ESO Necrom Chapter Update 38: Everything You Need to Know About the New Changes

Welcome to the ESO Necrom Chapter Update 38: Everything You Need to Know About the New Changes.

ESO Necrom Chapter Story

The Necrom Chapter and Update 38 will officially bring the Arcanist class into the Elder Scrolls Online live server. This new chapter will hit PC and Macs on June 5, 2023, and will come to both Xbox and Playstation consoles a couple of weeks later on June 20th.

Necrom Chapter Update 38: What to Expect?

The Arcanist is obviously taking a lot of the main spotlight as this is the first new class to come to the game since the Necromancer in May 2019. However, there are a lot of other changes which are going to affect the base game, and you don’t want to miss these impactful changes to certain aspects of gameplay. This post will explain how things affect your PvE and PvP characters.

For all the juicy details, check out my video or read on below!

What Are the Biggest Changes Coming to ESO Necrom Chapter Update 38?

The following list contains all the essential changes in ESO Update 38 coming with Necrom Chapter:

  • Melee range back to 7 meters from 5
  • Sorcerer changes to Dark Exchange, Volatile Familiars, and Storm Atronach
  • Dragonknight Burning Talons’ ability changed
  • Templar changes to Rune Focus, Focused Charge, Backlash, and Solar Flare
  • Detect Potions now have a 43.5-meter range
  • Veloth Ur New Mythic nerfed before the release
  • Mara’s Balm cleanse changed from a 15-second cooldown to 30 seconds
  • Plaguebreak only works on players, not NPC
  • Storm Masters heavy attack benefit reduces to 8 seconds from 20
  • Empower Heavy Attack reduced from 80% to 70%

Melee range increased to 7 meters from 5 meters

7 meter melee range in eso
7-meter melee range in eso

Melee abilities with a range of 5 meters have all been increased (back) to 7 meters, to aid in their use while moving and to offer more breathing room and reliability in landing.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

In ESO Necrom Chapter Update 38, Developer comments remind players that this essential-to-know change is actually reverting a previous change that took the melee range from its original 7 meters to the shorter 5. That change was made due to other issues, which the developers note have since been addressed in other updates. Therefore, allowing the melee the original wider range is intended to give melee players back a little mobility.

This change will really affect the up-close-and-personal type of melee damage dealers. Players familiar with Dizzying Swing, which also has a range of 7 meters, will already have a good feel for this new (but old) distance and where hits will land. The Dragonknight class also had a passive, which gave its melee builds a 7-meter range, so unfortunately, this change takes away a bit of class identity for them.

Overall, this will give melee players a bit more breathing room. It’s certainly not a game-breaking change but will help melee players keep a little more space between them and enemy mechanics while still doing damage.

Sorcerer Changes

Dark Deal Skill Update 38 Necrom Chapter
Dark Deal Skill Update 38 Necrom Chapter

Dark Exchange: This ability and the Dark Conversion morph now also grant Minor Berserk for the 20 second duration they restore resources.

Dark Deal (morph): This morph now grants Minor Berserk and Minor Force for the 10 seconds it restores resources.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

I feel like this is an odd change because the Sorcerer definitely does not need more damage. What it really needs is a reliable heal outside of the Twilight Matriarch or a shield that you have to use max health of magicka on. I’m not sure why they wanted to give Sorcerers more damage in this way, but if you’re playing a bursty Sorcerer this can be another tool in your kit to take advantage of.

Summon Storm Atronach: The synergy from this Ultimate and its morphs, Charged Lightning, now grants Major Berserk for 10 seconds, up from 8. Increased the amount of targets the synergy will target to 12, up from 6.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

This next change to a Sorcerer skill line is a much better one. Major Berserk is very sought after, especially in PvE content. The change of synergy targets from 6 up to 12 demonstrates that they’re really targeting the trials players. So if you’re playing a One Bar Build and you drop your Storm Atronach, this is a great way to get everyone in the trial that Major Berserk buff.

