Tamriel Foundry

[PvE] MagDK REBORN - Dragon Bones - Raid Build

Hey everyone Boone here. I have been a MagDK main for most of my time on ESO. During the Morrowind patch many of us probably switched class. I changed to stamplar, then quit about 2 months later. I have recently come back to the game and have been theorycrafting quite a lot. Ever since Morrowind magDKs have been pure trash, no point in sugarcoating it. With this build I'm trying to close the gap between the magicka/staminas. It is still there but I really believe we can be competitive again with this setup.

Right. There are two main things that I've found after coming back that are big META changers for magDK, first off an absolute requirement is this: 

I know it's hard to get but magDK really can't be competitive without it. This combined with the combustion passive in the Ardent Flame skill line provides insane burning DPS. It is a requirement if you want to be viable in end game raids. It provides the vulnerability debuff which is another reason you have to persuade your raid leads to let you try this setup out.

Secondly, a controversial skill but in my opinion is completely viable if you know your trial mechanics. It's learn to play entirely. The skill is Balance (equilibrium). A mages guild skill. Yes you lose health when cast but you should be instantly healed anyways in most groups and if not, to be extra safe our next skill in our FIXED rotation is burning embers, which heals us to full no matter what. Just don't cast this if a oneshot mechanic is coming up. This build requires knowledge of how fights develop in raids. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I will try to post videos as I get new parses and you can see how this skill is completely viable. I know there is doubt, but try it.


For the gear we are using 5x Mechanical Acuity on the body. Mechanical Acuity is better than BSW, it can net you higher dps in most fights but i find it to be quite RNG when lined up with the magdk rotation. Basically Acuity does more DPS most of the time but Burning spellweave is more of a "noob" friendly set as you won't have to track your acuity buff and burst when it's active, you can just follow the set rotation and get decent damage. Feel free to interchange the two setups. Using this addon you can understand when to burst with acuity better, ignoring balance for a rotation if it lines up with your 5x force pulse spam.

For our monster helm we use Zaan or Grothdaar. Zaan can be 3k single target in raid so it's well worth using on boss fights, however the 1 piece crit chance is kind of wasted whilst acuity is up. Grothdaar has the benefit of more max magicka and higher chance for more burning status effects. We use 3x willpower jewellry with spell damage enchants on all jewels. Finally on our backbar we use a VMA infused fire staff with a weapon damage enchant. For Longer fights that aren't daedric bosses we will use an absorb magicka glyph. Fights to use this on may include bosses in vHoF, vHRC HM and vAS.

In most fights elsewhere we will use a flame glyph. However on some special bosses such as Rakkhat, first two bosses on vAA and Ra Kotu we can use a prismatic enchant! Massive deeps.

For trash fights we will use a lightning staff for heavy attack AOE DPS (because of the tri focus destructive staff passive) and grothdarr. Making sure to keep engulfing flames up on all enemies so our teammates destro ults and wall of elements kill them quickly so you can be on your way to the next boss fight ASAP.

Whilst in trash as you are heavy attacking you won't need balance to sustain, so Molten Armaments has very good synergy with your lightning Heavy attacks.


Front bar:

Skill 1: Burning embers. Melee DoT insanely strong.

Skill 2: Force pulse. Our main spammable.

Skill 3: Engulfing Flames. An AOE DoT that increases everyone in your raids flame damage by 10%.

Skill 4:  Balance. Our means of sustaining in a longer fight. Also provides nice tanky Major ward and resolve resistances. if you cast this ability correctly you will actually find yourself surviving more in raids rather than what you think it will do - kill you. Use it in place of your 5th a 7th force pulse when required (we can use it less in shorter fights). The reason for that is it is right before the burning embers heal and also it's when your berserker enchant has downtime. Rotation explanation is below this.

Skill 5:  Magelight. Gives us more max Magicka and a constant crit bonus.

Ult: Meteor. Nice for trash fights and it gives another 2% max magicka on your frontbar.

Back Bar:

Skill 1: Eruption. An 18 seconds AOE Ground based DoT. It is actually quite weak but it's all we got. Hopefully this can be buffed in future. I would love to see it act as an offensive way of sustaining that will give us a decent amount of magicka back per second if an enemy is inisde it.

Skill 2: Rearming trap. A skill that gives us minor force, 10% more crit damage done. Very Good.

Skill 3: Flames of Oblivion. An amazing skill. DoT that does single target damage. 

Skill 4: Blockade of Fire. Great AoE ground based DoT. Combined with vMA inferno it makes a strong combination.

Skill 5: Mages Light  (or Harness Magicka for fights that are very damage heavy). With these resistances it's okay to not bring a shield however don't be an idiot, bring one in a fight that isn't easily healed. Do you trust your healers on easier fights? Then bring magelight. If you decide to not bring one and end up dying, it's your fault, don't blame them.

