Best ESO Classes: PvP Tier List

The Best ESO Classes: PvP Tier List compiles the best and worst PvP classes for The Elder Scrolls Online Necrom Chapter after countless hours of playing and build-crafting in the Elder Scrolls Online.

Classes PvP Tier List - The Elder Scrolls Online

This article has been updated for update 40, Endless Archive in The Elder Scrolls Online.

What Is The Best ESO Class in PvP?

Stamina Dragonknight Bomber

The hybrid Stamina Dragonknight is the best class in ESO PvP.  With the best-in-class ultimate, resource sustain, dot pressure, and ease of play, the Stamdk remains too good not to rank number one. With very few changes over the past 1.5 years in ESO, Stamdk remains the strongest PvP class overall. However, we firmly believe that 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
1Stamina DragonknightS+
2Stamina WardenS
3Magicka NightbladeS-
4Magicka DragonknightA+
5Stamina ArcanistA
6Magicka ArcanistA
7Stamina TemplarA-
8Magicka TemplarB+
9Stamina SorcererB
10Magicka WardenB
11Stamina NightbladeB-
12Magicka SorcererC+
13Magicka NecromancerC
14Stamina NecromancerC-
ESO PvP Tier List

Best ESO Classes: PvP Tier List

The best and worst classes in the 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 like Battlegrounds (4v4), Cyrodiil (Open World), Imperial City, and dueling. This list puts together and gives opinions on the best and worst PvP classes in ESO.

What Changes for ESO PvP and Classes in Update 40, the Necrom Chapter?

The biggest change in ESO PvP in update 40 is new item sets being introduced with the Endless Archive. The most impactful of these new gear sets are for the Dragonknight class. However, most players are still using Daedric Trickery, Mechanical Acuity, and other sets. Moreover, the Dragonknight saw a slight nerf in Corrosive Armor. You will no longer be able to build and generate ultimate, while under Corrosive Armor effects.

These small adjustments did not change the PvP meta from melee damage dealers ruling the landscape of ESO PvP. The majority of PvP is about burst, stacking as much damage in as small of a window as possible. To that end, you will see the same common setups in most PvP builds in ESO. Front bar dual-wield alongside a back bar frost staff. The reason is, that Dual Wield provides (in general) the best passive boost to damage. While Frost staff has block mitigation and range.

Additionally, ZOS buffed two-handed builds, specifically the active stills and passives. In order to make two-handed builds effective in ESO PvP, you need to rely nearly entirely on the skill line for damage. This is helpful for classes that lack an impactful main spammable and gives a variety of options. However, expect more of the same that has been the meta for over 1 year. Below we will explain the best and worst ESO classes in PvP in our Tier List guide.

Stamina Necromancer (C- Tier)

Stamina Necromancer PvP Build
Stamina Necromancer PvP Build
Stamcro PvP ProsStamcro PvP Cons
High BurstPredicable Damage
Great AoEConstant Buffing
Good UltimatesWarden is Better

The Stamina Necromancer is rated C- tier and is lacking in nearly all areas when compared to classes with similar gear and play skill levels. In general, the Stamcro can be summed up as a weaker version than a Stamina Warden.  The main bursting tool, blast-bones, constantly misses, doesn’t land on targets nor does it hit as hard. It also rewards you for playing at a distance which is counter-intuitive to the class melee playstyle. The Warden’s burst combo is superior in every way with Deep Fissure. It doesn’t require a target, debuffs armor, and hits twice. The Stamcro survivability is also much weaker due to a previous nerf in Spirit Mender. With little healing, utility, and mediocre burst, it’s just a much weaker Stamina Warden.

The most effective playstyle remains the burst combo using a combination of off-balance Dizzying Swing, and Dawnbreaker as your Blastbones lands.  You can nuke beginner players easily with this as they won’t see it coming.  Veteran players will see this predictable telegraph a mile away and stun, dodge or avoid the damage entirely.

Playing the Stamcro is objectively boring 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. Currently, it’s a weak husk of its former self and the worst class in ESO PvP.

