I've always liked paladins.

Do you think it would be feasible to have a shield/sword wielding, heavy armor, self buffing, self healing character?

What perks should I focus on initially and what would be the ideal way to level up my health/magicka/stamina?

  • 2
    Be careful that you will then miss for sure the Oblivion Walker trophy/achievement as most part of the time when dealing with Daedra, we have to make the "wrong choice" (paladin point of view) to get the artefact. But a paladin doesn't do this for trophies/achievements, right?! :)
    – LudoMC
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 10:36
  • 2
    he's going to miss more than that, such as all the thieves guild and dark brotherhood achievements.
    – l I
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 13:36
  • @yx. Correct, just thought about the evil Deadra (extreme opposite of the paladin) but the thieves and dark brotherhood will also be out of reach for such a character.
    – LudoMC
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 13:52
  • @yx I've lived those amazing quest lines with my sneaky archer.
    – Marcelo
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 14:21

4 Answers 4


Well for skills to go after this is probably what I'd start with:

  • Heavy armor
  • Block (you're gonna wanna go with a shield imo)
  • Restoration (for the healing and turn undead spells)
  • One-handed (for a mace or perhaps a sword)
  • Blacksmithing (you're gonna want to make and improve your armour)
  • Enchanting (you'd want your "holy" gear)

What I'd also go with is:

  • Speech (your voice to soothe the downtrodden)
  • Archery (just because it can be a helpful way to start battle)
  • Alchemy (for "holy" water)
  • Illusion - again for your calming effect of your presence and voice

Not sure:

  • Conjuration ("holy" weapons, but alas also unholy creatures)
  • Alteration (magic "holy" armors...)

What I'd avoid:

  • Pickpocket (you are lawful good, you can't steal)
  • Lockpicking (this will be hard and not always used for evil... but still)
  • Destruction (vile sorcery! :P)
  • probably the rest is off limits...

And you need to help everybody, only do good things (no Dark Brotherhood and no Thieves' Guild).

And probably get your weapon enchanted with Turn undead...

Go forth oh righteous Paladin and smite thy wicked foes!

  • You could also use Restoration Wards instead of a shield. It's pretty fun.
    – Karew
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 15:01
  • 4
    Final step: name your character Deathspank, Hero of the Downtrodden!
    – Zelda
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 16:49
  • What about attributes (magika, health, stamina)? I was thinking maybe 1:2:1 ratio. Is it spreading too thin to try and increase them all?
    – theblang
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 19:12
  • I'm not a pro at skyrim, but wont this much diversity in skills lead to a relatively weak character build? with lots of incombat skill switching needed?
    – Vahx
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 12:31

I've pretty much got the build you're looking for, except with shakier morals (if it's not nailed to the floor it's going into my pocket).

I've focused on one-handed and heavy armour (go for lots of perks in these trees, esp. One Handed to maximise damage), as well as restoration and destruction (the latter to a lesser degree as it becomes considerably less efficient than high-level weapons). One perk I found incredibly useful is Respite in the Restoration tree, as it heals Stamina as well as Health. Useful for all sorts of things, from cross-country travel (sprint, heal to restore, keep sprinting - if you have high magicka regen you can cover great distances without stopping) to staying dangerous (power attacks nearly always available).

Also go for the perks that make Restoration spells cheaper as it will keep your magicka reserves usable for longer.

As I mentioned in my comment to Hackworth, I've never used a shield in the game. There have been times when they would have been useful (dragons, etc) but that was mostly early in the game. By now (level ~45) I've got great dragon armour and high damage output so very few enemies pose a significant threat unless I'm careless.

Addendum: Potions are a great way to make money and can be very useful, but again, I keep stockpiling them and eventually selling them off. I can heal efficiently so rarely need healing/magicka/stamina potions. Resistances and poisons are usually not needed as the enemies are not threatening for very long :)


You should not.

Switching away from your sword/shield combo for restoration magic in the middle of combat leaves you more vulnerable for a few seconds.

Since you heal when you are LOW on health, obviously, you run a real risk of death if you use resto magic during combat.

Use potions for every heal and buff you need

  1. Potions give you every heal and buff you can get from any school of magic that are useful to melee chars.
  2. Potions give you buffs that you cannot find in any school of magic, like more 1H damage, more block, more armor, etc.
  3. Potions have an instant effect, unlike spells, which at least have a charge time, or even require constant upkeep (e.g. Wards)
  4. Potions can be used while the game is paused
  5. Potions can be used without putting away your sword and shield, keeping you fully armored and armed at any time.
  6. Potions do not require Magicka. Therefore, you can focus all your level-ups on Health and Stamina, which is what you want in a melee fighter. You do not want to spread your level-ups over all 3 attributes.
  7. Side benefit: If you brew your own potions, Alchemy is a superb money maker.
  • I'd just like to point out, I have a character who uses one-handed + spells in combat - I've never used a shield and have not needed one. I usually keep a restoration spell in my left hand for emergency healing, and I'm rarely in trouble.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 10:18
  • @Alex OP was asking specifically about a sword/shield combo though. If you need to heal, then by definition you're in trouble. And if you're in trouble with a shield, then you're in bigger trouble without the shield. Big trouble leads to death, and death leads to ragequit. Besides, Skyrim isn't known to be the hardest game ever, unless all you level is Speech and Pickpocket.
    – Hackworth
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 10:28
  • Agreed. The full quote should have been "Low armour leads to Fear, Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering" :) I agree that shields can be very useful when you focus on them, I just wanted to provide an alternative build.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 10:33
  • Thank you so much for your advice, but this potion brewing-chugging warrior could never be a paladin.
    – Marcelo
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 14:45
  • 3
    All of your points are true, but I think the idea was for roleplaying and challenge, rather than power gaming. Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 18:01

I have just recently tackled the paladin build myself with Restoration/Alteration + 1-Handed/Heavy armour/enchanting

Now the Restoration is a must. Spells like Standars aura/protective circle make mince meat of undead with the ability to heal both yourself and a follower being useful too. Alteration adds a new spin with armour buffs and spell absorption. Combine this with either the atronaut/Lord stone and your starting to look like the Holy warrior your meant to be.

Heavy armour and 1Handed are pretty straight forward. In early stages (lvl 1-10'ish) a silver sword with a turn undead enchantment are a good option. Once enchanting is 100 you really start molding your gear to suit the paladin. Restoration/Alteration spell cost reductions, 1-Handed damage buffs and magical resistance are the go to enchantments. Yes you lose the ability to block with a shield using this build but you can put weapon in left hand, spell in right. This will allow you to block with the weapon.

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