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ESO Sorc DPS Build

Welcome to our Elder Scrolls Online Sorcerer build name Turbulence.  This build is meant for high end magicka based damage and can handle Trials or Dragonstar Arena.  Turbulence can also be adapted to play as a healer or PvP with a few changes to abilities and gear.  Overall, this is one awesome build that combines all the Sorc’s power.  So let’s get started with our ESO Sorc DPS Build Turbulence.

 UPDATED BUILD HERE

Table of Contents

 


Build Objective

eso 2014-10-16 08-30-36-49The Lighting Temptress has returned with a vengeance.  This build is simple and effective.  You’ll be maximizing spell critical, spell damage, and weapon damage while rotating between a series of ranged DPS abilities.  It’s highly recommend you learn animation canceling for the added DPS.  This is solely intended to be a damage dealing machine first, and isn’t intended to tank, primary heal, or anything other than wrecking mobs.  You can keep the foundation and alter it to fight those roles, but it will be hard once you master the power of the Sorc.

The character I’m using is Aitled, a High Elf Sorcerer which I feel is the best race combination for this build.  I’ve tried this with and without Vampire.  Both can work, but you don’t need Vampire to be effective so it’s your choice.  Mainly it comes down to a PvP decision and I like non-vamp so that’s what I’m playing.  Additionally, its highly recommend taking a race with some magic connection regardless of your faction.  Aldmeri Dominion best is High Elf, Ebonheart Pact best is Dark Elf, and Daggerfall Covenant is Breton.

Before we break down all the details, let’s talk about strengths and weaknesses.  In the overall scheme of things, Sorc isn’t the TOP DOG for DPS.  Yes people will argue with me, but the Nightblade (NB) honestly outshines it.  With that being said, the Sorc has many advantages of the NB or Dragonknight.  Their Negate ultimate is a game-changer and the sole reason to bring a Sorc along.  They have amazing range and do not require to be close to the enemies to produce high damage.  And let’s not forget my favorite ability in the game, Streak for speed and stuns.  Here’s my breakdown on this build.

+ Heavy hitter (C-frags hits for 1000)

+ Excellent range

+ Self-heals with Critical Surge

– DPS ultimate not as good as NB’s Veil of Blades

– Finisher starts at 20% not 25% like the NB’s


Skills

Turbulence Build SkillsBar One | Destruction Staff – Primary DPS bar

This is your main damage bar and where you’ll spend most of the time nuking down countless mobs.  Swap to bar two when you need to finish a boss, drop an ultimate, streak your face off, or life tap for magic.  Get back in the fight and kill!

  • Inner Light (morph of Magelight | Mages Guild skill line) – 20% spell critical, the downside to playing a magicka based caster is you’re almost required to have this.  Don’t just put it on your bar, make sure it’s active 🙂
  • Crushing Shock (morph of Force Shock | Destruction Staff skill line) – This is your main source of damage and a ranged interrupt.  The effect it applies only last roughly four seconds so you’ll be casting this a lot.  Which is okay considering we have Crystal Fragments (C-Frags) on our bar.  NOTE: The status effects that it can apply do not depend on your Destruction Staff.  Meaning, you can be wielding a Frost Staff and still proc the damage over time (DoT) flame effect.
  • Critical Surge (morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – One of the most powerful abilities in the game.  This pumps our weapon damage up to overcharged over the soft cap and that’s very important because our two DPS abilities (Crushing Shock and Elemental Ring) both scale off of weapon damage.  I know it sounds weird, but it does.  Not only does this make our staff abilities hit like a truck, it also heals up for 65% of the amount of damage done.  Make sure you are always running this and it’s your number one priority to keep up as a Sorc DPS.
  • Elemental Ring (morph of Impulse | Destruction Staff skill line) – Everyone’s favorite spammable area (AoE) damage ability, Impulse.  We aren’t going to use this in the same way as other players because it only does around 450 damage even on a critical hit.  Really this is used to apply a DoT if using a fire staff or clear out mobs.  If we’re single target DPS’ing, honestly I don’t use this. I know that comes as a shock, but really save this and your magicka for multiple mobs, it’s a DPS loss if focusing on one target.
  • Crystal Fragments (morph of Crystal Shards | Dark Magic skill line) – The mother of all spell damage abilities for the Sorc and probably the most fun.  You’ll get a proc or a chance to insta cast this with reduced cost.  It hits like a truck and stuns enemies for a brief period.  Do not cast this without the proc, really don’t.  The trick to getting this proc is one, watching you’re character your hands will glow purple.  Two, listen to the sound which will produce a distinct clank.  Three, if you’re using mods or addons, some will have a pop up telling you it’s ready.  I use a combination of all these to make sure I’m only casting when it’s reduced cost and instant.
  • Flawless Dawnbreaker [ULTIMATE] (morph of Dawnbreaker | Fighters Guild skill line) – Passively increases weapon damage by 13% and yes that applies to our Crushing Shock and Impulse.  I don’t use the ultimate, just use the DPS advantage it provides.  Swap to bar two when needing to drop an ult.

