Dota 2 Hero Guide – Dragon Knight

Knight Davion, the Dragon Knight, is a strength hero played as one of the three core roles in a Dota 2 draft. Because of his tough skin and regenerative powers from Dragon Blood (his passive ability), he is very flexible when it comes to lane assignments, and can be sent to pretty much any part of the map in the laning phase. Truly, he can be played as the safe lane carry, the mid laner, or even the offlaner.

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Even though he is farm-dependent, Dragon Knight can fight relatively early compared to true hard carries like Anti-Mage or Spectre. This is primarily because of his respectable damage output even without items, thanks to his three active abilities. Breathe Fire causes him to spit red-hot flames in a fairly large cone in front of him, dealing instant damage and reducing the attack power of units caught in its wake. Dragon Breath is also his farming tool, which makes it much easier for him to clear waves and creep stacks quickly. His second active ability Dragon Tail applies a long stun on its target, albeit at an extremely short range. This allows him to keep his prey in place, whittling them down with his regular attacks.

Image via Valve

His ultimate ability Elder Dragon Form transforms him into a fierce dragon, complete with a ranged attack. Depending on its level, Elder Dragon Form applies an attack modifier onto Dragon Knight’s projectile, ranging from a damage over time debuff to an Eye of Skadi-like passive slow. In addition, Dragon Tail gains an additional 250 range when Knight Davion is transformed. His ultimate alone makes him a very versatile hero, able to push towers and take fights on his own terms.

He does have some glaring weaknesses, though, just like any other hero in the game. For one, his slow movement speed makes him easily kiteable outside of Elder Dragon Form, and while Dragon Tail is on cooldown. He is also almost completely dependent on his ultimate, which means that teams can punish him for turning into a dragon haphazardly. And finally, his damage isn’t the best compared to true hard carries, which makes him unable to close out long games. Despite his shortcomings, though, he is a great choice for teams looking to leverage his mid to late game strength, in order to end the game before the enemy carry is able to catch up.

Dragon Knight Skill Build

Dragon Knight has a straightforward set of abilities, as well as a simple skill progression. The only time that the build ever diverges is when he is facing strong harassment in lane, which means that Dragon Blood should be prioritized first. Otherwise, Dragon Breath should be maxed out first, in order to maximize its waveclearing and harassment potential as soon as possible.

Regardless of which ability is maxed out first, however, Dragon Tail should still be last in the order of priority. The first level alone is enough to serve as an escape mechanism, or as a surprise stun in case your supports want to go for an in-lane kill or gank attempt. Its poor scaling dictates that it be maxed out last, so it is only really necessary to get it at Level 7.

Elder Dragon Form, on the other hand, is one of your most important abilities, which means it should be taken at every given opportunity.

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Our recommended skill build, therefore, is as follows:

  • Dragon Breath
  • Dragon Blood
  • Dragon Breath
  • Dragon Blood
  • Dragon Breath
  • Elder Dragon Form
  • Dragon Tail
  • Dragon Breath
  • Dragon Blood
  • Level 10 Talent: +2 Mana Regen
  • Dragon Blood
  • Elder Dragon Form
  • Dragon Tail
  • Dragon Tail
  • Level 15 Talent: +30 Damage
  • Dragon Tail
  • Elder Dragon Form
  • Level 20 Talent: 2x Dragon Blood HP Regen/Armor
  • Level 25 Talent: +40 Strength

Dragon Knight Item Build

To start with, we recommend building up a Soul Ring, no matter which lane you are placed in. Combined with your high base strength (and therefore large HP pool) and passive regeneration from Dragon Blood, Soul Ring will provide you with more than enough mana to cast Breathe Fire with repeatedly in the early game. This in turn accelerates your farming pace, which is very important for a carry with a somewhat limited timing window.

Once that’s done, you should farm a mobility item, which will be either Shadow Blade or Blink Dagger. Shadow Blade has the benefit of more attack speed, as well as the burst damage that you can apply coming out of its invisibility. Blink Dagger, on the other hand, allows you instant initiation power, which can be valuable versus certain heroes that have their own escape mechanisms. Consider Shadow Blade if your opponents don’t have any such heroes, or if they have any natural Radiance carriers and heroes with annoying damage over time abilities.

Your final core item will be Black King Bar, for despite his toughness Knight Davion is still susceptible to getting disabled and nuked down. After all, Dragon Blood provides extra armor, not magic resistance. Having a BKB handy allows you to attack targets uninterrupted, essentially giving you access to your full DPS.

After BKB, several doors will open in terms of luxury pickups. If you are in need of more pushing power, consider purchasing a Manta Style, which you can use after transforming for maximum tower damage. Assault Cuirass synergizes supremely well with your kit, giving you plenty of attack speed and even more armor to work with. It also reduces your enemies’ armor, which makes your attacks a lot more potent. Heart of Tarrasque gives you insane restorative powers, allowing you to weave in and out of combat to recuperate in just a few seconds. Daedalus is also there, if you need more burst damage to work with.

Dragon Knight Combo

Dragon Knight’s combat rotation is just as uncomplicated as his skill build, and should prove to be easy to even the newest of players. Regardless of which mobility item you choose to purchase, you’ll want to activate Elder Dragon Form in advance of your initiation attempts. This is so that you are able to dish out the burst damage from Shadow Walk, and have the increased Dragon Tail cast range at the ready right away. Once you are transformed, use your mobility item of choice to get close and disable your target. Follow up with Breathe Fire, then lay into them with your regular attack.

Rinse and repeat for the next targets in line. Make sure to use your BKB if you have it, especially in a five-on-five engagement.

Dragon Knight Counter

Dealing with Dragon Knight is typically best done through kiting him and exploiting his short range outside of Elder Dragon Form. Keeping him slowed or rooted makes him much easier to bring down, though of course you and your team will still need a source of damage to help get through his large HP pool. This is where heroes with potent nukes, such as Lina, Zeus, and Lion come into play.

Extending the game when you have a stronger hard carry is also a good idea versus Dragon Knight. Though it is easy to lose your tier 1 and tier 2 tower against his Corrosive Breath in Elder Dragon Form, defending high ground against him is actually moderately easy due to his below average attack range. If you can stall the game and keep your tier 3 towers alive for a long time, your carry will eventually be able to catch up in farm and outclass his damage output.

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* FirstBlood® is NOT AFFILIATED, AUTHORIZED, LICENSED OR ENDORSED by Dota™, Dota 2™, Steam™, Dota 2™, the Dota logo® and Steam™ are trademarks of Valve Corporation.

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