Best ESO Classes: PvP Tier List

The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) Classes PvP Tier List ranks the best and worst PvP classes and summarizes each pros and cons.

Classes PvP Tier List - The Elder Scrolls Online

Updated on March 14, 2024, for update 41 and Scions of Ithelia in The Elder Scrolls Online. 

What Is The Best ESO Class in PvP?

Stamina Nightblade PvP Build

The Nightblade class is the best class in ESO PvP in Update 41 Scions of Ithelia DLC. Buff with more damage, survivability, and resource sustain, the Nightblade hits the holy trinity of damage, survival, and mobility. Unlike other classes, the Nightblade can excel as a solo player, 1vX, in a group and escape huge groups by stealing or running away. Our second choice is the Dragonknight, which blends damage, survivability, and best resource sustain in a more easy-to-play class than the Nightblade. However, we firmly believe you should always play the class and playstyle you are most excited about and passionate about.

ESO PvP Class and Build Tier List:

The Table below ranks and lists all ESO Classes from the best to the worst:

ESO PvP RankClassTier Ranking
ESO PvP Tier List

The best and worst classes in Elder Scrolls Online shift radically from patch to patch. Balance and meta are in constant flux, so take this as a general rule of thumb. ESO features a variety of PvP content, such as Battlegrounds (4v4), Cyrodiil (Open World), Imperial City, and dueling. This list puts together and gives opinions on ESO’s best and worst PvP classes.

Necromancer (C Tier)

The Necromancer currently does nothing well and we ranked it the worst class in ESO PvP at C tier. The Necromancer class isn’t fast, effective, or bursty, nor is it fun to play, and here’s why.

Update 41 Class Balance Changes in the Elder Scrolls Online

Update 41 changed the Necromancer’s one saving grace, Blastbones. The Stalking Blastbones ability, which increased damage the further it traveled, was changed to give you a self-buff, increasing your damage over time. This ruined not only the class for PvE but also for PvP.

Necromancer Class Pros

  • Good Area Damage – Using Blighted Blastbones and Dual Wield is still good area damage.
  • Decent Healer – healing with the Necromancer is good with powerful buffs and burst heal.
  • Block tanking – if you enjoy AFK gameplay duck taping your block button, the Necromancer is perfect.

Necromancer Class Cons

  • Dreadfully slow – you must spend resources and skills to get major expedition or die crawling away from a zerg.
  • Does nothing well – there’s nothing you do on a Necromancer class another class cannot do better.
  • Lowest fun factor – if you enjoy nothing but buff cycling and attacking once every 15 seconds, pick the Necromancer.

Most other classes have some strength, including resource sustain, single target damage, utility, or burst, but not the Necromancer. In its glory days, it was the best bomber, had the greatest burst damage, and was tankiest of all classes. Now it’s been relegated to a block tank sitting on the front porch of Bleakers playing with themselves. Rest in peace next time; we will see you again once we update the Best ESO Classes PvP Tier List.

Magicka Necromancer

The Magcro suffers from weak weapon choices and slow mobility. The Magcro can play effectively as a tank, status effect arena weapon player, and that’s about it. You can build to survive, damage, or have mobility, but not all three are like other classes. Unfortunately, there’s not much to recommend or enjoy from a Magicka Necromancer. I’d avoid this class outside of dueling, tanking, and healing.

Stamina Necromancer

The Stamcro can be summed up as a weaker version of a Stamina Warden.  The primary bursting tool, Stalking Blastbones, was changed, and you can take the lower damage version, Blighted Blastbones. Even then, the skill misses can be avoided or is inconsistent. Your combo revolves around Blastbones, Dizzy Swing, Dawnbreaker, and Executioner. However, these days, the Warden does it effortlessly with Deep Fissure while Blastbone is gutted.

Playing the Stamcro is objectively dull and stale. You spend most of your time cycling over 5-6 buffs constantly, only to have a small burst window. If you miss it, you’re back to cycling buffs and watching everyone else have fun and fight. At its apex, Stamcro was one of the most fun builds in the history of ESO. It’s a weak husk of its former self and the worst class in ESO PvP.

Templar (B Tier)

Magicka Templar PvP Build

The Templar is a beginner-friendly, durable class in ESO PvP; therefore, we rank it as B Tier. You can survive very easily on a Templar and have the best execute in all of PvP. However, it’s hard to flip a fight once it is not in your favor. Moreover, your burst healing is similar in effectiveness as other classes, and outside of a range execute you bring little to ESO PvP.

