Stamina Dragonknight Dragonknight

Welcome to my Stamina Dragonknight guide! This is a basic guide to the gear, skills, and passives you can use to burn, poison, and smite your foes to death

This guide is mostly designed for PvE group play but can work to some degree for solo play as well. (For extensive solo play, you may need to make a number of adjustments for survivability)

For a nontraditional but incredibly effective and easy-to-use alternative build, check out my Heavy Attack Build guide as well!


Dragonknight Basics

Dragonknights are, as their name implies, dragon themed. Many of their damage skills deal flame and poison damage, and they have several passives that double down on these damage types by allowing us to deal additional damage of these types. DKs tend to be especially good at:

  • DoT damage: Dragonknights have some very strong damage-over-time (DoT) abilities that will do a large portion of our damage
  • AoE damage: Dragonknights are also one of the better classes at dealing area-of-effect (AoE) damage, allowing them to hit many enemies at once with their attacks
  • Melee combat: Many of dragonknights' damage skills have short range, making dragonknights best suited for melee fighting

Gear

Basics

  • We'll use mostly medium armor. The Medium Armor skill line provides damage bonuses and stamina recovery that will be very helpful to doing as much damage as possible and keeping up our resources
    • One or two light armor pieces can be helpful as well, as the Light Armor skill line provides penetration, one of the most potent of all stats. Most endgame dragonknights use one light armor piece and six medium
  • We'll use dual wield daggers on our frontbar. Dual daggers will provide the best damage stats of any weapon, mostly because of the Twin Blade and Blunt passive providing a large critical chance bonus
    • If you'd like, you can also use a different weapon such as a bow or a two-handed sword. These will generally do a little less damage, but they'll still do just fine
  • We have a few different good options for our backbar weapon. Two-handed greatswords, bows, or even inferno staves will do nicely. My preference is a greatsword, so this guide will favor that option; however, a few different setup options will be shown for bows and staves
    • Note that despite the magical inclination of a staff, we can still use a staff on a stamina-based build. There's no penalty or disadvantage for doing so; in fact, using a staff backbar can be helpful to regulating our stamina usage, since staff skills cost magicka and won't dip into our stamina

Gear Setups

There are many great options for gear. These are some of my favorites that I've found to do especially high damage, but experiment with other sets and find what works best for you!

Starting Gear

Try this setup until you reach CP 160 (the gear cap). These sets are all craftable! Ask for help in guild chat or Discord if you'd like someone to make them for you. The Training traits will get you a bunch of extra XP

If you have some extra skill points available to invest in the Light Armor skill line, swapping the head and/or shoulder piece to light armor will usually yield a little bit more damage

This setup uses Shattered Fate for a huge penetration buff to tear through enemies' resistances, and Adept Rider for extra movement speed, perfect for new characters that tend to struggle to move quickly around the world. Night Mother's Gaze is just filler for our last two pieces, providing a little extra crit chance

Gear Slot Type Set Trait Enchant
Medium Head Head
Medium Shoulders Shoulders
Medium Night Mother's Gaze Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Chest Chest
Medium Hands Hands
Medium Waist Waist
Medium Legs Legs
Medium Feet Feet
Medium Adept Rider Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Necklace Neck Shattered Fate Robust Robust Stamina Recovery Stamina Recovery
Ring Ring
Ring Ring
Shattered Fate Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Dagger Front Main Hand Dagger Shattered Fate Training Training Poison Poison
Dagger Front Offhand Dagger Shattered Fate Training Training Flame Flame
Greatsword
Bow Back Weapon
Staff
2H Sword
or Bow
or Inferno Staff
Shattered Fate Training Training Weapon Damage Weapon Damage

Alternatives

You can substitute Adept Rider with:


Skills and Passives

Skills

I'm listing way more skills than will actually fit on your bars, just to emphasize how many good options there are. See Example Bar Setups below for specific examples of effective bar setups

Choose a spammable

This is the skill you'll be casting most often, while your DoTs are still running

  • Molten Whip ¬†Molten Whip: A powerful spammable. We can get a nice stat boost (and a buff to our next Whip cast) by slotting and casting other Ardent Flame abilities. This skill uniquely costs a combination of both stamina and magicka
    • We can also slot this skill passively for the stat buff, even if we're using a different spammable
  • Rapid Strikes ¬†Rapid Strikes: Another strong spammable option, with a short channeling time
  • Stone Giant ¬†Stone Giant: Slightly less damage, but applies the Stagger debuff to increase the entire group's damage against the enemy
    • Somewhat clunky to use. For a smoother, easier to use spammable, try one of the above options
  • Whirling Blades ¬†Whirling Blades: AoE spammable. Does extra execute damage, hitting enemies harder when they're already at low health percentages. Use this when fighting large packs of enemies. Less damage per target than the above options, but more damage overall when you hit multiple enemies with it

