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Character Build: The Warden

Tags: #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Werewolf  #Character Build Hero  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build  #Race:Altmer  #Warden  #Kaiser 
  • Member
    July 22, 2013

                Hey guys, this is my first post here on the blog! After lurking for a long time I finally made an account so I could post my "first build," but I wasn't really pleased with it so I tried again. After 4-5 planned "first builds" I finally created one that I was proud of enough to call my very first skyrimblog character build! And so, I present....

    The Warden

    Two-Handed Taskmaster: A major thing I aimed to do with this character was synergy with two-handed weapons. Every skill helps out two-handed in some way, and is meant to keep combat flowing and natural. You will never have to worry about switching mid-combat and taking large amounts of damage!



    Who are they?

    Wardens are a group of vigilante Altmer lycanthropes based in the Summerset Isles, although they generally travel to other provinces and countries to make a living. They have been exiled from their hometowns for their lycanthropy. Wardens are looked down upon by their Altmer peers, often seen as dirty, disgusting, and inferior. They are often recognized by other cultures and races to be as snobbish and arrogant as the rest of the Altmer. The Wardens themselves are proud of their lycanthropic "blessing" and believe that those that look down on them are simply jealous of their superior strength and speed. 

    The Forming

    The Wardens came to be after a secret purge of lycanthropes in the Summerset Isles. To avoid their persecutors, hundreds of Altmer moved to the isolated ruins in the mountains near Cloudrest. After the campaign to purge the Isles of lycanthropes, many Altmer tried to move back to their hometowns but were still discriminated against by the "pure-blooded" Altmer. They were beat, tormented, and treated as animals. Many soon found themselves back in the ruins. This led to long lines of lycanthropic Altmer. The children of these people soon became known as Wardens, children born with the strength of all types of lycanthropes found throughout Tamriel. However, vengeance runs deep within their blood, and they would not soon forget the acts committed against their people. They raided towns at night and stole and murdered those who had killed their friends and family. They lived as barbarians high in the mountainous ruins of the Summerset Isles. Eventually, the blood-soaked people grew weary of fighting those who had sinned generations before. A vast majority of the Wardens moved across Tamriel in search of new lives, in search of justice. Many have become mercenaries, bounty hunters, guards, and even assassins. They do anything they deem necessary in order to achieve their own ideas of justice.

    * Non-canon Lore *

    The Build

    Race: Altmer (High Elf)

    Altmer is the obvious choice due to the lore. They also get a 50 magicka bonus as well as the Highborn ability that is beneficial towards any character planning to use magic.

    Stat Distribution: 0:3:2 (Magicka:Health:Stamina)

    With the Altmer's magicka bonus, no magicka investment is required meaning we can focus purely on our health and stamina. Stamina is extremely important to two-handed characters, this one in particular.

    Standing Stone: Atronach

    This character's biggest struggle was enemy mages. Since I didn't see any Standing Stone being particularly obvious in terms of roleplay, I made a decision based on gameplay and effectiveness. The extra 50 magicka goes great with the Altmer's boost and the minor inconvenience of reduced magicka regeneration can easily be offset by the use of Highborn.

    Shouts: Become Ethereal, Dragon Aspect

    These two shouts are critical! Become Ethereal makes it easy to close in on enemies as well as maintain stamina. It'll also find exceptional synergy with The Warden's weapon of choice!

    Dragon Aspect's damage bonus to power attacks also synergises fantastically with The Warden's favorite weapon as well as provide even more AR, fire/frost resistance, and a chance for a sidekick!

    Powers & Abilities: Secret of Strength, Bones of the Earth, Bardic Knowledge, Seeker of Might

    Powers are optional bonuses that can be obtained to improve gameplay. They are by no means necessary and the listed powers are only obtainable with the Dragonborn DLC.


    Major Skills

    Two-Handed: Wardens needed a way to retaliate against their former comrades as well as something to hunt and protect themselves with. Most found that two-handed weapons were ideal for their strength and ease of use compared to the more elegant one-handed weaponry.

    Alchemy: Decades isolated in the ruins gave the Wardens plenty of time to learn about Alchemy. They needed a way to remain healthy in the mountains, as well as something to give them a 'competitive edge.'

