Elemental Fury – PvE DK Heavy Attack Build (HotR Ready) vHoF Approved

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    Masel92

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    Altmer Dragonknight

    Do you play a Magicka Dragonknight? Do you want something else than the usual 5 BSW/ 4 Aether/ 2 Grothdarr/ 1 vMA Inferno Setup and still be raidmaterial?

    Then this guide is for you! The Goal of this Build is to provide strong DPS on a Dragonknight while using shock and fire damage and Heavy Attacks with a Lightning Staff. I’ve tried several builds that use lightning staff heavy attacks on a DK, and while they are very survivable, sustainable and very easy to play, the single target DPS mostly suffered and I’ve never managed to get past the 30k sustained single target DPS parse (selfbuffed).

    This build does exactly that while using only AoE skills, and in the right hands and raid setup, it can surpass 40k Single target DPS easily while giving your group a lot of utility that Dragonknights have. I’ve had a breeze in vDSA (currently #30 PC EU, 45234 score) and every vet trial with this, including vHoF, vMoL and Craglorn Hardmode Trials, no death runs for the Hist-Dungeons etc. I even got the Duelist Title with the vMA version.This build is flexible to the extent that you can do both a Melee or Ranged Version, depending on what you are assigned to within your group or what the dungeon or fight requires you to do. For solo play, the build requires minor tweaks, but I added a vMA build for people who’d like to get their safe weekly and the DK flawless conqueror as easy as possible.

    Let’s go through the advantages and disadvantages that this build has:

    Selfbuffed Stats:

    Race:

    Altmer or Dunmer. Dunmer gets 3% more out of the fire abilities than Altmer, and Altmer gets 2% more out of the shock abilities, so it doesn’t make that much of a difference. I prefer Altmer for the regen and 1% more max magicka, plus you get better results in vMA and you have enough stamina due to undaunted infiltrator. Everything else is a DPS loss, after those two, Breton would be third.

    Gear:

    To understand the nature of heavy attacks, it is important to know that the Flat Damage Buff of the vMA lightning Staff Buffs every Tick of Lightning Staff Heavy Attacks and adds like 5k DPS to the Build. In HotR, multiple Combinations of Trait, 5-piece set and Mundus Stone became viable, so I’ll list the two best ones i found via testings below:

    Combination #1 (Julianos+Infallible Aether):

    This one is Basic, unconditional Damage that gives the highest upfront burst and consistent damage. I prefer this for vMA and DSA.

     

    Combination #2 (Burning Spellweave + Martial Knowledge):

    This one is the highest Damage overall due to the additional Burning effect you get from BSW adn the additional spell damage from Martial Knowledge is just as good as the Minor Slayer, but it has a proc based set in it. So for example in vMA or DSA, i often only use Blockade and heavy Attacks to kill low health mobs and BSW will not proc often enough to justify it.

    Basically, all combinations of these 4 Sets will do fine for you, easiest to get will certainly be Julianos+Martial Knowledge, as you dont have to farm a bit for it and the Staffs can be bought.

    As far as the Mundus Stone is concerned, you will want to choose either the Lover or the Apprentice, based on the spell penetration level you have available to you.

     

    The I want to learn vMA Setup:

    Spoiler:

    Heres a full flawless run with the old version of this Build, but it works pretty much as in the video with the above setup:

     

    The I want to nuke vMA and Off-Balance Group Support Setup:

    Spoiler:

    Heres a full flawless run with the off-balance group support setup version of this Build:

    The Key here is the Synergy between Off-balance and Flame Lash. Flame Lash hits like a truck, heals you Back to full immediately and is FREE to cast against offbalance enemies. So only cast it when it procs, put Burning embers on another enemy. No other heals needed in vMA. If you want to learn the Arena i still recommend the above setup as it’s easier to play.

     

     

    Bars with Guard

    Spoiler:

    Main Bar (Lightning Staff): Harness Magicka, Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Stalwart Guard, Inner Light, Thunderous Rage

    Back Bar (Dual Wield): Molten Armaments, Eruption, Elemental Blockade, Stalwart Guard, Inner Light, Shooting Star

     

    Bars without Guard

    Spoiler:

    Main Bar (Lightning Staff): Harness Magicka, Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Flames of Oblivion, Inner Light, Thunderous Rage

    Back Bar (Dual Wield): Molten Armaments, Eruption, Elemental Blockade, Rearming Trap (Flex Spot), Inner Light, Shooting Star

    Solo/vMA Bars

     

    Learning Setup:

    Spoiler:

    Main Bar (Lightning Staff): Harness Magicka, Coagulating Blood (i highly recommend Flame Lash instead), Elemental Blockade, Dragonscales, Inner Light, Shooting Star/Thunderous Rage

