As with most of my builds, this one requires several mods to work at its peak. You will need the following mods, all of which are available on both the PC and Xbox One Special Editions of Skyrim.
*Ordinator: Perk Overhaul
*Andromeda: Standing Stones of Skyrim
*Imperious: Races of Skyrim
*Alternate Start: Live Another Life
To achieve the aesthetic shown here for this build, you’ll need these mods:
Of course, you can create your own aesthetic with vanilla stuff if you like, but this is what I used for my character.
'Sup all? Welcome to yet another SE modded build. This is the first in a series of builds I will be doing here on the Forge that are based on the heroes from For Honor. For Honor is a medieval fighting game with three major factions: Knights, Vikings, and Samurai. Each faction currently has six heroes so it will be quite the long series of builds. This first one I have here is based on the Warden, a classic armored warrior with a sword from the Knights faction. With all of the series introduction stuff out of the way, let's dive on in!
"I vow to serve the Dragon. I lay down my life, my gold, and my sacred honor for my King. His word is my order, my sword is his arm. Our lives are one."
The Wardens. Members of the ancient Knightly Orders of High Rock; orders that have crumbled into little more than dust. They have sworn solemn, unbreakable oaths to defend the weak and destroy those that would prey upon the innocent. They have mastered combat with the Longsword, a traditional weapon of their people. The origins of their orders are all but lost to history, and yet still, the Wardens fight for what is righteous, just, and holy. They are driven by an implacable devotion to their people. Many nobles and princes are awarded the once-esteemed position of knighthood, but only a few may join the the ranks of the Wardens.
The Warden will be a Breton, raised within the strong stone keeps of High Rock. The Bretons are descended from the races of both men and mer, and are well known for the incredible resistance to all forms of magic. The Warden can be male or female, as the hero is not locked on a specific gender in For Honor.
As a Breton, the Warden will start with:
Health Regeneration: 0.75%
Magicka Regeneration: 3.125%
Stamina Regeneration: 4.75%
Carry Weight: 300
With the Imperious mod, Bretons are naturally gifted with three passive Abilities and one Racial Power unlockable through a quest given as soon as the playthrough begins:
- Grail of Betony: Find a lost artifact that grants Magicka and Stamina regen.
- Spell Mantle: Resistance to magic, and absorb most incoming spells at low Magicka.
- Stones of Galen: Each standing stone grants its own bonus effect.
Quest reward - Discover 10 standing stones to unlock...
- Shared Ancestry: 1/day - Temporarily gain the racial power of a target man or mer.
The Warden will make use out of the Lord Stone, one of the many arcane Standing Stones found throughout Skyrim. With the Andromeda mod, the Lord Stone grants two new passive abilities, and one new unlockable power:
- Crown of Autumn: Stamina does not regenerate in combat, but power attacks deal 20% more damage and stagger.
- Old Stone: The Lord graciously allows you to power attack when out of Stamina, dealing 30% less damage and stagger.
- Kneel or Be Knelt: 1/day - Throws targets to the ground, dealing 15 magic damage and absorbing that much Stamina for 10 seconds.
This stone plays a key role in the Warden’s combat style. It’s not one of those stones that you accept and then don’t really notice for the rest of the game. No, the Lord Stone really defines the way the Warden plays while fighting. The main defining factor here is the Crown of Autumn ability. The benefits are very useful for the Warden, but the cost of no stamina regeneration in combat seems rather high. However, as you will see there are many ways that we will combat this significant debuff in order to make the playstyle not only viable, but even more powerful than your standard bash-and-whacker.
*Courage / Rally
Shouts are not exactly a necessity for this build. However, as you’ll see later on in the build, they can enhance a few of the Warden’s abilities. If you are interested, the ones to get your hands on are below:
*Call of Valor
All weapons and armor for the Warden are from the Warden Armor - Blue and Silver mod, and can be crafted at the Forge with the Smithing Mastery perk:
*Grey Warden Greatsword
*Grey Warden Coif
*Grey Warden Cuirass
*Grey Warden Gauntlets
*Grey Warden Greaves
High Rock has always had a complicated and highly class-based society. Often those born on the top stay on the top, and those born on the bottom remain there. However, there is one way that a common citizen or peasant can elevate themselves above their station. That opportunity is presented by the famed Knightly Orders of High Rock.
