Sorcerers in Elder Scrolls Online are known for their versatility, overwhelming strength, and ease of use. They pack a punch in both PVE and PVP with great DPS numbers and tanking abilities, but they offer a lot of useful buffs and decent healing that you and your group can capitalize on. In this guide, we’ve rounded up 8 of the best sorcerer builds in ESO right now.

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The Waking Flames DLC has released some great new content and items that have slightly changed the meta in terms of which sets you should use, but a lot has stayed the same. In this guide, we’ll cover the best builds for Sorcerers in ESO for all styles of play. We’ll start with group and PVE builds, then move on to the best solo and PVP builds.

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Let’s get started!

The Best Sorcerer Builds in ESO: The Top Picks

Below, we’ve listed our favorite ESO Sorcerer builds, including components of each build and how to play them effectively. We’ll go in depth on each build, but we’d like to touch on a few disclaimers to preemptively explain some of our choices.

Firstly, high-damage items like the Harpooner’s Wading Kilt and the Mantle of Siroria will give you the best numbers, but they only function in certain scenarios. The Kilt requires you not to take direct damage, and Siroria demands you stand in the same spot for the duration in order to get its buff, so they may not be the best choices for every build.

Secondly, Dual Wield on magicka characters will net you higher damage than staves, but will put you in more danger since you’ll generally be squishier. You’ll also lose out on all those damage bonuses if you’re pushed out of melee range, so keep that in mind.

The bottom line is, if you can use these items for an entire fight with almost 100% uptime, you should. We’ve included them in some of the builds below, but we also acknowledge that some alternatives will net you higher numbers if you can’t take full advantage of the set bonuses.

With this in mind, let’s get started on ESO‘s best builds for the Sorcerer. We’ll start with the Magicka Sorcerer, one of the most versatile and highest single-target DPS dealers in the game.

1. PvE Magsorc DPS Build

PvE Magsorc DPS Build
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

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

The Magicka Sorcerer can be played with or without pets, but as of now, the pet sorc build will get you the best results DPS-wise. The Magsorc can keep themselves pretty safe by using a variety of skills, so dual wield option is there if you like it. I prefer to use a flame staff for survivability and the classic Sorcerer playstyle. This is my top pick for the best DPS sorcerer build in ESO.

The Magicka Sorcerer benefits most from magicka-focused races. We suggest using the Khajiit for the highest DPS, though Dark Elves and High Elves are both close behind. All three of these races offer great survivability.

Skills

PvE Magsorc DPS Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Medusa Flame Staff or Daggers(Back Bar) Crushing Wall Flame Staff
Crystal FragmentsUnstable Wall of Elements
Daedric PreyBarbed Trap (or Race Against Time)
Bound AegisBoundless Storm (or Mystic Orb if
group provides Major Resolve)
Volatile FamiliarVolatile Familiar
Twilight TormentorTwilight Tormentor
Greater Storm Astronach (Ult)Greater Storm Astronach (Ult)

The Magicka Sorcerer provides both great single-target DPS and great AOE damage. The Sorcerer’s pets and passives help it to be the strongest DPS at the beginning of a fight. The Amplitude passive gives them 1% increased damage for every 10% of an enemy’s current health. Starting out with 10% increased damage is already great, but the Twilight Tormentor itself deals 50% more damage to enemies above 50% health.

Each sorcerer ability slotted will increase your spell and weapon damage by 2% through the Expert Mage passive, which increases your spell and weapon damage by 2% for each sorcerer ability slotted. Because of this, you want to have as many Sorcerer skills on both skill bars as possible.

Be sure to use Crystal Fragments spammable whenever it procs, which will be often as it has a 35% to do so. When this activates, it will be an instant cast ability, cost 50% less magicka, and deal 66% more damage, making it a high priority use ability.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadSlimecraw (light) or ZaanDivines
ShoulderBahsei’s Mania or ZaanDivines
ChestBahsei’s ManiaDivines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading Kilt or Bahsei’s Mania with ZaanDivines
FeetBahsei’s ManiaDivines
HandsBahsei’s ManiaDivines
BeltBahsei’s ManiaDivines
JewelryMantle of SiroriaBloodthirsty
Weapon 1Mantle of Siroria Staff or
Mantle of Siroria Daggers
Precise (w/ flame damage enchantment)
Nirnhoned/Precise (w/ flame and poison
damage enchantment
Weapon 2(Perfected) Crushing WallInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

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

Our first set will be (Perfected) Bahsei’s Mania (from Rockgrove), which provides a huge damage boost when you are low on magicka. You’ll gain up to a 15% damage increase to non-player enemies based on your missing magicka, which will help us deal wild amounts of damage. You may want to skip taking the Capacitor passive, as it increases your magicka recovery. If you find yourself running out of magicka too often and unable to use your skills, experiment with Capacitor.

