ESO Class Skills Guide

Wondering what important skills every class should bring to the battlefield?  After beating Dragonstar Arena, and playing every class to Veteran ranks, I wanted to share important group abilities that can really help your team.  So welcome to our ESO Class Skills Guide.

Class Dynamics and Synergy Video here

Table of Contents


Dragonknight

Dragonknight Magma Armor another amazing defensive ultimate.

Dragonknight Magma Armor another amazing defensive ultimate

In my opinion, Dragonknight’s (DK’s) make the best tanks in the game.  Their CC’s, defensive passives, and group buffs make them optimal for front line fighting.  They can still be effective damage dealers (DPS) or healers, though DK’s shine brightest as a tank.  Regardless of your role, here’s some DK specific skills that will help your team’s overall performance.

  • Burning Talons (morph of Dark Talons | Draconic Power skill line) – Talons might be the best area (AoE) Crowd Control (CC) ability in the games .  Not only does it generate a ton of ultimate, immobilize up to six enemies, but Talons also provides a powerful synergy for nearby allies.  Controlling the battlefield is everyone’s responsibility, therefore whatever your role, think about slotting Talons.
  • Extended Chains (morph of Fiery Grip | Ardent Flame skill line) – If you’ve played Dragonstar Arena (DSA) then your worst enemy is enemies out of range. Your group will be separated and spend more time chasing down enemies instead of killing them.  Extend Chains can remedy this problem by pulling in enemies to a tight cluster, awaiting destruction.
  • Igneous Weapons (morph of Molten Weapon | Earthen Heart skill Line) – This ability is deceptively powerful and often times reluctant to slot it.  It’s not flashy, nor sexy, but Igneous Weapons adds enormous damage to the overall team by provide a weapon boost and fire damage.  Another reason to bring Igneous Weapons along is the DK passive that builds ultimate on cast (in or out of combat).  Spam this in between fights to generate ultimate.
  • Fragment Shield (morph of Obsidian Shield | Earthen Heart skill Line) – Want to provide group protection, do AoE damage to nearby enemies, and generate ultimate each cast?  Then you need to consider using Fragment Shields.  I like this morph because you’ll be providing a powerful shield and excellent damage when they explode.  The trick to maximizing the benefit of Shield by  friendlies being close enough to gain the shield (12 meter from caster), yet far enough away to avoid the “red circle of death.”  In DSA I could pull 1,000 DPS just by spamming this on my tightly packed group during a burn phase.  Yea, it’s that good.
  • Standard of Might (morph of Dragonknight Standard | Ardent Flame skill line) – Standard or Banner whatever you want to call it, it’s #amazing.  Damage, damage reduction, a heal debuff and has a big radius.  This is the must have ultimate for a the DK.  Also consider Magma Shell (Magma Armor morph) since you basically can’t die for nearly 10 seconds and your group can use a health bubble synergy.

Nightblade

Veil of Blades super DPS ultimate for Nightblade's

Veil of Blades super DPS ultimate for Nightblade’s

The Nightblade (NB) class in Elder Scrolls Online is the King of DPS.  They truly dominate as a primary damage dealer.  NB’s can also do great healing passively from two abilities but make ineffective tanks.  They have limited group CC and are reliant on their healers for burst heals.  Here’s some NB abilities that help the group no matter what build you decide on.

  • Repear’s Mark (morph of Mark Target | Assassination) – Probably the best debuff in the game, but also the riskiest.  It strips up to 75% armor and spell resistance from a target yet strips the same amount from you.  Combine this ability with a tank using Piercing Armor, the enemy will have little or no resistance left.   Just be caution that you’re not going to take damage from your marked target.
  • Funnel Health (morph of Swallow Soul | Siphoning) – I really recommend this over Swallow Soul.  Yes Soul’s gives you more healing received, but it’s about group performance and the passive heals are too important to overlook.  You can spam cast this for damage or keep up the damage over time (DoT) for some decent passive group heals.  This doesn’t replace a burst healing spell, but it all adds up to keep the party at full health.
  • Sap Essence (morph of Drain Power | Siphoning) – The NB’s second passive healing ability, Sap Essence can also provide great passive heals while give you a weapon damage boost.  I don’t recommend spamming this unless you’re topped off on magicka and have six targets around you.  Consider using this for group healing, increase weapon damage, and great AoE which the NB lacks.
  • Impale (morph of Killer’s Blade | Assassination) – The best finisher in the game, NB’s get a 28 meter ranged one that starts at 25% health.  I don’t care what role you’re in, it’s important to burst down enemies that are nearly dead.  I recommend Impale over Killer’s Blade simply for the added range.  Nearly every fight discourages melee or close range abilities so think about bring this along.
  • Veil of Blades (morph of Consuming Darkness | Shadow) – I did an entire build on this ability so yeah it’s powerful.  I didn’t really understand it until someone said it added 200+ damage to your build.  It’s true! But not only that it has great damage reduction for the group and a powerful synergy.  So use this offensively and defensively.  Say your tanks is taking massive damage, drop a Veil on them so they can escape or get 30% damage reduction for 17 seconds!

