ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE

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

Magicka Arcanist PvP Build - The Elder Scrolls Online

This build has been updated for the Updated 42, the Gold Road Chapter of the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO).

Why Should You Play ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE?

The ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE is for players looking to easily complete solo content with huge damage and great survivability. 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. You usually see Arcanists run stamina, but magicka is entirely viable. Most Arcanist abilities change resource cost depending on your highest resource, so sustain feels strong on either version of the build. The Arcanist is the most hybridized class in the game.

Arcanist Class Pros

  • Class Buffs: Sources all crucial buffs for solo content naturally through the kit.
  • Beam to Win: Fatecarver melts enemies.
  • Passive Penetration: The Arcanist’s abilities provide huge passive penetration, which makes the penetration cap much easier to reach in solo content.

Arcanist Class Cons

  • Damage Nerfs: If you played the Arcanist last patch, you will feel the damage nerfs.
  • Long Channels: Your Fatecarver is a long channel, meaning you can be interrupted, ending your channel.
  • Limited Bar Space: “Too many good skills” is real on the Arcanist.

The Arcanist is still the Swiss Army knife of the ESO for Solo PvE content in 2024. You can’t go wrong with this build’s stamina or magicka versions, but both are almost identical anyway. We include the Ring of the Pale order in solo content not because it deals the highest damage but because it is the most set-and-forget solo mythic. You could turn off your health bar and never worry about your health.

ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE Playstyle

Use the following rotation as the starter point. After, apply your buffs and cast the DoT skills on cooldown for the best, highest DPS. 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 Cephaliarch’s Flail skill is your main spammable range and crux builder. Next, you’ll be beaming with Pragmatic Fatecarver and its 4.5-second channel. You aim to build up 3x Crux, debuff with Flail, and build up 3x more Cruxs and beams. 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. In this build, heavy attacking with daggers restores stamina, while heavy attacking with your inferno staff restores magicka.

When your health drops below 60%, you can use Flail to heal yourself, or you can start an early beam channel, giving you a massive shield. Also, always use the suggested food and potions as they significantly increase your damage, survivability, and resource sustain.

ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka PvE Build Features and Mechanics

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

  • Class – Arcanist
  • Weapon One – Daggers
  • Weapon Two – Flame Staff
  • Armor Types – 1 Light, 6 Medium
  • MythicPale Order
  • Race – Dark Elf
  • Attributes – 64 Magicka
  • Mundus Stone – Thief
  • Best Grimoires – Ulfsild’s Contingency

Skills

Front Bar: Daggers

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

  • Flame Staff = great for sustaining both resource pools and increase single target damage.
  • Dual Wield = most raw damage due to Twin Blade and Blunt passive BUT lacks resource return off heavy attacks
  • Bow = great with the range of the class though lacks the passive damage that Dual Wield has.
  • Two-Handed = is great for other builds that use heavy attacks and play in melee, but not for the Arcanist.
  • Sword and Shield = are mainly used for tanking and block mitigation, not useful for DPS PvE builds.

Pragmatic Fatecarver (Morph of Fatecarver | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – the build center’s around this ability and its 4.5-second 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 sustain. Swap morph for more damage if you can sustain/heal without issue.

Inner Light (Morph of Magelight | Skill Line : Mages Guild) – Simply slotted for increased max magicka which does more damage for you.

Cephaliarch’s Flail (Morph of Abyssal Impact | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – This skill is our debuff to targets and generator of Crux. The issue with the skill on a magicka build is it requires stamina which will drain you pretty quick. Therefore, use this to debuff mainly.

Barbed Trap (Morph of Trap Beast | Skill Line : Fighters Guild) – This skill is merely on our bar to buff our damage via the Fighter’s Guild passives. The skill barbed Trap also does insane single target damage when playing in melee range. I flex in Structured Entropy for a range dot that heals. When doing VMA, flex in Silver Leash to pull mobs. Another great option for serious content is Deadly Cloak for aoe reduction.

Quick Cloak (Morph of Blade Cloak | Skill Line : Dual Wield) – Major Evasion and Major Expedition, giving you a speed boost to push through content quicker.

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.

Back Bar: Flame Staff

Back Bar Weapon Options: They are all good choices depending on your play style and needs.

