Hello and welcome to my favorite build for Update Six of the Elder Scrolls Online, The Specter. This is my redone version of One-Shot-Willy and Overdose for the Nightblade class in ESO. For the first time, I truly feel like I’ve created one build that can succeed at anything, soloing, PvP, leveling and PvE. So let’s get to it, The Specter – ESO Nightblade Build
Table of Contents
By definition, the Specter is “a ghost or spirit…” That’s the idea behind this build. To be an elusive, fun, and powerful Nightblade. I wanted to capitalize on all of the things the class and my racial choice excel at, stealth. Additionally, I wanted to find a way that everyone could play a Nightblade as a stealth archetypes in nearly all situations. This build is probably the funnest yet; and with a couple changes of gear and skills I can succeed as a damage dealer in any situation.
For this build, I’m using King Foltest, a Khajiit Nightblade Veteran Rank 14. I highly recommend taking a race with the Stealthy Bonus (Wood Elf or Khajiit racial guide here). This is another build that isn’t complex, it uses potions for major buffs and doesn’t rely heavily on rare gear. If you like a stealthy nuker, The Specter is for you. Here’s some strengths and weaknesses:
* Fun as f***
– Hard to master
– Not a record setting DPS build
Instead of my normal setup with skills, gear, etc, I’m going for loadouts this time. Each section explains what and how to use this build for a particular situation or game-play type. First off, what would a Nightblade be without running around sneaking, stealing, and creating havoc with the Justice System? Well it’d be an incredibly boring Nightblade.
With the Nightshade and Night’s Silence sneak bonuses, you can truly roam without fear of detection. I use the same skill setup as I do in PvP because it’s all about getting away. If I run into trouble, I’ll go with bar one for Bombard (roots) and Shuffle to break free of Guard snares. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go to bar one and use Dark Cloak into a Surprise Attack (will stun enemies). I stick with Incapacitating Strikes as an opener or last resort in escape mode. I try to make a profit using the Legerdemain skill line so I’m not necessarily trying to kill everyone. Though, you could go around and assassinate people if you’d like.
Say I was a sadistic player, I’d use my Dual Wield bar for offense. What I lack in area damage, I make up for in pure destruction on single target. Ambush in and Incapacitating Strikes if it’s up, or Surprise Attack, next cloak, Surprise attack (continue to use light attacks now on). Depending on how they react, either finish with a Killers Blade around 25% health or continue light/heavy attacks and wait for the opportunity to burst, Dark Cloak, Incapacitating Strikes or Surprise Attack. If it doesn’t work, back out and play the distance game with the bow.
You’ll need to play like a kite, flying high and far away from the opposition. Place a Shadowy Image as a backup teleport FIRST. Second, Piercing Mark the target, now wait. If they close the gap, Bombard and strafe. If they root you, Shuffle and strafe. Wait until they dump a lot of resources than BOOM Soul Tether, swap to Dual Wield and finish them off. If you use this bar correctly, your opponents, can’t root you, have a hard time hitting you (with dodge chance), can’t go into stealth and have a terrible time chasing you down. Whether Guards or players, this build rocks for kiting people.
Another thing I love to bring along with me for stealing is high end potions. Check these suckers out:
If things get rough, vanish. You can suck down a potion one meter in front of the guards and stealth. I don’t know if it’s intended or not, but it works great. My video will show more stealthing and sneaking around tips so make sure to watch.
This setup is for end-game PvE dungeons, quests, and Trials. The Hawk’s Eye gear is obtained in PvP and is somewhat rare though everyone has access to it. Any set that gives you stamina, weapon power, or stamina recover is great so don’t think you only need this. Hunding’s Rage is still one of the top sets for any PvE stamina build and I love it even more in 1.6. I went all medium armor with 20,000 health and around 23,000 stamina. Depending on your race, you’ll have more or less. The main thing is reaching around 20,000 health so you don’t instantly die in boss fights. After that go heavy into stamina as it’s a major boost.
In terms of ability and skills, your main goal here is to get distance with the bow and rapid fire. Start with a couple of buffs via Piercing Mark then Merciless Resolve. Also try to get an initial shot from stealth with a Focus Aim or Lethal Arrow, depending on the content you play (FA PvE LA PvP). Keep the Venom Arrow DoT on target and weave in light or medium attacks with Focus Aim cast. Near the end for the 20 second buff for Merciless you should see a proc which the bar will change images giving you a monster hitting Spectral Bow. This is the key to getting big damage by weaving in eight attacks within 20 seconds. It can hit for 15,000 with this setup netting you massive increase in damage.
