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Character Build: The Blood Archer

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Necromancer  #Character Build Vampire  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build  #David Okine 
  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    The Blood Archer was my very first build I wrote and it makes me really happy, as I never imagined it, that it reached 'Legendary' status and even a Hall Of Fame spot. If you're looking for a vampire archer with a unique feel and playstyle, look no further. Sit tight and enjoy your read. (sorry if the presentation is messed up. I'll fix it sometime...)

    Since your teenage years, you were attracted to blood magic and necromancy but your parents could never afford to let you study at the Mage College, so they trained you to be a hunter.  You liked hunting with a bow but your need to experiment with magic remained.

    In a secret forest shack you started reading spell books. Your curiosity increased and soon you began to perform dark rituals and summoning demons and spirits. As power resource you used your own blood to power your spells, but one day your parents found out about your dark secret. You murdered them and captured their souls in a soul gem. In shock about your own action you fled but unfortunately you were caught in a fight between Stormcloaks and Imperials. You narrowly escaped death in Helgen and you went on a journey to satisfy your ever-growing thirst for blood and power. Eventually you were welcomed into the Volkihar Clan, the most powerful Vampire clan of Skyrim, and when Lord Harkon gave you his dark gift, your cravings for power were fulfilled.


    The Build

    The Blood Archer is a Vampire skilled in Archery, Conjuration, Destruction Magic and Enchanting. You enchant your weapons to absorb the very power of your enemies, their blood. But you never go alone on the hunt, Garmr, a loyal Death Hound follows you and helps you in battles. As a Vampire you can raise the dead to fight for you and if any enemy survives your snipe shots, your arsenal of sword, dagger and Frost Magic will finish them for sure. As Vampire you thirst for more blood, which will eventually complete your transformation into a Vampire Lord (Dawnguard is essential!)

    With this build I go heavily into customization, meaning giving awesome names to every (!) enchanted item. As for every archer, light armor works best and is recommended.

    Race: Nord (for RP), Breton (for Magicka Resistance) or Dunmer (for Fire Resistance as Vampire)

    Stone: Warrior Stone in the beginning, later Lord Stone

    Stat Distribution:  1/2/1 you will use the bow almost every time, so stamina isn´t so important without Eagle Eye Perk. If you feel the need for a bit more stamina to sprint longer, put more points in stamina. Later in the game, enchantments can grant you stronger spells for reduced magicka cost.


    • Aura Whisper
    • Ice Form
    • Marked For Death
    • Storm Call
    • Unrelenting Force
    • Whirlwind Sprint



    Major Skills



    Archery:  You are a hunter and you use your bow to attack your enemies from a hidden spot. Always take the best bow (enchantment included) you find with the best arrows until you can craft and enchant your own weaponry. Here we take all the perks. The only perks you can ignore is Steady Hand (only take one level) and Bull's Eye (the effect makes some enchantments on the bows useless)

    Destruction: Your secondary offensive skill. You freeze your enemies to the ground and let them feel the coldness that runs through your veins. The spells you will use are almost the entire Frost spells. You will use Frost Runes to trap them when they getting closer. (Novice- Apprentice, Rune Master, Augmented Frost 2/2, Deep Freeze,Destruction Dual Casting)

    • Spells: Frost Rune, Frostbite, Ice Storm, Vampiric Drain

    Conjuration: The Blood Archer is a master of conjuration. You raise the dead to fight for you, so necromancy is the way to go.(Novice - Master, Summoner,Necromancy-Twin Souls)

    • Spells: Reanimate Corpse, Dead Thrall (Master level spell)

    Enchantment: Enchanting is the core of this build. From level to level you will feel the power growth because your enchantments will increase with you. You will use enchantments on bows, swords, daggers, and on every armor piece.(Everything except Storm Enchanter)

    Blacksmithing: In order to craft and enhance your personal armor you need to be skilled in blacksmithing (Right Path up to Daedric, Elven Smithing and Arcane Smithing)


    Minor Skills

    Sneak: This skill is used to sneak silently upon enemies and snipe them from a secure place. The perk Deadly Aim gives a 3x multiplier to sneak attacks with a bow. (Stealth 2/5, Backstab, Deadly Aim)

    One-Handed: One-Handed attacks are used as a last method if you are out of magicka or if enemies come to close for bow or spells. The Absorb Health enchantment will keep you alive while you deal out damage. In the left hand though you will have a spell to drain life or cast frost runes when the enemy is out of reach for the sword. (Armsman 3/5, Fighting Stance)

    Light-Armor: Armor grants you protection from damage and the enchantments strengthen your body and skills/spells.(Agile Defender 3/5, Custom Fit, Unhindered)

    Level 55 Perk Spread: Click here 



    chose the Vampire Royal Armor for the strong enchantment (+125% Magicka regeneration), along with Vampire Gauntlets and Vampire Boots, and any circlet. In addition I named the armor pieces: Vampire Blood Circlet/Gauntlets/Boots.

