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Character Build: The Oracle

Tags: #Character Build Monk  #Character Build No Crafting  #Character Build Unarmed  #Race:Redguard  #Rank:Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • Member
    January 6, 2015

    This build was inspired by one of my favorite classes of all time. The Oracle, also known as the Mystic, was a job in the Final Fantasy Tactics series and took inspiration from Taosim and Buddhism. It's essentially a spell-casting monk. My interpretation of the class will be the first melee staff build on the site and it's my first no-crafting build too! Hope you enjoy.

    The Oracle

    Oracles maintain spiritual, mental, and physical balance and can call upon Yin Yang magic to disrupt the balance of others. This magic targets the emotions of enemies and can even alter their state of being. They can also use this mystic art for divination purposes.

    Oracles are trained to wield a staff with deadly efficiency in conjunction with hand-to-hand combat. These monks must train continually to keep their minds and bodies in harmony to withstand those who seek to disrupt balance.

    Race: Redguard. I chose Redguard as my race because they have that spiritual warrior vibe that the Oracle has going. Their racial power works great with the build too.

    Stone: Atronach

    Skills: Alteration, Illusion, Heavy Armor, Restoration, Block

    Quests: Main Quest, Rings of Blood Magic, Final Descent, Old Friends (Tel Mithryn), College of Winterhold, Frostflow Lighthouse, Dragonborn Questline, The Book of Love, Companions

    End Game Stats: 130 / 570 / 100

    Spell Absorption is one of the Oracle's abilities so the Atronach Stone is a must. Start with the Mage Stone until Alteration hits Level 50. The stat distribution is pretty straightforward, pour the first three levels into Magicka and everything else into Health. With the Atronach Stone's +50 Magicka you'll have a large enough pool to cast all the spells the Oracle uses. A large Health pool will be a necessity but more on that later.

    Arms and Armor

    The Telvanni Robes are a must for the Oracle; they're a great look for an oriental monk and match the color scheme of the original Oracle's attire. Also, the enchantment helps balance the Atronach Stone's negative effect.  Don't forget to clear out Raven Rock Mine so that Neloth offers the side quests that lead to the Telvanni Robes.

    The Fists of Tao are ebony gauntlets enchanted with a rudimentary 5 pt. Fortify Unarmed enchantment, no Enchanting perks necessary. They are the only gauntlets that don't clip through the robes and offer a good boost to unarmed damage with the Fists of Steel perk. The Oracle's main offense is unarmed damage so every point counts. I was able to pick up a pair at level 21 in Guldun Rock Cave which spawns high level gear early on.

    The Ring of the Beast is a must for any unarmed build that takes itself seriously. Dip into the Volkihar questline long enough to grab this gem, cure vampirism, and never look back. Marked for Death will further boost our unarmed damage so we'll need an Amulet of Talos to get the most out of it.

    Azhidal's Boots provide further protection and have one of the best boot enchantments in the game: waterwalking. Oracles are known to walk on water, one of the many miracles they can demonstrate. It's also a great ability when you need to buy some time for MfD to do it's job. Lastly, a Circlet of Restoration will finish off the Oracle's attire.

    Our only weapon? An Unenchanted Restoration Stave! Any of the unenchanted staves Neloth sells will work but I think the Restoration Stave is the most thematic. Check the combat section for its use. (Is the suspense killing you?)

    Taoism and Balance (Perks)

    Alteration and Illusion create our Oracle's Yin Yang magic, a type of magic that disrupts the balance of others. These effects include fear, rage, confusion, paralyzation, petrification, and a weakened state of mind. Alteration's flesh spells also emulate the monk's empowered constitution. Alteration should be a priority early on, shooting for Adept Alteration which offers decent defense and crowd control in the form of flesh spells and the Ash Shell spell. Oracles also use Yin Yang magic to sense auras nearby and are rarely caught unawares.

    Restoration and Alteration create another balance that the Oracle has mastery over: Magicka, Stamina, and Health. With our massive Health pool (end game 570) the Equilibrium spell will allow us to sacrifice Health for Magicka. In response, we can sacrifice Magicka to cast Close Wounds to replenish Health and Stamina. The Circlet of Restoration and Sailor's Repose increase the efficiency of this cycle, restoring more Health for very little Magicka. The problem with Equilibrium is its ability to chew through Health bringing the user to a critical state, not the Oracle! It only takes a fourth of our total Health pool to completely replenish our Magicka pool. As an unarmed combatant in close range combat I had no problems manipulating this balance mid-combat.

