Character Build: The Valkyrie

The Valkyrie 


The price of admittance to Sovngarde is a glorious death. 

But what of those who fall outside of battle? Those too young or frail to fight, those taken by sickness or dishonourable means?

The Valkyrie holds a pact with the gods. She is tasked with earning glory and a place in Sovngarde for those who cannot earn it themselves, choosing who among the fallen is worthy of a place in Shor’s Hall. 

Charging into battle atop the back of her steed or dragon, the Valkyrie is a formidable warrior, a master of the sword, mace and shield, bolstered by offensive magic and the deadly power of the thu’um.

The Build

Race: I chose a Nord because they suit the theme of the character while also sporting appropriate skill bonuses, a strong racial power and their resistance to frost is a powerful boon for melee characters. Other good choices include Imperials, Bretons, Orcs and Redguards

Stone: I used the Warrior Stone at first before switching to the Lord Stone for the invaluable defensive bonuses. 

Stats: I used a 1M | 2H | 1S split until 140 base magicka, investing solely into health and stamina thereafter. 

Major Skills: One Handed, Heavy Armour, Block

Minor Skills: Smithing, Destruction 

One Handed, Heavy Armour and Block are the key combat skills providing excellent damage and sturdy defences, tempered by Smithing. Destruction is used primarily for cloak spells but is occasionally necessary for ranged enemies that you can’t always close the gap on such as dragons.

Apparel: Dragonscale Helmet, Nordic Carved Armour, Steel Plate Gauntlets and Boots, Gauldur Amulet

Weapons: Dragonbone Sword, Dragonbone Mace, Dragonscale Shield

The combination of the Dragonscale Helmet with Nordic Carved Armour is my favourite aesthetic that I’ve found so far. The Dragonscale Helmet in particular was chosen for its winged design, encapsulating the theme of a true valkyrie. Steel Plate Gauntlets and Boots fit well with the look and I prefer them to the Nordic Carved equivalent, but with identical stats and smithing perks you could always swap them out if desired. For jewellery, the Gauldur Amulet boasts a versatile bonus and a fitting look, and for a ring I used a generic Ring of Peerless Health but solid alternatives include rings that fortify one handed, heavy armour or health regeneration. The Dragonscale Shield rounds out the arsenal, complementing the visual design I had in mind with excellent stats to show for it. With the shield equipped, this setup is left just shy of the armour cap which is more than strong enough to tackle even the hardest difficulties. 

Valkyries are most often depicted with spears, but are also sometimes represented wielding a sword or mace, so I decided to incorporate both. I picked Dragonbone over Nordic weapons because I felt the straight edge of the Dragonbone Sword more appropriate to the style of sword that valkyries are often depicted with as opposed to the slender curved edge of the Nordic Sword. The Dragonbone Mace has a particularly brutal design with its spiked points that I enjoy, and both weapons deliver on their devastating damage potential. I also enjoy the roleplay element of forging arms from the bones of a defeated foe.

Shouts: Aura Whisper, Elemental Fury, Become Ethereal, Dragon Aspect, Dragonrend, Unrelenting Force 

Spells: Flame Cloak, Frost Cloak 

Passives: Force Without Effort, Agent of Mara, Agent of Dibella

Quests: Main Quest, Dragonborn, Dawnguard, Forbidden Legend, Wolf Queen Awakening, The Blessings of Nature, Heart of Dibella, The Book of Love


Valkyries are said to be able to see the souls of those near death, granting a rare roleplay opportunity to incorporate Aura Whisper. I’ve always underrated this shout because its function is performed by spells, but I’ve come to appreciate its power. Aura Whisper has excellent range and is the most comprehensive detection spell in the game, detecting the living, undead, daedra and automatons. It even displays enemies that haven’t spawned yet, like automations that have yet to be dispensed or falmer that have yet to crawl out from their tunnels. The first stage of combat was the use of this shout to size up the opposition. 

Destruction cloaks provide passive DPS and synergise well with a melee play style that you can just fire-and-forget before charging into the frey. This build utilises Flame and Frost Cloak depending on the opponent. Flame Cloak is the typical go-to as many enemies are resistant to frost, but is of particular benefit when fighting vampires and trolls. Frost Cloak sees less use, but is nonetheless still of benefit when battling reavers and falmer. When an enemy falls to the ground with a sliver of health, cloaks allow us to turn our attention to the next opponent as the passive damage output finishes them off - a satisfying sequence of events as your foes appear to drop dead at your feet. 

Combat itself is typical sword-and-board gameplay, riding into battle atop a steed to deliver the first blow or launching into the fray with a critical charge. Investment into Shield Wall affords us the capacity to survive the toughest blows or evade them entirely with Quick Reflexes. Bashes allow for controlling the momentum of battle and even to disarm opponents with a Power Bash at higher levels of Block investment. 