Templar Class Pros

  • Best Execute – Radiant Glory remains the best range ultimate, and it heals you based on damage done.
  • Beginner Friendly – you can survive with little effort holding block and spamming Breath of Life.
  • One-vs-One – experienced duelers can one-vs-one nearly any class and it remains powerful in a duel.

Templar Class Cons

  • Weak Sustain – Templars still suffer from weak sustain and take multiple skills or sets to carry their resources.
  • Lower Mobility – this is yet another class that has terrible innate mobility.
  • Constant Buff Cycling – like the Necro, you need to constantly buff to avoid lower resources, damage, or health.

Magicka Templar

One of the most survivable classes in ESO PvP is the Magica Templar. While the Templar mains spammable saw a drastic change in 2022, the class can still do damage melee or at range. Using a combination of gear like Mechanical Acuity, the Magplar can still excel at melee damage. Moreover, the build is an effective range damage dealer with Dark Flare and Mist Form for mobility.

Magplar’s makes exceptional beginner builds as tanks or healers. The innate toughness of the class, combined with a unique cleanse and burst healing, allows you to be very survivable when you are new to PvP.  This is what we recommend to people who feel frustrated dying. Equip Sword and Shield, Living Dark, block and heal.  When you go into “turtle” mode, defending yourself, you cannot flip the fight in your favor.  You mainly wait until death or a zerg shows up in your defense.

Consider the Magplar a decent PvP build that, if optimized for range, can be a dominant force on any battlefield and is exceptional for beginners.

Stamina Templar

The Stamplar remains very survivable, and converting to stamina attributes and weapon choices gives you much greater flexibility in your main spammable and playstyle. Moreover, you can solve the weak class speed with Vampire Elusive Mist and resource sustain problems with a two-piece monster helm Roksa.

The Stamplar also has fantastic healing via Honor the Dead and Living Dark and has the strongest execution skill in the game.  You use your magicka pool for healing and range damage while stamina for DoTs and bursts.  Speaking of burst, you have one of the strongest bursting tools in the game with Power of the Light.  Soak up damage like a sponge, and boom, execute, and the target is dead.

The Stamplar isn’t higher because other classes have more damage, survivability, or better ultimates.  The Stamplar also doesn’t have the off healing the Stamden does or the damage synergies the Dragonknight provides. 

Sorcerer (B+ Tier)

The Elder Scrolls Online - ESO Perfected Concentrated Force

The Sorcerer saw a much-needed boost to their survivability in the form of increased shield healing, burst to heal within the class, and more crowd control ranking it B+ Tier. With the changes in the status effects, the Sorcerer can now use the Asylum Destruction staff with Force Pulse and bring back the shield-stacking Sorc builds of old. However, the Sorcerer is still more difficult to play than other classes, and while the floor is much higher for the class, the ceiling is slightly lower than our S tier classes.

Sorcerer Class Pros

  • Dominate at Range – Whether Magicka or Stamina, sit back and Force Pulse or Crystal Weapon targets to death.
  • Best Mobility – Streak is still the most powerful mobility skill in ESO.
  • Great Burst – Your combos are some of the most devastating in ESO PvP, though hard to pull off.

Sorcerer Class Cons

  • Weak Healing – while the healing is buffed, it’s still not as dominant as other classes.
  • Lower AOE – the stamina and magicka Sorcerers have vastly different potentials in Area Damage.
  • Difficult to Play – the Sorcerer requires constant situational awareness.

Magicka Sorcerer

Magicka Sorcerer PvP

The Magsorc is making a comeback into one of the best classes for ESO PvP with buffs to status effects, shields, and healing. The class and playstyle retain high damage per second with burst, mobility, and better survivability. However, it’s still difficult for some players to pull off the combos while constantly streaking for survival.

This class and playstyle might be too low on the list, and we can adjust after further playtesting because the top two classes are so strong. If you’ve enjoyed the shield-stacking Force Pulse Sorc builds of the past, now is the time to come back to ESO PvP.

Stamina Sorcerer

Stamina Sorcerer PvP Build

The Stamina Sorcerer now excels at range and melee damage with better survivability. The class has weaker resource sustain but makes up for it with monster helm and mythic options. The Stam Sorc remains one of the highest burst classes in the game but also requires focus and situational awareness to avoid death. This playstyle of burst and retreat is even more effective and makes it a viable option for any ESO PvP context.

