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Character Build: The Last Atmoran

Tags: #Race:Nord  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Warrior  #Hall of Fame Build  #Character Build Defender  #SE Rank:Adept 
  • Member
    October 30, 2014

    UPDATED 27/02/18 PHT, UTC +8

    4 years after I promised to edit this, I finally caught a break and did it. Nothing major, just threw some photos here and there, added/rephrased some stuff.

    I am pleased to announce I finally have photos on my abilities section. I apologize for the less-than-novice quality of the screenshots. I just did them as I played, and I never had any talent in that area to begin with. I now also included Ahzidal's Helm, which completes the set, for aesthetic purposes. I still love Helm of Yngol, but I'm too lazy to fix the glitch it had with certain hairstyles.

    Now, here is the a-bit-improved version of my build.



    For thousands of years all of Tamriel thought them dead, and exist only as stories told in taverns or their exploits sung in court and mead halls.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Somehow they survived, both the cataclysm and the war that caused it. Protected and isolated from the rest of the world by deadly winter storms and freezing summer winds, the hardy folk of the north have accepted this drastic change in climate as penance for crimes against their homeland.

    Now, centuries after the Five Hundred set sail on the path to vengeance and glory, another has once again braved the dangers of the sea-ghosts...

    The Last Atmoran


    Information regarding Atmora can be found here.

    The Last Atmoran is a warrior who possesses magical capabilities after their ancestors were exposed to the arcane energies released during the Atmoran Civil War, an event that caused the rapid shift in climate and nearly caused their extinction. This mutation gave its inhabitants greater tolerance to magic - and where once they were simply accustomed to the cold and resistant to magical frost, they are now virtually immune to it. However, because the majority of their population are warriors or hunters, this potential remains largely untapped, and manifests randomly to dire situations.

    Race: Nord

    Stone: Warrior > Lord

    Stats (M/H/S): 0/2/1

    Major Skills: One-Handed, Two-Handed, Block, Heavy Armor

    Minor Skills: Destruction, Smithing

    Armor: Ahzidal's Relics, Helm of Yngol, Shield of Ysgramor, Saarthal Amulet

    Weapons: Nord Hero Sword, Nord Hero Greatsword

    Shouts: Become Ethereal, Dragon Aspect, Elemental Fury, Fire Breath, Dragonborn Frost, Marked for Death, Unrelenting Force

    Recommended Quests: Main Quest, Dragonborn, Companions, Bards College, College of Winterhold, Unearthed, The Book of Love, Shalidor's Insights, A New Source of Stahlrim

    The Build

    The idea of a magic-enhanced warrior is nothing new; there are dozens of builds, successful or otherwise, that uses this feature. However, they all present a serious flaw for me - the synergies they showcase only deal with the magical side of the spectrum, not actual enhancements to combat. As a result, they are played more like battlemages or spellswords with their constant weapon/spell switching in and out of combat, rather than real warriors.

    This build delves into the incredible and satisfying potential of magic, all without the need for constant weapon/spell switching. More importantly, this build allows you to play a warrior as they truly are: not the abrasive, overzealous knights and paladins they have been associated with, whose piety is so overwhelming that it becomes disturbing, but TRUE warriors - one who does not hesitate to use less honorable methods of success, whose doubts and conflicting thoughts keep them resolute to their cause; unwavering fighters willing to plunge their hands into the filth, so others may keep theirs clean.

    The Last Atmoran supplements martial prowess with magical abilities by harnessing its raw potential, hardening flesh, heal grievous wounds, or summoning spectral War Drums to rally allies. Studying and meditating on the wisdom of perhaps the greatest mage that ever lived, the Atmoran is able to focus its rage, manifesting as a fiery cloak. When the bloodlust is at its height, the Atmoran can unleash hell - quite literally, sending a wave of inferno that melts armor and flesh.


    The Dragonborn Unleashed...

    When I started making this I wanted to play a warrior that benefits from magic but without having to switch into spells mid-combat to achieve it. I wanted spells I could cast instantly, so that as much as possible my character's hands won't be holding anything but her weapons. Lo and behold, the Dragonborn DLC...