In addition, in coordinated groups this could be used by multiple players to contribute to a rotation which results in a high uptime on Major Berserk across the full group.

Summon Unstable FamiliarSummon Volatile Familiar (morph): This morph’s special active now only stuns on the 2nd tick, rather than the 4th and final ticks, to make the stun less volatile in nature and help reduce the passive feeling of the skill. To make up for this loss, we’re increasing the chance of applying the Charged status effect from the special active’s damage to 5% per tick, up from 1%. Zzzzap!

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

This last change I’m going to mention is small, but still important to know for players who take this particular morph in the Unstable Familiar skill line. The change from the fourth tick to the second is a good change, though perhaps a bit odd that they didn’t put the stun on the first. Still, this will definitely be a way for Sorcerers to get some relief when they’re taking pressure from enemies, and is a nice, easy stun to acquire in the early game.

Dragonknight Changes

Dragonknight Skill Change for ESO Necroms
Dragonknight Skill Change for ESO Necroms

Burning Talons: This morph’s Damage over Time effect now will only apply if the target hit by the initial hit does not have a stack of the DoT active, similarly to Acid Spray, to help the skill shine more in Area of Effect situations where you are actively refreshing the skill. Note that it will still continue to stack from multiple targets.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

Burning Talons (morph): The Damage over Time from this morph will now always apply to the target, rather than only when they do not already have the DoT active.

Reduced the damage over time by approximately 27%, but increased the duration to 5 seconds, up from 4.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.3

Despite these changes, Burning Talons is still one of the strongest Dragonknight abilities, regardless of whether you’re in PvE or PvP. This is primarily due to the damage over time (DOT) effect and the quickness of its channelling. While these changes are clearly a nerf to the ability, I still recommend it for the synergy it offers and the crowd control it provides.

This may have a stronger impact on the highly skilled PvE player doing hardcore content, spamming the skill, and depleting all their magicka. However, when I tested it on the PTS, the results were pretty simple, and it just lasted a little bit longer.

This passive no longer extends the range of melee attacks by 2 meters, as this is now once again their standard range.

This passive now increases your Health Recovery by 129/259 per Draconic Power ability slotted. rather than 2/5% per ability.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

As you may recall from point #10, now that the melee range is returned to 7 meters, this means that the Elder Dragon passive is no longer unique. This change is pretty underwhelming as Health Recovery is not an issue that Dragonknights needed help with. However, overall the Dragonknight class passives are pretty powerful, so it wouldn’t have made any sense for the developers to go even farther overboard with a bigger buff here.

Templar Changes

Templar Skill Changes ESO Necrom Chapter
Templar Skill Changes ESO Necrom Chapter

Focused Charge: This ability and its morphs now grant Major Protection for 4 seconds after reaching your target.

Explosive Charge: This morph now also extends the duration of Major Protection to 10 seconds.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

Major Protection buff reduces damage taken by 10% (this applies equally in PvE and PvP). This is another unusual class change, given that Templars are already well known for their survivability, which will only make them tankier.

Solar Flare: This ability and its morphs now also grant Sunsphere for 5 seconds after casting, increasing your damage done with class abilities by 5%.

Solar Barrage (morph): This morph also extends the duration of Sunsphere to 20 seconds.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0
The Solar Flare

The Solar Flare ability and its morphs are the next important Templar change. Solar Barrage is one of my favorite Templar abilities, and I’m excited to see this get such a great buff. This ability is now going to do awesome area of effect (AOE) damage, buff your class skills (which is mostly what Templars have on their bars in the first place), and allow you to do a lot more damage up in melee range. This change to a longtime favorite class of mine is great to see.

Backlash: This ability and its morphs now need 60% less total damage needed to reach their final values.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.3
Purifying Light and Power of the Light

For those unfamiliar, Purifying Light and Power of the Light are essentially the delayed bursting tool of the Templar, particularly in PvP. It has been incredibly hard (if not impossible) to reach that entire value. So when the burst goes off at the end of six seconds, it absolutely nukes a players enemy. So this change will really only be a help for PvP builds and not for PvE.

