Welcome to another installment of a 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. In this article we take a look at Spell Strategist Set, which is used to increase damage with Magicka abilities.
An Introdution To Spell Strategist
This Set was added to the game with Update 20 Murkmire, which launched in October/November of 2018. Spell Strategist is Rewards of the Worthy Set. Rewards of the Worthy are obtained via mail after acquiring 20k AP. The Style of this set is Aldmeri. Aldmeri Motifs can be found in chests in both Cyrodiil and the Imperial City. Only players belonging to the Aldmeri Dominion facton can find these, so players from other factions will need to purchase them from vendors or other players.
Since this is Rewards of the Worthy Set, it will drop all weapon types, jewelry and armor pieces but only in Light Armor. Armor and Weapons pieces come with random Traits so you will need to farm them to get the ones you want. Jewelry comes with the Arcane Trait. Keep in mind that you can use Transmutation to change Traits if you wish, however the Summerset expansion is needed, along with 50 Transmute Crystals.
The Spell Strategist Set increases Maximum Magicka and Spell Damage, and 5 set piece bonus puts a mark for 5 secs on an enemy when struck with a Light Attack that grants 500 Spell Damage against that target. This number can be pushed even further to 625 Spell Damage with Minor/Major Sorcery both active. Because of this, Spell Strategist is one of the best single target dps Sets in the game, making it desirable for Magicka DPS builds.
Proc Sets and How They Work
Proc Sets, or Sets that have “chance to apply some effect” called “Proccing” are becoming more popular in ESO and seemingly added every major Update (Proc is short for: Programmed Random OCcurrence). When the conditions of the Proc Set are met the effect will trigger. However, not all Proc Sets work the same way, and some apply buffs that remain on you whether you continue to wear the Set or not. Learning how to use Proc Sets effectively is extremely important for min/maxing, especially in PvP.
An important thing to note is that Proc Sets can no longer Critically Strike or Critically Heal as of Update 13 (Homestead) so as to reduce their effectiveness in Cyrodiil. In addition, many Proc Sets have cooldowns to keep them from being abused. When choosing a Proc Set to use, if you’re so inclined, you want to not only look at the effect, but how often you can apply it. Finding Sets with little or no cooldown is ideal, because it allows you to trigger them frequently. Spell Strategist has a 5 second cooldown, but a 5 second uptime, meaning it can be kept up 100% of the time.
What You Need To Know About Spell Strategist
How this Set works is that if you strike an enemy with Light Attack that enemy becomes marked and every Skill targeting the same enemy will have an additional 500 Spell Damage added to its damage formula. The Mark lasts for 5 secs and effect can occur once every 5 secs. For this reason it is imperative that you use a Light Attack every 5 secs to maximize the effectiveness of this Set, and remember to keep up your Minor and Major Sorcery buffs.
Attacking an enemy with Light Attacks in quick succession will not reapply or extend the mark. An active Mark needs to run its course before you can apply another one so paying attention to the enemy condition icons is important. You will need to time your Light Attacks so that as soon as the counter from previous mark reaches 0 you strike with one immediately.
How does it measure up to other DPS Proc Sets?
Burning Spellweave – When you deal damage with a Flame Damage ability, you have a 15% chance to apply the burning status effect to the enemy and increase your Spell Damage by 525 for 8 seconds. This effect can occur once every 12 seconds.
Moon Hunter – When your alchemical poison fires, increase your Spell Damage by 600 for 6 seconds.
Scathing Mage – When you deal direct Critical Damage, you have a 20% chance to increase your Spell Damage by 516. This effect can occur once every 6 seconds.
Perfect Mantle of Siroria – Dealing direct damage to an enemy with a single target ability creates a ring of fire beneath you for 10 seconds. Standing in the ring grants you a stack of Siroria’s Boon for 10 seconds. Standing in the ring grants 30 Spell Damage, this effect can stack up to 20 times for a total of 600 Spell Damage.
All the above Sets have the advantage of affecting more than one target, however, they also have a disadvantage. None of them will have 100% uptime, meaning you won’t get the full value of the Spell Damage increase 100% of the time, like you will with Spell Strategist. Take that into consideration when making your choice about this Set.
Notes for PvE Players
The Spell Strategist Set is great for PvE, as it offers a great damage boost against single targets, which is where you really need it (Bosses). This Set should be a primary choice for just about any Magicka-based DPS, regardless of Class. Combine it with something like Burning Spellweave, Mother’s Sorrow, Law of Julianos, Perfect Mantle of Siroria, and Zaan for ridiculous single target damage, thanks to all the boosts to Spell Damage and Spell Critical.
Because this Set is very heavily skewed towards defeating one enemy at a time, consider having a back up Set for times where you will need to AoE enemies. It may be a good idea to leave off this Set until each Boss, in some of the tougher Dungeons, or just the final Boss in ones that aren’t quite so hard.
Notes for PvP Players
Because PvP is all about focusing down one player at a time, this Set works brilliantly in both Battlegrounds and in Cyrodiil. It works better in smaller scale scenarios, than it does large ones, but you will generally still be focus firing anyway. Try to stay on the target you are attacking, and don’t switch targets unless absolutely necessary.
Since this Set is designed for a “one target at a time” type of approach, consider pairing it with other Sets that do as well. Two really good Sets that could work well here are Moon Hunter and Zaan. As you will most likely be using a Poison in PvP, Moonhunter will add on a further 600 Spell Damage when it triggers. Zaan will deal continuous Fire Damage to the target you are attacking, giving additional damage just by staying somewhat near your target. Another option would be Molag Kena, for the increased Spell Damage after 2 successive Light Attacks.
Remember to get Armor with the appropriate Traits depending on whether or not you are PvE or PvP. Divines or Infused (on bigger pieces) in PvE for increased Damage, while Impenetrable will help keep you alive in PvP by lowering the amount of Critical Damage you take.
Since you will most likely be using a Staff with any Build that uses this Set, make sure to place points in to the Staff Expert Champion Skill to increase your damage with Light Attacks. You should be doing Light Attacks often anyway, but it is even more important with this Set due to its reliance upon them, so 50-60 points is advised.
Since Empower now increases your Light Attack damage by 40%, try to mix in Skills that grant it just before you need to refresh your mark. Running with a tank that has the Aegis of Galanwe Set can also help make this happen for you, so try to run with one that’s got it.
Having abilities that do Damage-over-Time is important to maximize your overall damage against powerful bosses and mini bosses. Thaumaturge and Elemental Expert Champion Skills directly affect damage over time, so make sure you have them at respectable levels. Spell Damage also effects Damage over Time effects, not just direct damage afterall!