Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Loup-Garou

  • Member
    July 8, 2012

    My first ever build for the blog -- and still one of my favorites! The Loup-Garou was one of the first werewolf builds to grace the group, and the very first to capitalize on many treats granted by the new (at the time) Dawnguard DLC. This character offers a perfect balance between all three combat umbrellas, with some of the most enjoyable aspects of lycanthropy thrown in for good measure. Lots of synergy between beast form and human form too.

    "Some may call this a curse. Me, I call it a blessing."



    The Loup-Garou is a human who can change into a wolf. While in his wolf form, he is as aware and intelligent as he is in his human form. These creatures are the most fearsome and terrifying of all known werewolves. They can change at their own will, as well as by the command of a full moon.

    Race » Nord Werewolf

    Stone » The Steed

    Key Shouts » Become Ethereal, Aura Whisper, Elemental Fury, Unrelenting Force

    Attribute Distribution » 2 Health / 1 Magicka / 1 Stamina

    Essential Quests » Ill Met by Moonlight, Companions quest line, The Taste of Death


    Major Skills

    Illusion » Aspect of Terror is amazing. It increases the power of all Fear effects, including Howl of Terror. More importantly, this perk affects Fire Damage effects, which are essential. Quiet Casting allows you to remain hidden while using spells, shouts, and howls. And you'll use Muffle from day one until the endgame.

    One-handed » Keep a tempered Nord Hero war axe or sword in your right hand at all times. They are fast, dependable, and consistent with the Wolf theme. Even better, they only require Steel Smithing for the tempering bonus.

    Alteration » It may seem redundant to pick up both Heavy Armor and Alteration, but let me explain: Alteration will provide some very useful perks, and it is extremely beneficial for transformations. The Magic Resistance perks apply in Beast Form, giving 30% constant Magic Resistance. In the endgame, Paralyze is a nice ace to keep in your back pocket.



    Minor Skills

    Sneak » Predatory cunning requires an advanced mastery of stealth and patience. Use Sneak to avoid being overwhelmed by groups of enemies, and to always get the first strike. Also simulates agility and dexterity, both in and out of combat.

    Destruction » Flame Cloak carries over into Beast Form, and can be very helpful in longer battles. With Augmented Flames 2/2 and Aspect of Terror, it does 22 damage per second, plus ~20% burning damage. Dragonborn adds the Ignite spell, which is absolutely lethal when combined with Aspect of Terror.

    Restoration » Without Alchemy, you'll find Restoration useful between battles. It also offers some very helpful perks, and even some offensive spells that prove useful against draugr. You don't need to invest much into this skill though, just use it to heal as needed.

    Heavy Armor » The Steed & Muffle combination cancels out any of Heavy Armor's stealth-related, movement-related, and weight-related drawbacks from the onset, making this skill incredibly viable for the build.

    The Build


    A nice armor combo for the early game is Banded Iron Armor, Iron Boots, Iron Gauntlets, and Novice Hood. Wolf Armor also goes well with the Adept Hood, and benefits from Steel Smithing; that can make for a good set to use before you are able to acquire Nordic Carved. The Ring of Namira should be the primary ring in human form, and the Ring of Bloodlust should be used before transforming -- only use the Ring of Hircine when you need to transform multiple times in a single day.


    Gameplay: Beast Form

    The Loup-Garou has been cursed with the most severe form of lycanthropy imaginable, but he has learned to use this curse to his advantage. Prioritize picking up all four levels of Bestial Strength, as well as the entire right branch of the werewolf perk tree. I recommend starting with the Totem of Brotherhood path, but the Totem of Fear is also an effective option, especially once you pick up Aspect of Terror.

    At level 46+, fully perked, the Loup-Garou dishes out an impressive 160 damage per swipe in Beast Form — 240 if wearing the Ring of Bloodlust — and that’s before accounting for bonus damage from power attacks. Furthermore, you can gorge yourself on most enemies to quickly recover large amounts of Health and Stamina after each kill.

    Werewolves have massively increased Stamina and Stamina Regen. With your directional power attacks, you can literally hurl around bears, saber cats, and even giants, as if they were sacks of flour. It's honestly the most satisfying thing in the game, in my opinion. You can sprint for miles without stopping, and when you do need to rest, your Stamina fills back up in seconds.

    In Beast Form in the endgame, the Loup-Garou gets 45% passive Magic Resistance thanks to the Blessing of Mara (15%) and Magic Resistance perks (30%). If you dual-cast Ebonyflesh just before changing form, you go into Beast Form with 600 AR (400 by default for werewolves at level 46+, and 200 more for dual Ebonyflesh with 1/3 Mage Armor). That 600 AR is good for 72% damage resistance in Beast Form for 3 minutes, 18 seconds.

