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Character Build: The Moon Bishop

Tags: #Character Build Monk  #Character Build Witchhunter  #Character Build Supporter  #Race:Khajiit  #Phil 
  • Member
    August 12, 2017

    Wayback Machine tells me it was 17th February 2015 when I first posted this. I have polished it up some but otherwise changed little else.


    A true cat hunts without rest for the Right Trail, trying one after another of the endless paths Jone and Jode dance into the sky even when paws ache and throats cry for milk. They have worn more trails than there are grains of sugar in all the world, and it is easy for a cat to grow bored and abandon the chase. And this is why the Moon Bishop inspires the kittens, sharing stories of the oldest times, nudging them back to the hunt. ~Trail and Tides.

    Moon Bishops are respected in Khajiit society as spiritual leaders and religious guides. Part priest, part philosopher, part monk, they act as shepherds to their feline flock. Unlike most priests, a Moon Bishop doesn't revere a specific deity but rather embraces the entire Khajiiti pantheon, recognising the role each god plays in shaping and sculpting their race as a whole. However, they also understand the dangers the darker gods pose and so Moon Bishops guide the Khajiit people to the right path - the trail leading to the Sands Behind The Stars.

    As a variation of the traditional Monk, the Moon Bishop uses many of the base class's skillset with the added distinction of using magical staves as the primary means of offence. The Wabbajack, the Staff of Magnus, Sanguine Rose and Miraak's Staff are gifts from Khajiiti gods and will each see extensive use. Despite having many support skills at his disposal, the Moon Bishop need not solely be a support character. Conjuration, Marksman and Sneak ensure he remains viable without the need of a follower.

    Should you choose not to walk the trails alone, however, the guiding and nurturing aspects of the role can be explored by taking a Khajiit follower while doing all the quests from the gods of Khajiiti faith, using the support spells such as Healing Hands and Courage in combat. 

    Race: Khajiit, a follower of the Riddle'Thar.

    Standing Stone: The Lady. Twin blessings from the Twin Moons, this Stone is useful for an agile Monk.

    Equipment: Enchanted Robes, Enchanted Hood, Ahzidal's Gauntlets of Warding, Ahzidal's Boots of Waterwalking.

    Weapons: Wabbajack, The Staff of Magnus,  Miraak's Staff, Sanguine Rose and Bound Bow.

    Powers: Black Book: Companion's Insight, Agent of Mara.

    Major Skills: Conjuration, Enchanting, Restoration.

    Minor Skills: Archery, Illusion, Sneak.

    Shouts: Whirlwind Sprint, Animal Allegiance, Battle Fury.

    Blessing: Magic Resistance 10% from Azurah


    Conjuration: Novice - Master, Mystic Binding, Soul Stealer Oblivion Binding, Necromancy, Dark Souls, Twin Souls.

    To banish the dro-m'Athra, there are two ways: the Way of Jone and the Way of Jode.

    Calling upon the power of the moons, a Moon Bishop can banish or control dark spirits. Similarly, he can call them from the realms of the gods to aid in combat. Summoning a spectral bow in order to capture white souls in Azurah's Star will ensure the other means of offense, the staves, never run out of charges.

     Enchanting: Enchanter 5/5, Soul Squeezer, Insightful Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter.

    But not every cat will know Khenarthi's tender embrace at the end of their days, and not every soul will fly beyond to bask in the warmth without end.

    The Moon Bishop uses Azurah's gift to capture white souls to use in self-empowering enchantments and the recharging of magical staves. Fortify Health enchantments on his humble Monk Robes will aid survivability, while Fortify Restoration items will help sustain his protective wards.

    Restoration: Novice - Master, Recovery 2/2, Avoid Death, Regeneration, Ward Absorb.

    Every cat can see the moons, feel the caress of their sweet light as it shines on fur. Every cat feels the tug of the tides, the rhythm of the Two Moons Dance that cannot be ignored.

    To the Moon Bishop, the life which flows through the veins of every creature is affected by the pull of the Two Moons Dance. From turning undead and warding against dark magic, to healing himself and allies, the Moon Bishop uses the full range of spells from the Restoration school.