Our second set is (Perfected) Mantle of Siroria (from Cloudrest), which can be very powerful if pulled off correctly. If you want to keep your magicka pool low with your Bahsei’s, try using dual wield daggers so your heavy attacks won’t give you back magicka. When you stand in Siroria’s ring of fire after dealing direct damage, it will give you stacks of spell damage up to a max of 520 spell damage at full stacks. If you are in a situation where Siroria cannot be used, I would suggest using Mother’s Sorrow or Medusa (replacing Barbed Trap with Mystic Orb).

The combination of the Harpooners Wading Kilt (from scrying) and Slimecraw (from Wayrest Sewers 1) will give you the highest damage output possible. When you deal direct damage, you gain stacks on the Kilt that give you 125 critical chance and 1% critical damage every second. It will remove five of those stacks if you take direct damage, but at the maximum, the 1250 critical chance and 10% increased critical damage is very nice. Zaan (from Scalecaller Peak) should be used in situations where you cannot get the Kilt to stack continually.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Precision, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 50 Master-At-Arms (slot), 20 Preparation, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot) , 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Thaumaturge (slot (Backstabber instead if you can stand behind the boss)), 20 Blessed, 20 Tireless Discipline

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot (this can make Bahsei’s difficult, but you’ll want the health and stamina recovery), 50 Fortified (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), 50 Treasure Hunter (slot), 50 Steadfast Enchantment

2. PvE Stamsorc DPS Build

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

Stamina Sorcerers benefit from having pets like their magicka counterparts, so that’s what we’ll be using on this build. If you want to forego the pets, you can always fill your bar with other skills like Brawler for more defense and Resolving Vigor for those great heals. This will be a two-hand / dual wield setup, but you can also do very well with the maelstrom bow on the back bar.

The best race for Stamsorcs is either Dark Elf or Khajiit, as they run very similar numbers when it comes down to DPS. Dark Elf will give you more weapon damage (+258), while Khajiit will grant you a better critical damage bonus (+12%). I use an Orc for my Stamsorc and still hit great numbers, as the racial difference is only around 500–1000 lost DPS in an extended parse.

Skills

PvE Stamsorc DPS Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Kinras’s Greatsword(Back Bar) Spectral Cloak Daggers
Crystal WeaponHurricane
ExecutionerDeadly Cloak
Bound ArmamentsBarbed Trap
Unstable ClannfearUnstable Clannfear
Twilight TormentorTwilight Tormentor
Flawless Danwbreaker (Ult)Greater Storm Astronach

Stamsorcs want to get up close and personal, taking advantage of their heavy damage output and mobility. Your Clannfear will provide you with great damage, as well as a heal whenever you activate that skill again. You always want to have your bound armaments on your front bar to get that 8% increased max stamina pool and the 10% increase to your light attacks.

Crystal Weapon can be replaced with Wrecking Blow, though it does place a nice debuff on enemies hit, reducing their armor by 1000 for five seconds. On top of that, any next ability other than ultimates cost 10% less.

You’ll have less ranged ability with this build, so change your sets if you find yourself in fights where you need to move away from the boss. A maelstrom bow with Endless Hail and Poison Injection instead of the daggers works great.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadSlimecrawDivines
ShoulderArms of RelequenDivines
ChestArms of RelequenDivines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading KiltDivines
FeetArms of RelequenDivines
HandsArms of RelequenDivines
BeltArms of RelequenDivines
JewelryKinras’sBloodthirsty
Weapon 1Kinras’s GreatswordNirnhoned (w/ damage health poisons)
Weapon 2Spectral Cloak DaggersNirnhoned/Precise (w/ flame and poison
damage enchantment)

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

We’ll start out with (Perfected) Arms of Relequen (from Cloudrest) to give us a great single target DPS boost. You’ll get a stack every half second from light/heavy attacks on a target, maxing out at 10, dealing damage based on the higher of your weapon or spell damage. You’ll need to be fighting a boss for awhile to see the strength of this set, but when it comes down to taking down bosses, this is your bread-and-butter set.

The second set we’ll use will be Kinras’s Wrath (from Black Drake Villa), giving ourselves and group Berserk damage bonuses. After stacking up five light/heavy attacks, an aura surrounds you that gives you and every ally near you a Minor Berserk, increasing everyone’s damage by 5%. You also personally get Major Berserk, increasing your damage by another 10%. A great replacement set for this would be Advancing Yokeda (from Hel Ra Citadel) if you want pure extra critical hit chance.

