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Character Build: The Scourge

Tags: #Character Build Alchemist  #Character Build Unarmored  #Character Build Villain  #Rank:Mythic  #TwistedOrthrusBuild 
  • January 27, 2013

    Warning: This build uses some minor Dragonborn content. If you are about to stop reading, make sure to check it out some other time.

    For this build I wanted to experiment with an unarmoured warrior character. I aimed to create something that could find an advantage against lumbering brutes in heavy armor and able to survive on master difficulty. What came from this experiment was the Scourge. A damage over time focused monster, which tears enemies apart without being hit. A real cold-blooded killer.


    The Scourge

    Scourge: Plague, Torment

    The Scourge is a vampiric monster from the depths of black marsh. This sadistic beast takes his greatest pleasure in playing with his kill, causing as much suffering as possible before they die. With a deadly arsenal of fire, poison, and knowledge of how to inflict the most painful wounds, the Scourge is an enemy to be truly feared.  

    Race: Argonian

    Stone: Mage early on, Atronach for high levels

    Major skills: Destruction, Alchemy, Enchanting, Pickpocket

    Minor Skills: One handed, Restoration, Sneak

    Stats: Magicka- 220, Health- 370, Stamina- 210

    Weapons: Dual War axes

    Clothing: Mourners clothes, Fine boots, Ahzidals’s ring of Arcana

    Shout: Become Ethereal


    The Build

    The only real choice for me as far as went was Argonian. Going in unarmoured, I knew I would need all the help I could get. Histskin is a huge help at lower levels, and being able to dive out of combat and into the safety of water was a great survival tool. As a bonus, Argonian vampires look awesome and are the perfect candidate for a malevolent poisoner.

    Going unarmoured and relying on damage over time to take enemies out worked perfectly both ways. Being unarmoured, I was able to get in and deal high damage from a single hit, without being at risk of dying. At the same time, being forced to use a hit and run play style meant that my DoT effects actually had time to kick in and bring the pain, as opposed to killing enemies before these effects could even have a chance to work their magic on the enemy’s health bar.

    I utilised everything I could to avoid enemy attacks. Anything that puts distance between you and the enemy can be put to use, keeping you from dying while their health ticks away. I used all of my stamina for sprinting away from my enemies, leading them to traps I had already set, or towards a location I could use to my advantage in combat. Knowing how squishy you are really brings a unique feel to combat, forcing you to plan and play carefully.

    I really need to stress how amazing become ethereal is. It has a great duration and a tiny cooldown, allowing the Scourge to jump in and out of physical existence at will. This shout is vital to the success of this build so make sure to use it. It works amazingly with flame cloak, allowing you to deal damage while taking none. Another great use is trap gauntlets. In ethereal form you can still trigger traps. Leading a large group of enemies into a trap gauntlet, you can blink out of existence and have some fun with your enemies. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to play with your food?

    Now you know how to defend yourself, we’ll go over damage dealing. Focusing on fire, poison and bleed damage brings a huge benefit to being unarmoured. All of this damage is not mitigated by physical protection. What this means is that every enemy who has some form physical protection, is now just wearing unnecessarily heavy clothing, which makes them slower than a pregnant horker.

    These types of damage fit the character perfectly. Axes are the perfect weapon for a malicious character and fire and poison damage only amplify this. Watching the enemy health bar drop to zero slowly from the dot damage is something that is hard to match when you want to feel like an evil bastard. Walking away from an enemy begging for mercy just before the dot takes them makes you feel like a total badass.

    You fight dirty, doing whatever you have to, to give yourself an advantage in combat. Stealth allows you to scout enemy positions and place runes accordingly. Pickpocket helps you to prepare enemies for a world of hurt, letting you strip them of weapons and armor, and prepping them for a world of hurt with weakness to fire/poison, poisons.

    Our axes are enchanted with fire damage and coated in wicked lingering damage health poisons. That way, every hit does low initial damage, but slowly works away at the enemy’s health bar. On top of this, a range of spells can be thrown into the mix. Poison and fire runes can be set up as traps, while ignite and flame cloak add in even more dps.

