Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Seraphim

Tags: #Character Build Crusader  #Character Build Battlemage  #Race:Imperial  #Rank:Legendary 
  • March 22, 2014

    This build has been a long time in coming and it’s now a real pleasure to finally add it to my collection.

    Inspiration for this character comes from many different sources.  I was originally stirred by the Seraphim from the classic RPG ‘Sacred’ but as this character developed I blended in classic mythology and also took influence from the Aurorans and Golden Saints of Elder Scrolls lore.

    Tying together the various elements of this character actually posed a big challenge over the last year. Luckily, the atronach stone and I have a very long history together, and it had one final secret to provide for me which enabled this creation to finally be realised.

    The result is hands down one of the best characters I’ll ever make.

    The Seraphim

    Celestial warriors of the heavens, Seraphim follow a path of strict order and overbearing fanaticism, quick to bring their wrath on any that would oppress the innocent or disturb the natural order such as the undead.

    Seraphim combine deadly martial skills with a combination of both protective and destructive spell casting; they have high levels of constitution and almost impenetrable resistances to toxins, disease and magical attacks.

    Alike to sirens, Seraphim are exquisitely beautiful and possess a pacifying aura that affects many living things, a dangerous hypnosis that inevitably leads to the fall of their enemies.


    Race: Imperial

    Stone: Ultimate Atronach

    Major Skills: Two Handed, Light Armor, Destruction, Alteration.

    Minor Skills: Restoration, Alchemy.

    Armor: Gilded Elven Armor, Glass Armor, Amulet of Talos.

    Weapons: Stormfang, Elven Greatsword, Glass Greatsword.

    Shouts: Animal Allegiance, Fire Breath, Frost Breath, Storm Call, Slow Time, Become Ethereal, Marked for Death.

    Recommended Quests: Main Quest, College of Winterhold, Companions, Dawnguard, Frostflow Abyss, The Heart of Dibella.


    The Build

    There is a certain mystique about the Seraphim that has always appealed to me. While often portrayed as paragons of purity and light, underneath this shiny exterior lies a more complex being that burns with fury and struggles constantly to restrain it.

    Lightly armored holy avengers, Seraphim favour the power of two handed greatswords in close combat while supporting physical defences with alteration spells and alchemy effects. High spell absorption provides a strong shield against disease, poison and enemy casters while a wide variety of elemental dragon shouts are utilised to dominate the battlefield.

    Although on the surface their combat style seems more suited to a more traditional spellsword, casting abilities are nearly always best used in synergy with each other and therefore require both hands because the true joy of running the Seraphim is concentration casting.

    This character completely revitalises the spell system by allowing all concentration spells to be cast infinitely, even when drained of magicka. Using alchemy as a catalyst Seraphim empower simple spells like wards to increase armor rating while hosing enemies in elemental carnage, telekinetically lift objects and hurl them at foes or simply drain them dry using a cloak spell while sustaining an infinite stream of health. At the height of their power Seraphim are capable of disintegrating entire legions of warriors in a wave of raw lightning.

    It was important to me that this character commanded a thematic ability that was fitting of her station and I found the perfect solution in the Imperial race which provides great looking female characters and an excellent start in restoration. Voice of the Emperor is unstoppable and quickly became one of the central themes of this character, not content to limit this ability to humanoids I paired this greater power with Animal Allegiance, effectively turning ‘peace’ into a weapon of mass destruction.

    Elven and glass armor provide outlandish looks and the winged and feathered designs are perfect for a Seraphim warrior.


    The Ultimate Atronach

    Seraphim draw their entire spell-casting powers and defences from the Atronach standing stone. Not shackled to relying on the energy of others to power their magic, Seraphim function as celestial batteries and can cast all concentration spells innately, even when sources of magicka are unavailable.

    Although this character is an alchemist the effect we’re looking to create requires very strict circumstances so we’ll be using these potions found in the game for reliability.

    1 X Draught of the Healer
    2 X Philter of the Healer

    Once these three potions have been collected you need to program the atronach stone with the following potion combination when selecting it…

    Philter + Draught + Philter -> Select Stone

    This will grant 78% spell absorption and a much needed 78 point bonus to magicka but the real secret here is concentration casting because the following spells can now be cast infinitely:-

    • Healing
    • All Wards
    • Healing Hands
    • Flames
    • Frostbite
    • Sparks
    • Wall of Flames/Frost/Storms
    • Telekinesis
    • Detection magic
    • Lightning Storm!

