The Elder Scrolls Online

Battlemaster's Corner: The Shadow Knight

The first in our new series focusing on your favorite ESO builds. Today: the Shadow Knight!

We asked for your favorite builds a few weeks ago, and lots of responses came in. Everyone seems to have their own favored skills and setups, and we’re thrilled to start featuring some of them in this new recurring feature. If you have a build you want to share with the world, send the skills you use and your description of the build to community@elderscrollsonline.com, and we may share it in the future. Today, we’re featuring player Kraive Moar’s build, which he calls “The Shadow Knight.”



I use my Nightblade heavily focused on tanking. While it lacks the crowd control of the Dragonknight or Sorcerer and the area of effect of the Dragonknight and Templar, my build makes up for it in longevity and sustainability. Leeches and life taps keep some pressure off of my healer without being the resource hogs of the other classes’ survivability skills. Ensuring that I don't lose focus by choosing between damage, aggro control, resource management, or survivability skills, my tanking bar skills perform multiple functions.


Tanking

  • Ransack - Reduces target armor, increases my armor and taunts.
  • (Switchable depending upon fight.) Absorb Magic - Absorbs spell projectile healing for 115% of the damage, increases block mitigation and reduces block cost. I love mage mobs!
    Refreshing Path - Allows me to move around mobs with high mobility, DoTs, and HoTs.
    Lotus Fan - Distance closer and AoE snare for those fights where the boss likes to teleport all over. A magicka ability, this allows me to reserve stamina for blocking and taunting.
  • Swallow Soul - DoT, HoT, and increases all healing I receive. As a tank, this last is very beneficial.
  • Degeneration - Yet another DoT and HoT, Degeneration has the added benefit of healing me for striking the enemy with my weapon—something I am doing already.
  • Siphoning Attacks - While Leeching Strikes had the added benefit of returning health on weapon attacks, Siphoning Attacks' increased focus on resource return allows me to keep up the other skills as well as ensuring I have the stamina for blocking, dodging, and interrupting (you know—a tank's job).
  • Ultimate - Veil of Blades - An AoE ability that not only reduces the damage I take but also that of my group, with the benefit of a Slip Away synergy that keeps the bosses who randomly drop or are immune to taunts from focusing on my group instead of me.

Let's face it though: not every fight requires a dedicated tank. Sure, most of the “trash” fights in dungeons have a hard-hitting baddie you should keep off the rest of the group. This bad guy isn't a boss, however, so it takes very little to control him. Normally I let my group members handle crowd control (not sure why so many think, "Crowd control is a tank's job!" Since when?)

Swapping out to my secondary bar, I get to enjoy some of my own AoE carnage. Nightblade may not have the AoEs of other classes but with a little work an AoE bar for these fights is not only viable but just plain fun! While secondary bar takes away my personal taps, the pressure that would add to my healer is negated by the sheer speed at which the enemies die.


Secondary

  • Steel Tornado - Because it's a tornado!
  • Ember Explosion - AoE damage and causes an increased miss chance.
  • Power Extraction - Such a beautiful ability for these AoE fights: not only dealing damage, but increasing my weapon damage for each enemy it hits. This ability (with enough enemies around) puts me over the weapon soft cap, increasing the damage that Tornado and Explosion do.
  • Inner Beast - I am still a tank. This allows me to keep those bigger baddies locked on me and my group to use an AoE damaging synergy.
  • Siphoning Attacks - While in AoE mode this toggle stays off unless I run out of resources. A quick flip of the switch and I'm back in the game in no time.
  • Soul Tether (Ultimate) - I will, at times, use Veil in this bar also—DoT and Slip Away are nice. Soul Tether provides that AoE stun that anyone who's run Fungal VR will recognize as a pain in the, erm, behind. The tether-effect-providing DoT to that big baddie I keep standing on my toes.

With a full set of heavy armor and self-heals, soloing is fun! And just for that “traditional” Shadow Knight feeling, I'll often swap in Dark Shades. Manifestation of Terror and Turn Undead add in that fear ability for times when you get nostalgic for that old EQ1 fear kiting. With so few Assassination abilities used, I've yet to unlock Haste—but as much as I enjoy my current setup, it's going to have a tough time earning a spot on my bars. While I have several classes and multiple builds across many characters, this is by far my favorite! Currently....


Thanks to Kraive Moar for sending in this detailed build. Remember, we want to see your builds, too! Send them in to community@elderscrollsonline.com


Discuss this on the official ESO forums.