Nightblade - Description and Skill Lines

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  • Nightblade is the assassin class in Elder Scrolls Online. He uses the advantages of shadow and night to perform sudden attacks and deal a lot of damage from stealth. Hidden attacks are always unexpected and each attack from stealth deals extra damage and stuns the target. They are friends of the night and like to use magic to weaken their enemies.

    Class Skills

    As any other class in Elder Scrolls Online, Nightblade has three lines of class skills. With the Different skill lines achieving different goals. You can focus on one line to receive the maximum effect from a path, or, you can mix different abilities as you like. Thus you can make your own unique class according to your playing style. There are three skill lines that a Nightblade can master:

    • Assassination - focused on dealing a lot of damage and killing low health targets. It is a line for aggressive fighters who prefer face to face combat.
    • Shadow - consists of skills that allow you to use stealth and invisibility with maximum effect. It is a line for those who like to hide in the shadows and perform sudden attacks.
    • Siphoning – allows the use of DoT skills and self healing. The general feature of this line is that it transfers the strength of your enemy to you. It makes you stronger while the enemy becomes weaker.


    Death Stroke Very powerful attack that deals direct damage. Strength of the strike depends on your Ultimate pool. Also applies a debuf that decease efficiency of all healing received by the target.
    Assassin's Blade - Deals x Magic damage - Low health targets take 300% additional damgage
    Teleport Strike - Step through the shadows, appearing next your target - Deal magic damage to enemy and stun him
    Blur For 20 seconds: - Attackers have x% miss chance when attacking you
    Mark Target - Mark a target for death - Your attacks ignore 50% of the target's resistances, and their attacks ignore 50% of your resistances - Killing the marked target heals you
    Haste For x seconds: - Increase attack speed with heavy and light attacks
    Master Assassin Deal increased damage while stealthed or invisible. Successful sneak attacks stun for longer
    Executioner Killing an enemy with an Assassination ability restores some Magicka.
    Pressure Points Every Assassination ability on your current hotbar increases critical strike chance.
    Hemorrhage Every Assassination ability on your current hotbar increases critical strike damage.


    Consuming Darkness Creates an area of darkness that snares enemies and gains you invisibility. Attacking an enemy removes the invisibility for a short time. Allies can also gain invisibility by activating Slip Away synergy.
    Shadow Cloak - Gain invisibility for short duration - You don't regenerate magicka while invisible
    Veiled Strike - Deals Magic damage and sets the enemy off balance - Stuns enemy for x seconds
    Summon Shade - Summons a shade to attack target enemy - Attacked enemies deal less damage for short duration
    Path of Darkness Deals damage and creates a dark path in front of your character. You have increased movement speed when you move along this path.
    Aspect of Terror Crowd control ability that fears nearby enemies.
    Refreshing Shadow Activating Shadow ability gains you bonus stamina regeneration.
    Shadow Barrier Your character receives extra protection after invisibility or stealth.
    Fortitude Every Shadow ability slotted on your current hotbar increases your health pool.
    Dark Veil Permanently increase duration of all Shadow abilities.


    Soul Shred Deals AoE damage and stuns all foes in a radius. Allies may activate Leeching Strike synergy – strong attack with life leeching effect.
    Strife Medium duration DoT that leaches health from your enemy and gain a portion of it to the Nightblade.
    Agony Medium duration spell that stuns the target and deals damage while the target is stunned. The effect disappears if the affected target receives damage from any other source.
    Cripple Deals damage and siphons movement speed from your enemy to you
    Siphoning Strikes When toggled Nightblade deals less damage with his weapon but regenerates a portion of Magicka and Stamina with every weapon strike.
    Drain Power Weakens enemies in a radius, decreasing their Attack Power. Nightblade gains extra AP from every enemy affected by the spell.
    Catalyst Permanently increases efficiency of all magical potions
    Magicka Flood Increases Magicka pool when you have at least 1 Siphoning ability slotted on your current hotbar.
    Soul Siphoner Increases healing effect of Siphoning abilities
    Transfer Gains Ultimate Points every time you deal damage with Siphoning ability


    This class is one of the most popular. That’s because you can play in two dimensions simultaneously. You can attack your target as other classes do, and, you can benefit from using stealth and invisibility. Though all classes in the game can sneak, Nightblades are the only ones which have the ability to enter stealth in combat. They also have abilities that make stealth much more beneficial.


    Daggers and small swords are the favourite weapons of the class. Light weapons will be a very good choice. If you look closely at the Dual Wield skill line, you will notice that there are some sweet passives for any assassin. For example

    • Twin Blade and Blunt [Passive] increases critical strike chance when you equip daggers, increases overall damage with swords, and axes have chance to apply bleeding DoT.
    • Ruffian [Passive] increases damage against disabled targets. Thus a very good weapon choice will be Dual Wield daggers, swords or axes.

