Jamie is a nerd who loves to help others learn the ropes of video games.
Many people consider block to be a negligible skill, and therefore only train it to acquire a higher level and to fill out their possible perks. This is because many people would rather have an open hand than a shield to block with. What most people do not realize is that a shield can be used to enchant, thereby allowing for some use even when it is left idle. Regardless, you should know how to train block.
Training block is rather simple, really. It helps if you have a higher armor skill and a lot of health points. To start out, let me explain how block increases. Some skills increase based on the number of blows or number of uses. Block is not one of these skills. The amount of experience gained by blocking any given attack is dependent on the amount of damage absorbed by the player character.
The following method for training block works well in conjunction with training light and heavy armor and restoration. You may want to consider getting the Lover Stone before continuing, since it gives a 15% experience bonus to all skills regardless of category unlike the initial trifecta standing stones.
Although I would not advise it, you may alternatively use a skill trainer to train block. Detailed information on how to do this will be included at the bottom of the article.
Step One: Train Block With Crabs!
If you have a lot of health and a high armor skill, skip this step. Leave any followers you have behind. At lower levels, place a shield in one hand and a healing spell in the other. Also, wear your armor of choice. Find some wolves or other weak baddies, and let them wail on you for a while, until you either need to fend them off or your skill increases so high that you feel comfortable moving on to stronger enemies. Next find some normal bandits, crabs, or some other enemies that you can handle.
Step Two: Train Block With Giants!
Now that your defenses are up, you can move on to step two to increasing block. Keep moving up the line until you can block a giant and live. Giants deal a massive amount of damage for every blow. If you block their attacks, you should be able to increase the block skill rather quickly. If you use enemies of lesser caliber, training block will take forever. Giants, on the other hand, will increase the skill every few hits.
In order to remain standing, make sure to run and heal every so often. Regardless of your armor skill, giants pack a punch. You do not want to put the controller down or take your eyes off the screen. Also, try to find a giant location that will not have any more enemies. One of these suckers is more than enough to worry about when training block.
Other Block Training Advice
Consider enchanting equipment to make yourself sturdier or to increase healing ability. Even weak armor enchantments can have a significant impact on your ability to take damage. These enchantments will allow you to take more damage sooner, which will, in turn, allow you to train block faster. Also, consider adjusting the difficulty setting. This will allow you to take hits from tougher enemies sooner, or to utilize weaker enemies for longer.
How to Train Block With a Trainer
I will now provide detailed information on how to locate trainers who will charge you to automatically level up a skill. Trainers can be used a maximum of five times per player level. This means that at any given level, you may only train any combination of skills five times. If you train block five times, you cannot train restoration until you level. I will not provide all trainers, but instead provide the most efficient and easily accessible trainers only.
For block, in particular, I do not advise you to use a trainer. It is costly past level 75 and there are better skills to waste your money on considering how easily block is trained given the aforementioned method. Nonetheless, I will provide trainer information in case you decide not to heed my advice.
Train With Njada Stonearm up to Level 75
Njada may be found in Jorrvaskr in Whiterun. In order to learn from her, you must join the Companions (same location). She may be found at night in the basement. Refer to the following images for details on her location. If you progress enough through the Companions, you may acquire Njada as a follower. She will train you, and then you can take your gold back from her inventory. This trick may be patched at some point. I would like to stress that this may not be worth your time, because block is not quite as important as other skills, and you'll be much better off training other things at each level.
Train With Chief Larak up to Level 90
Larak may be found in the Mor Khazgur stronghold. You must become a Blood-Kin before he will train you. Approaching the stronghold should initiate a quest to do this. See images below to navigate to Larak.
Conclusion on Training Block
If you discover other methods to train smithing, please feel free to comment below. I may have chosen to exclude certain tactics to train smithing (e.g., skill books), because those methods require a lot of research or are more convoluted than this simple tutorial.
Athirium on August 17, 2013:
You can also increase block by finishing the Companions quest line, then hiring Njada Stonearm to be a follower, training in block and taking the money back.