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As part of the quest The Blessings of Nature, I have to retrieve Nettlebane from a nice creature called Hagraven.

Nidoru, my level 10 female wood elf sneaky archer, is having much trouble against Hagraven's Goku-like long range fire powerful attacks.

What do you think should be Nidoru's plan of action for this battle?

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I had to level up and come back later for this one – juan Jan 16 '12 at 15:07
What about just stealing Nettlebane and running away? It might make you a coward, but living coward is better than a dead hero. Another option is to Freeze the creature, if you have the proper shout, then you can calmly take whatever you want and go away. :) – Shadow Wizard Jan 16 '12 at 15:21
@ShadowWizard Can you steal it? I thought it had to be looted from the creature. – Marcelo Jan 16 '12 at 15:36
@Marcelo Epic pickpocket win? :) – Alex Jan 16 '12 at 16:15
Sometimes I wish I could downvote a comment. – Marcelo Jan 16 '12 at 20:13
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Hagravens can be a real pain. Remember that you can dodge the fireballs by moving erratically, and you can dive behind rocks or trees to avoid the blast as well. As a ranged character, you are likely to be able to find a spot behind cover where you can fire at the hagraven, but the hagraven can't hit you back.

If you insist on beating it "legitimately", your best bet is to gain a few levels and get some fire resist gear or potions. Use some poisons on your arrows, and apply restore health potions liberally. Remember, you can instantly drink as many potions as you want, so you're only limited by the number you can reasonably afford/create.

Another good strategy is to hire a melee companion, who will gladly run in and provide a distraction while you add your damage. Just remember that you can't get a sneak attack on a creature who is in combat with your companion, so try to get your sneak attack in first, before your companion runs in as a distraction.

Essentially, use everything you have available to help you and be creative. Each individual aspect of Skyrim's combat may be one-dimensional, but there is still plenty of strategy because there are so many options.

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Since you're a wood elf and archer, you should use Command Animal to provide a distraction. YIf you want a stealthy, ranged follower use either Jenassa (Whiterun) or Faendal (Riverwood). If you want a follower who will distract and absorb damage, use Vorstag (Markarth) or Argis (Markarth). It's not at all true that you can't score sneak bonuses when your follower is engaged in combat. Drop into a crouch immediately when you go to fight and stay crouched until you've been seen and need to run away. I recommend waiting until night (sneaking bonus if it's stormy out) and using whatever cover you can so that you can make use of the sneak critical. You only do sneak damage when your person is hidden, or your enemy hasn't found you yet. Sometimes it glitches a little.

You can sneak up with a sneaky follower and fire off a few arrows whenever your indicator says you're hidden until the hagraven dies.

Or: You can sneak up with a beserker type of follower, who will take attention away from finding you and cause damage while you wait to become completely hidden again. Don't get into melee combat, if you are found, run away and wait until you're hidden and can sneak back.

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Thanks for a pretty good answer. – Marcelo Feb 26 '13 at 13:28

When I played this quest on my first low level character, I climbed up on the rocks, just right of the log bridge and fired arrow after arrow as she wandered around her little plateau searching for me. Took quite some time and a lot of arrows, but the rocks made good cover from her fireballs

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Just gang up on him with your partner. Make sure your partner has good armour and weapon.

If you want a strong partner, go to Riften to the Bee and Barb, and there will be an apprentice mage sitting on a bench. Pay 500 coins to get him.

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I found that the best way to deal with a hagraven is using power attacks. While walking around Skyrim, a hagraven came wandering up to me. I did a power attack and got in an extra three hits while it was staggered. I repeated this three times with Grimsever (glass sword of frost damage) and the hagraven was down.

Strangely, I found three hagravens at once in a Dwemer ruin. I took one down but then went to low health. I ran back and snuck over a pressure plate (perk: Light Foot), the hagravens followed me and were taken down by the trap. It was extremely satisfying to watch a giant claw sweep two hagravens off the ground then send them falling to their doom.

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I think you missed the part about being a sneak archer, not a melee fighter. – SevenSidedDie Mar 18 '13 at 19:14

A bit of general advice on Sneak/Bow :

Basically, when you go for a sneaky archer, Sneaking is the Absolute first skill you'll want to concentrate on. Build it up as high as possible without levelling anything else, invest every perk you're willing to/can:
Having low Combat skill on these first levels will matter little if you can sneak there, Arrow the target and stay hidden while the target loses track of you. It makes killing stuff a little longer in the beginning, but once you're set in your routine, you can concentrate on patiently filling your enemies with arrows... until one arrow is all it takes.

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Care to explain the downvote ? – Nigralbus Sep 11 '12 at 7:45

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