Today’s Guide is all about the Dragonknight skills and their morphs. The morphs are given a 1-5 ranking (1 poor, 5 excellent) and I try to briefly explain why the score. (Note: While I may make reference to PvP at times, the reality is I am casual at best when it comes to PvP and this guide is really done with PvE as the focus)
Please note that skills that are morphed to Stamina have an (S) by the name to make it easily identifiable.
Ardent Flames Tree
Fiery Grip – Deal damage and pull target towards you. Also grants Major Expedition increasing Movement Speed by 30% for 2 seconds.
Unrelenting Grip (2) – If the target cannot be pulled, you are refunded the Magicka cost.
Empowering Chains (3) – Grants Empower for 5s. Pulls you to the enemy instead of pulling the enemy to you. Nice in theory, but honestly, if you have chains on your bar it is to help pull mobs in to gather them up and not to improve your damage. As a result, the other morph for the range is a better pick in case a mob is unable to be pulled and then you at least get your Magicka back because as a DPS you wouldn’t want to pull a mob away from a tank (unless your trying to save a healer or something) anyway.
Searing Strike – Deals Fire damage and a DoT for 10.5s.
Venomous Claw (S)(5) – Increased damage by 9% over time every 2s, damage now scales based on Stamina and Weapon damage. Obvious pick for Stamina users, and extra damage is awesome.
Burning Embers (2) – Adds a heal for 69% of the damage inflicted to the base skill. In theory helpful for soloing, but not particularly. The reality is you pick this for only one reason, and that is because you are magicka based and got screwed out of a decent morph.
Fiery Breath – Cone AoE damage and DoT for 10s.
Noxious Breath (S)(4) – Applies Major Fracture and scales off Stamina and Weapon damage. Obvious choice for a Stamina based char. The debuff is not much use in PvE group situations as the tank is applying it. That said, AoE armor debuff is pretty cool.
Engulfing Flames (5) – Targets take up to 7% more damage from fire attacks Now your AoE attack increases the damage of your fire attacks. Obvious choice for casters.
Lava Whip – Deals damage and sets immobilized targets off balance. Can only set off balance once every 5 seconds.
Molten Whip (5) – Increases damage for Ardent Flame abilities when slotted. Always enjoy a skill that has a passive ability attached, so assuming you have a bar full of Ardent skills, this morph is a winner, especially as in PvE bosses cannot be off balance. However, for PvP, the other morph I think is a better choice.
Flame Lash (3/5) – Enables follow up attack which deals damage and heals you over 2s if target is off balance. The heal is of little interest as you have Dragon Blood anyway, but the extra attack is good, a resource free attack for PvP is always appreciated (hence the 5). For PvE I do not think it is a worthwhile morph compared to the other, as against bosses you won’t be making them off balance for free attacks, though can come in handy when soloing.
Inferno – Toggle ability lasts 5 seconds, Provides Major Prophecy buff also periodically fires a projectile at a target within 15m.
Flames of Oblivion (5) – Also Grants Major Savagery (10% melee crit). Obviously a morph for Stamina DKs (yes, they are a thing now!).
Cauterize (2) – Fireball heals allies instead of damaging enemies. Just no…
Ultimate – Dragonknight Standard – Place a banner for 17s, deals AoE fire damage, reduces enemy healing received by 30% (Major Defile). Allies can activate Shackle synergy, immobilizing and doing damage.
Shifting Standard (3) – Can move Standard to current location, refreshes duration. Reduced cost as well (down to 200 instead of 250). In a very high mobility fight, this could be useful, though in that kind of fight you are probably using a different Ultimate or just timing your placement at a time where movement will be minimal. That said, the fact moving it refreshes the time on it which is cool. I still think the other morph is better overall. Although the reduced Ultimate cost does make this tempting.
Standard of Might (5) – Increase your damage by 17%, reduces damage taken by 17%. Whether you be DPS or tank, PvP or PvE, this is the obvious choice for a morph.
Draconic Powers Tree
Spiked Armor – Grants Major Resolve and Major Ward (5k armor and spell resist) for 20s and returns damage to attackers.
Volatile Armor (3) – Damages nearby over 10s. Extra damage compliments the damage side of this ability. If you are DPS orientated this morph may be tempting, so perhaps in PvP you will want to use this. I would probably take this morph for soloing.
