Sting - Stamina Nightblade PVE Build
Written guide updated for the Waking Flame DLC: Q3 2021
Older video but the written guide is up to date.
Finally! A Stamblade for the channel. After popular demand and my own withholding of the build until I was sure balancing was in a fairly safe place (so we didn’t have to constantly change the build so much) it is here!
Nightblades can be considered quite “difficult” to use by most due to their awkward timing of some of their skills and one MAJOR skill alteration…Spectral bow. The spectral bow is a secondary effect fired by grim focus and its morphs and allows you a half-priced version of the skill where you consume 5 stacks of resistance in return for a single target HIGH DAMAGE hit, plus a heal if you are close enough (7 meters or less).
This skill is available via hitting the target with light and heavy attacks to stack up to 5 hits, and then it can be used.
For many out there, the application of this skill can be somewhat random and confusing. Each light attack applies ONE stack of the ticks and each heavy attack applies TWO ticks…so as long as you reach 5, you can fire it. Rotations generally using this skill can be very confusing and requires you to either count/calculate your lights and heavies, OR (if you are on pc) rely on an add-on to let you know when it is ready.
In THIS video/build, however, it is calculated for you so that you are guaranteed 2 shots of the bow every front bar rotation so long as you do the rotation correctly without ANY ad-dons and ANY counting or buff tracking at all! The purpose of the rotation was not only to make the damage high but also to apply relevant buffs and up times guaranteed without any complications that some other setups have. So ease of use is a massive contributing factor to this setup at the SAME time as hitting some ridiculously high damage.
Everything about the build has been carefully constructed so that survival, sustain, buff uptimes, damage application, and sets bonuses and procs are ALL equally considered throughout. This may take a little time to master, but if you follow it from start to finish, you will NOT be disappointed!
Some other things to consider with this build are of course base passives which are heavily taken advantage of inside the build layout and the rotation combined.
First of all leeching strikes used every rotation gives us a guaranteed additional 2 ultimate per back bar rotation, meaning we can build for our ultimate faster. Fighters guild passives build ultimate also if killing undead Daedra and werewolves, and simply taking a potion (which we will do every 45 seconds) will give us 20 ultimate every time we do so, meaning we can reuse our cheap 70 point cost ultimate VERY often to keep up high damage on the individual we are focusing on.
Our sustain and damage output combined are balanced due to heavy attacks being deliberately put into the rotation. Careful placement of the heavy attacks in the rotation’s design allows for us to keep up our stamina, while constantly attacking and also applying our spectral bow more efficiently.
Our survival is also in our passives, if we hit with a surprise attack we actually GAIN major resolve and major ward, that’s right we BUFF our resists by HITTING with a set skill. Play aggressive! We also can take full advantage of deadly cloak meaning all aoe damage incoming is reduced by 25% AND we can keep full uptime on our infused weapon glyphs no matter what bar we are on. Not to mention of course our killer’s blade (execute skill) can actually heal us when killing enemies!
The key thing to remember is to KEEP your rotation going. On a target skeleton or a low health boss (3-6mil), you can probably get away with spamming your execute at low health. But LONG fights you cannot simply do this. You will run out of juice and all of your passive damage and buffs will fall off. You MUST keep up your rotation and you MUST keep your dots and buffs up at all times especially in trials.
“Execute” phase is not your time to spam one button…it is your time to ALTER to an “execute rotation” and replace your surprise attack with killer’s blade and keep doing what you are doing!
NOTE: during Execute be sure to occasionally throw in a surprise attack per rotation if you are in high incoming damage situations so that you can keep up your major ward and major resolve resistance buff if you need to.
High single target damage output especially at low hp (25% or less)
High survival, and tankier resists without the need to slot an additional buff!
Ability to heal from kills!
High ultimate usage!
Controlled rotation covering sustain AND damage output combined
Full use of class passives also allowing you of course to buff the group with minor savagery
Fast-paced rotation made simple!
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 are 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?
