You’ve got a sorc and have been practicing a rotation.. but what are you wearing? In this guide I’ll cover not only specific sets for Magicka Sorcerer DPS in Elder Scrolls Online, but basic gear guides for any DPS in ESO.
I will be covering some basic gear tips and explanations before we talk about any sets at all. If videos are your preferrred content delivery method, check out this guide in video form on youtube.
For a magicka sorcerer you will be using two destruction staves. Your front bar will be an inferno staff, but your back back you can use inferno or lightning staff. Although a back bar inferno staff will be technically higher DPS -- lightning staves help with off-balance in a non-optomized groups or solo situations -- also the splash damage of the channeled heavy attack is nice.
Your “front bar” is whatever bar your spammable is on.
Armor weight does matter in ESO. You want to wear 5-1-1, this means 5 pieces of light armor, 1 piece of medium armor and 1 piece of heavy armor. You may be confused as to why, so don’t worry -- I will explain!
You require 5 pieces of light armor so that you get to receive benefit from all the light armor passives which are magicka based.
You want to wear at least one of each armor type to take advantage of the Undaunted Mettle passive in the Undaunted skill line. This also allows you to take some other armor passives such as Heavy armor’s Juggernaut passive that increases your max health by 2%.
Though it would make a huge different for which armor pieces are different weights, there is a difference and you can use this to your advantage to gain a bit or armor rating. I’ll list out how much armor each piece at epic quality has. Light/Medium/Heavy
- Chest -- 1348 / 1964 / 2676
- Head/Shoulder/Legs/Feet -- 1179 / 1760 / 2341
- Hands -- 775 / 1006 / 1338
- Waist -- 505 / 754 / 1003
As you can see, it is most beneficial for your single heavy armor item to be chest, and you single medium armor item be head/shoulder/legs/feet. Unfortunately that is only possible if you are using a crafted set. Otherwise you generally use shoulder/helm because that is your monster set -- and it doesn’t matter which of those two slots is medium or heavy.
This is pretty simple for magicka DPS. Here are your options
- All armor divines trait
- “Big” pieces infused, small pieces divines.
But what are big and small? This is like the armor ratings -- but the same pieces aren’t big and small.
Big (possibly infused) -- Head, Chest, Legs
Small (always divines) -- Shoulder, Hands, Waist, Feet.
Jewelry traits are still up in the air mostly. A lot of guides recommend all or at least some bloodthirsty. That isn’t bad and you can go ahead -- but it isn’t exactly necessary. Arcane is still a great trait for magicka DPS.
It is best to have infused on both of your staves. If you play solo rather than in groups -- using the sharpened trait is a great option.
This one is really simple -- all magicka enchant on armor!
I really recommend a minimum of 170000 health with food active on DPS characters, but I prefer to use attributes to get to this number rather than enchants. This allows you to swap out gear for different scenarios without worrying if you still have the right amount of health enchants on.
Often many guides will tell you to use all spell damage enchants. Is that best? Sure. Will you be able to sustain it? Probably not. You will want to use a mix of magicka regeneration and spell damage on your jewelry depending on your CP level and comfort level with sustain. I personally like to run 2 spell damage enchants and 1 magicka regen enchant as a max CP player.
This has been up in the air over the last few patches, but likely any of these options will still be good.
Absorb Magicka on your back bar. This will be a big big help with your sustain.
Flame or Shock enchant on your front bar. Shock if you are a solo player, fire if you tend to play in groups.
Those who are really brave can use shock on one staff, and lightning on the other. If you still have a weapon damage enchant on your staves from past patches, that isn’t terrible and is fine too.
There is a few different setups for magicka sorcerer
- Two full 5 piece armor sets and “fancy” staves (VMA, asylum etc.)
- A monster set, one full time 5 piece set, one front bar only 5 pc set, and VMA staff.
- A monster set, two full 5 piece armor sets.
You don’t need all your gear to be legendary. It will not make much of a difference other than making you go broke. Don’t do it! If you’re playing at a higher level you will want to make your weapons gold, but the gear is not necessary. The quality of your weapons is far more important than the quality of your armor or jewelry. Not high level yet? Go ahead and use blue armor and purple weapons! Weapon quality makes a decent different -- armor quality doesn’t.
Finally! I’m actually going to talk about specific sets you can wear as a magicka sorcerer!
I consider leveling to be anything below CP160. So I consider level 1-50 along with champion point 10-150 as the leveling experience. Don’t rush this, this is when you’ll be leveling up different skill lines, abilities and getting to know your class! So what gear do I recommend?
- 5 pieces Seducer (crafted)
- rest whatever light armor set happens to drop in the zone you are in
Levelling doesn’t take a ton of time, so spend it enjoying the game instead of focusing on gear. Seducer is a crafted set that requires only 3 traits researched to make. I recommend making both weapons, heavy chest, one medium piece (head,should,legs,feet), and one light armor piece in seducer. Although you won’t take advantage of things like the undaunted mettle passive as you level, this will help you level those other armor skill lines. Making a new set ever 10-15 levels would be a good idea -- and no need to make it any better than green or blue quality.
There is a light armor set that drops in each zone. Just use whatever you have from the zone. Using what you find will allow you to keep your armor a bit closer to your level and just offer convenience. Dolmens are how you get jewelry so don’t pass those by!
While you are leveling you will likely want to focus more on sustain than on damage. If you’re having trouble sustaining just go ahead and make some absorb magicka glyphs for both weapons -- and leave the jewelry you pick up as is. It will generally be magicka cost reduction enchants by default on jewelry.
So you made it to CP160 and are looking to get into the BIS (best in slot) gear instantly! Settle down! You may be max gear level, but you still have a ways to go. You’ve got some CP to get, probably some passives to unlock and even level up some more skills. So what do I suggest? Make some Julianos!
