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ESO Magic Sorcerer DPS Build

Welcome to our ESO Magic Sorcerer DPS Build called Ignition.  On this page you will find an updated guide on the class, gear, champion points and everything you need to know for Magic Sorcerer Damage Dealer for The Elder Scrolls Online.


Table of Contents

Leveling Build

[Last Updated on Update 12, Tamriel One]

Priority Skills

NOTE: If you see a healing staff skill on your destruction staff bar, it’s to level the skill lines simultaneously.

Destruction Staff

  • Walls of Elements (AoE DoT | morphed into Elemental Blockade) – An early magic AoE that helps leveling clearing trash mobs or grinding.  It also plays a vital role in our DPS for end game DPS in both single target and AoE encounters.
  • Destructive Clench (Single Target DoT | leave unmorphed) – Our main spammable until we reach Force Shock.  Leave this unmorphed since it won’t be used after we get our other main abilities.
  • Force Shock (Single Target Direct Damage | morphed into Force Pulse) – Our main single target spammable that we use while our DoTs are up and C-Frags hasn’t procced.
  • Weakness to Elements (Single Target Debuff | morphed into Elemental Drain) – A great PvE ability for maintaining max magic while leveling.  This is important for solo play or when running with unorganized groups.
  • Impulse  (AoE Direct Damage | morphed into Pulsar) – Our spammable AoE ability that procs disintegration with Lighting Staff.
  • Elemental Storm (AoE Ultimate | morped into Elemental Rage) – The new ultimate of Update 12, that holds some serious firepower.  Don’t let the tooltip or anyone talking about it deceive you, this thing is monstrous.  Unparalleled in size, the raw damage per hit and ability to proc additional bonuses leaves this ahead of Shooting Star in almost all applications other than burst.

Healing Staff

  • Grand Healing (AoE Heal | morphed into Healing Springs) – An early AoE heal that can be helpful until you get Blood Magic passive.
  • Regeneration (Multi Target HoT | morphed into Mutagen) – Lasts longer than Healing Springs and helps tide us over until we get access to Surge.
  • Steadfast Ward (Single Target Shield/Heal | morphed into Healing Ward) –  Our basic defense and healing ability.  Combine this with two other shields, Harness Magicka from Light Armor and Hardened Warded from Daedric Summoning for massive defense.

Daedric Summoning

  • Daedric Curse (Single Target Debuff | morphed into Velocious Curse) – The first part to hits like a mac daddy dizzle truck.  Also does some great AoE while leveling which the Sorc lacks.  Get this early for something useful to use while leveling Summoning skill line.
  • Bound Armor (Self Buff | morphed into Bound Aegis) – This is more of a PvE skill to give max magicka, but grab it and level it so you don’t have to later.
  • Conjured Ward (Self Shield | morphed into Hardened Ward) – The mother of all shields, it’s worth leveling Summoning to 42 for major protection.

Dark Magic

  • Crystal Shard (Single Target Direct Damage | morphed into Crystal Fragments) – C-Frag, what else can you say?  Combine this with Blood Magic passive for early leveling self healing.  And for Divines’ sakes, don’t spam cast this.
  • Encase (AoE CC | morphed into Shattering Prison) – I love this for group or solo play, stunning constantly with frags and encase so they can’t close the distance with melee.
  • Rune Prison (Self or Target CC | morphed into Defensive Rune) – A highly underrated skill that can save you from being ganked.  Keep up this 2.5 minute buff and that nasty Nightblade will be stunned when they attack.
  • Daedric Mines (AoE Direct Damage and CC | morphed into Daedric Minefield) – A great utility ability to immobile enemies that enter your Minefield.

Storm Calling

  • Mage’s Fury (Single Target + AoE Execute | morphed into Endless Fury while leveling, Mage’s Wrath at end game) – The finisher move that procs when enemies drop below 20% health, KABOOM batman style.  Also good for PvE execution phase.  Keep in mind this may be preemptively casted above 20% health and still execute if they get low before it expires.
  • Lighting Form (Self Buff + AoE DoT | morphed into Boundless Storm) – Speed, resistance, damage, and you can proc Disintegration so yeah worth using until you get streak.
  • Lighting Splash (AoE DoT | morphed into Liquid Lighting) – A decent AoE for leveling, but you’ll replace this later for Impulse.  It’s useful to level Storm Calling and amazing in PvE dungeons.
  • Surge (Self Buff + Heal | morphed into Power Surge) – A centerpiece to the Sorcerer class that allows for great healing with little to no effort.  Lasts a decent time and gives us Majory Sorcery and passive bonuses.
  • Bolt Escape (Unique Gap Closer | morphed into Streak) -Probably the “coolest” ability in the game. I take Streak morph to use this offensively blasting through enemies and lowering their blocks.

