I am leveling a conjuration sneaky archer (Sneak + bound bow + summons if needed).

Two questions:

  1. Is Bound Bow (with conjuration perks + archer perks) better than Daedric Bow (with archer perks)? Consider that Bound Bow cannot be enchanted, but poisons do work.

  2. Which one should I level to help me the most with this build: Alchemy, Enchanting or Smithing? How do I benefit from each skill as a Conjuration Sneak Archer?

By the way, I'm level 36, and with 2.0x sneak bonus only (I don't have 3.0x yet) I can one-shot most mobs with Bound Bow + Quick Casting (to avoid beeing caught) + Conjuration perk that increases Bound Weapons' damage.

  • 2
    Try and ask only one question per question. Also, saying you can one-shot things without giving the difficulty level isn't very informative.
    – agf
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 12:45
  • I strongly agree with @agf. Your second question asking about the different crafting skills should be its own second question, where you ask for a more general answer which can be applied to anyones situation, and not just your own.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 12:48

6 Answers 6


Excellent build you have, that is my first character as well.

Summons work great (you only summon if someone notices you and you can't fire a shot off before they reach you). I personally felt the bound weapon conjuration perks were a waste. This is even more obvious after you raise enchanting.

I use a Daedric bow (enhanced with smithing), and dual enchants of fiery enchant(soul trap + small fire dmg) and I think paralyze if I recall correctly.

I'd much rather have those 2 perks back that I wasted on the bound weapons. Since the enhanced bound bow is nothing compared to a moderately smithed daedric bow. And then the fiery enchant at 1 second is a perfect enchant. Plus you can add another enchant once you get 100 enchanting(not add after the fact, but make another bow and add both).

I maxed Smithing and Enchanting, and was working on Alchemy. I personally think all my characters will max all 3 of those. Enchanting is nearly game breaking, and smithing makes you create ridiculous damage/armor. Alchemy is arguably as good as smith, but due to enchanting being so much more powerful than either, it doesn't matter as much.

Not to mention that I actually fully regret ALL conjuration perks. I still summon if the enemy(ies) are coming at me, but they are there to distract long enough for a shot, not damage. So having multiple (or more powerful) is a waste.

  • 1
    I'd keep the bound weapons perk still, because of the Soul Trap perk above it :)
    – Flater
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 10:33
  • 1
    Fiery Soul enchant on my smithed Daedric bow has soul trap + fire damage, and far higher base dmg on the bow than a bound weapon. :)
    – JClaspill
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 16:35

If you want to play a normal way, keep using the bound bow. That way you aren't breaking the game with the Smithing, Enchanting, and Alchemy perks. If you truly want to experience the power of an archer, get all three of those perks. Put paralyze and any other enchantment on one bow, then make a second with frost/fire.

1) Daedric bow can be over-powered compared to the bound bow if you do Smithing, Enchanting, and Alchemy. I love to play the game with more challenge, so I only get Enchanting to 100 (Still your over-powered with just a 20% archery bonus on ring, necklace, helm, and gloves.)

2) What would you want out of Smithing, Alchemy, and Enchanting? Do you want powerful armor? or do you not care? That's the main question, if you do get 100 Smithing, Alchemy, and Enchanting. If you want to still be pretty good and not have majorly overpowered armor use just Enchanting and Alchemy

  • Yeah, i remember that by the time i used to play Skyrim, leveling smithing and enchantress used to break the game. Daedric bow with + % Bow Damage on gear kinda makes is VERY easy even on master Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 2:07

An advantage of using the bound bow on its own it is correct me if i am wrong as good as a daedric bow with mystic binding and though you cannot enchant it or improve it the bound arrows are equal to the base damage of daedric arrows which can only be obtained late in the game unless exploiting certain glitches. bound bow is definately worth it if you do not plan on investing in enchanting. on a side note poisoning your weapons is rather gymmicy and i only did it at the very start of the game. another thing that you can do is exploit the alchemy enchanting glitch and enchant your gear with an improved fortify archery and you will probably do more damage than enchanted daedric legendary bow, it can be argued that you can do the same with and enchanted bow but really there comes a time when you deal too much damage and the game gets i dare say a little dull.

sources 200 hours of gameplay at master

  • Your first answer,yay. Thanks for that, i will end up using nightingale bow and gear .But i am using bound while i do not achieve the quest for the bow. This is my third conjuration archer and i will do it right this time Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 12:11

Conjuration and sneaky doesn't quite go hand in hand as summons are typically not so stealthy and will cause you to be detected, but if you are going to solely use it for the bow, I suppose its alright.

