Top 10 Most Powerful Magicka DPS Sets in the Elder Scrolls Online
| 23 Jun 2022
This article is a look at what we think are the ten best sets for Magicka Damage Dealers in the Elder Scrolls Online right now. We will elaborate on each set and explain why they are useful. Some of the sets are widely usable, whereas others have more niche applications. You can also view all sets in the ESO Sets Library.
The effectiveness of sets can vary based on your class, what content you are doing and your playstyle, and this article would turn into an essay if I were to thoroughly explain how each set performs in each possible situation, so please don't take the ordering of the sets too seriously.
This article is primarily intended to give you a list of ideas if you're unsure what options you have for improving your Magicka DPS build, or are making one for the first time.
10 - Mother's Sorrow
Mother's Sorrow is a pretty good Magicka DPS set, and if you're a beginner who doesn't have access to some of the DLC and trial sets further down this list yet, then using this is a good way to get started. The set gives you a bit of extra max magicka and heaps of critical chance, one of the most important stats for DPS builds.
Mother's Sorrow is a base game set, meaning no DLCs or Chapters are required to obtain it. It's an overland set from Deshaan, meaning it can drop from treasure chests and bosses in that zone and its associated delves. You can also buy it on the guild store if you don't want to farm it.
Deshaan zone in ESO (Elder Scrolls Online)
9 - Spell Strategist
Spell Strategist is another beginner friendly set. It gives you lots of weapon and spell damage which makes it a good pairing with Mother's Sorrow for a beginner DPS build, however it does also have some drawbacks. It basically allows you to mark one enemy at a time by light or heavy attacking them, which gives you an extra 400 spell damage against that enemy. This means that the set will give you good single target damage, however in situations where there are a lot of trash enemies or several bosses stacked close together, the set doesn't give you as much value.
It's still a decent set, but you will eventually want to get something else that's more versatile.
Spell Strategist is a base game set, and the two ways to obtain it are from Rewards for the Worthy mails (earned by participating in Cyrodiil PvP) or simply buying it from a guild store if you don't want to grind PvP rewards.
8 - Mantle of Siroria
Mantle of Siroria is a Magicka DPS set that's been around for quite a while now, and used to be very commonly used in end-game trial groups. You will still see it in these groups sometimes but it is less common now. The set drops a buff AOE underneath you when you do a light or heavy attack, and the AOE gives you an extra 52 spell damage, stacking up to 10 times. This can make Siroria deceptively good based on parsing alone, because when you are parsing on a target dummy you don't have to move so you can keep the buff easily. However in actual dungeons and trials you will have to move around to avoid damage or to do a mechanic, and for this reason the set can actually be quite situational.
520 extra spell damage is no joke though and if you're playing in a situation where you can easily keep the buff most of the time, then this set will perform quite well for you.
Mantle of Siroria drops from the Cloudrest trial, and you will need the Summerset DLC to access it. You can also get a perfected version of the set from Veteran Cloudrest, which will give you some additional magicka.
Cloudrest Trial in ESO (Elder Scrolls Online)
7 - Master Architect
Master Architect is a bit different to the other sets on this list, as it's primarily a group buff set. Using your ultimate will give you and nearby allies Major Slayer, a very strong buff that gives a flat 10% damage increase against dungeon and trial enemies. The more ultimate points you spent, the longer the buff is applied for.
It's important to note however that the set gives the same buff as Roaring Opportunist, one of the most common healer sets in the game. Therefore if your healer is running that set, there's pretty much no point in running this.
Sul-Xan's Torment is one of the newer sets on the list. It's also a bit situational as it requires an enemy that you recently damaged to die in order to give you its full effect. So in trash fights or bosses with a lot of adds, it's good. But for bosses with few or no adds, it's not really useful.
When an enemy you recently damaged dies, the set will create a vengeful soul. Touching the vengeful soul gives 2160 critical chance, and a massive 12% increase to your critical damage. This is a unique buff meaning it will stack with other similar effects like Minor Force. If you are in a dungeon or trial where you think you will be able to make use of this effect easily, then it's definitely worth considering this set.
You can obtain the set from the Rockgrove trial, which is part of the Blackwood DLC. If you do the trial on Veteran, you can get a Perfected version of the set which gives you some extra critical chance (making the Perfected version of this set more important than on most other sets)
Rockgrove Trial in ESO (Elder Scrolls Online)
5 - Burning Spellweave
Burning Spellweave is a set that was traditionally used mostly on Magicka Dragonknights, however it can work well on other damage archetypes too as long as one of your abilities does some fire damage (Force Pulse will work for this).
