I am no stranger to traversing the misty peaks and dark caverns of Skyrim and as a result I have amassed a decent sum of experience regarding how to build one hell of a Dragonborn! One of the most fundamentally brilliant aspects of this Role-Playing Game is that the character development system can allow you to create one of a multitude of styles so that you can become anything that your mind can conjure.
One quick note that I shall address first. My playstyles are about having fun with acclimating to a certain type of character rather than trying to discover the most effective way to blitz through the game as an unnatural, death peddling abomination. There is little pleasure or merit to be found in defeating anything and everything within mere seconds, some people like myself prefer a challenge and the journey to that inevitable conquest is what makes playing the game worthwhile.
So, with that in mind I will endeavour to share with you folks some of the archetypes that I have utilised and altered to match my own predilections, starting with one of my personal preferences – the Battlemage.
Preferred Race – Breton
The lineage of the Bretons of High Rock is one of the blood of both man and mer resulting in a race of people that are naturally resistant to magic (25% resistance racial bonus), an aspect that will serve the Battlemage well. They also start with the Dragonskin ability which can be very useful when dealing with unexpectedly powerful wielders of magic, it will absorb this power for 60 seconds per use.
Stat Distribution – Health 60/Magicka 40
When you level up, skew your point distribution slightly toward your health to ensure that you have enough of a constitution to be able to take some damage, especially early on, since your focus will be split between both the physical and magical aspects of battle.
Standing Stone – The Lord Stone
This stone will boost your armour rating by 50 points to make up for any physical limitations that may be present in the early stages of this build as well as providing you with another 25% magic resistance. Combine that with your racial bonus and you will cut incoming magic damage in half. The stone is located northwest of the city of Whiterun, not far from the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon.
Perk Lines – One Handed/Heavy Armour/Conjuration/Destruction
Putting perks into the One-Handed skill tree will increase your weapon proficiency whilst Heavy Armour perks will enable you to become a walking fortress without sacrificing mobility. The key elements of a Battlemages arsenal are the elemental attacks associated with the schools of Destruction and Conjuration. Wielding lightning spells will drain your opponents of their magicka reserves and fire spells are about dealing brutal, agonising damage until your foes flee in fear. I would avoid the ice spells due to many adversaries in the game having an innate resistance to frost damage, this is the land of Skyrim after all. Having a conjured partner in the form on an elemental atronach, even for a brief time, will give you some added clout in combat as well as splitting your enemy’s attention between the two of you. If they are trying to attack your summoned ally, then they won’t be focusing their murderous inclinations toward you.
Weapons – One Handed Sword/Mace
Every Battlemage needs a weapon, preferably a blade or a mace to cleave or crush their foes with when the spells have run dry in the heat of battle. I would recommend tracking down either the Dawnbreaker sword from Meridia or the Mace of Molag Bal, why not both and swap between the two when the mood strikes. Another good choice is the Chillrend sword, though this would require some time spent with the Thieves Guild to gain access to this unique blue glass blade.
Armour – Heavy
In order to gain the best defensive benefit, ideally you should cover your character in Heavy Armour from head to foot but I would suggest considering making one amendment to that. In the place of a helm you should ponder wearing an enchanted hood that boosts your magicka regeneration to give you that extra edge in combat. Combine this with some enchanted jewellery that can do the same and it is likely that the well of magicka that you rely upon will rarely dry up.
Allegiance – The College of Winterhold
All mages should aspire to study their craft within the halls of the College and by doing so you will gain access to some powerful mentors, high level spells and incredibly useful resources that will exponentially boost your arcane capabilities. If you are interested in applying, then seek out Faralda in the town of Winterhold to inquire about admission.
Approach to Combat – Of Steel & Spells
With a weapon in one hand and a spell in the other, the Battlemage makes no attempt to hide their intentions when they storm into battle and the very sight of them marching forward can be an intimidating prospect to behold. Drawing from the strength of a warrior and the arcane mastery of a mage, and with the right guidance, they can truly be a force to be reckoned with. It won’t be long before you are wielding the malevolent weaponry of the Daedric Lords, coated in the armours crafted from the bones of slain dragons, throwing spells of bolts and flame around the battlefield with uncompromising ease as well as being escorted at all times by two or more powerful creatures summoned from the Planes of Oblivion. If there can only be one word that best describes the Battlemage, that word is power.