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Hey, Pat. I was wondering if you could give me advice on something.

I've started playing ESO, Nightblade and went Healer with him, but I'm undecided on one thing. What weapon for second bar? Destro staff or dual-wield? I've been reading through some forums and it seems it is quite a controversial debate.

What's your opinion?

A nightblade healer, huh? Very cool, but challenging, build. My nightblade is exclusively for PvP and ganks other players from stealth (I just love getting those hate whispers. lol).  

I have a Breton Templar healer and have healed through every group dungeon in the game. Once we transition to the new site, I plan on publishing a healing build guide. I only say that because I know quite a bit about healing. 

To answer your question, my advice is to level both DW and Destro for your secondary bar. One thing you'll learn once you start doing some serious healing is that a healer must adapt to the needs of the group. Unlike other MMOs, an ESO healer needs to heal, buff the group, and do some damage. In this game, healers don't just heal.

The advantage of a destro staff is that you can run elemental drain, which, when cast on an enemy, reduces their spell resistance and restores magicka to your group members when they attack. It's like crack for magicka classes. Magicka classes are not known for managing their resources wisely, so they will expect some Drains to help them as they burn through their magicka reserves. Another advantage of the destro staff is that you can use it's damage abilties (Crushing Shock/Force Pulse, Elemental Blockade, etc.) to help provide some DPS to the group. More damage = faster kills. Faster kills = less need for healing (theoretically). However, if you don't have a magicka user in your group, elemental drain is not really necessary.

The advantage of DW swords is that it provides increased spell power. Don't ask me why - no one I know can actually explain it either. It just does; you can clearly see your spell dmage numbers increase when equipping the swords. Further, your spell damage actually increases when you put points into the last passive in the DW skill line. Weird, I know. As a magicka Nightblade, extra spell power is a great thing - it increases the power of your damage abilities and your healing abilities (such as Path of Darkness/Refreshing Path and Strife/Swallow Soul). 

My healer uses both. When I have a magicka user in my group, I run the destro staff for Elemental Drain. When I have all stamina users, I run DW. But, while you're leveling your character, you might want to use the Destro staff in order level that skill line and take appropriate perks in certain abilities and passives. 

Yeah, healer. I like to play healers, already tried Templar but not really my thing. Sorcerer was quite good, but I have that one in different faction.

I do understand that healers in ESO don´t just heal, but what I understand, Nighblade lacks the buffing aspect but is better at damagehealing. So Destro for Elemental Drain when I have magicka users in my party. Alright, I´ll keep that in mind. 

Ah, so only Swords increase spell power. I thought it was any dual wielded weapon. Interesting. 

Alright, thanks, I´ll try to level both. 

Hey, no problem. Nightblades lack buffing abilities. Take, for instance, the Templar ability, Blazing Spear. When thrown toward the tank (or stam DPSers), they can activate a synergy which gives them a crap ton of stamina back. Tanks LOVE that skill because blocking stops the stamina regeneration process. Obviously, tanks need to block so stamina resource management is an issue. Nightblades also lack a burst heal, like the Templar ability, Breath of Life, but Healing Springs from the resto staff can help with that. 

With that said, a well-crafted nightblade can dish out a TON of damage while using their heals. This can make the battle go much quicker, thus eliminating the need to use lots of buffs. It's a fast and furious playstyle. But it's very do-able.

With that said, a well-crafted nightblade can dish out a TON of damage while using their heals.

Yeah, that´s what I thought. Still have to figure out the right setup for the damage bar, but that still has time. Only level 16. 

And yeah, I remember that Templar skill. Also, I think that pretty much every class except Templar lack the burst heal. Though I think that DK has some shield or something, right?

DK has Igneous Shield, which provides Major Mending (increased healing done by 30%).

I love healing with my Templar because it provides:

1: Major Mending (Passive)
2: Decreased resurrection time (Passive)
3: Full stats upon resurrection (Passive)
4: Purification of 5 harmful effects (ability: Extended Ritual)
5: 20k-30k burst heal (ability: Breath of Life)
6: 50% chance to get a soul gem when you resurrect (Passive)
7: Stamina on demand (Ability: Blazing Spear/Luminous Shards)
8: FREE heal & stamina for entire group (ability: Repentance)
9: Minor Sorcery for your group

That said, any class can heal. Some just might be harder than others. If you like the NB playstyle, go for it! 

For your damage bar, remember that a skill line will level as long as it is on your ability bar. You don't even have to use it. Also, when you turn in quests, put all the abilities and skills you want to level on your bar first. When the XP is calculated, those skills will level up pretty quick. That said, I'd recommend a few skills for NB damage:

1) Suprise Attack (morph of Veiled Strike) - super powerful

2) Killer's Blade (morph of Assassin's Blade) - great execute

3) Mark Target

4) Merciless Resolve or Relentless Focus (morph of Grim Focus) - increases your damage done

5) Mass Hysteria (morph of Aspect of Terror) - for solo

6) Ultimates: Incapacitating Strike (morph of Death Stroke), Veil of Blades (morph of Consuming Darkness), and Shooting Star (morph of Meteor; Mage's Guild)

For destruction staff:

1) Elemental Blockade (morph of Wall of Elements)

2) Crushing Shock or Force Pulse (morph of Force Shock)

3) Elemental Drain (morph of Weakness to Elements)

Yeah, I know that, but thanks for the list of morphs.  :)

Reading through this has made it very tempting to respec my nightblade. I've been toying with the idea for a while but was on the fence about what direction to go in, healing sounds like interesting path. Maybe its time to try teach an old cat some new tricks.


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