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I've completed the Thieves' Guild quest line, and been awarded my choice of abilities. One of these abilities is the "Shadowcloak of Nocturnal" which causes me to become invisible if I crouch, but only for a few minutes once a day.

At the top of the Sneak perk tree is something similar called Shadow Warrior, except it is not limited to a few minutes each day.

How do these two abilities compare? Is it worth it to have both?

  • @desaivv, I came late to the Skyrim party, and the wikis don't really compare these two features that well (or at all) - I figure someone out there was likely to have done the testing and would be willing to share their experiences, and I was right :) – agent86 Apr 5 '12 at 17:46
  • He is clearly trying to game the system, 28.2K rep isn't enough. – Rapida Apr 5 '12 at 18:27
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They are entirely different. Shadow Warrior will give you a second of invisibility after you crouch, to disrupt remote enemies' lock on you. It cannot be used for getting around unnoticed, only escapes. Nocturnal's Agent of Stealth is pretty weak as greater powers go, unless you're sworn not to use Illusion magic. Personally, I don't feel either ability is worth the investment. Illusion magic is incredibly versatile, and you'll probably want to max it anyway on your quest to level 81. My favorite Nocturnal ability is the Agent of Subterfuge, a high-level area frenzy spell.

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  • On the other hand, max stealth and Shadow Warrior are so effective that I usually don't waste any time on Illusion. – DCShannon Mar 17 '17 at 17:20
  • @DCShannon as a counter argument, stealth is so easy to level, it's one of my favorite skill to "make legendary" for extra experience. – tjd Mar 17 '17 at 18:08
  • @tjd That's the great thing about Skyrim. Do whatever you want. You can probably make it work. – DCShannon Mar 17 '17 at 20:11
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Of the 3 nightingale powers, I'd say Shadowcloak is potentially most useful. something like Subterfuge can be done with a dual cast of frenzy(illusion perks and free cast gear are helpful). Strife isn't that great if you have good armor and weapons. Shadowcloak can let you go invisible many, many times during those 2 minutes by simply standing up and crouching again. Unlike the spell, you won't need to worry about the light of the spell in your hand giving you away if you don't sheathe it or swap to something else right away(see vampires that try to run away from you when low on health). The best part is that if you are still invisible at the end of 2 minutes, you can choose to remain that way indefinitely as long as you don't interact with anything.

Shadow warrior can be very OP. If you have assassin's blade and shrouded gloves or hand wraps(available whether you join the Dark Brotherhood or choose to wipe them out), you can land 30x sneak attacks right in an enemy's face just by crouching in front of them(daggers are better for this due to their speed and silence). This doesn't work against all enemies, though. It seems that once undead detect you(draugr, vampires, etc) you can't get hidden again so easy. Maybe it comes down to a draugr's high detection levels or vampire's generally high sneak skill.

You can choose to have both. I play on legendary difficulty and power level sneak in Helgen(and 1H) so those sneak perks and damage bonus help counteract the extreme danger that may be posed by early game encounters until I can max out my crafting skills. On the other hand, I recently used Shadow Warrior(in conjunction with a highly smithed dagger and full set of sneak gear) to one shot Karstag from the Dragonborn DLC(considered one of the toughest enemies in Legendary Edition or the remastered Special Edition alongside Ebony Warrior).

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