Hi all, continuing my overly long winded guides, this one will focus on the Sorcerer skills and their morphs. The morphs are given a 1-5 ranking (1 poor, 5 excellent) and I try to briefly explain why the score. (also, skills that become stamina when morphed have an (S) by the name.
(Note: While I may make reference to PvP at times, the reality is I am casual at best when it comes to PvP and this guide is really done with PvE as the focus)
Crystal Shards – 1 second cast, damage and 2.4 second stun.
Crystal Blast (1) – Adds an AoE element to the spell. Crystal Shards is your bread and butter single target spell, so taking this morph does not really compliment this. If you are looking to do AoE, there are better ways to do so. I really see no reason to pick this over the other morph.
Crystal Fragments (5) – 35% chance when using other magicka abilities that this spell becomes instant cast and uses 50% less magicka and deals 20% more damage. Combine this with frequent Crushing Shock casts and you will never have to actually cast the spell. High damage and stun instantly, wow.
Encase – Frontal Immobilize for 5.4 seconds. 18 x 6m range.
Restraining Prison (3) – Adds a 4.8 seconds snare after immobilize. Nice control spell whether you be tanking or ranged DPSing or soloing. A total of 10s worth of control with this morph. If you are a cautious player who values safety above all else, this is probably for you. I think this is most useful if your kill style involves focusing on one target at a time as this gives you plenty of time to work on each mob. Does feel like a poor man’s Talons though.
Shattering Prison (4) – Explodes for AoE damage when effect ends. The offensive alternative to the other morph, also great for solo, tanking and ranged DPS, though I think it shines most if you are more comfortable with melee range as the main purpose of the spell then is to keep everything close while you hammer into them whilst also complimenting the smack down strategy by exploding for damage. I actually prefer this morph for tanking and AoE style mass murdering.
Rune Prison – Disorientates target for 19.9s.
Rune Cage (3) – DoTs do not break disorientate. A perfect morph for a spell designed for control.
Defensive Rune (3) – First person to attack you is put in a Rune Prison. Nice pre-fight buff, but I would rather simply pick a target and cast the other morph on them. Could be good for PvP though.
Dark Exchange – 1s cast to spend stamina and gain health and magicka (you can move at normal speed while casting).
Dark Conversion (4) – Reduce Stamina cost. Help reduce the price tag on this ability so definitely a good thing. While many Sorcerers may not care overly much about stamina, you always want it available for a block or dodge or break free, so this reduction helps ensure you are not left vulnerable.
Dark Deal (4) – Costs magicka to gain health and Stamina. A Stamina gaining version of Dark Exchange. Obviously a good pick for Stamina based Sorcerers, though the amount received may not justify it being on the bar. Where it really shines is for tanks to help mitigate the no stamina regeneration when blocking.
Daedric Mines – Summon 3 mines for 36s, mines take 3s to arm, then deal damage to nearby enemy and immobilize them for 1.8s. Boss mobs will be immune to damage for 1s after being hit by a mine.
Daedric Minefield (2/4) – Summons 5 mines. Handy in some situations, mainly if you are setting up before a pull and soloing, also pretty nifty in PvP when forming a protection ring around yourself (hence the 4 score). But for PvE it is underwhelming (hence the 2 score)
Daedric Tomb (3) – The 3 mines arm instantly and is placed at the target location instead of around you.
Ultimate – Negate Magic– Dispels enemy placed effects on initial cast, silences enemy players and stuns monsters for 12 seconds.
Absorption Field (3) –Field now heals allies every 0.5 seconds for 12 seconds. Adds a HoT. Defensive Morph.
Suppression Field (3) – Field now damages enemies every 0.5s for 12 seconds. Adds a DoT. Offensive Morph.
Note: This has been changed quite a bit so now your only real options are do you want to go offensive or defensive. Pick what your play style and/or group needs and roll with that.
Unstable Familiar – Summons a pet which will attacks mobs with Shock damage.
Unstable Clannfear (4) – Pet does 15% more damage, can charge and tail swipe. Upon death or unsummoning he heals you for 35% of max health. Handy little guy for soloing, for end game, unless you are specifically a build designed for pets, he will not see much use. That said, an on demand 35% heal is awesome for tanks and soloing.
