The Bloodletter: (Nightblade Tank Build, Morrowind Ready)
Main Role: Tank
Health, Magicka, Stamina
Weapon 1: One Handed And Shield
One Hand And Shield SkillPierce Armor
Nightblade SkillFunnel Health
Nightblade SkillSap Essence
One Hand And Shield SkillAbsorb Magic
Nightblade SkillLeeching Strikes
Nightblade SkillSoul Tether
|Light Armor||Medium Armor||Heavy Armor|
Gear and Item Set Info
Optimal; 5 Alteration Mastery: A BoE set from Rewards of the Worthy mail or bought in bags from Cropsford in Cyrodiil, this set reduces ALL costs by 6%. Yes, ALL. Stamina, Magicka, Ultimate, Health, Roll Dodge, Block, Bash... EVERYTHING. Boasting immense resource management, this set is any active caster's best friend. This is why we double bar SnB as of the Morrowind patch, to ensure we have it active on both bars. This set comes in Light armor only, so you'll want 3 jewelry pieces (this means Arcane!) with Sword and Board. If you aren't enacting the GCD every second by using abilities, try the flex option instead!
Bloodthorn: Another BoE set, this time from Glenumbra overland events (World Bosses, delves, dolmens, quests). Again it's a Light armor set, so you'll want to use Jewelry + SnB to enable this bonus. Anytime you deal direct damage (which is anytime you hit with taunt, Funnel, Sap, or Light attacking), you'll get a butt ton of Stamina and Magicka, with a 5s ICD. While not boasting as efficient resource management as Alteration, it's much easier to see the gains when it procs, and doesn't require constant damage GCD enacting like Alteration Mastery.
5 Bahraha's Curse: This set drops from Hew's Bane zone events (bosses, chests, etc) in Light Armor, OR in any weight from Thieves Guild quests and heist dailies. This means it's kind of hard to obtain in the ideal. You're going to want 5 pieces of Heavy Armor, which can be extremely rare in optimal (Infused/Divines) traits. Again this set is kind of brushed off by most players for its wonky looking bonuses. With a staggering 25% chance to proc off of any damage DONE, this means this set is up almost indefinitely. It does have an ICD of the duration of the proc itself, so you will not see more than one up at a time. This is alright though, as the AoE is rather sizable for a proc (About 3-4m) and everything in it triggers the damage and heal. Mob mitigation lowers the effectiveness, so penetration is good for healing as well. The minor set bonuses of this give us a bit of well rounded stats, with Max Health+Stamina+Magicka. This also scales in power with CP, similar to Leeching. The following trees boost the set; Elemental Expert (magic damage), Thaumaturge, Blessed, Spell Erosion, and Quick Recovery. The trap damage reduction granted by this set actually works inside trials when taking AoE damage, leaving it to be deceptively powerful.
Getting Bahraha's Curse in heavy armor can be a chore since you can only get it from Thieves Guild quests and heist rewards (or buying them from guild traders if you can find them!). In the mean time try using a crafted set such as Seducer (resource management), Twilight's Embrace (improved self healing), or Torug's (amazing group enabling when paired with Infused Crusher enchant).
2 Malubeth: A monster helm obtained from Veteran Wayrest Sewers and Undaunted Chests, with a chance to be put in the Cyordiil vendor every weekend. This set takes everything this build can do and multiplies the values by a ground breaking 30%, in form of Major Vitality. The only downside is the set has a lower proc chance than anything else in our kit, at 6% per damage source taken. Still, in large density pulls this set is going off quite a bit. It's received a few nerfs due to the toxicity of this set in Cyrodiil, but it has everything we need for big AoE fights in PvE.
Again this scales with CP, however I have not fully tested which nodes it all scales with. I know Blessed and Quick Recovery have this scale, but I'm not sure if the offensive nodes do.
Now for the more nitty gritty details. Here are some simple statements about the build itself- a mix of pros and cons.
-This build is NOT your traditional tank. If you love holding down block and never moving, then this is not something for you. As a very proactive DPS member, sitting still and seldom casting abilities is something I find extremely boring. This build is all about playing like a DPS, so you'll be expected to be throwing off abilities and weaving them, WHILE blocking. Expect a steep learning curve!
-This build revolves around heavy self healing as well as AoE potential. Almost all of my healing abilities/procs grow exponentially in power based on the targets they hit, meaning this build actually gets stronger the more mobs there are. This is rather unique to the build, as many other setups begin struggling the more mobs there are, while this thrives in those situations.
-The identity of the build is a bit more selfish at self glance, compared to the more high end 'meta' builds that competitive guilds run. While it does sacrifice ultimate generation from things such as Tava's Blessing and Bloodspawn for more uptime on Aggressive Warhorn, it allows the healers of the group to focus more on damage and buffing allies instead. It's more of a redistribution of power, rather than a simple gain and loss.
-The item sets from this build all drop from 4 mans or can be bought (BoE), so no trail raiding required! The hardest set to nab will be Bahraha's in Heavy, and we'll talk about swappable sets while you work towards that.
