Best ESO Nightblade Thief Build – Cloak and Dagger

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ESO Thief Build

Cloak and Dagger is a fun Nightblade Thief Build in ESO. Its purpose is to make gold from the activity of stealing without being detected. The Build is designed in such a way that you will never have to kill anyone unless you want to. It offers several skills that will help you escape if you are caught stealing. A perfect Build for an ESO Pacifist Gameplay!

Although active skills are important for its gameplay, this Thief Build relies mostly on passive skills from Legerdemain, Thieves Guild and Vampire Skill-lines. This is also a great Build to complete Daily Quests for the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, and increase your rank with them!

If you are a new player, you can take a look at my Nightblade Beginner Guide. For a Gold Farming – Speed Build, you can take a look at Runner. If you are looking for a Solo PVE Build for Arenas like the Maelstrom Arena and Vateshran Hollows, take a look at my Magicka Nightblade Solo Build. You can find more Builds in the Nightblade Builds page.

Table of Contents

ESO Thief Build Setup

The Build is designed to offer great resources recovery and allow you to steal items undetected! Even if you get caught, you can easily escape from enemies without killing anyone. Wear 1 piece of Magma Incarnate for the recovery. Baron Thirsk is a good alternative. Finally the Ring of the Wild Hunt for the speed boost when out of combat!

HeadNight Mother's EmbraceMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
ShouldersMagma IncarnateMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
HandsVesture of Darloc BraeMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
LegsVesture of Darloc BraeMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
ChestVesture of Darloc BraeMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
WaistVesture of Darloc BraeMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
FeetVesture of Darloc BraeMediumDivinesMax. Stamina
NecklaceNight Mother's EmbraceJewelRobustStamina Recovery
RingNight Mother's EmbraceJewelRobustStamina Recovery
RingRing of the Wild HuntJewelSwiftStamina Recovery
Two Handed WeaponNight Mother's EmbraceBowDefendingHardening
One Handed WeaponNight Mother's EmbraceDaggerInfusedAbsorb Stamina
One Handed WeaponNight Mother's EmbraceDaggerDefendingPoison

Best Armor Sets for ESO Thief Build

These are the Best Armor Sets you can use with the Thief Build in ESO! Their bonuses will help you maximize your potential as a Thief in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Best Skills for ESO Thief Build

The following skills will help you remain hidden and steal as many items as possible! The Front bar is dedicated to the art of stealing while the Back bar offers offensive skills to defend yourself if you have to!

Shadowy DisguiseRefreshing PathConcealed WeaponMirageMass HysteriaSoul Tether
AmbushBlood CrazeRelentless FocusSiphoning AttacksResolving VigorIncapacitating Strike
  • Shadowy Disguise(Shadow Cloak): Cloak and very important survival skill.
  • Refreshing Path(Path of Darkness): Use this skill to move faster when escaping. Can also heal you if you are under attack.
  • Concealed Weapon(Veiled Strike): Helps you move faster.
  • Mirage(Blur): Your defensive buff if you are under attack.
  • Mass Hysteria(Aspect of Terror): Another defensive skill that can help you escape.
  • Soul Tether(Soul Shred): An additional escape method if necessary.
  • Ambush(Teleport Strike): Your gap closer. Use it to teleport to a far away enemy and escape or to fight if you wish.
  • Blood Craze(Twin Slashes): An offensive skill that can also heal you.
  • Relentless Focus(Grim Focus): Offensive skill!
  • Siphoning Attacks(Siphoning Strikes): Powerful Sustain ability.
  • Resolving Vigor(Vigor): Your main healing ability.
  • Incapacitating Strike(Death Stroke): Your offensive Ultimate. No need to use if you do not plan to kill NPC.

Important Passive Skills for ESO Thief Build

Very important Passive abilities that will help you play as a Thief in ESO! Try to unlock them as fast as possible, so you can make more Gold from stealing faster. These are the Passive Skills you should unlock for the ESO Thief Build.

  • Legerdemain: Improved Hiding, Light Fingers, Trafficker. Must be at least level 3 to be truly effective as a Thief.
  • Vampire: Dark Stalker, Undeath.
  • Thieves Guild: Haggling, Clemency, Veil of Shadows.
  • Dark Brotherhood: Blade of Woe but only if you pickpocket a lot. Since NPC can carry only 3 items you can pickpocket from them, use Blade of Woe to “reset” empty NPC.