Levels 1-10

Frag Out Level 10 Skills

Levels 10-25

Frag Out Level 25 skills

Levels 25-Veteran 1

Frag Out VR1 skills


Priority Passives

Daedric Summoning

  • Power Stone – Sorcs do not get an ultimate generation tool like other classes, but we have massive reduction in ultimate cost.  Only obtain this passive early on.

Dark Magic

  • Unholy Knowledge – This is very useful early on when resources management is hard and you don’t have a whole lot of light armor passives.
  • Blood Magic – Probably the best early on passive making C-Frags heal you for 8% of your max health. Usually this is enough to keep you in the fight while leveling.  This also procs off of Suppression Field to give amazing self healing while keeping up the offensive.

Storm Calling

  • Capacitor – Increase magicka recovery by 10%, yes please.  Combine this with High Elf passive, wow resource juggernaut even early on.
  • Disintegrate – A unique and awesome passive that vaporizes targets at 15% health and under.  Another reason to use Boundless Storms while AoE mobs up close.

Healing Staff

  • Cycle of Life – The only thing I really use early on is this passive for extra magicka off heavy attacks.

Destruction Staff

  • Destruction Expert – Resource management becomes a true breeze once you unlock this passive in grinding situations.

Light Armor

  • Evocation –  Less magicka cost is a must just starting a new character, I get this priority number one.
  • Recovery – Passive priority number two, regeneration combined with Capacitor starts to give us the edge in combat.

Tips and Miscellaneous


  1. High Elf – The highest Max Magicka in game, some regeneration, and a 4% increase to all Elemental damage types, this race takes the cake for Magicka Sorcerer.
  2. Breton – If not, Breton will do, but it’s not as beneficial as High Elf.  Offers some utility in Spell Resistance reduction and cost reduction, but has a large difference in overall damage.
  3. Dunmer – If you like playing stamina or magicka, pick this race because it does well with both. The fire resistance is always a plus.  The recent buff to this race makes them a solid choice if you plan on staying Vampire or tend to gravitate towards the PvP aspect of this build.
  • Attributes – Go all magicka while leveling and enchant your gear with health if you feel you don’t have enough.
  • Vampire or Werewolf –  I love Vampire on my guy and took it at level 11.  The Undeath passive goes very well with Healing Ward not to mention a beastly low cost Ultimate Devouring Swarms that makes leveling a breeze. I need more testing at end game, but I love vampire while leveling.
  • Mundus Stone – I choose the Atronach right away for magicka recovery, then the Shadow later on for big time crit damage.  If you lack Champion Points, stick with Atronach (found in Cyrodiil at level 10).
  • Weapons and Gear – I go with Lighting staff and all light armor.  For set bonuses, 3 piece Torgus Pact and 5 piece Seducer (for low CP) or Magnus (for high CP).
  • Food and Consumables –  I used regeneration drinks while leveling just for more casting but will go food at end.



  1. Level all of your skill lines to 50
  2. Level Mages Guild and Fighters Guild to 10
  3. Start working on Undaunted skill line to acquire passives
  4. Gather skill points and skyshard and finish all the passives
  5. Now experiment, what works well for you?  Maybe more single target, more AoE, more healing, etc.  Start dipping your toes into PvP and grind away to VR16.  Cya there.