Ult: Standard of Might. In our rotation this ult buffs our damage done by a crazy amount. You can expect to see a huge surge of your DPS after casting this.


The rotation for MagDK is a longer rotation. It can be hard to learn mobile fights but once you do there should be no problems dealing some nice DPS.

The rotation is as follows. ( > = Light attack. // = bar swap)


Eruption > Rearming trap > Flames of Oblivion //

Burning embers > Engulfing Flames //

Wall of elements//

Force pulse x4 > balance x1 


burning embers > engulfing flames //

Wall of elements > eruption > rearming trap > Flames of Oblivion//

Force pulse x1 > balance x1 > burning embers > Engulfing Flames//

Wall of elements//

Force pulse x4 > balance x1

You repeat Part 2 until the fight is over. Use standard of might after wall of elements when it's up. Don't use balance when you are standing in your standard of might if possible to maximize the DPS burst.

Here is an example video of me doing a 6M dummy with ele drain and orbs support. Your sustain should be even better in trial.

Champion Points: BLUE Cps

56 Elemental expert

48 Elfborn

21 Spell erosion

40 Master at arms

75 Thaumaturge.

Green Cps

24 Warlord

100 Arcanist

76 Tenacity

40 Shadow Ward

For red CPs, change based on your trial.

Food: Max Magicka/Health BLUE food CP150.

Potions: Essence of Spell power.

note: with the spell power potions you can make 2 trait pots with just major sorcery and restore magicka to save a little bit of money as our skills on both bars already provide the crit bonus.

Mundus Stone: The Apprentice.

Race: Dark Elf

You should be a vampire. Stage 2 for any fights with high fire damage.

If you have any questions and are on the PC-EU server, message me in-game: @HamburglarJones

Special thanks to @curry-noodle for his help!



About Boonr:


Dunmer Magicka DragonKnight

Redguard Stamina Templar

World's 3rd vHoF clear & 3rd vHoF HM clear - Dragon's Crest Guild

Currently raiding with Call of the Undaunted - Leader: @LiofaTR

6 Replies
  1. #1


    Administrator3184 Posts

    Nice build, @Boonr, thank you for sharing!

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  2. #2


    Member61 Posts

    Thank You!

  3. #3


    Member7 Posts

    Am curious to see how this build will adapt with summerset isles as combustion becomes next to useless as it instead gives back magicka/stamina from poisoned and burning status effects so again dps dks are getting screwed over badly. With staffs counting as two slots from the next patch my mag dk is running 3 pieces silk jewelry 2 pieces armor so 400 extra damage for all flame abilities and 3 pieces acuity armor and 1 staff so could run the asylum on backbar as acuity is a proc set only needs to be slotted on one bar

  4. #4


    Member7 Posts

    Oh and almost forgot for monster set I run zaan.

  5. #5


    Member11 Posts
    karios525 wrote on April 11, 2018

    Am curious to see how this build will adapt with summerset isles as combustion becomes next to useless as it instead gives back magicka/stamina from poisoned and burning status effects so again dps dks are getting screwed over badly. With staffs counting as two slots from the next patch my mag dk is running 3 pieces silk jewelry 2 pieces armor so 400 extra damage for all flame abilities and 3 pieces acuity armor and 1 staff so could run the asylum on backbar as acuity is a proc set only needs to be slotted on one bar

     Hey, yeah it depends on how they go about changing the passive, we'll have to see. Either way I'll be updating it with the best in slot gear even if asylum isn't needed. Can't really tell what is BiS until I get into PTS tomorrow. There are many options that seem quite close in theory... Just need to be tested.

  6. #6


    Member11 Posts

    After a testing for quite a bit on PTS with the first week of changes it seems that not much will change with my build. The 36 seconds minor force skill will most likely replace trap and that's about it. Bloodthirsty jewelry is interesting but I think arcane is still bis for raids, will have to be tested in raid situation I guess. I will still keep balance slotted but more so as a dynamic skill to use in our rotation. Even on live I don't need to use it that often but it's nice to have there as a precaution (it's not really bad either as you get 2% more max magicka, it'll also empower your light attacks so that's a win-win).

    Whip builds are viable as well however they just hit a small amount lower which is nice as you don't NEED an asylum staff to do raid dps anymore. If you're looking for a whip setup for next patch, you'll want Acuity, BSW(Elf Bane currently being tested, seems pretty great) and Zaan/Grothdaar with a vMA staff and an acuity staff front barred. I'll update the build once all changes are confirmed and hit live server. I'll also be testing the changes each week for the inevitable nerfs and keep it updated in the comments here. Right now in the current PTS week I see magDK as a viable dd in a meta setup raid. It looks like: 1 Stamplar, 2 melee magblades, 1 magDK - 4 Range players, mix of sorc/nb/warden. (assuming people are abandoning stam)


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