Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Subjugator

Tags: #Character Build Spellsword  #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Illusionist  #Rank:Recognized 
  • Member
    June 9, 2016

    Are you like me and enjoy Illusion magic but also strongly prefer two handed melee characters?  Meet the subjugator - a most merry meeting between melee and magic.

    “Subjugation requires vigilance; if you relax your brutality even for a moment, the people you're oppressing will revolt at the first sign of weakness."

    The Subjugator

    Who is the subjugator? Where did he come from? Why has he brought his particular brand of blood lust to Skyrim? Nobody really knows.  What we do know about the subjugator is that he is a skilled warrior and a skilled illusionist - using both his barbaric, 2 handed weapons and illusion magic to dominate his foes.

    Race: Nord or Imperial for racial abilities.

    Stone: The Lady

    Major Skills: Two handed, Illusion, Light Armor, Block.

    Minor Skills: Smithing, Alchemy.

    Armor: Savior's Hide + Forsworn set for the barbarian look set OR light Dawnguard set with Morokei mask for a more dignified look.You should also look for light armor enchanted with fortify two handed .

    Shouts: Bend Will (2nd or 3rd word), Dismay, Kyne's Peace, Storm Call, Marked for Death, Whirlwind Sprint, Clear Skies.

    The Build

    For me, the challenge of making a fun two handed spellsword character in Skyrim was always getting around the slow draw animation for two handed weapons.  After several failed two handed magic users, I began to realize that the best combination would be two handed and non-combat magic (i.e., magic that was used before or after combat rather than during).  

    The subjugator's bag of tricks hinges on his ability to control his enemies by way of Illusion magic and shouts.  Not content with merely killing his foes, the subjugator dominates them first.  The subjugator also seems to have the ability to dominate the natural world - calling and dispelling horrific storms as he sees fit.  Rumors say that the subjugator obtained his power by making an illicit deal with a powerful Daedra.  Others say his powers come from the mysterious tribe that raised him.  Regardless of his power's origin, the subjugator has come to Skyrim to test his power.

    Offensively, the subjugator is a melee powerhouse - wielding immense two handed swords or axes to destroy his enemies.  He has seemingly huge reserves of stamina and is able to power bash or power attack much more often than an average warrior.  Offense is also bolstered with the subjugator's inhuman control over the battlefield - playing with and dominating his enemies as he cuts them down.

    Defensively, the subjugator wears light armor and is quite skilled at parrying blows. Light armor provides the subjugator with a more agile fighting style than heavily armored warriors and is likely partially responsible for his amazing endurance.  The subjugator also has powerful potions and poisons to aid in his fights.

    This build is all about controlling the battlefield.  Whether it's setting up 1 v 1 melee fights, shutting down enemy archers and mages until you feel like dealing with them, or setting up a quick kill on a powerful enemy - the subjugator does it all.

    Once the battlefield is controlled, the subjugator also dominates in melee - with powerful two handed weapons staggering opponents often because of your crazy stamina regeneration.

    With the Lady stone, light armor, and potions, this build can actually have some extremely fast regeneration times for both stamina and health.  Magicka regeneration is a little bit slower, however, it can also be improved via potions. 

    I think what's made this build most enjoyable for me is that it is an extremely flexible melee combatant.  The subjugator build can provide an answer to almost any situation you find yourself in. Rushed by several melee enemies? Calm or fear some and deal with them 1 by 1. Archers or mages making something difficult? Calm them down until you can get up close.  Fighting a particularly difficult melee enemy? Calm him down and sneak attack with your massive two handed sword to give yourself an advantage.  I personally focused on calm spells, situationally using fear and fury, but you could just as easily make use of fear or fury spells (or all 3).  Alchemy provides your healing and bolsters your offense with poisons and provides some additional tactics in combat

    Level 25 Perk Spread

    Level 55 Perk Spread

    Magic: Everything in Illusion (it's OP),

    Combat: Everything in two handed except for the specialization perks, everything in light armor except matching set (matching armor is for squares!), and the right side of the block tree all the way up. Yes, shield charge can be used with two handed weapons but it's a little finicky.  You'll have plenty of crowd control with your Illusion magic and you'll stagger often with your two handed weapons, so, if you want to save the perk point, skip shield charge.

    Non-combat: Alchemy up to poisoner and benefactor (because alchemy is the best) and smithing up to advanced armors so your weapon damage and armor won't fall off as you level up.

    Stat Allocation: 1:2:1.  Stopping at 350:X:250.  Never stop pumping stats into health!

    Special Moves

    Draw Power

    The subjugator meditates a moment before battle, drawing on the source of  his power, granting him unnatural stamina during battle. Regenerate Health potion + Regenerate Stamina potion + Regenerate Magicka potion + Lady Stone.


    Years of fighting and dueling have made the subjugator a master swordsman. Utilizing the half-sword technique which uses the sword pommel as a club, the subjugator delivers a devastating mordhau (a murderstroke). The murderstroke is so powerful that it can potentially knock an opponent to their knees. Backwards Power Attack + Damage Health Poison.


    The subjugator takes a powerful blow at the enemies' legs, hobbling them and slowing them down.  Useful if ambushed by melee opponents to give you time to calm some of them down.  Interestingly, sweep counts as 1 attack so all targets should get slowed.  Slow poison + Sideways Power Attack (Sweep).


