ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build

This guide gives skills, champion points, and gear for an ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build, intended for the new or returning player!

Magicka Arcanist PvP Build - The Elder Scrolls Online

This build has been updated for the Update 40 patch of the Elder Scrolls Online.

Why Should You Play the ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build?

Welcome to the ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build for The Elder Scrolls Online. This build is intended for the new or returning player who wants a starting build with flexible options for skills and gear! Pick up the build if you want an ultra-simple, easy, and hard-hitting build that can dominate in any content.

Keep reading for all the details about Skills, Rotation, Gear, Passives, and Champion points for the build! The Gear section will include options for Beginner, Intermediate, and Optimal set-ups, with plenty of flex options available for those still filling out their sticker books.


ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build Playstyle

TextUse the following rotation as the starter point. After, apply your buffs and cast the DoT skills on cooldown for the best, highest DPS. In total, the Damage over Time skills (DoTs) do more damage than your main spammable. Thus, they need to be cast less often and are easier to maintain, for example, the Barb Trap from Fighters Guild. Maintain DoTs and use your spammable skill as filler until you need to reapply the DoTS.

As an Arcanist, you’ll need to generate and consume Cruxes to enhance your stats constantly, so keep close attention to it. The Cephaliarch’s Flail skill is your main spammable, range and crux builder. Nextly you’ll be beaming with Pragmatic Fatecarver and its 4.5-second channel. Your goal is to build up 3x Crux’s, debuff with Flail, and build up 3x more Crux’s and beam. The trick is to reapply all your DoTs and heals just before the beam does all the work for you.

Survivability

If you run out of resources, do a heavy attack and return to your rotation. Remember that a heavy attack on off-balance enemies will return double the resources. Additionally, if you are a beginner or struggle with sustain, you can flex in the Consuming Trap skill instead of a DoT skill. The Consuming Trap gives you a flood of both resources when a target dies.

Use the healing skill Resolving Vigor, when your health drops below 60% or the shield skill (Spiteward of the Lucid Mind) when you anticipate damage. Also, always use the suggested food and potions as they significantly increase your damage, survivability, and resource sustain.

ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist PvE Features and Mechanics

Below are some of the features found using the ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist PvE in the Elder Scrolls Online:

  • Class – Arcanist
  • Weapon One – Lightning Staff
  • Weapon Two – Restoration Staff
  • Armor Types:1 Heavy, 1 Medium, 5 Light
  • Race: High Elf
  • Attributes: 64 Magicka
  • Mundus Stone: Thief

Priorities and Unlocks 

When starting the Elder Scrolls Online, it can be confusing on what you should focus on first.  Use the below list as a guide on where you should focus on first with a new character:

  • Unlock Weapon Lines
  • Unlock Skill Lines
  • Unlock Builds
  • Consumables, Bag Space & XP Boost
  • Setup Armor
  • Unlock Guilds
  • Level 10

Unlock Weapon Lines

Your priority is to unlock two or more weapon skill lines when you initially unlock your character.  You can do this by obtaining the weapon type or choice like a destruction staff and a restoration staff or bow and two-handed. Simply equip the weapon, obtain a kill and some experience with that weapon outside of the nearest town, then the weapon skill line will be unlocked.

It’s important to note, you can level up your weapon skill lines without having the weapon equipped. This is done by having a skill on your bar when you earn experience.  Thus, you can level two weapon skill lines at the same time even at level 3.  This helps when you reach level 50 and have two weapon skill lines maxed out vs having to continually progress them.  More on this later, for now stamina builds unlock bow, two-handed, and dual wield.  Magicka users unlock Destruction Staff, Restoration Staff, and Dual wield.

Setup Armor

The next step in ESO, is to unlock armor. Similar to weapon skill lines, you want to unlock the skill tree and level it throughout your adventure.  To do this, simply save up about 500 gold and go to your nearest town and vendor. You will need 3 armor type equipped at a time to unlock the skill line. Thus, equip 3 medium, 3 heavy, then 3 light armor for all the skill lines.  This doesn’t seem important but is vital regardless of what you assume you will play at end game.

