Tamriel Foundry

Murkmire - Magicka Dragonknight PvE DPS

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.

Spoiler: Changelog

10/24/18 - Updated for Murkmire

10/16/18 - Replaced Relequen parse with some non-shit ones, updated maelstrom build

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 (for single target)

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.

ShouldersZaanDivinesMax Magicka
ChestSiroriaInfusedMax Magicka
GlovesSiroriaDivinesMax Magicka
BeltSiroriaDivinesMax Magicka
BootsSiroriaDivinesMax Magicka
Off HandMaelstrom Inferno StaffInfusedBerserker
Main HandSpell Strategist Inferno StaffInfusedFlame
NecklaceSpell StrategistArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 1Spell StrategistArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 2Spell StrategistArcaneSpell Damage

Spell Strategist - Just silly.  There's no way this set will last in its current form, but lets enjoy it while we can boys!  Don't deconstruct your BSW

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: Sideboard

A few sets worth carrying for use in specific scenarios.


Between a Berserker (AOE), Shock (Single target), you'll have the flexibility for any situation.  Prismatic is just icing on the cake.

Shock Maelstrom Inferno - If your group doesn't have a source of minor vulnerability, this enchant will out-DPS the berserker through minor vulnerability, as well as providing a very important debuff for the group.

Prismatic Maelstrom Inferno - 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.

Monster Sets

Similar to the weapons, Zaan and Grothdarr is all you really need.  Skoria and Slimecraw are there for trying to squeeze out every last bit of DPS from the class, and Mighty Chudan is pretty much a hard-counter to Maelstrom Arena.

Grothdarr - Incredible for trashpacks and AOE.  It'll outdamage Zaan if you can hit two things with it.  I usually wear this in dungeons.

Slimecraw - Provides a large DPS increase when you can't stay in range of Zaan, and the fight is too mobile for good combat prayer uptime.  I usually use this in Cloudrest, and either this or Skoria for Asylum Sanctorum.

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've gone to using this just in HoF.

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 if I'm off-tanking 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.


Again, since The Best One is optimized for single target stationary, carrying these sets shore up the other scenarios in the game.

Burning Spellweave - It's great for when you need burst damage, or need to put damage on a lot of targets quickly.  Because we spend about 66% of our time on the frontbar, sets like Silks of the Sun and Mother's Sorrow don't receive their full benefit.  The spell damage increase from Burning Spellweave will transfer to our backbar, and we have enough fire damage to keep a good uptime on this even if it's only front-barred.  If your uptime suffers here, Silks of the Sun is a good replacement for this.  This is my current recommendation for a Spell Strategist replacement for vCR+1 or more, or if you're on the portal team.

Mother's Sorrow - Similar to Burning Spellweave, this is a great set to wear for increasing your AOE DPS.  We don't have the passive crit increases the way Nightblades and Templars do, so it's less effective for us than them, but still very good.  Extremely likely to outdamage Siroria in highly mobile fights.  Crit damage also scales better in raids than spell damage does.  This is my current recommendation for a Siroria replacement for Cloudrest.  The mobility granted by this set allows you to remain stacked for longer, meaning you can receive more buffs from your healers.

Kagrenac's Hope  - Good for progression runs.  The stat bonuses itself aren't all that spectacular, but any death takes two DPS (one dead, one reviving) out of the fight for a few seconds.  It won't be good for your parse, but it's good for group DPS.

Spoiler: Maelstrom

If 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

HeadMighty ChudanInfusedTri-Stat
ShouldersMighty ChudanDivinesTri-Stat
ChestInfallible AetherInfusedTri-Stat
GlovesInfallible AetherDivinesTri-Stat
BeltInfallible AetherDivinesTri-Stat
GreavesInfallible AetherInfusedTri-Stat
BootsInfallible AetherDivinesTri-Stat
Off-HandMaelstrom's Inferno StaffInfusedBerserker
Main-HandSpider Cultist Lightning StaffNirnhonedFlame
NeckSpider CultistArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 1Spider CultistArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 2Spider CultistArcaneSpell Damage

I don't use this setup anymore.  It is still the easiest by far, but if you're pushing for score I recommend Burning Spellweave, 3pc Moondancer, Slimecraw, and Asylum+Maelstrom staves, unless you can get more than 555k with something else.

Spoiler: Stepping Stone Sets

Sets 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 and magicka recovery of any set listed here, intending to compensate for a newer player's low CP.  There's not really a need to switch your Willpower jewels to spell damage either, at this level.