Hardened Armor (3) – Creates a damage shield equal to 10% max health for 2.5s. Naturally the best choice for defense, though a 10% damage shield for such a short duration seems underwhelming. But then again, the extra damage on activation the other morph offers is lackluster too. Assuming you are tanking I guess this makes sense.
Note: All in all, the base ability is great, neither morph will rock your world though.
Dark Talons – Immobilize nearby enemies for 4s and deals damage. Allies can activate Impale synergy.
Burning Talons (5) – Adds Fire DoT. So, a control spell which now does extra damage…not just any extra damage, but FIRE damage. It’s just plain rude. This is an awesome skill for tanking, soloing and PvP.
Choking Talons (3) – Applies Minor Maim (reduce targets damage by 15%) even if mobs are immune to immobilize, so bosses and flying mobs are effected. Great tank morph, but given you could use Heroic Slash for a damage debuff, I don’t think I could give up the damage the other morph offers. Obviously AoE damage debuff is pretty cool though.
Dragon Blood – Grants Major Fortitude (20% health recovery) for 20s. Heals 33% of missing health.
Green Dragon Blood (3) – Grants Major Endurance (20% Stamina Recovery). Once an amazing morph, not so much now. If tanking with block up a lot, you gain no regen anyway, also, the regen does not stack with potions. Once a must have morph, now not nearly as impressive. Still has its uses, but for tank builds in particular, the other morph looks more appealing.
Coagulated Blood (4) – Grants Minor Vitality (8% increase to healing taken) and Major Fortitude (20% Health Recovery). With the limitations on the other morph, 8% increase to healing received makes a more appealing choice at least for a tank (and most DKs at least have a tank spec).
Reflective Scales – Reflects projectiles for 4s (max of 4 projectiles).
Reflective Plate (3) – Grants Minor Ward (minor increase to Spell Resist) for 20s. While the boost is not exactly great (about 1.5% extra mitigation). There are not all that many ways to get this buff, and as a tank this could be the little boost to get you to hardcap. Admittedly, I do not think it is worth it over the next morph, but picking it would not be terrible.
Dragon Fire Scale (5) – Reflected attacks deal an extra 20% damage. Now you reflect the spell back and increase the damage it does significantly to punish any who were crazy enough to actually want to try fight a DK. This helps ensure that caster dies that much sooner so works offensively and defensively I consider this a superior option to the other morph for general PvE and PvP. Not so much against end game bosses that tend to ignore this skill anyway (but then, in those cases would you slot the other morph essentially just for 994 spell resist?)
Inhale – Absorb Health from 3 nearby enemies and deals damage after 2.5s.
Deep Breath (3) – Interrupts casting enemies and stuns them for 2s. AoE interrupt is a nice touch and makes this skill almost tempting.
Drain Essence (2) – Returns up to 10% of damage done as magicka. If the ability was better this would be a pretty good morph to help you keep going longer, but unfortunately, casting this rather than a better AoE is not really a worthwhile choice, so, meh.
Ultimate – Dragon Leap – Leap forward doing AoE damage and knocking targets back.
Take Flight (5) – Increase range & damage, decrease cost. Cool ability with cheap cost. Fun to use, though if going for AoE damage, I would rather use other Ultimates. That said, this ability can be more popular in PvP than the alternative.
Ferocious Leap (4) – Applies damage shield equal to your max health for 6s. Now this is a morph! Great for tanking, great for soloing, handy for PvP. I really like this and think it may be the new go to Ultimate for tanks due to its cost.
Note: After some back and forth with several community members I have changed the ratings of these abilities with lowering Ferocious Leap score and upping Take Flight. I personally love the damage shield but with the increased range, damage, and decreased cost, as a morph Take Flight overshadows Ferocious Leap.
Earthen Heart Tree
Stonefist – Deals damage and knocks enemy down for 3.6s
Obsidian Shard (2) – Deals significantly less damage but heals you or an ally near the enemy.
Stone Giant (3) – Grants Minor Resolve (small armor boost). Really not enough armor boost to make this worthwhile.
Note: Previously I found this skill only existed on your bar until you unlocked the next skill to use. However, the change to the default range (now 20m) along with the morph to make it a heal, I can see this skill actually getting some use.
