• Dragonknight Guide of the Elder Scrolls Online
    By Delia Woolf2017-01-03 00:00:00

    Dragonknight is a Class in Elder Scrolls Online. These skillful masters-at-arms use the ancient Akaviri martial arts tradition of battle-spirit, and wield fearsome magic that pounds, shatters and physically alters the world around them. Dragon Knights can specialize on three distinctive class skills. The player is free to focus on one line or distribute points across many, allowing for deep build customization.

    In this ESO Dragonknight guide, I will be discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the specific talents available to the Dragonknight. The Dragonknight is the most tanking-oriented class in Elder Scrolls Online. Its Draconic Power and Earthen Heart skill lines have a lot of great damage mitigation abilities, while the Ardent Flame skills are useful for dealing damage as well as PvP (Fiery Grip is one of the best and most annoying PvP skills around).




    Dragonknight is chosen by players for a variety of roles. Most players build a melee DPS or heavy tank using the Dragonknight, although Dragonknights can also be very effective as ranged damage dealers and support/healing roles! The Dragonknight is loaded with tanking skills which allows for a huge variety of strong builds. Creating the ultimate Dragonknight build isn’t easy and is very time consuming, even if you’re familiar with the class skills.

    As you may or may not already know, picking a class gives you access to just three unique skill trees out of the dozens from which you can pull your six active skills. Each class skill tree has 5 abilities and 4 passives; you can only equip 5 abilities and 1 ultimate as an active skill at one time.


    When playing as a Dragonknight, I would recommend opting for a 1-hand and shield or a two-handed melee weapon. The Dragonknight’s skill trees suit it to melee combat, so it fits best with a melee class. The 1-hand and shield combo naturally works best for those tanking. Of course, the Dragonknight builds guide does outline an effective healing build using the Restoration Staff.

    If you want to play as a support class, a restoration staff can be a good option as well. You can easily take advantage of your heavy armor and stack it with the Earthen Heart abilities and play a solid support class.


    The Dragonknight one of the easier classes to level as a solo player in Elder Scrolls Online. While it may not deal out quite as much damage as a Nightblade or Sorcerer nor have as much self-healing as the Templar, its high survivability and burst damage make it a fairly easy class to level. It is also very easy to find four man groups if you are willing to tank.

    Best Stats

    Dragonknights will tend to be happiest with putting all of their attribute points into health as this is a difficult stat to max. Points that do not go into health should be allotted into stamina.


    The Dragonknight gets access to three unique skill trees: Ardent Flame, Draconic Power, and Earthen Heart. Below, I will provide a summary of each skill tree, active ability, ultimate ability, and passive abilities available to the Dragonknight.



    Ardent Flame

    As the DPS skill line, most of your points will be from this tree. The tree provides a great deal of fire damage-over-time abilities and area-of-effect abilities.

    Searing Strike and Inferno are key active abilities for the build. Lava Whip, Fiery Breath and Fiery Reach are more optional, but solid for soloing or AoEing. Kindling and Searing Heat are two passives skills you should have. Warmth is optional. World in Flames is limited to AoE damage. This skill line’s Ultimate– Dragonknight Standard– is the Ultimate you want to use.

    Ardent Flame Ultimate Ability

      •Dragonknight Standard: This ability drops a standard which reduces healing received by enemy players by 50% and deals light fire damage to all enemies within range of the standard. This is a PvP ability and can be useful for capturing static nodes where players are forced to stand.

    Ardent Flame Active Skills

      •Fiery Grip: For the Dragonknight, Fiery Grip is one of the best PvP skills in-game. For enemies on the receiving end of this skill, it is perhaps the most annoying. This skill allows you to draw enemies up to 15 meters away to your character.

      •Searing Strike: Searing Strike does modest fire damage but then follows it up with a pretty hefty DoT damage over 8 seconds. Without the DoT, this skill does not hit very hard.

      •Fiery Breath: AoE cone that deals fire damage to enemies in front of you. The initial damage is very weak, but the DoT damage is okay.

      •Lava Whip: This skill deals a modest amount of fire damage while knocking stunned or immobilized players off-balance. It is meant to be chained with a stun or root spell in order to lock down your opponent.

      •Inferno: This skill deals area of effect damage to all nearby enemies. I do not see it being very useful except perhaps when tanking a bunch of light targets or fighting against much weaker enemies. The damage will not be significant enough to warrant regular use given the high Magicka cost.

    Ardent Flame Passive Skills

      •Kindling: Increases damage dealt by burning effects. A necessary passive if you plan on using any Searing Strike or Fiery Breath.

      •Warmth: Causes targets damaged by your Ardent Flame attacks to be snared for 4 seconds. Great PvP passive (decent in PvE too).

      •Searing Heat: Increases damage and duration of Searing Strike, Fiery Breath, and Dragonknight Standard. Useful passive to pick up if you use any of these skills.

      •World in Flame: Increases damage done by AoE fire abilities (Fiery Breath, Inferno, Dragonknight Standard). Useful if you use these abilities.




