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Character Build: The Wizard's Thrall

Tags: #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Warrior  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Recognized  #LeBlanc Builds  #Character Build Two Handed Weapons 
  • Member
    November 23, 2015

    During my many playthroughs of Skyrim one instance always seemed a bit odd and jarring.  That was when you would be wandering around and come across a random female NPC who would inform you that she had escaped from bandits nearby and she would mark the location on your map.  It doesn't happen terribly often but it was something that I noted.  So that got me to thinking...if we are crossing paths with those that have escaped their captors, what about those that have NOT escaped?  What if there were things worse than mere bandits in the badlands of Skyrim; perhaps renegade warlocks engrossed with expanding their knowledge of the arcane through trials and tribulations on captive souls?

    What happens to these hapless souls in mostly unknown.  When their mortal shells are used up they are likely cast aside like so much refuse by their heartless masters.  However, YOU are different.  When you were taken you did not give in to the agony and torment.  You watched, waited and even learned from observation of your captors.  The will to survive runs deep in you and you accept all the agony that is inflicted upon you during endless years of captivity.  Until one day, you have learned enough to take advantage of a small opportunity that presents itself.  The flash of a hidden blade, dripping poison from a stolen concoction, impales your captor in the small of his back.  As his body spasms into lifelessness you quickly gather your belongings and flee into the night; knowing not where you are nor where you are headed but knowing that you vow vengeance on all who prey on the weak and helpless.  They shall come to know your name, the name you have answered to for all these years....

    Race: Breton Female
    Stone: Mage; then Lord
    Major Skills: Light Armor; Enchanting
    Minor Skills: Destruction; Alteration; Restoration; Illusion; Alchemy
    Weapons: 2-Handed Swords
    Armor: Light Armor
    Shouts: Animal Allegiance; Dragonrend; Unrelenting Force; Whirlwind Sprint
    Recommended Quests: Civil War; Main Ques; Agent of Dibella; Destroy the Dark Brotherhood; Companions; Dawnguard; College of Winterhold; The White Phial/Repairing the Phial
    Optional Quest: A Return to Your Roots
    Skill Breakdown: 1/1/0 (Until 200 magicka)

    The Build

    As noted, this build came from seeing the damsels in distress fleeing bandit captors and begging for help.  This got me wondering about those that were in dire straights and how that woman would react to her new reality when she was let loose on the world.  I picture her as a weaker warrior with some magical ability, accrued from her time with wizards, but never fully realized in any specific area, due to years of captivity not to mention a complete lack of any formal training.  These inherit weaknesses are a core part of this build and you will note that even in the skills we level up extremely high, they are not utilized to the full extent of their abilities in the playthrough.  These will be noted in more detail below.

    I do want to give a shout out to Mason and his build, The Sorcerer.  I utilize his weapon synergy in this build but limit it to that level.  As such, all weapon damage will come from Fire, Frost or Spark enchantments thanks to the Enchanter perks in the Enchanting tree.

    Perk Placement


    Armor: We will make use of whatever light armor we find in our travels.  You can use enchanting to add enhancements to your found armor pieces.  You can opt to wear robes in lieu of armor (explained below).

    Armor Enchantments: Fortify Destruction will be your primary enchantment to enhance your weapon damage that comes from your enchanting skill.  You may also decide you want to use Fortify Restoration or Fortify Alteration to help offset the cost of those spells.

    Weapons: You will be searching for unenchanted two-handed greatswords.  This is key, you want to self-enchant them to take advantage of the enhanced weapon damage derived from your enchanting and destruction augmentations.  To quote Mason, "Enchanting is this builds core skill, it governs how much damage our weaponry is capable of doing and the elemental perks synergise with the destruction schools corresponding augmentations creating some very strong items."

    Silver greatswords are a strong option as they carry a +20 bonus in damage to undead in addition to your enhanced magical damage.

    Weapon Enchantments: You will want to use an elemental enchantment; either fire, frost or sparks.  At the highest level you can enchant your weapon twice, using both fire and sparks that up your damage output considerably.  Do this once you have attained two points in both Augmented Fire and Augmented Shock.

    Gameplay Basics

    As The Thrall was exposed to some magical knowledge during her captivity, but due to a lack of formal training,  the build purposefully limits any actual casting abilities; leaving her as a melee combatant relying on magical perks for damage output. 

    The build critically limits stamina to reflect decades as a prisoner, and again no formal warrior training, to learn proper techniques on sword swinging.  Take the Mage Stone until around level 20.  This reflects her magical knowledge as a Thrall although she will use both novice level spells and her 2-Handed weapon in the early going.  Around level 20, transition to the Lord Stone.  This, along with her Breton heritage and the two points in Magic Resistance, puts her at the 85% Magic Resistance cap.  This reflects her body being ravaged by magical testing at the hands of her wizard captors and explains why she has built up some level of immunity to magic.

