ESO Stamina Cleave-Focus DPS Build, Nightblade

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Explanation

The purpose of this build is to reduce time spent inside vet dungeons by rebalancing the way a stamblade focuses on dealing damage. As many people are aware, most PVE stamina meta builds tend to be sorely lacking in AOE DPS compared to magicka builds because of their major focus on single target damage. This is usually fine for most content, but I’ve been through many 4-person vet dungeons where the two stamblades burn through bosses like a hot knife through butter, yet slow down significantly everywhere else as they cast their three terribly expensive AOE skills at big groups of 100-200k health mobs: caltrops, endless hail and steel tornado. This form of AOE DPS is dragged down even slower with the release of Morrowind, where resource management is everything. The answer for dual wield users has been to give up some DPS and use sets and food with better sustain.

My proposed alternative build for stamblades makes use of undersold skills, item sets and two-handed weapons to plow through vet dungeons quickly. Why two handed? Two-handed light and heavy attacks offer a significant 5-meter radius of AOE damage with the latest changes in Morrowind. If you lift weapon damage up in the 5000 range, every 2-hand light attack could be like casting whirlwind. Couple light/heavy attack weaving with a skill like power extraction, then throw in reverse slice on low health targets and it really adds up to a ton of AOE DPS. *Edited* The build includes 18k physical penetration on top of having 4200 average weapon damage, up to 5200 max when the two sets and glyph proc together.

The skills used in this build bear a similar structure to the skills used in dual wield setups, so it’s fairly easy to switch to this 2-hand build without having to relearn playstyles. The combination of sets and two hand skills offers an efficient and heavy-hitting AOE damage, more stamina regen because of the Lavafoot soup and more survivability because of the Brawler shield. The build tops off the physical penetration since I recommend using Kragh’s 2-piece, a sharpened maul and 26 points into Piercing. Because of the nature of the 2-H forceful damage cause by LA and HA, and massive addition of reverse slice AOE DPS, I’d also recommend putting more points into Master at Arms than what may seem typical:

Master at Arms – 66
Physical Weapon Expert – 19
Thaumaturge – 20
Precise Strikes – 23
Piercing – 26
Mighty – 56

In a long drawn out fight, dungeon adds are hit by around 25-35% LA+HA+Forceful damage, 70-80% Direct damage, 20-30% DOTs, and the crit rating is around 70% for a non-Khajiit character.

Item Sets
Head: Medium Kragh’s Monster set, Divines
Shoulder: Light Kragh’s Monster set, Divines

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Kragh’s range

Chest: Heavy Ravager, Divines

If you’re like me, you may choose the boots for aesthetics reasons. Ravager procs quite often from anything you can do with a 2-hand weapon

Gloves: Medium Briarheart, Divines

Briarheart procs very quickly from endless hail and caltrops

Waist: Medium Briarheart, Divines
Leggings: Medium Briarheart, Divines
Boots: Medium Briarheart, Divines
Necklace: Ravager
Rings: Ravager
Weapon Bar 1: Sharpened Ravager Maul
Weapon Bar 2: Precise Briarheart Bow

Glyphs
Armor: Stamina
Jewelry: Weapon Damage
Weapon Bar 1: Weapon Damage Buff
Weapon Bar 2: Poison Damage

Food
Lava Foot Soup and Saltrice, +4575 Stamina, +457 Stamina regen. The Ravager jewelry offers plenty of health.

Stats
All points in stamina, perhaps OCD non-Imperials would add 2 points into health to see 17k health on their bow bar.

Potions

Cheap, green Stamina Regen Potions. Major Empower and Major Savagery are covered by skills.

Skill Arrangement for More AOE DPS

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Weapon Bar 1

Brawler – 7 meter cone damage / DOT / damage shield. It functions like Rending Slashes, only now it’s a massive cone damage and shield buff. People are always saying Nightblades are squishy, but the big shield from this skill makes it easier to survive through little mistakes like standing in the red. It procs the Ravager set very often.

Power Extraction – 8 meter radius burst AOE damage that gives Nightblades Major Brutality. It’s about 30% cheaper than steel tornado and does more damage initially, all great reasons to slot this skill. It procs the Ravager set very often.

Surprise Attack – single target burst damage that debufs an enemy with major fracture for 20 seconds. It’s a great spam skill for single target DPS. Procs Ravager set.

Expert Hunter – Major Savagery, that’s pretty much the only reason to slot this here. 2-handed weapons need all the crit they can get.

Reverse Slice – The biggest AOE DPS finishing move in the game, it provides up to 300% extra damage to enemies below 50% health, based on missing health, while splash damaging all who stand within a 5 meter radius of the target with 65% of the damage. So use this on low health targets, enemies standing around you with full health will be cut in half by this skill. It functions like killers blade and procs the Ravager set very often.

