ESO Magicka Arcanist PvE Build

This guide explains how to use the best Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) Magicka Arcanist PvE Build, skills, gear, champion points, and more!

Best ESO Builds: Update 38 and Necrom chapter

This build has been updated for the Update 41 patch of the Elder Scrolls Online.

Why Should You Play ESO Magica Arcanist PvE Build?

The ESO Magicka Arcanist PvE Build is an incredible class to play in the group. This build has ranged abilities and, as a result, great flexibility in weapon choices. Arcanist’s Crux system makes a unique playstyle with three well-equipped skill trees and complete tools for good damage, healing, and survivability. Yet, the Arcanist’s downside can be a weak resource sustain that forces you to play hybrid build and can be hard to manage for beginners. However, if you have the class passives unlocked after a few minutes, that should not be too much of an issue.

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 for those still filling out their sticker books.

ESO Magica Arcanist PvE Features and Mechanics

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

  • Class – Arcanist
  • Weapon One – Dual Wield
  • Weapon Two – Flame staff
  • Armor Types: 6 Medium, 1 Light
  • Mythic: Velothi Ur-Mages Amulet
  • Race: Dark Elf
  • Attributes: 64 Magicka
  • Mundus Stone: Thief

ESO Magica Arcanist PvE Build Playstyle

Fatecarver Arcanist Skill ESO
Fatecarver Arcanist Skill ESO

Use the following build rotation as the starter point for the Stamina Arcanist playstyle in PvE. 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 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 Writhing Runeblades skill is your main spammable, range and crux builder. Next, you’ll be beaming with Exhausting Fatecarver and its 4.5-second channel. Your goal is to build up 3x Crux’s, debuff with Dread, 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.

Fatecarver Explained

At certain percentages, replace your spammable with your in-class or weapon execute if you have one in this build, or you can add it for longer boss fights. Executes are the skills that deal more damage and lower the opponent’s health. Ideally, these are meant to replace your main spammable skill at anywhere between 35% (Radiant Oppression) all the way to 20% (Mages’ Fury). At a high level, execute skills become so strong that the lower the enemy’s health, the fewer DoTs you maintain because it does so much damage.

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 floods both resources when a target dies.

Use the healing skill Resolving Vigor, when your health drops below 50% or the shield skill when you anticipate damage. Also, always use the suggested food and potions as they significantly increase your damage, survivability, and resource sustain.


Front Bar: Dual Wield

Front Bar Weapon Options: These are all good choices depending on your play style and needs. Experiment with what works best.

  1. Dual Wield
  2. Lighting Staff
  3. Flame Staff

Pragmatic Fatecarver (Morph of Fatecarver | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – the build center’s around this ability and its long channel. Your goal is to build up 3x Crux’s and beam. The trick is to reapply all your DoTs and heals just before the beam does all the work for you. We take this morph so it’s easier to survive. Swap morph for more damage if you can sustain/heal without issue.

Camouflaged Hunter (Morph of Expert Hunter | Skill Line : Fighters Guild) – This skill is a buff to increase critical chance and spell damage.

Cephaliarch’s Flail (Morph of Abyssal Impact | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Use this do debuff enemies and increase your damage done by 5%. This ability also is a crux builder and acts as a spammable to generate Crux.

Barbed Trap (Morph of Trap Beast | Skill Line : Fighters Guild) – Good single target damage and hemorrage status effect chance.

Quick Cloak (Morph of Blade Cloak | Skill Line : Dual Wield) – Helpful for area damage reduction, and speed.

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 your back bar ultimate number or during high mobility encounters.

Back Bar: Fire Staff

Front Bar Weapon Options: They are all good choices depending on your playstyle and needs. Experiment with what works best.

  1. Inferno Staff
  2. Lighting Staff
  3. Two-Handed

Anti Cavalry Caltrops (Morph of Caltrops | Skill Line : Assault) – Useful area based damage skill and debuff.

Inspired Scholarship (Morph of Tome Bearer’s Inspiration | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Used as a buff always maintain uptime on this.

Fulminating Rune (Morph of The Imperfect Ring | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – This acts an aoe DoT that does decent damage and is really the only decent dot within Arcanist class. Consider this your flex spot and Harness Magicka from light armor can go here.

Blockade of Fire (Morph of Wall of Elements | Skill Line : Destruction Staff) – This provides strong AoE damage and acts as a good single target DoT that can be cast on the back bar.