    Having access to the Draconic Power skill tree is perhaps the primary reason why the Dragonknight makes for the best tanking class in Elder Scrolls Online. If it was not for this tree, any starting class would be able to pick up a sword and shield, put on some heavy armor, and go out and tank just as good as a Dragonknight.

    While any class can indeed tank, the Draconic Power skill tree definitely endears the Dragonknight to tanking. In this guide to ESO’s Draconic Power skill tree, I will be discussing how to get the most use out of all of the Draconic Power abilities as well as discussing the pros and cons of each ability morph.

    Draconic Power Ultimate Ability

      •Dragon Leap: Allows you to jump to an area, dealing heavy AoE damage and knocking back all enemies hit by the leap. Cool to use, but not worthy of the Ultimate slot in my opinion.

    Draconic Power Active Skills

      •Spiked Armor: Increases armor temporarily and adds a thorns effect that deals light damage to attackers. Useful while leveling and for tanking – costs a hefty amount of Magicka to keep active though.

      •Dark Talons: Area of Effect root. Nice that it hits so many targets, but it is just an immobilize effect rather than a stun and only lasts 3.5 seconds. I prefer some of the other CC skills as a result.

      •Dragon Blood: Heals you a percentage of your missing health. The lower your health, the more effective the skill. Solid self-heal.

      •Reflective Scale: Reflects all spell projectiles for 4 seconds. All around useful skill for damage mitigation.

      •Inhale: Absorbs health and deals damage to nearby enemies. More useful as in multi-enemy situations.

    Draconic Power Passive Skills

      •Iron Skin: Allows you to block an additional 5%/10% damage. Two ranks.

      •Burning Heart: Increases healing received by 6%/12% when a Dragon ability is active. Two ranks. This stacks nicely with Spiked Armor.

      •Elder Dragon: Increases health regeneration by 2%/5% per Dragon ability equipped. Two ranks. If you are using this skill tree, you might as well unlock it, although it is not the most exciting passive.

      •Scaled Armor: Increases Spell Resistance by 2/5. Two ranks. Not the strongest passive around, but free resistance is free resistance.



    Earthen Heart

    The Earthen Heart skill tree is by far the most support-oriented of the three Dragonknight trees. It contains a lot of great buffs that not only increase your strength, but the strength of your allies as well. For specifics, see the ESO Earthen Heart Skill Tree Guide.

    Earthen Heart Ultimate Ability

      •Magma Armor – This ability caps incoming damage at 3% of your health (meaning that eac each attack will not deal more than 3% of your max health). It also deals light fire damage to all nearby enemies. This ability lasts 12 seconds at the maximum level. The length and duration of this skill is excellent and makes it very difficult to die against a single opponent, even if that opponent deals a lot of damage. Be sure not to wait until you are low on health to use it or it is not very effective.

      •Magma Shell is a morph that allows friendly players to activate a synergy that grants them a damage shield capable of absorbing up 85% of their maximum health in damage. The friendly players do have to active the synergy in order to get the buff, but it is a huge buff indeed, particularly in PvP.

      •Corrosive Armor is a morph that reduces the damage dealt by nearby enemies by 40%. While this really will not reduce damage incoming on you (you are already capped at 3% per hit of your max health), it will reduce damage taken by your allies.

    Earthen Heart Active Skills

      •Stonefist: Knocks down the enemy for three seconds. Has a short range. Great all around skill – the 3 second knockdown is significant in both PvP and against tougher enemies you may encounter while leveling up.

      •Molten Weapons: Grants bonus weapon damage to all nearby friendly players (including yourself). Grants the caster (i.e. you) double the bonus provided to other players. Nice for a damage boost and an even better support ability.

      •Obsidian Shield: Grants all nearby friendly players a damage shield. Like Molten Weapons, this also gives you (the caster) a damage shield twice as effective as the shield nearby players get. Must-have tank skill in my opinion. Great for PvP too, particularly when a lot of players are around.

      •Petrify: Locks enemies into a long 10.5 second stun. Enemies cannot take much damage while the stun is up or it will break. However, 10.5 seconds the best crowd control ability available in the Dragonknight skill trees, so this one is very useful.

      •Ash Cloud: Creates a small cloud on the ground that increases enemies chance to miss and offers a significant snare. Great for both PvE and PvP.

    Earthen Heart Passive Skills

      •Eternal Mountain: Increases the duration of Earthen Heart abilities by 10%/20%. Two ranks. Might as well unlock this if you have the skill points and use Earthen Heart abilities.

      •Battle Roar: Restores 35%/70% of the cost of the Ultimate in Health, Stamina, and Magicka. Two ranks. If you use an Ultimate that costs 200 health, you would get back 140 health, stamina, and magicka from this passive.

      •Mountain’s Blessing: Gives 1/2 ultimate points for using an Earthen Heart skill. Two ranks. Can help build up Ultimate points quickly – certainly useful if you use Earthen Heart skills.

      •Helping Hands: Restores 2%/5% stamina when activating an Earthen Heart ability. Great skill as 5% of stamina is very significant.


    The Dragonknight is the best tanking class in The Elder Scrolls online. Even if you do not want to play as a tank, the Dragonknight can be an effective DPS and healing/support class. The Earthen Flame skill line in particular serves a lot of great support functions.


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