Welcome to our Elder Scrolls Online ESO PvP Magic Sorcerer Build called Frag Out. This build is all about bursting down enemies solo or in a group. You have high mobility, great damage, sustain and it’s a blast to play. If you’ve never picked up a Sorc and yelled “Frag Out,” try this build.
[Updated by Deltia for Clockwork City DLC]
Frag Out Magicka Sorcerer has been around for a while and seen some slight changes due to skill balancing and new gear sets. The majority of the build remains the same, a freaky fast and hard hitting range caster that takes a long time to master. I’m typically not a fan of casters, but being able to sit back and nuke down players is satisfying and this build will explain how to do it. Keep in mind, this requires a high skill cap and it’s not for everyone. If it looks fun and interesting, keep at it and work at improving before you move on because it can be nasty.
+ Unbelievable burst if timed correctly
+ Super speed and mobility
+ Hard to kill or counter
– Difficult to play and even harder to master
– Reliant on constant bar swapping and animation canceling to fulfill potential
Should You Play This Build?
If you’ve followed my work, you’ll know I’m a fan of tanky in your face type of builds. This is not one of those. However, it does possess a certain charm with speed and precision. I would say play this build if you’ve always been the “range caster” guy/gal. If you love the magical type sit back and lob nukes, this is so much fun. Also if you’re tired of being on your slow Magic Templar/Dragonknight, pick this up for a change. You gain access to Major Expedition within your class skills and Streak for super sonic speed. If you’re brand new to PvP or not comfortable with animation canceling, block canceling, constant bar swapping, etc, this might not be the build for you. If it looks fun, stick with it and adapt the build to fit your needs, it’s a blast!
Flame Staff | Offensive Bar
- Inner Light (morph of Mage Light | Mage’s Guild skill line) – A staple passive slot that any Magicka build will slot on at least one bar. It offers 7% Max Magicka and 2% Magicka Recovery for slotting, making it a nice boost to all of our damage. You can also cast it to Empower the next direct damage spell, usually best paired with Shooting Star for super burst.
- Crystal Frags (morph of Crystal Shards | Dark Magic skill line) – The powerhouse skill of the Magicka Sorcerer (one of many) that offers immense burst damage when the free cast activates (called a proc). Don’t ever use this ability without the instant cast proc, as the cost and cast time make it completely useless. This makes our rotation hard to manage since it’s RNG bound, but the reward is great when used properly. The thing that has changed with Sorcs is this no longer stuns opponents but we have a way around that via Destruction Staff skill line.
- Haunting Curse (morph of Daedric Curse | Daedric Summoning skill line) – This is essentially a damage over time (DoT) and also a bursting tool. You cast on a enemy and it doesn’t blow up initial, but at 3.5 seconds and then again at 8.5 seconds. This is perfect since we want to condense all of our damage around a single split second. Typically I start my rotation with a “Curse” first. Remember you can only have one Curse up at a time (meaning one person).
- FLEX – Harness Magicka (morph of Annulment | Mage’s Guild skill line) – Newer players will find it much easier to survive with a shield/protection on their front and back bar. I suggest placing this on the same key/controller so you can hit the exact same button regardless of the bar you are on. As you become more familiar with handling pressure, bar swapping, swap this out for more damage.
- Destructive Reach (morph of Destructive Touch | Destruction Staff skill line) – With the Masters Destruction Staff from Veteran Dragonstar Arena, this skill becomes absurdly powerful. It cost less than Force Shock, hits harder, has a DoT component and a stun. Essentially replacing FS as our spammable attack. However, you want to setup your combat around when an opposing player CAN be stunned. Curse/Fury/Reach/Frags (BOOM).
- Mage’s Wrath (morph of Mage’s Fury | Storm Calling skill line) – A truly “busted” execute. When an opposing player is below 20% life, the damage from this skill happens as soon as you hit the skill with very little counter-play. Another upside is you can apply it early and it has four seconds where it can explode if the player reaches 20% or lower. Essentially letting you front load it with Curse, Frag, bang dead.
- Ultimate (Passive) Shooting Star (morph of Meteor | Mage’s Guild skill line) Simply slotting this will offer 2% Max Magicka and Magicka Recovery, making it a small boost to our overall damage on this bar. The main purpose of this skill is it’s bursting potential within a short window. Combine this with Inner Light to proc Might of the Guild first, Shot the Meteor and Streak or Flame Reach to prevent the enemy from blocking or countering the skill.
- Additional Options Dawnbreaker of Smiting from Fighters Guild – Still great for up close and personal fights though it does scale off of max physical damage stats so not ideal for all situations.
- Option 3 – Eye of the Storm from Destruction Staff skill line – Great for huge AoE fights and countering perma blocking builds. Yet the bursting potential isn’t there since it has a duration associated with it.
Restoration Staff | Defensive Bar
- Streak (morph of Bolt Escape | Storm Calling skill line) – A high mobility and area stunning tool. To master this class and build, you must learn to use this skill both offensively (to stun large groups) and defensively (to get away). I use this sparingly unless in the open field or dive bombing a player or group of opposing players.
- Power Surge (morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – A source of Major Sorcery buffing our Spell damage for 33 seconds! Another useful thing this skill does is allows us to passively heal ourselves based on critically hitting an enemy. Through your shields, wards and this skills, you can easily recover from low health.
- Boundless Storm (morph of Lighting Form | Storm Calling skill line) – 23 seconds of Major Expedition on a magicka class makes this so fun. Storm also provides major resistances which isn’t as important as the constant shock damage (area). Sorcs have the Implosion passive, essentially a second execute when a enemy reaches 15% health or less, shock damage can proc additional damage. Having this up on while in close proximity to a low health enemy can easily take them out.
- FLEX – Harness Magicka (morph of Annulment | Mage’s Guild skill line) – As stated before, this is a useful skill to double bar slot for newer players. I decided to drop this skill for my final loadout and just use Hardened because I felt that three shields was redundant and while being pressured, I really only had time to cast 1 or 2, not all three. However, this might work better for you so experiment.
- Hardened Ward (morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning skill line) – The largest self shield we have access to giving us crazy survivability. Remember that shields cannot be critically hit so it lowers our chances of being bursted down if opened up on. Downside, it’s duration is only six seconds so bar swapping and constantly keep this up under pressure becomes tiresome. This is where the skill and constant diligence comes in to making your Sorc freaky survivable (believe me I have yet to master this myself).
- Healing Ward (morph of Steadfast Ward | Restoration Staff skill line) – A shield that goes to the lowest health friendly around (not always you). The strength of the shield depends on the lower your health is. Typically when at or around 30% health, I cast this FIRST and secondly cast my Hardened Ward over it. Thus when the shield duration expires, you are healed to full if your shield didn’t take any damage. Keep in mind, this can go to someone else if you’re in or around a lot of other players so when in doubt, cast Hardened very first in large groups.
- Energy Overload (morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) – Packing wonderful utility in form of a 3rd bar to fit with whatever abilities you like (you cannot use Weapon skills here though), this Ultimate also offers some decent single target damage. Each Light Attack will drain a portion of Ultimate, deal Shock damage to the target, and restore 1102 Magicka back on hit, making it truly superb for Magicka sustain. Not only do you get the Magicka on hit, but since you aren’t casting Magicka abilities your Recovery will be ticking away giving even more! A solid choice for beginner players who want to run extra abilities to learn the class with.
Tertiary Bar (via Energy Overload)
- Defensive Rune (morph of Rune Prison | Dark Magic skill line) – A defensive buff that last over two minutes. When someone attacks you they become stunned. This is ideal while traveling in Cyrodiil or Imperial City to prevent being “ganked.”
- Dark Conversion (morph of Dark Exchange | Dark Magic skill line) – You trade stamina for magicka and health which is great for our setup since we have such a large stamina pool often times it’s a quick exchange to be full up on both again.
- Daedric Minefield (morph of Daedric Mines | Dark Magic skill line) – An AoE immobilization comes in handy when retreating or in a choke point though I don’t main bar this as I frequently have niche uses for the skill.
- Hardened Ward (morph of Conjured Ward | Daedric Summoning skill line) – I keep my shield(s) on this bar as well so I have some type of defensive if I get attacked on this bar.
- Harness Magicka (morph of Annulment | Light Armor skill line) – This is flexible slot, but if you’re not going to use Harness on your second bar, put it here so you can cast, turn off Overload then get another shield via Hardened Ward.
- Energy Overload (morph of Overload | Storm Calling skill line) – Same as above.
Main Five Piece Sets (Max Stats)
- Overall – Shacklebreaker – Craftable set, six traits in Morrowind DLC. The main advantage of this set is the max stats which our shields scale off of. Additionally, we have no inherit way to counter roots and snares so dodge rolling and using large amounts of stamina even on a magicka build becomes very useful.
- Secondary – Amberplasm from Ruins of Mazzatun Dungeon. This set has great recovery to both stamina and magicka but the downside is no large max stat pool. It’s debatable which is better, but are great options for a main (always on) five piece.
Secondary Five Piece Sets (Recovery or Defensive)
- Overall – Shroud of the Lich found in Crypt of Hearts dungeon. A staple for magicka builds because of it’s unique proc. You only need this active on one bar and when you swap, you get the recovery anyways (I can reach 4,000 on my Argonian buffed).
- Secondary – Wizard’s Repose from Battleground Renown awards. A staggeringly powerful defensive set that when critically hit (you’re shields go down) you apply minor maim on a target. I highly recommend this set over everything else IF you are new, have trouble bar swapping, or can’t keep your shields up.
- Masters – Veteran Dragonstar Arena reward and well worth it. This fundamentally changes the build allowing us to have a low cost on demand stun at range.
- Asylum – Normal or Vet Asylum Trial in Clockwork City. This gives additional chances for status effect via Force Shock, which I would use over Reach IF I didn’t have access to the DSA staff.
- Domihaus found in Horns of the Reach dungeon. Makes a great one piece because of the max stats it provides though we don’t need the two piece.
Consumables, Race & Mundus
Armor Weights: Since Sorcerer builds are unique in that shields aren’t affected by resistances, Light armor here makes the most sense. Running 5 light, 1 heavy and 1 medium provides us with a larger stat pool which is also ideal if possible.
Food: Clockwork Citrus Filet from the Clockwork City DLC is optimal because it provides max health and magicka, and magicka recovery and health recovery! A cheaper alternative is the Witchmother’s Brew (a holiday event recipe).
Attributes: All magicka 64.
Potions: Stick with the standard Tri-Potion that give you back all three resources (health, stamina and magicka). You can craft these with Bugloss, Columbine and Mountain Flower (and more combinations).
Race: A pure min/maxer will want to select High Elf, Dunmer or Breton for this build. However, I stuck with Argonian since that’s my favorite all around race and once again, prove that you can play these builds with sub-optimal races. But if you were going to start from scratch, High Elf would be my choice.
Mundus: The Mage is the ideal mundus in my opinion since our damage, shields and healing is all scaling off of max magicka.
Traits: Armor traits are tricky because shields cannot be critically hit so infused sounds very enticing, but some point your shields will go down and expose you to zero impenetrable can be dangerous. Newer players, all impen, average players can do 3 infused on large pieces and 4 impen to be safe, while beast mode Sorcs might use all infused for super high magicka (risk/reward).
Infection: Vampire is a must in my opinion due to the passive recovery and Undeath passive.
I constantly change champion points and truly don’t feel there is a “one sized fits all.” If you don’t see the logic in my selection, change it.
The Mage (Blue)
- Elfborn – 44
- Elemental Expert – 49
- Spell Erosion – 51
- Masters-at-Arms – 40
- Staff Expert – 9
- Thaumaturge – 37
The Thief (Green)
- Warlord – 50
- Sprinter – 10
- Arcanist – 70
- Mooncalf – 20
- Tenacity – 50
- Tumbling – 30
The Warrior (Red)
- Ironclad – 21
- Elemental Defender – 29
- Hardy – 34
- Thick Skinned – 36
- Expert Defender – 3
- Quick Recovery – 7
- Bastion – 100
Thanks for reading our ESO PvP Magic Sorcerer Build!