I haven’t really had to use my imagination since my Golem build and I missed the joys I had of fantasizing up stuff not directly in the game when I played. So I thought it was time to try again, except with a little more power. For those of you that have seen my previous builds, you may have noticed my love for controller builds. I love builds that make use of manipulating enemies and oneself with buffs and debuffs while maintaining strong crowd control and great power in one on one situations. I wholeheartedly believe this build accomplishes all of this and more. It is hands down one of the most powerful builds I have ever played.
The Viridian Witch
“ They chased her through the woods until there was nowhere left to run,
She arrived at a giant tree, the other side was nothing but open grassy fields,
With nowhere left to hide she accepted her fate.
There she stood, back to the tree, as the bandits approached her,
She was the helpless victim of this shakedown and was as good as dead, or so they thought.
They inched closer, slowly, basking in their triumph.
For a second the wind hissed and roared like a dragon,
Then the ground let out a gentle growl,
Then a smirk found its way on to her face.
With that, the leaves surged in the wind, cutting through everything in their path like a razor’s edge,
Then the roots of the great tree violently erupted from the ground,
The roots took hold of the now frantic and bloodied bandits and disposed of their weapons.
She walked through the gallery of her pursuers who were strung high and low by the tree.
The glee fell from their faces and fear set in. They were now the victims.
The woman’s smirk grew into a sadistic smile as she gave the orders,
Major Skills: Alteration, Destruction, Illusion, Restoration
Minor Skills: Alchemy, Enchanting
Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Disarm, Soul Tear
Powers: Force Without Effort, Mora’s Agony, Nightingale Strife
- Head – Circlet/Wedding Wreath (Fortify Illusion/Fortify Alteration)
- Body – Miraak’s Robes
- Hands – Gloves (Fortify Magicka/Fortify Alchemy)
- Feet – Dunmer Shoes (Fortify Destruction/Fortify Restoration)
- Ring – (Fortify Health/Fortify Magicka)
- Necklace – (Fortify Health/Fortify Destruction)
- Weapon – Miraak’s Staff
Essential Quests: Dragonborn, Wind and Sand, The Hidden Twilight, Main Quest, Thieves’ Guild, Dawnguard
What we have at work here is an art known as chloromancy, also referred to as plant manipulation. Chloromancers have the ability to create, shape and manipulate plant life. Some of the possibilities of this magic include growing plants from a seed to skyscraping trees; commanding the movements of branches, roots, and flower petals; and not to mention summoning monstrous plants.
The Viridian Witch commands nature itself through her voice and manipulates it with her magic. Plant life bends as she demands it to capture and kill. She is able to summon her own breed of plant. An extremely dangerous type that releases deadly toxins ranging in effects from, hallucinations, to full body paralysis, to death. Along with summoning plants, she can also destroy them. By centering enough magic in one plant, the witch can cause a catastrophic explosion. As well as being able to manipulate plant life, she can also manipulate the very essence of plants. By doing this she can enhance her powers to obscene levels. Through expert use of her powers, enemies are lucky to come within 50 feet of her.
Miraak’s equipment is the center point of the Viridian Witch. It is essentially how she summons her plants. Until Miraak’s equipment is available Mora’s Agony serves as a decent substitute and can be reused by going into the Black Book and re-equipping it. Although Miraak is a tough opponent, he can be defeated as early as level 10 with patience. After that the fun really begins.
First off the robes are vastly underrated. When hit by anything, and I mean anything, they cause an explosion of tentacles, or for our purposes they serve as the vines of her freakish plants. Through testing I found that this explosion is about 100 points of pure damage. It effects any enemy within its range. Even undead and automatons. And since it is a form of magical damage, it is unmitigated by armor rating. What makes this even more dangerous is the fact that it can be activated by the witch. Causing her plants to explode via Fireball, Fire Storm or runes at close range also have a chance to set off the robes’ effect. Because the robes come pre-enchanted, the Dunmer Shoes play a large role since they can be enchanted with any chest enchantment. This makes up for the crappy perk choices for shoes and not having a natural chest piece to enchant.
