Sorcerer class is a powerful caster in The Elder Scrolls Online who mainly uses magical skills and spells to destroy or weaken enemies. Anyone who likes casting spells and other magical powers and overall prefers the “mage” play style will definitely fall in love with Sorcerers. If you want to control the forces of nature, conjure dark minions to do your bidding, and dominate in PvE or PvP combat be sure to take a closer look at this exciting class!
Sorcerer Skill Trees
Same as with the other ESO classes, Sorcerers have access to three class specific skill lines, each of which offers a unique set of spells. The three skill sets are Dark Magic, Daedric Summoning and Storm Calling, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Dark Magic skill line is primarily focused on control, knock back and damage dealing. Various debuffs and crowd control (CC) in Dark Magic will help keep enemies at a distance, all the while destroying their health pools. Take a look at the full list of spells below.
- Negate Magic – extremely powerful spell dispels all magic effects in an area, and also silences and damages nearby enemies.
- Active Abilities:
- Crystal Shard – deals magic damage and knocks down a single enemy.
- Encase – immobilizes enemies in front of you for a short time.
- Rune Prison – disorients an enemy for a moderate duration.
- Dark Exchange – converts your available stamina into health and magicka.
- Daedric Mines – conjures several mines which damage and immobilize nearby enemies.
- Passive Abilities:
- Unholy Knowledge – reduces magicka and stamina costs of all spells.
- Blood Magic – you restore a percentage of your max health every time you hit an enemy with Dark Magic spells.
- Persistence – increases the duration of your Dark Magic spells.
- Exploitation – increases your critical strike rating when you attack an enemy affected by Dark Magic.
Spells in this tree allow you to summon helpful creatures and minions, curse your enemies and use protective spells. The downside to Daedric Summoning is that you basically sacrifice your own damage and defense to make your minions more powerful. They can however do a lot of damage themselves which is why this skill line is also good for leveling.
- Summon Storm Atronach – summons an immobile creature to a targeted location, which also stuns nearby monsters on impact and deals damage to them. With synergy allies can use Charged Lightning to deal additional Shock damage with their attacks and prolong the duration of Storm Atronach.
- Active Abilities:
- Unstable Familiar – summons a familiar which attacks your enemies. Also reduces your max magicka by 10% while the minion is active.
- Daedric Curse – curses your enemy an causes your target and all nearby enemies to take magic damage after a short duration.
- Summon Winged Twilight – summons a Winged Twilight minion which attacks your enemies. While active your maximum magicka is reduced by 10%.
- Bound Armor – toggled spell which increases your armor while active, and reduces max magicka by 10%.
- Conjured Ward – creates a damage-absorbing shield on yourself and all your summoned creatures.
- Passive Abilities:
- Rebate – you receive 10% max magicka when one of your summoned creatures dies.
- Power Stone – reduces the cost of your ultimate abilities.
- Daedric Protection – increases your health regeneration if you have any summoning ability on your action bar.
- Expert Summoner – your minions gain additional bonuses (increased damage for Winged Twilight, increased movement speed for Familiar and Clannfear, increased range for Atronach).
Note that you can have a summoned minion and a Storm Atronach at any given time.
Storm Calling is the basic offensive tree for Sorcerers and Sorceress, primarily consisting of lightning spells good for both PvE and PvP combat. A full list of all available spells in Storm Calling tree is below, which should help give you further insight when planning your Sorcerer build.
- Overload – toggled spell which replaces your basic attacks with empowered ones.
- Active Abilities:
- Mage’s Fury – deals shock damage to target, and if the target falls below 20% health within 4 seconds it explodes for additional damage.
- Lightning Form – increases your armor and spell resistance, all the while dealing damage to all nearby enemies.
- Lightning Splash – leaves a pool of lightning in an area which deals shock damage to enemies. Allies can activate Conduit synergy, instantly dealing shock damage.
- Surge – increases your weapon damage for a medium duration.
- Bolt Escape – teleports your Sorcerer forward and stuns nearby enemies for a short duration.
- Passive Abilities:
- Capacitator – permanently increases your magicka regeneration.
- Energized – increases the damage of all your lightning-based spells.
- Disintegrate – your lightning spells have a chance to disintegrate low-health enemies turning them into piles of ash.
- Expert Mage – reduces the cost of all your lightning spells.
Remember, you are limited by your action bar and can only use several abilities at any given time. It’s important to carefully plan your character for whatever playstyle you prefer and make sure you morph the right abilities.
Sorcerers predominantly use Destruction Staves, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. There are however various Sorcerer builds, some of which include a bow or even a two handed mace (though typically on weapon swap). Unless you have a very specific build in mind such as some sort of a battle mage, it might be best to simply stick with staves until you’re more experienced with the game and able to come up with your own amazing builds (at which point, don’t forget to share them in the comments below!).
While the “Battle Mage” build gets thrown around in the community quite often, truth be told it’s just not optimal to deviate too much from “standard” class roles. Sure you can make it work and it will be fun for awhile, but once you swap to Destruction Staff (and especially once you start using Impulse ability) you will likely never go back. It’s just way more optimal in terms of damage and it will make leveling much easier and faster.
The armour of choice for a vast majority of Sorcerers is of course light armor. Magicka regeneration and spell critical are the two most important stats for majority of Sorcerers in The Elder Scrolls Online, which is usually found on light armor. Most Sorcerer builds are Destruction Staff mages, and Light Armor provides exactly the bonuses you need to deal damage.
If you prefer experimenting with bow or melee builds, a 5+2 combination of medium and light armor is the best way to go about it. Despite Sorcerers wishing for it, unfortunately they don’t make particularly good tanks so it’s unlikely you will ever find yourself wearing heavy armor.
Sorcerers spend a majority of their attribute points into increasing their magicka, allowing for a larger magicka pool to spend for casting a multitude of spells and abilities. Magicka is very important for Sorcerers who spec into Daedric Summoning, as summoning minions decreases your maximum amount of magicka. A small amount of stamina is also very helpful, especially for Dark Magic Sorcerers, as the Dark Exchange ability can convert your stamina pool into health and magicka.
Furthermore, having a larger health pool is beneficial as well as it provides more durability to your character, and also synergizes well with Blood Magic passive spell in Dark Magic, which restores a percentage of your maximum health every time you hit an enemy with a Dark Magic spell.
For the most part Sorcerers spend attribute points into magicka, and some points into health can be very helpful as well. Certain builds and skill lines can benefit from a large health pool, and even stamina can be put to good use with some spells. Both Destruction Staff and class skill lines damage increase by having a larger magicka pool, making it a no-brainer choice. If you’re in doubt just dump 40 or even all 50 attribute points into magicka, and then get other stats via enchantments and food.
Dark Elves, Bretons and High Elves are amongst the most popular of Sorcerers. They are skillful casters and the most suitable Sorcerers due to numerious magicka and spell damage bonuses, but by no means are you required to pick any of those races. Picking a race doesn’t in any way limit your choice of skill trees or funnel you into a particular play style, so simply pick a race which you think looks the best.
Why play a Sorcerer?
The most powerful mages in Elder Scrolls Online are without a doubt Sorcerers. While other classes have access to magical spells (mainly Templars), Sorcerers are the kings of magic with extremely potent and destructive forces and debilitating curses and crowd control. If the path of a mage is your preferred play style then you certainly won’t regret picking a Sorcerer class.