    The monk's defense comes in the form of heavy armor, flesh spells, and blocking via stave. With an Ebonyflesh spell and related max Juggernaut perks the Oracle is looking at a measly 228 AR in the end which offers about 27% damge reduction. Blocking, however, more than makes up for this deficiency even without perks. Blocking with a stave, similar to a weapon, offers about 36% protection from melee damage not including perks. Combined, we've reduced 54% of incoming damage. With all Shield Wall perks we're looking at 72% reduction when combined with our AR. Not bad at all with a massive health pool, eh? With so much Health, the Shield Wall perks can take a back seat to our magic-related perks.

    The Oracle's physical offense is dependent on unarmed damage so Fists of Steel should be one of your first perks, offering 14 damage with readily available Steel Plate Gauntlets in Dimhollow's entrance. Disenchant the Gloves of the Pugilist and place a 5pt enchantment on the Steel Plates, bringing you to 23 including our 4 base damage as a human. Once you get the Ring of the Beast it adds 20 pts for a grand total of 43 damage per swing, 45 if you can find Ebony Gauntlets later on. With one word of Marked for Death the Oracle will have enough physical attack to take on Master difficulty despite the 50% reduction. I honestly defeated most opponents without even using the shout. It doesn't seem like alot of damage but you can throw blows way faster as an unarmed combatant.

    The Yin and Yang of Combat (Gameplay)

    We've seen some great monk builds come along but the Oracle is truly unique. One weakness of being an unarmed build is taking on multiple enemies at once lacking decent crowd control. Yin Yang magic is the epitome of crowd control turning your enemies' weaknesses against them. I can honestly say that I was never overwhelmed by numbers. This will be the Oracle's spellbook:

    Ash Shell
    Flesh Spells
    Detect Life/Death
    Healing Spells
    Marked for Death
    Dragon Aspect

    It is through balance of mind, body, and spirit that the Oracle can overcome any obstacle. Equilibrium will ensure you always have Magicka. Healing spells coupled with the Respite perk will ensure you always have Health and Stamina. Conversely, by altering the balance of others you can strike fear in the hearts of foes or cause them to attack each other over a disagreement, make them feel weak and exhausted or even make them believe that they can't move their limbs. The mind can be a deadly weapon or one's strongest opponent, use it to your advantage.

    Staff Mastery*
    Your fists and staff should only be used if the enemy refuses to yield (which is often in Tamriel). But when that time comes, the Oracle becomes an indomitable force. By wielding a staff in the off-hand and nothing in your main hand the monk gains the ability to block and bash. Bashing with a staff has a 50/50 outcome when activated. Half the time it will be a normal bash that staggers opponents and uses Stamina. The other half of the time it results in an very quick jab that deals the damage of your main hand weapon, our fist in this case, but at a fraction of the speed.

    Normally I wouldn't suggest using an unreliable method of attack but there really isn't a downside here. I have completely wrecked a Draugr Deathlord by delivering ten staff jabs in a row before the dude knew what hit him. This doesn't always happen but even if you perform a normal bash you can follow up with a regular attack with your fist, no problem. The best part is the aesthetic of it all and finally being able to hit something with a stave! It's so rewarding especially when playing as a staff-wielding monk. The quick jab doesn't use any Stamina but cannot be performed if you are out of Stamina. Basically, if you're unlucky and get three regular bashes in a row you won't be able to attack with the stave anymore and should start throwing your fist. Alternatively, you could cast Close Wounds to restore Stamina and try again!

    *PC players have been unable to get this to work but the build is no less viable. Looks like console wins this time.

    The Oracle's abilities can be separated into two categories: Yin and Yang. The Yin tactic is a defensive approach and is almost pacifistic in nature. The Yang approach is much more aggressive and deadly.

    Yin: Crouching Tiger

    The Yin approach to combat takes advantage of the Oracle's wisdom and relies on the spells that alter the enemy's mind and body. With the Muffle and Detect Life spells the monk stalks the potential foe and can manipulate the enemy from the shadows. Often times, open combat can be avoided through this method, letting enemies destroy each other through the Fury and Marked for Death effects. Fear and Fury can send two enemies on a wild goose chase, clearing a path for the monk.

    Key elements are the Quiet Casting perk and the Muffle spell. With this combination the Oracle can remain in the shadows and choose the best course of action.


    Yang: Hidden Dragon

    The Yang tactic is the counter approach to the Crouching Tiger. The strength of the Oracle is channeled in open combat, awakening the slumbering dragon within. The Oracle fortifies himself with flesh spells and the full Dragon Aspect shout. Combat is initiated with Marked for Death and our mastery of the staff and fist. As the battle endures, the dragon only grows stronger as our enemies wear thin.

