As with most of my builds, this one requires several mods to work at its peak. You will need the following mods, all of which are available on both the PC and Xbox One Special Editions of Skyrim.
*Ordinator: Perk Overhaul
*Andromeda: Standing Stones of Skyrim
*Imperious: Races of Skyrim
*Alternate Start: Live Another Life
To achieve the aesthetic shown here for this build, you’ll need these mods:
*Garrus’ Axe Collection OR Kyne's Breath Weapon Pack
Of course, you can create your own aesthetic with vanilla stuff if you like, but this is what I used for my character.
'Sup all! Glad you could drop by the next build in my "For Honor" Skyrim SE Modded Build series. This is only the second installment, but I have loads of plans already made for future characters so they are still coming! I've spent a lot of time trying to really capture the playstyle of the corresponding hero to each build in "For Honor" as much as I can, so if any of you play the game your opinion would be much appreciated. The first build in this series, the Warden, was the Vanguard character for the Knights. Today, we have the Vanguard for the Vikings . . .
The Atmorans. The first race of men to make their presence known upon the lands of Tamriel. They were warriors. Their might was such that even the strength of the Falmer civilization could do naught to stand against them. Sometimes, an Atmoran was born that carried the spark of the gods. Raiders, they were called.
It was a name that could summon the armies of the North. They were ruthless. Fearless; forged by the gods for the rigors of battle. They wielded the dane axe, the mightiest weapon of their people. A Raider wielded it without mercy. The Atmorans believed that the moment of a warrior’s death was written down in the texts of fate by the very gods themselves; chosen before even their birth. If this is so, what use have they of armor? Or of fear?
The Raider is a classic Viking warrior with a very neat playstyle. This character has the potential to deal insane amounts of damage, but at the cost of attack speed and frequency. He makes up for this with a variety of ways to temporarily disable his opponent, giving him a moment to land a strike. But often, a moment is all he needs to obliterate his opponent.
The Raider will be one of the Nords of Skyrim, a people known for their strength and endurance, descended from Ysgramor and the 500 Companions that ventured to Tamriel from the frozen northern land of Atmora. The Raider can be either male or female, as that hero is not locked onto a specific gender in For Honor.
As a Nord, the Raider will start with:
Health regeneration: 0.75%
Magicka regeneration: 2.875%
Stamina regeneration: 5.25%
Carry weight: 325
With the Imperious mod, Nords are naturally gifted with three passive Abilities and one Racial Power unlockable through a quest given as soon as the playthrough begins:
- Son of Skyrim: Resistance to frost, increased while Avatar is active.
- The Purge: At levels 10/20/30, choose a race to deal bonus damage to.
- Warrior's Heart: In combat, deal more damage as Health decreases.
Quest reward - Rediscover Skyrim's past by clearing 8 dungeons to unlock...
- Avatar: 1/day - Grants very fast Magicka and Stamina regeneration for a short time.
The Purge is an interesting ability, allowing you to choose three races to deal extra damage to, making you more effective at killing them in combat.
The Raider will make use out of the Warrior Stone, one of the three Guardian Stones found in Falkreath on its border with Whiterun. With the Andromeda mod, the Warrior Stone grants two new passive abilities, and one new unlockable power:
- Fierce Spirit: Power attacks do 15% more damage, and ranged weapons do up to 15% more damage based on distance.
- Warrior's Path: Learn two Warrior skills of your choice 20% faster. Sleep to change your choice.
- Star of the West: 1/day - Invoke the Warrior to refill Health and Stamina and fortify them by the amount restored for 30 seconds.
This stone is a pretty standard choice for a character focused on strength and endurance in combat. Although it will have no major or defining effects on the Raider’s playstyle, it’s buffs and powers are pretty useful for any warrior. The Warrior’s Path ability allows you to choose two warrior skills and improve the rate at which you learn them by 20%. The best choices here are Two-Handed and Smithing, because despite fitting into the warrior class, the Raider only uses two warrior skills. The power attack damage increase from the Fierce Spirit ability will also be rather useful, as part of the Raider’s playstyle relies on dealing massive damage with a single strike.
