Skill Overview – Sorcerer

Breton ShrinePhazius here, and we’re excited to share another skill overview based on the Elder Scrolls Online build that was playable at PAX Prime and will be at London’s Eurogamer Expo. This time around, we’ll focus on the Sorcerer; a class which provides some very versatile spellcasting skill lines. It perhaps seems most natural that Sorcerer will gravitate towards ranged damage dealing in a typical mage style, however, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of tanking and melee DPS sorcerers pop up in ESO as well. Let’s dig into the skill lines and you can see for yourself what this class has to offer! I hope that this will help facilitate discussion and get you all excited about build possibilities using the Sorcerer base class. Please note that exact damage numbers and ability modifiers have not been listed, as these values are still actively being tweaked in response to ongoing feedback.

 

Storm Calling

The first skill line, Storm Calling will be the bread and butter for offensively minded Sorcerers. This line is predominately damage-centric, although it offers two really great utility spells as well. I expect that the Storm Calling line will feature pretty prominently in PvP builds for this reason.

  • [Ultimate] Overload – A toggle-able attack mode. While Overload is active, light and heavy attacks are replaced with empowered versions that cost Ultimate as their resource.
  • [Active] Mage’s Fury – Calls lightning from the sky, dealing shock damage. This spell also applies a debuff to the target which causes them to explode, dealing bonus damage once they pass below a health threshold.
  • [Active] Bolt Escape – Teleport forward in a straight line, stunning nearby enemies.
  • [Active] Lighting Splash – Create a pool of electrical energy that deals damage every second to enemies within its radius. An ally may exploit the area to activate the Conduit synergy.
  • [Active] Surge – A short duration self-buff which increases your Power.
  • [Active] Lightning Form – Wrap yourself in electrical currents, increasing your damage reduction for a short duration while dealing shock damage to all nearby enemies.
  • [Passive] Capacitor – Increases Magicka regeneration.
  • [Passive] Energized – Increases the damage done by your all lightning-based magic.
  • [Passive] Disintegrate – Your lighting-based spells have a chance to instantly disintegrate low health targets.
  • [Passive] Expert Mage – Reduces the cost of all lightning-based spells.
This Ogrim has just been hit with Mage's Fury!

This Ogrim has just been hit with Mage’s Fury!

There’s not a whole lot of subtlety to this skill line, but it certainly looks effective. The ultimate, Overload, is an interesting concept, it’s the first time we’ve seen an ultimate that is a toggle-able attack mode. I’m envisioning Emperor Palpatine style lightning hands here, so I hope ZeniMax makes it happen. Mage’s Fury is a combination ranged nuke with an execute-style damage bonus, which seems like it will be a bread and butter skill for DPS sorcerers. Bolt escape sounds extremely strong, teleport (blink) type abilities are so useful in PvP, and the fact that this adds an AoE stun at your departure point makes it sound like a real winner. Lightning Form seems like it could be a handy defensive ability, but it’s effectiveness as a skill will likely depend on the degree of damage reduction it incorporates. The passives really shine for Storm Calling, provided you will be using a lot of Storm Calling skills; extra regen, extra damage, reudced cost, and a chance to instantly kill things. I sense a storm brewing…

 

Dark Magic

The second Sorcerer skill line, Dark Magic, focuses mainly on utility and crowd control. A sorcerer loaded out with these abilities will be an invaluable support and control class for his or her group. This line doesn’t offer much in the way of damage, but that can always be remedied by mixing these skills with other lines.