There was once a time, long long ago when the Orders were first established, that being knighted and accepted into one of the ten Orders actually said something about the inductees’ prowess as a warrior and the strength of their character. That age is long since passed. As the political struggles of Breton society continued their winding and twisted path to the modern age, the titles granted by the Knightly Orders became just that: titles. They served to do nothing but boost a member’s reputation in the region; just another flashy title for a noble to flaunt for his Lord’s court.
Yet still, a small shell of resistance exists; a group that yet retains the core values upon which there Orders were founded. The Wardens still uphold the honor-code of a Knight. They train constantly in combat, honing their skills so that they are extremely effective defensive and offensive warriors. Through the Wardens, the values of justice, liberty, righteousness, and piety are yet preserved. Some of the Wardens are nobles that were practically born with the title, but humbled themselves and dedicated their lives to service. Others are lowly commoners who clawed their way up from the bottom to achieve their position, only arriving at their destination through constant focus and force of will.
Each of the ten Orders plays a different role in their region, and although each of them has many members, the Wardens are the ones that see the doctrines of their Order upheld.
Scattered across High Rock and the northern regions of Hammerfell, there are ten Orders. Each one is dedicated to the defense of their respective region. The Knights of the Dragon serve in the Daggerfall region. The Knights of the Owl protect Glenpoint. The Knights of the Flame owe fealty to the lord of Anticlere. Wayrest is staunchly defended by the Knights of the Rose. Dwynnen has been rescued from destructive danger multiple times by the Order of the Raven. The Order of the Candle defends the region of Sentinel. The Host of the Horn occupies Lainlyn. Headquartered in Santaki are the Knights of the Hawk. The Knights of the Wheel defend the region of Abibon-Gora. Finally, the famed Knights of the Scarab are bound to the service of the Totambu region.
Although Hammerfell (and thus it's Knightly Orders) have been estranged from the Empire due to the events of the Great War, High Rock still honors its allegiance to the Imperial Throne. Skyrim, perhaps the Empire’s last hope to stand against the Thalmor, is in a time of great strife. Rumors of Vampires and Dragons have reached the ears of even citizens of High Rock in addition to the widely known Civil War that the Stormcloak Rebellion wages against the Empire. Under instruction from the Lords and Ladies of their regions, each of the Knightly Orders in High Rock dispatch their greatest Wardens to aid the Empire in its effort to restabilize the province of their northern allies . . .
Although the Warden is at her core an armored warrior and thus fairly effective from the start of the game, the passive abilities and powers given to her as a benefit of her race and from the Lord Stone combined with the perks you will invest in culminate in a very neat and tidy symbiotic relationship.
Each perk, ability, and power has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the perks play off of those strengths and make up for the weaknesses.
Here is a review of the perks taken from each tree and the reasoning behind some of the choices I’ve made. I’ll go in-depth into how the perks play off of one another and work together to give the Warden maximum benefit out of all her perk investments.
The use of a two-handed weapon is really the Warden’s bread and butter. The other skill trees have fairly low investments perk-wise, which allows us to go really deep into the Two-Handed skill tree. Two-Handed Mastery is very important for any warrior using heavy weaponry. At its second level it will increase the damage you deal with two-handed weapons by 50%, which is pretty powerful, especially considering that it can be unlocked at a rather low level. As will become more and more evident as you read more into the build, power attacks are a big part of the Warden’s playstyle. Trained Fighter allows the Warden to power attack more often by lowering the stamina cost of such attacks. Ferocious Strength increases the damage of those power attacks based on the Warden’s stamina level, and it will be taken full advantage of because of the Warden’s 60% stat investment in stamina. Several greatsword specific perks increase the effectiveness of power attacks through various buffs to the way they work, including Clash of Heroes, Maul, Breach the Wall, Subjugate, and Humiliate. The Overthrow perk contributes to another important part of the Warden’s overall combat style: bashing. With the Overthrow perk, bashing an enemy to interrupt an attack before it hits you will allow you to get in a free power attack. So long as it is performed within 2 seconds of the bash, it will deal 3x critical damage and also disarm the targeted opponent, rendering them rather helpless and allowing you to easily finish them off. This perk will end up working rather well with the Block perks that she invests in.
