Dragon Knight, also known as Davion, is a strength melee carry whose ultimate turns him into a dragon with the ability to attack from range. When fully farmed, not many heroes can rival his ability to dish out damage while remaining alive in mid to late game team fights.
Dragon Knight should be played in his teams safe lane with a ranged support hero to babysit him and make sure he gets farmed.
With your starting items, you should be looking to get the beginnings of your Bracer and Magic Wand out of the way, while picking up enough regen to stay in the lane and maximize your farming time. Lots of people will pick up a Quelling Blade to help with last hitting, but this isnt usually necessary. Your base damage will be enough to last hit effectively with your starting stat items.
As for what you should get specifically, the build outlined at the beginning of the guide is a good baseline for what you should get. You can make minor modifications to this. If youre anticipating a tough lane, you can drop the Circlet and get some extra regen. If youre going up against a Natures Prophet, you may want to get a Quelling Blade to escape his tree traps.
Once youre in the lane and farming up, the first thing you should buy are your Boots of Speed. If possible, buy your Magic Stick at the outpost as well. After that, have the courier bring you your completed Magic Wand and Bracer (its preferable to get them in the same trip, so courier time isnt wasted ferrying small items back and forth). Now, you can look at your team and decide if you need your Drum of Endurance. If your farm is going well and you think your team will benefit from them and no one else has them yet, go ahead and complete your Drum of Endurance. If not, now is when you should start making your Maelstrom.
The laning phase should be ending about the time youre making your Maelstrom. Head into the jungle or gank some enemies to get that last bit of gold you need to get it completed. Once its done, your ability to farm will be much improved, on top of your already good ability to clear creep waves and stacks at level 11 with your splash attack on your Elder Dragon Form.
Now that the rest of your core is complete and you hopefully have good farming ability now, you can start making your Black King Bar. It is good to build the Ogre Club part first, because it will give you both HP and damage since youre a strength hero.
Here, things start to get a little open ended. If your team has a lot of auto attack heroes, get a Assault Cuirass. The -armor and attack speed aura will increase your teams damage by a lot. If the enemy team has a lot of spell damage and your Black King Bar isnt enough or your support heroes are getting instagibbed, grab a Pipe of Insight. A Daedalus will give you big splashing crits and even more damage than you already have. At some point in the late game, you can finish your Mjollnir to save item slots and give you some extra attack speed. The active it provides is also very good on tanky heroes like you.
Early game choices
DISCLAIMER: These items will slow down your core items making you "come online" a little later in the game.
Soul Ring is a good item on Dragon Knight. Youll almost always have mana to cast your spells and your high HP regen will let you activate Soul Ring almost without worry. If you want to be aggressive early in the game and always be ready to gank or go for kills, then Soul Ring is good for you.
Helm of the Dominator will set you back 1950 gold, but in return you get some lifesteal, damage, and armor. The REAL reason to get this item is to be able to Dominate a creep and use it to stack ancients and neutrals throughout the game. If you stay on top of it and stack every minute, you could easily increase your GPM by about 100 with this item. I recommend getting this if youre the hardest carry on the map and think your team can hold out a extra 5-10 minutes while you farm up some big items. If the enemy team has better carry potential than your team, skip this and focus on getting your core items online and getting in the fight sooner.
Mid game choices
These can be made to replace your core, or be built after your core.
Shadow Blade gives you good damage and attack speed for the cost. The active ability will give you a good escape, move speed, and a big damage bonus to your next attack. Get this if you really need a escape. Otherwise, I recommend sticking with the core build. Maelstrom gives you great DPS for less money and builds into one of the best late game DPS items, Mjollnir. Remember to be mindful of enemy heroes like Slardar and Bounty Hunter on the enemy team, which can make this item somewhat useless. Also, stay away from this item if you have friendly invis heroes on your team, as the enemy team will already be prepared with Dust of Appearance and Gem of True Sights.
Armlet of Mordiggian gives you HUGE HP regen on top of your already great regen from Dragons Blood. It also gives you a big boost to your DPS and a great active ability which can save your life in the clutch. The only reason this item isnt in the core build is that its frankly outperformed by the Maelstrom and Black King Bar build in most cases. You can follow the core build and replace Maelstrom with this item and still operate effectively if you prefer this item.
Late game choices
Get these after your core items.
Daedalus gives you lots of damage and the ability to crit. Crits ignore enemy armor so this can be good against tanky enemy heroes with lots of armor like Axe. Get it if your survivability isnt a issue at this point in the game and youre able to sit there and dish out damage uninterrupted.
Heart of Tarrasque will provide you with some damage, a ton of hp regen, and a giant health pool. I like to get it if the enemy team has a lot of burst damage but not much else after that. Stay away from it if youre the primary damage dealer on your team, as youll need to pick up something with more damage for the money, like a Daedalus or Mjollnir.
