Class Tier List
Updated for U39
This tier list serves as a comprehensive overview of all the classes in relation to eachother for PvP. The position a class gets on the ladder is decided by looking at its healing, mobility, general survivability, burst damage, pressure over time and its utility in groups.
The classes are not separated into stamina and magicka variations and are rather looked at as a whole. This is because many builds are fully hybrid now, combining the best both sides have to offer without regards to the stamina or magicka “theme”. It is still possible to build a “pure” stamina or magicka spec for any class, but often that is not the most competitive choice. And a tier list, by its very definition, has to look at what works best. Still, in some cases it’s useful to keep some iconic older playstyles into account.
A tier list is a controversial subject, and thus it might very well be that you disagree with a part of it or with the entire thing. If you want to discuss about it, join my Discord server or leave a comment in this YouTube video.
D Tier: Necromancer
Necromancer currently fills the weakest spot in PvP, although any class is playable given the right build. That is also why this tier list starts at D tier, representing a lower average performance, rather than the F tier, which basically means completely unplayable.
The reason Necromancer is not absolutely terrible is that it does still have decent survivability through a lot of passive damage reduction, decent sustain and healing. Its offense is rather weak and it does not have good Crowd Control abilities, but this can be remedied by using the current proc set meta of Master dual wield, Vateshran ice staff, Maarselok and more.
C Tier: Templar
Like Necromancer, Templar has good defensive options especially if a player can hold his or her ground in a specific spot. This way, it’s a rather easy class to get into but it’s difficult to perform very well at. Its class spammable, Jabs or Puncturing Sweeps, deals a mediocre amount of damage that is easily avoided by Major Evasion. Furthermore, Templar lacks a good burst option in its toolkit. Power of the Light or Purifying Light deals only weak damage and is still barely viable after a recent buff. Thus, Templars are often forced into using sets like Mechanical Acuity or Balorgh (or both) to at least get some burst through their build.
B Tier: Sorcerer
Sorcerer offers a fast and agile playstyle that requires good positioning and kiting for optimal performance. This class is best played in hybrid versions with the proc sets mentioned at Necromancer, but there is also the Magicka Sorcerer. Either way, its healing and damage reduction is not that strong, making it a decent class either at B tier (magicka sorcerer) or A tier (hybrid sorcerer) with good mobility and damage but less survivability than the following classes.
A Tier: Arcanist
The Arcanist is the newest class added to ESO, and it performs decently average in PvP. Its defensive capabilities are very good, because it has excellent health scaling healing. This means it’s possible to build high health and still keep some of the highest healing in the game. However, the damage the arcanist offers is pretty lackluster. Although on paper it should shred (pun intended) with Fatecarver having some of the highest damage tooltip in the game, in practice it is quite delayed and difficult to hit enemies with.
This forces many Arcanist builds to yet again resort to proc sets to carry the damage output. Interestingly, this is the first time a new class is not the top pick for PvP. The only reason one could consider it decent to begin with is due to proc sets. Looking purely at the class toolkit, it might be better suited at the more decently average spot of B tier.
A Tier: Warden
Warden is one of the easiest classes to survive on, with high max health builds and good healing skills. This way it can be extremely tanky. One of the most common ways to play this class is with these high health brawler builds with Dizzying Swing or Wrecking Blow as spammable. Not only is this easy to survive on, it also has access to one of the highest Area of Effect bursts with Deep Fissure and Dawnbreaker of Smiting. Alternatively, Frost Wardens are also an iconic playstyle that works decently well.
S Tier: Dragonknight
This class has been up and down tier lists a lot during the game’s history, and now find themselves ranked as one of the best classes at S tier. The damage Dragonknight offers is some of the highest in the game, in terms of pressure over time and single target burst. The latter comes from specific builds using Mechanical Acuity and Corrosive Armor, but even without this setup the pressure a Dragonknight can put out is hard to outheal for any class, especially when combined with proc sets. The survivability is usually carried by its decent healing options and Daedric Trickery, Bloodspawn and/or Rallying Cry.
S Tier: Nightblade
The uncontested best class right now is Nightblade. It has so many benefits to it that its main issue becomes choosing on which of its good playstyles and which of the many good skills to use. This makes build creation and theorycrafting here feel like entering a candy store. Defensively, not only does this class have some of the best burst heals and heals over time, but also one of the best mobility toolkits with Shadowy Disguise and Shadow Image. Offensively, this class offers a cheap single target burst ultimate, a strong AoE burst ult, the strongest hitting burst skill and one of the best melee spammables in the game.