Instead of a full monster set, we will again be going with the Harpooner’s Wading Kilt and Slimecraw. If sustaining the stacks is manageable, the 1250 crit chance and 10% increased critical damage is unmatched. To sub this out, go for an arena weapon set like Vateshran daggers instead of a monster helm, as most do not benefit stamina characters right now. Our backbar set will be the Blackrose Prison Daggers, which provides Spectral Cloak after our Deadly Cloak has damaged an enemy. This effect reduces damage taken by 6% while increasing damage done by 6%, helping boost our overall DPS by a large margin.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

Warfare: 20 Tireless Discipline, 20 Precision, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 50 Backstabber (slot (Thaumaturge instead if you cannot stand behind an opponent)), 20 Preparation, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 20 Hardy, 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Battle Mastery, 30 Mighty, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot), 20 Blessed

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

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

3. PvE Stamsorc Tank Build

PvE Stamsorc Tank Build
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Race: Imperial (or Nord) | Mundus: Lord or Lady | 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: 40 Health, 24 Stamina

Sorcerer Tanks provide fewer buffs overall to their group, but they can be extremely tanky. The ability to stay alive no matter the circumstance can be more helpful than other classes that provide more group buffs. After all, if the tank dies, the group will likely wipe.

We’ll be using an Imperial for our race due to their great passive that reduce the cost of every ability by 6%. Stacked on top of the Unholy Knowledge passive that reduces magicka and stamina cost abilities by 6%, resource management is too easy. Nords are also great for Sorcerer tanks, as they give a 2600 physical and spell resistance bonus. This passive makes it easier to get to the resistance cap of around 33,000.

Skills

PvE Stamsorc Tank Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Galanwe Sword/Shield(Back Bar) Galanwe Ice Staff
Pierce ArmorElemental Blockade
Heroic SlashHurricane
Restraining PrisonDark Deal
Hardened WardInner Rage
Unstable ClannfearUnstable Clannfear
Shield Discipline (Ult)Aggressive Warhorn (Ult)

Check out one of our other guides for the basics on tanking. Here we’ll jump right into what you’ll need to focus on to help your Sorcerer tank to excel. First off we use Hardened Ward instead of Empowered Ward. Empowered Ward gives our group the minor intellect buff providing 15% more magicka recovery. That sounds like a better bonus at first glance, but not with the current sets magicka classes use. Some of our group members will probably be running Bahsei’s Mania, and Minor Intellect will get their magicka too high. One of the great tanking abilities that Sorcerers have to is Restraining Prison, which immobilizes enemies in front of them (in an 18×6 meter area).

Regardless if you immobilize enemies or not, you will gain Major Vitality for three seconds, boosting your healing received by 16%. The Blood Magic passive also activates on this, healing you based on your max health when you hit an enemy with a dark magic ability. As long as you use a Dark Magic skill every twenty seconds, you’ll be able to provide your group with Minor Prophecy with 100% uptime. This will give your group a great extra 1314 spell critical. Dark Deal is your resource management skill that will give you health and stamina instantly, and will recover stamina over twenty seconds. You can use this skill’s timer to know when you need to give out that Minor Prophecy buff again.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadEncratis’s Reinforced
ShoulderEncratis’s Reinforced
ChestClaw of YolnahkriinReinforced
LegsClaw of YolnahkriinSturdy
FeetClaw of YolnahkriinSturdy
HandsClaw of YolnahkriinSturdy
BeltClaw of YolnahkriinSturdy
JewelryAegis of GalanweHealthy
Weapon 1Aegis of GalanweDecisive (w/ flame damage enchantment), and Sturdy Shield
Weapon 2Aegis of GalanweInfused (w/ crusher enchantment)

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

The Stamsorc tank does not require much in terms of defensive sets, so we’ll aim at giving our group damage buffs through our armor. The first set is the ever useful (Perfected) Claw of Yolnahkriin (from Sunspire). It gives you and up to eleven group members Minor Courage for fifteen seconds after taunting an enemy, increasing weapon and spell damage by 215. Another great bonus of this set is the Minor Aegis you get, reducing your damage taken from Dungeon, Trial, and Arena monsters by 5%.

The second set we use is Aegis of Galanwe (from Cloudrest) for when we are in Trials. It gives another great boost of damage to your allies by granting Empower when you successfully block. Empower increases the damage of light attacks by 40%. You will be blocking the majority of the time, so uptime should be 100% on this buff. If you are in a Dungeon group instead, you should go for Powerful Assault (from Imperial City coffer) for the great 307 weapon and spell damage it gives. Your group will gain the buff for seconds whenever you cast an assault skill. You can replace Hardened Ward with Resolving Vigor to more easily gain this bonus.

