"The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim" (2011): The Akaviri Build

Updated on April 17, 2019
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Ash has played "Skyrim" for several years now and enjoys writing about it and her various Dovahkiin.


One of my favorite warrior builds in Skyrim is that of the Akaviri. It is especially fun to play if you plan on finishing the main quest. Seeing yourself depicted on Alduin's wall in Akaviri armor with an Akaviri blade raised is pretty sweet. (Too bad the wall didn't change based on your character's sex but whatever.)

The Akaviri build can be done by any race because it doesn't require any specific racial bonus or anything. It is basically wearing heavy armor, using a katana, and using no shield.

This is how I play it. You can use the shield you get from Sky Haven Temple if you like. Me, I prefer to not use a shield at all for this build. I'll explain why further on. Just suffice it to say that I love playing a swordfighter who doesn't use a shield. Call it the romantic in me.



An Akaviri styled warrior would be pretty serious about ending Alduin. When playing this build, you will end the main quest as quickly as possible. I typically finish the civil war and then end Alduin, even when I'm playing this build. Just so long as you beat the main quest fairly quickly, you will stay in character.

After all, a Dovhakiin who models themselves after famed dragon slayers would take dragon slaying pretty damn serious. This means that you will never run from a dragon fight or avoid it. I know a lot of players do this because dragons can be annoying, but if you want to stay in character, you will turn around and fight, no matter where you are or what you're doing.


This doesn't mean, however, that you must do something like kill Paarthurnax or rebuild the Blades. Let's not get crazy now!

Even if you are modeling yourself after great dragon slayers, you are still Dragonborn. You can still choose to see dragons as your brethren as well as your enemies, just like you would with other human beings (or orcs or elves or cat people or whatever).

Heavy Armor vs Light Armor


Of course, for this build, you're gonna want to train yourself in heavy armor. This is obviously so that you can wear the Akaviri armor set you get later at Sky Haven Temple.

Now, the reason I'm against using a shield for this build is because having no shield frees you up to have more stamina. The less you carry, the easier it is to kick ass, basically.

With the Shield Maiden build, for instance, you have to wear light armor to balance out the fact that you are carrying this heavy-ass shield. Light armor plus a shield means more stamina is available in order to do cool power bashes.

With heavy Akaviri armor, however, (or with any heavy armor, really) you need to balance stamina in some way, and so you can choose to not use the shield you find at Sky Haven. It's really up to you, though.

I mostly don't use a shield because I just enjoy playing romantic type one-handed duelists. That, plus I love having extra stamina.

One-Handed vs Two-Handed


One-handed all the way.

Again, this is mostly because I love playing romantic duelists, but two-handed is also just more of a Nord/orc barbarian thing. The Akaviri were not about mindlessly bashing and swinging. They were trained warriors with style and technique, which was why they are often depicted as using slender, one-handed weapons.

I would advise you get a katana as quickly as possible.

Before Dragonbane becomes available -- which doesn't happen until late in the main quest -- you can get a katana called Bolar's Oathblade from Bloated Man's Grotto. It's a fairly low-level sword (and would require much smithing), so get it very early in the game, before you do the quest Ill Met By Moonlight, if possible.

You get another katana from Delphine's underground hideout early in the main quest. This is after you have retrieved the horn from Ustengrav and are meeting Delphine under the inn in Riverwood. The katana is there on the wall and you are free to take it without stealing it and racking up a petty bounty.

You can then get Dragonbane from Sky Haven Temple after going there for the first time with Delphine and Esbern. It's actually one of my favorite swords in the entire game. It does extra damage to dragons (hence the name) while doing shock damage to normal enemies. If you wield it during the first fight with Alduin, he'll acknowledge it, and depending on your level, he'll say you aren't worthy of the blade.


That's it. There isn't much to this build as it's mostly aesthetics and roleplay. If you really want to make it fun, try adding some katana-inspired animations!

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    © 2019 Ash


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