Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The King of Dust

Tags: #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Knight  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Exemplar 
  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    Hi guys, this is my first ever build so any helpful criticism/advice is more than welcome.

    I wanted to create a very durable character that could maintain control of the battlefield without being too reliant on the cheat-like power of the crafting skills. What I ended up with was an interesting playthrough that combined powerful shouts, buffed up followers and alteration to overcome an overwhelming number of foes.

    Without further ado I present to you...

    The King of Dust

    Who is this wandering traveler with the broken crown?

    He is called the King of Dust, his crown the symbol of his dominion over nothing.

    Stories say he was once a noble king of a fertile land, tricked by a daedra into leaving his land unguarded

    and now he walks the land without aim seeking his purpose, or his end.

    What I want to present in this guide is what a king would be like in a battlefield. He would be a stalwart figure with very impressive defense that rallied his comrades or struck fear into the hearts of his foes and even force his will upon his enemies. His offensive prowess not only dictated by his martial skill with a sword but by taking the strategic advantage to dominate the battlefield with shouts.


    The Build:

    Race: Breton (their innate magic resistance and Dragonskin is perfect for gameplay and roleplay)

    Stat Placement: 2:2:1

    Primary Skills: Alteration, One-Handed, Blocking, Heavy Armor

    Secondary Skills: Illusion, Smithing (Note: Do not level smithing past 50), Speech

    Standing Stone: Lord Stone

    Armor: Steel Plate + Amulet of Talos + Jagged Crown (For roleplay reasons)

    Weapon: Nord Hero Sword, Any levelled Heavy Shield

    Shouts: Basically everything actually but the ones with higher priority are: Bend will, Slow time, Become ethereal, Unrelenting Force, Elemental Fury, Dragon Aspect, Dragonrend, Call of Valor

    Quests: Main Quest, Dragonborn, The Book of love, The Companions, College of Winterhold, Civil War 


    The Royal Dragonborn

    Perhaps the best part of this build is its defensive capability with only lvl 50 smithing. By using flesh spells from alteration combined with the very impressive steel plate armor you can get ridiculous armor rating and when combined with dragon aspect you can achieve the armor cap for a limited time.

    But this isn't everything yet as thanks to your natural resistance to magic you can achieve the highest possible permanent magic resistance of a staggering 85% making you effectively immune to the most powerful wizards in Skyrim. But why stop there when you can use dragon aspect in order to render any magical attack against you completely useless for a limited time.

    Offensively, you aren't merely limited by your one-handed attacks as you have a variety of shouts at your disposal to turn the enemy against themselves (bend will) or to maximize your offence (elemetal fury) or to dodge a volley of arrows, missiles or blades almost instantaenously (slow time). If you don't mind visiting a shrine every 8 hours you can achieve a limited time shout reduction of 60% with dragon aspect, amulet of talos and blessing of talos.

    But as a king, your personal strength means nothing if your allies around you are fleeing and falling in combat. Without the use of mods, you can have an armored troll, a regular follower plus serana if you choose to use that bug giving you a potential total of 3 permanent allies not including followers from bend will. Because of the size of your team, a true commander is required to lead them and you become this commander through the use of rally and courage from the illusion skill tree. Think less of them as spells but rather, as displays of your leadership prowess.

    The New King Perk Spread Level 50

    Charging forth in battle, sword in hand, shield in the other, 

    With such zeal it is as if Talos himself has descended upon the battlefield.

    Seeing such display of might his allies charge with the same fury of a god.

    Their shoulders side by side they meet the charge of innumerable foes

    and emerge victorious...

    At level 50, this warlord has achieved redemption from his past, that even in his darkest hour does the noble and rightful thing. He specializes in strengthening his allies to maximize their offensive and defensive power on the field allowing them to overcome basically anything that stands in their way.