    Block: The Warden's strength and barbaric nature naturally led them to the use of two-handed weapons. However, their understanding of war is often unseen. They've spent generations locked in combat and survival, which is more than enough time to understand that some sort of defense is always helpful.


    Minor Skills

    Light Armor: When the original lycanthropes fled form their homes they had to grab what they could carry. Traveling light was ideal and is much better for traversing the rugged mountains of the Summerset Isles.

    Destruction: Although 'tainted,' the Wardens still carry the blood of the Altmer and are naturally talented in the arcane arts. However, they do not have the masters to learn from and usually become adept casters at best.

    Sneak: Hiding from enemies, sneaking up on foes, as well as hunting all led to the Warden's reliance on sneak. Although they are no master, they are capable of remaining hidden as much as they need.



    For me, this character was all about making two-handed a fun experience! Two-handed is obvious because it's what this character is all about! Alchemy adds to this beautifully because it seems as if it was made for people who didn't have enough hands! It can be used to heal without switching out of your weapon as well as apply poisons which leads me to another point...Concentrated Poison and Sweep are perfect together. Block was taken because in the past, I had never had any real defensive success with two-handers and I figured block might help in that regard as well as add some variety to offense.

    Even though I had defensive troubles in the past I decided Light Armor was the way to go because of the long reach of two-handed weapons. Using lighter armor meant I was more mobile so I could keep foes just at the edge of my reach which is extremely important! Next we have Destruction. Destruction really is what made this character fun and enjoyable! With the help of our friend Whirlwind Cloak, you can keep your foes outside of their range, but just inside yours. Sneak is icing on the cake! Using sneak along with a two-hander might seem a little contradictory, but it is extremely useful. By combining silent roll and great critical charge you are able to get off a 4x damage sneak attacks while still being completely capable in open combat. Silent Roll also helps add some more variety to mid-combat if you can get the timing down.


    Head: Elven Helmet of Eminent Destruction

    Neck: Necklace of Revival

    Chest: Elven Armor of Eminent Health

    Feet: Elven Boots of Eminent Stamina

    Hand: Elven Bracers of Eminent Sure Grip

    Finger: Ring of Peerless Sure Grip, Ring of Bloodlust

    Weapon: Bloodskal Blade

    Armor set of choice here was Elven. I decided Elven was the perfect fit because of the Altmer heritage as well as Elven being the lightest 'base' armor set allowing for minimal stamina drain and maximum speed!

    The Bloodskal Blade is the perfect fit for this character as it adds a bit of range. It will help you level two-handed extremely fast because the ribbon counts as a hit, thus leveling the skill faster. It also has a very light weight to damage ratio!

    Since we didn't take enchanting, we rely nearly 100% on found armor - either looted from chests or purchased from vendors. This makes dungeon diving a lot more enjoyable and important as you're constantly searching for new equipment to finish your set! The Enchantments listed are all of the highest quality possible for that item.

    Synergy & Gameplay

    At last, we've reached the best part! First of all I'd like to thank anyone who has been able to read all the way here and I promise, it's only about to get better. While creating this character, synergy was the name of the game! I needed to find a way to make two-handed combat feel right. Before, it had always felt slow, clunky, and repetitive. This character solved all those problems for me! 

    First of all, my main problem was keeping the enemies just at the edge of my swords range - as that really is one of the biggest advantages two-handers provide. In order to solve this I used two things from the Dragonborn DLC.

    1.) The Bloodskal Blade

    With the Bloodskal Blade I could power attack without fear of me being too far away because I could always count on the trusty energy ribbon. Keep in mind though, the ribbon should be treated as an added bonus NOT a long range attack. It only deals 30 damage so it's not sufficient as a long range weapon, especially with the amount of stamina it consumes. However, by utilizing weakness to magic poisons and the Become Ethereal shout, it can become formidable enough for short periods of time. The poisons will increase the damage while Become Ethereal eliminates the stamina cost if and only if you do not make physical contact with the blade.

