Character Build: The Strafer

I guess I have run out of ideas that I have come full circle!! For now... 

I thought back to other roleplaying games and remembered how fun it was to kite and strafe about using agility while picking off bad guys with a high powered ranged weapon ... and thus The Strafer was born. Plus I wanted to have a go at a build based on STAMINA! Let’s take a look...

 The Strafer

The Strafer is a master crafter and tactical marksman that uses speed, agility, and intelligence to avoid enemies, apply poisons for deadly strikes, and have heightened regenerative capabilities all while being out in the open and not having to hide in the shadows. You are constantly moving when in battle and strafing enemies non stop with poisoned arrows and bolts.

Utilizing a crossbow, The Strafer relies on Stamina at all times to be effective in combat. Sprinting, using steady hands, and the occasional bow bash are combined for quick dodging and incredible accuracy. Crossbows fit better for this build than bows for a few reasons. 

  • Instant firing mechanism
  • Massive damage
  • Fast projectile speed
  • Stagger!

Of course some of the drawbacks are the slower reload speed, but in my time with this build, the positives outweigh the negatives ... Plus I love using crossbows again!

This build ALSO uses bows. Using both creates a diverse arsenal of death, and also faster bows deal extremely well with larger groups.

  • Faster rate of fire
  • Bigger DPS
  • Longer projectile arc
  • Speed!

This build differs from my Arbalist build in a few ways as well - Extremely mobile, no spells, light armor, and no focus on melee at all (no shield). Now for the details... The build is heavy on crafting gear and potions, but never overlapping the skills to become super overpowered.


Race: Redguard

Major Skills: Archery, Alchemy, Light Armor

Minor Skills: Smithing (Cooking!)

Stone: Steed (beginning) - Lady (higher levels - "enchanced" regeneration)


  • Head - Linwe's Hood
  • Chest - Linwe's Armor
  • Hands - Linwe's Gloves/Thieves Guild Gloves
  • Boots - Linwe's Boots/Thieves Guild Boots
  • Ring - +Stamina Regeneration
  • Amulet - Locket of St. Jiub (+50 stamina/+50 carry weight)


  • Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow
  • Zephyr

Shouts: Whirlwind Sprint, Slow Time, Unrelenting Force

Abilities: Adrenaline Rush - This is a key part of the Strafer. Having your stamina regenerate 10x faster makes you a sprinting machine, making you not worry of becoming winded and out of breathe. This is also important for aiming down your bow, as this takes up stamina at a pretty quick rate. Having "unlimited" slow time effect in archery for 60s is very fun!


Skills and Perks

Archery: Overdraw 5/5, Critical Shot, Eagle Eye, Hunter's Discipline, Steady Hand 2/2, Power Shot, Ranger, Quick Shot

Light Armor: Agile Defender 5/5, Custom Fit, Unhindered, Wind Walker, Deft Movement

Alchemy: All perks!!

Smithing: Steel, Arcane, Dwarven

Stats: 0/1/2 for M/H/S



The main idea surrounding this build is to be completely devoid of magic, constantly moving, and using speed/agility to dodge enemy attacks while

shooting as fast as possible. I never take both Steady Hand perks, but they prove to be AMAZING. Being able to slow time down so much is effective for this build since you are constantly running and dodging, a well timed sighted-shot is what makes this build awesome.

Another aspect of this build is cooking! With the added baking as well, there are many recipes to add rather significant bonuses to stamina and stamina regeneration, both welcome additions to help make this character a workhorse of combat archery.

Using the environment is something I tried to be more aware of in this playthrough. Cliffs, stairwells, trees: anything to put an obstacle between you and your enemy really does help. It REALLY does help. The use of slow poisons and damage stamina poisons are fantastic, but to conserve resources early on, objects out in the wilderness or in dungeons are your best friend.

Overall, being reliant on the wilderness and resources found in the land of Skyrim is a ton of fun. Upgrading both your Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow and Zephyr with Dwarven Metal Ingots you forge as well as upgrading your armor with pelts and leather from hunting? Sweet. Utilizing ingredients to create powerful healing potions and deadly poisons? Yes please. Finally taking a shot at using food, cooking, and the new baking? Icing on the cake.

I hope you enjoy this build. This was a rather quick playthrough for me and went by too quickly! My brain has been going insane thinking of new ideas, so hopefully this will give a boost to someone's imagination.

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  • I really like this build. I've never seen a build that could justify using both a crossbow and a bow.
  • Pure Stamina eh? Now this is something I've never seen myself at all. Also you hit Rank:Apprentice

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