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Character Build: The Falmer

Tags: #Character Build Spellsword  #Falmer  #Spellsword  #Character Build Healer  #Character Build Enchanter  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build  #Enchanter  #Healer  #Snow Elf 
  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    You are falmer, the world awaits.

    Spoilers for Dawnguard! It is essential for this build. Dragonborn adds some nice toys as well, but is by no means necessary to play this build.


    You know the truth, you know the cold, but most of all you know what you are; falmer. Not “snow elf”, as the dim-witted nords say, and certainly not the kind of monster that the betrayed have become. You know the task set forth before you; you will obliterate undead with Auri-El’s power, make your blade dance and shimmer in the light of your god, and chill your enemies to their very cores with the might of falmeri frost magic. You will lead your race once again as its champion. If you achieve enough greatness then perhaps you will even succeed the very Snow Prince.


    Auri-El's light shines upon the bridge. It beckons those of the falmer blood to complete their pilgrimage.

    Write your own story. As a falmer and a devout worshipper of Auri-El there are many possibilities; were you an enchanter, healer, or a deft swordsman? The Vale should also be an important part of your character's experience. Think of where and how your falmer lived as well as how it has survived to present day without suffering the betrayed's fate. Please share any backstories you might create here for all to see.


    The only cannon falmer names are as follows; Athring, Celegriath, Edhelbor, Gelebor, Nirilor, Sidanyis, Vyrthur, Engwe Emeloth, Faire Agarwen, and Mirtil Angoth. Unfortunately those are all the names of males, but they are relatively unisex, so don't hesitate to name your female falmer, "Celebor", or any other permutation of these syllables.

    Titles include prelate, for a priest, Knight-Paladin, for a knight of Auri-El, Arch-Curate, for the high priest, and of course Snow Prince, for a warrior and leader. The Arch-Curate literally talks to Auri-El, think Florentius Baenius, but less annoying. The Snow Prince title is no less weighty, he was the racial hero or the falmer. In the fantasy he was as as influential as MLK was to African-Americans. The RP of a priest might require celibacy, as all of the priests are alone.


    • Live in the Inner Sanctum
    • Worship Auri-El and Kynareth
    • Destroy dwarven automations
    • Kill all undead
    • Kill humans you don’t like
    • No followers

    Race - Altmer

    Altmer come close enough and are closest to falmer in the evolution of elves. It makes sense that nords would confuse you for a altmer. Furthermore their racials grant 50 extra magicka and 60 seconds of ridiculously fast magicka regeneration, once a day. These are just too good to pass up for a spellsword and allow you to get 50 more stat points overall.

    Focus Skills

    Destruction - Frost, Frost! FROST!!! I hope you’ve gathered by now that the falmer is frost oriented. Bolts, AoE, cloaks, or walls, just make them frost! Never break to use fire or lightning. When fighting frost-immune creatures, like frost trolls, ice wraiths, and dwarven automations just use your blade.

    Restoration - Just as much as destruction, restoration is the falmer’s guiding light. From the obvious heals to wards and anti-undead spells, every spell in this school is a credit to the falmer. Restoration is also essential to the falmer RPing worship of Auri-El.

    One Handed - Chillrend and the Dawnguard Rune Axe are your goal, use an enchanted elven sword and silver sword respectively in each one's stead until you attain them.

    Enchanting - For your magicka pool, regeneration, and spell cost reduction. Essential to turning the Ancient Falmer Armor into the armor of a falmeri spellsword.

    Lesser Skills

    Light Armor - Invest perks for survivability and stamina regeneration, if you want. Obviously don’t take perks here if you want to wear a heavy armor helm.

    Alteration - Flesh spells for survivability, lights and detect life for visibility, and perks for spell absorption. Don’t take the spell resistance perks unless you want to stunt blizzard’s damage.

    Alchemy - Greatly benefits your frost magic with increased damage. Can benefit magicka, stamina, and other stats as well, it is what you brew.

    Archery - Only if you are level 61 or above should you invest in the slow time / zoom perks for using Auri-El’s Bow’s Power without being damaged. Again, not for marksmanship!

    The Falmer heals himself with Auri-El's light.

    Essential Perks

    30 &  60

    Optional Skill Perks

    The steady hand perks for Auri-El's bow, the avoid death restoration perk, and the hack and slash one handed perks. Don’t take the alteration magic resist perks nor the dual cast perks, remember, sword in one hand, spell in the other.

