Tamriel Foundry

[PvE] Sanyarin'Donnerblatt the Magicka NB by @Nichts [v


Hello everyone,

the magicka Nightblade is the gem of all classes in ESO, even if it is definitively not the strongest.

It has this fascinating roguish, bloodmagical character, which I really like.

It is obvious, that I am not the best Nightblade out there, but I hope you enjoy this guide.

The main goal is to introduce new players to this awesome class, and to be thought-provoking for experienced players.

This guide is written based on my experience, trial and error and occasionally some calculations.

Nevertheless the main resource is knowledge and experience from other players.

I can't thank @Mashinate, @Nosferatuzod and @xBlackroxe enough for their work on tamrielfoundry.

Also many thanks to Sufferas and Mr_Bombastic, the NBs of eXceed.

Special thanks to @Priox, some random Templar living under a bridge in Riften,

and tyrant84 the first magicka NB I met, and who changed Sanyarin'Donnerblatt from stamina to magicka.



Added Sceenshot vMoL 2. Boss.



Optimal Gear

If you have the same Maelstrom luck, you should consider Choice 2.

Choice 2

And since I already wasted too much time and gold to get these Staffs, I play

Current Build

Gear Discussion

  • Staffs: Since I don't have a Maelstrom Staff with the sharpened trait, I could only compare Staffs with the trait defending. But I think the only way a Maelstrom Staff can beat Choice 2 or the current setup is in combination with a Moondancer / Aether Infernostaff. If you don't have a Moondancer / Aether Staff you will either have a bar with a setless Staff, or a bar with only 4 pieces of the 5-piece-Set. (Keep in mind, that the fire-glyph also deals ~0.75k dps.)
  • Sharpened: Even before the Warhorn-Nerf I got better results with sharpened, instead of precise.
  • 5 piece Sets: Scathing Mage > Julianos at approx 60% uptime of SM. I tested this and usually got between 65 and 75% uptime. Therefore I would prefer to use Scathing Mage over Julianos, but can't due to RNG. Twice Born Star is worse than Julianos after the Warhorn-Nerf. Then there is Burning Spellweave Nosferatuzod had an uptime of 60% in his last video, which equal 360 SD. This value is the same as Scathing Mage with an uptime of 70%. But Nos uses two additional fire damage sources: Scalding Rune (see Ability Section) and Grothdarr/Ilambris (see below).
  • Monster Sets: Molag Kena is a strong Monster Set, but you have 3 other options: Grothdarr, Valkyn Skoria and Ilambris. The fact that you are forced to stay in melee range using Grothdarr disqualifies that monster set. And since a NB can use Molag Kena in AoE, due to Syphoning Attacks, Grothdarr is not better in AoE. The second set Vakyn Skoria is just the worse but ranged option for Grothdarr players, which tells everything about that set. And last but not least Ilambris. Actually this set sounds interesting in combination with a Lightning Staff.  I do have to do more tests with that monster set. In fact I do have a Maelstrom Lightning Staff, so that might be an option as well.
  • Moondancer/Aether 5% Bonus (Minor Slayer): It is worth mentioning, that the additional damage an Execute Ability deals if a target is below x% health does not get this 5% Bonus. But since the Impale deals roughly 10% of the total dps, I can life with that bug.
  • (5/1/1): Here nothing has changed. You want to have all bonus magicka from the Undaunted Passive Undaunted Mettle.
  • Glyph:  Spelldamage > Fire.  Hence, if you play with a Maelstrom Staff, use SD on the other staff.   If you play without Maelstrom Staff, use the Fire-Enchant on the offbar.  For Daedra-Boss-Monster you exchange this with the daedric enchant.


  • Fourth Set Option: If you don't have Kena, Maelstrom, Moondancer etc. there is a fourth option available: 5*Julianos / 3*Willpower / 3*Moondancer.
  • Fifth Set Option: And a fifth option: 1*Kena / 5*Julianos / 5*BSW or Scathing. This option is actually very cheap, since you can craft Julianos Staffs. And you need only one piece of Molag Kena with any armor type (since you can craft 2 pieces med/heavy Julianos) and you only need BSW / Scathing Jewellery, which is "easy" to get compared to Staffs.  A guild mate plays with that setup and get's good results.


