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Block: The Underrated Skill

Discussion in 'Skyrim Guides and Tutorials' started by DarkElfWorshipper, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    When I first started playing the elder scrolls when I got Oblivion in 2007... I started with a longsword (one-handed) and a shield. When I reflected on this character, I wondered, what is the point of my shield? To block, and decrease the damage my character took. The thing in Oblivion was that you absolutely HAD to even out the time you blocked with the time you attacked, because you can not block forever. However, in Skyrim, Bethesda introduced bashing. Bashing's perks have made my shield one of my main weapons on my current Redguard character.

    WHY USE BLOCK WHEN I CAN DUAL-WIELD, OR USE A TWO-HANDED WEAPON?

    Dual-wielding, and two-handed has it's advantages, just like blocking, however blocking, can be much more efficient. With the shield bashing perks Power Bash, Deadly Bash, and Disarming Bash, your shield bash can deal a ton of damage to enemies, reduce the damage dealt on yourself, and stagger your enemy to allow you to deal a few blows freely. Dual-wielding allows you to deal quick, powerful blows, but you will want to get the fight over quick, because blocking is not available. Likewise with two-handed, it deal more damage than one-handed and blocking, but it's blocking is not nearly has good as a shield's, and it delivers slower blows than one-handed

    HOW DO I MAKE SURE I EVEN OUT MY BLOCKING AND ATTACKING?

    In Oblivion, this was a better question, but in Skyrim, the answer is much, much easier! Again, I am going to say bashing is the answer! It staggers the enemy, and allows you to kill without taking damage for a couple seconds. Disarming Bash is incredibly useful too, as your enemy will be reduced to using their fists, which gives you an easy kill.

    PERKS

    The perks in blocking are... overpowered. The shield wall fully increased will make it so the hardest enemies will hardly injure you with your shield raised. Deflect Arrows makes your advance on archers, along with Block Runner, very easy. Elemental Protection does likewise against Mages.
    And that brings us on to the Bashing perks. Power Bash allows you to bash someone using a lot of stamina, but injures them quite a bit, and staggers them. Deadly Bash absolutely is a must for any characters in block, because it allows you to get kills much faster. Disarming bash disarms your opponent, allowing you to go all out with your weapon and easily kill. The last is the shield charge, which makes it so you can knock down most opponents by sprinting with your shield raised.

    OTHER USES FOR BLOCKING

    When you have and enchanted weapon, shield bashing is incredibly useful against, let's say, skeevers, so you don't waste your enchantment on on hit kills. Speaking of enchanted weapons, from my experiences, sometimes when you shield bash, your weapon's enchantment affects the enemy. I don't know whether this is a bug or whether it is meant to be there, but it can be useful.

    WAYS TO INCREASE BLOCK SKILL

    Personally, I increased mine just by fighting a lot, but there are ways to increase it much faster, such as:

    -Block skill is increased more if more damage is dealt, so more damaging enemies blocked with a better shield increase your skill more

    -Bashing increases the skill much more, so try to use that more often

    -Blocking also increases armor skill

    -Blocking against high damage enemies, and drinking health potions whenever your health gets low can be efficient and effective

    Free skill increases:

    +1 Block for finishing Find Amren Family's Sword inside (random dungeon)

    +1 Block for finishing Find Roggi's Ancestral Shield inside (random dungeon)

    +1 Block for finishing Rjorn's Drum

    + Block for finishing The Ghost of Old Hroldan

    +1 Block for finishing Dragon's Breath Mead

    +5 to Block for choosing Path of Might in the Oghma Infinium

    TRAINERS:

    Njada Stone-Arm of Companions (Expert)

    Chief Larak of Mor Khazgur (Master)

    SKILL BOOKS AND LOCATIONS

    The Battle of Red Mountain -Largashbur Cellar (The Rift), Skybound Watch Pass on shelf near a chest, Kilkreath Ruins in corner bookcase before last beacon, Tolvald's Crossing, In unmarked shack WSW of Shor's Stone and SE of Rift Watchtower, on table in back near fireplace

    A Dance in Fire v2- Fort Snowhawk on desk near arcane enchanter in main keep, Karthspire Camp over crate in one of lower tents, Traitors' Post in a cupboard, carried by a bandit at Kjenstag Ruins

    Death Blow of Abernanit- W of Dawnstar, Jarl's Longhouse (Falkreath) left room of bottom floor on table, Northwind Mine, WSW of Reachwater Rock in unmarked Forsworn camp, Hall of Dead (Whiterun) on table in first room on left

    The Mirror- Broken Tower Redoubt on bookshelf in sleeping area, Forsaken Cave over table in first tomb's zone, after accepting Captain Aldis' quest Rare Gifts in Palace of Kings northernmost bedroom.

