Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Stalker

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Rogue  #Character Build Scout  #Race:Bosmer  #Rank:Legendary 
  • Member
    December 2, 2011

    A pretty standard stealth character, but I had a blast playing as one nonetheless. This is a slightly more difficult character to play properly, especially on harder difficulties.

    The Stalker

    The Stalker hunts the lands - whether it be for men, beasts or otherwise - with cunning and deadly precision. She is a master of both a truly fearsome offense as well as the more subtle arts of stealth. The Stalker can excel in any situation, taking the enemy by surprise, wounding and killing many foes from a distance and either retreating into the shadows, or finishing them off with a flurry from weapon and dagger. She can often sneak up on lone foes and either introduce their throats to her blade or even one of her deadly poisons. The magical arts are redundant to the Stalker - the powers of the many reagents of the world are able to perform the functions of multiple schools of magic - able to heal, protect, and poison. The Stalker is also proficient in the use of Light Armour, in the situation where a foe must be challenged head-on. While roaming the world, the Stalker will also find many materials which can be used to create and improve gear.

    Race:Bosmer make ideal Stalkers, with boosts to every skill used. Khajiit make good stealth oriented Stalkers, while a Nord or Redguard Stalker might focus more on melee combat.

    Stone:The Stalker has many Standing Stone choices open. I recommend one of the XP stones, the Lady, or the Shadow.

    Stat Distribution:0/1/1 in Magicka/Health/Stamina. The Stalker uses no magic skills and needs to be tough and fast to survive melee combat.

    Major Skills

    Archery:This is the Stalker's core skill. It allows her to take down foes from a distance with but a few deadly missiles, often without the target or their allies noticing. Key perks include Power Shot, Quick Shot, and Ranger, helping the Stalker stay out of enemies' reach.

    One-Handed:Melee is another invaluable tool to the Stalker, and dual wielding a weapon and dagger allows for a storm of blows, especially with Elemental Fury active. Key perks include Dual Flurry, Dual Savagery and Fighting Stance.

    Sneak:Stealth is essential to the Stalker, allowing her to take down waves of foes unseen. Key perks are all the sneak attack perks and up to Light Foot.

    Light Armour:As a guard once told me, "Lightly armoured means light on your feet. Smart!" being able to evade what blows you can and take less damage from those you cannot is important. Many light armor perks improve the Stalker's quick, stealthy and deadly playstyle, so Wind Walker and Unhindered are key. Unhindered makes your armor weight nothing, so you are completely silent while sneaking.

    Smithing:You'll have loads of materials so it's easy to level up to your weapons of choice. There's several options here, depending on what armor you plan on using - both for looks and smithing improvements. Key perks depend on your equipment choice - see the equipment section.

    Minor Skills

    Pickpocket:Planting poisons is a good way to take out multiple targets, especially with frenzy or fear poisons. Also, guards and soldiers are your primary supply of arrows - they never seem to use them anyway. Key perks are just up to Poisoned.

    Alchemy:Completely removes the need for magic and allows you to make some fancy multi-effect potions to use or sell. Poisons can also be planted on unsuspecting targets, or shot from afar. Key perks are simply 5 ranks in Alchemist.

    Laenafil finishes off a Khajiit Skooma dealer

    Equipment Notes

    What equipment you choose to use will heavily impact your Smithing path. Here's a few potential choices:

    1. Guildmaster's/Nightingale Set with Skyforge Steel weapons and Forsworn/Hunting Bow. This only requires Steel Smithing, and smithing gives flat increases, rather than percentages. Given the high attack speed of the Hunting bow, it's DPS will rival that of higher tier bows later on. However, you'll be restricted to jewelry and iron daggers for leveling, and Sneak Attacks will do less damage - unless the Forsworn bow is used, which has roughly the same statistics as Elven..
    2. Elven. Elven Gilded Armor is quite sturdy, and elven weapons are a few steps up from regular stuff, though still 2 steps below Ebony. This will net you a higher armor rating overall than the first option.
    3. Dragon. This is the heaviest investment, requiring quite alot of perks. You can either go up the Light Armor side and use Glass weapons, or up the Heavy side, use one more perk, and use Ebony/Daedric weapons. Alternatively, if you have Dawnguard installed, simply use Dragon weapons.