Volatile Familiar (2) – Pet does 15% more damage and you can activate its special ability to do a pulsing AoE attack fir 4 seconds. The final pulse will stun all enemies hit for 3 seconds.
Note: Pets take reduced damage from AoEs, they also share your critical chance and their damage scales off your total magicka pool. As of 2.1, they also take 50% less damage from players.
Daedric Curse – Curse target, after 6 seconds target takes damage and explosion damages those around.
Daedric Prey (4) – Increase damage of pets by 55% while Curse is active except Atronach that only deal 40% more. If going for a pet focus build, this is a no brainer.
Velocious Curse (4/5) – Reduces Curse duration. Higher DPS as it can be used more frequently, it can be tricky fitting on your bar for PvE unless you are a potion chugger which is the main downside of the skill, but if you are keeping your Spell Power buff up via potions, this skill will give a decent little boost to your DPS. For PvP however, this becomes a solid 5, the burst this can provide can be a real killer.
Summon Winged Twilight – Summons ranged DPS pet.
Twilight Matriarch (4) – Activate pet’s special ability to the matriarch and up to 2 other friendly targets. Defensive Morph.
Twilight Tormentor (2) – Activate pet’s special ability to deal 50% more damage to enemies above 50% health for 15 seconds. Offensive Morph.
Note: They changed these morphs as well. You now pick either offensive or defensive morphs. Pick the one your play style or group requirements determine. Reddit User Transairion made a very valid point about the usefulness of Twilight Matriarch over Twilight Tormentor. Given the state of pet DPS in the game, the healing from the Matriarch is too good to give up compared to the minuscule DPS gain you would gain from the Tormentor. If you wanted to go DPS it would be better to slot an entirely different skill if you want to push maximum numbers.
Bound Armor – Grants Minor Resolve (increases armor by X) and increases Max Magicka by 5%.
Bound Aegis (3) – Grants Minor Warding as well (increases Spell Resist by X) and increases max magicka by 5-8%. Not an amazing skill as it will take a slot on each bar, but added Magicka is good for pet and DPS builds.
Bound Armaments (S) (3) – Increases max Stamina by 5% and increases damage from heavy attacks by 11%. Spell now costs Stamina. Obviously a choice for Stamina users, the extra Stamina will help increase damage a bit, but Heavy attacks are not exactly bread and butter for Stamina users, so limited use overall.
Conjured Ward – Places a damage shield on you and your pet for 6s.
Empowered Ward (4) – Grants Minor Intellect (8% increased magicka recovery) and has reduced cost.
Hardened Ward (5) – Increases shield on self by 30%. This is a very powerful shield based on magicka pool.
Ultimate – Summon Storm Atronach – Summons immobile Atronach at location for 18s. Enemies are stunned for 3s and take shock damage. Allies may activate Charged synergy which applies Major Berserk to Atronach and the player (increasing damage by 25% for 8s).
Greater Storm Atronach (5) – lasts 25s and does 15% more damage. Great morph, best thing about this ultimate is that when cast you can continue doing your own rotation while he also does damage. So morphing it to last even longer is fantastic. Doesn’t matter if you solo or play in a group, this guy is the daddy.
Charged Atronach (2) – Stronger AoE. Nice, but compared to an extra 10s duration I just don’t see this as a worthwhile alternative. While DPS may be increased for AoE, a longer Atronach is a better atronach.
Mages Fury – Deals shock damage. Explodes when target goes below 20% health within 4s doing high damage to target and minor damage to enemies.
Endless Fury (5) – Killing enemy with this ability restores magicka. An excellent morph on an already very good execute spell. Especially good solo or PvP where running out of resources is the death of you.
Mages Wrath (2) – AoE Explosion does more damage (this does not affect the damage done to main target). Not so great a morph. This is an execute spell, the fact it does some AoE is just a free bonus, I would not suggest enhancing that bonus as there are better ways to do decent AoE damage.
