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WiP: ESO Theorycrafting - Spammable Skill and Off-Balance

  • Member
    February 13

    On our Stamina Warden's Dual-Wield bar we currently have Bull Netch, Bird of Prey, Subterranean Assault and Rending Slashes. In this article, we'll be taking a look at Cutting Dive as our fifth skill, and be exploring the Off-Balance mechanic.

    We'll continue to use ESO Skillbook, ESO Sets and UESP.

    This skill is our spammable. That means it's a bit of a low-cost, button-masher skill that we will use in between light and heavy attacks, and while our DOT attacks tick away. For our Nord Warden, it's a skill which encapsulates our affinity with the natural world.

    Breaking it down we can see what this skill gives us:

    Physical Damage - 820 Physical Damage on impact.

    Debilitating Effect - If we're more than 7 meters away, we'll set the target Off-Balance.

    Stackable Bleed - If the enemy is already Off Balance, we'll apply a bleed for 7 seconds which we can stack on itself.

    Off-Balance is a simple mechanic in the game we're introduced to early on. However, it can be pretty confusing. Simply put, when an enemy is Off-Balance, they are Stunned and take 70% more damage from heavy attacks. A heavy attack we land will give us double the number of resources back (in this case, Stamina). An enemy can be set Off-Balance for 5 seconds (7 seconds from Cutting Dive) once every 20 seconds.

    To get the most out of this skill and the Off-Balance mechanic, we want to be more than seven meters away when we use Cutting Dive to set our target Off-Balance, then we'll immediately follow up with another Cutting Dive to apply the bleed while we rush in to deliver a Heavy Attack. We can stack bleed effects on our target by repeatedly striking them with Cutting Dive during that 7-second duration. If the target is still alive after that little combo, we won't be able to set them Off-Balance again for another 15 seconds.

    In group content, Bosses are immune to Off-Balance and Crowd Control abilities. The only way to set them Off-Balance is for a member of the group to apply the Concussed effect using shock abilities. Once that Boss enemy is Off-Balance, though, we can strike them with Cutting Dive repeatedly to stack the bleed effect.

    As we can see, the mechanic and combo are quite situational and used mainly against non-boss enemies. However, for me, it is a nice, class-defining skill with a fun gameplay element we can use to our advantage. Outside of the Off-Balance and bleed effects, Cutting Dive has a low cost to cast and deals a decent amount of damage we can utilise while weaving in light and heavy attacks. In addition, with this skill on our bar, we're adding another 2% to our Weapon Damage thanks to the Advanced Species passive skill.

    We can increase the amount of damage we do to Off-Balance enemies by 10% by putting Champion Points into the Ritual Constellation which will unlock the Exploiter perk.