To continue the Necromage trend where the Mirage left off, I thought I'd post the White Walker next. It's a slightly updated version - Two Handed has been changed to One Handed for efficiency, and I've changed the armour around, but other than that it's largely the same build. It's easily one of my best builds, so I hope you all enjoy!
Time-bending Spellsword: The White Walker's main focus is on enhancing the effects of Slow Time through various perks and buffs, letting you turn Slow Time into Stop Time with the White Walker's signature move, Warp.
Mastery of Magic: One of my favourite parts about the White Walker is the immense arsenal of flashy moves at your disposal, all while sticking to the source material. You can summon armies of dead, become practically immortal, create Blizzards and force enemies to a standstill. So if you're looking for a flashy mage who doesn't just chuck endless Expert destruction spells at their opponents, look no further; the White Walker has it all.
Undead Party Leader: Like the Crusader but with a sinister twist, the White Walker can function as a party leader, only this time with undead summons and an icy hellhound at its side.
They come with the cold…
Dead men riding their dead horses, followed by their legions of dead minions. Like the coming of the dragons, their arrival was unforeseen, and yet they can wreak as much havoc as any wyrm. Time itself is their plaything, with blades of ice their weapons and armour of night being their garb...
With the powers of Frostfall at their lifeless fingertips, nothing can stop the White Walkers from sweeping across Skyrim, a never-ending winter at their heels...
Race: Orc Vampire
Shouts: Dragon Aspect, Frost Breath, Slow Time
Major Skills: Destruction, Conjuration, Enchanting, One Handed
Minor Skills: Alteration, Alchemy, Restoration
Weapons: Enchanted Stalhrim Sword, Chillrend, The Pale Blade
Apparel: Aetherial Crown, Ancient Nordic Armour, Ahzidal’s Ring of Arcana, Ahzidal’s Ring of Necromancy, Ring of the Erudite, Amulet of Talos
Passives: Dragonborn Frost, Seeker of Sorcery, Blessing of Talos
Recommended Quests: College of Winterhold, The Jagged Crown, Hag’s End, Unearthed, The Bloodstone Chalice, Dragonborn, Raven Rock Mine
As a White Walker, your main weapon will be your manipulation of time. Through chronomancy, your enemies will become your playthings. Every skill chosen will benefit Slow Time in some way. Frost magic and minions will slow enemies even more, with Enchanting and Alchemy buffing up these effects. Restoration and Alteration are taken for the two most useful perks in this build, Alteration further beefed up for Paralysis (turning slow to stop). One Handed provides us with the skill to wield a truly deadly weapon of ice.
For White Walkers, the manipulation of time itself is a skill. Capable of pretty much stopping time, a White Walker becomes the greatest battle commander as well as warrior, with opportunities to reassess a situation and formulate a plan of action in the safety of the midst of battle. I like to call this technique a ‘Warp’.
To accomplish a Warp, you’ll need several shouts, spells, perks, effects and pieces of equipment:
- Slow Time
- Necromage (and Vampirism for that matter)
- Amulet of Talos
- Blessing of Talos
- Slow Poisons
Now not all of these ingredients are required for the basic recipe of a Warp. In fact, a Warp can be achieved with just the top two. However, it becomes a thing of beauty once you factor in the latter items.
Slow Time and Necromage are the bare necessity for a Warp. As many of you will know, Necromage enhances any spell (shout, enchantment of buff) a vampire performs. Namely, increasing the effect by 25% and the duration by 50%. This means a 3 word slow time (which slows down time by 90% and lasts 16 seconds) will now slow down time by 92.5% (90%, + 25% of the remaining 10%) and last 24 seconds.
Now include Stability. As slowing time counts as an Alteration effect, and Stability increases all Alteration spell times by 50%, Slow Time’s duration is augmented even more. Now what’s really interesting is Stability’s extra 50% doesn’t add 50% of the original Slow Time duration (which would be 8 of 16 seconds), it adds 50% of the new, Necromage enhanced duration, which is 24 seconds. So now you have 36 seconds of Slow Time.
That’s not all. Enter the Amulet and Blessing of Talos. Both decrease shout cool down by 20%. That makes 40% cool down reduction total. But being a vampire with Necromage, we get a bonus 25% effect and 50% duration enhancement. That means the Blessing of Talos now lasts for 12 hours, and combined with the Amulet reduces shout cool down by 50%. Slow Time’s cool down is 60 seconds, and since our Slow Time now lasts 36 seconds, we have a cool down faster than our shout duration!