Camouflaged Hunter (Morph of Expert Hunter | Skill Line : Fighters Guild) – Double bar this skill for more damage. This is your flex spot if you need a heal or a shield like Dampening Magic.

The Languid Eye (Morph of The Unblinking Eye | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Incredible ultimate for huge damage with a small AoE circle. You want to make sure the enemy is stationary before using this to get the most damage. Also consider the mother Morph, Tide King if you keep missing the targets.

Rotating and Parsing

The key to parsing with Arcanist is to beam as much as possible while ensuring you build to three crux before every beam. Since you’ll usually run the Exploiter CP on an arcanist, you’ll want to get into your beam as quickly as possible so you can be beaming when off-balance procs on the boss. To do this, try to have three crux when running up to the boss if you can, but you’ll want to hit Flail before you begin your initial beam.

Opener when you have three crux: Prebuff your Quick Cloak and Inspired Scholarship, then engage with Flail>Bar Swap> Wall>Languid Eye>Bar Swap>Fatecarver>Trap> Bar Swap>Fulminating Rune>Anti-Cavalry Caltrops>Bar Swap>Flail>Flail>Fatecarver. From there, you should be in a flow, building crux to three before beaming and applying your DoTs as they fall off.

There are a few things to know about the mechanics of this rotation. First, Inspired Scholarship will give you a crux while beaming, so you only need to Flail twice to get back to three crux before your beam. Second, a few skills, such as Light Attack weave or bar swap, are particularly difficult to use. Suppose you can, don’t bar swap directly after a Flail or Fatecarver, as there is a slight delay. You’ll also want to ignore your Light Attack directly after a Fatecarver channel. Instead, you can spam press your next skill while your channel finishes to immediately cast an ability as Fatecarver ends without canceling the channel.

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)
  • Destructive Staff (Weapon Skill Line)
  • Duel Wield (Weapon Skill Line)
  • Light Armor
  • Medium Armor
  • Undaunted
  • Fighters Guild
  • Mages Guild
  • Racial
  • Alliance War Support
  • Alliance War Assault
  • Crafting, Alchemy Medicinal Use


Use the below gear setup for optimal damage with the ESO Magicka Arcanist PvE Build:

ShouldersmediumDeadly StrikesDivinesMagicka
ChestmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
LegsmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
GlovesmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
BootsmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
BeltmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
Weapon OneDaggerDeadly StrikesNirnhonedFlame
SecondaryDaggerDeadly StrikesChargedPoison
Weapon TwoFire StaffPerfected Wall of ElementsInfusedSpell Damage
NecklaceVelothi Ur-Mages AmuletBloodthirstySpell Damage
Ring 1Deadly StrikesBloodthirstySpell Damage
Ring 2Deadly StrikesBloodthirstySpell Damage
Magarc PvE DPS Gear

The magicka and stamina versions of the Arcanist run similar gear setups, including medium armor. Medium is stronger in trials due to the passive bonuses. If you don’t play with the coordinate trials team, you can swap to Light, though it will suffer overall damage loss.

Mythic and Monster Helm

Velothi Ur-Mages Amulet: mythic item requiring the Antiquies system and Necrom Chapter.  Requires five leads; find them here.

  • Why? The Arcanist doesn’t have the opportunity to light attack due to its long-channeled ability, so the increase in monster damage by 15% makes it a perfect one-piece myth.


Slimecraw: obtained in Wayrest Sewers I Veteran dungeon and Maj Undaunted Vendor.

  • Why? gives us the highest critical chance for a one-piece item.
Gear Sets

Deadly Strikes: obtained in Cyrodiil, Bruma Elite Gear Vendor

  • WHY? This increases the damage Fatecarver and all of our DoTs and is set and forget, easy to increase damage.


  1. Pillar of Nirn = great proc damage set without having to light attack weave.
  2. Order’s Wrath = Crafted and best overall option for great damage.
  3. Mother’s Sorrow = decent overland set for starters.

Perfected Ansuul’s Torment: Obtained in Sanity’s Edge, Necrom Chapter Trial.

It is the best overall damage-dealing set that comes in medium armor. If you struggle with resources, you can swap to a light armor setup but it will be less damage.


