You finally get your hands wiped clean of the blood when an acrid stench wafts by on the wind. A glance at the procession of wagons dispels any notion you might have of it exuding from a natural source. Two wagons down you can make out a cloud of flies buzzing around the opening in the back, although you cannot make out it’s contents, a second gust of wind confirms your suspicions. As you come closer you notice the decay on the wagon frame, it seemed ready to crack and fall apart but still could take the weight as you lean in further to investigate. The last thing you remember is touching some gaudy looking plate mail and a puff of brown vapor in your face.
Welcome to the Affliction Knight build for the stamina Dragonknight! This build is a fair departure from the berserker build, in that weapon damage and crit is a secondary concern. The primary concern, and the mechanics of this build center around weapon and armor procs, in particular disease and poison.
The sets that make this fun build work are five piece Viper’s Sting, five piece Affliction and a one-handed weapon sporting the new Infused trait.
Viper’s Sting – with the coming of patch 2.4, this set received some decent buffs. The set comes with stamina and critical strike set bonuses, but the five piece is the most attractive attribute : Your Melee attacks deal 7700 poison damage every 4 seconds (purple cp160 values). This is significant and can crit! In PvP you can expect an average of 3500 damage every four seconds.
For this build setup, the Viper set fills the necklace, two rings, helm and shoulders slots. Trait wise, robust on jewelry and divines on the armor.
Affliction – This heavy armor set also received an update in 2.4. The set provides weapon damage, max stamina and max magicka for set bonuses – the five piece provides 50% chance when causing damage to deal 3500 disease damage (CP160 values) every four seconds. Like the Viper five piece, this can also crit. Expect to deal around 1750 damage in PvP with this, every four seconds or so.
Affliction fills the chest, legs, gloves, boots and belt slots. All impenetrable trait, health enchants.
Weaponry is open as far as set bonuses go. For the two hander(back bar), any will work fine though Maelstrom would be best. I use a sharpened Hundings Rage maul, enchanted with poison or disease or a sharpened great sword with the same enchantments. The back bar is used for closing gaps, initial burst and application of dots.
On the front bar I use a one hander and shield, any set will do but I like to use Agility for the stamina two set bonus. The weapon is Infused trait and sports a disease proc enchantment. A CP 160 gold Infused trait provides 20% more damage and 40% less cool down on the weapon proc, (for both one hander and two hander). In reality this trait makes the weapon proc for 3800 damage every 2.5 seconds, so 1900 in PvP. Shield is agility, impenetrable trait.
Front bar – This will be your main bar, it features Vigor for healing, Heroic strike for damage and ultimate generation, Igneous shields for defense and bonus to healing buff, Molten Armaments to buff my heavy attack damage and reverberating bash for fast cc/ interrupt and major defile debuff. The ultimate used here is Dawnbreaker of Smiting – for the burst and cone area effect knockdown.
Back bar – This bar is used for gap closing, applying dots and initial burst, it features Critical Rush for the gap closing, Noxious Breath for cone dot and armor debuff, Venomous Claws for a powerful dot, Executioner for your finisher and Rally provides major brutality and a strong heal. The ultimate here is also Dawnbreaker of smiting.
Champion points –
The Ritual –
Here I put 100 in mighty for the 25% bonus to virtually all of the damage you deal with this build. 35 in Thaumaturge to boost the dots even further and 27 in precise strikes to boost my weapon critical strikes by 10% (mostly for the Critical Rush opener as this is not a critical strike based build). Of course Last Stand is a very attractive perk to receive at 120 points spent in this tree.
The Lady –
Lots of defensive goodies to be had here. 63 in Hardy for a beefy 18.1% reduction to physical damage and 60 into Elemental Defender for 17.5% reduction of magical and elemental damage. With the increase of melee type characters since 2.4 I I will be investing future points into Hardy. Unchained perk here is a must at 120 points so invest points here first in order to acquire the stamina cost reduction after breaking free, quickly.
The Lord –
Forty points spent here in Quick Recovery for an increase to healing received in an attempt to soften the PvP healing debuff and works nicely along with the Heavy Armor perk and Major Mending buff from Igneous shields.
The Tower –
Warlord receives some love here via 67 points invested – more will be placed here as I accrue points in an effort to further reduce the cost of 90% of my abilities.
The Lover –
Mooncalf received 27 points here to help this builds lack of raw stamina recovery along by 10%.
Breaking free and roll dodging are staples in PvP so we must reduce the cost here because we lack it from Medium armor bonuses. 69 points provides an ample 14.3% reduction.
For food I prefer tri-stat food as Magicka should never be completely shunned as a Dragonknight, even if you are stamina!
Potions are wonderful things, here I use Immovable with critical strike and stamina bonuses.
Build Methodology :
This build is designed to provide burst via weapon and armor procs while still providing good survivability from heavy armor. Fights in which you get the jump will almost always start on your back bar with Critical Rush, followed by Noxious Breath, Venomous Claws and Dawnbreaker of Smiting if it is available. This combination has the potential to take down at least half of your targets health in the opening burst. Once your opening is finished switch to your front bar, the sword and board and apply Reverberating Bash followed by Heroic Strike after, switching to back bar to apply dots and or execute as needed.
You will find people make the critical mistake of relaxing while you have your sword and shield out. Your burst is almost as deadly with the front bar as the back and as your dots and major/minor defile make your targets self heals moot it is usually only a matter of time before they succumb to your vipers sting, affliction disease and weapon procs along with your standard attacks.
Below are the typical stats you might expect with this build on both your front and back bars. Please take note! The only gold item here thus far is the weapon, everything else is purple.