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I've encountered 2 random dragons now (and killed 2 that were in place, the quest one and one at a shout word) and have not been able to pull either.

I run around in the open shooting arrows at the thing, but it never comes down and loses interest after a while and flies off.

What's the easiest way to begin the fight?

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Hitchhike them! –  badp Nov 15 '11 at 7:25
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6 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Later in game with will get easier:

You will get a Shout called Dragonrend, it will bring them down with ease.

Before that stange, use somekind of magic that seems to lure them, I use a bow most of the times, works for me.

I also just try to stay in the same area under where they fly.

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Thanks. I made a spoiler now ;-) –  Allan Kimmer Jensen Nov 15 '11 at 10:41
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Awesome, thanks :) –  user3389 Nov 15 '11 at 11:14
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I played the better part of the game without progressing the plot to the point where you get the spoiler'ed ability that assists with flying dragons.

My strategy for dealing with flying dragons tends to boil down to:

  • Conjure a Flame Atronach - conjuring this takes relatively low Conjuration skill, and it lasts pretty well while a dragon is circling. The Atronach's fire bolts tend to hit more often that not, and the flame damage increases the damage taken from other sources.
  • Pull the dragon near some guards or other armed NPCs - They tend to have pretty decent aim with their bows, and I've watched my Atronach and a couple of hunters take a dragon down with little involvement from me.
  • Use ranged abilities - Bows never really did the job, as far as I'm concerned. It's too hard to aim, the refire rate is relatively low at low levels of Archery, and the damage done tended to be relatively minimal. The Shock spells tended to do a bit better, if the dragon was interested in staying still or flying low.
  • Stand under overhangs - If you're in an area where there are things to stand under and get cover from, this is the #1 way I've found of getting the dragon to land. The easiest spot to explain is at the College of Winterhold - the gate area that leads into the courtyard where the statue is. If you stand here for 30 seconds or so, the dragon will almost always land in the courtyard. You can generalize this to other areas - just find a spot where there's no line of sight to the air, and the dragon will have to land in order to fight you.

All in all though, if you don't have the spoilery ability, and you're out in the middle of nowhere, low on arrows and no magic skill to speak of, your best bet is to run away.

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I got a helmet called "Helmet of the unburnt" which gives 40% fire protection and boots called "Boots of fire suppression" which gives 50% fire protection. This makes fire breathing dragons a cake walk :P I use a

dragonrend shout!

and when it lands I just bash it with a charged dragon bane.

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You need a shout called

"Dragonrend"

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Please don't post spoilers so visibly. You can use the spoiler tag in the answer formatting to hide it. –  Jasarien Jan 28 '12 at 16:00
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Flame Atronach is definitely the easy way.

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Could you expand on your strategy slightly? –  fredley Oct 10 '12 at 16:57
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Some dragons seems to be linked to quest/event. One time I got a dragon that completely ignored me, flying around.

When you can fight the dragon, you usually see the red dot in the HUD. From that point, damaging the dragon is the better way to keep it grounded, every dragon stays on ground at a certain health. Otherwise, each dragon has each own style of combat. I usually cast an Astronach to fire at him and let my companion Lydia shoot arrow at him while I sustain the damage. As soon as it's grounded I begin damaging him. To gain some time I use the Unrelenting Force shout. It gives some second more.

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