Bar Two | Restoration Staff – Off heal, defensive, and finisher

This bar is used to save other players and management resources.  One life tap with Spell Symmetry and a heavy attack, I’m near full magicka.  The more time you have on a target, the more DPS you can gain.  So this is made to save your team if needed, but really keep up your resources for much needed DPS.

  • Inner Light (morph of Magelight | Mages Guild skill line) – Yep, too powerful to take off and 20% spell critical is good on both bars.
  • Healing Springs (morph of Grand Healing | Restoration Staff skill line) – The good ol’ Healing Springs is an ability I have on nearly all my characters.  It’s a decent AoE heal and it builds up ultimate out of combat.  Essentially I use this to heal other players since I have massive heals with Critical Surge.  In between battles, I’ll spam cast this on the ground for ultimate.  It’s a great backup heal that can save the party, I think a must have.
  • Spell Symmetry (morph of  Equilibrium | Mages Guild skill line) – The Sorc has the innate ability to use Dark Channel draining your stamina to replace health and magicka.  While this is a great ability, Spell Symmetry is just a lot faster (remember time on target matters).  Since I usually play with a group, I’m not worried about the 600 health cost here and there.  Plus, it makes my next spell cheaper and having another Mages Guild ability on my second bar, makes it even more powerful as a resource management tool.
  • Streak (morph of Bolt Escape | Storm Calling skill line) – My favorite ability in the game still has a place on this bar.  It’s speed and stun are just too powerful not to have.  If the tank is in trouble because of tons of mobs, Streak in and stun them.  If you’re getting focused down, Streak behind a pillar.  Or you need to catch up to the party, nothing beats Streaking…..
  • Mages’ Wrath (morph of Mages’ Fury | Storm Calling skill line) – The ranged finisher is on my back bar for two reasons.  One, due to gear, I have more spell damage on my Restoration Staff so this hits harder.  Two, I only really use this for boss fights and I spam it when needed.  Ultimately it works much better to have this on my back bar instead of Critical Surge.  That way I don’t have to constantly swap because we all know, at some point it will bug and you can’t switch bars.
  • Absorption Field [ULTIMATE] (morph of  Negate Magic | Dark Magic skill line) – The big dog ultimate that changes the game.  This stuns, silences enemies, and heals you if spells are on the ground.  Not to mention, you’ll get an additional 15% critical chance because of the Dark Magic passive Exploitation.  If you bring in a Sorc, they need this ability.
    • Greater Storm Atronach (morph of Summon Storm Atronach | Daedric Summoning skill line) – However, if you bring in two Sorcs, one should use this.  The Greater Storm Atronach is our DPS ultimate that adds a constant steady stream of DPS.  At 170 ultimate cost and a huge duration, I can almost always keep this thing up in a big group.  So, if two Sorcs are in your party, have one use Negate and another Atronach for added DPS.

 


Gear

GOAL = 2,500 Health > Soft Cap Weapon Damage (with Critical Surge Active > 2,400 Magicka > Spell Damage

Turbulence Gear Chart

Turbulence Gear PictureArmor Weight – Seven light here which is a real simple idea.  You don’t need more armor or stamina for dodge rolling.  You’re going to be casting all day every day and need massive magicka and magicka regeneration to do so.  There’s no value in anything else, unless you’re doing PvP then I can see using five light and two medium or heavy depending on set bonuses.

Set Bonuses

  • Warlock – If you’ve never played a Sorc with Warlock then you’re not playing it right.  When this puppy procs and floods back 750 magicka and you throw down a potion, it’s happy times ahead.  In PvP, I’ve Streaked upwards of 10 times in a row because of the procs here.  In the case of DPS’ing in PvE, this on a one minute timer and potions on 30 second timer, you’re always a few seconds away from massive magicka.  Gotta have it.
  • Dominion’s – 10% more spell critical for three pieces of gear?  Yes please.  With this setup I’m running 63% spell critical, soft capped on magicka, spell power, and yes weapon power.  It’s just too good to pass up.
  • Twilight’s Embrace – Remember I said I’ll have more spell power for my finisher Mages Fury?  Here’s why, my Destruction Staff is Dominion’s but my Restoration Staff is Twilight’s.  Thus when I switch, instantly more spell power for those needed finishers.

