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Character Build: The Fiend

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Illusionist  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Mythic  #Archer  #Raidriar  #Villain 
  • Member
    March 16, 2014

    Seeing as the big Resurrection is coming up, I thought I needed to hurry up and get this baby posted! God, it’s been a long time in the making. For this build I wanted to try something a little different. Two archetypes I’ve done little with are the archer and the shieldmage. Both are old favourites of mine, and I have rarely seen both archetypes combined. So I set about creating this build, a chaotic vampire hell bent on the destruction of good. Naturally, this build is a sworn enemy of the Dawnguard, the Vigil of Stendarr and the Divines themselves. Also, I’ve finally created a build that doesn’t use Alchemy! A first (and probably last) for me. But enough of my rambling, I introduce you to the baroness of bad, the queen of corruption, aka…

    Where this devious hunter originated from is unknown, though the trail of blood and mutilation left in her wake is hard not to follow…

    Said to once have been a priest of the divines, the Fiend renounced all worship of her former patrons when they left her to die at the hands of a murderous vampire. Quickly exacting revenge upon her assailant, though unable to find a cure for the disease, the Fiend quickly transformed into a deadly killer with an addiction to blood and chaos. Making her sworn enemies with the gods themselves for forsaking her when she needed them most, the Fiend is desperate for their destruction, dishonouring the Divines at every turn…

    With the blood of the pure vampires of Skyrim flowing through her veins, nothing will stop this anarchic archer from domination or pandemonium.

    The Build

    Race: Breton Vampire. Vampirism was a no brainer for me, so I could reap from the benefits of increased power in illusion spells. Breton’s magic resistance partially nullifies the weakness to fire, which made them an obvious choice as well as the advantages of their racial power.

    Stone: Atronach. Since magicka regen isn’t an issue with this build’s equipment, the Atronach Stone’s downside doesn’t affect us, making it a prime stone with the bonus magicka and absorbing some hostile spells.

    Shouts: Become Ethereal, Slow Time

    Stats: 4:3:3

    Major Skills: Archery, Block, Illusion

    Minor Skills: Smithing, Restoration, Destruction

    Weapons: Daedric Bow, Targe of the Blooded, Auriel's Bow

    Apparel: Vokun, Archmage's Robes, Daedric Boots and Gauntlets

    This is my attempt at another evil build. Following a similar path to the Lizard King, the Fiend thrives upon chaos and disorder, but rather than being a psychopathic, malicious lizard, the Fiend is more “sophisticated” if you like. I decided to embrace vampirism for the first time with this build, to create a monster who is the true and dominant mistress of chaos.

    As you can see, it's a pretty simple skillset, but that allows for much more specialisation. Obviously, Archery and Block are the most important, fulfilling the key talents of archer and shieldmage respectively. Your arrows strike forth with the fury of a god, and your shield almost as much so. A truly devastating arsenal of weaponry will spell nothing but death for your enemies and pure fun for you: from eclipses created by Auriel's Bow, to bleeding from the Targe (how can this monster not be considered a weapon?), finally to raw, unadulterated, damage from your signature Daedric Bow.

    Despite the lack of any defensive skills besides Block, the Fiend still thrives in the thick of battle, creating absolute chaos amongst her foes. Illusion is chosen primarily for its frenzy effects, and with the Fiend's augmentations the master level spells actually become the most useful. Your opponents become your playthings, ferociously targeting their companions while you create even more chaos with your shield. Through your chosen perks, even Dragon Priests are susceptible to Mayhem, causing extreme havoc and making boss battles a breeze. And the anarchy element is only further augmented when factoring in your shield, which will be charging down opponents like an angry mammoth while their frenzied companions slaughter each other.

    Destruction and Restoration become your other two chosen spell schools, and are brilliant in synergy with Block and Illusion. Whirlwind Cloak will have enemies flying left right and centre, and works brilliantly in conjunction with Shield Charge, knocking back all foes unlucky enough to be nearby. Restoration provides the incredible Poison Runes, creating passive damage amongst enemies, slowly chipping away at their health while they chip away at each other's. It's no secret that the Targe of the Blooded and Poison Runes have insane synergy together, allowing for massive stackable DoT. Due to the Rune Master perk being taken in Destruction, these runes can be cast at far ranges, allowing you to step away from the carnage and play dictator mode while your foes' life quickly diminishes. And with your aptitude in Restoration, you can even heal useful frenzied enemies, as well as yourself when in a fix.

