Hello there :) It's been a very long while since I did any character builds. The ones I did were before the game was even released to pass the time. Now that I've played the game, I can start making builds that aren't pathetic. I might actually remake my Frostfire Mage...

If you've ever seen anything I've done or said in this group, you'll know that I loathe the so called "power play" builds. I personally find no enjoyment out of having everything planned out to maximize my character's effectiveness and eventually ending up in Daedric armor like everyone else. I like the conceptual builds more. That's just who I am, and that's the kind of build I'm going to make. Don't expect this build to be a mathematical nightmare of statistics or clever exploitation of a certain perk (Yes, I'm looking at you, Narmis :P). It's just a concept, you will have a lot of freedom if you choose to play with this "build".

Okay? Okay. Onto the build itself...


The Necro-Knight

The name is temporary, please help me come up with another one :O

So, what exactly is a "Necro-Knight"? Is it some kind of heavily armored necromancer? Well, pretty much. Though, please keep in mind that the name is highly temporary as it rolls off the tongue in a way that sounds silly to me. This is my attempt at a Skyrim rendition of a Death Knight from World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. I immediately fell in love with the class as it was both aesthetically and conceptually similar to a unique class I had made for my own purposes. I won't talk about it, because it's not ready to be shown yet :P This build will draw heavily upon World of Warcraft's DK in terms of mechanics and core ideas, but I have put my own ideas and makeshift "lore" into the build. Some of the pictures are fan art, but they are all depicting a Death Knight from WoW. Key words for this build: Two handed, Heavy Armor, Necromancy, Light-blue glowing shit. 

Conceptual Introduction

The Necro-Knight could be summed up as a "necromantic battle-mage", but that wouldn't be fair to the poor guy :( He typically wields heavy armor and a two-handed weapon against Skyrim's dangers, whilst backing it all up with destructive frost magic and necromancy. To achieve greater levels of effectiveness against his foes, he enchants his gear. The Necro-Knight is not automatically crooked or corrupt. NK's can have whatever moral values they choose, necromancy is a necessary skill for them, but not in the same way that many necromancers in Skyrim see it. No vicked rituals or kidnappings are necessary, necromancy is merely a tool. NK's typically achieve great expertise in the school of Conjuration, to ultimately be able to create thralls that don't expire.


I would say that any race could potentially choose to become a Necro-Knight. If I were to give my personal recomendation, I would say that Nords, Orcs and Altmer are most qualified.

Nords gain a 10 point bonus to Two-handed, but my personaly reason is purely cosmetic. Nords are tall. That's it. Necro-Knights are supposed to look imposing, choosing a nord helps with that.

Orcs have great racials for this build. They get a 10 point bonus to Heavy-armor, and a 5 point bonus to Two handed, Enchanting and Block. Their Berserker Rage is good in any situation, not to be underestimated for the NK.

Altmers have the benefit of getting a 50 point bonus to Magicka. Allowing you to spend 5 levels upgrading the other two attributes without worrying about your magicka level. Other than that, their skill bonuses are pretty crap, and their power isn't really all that exciting. But they're tall, so that's something to consider :P

I wouldn't pick a Dunmer for this build. You can do it, but their racial power is based around fire, which is something this build avoids. More on that later...

Attributes and Stones

The attributes pose a bit of a challenge. Because of the nature of this build, you will want to distribute your points across all three of them, this is where the Altmer would come in handy. In the end, it will mostly depend on how decide to distribute your perks. More on that below...

As for the Stones... The Steed is a lovely choice for any character who wears Heavy Armor. It offers plenty of good things, with no drawbacks. This is propably my favorite stone for this character. Other viable choices would be: The Lady, The Lord and The Ritual.  

Special Rules

To restrict you somewhat I have included some minor rules.

1. You may not use any kind of fire or shock magic. This applies to enchanting and racial powers aswell. You may use weapons you find that have a fire or shock enchantment, but you may not make the enchantment yourself. You must however spend one point on upgrading fire enchanting to get to the frost upgrade. This also applies to shouts.

2. You may not use a shield.

3. If you have Dawnguard, you are highly encouraged to get the Ethereal Horse.

4. You may not become a Vampire, Werewolves are okay though.

5. No ranged weapons. Ever. No, not even if you ask nicely.

6. Dragonbone armor looks great on NK's... Just sayin'.

7. Only use Necromantic spells from the conjuration tree. Atronachs are a no-no. Bound weapons can go away. Harvesting souls for enchanting is allowed.


Your shouts are going to be a great addition to your arsenal, they allow you an extra attack method without using up one of your hands. Some recommended shouts are: Disarm, Elemental Fury, Frost Breath, Ice Form, Unrelenting Force, Slow Time and Whirlwind Sprint.

Skills and Perks

Main Skills: Two-Handed, Destruction, Heavy Armor, Conjuration.

Other Skills: Enchanting, One-handed, Alchemy, Block, Speech.

For this build I've decided to give you a choice of two main paths, one that focuses on your melee damage, and one that focuses more on spell-casting. Further down I'll be giving you the "final result" of this build. Or rather, the final result I would get if I played this build to level 81. On your way to level 81, you can play a different version of the build if you like. These are just my two examples, they give the build some form of replay-value. Keep in mind that your main skills are what you should be putting most of your perks in and get as high in level as possible. The other skills are there for flavor and can vary in level and perk distribution depending on your own preferences or progress. Okay, let's get started, the first of the two paths...

Path I: The Juggernaut

This version of the Necro-Knight trusts his Two-Handed weapon and undead minion more than he trusts his frost spells. While you're adventuring through Skyrim you will focus your energy on improving your Two-Handed skill, your Conjuration, your Blocks and your Enchanting. You will become a force to be reckoned with in close combat, cleaving your way through hordes of enemies while your thrall watches your back. Enchanting your weapons and armor will bolster your capability even further. With this Path, Stamina and Health are your primary attributes.

I have prepared a perk setup for this Build Path, it is merely a guideline so you can do yours in a different way if you like. This setup will assume that you have 20 perk points: The Juggernaut

Onto the next Path...

Path II: The Defiler

This Path is centered around your spellcasting and doing damage over time with poisoned One-Handed weapons. You will invest your points in Alchemy instead of Enchanting, and One-Handed instead of Two-handed. Since you won't be able to block with a weapon and a spell in each hand, you won't need your Block skill. This version is a lot more agile and reliant on Magicka than The Juggernaut, it gives you a ranged approach because of the frost magic. With this Path, Health and Magicka will be your friends in battle. Stamina is still important though.

Here's the perk setup for this Path: The Defiler 

The Final Product

You have fought your way through countless dungeons and caves, doing a number of renown-gaining deeds and killing dragons. As you harvest the dragon's souls and learn the ways of the Thu'um, you are becoming a powerful adversary to anyone who dares stand in your way. Clad in armor that breaks your opponents blades and wielding weapons that literally sends shivers into your enemies, you are ready to call yourself a Necro-Knight.

The perk distribution I've made for the fully formed Necro-Knight may differ from yours, but the essence of it should remain the same. The overall outcome will vary on which path you picked, so I've made two final products. Juggernaut (lvl 76) Defiler (lvl 74)

Because we ditched the Block skill on the Defiler Path, you have 7 left over perk points to do as you wish with. I also added a fully trained smithing to the Juggernaut, Heavy Armor is the way to go, but weapons don't have that kind of distinguishment. 

That was all for now folks! I will add special moves and more detailed info later. Writing this for nearly three hours has made my head hurt. It's now 6 am and I have my last day of school today :) I hope you have enjoyed this character concept. I have been The Nexus, and this has been my method of keeping awake.

