Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Stormchaser

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    Swordsmen from the ancient island of Yokuda possessed a power so great, that it is often cited as the cause of the nation’s demise.

    These so-called Sword-singers, the greatest among them known as "Ansei," were forced out of Yokuda by Emperor Hira in 1E780. In the ensuing years, their ways were largely forgotten. Now, eras later, despite the loss of their great secrets, there is still tremendous power in the Ansei blood — blood that has been passed down from generation to generation, for centuries on end.

    The Stormchaser is a descendant of an ancient line of Ansei warriors.  He supplements a mastery of swordplay with devout study of destructive shock magic. The Stormchaser is at his most deadly when enveloped by the chaotic winds of a mighty storm, literally stunning enemies with his ability to focus the maelstrom’s power into a relentless onslaught.



    Race » Redguard

    Stone » The Lady

    Attributes » 160 Magicka / 320 Health / 210 Stamina — at level 40

    Major Skills » One-handed, Destruction, Enchanting, Light Armor

    Minor Skills » Speech, Smithing

    Key Passives » Seeker of Sorcery, Force Without Effort

    Shouts » Elemental Fury, Storm Call, Clear Skies, Cyclone, Unrelenting Force




    The Stormchaser favors a lethal combination of two blades: Windshear, and Valdr’s Lucky Dagger. This pairing, particularly when supplemented by Elemental Fury, offers a more impressive display of force than any other melee weaponry in the game.

    Keep Windshear in the right hand and use it to open battles with a guaranteed stagger, or just as a backup if you ever get overwhelmed. Valdr's Lucky Dagger, the off-hand weapon, has a 25% chance for a critical hit. And this does NOT count as an enchantment, meaning dual power attacks (whose speed is determined by the left-hand weapon alone when dual-wielding) will benefit from Elemental Fury! Every power attack then will be super swift, with a guaranteed stagger from Windshear, and a healthy dose of damage from the double hit of your [tempered] dagger — plus a 43.75% chance of doing crit damage just from that dagger with every dual power attack. (PC players, I recommend grabbing a mod like SkyTweak to "fix" the poor crit scaling.)

    Staggering and stunning is the core of this build, and that combo is the perfect way to do it!


    The goal with this armor set is to find a balance, such that Destruction can be fortified up around 100% for repeated spell-slinging, but swords and Shouts can still be fully effective against the toughest foes. The gear I propose offers great all-around utility, and a nice aesthetic to boot. The Diadem of the Savant is truly wonderful: It qualifies as Light Armor for the purposes of Well Fitted and Wind Walker, and it gives just enough of a boost for Fortify Destruction to reach 100% spell reduction in the endgame, if you play your cards right.


    Note that in order to attain 100% Fortify Destruction, you will need to drink an Elixir of the Healer before equipping your gear! You will also need the Seeker of Sorcery blessing from the Dragonborn DLC!



    The Stormchaser favors a fast-paced fighting style built around dispatching enemies quickly and methodically, while avoiding their blows with speed and agility. Light blades and light armor aid him greatly in this endeavor.

    In addition to his mastery of the dagger and scimitar, he has another powerful tool in his arsenal: dual-wielded shock spells.

    ightning Cloak perfectly complements the dual-wield swordplay; the Stormchaser should keep it handy and use liberally — especially when supplemented by the Storm Call Shout. Dual-casted Thunderbolt is capable of a staggering (literally) 297 damage after drinking an Elixir of Destruction ... Potentially much more if you’ve already weakened your enemy to Shock and/or Magic. Lightning Storm puts out 168 damage per second with the same setup, and dual-casted Chain Lightning deals 198 damage to multiple enemies at once.

    Throw in the Impact perk so your dual-casted spells will stun enemies nearly as effectively as the Windshear and Valdr’s Lucky Dagger combo. With 2/2 Augmented Shock and Disintegrate, Impact can even stun dragons, pushing that motif of stagger mechanics to its limit.

    You can pick up Valdr's dagger very early on, and there's actually a bug that allows you to acquire two copies during the quest. Dual daggers may be a useful early game combo, before you pick up Windshear. You may also wish to enchant one with Shock Damage later on, for a bit of variety and/or when swapping to a shout other than Elemental Fury.