For the Sorcerer Tank’s monster set, you’ll want to choose a monster helm that fits with either a magicka or stamina based group. Encratis’s Behemoth (from Black Drake Villa) is for increasing a magicka group’s flame damage by 5% while also giving the group 5% flame resistance. You’ll need to deal fire damage to proc the effect, which is why we have our main hand sword enchanted with a flame glyph. Tremorscale (from Volenfell) will be for Stamina groups, as it reduces an enemies physical resistance by 2395 when you taunt an enemy. Have both on hand to switch depending upon whether or not your group is leaning towards a stamina or magicka majority.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

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

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Fortified (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), 50 Treasure Hunter (slot), 50 Steadfast Enchantment

4. PvE Magsorc Healer Build

Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

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

The Magicka Sorcerer healer is also another interesting pick as far as healers go, as it is not very commonly played. That being said, it can be a great healer given the use of the right sets and taking advantage of the Sorcerer’s available skills.

As sustain is already very easy for Sorcerers, we suggest using a High Elf for their higher magicka pool and spell damage. Khajiit or Breton can also work well for Magsorc healers, so it depends on your personal preference.

Skills

PvE Magsorc Healer Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Grand Rejuvenation Restoration Staff(Back Bar) Roaring Opportunist Lightning Staff
Illustrious HealingElemental Blockade
Radiating RegenerationPower Surge
Combat PrayerEnergy Orb
Empowered WardElemental Drain
Twilight MatriarchTwilight Matriarch
Absorption Field (Ult)Aggressive Warhorn (Ult)

A Sorcerer healer will be able to provide a lot of healing output as well as some very handy skills to keep your group members alive. Power Surge will give us our source of Major Sorcery, increasing spell damage by 20% for 33 seconds. Critical strikes will also heal us and our allies around us every three seconds. Empowered Ward can be traded out for a different heal if you don’t want to provide your group with Minor Intellect. This is only relevant if a group member is wearing Bahsei’s Mania.

The Twilight Matriarch also gives out great healing and adds to our damage output as well. Aggressive Warhorn should be used in most cases to up the group’s damage. Absorption Field will provide a great AOE heal prevents enemy placed effects. Enemies within the globe are stunned for the twelve-second duration, making it a great ability to use when your team is in dire straits.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadEarthgoreDivines
ShoulderEarthgoreDivines
ChestSpell Power CureDivines
LegsSpell Power CureDivines
FeetSpell Power CureDivines
HandsSpell Power CureDivines
BeltSpell Power CureDivines
JewelryRoaring OpportunistArcane
Weapon 1Grand RejuvenationPowered
Weapon 2Roaring OpportunistInfused (w/ weakening enchantment)

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

Magsorc healers want to play off critical heals with their Power Surge ability, so our first set will be Hallowfang Thirst (from Moongrave Fane). The five-piece bonus provides another bonus from critically healing an ally or critically damaging an enemy. A ball of hemoglobin is summoned and after two seconds, the ball explodes. Anyone hit within six meters restores magicka and gains Minor Vitality, increasing their healing received by 8% for nine seconds. This effect can be caused every nine seconds, giving very solid uptimes.

The second set we’ll be using is Spell Power Cure (from White Gold Tower), increasing our groups spell and weapon damage by 430 with Major Courage. You could use Olorime instead, but it requires you to place the ground AOE proc just right so all of your group gains the Major Courage. SPC activates whenever you overheal a target, providing the buff for five seconds.

For your monster set, you’ll want to go with Earthgore (from Bloodroot Forge) for strong heals, though Symphony of Blades (from Depths of Malatar) offers better group sustain. Earthgore puts out a very strong AOE heal whenever a party member drops below 50% and is healed by you. This will help to better secure no-death runs and keeps your DPS alive and doing damage. Symphony of Blades activates when you heal an ally when their primary resource is below 50%, giving them 570 stamina or magicka every second for six seconds. This is great for maintaining your group’s DPS.

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 Rejuvenation (slot), 50 Fortified (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian

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

5. PvE Magsorc Solo Build

PvE Magsorc Solo Build
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

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

One of the best Solo classes out there, the Magsorc is a very viable playstyle for any solo content. The petsorcs help soloing to be much easier, and will be the build we go with here, but you can also choose not to go for pets and still be a very strong solo build. You will miss out on the great tanking, damage, and healing the pets provide, but having pets certainly takes up bar space and can make it feel like you’ll trip over them as you adventure through Tamriel.

For race, we are choosing High Elf for their extra 2000 magicka and 258 spell and weapon damage. They also gain 625 magicka or stamina once every six seconds upon casting an ability. Dark Elves and Khajiit are very close behind, providing almost identical damage and survivability. It comes down to which you race you want to play as.

