This is a PvP Build Guide for the newer players to Cyrodiil, teaching them how to create a decent build for PvP. This guide was written by DeanTheCat on the official Forums.

Why create your own build? There are many benefits to creating your own build. Firstly, it will feel "Natural" to you, and you won't feel like you are fighting an another's person's skin, to put it figuratively. If you truly can synergize with the build that you are using, you will fight much better, as then the build is just another part of you, an extension of your own body, so to speak. Another benefit of a unique build is that your opponent will not know what to expect. If you can come up with a viable build that nobody has ever seen before, your chances of victory will improve considerably, as what you will be doing will be unexpected to your opponent. Lastly, by doing the research needed to create a working unique build, the knowledge that you gain by doing so will stay with you, making you a much better player at the end of it.

This guide will use various terminology and abbreviations that may or may not be familiar to you. I will include a section at the end of the guide explaining what each one means. It is recommended that testing be done on the Public Test Server (PTS) to save you both time and gold, as you are able to create a fully geared VR14 character template of any race for testing purposes on the PTS.

Without further ado, the is the first thing you'll need to consider when creating a build:

What is the goal of the build?

It is very important to have a goal in mind for the build that you are creating. For example, if you are trying to create a build that aims to tank as much damage as possible, you'll want to use items and sets as well as invest in passives that enhances your blocking. Likewise, if you are trying to create a build that aims to deal as much damage as possible, you will need to balance the power value of the attack type along with the maximum stat associated with it as well as the penetration values of your attacks.

If you do not have a goal in mind before you start creating a unique build, your build is doomed to failure before it even began.

In general, these are the attributes that you want to aim for when designing a build with that specific focus in mind:

  • Power
  • Maximum Attribute Value
  • Penetration
  • Sustainability
  • Critical

  • Health
  • Armour
  • Spell Resistance
  • Block Cost
  • Block Mitigation %
  • Healing Taken
  • Dodge Cost
  • Dodge Chance
  • Damage Shield Strength

  • Spell Power
  • Maximum Attribute Value
  • Critical
  • Healing Done
  • Magicka Regeneration
  • Cost Reduction

Note that Support Abilities are useful in any of the other Foci, and should be mixed into the build whenever possible and viable.
  • Utility
  • Buffs
  • Synergies

After you have decided on the main focus of your build, it is now time to start taking parts of other focuses and merging it with your build. This is Cyrodiil. You will not have a dedicated tank protecting you from harm, nor will you have a dedicated healer tending to your wounds. A competent opponent will target the supports of your group first, as once the supports fall, the rest of the group soon follows. You therefore need to be able to fend for yourself, and have built-in self sustainability into your build.

Damage Foci

So... you aim to do damage in Cyrodiil. You want to kill enemies fast. But what about your own survival? If you are dead, you do exactly zero damage. A good damage dealer will have some modicum of self-sustainability built into their builds. Also, if you unload all your resources within the first 10 seconds and suddenly find you are completely empty and unable to do anything, was that damage really useful in the long run?

Additional attributes that you may want to consider investing in:

1) Stamina Regeneration. Yes, Stamina Regeneration. Even on a magicka based build. You may be thinking that it would be of absolutely of no use to you as a caster, but that's where you are wrong. Stamina is needed to sprint, to break free from CC, as well as to block. CC is being flung around at an incredible amount in Cyrodiil, and therefore you can expect to have to break free from CC effects every 5 seconds. At base, breaking free from CC will cost round 4000 stamina. It is therefore imperative that you are able to regain the 4000 stamina every 5 seconds, so that you will always have enough stamina to CC break.

2) Defensive Cost Reductions. Depending on your style of play, you will be inevitably using one of these 3 forms of defensive moves, namely Block, Dodge and Wards.
  • Block as the name implies, involves you putting up your weapon, intercepting incoming attacks and reducing their damage. Most CC are unable to affect you when you are blocking, with the exceptions being fear and disorient. Every hit blocked will cost stamina. There exists sets and enchantments aimed at reducing this cost, as well as Champion System passives.
  • Dodge involves utilizing an active roll to avoid incoming attacks, causing targeted attacks (Not AoE!) to miss you. After activating a dodgeroll, you will have roughly 1 second of invulnerability. There is a 1.3 second cooldown in between dodges. The crusader armor set extends this duration of invulnerability to 1.3 seconds after dodging. Stamina Cost Reduction jewelry glyphs will reduce the cost of dodges.
  • Wards create a magical field around the caster's body, negating critical chance (As well as stealthed hits) so long as the ward holds. Wards do not have any mitigation value (Other than the 20% from Battle Spirit). The strength of wards is determined by the stat in which the ward is associated with. Conjured Ward and Annulment scale with Magicka, Bone Shield scales with Stamina, while all other wards scale with health. The cost of wards can be reduced with standard ability cost reductions.

Survival Foci

Building a tanky, evasive or ward-spamming character in Cyrodiil will allow you to take massive amounts of punishment from other players, but if you don't do any damage, you will simply not be perceived as a threat and therefore completely ignored. Therefore, you still need to either deal some damage, or heal nearby allies, to draw ire from your foes. Being able to place support abilities down also increases the chance the enemy will target you instead of your squishier allies. A good example is a Magicka DK tank spamming Talons, Ash Cloud and Banner inside a horde of enemy players.

Additional attributes that you may want to consider investing in:

1) Maximum Attribute Value. The actual damage of your skills comes from various sources. One of these sources is the maximum attribute value. Having a large maximum value for your resources will pump up the damage of these skills to relatively acceptable values. With a large maximum pool comes another benefit. You have more casts of the ability in question, allowing you more room and leeway on the battlefield pose a larger threat to enemies.

2) Regeneration. By their very nature, Survival Foci builds are sustain type builds. Therefore, good resource regeneration is essential to fueling a Survival Foci build. You'll want to outlast your more damage oriented counterparts, then kill him when he is out of resources.

Healing Foci

A good healer is always welcome in any group, as the presence of one often literally means the difference between life and death. However, a healer that dies when any decent damage dealer sneezes on them are a liability to their group, rather then an asset. Therefore it is important to have abilities and attributes devoted to your own self preservation. You can't heal when you are dead.

Additional attributes that you may want to consider investing in:

1) Armour and Spell Resistance. These two stats go hand in hand, and they allow you to passively mitigate more damage targeted at you. However, if you are relying on wards to keep you alive, this attribute loses some of it's value, as wards don't benefit from the mitigation that armor and spell resistance provides.

2) Stamina Regeneration. Stamina Regeneration is required here for the same reason as why casting damage dealers need Stamina Regeneration, namely to ensure that you will always have enough stamina to CC break.

3) Health. An above average health pool is needed to prevent "One shots" by enemy players trying to deal so much damage to you in a single burst to prevent you from instantly healing that damage back up. With a higher health pool, you have more leeway in terms of your survival in Cyrodiil.

Experiment with various combinations and ratios of your attributes to find something that works for you. Don't be discouraged by failure the first few times you attempt your own theorycrafting. Every single successful build you see out there is the result of a lot of failed builds by the creator of said build.

However, no build is complete just by attributes alone. You will have to factor in the abilities that you will be using, as well as the passive bonuses they provide. In addition, you will need to factor in the abilities that your opponent will most likely be using, and what you will have to face as a result. Combat in ESO has a limited skillbar design, to force you to make choices about the selection of abilities you want to bring into a battle, and once the battle has begun, you cannot change the abilities slotted into your skillbar. A balanced set of skillbars is therefore required for victory in Cyrodiil, combining offense, defence, crowd control, utility and survivability.


This is an example of a balanced set of abilities:
1: Surprise Attack (Melee Attack)
2: Flying Blade (Ranged Attack)
3: Dark Cloak (Defensive Utility)
4: Ambush (Gap Closer)
5: Mass Hysteria (Crowd Control)
U: Flawless Dawnbreaker (Melee Ultimate)

1: Rally (Heal + Self Buff)
2: Elude (Defensive Self Buff)
3: Resolving Vigor (Heal)
4: Shadow Image (Defensive Utility)
5: Razor Caltrops (Offensive Support)
U: Soul Assault (Ranged Ultimate)

This is an example of an unbalanced set of abilities:
1: Surprise Attack (Melee Attack)
2: Wrecking Blow (Melee Attack)
3: Shadowy Disguise (Offensive Utility)
4: Ambush (Gap Closer)
5: Killer's Blade (Melee Attack)
U: Soul Harvest (Melee Ultimate)

1: Snipe (Ranged Attack)
2: Poison Injection (Ranged Attack)
3: Acid Spray (Ranged AoE Attack)
4: Scorched Earth (Ranged AoE Attack)
5: Power Extraction (Melee AoE Attack)
U: Soul Tether (Melee Ultimate)

If I were to have two equally skilled and equally geared characters fight each other using the skillbars illustrated above, the character with the balanced skillbar(Let's call him Tom) will win every single time, as he can simply outlast and survive the damage done by the other character(Let's call him Jerry), while the damage done by Tom to Jerry is unable to be healed, recovered or mitigated in any way due to the fact that Jerry has given absolutely no thought to his self preservation. Tom will then proceed to collect his AP from Jerry's corpse, while Jerry respawns at the nearest keep and gets to enjoy Horse Simulatorâ„¢.


1) Power - Refers to Weapon Damage or Spell Damage. Another thing to note is that 2000 Spell Damage equals to 3500 Weapon Damage.

2) Maximum Attribute Value - Refers to your maximum health, magicka or stamina pool values. This value affects the damage or healing done by your abilities. In general, 1 Power equals to 19.5 of the stat in question.

3) Penetration - Refers to the amount of armour or spell resistance your attacks negate. For example, 10000 Spell Penetration will negate 10000 points of the opponent's spell resistance.

4) Critical - Refers to the chance that your attacks have to deal bonus damage. The base bonus damage is 50% of the attack's damage.

5) AoE - Refers to an ability that affects an area instead of just a single target.

6) Sustainability - Refers to the character's ability to stay in combat for extended periods of time, even when other characters are unable to fight on.

7) Healing Done - This value means that when the target is healed, the target gets this % value of extra healing.

8) Healing Taken - This value affects the amount of healing you receive. When you are healed, you get this extra % in bonus healing.

9) Dodge Chance - Refers to the chance of passively dodging an attack without having to take any action on your side.

10) Buffs - Buffs temporarily affect the stats of your character, providing bonuses or negative effects, depending on the type of buff.

11) Utility - Abilities that don't directly deal damage or heal, but offers useful side effects like Invisibility and Increased Movement Speed when applied on self while when applied on enemies, hinders their ability to fight without actually dealing damage.

12) Mitigation - This value is the value at which incoming attacks have their damage reduced by. 32000 Armour = 50% Damage Reduction to Physical Attacks

13) Theorycrafting - Refers to the act of planning and creating new builds. It's what this guide aims to teach you the basics of.

I hope this guide proves useful to you. Remember, nobody ever succeeded in creating a viable build on their first try. Good luck in your attempts to theorycraft new builds. external image smile.png

"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it."
- Bruce Lee

May your road lead you to warm sands.

Dean the Cat

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