    Smithing is all important for creating most of your gear and improving it to its fullest potential, and should be a priority at earlier levels. The use of only one crafting skill allows a more streamlined playthrough and of course means less time spent crafting and more time spent killing!

    Click to enlarge

    Smithing takes priority at earlier levels. You should aim to have all of your equipment from level 25-30. I got mine at 27, with not too much grinding smithing at any one point, but spreading levelling out evenly. The key perk to aim for during this time was obviously Daedric Smithing, which not only allows you to craft your armour and bow, but also to increase Vokun to legendary quality due to it benefiting from the same perk needed to improve the majority of your equipment, save the Targe. For the Archery tree Quick Shot and Ranger are critical perks, practically doubling your effectiveness by increasing your speed and movement in battle. Master of the Mind is the final significant perk, as it allows your illusion spells to affect all types of enemies. Shield Charge, though not paramount, is certainly useful, but can be put off until later levels. Whirlwind Cloak functions in a similar way, although it won't always activate when needed, so Shield Charge is useful as a precaution when surrounded by tough foes.

    Illusion and Archery are undoubtedly your greatest assets, with frenzy being the name of the game. Even the simple fury spell can be hitting up to level 20 with Dual Casting and Champion of the Night at earlier levels, letting you dominate all types of living foes. Remember to spread out shots equally on enemies to keep them all weakened rather than having a strong, singe surviving opponent to hassle with by the end of the frenzy. Make sure to target the tough foes first, since they'll pose the most trouble. Although with block perks defending becomes vastly easier, and you can mix in bashes with half draw shots if you are ever cornered by a single enemy. Be sure to constantly keep groups of enemies frenzied; this way, the heat is kept off you and your low AR won't be a problem.

    Destruction is only perked to allow effective casting of Whirlwind Cloak, as well as to increase the range of your runes. The best way to level it would be by making use of runes whenever you have a spare bit of magicka during combat, or simply training. This will be your main offensive against undead, and works brilliantly against them with once Aspect of Terror has been taken, which gives a real buff to your fire spells. While I initially didn't want to take Necromage, it is incredibly useful at later levels when facing high level Draugr which normally can't be affected by the master level illusion spells. With this perk, even Dragon Priests cannot resist Mayhem! The increased power of enchantments is only an added bonus, and makes casting multiple runes, illusions and the occasional cloak much less taxing. Poison Runes ensure that living enemies are constantly taking damage while frenzied and combined with the Targe and Slow Time shout it allows for massive amounts of DoT to be stacked by switching between bashes and runes. Deadly Bash makes the Targe beastly, rapidly damaging enemies' health, and Disarming Bash only further boosts the chaos factor by forcing enemies to either continue fighting with their fists or be at the mercy of their frenzied companions while chasing down their weapon. Respite synergizes brilliantly with bashing, and a simple healing spell will allow for further damage with the shield, or zooming in with the bow.


    --Start combat out by casting some frenzy spells. At later levels, running right into the thick of things while under the effects of Become Ethereal will give you a chance to cast Mayhem without interruption. Laying a couple of Poison Runes before getting out of there is a good idea as well, giving you a chance to start some DoT stacking.

    --Keeping enemies concentrated on each other and not on you is imperative, so frenzy spells should be constantly recast to ensure this. At earlier levels only single, stronger enemies need to be frenzied; this way, magicka is preserved and this single enemy can take out the other weaklings while you take shots at them.

    --“Chaos” is a brilliant word to describe combat, and you have numerous ways of causing it. The obvious method is illusion spells, but with Whirlwind Cloak and Shield Charge enemies will be flying at all angles, at the mercy of their angered allies or your bow. Constant charging ensures that you are moving, making you a harder target for archers or stray, unfrenzied foes.

    --Speaking of archers, there are two ways to deal with these seemingly difficult opponents. If you can get the drop on a group of unaware enemies while under Slow Time, archers should be your targets, as they can also be deadly to their companions while frenzied. Otherwise, charging them first then filling them with arrows will take them out before they pose any threat.

    --Combining Poison Runes with the Targe of the Blooded can provide an equally satisfying and dangerous way to kill opponents. With Rune Master, you can easily charge straight through the fray, then repeatedly cast runes at your foes while they lie helpless. Or you could go close ranged, keeping them stagger locked between bashes and healing spells.

