Best One Bar Build for ESO: PvE Tier List

Discover the best one bar Builds in ESO as this PvE Tier list compiles the best and worst for The Elder Scrolls Online Update 41. 

Best One Bar Build for The Elder Scrolls Online

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

What’s the Best One Bar Build in ESO?

The best one-bar build in ESO Update 41 is the Sorcerer because of damage, survivability, and ease of play. Ranked as an S+ tier, the Sorcerer one bar using Oakensoul Mythic with pets makes the build less complex and produces the highest single-target damage. A secondary choice is the Templar, which has excellent damage and survivability due to its execute Radiant Glory. Moreover, the Templar has additional group utility with synergy skills, making it a perfect choice for group-oriented players. This tier list puts together and gives opinions on ESO’s best and worst One Bar PvE Builds and classes in Update 41.

ESO PvE One Bar Class and Build Tier List:

The Table below ranks and lists all ESO Classes using the one bar build from the best to the worst:

ESO One Bar RankClassTier Ranking
ESO One Bar Heavy Attack Ranking

7 Dragonknight | C Tier

ESO Dragonknight One Bar Build

On our list, we rank the Dragonknight (DK) as a C Tier, marking it as the least effective one-bar build in ESO. The DK is overly complex, prioritizing long-lasting damage-over-time (DoTs) and lacking group utility. While this class excels at high-pressure DoTs and melee aggression, the Oakensoul Heavy Attack builds aim to focus on fully charged heavy attacks at range. Consequently, the Dragonknight contradicts its intended playstyle of melee long-lasting DoTs.

Dragonknight Heavy Attack Pros

  • Good Area Damage – hitting many targets simultaneously, the DK excels at area damage.
  • Damage Over Time – damage over time in an area is the strength of the dragonknight.

Dragonknight Heavy Attack Cons

  • Complicated– you’ll need to spend more time managing cooldowns than other one-bar builds.
  • Lacks Bar Space – DKs need many DoTs to do great damage, and Oakensoul limits that.
  • Melee Focused – the DK wants to be close, but the Oakensoul Heavy Attack doesn’t; thus, they conflict.

The strength of the Dragonknight is survivability and ultimate selection. While the class does play melee, you have powerful defensive and offensive ultimate selection choices. Both Burning Embers and Draw Essence provide great healing while playing offensive. However, the class needs more bar space to load up on damage skills and feel its full power.

We suggest you not play the DK in a one-bar build, commit to learning the rotation, and have a second bar. Up next on our Best One Bar Build for ESO PvE Tier List is another class with similar problems using Oakensoul, the Nightblade.

6 Nightblade | B Tier

ESO Nightblade One Bar Build

With exceptionally high single-target damage, the Nightblade is ranked B tier on our one-bar list. The Nightblade’s strength is ranged damage combined with excellent mobility via Twisting Path. Concealed Weapon was changed, requiring stealth to gain a damage bonus, thus making it an entirely PvP-focused skill. The downside of the Nightblade is weak area damage, needs more bar space, and lacks luster AOE. With more skills, this build could be special but not locked into an Oakensoul one-bar setup.

Nightblade Heavy Attack Pros

  • Excellent Mobility – using Twisting Path provides you and your team with great mobility.
  • Single Target Damage – the Nightblade still possesses powerful single-target damage.
  • Ease of Play – like other Oakensoul builds, it’s very simplistic.

Nightblade Heavy Attack Cons

  • Lacks Bar Space – with limited bar space, you can do great damage or survivability, but not both.
  • Lacks Passive Healing – unlike other builds, you get little to no passive healing.
  • Weak AOE – The AOE is dreadful due to a lack of bar space.

The main issue with the Nightblade One Bar build is the lack of bar space. This lack of bar space makes you compete for damage skills or survivability. You ultimately have to choose between the two, but not have both simultaneously. However, the Nightblade can be fun and fast to play solo, with great range and ultimate generation. It is still one of the weakest one-bar builds and not one we suggest using.

5 Necromancer | B+ Tier

ESO Necromancer One Bar Build

Regarding big-area damage, nothing beats the Necromancer, ranking B+ Tier on our One Bar PvE Tier list. The Necromancer is very similar to the Warden, with the one key difference being group healing and utility. The Necro and the Warden have significant area damage and healing, but the Warden out performs in group utility and survivability, thus ranking it lower.

