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Character Build: The Anti-Paladin

Tags: #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Battlemage  #Character Build Vampire  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • Member
    July 4, 2013


     "We are barely the instruments of divine justice, and our blades can only reshape this world as our gods see fit."

    4E 198, Last Seed, 11. It's been ages since I've seen the last ray of sunlight. My eyes have become so accustomed to the darkness that I can barely even focus on writing in the journal. They're keeping us herded like cattle, stuffed in cages with barely enough to live by. Even so, they've been going through us faster than I could count. I can see that Arenar won't live through the next feeding, and then it'll be just me, Pliton and Dunia. I myself feel weaker by the day. If only we'd have been more careful, if I had listened to the locals, my men would be with their children... I can't even remember what my last words to Enya were. I'm terrified. I don't want to die.

    4E 198, Last Seed, 28. Monsters! I can't take this anymore. Even at night, I dream of their gleaming, red fangs.  I'm already used to the pain of being bitten into... it's the horrible feeling of being drained that I can't withstand any longer. I think I'm going insane.

     4E 198, Hearthfire, 9. They dragged off Dunia last night. She tried to struggle, but she was too weak to even stand. I could hear Pliton weeping all night in his cell. I cried myself. What else am I to do? I'm going to die in this rotten cell with nobody to witness my passing but the creatures that have sentenced me to death.

     4E 198, Frostfall. It might be because of the cold, but I'm starting to hear voices. Have I finally cracked? Any man would've, given what I had to go through. And yet I feel sane. There is the dreary feeling of hopelessness, yes, but I do not feel insane.  I can still write. The voices promise me all sorts of miraculous power and a chance to escape, but demand total submission. Submit to whom? Ironic how I'm still trying to cling onto the possibility of escape. I'm already losing the track of time.

     4E 198, Frostfall. I had a dream last night. An abomination, a horrible animal came to visit me in my sleep, and in the same voice I've been hearing for weeks now ordered me to escape. I don't remember anything else.

     4E 198, Sun's Dusk. Something's wrong. The last feeding left me with a curious feeling. I think I'm turning into one of them. Will I become a bloodthirsty fiend as well? And if they find out, what will become of me? I feel sick. I want this to end.

     4E 199, Morning Star, 30. So much has changed. Who would've guessed the night would taste so sweet? That the shadows could hold so many colors? The whispers in my mind are now a clear, resonating command. My prince is now my reason to live. To him I owe both my freedom and my power, because I am infinitely stronger than before. I can feel him guiding my arm. I will make sure to spread his will to the world.

    My captors were filthy degenerates; they were tainting the gift that had been bestowed upon them. I ended them in the manner that they deserved, like filthy squalor destined to be torn under my heel. This is my last entry in this journal. I see now that it is my duty to throw my old hopes away, and to begin anew under our true patron. I will spread the gift of his wisdom to as many as will listen, and I will make them pay heed.


    ●Race: For appearance, Imperial is the best fit, although Redguards get the best starting skill set. Any other human or elven races will go just as well. 
    ●Standing Stone: The Ritual Stone fits the purpose of this build best, and is used in one of the special skills. The Lord is also a good option for added survivability and magic resistance.
    ●Stat Distribution: 3/3/1. The Anti-Paladin backs himself up during the fight with Illusion spells and by raising the dead bodies of his opponents, so we will need a good Magicka reserve to sustain our magic. The Anti-Paladin is also usually in the range of his enemies, so more health is a good idea to make sure you can take a bit of a beating as you bash their skulls in. Lastly, while we will be using power attacks, stamina can be replenished quickly with Vampiric Drain, so it's not crucial to invest that many points in it.
    ●Vampirism: Mandatory. The Anti-Paladin's defining trait is his vampirism. Acquire it as soon as possible to make sure you gain the favor of Molag Bal.



    One Handed: Although the Anti-Paladin does use magic, at the core it is still a warrior build. Maces are our tools of destruction and make up for the main Anti-Paladin gameplay mechanic, rendering the enemy's armor useless. Armsman and Bone Breaker are the main targets, since they do the most for our damage.

