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ESO Nightblade Skills Guide

UPDATE for patch 1.6 (on PTS not final) Welcome to our ESO Nightblade Skills Guide.  The Nightblade (NB) has some of the best and most powerful skills in Elder Scrolls Online and we’re here to show you how they work. This is part two in our Nightblade class guide, covering skills and morphs.   We cover all the skills and morphs we feel are the best.  Note, depending on your play-style, the best morph might be different than ours, regardless we’re going to explain each skill and how to use them.  Let’s get started!





Main Skill

Death Stroke I
Death Stroke – Ravage enemy with a spinning attack to deal X Magic Damage and increase your damage against them by 20%. Also causes Major Defile, reducing the effectiveness of healing on the enemy by 40% for 6 seconds.
Death Stroke Soul Harvest I
Soul Harvest – While slotted, each kill generates increased Ultimate.
Death Stroke Incapacitating Strike I
Incapacitating Strikes – Stuns if caster has lower health than target.

 Active Skills

Assassins Blade I
Assassin’s Blade – Thrust a magic blade with a lethal precision to stab an enemy for X Magic Damage. Causes 300% more damage to low heath targets.
Assassins Killers Blade I
Killer’s blade – Now scales off stamina and weapon damage and heals you if target dies within two seconds of use.
Assassins Blade Impale I
Impale – Ability may be used at range.


Teleport Strike I
Teleport Strike – Flash through the shadows and ambush enemy for X Magic Damage, stunning them for 1.5 seconds. If the target is a player, they are immobilized for 1 second instead of being stunned.
Teleport Strike Ambush I
Ambush – Ability now scales off weapon damage and max stamina. Next attack against the target deals extra damage.
Teleport Strike Lotus Fan I
Lotus Fan – After teleporting, deals damage and snares enemies in the area.


Blur – Surround yourself in a phantasmic aura to gain major evasion, increasing your dodge chance by 20% for 20 seconds.
Blur Double Take I
Double Take – Bonus movement speed on activation.
Blur Mirage
Mirage – Also increase armor.

Mark Target I
Mark Target – Expose an enemy’s weaknesses to afflict them with major fracture and major breach, reducing armor and spell resistance by X for 17 seconds. When a marked enemy dies, you are restored for 37% of your max health.
Mark Target Piercing Mark I
Piercing Mark – Increased duration and you can see the target if they stealth or go invisible.
Mark Target Reapers Mark I
Repear’s Mark – Gain damage bonus and a bigger heal when killing marked target.

Grim Focus I
Grim Focus – Gain Minor Berserk for 20 seconds. While active, hit with 8 light or heavy attacks to turn this into Assassin’s Will and fire a spectral bow to deal X Magic Damage. Minor Berserk gives the player 8% bonus damage done.
Grim Focus Mericiless Resolve I
Merciless Resolve – Assassin’s Will does more damage and snares.
Grim Relentless Focus I
Relentless Focus – Adds stamina regeneration.


Passive Master Assassin
Master Assassin – Increases weapon and spell damage while invisible or stealthed by 10%. Successful stealthed attacks stun for 100% longer.

Passive 2 Executioner
Executioner – Killing an enemy with an Assassination ability restores X magicka over 6 seconds.

Passive 3 Pressure Points
Pressure Points – Increases critical strike rating by X for each assassination ability slotted.

Passive 4 Hemorrhage
Hemorrhage – Increases bonus critical strike damage by 10%. A successful critical hit gives nearby allies minor savagery, increasing weapon critical strike rating by X for 20 seconds.



Main Skill

Consuming Darkness I
Consuming Darkness – Conjure a ring of shadows, reducing damage to you and your allies by 30% and reducing enemy movement by 70%. Low health allies in the target area can activate Hidden Refresh, granting invisibility and healing them for X over 4 seconds.

Consuming Bolstering Darkness I
Bolstering Darkness – Caster Takes less damage.

Consuming Darkness Veil of BladesI
Veil of Blades – Enemies in the area take damage over time.

