Elder Scrolls Online – Wood Elf Sorcerer Bow/Dual Wield Levelling Build

Update 28th August: Updated with higher level skills for level 50 going into Veteran Levels.

My objective for my first character was simple. Have a solo levelling build that can both handle AoE situations and burn down single target targets fast.

Early on in the game, at around level 7 I did the Rites of the Queen quest. Fighting the boss there, I learned a few hard lessons about Elder Scrolls Online:

  1. Living halfway around the world from the server, I would never be able to dodge AoEs or block reliably, especially not in melee
  2. The game will throw you against lots of adds
  3. Skill points need to be spent wisely early on
  4. Medium armor is squishy!

At that point, I had a half-levelled Dual Wield build which lacked AoEs. Started levelling dual wield late on Starter Isle because the game doesn’t start you with two one-handers, so my character was lacking in abilities.

Eventually, I took that boss down using bow normal attacks, Crystal Shard and Mage’s Fury. It was terrible, and from that point I realized I needed both range and AoE to fall back on. That became the inspiration for using the bow as my second weapon for levelling.

Main Weapon: Bow

  1. Poison Arrow
  2. Shattering Prison (Encase)
  3. Scorched Earth (Volley)
  4. Lightning Flood (Lightning Splash)
  5. Acid Spray (Arrow Spray)
  6. Ultimate: Greater Storm Atronach (Storm Atronach)

This is the main weapon I run with if I don’t know what I’m going up against. On clustered groups, open with Scorched Earth, then Lightning Flood while running close to trap them in the two AoEs with Shattering Prison. After that, do a normal attack (NA) on a priority target and cancel into Acid Spray, NA again while moving back and cancel to a second Scorched Earth, Shattering Prison would have shattered by now most of the group should be dead or close to dead. Clean up as needed with NA – Poison Arrow or Acid Spray while using Shattering Prison as necessary.

On single targets, go into stealth to get the stealth bonus, then pop a heavy attack into Poison Arrow, use Shattering Prison, then NA – Poison Arrow until dead.

On tough single targets, get the Greater Storm Atronach out to tank while you plink at range or switch to dual wield :p

Off Weapon: Dual Wield

  1. Blinding Flurry (Flurry)
  2. Shattering Prison (Encase)
  3. Critical Surge (Surge) or if not available yet, Blood Craze (Twin Slashes)
  4. Mage’s Fury
  5. Thundering Presence (Lightning Form)
  6. Ultimate: Negate Magic

My off weapon is for taking down targets quickly. Most non-boss single enemies are very weak so it makes no sense to waste time kiting. There is no single target bow attack that does straight up damage – they’re either AoE or have a DoT or control component like knockback attached, so by design they lack in direct damage. Dual Wield fills this gap nicely.

If Critical Surge and Twin Blade and Blunt have both been unlocked, run with dual daggers for the critical hit synergy. More crits = more healing. For that reason try to get The Thief buff too.

The rotation is very straightforward. Sneak up from behind, open with a heavy attack to knockdown then spam NA – Blinding Flurry until you can drop them with Mage’s Fury.

If using Blood Craze because Critical Surge hasn’t been unlocked yet, do Blood Craze after the heavy attack then NA – Blinding Flurry, then NA – Mage’s Fury and you should have a dead mob.

For sturdier mobs, buff Critical Surge if available, sneak up and Heavy Attack –  Thundering Presence, then Blood Craze if available, NA – Shattering Prison, NA – Blinding Flurry until 25%, NA – Mage’s Fury or Blinding Flurry depending on resources. Shattering Prison is mostly there to trigger the Ruffian passive, although it also stops them from kiting.

If you don’t have enough resources to burn down the target with that rotation, root it with Shattering Prison and switch to the bow.

If the mob is a boss and summons adds or does a lot of damage, use Negate Magic. If either the mob or the adds are immune – typically larger-sized mobs, switch to the bow and get the Storm Atronach out while kiting.

Main Weapon (Second Loadout): Bow

I also have a second loadout for the bow, for extended single target fights. This loadout uses the basic summon to distract targets while they get hit by bow DoTs:

  1. Poison Arrow
  2. Acid Spray (Arrow Spray)
  3. Unstable Familiar
  4. Mage’s Fury
  5. Dark Exchange, or if not available yet, Thundering Presence

Armor: Full Medium

I originally planned for a mix of light and medium, but when levelling I felt I could save skill points to invest into the weapon and class passives by focusing on only one armor type. Medium Armor buffs both bow and dual wield, so that’s what I went with.

Jewelry: Cost Discount

Right now I’m packing two Stamina Discount pieces and one Magica Discount piece. With the bow, your defense comes from being able to churn out as many roots and snares as possible, so I went for as much cost reduction as I could get.

Attributes: Full Health

I read on the forums that you can softcap on Stamina with gear alone, so I went for full health to be less drop dependent. Medium armor seems to drop with Stamina often, so it works out.

Extras

I’ve been recording public dungeon runs to track the evolution of the build. My last one was at level 26 in Naril Nagaia:

I’m level 33 now and it’s probably time for me to do another one though. For a (mostly accurate) snapshot of how it looks like at level 30, look below:

See the full build on ESOhead

Update 28th August: The Level 50 version is here.

Selphea

Selphea is a crazy MMO player who can never decide what to play and runs weird builds. But hey at least they work!