Solo Build

[Last Updated on Update 12, Tamriel One]





Bar One – Destruction Offensive

  1. Force Pulse (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Force Shock | Destruction Staff skill line) – My main spammable ability with a ranged interrupt.  We don’t take Crushing Shock to prevent interrupting mechanics on stage 7 of VMA, and allowing overall more damage output.
  2. Unstable Wall (AoE DoT | morph of Wall of Elements | Destruction Staff skill line) – One of the best ground DoT’s in the game, this ability is worth keeping up single target and AoE alike.  We take this morph for the explosion at the end, which can hit multiple hits and offers great burst on trash and bosses alike.
  3. Harness Magicka (Self Shield | morph of Annulment | Light Armor skill line) – This shield now absorbs any damage, but the Magicka return only procs off of spell attacks.  Alone it helps take off a lot of pressure but when paired with Ward this gives us more than double our effective health.
  4. Pulsar (AoE Direct Damage | morph of Impulse | Destruction Staff skill line) – I mostly use single target in VMA, but this is a good AoE ability to pair with streak.  Use this when you need to kill a boss and additional mobs at once.
  5. Crystal Fragments (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Crystal Shards | Dark Magic skill line) – an extremely potent ability when it procs that gives big burst damage, a ranged stun, and a heal when paired with our passive.
  • Shooting Star (AoE Direct Damage + AoE DoT | morph of Meteor | Mages Guild skill line) – Having this slotted gives us a boost with mages guild skill line and if we hit enough targets in one shot, we can still activate Overload for a third bar.

Bar Two – Restoration Defensive

  1. Boundless Storm (Self Buff + AoE DoT | morph of Lighting Form | Storm Calling skill line) – A huge boost to armor and spell resist and much need speed.  Plus, it does damage and can proc disintegration Streaking through mobs.  Also us another chance to proc Surge every second available.
  2. Streak (Unique Gap Closer | morph of Bolt Escape | Storm Calling skill line) – Speed, stun and decent damage.  Do not over cast this without four seconds, but use it to create space and stun mobs briefly.
  3. Power Surge (Self Buff + Heal | morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – I use this over Entropy for two reasons, one the duration and two the self healing.  I love Entropy for burst in PvP but the added healing when my wards are down often saves my life.
  4. Hardened Ward (Self Shield | morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning skill line) –An absolute monster in terms of damage nullification.  The tooltip is the same as Harness, but it receives a bonus 30% size from the passive morph.
  5. Healing Ward (Single Target Shield + Heal | morph of Steadfast Ward | Restoration Staff skill line) – I use this skill only when my health has dropped below 40%. Once I pop healing ward to cover my health bar, I throw Hardened and Harness over it.  Trick is to not recast healing ward and let its duration continue for full heal.
  • Energy Overload (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) – A third bar, the best ult we have and magic return on hits.  This is the sole reason you can get pretty aggressive with your gear and not worry about recovery.

Bar Three – Energy Overload Ultimate

  • Dark Conversion (Self Heal | morph of Dark Exchange | Dark Magic) – A way to sacrifice extra stamina for magicka in between rounds to get topped off.
  • Power Surge (Self Buff + Heal | morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – I keep this on here in case my buff runs out and I need to recast for self healing.
  • Hardened Ward (Self Shield | morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning skill line) – Once I activate overload, I don’t want to turn it on and off in case I’m taking heavy damage so I use these buffs on this bar as well.
  • Harness Magicka (Self Shield | morph of Annulment | Light Armor skill line) – Same as above.
  • Mage’s Wrath (Single Target + AoE Execute | morph of Mage’s Fury | Storm Calling skill line) – I almost always have enough ult to turn Overload on and I save my execute on this bar just for that.
  • Energy Overload (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) – On by default since it’s in the toggled mode!  If you try and remove this you’ll lose your 3rd bar.


maelstrom sorcerer gear

  • 2 pieces Engine Guardian – If you have a lot of resource problems this is a great option.  If you’re fine without it definitely try out Molag Kena or Nerien’eth.
  • 5 pieces Julianos (or Twice Born Star) – I prefer Julianos because I have flexibility with Mundus stones, although TBS offers a little bit of health for a small dip in damage.  This is a preference choice.
  • 1 Maelstrom Staff (or any other staff) – It’s beast, but until you get them, go with a Sharpened Fire Staff.
  • 3 pieces Willpower Set – Found in Imperial City this jewelry still rocks.  You can also use 3 Moondancer or 3 Infalliable Aether if you have access to them, the 5% damage increase is super nice.


Champion Points

Maelstrom Sorcerer Champion PointsMost important passive you can get is The Warrior, Lord, Bastion.  It makes your wards incredibly powerful.  Other than that, the normal magicka setup I use in my other Sorc Builds.