    Archery: Overdraw 5/5, Eagle Eye, Steady Hand 1/2

    Priests use the Way of Jode, which is to bathe the moonless dark in bright lunar light. And this way is a better way, for bent spirits thus banished do not return.

    The Moon Bishop uses conjured bow glowing with the light of the moons to take down enemies at range, banish or turn summoned foes and capture white souls for enchanting. Used with stealth, this cat can eliminate enemy archers who would otherwise pose a significant threat.

     Illusion: Novice - Master, Animage, Kindred Mage, Quiet Casting, Hypnotic Gaze, Aspect of Terror, Rage, Master of the Mind.

    Fear may seize the soul, confuse the mind, and baffle the senses.

    Using Quiet Casting, a Moon Bishop can control the flow of battle without being seen. When roaming the wilds of Skyrim, a calm or fear spell will allow him to control the wildlife, or if in battle prevent enemies form getting too close. Master of the Mind will allow you to use your buffing spells on living as well as reaninmated allies.

     Sneak: Stealth 3/5

    Sometimes these dancers seep up through the cracks in Nirni to the moonlit world, and walk among us as if made of moonless night.

    Like the dro-m'Athra he hunts, the Moon Bishop can move as silently as moon beams to stalk his prey. When combined with the Quiet Casting perk, he can bring a bit of Sheggorath's madness to the enemy and turn the tide of battle in his favour.


    Wabbajack is the Moon Bishop's primary offense. If this puts you off, see Henson's article: Wabbajack: The Probability of Awesome. In order to ensure that this build will level quickly despite focusing on a staff, ward spells, crowd-controlling illusion spells and conjuration are used frequently in the off-hand. This reliance on staves will also mean the enchanting skill levels quickly due to constantly recharging them. With a ward in the offhand, switching to the occasional Illusion or Turn Undead spell for crowd control, the Moon Bishop has a defense against all enemy types.

    Enemy mages have a bad habit of using wards which render Wabbajack useless. Summons play an important role when dealing with enemy casters, as getting them to exhaust their magicka on a conjured creature is a great way of making them vulnerable. Although Conjuration is part of the Moon Bishop's skillset, I preferred to use the Sanguine Rose due to Sangiin being in the Khajiiti pantheon. The Rose seems to already benefit from the Summoner Perks as a built in feature and will also benefit from Twin Souls when unlocked. This means that the most efficient use of this staff is to get the Twin Souls perk by going up the Necromancy side of the tree. Not a problem for Khajiit, see the Roleplay section below.

    The inclusion of Archery is partly because of the historic Monk Class skillset and also because the Bound Bow is a useful means of soul trapping and turning/banishing enemy summons whilst remaining at a safe distance from melee.

    Later on, the Staff of Magnus will alleviate some of the problems caused by enemy wards. Using both Wabbajack and Magnus' staff against dragons is amazing, if a bit OP...

    At higher levels, the Moon Bishop uses Hermorrah's Staff in conjunction with the Wabbajack and Illusion spells for the ultimate refinement in crowd control. This has a lot to do with the way Miraak's staff effects the chickens, rabbits, dremora and mudcrabs the Wabbajack turns enemies into. In short, Miraak's staff has no effect on them if not cast directly at them.

    This is by no means a bad thing. As Henson points out in his Wabbajack article, when such a transformation occurs it makes for great crowd control. When Miraak's staff is already doing this, you're taking many enemies out of the fight at once. The real fun starts when either the mudcrab or dremora start attacking the enemies around it who are stuck in a slimy morass of tentacle. Because they are immune to them and wander through the ooze with impunity, these transformed creatures can deal a lot of damage during their duration. Not only that, you can set up this effect by placing the tentacles strategically, thereby increasing the probability of the transformed creature attacking those around it. In addition, by keeping the creature close to the tentacles you can ensure it will immediately get stuck when it returns to it's original form.




