Skill Overview – Dragonknight

Nord DragonknightI’m excited to share that we’re back with another ESO skills overview based on the playable build of the game that was showcased at the recent PAX Prime and will be on display next week at London’s Eurogamer Expo. This time around, we’re digging into the Dragonknight class; a magical warrior that draws strength from fire and draconic inspired abilities. Once again, it’s exciting to have these skills out in the public domain, and I hope that this will help facilitate discussion and get you all excited about build possibilities using the Dragonknight base class. Please note that exact damage numbers and ability modifiers have not been listed, as these values are still actively being tweaked in response to ongoing feedback.

 

Ardent Flame

The first skill line for the Dragonknight is called Ardent Flame. This skill line is flame-centric, focusing on fiery attacks and debuffs. The most offensive of the three lines, players that use multiple abilities from the Ardent Flame tree will be more offensively capable, at the expensive of some versatility and defensive tools.

  • [Ultimate] Dragonknight Standard – Plant a standard dealing damage to all nearby enemies and reducing the incoming healing they receive. This also initiates the Shackle synergy.
  • [Active] Fiery Reach – Pull an enemy towards you with a fiery chain, dealing damage.
  • [Active] Searing Strike – Burns the target, dealing damage over time.
  • [Active] Fiery Breath – Deal fire damage to all enemies in front of you, igniting them for additional damage over time.
  • [Active] Lava Whip – Deal fire damage and causes enemies to become off-balance if used on an immobilized or stunned foe.
  • [Active] Inferno – This toggle-able aura deals periodic damage to all nearby enemies while slowly draining the Dragonknight’s Magicka. The damage dealt and Magicka cost increase the longer the aura is active.
  • [Passive] Kindling – Increases the damage of burning effects applied by fire abilities.
  • [Passive] Warmth – Dealing Fire damage applies a snare to enemies.
  • [Passive] Searing Heat – Increases the duration of abilities in the Ardent Flame tree which apply burning.
  • [Passive] World in Flame – Increases the damage of fire-based AoE abilities.
A Dragonknight using Lava Whip on a Flame Atronach

A Dragonknight using Lava Whip on a Flame Atronach

This is a tactically interesting skill line. There’s a lot of synergy here to exploit. I anticipate that in the Ebonheart Pact we’ll be seeing a lot of Dunmer Dragonknights who are seeking to exploit the dark elves’ racial bonus to fire damage. The passives in the Ardent Flame tree will also synergize nicely with the Meteor ultimate in the Mages Guild which calls a fiery explosion from the sky down on your target. This makes for an interesting alternative to Dragonknight Standard, although to be fair, this will be a very difficult ability to displace from the player’s hotbar in PvP contexts. The AoE healing debuff which it applies will be absolutely crucial in group PvP encounters, so much so that every PvP group will likely require a DK to have this ability slotted.

 

Draconic Power

The Dragonknight’s second skill line, Draconic Power, is a more defensive variant, geared towards turning the Dragonknight into a formidable defensive force, whether for tanking in PvE or controlling the battlefield in AvA.

  • [Ultimate] Dragon Leap – Leap forward on magical wings, dealing AoE damage upon landing, knocking nearby foes backwards.
  • [Active] Spike Armor – Increases your damage resistance and returns damage to melee attackers.
  • [Active] Dark Talons – Root all nearby enemies, dealing additional damage to any enemies not already affected by talons.
  • [Active] Dragon Blood – Immediately heals the player and applies a medium-duration heal-over-time.
  • [Active] Reflective Scales – Reflects incoming projectiles for a short period of time.
  • [Active] Inhale – Absorbs health from every nearby enemy, then returns damage to affected foes depending on the total amount of health absorbed.
  • [Passive] Iron Skin – Increase the amount of damage you are able to block.
  • [Passive] Burning Heart – Increase healing received for each dragon ability on your bar.
  • [Passive] Elder Dragon – Increased passive health regeneration for each dragon ability on your bar.
  • [Passive] Scaled Armor – Increases your innate resistance to enemy spells.
A Dragon Leap mid-flight

A Dragon Leap mid-flight

The abilities in this tree complement each other with a mix of control, mitigation, and self-healing. I think Argonian will be a very natural choice for defensive Dragonknights, coupling innate racial healing bonuses with the self-healing multipliers in this tree’s passives. Depending on the magnitude of effect in the final ability, the tandem of Dragon Blood and Inhale could give a Dragonknight remarkable staying power. In many contexts, I could see abilities from this tree being fantastic choices for an alternate hotbar which players can switch to if a fight starts going against them to heal and bunker down against incoming damage.

 

Earthen Heart

The final Dragonknight skill line, Earthen Heart, offers tremendous group utility and control tools which will be hugely useful in both PvE and PvP.

