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Character Build: The Northern Watchdog

Tags: #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Battlemage  #Character Build Werewolf  #Rank:Bloodworks 
  • September 5, 2015

    The Northern Watchdog

    DISCLAIMER: This build is centered around the 'Dragonborn' DLC and the equipment and resources that it offers. While still viable as a build without it, the (kind of huge) bonuses from the DLC will be sorely missed. That is all.

    You are a Skaal warrior; ferocious and cold, made of blood and snow. The centuries old knowledge of your people has been ground into your brain, making your mind, body, and axes sharp. Your spirit is intricately woven from the magics of the All-Maker, his gifts of ice and frost are laced into your soul and seep through your palms and fingertips. Granted the boon of the beast, a gift from Daedric Prince Hircine, you are also one with the wilderness; you can sense even the slightest patter of the All-Maker's children on the ash and snow. 

    You are but one mortal at the receiving end of two other-worldly blessings. Such blessings demand repayment and loyalty, but the All-Maker and the Daedra have very different views of appeasement. You defend life and balance in the name of the All-Maker, but you also lust for blood and the hunt. You unleash the beast and slaughter in the name of the hunt and Hircine, but you also neglect the All-Maker and shame the Skaal.

    ... But that's how Solstheim has always been: a constant struggle for dominance between the lands of the All-Maker and the hunting grounds of Hircine.

    With mortal axes ground sharp, Daedric jaws ready to snap, and the All-Maker's blizzards at your fingertips, all that's left to do is choose which deity you're going to please today.

    Oh man, I love some good ol' fashioned werewolves! This build actually only came together after sitting in a hospital bed for 2 weeks playing nothing but Morrowind on my old laptop. I just thought to myself "I miss Bloodmoon. I wish I could bring more aspects of it into Dragonborn..." And thus this build was born.

    Basic gist of this build: yer a Skaal native who has been blessed by both the All-Maker and by Hircine, and GOSH GOLLY now you have to balance between pleasing them both AND save the world.


    Race: Nord. I mean, what else would a Skaal tribesman be?

    Supernatural: Werewolf

    Stones: The Lord Stone. Lover recommended for level-up.

    All-Maker Stones: Tree Stone, Water Stone, and Beast Stone are all useful to this set. The Earth Stone is a great help before finding Deathbrand, and it's the easiest stone to reach. Wind and Sun Stones are discouraged (let's be honest: they kind of suck compared to the others).

    Equipment: Deathbrand armor set, Stalhrim war axes, Ring of Bloodlust, Ring of Hircine, and an Amulet of Talos/Kyne's Token.

    Yeah, I know what you're thinking with Kyne's Token: "uh... I didn't see any archery mentioned earlier?" and you would be 100% correct. Kyne's Token is only an option here for role-play purposes, seeing as your watchdog is super-duper in-tune with nature. If you'd rather not waste your only neck bling on role-play, then a proper alternative would be an Amulet of Talos.

    Deathbrand is your Skaal's absolute armor; with this set's Light Armor perk investment, Deathbrand's armor rating hits 439, and that's without any tempering from smithing, which is fantastic. Add those cool enchantments to the mix and Deathbrand becomes a must-have for a dual-wielding warrior.

    Perks can be found HERE

    One Handed - The watchdog is, of course, a dual-wielder. Axes are the choice over swords and maces for the bleeding bonus and high stagger without sacrificing speed like with maces. In a role-play sense axes are much more versatile than swords or maces, and overall just more Nord-like. Axes also seem very feral, but at the same time sophisticated because they're so useful? Perfect!

    Light Armor - Ahhh I love adding a dash of barbarian to a warrior build~! Light armor is for properly utilizing Deathbrand, and with less noise production than heavy armor it allows for greater strides with the sneak skill without enchanting investment.

    Destruction - This is usually the part where I start banging my hands on the table rhythmically chanting "FROST SPELLS! FROST SPELLS! FROST SPELLS!", but I'm going to try and be a little classier. Long-range magical assaults are a blessing from the All-Maker and the teachings of the Skaal, and thus, your watchdog's spells are all frost-based. Why frost? Because frost, while resisted quite a bit in this ES game, is impacted by the 'Deep Freeze' perk. Potential paralysis and slow in all frost spells?! OH YES.

    Spells: Ice Spike, Ice Storm, Frost Cloak, Whirlwind Cloak

    Conjuration - Summons from Oblivion! Your two main summons are a Familiar and the Flaming Familiar. The latter can only be obtained via a quest, but once you get it it's great fun summoning a flaming wolf that distracts enemies then goes 'BOOM'. Your last summon is a Frost Atronach, which cost a lot more than either of your familiars, so use them wisely.

    Spells: Conjure Familiar, Conjure Flaming Familiar, Conjure Frost Atronach

    Sneak - As a warrior, your watchdog isn't too keen on the whole stealth kill idea, so there's no perk investment in weapons. Sneak in this build is for tactical re-positioning, luring enemies into traps, etc. You can actually forgo 'Silence' and 'Silent Roll' and place those perks into 'Hack and Slash' 2&3 if you like. 