-Resource management is much easier with this build compared to other setups, IF you can get used to weaving attacks between abilities + blocking. It's a very different playstyle, and not everyone can pull it off, but it's fun!
-Not only does this build have self healing and sustain, but it provides a decent amount of damage as well. I can easily pull upwards of 30k on trash pulls, I can sometimes get around 6-10k single target too, depending on the fight and RNG procs.
Pierce Armor: Our main taunt available to us, bound to melee range. This applies Major Breach and Fracture to ensure your group members regardless of spec benefit from 24/7 up time on these. It provides 10.56% damage against mobs and 8% damage against v16 players. Make sure you apply this to the major threats in a trash pull, as well as any others around if possible. Remember, the more targets hitting you, the stronger you'll be.
Funnel Health: Unlike DPS builds, this will NOT be our main spammable. Since this skill operates by applying a Heal over Time for 10 seconds, we'll only be casting it a few times every 10s. If you want more self healing instead of group healing, take Swallow Soul.
Sap Essence: Our main form of spammable AoE DPS and heals, also granting us Major Sorcery for a little bit more damage. Keep in mind that Sap and Swallow both scale with Spell Damage, and Swallow scales multiplicatively since the heal is based on damage done. Sap also procs Siphoning Attacks at an absurdly high rate in AoE circumstances, as each of the enemies hit with it has a 10% chance to proc it, once per second. Cast this over Funnel Health if the HoT is already applied from Funnel.
Absorb Magic: Mainly this ability is used simply as a passive slot, for 8% block cost reduction and a bonus 8% block mitigation. However in some scenarios this spell alone can allow you to negate damage and heal instead, allowing a healer to focus purely on damage. Any time a single target SPELL is casted on you, this procs. Knowing fights ahead of time is key for when to use this, so make sure you study the mechanics of a fight and look for places you can utilize this spell for truly incredible results.
Leeching Strikes: While just a former shadow of itself since the nerfs, this skill still allows Nightblades to bypass a lot of resource management issues. This now takes a bit more situational understanding to use, and forces us to drop block for a few fractions of a second here and there to light attack mobs for the base proc + the chance to proc on abilities. If your sense of timing is off this can easily spell death in sticky situations or when fighting beefier mobs such as the Mantikora from Sanctum. After the ability expires (or upon recasting) you'll net a nice chunk of resources based on how long the buff ran for, helping tide you over until the next Heavy Attack or synergy.
Mirage: A reliable source of Major Evasion that lasts a decent duration. It also costs Magicka instead of Stamina, allowing us to block even more. This helps lower incoming damage tremendously but will also lower the efficiency of our monster sets, but it's still worthwhile. Still, a very solid skill that synergizes amazingly with sets such as Tava's Favor if you're looking for insane Ulti gen.
Flex Spot: There are tons of options to use. You can use Heroic Slash for ultimate, Merciless Resolve to buff your damage (which will increase Funnel's healing), or pretty much anything.
Inner Rage: The only ranged taunt in game, used for pulls where you can't devout yourself to running straight to the adds or boss. This helps a lot in places like vICP where there are a lot of high priority targets spread out that you need to get before they reach your allies. Make sure you take this morph so you have 1 taunt that uses different resources so you have a back up in case you somehow run out of a resource. This morph also has an increased chance to proc the Radiate synergy, which is one of the strongest synergies in game for DPS.
Refreshing Path: Usually I really detest this skill for casters, as it severely under performs compared to Twisting Path damage wise, but the heal scales incredibly well due to the CP system. Since this build isn't a full on damage setup, this isn't as much of an issue, and the need for a Shadow ability that would be casted ~ once every 10 seconds to ensure Major Ward/Resolve for mitigation leaves Refreshing as a much more reasonable fill. Add on all the bonus healing taken and this becomes a lot stronger than the tool tip would suggest.
Dark Shades: You may have realized I didn't suggest always slotting Heroic Slash with this build on our SnB bar. That's because this beauty of a spell lasts almost double the duration, doesn't have a high cost, and has multiple target potential. It also activates some passives for us, really making it much easier than Slash to manage for the Minor Maim buff. Keep this up on any bosses, to really help control damage output. Heroic Slash still boasts superior Ulti gen, but Dark Shades is easier to manage and is much more cost efficient.
Champion Point Tips
Based on 600 CP. Try and hit these numbers as you progress, focusing mainly on the nodes with the highest dump in them first.
49 Elemental Expert
22 Spell Erosion
Progression; Focus on Blessed and Elemental Expert first. Once you hit those numbers, start splitting between the rest at your own pace.
49 Elemental Defender
40 Thick Skinned
11 Quick Recovery
Progression; Focus on Ele Defender and Hardy first, and then start filling in the rest.
56 Shadow Ward
56 free points (Split between Bash reduction, CC break, and Dodge roll)
Progression; Put 10 into Shadow Ward first, then 75 into Magician, then 30 into Arcanist, and then fill in any order after you've hit those numbers.