    Leveling and Training

    Focus heavily on restoration and destruction early on, use your gold to train them. Getting restoration to 40 quickly for the Respite perk and to 60 in destruction for augmented frost and deep freeze is of the utmost importance. Necromage at 70 is also crucial. Try to train destruction, restoration, and alteration to max as early as possible, as the master spells of the first two and high level perks of the last two are very powerful. Enchanting should come after destruction and restoration.

    Stat Distribution

    Go for 3-2-2. Go into magicka heavily early on and try to keep your investment into health as low as possible by using flesh spells, spell absorption, and frequent heals. Stamina should be the low as well as your healing spells can replenish it easily.

            Required Quests

    • Dawnguard to the end of “Touching the Sky” (DG)
    • Join the College in “First Lessons”

            Suggested Quests

    • Entire Dragonborn questline (DB)
    • Entire College questline
    • Entire main questline
    • Frostflow Abyss
    • NOT The Book of Love



    The first enchantment takes precedence before the extra effect perk is taken.You can enchant a headpiece, such as an elven helmet, with the enchantments provided.

    • Head     Increased Frost damage & Resist Frost (Dukaan)
    • Chest    Destruction & Magicka Regeneration
    • Hands   Magicka & Light Armor
    • Feet      One Handed & Stamina
    • Amulet  Restoration & Destruction
    • Ring      Magicka Regeneration & Restoration

            Effects                                                                                  Powers

    • Dragonborn Frost (DB)                                                             -Highborn
    • Meditation: Become Ethereal                                                    -North Wind (DB)     Seeker of Sorcery (DB)                                                            -Secret of Arcana (DB)
      • Sailor’s Repose                                                              -Root of Power (DB)


    Have the atronach stone as your primary and use the aetheiral crown to equip the apprentice stone when you cast blizzard. It will augment the damage, doubling it.

    Atronach - Your primary stone, it grants 50 less magicka regeneration, 50 extra magicka, and 50 percent spell absorption. It’ll make enemy casters half as dangerous and make wards less useful, if overpowered. Good for going up against powerful magic-wielding bosses, such as dragons and dragon priests.

    Apprentice - Your secondary stone, you equip it with the aetherial crown. It makes blizzard devastating, but be wary of being one-shotted by enemy casters. James contributed that it also doubles the effect of poisons, so if you're taking a weakness to frost potion to cast blizzard it will turn 30 percent weakness into 60 percent, further increasing the power.


    The falmer's essential shout is slow time, befitting his alignment with Auri-El, the dragon of time. Become ethereal, clear skies, dragon aspect, frost breath, and whirlwind sprint are for situational use.

    Become Ethereal - Use to the first word to protect yourself while charging blizzard or other master-level spells (as soon as the effect wears off you can release the spell). Become Ethereal can also be used to run away or survive a fall. RP as turning your body into the frozen winds of the north, moving through harm while chilling your foes to the bone.

    Clear Skies - Fits both Auri-El and Kynareth, use to find the sun with Auriel’s Bow or just to have better weather. Not essential to have, but nice.

    Dragon Aspect - Besides being lore friendly to the falmer, as the dragonborn is the champion of Auri-El, this shout is tremendously helpful as it will reduce shout cooldowns by an additional 20 percent in it’s full form. It also increases power attack damage by 25 percent, adds 100 armor, and 25 percent to fire & frost resistance. For this reason don't use it before casting blizzard. An ancient dragonborn is summoned when you dip below half health. He looks a bit nordic, so if you want to dismiss him just heal above 50 percent health. Requires Dragonborn.

    Frost Breath - Dragonborn frost (DB) causes it to freeze enemies in ice for 15 seconds along with the damage effect.

    Slow Time - Can make AoE frost spells do more damage, as they calculate damage per second. Also very helpful in a melee with chillrend or the dawnguard rune axe. The stability alteration perk modifies the length by 1.5, as does the third word of dragon aspect. RP as freezing everything around you to slow things down.

    Whirlwind Sprint - Helpful for zipping around combat and traveling the world quicker. Great for quick escapes or long jumps.

    Offensive Spells

    The true power of frost magic.

    Bane of the Undead - A very powerful anti-undead spell. Heavily damages nearby undead and fears whatever isn’t obliterated by the explosion of Auri-El’s power. Use the first word of become ethereal to protect yourself while charging the spell.

