ESO High Isle Class and Build Changes

The High Isle Chapter has hit the Public Test Server with some radical changes to current class abilities, champion points, and some game breaking gear sets to come.

That begs the question, how will this change your build regardless of class and playstyle?  That’s what I’m here to answer in this post.

Video Guide

Champion Points

With some PvE players parsing 130,000 DPS, the developers decided there was a DPS nuclear arms race and power creep needed to be toned down instead of injecting more sets or something to further exacerbate the issue.

Thus, you’re going to see a significant nerf in the warfare or blue champion points constellation on the PTS

One the damage side of things, The following slottables now grant 3% to their listed bonuses per stage, with 2 stages at 25 points per stage, rather than 2% with 5 stages at 10 points per stage.  Meaning, Instead of 10% max value, you’ll be left with 6% a four percent reduction in each of the following offensive and defensive slottables:

  • Biting Aura increase AoE
  • Deadly Aim single target
  • Thaumaturge damage over time
  • Master at arms direct damage attacks

On defensive side of thing the same treatment was giving to

  • Duelist’s rebuff reduction in single target damage
  • Enduring resolve reduction in damage over time
  • Ironclad reduction in direct damage
  • Unassailable reduction in AoE

This is a massive nerf to overall damage and a further reduction in champion point effectives and utility.  In PvP terms, you’ll notice that healing slottables such as focused mending were not touched, thus you might see a shift to healing based defensive slottables rather than damage reduction.

The developers also added an old favorite from the previous CP system and that’s exploiter Increases your damage done against Off Balance enemies by 2% per stage. 5 stages, 10 points per stage.

And Force of a nature a new slottable Increases your Offensive Penetration by 900 for each status effect your target has. 1 stage, 50 points.

Okay great, what does this all mean and how will it change your build?

First thing to explain is why the exploiter champion point slottable is so strong.  The Off balance is a status effective is visually indicated with a swirly circle around the enemy’s head.  When an enemy is Off Balance, they can be knocked down with a Heavy Attack.  Skills like Elemental Blockade form the Destruction staff skill line with a lighting staff equipped sets Concussed enemies Off Balance.  Concussed status can be applied by dealing Shock Damage to an enemy. Concussed enemy suffers from Minor Vulnerability debuff for 4 seconds, increasing their damage taken by 5%.

Using light staffed combined with charge trait and shock glyph on your back bar, it’s a recipe for huge group DPS.  Considering making the change especially PvE healers if you’re not using this combination already.

The second slottable added, Force of nature slottable helps medium armor users that lack penetration stat.  PvE enemies have right around 18,000 resistances.  Light armor users have a passive called concertation increasing your Physical and Spell Penetration by 939 for each piece of Light Armor worn.

Thus the light armor users in a group with a tank providing major and minor fracture debuffs, infused crusher enchant applied and 5 or more pieces of light armor equipped, essentially the mobs are naked giving you huge DPS.

For the medium armor user, you lack the penetration with the upside of high weapon damage due to the Agility passive.  Thus, this slottable is a great choice in both PvE or PvP and freeing up even more options in gear, weight and traits you pick and why.

And there’s even more adjustments!

Backstabber: This node now grants 2% Critical Damage per stage, down from 3%.  What this means is critical damage cap will be harder to reach and lower in damage overall.  Critical damage cap is 125%, which doesn’t affect most players outside of serious raiding communities and high parse damage dealers.

Cutting Defense: This node now scales off the higher of your Physical or Spell Resistance, rather than your Max Health.  This was being cheesed in some PvP builds stacking high health, low resistance and doing crazy damage.

Fighting Finesse: This node now grants 4% Critical Damage and Healing per stage with 2 stages at 25 points per stage, rather than 2% Critical Damage and Healing with 5 stages at 10 points per stage.  Overall reduction here to somewhat match backstabber making it harder to get critical damage cap.

Occult Overload: This node now deals 2560 Oblivion Damage per stage with 5 stages at 10 points per stage, rather than 2000 Oblivion damage per stage with 2 stages at 25 points per stage.  This acts as a massive AoE nuke and when tested gives everyone at least the chance to blow up mobs.  Both in PvP or PvE don’t sleep on this the numbers are huge making anyone become a bomber.

Riposte: This node now increases the damage done of your next direct damage attack by 33%, rather than dealing 4800 flat damage to your attacker.