I would say Monkey King Bar is a viable situational item on almost every carry in the game. The true strike properties are good against Windrunner, Phantom Assassin, and heroes that pick up Butterfly. You should only get this if one of those is present and youre having trouble damaging them through evasion.
Dragon Knights skill build is very situational depending on what kind of lineup he is facing. If youre going up against a lot of harassment, max out your passive first. If youre in a trilane or just with another strong laning hero, you can get points in Breathe Fire early to ensure early kills and quick farming. There is no one correct skill build until you know what you are up against, so keep a open mind and just think if you need more survivability or more damage at this point in the game. You DO always want to get Dragon Tail at level 1, because its the longest stun in the game at level 1 and itll help you get or avoid first blood attempts.
Your level 1 ultimate Green Dragon form can push towers easily with a 20 DPS dot that works on all structures. It is sometimes advantageous to not level your ultimate to 2 at 11 if you wish to keep pushing towers. The level 2 Red Dragon loses the dot and gains a splash damage attack. Your level 3 Elder Dragon Form is amazing, it is basically a free Skadi orb effect on your attack. The main things you are waiting for before you become a complete monster during mid game are your Black King Bar, Maelstrom, and your Blue Dragon form. Make sure you remained focused on the task at hand and getting that level 16 and core farmed up so you can dominate the game late.
Unless you went with a Soul Ring build, you wont have much mana in the early and mid game to spam your skills. Try to always save enough mana for a Dragon Tail if possible. Dont nuke creep waves with Breathe Fire unless itll ensure you multiple last hits and hero harass. Save your Elder Dragon Form for fights, unless you intend to farm large stacks with the level 2 dragon. Level 3 should be saved for teamfights, as thatll be the main focus at that point of the game over farming. Dragon Tail is melee range, but gains a big range bonus during your ultimate. Pop your ultimate to close in on somebody faster and get a ranged stun off to ensure a kill if you ever need to. Dont be afraid to use your ultimate to give you a little boost in speed to escape with, but try not to waste it if youre almost certainly dead. Youll respawn in human form with your ultimate on cooldown, and youre nearly useless without it late game.
+Useful in all phases of the game, which is rare for hard carries
+Huge splash damage from range late in the game
+One of the tankiest heroes out
-Not always a dragon
-Needs about 25 minutes of farm to get his core and levels up to 1v5 status
-Not the absolute hardest carry
-Melee half of the time
-Manas almost always a issue
Jungling is almost never a good option on Dragon Knight until later in the game once you can kill creep stacks quickly. If you can, have a support hero stack camps for you to come by and sweep in one Elder Dragon Form activation. You can also get a Helm of the Dominator to do this yourself.
As Dragon Knight, youll work best in a lane with a support babysitter like Crystal Maiden or Lich. Try to avoid being in a lane with another hero that needs farm like Drow Ranger or melee heroes.
Once you get to the team fight stage of the game, youll often be one of the first heroes in. Dont be afraid to go in right after your initator. You can tank and deal damage while your squishier support heroes walk in from the back to lay down AOEs and disables.
You can work well with heroes like Magnus and Enigma, where they can pull all the heroes into a small area and disable them so you can put your splash damage to work splashing every enemy hero in a small radius. The closer enemy heroes are to the hero thats being attacked by you, the more splash damage they take.
Here, I will list some good heroes to have as your teammate, and what kind of overall team composition you generally want as well.
is one of the best lane partners for Dragon Knight. Even one or two points in her mana aura will ensure you always have mana when you need it to at least get a Breathe Fire and Dragon Tail combo off. Her slow and psuedo-stun will help you close to the distance to stun someone early in the game. Crystal Maiden is my favorite hero to play Dragon Knight with.
is also a very good teammate and trilane partner. His ranged stun is great for allowing you to close distance on people early on and follow up with your combo and his Bloodlust ability will help you deal more damage later in the game. Remember that you should always have a ranged hero to support Dragon Knight in the laning phase, so make sure to bring along another teammate to run a trilane.
will help you win your lane by harassing the enemy heroes with his spammable skills and denying friendly creeps to make sure you have the XP and gold advantage in lane. His slow will also help you set up your stun, which you may notice by now is a common theme in lane partner choices.
Farm up, get tanky, get damage, roll in and annihilate the enemy team.
Heres a link to a replay of mine. Its a pretty straightfoward game. I made some mistakes in this game like not getting a Quelling Blade to get out of Nature's Prophets tree traps. If you have any questions or would like more replays let me know.
4/20/2013 - First version and guide publish
4/21/2013 - Adding chapters, information, and improving readability
Solo Mid section
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