Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Nemesis

Tags: #Character Build Illusionist  #Character Build Summoner  #Character Build Vampire  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • October 8, 2012

    It’s no secret that Thalmor gear looks awesome and imposing. I haven’t played as an Altmer for months and decided it was high time I felt the raw power of the Highborn coursing through my veins again. This character was originally created for my own gaming rather than a build but I stumbled on some amazing artwork and just couldn’t help myself. Expect no subtlety with this one…

    The Nemesis

    The Dominion no longer has a name for him. In life he was one of their finest inquisitors; known for his cruelty and precision, an expert in the apprehension and torture of Talos loyalists fleeing Skyrims borders.

    It was only during an unexpected dragon attack that he was revealed to be Dragonborn and fearing a conflict of interests his superiors quietly ordered his death, a mistake they have long since regretted...

    The assassination was a failure and now the Thalmor are faced with an enemy that knows all of their deepest secrets and tactics, one that will stop at nothing to disrupt their plans and exact his revenge.



    Race: High Elf Vampire

    Stone: Mage/Lord

    Major Skills: Alteration, Illusion, Conjuration, Enchanting.

    Minor Skills: Restoration, Destruction.

    Primary Weapon: Vorador (Silver Sword/Greatsword)

    Armor: Thalmor Apparel, Ulfric's Bracers & Boots.

    Essential Quests: Main Quest, Discerning the Transmundane, College of Winterhold, Civil War, Missing in Action. 



    The Build

    Playing as a Thalmor is difficult for me; their oppression of the other races combined with a supremacist attitude is hard to swallow, though I do admit they dress well. The only way I felt I could truly embrace this character was to create a character that had ultimately been betrayed by the system he had sworn to uphold.

    The result is a pure mage that combines two of the strongest schools of magic with fire based Destruction to create an aspect of terror fuelled nightmare!  The Nemesis can change combat style seamlessly, either fighting enemies directly with enchanted weaponry and combat magic or slipping to the back of the ranks into ‘dictator mode’ with conjuration and illusion and it's perhaps this versatility that makes this character so entertaining to play from start to finish.

    Conjuration and Illusion are unique in that neither skill suffers a penalty when the game difficulty is increased. A rage spell is equally powerful on master difficulty as it is on novice because foes are eternally bound by their level. Likewise, atronachs along with all other summons will always do a static amount of damage to enemies.


    The Nemesis wields Vorador, a flaming sword with an appetite even greater than its master, an unsettling weapon choice for a vampiric character.

    Vorador synergises with destructions augmentations boasting 46 fire damage and 30 health absorption with a bonus 20 damage against undead.

    Use of this weapon in conjunction with an aspect of terror charged flame cloak allows the Nemesis to reach unprecedented damage per second and sustain good health through even the longest battles.

    Alteration spells provide additional protection to offset damage while the reassurance of paralysis make the Nemesis an unsavoury foe in close combat.

    Restoration is used frequently to heal wounds sustained in battle while also providing command over the undead during the early levels when Illusions are weaker.








    Sanguinare Vampiris

    Vampirism works very well with this character. The ‘Champion of the Night’ illusion bonus combined with ‘Night Stalkers Footsteps’ are excellent when you just want to sit back as a Shadowmancer during tougher skirmishes.

    At later levels the Necromage perk brings all its usual delights. A 25% increase to mage armor combined with the lord stone results in a very competitive 425 armor rating for close combat. The level cap for dead thralls increases to 50 and Atronachs last 50% longer.  Healing spells and worn enchantments become 25% stronger even giving the Thalmor Robes a welcome boost.

    The Highborn racial ability is also 25% more powerful and lasts 50% longer, an arcane berserk mode!


    Unhooded Thalmor robes can be found in the Thalmor embassy early during the main quest and one can obtain silver swords for enchanting from Driftshade Refuge close to Dawnstar.

    Perking out the mage skill set is always full of difficult choices. Altmer have a massive advantage for skill leveling with their racial power so know that most perks are never far away if you want them enough.

    Magicka 1 / Health 1 / Stamina 0

    Conjuration has been highly perked, as a Thalmor/Vampire The Nemesis is well versed in both necromancy and daedra summoning and it was rewarding to command both in battle. An early push into alteration and restoration is strongly advised for survivability during close combat.

    Enchanting for the most part will determine the power of Vorador so don't let it fall behind. With all schools of magic being used some cost reduction in illusion, alteration and restoration is advisable. Boots should be enchanted with fire resistance to offset the vampire weakness and improved sneaking is a useful secondary effect for this character.

    Although primarily a mage, destruction can be perked slowly, aspect of terror keeps novice flame attacks potent for the entire playthrough so don't hurry to place perks as quickly as other classes.

    The Flame Cloak spell book near Winterhold can be picked up early and thanks to the Altmers huge magicka reserve can be cast without the adept destruction perk. Be sure to pick that freebie up!

    The daedric quest 'Discerning the Transmundane' should almost certainly be completed, boosting all of this characters skills. Ideally wait till around level 25 - 30 when leveling becomes harder.

  • Member
    January 2, 2013

    I'm gonna have to try this as my next build. It sounds great.

  • January 2, 2013

    It's the atronach perk Josh, it will absorb your summon spell effects so it's worth skipping if you're a conjurer, try and re-load. If you can't then you may wan't to use thralls more often.

  • Member
    January 2, 2013

    Is there a way to respec characters? I heard there was but cant figure out how to do it.

  • January 2, 2013
    If by respec you mean choose different perks, it is only possible thanks to Dragonborn dlc, at the end when you open a book you will then be able to use dragon souls to get rid of your perks in one skill tree to put in another place
  • Member
    January 2, 2013

    Looks like it's time for me to do the Dragonborn DLC then, I guess.

  • January 17, 2013

    My new favorite build of all time..

    This is so badass.

  • January 17, 2013

    I can say without a doubt one of the most fun builds I have tried from here ....... Thanks for your effort ......+1

  • Member
    January 18, 2013
    Put some special moves Mason. This build is more powerfull than people realise
  • January 18, 2013

    Ha! He does have some powerful combo's...

    I'm currently working on my arcane archer, I'll do this one next...