Welcome to our ESO Nightblade Class guide! Here you will find a detailed explanation of all Nightblade class skills, plus how to play the Nightblade class more effectively. We also have a full list of helpful builds to get you started on your Nightblade Class journey!
The Nightblade Class Explained
The Nightblade class is one of ESO’s most popular classes at launch thanks to its thematic characteristics of being a stealthy rogue or assassin class. Along those lines, Nightblades specialize in direct damage and escape tools like invisibility and teleportation – though they also have many unique skills that let them do well as tanks and even healers in group situations.
In terms of solo gameplay the Nightblade’s ability to cloak with invisibility as well as teleport across the battlefield to avoid combat situations makes it a top class for surviving and surprising your enemies in PVP. In many cases, you can also use invisibility in PVE dungeons to avoid enemies or hunt down interesting locations or even treasure chests with ease.
Nightblade Class Skill Lines
The Assassination skill line for the Nightblade Class allows players to strike with terrible lethality and leave their foes debilitated or worse with abilities that deal massive damage and weaken them for the final blow. The skill line is ideal for Damage Dealers.
The Assassination skill line for the Nightblade class includes the following abilities:
- Assassin’s Blade – Thrust a magic blade with lethal precision to stab an enemy, dealing 410 Magic Damage. Deals 300% more damage to enemies below 25% Health. Morphs: Impale, Killer’s Blade
- Teleport Strike – Flash through the shadows and ambush an enemy, dealing 492 Magic Damage and afflicting them with Minor Vulnerability for 10 seconds, increasing their damage taken by 5%. Morphs: Ambush, Lotus Fan
- Blur – Surround yourself in a phantasmic aura to gain Major Evasion, decreasing damage from area attacks by 20% for 26 seconds. Morphs: Mirage, Phantasmal Escape
- Mark Target – Expose an enemy’s weaknesses to afflict them with Major Breach, reducing their Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance by 5948 for 30 seconds. You can detect marked enemies even if they use stealth or invisibility for 3 seconds. When a marked enemy dies, you heal for 3740. This portion of the ability scales off your Max Health. You can only have one Piercing Mark active at a time. Morphs: Piercing Mark, Reaper’s Mark
- Grim Focus – Focus your senses for 40 seconds, increasing your Critical Damage and Healing by 2% with every Light or Heavy Attack, up to 5 times. While active, hitting an enemy with 5 Light or Heavy Attacks converts this ability into Assassin’s Will, allowing you to fire a spectral arrow for half cost to deal 1479 Magic Damage, and healing for 33% of the damage dealt if you are within melee range. Morphs: Merciless Resolve, Relentless Focus
- ULT: Death Stroke – Ravage an enemy with a swift strike, dealing 3409 Magic Damage and causing them to take 20% more damage from your attacks for 6 seconds. Morphs: Incapacitating Strike, Soul Harvest
The Shadow skill line for the Nightblade Class allows players to find the perfect moment to strike or slip away without notice and terrify their enemies with fearsome spirits and relentless shades.
The Shadow skill line for the Nightblade includes the following abilities:
- Veiled Strike – Slash an enemy, dealing 821 Magic Damage. Attacking with Veiled Strike from the flank stuns the enemy for 3 seconds and sets them Off Balance. Morphs: Concealed Weapon, Surprise Attack
- Shadow Cloak – Cloak yourself in shadow to become invisible for 3 seconds. Morphs: Dark Cloak, Shadowy Disguise
- Path Of Darkness – Create a corridor of shadows, granting you and allies in area Major Expedition, increasing movement speed by 30%. Effect persists for 4 seconds after leaving the path. Morphs: Refreshing Path, Twisting Path
- Aspect Of Terror – Summon a dark spirit to terrify up to 3 enemies, causing them to cower in fear for 2 seconds. Morphs: Manifestation Of Terror, Mass Hysteria
- Summon Shade – Summon a shade version of yourself to attack an enemy and fight at your side for 15 seconds. The shade slashes at an enemy, dealing 368 Magic Damage. The shade’s attacks inflict Minor Maim, reducing the enemy’s damage done by 5% for 4 seconds. This ability scales with your highest offensive stats. Morphs: Dark Shade, Shadow Image
- ULT: Consuming Darkness – Conjure a ring of shadow, reducing the Movement Speed of enemies by 70% and granting you and your allies Major Protection, reducing your damage taken by 10%. Allies in the area can activate the Hidden Refresh synergy, granting them invisibility, increasing their Movement Speed by 70%, and healing them for 8352 Health over 4 seconds. Morphs: Bolstering Darkness, Veil Of Blades
The Siphoning skill line for the Nightblade Class is focused on draining life from your enemies while also healing you and your allies.
The Siphoning skill line for the Nightblade includes the following abilities:
- Strife – Steal an enemy’s life force, dealing 513 Magic Damage and healing you or a nearby ally for 50% of the damage inflicted every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Morphs: Funnel Health, Swallow Soul
- Malevolent Offering – Sacrifice your essence, healing an ally in front of you for 1232 Health but draining your own Health over 8 seconds. Morphs: Healthy Offering, Shrewd Offering
- Cripple – Sap an enemy’s agility and wrack them with pain, dealing 1224 Magic Damage over 10 seconds and reducing their movement speed by 30% for 4 seconds. Morphs: Crippling Grasp, Debilitate
- Siphoning Strikes – Imbue your weapons with soul-stealing power, causing your Light and Heavy Attacks to heal you for 1438 Health for 20 seconds. Fully charged Heavy Attacks restore twice the value. Morphs: Leeching Strikes, Siphoning Attacks
- Drain Power – Siphon the vigor from your enemies’ blood, dealing 615 Magic Damage to all nearby enemies. If an enemy is hit, you gain Major Brutality and Sorcery, increasing your Weapon and Spell Damage by 20% for 20 seconds. Morphs: Power Extraction, Sap Essence
- ULT: Soul Shred – Ravage nearby enemies’ souls with a night rune, dealing 3197 Magic Damage and stunning them for 4 seconds. An ally can target a ravaged enemy and activate the Soul Leech synergy, dealing 2864 Magic Damage to them and healing for the damage caused. Morphs: Soul Siphon, Soul Tether
How do you play the Nightblade Class?