For detailed information, watch the video up top as I spend more time explaining game play.

Group PvE

[Last Updated October 25th, 2016, Update 12 One Tamriel]



The purpose of this build is to create a competitive PvE DPS build that can be easy to play, yet pump out serious numbers.  This isn’t intended to be the “most damage producing build” for every circumstance, but a well rounded flexible Magicka Sorc for the latest content.  The downside of the build is you must flex in and out skills constantly depending on the situation (boss fight, AoE trash pulls, etc).   The ideal place to use this build is in Dungeons (vet/non vet) and trials.  If you’re looking for PvP, Solo Maelstrom, this is not it.  This build assumes you have a healer and a tank and your sole job is to do monster damage, and that it can do WITHOUT OVERLOAD.  *Shutout to Jace “Streak One” for taking the time to go through this build in detail with me.  He’s the #1 Sorc I’ve ever seen and I appreciate him sharing his knowledge.  For ultra high end Sorc VMA, check out his work HERE.*



Destruction Staff (Primary DPS bar)

  1. Inner Light (morph of Mage Light | Mages Guild skill line) Purpose self buff – Our major Prophecy buff but mainly slotted used for max magicka.  In instances where you’re using meteor, don’t forget to empower before casting with a quick click of Inner Light.
  2. Force Pulse (morph of Force Shock | Destruction Staff skill line) Purpose Single Target Direct Damage – Our spammable single target ability that can proc a reduced cost and insta C-Frags.  This attack is considered three at once so it goes well with our gear choices later on.  Continue to spam this in between light/heavy attacks if your buffs are up.  When in doubt, don’t stand there, Force Pulse.
  3. Bound Aegis (morph of Bound Armor | Daedric Summoning skill line) Purpose Self Buff – Another skill we slot and activate (on both bars) for more magicka, more magic more DPS.  The upside is a lot more damage, the downside is a lot less bar space.  For beginners I don’t recommend using this ability so you can replace it with more shields and healing until you learn to survive without wards (specifically Hardened Ward or Harness Magic).
  4. Velocious Cure (morph of Daedric Curse | Daedric Summoning skill line) Purpose AoE DoT – A good single target semi-DoT that should be maintained for single target damage.  Consider this our flex spot since we sometimes needs a spammable AoE ability for trash pulls.
    • FLEX – Pulsar (morph of Impulse | Destruction Staff skill line) Purpose AoE spammable attack – Our spammable attack that reduces health making Pulsar a worth while morph for group play.
  5. Crystal Fragments (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Crystal Shard | Dark Magic skill line) – Not spammable, but when proc’d via casting a spell then cast it.  It takes some practice to recognize when this needs to be casted.  You can use addons, get used to the sound, the color of your hands, or a combination of all three is what I use.  Do not “hard cast” or just press the button and spend 1 second casting it.  Why? It cost more magicka and does less DPS.  Everyone has hard casted a C-Frags, just don’t do it consistently.  Ideally this will proc every 3 to 4 abilities based on RGN, so be ready to fire off a Frag.  Another tip that can increase your DPS with Frag is clicking block JUST after shooting it.  This will cancel the long animation of throwing the frag, saving you time, thus more DPS.  Takes some time to practice, but pays off if master (I’m far from it myself).
  • [Ultimate] Elemental Storm (morph of Elemental Storm | Destruction Staff skill line) Purpose AoE Ultimate  – The new ultimate of Update 12, that holds some serious firepower.  Don’t let the tooltip or anyone talking about it deceive you, this thing is monstrous.  Unparalleled in size, the raw damage per hit and ability to proc additional bonuses leaves this ahead of Shooting Star in almost all applications other than burst.
    • FLEX – Shooting Star (morph of Meteor | Mages Guild skill line) – Purpose single target boss fight Ultimate – For pure pure single target, Meteor does out preform Storm but most fights have AoE.

