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.