    --Undead and automatons will be the most difficult at mid levels, when your illusion isn’t high enough for Master of the Mind but they aren’t weak enough to be finished by a simple fire spell. They also are immune to poison, which makes hitting them with a couple of runes then hiding out while they slowly die useless. However, they can both be affected by the Targe’s bleeding damage! With some kiting skill you can easily take them out, and around level 20 you should have access to some of the more useful perks like Power Shot and Deadly Bash, keeping them staggered 50% of the time and deadly bashing them while they’re not. Also, with restoration comes Turn Undead spells, which can be used to single out undead opponents while they’re friends shamble away.

    --While fighting dragons might seem daunting, due to their resistance to frenzy, they are actually rather easy to fight. Hit them with some Poison Runes while they’re grounded to keep up damage, and then kite them. Stay out of range of their main breathe attack, using your surroundings to take cover behind. If no surroundings are present, take the fight to them, with bashes to interrupt their attacks. Circle and strafe round them, taking shots while you’re behind them and bashing to give yourself a little extra time.

    --Make sure to make liberal use of Auriel’s Bow! Its eclipse ability is incredibly useful, and nullifies any weaknesses of being a vampire caught out in the daylight. Also the perfect way of inspiring fear (metaphorically) in your enemies.


    Equipment is kept pretty simple, so constant changing isn't required and battles can easily be finished with either bow or shield. Auriel's Bow is only used to block out the sun to eradicate sun damage and the regeneration penalties, and shouldn't be used against enemies. A crafted Daedric Bow with Daedric Arrows is your chosen set up, with the Targe of the Blooded from Alftand as a backup when facing multiple foes. Since the bow gets through arrows pretty fast, a good supply of Daedra Hearts and Ebony Ingots are required. Gloombound Mine caters for the latter, while the former can be bought from Enthir in the College or found on dead Dremora during certain Daedric Quests.

    As for apparel, Vokun from High Gate Ruins fills the helmet role perfectly, reducing the cost of the vital illusion spells, as well as looking ominous and stylish simultaneously with the rest of the outfit. The Archmage's Robes fortify all spell schools as well as increasing your total magicka regen, a fitting reward for completing the College of Winterhold's questline. Combined with the Ring of the Erudite from the Volkihar quests and Savos Aren's Amulet reward for completing Containment, a total of 200 bonus magicka is given, without even factoring in the Necromage perk. Finally, Daedric Gauntlets and Boots are used for the hands and feet, giving you a nice armour rating of around 200 with the Targe and Vokun equipped.


    Ah, the juicy part. Initially I had very few ideas concerning roleplay, and not the least idea on how to present them. But thanks to Hainesy and Oneness (thanks guys!), I managed to get it sorted.

    Due to her past, the Fiend is always going to be a torn and demented being. It’s just how far you take that depends on how you view your character. After the attack that turned priest into killer, the Fiend descended into vampirism and madness, intent upon showing her true nature as a god to the people of Skyrim. She sees the divines as the ones to blame for her disease, and that they turned their backs on one of their followers when she needed them most. As a result, anything you do must have a negative impact on the followers of the divines, or those who she deems to hold power they don’t deserve.

    Desperate for attention and acknowledgement, the Fiend will go to any extent to see her recognized as a god. With an unquenchable thirst for dominance and power, she brutally kills any who would dare oppose her. This means that the Dawnguard, the Vigil of Stendarr, and any holy men and women are your targets, because they uphold “false” gods in her eyes. This also includes defiling the divine shrines in any way possible, to further insult the gods for the wrongs they did her. Mortals are nothing but the Fiend’s playthings, and their only purpose is to worship her, or die for their insolence.

    Because the people of Skyrim cannot actually worship you, and you will probably make more enemies than friends playing this build, you soon come to the conclusion that the mortals do not deserve you as a god, and instead deserve only long and painful deaths for not following you. This is when you really start to show your chaotic side, and ruthlessly slaughter innocents simply to make a point. Act the part of the arrogant vampiric noble at all times, putting even the Thalmor to shame with your supreme haughtiness. The Fiend does what she wants, when she wants, and nobody can stop her doing it. Later on in your playthrough you become more a force of nature than a simple enemy; you cannot fight back against the Fiend no more than you can stop a storm from blowing.

    These are some of the quests I'd recommend completing to enhance your playstyle to its fullest:

    College of Winterhold – You will benefit the most from this questline, which gives you access to some of your equipment as well as useful vendors and trainers. Taking control of the organisation is a fitting task for the Fiend, letting her exercise her magical skills and eradicate competition.

