Welcome to The Specter – ESO Stamina Nightblade Leveling Guide. Yes, I deleted a Veteran Rank 14 so I could start all over with a stamina Nightblade on Daggerfall Covenant faction. This guide series will cover everything from level 1 to VR14 (16) with end game PvE and PvP builds. Bookmark this sucker!
Table of Contents
The idea behind this build, race and combination of skills is to create a high damage Kitty Nightblade capable of completing any dungeon, trial or DSA with high damage. The Specter revision well be centered on Bow PvE but have a PvP component at end game. I’ll have leveling builds complete with end game setup to help you throughout the leveling process and end game. Below is some general leveling tips to help you reach 10 asap.
Should you play this build?
+ Great range and damage
+ Fast and hard hitting
– Not the easiest to play
– Lacks on demand self healing unless using Two Hander
Non Veteran Leveling
- Bow – Acid Spray and Lethal Arrow. Once you obtain Acid Spray you have a great AoE snare and damage.
- Two Handed – Brawler for AoE damage shield early on than Rally for self heal/Major Brutality buff (20% weapon damage).
- Assassination – Monster tree for passives and active abilities. Consider everyone good worth taking and morphing at some point. Priority is grabbing Killer’s Blade morph for finisher self-healing.
- Shadow – This is the weakest of the three trees for straight PvE and do not need much from the active abilities. Get the first two and move on as we’ll leave this up at end game.
- Siphoning – A high priority skill line with beastly passives. I like to maintain two skills on my bar to keep this skill line advancing. Consider Funnel Health and Siphoning Strikes your main target.
- Bow – Ranger One and Two for reduce cost making the Acid Spray stamina less of a drain on resources. If you have spare points, take Long Shot for more damage further you are.
- Two-Hander – Balance Blade (reduced cost) 2x until you fill up on skill points.
- Assassination – Basically these are all amazing but I’d consider waiting for Pressure Points for slotting Assassination abilities.
- Shadow – The only one I grab right away is Refreshing Shadows as a 30% stamina boost (in update 6) is utterly amazing.
- Siphoning – The first out the gate to get is Catalyst as I’m a potion chugger throwing ultimates left and right. Then I save up skill points until I get Transfer one and two for more ulty gain.
- Medium Armor – Wind Walker should be your #1 priority after skill lines to really help out your resource management. Next save up for Agility one and two to start hitting like a mac truck.
- Racial – Currently the Khajiit’s first passive is Robust though will change in Update 7. Hold off on these unless it’s been changed to stamina regeneration.
Tips and Miscellaneous
- Race – 1) and 1a) I don’t know if Imperial is the absolute BEST, but I recommend Khajiit for fun/versatility in PvP. However, Imperial probably is the absolute most DPS. Third, Bosmer or Redguard for sustained.
- Attributes – All stamina, keep it easy.
- Vamp/WW – In the update I don’t won’t have room for this on my bar so I won’t be using it. If you play a WW/Vamp that will be your own build.
- Mundus – Shadow (thanks Ilan for tip, just the tip) or Warrior in Update 7.
- Weapons – Primarily Bow though 2-hand for buff and Dual Wield later on.
- Armor – All medium for max regeneration and reduced cost.
- Gear – Three piece Ashen Grip and five piece Hunding’s Rage (craftable).
- Food – Bi-stat for max stamina.
- Health needed (if you’re good at range) only 16-17,000 is needed. But you have to keep your range for max damage AND safety.
End Game PvE Build
(Thieves Guild ESO 2.3 Last Updated 4/1/2016)
Bow has made a comeback due to the Hawkeye Passive (now your successful light and heavy attacks increase the damage of your Bow abilities by 5 for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3 times). With that being said, this build is designed for full range, bow primary damage. Is this the most damaging producing Stamina Nightblade possible? No, I’d check out my friend Gill’s build here. But if you like using bow, having range and sniping NPCs in PvE, this is for you.
- Repear’s Mark (morph of Mark Target | Assassination skill line) – An important abilities that most Nightblades don’t utilize. Once you kill a target, you get a massive heal and a massive DPS boost via Major Berserk (25% more damage for 5 seconds). The key to using this is targeting the right mob. You want something that is low health out of the pack, that way when you kill it during AoE Spam, boom a huge DPS emerges. It’s even smart to start out on a boss for the armor reductions, but not worth recasting IF your tank is using the Sword and Shield taunt. The trick is to not over cast this or refresh the buff when it’s not optimal.
