Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build : Winter's Woe

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Sorcerer  #Mods  #nord  #Ordinator  #Kopis Builds 
  • Member
    April 28, 2020

        So, since my disappearance a couple years ago, I've had a number of playthroughs, but a character I have on ESO inspired me to make this. Vanik Ice-Heart, was his name. A build that is not just a singular path of ice and frost, but forks into seperate sub-builds. The path of the Glacial Fortress, and that of the Winterborn Eruptor, both culminate into the frost mages final form. The Glacial Permafrost.


    - Roleplay -

    This character was born to vampiric parents in the marshes of Hjaalmarch early in the second era, and grew to be cruel and bloodthirsy. When the Ebonheart Pact was formed, he joined and over many years, had risen to the rank of Grand Overlord with vast armies under his command. The skies over Cyrodiil battered keep walls with snow and large ice blocks endlessly, til the enemy either lay dead or surrendered. Raging snow storms buried entire military camps. Long into his service, he claimed the Ruby Throne in the name of the Ebonheart Pact and ruled all Cyrodiil. He lived like a king, and was greatly admired by his peers. One day, Skald-King Jorunn had offered him an honored position, one that he believed only the Grand Overlord deserved. But this offer was declined, and the Grand Overlord - after the Ebonheart Pact broke apart - moved into the mountains of Eastmarch to build his fortress of ice and snow. Where he would live until the events of Skyrim. If you decide to follow the roleplay I intended for the build, Marriable Serana and an appearance enhancement is encouraged. 

    This characters ultimate goal is to re-establish the Ebonheart Pact, with him as its King. This desire is only fed by his hunger to feel the power that comes with being King. He wishes to reclaim the throne that was stolen from him.


    - Required Mods -

    Ordinator : Perks of Skyrim - This is the primary perk mod for the build, and it is a big boy! Overhauling roughly 80% of all perks and adding tons of new ones that open up the roleplay and powerplay possibilities.

    Apocalypse : Magic of Skyrim / Midas Magic - These 2 mods are your primary magic mods that give you all the tools you'd want as afrost mage. Damage, buffs, whatever....

     Ruminations of the Rotmulaag / Thunderchild / Dragonfire : Enhanced Breath Shouts - These are your shout mods. Without these, shouts will be very weak and rather dull to use. Ruminations adds extra effects to shouts, Thunderchild adds several , entirely new, frost themed shouts to the game, and Dragonfire enhances the existing frost breath shout in vanilla.

    Signature Equipment - This mod allows you a lot more leniency in regards to gear. It essentially upgrades your equip armor/weapons to the next level after a customizable number of enemies are killed. All without needing to level up the smithing skill tree. You could use Dwarven from start to finish and still have a viable build, without using smithing, for example.

    Imperious : Races of Skyrim - This is our race mod, and what the build was designed with. Vanilla and other race mods are not supported at this time.

    Blood of the Nord / Second Great War / Become High King : Immersive Edition - While these are not technically required, these mods, in addition to the Civil War, are the backbone of the quests and content for this build. For further explaination, refer to the Roleplay section. 

    Andromeda : Standing Stones - If ya dont have this, the choice of mundus might not make a lot of sense. Most of you probably already have this though.

    AddItemMenu - An overall great utility mod, but is required because the end-game armor for the build cannot be obtained without it. You could edit the esp and add the armor to a container or the crafting menu, to circumvent this, if so desired.

    Complete Crafting Overhaul Redone - Pretty important to have this, due to its customizable modifiers to enchanting power. Buff or nerf yourself to your hearts content :3

    Summermyst : Enchantments of Skyrim - this is  VERY important. You need this mod to provide a couple of tankiness boosting enchants, as well as the amplify destruction enchant.


    - Recommended or Complementary Mods - 

    Eredin armor : steam version - This is the end-game armor. Personally, I edited the esp to make the armor heavy, not take up several slots, and a base 250 armor rating. Almost put this in Required Mods, tbh...

    Amazing Follower Tweaks or iAFT, Serana Dialogue Edit, Relationship Dialogue Overhaul, Follower Commentary Overhaul, Save the Dark Brotherhood, Path to Volkihar - Player can skip Dawnguard, Imaginator, Dreams and Nightmares - music mod, Take Notes : Journal of the Dragonborn, Alternate Start, Better Vampires, and Guard Dialuge Overhaul


    - Questlines and Factions -

    (These are listed in the order I started them in my playthrough)

    - Volkihar Clan (Just do random small stuff til level 10, then you'll get a letter from Lord Harkon)

    - College of Winterhold (you go there to find the moth priest)

    - Main Quest

    - Dark Brotherhood

    - Civil War (Stormcloaks)

    - Blood of the Nord (I love this mod as an additional precurser to SGW, and a way for the character to deal with issues in Skyrim he'd have once he became High King)

    - Second Great War

    - Epilogue of the Playthrough (Character becomes King, via High King of Skyrim Mod)


    - Aspiring Cryomancer -

    This is your early game build, which will later develope into either the Glacial Fortress, or the Winterborn Eruptor.

    - Gameplay -

    The trick here, is to find a good balace between tanky, and something that can kill reletively easy. Thats a tricky bit, because of several factors. Your race, any difficulty mods installed, and your lack of magicka regen early game.

    So, what do we do about it? Crutch on a spell from Apocalypse, that steals mag from your allies and gives it to you. The spell is called Tyrant's Tithe, and not only will it level your restoration up super quick, but it is also very thematically appropriate for the characters backstory. This spell WILL save you. A lot, early game.

