nightblade beginner guide
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Nightblade Beginner Guide ESO

Nightblade Beginner Guide

Nightblade is the Class of Shadow and Stealth in The Elder Scrolls Online and the closer to an assassin/rogue like class in the game! One of the ESO Classes, available with the base game, can help you create strong damage dealers for Magicka or Stamina gameplay, decent healers but not the best tanks in ESO.

What makes Nightblades unique is the ability to cloak themselves and hide from enemies. This allows you to avoid NPC or player attacks in PVE and PVP. The ability to cloak also makes them a great class for Thief builds!

Table of Contents

Why Choose Nightblade

The Nightblade is one of the most popular classes in The Elder Scrolls Online, exactly because of its similarities to rogue/assassin gameplay from other games and the ability to cloak. It is also one of the hardest classes to master and the least beginner friendly to choose. It requires a lot of practice to learn how to play a Nightblade properly and take advantage of its unique gameplay.

The class relies a lot on triggering extra skills and on animation canceling. Having basic gameplay knowledge is necessary to get the most out of your Nightblade. In general Nightblade can reach a high damage output in PVE but is not recommended for brand new players.

In PVP Nightblade is somewhat easier to play, thanks to the ability to cloak and hide from enemy players.

Both Magicka and Stamina Nightblade can deal significant damage in PVE and be an asset to every group. You can set them up in any way you like but they work best with single target, direct damage attacks. They are an excellent class against strong Boss like targets but also quite good against groups of enemies.

The class lacks class skills to work as a good Tank so it is best to avoid that role, if you are playing a Nightblade. They can be a decent Healer though but again you will have to practice a lot to make a build like that work well in harder content.

Nightblades are very common in PVP because of their cloak ability. Their stealth allows them to remain hidden and strike at the right time to get the kill. This type of PVP Builds is called a Gank Build and the Nightblade excels at using it. It is possible to make brawler type, sturdy Nightblade Builds but hard hitting, glass cannon like builds are a better fit.

Finally the Nightblade is the number one option if you are interested in stealing and Thief Builds in ESO. The ability to stealth, will help you remain hidden from NPC and steal/pickpocket everything in the area.

Overall, Nightblades make great Damage Dealers and Thieves, decent healers but poor Tanks.

nightblade beginner guide

Important Skills

Before we go through the most important Nightblade skills, you have to decide what kind of Nightblade you wish to create! A Magicka based or Stamina based one. This will determine the type of gameplay and the morphs of skills you should choose as you level up.

To create a Magicka based Nightblade(DD or Healer) allocate all your available attribute points to Magicka. To create a Stamina one, allocate your points to Stamina. You can also mix them up if you wish to make a Tank character.

Leveling a Nightblade and its skills is similar to leveling any other class in the game. There are several methods you can follow to level up fast and efficiently, like grinding XP at specific locations, clearing Dolmens and completing group content. You can find a lot more info on how to level up a character fast and efficiently in my ESO Leveling Guide.

There are several important skills you should unlock and level up as soon as possible. Class, Weapons and Guild Skills that will help you create the build of your dreams! To level up skills and skill-lines, always have one or more of their skills in your active bar, even if you are not using them. More info on unlocking and leveling up skills and their lines here.

So let’s start with the most important Nightblade Class skills.

Class Skills

The Nightblade has three unique skill lines with abilities suitable for every role in the game. Both Magicka and Stamina Nightblades benefit from the Class’ skills and can use them to create strong DPS builds along with other abilities.

The Nightblade Skill lines are:

  • Assassination, with several offensive skills
  • Shadow, that puts emphasis on stealth and support skills
  • Siphoning, with more support and healing focused skills

Assassination

nightblade beginner guide

Very important line for Nightblades with some of their strongest skills! Death Stroke is a powerful Ultimate that offers two different morphs for Stamina and Magicka Nightblades. Incapacitating Strike and Soul Harvest increase the damage you deal to enemies and they are very important for your Nightblade.

Assassin’s Blade and its two morphs, Killer’s Blade and Impale are also a must have for every Nightblade DPS Build. A powerful execute ability that will allow you to kill anything faster. Teleport Strike and its morphs are mostly used in PVP to close the distance to enemies while Blur and morphs offer extra defense and PVP utility.

Mark Target reduces enemies’ resistances and can be a good Solo PVE ability to use but is not very important to focus on from early on.