Necromancer Heavy Attack Pros

  • Area Damage – using Blighted Blastbones and Blockade of Storm provides great AOE damage.
  • Survivability – the Necromancer has innately high survivability.
  • Group Utility – you can use some utility skills but sacrifice damage, survivability, or both.

Necromancer Heavy Attack Cons

  • Weak Single Target – either you have high area damage or mediocre at best single target for boss fights, but not both.
  • Complex – managing Blighted Blastbones can be a choir in between heavy attacks.
  • Needs More Bar Space – The Necromancer doesn’t have many abilities that do single-target, AOE, and one.

The cons of the Necro one bar are more complex rotation, weaker single target, and lack of bar space. In high-end PvE, the Necro rotates through various damage over time skills to get the most damage possible in a single target. However, on the Oakensoul heavy attack setup, you sacrifice that for ease of play and survivability. The Necro in this patch feels mediocre compared to other classes on this one-bar PvE tier list.

4 Arcanist | A Tier

Runeblades Arcanist Skill ESO
One Bar Arcanist ProsOne Bar Arcanist Cons
Great RangeDoesn’t Heavy Attack
Amazing DamageRequires Chapter Purchase
High Survivability

The Arcanist is a unique one-bar build that does not utilize Oakensoul due to the skill of Fatecarver. Thus, we rank it A Tier on this list due to its damage and survivability, but ultimately, it doesn’t play with heavy attacks. The premise of the class is the 4.5-second Fatecarver skill, which deals damage over 4.5, eliminating the possibility of heavy attacking consistently. This is counterintuitive to Oakensoul builds using gear sets that amplify heavy attack damage. However, your damage is still high with great survivability, but it’s not an actual heavy attacker and more or less a weaker version of the two-bar build potential.

Arcanist Heavy Attack Pros

  • Range – always play at the far range and still do damage.
  • Survivability – built-in passive damage and superb active skills that heal or shield.
  • Damage – The Arcanist’s damage, though nerfed, is still high and one of the best in the game.

Arcanist Heavy Attack Cons

  • Doesn’t Heavy Attack – unlike other builds, the Arcanist uses Fatecarver skill rather than heavy attacks.
  • Requires Purchase – behind a paywall means not everyone can access this class.
  • Fatecarver Dependent – Fatecarver can be difficult to cast solo with enemies constantly attacking you.

Update 41 nerfed both Fatecarver damage and the shield provided by Pragmatic Fatecarver. This didn’t completely negate the Arcanist’s power but hurt the class overall. Moreover, you still need to purchase the Necrom chapter to obtain the class, creating a paywall for players. Try this one-bar build if you like the Arcanist and want something more straightforward and still effective.

3 Warden | A+ Tier

ESO Warden One Bar Build

If you want a sturdy and durable one-bar build, look no further than the Warden ranked A+ tier on our list. Update 41 changed and improved elemental status effects, further adding to the effectiveness of the Warden’s ability to apply Chill. Moreover, this high ranking is partially because the Warden performs so strongly in the Infinite Archive area. With passive healing, good area damage, and high survivability, the Warden makes a fantastic one-bar build for that type of content. However, the power fades in solo arenas, but the Warden is in a great place for most players.

Warden Heavy Attack Pros

  • AOE Damage – Deep Fissure nukes and debuffs armor to nothing.
  • Survivability – the Warden feels like an unkillable monster in PvE.
  • Group Utility – change one skill, and you can provide great healing to a teammate.

Warden Heavy Attack Cons

  • Medium Range – The Warden plays at medium range due to deep fissure, so you’ll have to position it carefully.
  • Pet Ultimate – the best ultimate in a single target pet which can be annoying to use and doesn’t provide healing.
  • Infinite Archive Specific – the power of the Warden is felt in Infinite Archive but fades in other content.

Consider playing the Warden if you want something with high survivability, group utility, and area damage. Infinite Archive especially, this build shines through VMA and Vateshran. The power can fade.

2 Templar | S Tier

ESO Templar One Bar Build

The second best one-bar build is the Templar, which ranks S tier due to its best execution skill, group utility, and great overall damage. Templar’s Radiant Glory is an execute that out perform heavy attacking Oakensoul setups at lower health. This execute also heals based on damage done, keeping you healthy during the last portion of a boss fight. Moreover, you have a good balance of area damage and single target with good survivability.

