Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Mage Knight

Tags: #Character Build Spellsword  #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build No Crafting  #soly  #soly build  #SE Rank:Master 
  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    For my first build, I wanted to present my favourite playstyle in Skyrim bar none.

    I've always loved elemental magic in every game I play, and Skyrim is no exception. Adept-level Destruction spells offer impressive area control, and while Apprentice-level spells have pretty unimpressive damage after about mid-game, they scale surprisingly well. I quickly found that playing as an elementalist is loads of fun, right up until my magicka bar ran empty and I couldn't do anything at range.

    Enter the sword half of the Spellsword. Selecting a melee weapon allows a spellsword to approach combat tactically, offering both impressive melee damage and offense at range. Furthermore, a lot of Skyrim's magical abilities synergise impressively with melee combat, from Restoration's Respite perk to the impressive cost and combat effeciency of Destruction's Cloak spells, and Alteration's Flesh spell line offering bolstered defenses.

    But enough digression. If you're looking for a tactical yet well-paced elemental spellsword, no time wasted, look no further.

    (minor spoilers for Skyrim's Main Quest will follow, though I assume by now, everyone's finished said main quest.)

    opening image

    A versatile elemental spellblade, the Mage Knight is capable of exerting impressive combat control at any range.

    Favouring Destruction-class elemental spells at range and a powerful enchanted sword for close combat, Mage Knights are capable of engaging opponents at any distance – preferably the distance at which said opponents are disadvantaged. Elemental Cloak spells and Alteration-class Flesh spells augment their melee capabilities, while the addition of the Block skill opens up defensive sword-and-board combat. Restoration is the glue of the build; the Respite perk coupled with significant Magicka regeneration allows for sustained combat. With a plethora of offensive and defensive tactics, Mage Knights are never without options in battle.

    Bird divider


    Race: No race is really, really crucial to gameplay or roleplay. That said, early boosts to Restoration in particular, as well as Destruction, are an exceptional choice: Imperial, Altmer, Argonian, Breton for Restoration; and Dunmer, Altmer, Imperial, Redguard for Destruction. All the listed races have (to some extent) advantageous daily powers as well. Races not listed (Orc, Nord, Bosmer, Khajiit, in order of usefulness) will still probably be fine. For me, the Imperial's massive +10 to Restoration and game-changing Voice of the Emperor Power was absolutely irresistible, even before tacking on key bonuses to Block, Destruction and One-Handed.

    Stats: Approximately 4M/3H/0S. Past about level 20, tack on a bit of stamina, though it never really needs to progress far beyond 100. A lategame spread might look like 380/300/120.

    Standing Stone: Right out of Helgen, Mage Stone. The Lover Stone appears to be a solid pick due to this character's diverse range of skills, but Destruction and Restoration really need all the help they can get; the non-magic skills level at a decent enough clip that it's not really necessary to boost them. Switch to the Lord Stone anytime after Destruction and Restoration hit 50 (though you may want to delay until Destruction 60 for Augmented Element 2).

    Skills: One-Handed, Destruction, Restoration, Block, Light Armor, Alteration. Oh, did I mention that this is no crafting? Because this is no crafting. Crafting is boring.

    Shouts: Shouts aren't really integral to the build; they're more of helpful tools or panic buttons. For helpful tools, consider Become Ethereal and Aura Whisper. Panic buttons will probably look more like my trigger Slow Time or Marked for Death.

    Equipment overview:
    Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson (essential)
    Shield of Fortify Block (essential)
    Novice/Apprentice Robes of Destruction (early game)
    Assorted enchanted Elven and Glass swords and armor
    Diadem of the Savant

    Make no mistake. This build is all about combat. Enchanting is used exclusively to recharge weapons. Smithing? Smithing was fun in Runescape, I guess (no, it wasn't). Sneak archery? Forget it. Though it's very much a look-before-you-leap build, definitely expect to leap. Into combat. And expect to walk out, too.

    The Mage Knight is designed to level authentically throughout the game and commands an impressive array of options in combat, ensuring that you always have the tools to win. This makes for a very fun, refreshing and engaging playthrough with no time lost doing any boring grinding.

