Event Build: The Elden Grove Guardian

Hello, dear Reader, this is my entry to the Crossworlds event. She's fast, swift, agile, and cost-effective. It's a pure vanilla build, because it's been ages since I made one of those. Enjoy!




You hail from Valenwood, born and raised in the wilderness, from the very young age a member of Elden Grove Guardians, traditionally employed by the rulers in Falinesti. You and your fellow guardians patrol the woods and protect the Grove like any woodland ranger band. You are known for swiftnes, stealthiness and heroic deeds.

You love this way of life, but shadows are growing over Valenwood, under the rule of the Thalmor, your way of life becomes unrewarding in ridiculed. It has become too much to bear. You realised that the world is changing, the tyranny now looming over your people made you seek new purpose in life.

One day, as you walked late at night, enjoying the light of the stars and the peace of the woods, a new purpose showed itself by a mere… Chance.

You met a band of Nordic mercenaries from Skyrim. They told you an unsettleing rumor. They heard dragons are awakening in Skyrim, they told you they are going back to their homeland to hunt them and earn some glory. Well, glory and a lot of money.

You spent some time with them and you were quite surprised with how nice and inviting they were. You hardly ever interacted with humans and you expected the worse from them. But these ones were cheerful and brave - your kind of people. One of them in particular caught your attention. But surely you wouldn’t fall in love with a Nord.

But after they left, the next day you felt emptiness and sorrow. You gave it a few weeks, but the feelings stayed with you. So you decided it’s time for you to leave Valenwood. You always liked travels anyways, and the fight against dragons – if they are real - is not just the Nord’s fight. Perhaps you can even find that one particular mercenary and see if your feelings are real.





Attributes: Health:1/Stamina:2

Later, when you reach 250 Stamina, you can go for H:1/S:1. Once you reach 300 Stamina you can stop investing in it.

Stadning Stone: The Lord

The Thief Stone can be used early in the game to level up sneak ASAP. But later we will use the Lord Stone, because it is best suited to remedy the main weaknesses of the build, which are low Armor Rating and no item slots for magic resistance. It will also help to depict the strong will and unyielding nature of this character. We will complement it with Agent of Mara quest ability, bringing Magic Resistance up to 40%.

Race: Wood Elf

It’s a roleplay decision. If you want to min-max the build, you may want to go for a High Elf, or maybe even a Breton. But then the backstory won’t really fit.

Primary Skills: Sneak, Archery, One-Handed, Light Armor

Secondary Skills: Smithing, Restoration



SneakLate in the game you will cheese the Shadow Warrior to great extend. With the brief invisibility it gives,  and with the very light-weight armor pieces, you will never need more than 3 ranks in Stealth.

One-Handed: Critical Charge is critical (hehe )to the build. Especially when combined with Silent Roll, Dual Fury and Elemental Fury shout. You see, if you have both your daggers equipped and the shout is active, you can perform an incredibly fast, forward power attack with your right hand, which will count as a double crit sneak attack if you're hidden, and can be used to escape and doge attacks if you’re detected. Neat stuff.

Archery: With Zephyr and Slow Time shout, you will become a competent combat archer. You will still need the standard sneak archery tactics in the early game, so your end game is all kinds of archery.

Light Armor: Your Armor Rating will be a bit underwhelming, but it’s hardly a reason not to build it up a little with five ranks of Agile Defender. With the skill maxed out, all the ranks in this perk and the Lord Stone, you will at least get some margin of error in case you find yourself cornered, unable to run and dodge.

SmithingShe is no master blacksmith, but she knows how to take good care of her weapons, hence a few perks in Smithing. Arcane Blacksmith is a must because we will use pre-enchanted gear only. Some Fortify Smithing items are in order, perhaps combined with Blacksmith’s Elixirs and Elixirs of the Healer, to max out the skill bounus.

Restoration: Magic isn’t her strong suit, but she learned the apprentice level healing spells to boost her survival skills. As Stamina is rather crucial for the build, you should also consider taking the Respite perk, if you already have all the other skills properly perked.




Zephyr and Elven Daggers are the only weapons you need. Speed and precision are your trademarks. Rapid fire of Zephyr is further improved by the Quick Shot perk, and the first word of Slow Time will let you start combat with some fast shots, softening your foes before jumping into direct combat. Daggers will need Elemental Fury shout of course. If you want to be hyper efficient about it, you might go for dwarven daggers instead, to spare one perk point you'd need to invest in Elven Smithing.

Elixirs of the Healer were used to buff the shout cooldown reduction, enabling the key combat technique of this character, and to improve the effects of her smithing gear. I know it's cheesy, but she has less than 150 AR, so I felt it was justified.

Predator's Grace will help a lot, since we don't have any item slots open for a Fortify Sneak enchantment. Full Muffle effect will make the stealth archery part of the build much easier, even without full investment in Stealth perks. 