    "...But not every cat hears the words Jone and Jode whisper as they prowl the celestial barrens between gentle Nirni and the Dark Behind the World, protecting her from the howling in the emptiness"

    We've talked a fair bit about crowd control and wards, now let's take a look at the other tactics of the Moon Bishop. Having close to 0 AR, not all situations make charging in with the Wabbajack the best tactic. Assaulting a bandit fort in which enemy archers have a clear line of sight and terrain advantage can often result in death by an unseen arrow. This is where the skills of Sneak, Archery, Illusion and the Quiet Casting perk come into play. Taking down the snipers with your own keen eye and steady hand will make the coming fight much easier, while you quietly cast spells will help thin out the numbers of melee opponents.


    "...And this is why the Moon Bishop must be the Loudest Cat, to blow the reeking haze away with the strength of his words."

    Choosing to focus on support shouts, especially when taking a follower, I found Whirlwind Sprint, Animal Allegiance and Battle Fury were my most used by a long way. Whirlwind Sprint really brought the agile and highly mobile monk theme to life as I zipped around the battlefield avoiding enemy fire or retreating from a Bandit Chief who got too close for comfort. Animal Allegiance was helpful when low on magicka and caught by surprise by a sabre cat. On the occasions I took Kharjo with me, Battle Fury (along with the Black Book power Companion's Insight) made switching to a support role much more fun.

    "...Warriors use the Way of Jone, which is to unsheathe the claws and strike the darkness until it is no more. And this way is a good way, for everyone who is strong of heart and claw can use it."

    When all else fails, the Moon Bishop can rely on his fists and claws by using The Two-Moons Dance style. Kaiser mentioned in the Build's Workshop discussion using unarmed along with the Staff of Magnus which speeds up the punch attacks considerably. Great advice for when all else fails. In addition to this tactic, there is a handy glitch which seems to work with any staff, although only appears to work on Xbox thanks to Teccam's testing. If you switch to and from a spell effect in the off hand using the favourites menu, you produce a different effect - the punching animation isn't completed, but makes full contact nearly instantaneously with no recovery time. It is also quicker than the SoM effect. You can do some serious damage with these swift flurries of punches. For those who prefer this form of combat, investing in a couple of perks on the Heavy Armour skill tree to unlock Fists of Steel would be very helpful.

    The Mind of Madness

    Straight from Helgen this needs to be top priority. With no level cap, this powerful item can be with you for almost the entire game. Still not sold on the idea of a sane person using Wabbajack? Consider all the other artefacts we use without needing a gimmicky build to make them work. Also, Sheogorath gives Wabbajack to the Moon Bishop with no strings attached.

    The Black Star

    With the Wabbajack in possession, the Moon Bishop needs a way to keep it constantly charged. Azura's Star is the perfect item for such a task, not to mention the benefits it will have on Enchanting. Available at level eight, this quest should be done as soon as possible. Needless to say the Moon Bishop would side with Azurah.

    The Main Quest

    By getting as far as Diplomatic Immunity, The Moon Bishop has learned the first word of Whirlwind Sprint and banked another soul in order to unlock the next. Purely for RP, I got as far as Throat of the World in order to gain Clear Skies; I liked being able to see the moons when travelling by night.

    College of Winterhold

    The Moon Bishop's goal with this questline is getting his paws on the Staff of Magnus. This holy artefact waits at the end of a fun questline which has the added benefits of giving access to skill trainers along the way.

    A Night to Remember

    Sanguine Rose, Sagiin the Blood Cat's artefact is another very fitting staff for this build. Rather than conjure his own daedra and risk feeling his tail twitch to the beat of the Bent Dance, the Moon Bishop uses Sagiin's gift to do this for him.

    Dragonborn DLC

    Completing the main questline to get Miraak's Staff is the main goal here. However, getting hold of Ahzidal's Boots and Gauntlets from the Unearthed quest and the Battle Fury Shout from the quest Lost Legacy should also be done along the way, the latter depending on how much you use a follower.

    The Book of Love

    A respected figure in Khajiiti religion, this easy quest is something the Moon Bishop should make time for. Mara's magic resistance blessing, the Agent of Mara perk, will considerably help offset this character's weaknesses. When combined with the Azura's Blessing from Raven Rock Temple, we are looking at a baseline MR of 25%. This can easily be increased thanks to the Enchanting skill, should the need arise.

