Contest Build: The Lord of Shadows

In the deepest, darkest valley in High Rock, there lies an ancient, crumbling castle, standing proud in all of it's unholy glory. It looms over the surrounding area and smothers the light with unease. Legends say it holds all kind of wretched abominations, flesh monsters and legions of the damned. Legends say one of the damned rule them all. For as long as anyone can remember, the ancient Belmont bloodline of vampire hunters have sent thir young and brave to slay these filthy beasts. Every time they march proudly into that ruin, heads held high with rightous confidence. Every time, they never return.

Now, terrifying news of a plague of ancient vampires in Skyrim have reached the commoners of this god forsaken valley, and they have reached the ear of the king of the damned himself. Whether through kinship, pride or respect, the Lord had decided to extend his hand to his ancient brethren personally, and bring Bal's chosen together, so they may feast and rule in eternity.

The castle now lies empty, and the brief hope and celebration felt by the commoners has been replaced with hushed whispers and a deep sense of impending dread.

The Lord of Shadows








General Build:

The main idea/inspiration for this build is Dracula from the original Castlevania, and molds it's playsyle around his bossfight/general theme. What we have as a result is a master of evasion, an elusive caster who teleports around the battlefield, vanishing into mist all the while sending demons to harass their enemies or peppering them with fireballs from a hidden position.



Difficulty: Master, until you get wicked wind. After that go legendary, or alternatively enjoy playing Milkdrinker's first point and click adventure.

Race: High Elf -  Perfect for playing a smug, annoying immortal wizard, with good lore and a fat magicka boost. Make sure to make your count look  clean and courtly.

Standing Stone:  Atronach - Another 50 magicka is always useful along with 50% magicka absorbtion to boot.  The -50% magicka regen isnt a huge problem for us as we don't regenerate magicka in sunlight, and a few of our perks and gear mitigate this anyway. Note If you don't have the unnoficial patch for some reason, you might want to switch this out for the Lord stone as it can make you eat your summons.

Stats:      3:1  magicka to health - This build becomes nigh untouchable if you play smart, so a lot of health isn't necessary. Magicka on the other hand, is always in demand and the more you can get, the better.

Shouts/powers:  Become Ethereal, Drain Vitality, Summon Durnevhiir, Clear Skies, Vampire Lord, Lamae's Pyre

Spells: Fireball, Fire Rune, Close Wounds, Invisiblity, Conjure Dremora, any blood magic spell





"Going shopping for dinner"


Circlet of Destruction

Royal Vampire Armor: Casting costs reductions for conjuration and illusion are etremely useful, bonus magicka regen completely nullifies the dwrawbacks of our stone choice.

Vampire Gloves enchanted with Deadly Reach: Deadly Reach is the keystone of this build, and allows for all location based spells (i.e. conjure spells, fire runes and wicked wind) to be cast at any distance.

Vampire Boots

Cirlcet of Fortify Magicka

Ring of the Erudite

A pretty standard loadout, but it looks cool and is extremely effective for our needs, and it's low armor rating is offset by your telepotation, minions, stealth,  and fear effects so it wont make a difference. At the start of the game I recommend LA gauntlets and boots and the best mage robes you can find until getting the gear above.


Teleporting and Deadly Reach:

Using two features, thsi build can instantly teleport to any place it can see. This is done by using the wicked wind (detailed below) power while under the effect of the deadly reach enchantment. This can be used to reposition, climb building and overrall is quite exploitable.




Perks of Note:

Destruction:  Our main form of offense and what we generally use for obliterating our enemies from a comfortable distance and general crowd control

  • Mastery 2/2 -Destruction spells cost 35/50% less Magicka, and Destruction spells are 0.25/0.5% more powerful per level of Destruction
  • Force of Nature - Elemental spells and effects cost 30% less Magicka to cast in favorable weather: fire spells in sunlight, frost spells during snowfall, shock spells in the rain- Reducing the cost of fire spells when in daylight is the main focus here, helping us function during the day with our limited regen
  • Flash Fire - Fire spells have 15% chance to ignite the target for 2 seconds. The next instance of fire damage that hits an ignited target (except burning ground) detonates, dealing 100% more damage and causing a living target to flee the flames for 4 seconds - Great for damage and maintaining distance on enemies, which you will always want to do. 
  • Ancient Seals - Destruction runes no longer deal instant damage, but inflict a stacking 10 second elemental burn that deals 15% damage per second - Turns seals into an incredibly cost effective dot for use at range.