  • Lighting Staff = good for sustain because its easier to set off balance and fully charge heavy for resources.
  • Inferno Staff = great all-around damage with Unstable Wall and fully charge heavily to sustain magicka.
  • Bow = its great for playing at range, just swap out Elemental Susceptibility for Razor Caltrops and Endless Hail for Unstable Wall of Fire.
  • Two-Handed = incredible damage with stampede ability, though hard to sustain stamina.

Cruxweaver Armor (Morph of Fatewoven Armor | Skill Line : Soldier of Apocrypha) – Grants major resolve and minor breach when attacked as well as generating crux.

Fulminating Rune (Morph of The Imperfect Ring | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – Great DoT and aoe damage. If you venture into group content like world bosses as well, you can give allies synergies.

Zenas’ Empowering Disc (Morph of Arcanist’s Domain | Skill Line : Curative Runeforms) – Powerful area based buff skill and increases your recovery.

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.

Inspired Scholarship (Morph of Tome Bearer’s Inspiration | Skill Line : Herald of the Tome) – This ability boosts your overall damage significantly and should always be maintained. Swap morphs if you’re low on resources.

Sanctum of the Abyssal Sea (Morph of Gibbering Shield | Skill Line : Soldier of Apocrypha) – A powerful defensive ultimate when you are in trouble.

Scribing Skills & Grimoires

Soul Burst PvP Scripts for ESO
Traveling Knife PvP Scripts for ESO

Ulfsild’s Contingency is the only real Grimoire (skill) you might consider for a solo Magicka Arcanist PvE build.  Contingency grants powerful area-based damage and buffs. There are also just generally better skills on the Arcanist anyway, so you’ll probably want to skip scribing entirely.

Below are the suggested combination of Grimoires, focus, signature, and affix scripts:

  • Ulfsild’s Contingency (Mage Guild) – Flame Damage (focus script), Lingering Torment (signature script), Vulnerability (Affix Script)

The Scribing System utilizes one of 11 new skills from the Gold Road Chapter called Grimoires.  With Grimoires, you can customize spells via Scripts. The scribing feature requires the purchase of the Gold Road Chapter (sponsored link). To learn more about scribing, check out our full guide here.

Passives Skills

Below are the passive skills lines that add power without requiring a skill slot while playing the ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE. Consider taking all the skill passives in the skill tree listed below:

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

Gear

The gear chart below represents the best gear for ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE:

SlotTypeSetTraitGlyph
HeadlightValkyn SkoriaDivinesMagicka
ShouldersmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
ChestmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
LegsmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
GlovesmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
BootsmediumPerfected Ansuul’s TormentDivinesMagicka
BeltmediumDeadly StrikesDivinesMagicka
Weapon OneDaggerDeadly StrikesNirnhonedFlame
DaggerDeadly StrikesChargedPoison
Weapon TwoFlame StaffPerfected Crushing WallInfusedWeapon Damage
NecklaceDeadly StrikesBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Ring 1Pale OrderBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Ring 2Deadly StrikesBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Best in Slot Mag Arcanist Gear

In PvE, high-end DPS builds, magicka, and stamina builds run similar gear setups, including medium armor. Medium is more robust due to not reaching the penetration cap of light armor. However, Light armor can provide a shield with greater sustain. Below are various options.

Monster Helm and Mythic

Valkyn Skoria: obtained in City of Ash II veteran. Gives a powerful one piece bonus for penetration. Alternative Slimecraw.

Ring of the Pale Order: Mythic obtained by collecting five pieces. This gives great healing for doing damage and allows you to focus on pure damage.

FLEX OPTIONS (if you switch to monster setup, drop the ring and replace it with Vicious or flex piece)

  1. Stormfist – always works, easy to obtain and  AoE DPS set.
  2. Balorgh = is incredible for boss burns in Veteran Maelstrom Arena saving up ultimate for 500 burns.
  3. Kra’gh – one piece is great for a pen, two-piece does good single-target damage
  4. Iceheart = is great for survivability.
  5. Perfected Merciless Charge = must change out Unstable Blockade for Stampede, good damage but requires melee skills.
  6. Perfected Thunderous Volley = good alternative to play at range with back bar. Swap out Unstable Blockade for Endless Hail bow skill.
  7. Velothi Ur-Mage’s Amulet: new mythic that is incredible damage if you have good survivability and don’t require Pale Order.
  8. Mora’s Whisper = set and forget high critical mythic but requires a collection of Mages Guild books.
  9. Death Dealer’s Fete = high max stats and requires no effect but in combat.
Gear Sets

Deadly Strikes: These were obtained in Cyrodiil, Bruma Elite Gear Vendor. Incredible damage with damage over time and spammable execute skills.