    By completing various quests and taking some perks we are able to replace spells that require us to remove our weapon/shield with these:

    • Secret of Protection(SoP)/Bones of the Earth(BotE) - better replacements for flesh spells
    • Agent of Mara/Lord Stone - replaces Magic Resistance perk
    • Mora's Boon(MB)/Waters of Life(WoL) - replaces healing spells
    • Bardic Knowledge - better replacement for the vegetable soup glitch; Drums of War is more epic
    • Sun Flare(SF)/North Wind(NW) - replaces Firestorm/Blizzard
    • Voice of the Sky - replaces Kyne's Peace shout
    • Disarming Bash - disarms ANYONE except ghosts and ash spawns - the Disarm shout can hide in shame

    The beauty of these abilities is that they are all instant-cast, fire-and-forget spells usable even in the heat of battle! Note that the Solstheim Stones BotE, WoL, SF and NW are single-use abilities so be sure to reacquire them after using.


    Arms and Armor

    Since arriving in Skyrim and having seen a multitude of powerful equipments, The Last Atmoran still prefers the familiar look and feel of Atmoran armor and weaponry. Despite having to stick with Steel and Iron quality arms and armor (respectively), this character can hold itself well even against the bane of early-game playthroughs: Bandit Chiefs. You can get into character as soon as you leave Helgen - a full set of Ancient Nord armor can be acquired from the ghost at Kjenstaag Ruins, complete with matching Sword and Greatsword by the time you've completed Bleak Falls Barrow.

    And it gets better - DB again offers a powerful upgrade to your equipment by way of Ahzidal's Relics. This beautiful armor set offers amazing utility and better AR in one package...


    • Ahzidal's Armor of Retribution - Enemies who strike you with a melee attack have a small chance of being paralyzed (5%)
    • Ahzidal's Boots of Waterwalking - Waterwalking
    • Ahzidal's Gauntlets of Warding - Wards are 25% less effective, but absorb 50% of magicka from incoming spells
    • Ahzidal's Helm of Vision - Your Conjuration and Rune spells cost 25% more, but can be cast at greater range
    • Helm of Yngol - Increases Frost Resistance by 30%


    Taking the Helm of Yngol presents a problem when using Blizzard / North Wind - maximizing frost resistance also reduces Blizzard's damage. However this helmet has the equivalent AR of Ebony, can be tempered with steel ingot, and with both helm and Ahzidal's Relics being affected by Advanced Armors, they actually qualify for the Matching Set perk. Most of all it completes the Atmoran aesthetic of the character, and can be easily acquired even at lower levels (the only dungeon with only ONE enemy - Yngol himself). This helmet is too good to pass up!

     Shield of Ysgramor

    This shield is chosen for far more than the RP. What's beautiful about it is its 20% magic resist enchantment. By acquiring various abilities, items, and key perks we come to an unorthodox way to max magic resistance:


    Lord Stone (25%) + Agent of Mara (15%) + Shield of Ysgramor (20%) + Helm of Yngol (30% frost resist) + Elemental Protection (50% fire/frost/shock resist)

    = 60% Magic resistance, 85% Frost resistance & 50% Fire/Shock resistance


    And we haven't even touched Alteration perks, or bought magic resist accessories! These stats alone gives you great protection even against powerful spellcasters and dragon priests. With this you don't even have to wear the shield against frost users. Be careful though: the game first calculates magic resist before elemental resists, so powerful fire/shock spells can still hurt (e.g. Ahzidal/Zahkriisos' Fire/Lightning Stream). And until you acquire Ahzidal's Relics and raised your defensive skills to a considerable level, numbers can still overwhelm you.

    As for accessories, Saarthal Amulet does the job of lowering the magicka cost for Flame Cloak, and the aesthetic fits perfectly with RP. The Gauldur Amulet is another choice if you'd rather have a boost to all attributes, though it is harder to obtain.

     Nord Hero Sword & Greatsword

    As masters of weapons of all kind, The Last Atmoran carries a sword and shield, as well as a greatsword to quickly adapt to the ever-changing tide of battle. I debated using Red Eagle's Bane or Eduj for their enchantments but opted for the unenchanted ones to make full use of Elemental Fury (and for those moments when you just want to go nuts).