Arcanist (A Tier)

The Arcanist is still a dominant PvP class with area damage, single target, high survivability, and ease of play, and we ranked it A Tier. The downside of the class is its weak mobility, requiring a Vampire or other skills to obtain a major expedition. Moreover, you must be cautious while Beaming or using Fatecarver to avoid interrupts and incoming stuns. Lastly, the class skill Fatecarver damage was nerfed by 7%, and the shield from Pragmatic Fatecarver was reduced by 16%. This is enough to gut the class, but noticeably weaker in PvP.

Arcanist Class Pros

  • Range – the Arcanist excels at doing high single target and area range damage with Fatecarver.
  • Cleave Damage – Unlike other classes, you have two skills that act as a single target and cleave flammables.
  • Great Survivability – your in-class skills for armor, resources, healing, and shield are powerful.

Arcanist Class Cons

  • Nerfed Damage – the damage and shield nerf to Pragmatic Fatecarver hurt the class overall.
  • Weak Mobility – like the Templar, you need outside skill lines to have high, reliable mobility.
  • Easy to LOS – if not careful, a player can avoid all of your burst damage simply by line of sighting behind a tree.

Magicka Arcanist

Magicka Arcanist PvP Build Pragmatic Fatecarver

In the right hands, the Magicka Arcanist can be devastating as a damage dealer or healer. The trick to using the class is finding the right timing and positioning using Pragmatic Fatecarve. This 4.5-second channel with a shield cannot be interrupted while the shield holds, but this is cut in half in PvP. This translates to huge damage but also vulnerability to bash and crowd control.

Thus, you end up with a powerful, player-dependent version of the Arcanist. The magic versions of the class are similar to stam, which mainly uses the same weapons, gear, and playstyle. Stamina’s better-burst damage gear choices from medium armor separate the two versions. Moreover, stamina is needed to dodge and break free in a sprint, and having a larger pool keeps you alive longer. As a support class, the MagArc shines, providing great group buffs, stuns, and immobilization.

Stamina Arcanist

Apocryphal Gate Arcanist Skill ESO

The Stamina Arcanist has all the strengths of the Magicka Arcanist without the weaknesses. You get incredible crowd control with single target stun at range and area immobilization. The class can be very durable, requiring two to three defensive and healing skills. You can also solve the lack of innate mobility with medium armor and major expeditions.

The Stamarc is best played as a “proc” build, combining Master’s Dual Wield and Vateshran Ice staff. This meta setup allows for huge sustained dot pressure and great survivability. The class and developers want you to use “Fatecarver,” a 4.5-second beam that does hit very hard. The skill is too vulnerable to interrupts, stuns, bashes, and line of sight. However, once you drop that playstyle and adopt something else, the class is mediocre damage or entirely avoidable.

It is outclassed as a stamina PvP build because there is no delayed bursting tool. Think of the Warden using Deep Fissure or Templar with Power of the Light. It is a huge damage skill that hits after a delay, which “chunks” your opponents. The Arcanist doesn’t have anything like this nor a hard-hitting dot. You can play the build with Two-Handed Wrecking Block, Dual Wield proc setup, or bomber and do great. In the right hands, the Stamina Arcanist makes an amazing PvP build with a lot of variety in how you play it, but it’s just not number one currently.

Warden (A+ Tier)

The Warden class has a blend of powerful burst damage, innate mobility, and high survivability, coming at A+ tier on our Best ESO Classes PvP Tier List. Simply an improved Necromancer, the Warden has better burst, healing, utility, and mobility. The Warden class is effective as a status effect procing machine with Magicka or a two-handed burst monster with Stamina. In a high-health Meta, the Warden shines due to healing scaling off of max health. It is truly hard to rank the Warden as not first or second class, but the constant buff cycling and weak main spammable hold it back.

Warden Class Pros

  • Burst Using Deep Fissure, Meteor, or Dawnbreaker, you can do some of the best burst damage in ESO PvP.
  • Utility – You can argue that the Warden is the best PvP healer, offering great buffs and utility.
  • Survival – With a high-health meta, the Warden shines with burst healing and healing over time capabilities.

Warden Class Cons

  • Buff Cycling – most of your skills are just for buffs and increased damage requiring constant attention.
  • Weak Sustain – like the Templar, your sustain is weaker than other classes.
  • Complex Timing – timing Deep Fissure, Dizzy Swing, and Dawnbreaker is complex and difficult to pull off.