Long have the Nords harbored a deep-seated fear and disdain for the use of magic. The Raider is no acception. He does not need to rely on spells to aid him in battle; the strength of his arms and the power of his voice are more than enough to destroy his foes.
The Raider embraces the power of the Voice, but ignores the foolish peace-loving ways of the Greybeards. What point is there in raw power if one has not the will to harness it? What reason is there for the Thu’um if one cannot control it for the benefit of their people? The Thu’um is a tool, and one that the Raider, as the conduit of its power, uses to it’s fullest potential. Most often, the Raider will use:
Any other shouts you find helpful along the way are 100% viable
*Ancient Nord Helmet
*Amulet of Talos
*Battleaxe (i.e. Plain Shepherd's Axe [Dark] from Garrus' Axe Compilation)
Nords are a proud race. Pride plays a key role in their society; pride in their hold, pride in their work, pride in their religion, and pride in their heritage. The Nords hold the Atmorans, their forebears, in great esteem. They were the strongest and hardiest of warriors, living life in the harsh, icebound land of Atmora. As direct descendants of the Atmorans, early Nordic culture in Skyrim was very similar to that of Atmora, and that societal influence still affects the ways of the Nords.
Atmora was never a temperate land, and the people who inhabited its frozen landscape had no chance to develop any sort of agricultural system. They instead relied on hunting, but even more so, fishing. The Atmorans were a seafaring folk. They mastered the ability to construct massive ships that would glide effortlessly through even the raging waters of the Sea of Ghosts. These boats were likely often used for fishing and gathering resources from the sea, but they also had another purpose.
As a people who relied on hunting and were unable to cultivate their snowy land, food was not always a resource that was reliably provided. Each year, some clans of Atmorans had more food than others. This system inevitably caused near-constant war between the various clans of the Atmorans. In addition to gathering fish, their ships were used as vessels of war.
Nearly all Atmorans were capable warriors, but the most capable among them would lead attacks on other cities, towns, and villages to take food and resources necessary for survival. These warriors far surpassed competence in battle. With the strength given to them by the gods they were easily worth fifty standard soldiers, and often more. Their strength ran deeper than that of most men; they wielded their long-handled battle axes with an effortless ease that would send any foe running for fear of his life. Thus, they were known to their people as Raiders.
Although the ancient and somewhat barbaric traditions of the Atmorans have largely died away in the modernization of Nordic culture, still some elements of their lifestyle persist. Skyrim’s northern shores are ripe with resources for the taking, and some of the Nords still prefer a life on the high seas. Sailing and shipping for the East Empire Company can be a thrilling venture, but for some, their Atmoran blood calls them to something more.
Such crews are sometimes referred to as pirates, but in truth they are far more dangerous than any corsair. Ruthless and often brutal, they are the worst kind of seafaring brigands. Rarely, a wild-eyed survivor will return from one of the northern raiders’ attacks, telling tales of their insatiable hunger for bloodshed. They take what they want and then sink the ship, often leaving not a trace of the crime in their wake. Many crews of these sea-brigands are captained by warriors who follow the customs of the old Raiders of Atmora. They are a near-unbeatable force on the battlefield, and their hearts hold as little propensity for mercy as those of their ancestors.
One such Raider now sits in a remote prison in Eastmarch. He was considered far too dangerous to be held in the city itself. The captain of a raiding crew, he was outed by one of his own crew members. The fight to bring him in is still told around tables at the tavern among the guardsmen. He slayed man after man with his dane axe as they came at him. The Windhelm guard had not seen such casualties in nearly an age.
That Raider has meditated on his crimes and previous way of life, achieving a peace with the gods and within himself. Somewhere in the two and a half decades he has been wasting away in the cell he went to the patron god of his race, Talos, and repented for what he had done. Now, this man seeks redemption. He knows very little about what has transpired in the outside world in recent years. News of the Stormcloak Rebellion has not even reached his ears, nor has the signing of the White-Gold Concordat.