- Razor Caltrops (morph of Caltrops | Alliance War Assault skill line) – This is still a huge DPS ability both AoE and single target due to its radius and and duration. During a normal fight, I’ll cast my buffs and start the fight with a Lethal Arrow + Camo Hunter comb THEN throw out my Caltrops. Usually I use a potion to recover the massive stamina drain. Once again, don’t overcast this or refresh if there’s one mob around. Use this to start and maintain if the fight with last more than 60 seconds.
- Acid Spray (morph of Arrow Spray | Bow skill line) – Our main AoE damage ability that can be spammed. Steel Tornado is still very effective, BUT you must be the danger zone. I like this because of the range and damage over time effect though spamming it is still effective. The important part to realize on this skill, is that it’s a front conal effect NOT a full circle. So you’ll need to practice changing your angles to hit every target possible. That alone will increase your DPS with this ability. Two or more mobs, spam spray.
- Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Alliance War Assault skill line) – Our one on demand heal since we’re not using a Two Hander. This combined with Repear’s Mark is usually enough to keep you alive in normal PvE circumstances. If you’re in trouble, combine this with a dodge roll for some escape. When I do it, I’ll click Vigor than .5 seconds later, dodge. It’ll look like a dodge/vigor instantly if you do it right. Getting some space, do some Acid Sprays and keep your distance.
- Siphoning Attacks (morph of Siphoning Strikes | Siphoning skill line) – Still a massive boost to our resources. Make sure to start the fight with this up. If it’s going to last awhile, recast every 15 seconds. A nice benefit of this ability is the added ultimate generation.
- [ultimate] Shooting Star (morph of Meteor | Mages Guild skill line) – Probably the best option we have for a range ultimate build. It’s very effective even for stamina, plus it gives us a Empower (20% on next attack) that can be paired with Lethal Arrow. Try to cast this on a cluster of mobs so you get ultimate back as well.
- An option for you is Veil of Blades due to the damage reduction. The only downside, you have to run into there. Swap that in and out.
Bow 2 – Single Target damage
- Relentless Focus (morph of Grim Focus | Assassination skill line) – For 20 seconds you get 8% more damage, this is a no brainier ability to keep active at all times. The reason I take this morph is for stamina regeneration and the damage done with the proc scales off of magicka so it’s not as valuable in comparison to my magicka Nightblade. I’ve seen a lot of Nightblade recast this after they use Assassin’s Will, don’t. The purpose of this ability is to get 1 Assassins Will within 20 seconds and not constantly overcast it. Combine this with a potion all the time for 30% stamina regeneration.
- Poison Injection (morph of Poison Arrow | Bow skill line) – 10 second of massive DoT plus it acts like a execution below 50% health. This is an all bow build so I don’t use Two Hander as an execute. Our innate execute, Killer’s Blade doesn’t scale well with a bow build. I was doing more damage just maintaining DoTs than using Killer’s Blade. So I stick with my one DoT execute and it’s worth keeping up 100% of the time on single target fights.
- Scorched Earth (morph of Volley | Bow skill line) – Both AoE and single target powerhouse that is useful with or without the Maelstrom Bow. It’s a great buff to maintain, but you’ll lose DPS during a mobile fight. Make sure to maintain this buff when a mob/boss is stationary. Don’t overcast either, give this buff 14 seconds, not 8.
- Lethal Arrow (morph of Snipe | Bow skill line) – Our spammable single target ability to be used while our buffs or maintained. I tested this vs Focus Aim and the “poison status effect” adds a DoT that does do some decent damage. Focus Aim adds an armor debuff which is useful and range. In my experience, LA trumps FA. The trick to use this is ALWAYS light attack before and after the LA. You must maintain the Hawkeye buff.
- Camouflage Hunter (morph of Expert Hunter | Fighters Guild skill line) – Starting a fight off with Camo Hunter and Lethal Arrow for a powerful DPS boost. We are talking 70k start here. The trick is, making sure other players (tanks) know that you want to start the fight with this combo. If not, it’s not as useful. Evil Hunter (the other morph) provides better stamina sustained for those lacking 501 CP or a stamina specific race. Maintain this buff 100% of the time IF fighting undead or 3+ mobs. Only cast once in a Blood Spawn fight prior to the engagement.
- [ultimate] Flawless Dawnbreaker (morph of Dawnbreaker | Fighters guild skill line) – I like this ability here because it buffs our single target ability. Soul Harvest is also good for extra critical, however you have to be close to use it and you’re missing out on a big Weapon Damage boost. You can’t go wrong either way.
- Pre Fight – Repear’s Mark Target either boss or a low health mob, Siphoning Attacks, Relentless Focus, and Camo Hunter
- Now do a Lethal Arrow from stealth for a big DPS boost to start, Shooting Star if up, another Lethal Arrow using your Empower and now DoT phase
- Razor Caltrops + potion, Scorched Earth then Poison Arrow
- Now you have to recast some buffs depending on the fight duration, AoE fight? spam some Acid Spray, single target fight? Relentless Focus, Camo if Daedroth and Siphoning Attacks if you need resources and maintain DoTs.
