In the Flames of Ambition patch, Necromancers are a strong choice for all of the types of play and fit into any group with ease in the Elder Scrolls Online. Necromancers excel at great bursts of AOE damage, massive increases of survivability when tanking with Bone Goliath, and are also well rounded healers with passive and active healing abilities. Necromancers will always be sought out in group play for their great skill sets, so if you are looking to create a new character, you cannot go wrong with a Necromancer made for any role.

In this article, we’ll cover the best builds for a Necromancer set to play in group PVE content, like dungeons or trials. Focusing on optimizing magicka and stamina dps first, we’ll move on to how to best prepare your Necromancer tank or healer to best support your team. 

Related guides: Best Solo PvE Necromancer Builds, Best PvP Necromancer Builds, Best Races for the Necromancer Class

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Best PvE Necromancer Builds in ESO: The Top Picks for Group Content

Let’s get started on ESO’s best PvE builds for the Necromancer to tackle group content like dungeons and trials, starting with the role that would make Mannimarco proud, the Magicka Necromancer.

1/4

Magcro DPS Build

1 Magcro PVE Group DPS
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG / Angus Green

Race: High Elf (Dark Elf or Khajiit) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Solitude Salmon Millet Soup or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 magicka) | Attributes: 64 Magicka

The Magicka Necromancer is a powerhouse in any group content as it is optimized to deal high damage over larger areas, meaning you can clear content faster with your groups. The Magcro build we have set below is optimized for group play, but by switching out a couple abilities can be just as efficient for solo play. The Magcro benefits most from races that give magicka passives, and we have chosen High Elf for this build. Khajiit and Dark Elf also make for great Necromancers as well, with Breton trailing behind in damage but making up for it in sustain. 

Skills

1 Magcro PVE Group DPS Skills
Flame Staff (Main Bar)Flame Staff (Second Bar)
Ricochet Skull (Spammable) Unstable Wall of Elements
Stalking Blastbones Scalding Rune
Unnerving Boneyard Skeletal Arcanist
Necrotic Potency Summoner’s Armor
Mystic Siphon Mystic Orb
Shooting Star (Ult) Glacial Colossus (Ult)

The Magicka Necromancer skill set is extremely sought after in group content for it’s great access to high damaging AOE skills as well as great debuffs on enemies. The bread and butter abilities are definitely Stalking Blastbones, a delayed damaging explosive flame AOE, and Ricochet Skull, a single target ability that changes into a bouncing ball of death on its third cast (for up to 3 targets on that third cast). Stalking Blastbones is a great initiation tool, as you can time its 2.5 summon time with your other skills to hit the enemies as the skeleton detonates on a group of unsuspecting enemies.

Why groups love to have Necromancers most of all are for their ultimate ability, Glacial Colossus. Glacial Colossus not only deals a great amount of damage and stuns enemies after it smacks down three times over three seconds, but it also applies Major Vulnerability to enemies hit in the 8m radius, making them take 10% increased damage. Trial groups will often coordinate their necromancers to set this ability off one after the other to extend the duration of the 12 seconds of Major Vulnerability from each Glacial Colossus, helping the group breeze through hard boss mechanics by spiking their DPS through the roof.

Armor & Weapons Build (All Light)

SlotGearTrait
HeadZaanDivines
ShoulderZaan Divines
Chest Mother’s Sorrow Divines
Legs Mother’s Sorrow Divines
Feet Mother’s Sorrow Divines
Hands Mother’s Sorrow Divines
Belt Mother’s Sorrow Divines
JewelryMedusaBloodthirsty
Weapon 1MedusaPrecise
Weapon 2(Perfected) Crushing Wall Infused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Law of Julianos (craftable), 5 Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan), 2 Monster Set / Willpower Set

Critical is still king right now, and more than ever since the Flames of Ambition patch reduced the amount you could get from champion points. Our first set is the staple set Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan), which focuses on giving us only spell critical and some magicka. This will help our abilities to hit harder, and keep our overall damage up higher than most other sets can provide right now. 

Our second set will be Medusa (from Arx Corinium), which more or less aims for the same thing: spell critical. Along with spell critical though, we also gain Minor Force at all times when this set is active, giving us an increased 10% critical damage at all times. Because this is a heavy set of armor, we’ll need to keep this on our jewelry and front bar staff, but if you feel a bit squishy you can always change out your Mother’s Sorrow robe for a Medusa cuirass and switch up your Jewelry to get those 5 piece bonuses again. 

