The focus of this article will be to describe the tools available to the Magicka Dragonknight, hopefully allowing the reader to gain a better understanding of the class, and how best to optimize for the fight and your playstyle. I'll be going over what works for me and why. Here's my character sheet with Witchmother's Potent Brew, Spellpower pot active, and Balance up.
09/17/18 - Replaced the single target parse with a better one. Added Molten Whip as a skill to consider.
9/12/18 - Added Ra-Kotu, Rakkhat, and Relequen raid parses. Added the Lover to the mundus stones. Reworded some stuff
Dark Elf - If Dark Elves were not in the game, Magicka Dragonknights would be faced with an interesting choice between the High Elves' extra damage, or a Breton's increased survivability. Dark Elves, however, combine the best of both those races. Boasting more fire damage than the High Elf, and comparable resistance to fire only as a Breton, they are the clear best choice. They also have additional stamina, useful for sprinting back into melee range.
High Elf - A good second choice. They have less flame and shock damage than a dark elf, but more than a Breton, and have a slightly easier time sustaining. Of all three choices, high elves are the least sturdy, having no resistance buffs.
Breton - My personal preference, and not just for RP reasons. Okay, it's mostly just RP reasons. No extra damage at all, but the highest resistances and sustain, making this best-in-slot for Fashion Scrolls Online.
Argonian - Ew.
The Thief - We don't have any built-in crit damage bonuses the way Nightblades and Templars do, so the difference between this and the Apprentice is closer for us than for other classes, however based on my testing the Thief still wins out. In addition, the Thief scales better with Major Force and other raid buffs than the Apprentice does.
The Apprentice - A close second. If you find yourself often flexing out your source of Minor Force, then consider this stone, Please don't make a habit of playing without Minor Force.
The Lover - You will rarely need the extra penetration from this stone, but when you do it'll be awesome. Great for unorganized groups, and fights where there are a lot of things that go untaunted but need to be killed ASAP.
Depending on your comfort level, you can add or subtract tri-stat enchants for more health or more DPS. 2 tri-stat glyphs give the same amount of resources as 1 health, 1 magicka, and 1 stamina. Don't turn down a free glyph slot!
For each small piece, Divines is better than Infused in every case.
For each big piece: Infused Max Mag > Infused/Divines Tri-Stat > Divines Max Health > Infused Max Health.
Use this hierarchy to fine tune your DPS vs Survivability to something that suits you.
The Best One
This setup is what I use for most of the game. It strikes a comfortable balance between damage and survivability. You would do more damage with full Max Magicka enchants, but I die a lot with that setup. If you can survive with 15k health, max magicka is definitely the way to go.
|Off Hand||Maelstrom Inferno Staff||Infused||Flame|
|Main Hand||Burning Spellweave Inferno Staff||Infused||Shock|
|Necklace||Burning Spellweave||Arcane||Spell Damage|
|Ring 1||Burning Spellweave||Arcane||Spell Damage|
|Ring 2||Burning Spellweave||Arcane||Spell Damage|
Burning Spellweave - At maximum uptime of 67%, this set will give you 350 spell damage, and great uptime on Burning, which increases the damage of your Wall of Elements, and triggers Combustion more reliably.
Siroria - This set is incredible, it out damages Moondancer at 8 stacks, but becomes weaker in burst or mobile fights. The only set better than this is Perfected Siroria.
Zaan - Hands down the best monster set choice, assuming you can stay in melee range. If you can use it, you should use it. If you can't, Valkyn Skoria is a good backup.
Spoiler: MaelstromIf you want to take and hour and a half to get through Maelstrom Arena while watching Netflix, this is the way to do it. Heavy attack your way to victory, ignoring mechanics by way of Coagulating Blood, Reflective Plate, and Magma Armor. You won't top the leaderboards, but there's like ten dragonknights who do Maelstrom weekly. You'll get on there with a score of twelve.
The Baron Who Moves Like Maelstrom And Chill
Body Armor Trait Enchant Head Mighty Chudan Infused Max Health Shoulders Mighty Chudan Divines Max Stamina Chest Infallible Aether Infused Tri-Stat Gloves Infallible Aether Divines Tri-Stat Belt Infallible Aether Divines Tri-Stat Greaves Infallible Aether Infused Tri-Stat Boots Infallible Aether Divines Tri-Stat Off-Hand Maelstrom's Inferno Staff Infused Flame Main-Hand Netch's Touch Lightning Staff Nirnhoned Berserker Neck Netch's Touch Arcane Spell Damage Ring 1 Netch's Touch Arcane Spell Damage Ring 2 Netch's Touch Arcane Spell Damage
Spoiler: Specialized SetsThere are also quite a few specialized sets that are worth getting, depending on how much you enjoy your magDK and how much you feel you need to optimize vs creating a magblade.