    2.) Whirlwind Cloak

    Whirlwind Cloak was a spell I added to this character on my second playthrough. The character felt just like my other attempts at a two-hander - boring and unoriginal. Though with the help of this one spell, I was able to truly enjoy a two-handed experience! Whirlwind Cloak has a 50% chance to knock-back any foes when they enter it's range which is just shorter than the range of a greatsword! This means that half of the time when you mess up or when an opponent gets a little too close, they will be launched away, leaving themselves vulnerable to uncontested slaughter!

    This spell also goes great with the perks from the block tree. When enemies broke through my cloak I often blocked to absorb the damage. This worked greatly in my favor as lots of the time they would be power attacking which would activate Quick Reflexes and allow for me to get them out of my cloaks range until they swung down, when they would get caught halfway and be instantly flung backwards! Disarming Bash was also insanely powerful! Since weapons bash harder than shields, a Deadly Bash + Disarming Bash left my foes staggered, without a weapon, and in massive pain. If you add the whirlwind cloak's effect on top of that then you can add paralyzed to that list! Finally, we have Shield Charge. With the correct timing you can shield charge using a two-handed weapon. With Whirlwind Cloak, your foes are rarely even standing up!



    A pretty big part of this character is Lycanthropy. Not only is it for roleplay but also for gameplay. Whirlwind Cloak only adds to the pure destructiveness that is Beast Form. Although Whirlwind Cloak only lasts 60 seconds, that's more than enough time to transform and eat a few people! Whirlwind Cloak is so great with werewolves because of their insane speed and reach, it's essentially using a two-handed weapon in both hands when you transform! Once you add in the extra damage of the Ring of Bloodlust, you realize just how powerful your character really is - be careful though as you will also take 50% more damage. I also highly suggest obtaining the Totem of Brotherhood, with Dawnguard and the proper perks you will be able to summon two werewolves to aid you!

    While in Werewolf form you will:

    1. Get boosts to both Health and Stamina (Amount depends on perks and DLC)
    2. Regenerate 20% of your stamina per second
    3. Have +20 base unarmed damage
    4. Have -100% Health regeneration

    Suggested Quests

    Companion's Questline: You should do the Companion's quests right away until you become a werewolf. After that the questline is optional although it is a good way to make early money as well as a good fit for roleplay. You may want to consider seeing this questline all the way through in order to get the totems of hircine.

    The Throat of the World (Main Questline): I did the main questline just up to The Throat of the World so that I could meditate on the words of power. I highly recommend meditating of Feim, although Fus is a good option as well.

    Civil War Questline: Purely optional questline and very dependent on your character. I joined the Stormcloaks because my character could relate to them and he also wanted to bash in the skulls of some Thalmor scum!

    No One Escapes Cidhna Mine: A great roleplay quest that seems almost as if it was created for this character. I didn't even realize how great of a fit this was until I actually got into the mine!

    Destroy the Dark Brotherhood: Finally, I could roleplay this quest without feeling guilty! None of my characters before this could kill Grelod and the Dark Brotherhood while staying 100% within the roleplay.

    Dark Brotherhood: Woah woah woah, you just said destroying the Dark Brotherhood fit the roleplay, what the heck!? This quest is totally up to your character's vision of justice. Remember, everybody sees justice differently - seek yours (or your characters).

    Too Many to Name: There are so many fitting quests for a justice-seeker that I couldn't even begin to list them all, so I just listed some of the major ones. In all honesty, other quests are really dependent on your character because every character may have their own idea of justice and how it should be ascertained!



    At first I had planned some "special moves" but I realized that if I posted them, 1/2 - 3/4 of combat would be special moves! Instead I decided to make it a tactics section because of the sheer amount of possibilites and combinations this build provides for a constant feel of freshness!

    Bound: Often used to initiate combat. By combining Silent Roll and Great Critical Charge you are able to get off a 4x damage attack! You also don't have to worry about becoming an "assassin" because the Bloodskal Blade will shoot a laser that is sure to give away your position so you can let the enemy know who killed them.

    Assault: Best used against ranged opponent or lone enemies. By utilizing Become Ethereal you can assure that you will take no damage and maintain stamina as your sprint at your foes and eventually leap at them with Great Critical Charge dealing massive critical damage - almost always results in a staggered foe.