    Head: Circlet ( Fortify Magicka + Fortify Destruction) or any black hood (Fortify Archery + Fortify Destruction)

    Chest: Vampire Royal Armor (+125% Magicka Regeneration) or enchanted Vampire Armor (Fortify Magicka Regeneration/Fortify Magicka)

    Hands: Vampire Gauntlets (Fortify Magicka, Fortify Archery)

    Feet:  Vampire Boots (Muffle, Fortify Shock Resistance)


    • Ring of Pure Blood (Fortify Fire Resistance (for Nord or Breton)/Fortify Magicka)
    • Ring of Blood Magic (Fortify Destruction, Fortify Conjuration)



    • Amulet Of Infinity (Fortify Health, Fortify Health Regeneration)
    • Amulet Of Blood Magic (Fortify Destruction, Fortify Conjuration)


    You will be using a variety of enchanted bows with strong effects.



    Blood Moon:  Blood Moon is a powerful bow that drains the life of your foes with every arrow. Although the mighty weapon was cursed by Night Lord Volraas; it will only show its true power at night.

    (Daedric Bow enchanted with Absorb Health + Silent Moons Enchantment*(see Information at the end). You will use this bow at night.)










    Wind Runner: This Bow once belonged to a powerful elven Queen. Forged out of Ebony ingots and dark magic it does not only grant the wielder the life power of the prey but also hits with the magic sealed inside.

    (Ebony Bow enchanted with Frost Damage + Magic Damage. This is your normal bow you use at day)










    Auriel's Shadow: Legends say that Auriel forged a second bow, a dark bow with the power to hit with powerful magic and let those tremble in fear who dare to claim his throne.

    (Elven Bow enchanted with Magic Damage + Fear)








    Nightfall: This ancient sword once belonged to the first Vampire Lord and can only be wielded by the strongest members of the Volkihar Clan. It is said Molag Bal dripped his own blood to the metal when it was forged.

    (Daedric or Ebony Sword looks good for this, enchanted with Absorb Health + Frost Damage. If you have to do melee, your sword will be in your right hand and a frost spell or Vampiric Drain spell in your left hand)








    Blood Corrupted Blade: When this beautiful blade was forged, the blacksmith used the blood of a pure Snow Elf princess, to get the dark red color. The blood not only gave the dagger a red color but also magic. When the blood was mixed with pure Ebony metal, the magic became corrupted.

    (Ebony Dagger enchanted with Absorb Life + Soul Trap, used for sneak attacks)










    After Helgen, immediately travel to Markarth and complete the Forsworn quest. The rewards are perfect to start this type of build. Next, you are going to do the Main Quest part of Whiterun. After that you are going to join the Mage Guild to get a very good amulet and circlet. I recommend getting vampirism as early as possible, because you will get used to the mechanisms of being a vampire.

    With the choice of  Garmr as follower, this is where I think this build is different from others. He is quick and fearless and will be a great pet at your side. He may not be strong but he pulls the attention of enemies on him while you raise the dead with your necromantic spells. He is also an important part in my favorite special move; the Blood Trace (see below). 


    Overall, the Blood Archer is best played as a sneaky character mixed with the classic Hunter class from games like World of Warcraft. For ranged attacks we have a variety of bows with different effects. Frost spells, like Frost Runes, are good to slow down any enemies running towards you. Your Death Hound plays also an important role in battle. Best way to start an attack would be sneaking up from the shadows upon your enemies and take them down with a precise arrow. Garmr will immediately attack the wounded enemy or pull the attention of the rest. Switching over to conjuration and raising the shortly dead to fight for you will give you a certain advantage. Taking the remaining enemies down with your strongest bow will become very easy. If all elese fails, switch to a sword/spell combo and overwhelm them with powerful strikes. As far as shouts go, may favorite and most used shout is Aura Whisper. I just love this shout as it reveals close-ranged enemies and allows to plan a strategy. My second must used shout would be Whirlwind Sprint. It allows to quickly change position and get out of range of strong (and slowed down) enemies like Draugr or Dragons.