Stats with Bufffood, unbuffed


Potions / Bufffood

  • Bufffood: Max HP, Max Magicka
  • Essence of Spellpower: Restore 7,5k Magicka, Increase Magickareg by 20%, Increase Spelldamage by 20%, Increase Spellcrit by 20%¹

¹ Lorkhan's Tears, Lady's Smock, Cornflower, Water Hyacinth. The crit buff does not stack with Inner Light. But the finally fixed this  bug. So you can equip inner light on one bar, and use potions to get the spellcrit on the other bar.





The full list of all skills and passives can be found on Skillfactory .

On that page you also get a description of each skill.

The choice of skill placement¹ is based on three basic rules.

  • Rule 1: One Siphoning Ability has to be on each bar, because of the passive Magicka Flood, which increases your max. Magicka by 8%.
  • Rule 2: One Assassination Ability has to be on each bar, because of the passive Hemorrhage, which increases your Crit Damage by 10% (+2% Crit Chance for each skill.)
  • Rule 3: One Destruction Staff Ability has to be on each bar, because of the passive Ancient Knowledge, which increases your ST Damage by 8%².

¹ The placement of Bar 1 and Bar2 holds true with the ideal gear equipped, i.e. Maelstrom Staff on Bar 2.

² In singletarget I roughly deal 45% damage from single target abilitys, 35% from AoE and 15% from Light Attacks and 5% from other sources. Since the main goal is to kill the boss fast, while adds should die from ground DoTs, I chose Inferno Staffs over Lightning Staffs. (But I have to do more tests with Lightning Staffs.)


Skill Discussion

  • Sap Essence [1]: Nice AoE-Spam, with good range. I usually replace this skill with a shield, e.g. for vMoL hm or vMoL 1st boss.
  • Force Pulse [3]: ST-Spam. Use this skill whenever you don't have to recast a DoT.
  • Merciless Resolve [2]: Some time ago this was a very good skill. Now, with the recent nerfs, I feel like this is a wasted skillslot. On average 2*FP deal only ~2k less damage than one Assassins Will. 2*FP deal MORE damage than one Assassins Will. The only reason why this skill is still in my build is Minor Berserk and Rule 2. Minor Berserk should not be an argument if you have good support. But since we don't have an uptime of Combat Prayer >80% (especially in vMoL hm), I don't see a good replacement for this skill. Rule 2 only applies because I like to have Impale and Soul Harvest on the same bar.
  • Siphoning Strikes [1]: Mandatory with Molag Kena. Still nice to have if you don't play Molag Kena.
  • Inner Light: Additional 7% Max Magicka.
  • Shooting Star: Additional 2% Max Magicka and Main-Ultimate.
  • Crippling Grasp [1]: ST DoT with high damage. Additionally, this skill grants a 20% speedbuff.  8 Seconds Uptime.
  • Impale [2]: Execute. Used instead of Force Pulse below 25%.  The Bonus damage does not get Minor Slayer from Moondancer / Aether.
  • Twisting Path: AoE DoT with moderate damage. Path got buffed by 30% in the last patch, which makes it "ok" to use. It has 11.5 Seconds Uptime, which makes the rotation uncomfortable.
  • Blockade of Fire [3]: AoE DoT with very high damage. Usually one of the top 3 dps entrys.  8 Seconds Uptime.
  • Inner Light: Additional 7% Max Magicka.
  • Soul Harvest [2]: "Execute Damage Enhancer". This Skill gives you a nice damage boost during the Execute Phase, or if you have time to put it between two Shooting Stars. There are two reasons this skill is on Bar2 and not Bar1: First, I like to have both Impale and Soul Harvest on the same bar for easy access during the execute phase. (All the DoTs are on that bar as well.) Second, the ulti gain from Soul Harvests Passive does only work if you deal the killing blow on an enemy. Which rarely happens in Boss fights.


