Dragonknight Destruction Staff DPS Build - Survibable


by Inversus


This is basically a DK + Fire Staff build – hardly new. At the moment I’m stuck between a Sorcerer and Dragonknight for a fire staff build; this build is basically the same as the Sorcerer build I designed, but edited and altered for use with a Dragonknight, playing on the strengths of the Dragonknight instead.
See the Sorcerer build here.

Build Objectives

The Dragonknight as a lot of damaging flame based spells, and there is some great synergy between the destruction staff and the ardent flame line. I plan to maximise the damage of flame spells in this build. I want to have both single target DPS and solid AoE damage.
The build is also designed to be survivable, able to take hits as well as deal them – plus using stuns, and roots, to kite.
This build is focused on PvE, though should be adaptable to PvP with the change of a few abilities. I am creating this build in order to provide a damage role, however I do wish to have reasonable survivability for solo play and combat in general.


Although Dark Elf is a valid race to use, as it has useful passives for increasing fire damage, I will be using High Elf for Elemental talent and the Magicka bonuses that it brings with it.

Attribute Points

Health: 49
Using gear and passives I will be aiming to hit the soft cap for Magicka.

Armour & Gear

Since I’m putting so much Health into attribute points, I will be using light armour. This will give me good Magicka and Magicka regen, but also the reduction in spell cost is really useful as it isn’t soft capped. I plan to use 7/7 light armour.
I will be using Fire Destruction staff for bar 1; sword and board for bar 2.

Abilities and Passives

Bar 1 – Destruction Staff (fire)

This will be the bar that I use 95% of the time. It includes my main combat abilities, and uses the destruction staff which I use as my primary weapon. It focuses on max damage, doing good fire dps…well that’s about it.

1 - Either Force Pulse - Not only does force pulse deal a great amount of damage, but it snares the enemy by almost 40% and concusses the enemy. Keeps the enemy at a distance and reduces the damage I take. Or Elemental Drain - This ability has great uses with the Destruction Staff and good synergy with the Mages’ Guild utlimate and the Ardent Flame abilities. Especially useful for taking on bosses.
2 – Elemental Blockade - A good direct AoE attack. My primary AoE and anti-mob ability. Also good for use with stuns to keep enemies in place while this ability takes effect.
3 – Unstable Flame - Massive damage. When the enemy gets into close range, this is the ability to use.
4 – Engulfing Flames - Not only does this cone damage attack do good damage, it increases the effect of fire attacks towards the enemy. Good synergy with the other abilities.
5 – Molten Whip - While slotted, gives a massive increase to fire spell damage. Also good for use after immobilising with burning talons.
U – Standard of Might - I didn’t meet a boss (well, other than the bosses in the group dungeons…) that couldn’t be defeated with the aid of Standard of Might. Not only does it do a great amount of damage to nearby enemies, but when on low health you can hide within the standard and gain great survivability, as well as extra damage.

Bar 2 – Sword and shield

This bar has two functions. Basically, I switch to this bar when I get scared of how much damage I am taking. It also has some good buffs to use pre-combat.

1 – Pierce Armour - The only S&B ability that I will be using. Since this bar is to provide buffs and defensive abilities, I have chosen this ability as it is able to debuff my opponent to reduce their spell resisitance; invaluable for when I switch back to my primary bar.
2 – Coagulating Blood- Potent self heal and great defensive bonuses. Great heal and buff during combat, and a good spell to activate before engagement. What’s not to love?
3 – Igneous Weapons - Massive bonus damage for yourself and allies, for a whole minute. Great pre-fight buff.
4 – Burning Talons - A root to fall back on, invaluable in any situation. Good for taking on mobs, and does fire damage.
5 – Volatile Armour - Does damage to nearby enemies, and gives an invaluable defensive bonus. Good pre-fight buff which is useful to reactivate.
U - Shooting Star - Great AoE damage ability – also useful to use in accordance with Pierce Armour or Elemental drain .