    Conjuration: The Anti-Paladin prides himself on being able to raise his own little army on a whim. Even though he's usually taking the full brunt of the attack, his undead thralls back him with the fervency of ten living warriors. We'll be taking the full necromancy line in the tree, along with all the mastery perks.

    Illusion: The dark gift of vampirism comes with more than a few benefits. Those that would taint the sacred armor of the Anti-Paladin with their dirty blades soon find themselves fleeing in fear or attacking their allies in their confusion. Illusion is pretty useful for taking the stress of yourself when things get edgy and for preparing the field ahead of battle. Perks will be up to Expert, or even Master if you can afford it..

    Smithing: The Anti-Paladin refuses to wear anything made by the hands of lowly commoners and will only use equipment personally forged and tempered by himself. Smithing is taken to ensure you get Daedric without having to wait until level 50 (even then, it's really hard to find).


    Heavy Armor: The only thing harder than the Anti-Paladin's eyes is his armor. Heavy Armor will keep you alive with just a few perks added; couple those with drain and you're pretty much invincible

    Speech: There's something about a man with red eyes and sharp fangs that people just can't seem to ignore or refuse. Even though you'll be smithing your own equipment, lots of gold is always good to have.  Intimidation is the Anti-Paladin's answer to the Paladin's charisma, so put a few perks there for added effect.

    Destruction: The Anti-Paladin makes full use of his vampiric capabilities, draining his enemies of both their earthly and magical energies. The Novice perk is all you need to be able to drain to your heart's content.

    Perk Spread

    Level 20 | Level 40


    ●Marked for Death: Coupled with the mace, MfD will allow you to smash everything in your way with just a couple of swings. It's dark, flashy and it drains health... fits the Anti-Paladin perfectly. What more could you want?

    ●Drain Vitality: At first, I thought this shout absorbs energy, but that's not the case. It simply damages enemies wihout absorbing anything. Still, it's pretty powerful , and it's useful against all sorts of enemies because it damages health, Magicka and stamina.

    ●Soul Tear: More undead reinforcements never hurt, and you get a free filled soul gem as well. Not that useful since this build doesn't use enchanting, but you can sell some for a hefty price.

    ●Dismay: When things get too crowded, dismay can help relieve some of the pressure and give you time to recover


    Unbreakable Will: Marked for Death + Bone Breaker

    No armor can withstand the Anti-Paladin's crushing attack. Enemies that are unfortunate enough to find themselves in the way of his blows are simply smashed to bits.

    Marked for Death coupled with Bone Breaker spells doom for basically every enemy in the game. What's more, MfD stacks multiple times and can even bring the enemy's defense rating to a negative value, giving you even more damage, so if you manage to cast it more than once on the same enemy you'll eventually be able to kill it with one blow.

    Ravage: Drain Vitality + Mace of Molag Bal

    The Anti-Paladin channels his magic into the sacred weapon and doubles its devastating effect with an energy of his own. His enemies are ravished both in body and in mind in the blink of an eye.

    Drain Vitality basically has the same effect as the Mace of Molag Bal. Stack the two for double damage against all types of enemies.

    Aspect of Horror: Dismay/ Rout + Critical Charge 

    For an instant, the Anti-Paladin becomes the very incarnation of fear, chasing down his hopelessly terrified enemies as they flee for they lives.

    Just scaring your enemies won't kill them. Closing the distance with Critical Charge will deal a whole lot of damage, allowing you to land the finishing blow.

    Conversion: Drain Vitality + Vampiric Drain

    As his enemies are quickly drained of their vital essences, the Anti-Paladin grows even more relentless and bloodthirsty, regenerating his health for every surge of pain his opponents feel.

    Good for tight spots, Vampiric Drain reinforces Drain Vitality and heals you at the same time. Use abundantly.

