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The 10 Rarest Motifs in Elder Scrolls Online - Most Expensive ESO Sets

Someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. My family is dying.

Any crafter worth their weight in gold knows there are always going to be some sets and styles that are worth more than others. In Elder Scrolls Online this comes in the form of motifs, books which teach your character how to craft armor of that style. They also happen to unlock the associated appearance at the outfit station so you can make your armor look like that even if it isn’t what you’re wearing. This all, of course, comes at a price. Either in the form of a tremendous grind or a whole lot of gold coming directly out of your pockets.

In this guide, we take a look at the ten rarest motif sets as of July 1, 2021. Keep in mind that newer sets will inherently be rarer and worth more money since there hasn’t been as much time to meet demand.

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10. Pyre Watch

As part of the Harrowstorm game pack released in February 2020, ZeniMax Online Studios added two new dungeons: Icereach and Unhallowed Grave. It’s the latter dungeon which has a chance of dropping the Pyre Watch motif. As one of the newer dungeons on the block, it isn’t incredibly surprising to see this motif make the cut. And that’s before you even account for the fact at how low drop rates are for dungeon styles.

There’s an incredibly small chance you get a motif on a normal mode dungeon, that is, the difficulty which basically anyone can complete. For a better chance, you need to play on veteran where you’ll need to be leveled up and knowledgeable about the entire dungeon and its mechanics to survive. It’s not until you turn on hard mode when in a veteran dungeon that you get a single guaranteed drop. Needless to say, only the most hardcore endgame players are grouping up with people to do this. Hence why these sets are worth so much.

If you don’t grind it yourself, buying the full set will set you back about 600,000 gold.

9. Stags of Z’en

We go even further back in time for the Stags of Z’en set which came out with the Scalebreaker game pack. You’ll need to grind Lair of Maarselok for this one which is a tall task. That or spend just under 600,000 gold.

8. Hazardous Alchemy

ZeniMax finished off last year’s Dark Heart of Skyrim theme with the Stonethorn game pack. As usual, there are two dungeons to explore and Stone Garden is the one you want for this motif. Worth approximately 630,000 gold, it ranks among the most expensive sets in the game.

7. Shield of Senchal

There’s another type of motif which also skyrockets in price, but is due to a completely different reason. The Shield of Senchal motif is more than a year old and is only found inside Senchal Reward Chests. These are earned by completing daily quests in Senchal, visiting one delve and defeating one world boss per day. With only two chances every 24 hours, it’s quite a grind. Combined with the fact that dailies aren’t the most exciting of affairs, most players would rather skip out entirely and just spend the 650,000 gold. Assuming they’re rich enough, of course.

6. Minotaur

The weird thing about the Minotaur motif is it’s incredibly old in comparison to everything else we’ve listed thus far. Its associated DLC released way back in 2016. Since then 62 whole motifs have been added to the game and yet this has long remained one of the rarest sets. Why? The style drops exclusively completing the Looming Shadows quest in the Gold Coast. It tasks you with defeating Limenauruus, a world boss, and one of the most difficult ones in the game at that. 700,000 gold is the cost of avoiding a difficult group grind.

5. Thorn Legion

The other dungeon from the Stonethorn game pack is Castle Thorn which drops the Thorn Legion set. Motif pages have those same abysmal chances to drop from the final boss. It’s that or pay about 750,000 gold to add this one to your collection.

4. Dro-m’Athra

Whereas every set prior to this has been from four player dungeons or grinding daily quests, Dro-m’Athra is from a weekly quest associated with the Maw of Lorkhaj trial. These 12 player raids are larger in scale than any other content in all of Elder Scrolls Online. And unlike dungeons, there’s no matchmaking here. You’ll have to do the work to find 11 other players willing to go to battle with you. It’s not even a new trial either having been around since early 2016. Solo players and folks trying to avoid endgame content are a big reason why this set is now worth over one million gold.

3. Ancestral Reach

One of the features introduced in the Greymoor chapter last year is the new antiquities system. In it, players scry to find locations of buried treasure using leads they’ve found across all of Tamriel. After locating it in the real world, players then have to dig up a chest containing the item in another minigame. The number of quality leads isn’t infinite and rarer ones have a small chance of dropping. The problem is there are five different motifs which drop exclusively from the antiquities system and only maps which lead you to The Reach can drop this. Out of all of them, Ancestral Reach is the one the rarest of the bunch and that’s why it costs just over 1.5 million gold to skip.

2. Militant Ordinator

You may have noticed a common theme here. Lots of PVE content. Outside of certain armor, weapon sets, and limited time events, there aren’t very many instances where PVE and PVP crossover. The Militant Ordinator motif is one of the few exceptions. Style pages are exclusively purchased from Battlegrounds supply merchants using Alliance Points. This is a PVP currency earned by killing other players, capturing keeps, resources, and towns in Cyrodiil. Certain quests will also reward them and these also increase your Alliance War rank and skills.

The entire set costs 4.3 million Alliance Points. This is a considerable grind unless you primarily play PVP and reach the upper echelons each season. Hence the two million gold price point.

1. Ancestral Akaviri

Whereas Ancestral Reach is rare and limited to a single zone, Ancestral Akaviri is rare, limited to a single zone, and released with the latest chapter. Only antiquity treasure maps which lead you to Blackwood will cut it here. All of these things combined are why the set currently runs for just under five million gold.

About the Author

Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Senior Game Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He's spent about 2,000 hours playing a bun boy in Final Fantasy XIV and 800 hours maining Warlock in Destiny 2.