Sunshine Daydream Guild


Sunshine Daydream's Guide to Nightblades


PDF available here


Nightblades are adventurers and opportunists with a gift for getting in and out of trouble. Relying variously on stealth, blades, and speed, Nightblades thrive on conflict and misfortune, trusting their luck and cunning to survive. (description within character creation)

The three class-based skill trees for Nightblades are Assassination (DPS), Shadow (defensive), & Siphoning (crowd control or support). For stamblades the weapon trees are often even more important than class trees, although several class skills can be morphed into stamina-based skills.

Magicka-based

If one designs a Magicka-based Nightblade for DPS, I would suggest considering an Altmer for the boosts to Destruction Staves, Max Magicka and Magicka Recovery or a Breton for its boosts to Max Magicka, Magicka cost reduction, and rapid training in Light Armor. A Dunmer vampire build seems like it could also be an interesting choice.

To run Magicka DPS, Light Armor would be ideal and for a Nightblade sets to consider include...

A Nightblade in a group could cultivate a strong role in helping with crowd control or be built for defense through resistances and health passives along with a trickle of self-healing. However, the majority of a Nightblade's defensive skills focus on evasion and stealth rather than openly drawing an enemy's rage. This fact combined with very few class abilities that target multiple enemies makes designing a Nightblade to be a group's Tank seem a difficult if not impossible stretch.

While Tank itself would not an ideal role to attempt to fill, a defensive Magicka-based Nightblade could be designed as a Breton thanks to inherent boosts to magicka and spell resistance or an Argonian to self-heal through a fight; each could be workable as defensively played Magicka-based choices. Whether one should consider Medium Armor for benefits to stealth, Light Armor for benefits to Magicka, or Heavy Armor for its defenses would be a setting-based or individual style choice of balance here. Sets to consider would include... The Destruction Staff skill line would need to be strongly blended in for this to work although Shadow's passives for defense/recovery would be important and potential skills would include:

A Nightblade would be a poor choice for a Healer. The Siphoning skill line has a few intriguing passive skills, but only a total of 4 Nightblade skills heal others: Soul Siphon (Soul Shred), Shadow's Refreshing Path morph of Path of Darkness, Siphoning's Funnel Health morph of Strife, and Siphoning's Sap Essense morph of Drain Power. These skills are Magicka-based so could at least be blended with Restoration Staff abilities, but this very small collection of skills means that a Nightblade Healer could not be very individualized, and I'd not recommend pursuing such a build. The only racial option worthy of consideration here is the Argonian to try to compensate for the weaknesses of the class in this role.

Stamina-based

The only role a Stamina-based Nightblade would be well-suited for is DPS. Nightblades can definitely be highly varied and effective in this role, either melee or ranged builds who frequently use a stealth-oriented approach and gain extra damage from attacking while stealthed. If you choose to melee, expect to focus on dual-wielding daggers; other weapon types may be of interest, but the boost to critical strike chance with daggers — once you have the Twin Blade and Blunt skill — is frequently the best option.

Khajiit or Bosmer skills add to the stealthy style of DPS that a Nightblade typically delivers. A Bosmer or Redguard melee Nightblade might feel like it has limitless Stamina. A Nord, Orc, or Imperial Nightblade might feel invulnerable. These would be some of things to consider if desiring a Stamina-based Nightblade.

Although you might consider wearing a cuirass (heavy chest) and sash (light waist) if you also want to level those armor skill lines as you progress, medium armor must be your focus.

Defensive Nightblade skills leans heavily toward Magicka-based skills with no real room to design a Stamina-based Tank from this class. If one were to pursue a Stamina-based Nightblade Tank that character would surely be relying upon Heavy Armor and Shield-based skills which means other classes would have far more to offer in the role.

A Nightblade for the role of Stamina-based Healer is simply a non-starter as not a single Stamina-based Nightblade skill heals other players.

Some enticing Nightblade designs would include:

All the following damage numbers and costs are without attribute points placed, without equipment, without other skills and without champion points; this was done to compare skills easier without concern for other gear/build differences. It should also be noted that values reflect the ability and/or morph once it is fully trained which sometimes differs from earlier costs, durations, or damage values.


