Fellow ESO players, it's time to welcome one of the most thrilling and exciting additions to The Elder Scrolls Online – the Arcanist class! As of today, it's been about four years since Zenimax Online Studios last introduced a new character class with the release of the Elsweyr Chapter, and as such, the Arcanist is more than just a breath of fresh air.
In 2023, The Elder Scrolls Online's new Chapter, Necrom, will launch on June 5 on PC and June 20 on PS and Xbox. As part of the Chapter, the Arcanist is all set to revolutionize the way we play. As an intimidating blend of dark magic and sinister weapons, this new character class opens up a whole new world of combat possibilities for players. Its powerful abilities and mechanics drawn from Hermaeus Mora's realm of Oblivion will make players masters of spell-weaving and manipulation like never before! Moreover, each of its three distinct skill lines showcases some of the best buffs in the game.
As such, in this article, we will take an in-depth review of the Arcanist class, get to know its three unique skill lines, and discuss whether they are any better than some of the already-established skills and ultimate abilities for both PvP and PvE battles.
Arcanist Class Overview
The brand new Arcanist class draws its power from the forbidden knowledge of the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora. Consequently, this mystical class is capable of wielding powerful magic that can be both destructive and restorative, making it a versatile and exciting choice for all ESO players with DPS, Tank, and Healer builds.
At its core, the Arcanist class is all about harnessing the power of Apocrypha to create arcane runes and tomes of power that can be used to cast a wide variety of spells. With three distinct skill lines: the offensive Herald of the Tome, the defensive Apocryphal Soldier, and the curative Curative Runeforms, the Arcanist class is thoroughly designed to be flexible enough for any situation.
One of the most striking features of the Arcanist class is its unique visual style. Every animation is aesthetically crafted, with each spell and rune having a distinctive and eye-catching appearance. Moreover, the use of green and shadow themes, representing the Arcanist class's powers, also sits well with the upcoming Necrom Chapter. It is sure to be a feast for the eyes as well and will attract players from all over. So much so, it is predicted that this class will bring back players in such large numbers that its steam chart will hit new all-time peaks of concurrent players.
In terms of gameplay, the Arcanist class is all about mastering the use of different spells and runes to take on a variety of challenges. From firing projectiles and summoning daedra to creating shields and buffing equipment, the Arcanist has a diverse set of skills that can be used in a multitude of ways. As such, one of the skills is of particular interest, the Apocryphal Gate, which allows players to instantly teleport between two locations.
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Crux Combat Mechanic
Arcanist Cruxes in ESO Combat
But that is not the end of the picture yet! There's more to the Arcanist class than meets the eye, and in our case, it's the Crux. This exciting gameplay feature is native to Arcanists and further adds a new layer of strategy to combat.
Essentially, Cruxes are small triangular glyphs that float around the character. Using specific skills, Arcanists can generate up to three Cruxes, which can then be consumed to trigger important passives and amplify abilities. Crux consumption provides several benefits, such as more damage, longer duration, cheaper resource cost, and increased healing.
But it's not just about consuming Cruxes for bonuses. As an Arcanist, you need to find the ideal balance of constantly generating and consuming Cruxes to maximize your combat potential so that you neither run out of cruxes nor pile them up to max capacity all the time.
The Crux mechanic is a sort of point-based combo system, and you can use them to dramatically increase the effects of your skill abilities. As you level up, you can choose which abilities give you Crux and which abilities you can spend Crux on to make them more powerful.
Detailed Overview of 3 Skill Lines
As already mentioned above, the Arcanist class will have three different skill lines. In this section, we go through them thoroughly, the details which have been pulled straight out from ESO-HUB.
Herald of the Tome (Offensive)
Fatecarver (Active Skill)
Herald of the Tome is the Arcanist class skill line focused on dealing damage. With this skill line, players manipulate arcane energies to bombard their enemies with powerful and destructive spells. This line offers a variety of abilities, including damaging blasts and beams, making it an excellent choice for players seeking to play a DPS role. Here is a quick rundown of Herald of the Tome Skills:
The Unblinking Eye (Ultimate)
Tear open the fabric of the Aurbis to summon a scion of Hermaeus Mora. This being casts forth a beam that rends asunder reality for 6 seconds and deals 1115 Magic Damage to enemies within 3 meters every 0.5 seconds. The scion's beam can be repositioned by recasting The Unblinking Eye.
Morphs: The Languid Eye, The Tide King's Gaze
Craft a series of Apocryphal runes before launching them at a foe, dealing 695 Magic Damage three times and generating Crux. This ability deals 3% increased damage for each active Crux when cast.
