Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Ethereal Archer

Tags: #Character Build Crusader  #Character Build Archer  #Rank:Bloodworks  #Motty Build 
  • Member
    April 9, 2017

    I had this idea about creating a best of both worlds build that would give the much maligned sneak-archer a makeover and keep even the most ADD player interested for hours. I’ve combined ranged archery with close quarters combat in the form of cloaks and buffed it all with alchemy and the near endless Become Ethereal shout. Lastly, a zero-armor rating while role-playing as a crusader should keep the players attention! This is:



    Class: Crusader / Archer / Alchemist

    Race: Bosmer / Altmer / Imperial Female – because the main skills conjuration and archery level so fast and easily, it really doesn’t matter what race you choose. I just wanted a nice looking lady and chose Imperial.

    Stats: M - 3 H - 2 S – 1 (Stamina capped at 150)

    Gear: Expert Robes of Destruction, Cowl/Hood of Magicka, Thalmor Gloves of the Marksman, Thalmor Boots of Stamina, Ring of Magicka Regen, Amulet of Talos

    Spells: Conjure Bound Bow, Stendarr’s Aura, Flame Cloak, Firebolt

    Faction: Dawnguard

    Followers: none

    Stone: Lover

    Shouts: Become Ethereal, Marked For Death, Fire Breath

    Passives: Ethereal Spirit

    Powers: Reduced Shout Cooldown (alchemy/enchanting)

    Major: Conjuration, Archery, Destruction

    Minor: Enchanting, Alchemy, Restoration

    Perk Calculator 


    Before you see enchanting/alchemy and check out…I implore you to read on! You only need 5 points in both crafting skills to get the desired effect. In fact you can complete this entire build by level 35. The chosen perks create powerful combinations allowing you to feel confident, but not OP. And with Soul Stealer, you have all the filled soul gems you'll need to fly through enchanting (and the monetary reward that comes with it).

    The recharge time on your main shout, Become Ethereal is less than the time the first word lasts with a Fortify Restoration Potion of just 60%! So you don’t have to go crazy power leveling enchanting or alchemy. Just enchant a nice set of Alchemy gear, drink a fortify resto potion, equip the gear and craft some more. Then drink your >60% potion and equip the Amulet and Blessing of Talos. Voila! You can snipe with the best bow in the game and run in close and roast anyone left standing. 


    If you didn’t know, the bound bow is the best “base” bow in the game with a staggering pre-perked DPS of 21! Not only that but it looks so freaking cool, especially when wielded by a crusader cloaked in elemental damage.

    The first wave of offense is with the bow. But you’re no one-trick pony. The Ethereal Archer can rush in under the cover of Cloaks and endless Become Ethereal shouts. Boost the range and damage of your fire and light cloaks with crafted Fortify Potions and watch your enemy’s health bars quickly collapse. Finish off a waning foe with a few well-placed bow bashes*.

    Because of the buffed fire damage, Fire Breath is also a useful battle-ending option once the herd has been culled. Similarly, Firebolt spell can be useful when your bow isn’t readily available and you’re already engaged or coming out of Become Ethereal and just need a few quick attacks.

    (* If you take the build further, Deadly Bash in the Block Tree will increase the damage dealt as described in detail by James in this post. Alternatively, swig a Fortify Marksman potion at the outset of battle, and the bash will also be buffed). 

    Special Moves:

    Stendarr’s Blessing
    Requires: Fortify Resto + Stendarr’s Aura + Bound Bow + Become Ethereal
    Description: A fairly regular mid-range combat move while cleaning out vampire dens. Cast the undead cloak and start picking off abominations with your bow. If you get in trouble use Become Ethereal to finish the job.

    Malkoran’s Extinguisher
    Requires: Fortify Destruction Potion + Dual Cast Flame Cloak + Become Ethereal + Scroll of Fire Storm
    Description: Reserved for an especially naughty unholy heap of hell, this combo incinerates the darkness with full judgment and works well in a crowd.

    Alduin's Bane
    Requires: Marked For Death + Become Ethereal + (Cloak/bow damage + Fortify Potions)
    Description: reserved for the large, strong single foe. Let time be your friend, mark your goliath for death and create space and time. Become Ethereal can be used to extend this time. Then unload your arsenal on the weakened enemy.


    You are an agent of lawful good in a land full of turmoil. You'll stop to help those in need along your way. But as a crusader, your primary drive is to stamp out evil wherever it lies. Join the Dawnguard at your earliest opportunity and deal with Harkon and his goons without mercy. Take up Meridia's quest to shine light where you can. Follow the Main Quest and preserve this world. 

    Quests - Dawnguard and Main Quest lines, The Break of Dawn

    MODS - I used a mod that allows clothing crafting for easier access to things like a Hood or Cowl, Thalmor Gloves and Boots.

    Project Hippie adds more alchemic ingredients to the world, which is especially helpful in the Ancestor Glade where 43+ Yellow Mountain flowers can be harvested for boosted Fortify Restoration potions.

    Closing Notes:

    Thank you reader for checking out my build! Special hat tip to PCOUTCAST and his mini-build The Eternal Flame for inspiration of the Become Ethereal / Cloak maneuver. Check out the "Motty Build" tag for all of my Skyrim builds!

  • Member
    April 10, 2017

    Archery and cloak spells can make a nice combo sometimes. I also played recently a build which I intend to post hopefuly in the next few days (got delayed because my PC had a break down, sad times >_< ) with a similar concept of archery and a cloak spell and it resulted into quite an interesting and fun build.

    Nice one!

  • Member
    April 10, 2017

    Thanks Duvain! I'd love to see your build hope the PC gets fixed!

  • April 10, 2017
    Well, you are just on a building kick, Motty. What a nice surprise to see when the dust settled from my opera. I love Archery and I like your choice of zero armor. Nicely done. I'll check out the images better when I'm back in my laptop, but I just wanted to comment first.
  • Member
    April 10, 2017

    Lissette Long-Chapper said: Well, you are just on a building kick, Motty. What a nice surprise to see when the dust settled from my opera. I love Archery and I like your choice of zero armor. Nicely done. I'll check out the images better when I'm back in my laptop, but I just wanted to comment first.
    Well Tamriel has a way of getting its teeth into you doesn't it? :) I'll be off now...back to the wasteland for a while, but I never stray too far ;) 


  • Member
    April 10, 2017

    Added a quick highlight video...I still need to get more action footage under the protection of Become Ethereal...but yeah.

  • Member
    April 10, 2017

    Awesome Motty, simple, sweet, and to the point.