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Character Build: The Crystal Guardian

Tags: #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Blacksmith  #Character Build Enchanter  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • Member
    March 2, 2013

    "You are nothing more than glass, waiting to be smashed."

    - Crystal Guardian leader Archwarden Artemis Gerald

     I felt like the most underused weapon in the game is the Warhammer so I had planned to center a build around the most powerful weapon in the game. Some would disagree with scepticism that it isn't worth it because of the slow swings and you could do way more damage with magic or a quicker weapon. I plan to prove these people wrong, Thus I present my first build.

    Crystal Guardians are an order of Breton warriors who were originally gathered during the first era to preserve and defend the Adamantine Tower. Trained from the age of 10 they are taught in the ways of the warrior. When they turn twenty years of age their training has ended and they are to be sent on a pilgrimage Wrothgarian Mountains where they will be tested to become members of the order. Their objective is to receive the fragments of Wrothgarian, located at the heart of the mountain. The fragments of Wrothgarian are ancient gems that have mystical effects on the holder. Depending on the personality of the person who posses the gems, determines how the gems will affect the wielder; therefore, making all knights of their order unique as in their special powers activated by the gem.If they persevere and return with the shards, they forge a unique set of armor out of the gems representing them as a part of the order. 

      On the day of your initiation in the hometown of Wayrest a party begins in your favor, mead is drunk, songs are sung, and the village is dancing, but meanwhile the Adamantine tower off on the Isle of Balfiera is left underprotected because of the ceremony. In the midst of the celebration a panicking courier stumbles through the crowd and has given word that the Isle of Balfiera has been sacked and pillaged by Thalmor raiders. The primary target of the attack was Crystal Guardian leader Archwarden Artemis Gerald, very few members of the order survived the raid. The objective was to disband the group from retaliation and capture the elder scroll held within the libraries. 

       After weeks of tracking the the High Elves you end up on the border between Cyrodiil and Hammerfell without food and most of your endurance has been lost due to traversing the landscape. In the distance you see a hooded man. Several minutes go by and you approach him. As you engage in conversation he reveals himself as an Alik’r scout  and with some coin he recalls that he saw about a week ago a group of thalmor transporting veiled objects through the desert going south but were intercepted by Alik'r Sandsmen and were killed on site. As you come to the end of your journey, you are at a crossroads .The Alik’r scout offers you a trip to Skyrim in exchange for 20 septims. As you recall your order is lost and you no longer have a purpose, although you recall one thing, the sight of a dragon flying into Skyrim. 

    The Build
    I would highly recommend Breton because the build is based on the lore around High rock and because of his racial ability Dragonskin: Absorb 50% of the magicka from hostile spells for 60 seconds, once per day.

    Stone: The Lord stone is a staple for this build because we are going for the most defense possible without using a shield. The armor rating bonus is extremely useful because it fills the AR gap since I am not using a helmet either.

    Stats: Leveling 3/2/4 is a good way to guarantee that by the time you hit around thirty through sixty you're able to use your stamina effectively without ever running out during a fight. Magicka is used mainly for the high cost of alteration spells but in the end doesn't matter because by the time the spells exhaust and the fight is over you would of regenerated the magicka.

    The Crystal Guardian:
    The Crystal Guardian is focused on soaking up as much damage as he can with his Gemstone armor and dealing massive damage with his legendary warhammer. His gemstone suit allows to be proficient in the art of defense or the magic of alteration giving him bonuses to casting alteration spells reinforcing his crystal armor and rendering it unbreakable. This build is meant to exploit the warhammers full potential by never running out of stamina to provide a way to consistently use power attacks.

    The “Great Impact” of Warhammers: This build is centered around dealing maximum damage and having an unbeatable defense. First off I've never really liked warhammers or two handed weapons in general, but there is one thing that Skyrim gets right. The weight behind the weapons always feel real and when you kill a dragon with these ungodly weapons it is so satisfying. The warhammer is the primary weapon of choice because of it’s massive damage and overall highest base damage versus any other weapon. Later on in the build I will show you how the Crystal Guardian can do hundreds of damage in one shot.