- There’s a lot going on, when in doubt maintain Relentless Focus, Poison Injection and light attack weave Lethal Arrow.
- Nerien’eth (found in Crypt of Hearts Veteran) – a 2pc set which is still very good to use. It’s hard to get this with Divines Traits but it’s worth it. You can substitute this and the Maelstrom Bow for a three piece Hunding’s Rage.
- Maelstrom Bow (found in Vet Maelstrom Arena) – I like the Precise bow from VMA. It’s not essential to do damage as a bow user, but it does help.
- Night Mother’s Gaze (craftable) – 6 trait craftable set that gives a massive armor debuff. The good news, it seems to do more damage than Hunding’s Rage on Nightblades. The bad news, if someone else is using it, it won’t be as impactful.
- Agility (found in Imperial City) – Still amazing set that I use Weapon Damage with though a 5 piece Marksmen (what I’m using in PvP) is a very good combo as well. Even 5 piece (helm/shoulders) Brairheart for extra healing might help some.
The CP outline that I use is from Asayre posted here. He spent the time crunching the numbers so we don’t have to and all the credit goes to him. The numbers might seem weird, but trust me it works.
|Melee Weapon Expert||0|
It might look a little odd that so many points are spent on Thaumathurge, but remember most of our damage comes from that. Only the instant hit from Lethal Arrow does not. Everything else nearly, is a DoT.
End Game PvP Build (for Update 2.1)
- Ambush (morph of Teleport Strike | Assassination skill line) – Our gap close and a buff for the next attack. This also works with ultimates making Flawless Dawnbreaker very powerful low cost AoE.
- Quick Cloak (morph of Blade Cloak | Dual Wield skill line) – This not our Procs our Ravager gear for massive damage, but AoE damage reduction by 20%, movement speed and damage.
- Mass Hysteria (morph of Aspect of Terror | Shadow skill line) – The best stun in the game and what drops block on targets free up our big attack.
- Surprise Attack (morph of Veiled Strike | Shadow skill line) – Our major source of damage single target which can be spammed in conjunction with light attacks.
- Steel Tornado (morph of Whirlwind | Dual Wield skill line) – THE best AoE in the game. People hate getting killed by this, but it’s too good to pass up in group play.
- [Ultimate] Flawless Dawnbreaker (morph of Dawnbreaker | Fighters Guild skill line) – Slotting this ability gives you a big boost in Weapon Damage but it also is great up front damage with a nasty DoT.
Two-Handed (Maul) – Buffs and healing.
- Piercing Mark (morph of Mark Target | Assassination skill line) – The anti Nightblade skill that can be flexed in and out. If you’re having problems with resources, swap in Siphoning Attacks (Siphoning Strikes | Siphoning skill line).
- Rally (morph of Momentum | Two-Handed skill line) – Our major brutality buff and a much needed self heal.
- Dark Cloak (morph of Shadow Cloak | Shadow skill line) – This is our escape and defensive ability since we are vampires it purges debuffs (like fire). Combine this with dodge rolling to escape and self heal.
- Double Take (morph of Blur | Assassination skill line) – A powerful defensive skill giving you speed and dodge chance. This allows you to jump into combat and not get smashed right away.
- Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Alliance War Assault skill line) – The best stamina self heal in the game and really increases our survivability. It does take a little bit of PvP’ing first, but will help you greatly once you get this.
- Devouring Swarm (morph of Bat Swarm | World Vampire skill line) – One of my favorite ultimates for group play and solo for surviving but you can also use Soul Tether if you play more 1v1 style.
- Dual Wield | Ruffian – Since stuns are a big part of our game, this passive goes a long way for doing big time damage combined with Mass Hysteria.
- Heavy Armor | Constitution – Gives us some resources when taking damage which is useful when fighting multiple targets.
- Vampire | Supernatural Recovery – Gives you a resource boost while you’re on the Two-Handed bar.
- Vampire | Undeath – Gives you massive damage reduction when below 50% health, giving you take to react.
- Vampire | Dark Stalker – What makes taking Vampire worth it, increased movement speed while sneaking.
- Legerdemain – Improved Hiding – Reducing stamina cost combined with 5 medium armor grants you basically no stamina cost while sneaking.
- Banish the Wicked – Gain a 9 ultimate when killing Daedra or Undead (this counts for enemy player Vampires).
- Crafting Alchemy | Medicinal Use – Longer potion effects mean more Crowd Control immunity.
