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Every time I attempt dual wield weapons it doesn't go very well. I find it impossible to defend myself, especially when there is no way of lessening the blow of an incoming power attack.

The extra damage output you can get from dual wielding weapons just doesn't seem worth the extra vulnerability to me, although I don't know if this is because of my play style.

So I guess what I am asking is, is there a way to make dual-wielding an effective strategy for the core combat spec of a character? Or is it merely something that's a fun little add on to play around with every now and again?

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Both answers below are correct. But ultimately they depend on how you like to play. Dual wield not working in current situation switch to Destruction. That not working shout your enemies to death with Marked For Death. Skyrim lets you play how you want to and I love it for that. :) –  ヴァイシャリ Aug 4 '12 at 16:27
    
But no one mentioned Elemental Fury shout. Try dual wielding and use Elemental Fury if you have it. I love it when I am playing this build. –  ヴァイシャリ Aug 4 '12 at 16:44

10 Answers 10

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I found dual wield doable (and fun) in a few ways:

  • Heavy armor paladin.
  • Sneaky character with extreme illusion and the 15x sneak damage.

The paladin could heal himself and the heavy armor negated much of the damage. Next to that I developed a knack for dodging incoming blows which makes fighting one opponent extremely easy. The sneaky character pacified (charmed) the attackers, snuck behind them and stabbed them. Both characters were played on master difficulty (I like the challenge), which means you'll have to be very patient (aka dying a lot) early game anyway, but when past level 35-40 it becomes almost too easy. The sneaky character had to hit multiple times though for killing anything above bandits since master difficulty gave enemies extreme amounts of health (or just nerfed your own damage).

There are plenty more builds to think of, but since you are indeed vulnerable to incoming blows you'll need some way to negate or dodge incoming damage. Skyrim provides quite a few ways to do this (armor, spells and actually moving your character out of harms way) so even an unarmored mage could pull off dual wield in theory. (That would make for a fun character btw: unarmored priest dual wielding maces.)

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+1 to you as well. I like the fact that you acknowledge there can be many many builds to use the dual wield. It all comes down to your play style and Skyrim allows you to do all that and does not box you in. :) –  ヴァイシャリ Aug 4 '12 at 16:38

There are many situations where your enemies are not that strong, and you are not that worried about dying. In those situations, you can take advantage of dual wielding's higher damage output and kill everyone quicker. With Dual Flurry perk, your weapons deal out damage 35% faster. It's a very powerful way of increasing your damage, and it's especially good if you have enchanted weapons. In late game, especially, when you have good armor rating and high health, you won't miss being able to block that much.

Dual wielding can be very powerful for assassins. If you dual wield daggers and do a dual wield attack, you can get two powerful backstabs instead of just one. With 15x perk, 2x Dark assassin gloves, it gives you as much damage as hitting your opponent 60 times with that same dagger.

You do not have to commit 100% to dual wielding. I personally find it best to switch it up between shield-and-weapon and dual wielding depending on the situation.

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In early game dual wield is good. But as you said once your assassin has the 15X (perk) or 30X (Dark Brotherhood apparel) multipliers, you do not require it. But good answer. You covered almost all situations. +1. –  ヴァイシャリ Aug 4 '12 at 16:30

Personally, I like to switch between a bow and arrow and dual weilding a legendary blades sword and a legendary glass sword. My bow does 30 points stamina damage, so usually as they are coming at me, I can shoot them 2-3 times, then their power attacks don't last long. Once they get close I switch to the two swords. Also, one sword has an enchantment that does 10 frost dmg and the other absorbs 10 health.

Basically, dual wielding can be well for people who switch between a long distance attack such as archery or magic and then use the dual wields to finish them off. A tip for people playing with this strategy is to check the compass often for enemies; that way you can start attacking before they even get close.

Another important factor to consider is your armor rating/and or health. Just make sure your regular opponents (I.e. bandits, draugr,...) can finish you off in less than 7-8 hits or so.

The last important thing to concider is play on your perks and skills for each race. Make sure any strategy you are using fits your skills.

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I can see why dual wielding is coming under fire, but investing the right perks and using the right strategy makes shot work of even the toughest enemies out there. With the 3 dual perks in one handed and the insainly overpowered attacks, you can cut down a dragon in seconds compared to with a shield. Just be sure to mainly upgrade health and some stamina, and only use heavy armor! With the right combo, this build becomes insainly overpowered (and fun)

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I believe it would be very effective if you do these following things... First off, have a basic stealth crit hit build lined up. If you can get more sneak attacks in on an enemy before they notice, more damage. Next up, light armor is probably your best bet because dual wielding eats up stamina (of course heavy armor and conditioning perk works too). I noticed that using a dagger and sword makes you significantly faster while dual wielding, as compared to 2 daggers or swords. Try to dodge those heavy hitting power attacks. Dual wielding is about being more agile and dealing enough damage quick enough to kill your enemy.

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Personally, I went with a Nord simply because I liked the frost resistance. And as for dual wielding: I am level 80 and I dual wield swords. My damage output is 746 not including the elemental enchantments on my swords. My armor rating is 1592. You may think that is not a big deal because I am at such a high level, but those numbers have been the same for the past 30 levels. Also my character is not modded in any way, I simply used all the resources in the game to make my character better. Finally, I believe that dual wielding is the most broken feature in Skyrim (with any race). My reasoning is that, provided you perk right, once you get to between levels 20-25 you do not really need to kill things as much as you just notice that they need to die. Then, beyond that, your damage will only go up, and subsequently the game becomes much easier no matter what difficulty you play on.

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The best way to use dual weapons are 2 strong daggers, improved to their best. For example, I use Blade of Woe (flawless), and Ebony Blade (superior), as well as really light, effective armor (Shrouded Armor or Thieve's Guild armor. Other famous choices are leather, hide and scaled).

If you have light armor, it's easier to move. If you have the perk "Unhindered" on light armor, that's better, since light armor will weigh nothing. But to become an expert you must START the game with dual-wielded swords (iron sword, iron war axe, iron mace, etc.) and keep it that way. You'll get used too it quickly.

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For me, dual wielding is all about stagger. Make sure you get some items and perks that increase your chances to stagger an enemy. Also make sure to get the "Fus" dragon shout word of power from the Throat of the World that increases your chance to stagger an opponent 25%.

I stagger my opponent almost every single dual power attack. When I fight the dragon priests they can't even get a hit in because of the stagger. Make sure you upgrade stamina a lot and enchanted items will help too. Dual wielding is unstoppable if you can use it right.

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How about using an Orc? Because of their racial skill Beserker Rage you can do lot of damage while dual wielding and using the Marked for Death shout or Elemental Fury.

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Right now I want to start a new charter in Skyrim which will be a dual-wielder and I looked up a build when I last played a dual-wielder.So the main thing is that you'll need 2 unenchanted weapons, one of them should be a dagger,probably in your left hand,and the other a sword. And now you should shearch for the elemental fury shout which increases your attack speed by 100. If you have all the dual-wield perks you can kill a deagon in about 2 seconds with that insane attack speed,but keep in mind that the elemental fury wont work with Enchanted weapons.

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