Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Mad Champion

Tags: #Character Build Crusader  #Character Build Necromancer  #Character Build Hero  #Rank:Exemplar  #TwistedOrthrusBuild 
  • February 18, 2014

    The Mad Champion

    This build was born from my experimentation with the weapon Dawnbreaker, along with a desire to create a build with a deep and interesting role play. The end result is a mix of unique gameplay and role play to create an interesting character that evolves throughout the play through.

    A follower of Meridia, and hand-picked to be her instrument, this individual has been tasked with cleansing the shrine of Meridia, and earning their place as her champion. Little does this soon to be champion know, that the Mad God has a much darker fate planned out…

    Recommended Reading: 1, 2

    The Build

    90% of the setup for this build takes place in the first 15 levels, so I have decided to present this as a playable backstory. Not much on gameplay here, but tonnes of role play to help you get into character.

    **Red Text to be introduced after lvl 15**

    Race: Nord. Being the natives of Skyrim, it seems most likely that Meridia would select one to venture there to restore her temple. The natural frost resistance is also a huge help against undead enemies and in other situations.

    Major Skills: One Handed, Restoration, Conjuration

    Minor Skills: Smithing, Block, Light Armor

    Stat Spread: M:1 H:1 S:1, one more point in M, then 50/50 on H/S

    Stone: Mage, Ritual

    Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Soul Tear

    Weapon: Imperial Sword/Dawnbreaker

    Apparel: Dawnguard light armor, Light Chitin helm, Dawnguard Gauntlets, Scaled boots of Frost resistance, Imperial Shield, Necromancers amulet/Gauldur Amulet, Ahzidal’s ring of necromancy

    Backstory/ Early Levels

    The first 10 levels or so of this character are all about finding your feet.  With little to no combat experience, I spent my time getting used to the sword and board play style supplemented by restoration spells, constantly searching for Meridia’s beacon (which won’t spawn until after level 10). I spent time and money on levelling restoration in particular which I knew would be needed later in the build, as well as unlocking shouts before heading to Meridia’s temple.

    Meridia’s temple can be a difficult quest to do early on because of the Necromancer boss Malkoran and his undead army. This is a key part of the character’s development, as they wonder ironically, how much easier the battle would have been with their own undead army. However, they struggle through and somehow defeat Malkoran, gaining the artefact Dawnbreaker, and becoming Meridia’s champion. With their initial quest complete, the new champion sets out to rid the world of undead, in the Name of Meridia. As the Champion descended Mount Kilkreath on his way to fort Dawnguard, a traveller in rags passed him on the road, perhaps the first of many to visit the restored temple.

    Unknown to the champion, the traveller was actually Sheogorath in one of his disguises. At the shrine, Sheogorath congratulated Meridia on her restored temple before moving onto questioning her champion’s loyalty to her. When Meridia responded that her champion was loyal only to her, the Mad God proposed a game: for one week, Meridia would test the loyalty of her champion and in the following, Sheogorath would do the same. If the champion was still loyal at the end of this time Meridia would win, and if not Sheogorath would. After agreeing to the terms, Sheogorath said his farewells and disappeared back to the Shivering Isles…

    Meanwhile, the champion joined up with the dawnguard to better equip themselves for the battles to come. They also took the time to learn a few undead killing spells, and do a few quests with the dawnguard to get some experience. Not much changes here gameplay wise other than the use of Dawnbreaker, but events are moving forward swiftly.

    Out of the blue, Meridia began giving specific instructions to her Champion, leading him to vampire and draugr lairs on a hunt across Skyrim and eventually to Solstheim. Meridia’s contact with her champion was ever-present at this point, offering never ending encouragement, support and demands, forcing her Champion on to slay more and more undead. The Champion coveted this attention, and went as far as to sacrifice rest to continue to fight in her name. Their worship and love for Meridia became their absolute in everything, every word she spoke to the champion driving on their desire to please her. Upon reaching Solstheim, the champion even funded an excavation of a long forgotten barrow, just to slay the restless undead Meridia sensed beneath. It was in this barrow, that the champion begun the descent into madness…

    Not long after entering the barrow Meridia’s voice fell silent, only a week after her constant whisperings had begun. Where before her voice would offer advice and praise, there was the void. Clearing the barrow to the point the miners had made it, the champion collapsed from exhaustion and despair, waking a day later with still no sign of their lady. Trudging back to town, the champion drowned their sorrows in the local tavern.

    A few days later, the champion awoke to a courier informing him that a new section of the barrow had been unearthed. With new determination the champion returned in the hopes of winning back their lady’s favour with his actions. However, the lady did not speak to the champion and left them devastated.

    At the end of this section of the barrow, the champion found a ring on a pedestal and out of curiosity tried it on. A strange feeling washed over the champion, and without any control of their own body, pointed their hand at the body of one of the dead miners. In horror, the champion watched as the body revived in front of them and realisation of what they had done hit them. In disgust, the champion struck their thrall with dawnbreaker, causing a huge explosion of ice and fire. The champion stood back and watched as sarcophagi exploded open to undead running in terror or disintegrating before the champion’s eyes. Looking down at the ring, the champion knew what must be done to win back Meridia’s favour, while the Mad God laughed in the Shivering Isles, knowing he had won.