As for your questions:

  1. No, because with enough smithing, you can drastically increase a daedric bow's base damage, far above what you can manage with the conjured bow. And there's also the matter of being able to enchant it.

  2. The answer, in short, is yes. Alchemy and enchanting are two of the most useful skills in the game, allowing you to get some ridiculous skill boosts via potions and armor enchantments. smithing is not AS useful since you can boost it through enchantments and potions, but you'll need the perks to upgrade daedric anyway.

  • 1
    I agree, although I would point out that the Mystic Bow is quite strong, only requires two perks, and with two more perks taken it casts Soul Trap, banishes summons and turns undead. To equal it in base attack damage, you need Smithing of at least 65 and a Daedric Bow. To beat it, you need Smithing of at least 80 and the Ebony Smithing perk (3 perks, plus 1 if you want to enchant it). The best you can do is a Legendary Daedric Bow at 91 Smithing that has 29 base attack vs the Mystic Bow's 24. In the long run it's better, plus you get a choice of enchantment, but bound weapons are nice.
    – brymck
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 13:46
  • 1
    @Bryan you make some good points, but with a set of smithing armor and alchemy, you can far exceed 29 base damage with your daedric bow. The upper damage cap from smithing does stop at legendary.
    – l I
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 14:02
  • Yeah, I just thought about that and was returning here to post the same. You're very right about the smithing armor.
    – brymck
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 14:08
  • Last question,With a decent smithing (considering that alchemy would benefit both a Daedric and a Conjured Bows),how much more damage can i get on a Daedric ? I mean,what would be a OPowered smithing that can be used in a Bow ? Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 15:14
  • 1
    @Marcello I can test this when I get home to see what the theoretical max is, but the bow I'm using has over 50 for base damage and none of my smithing/enchanting/alchemy skills are maxed out yet. And keep in mind, the 3x multiplier from sneak attacks are only from the base damage, not poisons, but enchanted damage on the bow ARE multiplied, so normal bows starts to out distance conjured bows by a lot when you take those into account.
    – l I
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 15:16

While the damage of a conjured bow might not stack up to a Daedric (legendary) bow, you get the advantage of Soul Trap/Banish through the Conjuration perk tree and you don't have to worry about ammo.

Dual Casting gives you a 3 min conjure on the bow. Great at earlier levels, but I'm currently Level 71, playing on Master difficulty, and it is still my favored weapon.

With Sneak Attack it takes 2 shots to drop a giant. I have 100 Alchemy/Smithing/Enchanting, but I went Light Armor up to Dragon.

I might craft the bow with Frost/Shock just to see how the damage stacks (and because Soul Gems are no longer an issue). The conjured bow is powerful, but not OP, in my opinion.

  • It is indeed very powerful, but not having enchantings might ruim your setup depending on what are you playing. It could have a Mana Steal enchanting, to, at least, compensate its cost uppon hitting something, that would be awesome Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 12:06

It's really a matter of circumstance. I personally use Bound Bow on Dragons to conserve on arrows because it's not worth wasting your hard earned duplicated arrows. Depending on your playing style, you might only want to level in certain areas in smithing. For example, I'm a Nightingale / Vampire Lord so most of my specialization will be in smithing light armors.

You may even want to advance further and obtain more heavy armor perks to double the amount of damage you can do for a wider variety of weapons, but it's mainly personal preference. Being an archer, it's to your advantage to be highly skilled in Alchemy. Crafting poisons will also help conserve arrows once you've gained a high enough level in Alchemy as well and that's really the goal.

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