    Lv. 40 Perk Spread

    Heavily perked combat skills combined supplemented by magic completes the Last Atmoran's skillset. The lack of weapon-specialization perks on One/Two-Handed does not diminish its damage output. Criticals are assured when using (Great) Critical Charge, and with sufficient stamina as well as Bardic Knowledge you can still execute adequate power attacks and stunlocks for every encounter.

    With this AR is brought up to a little over 400; 470ish when the shield is equipped. This is intentional - not only does it make you fight more carefully, it also draws away from the godlike AR most people use. AR can still be maxed during difficult battles such as boss fights by using Dragon Aspect, as well as Bones of the Earth and Secret of Protection powers.

    Fans of the perk will immediately notice I've left out Shield Charge and the infamous Quick Reflexes. This is due to how this warrior is played. Fighting one-handed users with low-quality equipment makes early-game especially difficult - unlike heavy hitters, the speed and reach of a sword/axe/mace makes it difficult to predict the frequency of their power attacks. As a result, you will have to constantly raise your shield hoping for QR to proc; losing your chance to attack, wasting precious stamina AND health to block attacks, given that you still lose some health even when successfully blocking an attack. And to top it off, being completely vulnerable to other enemies flanking you or overwhelming you with sheer numbers.

    Weapon Charges more than make up for the loss of Shield Charge. They do GUARANTEED critical strikes and a Greater Stagger effect, whereas you'd have to chase down the enemies you've ragdolled and wasting precious stamina with Shield Charge.

    Due to having 4 heavily-perked skills, its important to prioritize perks that directly affect damage/defense first (I personally reccommend this particular order: Shield Wall>Juggernaut>Armsman>Barbarian). Weapon skills will never need training, so only defensive trainings are taken. And since Block levels naturally as we fight, prioritize Heavy Armor. Training Smithing with Eorlund completely eliminates the need for grinding just to reach key perks.

    Taking Destruction perks increase the damage dealt by Sun Flare, Fire Breath, as well as the only spell used in this build: Flame Cloak. Without an increase in magicka or taking appropriate perks this spell cannot be cast. This is where Shalidor's Insights come in. By taking enough levels to max Augmented Flames and wearing the Saarthal Amulet we can lower its cost down to 190ish. Shalidor's Insight (Destruction) increases damage by 25%, but its 50% reduced magicka cost is what allows Flame Cloak to be cast - the spell's cost is now down to 99! Because we've just about reached the max magicka it is imperative that it's cast pre-combat so you could avoid the inconvenience and potential danger of being vulnerable while you wait for your magicka to regen. This unusual mechanic fits perfectly with RP as well. I recommend taking the quest when visiting the College to train Destruction and doing it alongside your other quests - I did 3 of these while raising Destruction from 15 - 60. Remember to save BEFORE completing the quest to gamble for the scrolls.

    Take Power Bash early on to make full use of the Greater Stagger effect. Pushing for Elemental Protection after this is crucial: at some point in the Companions' radiant quest you will be asked to eliminate spellcasters (or, Shor help you - vampires). This perk SIGNIFICANTLY reduces spell damage taken, especially when you haven't acquired some magic resistance yet. While most people believe the perk loses its value lategame, even at higher levels its effect is still valued against spellcasters who wield expert-level fire/shock spells. And from my experience the damage reduction from raising your shield to block spells vs simply running to the spellcaster is very significant.



    Warriors are no mere sword-swingers. They are masters of the battlefield, combining strength, vast knowledge of all types of weaponry, and practiced maneuvers to slice their opponents into tiny red ribbons. The following tactics will help you survive especially the early stages of the game, as well as let you act like a real warrior.

    • KNOW YOUR ENEMY. Knowing is half the battle - identifying enemy position and individual strengths could mean the difference between life and death. When going through dungeons, don't run all the way to your next encounter. When approaching the end of a corridor, sneak up and scout the area. Sneaking the way thieves/assassins do will not work here. To minimize your chances of detection, toggle the walk button on while sneaking, walk 2-3 steps, pause, and walk again. This allows you to be near enough to see what lies ahead and plan your next move.
    • TAKE OUT RANGED THREATS FIRST. Once you engage in combat, never let archers/mages take free hits on you. Mages in particular pose the greatest threat early game, since they mostly use concentration spells and you don't have Elemental Protection yet. Be sure to run up to them before they deal significant damage. This is where Power Bash comes to play - since they never wear Heavy Armor they take the full brunt of the Greater Stagger effect. 

