Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Druids of Galen

Tags: #Vargr Build  #Character Build Healer  #Character Build Alchemist  #Character Build Supporter  #Rank:Bloodworks  #Druid 
  • October 21, 2016

    ***WARNING*** The following is not lore friendly. Much of it is based off of, or inspired by, established Elder Scrolls lore, but much of it is also just my own ideas and imagination. You have been warned. ***WARNING***


    “Hush meat; and I will tell you what many understand but few know. The Druids of Galen are all gone now, that is true, but their teacher is still here, and those with the ears to hear and the will to listen can still learn the ways of the druid.” The hag’s voice rattled in what might have been a laugh as she gestured to her obvious lack of ears.

    “Who is this teacher? Where can I find them?” I asked, perhaps a little too sharply. She had been nothing but cordial however the hag’s presence still unnerved me. If Melka took any offense at my tone, she did not show it.

    “Silly morsel, do you not know? The ancient trees of Falkreath speak of memory and ancient knowledge, the sky of Whiterun tells of the raging storm and the soaring spirit, the winds of Winterhold teach the lesson of cold death, the steam vents of Eastmarch reveal power and passion. You must hear and learn from the land and the sky, from the beast and the tree. Skyrim my sweet meat, Skyrim teaches her lessons still, to those who would listen.”


    The druids were an ancient order of knowledgeable shamans who held positions of great esteem among the ancient “witch-men” of Highrock and Skyrim. They were secretive by nature, often living solitary lives in the wilderness, or on the outskirts of settled land. They were well respected by the surrounding tribes and villages, the leaders of which often sought out the druids for their sage wisdom and practical knowledge. The tumultuous rule of Red Eagle changed all that when he decided to forego their teachings and instead follow the hagravens who promised him power and victory. The hags and druids were always at odds with one another. They drew their power from the same ancient magicks, and performed many of the same rituals, but at opposed purposes. The primary tenant of the Druids of Galen was balance, balance between man and nature, between life and death, and between forward progress and honored tradition. The word “galen” itself means tranquil or calm, and it is this that the druid aspires.   The hags, on the other hand, are self-centered and power hungry creatures, always seeking new ways to dominate others, and new forms of depraved power. When Red Eagle turned from the ways of the druids the rest of the Reachmen, now called Forsworn, went with him. To this day the Forsworn revere the hagravens and follow their twisted teachings, while the druids have faded away into the mist of history, their order forgotten.

    Race: Any race can become a druid. In fact each race adds a nuanced twist to the playstyle of this character making the race you choose both not matter at all, and matter a great deal. Below I outline what each race brings to the druid playstyle.

    Altmer: The Highborn ability is useful both for maintaining magical barrages and for aggressively healing your companions, the 50 point boost to magicka makes casting many of the druids spells that much easier.

    Argonian: Histskin is an incredible ability that meshes well with the healing magic of the Druid. The native water breathing ability fits well, matching one of the druid’s spells. Plus they already worship trees.

    Bosmer: An obvious choice, the wood elf’s Command Animal power is extremely useful in the early game. However it becomes redundant later on. Their native resistances fit well thematically with a druid character.

    Breton: Forsworn culture lines up well with many druidic ideals making this race a great roleplay choice. Dragonskin and a native magic resistance speak to the druid’s mystical nature.

    Dunmer: Dunmer are the perfect choice for a druid that is bonded to the land of Southern Solstheim, Morrowind, or the steam vents of Eastmarch. It makes perfect sense that a druid of these places would develop fire resistance and the Ancestors Wrath ability.

    Imperial: Voice of the Emperor is a perfect fit for this character and a natural extension of the Kyne’s Peace shout. This ability is particularly useful during the early levels when we are the most vulnerable.

    Khajiit: Like the Argonian, the Khajiit fits well on an aesthetic level. They also have a very druid like ability in Night Eye. I advise going unarmed if you choose this race, their claws do a whopping 22 damage easily out damaging any weapon the druid would use in melee.