From this point, it’s advisable to equip 3 of your primary armor type.  Magicka users want 3 light, 2 medium and 2 heavy.  Stamina users want to equip 3 medium, 2 light, and 2 heavy. This will progress your armor skill lines somewhat evenly and will help reaching max level.

Unlock Guilds

The next series of skill lines come from guilds.  Mages guild, undaunted and Fighters guild. These will all be in your original main town with Undauned located in a tavern.  Simply do an introduction quest and unlock these straight away.  You can obtain an advanced one, Psijic order as well, but save that for later.

Setup Skill Bar

Now you need to prioritize obtain skills via skyshards, dungeon completion, main story quest completions and more.  You then want to setup your skill bar so you level two skill lines at once on your front bar.  This will result in one “dead” skill that is unusable but helps level the back bar.

Example Skill Bar Stamina

  • Flurry (morph to Bloodthirst) – Dual Wield
  • Uppercut (dead skill just leave to level) – Two-Handed
  • Class Skill Line 1 (first skill line skill any)
  • Class Skill Line 2 (second skill line skill any)
  • Class Skill Line 3 (third skill line skill any)
  • Ultimate: unlocked later, but choose a survivability one

Example Skill Bar Magicka

  • Force Shock (morph to Force Pulse) – Destruction Staff
  • Grand Healing (dead skill just leave to level) – Restoration Staff
  • Class Skill Line 1 (first skill line skill any)
  • Class Skill Line 2 (second skill line skill any)
  • Class Skill Line 3 (third skill line skill any)
  • Ultimate: unlocked later, but choose a survivability one

Progression

Now, your skills and armor will level up simultaneously with one dead skill. Obviously, flex in and out the weapon types but the premise remains for a good leveling experience.  Put one skill from each of your skill lines on your bar, two weapon skills, and the ultimate of choice.  Once you unlock your back bar at level 15, use that for healing and buffs.

Consumables, Bag Space & XP Boost

Make sure to use consumables like food, potions, and experience boosters.  Every town has a vendor with basic food.  You will earn purple crown store food which you should consume.  Depending on experience, you will likely need “recovery” food or a refreshing drink. This helps you continue to cast spells and prevent death. 

Next, save gold to expand your bag space. This will be helpful as you collect and deconstruct.  The bag space vendor will be the main story.

Level 10

At level 10, Elder Scrolls Online opens up drastically.  You should focus on the following:

  • Go to Cyrodiil, do intro quest, 2 skill points
  • Do an undaunted intro quest by completing dungeon
  • Complete daily dungeon quest via the que finder for massive XP
  • Continue to progress through main story

From here, the easiest way to level is by completing all the normal dungeons as you level up and the main story.  This gives you a lot of skill points and makes it much easier to level quickly.  Rely on the dungeon finder to find a group until you make friends.

Daily Priorities

Make sure to check out our daily priorities list. This helps to give you a series of helpful actions to complete each day beyond this guides scope.

Skills

Level 3 Starter – Brand New Character – Fire Staff

Work towards advancing and unlocking skills. It’s especially helpful to change out skills and at least get them to the “morphed” stage. You can always change these later for a very small fee so don’t worry if you make a mistake.

Runic Embrace (Morph of Runic Jolt | Skill Line : Soldier of Apocrypha) – This acts as your spammable ability early on in the game. It heals you which you will lack starting out and does okay damage. Quickly swap this to something more useful in the skill line as you progress and don’t need as much healing.

Escalating Runeblades (Morph of Runeblades | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Main spammable, range, crux builder and area damage. This morph gives you a good single target and area damage. Use this skill to build Crux’s then one of two abilities to use them once you have three.

Evolving Runemend (Morph of Runemend | Skill Line : Curative Runeforms) – This is your burst heal when in trouble though it cost a lot of resources to cast. Use in conjunction with Runic Embrace. Swap this as you progress to something else in the skill line unless you need healing then keep it on your bar.