Zaan will help us get our single target damage up, but requires you to stay within 8 meters of the target to keep up it’s damaging beam. With a 1/3 chance of activating off of a light or heavy attack, Zaan will deal flame damage that doubles every second for six seconds, dealing out massive single target damage. 

Champion Points – Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Precision, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 50 Biting Aura (slot), 20 Preparation, Fighting Finesse (slot) , 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Thaumaturge (slot), 20 Blessed

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Ironclad (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian 50 Siphong Spells (slot)

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot)

2/4

Stamcro DPS Build

2 Stamcro PVE Group DPS
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG / Angus Green

Race: Khajiit (or Dark Elf) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Garlic Cod with Potato Crust or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 stamina) | Attributes: 64 Stamina

The Stamina Necromancer excels at many of the things that the Magicka Necromancer does, hitting those extremely high damaging AOE abilities as well as helping your team’s damage climb higher as well. There are many ways to play the Stamcro, but we have decided to go for a duel wield / bow setup here with Vateshran daggers. The best race for Stamcros to maximize their damage would be Khajiit for the well rounded stats and buffed critical damage, but Dark Elf is close behind with more consistent damage in fights. 

Skills

2 Stamcro PVE Group DPS Skills
Dual Wield Daggers (Main Bar)Bow (Second Bar)
Shrouded Daggers (Spammable) Endless Hail
Blighted Blastbones Skeletal Archer
Venom Skull Resolving Vigor
Detonating Siphon Necrotic Potency
Deadly CloakBarbed Trap
Flawless Dawnbreaker (Ult)Pestilent Colossus (Ult)

The Stamina Necromancer is very strong at dishing out both AOE damage and single target damage with its mix of skills as well as armor sets. Shrouded Daggers need to be used consistently to gain the worth of our arena set damage boost, but in your rotation you should be mindful that any Necromancer ability counts towards the 20% damage boost of the third cast on your Venom Skull ability.

Keep a mental count of when you are casting other Necromancer abilities and be sure to cast Venom Skull after two other class abilities have been used for that great boost of damage. Your ultimate Pestilent Colossus gives the same great Major Vulnerability debuff of increasing enemies hit damage taken by 10% for 12 seconds, but also deals increased damage with each hit of the ultimate, finishing with a third hit. 

Armor & Weapons Build (All Medium)

SlotGearTrait
HeadKinras’sDivines
ShoulderKinras’sDivines
ChestArms of RelequenDivines
LegsArms of Relequen Divines
FeetArms of Relequen Divines
HandsArms of Relequen Divines
BeltArms of Relequen Divines
JewelryKinras’s Bloodthirsty
Weapon 1(Perfected) Executioner’s Blade w/ Damage Health Poisons
Weapon 2(Perfected) Thunderous Volley Infused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Hunding’s Rage (craftable), 5 Leviathan (from Crypt of Hearts), 2 Monster Set / Agility Set

We have a mix of damage focus in our armor sets, aiming for high single target damage, group damage buff, and then aoe damage. For our high single target damage, there is no better stamina set than (Perfected) Arms of Relequen (from Cloudrest). This set requires extended fights to shine where you are focused on light attacking one enemy which stacks up a damaging status effect on that single target. You can get a stack every half second from light / heavy attacking a target, and it maxes out at 10 stacks on the enemy, dealing damage to them every second for each stack you have placed on them.

Our second set is Kinras’s Wrath (from Black Drake Villa), which also plays off of light and heavy attack stacking. Each light or heavy attack grants you a stack, and once you hit five of these stacks that last for 5 seconds, you gain an aura that gives you increased 10% damage done with Major Berserk, and allies within your aura, including yourself, increase their damage done by 5% with Minor Berserk. A 15% damage increase to your personal damage is massive, but increasing overall group damage by 5% is icing on the cake. 

Finally our last damage set that works for increasing our AOE damage is Executioner’s Blade (from Veteshran Hollows), as it plays off of our weapon skill Shrouded Daggers that damages a single target and bounces up to a total of three times. Executioner’s Blade deals 250% more damage with this set equipped to targets below 100% health when you are standing behind them, and better yet it also gives you back stamina if the target is below 50%. This does mean you will need to focus on where you situate yourself in battles, and might not always be possible with certain boss mechanics, but it is definitely worth the damage upgrade you get from it.