Assassination Skill Line

(DPS)
Required Skill Level Skill Name Benefit Cost
1 Assassin's Blade
(range: 5 meters)
Thrust a magic blade with lethal precision to stab an enemy for 412 Magic Damage (deals 300% more damage to targets at or below 25% Health). 1890 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Killer's Blade Converts to a Stamina ability with Disease Damage and if enemy dies within 2 seconds also heal for 20% Max Health. 1606 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Impale Expands the ability's range from 5 meters to 28 meters. 1890 Magicka
4 Teleport Strike
(range: 22 meters)
Flash through the shadows to ambush an enemy, leaping to their position to deal 617 Magic Damage while stunning (or snaring in PvP) the target for 2 seconds. 4050 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Lotus Fan Snares the enemy for 8 seconds, reducing Movement Speed by 70%, instead of stunning for 2 seconds.

After teleporting to strike the target also unleash a fan of knives which deals 460 Magic Damage over 8 seconds to the target and to other nearby enemies within 6 meters.
4050 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Ambush Converts to a Stamina ability with Physical Damage. Also grants Empower (increases next attack's damage by 20%). 3442 Stamina
8 Master Assassin Increases Weapon Damage by 5% & Spell Damage by 5% while Sneaking or invisible and increases the duration of the stun from Sneak by 100%. Passive
12 Death Stroke
(range: 5 meters)
Deals 1291 Magic Damage and increases your damage against the target by 20% for 6 seconds. Also afflicts with Major Defile (reducing healing the target receives by 30%) for 6 seconds. 70 Ultimate
Morph Option 1 Incapacitating Strike Converts damage to Disease Damage and also stuns the enemy for 4.5 seconds. 70 Ultimate
Morph Option 2 Soul Harvest While slotted, killing an enemy grants 10 bonus Ultimate. 70 Ultimate
14 Executioner Restores 936 Magicka over 6 seconds if you kill an enemy with an Assassination ability. Passive
18 Master Assassin II Increases Weapon Damage by 10% & Spell Damage by 10% while Sneaking or invisible and increases the duration of the stun from Sneak by 100%. Passive
20 Blur Surround yourself in an phantasmic aura to gain Major Evasion (increases dodge chance by 20%) for 26 seconds. 3780 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Mirage Also gain Minor Ward (increases Spell Resistance by 1320) and Minor Resolve (increases Physical Resistance by 1320). 3510 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Double Take Also grants Major Expedition (increases Movement Speed by 30%) for 4 seconds. 3510 Magicka
22 Pressure Points Increases Weapon Critical and Spell Critical ratings by 219 for each Assassination ability slotted. Passive
27 Executioner II Restores 1876 Magicka over 6 seconds if you kill an enemy with an Assassination ability. Passive
30 Mark Target
(range: 50 meters)
Expose an enemy's weakness to afflict with Major Fracture (reduces Physical Resistance by 5280) and Major Breach (reduces Spell Resistance by 5280) for 20 seconds. When a marked enemy dies, heal for 40% of your Max Health.

(can only have one marked target at a time)
2700 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Piercing Mark Increases duration from 20 to 30 seconds. Also, you can see a marked target even when they use stealth or invisibility. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Reaper's Mark When a marked target dies you heal instead for 60% of your Maximum Health and also gain Major Berserk (increases damage done by 25%) for 5 seconds. 2700 Magicka
36 Pressure Points II Increases Weapon Critical and Spell Critical ratings by 438 for each Assassination ability slotted. Passive
39 Hemorrhage When an Assassination ability is slotted, you deal 5% more Critical Damage; dealing Critical Damage also grants you and your group Minor Savagery (increases Weapon Critical rating by 657) for 10 seconds. Passive
42 Grim Focus Grants Minor Berserk (increasing damage done by 8%) for 20 seconds. While active, hitting with 5 Light or Heavy Attacks changes this ability to Assassin's Will allowing you to fire a spectral bow shot that deals 1478 Magic Damage. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Relentless Focus Also grants Minor Endurance (increasing Stamina Recovery by 10%) for 20 seconds. Also converts to a Stamina ability and the spectral bow's damage to 1524 Disease Damage. 2295 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Merciless Resolve Assassin's Will now deals 1645 Magic Damage and snares the enemy (reduces Movement Speed 40%) for 3 seconds. 2700 Magicka
50 Hemorrhage II When an Assassination ability is slotted, you deal 10% more Critical Damage; dealing Critical Damage also grants you and your group Minor Savagery (increases Weapon Critical rating by 657) for 20 seconds. Passive

