Home » , , » Elder Scrolls Online Dark Harvester – Magicka Nightblade Build for Imperial City Solo or Group PVE/PVP (Guide)

Elder Scrolls Online Dark Harvester – Magicka Nightblade Build for Imperial City Solo or Group PVE/PVP (Guide)

This build is excellent at:
  • Roaming IC or Cyrodil solo, picking off solo players or groups by dividing and conquering.
  • Being a very useful group member, offering support, cc (two hard CC, one root/snare), reconnaissance, a decent amount of healing over time as well as damage.
  • Trophy/tel var farming, even solo.
  • Imperial City questing
In 2.1 with the TTK increased substantially, sustainability is king and this build is created with that in mind. The idea is to play the ninja, swooping in and out of combat at will, mostly using ranged attack to pick off your foes one by one, healing your allies with HOTs (hots are awesome in this patch) and zooming around the battlefield. IT is a lot of fun to play.

Gear for this build can be somewhat flexible, although there are some items that are most effective/useful. V15 is fine if that is all you can afford, although V16 will of course be better stat wise, plus be you will be able to enchant with better enchants. I would recommend making your weapons V16 as your first V16 “investment”, even if the rest is V15, as the extra spell power and improved enchant is excellent.

Current Gears"

Willpower jewellery (neck and two rings) for the awesome set bonuses. The neck was received as a quest reward from an IC dungeon quest (saves me a couple of hundred grans). For the rings, a little tip: buy the stamina trait ones as they are 1/10th of the price and the extra stamina is very useful for this build/pvp generally. These items are random drops from trophy vault drops (Shards/Ether trophies) and are BoE so can be found for sale on guild stores.

5 body pieces: I currently use the Phoenix 5 piece set for awesome extra survivability. This set has saved me thousands of tel var stones that would have been lost and has great 2-4 pieces bonuses as well. Random traits are available from Tel Var lockboxes so try and find these in Infused and/or Divines, although I might consider Impenetrable as well. Another one to be bought on guild stores.

2 body pieces and Resto staff, Lightning staff: 3 Torug’s Pact crafted items to give the 3 piece bonus. Gives Spell Damage and a Health bonus, which is always useful. The two body pieces I have in Heavy and on a “Large” piece such as chest, head or legs (for maximum armour). The extra survivability from 2 heavy pieces is useful as the rest of the armour is light.


Use Magicka for armour enchants, although I am considering mixing in a few tri stat enchants as the stat budget is better.

Use 3 magicka regen for Jewelry Enchant for extra sustain

Weapon enchants: Disease on Lightning staff (for healing debuff) and Absorb Magicka on the Resto staff (for extra regen when needed).


Sink all attributes into magicka, especially if you are using a few tri-stat enchants. Basically, set all your gear, skill points etc up then balance your attributes last. You can also have 22k+ HP (up to 25, maybe 26k) then stack magicka after.


Use tri-stat REGERATION drinks at V15, really adding to the huge sustainability of this build.


Use Imperial, as the stat budget for Imperial really can’t be beaten. The extra HP means you can sink all my points into Magicka, plus the extra stamina is always useful for break free, roll dodge etc. Other recommended races are Altmer and Breton (Magicka max And magicka sustain bonuses)


You can go Vampire for this build but now it is more preferable to remain “mortal”, as the health regen stat is useful for this build (more so in this patch). Additionally, there are a lot of NPCs causing fire damage in this patch so avoiding the vulnerability is great. Vamp stealth speed doesn’t apply to Cloak so that’s not useful.

There are still benefits to Vamp (added regen, extra mitigation at low health) so I would say this is personal preference. Werewolf is out of the discussion as it holds no real synergy/benefits.

Skill Bars

BAR ONE – Lightning staff

Structured Entropy: A small dot and hot, but more importantly, your major sorcery buff, increasing your Spell Damage stat by 20% for 20 seconds. Make sur you cast this at least every 20 seconds.