    You might have to spend a little while resetting blacksmiths, though; it's the price you pay for not taking Enchanting.

    Recommended mod of the build: Subtle Cloak Spell Graphics (Nexus link). Tones down the graphics of Skyrim's Cloak spells, which this build uses heavily. Makes them... subtler.

    Bird Divider



    One-Handed is the Mage Knight's primary damage source. Ranks in Armsman as they come are always a solid option, and Fighting Stance is essential. Savage Strike is a solid boost to damage, and Critical Charge is... well, mathematically it's not amazing, but I love this perk. One-Handed will level quickly and authentically so feel free to ignore its progression. With that said, while One-Handed perks offer impressive damage, you will often be faced with a choice between these perks and the defensive/utility perks offered by other skill trees, which can be a difficult choice. However, perks in this tree as they come is generally never a bad option.

    destStraight from the Destruction tree comes the Mage Knight's combat control; Destruction offers area and ranged damage as well as significantly augmenting the Mage Knight's melee combat. Pushing through the mid-game, Impact becomes a prized perk which stops some of Skyrim's most dangerous enemies – archers – dead in their tracks in single combat. Destruction will need some tender loving care so don't hesitate to drop Runes on mudcrabs while wandering Skyrim or solicit training from Faralda or Sybille Stentor. Destruction 50 for the Adept Destruction perk is the main goal and you want this as soon as possible; beyond that you can leave it to level by itself to 60 (Augmented Elemental 2) and 75 (Expert Destruction), and grab Impact when archer mobs start becoming dangerous.

    restoRestoration confers sustained combat capability through healing, stamina regeneration via Respite, and even magicka regeneration through the oft-reviled Recovery perks. Regeneration, Novice and Apprentice perks are essential, and you can delay Adept Restoration until you feel like Fast Healing is falling off. Prioritise leveling Restoration, especially early game; Respite is the cornerstone perk of the Mage Knight and should be taken as soon as possible, ideally by about level 10-15. Don't be afraid to throw some Septims at Colette Marence or Danica Pure-Spring (or grind with a flame trap... pfft, that's like pulling teeth). After Restoration 40, you can just let it level naturally.

    blockBlock offers some much-needed defense with a dash of melee control. It's not so important in the early levels, but past about level 20 you'll be relying more and more on having a solid enchanted shield to take hits from the game's hardest hitters, and past about 35-40 having a decently leveled block skill and enchanted shield is essential. Key perks are a few ranks in Shield Wall and Quick Reflexes (especially Quick Reflexes). Don't be afraid to invest into leveling if it's not quite at Block 30 by level 20 or so (which really shouldn't happen, but you never know), but beyond that you don't really need to care about its leveling.

     larmorLight Armor keeps you alive, what more do you want? Smithing is ignored, so Light Armor perks are fairly essential. Especially if you're not using a Matching Set, your armor rating is likely to be low even when perked, which is why Alteration, Block, and the Lord Stone are selected. Go up to Wind Walker in the late game. I found it leveled quite nicely up to Light Armor 40+, but beyond that, if you start pushing into the late levels, definitely devote some Septims to leveling it with Grelka.

    alterAlteration primarily offers enemy detection and bolsters the Mage Knight's defenses. Do not underestimate the value of 40-100 more armor, it's very big. Detect Life and Detect Dead are used liberally, and Magic Resistance is a very nice perk. Key perks are just ranks in cost reduction up to whatever level you feel is appropriate, but don't be afraid to go up to Expert. Stability, Magic Resistance 3 and/or Atronach round off the perks in the lategame. As long as you cast your strongest Flesh spell before combat, Alteration will level nicely, but as the later levels approach you may find you want it to level faster; don't be afraid to train this either.



    So these are your key perks; as a jack-of-all-trades build, perks have been spread out fairly evenly to score all the ones that are essential to combat as early as possible – the big ones are Respite, Quick Reflexes, and Adept Destruction which each provide an extremely notable boost to your combat effectiveness. I had them online at about level 13, 17, and 20 respectively.

