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What difference do power attacks make?

I use double daggers and doing a power attack takes lots of stamina but doesn't seem to give me any advantages, other than a nice animation.

Are there any difference between 1 handed and 2 handed (duel wielded) power attacks?

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Power attacks while sneaking do a lot more damage, especially with Assassin's Blade perk and the Shrouded Gloves (from the Dark Brotherhood). ALL 3 hits will get the x30 bonus. Could be the difference between waking up a mob and an one shot kill. – Krazer Dec 6 '11 at 23:13
up vote 12 down vote accepted

According to the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages, power attacks do double damage and have a chance of staggering the opponent.

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Aside from the increased damage/stagger chance, you can also get perks to further improve your power attacks, including such things as sweep attacks against all enemies in front of you (with 2-h weapons) or a chance to behead enemies (with 1-h weapons).

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