The Ninja - Criminal Nightblade Build

Written guide updated for the Deadlands DLC: Update 32 Q4 2021

Older video but still relevant.
Written guide updated with altered sets, traits, and/or skills.

Ever wanted to benefit from a life of crime in The Elder Scrolls Online? Ever wanted to revisit the real Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild playstyles you enjoyed in Skyrim and the other Elder Scrolls games prior to the MMORPG?

The wait is over! This build is built for ONE purpose. To be a Criminal!

Being a criminal can sound fairly easy, annoy the guards and get a bounty right? Well, that will only get you SO far. You will have a bounty but you won’t be profiting…You’re just breaking the law.

Well, NOW you can steal and murder all day long and NEVER get caught!

This build is designed to be the BEST thief and murderer in the entire game, taking full advantage of many complimentary passive, bonuses, sets, and champion points to make you invisible to anything that dares to spot you doing anything wrong!

The guards will never catch you, you will never have to pay off your bounty and you can be as Infamous as you wish!

The build has MANY things combined including crazy detection radius reduction, much higher gold from items you steal, and higher quality loot from all manner of thievery, especially pickpocketing.

Do you pickpocket people and leave them be while selling their loot for gold? OR do you pickpocket everyone and then kill them for whatever they may have left? Why not both right?

This build is SO simple to use you only really need ONE bar…and no real combat skills because everything you kill will be a ONE-SHOT. NO DPS required, NO rotations, no combat awareness, nothing! You just need to stand behind your target and press one synergy. The rest is history!

Important notes about the build:
  • Hide as close as 2 meters away from a guard in front of them and NOT be seen!
  • Infinite sneak with 100% stamina at all times, capable of sneaking through entire zones untouched.
  • Invisibility just for running away OR in a skill with infinite sustainability of the skill.
  • HIGH damage mitigation and movement speed in case you get spotted.
  • MANY Passive bonuses for more gold for your hard work!
  • Instantly kill any humanoid NPC/enemy in overland situations with a single hit.
  • Heists are now easy mode!
  • Never be caught by a guard again!

Skills:

Technically you ONLY need one bar. On PC you can unbind your bar swap button and never have to use the back bar. On console, however, you will always have that button there so we are double barring everything. But as I explained in the video you CAN use different skills / ultimate / weapon types to utilize the other bar if you prefer. However if you want to keep it simple, ONE bar and ONE ultimate all day long!

Dual Wield (any weapon will work but skill will need replacing)

1) Resolving Vigor
2) Revealing Flare
3) Shadowy Disguise
4) Bloodthirst
5) Hypnosis
Ultimate – Temporal Guard

Champion Points 2.0

This build doesn’t STRICTLY require any champion points at all, you don’t NEED damage bonuses because everything is a one-shot, and you don’t NEED resistances because you should never get hit…BUT unlike most builds, taking advantage of the GREEN champion points trees actually benefits us for the overall performance of the character rather than just “quality of life” slotables.

Below I will note VERY briefly what you should strive for!

While along the way you CAN get basic passives to help you with stealth detection etc, you have invisibility on tap ANYWAY so it trumps the detection radius for the time being while you are leveling!

So long as you understand the setup, everything is really done for you, just a case of standing in the right place and not hanging around if you get spotted!

SLOTABLES!

While the blue and red trees are not essential like they would be on most builds, the green tree for a change is where things really shine. Below are the main slotables you should aim for while growing your Champion Point levels.

  • Unassailable
  • Duelist’s Rebuff
  • Enduring Resolve
  • Ironclad

If you don’t get hit and don’t hit anything with any skills but the blade of woe…well none of these matter at all! however, we have flat resistance bonuses just in case. We do NOT need damage because all of our damage is a one-shot.

 

  • Shadowstrike
  • Cutpurse’s Art
  • Fade Away
  • Steed’s Blessing

This is for getting away from trouble. Escaping guards, and combining with the gear to add invisibility after a kill!

  • Boundless Vitality
  • Rejuvenation
  • Fortified
  • Slippery

Flat survival passives and resource recovery just in case you need it

WHAT DO I DO AT MY LEVEL???

Unlike most builds this is REALLY doesn’t matter. Unlock your passives along the way that path towards grabbing the slotables (as mentioned in the video) but the red tree and the blue tree will almost NEVER be relevant in most situations because you won’t be in combat, it’s one-shot kill, and DONE!

The green trees however are 100% quality of life for other builds but for us, everything helps. Looting, better loot, more gold, hide after kills, escape guards and lose more bounty, it all adds up.

Aim for the 4 slotables via any path you like but I would HIGHLY suggest getting Steed’s blessing (run speed) and Shadowstrike (Invisibility after kill and can USE blade of woe during) as soon as possible.

These are your main two sources of evasion so go for those first!

It doesn’t matter whether you are 160 cp or 3600 this build is great for ANY level!

Rotation

Erm…walk up behind something crouching…hit the Blade of Woe synergy…Loot corpse?!

Everything you need to know about how to actively play the build is demonstrated in the video above (with timestamps) but essentially, you need to CROUCH as much as possible. We are a stage 4 vampire and can stealth fast, at full speed, and take advantage of that synergy-based skill all day long.

Poisons, Potions & Food

Poisons are irrelevant because we will not be making them fire. And potions really don’t matter too much either because we are not going to use resources too much. trash pots all day long for whichever resource you need is fine to still be able to maintain recovery while utilizing your 20 ultimate per potion passive. However if you want to use the expensive stuff, TRI-POTS all day long!

As explained in the video, recovery food is better for the build but if you only have flat food for now, that is totally up to you and not a problem either.

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

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 Andriod 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 Atronach Mundus stone to allow for huge recovery for Magicka (infinite timed invisibility). All 64 points are into stamina!

We are a Khajiit! The passives to detection radius make ALL the difference alongside the recovery bonuses. You CAN use other races no problem at all but you will be easier to spot.

Flip horizontal on mobile device
SLOTGear SetWeightTraitEnchant
Headbloodspawn/recovery helm of choicemediumdivinesstamina
shouldersdarloc braemediumdivinesstamina
chestsithis' touchmediumdivinesstamina
waistsithis' touchmediumdivinesstamina
handssithis' touchmediumdivinesstamina
legssithis' touchmediumdivinesstamina
feetsithis' touchmediumdivinesstamina
ring 1darloc braejewelryswiftstamina recovery
ring 2ring of the wild huntjewelryswiftstamina recovery
necklacedarloc braejewelryswiftstamina recovery
weapon 1darloc braeplayer's choiceplayer's choiceplayer's choice
weapon 2darloc braeplayer's choiceplayer's choiceplayer's choice

Gear Locations

Bloodspawn Spindleclutch II
Sithis’ Touch
Gold Coast
Darlok Brae
Northern Elsweyr

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