ESO Dragonknight PvP Guide - Builds and Playstyle
Elder Scrolls Online Dragonknight PvP guide
Stamina Dragonknight is a solid build for PvP. We believe that there’s no reason to go with Magicka, especially in the current meta, so we’re going to focus on the Stamina build. It can offer a lot of burst as well as severe poison damage over time. The weapons that we’re using are a two-hander on our main bar and a bow on the second bar.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at two setups. The first one is a more traditional Stamina Dragonknight that wears heavy armor and only uses melee weapons. The second one is newer. It utilizes a bow and a medium armor set. It’s significantly less tanky but provides more damage, especially in the form of DoT. Both builds put all their attribute points into Stamina. Of course, there are more differences than just weight category of armor and the weapon type.
Both of the variants share almost the same sets of passive skills. The minor differences are most noticeable in armor and weapon skill lines.
Ardent Flame: all four passives here are useful. Combustion for stronger DoT. Warmth and Searing Heat empower some of your Ardent Flame skills, and World in Ruin helps with Stamina management.
Draconic Power: once again, you should take all. Iron Skin and Scaled armor provide extra defense while Burning Heart and Elder Dragon help with healing and Health recovery.
Earthen Heart: passives in this tree are probably even more useful. Eternal Mountain increases the duration of your Earthen Heart skills, and Helping Hands restore some Stamina when you use these abilities. Mountain’s Blessing provides extra weapon damage. You can also restore some resources while using ultimates, thanks to Battle Roar.
Two-Handed: Forceful provides the ability to hit extra enemies for partial damage, which is sometimes useful. Heavy Weapons is used to inflict more DoT with an axe. Reduced Stamina cost from Balanced Blade is always welcome, the same goes for Stamina regen from Battle Roar. Follow Up can provide some extra damage if you use Dizzying Swing or Executioner right after a heavy attack.
Bow (skip it if you’re not using a bow): Long Shots provide extra damage from long range. Even if we’re not going to proc that too often, it’s worth having. We get an extra critical chance with bows from Accuracy. Ranger reduces the Stamina cost of bow skills. Hawk-Eye provides some additional damage. Finally, we get a bit of mobility from Hasty Retreat.
One Hand and Shield (only used with this weapon setup): Fortress helps with Stamina management. Sword and Board, as well as Deadly Bash, provide a bit of extra damage. Deflect Bolts enables you to protect against ranged attacks. Finally, you can move faster when blocking, thanks to Battlefield Mobility.
Heavy Armor (both variants use some heavy armor pieces): Resolve grants extra resistances. Constitution, Revitalize, and Rapid Mending increases your Health, Stamina, and Magicka sustain. You can get more max HP with Juggernaut.
Medium Armor (you’re going to use at least one piece): Dexterity and Agility (requires five medium pieces) improve your DPS. Wind Walker is great for Stamina sustain. You can also take Athletics for the increased speed when you sprint. Improved Sneak can also be handy if you’re using this mechanic a lot.
Undaunted: Undaunted Command restores Stamina, Magicka, and Health when you activate a synergy. Undaunted Mettle increases the maximum amount of these resources (in our case, it will be +4%).
Assault: Combat Frenzy is extremely necessary since it can be a massive boost to the ultimate generation. Continuous Attack and Reach are two bonuses that you’re only going to use in the Alliance Wars.
Support: Combat Medic and Battle Resurrection provide some great utility. We recommend taking them.
Alchemy: Medicinal Use for the extended potion duration.
Fighters Guild (optional): if you’re using a Fighter’s Guild ability on at least one of your skill bars, it might be worth to go for Intimidating Presence and Slayer for reduced Stamina cost and a bit of weapon damage.
Psijic Order (optional): if you’re running a Psijic Order skill, you can take Clairvoyance for the reduced cost and Concentrated Barrier for additional shielding after a block. Spell Orb and Deliberation, in most cases, will be less useful, but you can take them if you have spare points.
