Welcome to Hack The Minotaur's updated ESO class guide. This ultimate guide includes an in-depth breakdown of The Elder Scrolls Online's newest class, the Arcanist, and the important updates to the six existing classes, including the Dragonknight, Nightblade, Sorcerer, Templar, Warden, and Necromancer. If you're new to TESO or if you're a returning player looking to get back into the game, this is the perfect starting guide for you.
Arcanist is the seventh and newest class released with the Necrom Chapter. This new class brought a different way to play in The Elder Scrolls Online.
The theme of the Arcanist centers around Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of fate and knowledge, with its skills incorporating Maura's own Black Books and otherworldly tentacles to make for something truly unique.
The Arcanist class, with the green ground effects and laser beams, creates a compelling visual presence on the battlefield that makes it stand out strongly from every other class in the game.
The Arcanist class was designed to stand out from the pack. For example, the Arcanist's main source of damage is a unique AoE channeled beam attack called Fatecarver, which lasts around 5 seconds and has to be aimed. While this sounds simple, much planning is involved to optimize your damage. You can also cast other skills to build up a combo point system called Crux, which, if you have three Cruxes stacked up, doubles the damage of the Fatecarver beam and adds even more bonus effects.
Timing with The Arcanist class is important, too, as you'll need to make sure your buffs and debuffs have at least five seconds of duration left before casting Fatecarver's channel. Otherwise, they'll run out mid-beam, leaving you more vulnerable.
Having such a strong AoE damage ability like the Fatecarver also makes the Arcanist powerful for beginners and easy for current players looking for a build with a simple rotation.
The Arcanist seems to have been designed to be slightly more challenging to play than the easiest play style of an Oakensoul heavy attack build. Therefore, instead of holding down that heavy attack button to deal damage, you build up Crux and let your beam do the work.
As you'd expect from any new class, the Arcanists have three powerful skill lines, with each one dedicated to a standard MMO combat playstyle, either dps, tanking, or healing.
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Herald of the Tome Skill Line
Besides the Fatecarver, Herald of the Tome skill line also has skills like Abyssal Impact, which roots enemies in place and debuffs them, healing you or increasing your damage, based on the morph you choose.
Recuperative Treatise is fantastic for increasing damage passively or getting some extra sustain.
Soldier of Apocrypha Skill Line
Soldier of Apocrypha is also unique, having the only class-based taunt skill in ESO so far – Runic Sunder, opening up some new possibilities for tank builds that are centered on something other than using a sword and shield or the frost staff as your primary weapon.
This skill line also includes massive damage shields in the Impervious Runeward skill.
Rune of the Colorless Pool and Rune of Uncanny Adoration
Rune of Eldritch Horror's morphs either debuff the enemy with Minor Brittle and Minor Vulnerability (Rune of the Colorless Pool) or charm them to follow you around and stop doing damage (Rune of Uncanny Adoration).
Curative Runeforms Skill Line
With the Curative Runeforms skill line, the Arcanist can use another powerful beam ability – Remedy Cascade, for aimed healing over time.
Chakram of Destiny
The Arcanist is also a master of shields, as the skill Chakram of Destiny can provide a strong shield to you and your group.
Reconstructive Domain offers many powerful buffs like Minor Courage to all allies in the area.
Arcanist Ultimate Skills
The Unblinking Eye
The Ultimate skills of the Arcanist are pretty powerful as well. Some of the popular ones are The Unblinking Eye and its morphs for intense AoE damage.
Gibbering Shield and its morphs are ultra-powerful defensive skills.
Vitalizing Glyphic offers some powerful healing for allies, plus a unique buff to weapon and spell damage, making it a great option for coordinated group play.
The Arcanist class is one of the most balanced classes in the game. They are one of the best options for solo content, especially for newer players. Their powerful damage skills, defense, and self-buffs make it easy to survive in various content.
For more experienced or end-game players looking for a powerful group build, the Arcanist may not surpass what other classes can offer to become the game's new meta tank, heal, or dps build. But the class will still offer a unique gameplay experience with new skills and mechanics that make the game fresh again.
The master of death, Necromancer, was added to the game in 2019. If you're set on mastering the dark arts in ESO, you'll discover that playing a Necromancer can be more challenging than some of the other classes. One big reason is that Necromancy is still frowned upon in most major cities. If a guard catches you raising a corpse, even for a second, they will immediately hunt you down and try to kill you. Don't worry, though. You can run away, and your bounty or threat level will slowly go back down to where you can enter the town again. But you'll want to be careful about which spells you cast and where.
Necromancer abilities can also be slightly more challenging to use than those of other classes because some skills require corpses to be on the ground to use that skill. Some skills are even empowered by having those corpses on the ground, and this creates opportunities for unique and highly-skilled gameplay if you can manage all the mechanics of using corpses on the battlefield.