Sorcerer

The Sorcerer's Shattering Prison ability can be a great CC tool

The Sorcerer’s Shattering Prison ability can be a great CC tool

The jack of all trades, the Sorc can honestly do anything well.  I like Sorcs as healers or damage dealers with tanking still being viable.  The whole reason to bring the Sorc along is for the Negate ultimate.  Really, you can shut down an entire group of mobs with one powerful attack.  It’s too good to pass up an makes Sorc’s a viable class for any group.

  • Shattering Prison (morph of Encase | Dark Magic) – This is a more expensive and less effective Burning Talons.  It does  effectively the same thing, CC a large group and provide some damage when the ability finishes.  However, Prison only works on enemies in front of you and has a high magicka cost.  It’s still very powerful and can lock down a large group of mobs so it’s worth it for group utility.
  • Mages’ Wrath (morph of Mages’ Fury | Storm Calling) – The Sorc’s finisher which isn’t as effective as the NB due to 20% health requirement.  The best part about this is can be applied prior to 20% then go off if the enemies health drops below that mark.  Only two classes have a true finisher and you should take advantage of it regardless of your role in the group.
  • Lighting Flood (morph of Lighting Splash | Storm Calling) – I didn’t realize how powerful this was until I started tanking.  I’m busy holding aggro and blocking and have limited time to DPS.  But a Sorc dropping down a Flood here and there can really help the boost my damage.  This Synergy is powerful and with the Flood morph has a huge radius.  Think about using this for added group DPS though the casters numbers may suffer.
  • Streak (morph of Bolt Escape | Storm Calling) – Mostly people think of Streak as an escape tool only, but this is not true.  This ability can stun enemies for a brief time and create an opportunity for the team.  I think every Sorc needs this ability as a brief AoE CC and a fantastic movement tool.  Oh yea, it generates a large amount of ultimate too for that powerful Negate.
  • Suppression Field (morph of Negate Magic | Dark Magic skill line) – The purple bubble that brings joy or tears to my eyes.  A well timed friendly Negate can make or break a dungeon run.  It’s so powerful because it works on a lot of bosses, elites, and mobs.  Negate stuns enemies and prevents them from casting and allies spell resistance inside the bubble. If you take one thing from this article, it’s that every Sorc should be using this ability.

Templar

The Templar's Blazing Shield provides amazing protection

The Templar’s Blazing Shield provides amazing protection

A more defensive character type, the Templar makes a excellent healer or tank.  I feel their DPS is lacking without relying entirely on weapon skills.  You can play a damage dealer with the Templar, but you be struggling in comparison to any other class.  With that being said, they have unmatched group utility and can heal without using a healing staff.  It’s still a viable class and has a spot in each team.

  • Luminous Shards (morph of Spear Shards | Aedric Spear skill line) – If you ever tanked beside a Templar healer, suddenly your life gets a lot easier.  With Luminous Shards, you’ll have a stream of important resources.  Not only that, but it can CC, do some damage, and anyone can active this synergy (besides caster).  I consider Shards a must have ability regardless of the morph.
  • Repentance (morph of Restoring Aura | Restoring Light skill line) – Like I’ve said in previous guides, almost every fight has adds or additional mobs.   Repentance uses left over corpses to siphon off health and stamina to you and your allies.  You can grab up to six bodies and this has ZERO cost!  Yes, it’s literally free “oh crap” button.
  • Breath of Life (morph of Rushed Ceremony | Restoring Light skill line) – This is probably the best burst heal in the game.   The best part about this skill is you can provide massive heals without equipping a Restoration Staff.   Say the primary healer dies and you’re using sword and shield.  No worries, you can provided temporary healing while someone resurrects your healer.  Breath of Life is a game changer and should be considered a must use Templar ability.
  • Power of Light (morph of Backlash | Dawn’s Wrath skill line) – An odd ability to list, but a powerful one if placed right.  If you can keep casting this, you can add major DPS to the group.  The group will realize just how important this can be once you’re not around.
  • Solar Prison (morph of Nova | Dawn’s Wrath skill line) – It’s too bad Nova cost so much because it’s such a great ability.  It’s like the poor mans DK Standard.  It deals massive damage, has a large radius, and has a powerful synergy.  Oh did I mention MONSTER damage reduction (30% for eight seconds)?  This is why Nova is a must have, it’s another defensive and offensives ultimate.  Though it has a ridiculous high ultimate cost, it’s still important to bring along for a burn phase or during survival mode.

General

Necrotic Orb from Undaunted skill line a heavy hitting synergy

Necrotic Orb from Undaunted skill line a heavy hitting synergy

Oh we’re not done yet.  While each class has specific abilities, EVERYONE can access these important abilities.  Often time my guildies will say, “you know I only have 10 abilities right?”  It’s hard to bring all the essential skills that help the group, but here are some you should considering investing in.