    Back Bar (Restoration Staff):  Healing Ward, Molten Armaments, Rapid Regenaration, Eruption, Inner Light, Shooting Star

    Off-Balance Setup for Solo:

    Spoiler:

    Main Bar (Charged Spinner/IA/MD Staff): Harness Magicka , Burning Embers, Flame Lash, Dragonscales, Inner Light, Thunderous Rage (For 8% Destro passive on this bar)

    Back Bar (vMA Lightning Staff):  Harness Magicka, Molten Armaments, Elemental Blockade, Eruption, Inner Light, Shooting Star

     

     

    You can put all you want on the flex spots, I like to have a shield ready on the main bar and chains on the back bar to help chain in adds, but you could also put mages guild skills there to get additional max magicka. I use Thunderous Rage, as it is the most powerful DPS-Ultimate right now and got buffed by ~2.5%. I mostly weave in light DW attacks right before going back to th front bar to activate your SD/Crusher glyphs and thus empower the first 1 1/2 heavy attacks and blockade with it.

    Lets go through possible skills you could put on the flex spots:

    Dampen Magic: Strong shield, your emergency button i case you don’t trust your group enough to go without shield.

    Harness Magicka: Weaker than Dampen Magic, but helpful when you get a lot of elemental damage in.

    Unrelenting Grip: In any case you have a non-dk tank (without swarmmother) or just have a lot of ranged trash to chain in.

    Elemental Drain: In case the healer doesn’t run it, you can put this on your front bar.

    Scalding rune: Procs Illambris’ fire version, but is not as good as eruption.

    Dragonscales: Cool when you have a lot of ranged things that can’t all be taunted by your tank.

     

    CP Setup

    Spoiler:

    The 75 Points in Thaumaturge make room for the exploiter passive, that grants us 10% damage on EVERYTHING when the enemy is off balance. The Destro Ultimate concusses enemies and Elemental Blockade sets them off balance, so you can use the combination to get another 10% damage while the destro ultimate is active+70% more heavy attack damage against off balance enemies, plus the 10% for the time when blockade/illambris concuss enemies. Due to the heavy attack return, i use 34 points in Tenacity to unlock the windrunning passive for 2% more runnign speed and the sustain is awesome.

    Rotation:

    The Rotation is as easy as effective: Find someone to guard, Magicka DDs like the free minor force.

    Molten Armaments  > Engulfing Flames > Eruption (18s, and 10s UI buff) > Bar swap > Elemental Blockade > Fully charged heavy attack > Burning Embers (in Melee Range) OR Destructive Clench (in Range) > 1 1/2 fully charged heavy attacks (fit exactly to the duration of Blockade) > Bar swap > Engulfing flames > Bar swap > Elemental Blockade > Fully charged heavy attack > Burning Embers (in Melee Range) OR Destructive Clench (in Range) > 1 1/2 fully charged heavy attacks > start at Eruption.

    Due to the 39s duration of Molten Armaments, you only need to recast it every two full rotation cycles.

    Throw in your Ultimate (Meteor/Thunderous Rage/Standard of Might) between the second and third heavy attack when it is ready.

    Eruption, meteor, Burning Embers and engulfing flames proc the fire version of Illambris, while your heavies, thunderous rage and blockade proc the lightning version, so you get a great uptime on both, especially with a few adds to bosses around.

    Robust Target skeleton parses (alone, selfbuffed with Stalwart Guard, without Ele Drain):

    Keep in mind that these are Robust target dummy parses. I can get more on a normal one, but i usually test on the big one so one can see the consistent base DPS that you can get in trials and factor in Sustain rather then a bursty 3m parse.

     

    Also keep in mind that every single ability and attack except burning embers is full aoe here, and that i suck at remembering rotations and screwed them up quite often.

    An issue that this build has is blockcasting. E.g. In vHRC, I usually have between 39k and 43k dps until the starburst phase kicks in, and you can’t blockcast heavy attacks, so the dmg drops significantly when you can’t channel. Same holds for the ground atronach in vAA.

     

    Big shoutout to all the Peeps who let me use those weird Builds in Endgame Content :*

     

    The build is constantly in development, so any advice in how to improve it further (while staying outside the box please, I know what is BiS on mag dks) is welcome! I will update it continously.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Masel92 Masel92.
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    Masel92

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    Altmer Dragonknight

    Updated with DPS parses.

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    Pallio

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    Just curious on the und. Infil. set vs. Elegant set. Is 1100 >> 20%?

