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Event Build: The Bulwark

Tags: #Golden Fool  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Elementalist  #Rank:Event Exemplar  #Event Celestials 
  • Member
    November 1, 2014

    Back in November of 2014 I posted my first build as part of the Celestials event that was being held at the time, for some reason I had thought it would be a good idea to present it with most of the information in the form of a story being told by another character. I've wanted to rewrite it for some time now and decided that while I was at it I might as well improve on it. So here we are over a year later with a revamp (or whatever you call this) of my first build The Arcane Bulwark or now known as...

    The Bulwark

    In one of the many inns that spot the roads two men sat warming themselves before the hearth."So let me get this straight, you're a mercenary? You hire out for a price - maybe the highest price, maybe not. But either way you have skills others need." 

    There was a light chuckle before the second man responded "That's mostly right, I do have skills that other's need and that makes finding work easy. But I'm my own employer, sometimes I don't work for anyone, other times the payment is coin or goods depending on what they can offer. And there are times when it's whatever I feel like doing. I stay sane in this world by making sure each choice is my own.

    "You don't want to wake up regretting what you've done?" 

    The second man nodded "I like to be able to decide for myself what's right or wrong, or finding people or a cause that need a hand. I don't always get paid but that's fine, it's the price I pay for making my own decisions."

    The Build

    Race: Orc, the bonuses to Heavy Armor and Block are nice but the real reason we're taking this race is their power Berserker Rage.

    Stats: Magicka 2/ Health 1/ Stamina 0. The reason we're not putting any points into stamina is that we'll be using the Unlimited Stamina Glitch which I'll explain later.

    Major Skills: Block, Alteration & Destruction

    Minor Skills: Restoration & Heavy Armor

    Standing Stone: Atronach Stone boosted by MAAS which I will also be explaining later.

    Spells: Sparks - Chain Lightning, Lightning Cloak, Flesh Spells, Detect Life, Healing - Fast Healing

    For those who want to go up to level 35 I have a couple of suggestions for that final perk.

    Disarming Bash: while not all that helpful against a single opponent, when faced with a group the ability to disarm them will greatly reduce the damage you take from those you aren't focusing your attacks on.

    Atronach: For gaining that sweet, sweet immunity to magic that other builds have used before.

    Recovery: since this build is supposed to be based on the Atronach Stone I didn't take this perk as it counteracts one of the stone's effects. For those of you who are annoyed by the 70% reduced magicka regen added by using MAAS feel free to put a point or two into this.


    As I mentioned above this build uses a couple of Glitches namely the Unlimited Stamina Glitch and the Modified Advanced Atronach Stone (or MAAS for short).

    The Unlimited Stamina Glitch is used to allow us the ability to shield bash as much as we want, which is ideal for this character as our main form of damage comes from our shield. This glitch can be acquired as early as level 10, to do so you need to have a base of 100 stamina, a Potion of the Healer, a Draught of the Healer and two items with fortify stamina by 20 points.

    First drink the Potion of the Healer followed by the Draught. Then while the fortify restoration effect is still active equip both your items with fortify stamina.

    Alternatively you can also gain the glitch at level 20 with a base of 100 stamina, a Philter of the Healer, a Draught of the Healer and only one item with fortify stamina by 20 points.

    - Drink the Philter of the Healer followed by the Draught and then equip the item with fortify stamina and you should have Unlimited Stamina.

    I initially went for the level 10 version of the bug, but then switched to the second version once I hit level 20, to free up one of the equipment slots that was being used.

    MAAS allows us to boost the effects of the Atronach Stone by 20% bringing the bonus magicka, magic absorption and reduced magicka regen to 70% each. The Magic Absorption can be brought to 100% by taking the Atronach perk in Alteration but I chose not as I like have some weakness in a character. This one is simple enough all you need is a Philter of the Healer and the Atronach Stone.

    - Simply drink the Philter of the Healer and then activate the Atronach Stone and there you have it.


    As I mentioned earlier, I switched from two to one items of fortify Stamina once I hit level 20 to free up on of the slots, if you want to do the same I suggest replacing it with an item with any of the following effects: Fortify Magicka, Fortify Destruction or Fortify Health.

    Since the Mage's Circlet is a leveled item with its strongest form being given at level 25+, I used whatever was the best hood that I could get before I reached level 25.

