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Infectious Serpent - PvP Stamina Nightblade Build 2H/Bow (Updated for Homestead)

Izaki
Izaki
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Greetings everyone,

This is a build I've been running with for quite a while now in PvP when I play on my stamina nightblade, and I find it highly effective when played right. I'm by no means a great nightblade player, but I can pull off some great fights. I'm mostly a magicka sorcerer, but I recently fell in love with my stamblade once again and after doing LOTS of trials and vMA on it, I decided to take it into Cyrodiil. At first I thought that my previous gear would not be any good in today's meta, but I was pleasantly surprised. Stamina nightblades aren't easy to play contrary to popular belief and even more so in the current meta (Eye of the Storm, proc sets and heavy armor). The incoming damage has escalated significantly since Dark Brotherhood and medium armor isn't the tankiest or easiest to play set-up (I never noticed this on my sorc because shields). This build focuses a lot on mobility and pretty much infinite ressources to deal strong and sustained damage.
I know the update comes a little late (2 months after the update? lol) but better late than never, right?


1- MY STATS, RACE, FOOD and POTIONS

My stats fully buffed on the 2H bar, because you never go into combat unbuffed anyway. Weapon Damage is unstealthed (20% more when in cloak/crouch)
- Stamina : 30018
- Health : 22298
- Stamina Recovery : 2708 (with Relentless Focus and potion, Minor and Major Endurance). This goes up over to 3k when you kill something on the 2H bar.
- Weapon Damage : 3347 (with Rally, Major Brutality)


I'm running the Serpent mundus stone. I often switch to the Shadow for more damage in group situation, although your recovery drops to around 2.3k

Best race is definetly Bosmer, because of the high base stamina recovery from gear, but other very viable choices are Redguard, Khajiit and Imperial. I'm personally a Khajiit (changed race for PvE).

I use Immovable potions: Health Return, Stamina Return and Disabling Effects Immunity. An alternative is the Immovable and Speed potion : Stamina Return, Disabling Effects Immunity and Speed. Take potions on cooldown, the stamina recovery bonus is just too good to not have up all the time. Nowadays, you barely have time to break free of a CC before some guys hit you with their Viper/any other proc set, and you're dead because you're in medium armor, which is why I use these potions. You aren't a tank unlike 90% of Cyrodiil :lol:

To achieve the amount of recovery I have, I use Orzorga's Triple Trifle Pocket (Maximum health, Stamina recovery)


2 - MY GEAR CHOICES :

Setup 1:
- 5 Eternal Hunt - 5 pieces on the body, all medium armor all in the Impenetrable trait and enchanted with maximum stamina.
- 4 Vicecanon - All jewelry pieces enchanted with weapon damage and one item on the body enchanted with stamina.
- 1 piece Kra'gh/Velidreth - Heavy, impenetrable trait, maximum stamina enchantment (or health if you feel like you need more)
- Vicecanon Greatsword/Battle-Axe/Maul - Sharpened, with a weapon damage enchantment.
- Vicecanon Bow - Defending or Sharpened, Double Ravage Health Poison


Setup 2
- 5 Eternal Hunt - 5 pieces on the body, all medium armor all in the Impenetrable trait and enchanted with maximum stamina.
- 5 Vicecanon - All jewelry pieces enchanted with weapon damage and two items on the body enchanted with stamina.
- Maelstrom Greatsword/Battle-Axe/Maul - Sharpened, with a poison of your choice. I use the double damage health poison.
- Master's Bow - Defending or Sharpened, original enchant


Setup 3
- 5 Eternal Hunt - 5 pieces on the body, all medium armor all in the Impenetrable trait and enchanted with maximum stamina.
- 5 Vicecanon - All jewelry pieces enchanted with weapon damage and two items on the body enchanted with stamina.
- Maelstrom Greatsword/Battle-Axe/Maul - Sharpened, with a poison of your choice. I use the double damage health poison.
- Maelstrom Bow - Defending or Sharpened, Double Ravage Health Poison