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.

Perfected Crushing Wall: from Veteran Maelstrom Arena in Orsinium. Increase your overall DPS due to the ability of the wall of elements and more damage.

FLEX OPTIONS

  1. Perfected Whorl of the Depth = (TRIAL) another proc set that comes in light armor.
  2. Mother’s Sorrow = an overland option base game easy to get and good damage
  3. Order’s Wrath = (CRAFTING)Best overall crafting damage option
  4. Pillar of Nirn = (DUNGEON) great overall proc set damage.

Race

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. 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.
  3. 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%.

Attributes

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

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 Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE

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 Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE:

  1. Precision 10
  2. Wrathful Strikes (slottable) 50
  3. Fighting Finesse (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 Solo Arcanist Magicka Build for PvE:

  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 and 1,626 total spent.

Craft Constellation Champion Points

ESO Craft Champion Tree

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

  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

Mistral Banana-Bunny Hash - ESO Consumables Food
Heroism Potions in The Elder Scrolls Online

The best consumables for the solo Magicka Arcanist PvE build are Mistral Banana-Bunny Hash food and Heroism potions. Mistral Banana-Bunny Hash gives the most damage possible, though Clockwork Citrus Filet is good for resource sustain if you struggle. A third balanced option for more hybrid resource pools is Bewitched Sugar Skulls. The best potions if you have spell critical and spell power buff is Heriosm (the essence of magicka). Another option is Spell Power potions if you lack the buffs or tri-stat Essence of Health. Below are our recommended food and potion choices:

Mistral Banana-Bunny Hash (best damage no sustain) – Increases max health and max magicka. Crafted with Provisioning ingredients of Small Game, Bananas, and Seasoning.

  • Clockwork Citrus Filet – Increases max health, health recovery, max magicka, and magicka recovery. Crafted with Provisioning ingredients of Red Meat, Lemon, Frost Mirriam, and Perfect Roe.
  • Witchmother’s Potent Brew – Increases max magicka, max health, and magicka recovery. Crafted with Provisioning ingredients of Nightshade, Bervez Juice, Rice, and Small Game.
  • Bewitched Sugar Skulls (tri-max stats) – increases max health, stamina, magicka, and health recovery. Crafted with provisioning from ingredients of Scrib Jelly, Flour, Columbine, Bervez Juice, and Honey.

Heroism Potion – Restores stamina and magicka and grants minor heroism for a time. Crafted with Alchemy from ingredients of Columbine, and Dragon’s Blood, Dragon Rheum.

  • Essence of Spell Power – grants major critical, major spell power buff, and magicka recovery. Crafted with alchemy from ingredients such as Corn Flower, Lady’s Smock, and Luminous Russula (other combinations).
  • Tri-Pots – grants immediate health, stamina and magicka, along with tri-recovery. Crafted with Alchemy from ingredients of Bugloss, Columbine, and Mountain Flower.

Build Summary – ESO Solo Arcanist Magicka PvE Build

Class: Arcanist

Race: Dark Elf

Attributes: 64 Magicka

Mundus Stone: Thief

Weapon One: Daggers

Weapon Two: Destruction Staff

Armor Set 1: Deadly Strikes

Armor Set 2: Perfected Ansuul’s Torment

Monster Helm: Slimecraw

Mythic: Pale Order

Armor Weight: 6 Medium, 1 Light

Food: Mistral Bananan-Bunny Hash

Potion: Essence of Magicka with Minor Heroism

Skill Bar 1

  • Cephaliarch’s Flail
  • Pragmatic Fatecarver
  • Barbed Trap
  • Quick Cloak
  • Inner Light
  • The Languid Eye (Ultimate)

Skill Bar 2

  • Blockade of Fire
  • Zena’s Empowering Disk
  • Inspired Scholarship
  • Cruxweaver Armor
  • Fulminating Rune
  • Sanctum of the Abyssal Sea

Scribing Grimoires and Scripts

  • Ulfsild’s Contingency (Mage Guild)
    • Flame Damage (focus script)
    • Lingering Torment (signature script)
    • Vulnerability (Affix Script)

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