  • [Ultimate] Negate Magic – Dispel enemy magic effects in an area, enemies who are spellcasting within the field are silenced and take additional damage.
  • [Active] Encase – Dark shards erupt from the ground, immobilizing enemies in front of you.
  • [Active] Repulse – Nearby enemies are knocked backwards and snared for a short duration.
  • [Active] Rune Prison – Seal an enemy within a runic prison. Imprisoned enemies are disoriented, but benefit from increased health regeneration while affected.
  • [Active] Dark Exchange – Channel dark magic, restoring your own Health and Magicka at the cost of Stamina.
  • [Active] Daedric Mines – Summon 3 mines in front of you. The mines take a few seconds to arm themselves, after which they immobilize and deal magic damage to enemies who touch them.
  • [Passive] Unholy Knowledge – Reduce the Magicka and Stamina costs of all abilities.
  • [Passive] Blood Magic – Hitting an enemy with any Dark Magic skill heals you for a small amount.
  • [Passive] Persistence – Increases the duration of all Dark Magic spells.
  • [Passive] Exploitation – Increases your critical strike chance when attacking a target affected by Dark Magic.
AvA Combat in ESO

Negate Magic will work wonders during keep sieges.

The thing that jumps out immediately about the Dark Magic tree is the strength of the passives. Reduced cost, self healing, and increased crowd control duration, and extra damage against CCed targets are amazing additions, especially for PvP. Perhaps the best feature of this skill line is Negate Magic, which sounds hilariously overpowered. It will be really interesting to see how this skill plays in PvP, enabling a coordinated group to deny enemy spellcasting in a controlled area. Encase provides an AoE root which will fit nicely into the toolkit of tanks and support DPS. Dark Exchange look like a godsend for nukers and healers who don’t rely much on their Stamina pool. I expect the Dark Magic tree will be a staple for PvPers, and will also offer Sorcerer some nice tanking flexibility when coupled with the next skill line!

 

Daedric Summoning

The third skill line for the Sorcerer is Daedric Summoning. These skills are heavily influenced by the Conjuration school; summoning Daedra, curses, and items to assist the caster in combat. This line offers great versatility, and could easily be incorporated into a wide variety of build types.

  • [Ultimate] Summon Storm Atronach – Summons an immobile Storm Atronach at the targeted location. Enemies in the area are stunned and take shock damage. The Atronach casts lightning spells and is extremely durable.
  • [Active] Unstable Familiar – Summon a Daedric familiar to attack enemies; the maximum Magicka of the caster is reduced by a small amount while the familiar is alive.
  • [Active] Daedric Curse – Curse an enemy, when the effect expires all nearby enemies take damage. Only 1 curse may be active at a time.
  • [Active] Summon Winged Twilight – Summon a Winged Twilight to attack nearby enemies; the maximum Magicka of the caster is reduced by a small amount while the Twilight is alive.
  • [Active] Bound Armor – Summon magical armor. While toggled gain increased Armor at the expense of Magicka regeneration.
  • [Active] Conjured Ward – Create a damage shield on yourself and your summoned creatures, absorbing a percentage of the damage taken.
  • [Passive] Rebate – Receive Magicka back when one of your summons are killed.
  • [Passive] Power Stone – Reduces the cost of ultimate abilities.
  • [Passive] Daedric Protection – Increases your health regeneration while any summoning ability is slotted.
  • [Passive] Expert Summoner – Your summoned creatures gain additional bonuses; Winged Twilight duration increased, Familiar movement speed increased, Atronach range increased.
Storm Atronach

The Storm Atronach can change the course of a fight.

I find that the Sorcerer skill lines aren’t as focused as those of the Dragonknight, and players will want to diversify across multiple skill lines in order to find the really good combinations. Many of these combinations will include Daedric Summoning abilities; this line features a good mix of offense and defense. The potential to be a true pet specialist, with two permanent pets plus a shorter duration Atronach summon seems really interesting. There is also a lot of utility in this line for tanking Sorcerers, with Bound Armor and Conjured Ward doing a lot of heavy lifting there. The passives seem conditionally useful for Sorcerers who are using Daedric Summoning abilities. Power Stone will be a passive that every Sorcerer will want, regardless of build. The AoE stun which accompanies the Atronach summon may make it the ultimate of choice for offensive Sorcerers even if they don’t care much about the pet component.