    Skyrim is a dangerous place, especially to cats used to the hot sands and clear skies of Elsweyr. Yet even to this one's ears rumours reached of a great darkness stirring in that far off frozen land. So S'vashad made the journey, walking until his paws were raw and his heart weary. Yet this one is tireless and relentless, never giving up despite how the winds of Khenarthi might blow or the ground quake form the boisterous playing of the Ja'Khajiit.

    Fearing the dro-m'Athra may be involved, this one finally crossed the last border, guided all the way by the two moons.

    This one rarely needed to buy food, Sheggorath provided that which Khajiit needed. For cats with sweeter teeth, S'vashad recommends an Elsweyr Fondue, the energy it gave this one helped him greatly when casting Warding spells.

    Speaking of magic, S'vashad is harmonious and respects the natural order. His Illusion magic was very helpful when being attacked by the predators of Skyrim. Nevertheless, white souls were often needed for this one's Enchanting, but never black souls. For that is the way of Bent Cats, the beat of whose dance is always a temptation.

    Although this one used Conjuration, he follows the path of the True Cat and does not traffic with daedra. Sagiin the Blood Cat provided S'vashad with the means to call for help from Oblivion, reducing the risk to him from the Dark Behind the World.

    The raising of corpses is not a problem for Khajiit, for we have an enlightened view of the art. The deserts preserve corpses for hundreds of years in a way that requires very little preparation. Khajiit of the desert tribes are often buried with only a small cairn of stones which are easy to find and uncover. Khajiit show remarkably enlightened indifference to graves being uncovered, for we know the souls of the deceased have already left for the Sands Behind the Stars. Tampering with black souls is not acceptable to this one, however, as nobody has the right to call back unwilling spirits.

    This build is no exception to all my others in that it is hugely derivative. In particular, Alastor's Oracle is the build which finally made me want to play a Monk in Skyrim, but I also referenced all the builds in the Monk category of the Character Building Archives, particularly Team Deathbeast's Monk. Henson's Wabbajack: The Probability of Awesome was a huge inspiration, as was his throwaway comment about Wabbajack and Aetherial Shield being DEVASTATING. So thank you Al and Henson.

    Thank you Golden Fool for saving me from pulling my hair out by cropping the Cat Creature MTG card.

    Thank you to Albino for proofreading, correcting errors and recommending additions.

    Thank you Legion for the ES Legends art that make up the majority of this overhaul.

    Thank you to all the guys in The Workshop: Casey, Caesar, Dragonborn, Kaiser, Al and Borommakot, Zonnonn, Golden Fool, the Lorc, and Sotek for your input, suggestions and kindness.

    Last but not least, thank you for reading.

  • Member
    August 12, 2017

    The section titles realy stand out and is it me or are these new as well? 

    I can see just howl well the qutes would fit in with the different skill groups ect here Paws.

    You done a great job with this.


  • August 12, 2017

    Oh hell yes this looks amazing Phil. I didn't pop by nearly often enough if I missed some of these chaanges because the colouring behind the 'banners' is just excelelnt and those little images next to the skills are just perfect. The build itself is just as great as it was before Phil, a really fun build playing with some really awesome mechanics so, great job you know. :D

  • Member
    August 12, 2017

    Sotek said:

    The section titles realy stand out and is it me or are these new as well? 

    I can see just howl well the qutes would fit in with the different skill groups ect here Paws.

    You done a great job with this.


    Thanks Sotek:) Yeah, those are new, as are all the banners and pictures. Legion's ES Legends art sourced the images, while the symbols came from the skills of Ky0ushu703 on DA:

    Dance of the Three Moons B+W by Ky0ushu703

    Dragonborn1921 said:

    Oh hell yes this looks amazing Phil. I didn't pop by nearly often enough if I missed some of these chaanges because the colouring behind the 'banners' is just excelelnt and those little images next to the skills are just perfect. The build itself is just as great as it was before Phil, a really fun build playing with some really awesome mechanics so, great job you know. :D

    Thank you Deebs: I really wanted to try and convey a sunset over desert sands but Gimp pushed the limit of my skills. Best I could do was what we got now, any longer at it and I would legit toss the laptop out of the window. Your kind words are apprciated :)

  • August 18, 2018

    How does the stat spread go?