    Alchemy - Living off of the land and basically inhaling the wilderness practically SCREAMS trained alchemist. Some Fortify 1H potions can easily boost damage output, ingredients are easy to come by, alchemy makes excellent money - it's great. I could have just gone with Restoration instead of Alchemy, but Restoration would have pushed this build too far into the mage category, I think. Plus, Alchemy has a lot more variety and surprises. Like the watchdog!

    Stats: MP:HP:St - 1/2/1 until stamina is 150, then 1/2/0. 

    Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Ice Form, Frost Breath, Animal Allegiance, Elemental Fury, Call of Valor, Whirlwind Sprint, Cyclone, Storm Call.


    While playing as the northern watchdog, you have to balance between killing out of necessity and killing for sport.

    When you're watchdog is killing out of necessity, e.g.: gathering food or protecting people or etc., then the play style you want to aim for is sophisticated and smart, but imposing like a warrior should be. You fire warnings from afar with your ice spells, and only when they get close do you draw your axes. Unrelenting Force is a quick and easy way to knock enemies down if they crowd your watchdog, and Ice Form is a great tool for rendering enemies immobile while your watchdog can catch their breath. 

    When you're between necessity and sport, however, the watchdog needs to be brutal; angry, frustrated, and wild is the key fighting style here; your watchdog uses less magic and just goes physically berserk. Elemental Fury makes your watchdog a terrifying force on the field. Keeping with the theme of violence, Cyclone is another shout that can be used in more berserk combat. Whirlwind Sprint paired with Frost/Whirlwind Cloak is a nice combination, too. Storm Call is a fantastic display of force with little effort, and is super effective against large groups.

    The third fighting style for this character is, of course, going feral and killing for sport. I.e.: werewolf time! Going full werewolf for your first transformation of the day requires the Ring of Bloodlust. Why the Ring of Bloodlust? Because to get to the feral stage, your watchdog has to be pretty anxious. With a 50% bonus to damage output and a 50% penalty to damage resistance, your watchdog is throwing caution into the wind and going all on the offense. Should your watchdog find themselves in a position where they transform again in the same day, that's when you switch them to the Ring of Hircine. 

    It's entirely up to you if you want your watchdog to fight in a role-play-like fashion as written here. 

    Reminder: Dragons, dwemer automatons, and dragon priests are immune to paralyze, so Deep Freeze's paralysis bonus won't affect them. HOWEVER, these same enemies can stagger, so a dual cast Ice Storm spell + Impact will interrupt their assault, allowing you to chug a potion or switch weapons easily.

    Useful Potions

    Staple Brews:

    • Fortify/Restore HP -> Blue Mt. Flower + Wheat
    • Regenerate HP/MP -> Garlic + Namira's Rot + Salt Pile
    • Fortify/Restore MP -> Briar Heart + Red Mt. Flower
    • Fortify St -> Boar Tusk + Garlic

    Advanced Brews:

    • Fortify/Restore HP -> Giant's Toe + Blue Mt. Flower + Imp Stool
    • Resist Elements -> Fly Amanita + Hawk Beak + Snowberries
    • Fortify/Regenerate/Restore MP -> Jazbay Berries + Red Mt. Flower + Moon Sugar
    • Cure Disease + Fortify LA/Sneak + Resist
      -> Beehive Husk + Charred Skeever Hide + Hawk Feathers
    • Restore HP + Fortify LA -> Ash Hopper Jelly + Rock Warbler Egg + Honeycomb

    Battle Oriented Brews:

    • Fortify 1H/Sneak + Restore St + Resist Frost -> Hawk Feathers + Purple Mt. Flowers + Small Pearl
    • Fortify HP/Conjuration -> Blue Mt. Flower + Glowing Mushroom + Lavender
    • Fortify HP/Destruction -> Blue Mt. Flower + Glowing Mushroom + Ash Creep Cluster
    • Fortify Sneak/1H -> Hawk Feathers + Hanging Moss + Frost Mirriam

    Suggested Quests

    Companion's Questline: Beast Blood and Animal Allegiance shout
    Ill Met By Moonlight: Ring of Hircine
    Under Saarthal: Ice Form shout
    The Break of Dawn: Elemental Fury shout
    Forbidden Legend: Ice Form and Frost Breath shout
    A Scroll for Anska: Conjure Flaming Familiar spell and Storm Call shout

    P.S.: WOW. I accidentally hit add discussion instead of preview on a draft and it went through- Sorry folks! I thought I had blocked it in time, but apparently not @_@;; Sorry!

    P.P.S: It's actually done now xD Good job me. A+.

  • Ed
    September 5, 2015
    Much better than the draft :')
  • September 5, 2015

    I saw the draft had been officially posted and my heart stopped. 

    Then I read the comments I was like "NOT AGAIN". This is one actually done, thankfully xD;;

  • Member
    September 14, 2015

    Hmmm. I'm a bit surprised that this build only has 6 likes