I'm running two 5 pieces sets. I used to run Senche's Bite, but after using it for around 3 patches, I decided to test out the Vicecanon set from IC. At first, I was impressed by the extra pressure this set provides, but also the extra healing. It shines in outnumbered situations, where you can try to get this to proc on as many people as possible to stack the healing from this set. So unlike Troll King, this set scales better with the number of opponents we are facing. You only need Vicecanon on your bow bar, as this is going to be your opener with a Bow heavy attack and a Poison Injection. Even though this set can't crit anymore with the introduction of Homestead, but I manage to get somewhere around 22k on the tooltip which still means that the set will be doing around 10k+ damage and healing over 15 seconds.
Eternal Hunt is well... Eternal Hunt :lol:. An amazing set that allows for great kiting and damage potential.
So with this set-up, when you roll-dodge you are doing 3 things : drop the Eternal Hunt rune, gain Major Expedition (when on the bow bar) and *insert skill* animation cancel. What more could you ask for ? Be intelligent when timing your burst and roll-dodging. That poison rune hits quite hard, even without critting, so if you position it well before doing your burst, its very hard to survive all that damage at once along with the added pressure from Vicecanon on top of your DoTs.
You have a few options for setting up your stuff. I like all 3 and switch between them constantly. Most effective so far has been the setup 3 in my experience in terms of overall pressure on the opponent. The highest burst is setup 2 and setup 1 is the easier to get and also the one with the highest stats.


3 - MY SKILL LOAD-OUT

Two-handed bar :
- Surprise Attack
- Killer's Blade
- Critical Rush/Ambush
- Rally
- Mass Hysteria
- Incapacitating Strike/Dawnbreaker Of Smiting

Bow bar :
- Relentless Focus/Shadow Image/Rearming Trap
- Poison Injection
- Shadowy Disguise
- Shuffle
- Resolving Vigor
- Soul Tether/Dawnbreaker of Smiting


The main bar is a very standart set-up. I'm often using Killer's Blade over Reverse Slice/Executionner because of the disease damage and the heal it provides when I kill something. Critical Rush does WAY more damage than Ambush and it has a great synergy with our passives, our mundus and our CP. The Empower from Ambush doesn't prove to be a great advantage to me personally, as I always end up Empowering a light attack because of my weaving. Suddenly Ambush isn't too appealing anymore, right? Critical Rush is a very strong ability and I focus quite a lot on it. When you don't get thrown into a loading screen this skill is very strong :lol:. So unlike Ambush, its not just a gap closer, its an important part of your damage. It also provides a small DoT for more pressure due to the enchant on Maelstrom Weapons.
The back bar is also pretty self explanatory. I usually run Relentless Focus in the flex spot, because Minor Berserk is a very rare and powerful buff. The Assassin's Scourge proc from this skill is a big nuke and procs very often as I'm animation canceling/weaving light and heavy attacks constantly. Rearming Trap also works extremely well with this build, especially in Imperial City sewers, make sure you cancel the animation with a roll dodge. What this does is it stacks the Poison Rune and the Trap, opening up a insanely strong burst opportunity and providing you with a very strong buff (Minor Force). For most open world encounters in Cyrodiil and especially near rocky areas and resources, Shadow Image shines in its kiting capability and mobility. Its an amazing skill, definitely one of my favorites (finally looks like a cat too). Poison Injection is your opener, deals very strong damage when paired with Vicecanon. I'm using Shadowy Disguise as its part of my favorite burst combo (more on that later). What better way to reingage a fight than with a critical strike? You're in full control of your crits and thats priceless (crit Heavy bow attack, crit Assassin's Scourge, crit Incap, etc.). When you use Vigor and then Cloak, all your Vigor heals will crit too. The rest of the skils are pretty self-explanatory. Shuffle (I hate this skill) has to be reapplied very often due to the amount of snares in the current state of the game.