    Blizzard - This is your unilateral finisher spell. It takes three seconds to charge and creates a swirling vortex that does 20 points of frost damage (30 with 2/2 augmented frost) a second to enemies within the field that lasts 10 seconds. Furthermore, the vortex pulls enemies into the center and slows them, with the deep freeze perk enemies are rendered helpless as the frosty winds toss them about. At low levels you can find or buy scrolls of blizzard, use these on large groups of enemies. The North Wind ability from the air stone on Solstheim provides an instant cast version with no magicka cost, but it is only a one use power, and must be regained upon every use.

    Many enemies, such as automations, dragons, dragur, forsworn, nords, and vampires, resist frost, but this spell can even devastate them. You see, it has a kink; frost and magic resistance has a negative relationship with the amount of frost damage per second that this spell does. This means that wearing frost or magic resist gear or effects, such as Dukaan or Dragon Aspect, lowers the damage. For example, Dukaan grants 50 percent frost resist and 25 percent more frost damage, so if you cast blizzard with Dukaan on it will do 25 damage because of the extra frost damage, but halved by the frost resistance, coming out to 12.5 points a second, 7.5 points less than normal. Don’t take the spell resistance perks in alteration or complete the book of love quest, as both will lower blizzard’s damage. This being said, spell absorption doesn’t affect blizzard at all. So the alteration perks and atronach stone won’t hurt blizzard’s damage.

    So don’t cast blizzard with frost resist gear on, but equip it immediately after casting to reduct the amount of friendly frost damage that blizzard does to you. However, this works both ways, so being poisoned with weakness to frost or magic will proportionally increase the damage of blizzard. This creates a powerful synergy with the apprentice stone, asit doubles the damage of blizzard to 40 points a second (60 with 2/2 augmented frost) for 10 seconds. This is already devastating, but can be made even more so with alchemy by drinking potions of fortify destruction and weakness to frost (be very careful of this combo around spellcasters, though, as this may make you vulnerable to 1 shot, be sure to have become ethereal up before drinking the potions of weakness).

    This has become very complicated, so let’s map it out:

    • Equip the aetherial crown, and the apprentice stone with it
    • Use the first word of Become Ethereal
    • Optional: drink the desired potions of destruction and/or weakness to frost
    • Charge the blizzard spell
    • Release the blizzard cast as soon as become ethereal wears off (you can cast multiple blizzards for stacked damage)
    • Then reequip Dukaan or other desired frost resistance gear
    • Optional: use Dragon Aspect to increase frost resistance and melee ability
    • Kill your helpless enemies with spell or sword
    • Follow up with melee attacks if you used dragon aspect
    • OR
    • Follow up with spells if you used a fortify destruction potion

    Guardian Circle - A very powerful healing effect and anti-undead spell. This one’s very fun. Basically magic absorption absorbs the healing effect from guardian circle, while not preventing its healing effect. Therefore you have effectively guaranteed yourself unlimited health and magicka for the 60 second duration of the circle. Use the first word of become ethereal to protect yourself while charging the spell.

    Ice Storm - Your main frost spell. It has a great AoE and slow effect and the icy cloud grows when double cast. The AoE makes it preferable to icy spear,but feel free to use it for pinpoint precision, or ice spike at lower levels. Slow time makes this tick faster onenemies in relation to actual time. The speed the storm moves at is altered by your velocity when you release the cast. So charging forward when you release the spell will make it move faster, while moving backward upon release will slow it. A slower moving storm can tick more on enemies, dealing more damage, but they may move out of its path before it reaches them. Can be cast through walls if it hits the ground at the enemies feet, use detect life to aim this.

    Vampire’s Bane - Works exactly like a fireball for undead. Use it instead of frost magic on undead. Sun fire is its weaker, bolt version for use a lower levels. Requires Dawnguard.

    Wall of Frost - Essentially a ground-based more powerful version of frostbite. A wonderfully quick spell for close range, tactical combat.

    Defensive Spells

    Auriel's light surrounds and shields the falmer; lighting the way. Photo credit goes to Master Zixx.

    Candlelight & Magelight - Use for... light. Magelight will stick to NPCs that it hits, like a projectile candlelight. This trick be used to track invisible enemies.

    Detect Life & Dead - For magically scouting ahead. Use this to seek out your target and destroy them.

    Healing Spells - Obviously very helpful. Keep one in your offhand during a melee. With the respire perk they should restore both health and stamina, very helpful for keeping your damage up.

    Oak, Stone, Iron, and Ebonyflesh - Cast with a cloak before entering the melee fray. Increases your armor rating by 40, 60, 80, or 100 for 60 seconds great for survivability. Dragonhide is too much of a hassle to cast and too short of an effect to bother with.

