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Best DPS build for Dragon Knight v1.5

Disclaimer: This build is for END GAME GROUPED PVE: Trials, veteran dungeons, Arena... It's built to play in a group with a healer constantly healing you and needs a lot tweaking if you're doing stuff alone. If you are new to Dragoknights or the game in general, I advise you to check out my other build first that you can find HERE since it's more "newbie friendly". Once the other build is mastered, you can continue with this one. You can also use this one directly but the learning curve will be more difficult.

You can see this build with better presentation and some questions answered here:
For videos of gameplay with this build & others, check my youtube channel:

Credit: First person I saw using FOO was @Attorneyatlawl in a youtube video many many months ago, where he was pulling 2K+ DPS on the first boss of AA. I guess that the original credits go to him.

After studying his video with @Malyana, we eventually ended up doing our own thing and adapting the build as well as the armor to our playstyle. After some time, I met @JLN1337 in game who is an amazing theorycrafter with very deep knowledge of the game who was using FOO as well but dealing even more damage than us and helped us improve and perfect the build even further. Many other people have made additions to the build overtime, shared knowledge as well as tested things with us to get it where it is at the moment such as @Ortie, @xMovingTarget and lately @xherics.

Basic Information:
Difficulty/skill needed: HARD
Gear dependence: High
- Probably the highest single target DPS build of the game or at least one of them, dealing from 1400 to 1700 DPS on most difficult content and going ridiculously higher if you’re fighting lesser bosses or bosses vulnerable to evil hunter (2k+).
- With a bit of modifications on the skills, this is also the best AOE DMG set of the game dealing insane amounts of damage on large trash-packs while being virtually immortal if you use the correct skills.
- Requires a lot of training, magicka management is extremely difficult with this build. It can get depressing at first if you fail repeatedly but it is well worth it to train it.
- The build is not final you must change some skills for almost every encounter in order to maximize DPS and this can only work if you know the class well.

Skills Used:

Skill Bars: Click ME
This build is really a pure DPS build, works wonders when you are stationary and you can just focus on getting a perfect rotation, an alternative when learning (this is actually what I did because I had trouble managing my magicka) is to switch igneous weapons y spell symmetry. This way you have spell symm on both bars and it makes your life easier (but also makes you loose DPS).

Equipment - Stats to aim for (Blue VR5 food and full PVP buffs)

With this build, you'll be dealing DPS based on Spell Damage AND Weapon Damage (because in case you don't know, the damage from Destro Staff skills scales on Weapon Damage).
Use Blue Food that gives Magicka & Health, you don't need stamina.
Stats: I currently have enough points to get to 2700HP and the rest put in magicka (near 2,6k). I used to have around 2400 HP but I recently changed to 2700 since I was trying VDSA no death.
Spell Damge: 135
Weapon Damage: 160 <= this is softcaped during fights thanks to igneous weapons & weapon enchant.
Spell Crit: 63%. With PVP buffs.

Current Attributes: 30 on Magicka / 33 on Health.


7 light, Head, Chest and Legs with Infused and Magicka Enchants.
Other pieces with Divine trait and Magicka enchants
Jewelry: 3 Soulshine VR10 items. One of them with weapon damage enchants and two with spell damage. (once again, the important thing here is hitting the softcaps in weapon & spell damage while still prioritizing spell dmg)

Armor sets: 3 Twilight (including the destro stafs)3 Aether Set (drops in trials, wise mage set). 2 Valkyn Scoria (head drops in Veteran City Of Ash’s last boss and the shoulder in the daily pledges)
I use Weapon Damage enchant on Destro staffs with precise (Increase Weapon and Spell Critical values by 7%)this allows me to increase weapon damage even further during the fight.
Note 1: If you have the Valkyn set on light armor with the correct traits it’s, of course, better, but I’m currently using Heavy Armor on the head and light on the shoulder with bad traits and it’s working well. Do not remove the original enchants (unless it’s stamina), since the enchants are better than the ones you can apply to the item. Just play with magicka & HP attributes to reach what you want.
Note 2: You can replace the 3 Twilight by 3 Willow’s path.

Mundus: Shadow <= look into this, basically, as long as you got 50%+ critical, your DPS is higher with shadow stone. If your crit is very close to 50% (48/49) you can still use shadow.

Damage Rotation Single DPS:

I’m not going to put the Medium Attacks that I weave during the fight, just know that before every skill, try to do a medium attack.

Usual engage on bosses:

Engulfing Flames – Standard of Might - Unstable Flame – Spell Crit potion – switch bar(SB) - Crushing Shock - Crushing Shock - Crushing Shock – Elemental Ring – SB – Engulfing Flames- Unstable Flame – Spell Symmetry – SB – Crushing – Crushing – Crushing – Elemental Ring – SB – Engulfing – Unstable – and so on.
I use a buff/debuf tracker which allows me to see when my Unstable and Engulfing flame dots are about to be finished, this helps a lot. For a nice fully customizable buff addon (the one you can see in my videos) I recommend Srenfarr. Be sure to play with it untill you've set the buff/debuff tracker the way you want it.