  • [Ultimate] Magma Armor – Limits incoming damage at a maximum percentage of your health per hit while dealing fire damage to all foes around you.
  • [Active] Stonefist – Draws a chunk of rock from the ground, hurling it at an enemy to deal physical damage and knocks down the target.
  • [Active] Molten Weapons – An AoE buff aura which increases the power of nearby allies, with double benefit applied to the Dragonknight.
  • [Active] Obsidian Shield – Create a shield of rock shards around nearby allies, absorbing a percentage of incoming damage they take. The strength of the shield is doubled for the Dragonknight.
  • [Active] Petrify – Applies a long duration stun to the target. The petrified enemy can take some damage while stunned, but sufficient damage will prematurely end the stun.
  • [Active] Ash Cloud – Summon a swirling ash storm, snaring affected foes while increasing their chance to miss. Initiates the Ash Shroud synergy.
  • [Passive] Eternal Mountain – Increase the duration of Earthen Heart abilities.
  • [Passive] Deep Breaths – Activating an Ultimate ability restores resources to the Dragonknight based on the ultimate cost.
  • [Passive] Mountain’s Blessing – Gain additional ultimate charge when activating an Earth ability.
  • [Passive] Helping Hands – Gain Stamina whenever one of your earth abilities is applied to another player.
A Dragonknight hurls the Stonefist ability at a Dwemer Centurion

A Dragonknight hurls the Stonefist ability at a Sphere Centurion

This line is essentially the “support” Dragonknight, featuring two party buffs which increase both the offensive and defensive capabilities of allies. These buffs will be great to slot on an alternate hotbar to use for pre-fight buffing with re-applications cast as necessary. The ultimate ability, Magma Armor, is arguably a better tanking ultimate than the Dragon Leap from the Draconic Power tree, and therefore will likely be very popular amongst tank DKs. The crowd control abilities of Stonefist, Petrify, and Ash Cloud could allow the Earth-specced Dragonknight to serve as a group’s primary CCer, reacting to remove dangerous enemies from the fight. In PvP, a lot of Dragonknights will want to slot Obsidian Shield simply to take advantage of the substantial Stamina heal which Helping Hands would provide when in large-group combat.

I hope this has given the community a useful start towards understanding the Dragonknight abilities in The Elder Scrolls Online, and I look forward to hearing the theorycrafting, discussion, and build ideas which will surround these skills. What stands out to you as the powerful combos in the Dragonknight trees? Which weapon and armor types do you think will synergize best with each tree? Think you will be playing a DK in ESO? Let us know why in the comment section below!

134 responses to “Skill Overview – Dragonknight”

  1. Profile Photo
    Ansakil

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 5

    Altmer

    Rymguard said on September 16, 2013 :

    I was going to be going to bed early tonight. This has stopped my plans . Since I plan on being a dragon knight ill have to give this a full read through and see what I would like skill wise from this.

    Ergh… theory crafting without even seeing abilities in action or knowing game mechanics… you are leet, I wish I had your skills!

  2. Profile Photo
    Cormaiyn

    Master

    Total Posts: 537

    Bosmer Nightblade

    Tarenveign

    Suddenly I’m liking the Dragonknight.  First alt maybe?

    We will endure. We are Legion.
    Triumviri of Tarvenveign

  3. Profile Photo
    Ansakil

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 5

    Altmer

    Akinikx said on September 16, 2013 :

    I could see this tree being nasty with the dunmer’s natural fire damage racial ability. These dragonknights are going to be lethal in the pvp realm. cant wait to see them in action

    Natural fire damage racial…what?! They have flame resistance not damage, moreover so far Dk’s don’t dish out that much damage.

  4. Profile Photo
    Psiberzerker

    Legend

    Total Posts: 7873

    Orc Nightblade

    Angier said on September 17, 2013 :

    Finally, we are getting something to toy around without @Psiberzerker flodding it with creative yet overwhelming theories

    I commented first.  If I had wanted to flood it with theories, I would have, but this isn’t my article.

    Psiberzerker said on September 17, 2013 :

    Angier said on September 17, 2013:

    Finally, we are getting something to toy around without @Psiberzerker flodding it with creative yet overwhelming theories

    I commented first. If I had wanted to flood it with theories, I would have, but this isn’t my article.

    Phazius said on September 16, 2013 :

    I have the rest of the weapons and armor as well except for 2 handed cause our notes for those are messed at the moment, Exciting times ahead!

    Ah well, I wanted to see 2H the most, but I’ll live.  O.Q

    Everything above is likely Opinion, and/or subject to change. 

    I mostly play ”Gofasta” Orcish berserkers in Red armor.  (Alluding to WH40K.)

  5. Profile Photo
    Galahad

    Expert

    Total Posts: 369

    Imperial Templar

    Lowly Knights of Stendarr

    Has there been a Templar ‘skill overview’ yet? Or just Nightblade & Dragonknight so far?

  6. Profile Photo
    Phazius

    Master

    Total Posts: 856

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    @switchb1ade5 there was a skill preview we dug from the Quakecon footage, but there should be an updated preview after sorcerer. You can find the Templar stuff here http://tamrielfoundry.com/2013/08/eso-templar-skills/

    @ansakil they have both increased fire damage and resistance.

