Blockade and Elemental Drain.

2 Solo MagBlade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (15)
  • Resource Focus: Magicka
  • Strengths: Great for soloing through self-healing and powerful set bonuses for damage
  • Weaknesses: Not optimized for group content, not as high DPS output as more specialized builds

The Solo Magblade Nightblade build is specifically designed to solo dungeons with its buffs and regeneration abilities. For instance, Swallow Soul and Sap Essence lifesteals from single and AOE targets, respectively. This build also benefits from shields from the Iceheart Monster Set, with Harness Magicka capable of providing emergency shields.

The Destruction Staff main bar uses Merciless Resolve for damage mitigation, with Dark Shade providing AOE damage thanks to an ally specter. Moreover, the ult Incapacitating Strike provides a damage buff. Meanwhile, the Destruction Staff secondary bar uses Unstable Wall of Elements for its major AOE damage, with Twisting Path providing the party with decent buffs. Lastly, Elemental Drain and the ult Soul Tether provide Magicka steal and lifesteal.

1 Solo StamBlade

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (16)
  • Resource Focus: Stamina
  • Strengths: Great for soloing through self-healing and powerful set bonuses for damage
  • Weaknesses: Not optimized for group content, not as high DPS output as more specialized builds

The Solo Stamblade Nightblade enables players to solo play dungeons with damage reduction and mitigation benefits. Unlike the Solo Magblade, this build relies on stamina-based skills. For instance, both Dark Shade and Mirage can increase damage mitigation, with Leeching Strikes capable of massive stamina recovery.

The 2H main bar relies on Relentless Focus and Echoing Vigor for buffing attacks, with Brawler, Surprise Attack, and Reverse Slice capable of devastating opponents. Additionally, Incapacitating Strike serves as a great ult for stuns. Meanwhile, the bow secondary skillset makes use of Razor Caltrops for light damage and speed reduction, which makes it a perfect partner for Endless Hail's AOE. Lastly, the Soul Tether ult serves as a great lifesteal choice ult for the party.

The Elder Scrolls Online is available for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X|S

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FAQs

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked? ›

Elder Scrolls Online: 15 Best Nightblade Builds, Ranked (For 2021)
  • 8 "Focus" Nightblade.
  • 7 Werewolf Nightblade.
  • 6 "Bomb Magicka" Nightblade.
  • 5 "Silencium" Nightblade.
  • 4 "Siphoner Tank" Nightblade.
  • 3 "Illusion Healer" Nightblade.
  • 2 Solo MagBlade.
  • 1 Solo StamBlade.
Nov 13, 2021

What is the best class for Nightblade? ›

The Khajiit is the perfect race for the Magicka Nightblade, as it gives you extra critical damage and better sustain, both of which heavily suit the class.

Is Nightblade good ESO 2022? ›

Nightblades as Magicka DPS deal great damage and have high survivability in all levels of play. Excelling at burst damage and the execute phase of boss fights, they also deal great single target damage over the course of fights, and can keep themselves healthy with their great toolkits.

What are Nightblades good for eso? ›

Stamina Nightblades in ESO are very powerful and are one of the top tier damage dealers in the game. Stamina Nightblades have very unique and great abilities such as Surprise Attack, Dark Shade, Leeching Strikes, Power Extraction, Relentless Focus, Killer's Blade and Incapacitating Strike.

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