Best Magicka Dragonknight PvE builds in Elder Scrolls Online

Get fired up.

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When playing Elder Scrolls Online, you have various options to choose what type of character you will play. Dragonknights are very malleable in this regard — they are excellent Magicka (magic-based) DPS, excellent Tanks, and pretty good Stamina DPS. If you’re wondering what the best Magicka Dragonknight builds are in ESO, we’ve got you covered.

Magicka Dragonknights are considered a damage-dealing role. In most cases, you will use an Inferno Staff as both your primary and secondary weapon, due in large part to your Dragonknight abilities synergizing well with Inferno Staff abilities. There are two key builds for playing a Magicka Dragonknight — Solo play for exploration, and Group play for dungeons.

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Gearing, Traits and Enchantments

Gearing for this role varies, but for beginners, you can’t go wrong with Mother’s Sorrow 5-piece (Chest, Legs, Hands, Waist, and Feet), Law of Julianos or Magnus’ Gift 5-piece (Weapon, Rings and Necklace), and Iceheart 2-piece (Head and Shoulders). Mother’s Sorrow drops in Deshaan, Julianos and Magnus‘ can be crafted or purchased from Guild Traders, and Iceheart can be found in Direfrost Keep. If you are able, Burning Spellweave is a great replacement for Mother’s Sorrow, but it drops from the City of Ash dungeon and can be difficult to find.

Traits for beginners should be Training, as you’re still grinding Champion Points, and every bit helps, but if you want a damage set, a healthy mixture of Divines and Infused on your armor pieces and Bloodthirsty on your jewelry pieces will help. Enchantments should be Magicka or Spell Damage on all of your pieces, except for weapon — put a Glyph of Flame on that.

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Skills

There are a lot of skills to choose from, and you only have a limited number of skill points when you’re starting. It is recommended to get the skills below first, and then start investing into passives in all lines (Racial, Mages Guild, Fighters Guild, Undaunted, Soul Magic, Class, and Armor.) Here are our recommended active skills for single-target encounters:

  • Lava Whip > Molten Whip (Ardent Flame): This is a spammable single-target attack that gets stronger when you use other Ardent Flame abilities, something you will be doing a lot of. The alternate morph, Flame Lash, is more useful for Solo play, as you can knock enemies off-balance often.
  • Searing Strike > Burning Embers (Ardent Flame): This is a damage-over-time ability that heals you when the effect ends, either from expiration or by reapplying it. This is very useful for survivability, and should be a priority.
  • Fiery Breath > Engulfing Flames (Ardent Flame): This is another DoT attack, but it’s hits a conal area in front of you as well as making all enemies hit take 10% more fire damage.
  • Spiked Armor > Volatile Armor (Draconic Power): This is a buff that boosts your defenses, inflicts yet another DoT on enemies, and provides reflect damage to melee attackers. This is fantastic for survivability.
  • Stonefist > Obsidian Shard (Earthen Heart): This deals a small, negligible amount of damage, but it heals you immediately for a huge chunk of your health. Great for sustain. Substitute this out for Flames of Oblivion if you do not need the healing.
  • Ultimate: Elemental Storm > Elemental Rage (Destruction Staff): This is your strongest ultimate in terms of raw AoE damage. When used with an Inferno Staff, the damage is boosted further by 15%.

Next, here are some alternatives to keep on your back-bar or leveled up just in case you need more AoE damage or survivability in groups:

  • Inhale > Draw Essence (Draconic Power)
  • Impulse > Pulsar (Destruction Staff)
  • Wall of Elements > Unstable Wall of Elements (Destruction Staff)
  • Inferno > Flames of Oblivion (Ardent Flame)
  • Annulment > Harness Magicka (Light Armor)
  • Ultimate: Dragonknight Standard > Standard of Might (Ardent Flame)

Champion Points

For Warfare, it is recommended to focus on Precision, Fighting Finesse, and Deadly Aim first. Afterward, you have options, but Piercing, Weapons Expert, and Master-At-Arms are good first choices. In the Fitness tree, we recommend Rejuvenation and Boundless Vitality to start. Afterward, Hero’s Vigor and Hasty are useful to grab. Finally, for the Craft tree, Steed’s Blessing and Wanderer are solid first picks, followed by Breakfall and then whatever you want to choose.