    As soon as you pick up Ahzidal’s ring of Necromancy, this build becomes the undead slaying badass it was always meant to be, with incredible levels of synergy with Dawnbreaker. Undead, including your own raised minions killed with the sword have a chance to cause a fiery explosion, which will turn or instantly destroy almost all undead enemies, making it easy to fight bosses one on one or allow you to hunt down the fleeing survivors at your leisure. Pair that with a ring that makes anything you raise with necromancy a one hit KO, and things start to get dangerous. If that wasn’t good enough, you are also guaranteed to always get the Ahzidal icy explosion when you cut down your own undead, dealing some decent damage to any nearby enemies, while you feel next to nothing thanks to your racial power and boots of resist frost.

    Rooms fill up with explosion after explosion once you get going reapplying fear on enemies who snap out of it, forcing them to run deeper and deeper into the dungeon you are exploring. I was clearing out dungeons of undead in entirely new ways, with no fear of being overwhelmed by triggering too many enemies too fast. In fact the more enemies there were, the easier it became to control them and cut them down.

    I couldn’t think of a better shout to use with this build than Soul Tear. Not only are you filling soul gems to recharge Dawnbreaker with, but you’re also guaranteeing you will always have a fresh thrall to explode when you enter a new area. If Dawnbreaker triggers on this first enemy and fears the others in his group, you’ll be set for the rest of the dungeon. Once you get going, you are almost impossible to stop.

    Interestingly, Dawnbreaker doesn’t need to hit the final blow on enemies to trigger the explosion. So long as the enemy you kill was hit with Dawnbreaker within the last 10 seconds, there is still the same chance for the swords explosion to activate. This can be used effectively to kill weakened and fleeing enemies from a distance, exploding them in the middle of the next pack of undead you were about to face.

    Non-Undead Enemies

    When dealing with non-undead enemies, the champion can still fight effectively. Dawnbreakers fire damage is useful against most enemies, while Soul Tear and Ahzidals ring can help to thin out the enemies. Other than that, you’ll have to rely on your fighting skills to survive the living threats of Skyrim. You are an undead killing specialist after all.

    The Ritual Stone is the final piece of your undead killing arsenal. Being able to raise a small army of undead and the explosion it can trigger can turn a fight around in no time.


    Light armor and smithing provide a solid physical defence for the champion. Dwarven smithing helps to level the skill quickly, while the advanced and arcane perks help them to make the most of the mismatched armor as well as with the custom fit perk. The goggles on the Chitin helmet will help protect your character’s eyes from all the bright lights and explosions. Riddick, anyone?  

    Block adds even more physical bulk to your character, while the elemental protection perk is taken to give some magic resistance. Blocking should also be used offensively with bashing, to stall enemies while your necromancy does its magic.

    Restoration is well rounded, with perks in recovery to bring back more thralls faster, and the obvious necromage perk to boost the power of spells. This skill is used for recovery as well as offensively. The Dawnguard sun spells can be used to take down ranged or fleeing enemies, which adds some variety to the gameplay.

    Conjuration is basically perked while also being such an important skill, with investment only in cost reduction perks. There really is no need for the master perks since your raised dead should only last a few seconds, and the necromancy perks add nothing, and the dark souls perk actually breaks Ahzidal’s ring and makes it stop working.

    One handed is pretty basic and shouldn’t need any explanation, while Enchanting is purely for keeping Dawnbreaker fully charged with as little effort as possible.

    Thanks to...

    Zimbu (Screenshots)

    Kynareth (Roleplay/lore) (Opening Image)


  • Member
    February 18, 2014

    I'm not sure I understand how this could be considered a Mad Champion, just seems desperate to get the attention of Meridia. Can't deny a well presented good concept of a build though. 

  • Member
    February 18, 2014

    It definitely had a slow start for me because I'm not the biggest fans of backstory and roleplay, but after you introduced the ring the build exploded (pun intended). Very cool, I love the contrast of the ring's explosions and Dawnbreakers yet they have amazing synergy. As does the rest of the build. 

    I am pleasantly surprised to see you make another build lol. Easy +1 from me.

  • February 18, 2014

    I knew I was missing something. I thought I had a second shorter roleplay section but apparently not. I'll have to add one in to explain that.

  • February 18, 2014

    Like I said, I wanted this build to have lots of rp potential. If you just want the build you can skip the backstory stuff. Glad you liked it though.

  • Member
    February 18, 2014
    I'm sad, you've just killed the "body"(Malkoran) of my build!!! (joke) I like it very much and I love the dawnbreaker and the ring of necromancy combo, it's awesome! I must try it, now! +1 May I suggest you to use the dawnguard rune shield?
  • February 19, 2014

    Nice to see you building again Twisted!

    That's an interesting combo (sword/ring/stone).

  • Member
    February 19, 2014

    I was a big fan of The Apprentice and was really excited when I saw that you had made a new build and I've really enjoyed it. The armor combo looks pretty sweet too! +1

  • February 19, 2014

    Interesting concept. However, seems to me a lot like Ponty's Paladin. While playing the paladin, I didn't wear Ahzidal's Ring, but I still got tons of explosions via Dawnbreaker, which always made the undead easy. But I can see how this can make an interesting over-powered character. Those are fun sometimes.

  • Member
    February 19, 2014
    Yeah, you'd definitely have to be mad to wear gear that ugly haha! I love the synergy with Azhidal's Ring of Necromancy and Dawnbreaker. Also glad to see you building again! Hope this is the first of many ;) Btw +1