    Warrior- Driftshade Refuge near fireplace in boss's chamber, Fort Kastav Captain's Quarters, SSE of Haafingar Stormmcloak Camp, WNW of Skybound Watch by bedroll in unmarked bandit camp, Silent Ruin (Blackreach)


    Sorry if this is too long, it's my first guide, I hope it's good.

    Thank you.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. thatwudbryan yet another skyrim enthusiast

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    Awesome! Had a question about Block, more specifically a perk but didn't want to make a thread for such a petty question. Is the Quick Reflexes perk a good one for a 2-handed light armor type build or is that more of a sword n board type perk? Nice guide btw gotta go do them skill increase for block quests now for the free increase
  3. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    Well to get the quick reflexes perk, you must upgrade shield wall by 1, so if you want to "waste" so to speak a perk point on that then get it. Otherwise maybe, get something enchanted that will increase your block skill.

    EDIT: Block would probably be very important for a light armoured, two-handed player, so getting it would help you a lot.
    thatwudbryan likes this.
  4. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    Added Skill books
  5. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    I have decided that this will be the first in a series of three guides on block.

    The second will be on the build of the character, and the third will be a surprise ;)
  6. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    THE BUILD

    So we now go onto the build. I know what you're saying "Everyone knows how to play a one-handed sword character!" Sure...but this is going to be more opinionated rather than a complete factual guide.

    RACE

    Here are the best races for this build and why:

    Redguard: +10 One-handed, +5 Block

    Orc: +10 Heavy Armour, +5 Block, +5 One-handed

    Imperial: +5 Block, +5 Heavy Armour, +5 One-handed

    Nord: +5 Block, +5 One-handed

    Looking at this information, it seems as if Orc is best suited for the build, but any will do.

    SKILLS

    Block- I already went extensively through this in the OP

    Heavy Armour- You are going to be in close combat, and will take a lot of damage. This is not required, and you can choose light armour for more of a challenge.

    One-handed- Your main dealer of damage, it is the perfect compromise between speed of attack, and damage. Can be really powerful if used right.

    OPTIONAL SKILLS

    Restoration-With both Block and Heavy Armour, this hopefully won't be needed, but if you feel vulnerable then go ahead and use it.

    Speech- As this is the stereotypical adventurer build, being able to sell and buy for better prices and merchants having more gold is always useful.

    Other- Pretty much any skill! Lockpicking, Enchanting, Smithing, Alchemy...all thee have become an integral part to my build in my game.

    PERKS

    Suggested:

    HEAVY ARMOUR- Whole tree

    Every one of these (except Fists of Steel, I only say that because you need it for Conditioning and Cushioned) is incredibly useful for your character to take little damage.

    ONE-HANDED- Armsman (all), Bladesman (all), Fighting Stance, Critical Charge, Savage Strike, Paralyzing Strike

    All the perks related to One-handed attacks, and efficiency in terms of Stamina usage.

    BLOCK- Whole tree

    If you read the OP, you will know that the Block tree is my <3. I absolutely advise anyone thinking of this build to get the whole tree. You won't regret it.

    Other Useful Perks:

    Pickpocket- Extra Pockets

    You may not use Pickpocket very often (or at all, like me) but extra pockets is useful when you're carrying all that Heavy Armour.

    It all depends on the way you want to play this build... Evil, Good, Imperial, Stormcloak, Sneaky, Merciless... ANY perks can help make this build a fun one for you to play.

    And I want to just say that the 3rd will look into the possibility of an almost complete block build... I got the idea for this from the book "The Mirror", and I want to look into the possibility of this.

