Character Build: The Phase Shifter

This build was inspired from a few concepts. First, I have never gone down the lightning route of the Destruction tree. Let me tell you, it is by far my favorite way to go! Second is inspiration from Mortal Kombat. This is in no way shape or form a "Raiden" build, but I was getting drunk with my brother and was having my butt kick since he was playing as Raiden and my eyes lit up. I wanted to see if I could make some sort of character that incorporates lightning and "teleporting" and this is what I came up with. It is a sneak build, but uses no overpowered bow kills or dagger assassinations. I also like utilizing Standing Stones I have never used yet!

 The Phase Shifter

 The Phase Shifter is most certainly one of my more involved builds, both with perks taken and how to apply spells at the right time. I enjoy builds that often require timing of abilities to make playing experience more intense and enjoyable.

The Phase Shifter is a master storm mage who uses his power to alter reality and to deal massive shock death upon his foes. Using enchanting, the Phase Shifter can reduce casting costs of EXPENSIVE spells that must be recast many times throughout battle.

This character concept is built around a sneaky mage that does not take advantage of the bow or dagger "times a bajillion damage" which to me is too easy. Instead, we rely on invisibility, muffle, and a handful of lightning spells to confuse our enemies by "phase shifting" from sight and sounds, only to reappear repositioned ready to fire off more spells to fry them!

I will explain in more detail in the Gameplay section, but let me break down the details of the build


Race: Breton

Major Skills: Destruction, Illusion, Alteration

Minor Skills: Enchanting, Sneak, Restoration

Stone: The Shadow


  • Head: Circlet (your design choice!) - Fortify Destruction + Magicka
  • Chest: Clothes (Blue!) - Fortify Illusion + Magicka Regen
  • Hands: Thalmor Gloves - Fortify Magicka
  • Feet: Thalmor Boots - Muffle
  • Amulet: Fortify Destruction + Magicka
  • Ring: Fortify Illusion + Magicka

Shouts: Become Ethereal (very important), Throw Voice, Storm Call, Whirlwind Sprint, Aura Whisper

Abilities: Dragonskin - Helpful early on with mage fights, but always helpful with dragons.

*** For this build, it is recommended that you have white/light grey hair, white eyes, and muttonchops! Makes you look like a proper, badass lightning mage who is up to no good! ***


Skills and Perks

Destruction: Your offensive magic skill. Your are a master in all lightning spells and incantations. From Sparks to Lightning Storm, Wall of Storms, Lightning Cloak, and Lightning Rune, you are a death dealing machine.

Novice - Master, Augmented Shock 2/2, Disintegrate, Dual Cast, Impact, Rune Master

Illusion: This is what makes the Phase Shifter possible. Using muffle and invisibility, you can turn yourself into an undetectable phantom that can reposition himself to achieve maximum range damage while never getting hit from crazed barbarians or enemy mages.

Novice - Expert, Animage, Kindred Mage, Quiet Casting (MOST important perk!)

Alteration: Your defense if found out. Very helpful early on, as mage armor perks help before being able to turn invisible. Paralyze is a huge component to this build, sort of like a "stun gun" if you will!

Novice - Master, Mage Armor 3/3, Magic Resist 3/3, Stability, Atronach

Sneak: Not many perks invested, but still the bread and butter of the build. Sneaking is the only way in which using invisibility and muffle together can make you totally disappear to enemies, even if they are right in front of you! This build is sneaking 95% of the time.

Stealth 1/5, Muffled Movement, Light Foot, Silent Roll, Silence, Shadow Warrior

Enchanting: A great crafting skill. This makes the Phase Shifter worry less when in combat. Thunder spells, invisibility, and paralyze are costly. Reducing those costs to your liking make this build possible, as you will be "phase shifting" in and out constantly to hide from enemies and to create distance between you and them. This also provides an ENORMOUS magicka pool, something extremely important to have with this character build. More magicka, the better!

Enchanter 5/5, Insightful, Corpus, Extra Effect

Restoration: An always welcome skills. Healing is necessary is found out and retreating (less later on) and magicka regeneration as well as instant healing if almost dead is a great source of power.

Novice - Adept, Regeneration, Recovery 2/2, Avoid Death



This character concept shines through the gameplay and actual application of the ideas. Sneaking is your number one priority and this becomes much easier through the attainment of quiet casting. Illusion levels VERY fast if you are constantly putting on Muffle, as it helps so, so much with sneaking around anywhere you go. With quiet casting, you are not exactly the "best assassin" as lightning spells will eventually give your position away. This is why invisibility is so darn important. Casting invisibility with muffle already cast on your feet makes you completely out of "detection" of enemies. The sneak "eye" will stay open for awhile and enemies will keep looking for you, but getting away from a heated melee fight or mage fight is so much fun with this method! This gives you time to travel to high ground, behind an object, or across the room to continue your onslaught of shocking death.

Alteration plays a huge role in this build. I always love taking alteration on any mage I make for the most part, and paralyze will be your best friend. It is sort of a "uh oh" button when you cannot handle a certain fight. It is best used on high level enemies (that do not resist it) as it saves time on constantly "phasing". Taze em down and blast away!

Enchanting makes this build shine as I have said before. I never reduce casting costs down to 0%, the game would be pointless then... Instead, I steadily increased the amount of cost reduction as I leveled up as I saw fit. This gave me a feeling of "leveling up" more than just gaining a perk and the Nord chanting sounds.

The acquiring of the Shadow Stone early is pretty important, as invisibility will not become available to buy until you reach 70 in Illusion. Plus, it is a cost-free invisibility spell for 60 seconds once a day, what is not to love?!

The shouts Become Ethereal is also a huge component to this build and will be explained more in the special moves list. Some of the moves may have been used in other builds, such as Mason's Salamander, but implementing them into this build is a must for added fun.


Some "Special" Moves...

Phase Shift - Invisibility + Muffle + Sneak - Become an invisible and inaudible agent to reposition and then attack once more. Main tactic of this build.

Stun Trap - Paralyze + Wall of Storms - Laying down wall of storms and paralyze your enemies to fry!

Storm Onslaught - Lightning Cloak/Wall of Storms/Lightning Rune + Become Ethereal - Casting all of your surrounding lightning spells and then activating Become Ethereal makes you an invulnerable lightning trap, and shocks all nearby enemies.

Silent Rune - Lightning Rune (Rune Master) + Throw Voice - Make enemies walk right into your powerful lightning traps!


I hope you will all consider this build for your next play through. It has been a SHOCKINGly fun experience and a great character to role play as. As usual, I have role played my best, such as not picking up heavy armors to sell, staying to a somewhat realistic sleeping/eating schedule at time, and not becoming too overly powerful, which is partly why I do not want to cost reduce spells to 0%. Enjoy this build, let me know what you think!

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