    The Greatest Defense is a good Offense: I picked alteration for this build because on top of your armor rating you will get additional defense compensating for not wearing a helmet and it contributes towards the max AR. With legendary Malachite/Stalhrim armor you basically take no damage if used with a flesh spell at the 567 cap(80%) and are able to tank damage worry free without having to use heavy armor. On the plus side light armor allows for higher movement speed which is important when fighting with a slow weapon like the warhammer. The offensive side of this is that paralysis can be used to stop foes where they stand and just beat them to death on the floor.  

    Major Skills

    Two-Handed: This is the main source of damage other than poisons. Charging into battle as there is no ranged combat for this character normal. Great critical charge along with bone breaker which ignores 75% of armor basically one-shots enemies at expert level and with a legendary warhammer without enchantments.

    Alteration: This skill should be used right before charging into battle and becomes versatile with paralysis. The flesh spells are very useful at low levels because light armor does not protect much when you're playing on master and allows you to be in melee combat a lot longer instead of running away because of low hit points. Paralysis should be offensively to take town big meat sacks at master level who have ridiculous HP and can one shot you with a power attack. Perks like atronach and magic resistance help absorb magical damage. Alteration is especially used to soak up all damage for a 30 seconds which I will explain later on.

     Minor Skills

    Enchanting: As it is the Crystal Guardian imbues his gems and armor with several enchantments amplifying his natural abilities. Enchanting is what makes this build shine. Apart from the base damage and power attacks there is no bread and butter for this build. Fortifying Stamina, Stamina Regen, Alteration, Two handed is very important. Armor enchants eventually will fortify alteration by 100% reducing all mana costs for the spells like mass paralysis and dragonhide. Fortifying Stamina and Stamina regen to 100% guarantees that the Crystal Guardian will never run out stamina therefore able to whip out large power attacks and are reduced by 25% with Champion’s Stance. Fortifying Two handed can eventually double the warhammers damage.

    Smithing: Very important for increasing armor rating and increasing the damage output of your weapon. Unfortunately you will have to go down the heavy armor path to reach Stalhrim Light Armor to obtain a full set of legendary stalhrim armor. and allows for the creation of glass and stalhrim armors and their respective warhammers

    Light Armor: Mainly used for the aesthetic feature of the build but because the armors that look like gems and stones are mainly glass and stalhrim, this kind of dictates the skill but if you just don't care for light armor head own the heavy armor path and get regular Stalhrim armor. Although as progression continues light armor will be as good as good as heavy armor and can soak up almost all damage.

    There are two tiers of stone armor for the Crystal Guardian:
    Tier One: The Emeraldshard (Level 30 Glass set)

    Armor: Everything will be glass except for the head which will be a jade and emerald circuit. The set is mainly focused on stamina regeneration and alteration as its attempts to never run out of stamina during fights for constant power attacks and lower alteration costs for easier casting of paralysis and flesh spells.

    Tier 2: The Earthwaker( Level 40-60 Stalhrim Set)

    Armor: The Earthwaker armor set consists of Stalhrim leggings, chestplate, and gauntlets with the Aetherial Crown. It basically has improved defense and a couple enchantments have been altered. For the Aetherial Crown you should pick up the atronach stone with a potion of restore before activating it to block almost all magic damage and absorb it.

    (Tier One):
    At level 30 your glass warhammer will be called the Behemoth with Absorb Stamina and Paralyze rendering your foe helpless and attacking with a continuous volley of power attacks. For earlier levels before thirty I would recommend getting the Longhammer which can swing as fast as a one handed sword and has a pretty high DPS, the only downside is it’s ugly.
    (Tier Two):
    The Stalhrim warhammer will be called Ragnarok which can absorb souls into its large stone and does frost damage. With the soul trap enchantment remember to constantly recharge Ragnarok because of it’s high frost damage output.

    True Power of the Hammer:

    The formula for damage calculation:

    damage = (base damage + smithing increase) * (1 + 0.5 * skill/100) * (1 + perk effects) * (1 + item effects)  Perk Effects = .2 * Barbarian

    Base Damage:
    For an example I will be using the weapon Ragnarok to demonstrate the warhammer capabilities. When Ragranrok is legendary(Smithing) and you have all five perks into Barbarian as well as the Two-Handed skill at 100 the base damage is: 108

    Enchantments: Now let us factor in enchantments from the armor and weapons. 
      With Dragonborn the , max  skill fortification is 40%. Since the Earthwaker set has four Fortify Two-Handed enchantment with all the enchanting perks, it totals up to 160% more damage with two-handed weapons. This brings us up from 108 damage to 280 per swing.