    Thanks for reading!
  7. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    THE "BLOCK" BUILD

    "The sword is a greatly overvalued article, warriors pay too much attention to striking and not enough in defending strikes. The proper way to go into battle is to defend yourself, and to hit your opponent only when the ideal moment arises."
    -Mindothrax, The Mirror


    When I did the quest for the Imperial Captain Aldis in Solitude, I picked up "The Mirror", and I when I read it... something just sparked inside me. The quote above is one of the most profound and wise sayings I had ever read, in the elder scroll and real life.
    Shield bashing in Skyrim helps this build greatly, allowing you to bash him, attack, raise your shield for stamina, rinse and repeat. This build seems to rely the most on loosing as little health as you can, so investing in a lot of stamina helps a ton in this build, and if you do it correctly, you shouldn't have to invest too much in health.




    “Think of melee as a mirror. I look to my opponent's left arm when I am striking with my right. If he is prepared to block my blow, I blow not. Why exert undue force? But when I see his right arm tense, my left arm goes to my shield. You see, it takes twice as much power to send force than it does to deflect it. When your eye can recognize whether your opponent is striking from above, or at angle, or in an uppercut from below, you learn to pivot and place your shield just so to protect yourself. I could block for hours if need be, but it only takes a few minutes, or even seconds, for your opponent, used to battering, to leave a space open for your own strike.”


    This quote from my inspiration Mindothrax is harder to carry out, but this implies that while your opponent is attacking you, with blow after blow, you should just raise your shield and take it, and wait until he stumbles, then take the fight to him quickly.
    The key to this build is to be PATIENT. I emphasize this word because this is the key. You must also know when to strike and when to block. You must be decisive, you cannot hesitate, and try to make as few mistakes as you can. And now, to cap this short build guide off, for it is all your choice, in terms of race, gender etc, I give you a famous quote, which will mean a lot to any doing this build, in the fact that this is not about dominating your opponent, but surviving, present in The Mirror:

    "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors."
    -Gaiden Shinji, first Blademaster of the Arena

    thatwudbryan likes this.
  8. Blackdoom59 BATMAN!

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    The damage of the bash matters of the material of the weapon , thus a deadric shield will dead the maximum damage.Two handed weapons bash for more damage , also based on the material of the weapon.With a deadric two handed weapon and all the mentioned perks in bash will make a bash deal up to 90 damage which could be more then the damage you would deal with a two handed weapon by attacking , as bashing's calldown is low , and you can deal up to 2 bashes per second.Meaning in 5 seconds you can deal up to 900 damage.For more information that you can add to your guide I'd suggest you watch this .Good luck.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Zoa Two Tails Cloak and Dagger Artist

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    Also don't forget about windshear which is a one handed weapon that when you bash with it there is a chance to knock people down. I usually get it within the first two or three bashes.
  10. Chowder138 Proud member of PAHAAA.

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    In Oblivion I never really blocked. I always had a shield equiped for extra defense, but the combat in Oblivion was so clunky and non-dynamic that I never saw the need.
  11. DarkElfWorshipper Member

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    thanks for the info! I will add it sometime today!

    EDIT: Sorry, i've been busy, so sometime this week I'll get it up!
  12. Straumgald Member

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    Shield charge is the single most powerful perk in the game in my opinion. It wont kill your enemies in one hit, but it makes you nearly invulnerable. It's like an unlimited full power unrelenting shout, which knocks your enemies down and makes them unable to react or defend themselves for a few seconds. I can charge into the worst situations and just knock all the enemies down, easily killing them while they are defenseless. I've gone "bowling" in Solitude where I just charge and aggro every NPC in the town, herd them into groups and charge through the middle. You can do this forever, as you only need a little stamina and it regens quickly.

    Of course it doesn't take much to make Skyrim easy, shield charge is no exception.

    I do have a few questions about bash, as it seems the damage is incredibly low. I assume the shield damage is based off unimproved armor or quality rating? My improved Dragonbane or Blade's sword, which are basically steel weapons, do 5x the damage or more of my Daedric shield bashes, and seem to take less stamina. I've so far thought power bash was a wasted perk.

    I've never tried two handed bashing, I'm interested in trying that out and seeing the damage output. I really enjoy the block system in this game, as usually a shield is just another "stat slot" to get armor count or stat bonuses out of. Shield kill screens are also amazing and I wish they occurred more frequently.

Tags: block, guide, skill

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