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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  • K it’s done. 

  • Nice build, Dewalt. I like how simple but effective the mechanics are. I know you didn't use mods, so I was super interested in how you'd make a piratesque build in vanilla, but I think you did it pretty well.

    The only thing I would recommend on future builds is having a little more description. For instance, why did you choose the perks you did, why did you place the stats the way you did, et cetera. Otherwise, the build is a great contender for the contest. Good job, friend!

    • I felt little need to go into depth with the skills. They all seem to be self explanatory enough. 

      • Well, hold on now, because thats far from true. Even in vanilla skyrim almost all of these perks have a wide variety of uses.  You're doing your readers a disservice if you don't explain your perk choices. 

      • I suppose they are to a point, but adding more description gives life to a build. Description is like the meat on the bare bones of a build. It was just a suggestion, though. As I mentioned, this is a very nice build and a great contender for the contest! Good luck!

  • I think your build is great, I always see pirates as glass canon and from what I read the character can deal some big damage.

    Like Kendrix, I would recommend more description for example, which crafting skills should be leveled first and when you should start doing so.

    Other than that I would definitely try this build because I have never used crafting loops. +1 sir

  • Nice Build, that you've got here Dewalt. To add onto what Kendrix and nystee have said, in both your future and past builds, perhaps add some more description, such as Gameplay, how you RP'ed as an Imperial Corsair, why you've taken all 3 crafting skills (which is fine, personally I think Alchemy fits best) and done the infamous crafting loop - besides increasing your defense and damage. What armor did you use, why the Atronach (in my opinion, yes it's great against Mages and Dragons, but the Lord may be better for sneak archers, as well as using Alchemy to create Resist <insert element> and Damge/Ravage/Lingering Damage Magicka) and so on.

    Something that wouldn't hurt to check out for future builds of yours is this:

    Anyway, you did alright. Happy to see your first build posted here on the Forge. Also, kind of a peeve of mine, but please fix those tags, you can see the tags here:

    Guide to Character Building
    A character build is more than text on a screen. It has to inspire people to take what you've written - your idea, your concept - and do something wi…
  • Always good to see more entries in the contest. Looks like this one was posted in the nick of time!

    The backstory was well written but I was a bit put off by the lore innacuracies. You've mentioned that the backstory that the Corsair's parents died fighting off Stormcloak raids, and he then enlisted in the navy during the Great War. The Stormcloak Rebellion only actually began a few months before the events of Skyrim, almost 25 years after the Concordat was signed! In future I think it would be worth checking out the UESP's lore section to fact-check before you get too deep into a backstory. It might even give you some new ideas.

    For instance perhaps the Corsair enlisted in secret during the Great War at a young age and witnessed the death of his parents firsthand. Now 25 years later he's a grizzled mercenary or navy sailor/captain and has decided to return home only to be met by the chaos of the Stormcloak Rebellion. It's still got many of the same elements of your original backstory but it's a bit more consistent with the lore timeline.

    As others have pointed out your gameplay section is simple but nonetheless effective, though I feel like it's lacking a certain spark. A fairly standard ranger-type powerbuild isn't really bringing forth images of piracy and adventures on the high seas for me. It would be cool to see some elements of your backstory inspiring your gameplay choices and even a roleplay section. If he's a navy sailor where did he learn smithing, enchanting and pickpocketing for instance? In fact I don't see pickpocketing mentioned anywhere outside of the perk selections.

    I hope I didn't come off too harshly as I am trying to be constructive here. As others have said you've got plenty of potential, so I am certainly looking forward to some of your future works.

  • Nice to see this up for the contest and I wish you the best of luck. Very awesome first image, I like!

    Dang, though, how did you rp all three crafting skills? I understand he got alchemy from his mother, but the rest are sort of up in the air. I ask because I am a notorious hater of crafting skills (Until Fallout 4 made it actually sort of fun!) and you are maxing all three skills.  Did your character study the skills in their youth, did they pick it up along their travels? The thing I always disliked about Skyrim is that npcs could have their crap enchanted by Sergius Tyranus at Wnterhold, but I couldn't. Just because I'm playing a Two-handed axe-wielder doesn't mean I don't like me a skill boost, you know? But at the same time, he doesn't enchant your stuff, nor does any smith smith you stuff, so it leaves the crafting up to the player, which then begs the question, are you a crafter or not? And then, how do you justify it in the build because those are some impressive skills to have. 

    Also, what difficulty did you test this in? I'm curious because I've played Dual-wielders with no crafting on Master, so I'm wondering if you're doing this on Legendary? In which case, I can understand the crafting better because Legendary is filled will health sponges and you don't play with mods. I do recall a build, however, that did, I believe dual-wielding no crafting on Legendary. You might want to check it out. The Mirage by Raid. Especially if you've ever given thought to trying a no-crafting build that uses some similar skills. Just to try it out. Part of build exploration and making builds is trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone. I've played everything from pure mages to punch cats to axe-wielding warrior Altmers. It's fun to see where you can go with the game. 

    All in all, congratulations on your build. It takes courage to put how you play the game out there, so thumbs up to that. 

    The Long-Chapper

    Finally, if you did the loop, do you remember your final boost numbers on your gear? Just curious, I haven't looped I think since I started playing the game WAY back in 2013. Lol, this is probably why I hate crafting so much now. All that trauma from back then. 


    Character Build: The Mirage
    The Mirage was one of my first forays into really pushing the limits of Necromage, but for a primarily melee character. What followed was a dual wiel…
  • @LongChapper

    Admittedly I didn’t put much thought into how he came about his other crafting skills. Nevertheless they were included in the build as I feel they are an absolute necessity to tackle the legendary difficulty. 

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