Berserker Enchantment - A front-bar Berserker enchant is very close to the front-bar shock for single target, but in AOE fights where trash mobs can steal the shock proc, Berserker becomes better. Zhaj'hassa's gosh darn cats
Prismatic Enchantment - Front bar Prismatic is awesome when you can use it. Ra-Kotu and Rakkhat in trials specifically, but Fang Lair and White Gold Tower both give people trouble sometimes.
Valkyn Skoria - This set is similar to Zaan, but allows you to continue to deal damage at range, as well as providing a nice 1k health buffer. I wear this set on fights where I have trouble staying in melee range for the full duration of Zaan, on fights I'm unfamiliar with, or fights where I need burst damage that's not tied to ultimate use. I find myself using this most commonly in Asylum Sanctorum, the Halls of Fabrication, and Cloudrest.
Mighty Chudan- Two words: massive tankiness. This were first suggested to me by my friend BeeKing, who uses it in the Maelstrom Arena for the most stress-free experience possible. I was quickly converted to this idea after trying it out for myself. The DPS hit is smaller than you'd expect, and it gives a total of ~8100 extra resistances. The only place I use this in trials is during the Hel-Ra Citadel top boss, but it does make St. Olms' kite phase much easier to survive if you find yourself always stepping in red. And again, it makes Maelstrom Arena a breeze.
Mother's Sorrow - A strong contender to replace Burning Spellweave for general purpose use, and the meta set for most magicka DPS. In fact, I think it's reasonable to say that Burning Spellweave is the more niche of the two sets, but that niche is where the Dragonknight excels. It's not the clear best-in-slot for us because we don't have as much critical damage as the other classes do, however, it is still very powerful. Consider making the swap if your Spellweave uptime falls below 45%, or if you're using Elemental Weapon.
Kagrenac's Hope - A swap for Burning Spellweave, Kagrenac's Hope offers a similar 5pc to Julianos and a subtle but powerful increase in group-wide DPS in situations where there are a lot of deaths. Any one death means than two players are now out of the fight for a few seconds, and Kagrenac's hope gets both players back into the game 25% faster. Consider this set when your Burning Spellweave uptime drops below 30%, or if you find yourself reviving other players a lot. The resurrection speed does not scale with quality, so this set can be run on white jewelry if needed.
Moondancer - A tempting swap for Siroria, on average giving slightly more than 200 spell damage and 200 magicka recovery. The real power of this set however, is that it will allow you to flex out Balance or use Blue Food instead of Witchmother's. Consider this if you're averaging 8 stacks of Siroria or fewer, if you really need another utility skill, or need the extra health from blue food.
Master Architect+Balorgh - These sets are bad on Dragonknights. Consider this only when you need massive burst damage at the cost of sustained DPS. That last part is important. The longer the fight, the worse these sets get. This setup is good for dungeons, especially against Domihaus and the Earthgore Amalgam, and against the spider boss in the Halls of Fabrication. If you really really need to kill something in 10 seconds or less, these are the sets to go for.
Bloodthirsty Jewelry - Similar to the above set, this is a DPS loss overall for Magicka Dragonknights. This is most useful on fights that are not a DPS race outside of execute, but are during the execute phase. Once your total DPS passes a certain threshold, this becomes much less useful. I personally only carry a single piece of Bloodthirsty jewelry, and use it on Domihaus and the Earthgore Amalgam trio when playing with randoms.
Willpower + 2pc - Willpower gives you the flexibility to choose your last bonus based on which staff you craft to go with it, as well as substantial bonuses to max mag and spell damage. Depending on what you prefer, you can craft Torug's Pact for spell damage, Innate Axiom for max magicka, Ashen Grip for max health, Assassin's Guile for spell crit, or Seducer for mag recovery. Willpower is also the best set to pair with a Master or Asylum destruction staff to best take advantage of their effects. Consider this when your Burning Spellweave uptime drops below 35%. This is also a solid replacement for Netch's Touch in vMA. In trials, consider using Mother's Sorrow instead. Please use Mother's Sorrow instead
Elf-Bane - This set has powerful synergy with the Zaan monster helm, and increases your sustain by allowing you to recast your expensive DOTs less frequently. It gets bad quickly on mobile fights, and is required to be on your jewelry and weapons. I personally feel that this set is outclassed, especially for the work required to get it and make it work, but your results may vary. I can't think of any situation where I would use this set with a Maelstrom staff, considering it and Siroria both have to be double barred. If using this set, consider The Apprentice mundus to increase Zaan's damage even further.
