Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Strafer

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Race:Redguard  #Rank:Legendary 
  • Member
    October 2, 2012

    I guess I have run out of ideas that I have come full circle!! For now... 

    I thought back to other roleplaying games and remembered how fun it was to kite and strafe about using agility while picking off bad guys with a high powered ranged weapon ... and thus The Strafer was born. Plus I wanted to have a go at a build based on STAMINA! Let’s take a look...


    The Strafer


    The Strafer is a master crafter and tactical marksman that uses speed, agility, and intelligence to avoid enemies, apply poisons for deadly strikes, and have heightened regenerative capabilities all while being out in the open and not having to hide in the shadows. You are constantly moving when in battle and strafing enemies non stop with poisoned arrows and bolts.

    Utilizing a crossbow, The Strafer relies on Stamina at all times to be effective in combat. Sprinting, using steady hands, and the occasional bow bash are combined for quick dodging and incredible accuracy. Crossbows fit better for this build than bows for a few reasons. 

    • Instant firing mechanism
    • Massive damage
    • Fast projectile speed
    • Stagger!

    Of course some of the drawbacks are the slower reload speed, but in my time with this build, the positives outweigh the negatives ... Plus I love using crossbows again!

    This build ALSO uses bows. Using both creates a diverse arsenal of death, and also faster bows deal extremely well with larger groups.

    • Faster rate of fire
    • Bigger DPS
    • Longer projectile arc
    • Speed!

    This build differs from my Arbalist build in a few ways as well - Extremely mobile, no spells, light armor, and no focus on melee at all (no shield). Now for the details... The build is heavy on crafting gear and potions, but never overlapping the skills to become super overpowered.


    Race: Redguard

    Major Skills: Archery, Alchemy, Light Armor

    Minor Skills: Smithing (Cooking!)

    Stone: Steed (beginning) - Lady (higher levels - "enchanced" regeneration)


    • Head - Linwe's Hood
    • Chest - Linwe's Armor
    • Hands - Linwe's Gloves/Thieves Guild Gloves
    • Boots - Linwe's Boots/Thieves Guild Boots
    • Ring - +Stamina Regeneration
    • Amulet - Locket of St. Jiub (+50 stamina/+50 carry weight)


    • Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow
    • Zephyr

    Shouts: Whirlwind Sprint, Slow Time, Unrelenting Force

    Abilities: Adrenaline Rush - This is a key part of the Strafer. Having your stamina regenerate 10x faster makes you a sprinting machine, making you not worry of becoming winded and out of breathe. This is also important for aiming down your bow, as this takes up stamina at a pretty quick rate. Having "unlimited" slow time effect in archery for 60s is very fun!


    Skills and Perks

    Archery: Overdraw 5/5, Critical Shot, Eagle Eye, Hunter's Discipline, Steady Hand 2/2, Power Shot, Ranger, Quick Shot

    Light Armor: Agile Defender 5/5, Custom Fit, Unhindered, Wind Walker, Deft Movement

    Alchemy: All perks!!

    Smithing: Steel, Arcane, Dwarven

    Stats: 0/1/2 for M/H/S



    The main idea surrounding this build is to be completely devoid of magic, constantly moving, and using speed/agility to dodge enemy attacks while shooting as fast as possible. I never take both Steady Hand perks, but they prove to be AMAZING. Being able to slow time down so much is effective for this build since you are constantly running and dodging, a well timed sighted-shot is what makes this build awesome.

    Another aspect of this build is cooking! With the added baking as well, there are many recipes to add rather significant bonuses to stamina and stamina regeneration, both welcome additions to help make this character a workhorse of combat archery.

    Using the environment is something I tried to be more aware of in this playthrough. Cliffs, stairwells, trees: anything to put an obstacle between you and your enemy really does help. It REALLY does help. The use of slow poisons and damage stamina poisons are fantastic, but to conserve resources early on, objects out in the wilderness or in dungeons are your best friend.

    Overall, being reliant on the wilderness and resources found in the land of Skyrim is a ton of fun. Upgrading both your Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow and Zephyr with Dwarven Metal Ingots you forge as well as upgrading your armor with pelts and leather from hunting? Sweet. Utilizing ingredients to create powerful healing potions and deadly poisons? Yes please. Finally taking a shot at using food, cooking, and the new baking? Icing on the cake.

    I hope you enjoy this build. This was a rather quick playthrough for me and went by too quickly! My brain has been going insane thinking of new ideas, so hopefully this will give a boost to someone's imagination.

  • Member
    October 2, 2012
    Love this one, mainly because you are stripping down and letting the gameplay do the work on this one, not to mention you're avoiding breaking immersion too often by only really ever opening your favorites menu to apply poisons +1 from me Henson.
  • CBR
    October 2, 2012

    Beautiful! +1
    Idea... for appearances and for practicality, I feel like Nightingale Armor would be very useful here...

  • Member
    October 2, 2012

    Nice one Henson, as usual.  Just FYI, since you're already going up to Dwarven Smithing and level 60+, it might be worth taking it all the way up to Dragon.  The Dragonbone bow is FAR AND AWAY the best bow in the game in terms of pure damage per second (nearly twice the average DPS of other bows, and well above even Zephyr), and you'd have access to tons of Dragonbone arrows as well.

    You could drop some high Alchemy perks to avoid a deficit of perk points; all 3 levels of Experimenter are useless really, as well as arguably Purity and the poison resist perk).  And Smithing isn't too bad of a grind once you have Dwarven Smithing and decent combat skills; just run through a few Dwemer ruins with a pack mule -- er, follower -- to carry all your Dwemer scrap, then smith it all at once later on.  You acquire the raw materials through natural gameplay events, so you really don't need to change the gameplay to make it work.  Just a thought of course, great build regardless.

  • October 2, 2012

    He used a Dwarven Crossbow anyways( more damage than a bow).

  • October 2, 2012
    Amazing! How early do you think i could get zephyr? I want to pick it up as early as possible, but i dont know if i can start the quest at lvl 5 or something like that. ;-) and do you think enchanting would ba an option?
  • Member
    October 2, 2012

    But he also said he used normal bows, specifically Zephyr.

  • Member
    October 2, 2012

    IIRC, it's not too far into the dungeon, and there are no scripted fights.  You could probably just sprint through until you reach the bow, then jump off the cliff and land in the water below.  From there, it's a safe dash back to the cave entrance.  I don't think the quest/dungeon are level locked.

  • October 2, 2012
    Thank you!
  • October 2, 2012

    Nice Mate!

    +1 No bloodworks for this build!

    I'm a big fan of Linwe's armor, it's a very badass look!

    I came across this when I was hunting for pics for my AArcher, I think it may suit this build very well considering the armor choices!

    Didn't really want to part with it but I'm unlikely to make another dedicated archer...