    Another good thing to do, is use Ocato's Recital to have frost cloak and an armor buff up all the time. Other than that, terrain and such isnt really a factor here. Just use whatever ya got to kill the bad guy. Not much else to it. Oh, before I forget, undead can be a real pain to kill early game. Kinda just need to rely on followers 50% of the time. Late game, your perks will enable you to kill them without any trouble by wearing down the enemy's frost resistance to the point of non existance. That perk isnt available until.... destruction level 60 or so. 


    - Gear, Skills, Race, and Followers

    Gear :

    Levels 1-20 - Iron / Steel / Steel Plate


    Ideally, the enchantments you place on the armor will buff your overall resistance or tankiness. This is not very important early on, as the enchantment is so weak, your likely not going to notice an effect at all. I would recommend at least 1 fortify health enchant, and 2 or 3 fortify magicka enchants on the jewlery. If you place the amplify destruction enchant on your jewlery, it'll make all your frost damage hurt like hell.


    Race :  Preferably? Nord cause of the favored enemy race that's added by Imperious, and its the race that I played during my playthrough.


    Skill Line's : 

    Major - Destruction, heavy armor, enchanting

    Minor - Conjuration, Alteration, speech

    In the early game, your not going to be wearing robes, and even in heavy armor, your probably gonna be pretty squishy. To offset this, I recommend investing heavily into the heavy armor tree as early as possible. Focus on the perks that give you flat buffs, and if you cant get the perk you want, put it into the Destruction tree. You still are gonna need to kill stuff, afterall...


    FollowersFrost Atronach's, Serana, (insert prefered custom follower here). I recommend limiting your followers to 1 or 2 at a time, and having at least 1 or 2 vampire follower mods installed. These vampires will serve as early game servants and charges, that have known the character for centuries.


    - Stat Spread and Mundus

    Mundus - The Mage

    Stats3 2 /( Note that it doesnt matter the order in which you choose to distribute your attributes)


    - Path of the Winterborn - 

    In this path, your goal is to not rely on innate tankiness to survive, but instead to freeze your opponents in place, and blast them with AoE's and hide behind your frost atronach's and followers. Beware though, the perk that reduces frost damage applies to your frost atronachs too!

    There are some differences between the early game build, and the Path of the Winterborn. Here is a summary of the things you might wish to do to, if you decide to go down this path.


    - Gear, Stats, and Mundus -

    Gear - Ebony (levels 30-45)

    The enchantments here should primarily focus on damage, and regeneration. Put all damage modifiers on jewlery, and make sure to put 1 magicka recovery enchant on one of your jewlery pieces too. At this level, you should be able to put at least 2 enchants on a single item. The Extra enchants perk is low priority early game, and unless you have Ordinator setup to give you multiple perks per level, your not likely to get Extra Enchants until level 40.


    Stat spread410


    Perks and Skills : At this point, your already tanky enough and you dont need to invest anymore into the heavy armor tree, perk wise. From here on out, put everything into the Destruction tree, or Enchanting. 


    Mundus - Honestly, you could go with either the Apprentice, or continue with the Mage. Depends entirely upon what your comfortable with at the time.


    - Path of the Glacial Fortress -

    Here, the build itself becomes even tankier. Shifting focus away from doing damage yourself, and instead allowing your summons and followers to overwhelm your opponent.


    - Gear, Skills, and Stats -


    Gear : Stahlrim sword, and armor (same for any followers). If you decide to follow this path, I recommend Stahlrim Redone, to make heavy stahlrim look better.


    Stat Spread21


    Skills and Perks : Definitely want to continue to invest into the Heavy armor tree, less into Destruction, and more into Conjuration. Your Frost Atronach's are your damage if your not using followers, and need to be buffed by putting perks into the tree. Remember, Skyrim belongs to YOU, and your ability to protect your people directly influence how easy becoming King will be later on in the game.



    - Crown of the Permafrost -

    And finally, you've reached the end of your journey in the paths of the Cryomancer, and seek now the epitome of your craft, yes? Your path will culminate, in the merging of the path you chose, with the skills of the other, in a completely custom playstyle that will differ from other users of the build. These differences will depend entirely upon your own choices thus far.



    - End Gear, Spells, Powers, and Perks -


    Gear : Eredin armor

    Spells and Powers : Midas Hailstorm, Twister, Howling Blast, Frozen Orb, Midas Frost Barrage, Summon Frost Atronach, Frost cloak and armor buff (via Ocato's Recital)

    Shouts : Frost Breathe, Ice Form, Call of Valor

    Skills and Perks : 

    Alteration - Alteration mastery, Alter Self : Resistances, Alter Self : Attributes, Nullifier, Wild Shrines, Intuitive Magic(1 and 2)

    Conjuration - Conjuration Mastery, Plane Meld, Atromancy, Pact Magic, Maelstrom, Elemental Potency, Unleash Hell, Summon Resist, March of Oblivion

    Destruction - Destruction Mastery, Harsh Lesson, War of the Elements, Force of Nature, Elemental Specialization, and the entire center tree

    Heavy Armor - Heavy Armor Mastery, Battle Weary, Break Upon Me, Rise Above, Primal Fear, Reap the Whirlwind, Sovreign, Born to Fight, Lead the Tempest, Cushioned, Heavy Armor Fit, Defiance, Bedrock, Revel in Battle, Never Kneel, Out of the Inferno, Immortal

    Lockpicking (optional) - Mastery, Wax Key, Locksmith, Seen this Before

    Speech (optional) - Mastery, Kinship, Salesman, And the Universe Listens, Windborn, Hurricane Force 



    - Conclusion -


    All in all, this character meant a great deal for me, and playing him in ESO, then in Skyrim made me so much more aware of this characters roleplay, and helped me deepen his backstory. Thank you to the respective authors of the images above.