Through in Freeze and Slow Poisons to slow enemies even further if you have to, and if you're truly looking for a nuclear option, try Slow Time with Dragon Aspect...
Destruction is thoroughly beefed up, with all rank and frost perks taken. Conjuration is perked up to Expert to take advantage of Dread Zombie, as the White Walker has no need for permanent thralls. Only Necromancy is taken on the undead branch, as Dark Souls interferes with Ahzidal’s Ring of Necromancy. Atronach side is taken to get Twin Souls, and because Frost Atronachs make both suitable and sturdy companions. Restoration was only perked for Necromage and easy healing, and should be trained between levels 10-20 to acquire the perk as soon as possible.
One Handed perks were taken conservatively. More ranks in Armsman simply weren’t needed, as the enchantment damage from your sword deals more than enough hurt as it is. Speaking of crafting skills, both Enchanting and Alchemy were perked with no grinding in mind. Alchemy can stop at 60, Enchanting at 80, meaning very little time spent grinding crafting skills. In fact, Alchemy levelled incredibly easy with Salmon Roe potions, and Enchanting through naturally enchanting and disenchanting equipment.
Equipment is surprisingly simple for the White Walker, with a basic set and only a few extras being needed. The Stalhrim Sword is the perfect choice, letting you cast spells while using it, but also because Stalhrim weapons enchanted with Frost damage have a 25% bonus magnitude. Combine this with 2/2 Augmented Frost and Frost Enchanter, and your sword will be doing 100% more Frost Damage than most enchanters! Simply too good to pass up. Chillrend and the Pale Blade are also great alternatives, since your Augmented Frost perks will increase the magnitude of their frost damage enchantments.
I went with Ancient Nordic Armour to fit the look of an undead warrior, but really anything is fine, since you don't need much defence with all of the time-bending. Aim for enchantments like Fortify Destruction, Magicka and Stamina. An Amulet of Talos fills in the neck slot, with the ring being Ahzidal’s Ring of Arcana or the Ring of the Erudite. The Aetherial Crown (with the Ritual Stone stored in) and Ahzidal’s Ring of Necromancy are the final pieces which are swapped in during a special move.
Potions and Poisons
All of the ingredients are easy to come by, and can be grown in a Hearthfire Greenhouse or Fish Hatchery, apart from Elves Ear and Salt Pile (looting houses and barrels respectively can net a huge number of these).
Winter’s Gale – Fortify Alteration+Restore Magicka
Elves Ear+Grass Pod+River Betty
Uses: Incredibly useful potion if you’re going into what you know is going to be a long battle. Having longer lasting flesh spells, paralysis and Slow Time can make combat a lot easier.
Winter’s Shriek – Fortify Destruction+Fortify Health
Uses: More of an offensive potion this time, made for getting right in the thick of things with sword and spell. Allows a White Walker to create even more devastation and death through ice magic.
Lethargy – Slow+Weakness to Magic
Creep Cluster+Deathbell+Salt Pile
Uses: Your signature poison. A deadly combination when used in conjunction with frost magic, freezing the blood of the victim while weakening them to more spellcraft.
Blackfrost – Weakness to Frost+Weakness to Poison
Abacean Longfin+Deathbell+White Cap
Uses: The deadliest toxin in the White Walker’s arsenal, making the unfortunate target much weaker to sword, spell and further poisons.
Enhancer 1 – Fortify Restoration + Weakness to Frost
Abacean Longfin+Salt Pile+White Cap
Uses: This acts as a potion with a negative effect, letting you poison yourself with Weakness to Frost. Used to increase the damage of Blizzard.
Enhancer 2 – Fortify Restoration + Weakness to Magic
Abacean Longfin+Creep Cluster+Salt Pile
Uses: This acts as a potion with a negative effect, letting you poison yourself with Weakness to Magic. Used to increase the damage of Blizzard.
Your signature skill, and the foundation of several others. White Walkers are masters of time, and using their unique combination of abilities can reduce it so that they move as if in a blur to mere mortals.
I considered excluding this from the abilities section, but I believe it deserves a place there. Be sure to use this move liberally, as it can be really diverse. Not only just an opener, Warp can be particularly useful in the midst of battle. If you notice your summons are dead or timed out, or there are more enemies than you anticipated, Warp and reposition! This allows you to get your breath back and plan your next move all in the blink of an eye to your foes. Perfect for a build that has relatively little armour and is susceptible to those irritating kill cams.
