Tamriel Foundry

Alanarre's ShockKnight PVE DK DPS (Update 12 Ready)

Change Log

10/10/16 - Added parse images.

 

Overview

The goal of this build is to absolutely max out the damage of a lightning staff heavy attack. Since it's difficult to compete with stamina builds on single target damage, this build instead focuses on insane AOE damage, with side effects of amazing durability, infinite sustain, and significant group dps buffs.

 

Class

To run this build effectively you have to be a Dragonknight, that 40% damage increase from Molten Armaments is impossible to replace.

 

Race

Ideal would likely be an Altmer with an honorable mention for Dunmer, looking primarily for the Max Magicka and Shock Damage boosts. On the other hand, it’s effective with any race. I run it on an Imperial and it works great.

 

Attribute Points

All in Max Magicka

 

Vampire / Werewolf

I like being a vampire for this build. The extra regen is great and the sneak speed can be helpful in some circumstances, but the big advantage is the up to 33% damage reduction from Undeath. This reduction applies to damage shields, so if your health gets low and you get a shield up, that shield is effectively up to 33% stronger. This is offset a bit by the extra vulnerability to fire, but in most cases gives added resilience.

 

Gear

5x Infallible Aether

5x Sergeant’s Mail

1x Charged destruction staff with lightning enchant

1x Sharpened Maelstrom Lightning Staff

 

Infallible Aether drops in Aetherian Archive, Hel Ra Citadel, and Sanctum Ophidia, with an increased chance on veteran difficulty.

Sergeant’s Mail drops in Wayrest Sewers or can be purchased in Vlastarus for Alliance Points

 

For best outcomes, run Sergeant’s Mail in jewelry, chest, and one more big piece (head, shoulders, legs, or feet). That way, you’ll get the most armor and still have 5L2H. That means you need 5x Infallible Aether all in armor pieces, no jewelry allowed.

 

All armor should be divines with Max Magicka enchants, Spell Power enchants on the jewelry.

 

If you don’t have a Sharpened Maelstrom lightning staff, run either a different Maelstrom lightning staff or any Sharpened lightning staff. Damage will be a bit less, but still amazing.

 

Second staff can be any element and any set, but must be a destruction staff, must be Charged, and must have a Lightning Glyph.

 

Skills

Maelstrom bar

Stalwart Guard - many Magicka dps builds run Rearming or Lightweight Trap to get that critical Minor Force buff. In this case, the extra durability from Sergeant’s Mail makes it practical to guard another Magicka dps, giving both perpetual Minor Force.

Dampen Magicka - since we don’t really need to worry about sustain, choose the morph with more damage. With 100 points in Bastion, this should give you a 17-18k shield. Pop it after every lightning channel when things get dangerous.

Molten Armaments - the 40% buff to heavy attacks here is critical, as well as the 20% increase to Spell Power. Keep this up 100% of the time.

Elemental Blockade - with a Maelstrom staff, this adds damage to every heavy tick and also sets concussed enemies off-balance, which is critically important (see Concussed / Off-Balance section below).

Inner Light - standard Magicka fare, increase your Max Magicka, increase your damage

Shooting Star - I like this morph better than Ice Comet since you’ll often have a DK running Engulfing Flames, so the extra fire damage and Ultimate return is nice. However, this is not a flame build, so either morph works great.

 

Charged bar

Stalwart Guard - keep this on both bars so it doesn’t drop when you swap

4x Flex Spots - I’ll often run chains,burning embers (for self heals), deep breath / crushing shock (for interrupts), eruption / flames of oblivion (for extra damage). Can also run Inner Light on this bar if you have the space.

Standard of Might - extra 20% damage done, reduced 20% dave taken. Hard to beat.

