Toxicity - Stamina Dragonknight PVE Build
Written guide and video updated for The Scribes of Fate DLC: Q1 2023
This stamina Dragonknight build is primarily for END GAME content and the advanced player. Lesser experienced players, if they have the gear and understanding of the class, WILL perform exceptionally well with this and I would, by all means, encourage you to try it out…but this is aimed at people with a GOOD amount of knowledge of the class.
Sometimes you have to know what to do in a jam and that requires more than copy and paste, so bear that in mind and learn what the skills and passives do first. Pressing the buttons in the right order only work if you know what they do, otherwise, you will be a glass cannon. This is a raw build where all the damage is applied by your rotation with NO monster set required!!
This has been fine-tuned, stress-tested, and created over a long period of time…the build was created around the time of the release One Tamriel and now is still (several patches and alterations later) strong as hell, even with some of the damage nerfs to certain abilities in the Homestead patch and then the additional heavy attack requirements for just about everything due to reduction to cost passives disappearing in the Morrowind patch. It survived through the DOT boosting stages of Scalebreaker and even after when they were reduced later in the year. Fundamentally the Dragonknight is perfect for single target damage over time, so each patch with a LITTLE adaptation, this has stayed WAY up there regardless!
You will see on my live streams that I do occasionally take advantage of heavies during the rotation when resources are low, while other times using more light attacks. It is about gauging the situation and incoming sustain from synergies, potions, and ultimates in order to time everything perfectly inside mechanics. Heavy attacking and light attacking are both equally important in ALL content since it is a basic mechanic. ALL basic mechanics are relevant regardless of the content by design. So if you do start running low or just a gauge drops all of a sudden, it is up to you to take advantage of those situations. Especially when a target is off balance (70% increase to heavy attack, keeping damage up AND double resource return!).
The fact that we are built for a massive amount of poison, with the DK passives, gives us massive sustain due to the updated combustion passive. Now we get 1000 stamina back every time a poison status effect is applied! AND we have a chance for new Burning status (fire damage) meaning more magicka return (1000 per application of burning) meaning our magicka COSTING skills can be sustained too! This can be applied each individually on their own 3-second cool downs!
Physical status is ALSO a new thing to the new update! If you apply status with “physical” (which we never could before) you will apply Sundered, which is MINOR Breach, reducing the resistance of the target (spell and physical) by 2974!
Overall everything in the build slots together to make a simple yet solid static rotation, covering full uptime on all damage IF you can nail it. Fire and forget damage over time skills, boosted by a well-placed specific spammable, pushing some serious damage numbers AND with choices for survival if you alter your morphs! Everything you need in one place to smash the single target fights QUICKLY!
You are not limited there however if you DO need to hit AOE targets there are gear/skill options for that while maintaining your main purpose/design/role AND you will benefit from that in way of resource return if you get kills! Everything slots together to make a fully functioning multi-situation build. And let’s not forget, in Flames Of Ambition (current patch for Champion Points 2.0) the game has changed dramatically! Much more overall choice of playstyle with the champion point slotable options, alongside multiple state bonuses FROM the champion points system, and ALL players, new or experienced have MUCH higher base stats for weapon damage, spell damage, stamina, magicka, and health!
Deadly Strike has been removed from the setup and it is replaced with Pillar Of Nirn. Every proc set now crits off weapon AND spell damage except Arms of Relequen and Zaan’s.
With the addition of the Armory system in Update 32 and the ease with which you can change your entire build, this build is now a WEREWOLF! As a werewolf, you don’t have to worry about swapping bars. And it hits nearly as high as the old setup.
MASSIVE NOTE!!!: Since the Greymoor chapter we have been given NORMAL Maelstrom weapons and NORMAL Dragonstar weapons. SO if you are starting out and looking for a more advanced build but perhaps not actually into vet content YET…you CAN farm for absolutely everything on NORMAL difficulty and get cracking!