Traits – The traits on our armor are mostly infused because of the Warlock set.  Now you can mix up the pieces if you like, but I’m only running one Divines so I can’t reach 65% critical.  I’d rather have magicka flood than two percent more spell critical so this works.  On my Destruction Staff weapon, the only PvP staff you can get with Precise trait is Frost.  At first I didn’t like it, but the animation is not as resources dependent as the fire.  Ultimately, Fire Staff will probably produce more damage due to the DoTs and what have you.  I prefer constant steady stream of critical hits and the added slows in PvP work for me.

Glyphs – Really just add glyphs here and there to make your numbers.  The default glyph on the Destruction Staff is powerful enough so I don’t re-craft another one.  The Resto I firmly believe in using magicka steal.  That combined with Cycle of Life passive gives massive returns on one heavy attack.

Jewelry – I only use one Warlock here because it’s cheaper and the Dominion’s rings add so much critical.  You don’t have much room to play with jewelry, but I do enchant spell power to reach the soft cap in that since we are using post weapon and spell damage.  If you’re having magicka problems because of your race, throw in a reduced cost and or magicka regeneration.  High Elf is a must for this build in my opinion, but not everyone can or wants to re-roll.

Mundus -The Thief Mundus stone is an obvious choice for this build.  Though I may go with Atronach for magicka regeneration if I chose a different race.  You’re choice but more crit mo better.

Consumables – I use a lot of consumables.  It’s not cheap, but adds tons of DPS.  Here’s just a few I use for this build.

Turbulence Consumables


Fighting

Really fighting is pretty easy.  For AoE or multiple mobs, seriously just spam Elemental Ring until one or two are alive.  Then switch to the below main DPS rotation.

  • Buff with Crystal Frags
  • Drop Atronach or Negate if full ultimate
  • Light attack weaved into a Crushing Shock
    • If C-Frags procs, use it
    • If not, heavy attack
  • Crushing Shock, same concepts
  • Near 20% health Mages Fury for however long is needed

 

Yea it’s that easy in terms of actions, however there are a lot of things to watch for so let me list our priorities rather than abilities.  Watch the video for how I do this.

  1. Keep Critical Surge buff up
  2. Ultimate on cool down (meaning as soon as it’s available)
  3. Potions on cool down
  4. Finish if 20% or below BOSS ONLY
  5. C-Frags to their face
  6. Crushing Shock

And if AoE or multiple mobs, literally just spam the good ol’ Impulse as it hits for nearly 500.


Summary

Yes the combat may seem boring to read, but in practice it’s a blast.  One little timing mistake or success can end with +/- 200 DPS.  Turn on some techno, start weaving, and electric flames will spark all over.  You’ll be the DPS King or Queen of your party.  And if not, re-roll a Nightblade.

Okay that’s a bad joke.  I hope you enjoyed this guide and please leave me a comment on your thoughts.  Thanks for reading!

92 thoughts on “ESO Sorc DPS Build

  1. Nice guide again, as usual!

    I am unclear on this part:

    “You’ll get a proc or a chance to insta cast this with reduced cost. … Do not cast this without the proc, really don’t. The trick to getting this proc is one, watching you’re character your hands will glow purple. Two, listen to the sound which will produce a distinct clank. Three, if you’re using mods or addons, some will have a pop up telling you it’s ready.”

    First, what does “proc” mean?

    Second, what causes the proc to occur? Does it just occur randomly, at regular intervals, or is there something you do to cause it?

    Thanks!

    1. It’s hard to explain in text though the video shows all the signs of a proc or a procedure. Meaning, something has to happen before another action can take place. In this case, every spell has a 35% chance to proc or enable a reduced cost Crystal Fragments. That’s all it means though it’s hard to explain. Try to watch the video will help.

      1. Hey deltia where would u spend the champion points for this build? Also how does it hold up now after some of the patchs and the homestead patch coming for the sorcerer

    2. when u cast any spell ie.inner light,u have a chance of upgrading c frags to be an instant cast for like 15seconds. i use the addon s’rendarr to tell me when its rdy

  2. Awesome build, just curious, have you tried replacing frag with elemental drain? With the resist reduction more damage from shock should help offset the damage loss and the extra magicka from attacks should minimise need for too many symmetry uses? I may be wrong but I think the magicka from drain procs 3 times per shock cast? I only ask because the wife uses drain but does miss her frags

    1. I have tried boss setups and yes they both work. I’m a High Elf with Warlock so I don’t need any more magicka. Additionally, C-Frags is more than a hard hitter, it’s a ranged stun. In DSA what would you rather have on an Archer about to take our your team, C-Frags or Elemental Drain? That’s why I like it over drain.