    The wonderful thing about concentration spells is that they tend to be much subtler in their effects than others and some of them (especially the hungry ward spells) are very enjoyable to use in battle.

    This marvellous effect is linked to your base magicka which means Seraphim must never invest stat points into magic or use items or potions that directly modify their maximum magicka supply. This does however leave a huge amount of stat points to direct at health and stamina creating one hell of an endurance warrior.

    Angels or Demons?

    Seraphim are nearly always depicted as warrior angels, but if one looks deeper into their mythology their origins are actually much darker, almost the opposite in fact. The Hebrew word seraph means quite literally ‘to burn’ but historically this had nothing to do with fire and instead refers to the burning and inflammation caused by poison. Indeed one of the earliest usages of the term actually referred to serpent demons.

    Anyone who knows me should now see why I love Seraphim; their origins create the ultimate contradiction. Vengeful and dangerous, how ‘good’ can a character be before others begin to perceive them as evil? The ‘Lawful Good’ alignment has its limits…...and can easily become 'Chaotic Good'.

    In respect to this sinister mythology I included both the Poisoner and Concentrated Poison perks from the alchemy tree and also utilised Poison Rune in the characters vast arsenal of spells. Fire Breath was also fully acquired and bolstered significantly by destruction perks alongside ‘The Fire Within’ meditation. I completed this beautiful package with ‘Dragonborn Flames’, quite literally summoning my own seraphs during combat and with necromage the fire breath shout becomes twice as powerful against undead.

    Fire is just the beginning though; this character will systematically master all elements along with their respective shouts. Each has its uses during combat with frost being used more defensively and lightning rendering dragons almost completely useless. Augmentation perks in destruction will also enhance the Seraphim’s melee weaponry and greatswords enchanted with elemental damage become highly prized items. The cliché is completed with the inclusion of the Dawnguard spells Stendarr’s Aura and Vampires Bane.

    Voice of the Emperor will mentally dominate any npc allowing the Seraphim to quickly force large crowds of enemies into single combat and can even be paired with shouts like Marked for Death to dramatically weaken some of the games strongest enemies, even Vampires. It was only natural that this opened up another key shout for this character…

    Forget what you think you know about Animal Allegiance, it’s an amazing shout. Although often overlooked and considered a mere novelty by many, this shout when paired with Voice of the Emperor gives this character a huge amount of control over her environment.

    When you stop using Animal Allegiance as a cry for help and actually use it as an offensive weapon against creatures it becomes incredibly powerful by granting a series of ‘free’ attacks against some of the games strongest hitters including all Bears, Sabre Cats, Trolls, Chaurus and even Mammoths! Considering these strikes are coming from a powerful greatsword, victory is certainly guaranteed.

    With all three words the range of this shout is massive and when paired with a simple Amulet of Talos its duration lasts longer than its cool-down making it consistently available. Alongside Voice of the Emperor the Seraphim can take on the world in style and the two abilities can create some very unique and highly entertaining combat situations I promise you that…


    Level 55 Perk Placement

    Stat Placement: Magicka 0 / Health 3 / Stamina 2

    This is a very organic playthrough. We won’t be using smithing or enchanting and this entices you to get out into the world to do combat and quests as you collect equipment, shouts and ingredients on the fly creating a much more dynamic and adventurous character.

     Select the Atronach stone as soon as you can to increase your defences and magicka pool for casting.  The character is incredibly fragile during the lower levels and so physical skills for survival should be the priority.  Place perks into Two Handed, Alchemy and Light Armor and be sure to pre- buff with flesh spells as you enter combat. Healing potions are a marvel for two handed characters because they can be taken without interrupting battle making well prepared Seraphim much more durable.

    This characters first barrier of defence against the world is the Animal Allegiance shout combined with her Voice of the Emperor ability. Head to Ysgramor’s Tomb when you’re ready, the word wall here is not faction locked and a quick scramble up the cliff will get you the first word with absolutely no resistance from enemies, no need to complete the Companions, although ‘Proving Honor’ will be required for Fire Breath. Ancients Ascent is also easy pickings to extend the range of your Animal Allegiance shout. 

