Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) Nightblade Guide
The Nightblade is one of the classes available for players to select in The Elder Scrolls Online. It’s an assassin-style class that relies heavily on stealth abilities. Using shadow and stealth skills the Nightblade is capable of dealing significant amounts of damage. Any attack made while in stealth also deals extra damage.
Nightblade Class Skills
The Nightblade has access to 3 different skill lines. These are:
Each of these skill trees has its own set of passive and active abilities that are designed to focus around a specific role. Below we’ve provided a more detailed summary of each of the skill lines that includes a description of each skill and an explanation of what the skill line is best used for.
The Assassination skill line is one that focuses on raw DPS (damage per second). Most of the skills within this tree are designed to deal moderate amounts of damage and increase your character’s overall attack speed.
Here are all of the active and passive abilities within this skill tree:
- Death Stroke (Ultimate Ability) – Deals damage to an enemy and also slightly hinders their healing ability. Overall damage of this attack is increased based on the Ultimate pool.
- Assassin’s Blade (Active) – Deals damage and has a multiplier that increases damage output against enemies with low health.
- Teleport Strike (Active) – Teleports your character to the enemy, strikes them with moderate damage, and stuns the foe for a short time.
- Blur (Active) – Player buff that increases the chances of enemy attacks missing your character.
- Mark Target (Active) – Puts a mark on an enemy with high health. The player’s overall attack damage against this enemy is increase while the mark is active. Upon killing a marked enemy the player will receive healing.
- Haste (Active) – Increases the overall attack speed of the player for a short time.
- Master Assassin (Passive) – Increases the output damage of the player when in Stealth or Invisible. Sneak attacks also cause extended stuns.
- Executioner (Passive) – Upon killing an enemy using an Assassination skill the player will restore some of his/her Magicka.
- Pressure Points (Passive) – Increases the overall crit chance of the player’s attacks based on how many Assassination abilities are equipped.
- Hemorrhage (Passive) – Increase the overall bonus crit damage of the player’s attacks based on how many Assassination abilities are equipped.
As mentioned above, the majority of these skills are aimed at providing overall damage and improving critical hit chances making the Nightblade a deadly DPS class, especially when attacks are made while in Stealth. Here’s a great ESO leveling guide.
The Shadow skill tree is also somewhat tuned for players that wish to dish out a lot of damage (DPS) but also has a few great skills aimed toward giving the player CC (crowd control) abilities. Using a variety of snares and summons this skill line allows the Nightblade to stun enemies and deal AoE (area of effect) damage as well.
Here are all of the passive, active, and Ultimate abilities included in this particular tree:
- Consuming Darkness (Ultimate Ability) – Activates an AoE snare that makes your character invisible for a short time. Engaging an enemy will, however, remove invisibility. Allied players can activate the Slip Away synergy while this is up which will make their characters temporarily invisible, too.
- Shadow Cloak (Active) – Makes your character invisible for a few seconds.
- Veiled Strike (Active) – Increases overall damage output and stuns nearby foes. This skill requires the use of Stealth.
- Path of Darkness (Active) – Deals damage to enemies within a set path directly in front of your player. Your character’s movement speed is also temporarily boosted within this path.
- Aspect of Terror (Active) – Enemies within a nearby radius are afflicted with Fear.
- Summon Shade (Active) – Summons a Shade that fights enemies for you and also debuffs enemy output damage.
- Refreshing Shadow (Passive) – Anytime you activate a Shadow skill your Stamina regen will increase.
- Shadow Barrier (Passive) – Whenever your character comes out of Stealth or Invisibility incoming damage is reduced slightly.
- Fortitude (Passive) – Increases your overall maximum Health based on how many Shadow abilities you have slotted to your character.
- Dark Veil (Passive) – Increases the overall duration of all Shadow-based skills.
As you can see this skill line still provides plenty of opportunities to deal moderate amounts of damage but also gives you the ability to use skills that will temporarily debuff and hinder enemies making the Nightblade best suited for a combination DPS / crowd-control build.
The Siphoning skill line is a rather odd one. Instead of focusing on direct damage this skill tree is a combination of various buffs, debuffs, and DoT (damage over time) attacks. It works pretty well for weakening enemies and giving yourself a few boosts as well.
Here are all of the Ultimate, active, and passive abilities that are available within this skill tree:
- Soul Shred (Ultimate Ability) – Creates a AoE (area of effect) attack that deals damage and also stuns nearby foes. This skill also initiates the Leeching Strike synergy
- Strife (Active) – Drops a DoT attack on enemies and provides healing for your character while active.
- Agony (Active) – Causes a stun and a DoT attack on a target for a length of time. These effects are broken if the enemy takes damage from anything else.
- Cripple (Active) – Puts a DoT effect on a target that decreases the enemy’s movement speed and transfers that speed to your player.
- Siphoning Strikes (Active) – Sacrifices part of the player’s weapon damage to restore some of the player’s Magicka and Stamina with every hit.
- Drain Power (Active) – Reduces the overall attack power of nearby foes. A portion of their power is then transferred to the player. The amount of power transferred to the player depends on how many enemies are caught in the Drain.
- Catalyst (Passive) – Increases the overall effectiveness of potions used.
- Magicka Flood (Passive) – Increases the total max Magicka of your character if you have a Siphoning-based skill slotted.
- Soul Siphoner (Passive) – Increases the healing amount given by Siphoning skills.
- Transfer (Passive) – Gives the player some Ultimate pool when dealing damage via a Siphoning-based skill.
As you can see a lot of these skills will help buff your Nightblade but some also debuff your enemies to give you more of an advantage over them.
Just like every other class in The Elder Scrolls Online leveling with the Nighblade can be rather slow. For tips be sure to read our ESO leveling guide which reveals the quickest leveling methods in the game. Right now questing and dungeon runs are the best for experience and gold. We’ll be writing up more detailed leveling guides in the near future, though.
A lot of people ask about what weapons are best to use for the Nightblade class. It’s important to keep in mind that any class is capable of equipping any weapon but they do effectively change the role of your character. Based on the skills and abilities of the Nightblade the best weapons to use for it are daggers and swords.
While small blades are typically the most effective weapons for this class it does perform well with other weapon types such as bows or a magic staff. Experiment with different weapons and find out what feels and works best with your personal playing style.
Because the Nightblade class is heavily built around using Stealth one of the best armor types to use for it is Medium. A complete set of Medium armor will also provide a few passive buffs that are pretty handy. These buffs will help you increase your overall sneak ability, increases your crit hit chances, and also improve your overall attack speed.
Want to progress your Nightblade faster than ever? Grab this awesome Elder Scrolls Online guide and learn about the ultimate strategies used to get to level 50 veteran rank 10, hoard massive amounts of gold, destroy people in PvP and more.
Other Class Guides: Dragonknight | Sorcerer | Templar