Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Obsidian Sentinel

Tags: #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Battlemage  #Rank:Legendary 
  • November 17, 2012

    The ultimate lich-hunter has returned! My search for an interesting twist to use with the ebony armor set is finally over. Prepare for a character that has been given the ultimate blessing….and the ultimate penalty.

    The Obsidian Sentinel

    Deep in Skyrims most frozen labyrinth, entombed within the heart of a mighty glacier, sleeps the Obsidian Sentinel.

    Few know what forbidden sorcery went into its creation or recall the name of the hero enslaved within the dark joints of the symbiotic black armor.

    Now a growing evil far to the east of Skyrim has roused this silent guardian from slumber, and as the ice breaks a disturbing tremor is felt throughout the minds of every mage in Tamriel...

    Race: Unknown

    Stone: Advanced Atronach

    Major Skills: One Handed, Heavy Armor, Smithing, Destruction.

    Minor Skills: Restoration, Alchemy, Block.

    Weapons: The Pale Blade, Ebony Sword.

    Armor: Full Ebony Armor.

    Shouts: Frost Breath, Elemental Fury, Become Ethereal, Marked for Death.



    The Build

    The ‘Sentinel’ range of builds have always brought me a lot of pleasure to play, there is something about running a faceless machine-like warrior that I find strangely compelling.

    The Obsidian Sentinel is a character that has ultimately become trapped by its own power. The build allows for 100% absorption of all spells, poison and disease but such strength comes at a high price in the form of stunted magicka (0% magical regeneration). This terrible curse forces the Sentinel to be what I always intended it to be…a parasite, a being that is drawn unstoppably to magical energy.

    ‘Repressed power’ is perhaps what makes the character so interesting to play. The Sentinel is capable of huge displays of magic but only in the prescence of evil spellcasters. The more powerful the enemy the stronger the Sentinel becomes.

    Physically the Obsidian Sentinel is absolutely dominating, with magical resistance not being an issue this characters combat defences have been taken to an obscene level. The combined health regeneration effect from the armor is so powerful that simply raising shield for a few moments can allow for sustained life support during combat.

    Mastery over frost magic fits this characters history and synergises well with combat abilities. Due to having no standard elemental or magical resistance the Sentinel is perfectly primed for using Blizzard to maximum effect, even manipulating its own biology with weakness to frost potions for complete devastation.


    The Atronach Unleashed...

    This character is going to directly manipulate the atronach standing stone to achieve 100% spell absorption. This can be done fairly quickly depending on how much time you spend on alchemy.

    By using two separate restoration potions prior to selecting the stone we can create a small stacking effect. We are looking to double the power of the stone to achieve…

    • 100% Spell Absorption
    • 100% Magicka Degeneration (Stunted Magicka)
    • 100 Extra Magicka

    The required ingredients to start this process can actually all be picked up as soon as you leave Helgen and visit the guardian stones.

    • Abacean Longfin
    • Cyradilic Spadetail
    • White Cap

    Consuming a potion of restoration (Longfin + Spadetail) and a potion of restoration and frost weakness (Longfin+Spadetail+White Cap) before selecting the atronach stone will boost its power permanently.

    You can check your current rate of spell absorption at any time by looking at your total magicka reserve. For example a fresh character may have 165 magicka after selecting the stone which would mean 65% spell absorption.

    It should be noted that restorations ‘Recovery’ perks also respond to this method so if you’re a hater of stunted magicka you can offset its effect if you wish. I preferred to balance out the character by allowing my magicka regen to decrease as my character grew stronger.

    Level 50 Perk Placement

    Stat Placement: Magicka 1 – Health 3 – Stamina 1

    Due to wearing the ebony armor set and using smithing and alchemy I was able to keep heavy armor perks to a bare minimum. Completing ‘Unfathomable Depths’ early can get you a welcome boost until the ebony armor arrives.

    Shield wall has quickly become a favourite skill of mine. Combined with an enchanted shield damage can be reduced to almost nothing. Elemental protection will eventually be wasted but will pay for itself during the course of this characters creation. Shield Charge is a great perk and can be used to maximum effect once Conditioning is selected from the heavy armor tree. Bash perks have been neglected, they offer nothing on master difficulty.

