Flawless - Magicka Nightblade PVE Build

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

I waited a LONG time to release this but now you can have it, i feel that the nightblade has had so many changes over a short period of time, there is not much more “balancing” left to do for a little while now.

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!

Not a little, not some, not a lot…PURE CRITICAL CHANCE! 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 99.9% critical chance on your front bar ALL of the time!

This means it lives up to it’s name ‘Flawless’ because it can FLAWLESSLY critical hit on the front bar at ALL times (sure there is a 0.1% chance to fail, but so far, i have never failed).
Lets say that again, NEVER fail a critical hit on your front bar!

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 guaranteed control over our damage numbers for MUCH more accurate and consistent results!

Most critical builds like to pack heavy into critical damage, but again we have the same problem. You COULD fail…we cannot.

This means our critical DAMAGE passives/skills/bonuses are no longer chance based, 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 99-100% 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. Usually that would be open to chance, but since it is not… our critical damage IS our “flat”

So now you can enjoy NEVER failing a critical execute stab, never failing your ground dots never 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:

  • 99.9% 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 like most builds, we control it, it’s our PASSIVE!
  • easy to follow rotation taking full advantage of passives with a 100% static rotation.
  • Great for beginners AND experts!
  • Capable of ALL PVE content!
  • VERY high ultimate regen with 10 ultimate per kill (not to mention a further 9 per undead/deadra/werewolf kill
  • And finally…pretty much everything we do heals us! And due to the control of crits…it is VERY consistent! NO FLUCTUATION!

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 Dro’mathra
Feet: Light Greymoor
Front bar: Ebonshadow
Back Staff: Senchal shield

As for dyes, pretty much everything is Void Pitch Black and Warrior’s Steel!


Flame Staff

1) Inner Light
2) Degeneration/Structured Entropy
3) Merciless Resolve
4) Swallow Soul
5) Impale
Ultimate – Soul Harvest

Flame Staff

1) Inner Light
2) Unstable Wall of Fire
3) Siphoning Attacks/Consuming Trap/Mystic Orb
4) Harness Magicka
5) Twisting Path
Ultimate – Fiery Rage

Champion points

  • 1 Spell Erosion
  • 61 Elfborn
  • 56 Elemental Expert
  • 66 Master at Arms
  • 11 Staff Expert
  • 75 Thaumaturge
  • 75 Tenacity
  • 75 Arcanist
  • 44 Warlord
  • 72 Tumbling
  • 4 Shadow Ward
  • 19 Quick recovery
  • 64 Hardy
  • 64 Elemental defender
  • 51 Thick skinned
  • 72 Ironclad

Lower Champion Points

If you are lower than maximum champion points do NOT worry! This will work no matter what and of course the more cps you get the more effective it will be, however some hints on what to do at lower cps. I get questions about 300cps, 401 cps, 12 cps? we could be here all day but here are somethings i personally would recommend to prioritize in your damage areas..

Firstly be sure to get 30 points into Elemental Expert, this will allow you access to the critical chance passive and give you a good base for Magic/shock/fire/ice damage across the board. Then get 40 points into Thaumaturge to start getting that dot bonus for your skills bonus before then pushing for master at arms and Staff Expert. . After that push for piercing while evening out your cps until you hit maximum.

As far as the resists are concerned (red trees) get 15 points into quick recovery asap for the res bonus passive and then from there BALANCE your resists between hardy, elemental defender and thick skinned until you have a good even base and just drip them in boosting it as you go until you are maxed.

For the green trees be sure to spread tenacity and Arcanist as evenly as possibly and boost them both to 75, then after work on dodge roll costs (tumbling) and break free costs (warlord).


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 and your Siphoning Attacks (if using it) 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, Unstable Wall Of Fire, Weapon Swap…

Repeat over and over and over! SIMPLE!

Siphoning strikes: If you are using it (some people may not need to) be sure to cast it between Unstable wall of fire and twisting path ONCE every SECOND rotation.

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!

Poisons, Potions & Food

Potions really help a LOT. Spell power pots are ONLY useful for this setup IF you are using Structured Entropy instead of degeneration. If not, Tri pots ALL day long!

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.

Spell pots – Lady smock + Water Hyacinth + Cornflower + Lorkhan’s Tears
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)

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

We are a Khajiit but other races are also usable. High elf, Dark elf and Breton are good substitutes.

Optimal Setup

magicka nightblade, nightblade, flawless, vma, markarth, xynode

Gear Locations