Destruction Staff (Execution and buffs)

  1. Inner Light (morph of Mage Light | Mages Guild skill line) – Same as before, bar here for more damage.
  2. Mage’s Wrath (morph of Fury | Storm Calling skill line) Purpose single target + AoE Execute – Our finisher only to be used at 20% health or lower.  Make sure you’re weaving light attacks every 5 seconds to proc weapon enchants as well.  That alone can add nearly 400 Spell Damage (explained in video).
    1. FLEX – Hardened Ward (morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning skill line) Purpose defensive shield – Ideal when you don’t have a healer or a heavy damage phase.  This morph cost less and provides a great shield and can be stacked (meaning both together) with Annulment from Light Armor skill line.
  3. Bound Aegis (morph of Bound Armor | Daedric Summoning skill line) Purpose Self Buff – Most be doubled barred to be active, once again slot something else if you’re learning that helps you survive.
  4. Liquid Lighting (morph of Lighting Splash | Storm Calling skill line) Purpose AoE DoT – Another great single target and AoE ability similar to Blockade.  When both are down, wow the effects are devastating. There’s a new option in ESO under game play that allows you to instantly cast ground effect targets where you are aiming, make sure to set this to “on.”  It makes the animation a lot faster, thus saving a lot of time.  Consider this our second priority DoT/buff.
  5. Elemental Blockade Wall (morph of Wall of Elements | Destruction Staff skill line) Purpose AoE DoT – A eight second DoT that also provides some great AoE.  It’s priority number one to maintain this DoT especially with Maelstrom staff.  This is another skill with a LONG animation.  Cast it and tap the block button to cancel it’s very long animations for more DPS.
    1. NOTE: Unstable Wall is more damage but Blockade is easier to use and play due to the longer cast time.
  • [Ultimate] Energy Overload (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) Purpose magic return on attack and allows for third bard – I hate to rely on this ultimate for DPS, but it’s very effective.  Essentially, you can charge this to 1000 and spam it during boss encounters while maintaining Liquid Lighting.  An optimized build can see 50k+ damage single target just using this though it’s not fun game play. When I reach around 200 ultimate, I switch it off, toggle Inner Light for an empowered Shooting Star.  This usually produces more damage than three Overload attacks.  You should be clicking this NOT holding it down for single target fights.  Another benefit of this is the magicka refund it provides.  Essentially letting us go ultra heavy on damage with little regeneration.

Overload Bar (when active)

  1. Inner Light (Self Buff | morph of Mage Light | Mages Guild skill line) – Same as before need to be bared even on Overload so we don’t lose DPS.
  2. Power Surge (Self Buff + Heal | morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – I put this on my Overload bar because usually I have 75 ultimate, so I active Overload for a third bar, cast it, and then go into the fight.  This gives me 33 seconds of Major Sorcery or spell damage, then I use a potion to make sure it’s 100% of the time.  If you want extra healing, swap this to our second bar and keep it active which should help with survivablity.
  3. Bound Aegis (Self Buff | morph of Bound Armor | Daedric Summoning skill line) – Another skill we slot and activate (on both bars) for more magicka, more magic more DPS.  The upside is a lot more damage, the downside is a lot less bar space.  For beginners I don’t recommend using this ability so you can replace it with more shields and healing until you learn to survive without wards (specifically Hardened Ward or Harness Magic).  You can slot Pulsar here for spammable AoE, Wards for a good shield or something else you like if you’re getting use to the build.
  4. Dark Conversion (morph of Dark Exchange | Dark Magic skill line) Purpose sustain in between fights – A useful ability to use in between fights to regeneration magicka.
  5. Hardened Ward (morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning skill line) Purpose defensive shield – For pure group play I don’t use ward if I have reliable healing though I do place on third bar just in case.
  6. [Ultimate] Energy Overload (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) – Has to stay on both bars to be active.


The power of this build is it’s very simple and effective.  For ultimate phase, Overload until 170 ultimate and empower Meteor otherwise try this.  I’m also assuming you’re light/heavy weaving in between attacks.

  • Buff on Overload bar with Power Surge, deactivate (or just use a Spell Power potion) and place two primary DoTs, Liquid Lighting then Elemental Blockade
  • Bar swap and throw a Velocious Curse (frag when proc available)
  • Force Pulse in between Frags/Curse then bar swap to maintain LL and Blockade
  • Execute at 20% health or lower

In AoE situations simply swap in Pulsar for Curse and spam in the middle of the action.  You may need Hardened Ward instead of execute for this type of play.



Remember this isn’t considered absolute Best in Slot setup, but somewhat easy to obtain gear and very effective non the less.