We are excited to keep the skill train rolling, and really look forward to the discussion which will emerge about the Sorcerer class. Stay tuned next week for more skill overviews, and be sure to let us know what you think about the Sorcerer lines in the comment section below. What is your favorite skill line? Think a mix-and-match strategy will have the best results? See any powerful ability-passive combinations that you hope to exploit in ESO?

164 responses to “Skill Overview – Sorcerer”

  1. Member Avatar
    Nazathul

    Adept

    Total Posts: 105

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Brilliant write up! Thanks man!

    Master yourself, master the enemy- Lee Sin

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    Ahet

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 50

    Dunmer Sorcerer

    Renegade

    Cool, I’ve been waiting for this!

    Thanks!(:

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    Rymguard

    Expert

    Total Posts: 386

    Aldmeri Templar

    Being a big fan of lightning, the storm calling and the ultimate on the daedric summoning trees look great.

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    HypeRNT

    Banned

    Total Posts: 386

    not too impressed with the skill descriptions to be honest, i feel like the skills are missing something like maybe more elemental powers like ice/fire/earth things like that. The only skill tree i pretty much like is storm calling.

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    IceFireWarden

    Master

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    Argonian Nightblade

    The Outriders

    Sweeeeet! Loving the article overload, thanks @Phazius

    Hmm, Daedric Summoning seems very useful…

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    Boarkill

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    Nord Nightblade

    Oh man those mines make this so tempting.  I wonder if they’ll be visible to enemy players in pvp.

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    R4VID

    Master

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    Dunmer Nightblade

    Grrrr looks so good but no absorb health effects.

    I am all that is, all that was, and all that will be

  8. Member Avatar
    zavenyast

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 27

    This is quite the surprise. I thought sorcerers would have general control of the elements instead of just lightning. Despite the fact that Dragon Knights have fire and earth spells, a sorcerer should have general control of the elements. Not necessarily the same type of control as the Dragon Knight for fire and earth. I at least expected ice to be an element sorcerers would use. In a way this seems to go against Skyrim. Typically, the npc mages that you find in Skyrim for example, are all able to cast lightning/fire/ice without a staff. Where as in this game, sorcerers only specialize in one element and for whatever reason do not require a staff to cast that particular element with. While everyone regardless of class is able to wield lightning/fire/ice staffs. That’s good to have the freedom and all.  But shouldn’t sorcerers be able to cast fire/ice spells regardless of whether or not they’re wielding a staff. And perhaps even know more ice/fire spells than the other classes?  Instead of being about as capable as any other class at casting those spell types? With the exception of DKs in regards to fire, as they would simply have different fire abilities. I guess this must have to do with giving each class an equal number of abilities in their class skill trees. If that is the case, then it’s too bad they couldn’t find a way around that. I am however, fine with DKs being the only casters that are able to control earth as it isn’t exactly what mages are known for is it? ;)

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    m aIq

    Expert

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    Dunmer Sorcerer

    Discover Eventide

    Awesome write up.  My first thought for a PvP build:

    Weapon: Dual Wield. Abilities: Bolt escape, lightning form, repulse, bound armor, [DW ability]. Ultimate: Negate Magic

    Weapon: Destruction Staff. Abilities: Mage’s Fury, Lightning Splash, Encase, Unholy Knowledge, [Destro Staff ability].  Ultimate: Storm Atronach

    Thoughts?

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    Atropos

    Administrator

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    Imperial Sorcerer

    Entropy Rising

    zavenyast said on September 20, 2013 :

    This is quite the surprise. I thought sorcerers would have general control of the elements instead of just lightning. Despite the fact that Dragon Knights have fire and earth spells, a sorcerer should have general control of the elements.

    A lot of the elemental magic spells are in the Destruction Staff tree, which allows any class to do have good availability of fire and ice spells!

    Founder, creator, and developer of Tamriel Foundry.

    Guildmaster of Entropy Rising.

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    Psiberzerker

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    Altmer Templar

    This should be enough data to rough out my Blitzerker, thanks.

    Everything above is likely Opinion, and/or subject to change. 