    Nord: Nords are the perfect choice for a druid that is bonded to the land of Skyrim. It makes perfect sense that a druid of this province would develop frost resistance. Battle Cry is a fantastic thematic ability, simulating the roar of a bear, and fits well with the other illusion based powers of the druid.

    Orc: Berserker Rage fits so well with a druids shape changing ability, acting as a partial beast form. By far one of my favorite abilities to use as a druid and you start the game knowing it making actual beast form seem like a progression of this ability.

    Redguard: Similar to the orc’s racial power, Adrenaline Rush fits well with a wild druid theme. Both abilities simulate the druid taking on more animalistic abilities for a short period of time.

    I play tested each of the playable races when putting together this build and can say that each one adds a different flavor to the build without changing the overall playstyle. My favorites were the Nord, the Orc, and of course the Altmer.

    Stone: For early skill leveling take the Thief stone switching to the Mage once you have performed the Oath of Druid’s detailed below. The Lady and Lord both provide universally useful boons that are applicable to most builds especially the wide ranging druid character.

    Major Skills: Illusion, Conjuration, Alchemy

    Minor Skills: Alteration, Restoration, Archery, One-Handed, Sneak, Light Armor

    Stat Placement: M:2 H:2 S:1 While Magicka is an important stat for the Druid it is used almost exclusively for defensive spells, the majority of the mid to late game offense will come from followers and staves. The early to mid-game will see some use of one handed weaponry and archery making an early small investment in Stamina wise. Start by investing your first level into Stamina the next two into Health and the next two into Magicka, repeat this for the first twenty or so levels (level 22 will see you at 180 magicka/180 health/150 stamina). At this point you can stop investing in Stamina and split your remaining levels between Health and Magicka. At level 50 the Druid will have (320 magicka/320 health/150 stamina) this will leave us with adequate amounts of magicka to cast spells, enough health to tank a few hits, and enough stamina to run from danger or deliver a few well-placed attacks.

    Weapons: Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson, Forsworn Staff, Eye of Melka, Staff of Hags Wrath, Nettlebane, Miraak’s Staff, Miraak’s Sword, Briarheart weapons, Falmer weapons

    Apparel: Any armor made of non-metallic material i.e. leather, hide, chitin, etc. Armor of the Old Gods, Predator’s Grace

    Gear: Ring of Hircine, Ring of Namira, Ring of the Hunt, Kyne’s Token, Amulet of Talos, The Druid’s Amulet, Spider Scrolls

    Shouts: Kyne’s Peace, Animal Allegiance, Storm Call, Clear Skies, Unrelenting Force, Bend Will, Cyclone

    Powers: Beast Form, Voice of the Sky, Mora’s Agony, Conjure Werebear, Bones of the Earth, Sun Flare, Root of Power, Waters of Life, North Wind


    Archery: The early levels of the Druid play much like a hunter making regular use of his bow to deliver poisons. The key perk is Eagle Eye, not only is it thematically named but it will help us prevent accidentally poisoning our companions in the heat of battle.

    One Handed: Another early game skill that will see some mid and even late game use. Druids will often wade into combat alongside their animal companions dealing death with one hand while they administer healing spells with the other.

    Light Armor: Druids don’t wear metal armor as a part of their oath. Instead they clad themselves in the hides and bones of their prey. Key perks are Unhindered and Wind Walker both of which facilitate the far ranging character by freeing up carrying space and improving stamina regeneration.

    Sneak: The Druid is adept at stalking his prey and is able to remain hidden in most situations. This skill and the perks taken simulate the “pass without trace” ability of druids, who are able to travel without leaving tracks behind, confounding any pursuers.

    Alchemy: The crafting skill of the hunter and gatherer.   Not only is alchemy a classic druid skill it is also necessary for the creation of the Druid’s Amulet which will allow the creation of super charged Potions of Fortify Conjuration, facilitating animal and spriggan companions.

    Restoration: The natural magic of a druid lends itself well to the healing arts. While not a master healer the druid will tend to the wounds of his companions. Taken to keep our animal companions (especially those created through fortify conjuration) in fighting condition.