Skills

PvE Magsorc Solo Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Medusa Flame Staff(Back Bar) Crushing Wall Flame Staff
Crystal FragmentsUnstable Wall of Elements
Daedric PreySolar Barrage
Empowered WardChanneled Focus
Volatile FamiliarVolatile Familiar
Twilight TormentorTwilight Tormentor
Summon Charged Astronach (Ult)Elemental Rage (Ult)

Magicka Sorcerers use their pets to great effect, causing high damage and distributing damage taken by enemy attacks. Crystal Fragments will be your spammable for dealing out high amounts of single-target damage. It also helps to manage your resources as any non-ultimate skill cast three seconds after Crystal Fragments will cost 10% less.

Daedric Prey is a must-have, as it deals great single-target damage and AOE damage to enemies near the target. During the six-second duration, your pets deal an additional 20% damage to that target. This is great for boss fights, as you’ll deal higher DPS and the splash damage from the explosion will help you clear out nearby ads. Your Familiar will increase your damage and can be activated for a stun to help manage fights. Your Tormentor will deal higher damage to enemies above 50% when you activate it again.

Critical Surge will be a skill you will want to keep up 100% of the time so you gain its great heals and Major Sorcery/Brutality boosts. This increases your spell/weapon damage up by 20%, helping you deal more damage and heal for more as well. Your Charged Atronach will be better for extended single target damage, while your Elemental Rage will cut down groups of ads quickly.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadIceheart (medium)Divines
ShoulderIceheart (light)Divines
ChestMedusa (heavy)Reinforced
LegsUnleashed Ritualist Divines
FeetUnleashed Ritualist Divines
HandsUnleashed Ritualist Divines
BeltUnleashed Ritualist Divines
Jewelry2 Medusa, 1 Unleashed RitualistBloodthirsty
Weapon 1MedusaPrecise (w/ flame damage enchantment)
Weapon 2Crushing WallInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

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

As you are soloing things, you will be taking a lot of direct damage yourself, although your pets will take the brunt of some of that. Items like the Harpooner’s Wading Kilt are not ideal because of this. Due to critical surge providing consistent healing, you won’t need to run Ring of the Pale Order, but you can if you feel like you need extra healing. The first set we use will be Unleashed Ritualist (from The Cauldron), which provides us with 3288 total magicka and buffs pet damage. After dealing damage to an enemy, Ritualist’s Mark is applied for ten seconds, causing them to take an additional 16% damage from your summoned pets. This will make your Familiar, Tormentor, and Atronach leagues stronger. Your Unstable Wall of Elements will easily apply this mark to all your enemies within its AOE range, keeping the uptime on all enemies at 100%.

Our second set — the Medusa set (from Arx Corinium) — will be for our spell critical boost to keep our Critical Surge up and running. This set provides you with 2863 spell critical overall as well as Minor Force to increase critical damage by 10%. Because this is a heavy armor set, we are taking advantage of this and using the chest piece to gain the most benefit out of a reinforced piece of armor. The Undaunted Mettle passive is also gained through this, increasing our resources.

A classic monster set for magicka solo characters, we’ll use Iceheart (from Direfrost Keep) for its damage shield. Maw of the Infernal (from The Banished Cells 2) is better for more summon damage. With Iceheart’s shield of 5000 for six seconds when you deal critical damage, you’ll stay safe through tough fights.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Preparation, 20 Precision, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot), 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Thaumaturge (slot), 20 Blessed, 20 Tireless Discipline

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

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

6. PvE Stamsorc Solo Build

PvE Stamsorc Solo Build
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Orc (Wood Elf or Khajiit) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Garlic Cod with Potato Crust or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 stamina) and Bewitched Sugar Skulls is a more expensive option for better survivability and more resources (4620 health, 4250 magicka/stamina, and 462 health recovery) | Attributes: 64 Stamina

Stamina Sorcerers are naturally hardy and excel at dealing and taking damage, both single-target and AOE. As sorcerers have some of the very best passives that can transfer over to Werewolf form, this is my preferred class to play on Werewolves.

A Stamsorc Werewolf is very strong, and you can pick and choose when to transform based on the situation. Make use of its solid damage when all your other abilities are already activated. Keep in mind your pets will de-summon when you transform, so be sure to summon them back up when you turn back to your normal form!

Orcs feel very strong on a Stamsorc for soloing, as they gain back 2125 health every four seconds whenever they deal damage. The extra 258 weapon/spell damage and 1000 health/stamina certainly isn’t bad either with their high mobility. Khajiit are also strong choices for Stamsorcs, giving slightly better damage than orcs at the cost of some survivability. Wood Elves are great for more sustain.