Requires: Slow Time, Necromage, Stability, Amulet and Blessing of Talos, Freeze, Lethargy
Although the Death Hound’s cloak is very minor (only 1pt of damage), what’s really interesting about them is their bite inflicts Slow, meaning you won’t need to be using poisons or Freeze as much because you already have a pet which comes with it. Add that to the Frost Atronach’s 10pt cloak and you’ve got quite a bit of passive damage going on. Not to mention enemies will be moving rather sluggishly. What’s best about this ability is that it can be accomplished quite early on in your playthrough, as soon as Destruction and Conjuration reach 50, and you can throw in a Fortify Destruction potion if you feel your cloak lacks range or damage.
Requires: Frost Cloak, Death Hound, Frost Atronach
Probably my favourite move. White Walkers command winter itself, and can bring a deadly blizzard at their heels to annihilate any who oppose them. Just moments before the inevitable doom, the victims are suddenly stricken with weakness, making them even more susceptible to the icy barrage.
Use Warp, drink Winter’s Shriek to increase your damage then start walking backwards and casting Ice Storms. They’ll appear to hang in the air, clumped together and moving very slowly towards your targets. Poison your blade with Blackfrost, then charge at your enemies. After poisoning them and Slow Time wearing off, a deluge of ice will swarm past you, devastating your already weakened foes. You’ll also have fortified health, so fights against remaining opponents needn’t be a hassle.
Requires: Warp, Ice Storm, Critical Charge, Winter’s Shriek, Blackfrost
Definitely the most powerful ability in a White Walker’s arsenal. Secret of Protection and Berserker Rage will last 90 seconds with Necromage, and with Dragonhide will render you practically invulnerable to damage, at least against physical enemies. Vampire's Sight simply makes it easier to see with Berserker Rage. Perfect for surviving on Legendary if you choose.
Requires: Dragonhide, Necromage, Stability, Secret of Protection, Berserker Rage, Vampire's Sight
Winter is Coming
Requiring many of your most powerful abilities, the White Walker can turn a host of dead enemies into a weapon of mass destruction. Raising a legion of icy time bombs, a White Walker can bring on a shattering winter, decimating their enemies with a furious maelstrom. Use the Ritual Stone in the Aetherial Crown to activate this whenever you want, then buff yourself with the Enhancer potions and detonate your army with Blizzard for an incredible icy explosion.
Requires: Ritual Stone (Aetherial Crown), Ahzidal’s Ring of Necromancy, Warp, Blizzard, Enhancers
Warp is your key technique in combat. Mixed with Frost spells and poisons, as well as Frozen Aura, enemies will be moving incredibly slowly, making it easy to dance around them. Cloaks and Walls are particularly useful, as the slowed enemies will remain in their area for longer and the DoT is enhanced by Slow Time. Mounted combat also has a place in the White Walker’s arsenal. Arvak makes for the best horse because he can be summoned at any time, and looks the part too, letting you lead a frosty warband with Frozen Aura.
Icy Dive is a great opening move; if you cast Ice Storm while walking backwards it moves much slower, letting you fire multiple at once, which will all move in a big clump towards your enemies once Slow Time wears off. Lead the charge with a poisoned blade just before this happens so that you can poison your foes just before they're hit by a wave of ice. For this move I'd advise just using one word of Slow Time, as it's fairly quick to set up.
Immortality and Winter is Coming act as your ultimate moves; the former is fairly self-explanatory, letting you become a tank despite the lack of armour skills - throw in a Winter's Gale potion if you want to have Dragonhide last even longer. Winter is Coming lets you lead a volatile army, which you can detonate yourself with a Blizzard. As many of you may know, the strength of Blizzard is affected by your own resistances to both Frost and Magc, so use the Enhancer potions to weaken your natural vampiric resistances before casting the spell - the Apprentice Stone helps here as well. Most of the time however the Enhancers may not be needed, as the damage from the Ahzidal's ring zombies can be more than enough. Even better, since the Ritual Stone is in the Aetherial Crown and Ritual Stone zombies don't disintegrate into ash, you can use this ability multiple times with the same group of zombies.
Closing Notes and Credits
DeviantArt, Thraen and Google for the various images