Race: Altmer (High Elf)
Main Role: Damage
Health, Magicka, Stamina
Weapon 1: Destruction Staff
Sorcerer SkillCrystal Fragments
Destruction Staff SkillForce Pulse
Destruction Staff SkillDestructive Reach
Sorcerer SkillDaedric Curse
Sorcerer SkillMages Fury
Sorcerer SkillEnergy Overload
Weapon 2: Destruction Staff
Sorcerer SkillEmpowered Ward
Sorcerer SkillLiquid Lightning
Destruction Staff SkillElemental Blockade
Sorcerer SkillPower Surge
Sorcerer SkillDark Conversion
Destruction Staff SkillElemental Rage
|Light Armor||Medium Armor||Heavy Armor|
Gear and Item Set Info
This build focuses on DPS, with a side goal of sustainability.
You'll want your gear to look something like this:
5 pieces Julianos for 6% spell crit, 950 max magicka, 290 spell damage (preferably robe, leggings, boots, gauntlets, and both staves)
- Preferably Divines, but can be substituted for Infused on robe, leggings
- Sharpened is the best choice for the staves, but Precise or Nirnhoned may work better with the coming nerf
- Should have Max Magicka enchantments on all armor pieces
- Staves should have Weapon Damage enchantments - it adds 320 weapon and spell damage for 5 seconds every 10 seconds, which averages to a ~ 160 increase in spell damage
3 pieces Willpower for 1400 max magicka, 170 spell damage (both rings, necklace)
- This is where much of your Health will come from, if you want it to - the Healthy trait on every piece will add just under 3000 max Health, which really helps with staying alive long enough to kill things
- You can also invest some Attribute points into Health and use the Arcane trait on these rings, there's little difference between the two options
- Both rings should be enchanted with Increase Magical Harm for +160 spell damage each
- Necklace can either be Reduce Spell Cost (better than increase regen, as you're firing spells off far more often than one per two seconds) or more Spell damage, if you're not having problems with sustainability
2 pieces Ilambris for 950 max magicka, 10% chance on fire or lightning damage to create a storm of that element that deals 1300 damage every 1 second for 5 seconds, can happen every 8 seconds per element
- This will be the most difficult to acquire, as there is only a miniscule chance to get the desired piece from an Undaunted Reward chest. Use keys on Glirion's chest to have a chance at this shoulder item.
- The mask can be acquired by repeated runs of Crypt of hearts I
- It is easier to find a group running for the Ilambris mask and go with them rather than using the Dungeon Finder to group yourself, as DPS have incredibly long wait times
If you're unable to get a good set of Ilambris, you can wear 2-3 pieces of Torug's Pact while you wait, for 120 spell damage / 1000 max HP
Now, the easiest way to get the Willpower rings is to go to Mournhold and view the Guild Traders there. Usually, one or more of them will have the ring or necklace you're looking for at a reasonable price.
As for finding a crafter, they're rather difficult to track down sometimes. Once you find one, however, you can add them as a friend and become a regular customer. (Also, providing materials and being polite tends to lower the cost of your armor.)
This build uses the Atronach Stone for higher sustainability, but you can swap it out for the Thief, Apprentice or Mage stone if you wish.
Now, this build is slightly flexible. The fifth slot on either bar is not truly necessary for the build, but can be useful. You can swap out the fifth slot for Bound Aegis, Inner Light, or even a pet if you want to. You can also insert other skills that you think would be more useful than the ones silly ol' Dunlop recommended. If you find something that works better than what I suggested, let me know in the comments and I'll be the first to try it out.
Now, the first bar is single-target DPS, while the second bar is area DPS and self-maintenance, such as keeping yourself from dying. If you encounter a group of regular monsters, you can either activate a shield, Elemental Blockade and Liquid Lightning, or you can take them out one at a time with your main bar. I suggest always keeping Power Surge up for the large increase in Spell damage and self-healing, but you don't necessarily need it for low-level monsters.
If you've decided to use Mages Fury, only use it when the target is low or you expect them to be low very shortly. Otherwise, it's not very useful, and you should use it more as a conditional attack than as a part of your rotation.