HeadArmor of the SeducerDivinesMax Health
ShouldersArmor of the SeducerDivinesMax Magicka
ChestJulianosDivinesMax Health
GlovesJulianosDivinesMax Magicka
BeltJulianosDivinesMax Magicka
GreavesJulianosDivinesMax Health
BootsJulianosDivinesMax Magicka
Off-HandArmor of the Seducer Inferno StaffInfusedBerserker
Main-HandArmor of the Seducer Inferno StaffInfusedFlame
NeckWillpowerArcaneMagicka Recovery
Ring 1WillpowerArcaneMagicka Recovery
Ring 2WillpowerArcaneMagicka Recovery

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.  This one specifically is specialized slightly towards Cloudrest more than dungeons because that's where Siroria drops, but will be great for dungeons too.  As you increase in CP or become more comfortable running with lower health, changing the health enchants to max mag will increase your DPS.

HeadValkyn SkoriaInfusedMax Magicka
ShouldersValkyn SkoriaDivinesMax Magicka
ChestMother's SorrowDivinesMax Health
GlovesMother's SorrowDivinesMax Magicka
BeltMother's SorrowDivinesMax Magicka
GreavesMother's SorrowDivinesMax Health
BootsMother's SorrowDivinesMax Magicka
Off-HandBurning Spellweave Inferno StaffInfusedBerserker
Main-HandBurning Spellweave Inferno StaffInfusedFlame
NeckBurning SpellweaveArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 1Burning SpellweaveArcaneSpell Damage
Ring 2Burning SpellweaveArcaneSpell Damage


// Bar 1//

Burning Embers - An incredible heal, as well as solid damage.  Does slightly more damage than 2 molten whips 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.

Molten Whip - The metric by which we measure all other damage skills. It hits like a truck, my tooltip is nearly 10k, and makes your other ardent flame skills more powerful just by being slotted.

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 molten whips

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, but be careful re-placing this sklil often.  It is 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.

Dampen Magicka - A big shield.  It won't help you survive mechanics, and it won't help you survive Oblivion damage, but it is cheap.   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.  If you don't need the shield or utility from another skill, replace it with Inner Light.

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: Sideboard skills

Every 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.

The ones you should definitely get

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 for this one.

Elemental Weapon - Nearly as strong as Molten Whip, except ranged.  Consider this when you are having a hard time staying on the boss.

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, and a shield when you block.  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 Molten Whip for Elemental Weapon, and Zaan for Skoria or Slimecraw.

Unrelenting Grip - THE TWINS.  HELP YOUR TANKS.  Flex out Dampen Magicka.

Deep Breath - AOE interrupt.  Hard-counter to Dranos Velador and the Warrior's Flame Shapers.  Flex out Balance, Rearming Trap, Dampen Magicka

The ones that are nice to have

Crushing Shock - Single target ranged interrupt.  Consider this skill when you need to interrupt a single enemy at range. Flex out Balance, Rearming Trap, Dampen 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 progression    As you and your team get better, you should need this less and less..  Flex out Balance, Engulfing Flames, Dampen 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, Dampen 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, Molten Whip

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 (better now that eruption doesn't suck), but I'd be surprised if you got more than 3-4k more DPS by doing so.  Both phases are the same, except for the red highlighted parts.  Remember to weave light attacks between every attack.


DOT phase

Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Elemental Blockade,   Eruption, Flames of Oblivion, Rearming Trap, Molten Whip, Molten Whip

Burn phase

Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Elemental Blockade,    Molten Whip, Molten Whip, Molten Whip,      Molten Whip, Molten Whip 


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 Molten Whip 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 unoptimized trials, but if you've got good orb support this is the best.

Champion Points

Ironclad 66

Spell Shield 26

Hardy 49

Elemental Defender 49

Thick Skinned 40

Bastion ZERO

Quick Recovery x

Until they un-fuck Bastion, Quick Recovery is the clear best for your leftover points, especially in Cloudrest.

Arcanist 75

Tenacity 75

Distribute the rest evenly between Sprinter, Warlord, Tumbling, and Shadow Ward.  I prefer to lean more heavily towards Warlord and Sprinter

Elemental Expert 64

Spell Erosion 21+x

Elfborn 56

Master-At-Arms 56

Staff Expert 23

Thaumaturge 40

Reconsider the amount of points in Spell Erosion based on your group composition, and what penetration values are available to you.  21 is my recommendation for major breach, Alkosh, and Infused Crusher.  Spell Erosion is a good place to dump your leftover points if you can't hit a jump point in anything else.

Parses (still out of date)

6M dummy: 46.3k Wolfhunter

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 Wolfhunter

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 Wolfhunter

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.

Galenwe and Falarielle 36k Wolfhunter

Skoria, Elemental Weapon, Channeled Accel, Coagulating Blood.  I honestly have no idea how this compares to other melee classes, but here's what I've got.  I should have been wearing BSW+Mother's Sorrow here, but I was tired and lazy (and I'm getting better working with Siroria uptime in these fights)

Z'maja (Wolfhunter) 24.9k

Skoria, Elemental Weapon, Channeled Accel, Coagulating Blood.  This fight definitely should be Sorrow/BSW or Silks/BSW, or maybe even Slimecraw, there's way too much movement.  This was my first clear though, so there can definitely be improvement here.

As soon as I stop playing Skyrim, I'll upload some murkmire parses.

Contact Info

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.

About Kyne's Hammer:

Kyne's Hammer hasn't shared anything about themselves.

7 Replies
  1. #1


    Administrator3186 Posts

    Awesome guide, thanks for taking  the time to put this together so nicely and for sharing it with the community!

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

  2. #2


    Member10 Posts

    Awesome  build , thank you.

  3. #3


    Member1308 Posts

    This is a nice guide to the magicka DK, thanks for sharing.

    e pluribus unum

  4. #4


    Member79 Posts

    Yeahhh, I've been playing Sorcs and DK's in this game since beta...you definitely know what you're talking 'bout! 

    A lot of what you have shared here, I have forgotten about (mostly due to experimenting w/ several iterations of a myriad of builds). LoL 

    Very nice guide for novice and expert players alike...(big thumbs up) 

  5. #5

    Kyne's Hammer

    Member3 Posts

    Thanks everyone for the positive reception!  Over the next few days, I'm hoping to update this with pictures of the sets and skills to make it easier to understand if you don't know all this stuff off the top of your head.

    I also just had a chance to read the 9/17 patch notes for Murkmire, and there's a few things I'm thinking about.

    #1, Spell Strategist looks absolutely ridiculous.  I'm planning on replacing Burning Spellweave with it if it goes live anywhere close to what it is now.

    #2.  Eruption buff!  Seems like I'll keep it on my bars more often, as it deals way more damage now.

    #3.  Range nerfs.  This is honestly something that'll probably increase my DPS.  I often find myself standing outside of Zaan's proc range, and this should alleviate that.

    #4.  Shield nerfs.  I feel like this is a buff to DKs in disguise.  We've got Major Ward/Resolve built into our kits via Balance and/or Volatile/Hardened Armor, and so there's not actually that many fights where you need one.   I've been running without a shield in almost all vet content now except HoF, the Warrior, and St. Olms, and I could do without for Olms if I could git gud.  I haven't had an opportunity to properly test Meditate against the Warrior, but with Major Resolve/Ward, we should be able to just block through and heal up with Burning Embers anyway.  And I haven't done HoF at all yet, so I'll leave that to a more experienced player.  Worst case scenario we just end up taking advantage of the psijic shield now being super strong, or slotting structured entropy for more health.

    #5.  Flip Whip nerf:  This skill has been nerfed into the ground every. single. patch.  And I have to admit, with good reason.  Giving it a magicka cost is, in my opinion, the final nail in the coffin.  I'll be using the spell damage whip if that nerf goes live.  I hope it doesn't.  I like to spin :(

  6. #6


    Member132 Posts

    Is this still up to date? Ive been looking  to dust off ESO and my DK and get back out there. 

  7. #7

    Kyne's Hammer

    Member3 Posts

    Hey Ethos, this is most definitely not up-to date anymore.  I've been doing a lot of tanking and working on my nightblade recently, so my gear is still all outta whack, however the skill descriptions and the thoughts behind them are still accurate.  The meta overall has shifted to a Mother's Sorrow/Siroria setup with the Shadow, so that's what I'd run, in full divines.  Mechanical Acuity I feel like is too much of a parse farm set, it should have a higher maximum but to get there you need 3x bloodthirsty and get a proc in execute with your standard up.  Which is fairly reasonable to do parsing, but in-raid the variable nature of it doesn't sync up well with warhorns and I personally prefer the consistency of Mother's Sorrow.  I still get ~45-46k with Spell-strat/Siroria solo this patch though, with mobile fights looking more at Mother's Sorrow/Spell Strategist.\

    The best race seems to be either Altmer or Dunmer now for raw damage, and you can do a fairly good imitation of breton sustain by dropping a spell damage glyph for a mag regen one, but you can't trade your extra sustain on Breton for more damage


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