Force Shock (Skill Line : Destruction Staff) – This skill is simply slotted for quick leveling of the destruction skill line. You earn experience by the number of skills on your bar, it’s not an effect skill but mainly used to level until you get more useful skills in Destruction Staff.

Grand Healing (Skill Line : Restoration Staff) – This skill won’t be useable and seems very odd to slot a “dead skill.” Trust me, it will help you out leveling up skills and morphs then at level 15 having a complete front and back bar. If you don’t want to slot a dead skill, go with Consuming Trap from World skill line for resource sustain.

The Tide King’s Gaze (Morph of The Unblinking Eye | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – You won’t be able to get this ultimate right away, but when you did it’ll provide huge damage. If you struggle with survivability take the second skill line tank/shield ultimate for easier survivability.

Level 15 – Front Bar – Lighting Staff and back Restoration

At this stage, you should have the ability to bar-swap. This comes in very handy to have leveled restoration staff because you can put healing abilities on your secondary bar and also use resto to fully charge heavy attack to get resources back. I’ll list front bar skills but in generally put armor, healing, mobility, and consuming trap from the world soul magic skill line on the back bar. You won’t be getting much XP since nearly all your kills should be on the front.

Unstable Wall of Elements (Morph of Wall of Elements | Skill Line : Destruction Staff) – This skill you will need for a strong damage over time which procs your back bar weapon enchant. This is important at end game and should be used as a strong damage over time.

Cruxweaver Armor (Morph of Fatewoven Armor | Skill Line : Soldier of Apocrypha) – This is an armor buff and a generator of Crux. This skill will make you more defensible and feed into your Pragmatic Fatecarver beam.

Evolving Runemend (Morph of Runemend | Skill Line : Curative Runeforms) – Keep this skill on your front to level up your skill lines equally and a decent heal.

Pragmatic Fatecarver (Morph of Fatecarver | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – This is your main skill from now on and at end game. The Arcanist center’s around Fatecarver ability and its 4.5-second channel. Your goal is to build up 3x Crux’s and beam. You don’t need 3x Crux to cast the ability so feel free to cast on demand if you need instant damage. The trick is to reapply all your DoTs and heals just before the beam does all the work for you. This morph is for better survivability.

Radiating Regeneration (Morph of Regeneration | Skill Line : Restoration Staff) – If you plan on continuing leveling the Restoration Staff skill line, work through each skill, get it morphed and level another. This will be a dead skill without a restoration staff equipped but you will reach end game with much more options.

The Tide King’s Gaze (Morph of The Unblinking Eye | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Great ultimate for damage, swap to tank line for better survivability.

End Game Level 50 – Front Bar – Lighting Staff

Inner Light (Morph of Magelight | Skill Line : Mages Guild) – Slotted for critical bonus and max magicka

Structured Entropy (Morph of Entropy | Skill Line : Mages Guild) – Good damage over time that heals

Cephaliarch’s Flail (Morph of Abyssal Impact | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Crux builder and main spammable.

Pragmatic Fatecarver (Morph of Fatecarver | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Your main nuke skill with 3x Crux.

Recuperative Treatise (Morph of Tome Bearer’s Inspiration | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Buffs our damage, resource sustain and useful skill to slot on front.

Flawless Dawnbreaker (Morph of Dawnbreaker | Skill Line : Fighters Guild) – Passively, this ability boost our damage and can be used during execute phase when you won’t reach 200 ultimate for Shooting Star.

Passives Skills

Consider taking all of the passives in the below skill trees to increase your builds performance without slotting any skills:

  • The Herald of the Tome (class skill line)
  • Apocryphal Soldier (class skill line)
  • Curative Runeforms (class skill line)
  • Destruction staff (weapon skill line)
  • Restoration Staff (weapon skill line)
  • Light Armor
  • Medium Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Undaunted
  • Mage’s Guild
  • Fighters Guild
  • Psjiic Order
  • Racial
  • Alliance War Support
  • Alliance War Assault
  • Crafting, Alchemy Medicinal Use

Gear

Leveling

If you have crafting on another character or can ask a guild member, this will help you out tremendously!

