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Character Build: The Maleficar

Tags: #Golden Fool  #Character Build Necromancer  #Character Build Mage  #Character Build Vampire  #Rank:Exemplar 
  • Member
    June 4, 2015

    There were corpses strewn around the clearing, but this was not the first time he had encountered a scene like that, what was really startling was the lack of blood one any of the bodies. He watched as the other soldiers moved from corpse to corpse in search of anyone that might still be alive. It just didn't make any sense, why wasn't there any blood? 

    A shout from one of his men pulled him back from his thoughts and he made his way across to were the soldier was kneeling next to a woman who looked to out of her mind with fear. As he got closer he could hear a stream of words bubbling from here "...appeared from nowhere when it wouldn't answer questions the capt'n moved to strike it but before he could take a step lifted its hand and all the blood drained out of him..." 

    That would explain the lack of blood, but what in Talos' name could do something like that? How would we even stop it? 

    "...when we hurt it only became stronger and the grin it wouldn't stop grinning"

    There was a sudden sound as though a spell was being released and everyone turned to see a single Argonian standing in the dead center of the clearing. It was garbed in red and black robes that were coated with blood, far more blood than could come from a single person and leave them able to stand.

    As he turned he raised his hand to signal to his men to ready their weapons "You, Lizard, what are you doing here?" no response "Answer me or we'll be forced to attack" still no answer and so he started to lower his hand to signal for the attack to begin.

    The terrified soldier yealled out as she realised what the captain intended to do "No don't do it if you hurt it it will only become stronger..." but as she said it an arrow struck the Argonain in the shoulder and a grin spread across its face. Within moments the blood from the wound was swirling around its hands and two of the corpses that filled the clearing had arisen to start attacking his men.

    The Build

    Race: Argonian (Vampire Lord), I've never really played an Argonian before, plus their Histskin ability fits with how this character uses his own blood to power his spells. Add to this that becoming a Vampire Lord allows us to glitch the game and use the Vampire Lord blood drain in Lizard form and we've got a pretty nice base for a blood mage.

    Stats: Magicka 1/ Health 1/ Stamina 0, this is the initial spread with the aim of expanding our magicka pool while also increasing our health for later use once we have equilibrium.

    Once you reach a base of 150 Magicka which should be level 10 if you prioritized Magicka, switch to Magicka 0/ Health 1/ Stamina 0, this should give you enough health to refill your magicka without having to worry about killing yourself with equilibrium.

    Major Skills: Illusion, Restoration & Conjuration

    Minor Skills: Alchemy, Sneak, Destruction  & Alteration

    Standing Stone: The Advanced Atronach

    Powers: Histskin

    Shouts: Slow Time, Bend Will, Drain Vitality

    Recommended Quests: College of Winterhold Questline, Dawnguard Questline up to Bloodline, Destroy the Dark Brotherhood, Forbidden Legend and the Civil War Questline (Imperials)



    Pre-Level 10

    Pre-level ten the Maleficar is your average mage who uses his fire and frost spells to deal damage to his foes. He makes use of muffle to allow himself to sneak past enemies or position himself in a spot from which he can cast a couple of spells before he is noticed. He also has access to the raise zombie line of spells to create an ally that he can use as a meat shield to make up for his lack of armour or alteration flesh spells.

    Blood Magic

    The Maleficar utilizes four glitches, two of which tie in together, to create and use its blood magic. First of all is getting the Vampire Lord Blood Drain in Lizard form (which can be seen In This Video) which replaces his destruction spells as his main form of damage which he uses to both damage his opponents and heal himself.

    Secondly is The Potent Equilibrium Glitch, where we will be using the regeneration perk along with Necromage Vampirism to increase the strength of equilibrium to allow us to exchange a greater amount of health for a greater amount of magicka.

    Thirdly is the Necromage Vampirism glitch which is used to increase not only the strength of equilibrium but also the duration and intensity of slow time to allow the Maleficar to outmaneuver his opponents.

    Lastly is the Advanced Atronach stone (used in Mason's Obsidian Sentinel) where we use potions created through alchemy to increase the strength of the Atronach Stone. Unlike other builds that use this method, we're only aiming for 80% Absorption, 80% Stunted Magicka and 80 Magicka. For this we'll need two potions of Fortify Restoration at about 42% strength (Abacean Longfin + Cyradilic Spadetail). By drinking one Fortify Restoration potion and then the other before taking the atronach stone we get a permanent increase to both the bonuses and weakness that the stone provides. What we want is the stunted magicka and the bonus magicka that the stone provides.

    Once we get to this stage the Maleficar continues to use his raised allies as meat shields or even secondary reservoirs of health that he can tap into when he is low on health. He can also use Detect Life to find the positions of all living foes within range so that he can then plan ahead how he will face the upcoming battle.

    His sole forms of manipulation are frenzy rune and Bend Will. The Maleficar uses frenzy rune to cause his opponents to turn on each other while rains down on them with the Blood Drain spell without having to worry about evading their attacks. Bend Will is used to turn what were once his opponents into allies to allow him to focus on one stronger opponent be it a dragon or dungeon boss, with the aid of his new found allies.


    The Maleficar uses various potions to augment the power that flows through his veins which include but are not limited to those listed below.

    Blood Vial:

    Blue Mountain Flower + Wheat = Fortify Health + Restore Health


    River Betty + Grass Pod = Fortify Alteration


    Histcarp + Tundra Cotten = Fortify Magicka

    For use in using dead thrall.

