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This is a great Stam DK build for any level of PvE content, but one that is focused on completing Veteran Maelstrom Arena. I've definitely used this build in Veteran Dungeons & Veteran Trials and it performs very well.

This build video was created during the "One Tamriel" update, but that doesn't mean it's outdated. These armor sets and skills still perform extremely well with all the content through Summerset.



Bar 1: Dual Wield

  1. Venemous Claw (Searing Strike Morph): Huge Damage over Time (DoT) skill, scales off stamina & weapon damage, insanely low cost. Keep this skill up at all times.

  2. Bloodthirst (Flurry Morph): Main DPS skill, also heals you on the last hit. This skill is a MUST if you want to complete Veteran Maelstrom Arena on a Stam DK.

  3. Noxious Breath (Fiery Breath Morph): AOE Poison DoT and also applies Major Fracture to the enemy, reducing their Physical Resistance. This helps us do more damage!

  4. Steel Tornado (Whirlwind Morph) or Rending Slashes (Twin Slashes Morph): Steel Tornado is great for questing or large AOE battles. Rending Slashes adds a ton of single target DPS and is a great DoT. Use Rending Slashes in VMA, boss fights, or anytime you need more single target DPS.

  5. Resolving Vigor (Vigor Morph): Awesome self & group stamina heal that scales off max stamina and weapon damage. It's a 5 second heal over time but is essential to have on your bar, especially if you're trying to complete Vet Maelstrom.

  6. Ultimate - Dawnbreaker of Smiting (Dawnbreaker Morph): I love this ultimate! It has a fairly low cost at only 125 and it deals loads of initial damage up front, but then even more damage over 5 seconds. This morph also has a stun, which stuns enemies for 3 seconds. This is really great, especially in VMA if you need a quick breather while you're getting hammered by mobs. Just knock some of them down! Slotting this also gives you an additional 3% weapon damage through the Fighter's Guild "Slayer" passive, and Dawnbreaker will also hit 20% harder against Undead, Daedra, and Werewolves if you have the "Skilled Tracker" passive as well.


Bar 2: Bow

  1. Poison Injection (Poison Arrow Morph): Ranged DoT & excecute skill. This poison DoT ticks for 10 seconds and deals up to 200% more damage against enemies under 50% health. Keep this DoT up at all times if you can.

  2. Endless Hail (Volley Morph): Once you get the Maelstrom Bow this skill really turns into a monster, but until then you still want to have it on your bar as it's still amazing by itself. This skill lasts 10 seconds and deals damage ever 0.5 seconds.

  3. Rearming Trap (Trap Beast Morph): This skill is found in the Fighter's Guild skill line. Using it costs stamina, but once an enemy walks over your placed trap, the trap goes off dealing damage and then continues to deal more damage over the span of 6 seconds. Having an enemy trigger the trap also gives you Minor Force which increases your critical damage dealt by 10%. Once the trap releases the enemy, it re-arms and can be triggered one more time. Slotting this on your bar also gives you 3% more weapon damage due to the "Slayer" passive in the Fighter's Guild skill line.

  4. Razor Caltrops (Caltrops Morph): This skill is found in the Assault section of the Alliance War skill line. This skill produces a large AOE DoT area and snares any enemies inside. Great skill for increasing your DPS as well.

  5. Dragon Fire Scale (Reflective Scale Morph): Honestly either morph works for this slot. The other morph (Reflective Plate) just got buffed in the Summerset patch so now it removes snares, which can be really helpful. But for PvE I think the best choice is Dragon Fire Scale. This is our 2nd defensive skill on this bar and it's main purpose is to reflect projectiles back at their casters. When used, Dragon Fire Scale lasts 6 seconds and allows us to reflect up to 4 projectiles back at the caster. With Dragon Fire Scale these projectiles deal 35% more damage.

  6. Ultimate - Ballista (Rapid Fire Morph) or Corrosive Armor (Magma Armor Morph): Ballista is the bow ultimate and is my offensive choice on this bar. Corrosive Armor is under the DK's Earthen Heart skill line and is an amazing defensive choice for this bar. It's up to you with what you want to use and the situation you're in. If I'm solo and in Veteran Maelstrom I'll probably slot Corrosive Armor. Whereas if I'm in a dungeon or trial and we have a healer then I'll probably slot Ballista. Corrosive Armor costs 200 Ultimate while Ballista costs 175, but I honestly like having these higher cost ultimates in this slot because it means when you use them you get more resources back through the DK's "Battle Roar" passive. Often times if I'm in VMA and I find myself low on Stamina or health, maybe my potion is still on cooldown and I need more stamina immediately I'll just pop one of these ultimates if it's ready.