Choose some DoTs

Fill up the rest of your skill slots with DoTs, and optionally utility skills (see below)

  • Burning Talons ¬†Burning Talons: Excellent AoE damage. Costs a lot of magicka, so can be tough on our sustain since we have a small magicka pool. Also immobilizes enemies
    • Talons is very strong but has a short timer. You'll want to cast it consistently every 5th cast for best results
  • Flames of Oblivion ¬†Flames of Oblivion: A good AoE DoT. Also provides Major Savagery/Prophecy to boost your crit chance
  • Venomous Claw ¬†Venomous Claw: Nice single-target DoT. Does extra damage the longer it ticks
  • Stampede ¬†Stampede: Great AoE DoT. Also a gap closer to bring you into melee range
  • Barbed Trap ¬†Barbed Trap: Provides a big boost to your damage in the form of the Minor Force crit damage buff, as well as applying a DoT
  • Eruption ¬†Eruption: Another very good AoE DoT. Costs lots of magicka
  • Noxious Breath ¬†Noxious Breath: Decent AoE DoT. Provides a huge Major Breach debuff to lower enemies' resistances so you can hit them a lot harder
    • You can also use Engulfing Flames ¬†Engulfing Flames. No Breach but provides a debuff to increase your whole group's flame-based damage against enemies
  • Carve ¬†Carve: Another AoE DoT. Gets an extra-long timer if you re-cast it before it finishes. Also provides a damage shield
  • Deadly Cloak ¬†Deadly Cloak: Good AoE DoT that also protects you with Major Evasion
  • Anti-Cavalry Caltrops ¬†Anti-Cavalry Caltrops: Decent AoE DoT

Choose some utility skills (optional)

Miscellaneous skills you can use for buffs, recovery, and extra damage

  • Resolving Vigor ¬†Resolving Vigor: Powerful heal skill. Also protects us with Minor Resolve
  • Camouflaged Hunter ¬†Camouflaged Hunter: We can slot this passively for the Minor Berserk and Major Savagery/Prophecy crit buffs, as well as for a stat bonus from the Slayer passive. (No need to cast this skill, we just have it for the passive buffs)
  • Shrouded Daggers ¬†Shrouded Daggers: Mostly useful as a ranged interrupt. Also cleaves to multiple enemies and provides Major Brutality/Sorcery for a stat buff

Choose ultimates

Very high damage skills you can cast when your Ultimate meter is full. Normally you'll want Standard on your backbar, and either Dawnbreaker or Standard again on your front

  • Standard of Might ¬†Standard of Might: One of the best ultimates in the game! Damages enemies, boosts all of your other damage, reduces incoming damage, and provides a damage synergy for your allies
  • Flawless Dawnbreaker ¬†Flawless Dawnbreaker: You can optionally slot this passively on your frontbar for the Slayer passive in Fighters Guild, with Standard on your backbar. (You won't normally actually cast Dawnbreaker; it's just there for the passive stat boost)

Example Bar Setups

Consider these setups as templates for your own setup; there's not necessarily a need to follow them exactly. Skills marked "Flex" in particular are good candidates to be replaced with other skills that you prefer, or ones of the opposite stat cost if you're having sustain trouble

Single-Target Fight

Fighting a boss? This setup will do nicely

Molten Whip FlexDeadly Cloak Barbed Trap Flames of Oblivion Resolving Vigor    FlexFlawless Dawnbreaker

Venomous Claw Stampede FlexCarve FlexNoxious Breath FlexCamouflaged Hunter    Standard of Might

  • Front Bar: Molten Whip, Deadly Cloak (flex), Barbed Trap, Flames of Oblivion, Resolving Vigor || Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker (flex)
  • Back Bar: Venomous Claw, Stampede, Carve (flex), Noxious Breath (flex), Camouflaged Hunter || Ultimate: Standard of Might

A bow backbar can substitute in Endless Hail Endless Hail and Poison Injection Poison Injection for the 2H skills

A staff backbar can substitute in Unstable Wall of Elements Unstable Wall of Elements and Anti-Cavalry Caltrops Anti-Cavalry Caltrops

How To

  • Molten Whip Molten Whip is our spammable. You'll be casting this skill much more than all other skills
  • We have a variety of DoT skills (Deadly Cloak Barbed Trap Flames of Oblivion Venomous Claw Stampede Carve Noxious Breath) that will put out lots of extra damage throughout a fight
    • Noxious Breath Noxious Breath is particularly potent because it applies the huge Major Breach armor debuff on the enemy. Make extra sure to keep this skill running
  • Resolving Vigor Resolving Vigor is our heal; use it for emergencies when your health is running low
  • Don't cast Camouflaged Hunter Camouflaged Hunter; it's just giving us a little extra damage on our backbar passively from the Slayer passive
  • Always use Standard of Might Standard of Might for your ultimate; Flawless Dawnbreaker Flawless Dawnbreaker is also just slotted passively for Slayer

