Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: Spirit of the Hunt

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Summoner  #Race:Khajiit  #Rank:Legendary 
  • September 8, 2012


    After the mild success I found with an unorthodox Archer build, I decided it was time play an Archer the way it was meant to be played. This here is an Archer's Archer: a true predator, one with nature and the night, who stalks before his kills, a Spirit of the Hunt itself.

    And he hasn't even drawn his bow yet...


    The Spirit of the Hunt

    This build is the culmination of my love for the Khajiit ever-strengthening with each subsequent playthrough as a tiger-faced badass, and driving me towards embracing a primal urge within me to capture their primal urge as a race in the form of a build. They are a beast race after all, and one with a natural affinity for stalking their prey (and by natural affinity I mean starting skill bonuses in all the right places and a racial power that I've done everything in my power to rescue from the realm of the laughably useless with a gimmicky but cool role in this build's arsenal). Khajiit just fit the role of the primal hunter perfectly, and it just feels right to command the forces of nature and lurk in the shadows ready to pounce, so to speak, as a giant predatory feline.

    The final piece of the puzzle that drove me to create this build was the prize at the end of the Dawnguard DLC (sorry PS3 friends, I've still got my fingers crossed for you). Avert your eyes to the following spoilers, uninitiated few: Auriel's Bow and Serana's blood combine to let you block out the sun in what has to be the single coolest effect ever witnessed in one of these games. And why should the vampires get to have all the fun, when hunting down and killing every last one of them still allows you to bring on the darkness and, hell, instead of the way those fanged pansies need to block out the sun to overcome their weakness to its rays, this here badass mofo can block out the sun to cater to his strengths. Good luck to any enemy being hunted down by the SotH when night falls...

    So on to the gameplay: I know I may have criticized the shadow-lurking Archer style of combat in that other build I made, but I've done just as much with this one to actually make that style of play feel badass (as opposed to cowardly) as I did to make Archery viable without any stealth on my Demonhunter. Yes, the purpose of the Spirit of the Hunt is to rain arrows down upon unsuspecting foes from well out of harm's way, but it's done hunter-style, not wussy-style. Rather than run scared from shadow to shadow, the Spirit of the Hunt commands the battlefield, utilizing the tool of distraction just as readily as that of deception by conjuring the forces of nature itself to attack. From conjuring the spirit familiars of beasts long passed and the physical embodiment of the elements themselves (read: Atromancy) to calling upon your fellow beasts of the wild, you'll never have a shortage of friendly fire to come between you and your foes and keep them occupied while you set up the kill.

    And that combination of Atromancy and Archery is what really makes this build stand apart: the synergy between the two is incredible (I mean c'mon - they do both start with A and end with Y, so there's your first clue). Sending out packs of ghost wolves and glacial giants to attack your foes while you stalk them with your bow and arrow is as fun as I've ever had laying traps and healing circles down to shoot from within with what's his face. What better way to keep enemies away and ripe for arrow-impaling than to send a horde of wild animals after them? Your typical Summoner build relies on their conjured allies to distract while you stand back and unleash your most destructive spells, and this build simply trades those spells and that mage-iness for the ultimate in hunting.


    It's still called repositioning, NOT retreating.


    The Build

    Race: Khajiit

    Stone: Lord

    Major Skills: Archery, Conjuration, Sneak, Light Armor

    Minor Skills: Illusion, Smithing

    Gear: Forsworn Armor/Boots + Stormcloak Officer Helmet/Gauntlets + Amulet of Talos (look the part)

    Weapons: Auriel's Bow/Bloodcursed Arrows + Zephyr

    Shouts: Animal Allegiance, Whirlwind Sprint, Aura Whisper, Throw Voice, Become Ethereal

    Spells: Summon Familiars, Summon Elementals, Muffle

    Quests: Companions, Dawnguard, Ill Met By Moonlight, Kyne's Sacred Trials (act the part)

    Perk Spread: Lvl 50


    Part of the beauty of this build is how straightforward it is, which may sound familiar if you've read some of my other builds. Aside from a few points in Smithing to get the most of your bows and gear and some Muffling to help you stay hidden and reach the crucial Quiet Casting perk, your focus is entirely on the gameplay. You'll be stalking your prey with Sneak, distracting them with Conjuration, shooting them with Archery, and, rarely enough, getting hit to level your Light Armor skill. There isn't even any need to invest in Restoration or Alchemy to heal yourself - found and bought potions should more than suffice when you've got this sort of stealth prowess and all those summoned allies to tank for you. Just get out there and hunt! Heck, even your Shouts require little explanation: some help with hunting, some help you escape danger, and one in particular takes your summon game to the next level (that level being bears & sabrecats & shit).