    One Handed being his primary attack source is obviously heavily perked paralyzing strike is optional but I never had a use for it so I didn't take it. We take the left side of the block tree simply because the bash perks are useless in higher difficulties like master/legendary. Shield wall will make you night invulnerable stacked with elemental resistance (before you have 85% resist) and block runner is pretty awesome for being a fast moving tank later in the game. I didn't take shield charge as I was content with block runner but there's nothing really stopping you if you want it.

    As for armor, we perk all levels of juggernaut as it's pretty much your only way of improving your armor after steel plate (given the wimpy lvl 50 Smithing we have). We go all the way up to tower of strength in order to truly reflect your impenetrable and unwavering presence in the battlefield. When stacked with the Fus meditation from Paarthurnax you can achieve 75% stagger resistance which is pretty awesome.

    On the magic side, you may have noticed that despite using a lot of illusion skills we don't actually perk the tree a lot. This is because we're only using the courage/rally skills and they work equally regardless of level. Also you may have noticed that we don't also perk illusion dual casting even though it improves our buff spells. This is because dual casting is actually mana inefficient (2.2x power for 2.8x cost) and not having the luxury of massive mage mana pools or reduced costs from enchanting, it's simply not worth it. Also, courage and rally DO stack with each other as far as I can tell and is more than enough to buff your allies in battle.

    Speaking of spells, Illusion and alteration spells drain your Mana quite quickly during battle, in order to replenish our reserves in a pinch we use potions. Since we're not investing in the alchemy tree this is where the Speech skill comes in. Up to 60% better prices do help a lot in the higher difficulties and is not to be underestimated though perk points should only be placed here when there are no major skills that can be upgraded at the time.

    Alteration makes up the bulk of our magical defenses and also help our physical defenses through flesh spells. You can achieve the highest possible magic resistance of 85% with the lord stone + magic resistance (3/3), Breton racial passive and the Agent of Mara from the book of love. Note that you can't actually become 100% truly immune to magic with magic resistance as there is a cap lower than 100% as far as I know.

    Lastly, It could be my imagination but when stacked with elemental resistance e.g. from dragon aspect I noticed I take lower magic damage, however the difference is almost negligible that I begin to question if it's even there. Regardless, before reaching 85% permanent magic resist, you can use some alternatives such as elemental protection from the block tree stacked with dragon aspect to gain 85% magic resist though only as long as your shield and dragon aspect are up.

    But this is not the only path the King of dust may take. There is a darker side to this character that the player may choose. The loss of his kingdom and his growing insanity from his depression taking over him, this king has lost all hope of his redemption and begins to relinquish any form of civility for sheer brutality. His frightening figure strikes everyone around him. As such, not even the dumbest or the bravest have the guts to follow this intimidating king. 


    The King of the Darkside

    Spoken in the darkest rumors,

    they say a dead king walks the land of skyrim

    In his wake lie the corpses of a thousand men.

    swearing no loyalty to any cause it is said that his blade may be bought.

    The price... no one knows.

    for none have been brave enough to approach him.

    A devastation on the battlefield that spares no one alive to speak of his tale, the King of the Darkside strikes fear and intimidation to his foes. Travelling alone, his skill in combat is unmatched for not even the bravest men can meet his gaze. For they see in his eyes his darkened past, the torment of his betrayal haunting the very soul that lurks inside his armor. Instead of using the illusion tree to re-create a powerful leader, the King of the Darkside uses fear to reach his goals. Drain vitality, soul tear and marked for death have good synergy with this build, his presence being so terrifying it breaks your spirit and weakens you.

    This particular variant has three main aspects that separate him from his more noble self. 

    1. The illusion tree is now much more heavily perked. the perks chosen revolve around the fear side of the illusion tree. This re-creates the intimidating figure on the battlefield that mentally scars his opponents by merely looking at him.

    2. Mostly a roleplay choice, the speech tree has been perked in a different fashion. Bribing and Intimidation perks being taken to reflect how beneath civility this King has truly become. Purely optional, I took this for the roleplay.