    Special Moves

    Cold Embrace: Ice Form + Dual-Cast Life Drain - You freeze your opponent solid to the ground and drain his life while he is unable to move.

    Night Strike: Mass Paralysis Scroll + Blood Moon (Bow) / Sword with Silent Moons Enchantment - At night you strike from the shadows, giving your opponents no chance to flee.

    Death From Beneath:  Marked For Death + (Dual-Cast) Frost Rune - The armor of your enemies is weakened by your Thu'um and lets your frost attacks fully hit when they walk right into your frost runes. 

    Blood Trace: Marked for Death + Auriel’s Shadow Fear Effect/Battle Cry + Death Hound - This is my favorite move, as it its very simple but very effective, too. Your bow wounds the enemy and while he flees he leaves a blood trace for your Death Hound to follow. 

    Ultimate Blood Ritual: Blood Trace + Dual Cast Frost Cloak + Vampire Lord Form - As your enemies flee of your sight, you prepare for the ultimate ritual: the Vampire Lord form. They will then freeze the moment they attack you.



    Important Quests

    • Main Quest (for shouts)
    • Dawnguard Quest Line (Vampires for Vampire Lord Armor
    • Forsworn Conspiracy (good reward for the beginning)
    • Dark Brotherhood (will increase your sneak skills, Shadowmere is essential, good rewards)
    • Mage Guild (good rewards and training for the mage aspect)
    • Thieves Guild (good rewards)
    • House of Horrors (all honor to Molog Bal)
    • Pieces of the Past (level 20+, good reward with good enchantment)
    • The Black Star (good reward)




    For this build I used the following mods: 

    These mods are just for the look and don't affect the gameplay in any significant way.


    Role-Play Rules

    • As soon as you escape Helgen, head to Anise’s Cabin, it’s north of the Guardian stones, across the water. This was your old shack, where you performed your first rituals. There still might be trapdoors to a cave… go ahead and take a look.
    • The Blood Archer will only murder innocent people if her thirst for blood takes over. Otherwise she can control her need to feed. She will feed at night on citizens living outside of towns (like farmers, stable owners,… )
    • She forges and enchants her own weapons and she uses the souls of her victims to power them. If the moons are out she will head to the Silent Moons Camp to perform a ritual to honor Molag Bal.
    • The Blood Archer must be as loyal to her Death Hound as the beast is towards her, protect him with your life as he does.
    • For travelling she will use Shadowmere. Who would deny a free horse.
    • The only place you ever called home is Castle Volkihar. Here you will find your new family, merchants, coffins and prey to feed on.

    Last Words:  All screenshots were taken by me. Other images were found on

    I had  a lot of fun playing this character. I like how fluid the combat is, despise switching often between bow/sword/spell/shout. The special move Blood Trace is just easy to play and really makes the concept of the Blood Archer shine, combining the Fear effect with your undead pet.

    Thank you for reading this build through. Comments/questions/constructive critic are appreciated.

    Special thanks to David Mayer. He helped me to finalize this build and added some great ideas.

    * Silent Moons Enchant is broken and can only be fixed on PC via Unofficial Skyrim Patch, Sorry Console players.


    If you enjoyed reading this build please check out my other builds:

  • January 26, 2013

    The silent moons enchant doesn't work on consoles (PC can fix it via mod or creation kit). Other than that, it's good.

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    Thank you, I appreciate it :)

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    Thank you :) I added the information about the mod to fix it.

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    AMAZING, you really put in all the changes and made this build fantastic. You really gave a good guide for this build and let creativity flow for the person playing it. I personally would play this build I wasn't playing a hardcore mage. loved working with u on this build with u. LOVE THIS BUILD HOPE YOU MAKE MORE. 

    +1 +1 +1!

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    lol when i was reading this build four more likes were given 

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    Thanks :) Your ideas were a good addition, so they matched. Yes, I have some more ideas ;)

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    lol, that's what you said, right? ;)

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    So this is how the corrupted huntress looks like. Very nice job :D !

  • Member
    January 26, 2013

    Thank you very much. Yeah I guess you're right