Tarrou_'s Nightblade is a PvP and PvE build for Elder Scrolls Online, submitted by Tarrou_

I play a 2h/bow stamina Nightblade that I really enjoy. What I lack in control I make up for in burst, and it makes for a really fun experience as a roaming/solo PvP build, but also for solo PvE. It doesn't bring too much to the table for dungeons, but a few tweaks can fix that. It is more focused on mid to higher levels, but there's no reason you can't incorporate elements of the build starting at level 1.

Race: Imperial, for +max health and +max stam passives to make sure my stam attacks are hitting as hard as possible. Also, now I don't have to buy the Imperial motif for crafting.

First Bar (2-handed sword) This is your "get in their face and burst them" bar.
  • Ambush (stamina morph of Teleport Strike) - It's your gap closer. You can replace it with one of the Critical Charge morphs from the 2-handed tree, but I prefer Ambush for the +20% damage buff for your next attack.
  • Shadowy Disguise (morph of Shadow Cloak) - Use after Ambush to guarantee a critical hit on your next attack, which will be...
  • Surprise Attack (stamina morph of Veiled Strike) - Not only will this be a guaranteed crit, it will also cause Major Fracture (reduces targets armor for 12 seconds) because it was used while invisible from cloak, in case you didn't get to apply Piercing Mark from the second bar before the fight.
  • Executioner (morph of Reverse Slash) - It's your execute. I took this over an Assassin's Blade morph because my understanding is that it begins doing extra damage to low health targets when they're below 50%, rather than the 30% for Assassin's Blade. This might be wrong, but I like the skill enough to keep it. If you're target is low health, spam this.
  • Rally (morph of Momentum) - You'll want to keep this up all the time. It makes you do 20% extra weapon damage while healing you every 2 seconds and when it ends. You can take Forward Momentum, the other morph if you want. It doesn't heal you when it ends, but gives you immunity to snares for 2 seconds and makes it cheaper. If you're worried about getting controlled it's a better skill.
  • Ultimate skill, Flawless Dawnbreaker (morph of Dawnbreaker) - I don't actually use it, I just keep it on my bar for the extra 8% weapon damage. The idea with the build is to knock your enemy down in just a couple hits anyway, so I don't want to rely on having to build ultimate for a part of my build, and the damage bonus makes me hit harder. Easy.
2nd Bar (Bow) This is your prep/escape bar.
  • Relentless Focus (morph of Grim Focus) - Cast before opening to give yourself +stam regen buff and +weapon damage buff.
  • Piercing Mark (morph of Mark Target) - Cast before opening to debuff target with Major Fracture (reduces armor for 30 seconds), and make them visible even if they cloak or use invisibility potion. You'll want your openers to bypass any armor they can, and by negating your opponents cloak/invisibility, you're reducing their escape options.
  • Lethal Arrow (morph of Snipe) – This is actually your opener that you'll use from stealth. It has a cast time, and gives your target the Major Defile debuff, making them take 30% less healing for 10 seconds. Cast this, then switch to your 2-hander bar and follow up with Ambush.
  • Magnum Shot (morph of Scatter Shot) – This is one of your escape tools. Knock back your opponent as well as knock yourself in the other direction. Useful for disengaging, as well as knocking enemies off cliffs/walls/keeps.
  • Shuffle (morph of Evasion, from medium armor skill line) – If I get a chance to in PvP or if I feel like I need to in PvE, I'll pop this before opening a fight. It gives me 20% extra dodge, so if I have time, why not? The main point, though is for escape, because it gives me several seconds of snare immunity after I cast it.
  • Ultimate skill, you can pick. Bolstering Darkness (morph of Consuming darkness) would work well to help escape, but so could Ice Comet (morph of Meteor) because they both have a snare. I used Soul Tether (morph of Soul Shred) while leveling and it was killer as a damage boost, aoe stun, and more importantly, as a self-heal.


Ideal opening sequence on a stationary target would be
Start on bar one, cast Rally. Switch to bar two. Cast Shuffle, then Relentless Focus, then Piercing Mark, then Lethal Arrow. Switch back to bar one. Cast Ambush, then Shadowy Disguise, then Surprise Attack. If target is low health, cast Executioner. If not, charge a heavy attack and immediately follow that with another Surprise Attack.

Notes on weapons
I went 2-handed because Rally was a great choice for the Major Brutality buff. You can get it from the Nightblade skill Drain Power, but I didn't like not being able to buff myself with it before a fight, as you only get the buff from Drain Power if you hit an enemy with it, plus Rally heals, and I need heals badly with this build. I picked the bonus weapon damage from 2-handed sword over mace or ax because I don't need the bleed damage from the ax (I'd rather they die from burst than dots) and I don't need the ignore armor from the mace because I have Major Fracture on two of my skills and I try to focus on lower armor targets in general. If I face a higher armor target, I just make sure I keep Fracture up.
I went bow on my second bar because I liked my opener debuffing my target with Major Defile in case I'm facing a healer or they pop a potion right off the bat. More importantly, though, because it's my escape bar, Hasty Retreat is a wonderful passive. I pop Shuffle for snare immunity and then Hasty Retreat gives me 30% bonus speed for 2 seconds after a dodge roll. Really helpful when I need to clear out quickly.

I go 5 medium, 1 light, 1 heavy to get the most out of my Undaunted passive, giving me 6% bonus to health, stamina and magicka.

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