- Ravager Gear – Only scales to VR14 but its great gear even in this update. Advantages are it makes you tanky, procs with melee builds for massive damage, and has Impenetrable traits. Bad side, it cost over 1 million Alliance Points to obtain a full set, doesn’t scale to VR 16 and lacks medium weight for best sustained. If you don’t like this setup, use Agility jewelry instead (found in Imperial City with drop shards).
- Engine Guardian – Found in Darkshade Cavern Veteran Dungeon (helm) and shoulder obtained through Undaunted Pledges. If you don’t have this, swap these two slots and your weapons for Ashen Grip, Night Mothers or something else stamina based that you can craft. A more damage oriented set would be Nerien’eth obtained in Crypts of Hearts Veteran Dungeon.
- Hunding’s Rage – The best stamina based crafted set and it only takes 6 traits. If you can’t craft this, try Night Silence or Night Mother’s Gaze.
- Race – 1) Anything that has a bonus to maxima stamina, most is Imperial or Redguard. Imperil = more tanky | Redguard = better sustained | Khajiit =burst | Wood Elf = max sustained | Dunmer = can be decent stamina and good magicka if you play multiple builds.
- Vamp/WW – Werewolf rocks in the new update but I love Vampire for sneak reduction and Devouring Swarm ultimate. If you’re not near the Champion Point Cap (501), I suggest NOT to use Vampire and go all natural. If you like the sneak speed, use Night Silence as your 5 piece set bonus.
- Mundus – Solo play, stick with Serpent for better sustained, Warrior for more sustained damage, and Shadow for burst.
- Armor – 5 medium 2 heavy for tanky setup.
- Food – Tri-stat drinks for maxium regeneration. Make sure you reach at least 20,000 health.
- Ambush (morph of Teleport Strike | Assassination skill line) – Gap closer that gives us 20% more damage for our next hit. Often I’ll combo this with Ambush, bar swap, Soul Tether.
- Rally (morph of Momentum | Two-Handed skill line) – A weapon power major brutality buff and healing over time. The best way to use this for a powerful heal is to let recast it around less than 10 seconds.
- Siphoning Attacks (morph of Siphoning Strikes | Siphoning skill line) – Keep this up at the start of fights and in between to maintain resources.
- Surprise Attack (morph of Veiled Strike | Shadow skill line) – Our single target spammable ability that debuffs armor and gives us major resistance.
- Killer’s Blade (morph of Assassin’s Blade | Assassination skill line) – A close range execute with massive healing. Remember it doesn’t have to kill the target now, just die within two seconds.
- [Ultimate] Soul Harvester (morph of Death Stroke | Assassination skill line) – I’ve tried many ultimates in this position, but nothing out preforms Soul Harvest damage during execution and ultimate generation.
Bow | Range and Healing
- Merciless Resolve (morph of Grim Focus | Assassination skill line) – A 8% damage buff and 10% stamina plus the chance to proc a damage ability. We also slot this for the assassination skill line passives.
- Poison Injection (morph of Poison Arrow | Bow skill line) – A super powerful damage over time effect below 50% health. I try to reapply this just before execute phase for some extra damage on the tough bosses.
- Acid Spray (morph of Arrow Spray | Bow skill line) – A great area damage ability with an extra damage over time effect. Use this to snare enemies and kite them around.
- Lethal Arrow (morph of Snipe | Bow skill line) – A single target spammable ability with massive range. This isn’t as powerful as Surprise Attack, but it will knockout some targets at range.
- Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Assault skill line) – Another powerful heal over time ability combined with Rally and Killer’s Blade for surviving.
- [Ultimate] Soul Tether (morph of Soul Shred | Siphoning skill line) – Another ability to heal with high AoE burst for taking out trash mobs and surviving.
- Molag Kena Helm – A one piece with some punch. The easiest way to get this is the shoulder via Undaunted pledges or the helm from White Gold Tower Veteran.
- Blood Spawn Shoulder – The extra stamina recovery goes well with our race and gear setup making the Kena/Blood spawn a worthy two piece choice.
- Night Mother’s Gaze – Since we’re running high crit build, this gear out preforms others for our specific build (courtesy of Gill). Hundings, Twice Born Star are also good choices.
- Agility Jewelry – Found in Imperial City and still my favorite for stamina builds. I do like the healthy with stamina recovery since we’re not running Engine Guardian setup.
I like a 75/25 split between Might and Thaumaturge that way Surprise Attack and our Bow abilities hit hard.
A close 50/50 split between regeneration and reduce cost plus 10 points into reduced dodge roll since we use that for protection.
In the Lady I highly recommend Elemental Defender and 20 points into Hardy. Now I go with Quick Recovery for extra healing in the Lord which really helps with stamina healing.