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Character Build: The Predator

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Pilgrim  #Rank:Recognized  #ToT 
  • Member
    June 26, 2016

    Foreword: This build is the first in my build series, Travelers of Tamriel. It is my first attempt at making a series, so I hope it goes well. It will consist of experienced explorers and outdoorsmen who have been all across Tamriel in their adventures. They will all use no fast travel, with resourcefulness, distaste for city life, and possibly alchemy as recurring elements. I hope you enjoy this and you keep an eye out for the rest of the series, which will include such builds as the River Runner and the Crazed Scholar. 

    "There is no prey I can't catch."

    The Predator is the hunter of Skyrim's biggest game and most fearsome creatures. Everything from mammoths to vampires to dragons is his prey. Hunting down the famed dragon priests is considered the ultimate test of his ability. He breaks away from traditional hunter archetypes as a combat-oriented, heavily armored master of whatever skill is necessary for taking down his latest prey. He fights well at both long and close range and is very resourceful. Using the lay of the land and the land itself to his advantage, The Predator is an excellent strategist and tracker(via Detect Life) and places traps(runes) to lure his prey into after analyzing the area. He uses a mixture of crossbow archery, fire magic, and axemanship to hunt down and kill his prey. Having been all over Tamriel, he has come back to Skyrim, where  he found the most challenging game he has ever hunted. Now, as he fights dragons, the ultimate game nature has to offer, he won't allow anyone or anything to stop him as he eradicates them. 


    Our time of strife and troubles blankets the land in fear. They say the dead rise to claim Cyrodiil. That Daedra intrusions grow common. Within a year, Molag Bal will be baying at the gates of Whiterun. But there is much merriment and tradition to be had in Tamriel. Nords fear no trespasser into the nine holds. Our mead is envied by all men and mer. And our wilderness is abundant with life to hunt for amusement or necessity. But what of the loathsome and the monstrous far from our fields of heather, away from the White? I am astonished when a recruit from Elden Root hasn’t the knowledge to proficiently hunt a snow bear. And I worry our Nord cubs would face a wamasu of Black Marsh without proper guidance of its more dangerous defenses. Our libraries are filled with histories, but what of tomes less musty, and more beneficial to our current predicament?

    Naturally, Kyne provided the answers. A challenge to test the finest huntsmen: A volume of parchment to attest to the ferociousness of our prey, and the capabilities of our company. We seek one example of every beast that roams through Mundus, whether imbecilic or guileful, tracked to their lair, and brought down by our cunning. Artistry most fine shall accompany the depictions of our actions and the ferocity of our quarry. The gift of fine hides or warm innards will be gathered and offered for sale to trade elder Zagun-ra (our benefactor), who pays for the printing and distribution of this knowledge. What if we encounter creatures unnatural or cursed? They too shall be dismissed with a similar vigor, as if Kyne herself had summoned them.

    Our journey may be fraught. The armies of revenants seek to choke and turn our livelihoods to darkness. The politics of the three great alliances may threaten our freedom. But Kyne’s light shines on. Let us teach you preparedness, and the skills of survival. And the benefits of a mug of Frost River mead.

    Guildmaster of the Fighters Guild of Sentinel,
    Nord of Windhelm; 4th of First Seed, 2E 578, Riften


         "I have been across Tamriel, hunted the strongest beasts of all, and once again I find myself in Skyrim. This is the province where I felt challenged for the first time since becoming a hunter. Those giants are strong bastards and trolls are serious game. Now that dragons are coming back, I can follow in the footsteps of my heroes. the group of huntsmen who traveled with Grundvik Cold-Fist, and be as great and as famed a hunter as they. As the dragon priests rise with the coming of the dragons I won't pass the opportunity to hunt them as well.  I'll not let anything stop me from reaching these goals, Nothing can stand in my way. There is no prey I can't catch."

    The Build:

    Race: Any

    Stone: Thief for leveling Aechery, then Steed

    Stats: 2 M 1 H 1 S                 Until 200 base Magicka, then 1 point into each. 

    Abilities: Dragon Infusion


    Tracker's Armory

    Enhanced Crossbow

    Exploding Dwarven Bolts of Fire

    Dawnguard Heavy Armor (Cuirass, boots, gauntlets)

    Adept Hood

    Amulet of Kynareth

    Steel War Axe


    Fire Rune


    Ash Rune


    Detect Life


    Perk Calculator

    Archery: The main combat skill of The Predator. He doesn't use sneak archery, but fires at the enemy until they get too close, when he switches to One-Handed combat. Simple. Quick Shot is important with the slower speed of the Crossbow compared to a regular bow. With Power Shot and the Enhanced Crossbow, the stagger chance is upped to an impressive 75% and all 5 perks of Overdraw will allow for very high amounts of damage. 


    Heavy Armor: The Predator knows how to survive after years of dangerous hunts and Heavy Armor has served him the best. A nice armor rating can be reached with all 5 perks of Juggernaut.

    Destruction: Used for runes or simpler uses when in close fights with enemies who have a fire weakness. Rune Master is essential here for not having to get so close that your enemies are alerted to the placement of your traps. 

    One-Handed: When archery doesn't work, simple axe combat is the next method. Hack and Slash is important to deal 3 tiers of extra bleeding damage. I choose to interpret this as The Predator having such a knowledge of all the hunts that he knows the perfect places to strike. 

    Alteration: Used for the casting of Ash Rune, Paralyze, and Detect Life, which are used in tactics and act as traps as well as tracking. I recommend using trainers to level this or simply casting Detect Life repeatedly in crowded cities.