    The Stormchaser, taking inspiration from Mason’s Arcane Archer, invests in Speech for the Merchant perk. The practical benefit of the Merchant perk is that it’s much easier to empty one’s inventory after a few dungeon dives. Furthermore, it makes it very easy to hold mass enchanting sessions for fast leveling: Enchant a bunch of iron daggers, then sell them off to the members of the College of Winterhold in exchange for Destruction training, shock spells, and soul gems for further enchanting.

    Feel free to invest beyond Novice in Destruction early on; later though, you will not need it due to your high (maxed) cost reduction. At that point, you can use Waking Dreams to recoup those perks and invest elsewhere.


    In his movements, the Stormchaser is the embodiment of superhuman stamina and agility. The bread-and-butter of this build is the combination of Wind Walker, Unhindered, Dual Flurry and Elemental Fury. Outside of combat, the Stormchaser can sprint virtually endlessly, thanks to a respectable Stamina pool and faster Stamina Regen.

    To add a bit more variety to the gameplay without sacrificing the stagger potential, pick up a Staff of Chain Lightning to use instead of the dagger, alongside Windshear. That staff is bugged to include a stagger effect, which means you'll have a physical AND a magical means of inducing guaranteed stagger at the same time.




    Although the Stormchaser himself does not dabble in Alchemy, he does acknowledge its benefits:

    • Elixir of Destruction » Grants 50% more powerful Destruction spells for 60 seconds, which is a huge advantage in battle.
    • Elixir of the Healer » 50% more powerful Restoration, including enchantments, for 60 seconds. This is especially useful for the Amulet of Talos and Diadem of the Savant.
    • Blacksmith’s Elixir & Enchanter’s Elixir » 50% to Smithing and 25% to Enchanting respectively. Combine the Blacksmith’s Elixir with four Fortify Smithing armor pieces, and the Enchanter’s Elixir with your level 100, fully perked Enchanting skill, and you can easily approach the 567 AR threshold, and maximize your Fortify Destruction enchantments.
    • Restore Health » The Stormchaser's de facto means of healing, especially useful at lower levels.
    • Aversion to Magic & Aversion to Shock » These effects stack upon one another, which can be quite helpful in magical duels against boss type enemies.


    Level 40 perks. Click to embiggen.



    Galeforce Blade

    The Stormchaser draws on the energy of the skies to become an untouchable whirlwind of speed, grace, power, and precision. Windshear keeps enemies in check to start fights, while Elemental Fury allows the dagger to unleash blows at unprecedented speeds.

    Requires » Elemental Fury, Dual Flurry 2/2, Windshear, Valdr’s Lucky Dagger


    Electric Maelstrom

    The Stormchaser calls upon all the powers of lightning to produce a veritable maelstrom, damaging foes all around him for an extended duration. (Note: Best with at least 85-90% Fortify Destruction enchantments, to keep the storm spell going long enough.)

    Requires » Elixir of Destruction, Augmented Shock 2/2, Storm Call, Lightning Storm



    • Gilles Ketting » For the concept image. View his website here.
    • Ponty » For providing screenshots for the original build (I've since replaced these, but they were much appreciated!).
    • Mason » For the application of the Merchant skill this build utilizes.
    • Yvara & Zach » For answering questions and offering helpful advice.
    • Albino » Lots of helpful input and motivation to roll out the update.
  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    Alright guys.  This is my first build in ~4 months.  My old builds were all around this long originally but I trimmed a lot from them to make them easier to read.  It seems like the blog has been more receptive of longer builds in the past few months, so I'm going to leave this at its full length unless I get a bunch of complaints.  I've never seen a build that sought to revolve combat around the stunning mechanics before (though perhaps I've just missed it).  This build was a lot of fun to play, the skills and gameplay all felt very organic and the rate of level increases was quite constant and rapid.  I'm also a big fan of the aesthetic, which is important for all of my builds.  I welcome any feedback.  It's good to be back, hope you enjoy.

    Here's a video of the Windshear/Valdr's Lucky Dagger combo in action, just so you can see how powerful it is:

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    -You had to have your unenchanted weapon in your left hand for Elemental Fury to work, meaning Valdr's Lucky Dagger and Windshear should switch places.

    -The perk spread says you take Haggling, but it doesn't say what level (I'm assuming just one though).

