The Nightblade
Game: The Elder Scrolls Online
Content Type: Gaming Guides

The Nightblade

The Nightblade is arguably the most thrilling class to play in The Elder Scrolls Online. The Nightblade is a rogue archetype that relies primarily on stealth and dark magic to incapacitate and kill an enemy. If you’re the type of player that prefers to launch hidden attacks from the shadows, the Nightblade will most definitely match your playing style.

When you first create your character in The Elder Scrolls Online, you’re not given a whole lot of information regarding the four classes. If you’re contemplating being a Nightblade, all you’re told is:

Nightblades are adventurers and opportunists with a gift for getting in and out of trouble. Relying variously on stealth, blades, and speed, Nightblades thrive on conflict and misfortune, trusting to their luck and cunning to survive.

When playing a Nightblade in The Elder Scrolls Online consider the following:

The Elder Scrolls Online has a robust character creation system, and you can play any character class with any Race. With that said, some Races are better suited for specific classes (for more information be sure to read The Best Elder Scrolls Online Race). Nightblades rely primarily on stealth, and need to allocate as many points as possible to Stamina and Magicka (as opposed to Health) to take advantage of their unique skill sets. As such, the following Races make excellent Nightblades due to their race-based bonuses:


Race, Alliance, Bonus, Reasoning

Argonian, Ebonheart Pact, Health, Natural healing ability frees up points to be spent on Magicka and Stamina

Breton, Daggerfall Covenant, Magicka,Increased Magicka pool to draw from

Khajiit, Aldmeri Dominion, Stealth | Melee Combat, Known for stealth and agility

Wood Elf, Aldmeri Dominion, Stealth | Stamina, Also has Archery bonus for long range sneak attacks


Helpful Tip:

Out of the four Races mentioned above, the Khajiit and Wood Elf are the two most natural choices for the Nightblade.

  • If you tend more towards direct combat, the Khajiit makes a better choice than the Wood Elf due to the Melee Combat bonus.
  • If you prefer indirect combat from a distance, the Wood Elf makes a better choice than the Khajiit due to the Archery bonus.

The Nightblade has three distinct class skill lines:

  • Assassination – allows you to quickly incapacitate or kill your enemies.
  • Shadow – allows you to use stealth and invisibility to surprise your enemies.
  • Siphoning – allows you to self-heal by draining the strength of your enemies.

Each skill line has unique Active abilities, Passive abilities, and a powerful Ultimate ability.


Skill Name, Type, Description

Master AssassinMaster Assassin, Passive, Increased damage while in stealth mode

ExecutionerExecutioner, Passive, Restore Magicka by killing enemy with an Assassination ability

pressure-pointsPressure Points, Passive, Increased critical strike chance

hemorage Hemorrhage, Passive, Increased bonus critical strike damage

assassins-bladeAssassin’s Blade, Active, Increased damage multiplier against low health enemies

teleport-strikeTeleport Strike, Active, Teleport directly to your enemy to damage and stun

blurBlur, Active, Enemies have a chance of missing you when they attack

marked-targetMark Target, Active, Place a mark on a target and deal extra damage

hasteHaste, Active, Increased attack speed

death-strokeDeath Stroke, Ultimate, Damage enemy and reduce their healing; damage increases as Ultimate charge increases




Skill Name, Type, Description

refreshing-shadowsRefreshing Shadows, Passive, Increased stamina regeneration

shadow-barrierShadow Barrier, Passive, Increased armor and spell resistance

fortitudeFortitude, Passive, Increased health

dark-veilDark Veil, Passive, Increased Shadow ability duration

shadow-cloakShadow Cloak, Active, Turn invisible

veiled-strikeVeiled Strike, Active, Deal increased damage and stun enemies

summon-shadeSummon Shade, Active, Summon a shade to attack enemies

path-of-darknessPath of Darkness, Active, Deal Magicka damage and increase movement speed

aspect-of-terrorAspect of Terror, Active, Induce fear in two nearby enemies

consuming-darknessConsuming Darkness, Ultimate, Creates area of darkness that snares enemies and grants allies protection and invisibility



Skill Name, Type, Description

catalystCatalyst, Passive, Increased potion effectiveness

magicka-floodMagicka Flood, Passive, Increased maximum Magicka

soul-siphonerSoul Siphoner, Passive, Increased healing from Siphoning abilities

transferTransfer, Passive, Gain Ultimate when dealing Siphoning damage

strifeStrife, Active, Deals enemy damage and heals player

agonyAgony, Active, Stuns enemy and causes damage

crippleCripple, Active, Siphons movement speed from enemy and causes damage

siphoning-strikesSiphoning Strikes, Active, Restore Magicka and Stamina when attacking

drain-powerDrain Power, Active, Increased Weapon Damage for each enemy damaged

soul-shredSoul Shred, Ultimate, Deals damage and stuns all foes in radius; ally may activate Soul Leech initiating a high-damage attack


Characters are not restricted in the types of weapons they use in The Elder Scrolls Online. Due to their skulking nature however, Nightblades tend to favor daggers and small swords for close combat wet work, and bows for long range sneak attacks.

Helpful tip:

  • If you’re the type of player that prefers close combat with a sword or dagger, be sure to focus on the Assassination skill line first, and the Siphoning skill line second. Also, learn Dual Wield for bonus damage multipliers.
  • If you’re the type of player that prefers distance attacks with a bow, be sure to focus on the Shadow skill line first, and the Siphoning skill line second. Choose Wood-Working as a craft to upgrade your bow.

There are no armor restrictions in The Elder Scrolls Online, and characters can wear whatever they choose. Players may be tempted to wear Heavy Armor due to the Nightblade’s low Health (compared to other classes), but Heavy Armor is a poor choice for stealth-based characters, despite its excellent damage resistance. Rather, players should select Medium Armor for the Nightblade. When worn, Medium Armor grants bonuses in:

  1. Sneak (improved sneak ability)
  2. Stamina (increased Stamina regeneration)
  3. Dexterity (increased critical strike chance)
  4. Agility (increased attack speed)

Helpful Tip:

To take full advantage of the Medium Armor bonuses, equip your character with as much Medium Armor as possible, as quickly as possible. The more Medium Armor you wear, the more bonuses you’ll have available. Nightblades should choose Clothing as a craft in order to create and upgrade Medium Armor ASAP.

Playing a Nightblade in The Elder Scrolls Online offers an entertaining and unique challenge. Nightblades aren’t tanks that can soak up a ton of damage, and need to play the game from the shadows — avoiding conflict when necessary, and striking foes when the odds are in their favor. Nightblades benefit from stealth, and their unique skill set allows them to cause devastating damage at higher levels.


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