Active Skills

Shadow Cloak I
Shadow Cloak – Cloak yourself in shadow to become invisible for 2.9 seconds.
Shadow Dark Cloak I
Dark Cloak – Removes damage over time effects.
Shadow Cloak Shadowy Disguise  I
Shadowy Disguise – Guarantees a critical strike on next attack.




Veiled Strike I
Veiled Strike – Slash an enemy for X Magic Damage. Attacking with Veiled Strike while stealthed or invisible stuns the enemy and sets them off balance for 4.6 seconds.
Veiled Strike Surprise Attack I
Surprise Attack – Ability now scales off weapon damage and max stamina. Reduces target’s armor on hit.
Veiled Strike Concealed Weapon I
Concealed Weapon – Increases stealthed movement speed while slotted.

Path of Darkness
Path of Darkness – Create a corridor of shadows, dealing X magic damage to enemies in the target area every .5 seconds. While on the path, you gain major expedition increasing your movement speed 40%.
Path of Darkness Twisting Path I
Twisting Path – Affects a larger conal area and deals more damage.
Path of Darkness Refreshing Path
Refreshing Path – Path also heals allies.

Aspect of Terror I
Aspect Of Terror – Summon a dark spirit to terrify up to 2 enemies, causing them to flee in fear for 4.5 seconds.
Aspect Manifestation of Terror  I
Manifestation of Terror – Creates a trap that fears nearby enemies.
Aspect of Terror Mass Hysteria I
Mass Hysteria – Enemy snared and deals less damage when effect ends.

Summon Shade I
Summon Shade – Summon a shade version of yourself to attack an enemy and fight your side for 13.8 seconds. The shade’s attacks deal X Magic Damage and cause Minor Maim, reducing the target’s damage by 15% for 4 seconds.
Summon Shade Shadow Image I
Shadow Image – Ranged shade deals more damage and you can activate again to teleport to the shade.
Summon Dark Shades I
Dark Shades – Summon 2 shades.


Passive 1 Refresshing Shadows
Refreshing Shadows – Increases stamina regeneration by 30%.

Passive 2 Shadow Barrier
Shadow Barrier – Activation a Shadow ability gives you Major Ward and Major Resolve, increasing Spell Resistance and Armor by X for 4 seconds. This duration is increased for each piece of Heavy Armor Equipped.

Passive 3 Dark Vigor
Dark Vigor – Each Shadow Ability slotted increases your Max Health by 3%.

Passive 4 Dark Veil
Dark Veil – While Using Shadow Abilities, Increases duration of Shadow abilities by 15%.



Main Skill

Soul Shred I
Soul Shred – Ravage nearby enemies’ souls with a night rune, dealing X magic damage and stunning them for X seconds. An ally can target an affected enemy and activate soul leech to steal X health.

Soul Shred Soul Siphon I
Soul Siphon – Heals nearby allies but deals less damage and no longer stuns.

Soul Shred Soul Tether I
Soul Tether – Also deal high damage over time to a single enemy.

Active Skills

Strife – Steal an enemy’s life force, dealing X magic damage and healing you for 25% of the damage inflicted every 2 seconds.
Strife Swallow Soul I
Swallow Soul – Received more healing while a ability is slotted.
Strife Funnel Health I
Funnel Health – Also heals a nearby ally.

Agony I
Agony – Shackle an enemy in torment stunning them for 30 seconds and dealing X magic damage over 5 seconds when the effect ends. Stun is broken if the enemy takes damage.
Agony Malefic Wreath I
Malefic Wreath – Deals area damage when effect ends.
Agony Prolonged Suffering I
Prolonged Suffering – Damage over time last for longer.

Cripple I
Cripple – Sap an enemy’s agility and bolster your own, reducing their movement speed by 40% and granting you major expedition, which increases your movement speed by 40%. Affected enemy also takes X magic damage over 8 seconds.
Cripple Debilitate I
Debilitate – Gain magicka when target dies.
Cripple Crippling Grasp I
Crippling Grasp – Immobilizes and damage on impact.

Siphoning Strikes I
Siphoning Strikes – Imbue your weapons with soul-stealing power. Each basic attack restores at least 3% magicka and stamina and has a chance of restoring 15%. While toggled your attacks deal less damage weapon and spell damage is reduce by 28%.
Siphoning Attacks I
Siphoning Attacks – All attacks have a chance to restore magicka and stamina.
Siphoning Leeching Strikes I
Leeching Strikes – Attacks also restore health.

Drain Power I
Drain Power – Siphon the vigor from your enemies’ blood, dealing X Magic Damage to all nearby enemies. If an enemy is hit, you gain Majority Brutality, increasing Weapon Damage by 20% of 17 seconds.
Drain Power Extraction I
Power Extraction – Increased damage and now scales off weapon damage and max stamina.
Drain Power Sap Essence I
Sap Essence – Also heals nearby allies and increase spell damage.


Passives 1 Catalyst
Catalyst – After Drinking a potion you gain 8 Ultimate.

Passive 2 Magicka Flood
Magicka Flood – With Siphoning Ability Slotted, Increased Max Magicka 8% while a Siphoning ability is slotted.

Passive 3 Soul Siphoner
Soul Siphoner – While Using Siphoning Abilities, Increases the effectiveness of your Healing done by 3% for each Siphoning ability slotted.

Passive 4 Transfer
Transfer – While Using Siphoning Abilities, Boosts your Ultimate by 2 whenever a Siphoning ability deals damage. This effect has a 6 second cooldown.

57 thoughts on “ESO Nightblade Skills Guide

  1. Great guide, only morphs I would counterpoint are killers blade as impale giving a ranged execute is excellent particularly for group content (not really disagreeing as you do state that clearly, I guess more just remphasising the point) mark target should be heal a plenty when solo.
    The only other point I would mention is your dark cloak morph – in particular PvP. It is my understanding that you can stack crit beyond 100% so with the crit morph, even if opponent has impenetrable, you should still be guaranteed a crit, so it still rather useful. Course, so is removing effects…so it is a toss up

      1. I can only think that this is part of the “blanket multiply by 10 rule”, as 100% of something means just that…every time. If I have 100% chance to crit then I will crit with every attack. If I have more than that (and on PTS I have almost 500% Spell Crit) then that must mean my enemies are attacking themselves and I can sit back and laugh at them.

        More than 100% is a useless statistic on Zeni’s part and needs to be fixed soon.

      2. Hey I was wondering if you could create a nightblade healer build. I am working my character towards that and would love to know how viable it would be when facing end game.

  2. I don’t really understand the passive Pressure Points – Increases critical strike rating by 2519 for each assassination ability slotted. does that increases your chance to crit?? by how much %??

  3. Very curious to see a NB stam build for PvE purposes post 1.6. Seem to be respeccing every week and can’t find a DPS bow build for NB that makes sense. I liked your 1.5 build. Changed with 1.6?

  4. Hi Deltia, I’m a little fan of your playing and builds, th for your playing and sharing. I’m playing on EU server and after patch 6 got little problem get DPS bow single target over 11k. I’m imperial NB, using 4 peaces of Opthian set, 3 peace of Hunting rage + bow so 4 peaces, 2 rings of hawk eye, necklase not set, enchan jewelry – one reduce cost of time drinking, two + weapon Demage, armor enchant all in Stamina, attributes, 5m, 52h, 5s, champions all in poison Demage, all in regeneration stamina, all in block, 30 points each. Aspon Demage around 2400 without buff. Skills for bow single target, verdron arrow, leather arrow, reletness focus, evil hunter, repeats mark, ulti dawnbreaker +5% weapon buff. Think that I have little problems with rotation skills and use advantage of relentless focus. Still using your old rotation get target poison dot, spamming lethal arrow, but can’t get effectively use there relentless focus. Thx for your time. I would like to get DPS about 1800. White 🙂

  5. Im looking to make a healer class endgame and was curious how effective funnel health would be, im an ol druid HoT healer from wow and love that heal style, is funnel health effective as a heal, is it spammable, and does the heal stack if targeting multiple enemies?

  6. I believe it’s good they changed the scaling attribute for some of the NB class abilities to stamina, in order to boost their effectiveness for all the stamina builds.