 

Champion Points

The Serpent

Magicka Cost - 100 points

Magicka Regen - 70 points

Heavy Attack Return - 17 points

 

The Mage

Elemental Expert - 100

Thaumaturge - 75

Staff Expert - 10

Elfborn - 1

Spell Penetration - 1

 

The Warrior

Bastion - 100

Hardy - 43

Elemental Defender - 43

Think Skinned - 1

 

The mage points are the most optimized though there is likely room for improvement. Elemental Expert is the most important since it increasing both the base damage of a lightning attack and the splash damage from the Tri-Focus passive. The 75 points in Thaumaturge are to get the Exploiter passive for 10% extra damage against enemies that are Off-Balance.

 

Haven't calculated an exact balance between heavy attack return and Magicka regen, but i’m guessing that for this build having at least a few points in heavy return is worthwhile.

 

Food

Standard Max Health and Max Magicka is still best. With the health and armor boosts from Sergeant's Mail, you could actually get away with green Max Magicka food for absolutely maximum dps, but in most cases the extra durability is still worth the slight decrease in Max Magicka.

 

Potions

Since the main filler for this build restores Magicka, you can do most content just fine with no potions or with simple dropped Magicka potions. For serious end-game content, nothing works better than tri-pots. 

 

Rotation

The rotation with this build is pretty simple. First, find someone to Guard and Guard them. Second, keep Molten Armaments up. Third, cast Elemental Blockade on the Maelstrom staff, swap to the Charged staff, hit the enemy with a weapon attack (Light attack, medium attack, or weapon ability) to proc the lightning enchant, swap back to the Maelstrom staff and do two full heavy channels, then start back with another Elemental Blockade. That's the full rotation, works for both single target and AOE.

 

Concussed / Off-Balance

To get the absolute highest DPS from this build, you have to understand the Concussed and Off-Balance status effects. Most lightning damage attacks have a chance to make an enemy Concussed, but a lightning damage glyph has the highest chance at 20%. The destruction staff passives increase this to 40%, and a gold charged trait in a destruction staff increases the chance to 84%, which means it will proc most of the time.

 

One an enemy is Concussed, Lightning Wall of Elements will set the Off-Balance. Your goal is to keep enemies Off-Balance as much as possible. While an enemy is Off-Balance, they take something like 40% extra damage from heavy attack, 15% extra damage from bow and dual wield attacks, and 10% extra damage from anyone with the Exploiter passive. For a typical trials group, this comes together as 5-15% extra damage while the enemy is Off-Balance. If your group typically does 200k, that’s an extra 10-30k groups DPS, just by setting the opponent Off-Balance.

 

In an AOE setting, if you can set one target Off-Balance and then channel heavy attacks on that target, all of the other nearby enemies will also take increased damage. Under ideal circumstances, direct damage can get as high as 30k per tick and secondary damage can get to 40k per tick per target, which is how total AOE damage can spike over 100-200k DPS. Secondary damage does depend on proximity, so more damage the closer hey are to the primary target. The highest I’ve seen sustained is about 66k over a long fight (the gauntlet in vMoL).

 

Parses

http://imgur.com/FKZHx1e

http://imgur.com/lK7m9xQ

http://imgur.com/5Gl9No6

http://imgur.com/6Tu6Qc0

I don't have fully optimized gear yet, this was with one infused piece instead of divines, and with a precise maelstrom staff instead of sharpened. Also this run was before One Tamriel, so 531 CP instead of 561.

None of these were ideal fights, under better circumstances and with more practice I expect to get up to 35-40k on the single-target fights and 65-70k on the long AOE fights.

 

Maelstrom Arena

For Maelstrom, I use the same build as general PVE, with a few changes to the skills. My highest score so far is 515k, which is top 70 or so on PC NA.

 

Maelstrom bar

Replace Stalwart Guard with Dragonscale Wings, since Maelstrom is solo, there’s no one to guard.

 

Charged bar

Eruption, Burning Embers, Crushing Shock, Rearming Trap, Flames of Oblivion, Standard of Might

 

Put down trap, eruption, and flames when you have a chance for extra damage, use burning embers when you need a heal, crushing shock for interrupts, and normal rotation in between. For the ninth Arena, swap both ultimates for Magma Armor.