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    Masel92

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    Pallio said on December 20, 2016 :

    Just curious on the und. Infil. set vs. Elegant set. Is 1100 >> 20%?

    in this build, it definitely is more powerful. The 1100 are multiplied by all the four cp star increases and penetration values. And it stays on when switching the bars, so one can use illambris, which adds around 3-4k dps selfbuffed on single target, plus the UI bonus per tick. Elegance is only better on sorcs with overload and heavy attacks builds with inferno staffs in pvp, as the flat damage basis is higher there.

     

    I will post a detailed calculation with all cps and flat damage buffs (and all alternatives, i.e. Elegance,  sergeants mail,  undaunted infiltrator) in the next days.

     

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    katorga

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    I’m really tempted to level up High Elf DK just to try this. I do something similar on my Sorc as my “easy mode” leveling, PUG dps build – elegance + infiltrator. Lightning staff is my favorite PVE weapon, the key is infiltrator carrying over to the other bar. Ironically, I got the named, precise infiltrator sword on a random daily way back and deconstructed it thinking the set was garbage (medium armor with magicka bonuses and melee crit? What are these guys thinking).

    I find it difficult to reliably double proc ilambris and it would be much easier with DK. Sometimes I give up and use slimecraw (meh), Molag Kena (ok) or infernal guardian (rocks).

    That 40% bonus to heavy attacks….My Sorc is jealous.

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    Pallio

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    How hard is it to get gold jewelry for UI set? Vet HM drop it?

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    Masel92

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    Pallio said on December 20, 2016 :

    How hard is it to get gold jewelry for UI set? Vet HM drop it?

    You can’t get any golden jewelry from those sets, sadly. Only trial gear and some other sets that are sold in cyrodiil are available in legendary.

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    Masel92

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    katorga said on December 20, 2016 :

    I’m really tempted to level up High Elf DK just to try this. I do something similar on my Sorc as my “easy mode” leveling, PUG dps build – elegance + infiltrator. Lightning staff is my favorite PVE weapon, the key is infiltrator carrying over to the other bar. Ironically, I got the named, precise infiltrator sword on a random daily way back and deconstructed it thinking the set was garbage (medium armor with magicka bonuses and melee crit? What are these guys thinking).

    I find it difficult to reliably double proc ilambris and it would be much easier with DK. Sometimes I give up and use slimecraw (meh), Molag Kena (ok) or infernal guardian (rocks).

    That 40% bonus to heavy attacks….My Sorc is jealous.

    Glad that you like it! Sorcs can do awesome dps with heavy attack builds too, this was just and experimental build that I wanted to try out and it was a lot more powerful than I imagined it to be. Farming the UI set is pretty easy though. Just farm the lamia boss with the pet snake until you get the two swords, then farm the first boss until you get a unique necklace and a big divines piece of armor and then you only need a ring, which you can get from chests or the last boss. Problem is finding a group for it, as all.of the sets are considered garbage from most other players.

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    TarmoRhox

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    Altmer Sorcerer

    I was thinking about exact the same setup for my Heavy attack-based build. Glad that someone actually got time to farm and test it.

    1. Why don’t you use Burning Emrers – one of the strongest ST dot?

    2. In difference with Sergeant, this setup doesn’t benefit so well from “Off-balance” heavy attack buf because we can’t allow neither to use charged (huge dps loss) on main bar nor use shock damage enchant (dur to vMA staff on main bar) in order to maximize Concussed uptime. From that point of view Sergeant is better

    3. FoO is pretty nice “self-buff” as well.

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    Masel92

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    TarmoRhox said on December 21, 2016 :

    I was thinking about exact the same setup for my Heavy attack-based build. Glad that someone actually got time to farm and test it.

    1. Why don’t you use Burning Emrers – one of the strongest ST dot?

    2. In difference with Sergeant, this setup doesn’t benefit so well from “Off-balance” heavy attack buf because we can’t allow neither to use charged (huge dps loss) on main bar nor use shock damage enchant (dur to vMA staff on main bar) in order to maximize Concussed uptime.From that point of view Sergeant is better

    3. FoO is pretty nice “self-buff” as well.

    1. Burning embers is good yeah, but it forces you to go in melee range and engulfing flames buffs eruption, illambris and meteor. Weaving in more would mean less time to channel the heavies, and that resulted in a dps loss for me. I felt that the Concussed uptime is good as it is, as we have a lot of shock dots here, with illambris, blockade and heavies, you have a lot of chances to set enemies Concussed/ off balance.

    With sergeants, you lose too much damage on the other dots due to around 5k lower max magicka, which is around 500 spell damage for them. The undaunted infiltrator buff is nearly as strong (I do still hit for more than 20k with ticks of the heavy attacks, and you’d lose illambris, and 3-4k dps. Sergeants, aether and vMA lightning and resto is my vMA setup, and I’m currently at rank 78 of the EU vMA leaderboards, so sergeants definitely has it’s place, but not in groups with decent support.