Grim Focus on the other hand is a skill you should unlock as soon as possible. Its two morphs Relentless Focus and Merciless Resolve boost your damage when active but also activate an extra skill/spectral arrow after five Light/Heavy attacks that deals significant damage and heals you.

Death Sroke, Assassin’s Blade and Grim Focus and their appropriate Morphs, should be your number one priority if you are making a damage dealer Nightblade!

Shadow

Consuming Darkness and Morphs are mostly support skills that you can avoid if you are focusing on DPS gameplay. Veiled strike on the other hand offers a potent Stamina Nightblade spammable, Surprise Attack. Its other Morph, Concealed Weapon, allows you to move faster when cloaked and can be an asset for Thief/Gank PVP builds.

Shadow Cloak is the skill that makes Nightblade unique. The Shadowy Disguise morph is your stealth ability that also boosts your next attack. Invaluable for PVP and Thief Builds.

Path of Darkness offers two strong AOE abilities, one that deals great damage and another one that heals you. Aspect of Terror is a fear ability that will help you mostly in PVP, while Summon Shade, summons a shadow to assist you in combat. Dark Shade is a melee shadow, helpful in PVE while Shadow Image works mostly as an escape in PVP environments.

Siphoning

Swallow Soul(Strife Morph) is a valuable skill for Solo gameplay since it can deal damage and heal you at the same time. Malevolent Offering offers two healing focused morphs while Cripple give you access to an amazing DOT PVE skill, Crippling Grasp. Crippling Grasp can be useful in PVP as well, immobilizing enemies.

Siphoning Strikes, like Grim Focus from the Assassination line, is also a must have ability for every Nightblade build. Its two morphs, Leeching Strikes and Siphoning Attacks, heal you with every Light or Heavy attack and restore Stamina or Magicka.

Drain Power and Morphs deal damage and boost your damage while Soul Shred and Morphs absorb Health from nearby enemies.

Swallow Soul and the two Siphoning Strikes morphs are quite important from this skill line and some of the skills that you should focus on from early in the game.

Weapon Skills

Both Magicka and Stamina Nightblades rely mostly on their Class abilities to create strong DPS Builds. There are of course a few Weapon Skills they can also utilize.

From the Destruction Staff line the Wall of Elements and its morphs are important for AOE attacks for Magicka Nightblades while Elemental Drain(Weakness to Elements morph) will assist in solo gameplay. Finally the Elemental Storm Ultimate and its two morphs are strong enough to use in PVE or PVP.

For Stamina Nightblade some weapon skills can be useful as well. Depending on you favorite Weapon, Dual Wield, Two Handed or Bow, you can use a few of their skills as a spammable or to further boost your damage.

One Hand and Shield is your weapon of choice if you wish to play a Tank role and Restoration Staff for Healers.

Dizzying Swing for PVP and Wrecking Blow for PVE are going to be your spammables if you are using a Two Handed Weapon. Cleave and its morphs are great for dealing with lots of enemies while Reverse Slash and its morphs are an amazing execute ability. Stampede is another excellent skill you can use in PVE or PVP.

Rapid Strikes or Whirling Blades can be a strong spammable if you are using Dual Wield. Deadly Cloak and Shrouded Daggers will also assist you if you wish to focus more on the Dual Wield play style.

Finally Endless Hail(Volley’s Morph) from Bow is important for every build that is using the bow as a support weapon along with Poison Injection(Poison Arrow Morph).

If you wish to play as a Tank, then you will also need the Pierce Armor Taunt skill(Puncture Morph) to draw aggro and Heroic Slash( Low Slash Morph) to boost your Ultimate generation.

For Healers, Grand Healing, Regeneration, Blessing of Protection and their morphs are very important to fulfill their role successfully. The Light’s Champion Ultimate(Panacea Morph) from this line can also be helpful when healing in PVE or PVP gameplay.

Guilds Skills

There are also several Guild lines in the game that offer strong and important abilities. Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Undaunted and Psijic Order skills can be quite helpful.

Barbed Trap(Trap Beast Morph) is the skill you must unlock as soon as possible from the Fighters Guild, for your Nightblade, Stamina or Magicka. The reason for this is because it provides the Minor Force buff, increasing your Critical Damage done. It is mostly a PVE skill. The alternative to this would be Accelerate and its Morphs from the Psijic Order line but this is harder to get and unlock.