You also want to max out all your racial passives.
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consumables and mundus stone
In terms of food choice, both builds will prioritize the same consumables. Artaeum Takeaway Broth is the best that you can get and Dubious Camoran Throne is a good cheaper alternative. As for potions, you can consider Tri-Stat Potion and Immovability Potion. The Mundus Stone choice may differ between the two builds. The Steed would be optimal for the heavy armor one and the highest damage, medium armor variant will prefer The Shadow or The Lover.
No matter which variant of the build you’re going for, the race choice remains precisely the same. The recommended one is Nord since they get a lot of resistances as well as high max Stamina and some ultimate generation. Redguard is also good, mostly because of the massive buffs to Stamina and sustain. The other option worth considering is Orc, for the additional weapon damage, max Stamina and max Health.
Similarly to passives, the Champion Points allocation will be basically identical in both variants of this Dragonknight build. You can of course switch some of them to fit your personal preferences more. This is an example of a 810 points setup:
The Ritual: Mighty - 49, Piercing - 42, Thaumaturge - 20
The Atronach: Shattering Blows - 37, Master at Arms - 56, Physical Weapon Expert - 29
The Apprentice: Blessed - 37
The Shadow: Tumbling - 66, Shadow Ward - 66
The Lover: Tenacity - 49
The Tower: Warlord - 62, Sprinter - 27
The Lord: Quick Recovery - 19
The Lady: Hardy - 37, Elemental Defender - 37, Thick Skinned - 48
The Steed: Resistant - 56, Ironclad - 73
Medium Armor new build
Two-hander skill bar
Dizzying Swing – serious damage and handy crowd control for low Stamina cost. It’s a morph of Uppercut in the Two-Handed skill tree.
Venomous Claw – incredibly powerful source of damage over time that ramps up the longer it stays on its target. It is a morph of Ardent Flame’s ability called Searing Strike.
Executioner – as the name suggests, you should use it on low HP targets, as a finisher. Its base damage is not that impressive, but you can get up to 400% more if you hit an enemy that’s low enough. It’s a morph of Reverse Slash in the Two-Handed tree.
Noxious Breath – we’re taking it for the Major Fracture – the physical resistance reduction. It also provides more damage over time. It is morphed from Fiery Breath from the Ardent Flame skill line.
Rally – a great source of self-healing and some useful buffs. Essential for a class like Dragonknight, that lacks inherent healing options. It’s a morph of Momentum in the Two-Handed tree.
Take Flight – since it’s a melee skill bar, we’re going to need a gap closer. Taking it in the form of the ultimate is not the most reliable way of ensuring some mobility, but the skill is reliable and works wonderfully with this setup. Besides the pretty long-range leap, it provides a high burst of AoE damage and a stun. It’s a morph of Dragon Leap in the Draconic Power skill line.
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Bow skill bar
Poison Injection – it’s our way of applying damage over time from range. This morph of Poison Arrow in the Bow skill line deals additional DoT to low enemies. It puts them under even more pressure and obviously, helping us finish off the kills.
Fragmented Shield – provides you with a damage shield and a significant buff called Major Mending. It emporarily increases all the healing that you do by 25%. This ability also protects your nearby allies. Its base skill is Obsidian Shield in the Earthen Heart tree.
Resolving Vigor – a powerful self-healing over time skill. We’re going to use it when the Major Mending is active. It is a morph of the Assault tree ability called Vigor.
Hardened Armor/Volatile Armor – these are the two available morphs of Spiked Armor in the Draconic Power skill tree. They both grant a nice buff to physical and spell resistances. The first one also brings a small shield, while Volatile Armor deals a bit of damage to enemies that hit you with direct damage. The differences are pretty minor. It all comes down to personal preference.
Shuffle – it’s a morph of Evasion in the medium armor skill line. It provides a reduction of AoE damage taken as well as immunity to snares. You can also use it to break out of this CC effect.