    Frost Cloak - 8 points of frost damage a second to enemies in range. This is not modified by the augmented frost perk at all, but the deep freeze perk does apply and will cause enemies within range to drop to the ground if they are below 15 percent health. Use it around enemies vulnerable to frost, such as bandits, falmer, and forsworn.

    Stendarr’s Aura - The falmer calls it Auriel’s Aura. 10 points of sun damage a second (only hurts undead). Possible enchantment applied on unenchanted weapons. Use it around undead, such as dragur, vampires, and raised zombies. Requires Dawnguard.


    Use an enchanted elven or silver sword before you attain Chillrend or the Rune Axe. The silver sword has a unique characteristic that gives it a 20 damage to undead enchantment while still able to be further enchanted.

    Auriel’s Bow - Not for use as a weapon! Only for it’s special sun power. Use Clear Skies if you can’t find the sun. Requires Dawnguard.

    Chillrend - High level frost damage sword with a paralysis enchantment. The appearance is the best part, as it looks like an ancient falmeri sword. Don’t get it before level 46 so you can attain the most powerful version. The wait is well worth it as this blade's final form is as powerful as a dragonbone sword. To get it you have to run and climb up on top of the temple of Mara in Riften and use the first word of whirlwind sprint to get onto the back porch of Riftweald manner, the only open door.

    Dawnguard Rune Axe - Your blade for devastating undead, and the only unique axe that the falmer uses. It has a powerful 15 meter sun damage effect that must be charged daily by killing undead. Every undead past the first 10 adds 10 points of sun damage to the enchantment for a maximum of 100 sun damage each swing. That’s like 2 1/2 vampire’s bane spells exploding each time you swing your blade. Requires Dawnguard.


    Early on use elven armor or mage’s robes and hoods based on preference between spell and sword. Attaining the ancient falmer armor early on is the modus operandi, don’t go without it past level 20!

    A falmer that respects Auri-El's light once again walks the Vale, clothed in his ancestral garb.

    Ancient Falmer Armor - The falmer’s ancestral armor, this is your armor. Due to only one of the relics remaining, you will have to replicate it with the ancient falmeri’s mystical snow forging techniques. You can find those detailed here: The ritual method can only be done on your first journey to the Vale, so keep that in mind. Requires Dawnguard.

    Aetherial Crown - Useful for garnering both the apprentice and atronach stones. Requires Dawnguard.

    Dukaan - The falmer's ideal helm, it grants an imperative 25 percent boost for your frost spells, except for blizzard (see that spell’s section). Also has 50 percent frost resistance, which helps you to RP as a falmer. It being a dragon priest’s mask, however, hurts RP. Think of it as either a trophy from battle or an ancient falmer relic that the nords stole. As heavy armor, it is not compatible with most light armor perks. Requires Dragonborn.

    Mage’s Circlet - An excellent 70 extra magicka. Don’t get before level 25 or the enchantment will be lessened. Honestly, level 25 is not too long to wait for 70 more magicka.


    The falmer is a very high damage build, both given and taken. With a blade in one hand and a spell in the other you’ll unleash strong spells and powerful swings while receiving them as well. Light armor will make both physical and magical attacks damaging. However, restoration magic both fuels your assault and heals your wounds. The respite perk causes healing spells to restore your stamina as well, permitting you infinite power attacks and sprinting. Destruction offensive spells will devastate foes at medium range, while restoration spells will devastate the undead. Cloaks provide a damaging magical aura while engaged in a melee.


    Steps in parenthesis are optional, steps are listed sequentially.

    The falmer unleashing a wave of frost; chain-casted ice storms devastate all in their path.

    Winds of Kynareth (Novice) - (Ice Storm Volley) + Whirlwind Cloak + Whirlwind Sprint + Critical Charge

    You have Kynareth's wind at your back! Blow past your pathetically slow enemies and fling them out of your way. You can first soften your foe with a volley of ice storms. Turn around and charge at your foe after.

    Ancient Frost Atronach (Apprentice) - Frost Cloak + Become Ethereal + Frost Rune

    You channel the power of your ancestors to become an atronach of their frost magic for a time. You damage nearby enemies while the spirits of your ancestors freeze your foes.

    Ancient Snow Ritual (Adept) - Highborn + Slow Time + (Fortify Destruction Potion) + Ice Storm

    Invoke the power of your people to bury your enemies in an avalanche of ice and snow. Casting ice storm while backpedaling during a time slow should allow for maximum ticks and damage on enemies. Be sure to cast very close to your enemies, as ice storm won’t travel far during slow time’s effects.