As the boss nears death, swap to bar one and Ambush in, then spam Killer’s Blade like a boss. I still like Ambush because the Killer’s Blade morph only has a 5 meter range, so you can rush in and not waste time on target. Also love the Shooting Star ultimate from the Mages Guild for pure DPS. The Dual Wield bar is also great for AoE area damage with Sap Essence buffing your weapon damage then Steel Tornado for huge damage. I also throw in Quick Cloak for speed, damage and damage reduction. Refreshing path is another good choice.
On jewelry and enchants, I still go health into head, chest, and legs with infused traits (unless a non-crafted set like Hawk’s eyes). Stamina in the rest with divines when possible. I also recommend ONE reduce cool down on potions to maintaining the major weapon and critical buffs with this potion. Then, I do reduced stamina cost reduction which allows me to mostly maintain stamina while using potions.
Not very complex, but effective and fun. I hit 9,700 the first day of testing and could break 10,000 single target DPS with some more testing and playing. That’s a good number to go for, though you’re not going to make the genius book of ESO records 🙂
If you watched my streams during test, I rage quit my Nightblade the first day. I was playing like a Nord Dragonknight, not a Specter. And that’s the key to this build, juke and jive, get enemies frustrated and BOOM attack when they are out of stamina. With this gear setup, you’ll get sneak speed increase without being a Vampire since it’s vital for the build. I’ve tried Vampire and it’s high risk high reward. Your choice, but you can rock without it being a normal cat. Regardless, the Engine Guardian set gives us crazy amount of resources in battle along with Shadow Walker when out of combat in stealth.
For survival, you need to understand a couple of things. One, this is build is truly “kill or be killed” idea. If you strike a killing blow on a marked target, bang full health. If you expect someone else to provide constantly healing, expect to die a lot. Be aggressive the lower your health is for a killing blow then bounce out. Resources are key to surviving in PvP, if you have a lot of stamina, dodge roll. If you have a lot of magicka, Dark Cloak. And if you have a lot of health, get aggressive, nuke one target, retreat and get into stealth. This build lacks AoE, but doesn’t lack killing.
Always try to be in stealth. The Khajiit bonus, gear and Nightblade will absolutely wreck someone who’s not prepared. Ambush, Incapacitating if it’s up, or Surprise Attack, Dark Cloak then Surprise Attack. You either want to kill the target within five seconds OR stun them. The Dark Cloak-Surprise Attack combo is great for this, but you can and do miss. In that case, fear them with Mass Hysteria and go back to nuking them. If you can’t get them down, peel back and range the target down. Root, Shades and save up ultimate for Soul Tether. Ambush, bar swap BOOM Soul Tether and let the nuking begin.
Remember to play this not as a Sap Tank with heavy armor, not as a Dragonknight with Reflective Scales, but as a true Specter. Keep up Shuffle for the extra dodge chance, juke and jive, and strike when it’s convenient for you, not the enemy. In group play, I focus on Lethal Arrow spamming healers or Bombarding groups. The utility you bring is single target pressure, fears and healing debuffs. I was skeptical that this wouldn’t work well in a group, but again was wrong after I found Bombard to be an utter game changer. Trust me this works great, but it’s a specific type of character and isn’t for everyone. However, it is my new favorite way to play PvP (yes, coming from the derpy Dragonknight).
Most of the finer details I’ll go over in the video, because it’s just easier for me to talk and show you than write it out. However, I take the Warrior Mundus Stone and generally like high critical precise dagger, though swords are probably more damage. Racial questions please see my guide and the same with attributes as these things can’t be answered within a sentence.
Armor Weight – I tried five light and two medium and didn’t like it. Also the five 1/1 setup didn’t work well either. I really like seven full on medium for cost reduction and sustained.
Potions – I know people don’t want to constantly drink potions, but trust me it adds so much to your DPS. Having 20% weapon power and 10% weapon critical on command is a must. Pop one from stealth and Ambush a target into an ultimate, it’ll change your life.
Champion Points – I did things a bit differently on this build. I really like all the 10 point passives in the Warrior (red) trees so I spread them around, taking a buff to medium armor, fire resist and healing received. I did the standard Thief (green) Lover tree for the 30 point passive Synergizer. It’s just so powerful I can’t pass it up. In the Mage (blue) I went for the 30 point Precise Strikes but put 10 points into each of the areas (minus Thaumaturge. I still don’t know enough of the math behind the CP system to know if Piercing vs Might vs Precise Strikes and which is the best.
Leveling – Best part of this build is you can use it VERY early and find success. Ambush and Surprise Attacks are some of the first abilities you get and it’s the bread and butter combo I used while leveling.
Skills – Some of the skills and ultimates I switch out for situational usage. Either way, make this your own and find what works best.
No s***, there I was….playing the Specter and having a blast
That’s what I live for truly. Having fun with the great people of this community, making unique and cool builds that you enjoy. No, these builds aren’t perfect, but they are tested, proven, and fun as hell. And hopefully you will love this one, it’s my favorite so far!