    Your melee weapons should be either Sword+Dagger, Sword+Sword, or Axe+Dagger. It really comes down to personal preference, although having a dagger in your offhand increases your attack speed when flurrying.

    Roleplay Notes

    How you play your Stalker is really up to you - they fit into all the factions besides the College, so what factions you join will really define your character. They're typically more suited for Chaotic alignments - so a Stalker of the Companions might be Good, Thieves Guild Neutral, or for the Dark Brotherhood Evil.

    I played my Stalker as a less-than-reputable woman, who had come to Skyrim looking for 'work'. Roped into the dragon menace, she uses her newfound power to enhance her combat prowess, and joined the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood to hone her skills. A cold a merciless killer, she has little use for niceties.

    DLC Notes

    Dawnguard opens up a few new options for a Stalker, particularly on the Dawnguard side. The Dawnguard Rune Axe is an excellent weapon, and the Ancient Falmer Armor and Auriel's Bow fit perfectly. A Stalker of Auriel might use Auriel's Bow, the Dawnguard Rune Axe, a dagger of some sort, Ancient Falmer Armor, and a headpiece of choice. I went with Linwe's Hood, to keep my all light armor perk bonuses. Ancient Falmer Armor and Auriel's Bow require Elven Smithing to improve.

    The Auriel's Bow special ability is a great help when fighting multiple foes, something the Stalker normally isn't too good at.

    As for Dragonborn, it adds a few new armor sets for the Stalker (Chitin, Morag Tong and Stalhrim) though I don't really recommend those unless for RP. The best thing in Dragonborn for the Stalker is the Glass Bow of the Stag Prince (see here for how to get it). This unique weapon grants an increasing stamina boost based on how many animals you have killed, capping at 25 stamina after killing 80 animals. Dragonborn offers a few other decent items, including the Deathbrand set (including weapons) for a more melee-oriented Stalker, and the unique pickaxe Hoarfrost, which makes an excellent off-hand weapon.

    Last but definitely not least, two new powers from Dragonborn can give the Stalker an utterly devastating special attack. Secret of Strength (no power attack cost, 30 seconds 1/day) and Dragon Aspect (+25% power attack damage) can be combined in a whirling cyclone of steel. Yes, that means constant dual flurrying for 30 seconds dealing +25% damage! Ridiculous!


    A Stalker of Auriel wields Auriel's Bow

    Special Abilities

    Novice - Incapacitate

    Requires: Weakness to Poison, Paralysis Poison

    Using a potent concoction, the Stalker is able to immobilise foes for extended periods of time. Striking first with the Weakness poison, either from blade or bow, will increase the magnitude of the Paralysis effect - the duration - on the next attack. Use this ability on bosses like Bandit Chiefs to get the upper hand.

    Apprentice - Devastating Flurry

    Requires: Weapon and Dagger, Elemental Fury

    The power of the wind allows a Stalker to attack devastatingly quickly. Simply throw on Elemental Fury and spam the dual power attack. If you're a Redguard throw on your Adrenaline Rush ability, or if you want to extend the duration of this ability hotkey some stamina potion, or if you're a cheapo simply eat some soup! While you're at it, drink a One-Handed potion.

    Adept - Pin

    Requires: Slow Time, Power Shot

    The Stalker can use her Thu'um to slow down time, allowing her to land deadly hails of arrows on opponents. This works especially well with higher rate of fire bows, such as Zephyr, Auriel's Bow and the Hunting bow. Enemies will be staggered back, allowing for repeated hits against them.

    Expert - Poison Storm

    Requires: Multiple poisons, Enchanted weapon

    The Stalker prepares a powerful combination of poisoned arrows, and lets them loose on her foes. First hit with a Weakness to Poison, then a Weakness to Magic and Weakness to . Then start unloading poison damage with your enchanted weapon, the stacking weaknesses causing massive damage to the target.

