Flawless - Magicka Nightblade PVE Build

The Magicka Nightblade known as ‘Flawless’ for the Elder Scrolls Online is finally here updated as Flawless ISH !!!

I waited a LONG time to release this build originally and it was definitely worth the wait, but with the new champion point 2.0 system this got altered a LITTLE. BUT now does have a couple more options to still maintain that extremely high crit chance IF you want it. So with technicalities, it still lives up to it’s name!

So, how does it work and how is it designed? There are many “crit builds” out there that are not REALLY “crit builds”. They just tend to have SOME crit and rely on chance slapping enemies all day and having varied results because of the inconsistency of the stats. Sure it “works” but also open to lots of fluctuation.

ZOS Noticed how easy it was to stack into critical damage bonuses and critical chance bonuses without really designing a build specifically for it, and decided that simply having one trait and a mundus stone with not a single crit chance bonus in your sets, was WAY too easy to achieve, deleting balance/choice/options from even being a thing. It’s the base design of teh game after all right?
Of course, they decided to make crit chance more of a “build for it, or don’t” scenario. Now if you want SOME crit chance, well that is just fine, but if you want a specific crit play style, you have to build for it… Well, with that in mind, that’s EXACTLY what we have here! Even more so after this FIRST release of the build (Markarth DLC) now in the new DLC (flames of ambition) the reduced crit even MORE! Making this particular build design EXTREMELY relevant! And WAY ahead of the patch before it even got here! 😉

This is a PURE CRITICAL CHANCE build! Or for want of a better term, CONTROL of your build making that “chance” actually consistent rather than random!

All you need is a minor prophecy buff from one Sorcerer in the group using a dark magic ability once every 20 seconds (surprise yes, group composition was considered 😉 ). If you have this, you will have an easy push to around 90% critical chance on your front bar ALL of the time with one setup, 95% with another, i can show you how to actually get 101% (although no point) if you really want to AND i can show you how to GUARANTEE 100% critical chance on the front bar every second rotation without fail taking full advantage of burst opportunities with your main ultimate!

This means it lives up to it’s name ‘Flawless’ because, although before the build was literally 99.9% crit all the time, now there are ways to still FULLY control it for burst and/or consitency…but since it is a matter of choice…lets add the ISH to the end for giggles!

MOST “crit builds” have about 60 -70%  crit chance. Sure their base maybe higher so they can crit harder IF they crit, but they crit much less often than us and open up to literally RNG controlling their ability to have a good and bad day.

The way this build is designed, we have options to almost guaranteed control over our damage numbers for MUCH more accurate and consistent results! If you are experienced there will only be about 2-3k fluctuation in your overall results vs some other setups which literally rely on a “good day” and the difference can be as much as 10k+

Most critical builds like to pack heavy into critical damage, but again we have the same problem. You COULD fail…we will RARELY fail to crit at all and with some setups will never fail o the front bar depending on your choices. Or with other choice will always have that critical burst phase.

This means our critical DAMAGE passives/skills/bonuses are no longer chance based for the most part, instead they are literally constant passive bonuses, staying with us on our main damage bar at all times!

We have multiple sources of critical damage that all stack together to give us big bonuses to damage WHEN we crit (which is always).

Usually if you spec for critical chance but don’t reach 90-100% you will open your self up for failure while having low flat.

Of course flat stats do increase the base of your abilities but when they crit they are higher right? Yes but if you fail then…it’s a waste. We sacrifice a bit of flat but we plug the gap with multiple HIGH critical damage buffs/bonuses. Usually that would be open to chance, but since it is not… our critical damage IS our “flat” almost all of the time!

So now you can enjoy hardly ever failing a critical execute stab, failing your ground dots, failing your light attacks, heavy attacks or spamables and even your ultimate. So long as you do not hover on the back bar!

Your back bar has 2 dots, that’s it! (unless you alter). Stay on that front bar as much as you possibly can!

The back bar has HIGH (very high) crit chance, but your front bar is where it all happens.

Not only this but we have stupidly high ultimate regen so long as we get kills. We have guaranteed critical hits with our execute. Get to killing! and spam those ultimates!!

