Magicka Sorcerer – Abilities and Skill Lines [Part 4]

You know your rotation, you’re weaving, have the basics down and you even have some pretty decent gear – but what else should you be leveling and why are you using these abilities? Let’s find out!

I’ll go through each section of abilities and split everything into a few categories. Must have, good and icing on the cake. Obviously focus on using skill points on the must have abilities and passives first, and as you get spare skill points – add some icing on the cake. The order things are listed within their category isn’t important – I mostly just went through them in the order they are in the game.

Class Abilities

Class abilities are definitely important to unlock and use! Which ones should you focus on early, and what passives are actually important?

Dark Magic

Dark Magic is a bit of an odd skill line. You don’t want many of the active skills, but the passives are great so you definitely want to level it up all the way!

Must Have

Crystal Shard > Crystal Fragments – This is a bread and butter skill of magicka sorcs. For beginners it may be best to avoid this skill as it messes up an otherwise static rotation, but it holds a big punch and allows the passives of this skill line to get unlocked and levelled. 

Unholy Knowledge – This passive directly helps with sustain, and does not require a skill from the skill line to be slotted.

Good to Have

Blood Magic – This passive only comes into use when using one of the abilities in this skill line. If you are using Crystal Fragments you definitely want this skill, but if you’re not – you can pass it over for now.

Exploitation – This passive does require you use a skill from this skill line, but it’s great as it’s the only source of Minor Prophecy other than poisons – which are generally not used in PvE. This not only gives you the Minor Prophecy buff – it also gives it to your allies!

Icing on the Cake

Persistance – This allows an ability to cost less after blocking. In group content you don’t do a ton of blocking so it’s an okay passive for DPS.

Daedric Summoning

This skill line is obviously focused on pet sorcs. My recommendations here are from a non-pet sorc point of view.

Must have

Daedric Curse > Haunting Curse – This is a must have skill for magicka DPS sorcerers in ESO! It’s a bit of an odd skill, containing both single target and AoE damage. It’s also not a DoT – but it takes time for the damage to be fully done. 

Bound Armor > Bound Aegis – This skill is an active skill – but you use it only for it’s passives. This will give you both your minor resistance buffs, ensure the Daedric Protection passive is active and give you 8% extra magicka! Since a lot of your damage scales from how much magicka you have, this is a big buff that shouldn’t be ignored!

Daedric Protection – This passive increases your recovery (by 20%!!) while an active ability from this skill line is slotted. It’s definitely a huge help in sustain!

Good to Have

Conjured Ward – This is a class shield that is a fantastic option to have. You have choose a morph that allows for a larger shield that the light armor skill version, or one that helps with sustain! 

Power Stone – This passive decreases the cost of your ultimate by 15%! That applies to any ultimate, not just sorcerer ones.

Storm Calling

This is where most of the lightning comes from in the Elder Scrolls Online Sorcerer class! We’ll make use of quite a lot of these abilities!

Must Have

Mage’s Fury – This is your execute! Although some builds do offer rotations without your class execute, this skill is important to unlock and level so you have it available if you do need it! One morph does more damage which is normally preferred, but if you tend to do overland content where there are lots of groups of mobs – the recovery morph is decent as well.

Lightning Splash > Liquid Lightning – This is one of your bread and butter skills – this being a DoT (damage over time!).  You want the Liquid Lightning morph so it matches up nicely with your wall of elements DoT, and gives more room for other skills while it runs. 

Capacitor – This passive increase recovery. I know it seems odd we have so many things to help with sustain, but I promise you – you will appreciate all of them!

Implosion – This is like a built in passive execute! As you will always be using Liquid Lightning – this passive always has a good chance to proc on low health mobs!

Expert Mage – This increases your spell damage by 2% for each sorcerer class ability slotted – not just the ones from the storm calling skill line. After all those recovery passives – we want to do great damage too!

Good to Have

Surge > Power Surge – This is a great skill to use during normal dungeon or out in the overland where you do not want to use expensive crafted potions – but still want the benefits of the Major Sorcery buff. This also has a heal that is good enough to be my only heal in VMA! Having a constant small heal up can be a huge help – especially when venturing solo!

Energized – This passive becomes more important if you use a lightning staff. This increases the damage you do with any shock abilities! 

Icing on the Cake

Lightning Form > Boundless Storm – This ability is great for shock themed builds, gives you both major resistance buffs and gives a short speed buff! This is a very fun and useful skill to use when you are venturing solo, as it does damage to enemies all around you and makes you a bit tougher to kill!

Weapon

The only weapon you will be using is destruction staves.

Destruction Staff

All this applies whether you use 2 inferno staves, or 1 inferno and 1 lightning staff.

Must Have

Force Shock > Crushing Shock – I can’t stress enough how much more utility Crushing Shock has than Force Pulse. So many times (especially in trials) it’s extremely useful for DPS to have a ranged interrupt – and what better than it to be your spammable! This ability hits enemies 3 times with one click of the button!

Wall of Elements > Elemental Blockade – This is a bread and butter skill for all magicka DPS in ESO – whether you are a sorcerer or not. You do want the longer lasting morph to simplify your rotation and allow other skills to be used while this runs. 

Penetrating Magic – This passive is like a secret boost to your spell penetration – but only works with your destruction staff abilities. 

Elemental Force – This increases the chance of you applying very useful secondary effects such as burning – which add more free damage!

Ancient Knowledge – This is the reason it’s important your spammable/front bar is an inferno staff! This passive makes whatever staff is currently equipped the one that makes a change. While on your lightning staff back bar – your AoE’s (like elemental blockade) are doing more damage, but once you swap to the front (fire) bar – elemental blockade is no longer doing extra damage – but crushing shock is!

Good to Have

Weakness to the Elements > Elemental Drain – You honestly won’t really use this in battle, but it’s an important skill to have unlocked if you like to practice your rotation or test your dps on a target dummy while solo.

Tri Focus – This makes your fire heavy attacks do more damage, and adds that cool splash damage to lightning staff heavy attacks!

Destruction Expert – Remember how I keep saying sustain? Yes, this is another passive to help it.

Armor

Light Armor

You’re wearing 5 pieces of light armor, so pretty much everything is important – but I’ll still let you know what is most important!

Must Have

Annulment > Harness Magicka – This shield is available to anyone wearing at least 5 pieces of light armor, but is incredibly useful. I prefer to take harness magicka here with helps with sustain, and when I need a shield where there is no incoming magicka damage – I used hardened ward for a larger shield! This allows a large shield and a sustain shield being available to you without respeccing any skills.

Evocation – Sustain sustain sustain.

Prodigy – This increases your spell critical rating, which means your spell will crit more often!

Concentration – Increases your spell penetration! Especially important when playing solo!

Nice to Have

Spell Warding- This allows you to be slightly more resilient again magicka attacks.

Icing on the Cake

Grace – This is probably more useful in PvP, but snare reduction and cheaper sprint is nice to have!

Medium Armor

You’re wearing one piece of it, so might as well take advantage! There are no must have’s in this section though!

Good to Have

Athletics – The main reason I list this as good to have is the reduction in roll dodge cost. As a magicka DPS character, you have not invested anything into stamina – so the amount you can roll dodge is pretty limited.

Icing on the Cake

Wind Walker – This is definitely an ‘icing on the cake’ type of passive. Normally percentage bonuses are amazing – but due to our limited stamina recovery this doesn’t do anything huge – but could make a difference in you being able to do that live saving roll dodge or block!

Improved Sneak – There is exactly 1 dungeon in the entire game that this will prove useful in a combat type situation, but it’s nice to have for completing some of the sneakier DLC and quests.

Heavy Armor

Oddly, the heavy armor skill line has a few passives that will definitely help you out – even though you are only wearing one piece of it!

Must Have

Juggernaut – If you get any odd passive – make it this one. This passive increases your max health by 2% per piece of heavy armor warn, that means for you – 2%. This sound small, but when we want enough health to survive but don’t want to give up glyphs that would otherwise be magicka – this passive can make that difference!

Constitution – I struggled with whether this should be must have or good to have. It’s not as important as Juggernaut, but is definitely more inmportant than resolve! Health recovery isn’t something we put into anywheres else, and it can take us off the edge of death while we resurrect our healer, plus has a small sustain bonus built in!

Icing on the Cake

Resolve – This passive makes us a bit less squishy! 

Guild

Fighters Guild

Don’t worry about focusing on levelling this skill line up, just unlock the skill line by joining the fighters guild – and this skill line will level up naturally as you play!

Good to Have

Banish the Wicked – Every time you kill an undead – you gain some ultimate! There is a lot of undead in this game, especially in dungeons so it really helps build ultimate up faster!

Mages Guild

Must Have

Meteor – I’ll let you pick the morph you choose, but this is often put on a bar to benefit from the mages guild passives rather than to be used. The ultimate definitely it useful though!

Inner Light – This not only makes sure you benefit from Mage’s Guild passives, but also increase your magicka by 5%!

Magicka Controller – This passive is active on any bar you have a mages guild ability slotted. This increases your max magicka by 2% and increase your magicka regeneration by 2% Definitely a big help!

Icing on the Cake

Mage Adept – As per my 30 second testing on the PTS – this passive does not actually change the cost of meteor and it’s morphs. You may actually wonder why I bring it up at all. At some point – you will accidentally press that inner light button and swear to yourself for how much magicka it just consumed. At least acccidentally pressing it now won’t consume at much. 

Undaunted

You level up undaunted by completing group dungeons and group dungeon achievements! You also can level it up by going pledges and daily undaunted quests!

Must Have

Undaunted Mettle – This passive is practically the entire reason we are wearing 5-1-1 armor weights. It helps all of your stats, just grind it out and get it.

Nice to Have

Undaunted Command – Once you play at a higher level, you’re going to be hoping to be seeing orb or shard synergies to synergize on cooldown to help you sustain. This will help those synergies help your sustain even more!

Racial Skills

If they say something about magicka, or spell something – get it. It’s important. 

Crafting

It’s surprising that you’ll appreciate leveling crafts on your main DPS character as well. I didn’t split the crafts up since there are so few skills though.

Must Have

Alchemy – Medicinal Use – This makes your potion effects last longer. On a standard Spell Power potion that is crafted – the effects of the potion will actually outlast the cooldown – therefore allowing 100% uptime! 

Nice to Have

Provisioning – Gourmand/Connoisseur – Which one of these passives is more important to you depends on if you use a food or drink. It’s nice to be able to have your buff food/drink last longer!

Why would I…

Here’s some skills that you are super confused as to why I suggest you level them – but they might actually come in handy some day and you will be glad you leveled them up! These are definitely not as important as what’s listed above.

Alliance War – Purge > Efficient Purge – A few different dungeons and trials have effects that you want to purge (or in some cases – absolutely must) and it’s great for some DPS to have it on their bar too!

Fighters Guild – Silver Bolts > Silver Leash – In a very very limited set of cases, it’s handy for DPS to be able to pull adds in because the tank just can’t. Your group will thank you.

Video

Magicka Sorcerer DPS School Part 4 – Skills – Elder Scrolls Online PvE Guide

Are there any skills or passives you feel deserved to be on this list but wasn’t? Let me know in the comments below!

Give me your 2 cents!