    Flames of oblivion bugs out for me with inner light, and I think both morphs are kind of weird. It’s damage is too low in my opinion to justify it’s use in this build. To max out both illambris uptimes, eruption and engulfing flames (or BE if you want to go melee) are better to do that.

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    mariusz2304

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    but rwmember that basic attacks not scaling with magicka so 5k mag isn’t same as 500 SD especially in this build

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    Masel92

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    mariusz2304 said on December 21, 2016 :

    but rwmember that basic attacks not scaling with magicka so 5k mag isn’t same as 500 SD especially in this build

    yes I know exactly that,  the formula for the first three ticks of heavy shock attacks looks like this:

    0.013*Max Magicka+0.52*Spell damage-1.16+Sum of flat buffs, such as aether etc.

    The shock at the end has a different formula:

    0.018*Max Magicka+0.72*Spell Damage-2.5

    So b/a=40.5 –> spell damage is  ~40 times more important than max magicka.

    But if we compare the stats with sergeants mail (34400 max magicka and 2604 spell damage for me) with undaunted infiltrator (40240 max magicka and 2604 spell damage) the tooltip itself without the flat buffs is better. The difference between undaunted infiltrator and sergeants is ~500 per tick, but effectively, with cps, the other flat buffs and molten armaments, that is a difference if 1-1.5k per tick that needs to be compensated somehow. Illambris alone adds 3-4k dps on single target plus the increased damage of blockade, eruption and engulfing flames(not to forget about the ultimate). So if my math isn’t totally off, it should out-dps the raw heavy attack damage of sergeants mail.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by Profile photo of Masel92 Masel92.
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    mariusz2304

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    Yes you should. I only wanted to indicate that generalization was incorrect ;) .

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    ESOJunky

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    usually have tank and healer rotate aggressive horn so guard isnt needed. what would you put on your bars instead? embers  and somethings else? also, wouldnt kena be pretty good here instead of illambris?

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by Profile photo of ESOJunky ESOJunky.
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    Masel92

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    ESOJunky said on December 22, 2016 :

    usually have tank and healer rotate aggressive horn so guard isnt needed. what would you put on your bars instead? embers and molten armaments?

    Guard gives minor force, aggressive warhorn gives major force. With warhorn, guard is even more powerful.

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    ESOJunky

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    ohh hmmm, id like to try this out but i only have a dunmer DK, which i dont think this setup would work since they dont get buff for lightning damage

     

    edit nvm they do get small lightning damage bonus. might try it out afterall

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by Profile photo of ESOJunky ESOJunky.
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    Masel92

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    ESOJunky said on December 22, 2016 :

    ohh hmmm, id like to try this out but i only have a dunmer DK, which i dont think this setup would work since they dont get buff for lightning damage

    edit nvm they do get small lightning damage bonus. might try it out afterall

    dunmer is good for this, use shooting star or standard of might as ultimate and you’re good to go!

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    Gothos

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    This looks like a really interesting build and am planning to work up to it.  I have a question about alternative sets in the meantime.  I’ve yet to do trials so don’t have any IA pieces yet.  I was thinking of using elegant as an alternative until it can obtained.  Do you know if the 20% bonus from elegant applies to only the base damage or on top of the bonus damage from UI?  Would there be a better set to use instead, maybe Sergeant’s Mail?

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by Profile photo of Gothos Gothos.
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    Pallio

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    I like the gear set-up, just wish it didn’t have 3 wasted (robust jewelry/weapon crit) bonuses.

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    Masel92

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    Gothos said on December 22, 2016 :

    This looks like a really interesting build and am planning to work up to it. I have a question about alternative sets in the meantime. I’ve yet to do trials so don’t have any IA pieces yet. I was thinking of using elegant as an alternative until it can obtained. Do you know if the 20% bonus from elegant applies to only the base damage or on top of the bonus damage from UI? Would there be a better set to use instead, maybe Sergeant’s Mail?

    As far as I know, it is applied after the bonuses, and elegance is the only viable replacement for aether, because with sergeants mail and UI, you’d be using no light armor pieces and you’d lose all passives and have literally no max magicka bonuses. So if you want a replacement until you get aether, go for elegance. You should be able to get decent damage with that as well.

     

     

    Btw, I forgot that minor slayer doesn’t apply to world bosses, so you’d have to add another 5% bonus to the above parses in dungeons and trials, so another 2k dps more. I’ll bloodspawn it tonight and post a video/parse of it.

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