Defeated and shamed, he knew he should have died that day, but such was not the fate written for him in the stars. The former champion of Vaermina, once gifted with nightmarish powers and a twisted lust for cruelty, barely managed to evade death after his defeat at the cataclysmic battle of Cheydinhal to the warrior clad in ebony. Stripped of his powers and heavily wounded, he made his way north to the Skyrim border, where he was found by imperial legionaries.

Nobody recognized him in Skyrim and he concluded that his physical form must have changed drastically since being stripped of his dark powers, reverting back to a mortal appearance. He was taken to Helgen and set to be executed along with a group of rebels for illegally crossing the border but once again, he would avoid this permanent fate…

Now a free man in a land torn by civil war, he was ready to begin anew. It would take some time to regain his old powers but he was determined to rise once more as Vaermina’s Death Knight.


The Death Knight is a warrior clad in heavy armor and gifted with powers of darkness by the Daedric Prince Vaermina. A nightmare to behold on the field of battle, the Death Knight's blade is infused with the power of frost and he wields it with unholy strength, cleaving down those unfortunate enough to stand before him. Worse yet, he can call upon his dark powers to raise the dead and bind them to his will, changing the tide of a battle at his whim.

WHY I made the Death Knight:

Having played through the game on Master Difficulty once as a stealth character and once as a sword-n-boarder, I found that it always got too easy at some point and my character became broken. My stealth character could sneak past any enemy and assassinate them with ease, while my boarder could nullify any magical or physical damage with her shield. To spike up the game's difficulty I decided to create this class. The initial conditions were simple: armor and resistances were fair game but there would be no shield, no healing, no stealth and very limited magic. Crafting would also be highly regulated to keep the build in check.

The result is a heavy-hitting albeit relatively frail class with a few support summons. Master difficulty endgame is REALLY HARD (even with Necromage+Vampire). Hiding isn't an option. Healing isn't an option. The only way to play is kill or be killed.

Perk Setup: 


Heavy Armor: Juggernaut (5/5)

Two-Handed: Barbarian (5/5), Champion's Stance, Devastating Blow

Enchanting: Enchanter (5/5), Insightful Enchanter, Frost Enchanter (and prereqs)

Destruction: Augmented Frost (and prereqs)

Conjuration: Twin Souls, Dark Souls, Necromancy (and prereqs)


Smithing: *Ebony Smithing (and prereqs), Arcane Smithing

*Can also swap Ebony Smithing for Daedric Smithing, Dragon Smithing or Advanced Armors depending on which type of armor you prefer. Get them all if you like to switch often or get bored of using the same stuff.

Restoration: Necromage (and prereqs)

Alteration: Magic Resistance (3/3) (and prereqs)

Enchanting: Soul Siphon (and prereqs)

Character Creation:

Race: Any (though I personally prefer Dark Elf for the appearance or Breton for the Resistance and Conjuration head start)

Guardian Stone: Ritual Stone

Stat Distribution: Magicka 0 / Health 4 / Stamina 1

Werewolf: No. Don't even think about it.

Vampire: Optional, though recommended if you have Dawnguard DLC. The bonuses to Sneak and Illusion are somewhat useless to this build but the Poison and Disease Resistance never hurt. Plus vampires are bad@ss!

Equipment options:

Use either full Ebony Armor, Daedric Armor or Falmer Hardened Armor to achieve the intimidating evil knight look. A case could be made for  Dragonplate Armor as well as it has that skeletal vibe.

Alternate headgear: Dragon Priest Mask (any), Dark Brotherhood Cowl Maskless, Helm of Yngol

Jewelry: Up to you, but you'll probably end up making your own to satisfy the enchanting requirements specified further below.

Weapon options: Take your pick of the following and enchant it with Frost Damage, utilizing your Frost Enchanter and Augmented Frost perks to deal massive frost damage.

  • Ebony Greatsword/Battleaxe (simple and classy, my personal favorite)
  • Daedric Greatsword/Battleaxe (very evil looking and high damage output)
  • Ancient Nord Greatsword/Battleaxe (lowest damage output but very detailed and aesthetically pleasing)
  • Stalhrim Greatsword/Battleaxe (not particularly evil looking but suits the frost theme)
  • Dragonbone Greatsword/Battleaxe (highest damage output but requires more perks)

    >Yep, I like classic Ebony. Call me old fashioned.

Enchanting Recommendations:

Your main goal with enchanting is to reduce the cost of conjuration spells enough that you can cast Dead Thrall without having spent any attribute points in Magicka. The base Magicka cost is 1000 so Necromage+Vampire is really helpful in boosting the effectiveness of your enchantments.