The main purpose that the Block skill serves to the Warden is to increase the power of her bashes. Block Mastery and Timed Block are the only perks taken to increase the defensive effectiveness of this skill. Timed Block rewards you for seeing an attack coming and reacting just before it hits. For 1 second after you assume your blocking guards stance you will block 30% more damage and will stagger the attacker, allowing you to get in a free hit. For those of you familiar with For Honor, you will see that this perk almost perfectly simulates the Perry system of blocking in the game, and thus you’ll see it used for most of the For Honor based characters I create. As to bashing, Power Bash allows you to perform a more effective bash by holding down the attack button while in the blocking stance. Skull Rattler builds off of that by increasing the damage dealt by bashes by 3% per point of stamina. It seems that this damage buff has no cap, so this can be very very effective for the Warden, as she will invest 60% of her attribute points into stamina. While the main point of bashing for this character is to stagger the targeted opponent, the extra damage is always very useful.
The original Warden hero in For Honor is a very well-balanced fighter that combines offense with defense, if used effectively. Therefore, it is important to also buff the Warden’s armor rating through Heavy Armor perks. Heavy Armor Mastery, Heavy Armor Fit, and Defiance all increase the Warden’s defensive capabilities in some way or another. Defiance is a particularly interesting perk. What it does is buff the Warden with 15 points of armor rating every time she is attacked. The 15 points last for only ten seconds, but the effect sacks. Essentially, this means that the more the Warden gets hit, the better she is at deflecting future blows. Revel in Battle also adds a damage benefit to the Defiance perk. With Revel in Battle, not only will the Warden get a defense boost when attacked, but she will also gain a stacking 3% damage boost. Heavy Armor also serves a purpose other than pure defense though. As you’ll see outlined in the Combat Style section below, the Warden really specializes in choosing a spot to defend and staying there, letting the enemies come on and never giving ground. The Rallying Standard perk allows the Warden to do this very effectively. This grants a power that can be used once per day which places down a banner (with a faction symbol of your choosing once you take the perk) that lasts for 60 seconds and grants a 150 point armor buff and 25% melee damage buff to yourself and all allies within 25 feet of the banner. You and your allies must be wearing a full set of heavy armor in order to receive the benefits though, but that shouldn’t be a problem for this character. This is pretty useful, but it’s rather limited by the fact that it can only be used once a day. Thus, the Rallying Standard power really shines when it is buffed by the next perk, Warbringer. Warbringer will place a Rallying Standard banner at your position whenever you raise your weapon, and it will not count against your once per day limit. What’s more, this banner will last a full 120 seconds; much better than the 60 seconds of the regular Rallying Standard power.
The first of the Warden’s magic skills, Illusion really plays off of the potential of the Rallying Standard power. Although both of the Warden’s magic skills require minimal perk investments, they are still essential to her combat style. Illusion will serve mainly to add a bunch of passive buffs to the Warden’s allies. This relates to the Warden of For Honor because many of this hero’s feats are based off of team defense and damage buffs (i.e. Stalwart Banner, Morale Booster, Inspire, etc.). Two points in Illusion Mastery will decrease the magicka cost of the Warden’s Courage and Rally spells. This means the Warden doesn’t need to invest too many points in magicka, while still being able to use the necessary spells. This perk will also increase the duration and effectiveness of these spells based on the Warden’s current Illusion skill level. The real key perks for this skill are Commanding Presence and Imposing Presence. Both add passive effects to the Warden that will buff their allies in combat. Commanding Presence passively gives allies within 40 feet of you a 20% damage buff and a 20% increased critical hit chance. Imposing Presence also affects allies within a 40 foot radius of you, and will increase the effectiveness of illusion spells you cast on them by 25%. It will also increase their duration by 30%.
