Contest Build: The Imperial Corsair

Welcome one and all to what will hopefully be the winning build. Today I present to you a character build whose damage potential is unrivaled among the entire roster of contest builds. This build was tested on Legendary difficulty and at its peak tore through most enemies with little effort. I present to you....


Image result for assassins creed edward kenway

The Imperial Corsair was born to a high ranking officer within the Imperial Navy and an alchemist. Before he came of age both his mother and father had died out at sea in service to the Empire, fighting off the constant scourge of Stormcloak raids, smuggling, and Thalmor incursionns. He was on his own from as early as age 14 but he was a self sufficient young lad who survived on his own. His father had taught him how to defend himself, and his mother had bestowed upon him the healing arts of alchemy. 

As soon as he was 18 years of age he joined the Imperial Navy wanting only to follow in his parent's footsteps. Not long after he inlisted the Great War which would reshape an empire began. It was during the great war that the Imperial Corsair more than proved himself. He was an exceptional marksman and peerless swordsman. He was able to single handedly dispatch dozens of raiders in the blink of an eye and sight down and hit a target from miles away.

The White Gold Concordat should have ended the war. But the Thalmor had other plans in mind. In a clandestine raid which would seal his crew's fates the Thalmor captured the Corsair. For the next few years he would be shipped from one prison camp to another. Eventually he would find himself on a cart bound for Helgen to face execution. The Empire it seems had sold out their most loyal officers. 

And the rest of that story you know all too well...



Race: Imperial because it fits the backstoy

Stone: Atronach is the overall best stone in the game. Mitigates 50% magic damage

Stats: 1 Health 3 Stamina


  • Dwarven Crossbow - Chaos Damage & Absorb Health 
  • Dual Imperial Swords - Absorb Health & Absorb Stamina on each. 


  • Head: Fortify Archery
  • Torso: Fortify Health and Health Regen
  • Boots and Gauntlets + Fortify One Handed, fortify Archery
  • Ring and Pendant: Fortify Archery and Fortify Onehanded



5/5 Overdraw
3/3 Critical Shot
1/1 Eagle Eye
1/1 Power Shot
3/3 Critical Shot

Ranger 1/1

Hunter's Discipline 1/1

Bullseye 1/1


5/5 Stealth
1/1 Backstab
1/1 Deadly Aim
1/1 Assassin's Blade 

Light Armor:

5/5 Agile defender
1/1 Custom Fit
1/1 Matching Set
1/1 Deft Movement


5/5 Light Fingers
1/1 Night Thief
1/1 Poisoned
1/1 Extra Pockets
1/1 Cutpurse
1/1 Misdirection
1/1 Perfect Touch


5/5 Alchemist
1/1 Physician
1/1 Poisoner
1/1 Benefactor
1/1 Concentrated Poison
1/1 Snakeblood
1/1 Purity

Smithing and Enchanting are always good to have for ANY build


1/1 Steel Smithing
1/1 Arcane Blacksmith
1/1 Dwarven Smithing
1/1 Orcish Smithing
1/1 Ebony Smithing
1/1 Daedric Smithing
1/1 Dragon Smithing


5/5 Enchanter
1/1 Insightful Enchanter
1/1 Corpus Enchanter
1/1 Extra Effect

One Handed

5/5 Armsman

Dual Flurry 2/2

Savagery 1/1


A big part of this build is utilizing all three crafting skills to produce a perfect crafting loop. What I mean by this is you start with a well enchanted set of fortify alchemy enchanted gear which you will use to produce better fortify enchanting potions, which you will then use to produce better fortify alchemy gear and so on and so forth. Be sure to produce improved fortify smithing gear along the way. Once you're settled ( I settled for 500% improvement, but it can go much higher) You're ready to craft your master work gear. 

Gameplay for the Imperial Corsair is quite simple. Simply sneak up and take out enemies from afar. The Corsair is a master of ranged combat, but when things get to close the Corsair can handle whatever gets too close with his blades. Say what you will about sneak archery but its efficacy cannot be questioned. 

As far as difficulty this build is meant to be played on legendary. I rarely used potions throughout this play through nor did I ever feel the need to save during combat. 












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    • Yeah, I figured you were playing Legendary. I tried it once with a conjurer and hated the health sponginess of it. Usually, I play Expert-Master and then gimp my character when I want a challenge. But, you should totally play the Mirage. It'll really open your eyes as to the potential of non-crafting and what can be accomplished. 

    • That seems to be a popular belief but I couldn’t disagree more. I personally refuse to use crafting skills unless it’s absolutely vital to the character. And even then I take crafting skills only as far as necessary. 

      Consider this video:

      Granted its master difficulty, but I use a number of mods that make enemies more ruthless, coordinated, and numerous. Regardless this archer build with literally no armor, no crafting skills, armed with what many argue is the least viable bow in the game, took out the entire fort without getting hit once. 

      My point is it’s entireky possible to make a legendary viable build without crafting. 

      • Yup

      • Couldn't agree more. That's a good video, Curse. 

      • Forgive me but I’m finding it somewhat difficult to believe that this footage was captured on master difficulty. 

        • If you're careful, and plan well, you can beat Master, and even Legendary, on vanilla, without powercrafting

        • I have no reason to lie to you, but you are entitled to your own views. 

  • I never got to convey my thoughts on this build. I was excited to read this build when I saw it pop up in the activity feed.

    My first assumption was that this was going to a sort of Navy Seal type character, which would have been a very neat counter to the numerous ghost pirates and sea-faring criminals featured in the contest. 

    I hope you revisit this build someday and improve it. I’ll be happy to provide help if you’re interested. 

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