    It's incredibly satisfying to turn the day from noon to dusk in the blink of an eye (and the shot of an arrow and, subsequently, the total eclipse of the sun, but you get what I'm saying), and then utilize the cover of darkness to hunt down your enemies undetected while your friends keep them preoccupied. There's so much synergy all around with this build (night-time and stealth, Khajiit and nature/hunting, Atromancy and Archery, etc.) that there's no need to flesh out any backstory or ramble any further: the gameplay of anyone willing to try this build out should speak for itself and take shape very quickly in the playthrough as well, which is a very welcome change of pace (in my own humble opinion) from builds that rely on level 80 perks and master level spells and so on just to hit their stride in the first place.



    Special Moves


    Cover of Darkness:

    Find actual purpose in the world's most useless racial power, even if only to roleplay the ultimate hunter with your own makeshift Predator-style night vision. Night Eye or not, though, turning day to darkness hugely benefits the Spirit of the Hunt's ability to, well, hunt his foes down. Auriel's Bow w/ Bloodcursed Arrows + Night Eye!

    Two Steps Ahead:

    Play with your prey, that your foes may never find you but only think they have. If your enemies ever do manage to locate and approach you, disappear in the blink of an eye and put an arrow through said eye as soon as it reopens (with another 3x sneak critical bonus, mind you).   Whirlwind Sprint + Shadow Warrior Perk. 


    Go from summoning mere distractions to summoning sheer destruction. Call upon your fellow beasts of the wild to join your Familiars and Elementals and you'll have to fire fast if you want to hit your enemies before they're torn to shreds.  Twin Souls + Animal Allegience III. 


    When it comes to perks that give your arrows percent-chances to proc effects like staggers and paralysis, it only goes to say that the faster you fire, the more arrows you get off, and the more arrows you get off the higher your likelihood to proc those effects, right? Well the Spirit of the Hunt's fire rate leaves time standing still and enemies doing the exact opposite of standing. Quick Shot + Zephyr + Steady Hand 2/2 + Power Shot + Bull's Eye 

  • September 8, 2012

    oooooowie, was just gearing up for a beastmaster esque build, but this looks more fun

  • Member
    September 8, 2012

    Excellent work once again Snakes. Good to see someone utlizing the lesser-used aspects of character building for once, but I don't think there's nearly enough links do your Demonhunter.

    Something I'd potentially try is using a Bound Bow and dropping Smithing altogether, since you've essentially got a Daedric bow and infinite Daedric arrows, on top of a ridiculous fire rate given that it's based off the bow's weight, and the bound bow is completely weightless!

  • Member
    September 8, 2012

    Really hope Dawnguard gets sorted for the ps3 so I can play this build. It's a like from me without even having DLC. Think a Panther themed Khajiit would go really well with this as they blend in with the darkness to stalk their prey.

  • Member
    September 8, 2012


    Question though, you mention companions and ill met by moonlight but don't really say anything about being a werewolf?

  • September 8, 2012

    Like it snakes, I'm a fan of the archery/conjuration combo and you also have the wonderful 'shadowmancer' style gameplay to fall back on should you wish to change your approach, shaves very close to the Cryptstalker.

    "....a very welcome change of pace (in my own humble opinion) from builds that rely on level 80 perks and master level spells and so on just to hit their stride."

    Three out of your four special moves require level 100 perks.

  • Member
    September 8, 2012

    I recently exploited the Ogma-Infinium glitch on my main character, a khajit who I ignorently put perks into nearly everything. SO I've ben stuck just messing around on him....and finalllyyyy...a khajit build that I can actually play without having to mad spam unarmed. <3!!! 

    But explanation behind the Forsworn Armor? What are you receiving from I'll met? Purified Ring or Hide? Because if ring i'd just get both and use savior's hide. It is a bit more animalistic.

  • September 8, 2012
    This is awesome , sucks that you cant make the character like the pictures :( lol
  • September 8, 2012
    Lol thanks Mason. That's why they're SPECIAL moves, silly! Gives you something to strive towards, but variations of those moves can be done long prior. The last one for instance, only loses the increased likelihood of paralyzingly enemies without the Bull's Eye perk but still staggers the shit out of enemies once you have Power Shot. And you can certainly use Animal Allegiance with any single summon spell to create nearly as much chaos. And while nothing beats being able to turn invisible by simply ducking once you've Whirlwind Sprinted away from enemies, you can still use an invisibility potion or something to that effect prior to unlocking Shadow Warrior. When it comes to specials though, I want people to see the reason to keep playing the build, as they are the ultimate culmination of the things you're doing all along.
  • September 8, 2012

    Thanks, Ponty! Also a very good option I could, and perhaps SHOULD have mentioned, as I did use a conjured bow myself for a bit too. In the end I found myself using Auriel's Bow for it's awesome sun-raping effects and the Zephyr more, myself, but that was really mostly a matter of personal choice. So yes anyone who wishes can absolutely perk into increasing Bound Bow damage and conjure their own weapon.