    • Llambris – Best option both single target and AoE due to our LL DoT and Elemental Blockade procing both effects.
    • Nere’neth, Skoria, Grothdarr and Kena – These are also options but secondary to the power of Llambris now.
    • Julianos – Good all around but not the best for every situation.  What determines if you should use another set like Twice Born Star is your Warhorn (Aggressive) up time.  Meaning how frequently members of your party are using it.  If you’re not using it a lot, IE not a super coordinated trials group, it’s not going to benefit you over Julinaos
    • Twice Born Star – For folks in a more serious PvE environment with coordinated 10 second Warhorn rotation, TBS will outperform every other set.  The downside is, if you play a lot of different content (solo, dungeons, Trials, etc) You’ll be swapping in and out constantly.  If you do pick this up, go with Thief and Shadow mundus stones.
    • Scathing Mage vs Burning Spell Weave – Haven’t had a chance to test the Sorc up time so I don’t know if either outperform Julianos all around but each can be good options.
    • #1 Infallible Aether because of crit and minor slayer, #2 Moondancer because max magicka and minor slayer, #3 Willpower for a decent replacement.
    • Maelstrom Staff – A double destruction staff setup will provide better damage and sustained in long term trials/dungeon fights, while Dual Wield with Elegant can be great for VMA.
      Infallible/Moondance Staff – If you have a three piece jewelry plus a staff, you can put the staff on front bar and VMA staff on back and the effect will persist through a bar swap.
    • Poisons – If you don’t have that option running damage posions with another VMA staff produces good results.


MUNDUS – I use Thief for the extra critical.

WW/Vampire – Both now can be managed in PvE.  WW, don’t turn and you don’t have to worry about poison.  Vampire, go feed and you’ll have 5 hours of fire free damage.  So I don’t recommending use the WW ult or staying in stage 4 Vampire, but you don’t have to cure if you want to do PvE.

Food – 150 Champion Point blue bi-stat food.

Attributes – All Magicka, if you’re having trouble surviving, it’s not due to lack of health.  Most very highly skilled DPS run about 16-18k health.  They rely on their healers, tanks and self buffs for survivability.  Remember that if you die, it’s not always a bad thing.  Push your dps and your healers to the limits and don’t rely on a stack of health to see you through, kill stuff faster.

Champion Points


  • Spell Erosion – 20
  • Elfborn – 46
  • Elemental Expert – 100
  • Thaumaturge – 20
  • Staff Expert – 1


  • Magician – 100
  • Arcanist – 87


  • Elemental Defender – 84
  • Hardy – 86
  • Thick Skinned – 7
  • Quick Recovery – 10
  • NOTE: if you’re running shield on front bar go 100 into Bastion and take out 50/50 from Elemental Defender and Hardy


[Last Updated on Update 12, Tamriel One]

Hype Trailer

Full Build Video

Yolo – One Life in PvP


This build is meant to be played solo or in small groups.  The idea is high mobility, massive burst AoE with your Destruction staff ultimate, and constant single target pressure.  Your survival depends on constantly using shields so it’s not the easiest thing to start with.  The skill setup below is for people who want one shield on their front with less bar swapping, though optimally, you’ll want all shields on your back bar for more damage up front.  This is also very “meta” meaning the optimal way to play during the current patch.  Kodi on YouTube was the first one to post the gear setup, and it’s common used throughout Tamriel so no, I didn’t invent the “best” Magic Sorc build, but it works great!

+ Massive burst single target and AoE with Ultimate

+ High mobility

+ Great survivablity once you get the hang of it

– High skill cap, it takes a long time to get really good at this build

– Constant bar swapping in order to stay alive

Skills Option #1 Solo



Bar One | Destruction Staff

* During my testing, Lighting staff seems to get more killing blows with Disintegration procs and is better against Dragonknights using reflective scale, though Fire combined with Dunmer was a lot more damage.