Skills

PvE Stamsorc Solo Build Skill Bar
(Main Bar) Tzogvin’s Greatsword(Back Bar) Thunderous Volley Bow
Crystal WeaponEndless Hail
Bound ArmamentsResolving Vigor
ExecutionersHurricane
BrawlerCritial Surge
Unstable ClannfearUnstable Clannfear
Flawless Dawnbreaker (Ult)Werewolf Berserker (Ult)
PvE Stamsorc Solo Build werewolf skill bar
Werewolf Berserker Form
Howl of Agony
Brutal Pounce
Hircine’s Fortitude
Deafening Roar
Claws of Life
Werewolf Berserker (Ult)

A Stamina Sorcerer makes use of the Unstable Clannfear pet to help carry some of the enemy damage burden. If you plan to not go for a werewolf build, use Summon Charged Atronach on your back bar instead as your main ultimate ability. This skill set-up allows for great mobility, defense, and high damage output to both single target and groups of enemies.

You should always buff up with Critical Surge, Hurricane, and Resolving Vigor before setting down AOEs. Endless Hail and then Brawler are the last skills to use before transforming into the Werewolf Berserker. This helps to increase your werewolf damage as well as give you better survivability.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadMagma (heavy)Reinforced
ShoulderMagma (light)Divines
ChestBlood MoonDivines
LegsBlood MoonDivines
FeetBlood MoonDivines
HandsBlood MoonDivines
BeltBlood MoonDivines
JewelryTzogvin’s WarbandBloodthirsty
Weapon 1Tzogvin’s WarbandPrecise (w/ damage health poisons)
Weapon 2Thunderous VolleyInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

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

This Stamsorc build will be focused on dealing high critical damage while dealing out very fast light attacks. Our first set will be Blood Moon (from March of Sacrifices) which will give us 129 weapon damage, and 1314 weapon critical which will help our other set to activate. The five-piece bonus on Blood Moon activates upon five stacks of dealing damage with light attacks. It gives you five seconds of increased light attack damage by 55% and attack speed by 50%. This only occurs every fifteen seconds, so make the most of it when it activates. With the Werewolf Berserker’s extra bleed damage on light attacks, this will be a great burst of damage to a single target. It will even help you handle larger groups of enemies as you can easily apply bleeds to them all.

Our second set will be Tzogvin’s Warband (from Frostvault), which is like a stamina alternative to the popular Medusa set. Tzogvin’s gives 1314 weapon critical and 1487 physical penetration, which is great for soloing. Each time you deal critical damage, you gain a stack of 177 weapon critical, and at ten you gain Minor Force, increasing your critical damage by 10%. With 1770 extra weapon critical by the end and Minor Force, this set will be helping you to cause very regular critical damage. This of course boosts your healing from Critical Surge.

We’ve elected to go for a monster set rather than the usual Slimecraw/Ring of the Pale Order soloing classic. This is because we already have great health sustain from our other abilities. Magma Incarnate (from The Dread Cellar) gives us much needed 129 stamina and magicka recovery for its one-piece bonus. Its second piece bonus activates whenever you heal yourself or a group member with a single-target heal ability. With Crit Surge, Resolving Vigor, and Claws of Life, this is a cinch to activate. Once activated, you gain Minor Courage increasing your weapon and spell damage by 215, as well as Minor Resolve, increasing your Armor by 2974. This bonus lasts for ten seconds and can occur every fifteen seconds on you, so keep that in mind during fights when you want to activate this set.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

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

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

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

7. PvP Magsorc DPS Build

PvP Magsorc DPS Build
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Dark Elf (or Khajiit) | Mundus: Lover / Apprentice | Food: Solitude Salmon Millet Soup or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 magicka), and Bewitched Sugar Skulls is a more expensive option for better survivability with additional recovery (4620 health, 4250 magicka/stamina, and 462 health recovery). | Attributes: 64 Magicka

The Magicka Sorcerer can be very strong in PVP with its great mobility and high burst damage potential. The new sets are also great with the Magsorcs playstyle, so you should definitely try them out. This PvP Magsorc aims to be great in duels as well as in group fights, dealing high damage and providing great crowd control.

For this build, we’ve gone with Dark Elf for their high spell/weapon damage as well as their increased 1910 magicka and stamina. The 4620 flame resistance bonus also helps you to take far less damage from enemy players with flame staves as well as Dragonknights. Khajiit, High Elves, and Bretons work great as well with their magicka pool and sustain benefits.