    Enchantments(part 2):
    Ragnarok has the frost damage enchantment that with the frost enchanter perk does 30 frost damage.  Now with Stalhrim armor and weapons, frost enchantments are 25% stronger now making the enchantment do 39 damage if you use an enchanters potion during the process.

    We now total our output to 319 damage with every hit!

    Alchemy plays a key role other than being a source of healing. The poison Deadly Aversion to Frost states “Target is 100% weaker to frost damage for 30 seconds”. With this we can increase our frost damage. That brings the damage with the poison Deadly Aversion to Frost to 397.

    The Final Verdict:
    We have not even included dragonbone weapons or critical damage but I would like to stop here. If we use Great critical charge the total damage of the warhammer is multiplied by two, bringing in a whopping 460 damage without frost damage from our armor enchantments and base damage. With the frost damage we add 78 to this if we use the deadly aversion to frost poison. This brings us to our final number 538.

    Special Moves and Tactics


    When the Crystal Guardian is overwhelming by multiple foes he shouts a word of power turning all of them into solid stone, shortly after swinging his warhammer with great might he breaks his opponent's ice encasing and breaks their armor puncturing them with the warhammer’s burning edge of ice.

    Requires: Ice form + Deadly Aversion to Frost + Sweep + Bone Crusher


    The Crystal Guardian drains the life force of his opponent, he then paralyzes his enemy from a distance and charges toward him with the utmost speed slamming him into submission.

    Requires: Drain Vitality + Paralyze + Great Critical Charge

    Prismatic Sphere

    The Crystal Guardian casts an incantation covering him in unbreakable shards, gems, and stones rendering him untouchable from all physical and magical damage. He absorbs every hit giving him more power with each blow dealt against him for long duration enabling him to attack without be hindered. Note. Bones of the earth and dragonhide stack.

    Requires: Atronach Stone + Lord Stone + Stability + Atronach(Perk) + Dragonskin + Elixir of Alteration + Dragonhide + Bones of the Earth


    Thank you for taking the time to read my build, I would highly appreciate feedback and I will be updating this build every once in awhile.The final result came out great because at first I didn't really know what I was aiming for. 


  • March 2, 2013

    Okay, I really like this build. But really I think you should drop alchemy. You are already using the other two crafting skills, using the third will likely put people off. I really think dropping it and telling people to buy the potions and poisons would do a lot for this build.

    The backstory paragraph came out with a weird format so you may want to look at that.

    Also, drain vitality does not absorb the stats into your character when used. For some reason that only works when dragons use it. Again, awesome build here, just a few improvements I think could be made.

    Love the artwork btw.

  • Member
    March 2, 2013

    I thought as much, I'm going to go back to my editing tools and change it, I really appreciate you telling me that ^^

  • Member
    March 2, 2013

    Thanks for the feedback

    -Yeah the format is a bit weird when i pasted it here.Make sure to fix it right away

    -Lol i know drain vitality doesn't absorb stats, it was an analogy for the ability

    -Ill think about the alchemy but i do rather find it useful since I spent most of my money leveling smithing instead of potions. Now I'm deciding on restoration as it's replacement.

    I really do value your feedback. Thanks TwistedOrthus

  • Member
    March 2, 2013

    Nice you caught me there. Ill fix it immediately 

  • March 2, 2013

    The reason I didn't suggest restoration is you still need poisons for that special move (very good one too) so I figured you may as well buy healing potions too.

  • Member
    March 2, 2013

    I get what your saying, the whole skill isn't worth one specific potion. Im going to take out alchemy. I didn't want to use the exploits so I kept it to what i believed a bare minimum. I do rather enjoy the feedback. I literally spent a week straight on this build and it would be a shame if It was overlooked because of this.

  • Member
    March 2, 2013


    "Alchemy: Alchemy potions are essential for this build because it is the primary way to heal. Poisons also come to play a tiny bit in this build to help reach the warhammers full potential.heal. Poisons also come to play a tiny bit in this build to help reach the warhammer's full potential."

  • Member
    March 2, 2013

    Im actually fixing it right now. Im taking alchemy out.

  • March 2, 2013

    Cool build +1