    I’m still not sure about the governing attribute for the critical chance of those abilities. Let’s take Killer’s Blade for example, it now scales its damage over Stamina and Weapon Power, good, but does the probability for it to crit depend on Weapon Crit % or Spell Crit %?

    And what about other class abilities? Is the crit probability of all magicka related class abilities related to Spell Crit % and all stamina related class abilities based on Weapon Crit % or is it a case by case dependancy?

  7. Hey deltia, I was wondering if the ability double take’s speed buff can be used while on a mount. If no, can quick cloak (might be blade cloak idk) be used? Thanks for reading and for all the content!

  8. Hi 🙂 I’m a level 13 dual wield dagger nightblade and im just wondering what are the best skills to have on .

  9. Hey Deltia, I was wondering if you had a skill build for the rest of the stuff on this build. Like passives, armor, and the rest… Thanks!

  10. Can the healing effect of leeching strikes increase using perks that improves healing done by you such as the argonian passive ability

  11. Got any ideas for a NB tank build? I have been thinking of resetting everything and trying it, it seems it would be fun with these ablities.

  12. Have you considered making a tank build for NB with these skills? Due to low amount of tank players (on xb1), I found myself tanking as a NB Dps, surprisingly it worked with just a shield and a few taunting skills and siphoning.

  13. I’m interested in making a thief-build for the thieves’ guild DLC, and was wondering if the summoned shade from the Summon Shade power (and its morphs) is actually attacked by other NPCs such as guards or just attacks foes for you…

  14. I have an Dunmer V3 and wanted more to become more of a DPS presence. I stared changing my ability bar accord to information found here, but now I’m extremely squishy. Can I bring love for this character back without re-spec of all my skills to truly follow the guides found here?

  15. Hey,

    ever thought about adding a personal ranking for each active skill? Maybe divide it into a PvP and a PvE score/mark or something like that!? Would be great for crafting builds since many people like me use your website as a valuable ressource anyway.


  16. Hey DG, im kinda new to eso so i have a question. The dark brotherhood patch has changed a few things. I want to be able to switch between a stamina tank build and a dps build on a nightblade. And I Playing as an Imperial. Before I invest hours of gameplay onto this character i just want to know if this is a viable thing to do? I know imperial stamina dps is viable. Whats your take on a stamina nightblade tanking?

      1. I am using on my bow bar: Acid spray, Lethal arrow, Camouflaged Hunter, Reapers mark, Impale and Veil of blades. On my dual wield bar I have Blood craze, Rapid strikes, Whirlwind, Blade cloak, Ambush and Soul harvest. Please let me know any skills that should be changed.

  17. I am using on my bow bar: Acid spray, Lethal arrow, Camouflaged Hunter, Reapers mark, Impale and Veil of blades. On my dual wield bar I have Blood craze, Rapid strikes, Whirlwind, Blade cloak, Ambush and Soul harvest. Please let me know any skills that should be changed. Also to add I am a kajiit nightblade with a 62.5% crit chance and am champion level 30

  18. Do you happen to know if Sap is considered an area heal?
    My second full armor set on my NB tank could be pretty much anything and I haven’t settled yet so I was thinking I might really like to work in a group set and I don’t like alkosh cause its really for stam builds and I’m not doing trials with that guy anyway (at least not yet ;D)… I’m less impressed with imperium cause the cool down bites, I hate lunar bastion but I was thinking maybe just maybe healing mage. Only prob is my big self heal is sap. Could rotate healing springs in but swapping bars can literally kill you so I’d rather not…

  19. I recently watched your most of your nightblade vma videos as I am planning to do it soon. As I am a cp 257 magblade I dont have the gear you listed however I do have some good gear with 3 agility jewelry, 5 piece hundings rage and 2 piece selenes. Any tips and advice will be appreciated.

      1. Many thanks for replying. After reading my previous comment again I realized a mistake, I am a stamblade not a magblade. Also I attempted vma yesterday and could not get past the first round (I managed to get the boss to 50% using all sigils). Any alternative suggestions since the correction would be appreciated as well as any tips to get past the boss round. Many thanks Deltia, your videos have helped me a lot.

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