The BFG - Arcanist One-Bar DPS PVE Build

Written guide updated for Necrom Chapter DLC: Q2 2023

THE BFG!, as some of you make know from Quake and doom as “BIG EFFING GUN!”, is finally HERE!

We have a fully functioning Death Star beam push out EASY dps with no pressure on light or heavy attack weaving perfectly for days! Of course weaving HELPS but it’s not as essential on THIS build as it is on others! We beam for so long that the light attacks for glyphs and such literally miss time anyway right? Well don’t worry, that HAS been considered and so we have taken advantage of a WEAPON based AOE Damage over time skill to continuously fire our glyphs for us even when we CANNOT weave because we are too busy BEAMING WITH THE BIBLE BEAM!!

The Arcanist has some unique skills and timers along side some unusual sustainability variables that you are now presented with. While it is a challenge in itself to come to terms with the differences at first, it actually becomes very fun realising that ANYTHING goes! Some skills scale off of your highest resource and COST the highest resource. While others scale off of your highest and COST the lowest! Not to mention of course the Bible beam (yes we are calling it that), which has one of the longest timers of any skill per class in the game! It channels for a whopping 4.5 seconds! That’s way longer than any other basic skill for class.

While building a rotation for an Arcanist if you are considering the beam timer, you have to really mess with matching everything else up. Technically speaking you would probably end up in most cases swapping bars every 1-2 beams to re apply the dots and waste a lot of time back and forth back and forth and not really appreciating or having fun with the skill you WANT to use more.

SO, a one bar build makes PERFECT sense! No bar swapping, more time to just BEAAAAAM the enemy!

This unique skill does crazy damage in both single target and AOE with it being a 22×3 ranged skill. You can do it at a distance or close with no negative to either, BUT you can make it stronger via the crux system.

If you are unfamiliar with the Crux system, basically there are skills that generate “crux” and you can stack them up to 3 times. These give active and passive bonuses, but above all, makes the beam STRONGER! So you want to build build build, BEAM!!! build build build, BEAAAAAM!! right?

So technically you would assume you need 3 crux building skills, THEN a beam and repeat. Technically that would be true enough, however in the build we have a solid way to actually generate 2 at the same time,  and then an individual one after. Meaning just TWO spamable skills then straight into a beam. Which is an incredibly fast build up so you can spend more time doing what you love to do. Channelling your inner death star and firing that BIG FREAKING GUN!!!

Along side the building of the crux and almost spamming of the beam, we have allowed for an area of effect execute, which needs NOT be spammed, it simply crux builds and gives extra damage along the way. We have MANY buffs and bonuses due to our “ONE RING” (yes Oakensoul) and we have the ability to give the group Minor evasion while give ourself that AND major evasion (yes they stack). Our resistances to overall damage and AOE damage combined is nuts! So we are not as squishy as mast medium builds. The Arcanist has some front loaded passives that also cover areas the group normally try to fill. Like penetration and critical damage! We have almost 6.5k pen on our OWN, which means less penetration debuffs are required from the group, we also have HUGE crit damage bonuses (12% if generating crux” and so much more!

The build is agile, has BIG aoe mitigation, spamable heal from damage, constant damage with LITTLE weaving, very little complication in the way of rotation, AND was taken advantage of sets that passively improve overall damage and stay with us the WHOLE TIME. No Relequen, “light attack or else” stuff. ONE set is flat and always functional, the other one you JUSt have to do damage. Even long ranged.

This is simple and effective and possibly one of the easiest dps Arcanists to get to grips with early on
Key Points about the build:-
  • Easy to use, one bar makes things very simple so you can focus on more mechanics!

  • NO veteran difficulty in ANY content required! (Everything is overland or normal difficulty)

  • NO trial loot required AT ALL! Actually in testing trial options actually under performed based on the build’s design 😉

  • 10% AOE mitigation passive along side 20% AOE mitigation skill which STACK!!(multiplicatively)

  • EASY crux building for more time on the BEAAAAAM!

  • HIGHER sustainability than the COST of your skills even with FLAT none recovery food!

  • Heals on tap from a spamable that immobilizes too! Which also doubles up as an AOE execute

  • All the complicated stuff about the Arcanist lines up without effort if you simply follow the rotation (explained in the video and written below)

  • Unique playstyle to freshen things up for long term ESO players looking for something new!

Fashion First!

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

Head: Light Arkthzand Armory
Chest: Light Arkthzand Armory
Shoulders: Light Arkthzand Armory
Legs: Light Arkthzand Armory
Hands: Light Arkthzand Armory
Belt: Light Dro-M’athra
Feet: Light Arkthzand Armory
Daggers: Dead Keeper Mace

       The only color we are using apart from the standard is Cardsharp Crimson.


