what suggestions do you have for such build?

  • Which perks should I pick?
  • Should I enchant weapons or use grindstone?
  • How would I regenerate health quicker without resorting to magic (even just out of combat)?
  • Should I be forced to get archer perks to kill dragons?
  • What advantage has dual wield vs single wield? Should I spend many points in one handed weapons tree?

Thanks again!

  • 1
    Hi Emanuele. This is not a site to ask questions like "how should I play <insert game here>". If you have a specific problem with your build, you are welcome. – DrFish Dec 11 '11 at 8:46
  • If that is a problem, could the title be changed to reflect the five (in my opinion) reasonable questions that follow? – jacobjfoley Dec 11 '11 at 9:26
  • 2
    You see, this question is mainly about a very specific and narrow style of playing a possible build for this game. Is not about the whole... All these question are interrelated; we could have 4 different questions, but together these are much more useful. This is why I decided to leave them in one bundle. – Emanuele Dec 11 '11 at 9:46

I played 2 kind of assassins in Skyrim:

  1. Dual-wielding assassin
  2. Illusion assassin

The Dual-wielding, well... it's obvious; you equip 2 daggers and speed kill enemies with the power attack. What this assassin lacks in defense it makes up for speed. You will become the ultimate assassin with the Nightingale armor (Thieves Guild), Shadow warrior (perk in Sneak tree) and the Shrouded gloves (Dark Brotherhood). You can do x30 damage when attacking in sneak-mode!

Then the illusion assassin. I really loved this one! Equip a dagger in one hand and the invisibility spell, which can be learned from the Illusion Master in Winterhold.

How to play? Cast the invisibility spell, sneak behind an enemy and sneak-kill him.

For the fun: Learn the 'Frenzy' spell. When in a room with a couple of enemies, cast it on 2 of them and watch them kill eachother!

Tip: You need LOTS of MP for the Illusion-build! You can't kill (well, maybe you can) enemies with just one dagger when you're detected; get a sword + shield to make sure you kill them. (If you play good you don't even need a sword and shield. They'll never see you coming.)

It's up to you what kind of assassin you want to play. For beginner I suggest you go for the Illusion build.

Have fun!


Which perks should I pick?

Choose a weapon skill such as one-handed and/or archery. Focus on perks which give you additional damage. You may also want to invest perks in alchemy (for poisons such as Paralysis and Slow, plus restorative or resistance potions), sneak (essential for an assassin) and lockpicking (to make looting valuable treasures easier as a thief).

The critical multipliers from attacking an unaware foe are the hallmark of an assassin, so increasing base damage (archery/one-handed) and the damage multiplier (sneak) should be one of your priorities.

Should I enchant weapons or use grindstone?

You can do both. If you use the grindstone before enchanting weapons, you shouldn't have a problem. There is also a smithing perk that allows you to improve already enchanted weapons.

Overall, I found that smithing was more useful than enchanting (smithing lets you get the very best weapons and armour much earlier than usual), but a Paralysis for One Second enchantment on my bow was effective in causing enemies to fall over and have to stand up again, at which point they've probably been paralysed for a second time.

Also, bear in mind that you are unable to use the shout Elemental Fury on an enchanted weapon. Elemental Fury makes a weapon attack very, very quickly, so in some cases you might be better off with a non-enchanted weapon.

How would I regenerate health quicker without resorting to magic (even just out of combat)?

Alchemy. It is very easy and cheap to make a large number of healing potions and consume them whenever you need some extra health. Plus, you gain the benefit of being able to make poisons and apply them to weapons to gain bonus effects on hitting your foes.

Should I be forced to get archer perks to kill dragons?

If you play about 1/3rd of the main quest, you will gain a shout called Dragonrend which forces a dragon to land and stay on the ground. You can repeatedly use this shout, and they will not be able to fly. Dragons tend to land regularly enough on their own so that archery isn't necessary, but do expect to have to spend some time dodging on the ground before they will oblige you.

What advantage has dual wield vs single wield? Should I spend many points in one handed weapons tree?

Dual wielding weapons is only slightly better in some situations than using single-handed weapons. You will attack with dual weapons together exactly as fast as you would using a single weapon by itself, until later in the game when you get the perks that increase the attack speed to 1.35 times the attack speed of a single weapon.

Dual weapons prevent you from blocking, and remove the possibility of having anything else in the off hand. If you have a lot of stamina, there is the possibility of using a very fast power attack which deals a lot of damage, but it drains stamina to zero very quickly. I would recommend that you focus on the other options in the one-handed weapons tree or other skills instead.