Best Champion Points for ESO Thief Build

Below you will find the best Champion Points setup for the Build. When allocating Champion points to Slottable and Passive Stars your primary goal is to create paths! Allocate the minimum required points to stars along your path in order to reach your desired Slottable Stars faster. Once you have unlocked all Stars, start allocating more Champion Points to them to fill them out. Focus on Slottable Stars first, then Passive Stars. If you would like to learn more about Champion Points and how they work, you can read my ESO Champion Points Guide.


  • Slottable Stars: Arcane Supremacy, Endless Endurance, Duelist’s Rebuff, Ironclad
  • Passive: Eldritch Insight, Tireless Discipline, Piercing, Battle Mastery, Mighty, Quick Recovery, Hardy, Elemental Aegis, Preparation, Precision, Blessed,


  • Slottable Stars: Infamous, Cutpurse’s Art, Sustaining Shadows, Steed’s Blessing
  • Passive: Gilded Fingers, Fortune’s Favor, Friends in Low Places(slottable, required for path), Out of Sight, Shadowstrike or Fade Away(Slottables, required for Path), Wanderer, Steadfast Enchantment


  • Slottable Stars: Fortified, Rejuvenation, Boundless Vitality, Celerity
  • Passive: Sprinter, Hasty, Tireless Guardian, Hero’s Vigor, Mystic Tenacity, Tumbling, Defiance

Best Food and Potions for ESO Thief Build

Jewels of Misrule is the Best Food for the Build while Essence of Magicka or Tri-Stat Potions are the best options as Potions.

Info for ESO Thief Build

Several important info for the ESO Thief Build. What Mundus to use, the best race for the build and how to assign your attribute points.

Attribute Points

19 points to Magicka and 45 to Stamina!

Mundus Stone

The Atronach for better Magicka Recovery.

What Race is best for ESO Thief Build

Khajiit is the best Race option for the Thief build because of their stealth and stealing racial passives. Cutpurse passive boosts pickpocket chance while Feline Ambush reduces Detection Radius in Stealth.

Vampire or Werewolf

At least Vampire Stage 1 for the Dark Stalker passive. Vampire Stage 3 if you also want the Undeath Passive.

Best Rotation for ESO Thief Build

Stay in the shadows and steal everything that moves! Very easy gameplay, just be careful of NPC proximity. If you are caught, use one of your many defensive skills to escape. Mass Hysteria, Soul Tether and Refreshing Path can help you escape without killing anyone! The Hasty Retreat passive from the Bow line can also give you a boost when in combat and help you escape. You will never have to kill anything unless you want to. Which makes this build the perfect option for an ESO Pacifist Gameplay.

Best Companion for Thief Build ESO

If you wish to bring someone along while stealing with the Thief Build, you can choose one of the available Companions! Companions in ESO are helpful allies that can assist you in combat and make gameplay more enjoyable. Every Companion can fulfill every role in the game and help you enjoy ESO more by clearing content faster or by simply interacting with them and their charming personality! There are various Builds you can use for every available ESO Companion! As a Thief focused character my recommendation is to bring along a Companion that will not judge you for your actions!

The Best Companion for a Thief Build is Ember or Sharp-as-Night! You can use either of the two in various setups. Damage dealer to defend you if you have to fight, Tank to draw aggro from guards or Healer to keep you alive while escaping! To find out which ESO Companion is the Best in every role you can take a look at my ESO Best Companion Guide! To further maximize the potential of your chosen Companion, you can wear the Telvanni Efficiency Set! A Crafted Set that reduces the cooldown of your Companions abilities, improving their damage and overall effects and assisting you further in combat.

ESO Nightblade Thief Build Summary

Cloak and Dagger is an amazing Thief Build and the Best way to make Gold from the art of Stealing in ESO! The Build is focusing on remaining undetected while pickpocketing NPC and lockpicking chests and safe boxes. To maximize your potential as a Thief in ESO, you should invest in the appropriate Passive abilities and wear the right Sets. With this Thief Build it is also possible to follow a Pacifist type of Gameplay in ESO, if you choose to avoid killing innocent NPC!

FAQ – ESO Thief Build

Can I be a Thief in ESO?

You can be a Thief in ESO and have lots of fun in the process! A Thief Build is not only a great way to make gold in the game but also provides the only Pacifist gameplay in ESO! For the Best Thief Build in ESO you can take a look at this Cloak and Dagger Build!

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