In Elder Scrolls Online, players can fill any role with a proper build. While the Dragonknight is designed to tank and provide support, this ESO Dragonknight builds guide provides viable and effective builds for all three roles in ESO: tanking, DPS, and healing. Here are some quick links to jump to the build you are interested in.
Note that I prefer the recommended DPS build for leveling. Also, you can put two of these builds on the quick weapon swap bar and swap between tanking and another role with the push of a button.
If you are finding yourself running low on skill points, I recommend picking up Zygor’s ESO guide. Quest chains often provide experience points as a reward and Zygor’s Guide helps make sure you complete every quest in ESO:
Best ESO Dragonknight Tanking Build
When it comes to tanking, the Dragonknight has no shortage of skills available that belong on a tank. In fact, it is very difficult to decide between the excellent One Hand and Shield active abilities and the Dragonknight’s own active abilities. If I had to narrow it down, here is how I would set up the ultimate Dragonknight tank in ESO:
- Active Ability 1: Ransack (Puncture Morph): Ransack is your primary threat-holding ability. You need the 15 second taunt in order to actually tank anything in Elder Scrolls Online. The Ransack morph increases your armor, helping to mitigate more damage. Found in the 1 Hand and Shield skill tree.
- Active Ability 2: Deep Slash (Low Slash Morph): Deep Slash reduces the damage dealt by the target by 15%. This is essential on any hard-hitting enemy as this is a significant amount of damage reduction. The snare is also useful for controlling enemies. Found in the 1 Hand and Shield skill tree.
- Active Ability 3: Absorb Magic (Defensive Posture Morph): The primary advantage for slotting this skill is not its effect but rather the passive coupled with it: reduced block cost and increased block amount. The skill itself is useful for picking up self heals against enemies that cast magic. Found in the 1 Hand and Shield skill tree.
- Active Ability 4: Razor Armor (Spiked Armor Morph): Razor Armor significantly boosts damage mitigation after using it (use it for unavoidable hard-hitting enemy abilities) as well as provides a solid longer-lasting buff to mitigation. Keeping this skill active also keeps the Burning Heart skill active, which increases healing received. Found in the Draconic Power skill tree.
- Active Ability 5: Green Dragon Blood (Dragon Blood Morph): Provides a great self heal and increases stamina regeneration. The stamina regeneration increase is the star of the show as this allows you to use hold threat better (through more Ransacks) as well as block more damage (since block costs stamina). Found in the Draconic Power skill tree.
- Ultimate Ability: Corrosive Armor (Magma Armor Morph): Magma Armor sets the amount of damage you can take while Corrosive Armor reduces damage dealt by enemies. This is the perfect tanking ultimate. The Battle Roar passive also allows this ultimate to restore health, making it an even better lifesaver. Found in the Earthen Heart skill tree.
Useful Tanking Passives for the Dragonknight
Players can get access to as many passives as they can afford, although some are only active when certain conditions are met (i.e. you have to be using a given weapon for its passives to be active). Here are the top passive abilities by skill tree for Dragonknight tanks (more passives may be unlocked over time).
- Draconic Power: Iron Skin, Burning Heart, Elder Dragon, and Scaled Armor. Every passive ability in this skill tree is useful for the Dragonknight tank.
- Earthen Heart: Eternal Mountain and Battle Roar. These two passives significantly improve the Corrosive Armor ultimate ability.
- One Hand and Shield: Fortress, Sword and Board, Deadly Bash, Deflect Bolts, and Battlefield Mobility. All tanks will want to max out the passives in this skill tree.
- Heavy Armor: Resolve, Constitution, Juggernaut, Bracing, and Rapid Mending. You will want to max out your Heavy Armor passives when playing with a tanking build.
Best Two-Handed DPS & Leveling ESO Dragonknight Build
While a Dragonknight can set up DPS builds around multiple weapons, my recommended build will focus on the two-handed weapon playstyle. It fits naturally with a tanking build and can easily be swapped between to allow the Dragonknight to go between tanking and DPS. Here are the recommended abilities:
- Active Ability 1: Empowering Chains (Fiery Grip Morph): The purpose of this ability is to not only pull enemies to you while dealing a little bit of damage, but also to power up your next attack (Wrecking Blow) which deals big damage by default. Alternate: If you PvP a lot, you will want the Extended Chains morph. In this situation, replace this skill entirely with Searing Strike and its “Unstable Flame” morph. This does significant damage over time and is a great alternate opening skill. Found in the Ardent Flame skill tree.
- Active Ability 2: Wrecking Blow (Uppercut Morph): This is primary damage-dealing ability. Not only does it knock down your opponent, but it also does significant damage. Follow this up with a heavy regular attack (hold left click). Found in the Two-Handed skill tree.
- Active Ability 3: Rally (Momentum Morph): Buffs damage and provides a healing effect – the usefulness of this skill should be evident. It really shows when stacked with the attack bonuses provided by Empowering Chains and Wrecking Blow. Found in the Two-Handed skill tree.
- Active Ability 4: Molten Armaments (Molten Weapons Morph): Increases base weapon damage and increases critical chance strike by 30% for six seconds. This stacks well with Rally. Found in the Ardent Flame skill tree.
