Ballista Nightblade PVP Build

Written guide updated for updated for The Scribes of Fate DLC: Q1 2023

Ever wanted a Bomb Blade but every time you jump into crowds you hit nothing but air, leaving you standing there exposed with… well, your pants down?

Not a problem ANY MORE! Ballista is a delicately designed fully functioning BOMB BLADE with a twist. Instead of running into a crowd, hitting and hoping. This actually does all the bombing from MAX RANGE!
Not only that, this build takes full advantage of all the EXTRA range passives and bonuses!
In Cyrodiil on a keep where you can attack or defend from a huge range, your main ranged abilities can hit as far as 48 meters, your lethal arrow can hit up to 55 meters and you can MARK at a huge 70m range!

The difference between this build and any other generic sniper is that normally, you just spam snipe and hope. However, this one applies bombs TO the target and allows you to Stun and immobilize from massive range, pinning them down WHILE they are taking the incoming damage, giving them a very short window of a second or two, to react.

People that run away will die on their own, people that chase the crowd will kill their friends, and the big chunky targets actually make for decent pickings.

You can go for the big one and pin it, making it do more damage to surrounding targets, OR pick off the glass cannons and cripple their forces leaving them with no damage application.

We reduce people’s heals, pin them to the ground, make them moving bombs, and while ALIVE yes of course they blow up a bit along the way and do damage in aoe to their friends, but when they DIE we double dip in that too, due to our sets AND champion points if you are in a CP scenario.

The big trick, since it is deliberately a glass cannon, is NOT to get hit. If we get in trouble we CAN successfully evade, but we can use our range and stealth to our advantage!

We (unlike most bombers) Do have a long ranged execute also. That is not there to be spammed, you must only use it while someone is extremely low health, if at all, but it is a great skill to utilize if and when you can.

Our magicka resources must be cared for since we are built for stam stats, but magickal skills however we have that covered too with potions and a clever CP passive that gives you magicka for getting distance and running, allowing you to then use it to go completely invisible or teleport to your previously casted pet if need be.

Our evasion is excellent but again, don’t get hit if you can help it.

This CAN be used to solo help defend but it is not designed as a SOLO build.

This is designed to be part of a group, piling on the pressure to targets forcing one to die in order to damage the rest.

So, while ONE of these is high pressure, 3-5 of these coordinating is devastating. Nothing can stand up to a Ballista Barrage!

Important points about the build:

  • MASSIVE range taking advantage of protection from siege to bolster your gap from the target
  • Sneaky illusion-type evasion to trick your attacker to give you time to get away!
  • High long ranged damage to pressure the target health low so you or others can finish them off!
  • BIG targets take more damage from being immobilized and cause others to take more
  • Ranged detonation allows for safe bombing from range!
  • 48 meter ranged immobilize and STUN! Yes, aoe stun from damage being a different CC to immobilize so you get BOTH to tricker together!
  • If the target DIES it blows up TWO more times! Once with a set bonus and then with a champion point bonus (OMG oblivion damage!)
  • MASSIVE penetration! With minor breach, our flanking passive, and major breach we can hit 32,000 penetration effectively!
  • Work alone but play safe, or work together and devastate!

Remember the key point, you are a sniper of sorts but you are squashy. Stay back, don’t get hit, select your targets carefully, be patient, and BRING FRIENDS!

A few of these stack together and NO ONE is getting in your keep and being crowned Emperor!

Fashion First!

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

Head: Light Ancient Daedric Hat
Chest: Medium Shield of Senchal Jack
Shoulders: Medium Tsaesci Arm Cops
Hands: Light Waking Flame Gloves
Belt: Medium Yokudan Belt
Legs: Heavy Thieves Guild Greaves
Feet: Light Ascendant Order Shoes
Bow: Welkynar Bow
Bow: Worm Cult Bow

       The two colors we are using are Motif Master Brown and Legate’s Black.


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! And these were further altered in the Blackwood Chapter, giving us a lower base for capping out some of the essentials and also adding some more slotables!

Before it was a case of “I have limited points as a CP, 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 is an abundance of them means you are only limited by your CHOICES, not by your CP.

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 1800ish (depending on slotable choices, some are more expensive in the Craft tree) you basically have every single passive available PLUS 4 slotables per tree…

If you JUST wanted to focus on combat alone (all red and blue passives and 4 slotables for each one) you only actually need around 1600cp to be completely maxed in those areas. And if you wanted to go FULL glass cannon, only really focusing on one damage type you can achieve your max potential for that as low as 900 or so! You won’t have any resistances or healing bonuses from the Warfare (blue) tree doing this, but you can at least cap out the hard-hitting stuff, right? And this is considering slotables too so there is no harm in actually deliberately specing for a couple of damage resistance slotables instead even at THIS stage.

For tanking it is even easier! Push for your slotables and stack your resistance passives and it is game over! The rest are just a bonus!

So what’s next? Well, if you have higher champion points 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, 1650-1800 (depending on build) is you’re pretty much done! Anything else is convenient due to not needing to spend gold swapping things you already have access to! How cool is that?


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 (Warfare) are important for resistance, heals, and damage. Red (Fitness) are important for resources, health, and Crowd Control counters. Green (Craft) are literally quality of life! (aka your choice so not THAT important for combat).

It doesn’t matter what level you are at anymore, you can play ALL content regardless of your champion points level because during Flames of Ambition all players/characters had their base stats improved to make everyone somewhat more balanced at lower levels.

However, as mentioned above, the slotables are your main goal. Unlock the prerequisite passives to unlock access to your slotables if there are any…fill them up, and then just grab the remaining passives as you go.

300, 600, 900 champion points are not really important as checkpoints anymore for optimization. Just fill as you go, because ALL characters can have ALL passives with NO negative effects unlike before!

What should I aim for with this build?

  • Wrathful Strikes
  • Master-At-Arms 
  • Deadly Aim
  • Occult Overload


  • Rationer
  • Liquid Efficiency
  • Sustaining Shadows
  • Steed’s Blessing


  • Boundless Vitality
  • Rejuvenation
  • Fortified
  • Refreshing Stride

With Refreshing Stride, you can maintain your bar just by sprinting from one place to another.

The video below explains how the changes work in more detail. Of course, over time, additions will be and have already been made to the system but the main BASE of it is the same.

Poisons, Potions, & Food

Potions really are up to you but they DO offer immunity to cc and a recovery bonus while giving a burst of stamina/health back at the same time.

Recovery Food:
Artaeum Takeaway Broth – fish(20) + Torchbug Thorax(5) + Powdered Mother Of Pearl (5)

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, and of course, traits!

We are using the Lover Mundus stones alongside 64 points into Stamina!

We are an Orc but other races are also usable. Redguard, Imperial are good substitutes.

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SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadSellistrixLightDivinesMax Stamina
ShouldersSellistrixLightDivinesMax Stamina
ChestVicious DeathLightDivinesMax Stamina
WaistVicious DeathLightDivinesMax Stamina
HandsVicious DeathLightDivinesMax Stamina
LegsVicious DeathLightDivinesMax Stamina
FeetVicious DeathLightDivinesMax Stamina
Ring 1Hrothgar’s ChillJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Ring 2Hrothgar’s ChillJewelryInfusedWeapon Damage
NecklaceHrothgar’s ChillJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Weapon 1Hrothgar’s ChillBowSharpenedWeapon Damage
Weapon 2Hrothgar’s ChillBowDefendingAbsorb Magicka

Gear Locations

Vicious Death – Cyrodiil
Hrothgar’s Chill – Cyrodiil
SellistrixArx Corinium

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