    The ultimate room clearer.  The subjugator uses his powers to dominate his foes into inaction and then his powers to dominate the earth, calling lightning on his pacified foes.  Harmony + Storm Call.


    Alchemical Concoctions

    There are 8 potions/poisons that are important for the subjugator.  That's right, only 8.  You can use more but I found myself frequently using these eight over and over again.

    Restore Health: Lot of ingredients can make restore health potions and I'm not going to list all of them here.  Orgnar tells me that wheat and blisterwort can do the trick. Your main mode of healing.

    Restore Stamina: Again, lots of combinations can make restore stamina potions.  Stamina potions can also be commonly found and bought.  These will be much more useful before you get the Wind Walker perk.

    Restore Magicka: Lots of combinations here.  Less useful if you're wearing Morokei.

    Regenerate Health: Very useful potion. Used for the Draw Power special ability.  Garlic, Nordic Barnacle, Juniper Berries, and Luna Moth Wings are easily obtainable ingredients for this potion.

    Regenerate Stamina: Another important potion used for the Draw Power special ability.  With the Lady Stone, Wind Walker, and this potion, your stamina will regenerate so fast! Bee, Fly Amanita, Mora Tapinella, and Scaly Pholiota are all relatively common ingredients that can create this potion

    Regenerate Magicka: Less important than the previous two potions, but useful because your magicka can run out fairly quickly.  Salmon Roe, Salt Pile, Garlic, Jazbay Grapes, Moon Sugar, and Taproot are relatively common ingredients that can create this potion.

    Slow: A very useful poison whenever you're up against a melee opponent and want to run circles around him or her.  Salt Pile, and Large Antlers are two very common ingredients that can create this poison.  Hint: Cast Fury on elk and deer.

    Damage Health: Lots of ingredients contain this effect, however, the magnitude of the effect differs.  For the most potent damage health poisons, you'll want to use River Betty + Deathbell.  

    My subjugator was not a poisoner, so this is where I'll stop giving you alchemy advice.  Of course, you are free to make some more of the crazy potions if you decide to play this character.

    Final Thoughts and Role play

    This is a build that I've been having a lot of fun with.  It results in a fast, powerful melee combatant (I love agile melee vs. sword and board melee) who can flexibly deal with most situations.  I've been playing this build on master difficulty and while I run into difficulty in a few areas, it is significantly easier than most master playthroughs that I've done.

    As for role playing the subjugator, I won't give specific recommendations because I think you can take this character and make him whatever you want - good, evil, or somewhere in between.  I will, however, tell you how I role played this character.  My subjugator was a power hungry, not-quite-evil Nord with a modicum of honor.  As such, I took quests that sounded like they would make me more powerful or that paid particularly well.  I became a werewolf and later a vampire (betraying the dawnguard) because they would make me more powerful. I actively sought out and quested for the Daedra, because their artifacts would grant my character more power.  I became Thanes because it advanced my rank and gave me more power. So on and so forth.  As for the not-quite-evil and honor parts of my character's personality - I didn't cheese my way through many fights nor kill indiscriminately.  My subjugator didn't hate people or animals, but saw them as tools.  He didn't want to break all of his tools.  However, he did break his tools for various reasons; for example: he made Heimskr (the annoying Talos priest in Whiterun) suicide by guard with frenzy because he was annoying.  As for honor, my subjugator was a warrior and enjoyed a good scrap.  Therefore, he would set up "duels" which involved him calming every enemy but one and killing them in fair combat one by one. Up against characters with no honor, though (i.e., archers and mages), all bets were off.  Sometimes my subjugator let these be fair fights and some times he didn't. It depended on his mood.  

    Overall, one of the most enjoyable builds that I played.  He felt strong without having to do anything silly (like spend his first twenty levels crafting) and it really felt like the subjugator could be the master of his Skyrim universe .

  • Member
    June 10, 2016

    Interesting, nice presentation!

    Does Shield Charge actually work with Two Handed Weapons? Everytime I've tried, it doesn't work. It maybe because of the patches.

  • Member
    June 10, 2016

    More two-handed! Good!

  • June 10, 2016

    Cranky perk-saving wizard has no complaints about this perk spread.

    And it even has special moves

  • June 10, 2016

    I've read it's possible by hitting the button at the right time, but it's supposed to be tricky.  I haven't tried it much, so maybe that's why I've never pulled it off.

  • Member
    June 10, 2016

    It can be used with it - it can be a little funky/finicky, though. For that reason, I don't actually use it all that much.  You get more than enough crowd control from your Illusion magic and you stagger pretty well with your 2h weapons without needing to knock enemies down. 

  • Member
    June 10, 2016

    Pretty good for a first build. Two-Handed + magic is something I think a lot of people write off too quickly, so it's nice to see a build that goes that route.

  • June 10, 2016

    Too many people just write off the magicka bar entirely if they don't plan on using it mid-battle!  What a waste...

    But this guy dumps his magicka and then goes to town with a two-hander, amazing

  • Member
    June 11, 2016

    Thanks for the advice Librari. I'll do some more experimentations on it. I just got a couple of ideas.

  • Member
    June 11, 2016

    It's my 2nd build actually, but the last one was, like, 3 years ago.