Nightblade: DPS and Heals with Healing Staff



If you’ve been to the ESO subreddit, or watched any videos on Nightblade builds then there is a pretty good chance you’ve come across a post or comment praising a Nightblade build that utilizes a Healing Staff. I’ve done some experimenting with this build over the past week, and thought I’d share.

The reason for equipping a Restoration staff is for the Cycle of Life passive, which grants you an additional 10% damage while at full health. This can also be combined with Combat Prayer, which provides an additional 10% damage making for some fantastic opening attacks when striking from stealth.

This build has proven very successful for leveling through VR content, and has drastically cut down the amount of time spent fighting mobs compared to my previous bow-based build. It also provides me with the ability to heal for dungeon, dolmens, world bosses, or simply keep myself topped off on particularly challenging quests.

Weapon Slot #1: Restoration Staff

I open each fight by entering Stealth and activating Ambush (making sure to attack the target from behind). This attack alone will one-shot many creatures of equal or lower level (wolves, in particular). For those that are left standing, I’ll follow up with either Concealed Weapon or Killers Blade. The choice here depends largely on whether the NPC’s health is below 20%, because Killers Blade deals additional damage on NPC’s whose health has fallen below 20%.

For Strong/Elite mobs that are not immune to stun, you need only activate Shadowy disguise > Concealed Weapon > Heavy Attack > Repeat. I’ve been able to solo every public dungeon I’ve come across in VR zones using that combination. By striking with Concealed Weapon while in stealth, you can keep your target stun locked quite effectively.

This build is not without it’s downsides, though. You will burn through magicka very, very fast. It’s important to weave heavy attacks into your rotation whenever possible on longer fights, and you’ll want to try to always keep enough magicka to allow an emergency Shadowy Disguise to get you out of those near-death situations.

Although I do have Swallow Soul slotted, I very rarely use it. In fact, it’s primary there for it’s passive +8% magicka, Increased healing, and increased potion effectiveness. If you’d rather not slot an ability purely for the passives then you can easily swap it out for Combat Prayer, that gives you a 10% damage boost when activated.

Weapon Slot #2: Restoration Staff

I don’t think this requires nearly as much of an explanation, as I think it’s fairly straight-forward. Taking advantage of the fact you’ve already got a restoration staff equipped.

These morphs are also largely based on my own preference. I’ve got them set up to fulfill more of an off-healer role, and don’t expect to be healing any VR dungeons with my current setup.

Edit: Fixed the Stat allocation to magicka and health

May's Content Creator: Poosh!

Wow This is some really good info. I’m a NB DPS and I use heals as a secondary usually only during PVP. This seems very well thought out and a great build. Thanks for sharing.


This is a really solid build and I think I’m going to use some elements of it when I next re-roll my NB. I was originally bow/resto staff, went to bow/dual wield, but am thinking I want to go back to bow/resto. A couple questions - why so many attribute points in stamina for such a magicka heavy build? Also do you find vampire to still be worth it with the nerfs, especially only really using it for the passives? I feel so squishy in VR because there’s fire everywhere.


Whoops! That was an error… Magicka is on the left side in game, and I instinctively just started putting points there. That is supposed to be 39 in magicka. Good catch!

Concealed Weapon + Vampire passive speed boost allows me to faster in stealth than I do out of stealth, which is very useful for repositioning quickly during a fight (it’s also great for getting out of no-win situations).

I never used this build prior to the vampire nerf, but I do find that Soul Harvest ultimate activates after nearly every kill, and I’m sure stage 4 vampirism is contributing to that. I also have 600 fire resist necklace, and have little trouble surviving fire attacks.


I’ve been using the resto on my NB, but I’m having trouble justifying it. I’m finding that for my kill bar, SNB works better. Mainly because most of the kill bar skills are melee and it’s easier to get in hits with a melee weapon.

I understand that the justification for using resto is the 10% damage increase, but can’t we get a similar increase for most weapon types? Is the resto damage increase different than others? i.e. it increases for all attacks (weapon and skills) whereas the others only increase for weapon attacks?


Unlike other weapon damage passives that only provide their benefit to those specific weapon abilities, the Healing Staff has no direct damage dealing abilities, and the 10% damage boost is a universal increase to any ability you activate. If you pair that with Healing staff’s Combat Prayer morph, you’ll see a 20% damage boost on all abilities.