      Archers are much more easier. Learn to anticipate WHERE and WHEN they shoot, and simply do a sidestep. This is also true for projectile spells later on. Shock spells are challenging at all levels, but once you survive the concentration-spell phase you will now have EP coupled with other resistances.
    • NEVER BE OUTFLANKED. Charging into ranged enemies may leave your back exposed to melee attackers. Never let this happen. When attacking ranged threats, always remember to keep battlefield awareness. Use crowd control (CC) abilities (Unrelenting Force, Power Bash; DON'T use Battlecry for this - reserve it for Boss Battles) and prioritize two-handed users. This tactic is particularly useful when against boss mages or dragon priests later in the game. In this situation use your CC on the boss while you take out his minions.
    • DIVIDE AND CONQUER. When in tight corridors with enemies in every corner, fighting in one may attract the attention of those nearby. Prevent this by luring enemies out and into corridors far enough from their allies. Instead of fighting 6 enemies from 3 nearby rooms you'll be fighting 2 enemies from each room. This tactic is especially useful on dungeons where enemies are very close to each other. (e.g. Treva's Watch - every room has AT LEAST a Marauder with them and the only bandit camp I know that has 2 Bandit Chiefs)

    • (BOSS BATTLE) MINIMIZE ENEMY DAMAGE OUTPUT. Bosses are always accompanied by several underlings. When entering boss battles, its natural to just rush ahead and hack away at the boss. But always eliminate weaker opponents first. If left unchecked they potentially become more dangerous than the boss, so keep those instincts in check. Keep the boss occupied by using crowd control abilities (Battlecry, Ice Form/Dragonborn Frost, Unrelenting Force). Battlecry in particular will be your best friend in the early stages of the game. Later on you will be able to take more hits, so Power Bash will do on enemies immune to its Fear effect. If you have it already, prepare for him for an easy fight by using MFD while you take care of his minions.
    • (BOSS BATTLE) SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE. Boss battles are as much a test of patience as it is of strength. In early levels where you don't have enough Block skill to efficiently block two-handed attacks its best to simply move out of the way. What I do when I've run out of stamina for power bashing is to lure him into DOING a power attack, keeping far enough from getting hit and close enough to deal a strike or two during his "backswing" animation, quickly followed by a power bash and a couple more strikes. Of course against mages or Dragon Priests the best thing to do is keep your shield up while regenerating stamina. 

      Boss battles always take place in large areas, so be sure to move around. Make full use of the surroundings. Use obstructions such as pillars, braziers, high ground, or campfires (ex. Interior of Silent Moons/Halted Stream Camp) for a temporary respite while you recharge your stamina and more importantly, to keep him from constantly swinging that battleaxe on you. This also lets him recuperate so he can do another power attack, which you will use to counterattack.

      When you are unlucky enough to encounter a dragon early game, boulders or anything large enough to keep you from harm will save you a lot of trouble until he finally loses magicka  and lands. Traps ensure enemies who are not killed will have their HP substantially reduced even before the fight has begun so be sure to make full use of them as well.


    Keep away from spellcasters or dragon priests until you've acquired some magic resistance. If the Companions give you a job to clear a camp of spellcasters and you don't have AT LEAST Elemental Protection yet, go to Solitude and apply in the Bard's College. It's easy to complete, and their 3 side quests give a 1-point boost to ALL skills.

    Generally, use your greatsword against strays and disarmed/weaker opponents, sword and board against stronger variants. What's amazing about its skillset is that even at higher levels although you are nigh invulnerable behind your shield, you still take significant damage when using your greatsword, or when you let your guard down. This really makes you careful when attacking: you can raise your shield almost immediately even mid-swing, but when using your greatsword you have to learn to feel your swings and anticipate when an enemy strikes so you could still block/counterattack in time.

    Use your abilities ONLY in times of true need. Dragon Aspect is more than enough to get you through boss fights. Use Stone powers during difficult/random encounters (disguised bandits, the Old Orc, Thalmor Death Squads) and Black Book abilities for ESPECIALLY difficult boss battles. This reflects the Atmoran's magical potential as manifesting only in dire situations.




