Elder Scrolls Online Sorcerer DPS PvE Build

Elder Scrolls Online Sorcerer DPS PvE Build by Deltiasgaming

Build Objective

The Lighting Temptress has returned with a vengeance. This build is simple and effective. You’ll be maximizing spell critical, spell damage, and weapon damage while rotating between a series of ranged DPS abilities. It’s highly recommend you learn animation canceling for the added DPS. This is solely intended to be a damage dealing machine first, and isn’t intended to tank, primary heal, or anything other than wrecking mobs. You can keep the foundation and alter it to fight those roles, but it will be hard once you master the power of the Sorc.

The character I’m using is Aitled, a High Elf Sorcerer which I feel is the best race combination for this build. I’ve tried this with and without Vampire. Both can work, but you don’t need Vampire to be effective so it’s your choice. Mainly it comes down to a PvP decision and I like non-vamp so that’s what I’m playing. Additionally, its highly recommend taking a race with some magic connection regardless of your faction. Aldmeri Dominion best is High Elf, Ebonheart Pact best is Dark Elf, and Daggerfall Covenant is Breton.

Before we break down all the details, let’s talk about strengths and weaknesses. In the overall scheme of things, Sorc isn’t the TOP DOG for DPS. Yes people will argue with me, but the Nightblade (NB) honestly outshines it. With that being said, the Sorc has many advantages of the NB or Dragonknight. Their Negate ultimate is a game-changer and the sole reason to bring a Sorc along. They have amazing range and do not require to be close to the enemies to produce high damage. And let’s not forget my favorite ability in the game, Streak for speed and stuns. Here’s my breakdown on this build.

  • Heavy hitter (C-frags hits for 1000)
  • Excellent range
  • Self-heals with Critical Surge

– DPS ultimate not as good as NB’s Veil of Blades

– Finisher starts at 20% not 25% like the NB’s Skills

Bar One | Destruction Staff – Primary DPS bar

This is your main damage bar and where you’ll spend most of the time nuking down countless mobs. Swap to bar two when you need to finish a boss, drop an ultimate, streak your face off, or life tap for magic. Get back in the fight and kill!

1 – Inner Light (morph of Magelight | Mages Guild skill line) – 20% spell critical, the downside to playing a magicka based caster is you’re almost required to have this. Don’t just put it on your bar, make sure it’s active :)

2 – Crushing Shock (morph of Force Shock | Destruction Staff skill line) – This is your main source of damage and a ranged interrupt. The effect it applies only last roughly four seconds so you’ll be casting this a lot. Which is okay considering we have Crystal Fragments (C-Frags) on our bar. NOTE: The status effects that it can apply do not depend on your Destruction Staff. Meaning, you can be wielding a Frost Staff and still proc the damage over time (DoT) flame effect.

3 – Critical Surge (morph of Surge | Storm Calling skill line) – One of the most powerful abilities in the game. This pumps our weapon damage up to overcharged over the soft cap and that’s very important because our two DPS abilities (Crushing Shock and Elemental Ring) both scale off of weapon damage. I know it sounds weird, but it does. Not only does this make our staff abilities hit like a truck, it also heals up for 65% of the amount of damage done. Make sure you are always running this and it’s your number one priority to keep up as a Sorc DPS.

4 – Elemental Ring (morph of Impulse | Destruction Staff skill line) – Everyone’s favorite spammable area (AoE) damage ability, Impulse. We aren’t going to use this in the same way as other players because it only does around 450 damage even on a critical hit. Really this is used to apply a DoT if using a fire staff or clear out mobs. If we’re single target DPS’ing, honestly I don’t use this. I know that comes as a shock, but really save this and your magicka for multiple mobs, it’s a DPS loss if focusing on one target.

5 – Crystal Fragments (morph of Crystal Shards | Dark Magic skill line) – The mother of all spell damage abilities for the Sorc and probably the most fun. You’ll get a proc or a chance to insta cast this with reduced cost. It hits like a truck and stuns enemies for a brief period. Do not cast this without the proc, really don’t. The trick to getting this proc is one, watching you’re character your hands will glow purple. Two, listen to the sound which will produce a distinct clank. Three, if you’re using mods or addons, some will have a pop up telling you it’s ready. I use a combination of all these to make sure I’m only casting when it’s reduced cost and instant.

[ULTIMATE] – Flawless Dawnbreaker (morph of Dawnbreaker | Fighters Guild skill line) – Passively increases weapon damage by 13% and yes that applies to our Crushing Shock and Impulse. I don’t use the ultimate, just use the DPS advantage it provides. Swap to bar two when needing to drop an ult. [/list]

Bar Two | Restoration Staff – Off heal, defensive, and finisher

This bar is used to save other players and management resources. One life tap with Spell Symmetry and a heavy attack, I’m near full magicka. The more time you have on a target, the more DPS you can gain. So this is made to save your team if needed, but really keep up your resources for much needed DPS.

1 – Inner Light (morph of Magelight | Mages Guild skill line) – Yep, too powerful to take off and 20% spell critical is good on both bars.

2 – Healing Springs (morph of Grand Healing | Restoration Staff skill line) – The good ol’ Healing Springs is an ability I have on nearly all my characters. It’s a decent AoE heal and it builds up ultimate out of combat. Essentially I use this to heal other players since I have massive heals with Critical Surge. In between battles, I’ll spam cast this on the ground for ultimate. It’s a great backup heal that can save the party, I think a must have.

3 – Spell Symmetry (morph of Equilibrium | Mages Guild skill line) – The Sorc has the innate ability to use Dark Channel draining your stamina to replace health and magicka. While this is a great ability, Spell Symmetry is just a lot faster (remember time on target matters). Since I usually play with a group, I’m not worried about the 600 health cost here and there. Plus, it makes my next spell cheaper and having another Mages Guild ability on my second bar, makes it even more powerful as a resource management tool.