    Here I’ll calculate the displayed damage from a single hit from an enchanted and poisoned axe at end game.

    Bleed: 18 damage over 6 seconds

    Fire Enchant: 46 damage

    Burn damage: 4 over 1 second.

    Dot Poison: 15 dps over 10 seconds.

    Total: 218 damage over 10 seconds that completely ignores armor.

    Now for the best part… The Dot effects are all stackable, which means that all of these effects are reapplied for every time they are used. This can cause enemies health bars to drop ridiculously fast. If you think those numbers are impressive check out the Scourge’s special move.


    Being a vampire brings a true feeling of being a monster to this character. The bonuses are pretty nice too. 50% frost resistance and a bonus to sneak are very welcome, along with a resistance to poisons and disease keeping you at full combat effectiveness. On the downside you get a weakness to fire which can easily be nullified if you want to, or leave it in for an extra challenge. I did.

    As well as necromage giving bonuses to spells, enchantments and active effects, it can also boost your attack speed. Taking necromage before the final dual flurry perk gives an even bigger boost to your attack speed when dual wielding. Your arms become a blur and you can get even more hits in before dodging the next attack.

    Finally we have the vampire lord form. I only ever made use of this when facing dragons. You could just remain in human form and throw fireballs at them, but you don’t want to sit there for ten minutes throwing fireballs at a dragon that is resistant to them do you? The form should be used sparingly at most.

    For one handed, I avoided perks that would cause extra damage as they were a waste. Instead I focused on increasing my swing speed and maximising my bleed damage.

    In alchemy I chose to take perks to maximise my poisons effectiveness, and ignored everything else as much as possible. Concentrated poison is amazing here, allowing you to start stacking poisons much easier.

    Enchanting I stopped at enchanter and fire enchanter. Extra effect would have been over kill here and the saved perks can be put to better use elsewhere.

    Restoration was my primary form of healing but also provides the awesome necromage perk. I focused on perks to improve healing and pushed cost reduction to adept for the poison rune.

    Destruction helped boost the damage of my enchanted weapons and provided some great dot spells. I took perks to maximise fire damage and cost reduction to adept for flame cloak.

    I used pickpocket as a way of making money but also to eventually plant poisons and steal weapons from enemies.

    Sneak is often overpowered so I took steps to limit it. I never performed a sneak attack and all of my points went into stealth.


    Just two poisons I found that are highly useful in this build.

    Plague: Weakness to poison 30% and Weakness to Fire 45% - Bleeding crown, Death bell & Juniper berries

    Torment: Lingering damage health 15dps for 10 seconds, Paralysis for15 seconds and 30 points of damage health- Imp stool, Scathcraw(DB) & Human flesh

    Special moves

    Burning Anguish: Now this really is playing with your kill. Sneak up on an enemy and steal their weapons, replacing it with a “plague” poison. Coat your axe with “Torment” and preform a regular attack. Now cast a single poison rune and a single bolt of ignite at the enemy and activate a flame cloak. This move deals 500 damage without even adding in the damage from the cloak.

    Well guys, let me know what you think and I hope you’ve enjoyed. I'd again like to thank Ben C for his help testing an unarmoured character.

    Art Credit (in order of use)





  • Kaz
    January 27, 2013

    i am honored to say that i shall be the first to officialy like this build good job twistedorthus i like that he likes to inflict maximum pain good roleplay aspect

  • January 27, 2013

    Another Featured Argonian! Two in one day!

  • January 27, 2013

    Sorry Kaz, someone beat you to it but I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the kind words.

  • January 27, 2013

    Awesome Emer, glad you liked it.

  • January 27, 2013

    Holy shit!

  • January 27, 2013
    An evil argonian, that uses destruction magic? Everything I dislike to play or use in one build!!!
  • January 27, 2013
    Seriously though, it sounds good, but it doesn't sound like something I would play. Can't like it, sorry
  • Member
    January 27, 2013

    Duuuuuuude! I love this! Bleed stacking to the max. Crazy damage possibilities and awesome overall character concept.

  • Member
    January 27, 2013

    Boy, you're tough to please! (I like that you are honest though.)