Another extremely underrated piece of equipment is Miraak’s staff. This staff summons a wall, and I emphasize wall, of her vines. It is a very similar effect to that of Mora’s Agony, just smaller and slightly weaker. The wall summoned by the staff is virtually impenetrable except by the mightiest enemies. Anything that does not resist poison will fall victim to the vines damaging effects and even those that do resist will most likely not overcome the staggering effect. Just about everything aside from dragons will be staggered as they enter the wall of vines. Besides things as large and powerful as Lurkers or Giants, enemies will become trapped in the staggering effects. As soon as they recover they will once again charge in and become staggered, the cycle repeats until they die or the vines disappear.
So what does this all mean? It means that with a little help the Viridian Witch becomes virtually untouchable and she will definitely take advantage of it.
The main skills here are Destruction and Restoration magic. Through Destruction magic the witch is able to cause mass explosions of her plants and even control the movement of flower petals or leaves with Whirlwind Cloak. Until Master Destruction spells are unlocked, the Sun Stone from Solsthiem is a solid replacement since you will be there quite a lot, it is not too much of a hassle to grab it. Dual-casting has a couple uses; first it increases the range of Whirlwind Cloak, secondly it overpowers Fireball and unlocks the coveted Impact perk. Contrary to Destruction, Restoration is lightly perked, but plays an equally large role. To start, Turn Undead spells compliment Illusion magic very well during early levels and will train Restoration rather quickly. But the big thing here is the Poison Rune. Along with Miraak’s equipment, it compliments fire magic rather well because there is nothing that is immune to both and it is amplified by dual-casting.
To further compliment the previous skills and the equipment used, Illusion and Alteration take the stage. Illusion magic simulates one of the reactions of the plants toxins: hallucinations. Fear magic is the center point because it guarantees space and time to do what you please. Alteration is taken for a similar purpose. Mass Paralysis is the main goal for reasons detailed later. Besides that flesh spells also play a role. With the Lord Stone and one perk in Mage Armor, it is very easy to avoid one hit kills from kill cams and stray mages or archers. They are also effective if by some chance someone gets into close range, the witch can then take a hit and retaliate with Fireball and hopefully a plant explosion from the robes.
Bringing up the rear is Enchanting and Alchemy. Enchanting is a strong skill for any pure mage because fortifying different schools of magic make repeated casting a lot less costly. A undervalued perk is Soul Squeezer. It is very useful for any staff wielding build because it makes soul gems worth so much more, 250 points to be exact, the same as a Petty Soul Gem. Along with making things go further, fortifying magicka plays a big role. The idea is to create a big magicka pool while honing in on reducing the cost of Destruction magic because it used most often. Let’s face it, nobody wants to run dry in the middle of a battle. On a similar note, Alchemy’s initial purpose was to restore health without using magicka. With the chosen skills and enchantments, healing potions have a magnitude of 117 points. More than enough to safely heal, and since loads of damage is very rare, it is also very reliable to go into a dungeon with a few potions. Although that is how it started, that’s not how it ended. It did not feel right for a witch of the land to use Alchemy so sparingly so there needed to be something more.
What Alchemy does for this build is more than deserving of its own section. Most mages fail on higher difficulties without the use of Alchemy or 0% spell costs. Well this build was already very dominating, even on Master. Alchemy only made it game breaking.
A very popular trick known from Mason’s Sentinals is the stacking of potions. Well that is exactly what we have here. By stacking Fortify Destruction and Fortify Restoration potions, damage levels go off the charts. With all the Alchemy perks and the small boost from enchanting, it is possible to create potions of Fortify Destruction and Restoration with a 94% magnitude, that means nearly double the damage, and stacking them means almost 4 times the damage! Here are some calculations to show how powerful this becomes:
- Fireball jumps from 75, with 2/2 Augmented Flames and Aspect of Terror, to 131
- Fire Rune goes from 50 up to 97
- Fire Storm from 165 to 306
- And Whirlwind Cloak’s radius changes from 10 feet to 19 feet
- Nightingale Strife goes from 100 to 194
- Poison Rune goes from 3 points per second to 5
Now when you add a second potion on top of that:
- Fireball to 187
- Fire Rune to 144
- Fire Storm to 447
- Whirlwind Cloak to 28 feet
- Nightingale Strife to 288
- Poison Rune to 8
Now one last factor to add is Dual-Casting which is a 2.2x multiplier:
- Fireball is now 413, almost as much as Fire Storm
- Fire Rune jumps to 316
- Whirlwind Cloak‘s radius is a whopping 61 feet
- Finally Poison Rune now does 17 points per second
By first taking a potion of Fortify Restoration, all other potions you take will increase by the magnitude of the first potion. Thus doubling your effectiveness in battle!