- Active Ability 5: Green Dragon Blood (Dragon Blood Morph): Green Dragon Blood not only provides you with a self heal that is great for soloing and leveling, but the stamina regeneration helps boost your DPS. Stamina is needed to fuel Wrecking Blow, Rally, and blocks, and weapon bashes. Found in the Draconic Power skill tree.
- Ultimate Ability: Corrosive Armor. While technically a tanking Ultimate, this comes in handy against enemies that hit hard. It is a very strong survival skill – I recommended adding it in even if you plan on doing DPS. It is especially useful for players leveling up and in PvP. Found in the Earthen Heart skill tree.
The strategy here is to use Rally and Molten Armaments as you are running up to pull an enemy. Use Empowering Chains to pull, then immediately go into Wrecking Blow. The Wrecking Blow will be buffed up by the three previous abilities. If your gear is decent, you literally do half of the health bar of similarly-leveled enemies. While the enemy is knocked down, follow up with a regular heavy attack (hold left click until the attack goes off). Wrecking Blow will buff this attack, as will Rally and Molten Armaments.
If the enemy is still alive, use Wrecking Blow and a regular heavy attack again. Refresh Rally as it falls off and keep up this cycle.
Recommended Dragonknight DPS Passives
While there are a number of passives that can benefit a Dragonknight using this build, the following are the most important:
- Ardent Flame: Warmth. This skill will snare enemies grabbed via Empowering Chains.
- Draconic Power: Iron Skin, Burning Heart, Elder Dragon, and Scaled Armor. While the benefits of Elder Dragon are limited, the other abilities are all useful passives with this build.
- Earthen Heart: Eternal Mountain, Battle Roar, Mountain’s Blessing, Helping Hands. These skills will improve the effectiveness and usefulness of your ultimate as well as Molten Armaments.
- Two-Handed: Forceful, Heavy Weapon, Balance, Arcane Fighter, and Battle Rush. You will want to pick up every passive in the Two-Handed skill tree if you want to deal damage with a two-handed weapon – this should not be very surprising.
- Heavy Armor: Resolve, Constitution, Juggernaut, Bracing, and Rapid Mending. If you are wearing Heavy Armor (which is recommended when soloing), you will want to max out the Heavy Armor passives. If you are playing purely as a physical DPS class, consider wearing a medium armor set and maxing out the Medium Armor passives – these will improve your damage significantly.
Dragonknight Healing Builds
Surprisingly, the Dragonknight makes an okay healing and support class. The Earthen Heart skill tree has a few group buffs which pair very naturally with the Restoration Staff to create solid healing builds. Here are my recommended active abilities:
- Active Ability 1: Illustrious Healing (Grand Healing Morph): Found in the Restoration Staff skill tree.
- Active Ability 2: Rapid Regeneration (Mutagen Morph): Found in the Restoration Staff skill tree.
- Active Ability 3: Healing Ward (Steadfast Ward Morph): Found in the Restoration Staff skill tree.
- Active Ability 4: Combat Prayer (Blessing of Protection Morph): Found in the Restoration Staff skill tree.
- Active Ability 5: SIphon Spirit (Molten Weapons Morph): Found in the Restoration Staff skill tree.
Please know that if you do a regular heavy attack with a Restoration Staff equipped, you will gain back 10% of your max magicka. This is not mentioned at all in-game despite its importance and is always active – it is not a passive that needs to be researched. You need to do this in order to recover magicka to heal with, as otherwise you will run out.
This build is best for small group healing. If you are healing huge mass of players, such as against world raid bosses or PvP, you will want to drop Mutagen for the Earthen Heart’s Igneous Shield ability. You will want to also drop the Healing Ward skill for the Earthen Heart’s Molten Armaments, as this provides a solid DPS buff to the group. Both of these skills do not increase in cost as the number of allies increases, so the strength of these skills increases with every friendly player around.
Dragonknight Healing Passives
- Restoration Staff: Essence Drain, Restoration Expert, Cycle of Life, Absorb, and Restoration Master. Maxing All Restoration Staff passives are essential for top of the line healing in Elder Scrolls Online.
- Earthen Heart: Eternal Mountain, Battle Roar, and Mountain’s Blessing. You only need Mountain’s Blessing if you have Molten Armaments or Igneous Shield equipped.
- Light Armor or Heavy Armor Passives: While you can heal with heavy armor, if you want to be a full time healer, you may want to consider picking up a Light Armor set as these passives will help your healing more than with Heavy Armor. All Light Armor passives outside of Concentration are useful. This will require extra skill points though, so you do not have to do this if you want to fill in as a healer in a pinch and do not have Light Armor leveled or have access to its skills. The downside naturally is you will have less protection. Many players like to PvP in heavy armor as a result.
Elder Scrolls Online Dragonknight Builds Summary
As you can see, the Dragonknight is capable of playing as a tank, DPS, or healing class thanks to the way the Elder Scrolls Online skill system works. You can unlock as many builds simultaneously as your current skill point pool allows. If you are finding yourself running low on skill points, I recommend picking up Zygor’s ESO guide. Quest chains often provide experience points as a reward and Zygor’s Guide helps make sure you complete every quest in ESO: