In this Elder Scrolls Online Build Guide I am going to cover a Dragonknight Stamina DPS Build that can do over 60k+ DPS on an Iron Atronach Trial dummy and over 40k+ on a normal 3m Health Dummy. This build is aimed for PvE group play, relying on allies to buff your surviveability so that you can dish out an enormous amount of damage.
Dragonknight Stamina DPS Build Concept
This build uses a traditional Stamina DPS setup where we combine Dragonknight Abilities with Bow and Dual Wield. Stamina DPS Builds, in many cases, use Dual Wield for their frontbar and Bow for backbar, and this build uses the same setup because it works the best for what we are trying to accomplish. High DPS comes from lots of DoT abilities as well as increased damage when an enemy is under 50% and 25% Health. The Scalebreaker update changes some frequently used abilities, so this build is updated to accommodate these changes.
Dragonknight Stamina DPS Attributes and Skills
This build does not need Magicka whatsoever, so points can be distributed into Stamina and Health. Stamina is the primary Attribute because if we run out of it, DPS drops significantly, and it also boosts damage. Around 40 points into Stamina is recommended, and the rest can go into Health. If you need more surviveability for specific content then put a bit more points into Health. With blue food, Health should be a minimum 20k and Stamina around 30k.
Frontbar abilities are a mix of Dragonknight and Dual Wield. These are mostly DoT abilities except for Whirling Blades, that is direct damage and does 100% more damage to enemies under 50% health. Flames of Oblivion is a great addition here because it increases Weapon Critical Rating by 10% when slotted. It also does mediocre Flame Damage over time, but it adds up, so is worth using.
Backbar abilities are a combination of Arrow Barrage, Poison Injection, Barbed Trap and Razor Caltrops. The last ability is Igneous Weapons. It works great with this build because it gives Major Brutality (20% increased weapon damage) and Minor Brutality (10% increased weapon damage) because of the Mountain’s Blessing passive.
Whirling Blades – A direct damage ability that does mediocre DPS, but also does 100% increased damage to enemies below 50% Health, and is also an AoE attack. This is used mostly when enemies are below 50% Health. Morphed from Whirlwind.
Noxious Breath – An ability that does direct and DoT Poison damage. It is a conal ability, meaning it will hit every enemy in front of you, and it puts Major Fracture on everyone affected. Thanks to the World in Ruin passive, this ability costs only around 1500 Stamina. This is one of the best “spammable” abilities due to its damage being the same as Whirling Blades only with lower Stamina cost. Morphed from Fiery Breath.
Flames of Oblivion – An ability that spawns Fireballs that strike 2 enemies every 5 seconds and lasts 15 secs in total. Damage scales off of Stamina or Magicka, whichever one is higher. Damage is not that great when compared to other abilities, but when slotted this ability grants Major Prophecy (10% increased spell critical) and Major Savagery (10% weapon critical). Morphed from Inferno.
Barbed Trap – A great DoT ability that does over 30k+ damage over 18 secs with this build. It also grants Minor Force (increased crit damage by 10%) for 18 seconds. Enemies that trigger the trap are immobilized for 2 seconds. Morphed from Trap Beast.
Flames of Oblivion – This ability also goes on the backbar, but Razor Caltrops is a good alternative. However, Caltrops requires Stamina, and overall DPS is very similar, so Flames of Oblivion is a better choice.
Igneous Weapons – Grants to you and your allies Major Prophecy (20% increased spell damage) and Major Brutality (20% increased weapon damage). The fantastic thing is that these two buffs last 42 seconds. Upon activation Minor Brutality (10% Weapon Damage) is granted as well due to the Mountain’s Blessing passive. Morphed from Molten Weapons.
Lacerate – This Ultimate puts a significant bleed DoT which also heals the user for 50% of damage done. The great thing about it is that it has low activation cost so can be used frequently. Both upgrades are fine. This ultimate is optional and can be switched from something else if you don’t prefer it.
Standard of Might – This is the primary Ultimate for this build that we are using because of increased damage done by 15% and 15% damage reduction when standing inside it. In addition to those 2 awesome buffs it also puts Major Defile (useful only for PvP) and does damage every second to any enemy standing inside it. It also creates a synergy opportunity that deals Flame damage upon activation. Morphed from Dragonknight Standard.
Dragonknight Stamina DPS Rotation
Ability rotation is divided into 2 methods. When the enemy is over 50% Health we use 2x Noxious Breath and when the enemy is below 50% we use 3x Whirling Blades during one rotation. Flames of Oblivion are applied upon expiration. Sometimes it is at the beginning and sometimes at the end of the Backbar ability rotation. Use Light Attacks before every ability and Heavy Attacks when in need of Stamina.
