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Character Build: The Black Swordsman

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Barbarian  #Race:Orsimer  #Rank:Recognized 
  • September 16, 2012

    This is my first build and its based on a the main character from a manga/anime series called Berserk.

    The build is based around various aspects of the character that I thought transitioned well into Skyrim. The main character, Gutts, is an extremely able swordsman, capable of wielding a colossal great sword with great speed and ease. He is also very proficient with his crossbow, which is mounted on his arm. However the main aspect of the character that intrigued me is his armour. At first he wears basic heavy armour, but later on in the story he obtains the berserker armour. Forged by the Dwarves, the armor is somewhat symbiotic with the body, binding itself to the wearer, and holding their body together allowing them to continue fighting even while taking massive damage. This comes at a price, however, the longer the armour is used the deeper the wearer sinks into a berserker rage, eventually losing themselves in a whirlwind of fury that destroys friend and foe alike. What we are aiming for in the long term is a two handed warrior, wearing heavy armor (yes this is a daedric armor build) enchanted as strongly as possible with health regeneration, allowing us to eviscerate the enemy while taking no care for our own health. 

    So I present to you The Black Swordsman:


    The race their are a few options.

    For a RP build any of the human races would be best as Gutts himself is a human, but none of these really have a skill that benefits this build much. Redguard can work well though, as their stamina regen ability will help with our power attacking.

    My favourite for this build is the Orc. The Berserk Rage fits perfectly with this build allowing us to both deal and resist damage to a much greater degree than usual.

    A odd but acceptable choice for race is the Argonian. Their Hitskin ability will be very useful for keeping us alive, however this brings us a bit to close to Ponty's Histmaster build.

    Stone: Start with The Warrior stone to begin with to level our combat skills. Once they are high enough you may want to switch to The Steed so we are not weighed down by our armour until we get the Conditioning perk. The stone we aim to use late game however is The Lady, which will boost our health and stamina regen by 25%.


    We want to focus on Health and stamina primarily for this build, but if using restoration/alteration then we will need at least a few points in magicka. I would suggest roughly a ratio of:

    Magicka:1  Health:3  Stamina:3

    (Though of course you can adjust it to your own playstyle)

    Major Skills:

    Two Handed: Our primary form of offense. Guts is a master swordsman and as such we are going to want to take all the Two handed perks from the centre tree as well as three perks into the greatsword specialisation.

    Archery: When Guts isn't close enough to his enemies, he uses his crossbow to slaughter at range. An exceptional archer, we are going to take the majority of the archery perks. I personally take all of them but I am aware that some people aren't so fond of steady hand and some other perks so it depends on your playstyle. Certainly we are going to want to reach quickshot and ranger, so we can pepper our foes with arrows as we rapidly close the distance.

    Heavy Armour: Essential for this build. We are going to take the whole of the left tree, mainly for Conditioning, as Guts is able to move swiftly around the battlefield. I like to take the right side as well purely to up my defence but this is up to you.

    Minor Skills: 

    Smithing: Our main goal here is Daedric armour. As you can see from the picture above it bears a striking resemblance to the berserk armour. I like to stick with a Daedric greatsword purely because of the look but now that dragonbone weapons are in, feel free to take the last perk.

    Enchanting: Enchanting is important as it is how we are going to survive while turning our enemies into small, bloody chunks. Health regen enchants can be put on chest pieces, rings and amulets so we will make the most of these. We can also add Stamina regen here which will allow for a regular barrage of power attacks. For our weapons, enchantments are optional. The elemental fury shout won't work if your blade is enchanted so it is a personal choice between faster swings or health absorbtion. Archery is entirely your choice, I usually go for fire or paralyse or something similar.

    Restoration: For those rare times when we do find ourselves in true mortal peril, restoration will come in very handy. Being able to heal stamina is very useful, as is randomly recovering a massive amount of health once per day. However what I most like is the is the master spell Guardian circle, which will allow us to heal even faster without having our hands occupied rendering us unable to fight. This, combined with our enchantments will render us nearly indestructible. 

    Optional skills: 

    Alteration: Alteration fits well with this build, increasing our damage resistance as well as giving us increased resistance to magic and magic absorption.

    Alchemy: I use of Alchemy mainly to make use of the crafting loop allowing us much more powerful weapons, armour and stronger enchantments. Drinking health regen potions is no bad thing either. NO POISONS. These are sneaky and unfair, Guts beats his opponents because he is simply far greater than them, not because of cheating poisons.


    Armor: Daedric armor has the perfect look for this build and is very tough as well. Nordic carved armor or the companions wolf armor are also great choices.

    Weapons: Daedric or Nordic Carved Greatsword. I went with Daedric, but its really down to preference. 

    Jewellery: Use necklaces and rings enchanted with health and stamina regen. This will keep us continually healthy as well as turning us into a power attacking beast.


    Whirlwind Sprint: Guts dashes forward with incredible speed bringing his opponents within the range of his blade.

