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.Legatus Glaer.

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Joined: 15 Mar 2013
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re: Melee Dual Weapons Sorcerer.


Build Objectives

Create a melee DPS sorcerer with incredible Health sustain in combat by taking advantage of a variety of combat healing mechanics most notably Critical SurgeBlood Magic, and Blood Craze. The key to success for this build revolves around extremely high critical chance allowing for maximally efficient surges. This character type will feature a playstyle similar to the Dark Age of Camelot Reaver and the Warhammer Online Disciple of Khaine.

The Reaver is designed as a small-group or solo gameplay character. The particular skill-set and loadout of this class does not flourish in large group PvP encounters. The Reaver is well suited to soloing in PvE and PvP as well as running 4-man dungeons and small PvP gank groups. For large group AvA combat an action-bar more dedicated towards group synergy and AoE damage is required.


Race Choices

  • Khajiit – Hands down the best choice. Increased critical chance (3%) and critical damage (15%!!!) make this a no-brainer. In-combat health regeneration reinforces the health gain theme, and extra stealth damage works well with our weapon/armor choices.
  • Imperial – Red Diamond makes for a good second-best racial choice.
  • Breton – Reduced Magicka cost is really efficient, and would be a good choice for people who want to keep maximum uptime on Surge and Lightning Form.


Ability Points

Based on the current meta of ESO it is optimal to invest all 49 points in health because of the 200% return you get from health attributes vs. those placed in Stamina and Magicka. Current itemization in game is evenly balanced between all three attributes, so you can strictly optimize your character currently by investing fully in health and itemizing fully for magicka and stamina.

  • 49 Health / 0 Magicka / 0 Stamina


Weapons and Armor

The Reaver uses Medium Armor for it’s 5 piece set bonus, granting (in total) 15% critical chance and 10% attack speed.

The Reaver uses Dual Wield as it’s primary burst damage line, with One-Handed and Shield as a secondary weapon set which offers control, mobility, and utility. Much as the DAoC reaver would bide his time in combat until he can unleash a devastating Leviathan combo, this Sorc Reaver build is durable until the opportunity presents itself to deliver rapid burst DPS on a weakened target.

  • Dual Wield (Swords or Daggers) – Excellent sustained DPS, this is the main source of damage that leverages Critical Surge.
  • One Handed and Shield – Gives debuffs and mobility, optional defensiveness if things are going badly.
  • 5 Medium / 2 Light – Critical chance, attack speed, damage bonuses from Medium armor. Some magicka regeneration and casting efficiency from Light.

A note on Swords vs. Daggers

When choosing weapon types, the passive Twin Blade and Blunt presents an interesting choice. Axes proc a DoT effect which scales with Stamina and Attack Power. Swords grant a 2.5% raw damage increase (each), while Daggers grant a 5% critical strike increase (each). At first it seems like Daggers are the obvious choice which synergize best with this build. Ignoring axes for a moment, let’s examine some math to check the breakpoint at which Swords begin to scale more effectively (assuming Khajiit racial + Shadow Stone for bonus Critical Damage). The following formula describes the percentage critical chance (X) at which 5% additional raw damage would yield superior DPS to 10% additional critical chance:

(X + .10)(1.75) + (1 - X - .10)(1) > (X)(1.05)(1.75) + (1-X)(1.05)
0.75X + 1.075 > 0.7875X + 1.05
0.0375X < 0.025
X < .66

This means that choosing daggers is optimal if you have 66% critical chance or LESS. If you manage to stack enough gear to boost your critical chance reliably above 66%, you will benefit more from the raw 5% damage increase from dual swords. A more in-depth analysis of these results may be merited under other various game conditions.


Action Bar 1 - Stealth/Sustain [LINK]

This first action bar is designed to offer high sustain (health return), staying power, mobility, and control. It is also the utilized hotbar when taking advantage of a stealth opener.