    -What do you do for healing? This build doesn't invest into Restoration or Alchemy, it's not using Absorb Health weapons, and it can't really avoid taking damage the way in the manner that some stealth-heavy builds can.

    -Why not use the Dawnguard Gauntlets over the Penitus Oculatus Bracers? Do you just prefer the look of the bracers better?

    -Why take Impact but none of the Destruction perks beyond Novice? The only Destruction spells that benefit from Impact are Apprentice through Master.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    Looks interesting, ill make sure to reread it when i wake up again. Did you get the weapons mixed up? Valdr is the one that counts as not enchanted, meaning it enables Fury, Windshear doesn't. Plus you'll attack a boatload faster with the dagger in your offhand.

    The Manticore build relied on stunlock with Fury and Windshear aswell.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    Thanks for that info, my bad for missing the Manticore.  That's an awesome build, can't believe I neglected it.  I haven't tried Windshear in the right hand, but my for some reason I thought it only affects the right hand weapon (can't corroborate that anywhere online from a quick search, so I'm probably mistaken).  Also, my understanding was that Windshear doesn't stun when it's used as a normal weapon, but again I may be mistaken.  I'll run some tests tomorrow and update.  In the video I posted, you can see that Valdr in the right works very well.  I'll try the other way around though, for posterity.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    I do prefer the look of the bracers, and that was actually a last minute change.  I thought about putting a note, but figured it wasn't necessary.  Ponty's screenshots actually have the Dawnguard gauntlets.

    At higher levels, you basically don't take damage, so healing is irrelevant.  At lower levels, like I said, you may want to use some Restoration/Alteration, but you won't need them later on, so it's best not to perk them.  Also, as I mentioned, this build does use a lot of potions.  I didn't specifically mention healing potions, but I always have a supply of them on hand.

    Judging from a quick search, Elemental Fury works on both hands, but obviously it doesn't affect Windshear.  I put Windshear in the left because the stun affect seemed to work more consistently with a left hand power attack and a right hand power attack.  I didn't do extensive testing though; as I mentioned in my other comment, I'll try switching them tomorrow and see if there's any difference.  In the meantime, the video I posted proves that my placement works as advertised.

    As for not taking Apprentice and above, they're unnecessary.  When you can get Fortify Destruction up around 95%, you can dual cast expert level spells virtually ad nauseum.  Novice is only taken because it's required to get to Dual Casting and Augmented Shock.

    And yeah, just 1 level of Haggling.  Sorry for not specifying.  I may end up making a new perk spread, since this one looks so blurry on the smaller resolution...  If I do, I'll be sure to add 1/5 for Haggling.

    Thanks for liking, by the way.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    No problem, and yeah, I forgot that cost reducing perks don't really matter if your enchanting level is high enough.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    Hmm maybe i should have clarified a little. What i meant was that with Valdr in your offhand the Fury shout will also affect you dual power attacks (Fury checks for the offhand speed) With Windshear there your offhand speed is unmodified meaning you'll dual power attack with the same speed.

    Switch the weapons and you'll have the crazy crits flying AND the 100% stagger from Windshear while dual powerattacking.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013

    Ah, I see.  That's certainly a valid strategy, but I tended to avoid dual power attacks.  I like slashing relentlessly while retaining full mobility.  I basically never dual power attacked with this build; I only ever did a power attack with Windshear to get an initial stun, then slashed away with Valdr's lucky dagger.  I'm sure the dual power attack method is just as effective with Valdr in the left hand, as the non-dual power attack with Valdr in the right.  It just comes down to preference I guess.

    The critical damage itself really isn't that great; the benefit is the 25% chance to stun.  When you're getting in 4 blows per second, that basically means your enemies are perpetually stunned if you want them to be.

  • Member
    March 13, 2013
    Seems like a superman build once it gets going. How do you keep this build from becoming monotonous? It seems like you basically stagger lock everything and, as you mention, once the build gets up and running you don't take any damage. What types of enemies and situations, if any, pose trouble for this build? I love the use of valdr's dagger and elemental fury to induce stagger, that is an awesome idea I had not even considered, but I feel that it is kinda ruined with the use of windshear. Windshear basically serves as a 'get out of jail free' card that I'd always be too tempted to use when facing any trouble.