SlotTypeSetTraitGlyph
HeadlightArmor of the TraineeTrainingMagicka
ShoulderslightArmor of the TraineeTrainingMagicka
ChestheavyArmor of the SeducerTrainingMagicka
LegsmediumArmor of the SeducerTrainingMagicka
GloveslightArmor of the SeducerTrainingMagicka
BootslightArmor of the SeducerTrainingMagicka
BeltlightArmor of the SeducerTrainingMagicka
Weapon OneLighting StaffHeartland ConquerorTrainingShock
Weapon TwoRestoration StaffHeartland ConquerorTrainingBerserker (spell damage)
NecklaceHeartland ConquerorArcaneMagicka Recovery
Ring 1Heartland ConquerorArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 2Heartland ConquerorArcaneSpell Damage
ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build for leveling
Gear Sets

This gear setup is designed to get you the most experience possible without dying frequently while leveling.  Use this as a template for max XP gains while leveling.

Armor of the Seducer: three trait craftable item.  Locations are Deshaan, Grahtwood, Stormhaven.

  • Why? with zero champion points or limited knowledge of the game, sustaining resources is the hardest thing to do.  Getting this early will be a big help while leveling.

Heartland Conqueror: craftable set in Blackwood, 7 traits required.  If you don’t own Blackwood, you can have someone craft or buy from traders.

  • Why? this unique set doubles weapon trait effectiveness, giving you even more benefit for using the training trait.  See flex options below if you don’t have this set.

Armor of the Trainee: obtained in the starter zones in the game from chest and enemies.  Location Bal Foyen, Betnikh, Bleakrock Isle, Khenarthi’s Roost and Stros M’Kai.

  • Why? gives set bonuses per piece and comes in training trait.
ALTERNATIVE OVERLAND SETS (these are all base game no DLC required)
  • Mother’s Sorrow: obtained in Deshaan Ebonheart Pact overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.
    • Why? Great because massive boost to critical = more damage.
  • Withered Hand: obtained in Alik’r’ Desert Daggerfall Covenant overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.
    • Why? My favorite overall magicka beginner set due to health/magicka upon killing mobs.
  • Spinner’s garments: obtained in Malabal Tor Aldemri Dominion overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.
    • Why? Great damage set due to penetration, but becomes ineffective playing in groups when tanks debuff mobs.
CLASS-SPECIFIC 5PC OVERLAND
  • Soulshine: obtained in Reaper’s March drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.
    • Why? An awesome 5pc for templar who’s main spammable is a channel.
  • Necropotence: obtained in Rivensipre drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.
    • Why? This is only useful if you have a pet like a Warden, Necromancer or Sorcerer.
  • Silks of the Sun: obtained in Stonefalls Ebonheart Pact overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.
    • Why? Perfect for a Dragonknight!
  • War Maiden: obtained in Morrowind (now free) overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone. This is great for Nightblade, Templar and Warden.
ALTERNATIVE CRAFTING BASE GAME

Level 50 Gear Sets

Use this as a template until you can progress to better gear sets.

SlotTypeSetTraitGlyph
HeadlightWithered HandDivines > AnyMagicka
ShoulderslightWithered HandDivines > AnyMagicka
ChestlightMother’s SorrowDivines > AnyMagicka
LegslightMother’s SorrowDivines > AnyMagicka
GloveslightMother’s SorrowDivines > AnyMagicka
BootslightMother’s SorrowDivines > AnyMagicka
BeltlightMother’s SorrowDivines > AnyMagicka
Weapon OneLighting StaffWillpowerPrecise > SharpenedShock
Weapon TwoLighting StaffWillpowerInfused > ChargedBerserker (Spell damage)
NecklaceWithered HandArcaneMagicka Recovery
Ring 1Withered HandArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 2Withered HandArcaneSpell Damage
ESO Beginner Arcanist Sorcerer Build for level 50