    The great thing about Elder Scrolls Online is that you can equip any weapon you want. If you think that your playing style requires two-handed weapon, one handed and shield, bow or magical staff you are free to take it. It is completely up to you as the player, and your playing style.


    The best armour set for Nightblade is Medium Armour. It gives enough freedom for quick movements and attacks. Medium Armour also makes your movements quiet which will aid a lot when in stealth. Do not forget that full Medium Armour gives several good passives that will help any assassin:

    • Improved Sneak helps you to sneak better.
    • Dexterity increases critical strike chance for every piece of Medium Armor equipped.
    • Agility increases you attack speed if you wear full Medium set.

    Heavy Armor is not the best choice for those who wish to play as sneaky characters, because it does not give bonuses to stealth movement and stamina. But, heavy set will increase your resistance to damage and your health. The art of being a Nightblade is not easy and you will have to choose your own gaming style. It is your choice how to play. This is the beauty of ESO as it gives you a lot of variants for each class.

    Extra Information

    One of the main resource pools for Nightblade is Stamina. This resource is necessary to maintain stealth mode so each assassin must have enough stamina. Do not forget that you will require it to interrupt enemies and perform special attacks, as well as for breaking out of stuns. So make sure your stamina pool is deep enough for sneaking and fighting. Medium Armour gives bonuses to stamina regeneration which is one more reason to wear it.

    Comments ()

    1. Cake 05 february 2014, 16:38 # 0
      Assassination Nightblades get a 75% MS? Ohmygodyes! I'm throwing money at my screen.
      1. Nathaniel Cook 24 february 2014, 05:32 # 0
        A warlock-rogue? Holy… What more could I ask for? Even more stoked for this game now.
        1. Joshua Veverka 24 february 2014, 09:23 # 0
          Im thinking Orc DW/Sword and Board in Heavy Armor

          S&B (Tank) Bar
          1) Killers Blade
          2) Mirage
          3) Leeching Strikes
          4) Pierce Armor
          5) Unstoppable
          U) Soul Tether

          DW (murderer) Bar
          1)Rapid Strikes
          2) Focused Attacks
          3) Steel Tornado
          4) Reapers Mark
          5) Lotus Fan
          U) Soul Harvest

          Any thoughts on improving tank build would appreciated.
          1. Blythy 03 march 2014, 21:53 # 0
            I really want to be something akin to a Dunmer Fire Warlock/Rogue

            Dual Wielding flaming 1h Swords or something like that and stealthing up to come and backstab my enemies with some good fire spell will be awesome haha.
            1. Legendary2150 04 march 2014, 14:52 # 0
              Wich better DK or Night Blade
              1. Charl Merwe 05 march 2014, 06:44 # 0
                Great, a stealthing class. the kids will flock.
                1. Zhu Wang 04 april 2014, 13:02 # +1
                  Awww, look at you! A good little bitch like you are already whining!
                  You'll whine a lot more as you'll get raped by nightblades :D
                2. Alberto Ruggeri 20 march 2014, 11:55 # 0
                  Still trying to figure out which race (between Bosmer and Khajiit) is best for a stealthy archer Nightblade, highly focused on critical strike and DPS.

                  — Both have Stealthy, wich is essential to make that playstyle effective.

                  — Bosmer level up Bow more quickly, while Khajiit does for Medium armor. It seems Bosmer make the best archers, but that's probably the case only for the first levels. You will eventually reach max Bow level anyway and Medium Armor, which is required for that build, is definitely harder to level up than Bow.

                  — Bosmer recover stamina while in combat, while Khajiit recover health. Stamina is probably more important than health for that playstyle, you should focus on DPS, not survivability. If you take damage you will drop fast anyway, health regeneration won't help much.

                  — Khajiit have bonus to critical strike chance and damage, but only for melee weapons. That's not exactly the focus of that build, but you will probably use some sort of melee weapons anyway as backup for Bow in close range situations where you aren't able to escape, so that's probably good to have.

                  — Bosmer have bonus to Poison and Disease resist and to maximum Stamina. That's definitely good to have, even if it is just 3% max Stamina. Poison and Disease resists are difficult to evaluate right now, but it should prove useful.
                  1. Apple.Snowsong 08 april 2014, 09:57 # 0
                    I would use the Khajiit Nightblade if I wanted to become a Vampire. ^.,..,.^
                  2. Grimmbolt 22 june 2021, 18:10 # 0
                    Is it possible to use a greatsword or two handed weapons with the assassination skill tree

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