Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Order of Winterhold

Tags: #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build Sorcerer  #Character Build Battlemage  #Rank:Recognized  #Rank:Breton 
  • Member
    June 25, 2014

         Alright, so this build has had a major overhaul. It carries the same principle - warrior with arcane equipment, but with a few major adjustments to make it a more playable and powerful build. You are the elite warrior that utilizes the Arcane arts to compliment your combat prowess to obliterate your enemies. A force to be reckoned with in an order to be feared. You are an elite agent of...

    The Order of Winterhold     

         1E 369 - High King Borgas is murdered by the Wild Hunt trying to make war against the Bosmer with the Alessian Order. The moot fails to elect Skyrim's new High King, despite the obvious choice being Jarl Hanse of Winterhold. This leads to civil conflict known as The War of Succession. Jarl Hanse, being a major target during the war due to being in line for the throne, had experienced many assassination attempts since the war began, as well as many devastating military defeats.

         A new order was established to protect the Jarl and assist the front lines - The Order of Winterhold. The best handpicked warriors from the Winterhold ranks were sought out and trained in the arcane arts. Archmage Shalidor himself, the creator of the college, picked these warriors and trained them to combine their combat skills with magic. The Order consisted of 800 agents by the 11th year of the war. This faction became so organized and effective that it completely turned the tide of the war. The Order evolved quickly from the Jarl's personal guard and recon team into an effective military force. The little historical evidence to survive through the Fourth Era suggests that during the war Windhelm was besieged and that The Order was responsible for pushing back the attack, ultimately defending all of Eastmarch and avoiding a great loss.

         The agents of The Order became known to Skyrim as Sivaas Kodiik, Beast-wielders in the dragon tongue. The name was coined during the first battle of the war that involved over 500 agents. This was the first time they became recognized as the great threat they were as well as the first time their true power was revealed to the enemy. Until that battle, The Order was but a rumor amongst the enemy ranks, whispered about by the soldiers; telling stories of "Demon Tamers" and "Beast Wielders". A force so ferocious, it was as if each warrior was his own army of undead, monsters, and magicka. They were fiercer in living life as they were in legend.


         The War of Succession finally ends after 50 bitter years of spilling blood in 1E 420, making for one of the longest lasting wars in the First Era. Olaf One-Eye was elected the new High King, and seeing how powerful The Order was, feared an uprising from them due to Jarl Hanse's failure to become High King. He disbanded the faction, sending personal agents to assassinate the higher ups as a means of "tying loose ends" and ensuring their suppression. Dozens of the higher ranking agents were imprisoned or disappeared.

         The agents that remained came together for one last meeting secretly under the college in the Midden. No historical documents remain (or were created to the best of our knowledge) of this meeting, but soon after agents of The Order disappeared. Some say they fled to the Summerset Isles where they have been training in the arcane arts and honing their magick skills for years - but those are just rumors, right?

    Dawn the Fourth Era

         4E 201 - Civil war breaks out in Skyrim between the Empire and the Stormcloak rebellion. Skyrim is in a fragile position with the war, weakening itself oblivious to the Thalmor control. No matter who wins the war, the victor will be too weak to fend off an Aldmeri invasion. To prevent history from repeating itself and Skyrim being invaded by Mer, The Order steps in for the ultimate protection of their homelands. 

         You are an elite agent of The Order sent to Skyrim to provide assistance to the Stormcloaks to ensure the war's success. After arriving, the squads split up. Your squad makes camp in southern Eastmarch close to where you arrived to plan and prepare. You and another squad member are assigned to scout out the area for safe measures and accidentally are caught up in an ambush at Darkwater Crossing. You are captured and taken away, split up from your squad. When at the chopping block you are attacked by a dragon and escape, but you get split up from your other squad member. Your story begins here after the attack at Helgen. 

    Race: Breton / Altmer / Dunmer / Nord

    Stone: Atronach or Apprentice

    Major Skills: Conjuration, Alteration, Heavy Armor, One Handed

    Minor Skills: Restoration, Smithing

    Follower: Any heavy armor mage will do, I personally used J'zargo.

    Stat Placement: Magicka 2 / Health 1 / Stamina 0

    Shouts: Marked for Death, Storm Call, Disarm, Become Ethereal, Ice Form, Disarm, and Unrelenting Force



    Conjuration - This is the key skill in this build. Conjure atronachs and raise the dead to fight alongside and protect you. Bound sword is for your protection and mainly to support your atronachs and follower. Summons take the hard hitting while you hack at them taking minimal damage.

    Alteration - Due to the rather limited armor rating you can acquire with only steel, alteration buffs you with added armor defense. Paralyze is a great spell for this build, especially when facing multiple targets. That added time you get from felling and enemy for a few seconds can make a major difference. Detect dead/life is used when going into unknown rooms and territories, giving you the upper hand knowing who and where everyone is before being seen yourself.

    Restoration - I replaced Alchemy with this skill because I wanted an added way to defend yourself with arcane equipment. Wards and healing are the only spells used from this skill to buff and ensure safety for yourself.

