ESO: Tarnished Nightmare Explained With How to Get Instructions

Detailed instructions and everything you need to know about the Tarnished Nightmare set from the Oathsworn Pit dungeon in ESO.

ESO Tarnished Nightmare Armor appearance With How to Get Instructions

Tarnished Nightmare

Tarnished Nightmare Features and Set Bonuses in ESO:

  • Name: Tarnished Nightmare
  • Type: Dungeon Set
  • Available Armor Weight and Items: Medium Armor, Jewelry, Weapons
  • Location: Oathsworn Pit
  • Requires DLC: Scions of Ithelia
  • Armor Set bonuses (Level 50 – CP 160):
    • (2 items) Adds 657 Critical Chance
    • (3 items) Adds 657 Critical Chance
    • (4 items) Adds 657 Critical Chance
    • (5 items) When you deal Critical Damage to an enemy, glass shards burst 8 meters around them, dealing 1129 Physical Damage to enemies in the burst and applying the Sundered status effect. This effect can occur once every 8 seconds and the damage scales off the higher of your Weapon or Spell Damage.

In ESO, Tarnished Nightmare is a medium armor set with five set bonuses. You must wear at least two pieces from the set to activate the first bonus to Critical Chance. Wearing more than five items from Tarnished Nightmare will not grant you any additional buffs, so most ESO players will wear two five-piece sets and one monster set to get the maximum performance.

How to Use Tarnished Nightmare armor set - Set bonus effect - ESO Scions of Ithelia DLC

The first three bonuses add critical chance, making it easier for your character to land critical damage (more damage than a basic attack). Remember, Critical chance depends on your level and the sets or buffs you are wearing. 10% Critical chance is a baseline, and you can get lower than that; however, you can’t have more than 100% critical chance. You can check your character statistics in the attributes tab and click the advanced stats button to see the details (check the image below for reference).

ESO Character Statistics in the attributes tab and the advanced Stats Window on the Right.
Character Statistics is in the attributes tab, and the advanced Stats Window is on the right.

Thanks to the last bonus, each time you deal critical damage to one enemy, all enemies within 8 meters from them will receive an additional 1129 Physical damage. This effect can happen once every 8 seconds. It also applies the Sundered status effect (minor breach to targets for 4 seconds). Minor Breach reduces the Physical and  Spell Resistance by 2974 of an enemy. As a result, you will deal more damage in this 4-second window.

How to Use Tarnished Nightmare Set in PvE and PvP?

The Tarnished Nightmare set can be used as a replacement for the Pillars of Nirn set in PvE. However, it won’t replace the meta set in its current form. In PvP, it might have slight use but most likely will not replace Rallying Cry(From Rewards for the Worthy Box), Essence Thief(White-Gold Tower dungeon), and Clever Alchemist(Craftable in Hew’s Bane zone) for burst damage.


The Tarnished Nightmare 5-piece applies decent damage AoE and the Sundered status effect, which can have some play in more creative group compositions. It will apply minor breaches to enemies for 4 seconds, possibly reaching a 50% uptime. However, there are more consistent and reliable sources of this debuff that more competitive groups will use in ESO.

Regardless, the additional AoE damage could help with large trash packs if they can be neatly stacked. Considering the patch is also increasing the damage of Sundered, organized compositions could put Tarnished Nightmare on a damage dealer or healer.


The damage area size of the Tarnished Nightmare Set is large, 8 meters. Thanks to the guaranteed critical, the Nightblade class could use it on cooldown (every 8 seconds). It won’t be helpful as a Nightblade bomber because you’d have to drop a set, which would either be your pull or a nuke, weakening the combo.

The proc combined with Sundered (armor reduction debuff) makes Tarnished Nightmare a decent PvP 5-piece set in ESO, depending on how likely targets are to avoid the damage. The Set is designed mainly for PvE with zero bonus to regeneration or max stats, typically valuable for PvP builds.

Instructions to Get Tarnished Nightmare Set in ESO

You can get Tarnished Nightmare armor, weapons, and jewelry from bosses and chests in the Oathsworn Pit dungeon, on any difficulty. Below is how to get all items from the Tarnished Nightmare set:

  • Chests have a chance to drop Weapons and Jewelry from the Tarnished Nightmare set
  • All Bosses have a guaranteed drop of one body armor piece per player.
  • The Final Boss also has a guaranteed drop of one Body armor, Weapons, and Jewelry per player.
Map Location in The Reach, Oathsworn Pit dungeon - ESO Scions of Ithelia DLC

To enter the dungeon, you need to own the Scions of Ithelia DLC or have an active ESO Plus subscription. Oathsworn Pit is a group dungeon in ESO; you will need a group of four players, preferably one healer, one tank, and two damage dealers. Next, head to the Reach, a cold region in northwest Tamriel. The entrance to the dungeon is north of Druadach Mountains Wayshrine and east of the Deep Folk Crossing.

Oathsworn Pit dungeon - ESO Scions of Ithelia DLC

Each time your group defeats a boss or opens a chest, each player will receive a separate loot containing one random item from sets available in the Oathsworn Pit dungeon. Sets avalaiable in Oathsworn Pit dungeon are:

  • Tarnished Nightmare (Medium Armour)
  • Blind Path Induction (Light Armor)
  • Reflected Fury (Heavy Armor)
  • The Blind (Monster Set)

Can you Buy or Trade the Tarnished Nightmare Set in ESO?

You can’t buy Tarnished Nightmare set items. It’s worth noting that players, for a limited time, may trade the monster helmets and other dungeon-specific sets with each other. However, once the set is bound to the specific player, it can no longer be traded. You also cannot sell monster helmets to players who didn’t take part in defeating the final boss.

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