So while this is an advanced build, ANYONE can get started with it 😉
As demonstrated in the video, our fabulous ESO fashion setup and dress choice for this character is as follows:
Head: Grim Mask from crown crates
Shoulders: Heavy Dro’mathra
Chest: Medium Fang Lair Jack
Legs: Heavy Thieves Guild
Hands: Medium Dro’mathra
Belt: medium Dro’mathra
Feet: Medium Dro’mathra
Front bar: Boyant Armager daggers
Back bar: Lord warden Bow
As for dyes, pretty much everything is Void Pitch Black, but Thalmor or legates black is also fine!
Champion Points 2.0
The NEW Champion Points 2.0 introduced in the Q1 2021 DLC: Flames Of Ambition is quite possibly the BIGGEST change/addition to The Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel! And these were further altered in the Blackwood Chapter, giving us a lower base for capping out some of the essentials and also adding some more slotables!
Before it was a case of “I have limited points as a CP, so HOW should I spend them”? Now that is NOT the case as SUCH! Now, it is a case of, buy ALL the things, but which SLOTABLES should you take?
Everything before was a passive bonus with huge diminished returns, awkward calculations, and was messy to all players for the most part. The new system underlines NO diminished returns, no majorly confusing passives, and the ability to buy EVERY single passive available for tanking, DPS, and healing on the SAME character with enough points to spare for buying slotables. Being able to slot 4x special slotables from each tree when there are an abundance of them means you are only limited by your CHOICES, not by your CP.
Buy all the passives, CHOOSE which slotables to take vs the situation, and the rest of the points are spare. Or are they? Well here is the crunch…Once you go over 1800ish (depending on slotable choices, some are more expensive in the Craft tree) you basically have every single passive available PLUS 4 slotables per tree…
If you JUST wanted to focus on combat alone (all red and blue passives and 4 slotables for each one) you only actually need around 1600cp to be completely maxed in those areas. And if you wanted to go FULL glass cannon, only really focusing on one damage type you can achieve your max potential for that as low as 900 or so! You won’t have any resistances or healing bonuses from the Warfare (blue) tree doing this, but you can at least cap out the hard-hitting stuff, right? And this is considering slotables too so there is no harm in actually deliberately specing for a couple of damage resistance slotables instead even at THIS stage.
For tanking it is even easier! Push for your slotables and stack your resistance passives and it is game over! The rest are just a bonus!
So what’s next? Well, if you have higher champion points you can buy more slotables and switch stuff per situation as and when needed. If you don’t, then if you want to swap it will cost you gold for respecing. So in a nutshell, 1650-1800 (depending on build) is you’re pretty much done! Anything else is convenient due to not needing to spend gold swapping things you already have access to! How cool is that?
No matter what, THESE are the most important parts of the Champion Points 2.0 system. So this is your main FIRST goal when pushing for the build. You need to slot these even if they are not max level. However, there are swap-outs for situations as explained in the video.
BLUE (Warfare) are important for resistance, heals, and damage. Red (Fitness) are important for resources, health, and Crowd Control counters. Green (Craft) are literally quality of life! (aka your choice so not THAT important for combat).
It doesn’t matter what level you are at anymore, you can play ALL content regardless of your champion points level because during Flames of Ambition all players/characters had their base stats improved to make everyone somewhat more balanced at lower levels.
However, as mentioned above, the slotables are your main goal. Unlock the prerequisite passives to unlock access to your slotables if there are any…fill them up, and then just grab the remaining passives as you go.
300, 600, 900 champion points are not really important as checkpoints anymore for optimization. Just fill as you go, because ALL characters can have ALL passives with NO negative effects unlike before!
What should I aim for with this build?
- Wrathful Strikes
- Deadly Aim
Instead of Backstabber if you cannot get behind the enemy (example: Dragon in Sunspire), then Fighting Finesse should replace it in those situations.
If you find you are in multiple large pull situations with many adds while using Whirling Blades, you should swap to Biting Aura.
- Liquid Efficiency
- Treasure Hunter
- Steed’s Blessing
These really are up to you but these are most useful IN content for loot and movement if not in combat.
What you do with this tree is NOT make or break for mechanics nor combat in general just quality of life.
Some people like to steal, craft, use less potions, whatever, it’s your choice.
- Boundless Vitality
- Bloody Renewal
These are designed to increase your health/armor and at the same time manage your resources.
High recovery and return for being active in combat and GETTING kills really helps you in content.
So a good balance of flat, contributing slotables are helpful as a DPS build.