Conjuration:  Used to conjure minions to distract enemies from us and ensure they never get within a continent of us.

  • Mastery 2/2 - Cast Conjuration spells for 35/50% less Magicka, and Conjuration spells last 0.5/1% longer per level of Conjuration
  • Signed in Blood - When a friendly conjured Daedra within 15 feet is below full Health, it absorbs your lifeforce to heal itself, preventing you from regenerating Health but regenerating 10 points per second (increased by 4% of its maximum Health when out of combat) - Helps us become the dread overlord we should be, and keeps our minions in the fight for longer. The health regen is nullifed by restoration anyway, so it's not a big deal.
  • Pact Magic - Destruction spells and effects are 10% more effective for each friendly conjured Daedra within 30 feet - Damage buffs and incentive for us to join in the fight when we feel like it.
  • Maelstrom - While you charge or concentrate on a spell, friendly conjured Daedra within 30 feet gain 30% extra attack damage -  Same as above, this time buffing our servants.
  • Summon Resist - Friendly conjured Daedra and other non-undead minions within 75 feet gain 50% magic resistance and 300 points of armor -  Making our minions even more tanky

Illusion: Mainly used for quietly casting our spells, with extra utility from invisibility and buffing our vampire's seduction

  • Mastery 2/2 - Illusion spells cost 35/50% less Magicka, Illusion spells last 0.5/1% longer per level of Illusion, and mind affecting Illusion spells (Calm, Fear, Frenzy, Rally) are 0.1/0.2 points stronger per level of Illusion
  • Quiet Before the Storm 1/2 - All spells you cast from any school of magic/, as well as all shouts, are silent to others - Ensuring we can disintegrate foes while hidden.
  •  Shadow Refuge - While affected by an invisibility spell or effect, you take 35% less damage from attacks and sneaking is 15% better - Helping us soak up a few hits and keeping us hidden

Sneak: One of our main skills, making sure our enemies never have a chance to hit us or a chance against our flames.

  • Mastery 2/2 - Sneaking is 15/30% more effective. Sneak success depends on visibility (movement and light level), sound (movement and armor weight), skill level and distance
  • Demolition Job - All Destruction spells and scrolls are 1% more powerful per level of Sneak if the target is not detecting the caster (2% for rune spells) - Giving our spells some extra kick and bringing our damage through the roof
  • Fog of War - Sneaking is 15% more effective against targets that are in combat with you, or 30% if they are in combat with someone else - Buffing our sneak while our minions distract them. Wonderful.
  • Shadow Warrior - Entering sneak mode in combat grants 2 seconds of invisibility, briefly leaving combat and forcing distant opponents to search for you. This effect has an 8 second cooldown - Essential to the main ability of the build and makes sure no-one can get a solid read on you for long

Restoration: Used for general healing and for bonus magicka regen during the day and insane magicka regen at night.

  • Mastery 2/2 - Cast Restoration spells for 35/50% less Magicka, and Restoration spells are 0.25/0.5% more powerful per level of Restoration
  • Descending Light - When you enter combat, rapidly regenerate points of Magicka equal to half of your Restoration skill level per second. This effect gradually diminishes over the course of 15 seconds. The regeneration does not stop while casting - Get this ASAP, this makes being a vampire 10x easier and ensures you always have magicka avaible
  • Warrior's Flame - In combat, the Warrior's Flame periodically touches a random target within 100 feet (including you). Friendly targets are blessed, restoring 20 points of Magicka and Stamina for 5 seconds. Hostile targets are cursed, draining the same amount instead - An insanely powerful buff, with two main uses for us. 1. When away from enemies (you can move 100ft instantly so that shouldn't be too difficult) you gain basically unlimited magicka 2. when up close it can buff your monsters and debuff the fools who don't run from you

Light Armor:  Our least important skill, here to give us a little bit of padding and help us dodge even more