The numbers in []-brackets are the rules stated above. On each bar, one of has to be set.

Other Skills
  • Elemental Rage [3]: Since they fixed the problem concerning fluent weaving, I usually use Elemental Rage over Meteor.
  • Veil of Blades: Tell a Templar to use Nova.
  • Funnel Health / Swallow Soul [1]: The weaving with Force Pulse is more fluent. Additionally, sometimes Lightattacks are not recognized with FH/SS-weaving. Which is not good, since Lightattacks are a huge source of dps, and they trigger Molag  Kena.
  • Flame Clench [3]: This skill is up high on my ToDo-List. It is a ST DoT with an uptime of 8sec, that fit perfect with WoE and Grasp. In total this skill deals more damage than one Force Puls. Hence, it pays off using it instead of a Force Puls (every 8 seconds). This would be the replacement for Sap Essence in ST, or Merciless Resolve. This skill fits very nice into Noz  BSW-Build. There is only one drawback: You will have an additional {138 Magicka/sec * ( 1*[Kena Downtime] + [1.33 * Kena Uptime])} drain.  With an uptime of (at best) 70%, this leads to an additional drain of 170 Magicka/sec.
  • Scalding Rune: ToDo-List.
  • Rearming Trap: The biggest disadvantage is that you get forced in close combat. Most of the time I like to stay in mid-range, in the row behind melee players. Additionally one healer uses Twilight Remedy, so occasionally you get that buff as well. And furthermore, the placement take experience. Not only in space, but also in time, e.g. if Rakkhat decides to change the platform. If the trap only activates once, it is not worth placing.
  • Dark Shades: This skill will only give you ~1k dps, which is very low compared to any other skills. The damage debuff is nice, but not necessary. The only reason to use this skill would be using Necropotence, which is exactly the reason I don't like to use Necropotence. I am pretty sure they fixed shadows stealing SPC(?).
  • Reapers Mark [2]: In AoE this might be a fun skill to use, since you gain a 25%/5sec damage boost if the target dies. But I never tested that. I don't see this skill as useful in most boss fights.
  • Elemental Ring / Pulsar[3]: Might be a replacement of Sap Essence. Both deal the same damage and have the same cost. Advantage: Fire Damage + effect. Disadvantage: Lower Range (Radius 6 intstead of 8. Which means only ~55% Area.)



  • Blue: Elemental Expert (100), Elfborn (22), Staff Expert (3), Thaumaturge(75)
  • Green: Magician (100), Arcanist (100)
  • Red: Elemental Defender (80), Thick Skinned (22), Hardy (64), Bastion (14), Quick Recovery (20)



If you read guides, you will often find instructions like [skill1]-LA-[skill2]-LA-... - start again.

I don't have such a guideline for my rotation, not because it is better, but because I am lazy :D

There are some basic rules.

Above 25%
  • Weaving: Put a Lightattack (not Mediumattack) between each skill. Try to put a Lightattack into a bar swap as well. This will give you a Kena uptime between 60-65% with best at 73% and worst at 55%.  Lightattacks are one of the biggest sources of dps.
  • DoTs: Keep your DoTs up all the time.
  • Merciless Resolve: Shoot it, but don't recast it as soon as possible. Recast it, when the buff runs out.
  • Shooting Star: Use Shooting Star when you reach 200 ultimate. Try to time it, such that Molag Kena is off. If you don't do this you will loose ~3,5% dps. Try to activate Molag Kena while Shooting Star is in the air.
  • Potions: Trink after using ultimate. This will result in ~1.2% dps gain.
  • Force Pulse: If you don't have to use any other skill use Force Pulse.
Below 25%:
  • Weaving: As above.
  • DoTs: Keep WoE and Crippling Grasp up, if they will run for the full duration of 8 seconds. If you use Scathing Mage, keep Twisting Path up as well; if not, don't.
  • Merciless Resolve: Activate it once >25%, and use Assassins Will. Don't recast it.
  • Ultimate: If you have >~125 Ultimate save for Shooting Star. Otherwise do the following: Place DoTs, use Soul Havest, do Impale-Weaving for 6 seconds. Replace DoTs and return to the normal "Execute-Rotation". From now on do this "Soul Harvest Rotation" whenever you have 70 ulti.
  • Potions: As above.
  • Impale: Replace each Force Pulse cast with Impale.

