This build came from my recent discovery of using Aspect of Terror to buff up fire damage. Many thanks to Mason for discussing this with me. This build is quite lore-based, so without further ado I present:
A Mabrigash is an Ashlander witch, a renegade wise woman who has forsaken the established rules by becoming a master of dark magic and the weapons of war. By secret rituals the Mabrigash steals a man's vital essence and makes herself a powerful sorceress and warrior. The manifestation of her dark power is called a ghost snake that paralyzes and drains a victim's vitality.
The Mabrigash is a master of battle and of the mind, employing a variety of tools to increase her power. Destruction magic and battleaxes are used to decimate all that stand in her way, Illusion magic to seduce or terrify others, Heavy Armor to protect herself amidst battle, and Conjuration magic to summon flame spirits as well as steal the power of others. She uses this power stolen from others to enchant and power magical equipment, which she is capable of crafting herself. She also makes use of an array of potions and poisons for her benefit or her enemies' detriment.
Many prefer to become Vampires to further increase their power, particularly in Illusion magic.
Race: If you're roleplaying, a female Dunmer is essential. They also make a strong choice power-wise, but Altmer, Bretons and Orcs also make fine choices.
Stone: Atronach or Serpent. The huge Magicka boost from the Atronach stone as well as the spell absorbtion is invaluable, which also fits with the Mabrigash stealing others' power. The Serpent Stone is quite similar to the Ghost Snake ability (which can also be emulated through Alchemy)
Stat Distribution: 3/3/2 in Health/Magicka/Stamina. This Magicka might seem rather low, but we're buffing it up significantly with enchantments and the Atronach stone.
Destruction: Your primary form of attack. The Mabrigash is skilled in the arts of war magic, specialising in Fire magic, which is also boosted by the Aspect of Terror perk through a bug. This bug boosts allfire damage from Destruction spells by 10 points - doubling the damage of Flames and Flame Cloak! Key perks are Dual Casting, up to Adept Destruction, and Augmented Flames 2.
Illusion: The Mabrigash is a master of the mind, and uses Illusion magic to influence others - mainly focusing on Calm and Fear, which can be used to take enemies out of a fight. Key perks include up to Apprentice Illusion and Aspect of Terror (for synergy with Fire magic). Vampirism saves alot of perks here since it increases effectiveness of all Illusion spells by 25%.
Enchanting: The Mabrigash can bind the souls of her foes into soul gems, and use them to enchant her equipment. Many prefer to use Black Soul Gems, as they have nothing against sucking the very essence from their enemies. Key perks include Fire Enchanter, and up the Armor side to Extra Effect.
Two-Handed: The Mabrigash is also skilled in the use of arms, in particular battleaxes. These weapons provide a significant amount of extra reach over a one-handed weapon with the added ability to hit multiple enemies at once to inflict bleeding wounds. Key perks include Champion's Stance and Limbsplitter.
Smithing: The Mabrigash is able to craft her own weapons and equipment to an extremely high standard. Key perks are up the Heavy Armor side of the tree to Daedric and Arcane Blacksmith.
Alchemy: A variety of potions and poisons are used to assist the Mabrigash in combat. She particularly favors Weakness to Fire poisons to significantly increase the damage of her flame magic. Key Perks include Physician and Concentrated Poison.
* If you really want the Necromage Vampire bonus, you can swap this out for Restoration.
Conjuration: The Mabrigash has also mastered the art of conjuring Flame Atronachs from Oblivion to assist her in defeating her foes, as well as capture the souls of her enemies. Only Flame Atronachs are used, as their fire damage stacks well with all the other fire damage already being inflicted, and require few perks to use effectively. Key perks include up the Atronach side of the tree and Apprentice Conjuration.
Heavy Armor: The Mabrigash is also skilled as using heavy armors to protect herself. Key perks are up the right side of the Heavy Armor tree.
Alternate: Alternatively you could swap Heavy Armor for Alteration or Light Armor, whichever takes your fancy.
The Mabrigash steals the souls of her enemies
Weapons/Armor: At level 31 I was using a full set of Orcish armor with a Honed Ancient Nord Battleaxe (which can be upgraded with Dwarven Smithing). At later levels you would want to use Ebony due to its Dunmer origins, or Falmer equipment due to the chitinous style going with the character's Ashlander origins.
Enchantments: Ring - Stamina, Necklace - Health, Armor - Destruction Spell Cost, Helmet - Magicka, Gauntlets - Magicka, Boots - Carrying Capacity. The Black Star is very useful for this build.
The Mabrigash would be one always seeking to increase her power, and would be willing to do anything to attain that goal. To fit with the lore, when using Illusion spells use Fear on female opponents and Calm on male opponents. The Ghost Snake ability can be emulated through either Alchemy (paralysis/damage/soul trap) or the Serpent Stone. The Agent of Dibella bonus from the Sybil of Dibella quest is also a must, to show their dominance over men.
By 'pulsing' Flames on and off in each hand, you maximize damage by stacking on lots of burning damage and ensuring you get the already burning bonus damage. This also works with Wall of Flames at higher levels (Thanks Mason!)
Requires: Flame Atronach, Flame Cloak
Summon a Flame Atronach in melee range of an enemy, then activate Flame Cloak and engage them. The fire damage from your flame cloak and the Atronach's aura really adds up!
Requires: Sweep, Concentrated Poison
With Concentrated Poison combined with Sweep, you can hit 2 enemies at once with a sideways power attack, applying the poison to both. This works well with a Weakness to Magic or Weakness to Fire poison.