    Alteration is taken to 90. As noted above, if you prefer to wear robes in lieu of armor, our level cap is at 47 so you can add additional points to Mage Armor and go further up in the tree for better magical armor spells.   Light Armor only goes up to Custom and Matching for the armor bonuses (as noted you may decide not to use these points if you wish to wear robes only). 

    Restoration is kept intentionally low, to again mimic her lack of training while Alchemy is taken to reflect her time as a thrall, when she was used to gather ingredients and in general, to be a peon for her masters.  We won't craft many potions but there are a few that will be helpful.  Weakness to Fire; Weakness to Frost and Weakness to Shock are the three that will enhance weapon damage with your enchanted two-handed weapon.  These can also be purchased, the Khajiit caravans typically have a good supply of these poisons.  Restore Health potions will be helpful in combat but can be purchased if you would prefer. 

    If you prefer to buy, and not craft, your potions and poisons then you may want to skip the quest A Return to Your Roots.  The reward for that quest is a 25% chance for an extra potion when crafting.  I know many people look for no-crafting builds so this may help in that regard.  If you go this route you could forego the entire Alchemy tree to recoup some points.


    The Wizard's Thrall has no real ranged attack but once you begin the Dawnguard quest line, you will have the Dawnguard Crossbow which you can use if desired.  Feel free to enchant that as well but it will not benefit from your enchanting/destruction synergy.  We are not perking Archery either so it will truly be a pulling technique only. 

    In general, The Thrall will just wade into combat swinging her sword and blocking with it as needed.  Potions for healing will help during combat with multiple enemies.  Post combat, use your limited restoration and magicka to heal.  Remember against tougher enemies to coat your weapon with a Weakness poison to help increase damage from the magical enchantment and magic enhancements.  When fighting mages and dragons, use your Ward spell for the added defense, as you close to melee range.  With our 85% magic resistance, they will not play a huge role against us.


    Thanks again to Mason for the inspiration for the magical weapon synergy.  This is my first build and I hope it is OK.  My other builds can be seen at #LeBlanc Builds

  • Member
    November 24, 2015
    I'm not seeing a recommended gear section? Judging by the first picture the aim is for a dragon scale bikini?! Female armour memes aside collecting a suit of dragon armour without smithing is a hell of a slog. Also you've taken enchanting but aren't using it? The fire/frost/storm enchanter perks only boost the damage of weapons you enchant yourself. Weapons you find are affected by the augment destruction perks only. A huge part of the power of masons sorcerer build is the way the enchanter perks interact when you put two enchantments on a weapon. If both enchantments are affected by the enchanter perks they boost each other and then the whole thing is boosted by the augment destruction perks.
  • Member
    November 24, 2015

    It was in there but lost so I've moved it.  As for the pictures I tried to select good pictures with 2-Handed weapons and a light armor look. 

    As for the enchanting I played Mason's Sorcerer build, read it at least 300 times while working on this build and never fully realized that only your own enchantments would work, that the same exact weapon found in a chest was useless.    I even asked that question about damage related to that build in the Q&A thread and got nothing.

    At this point I'm not sure what to do then.  I was hoping to make this a minimal crafting/no crafting build and that leveling Enchanting was what drove the damage.  Obviously I was wrong on that count.  If I add Enchanting this this becomes more of a direct copy build which I certainly do not want as Mason's already done that with the Sorcerer and no way in hell do I even belong on the field with that build.

    I'll go back for another playthrough and possibly level 2-H instead of Enchanting, removing that completely.  Maybe limit the perks in the 2H tree to limit her ability to tie in with the rest of the build?  I'll have to think that through. I've also removed the minimal crafting tag for the time being til I sort that out.

    As for the build, do I need to move this back to a WIP?

  • Member
    November 29, 2015
    Pretty good!
  • Member
    November 29, 2015
    Thanks. I've got to go back and rework it but the premise is still there. I posted my other build I was working on alongside this one and pulled an old build this week and I'm fleshing it out now. When I'm done with that one then I'll dig back into this one.
  • Member
    December 9, 2015

    So I've finished my other builds that I was working on and have come back to this, my first ever build.  As noted in the preface, I've corrected some errors in the build and I've rewritten the entire build with lots of clean up and expansion done.  So this is a bump, but only due to the rewrite and corrections and I redid several of the perks that needed to be tweaked due to the changes.

    Thanks to Lee Fiskilis for the perk shots too BTW, he's been doing great work in the Art Request area.

  • Member
    December 9, 2015

    I see there have been some changes to this since the last time I read it. I will have to get back to this when I have the time.

  • March 9, 2016

    How does this only have 10 likes... It's awesome! +1

  • Member
    March 9, 2016

    Thanks Dovah!  Not sure how I feel about this one.  It was my very first build and it was rough, admittedly, when I looked back on it.  It's always hard I think to accurately judge your first works as a raw builder.  I have given it a rewrite back a few months and there wasn't much special to it..but as my first it will hold a special place for me I  Just glad I think (I hope! ) that I've gotten better as I've gone along.

  • March 9, 2016

    I hope my first build feels special to me. Heh.