    Drain Vitality: Guts cry of rage sends fear and despair into the hearts of his opponents, sapping their life energies and increasing his own power

    Slow Time: As Guts rage reaches its peak, he becomes a mere blur, with enemies falling before even realising they have been struck.

    Unrelenting Force: In the rare occasion that Guts needs to step back and heal himself, he lets loose a shout of rage, blasting his opponents away.

    Storm Call: The power of Guts fury unleashes the energy of the sky, striking down his opponents with bolts of lightning.

    Elemental Fury: Guts uses his immense strength to wield his sword with incredible speed, slicing his opponents to bits before they have a chance to react.

    Dismay: His foes flee in terror as Guts flies into a fury of blood and carnage.

    Essential Quests: 

    The Companions: Guts is the ultimate warrior, and will prove his might in the Jorrvaskr mead hall.

    Main Quest: Partly for the shouts we will get along the way, but also Guts is a demon slayer, and the dragons plaguing the land are the closest thing we have to the demons from his tale.

    Azura's Star: I always do this quest, and take the black star as it is just so useful for enchanting as well as recharging an enchanted weapon. However if following a more role play style build, you may want to take the good route and use Azura's star.

    Unfathomable Depths: Since the reward from this quest, The Ancient Knowledge effect, was patched and now effects all armours, this will be very useful earlier on in increasing our survivability.

    Laid to Rest: Hunting down an evil nest of Vampires should prove excellent practice for our mighty swordsman.

    The Wolf Queen Awakened: An ancient evil has been awakened, destroying it will provide ample opportunity to test our skills. The last two quests are more for a Role Play and fit the theme of guts vanquishing evil.

    A general play style for this build is to hunt down any evil creatures in a manner similar to the Vigilants of Stendar, though much more badass so any quests involving the slaying of monsters, necromancers and other evil things fit perfectly .


    Special moves:

    Fury of the Immortal (As an Orc):                                                       

    Slow Time + Berserker Rage + Health Regen Potion

    The full power of Guts armour takes hold and he becomes a nigh invulnerable whirlwind of carnage, felling enemies with impossible speed.

    The Black Leech:

    Drain Vitality + Sword Enchanted with health and Stamina absorption + Sweep Perk             

    Guts Blade strikes through all the enemies in front of him as his armour kicks into gear, sapping their life energies and rejuvenating him.                                                                                                                

    If you've never played a two handed warrior build before (or even if you have) try this and follow its 'murder with no regard for own safety' playstyle and I guarantee you will have a blast.

    (Side Note: If your like me and hate Lydia, accidentally killing her while in a Berserk rage will fit the role play and be very, very satisfying)


  • September 16, 2012

    If your going to add more later why not just wait, finish it and then post it?

  • September 16, 2012

    Im still playing with this character at the moment, and working out some fun and effective moves for the build. I've got the rest of the build down though and I should have some moves up soon.

  • September 16, 2012

    I like the build but agree with NobodyBeast. Next time maybe type it out in a word/notepad so you can add to it and eventually add everything in one go. Builds that are added unfinished generally get little attention and many great ideas for builds get overlooked because of this.

    As for special moves they are not a 100% necessary. If its an interesting combo then definitely add it in but if it isn't, your build would be better without it. Anyway, I look forward to your finished version and you get my +1

  • September 17, 2012

    Thanks for the input (and the like).

    I've now finished it as far as I can tell and added two 'moves' that I used regularly in my playthrough. 

  • September 17, 2012
    Thanks for the like. I think it's the 2h weapon that makes the build, with a one handed it would be too tempting to break out a healing spell.
  • Member
    March 17, 2013

    If no one else has made the recommendation, I would say that the Wolf Armor you can get from Eorlund Gray-Mane could substitute for Daedric Armor. It fits the idea somewhat because Guts' Berserk Armor resembled a wolf. It would help to put in a certain type of greatsword to use, that way we can have an idea of how to look. All in all, it's a good build though. Good job!

  • Member
    March 17, 2013

    Looks ok-ish, not my cup of tea though.

    I smiled when i read the little alchemy passage where you stated that he doesnt use poisons because it's cheating yet you dont shy away from the enchanting loop.

    I cant remember the last time i played a character with smithing, enchanting and alchemy all together, it just doesnt feel right to me.

    This build would function the same way without having alchemy and enchanting and you wouldnt lose much. Health regen rings and necklaces can be bought and there's plenty of respectable +50% smithing pots out there. Same goes for giant 2handed daedric swords of flaming inferno, etc.

    Edit: Same for Alteration, isnt doing much either. If you go for enchanting drop alteration since you're just picking it up for the magic resist and atronach. You could add Block since it would go nicely with the expert 2handed weapon thing you have going on. There's too much redundant overlapping going on.

  • Member
    March 17, 2013
    Instead of Daedric or Wolf armour, with Dragonborn they included the new Carved Nordic Armour which in my opinion, would look excellent.
  • Member
    March 17, 2013

    How would going Argonian make this build too close to the Histmaster? That build was centered around using Equilibrium in conjunction with Histskin to quickly regain both Magicka and Health. This build doesn't even so much as mention Equilibrium.