Skills

PvP Magsorc DPS Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Medusa Lightning Staff(Back Bar) Crushing Wall Lightning Staff
Crystal FragmentsRapid Regeneration
Haunting CurseBoundless Storm
Force PulseDaedric Minefield
StreakDark Conversion
Frost ClenchHardened Ward
Summon Charged Astronach (Ult)Temporal Guard (Ult)

Your Magsorc can kite enemies for as long as they want, returning to bust enemies and their groups down quickly with strong combos. Streak works as a great initiation, and can be followed up with Daedric Minefield to activate your Dark Convergence armor set proc. Your Dark Conversion will be your sorcerer skill to heal yourself and gain magicka back (over twenty seconds) immediately.

Keeping up Boundless Storm, Hardened Ward, and Rapid Regneration will keep your character health high almost all of the time. If you do drop to low health, Temporal Guard is your get-out-of-jail-free card. Activate Temporal Guard when you are going to die, and it’ll reset your resources and location to where you were four seconds ago. This can be quite a ways backward if you fool enemies into chasing you when you streak away.

Frost Clench should be used at least once every four seconds to keep up the 600 spell damage increase you get from your front bar Destructive Impact set. Summon Charged Astronach will help you deal with single targets and groups alike with its great damage. You can also kite around it to block enemy fire.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadHrothgar’s ChillImpenetrable
ShoulderDark ConvergenceImpenetrable
ChestHrothgar’s ChillReinforced
LegsDark ConvergenceImpenetrable
FeetDark ConvergenceImpenetrable
HandsDark ConvergenceImpenetrable
BeltDark ConvergenceImpenetrable
JewelryHrothgar’s ChillBloodthirsty (w/ spell damage)
Weapon 1Destructive ImpactSharpened (w/ weapon damage enchantment)
Weapon 2Precise RegenerationInfused (w/ escapist poisons)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Law of Julianos (craftable), 5 Spinner’s (from Malabal Tor), 2 Monster Set / Willpower Set

Our first set will be Dark Convergence (from PvP rewards of the worthy), that gives us a great offensive five-piece bonus. After casting an ability that leaves an effect on the ground, an area is created that applies a 30% snare and pulls enemies every two seconds. It will also stun them after a short delay. After four seconds, a huge amount of magic damage blasts the inside of this area, increased by 10% for each target inside.

Our second set will be Hrothgar’s Chill (from PVP rewards of the worthy), which is another great new set. If you find you don’t have enough magicka or spell damage, exchange either the set above of this one for Crafty Alfiq. When you stun or immobilize an enemy, which can be activated by the Dark Convergence set, your Streak, or even Forst Clench, Hrothgar’s Chill will proc. It applies the chilled status effect and deals 26% of the target’s total physical and spell resistance to them as frost damage. Enemies within eight meters of them are also hit by the same amount. Try landing this on a tankier opponent to get disastrous effects on them and their teammates.

The front bar set we’ll be using is (Perfected) Destructive Impact (from Dragon Star Arena), known as the Master’s Ice Staff. This set will give us 600 spell damage for four seconds when we cast Destructive Touch (Frost Clench). This is great, as it will increase the effectiveness of our other damaging skills and set effects. Frost Clench also applies Major Maim to enemies when hit, so they will deal 10% less damage for five seconds. This makes it much easier for you to finish them off, as they cannot fight back with heavy damage. Our backbar set is (Perfected) Precise Regeneration (from Maelstrom Arena), which gives us back magicka when we cast Rapid Regeneration.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Precision, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Blessed, 50 Ironclad (slot), 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Duelist’s Rebuff (slot), 20 Tireless Discipline

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

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

8. PvP Stamsorc DPS Build

PvP Stamsorc DPS Build
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Orc (Wood Elf or Khajiit) | Mundus: Lover or Thief | Food: Garlic Cod with Potato Crust or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 stamina) and Bewitched Sugar Skulls is a more expensive option for better survivability with additional recovery (4620 health, 4250 magicka/stamina, and 462 health recovery) | Attributes: 64 Stamina

Stamina Sorcerers capitalize on high mobility with streak and do well with a “flash-in, take out an enemy, flash-out” playstyle. You’ll be tanky enough to hold your own with your armor and skills, and can even take on groups of enemies in PvP. Taking advantage of your mobility and survivability will get you very far on your Stamsorc. Consider taking on the Werewolf curse and experimenting with that ultimate instead to deal high amounts of damage in bursts.

Orcs will provide you with great survivability against enemies. Their 2125 health gained every four seconds when dealing damage in combat is very useful in PvP. Khajiit will help you burst down enemies faster. Dark Elves and Wood Elves come in shortly behind with great sustain and damage, but Orcs and Khajiit seem to come out on top for PvP races on Stamsorcs.