Champion Points – Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Tireless Discipline, 20 Precision, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 50 Backstabber (slot), 20 Preparation, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot), 20 Hardy, 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Battle Mastery, 30 Mighty, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 20 Blessed

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Ironclad (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot)

3/4

Stamcro Tank Build

3 Tank Stamcro
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG / Angus Green

Race: Imperial (or Nord) | Mundus: Lord | Food: Longfin Pasty with Melon Sauce or equivalent (4462 health, 4105 stamina / magicka) and Bewitched Sugar Skulls is a more expensive option for better survivability with more recovery (4620 health, 4250 magicka/stamina, and 462 health recovery) | Attributes: 20 Health, 44 Stamina

Tanking with a Necromancer is extremely rewarding as you can provide great support abilities for your team while also being able to become practically unkillable as a massive skeleton. Fitting for a necromancer, Stamcro Tanks feel incredibly easy to excel with and can be used for tanking incredibly difficult fights. We suggest using the Imperial for their great health and stamina bonuses as well as their 6% skill cost reduction. Nords are also great as they have naturally higher resistances with lower health and stamina bonuses, but they gain ult generation which can feel close to what the Imperial has to offer. 

Skills

3 Tank Stamcro Skills
One Hand and Shield (Main Bar)Ice Staff (Second Bar)
Pierce Armor (Taunt) Elemental Blockade
Heroic SlashBone Surge
Defensive StanceAgony Totem
Empowering GraspSpirit Guardian
Deaden PainBeckoning Armor
Ravenous Goliath (Ult) Aggressive Warhorn (Ult)

First we’ll go over the basics of tanking in ESO on your Necromancer. If you are confident in your tanking basics, feel free to skip this paragraph. Taunting in ESO does not mean you have to actively taunt every enemy, you want to instead lead the group so you enter an area first gaining aggro initially. You’ll then actively taunt high priority enemies that have the ability to one shot your allies, including but not limited to bosses and other big monsters that you encounter during dungeons and trials. Taunt will fall off every 15 seconds, so be sure to reapply taunt every 12-13 seconds so that if you get stunned right before you go to taunt again, your group isn’t forced to run around the room while you attempt to regain aggro.

Always face enemies away from your group so that any AOE or splash damage attacks don’t wipe out your unsuspecting team members. As a tank you can use Silver Leash for an active way to control where extra enemies are standing, but for Necromancers you can use Beckoning Armor instead which doubles as your Major Resolve source.

Armor & Weapons Build (All Heavy)

SlotGearTrait
Head Encratis’s Reinforced
Shoulder Encratis’s Reinforced
Chest Yolnahkriin Reinforced
Legs Yolnahkriin Sturdy
Feet Yolnahkriin Sturdy
Hands Yolnahkriin Sturdy
Belt Yolnahkriin Sturdy
Jewelry Drake’s Rush Healthy
Weapon 1 Drake’s Rush Decisive 1h (w/ flame enchantment (with Encratis’s set), and Sturdy Shield
Weapon 2 Drake’s Rush Infused (w/ crusher enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Ebon Armory (from Crypt of Hearts), 5 Plague Doctor (from Deshaan), 2 Monster Set / Endurance Set

As the Necromancer can get by with its skillset and is less dependent on defensive armor sets, we’ll be aiming at purely increasing our group’s damage. Our first set is (Perfected) Claw of Yolnahkriin (from Sunspire), that gives you and up to 11 group members Minor Courage for 15 seconds after taunting an enemy, increasing weapon and spell damage by 215. This set also gives you Minor Aegis at all times, reducing your damage taken from Dungeon, Trial, and Arena monsters by 5% which helps a lot for tanking on a mostly offensive focused set.

Our second set will be Drake’s Rush (from Black Drake Villa), as it gives you and your group a great amount of ultimate generation. When you bash an enemy, you and up to 3 group members gain Major Heroism for 12 seconds, giving 3 ultimate every 1.5 seconds. This will help your group cast their ultimates much more regularly and increase overall damage as well as survivability for you being able to cast Ravenous Goliath or your healer their healing ultimate more readily.

For the Necromancer Tank’s monster set, we’ll be changing it depending upon what our group make up is. In this build we have Encratis’s Behemoth, aimed at increasing a magicka group’s flame damage by 5% while also doubling up with giving the group 5% flame resistance. To proc the effect you will need to deal fire damage, which is why we have our main hand sword enchanted with a flame glyph. Tremorscale will be the better option for Stamina intensive groups, as it reduces an enemies physical resistance by an additional 2395 whenever you taunt an enemy.

Earthgore will be the best set to use when more defense is needed to get through a fight or when aiming for no-death achievements, as it will heal the lowest group member a whopping 30,000 over 10 seconds and proccing off healing yourself or a group member who is under 50% health. Spirit Guardian will help to activate this effect whenever necessary.