Wrathful Strikes and Rejuvenator: These nodes now grant 41 Weapon and Spell Damage to their effects, up from 33This could be a mandatory slottable now with the bump up in damage alongside off balance exploiter a big shift for pve and pvp.

A lot to digest there, but in summary, you’ll be doing less damage especially if you’re at 1,500 champion points or higher and you’ll have less sturdiness coming from the blue tree.  I imagine most PvPers will shift to a heavy healing focus CP slottables for defensives as they remain untouched.  I imagine most PvErs will switch to exploiter and wrathful strikes and lose a bit of dps over all but nothing mind boggling.

Next up is class specific changes and there’s some big ones.

Dragonknight Class Changes

Since we are on the topic of DPS nerfs, lets start with changes to the dragonknight and that’s Engulfing flames Reduced the Flame Damage taken bonus on this morph to a maximum of 6%, down from 10%. The total sum of Weapon and Spell Damage needed to reach the cap remains the same.

This is a big DPS loss combined with CP changes because most trial and pve groups relay on magicka DPS with unstable blockade, volcanic rune and other fire damage skills.

Some other changes minor changes are

  • Draconic Power
    • Dark Talons
      • Choking Talons (morph): Reduced the cost of this morph to 3510, down from 4050.  Mainly used for tanks to control, decent shift in cost reduction.
    • Spiked Armor
      • Hardened Armor (morph): Increased the damage shield granted from this morph by 24%.  Another tankish morph, decent bump here.
  • Earthen Heart
    • Obsidian Shield
      • Fragmented Shield (morph): Increased the duration of Major Mending granted from this morph to 6.667 seconds at base, up from 5 seconds. Don’t worry though, it’ll reach a nice whole number when you have your Eternal Mountain passive maxed out.  Nice bump to major mending, but it’s very hard to cast frequently due to spell cost and restoration staff fully charge seems to be the better option a lot of the time but nice for some tanks and stam dk builds.

I’m honestly kind of shocked nothing else about the DK got adjusted.  Coagulating blood is rivaling any other burst heal the game, burning embers heals per second are insane, and the most over the top ultimate corrosive armor didn’t get adjusted.  TLDR, still consider Dragonknight stamina or magicka S or A tier in nearly all categories of the game both pve or pvp.

Necromancer Class Changes

Necromancers received some minor adjustments and an odd one both mystic siphon and mortal coil now give recovery across the board rather than magicka or stamina over time.  This is going to be a sustain hit on the necro tank especially since you don’t regenerate stamina while holding block with sword and shield, this stamina recovery doesn’t do much for you in this context.  Plus, with health recovery having lower value in the state of the game, this is an odd change considering necromancer struggles with sustain outside of specific skills and passives.

Another necro change is the stamina based main spammable that is rarely used and that’s Ruinous Scythe This morph now deals Bleed Damage, rather than Physical, now applies the Hemorrhaging status effect on damage dealt and sets all enemies Off Balance on hit, rather than every 3rd cast.

This could be a big positive for the stamina-based users with off balance being more relevant and the hemorrhaging status effected enemy suffering from Minor Mangle debuff for 4 seconds, reducing their maximum health by 10%.  Consider tinkering with this main spammable for both the debuff off balance and hemorrhaging.

Some other necromancer changes:

Beckoning Armor (morph): This morph now attempts to pull valid targets once every 2 seconds, up from once every 3.

Hexproof (morph): Reduced the cost of this morph to 1670 at its final rank, down from 1880.

Moving onto the Sorcerer next!

Sorcerer Class Changes

There are some massive changes to the Sorcerer specifically stamina sorc.  Will this bring Fengrush back?  Maybe, let me explain.  The first major change is to the skill crystal shard, the base morph of both crystal weapons the stamina-based morph and crystal fragments the magicka based morph.

Crystal Fragments (morph) will now activate off any non-Ultimate active ability cast, rather than only Magicka costing abilities.  Also, reduced the proc chance to 33%, down from 35%.  This is an enormous boost to flexibility in the class. Testing on my stamina sorc, getting random frag procs while casting vigor, streak, whirling blades is amazing.  Not to mention, with the hybridization of stats, c-frags hits just as hard on stamina build as a magicka build.  Freeing up stamina sustain to fire off huge frag nukes.  This will be a gamer changer in PvP especially giving sorc range even when playing a melee build or the borc build (bow sorc) even more utility.