    One Handed - The Bound sword is great for defense, attack, and support. Mainly support. This is the only weapon used for this skill. Bound sword can come in handy most when you're helping your summons. The other time it's most useful is when all else fails and you're low on magicka, go all on warrior on those mob.

    Heavy Armor - Defense, duh - what else? 

    Smithing - Since you are limited to steel armor, smithing allows you to create your own equipment as well as max it out to legendary. The best (possibly the only) way to go about making steel legendary is with smithing enchanted armor and smithing enhancing potions. Only one perk is invested in this tree which is great leaving additional perks for combat.

    TPerk Spread

         Level 25 -

         Level 50 -


    The Helm of Winterhold, Necromancer Amulet, Steel Armor, Steel Nordic Gauntlets, Steel Cuffed Boots, Spellbreaker, and any ring that gives extra magicka or reduces magicka costs for conjuration or alteration.

    The Build

    This build is meant to be played with the mind of a warrior and the equipment of a mage. Your shields are wards, your weapons are bound, and your soldiers are atronachs. And like a warrior, you fight with an army. Your follower and summons back you up, protect you, and fight for you - and you do just the same for them. Your right hand holds a bound sword while the left does all the rest. First, buff yourself with alteration spells, summon your comrade, then stand by with paralyze, healing, or a ward as is appropriate for the situation. As your summons tank the damage, hack away with your sword or paralyze opponents to make for easier prey. When fighting against magick attacks, use spellbreaker as a substitute for the ward spells. In the event of clearing a dungeon or tower etc be sure to prepare. Use detect life/dead to count out your enemies, it's a huge advantage to know where and how many opponents you'll be dropping. Then go through the preparation before entering, summoning your creature ahead of you. Clear the room, regenerate magicka, repeat. 



    The shouts used in this build are for support and recovery. The shouts Marked for Death, Storm Call, and Disarm are for support. Use them to back up your warriors. Become Ethereal, Ice Form, Disarm, and Unrelenting Force are to buy you time while you heal up, rebuff, regenerate magicka, etc. Even a few seconds extra time to re-ready up can turn the tide in battle.

    Recommended Quests   

        - College of Winterhold questline

        - Civil War questline

        - Blood on the Ice

        - Conjuration Ritual Spell 

        - The Only Cure


        - Thalmor and Imperials are both threats to the Fatherland, end them.

        - Free any Stormcloaks taken prisoner.

        - Assist any true sons and daughters of Skyrim.

        - Collect Daedric artifacts as a main goal.

        - You are part of a professional organization. You do not kill without just cause. 

        - Live in Eastmarch, The Rift, or Winterhold.

        - Become Thane of Winterhold.


         - Races: I personally used Breton as they start off with the highest conjuration level of all the races and start off with summon familiar, not to mention it's easy to hit the 85% resistance cap for magical defense as a Breton. The only other good choice is Altmer as they start off with a huge magicka bonus (+50) and have the Highborn skill (regenerate magicka 25x as fast once a day). Nords and Dunmer don't have nearly as good racial bonuses, but they fit the RP anyway.

        - Stones: The Atronach Stone has a glitch that makes Atronach spells fail %50 of the time. There is an unofficial patch for PC players, but I'm afraid there's no cure for console playes. As a console player you can either use the Apprentice Stone or you can just forget about Atronachs and focus more on raising the dead and familiars.

        - Constructive feedback is more than welcome, especially since this is my first build and I am rather new to all this.

  • June 25, 2014
    Not bad though I don't understand the help stormclacks yet don't join them. Wouldn't that just drag the war on longer thus weakening skyrim more? As for the build itself id say it was pretty good, I will probably try this myself, however id like to know what this characters personality is, is arrogant and boastful or modest yet efeective, would he try and persuade his way through or just fight till he gets what he want? Etc. Anyway good job!
  • June 25, 2014

    Its not bad but there are some issues in the gameplay. You mention summoning atronachs but don't mention that the atronach stone actually causes summon spells to fail 50% of the time. You also have bound bow listed as a skill, but without any perks invested into the archery skill tree its damage becomes exceedingly weak very quickly. 

    I think it might be best to stick to one "difficulty" setting in your build. Just take the audience through what you did and let them impose their own restrictions on themselves. The table where you lay out the equipment etc by difficulty is messy and somewhat difficult to read. 

    I would suggest going into detail about how you fight various types of enemies. What to watch out for etc. 

    I can help create a perk spread for you if you'd like. Theyre fairly simple to make. 

  • Member
    June 29, 2014

    Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback and I'll be sure to message you when I redo this and need a perk spread. I also wasn't aware that the Atronach stone had that affect on your atronach spells, this explains a lot as I thought Skyrim was just glitching out on me.

  • June 29, 2014

    You could also mention that for PC players, the Unofficial Patch fixes this Conjuration bug, and if you play a Breton it's easy to hit the 85% resistance cap for magical defense for console players.

  • Member
    July 15, 2014

    Yeah sorry that was a typo of sorts. All better now!