Grothdarr - A solid choice for AOE, however the radius is a bit smaller than I'd like. Consider for AOE packs that you can stay in melee range of. Valkyn Skoria has an AOE component as well, thought it is even smaller. In most cases, I prefer Skoria.
Spoiler: Stepping Stone SetsSets for when you don't have access to The Best One
The One For When You're Green
The following setup is meant for the brand new player, without access to any high-level sets. It's meant to give them an introduction to dungeons, and allow them to start collecting monster helms. This set has the most health of any set listed here, intending to compensate for a newer player's low CP.
Body Armor Trait Enchant Head Armor of the Seducer Divines Max Health Shoulders Armor of the Seducer Divines Max Magicka Chest Julianos Divines Max Health Gloves Julianos Divines Max Magicka Belt Julianos Divines Max Magicka Greaves Julianos Divines Max Health Boots Julianos Divines Max Magicka Off-Hand Armor of the Seducer Inferno Staff Infused Flame Main-Hand Armor of the Seducer Inferno Staff Infused Shock Neck Willpower Arcane Spell Damage Ring 1 Willpower Arcane Spell Damage Ring 2 Willpower Arcane Spell Damage
The One For When You're Itching For Those Sweet Minor Slayer Sets But Suck Too Much
This next setup is meant to give the player an introduction to trials and the harder dungeons. Despite the full Max Magicka enchants on the gear, this setup has only ~1k less health compared to the previous, due to the health bonuses on Silks of the Sun and Valkyn Skoria. If you find yourself still wanting more health, swapping to a divines Max Health glyph will help.
Body Set Trait Enchant Head Valkyn Skoria Infused Max Magicka Shoulders Valkyn Skoria Divines Max Magicka Chest Silks of the Sun Infused Max Magicka Gloves Silks of the Sun Divines Max Magicka Belt Silks of the Sun Divines Max Magicka Greaves Silks of the Sun Infused Max Magicka Boots Silks of the Sun Divines Max Magicka Off-Hand Burning Spellweave Inferno Staff Infused Flame Main-Hand Burning Spellweave Inferno Staff Infused Shock Neck Burning Spellweave Arcane Spell Damage Ring 1 Burning Spellweave Arcane Spell Damage Ring 2 Burning Spellweave Arcane Spell Damage
// Bar 1//
Burning Embers - An incredible heal, as well as solid damage. Does slightly more damage than 2 flame lashes over the duration of the skill.
Inner Light - A lot of extra max magicka, and passive Major SpellCrit. Enough said.
Balance - Even more max magicka, casting it gives empower and returns magicka. Cast it before burning embers and it doesn't even really cost health. It also gives Major Ward/Resolve, shooting your resistances through the roof. Just don't use it when a big hit is coming.
Engulfing Flames - 10% extra fire damage for the whole group, at range. This skill hits from nearly as far as Elemental Blockade, and frees up a barslot for your tank.
Flame Lash/Molten Whip - The metric by which we measure all other damage skills. It hits like a truck on its own, my tooltip is nearly 10k and it becomes even more powerful against off-balance targets. Power Lash is routinely hits for 25k (and crits for more than 40k), it's free, it heals you for a Breath of Life, and you can cast it twice per off-balance trigger. Also, it has a pretty solid range. It is possible, for example, to stand outside Ra-Kotu's spin range and spank him with this. Molten Whip is technically better, but I play with a magsorc who uses lightning blockade a lot, so I prefer Lash. (Murkmire patch notes 9/17 nerfed this, will probably switch to Molten Whip)
Fiery Rage - Incredible burst damage, and a solid AOE. It hits for approximately the same damage as Standard of Might, but over 7 seconds instead of 17, and has the same stat restore. It does not have the damage-increasing effect, which is why it's not the preferred ultimate. It's slotted to make sure we get the Ancient Knowledge passive on our front bar, as well as being a nice tool for AOE trashpacks or if you won't get the full effect of Standard.
// Bar 2 //
Reaming Trap - This gives you Minor Force, increasing your critical damage by 10% for 12 seconds. You have to be in melee range to use this, and the boss must stand still for at least 6 seconds to get hit when it re-arms. It also costs no magicka, which helps with our sustain. It also has deceptively far range, and will teleport around a bit to ensure a hit.