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    R4VID

    Master

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    Dunmer Nightblade

    Atropos said on September 20, 2013 :

    zavenyast said on September 20, 2013:

    This is quite the surprise. I thought sorcerers would have general control of the elements instead of just lightning. Despite the fact that Dragon Knights have fire and earth spells, a sorcerer should have general control of the elements.

    A lot of the elemental magic spells are in the Destruction Staff tree, which allows any class to do have good availability of fire and ice spells!

    I also believe that I saw mention of other spells available to players outside of the skill line abilities… but it was only mention and I don’t believe they were referring to faction or alliance skill lines.

    I am all that is, all that was, and all that will be

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    Tribe

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    [Passive] Expert Summoner – Your summoned creatures gain additional bonuses; Winged Twilight duration increased, Familiar movement speed increased, Atronach range increased.

    The potential to be a true pet specialist, with two permanent pets plus a shorter duration Atronach summon seems really interesting.

    @Phazius

    Which are the two permanent pets?  The Expert Summoner skill would seem to indicate that Winged Twilight has a fixed duration and your quote above leads me to believe that that Summon Storm Antronach has a limited uptime as well.

    Thank you for the article.

     

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    xatzo

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 6

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Will the summoned familiar have the shape of a ghostly wolf, or maybe a Scamp as we have seen in Oblivion?

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    Contesso

    Adept

    Total Posts: 186

    Imperial Dragonknight

    [Ultimate] Negate Magic – Dispel enemy magic effects in an area, enemies who are spellcasting within the field are silenced and take additional damage.

    ^ Seems like it will be crazy strong

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    Galahad

    Expert

    Total Posts: 371

    Imperial Templar

    Lowly Knights of Stendarr

    Rebate? What an awesome skill name! Haha!

    Great article @Phazius thanks so much putting this out there.

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    Phazius

    Moderator

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    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    @Tribe apparently I misspoke I know for a fact though that one of the familiar morphs is permanent.

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    Ziz

    Adept

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    Breton Dragonknight

    Awesome stuff! Sorcerer looks like alot of fun.

     

    The ranged lightning attack reminds me of a Thane from DAOC. Use a big hammer and Thor it up!

  19. Member Avatar
    zavenyast

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 27

    @Atropos The beginning of my post is rather misleading. I meant the sorcerer skill trees should reflect the fact that they have general control of the elements (at least I thought they should’ve). In turn, have extra elemental related abilities that the other classes would not have access to which related to fire and ice. I am aware that every class is capable of wielding ice/fire/lightning staves, and that there is a weapon skill tree.  I’m just surprised and disappointed that the sorcerer class doesn’t specialize in casting ice/fire, when they’re already able to fully master the element: lightning. In skyrim, they were all in the same tree and it made sense. But for whatever reason, they decided to only allow sorcerers to have one of those elements in their class tree instead of including the other two as well. Another thing to keep in mind is the general lack of ice abilities in class skill trees, and other trees. The mages guild may have an ice rune trap, and I honestly did not notice an ice ability in the destruction staff skill tree. I suppose that we could expect ZOS to add onto class trees in later content, and add a ice and ‘maybe’ fire (considering there is a dk tree devoted to fire abilities) skill line for sorcerers. Or… maybe they plan to add in ice/fire active abilities in the destruction staff skill tree instead. Sorry for unreasonably long rant. :)

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    glak

    Hero

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    Breton Templar

    Tamriel Trading House NA

    Havoc-Grey said on September 20, 2013 :

    [Ultimate] Negate Magic – Dispel enemy magic effects in an area, enemies who are spellcasting within the field are silenced and take additional damage.

    ^ Seems like it will be crazy strong

    Spellcasting means anything that uses magicka?  That would include all class skills and staff skills.

    R4VID said on September 20, 2013 :

    Grrrr looks so good but no absorb health effects.

    The only thing that comes close in the Sorc is:

    • [Passive] Blood Magic – Hitting an enemy with any Dark Magic skill heals you for a small amount.

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