Merciless Resolve - Siphoning Attacks - Inner Light - fully charged Heavy Attack on bar 1

Then we do what "above 25%" tells us: While Lightattack-Weaving: Shooting Star - WoE -  Crippling Grasp - Twisting Path. (If Scathing Mage, then Twisting Path first.)

 Other (useful) Information:
  • Medium Weave: Since the last change of CPs, you want to have 75 CP in Thaumaturge for 10% increased damage against off balance enemies. This can be achieved by a shock blockade (placed by healer or offtank).  If you hit an enemy (mob or boss) that is off balance with a medium (or hard) attack, you will remove the off balance status. So never use a medium weave, with some exceptions. (e.g. start of the fight, or big switch 2nd boss nMoL)

Boss Monsters

I have been on a break for 3 month, and the following screenshots are made in the first tries of my first raid after the break. I hope to capture better results for the 2nd and 3rd boss, soon.

Numbers in [] are the percentage of boss damage (i.e. singletarget).

Update: Added a second hoster for the screenshots ...

  • Zhaj'hassa the Forgotten:

    46k (2) [80,1%]

    Since we try to minimize our deathcount in vMoL, we use Harness Magicka for the first boss. I replace Sap Essence with that shield.

  • S'kinrai and Vashai:

    41k (2) [73,5%]

    43k (2) [78,2%]

    ⇒ 48k (2) [82,8%] (Destro-Ult instead of Shooting Star)

    50k (2) [68,4%] (Destro-Ult instead of Shooting Star)

    Usually I don't replace any skills for this boss..

  • Rakkhat:

    40k (2) [76,3%]

    ⇒ 41k (2) [88,9%]

    42k (2) [84,8%]

    For Rakkhat I replace Sap Essence with Harness Magicka. The non-hm can actually be done without a shield. Our current tactic is to only attack Rakkhat, while all Hulks die from AoE-DoTs. This tactic is common practice by most guilds now.

  • Rakkhat (hm): Work in progress. I hope, that we will be able to get to the "beam phase" consistently, soon. Right now our fights look like chicken-massacres. I can consistently achieve 42-45k (best: 48k) until I have to run outside. Usually I am third runner, with Rakkhat at platform 6.

If you are able to speak German, and want to learn the basic mechanics of each boss, then I encourage you to watch Zapzaraps videos: 1, 2,

(Keep in mind that these are pretty old and taken from early tries. But he explains the basic mechanics very well.)


  • 34k , Buffs: Elemental Drain.
  • More to come
 vMA [...]



This section will grow, with more questions asked.


eXceed - Progress Dancing Group is still recruiting!

Check out our Performance  here.



Also I am one of the leaders of a not-so-progress-but-cool-people (German) raid group, called "Die Werner".

While eXceed is working on vMoL hardmode, we are currently working on continuity with the 2nd boss and Rakkhat (non hm).

If you are interested, don't hesitate and contact me ingame: @Nichts.

About Nichts:

Nichts hasn't shared anything about themselves.

41 Replies
  1. #41


    Member95 Posts

    Also the computation of Set values is incorrect if you combine purple and golden gear: 

    https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/443582/odd-computation-of-purple-and-golden-set-boni-is-not-correct-when-mixed/p1?new=1 Especially a staff is worth less than 2 armor pieces when comparing Magicka Set Boni. 

    I have not compared other Setboni (Spellcrit, Spelldamage, yet). 

    ID: @Nichts EU West – EP

    Sanyarin’Donnerblatt (Magicka NB PVE), Sanyarin’Donneraether (Magicka NB PVP), Sanyarina’Donnerwasser (Heal-Tank Templar PVP, Healer PVE), Sanyarin’Donnerstahl (NB Heal-Tank PVE)



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