For most skill lines I use, I have selected all the passives, since most have at least some use. I will specify if I have not taken all passives for a skill line.
Ardent Flame - Flame DPS central, gives me more fire damage (recurring theme…), 30% snare from simply using ardent flame abilities, some upgrades to the skill line and extra damage for AoE abilities. All great synergy with destruction staff.
Draconic Power - Better blocking (useful with bar 2), increases healing gained (general uses and useful for self healing), extra health regen and spell resistance. Good defensive passives.
Earthen Heart - Increases effectiveness of earthen heart abilities (igneous weapons), allows ultimates to restore resources, more ultimate gains and stamina gains.
Light & Heavy Armour - I’m using light armour in my build, however it may be a good idea to go light/heavy – 5/2 in order to provide greater survivability benefits. The light armour will not only help me boost my Magicka, which I have not focused on in attribute points, but also reduces spell cost which is a great commodity to have.
High Elf – My High Elf skills improve both my Max Magicka and my Magicka regen a massive amount. It also has great abilities for improving my elemental effects – it increases my exp gains for destruction staff and gives a 6% bonus at tier 3 for fire effects – invaluable to my build which is largely focused around fire damage.
Destruction Staff – The Destruction staff passives give my fire staff increased critical chance, greater spell resistance, faster heavy attacks and Magicka for killing enemies.

Mundus Stone – The Apprentice

I expect I will be hitting the soft cap in both my Health and my Magicka stats (if not I can switch this mundus stone to an appropriate regen stone) so I have chosen the apprentice as my mundus stone. Since my class is pretty purely focusing on Magicka, the only Stamina used is for a single sword and board passive and dark conversion which in fact switches stamina into Magicka, extra spell penetration will increase my damage output.
I can also use The Lady stone to increase my armour, which I might be lacking due to light armour.


While I realise that crafting is not part of the build I thought it would be useful to make some crafting suggestions which will aid progression with this build. The clothing skill line will be extremely useful for creating light armour, and woodworking will be useful for creating the fire staff and shield. Blacksmithing has some use for creating the sword, however unless you’re willing to spend the skill points it’s a good idea to acquire these items through other means.


For the overview I am separating the two aspects of my build, survivability and damage.


Elemental damage

Firstly, I get extra damage from my racial skill line. Then I also can decrease spell resistance of opponents with Pierce Armour and Elemental Drain. Both of these are useful for increasing the damage of my Destruction Staff abilities and my Ardent Flame abilities, as well as my spells in general. I get useful destruction staff passives, and my ardent flame passives can only be described as overpowering, giving great fire effect increases; great synergy between destruction staff and ardent flame.


I have to make sure I have enough Magicka, and a good Magicka regen, in order to be effective in dealing damage. The sources I gain Magicka resources from, and other Magicka related abilities, are as follows:

  • 7 Pieces of Light Armour. – Max Magicka, regen and reduced spell costs
  • Racial Passives – Max Magicka and regen
  • ‘The Apprentice’ Mundus stone. – Magicka Regen
  • Destruction Expert – Restores Magicka
  • Armour traits


My main bar is mainly used for defense, including a root and a lot of survivability buffs. I have a self heal (coagulating blood), armour defense bonus and burning talons. All will be useful for survivability.
Furthermore I have other passives and effects which help me survive:

  • Earthen Heart passives
  • 49 ability points into Health.
  • Active abilities which increase my defense, and restore health. Shield to block with.
  • Armour traits

This is pretty similar to my Sorcerer build. In my opinion, the main differences are; 1 – The Dragonknight has slightly better synergy between the destruction staff and class abilities; 2 – the Sorcerer has better Magicka management, greater ranged capabilties, a few abilities that the dragonknight leaves out (e.g. an execute) and, most importantly, Sorcerer makes use of stamina (via Dark Conversion) whereas the Dragonknight build, for the most part, neglects stamina entirely.

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    • Anonymous

      Why do you use Unstable Flame? Doesn't it scale the damage off of stamina? Do the other effects outweigh it?

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