Welcome to the third installment of a weekly segment where we dive into one Elder Scrolls Online’s many Sets, and explore what sort of Builds you can make. Not only will we show you how to get the most from these Sets, but we’ll explain where to get them, what requirements there are to obtain them (if any), and everything else you could possibly want to know about them. This week’s Set is a Light Armor Set that clearly was intended for PvP, but is almost never used: Noble Duelist’s Silks.
An Introduction To This Set
This Set was added to the game with Patch 1.3.3 in August of 2014, which was one of the most important Updates to Elder Scrolls Online, as it introduced 2 and 4 piece bonuses on MOST item Sets. Originally this set increased the damage of your Light and Heavy Attacks by 15% for 8 seconds after dodging an attack and had 3 and 4 piece bonuses of Weapon Damage. It has since been changed with the One Tamriel Update in the fall of 2016. It used to be obtained from vendors in Cyrodiil, but now is acquired by running the 4-man Blessed Crucible.
Since this is a Dungeon Set, you can get Weapons, Shields, Armor and Jewelry, but the Armor will always come in Heavy. The Traits on this Armor are random, so you may have to farm several times in order to get the ones that you need. Jewelry for this set comes in Arcane, which helps add to the viability of this Set.
This Set caps out at 1225 extra damage added to your Light and Heavy Attacks added at Champion Rank 160 at Legendary quality. This is a HUGE amount of damage to add to Light and Heavy Attacks! To give you an idea just how big, I’ve put together some research on Light and Heavy Attacks below.
Light and Heavy Attacks, Things You Need to Know
Light and Heavy Attacks are basic attacks that anyone in Elder Scrolls Online can perform, regardless of Race or Class. They don’t cost any resources, and fully-charged Heavy Attacks will even restore Stamina or Magicka based on the Weapon used. Some things to note about Heavy Attacks are: the longer you hold down the attack button to perform a Heavy Attack, the more damage you will deal, capping out at “fully-charged”, and Heavy Attacks that are not fully-charged will NOT return resources. Both Light and Heavy Attacks also cause you to gain Ultimate, so continuously striking with them will be sure to increase your Ultimate up-time.
The damage for Light and Heavy Attacks is increased by Max Stamina and Weapon Damage for all Stamina-based Weapons, and Max Magicka and Spell Damage for Magicka-based weapons (Staves). Light and Heavy Attacks have a 40:1 ratio, meaning you would need to add 4000 Max Stamina or Magicka to get the equivalent of 100 Weapon or Spell Damage (abilities generally increase in damage at a ratio of 10:1 Max Stamina/Magicka vs. Weapon/Spell Damage, which is loads better). This means when you are making a build that focuses on Light or Heavy Attack damage you will want to prioritize Weapon or Spell Damage, and because this Set is Light Armor and uses Spell Damage we must use a Staff to take full advantage of the 5 piece bonus.
So how much does Spell Damage add to your Light and Heavy Attacks anyway? That’s a great question! See below for details:
No Champion Points
- Light Attacks: Roughly 0.72 damage per point of Spell Damage
- Heavy Attacks (fully-charged): Roughly 2 damage per point of Spell Damage
- Heavy Attacks (not fully-charged): Somewhere on a scale in the middle depending on length of time the button was held.
Now you can see why Noble Duelist’s Silks is actually a lot of damage. It would take roughly 1700 Spell Damage to make our Light Attacks deal that kind of extra damage, and 612 Spell Damage for Heavy Attacks.
100 Points Into Staff Expert
- Light Attacks: Roughly 0.95 damage per point of Spell Damage
- Heavy Attacks (fully-charged): Roughly 2.62 damage per point of Spell Damage
- Heavy Attacks (not fully-charged): Somewhere on a scale in the middle depending on length of time the button was held.
Even with 100 points into the Champion Star Staff Expert it would take 1286 Spell Damage to gain that Light Attack damage and 468 Spell Damage to gain that for Heavy Attacks. Other factors play a role in increasing Light and Heavy Attack damage as well, so let’s take a look at them below.
Things That Increase Light and Heavy Attack Damage
Spell Damage – In this case we’ll be using a Staff so the easiest and simplest way to increase our Light and Heavy Attack Damage is to increase our Spell Damage. When looking for complimentary Sets for this Build pick one that has at least 2 Spell Damage bonuses or one that has a 5 piece bonus that increases Light and Heavy Attack Damage like Queen’s Elegance.
Max Magicka – While not nearly as good as Spell Damage for what we’re trying to accomplish, Max Magicka will increase your Light and Heavy Attack damage so if you can’t get Spell Damage, this is the next easiest way to increase it. Things like Food, Attributes and your Armor Glyphs can all increase your Max Magicka.
Staff Expert – This Champion Star can increase your Light and Heavy Attack damage by up to 35%. That’s A LOT! Be sure to put a ton of points into this star to help maximize your damage.
Master-at-Arms – This Champion Star increases the damage of your Light Attacks of all Staves because they are considered Direct Damage, but only the Heavy Attacks of Flame and Frost Staves.
Thaumaturge – This Champion Star increases the damage of Heavy Attacks with Lightning and Healing Staves, as they are channeled and considered Damage over Time.
Elemental Expert – This Champion Star will increase the Light and Heavy Attack damage of all Staves.
Tri Focus – This Destruction Staff Skill will increase the damage of Flame Staff Heavy Attacks by 12%.
Minor/Major Berserk – These positive Status Effects will increase both your Light and Heavy Attack Damage.
Off Balance – This negative Status Effect will increase your Heavy Attack damage against an Off Balance target by 70% and will knock them down to boot. Good ways to set targets Off-Balance are to: 1) Interrupt them, 2) Block their Heavy Attack, 3) Dodging if you have the Champion Passive: Tactician (either Roll Dodge or Major Evasion works), and 4) casting Wall of Elements with a Lighting Staff will set Concussed targets Off Balance.
Queen’s Elegance – This Set will increase your Light and Heavy Attack damage by 20%.
Undaunted Infiltrator – Although a Medium Armor set, you can get Jewelry, Weapons and Shields to get the extra damage to Light and Heavy Attacks this set provides and then swap to your Staff.
Undaunted Unweaver – This Light Armor set gives the same 5 piece bonus as Undaunted Infiltrator, just after using a Stamina ability.
Maelstrom Staves – The enchantment on these Staves increases the damage targets take from Light and Heavy Attacks by 1341 while affected by Wall of Elements, making them the ideal choice for this sort of build.
What You Need To Know About This Set
How this Set works is: whenever you Dodge an attack you gain the buff “Noble Duelists Silks” for 8 seconds, increasing your Light and Heavy Attacks by the amount listed. It doesn’t matter how you Dodge, so you can Roll Dodge or use Major Evasion, either will work as long as an attack is in fact “Dodged“. This buff has no cooldown, so it can be refreshed by Dodging a second time. Something interesting to note here is that if you have Tactician unlocked in the Champion System, when you Roll Dodge OR Dodge with Major Evasion you will still set the taret Off Balance. This will allow you a follow up Heavy Attack for massive damage (+70%) and allow you to Stun them as well.
What’s really great about this Set, is that the 1225 bonus is added to your Light Attack Damage and THEN increased by things that increase Light and Heavy Attack damage, making you get more than 1225 extra damage out of it (in reality it’s closer to 2000 with this Build). You’ll want to put a good number of points into Staff Expert, Master-at-Arms and Elemental Expert to maximize your Light and Heavy Attack damage. Just don’t neglect your abilities, because if they are all Damage over Time, you will still need to put points in Thaumaturge to increase their damage. You can’t just play with Heavy and Light Attacks!
Dodging and Roll Dodging
When it comes to “Dodging” attacks or “Roll Dodging” attacks there are some things you need to know. First of all, they are NOT the same thing, but they do appear to have similar effects. The only current way to Dodge an attack without Rolling is by using any Set or Ability that grants Major Evasion, which grants you a 15% chance to “Dodge” attacks against you. When a player Roll Dodges an attack or multiple attacks, they are immune to damage and proc a “Dodge Window” which lasts somewhere between .5 and 1 second. This is why players who dodge the first attack will often dodge the second or third you fire at them, even though their Dodge has concluded.
This also applies to the “Dodge” from Major Evasion as well, making it very valuable, since it can often mitigate many attacks in a row. The Crusader Set actually extends this “Window” by an additional 0.3 seconds, making you nearly impossible to kill if you can keep Rolling. Because Dodging is so powerful, especially in Cyrodiil, Zenimax has made it so more and more Abilities cannot be Dodged. Probably the two most common are Daedric Curse and Radiant Destruction.