    Healing Pack:

    Nordic Barnacle + Garlic = Regenerate Health


    Luna Moth Wing + Vampire Ash = Regenerate Health + Invisibility


    Blood Well:

    Histskin + Equilibrium + Healing Pack/Recovery

    Once a day the Maleficar is able to draw upon the true power of his blood, becoming able to to cast a greater number of spells for a short time.

    This is mainly used when fighting against a single strong opponent; like a Dragon or Draugr Deathlord, where you may need to refill your magicka more than once.


    Paralyze + Poison Rune

    The Maleficar turns the bodies of his foe against them rendering them unable to move as their blood eats away at them from within.

    By first casting paralyze on an opponent and then placing a poison rune underneath them, they are taken out of the battle allowing you to deal with their allies while the poison slowly eats away at their health.

    Dark Passage:

    Muffle + Invisibility

    By tapping into his own blood the Maleficar is able to move through his enemies silently and unseen, allowing him to either pass by or find the perfect place to spring from the shadows.

    As it says in the description this can be used to either sneak past your opponents to avoid a fight or to scout the area and then launch your attack from the best possible location, be that getting into range to place a rune or to fire off Blood Drain before you are noticed.


    Slow Time + Bloodthorn + Stability + Necromage + Clarity + Blood Drain

    The Maleficar is capable of altering his perception of time, allowing him to move at increased speeds that his opponents are unable to match. Taking full advantage of this he uses this speed to move around the battlefield draining health from his opponents.

    Thanks to stability, necromage and our potion of fortify alteration, slow time has an extended duration allowing you to move around using Bloodthorn and Blood Drain to chip away at your opponents/opponent.

    Blood Sacrifice:

    Raised Zombie + Vampire Lord Blood Drain

    The Maleficar draws upon the blood of his allies to heal his wounds in exchange for dealing damage to them.

    This works best when used on a Dead Thrall as if you happen to kill them the body wont be destroyed and you can just raise them again once the battle is over. Although I say that it still works fairly well with your average zombie in situations when you a truly desperate and in need of the health.

    Unwilling Ally:

    Dead Thrall (Empower to cast) + Courage + Master of the Mind

    The Maleficar creates a puppet from a slain enemy that will serve him until it is struck down once again, only to be raised to continue it's service.

    By casting courage onto your dead thrall they both become stronger and the pool of health that you can dip into for Blood Sacrifice becomes deeper allowing for you to steal more health without killing your meat shield.

    Closing Notes

    Time for the thanks that I should be giving. First off is Dragonborn for generally discussing things with me about the character. And then Chris H. for helping name some of the Potions listed in the build.

    Likes: (Ning) 40 + Displayed

  • June 4, 2015

    First of all. First.

    You know my thoughts on this already Golden, this is a really good build and I'm glad you keep posting new and interesting builds. Can;t wait for your next one and it's a +1 from me. 

  • Member
    June 4, 2015

    Thanks Dragonborn. 

    As for any new builds I make, I don't think I'll be able to make one I'll like more than my good old Drunken friend, that guy to date has been one of my most enjoyable playthoughs

  • June 4, 2015

    Dragon Age Blood mage? Coooool. I really like the way you recreate it in Skyrim. Also you have definitely my like for using the dragon age ability icons.

    Also, how did you roleplay this guy? Power hungry mad mage? Mage possessed by demon?

  • Member
    June 4, 2015

    More a half crazed power hungry mage, which I tried to put into the opening.

    Thanks Karver, Dragon Age just has some great icons that I find myself going back to when I need them 

  • June 4, 2015

    I had more badass cruel villain feeling coming from him in the opening. But, truth is, you can interpret that as half crazed power hungry

  • June 4, 2015
    This came out great golden. Bravo on another quality build. The only thing this needs is a gameplay/tactics section detailing how those special moves work together. A quick paragraph on the maleficars weaknesses and strengths against various enemy types would be helpful too.
  • Member
    June 5, 2015
    Really cool build! I'm a sucker for Blood Mages, and this looks to be one of the best on the blog. The use of the Advanced Atronach Stone is great as well, since relying on blood was always a little pointless in Skyrim when your Magicka regenerated faster than your health. As always, excellent art and spreads. Great job Golden! +1
  • Member
    June 5, 2015
    Good build, I've been playing around with something similar recently. I found the ring of namira to be thematically fitting as in effect increasing health and health regen is increasing your available magicka on a blood mage. Also it may be worth a note that it is possible to back door your way into labyrinthian to get the equilibrium spell without even starting the college questline. There is a tips and tricks post by ponty that details how to do this (he goes as far as picking up the slow time word but it is possible to keep going all the way back to the equilibrium book). I'm pretty sure that as long as you ignore Morokei you don't break the college quest by doing this. Word of warning though, you do encounter some tough foes including a wispmother...
  • Member
    June 5, 2015

    Thanks for the like 

    Personally I prefer to go through dungeons as they were designed and the college questline isn't just for equilibrium but also Dead Thrall which he picks up in later levels and is able to cast with the help of a potion.

    As for namira's ring, he may be a half mad mage that uses his own blood to power his spells, but he isn't a cannibal (at least mine wasn't), although I can see it working if people wanted to go that way. I just preferred the having a ring enchanted with health regen as it was guarantied and you're not always going to be able to stop and have a snack in the middle of battle, especially during the day when the ring will be your only source of health regen and without that source histskin doesn't work.