    Here, I've taken Augmented Shock, but it can easily be switched for Augmented Flames or Frost depending on your preference. By this point you should also have selected the Lord Stone.

    The build has a massive focus on early- to mid-game perks, such as Respite, and because of that you may sometimes find that there are multiple perks waiting in the wings to be taken. As a general rule, you can prioritise Respite > Destruction > One-Handed > Restoration > Alteration > Light Armor, and put two perks into Block for Quick Reflexes once it reaches level 30.

    You'll probably have noticed that I've intentionally neglected to take Impact at level 25. Impact is very powerful, but for the Mage Knight, the perk's main targets (archer-class combatants) aren't really significant threats in the early game. It's more valued past level 30 and especially once enemies like Deathlords start showing up with Ebony Bows and high-grade arrows.

    Key perks past level 25 are probably perking out Armsman, Augmented Elemental, Agile Defender, and Magic Resistance, as well as selecting Impact, Stability, Wind Walker, and Expert Alteration and Destruction. Aside from these, you can probably afford to spend your perks more freely. Feel free to select any perk that you feel offers some auxiliary benefit. You can even select perks in other skill trees if you feel they offer significant benefit – my character was an Imperial with Voice of the Emperor, so a two-perk dip into Sneak offered Backstab, a prized perk that boasted very powerful synergy with my racial daily power; alternatively, at higher difficulties, a (tedious) three-perk dip into Smithing for the Elven and Arcane perks may be applicable. Smithing may be leveled with jewellery and the Transmute Mineral Ore spell.

    The following perk spread was my Mage Knight at level 50 (49 perks total) and should offer some idea of what the character will look like at this point. It does not need to be taken as a hard-and-fast rule:

    Bird dividerele_elation

    (a.k.a. How does a character derive combat control from Destruction of all skills?)

    activecloak In close combat, the Mage Knight derives a significant amount of combat efficiency from Destruction's elemental Cloaks. In smaller words, having a Cloak spell active lets you auto-win melee fights. This is the real reason for the prioritisation of the Adept Destruction perk – the Mage Knight prioritises an active Cloak more than the area carnage offered by Fireball, Ice Storm and Chain Lightning.

    Let's take a closer look at these of-underrated spells.

    Having an active elemental Cloak keeps damage ticking on opponents in melee range, whether you're running past them, healing, stabbing other opponents, or even blocking (read as: instantly win shield battles). Additionally, an active Cloak's damage is added to melee attacks. An extra 12 elemental damage per swing of the sword is nothing to scoff at – it's almost an extra third again of a generic weapon's elemental damage, in addition to the cloak's ongoing damage. The Frost Cloak applies a constant slow effect in addition to the above and is incredibly potent against melee enemies, even if Augmented Frost perks are neglected in favour of other elements.

    Deadly melee opponents like Bandit Chiefs and Giants put out significant damage that will tear through the Mage Knight's unimpressive defenses like so much paper, but the Block skill will reduce that damage to a paltry next-to-nothing, all while a cloak's passive damage is ticking on and on. Power attacks may be interrupted with a shield bash, allowing for either two quick counter-strikes with the sword or for the Mage Knight to back off and heal, simultaneously restoring the character's stamina and allowing for even more shield bashes and infinitely sustained combat. Mistakes may be costly – getting hit directly by melee bosses will leave a pretty impressive hole in your HP bar – but do not take this as weakness, because Block will stop most of these in their tracks, while an active cloak will set a timer on the battle.

    jyrikstaffFor ranged control, the Mage Knight has two main options. The second of these is the Impact perk, which is likely to come into play at the mid-late levels (30ish). Impact is a frankly game-breaking perk that is capable of ending single combat all by itself in a series of staggerlocks. With that said, you shouldn't rely on it or the Mage Knight is likely to run dry of magicka, even with Apprentice spells in the late levels. Impact should be primarily employed against dangerous archer- or mage-class foes as a method of stopping them at range while you get close.

    The first ranged control ability of the Mage Knight is the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson. Though not technically a spell, I'm electing to cover it here, because it does offer an impressive control ability of its own.