    Illusion: The Druid is capable of calming the most ferocious and territorial beast and able to augment the fighting spirit in his animal companions. Master of the Mind will allow us to use our courage type spells on our reanimated companions.

    Conjuration: Taken purely to allow the creation of powerful animal followers. No spells are used in this school for the basic druid and it is only perked to improve upon the animals we raise using staves. Key perks are Dark Souls and Twin Souls.

    Alteration: Druids are able to change their physical form, hardening their skin into protective scales or bark. Furthermore, powerful druid’s have the ability to petrify enemies for short periods of time.

    The first 10 or so levels are the Wildheart stage of the druid. This is before their affinity for the natural world is fully awakened. They feel a kinship with the wild places of Skyrim and will spend the majority of these formative levels wandering the province and beginning to learn the lessons that the land and sky have to teach. It is during this time that his awareness of the old gods Kyne, Hircine, Y’ffre, and Namira begins to grow and he will seek communion with these ancient nature spirits. This portion of the build will eventually culminate in the Oath of Druids, an ancient ritual once performed by the Druid’s of Galen.

    Target Skill levels before you perform the ritual are Archery 30, One-Handed 20, Light Armor 30, Sneak 40, Alchemy 30, Illusion 30, and Alteration 25. This will put you at around level 10 depending on what race you chose. Below is a list of quests to complete as the Wildheart before performing the ritual. Completing these quests should see you leveled sufficiently in the skills of the Wildheart.


    • Kyne’s Sacred Trials: Rewarded with Kyne’s Token.
    • Under Saarthal: Rewarded with The Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson.
    • The Blessings of Nature: Rewarded with Nettlebane.
    • The Taste of Death: Rewarded with Namira’s Ring.
    • No One Escapes Cidhna Mine: Rewarded with the Old Gods armor set.
    • Promises to Keep: Rewarded with the unique horse Frost.


    The Sojourn of the Ovate:

    Once the Wildheart has reached sufficient skill and knowledge in the hedge magic practiced by druids he will be tasked with a sojourn. The wildheart, now called an ovate, must undergo a dangerous journey to gather the necessary ingredients to perform the Oath of Druid’s ritual. The sojourn involves three main legs each focused on the acquisition of a particular ingredient or item necessary to perform the Oath of Druid’s.

    The first leg of the sojourn sees the ovate travel to the far western shore of Skyrim in search of the rare bonehawk. He will need to hunt down three of these rare birds and craft an amulet out of their skulls and feathers. Despite the remoteness of the bonehawks, this is the easiest part of the sojourn.

    The second leg of the sojourn requires the ovate to travel to southern Skyrim in search of the Ancestor Glade, a sacred place to the Druid’s of Galen. Once there the ovate must collect 27 yellow mountain flowers, what the ancient druids called “Aurybyd” or “world gold”. The glade is hidden within the Jerall Mountains and the journey there is perilous. Not only that, but the glade is fiercely guarded by nature spirits who will defend this sacred place to the death. It will take all of the ovate’s skill and guile to survive this ordeal and return with the sacred flowers.

    The final leg of the sojourn sees the ovate travel to Shearpoint. This is probably the most difficult and dangerous part of the journey. Here the ovate is tasked with retrieving the Mask of Sorrow from the Dragonpriest Krosis. Unlike the spirits encountered in the Ancestor Glade who could be avoided with enough skill, Krosis must be confronted and destroyed.

    (Note that the third leg is chosen only to obtain the mask which is the only guaranteed fortify alchemy effect that can be obtained at any level. The wise ovate will skip this part of the sojourn if he has already acquired enough fortify alchemy gear in his travels.)

    With the sojourn complete the ovate has shown themselves to be worthy of initiation. The time has come to perform the Oath of Druid’s. There are a few other common things that the ovate will need in order to perform the ritual. He will need enough salt piles to mix with the yellow mountain flowers, finding enough shouldn’t be a problem just collect them as you adventure you should have more than you need by the time you’re finished with the sojourn. The ovate will also need the ingredients to mix a single Fortify Enchanting Potion, snowberries and blue butterfly wings are easy enough to find.   With all the necessary ingredients obtained the ovate is finally ready to become a druid.