Lightning Form – Applies Major Resolve and Major Ward buffs (increased armor and resist) for 15s. Deals damage to nearby mobs every second.
Boundless Storm (5) – Lasts 20s, also applies Major Expedition (increase movement speed by 30%) for up to 6s. Great morph for helping you get into position or run around so incredibly good for PvP and with the long duration and defensive buff along with a bit of damage, it is awesome for PvE too.
Hurricane (S) (4) – 15s duration, and now uses Stamina, radius grows in size (up to 9m) and damage (up to 225%).
Lightning Splash – Ground target AoE dealing damage every 1s for 6s.
Lightning Flood (3) – Increased radius. Big fan of this as it makes it much easier to ensure you cover all the targets in this effect which means minimal time wasted trying to place it. All the more useful with removal of AoE caps.
Liquid Lightning (5) – Increases the duration up to 10s. Love the extra time, however, the radius is just too small for my tastes, if exclusively looking at AoE I would rather have to recast it more often but hit more mobs. However, the 10s duration makes it a very powerful single target spell.
Surge – Applies major Brutality buff (increase weapon damage by 20%). Also heals on critical hits (with a 0.1s cool down) for 40% of the damage dealt. DoT effects do not proc this effect.
Power Surge (3) – Now also applies Major Sorcery buff. Obvious choice for magicka builds, the big question is ‘why this instead of Mage Guild Entropy?’ It is a good question. The recent improvements from 2.1 certainly the heal aspect makes it very tempting, definitely when soloing.
Critical Surge (4) – Critical strikes heal you for more (50% instead of 40%). While this skill is still no longer king of AoE healing, thanks to the reduced cool down on its effect and the removal of silly DoTs causing it, the ability is an effective heal alongside the excellent buff.
Bolt of Escape – Teleports player forward and stuns mobs for up to 2s. Cost increases if used within 4s of last cast.
Ball of Lightning (3) – Absorbs incoming projectiles for 1.8s. Amazing PvP skill, though 2.4 has hit it hard, the duration of the absorb effect has gone from 2.5s to 2.8s. Still a good skill though, amazing defensively and when used right can be effective offensively.
Streak (4) – Damages mobs you streak through and stuns them for 1.5s. This morph is great offensively and defensively and most importantly does not leave a trail to follow if you do use it to run away. For PvP the other morph is still the preferred choice for most but for the more offensive minded you may like this choice, also for solo PvE I believe this to be more useful – damage and stuns…pretty darn good.
Ultimate – Overload – Toggle ability which drains ultimate. Replace light and heavy attacks Sith Lord Lightning Hands (light attack damage is significantly increased). Both light and heavy attacks deal 3% additional damage.
Energy Overload (4) – Light and heavy attacks restore Magicka, but has less bonus damage.
Power Overload (1) – Increase AoE radius of Heavy attacks.
*PASSIVES* For Passives, I will mark them as either an O for Optional (meaning take if you are using a skill that the passive effects) or N for Necessity to take regardless of what skills you use.
(N) Unholy Knowledge – Reduces Magicka and Stamina costs for all abilities by 5%.
(O) Blood Magic – Hitting an enemy with a Dark Magic ability heals you for 8% Max Health.
(O) Persistence – Increases the duration of Dark Magic abilities by 20%.
(O) Exploitation – Activating a Dark Magic ability grants Minor Prophecy to nearby allies.
(O) Rebate – When one of your summoned pets is killed or unsummoned, return X Magicka.
(N) Power Stone – Reduces the costs of Ultimates by 15%.
(O) Daedric Protection – Increases Health and Stamina Recovery by 20% when a Daedric Summoning ability is slotted.
(O) Expert Summoner – Increases Max Health by 8% when you have a pet summoned.
(N) Capacitor – Increases Magicka Recovery by 10%.
(N) Energized – Increases your Shock damage by 5%.
(N) Disintegrate – Gives all Shock spells a 6% chance to instantly disintegrate low Health targets dealing X Shock Damage.
(N) Expert Mage – Increases Spell Damage and Weapon Damage by 2% for each Sorcerer ability slotted.
If you are a PvP focused player, leave us your thoughts in the comments below!