The overall issue with the ability is that not only can it be cleansed, but the ability takes six seconds to go off. But in duels and 1v1 situations this ability will be an absolute must-have for Templars.

This ability and its morphs now heal you for 2% of your Max Health every second they are active, rather than 4.5% of your Max Health while you are standing within the rune.

Increased this healing effect by 200% while you are standing in the rune, resulting in a 33.3% (repeating of course) increase overall while in the rune.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

Yet another change to an ability that makes Templars even more survivable than before. Now the rune will do some small amount of healing even if you are no longer standing directly inside of it. A nice change that makes the ability a little less restrictive than before, but overall players are still going to need to hunker down inside their ‘house’ in order to really get the benefit from this buff.

Warden Changes

Arctic Blast (morph): The stun from this morph now fires after a 2-second delay, rather than immediately. Recasting the ability before the delay completes will reset the delay timer.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.0

Detect Potions Radius Change

Detection Potions: Reduced the bonus detection size of these potions to 43.5 meters, down from 100 meters. These values will ensure similar power experiences and detection sizes as before, with the new updates to how Invisibility works with detection bonuses under the hood.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.4

The next change you must know about is that the range of Detection potions will be shorter in ESO Necrom Chapter Update, 38. While this reads in the text like a major nerf, as it cuts almost 57 meters out of the detection range, in practice, it’s not actually so bad. As you can see in the image below, 43.5 meters is actually a really wide range in the Cyrodiil grounds! This should effectively counter all the bow gankers that like to hide in the fields.

This is what 43 meters looks like in-game

If you have the Medicinal Use passive levelled all the way up, these potions should last around 15 seconds, and if you’re playing any open field PvP at all, you’ll want to make sure that you have a nice stock of these available.

This will be a major blow to those who like the stealthy, sniping gameplay style, though.

New Mythic Velothi Ur-Mage’s Amulet

Veloth Changes Necrom Chapter ESO
Veloth Changes Necrom Chapter ESO

Reduced the amount of Offensive Penetration this set grants to 1650, down from 4968.

This set now grants Minor Force while worn, rather than increasing your Critical Damage done by a unique 15%.

From PTS Patch Notes v9.0.3

Of all the changes that ZOS is making to ESO with the Necrom Chapter and Update 38, this is probably the one I’m most disappointed in. Velothi Ur-Mage’s Amulet is a brand new mythic that will release with the new chapter.

Originally on the PTS the piece added 4968 Offensive Penetration and also increased your damage done to monsters by 15%, your Critical Damage by 15%, and reduced Light and Heavy attack damage by 99%. Essentially, this was a better Oakensoul for people who like bar swapping. I ran my Templar through Vatashram Hollows and did absolutely major damage.

In my opinion, this mythic was going to be great for the game, but these final modifications in later patch notes have unfortunately gutted it. Offensive Penetration is way down to 1650, and instead of 15% Critical Damage, you now get Minor Force.

I’m very surprised by this change, as it not only guts the mythic itself, but also makes many of the new sets coming in the Necrom chapter not worth collecting anymore. It might be somewhat useful on the Arcanist because that new class may not rely so much on light and heavy attacks, but outside of super specific scenarios this originally awesome mythic just won’t see much use.

Mara’s Balm Change

Mara’s Balm original tooltip on left, PTS change on right

Mara’s Balm: Increased the cooldown of this set’s cleanse to 30 seconds, up from 15.


The basic function of Mara’s Balm is that it heals you when DOTs or negative effects are refreshed on you. If you receive a certain amount of cleanses, it will then grant the player a burst heal and removes all negative effects.

As you can read in the tooltip above, the effect occurrence on Mara’s Balm has gone from once every 15 seconds all the way up to 30. This is quite a nerf, but does it make the set completely useless?