    Divine Ruination of Auri-El (Expert) - Auriel’s Bow Sun Ability

    Auri-El doesn’t aim very well from way up there, so don’t use near civilized areas, allies, or people you don’t want to kill.

    Rune of Empowerment (Master) - Stendarr’s Aura + Become Ethereal + Guardian Circle + Atronach Stone and/or Atronach Perk + Vampire’s Bane

    Use become ethereal to protect yourself while casting. Your aura will damage undead while you cast. The spell will fear any nearby undead and give you unlimited health and magicka. What better to do now than unleash your arcane and holy might upon your undead foes while they can’t get in melee range.

    Smitten with Smiting (Master) - Stendarr’s Aura + Become Ethereal + Bane of the Undead + Dawnguard Rune Axe + (Whirlwind Sprint)

    Use become ethereal to protect yourself while casting. Try to gather up as many undead as you can before letting become ethereal run out. Your aura will damage undead while you cast. What undead aren’t killed outright by the explosion will be severely damage and on the run. Chase them down and cut them down with your rune axe; use whirlwind sprint if you need to close distance. Works well with the critical charge perk.

    Winter’s End (Master) - Frost Cloak + Become Ethereal + (Weakness to Frost Potion) + (Fortify Destruction Potion) + Blizzard + (Dragon Aspect) + (Frost Spells or Melee Attacks)

    Your enemies dared to try your strength, but now they must be shown their bitter cold mass grave. Channel your most powerful frost magic, the same spell used to freeze the invading falmer at the Chantry, even, and unleash the forces of frost on your foes.

    Frozen Wrath of Auri-El (Master) - Frost Cloak + Become Ethereal + Blizzard + Auriel’s Bow Sun Ability

    Devastate your enemies with the bitter cold of frost magic and the burning fury of Auri-El’s wrath! Use the first word of become ethereal to protect yourself while charging the spell.

    The falmer preforms the ritual to call upon Auri-El's wrath. Graphic from Ponty's "Paths of a Paladin" build.



    While this is my very first build here on the blog, I poured all my daedra hearts and soul gems into it. I think that it’s an exhaustive, if lengthy falmer spellsword build. I appreciate any likes or contributions given.

    I took tips and tricks from others and incorporate them into this build, mainly for moves and gameplay tricks. As I am unable to photograph Skyrim, playing on xbox, I've gathered applicable pictures from around the net. I feel that it was for purpose of providing the best possibly build, nonetheless those I’ve taken hints from are listed below.

    • Mason’s Volkhair (an ability)
    • Ponty’s Skystrider and Paths of a Paladin (an ability and one picture)
    • Twisted Orthrus’ Stalhrim Master (an ability)


    If the Falmer struck your fancy, then feel free to check out the rest of

    My Builds

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    And yet again comes a build to make my previous look like complete and utter crap. I just got a Snow Elf build deleted. ThanksĀ . In all seriousness, I think I just don't have the patience for character building. Nonetheless, 1up from me. You obviously put some time into this.

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    Oh and also title it Character Build: The Falmer

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    Thanks, yeah, I've been working on the text since the beginning of February, but the pictures are all tonight =P Sorry to hear about your build.

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    Meh, I have a reputation here of making bad builds. Lol.

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    Thanks, I changed it. Leave it to me to go into all that detail and then forget such a base aspect of a build.

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    It looks relatively solid, but it's SOOOOOOO LLLOOOOOOOOOOOONG. I really can't be bothered to read the whole thing and I have a longer attention span than most...

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    About the length, I'd prefer to keep the detail for those that are interested in playing a falmer. I understand and fully expect most readers to skim this build, that's what I do when reading other builds.

    Thanks for the pictures by the way!

    @Ben C: I'm sorry for the loading troubles, I'm actually having them myself ^_^

  • Member
    February 20, 2013

    Is this kind of length grounds to be featured?

  • Member
    February 20, 2013
    Similar to a frost mage I made a few months ago, he was quite fond of sneaking around and casting blizzard. Unsure if it's changed but another 'quirk' with the apprentice stone is that poisons are considered magical effects so when you drink a potion with the 'weakness to frost' effect to boost your blizzard damage, the apprentice will (it used to anyways) also double the damage you suffer from the poison; typically a weakness poison with basic alchemy only will give you -45% frost which will be boosted by the apprentice stone's 2x to 90%. If I recall correctly I had blizzard running at something around 80ish damage per second which, even on master, utterly obliterates most enemies. Love the build