For some reason, Daedric Curse didn't have an option to morph into Haunting Curse, which explodes twice, once after 3.5 seconds and another time after an additional 8.5 seconds. This is an extremely useful skill against bosses, as it has massive damage (albeit over time) against bosses. It's not very useful against low level monsters, though, as they're usually dead before the curse explodes. Another thing to keep in mind with the Curse is never to apply it before the second explosion has occurred, which can be checked by looking for a swirling purple cloud of smoke around the target or by looking at their status effects, if you have that toggled on under settings -> combat.
Anyway! The rotation for bosses. When you approach a boss, you want to activate your Power Surge for increased damage and healing, and then you want to drop Liquid Lightning and Blockade of Storms on it. (If it's a boss that loves to jump around, I would postpone this step until it decides to hold still, or until the tank gets his sh** together and holds him still.) After that, you can swap to your front bar and drop a Haunting Curse on it, then Elemental Reach, and then begin firing off your Force Pulse and Crystal Fragments. The trick is to fire off Force Pulse a few times, and then see if Crystal Fragments has activated. You can tell this when there are little purple rocks floating around your hands, but it can be difficult to see them with Power Surge on. I suggest turning on personal status effects under settings -> combat, and looking for the Crystal icon. Haunting Curse needs to be refreshed every 12 seconds or so, as does the Elemental Reach, as does the Liquid Lightning and Blockade of Storms (well, more like 10 seconds, but you get the idea). When this happens, you should switch to the back bar, activate the Area of Effects, then swap back to the front and reapply Haunting Curse and Elemental Reach. If the boss likes to attack people other than the tank commonly, you may want to add your Empowered Ward to the mix. A side note about Empowered Ward - many people prefer Hardened to Empowered ward, but the 10 second duration is too good to pass up. It means you're about 3/4 as well protected from damage, but for 160% as long. Also, the minor boost to regen is useful, as is the reduced cost. But anyway.
You should refresh your Power Surge every second cycle or so, such that it never runs out. If you're Out of Magicka (OOM), you can either burn some stamina and use the Dark Conversion, or you can use a heavy attack to restore a slightly lower amount. You'll generally want to throw in some heavy attacks before you're Out of Magicka, as well, usually between swapping bars or between the Curse and the Pulses. When the enemy drops below 20%, you can begin to spam your Mages' Fury, throwing in light attacks in between (you should do this for all abilities, really, light attacks between them). Using Energy Overload expends Ultimate to restore Magicka, and adds a reasonable amount of damage as well. Don't use it after your Power Surge wears off. Elemental Rage is good when the boss is holding still, or when you really need to deny an area to the enemy. Drop a Rage, Liquid lightning and Elemental Blockade, and anything that walks into that area just sort of melts. Mm, fried Dremora.
And there you have it! We've covered everything on both bars, and we're doing dandy.
Champion Point Tips
Champion points! They're the late-game progression of ESO, and they're dead useful en masse. Here's what you'll want:
Thief: Most of your points go into Arcanist, for increased Magicka Regen. The rest can go into assorted other bits, like Tumbling and whatnot, to keep your Stamina up. Ooh, and a little Mooncalf can be useful if you like using Dark Conversion. I think that's all.
Warrior: Ironclad and Thick Skinned directly reduce incoming damage. What's not to love? In the Lord stone, Bastion increases the strength of your damage shields, which is always useful.
Mage: Here we go, the exciting bit. The mage can increase your damage by a very significant degree. Let's assume there are four levels of priority: High, Medium, Low and None. For scale, if you had 40 points in a High, you'd probably have 20-30 in a Medium, 10-15 in a Low, and 0 in a None. Ready?
Elemental Expert: Medium. This directly increases all shock, flame, cold, magic damage. Dead useful for a magicka DPS like you, eh?
Elfborn: Low. This increases Critical damage with spells by a reasonable amount, but remember that Crits are left to chance. Still useful, but not as good as some others.
Thaumaturge: Low. This increases Damage over Time, which we don't use all that much of in this build.
Master at Arms: High. This increases all direct damage (i.e. most of your damage) by an amount higher than Elemental Expert increases it by.
Staff Expert: Low. This increases the damage of your Light and heavy attacks by quite a bit, but that's not most of your damage. Still useful.
You can drop a few points into Spell Erosion if you want, but I think the light Armor passives and staff bonuses usually take care of the majority of monsters' Resistances.