Overall I find these skills to work the best for me. Feel free to play around with a few of them if you'd like. You can even put some on different bars if you prefer. The rotation is rather simple though. I usually open with a heavy attack on my bow bar, then I fire off a Poison Injection followed by Endless Hail. While I'm doing this I'm either moving towards the enemy or it's approaching me but usually by this point it's right in front of me, so then I throw down a Rearming Trap, bar swap to DW bar, weave in a heavy/light attack, then I go into Bloodthirst, then Venomous Claw, then Bloodthirst again, then Rending Slashes, then Bloodthirst. By this point I likely need to re-apply Poison Injection and Endless Hail, so I bar swap back to bow and do the whole rotation all over again. I'm not perfect at it, and it takes practice, but once you get it down it's quite fun and become second nature. Other skills I've used in this build: Noxious Breath (Fiery Breath Morph) Razor Caltrops (Caltrops Morph)

Weapons & Armor

Where to get this gear:

Velidreth - Head pieces drop from the final boss of Veteran Cradle of Shadows. Shoulder pieces can be found by opening Undaunted Chests after obtaining keys from the daily Undaunted Pledges.

Hunding's Rage - Crafted Set located at Trollslayer's Gully in The Rift, Wether's Cleft in Bankorai, or Broken Arch in Reaper's March.

Vicious Ophidian (Serpent) Set - Pieces of this set have the chance to drop from bosses in the Craglorn Trials Aetherian Archive, Hel Ra Citadel, and Sanctum Ophidia. The jewelry has a chance to drop from the Final Boss in each of these Trials.

The Maelstrom's Bow (Thunderous Volley Set) - Found in the final chest after completing Veteran Maelstrom Arena. If you don't have this yet, just craft a Nirnhoned Bow from some crafted set such as Night Mother's Gaze (2 Piece will give you more weapon crit) or Shacklebreaker (2 Piece will give you more weapon damage).

Other Sets that can work for this build:

Night Mother's Gaze - Crafted Set located at Eldbjorg's Hideaway in The Rift, Silaseli Ruins in Bankorai, or Old Town Cavern in Reaper's March. Requires 6 Traits to craft pieces of this set.

Mechanical Acuity - Crafted Set located at the Pavillion of Artifice in the Clockwork City. This set requires the Clockwork City DLC to craft, but any player can wear it.

Champion Points

The Lord (42)

42 Quick Recovery

The Lady (120)

10 Thick Skinned, 60 Hardy, 50 Elemental Defender

The Steed (76)

40 Ironclad, 36 Spell Shield

The Ritual (159)

28 Thaumaturge, 24 Precise Strikes, 51 Piercing, 56 Mighty

The Atronach (43)

22 Physical Weapon Expert, 21 Master-at-Arms

The Apprentice (35)

35 Blessed

The Shadow (50)

8 Shadow Ward, 42 Tumbling

The Lover (120)

56 Mooncalf, 12 Arcanist, 52 Tenacity

The Tower (67)

25 Sprinter, 42 Warlord

Other Important Things

Race: Redguard, Khajiit, Orc, Imperial, Wood Elf. Any stamina focused race would work for this build but you may have to tweak things depending on your stats and racial passives. I play this as an Orc and it works great.

Mundus: The Thief (increased critical strike damage) or The Warrior (increased weapon damage)

Attributes: 64 into Stamina

Food: Any CP 150-160 food that offers Inceased Max Health & Max Stamina works great for the most damage. I use the Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables, but for more sustain you can use a drink called Dubious Camoran Throne which will increase your Max Stamina, Max Health, and increase your Stamina Recovery. For the final round of Veteran Maelstrom Arena I usually use Orzorga's Tripe Trifle Pocket, which increases my Max Health and Stamina Recovery. I find that on the final boss fight of VMA I roll-dodge a lot more and therefore need the increased Stamina regen this food provides.

Potions: I use the Essence of Weapon Power potion. This gives you Major Brutality (Increased Weapon Damage by 20%), Major Savagery (Increased Critical Rating), Restores 7582 Stamina immediately, and Major Endurance (Increased Stamina Recovery by 20%). It can be crafted using Lorkhan's Tears, Blessed Thistle, Dragonthorn, and Wormwood.


Coming soon

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