Master - Inferno:
Requires: Wall of Flames, Flame Cloak, Fire Storm
Activate Flame Cloak (preferably dual cast) and then surround yourself with a Wall of Flames. Follow it up with a Fire Storm, and you can do ridiculous amounts of damage.
Combat Notes (Video):
Generally you'll start a long range engagement with a few Firebolts before throwing on your Flame Cloak and summoning an Atronach. Then throw a few streams of Flames before entering into melee. Aspect of Terror is absolutely critical to the build - your flame cloak will be very weak otherwise. While it may seem at first dual-casting flame cloak is a waste of magicka, it does, in fact, doublethe range! This is very useful in boss fights as you can stay out of reach and still deal damage. In larger fights, use Calm and Fear to filter out some of the weaker opponents and take them on later. As for mounted combat , the Mabrigash actually makes an excellent horse(wo)man. Dual-casting Flame Cloak before mounting still burns enemies in a very large radius, and then she can ride into battle and tear up enemies with her battleaxe. The bleed damage makes it ideal for mounted multiple target combat and ride-by attacks.
The Dragonborn DLC adds some new exciting and lore-friendly gear for the Mabrigash. Firstly, Heavy Chitin should be your go-to armor set - much more befitting of an Ashlander Witch - and the Nordic Battleaxe goes very well with the look. Secondly, Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana adds a new spell with immense power for the Mabrigash - Ignite. Aspect of Terror, adding 10 to the current 5 damage per second, triples the damage output of the spell. Ignite is extremely efficient, costing less than Firebolt but over the 15 seconds, with Aspect of Terror and Augment Flames 2/2, it will do 255 damage compared to 47 from Firebolt. And most importantly, IT STACKS. That's right - throw Ignites at an enemy for a few seconds, and just sit down and wait for them to burn to death. But be warned - stacking Ignite too much will make the game not fun at all, even on Master Simply swap Dwarven and Orcish Smithing over to the left side of the tree, and you're good to go!
As for Dawnguard, the Vampire Lord abilities can complement the Mabrigash's ranged combat, and it fits into the playstyle quite well - it's by no means required however!
Sample 30 Perk Build:
220 Health | 220 Magicka | 170 Stamina (338 | 253 | 194 Modified)
Novice, Apprentice Illusion, Hypnotic Gaze, Aspect of Terror
Novice, Apprentice, Adept Destruction, Augmented Flames 2, Dual Casting
Enchanter 3, Fire Enchanter
Barbarian 3, Limbsplitter 1, Champion's Stance
Juggernaut 1, Well Fitted
Steel, Dwarven, Orcish Smithing
Alchemist 1, Physician, Poisoner, Concentrated Poison
Novice, Apprentice Conjuration
Well let me know what you think in the comments below and don't forget to like if you thought it was good! I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
Check out my page for more quality builds!
Lol...I thought you weren't a fan of "spell cost reduce" enchants hahah...I'm very glad to see adapting builds to utilize this aspect. It's extremely beneficial. Everything is here, I like the "Ignite" technique, I tried revealing that little tid-bit a few days back, glad to see its inclusion.
Hehe, thanks Narmis!
When I said I wasn't a fan of Spell Cost Reduction I meant using it to entirely replace using the Mastery perks in the associated spell school. That said more than 50% reduction even when you have the perk seems a little cheap!
I actually worked out the flame pulsing thing a day or two before your guide, but as you've said many a time, 'the more the merrier'
I'd like to throw in a little bit of additional information myself here, the wall spells work in exactly the same way as the novice spells do. If you pepper the floor with little walls they suddenly become much more effective because enemies are forced to walk through several 'instances' of a wall spell. If you just draw a quick wall in front of you they only have to walk through one instance of the spell.
Wall spells inflict damage in 'heartbeats', if you see an enemy walking through your wall without taking damage its because they have stepped through inbetween the 'beats'. This happens alot with flame wall because it has a high damage/slow beat damage rhythm, whereas shock wall has a low damage/fast beat.
Cool build man, she turned out a little more brutal than i thought!
Thanks man, added that in to the build. I didn't really test the Walls too thoroughly and the only other character I've used them on is my Arcane Bladesman!
Another master buid if I ever saw one. Have you thought about using Agent of Dibella's power. I think it would become the roleplay, to envolve her in an aura of sensuality - and the 10% increase in melee damage against men would not be bad either.
From the roleplay notes section: "The Agent of Dibella bonus from the Sybil of Dibella quest is also a must, to show their dominance over men." I thought of everything!
Thanks for showing your interest!
Oops - the little had note escaped my notice - then I think the build is complete - congratulations.
A ... combat ... witch.
You sir, are absolutely amazing. I am definitely doing this. (Do you think it'd be possible to switch two-handed for one-handed axe? It's not a big deal, I just like the whole "Spellsword" vibe to a one-handed weapon and Firebolt in the other. :P)
That reminds me. . . I think I'm going to do your Shaman-esque witch as a more stealthy take to the idea of TES witches as well. Ah, your builds are just too awesome. I love that you've thought of roleplayers as well! An Ashlander witch. The Mabrigash! Simply genius. Keep up the good work!
2-handed to 1-handed would definetely work, just take the same perks in 1-handed. I was going to do that but I was sort or rolling with a theme of hurting everyone at once, which I could to brilliantly with a 2-handed axe with Sweep and Limbsplitter. Of course I'll recommend you use Flames in your off-hand since once you have Aspect of Terror it's far more magicka-efficient.
Thanks! Gosh, once again, though . . Mabrigash. Who would of thought? Haha. Great job.
OMFG! First, your first pic of the armored Dunmer, is so f*cking sexy! Secondly, being the Dunmer whore I am, I love this build with all my lust! This is increasingly drawing my attention away from my current build I am working on...