As the last build of our guide, I wanted to share a high-end DPS/Augustin’s Sword and Board combination that can clear VH on pretty much any character. The spicy thing about this build is you have two ways of getting your damage through: Either using Immortal King sword or just stacking flat physical damage with loads of attack speed jewels. It was originally envisioned as an Uber Elder kill but it still has workable defenses for other content! This will be my final guide before I take some time off from writing; let me know if there are any questions you want answered in the future!.
I made a Sword and Board DPS build that hit 85k on a 21 mil and cleared vVH. The build is based around the Sword and Shield skill line, with some minor adjustments to make it viable for PvP.
Because customisation is one of the characteristics of ESO, one of my absolute favorite things to do in this game is attempt to find the sweet spot between “play your way” and “be viable.” I was motivated to attempt my newest idea since it seems like we receive the “I want to use a Sword and Board but don’t want to tank” question every week on this sub, and every week we respond with the same thing: You can use a sword and board, but your damage will be terrible.
However, when replying to one of those postings, I discovered something I thought was really magical:
Power Slam is balanced as a melee spammable ability, something I believe most people are unaware of. ( Take a look at this to see how they compare.
Crystal Weapon does the same amount of damage as Power Slam. However, both Venom Skull and Crystal Weapon have far greater secondary effects.)
I set out to create a build that could employ Power Slam as its main spammable, with the objective of reaching 85k and defeating vVH while doing so. The first step was to choose a class. Warden was chosen due of the front-bar passives from Animal Companion, as well as Bear’s excellent damage and soloing potential. Other classes, I suppose, might be made to function. This is how I’d put them in a hypothetical order:
- Stamsorc – Go double pet stamsorc for the passive damage, similar to Warden.
- Nightblade – Probably solid, and it solves the SnB front bar’s major flaw: the lack of an execute.
- Necro – The extra crit in execute is good, and Blastbones and other abilities do a lot of damage. It’s not my first pick, but it’s in the center of the pack.
- DK – Is it possible? I don’t play stamDK much (read: at all), but I assume it’s a DoT-heavy game with limited spammability.
- Don’t do it, Templar. As a Stamplar, there’s no need to utilize anything other than Jabs.
I went with an extremely meta build for gear. I’m sure you could get good results with any good stamina gear, but I used the following: Advancing Yokeda front bar/jewels, Rele body, 1pc Kilt, and 1pc Kragh’s. I used the vMA 2Hander for my backbar.
Why do you have a 2H on your backbar? First and foremost, if you can keep it up, Carve is an insanely excellent DoT. Second, AoE is noticeably absent from this design, especially on the front bar. Shalks is fantastic, but there are moments when you need to be able to spam AoE damage. Carve provides AoE damage spam, as well as a strong DoT and a damage shield. Seriously, I’d bet it’s the single greatest Stamina ability in the game right now in a vacuum.
My bar arrangement for parsing was as follows:
- Front Bar: Heavy Slam/Sub Assault/Growing Swarm/Bird of Prey/Camo Hunter/Bear of Prey/Camo Hunter/Bear of Prey/Bear of Prey/Bear of Prey/Bear of Prey/Bear of Prey/
- Stampede/Carve/Barbed Trap/Netch/Camo Hunter (BoP may also be used)/Bear on the back bar.
I also tried using Low Slash instead of Camo Hunter on the front bar. I got close to 85k a few times with this — the best was 84.6. If shield pounding repeatedly isn’t enough to make you feel like a Sword and Board DPS, Low Slash is a low-damage option that grants Minor Heroism.
You may view the whole video if you’re interested.
. In addition, although I don’t have any recordings of them, I used this setup to do both Scalecaller Peak and Stone Garden speed runs.
I swapped Kilt for Ring of the Pale Order for vVH. My jewels/frontbar was Viscious Ophidian, and my body set was Aegis Caller. Because it’s a really amazing Stamina soloing set, VO shouldn’t come as a surprise. I chose Aegis Caller because I needed more passive AoE on my front bar, but honestly, any non-Relequen combination will suffice. Tzogvin’s, Leviathan, and Yandir’s Might all spring to mind as excellent choices.
My backbar received Vigor as an emergency heal, while my front bar sacrificed Camo Hunter for…Pierce Armor. Yes, I was soloing a dungeon and running a taunt. However, that same taunt also grants Major and Minor Breach, getting you more than halfway to Pen Cap with only one ability. (It also helps because it matches my class dream of being a Sword and Board DPS – I liked having TWO SnB skills on my bar!)
Unfortunately, I choked on the Void Lich in vVH and was unable to get Spirit Slayer. However, I cleared the first three wings in 31 minutes, and after I stopped wiping to Flame Shaper, I cleared Maebroogha in 6, indicating that this build has the potential to be a Spirit Slayer.
Here’s what I thought the build’s strength was:
- This is a really powerful block. I’m not sure whether that got it to the videoed effort, but I could effectively block the minotaur boss’ clobbers while my health meter hardly moved.
- Exceptional usefulness, although limited to a single target. Most stamina builds have to give up a slot for Caltrops or wear Night Mother’s Gaze to obtain Major Breach while soloing, so having access to both breaches is crucial. While I didn’t include them in my build, I could see both Defensive Posture and Shield Charge being useful while soloing.
- It seems to be quite cool. Seriously, how can shields manage to be the most attractive weaponry in the game?
There are several flaws in the construction.
- It is notable for its lack of execution. Access to spectacular executions is part of what makes Stamina great, with 2H receiving the best of the best and DW getting both Whirling Blades and Shrouded Daggers (with vVH daggers equipped, and only in non-solo content where you can be behind the mob.) Bear makes up for it a little, but it’s still an issue.
- It also lacks AoE entirely. In my vVH run, you’ll see me compensate for this by just hanging out on my backbar and spamming Carve… But, if you’re spending more than half your time on it, is it truly a backbar weapon? Heavy Slam excelled in battles like Blue Wing’s final boss, which doesn’t have any AoE phases, but on fights like the Pyre Lord, I only heavy slammed for the first 25% of the fight before he summoned the bone colossus and endless skeletons.
- The absence of an interrupt was particularly problematic for vVH. Flame Shapers on the Void Lich were a nightmare since neither SnB nor 2H had a ranged interrupt. I’ve gotten Spirit Slayers on practically every stamina class at this time, but dealing with Flame Shapers that spawned outside the Shade wing was a whole new level of pain for me, especially because I couldn’t backbar a bow. (In retrospect, choosing DW and inserting Shrouded Daggers as a ranged interrupt could have been a better choice, but giving up Carve’s shield seemed like a death sentence.)
To summarize, I did this academically to demonstrate that it could be done…but I don’t necessarily condone it. I had a lot of fun constructing it and finding out how to play it, and I’m hoping that someone who wants to play a Sword and Board character may use this as a template for creating a solo character. This build should not be used in group content unless you’re playing with buddies and have discussed it beforehand. While there is the risk for injury, there is also the possibility of being kicked. I’d be pleased to answer any questions you have about soloing with a Sword and Board.
The “eso sword and shield magicka build” is a build that I made. It is a hybrid of the sword and board class, with some magicka support to allow for more damage. The build was able to clear vVH on a 21 mil character.
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