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Character Build: The Parasite

Tags: #Character Build Battlemage  #Character Build Mage Armor  #Character Build Vampire  #Race:Orsimer  #SE Rank:Apprentice  #Tysoyaha 
  • October 11, 2017




    The Parasite was designed as the counterpart to the Mystic Artificer. Similar to that build, it's a spellcaster that requires no investment in magic, leaving those stats free to be placed elsewhere. However, unlike that build (which wields various artifacts to harness his mystical abilities), the parasitic mage drains his enemies of their magical and life sustaining energies in order to power his magic. He can catch spells that have been cast at him, absorb the vitality of others, force them to do his bidding and even execute magic using his own blood. Luckily, as the champion of Malak he is more than hearty enough to do so and still survive a heated battle.




    You are Tartarus, Harald of the god-king Malak and defender of the spurned and ostracized. You've been chosen as the hero of the Orsimer, taker of the sworn oath and wielder of the bloody curse. This makes you capable of channeling your own vitality into amazing feats of mysticism, as well as stealing and controlling the life forces of others. Malak loathes weakness and has chosen only the strongest of Orcs throughout history to accept his gift (which may also be out of necessity, as the gift itself requires great strength and sacrifice to wield).


    Although the champions of Malak are unsurprisingly absent in the history books, you've grown up hearing tales of their great feats and awe inspiring abilities. As a child you knew that you would one day follow in the footsteps of your idols, and even as an unseasoned adventurer you are already primed to become by far the most powerful amongst them. You are bound by your moral obligation to represent the God of Curses and as such will always stridently side with the misunderstood and the outcast. Naturally, this makes you a strong ally of the Volkihar clan and sworn enemy to Belenos, the Mystic Artificer (who calls Fort Dawnguard home).





    Race - Orsimer

    Make him really ugly and with the most exaggerated teeth you can. He's a hero amongst the followers if Malacath, so he's strong but definitely not handsome.

    Standing Stone - The Lord Stone

    This gives us some nice bulk without rewarding any "consolation mana" if you fail to catch a spell like the Atronach Stone would.

    Magic/Health/Stamina - 0/5/1

    Stamina is important for kiting attacks, but Health will be doing the job of two attributes. So add as little Stamina as you can and load up on Health.

    Skills - Block, Heavy Armor, Alteration, Smithing

    These are all skills that lend themselves well to building bulk and defense. This is important because we want to both capitalize on this characters massive health stat, and compensate for the fact that casting magic will be draining that health.

    Shouts - Dismay, Bend Will, Dragon Aspect

    In early levels when the Bloody Sacrament strategy can leave you extremely vulnerable, dismay is literally a lifesaver. Later, it can be combined with Dragon Aspect to lessen the danger of lowering your own health while also benefiting from doing so (in the form of a powerful conjure).

    Powers - Berserker Rage

    The double damage applies to unarmed damaged, so combined with the double defense this power is really helpful if you ever find yourself without enough health or mana for spellcasting.

    Spells - Ebonyflesh, Equilibrium, Vampiric Drain Missile

    The Vampire Lord version of Vampiric Drain only uses a base value of 10 mana to absorb 15 health while the regular version uses 6 mana to absorb 2 health per second. Both will gradually increase in power, but the ratio remains the same. This means that you can get away with the regular vampiric drain at lower difficulties, but the missile version is necissary to balance build at higher ones where equilibrium will use more health to replace the same amount of mana. See Tips/Tricks for instructions on acquiring this spell.

    Diseases - Witbane

    This helps make you more reliant on using health or catching spells in order to cast magic. It's not required, but it does make the build more challenging and fun.

    Weapons - Unarmed

    Notes: There may be times when you end up with low mana and not enough health to convert, so we've made sure punching things is still an acceptable option.

    Armor - Konahrik, Jagged Crown, Miraak's Robes, Ahzidals Gauntlets, Ahzidals Boots, Spellbreaker

    Ahzidal's Gauntlets and Spellbreaker work well together because the Elemental Protection perk reduces incoming spell damage whenever you're blocking, making it an effective way of counteracting the reduced ward efficiency caused by Ahzidal's Gauntlets. 

    Jewellery - Ring of the Beast, Necromancer's Amulet

    At 100 Alteration and fully perked Ebonyflesh still cost slightly more than 100 mana to cast. Meaning that, with no mana investment, you'd be stuck with Ironflesh even at higher levels. The Necromancer's Amulet fixes that, but stunts regen enough to keep things interesting.





    Heavy Armor - Your robes will keep a lot of heavy armor perks from being useful, but maxing Juggernaut is still a good priority to have. After that, Fists of Steel will give you an edge whenever you have to result to unarmed attacks and Conditioning helps you to stay mobile, so both are useful perks.


    Smithing - Since you won't have a full set of heavy armor, and because what you will be wearing it isn't exactly the strongest in the game, you're going to want to get the most out of what you've got. These are all the perks you'll need to max your armor rating.


    Block - Shield Wall and Deflect Arrows help reduce any damage you take, while Quick Reflexes and Block Runner will help you avoid taking any in the first place. Elemental Protection works by reducing the damage of your enemies spells (as opposed to increasing your resistance), which means it will also double the effectiveness of Spellbreaker's ward. A must-have for spellcatching.


    Alteration - With this build, casting protection spells is a high-risk, high reward strategy. The longer they last and the less they cost, the more valuable they become. Stability and Expert Alteration provide this, and magic resistance just adds some bulk.



    Special Tactics:


    The Sworn Oath and the Bloody Curse

    Equilibrium and Vampiric Drain have great synergy together. By dual wielding these spells together you can effectively cycle your health into mana and then back again while damaging enemies in the process. With no spells to absorb, this will be your primary strategy when facing melee fighters.

