Character Build: The Dervish

After demolishing everything with my Old Orc and loving two handed, I wanted to expand on the skill in a different way and open my new build up to using magic as well. This character is inspired from a class from Guild Wars Nightfall, a game I have played a bit and enjoyed. After reading Mason's Alik'r and No snakes aLive's Manticore, I got some insight on certain skill combinations and I believe I came up with something somewhat original. For those of you not familiar with the character class of a Dervish, you can go here and read up on what the class is all about. So without further long winded paragraphs, here is

The Dervish

To quickly describe the Dervish, I would suggest anyone to read the website I have provided in the beginning paragraph (also here). They are scythe-wielding holy warriors who can attack multiple enemies at once while being shielded by healing and protection skills, all the while having the ability to transform themselves into the forms of their gods. With regards to Skyrim, I chose to adapt this character class to wield battleaxes (closest to scythes) and clothe myself with robes to appear as a desert wanderer. Healing spells come straight from Restoration as well as protection spells and spell absorption from Alteration, as well as powerful enchantments on apparel. These healing and protection buffs aid the Dervish in battle when whirling and spinning his or her powerful axe.

There are a few important characteristics of this character build:

  • The first would be using the shout Elemental Fury. Enchanting is a key skill, but only for apparel as we must leave our weapons clear from magic enhancements for the Elemental Fury shout to work. The wind surrounding your weapon is the Dervish's ability to call upon Wind Prayers to help him in battle.
  • Second, the build must take advantage of the perk Sweep. With sweep, the true power of the Dervish is unleashed: the ability to strike multiple enemies at once with a spinning power attack and whirling axe. Combined with Elemental Fury, enemies will be dropping extremely fast.
  • Lastly, the skill Alteration is the build's form of armor. Wearing robes and a hood (a Dervish's testament to being both a priest and a warrior) cannot provide protection. The flesh spells combined with Mage Armor perks and Stability create a "protection enchantment" to help the Dervish when fighting.




  • Redguard is what I chose, mainly for the stamina regeneration racial power which is great for continuing power attacks.
  • Khajiit is also a great choice for roleplaying. Both Redguard and Khajiit are from desert lands, and the Dervish (from whirling dervish dancers) are culturally from Persia.

Guardian Stones: Lady, Lord, or Atronach (start with Mage/Warrior)

Dragon Shouts

Elemental Fury: The most important shout and a key role with the build. Turns you into a whirling dervish of death.

Whirlwind Sprint: Speed is an important factor of the build. Use this to either charge into battle or get away to quickly heal.

Slow Time: The illusion to make you extremely fast. Use this to get in strikes while everyone is slowed.


Werewolf: A Dervish's special power is to take on the form of a god, and in this case we can mimic this with Werewolf. The transformation plays nicely with the build now with Dawnguard perks added on and fits with the character class. For roleplayers out there, you do not necessarily have to "worship" hircine, but this aspect really adds a refreshing gameplay mechanic that is a ton of fun to change up battles. Nothing says "whirling dervish" like a ravenous werewolf in a frenzy!






Two Handed: The offensive skill. Specialize in the axe bleeding perk and sweep for max damage.

AlterationFor armor. Invest in all perks, especially mage armor for higher armor.

Restoration: To quickly heal and regenerate both health and magicka faster.

Enchanting: To provide protective and combat enchantments to help in battle.

Smithing: For forging powerful weapons, important because we need raw damage. Elemental Fury does not work on magic weapons.

Level 20 Perks: Here

for "optimal" perk placement: Here


Head: Alik'r Hood

Chest: Apprentice Robes

Hands: Gloves

Boots: Redguard Boots

Ring: Enchanted Ring (Fortify Health + Healing Rate) OR Hircine's Ring

Amulet: Enchanted Amulet (Fortify Health + Healing Rate)

Weapons: 2 Handed Battleaxes. I currently have come across the Headsman's Axe which looks AWESOME, after attaining Ahtar as a follower. Later on, I will be smithing more powerful axes including Ebony and Dragonbone.

Gameplay Notes

This build comprises of two handed combat backed up by healing and protection buffs. To battle, make sure you activate your flesh spell to gain an armor rating before fighting and heal when needed. Elemental Fury is where the true power of the build comes out combined with Sweep, so those two elements are crucial to maximize the effectiveness of this build. Redguards are a perfect choice for a race because power attacks take up a lot of stamina. You could "work around" this by just eating veggie soup, but it is sort of an easy button. 

The werewolf gameplay is not a priority (at least for me). I only use it in special battles and difficult areas that warrant a transformation. 

As far as factions and questlines, Companions are great for the melee aspect as well as the Werewolf possibility early on. Mages College also fits with the build, as spells and enchantments are a big part of the character class being a holy warrior. Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood do not work, as Dervish's do not believe in stealing or murdering.

Anything else I come up with to add, I will. I hope you enjoy this build as much as I have. This is actually the lowest level character I have ever provided a build discussion on this site, but I was loving it so much I had to share quick so I could get back to whirling around with my axe! Have fun!

Another thing to note: You could adapt this build to use dual swords, most likely scimitars for the aesthetic, but I sometimes feel two handed gets a bad rap in some cases.



You need to be a member of THE SKY FORGE to add comments!


Email me when people reply –