This is a man stepping foot into the outside world for the first time in many a year, desperately seeking redemption for what he has done. He will serve his people unquestioningly in order to perhaps in some small way earn forgiveness for his trespasses against them. Talos pulled him from the lowest point of his life; one can only imagine what will happen when such a man discovers that the worship of the very being to whom he has pledged his existence has been subjugated . . .
The Raider’s playstyle relies on temporarily disabling enemies and then utterly obliterating them with a single massive power attack. The perks for this build were taken with that in mind. Most of the perks in every skill tree focus on either buffing the Raider’s damage with his deadly battle axe, or allowing him to disable his opponents, creating an opening he can exploit.
With this in mind, here is an overview of which perks were taken with some highlights on the more important ones, and the reasoning behind them.
The main purpose that this skill tree serves to the Raider is to boost the damage of his dane axe. A couple of perk points thrown into Two-Handed Mastery will provide a pretty standard 50% increase to overall damage. More interestingly, it increases critical damage by 2% for each level in the two-handed skill. This handy bonus will affect other perks later on down the line, allowing you to do rather considerable damage on a critical hit once your two-handed skill level is higher. Bleed Like a Dog will serve to kill off most enemies that weren’t already destroyed by your power attacks with a damage over time effect. Ferocious Strength, Rive, Execute, Decimate, and Bisect all serve to buff power attack damage in some way or another. Ram’s Head is a key perk that makes a bash with a battle axe performed to interrupt an enemy attack stun the bashed enemy for a small period of time. This acts as part of the Raider’s “disabler” playstyle, creating an opening in which he can land a devastatingly powerful attack. Trample enables the Raider to perform a sprinting power attack, which will mainly be used as an opening attack for the Raider, particularly when he faces a larger group of enemies.
This skill only requires a light perk investment to serve its purpose to the Raider. Light Armor Mastery will increase your overall armor rating gained from light armor by 40%, giving the Raider a bit of extra protection in battle. As a Leaf makes power attacks glance off the Raider’s armor while he is sprinting, making the opening attack provided by the Trample perk mentioned above that much more effective.
It may come as a surprise to those of you unfamiliar with the Ordinator Perk Overhaul mod that the Speech skill is the second most invested in skill for the Raider. This is because with Ordinator, an entire new branch had been added to this skill tree that focuses on upgrading the Dragonborn’s Thu’um: a power which the Raider wields to great effect. Speech Mastery only requires one perk point investment because for the Raider it serves simply as a gateway to the more useful perks later down the line. It grants a boost to the amount you can sell items for, and makes intimidation attempts more likely to succeed; both of these benefits are not useful to the Raider. Things start to get more interesting with the And the Universe Listens perk, which restores the Raider’s attributes when he shouts equal to his shout cooldown in seconds. This will be quite useful in early game, but as the Raider reaches higher levels he this perk’s effectiveness will wear off. This is because some of the other perks in the Speech tree will lower his shout cooldown time, and thus the effectiveness of this perk. Bonuses from the Speech perks start to get much more useful to the Raider once you reach the Windborne perk. With this one, you’ll gain a 30% damage boost and 15% combat speed increase for 15 seconds every time you shout. The Raider will be using shouts fairly frequently in combat, so your 30% damage boost will be active for a fair portion of the time you are in combat. This perk plays a key role in the Raider’s playstyle, because it revolves so much around having a very high damage output. Additionally, with 2 perk points invested into Force Redoubled, you’ll gain a 50% chance to reduce the cooldown of a shout to 3 seconds. That combined with te bonus from the Amulet of Talos and the Shrine of Talos whenever you have access to it, Windborne will be active often. Finally, we come to the most key perk out of all those taken in the Speech tree: Thu’um of War. The benefits from this perk play precisely to the Raider’s playstyle: disable, then hit. And hit hard. What this will do is cause any shout to stagger enemies within 25 feet of the Raider, and at the same time reducing their armor rating by 300 points for 10 seconds. This gives the Raider an opportunity to deliver an blow that is already very damage-heavy due to the perks Two-Handed tree and crafting trees you’ll see below, but opponents will also be left with no or almost no armor rating. The stagger is just the icing on the cake. While the Raider’s enemies are sent reeling by the power of his Voice, he can easily pick out one of these unfortunate targets and land a free power attack, killing most standard enemies and dealing massive damage to higher level ones. As if that wasn’t enough, enemies already left below 25% health will be violently thrown to the ground if they are within 25 feet of you at the time you shout, leaving them helpless and waiting for your mighty axe to cleave them in two.