The premise in ESO is base game overland is the easiest gear to obtained.  Because at any level, you can go to zone and farm it.  Crafting is second as it takes time to unlock traits and my require DLC.  Dungeons, on normal are third because it takes certain level requirements or DLC to access so that will be the priority of gear in general.  Your priority after obtaining the below gear sets is as follows:

  • Start doing undaunted pledges and obtain a base game damage monster helm.  My two favorite are Nerien’eth from Crypt of Hearts for damage or Ice Heart from Direfrost Keep for survival.
  • Next target is to remove Withered Hand with a higher producing damage set. I suggest checking out the builds page for more suggestions.
  • Now start working on obtaining dungeons, trials, and mythics for more damage sets.
Gear Sets

Mother’s Sorrow: obtained in Deshaan Ebonheart Pact overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.

  • Why? Great because massive boost to critical = more damage.

Withered Hand: obtained in Alik’r’ Desert Daggerfall Covenant overland zone drops from delves, world bosses, public dungeons and dark anchors in that zone.

  • Why? My favorite overall magicka beginner set due to health/magicka.

Willpower: obtained via Imperial City, dungeon finder and very cheap on guild traders.

  • Why? great base game two piece set that gives huge stat bonuses.
Gear Progression

MONSTER HELM PROGRESSION

  1. Zaan’s = consider the best overall monster helm for DPS perfect for melee builds.
  2. Nerien’eth =  great damage and easy to proc perfect for range builds.
  3. Stormfist = always works, easy to obtain and AoE DPS set.
  4. Iceheart = great for pure survivability.

PROGRESSION 5pc SETS OPTIONS

  1. Pillar of Nirn = best overall damage set for front bar
  2. Medusa = great damage set with always on minor force
  3. Deadly Strike = for DoT builds like Templar and Dragonknight
  4. Scathing Mage = spell damage dungeon set
  5. War Maiden = overland great for non elemental users
  6. Order’s Wrath = best craftable option

MYTHIC PROGRESSION

  1. Pale Order = best heals per second solo in the game
  2. Oakensoul= the best one bar build for DPS – 5 Leads are here
  3. Death Dealer’s Fete = high max stats and requires no effect but in combat

ARENA WEAPON PROGRESSION

Perfected Crushing Wall: from Veteran Maelstrom Arena in Orsinium.

  • WHY? Increase your overall DPS massively due to wall of elements and light attack damage increase.

Race

Best Choice

High Elf

The best option for damage reduction while channeling

Secondary Choice

Khajiit

Great for burst damage and healing

Attributes

Health

Stamina

Magicka

0064

Mundus Stone

Thief – Increases the Critical Strike rating by 1212

Champion Points – ESO Beginner Magicka Arcanist Build

Warfare Constellation Champion Points

ESO Warfare Champion Tree

Below is a step-by-step method for slotting your champion points in the Warfare tree (blue).  We have used the minimum possible to reach 4 slottable selections all maxed out.  If you have more CP, consider taking more in the passives for optimal performance.

Below are recommended Warfare Champion Point selections for the Beginner Magicka Arcanist PvE Build:

  1. Untamed aggression (slottable) 50
  2. Arcane supremacy  (slottable) 50
  3. Precision 10
  4. Reaving blows (slottable) 50
  5. Extended might ( sub con) piercing 10
  6. Master at arms (slottable) 50

This would be the bare minimum setup, spending 220 CP (660 total required). The next step is to max out passives, that do not require a slottable but increase performance.

  1. Precision 10
  2. Piercing 10
  3. Tireless discipline 20
  4. Eldritch insight 20
  5. Blessed 20
  6. Quick recovery 20
  7. Flawless ritual 40
  8. War mage 30
  9. Battle mastery 40
  10. Mighty 30
  11. Elemental aegis 20
  12. Hardy 20
  13. Preparation 20

This would max out the Warfare tree with all active and passive champion points at 520 spent 1,560 total spent.