    Smithing: Only used for lightly tempering your gear, The Predator is far from a blacksmith, but he knows the importance of keeping up the quality and condition of his gear. It will be used for tempering your gear, though most likely you won't go past Superior.

    Shouts: Aura Whisper, Fire Breath, Kyne's Peace


    Combat and Tactics:

    Combat as The Predator is simple and straightforward with some amount of strategy. While the Predator is not a sneaky hunter, he does analyze his surroundings via Detect Life or Aura Whisper and prepares accordingly with a well placed rune or by making a plan to utilize traps such as oil pools or lamps. He uses higher ground to his advantage and, once prepared, begins simple combat of using his crossbow until enemies get too close, where he switches to his axe, all the while maneuvering so his prey will walk into his trap. Simple, but effective. Flames is only used when enemies have a fire weakness. The Predator is not a spellsword and only makes use of that spell when it's the right tool for the job. 

    The Predator faces many types of enemies due to the extent of his hunting. However, his consistent well-preparedness means there are really one 3 main ways to deal with different types of enemies.

    Weak or Average strength opponents(Weaker animals, vampires): basic combat described as above.

    Enemies weak to Fire: same as above, but in close combat, Flames is wielded with your axe.  

    Strong opponents(dragons, giants, mammoths): more long than close range combat and maneuverability to avoid these enemies' strong attacks.

    Remote Detonation

    Oil Pool + Oil Lamp + Fire Rune

    The Predator knows traps inside and out and can use the traps around him inside of barrows combined with his own for a devastating fiery attack. Place a Fire Rune inside of a pool of oil that has a lamp above it, then wait for the enemy to walk right into your trap. The ensuing result is a triple fiery explosion. Great for any pyros reading this. 

    Paralytic Trapping

    Flamethrower Trap or Poison Darts + Paralyze

    Use the traps found around you once again by simply positioning an enemy in a poison dart or flamethrower trap and using Paralyze on them.  

    Plunge of the Prey

    Cliff + Ash Rune

    When on a cliff or other high drop, place an Ash Rune at the edge and maneuver your incoming prey into it, snaring them and sending them over the edge. This can't kill them, but can remove them from the fight, at least temporarily, or even permanently if the drop is far enough that they lose interest in the fight. 


    This build is more about the gameplay and combat than the roleplaying, but as part of the Travelers of Tamriel series it has certain necessary aspects, and of course some of its own. The Predator dislikes people as a whole, which is a main reason why he vastly prefers hunting over being with people. He understands his prey better than he understands men and mer and thus has a deeper connection with what he hunts. As part of this distaste for human interaction, he doesn't take any follower and actively avoids cities, except for when he needs to buy supplies and sell the spoils of his hunts: pelts, hides, snouts, fat, and whatever resources you can get from your kills. 

    Don't just hunt down giants, bears, etc. when you encounter them, but actively seek them out. Find giant camps to hunt at and look for bear caves, troll dens, and the like. This is a no fast travel build, so you can probably find these sorts of things often, depending on where you are traveling. The Predator doesn't like anything that gets in the way of his hunt. He'll remove whatever is in his way or do whatever he has to take out his quarry.


    Main Questline

    Dawnguard(Dawnguard side, obviously)

    Collect Dragon Priest Masks

    College of Winterhold(Until you get to Morokei. Remember, he does whatever it takes to get his prey.)

    Dragon Research

    Ill Met By Moonlight(Kill Sinding) 

    From the Ashes

    Ancient Technology

    Recommended Mods:

    Dragon Priests, Enhanced- For a better challenge when hunting down the priests. 

    Quest: The Bigger They Are- A nice addition of something great to hunt. 

    Build Your Own Home- This and the following are both nice player houses away from large cities, perfect for The Predator

    Summerset Cabin

    Sounds of Skyrim- The Wilds- An immersive addition to all the time you'll spend in the wilds. 

    Frostfall- For an added survival challenge.

    Hunterborn- More immersion in gathering the spoils of your hunts.

    Realistic Needs and Diseases- Another additional survival challenge.

    Closing Notes:

    To keep a good supply of exploding bolts, check out Noodles' guide.

    I recommend using the best regular bow you can find until you've brought Sorine Jurard to Fort Dawnguard so you can buy bolts, because I tossed my bow as soon as I got the crossbow only to find myself with no bolts way too quickly. 

    This was a fun build for to play and, though I only have 2 other builds, I think this is my best yet. Third time's the charm. I had a lot of fun playing it as my first real Redguard character, and the no fast travel was actually less annoying than I expected, and pretty fun instead. Even I have to wonder how I find so much time that I'm able to playtest my builds in just a few days, but I guess that's the best part of no school and I can produce builds quickly, which is good. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the build and I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the Travelers of Tamriel series. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.

    Thanks to Karver for the lore, Relycs for help with the tactics, and Overhate 2.0 for this:

  • Member
    June 26, 2016

    I like this, it's a nice monster hunter build, good work.

    It looks like it could work well with Frostfall, Hunterborn and Realistic Needs and Diseases.

  • Member
    June 26, 2016

    A build using Kyne's Challenge as inspiration! Oh happy day! :)

    Also, love this:

    Never seen it before but it is awesome.
  • Member
    June 26, 2016
    You're right, especially Frostfall. I'll add those in there. Thanks :)
  • Member
    June 26, 2016
    Yeah, you can thank Karver for hooking me up with Kyne's Challenge. And I'm pretty I just searched Thu'um on Google images and that image was right there at the top.
  • Member
    June 26, 2016