As far as ultimates go, I'm using Incapacitating Strike on the front bar and Soul Tether on the back bar. The reason for using Soul Tether is it makes you pretty much invincible for 4 seconds allowing you to go full out on damage and not worry about any consequences. It doesn't heal out a destro ultimate though, so keep that in mind. The only situation where I would slot Dawnbreaker over Incap is in a group situation, it synergies really well with Reverse Slice too.


4 - CHAMPION POINTS...
I feel that this is something that you should really work out for yourself, as everyone is different and has a different playstyle. I'm going to give some rough general guidelines, but I will not list my detailed distribution, so as to not influence you too much :wink:

Mage Constellation :
- Ritual : obviously this is where most of your points will go. Boost up Mighty for sure. Also invest into Precise Strikes, to boost your crit damage because it is crucial to this build but keep in mind the amount of Impenetrable gear out there. Thaumaturge is also a good investment to supplement the DoTs from your Poison Injection, your Poison and Vicecanon (also buffing the healing from this set).
- Atronach : you could invest the remainder of your points into Melee or Bow Weapon Expert or Shattering Blows.
- Apprentice : some points into Blessed are never a bad thing.

Thief Constellation :
- Shadow : invest quite heavily into Tumbling. At least 10% reduction to roll-dodge and break-free cost, more if you feel like you need it.
- Lover : do NOT max out Mooncalf. Invest heavily into it, but 75 points are enough.
- Tower : cost reduction is very important and I consider that 10% is the minimum.

Warrior Constellation :
- Lord : the only interesting star for a stamina nightblade here is Quick Recovery. Its the least important star though so don't go too hard on it.
- Lady : 120 points in this tree is a must because of the Unchained passive, which is now finally balanced. Stack up quite a lot into Elemental Defender, as the majority of players in Cyrodiil are magicka based nowadays, mostly DKs with undodgeable Leaps and Sorcs with Destro ultimates. Hardy is your second priority. Thick-Skinned is quite situational so I don't bother at all.
- Steed : invest a fair amount of points here. Critical damage mitigation is very important on a stamina build, especially in medium armor.

5 - INTERESTING COMBOS

Most of these combos use more or less the same concept.
Shadowy Disguise > fully charged Heavy Bow attack > Poison Injection > Critical Rush > Incapacitating Strike/Surprise Attack > Roll Dodge for Eternal Hunt > execute if needed.
This is great especially for reengaging something. Say you're being heavily pressured: Mass Hysteria, Shadow Image away, cloak and kill.

If you have Assassin's Scourge procced, do the above combo but with the skill instead of the bow heavy attack.

Critical Rush has a great synergy with Mass Hysteria, so keep that in mind.

Then there are obviously all your other bursty combos, I just felt that this one was worth noting.


So this is it I think. I will make sure to post some videos of this build in action as soon as I can. Thank you for checking it out and I hope you liked it ! If you have any suggestions on how to make this build better in any way, please go ahead !
Edited by Izaki on February 13, 2017 4:26PM
@ Izaki #PCEU
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  • Curtdogg47
    Curtdogg47
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    Nice build. You armor sets are very cool choices. Two sets that I never thought of using. And the way they work together is every intriguing.
    Thank you for sharing your build.
    Edited by Curtdogg47 on August 2, 2016 1:04PM
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    @Curtdogg47 Thanks a lot for your interest and the feedback!
    Yeah the sets complement each other perfectly. Now you guys on PC can achieve much better results right now, because Master weapons are now CP160. So this build will get even stronger. When you're pressured, dodge a few times while gaining the damage from Skirmisher, immobilising that DK Crit Rushing you and then counter-attacking with a crit Incap. Sustain is really insane too.

    I'll make sure to show you how it looks in action, but I think I'll wait for SotH to drop on consoles for that Master's Bow.
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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    #Stamblade
  • Curtdogg47
    Curtdogg47
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    I'd like to see a video of your build for sure.
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    Curtdogg47 wrote: »
    I'd like to see a video of your build for sure.