The video below explains how the changes work in more detail. Of course, over time, additions will be and have already been made to the system but the main BASE of it is the same.
The easiest way to maintain up times on your damage over time skills is to add the ability bar timers to your UI. The way to do this is to go into “Options” and then from there go into “Combat”. There are settings there to show ability timers for both your front and back bars (as explained and demonstrated in the video). Make sure they are both ON.
The damage over time skills on this build have over time been dramatically increased duration wise so instead of having a solid set in stone rotation (which you can still have, there will just be overlap) is to maintain up times by tracking your timers. Again this is explained and demonstrated in the Rotation section (with a time stamp) in the video.
Having the above in mind, follow the process below.
Note: There are two ways to do this, both shown in the video. The more optimal one is stated first.
Be sure to have Flames of Oblivion already running. Only once if you do not have the whip slotted. But 3 x if you do. Then start with Barbed Trap. It has 1.5 seconds before it arms so technically you have room to swap to the back bar and wind up Endless Hail. After endless hail, follow with , Light Attack, Poison Injection, Light Attack, Noxious Breath, Weapon Swap.
If you are in combat already, then you can lead with Endless Hail on the run into the fight, just be sure to get Barbed Trap down as soon as you can get close enough.
The rest is as follows.
Front bar: Light attack, Rapid Strikes, Light Attack, Venomous Claw, Light Attack, Rending Slashes, Light Attack, Soul trap.
From here on out you basically spam Light Attack, Rapid Strikes over and over until you need to activate the other abilities that are due to run out on your back bar. You front bar dots are longer so your back bar WILL run out first.
Whenever you bar swap from the front to the back, use Light Attack, Barbed Trap. This creates both a smooth transition from one bar to the other and also adds another reset and initial POP of the trap. The trap does the same damage every tick no matter what (unless you crit etc) so recasting it is a simple overlap. No plus or minus to it, BUT the initial pop IS more dps, so you lack less damage dropping while swapping bars and plug the gap.
You want to maintain your Seething Fury stacks from your whip bonus if you are using it, so Flames of Oblivion will need to be maintained to keep up at least the 15 second timer of the buff. So track that one at least fairly heavily. Of course Noxious breath contributes too but you you track Flames Of Oblivion you will never lose the buff.
Once you have reapplied anything on the back bar if necessary (Poison Injection, Noxious Breath, Flames Of Oblivion or Endless hail) go back over to the front bar and continue to spam Light Attack, Rapid Strikes until the front bar dots are due to run out.
Consuming trap and rending slashes don’t matter too much if you overlap them early, but Venomous Claw should last it’s full duration as it gets stronger over time.
SO to simplify…
Light attack, Rapid strikes, then apply your 3 major dots. Then keep an eye on your back bar, and if any are about to run out, use Light Attack, Barbed Trap, and swap. Light, Attack between the application of the necessary skills you need to recast, and then go back to the front and continue to Light Attack, Rapid Strikes, until you need to swap to the back again, OR you need to reapply your front bar dots.
Remember, it is crucial that you rapid strikes in order to buff the dots with the maelstrom daggers buff.
You can have a simpler rotation as explained in the video. It will do an incredible amount of damage, be easier to maintain with less tracking, but it will mean a little less dps because of overlap and dropping buffs etc.
If you are finding the above too tricky (check the video) this will help you get started.
Front bar: Light Attack, Rapid Strikes, Light Attack, Venomous Claw, Light Attack, Rending Slashes, Light Attack, Consuming Trap, Light Attack, Barbed Trap, Weapon Swap.
Back Bar: Light Attack, Endless Hail, Light Attack, Flames Of Oblivion, Light Attack, Poison Injection, Light Attack, Noxious Breath, Bar swap.
Front bar: All of your front bar damage over time is running on a long timer, so THIS rotation, simply spam Light Attack, Rapid strikes 4-6 times, then Light Attack, Barbed Trap, Weapon swap. It’s a free to spam rotation section where you are literally just filling with spams while the dots work.
THEN repeat the back bar the same as above, and start again from scratch.
By the time you are on the front again, you will be restarting all of your original dots and everything should line up.