Magicka Necromancer (C Tier)

Magicka Necromancer PvP Build
Magicka Necromancer PvP Build
Magcro PvP ProsMagcro PvP Cons
Good AoE DamageNerfed Synergy
Group UtilityBombing Playstyle Weak
SurvivabilityNothing Special

The Magicka Necromancers is a slightly enhanced version of the stamina Necromancer, therefore rating them at C tier in ESO PvP. With similar problems to the Stamcro, the Magcro can still be a “bomber,” killing large groups in a single instance. The Nightblade and Dragonknight are simply better at this task and most bomber playstyles have switched classes.

The Magcro suffers from weak weapon choices and slow mobility. The Magcro had some advantages over the Stamcro currently like Elusive Mist, Stalking Blastbones, Better Bombing, and group utility. The days of fearing every Magcro in Cyrodiil have vanished and the class doesn’t have much to offer outside of the occasional really good bomber. You can play at range and make a very good dueling build, but this is usually due to the cheesy proc sets rather than the innate strengths of the class.

Magicka Sorcerer (C+ Tier)

Magicka Sorcerer PvP Build
Magicka Sorcerer PvP Build
Mag Sorc ProsMag Sorc Cons
High MobilityConstant Bar Swapping
Good Single TargetShutdown with Reflects
Class ExecuteLimited AoE Damage

Magicka Sorcerer has been a staple in ESO PvP but is weak in the current meta ranking C+ tier. The Magsorc’s main calling card is mobility with Streak, but with a revamp to Vampire Skill Line, everyone can have a similar teleport with Elusive Mist. The Magsorc primary defensive capabilities are shields. These got changed in Update 37 which allows you to stack health or magicka freeing up some defensive gear choices from heavy armor. But these defensive shields do not stack (increase in effectiveness) with spell or weapon damage.  Thus the class is pigeonholed into an archaic playstyle of shield stacking. 

The class also remains heavily magicka-dependent and doesn’t do well with stamina skills outside of Resolving Vigor. Unlike other magicka classes, like Nighblade and Dragonknight, who can hybridize effectively, the Magsorc suffers for nearly entire magicka-based skills. The Magsorc also lacks in-class damage over time skills so you commonly see this build and playstyle adopt a back bar Frost Staff with Elemental Suscptabliity because the Magsorc has very little DoT pressure.

What the class can do well is single target pressure and ranged execute ability.  But in today’s game, you can argue that the Templar is much more effective at this.  With an ancient playstyle, weak hybrid adaptation, and non-reliable burst heal, you are left with the Magsorc. The class now only feels dominant as a Mage’s Fury executes spammer in Battlegrounds or a Negate bot in Ball groups.

Stamina Nightblade (B- Tier)

Stamina Nightblade PvP Build
Stamina Nightblade PvP Build
Stamblade PvP ProsStamblade PvP Cons
High BurstHigh Skill Cap
Great SurvivabilityMagblade is MUCH Better
Unique Stealth AbilityVampire Required

When it comes to fighting outnumbered, the Stamina Nightblade still makes a great choice but is considerably lower than others ranking it B- Tier in ESO PvP. The strengths remain the same, a unique cloak, high burst, and good survivability.  However, ZOS has changed the Concealed Weapon skill to give a unique 10% damage increase when Major Expedition ends.  Combine this skill with Twisting Path, which creates this buff every second, you’re looking at a permanent boost to overall damage.  Moreover, Surprise Attack no longer stuns but critical hits from the flank.  And you come to the realization that Magicka Nightblade is the proper way to play this class considering everything incentives you to play this style rather than a stamina main spammable.

ZOS also tries to remove ganking from their game (one-shotting players).  It’s still possible to do so, with much more effort and must less survivability. Most of the high burst proc sets have a significant delay or do damage over time rather than instantly. 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.  The moment you spec into Magicka Attribute and change your main spammable option, the build becomes an absolute juggernaut and that is why I HIGHLY recommend switching to a Magblade.

Magicka Warden (B Tier)

Magicka Warden PvP Build
Magicka Warden PvP Build
Magden ProsMagden Cons
Great DamageConstant Buffing
God Tier UtilityRequires Stamina Skills
Amazing SurvivabilityWeak Resource Sustain

One of the strongest support builds is the Magden ranking it B Tier in ESO PvP. What hurts the Magden is nerfs in 2023 limiting the effectiveness of the snares, and crowd control this class possessed. While this was second to none, now it’s weaker and significantly less effective than previous patches and updates for ESO.