4 – Streak (morph of Bolt Escape | Storm Calling skill line) – My favorite ability in the game still has a place on this bar. It’s speed and stun are just too powerful not to have. If the tank is in trouble because of tons of mobs, Streak in and stun them. If you’re getting focused down, Streak behind a pillar. Or you need to catch up to the party, nothing beats Streaking…..

5 – Mages’ Wrath (morph of Mages’ Fury | Storm Calling skill line) – The ranged finisher is on my back bar for two reasons. One, due to gear, I have more spell damage on my Restoration Staff so this hits harder. Two, I only really use this for boss fights and I spam it when needed. Ultimately it works much better to have this on my back bar instead of Critical Surge. That way I don’t have to constantly swap because we all know, at some point it will bug and you can’t switch bars.

[ULTIMATE] – Absorption Field (morph of Negate Magic | Dark Magic skill line) – The big dog ultimate that changes the game. This stuns, silences enemies, and heals you if spells are on the ground. Not to mention, you’ll get an additional 15% critical chance because of the Dark Magic passive Exploitation. If you bring in a Sorc, they need this ability.

OR [ULTIMATE] – Greater Storm Atronach (morph of Summon Storm Atronach | Daedric Summoning skill line) – However, if you bring in two Sorcs, one should use this. The Greater Storm Atronach is our DPS ultimate that adds a constant steady stream of DPS. At 170 ultimate cost and a huge duration, I can almost always keep this thing up in a big group. So, if two Sorcs are in your party, have one use Negate and another Atronach for added DPS.


GOAL = 2,500 Health > Soft Cap Weapon Damage (with Critical Surge Active > 2,400 Magicka > Spell Damage

Armor Weight – Seven light here which is a real simple idea. You don’t need more armor or stamina for dodge rolling. You’re going to be casting all day every day and need massive magicka and magicka regeneration to do so. There’s no value in anything else, unless you’re doing PvP then I can see using five light and two medium or heavy depending on set bonuses.

[list] Set Bonuses

Warlock – If you’ve never played a Sorc with Warlock then you’re not playing it right. When this puppy procs and floods back 750 magicka and you throw down a potion, it’s happy times ahead. In PvP, I’ve Streaked upwards of 10 times in a row because of the procs here. In the case of DPS’ing in PvE, this on a one minute timer and potions on 30 second timer, you’re always a few seconds away from massive magicka. Gotta have it.

Dominion’s – 10% more spell critical for three pieces of gear? Yes please. With this setup I’m running 63% spell critical, soft capped on magicka, spell power, and yes weapon power. It’s just too good to pass up.

Twilight’s Embrace – Remember I said I’ll have more spell power for my finisher Mages Fury? Here’s why, my Destruction Staff is Dominion’s but my Restoration Staff is Twilight’s. Thus when I switch, instantly more spell power for those needed finishers.

Traits – The traits on our armor are mostly infused because of the Warlock set. Now you can mix up the pieces if you like, but I’m only running one Divines so I can’t reach 65% critical. I’d rather have magicka flood than two percent more spell critical so this works. On my Destruction Staff weapon, the only PvP staff you can get with Precise trait is Frost. At first I didn’t like it, but the animation is not as resources dependent as the fire. Ultimately, Fire Staff will probably produce more damage due to the DoTs and what have you. I prefer constant steady stream of critical hits and the added slows in PvP work for me.

Glyphs – Really just add glyphs here and there to make your numbers. The default glyph on the Destruction Staff is powerful enough so I don’t re-craft another one. The Resto I firmly believe in using magicka steal. That combined with Cycle of Life passive gives massive returns on one heavy attack.

Jewelry – I only use one Warlock here because it’s cheaper and the Dominion’s rings add so much critical. You don’t have much room to play with jewelry, but I do enchant spell power to reach the soft cap in that since we are using post weapon and spell damage. If you’re having magicka problems because of your race, throw in a reduced cost and or magicka regeneration. High Elf is a must for this build in my opinion, but not everyone can or wants to re-roll.

Mundus -The Thief Mundus stone is an obvious choice for this build. Though I may go with Atronach for magicka regeneration if I chose a different race. You’re choice but more crit mo better.

Consumables – I use a lot of consumables. It’s not cheap, but adds tons of DPS. Here’s just a few I use for this build.


Really fighting is pretty easy. For AoE or multiple mobs, seriously just spam Elemental Ring until one or two are alive. Then switch to the below main DPS rotation.

Buff with Crystal Frags

Drop Atronach or Negate if full ultimate

Light attack weaved into a Crushing Shock

    If C-Frags procs, use it

    If not, heavy attack

Crushing Shock, same concepts

Near 20% health Mages Fury for however long is needed

Yea it’s that easy in terms of actions, however there are a lot of things to watch for so let me list our priorities rather than abilities. Watch the video for how I do this.

Keep Critical Surge buff up

Ultimate on cool down (meaning as soon as it’s available)

Potions on cool down

Finish if 20% or below BOSS ONLY

C-Frags to their face

Crushing Shock

And if AoE or multiple mobs, literally just spam the good ol’ Impulse as it hits for nearly 500.


Yes the combat may seem boring to read, but in practice it’s a blast. One little timing mistake or success can end with +/- 200 DPS. Turn on some techno, start weaving, and electric flames will spark all over. You’ll be the DPS King or Queen of your party. And if not, re-roll a Nightblade.

Okay that’s a bad joke. I hope you enjoyed this guide and please leave me a comment on your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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