    The Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson boasts an unequaled 50 magicka damage per shot, with half that as health damage. For the record, the Expert-level Thunderbolt with Augmented Shock 2 hits for 45 magicka damage and is slower than Jyrik's staff (ignore the deceptive audio; this weapon can fire two or three times a second and is possibly the highest DPS magic weapon in the game). Opposing mages, up to and including the Dragon Priests, can be rendered defenseless in only a few shots (the Dragon Priests' dangerous staff-fueled spells appears to be tied, for some inexplicable reason, to their magicka pool as well as the staff's charges). For an item available before level 10, the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson is an incredible mage killer that smoothes combat against mages and grounded dragons throughout the game.

    Less elemental spells


    The school of Restoration primarily provides healing spells. Importantly, Respite sustains the Mage Knight's stamina usage while healing, offering nigh-unlimited shield bashes (important) and power attacks (less important). Make sure you have the highest-leveled healing and ward spells available, up to Adept. Lesser Ward, used against dragons, is used the most, but higher-leveled Wards are useful against mages. (Do not try to Ward off Ice Storm, or Bad Things will happen.) Consider taking up Sun spells as well. Sun spells sport lower magicka costs than even the corresponding Fire spells (good for Electromancers) and can therefore be cast with abandon against the undead (good for Cryomancers).

    FleshspellAlteration provides Flesh Spells, which augment the Mage Knight's armor rating. It's pretty important to have a solidly leveled one, as the character can be fairly squishy without it. Aside from that, Detect Life and Detect Dead are key spells. The former can be obtained quickly by talking to Stalleo, at Treva's Watch southeast of Ivarstead (you can also pick up the Diadem of the Savant nearby, at Froki's Shack). The latter may be harder to score early but should be available from gambling with Morven Stroud, if you really want to rush it. Be wary, though, the drop rate seems to be really terrible and it's not really a problem to wait until Alteration 65.

    DetectLifeI cannot overemphasize the importance of enemy detection. Especially in the mid levels (20-30 range), an elemental Cloak plus a leveled Flesh spell will cost almost your entire Magicka bar, and you generally want both of them up when combat starts. Pre-casting these spells before combat begins allows for your magicka regeneration to kick in for a few seconds, which does make a difference, especially with Magicka Regen rings in play.

    ParalyzeParalyze is an amazing spell, but with the drawback of basically emptying your magicka tank when cast (this character does not invest in Alteration cost reduction beyond the Expert perk). It's not a universally applicable tool, but having it in your pocket doesn't hurt for when you need that enemy out of the fight now. Make sure you learn to aim with it and learn to recognise enemies that are immune to paralysis (Chaurus Hunter). There are few things worse than missing Paralyze.

    bird divider


    charportraitElven and Glass armor look fantastic and suit the Mage Knight very well. Before they become available (and if you have some confidence in your martial ability), you can get a set of Elven Light Armor from (murdering) Thalmor patrols.

    Regarding enchantments, look for Fortify One-Handed on the arms and necklace, Fortify Stamina on the boots, Fortify Destruction on the torso piece, and either Fortify Magicka Regen or Fortify Destruction on your ring and helmet. Don't be afraid to reset blacksmiths (or Radiant Raiment) to acquire your chosen armor. (Note that the Elven Helmet never spawns with Magicka Regen.)

    If you're not a fan of the helmeted aesthetic, you can opt to use the Diadem of the Savant, available from either Shalidor's Maze (as loot from the Dremora boss) or outside Froki's Shack, south-ish of Ivarstead (look carefully at the wood chopping block). It goes well with both Elven and Glass equipment and ticks the fourth box necessary for the Custom Fit perk. If you do this, definitely select Magicka Regen on your ring and look for Fortify Destruction on your torso armor. Your armor rating will suffer if you do this (with the Diadem, I had only 171 armor at level 25 before Alteration and a shield, but after the Lord Stone), so be aware of that if you do choose this option, though I assure you that it can be done.