    Smithing should be an absolute priority during the early levels, putting together the Ebony set is a tall order and heavy armor perks have been kept low deliberately to benefit from the increased armor rating. By excavating the following locations for dwarven materials you can be wearing a full set of ebony as early as level 20 – 25 by creating dwarven bows at a forge.

    • Alftand Ruined Tower
    • Avanchnzel ("Unfathomable Depths" – Essential to the build)
    • Dwemer Museum
    • Gloombound Mine – Enough ebony ore here to create a full set of Legendary Ebony Armor.

    Alchemy is essential to boost the atronach stone and the Sentinels early combat abilities and alchemy will eventually play a big part in this characters ‘finishing move’.

    Destruction will be one of the more rewarding trees with this character. For the first time I’ve selected the Rune Master perk and it is absolutely awesome! I don’t know exactly what it is but there is something incredibly powerful about this perk, runes become the ultimate magical sniping tool and the damage you are able to land during magical battles is immense. It is also a well documented fact that runes increase the destruction skill far faster than any other spell; specialising in runes guarantees that master spells become available. Don't waste any time, select rune master and enjoy demolishing mages with unreal presician…


    Arms and Armor

    We're creating a machine. When I first imagined the Sentinel I visualised a warrior capable of extreme levels of endurance. Sentinels don't rush clumsily into battle, they stalk quietly and unstoppably towards an opponent absorbing high levels of physical and magical damage from every direction before striking with emotionless precision.

    To achieve this I didn't want to rely on magical healing or potions. Magical immunity is just part of what the Obsidian Sentinel is capable of but physical immunity is the holy grail. The key lies in health regeneration.

    This is the Sentinels final loadout. Strong blocking skills and high armor rating allow health to regenerate very nicely even during the heart of combat.

    Healing spells and potions are very rarely needed and so the Sentinel becomes self-reliant, capable of withstanding blows from ancient dragons or Overlords and regenerating before the next attack lands.

    Maximum equipment should be purchased from venders but won't become available till level 38. Grand soul gems can be used on the ebony armor to power it up during the earlier levels, empty enchantment slots are a waste.

    In addition to a standard ebony sword the Sentinel carries the Pale Blade.  It's one of the games more powerful weapons and benefits from this builds dwarven smithing perk, almost reaching an ebony weapons damage potential. The unique 'Frost Terror' enchantment is actually increased by the Sentinels frost augmentations and at its peak influences nearly all of the games strongest enemies including Frost Trolls, Chaurus Reapers, Snow Bears, Bandit Marauders and Forsworn Pillagers.




    Magical conversion is the heart and soul of any atronach build. By offsetting damage with a constant healing spell and bombarding the enemy with a jet of frost the Sentinel can dominate spellcasters and diseased creatures with ease.

    As spell absorption increases healing is no longer needed and destruction spells can be dual cast for heavy damage.

    Requires: Frostbite, Healing, Atronach, Destruction Dual Casting.


    Rune Frenzy

    Rune Master transforms the standard spells into precision death traps, capable of dropping waves of enemy spellcasters in seconds.

    The huge magicka draw of runes greatly increase spell experience, putting The Obsidian Sentinel one step closer to complete destruction mastery.

    Requires: Frost Rune, Rune Master, Dual Casting.


    In keeping with the theme of an unstoppable warrior this characters stagger resistance has been maximised at 75%.

    The Sentinel will barely flinch from even the hardest blows allowing for increased recovery and combat speed. Enemies however will stagger for 25% longer when power attacked.

    Requires: Tower of Strength, Force Without Effort.



    Frozen Onslaught

    Elemental fury will double the Sentinels regular damage output and Deep Freeze will nearly always result in an enemy dropping from hypothermia during the assault.

    Frozen Onslaught is a deadly combination and should be reserved for high level enemies.

    Requires: Frost Cloak, Elemental Fury, Deep Freeze.

