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Character Build: Knife Fighter from Stros M'Kai

Tags: #Character Build Dual-Wield  #Character Build Thief  #Character Build Acrobat  #Rank:Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build  #Pirate  #Henson 
  • Member
    July 30, 2012

    This build is my last roleplaying take on the Redguard race, which is probably my favorite race in the series. I got some of the inspiration from the movie The Count of Monte Cristo. Edmond spares Jacopo's life, who the captain of the ship says is "the best knife-fighter he has ever seen". As soon as I heard that line, I had to make a build around daggers and knife-fighting. This is another heavy roleplaying intensive build, so I hope you enjoy. Yet again, I have come to a wall regarding finding art for the build, so any help would be appreciated.


    Knife Fighter from Stros M'Kai

    Pirate. Corsair. Privateer. Buccaneer. You go by many titles. You are the most skilled knife fighter in all of Tamriel and have proven it by being a ruthless cut throat. Serving under multiple ship captains as their right hand man and first mate, you are skilled in the art of dagger fighting, a style that relies on speed and agility rather than brute force. You have come accustomed to being loyal to who pays you the most gold by doing what you do best: murdering and marauding. Mercenary work is your craft and you have made a name for yourself which has attracted the attention of the Thieve's Guild and Dark Brotherhood. You have recently run into trouble and pissed off the wrong people and are on the run. You try to make your escape, but Imperial Legions have captured you at the border where you are mistaken for a Stormcloack rebel. If only they knew...

    This character build has a few facets and skills not normally utilized. For one, open combat with dual daggers is not a common sight, only with thieves or assassin's throughout the game. The build uses sneak, yes, but it is also extremely proficient in bringing down even the strongest of enemies in face-to-face battle. Quick strikes thanks to Dual Fury and power from Dual Savagery make this a very deadly character. 



    Race: Redguard

    Guardian Stones: Thief, Lady

    Dragon Shouts

    Disarm: Removing the enemy's weapon is a unique skill to have.

    Elemental Fury: Speed is our priority #1. This shout makes you LIGHTNING quick with daggers!

    Marked for Death: Great for weakening enemies in open combat.

    Slow Time: Just makes you that much faster.

    Throw Voice: Very useful in cut-throat situations where you don't want to be seen.

    Whirlwind Sprint: It's good to be fast on our feet.


    One Handed: Our offensive skill. Dual Fury and Dual Savagery make this build a non-stop cutting machine.

    Smithing: To sharpen daggers and improve armors. Important to take Arcane smithing for guild armors.

    Light Armor: Speed and mobility with good protection from enemy strikes.

    Sneak: Not always utilized, but the Knife Fighter is a ruthless cut-throat and plunderer.

    Back up skills...

    Lockpicking: Not seen in a lot of builds. The two key perks here are Golden Touch and Treasure Hunter. Main idea here is roleplay to gather as much gold as we can.

    Pickpocket: Cheat and steal all the way to the top!

    Speech: Extremely important to sell your stolen goods. Intimidation, bribery, and persuasion are your forte!

    Level 25 Perk Placement:

    Level 51:




    Head: Thieve's Guild Hood. Mourner's Hat is a cool bandana, but I like the added armor.

    Chest: Thieve's Guild Armor. A proper knife fighting/gold stealing aesthetic. Light and durable.

    Hands: Shrouded Hand Wraps. The fingerless gloves lend for quicker and deadlier strikes.

    Boots: Imperial Light Boots enchanted with Muffle. Thieve's Guild Boots or Shrouded Boots fit the part too, but I prefer these for the aesthetic.

    Ring: Fortify Pickpocket*

    Amulet: Fortify Lockpicking*

    *Any enchantment works really, these help with roleplay. I chose these two to aid with the thieving side of things. It is also interesting to note that fortify one handed enchantments do not aid with dagger damage.

    Weapons: Dual Skyforge Steel Daggers - I am continuing to put perks into smithing. I may go to Dragonbone daggers for added power and they look pretty sweet!



    This build is extremely satisfying to take down strong bad guys with a flurry of dagger attacks. The stealth aspect is fun on any character really, so that part is also satisfying. But the best part is marrying these two together with a solid roleplaying character. The beginning in which Hadvar asks "You a sell-sword? A sailor from Stros M'Kai?" is quite true. You are a pirate roaming the lands of Skyrim in search for treasure and gold and doing anything to get it. I should also note that any healing comes from sleeping, eating food, and using potions only found or bought, and you will have PLENTY of money to buy them.

    Thieve's Guild and Dark Brotherhood fit perfect for the build. Both stealing and killing are in your resume of being a buccaneer, and so the two story lines lend themselves to each. I suggest upgrading armor choices to Guild Master's armor when completed the TG quests for better enchantments.

    The Companion's quest lines also provide a rather good setting for this character. While not being a proper, stand-up warrior, your outstanding dagger skills make you a deadly fighter and can go toe-to-toe with the best of them.


    I hope you will give this one a try as it is a bit different and a fun one because ... well ... you're a pirate! You could alter this build and use a scimitar in the right hand, but daggers are the true nature and original inspiration of the build, so stick with quick strikes!





  • Member
    July 30, 2012

    Good points on some things I did not clarify.

    The "these help with role-play" I guess was sufficient in my brain, but I should elaborate. The pickpocket and lockpicking fortify are obvious thief skills so they fit with the role of the character.

    Miner's clothes do look cool, but that would almost force me to use Alteration flesh spells, and as you can see, I use no magic. Forgot to mention healing comes from found/bought potions.

    The bounty in all holds would be cool. Force me to sneak in and out! Thanks for pointing these things out!

  • Member
    July 30, 2012

    True. But what I purposefully did not include or mention in the build is this is my 4th try at a "duelist". I tried a clothing warrior, Redguard, and only use a sword in my right hand with nothing in my left. It was fun for awhile, but in the end, you truly do need armor no matter how skilled at dodging attacks you are and I am pretty good. My Duelist build I never posted because at level 17, even with pumping health all the way, I was getting DEMOLISHED by anything that moved.

  • July 30, 2012
    Come on, Henson! :-) i can't keep it up with all your AMAZING builds! +1
  • Member
    August 2, 2012
    I've never though of using Throw Voice like that. I usually go for the kill after using it. Doing a pure sneak build would be hilarious, just avoid everything and lure enemies away from the path you are taking.
  • August 4, 2012

    Argh! The build is taking my +like for some reason! Metaphorical +1 like!

  • Member
    November 27, 2012

    Very interesting.  Two questions:

    (1) How would you distribute Health and Stamina for this build?

    (2) How does this build kill dragons?


  • April 8, 2013
    I never knew you got this build from the Count of Monte Cristo. I just watched that a couple weeks ago.
  • Member
    July 31, 2013

    Is there any other armour sets I could use for this build? I really like it but hate the Thieves Guild armour also I'm on console. 

    + 1 from me!!

  • Member
    July 31, 2013