Corrosive Armor – the Earthen Heart ultimate provides some great offensive and defensive tools. It reduces the amount of damage that you take from a single hit to 3% of your max HP. It also deals poison damage over time to surrounding enemies. Moreover, it makes your direct attack ignore your enemies’ physical resistance. It will vastly empower your two-hander abilities like Dizzying Swing and Executioner.
While calling it a glass cannon might be a bit too much, this build is less durable than some of the more traditional setups. It brings a lot of damage over time while also offering a significant burst and great finishers. Just like any other PvP build, we’re going to prioritize Impenetrable as the armor trait. For Jewelry it will be either Bloodthirsty or Infused. The essential enchantments are Stamina and Weapon Damage. The stats that we want from our sets also are Stamina, weapon damage as well as sustain and critical chance.
Head and shoulder – Bloodspawn (one heavy and one medium piece). The two-part bonus that can generate ultimate and provide a bulk of resistances is really strong. You should currently run it in every Stamina Dragonknight PvP build.
Now things get a bit more interesting. For your remaining armor slots, jewelry, and the 2H weapon, you want to have two sets. As the secondary set, we strongly recommend Bone Pirate’s Tatters to make Stamina management much easier. For the main one (three armor pieces and the two-hander), the craftable Hunding’s Rage is pretty good, especially for this damage-oriented build. Shacklebreaker is also a decent alternative, but it goes more into resources and sustain, which can result in underwhelming DPS.
Weapon 1: two-handed Nirnhoned axe with either Poison or Weapon Damage enchant (Berserker Glyph). We recommend the axe because that’s how you can get an extra DoT. If you want a more bursty build, feel free to go with a sword or mace.
Weapon 2: you can either go with Caustic Arrow for extra damage to enemies affected by Poison Injection. The other option is to take a Hunding’s Rage bow, to have the full five-piece set on both bars.
You always want to use Fragmented Shield before using the healing skills (also use it every 20 seconds to maintain the damage buff). Major Mending is outstanding in terms of staying alive and not dumping all the resources for that purpose. Your offensive rotation is straightforward. You apply all of your DoTs and then start spamming Dizzying Swing and Executioner. Take Flight can be used as an additional source of burst to finish the combo.
Alternatively, you can open up with Poison Injection and some light attacks with your bow, to swap bars, use Take Flight as both a gap-closer and source of damage, and finish your target off with Dizzying Swing and Executioner (used as many times as necessary).
Corrosive Armor is mostly a panic button. You can use it to mitigate the damage as you try to run away. When enemies surround you, you can activate it and try to take down as many as you can before they’re able to kill you. Remember, you’re not only getting the extra survivability, but also the armor penetration.
Traditional Heavy Armor Build
The old-school variant utilizes full (or almost full) Heavy Armor gear, often using a one-handed weapon and a shield in the bars. It’s more of a clear frontline setup that can tank more but does slightly less damage. It’s based on Warrior’s Fury and Seventh Legion Brute.
One hand and shield bar
Channeled Acceleration – it’s a morph of Accelerate in the Psijic Order tree. It increases your movement speed and critical damage. Pretty useful if you don’t want to get kited, but you also want to save your ultimate.
Cauterize – it’s the healing morph of Inferno in the Ardent Flame skill line. It increases your spell critical chance when it’s slotted. This spell provides healing over time to you or your allies.
Noxious Breath – another Ardent Flame skill, morphed from Fiery Breath. Deals damage over time and applies a debuff to the enemy’s physical resistance.
Fragmented Shield – used as an AoE shield as well as a buff to healing and weapon damage. Always activate it before healing abilities. It is morphed from Obsidian Shield in the Earthen Heart tree.
Resolving Vigor – one of your primary self-healing skills. Its base skill is Vigor in the Assault tree.
Spell Wall – on this bar, we’re going to use a morph of the Sword and Shield ultimate ability. It allows you to block all the attacks for no cost and reflect all projectiles for seven seconds. It’s a great defensive tool that can buy you some time.