Flames of Oblivion - A very powerful single target DOT. It also gives passive Major SpellCrit on our back-bar, allowing us to save a bit of money by crafting Spellpower potions without that effect. Over its duration, it hits for slightly less than 3 Flame Lashes.
Elemental Blockade - Without the Maelstrom staff, this ability is kind of underwhelming. However, it synergizes incredibly well with Burning Spellweave, the Asylum destruction staff, and Elemental Weapon, gaining 20% extra damage against targets that are burning, and the Maelstrom buff effectively doubles its damage against the target you are light attacking. Keep this up 100% of the time.
Eruption - Our longest acting, most expensive DOT skill. A good chunk of the damage is front-loaded, equaling a flame lash after about 6 seconds, then the remaining 12 seconds it runs will get you damage equal to roughly 1.5 more. It is, however, seriously expensive. This is the skill I spam when I get mag-bombed by the Serpent. Repeated early re-placements of this skill will drain your magicka very quickly. On very mobile fights, consider flexing this skill out for a DOT that sticks on the target. cough cough Volatile Armor,
Harness Magicka - A big shield. It won't help you survive mechanics, and it won't help you survive Oblivion damage, but it is cheap. Shields don't take into account resistances, so it's smaller than the numbers make it out to be. Remember, stamina characters don't have shields. It's a useful tool, but it is possible to survive without it if you're careful with your stamina management, and know the fight very well.
Standard of Might - Your most powerful ultimate. Not only does it do more than 6 Flame Lashes worth of damage on its own, it gives you 15% extra damage while standing in it, and also you take 15% less, and restores 11.500 stamina, magicka, and health on cast, making sure you can take full advantage. This ult does everything. It's fantastic.
Spoiler: Flex Skills to ConsiderEvery fight is different. Sometimes it's worth it to take a DPS hit for more utility for easier completion, and sometimes you gotta play at range. Thanks ZOS.
Coagulating Blood - This is a substantial heal that does not require a target. If there is an enemy nearby, Burning Embers will typically heal for more, however on fights where it's not practical to be in melee range of the boss 100% of the time, this is almost always a 100% heal. Consider this skill for when there is a lot of Oblivion damage, or you need to self-heal a lot without a target in melee range, Cloudrest portal team. I often flex out Balance or Harness Magicka for this one. Keep in mind that it is significantly more expensive than Harness Magicka, and does not increase your effective health pool in the same way shields do.
Elemental Weapon - Nearly as strong as Flame Lash, except ranged. Consider this when you are having a hard time staying on the boss. Flex out Flame Lash, and consider using Mother's Sorrow instead of Burning Spellweave.
Channeled Acceleration - A rearming trap that lasts for 3x as long, and does not require you to be in melee range. It also gives Major Protection while channeling, and major expedition for 9 seconds. Consider this skill when you need the movement speed, or are spending more than 12 seconds out of melee range. Flex out Rearming Trap. Consider also flexing out Flame Lash for Elemental Weapon, and Zaan for Skoria.
Unrelenting Grip - Major Expedition for 6 seconds, for free. It also pulls some stuff I guess Consider this skill when you need movement speed immediately, and can't afford the channel time of Channeled Acceleration. Depending on what you need the movement for, consider instead Crushing Shock or Elemental Weapon. Flex out Balance, Rearming Trap, Eruption, Harness Magicka
Deep Breath - AOE interrupt. Hard-counter to Dranos Velador and the Warrior's Flame Shapers. Flex out Balance, Rearming Trap, Eruption, Harness Magicka
Crushing Shock - Single target ranged interrupt. Consider this skill when you need to interrupt a single enemy at range. Flex out Balance, Rearming Trap, Eruption, Harness Magicka
Volatile Armor - A solid defensive and offensive skill. Consider this for fights with a lot of incoming damage, especially AOE fights where someone else is running Engulfing Flames. The Mage HM Flex out Balance, Engulfing Flames, Eruption. Harness Magicka
Reflective Plate - A very expensive but powerful defensive skill. Consider this when there are dangerous, reflectable incoming projectiles. I use this exclusively in Maelstrom Arena, but Toboliam recently used it to solo Thurvokun on Hard Mode. Flex out Balance, Rearming Trap, Eruption, Harness Magicka
Molten Armaments+Lightning Staff - Strong AOE damage at range. Consider this for fights in fights where you do a lot of heavy attacking, if you want to use mag trashpots, and other situations where the lightning heavy channel would be effective. Flex out Balance, Eruption, Flame Lash.