Our choice of weapon changes depending on the situation. Against groups of enemies the fast strikes of the sword leave you less open to being overwhelmed when outnumbered where the cumbersome nature of the mace would be a hindrance. In one-on-one battles, the mace is our weapon of choice with its powerful damage and armour penetration, tearing through boss enemies like bandit chiefs and reaver lords with ease. 

Elemental Fury synergises with the mace to devastating effect, alleviating its sluggishness and briefly transforming you into an offensive powerhouse, evaporating the health bar of those in its path. 

Become Ethereal is a fantastic and versatile shout of particular importance when dealing with dragon breath and powerful mages, allowing the Valkyrie to bypass their attacks and close the gap. Dragonrend is an invaluable shout, bringing dragons to the ground - our favoured arena. Prior to the acquisition of Dragonrend, ranged destruction spells see some rare use in situations where dragons refuse to land such as in small town and city areas. These frustrating encounters are fortunately few and far between.

Valkyries are often depicted atop a steed, so I tried to incorporate mounted combat in outdoor encounters where I could, although due to its frustrating and limited design this is not an integral part of combat even with mods to improve upon it.


Quests and Roleplay

The Valkyrie holds an agreement with the gods where she will earn a place in Sovngarde for those who cannot earn it themselves. To that end, I played the Valkyrie as a warrior in search of legendary foes and challenges to overcome to earn glory for the fallen. She pays tribute to the Divines through the colossal enemies that fall by her hand, rather than falling under the typical paladin, priest or cleric roleplay archetype. I didn’t complete any Daedric quests other than Waking Nightmare where I let Erandur destroy the Skull of Corruption, nor did I accept any Daedric shrine blessings. 

The Main Quest, Dragonborn and Dawnguard quests represent existential and great threats to the land, well suited to the Valkyrie’s search for worthy foes to please the gods. I roleplayed becoming the Dragonborn as the Divines providing the Valkyrie with the means to overcome her adversaries. 

Valkyries are depicted as female, which synergises well with the Agent of Dibella passive, granting a free damage increase against the vast majority of enemies in the game. Automatons are considered male, despite being machines. 

I found acquiring the shouts required for the build to be a fun way to spend a playthrough as it requires you to explore areas and dungeons like Valthume that I would have never explored otherwise because they are far off the beaten track and no quest will direct you to them. By the end of my playthrough, I had explored many places that I normally never have cause to venture through or in some cases had never explored at all until now. I came away from each dungeon with a sizable stack of gold, one word of power closer to where I wanted to be and with a fresh Skyrim experience - a rare thing these days. 

I ignored the Civil War and other quests related to the internal politics of Skyrim as they didn’t align with my view of a warrior concerned only with conquering great adversity - there are far stronger foes to test our mettle against than mere soldiers fighting under the orders of another. I also did not join the Companions as I felt willingly contracting lycanthropy would be out of character.

I joined the College of Winterhold for access to Saarthal for the Gauldur Amulet, and also for Faralda to level Destruction through training up to 60 Destruction. I didn’t progress any further than this because it didn’t suit the warrior roleplay I had in mind. 

Something I didn’t do during my playthrough but would be fitting would be to build your own Hearthfire house to accommodate your hard-fought trophies and souvenirs. An armoury and trophy room would be suitable wings to construct.


Closing Notes

Thank you for reading this far. The gameplay and roleplay of the build aren’t exactly anything new, but I’m a sucker for melee builds and I adore the aesthetic of the character which was more than enough to galvanise me into a new playthrough for the first time in years. I’ve always thought valkyries were pretty cool in myth and other depictions like God of War or Marvel so I wanted to bring that to the Elder Scrolls. 

I play with mods installed but the build is designed to function well in the vanilla system. The concept is compatible with all the popular perk overhauls, and there are some high quality armour and weapon mods out there that would look great on the Valkyrie. 

If there are spears in the Elder Scrolls VI, the Valkyrie will come back with a vengeance, depicted in her proper form. I didn’t particularly like the existing choice of spear mods, so I decided to keep the weapon choices vanilla, but you may differ in that respect. 

I took far too many screenshots for this build during the writeup process so I’ll post those that didn’t make the cut in the next few days. 

If you have any questions about the build, my mod list or anything really, feel free to ask. 

The cape shown in the screenshots is the Blue Linen Cape from Cloaks and Capes, but the character still looks great without it in my opinion. 

Many thanks, 



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  • Awesome job Histcarp, keep up the good work. Screenshots always help make a build pop

    • Thanks for the comment Chris, I really enjoyed the aesthetic of this build. 

      • No prob, its a good aesthethic.

  • You know it is positively surprising, how you make such great builds with one of the simplest combat styles (arguably).

    The aesthetic of the character is indeed very nice, I would want to see those other screenshots! The one with the perk spread is BEAUTIFUL

    • Thanks Nystee, that means a lot. I'll try and get around to uploading those screenshots in a bit! 

      Edit: Just uploaded them, enjoy. 

      Valkyrie Character Build Screenshot Showcase
      I recently posted a new character build called The Valkyrie and in the process of making it I took quite a few screenshots, many of which didn't make…
This reply was deleted.