    The variety of instant-cast abilities opens up numerous combinations that can be used in combat. The following are simply the ones that I feel is unique to the Last Atmoran:


    Focused Rage

    Requires: Flame Cloak + Augmented Flames 2/2 + Shalidor's Insight (Destruction)

    By meditating on the wisdom of Shalidor along with constant training, the Last Atmoran's battle fury manifests as a fiery cloak that burns anyone close.

    A simple Flame Cloak spell is made unique by the fact that it can only be used when using Shalidor's Insight (Destruction). Due to the rarity of the scrolls I recommend using this ONLY on boss battles not resistant to fire (Unless you've hoarded a lot of these).


    Blood of the North

    Requires: Racial Resistance + Helm of Yngol + Lord Stone + Agent of Mara

    Following the Cataclysm of Atmora, its inhabitants found themselves irrevocably changed; now possessing magical potential that, even untapped, helps them resist the otherwise deadly forces of nature and magic.

    With these alone you are nearly invulnerable to frost, as well as provide ample resistance to fire and lightning. Combine it with the Shield of Ysgramor and Elemental Protection you are nigh immune to all forms of magic.


    Icebound Fortitude

    Requires: Tower of Strength + Force Without Effort + Ahzidal's Armor of Retribution

    A lifetime of battles enable the Last Atmoran to shrug off devastating blows - any strike jars the attacker to the bone, leaving them paralyzed and helpless against the Atmoran's wrath.

    Apart from dragons, nobody seems to be immune from this effect. And from what I've seen even magic attacks can activate the effect though this rarely happens, and some dragon priests does a glitch where they seem to be just frozen mid-air. The strike doesn't even have to fully connect - even a blocked blow can trigger the paralysis effect.


    Hellfire Charge

    Requires: Marked for Death + (Great) Critical Charge + Sun Flare

    A gust of magic that corrodes armor heralds doom, as the Last Atmoran's charge releases an inferno that burns armor and flesh both.

    The build was conceived by the original form of this ability. Due to the bug with Blizzard I had to change the character's element to fire. The effect actually becomes more spectacular - Augmented Flames as well as Shalidor's destruction scroll increases its destructive power further.


    Playing the Last Atmoran

    The Last Atmoran is an adventurous warrior who has travelled to Skyrim in search of the ancient glories of their people, particularly the exploits of the Five Hundred Companions and their leader Ysgramor, harbinger of us all. Travel throughout Skyrim and learn what has beome of your people since settling in. The following locations are few of the must-explore places:

    • Saarthal - The first city built by the Atmorans before its destruction by the elves in the infamous "Night of Tears".
    • Bromjunaar - Modern-day Labyrinthian, once the capital of Skyrim before the Dragon War.
    • Ysgramor's Tomb - resting place of Ysgramor, harbinger of us all, and his captains.
    • Yngol Barrow - resting place of Yngol, elder son of Ysgramor, a sound strategist and the greatest smith of his age. Creator of Wuthraad, forged from the purest ebony wept by the great harbinger during the Night of Tears.
    • Windhelm - capital of Skyrim during the Ysgramor Dynasty, built by captive elves in the Atmoran fashion.
    • Throat of the World - where Kyne breathed life unto their ancestors; also the site where Alduin was banished by the ancient Tongues.

    Naturally these are not the only ones; they are simply the top picks. Several quests are required to gain access to them. The Companions questline is a must. Because this character is not truly a mage, I waited until Elder Knowledge to be asked to demonstrate the Thu'um instead of a spell to gain entry into the College. Advancing on its questline is not required, though it grants you access to Labyrinthian as well as one of the targets (see below).


    Rising Threat...

    After arriving on Skyrim and being involved in its troubles, the Last Atmoran recognizes its true enemy: the Thalmor. Having learned a great lesson from their homeland, the Atmoran strongly feel Nords killing Nords is ridiculous, and a waste of capable warriors who were supposed to be fighting the real enemy. As such, do not join a side in the Civil War - instead, start eliminating Thalmor presence in Skyrim. Since you are neither an Imperial citizen nor Skyrim's, the White-Gold Concordat is not violated. Be warned, though: just because you believe that doesn't mean the Thalmor agrees with you. Strike hard and fast, before they have a chance to retaliate on you, or worse, the Empire or Skyrim.