The Magden excels at healing, survivability, and group utility.  Whether playing solo or 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 Sorcerer (B Tier)

Stamina Sorcerer PvP Build
Stamina Sorcerer PvP Build
Stam Sorc PvP ProsStam Sorc PvP Cons
High MobilityWeak Healing
Great BurstRequires Constant Movement
Mega Group UtilityMist Form is Similar to Streak

Unlike the Magsorc, the Stamina Sorcerer has better weapon and gear choices ranking it higher at B tier in ESO PvP. In ESO Update 38, ZOS changed how Dark Exchange functions giving the class more damage with minor berserk. This build is effective with all three weapon types, Dual Wield with proc setup, Two-Handed high weapon damage, or Bow with proc sets. What the Stamsorc struggles with is reliable burst healing and the constant use of Dark Deal for resource sustain.

This combination of Dark Dealing and streaking isn’t a problem in the open field.  However, once your situational awareness dips, you get bashed doing a Dark Deal and you can’t burst to heal like the other classes, you die instantly.  In the right hands, the Stamsorc can rely on mind-numbing speed only for survivability, everyone else has to be focused 100% or they will die.

Where the Stamsorc currently shines is in open space areas where they can zip away and line of sight. The damage and burst remain one of the highest in the game, especially at range. Pick your spot when you want to attack, then peel back. But when you’re forced into closed spaces, or someone has a gap closer mobility tool to catch you, then you’re just an average class.

Magicka Templar (B+ Tier)

Magicka Templar PvP Build
Magicka Templar PvP Build
Magplar PvP ProsMagplar PvP Cons
Great ExecuteLacks Mobility
Incredibly SurvivableForce into Range
Beginner FriendlyWeak main spammable

One of the most survivable classes in ESO PvP is the Magica Templar, thus ranking it as a B+ tier on our ESO PvP tier list. 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 gives you the ability 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.  The issue is, when you go into “turtle” mode, defending yourself, you have little ability to flip the fight in your favor.  Mainly you wait until death or a zerg shows up to 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 (A- Tier)

Stamina Templar PvP Build
Stamina Templar PvP Build
Stamplar ProsStamplar Cons
High BurstLacks Mobility
Great HealingClass Spammable Weak
Amazing ExecuteGear Dependent

The Stamina Templar is now considered a dominant class in ESO PvP again due to two-handed rework, thus ranking it A- Tier.  Update 37 saw a rework of Wrecking Blow giving you major berserk for a short period.  This frees up many flexible build options that can perform well in PvP using Dual Wield with proc sets or Two-Handed Wrecking Blow spammable.  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 amazing healing via Honor the Dead and Living Dark with 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.

Why the Stamplar isn’t higher is 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.  I enjoy this class most in a 1vX keep fight scenario and think it shines in dueling.

Magicka Arcanist (A Tier)

Magicka Arcanist PvP Build Pragmatic Fatecarver
Magicka Arcanist PvP Build Pragmatic Fatecarver
MagArc PvP ProsMagArc PvP Cons
Good range damageVulnerable while beaming
Incredibly durableTrickey Spammable
Battlefield Control

In the right hands, the Magicka Arcanist can be absolutely devastating as a damage dealer or heal, ranking it A tier in ESO PvP. 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 version of the Arcanist that is player-dependent. The magic versions of the class are similar to stam using mainly the same weapons, gear, and playstyle. What separates the two versions is Stamina has better-burst damage gear choices coming from medium armor. Moreover, stamina is needed to dodge, and break free in a sprint, and having a larger pool just keeps you alive longer.

The saving grace of the class is crowd control and group utility. As a support class, the MagArc shines providing great group buffs, stuns, and immobilization.

Stamina Arcanist (A Tier)

Apocryphal Gate Arcanist Skill ESO
Apocryphal Gate Arcanist Skill
StamArc ProsStamArc Cons
Great sustained damageNo delayed burst
Incredibly durableProc set dependent
Battlefield Control

The Stamina Arcanist has all the strengths of the Magicka Arcanist without the weaknesses and we rank it A tier in ESO PvP. You get incredible crowd control with single target stun at range and area immobilization. The class can be very durable, though it requires two to three defensive and healing skills. You also can solve the lack of innate mobility with medium armor and major expedition.