    In the early game, before Magicka Regen enchantments become available, you can get away with wearing robes. The Novice and Apprentice Robes of Destruction work very well here; switch to a light armor chestpiece when you pick up an enchanted ring or helmet with Magicka Regen. The 40% Ring of Recharging starts appearing at level 16. Better rings appear at levels 24, 32 and 40, when the 100% Ring of Recovery becomes available, so troop on back to Taarie and Endarie every 8 levels or so. And don't kill them. I know some people are very fond of killing them, but you really want these rings.

    Lastly, and definitely importantly, look for a shield with Fortify Block. Especially in the late levels, a shield with Fortify Block will keep you alive; the Glass Shield goes well with our chosen (Elven or Glass) armor and spawns with a 35% enchantment at level 43.

    This was me at endgame – the Glass Gauntlets and Boots look amazing with an Elven or Elven Gilded chestpiece and the Diadem of the Savant:


    bird divider



    Elven and Glass Swords have a fantasy weapon look that really suits an arcane spellsword, and both spawn with very strong generic elemental enchantments (up to 25 points before Augmented Elemental perks).

    Your primary weapon should match your choice of Augmented Elemental perk in the Destruction tree. Secondary weapons, if you opt to carry them, should aim to diversify, so selecting a different elemental weapon, or one imbued with Absorb Health, may be applicable. (I carried Dawnbreaker as a secondary blade because... well, because it's a very cool weapon.)

    I also carried a dagger imbued with Soul Trap for recharging my equipment.

    The Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson should be considered an essential artifact. I've covered the use of the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson in the section "Elemental Elation" above, so it suffices to say here that it is essential to have this Staff on hand at all times.

    Lastly, Shalidor's Insight: Destruction scrolls, though usually not strictly necessary, are very highly valued by this character for difficult fights. Get used to running errands for Urag gro-Shub.


    "One of the Imperial shades knew my name. It threw me for a loop when the shade hissed my name, its voice sibilant and dark as it tried to run me through. That shade is going to be haunting my newest nightmares. I'm sure of it. When I reached Kilkreath Catacombs, within which Malkoran had set up his base, I was furious. It would have given me no greater pleasure than to run him through and watch the life leave his eyes."

    Bird dividerGameplay&Combat

    Combat as the Mage Knight is generally tactical more than fast-paced. In the early levels, it's wise to open with your choice of elemental spells at range, and draw your sword when enemies close in. Always try to have a Flesh spell up before combat.

    Liberal use of Detect Life and Detect Undead means that opponents should never get the drop on you. Conversely, you should always be forewarned before combat begins. Call up your strongest Flesh spell and an elemental Cloak and make a preemptive strike. In this scenario, Adept-level spells are wise to try to pick off the weak mooks. In the mid-levels (20-30), you may not have the magicka to support all three of Flesh, Cloak, and preemptive magical strike. In this case, you may opt to wait for some of your magicka regen to kick in before initiating combat; forgo the cloak initially and only call it mid-battle; or open combat in melee. I personally favour the first option.

    Patience is a virtue and time is your ally. The impressive performance of Cloak spells coupled with the Mage Knight's solid combat control and proficiency in Restoration magic means that you do not need to be afraid of extended combat. If you rush into battle expecting to dominate enemies with endless spells and power attacks, you will die; a more defensive and tactical approach is usually wise.

    Specific strategies:

    vsForswornThe hardest-hitting enemies are often also the ones who take forever to die, so it may be wise to deal with the minions first. Against powerful melee opponents such as Bandit Chiefs, Giants, and Lurker Vindicators, sword-and-board combat should be your mainstay, backed by the power of an elemental Cloak (kiting these foes is generally more trouble than it's worth, but don't underestimate the value of doing so if you need to). Generally, these enemies will have far more stamina than you do, so don't hesitate to bash them in the face, back off, and cast a healing spell to restore your stamina (it's not cheating if he's trying to kill you). Try not to get flanked, and against multiple melee enemies, it may be wise to try to thin the ranks with Chain Lightning when initiating combat. Mid-battle, you can do this by making distance with Become Ethereal, or by bashing the big one in the face, swapping to Chain Lightning or Fireball, and throwing a few of them at your feet.

