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Character Build: Ra Gada Skirmisher

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Enchanter  #Character Build Alchemist  #Race:Redguard  #Rank:Recognized 
  • October 24, 2012

    Ra Gada Skirmisher

    The skirmisher in action.


    1 Description

    The Way of the Sword was not the only martial skill the Redguards inherited from their ancestors. In a hostile land ravaged by civil strife, the Yokudans were perpetually engaged in guerrilla warfare, and developed solid skirmishing tactics used by specialized groups of light archers and swordsmen. The Way of the Bow was almost as highly developed as its bladed counterpart, though not as romanticized, likely due to the lack of a legendary figure such as Frandar Hunding. In any case, the knowledge survived the cataclysm and was brought over to Hammerfell. The Imperial Legion, instead of assimilating Redguard militiamen into their rank and file soldiery, wisely played to their strengths and adopted their skirmishing tactics. Thus, the Redguards’ rich and ancient martial culture remains intact to this day.

    Ra Gada skirmishers favor a compact, heavily recurved bow, typically used for hunting, to achieve the perfect balance between power, speed, and mobility. Indeed, a skilled shooter can accurately loose upwards of twenty arrows per minute, and do it from horseback, which would be impossible with a traditional, unwieldy war bow. They travel light, often wearing no more than padded clothing for protection, relying on their speed and agility to keep them out of harm’s way. They are proud of their weapons, which they see as an extension of their bodies, and which they ever try to perfect. Hence, all Ra Gada skirmishers are bowyers and fletchers.

    2 Combat

    2.1 Overview

    This build requires a lot of patience. You will need to level all three crafting professions, but your diligence will be rewarded with awesomeness, especially in style. You need not treat it like a chore. Take your time. RP through it. Enchant a blacksmith’s apron and other appropriate apparel and get into character.

    Because tempering and enchanting don’t affect bow speed, the lighter bows will benefit the most, both from the increased base damage, as well as dual enchantments. A legendary, dual-enchanted hunting bow will tear your enemies to shreds without being game-breakingly overpowered, so long as you don’t exploit any loops (I just stay away from fortifying potions altogether), and avoid sneak attacks.

    While you will be wielding the Tamrielic equivalent of an assault rifle, you will be as resilient as wet cardboard. You have no armor, magical or otherwise. You have no shield, nor wards. All you have is your speed, your wits, and debilitating poisons to keep your enemies at bay. If anything does get into melee with you, you better pray your scimitars can finish them off in a couple of swings, or you will be enjoying a kill cam from the wrong perspective. You are truly a glass cannon; with great power comes great... squishiness!

    Combat involves, well, actual skirmishing. Hit melee opponents with a slowing poison and destroy them from range without them having a chance to fight back. Some nasties, such as sabercats, are too fast even with slowing poison, so you will need to use a fear poison on them, or the Animal Allegiance shout.

    Undead cannot be poisoned, but most are slow, lumbering oafs which you will have no trouble outrunning with your superior speed. Ghosts, however, are troublesome. They can sprint, and are immune to poison, so you can’t keep them away for long. You can however pop Adrenaline Rush and Elemental Fury and power attack them to death with your dual scimitars.

    Other troublesome scenarios are tight quarters with multiple nasties; forts typically fall into this category. That’s where a well-placed frenzy poison will come in handy. Note: make sure you reserve most of your fear and frenzy poison ingredients for when you have some fortify alchemy gear to improve their efficacy.

    It is this juggling of your available poisons, as well as the use of shouts, that keeps the build interesting throughout your playthrough. There is nothing a Redguard skirmisher cannot handle. Some encounters might require a little creativity though (see special moves).

    2.2 Skills

    2.2.1 Archery

    Perk this tree at your discretion, depending on the level of challenge you want out of the game. I usually only place points in Overdraw and Critical Shot. Power Shot almost makes slow poisons redundant, Ranger makes hit and run too easy, and Bullseye is glitchy.

    2.2.2 Alchemy

    If archery is your bread and butter, alchemy is your meat and potatoes. You will use and abuse poisons to keep opponents out of your hair. You should perk the whole tree except Experimenter and Purity, unless you’d prefer to learn the recipes normally through playing, in which case ignore the following subsection. Recommended Poisons

    Slow: Deathbell and Salt Pile. This is a very easy poison to stockpile, which is a good thing as you’ll be using it a lot.

    Weakness to Fire and Weakness to Poison: Bleeding Crown and Juniper Berries and (Chaurus Eggs or Abecean Longfin or Giant Lichen or Pine Thrush Egg or Sabre Cat Tooth or Small Antlers).

    Damage Health and Lingering Damage Health: Imp Stool and (Mora Tapinella or Slaughterfish Scales or Slaughterfish Eggs or Orange Dartwing) and (Small Antlers or Skeever Tail or Nightshade or Void Salts or Ectoplasm). Imp Stool is difficult to stockpile. If you have Hearthfire, dedicate all your soil to this mushroom.

    Fear: any two of Blue Dartwing, Cyrodilic Spadetail, Namira’s Rot and Powdered Mammoth Tusk.

    Frenzy: any two of Blisterwort, Fly Amanita, Hagraven Feathers, Troll Fat and Falmer Ear.