The Stamarc is best played as a “proc” build, using a combination of Master’s Dual Wield and Vateshran Ice staff. This meta setup allows for huge sustained dot pressure and great survivability. The class and developers really 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 does “okay.” Consider the Stam Arcanist one of the strongest Bomber setups as well using Master Two-Handed and Dark Convergence to nuke massive groups.

The reason it is outclassed as a stamina PvP build is no delayed bursting tool. Think of the Warden using Deep Fissure or Templar with Power of the Light. 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 just great. The Stamina Arcanist in the right hands makes an amazing PvP build with a lot of variety in how you play it, just not number one currently.

Magicka Dragonknight (A+ Tier)

Magicka Dragonknight PvP Build
Magicka Dragonknight PvP Build

One of the strongest PvP classes remains the magicka dragonknight, coming in at A+ Tier in ESO PvP.  Similar to the Arcanist, both magicka and Stamina Dragonkight play similarly. You see nearly identical weapons, skills, and champions points. However, what separates the two is Stamina DK has more stamina and access to unique medium armor sets.

The Magdk also nearly requires the use of Elusive Mist for mobility otherwise players can easily just run away from you. With a pure magicka build, you will lack an execute though have incredible survivability. The main issue with the Mag vs Stam debate comes down to gear sets, weapon choices, and passives. This is where medium armor, two-handed, and dual wield shine. You get your missing execute, you make a Two-Handed bomber build and 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 build in ESO and something that is enjoyable to play.

Magicka Nightblade (S- Tier)

Magicka Nightblade PvP Build
Magicka Nightblade PvP Build
MagBlade ProsMagBlade Cons
The Best Burst PossibleVERY High Skillcap
Insane HealingRequires Constant Buffs
Can Bomb or 1vX 
Great Group Utility 

The remaining of the strongest and most difficult classes to play in ESO PvP is the Magblade, ranking S- tier on the list. The Magblade in the right hand is literally the best dueling or outnumbered 1vx fighting in ESO unquestionably.  The downside, it has to be the right player with the right level of skill, 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:

  • Highest burst damage with one-shot potential spectral bow proc.
  • Highest burst healing with 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.

And that is about some of why the Magblade is so strong.  If it weren’t for the complex buffs, bar swapping, and situational awareness required, this class would be the unquestioned #1 in ESO PvP.

Stamina Warden (S Tier)

Stamina Warden PvP Build
Stamina Warden PvP Build
StamDen ProsStamDen Cons
Mind-Numbing BurstWeak Resource Sustain
Great Self-HealingRequires Constant Buffing
Incredible Mobility
Flexible Build Options 

When it comes to power, speed, and burst the Stamina Warden shines, ranking it S Tier in our Best ESO Classes: PvP Tier List. 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 it weren’t for those two things, the Stamden would be number one because of the raw damage, mobility, and off-healing group utility.

Stamina Dragonknight (S+ Tier)

Stamina Dragonknight PvP Build
Stamina Dragonknight PvP Build
StamDK ProsStamDK Cons
Best SurvivabilityMagicka Dependent
Easy to StartWeak off-healing
Amazing Resource Sustain 
Flexibility in Builds 

The best class in our ESO Classes PvP Tier List is the Stamina Dragonknight PvP Build, ranked S+ tier. The Stamdk 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 rework, high mobility.  The major downside is the use of many magicka skills to make it work, which you could argue is more of a magdk than stamdk.  The major pros of the Stamina Dragonknight:

  • 12 Seconds of near invincibility and 100% penetration on direct damage with Corrosive Armor.
  • Some of the best resources sustain and ultimate generation for playing aggressively.
  • Built-in major breach, major/minor brutality, major defile, and major mending.
  • Great burst healing and healing over time from multiple sources.
  • Gear sets give you a huge advantage when using procs and defensive sets.
  • All of your ultimates are amazing for defensive and offensive potential.

When you build the DK right, you’ll be sitting at around 6,000 Weapon Damage, 30,000 Resistance, high critical, multiple proc sets, and a massive stat pool.  The easiest experiment you can do for “is this class the best?” Look around at all the “high” level players and see what they are playing.  Most likely it will be a Stamina Dragonknight and if you haven’t tried it yet we strongly recommended it.

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