Soul Harvest – This skill would typically be on the bar that yields the most kills if you want to spam loads of ultimates, like flawless dawnbreaker. There’s more single target DPS to be had by slotting this on the back bar and moving flawless dawnbreaker to the front bar.

Weapon Bar 2

Endless hail
– 10 seconds, 20 damage ticks to everything within a 5 meter radius, it adds up to a significant portion of the overall AOE DPS. It procs Briarheart more than anything else.

Razor Caltrops – 12 second DOT applied across an 8 meter radius. This also procs Briarheart.

Relentless Focus – for the minor berserk and endurance, It’s a good skill to boost all types of DPS.

Poison Injection – Strong DOT for single target situations.

Rearming trap – for the minor force buff and a good, cheap DOT.

Flawless Dawnbreaker – strong AOE damage, spam this any time you can to demolish trash mobs with ease.

Skill Arrangement for More Single Target DPS

Weapon Bar 1

Brawler – 7 meter cone damage / DOT / damage shield. It functions like Rending Slashes, only now it’s a massive cone damage and shield buff. People are always saying Nightblades are squishy, but the big shield from this skill makes it easier to survive through little mistakes like standing in the red. It procs the Ravager set very often.

Relentless Focus – This will give you Hemorrhage on this bar since Soul harvest is moved to the other bar. It now procs Scourge 2-3 times for -TONS- of DPS if you can weave light attacks quickly enough.

Surprise Attack – Single target burst damage that debufs an enemy with major fracture for 20 seconds. It’s a great spam skill for single target DPS. Procs Ravager set.

Expert Hunter – Major Savagery, that’s pretty much the only reason to slot this here. 2-handed weapons need all the crit they can get.

Reverse Slice – The biggest AOE DPS finishing move in the game, it provides up to 300% extra damage to enemies below 50% health, based on missing health, while splash damaging all who stand within a 5 meter radius of the target with 65% of the damage. So use this on low health targets, enemies standing around you with full health will be cut in half by this skill. It functions like killers blade and procs the Ravager set very often.

Flawless Dawnbreaker – Buffs the 2-hand weapon bar Weapon damage another 8%, keeping the average around 4200 and the peak at 5200 Weapon Damage.


Weapon Bar 2


Endless hail
– 10 seconds, 20 damage ticks to everything within a 5 meter radius, it adds up to a significant portion of the overall AOE DPS. It procs Briarheart more than anything else.

Razor Caltrops – 12 second DOT applied across an 8 meter radius. This also procs Briarheart.

Power Extraction – 8 meter radius burst AOE damage that gives Nightblades Major Brutality. It’s about 30% cheaper than steel tornado and does more damage initially, all great reasons to slot this skill. It procs the Ravager set very often.

Poison Injection – Strong DOT for single target situations.

Rearming trap – for the minor force buff and a good, cheap DOT.

Soul Harvest – This skill would typically be on the bar that yields the most kills if you want to spam loads of ultimates, like flawless dawnbreaker. There’s more single target DPS to be had by slotting this on the back bar and moving flawless dawnbreaker to the front bar.

Skill Rotation – AOE Setup

Flip on enemy health bars, it will show you who to hit with reverse slice. The rest of the time do what you would do with a dual wield setup. Continue to use caltrops and endless hail as always.
Use power extraction instead of steel tornado. Dawnbreaker will be ready at least once with every dungeon pull. Light attack weave on anything all the time for the 2-H forceful passive. Heavy attack with 2-H to regain stamina and slam everything around you with a massive forceful. Use reverse slice in place of killers blade, Brawler in place of Rending slashes. All three sets (Kragh’s, Ravager and Briarheart) will proc continuously with no issues as you swap back and forth between weapon bars and hit a few mobs around you. It’s easy to get 20k+ dps per secondary target around you if you hit low health enemies.

Skill Rotation – Arrangement for More Single Target DPS

This setup uses the same equipment and works best when there are dungeon adds around the target to proc Ravager, Kragh’s and Briarheart.
2H bar: Buff with Relentless focus, use heavy attack and swap bars
Bow bar: Caltrops 1st to increase odds of getting briarheart to proc, LA+ Power Extraction, LA+ Poison Injection, LA+ Rearming trap, Endless hail
2H bar: LA+Relentless Focus (Hit with free scourge), LA + Brawler, LA + Surprise attack, LA + Surprise Attack, LA + Surprise Attack, LA + Relentless Focus (Hit with free scourge), LA + Relentless Focus (Reset), use heavy attack and swap bars.

More than one heavy attack may be needed in each rotation if your character needs more resources, but I’m using a Bosmer and one heavy attack per rotation works out well.

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Additional Guide Tips Welcomed!