Welcome to my take on a Hybrid Build for the Dragonknight class – Patch 2.4! This has quickly become my favorite build thus far.
It blends a complete Hybrid gear template, 5/5 Clever Alchemist, 5/5 Elegance and 2/2 Molag Kena or Engine Guardian. Blends key Magicka and Stamina ability combinations such as Reverberating Bash and Lava Lash, and utilizes full 64 attribute points in Stamina to maximize the synergy between the five piece Elegance heavy attack bonus, the Molten Armaments heavy attack bonus, the Melee Weapon Expert champion tree and off balance inflicting status effects.
Clever Alchemist –
What a great set this is, for Stamina and Magicka builds alike (or both?!?!). This build utilizes all of the bonuses this set provides and the five piece is perfect for timing burst damage. I use three pieces of medium here, chest, legs and boots and sword/shield combination. Each armor piece and shield is enchanted with Health enchantments and crafted with the Impenetrable trait, the sword is enchanted with a weapon damage enchant and bears a sharpened trait. I also run a Clever Alchemist great sword or Maul on the back bar, sharpened and with the befoul enchantment.
Primarily Magicka in it’s design and stats, this set provides a great boost to this build’s Magicka pool. The five piece is the target though, bestowing a 20% bonus to heavy attack damage, this stacks with the 40% we receive from Molten Armaments, Melee Weapon Expert and the bonus we receive to off balance targets. I use two piece of light armor here, Belt and Gloves, divines trait and enchanted with Magicka enchantments (comes with the set), the remaining three pieces use the jewelry slots, each enchanted with weapon damage and in the Arcane trait (lots of delicious Magicka!).
You have a choice here, as a Hybrid build you stand to gain 100% benefit from both Molag Kena and Engine Guardian helm and shoulders. If you are able to weave two light attacks to gain an additional 500 weapon and spell damage from Molag Kena you can boost your burst significantly. On the other hand you will gain 100% bonus from the Engine Guardian sphere when it spawns as it will regenerate all of the resources this build craves. So it is down to play-style and whichever works for you. In either case I used Medium helm and shoulders to activate the five piece weapon damage bonus from the Medium Armor skill line, Impenetrable traits are desired here.
After trying both, I found the Engine Guardian set matching my play-style the best.
Front bar – This is where you activate your clever alchemist five piece and quaff a potion to gain the 660 weapon/magicka damage. This is your defensive bar, but also includes the tools needed to defeat enemies. It features Resolving Vigor for the stamina heal, Lava Lash to set your targets off balance when used in conjunction with Reverberating bash and also a small self heal when used consecutively. Slot three is the ever present Igneous Shields, used for the 25% major mending buff in conjunction with the Resolving Vigor. Slot four is Molten Armaments for a huge 40% buff to your heavy attack damage (stacks with your Elegance five piece), this will need to be kept up to maximize your burst. Slot five is Reverberating bash, for the Major Defile and to kick off your lava lash combo. Ultimate choice here is Corrosive Armor for a great boost to survivability and a game changer when combined with your heavy attack buffs that will go straight through your target’s armor.
Back bar – Your two handed bar, it contains your gap closer via Critical Rush. Armor debuff from Noxious Breath and Shattering Rocks for your back bar Off Balance applicator. Executioner resides in slot four for finishing opponents and the ever present Rally sits in slot five for the powerful heal over time effect and Major Brutality buff. The Ultimate on this bar is Dawnbreaker of Smiting for burst and knockdown CC.
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. 27 in precise strikes to boost my weapon critical strikes by 10%. Of course, Last Stand is a very attractive perk to receive at 120 points spent in this tree.
The Atronach –
Melee Weapon Expert receives 40 points here for a generous bonus of 13.2% to my heavy and light attacks, stacking nicely with Molten Armaments and Elegance five piece bonus.
The Lady –
Defensive skills here, I placed 67 points in Hardy (18.9% reduction to physical, poison and disease damage) and 60 points in Elemental Defender (17.5% reduction to magical, fire, frost and shock damage).
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 Major Mending buff from Igneous shields.
Warlord receives some love here via 71 points invested – for a 13% reduction in stamina abilities. Even though this is a Hybrid build, the majority of my high usage abilities are stamina.
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 strikes and stamina bonuses.
I prefer the Shadow mundus, even though the build is not critical strike based I generally have 39.5% to critical strike when buffed, the gains this build receives when a heavy attack does land a critical strike is tremendous.
Build Methodology :
This build aims to stack heavy attack damage bonuses via the Elegance five piece bonus, Molten Armaments, Melee Weapon Expert champion point line and Off Balance status effects garnered from the use of Shattering Rocks and Flame Lash:
My opening rotation (if all goes well!) begins : (assuming you are buffed with Molten Armaments and Rally)
Activate Clever Alchemist with Immovable potion – Critical Rush (gap closer) – Noxious Breath (armor debuff) – Shattering Rocks (Off Balance AOE) – Light attack (to pop shattering rocks) – Heavy Attack – Execute.
Nine times out of ten your target will break free from shattering rocks, setting themselves (and some of their nearby group mates) off balance in the process, allowing you to proceed with your first heavy attack. If target evades, I use Dawnbreaker of Smiting to CC and finish, or begin the rotation again via Critical Rush.
When pressured, resort to your front bar for healing and recovery. Here you can still apply pressure via reverberating bash, flame lash and your heavy attacks, switching to your back bar for the finishing blows.
Below are what stats you might expect to have whilst utilizing this build (in Cyrodiil).
Here are some initial PvE target tests I conducted with this build and the Molag Kena buff procced and all other buffs active. Note in PvP you can expect to at least halve this damage due to PvP debuff, armor and impenetrable traits.