Molten Weapons – Grants Major Sorcery to increase your Spell Damage by 20% for 36 seconds.
Igneous Weapons (5) – Now grants Major Brutality increasing your Weapon Damage by 20% as well!
Molten Armaments (2) – Your own heavy attacks are 40% stronger. Nice for solo but for any sort of group play Igneous is better.
Obsidian Shield – Creates a damage shield on allies, the shield is 100% more powerful on self.
Fragmented Shield (1) – When effect ends, shield shatters and deals damage. The shield is not the strongest one around and the damage is weak, like a really, really crap Blazing Shield. I would always take the other morph.
Igneous Shield (5) – Applies Major Mending (increase your healing by 25%) for 6s. If you want to be a healing DK, this is a no brainer morph. Pretty powerful increase, admittedly not a long duration but excellent nevertheless. Works great for DK tanks too…or anyone using Dragon Blood for that matter!
Petrify – Stuns for up to 24s (X damage will break effect). When effect ends, target takes damage.
Fossilize (3) – When the stun breaks, target is immobilized for 3s. Rarely will you need to use a cc like this, and even if you did, this morph is not going to rock your world. Can be used well in PvP though.
Shattering Rocks (2) – When effect ends, damage is AoE and a chance to set players off balance. Setting people off balance is nice. Skill still suffers from limited use, but I think this morph is a bit more useful.
Ash Cloud – Ground target, Snares enemies by 70% and deals damage over time.
Cinder Storm (2) – Enemies are snared for 1.1s after leaving the area. Extra snare, kinda handy if tanking…though likely you would just lock things down with Talons if CC was your priority.
Eruption (4) – Deals damage upon cast. A more impressive morph, instant damage along with the long duration snare makes it more impressive, especially if you took the non damage Talons option.
Ultimate – Magma Armor – Caps incoming damage at 3% max health for Xs. Nearby enemies take damage every second.
Magma Shell (5) – Allies may activate Protective Shell synergy which gives a damage shield of 100% of their max health. The base skill is an amazing Ultimate for keeping damage to a minimum, there is not much you can do to improve that. When active, the only thing you need to worry about really is your allies dying, so here is the perfect morph, granting all your allies some serious protection from nasty adds or AoE they fail to avoid.
Corrosive Armor (3) – Ignores 100% of enemy’s Physical Resistance. Interesting offense morph. Could be handy in PvP while going defense and offense. In PvE most things do not have great armor anyway, and those that do…well, there are better Ultimates for DPS.
*PASSIVES* For Passives, I will mark them as either an O for Optional (meaning take if you are using a skill that the passive effects) or N for Necessity to take regardless of what skills you use.
(N) Combustion – Increases the damage of the Burning and Poisoned Status effects by 66%. If you are using any DK abilities this is a must have.
(O) Warmth – Damaging enemies with Ardent Flame abilities also reduces their movement speed by 30% for 4 seconds.
(O) Searing Heat – Increases the damage of Fiery Breath, Searing Strike, and Dragonknight Standard abilities by 3% and the duration by 2 seconds. If you are using one or all of those abilities then yes pick it up! If not then forget it.
(O) World in Ruin – Increases the damage of Flame and Poison area of effect abilities by 6%.
(N) Iron Skin – Block an additional 10% damage.
(O) Burning Heart – Increases healing received by 12% while a Draconic Power ability is active. Only reason this is Optional is because you need a Draconic Power ability but honestly why wouldn’t you have one on your bar!?
(O) Elder Dragon – Increases Health Recovery by 5% for each Draconic Power ability slotted. Health Recovery is really weak so this is optional.
(N) Scaled Armor – Increases Spell Resistance by X. Just pick this up already!
(O) Eternal Mountain – Increases duration of Earthen Heart abilities by 20%.
(N) Battle Roar – Activating an Ultimate restores Health, Magicka, and Stamina in amounts increased by 70% of the Ultimates cost.
(O) Mountain’s Blessing – Activating an Earthen Heart ability grants Minor Brutality to you and nearby allies, increasing Weapon Damage by 5% for 20 seconds. If you are in combat, you also gain 3 Ultimate. This can only occur every 6 seconds.
(O) Helping Hands – Activating an Earthen Heart ability restores 5% Stamina.
If you are a PvP focused player, leave your thoughts in the comments below!