The Perfectionist – Magicka Nightblade PvP Build

Build Written By: Nyassa – PC NA – YouTube

Role: DPS (staff ganker)

Patch: Dragon Bones

Table of Contents

  1. Video
  2. Introduction
  3. Setup
    1. Gear
    2. Attributes
    3. Skills
    4. Vampire vs. Werewolf vs. Mortal
    5. Champion Points
    6. Other Important Info (Food, Mundus, Race, Potions, Passives)
  4. Resource Management and Rotation
  5. Tips & Misc
  6. Contact Info
  7. Update Log




Welcome to’s Magicka Nightblade PvP Ganker Build, The Perfectionist, for the game; Elder Scrolls Online! This build is intended for mostly open world engagements such as: Cyrodiil, battlegrounds, and Imperial city. This build can have fair success in dueling with a few minor tweaks to playstyle but is not built specifically for a toe to toe fight, it is meant to start and finish one rather than duke it out for however long. There have been many builds like this over time but nothing quite as powerful as it until the Dragon Bones update due to a very fun and unique set that we now have access to! Lots of people have tried heavy attack ganking but have had limited success since the Morrowind update decreased heavy attack damage, but now we don’t even have to open with a heavy attack.

This build is more durable than your average glass cannon, even for most Magicka builds. Once you have adapted to the play style you will be able to expertly move in, take out an opponent, and make a quick escape. If you don’t like playing Magicka Nightblade because of the skill; Merciless Resolve (Commonly referred to as Grim) and still enjoy two staves, this build will be great for you as this is not your only form of burst! I do however suggest having some aptitude with Grim because it will make your life so much easier, but it will not be a required element of the build. We have a few different tricks that allow us to burst and opponent down, Grim is just 1 of a few, but is likely the most reliable.

Smaller details in PvP builds are often personal preference. For example if you find yourself dodging more than you probably should (like me), than it may not be a bad idea to get some of your gear in the; “well-fitted” trait.



Magicka Nightblade PvP Build – Final
Gear Slot Set Weight Trait Enchant Acquisition
Head Grothdarr/Zaan Heavy Impenetrable (or well-fitted) Magicka Vet Vaults of Madness/Vet Scalecaller Peak
Shoulders Grothdarr/Zaan Medium Impenetrable (or well-fitted) Magicka Undaunted Chest
Gloves Caluurion’s Legacy Light Impenetrable Magicka Fang Lair
Legs Caluurion’s Legacy Light Impenetrable Magicka Fang Lair
Chest Caluurion’s Legacy Light Impenetrable Magicka Fang Lair
Belt Caluurion’s Legacy Light Impenetrable Magicka Fang Lair
Boots Transmutation Light Impenetrable Magicka Cyrodiil or Guild Trader
Necklace Transmutation Jewelry Arcane Stamina Recovery Cyrodiil or Guild Trader
Ring Transmutation Jewelry Arcane Spell Damage Cyrodiil or Guild Trader
Ring Transmutation Jewelry Arcane Spell Damage Cyrodiil or Guild Trader
Weapon 1 Caluurion’s Legacy Inferno Nirnhoned Oblivion Fang Lair
Weapon 2 Transmutation Restoration Defending Spell Damage Cyrodiil or Guild Trader

Note about gear: If you do not have access to Zaan’s, Grothdarr will work almost as well if not better. Zann’s is very powerful but we will not have a lot of max magicka already, using Zaan’s furthers this. I enjoy using Zaan’s but sometimes I wonder if Grothdarr would be better. So in this case that is left up to you to decide. Due to the amount of crit resist Transmutation grants, we can have a few more pieces in well fitted to help us kite, but we want some impen so we don’t get bursted down quickly.


Everything into Magicka, if you feel you have to then you can take up to and no more than 4 out of magic and put it into health, however due to the build’s far lesser than average max magic I find this highly undesirable.



Click here to view in calculator.

Main Bar – Fire Staff: Merciless Resolve, Funnel Health (Not Swallow Soul, Funnel will proc Transmutation on allies), Shadow Image, Mass Hysteria, Destructive Touch (Reach is the prefered morph), Soul Harvest or Incapacitating Strike

Back Bar – Restoration Staff: Shadowy Disguise, Piercing Mark, Healing Ward, Refreshing Path, Siphoning Attacks, Light’s Champion.

Vampire vs. Werewolf vs. Mortal

While being a vampire would very much Benefit this build I personally do not see it as a necessary element. Due to the expensive nature of running a low Regen build using elusive mist is against our interest as it is rather expensive and while in mist form we do not recover magic. At stage 2 Vamp we get a regen passive which can be extremely nice. If you find yourself using sneak a lot instead of cloak then you could try this as a stage 4 vampire.

Champion Points



  • Elfborn – 56
  • Spell Erosion – 35
  • Elemental Expert – 49
  • Master-at-Arms – 66
  • Thaumaturge – 34


  • Warlord – 52
  • Arcanist – 64
  • Tumbling – 39
  • Mooncalf – 56
  • Siphoner – 1
  • Befoul – 28


  • Ironclad –  56
  • Resistant – 52
  • Thick Skinned – 56
  • Hardy – 23
  • Elemental Defender – 23
  • Bastion – 30

Other Important Info

Buff Food

Witchmother’s Potent Brew – Max Health, Max Magicka and Magicka Recovery


Apprentice – Increased Spell Damage


  1. Dark Elf
  2. High Elf
  3. Argonian


POTIONS: PvE Spell power pots (If you don’t use inner light). If you use Inner light then replace spell crit with something else you find beneficial to your playstyle such as stamina recovery.