    Key elements to the Hidden Dragon are a good defense from spells and a good offense from the Fists of Steel perk, unarmed enchantments, and our stave.

    Both the Crouching Tiger and the Hidden Dragon are effective methods but true balance is key. By utilizing Equilibrium and Close Wounds the Oracle can cast the negative effects of Yin while employing the physical destruction of Yang. The greater your Health pool, the more viable this balance becomes.

    The Virtues of Taoism

    While questing throughout Skyrim it is paramount that you don't forget to maintain your balance in Tao ("the Way"). Take time to meditate in solitude (not the keep), somewhere to align your Spirit with your Body and Mind. High Hrothgar comes to mind, or perhaps near a waterfall to help keep a rhythmic meditation while absorbing your environment. If you are doing nothing, be sure you aren't busy doing nothing.

    In your travels it is important to avoid conflicting with the nature of others. Just because your nature doesn't align with others doesn't mean their nature is wrong. It is for this reason that the Oracle will not take part in the Civil War quest or the Dawnguard questline outside of the Rings of Blood Magic quests. Sometimes the best course of action is no action at all. Who are you to choose between two sides of a coin? Only time can do that. The Voice of the Sky blessing is a great ability that reinforces this virtue and helps the roleplay of a monk in balance with nature. Pick it up periodically throughout the playthrough.

    Conversely, the Oracle must practice the martial arts as much as meditate to keep the body and mind strong. One must always be ready to defend the balance of their personal nature. Just as we decided to leave the Volkihar to their own destiny, we have solidified a new training regiment. Periodic Dawnguard attacks will help keep the Oracle ever vigilant and in peak form. Rivaling wizards will also seek challenge with the monk and one always accepts a good sparring partner.

    The last virtue of the Oracle brings us full circle. As a master of balance, you are now a teacher of it. In your travels you must help those who need equilibrium within their nature, so long as it doesn't interfere with your own. From the Book of Love to the famed Companions of Whiterun, there is no small amount of instability in the world and no small amount of tasks at hand. Go forth with balance,  young grasshopper.





  • Member
    January 6, 2015

    The first time I read the title I thought: "Look, another DotA 2 bulild, nice!". Nice monk, dude! And nice staff combat! 

  • Member
    January 6, 2015
    Love it not only cause I miss final fantasy tactics, but as a martial artist myself I think you really hit the heart of the philosophical ideology of taoist kung fu. Great pictures too. One issue though vampires are unnatural and seek to destroy balance, it would seem almost mandatory to stop them
  • Member
    January 6, 2015

    That's exactly the thing I wanted to avoid with those giant prayer beads and all that jazz! I wanted more of a humble monk with a hidden fierceness. Thanks Noodles!

  • Member
    January 6, 2015

    Yeah I did a bit of research on Taoism once I found out what the class was based on. When I played an Oracle in the first Final Fantasy Tactics I actually mixed it with the Monk class which is pretty much how this build turned out. He was  one of my favorite characters to date and I'm glad this turned out so well.

  • January 6, 2015
    This build is genius (did I spell that right?) I've never seen anything that utilizes equilibrium in such a useful way. I've often found mages to be rather boring or repetative, it's great to see some fresh ideas. You should be proud of this, and all your other builds. They're amongst the best I've seen on the site. However I didn't really like that bit at the end about not taking action, not really my play style. But that's my problem. Congratulations! And have a nice day.
  • Member
    January 6, 2015
    Great job, FFT is a great game. I have FFT2 and Brave Default for my DSs.
  • Member
    January 6, 2015
    Really cool build Alastor, love the synergy behind it. The combo of staff and fist is perfect for a monk, and with only five skills this must make a very streamlined playthrough. I'd never normally pair illusion with a monk-like character, but you explain it really well and make it seem natural. Roleplay ties it together nicely, and the explanations for Dawnguard attacks are great. Needless to say, +1
  • Member
    January 6, 2015

    Lol thanks amc! The "not taking action" bit was part of my roleplay as a monk and I emphasize the "sometimes" part. Every monk has to decide their own nature and how it will affect the world. By all means, take action!! 

    And I appreciate the sentiments. I too love all the builds I've posted which is why I share them. Just glad that some others enjoy them as well. You have an equally nice day, good sir.

  • Member
    January 6, 2015

    Thanks ShyGuy. I haven't played FFT2 but I've heard that it's multiplayer which would be incredible. I would have loved to do PvP with the team I created but nonetheless, FFT was a fantastic game!