The stamina based morph Crystal Weapon (morph): This morph now causes your next two Light or Heavy Attacks to deal bonus damage, up from 1. There is a small cooldown on this to avoid the ability to instantly proc both, though!  How this works is cast crystal fragments, light attack, ability, light attack to get 2 frag procs with about a 1.5-2 second window.  The damage was not touched, thus you have even more burst on a stamina sorc with no additional cost giving the class an incredibly difficult decision, weapons or frags?  Both are absolutely incredible and see these changes pushing the sorcerer up to S tier in PvP and the Templar moving back to A tier.  More on them later.

Sorcerers received a boost in sustain with Energy Overload morph now will restores up to 1200 Magicka and Stamina, rather than up to 1192 Magicka. The restore now happens any time you use the Light or Heavy Attacks, rather than only when they deal damage.  This is a major boost to resource sustain and enjoyment in stam sorc pvp because the game play look is currently bubble bee in for 2-5 seconds, retreat then doing 10 consecutive dark deals to resource sustain.  Now, dive bomb, pull back up and use ultimate carefully for all out damage.

I swear we are just about done with sorc, next buff up is Endless Fury morph which is the ranged execute.  This ability sees a reduction in the cost of this morph to 2160, down from 2430 to help reinforce the idea that you are able to endlessly cast it.  Now the stamina sorc can pick from three different executes, whirling blades from dual wield, two handed executioner or endless fury giving you both range or melee main spammables making the class truly the kind and queens or hybrid, mobility and possibilities.  Get ready to re-roll magplar folks.

One last minor change from summon charged atro morph always applying the concussed status.  PvE groups typically get this buff from other sources so not much incentive to take this morph in it’s current form.

Well let’s rip off the band aid and talk about the templar changes, and it’s a big one.

Templar Class Changes

If you want a deep dive, check out my previous templar video, but the number one survivability mechanism for the templar has been changed.

Living Dark morph This morph’s heal no longer scales with stats and instead heals for a base of 2000 Health when it triggers.

The TLDR on this skill was, you could setup your build for max spell damage, cast bubble and dive bomb into groups and survive.  If you could sustain the massive magicka cost on magicka or stamina builds, you’d have great survivability allowing the templar to shine in melee range like it was always meant to do.

Now with the static values which can be amplified by major and minor mending, you have very little incentive to run the high spell damage sets like olomire, rallying cry, clever alchemist and so forth in PvP.  This is a total gutting of the PvP magplar if the change stands and will be forced to play like other builds, mainly staying on our back bar and very little offensive pressure before having to retreat, rebuff and heal.

Other minor changes include:

Blazing Shield morph received an increased in the radius of this morph to 8 meters, up from 6, to better match its visual effects.  This won’t change much for a niche tanking skill.

Backlash: Increased the cost of this ability and the Purifying Light morph to 2160, up from 2000.  Slight adjustments along with the morph Power of the Light reduced the cost of this morph to 1337, down from 1700.

The Dark Flare morph received a Reduced the cost of this morph to 2430, down from 2700. Making it a bit more affordable if you want to play range templar.

Next up with have huge changes to the Warden and there some odd ones.

Warden Class Guide

In case you want to know, Warden is my least favorite class in ESO. It has super high damage but lacks solo resource sustain, burst healing and on demand class stun. You’re pigeon holed into a bomber in PvP or super high DPS PvE character in a coordinated PvE group.  These upcoming changes don’t solve any of the issues but continue to push the warden into that exact same direction.

Arctic blast is up first, which is the morph the heals, stuns after being attack and scales in effectiveness with max health.  The adjustments are as follows:

  • This morph now requires enemies to be damaged 5 times in order to be stunned, up from 3.
  • Reduced the duration of the stun to 3 seconds, down from 4.
  • Increased the duration of the stack counter to 3 seconds, up from 1.

This is a pretty big gutting to the warden.  The one thing needed for the class was for this ability to scale in effectives with weapon and spell damage like 99% of all other burst heals in the game. But instead, it will not be harder to stun and a reduction in the duration.  I’m currently testing out other heals because I’m tired of PvP warden stacking max health, sacrificing tons of stamina or magicka in order to have a halfway decent burst heal.

