Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Hist Wraith

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    As many of you may know, I love my Argonians. Something about them is just fascinating them to me. Is it because they resemble dragons, which I love to death? Is it because of their lore and history? Or is it because they make such diverse and interesting characters?

    All three answers are correct, and I now I figured it was time for a break from my Big Cats and create another assassin and thief character for me to play with. But I needed something new and edgy, to break this one apart from the rest. Originally this build was just going to use the skills Argonians had bonuses in, but it wasn’t fun and too difficult. So I asked myself… What else can I do? And that’s when I made this guy.

    From the heart of the Black Marsh, legends from a local village tell of an undead creature, who hunts those who choose to invade an area that is sacred to a family whose ancestors date back to the first Argonians to settle on Tamriel. Little do they know though, the Hist Wraith is just a simple Argonian, one who is chosen by his tribe to protect their land and is sworn to their service until his death. He is also used as an assassin when enemies invade.

    The latest Hist Wraith fled from his homeland after he failed to assassinate the leader of a group of human explorers break into their inner circle of their home and burned it to the ground, killing all but the Hist Wraith and two older brothers, who were not only jealous of the youngest of them being chosen to protect the tribe, but angry that he had failed. The Hist Wraith was angry too and slaughtered them out of pure rage, fuming that at the thought that he, the Hist Wraith, had failed! He left the area and journeyed, before he eventually came to Skyrim…

    This Hist Wraith is ready for a fight!

    The Hist Wraith is a strange combination of warrior, mage and thief, combining aspects of all three to create a powerful build. He sneaks from the shadows, watching his prey with hungry eyes, before bursting forth and using his mace to wield excessive damage. He will happily go face-to-face with anything or anyone that threatens him or those he knows, using spells to gain more protection for his armor, a shield to block and bash and, most importantly, light armor to nip in between enemies as fast as he can. He is a master of disguise, the slitter of throats, the crusher of heads and the cleverest Argonian to come out of the Black Marsh since the last Shadowscale.

    ((Disclaimer: This build is designed to be playable on vanilla Skyrim, however, it was tested on PC with many mods installed. If I have missed something, please let me know!))

    Race: Argonian. Argonians are good all rounders in general, with boosts to Sneak, Alteration and Light Armor, so this builds uses that to our advantage. And using underwater escapes without the risk of drowning is also handy.

    Stats: 1/1/1

    Major Skills: One Hand, Block, Light Armor, Alteration

    Minor Skills: Sneak, Smithing, Enchanting

    Stone: The Thief stone at first; after that, go with the Serpent for the poison effect.

    Shouts: Whirlwind Sprint, Marked For Death, Aura Whisper, Throw Voice, Ice Form.

    The Whirlwind Sprint will be our favoured shout, using it to speed in and out of combat, representing the Hist Wraith’s true speed. Marked For Death can be an very damaging shout once we get all three words, just look at James’ guide for full details why. Aura Whisper is good for scouting out the area. And finally, Ice Form, for an offensive shout.

    Follower: Lucien LaChance, the spectral assassin.


    One Hand:
    Maces are slightly slower then swords and war axes, but they have a much higher chance to stagger than any other one handed weapon. Maces aren’t a very common weapons for an assassin to wield, but the Hist Wraith does and he
    does so with skill.

    Block: If One Hand is the skin of this build, then Block is the core. Good for extra protection when Alteration or Light Armor just doesn’t cut it, as well as for bashing and disarming.

    Light Armor: Argonians gain a bonus in this so why not use it? Along with our shield and Alteration as a main skill, we won’t have to worry about being killed too easily with this guy.

    Sneak: When there are a too many enemies, scout around to find a better opening. This will be a minor skill, but a good one to have in case things go bad. Plus Argonians get a nice +5 bonus.

    Alteration: Another bonus for the Argonian race. One thing
    this build sets out to achieve is becoming a complete TANK, absorbing anything that can be thrown at him. Alteration helps this.

    Smithing: Go all the way to Dragon smithing, including Arcane Blacksmith. 

     This is purely an optional skill, merely for enchanting our mace and jewelry, so feel free to drop this and put the perks elsewhere.

    Blackguard’s Hood (Alternate Option – Linwe’s Hood)
    Silver Emerald Necklace – Enchanted with Fortify Light Armor and One Hand
    Nightingale Gloves
    Silver Ruby Ring  – Enchanted with Fortify Block and Fortify Magicka
    Blackguard’s Armor (Alternate Option – Linwe’s Armor)
    Nightingale Boots
    Dragonbone Mace – Enchanted with Chaos Damage and Soul Trap
    Aetherial Shield
    Targe of the Blooded

    This armor is mostly for aesthetics but most of the enchantments suit the Hist Wraith’s skills. Nightingale Boots have Muffle, always necessary for a sneaky character. As for the gauntlets, the Lockpicking enchantment isn’t very useful but still a decent enchantment and the dark colour scheme matches our amour set. The other fortify one hand enchantment is also pretty nice too. The only drawback is the armor is levelled, so wait until Level 32+ before you grab the set.