While I am not a huge fan of making crafting central to a build, considering how tedious leveling up in crafting skills can be, the Raider’s damage output would not be the same without some perks invested in the Smithing skill. Once you get 2 points invested into Smithing Mastery, all items (both weapons and armor) will be able to be improved 10% more at a grindstone or workbench. Advanced Workshop will allow you to upgrade one grindstone or workbench so that items improved at that workshop will be improved 1 tier higher than normal. This upgrade costs 2,500 gold, but is well worth the investment. Of course, since armor rating isn’t exactly central to the character, you’ll be choosing to upgrade a grindstone to boost the damage of your dane axe. The final perk taken from the Smithing tree will be Smithing Specialization. Upon taking this perk, you will be given a list of options on what sort of equipment you want to specialize in making. Choose Two-Handed. Once you have done this, you’ll be able to improve two-handed weapons 20% more. When you finally have all of these perks, upgrade your dane axe at the advanced workshop, and that thing will be a beast of a weapon, especially if you get it to legendary level. Even without perks from the Two-Handed skill tree that boost two-handed weapon damage, your dane axe will be a formidable weapon on its own.
I know, I know. Another crafting skill. But hear me out on this one. The point of taking perks in this tree is to get the Skyhook enchantment from the Summermyst mod on your axe, and making sure it is fairly effective without having to grind out too many Enchanting levels. The Skyhook enchantment is one more way that the Raider can disable opponents. While it is not guaranteed to take effect, it has a chance to lift a target off their feet with every strike, immobilizing them for long enough for you to land one of those devastating power attacks. Two perk points in Enchanting Mastery makes new enchantments 40% stronger, and with Thunderstruck, weapon enchantments are 25% more effective when delivered by a power attack. This plays right into the Raider’s hands, as he will deliver power attacks quite often, especially after stunning or staggering a foe. If the might power attack that follows doesn’t kill them, it will have a much higher chance of putting Skyhook into effect, allowing for yet another power attack that will likely finish them off. You can even further increase the chances of the enchantment taking effect with Gem Dust, which allows you to sacrifice a flawless gem by crushing it and dusting it across an enchanting table to increase the strength of the next enchantment applied using that table by 25%.
Now that we know what each perk will do and the reasoning for taking it, let’s take a look at how they come together to shape the Raider’s combat style with these unique abilities.
Requirements: Ferocious Strength, Rive, Bisect, and Ram’s Head perks + Legendary battle axe
This ability is the main combat move for the Raider. It can be used very frequently, and in pretty much any scenario, although it works best on a target at full or high health. The Ram’s Head perk serves as the disabler here. When an enemy is about to strike, bash with your battle axe. Thanks to Ram’s Head, this will open up a 2 second window for you to land a free standing power attack. The damage done by this single strike will be incredible. Your legendary battle axe should already be able to deal a fair amount of damage with a regular strike. The damage your power attacks do is increased by 15% due to Ferocious Strength. That perk also increases power attack damage by 0.1% per point of stamina. Two perk points invested into Rive will give you another nice damage boost by allowing your battle axe to ignore 50% of the target enemy’s armor rating. Finally, Bisect makes standing power attacks do additional damage equal to 15% of the target’s health. This maxes out at 150 points of extra damage. This perk is the reason that the Wild Blow ability is so effective against enemies that are relatively high on health points. Often, this single power attack will kill a standard enemy.
Ancestral Battlecry - Roar with all of the fury of your forebears, shouting fear into the enemy. You imbue your ferocious scream of rage with the power of your Thu’um, forcing enemies to the ground with the shear force of it. Before long they’ll find themselves facing the business end of your battle axe.