Shadow Skill Line

(defensive)
Required Skill Level Skill Name Benefit Cost
1 Veiled Strike
(range: 5 meters)
Slash an enemy for 822 Magic Damage. Using this ability while Sneaking or invisible also stuns the enemy and sets them Off Balance for 4 seconds. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Surprise Attack Converts to a Stamina ability with Physical Damage. Also afflicts with Major Fracture (reducing Physical Resistance by 5280) for 15 seconds. 2295 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Concealed Weapon While slotted, Movement Speed while Sneaking or invisible is increased by 25%. 2700 Magicka
4 Shadow Cloak Cloak in shadow to become invisible for 2.5 seconds. 4050 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Shadowy Disguise Also assures the next attack in 3 seconds will Critical Strike. 4050 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Dark Cloak Also gain Minor Protection (reducing damage taken by 8%) for 5 seconds after the invisibility ends. 4050 Magicka
8 Refreshing Shadows Increases your Health Recovery, Magicka Recovery, and Stamina Recovery by 7%. Passive
12 Consuming Darkness
(radius: 5 meters)
Conjures a ring of shadows around you which grants you & your allies Major Protection (reduces damage taken by 30%) while slowing enemy Movement by 70% for 13.5 seconds.

Low health allies can activate the Hidden Refresh Synergy which grants invisiblity, increases Movement Speed by 50%, and heals them for 3249 Health over 4 seconds.
200 Ultimate
Morph Option 1 Bolstering Darkness Further reduces your own damage taken by another 30%. Also now lasts 15.5 seconds. 200 Ultimate
Morph Option 2 Veil of Blades Also deals 361 Magic Damage every second throughout the longer duration of 15.5 seconds. 200 Ultimate
14 Shadow Barrier For 3 seconds after activating a Shadow ability, gain both Major Resolve (increases Physical Resistance by 5280) and Major Ward (increases Spell Resistance by 5280). The duration increases 25% per piece of Heavy Armor worn. Passive
18 Refreshing Shadows II Increases your Health Recovery, Magicka Recovery, and Stamina Recovery by 15%. Passive
20 Path of Darkness
(AoE: ?x? meters)
A corridor of shadows deals 143 Magic Damage every second for 10 seconds to enemies in the target area and grants you Major Expedition (increases Movement Speed 30%) while on the path and for 2 seconds after leaving it. 3510 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Twisting Path The path covers a larger area and inflicts more damage, dealing 210 Magic Damage every second for 10 seconds. 3510 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Refreshing Path The path also heals you and your allies for 147 Health every second while on the path and for 2 seconds after leaving it. 3510 Magicka
22 Dark Vigor Each Shadow ability slotted boosts Maximum Health by 2%. Passive
27 Shadow Barrier II For 6 seconds after activating a Shadow ability, gain both Major Resolve (increases Physical Resistance by 5280) and Major Ward (increases Spell Resistance by 5280). The duration increases 25% per piece of Heavy Armor worn. Passive
30 Aspect of Terror
(radius: 6 meters)
Summon a dark spirit to terrify up to 2 enemies, causing them to flee in fear for 4 seconds. After the fear ends, their Movement Speed is reduced by 50% for 4 seconds. 3780 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Mass Hysteria Terrifies an additional enemy and when the fear ends the enemies suffer Minor Maim (reduces damage done by 15%) as well as being slowed. 3780 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Manifestation of Terror Conceal 2 traps (one targetted up to 22 meters away, the other at your position) which last for 60 seconds. Each trap needs 3 seconds to arm then can cast the Aspect of Terror. 3780 Magicka
36 Dark Vigor II Each Shadow ability slotted boosts Maximum Health by 3%. Passive
39 Dark Veil Increases the duration of Shadow abilities by 8%. Passive
42 Summon Shade Summon a shade to fight at your side for 15 seconds; the shade's attacks deal 238 Magic Damage and inflict Minor Maim (reducing damage done by 15%) for 4 seconds. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Dark Shades Summons an additional shade and each lasts 18 seconds. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Shadow Image The shade stays in place, with ranged attacks that still inflict the Minor Maim effect and deal 318 Magic Damage; using the ability while active teleports you to the shade's location. 2700 Magicka
50 Dark Veil II Increases the duration of Shadow abilities by 15%. Passive

Siphoning Skill Line

(crowd control or support)
Required Skill Level Skill Name Benefit Cost
1 Strife
(range: 28 meters)
Steal an enemy's life force, dealing 740 Magic Damage and healing you every 2 seconds for 10 seconds for 25% of the damage dealt. 1891 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Funnel Health Also heals an ally within 15 meters for the same amount. 1891 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Swallow Soul While slotted, gain Minor Vitality (increases the healing you receive by 8%). 1891 Magicka
4 Agony
(range: 28 meters)
Disorient an enemy for 30 seconds then when the effect ends deal 620 Magic Damage over 5 seconds. (can only have one) 3240 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Prolonged Suffering Increases the damage to 924 Magic Damage over 7 seconds when the effect ends. (can only have 1 Prolonged Suffering) 3240 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Malefic Wreath When the disorient ends, it only deals 403 Magic Damage plus 5% for each second the disorientation lasted but also harms nearby enemies. 3240 Magicka
8 Catalyst After drinking a potion, gain 10 Ultimate. Passive
12 Soul Shred
(radius: 6 meters)
Deal 1193 Magic Damage to nearby enemies and stun them for 3.5 seconds.

An ally can target the affected enemy then steal 1104 Health by activating the Soul Leech Synergy.
150 Ultimate
Morph Option 1 Soul Siphon Instead heals you and your allies within 15 meters instantly for 1193 Health plus 3176 Health over 3.5 seconds. Also grants Major Vitality (increases healing received by 30%) for 4 seconds. (still offers the Soul Leech Synergy) 150 Ultimate
Morph Option 2 Soul Tether Increases the duration of the stun to 4.5 seconds and also siphons 207 Health to you every second for 8 seconds as long as the enemies remain nearby. 150 Ultimate
14 Magicka Flood Boost Max Magicka by 4% if a Siphoning ability is slotted. Passive
18 Catalyst II After drinking a potion, gain 20 Ultimate. Passive
20 Cripple
(range: 28 meters)
Deals 1405 Magic Damage over 8 seconds while reducing the target's Movement Speed by 40% and granting you Major Expedition (increases Movment Speed by 30%).
(can only have one Cripple active at a time)
3240 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Debilitate If the enemy dies while debilitated, restores 50% of the cost.
(also, can now be applied to an unlimited number of targets)
3240 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Crippling Grasp Deals an additional 248 Magic Damage up front and also immobilizes the target for 1.5 seconds. (can only have one) 3240 Magicka
22 Soul Siphoner Increases the effectiveness of healing done by 2% for each Siphoning ability slotted. Passive
27 Magicka Flood II Boost Max Magicka by 8% if a Siphoning ability is slotted. Passive
30 Siphoning Strikes For 20 seconds, Light & Heavy Attacks restore 1452 Health. 1351 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Leeching Strikes Light & Heavy Attacks also restore 106 Stamina and when the ability ends restores an additional 4270 Stamina.

Recasting this ability or its morphs early will now always trigger the ending resource restore. The value of this restore is based on the length of time the abilities were active, similar to Rally's heal.(Morrowind Patch Notes)
920 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Siphoning Attacks Light & Heavy Attacks also restore 106 Magicka and when the ability ends restores an additional 4270 Magicka.

Recasting this ability or its morphs early will now always trigger the ending resource restore. The value of this restore is based on the length of time the abilities were active, similar to Rally's heal.(Morrowind Patch Notes)
1081 Magicka
36 Soul Siphoner II Increases the effectiveness of healing done by 3% for each Siphoning ability slotted. Passive
39 Transfer Activating a Siphoning ability generates 1 Ultimate. (cooldown: 4 seconds) Passive
42 Drain Power
(radius: 8 meters)
Deals 494 Magic Damage to all nearby enemies. Grants you Major Brutality (increases your Weapon Damage by 20%) for 20 seconds if an enemy suffers damage. 3240 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Power Extraction Converts to a Stamina ability with 512 Disease Damage. 2754 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Sap Essence In addition, heals you and your allies for 207 plus 20% more for each enemy hit and if you gain Major Brutality, also gain Major Sorcery (increasing Spell Damage by 20%). 3240 Magicka
50 Transfer II Activating a Siphoning ability generates 2 Ultimate. (cooldown: 4 seconds) Passive




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