    Fallen Army: Ritual Stone + Soul Tear + Dead Thrall

    Only when heavily outnumbered will the Anti-Paladin turn to his undead army, but then his enemies may as well drop their weapons and fall dead, because the numbers of his subjects can quickly overwhelm even the most experienced of companies.

    The combination of these three, if casted apropriately, can raise a small army to fight under your command. Sadly, it's mostly useful outside and during large scale battles, but it looks awesome and it fits the character well.


    ●Armor - Daedric Armor

    It's obvious that a daedric paladin would use daedric armor. Daedra hearts are rare and the set in general is rather hard to complete, but it's manageable. It looks cool and it's really the best there is protection-wise, so this is an easy choice

    ●Weapon - Mace of Molag Bal (Drain Stamina/ Magicka)

    Again, the obvious choice. A champion of Molag Bal would do anything to get their hands on such a precious relic. Fortunately, the quest is very easy and rather short, and better yet, it has no level limit, meaning that you can jump up into Markarth and get your hands on it as soon as you like. The swing speed is great and the damage is awesome as well.

    ●Ring/ Amulet - Fortify One Handed/ Conjuration/ Illusion

    These you can buy from various merchants; that is, if you're lucky enough for one to spawn in their inventory. Even so, this is what you should be on the lookout for.


    Traditionally, the Anti-Paladin is a Tank-Shaman hybrid, being able to take some damage while cursing and debuffing his enemies. In Skyrim, the Anti-Paladin switches active debuffing spells for necromancy and illusion spells. Therefore, this class turns into a very versatile one, and you can make use of your skills and combine them as you please. Usually, you should assess the battle field before heading in. If there are corpses about, raise allies and then you can jump right into the fray. If not, a good way to start is by using a Rage spell, especially in larger groups. This will ensure that you have at least one corpse to raise, and will also damage your enemies before you start using your mace.

    Your main asset is the Marked for Death shout. Coupled with the Bone Breaker perk, it's devastating against all sorts of enemies. Stack it for maximum effect; it will seriously handicap even the strongest enemies, like giants or even dragons, regardless of their level. As mentioned before, armor rating can even go into negatives, which will further buff your damage. That is, if you're patient enough.


    The Anti-Paladin used to be a military commander that unwittingly led his company into what was supposed to be a bandit hideout, but eventually turned out a vampire den. Outnumbered and outpowered, both him and his men were captured by the vampires and kept as cattle, being repeatedly used for feeding until only he remained out of all his troops. Ironically, for reasons unknown, the patron of vampires, Molag Bal, took an interest in him and offered him the possibility of escape. Unbeknownst to his captors, Molag Bal sent him the gift through the fangs of those that were feeding on him. He gave him an inhumanly strong hand and the mission to further spread his influence throughout Skyrim. Hypnotised by his newfound power and filled with a twisted sense of gratitude for his savior, the Anti-Paladin killed his incarcerators and set out to fulfill his master's will to the best of his abilities.

    The Anti-Paladin does not actually use magic or shouts; he simply borrows power from his patron and channels it to smite his foes. As such, he has no access to traditional destructive magic, but is granted most of the powers of a vampire, like raising undead slaves or gnawing at the minds of ordinary humans.


    In short, to act the character well during this playthrough, here's what you need to do:

    Do Molag Bal's Daedric Quest. I'm pretty sure you've caught on to this by now, but if not, you must definitely complete this quest. Do your master's bidding and you shall be rewarded adequately, with a weapon fit to serve you on your dark crusade.

    Never back down from a fight. Even if you're one point away from dying, remember that the Anti-Paladin does not run. Ever.

    Don't use magic other than mind magic or necromancy. These abilities have been gifted to you by Molag Bal. Anything else is completely inaccessible, as the Anti-Paladin has very limited innate magical capability. This includes enchanting and all the other schools. Yes, no Necromage.