 

PVP 

In a PVP setting, this build excels in group play, the larger the better. When I go into PVP, I typically use the same gear, champion points, and skills as in Maelstrom Arena.

 

Most players in PVP run impenetrable, but for this build, I depend mostly on shields (can’t be crit), and on staying at maximum range. As a result you hit hard and have decent durability, but you’re not a tank, so don’t try to play like one.

 

Acknowledgments

Thanks to @Asayre for help with the formulas for heavy attack damage. Thanks to @pretzl and @Nosferatuzod for inspiration from their great magdk builds. Thanks to @Toast_STS for the tip to try Sergeant's Mail. And finally thanks to the wonderful folks in STD that let me try out crazy builds in competitive trials runs.

About Alanarre:

Alanarre hasn't shared anything about themselves.

92 Replies
  1. #81

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    Masel92 wrote on December 17, 2016

    Unthought said on November 30, 2016 :

    I’ve been trying out a variant of this that uses the Undaunted Infiltrator set. By having DW Infiltrator Swords, 2 jewelry, and one armor on the back bar, I can keep a bonus of 1161 to heavy attacks up while still having room for a monster helm set. It also benefits the Sorcerer variant as the light attack bonus from UI helps Overload. I don’t have ideal pieces yet, and my skill’s not that great, but would that improve the DPS over Sergeant’s Mail?

    I have to back this up here, but not for sorcs, but for a DK: I farmed myself five pieces of the undaunted infiltrator this week, and I have to say, this makes room for interesting combination and gets the dps on single up a lot, I had 40k deeps on the warrior in vhrc last night, until the star burst phase came.

    I run it like this:

    2 illambris, one heavy, one light

    5 aether, one jewelry, 4 body

    5 undaunted infiltrator, 1 medium body, 2 jewelry and 2 swords on the back bar.

    40500 magicka, 2600 spell damage.

    I have engulfing flames and eruption on my back, and cast eruption first, swap bars, blockade, then three FHA, bar swap, engulfing, blockade, three FHA, and repeat.

    You never have to lift your finger off your left mouse button. Having the heavy attack bonus from UI and proccing both Illambris is a really cool and strong combination.

    Very cool, thanks for sharing. Couple questions, what type/trait of staff are you running on the front bar, and what race are you?

  2. #82

    Masel92

    Member226 Posts

    My dk is an Altmer, and I use a vma sharpened lightning on main bar. I leveled him up just to experiment with the heavy attack build I used on my sorc.

    I still use purple unique swords in precise (sweetsong), because the first lamia boss (slikhlenia or something, the one with the snake) in Arx Corinium drops it. You can farm the first snake boss to get a unique necklace and a divines body piece , and then you just need a ring.

    And I still don't have DW line leveled, so I would get a decent damage increase on the back bar with the 5% DW passive and sharpened swords.

    I definitely see good potential,  and keep in mind that I get 20fps tops in trials with my laptop, so in the right hands, I think it will be very powerful!

  3. #83

    zbzszzzt123

    Member92 Posts

    I have a question regarding the off balance and concuss status effect. Do the added damage bonus work against bosses? And if so, wouldn't it just get cancelled after the first heavy attack?

  4. #84

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    zbzszzzt123 wrote on December 24, 2016

    I have a question regarding the off balance and concuss status effect. Do the added damage bonus work against bosses? And if so, wouldn’t it just get cancelled after the first heavy attack?

    Yes, it does work against bosses. Bosses are immune to direct off-balance effects, but they are not immune to concussion, and lightning wall does set the off-balance when they're concussed. Because the off-balance comes from concussion + lightning wall, a full heavy attack consumes the off-balance, but they're still concussed, so they immediately become off-balance again.

  5. #85

    zbzszzzt123

    Member92 Posts

    Ah, I see what you mean!

     

    Thank you very much for the explanation

  6. #86

    Masel92

    Member226 Posts

    Are you planning on updating this for update 13? Because I'd like to have a heavy attack build that works similar to this one for vma. There are alternatives that might work out there.