    Profits made from alchemy should be channelled at Grelka in Riften, she’s a fantastic general merchant and will exchange your unwanted potions for valuable training in Light Armor. This was an important step for this character because she doesn’t have the luxury of smithing her equipment and relies on gaining defence perks quickly to avoid being overcome in melee combat.

    This character changes rapidly once she becomes an ultimate atronach, the combat style can shift more towards magical attacks and during dragon fights the ability to hold a ward infinitely while laying down suppressing damage with sparks can drop a dragon quickly. Focus should be shifted towards destruction in order to use elemental walls providing a very nice upgrade from novice spells and pave the way towards easy destruction mastery. Push at Faralda for training.


    Video Tutorial

    1. Set-up and Alchemy
    2. Weaponry
    3. First Dragons & Animal Allegiance
    4. The Ultimate Atronach
    5. Increasing Armor
    6. Abilities



    The Seraphim’s abilities vary widely; it’s important to remember that many of her spells can be cast infinitely and can also be pre-buffed with alchemy making them far more potent than normal.


    Holy Shield

    This combination will maximise the defence of the Seraphim by increasing her healing factor and armor while damaging undead enemies around her.

    Holy Shield can be modified by using elemental cloaks to create fire, frost and shock shields and restoration and destruction potions will strengthen it significantly.

    Requires: Stendarr's Aura, Greater Ward, Healing.


    Sirens Call

    Simple and devastating.

    Voice of the Emperor has a level 99 calm effect and lasts for 60 seconds. Cursing a crowd of enemies with Marked for Death beforehand will steadily weaken their health and armor. Male npc's are especially vulnerable to this combination

    Requires: Marked for Death, Agent of Dibella, Voice of the Emperor.


    Halo Dive

    A precision fire attack landing critical damage on a single opponent and heavy damage to all others.

    Possibly one of the most entertaining combo's I've ever used in this game, I can't get enough of it. Here's a video of this one in action.

    Requires: Sun Flare, Augmented Flames x2, Great Critical Charge.



    Perfect Storm

    Lightning Storm is the ultimate concentration spell, capable of tearing dragons from the sky in seconds and obliterating legions of enemies in a single casting.

    Paired with the Storm Call shout and a destruction potion this combination is perhaps a Seraphim's most deadly weapon.

    Requires: Storm Call, Lightning Storm.




    Amidianborn Elven/Glass Armor by CaBaL

    Game Platform Testing: Teccam, Anderson, Ben C, Nelaf, Raidriar.

  • April 5, 2014


  • Member
    April 5, 2014

    I've just watched the fifth video.  Great stuff.  I'm looking forward to more.  The Wall of Storms was particularly impressive I thought.

    I had to laugh when you said that she had contracted Witbane though.  All those potions, and all that alchemy skill, and you haven't made any Cure Disease potions ?

  • April 5, 2014

    Thanks Irissa!

    Here is part 6 if you have time.

    Yeah, I never think to make that potion for some reason (goes off to look it up)!

  • Member
    April 5, 2014

    Even I make that potion, and I never use Alchemy .  Charred Skeever Hide + Vampire Dust or Mudcrab Chitin + Vampire Dust are the ingredients I use.

    I'll watch part 6 after lunch, thanks for the link .

  • Member
    April 8, 2014
    Question. Is it viable to use only concentration spells like novice ones? I'm thinking of not using apprentice+ perks. Also, ose images are so awesome.
  • April 8, 2014
    Remember, novice spells aren't the only concentration ones. You have the wall spells and lightning storm for examples.
  • April 9, 2014
    It depends on game difficulty, you also have to remember that you won't be able to use cloaks effectively without the perks. Up to you though! :-) Thanks!
  • Member
    April 11, 2014

    been meaning to ask im in the 40s now and been thinking of dong the companions questline. been putting it off cause i keep thinking that if i do it and get to the part where i transform and gain my Beast form that it will affect my concentrated casting and such.

  • April 12, 2014

    I really don't know the answer Heath, I never used beast form with this build. Switching to a werewolf doesn't actually add or reduce magicka so there is a good chance it's safe...

    You'll just have to test it!