    The Targets:

    • Rulindil - Third Emissary to Skyrim. Thalmor Interrogator encountered during Diplomatic Immunity. His death will cripple Thalmor operations in Skyrim.
    • Ondolemar - Commander of the Justiciars in Markarth. You don't even have to bloody your sword to kill him. Simply give Markarth to Ulfric during Season Unending, and his men will do it for you.
    • Ancano - Thalmor "advisor" to the Arch-Mage. Unfortunately you need to complete the College's questline to kill him and his associate. If you can justify becoming Arch-Mage, then by all means..
    • Gissur - Betrayed his own people for gold. He must not be suffered to live...
    • Ancarion - Encountered in Solstheim. Kidnapped a Skaal smith to learn the location of a source of stahlrim and ways to forge it, to be used by the Thalmor. Make sure he doesn't.
    • Elenwen - First Emissary to Skyrim. Most likey the one who sends Thalmor Death Squads to you. The Thalmor will effectively lose their grip on Skyrim with her death, opening up a possibility of unity amongst the Stormcloaks and the Legion...


    Other minor RP things that I do include sleeping on the nearest inn and having a meal before heading out, fetching books for Urag (when in the College, do this alongside the Shalidor quest) and catching up with the world's events. When on Whiterun be sure to have a drink with your fellow Companions. Meditate on your abilities by (re)acquiring them on their respective stones. When looking for the Rotmulaag, meditate on the 10 Etched Tablets on your way to High Hrothgar and (re)acquire a 24-hour AoE version of Kyne's Peace. In combat do not chug healing potions to full health; only take 2 at a time and wait until your HP is dangerously low again to make it more realistic.

    One does not kill a Daedric Prince, so use the only weapon that affects them - words. Defy them at every turn; even those who are not inherently evil, and especially those who are. I mentioned doing any means necessary, but you can only go so far. Never dishonor your blade by coating it with poison, a coward's weapon. There is a difference between glorious battle and killing unarmed citizens (unless you disarmed him in combat), so don't do quests that involve murder. Yes, I'm talking about Grelod "the Kind". If you've already engaged in one, stop as soon as the option to kill presents itself. Of course, those who resort to deceit to retain their positions must be opposed (Retaking Thirsk, The Cursed Tribe). "Lying is the first step to cowardice, after all". Not all victories can be achieved by fighting the enemy head-on, and must be done with a little subtlety. So long as the cause is just, and serves a great purpose, using trickery and deception will not lessen you in the eyes of Shor...



    Thank you for reading, I hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed playing it. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. All criticisms are appreciated. And thank you so much to the Skyrim CB community for choosing my first build to be included in the Hall of Fame, it means so much to me. Thank you!

    Credits (from way back in 2014):



  • Member
    October 30, 2014

    Excellent first build! The only thing I have to add is that the racial tag is supposed to be Race:Nord (doesn't require quotation marks), meaning that you can pick another Character Build tag (e.g. "Character Build Barbarian").

  • Member
    October 30, 2014
    Holy crap! Great first build, not to mention incredibly detailed!
  • Member
    October 30, 2014

    you've made one tiny error in the shouts section, you put dragonborn frost instead of frost breath, if your using powers and such you should add in an abilities section, but anyway excellent job dude, keep up the good work, I'll definitely be looking forward to any future builds of yours my friend +1

  • Member
    October 30, 2014

    I quite like this build, it is refreshing to see another "first build" become a success. I see too many builds now n' days that end up not being up to the group standards.

    +1 from me

  • Member
    October 30, 2014

    Great build, definitely going to give this a go!  +1

  • Member
    October 30, 2014
    Great build, but I RO Grelod for good characters as either knocking her out, after being asked by the Jarl to arrest her, or her resisting arrest and you being forced to slay her.
  • Member
    October 30, 2014

    Forgot to mention, I dig the Batman reference 

  • October 31, 2014

    Great first build! +1 from me.

  • Member
    October 31, 2014

    I have waited a long time to see a build from you and it was definitely worth it!