Head, ring and hands slots should be occupied by the best Fotify Archery items you can find in the world. You should remember to drink that Elixir of the Healer before putting them on. You want to be as deadly with your bow as you are with your daggers.


Spells, Shouts, Blessing:



Playstyle and Combat


The build plays like a sneak archer in the early game, mainly because of the very low Armor Rating. But once you have your shouts and weapons sorted, you can safely invest in the more combat oriented perks. It becomes surprisingly strong around level 30. When you reach the complete stage of the build (42 perk points required, not counting the "optional" ones), you will become a goddess of agility and speed. All your shouts require only the first words to achieve the build's goals. Slow Time, for example, was used only at the start of any encounter, not to kill, but to wound the strongest enemies. 

After Slow Time effects runs out, you need to wait a few seconds and then you can proceed with the remarkable combo (below), moving around the battlefield with lightning speed and ferocity. 

You can also choose to remain in combat archer mode for longer. If you've taken the Steady Hand perk, it should be easy even without any shouts. 

As long as you remember to move (sprint, preferably) all the time and put your Shadow Warrior perk to good use, your low AR won't be much of a problem. When in doubt, sneak and roll away with your Silent Roll, to rethink your strategy.

Outdoors, under the sky, you get another mean of increasing your survivability. The Clear Skies shout will stagger nearby enemies and with your Restoration-buffed cooldown reduction, you can use it almost at will. You can power attack to your hearts content when they are on their knees. You have the Stamina for it. 

But combat is most satysfying when you do this:


Combat Techniques:


Sudden Leap:

Fortify Restoration + Elemental Fury + Critical Charge + Dual Fury + Silent Roll + Blessing of Talos + Amulet of Talos


With your shout cooldown reduced by a restoration potion, you can perform amazing feats of agility. You can overwhelm your enemies with fast and impetuous attacks and then swiftly jump out of the range of their weapons. Every strike is a double critical hit and nobody is fast enough to retaliate before you jump away. 


Woodland Strife:

Sudden Leap + Shadow Warrior


You also move so fast that your enemies will often loose you from sight. This will allow for a fast surprise attack mid combat. With the shout, a potion, a dagger and Dual Fury you are pretty much as fast as it gets in vanilla Skyrim, so it’s the best use of the Shadow Warrior perk. Sneaking mid combat has never been easier.


Roleplay Ideas:


The Elden Grove Guardian doesn't run from a fight and she admires the fighting spirit of the Nords. She may grow even more fond of it over time. She likes making friends everywhere she goes, and she is a very loyal friend. She wouldn't hesitate to risk her life defending people she loves, even against overwhelming odds.

At the same time, she distrusts authorities and people of power. It has something to do with the Thalmor.


The Video:


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    • Thanks, there's still a few things I never tried for myself in vanilla, so sooner or later I will make another one.

      • Sweet, excellent job Beli

  • I enjoyed the video quite a lot. I find the fast acrobatic type character builds are almost always the most entertaining to see in action. Great job on this build Belisaurus and extra props for pulling it off with only vanilla perks. 

    • Thanks. Quite a few builds I have in mind still rely on the vanilla skill system. One day, I will do an Ordinator build. Unless Enai Siaion releases his perks mod, which I suspect will be awesome.

  • I appreciate seeing new vanilla builds like this cuz imma be honest learning Ordinator kinda intimidates me.

    • I feel you. Also you have to really focus on narrow set of skills to do some most epic things in Ordinator. I'd love to see a mod that's slightly simpler, but still tries to introduce all the playstyles that Beth decided to neglect.

  • Man I have got to catch up on the Event builds. I have been so behind on reading through these. Rest assured I will read this through ASAP!

    P.S. I have changed the hyphon in the title to a colon. IK it's a bit nitpicky but I usually edit all titles to fit the same format. 

  • Hey mate,

    Really nice build here. I'll admit when I read 'Elden Grove Guardian' for some reason I imagined using Miraaks Sword mainly for that RP feel. But I'm glad that, this isn't the case here. Kept it really nice and simple here, definetly an acrobatic character which is quite refreshing for me. I can't find nothing to fault, bloody great job mate.

    Good to see that people are still making quality vanilla builds (and posting them *glares at self*)

    • Yeah, I like limiting myself to vanilla at times. It seems more challenging and I think people can then take your idea and refine it with mods they like at their leisure. 

  • Agility-based builds are somewhat far and few between. This was a very well done one, and for vanilla especially so. I must admint I haven't quite figured out what character this one is based off of.

    In any case this is an awesome addition to the event. The presentation was spot on, and the abilities seem super satisfying to use. Thanks for posting!

    P.S. why is the Elden Grove Guardian dabbing in your thumbnail for the video lol

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