  • 2
    @Emanuele The advice in re: dual wielding is a bit off. Because of the dagger attack perks in the Sneak tree, dual-wielding daggers is a core part of an assassin build. – agf Dec 11 '11 at 13:49
  • Thanks mate, indeed I haven't assigned all my available perks yet (level 9). Now when I play with 2 daggers I find very hard to down enemies in open combat (when happens) than a sword. Is it common? Would you mind explain a bit? Is basically 2x the damage (in case of identical dagger that is)? Even backstab becomes 2x? – Emanuele Dec 11 '11 at 14:47
  • @Emanuele That's mostly correct. The only time you would want to dual wield daggers is to perform a sneak attack, where you can do some serious damage. In normal fights, a sword/shield or even a dagger shield is much more effective imo – l I Dec 11 '11 at 15:53
  • I guess trying to play a fully dual daggers rogue as in WoW can't be done, right? ;-) – Emanuele Dec 11 '11 at 16:05
  • 1
    @Emanuele - If you've got your heart set on a play style similar to the rogue in WoW, I'd recommend sneak + one-handed + alchemy + dual daggers + Elemental Fury + dual weapon and one-handed base perks + poisons. – jacobjfoley Dec 11 '11 at 21:51

I am at level 25 and I have most of the Equipment I want so Ill help you out.

  1. Mehrune's Razor
    • Go to the Museum in Dawnstar and complete the questline. It should take 20-30 minutes and I believe the chance for an instant kill is 1/100.
  2. Nightingale Armor
    • Do the Thieves Guild Quests. Nightingale Armor is awesome in any situation. Its better than the Blackguard Armor (requires Dragonborn DLC) and you get a sword that absorbs 5(?) points of health/stamina per hit along with the normal 23 damage and a ebony bow with a frost enchantment. All my stats are from Memory so they're not exact.
  3. Dawnbreaker
    • This is a tough one; while raiding areas you'll come across an object called Merida's Beacon. Take it to Merida's Shrine on Mount Kilkreath and complete the dungeon. While not necessary, I find it cool that the Dawnbreaker and Nightingale Blade combo is very efficient. Especially against undead which there's a LOT of. It also seems cool that it looks like you're wielding the blades of light and dark which is a nice touch.
  4. Perks
    • Go with any Thief Perks;they all do you good. Sneak increases all aspects of the thief incredibly. Pickpocket skills can add 100 carrying Capacity, Light Armour is pretty obvious, Lockpicking is very useful. It can give you a key of a locked door you have picked, increase gold found in chests, and many other useful perks. One-handed perks are good especially when you increase the damage done by the one-handed weapons and the dual-wield perks. Archery is good for picking off enemies far away (obviously). Barter can increase selling prices and decrease buying prices (from you to the merchant, merchant to you respectively), you can invest 500 gold that they will keep for the remainder of the game, and you can sell any type of item to any type of merchant and make every merchant a fence; you can sell stolen items to anyone. Alchemy you can create more powerful potions and poisons; invisibility and paralysis being my favorite of all of them.
  5. Extras
    • As a Nightingale, return the Skeleton key. Yes it unlocks doors that normally need a key and it never breaks but in my opinion the pros majorly outweigh the cons. You get to choose 1 of 3 Nightingale classes - Stealth, Strife, and 1 other class. Agent of stealth instantly becomes invisible when they sneak for 120 seconds (I chose stealth). The agent of strife can absorb 100 points of health from an enemy. As I said; I forget the 3rd class.
    • And Vampirism is great. You can summon a dead body to fight for 60 seconds (not very useful), make an enemy your thrall using "Vampires Seduction" (I haven't tried that yet), and if you wait all 4 days you get "Embrace of Shadows" which makes you invisible for 160 seconds and gives you Night Vision. For your character choose Kajiit. They have bonus unarmed damage (1-2 shot enemies in a brawl), night vision, and a few boosted thief perks. I hope that I helped you!
  • Not sure where your formatting went wrong, but I fixed it so that it better resembled what was in the edit box, and not the big wall-o-text that it turned out to be. – Trent Hawkins Dec 14 '13 at 7:20
  • Also, I'd argue that the 3rd Nightingale power, Subterfuge, is amazingly useful. And if not, hilarious. Honestly, once your skills improve a bit, none of them are particularly useful. Get enough points/perks in stealth and invisibility is almost pointless. After a certain point 100 health is a drop in the bucket - and these are all once a day only. – Trent Hawkins Dec 14 '13 at 7:35
  • Lockpicking: if you're systematic about picking locks, you'll collect more picks than you break. The perks in the Lockpicking tree seem to be a complete waste. -- Speech: Even without any perks in this tree you'll have way more to sell than any non-fence will be able to purchase from you. Skip the perks & do Thieves guild side quests to recruit fences in all the major holds. – tjd Jul 23 '15 at 17:46

Archery as an archer or thief... face to face with a dragon even the theif should consider archery over. Also little tip, until you return with the dragonstone to whiterun you will never face a dragon.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.