  1. Inner Light (Self Buff | morph of Mage Light | Mage’s Guild skill line) – We want as much Magicka as possible, and this skill gives a whopping 7%, and 2% regeneration.  On top of that you can cast this to reveal nearby stealthers, and empower your next attack for insane burst.  Also providing our major spell critical bonus, I value using this over Bound Aegis (note, you can double bar both for tons of magic, but will really limit your versatility).
  2. Force Pulse (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Force Shock | Destruction Staff skill line) – Our main source of damage for this build, and a great way to proc Crystal Frags.  Use this to keep up pressure when Frags hasn’t procced.
  3. Hardened Ward (Self Shield | morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning) – By far the largest damage shield in the game, we put this on our front bar since it helps staying alive casting our defensive shield often.  This also proc’s our two piece monster helm mortars which packs a punch.
    1. Velocious Curse (morph of Daedric Curse | Daedric Summoning skill line) – If you get comfortable with bar swapping constantly, and want even more DPS, swap Hardened on your back bar and put in Curse.  It’s very useful since it can’t be dodge rolled or reflected by Dragonknights.
  4. Mage’s Wrath (morph of Mage’s Fury | Storm Calling skill line) – Our execute that does damage up front then blows up once target reaches 20%  health or lower.  This skill is somehow bugged as the damage is inflicted prior to the full animation going off.  It’s extremely powerful and can be used prior to execute range right before you launch a Frag so they instantly blow up.
  5. Crystal Fragments (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Crystal Shards | Dark Magic skill line) – A centerpiece to this build and any caster sorc build.  This ability hits like a truck when it gets its instant cast proc.  With a 33% chance when casting an ability that costs Magicka to become instant cast and deal more damage and cost less, always be on the look out for windows to use it.  It stuns as well, so you can line up for immense burst.
  • [Ultimate]Elemental Rage (morph of Elemental Storm | Destruction Staff skill line) – The amazingly powerful, high ultimate cost freak show that is Destro ult.  We use the Rage morph since it cannot be negated and is centered on you.  Use this when pressured or to streak in for massive AoE kills.

    • FLEX – Suppression Field (morph of Negate Magic | Dark Magic skill line) – An extremely powerful ultimate that has an AoE silence component for all Magicka based abilities.  Use this on large groups or healers to prevent them from using abilities, and pair it with powerful allied ultimates like Nova or Banner.  We take the damage morph to proc our Blood Magic passive.

Bar Two | Restoration Staff

  1. Inner Light (Self Buff | morph of Mage Light | Mage’s Guild skill line) – Since this is a toggle, we need it on all of our bars.
  2. Power Surge (Self Buff  + Heal | morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – A great source of healing, whenever you crit you get a nice amount of health back, which can crit on top of that.  We take this morph for the source of Major Sorcery, allowing us to use other potions.
  3. Streak (Unique Gap Closer | morph of Bolt Escape | Storm Calling skill line) – A unique gap closer or creator that allows us to teleport a short distance forward.  Be wary of spamming this ability, as it increases in cost if casted in quick succession.
  4. Harness Magicka (Self Shield | morph of Annulment | Light Armor skill line) – A great damage shield that also restores Magicka back when consuming Magical based damage (Fire, Ice, Lightning, Magic).  It also procs our Infernal Guardian set so you can keep up the offensive even while defending!
  5. Healing Ward (Single Target Shield + Heal | morph of Steadfast Ward | Restoration Staff skill line) – A great defensive oh crap button that scales in size based on missing health.  Use this when you or an ally need a large shield at low health.  If it stays up through the duration, it will consume the shield for a large burst heal.  
  • [Ultimate] Energy Overload (Single Target Direct Damage | morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) – A powerful single target ultimate that can really put the hurt on high priority targets.  Just be careful with this, as it can be reflected back at you, and is easily dodged.  We mainly use this for the extra bar space, but casting it isn’t always bad if you have excessive ultimate (over 300).

Overload Bar

  1. Boundless Storm (morph of Lighting Form | Storm calling) for speed.
  2. Defensive Rune (morph of Rune Prison | Dark Magic skill line) to prevent gankers.
  3. Daedric Mines (morph of Daedric Mines | Dark Magic skill line) when being chased.
  4. Hardened Ward morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning) for protection.
  5. Dark Conversion (morph of Dark Exchange | Dark Magic skill line) for magicka sustain in long encounters.



