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Dec 23, 12 at 1:52pm ^The Shadowknight
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What is the Shadowknight?
The Shadowknight is primarily a Stealth character, with most of what that implies. However, there are two major differences between the Shadowknight and your standard Stealth character. They are:
1. The Shadowknight uses Heavy Armor. Now, I'm sure all you Stealth players are ready to jump me for this alone. After all, Heavy Armor is harder to sneak in, as it gets huge penalties just for being so heavy. However, it is possible to Sneak in Heavy Armor. So why use Heavy Armor? Mainly because of my next point.
2. The Shadowknight has no problems with melee combat. With most Stealth characters, the situations where Stealth fails are met with one of two responses. The first is to run, looking for a way to break your enemy's Line of Sight so you can drop back into Stealth Mode and get your Sneak bonuses back. The second is to cast Invisibility, forcing the fight back onto your terms. Now, both are perfectly viable strategies, but they're also extremely focused on Stealth. The Shadowknight, on the other hand, simply swaps his Dagger for a Sword, then wades in swinging. In other words, he can easily switch from Stealth to Melee when the situation calls for it. As a Stealth character, he gets an answer to situations where the game forces you into up-front fights, and as a Warrior, he gets an answer to situations where he's outnumbered by powerful enemies.
Race: Breton. My high-level version of this character is an Imperial, and works well. However, because she's not a Breton, I have to use the Lord Stone. This requires me to waste 2 perks (on Fists of Steel and Cushioned) to pick up the Conditioning Perk. With a Breton, I get the 25% Resist Magic (which is the entire reason I use the Lord Stone), but can use the Steed Stone from the start of the game, making the character work much better much more quickly.
Standing Stone: The Steed. The weightless armor is invaluable, especially in the early game. Not only that, but with the armor I plan on wearing, I'm basically going to get +151 points of Carry Capacity (the flat 100 point bonus, plus the 51 points that my armor would normally take up).
Attributes: 1:1 Mana and Health. I use Restoration for my healing when working as a Warrior, so more Mana means more healing. It also gives me the ability to work in some spells, so I can dabble in magic, as well. I don't personally lose anything for not boosting Stamina, because I rarely ever use Power Attacks.
Smithing: Smithing is vital for a Warrior. It's even more vital for the Shadowknight. The reason is that I lose damage by wearing Heavy Armor. Specifically, I don't get the damage boost of the Shrouded Gloves, Shrouded Hand Wraps, Jester's Gloves, or Cicero's Gloves. That means that I can do 15x damage at most with daggers. Smithing and Enchanting allows me to make up the difference, as does Enchanting. I only need up to Ebony for most of my armor, but I take Daedric Smithing for my head-piece (I use a Dragon Priest Mask) and for weapons. Dragonbone weapons technically have higher damage, but I don't like the way they look. Daedric, on the other hand, I really like the look of.
Heavy Armor: Since this is the armor type I'll be wearing, Heavy Armor is an obvious choice. Testing has shown that I need 5 ranks of Juggernaut and Well Fitted to get close to the Armor Rating Cap, and even then, I'm still short. However, the amount is definitely over 500, so I'll be rocking 72% Physical Damage resist or more.
One-Handed: The fact is that the three specialization perks (Hack and Slash, Bone Breaker, and Bladesman) are extremely underwhelming. Putting even a single point into any of them is a waste of Perks. I therefore need only minimal investment in the tree.
Sneak: With Sneak being as powerful as it is, we don't need much investment in the Stealth perk. Muffled Movement gives us an always-on 0.5 Muffle; combine that with the Ebony Mail we'll be wearing, and you have silent Heavy Armor. The right arm of the tree is pretty basic: more damage. Assassin's Blade is especially important because I'm not making use of any sort of Backstab gloves.
Illusion: In the early game, you don't have access to the Ebony Mail, and you need some way to make your armor silent. With most of the Muffle-enchanted unique boots being Light Armor, the answer is to use the Muffle spell until I get the Ebony Mail. Since I'm making such heavy use of the Muffle spell from the start of the game, I need to take the Apprentice Illusion perk to conserve Magika. Especially if I get forced into a straight-up fight just after casting it. The other perk I'm interested in is Silent Casting. This is primarily because it also affects Shouts, and there are a couple that I make heavy use of (more on that later). Making them silent makes it easier to use them more often. Once we hit Level 30 and pick up the Ebony Mail, we stop using Muffle, but by then, we've used it to boost our Illusion skill enough to pick up Quiet Casting, so it's job is pretty much done.
Restoration: I tried using this as my main healing finally, and was surprised at how much it let me take on. Enemies that gave me trouble were a lot easier. This is mainly because I use a one-handed weapon in my main hand and a Restoration spell in my off-hand, but I was really happy with it. Especially since the best personal healing spell is an Adept-level spell (Close Wounds). This allows minimal investment in the tree for maximum return.
Enchanting: Enough said.