Morphs: Escalating Runeblades, Writhing Runeblades
Harness pure knowledge into a beam of energy that scars the world in front of you. Channel the beam for up to 4 seconds, dealing 879 Magic Damage every 0.3 seconds. Casting Fatecarver consumes all Crux and increases damage done by 33% per Crux spent.
Morphs: Exhausting Fatecarver, Pragmatic Fatecarver
Abyssal Impact (Active)
Infuse your arm with abyssal magic to form tentacles that lash out at your foes, dealing 1939 Physical Damage. Enemies are immobilized for 3 seconds and marked with Abyssal Ink for 20 seconds. You deal 5% increased damage to enemies drenched in Abyssal Ink.
Morphs: Cephaliarch's Flail, Tentacular Dread
Tome-Bearer's Inspiration (Active)
Etch a series of runes onto your weapon that pulse with power once every 5 seconds. Each pulse enhances your class abilities, and striking an enemy with one deals an additional 1161 Magic Damage and generates Crux if you have none. While slotted on either ability bar, gain Major Brutality and Major Sorcery, increasing your Weapon and Spell Damage by 20%.
Morphs: Inspired Scholarship, Recuperative Treatise
The Imperfect Ring (Active)
Summon a flawed rune under an enemy that etches foes nearby with scrawled glyphs, dealing 4631 Magic Damage over 20 seconds. An ally near the initial target can activate the Runebreak synergy, dealing 2698 Frost Damage to enemies within 7 meters.
Morphs: Fulminating Rune, Rune of Displacement
Fated Fortune (Passive)
Warp fate when you gain or spend Crux, increasing your Critical Damage and Critical Healing by 12% for 7 seconds.
Harnessed Quintessence (Passive)
You master the warp and weft of your very soul. When you are restored Magicka or Stamina, increase your Weapon and Spell Damage by 5% for 10 seconds.
Psychic Lesion (Passive)
Your attacks wound the mind with heretical knowledge, increasing damage dealt by Status Effects by 15%.
Splintered Secrets (Passive)
What they don't know can kill them. Increase your Physical and Spell Penetration by 991 per Herald of the Tome ability slotted.
Soldier of Apocrypha (Defensive)
Gibbering Shield (Ultimate Ability)
Apocryphal Soldier is the Arcanist class skill line focused on defense and tanking. With this skill line, players can protect themselves and their allies with runes of magic. The abilities within this line provide standard defensive buffs, a taunt, and a Crux-upgradable explosive shield in the form of the Runespite Ward ability. Players who prefer a defensive playstyle will find this skill line invaluable. Here is a quick rundown of the Soldier of Apocrypha Skills:
Gibbering Shield (Ultimate)
Gather the true strength of Apocrypha around you, forming protective tentacles and a damage shield that absorbs 60% of all damage for 10 seconds, up to a max of 31732 damage, scaling off your Max Health. When the shield collapses you lash out, dealing all of the damage absorbed as Magic Damage to enemies within 5 meters over 10 seconds.
Morphs: Gibbering Shelter, Sanctum of the Abyssal Sea
Runic Jolt (Active)
Craft a defensive Apocryphal rune that deals 1161 Magic Damage and applies Minor Maim for 15 seconds, reducing their damage done by 5%. The rune also taunts for 15 seconds if it would not cause taunt immunity, and generates Crux. While slotted, damage taken is reduced by 2% per active Crux.
Morphs: Runic Embrace, Runic Sunder
Runespite Ward (Active)
Like the rune knights of old, summon a shield that absorbs 4800 damage for 6 seconds, scaling off your Max Health. The first time you take direct damage, the shield retaliates and deals 0 Magic Damage to the attacker, scaling off your Armor. Consume Crux to heal yourself for 1600 Health, scaling off your Max Health, per Crux spent.
Morphs: Impervious Runeward, Spiteward of the Lucid Mind
Fatewoven Armor (Active)
Forge defiant runic armor around you, granting Major Resolve for 20 seconds, increasing your Armor by 5948. While the armor persists, taking damage applies Minor Breach, reducing the Armor of your attacker by 2974 for 6 seconds.
Morphs: Cruxweaver Armor, Unbreakable Fate
Runic Defense (Active)
Cast forth a complex rune granting you and your group members Minor Resolve for 20 seconds, increasing your Armor by 2974. You gain Minor Protection for 20 seconds, reducing your damage taken by 5%. The first time you are damaged while below 50% Health, the Minor Protection is consumed to heal you for 4800 Health, scaling off your Max Health.