Crippling Grasp: An excellent damage over time DOT but also speeds your movement by 40%, roots your opponent for a second or so plus then snares him/her by 40%. Keep this up on your main target to so you can whizz around the area. Also useful for keeping pesky melee players away from you using the root. Use this often.

Funnel Health: Your main “spammable” damage ability, which also puts heal over time on you and nearby allies. Remember – HOTs are king!

Destructive Reach (Shock Reach): Our first hard CC, usable at a good range as well as adding a damage over time effect to the opponent.

Impale: Our excellent ranged execute. More useful now TTK is higher, as opponents spend more time sub-25%.

BAR TWO – Restoration staff

Piercing Mark: Mark your target to reduce their spell resist and ensure they remain visible even if they stealth or cloak – a no brainer in pvp. Make sure to get it up on your opponent as soon as you spot them. Also gives a nice heal when you kill them. (Sometimes you can swap this out for Sap Essence, for some AOE and AOE heals when fighting groups of mobs)

Dark Cloak: Use this instead of stealth (unless stationery and away from mobs) as it has a much lower spot distance from both players and mobs. With the right amount of magicka sustain, you should be able to keep this up constantly when needed. Useful for travelling around IC as well as escaping or resetting combat. Also removes DOTs. ESSENTIAL.

Concealed Weapon: Having this on your bar increases your speed when invisible so with Dark Cloak up (as well as Retreating Manoeuvre when appropriate) you will travel very fast, completely unseen. Also useful as our second hard CC – use from cloak to stun the enemy for 5 seconds. Also great as DPS against reflecting DKs, as it is melee and can’t be reflected.

Retreating Manoeuvre: Use when travelling on horse OR in cloak for a long (30 second?) 40% speed buff. Also great for escaping and anticipating roots and snares, as they can be dangerous to this build.

Rapid Regeneration: A strong heal over time, keep up in combat where possible and use to heal allies or randoms. Great for Alliance Point generation.

Champion Points

Base this on your own personal preference.


Magician – Reduced magicka cost
Arcanist – Magicka Recovery
Tumbling – Reduce cost of break free and roll dodge

At least 30 points in the Apprentice for the 12% spell crit passive (all except elemental are useful)

Thaumaturge – Increased Magic Damage (almost all of our damage is Magic damage)

Quick Recovery – Increased Healing received.

Elemental Defender and Hardy – Flat reduced damage is better than most of the other options in the red trees (and the DOT reduction is not as useful as we drop dots with cloak)

Play style

Zoom around IC or Cyrodil completely invisibly using Retreating Manoeuvre and Dark Cloak Cloak. It takes practice but you can keep this up indefinitely if you time your button presses right. This combo alongside the speed bonus of concealed weapon means you will move very fast.

Try and have Rapid regen up before you start any fight and keep it up throughout.

In fights you will ALWAYS have Crippling up too, so make the most of this speed buff and your ranged attacks by keeping mobile, always be moving. Use Crippling again for a short root to get away from a melee opponent.

Attacking a mounted foe: Open with instant dps of Funnel Health, as you might dismount them for the long dismount stun, which can be followed up with another stun to stun lock.

Opening: Get Mark up first so they can’t stealth or cloak, then get your dots up (Entropy, Crippling, Shock Reach, weaving light staff attacks in between), then spam your main dps, Funnel (with a weave) until they are at 50-25%. You can then use Shock Reach again for the stun, then burst down with Funnel/Impale after 25%. Your hots will be healing you all through this.

With two or more foes, use cloak intermittently during the fight to avoid damage, stun your off targets using Concealed Weapon and generally confuse. Make sure you refresh your DOTs and HOTs regularly.

Even against a big group, you can pick off players’ on the outskirts at little risk, as your escape combos are so good. When outnumbered/overwhelmed, escape with Retreating Manoeuvres and Cloak.

Imperial City

In IC, us the buildings/doorways/corners, combined with your speed, to your advantage. Draw your opponents away from their allies.

When soloing, add more NPC members to your group by pulling mobs into enemy players/players into enemy mobs then shadow cloaking, then re-attacking, then…etc

Be aware of your surroundings and what quest hubs, entrances etc are near.