This will be build number 8 of 21 in my classic class revival project. Here's a sneak peek at what I've managed to get done so far. Enjoy !
Before we delve deeper into Ariane's build, here are the essential, and recommended, mods used for the playthrough.
ESSENTIAL MODS :
All Armor - All Enchantments
Tomebound (Activate Ordinator compatibility patch in the installer)
Alternate Start Start by arriving to Skyrim aboard a ship, in Solitude harbour, if you wish to follow the backstory.
RECOMMENDED MODS :
Advanced Adversary Encounters
Perk points @ skill level
Perk point awards
NB : The latter three essentially act as a replacement for 20/50/100% more perk point mods that come with Ordinator. I prefer to play with these, as exploration (Skyshards), defeating epic enemies (PPA) and mastering more and more skills (PP@SL) make perk points feel like a reward for your acomplishments, rather that just something you get double every few levels. It is up to your preference, however, you could bypass these and just get any perk point modifier on the Ordinator page.
"I am Lady Ariane Valentina Athénaïs de Montfaulcon. But you may simply call me Ariane."
Name : Lady Ariane Valentina Athénaïs De Montfaulcon
Age : 20
Class archetype : Spellsword
Race : Breton
With Imperious installed, Bretons start with a base Health of 95 (regen rate 0.75%), base Magicka of 105 (regen rate 3.125%) and base Stamina of 100 (regen rate 4.75%), and a carrying capacity of 300.
As for racial abilities, they have Spell Mantle, which increases magic resistance by 15%, and provides 25% spell absorption, doubled when Magicka is under 25%, Stones of Galen, which makes each standing stone grant an extra passive ability, and Grail of Betony, which gives a chance for an encounter - usually around level 35, with an adventurer carrying said Grail. Having it in your inventory as a Breton increases Magicka and Stamina regen by 50%.
Furthermore, their active ability, Shared Ancestry, is acquired by discovering 10 of the 13 total standing stones in Skyrim. It is a one use a day Power that allows you to mimic the racial ability of any human or elven target for 300 seconds.
Standing Stone : The Lover
With Andromeda installed, the Lover Stone has two passive properties and one active ability.
For passives, Secret Admirer gives you a random enchanted item periodically, while Undying Love makes you come back to life when slain once every 15 minutes or once per in-game day, meaning fast travelling to the other side of the map essentially resets it.
The active ability, Lover's Kiss, is unlocked through discovering every standing stone in Skyrim. It allows you to mark your target, providing you the ability to summon them to your location with the Lover's Call power, and is usable at will.
Being a Breton, you of course get another added benefit to your standing stone with Stones of Galen. In the case of the Lover, it makes your enchantments drain out 50% slower.
Stat Distribution : 1/2/1 - Stop perking Stamina at 150 and Magicka at 305. Put every further point into Health.
Factions : College of Winterhold, Companions, Dawnguard
Alignment : Lawful Good
As a Spellsword, Ariane's main focuses are martial skills and combat-related magic, which encompasses both sheer damaging spells as well as a wide array of self-buffs. Let's review the key perks here.
ALTERATION - The staple school of supportive magic, Ariane uses it to bolster her defenses and weaken her enemies.
- Wild Shrines : You should look for the Alteration shrine (above Uttering Hills Cave), Destruction shrine (in front of Halldir's Cairn), and Restoration shrine (On a small patch of land in the river southeast of Old Hroldan). Illusion and Conjuration are not used for this build.
- Welloc's Dormant Arcana : You should bind Attack Damage, Spell Absorption and Destruction Magnitude to the Flesh spell type.
- Alter Self : Resistances : You should choose to increase your Shock and Frost resistances.
- Alter Self : Attributes : Your safest and best option here is to increase your Health.
DESTRUCTION - A Spell Knight is as deadly with a spell as with a blade ; Ariane has focused her study of Destruction into mastering Shock magic.
- Destruction Dual Casting : While we won't be dual-casting spells at all, given the bonuses we get from the Enchanting and Alteration trees when using both a weapon and a spell with each other, this perk is taken so we can make use of the Spellscribe power from the Enchanting tree.
- Elemental Specialization : You should pick Shock as your specialization, as all of our offensive spells but one benefit from it. Furthermore, we won't be using another elemental damage type.
SMITHING - Ariane combines her extensive knowledge of Enchanting with some very basic Smithing notions in order to keep her gear in good condition.
- Smithing Mastery 1/2 : Simply take one rank of this perk to be able to craft and upgrade your desired armor. The second point is largely irrelevant if you're not using higher-end armors and don't have a very high Smithing skill level.
- Arcane Blacksmith : A key perk that allows us to temper our enchanted gear.
ONE-HANDED - Trained by some of the best swordsmen in High Rock, Ariane has developed a swift and deadly mastery of the blade.
- Thundering Blow : Given that you'll want to save your power attacks for Spellscribe procs, this perk is extremely useful to maximize damage output.
- Aftershock : Increased attack speed synergizes very well with and enchanted weapon ;: besides, attacking more often increases your overall chance of getting the bonus damage from the Shock Damage Wild enchantment.
- Overrun : Our only mobitity spell has a decently long channel time, and costs a good chunk of Magicka ; this perk is here as a cheaper way to gapclose on ranged enemies.
RESTORATION - Ariane uses her simple yet practical knowledge of the noble school of Restoration to sustain through fights.
- Respite : Stamina, while not invested into a lot when levelling up, and primarily boosted by enchantments, is still a very good resource to have for a build whose only melee defense option is to sprint out of incoming blows.
