I'm trying to play a proper tank character, but perks are indeed limited.

The plan is to go 2H, thus specializing in Two Handed indeed, Heavy Armor, a bit of Block and then I'm undecided between Blacksmithing and/or Enchanting.

Would I be more effective with enchantments on instead of fabricating/refining my own gear? What do you suggest?

  • 2
    Dual wielding refers to using two 1-handed weapons. If you meant that, feel free to rollback my edit. Dec 27, 2011 at 20:09
  • Thanks mate, this is what I meant... I guess I got confused. Cheers
    – Emanuele
    Dec 27, 2011 at 20:16

4 Answers 4


Both are really important, honestly. You will get perks quicker than you suspect, especially because those 2 skills are really easy to power-level if you have disposable income. Fortunately, a skilled enchanter and blacksmith will be able to buy materials and sell the finished goods to the same merchants for profit.

Early on, invest most of your perks on the stuff that keeps you alive (via boosting your survivability or your ability to kill quickly). After 10 or so levels of nothing but weapon, armor, and blocking perks, start smithing and enchanting. Make iron gear (daggers are most efficient) and enchant them with whatever you know that has the largest impact on their value. Sell those daggers to get a nice profit. Work you way up the right side of the smithing perk tree (because that's the side specifically for heavy armors).

The reason smithing will be so important (beyond the synergy with leveling enchanting) is that improving weapons/armor after you get their respective perk is a huge benefit. With my smithing in the 80s, I am easily adding 20+ armor to each piece of armor I wear, and 10+ damage to my weapons. Since I happen to dual wield axes, that's 100+ armor and 20+ damage for the low cost of 6 ingots (one per piece improved).

tl;dr: do both. After a little bit, perks are easier to get, both skills are very very good, and the two skills really benefit one another nicely.

  • I'll add that to make the most money from smithing, you want to enchant your items with health absorb, or 'turn undead'(forgot the real name) as you will have more money to buy more ingots. They compliment each other VERY nicely. and you should get both.
    – GmNoob
    Dec 28, 2011 at 7:58
  • @GmNood The optimum enchant, I hear, is Banish. It nets the largest value. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a weapon with the Banish enchant, so I use Health Absord myself. Dec 28, 2011 at 21:03
  • Banish is the turn undead enchant I mentioned. However, I used it so much that absorb now give me more coin :)
    – GmNoob
    Dec 28, 2011 at 21:40
  • @GmNoob Banish has nothing to do with undead. Banish instantly sends a Daedra back to Oblivion. Daedra = atronarchs, not draugr. Dec 29, 2011 at 20:26
  • 1
    Ahh, seems I haven't encountered that enchantment yet in my 130 hours of play time! :) You think you know something...
    – GmNoob
    Dec 29, 2011 at 21:00

You can block with a two-handed weapon. You can't dual wield 2 two-handed weapons (because you don't have four hands) and you can't block while dual wielding one-handed weapons.

You can get a lot of armor rating with just a couple of Smithing perks as long as you also buy the appropriate armor skill perks. See also.

Enchanting isn't usually used for armor rating (as you get plenty between with smithing and armor perks). Instead, it's used for spell resists and damage. You need to make the call as to whether you need two enchants per item, and let that guide your perk spending. Don't forget ring and necklace slots.


First of all, why are you going for block when duel wielding? Wielding two weapons (note: this is different from wielding 1 two-handed weapon!) prevents you from using block at all, thus making you a lot less tankish and completely wasting those perks.

As for whether or not enchantments or smithing is more useful, I would go with enchanting as you can still make any steel/leather armor hit the max armor rating mark via the enchanting-alchemy feedback. The only reason to get smithing perks is to get arcane smithing and if you want to wear some different looking armor like daedric or ebony you'll need those perks to fully upgrade them.

  • According to what I've read around you can block with two handed, just not effective as shield...
    – Emanuele
    Dec 27, 2011 at 20:03
  • 1
    Two handed != dual wield. There's the confusion. Dec 27, 2011 at 20:08

I don't think a good tank is a duel wielding build and Enchantement and Blacksmith is very important. From the latter Enchantement is more important because of the Enchanting-Alchemy feedback. But a tank need good armor so "The arcane perk" is also important. Then you can improve weapon and armor.

  • I think I'm seeing more consensus around skilling Enchanting over smithing... But my question then would be in which circumstances is smithing useful?
    – Emanuele
    Dec 27, 2011 at 20:19
  • @Emanuele: The arcane perk is important. Then you can improve weapon and armor. But a tank need good armor. Dec 27, 2011 at 20:28

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