    2.2.3 Smithing

    Ra Gada skirmishers are bowyers and fletchers, so you may only craft and temper bows and arrows (if you have Dawnguard). Yes, this means you cannot temper your scimitars. Take all the perks in the tree.

    2.2.4 Enchanting

    Bow of Scalding Sands: Hunting Bow with Fire Damage and Firey Soul Trap.
    Serpentskin Hood: Alik’r Hood with Fortify Archery and Fortify Destruction (this reduces your bow enchantment’s soul consumption).
    Nomad’s Garment: Hammerfell Garb with Fortify Stamina and Fortify Destruction.
    Desertwalker Boots: Redguard Boots with Fortify Stamina and Fortify Stamina Regen.
    Gloves of the Fang: gloves with Fortify Archery and Fortify One-handed.
    Band of the Monsoon: ring with Fortify Archery and Fortify Destruction.
    Jewel of Stros M’kay: necklace with Fortify Archery and Fortify Destruction.

    2.3 Special Moves

    Seal Fate: poison of Weakness to Poison and Weakness to Fire, poison of Damage Health and Lingering Damage Health, bow dual-enchanted with Fire Damage and Firey Soul Trap, and Fire Breath shout.

    Leap of Faith: Whirlwind Sprint at the edge of a platform to literally fly towards another platform, leaving melee opponents behind, helpless before the onslaught of your arrows.

    Turn the Tables: bow bash, Adrenaline Rush, and Elemental Fury with dual scimitars.

    2.4 Standing Stone

    The Lover Stone is the obvious choice here. Once you’ve maxed the crafting skills, you may opt for the Lady Stone or the Lord Stone.

    3. Roleplaying

    3.1 Alignment and Quests

    This is entirely up to you. A Ra Gada skirmisher can just as easily be a greedy mercenary that offers his fine martial skills to the Dark Brotherhood, or a paragon of virtue intent on ridding Skyrim of its evil, and everything in between.

    As for the civil war, as a Redguard he may resent the White-Gold Concordat and join the Stormcloaks against the traitorous Imperials, or he may be loyal to the Empire to the bitter end and join the Legion.


    If you prefer to have a follower tag along, consider Ahtar, the Solitude headsman, the only Redguard follower in the game. Give him the same gear as yourself and teach him the ancient ways of the Ra Gada skirmishers.

    4 Modifications

    If you are on PC, some of these mods may interest you. I don’t use any of them but they are all popular.

    Ultimate Follower Overhaul: obligatory if you plan on taking a follower.
    JaySuS Swords and Weapons of the Third Era: new scimitar meshes.

    5 Conclusion

    This build requires a great deal of dedication and patience, as well as a bit of thought. It can be extremely immersive as the build has a very strong theme, greatly augmented by the awesome looking Redguard apparel.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.

    6 My Other Builds

    I have been playing this game since 11-11-11 and have played archers exclusively, and am always looking to make new and interesting bow builds. Here are my other builds:

    Zealot of Y’ffre

    The Undead Hunter

  • October 24, 2012
    Really good! I like it alot! +1
  • October 24, 2012

    Fus Ro Dah, I think would be an essential shout for this archer (for anything getting too close). 

    I don't normally give likes to builds utilizing all 3 crafting skills, in fact, I nearly closed the page before finishing.  But since you don't grind the skills, I'll make an exception. I'm a bit confused about smithing though...Why all the smithing perks if you are using a hunting bow, is it just for arrows?   And why both sides of the tree?



  • October 24, 2012

    Thank you :).

  • October 24, 2012

    I prefer Whirlwind Sprint, as it has many uses and fits the skirmisher theme like a glove. As for the crafting, all three crafting skills are necessary: alchemy for crowd control, smithing for improving the hunting bow (and only that), and enchanting because we are wearing the Redguard apparel. The idea to perk the whole smithing tree is to be able to craft and temper all kinds of bows, because the Ra Gada skirmishers are bowyers and fletchers. It makes leveling the skill up more interesting than simply chain-crafting iron daggers. They can craft any bows, but they just happen to prefer the hunting bow for its mobility. Besides, this build isn't at all starving for perk points.

    Thanks for the like BTW!

  • October 24, 2012

    Isn't fiery soul trap a tad redundant since you'll have no charge consumption? Might as well just stack a better enchant; ice will slow them down, fear would help with crowd control, etc. Other than that great build, I love glass cannons and Redguards( Ra'Gada) even more +1 like

  • October 24, 2012

    Fun build btw, I like the incorporation of lore in the introduciton, and the combat section, especially the overview. - (My original reply got bugged and I lost that post; and I forgot to compliment you on my hurried re-type and included only the criticisms.)

  • October 24, 2012

    Thank you :). Yes, Fiery Soul Trap (or the soul trap component in any case) will become redundant once you can add dual-enchantments, but I wanted the bow to have a theme, in this case a fire theme, and benefit from the Weakness to Fire poison.

  • Member
    October 24, 2012
    i like this :) altho ive been working on a redguard (ahem Ra Gada) assassin build for quite a while. so i may combine the 2:D. but somthing confuses me, is this infact like a stealth archer, a regular, stand and shot, archer, or more like a mounted archer kinda deal?
  • October 24, 2012
    Well thought out, I like it. Why didn't you choose Zephyr as a bow, it seems like a "skirmisher" weapon?