  • Ring of Preservation (morph of Circle of Protection | Fighters Guild skill Line) – Another under utilized ability is Ring.  I see people using the Undaunted ability Blood Funnel, but this does a better job, cost stamina instead of magicka, and provides additional armor.  It has a small radius and is hard to place (if not the tank), but can add a massive defensive boost to your party.
  • Mystic Orb (morph of Necrotic Orb | Undaunted skill Line) – This ability is a pain to get, but worth the investment.  Necrotic Orb by default has powerful AoE damage synergy and restore some magicka over time.  Once you morph it, you’ll get two choices massive damage or magicka on demand.  I feel like the instant magicka provides the group better support than more AoE damage.  If you’re healer is about out of magicka and your group may wipe without them healing, throw an orb and survive.  It’s that powerful.
  • Retreating Maneuvers (morph of Rapid Maneuvers | Alliance Assault skill line) – A PvP ability that works everywhere, this is a speed boost that needs to be utilized!  Not only does it provide fantastic speed, but it also removes roots from the entire party.  In wave eight of DSA, you’ll know exactly how fantastic this ability is.  Regardless of your role in dungeons, I think someone should have this in the group.
  • Efficient Purge (morph of Purge | Alliance Support Skill line) – Simply the best purge in the game.  Once morphed, it has low cost, big radius, and trumps the Templar’s Purify.  This ability is another one that takes some time PvP’ing to get.  Removing fire damage and other toxic impairments from the party can save a lot of damage and keep your group in the fight.
  • Pulsar (morph of Impulse | Destruction Staff Skill line) – We all know and love (or despise) Impulse, but it’s little brother is just as important.  Most people take Elemental Ring over Pulsar and for good reason.  The DoT adds a lot of DPS, but someone MUST have Pulsar.  It works on every mob, every boss, and every player.  10% health reduction on a mob with 250,000, yea that’s 25,000 DPS.  Someone and I mean someone needs this ability in your group.  I prefer the Sorc DPS to use it as it generally fits their build.
  • Spirit Siphon (morph of Force Siphon | Restoration skill line) – Want magicka and health while attacking the enemy?  Well someone needs to run this ability on the priority target.  This along with the next ability, Elemental Drain, can help the party DPS by providing a steady stream of magicka.
  • Elemental Drain (morph of Weakness to Elements | Destruction Staff skill line) – Similar to Spirit Siphon, this only works on elemental staff abilities.  Since we are playing Elder Staffs Online, it’s a good chance more than one person are using staffs.  I like the
  • Pierce Armor (morph of Puncture | One Hand and Shield skill line)  – A taunt with some kick, Pierce Armor is a great group ability.  Yes the other buff boost your armor, but who cares about that when you’ve already running Ring of Preservation?  It debuffs armor and spell resistance and if a NB is running Repear’s Mark, say good bye to any resistance.  Oh yea, a DPS increase even for a tank!
  • Replenishing Barrier (morph of Barrier | Alliance Support skill line) – This ability takes a LONG time to get in PvP, but wow.  It’s by far the best healing defensive ultimate in the game.  Typically you’ll want the Templar healer to grab this, but anyone can have it for an “oh crap” ultimate that helps the group.
  • Sturdy Horn (morph of War Horn | Alliance Assault skill line) – Another powerful defensive ultimate that anyone can have, Sturdy Horn boost health, magicka, and stamina by 20% for 30seconds.  It’s a great way to enter combat and can help everyone during that crucial time in the fight.  Usually I’ll have this on a Templar or a Sorc for another powerful defensive skills.

Thanks for reading another wall of text, but hopefully you found this useful.  No, I didn’t cover every single ability that adds group support, but I did cover some important ones I feel people often look over. Thanks for reading and let me know which important skills I missed.  Wanting to know more information about each class abilities and their morphs?  We’ve got them all covered here:

11 Comments

  1. Infracanis on October 6, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Awesome work. Do you plan to do a Sorc Tank write-up in the future? I would be interested to see what you come up with.

  2. loard daemos on January 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    im surprised that you haven’t mention ransack at all its a lesser reapers mark thats cheaper doesn’t reduce your armor and actually increases it by the amount you reduce your enemies. its a morph of puncture of sword and shield line. is there something im missing it works great in solo against tough bosses especially when you lead with a dark flare it also has a morph that reduces magic resis which could be great for groups

  3. Ramsay on February 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Hey Deltia,
    Will this section be updated for when 1.6 goes live?

  4. jzholloway on March 6, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Just wanted to say excellent site!!

    Question: I have a DK – I use silver shards a lot, is this wise, or should I use them only when I fight daedra? Its the only ability that I use that uses stamina, so its nice for me to balance this and magic based abilities. I use two handed weapons… if you used two handed, what would be your preferred build?

  5. Sharptan on January 2, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Hello Deltia,
    Is there coming any update with patch 2.2 in this page?

    • Deltia on January 4, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      Yes it needs a lot of work.

      • jack on January 6, 2016 at 5:39 am

        When do you think this multi guide will be updated? Please please update it soon 《:)

        • Deltia on January 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm

          Waiting on Thieves guild because I image there will be a lot of skill changes.

      • UbiquitousBeast on January 6, 2016 at 5:43 am

        Yes. Please update this guide as soon as you can. This guide pretty much sums up every class. Probably the best guide ever. Simple and easy to understand.

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