    The Oath of Galen:

    This is a fancy way of describing an exploit in the game that will allow us to create potions of game breaking potency. We will use this to only create potions that fortify conjuration enabling the druid to in effect gain permanent animal companions. The Ritual of Galen requires the ovate to perform the following actions.

    Step One: Don the Mask of Sorrow (Krosis)

    Step Two: Create an aurybyd potion (combine one yellow mountain flower with one salt pile to create a fortify restoration potion)

    Step Three: Remove the Mask of Sorrow

    Step Four: Drink the aurybyd potion

    Step Five: Don the Mask of Sorrow (the enchantments magnitude will have increased, you can see the new value in the Active Effects menu)

    Step Six: Repeat steps two thru five until you create an aurybyd potion of incredible potency (I try for something like 1,000,000%)

    Step Seven: Create a potion of fortify enchanting.

    Step Eight: Drink the potion of fortify enchanting then enchant the bonehawk amulet with fortify alchemy renaming it the Druid’s Amulet.

    If the ritual is performed correctly the Druid’s Amulet will be able to create potions of staggering (and frankly game breaking) potency. Remember that this amulet is only used to create potions of fortify conjuration.

    With the ritual complete the ovate is now a full-fledged druid. Their affinity with the natural world has been completely awakened and they are now aware of secrets and powers that before were hidden to them. Completing the ritual has several beneficial effects. The druid will raise their Alchemy skill all the way to 100 instantly making them masters of this craft. This will also result in the druid gaining about ten levels, boosting all three of their stats. They also gain knowledge on how to perform the Binding Ritual necessary to create an animal familiar, much like the hags and witches of Skyrim. Finally, they now have an additional 10 perk points to assign to some of the more mystical skills that the druid possesses.

    These are the perks you should be able to take once you’ve taken the oath. This is a further representation of the sudden insights and knowledge that the character has received from their initiation. This also marks the spot in the characters progression where they start to turn from the martial skills of the hunter and begin to focus on the druid’s more mystical abilities.

    The possible quests at this point are practically limitless. Different druids will have different priorities and your gameplay will exhibit that. I tried to play reactively to whatever events are happening around me. For example if you keep running into vampire ambushes, or are approached by a certain orc, you may decide to join the Dawnguard and rid Skyrim of a very unnatural scourge, not to mention that the peril of Alduin is something that every druid would take note of, below are some recommended quests that fit the druid character.

    • Companions Questline: At least up to The Silver Hand to show your devotion to the hunt. I recommend finishing the questline in order to gain access to the Totems of Hircine quests.
    • Ill Met by Moonlight: If you pursue the Companions quests than this one is a natural progression as the druid explores their new found power.
    • Repairing the Phial/The White Phial: These two quests are very appropriate for druid character, it makes perfects sense for one who is so skilled in Alchemy to pursue the legendary White Phial.
    • A Return to Your Roots: Another Alchemy centric quest, follow in the footsteps of Sinderion and study the mysterious Crimson Nirnroot.
    • Skaal Village Quests: The Skaal as a people hold many of the same beliefs as the Druids of Galen, it would me natural for the druid character to feel some kinship to this hearty tribe.
    • Tel Mithryn Quests: There are a few important spells that the druid will want to get ahold of, and they can only be found among the eccentric Telvanni.

    There are many more possible quests and side quests that the druid would find himself drawn too. I encourage you let the road be your guide and see what kind of adventures you find.

    Druid magic is the heartbeat of the natural world. It is unique in its broad suite of abilities and restricted in its natural sources. The classic fantasy druid is usually associated with certain abilities unique to the class, specifically animal companions, shapeshifting, and the control of nature like making plants grow or summoning a storm. Furthermore, druids are known for their mastery of the natural world and their ability to track woodland creatures and to prevent themselves from being tracked as they disappear into the undergrowth. Druids were also known to turn enemies into harmless animals like mice and toads, powerful druids could even turn foes into trees or petrify them completely. I have organized the powers of the druid into six categories; shapeshifting, animal friendship, plant control, weather magic, camouflage, and petrifaction. Below I’ve outlined each of these abilities.

    Shape shifting:   (Beast Form, Oak Flesh, Stone Flesh, Iron Flesh, Ebony Flesh, Dragonhide, Bones of the Earth) The obvious answer to the druids shape changing ability is lycanthropy. Furthermore the malleable nature of the druid’s physical form allows him to harden his skin against damage.  

    Animal Friendship: (Druid’s Amulet powered Conjuration potions with Reanimation Staves, Dog followers, Barbas, Conjure Werebear, Courage, Calm, Rally, Pacify, Kyne’s Peace, Animal Allegiance, Command Animal, Voice of the Sky) All of these abilities play a part in the druids ability to communicate with wild animals. The Druid’s Amulet is an exploit I’ve used before in the Chirurgeon build, the druid uses the same method but instead uses it to obtain a permanent animal follower in addition to his hunting hounds.

    Plant Control: (Miraak's Staff, Miraak's Robes, Mora’s Agony) These abilities represent the druid’s ability to control plant life causing sudden bursts of grasping poisonous vines. The power of this skill cannot be over stated, the druid will find that he has complete control over the battlefield once he masters this skill.

    Weather Magic: (Whirlwind Cloak, Frostbite, Ice Storm, Sparks, Lightning Bolt, Thunder Bolt, Frost Cloak, Blizzard, Lightning Storm, Storm Call, Clear Skies, Unrelenting Force, Cyclone, North Wind) All of the spells and shouts chosen here represent the natural elements of a powerful storm, note that ice spike and icy spear as well as runes are not taken. The point is to use only natural effects and those spells show the influence of a more refined casting style, one not appropriate for the wild nature of the druid.

    Camouflage: (Muffle, Invisibility) These spells combine with the sneak skill to replicate the druid’s ability to fade into the forest and confound any attempt to track him down. Fantasy druids often boast powerful camouflaging spells and the ability to “pass without trace” whenever they are traveling in their natural element, be it forests, caves, deserts, or any other type of terrain.

    Petrifaction: (Ash Shell, Mora’s Grasp) The final ability that druids display is the ability to turn foes into animals, plants, or simply stone. Ash shell is the perfect simulation for this skill allowing the druid to remove troublesome foes for a brief period of time, and it can be repurposed to protect our animal companion from death rendering them temporarily invulnerable to the enemy and our own area of effect spells.

    The druid is a solitary figure who eschews the company of man and mer. Instead he chooses to surround himself with animals and nature spirits, in this way he is never alone. This character will almost always have an animal companion following him. The early Wildheart levels will make use of Meeko or Vigilance. Eventually the druid will add another hound to his hunting party with Barbas. Barbas is unique not only for being invulnerable but he acts as an extra follower, allowing you to have two hounds. If he ever over stays his welcome you can dismiss him and he will return to Vile’s shrine waiting for you to request his services once again. In order to keep Barbas as a follower you need to forgo completing his quest.

    Once the ritual has been completed we will be able to ally ourselves with other animals besides our two dogs. Through the use of a Staff of Revenants (one can be found in an unmarked ruin just south of Morthal) and a Druid’s Charm potion we will be able to raise animal followers. The Druid’s Charm Potion will make our conjuration effects last for hundreds of hours while the staff will keep our new friend from turning to ash. The Staff of Revenants can only affect targets up to level 9, and the Staff of Dread Zombies only affects targets up to level 12. Below I’ve outlined the creatures that each staff can “charm” into becoming our new companion. I call this the Binding Ritual and it is used to bind the souls of the druid and the beast together, creating a familiar of sorts.