Champion Points – Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Tireless Discipline, 20 Preparation, 50 Duelist’s Rebuff (slot), 50 Unassailable (slot), 50 Enduring Resolve (slot), 50 Bulwark (slot), 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Hardy, 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Blessed

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Ironclad (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 20 Tireless Guardian, 30 Fortification, 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 50 Strategic Reserve (slot)

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot)

4/4

Magcro Healer Build

4 Healer Magcro
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG / Angus Green

Race: Breton (or Khajiit) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Solitude Salmon Millet Soup or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 magicka) | Attributes: 64 Magicka

The Necromancer Healer is very strong as you provide your team with many buffs while you heal them, while also helping your group deal more damage. Being able to turn around a fight from the brink is also a Necromancer speciality with their Reanimate ultimate that resurrects up to 3 allies. For race we have chosen Breton for their all around great magicka passives, but Khajiit can work very well with their increased critical healing that pairs perfectly with a Necromancer’s passive increased crit chance during execute phase.

Skills

4 Healer Magcro Skills
Restoration Staff (Main Bar)Lightning Staff (Second Bar)
Illustrious Healing Elemental Blockade
Radiating Regeneration Unnerving Boneyard
Combat Prayer Stalking Blastbones
Resistant Flesh Spirit Guardian
Braided Tether Energy Orb
Animate Blastbones (Ult) Aggressive Warhorn (Ult)

Healing with a Necromancer allows you to not only keep your teammates alive and buffed up, but also allows you to deal great damage while debuffing your enemies as well. We drop Elemental Drain, a staple healer ability to apply Minor Magicka-steal to the enemy as we already have Symphony of Blades and Grand Rejuvenation working on giving back our group both magicka and stamina. You want to keep Braided Tether on your front bar to get that 3% increase of healing power it provides.

Resistant Flesh is your burst heal that heals a single target in front of you for a large amount and gives them physical and spell resistance equal to half of the amount healed. Be careful with this ability as it also gives you Minor Defile, which works in your favor as having a negative effect on you increases your healing done by 8% from the Curative Curse passive. Animate Blastones is your “Oh no” button that resurrects 3 of your allies and summons up to 3 blastbones as well. The other morph Renewing Animation gives you 5300 magicka and stamina for each ally resurrected, but the Blastones can help clear away what caused your allies to die in the first place. 

Armor & Weapons Build (All Light)

SlotGearTrait
Head Symphony of Blades Divines
Shoulder Symphony of Blades Divines
Chest Spell Power Cure Divines
Legs Spell Power Cure Divines
Feet Spell Power Cure Divines
Hands Spell Power Cure Divines
Belt Spell Power Cure Divines
Jewelry Elemental Catalyst Arcane
Weapon 1 (Perfected) Grand Rejuvenation Powered
Weapon 2 Elemental Catalyst Infused (w/ Weakening Enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Law of Julianos (craftable), 5 Sanctuary (Banished Cells), 2 Monster Set / Willpower Set

Our first set is Spell Power Cure (from White Gold Tower) which is a versatile set that does not require your group to be affected by a ground AOE to work like Olorime requires. Instead whenever you overheal a target, they gain Major Courage for 5 seconds, increasing their weapon and spell damage by 430. As overhealing is relatively easy to achieve at least once within every 5 seconds of combat, uptime should be at around 100%.

Our damaging set will be Elemental Catalyst, which puts a stack of either shock, frost, or flame weakness depending on the damage you deal, and increases enemies’ affected critical damage taken by 5% for each stack, maxing at 15%. We want to keep up Elemental Blockade for the shock damage, Unnerving Boneyard for frost, and Stalking Blastbones for flame damage to apply our corresponding weaknesses to the enemy from Elemental Catalyst. 

Symphony of Blades is the monster set we have chosen for this build, but Earthgore can be substituted in case you need more bursty heals and are going for a no-death run. Symphony of Blades can help with this as well by keeping your team’s resources topped off, as when you heal a target who is below 50% of their primary resource, they gain 570 stamina or magicka every 1 second for 6 seconds depending upon what their primary resource is. This helps out overall damage as well as gives your stamina teammates the ability to more readily roll dodge when they need to as they will have their stamina high through the whole fight.

Champion Points – Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Blessed, 50 Soothing Tide (slot), 50 Swift Renewal (slot), 20 Precision, 50 Enlivening Overflow (slot), 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Blessed, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot), 20 Tireless Discipline

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Ironclad (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot)

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