    Tempest: A magical combination best used against groups of enemies bottle-necked in a small area. After casting Whirlwind Cloak you launch your entire body with Whirlwind Sprint causing most if not all enemies to go flying!

    Discharge: Another magical combo best used when overwhelmed. Using Become Ethereal to let every enemy crowd you or protect you from the foes already there, you drink a fortify destruction potion and/or Dual Cast Whirlwind Cloak. This combination assures without fail that all enemies are flung away because when Whirlwind Cloak is cast in flings all foes within it's radius. Dual Casting/Fortify Destruction potions boost it's range making enemies further away fly too.



    Huge thanks to anyone who's read this build and also everyone who has written their own build as this site was extremely inspirational in the development of this character. Big thanks to Zach whose writing presentation and style was nearly adopted in this build! I hope anybody who tries this build has as much as fun as I did! Thanks again,

    - Kaiser


  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    This is the first build I've seen, in quite a long time, that actual seems up to standards and it seems like someone actually put effort into it. Congratulations.

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Congrats man, this is epic for the first build! +1

    The presentation is great and the tactics are amazing! I especially like playing bowling with the Tempest tactic  I usually dislike perks like Deep Wounds, but considering that the base damage of th Bloodskal Blade is 21 they add noticeable chunk of damage to your attacks. Not trying to be a grammar nazi but you've written Stealth Row in your Bound tactic 

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Fantastic effort for a first build. I've always said that I love a good werewolf build, and of course I think most of us here love proper synergy. This build nails it on both counts. This echoes of one of my favorite builds on the site, Henson's Ka Po' Tun. Check that one out if you haven't already.

    I love builds that require the player to find generic magic apparel from dungeons and shops, especially when they manage to make physical combat dynamic and effective despite the lack of custom enchanting. Love the art as well. Some notes:

    You might want to clarify that in addition to 20 base unarmed damage (20 total by the way, not +20), werewolves also gain unarmed damage every 5 levels, up to +50 at level 46. Throw in the 20 base damage, 4/4 Bestial Strength, and the Ring of Bloodlust, and that's 210 damage per swipe! Not to mention more from power attacks. Their AR also increases in a similar manner.

    Also, just FYI, you have a minor typo in the "Bound" tactic: "Stealth Row" should be "Silent Roll." EDIT » Ninja'd by Vaz, I should have seen that one coming. :p

    Overall, really great work man. Can't wait to see more from you! My only regret is that after reading Vaz's ward treatise in Tips & Tricks yesterday, I was already putting together a plan for a Warden build. Not similar to this one in play style, but I wanted that name! Curious, is there any canon foundation to the lore here, or did you just make it up?

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Thank you very much for your kind words! I usually don't take the 'weapon specialization' perks either - they were sort of just filler perks but they ended up being useful enough and I got to see more killcams!  Oh, and thanks for that spelling error catch, i'll fix that up right away! 

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    I'm glad you like it! Thank you for pointing out that stuff about werewolves, I was aware but I didn't realize that my wording was a little bit confusing. 

    I hope I don't disappoint in the future, thanks!

    EDIT: The Warden Lore is totally made-up, I didn't know if that was allowed so I just rolled with it...should I add to the build that the lore is made-up?

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    I don't think you need to add a note about the lore, but there'd by no harm either. Maybe just a quick sentence at the end or something if you want, but it's not necessary. I'd just never heard of the faction and was curious. It's a good backstory, especially compared to many of the ones we've had lately ("Your parents were killed by Talsgar the Wanderer when you were a young Nord, and now you will avenge them by killing every trouper you see and becoming the ultimate bard!").

  • July 22, 2013
    Epic werewolf build dude!
  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Great first build! I usually play two-handed juggernauts and it gets boring fast. This build is a great way to keep things fresh. I also like the use of the Altmer race and Atronach stone to avoid putting points in Magicka.

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Good for a first build! I disagree with siding with the Stormcloaks. The Stormcloak leaders are racist and absolutely hate elves, especially Altmer. I think that having no part in the civil war might be better for the character.