- Master At Arms
- Fighting Finesse
- Deadly Aim
Instead of Backstabber If you cannot get behind the enemy (example: Dragon in Sunspire), then Thaumaturge should replace it in those situations.
If you find you are in multiple large pull situations with many adds while using Whirling Blades, you should swap to Biting Aura.
- 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 nor combat in general just quality of life.
Some people like to steal, craft, use less potions, whatever, it’s your choice.
- Boundless Vitality
- Bloody Renewal
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 really helps you in content.
So a good balance of flat, contributing slotables are helpful as a DPS build.
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.
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.
Front bar: Light Attack, Spectral Bow, Light Attack, Surprise Attack x3!, Light Attack, Rending Slashes, Light Attack, (slight delay) Spectral Bow, Light Attack, Barbed Trap, weapon wwap.
NOTE: The Light Attack + Spectral Bow needs to have a slight delay in order to make the Light Attack count as the 5th light. IF you are having issues with this, do 4x surprise attacks instead and it will always be ready. Not as efficient, but much easier when practicing. Explained in the video)
Back Bar: Light Attack, Arrow Barrage, Light Attack, Poison Injection, Light Attack, Dark Shade, Light Attack, Consuming Trap, weapon wwap…
Repeat over and over and over!
During Execute: Replace your Surprise Attack ability with Killer’s Blade (25% health and under) and do not fire your bow anymore to keep up the 10% damage mitigation bonus.
Remember 1 Light Attack counts for one bow proc, 1x Heavy Attack counts for 2! IF you are struggling with sustain…Replace 2x Light Attack, Surprise Attack with 1x Heavy Attack, Surprise Attack. This will keep your timing and rotation on point alongside your sustain IF you are struggling!
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.
Alkahest + Nirnroot + Nightshade + Fleshfly Larvae
Weapon Power Potions:
Dragonthorn + Blessed Thistle + wormwood + Lorkhan’s Tears
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)
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
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 Stamina!
We are an Orc but other races are also usable. Redguard, Wood Elf, or Imperial are good substitutes, also some people like the Khajiit, or Dark Elf.
|chest||Relequen / alkosh||medium||divines||stamina|
|waist||Relequen / alkosh||medium||divines||stamina|
|hands||Relequen / alkosh||medium||divines||stamina|
|legs||Relequen / alkosh||medium||divines||stamina|
|feet||Relequen / alkosh||medium||divines||stamina|
|ring 1||venomous smith||jewelry||infused||weapon damage|
|ring 2||venomous smite||jewelry||bloodthirsty||weapon damage|
|necklace||venomous smite||jewelry||bloodthirsty||weapon damage|
|weapon 1||venomous smite||dagger||nirnhoned||poisons|
|weapon 2||venomous smite||dagger / axe||sharpened||poisons|
|weapon 3||master's||bow||infused||weapon / spell dmg|
|chest||new moon acolyte||medium||divines||stamina|
|waist||new moon acolyte||medium||divines||stamina|
|hands||new moon acolyte||medium||divines||stamina|
|legs||new moon acolyte||medium||divines||stamina|
|feet||new moon acolyte||medium||divines||stamina|
|ring 1||mechanical acuity||jewelry||bloodthirsty||weapon damage|
|ring 2||mechanical acuity||jewelry||infused||weapon damage|
|necklace||mechanical acuity||jewelry||infused||weapon damage|
|weapon 1||mechanical acuity||sword||nirnhoned||poisons|
|weapon 2||mechanical acuity||sword||sharpened||poisons|
|weapon 3||agility||bow||infused||weapon / spell dmg|
A VERY strong set to use instead of Relequen if you have a trial/group with around 3-4+ synergies active at any one time is Alkosh! Just remember to aim the synergies in the direction of the desired target.
If you do not have access to trials loot, other good options are Defiler, Hundings Rage, Briarheart, Red Mountain, and Pillar of Nirn. All of which will do less overall but WILL perform very well indeed in place of the more optimal set.