Welcome to the Support Shields Build for the Magicka Dragonknight!
In response to the lack of Healing / Support DK builds/guides, myself and Shawnownu have decided to team up to tackle this rare archetype for the Dragonknight and present a build that is fun and new for both PvE and PvP, on PC and Console alike.
This is the result of a few weeks of theoretical discussion, where sets were thrown in and cast out as we deemed them unworthy. In the end, we both acquired the sets (Shawn on Xbox and myself on PC) to test. Presented is my build, with Shawn’s notations as to the route he went and the theory behind it.
The Support Shield DK is a build that utilizes a group of sets and skill rotations that accelerates Ultimate generation in order to trigger Replenishing Barrier on cooldown to provide the group a steady, strong shield against incoming damage. In concert with the DKs passive ability, Battle Roar that returns resources upon ultimate usage it provides a steady stream of fuel for the other shields, heals and CCs this build brings to battlefield.
Shawnownu: This build, originally in my mind, is a build for Battlegrounds. The reason for this is Fasalla’s Guile set. People have been using this set more and more to stop healing but almost no one is running Shield Breaker anymore after the Sorcerer shield nerf. In PvP, people always go after the healer but this is probably the tankiest support in the game since you are in heavy armor and in PvP you get an extra 5k Health. I’ve been running around Max Resistance 30k Health and shield stacking myself and the team. So I’m being targeted but not dying.
I always attribute value to sets that provide a buff that an ability would normally give when slotted and used. We only have 12 abilities at our disposal spread over two bars, which means each one selected is a strategic choice. Allowing the slotting of a different ability buff is deceptively strong. The Shalk set is a heavy set that provides a passive minor heroism buff whenever you are in combat. This is huge, especially when paired with a legendary restoration staff with the Decisive trait! (34% chance to generate 1 additional ultimate whenever you gain ultimate!)
Akiviri Dragonguard –
The first set is to provide a constant stream of ultimate passively. The second set is to discount your ultimate ability by a whopping 15% (bigger than you think!). This set is used for our main ability, Replenishing Barrier which reduces it to only 170 Ultimate!
There are a few configurations that both myself and Shawnownu used. I started out trying a flat five piece Shalk (Three pieces of jewelry, helm and shoulders). With a five piece Dragonguard set comprised of chest, legs, boots, belts and gloves. Willpower staff and a generic 2 piece set sword and shield, this allows both five pieces to be active at once, discounting both ultimate choices. This setup is relatively cheap and easy to acquire, does not feature any monster helms, and performs well in both PvP and PvE. For PvP, I suggest all pieces Impenetrable, and for PvE all pieces Divines.
The second configuration, which Shawnownu spear-headed was to use the same set up but replace the Shalk helm and shoulders with the Blood Spawn set, adjusting down the sets to the sword and shield making Akaviri Dragonguard active only on the sword/shield bar and Shalk active on both. This configuration is harder to obtain but allows for the use of a third set!
Blood Spawn :
Want a set that continues the theme? Use Bloodspawn! 6% chance on being hit procs a resistance buff and generates 15 ultimate, pretty big and will increase the uptime on your Replenishing Barrier.
Scourge Harvester :
Getting focused too much in PvP? This set can be a lifesaver! The proc stacks with Igneous Shields for a whopping +55% to heals received plus the health leech.
The front bar contains self survival abilities for when caught by yourself and need to take things into your own hands. On my setup, I slotted Engulfing Flames for conal DoT and fire debuff, Flame Lash as a spammable and a self heal, Burning Embers for a strong DoT and strong heal on demand, Molten Armaments for Magic damage buff and heavy attack increase and Reverberating Bash for spot Crowd Control and healing debuff. The front bar also features the main ultimate for this build, Replenishing Barrier.
Replenishing Barrier: This is the main defensive cooldown that the build tries to keep active on cooldown. It provides a large shield to six group members (17k + for me with points in Bastion champion tree, 30k + in PvE!!!!) and very importantly, refunds you 6 ultimate for each shield that either is expended or runs out of the massive duration of 30 seconds, that’s 36 ultimate towards your next Barrier, that only costs 170 thanks to the Akiviri Dragonguard set!
Shawnownu: My front bar is Structured Entropy (mostly because it is a cheap way to get major sorcery but can be switched for better team synergy with Igneous Weapons), Ward Ally and Igneous Shields for what I like to think of as “auto shields”. Barrier can and will be broken and since this build is focused on giving shields I believed they earned a spot onto the bar. The last two abilities used are Mutagen and Healing Springs which are small heals that are more than enough once you have your team shielded to bring them up to full. The ultimate that I have on this bar is Shooting Star. You likely will not use this ultimate often but can be use it if your team’s shields and self healing is fine for burning mobs. I easily spend 80% of my time on this bar.