    Staff of Revenant Familiars

    • Wolf/Ice Wolf: Wolves of both varieties act in similar ways. The Ice Wolf is by far the more powerful choice having greater health, damage potential, and 50% frost resistance. Wolves are unique in that they have very good pathfinding, I rarely found them caught on a small rock or turning in circles. They are also very fast and are the best followers when it comes to keeping pace with a galloping horse. Note that wolves will not follow you into ruins or major cities but will be waiting for your return at the entrance.
    • Saber Cat: While more powerful than wolves, and capable of dealing much more damage, Saber Cats are plagued with buggy pathfinding, and will often get caught on the smallest of terrain features. Like the wolves they also will not follow you into most ruins or cities, instead waiting by the entrance. Speaking of wolves, Saber Cats have an irrational fear of wolves and will flee any combat with them. I don’t know why this is but whenever a wolf showed up my cat would run for the hills.
    • Spriggan: Probably the best choice for the druid Spriggans line up with the nature reverence of the character and have abilities that mimic the druid’s own. Note that the animals summoned by the spriggan will still be hostile to you so Voice of the Sky is highly recommended if you choose a spriggan follower. There is a guaranteed spriggan corpse that can be found at Orphan Rock making them not only the strongest but also the easiest familiar to reliably obtain.
    • Frostbite Spider: Spiders make good familiars they have decent pathfinding and will follow you into ruins. They are also the only familiar that has a ranged attack, not counting the spriggan’s spray, making them particularly useful against living targets in wide open areas. You can also add to them with spider scrolls creating a truly unnerving swarm. Only the standard variety of spider can be made a familiar however there is some variance among them, as a rule of thumb bigger spiders are stronger and white ones are stronger than brown ones.

    Staff of Dread Zombies Familiars

    • Snowy Saber Cat: The Snowy Saber Cat is the most powerful familiar you can obtain with the highest stats and damage output and with a respectable 50% frost resistance. Unfortunately they still suffer from the same issues as their weaker brown cousins.
    • Bear: The basic black bear is only level 12 making them the only bear that can be made into a familiar. I suggest entering some bear caves when you’re a Wildheart to set the caves level making finding one of these guys easier later on since they become very rare past level 12. Bears are slightly weaker than snowy saber cats but they don’t suffer from the same bugs making them ideal for exploring dungeons. Bears are pretty slow so you may find yourself waiting for them to catch up, and they have the annoying habit of standing up and yelling at every enemy before they start fighting.
    • Chaurus: The Chaurus acts like an upgrade to the Frostbite Spider, having more health and damage potential than the spiders and still possessing their signature ranged attack. Only the standard chaurus can be made a familiar.

    The Druids Oath: The Druids oath forbade them from wearing metal armor or using metal weapons. This is a role-play choice that serves to create an aesthetic that evokes the wild druid clad in furs and wielding a staff. There are actually quite a few choices even with this restriction in mind. Useful enchantments will be harder to come by since this character doesn’t perk the skill, you could go with the base magnitude enchantment on some items, or just make do with what you find. Below is my recommended armor set, one that will make you look like a true avatar of the wild.

    Avatar of the Wild Armor Set:

    Helmet of the Old Gods: Comes pre-enchanted with +30 Magicka.

    Skaal Coat: Self enchanted with +20 Health

    Skaal Gloves: Self enchanted with +20 Magicka

    Skaal Boots: Self enchanted with Muffle

    A male character wearing this set looks very imposing. The helmet’s antlers add height to the character while the Skaal armor pieces add bulk. Even the skinniest little Bosmer will look like a giant and fearsome opponent when wearing this set.

    For weapon’s the druid will mostly rely on the ancient Nettlebane to deliver poisons, switching to a Forsworn Bow for ranged applications. The heavy staff use of this character will see a need to fill all those excess soul gems at some point. For this I enchanted a Forsworn Sword with Fiery Soul Trap, one of the best weapon enchantments available. I called the weapon Briarheart Geis, after the unobtainable weapon in the game.

    Briarheart Geis: Forsworn Sword self-enchanted with 1 second Fiery Soul Trap.

