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Character Build: Ancestor Moth Monk

Tags: #Character Build Monk  #Character Build Healer  #Character Build Agent  #Rank:Recognized 
  • July 3, 2012

    Azrym awoke with a start.  Everything was black, but everything was always black for the blind Redguard.  He was used to being awoken by the gentle sounds of the graceful moth’s that lived in the monastery with him.  This time he was awoken by the smell of blood.  Suddenly someone called out to him.


    It was brother Harthi.  Azrym heard the Nord’s padded feet stomping down the hallway towards him, but he wasn’t alone.  He was being chased.  Azrym arose just as Harthi came bursting through his door.

    “Brother Azrym, demon!  It has killed everyone!”

    Harthi scrabbled behind Azrym, just as he heard the Xivalai walk into the doorway.  The demon, wreaking of death, snarled and stretched its monstrous claws.  Azrym chanted softly to himself until his body was as tough as Iron.  He drew his dagger from atop the table and faced the demon.

    “Come, you unholy beast.  Let us send you back to the your foul pit of Oblivion.”

    * * *

    The work took over a week, but in the end Azrym, with the aid of Harthi, was able to give each of his brothers and sisters a proper funeral.  Standing before their graves, he waited patiently for Harthi to finish his task.

    “I’m all done, Brother Azrym.  I collected all of the moths like you asked,” Harthi said.  Azrym could smell the moth’s scent from the cages he had collected them in.

    “Excellent, then we set out as soon as possible.”

    “Where are we going, brother?”

    “Didn’t you say you still had family in Skyrim?”

    Ancestor Moth Monk

    I’ve wanted to make a monk build for a while, but couldn’t grasp the concept of using your hands in a game that doesn’t let you level it up.  So, I went with the Moth Priests from Oblivion.  Their skill set was focused on blade fighting, alteration, restoration and stealth.  This build in the end is kind of a cross between my recent Wetboy build, and Mason’s Alik’r build.  I hope you guys enjoy it!

    Race: Redguard. Skill benefits make sense and the racial perk is great for recovering from multiple power attacks.

    Stone:  Lover stone for leveling, then Atronach for magicka absorption or Lord for Magicka/damage resistance.

    Primary Skills

    One Handed, Alteration, Sneak

    Secondary Skills

    Block, Archery, Restoration, Enchanting, Smithing

    Level 25

    One Handed: Armsman 2/5, Fighting Stance
    Block: Shield Wall 1/5, Quick Reflexes, Power Bash
    Smithing: Steel, Elven
    Archery: Overdraw 1/5, Eagle Eye, Critical Shot 1/3
    Alteration: Novice, Apprentice, Dual Casting
    Restoration:  Novice, Apprentice, Regeneration
    Enchanting: Enchanter 1/5, Fire Enchanter, Soul Squeezer
    Sneak: Sneak 2/5, Backstab, Muffled Movement

    Level 50

    One Handed: Armsman 4/5, Savage Strike, Critical Charge
    Block: Deadly Bash
    Smithing: Arcane Blacksmith
    Archery: Steady Hand 1/2, Power Shot
    Alteration: Mage Armor 2/3, Magic Resistance 2/3, Adept
    Restoration: Respite, Adept, Dual Casting
    Enchanting: Enchanter 4/5, Corpus Enchanter, Soul Siphon
    Sneak: Light Foot, Deadly Aim, Assassin’s Blade


    Robes and other enchanted clothing.  Focus your enchantments to reduce your Restoration and Alteration spell costs, as well as on fortifying your One Handed or Sneak Skill.

    For your weapon I suggest using a self-crafted Elven dagger with Fiery Soul Trap.  I’ve called mine Saturniidae after the fiery colored moth that really exists.

    I also suggest carrying a sword of your choice to use when facing multiple enemies.  Dagger speed is great, but the power can be lacking when facing a "turtle" warrior and several "striker" mages or archers at the same time.


    Combat usually goes one of three ways.
    Stealth- Sneak up on your target and bring him down with your dagger.
    Face-to-face- If your enemies are aware of you, you can either initiate combat with your bow, until they are too close, or utilize Critical Charge to close the gap between you and the first target.  Follow this up with either a healing spell with Respite or Adrenaline Rush to recover your stamina.
    Defensive- If you are overwhelmed by a tough opponent or multiple opponents, focus on power bashing them with the use of Quick Reflexes, before reciprocating with your own attacks.

    Either way always to remember to keep mobile.  Your greatest asset is your speed.  Additionally, dragons can be punks!  So for dragons I suggest using your bow to take the beast to the ground, before charging in with power attacks.  Or sneak up on the beast if you can, and sneak attack his ass with your dagger.

    After Level 50, if you’re still playing, I suggest using future perks to pump your damage up or shore up your alteration skills.  You could also shoot for getting extra effect in the Enchanting.

    Ancestor Moth Blessings

    Protective Cocoon-
    Increase your resistance to damage while your body heals it's wounds.
    Req: Current Flesh spell, Become Ethereal (Meditation on Words), Healing Spell.

    Wings of Fury- Lash out with a quick series of dagger strikes that keeps your enemies on their toes.
    Req: Unenchanted Dagger, Elemental Fury

    Gust of Wind- Channel your force to blow your enemies away.
    Req: Unrelenting Force

    Blind Moth's Sense- You sense the living essence of the creatures around you.
    Req: Aura Whisper

    Sweeping Dive- Your bash your enemy, knocking back their attack or breaking their defense, before following up with an attack.
    Req: Deadly Bash, Dagger power attack

    Graceful Malice- Silently sweep up to your enemy, before impaling them upon your blade.
    Req: Sneak, Muffled Boots, and Assassin's Blade.

    Moth's Flight- Sweep in on your enemies to follow up with an attack or fly away to gain a tactical advantage.
    Req: Whirlwind Sprint


    Stormcloaks- The Moth Monk was captured while crossing the border into Skyrim.  In the small skirmish that ensued, Harthi was shot by an archer and the moth cages he was carrying fell to the ground the moth's escaped.  The monk cannot forgive the Imperials for this transgression.
    Companions and Winterhold- Being as much a holy man as well as a warrior, the monk can be on friendly terms with both factions in order to aide Skyrim and to hone his mystical skills.
    Thieves Guild- Sure if you're playing your character as being bitter towards the world.
    Dark Brotherhood- For the more evil version of the monk.  Also, the opportunity to kill the emperor fits with the Stormcloak story.  Otherwise, focus on the "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood" Quest.