Skills

PvP Stamsorc DPS Build Skill Bars
(Main Bar) Thunder Caller Daggers(Back Bar) Frenzied Momentum Greatsword
Crystal WeaponResolving Vigor
Bound ArmamentsHurricane
StreakDark Deal
Whriling BladesRazor Caltrops
Quick CloakRally
Dawnbreaker of Smiting (Ult)Temporal Guard (Ult)

You’ll be flashing through fights with both Minor and Major Expedition from a combination of your Hurricane and Quick Cloak. Streak will be a great initiation tool for you to use, as well as one that doubles as an escape method. Our only stun sources are from Streak and Dawnbreaker of Smiting, so planning out when you want to CC the enemy should be no problem. Lining up Streaks can be difficult to do situationally, so you’ll want to practice this if you aren’t used to playing Sorcs.

Buffing yourself with Rally, Dark Deal, and Resolving Vigor will help you continually heal over a battle. Hurricane will provide Major Resolve and Ward, boosting your resistances up by 5948. Quick Cloak gives you Major Evasion to reduce AOE damage on you by 20%. These skills will set you up for easy encounters while you burst enemies down with your other skills.

Razor Caltrops should be cast underneath enemies before engaging with damage for the Major Breach it applies to them. Reducing their physical and spell resistance by 5948 allows you to deal much higher damage. Your combo will be charging up your Frenzied Momentum, and then activating Crystal Weapon before a Flawless Danwbreaker into heavy attacking an enemy. This will cause massive damage in an AOE around the target, potentially killing other enemies. Followed up by Whirling Blades to clean up the area, you’ll have enemies drop like flies if you pull it off correctly.

Build

SlotGearTrait
HeadSwarm Mother (medium)Impenetrable
ShoulderClever Alchemist (medium)Impenetrable
ChestClever Alchemist (heavy)Impenetrable
LegsClever Alchemist (medium)Impenetrable
FeetClever Alchemist (medium)Impenetrable
HandsClever Alchemist (medium)Impenetrable
BeltThunder Caller (light)Impenetrable
Jewelry2 Thunder Caller, 1 Malacath’sBloodthirsty (w weapon damage)
Weapon 1Thunder CallerNirnhoned/Sharpened (w/ damage health poisons)
Weapon 2Frenzied MomentrumInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Hunding’s Rage (craftable), 5 Spriggan’s Thorns (from Bangkorai), 2 Monster Set / Agility Set

Our first set we use is the Clever Alchemist (craftable) set to help boost the damage of our abilities by a large margin. Giving out 2192 health, and 129 weapon/spell damage, this set gives some great tanky stats. The five-piece bonus offers an additional 675 weapon/spell damage after consuming a potion during combat. This will help your burst combo out substantially and provide you with a great amount of damage.

Our second set will be Thunder Caller (from Red Petal Bastion). Despite being a light armor set, it will work great when front barred. Stamsorcs get increased 5% damage with shock damage from their passive Energized. When you deal damage with a fully charged heavy attack, you’ll smite the target with shock damage dealing initial damage. You’ll also leave a nice damaging AOE as well. This scales off the higher of your weapon or spell damage and synergizes perfectly with our next set.

Our back bar set will be the (Perfected) Frenzied Momentum (from Vateshran Hollows) that activates after you cast Momentum (Rally). Casting stamina abilities while in combat generates a stack on this weapon, increasing your weapon damage by 38 up to five times. When you heavy attack with full stacks, you’ll consume all the stacks and deal out an explosion of physical damage to enemies within eight meters. This scales off the higher of your weapon or spell damage as well. The extra 190 weapon damage before you activate the explosion is great, but combining this burst with Thunder Caller is amazing.

Finally, instead of a monster helm, we have gone with Malacath’s Ring (from scrying) and one piece of Swarm Mother. This adds a great increase in overall damage while sacrificing our critical damage chance. If you really want to run Critical Surge, you can drop this in replacement for a monster set, but this set up seems to net the most damage. Increasing all damage by 16%, the proc sets we have will hit much harder (as those cannot crit anyway for now). Critical damage will be reduced by 50% by this set though, but you’ll still benefit from getting critical strikes.

Champion Points (Essentials in Order)

Warfare: 20 Tireless Discipline, 20 Precision, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 50 Duelist’s Rebuff (slot), 20 Hardy, 20 Elemental Aegis, 50 Biting Aura (slot), 20 Battle Mastery, 30 Mighty, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 20 Blessed, 20 Eldritch Insight

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

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot), 50 Breakfall, 30 Out of Sight, 50 Treasure Hunter (slot), 50 Steadfast Enchantment

Join the High Ground

Sorcerers are one of the best and most versatile classes in ESO, and we hope this guide helps you hone your Sorcerer to perfection. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and check out our social media to stay updated on everything ESO. You won’t want to miss our gaming gear giveaways, either!

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