    The primary weapons of the druid are going to be his staves, and he will be carrying several of these at all times. Druids channel much of their magic through their staves, the use of which allows the druid to gain access to raw elemental destruction without needing to level the Destruction skill. Below are the staves that the druid will use regularly, chosen for their primitive appearance.

    Eye of Melka: Used for dishing out large amounts of ranged damage to multiple enemies, this staff can be found in Blind Cliff Cave.

    Forsworn Staff: A staff of flames chosen for its primitive appearance. Not every enemy needs to be blasted into oblivion. This staff is best for weaker enemies or to set off oil traps.

    Miraak’s Staff: This powerful staff contains the power of an archdruid and is able to call forth grasping vines that entangle and poison enemies.

    Staff of Hags Wrath: This staff is used in conjunction with paralysis poisons to eliminate a single target while you focus on other dangers.

    Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson: The go to staff of the druid, useful for taking pot shots at enemies that are currently fighting your companions. Really shines against dragons.

    Staff of Revenants:   This staff is used purely for the creation of animal followers and can be found in an unmarked ruin southeast of Morthal.

    A central skill to this build and probably the most important, alchemy will patch up many holes in the druid’s defense and adds necessary weight to his offence. This skill also fits thematically with the druid’s knowledge and reverence of the natural world. Below are some of the mixtures that will be used most often with this build. The ingredients are chosen based on the relative ease in finding them, or the ability to grow them in gardens.

    Aurybyd: Yellow Mountain Flower, Salt Pile (Fortify Restoration) This is probably the most important, and sacred mixture that the druid will make use of, and it is only used once. This special potion is central to the Druids of Galen initiation ritual and is imbibed as part of the oath. This powerful potion is used to perform the restoration loop explained in detail as part of the “Oath of Galen”.

    Berserker’s Draught: Elves Ear, Garlic, Juniper Berries (Fortify Marksman, Regenerate Health) This potent potion strengthens the druid’s connection to his primal being boosting his regeneration to troll like levels and instilling in him the strength of a bear. Thanks to a bug Fortify Marksman potions actually increase all physical damage dealt by the player, not just the damage of bows.

    Spider’s Bite: Canis Root, Imp Stool, Mora Tapenella (Lingering Damage Health, Paralysis) This is the druid’s go to poison. A single arrow coated in this substance will render even the most powerful enemy helpless while they are torn apart by your animal companions, or set alight with your Staff of Hag’s Wrath.

    Druid’s Charm: Bone Meal, Lavender, Druid’s Amulet (Fortify Conjuration) This potion combined with a Staff of Revenants or Staff of Dread Zombies will create reanimated minions that have durations in the hundreds of hours. Using this method the druid is able to effectively gain permanent animal familiars.

    Star Dew: Red Mountain Flower, Creep Cluster (Restore Magika) A simple potion that restores magicka allowing the druid to maintain his magic defenses and keep healing his companions.

    Common Poultice: Blue Mountain Flower, Wheat (Restore Health, Fortify Health) A simple poultice made from common ingredients that are readily available to the druid.

    Hag’s Wrath: Glowing Mushroom, Nightshade (Fortify Destruction) The druid uses this potion alongside his fire staves to reach new levels of destruction. This potion is most useful during the later stages of the build, when the power of the staves start to reach their limit.

    One of the most attractive elements of this build is the evolving combat style. The early Wildheart levels see a hunter or guerilla approach to combat. You will spend much of your time sneaking into enemy camps and eliminating sentries from a distance before closing in to support your hound. Most fights will be started by you as you fire off a few arrows into the enemy ranks, killing weaker targets and softening up stronger ones. Spider’s Bite will be fantastic in this regard giving the Wildheart an edge against living enemies. Mind your hound, be sure to give him a shot of Courage before he races off to the frontlines, and then follow up later with some healing magic to keep him in the fight. When you want to enter the fray yourself drink a Berserker’s Draught, then attack the enemy head on with your sword and dagger.