  1. Blood Craze – Your highest damage stealth opener since both hits automatically crit. Re-apply this once every 7 seconds to maintain continued self-healing.
  2. Rapid Strikes – Reasonable damage, but most useful for the 18% attack speed buff. Try to maintain uptime on the buff in order to maximize your self healing from weapon attacks.
  3. Crystal Fragments – Use it when it procs to maximize DPS, can also be useful to halt a fleeing opponent. Not worth casting unless the proc is active.
  4. Boundless Storm – Damage reduction and movement speed increase all in one. Keep this as close to 100% uptime as is feasible given your Magicka regeneration. This will be your primary source of proccing Crystal Fragments.
  5. Restraining Prison – A massive utility ability for this build. Heals you for 5% on application and keeps your opponent locked in combat. Taking the snare morph of Encase maintains a Dark Magic debuff on your target for 8.5 seconds. This is huge when combined with the Exploitation passive giving you an extra 15% crit chance during that duration.
  6. Flawless Dawnbreaker – Increases your weapon damage passively by 13%, a huge benefit when combined with other stacking effects.

Action Bar 2 – Debuffs/Pursue [LINK]

Your second action bar is dedicated towards debuffing and pursuing your target. Additionally, it helps by providing some defensive utility which can be situationally valuable.

  1. Pierce Armor – One of the best debuffs in the entire game (12 seconds), reducing your target’s armor and spell resistance.
  2. Invasion – Used for initiation (non-stealth) and pursuit. Inflicts a long duration stun when used at max range.
  3. Degeneration - When you’re re-applying Pierce Armor, it’s ideal to also apply Degeneration, giving you a 15% 100% self-heal proc for 12 seconds. This synergizes really well with Critical Surge and is an ideal addition to your debuff/pursue bar.
  4. Elude – Gives 20% dodge chance for 20 seconds, a really useful buff to use situationally depending on your opponent.
  5. Critical Surge – The ability that makes everything else work. 20 seconds of increased power and 65% self-healing from critical hits.
  6. Absorption Field – A 20% self-heal plus Negate Magic, what’s not to love?


Key Passives

  • Carnage (3% critical chance, 15% critical damage)
  • Twin Blade and Blunt (5% critical chance)
  • Dexterity (15% critical chance)
  • Agility (10% attack speed)
  • Ruffian (15% damage vs. Encased targets)
  • Exploitation (15% critical chance vs. Encased targets)


Mundus Stone

  • The Shadow (10% Critical Strike Damage)

Similar to the examination of daggers vs. swords above let’s compare the critical chance threshold at which point stacking Critical Damage becomes mathematically superior to having increased critical chance (assuming Khajiit).

(X)(1.75) + (1-X)(1) > (X + 0.05)(1.65) + (1 - X - 0.05)(1)
0.75X + 1 > 0.65X + 1.0325
0.10X > 0.0325
X > 0.325

So this means that when you are starting out, with a critical chance less than 32.5% you are better off using the Thief Stone to increase your critical chance. In the long run once you have unlocked most of the critical strike passives you are better off going with the Shadow Stone to increase your damage return when you do crit, simple!


A Few Numbers – Critical Chance / Self-Healing Percentage

This is a (overly) brief examination of the effective self-healing percentage (SHP) that you would see as a Khajiit at various levels of Critical Chance. Without itemization, your critical strike percentage can effectively reach 43% (3 carnage + 10 daggers + 15 dexterity + 15 exploitation = 43). Also without itemization, your Critical Damage multiplier will be 175% (1.5 base + 0.1 Shadow Stone + 0.15 Khajiit = 1.75). The following analysis assumes the player will be using 2x Daggers throughout.

Unitemized (Critical Chance = 43%)

SHP = (0.43)(1.75)(0.65) * 100 = 48.91%

Itemized (Critical Chance = 60%)

SHP = (0.60)(1.75)(0.65) * 100 = 68.25%

Itemized + Critical Potion [20s duration] (Critical Chance = 100%)

SHP = (1.00)(1.75)(0.65) * 100 = 113.75%

This suggests that with high-level alchemy crit potions and itemization stacking it’s feasible for a Reaver build to achieve greater than 100% self-healing efficiency through Critical Surge damage conversion. Absolutely delicious. This analysis also identifies how important stacking Critical Damage bonuses are for this type of build (Khajiit racial + Shadow stone + Divines traits).

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