Morphs: Runeguard of Freedom, Runeguard of Still Waters
Rune of Eldritch Horror (Active)
Etch an incomprehensible rune on your enemy's mind, paralyzing them in fear after a 1 second delay, stunning them for 4 seconds. This terror applies Minor Vulnerability for 10 seconds, increasing their damage taken by 5%. If used against a monster, the paralyze lasts for 8 seconds. This ability cannot be dodged.
Morphs: Rune of Uncanny Adoration, Rune of the Colorless Pool
Aegis of the Unseen (Passive)
Form a secret soldier within your mind, a defense against arcane forces without. While a Soldier of Apocrypha ability is active on you, increase your Armor by 1980.
Wellspring of the Abyss (Passive)
Apocryphal knowledge bubbles up from the depths of your psyche, increasing your Health, Magicka, and Stamina Recovery by 129 for each Soldier of Apocrypha ability slotted.
Circumvented Fate (Passive)
Casting an Arcanist ability warps the weave of fate around you, granting you and your group members Minor Evasion for 20 seconds and reducing damage from area attacks by 10%. This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.
Implacable Outcome (Passive)
The will of an Arcanist is absolute. When you consume Crux, gain 4 Ultimate. This effect can occur once every 8 seconds.
Curative Runeforms (Restorative)
Apocryphal Gate (Active Skill)
Curative Runeforms is the Arcanist class skill line focused on healing and support. Players can make use of healing runes to keep themselves and their allies healthy and shield them from damage. This skill line offers a range of healing abilities and buffs, making it an excellent choice for players seeking to play as a healer or tank. Moreover, it also introduces players with teleportation powers. Here is a quick rundown of Curative Runeforms Skills:
Vitalizing Glyphic (Ultimate)
Summon an Apocryphal glyphic saturated with vitalizing energy, which you and your allies can heal. The glyphic spawns at 30% Health and grows stronger the more you heal it. The antediluvian power within the glyphic pulses every 1 second, granting up to 200 Weapon and Spell Damage and healing you and your allies around it for up to 927 Health in proportion to its Health.
Morphs: Glyphic of the Tides, Resonating Glyphic
Craft a series of precise Apocryphal runes, then propel them at yourself or an ally in front of you. The runes heal for 1161 Health three times and generate Crux. Each active Crux reduces the cost of this ability by 3%.
Morphs: Audacious Runemend, Evolving Runemend
Remedy Cascade (Active)
Channel the abyssal sea to coalesce a beam of restorative energy. The beam heals you and your allies in its path for 11310 Health over 4.5 seconds. Consume Crux to also restore 728 Magicka and Stamina per Crux spent to your allies over 4.5 seconds.
Morphs: Cascading Fortune, Curative Surge
Chakram Shields (Active)
Carve the runes of the Blind Man to call forth spinning mystical discs. Discs surround you or up to 4 allies in front of you, granting a shield that absorbs 3159 damage for 6 seconds. Discs prefer your reticle target, or low-Health targets without shields.
Morphs: Chakram of Destiny, Tidal Chakram
Arcanist's Domain (Active)
Draw forth your tome and invoke the vigoratum of Hermaeus Mora to conjure a vortex of eldritch power. Standing in this vortex grants you and your allies Minor Courage, Minor Fortitude, Minor Intellect, and Minor Endurance, increasing your Weapon and Spell Damage by 215 and your Health, Magicka, and Stamina Recovery by 15%.
Morphs: Reconstructive Domain, Zena's Empowering Disc
Apocryphal Gate (Active)
Breach the world walls to create a portal at a target location. Its twin appears directly before you. Crossing the threshold allows you to teleport from one to the other for as long as the portals remain open. Apocryphal Gate generates Crux each time you teleport.
Morphs: Fleet-footed Gate, Passage Between Worlds
Healing Tides (Passive)
Your mastery of weaving fate and abyssal water increases your healing done by 3% for each active Crux.
Hideous Clarity (Passive)
You've stared too long into the abyss. When you generate Crux, you restore 225 Magicka or Stamina, whichever maximum is higher.
Knowledge is power. Your excessive scholarship increases your Magicka and Stamina Recovery by 18%.
Intricate Runeforms (Passive)
Your status as illuminatus reduces the cost and increases the strength of your damage shields by 10%.
An Arcanist carrying her Tome
Conclusively, as seen above, the Arcanist Class in ESO offers a diverse range of gameplay styles through its three distinct skill lines, each thematically centered around the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora. With the Arcanist Class, players can delve into the world of Tamriel with a powerful new class capable of destructive, restorative, or defensive capabilities.
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