The set gives you some nice all-around boosts to your max magicka, spell damage and critical chance. When you deal flame damage, you are guaranteed to inflict the burning status effect on the enemy, which deals some extra damage, and you also gain a pretty big spell damage buff of 490.
Unlike Spell Strategist, the buff applies to all of your attacks, not just attacks against one enemy. This makes this set one of the best in the game for buffing your spell damage.
Medusa could be considered to be a better version of Mother's Sorrow. It basically just gives you loads of critical chance, while also giving you Minor Force at all times, also buffing your critical damage by 10%.
There are abilities in the game that give you Minor Force though, such as Barbed Trap, so it's really up to you if you would prefer to get the buff from a set or from an ability.
Medusa is actually a Heavy Armor set, so you will want to run it on jewelry and weapons.
The set is found in the Arx Corinium dungeon, which is part of the base game.
Arx Corinium Dungeon in ESO (Elder Scrolls Online)
Tzogvin is a bit more complicated, as you need to build up stacks to get the critical chance. If you don't do any critical damage for 5 seconds then you lose the stacks. In a normal parse situation this isn't a problem, but in boss fights where there are frequent pauses to your damage output, you're probably better off sticking to Medusa.
The rest of the time though, Tzogvin will give you more critical chance, also gives you Minor Force as long as you have all 10 stacks of the buff, and tops it off with a nice chunk of extra offensive penetration too. You can pair this set with something from this list that buffs your spell damage for a very powerful magicka dps build.
Bahsei's Mania has held a solid place in the meta since it was introduced to the game around a year ago. It gives you some extra weapon and spell damage, critical chance, the Minor Slayer buff, and additionally will give you a flat damage bonus based on how much of your maximum magicka is missing.
This makes the set a bit tricky to use and less suitable for beginners, as you have to get used to playing at low magicka levels, constantly balancing your magicka level to be fairly low without running out entirely. Too high and you won't get the most out of the set, too low and you risk being unable to cast skills.
A flat percentage buff to your damage output is obviously very strong, so if you can make it work then you will almost certainly get good results with this set.
Bahsei is available from the Rockgrove trial, which is part of the Blackwood DLC. Playing the trial on Veteran can also drop the Perfected version of the set, which gives some extra weapon and spell damage.
1 - Whorl of the Depths
Whorl of the Depths has been in the game for less than a month, and in a sense it could be described as a magicka version of Arms of Relequen, although that comparison is increasingly confusing due to the recent hybridization of combat in ESO.
When you light attack your enemy, you will put a frost DoT on them for 8 seconds. When this expires, an AOE is spawned under them which does high amounts of Frost damage. The exact amount depends on your spell damage value. The set's effect on your overall damage output seems to be about on par with Bahsei's Mania, but this set is much easier to use which is why it places higher on the list.
Whorl of the Depths is from Dreadsail Reef, ESO's newest trial which is part of the High Isle Chapter. If you have a group good enough to do the trial on Veteran, then you can get the Perfected version of the set which gives you extra Critical chance.
Dreadsail Reef Trial in ESO (Elder Scrolls Online)
That concludes the top 10 list, however there are a couple of sets that I want to give an honorable mention to.
Firstly I want to mention Arms of Relequen. This is a set from Cloudrest. I didn't put it on this list because it's traditionally a Stamina set, however as I mentioned earlier the lines between what constitutes a stamina and magicka set are increasingly blurred nowadays. You can run Medium Armor Magicka specs and get very good results with it, and Arms of Relequen can definitely compete with and even outperform some of the sets on this list. It's just a little bit hard to categorize now, due to the hybridization changes.
Lastly, I also want to mention False God's Devotion. While not a hugely powerful magicka DPS set for group play, if you're playing solo it's actually very good. It's basically a magicka version of the Vicious Serpent set, giving you magicka return and Major Expedition when you kill an enemy.
This is especially good for fast paced content like Maelstrom Arena. A set like this may be a little less powerful than the sets on this list in terms of buffing your raw damage numbers, however you basically don't need to worry about sustain while using it, which can be a massive boon in the right situations.
We hope you enjoyed this article about Magicka DPS sets in ESO. The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Zenimax Online Studios.