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
  • Thaumaturge
  • Biting Aura
  • Untamed Aggression


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


  • Boundless Vitality
  • Fortified
  • Rejuvenation
  • Bloody Renewal

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.


The rotation is explained and demonstrated IN detail in the video above, with a time stamp directly to it. Studying it will help you a lot in understanding how the build should functioning, including timer overlaps and such to maintain your consistency throughout in combat, BUT i understand written down rotations also help. SO take this as a supplement to the explanation not a replacement. Variables and such are in the video.

Basically you need to maintain TWO skills.  Inspired Scholarship and Deadly Cloak. These two skills need to be activated before the fight and maintained throughout. This way you keep up your crux builder and extra damage, while also maintaining the ability to keep up AOE damage at close quarters, maintain Major Evasion, AND have the ability to maintain the glyphs that fire FROM the skill itself rather than relying on the WEAVING you are NOT doing because you are beaming your face off!!

SO here’s what you need to do…

Activate  Inspired Scholarship and Deadly Cloak before hand. Then, with them active, use, Light Attack,  Fulminating Rune, Light Attack, Cephaliarch’s Flail , Light Attack Cephaliarch’s Flail, followed by Light Attack, Pragmatic Fatecarver.

This is the most basic part of your rotation, 2 Flails, then beam, 2 Flails then beam. However, you will need to maintain your Inspired Scholarship, Deadly Cloak and of course your Fulminating Rune.

The way to do this is simple. Instead of trying to calculate 4.5seconds EXACTLY in order to try to fumble in a GCD (global cool down) Light Attack and mess everything up, do this…

AS the beam is about to end (about one second left) ACTIVATE the next skill you want to use. It will queue it up automatically and fire when the beam is over! Perfect landing time, NO gaps! because your GCD is only 1 second per skill. Meaning that 3.5 seconds ago that has gone! Which means YES, the split second that runs out…INSTACASTING is a thing !

To make the whole thing work properly you should take advantage of a very specific option in the base game. Go to combat options and put “ability timers” on!

Between Deadly, Rune and Scholarship, you literally need to track their timers, and when one is around 5-6 seconds DURING a beam, you know that if you did another beam (4.5seconds) it would run out by then. SO, before the beam is done, PRESS it, and reactivate it. ANY skill that has 6ish seconds or less on it as a beam is about to run out, needs a recast else you risk downtime and overlap later.

This is explained in the video but again to simplify, you really only need to LA, flail, LA, flail, LA, BEAAAAAAM!!!! Then activate the next low timer skill, and repeat, LA, Flail, LA, Flail, BEAAAAAAAM!!!! Activate next low timer skill.

That’s it. Once you are in the swing of it everything will feel very smooth! Don’t worry if TWO skills are going to run out at the same time, you can sneak them in before your next beam so long as you have successfully fired 2x flails for the crux building.

Revisit the video if it helps, remember the is a time stamp.

LA, flail, LA, flail, LA beam! Activate low timer skill, REPEAT!

All the complex stuff WILL line up for you. it has been calculated deliberately to do so.


Poisons, Potions, & Food

Tripots if you can afford them BUT you can of course use trash magicka pots depending on how comfortable you are with your resources.

Columbine + Mountain Flower + Bugloss + Lorkhan’s Tears

Max health and Max Stamina Food
      Sticky Pork And Radish Noodles – White Meat(1) + Radish(2) + Flour(3)
      Garlic Cod with Potato Crust – Fish(1) + Potato(2) + Garlic(3)
      Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables – Small Game(1) + Greens(2) + Seasoning(3)

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 requirements for weight, enchants & traits!

We are using The Thief stone.  All 64 Attribute points go into Stamina.

We are an Orc, however, ANY other race will still perform incredibly well. They will just have different minor passives. 

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SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadPillar of NirnMediumDivinesMax Stamina
ShouldersSlimecrawLightDivinesMax Stamina
ChestPillar of NirnMediumDivinesMax Stamina
WaistDeadly StrikeMediumDivinesMax Stamina
HandsPillar of NirnMediumDivinesMax Stamina
LegsPillar of NirnMediumDivinesMax Stamina
FeetPillar of NirnMediumDivinesMax Stamina
Ring 1Oakensoul RingJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon/Spell Dmg
Ring 2Deadly StrikeJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon/Spell Dmg
NecklaceDeadly StrikeJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon/Spell Dmg
Weapon 1Deadly StrikeDaggerChargedPoisoned Weapon
Weapon 1Deadly StrikeDaggerInfusedFiery Weapon

Gear Locations

Other Arcanist Builds