    3. The choice of shouts is also different. This king particularly specializes in the darker shouts such as Soul Tear or Marked for death which work well with him both in gameplay and in Roleplay. Soul Tear reflects a sinister side of his dominion. Rather than commanding the living, he rips out the souls of his opponent and forces his will upon them to serve him even in death. Marked for death synergizes well for him with fear, reducing both will and strength making it all the more fun to destroy your foes.



    The greatest challenge for this build is the difficulty early on. Without the luxury of empowering followers, the fortitude of your bloodline or even good steel to fight with, you will be restricted to the basic sword-and-board style. the first priority is to strengthen your defense because you will be taking ALOT of hits.

    Find an early follower, they help out enourmously then focus on getting smithing up to 50 and finding decent flesh spells like stoneflesh. oakflesh will do if you can't find what you're looking for. The college should have the spells you need.

    Next you'll want to find courage in order to bolster your allies or fear to completely eliminate a threat. slowly but surely you'll feel your character becoming more and more formidable as you take more hits with stronger flesh spells and your well-placed courage/fear spell saving your hide more than once.

    When you begin to feel confident about your survivability then you can start collecting shouts. Bend Will and Dragon Aspect are good for any of the 2 kings you can choose and should be taken pretty early. 

    Past this point you should be getting a taste of what your prime will feel like. Open with courage/rally and a flesh spell before charging in with your shield. If you find yourself fighting a particularly hard hitting foe or a very powerful wizard, you can use dragon aspect in order to ignore their damage almost completely.

    Remember, the faster you get 85% magic resistance the better it will be for you in the long run as mages are the bane of heavier warriors such as yourself. At this point, you should be able to make decisions as to what strategies to employ in battle, and don't forget to keep trying out different shouts for different situations, it's easily one of the most fun parts of the build.

    Lastly, the challenge of the build is that you can only reach the height of your fortitude for short periods of time before you become vulnerable again, so you should make the most of your invulnerability. In the event that you're caught in a prolonged engagement without your innate powers to protect you, that's where you rely on the strength of your allies to hold the ground until you recover and bring hell to the enemy once more.


    While I don't have any Mason-Super-Synergies to present, I do want to highlight some of the stronger aspects and combos with this build. While most of them I've hinted on earlier above, I'd like to dedicate this to giving them their time to shine. 

    Legendary Onslaught

    For a short period of time the King of Dust reaches the height of his power, Undaunting and Unforgiving, few men are capable of piercing his armor and even fewer are capable of surviving the ordeal of his devastating charge

    Requirements:  Flesh Spell (Levelled), Dragon-Aspect, Elemental Fury, Critical Charge

    The Promise of Glory (New King)

    ("The New King" Version) With a shout powered purely by your own will your foes are overcome by your command, even dragons cannot resist your promise of glorious combat. Empowered further by your inspiring presence, your army is strengthened in both numbers and skill.

    Requirements: Bend Will, Rally

    The Fear of Death (Darkside)

    (The "Darkside" Version) With a shout powered purely by your own will your foes are overcome by your command, even dragons fear the wrath of a King unobeyed.

    Requirements: Bend Will.


    Soulbreaker (Darkside only)

    Such is the agony of the King of the Darkside that those near him are struck with so much fear that it seeps into their soul and breaks them from within.

    Requirements: Marked for Death, Fear







    Even Alduin the World-Eater has nothing to take from the King who has nothing to lose...

    The King of Dust is rather heavy on roleplay. You are a man who has lost everything, you can hardly recollect anything of the time you were wandering about like a beggar and for the start of the game you are on the verge of insanity. Your fighting style will be that of a relentless assault unleashing your rage with little regard for your own safety. your main defense will be from taking hits like a man rather than dodging them. from here you may choose to take back what little nobility you have left or sink lower into a darker path.

    The first aspect of the roleplay will be your skill choices.