    Requires: Equilibrium, Vampiric Drain 



    When facing mages you're better off absorbing any spells cast at you than having to use your own health for mana. It takes a second for Spellbreakers ward to charge, and keeping a shield raised makes kiting difficult. So you might want to practice timing it so that you only need to have your shield raised just long enough to "catch" a spell (and maybe shield bash someone if you have to) before continuing to dodge and weave.

    Requires: Spellbreaker, Ward Absorb


    The Bloody Sacrament

    A risky, but rewarding pre-battle strategy is to activate Dragon Aspect, cast the strongest flesh spell you can, and then use equilibrium to refill your mana. By the time your mana is full your health will be low enough to have spawned an Ancient Dragonborn, then you can just equip Spellbreaker and start spaming vampiric drain as fast as you can to recover your health before the AR boost wears off.

    Requires: Dragon Aspect, Ebonyflesh, Equilibrium






    Change the Difficulty Instead of Healing - Equilibrium and Vampiric Drain are most balanced at Expert. Anything higher and Equilibrium will use more health than Vampiric Drain will absorb, gradually leaving you with less and less over time. Anything lower and it'll won't use as much health, effectively allowing Vampiric Drain to be used to heal you. Actual potions and restoration spells are extremely unbalanced with this build.


    Defender of the Spurned and Ostracized - As a follower of Malak you naturally side with the minority, you're the fierce bite of the underdog. This means joining the Stormcloaks, helping the Foresworn, not destroying the Dark Brotherhood, ect...any time you're faced with choosing a side just ask yourself who the outcasts are and align yourself with them






    Vampiric Drain Missile in Human Form - For this exploit you'll need a bound sword. Equip the bound sword spell to your right hand, activate your vampire lord form and immediately cast bound sword during the delay. If timed properly, you should see the bound sword in your hand as you transform. Then open your favorites menu and select revert form. Activate it and as soon as the screen goes blurry, open the favorites menu again and reselect it. Everything else in the menu should disappear. Exit the menu and continue your transformation back to human. You should now have the bloody curse equipped to your right hand.

  • October 11, 2017

    This is a really fun looking build, Tysoyaha. Starting at the beginning, the idea is just an interesting one, a build focused on magic without any of the...well Magicka is just an interesting concept and I like the way you've pulled it off, especially the little uses of Equilibrium and Vampire Drain Missle. The other thing I really liked, though it is something that I think would be interesting to expand on, is the way that this is linked to The Mystic Artificer. Just looking at the idea of having two builds which are connected is something that isn't done very often, and I think that it's a really cool idea (without reading the other build that is). I'd like to see that a bit more I think, dunno, just something that might be interesting to see.

    Other than that, I just wanted to help with tags and maybe offer a few suggestions. Actually, I'll start off with my suggestion, really it's just removing some of the white space which makes the build feel a lot clunkier than it needs to be. Right tags, so the tags can be kind of difficult to focus on, but here's how this build's tags should look.

    Race:Orsimer, Character Build Vampire, Character Build Battlemage, Character Build Mage Armor, SE Rank: Novice

    That way it'll connect with all of the archives and all that. I'll drop my like here because it's a really awesome build. 

  • October 12, 2017

    Thanks man, I appreciate the advice. I'll fix the tags in a bit. Though the white space thing is something I attempted to get rid of already and it doesn't seem to work. I'm on mobile so that might be contributing to my weird formatting issues... I'll have to try to figure out why that is happening.

  • October 12, 2017

    Yep, that'd probably be the mobile version of the site, tends to be good for...commenting I suppose but not much else. If you'd like I could go in and remove it for you. Not even sure if it's possible to change the tags on mobile so just let me know and I'll take a crack at it :D

  • October 16, 2017

    Another great build Tysoyaha.  I've played my fare share of Bloodmages, even created one of my own.  I do have a question about your armor, is there a reason for the Jagged Crown and Azidhal's Boots besides looks?

  • October 16, 2017

    It's fun doing builds without magicka investment, isn't it? My Urag messes with similar concepts, so I always enjoy seeing a nice magic-oriented Orsimer build. Great use of Ring of the Beast too. 


  • October 16, 2017
    Thanks Vargr! I do have reasons for choosing that equipment, but they are admittedly a bit contrived and changing them wouldn't really hurt the build. The boots are RP based, it's true they match well but they also keep you from having to swim...which this character would consider to be a very vulnerable position, strategically and visually. Both of which Tartarus would be aware of and concerned with. The crown stacks with your mask and recoups a bit of the armor rating you lose by not wearing Ahzidal's Chest Piece. Of coarse, I only wore the robes in the first place because I wanted some kind of on-strike retaliation, but found Ahzidal's paralyze effect a bit excessive. You could probably loose the crown entirely and still wear the robes though since the point is that much of your bulk comes from massive amounts of health.
  • October 16, 2017
    Thank you Mr. Chapter. It was pretty fun, I have a lot of these "challenge" builds where I explore concepts similar to mana-less mages. It's like solving a puzzle, you know? I'll try to copy some more over to the vault soon.
  • October 16, 2017

    Tysoyaha said: Thank you Mr. Chapter. It was pretty fun, I have a lot of these "challenge" builds where I explore concepts similar to mana-less mages. It's like solving a puzzle, you know? I'll try to copy some more over to the vault soon.

    Oh I agree. My last build was a flash event build that finished the Mainquest and the Companions before without passing level 5. Yes, of course, you can do it at level 1, but there is fun and varied gameplay in allowing it to increase to level five and also the build becomes richer, IMO. After my FO build, I'm working for Deebs on his brilliant one-skill concept builds. If I'm lucky, I'll get my Heavy Armor perked build out for the Halloween event.