Rotation above 50%:
Igneous Weapons (apply every other rotation because of Minor Brutality) -> Flames of Oblivion -> Barbed Trap -> Poison Injection -> Endless Hail -> WEAPON SWITCH -> 2x Noxious Breath -> Venomous Claw -> Rending Slashes -> SWITCH
Rotation below 50%:
Backbar is same while frontbar looks something like this: Whirling Blades -> Noxious Breath -> Venomous Claw -> Rending Slashes -> Whirling Blades 2x -> SWITCH
Dragonknight Stamina DPS Race
Any race that influences Stamina in any way is good for this build. However there are some that are better than others, and Redguard and Orc would be my primary choices. Redguard gives +2000 Max Stamina, reduces the cost of Weapon Abilities by 8% and restores 950 Stamina every 5 secs when dealing direct damage. Orc, increases Stamina by 2000, and Weapon Damage by 258. Imperial, Dunmer and Bosmer are ok alternatives with Imperial being the best choice out of these 3.
Dragonknight Stam DPS Champion Skills
There are plenty useful Champion Skills you can have, but points are limited. Percentages behind the decimal point are not accounted for when adding points to Champion Skills. For example, Elemental Defender at Rank 60 reduces damage taken from elemental attacks by 12.57%, but your gain is actually 12%. Now that you know this you can save points and put them elsewhere where gains would be more beneficial. Try to round up numbers to get the most out of these Champion Skills. Here is my recommended setup for the Dragonknight Stamina DPS Build:
Dragonknight Stamina DPS Gear (Weapons, Armor & Jewelry)
The weapon combination that we are using is Dual Weapons on the frontbar with Bow on the backbar. Which weapon you are going to use for Dual Wield is up to you because each has something going for it. In my case I went with Dual Daggers for increased Critical Chance. Maelstrom Bow is the best choice for the backbar, because it improves the Endless Hail ability.
There are many great Stamina sets but some are slightly better than others for pure DPS. With Briarheart, Arms of Relequen and Slimecraw/Selene/Velidreth I managed to go above 35k on a 3m dummy and my dps skills aren’t very good. The ideal Trial Gear setup would be Tooth of Lokkestiz, Arms of Relequen and Slimecraw/Selene/Velidreth but Tooth can only work upon activating synergies and that isn’t possible when soloing a 3m dummy. However, it is possible on an Iron Atronach Trial Dummy and this is where I could go up to 60k with that setup. One thing to note is that Arms of Relequen should be equipped as Armor because it needs its buff to be active at all times for maximum effect.
Before acquiring Trial gear, sets like Hunding’s Rage, Briarheart , Night Mother’s Embrace and Spriggan’s Thorns are great choices because they are fairly easy to obtain and provide great bonuses. These sets are something like starter sets that we use to farm Dungeon Gear. Hundings and Briarheart are used for direct DPS increase, while Night Mother’s and Spriggan’s are used for more sustain.
As you progress further sets like Scavenging Demise, Pillar of Nirn, Archer’s Mind, Deadly Strike and Flanking Strategist should be on your radar. These sets are great for DPS increases, but are a bit tougher to obtain than previously mentioned ones. Ultimately they all do similar things by increasing Weapon Damage and Weapon Critical. Their differences are mainly in the 5 piece bonuses, but they all increase DPS by similar amounts regardless.
Trial gear that works great here is Arms of Relequen, Tooth of Lokkestizz, Roar of Alkosh, Quick Serpent and Poisonous Serpent. Arms of Relequen and Tooth of Lokkesstizz give the highest DPS numbers when in group play for this build. Serpent sets offer better sustain with added Stamina, so you can put more attribute points into Health in that case.
Monster sets that are best for this build are Velidreth, Slimecraw and Selene. I tested all 3 and all performed very similarly, so you can use whichever you feel is best or is easiest for you to obtain. I suggest using Heavy versions of Monster sets to get more Health, but that is up to you.
Traits & Enchantments
WEAPONS: On our Weapons we use the Weapon Damage Glyph for increased Weapon Damage, and Precise/Nirnhoned Traits for more Weapon Critical or Weapon Damage. Either is fine here, but it is easier to get Precise than Nirnhoned.
JEWELRY: On our Jewelry we want Weapon Damage Gylphs and the Bloodthirsty Trait if possible. Weapon Damage will further boost damage, and Bloodthirsty really helps to increase damage when Bosses are in their Execute phase, which is usually where they start dealing the most damage. This helps to get through that phase more quickly, but Bloodthirsty is hard to get, so use Robust if you cannot acquire it.
This build is a traditional Dragonknight Stamina DPS build that is updated for Scalebreaker due to some abilities being altered. It is meant for PvE group play but Dragonknights in general have high survivability so it can be modified for solo play with the addition of abilities like Green Dragon Blood, Hardened Armor and Obisidian Shield. Use these if you wish to take on Maelstrom Arena.
The Mundus Stone I am using is The Shadow because the increase in Crit Damage by 13% is quite nice due to Crit Chance being above 60% with Frontbar abilities. The Tower is also a good choice if you are running out of Stamina frequently. When leveling I would suggest The Tower, switching over to The Shadow as you near end game content, and are more familiar with your Abilities and rotation.