Absolutely not. The question players should ask themselves about this set is how bad do you need Mara’s Balm to cleanse, and how much is it healing you for? A good alternative set for those who may want to make a change is Hist Sap, which also gives you a decent heal similar to Mara’s but doesn’t provide the cleanse. Daedric Trickery is also a great defensive set, along with Rallying Cry and others.

But if you’ve already golded out a set of Mara’s Balm, I would highly suggest trying it out when Necrom launches and then potentially adjusting your build rather than switching sets. What I love about Mara’s Balm is that it comes in heavy armor, which allows more flexibility with jewelry sets and pieces. In addition, Mara’s Balm can be back barred, whereas Hist is better to have on your body at all times.

Plaguebreak Change

Plaguebreak original tooltip on left, PTS change on right

Plaguebreak: This set now will only attempt to apply itself to enemy players, rather than any enemy. Note that the explosion can still damage and be amplified by nearby non-players.


This set has been one of (if not my most) favorite sets in ESO ever. Part of the reason for this was how you could trigger its five-piece effect on NPC enemies and use that to affect player enemies in Cyrodiil and Imperial City. This was particularly effective around the resource flags in Cyrodiil and the district flags in Imperial City. You need to know that this set won’t be as effective in ESO Necrom Chapter and Update 38 due to changes.

As you can see in the tooltip above, there is a single word change to Plaguebreak, but it really changes how most players were using this set. The effects of Plaguebreak will no longer apply to all enemies in the game, but ONLY to player enemies. Consequently, this means that you can no longer use the NPC guards to trigger an explosion on enemy players.

Does this change make Plaguebreak completely useless? Again, the answer is no. The effect can still be triggered on enemy players it will still be possible to bomb a ball or Zerg group in PvP. ZOS is just removing the ability to cheese it by first killing the more easily ended NPC guards.

Storm Masters Change

Storm Master original tooltip on left, PTS change on right

Storm Master: This set’s bonus damage with Light and Heavy Attacks now only works against monsters.  Reduced the duration of the bonus to 8 seconds, down from 20 seconds.  Reduced the cooldown to 5 seconds, down from 10.


The Storm Master set is an important component of the Oakensould Heavy Attack Builds because of the nice buff wearing 5 items gives to Light and Heavy attacks. The set is an easy-to-obtain base game set that has really been a game changer for players the last several months as the popularity of Heavy Attack builds has increased.

However, some players were finding ways to cheese the set in PvP, so as you can see in the tooltip above, ZOS has amended the damage to only apply to monsters in the game. Additionally, light and heavy attacks are only buffed for 8 seconds instead of 20, and correspondingly the cooldown was lowered from 10 seconds to 5.

The result of these changes is that Storm Master is still a good set because you can get decently high uptime in actual parsing. Not 100% uptime, but still worth keeping the set. If you’re looking to make a change, Noble Duelist is a light armor I don’t usually use unless playing solo, along with Undaunted Infiltrator and others.

Personally, my build is going to remain unchanged. When I tested this on the PTS and compared to the live server with a Vateshram Hallow trifecta run, my time was almost unchanged. Parsing it on a dummy will see a number drop, but it’s still highly effective in actual content.

Empower Buff Change

Empower Buff ESO Necrom Chapter
Empower Buff ESO Necrom Chapter

Empower: Reduced this bonus to 70%, down from 80%.


This change makes for yet another nerf to the Oakensoul heavy attack builds, which is disappointing, but perhaps not surprising given how effective those builds are. So the Empower buff increases damage against monsters with Heavy Attacks by 80%. And as you can see in the image taken from the PTS notes, 80% is now being reduced to 70%.

In combination with the change to Storm Master, you will feel these changes if you are already very familiar with the power of a heavy attack build. But these changes should not make you abandon these builds! We tested this extensively on the PTS, especially in solo content, and the build still works very, very well.

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