This is where the healing and additional ultimate generation happens, you will be using this bar most often. In my set up, I slotted Choking Talons for AoE root and damage debuff, Immovable Brute for the excellent passive reduction in break free costs (20% with five pieces of heavy armor equipped) and for those situations you need to be CC proof (Imperial City Sewer corridors?), I slotted Igneous Shields for the AoE shield buff , the amazing Major Mending buff (+25% heal potency for 6 seconds) and the tremendous utility it brings via the Mountain’s Blessing passive (generate 3 ultimate while in combat on use!) and the Helping Hands passive (generates 5% Stamina). That’s a LOT of value for one spell! You will likely use Igneous Shields before you begin any of your heals to maximize the healing output. Next up is Healing Springs, our AoE go to heal for most situations, this morph was taken for the Magicka return based on targets affected and then lastly, Mutagen, a great, cheap hot that turns into something bigger when the target becomes damage to a degree.
The ultimate I use on this bar is Light’s Champion, the new Restoration Staff Ultimate, an amazing ability and morph that heals a single target for significant amounts. The Light’s Champion ultimate makes it even more powerful by bestowing the target Major Force and Major Protection (+30% critical damage -30% damage taken) for 5 seconds – at only 100 ultimate (85 if you are running configuration 1) it will save many a groupmate from being focused in PvP and synergizes well as your second ultimate used in an encounter after you receive the refund from Replenishing Barrier.
Shawnownu: This bar is really a buff bar but if you find yourself in a 1v1 scenario is is definitely needed. Burning Embers is on basically every Dragonknight build and this is no exception. Sometimes you need to be doing some DPS as well especially in PvP and this is a go to. Next is Coagulating Blood (don’t judge it’s my panic button lol) I can’t express how many times this ability has saved me. Like Galiskner, I have Choking Talons on. This ability is combined with being a Magicka Dragonknight makes you one of the most annoying people in PvP when someone is trying to get away or if someone just won’t sit still for your buddy to land that devastating combo. Now the next ability was a tossup between Immovable Brute and Hardened Armor. I went with Hardened Armor because it is Magicka and I’m rarely on this bar so I won’t be able to take advantage of Immovable Brute as effectively. It also gives a damage shield which is not too shabby either. Last normal ability I use is Inner Light. The reason why is on this bar is for that 5% extra Magicka which helps keep up your barrier (larger shield). Which leads into the magic of this build. Replenishing Barrier. This shield is MASSIVE and this build wouldn’t work without this ultimate. I try to use it as fast as I get it so I can do one heavy resto attack and I’m instantly max resource again.
For my build I placed 67 points here to boost the DoT capability on the front bar.
Shawnownu: No points.
100 points into Blessed. Dragonknights have very little in the way of boosts to healing, so a full 100 points spent here (for 25% boost) is highly recommended. To fill out the the 120 points to get the final trait I put 20 points into Elemental Expert.
Shawnownu: Also 100 into Blessed and 57 into Elfborn.
Defensive skills here, I placed 60 points in Hardy (reduction to physical, poison and disease damage) and 60 points in Elemental Defender (reduction to magical, fire, frost and shock damage).
Shawnownu: I wished I could have put more points here but I really wanted to get 120 points into The Lord, but I have 30 into Hardy and Elemental Defender with 7 into Thick Skinned ( reduces DoT dmg).
I placed 67 points into Bastion here to boost our shields, that already are cut in half in PvP areas, as the champion point cap increases I will max this to 100.
As this is a Magicka build, I placed 85 points into the Magician tree to reduce the cost of all spells.
Arcanist received 27 points here for a modest increase to Magicka recovery.
Shawnownu: I put a whopping 87 points into Tenacity because running out of resources is never good and one heavy attack on a restoration bar is about 1/3 of your whole Magicka bar.
Breaking free and roll dodging are staples in PvP so we must reduce the cost here because we lack it from Medium armor bonuses. 75 points provides a good reduction that also stacks with the Immovable Brute bonus.
Shawnownu: I decided not put ant points in here. The reason is I use Immovable potions. One thing I had to learn going from a Stamina Dragonknight to Magicka is that you do not need to roll dodge out of everything like talons because there is no CC immunity associated with it.
This build screams for tri-stat food, feed it. We still need the stamina here for breaking free of CC!
Shawnownu: What he said^^ I use immovable potions
My build uses The Ritual for the 10% (15% with Full divines) increase to healing power. We need every drop as the class itself has very little in the way of healing increase passives and skills.
Shawnownu: I’m using The Mage Mundas to get that extra magicka to boost shields. Should be noted that Igneous Shield strength is based off of health not magic.
The function you would hope to accomplish when fielding this build on the field of battle is to support your group by first shielding them then healing damage that bypasses until your shield cooldown returns.
What Dragonknights lack in healing, they more than make up for in ultimate gain and resource regeneration. This build is intended to capitalize on this via the Shalk, Dragon and Bloodspawn sets and the triggering of the Dragonknight passives that generate ultimate. You will be using Igneous Shields to proc Major Mending before using Healing Springs, Mutagen or Light’s Champion and activating Replenishing Barrier whenever you have the ultimate to do so.
Shawnownu: It should be noted that both Galiskner and I made this build for PvP originally but this build is absolutely amazing in Veteran Dungeons too. I have successfully healed every vet dungeon I tried with it so far (hardest being Imperial City Prisons) you will need to do a lot of heavy attacks to keep up your shields (the least amount of time I achieved was 23 seconds between barriers!). The worst thing about this build. No one believes it’s going to work until you prove them wrong. Enjoy.