Again, this is a SIMPLER rotation, with gaps, with less damage but easier to digest.
Front bar is Light Attack, Rapids, + 3x dots. Then Light Attack, Rapids , Light Attack, Trap, SWAP
Back bar: All your back bar stuff.
Front bar: Spam Light Attack, Rapids and then when done spamming, swap with a Trap…
Poisons, Potions, & Food
Potions really are up to you but they DO offer a crit chance bonus AND a 20% increase to your weapon damage and recovery while give a burst of stamina back at the same time.
Food is very simple, the highest level food you can consume with 2 stats only, MAX health and MAX stamina. There are 3 variations of recipes but all are the same in the stats they give so your choice which one you use.
Alkahest + Nirnroot + Nightshade + Fleshfly Larvae
Weapon Power Potions:
Dragonthorn + Blessed Thistle + Wormwood + Lorkhan’s Tears
Artaeum Takeaway Broth – Fish(20) + Torchbug Thorax(5) + Powdered Mother Of Pearl (5)
Dubious Camoran Throne – White meat(1) + Beetle Scuttle(1) + Insect Parts(1) + Guts(1)
Sticky Pork And Radish Noodles – White Meat(1) + Radish(2) + Flour(3)
Garlic Cod with Potato Crust – Fish(1) + Potato(2) + Garlic(3)
Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables – Small Game(1) + Greens(2) + Seasoning(3)
If you would like to make your own potions, I now have a fully functioning potion maker on the website. Here you can TEST any combination of potion or poison you like and check the outcome without having to know the combinations in-game! Check here for the App, working on Android and IOS – Potion Maker
Below is a chart showing the overall gear set-up, noting the optimal set requirements in terms of weight, enchants, & traits!
We are using the Thief mundus stone. All 64 Attribute points are into stamina!
High Single Target Setup
|Head||Runecarver’s Blaze||Light||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Shoulders||Runecarver’s Blaze||Light||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Chest||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Waist||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Hands||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Legs||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Feet||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Max Stamina|
|Ring 1||Runecarver’s Blaze||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weap / Spell Dmg|
|Ring 2||Runecarver’s Blaze||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weap / Spell Dmg|
|Necklace||Runecarver’s Blaze||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weap / Spell Dmg|
|Weapon 1||Maelstom’s Dagger||Dagger||Precise||Poison|
|Weapon 2||Maelstom’s Dagger||Dagger||Precise||Poison|
|Weapon 3||Master’s Bow||Bow||Infused||Weapon Dmg|
Higher AOE Setup
|Head||Pillar Of Nirn||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Shoulders||Pillar Of Nirn||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Chest||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Waist||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Hands||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Legs||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Feet||Arms of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Ring 1||Pillar Of Nirn||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weapon Damage|
|Ring 2||Pillar Of Nirn||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weapon Damage|
|Necklace||Pillar Of Nirn||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weapon Damage|
|Weapon 3||Maelstrom||Bow||Infused||Weapon / Spell Dmg|
|Chest||Arms Of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Waist||Arms Of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Hands||Arms Of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Legs||Arms Of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Feet||Arms Of Relequen||Medium||Divines||Stamina|
|Ring 1||Pillar Of Nirn||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weapon Damage|
|Ring 2||Pillar Of Nirn||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weapon Damage|
|Necklace||Pillar Of Nirn||Jewelry||Bloodthirsty||Weapon Damage|
|Weapon 1||Pillar Of Nirn||Sword||Nirnhoned||Poison|
|Weapon 2||Pillar Of Nirn||Dagger||Sharpened||Poison|
|Weapon 3||Master’s||Bow||Infused||Weapon / Spell Dmg|
Other Dragonknight Builds
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Fury – Stamina Dragonknight PVP Build Written guide updated for updated for The Scribes of Fate DLC: Q1 2023 Older video but still relevant. This particular build wasn’t set for release, more of a personal set-up BUT during the Midyear mayhem event in the live streams, this was so popular
Burn – Magicka Dragonknight PVE Build Written guide updated for updated for The Scribes of Fate DLC: Q1 2023 Older video but still relevant. This Magicka Dragonknight is for ALL players and for ALL content, YES even the hardest modes and content in the game! There are several different options