  7. Profile Photo
    Galahad

    Expert

    Total Posts: 369

    Imperial Templar

    Lowly Knights of Stendarr

    Phazius said on September 17, 2013 :

    @switchb1ade5 there was a skill preview we dug from the Quakecon footage, but there should be an updated preview after sorcerer. You can find the Templar stuff herehttp://tamrielfoundry.com/2013/08/eso-templar-skills/

    Yep, saw the stuff from Quakecon. I will just wait for the one after Sorcerer. Thanks for the reply!

  8. Member Avatar
    Dave MG

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 7

    Khajiit Nightblade

    ESOTR

    all thes classes sounds so cool  im going to have a hard time picking witch one to chouse

     

    You diss the Khajiit your on my list 

  9. Profile Photo
    Arya

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 78

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    Stoked about the DK skill overview! Now I can actually figure out the best build for my Altmer ;) Great write up, great info!

    http://atropos.objects.dreamhost.com/arya-signature.jpg

  10. Profile Photo
    Boarkill

    Novice

    Total Posts: 15

    Nord Nightblade

    The dragonknight looks like an awesome tank with great crowd control, but over all does not seem to be the warrior type of class most people were expecting.  I wander if one of the two unannounced classes will appeal to warrior/barbarian fans more.

  11. Profile Photo
    DragonTemplar

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 91

    Orc Dragonknight

    this looks awesome can’ wait for ESO btw does anyone know how many perks we can choose from each tree?

                                         

  12. Profile Photo
    Darkintellect

    Expert

    Total Posts: 254

    Breton Nightblade

    Atropos said on September 16, 2013 :

    We’re going to try to roll them out pretty rapid-fire now that we got the go-ahead from ZOS. You can expect a Sorcerer post this Friday (barring unforeseen circumstances)!

    So beautiful…

    V14 Breton Nightblade Healer
  13. Profile Photo
    Darkintellect

    Expert

    Total Posts: 254

    Breton Nightblade

    Keeper-of-the-covenants-secrets said on September 17, 2013 :

    this looks awesome can’ wait for ESO btw does anyone know how many perks we can choose from each tree?

    As of now I heard you can choose them all but you’re limited to two aspects. You can only slot 5 abilities and 1 ultimate, and many abilities morph and you can’t un-morph them.

    V14 Breton Nightblade Healer
  14. Profile Photo
    Phazius

    Master

    Total Posts: 856

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    Darkintellect said on September 17, 2013 :

    Keeper-of-the-covenants-secrets said on September 17, 2013:

    this looks awesome can’ wait for ESO btw does anyone know how many perks we can choose from each tree?

    As of now I heard you canchoose them all but you’re limited to two aspects. You can only slot 5 abilities and 1 ultimate, and many abilities morph and you can’t un-morph them.

    There is no restriction on how many you can have but your bar of active skills is limited to 2 sets of 5 and 1 ultimate. passives are always on and apply their benefit if applicable.

    we are actually unsure if you can respec morphs or not some of them take the skill in 2 very different directions.

  15. Member Avatar
    KovlinLG

    Novice

    Total Posts: 23

    Nord Templar

    NICE!!!!!

  16. Member Avatar
    Saviont

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 4

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Ardent Flame sounds like an awesome tree with some excellent development. I wish, however, that it wasn’t solely fire-based damage! It would be better if you could choose which element you’d like to follow down the whole tree! Don’t you think?

    David Maxwell Downing, Jr.

    B.S. Digital Art & Design, Full Sail University

  17. Profile Photo
    zanthorn

    Adept

    Total Posts: 131

    Redguard Nightblade

    Very nice write-up.

    @Phazius or @Atropos, while you guys were playing at pax prime did you notice how the block and mitigations where being handled? If you are not allowed to say, that is fine.

    It looks to me like, that fighting a DK will involve a lot of blocking, staggering, and dodge rolls to keep them from using skills, in conjunction with lock downs.

     NECROMANCY:  Happiness is an army of unstoppable, loyal killing machines.

                

                

     

                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                               

     

  18. Profile Photo
    TundraBehemoth

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 40

    Bosmer Nightblade

    Awesome write-up! the class looks like it’s going to play differently than I initially expected. looks like a lot of fun. i think i’ll have to roll one haha :)

    can we expect similar overviews of all the classes? i get really excited when i see these

  19. Profile Photo
    uso245

    Adept

    Total Posts: 143

    Daggerfall

    I plan on building a tank I can notice first off that I will be using skill from all trees, mostly the Draconic Power, but if I can branch into the other skill lines I see the Ardent Flame’s Feiry Reach being very useful for tanking along with some of the Earthen Heart skills for raid/party support.

    TheArt of War [TAoW] (pc)

     

    Alok Taazokaan Vahlok

     

     

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    Wulfgrim

    Adept

    Total Posts: 111

    Nord Nightblade

    Thanks for the information, guys!

    ”It is madness for a sheep to talk piece with a wolf.”

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