    Undead can be problematic for the Wildheart, the dependence on poison to control the battlefield leaves this character rather vulnerable against this particular enemy, as such try to avoid them as much as possible. Fire magic, like our staves, is the go to weapon when all else fails. The Staff of Hag’s Wrath is particularly useful since the wall of fire will not harm our companions as long as you don’t spray it directly on them. The Eye of Melka is tempting but risky, if you decide to use it be careful the last thing you want is to blow up your faithful companion. If you find yourself delving into one of the many barrows that dot Skyrim be sure to stock up on Common Poultices and Star Dew. Liberal use of the Muffle spell is also recommended for these dangerous environs.

    I usually wait until after performing the Druid’s Oath before unlocking dragons. However, this is mostly just role-play since I see part of becoming a druid as gaining the ability to use the voice. Still if you decide to unlock dragons sooner they aren’t that terribly difficult to kill. They are actually a bit easier to take on than the undead. First you rarely have to deal with more than one, and second they can be poisoned unlike the undead. This means that you can let your hound distract them while you pepper their flanks with poisoned arrows. The Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson is particularly useful against dragons when you want them to land, just a few blasts from this staff will deplete them of magicka removing their dreaded breath weapon and forcing them to land and fight you on your terms.

    The approach to combat starts to change after taking the oath. At first it’s just in small ways, for instance our poisons and potions are far more powerful. Spider’s Bite will be capable of our right killing many enemies instead of just leaving them vulnerable to our hounds. The Berserker’s Draught will really live up to its namesake, allowing us to tank damage like a hardened orc and dish it out in kind. This is just the most noticeable difference but doesn’t in itself change much of how the character plays. The real change comes in the form of our magic. With a new companion in addition to your two hounds the druid will be spending much of the fight healing his charges and renewing their courage for the fight.

    Soon we will learn powerful spells like ash shell which we will use to remove powerful enemies from a fight until the whole party can focus on them, or to protect one of our companions rendering them temporarily invulnerable, and allowing us to use some of our more powerful area attacks like the Eye of Melka without fear of harming a companion.


    Thank you all for reading. This is the largest and most in depth character build that I have attempted and I hope you enjoyed reading this build as much as I have enjoyed writing it. The Druid class from D&D has always been one of my favorites, in fact my very first D&D character was a druid, and I’ve wanted to create the archetype in Skyrim for some time now, I hope to have succeeded. If you like what you saw here then please check out the Faction Build that I created to go along with this Character Build, and of course leave a like and let me know what you think.


  • October 21, 2016

    This is a beautiful build, Vargr, both in terms of presentation and gameplay. Very cool way to introduce a permanent animal follower and by, far, my favorite way that an exploit has been explained.  Makes it not feel like an exploit.  I wonder, though, this work with the patches? 

  • October 21, 2016

    You sold me on an exploit and it is a rare thing to sell this Old Fart on an exploit. Great job. 

  • October 21, 2016
    Thanks Liss, I'm not sure what works with the patch since I play on console it's not something I usually consider.
  • Member
    October 22, 2016
    This is one of the most thorough and well presented builds I've seen. Being a big Druid fan this one clicks all the boxes I've been looking for. A lot of well-thought out, solid work!
  • Member
    October 22, 2016
    Love this build.
  • Member
    October 23, 2016

    This is very inspiring Vargr.

  • Member
    October 24, 2016

    Have to say your way of presenting the Resto loop has sold me on that one. Really make it sound far less tedious that I thought.

    And the presentation is awsome, kudos for the nice pictures. Make me want to finaly try some forsworn druid soon.

  • Member
    October 24, 2016
    I think it should be noted that your alchemy skill needs a minimum value to do the restore loop. If not you will plateau and not able to have it rise farther. If need be, using salmon roe will level it quickly. One potion = 1 level till mid 40's
  • ACD
    October 26, 2016
    You say that this build is not lore friendly. I would have to disagree. Yes, you use the loop but you do it because this character needs to. What you do after the exploit was superb and fire the game perfectly. I will definitely be druiding in the near future.