    1. Your character does not actually use magic. At least, not in the traditional sense. Your illusion spells are limited to either the fear path or the courage path as these reflect more on your presence on the battlefield rather than being actual spells. As for the alteration tree, you are only restricted to flesh spells. These again are not necessarily the traditional magical powers rather they come from the power of your royal bloodline. Similar to how Dragonborns have a unique form of power like shouts, your royal ancestry also grants you a unique form of power in the form of increasing your fortitude and resilience.

    2. Your character does not enchant or use alchemy. Aside from the fact that using more than 1 of the 3 crafting skills makes you overpowered, the use of alchemy is beyond your grasp and using poisons of any kind is dishonorable (unless you choose to be Darkside then you can use any poison you find) you are allowed however to use any potion you find/buy. You do not use enchanting or any other magic skill for that matter because you have no grasp of the traditional realm of magic.

    3. You do not level Smithing past 50. Why is this? first by getting anywhere past lvl 50 you open up the possibility of reaching the armor cap without the need for alteration or dragon aspect which kinda dulls the interesting part of the build. Secondly, because while a king must be familiar with his battle equipment, it becomes unrealistic that you suddenly become a Mastersmith in the league of Eorlund Gray-Mane.

    Second will be how your choices and behavior affect the growth of your character.

    Obviously throughout your journey in Skyrim you will have many decisions to make. these decisions shape the kind of King you will become as you grow. Similar to Tim Faroe's "The Knight" a king should follow a code of honor. breaking this code brings you to the dark side where you lose your followers and your inspiring presence for the power to instill soul-crushing fear. But while the code of honor is rather identical to the knight build there are a few differences:

    1. Regardless of whether you are a good or bad king, Brutality in combat has become your martial specialty. you are a fallen king, you express the rage of your loss and/or the strength of your zeal in combat.

    2. Daedric artifacts are allowed. Unless they explicitly demand that you do something evil for example the murder of the innocent or cannibalism, in that case you join the darkside if you comply. but if for example if you simply had a drink with a daedra here and there that is still acceptable. You don't necessarily consider anything daedric evil in fact there are good artifacts like azura's star. To clarify, you are distrustful to Daedra because of what they did to you in the past, but you are also drawn to the power of their artifacts, so you're approach to these powerful devices should be tempered with caution.

    3. "Darker shouts" for example, Soul Tear, Marked for death or Drain Vitality are generally considered evil and dishonorable and therefore should be avoided by the King of Honor. However, they are a more than welcome addition to any self-respecting Darksider.

    And finally, Just don't forget that you are a King. Paarthurnax said it quite well that those with the soul of a dragon are inextricably tied with the will to rule and dominate. The very core of this character is that your choices, strengths and weaknesses are all born from your desire to dominate, and to lord over what you see. In what way defines the kind of king that you are...


  • April 30, 2014

    A good first effort! Aside from a few minor grammatical problems, my only real criticism is that it could use a few special moves. Oh, also: do you use Restoration to heal your followers, or is that not necessary?

  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    For roleplay reasons i opted not to use restoration as the build relied purely on it's "inborn power" rather than traditional spell casting. as for the grammatical errors i figured there would be because i kind of wrote it in a rush. anyways will fix those soon! thanks for the comment!

  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    Your illusion spells are limited to either the fear path or the courage path as these reflect more on your presence on the battlefield rather than being actual spells.

    I LOVE that idea! Good job illustrating the character's motivation and backstory, makes me want to know more - have a like from me! :)

  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    Thanks for the compliment! glad you like my build! 

  • Member
    April 30, 2014
    This is really good for a first build. Kudos and +1
  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    Excellent work, great first build. I think the only thing I would suggest is moving the roleplay to the end, so that the gameplay information between the perk spreads and special abilities isn't broken up unnecessarily.

  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    Really nice, first build! 

  • Member
    April 30, 2014

    Really nice first build mate +1 :)

  • Member
    April 30, 2014
    What if you use the so called dark shouts against vampires and other monsters, will it be ok?