  • Spinners – Overland set found in Malabal Tor giving us massive spell penetration combined with Light Armor passive and a Sharpened staff.  both Lighting and Fire staffs are useful though I’d go with Fire if I had to pick one.
    • If I were to swap something in our or out it would be Burning Spell Weave with fire staff for massive spell damage or Clever Alchemist for crafted massive burst in spell damage.  Though I like the consistent sustain DPS Spinners provides for solo play.
  • Shroud of Lich –  Now found in Crypt of Hearts (one or two normal or Vet) this set gives us amazing sustain considering the proc works on one bar, while swapping to another.  With this set on your resto, you can invest in all out spell damage on your glyphs and mundus stone (mage or shadow).
    • Some other options are Warlock as another proc recovery set or Amberplasma as good sustain set though you’d need to equip this on both bars.
  • Infernal Guardian – The helm can be farmed in City of Ash 1 and the shoulders come through undaunted pledges keys (Gilrion the Redbeard chest).  It makes our shield spamming survivability into a direct Nightblade counter / offensive skill.  This offers both single target and AoE.  Use streak when this is shooting out in a 1v1 for an advantage.
    • Iceheart from Direfrost makes another good choice since it provides a shield when critically hitting.

Gear Considerations

  • Armor Traits – Infused vs Impenetrable, the easiest way to explain this is most players will see a benefit running infused on large pieces only and impenetrable on the rest.  Shields cannot be critically hit so impenetrable isn’t that useful IF you’re maintaining your shields 100%.  Though we all know that’s nearly impossible to do especially if you’re getting focused. All infused, higher risk larger shields, all Impenetrable lower risk less offense, 3 infused/4 impen is a safe bet.
  • Weapon Traits – Sharpened is good and Nirnhoned is also another option though I don’t know if it drops in Spinners set.  Reason being is Nirn will be useful against other shield users whereas Sharpened would not.
  • Glyphs – Typically I run prismatic glyphs on large spots but I go with all magicka since the Sorc is so dependent on max magicka for survival.
  • Attributes – All magicka 64 points.
  • Mundus Stone – All around I now suggest using the Mage since it helps our damage and our survivability whereas the Shadow only helps critically hitting.
  • Food – For my solo build I run Tri-stat so I can dodge roll a bit more a long with using Dark Conversion in between action while my Lich proc is down.
  • Potions – If I’m jumping into a group to bomb, magicka and immovable do the trick.  I also carry stealth detect and tri-pots for healing.
  • Vampire or Werewolf –  I had some bad experience with Vampire though the 10% can be nice especially if you’re shielded 100% of the time.  Werewolf gives stamina regen only when the ultimate is slotted and I don’t see that being a possibility consider how much I use Overload so I suggest neither.
  • Armor Weigh – 5 light 1 medium and 1 heavy with the Undaunted passive boosting our max stats by 6%.
  • Race –  I’ve played this build on both a  High Elf and a Dunmer.  I’d say if you’re going solo, High Elf for the regen, playing in groups or wanting pure fire destro dps, Dunmer.


Option #2 Group Oriented

This is the setup for groups or bombing large stacks of opponents.


Skill Changes

The only thing I really change here is swapping in Pulsar instead of C-Frags for heavy AoE fights.  It gives me something spammable with a nice debuff.  It can also proc Implosion passive if using a Lighting staff and I average around 40% killing blows in a group.  I also put in Proxy Det on my back bar in replaced of Inner Light.  This lowers my overall shields but helps in the AoE burst needed to nuke down stacks of enemies.

Gear Changes

I go with HIGH burst with Alchemist and rely on Dark Conversion solely for my sustain.  If you’re fighting waves and waves of people standing on top of each other, swap in Vicious Death for Spinners and watch the bodies explode.  Tri-stat food is a must for extra stam, doing Dark Conversion and an extra dodge here and there can save your life.  I go with some Impen gear since I’m going to be in the thick of things for 6 plus seconds so my shields will go down at some time.

Option #3 New Player / Crafting Gear only

You wanted only crafted gear setups and here’s what I found effective.


Mainly I play this like my solo builds with some Impen mixed in and the Witch Mothers brew food for sustain.  I was able to have some success with this setup in no Champion Points campaign, but gear does max a big difference, specifically in sustain.  Don’t feel bad if you’re not tanking 20 people and killing 5 instantly with a Destro ult, because its hard without best in slot and fully legendary gear.  With that being said, you still can do well in solo or group, you just have to pick the right time to attack.


Champion System


Thanks for viewing the magic Sorcerer PvP Build guide let me know if you have questions or suggestions in the comments.