Just like the Arcanist, the Necromancers have a wide range of abilities that can fulfill any role in the game, including dps, tanking, and healing. Also, each of the Necromancer's three unique skill lines is focused specifically on one of those traditional MMO roles.
Grave Lord Skill Line
The Grave Lord skill line is focused on dps. As a Necromancer, you can summon undead minions to do damage for you, using skills like Skeletal Arcanist and Skeletal Archer.
The Blastbones skill stalks enemies from afar and then jumps onto them while detonating, dealing massive AoE damage. This signature skill does impressive burst damage in both PvE and PvP.
Bone Tyrant Skill Line
The Bone Tyrant skill line focuses on damage absorption and tanking, allowing you to cast unique protective spells.
Beckoning Armor reduces your incoming damage while also pulling enemies in close to you to make them easier to control.
Necrotic Potency leeches the life out of nearby corpses and gives you a ton of Ultimate back in return.
Living Death Skill Line
The Living Death skill line focuses on the Necromancer's healing capabilities.
With Render Flesh, you can heal yourself and your allies at the expense of health regeneration.
Restoring Tether can turn any corpse on the ground into a heal-over-time effect for you and your entire group.
Spirit Guardian summons a ghostly ally to follow you, healing you over time and absorbing a large portion of the damage you take.
Necromancer Ultimate Skills
Necromancers have some of the strongest class Ultimate skills in the game, making them one of the most powerful classes in ESO, both for solo and group play in PvP or PvE.
With Pestilent Colossus, you can summon a pestilent Flesh Colossus for huge AoE damage and a group debuff.
Animate Blastbones allows you to resurrect multiple players instantly.
You can even transform into the mighty Ravenous Goliath and become unkillable.
If you're interested in a summoner-style build with access to plenty of heals and damage-over-time effects, then try the Necromancer class.
The Warden is the defender of nature that can summon animal companions and cast frost spells that debuff the enemy or empower themselves or their group.
The Warden's strong healing and burst potential make it a great class if you're interested in PvP or even a bit of solo PvE.
Like the Necromancer and Arcanist, the Warden has one class skill line for each of the traditional MMO play styles of dps, tanking, and healing, making it a well-balanced class that can fit into any role in ESO.
Animal Companions Skill Line
Screaming Cliff Racer, Deep Fissure, and Fetcher Infection
Animal Companions skill line allows the Warden to summon cliff racers (Screaming Cliff Racer), shalks (Deep Fissure), and fetcher flies (Fetcher Infection) to damage their opponents with direct damage, timed burst damage, and even damage over time. Many of these summoned creatures also provide secondary debuffs like reducing your enemy's armor or making them take more damage.
Winter's Embrace Skill Line
Winter's Embrace is the Warden's tank skill line focused on frost effects.
Ice Fortress, Winter's Revenge, and Arctic Blast
The Warden has access to a great armor buff with the Ice Fortress, an area of immobilization and DoT with Winter's Revenge, and a massive burst heal that also stuns surrounding enemies with Arctic Blast.
Green Balance Skill Line
The Green Balance skill line focuses on healing the Warden and their group by summoning healing vines, flowers, and trees.
Green Lotus and Living Trellis
Healing skills like Green Lotus or Living Trellis are especially useful as they heal you automatically whenever you deal damage or when you take damage, respectively.
Warden Ultimate Skills
Permafrost is incredibly useful in PvP for snaring enemies and defending a group with the Major Protection buff.
Your bear pet, Wild Guardian, is an awesome passive dps skill that does damage for free with bonus execute damage thrown in whenever you cast it.
Healing Thicket Ultimate provides amazing, focused healing in a specific area when your survival is most at stake.
All in all, the Warden is one of the most fun and flexible classes. It is a good option for new and experienced players looking to fill in any role or play style in the game. Also, if you're interested in crafting a nature-themed build that commands animals and plants, or even a classic ice mage build, the Warden is the best place to start.
The Nightblade class was one of ESO's most popular classes at launch, thanks to its thematic characteristics of being a stealthy rogue or assassin type.
The Nightblades specialize in direct damage and using escape tools like invisibility and teleportation, which let them do just as well as tanks and even healers in group situations. In terms of 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 enemies in PvP. In many cases, they can also use invisibility in PvE dungeons to easily avoid enemies, hunt down interesting locations, or even treasure chests.
Assassination Skill Line
Generally speaking, the Nightblade class has one skill line per focused role of tanking, healing, and damage, as the other classes on this list. But there is a bit of overlap here as well. This is because the skill lines for the Nightblade have a greater focus on theme than play style. For example, the Assassination skill line, just like it sounds, focuses on damaging your target.
In the skill line, the offensive teleport skill, Ambush, allows for great mobility on the battlefield, especially in PvP.