    Tullius' Armor is one of a few unique pieces of equipment that doesn't break the Mage Armor perks, due to counting as clothing. This means that we can wear it and gain it's armor rating alongside that of our boosted flesh spell which is a nice little bonus.


    Much like the Storm Atronach depicted on the Atronach Stone's surface, this character is capable of both ranged and melee combat. Ranged combat takes the form of our destruction spells and is most often used to soften up approaching foes. Less frequently you'll come across a mage or archer that have situated themselves in a hard to reach place, when this happens your best bet is to blast away at them using your spells, with Spellbreaker used to block either incoming spells or arrows, or you can trust in your spell absorption and take the spells head on to refill your magicka.

    When entering melee combat you'll want to start with either your strongest flesh spell, a lightning cloak or a both depending on your opponent. For weaker foes and mages that you've closed in on, a lightning cloak will be sufficient as the extra damage will help dispose of them quickly and will prevent mages from using their spells. When faced with a group or a single strong opponent using both a flesh spell and cloak is preferred as the cloak will weaken those your aren't attacking and the flesh spell should give you the AR to survive.

    Now for how you'll actually be dealing damage in melee range, your shield becomes your weapon. By perking Deadly Bash and Power Bash your shield can end up doing an incredible amount of damage (anyone wondering just how much damage should check out James' discussion on the topic), add to this that each bash will stagger your opponent and the Unlimited Stamina glitch mentioned above and you will be able to keep you foe staggered while you beat them to death. When faced with a group I adopted the strategy of bashing each in turn to try and mitigate how much damage I would be taking from each foe, this often lead to backing myself into a corner. Should you have Shield charge you can easily break out of this and then attempt to eliminate your opponents before they get back to their feet.

    Roleplay & Quests

    As you have probably worked out from the conversation at the top of the build, this character is at his heart a mercenary. What quests you decide to do will be based on your character's personal moral compass, this gives you a fair bit of freedom to choose which quests you do based on what you or your character have decided is the right thing to do. 

    Sometimes you may decide that you just want to explore a new location, maybe to clear out a threat to the people of Skyrim or to find some treasure at the end. The Bulwark doesn't just work for coin, he retains the right to choose which jobs he takes and those he doesn't, so don't be afraid to turn someone down in favour of going exploring or doing another quest.

    As for recommended quests, you should aim to complete The Only Cure as soon as you can, so as to get your hands on Spellbreaker. Other quests include the Civil War questline on the Stormcloak side to get Tullius' Armor, and the College of Winterhold up to Good Intentions to acquire the Mage's Circlet.

    Closing Notes

    That's it for this rework, hopefully you liked this enough to actually like it. 

    Likes: (Ning) 38 + Displayed

  • Member
    November 1, 2014
    This is quite good for I (presume) first build, Breton would be a good choice, with Dragonskin, and this is quite good.
  • Member
    November 1, 2014

    Thank you, and yes it is my first build.

    I completely forgot about Bretons and Dragonskin, which is strange since most of my characters have been Breton. I think I'll add that in now.

  • Member
    November 1, 2014

    Congrats on a great first build! I've yet to play a shield mage... this is the perfect inspiration for me :D

  • Member
    November 1, 2014
    Wow, this looks like a great build, after my current character I might give this guy a shot.
  • November 1, 2014
    I like the way you break up teh character into so many parts but still keep the them strong throughout it but if I'm honest it seems like a lot of story and Roleplay with a slight lack of gameplay, it's difficult to find all of it within the text. yet it's an interesting way of setting it out and I like it, so +1 from me and congrats on your first build.
  • Member
    November 3, 2014

    Thank you.

    I had actually tried writing it without the story wound throughout it, but each time I tried it either came out too short or didn't really flow from one point to another. After awhile I settled on this as it's one of the few forms of writing I can actually pull off.

  • Nik
    November 7, 2014
    I loved how you wrote this build, that's an awesome idea! Just one thing though. You should consider adding in the end a summary of the build (skills, perks, shouts etc..) for the sake of those who wants to play this (so they won't scratch for bits of info from the story itself.) Oh man, now I wanna go back to playing Skyrim.
  • Member
    November 7, 2014


    A summary might actually be a good idea, the main reason I didn't do anything like that was the length of the build itself.

  • January 10, 2015

    I am just wondering but why is Imperial not on the top of the racial list?  You get bonuses in 4 of the 5 skills, and the Voice of the Emperor is pretty handy?