Cleave - Stamina Sorcerer PVE Build

Written guide updated for Ascending Tide DLC: Q1 2022

Older video but still relevant.

It has been a very long time since I updated a stam sorc build but I think the wait was worth it!

Instead of following the traditional “dual wield and bow” target skeleton smasher, I have opted for a more unique playstyle.

In Scalebreaker a lot of the combat basics were changed following an audit for combat by ZOS. This meant that single target damage over time was enhanced while flat AOE was reduced. The reason for this was a choice in flavor.

If you wanted to spec for single target damage, then you could, but if you wanted to spec for more AOE then you would have to specifically build for it to benefit from the playstyle rather than just get it for free from the obvious “volley and caltrops” combo.

With that in mind, and all the target dummy hitters out there trying to hit as high as they can single target and nothing else considered…who is bringing the AOE? Well with this build WE ARE!

We have more than respectable single target damage combined with HUGE AOE. Literally, every single target that receives damage over time from us actually works as an aoe bomb!

Our morphs were chosen specifically (skill morphs) to be able to accommodate for the playstyle and consider multiple adds and AOE based situations. Which to be honest there are MANY of them. Especially in most hard modes/trials/dungeons.

As a sorcerer, we have limited spammables but for once that works. Our two main spammables are for two situations. Wrecking blow for single target, and carve for aoe. And that is the only thing we have to worry about. The rest of the time, it is a case of keeping up a fully sustainable static rotation.

In one of our passive skills, we are utilizing we gain flat stats and light attack damage, alongside out every light attack after wrecking blow being boosted. So we must be sure to weave light attacks in our rotations to benefit from these bonuses. not to mention of course our light attacks AND heavy attacks deal splash damage (aoe) so we do even more damage to multiple targets rather than focusing on one.

We are utilizing multiple ground/aoe based damage over time effects to stack as many dots on surrounding enemies as possible so that our set (Azureblight) actually builds up fast! PER ADD! (20x dot ticks = explosion per target in aoe).  Basically, all of our passives trade off of each other, and the more we keep our rotation up, the more dots are running in aoe and the more explosions per add we manage to execute. With update 32 and the Deadlands DLC Azureblight Reaper is so much STRONGER because ALL proc sets based on spell and weapon damage can now CRIT!  And here is where it gets really good. Each add with 20stacks blow up in aoe, which means each one can HURT surrounding targets. Since each add can carry its own bomb, it is by default that we get MORE damage PER target, the more adds there are because they all bounce off each other…Domino effect (explained and demonstrated in the video.

One of our major dots is actually hurricane, which is a resist buff. So for protecting ourselves, and doing damage at the same time, we rack upticks to make explosions happen. It is effortless! Essentially on this build all we need to do is keep our dots up and spam one ability 5 times and then repeat. The dots will make the enemies go pop and the spammable will do the rest. We also have an ultimate that has a major berserk synergy (25% increased damage) for a group member.

Finally, not only is our spammable (carve for AOE) AOE with an AOE bleed, our hurricane AOE, our other ground-based and multiple target skills AOE…but our EXECUTE hits all targets within range for 100% of the damage done to the initial target. This build is a room clearer!!

Key bonuses to the setup

  • High damage output in both single target and ESPECIALLY AOE!

  • Fire and forget abilities. Basically, fire DOTS, spam a bit and then reapply again.

  • An ultimate that buffs the group (atronach has major berserk synergy).

  • Higher damage output for higher health target causing a great burst in AOE.

  • Keeping the dots up stacks upticks on each target. 20x ticks make them explode! Domino effect!

  • Fast-moving high sustain setup with MASSIVE aoe potential, just be sure your tank is on point with the pulls.

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

Head: Minotaur Heavy
Chest: Minotaur Heavy
Shoulders: Ra Gada Heavy
Legs:
Minotaur Heavy
Hands: Dro’Mathra Heavy
Belt: NONE (not visible)
Feet: Yokudan Heavy
Front Weapon: Malacath Axe
Back Weapon: Psijic Bow

The colors are Colossus Brass and Legates Black, but any dark color will do.

Skills

Note: Poison injection if you have the Master’s Bow and are focusing on Single Target. Soul Splitting trap if you are NOT using the Master’s Bow and want to focus on more AOE. Yes this means you can swap to the Maelstrom Bow and take advantage of the Endless Hail buff.

Also Important: Bound armaments can replace Carve for single target situations where carve is not needed. (explained in the video and furthermore in the rotation section below).

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?

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 (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?

  • Master At Arms
  • Fighting Finesse
  • Deadly Aim
  • Backstabber

Swap out instead of Backstabber if you do not find you are behind the target much OR cannot GET behind it (example: dragon in vSS) with Thaumaturge or Biting Aura – either is fine.