    1. Honestly, this will crush a 2-H Sorc build in PvE anyways. You can’t get away from magicka if you pure sustained high end DPS and this is it. Though 2-H is fun, at VR 14 you can’t keep the damage up and you have to have some range otherwise you die to big red circles of death. I love stamina builds, but they don’t hold a candle to magicka ones ATM.

    1. Well, you’ll hit harder with the Mage but you’ll need to life tap with Equilibrium more. I like Warlock because it increases my “up time” or time on target. The need to switch back and forth to bars one and two waste DPS. I like his/her build, but Warlock works for me. You’ve at least gotta try it, it’s hard to run out of magicka and I can just enchant my ring to give more spell power anyways.

  3. I have been running the Crushing Shock build for a little while now, but this build seems very intriguing. I don’t have the playtime to test different builds. Have you had a chance to run these 2 builds side by side? If so, how do they compare to overall DPS, resource management, and solo playability?

    1. I have and I didn’t like Elemental Drain. Yes I hit a little harder, but no C-Frags is a deal breaker. It hits like a truck AND STUNS. This is so important in any other content besides trials. For Trials, I’d go back to that, but Dragonstar you need stuns.

      DPS – The other build probably does slightly more
      Resource Management – Mine hands down, I don’t run out of magicka, stamina and def not health
      Solo Play – Mine, C-Frags is such a great control tool and who cares about elemental drain when mobs die every 3 seconds

      Overall I like Captain Crush’s build, but this is more fun and has more CC which is what I like.

  4. Thanks for your fast reply m8. i am not running trials yet so wise mage is for away anyway for me. And if the dps isnt that much lower i might give it a try

  5. another question do you advide to (if its even possible) to upgrade the v12 purple warlock pieces to legendary? or is it better to w8 until we know if tehre will be changes in 1.5

  6. Thanks for your quick responses Deltia. What changes do you foresee with 1.5 coming? The new 9 trait set have any significance? I am trying to see how much effort I should be putting in at this time, or just wait until 1.5 hits. Also, what changes do you use when you switch gears for PvP? Thanks again for your amazing posts and responses!

    1. For 1.5, more stamina buffs but not enough. The new 9 traits will be good for Tanks I think, DPS drop sets are still too powerful to switch over.

      For PvP, the AoE caps and forward camps changes will be HUGE. We’ll need to see it in the flesh but it’ll change a lot of the problems in PvP. Until then, I’ll keep updating guides and working on content.

  7. Thanks again. Once the servers come back up, I will try out this excellent build.

    As far as PvP, how do you change your setup, abilities, strategies with this build?

    1. Just finishing a build for that, Frag Out. Keep range and nuke people down. Should be done Thursday and it’s VERY HARD to kill me. I went 115 and 5 (kill/death) with nearly 40 killing blows last night.

  8. I have to say I love this build but with the recent nerf to elemental ring would you recommend replacing it with something else? Keep up the great work.

  9. Hey man, recently returned to the game after playing briefly at launch and I was looking for a build that felt very wizardly. This is perfect! Your guides have given me great insight into what is and is not effective. Keep up the great work!

  10. Great setup, I was close to you on skills, just needed a tweak here and there so I’m going to try it out. How are you getting FTC to show the C-Frags notification? I thought that was disabled in recent updates? (1.5.5 now)

  11. What do you think about the newly released undaunted helm/shoulders for this build? The Dwemer helm and shoulder combo is pretty strong, the one that summons a healing sphere. Would you work this into your build? This might be able to replace warlock? freeing up alot of slots for other set pieces. i’m gonna ask the same question in your pvp build:)

    1. It’s a good choice and probably a better one for PvP. I’ve tried it on my Templar healer which I want to make a build called the Battery. I might change some abilities up because constantly casting Crushing Shock would proc this thing a lot. When in a group, Spell Symmetry is my go to source for magicka and I like the higher critical or more spell power sets over this.

  12. First off I’d like to say that I like your vids and write ups. How does the pulsar morph compare elemental ring? I’m familiar with the difference between the two’s tool tip, but which is better? And I’d love to see some vids of you running dungeons with your sorc.

    1. Pulsar is great in a large group where one person has it. However, the extra damage from the DoT and ultimate generation usually makes Ring the better choice.

  13. Have you done any update to this or is this still holding good? Also have you tried adroitness with the warlock instead of twilights?

  14. How do you keep mana up? When using this build in trials and a dungeon, I can’t get this kind of dps due to I am out of mana. I am using your gear build except instead of twilights it is Aether wise mage. I pot everytime it is available but still run out of mana. Is there something I should be adding to the rotation or change?