Another odd change is Crystalized slab, stun targets that deal damage to you, but this only works with ranged abilities. The warden is back in the same place, completely depending on dizzying swing, fighter’s guild ability, vampire or other niche goofy skills to stun opponents.  But there’s some great changes ahead!

The ultimate ability and morph Wild Guardian received an adjustment and now deals 10% more damage, up from 5%, to ensure it deals similar damage to Eternal Guardian (the magicka morph) when you take the Piercing Magic passive.

This morph now converts the damage to Bleed Damage instead of Physical, and each attack applies the Hemorrhaging status effect. We’ve already talked about this passive, but hemorrhaging is a big boost to damage and makes the bleeden build even stronger.   The Dro’zakar’s claw set should be your number one priority to collect if you don’t have it already, coming from moongrave fan and increasing weapon and spell damage for each bleed.  Combine that  set with other weapon abilities and cutting dive, the stamden will do even more mind boggling damage.

And yet even more damage boost to the warden with the magicka based morph Deep Fissure now also applies Minor Breach to enemies hit for the duration.  This is a huge boost in damage, especially solo or in PvP providing both major and minor breach lowering resistances by nearly 9,000!  That equates to an enormous amount of damage and when testing solo or duels you’ll see a huge increase in damage, well minus the champion point nerf.

This also helps solve a problem with stamden and that’s solo sustain, though you’re not going to get the second cast that subterranean assault has. But if you can sustain the magicka cost, want the most burst possible and can recast frequently every 3 seconds, this morph is a game changer for magicka and stamden.

Another huge boost in DPS is a change the formerly magicka based ultimate and morph Northern Storm, this morph now grants 300 Weapon and Spell Damage for up to 30 seconds after casting, rather than up to 15% Max Magicka for 30 seconds.

Now image your stamden popping clever alchemist on your back bar, northern storm, swapping bar hitting a deep fissure and charging in headfirst.  It was the first thing I tested, and my one-shot warden build was hitting 8,000 weapon damage with a 500 stack of Balorgh.

Will this replace flawless dawnbreaker in PvE?  I don’t think so, but you’ll have great options to pick from in PvE and PvP giving the utlimates the warden has a much-needed boast.

Some other minor changes:

Corrupting Pollen (morph): This morph now also applies Minor Cowardice to enemies in the area, to help it gain some viability in PvE areas.

Expansive Frost Cloak (morph): Expanded the radius of this morph to 36 meters, up from 28.

Overall, these changes make the warden more of what it is, a glass cannon in pve and pvp.  If you like that playstyle, which I do, you’ll get more of what you want. But to solve the classes issue, we need a burst heal that scales off weapon and spell damage and an on-demand stun within our class kit not requiring outside skill lines.

Nightblade Class Changes

Moving onto the nightblade and first up is the change to ambush the gap closer primarily used in PvP.  This ability gets an Increased in the duration of Empower granted from this morph to 10 seconds, up from 3.  This morph now also grants Minor Berserk for its duration.

Empower is a buff to light or heavy attacks so you’re next light attack weave will be easier to land, and the minor berserk is pretty meh considering most nightblade PvP builds run camouflage hunter from the fighters guild.  Reason being, Shadowing Disguise guarantees you a critical strike, critical striking from the flank gives you minor berserk, so why would you need this skill?

Piercing mark going a 2x bump in duration which will now last 60 seconds.

Refreshing path, the healing version that provides big mobility and decent healing to a group gets a couple of buffs, minor endurance and intellect for 4 second each.  Not game changing outside of PvP ball groups and very niche nightblade healers, but giving the nightblade a lot more utility in that department isn’t a bad thing.

Drain power which is nightblade big 360 aoe damage ability saw an Increased in the duration of Major Brutality and Sorcery granted from this ability and its morphs to 30 seconds, up from 20.  While the stamina based morph Power Extraction now also grants the caster Minor Courage for 30 seconds upon dealing damage.

This is a pretty decent boost to a niche stamina based morph.  Minor courage is typically provided in coordinated pve dungeon or trial groups but for the average player an extra 215 weapon and spell damage, combined with your major buffs is a decent bump.  Is this enough to use in aoe cleave situations over whirling blades, sap essence, carve or something else? Probably not sadly.


Well gang, that’s a post, and there’s a lot more to cover, especially on gear which I’ll break down in another video.  Let me know in the comments if you like these longer in depth videos and I’ll keep cranking them out.