All I currently know is what I'm going to be wearing. I currently have no idea what enchantments to put on most of them. Any input is appreciated.
Weapon (Melee): Daedric Sword with Shock Damage and Absorb Mana.
Weapon (Stealth): Daedric Dagger with Shock Damage.
Chest: Ebony Mail
Hands: Ebony Gauntlets
Feet: Ebony Boots
Amulet: Amulet of Talos
Ring: Bone Hawk Ring
Zahkriisos was chosen because I prefer Shock damage in general. After all, only one enemy type in the game has any sort of resistance to it (Shock Atronach), and they're almost never seen. In fact, I've never actually seen one at all. Zahkriisos is mainly used because it affects the damage done by Shock Enchantments. I'm currently considering making the damage even more powerful by taking Shock Enchanter and both ranks of Augmented Shock. That would make my weapons hit even harder, and the higher Destruction skill needed to pick up the Augmented Shock perks would give me more charges with my weapons' enchantments.
Ebony Mail is the centerpiece of our gear. It's built-in 0.5 Muffle, combined with the Sneak tree's Muffled Movement perk, gives us 1 point of Muffle at all times. Before that, we need the Muffle spell to sneak around. The Poison Cloak is also useful for conserving charges while in melee combat. The damage isn't much, but it's constant, so if an enemy is close to death, it's more efficient to simply let the Poison Damage kill them. And if we're stealthing and get someone's attention, it starts doing damage right away while we swap weapons (more than once I've misjudged the distance to my target and run into their hitbox, alerting them. The Poison Cloak kicked in right away and started dealing damage while I switched weapons).
Ebony Gauntlets and Boots are simply to preserve the look of the set. Technically, Daedric Gauntlets and Boots provide better Armor Rating.
Amulet of Talos is to reduce Shout Cooldown time. I rely heavily on a couple of shouts, and want to make use of them as often as possible, so I give up my neck slot so I can reduce Cooldown Time.
Bone Hawk Ring just looks cool.
I've mentioned a couple of times that there are a few shouts that I make heavy use of. They are:
Aura Whisper - I can get a similar effect from Detect Life and Detect Dead, but Aura Whisper is free-to-cast, and detects Daedra and Dwarven Automatons, which neither Detect Life or Detect Dead can do. Not only that, but I like the fact that the effect lasts up to 30 seconds. With Detect Life and Detect Dead, you have to keep casting to get that effect, which is annoying.
Soul Tear - This serves double duty for me. First and foremost, it's a ranged Soul Trap. This allows me to recharge weapons without having to get close enough to hit with a weapon or cast the Soul Trap spell. The second is damage. Soul Trap immediately does 300 damage to whatever it hits, so I'll often open up fights with tougher enemies with it. It locks down my Shouts for 72 seconds (90 without the Amulet of Talos), but that instant 300 damage is a nice opening move.
Those are the ones I use now, primarily because I don't have Quiet Casting. With my lower-level character planning on picking the perk up, I plan to rotate the following Shouts into my repertoire:
Throw Voice - I'm still a little iffy on this. Attempts to use it so far have been unsuccessful. However, while the Shout is whispered, it still generates some noise, so I'm going to give it another shot with Quiet Casting.
Drain Vitality: I really should be using this against Dragons and tougher enemies; I just keep forgetting. Of course, it helps that my high-level character only has two words for it. I need to get around to picking up the third word for maximum effect.
Anyway, that's the build. Rather long-winded, and I apologize for that, but it's a build I haven't seen before. Thoughts and input are appreciated.
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Dec 24, 12 at 3:57am ^re: The Shadowknight
I use a similar build- Heavy Armor and Sneak, but with one major difference, I've got a maxed out Archery tree and I'm working on maxing out Two-Handed rather than One-Handed. I like the Two-Handed Daedric Warhammer for this chicka because it looks so cool and is really effective against large groups. Not to say that I'm not against going in dual wielding ebony swords or even sword and shielding it!
My character is also a Nord so I get the bonuses to both Two-Handed and One-Handed. Battle Cry gets people off your butt early on and a maxed out smithing tree means you get the pick of the litter.
Your whole build though, is awesome and through. Thanks for finally give a name to the build I've been using for so long. I just thought of it as a Rogue!
I've never played as a Breton, does their height effect movement speed? Or is that just a myth I've heard on the Ethernet?
Lupa Voss • Level 52 Assassin Type Archer [Skyrim] • Memmia "Eve" Nightling / Eve Nightling • Level 50 Sniper [Fallout 3/ New Vegas] •
Dec 24, 12 at 8:03am ^re: The Shadowknight
Height does affect movement speed, but the difference between races is so slight that it's not really noticeable.
I went One-Handed for two reasons. The first was that I wanted a healing spell in my off-hand. This has allowed me to survive and defeat enemies easily who would otherwise kill me. The second reason was consolidation. Archery is a solid way to run the stealth half of the character, but requires investment in yet another tree to make full use of. Going with One-Handed and using daggers consolidated everything into one skill tree.
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