    So how is regen affected in this patch? This build will probably still be viable, even if regen drops from 3.5k to 2.9k it is still more than enough to sustain anything. I understand why ZOS made that change and I think they were right to do it. Now people have to focus on sustain a bit more than before.
    Edited by Izaki on August 4, 2016 1:24PM
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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  • DarkDeller
    Whats mudus stone?
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    DarkDeller wrote: »
    Whats mudus stone?

    Serpent. But I saw that a lot of people run a similar build with the same gear sets (but with less focus on recovery) so I don't even play on my NB anymore. Sorcs are really way too fun and I'm PvPing solely on my Sorcs now.
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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  • Syiccal
    Syiccal
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    I run this exact same build on my stamplar with success..rune goes off crit rush in and bammm jabs to the face.
    Nice to know it works on nb as I have one to so may look at trying it on him
    Edited by Syiccal on October 5, 2016 5:35AM
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    Syiccal wrote: »
    I run this exact same build on my stamplar with success..rune goes off crit rush in and bammm jabs to the face.
    Nice to know it works on nb as I have one to so may look at trying it on him

    Make sure you use Impen and a lot of recovery. None of that Well-fitted crap lol
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    Updated.
    Edited by Izaki on December 21, 2016 12:53AM
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    Updated for 1T.
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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    #Stamblade
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    Updated for Homestead.
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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    #Stamblade
  • mmcgibbo
    mmcgibbo
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    How well has this been working for you lately with homestead update?
  • psychotic13
    psychotic13
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    Cool build man, never tried vicecannon is it really that good? I'm using poisonous serpent which is pretty OP.

    Get some vids of it in action!
  • t3hdubzy
    t3hdubzy
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    Vicecanon is okay for ganking, but not great for longer fights, also in cyrodil it doesnt do anyhwere close to half of tooltip.
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    t3hdubzy wrote: »
    Vicecanon is okay for ganking, but not great for longer fights, also in cyrodil it doesnt do anyhwere close to half of tooltip.

    Vicecanon has always given me very strong heals. If I'm not mistaken it ticks every 1.5 seconds and heals for around 1k, and almost twice that when it was critting. When you have it up and running on 3 people it gives you some very strong heals when paired with Vigor and Rally. 1k heals that tick every 1.5 seconds for 15 seconds = to around 10k heals which is a little less than half of the tooltip (got 23k on mine). It shines in long fights much better than in a short fight than ganking is.
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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  • Coldcell
    Coldcell
    Are you still pvping on your Sorcs?

    I'm relatively new to the game and has been trying out Sorcs and StamNB. Personally I find StamNB to be more fun, but I really have trouble surviving encounters in pvp, or even do enough damage to kill things off. In this regard it's hard to say StamNB is better than Sorcs.

    The one thing I hate about Sorcs is the spamming of Hardened Ward every 6s. It's just too good not to keep it up. My sorc at 38 is more fun than my StamNB with CP =\. What are you thoughts pvping as StamNB vs Sorc?
  • Izaki
    Izaki
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    Coldcell wrote: »
    Are you still pvping on your Sorcs?

    I'm relatively new to the game and has been trying out Sorcs and StamNB. Personally I find StamNB to be more fun, but I really have trouble surviving encounters in pvp, or even do enough damage to kill things off. In this regard it's hard to say StamNB is better than Sorcs.

    The one thing I hate about Sorcs is the spamming of Hardened Ward every 6s. It's just too good not to keep it up. My sorc at 38 is more fun than my StamNB with CP =\. What are you thoughts pvping as StamNB vs Sorc?

    Yes of course.
    They are very different play styles. In a duel of a MagSorc vs StamNB its pretty much a draw. The NB has more mobility and can reset/control the fight more, while Sorc is almost untouchable with Mines, so it can go on forever is no one makes stupid mistakes.
    With a NB you should really have more than enough damage, but survivability is definitely an issue. Sorc is basically the same thing as shields won't save you from 4 people beating on you, but it definitely has more than enough damage. I haven't had many issues with the shield duration at all to be honest, you have to spam them to survive most of the time anyway, just like a NB has to roll dodge.
    @ Izaki #PCEU
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