Fitness Constellation Champion Points

ESO Fitness Champion Tree

Below are recommended Fitness Champion Point selections for the Beginner Magicka Arcanist PvE Build:

  1. Fortified (slottable) 50
  2. Boundless vitality (slottable) 50
  3. Rejuvenation (slottable) 50
  4. Sprinter 10
  5. Winder chaser – sub con – hasty 8
  6. Hero’s vigor 10
  7. Siphoning spells (slottable) 50

This would be the bare minimum setup, spending 228 CP (684 total required). The next step is to max out passives, that do not require a slottable but increase performance.

  1. Hero’s vigor 10
  2. Tumbling 30
  3. Sprinter 10
  4. Defiance 20
  5. Hasty 8
  6. Tireless guardian 20
  7. Fortification 30
  8. Nimble 6
  9. Mystic tenacity 50
  10. Tempered soul 50
  11. Piercing gaze 30
  12. Savage defense  30
  13. Bashing brutality 20

This would max out the fitness tree with all active passive champion points at 542 cp spent 1,626 total spent

Craft Constellation Champion Points

ESO Craft Champion Tree

Below are recommended Craft Champion Point selections for the Beginner Magicka Arcanist PvE Build:

  1. Steed’s blessing (slottable) – 50
  2. Breakfall 10 
  3. Wanderer 15
  4. Steadfast 10
  5. Treasure hunter 50 (slottable)
  6. rationer (slottable) 30
  7. liquid efficiency (slottable) 75

This would be the bare minimum setup, spending 240CP (720 total required). The next step is to max out passives, that do not require a slottable but increase performance.

  1. Steadfast enchantment 40cp
  2. Breakfall 40 cp
  3. Wanderer 60
  4. Fortunes favor 50
  5. Friends in low places 25
  6. Out of sight 30
  7. Fleet of phantom 40
  8. Soul’s reservoir 33
  9. Gilded fingers 50
  10. Fortunes favor 40
  11. Inspiration boost 45
  12. Infamous 30

This would max out the crafting tree with all active passive champion points at 723 cp spent 2,169 total spent

Consumables

Crown Refreshing Drink

Type: Foods

FREE OPTION: these come from daily reward logins and are great starting out because you can get at level 1, carries your sustain. I wouldn’t recommend buying these, but if you get for free use this or the Crown Fortifying Meal.

Witchmother’s Brew

Type: Foods

CHEAP: this is another level 1 drink you can get BUT you can also buy from traders or someone can give to you. I’d highly recommend saving up and getting some from the traders, Deshaan is typically the hub in ESO. Increase Max Magicka by 2856, Max Health by 3094, and Magicka Recovery by 315 for 2 hours. Ingredients Nightshade, Bervez Juice, Rice, Small Game

Chicken Breast

Type: Foods

VENDOR: this is a level one option you can buy from the provisioning vendor and or you can learn receipe and make at low level. It gives a buff to health, but it’s better than nothing starting out.

Essence of Spell Power

Type: Potions

BEST: These potions can be bought from traders or you can get PvP ones via Cyrodiil Vendor. They are best because they giving you important buffs for which you don’t need to slot an ability or use level Fighters Guild or Mages Guild. Until you get them, just use magicka “trash” pots the simple blue potions that you find throughout the world. Grants major sorcery with increases spell damage by 20% for 47.6 seconds. Grants major prophecy which grants you 2191 spell critical rating for 47.6 seconds. Restore 7582 magicka immediately. Grants you major intellect which increases your magicka recovery by 20% for 47.6. Potions have a 45 second cool down and make sure you have three points into medicinal use passive in alchemy crafting.

Build Summary – Beginner Magicka Arcanist PvE Build

Class: Arcanist

Race: High Elf

Attributes: 64 Magicka

Mundus Stone: Thief

Weapon One: Lightning Staff

Weapon Two: Restoration Staff

Armor Set 1: Armor of the Seducer

Armor Set 2: Armor of the Trainee

Weapons and Jewelry: Heartland Conqueror

Armor Weight: 1 Heavy, 1 Medium, 5 Light

Skill Bar 1

  • Runic Embrace
  • Escalating Runeblades
  • Evolving Runemend
  • Force Shock
  • Grand Healing
  • The Tide King’s Gaze (ultimate)

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