Alternative Setup

I recommend the above setup for most people, but you can also use the following if you prefer a different spammable

Rapid Strikes Burning Talons Barbed Trap Flames of Oblivion Resolving Vigor    FlexFlawless Dawnbreaker

Venomous Claw Stampede FlexCarve FlexNoxious Breath Molten Whip    Standard of Might

  • Front Bar: Rapid Strikes, Burning Talons, Barbed Trap, Flames of Oblivion, Resolving Vigor || Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker (flex)
  • Back Bar: Venomous Claw, Stampede, Carve (flex), Noxious Breath (flex), Molten Whip || Ultimate: Standard of Might

A bow backbar can substitute in Endless Hail Endless Hail and Poison Injection Poison Injection for the 2H skills

A staff backbar can substitute in Unstable Wall of Elements Unstable Wall of Elements and Anti-Cavalry Caltrops Anti-Cavalry Caltrops

How To

  • Rapid Strikes Rapid Strikes is our spammable. You'll be casting this skill much more than all other skills
  • Burning Talons Burning Talons is a very strong DoT but has a rather short timer. Do your best to cast this skill consistently every 5 casts since it has a 5 second cooldown. In other words, cast a repeating pattern of Talons - skill - skill - skill - skill - Talons - skill - skill - skill - skill
  • We have a variety of other DoT skills (Barbed Trap Flames of Oblivion Venomous Claw Stampede Carve Noxious Breath) that will put out lots of extra damage throughout a fight
    • Noxious Breath Noxious Breath is particularly potent because it applies the huge Major Breach armor debuff on the enemy. Make extra sure to keep this skill running
  • Resolving Vigor Resolving Vigor is our heal; use it for emergencies when your health is running low
  • Don't cast Molten Whip Molten Whip; it's just giving us a little extra damage passively whenever we cast our other Ardent Flame abilities (Flames of Oblivion Venomous Claw Noxious Breath)
  • Always use Standard of Might Standard of Might for your ultimate; Flawless Dawnbreaker Flawless Dawnbreaker is also just slotted passively, giving us some extra damage from the Slayer passive

Quick Guide to Skill Casting

Remember, there is a one second global cooldown (GCD) for casting skills. After you cast a skill, you are unable to cast another skill for one second. Therefore it is ideal to cast skills on a consistent rhythm of one skill per second, the maximum speed allowed by the GCD. Consider using a metronome to get accustomed to this rhythm

  • Naturally, casting this frequently will burn through a lot of resources, but any second where you're not casting a skill is a second wasted where you could have been doing more damage! But see Sustain Tips below if you're running out of resources
  • Also remember to weave a light attack between each skill. Along with dealing extra damage, this will cause you to generate ult and also assist in applying your weapon enchantments, which are activated by light attacks and weapon skills. A successful weaver will cast one skill and one light attack in each one-second interval

Rotation

Watch your skill timers! Your main goal in your rotation is to keep your DoT timers all running as much of the time as possible. When you see a timer run out, cast that skill again

Your goals in your rotation are:

  • Keep your DoT and buff timers running at all times
  • Cast a useful skill on every one-second GCD

Your priorities in casting your skills are:

  • Whenever one of your DoT timers has run out or is about to, cast that skill again to keep it running!
  • Whenever your cooldowns are all still running, hit your spammable skill (Molten Whip Rapid Strikes Stone Giant Whirling Blades) for extra damage
    • Try to avoid recasting DoTs before their timers expire, unless the enemy has moved out of the skill's area. This will usually not provide much or any additional damage

You should spend most of your time on your frontbar. Just go to your backbar briefly to refresh skill timers

Casting skills infrequently is one of the biggest things that holds back most DPS from doing lots of damage. Dealing with mechanics and staying out of enemy attacks can take some time to get used to, but once you're familiar with the fight, pushing your damage skills as close to that one-cast-per-second rhythm as possible will let you put out huge amounts of damage. Don't spam your skills as fast as possible, since only one skill per second will cast, but don't cast too slowly either

Priority Passives

All passives are useful for something, but these are the passives that will be most relevant to combat

Ardent Flame: Combustion, Searing Heat, World in Ruin

Draconic Power: Iron Skin, Scaled Armor

  • Use all four passives if you're using any skills from this line, like Burning Talons

Earthen Heart: Battle Roar, Mountain's Blessing

  • Use Eternal Mountain as well if you're using any magicka skills from this line, like Eruption

Dual Wield: Everything: Slaughter, Dual Wield Expert, Controlled Fury, Ruffian, Twin Blade and Blunt

Two Handed: Forceful, Heavy Weapons, Balanced Blade

Light Armor (only if wearing some light pieces): Evocation, Spell Warding, Prodigy, Concentration

Medium Armor: Dexterity, Wind Walker, Agility, Athletics

Fighters Guild: Slayer, Banish the Wicked, Skilled Tracker

Undaunted: Everything: Undaunted Command, Undaunted Mettle

Assault: Continuous Attack

Racial: Everything

Alchemy (if using potions): Medicinal Use


Character

Race

Racial differences are relatively minimal, so I advise simply picking a race you like. But if you're wanting to optimize, the best options are:

Attributes

All 64 points belong in Stamina. Your skills do more healing based on your Max Stamina value (or Magicka, whichever is higher), so it is ideal to build one value as high as possible

Attributes

Mundus Stone

  • The Lover ¬†The Lover
    • Gives you extra penetration to shred through enemies' defenses. This is a great option for (1) when you're leveling, or (2) when you're not with a particularly organized group. When in doubt, Lover is likely the way to go
  • The Thief ¬†The Thief
    • Increases your critical chance, which is another excellent stat for maximizing damage. This is the best option when you have skill points, Champion Points, and group support invested into maxing out your penetration already

Consumables

Foods/Drinks

Potions

  • Crown Tri-Restoration Potion Crown Tri-Restoration Potion: Max Health/Magicka/Stamina, Health/Magicka/Stamina Recovery
    • Easy free option if accumulated from daily rewards
  • Stamina Potion Stamina Potion: Max Stamina, Stamina Recovery
    • Also a probably-free option that is easily looted from the wild; also craftable
  • Weapon Power Potion Weapon Power Potion: Max Stamina, Stamina Recovery, Major Brutality/Savagery
    • This will give powerful damage buffs but is a more expensive option to craft

Champion Points (level 50+)

A rough progression of what CP nodes to start with once you hit level 50. You'll be able to use more and more of these nodes as you gain experience and accumulate more Champion Points. Fill each node completely before moving on to the next one

Warfare Warfare

  • Start with Precision and (in the Extended Might sub-tree) Piercing
  • Then add these four slottables: Deadly Aim, Wrathful Strikes, Thaumaturge, Master-at-Arms. (Make sure you add them to your Champion Bar or they'll have no effect!)
  • Next grab Tireless Discipline, and also the non-slottable CP from the Extended Might sub-tree (i.e. skip any CP with the "Add to Champion Bar to activate" note)
  • Finally add the rest of the non-slottable CP throughout the Warfare tree

Fitness Fitness

  • Take these three slottables: Rejuvenation, Boundless Vitality, Fortified. (Make sure you add them to your Champion Bar or they'll have no effect!)
  • Grab Sprinter, Hasty (in the Wind Chaser sub-tree), and Hero's Vigor
  • Take the rest of the non-slottable CP throughout the Fitness tree, including those in the three subtrees
  • At some point during the above step, take one more slottable CP of your choice (Celerity (in the Wind Chaser sub-tree), Bloody Renewal, Spirit Mastery are some of the most useful ones)

Craft Craft

  • Use whatever you'd like here; these points mostly don't affect your combat skill. There are lots of options for crafting, stealth, movement speed, and more in this tree
  • Some early nodes I find good for very general usage include Steed's Blessing, Breakfall, and Wanderer

Sustain Tips

Try to avoid heavy attacking for extra stamina when possible. A heavy or two once in a while is okay, but doing many heavy attacks takes lots of time away that you could be using to cast skills and do more damage. It's much better to improve your sustain in other ways whenever possible

Need some more stamina sustain? Dragonknights have some unique sustain mechanics we can take advantage of. Check these tips, in roughly this order:

  • Have you bought all your passives? Your Medium Armor and class skill lines in particular have several passives that will give you extra stamina
  • Are you using mostly medium armor? If not, consider doing so to get lots of extra stamina from the Wind Walker passive
  • Do you have CP points in the Rejuvenation passive (red tree)?
  • Are you using the Charged trait on one or both of your frontbar weapons? This will make your Poison enchantment proc more often, so that your Combustion passive gives you back more stamina
  • Are you casting your ultimate frequently? This will proc your Battle Roar passive, which will give you a ton of resources back
  • Are you using Molten Whip Molten Whip as your spammable? It splits its resource cost between stamina and magicka and so uses relatively little stamina
    • If you aren't, are you using several magicka-costing skills like Burning Talons Burning Talons, Flames of Oblivion Flames of Oblivion, and Eruption Eruption? The more you use magicka skills, the less you'll be using up your stamina
  • Are you using food with a stamina recovery buff, like Dubious Camoran Throne Dubious Camoran Throne?
  • Are you using a potion with a stamina recovery buff?
  • Are you using stamina recovery glyphs on some or all of your jewelry?


Written by @IIIlIlIIlllIIlllIIll (Updated 05/2024 - U41 / Scions of Ithelia)