- Warrior's Flame : A decent option that gives us passive secondary resource sustain. The draining effect combined with the Nullifier perk from Alteration also makes elongated fights significantly easier.
- Overflowing Cup : A very nice way to get an additional buff to our tankiness, especially when combined with Ocato's Recital.
HEAVY ARMOR - As for most Spell Knights, Ariane favors the higher protection of a Steel armor over lighter armor types.
- Face of Death : Usually a purely aesthetic perk, in this case, it is anything but. Having a point into Regalia from the Enchanting tree gives us better enchantments on a circlet than on a helmet, and this perk almost negates the loss of armor rating.
- Born to Fight : Again, Ariane's best defense against hard-hitting melee enemies is mobility ; this perk gives us a bit more freedom of movement.
ENCHANTING - Ariane has learned to imbue her equipment with magical properties, as well as channel spells through her blade.
- Gem Dust : Destroy a Diamond for your jewelry, a Sapphire for your boots and gloves, a, a Garnet for your circlet, a Ruby for your sword, an Amethyst for your cuirass. Emeralds are used for shields, but Ariane doesn't carry one.
- Spellscribe : While you can theoretically change which spell you release on power attacks between fights, I chose to mostly stick with Weakness to Shock - note that the released spell applies before weapon enchantments, which is great considering our blade is enchanted with two instances of Shock damage.
Even though the look I went for uses the Spell Knight Armor pack, which is Creation Club content, it is purely for aesthetic reasons. Given that the Steel Spell Knight armor stats are identical to the vanilla Steel armor stats, feel free to use it, or any steel-level modded armor of your choice instead, should you not want to pay for this mod.
Helm : Crown of Montfaulcon
Altmer Mage Circlet enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Fortify Stamina
Necklace : Dragon Knight Amulet
Generic necklace, enchanted with Fortify Health and Amplify Destruction
Ring : Royal Seal of Glenumbria
Silver Ruby Ring, enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Fortify Destruction
Armor : Spell Squire Cuirass
Steel Spell Knight Armor (CC content) enchanted with Fortify Health and Fortify Magicka
Gloves : Spell Squire Gauntlets
Steel Spell Knight Gauntlets (CC content) enchanted with Fortify One-Handed and Fortify Destruction
Boots : Spell Squire Greaves
Steel Spell Knight Boots (CC content) enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Fortify Magicka Regen
Weapon : Blade of Montfaulcon
Skyforge Steel Sword enchanted with Shock Damage and Shock Damage Wild
Trinkets : The extra items you may find that can be of use to the build
Grail of Betony, Zahkriisos (Belt-strapped, right)
Magical Effects : Bonuses gained from completing quests that can be of use to the build
Agent of Dibella, Agent of Mara, Sailor's Repose
Hidden Knowledge : Abilities granted by reaching the end of a Black Book area
Secret of Protection, Mora's Boon, Seeker of Sorcery, Lover's Insight
- Shocking Touch - Replace whenever possible by Lightning Grasp, and finally Lightning Blow.
- Shock Nova
- Lightspeed - Note that despite using Shock style animations, this spell is not considered Shock magic ; it is unaffected by your Shock-related perks, but doesnt suffer from the drawback of Elemental Specialization either. Its damage scales with your Destruction skill level.
- Fast Healing - Replace whenever possible with Close Wounds.
- Oakflesh - replace whenever possible with Stoneflesh, later Ironflesh, and finally Ebonyflesh.
- Resist Magic
- Ocato's Recital - Link your strongest available Flesh spell, Close Wounds (to proc the Overflowing Cup perk), and Resist Magic.
- Spell Twine - bind the Blood effect to Lightning Blow, the Haste effect to Lightspeed, and the Rock effect to Close Wounds.
- Weakness to Shock - This spell will be bound to your power attacks by Spellscribe.
STRENGTHS : Very tanky against magic damage, decently so against physical damage, excellent against mages and lightly armed opponents, monstrous single-target damage, decent AOE, doesn't rely on high cooldowns, great sustain, amazing lategame scaling.
WEAKNESSES : Only form of crowd control is unreliable, no blocking capabilities, weak against two-handed wielders, bad against mechanical foes, mediocre early game.
Ariane, the Spell Squire
This concludes the eighth build I'm posting on The SkyForge, namely my Spellsword build. This is a part of my Project 21 series of builds, which will be my own take on all 21 classes of the TES universe. Going over a third of the way already feels surreal, and I couldn't have done it without your support. Thank you guys so very much.
I would like to extend special thanks to Enai Siaion, creator of Ordinator, Andromeda, Wildcat, Imperious, and many more gameplay-enhancing mods, for making Skyrim an even more amazing game than Bethesda already had, and one I still enjoy playing after almost a decade, as well as to Furrion 17. I tried all of his builds when I got into character building and really had a blast, and the dedication he shows in crafting a good backstory for a good build inspired me to try my hand at it as well. Since I joined this community, Furrion has given me nothing but constructive advice, words of encouragement, and sincere friendship, for which I am immensely grateful.
That's all from me for now, expect more soon ! Don't hesitate to comment and share your experience playing Ariane, I hope you'll have as much fun playing her as I had creating, playing and writing the build she is the star of !
MY OTHER BUILDS
BARBARIAN : Ulfgar, The Lone Wolf
HEALER : Alska, She of the Wild
NIGHTBLADE : Caesia Tremellius, the Imperial Inquisitor
ROGUE : Thessia, the Rascal
SORCERER : Lanathel, the Bloodsworn
WARRIOR : Kazan, the Lion of Bangkorai
WITCHHUNTER : Taren Verelas, the Beckoner of Retribution