    Volkihar – A perfect questline for the Fiend. Embody your anarchic nature through this series of quests, eventually blocking out the sun at a whim, which is the ultimate show of your godly powers.

    Alftand – A cool ruin to explore, which rewards you with an awesome shield. Also a great test of strength at earlier levels, to realise the true extent of your power even in the low 20s.

    A Scroll for Anska – Another quest that is more practical than roleplay suited. Show your potential by slaying a dragon priest and claiming his mask as your own.

    From the Ashes – Befriend the apprentice of a powerful wizard, and learn a few useful spells to boot.

    Wind and Sand – Once you have completed several of Neloth’s quests he gives you this little errand; find a book to teach you an ancient and incredibly useful spell of deep Redguard magic!

    Take up Arms – Simply to grant you access to the master smithing trainer so you can acquire your gear earlier on. Focus on forging dwarven bows from all the ruins you’re explored, train with Eorlund and then sell the bows back to make up the cost and rapidly advance your smithing level.


    Manipulation – The best way to open up combat. While under the effects of Become Ethereal, the Fiend has ample time to run into the centre of the fray and cast a dangerous spell with massive range, which instantly aggros all enemies in the vicinity. After using Manipulation you can go straight into a Charge to cause further chaos, or leave the heat of battle to safely fire arrows at a distance on your frenzied foes.

    Requires: Become Ethereal, Mayhem


    Bleed – The Fiend’s most brutal technique. Utilizing the deadly combination of Targe, Poison Runes and a simple healing spell, the Fiend can stun lock single opponents while rapidly draining their health with a combination of deadly DoTs. Make use of Respite to heal your stamina when it gets low (you only need to heal a fraction to bash), then preserve the rest of your magicka for Poison Runes. Use against lone, tough enemies when you really feel like playing with your food.

    Requires: Targe of the Blooded, Deadly Bash, Poison Runes, Respite, Healing


    Charge – Sometimes the simplest moves are the most effective. If you ever are surrounded by enemies, then Charge is the best way to escape, and create a bit of anarchy in the process. Casting Whirlwind Cloak will throw back any enemies who are in your immediate vicinity, and Shield Charge will bowl over any who stand in your way of escaping. Once you’ve escaped your enemies, following up with a Frenzy Rune will ensure that those who dared to face you will be forced to attack those closest to them; usually their downed friends.

    Requires: Shield Charge, Whirlwind Cloak, Frenzy Rune (optional)


    Volley – As a vampire, the Fiend possesses extreme speed and mobility, able to reach speeds that mortals can only dream of. With a combination of passives the Fiend can achieve a state of mind where her attacks are multiple times faster than her opponents, and she is able to rain death upon them in the form of hundreds of arrows. All three words of Slow Time combined with Necromage means the shout lasts for 24 seconds, which is easily enough time to fire off a ton of arrows with Quick Shot while you dance around your foes with Ranger.

    Requires: Slow Time, Necromage, Ranger, Quick Shot


    Morta for his brilliant screenshots.

    Hainsey and Oneness for their roleplaying help.




  • March 16, 2014

    Great looking images and awesome gameplay! I miss illusion sometimes!

    This is an instant hit in my opinion! +1

  • Member
    March 16, 2014
    Thanks mate. I had a little bit of trouble getting the resolution on the images right, but I think that's sorted now. And the gameplay is awesome, illusion is definitely one of the best skills!
  • March 16, 2014
    Such a delightfully evil character build. I love it.
  • March 16, 2014
    Where did you get your skill icons from?
  • Member
    March 16, 2014

    From a Google Image search, it appears he got them form GW2.

  • Member
    March 16, 2014

    Awesome build Raidriar! easy +1

  • Member
    March 16, 2014

    I've been waiting for this one for a LONG time! Really cool build... even for a vampire ;)

    Vokun, Archmage's Robes, and the daedric gauntlets and boots look awesome together, and the play style looks like a lot of fun.

    Definitely worth the wait!

  • Member
    March 16, 2014

    I'm so envious of your screenshot skills, the pictures are awesome. Reminds me why I need Skyrim on the PC. Awesome character and presentation!

  • Member
    March 16, 2014
    Not actually my screenshots, Morta took them for me. His are brilliant, look so good. I play on xbox, so usually screenshots aren't an option.