    1. You have to constantly spell symmetry or life tap for mana. In Trials you have healers dedicated to keeping you topped off, so mana tap every 3 to 4 cast and you shouldn’t have a problem.

  15. Hey Deltia, first time MMOer, so I find the endgamer veteran advice and mentoring from you, Atropos, Vylaer and the other distinguished members of Entropy Rising ( & Tamriel Foundry) to be invaluable to me and other new gamers! I just finally ( slow-poke completionist) hit r11 on my main Altmer Sorc main. I have been using Vylaer’s/Thelon’s Crushing Shock build as a guide, but I am getting ready to make all new gear now (just ;picked up a v10 dominion Staff in PvP) and will be trying out this awesome Turbulence build you have! Thank you again for the great advice and the community service that you & the Entropy Rising team do for all of us! Cheers & Happy 2015 ( & 1.6! lol) to you and yours.

  16. one more question. when leveling up is is why to at least get some daedric summoning for a pet in there just leveling? and do you just train everything in the begininger levels so your hot bar is filled then respec later on for what you really want?

    thank you

  17. Was looking at your gear and i am a little confused. Vestments of the warlock consist of a hood, shoulders, chest, ring, and necklace? In your guide you list your character as having them on your boots and belt, am I missing something or am I wrong on how many pieces that set has to it. Love the build, just want to get the gear right.

  18. Hi, Deltia!

    I am new to TESO. Researched several builds to understand game mechanics, and your build is the most impressive! Please tell which passive abilities you chose for this build? Sorry if this should be evident for an experienced player but not for me. 😉

    Thank you!

    1. No problem, I take all the Sorc passives honestly. Leveling up, you’ll need to pick and choose, but keep adding them as you get more and more passives.

  19. You use Mage light for the crit chance but use a staff ability most of the time. The staff abilities work off weapon damage not spell damage so Mage light doesn’t effect that right? Also, if my primary attack is my staff and crushing shock, do I want spell crit from twilights embrace or weapon crit more? Otherwise awesome build.

    1. Staff abilities critical chance comes from magicka critical and the power comes from weapon power. Most players stack impenetrable trait so crit has little effect.

  20. I was curious if this build, or any sorcerer build, could use a two piece set and still maintain about 1k dps. I was thinking nerien’eth set in particular. What gear would you suggest to go along with a two piece set?

  21. Pingback: ESO Sorc Builds
  22. With the 1.6 update around the corner, and you having experience in public test server with some of the new changes to come, how viable do think the turbulence build will be with the new changes to both critical surge and light armor changes? I really don’t want to have to rely on pets.

  23. How do you spend your Attribute Points? you did 16 17 16 something like that. aparantly i have 60 now , should i use them evenly? And why do you actually put points in stamina?

  24. In 1.6 ur weapon power will be useless because all magicka using abilities (impulse + shock) gain power from spell power, is that right?

  25. I watched the video, thanks! That 1 sec CD on heals is whats ruining it for me as well, so gonna try out pets finally. Thanks for the update!

  26. Sorc healer request from me. I know you temp healer say only temps are the best but… I tried on PTS server and surge =20% spell dmg and heal you when crit.
    I found that with 50.3% spell crit you could prioritise healing others rather than yourseyourself.

    This was just with PTS basic gear from the bag. Not mega elite gear/ better suited gear and only basic champion point in mage, for the crit.

    Bit had 27k magical 15k hp 15k spell res 10k armor, it seamed viable on my 20 craglorn adventure.

    Given the thought, and I’m still working on monster sponsor but I think the spaced my email 😉 ty

  27. Hello, i love the build ive been following it word for word,i just got into PvP today and idk what to do with the build and pvp lol.they close in to fast and c-frags is to slow some times to get them on the ground.build works fine when im with some1.

  28. I had the same question regarding Champion Points. Any guidance you can provide with regards to the selections we need to make in the Warrior, Thief and Mage trees to support this build further. Have reached VR1 and would like to continue. Really enjoying this build.

      1. Okay use Frag Out Champion selections over the Ignition Champion selections. Only appears to be a slight change between them. Looking forward to taking it out for a spin. Thanks.

  29. Is this build still worth it or is it time to move on to Ignition with all the changes in Eso. I have loved playing this build and will surly miss it if I need to change!

  30. Hey,

    i love this sorc and i follow the build word by word so far. Soon i will be veteran lvl and i didnt seen any tips how to spend veteran points.

    ty for tips

  31. Using this build was the most fun I had in ESO. Is it viable at all anymore? Or do you have a similar destro sorc build for pve?

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