Meditate - Significant resource restore, at a massive DPS loss. Consider this for fights where you spend a lot of time standing still and not doing damage, where the Major Protection can substitute for block's mitigation. I suspect this will be useful during the Warrior's Starfall for Bretons only 30k spell resist OP, however this remains untested. Remember, heavy attacks restore magicka too, and don't lock you in place. Flex out Balance, Harness Magicka.
Magma Armor - An incredibly powerful defensive ultimate. On cast, it caps incoming hits at approximately 600 damage for almost 11 seconds, and restores 9200 stamina, magicka, and health. It also does a bit of damage, but it's not great. Consider this when you need to tank something you shouldn't be tanking. Flex out Standard of Might
The rotation for magDKs is very simple. Burning Embers(10.5), Engulfing Flames(10) both have a very similar duration that line up very well with Flames of Oblivion(15). The only outliers is Eruption at 18 seconds, Rearming Trap at 12, and Elemental Blockade at 8. If we bury our heads in the sand we can pretend Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, and Elemental Blockade all have 8 second durations, and Rearming Trap, Eruption, and Flames of Oblivion have 16, making our rotation incredibly simple. It can be best described with two alternating phases, each lasting 8 seconds. You can also run a dynamic rotation, but I'd be surprised if you got more than 1-1.5k more DPS by doing so. Both phases are the same, except for the red highlighted parts. Remember to weave light attacks between every attack.
Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Elemental Blockade, Eruption, Flames of Oblivion, Rearming Trap, Standard of Might, Flame Lash, Flame Lash
Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Elemental Blockade, Standard of Might, Flame Lash x3, Flame Lash, Flame Lash
The Flame Lashes highlighted in blue should be replaced with Balance when extra magicka is needed. If needed, the preceding flame lash can also be replaced, but be aware doubling up like that is incredibly dangerous, and represents a mistake in your magicka management.
Ultimates should be cast instead of a Flame Lash in your rotation. Standard of Might is the preferred ultimate on bosses that will stay inside it for the full duration, or are not likely to go immune before the duration runs out. Lookin' at you, St. Olms...
Spell Power Potions - Even if you don't need the major spellpower from these, the sustain difference is noticeable. With the bar setup the way it is, we don't need the major spellcrit, so you can craft potions with just restore mag and major spellpower to save some money.
Mag trashpots - Best in slot for dungeons. No need to burn through expensive potions for dungeon crawling. Consider the big money potions if you're going for Mountain God or stuff like that.
Clockwork Citrus Fillet - Basically the same as Witchmother's Potent Brew, except massively more expensive. Use if you're a high roller.
Witchmother's Potent Brew - Good enough for the proletariat, good enough for me.
Blue Food - The best food for DPS, if you can kill your target before you run out of magicka. Good for dungeons, where that is often the case. Significantly worse in trials.
Spell Shield 26
Elemental Defender 49
Thick Skinned 40
Quick Recovery x
Bastion and Quick Recovery should add up to enough to get the first passive in the tree. I prefer Quick Recovery, but it's up to you. Put the rest into Spell Shield. If a Breton, consider getting the first two passives in the Lord instead, with 26 in Spell Shield.
Distribute the rest evenly between Sprinter, Warlord, Tumbling, and Shadow Ward. I prefer to lean more heavily towards Sprinter and Shadow Ward.
Elemental Expert 64
Spell Erosion 21
Staff Expert 23
Reconsider the amount of points in Spell Erosion based on your group composition, and what penetration values are available to you.
6M dummy: 46.3k
Breton. 2 Infused, 4 Divines, everything else as described in this guide, done with Ele-drain support. Thanks @Alak4z4m!Video: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/311452923
Ra-Kotu: 59.4k AOE, 56.9 single target.
Prismatic frontbar. I could have improved on this by tightening up my positioning to get more Zaan procs, or by wearing Skoria.
Rakkhat 46.8 AOE, 40.2k single target
Prismatic frontbar. The big thing I see in this one is my minor force uptime. Next time, I'll try Channeled Acceleration while Rakkhat is swapping pads.
Elemental Weapon, Channeled Accel, Coagulating Blood. I honestly have no idea how this compares to other portal team melee classes in this fight, but here's what I've got. I should have been wearing Skoria/Mother's Sorrow here, but I was tired and lazy.
As soon as I stop playing Dragon's Dogma, I'll upload some more raid parses with mechanics.
Feel free to message me in-game on PC/NA @ CaptainHammer, or on Discord Stronghammer#8922 with questions. I guess you could reply here too, but I play
Dragon's Dogma ESO a lot more than I'm on here.