Two Hander Skill Bar
Rally – the second healing skill that also increases weapon damage and stamina recovery. It’s a morph of Momentum in the Two-Handed skill line.
Dizzying Swing – handy crowd control and serious damage. It also belongs to the Two-Handed skill line. Its base ability is Uppercut.
Camouflaged Hunter – this ability detects stealthed and invisible enemies and prevents them from going back into stealth for the next three seconds. It also increases your critical chance at all times and gives you a chance to proc a damage buff when you critically strike an enemy. It’s morphed from Expert Hunter in the Fighter’s Guild skill line.
Executioner – your primary pure damage ability. It hits harder when the target has low HP. It’s a morph of Reverse Slash in the Two-Handed tree.
Hardened Armor/Volatile Armor – the two morphs of Spiked Armor in the Draconic Power skill line provide a significant buff to both resistances. Hardened Armor also offers a minor shield, while Volatile Armor deals some damage over time. Pick whichever you prefer.
Take Flight – this morph of the Draconic Power’s ultimate ability is our main gap-closer and a significant source of damage. It’s the primary ultimate that you’re going to use much more often than the other one.
Head and shoulders – Bloodspawn monster set, because it can proc a lot of resistances and the ultimate generation. It might not be the most reliable, but it’s extremely powerful when it activates.
Chest, belt, shoes, pants, and gloves – Warrior’s Fury. You can tank a lot with your sword and shield to stack up the bonus weapon damage from the five-piece set.
Necklace, two rings, and all weapons - Seventh Legion Brute. It provides weapon damage, Health regen, and critical chance. The full, five-piece bonus lets you proc extra weapon damage and health recovery.
Weapon 1: Nirnhoned 1H weapon and Impenetrable shield. Both belong to the Seventh Legion Brute set.
Weapon 2: Nirnhoned 2H axe or mace, also of the Seventh Legion Brute set.
Remember, Warrior’s Fury takes a while until it gets fully stacked. You’re going to have to take a lot of hits in order to unlock your highest damage potential. This build excels in longer fights when you can tank a lot, while also hitting back. At the same time, you have to make sure that you’re not playing too crazy because, in this high damage meta, you can get 100-0 quite quickly.
Always use Fragmented Shield before your healing skills, to get the extra +25% value. Remember to proc the Seventh Legion Brute bonus with Volatile/Hardened Armor (the set buff has 10 seconds duration and 10 seconds cooldown, so you should to use the ability every 11 seconds or so). Remember to use the Channeled Acceleration before engaging your enemies. Reapplying this ability in combat might be problematic due to the cast time.
Neither of these two builds is set in stone. You can always mix it up a bit and swap some of the skills that you find the least useful. These are some abilities that we find worth considering:
Critical Rush - if you need a non-ultimate gap closer, this might be a good option. It also deals a reasonable amount of damage. It’s a morph of Critical Charge in the Two-Handed skill line. You can use it any build on the two-hander bar.
Shield Bash – it’s a morph of Power Bash in One Hand and Shield skill tree. When you block attacks, you can gather up to 10 stacks, each of them increases the damage of this skill by 5%. You can slot it into your 1H & shield bar.
Flawless Dawnbreaker/Dawnbreaker of Smiting - if you feel like you’re not using one of your ultimates, you can always replace it with a Dawnbreaker morph. Of course, it’s a Fighter’s Guild ability that deals enormous amounts of damage. Flawless Dawnbreaker also buffs your weapon damage for 20 seconds, and Dawnbreaker of Smiting provides extra crowd control.
PvP Dragonknight Builds
These are the two setups that we recommend for Battlegrounds and around the Imperial City in the Cyrodiil location. Of course, you can adjust them in any way you want, or even play something completely different. However, we would suggest Stamina focused builds for PvP gaming. That being said, we encourage experimenting, since it’s the best way to find a fun and enjoyable playstyle.
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