  • Mastery 2/2 - Armor rating of Light Armor increased by 20/40%. You gain a small amount of Light Armor experience when wearing at least two pieces of Light Armor in combat
  • Keen Senses - You no longer need to wear a helmet to benefit from perks that require "wearing all Light Armor". If you are not wearing a helmet, Light Armor pieces have 20% increased armor rating - Allows us to be pretty and protected with our tiara of evil
  • Evasive Leap - If wearing all Light Armor, jump in combat to cause all incoming attacks and spells to miss for 1 second. This effect has a 5 second cooldown - If all your other defensive abilities fail you (they barely ever will), you have this as a last resort to keep you safe


Blood, bile and everything vile:

With sacrosanct, you will gain a multitude of beneficial features when you begin your life as a vampire, it's a great mod and I highly recommend it for anyone playing a vampire as it gives you lots of grat passives and abilities to make you feel like a creature of the night. Some of the useful features for us are noted below:

  • Dominate: Illusion spells cast by a vampire are 25% more powerful and last 25% longer on creatures and people
  • Still Heart: A vampire is 25% harder to detect by creatures and people while sneaking.
  • Blood Cauldron: At will - Expend some of your Vampiric blood to replenish Health, Magicka and Stamina, becoming thirstier.

With Scarosanct, you gain a vampire bonus based on your race, the high elves gaining wine and revelry:

Wine and Revelry: Feeding increases Magicka by 50 points for 60 seconds (600 seconds if the victim is sleeping)

Also you gain the vampiric age feature, which gives you powers and passives depending on how long you remain a vampire, choosing them after you sleep. Useful ones for us include:

  • Wicked Wind: At will - Dash instantly to a target location within 15 feet. (With deadly reach this increases to anywhere you can see)
  • King Among Kine: You no longer lose any powers when feeding.
  • Night of the Wolf: Able to sneak feed on people who are not detecting you.

In addition, if you complete the Blue Blood quest given by sacrosanct, you gain the daywalker feature:

  • Daywalker: You are immune to non-lethal Sunlight.

Hemomancy: You gain specific blood destruction spells which can be used and fit the character, although they aren't neccessary for the build andI won't be talking about them.



"Not exactly fine dining, but I'm willing to experiment"



I've done this to death already, but this build should be played as an evasive support caster, teleporting in and out of battle to support and heal his minions before teleporting away to incinerate enemies from as far away as possible.  You should never be the target of any melee attack and if you are, make sure to teleport away into Cyrodil. You'll want to sneak often to get your damage bonuses, and with all our perks, spells and passives this should be no problem. Your magicka pool, with all our passives and gear should be enormous with plentiful magicka and cost reduction, along with constant magicka regen to keep you going.



Vanish: You quickly dissapear from view, ready to rain down hell from afar

Requires: Wicked wind, Deadly Reach enchantment,  Shadow Warrior, Warriors Flame, Invisbility, Shadow Refuge

Start of by teleporting away with wicked wind, followed by crouching and casting invisbility. If youre far enough away from any enemies, warrior's flame should only effect you, repleneshing your magicka and allowing you to get back into the fight. Use this whenever you satrt taking damgae or enemies are getting too close.



Bolts From Beyond: Your knowledge of ancient blood magic fuels your flames with the spark of life, vastly increasing your destructive potential

Requires: Fireball/Fire Rune, Demolition Job, Pact Magic

Used to buff our damage spells, Fireballs are to be spammed when at midrange or closerwith our minions, with runes being used to snipe from stealth of from long distance


3684920913?profile=RESIZE_180x180Proto-Daywalker: Unlike lesser vampires, the sun holds no sway over you, as you draw power from your own foul blood

Requires: Descending Light, Warrior's Flame, Force of Nature

Descending Light and Warrior's flame ensure your magician is always topped up, while force of nature helps reduce casting costs during the day. This combination keeps us effective in daylight hours until you get daywalker


Dark Armada: Your servants see you for the foul creature you are, spurring them to action against your foes

Requires: Signed in Blood,  Unleash Hell, Maelstrom, Summon Resistance

Start by either using Vanish to teleport to your minions, which will activate Signed in Blood, Unleash Hell and Summon Resistance. After that either spam fireballs if you have a clear line of sight with no allies in the way, or charge a dual cast fireball without letting it go, buffing your minions damage even more and allowing them to take care of it.



As The Lord of Shadows, you are an ancient and bitter creature, although a highly social one. What you're bitter about is up to you to decide, perhaps a scorned lover, a murdered family member or an unjust sentence. The Lord of Shadows views other vampires as brethren, and takes no pleasure in their slaughter. That being said, certain bloodlines deserve more respect than others, and being a vampire does not protect you from his fury. The vampires of Skyrim are a measly and disorganised lot,plagued by constant infighting and the count feels it's his responsibility to whip them into shape. His ultimate goal is to organise the children of the night into one faction and subjugate the foolish blunt-toothed savages. You have come to Skyrim to forge an alliance with the Volikhar Vampires, and The Lord of Shadows will be impressed by Harkon's power, possessions and goals, but he feels he's being too hasty. There is no reason to rush blindly into the waiting pitchforks torches and armies. Time is on their side after all, and fortune favours the patient, a lesson Harkon will learn the hard way. Being immortal is nothing without entertainment however, and The Lord could do some quests to further his power, amuse himself or get a good meal:

  • The Wolf Queen Awakens - May the best ancient undead evil win!
  • College of Winterhold - Look at the silly mortals and their pathetic little spells for a while
  • Laid to Rest - A far removed, fallen branch from the Belmont family tree, Movarth wounded you during his days as a vampire hunter.  Return the favor.
  • Dawnguard - Do what you came here to do, destroy the would-be vampire slayers while you're at it. 
  • Main Story/ Dragonborn - An unlikely hero to be sure, but a hero all the same. For now.
  • Thane Quests: Interfering in the courts of mortals is great fun.
  • Hearthfire: Why only have two castles?
  • Daedric Quests - Oblige the princes and gain even more power. Skip Meridia and her undead hunting fanatics.
  • Dark Brotherhood - Personal assasins and getting paid to eat? A no-brainer.




"They're not exactly Belmont calibre"

I've been sitting on the wicked wind synergy for quite some time now and it's good to get it into words, using it can get pretty OP, but also a lot of fun. It's refreshing being able look at any building and being able to climb it and it adds a lot of gameplay variety while also making you nightcrawler from x-men.  If you can't find the Deadly Reach enchantment(it's very rare) I suggest downloading the Summermyst Cheat Chests mod or using console commands

Thanks to Enai Saion for the mods and Curse for the perk spread.



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  • “Milk drinker’s first point and click adventure”. 

    My god you had me literally rolling on the floor laughing. I think the build deserves a win just for that alone. 

    You’ve presented a contender every bit as formidable as your previous contest entry. Nicely done and best of luck!


    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

  • I like the sound of this one! As you said yourself the Wicked Wind synergy is definitely the highlight of this build. Would be great to see a video of this guy in action.

    The intro backstory and gameplay were top notch so if I was going to suggest any improvements they would be to your roleplay section. Would be interesting to hear in more detail how our Lord's views on the Volkihar clan and Skyrim in general are shaped (and changed!) over the playthrough. After all, you mention you came to forge an alliance with the Volkihar vampires yet as part of the questline you end up killing Lord Harkon and more or less taking control of the clan.

    • Updated it, thanks for the tips!

  • Amazing build! Now please excuse me while I go cry in a corner as I watch my chance of winning dwindle. 

  • I didn't expect another witty build, so I'm laughing right now. Brb.

    On a serious note, fantastic job. Organization and writing are great, and the small jokes throughout add to the build without taking away. I was super excited to see "Wicked Wind" used, centered at that, in this gameplay. Great job.

  • An ingenius use of pairing Wicked Wind with Deadly Reach. Well done. Also I love the nods you have in reference to Castlevania. Best of luck for the contest, you've ut forward an awesome contender.

  • Very thematic build NomadDash! Awesome use of Wicked Wind, Good job man.

  • How do you even play on Master? I normally play on Adept and have a hard time surviving difficult encounters. Later on around Level 30, I'll up it to Expert, but never any higher than that. I don't enjoy damage sponges or 10 minute long battles.

  • Just wondering on what things you were summoning as you played

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