    Arch-mages may be safely engaged at a distance with the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson. Boasting a massive 50 magicka damage per hit, opposing mages will quickly be rendered fairly impotent. Don't be afraid to take cover and play the range game, either; a ward in one hand and the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson in the other is basically a win condition against enemy mages, if a slow one. An enemy mage with an empty magicka tank is a prime target for your sword (it's not cheating if he's trying to kill you). Keep his magicka tank empty with Chain Lightning or the Staff while getting close, or use Impact or Become Ethereal. Lightning Cloak and a shock-imbued sword will do the job after.

    vsVampPowerful archers such as Draugr Deathlords or Falmer Shadowmasters are fairly terrifying. If possible, prioritise taking them out; close in with Become Ethereal, Slow Time, or Whirlwind Sprint, and keep them off balance with a series of shield bashes or power attacks; if you can force them to draw their melee weapon, the battle is effectively won because you outclass these enemies in melee combat. Be very wary because I've found that blocking doesn't always stop arrows even if you're facing the foe. It's probably something to do with the shield's area of cover and the arrow not hitting dead centre... or something stupid like that; the point is it doesn't always work. Combat at Skuldafn at high levels is particularly difficult. Don't be afraid to advance slowly and deal with opponents as they come. If you have good cover from the arrows, take shameless advantage of it to deal with melee enemies safely, then bring down the archer with Impact (it's not cheating if... you get the point).

    Vampire bosses are basically your worst nightmare. They pack significant melee damage, their use of Shock spells will drain you dry in seconds, Frost will keep you slowed and out of Stamina, and Drain Life is just irritating. Make sure you're on top form against them; exclusively against Vampire enemies, the Mage Knight will need to aim to end combat quickly because these foes are capable of denying both your Magicka and Stamina bars, making sustained combat against them challenging. Vampires are susceptible to fire damage, so a fire-imbued weapon is an excellent choice, even against Dunmer vampires. Especially against these foes, Magic Resistance and Absorption and Become Ethereal are prized options, as are weapons imbued with Absorb Health or even Absorb Magicka. Don't be afraid to fire strong daily powers like Voice of the Emperor or Histskin or one-shot abilities like Sun Flare; don't be afraid to pull out hilariously powerful Shouts like Slow Time or Marked for Death; don't be afraid to cast Paralyze, and don't be afraid to drown yourself in healing and/or magicka potions. Anything is fair game – it's not cheating if he's trying to kill you.

    bird dividerRoleplay

    "Paarthunax suggested I capture a dragon and force from it Alduin's location. Dragonsreach, once used to hold a captive dragon, would be ideal. And Jarl Balgruuf likes me, too. But he won't help me yet – he can't, not if it leaves Whiterun open to Stormcloak attack. I need to bring this accursed war to an end."

    "Ulfric Stormcloak is an insurrectionist and a despotic warlord. As of now, he and his rebellion are also indirectly responsible for every death caused by the dragons until the war comes to an end and I can capture a dragon in Jarl Balgruuf's palace. And he will get his reckoning."

    The Mage Knight is primarily a gameplay-focused build. That said, some element of roleplay is always fun and keeps the playthough engaging. And this being a gameplay build, you have a lot of options.

    LAL DawnguardMastery of both spell and sword requires a certain amount of mental discipline. Why do you choose to diversify instead of specialise? Did you learn magic first, or swordplay? Where did you learn the first, and what prompted you to pick up the other? Do you favour one over the other, and why?

    Skirmishing proficiency and small unit tactics are the Mage Knight's calling card. Where was this acquired? Was it learned from experience as a mercenary or soldier, or taught by a tutor of military strategy to a fourth son with no chance of inheritance? Perhaps you are naturally hotheaded, and need to fight your first instinct to charge headlong into battle. How did you learn to do so, and was the lesson painful?

