I'm an assassin/warrior and one-handed weapons are part of my kit. And the one-handed skill is close to 100 and ready for legendary. My questions are such:

  1. If I legendary the one-handed skill and it resets to 15, do I have to again get it to skill level 80 to get the double damage power level (+100% damage).
  2. Since my attack pattern is nearly exclusively one-handed, is it any use for me to reset the one-handed to 15 and get hit with a "nerf" in one-handed damage? (i.e) Do my one-handed damage decrease on resetting to legendary?

6 Answers 6


Legendary status was implemented to allow resetting skills. Side effects of this was that you could level above level 81.

In Skyrim some enemies scale with your level while others do not. Wolves for example will stay weak the whole game while higher tier enemies will be 'difficult' the entire game.

Before resetting your main skill you should test out how strong the difference is. Just save the game and do a dungeon or two.

You will loose all benefits of this skill tree, meaning damage will drop, special attacks are missing.

If you manage to play this way you will be rewarded however. As you use one handed anyway you will level it without really noticing. Also you will gain extra experience from these level ups meaning you increase you total level resulting in more stats and skill points.


Yes, your damage will become that of a perkless level 15 one-handed character, about the strength of a new character. Your existing one-handed perks will be refunded and can be reallocated.

But doing it or not depends on your survivability after making one-handed legendary. I will suggest doing so since one-handed will your primary combat style, you will find yourself levelling quickly once you reset. But you might potentially find yourself overwhelmed after the reduction in damage so you might want to prepare some extra potions and strengthen your Armour skills before doing so.

Avoiding it entirely only slows your future levelling speed so if you prefer a more relaxing play it is perfectly fine too.


Yes and yes, as explained in other answers.

Despite these rather serious drawbacks, resetting a primary combat skill is very feasible for most character builds. You will probably want to lean on other skills in order to make up for the reduction in damage (but take care that you do not stop using one handed altogether, or you'll never level it back up again!). Here are some suggestions, starting with the ones most likely to match the specific build (assassin) you have described:

  • Be very good at backstabbing. Have the relevant sneak perks maxed and a high-quality dagger. This also has the advantage that it will directly level one handed.
  • Have good archery, sneak, and (optionally) alchemy skills, and focus on ranged sneak attacks. Use invisibility potions to "reset" your stealth after each attack, or use paralysis poisons to incapacitate enemies so that you can kill them more easily. You can easily pick off nearly an entire dungeon this way. Any character will almost certainly have at least halfway decent archery because of all the dragons.
  • Have good equipment which does a substantial amount of base damage by itself.
  • Have good armor skills. Be at the armor cap.
  • Be good at dealing a lot of damage with destruction or conjuration magic. It's also a Good Idea to level the other three schools of magic, but they're a bit more situational. Illusion in particular may be useful for a stealth-oriented character (muffle and invisibility, plus all the AI manipulation spells).
  • Have strong followers. This dovetails nicely with conjuration. Prefer followers and summons who use a different style of fighting from you. Followers and summons can complicate the use of sneak, but they can also work with it. Tank characters like Lydia are good at drawing the enemy's attention and allowing you to get in lots of ranged attacks.

Finally, a parting word of advice: Go slowly. Do not (for example) make archery, one/two handed, and light/heavy armor legendary all at once. Make one of them legendary, wait for it to recover to a viable level, and then make a different one legendary. Always save before making a skill legendary, and back out to the save if you find it too hard to continue your game.


I'll directly answer your questions first, then provide tips.

  1. If I legendary the one-handed skill and it resets to 15, do I have to again get it to skill level 80 to get the double damage power level (+100% damage).

Yes. All your perks related to the skill are refunded.

  1. Since my attack pattern is nearly exclusively one-handed, is it any use for me to reset the one-handed to 15 and get hit with a "nerf" in one-handed damage? (i.e) Do my one-handed damage decrease on resetting to legendary?

Your damage does decrease due to loss of perks and skill level.

It is not a good idea to reset any of the melee combat skills because they take a long time to level up.

I'll start with a trick that doesn't require Enchanting, then one that is the fastest way to get 100.


Prerequisites for fast leveling are:

  • a bunch of gold
  • expert trainer
  • *optional* some pickpocket enchanted gear


  • Use trainer
  • Pickpocket gold back (save scum)
  • Repeat 5 times
  • Reverse pickpocket items/gold
  • gain pickpocket skill until you level up

After hitting 90, reverse pickpocket some more and get 100.

Just got to watch out near the start that you don't give the trainer so much gold you can't pickpocket them back.

You can reverse pickpocket items and gold to repeatedly gain experience.

Note: If your game is unpatched, Fortify Pickpocket enchanted equipment can reduce your pickpocket chances.

The best method


  • 90+ Illusion skill
  • Complete Grandmaster quest and buy Harmony
  • Enough Fortify Illusion gear so you can cast Harmony at 15 skill

Go to Whiterun, near the outdoor market outside the Alchemy shop. Cast Harmony. First cast gets you to 50+ skill. It takes you maybe 8 casts and you'll hit 100.

Getting to 90+ Illusion isn't that hard. Some Fortify Illusion gear helps. Cast Muffle (apprentice) everywhere will raise the skill pretty fast. You can equip it on both hands, but just make sure you release the spell not exactly the same time so you get the experience twice.


For grinding purposes, I have found a better solution than Shadowmere. Since we are talking about legendary-ing a skill tree, I assume you are quite far in the game and have already finished most of the guild quests. After finishing the Dark Brotherhood quest line, you'll find 4 torture victims at Dawnstar Sanctuary. One of them in particular is a real bullet (or arrow) sponge at legendary difficulty level. The real advantages over Shadowmere? 1) They can't move or escape because they are shackled, 2) you don't have to worry about getting caught by anyone.

This is what I did: Make sure difficulty is at legendary. Reset Conjuration, Archery (or One-handed, Two-handed, etc.) and Restoration (if it's at 100 as well). Then cast Bound Bow (sword, battleaxe, etc.) and grind away. Use Healing hands when the target's health is low. You'll be leveling up Conjuration, Archery and Restoration at your leisure. It didn't take as long as I expected to grind it back up to 100 again. You can do upgrade Sneak here as well but I find Dragonsreach a better location.

Be careful that the torture victims can still die. Also watch out for your follower if you are using Fireball or other DOA type of offense.

My 2 cents.

  • Thank you Lydia! Now if you could just stop blocking my path, I might do what you said! :P Jul 24, 2018 at 1:50

You're correct, you'll be crippling your kit. It can be fun to do from a difficulty standpoint, but I don't recommend hitting your offensive skills you actually use, nor your armor ones.

I legendary my lockpicking, because there's no lock difficulty restriction like in Fallout and I know I'll be working that skill out a lot. Crafting skills are also not bad for this, as they are leveled in a way you can't be harmed and if you're ready to legendary both Smith and Enchanter, you've already got your OP smackdown items made and equipped anyway.

The best thing you can probably do is level Enchanting all the way, then enchant items to offset the skill you're about to nerf by doing Legendary. Sneak is easy to level if you have Muffled boots. Worried about Archery damage? Enchant your armor with damage buffs to arrows. The crafting skills base the XP gain on how much the item value is, so with Potion making enchantments all over you, you can farm experience off of potion making very quickly if you knock it down with Legendary.

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