Important notes:

  • HUGE critical chance on the front bar, making the damage you can apply extremely consistent with a good rotation (yes practice is still key to any build).
  • Critical damage bonus from racial passives, class passives, skill (Merciless Resolve), minor force (set), champion points, all stacking, not to mention what you can get from warhorns and minor brittle!
  • Your critical damage is non longer tied to CHANCE as much as most builds we have multiple options which allow us to control it, it’s our PASSIVE!
  • Extremely easy to follow rotation taking full advantage of passives with a 100% static rotation that NEVER changes apart from execute which gets even easier!
  • Great for beginners AND experts!
  • Capable of ALL PVE content (yes that means the hard stuff too!!)
  • NO TRIAL GEAR in ANY variation of the build ever required!!!
  • VERY high ultimate regen with 10 ultimate per kill IF you slot a particular version of the front bar ultimate (explained in the video).
  • And finally…pretty much everything we do heals us! And due to the control of crits…it is VERY consistent!

Fashion First!

As demonstrated in the video, our fabulous ESO fashion setup and dress choice for this character is as follows:-

Head: Heavy Greymoor
Shoulders: Heavy Greymoor
Chest: Heavy Greymoor
Legs: Heavy Greymoor
Hands: Medium Greymoor
Belt: Light Greymoor
Feet: Light Greymoor
Front bar: Ebonshadow
Back Staff: Abnur Tharn

As for dyes, pretty much everything is Void Pitch Black and Motif Master Brown

Champion points 2.0

The NEW Champion Points 2.0 introduced in the Q1 2021 DLC: Flames Of Ambition, is quite possibly the BIGGEST change/addition to The Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel!

Before it was a case of “i have limited points as a cap, so HOW should i spend them”? Now that is NOT the case as SUCH! Now, it is a case of, buy ALL the things, but which SLOTABLES should you take?

Everything before was a passive bonus with huge diminished returns, awkward calculations and was messy to all players for the most part. The new system underlines NO diminished returns, no majorly confusing passives and the ability to buy EVERY single passive available for tanking, dps and healing on the SAME character with enough points to spare for buying slotables. Being able to slot 4x special slotables from each tree when there are an abundance of them means you are only limited by your CHOICES not by your CAP.

Buy all the passives, CHOOSE which slotables to take vs the situation, and the rest of the points are spare. Or are they? Well here is the crunch…Once you go over 2100+ you basically have every single passive available PLUS 4 slotables per tree… So what’s next? Well, if you have higher you can buy more slotables and switch stuff per situation as and when needed. If you don’t, then if you want to swap it will cost you gold for respecing. So in a nutshell, 2100+ is you pretty much done, and anything else is convenience due to not needing to spend gold swapping things you already have access to! How cool is that?

What's the Goal now?

The goal is simple. Buy ALL the PASSIVE champion points, that meaning the ones that do not require you to slot anything, they just affect you anyway. MOST of those are prerequisites to some of the others anyway.
Then pick 4 slotables for each tree and slot them! Any spare points can be put into extra CHOICE based slotables for “other things”.

Simple right? NO MUST have 75 here and 61 there stuff. However, under 2100, you will want to “optimize”…so lets do that shall we??

SLOTABLES!

No matter what, THESE are the most important parts of the champion points 2.0 system. So this is your main FIRST goal when pushing for the build. You need to slot these even if they are not max level. However there are swap outs for situations as explained in the video.
BLUE are important for resistance, heals and damage. Red are important for resources, health and CC. Green are literally Quality of life! (aka your choice).

  • Fighting Finesse
  • Thaumaturge
  • Deadly Aim
  • Backstabber


    All main slotables for the build. If you do end up not fighting behind a target (a dragon for example) swap Backstabber for Biting Aura.

  • Rationer
  • Liquid Efficiency
  • Treasure Hunter
  • Steed’s Blessing

    These really are up to you but these are most useful IN content for loot and movement if not in combat.
    What you do with this tree is NOT make or break for mechanics or combat in general just quality of life.

  • Boundless Vitality
  • Rejuvenation
  • Ironclad
  • Siphoning Spells

    These are designed to increase your health and at the same time manage your resources. High recovery and return for being active in combat and GETTING kills as well as a nice armour boost. You CAN however change Ironclad to Survival Instincts if you prefer.

WHAT DO I DO AT MY LEVEL??!

What do you do if you are lower cps? Well it is always best to have a goal right? THESE will be if you are going for FULL damage output consideration. IF you wish to drop some damage for more survival (resistances) then of course you will have to drop some to gain some, BUT this should help you along the way.

160 champion points

  • 10 Precision
  • 10 Piercing
  • 10 Fighting Finesse
  • 10 Thaumaturge
  • 10 Deadly Aim
  • 3 Backstabber

This will unlock your major stat opening (crit chance module opens the trees) at the same time as opening up your flat bonus to penetration and your 3 TOP slotables and the start of the 4th!

  • 10 Gilded Fingers
  • 10 Fortune’s Favour
  • 15 Wanderer
  • 10 Steadfast Enchantment
  • 8 Treasure Hunter

This steadily unlocks some nice gold passives, pushing to the reduction to soul gems used and straight up to your first slotable (not maxed yet) allowing for higher quality loot.

  • 19 Boundless Vitality
  • 15 Tumbling
  • 10 Mystic Tenacity
  • 10 Ironclad

This will give you a good base for health and start on reducing your cost for core combat skills if you get in trouble. Which you WILL early on. Also two major slotables unlocked for you to build on.

420 champion points

  • 10 Precision
  • 10 Piercing
  • 20 Flawless Ritual
  • 30 War Mage
  • 40 Fighting Finesse
  • 10 Thaumaturge
  • 10 Deadly Aim
  • 10 Backstabber
  • 10 Eldritch Insight

This will unlock ALL major state nodes for DPS, allow for all 4 slotables PLUS the 2 variations (one can be used the other is WIP however you can leave it for now and go with more flat if you prefer).
And finally will open up your max spell damage bonus from the flat trees. PLUS starting to increase max stats for magicka.

  • 10 Gilded Fingers
  • 10 Fortune’s Favour
  • 15 Wanderer
  • 50 Steadfast Enchantment
  • 50 Treasure Hunter
  • 5 rationer

Masxed Treasure hunter slotable, maxed “never use a sould gem on a weapon again” passive! And some spare points helping to push the next slotable.

  • 40 Boundless Vitality
  • 15 Tumbling
  • 10 Mystic Tenacity
  • 10 Ironclad
  • 15 Hero’s Vigor
  • 10 Siphoning Spells
  • 40 Rejuvenation

This allows you your 4 major slotables (not maxed) pushing for recovery,  health. Along side return for getting kills.

810 champion points

  • 10 Precision
  • 40 Piercing
  • 40 Flawless Ritual
  • 30 War Mage
  • 40 Fighting Finesse
  • 10 Thaumaturge
  • 40 Deadly Aim
  • 20 Backstabber
  • 40 Eldritch Insight

All major slotables, maximum Extended Might section, and max magicka node completed. All major slotables boosted ready for more gradual improvement.

  • 40 Gilded Fingers
  • 10 Fortune’s Favor
  • 15 Wanderer
  • 50 Steadfast Enchantment
  • 50 Treasure Hunter
  • 30 Rationer
  • 75Liquid Efficiency

3 Major Slotables now available with maxed efficiency for all 3 including some nice gold passives.

Again, this tree is totally quality of life and not set in stone. Use what works for you.

  • 50 Boundless Vitality
  • 15 Tumbling
  • 10 Mystic Tenacity
  • 50 Ironclad
  • 40 Hero’s Vigor
  • 50 Siphoning Spells
  • 50 Rejuvenation
  • 5 Tireless Guardian

All major health and resource return/sustain/recovery nodes covered. ALL 4 slots maximum with some block cost reduction starting to be speced into.

1350 champion points

  • 40 Precision
  • 40 Piercing
  • 40 Flawless Ritual
  • 30 War Mage
  • 50 Fighting Finesse
  • 50 Thaumaturge
  • 50 Deadly Aim
  • 50 Backstabber
  • 40 Eldritch Insight
  • 20 Battle Mastery
  • 30 Mighty
  • 10 Tireless Discipline

All major choices available and slotables now completed, everything you need is done and anything extra is a bonus. Now specing into physical stuff and stamina just incase (note if using daggers you will need this for the light and heavy attack damage). If you are not using daggers ignore the physical side of things (apart from stamina) and now just plug all your resistances!

 

  • 50 Gilded Fingers
  • 50 Fortune’s Favor
  • 75 Wanderer
  • 50 Steadfast Enchantment
  • 50 Treasure Hunter
  • 30 Rationer
  • 75Liquid Efficiency
  • 50 Steed’s Blessing
  • 20 Breakfall

ALL 4 major slotables along side fall damage reduction, max gold from chests, max chance of loot from chests, cheaper travel and faster movement while not in combat!

Again, this tree is 100% personal, all quality of life, no right or wrong

  • 50 Boundless Vitality
  • 15 Tumbling
  • 50 Mystic Tenacity
  • 50 Ironclad
  • 40 Hero’s Vigor
  • 50 Siphoning Spells
  • 50 Rejuvenation
  • 40 Tireless Guardian
  • 40 Defiance
  • 20 sprinter
  • 30 Fortification
  • 15 Savage Defense

All major health and resource return/sustain/recovery nodes covered. ALL 4 slots maximum with some block cost reduction starting to be speced into.

Technically at this point in time if you ONLY go for 4x slotables (including the blue ones, NOT considering swappables) you can spec into ALL damage stats 100% and have your 4x working slotables maxed out. THIS is your MAX dps with NO resistances considered option. If you feel squashy you know what to do. Pull some dps points and buy some resistances.

BUT based on the max stats at base now, you SHOULD be fine so long as your tanks and healers are on point

1800 champion points and above?

TECHNICALLY You only need 1890 BUT we have allowed for extras in case you need them. Regardless of where you go with it between these points you will have MAXIMUM resistance passives, healing passives, flat stats to all resources (excluding slotable options), max CC counter, recovery, block mitigation, the lot. Everything you need is RIGHT HERE!

 

WAY before 1860/90ish you will have ALL of the passives your really need excluding healing and maybe one flat stat but you are pretty optimal at this point, before 2100 you will have everything you need and the rest is just quality of life from there on out. So don’t panic, the passives are inevitable and the slotables will come in time so long as you get your first 4 in early

However, if you WANT the extra slotables that is your choice and will require a few more points but really the only one i would recommend is Biting Aura if you are fighting dragons.

All passives a + 4 slotables of your choice!

At 1890 OR 2190 you will be able to buy EVERY passive and your 4x major slotables APART from “Tempered Soul”.

That one is a little awkward and costs 25 points per level, so while you will have a level or two, it won’t be maxed. Always work on THIS passive last as it is the least important.

So...What's next?

TECHNICALLY You only need 1890 BUT we have allowed for TWO swapables in the blue trees which DOES require us to have the extra 300 points across the board. Regardless of where you go with it between these points you will have MAXIMUM resistance passives, healing passives, flat stats to all resources (excluding slotable options), max CC counter, recovery, block mitigation, the lot. Everything you need is RIGHT HERE!


Skills

Rotation

Note your first rotation will be winding up the bow procs, the rotation below is considered as something you should repeat after your FIRST one is in full swing.

Be sure before any fight that your Merciless Resolve, Siphoning attacks and Dark Shade are ready. This is all explained in the video also for reference with a time stamp in the description.

Front bar: Light Attack, Spectral Bow (Merciless resolve proc), Light Attack, Swallow Soul x4, Light Attack, Degeneration, Weapon Swap.

Back Bar: Light Attack, Twisting Path, Light Attack, Dark shade, Light Attack, Unstable Wall Of Fire, Weapon Swap…

Every second rotation, swap Dark shade for Siphoning Attacks. They are both on 20 second timers so one rotation cast one, next rotation cast the other. Nice and simple!

Repeat over and over and over!

Mystic Orb/Consuming Trap: If you are using this and you can sustain it (optimized situation for you resource wise) be sure to use it like Siphoning strikes but EVERY rotation.

During Execute: Replace your Swallow Soul with Impale (ONLY under 25% health) and do not fire your bow anymore to keep up the 10% critical damage bonus!

Sustaining + keeping up your Spectral Bow (Merciless Resolve) procs:
Remember 1 light attack counts for one bow proc, 1x heavy attack counts for 2x! IF you are struggling with sustain…Replace 2x light attack, Swallow Soul with 1x heavy attack Swallow Soul. This will keep your timing and rotation on point along side of your sustain IF you are struggling! And remember, you WONT fail to crit on your front bar…so, heavy attacking is still hitting hard!

Easy mode: IF you cannot maintain the rotation, if Merciless resolve and bow procs are too difficult and if the alternating rotations prove too tricky. Trim it all down. Your dps overall will be of course a LITTLE less but not by much. Simple remove the pet from the equation. Never cast Merciless resolve more than ONCE in the fight.

Literally cast it from the beginning and leave it running for the 10% crit buff the entire forever. Explained also in the video and demonstrated also in the rotation section of the video.

Poisons, Potions & Food

Potions really help a LOT. We already have major sorcery, we already have major prophecy on both bars, we NEVER need spell pots. So tri pots all day long! This also enhanced our survival and stamina bar sustainability!

Food is very simple, the highest level food you can consume with 2 stats only, MAX health and MAX magicka. There are 3 variations of recipes but all are the same in the stats they give so your choice which one you use.

Tri-pots – Columbine + Mountain Flower + Bugloss + Lorkhan’s Tears

Food – Minstral Banana-Bunny Hash – Small game(1) + Bananas(2) + Seasoning(3)
             Melon-Baked Parmesan Pork – White Meat(1) + Melon(2) + Cheese(3)
             Solitude Salmon-Millet Soup – Fish(1) + Tomato(2) + Millet(3)
             Clockwork Citrus Filet – Red Meat(1), Lemon(1), Perfect Roe(1), Frost Mirriam(1)
             Witchmother’s Potent Brew – Nightshade(1), Bervez Juice(1), (Rice(1), Small Game(1)

If you would like to make your own potions, i now have a fully functioning potion maker on the website. Here you can TEST any combination of potion or poison you like and check the outcome without having to know the combinations in game! Check here for the App, working on android and IOS – Potion Maker

Gear Setup

Below is a chart showing the overall gear set-up, noting the optimal set requirements in terms of weight, enchants & traits!

We are using the Thief mundus stone. All 64 points are into Magicka. You CAN choose the shadow but bare in mind your crit chance will drop a substantial amount and may end up in SOME cases getting you much less dps overall depending on the roll of the dice. A good day you can sometimes hit higher, on a bad day you can hit a lot lower. For the highest damage you can get out of the Shadow you would literally have to hit the dummy 100x and take the top 3 best ones to compare even close to the consistency of the thief, which overall was MUCH better and the intended design for the build!

We are a Khajiit but other races are also usable. High elf, Dark elf and Breton are good substitutes and now even ORC is a good choice too! In testing the orc was only about 1-2k dps less than the others! Technically ANY race can “work” and it wont lessen the credibility of the build or it’s ability to complete ANY content in the game. However the above choices were slightly more optimal for maximum output. Either way the choice is YOURS!

Optimal Setup

Gear Locations

Medusa Arx Corinium
Mother’s Sorrow
Deshaan
Maelstrom Flame StaffMaelstrom Arena
Zaan
Scalecaller Peak

Maw Of The Infernal Banished Cells II
Mechanical Acuity
Crafted

 

As explained in the video there are other options IF you choose to, including 2x daggers on the front bar but that is EXTREMELY situational. It’s a choice but I MOSTLY would not recommend it due to your lack of ability to play ranged if you need to in mechanics especially when it comes to your light attacks. You lose fire staff passives and bonuses, you lose status bonuses to chance without the destruction staff and you gain the ability to have a bit more crit, is is extremely hit and miss. Again however that was explained IN detail IN the video so feel free to alter as you wish. Just know the risks and the fact the damage is actually pretty much the same…So is it worth over complicating it?

IF you choose to go dual daggers on the front with Medusa you WILL loose the minor force buff when you swap. However due to passives being all light now, you can hit about 95% crit chance…IF you really want to, but the damage was about the same due to fluctuating effects and of course limiting your range to only 5 meters for your light attacks.

If you remove one piece of Zaan and replace with Slimecraw (high crit chance) you can hit 101% BUT you will lose your monster proc so a LOT of damage will be lost!

However if you have acuity you can actually control 78% crit ALL of the time on the front bar and have 100% crit every second rotation, GUARANTEED! So the choice is yours!

The dummy is becoming less and less relevant the more people over time have started to realize it is mostly just fluffed for the sake of competing for numbers in THAT situation. When it comes to content it is a totally different ball game. I build for content, what you do with that information is 100% up to you! Practice by ALL means but spend time in content actually playing the game and THAT is where you will see your performance of your build and allow you to apply it in the situations it was designed for.