    After the spell wears off, you’re still extremely well protected at 400 AR (48% damage resistance), though of course, with the Ring of Hircine in your possession, you can always just exit Beast Form, recast Ebonyflesh and/or Flame Cloak, re-equip the ring, and repeat.

    Gameplay: Human Form

    With The Steed stone, the Loup-Garou can move about quickly and silently in heavy armor. In terms of roleplaying, credit this to the passive benefits of his curse: superhuman dexterity, endurance, and agility. The curse also comes with enhanced predatory instincts, which teach the Loup-Garou to be ever wary of the danger around him. He enters each room in complete silence, taking stock of any enemies and obstacles — and often dispatching them — well before they ever become a threat.

    Muffle should be the default left hand spell in dungeons, with Flame Cloak and Ignite as your most used backups. In combat, tempered armor combined with Ebonyflesh (+100 AR, since Mage Armor doesn't apply) will be enough to keep you very well protected.

    Silent Roll is a great mark of agility, and as demonstrated in Henson’s Ka Po’ Tun, its damage bonus can stack with Critical Charge for a super-dexterous, super-powerful surprise attack — a true predator's pounce.


    Level 50 perk selection. Click the image for full resolution.


    Special Moves

    Impervious Shape Shifter

    Change to beast form with complete invulnerability, and embrace your cursed form with an extra coat of supercharged magical protection, as well as a fiery aura to set your foes ablaze. The Ring of Hircine will allow you to use this power an unlimited amount of times per day.

    Requires » Become Ethereal, Ebonyflesh, Flame Cloak, Beast Form


    Midnight Prowler

    Enter Beast Form undetected, and strike an enemy from the shadows with all the strength your curse will allow. Activate the Shadowcloak, then Beast Form, and then enter sneak mode before the transformation begins. The Shadowcloak’s effect will wear off immediately after transforming.

    Requires » Ring of Bloodlust, Silence, Shadowcloak of Nocturnal, Beast Form


  • CSC
    July 8, 2012

    At lower levels, Fear is just stupid broken. Spammable. AOE. Fear. How did they not think that was broken?

    Liked. This is the best guide of what does and does not work with Werewolves I've seen.

  • Member
    July 8, 2012

    Thanks.  I've honestly never really used Fear much; I've always preferred Calm as a cheaper means of preventing combat, and I prefer the fact that it keeps enemies contained.  I didn't realize that Fear has a slightly higher level cap.  With Aspect of Terror, Dual Hysteria can affect enemies up to level 60 (higher with Fortify Illusion potions).  Does anyone happen to know how powerful the Fear effect is from Totem of Fear?  (Ideally both with and without the Totem of Terror werewolf perk?)  I'm on Xbox, so there's no way for me to check, but I assume PC users could check via the console or something?

    This character is my first real foray into lycanthropy, and I'm constantly surprised at just how effective it can be with the right setup.  I just took out a band of seven Forsworn within the span of 10 seconds, losing perhaps 10 Health in the process (which I promptly regained via gorging).  My transormations tend to last indefinitely, usually for around 70-80 kills.  I also cover a ton of land with each form change, and in the process, I'm constantly discovering new locations.  At low and mid levels, there were many times when the beast form saved my life.  At higher levels, it's more of a luxury and/or change of pace; your human form is more than capable of handling itself.

  • CSC
    July 8, 2012

    I meant the werewolf fear shout. I remember one playthrough where I ran through every Silver Hand dungeon spamming it, and killing everything once they ran away. It was stupid.

    Do you know if eating someone with the Ring of Namira, then changing into a wolf, will let you keep the bonuses?

  • Member
    July 8, 2012

    Ah, my bad for misunderstanding.  I'm definitely interested to know exactly how powerful the werewolf Fear effect is, especially with the Totem of Terror perk.  If it's similar/greater in strength than Hysteria, it could be more useful than Totem of Brotherhood.

    As for the Ring of Namira, UESP says it doesn't work.  [link]  This makes sense, since the effect is a unique enchantment tied to the ring, and going into beast form automatically unequips all worn gear.  However, based on that same thread, it sounds like eating foods with Health Regen WILL carry over to Beast Form.  Those foods only offer 1 Heath per second, so they won't make that much of a difference in a pinch, but they could be worth using all the same.

  • July 8, 2012

    Like it much! The presentations really good! That perk spreads the best ive seen in ages, you must be proud of that!

    You have 'Librarian syndrome' a little bit on your two 'forms', massive walls of text. Maybe trim them down a little and use bullet points to list the key benefits of each form followed by a short descriptive paragraph.

    Things would flow really nice then!

    Also ive read that the steed stone has no bearing on stealth (neither does the conditioning perk). Your armors weight is not important, its your armors noise that effects your ability to be detected. Heavy armor makes more racket but that noise is completely removed by the muffle spell. Maybe you could test this.