Merciless Resolve allows you to build up stacks or charges, which can be conserved for increased passive damage or unleashed all at once for a big burst attack and a heal. The choice is up to you.
Impale also does bonus damage to your enemy once they reach low health.
Shadow Skill Line
Shadow skill line includes a lot of different utility-focused abilities as well as some damage and healing.
Shadowy Disguise can turn your character invisible for a few seconds.
Shadow Image lets you teleport away from your enemy.
While the Nightblade class does not have an active armor skill that you can cast, you get the same buff when casting any Shadow ability, as this armor buff is linked to a passive skill in the Shadow skill line.
Siphoning Skill Line
Nightblades have the Siphoning skill line focused on blood magic and healing abilities.
Swallow Soul damages your enemy and gives you 35% of the damage back as a heal. Thanks to the extra healing, this skill is fantastic for all types of content. But it is especially helpful when you are soloing.
Healthy Offering is a powerful burst heal that costs some of your own health to cast.
Nightblade Ultimate Skills
Incapacitating Strike, Veil of Blades, and Soul Tether
Nightblades have an interesting set of Ultimate skills, including an Ultimate for direct damage (Incapacitating Strike), an Ultimate for group defense (Veil of Blades), and an Ultimate for group healing and crowd control (Soul Tether).
The most powerful and useful of all of these skills is Incapacitating Strike or Soul Harvest. Both of them are morphs of Death Stroke. Incapacitating Strike potentially stuns and returns resources, while Soul Harvest reduces the enemy's healing received and gives you Ultimate.
If you're looking for a class with high burst damage and the potential to surprise enemies or want to support your group in more unique and engaging ways, you'll want to try the Nightblade.
Dragonknight is ESO's version of an in-your-face melee brawler with a theme centered around fighting like a dragon.
Whether you're applying deadly poison or flame attacks to your enemies, throwing boulders, or flying through the air with dragon wings, Dragonknights utilize a combat style that is both effective and fun to play.
Like most of the four original base-game classes, the Dragonknight skills are mixed between all three skill lines with less focus on the specific group roles and a greater focus on thematics.
Ardent Flame Skill Line
Ardent Flame focuses on harnessing the power of fire, or sometimes poison, to deal damage, debuff enemies, or even heal yourself or allies.
Burning Embers, which you unlock first, is one of the strongest single-target DoT skills in the game, dealing massive damage to one target while healing you simultaneously.
The poison effect of Noxious Breath is extremely useful as it also debuffs the enemy's armor, helping you and your group do more damage.
Draconic Power Skill Line
The Draconic Power skill line allows you to unlock some amazing and unique dragon-themed abilities.
Hardened Armor increases your defense.
Burning Talons immobilizes and debuffs your enemy.
Dragon Fire Scales
Dragon Fire Scales absorbs damage.
The passives in this skill line also make the Dragonknight very tanky, making this class an optimal choice for a pure tank build.
Earthen Heart Skill Line
The Earthen Heart skill line offers a strong combination of tank, healer, and damage-dealing abilities.
Stone Giant is a unique damage skill that can be used at range and even debuffs the enemy, causing them to take more damage from your group.
Igneous Shield can give you and your group a powerful damage shield.
As a morph of the Petrify ability, Fossilize can stun and immobilize enemies simultaneously, making it a powerful option in PvP.
Dragonknight Ultimate Skills
The Dragonknight's Ultimate skills are also some of the strongest skills in the game.
Standard of Might
Standard of Might damages enemies in an area while also increasing your damage and reducing your damage taken.
Magma Shell is excellent for tanks, reducing your total damage received to only 3% per hit.
Ferocious Leap is an extremely impressive and deadly attack, which adds dragon wings to your character, allowing you to leap through the air from range and eventually come down with a huge burst of AoE damage that also knocks up enemies into the air and stuns them.
If you like playing in the thick of things and want to punish your enemies with powerful DoTs and AoE attacks or even protect your group as an unstoppable tank, then the Dragonknight is the perfect class for you.
The theme of the Templar centers around bringing the power of the Sun to the battlefield, whether for offense or defense.
Templars also excel at both self-healing and group-healing, and they have remained one of the strongest classes in the game since its launch due to their strong healing potential.
In PvE groups, Templar healers will often be highly desirable for their strong burst heals and ability to restore resources to the group. PvP Templars are still among the most difficult classes to defeat because of their strong defensive buffs, constant self-healing, and ability to cleanse the enemy's negative effects on themselves and their group.
In terms of their skill lines, Templars have a blend of abilities throughout all three class lines, with one line specifically devoted to healing and defense.
Aedric Spear Skill Line
In the Aedric Spear skill line, you'll find most of their offensive abilities.
Puncturing Sweep is a channeled spear attack that does multiple hits in one action while also healing you at the same time.