Another thing to note is that after you Roll Dodge 2 things happen whether you actually Dodged an attack or not. First, you will gain a 2 second Immobilize Immunity, meaning you cannot be rooted in place for 2 seconds. This is to help players from perma-rooting you in place while in Cyrodiil. Second, you will gain Dodge Fatigue for 3 seconds, increasing the cost of your next Roll Dodge by a large amount (I think it doubles the cost every roll until it expires). This is to help prevent players from being impossible to kill if they have enough Stamina/Stamina Recovery that they can’t be hit.
Notes For PvE Players
If you plan on using this Set in PvE then you must find a way to proc it. During trash pulls you should be able to do this with regularity, but during boss fights you are likely not to be targeted and so won’t be afforded the opportunity to “Dodge” unless you are the Tank. If you’re not Tanking you might have to get creative and put yourself in harm’s way to get this Set to work. Also, you will want to be sure to use a Lightning Staff as the fully-charged Heavy Attacks deal AoE damage, which is what you’ll want during trash pulls to burn many enemies quickly. Be sure to keep your other DoTs up in between Heavy Attacks. Make sure you have Wall of Elements and take advantage of the synergy between it and the Maelstrom Staff.
Notes For PvP Players
This Set was really designed for the PvP players and it will shine out in Cyrodiil or the Imperial City. Because you will be using Light and Heavy Attacks more frequently than your average player you won’t need as much Recovery as you normally would, so feel free to stack a bit more Spell Damage on your Jewelry. Keep Evasion up at all times and be sure to Heavy Attack anyone you set Off Balance. Consider putting a Poison on your Staff as it will help increase your overall damage and pressure on your target, and procs off Light Attacks, Heavy Attacks and Staff Abilities. PvP players will also want to reduce their Roll Dodge cost via the Champion Star: Tumbling, and most likely have at least 2 or 3 pieces of Armor with the Well-Fitted Trait to further reduce the cost.
While Max Magicka will increase the damage of your abilities, because it contributes so little to Light and Heavy Attacks I would recommend either putting Prismatic Defense Glyphs or Max Health Glyphs on all your Armor. This will not only increase your Health and make you harder to kill, while sacrificing minimal damage, it will increase your Stamina pool which will be needed to Roll Dodge and keep Evasion up. For the same Reason I would highly recommend Tri Stat food, as increasing your Health and Stamina are both important.
Any Class can play this Build, so there is really no best one here. However, Nightblades have some good synergy with the ability: Grim Focus. I have also not tested this Set with Overload, so Sorcerers may be able to capitalize on the Light and Heavy Attack damage if it works with this ability. Players will also want to consider Degeneration when using this setup, as it will give you some much needed healing and get’s better the more damage your Light and Heavy Attacks deal.
Maelstrom Destruction Staves are THE BEST weapons you can use with this build because of their unique enchantment (one that also increases Spell Damage). Maelstrom Arena isn’t easy, and it is a pain in the you know what to farm, but if you’re going to play this build seriously you will want one, so spend the time and get one. Something to note though, is that the bonus from this enchantment is not affected by Champion Stars.
If you absolutely want to maximize your Light and Heavy Attack damage to the fullest with this setup, consider adding Jewelry and Sword and Board on your back bar of the Undaunted Infiltrator Set. This will allow you to proc the extra Light and Heavy Attack damage from a buff and then swap back to your Staff bar. If you choose this set, however, you might be gimping your damage overall as your Skills and Abilities may suffer.
As mentioned above, if you’re PvPing you may want to consider adding a damaging Poison to your Staff to help take down your target faster. If for some reason you don’t want to or don’t have access to them however, consider putting a Glyph of Weapon Damage to your Staff to increase all your Light and Heavy Attacks for 5 out of every 10 seconds. Remember that Heavy Attacks will take that number (348) and multiply it by about 3 if you have points invested in the Champion Trees applicable to this setup.
Lastly, you’ll want either Molag Kena or Slimecraw for your Monster Helm Set. Molag Kena has a 1 piece bonus of Spell Damage and will increase your Spell Damage even more after you hit with 2 consecutive Light Attacks. Slimecraw will simply increase your damage by 8% by granting your Minor Berserk, which will also apply to Light and Heavy Attacks. Depending on your setup, this might actually outperform Molag Kena. Nightblades will gain Minor Berserk from Grim Focus, so should stick with Molag Kena.
Stay tuned next week for our Build Guide around another ESO Set, and one you might not use too frequently!
You can find more Elder Scrolls Online content here.