Head: Fortify Conjuration

Neck: Fortify Conjuration / Regen Health / Resist Magic

Ring: Fortify Conjuration / Regen Health / Resist Magic

Chest: Fortify Conjuration / Regen Health

Gloves: Fortify Two Handed / Increased Carry Weight / Fortify Heavy Armor

Boots: Resist Fire (if vampire) / Fortify Two Handed

HOW to play the Death Knight:

  • As a melee fighter, your primary attack will be your two handed weapon, enchanted with Frost Damage for a heavy hit.
  • The Ritual Stone acts as your panic button, providing an option when you're surrounded by legions of Draugr.
  • Dead Thralls act as your minions so you don't have to charge into battle alone.
  • NO HEALING EVER!!! (except of course if you are leveling Restoration to get Necromage.)
  • You need to join the College of Winterhold to access Dead Thrall.
  • You may optionally join the Civil War, Dark Brotherhood and/or Volkihar vampires.
  • You can't join the Thieves' Guild as you are not a stealth character.
  • You can't join the Dawnguard or Companions either because they don't suit your alignment.
  • Don't get the perk that allows two enchantments per item. It breaks your character.
  • No alchemy either. Ever.
  • Your alignment is evil. Stop playing tag with the children and no giving coins to beggars. Kill your follower if s/he annoys you. When you do good things, your motives should be selfish rather than altruistic, as in "I killed those bandits for the reward" or "That dragon was getting in my way."

Answers to a few questions:

You only recommended around 45 perks. What do I put the rest of my points in? I leave this to your discretion. You can dabble further into the Heavy Armor and Two Handed trees if you like, or you can opt for some utility perks like Speech, or Atronach in the Alteration tree. All I ask is that you stay away from Alchemy, Sneak and the final perk in Enchanting. Getting Master Conjuration will open up your options in equipment because you won't need as many Fortify Conjuration enchantments to use Dead Thrall, so that might be a convenient place to drop a few perks. Another good option is to invest in Illusion magic for Frenzy and Fear spells.

I want to engage in ranged combat instead of always having to get in close. Are there any options for this build? Personally, I've done just fine playing an exclusively melee character. If you use your shouts and minions effectively you should be able to handle any opponent, though not necessarily without some frustration. If you really insist on ranged combat, get the Bound Bow spell and drop some points into the Archery perk tree. 

Why did you change the name from "Dark Knight" to "Death Knight"? It was brought to my attention that some people associate the term Dark Knight with Batman, especially since the Christopher Nolan movies, and I don't want to mislead people. Death Knight is far more suitable anyways, as the character has deep roots in necromancy and frost. In Warcraft lore, Death Knights are heavily armed, two handed weapon wielding knights with the power to raise dead with enchanted rune weapons.

This page is an incomplete work and content is subject to change. I do not own the images used on this page. The first is adopted from, the second from UESPwiki and the third from the World of Warcraft official fanart website.

Tags: Character Build Enchanter, Character Build Juggernaut, Character Build Necromancer, Rank:Exemplar

Views: 71058

Replies to This Discussion

Don't like your own builds

i love this its an evil build that says im gonna rape everything while not bieng so op as to ever get boring...though it doesnt seem to have any ranged attacks y is that

The lack of ranged attacks means my build has a distinct weakness, which is something I enjoy because it means I have to overcome it when I'm playing. So far I've been using cover (like walls and pillars and stuff) to close the distance or whipping out my Ice Form shout. Battles can get really hard, especially against dragon priests and mages who spam magic.

No alchemy, no enchanting, no stealth... The only thing I have a problem is this is an evil build so I will never play it :(.

I agree that it needs more details and I'll keep working on this build bit by bit to refine it before ever starting a second. Thanks for the advice.

Good choice on ebony tis pretty

An excellent build, and very similar to something I've been tinkering with for my first post.  +1 from me!

Am I the only one who went to this thinking it would be a Batman build?

Seriously though, really good job! another piece of alternate headgear COULD be The Nightingale hood (if you don't mind investing a few perks in light armor as well), also an alternate style of Magic could be Illusion if you wanted to use frenzy, or fear. However Calm obviously wouldn't fit the character.

+1 from me anyway :)

Yeah I was worried about that when I was picking the name. Death Knight may have been a better choice, especially considering the build's focus on necromancy and frost.

I like the idea of using Illusion magic as well. Vaermina is often associated with nightmares and fear so it would make perfect sense from a roleplaying perspective. :P

I like it! Nice build, I was playing one like this that I made and was very defensive (didn't go into two-handed until Lv.15) but Vilkas was an ass and has to go get glitched from me trying to level my destruction from when you are supposed to join the Companions when you train with Jim in the back yard. He wouldn't give me dialogue so I just deleted it. (I was going to cure Lycanthropy, I only did it just to get Wuuthrad.) so I went back to my Archmage character [(A Mage who uses all of the Elementa and gets everything on every school of magic) (currently level 47 and I forgot how fun it was) (although I'm only doing misc. quests to clear out my inventory, I have a shit ton of side quests and misc. quests I get but never do)]
+1 from me
+1... But your profile picture is distracting lol


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