    Enervating Terror

    The Pale Blades powerful fear enchantment combined with Marked for Death leaves enemies demoralised and losing energy at an alarming rate.

    Any that manage to build up the courage to face the Sentinel will have been permanently ruined and can be disposed of with a single cleave.  This combination represents the Sentinels dark side, use with caution.

    Requires: Marked for Death, The Pale Blade.


    End of Times

    This build has been carefully tailored around this ability. The Blizzard master spell is unique in that its damage is manipulated directly by the casters own resistances. This character has no magical or elemental resistance and casts Blizzard in its truest form...

    A weakness to frost potion taken before casting can greatly improve the power of the spell.

    Requires: Advanced Blizzard. Weakness to Frost.



    Ben C - For naming this build and inspiring its birth.

    Dark Nemesis Armor Mod by lKocMoHaBTl.

    Music - Teen Wolf by Dino Meneghin.


  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    percentages stack additively, so it'll only be +140%.

    However, if you consume a Fortify Restoration potion before wearing your %, that +140% well be multiplied by the amount of your Restoration %. To keep things simple, let's say you can craft a 150% restoration potion, drink that then re equip your gear, your effective HP regeneration will be: 140% x 2.5, or 350%.

  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    meaning with the two potions to get 100% SA you could also boost the health regen to 280% right?

  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    That's correct, though I don't know about the exact percentages because the potion used to boost SA to 100% will vary in strength.

    For more information about fortify potions and the like you should drop over the Tips and Tricks section.

  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    the percentages are exactly 62% for both potions only that one of them has to have a second effect in this case this is weakness to frost in order for that method to work but thanks for confirming my thoughts about the enchantments being boosted by rest potions

  • January 31, 2014

    The frost weakness part doesn't really factor into the calculation at all (although I thought it did when I originally wrote the build).

    Fortify resto is best done with 3 potions. 2 strong potions and one slightly weaker potion.

    Eg: 49% resto + 45% resto + 49% resto...

    Then equip item/select stone etc...

    When this character was first posted it had 280% health regen (exactly what you're talking about) I edited it out after very casually taking down two falmer shadowmasters. It's overkill, and that's alot coming from me, 140% is enjoyable health regen.

  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    Hmm, not quite Mason. The second effect in potion allows you to stack without the need for weakening your potion, meaning you don't have to mess around with half a dozen or more stacks of potions. By sacrificing a little bit of strength you get to eliminate a lot of the unnecessary hassle of the potion stacking.

    Least that is for me on the PC.. on that note this whole 3 potion stacking thing is hard to understand because when you do it on the PC it reverts back to the highest potion you had originally, it's only with the inclusion of the secondary effect did potion really stack, and without it it just wouldn't stack... unless this 3 potion stacking only works on the console (like being able to stack with destruction potion is.)

    To your last point, it may be over kill when you factor in the additional damage reduction from blocking and magical immunity this build provides, but when you have no spell resist and don't have the ability to block incoming blows, that boosted health regeneration actually provides for an enjoyable game.

  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    the second effect seems to have an effect for me though today i used two 62% potions without the secondary weakness and it only got my SA to about 87%(although the resto potion said +100%) but when i used the one with the weakness and the one without it i got to exactly 100% SA

    To me it seems that stacking potions only works properly when the potions differ in some way from each other either with a different percentage or a secondary effect

    280% ... to use such a high health regen you would have to make the character significantly weaker in some way in order to stop it from being overkill

  • January 31, 2014

    I'm no number cruncher, I just do what works for me...

    An Elixir + Philter + Elixir of the Healer nails me a 90% bonus to whatever stone/enchant I want to boost. With alchemy this effect is potentially stronger because I can make better potions than the best in game elixir.

    I've never stacked a destruction potion, I read a popular build recently that said it could be done but I was sure I'd already tried that and had no luck...

  • Member
    January 31, 2014

    On that last point, that's correct, if someone wanted to make a deviant build for the OS... ie. your character had no spell absorption or didn't have the capabilities to block, or didn't involve achieving max DR.