Requirements: Unrelenting Force shout + Ferocious Strength, Execute, Windborne, and Thu’um of War perks
With Thu’um of War, as you use the Unrelenting Force shout, all enemies within a 25 foot radius of your Thu’um will be staggered, and those with 25% health or less will be violently thrown to the ground. Additionally, their armor rating will be reduced by 300 points for 10 seconds, making most enemies virtually defenseless for that duration. Windborne will boost your damage output by 30% every time you perform a shout, and Ferocious Strength gives a passive 15% buff to power attacks (plus a 0.1% buff per point of stamina). With all enemies remotely close to you staggered or completely knocked down, you will be able to deliver a large amount of damage to a target, and sometimes multiple targets. If an enemy has fallen on the ground, the Execute perk will allow you to instantly kill them with a forward power attack. What Execute actually does is give you a guaranteed 20x damage critical hit on targets below 30% health. Since any targets on the ground must be at 25% health or lower, a forward power attack will kill them instantly.
Charging Fury - As you watch your enemies ready themselves for combat, you can’t help but allow yourself a small smile. They have no idea what they are preparing to face. Introduce them to a real warrior with a ferocious charge, cutting down multiple men in a matter of seconds.
Requirements: As a Leaf and Trample perks
This is a fairly simple ability that has a couple of uses to the Raider. Trample lets the Raider perform a sprinting power attack that not only does up to 50% more damage, but does critical damage that increases the more health the target has. This makes it an extremely effective opening move since all enemies will be at full health at the beginning of combat, meaning that you will deal a huge amount of critical damage on that enemy. As a Leaf is a Light Armor perk that makes you ignore half of all incoming power attack damage and immunizes you to stagger while sprinting. This means that you cannot be interrupted during this ability. This feature of the ability means that Trample can also be used mid-combat if you find yourself getting overwhelmed with enemies. The fact that the attack is performed while sprinting also makes it a fairly effective mage and archer killer. Both of these enemy types prefer to remain at a range, but you should be able to fairly quickly close the distance without taking too many hits yourself and deal a large amount of damage.
Tide of Talos - The Lord of Men protects the heroes who serve him and their people. Now redeemed in the eyes of Talos, the Raider fights with a god on his side. Talos has graciously given the Raider the ability to toss his foes aside like leaves to the wind.
Requirements: Skyhook enchantment + Ferocious Strength and Execute perks
The main feature of this ability is the Skyhook enchantment. This gives attacks with your axe the chance to lift targets off of their feet and immobilize them for a period of time. Hit your enemy with a regular attack. If the enchantment takes effect, Ferocious Strength and Execute will allow you to deliver a high-damage power attack, functioning similarly to the way they do in the Ancestral Battlecry ability.
As you’ve probably noticed after reading the abilities, much of the Raider’s playstyle focuses on disabling enemies and allowing him to deal massive damage to them once they are defenseless. This matches up well with the playstyle of For Honor’s Raider, who specializes and stunning, guard-breaking, and throwing enemies, creating openings for him to land his slow but heavy damage attacks. Most of the abilities are simply different ways for the Raider to accomplish this.
Open up with the Charging Fury ability. This will thin the herd of enemies a bit, and is especially useful against overwhelming numbers. In fact, you may be lucky enough to get this ability off more than once, which is, again, especially good against large groups of enemies.
After that, the Raider doesn’t have to strategize or plan too much. What’s more important for this character is quick-thinking, and an analytical eye that will notice the right times to use each ability. Keeping an eye on your stamina is key. The staple combat move for the Raider will be the Wild Blow ability. It’s very accessible since the Raider has high enough stamina to bash fairly frequently. Of course, his stamina isn’t unlimited, so you’ll have to manage it carefully and keep an eye on how much you’ve got left. If you find yourself low on or out of Stamina, the Ancestral Battlecry ability is your friend. This one is still fairly accessible because it only requires the first couple words of the Unrelenting Force shout (and thus has a fairly low shout cooldown). Using it will also restore your health and stamina, particularly if you decide to use all three words in the Unrelenting Force shout. With a higher cooldown comes more points of health and stamina restored, per the And the Universe Listens perk.