To get you started -- head out to Orsinium to make yourself a full julianos set. Julianos is a solid set that is always a great option for any magicka DPS characters -- and it’s crafted! This set is definitely about damage and not sustain.
Once you have crafted that Julianos set, go ahead and run the group dungeon Veteran Crypt of Hearts 1 over and over. Why? Well a couple reasons. As a lower CP player you are still missing some raw stats (these come with CP until CP300) and are missing some sustain without many champion points. Lich is a solid set that is great for sustain, that is in one of the simpler group dungeons -- that has the bonus of a solid monster helm drop at the end. Lich also drops in Crypt of Hearts 2 dungeon -- but then you don’t have a chance at the Ilambris monster helm, and it’s a bit more challenging.
To acquire the shoulder piece of Ilambris you will need to do some undaunted pledges and open up Gilirions chest!
Best case scenario: at CP160 make yourself a Julianos set. Make both weapons (CP160), make head/shoulder medium or heavy CP150, and make another light piece. This means when you get a Ilambris helm and shoulder you didn’t waste many materials, and then after can craft other julianos piece at CP160 to match you mosnter set keeping you at 5-1-1. This also stops you from having to get a medium helm -- since you can just craft a julianos piece and use whatever helm you got.
For the start of this farming, wearing the pieces is more important than the traits. Wear whatever lich you first pick up to give you the bonuses from the set while you continue to farm the dungeon to get it in better traits. The 5pc bonus is more important than it being divines.
Use this gear setup until you feel more comfortable with sustain.
Burning Spellweave (BSW) and Netch’s Touch are both dungeon sets that can come from group dungeons. Burning Spellweave was BIS not long ago, though I never cared for it much on a Sorc since we do a lot of shock damage, but it’s definitely still a solid set. Netch’s Touch is a decent set that is awesome to use if you want a themed lightning sorcerer! Both of these are base game dungeons -- no DLC or chapters required!
BSW -- City of Ash
Netch’s Touch -- Darkshade Caverns
Only one of these overland sets is really an option for you. If you are a magicka sorc DPS who does not use pets (who this guide is intended for) you will love Mother’s Sorrow. If you are a pet sorc -- use necropotence.
Mother’s Sorrow (MS) is an amazing set that has the bonus of being an overland set. You do not need to do any instanced group content to get this set. You can farm it yourself in Deshann (base game zone!), or buy it from other players.
Necropotence is pretty much a given for all pet sorcs! You can find this set in Rivenspire (base game zone!) or buy it from other players.
Infallible Aether comes from the 3 (base game) Craglorn trials, which you can often find PUGs (pick up groups) looking for more in that zone that you can join. If you are struggling with sustain on your magicka sorcerer you may find yourself using a lot of heavy attacks, or maybe it’s just part of your rotation. If so, this is a great set that will not only benefit you -- but everyone around you! This set means the enemy you applied it to take 8% more damage from everyone! This used to be a standard healer set, but with other great options for healers now you generally won’t have to worry about a healer also wearing it.
Julianos also fits in this category as an amazing crafted set option for magsorc gear, but I didn’t include it here as I covered it earlier. Mechanical Acuity is not best in slot by any means, but I wanted to include it because I figure you may already have a set from when it was previously BIS. I’m a big believer in using what you already have. If you don’t have a set of mechanical acuity already, I don’t really think it’s worth making, but if you have it -- it’s worth using! I use this on my magsorc currently. If you do use mechanical acuity you must be using crushing shock (or force pulse) as your spammable. This is because that ability counts as 3 direct damage hits and therefore gives this set a much better chance at proccing.
The asylum staff speaks to a crushing shock sorcerer very well. Master staff is okay, and more is just “I want to use it because I earned it dammit!” rather than it actually being great -- but great DPS can be achieved with it too! Both of these staves require you use a specific skill for them to be of any use though!
The Asylum staff is great and something I use on my sorcerer! This staff can be found from the Asylum Sanctorium trial in the Clockwork City DLC. You are not required to do the veteran version to gain the non-perfect staff as I have shown. You must use crushing shock (or force pulse) as your spammable if you are using this staff. I really love it as it’s a simple staff to get (the trial is very short), and it’s jsut fun!
The Master Staff comes from Veteran Dragonstar Arena that is in Craglorn -- a base game zone. This staff isn’t best in slot by any means, but allows for a simpler dot based rotation with sustain help!
Best in Slot (BIS)
This is maybe why you came here, but also why I wanted you to learn all those basics first! Best in Slot gear is only the best if you are using it to it’s fullest abilities. Both Siroria and Spell strategist rely on you constantly weaving properly -- as it’s the light attacks that generally proc the set bonuses. Zaan comes from a difficult DLC dungeon -- and also requires you stay quite close to your enemy -- which is a bit off as a ranged magicka character. If you go this route, you’ll want spell strategist to only be front barred -- so you can use both a monster set and VMA staff.
If you have a VMA staff -- use it. It will be a considerable DPS increase.
- Sirora -- Cloudrest trial (Summerset chapter)
- Spell Strategist -- Rewards for the Worthy (PvP), Guild Stores/Other players
- Zaan -- Vet Scalecaller dungeon (DLC)
- Maelstrom Staff -- Veteran Maelstrom Arena (Orsinium DLC)
Current Bizz Gear
My magplar is currently my main, so she is holding on to all the BIS gear I have so this is currently what my magicka sorcerer is wearing! She still pulls 30k+ DPS even though I don’t play her as much as I used to. This is a mix of gear I already owned from when I did play her as my main, and just spare gear I found as I farmed gear for my magplar. Both weapons I use are gold, but still have the “old” best in slot enchants on them. Don’t get too hung up on your gear, and just go play!