  1. Perfected Bahsei’s Mania:  obtained in Veteran Rockgrove trial requiring Blackwood chapter.
  2. Perfect Whorl of the Depths: This provides a huge single target and AoE and the proc condition is simply light attacking and is perfect because it’s a trial set.
  3. Perfected Mantle of Siroria = Update 35 made this popular again so consider using it in parse/stationary trials.
  4. Perfected False Gods = great resource sustain set.
  5. Order’s Wrath = Crafted and best overall option for great damage.
  6. Mother’s Sorrow = decent overland set for starters
Arena Weapons

Perfected Crushing Wall: from Veteran Maelstrom Arena in Orsinium

  • WHY? Increase your overall DPS massively due to the wall of elements ability and more damage.


  1. Perfected Spectral Cloak = massive damage increase and damage reduction if playing in melee range. Swap out Block for Quick Cloak and Elemental Susceptibility for Razor Caltrops.
  2. Perfected Merciless Charge = must change out Unstable Blockade for Stampede, good damage but requires melee skills.
  3. Perfected Thunderous Volley = good alternative to play at range with back bar. Swap out Unstable Blockade for Endless Hail bow skill.
  4. Willpower = extra 2pc set


The best racial choice for the Magicka Arcanist is below:

  1. Dark Elf: Gain max magicka, stamina, and weapon and spell damage. The flame resistance is also helpful and considered the strongest overall PVE DPS race.
  2. Khajiit: This race gets recovery, max stats, and critical damage and healing. Consider the Khajiit a great option if you aren’t over the critical cap of 125%.
  3. High Elf: Gain resource sustain passive, max magicka, and weapon and spell damage. The downside of High Elf is a lack of stamina or flame resistance.


The best choice is 64 magicka, which increases damage, healing, and shields.

Mundus Stone

The Thief is the best Mundus Stone for PvE Builds because it gives Increases Weapon and Spell Critical Strike a chance.

Champion Points – ESO Magica Arcanist PvE 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 ESO Magica Arcanist PvE Build:

  1. Precision 10
  2. Fighting Finesse (slottable) 50
  3. Wrathful Strikes (slottable) 50
  4. Extended Might – Sub Constellation – Piercing 10
  5. Thaumaturge (slottable) 50
  6. Biting Aura (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 ESO Magica Arcanist PvE Build:

  1. Fortified (slottable) 50
  2. Boundless vitality (slottable) 50
  3. Rejuvenation (slottable) 50
  4. Sprinter 10
  5. Winder chaser – sub constellation – 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 ESO Magica 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


Clockwork Citrus Filet

Type: Foods

OVERALL: Increase Max Health by 3724, Health Recovery by 351, Max Magicka by 3458 and Magicka Recovery by 319 for 2 hours. (effects are scaled based on your level)

Ghastly Eye Bowl

Type: Foods

DPS Parse: Increase Max Magicka by 4256 and Magicka Recovery by 425 for 2 hours. (effects are scaled based on your level)

Witchmother’s Brew

Type: Foods

CHEAP: Increase Max Magicka by 2856, Max Health by 3094, and Magicka Recovery by 315 for 2 hours. (effects are scaled based on your level)

Essence of Spell Power

Type: Potions

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 45sec cooldown. Make sure you have three points into medicinal use passive in alchemy crafting. (INGREDIENTS: Corn Flower, Lady’s Smock and Namira’s Rot)

Build Summary – ESO Magica Arcanist PvE Build

Class: Arcanist

Race: Dark Elf

Attributes: 64 Magicka

Mundus Stone: Thief

Weapon One: Dual Wield

Weapon Two: Flame Staff

Armor Set 1: Perfected Ansuul’s Torment

Armor Set 2: Deadly Strikes

Monster Helm: Slimecraw

Mythic: Velothi Ur-Mages Amulet

Armor Weight: 6 Medium, 1 Light

Skill Bar 1 – Dual Wield

  • Cephaliarch’s Flail
  • Pragmatic Fatecarver
  • Quick Cloak
  • Barbed Trap
  • Camouflaged Hunter
  • Flawless Dawnbreaker (Ultimate)

Skill Bar 2 – Flame Staff

  • Elemental Blockade
  • Fulminating Rune
  • Inspired Scholarship
  • Anti-Cavalry Caltrops
  • Camouflaged Hunter
  • The Lanquid Eye (Ultimate)

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