POISONS: Magicka and Stamina cost increase poisons


Class (all), Light Armor (all), Medium Armor (all except the ones that require you to wear 5 pieces), Heavy Armor (all except the ones that require you to wear 5 pieces), Destruction Staff (all), Restoration Staff (all), Fighters Guild (Banish the Wicked), Mages Guild (all except persuasive passive), Undaunted (all), Racial (all), Alchemy (Medicinal Use), Assault (all), Support (all except the first)

Resource Management & Rotation

The following is basically a checklist of what you want to do when you play this build. It is important to note that in PvP we have no true rotation, that is even more true as a nightblade. However because this is a Ganky type build there are a few aspects resembling a rotation that we should remember. Keeping potion buffs up before ganking and in combat is very important.

-Maintain Merciless Resolve on yourself at all times

-Re-apply Siphoning Attacks every time the effect ends. We should keep this up even while we are out of combat and just cloaking around

-Refreshing Path is an awesome skill due to the healing and damage it does, use it to cross terrain quickly and in fights. Make sure you camp path for extra healing.

-In a fight it is important to keep piercing mark up on our enemy so they take increased damage (from all sources). The heal we get when a marked target dies can also save our butts.

-When using Shade keep it active as often as you can. This will help us escape tricky situations over all.

Now resource management in this build doesn’t all come from the regen stat albeit we rely on it a fair bit. It comes from our Siphoning Attacks skill and the fair yet small sustain Transmutation offers us. Worst case scenario you retreat and take a second or two to heavy attack with a Resto stave. It is important to ensure that we are not being heavily focused or super debuffed because while heavy attacking you are vulnerable.

Fear is used for perma blockers, it is very hard for me to not use this skill most of the time, if fighting an unsuspecting target I suggest using clench as the knock back effect has about .5 seconds where they can’t do anything, even if they have the reaction time of a champ

As for our combos and “Rotation” we will assume the target does not dodgeroll or break free IMMEDIATELY after our opening:

If using from close range – Open with Flame touch from cloak to stun the enemy and do some nice damage, this will also proc our Caluurion’s legacy immediately after but it will have some delay. This delay allows use Soul Harvest and we MUST take advantage of this delay to get the most out of the proc. Very quickly use Soul Harvest and from there you can use any means you see necessary to finish your opponent. This will give attacks that come from us a 20% damage amplifier for 5 seconds, this applies to set procs

If using from afar – This is where juggling Grim’s proc will help though not entirely necessary in some cases. Open with a Funnel Weave or too, I don’t like coming at it from stealth at range but you may. After 1-3 funnel weaves (use your best judgment as this depends on distance and how much the opponent is defending themselves and how) hit flame clench for the knock back effect, this gives time for the Caluurion’s proc to travel while still nailing them with damage. From here you can use any means you see necessary to finish your opponent.

The Defile on Soul Harvest/ Incap will help ensure that even after our enemy breaks free they have a harder time healing up and fully recovering.

Tips & Misc.

Magicka (nightblade) has one of the highest skill caps in the game, it gets the weak killed and will often punish anyone who isn’t practiced. So it’s going to take practice to be proficient, especially in 1vX situations. They’re strong 1v1 but take a lot of solid mechanics and game knowledge to fight multiple enemies. After you learn the mechanics to fighting more than one person you’ll be able to take on more than one person at a time. This can be credited to our burst and the heal that comes from Mark. In a 1vX situation you want to have Mark on the enemy that need to die first and will die first, this judgement takes time to make but slowly it will come naturally. If someone takes a lot of damage from something like a resto light attack, it is likely they are more of a glass cannon build, or don’t have a lot of crit resistance. After you have your target mark them, when you kill them you will heal for a large chunk of your max health! This enables you to do 1 of 2 things, run away, or engage someone else. If you choose to engage someone else it’s best to make sure it has been 10 seconds since Caluurion’a last went off so that your proc burst will be ready.

-In a 1v1 you basically follow the “rotation” above and adapt as needed.

-If you see Zaan’s Proc and have a soul Harvest up use it, that 20% will go a long way

-Healing Ward is our ‘primary’ defensive skill in that we get a slight burst heal and a ward of varying size depending on our level of health. I jokingly call it our Defensive Spammable and this isn’t far from the truth

-In the CP section you will see we have a fair amount of points into tumbling. Typically you want to avoid rolling too much on magic build but due to the fact we are getting up rather close and person, dodge roll is beneficial to use to escape and even animation cancel skills when you want them to go off, but need to move.

-In nearly all engagements it helps to stay mobile, even if that means changing where you do LoS

This quick clip shows an ideal and quick takedown of an opponent.

This clip is a 1vX clip using The Perfectionist. I made a slight change and used Lich on my back bar as well as using harness as well because the max magic Lich gives make Harness a more viable defensive option to use. 


If you have any questions about the build, join our discord server and ask @Nyassa about the build!

Update Log

3/2/2018 – Build created