Templar Heavy Attack Pros

  • Best Execute – Radiant Glory is incredible, even on a one-bar build.
  • Great Damage – not the highest overall damage, but close in both AOE and single target.
  • Utility – Throwing shards, the ritual of retribution, the Templar can bring some synergies to the group.

Templar Heavy Attack Cons

  • Not Highest Damage – for those looking to max damage, the Templar falls behind the Sorcerer in single-target.
  • Needs Bar Space – like many classes, you just need some more bar space to cast more DoTs.
  • Low Mobility – if you’ve ever played a templar, you know how dreadful their mobility is and that’s true on a one bar build.

The major weakness of the Templar is its dependency on Oakensoul and lower single-target damage than other classes. However, if you’re looking for a base game class to use Oakensoul heavy attack build, the Templar is your choice in ESO Update 41 and beyond.

Sorcerer | S+ Tier

ESO Sorcerer One Bar Build
One Bar Sorcerer ProsOne Bar Sorcerer Cons
Ultra-simpleWeak AoE
The best single-target damagePet focused
Unreal survivability 

The best one-bar build in ESO in Update 41 is the Sorcerer, with buffs to status effects and increased single target damage, this ranks S+ tier. The Sorcerer retains the highest single-target damage with ease of play and survivability. Using two pets carries your damage and survivability, allowing you to focus on precise heavy attack timing and rotation. Additionally, the developers buffed status effects, resulting in Concussed for the Sorcerer doing more damage. Thus, you can expect a big damage buff to an already powerful build and one bar loadout.

Sorcerer Heavy Attack Pros

  • Best Damage – if you want to impress your friends on a parse dummy, this is the build.
  • Ultra Simple – the simplest and most effective one bar build.
  • Best Survivability – Pets and Critical Surge give the Sorcerer unparalleled survivability.

Sorcerer Heavy Attack Cons

  • Weak AOE – you won’t clear packs like other classes.
  • Pet Focus – the pets can be annoying to run but ultimately keep your damage and survivability high.

The only downsides to the Sorcerer is the requirement of Pets to min-max your build and weak AOE. However, the single target damage makes up for the cons, and with concussion getting buffed, you passively do more area damage.

Therefore, Sorcerer is back to being the best one bar build in ESO and we recommend it for any player looking to do heavy attacks.

Changes in ESO 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.

The biggest change to the Oakensoul Heavy Attack builds is swapping Storm Masters out due to weak performance for Deadly Strikes or Annsul Torment. Deadly Strike is a base game set, while Annsul Torment is a trial set requiring the Necrom chapter. Both have great performance in replacement and the one bar builds are just as effective as ever.

How Does One Bar Heavy Attack Build Work in ESO?

The Elder Scrolls Online - One Bar Best Gear - Best One Bar Build for ESO PvE Tier List

Below are some of the features found using the Oakensoul Heavy Attack builds in the Elder Scrolls Online:

  • Weapon: Lighting Staff is used for destruction, passives, and off balance.
  • Armor Types: 1 Light, 5 Medium, 1 Heavy – medium is preferred because light over penetrates, leaving dead stats.
  • Race: Dark Elf – best race for a balanced stat pool.
  • Set 1Deadly Strike – increased damage over time and channels.
  • Set 2Sergeant’s Mail – increase heavy attack damage.
  • MythicOakensoul ring – provides buffs and damage at the expense of an additional bar.
  • Attributes: 64 Magicka – increase magicka to help with shields and casting spells.
  • Mundus Stone: Thief is best for gaining critical chance, and medium armor increases critical damage.
  • Exploiter Champion Point – gives 10% more damage during the off-balance phase.

These builds aim to continually hit fully charged heavy attacks to increase your damage via gear sets.  Additionally, you want to proc off balance as often as possible, with 7 seconds of uptime (active) and 15 seconds of downtime.  The builds prioritize one or two damage over time effects, Wall of Elements for off-balance proc, and constant fully charged heavy attacks.

With the gear loadout we have provided, which works on every class, you can easily reach 25-27,000 health, 30,000 magicka, and near infinite resource sustain.  Moreover, on a 21 million health parse dummy, these fully-charged heavy attacks can see numbers over 120,000 in damage! 

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