  • 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/armor and at the same time manage your resources. High recovery and return for being active in combat and GETTING kills.

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.

Rotation

Basic Rotation

Front bar: Light Attack, Carve, Light Attack, Wrecking Blow x4-5,  Light Attack, Summoned Twiight Tormentor, Light Attack, Barbed Trap, weapon swap. 

Back Bar: Light Attack, Endless Hail, Light Attack, Hurricane, Light Attack, Soul Splitting Trap or Poison Injection, weapon swap.

NOTE: In single-target situations, use 4-5x Wrecking Blow. In AOE situations, ignore the Wrecking Blow and just use 6-8x Carve. And at execute, replace your spammable with Reverse Slice/executioner.

The amount of wrecking blows/carves you can fire per rotation depends literally on the player. Some may be better timed than others. Practice Practice!

WHY did i remove Bound Armaments dagger throwing?
The bound armament daggers seemed
1) too difficult for most to maintain
2) actually had the SAME damage output making it all complex, as it did NOT making it complex at all.
Basically sacrificing the odd wrecking blow here and there to fire the daggers and/or reactivate the skill for a blank 1 second with no damage every time it runs out, made for the same damage output as simply adding the skill to the bar for passive stam and light attack damage, and spamming wrecking blow.

The output was the same but the ease of use was extremely obvious. SO, if you are using the single target setup, HAVE bound armaments on the bar as a passive bonus, but don’t press it and just keep swinging.

YES that does mean by the way if you only ever spam carve as a choice of play style or because you are always in big pulls, you can simply remove wrecking blow all together, and still get great results taking advantage of the bound armaments passive at the same time. The choice is yours but again this is explained in the video too in the gear and skills sections.

Poisons, Potions, & Food

Potions really are up to you but they DO offer a crit chance bonus AND a 20% increase to your weapon damage and recovery while giving a burst of stamina back at the same time.

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

Poison:  
Alkahest + Nirnroot + Nightshade + Fleshfly Larvae

Weapon Power Potions:  
Dragonthorn + Blessed Thistle + wormwood + Lorkhan’s Tears

Food
Recovery Food:
Artaeum Takeaway Broth – Fish(20) + Torchbug Thorax(5) + Powdered Mother Of Pearl (5)
Dubious Camoran Throne – White meat(1) + Beetle Scuttle(1) + Insect Parts(1) + Guts(1)

Flat 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 set requirements in terms of weight, enchants, and of course, traits!

We are using the Thief Mundus stone. We have 64 points are into Stamina! However if you are in BIG fights and not all penetration supporting buffs and bonuses are present, you can do very well with the Lover Mundus stone. This depends on the group.

We are an Orc but other races are also usable. Redguard, Wood Elf, or Imperial are good substitutes, also some people like the Khajiit.

AOE setup

Flip horizontal on mobile device

SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadAegis Caller / Arms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
ShouldersAegis Caller / Arms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
ChestAzureblight ReaperMediumDivinesStamina
WaistAzureblight ReaperMediumDivinesStamina
HandsAzureblight ReaperMediumDivinesStamina
LegsAzureblight ReaperMediumDivinesStamina
FeetAzureblight ReaperMediumDivinesStamina
Ring 1Aegis Caller / Arms Of RelequenJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Ring 2Aegis Caller / Arms Of RelequenJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
NecklaceAegis Caller / Arms Of RelequenJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Weapon 1Master’s2H Maul / SwordPrecisePoisons
Weapon 2MaelstromBowInfusedWeapon / Spell Dmg

Single Target Setup

Flip horizontal on mobile device

SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadZaanMediumDivinesStamina
ShouldersZaanMediumDivinesStamina
ChestArms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
WaistArms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
HandsArms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
LegsArms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
FeetArms Of RelequenMediumDivinesStamina
Ring 1Pillar Of NirnJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Ring 2Pillar Of NirnJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
NecklacePillar Of NirnJewelryBloodthirstyWeapon Damage
Weapon 1Pillar Of Nirn2H Maul / SwordPrecisePoisons
Weapon 2Master’s BowBowInfusedWeapon / Spell Dmg

If you don’t have Maelstrom/Master’s weapons, then you can go for agility for the time being, and if they are a long way off you can simply farm for the Azureblight weapons for as long as you need the CLOSER to optimal optional setup. There is a DPS difference but as explained in the video it is not far off. And let’s face it, farming normal dungeons is a lot less stressful than vMA or vDSA for a newer player. BUT, don’t forget, you CAN get Maelstrom and Master weapons on NORMAL!

NOTE: Weapon types. If you want more flat single target damage in a group, go with a Sword. If you want more AOE and/or buffs and bonuses are not available from the group for penetration values, go with the Maul

Gear Locations

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