    Blackguard’s Armor (Or Linwe’s Armor, if you don’t have the Dragonborn DLC) is one of my favourite looking armours in the game, especially on Argonians. The enchantment on the hood isn’t really benefiting for this build, but there are very few other hoods that have an armor rating. The DB cowls glitch on Argonians and their enchantments are even less useful then these ones because we will be doing no archery whatsoever. The Thieves Guild ones could also work, but have a lower AR.

    The jewellery I have listed fortifies Block, Magcika, One Hand and Light Armor, but you can switch these around if you can’t find them or manage to enchant something better. Our main weapon will be any mace we can find and enchant with Soul Trap, until we can smith and enchant a Dragonbone Mace. Shields will vary between Spellbreaker, the Aetherial Shield and Targe of the Blooded for different combat situations, but return to the Targe for your main weapon.

    Combat with the Hist Wraith isn’t complicated or fancy, which is something I love about my melee builds. It’s just good ol’ fashioned sneaky-sneaky, break-your-neck-y with my mace-y combat. Think of it as the usual sword-and-board warrior, but sneaking almost non-stop and with Alteration magic thrown in.

    Start off by sneaking the minute you get unbound during Helgen and don’t stop. Ever. Doing this will level up your sneak very quickly, I quickly got into the thirties by the time I was in Whiterun (mind you, I had done some radiant quests and cleared a far few dungeons prior to this). Cast Alteration at every single opportunity, especially if you know there are enemies are around. Some may consider this grinding, I call it free training. I had to learn to keep my Flesh spell ready, instead of my weapon, to get the proper skill usage from it. Speaking of training, with all the gold I earned from the Guild, I used a vast majority of it on training and I highly recommend you do the same.

    If a lone foe is around, just rush in and smack him about with your mace. Always cast a flesh spells before doing so, even if he can hear you. Block and bash, whack with mace, sidestep, kill. Groups require a bit more work, but keep to the shadows and sneak kill before launching Throw Voice to attract foes towards you. Slip around in the chaos or lure enemies to corners and attack around them after seeing them with Aura Whisper.

    Make sure to cast other Alteration spells such as Ash Shell, Ash Rune, Paralyse and Mass Paralysis for crowd control. All four of these spells can take out harder enemies to level the playing field when tough bosses are causing too many problems. Either take them out then and there or focus on their minions.

    Mages can cause trouble, but like many other sword and board builds, utilise your bashing techniques to stagger them down before quickly poisoning your blade with drain magicka potions to force them to revert to their daggers to fight. Once you get the Elemental Resistance perk for your shield, mages will fall like dominos to your power. Spellbreaker will a wonderful shield to use against them, as the ward can even stand against an Ancient Dragon’s shouts. That’s right; Spellbreaker can protect you from the strongest dragon’s shouts. You would be a fool not to use it.

    Ultimate Recovery: When in need of more magicka, but with no health to spare, the Hist Wraith calls on the power of the Hist to recover, all while using the rare spell Equilibrium, to convert recovering health to precious magicka. Be warned though – This can kill the user.

    Histskin Racial Power + Equilibrium 

    Wraith’s Fury: The Hist Wraith lets out a piercing shriek, one that seemed to melt away his opponent’s life force, before he launches a Paralysis spell at his enemy. As his foe lies helpless, he is slaughtered and struck with no power to repel the Hist Wraith.

    Marked for Death + Paralysis Spell + Attack

    * The Hist Wraith does not love nor care about anyone but himself. Even the feared assassins of the Dark Brotherhood worry that he could turn on them. And don’t worry about completing their questline first – The Hist Wraith only obeys orders from himself. He will also create his own ‘targets’ as unofficial contracts.

    * He’ll even betray a person if it means more gold and respect from the enemy. He will switch sides in the Civil War by taking the Jagged Crown to the Ulfric Stormcloak instead of General Tullies.

    * The Hist Wraith is not evil, but he will do almost anything to get what he wants. But what is that exactly?  He is not a ‘kill everyone’ psychopath however, and appreciates the art of subtly and fighting from the shadows. Not only is he a cruel assassin, he is a master criminal, using thieving to get by.

    * “Alduin’s going to destroy the world? Ha, what a joke!” The Hist Wraith will only challenge and destroy the World Eater at Level 50, to prove that he is even greater than even the mightiest of dragons.

    * Despite being said to be undead Argonians, the Hist Wraiths are not vampires. However, during the vampire crisis in Skyrim, this one may choose to change that…

    * The Hist Wraith might not have any morals, but he isn’t stupid. A surprisingly intelligent scholar, he will attend the College of Winterhold to learn their secrets and steal most of their hidden research materials. He will also somewhat befriend the wizard of Tel Mithryn in Solesthium.

    * Bounties mean nothing to the Hist Wraith. He’ll just slay those who get in his way, no matter who they are. He’ll often assume a disguise of a rich merchant when in town, to fool his enemies further (purely for roleplaying fun only!)