Blazing Spear launches a spear high into the air to rain down area-of-effect damage and restore your team's resources through a group synergy.
Dawn's Wrath Skill Line
Vampire's Bane is one of the longest-lasting damage-over-time skills in the entire game, helping you to create an easy rotation.
Templars can also use amazing passive healing with the Living Dark skill, which heals you back every time you take damage.
Radiant Oppression is still the best execution skill in the game for both PvE and PvP content, offering massive damage to enemies below 50% health.
Restoring Light Skill Line
Templars have access to a solid healing skill line in the Restoring Light skill line, which has made them one of the best healing classes in ESO since launch.
Breath of Life
Breath of Life is arguably the best direct heal in the game. It can provide an instant and massive burst deal for yourself or another group member.
Extended Ritual and Restoring Focus
The Templar class also has numerous group heals and buffs by using skills like Extended Ritual and Restoring Focus. These skills place effects on the ground surrounding you and your team, making you stronger for standing in them.
Templar Ultimate Skills
Templars have powerful Ultimate skills as well.
Crescent Sweep can do a massive burst of upfront damage with your spear, making it especially strong in PvP.
Remembrance Ultimate channels a massive group heal while making you, as the caster, nearly invulnerable for the duration.
Solar Prison does an AoE debuff on your enemies while potentially giving your team a Gravity Crush synergy, which can explode for a massive damage spike in both PvP and PvE encounters.
All of these account for Templars being an extremely powerful class in ESO with a strong class identity. If you want to play something similar to a knight or a paladin, then Templar is the class for you. The consistent healing and strong defenses make them a very good class for any beginner getting into ESO for the first time.
Sorcerers represent the classic caster archetype but with a unique Elder Scrolls twist. Sorcerers are connected with elemental damage, specifically lightning damage skills. But they also have access to some darker magic types, including Daedric summoning, which calls on creatures from other planes of existence. Just like any class in ESO, there are even some stamina-based variants of these skills. So if you want to be a Sorcerer tank, using a sword and shield, or a Sorcerer damage dealer that uses a big two-handed sword, you can do this as well.
Dark Magic Skill Line
The Dark Magic skill line offers a lot to the class regarding damage and possible utility.
Crystal Fragments morph can do big bursts of damage, or you could choose the Crystal Weapon morph, which causes your light and heavy attacks to do bonus damage and reduce enemy armor.
The newly revamped Dark Deal is one of the best-sustained skills and buffs in the game right now, restoring resources and granting Minor Berserk and Minor Force.
Stormcalling Skill Line
The Stormcalling skill line utilizes elemental magic.
Mages' Wrath and Lighting Flood
Mages' Wrath and Lighting Flood do strong lightning damage, either as an execution skill or AoE damage over time, respectively.
Boundless Storm is a morph of the Lighting Form skill. It turns you into lightning with bonus movement speed and armor.
The other morph of the Lighting Form skill, Hurricane, benefits Stamina Sorcerers.
Critical Surge is one of the best passive heals in the game for solo builds, healing you back whenever you deal critical damage to a target.
Daedric Summoning Skill Line
The Daedric Summoning skill line is the most impressive of all. This skill line allows you to summon Daedric objects or creatures to empower your gameplay.
Summon Volatile Familiar, Summon Unstable Clannfear, and Summon Twilight Matriarch
Sorcerers can summon Daedric Scamps, Twilights, and Clannfears to do damage or to heal themselves or their group.
Sorcerers can also summon Daedric armor and weapons using the Bound Armament skill, which summons four spectral daggers to burst down a target. Bound Armaments is a useful skill for Stamina Sorcerers.
Hardened Ward is one of the strongest damage shields in the game. This skill was recently buffed to absorb even more damage, making it a useful protective option for all types of Sorcerer builds.
Sorcerer Ultimate Skills
Greater Storm Atronach
Greater Storm Atronach not only looks fantastic but does great damage while buffing the damage of your group through a powerful synergy.
Suppression Field is a strong option for PvP as it can negate other Ultimate effects and magic abilities cast by the opposing team.
Overload is more of a niche Ultimate as it increases your damage done by light and heavy attacks. But this skill is helpful in some situations, although you won't be using it very often.
All in all, Sorcerers can be one of the game's best solo or group classes, depending on which play style you prefer. Their access to strong damage shields and summoning skills make them particularly powerful for beginners and soloists.
The defensive capabilities and built-in speed also make the Sorcerers a force to be reckoned with in PvP. Therefore, if you want a class that improves with you as your own skill level and experience in the game improves, then you'll want to check out the Sorcerer.
Which class do you like the best, and which do you think best fits your play style? Please leave a comment under the video. If you like this guide, please subscribe to Hack The Minotaur's channel for more helpful content.
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