Meanwhile, the Tide of Talos ability should be taking effect from time to time as you deliver regular non-power attack strikes, giving you even more opportunities to kill of foes. It will take some getting used to, but eventually you’ll start to notice opportunities to use your “disable/attack” abilities, and get a greater sense of how they all flow together in combat.
ROLEPLAYING & QUESTLINES:
Of course, the roleplaying and questlines for your character are ultimately up to you, but some quests fit roleplaying for this character better than others.
From the backstory, we already have a pretty good idea of what motivates the Raider: redemption. He has a dark past, and to fully redeem himself in the eyes of Skyrim’s people and in the eyes of his lord Talos, he must dedicate the remainder of his life to serving others and eliminating the dangers that stalk Skyrim’s forests and tundras.
Upon leaving his prison of nearly 25 years (choose the Alternate Start option "I want to escape this cell"), the Raider will discover the terms of the White-Gold Concordat, and will be enraged at the cowardice of the Empire, and the new restrictions upon the freedoms of his people. At the ready to defend the name of Talos, he will join the Stormcloak rebellion and work his way up in the ranks, eventually liberating Skyrim from the Empire’s iron grip.
After that, any questlines that are for the good of Skyrim work for the Raider. That means the Dawnguard quest, the Dragonborn quest, and the main story are all viable options. Once you have completed the Civil War quests, the order you do the other quests in depends on where you want to take your character from a roleplaying standpoint, and you can get as creative as you want. Perhaps the Raider will eliminate Miraak and the Volkihar Vampires, and then embark on a final quest to destroy the World Eater. Once he reaches Sovngarde and defeats Alduin, perhaps he will rest there with his brothers, having fully achieved redemption. Or maybe he will first defeat the world eater and then return to Tamriel to fend of the oncoming evils of Miraak and the Volkihar Vampires. Again, you can switch up the order to fit your idea of where you want the character to go. An additional option is of course the Companions questline. This isn't necessarily a staple of the Raider's playthrough because lycanthropy isn't a huge part of his playstyle, and his focus is more on self-redemption than achieving honor and glory. Still though, it's a viable option, especially due to it's connection with the old continent of Atmora.
When it comes to interacting with the citizens of Skyrim, the Raider is gruff and somewhat abrasive, but not entirely unkind or confrontational. He will have little tolerance for those who support the Empire due to their treachery. He will aid any who need it, particularly if it involves bashing a few heads. Although he is willing to help in the name of redemption, the Raider is no courier, and won’t waste time carrying goods or messages that could be spent fighting for the liberation of Skyrim. He will especially seek to aid those sympathetic to the Stormcloak cause. Typical of his race and traditionalist ideals, the Raider is much like his Nord brothers in his disdain for those who would call Skyrim their home that aren’t Nords. He believes that only the descendants of the Atmorans can lay claim to the land that their forebears fought and bled for.
This brings us almost to the end of this installment of my For Honor character build series, but there’s still a few final things to discuss about the Raider. Housing won’t play an essential role for this character, but it is undeniably useful for storage, and just the opportunity to have a base of operations to return to. Hjerim is a good option as it places the Raider in close proximity with his Stormcloak brothers.
The Raider will not bother with any followers, as he is perfectly capable in battle without one. Plus, he’s more of a loner type from a roleplaying standpoint. After being betrayed by his very own crew back in his days as a true sea raider, he will be slow to trust anyone that closely again. By the same token, marriage is not really an option for the Raider.
No mounts are central to the Raider’s playstyle, but horses are always good for getting around.
That just about covers all of it! Thanks for the read, and I hope you enjoyed it. I'd like to give a massive thanks to Mr. Curse Never Dying for providing the wonderful art for each of the abilties. He's done an amazing job on them as always.
If you did indeed enjoy this one, leave behind a like and a comment with your feedback to let me know what you thought of it, and look forward to more For Honor based builds. Once again, thank you so much for reading through the build. Now go forth! Redeem yourself in the eyes of the might God Talos! Defend your people from the banes that plague your land!
For anyone who didn't know, I have a YouTube channel where I post builds like this one. If you want to see more, check it out here: