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Elder Scrolls Online Arcanist Class, Explained

Here's everything you need to know about the Arcanist class in Elder Scrolls Online.
Elder Scrolls Online Arcanist Class, Explained

Elder Scrolls Online is getting its seventh playable class in the Necrom expansion, the Arcanist. As the name suggests, it's a mage class capable of unleashing destructive, defensive, or restorative magic.

The Arcanist's abilities and mechanics have been drawn from Hermaeus Mora’s realm of Oblivion, one of the two new zones in the Necrom expansion. You can harness powerful runes, tomes of ancient knowledge, and the energy of Apocrypha to unleash all sorts of magical abilities.

Update on 19 June 2023 - We've checked for the latest news, leaks and updates relating to the new Arcanist class in ESO.

Arcanist Class Latest News

5 June - ESO Necrom Chapter Launches on PC

The Arcanist class is now live on PC as part of the Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Chapter. The class will arrive on console (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) on June 20. 

Be sure to check out our guides in building your Arcanist class:

25 May - New Arcanist Class Gameplay Trailer

Bethesda has released a nearly five minutes long Arcanist Class gameplay trailer that showcases the standard and ultimate abilities of all three Arcanist skill lines. Additionally, it gives us a glimpse of how the new Crux system works in combat. 

21 February - New Arcanist Class Overview Trailer released at IGN Fan Fest 2023

This past weekend IGN held its yearly Fan Fest online showcase and The Elder Scrolls Online was one such game showing off new reveals and trailers.

This came in the form of a new Arcanist Class Overview Trailer with Combat Lead Brian Wheeler. Whilst most of the details were pretty similar to everything we've heard before, we did get an 'exclusive' look at one of the Arcanist's new abilities, called 'Fate Carver'.

The new sneak peek starts around 1:25 for anyone who wants to skip ahead.

11 February - ESO Creative Director Provides Further Arcanist Updates

Zenimax Online Studios Creative Director, Rich Lambert, appeared on the latest episode of Xbox Podcast last week, and shared plenty of new details about ESO's new Arcanist class.

"This class is something that’s very different than anything that we’ve really built before," Lambert explained. "It’s really tightly integrated into the overarching storyline and themes. So a lot of the inspiration for this class centers around Hermaeus Mora and this thirst for forbidden knowledge. It is a little bit darker, it kind of  hits that cosmic horror vibe, the visuals are really, really cool, the sounds that the audio team came up with are really something you haven’t really heard before."

Lambert also dived into more details to explain how Arcanist will feel distinct from the games current classes, saying:

"It is more focused around, I guess, a combo point system – we call it Crux – but the general concept here is some abilities are builders of Crux, and some are spenders of Crux, and if you’re spending Crux your abilities do slightly different things or completely different things. And then with the Morphs and how we’ve integrated everything, you can control some abilities that aren’t spenders or builders from the onset but you can Morph them to do that. So there’s just this huge tool chest to really dig into and play with, and lots of interesting choices for the players to make to really get the mastery of this class.” 

Arcanist skill lines in ESO

Like other mage classes in ESO, The Arcanist has three separate skill lines, each of which favors different playstyles. These are:

Herald of the Tome (Offensive role)

If you want to deal the maximum damage by manipulating arcane energies, the Herald of the Tomb skill line is for you. Its active abilities include Runeblade, which throws lethal projectiles at enemies. 

Curative Runeforms (Healer role)

If you want to be the healer of the group, the Curative Runeforms skill line will suit you. With the aid of the Apocryphal Gate ability, you can summon a passage between the worlds, allowing you and your party members to teleport across the battlefield. 
Focusing on this skill line will also allow you to use healing runes to keep you and your party members alive and shield them from damage.

Apocryphal Soldier (Defensive role)

If want a more balanced playstyle, the magical abilities of the Apocryphal Soldier skill line will allow you to do just that. By using the Runespite Ward skill, you can create an explosive damage shield. Furthermore, you can divert your foe's attention towards yourself and prevent them from damaging your party members. Some of the skills of this line will also allow you to buff up your abilities or improve your party members' defenses.

arcanist skills
The Arcanist wields the power of Oblivion. (Picture: Zenimax Online Studios)

Arcanist class Crux mechanic explained 

With the Arcanist class comes a new combat mechanic called Crux. You can generate Crux by using your class abilities. You can generate a maximum of three Crux at a time, which you can then use to empower your other abilities.

Think of it like a two-way process vaguely similar to Charged with Light or Elemental Well in Destiny 2. Firstly, generate Crux using any of your abilities. Now spend the stored Crux by using other (now empowered) specific abilities.

arcanist class crux
The Arcanist class introduces a new combat mechanic called Crux. (Picture: Zenimax Online Studios)

Best Arcanist builds in ESO

Unfortunately, the Arcanist class will be available in the ESO with the Necrom expansion. It launches on 5th June 2023 for PC, and 20th June 2023 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

We will update this article with our best Arcanist builds once we get our hands on the Necrom expansion.

That's everything you need to know about the Arcanist class in the Elder Scrolls Online.