Finally, the skill tree with the lowest perk investment for the Warden is Restoration. Despite the low perk investment, Restoration plays a very key role in the Warden’s combat style. Essentially what this skill does for the Warden is make the Lord Stone viable to use. As previously stated, the Lord Stone grants a passive ability called Crown of Autumn that increases the damage and stagger of power attacks by 20%. This is very good for the Warden considering that she will power attack very often. Several perks that were previously reviewed allow her to power attack more often and buff her power attacks in different ways. With all of those perks invested into buffing the Warden’s power attacks, buffing their damage is very useful. The bonus to stagger plays right into the Warden’s hands as well, considering that stagger is also important to the Block skill tree. However, this power comes at a rather heavy cost; the Warden’s stamina will not regenerate in combat at all. She can still power attack when out of stamina, but the effectiveness of these power attacks is debuffed by 30%. This is where the Restoration skill comes to the rescue. Restoration Mastery will decrease the maicka cost of all Restoration spells, allowing the Warden to keep her investment into the magicka attribute on the down-low. Edgewalker is only slightly useful to the Warden, but it must be take in order to get to the Respite perk. Respite makes all healing spells heal stamina equal to how much health it heals. This will be invaluable to the Warden in combat, allowing her to basically regenerate her stamina while still enjoying the benefits of the Crown of Autumn power from the Lord Stone.
The only point of investing anything into this skill tree is so that you can craft your Grey Warden armor set. You can go further into this skill tree if you wish to further improve your armor, but all that is necessary is one point into Smithing Mastery.
Solidum Defensionem (“Stalwart Defense”) - It matters not how many meaningless soldiers the enemy hurls against your defenses; you will not give in. You are as an immovable wall, and your enemies will break upon you as they pointlessly throw themselves upon the hardened stones.
Requirements: Defiance perk + Revel in Battle perk + Rallying Standard power + Warbringer perk
Representing the culmination of the Warden’s essential Heavy Armor perks, the Stalwart Defense ability is a staple of her playstyle. It is recommended to use this in pretty much any combat situation, but especially if you have time to make a plan of action for an upcoming fight. Placing the Rallying Standard banner with either the power or the Warbringer perk is the first step. Make sure you place your banner wisely. For example, if you are attacking or defending a fort, ensure that you scope out a defensible position, preferably having the high ground over your enemies. Once the banner is placed, stay as close to it as reasonably possible, allowing enemies to come at you and your allies once they have noticed you. Then cut them down, staying in position until every enemy is defeated. During your defense, the Defiance and Revel in Battle perks will make you more effective both defensively and offensively as you take damage. For every strike your enemies land, you gain power. As the old saying goes; “Cut off one head, and two will grow back in its place.”
Injicio (“Inspire”) - As battles wage and allies fall, the rallying strength of a Warden is often all it takes to encourage a final charge. A Warden’s mere presence on the battlefield has been known to fill the hearts of men with bravery and certainty, often meaning the difference between victory and defeat.
Requirements: Illusion Mastery, Commanding Presence and Imposing Presence perks + Rally spell
This ability revolves around allowing the Warden to cast the Rally spell at high effectiveness while still keeping it comfortably within her magicka range. Although the Rally spell costs 113 points of magicka to cast (a relatively high price for a build that only invests 10% of attribute points into magicka), two perk points in Illusion Mastery will half its magicka requirements, reducing it to a much more manageable 56.6 magicka cost. Once you cast the Rally spell on a targeted ally, Imposing Presence goes to work. So long as the targeted ally is within 40 feet of the Warden, the Rally spell recieves a 25% buff to effectiveness and a 30% buff to duration. These two perks combined make the Rally spell much more affordable and effective to use in combat. Alongside that, all enemies within that 40 foot radius will also receive a boost to damage and critical hit chance thanks to the Commanding Presence perk.
Pugno Mortis (“Fist of Death”) - Your immense strength rains down relentlessly upon your foes, constantly battering them with a torrent of extremely powerful attacks, breaking not only their bones, but also their will to fight.