     Sneakin' away to cause some trouble!

    The Hist Wraith is a scheming, manipulative, somewhat evil-orientated character who won’t care that someone lost their shield in a cave and won’t agree to rescue it, unless he’s doing it to get on someone’s good side. He hates the divines, worships some (but not all) Daedric Princes and likes screwing people over for his own needs and desires. Make sure to join the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild as soon as possible. He also joins in with the Civil War to get on Ulfric’s good side and to have a powerful ally for his own nefarious schemes.

    The Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, College of Winterhold, Main Quest (late-game only!), Civil War – Stormcloaks,  The Only Cure, Delayed Burial, Dawnguard questline (either side), Dragonborn questline, Tel Mithryn quests, Lost to the Ages, Served Cold, Promises To Keep, The Forsworn Conspiracy, The One Escapes Cidna Mine, Paid In Full, and anything else that you feel suits the Hist Wraith.

    These people do not deserve to live for the crimes they have committed against the land of Tamriel and the Hist Wraith takes it upon himself to stop them continuing to live. Why he kills these people is a mystery, but he seems to have reasons.

    Elenwen - The First Emissary of the Thalmor and the ambassador in Skyrim. After finally defeating Alduin, the Hist Wraith decides that she must be killed to allow peace to return to Tamriel. (Essential until the end of Season Unending)

    Silus Vesusius – A known Daedric worshipper of Methrunes Dagon and a supporter of the Mythic Dawn. He should be stopped before he causes another Oblivion Crisis. (Kill during Pieces of the Past)

    Sinding – A werewolf who knew of his disease and yet still thought it was fine to enter Falkreath, where he murdered a child in cold blood. (Kill during Ill Met By Moonlight)

    Harkon – This power-hungry vampire wants to plunge the world into darkness and allow vampires to rule over all mortals. The Dawnguard wants him dead, and the Hist Wraith fully agrees with them. (Kill at the end of Dawnguard questline)

    Madanach – A Forsworn currently being held captive in Markarth. Infiltrate the prison and slay him. (Kill doing No One Escapes Cidna Mine)

    Thonar Silver Blood – The head of the Silver-Blood family who is corrupting Markarth. Earn his trust before killing him. (Kill after No One Escapes Cidna Mine)

    Sibbi Black-Briar – A murderer who will walk free with thanks to his mother’s influence in Riften. Do whatever he takes to earn his trust before killing him. (Essential till the end of Promises to Keep)

    Taking a break, after a killing spree...

    I’d like to give a big shout out to Nebula, for his constant support through my builds (even if he called this one a mess!), Vazgen, for giving the name, Jo’daro, for the perk spreads, and every single person who likes and comments on my builds. Thanks for all the support and keeping me going!

    Unenhanced Uniques:
    Nightingale Prime HD:
    Thieves Guild Armor HD:
    Thieves Guild Quicker Entrance and Exit:

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    Nice Argonian here, Tae!  Some questions regarding gameplay - your second special move, does it work? Ash Rune makes enemies immune to damage, maybe you meant attacking enemies after the effect wears off? I'd also recommend against Spellbreaker when fighting mages, as its ward does not regenerate like normal ones and you get staggered a lot (though as you sneak to get close, it should not matter much) - Targe is a much better option. You have a few spelling mistakes here and there, like "Targe of the Unblooded" is "Targe of the Blooded", "Groups rely more work" should be "Groups require more work". Also, move enchanting on the bottom of the skills. You say it's optional and it will be next to the icon that way. Oh, and autoplay music - just don't 

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    Thanks for catching that, I complete forgot (maybe Paralysis will work instead?) 
    Mages, I sneak to get close to them and baby the time they realise I'm there the shield either does its work or they die :P Targe is fairly weak compared to the Spellbreaker, even with extra bleeding damage.
    I'll fix the spelling mistakes, I din't get Neb to proffread this one for me because I wanted to see if I could do a build all by myself :D Will move cnahnting
    And I like my music choice! C:

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    I'm sure you do  Autoplay though... don't like! 

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    I'll take it off it anyone else is really bothered by it :P But it's awesome AC4 music! Prates, arghhhhh

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    I can already name you one person... Ben!  You see, when you set video to autoplay it loads in the background even when paused and it's a pain on slow connections. Me, I don't like it cause I usually listen to music when surfing the net and autoplay gets mixed with it 

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    Ah, I see.  I'll take it off then, to stop people bitching at me :P

  • November 22, 2013

    The combo with ash shell is fine as is. Marked for death still eats away at health and armor even if you trap the enemy in an ash shell afterward. By the time an enemy breaks free from it, he's been weakened to the point where all physical attacks against him deal somewhere around 15 times more damage with the three word shout. 

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    Fine, fine, it's gone now anyway

  • Member
    November 22, 2013

    Ah, I didn't know that. I haven't played the DB DLC much yet