    Smite your opressors. Both the Vigilants of Stendarr and the Dawnguard are the patron's enemies. You are to show them no mercy. It doesn't matter if they provoke you or not; their simple existence is a blight on your expansion and they should be treated accordingly. 

    Guide your lost brothers. The vampires that inhabit the caves and ruins of Skyrim are little more than wayward savages that have lost sight of our true cause - that of worshipping the true master. The only way they can atone for their sin is death. Harvest their souls in the name of Molag Bal, and show the other brothers what it means to forget about his word.

    Join the Volkihar. The cult still goes by the old ways of worshipping the patron. They are most fit to serve as a base for an Order in Skyrim.

    Indulge in violence. Any blood spilled in the name of Molag Bal is an appropriate offering, so go ahead and kill as you please. Bandits, travelers, townsfolk, anything goes. The more, the better.

    Alignment: Lawful Evil


    I've been itching to do both a vampire and an evil build for a while, but nothing satisfactory really came out. The Crepuscular was too subtle and I wanted something more straightforward. It wasn't until after I discovered how terribly underrated Marked for Death was that I decided I could do something with it that could also be evil enough for me. Thus, the Anti-Paladin was born, and his crusade took me through a lot of fun times. I'm sure it'll do the same for you c:


    ✥ The Crepuscular ✥

     The Scholar 

    ✽ The Warmaiden ✽

  • July 4, 2013
    As always with your criminally underrated builds, I love the unique presentation and the great focus. This is exactly what an Anti-Paladin should be; nothing more and nothing less. Marked for Death & co. make for great debuffing powers Antipladins are known for and every other spell, skill, item, etc. fits just as well. I also love how this is like the perfect foil for your War-Maiden build.
  • Member
    July 4, 2013

    Love the presentation and the synergy with the Mace and Marked For Death! +1

    I wouldn't rely on Vampiric Drain much, especially on higher difficulties but other than that it's coming together very well. I also saw you had a problem with your tags. You need to put them in quotes like this: "Character Build Juggernaut", "Character Build Battlemage", "Character Build Vampire"

  • July 4, 2013

    Amazing presentation! Do you make this pictures on your own? It really makes the build unique. Perhaps this one should have a fight with Ponty's Paladin, that would make a really interesting fight. +1

  • Member
    July 4, 2013

    Really enjoyed reading this build, also it's practical.

    well done.

  • July 4, 2013

    If this build isn't at least mythic within a week, we should riot. This is an easy plus +1 for presentation alone. By the way, how did you make those borders for your photos?

  • July 4, 2013

    I agree with you about the small text - my default size for this site is 150% and I still had difficulty reading it.  Add to that, the lavender / black transition, and I nearly stopped reading.   The build itself is quite nice, however - the presentation just needs improving (i.e. increased font size, removal of the pastel color).

  • Member
    July 4, 2013

    Here you go, guise. I removed the colors and upped the size 1px. Imo, it looked better before, but considering this isn't the first time people complain about these elements, I should probably let it go. As for the colored text, color for emphasis is a fairly common choice in written media. I was using it to separate flavor text from functional bits, but oh well, I can certainly live without it.

    The perk calculator, I refuse to give up XD I've tried integrating a picture perk spread in several of my builds and the only thing I suceeded was completely ruining the flow of it. Imo, it just looks bad. And the calculator is just as efficient and easy to handle, so I'll stick with that.

    And lastly, @Snakes, When I posted my first build, I  thought that it would pass completely unnoticed because I didn't know anybody on the site. Just the fact that people are still commenting on them makes me happy. Likes are nice as well, of course. In a word, thanks for commenting and keeping me going xD

  • Member
    July 4, 2013

    Hey, thanks for dropping by! Vampiric drain is just there for added survivability. And the tags were written in properly, I made sure of that (considering I have a history with this stuff) but they still displayed badly for some reason. I think they look ok now?

  • Member
    July 4, 2013

    Hey! Yeah, I do make them in Photoshop. Thanks for the compliment c: And yeah, it would be an epic battle. If only I could properly use the CK.