    Swords, sorcery, and strategy make for a highly dangerous, highly skilled special operative. Why did you set down your previous life to take up the adventurer's mantle? This is a character whose skillset doesn't come from nowhere - perhaps you have a history with one organisation or another. Conversely, this is a character who can go almost anywhere, though the skillset doesn't really suit a thief (copious amounts of violence) or a Companion (copious amounts of magic).

    LALStormcloakI can easily see the Mage Knight as a professional adventurer, a wanderer and solver of problems. Such a character might have a Good- or Neutral-alignment, and the College of Winterhold and Dawnguard questlines make solid options; or you can just wander Skyrim and do radiant quests which is always really fun (do try to make sure you have the Bound Sword spell before starting No One Escapes Cidhna Mine. That's the sort of thing I can imagine the Mage Knight doing, anyway; prepared even to lose his weapon). For such a character, perhaps the adventuring life has taught you that the ends can justify the means.


    Or perhaps the Mage Knight's confluence of abilities come about as a result of a history with the Imperial Legion. This character would have ties to the Civil War. Whatever the choice, your skillset would make you highly sought after by both sides of the conflict, and the Civil War quests tend to deploy the player as a special operative more than as a front-line soldier anyway. Think about it. Falsifying documents? Jailbreaking? Blackmail? Sounds like special ops to me, and special ops personnel aren't exactly a dime a dozen. My own roleplay was as a Legionnaire. If you really want to join the Stormcloaks, consider Scaled Armor and enchanted Nordic weapons; they're a better fit for the faction than Glass and Elven (no matter what Unmid Snow-Shod tells you). As an Imperial lover, however, I'm asking you not to sign my Mage Knight build up to the Stormcloaks.

    If you think about it, basically every enemy vampire in the game utilises Destruction, One-Handed, and Light Armor. Coupled with Restoration (read as: Necromage), the build is a solid fit for a vampiric character, with all the usual role-play trappings. The Vampire Royal Armor sports a massive 125% Magicka Regen enchantment; alternatively, vanilla Vampire Armor occasionally spawns with 50% Magicka Regen and 12-25% spell cost reduction. This also opens up the hilariously powerful Ring of the Erudite.

    "It is done. Ulfric Stormcloak, once Jarl of Windhelm, is dead, executed by General Tullius. Skyrim, once sundered, is whole again. But we are not yet at peace. The dragons still terrorise this land."

    "Ordinarily, I would remain with General Tullius and Legate Rikke to consolidate our hold on the formerly rebel territory. But there are special circumstances – the dragons are bad for everyone, and they have ruled the skies for long enough. I return to Whiterun tomorrow. There, I will find the location of Alduin. And I will stop him. For the Empire. And for Skyrim."



  • June 14, 2017

    What I really enjoy when people build are people who base their builds, instead of on trying to impress or come up with the "new" thing in building, is when people simply take a playstyle or character they really enjoyed and make a build out of it. Nice that you give some different options with regard to roleplay. 

    *runs and plays your Mage Knight as a Stormcloak*

    Just teasing, relax, relax. It's funny, though cause in Immersive Patrols, they actually do have Stormcloak mages, which I thought was pretty cool. 

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Thank you! I'd at least like to think I introduced some original gameplay ideas - the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson isn't an artifact seen in a lot of builds, and I happen to think it's incredibly underrated because although its damage isn't exactly impressive, its magicka damage ability is effectively unmatched in Skyrim. You never really see Cloaks used in that many builds, either, which is a shame because they are incredible. And I don't think I've seen a single spellsword which takes the Block skill. A lot of them seem to say "Magic down melee enemies at range" which is all well and good until you realise that they walk towards you faster than you can walk away...

  • June 14, 2017

    Solyeuse said:

    Thank you! I'd at least like to think I introduced some original gameplay ideas - the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson isn't an artifact seen in a lot of builds, and I happen to think it's incredibly underrated because although its damage isn't exactly impressive, its magicka damage ability is effectively unmatched in Skyrim. You never really see Cloaks used in that many builds, either, which is a shame because they are incredible. And I don't think I've seen a single spellsword which takes the Block skill. A lot of them seem to say "Magic down melee enemies at range" which is all well and good until you realise that they walk towards you faster than you can walk away...

    Yeah, I played Albee with magic and block, but I haven't made him a build yet. I also regularly play shield mages, which I like to call Bash 'n Fry. My Freelancer used the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson and I agree with you about it. It's a great staff that feels basically like you've broken the game in early levles. Loved it along with the Wabbajack for Dragon clobbering. 

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Staff of Jyrik Gaulderson also fires faster than normal staves, dosen't it?

    Anyway, I love the presentation and the concept of the build is wonderful. As Lisette said, the best thing is simple builds, and not Mage/Knight/Paladin/Necromancer/Thief hybrids that use 100 mods with ridicoulously long Backstorys. Well done, love it.

  • June 14, 2017

    Blacklight the Oddball said:

    Staff of Jyrik Gaulderson also fires faster than normal staves, dosen't it?

    Anyway, I love the presentation and the concept of the build is wonderful. As Lisette said, the best thing is simple builds, and not Mage/Knight/Paladin/Necromancer/Thief hybrids that use 100 mods with ridicoulously long Backstorys. Well done, love it.

    What do you mean? That was my next build idea! :P Only I was going to add brawler and monk to the mix and make him a vampire/werwolf assassin too who does all the Daedric quests but also helps all the divines. :D

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Lissette Long-Chapper said:

    Blacklight the Oddball said:

    Staff of Jyrik Gaulderson also fires faster than normal staves, dosen't it?

    Anyway, I love the presentation and the concept of the build is wonderful. As Lisette said, the best thing is simple builds, and not Mage/Knight/Paladin/Necromancer/Thief hybrids that use 100 mods with ridicoulously long Backstorys. Well done, love it.

    What do you mean? That was my next build idea! :P Only I was going to add brawler and monk to the mix and make him a vampire/werwolf assassin too who does all the Daedric quests but also helps all the divines. :D

    Oh Lisette, for gods sake, that is far too simple a concept. Nobody will be interested, its simply too bland. Im sorry, I know you are a great builder, but how could you possibly come up with a build as simple and boring as that???

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    This is one of the best builds I have seen posted in a long, LONG time. You should be really proud not only because this is your first build but because it is obvious you love this playstyle and character. It is much more fun to play something you are devoted to and much more fun sharing it as well. 

    Everything here is awesome - details and images are on point. Really, really well done! Can't wait to see more from you if you have more concepts later on down the road!

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    You forgot Enchanter, Blacksmith, and Alchemist. There's a good build idea - the Polymath.

    I didn't use regular staves that weren't Jyrik Gauldurson in this playthrough, but I definitely felt that the Staff of Jyrik fires slower than the character's standard Lightning Bolt spells.  its fire rate is insane...

    As for backstory and RP, I'm definitely of the opinion that less is often more when it comes to backstory and RP. Every character is likely to have some roleplay intrinsic to it, but there often isn't a need to include everything or even most things. Of course in this sense every build is going to have to find its own balance - sometimes RP is quite crucial to the build, but other times it isn't, and often when it is it's not really the entire RP thing, just a few key points that enhance the feel of the build. In those cases I think I'd favour including nothing more than those few key points.

    Obviously I'm not saying that RP and long backstories in builds are always bad. Especially for our current event Follow Me Follow You I think it's really important to have. But it is definitely my opinion (one that, judging by the number of RP builds on the side, isn't really shared by a lot of people, and I'm honestly fine with that) that less RP detail and no intricate backstories is often a good thing.

    Not always, though. The Prodigy is one of my favourite presented builds of all time.


    EDIT oh wow I got a Henson compliment! Big honour. Yeah, I do really love the build, character, and playstyle, it was a blast for four entire playthroughs of the game.

  • June 14, 2017

    Fantastic build Solyeuse, and a joy to read.  Jyrik's staff is one of my favorite's and saw alot of use in my Druid of Galen build, though I chose it more for aesthetics than anything else.  For some reason the whole time reading this I thought of an Orc armed with a war ax and the Targe of the Blooded combining cloak damage with bleeding damage....I think i have my next character!