Magicka Warden

Magicka Warden PvP Build

The Magden excels at healing, survivability, and group utility.  Whether playing in a group, there’s always room for a magden because of the frost/chilled status effect passive. The resource sustains with a skill line Leeching Vines and the AoE stun of Artic Blast or Polar Wind burst heal. This class also hinders large groups with its constant double-ice staff snares and stuns. 

The Magden requires either a lot of sustain or the use of stamina skills to resource sustain.  It also requires constant buffing and complexity to get the most out of the class. While the class has great burst, the variety in weapon choices just isn’t there like other classes, and if you play a Stamden, you get all the utility that Magden provides, but better weapon and spammable choices. Magden is still a strong and useful PvP class, and in the right hands, you will be known on the battlefield!

Stamina Warden

Stamina Warden PvP Build

When it comes to power, speed, and burst the Stamina Warden shines in ESO PvP. With the Stamden, you have flexibility in build choices, great healing, and high mobility.  What holds the class back is resources sustain issues and most of the skills require magicka not stamina.

Another strength of the stamina warden is the class possesses innate buffs, like weapon/spell damage and critical. The class also has a massive armor pen with deep fissures and huge critical damage with a passive advanced species.  Making the Stamden the best for pure flexibility. 

The two major downsides to the Stamden are the constant need for buff cycling and the weak resource sustain.  If not for those two things, the Stamden would be number one because of the raw damage, mobility, and off-healing group utility.

Dragonknight (S Tier)

The Dragonknight is the second strongest class in ESO PvP currently due to its high damage, survivability, and simplistic ranking in S Tier. Dragonknight has long been the best class in ESO PvP, but their lack of mobility and reliance on Elusive Mist keeps them slightly behind the Nightblade. What the DK does well is use any weapon, or armor setup and have amazing damage while simultaneously great survivability.

Unlike the Warden, the DK’s resource sustain is easy, with ultimates returning resources via Battle Roar. The last issue with the DK is it’s difficult to get away solo or from a Zerg due to your weak mobility. Thus, the Nightblade ranks slightly higher on our Best ESO Classes PvP Tier List due to Shadowy Cloak’s innate mobility.

Dragonknight Class Pros

  • Best Sustain – resource sustain is an easy mode. Just pop an ultimate, tri-pot, or both and get a constant flood of resources.
  • Damage – the DK excels at a single target, area, and damage over time.
  • Survival – while Corrosive Armor was nerfed recently, it’s still the best defensive ultimate with in-class burst healing.

Dragonknight Class Cons

  • Lacks Off Healing – The DK is no Warden when playing in a group, though you have Shifting Standard, Talons, and Igneous Weapons.
  • Weak Mobility – DK is reilant on Elusive Misty, skills, or speed gear sets.
  • Hard to Get Away – Once you are “dog-piled,” you simply cannot get away like the Nightblade or Sorcerer.

Magicka Dragonknight

Magicka Dragonknight PvP Build

One of the strongest PvP classes remains the magicka dragonknight due to its damage and survivability.  The Magdk nearly requires using Elusive Mist for mobility; otherwise, players can easily just run away from you. With a pure magicka build, you will lack an execute, though you have incredible survivability.

The main issue with the Mag vs Stam debate is gear sets, weapon choices, and passives. This is where medium armor, two-handed, and dual wield shine. You get your missing execute, and you make a two-handed bomber build. Stam can just slightly outclass Magicka in this regard. The pros for Magdk are power damage over time, the best ultimates (plural) in the game, and incredible survivability. If played with the meta Mechanical Acuity loadout, you will have an insane burst window that will nuke down groups or solo players quickly. Magdk remains one of the best, most aggressive style builds in ESO and something enjoyable to play.

Stamina Dragonknight

Stamina Dragonknight PvP Build

While not the best, the Stamina Dragonknight PvP build still hits the sweet spot between resource sustain, survivability, mobility, damage, and ease of play.  Pick this up as a serious player or a beginner, and you will feel powerful with or without meta gear.  You have flexibility in skills, gear, and weapon choices, and now, with Elusive Mist, you have high mobility.  The major downside is using many magicka skills to make it work, which you could argue is more of a magdk than stamdk

The StamDK also has many viable build options. Our favorite is the dual-wield Master dual-wield status effect setup. You can “bomb” large groups using a two-handed Masters Greatsword or traditional Two-Handed dueling build. Even the Bow can work well on the Dragonknight in the right hands. If it weren’t for weak mobility, this class would rank higher.

Nightblade (S+ Tier)

The best overall class in ESO PvP is the Nightblade ranked as S+ Tier because it has the highest burst, best resource sustain, and freakist skill combinations of any class in ESO. It’s the only class that can evade an entire Zerg of 20+ players with constant stealth or Dark Shade, teleporting above or below a level. In the most recent update, Nightblade’s Concealed Weapon was buffed, ultimate buffed, and even better resource sustain. Our preferred build is playing Magicka melee brawler in heavy armor using Magicka-based skills.

The only weakness of the class is it is not easy to play. Constant buffs, resource attention, situational awareness, and ad timing are required to be effective. However, if you have the skill in ESO PvP, this is the best for you.

Nightblade Class Pros

  • Best Burst- ganker, brawler, or using the Asylum staff with Force Pulse, you have the highest burst damage as a Nightblade.
  • Stealth– a unique MMO skill that allows for constant stealth, avoiding any fight you wish.
  • Playstyle – whether range, melee, bomber, healer or ranged bow user, the Nightblade dominates all forms of PvP.

Nightblade Class Cons

  • Complex – the only downside to playing a Nightblade is that it requires a high skill cap and knowledge of ESO PvP.

Magicka Nightblade

Magicka Nightblade PvP Build

The overall strongest playstyle in the Best ESO Classes PvP Tier List is the Magicka Nightblade. The Magblade in the right hand is unquestionably the best dueling or outnumbered 1vx fighting in ESO.  The downside is that it has to be the right player with the right skill level, reaction time, and situational awareness. Keeping a broad view of these classes in ESO, we rank it third because most players won’t be able to pull off what they often see or hear.  But if you are one of those players, here’s what the Magblade can do:

  • The highest burst damage is with a one-shot potential spectral bow proc.
  • The highest burst healing is achieved with the Healthy Offering magicka skill.
  • Mobility and healing over time to you AND your group.
  • Incredible in class ultimate and flexibility when picking weapons.
  • Can bomb, 1vX, or heal, it doesn’t matter.
  • Siphoning Attacks for infinite resource sustain
  • Fastest ultimate generation passively.

The only weakness of the class is that complex buffs, bar swapping, and situational awareness required. This is the best of all the classes and playstyle in the ESO Classes PvP Tier List.

Stamina Nightblade

Stamina Nightblade PvP Build

Think of the Stamina Nightblade as a more burst single-target version of the Magicka Nightblade. All the pros and cons remain the same, except for different weapon and armor choices. Zenimax Online Studios (ZOS) tried to remove ganking from their game (one-shotting players).  Doing so with much more effort and less survivability is still possible.

Most of the high burst proc sets have a significant delay or do damage over time rather than instantly. However, you can lower your health and use Titan Born and Truth Sworn Fury to gain a huge advantage while playing as a vampire. Moreover, the Stamblade requires the highest skill cap for the least reward and is not beginner-friendly. And with Stealth Detection potions now having a 43.5-meter range, it’s even harder to be sneaky in PvP.

Stamblade can do well as a bow user with some control skills and high burst proc sets coming out of stealth at range.  It has good survivability but requires a lot of situation awareness and almost mandatory need for the Vampire skill line. When you spec into Magicka Attribute and change your main spammable option, the build becomes an absolute juggernaut, so I HIGHLY recommend switching to a Magblade.

Changes in Update 41 Scions of Ilthelia DLC

Patch 9.3.5 brought two new dungeons, three new rewards of the worthy PvP items, and one new mythic. In addition, many balance changes mainly affected PvE. However, the Necromancer blastbone skill was reworked, significantly weakening an already weak class. Additionally, status effects were changed and are not more impactful. Here is a brief summary of the biggest changes from Update 41:

  1. Class Balance – Arcanist Fatcarver nerfed, Necromancer skills reworked, Sorcerer buffed, Nightblade buff.
  2. Gear Sets – Only the new mythic seems promising so far.
  3. Status Effects – Balance changes keep mainly the same setups with anticipated DPS loss for master dual-wield.
  4. Quality of Life – Helpful changes to Cyrodiil, inventory management, and increased Undaunted Keys.
  5. New Content – Two new dungeons, a prologue quest, and many new collectibles.

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