Dawnbreaker is a powerful Ultimate with morphs for PVE and PVP gameplay while Camouflaged Hunter is helpful for Stamina DPS. Silver Leash(Silver Bolts Morph) is rather important for Tank Builds, since it can pull enemies to you.

The Mages Guild offers a few potent skills for Magicka Nightblade, including a powerful Ultimate, Meteor. Inner Light can boost Spell Critical and Max Magicka while Entropy and Fire Rune offer great offensive spells with their morphs.

The Undaunted skill line offers mostly support spells for all roles but also two powerful passives. The two passives should be your priority from this line. Inner Fire offers two ranged aggro abilities that are a must have for Tanks.

Finally the Psijic Order has the best Spammable in the game for Magicka Characters in general, the Elemental Weapon(Imbue Weapon Morph) ability, which is strictly a PVE skill.

Alliance War Skills

Vigor and Morphs are great healing abilities for Stamina characters while Razor Caltrops(Caltrops Morph) can debuff enemies when solo and make it easier to kill them. The Continuous Attack passive will provide Major Gallop when mounted, making travel easier and faster.

Skills Priority

Unlocking and leveling up your Class active skills and passives, should be your number one priority. This will unlock the potential of your Class and allow you to combine them for better results. Weapon and Guild Skills should follow after. Of course everything depends on your goals and preferred play style.

Getting a strong spammable and a good AOE ability early will allow you to level up faster and more efficiently.

Regarding Passives, i always recommend getting everything from skill lines you are using. Again Class Passives, along with Racial ones, should come first, followed by Weapon and Guild ones.

Mundus Stones

Mundus Stones offer strong buffs to your character that can help you complete content faster. They are located all around Tamriel and based on their offered buff are more suitable for PVE or PVP gameplay.

When you are leveling up you should get the Atronach Mundus that boosts Magicka Recovery or the Serpent Mundus that boosts Stamina Recovery. This will assist you with sustain and will allow you to use your skills for longer.

As you are getting more experienced and can sustain better, switch to the Lover Mundus. The Lover boosts your Physical and Spell Penetration, making it easier to kill enemies. A great option for early gameplay but also Solo content.

For group PVE you want to switch to the Thief (better Critical Chance) or the Shadow(better Critical Damage). For PVP get the Warrior(more Weapon Damage) or the Apprentice(more Spell Damage).

Tank characters can benefit from the Atronach Mundus while Healers can use the Atronach, the Apprentice or even the Ritual(better Healing).

Champion Points

After level 50 you will start earning Champion Points. These allow you to unlock Passive and Slottable Stars in the Champion Points tab, that can further empower your character. You can earn Champion Points by simply playing the game and leveling up.

In total there are three constellations in the Elder Scrolls Online:

  • Warfare
  • Fitness
  • Craft

Each constellation offers different Stars that can help with different roles and activities. Warfare is the constellation that is focusing more on combat and provides bonuses to Damage Dealers, Tanks and Healers. Allocating your Champion Points appropriately and unlocking the right Stars for the role you wish to fulfill is rather important.

You can find more info on Champion Points and the right Passive and Slottable Stars for every Role in my Champion Points Guide.

Vampire or Werewolf

Being a Vampire or Werewolf is not necessary to fully enjoy your Nightblade. You can find a lot more info on Vampires and Werewolves in my ESO Vampire vs Werewolf Guide.

Build Examples

There are more than one ways you can setup your Magicka or Stamina Nightblade. It all depends on your favorite play style and the content you wish to complete. Some setups are better for Solo PVE, other for Group Trials content and other for Battlegrounds or Open World PVP. Here are some Builds you can use, depending on gameplay.

Magicka Nightblade PVE Build – Shadowfire

Melee Magicka Nightblade PVE Build – Spellblade

Stamina Nightblade PVE Build(Dual Wield) – Brawler

Stamina Nightblade PVE Build(Two Handed) – Shadowfury

Stamina Nightblade PVE Build(Bow) – Arrowsong

Magicka Nightblade Solo PVE Build – Setup

Stamina Nightblade Solo PVE Build – Setup

Nightblade Tank Build – Defender

Nightblade Healer Build – Mender

Magicka Nightblade PVP Build – Lifestealer

Stamina Nightblade PVP Build – Elusive Warrior

Magicka Nightblade Gank PVP Build – Shadowstrike

Stamina Nightblade Melee Gank PVP Build – Kunoichi

Stamina Nightblade Bow Gank PVP Build – Arbalest

Nightblade Thief Build – Cloak and Dagger

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