After I made this initial post, I played around with the quick-slotted abilities a bit more, and came up with this.

I removed Ambush from the main bar, so that I could get the passive bonuses from Siphoning, and the damage bonus from Combat Prayer. Now my opening goes something like this…

Stealth > Combat Prayer > Shadowy Disguise > Concealed Weapon.

That combination will grant you the overall 20% damage boost, plus a 100% crit chance on your opening strike. Concealed Weapon will also stun your target for a little over 4 seconds when striking from stealth. On VR9 mobs, I consistently take them down to 12% - 24% health with my first attack, and I quickly finish them off with Killers Blade. Groups of three quickly become groups of two, which I’ll control by entering Shadowy Disguise, and striking with Concealed Weapon again for the stun. Rather than trying to burn down one target, I’ll switch between the two striking one, entering stealth, and then striking the other. Every time Shadowy Disguise ends, you have a brief grace period where you can heavy attack your stunned mob before either enemy reengage you. As soon as you see them react, just reactivate Shadowy Disguise, and hit them again. It’s very quick, and very clean. I end nearly every fight with 100% health, either because they never even hit me, or because Killers Blade restored any health I lost.

You’ll also notice that the Soul Harvest Ultimate comes up after just about every kill, so you can use that ability right before a heavy attack, and still have time to weave in a heavy attack for the additional stun, or you can use the ultimate in place of Concealed Weapon when striking from stealth at the start of the fight for an almost guaranteed one-shot kill.


I think you could possibly switch Swallow Soul with either Ambush or Reapers Mark.
Since you’re using a resto staff and your second bar is focused on healing anyway, I don’t see the value for Swallow Soul. Of course the 10% more healing received is a good arguement, but I think it’s smarter to put one bar for maxed output.

However, you might prefer a diff. playstyle - just seems that you wouldn’t even use it often :stuck_out_tongue:

Either way the build is really nice and one bar will deff. look somewhat similar for me. I think using the resto staff with the NB class abilitys is a fantastic idea! As my second bar is AOE, I’ll most likly stick to DW there :slight_smile:


As a destro/resto swapping NB myself, this brings me great comfort knowing that I’m headed int he right direction :slight_smile:


POOOOOOOOOOOSH :smiley: Nice post, as always you find the best ways to play.


Thanks for leading me into my next update! (and frankly, one I’m disappointed I hadn’t thought of earlier)

Siphoning brings some really desirable passives to the table, especially if you go through as many potions as I do in any given day. However, having an ability on my bar that isn’t being used is still a waste of a precious commodity, and this leads me to my current bar setup…

I’ve removed Swallow Soul, and replaced it with Siphoning Attacks. This allows me to keep all of the passive abilities associated with Siphoning, while providing me with the means of dealing sustained DPS due the magicka regen the ability provides.

Now you’ll notice that Siphoning Attacks reduces your damage dealt by 22% - But that isn’t really the case, with a Restoration staff equipped. The 10% damage boost passive mitigates that damage reduction to a mere 12%, and if you keep Combat Prayer up during the fight, you’re really only dealing with a 2% damage reduction - and with Siphoning Attacks active, it’s actually incredibly easy to keep Combat Prayer up now due to the Magicka regen.

My opening rotation now goes as follows:

Sneak > Combat Prayer > Shadowy Disguise > Concealed Weapon > Siphoning Attacks > Heavy Attack

Following the heavy attack my Magicka is restored to about 90%, allowing me to disable Siphoning Attacks for a follow up Shadowy Disguise > Concealed Weapon without the damage reduction of Siphoning Attacks. In fact, I only find myself activating Siphoning Attacks immediately before a Heavy Attack, and then disabling it shortly after so that my next Concealed Weapon strike benefits from the full 20% damage boost.

I’m still playing around with this, and might follow up with a better rotation soon, but in the meantime I’m really happy with how this is working (and it makes fighting groups of 3 much easier!)

I’ve also added Siphoning Attacks to my healing bar to allow more sustained healing - Nearly endless healing, in fact. During our Tuesday Cyrodiil event I found myself only running low on Magicka when I was not within Heavy Attack range.


Kick ass update Poosh!


What equipment for this build? Light or medium?


I’d go 4/3 (4 medium 3 light)