Nightblades specialize in direct damage and escape tools like invisibility and teleportation – though they also have many unique skills that let them do well as tanks and even healers in group situations.
Generally speaking, the Nightblade class does have one skill line per focused role (tanking, healing, and damage) as we saw with the other classes on this list, though there is a bit of overlap too. This is because the skill lines for Nightblades have a greater focus on thematics than playstyle.
For offense, you’ll want to apply Damage Over Time effects first, then use a Direct Damage spammable skill like Swallow Soul or Surprise Attack. Using skills like Merciless Resolve and Killer’s Blade add even more single-target damage, and these can all be further empowered by your Assassination skill line Ultimate.
Nightblades have many powerful healing and defensive tools, great for Solo and Group play. Healthy Offering, for example, is a fantastic burst heal for all types of content. Since the Nightblade is more offensive in style, many of their damaging abilities also heal you or your group at the same time. This includes skills like Swallow Soul, Sap Essence and Soul Tether – so keep that pressure on!
Finally, Nightblades are well known for having some of the highest Ultimate Generation in the game due to passives like Catalyst which restores 20 Ultimate whenever you use a potion.
What Weapons Are Best For The Nightblade?
The best weapon for a Nightblade in The Elder Scrolls Online is Dual Wield daggers. This weapon type is preferred for the increased Critical Chance that daggers obtain through the Twin Blade and Blunt passive.
If you prefer to play at range then a Staff or a Bow is a great option for the Nightblade class as well, as this will do a great job pairing with some of the Nightblade’s powerful ranged abilities like Swallow Soul and Merciless Resolve.
What Armor Should a Nightblade Wear?
The best armor for the Nightblade class in The Elder Scrolls Online is medium armor, which provides bonuses to Critical Damage, Weapon and Spell Damage, Stamina Recovery, and Cost Reduction of Stamina-based skills.
There are some exceptions to this rule, particularly if you prefer magicka-based skills. In this case, you will want to prioritize light armor instead which boosts your Critical Chance, Offensive Penetration, Magicka Recovery, and Magicka Cost Reduction.
Tanks as well as players interested in PVP will also want to invest in some solid Heavy Armor sets for extra protection.
For more information on Armor Types in ESO check out our full guide here.
What Is The Best Race For Nightblade?
The best race for a Nightblade in The Elder Scrolls Online is Khajiit due to their bonus Health, Magicka, and Stamina, along with increased Recovery and high Critical Damage stat.
It is important to note that sometimes other races can be preferred depending on what particular build you are trying to optimize for. For more details, be sure to review our ESO Race Guides for each role.
Is Nightblade A Good Class In ESO?
The Nightblade is one of ESO’s most popular classes since its launch, thanks to its theme of being a stealthy rogue or assassin-style class. Along those lines, Nightblades specialize in direct damage abilities and escape tools like invisibility and teleportation. However, they have many unique skills that let them do well in various content.
Regarding solo gameplay, the Nightblade’s ability to cloak with invisibility and teleport across the battlefield to avoid combat situations makes it a top class for surviving and surprising your enemies in PVP. In many cases, you can use invisibility in PVE dungeons to avoid enemies and hunt down interesting locations or even treasure chests with greater ease. Nightblades can make powerful and unique builds in any role in a group setting, including DPS, Tank, and Healer. Tank and Healer Nightblades are some of my favorite builds due to their unique play styles.
Best Nightblade Class Builds
The Nightblade Class can be used for many different builds in both PVE and PVP content in The Elder Scrolls Online. The Nightblade is a fantastic choice for every role in the game, including DPS, Tanking, Healing, and even Solo Gameplay. Here are some great build options for you to explore!
- Stamina Nightblade Beginner Build
- Magicka Nightblade Beginner Build
- Stamina Nightblade Solo Build
- Magicka Nightblade Solo Build
- Stamina Nightblade One Bar Build
- Magicka Nightblade One Bar Build
- Stamina Nightblade PVE DPS Build
- Magicka Nightblade PVE DPS Build
Want more Nightblade Builds? Check out our dedicated Nightblade Builds overview page for even more great options!
How To Create Powerful ESO Builds
Crafting the Perfect Build for you in The Elder Scrolls Online can be frustrating. Which skills are best for each class? What about passives? The best race? The best armor type and weapons? The best trait and glyphs? There are literally THOUSANDS of different options!
This is why we created the ESO Zero To Hero Build Academy – A Simple, yet Powerful build system that teaches the fundamentals of ESO Theorycrafting, step-by-step.
Build your character exactly how YOU want by following this simple process from start to finish and FINALLY start enjoying ESO the way you want to play it!
Our Guides are designed with New and Intermediate players in mind! Stop wasting hours searching the internet for the best ESO build information – get what you need NOW to succeed!