  7. #87

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    Masel92 wrote on January 25, 2017

    Are you planning on updating this for update 13? Because I’d like to have a heavy attack build that works similar to this one for vma. There are alternatives that might work out there.

    Yeah I've tried out the infiltrator / elegance variation, but it doesn't quite fit my play style as well as the current version. I have a completely different dk dps build in the works, will likely post it here in a week or two once the PTS is stable.

  8. #88

    Run-Jay-Run

    Member4 Posts
    Alanarre wrote on January 28, 2017

    Masel92 said on January 25, 2017 :

    Are you planning on updating this for update 13? Because I’d like to have a heavy attack build that works similar to this one for vma. There are alternatives that might work out there.

    Yeah I’ve tried outthe infiltrator / elegance variation, butit doesn’t quite fit my play style as well as the current version. I have a completely different dk dps build in the works, willlikely post it here in a week or two once the PTS is stable.

    It has been many weeks since your last post. I just came across this build, and would really like to try it, but I'm concerned it may not be viable anymore.  I really like the idea of an all-around build, and this fits perfectly. With a few minor changes, you can solo, PvP, or dps group content.  With an attribute respec and some armor and skill changes, you can be a bad ass tank (kudos on the awesome tank build).  Very cool!

    Two quick questions: First, do you have something new to reveal soon?  Second, if not, is this build still viable with the current update?

    Thanks for your time!

  9. #89

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    Run-Jay-Run wrote on April 4, 2017

    Alanarre said on January 28, 2017 :

    Yeah I’ve tried outthe infiltrator / elegance variation, butit doesn’t quite fit my play style as well as the current version. I have a completely different dk dps build in the works, willlikely post it here in a week or two once the PTS is stable.

    It has been many weeks since your last post. I just came across this build, and would really like to try it, but I’m concerned it may not be viable anymore. I really like the idea of an all-around build, and this fits perfectly. With a few minor changes, you can solo, PvP, or dps group content. With an attribute respec and some armor and skill changes, you can be a bad ass tank (kudos on the awesome tank build). Very cool!

    Two quick questions: First, do you have something new to reveal soon? Second, if not, is this build still viable with the current update?

    Thanks for your time!

    Yep! This approach is highly viable. If anything, it may be too strong for most content. I've seen a trend lately where tanks will modify this build by swapping in Alkosh instead of plague doctor for lower group survivability and more DPS. Still a very strong build, feels like 2x as strong for group survivability as any other tank build I've tried.

  10. #90

    Run-Jay-Run

    Member4 Posts

    I appreciate the quick response, but I wasn't asking about your tank build.  I currently use your tank build, and love it.  I was actually asking if your ShockKnight dps build is still viable? Also, your post I previously quoted was from two months ago and you mentioned you were working on a new DK dps build.  Are you still working on it, and if so, when can we expect it?

    Thanks again.

     

  11. #91

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    Run-Jay-Run wrote on April 4, 2017

    I appreciate the quick response, but I wasn’t asking about your tank build. I currently use your tank build, and love it. I was actually asking if your ShockKnight dps build is still viable? Also, your post I previously quoted was from two months ago and you mentioned you were working on a new DK dps build. Are you still working on it, and if so, when can we expect it?

    Thanks again.

    Sorry, haven't' had traffic on this build for a while. As written, this build is no longer viable, though there is a variant with undaunted infiltrator, elegance, and ilambris or skoria that does okay, but it's doing 20k dps for me instead of the 30k I was getting before Homestead. The other build that I tried was Burning Spellweave / Elf Bane, which is quite good, but slightly worse than the meta build of Burning Spellweave / Moondancer / Grothdarr.

  12. #92

    Drgneb

    Member267 Posts

    I am loving what I am reading here...something very different for a MagDK!!!! Any chance this build is still any good or could be once Summerset drops? Any chance you (the OP) are still playing and reading this...lol?!!  ;) One can but hope!

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