UPDATE, 03/09/13: This build was showcased on the frontpage! Thank you all for the encouragement and critisism. I enjoy reading all of it, even if I'm lousy at replying to it. I haven't abandoned this build, I'm just very lazy. I'm currently playing a variant of it, and I'm thinking of making a "spiritual successor". I still need to go through this and fix all of the errors, but I'm not sure when I'll do that.


Credits: http://www.gameartisans.org/forums/showpost.php?p=82744&postcou...

the other images where stolen from google. Please ignore the scribblings on the images, they have nothing to do with Skyrim.

Feel free to post feedback and your versions of the NK in the comments :P Don't forget to suggest some alternate Path names and a new name for the Build itself!


Tags: Character Build Elementalist, Character Build Juggernaut, Character Build Necromancer, Rank:Legendary

Views: 104893

Replies to This Discussion

cool build but the pers in heavy armor allow you to gain half the steed stone ability and if you want the 100 extra carry weight you can use the left over perks in pickpocket  just so you know which opens up other stones abilities.not many people would use pickpocketing when earing heavy armor but if you only use it for that perk i dont see why you can't just pay a trainer to get to the required level.

also there is a bandit cave on the way to get the ritual stone that has a permanent reward for 2-handed weapon users called the ironhand gauntlets and yes they can be dienchanted it gives you a 15% increase to 2handed weapon damage

also if your going to max out conjuration early you can get daedric armor and weapons from the atronach forge in the basement of the college of winter hold

heres the link for the items needed 


Interesting... Would you happen to know the name of the cave? I would love to include it in the future "Notes" section of the build.

yeah its off the Hajvarr Iron-Hand in White River Watch right near whiterun so its a good boost for early game and with max enchanting you can get like 80% more damage when you dienchant them.

also you can get the spell bound batleaxe to work with your leveling conjuration and to get the boost from the ironhand as well as banish and soul trap on the battleaxe without smithing seeing as how it is a unsmithed  daedric battleaxe all there in whiterun so theres your starting equipment not to mention if you escape helgen with ralaf you can start with heavy armor

I will look into this Stone thing and edit my post later.

Interesting, I think if I give this a go, I'l use a hybrid version of your two ideas - I like the one-handed and spell, but I'll use enchanting more than the alchemy - it's just a pain to keep re-applying poisons.

What do you think of  conjuring atronach (skipping fire, and stick with ice) instead of undead?  Or is the 'undead' minion too integral to this build?

I would say that necromancy is what gives this build it's flavor, but you can do whatever you want :P This is only a concept. If you're trying to follow this build however, you should stick to necromancy, I should make that a rule. If you ABSOLUTELY feel like you need an atronach, use a frost one.

EDIT: I added an additional rule about Conjuration.

oh i just thought of something that would help the defiler along the Ebony Mail which you can get a level 30 it gives a bonus to sneak and  an aoe poison effect use with the frost cloak spell

Oh, Name suggestions:  Death Lord, Necro Lord, Necro Warrior.  Just off the top of my head.

Oh, and don't forget to like this build! Let's see how high we can get with this thing.

Also, what do you guys think of "Nahgahdinok" as a name for this build? It means Necromancer in the dragon language. Too nerdy? Maybe... Totally awesome? Yes.

already likeed it but the necromancy would be even more effective at later levels if you get the necromage perk in restoration as well as recovery, respite, and avoitd death for survivability 

Also with the addition of mounted combat you wuld be an awesome melee damge dealer but the drawback for this is no spells can be cast from horseback

I didn't even look into the restoration tree, but I'll do that as soon as I can.

Awesome Nexus! Really like the level of effort you have gone too with these!

I like both 'paths' and the general theme of the builds are delicious! Some interesting looking 'black-knight' armor in Dawnguard I think that would go well with this! +1

Onto a name, the 'Defiler' path is an almost perfect set up to represent a D&D 'Blackguard', i have used the title before on a previous build (now deleted).


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