So how does all this come together? With everything taken into account, anything is possible. Whirlwind Cloak combined with Miraak’s Staff creates a barrier that makes it nearly impossible to get hurt. The way Whirlwind Cloak works is that anything that enters the range of it has a 50/50 chance of being flung, and the only things immune are those immune to paralysis. The best part is that when it is cast, everything in its range is automatically thrown. When combined with making your plants throw enemies as well, also known as Unrelenting Force, anything lucky enough to get within the boundaries of the vines will have to do it all over again. This is then further aided by the use of Impact. Dual-casting Destruction spells, such as Fireball, will not only stagger an enemy, but push them back as well. Another method is using the first two words of Soul Tear for a strong staggering effect and low cool down.
Fear plays a similar role and works well on all different kinds of enemies. It is especially useful when you can trap enemies in an area and then fear them. It makes picking them off so much easier and if they happen to run into you, they will get thrown or if they run into your plants they get staggered.
To deal with archers command your plants to dispose of their bows, cough Disarm cough, and force them into close quarters or use the fear method. As for mages and dragons, Miraak’s Robes come with a 15% chance to absorb spells and the Lord Stone grants 25% magic resist. Mages can be captured by your plants or feared and dragons are susceptible to being stagger locked via Impact and the plant explosion of Miraak’s Robes. But what is the point of all this? What can the Viridian Witch do with all of this time and freedom?
The Flower Bomb
Miraak’s Staff/Mora’s Agony + Fire Rune/Poison Rune
There is something very special about runes. As mentioned in Henson’s Cabalist, I have also noticed they have a hit box. When an enemy runs into the side of a rune they take the appropriate listed damage. But if a rune is placed right under them, that damage is multiplied. It is at least a two to three times increase. Which makes runes the most powerful source of damage combined with the staggering grasp of your plants. Once trapped, it is very easy to place multiple runes right under an enemy’s feet. And if close enough when the rune goes off, the robes’ explosion effect may activate demolishing the foe.
The Sinning Tree
Miraak’s Staff/Mora’s Agony + Soul Tear + Nightingale Strife
Since the Thieves’ Guild quest line already needed to be done to obtain all three words for Disarm, completing it to get Nightingale Strife isn’t too big of a deal, not to mention it responds to Fortify Destruction potions. In tandem with Soul Tear, this move in total generates a minimum of 400 points of pure damage to everyone in its path. It is very easy to trap groups of enemies with the barricading powers of the staff. Nightingale Strife will deal 100 points, without potions, to everyone in the path, but will only absorb how every much health is stated. So if your doing 100 damage to multiple enemies, it will only absorb a maximum of 100 health. Soul Tear likewise will affect everyone in its path. This is a good way to heal if you have no potions and to fill up soul gems to keep the staff charged.
The Black Garden
Miraak’s Staff + Whirlwind Cloak + Rout/Mass Paralysis + Fire Storm + Highborn
This is what is possible when everything is put together. The staff will ensure everyone stays within range while the cloak pretty much guarantees that no one will get close enough to stop you. Using Rout is ideal against enemies immune to paralysis or inside where it isn’t hard to seal off exits and it will force enemies to run into the walls of vines, taking more damage. On the other hand Mass Paralysis is the best outside where enemies have the ability to flee for their lives or be flung out of range from the cloak. What follows next is Highborn. This allows you to detonate Fire Storm multiple times and subsequently the robes explosion, until the plants disappear or everyone is dead.