Requirements: Power attacks + Crown of Autumn passive + Trained Fighter, Ferocious Strength, Clash of Heroes, Maul, Breach the Wall, Subjugate, and Humiliate perks
Although this ability has a lot of requirements, they are all pretty much passive buffs. In fact, you don’t technically need all of them in order for this ability to work, but it is at its most effective when all perks are present. This ability serves as the Warden’s main method of attack. The main essential ones to have are Crown of Autumn, Trained Fighter, and Ferocious Strength. While Crown of Autumn boosts your power attack damage and stagger, Trained Fighter will lower the cost to perform them and Ferocious Strength will further increase their damage. Each of the other perks has its own special effect. Clash of Heroes reduces the target’s attack damage every time you land a strike with your longsword on them. Maul allows a power attack to destabilize a target, making your next regular attack on them deal more damage. Because of the Maul perk, it is best to alternate between power attacks and regular attacks to deal maximum damage and to use your stamina the most efficiently. Breach the Wall allows forward power attacks with your longsword to deal more damage to targets left above 60% health. Subjugate gives sideways power attacks the ability to hit all targets standing in front of you, and it will lower the attack speed of all affected targets. Finally, Humiliate drains the stamina and magicka from an enemy hit with a stationary power attack. All of this sounds really complicated, but it’s rather easy to pull off if you have all the perks unlocked. To sum up what you have to do, just throw out a bunch of different types of power attacks, alternating between power attacks and regular attacks (i.e. standing power attack → regular attack → forward power attack → regular attack → sideways power attack → regular attack, etc.). Continue this chain until your stamina runs out.
Fiat Lux (“Let There be Light”) - By the grace of your training and your gods, your will shall not be broken. Injury and fatigue mean nothing to you. Your sword shall not cease to swing until your opponent stands above your corpse.
Requirements: Low stamina/health, Fast Healing spell + Edgewalker and Respite perks
As explained above, the Respite perk makes the Lord Stone viable by essentially negating the debuff given by the Crown of Autumn passive ability. Although Crown of Autumn is not exactly required for the ability, it is in fact the main point of it. Essentially what this ability does is combine your Restoration perk effects and have them all working on a single spell. If you are below half health, Edgewalker will increase the effectiveness of Fast Healing. Respite will also allow it to “heal” your stamina. The Fast Healing spell is the best Restoration spell to use for this ability since it is quick and easy to cast at pretty much any point in battle, especially if you have set yourself up in a defensible position. The best time to use this ability is after running out of stamina from using the Pugno Mortis ability, especially if you are low on health as well. This will replenish and refresh the Warden, allowing her to quickly return to the heat of battle without hardly skipping a beat. I would also recommend favoriting or hot-keying the Fast Healing spell to make the use of this ability feel a bit more natural.
Peritus Eludere (“Skilled Parry”) - You have not the need for a shield to defend yourself. The most skilled of warriors learn how to use their enemy’s momentum against them and not only block an oncoming strike but also to follow through with a strike of your own. Often this takes years of practice. It is but basic training for a Warden.
Requirements: Timed Block, Block Mastery (2/2), and Humiliate perks
This ability simulates the parrying system in For Honor extremely well. Use Timed Block to assume a defensive position 1 second before an enemy attacks you. You will block 30% more damage than a standard block because of your insightful timing, but two perk points in Block Mastery increases the damage negated by blocks by 20%. Thus, a timed block will negate 50% more damage than a standard block. Since a regular passive block will negate around 50% of damage naturally, a timed block will negate about 100% of the damage the original strike would have dealt. Not only that, but a timed block will also stagger the attacker, allowing you to get in a free stationary power attack. Per the Humiliate perk, the target hit by this power attack will also have their stamina and magicka drained and their regeneration of both stats will be stymied. Use this ability as often as possible: whenever you see an enemy attack coming, raise your weapon into a guard stance just before the attack hits and go from there.
Virtus Vercundus (“Power Bash”) - Throw the full might of your body and armor into a powerful blunt attack that will break bones and send enemies reeling. Those seeking to do injustice to the innocent deserve no better. They shall fall first by your might and then by your sword.
Requirements: Power Bash and Skill Rattler perks
Assuming a defensive position and hold down the attack button to initiate a power bash per the perk of the same name. This power bash will have stronger effects than a regular bash, but cost more stamina. Skull Rattler buffs the damage dealt by a power bash by 3% per point of stamina. This may not sound all that great on the surface, but think about it: as a Breton, the Warden starts with 100 points in stamina. With 60% of your attribute points invested into stamina, your stamina by level 10 should be 170. This means that by level 10 your power bash damage will be buffed by 510% ! This is an insane damage buff. At first, power bashing is useful for staggering enemies to allow you to get in a power attack, but in late game when you have high stamina it can be quite a viable method of attack.