AOE DPS / Grinding: The armor sets you are using are extremely good for AOEing and pulling insane damage at doing so. The bars for AOE damage look like THIS (credit to @xMovingTarget for this AOE build).

You can play a bit with it, replace cinder storm by unstable wall of elements on some occasions, change flawless Dawnbreaker for Corrosive Armor, CS for Draw Essence and, unstable flame for reflective scales and you become an immortal AOE machine with meteors flying down all around you crushing mobs on the ground.

Theory behind this:

Why/How do you use that rotation?

The idea behind this rotation is quite simple

Dots! Dots dots dots dots!

With this build, you have 4 DoTs applyed to the enemy all the time: Engulfing, Unstable, Elemental Ring and FOO (and banner of might for 5th dot).

This means every tick, you got a chance that one of the skills doing damage will crit and reward you with 3 extra ultimate (to that you can also add the Meteor crit and the autoattacks/crushing shock ticks), more over each tick gives your valkyn set a chance to proc and deal massive damage.

With this set, you'll have extremely fast ultimate regeneration, this allows you to put down banners which gives you more damage and more sustain, which gives you more dps, more ulti regeneration, and so on.

How to wave medium attacks, why do you do it?

The MA rotation is harder to achieve than LA and requires a bit of training. Basically leave the left MB pushed down. As soon as you see the heavy attack charge animation begin, spam crushing shock (CS). While the CS animation is on the way, press again the left MB and leave it pushed down. The animation will begin as soon as the CS animation stops which will allow you to push CS almost right away. We do medium attacks instead of light attacks because they are easier to implement without failing than Light Attacks (in my opinion and when done right), the Medium attacks also make the first passive of Destro staf proc which means more damage.

Why slot Flawless Dawnbreaker, do you ever use it?

You can see I have Flawless Dawnbreaker in my first bar, this is because of the passive that gives 13% damage. I almost never use the ulti unless: Boss is gonna die before I recharge Banner of Might or I am about to die since we DKs have a passive that returns magicka stamina & HP when an ultimate is used. It can save your life, especially in Arena.

Tips for trials and Arena:

Use spell crit potions and blue food that gives you Health and Magicka (you don't need stamina). Pop the potions when you got 3/4 of magicka left or just after putting down your banner to maximise your DPS. If going for speed run and are going to start over if someone dies, stop using potions after first death.

Use Alpha Tools or Wykkyds Outfitter. If you use this build it's probably because you're doing quick runs, there is no way, with 10 skills, to be ready for everything. If you're doing AA and you go right side, you'll have to pull flying bats and use reflective scales, if you're doing 3rd boss you can use the AOE build or the single target build, just make sure that if you use the AOE one you're ready to spam elemental ring when the 3 adds spawn.


Aether Archive: You don't need elemental ring for the first and 2nd boss, just use evil hunter instead of elemental ring and you should go over 2K DPS. 3rd boss just watch your feet, stay near the boss, you can try to use Elemental ring when adds spawn and do not move from the boss after adds have spawned=> You're a DK, you're DPSing, can't waste time & DPS killing adds ;), leave that to the puny mortals not using this build or the sorcs 8).

Hel Ra: Same for the first boss, remove elemental ring & put evil hunter instead, use the bars stated above for the 2nd and 3rd boss. If you're the only DK or there aren't many, you need to equip chains, you can replace igneous weapons for chains. Also remember that if nobody is killing or interrupting the mages with fireballs over their heads, a Crushing Shock does the trick.

SO: The build works well for all the bosses pulling very very nice DPS.

Arena: You have to choose here. My other build is safe and works very well in VDSA. This one is a bit more risky since you're using spell sym a lot but the DPS will be worth it. I usually take chains to help my tank pull. I also usually change builds for the last boss of each stage and take moving target's AOE build since we nuke the boss so fast that the waves of adds spawn very very quickly and we have to AOE them all.
Edited by TehMagnus on February 23, 2015 10:14AM
    AWESOME! I can see a lot of work behind it =)
    So nice of you to let ppl reach best dps at list for one weak befor 1.6 =)
  • TehMagnus
    BEZDNA wrote: »
    AWESOME! I can see a lot of work behind it =)
    So nice of you to let ppl reach best dps at list for one weak befor 1.6 =)

    Build has been posted for a longer time in Tamriel foundry and in my signature ;).

    Maybe if it wasn't so tedious to make nice posts in these forums I would have posted here before :(

    At least some people can have fun before 1.6 and see what the secrets are :D

    I'll also post the 28m31s SO run when 1.6 goes live ;)
    Edited by TehMagnus on February 23, 2015 10:10AM
  • xMovingTarget
    BEZDNA wrote: »
    AWESOME! I can see a lot of work behind it =)
    So nice of you to let ppl reach best dps at list for one weak befor 1.6 =)

    Haha, right? :D
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