    Combat Notes (Video)

    You'll always want to open combat sneaking. You can start with a bow from range, or sneak in and either plant a poison (frenzy works well), or, if you're confident, perform a dagger assassinaton. Then attempt to work through the enemies unseen - targeting enemies that are either isolated or can't be seen by other foes. When you're spotted, retreat to a good position while firing at enemies, and prepare to enter into melee. Don't be afraid to use melee - while you're armor rating is low you do have quite high health and can do huge amounts of damage. Don't forget to use Shouts if necessary, like Throw Voice, Unrelenting Force, and Whirlwind Sprint.

    Sample 30 Perk Build

    100 Magicka | 250 Health | 250 Stamina

    Archery: Overdraw 4, Eagle Eye, Power Shot, Quick Shot

    One-Handed: Armsman 3, Fighting Stance, Dual Flurry 2

    Smithing: Steel, Elven and Arcane Smithing

    Light Armor: Agile Defender 2, Custom Fit and Unhindered

    Sneak: Stealth 1, up to Assassin's Blade

    Pickpocket: Light Fingers 1, Night Thief, Poisoned

    Alchemy:Alchemist 3

  • December 2, 2011

    dude, this is exactly what i am doing atm, except, mines a male, and is named robin hood LOL

    why sword + dagger? why not sword+sword?  

  • Member
    December 2, 2011

    Using a dagger in your off-hand makes the dual wield power attack (when you power attack with both hands at once) much faster, its utterly insane when you have both ranks of Dual Flurry and use the Elemental Fury shout (I can upload a video I took of it earlier if you like). Also, it'd be annoying having to grab out a dagger every time I wanted to sneak attack someone. Good question though.

    I thought of making a Nord male instead and calling him Robin Hood as well

  • December 2, 2011

    hmm, ive been using 2 swords lol, perhaps im doing it wrong? lol... 

  • December 2, 2011

    I like it, but I don't understand entirely why you would go for the heavy armor set in smithing when you only use light armor. I mean sure you won't need it once you get the thieves guild armor and later nightingale, but it would make more sense. I had something very similar to this except I kept him a pure-archer which made things difficult inside but I just love archery too much to actually use a sword.

  • Member
    December 2, 2011

    It's mainly for the weapons. I absolutely love the look of Ebony weapons, and they've got nice stats too, not to mention they match the Nightingale armour perfectly. I had such a ridiculous amount of animal hides and pelts I never needed to buy from vendors to level my smithing.

  • December 6, 2011

    Looks awesome!  I am waiting til Christmas to play the game - crazy I know - but this is very similar to the  build I'm hoping to do. I'll do a male Bosmer and was planning on going a little more into alchemy and a little less into smithing...  Don't really know much about smithing though--maybe I'll change my mind once I play.  I guess my question to you is, would you have found enough decent weapons around if you didn't invest in smithing? 

  • Member
    December 6, 2011

    You can really do one or the other. I was more using alchemy for the utility effects like healing, resistance, that sort of thing. If I did more alchemy, I'd probably use poisons alot more which would probably outweigh the damage of an upgraded weapon. But, I don't have to keep applying poisons (which I have a finite supply of).

    You'll still find plenty of good weapons, you just won't be able to upgrade them as much. Mind you I was playing on expert the whole time so adept (default difficulty) would be alot more forgiving, letting you experiment and try what works best for you.

  • December 7, 2011

    Thanks, that helps.  Maybe it'll be like you said and I'll have so many hides/skins that I may as well invest in smithing.  I loved using poisons on arrows in Oblivion, so I'll probably get into that again--see if I can get some paralyze + damage effects.  I will definitely have to go for the perk that lets you get 2 uses out of a potion/poison.  Like you said, that's the main drawback to alchemy for sure.

    Are you able to get one-shot bow kills with all your archery perks?

  • Member
    December 7, 2011

    Sneak attacks, most of the time unless it's a particularly tough enemy. If not I can take them down with another shot or two before they realise I'm even there. Keep in mind one of the archery perks (I think the prerequisite is 50) adds a 50% chance to stagger on every shot so you can stall them while they're charging at you.