The point of the Warden’s playstyle is to be accessible and adaptable. Although she has many abilities, the Warden’s combat style is quite simple once you have a handle on it. The Warden excels at establishing a spot on the battlefield as their own and holding it. Once you pick out your place on the battlefield with the Solidum Defensionem ability, stay there and let your other abilities go to work. It’s often best to throw a Rally spell at your ally or allies fairly quickly. After that, combo bashes, power attacks, and timed blocks that form the meat of the Warden’s combat style. Once your stamina is completely drained, you will of course be unable to regenerate stamina due to the Lord Stone. At this point step back and take a moment to use the Fiat Lux ability to nourish yourself. Try to do this as quickly as possible and then reenter the fray. That’s basically all the Warden has to do.
One small note, however. Because of the nature of the Crown of Autumn passive ability, it is best not to accept the blessing of the Lord Stone until you have the Respite perk. Without the Respite perk, Fiat Lux will be ineffective, leaving you pretty vulnerable once your stamina is gone. As soon as you have the Respite perk, make it a priority to find the Lord Stone and accept it’s blessing.
ROLEPLAYING & QUESTLINES:
Of course, the roleplaying and questlines for your character are ultimately up to you, but there are still certain parameters that should be met in order to fit with the lore of this character.
For any character, the core roleplaying element is their motivation. Why is the Warden in Skyrim? The Warden was charged by her Knightly Order (it is up to you what Order your character is from) to serve the Empire’s influence in Skyrim. Whether that be through directly aiding in the war effort, or more indirectly offering help to the citizens of Skyrim where Imperial troops cannot be spared. The Warden is a very serious character who puts the preservation of justice before anything else. Operating by a strict set of knightly moral codes, the Warden will not engage in any illicit or unethical activity.
As to actually interacting with the citizens of Skyrim, the Warden will be calm, polite, confident, and chivalrous. However, she deals with foes of righteousness very harshly, and has no tolerance for those who would seek to do the innocent harm. There are no strikes or warnings from the Warden. If you violate her code of honor, you will be dealt with most severely, without compromise.
Start your playthrough with the Alternate Start: Live Another Life mod, choosing the option to arrive on board a ship in Solitude. This will not start you with the necessary equioment, however, so pick up some heavy armor and a greatsword as soon as you can.
The questlines for this character don’t need to be in any particular order. In fact, anything that would benefit the Empire’s control over Skyrim and peace within the province is easily justifiable. Dawnguard is certainly a viable questline for the character, as is fighting on the Imperial side of the Civil War. Other recommended quests include the Dragonborn DLC, the Main Story, and thane quests in Imperial-controlled holds.
A note about the Main Story, however. If you decide to fulfill your destiny as Dragonborn, it's best to complete the Civil War first. If you don’t you will be required to negotiate a peace treaty between the Empire and the Stormcloak Rebellion, and that is not what the Warden is in Skyrim to do. The war must be ended quickly and decisively, and in favor of the Imperials, if the will of the Knightly Orders is to be done.
This brings us almost to the end of today’s build, but there’s still a few final things to cover concerning the Warden. Housing is not necessary for this character, although it could be fun to become the lady or lord of a castle through a housing mod like Castle Gonduin or Dovahkiin Keep.
Followers are definitely a part of this build, as a fair part of the Warden’s playstyle revolves around buffing herself and her allies. I’d recommend downloading a mod like Imperial Followers to allow you to command actual soldiers. However, housecarls and other such companions will do fine, as long as you can outfit them with heavy armor.
A horse is not necessary, but certainly useful as a means of travel and definitely justifiable for the character should you choose to purchase one.
That just about covers all of it! Thanks for sticking around to the end of this one. I'd like to give a massive thanks to Mr. Curse Never Dying for providing the wonderful art for each of the abilties. It really adds to the presentation of the build, and they are always so well done. If you did indeed enjoy this one, leave behind a like and a comment with your feedback to let me know what you thought of it, and look forward to more For Honor based builds. Once again, thank you so much for reading through the build. Now go forth! Embrace the knightly values of justice and rigteoussness! Fight for High Rock, and fight for honor!
For anyone who didn't know, I have a YouTube channel where I post builds like this one. If you want to see more, check it out here: