"Your build hits hard af."
"GG, I love your build."
"I think your build is disgustingly awesome"
"GG, your build is very interesting lol"
Shepherd of the Frozen Valley
Inferno Staff - Precise, Infused, Sharpened, Nirnhoned (preference, Infused with Spell DMG/Weapon DMG glyph is good though I prefer infused Oblivion)
SnB - Sturdy Shield, Decisive or Nirnhoned 1 Hand (poison or enchantments to preference - I really like magicka or Stam drain poisons for the resource return)
x5 Shackle breaker
x4/x5 Alteration Mastery
x5-x7 light (up to personal preference, I run x5 light x2 Heavy ATM because I didn't wanna farm mats yet lol)
Traits: x7/x8 sturdy
(I currently only have kena helm light infused, but rest is sturdy)
Enchantments: All Magicka or Tri Stat Glyphs (up to preference)
x2 Spell Damage x1 Block + Bash Cost Reduction (adjust for preference)
Innerlight, Deep Fissure, Force Pulse, Dampen Magic, Screaming Cliff Racer ult: Northern Storm
Living Trellis, Budding Seeds, Bull Betty, Dampen Magic, Flex ult: SnB or Healing Thicket
Bird O Prey - Open world mobility and stamina regeneration
Defensive Posture - Duels, Close quarters, or against Ranged Opponents
Shimmering Shield - Small scale multi person battles
Gripping Shards - Against primarily melee opponents
Reverberating Bash - Defile and Stun for opponent's with strong healing
War Lord - 51
Arcanist - 75
Shadow Ward - 81
Befoul - 1
Tumbling - 2
Elf born - 40
Spell Erosion - 1
Elemental Expert - 75
Master-at-arms - 40
Shattering Blows - 23
Thaumaturge - 31
Iron Clad - 61
Spell Shield - 4
Hardy - 37
Elemental Defender - 37
Thick Skinned - 20
Bastion - 51
Bull Netch + Kena + Spell Damage Glyph, (+8% crit, +35 health per level, +5% spell damage from Cyrodiil)
You may notice right off the bat a severe lack of impenetrable traits, don't dismiss me yet!
And this is why we love @paulsimonps
, he went ahead and did the leg work for me to be 100% accurate
BLOCK COST=(Base*((100-CP)/100)*((100-#Sturdy*Strength of Sturdy)/100)*((100-Fortress)/100)*((100-Alteration Mastery)/100)-(#Enchants*Strength of Enchants))*((100-Defensive Posture)/100)
So in your case:
You will have to drop block very consistently to keep resources up with that, but its not that bad of a number. Make it gold and you will get
Maybe change the one magicka recovery glyph to block cost, would make it:
You can always to some calculations on your recovery too to see the difference there.
Thanks to @paulsimonps
I was able to get some in depth block cost maths. This build runs 24% block cost reduction from Shadow Ward CP, x7 sturdy traits (should be 8), 1 block+bash cost reduction glyph in addition to alteration, Bull Betty returns stamina while block is up, essentially reducing the cost of block by approximately 150 Stam per second. This brings the cost of block down to approximately 280 Stam per block tick. Maximum cost would be 1750 Stam per second (or 1500 with Stam return poisons) and a minimum of 30 Stam per second (including Stam return poisons)
Simplified - taking 4+ attacks per second (if each occuring per .25 second) will drain your Stam by approximately 1500 Stam per second, taking 1 attack per second will drain your Stam by 30 per second.
Even against 4 players the drain of stamina is low enough to control the battle. Quite frankly it's practically impossible to kill you while on the SnB bar. The only threat is getting hard CC'ed while on the front bar right when dampen lapses - this can be prevented by being aware of when the shield is about to expire.
Pigeons form a natural Symbiotic relationship with SOTFV
On the front bar Dampen Magic provides a massive ward that also prevents crit damage, combine the two and impenetrable becomes a lackluster trait.
Dampen is on the back bar to prevent an opportunity for the opponent to hit you when going from permablocker to weapon swapping front bar.
When "Permablocking" block casting Budding Seeds is great, as a burst heal and is also valuable by placing it down, then weapon swapping to front bar - to be offensive and get the big heal (plus casting prior to Kena again circumvents the increased cost)
Keep Trellis up - Trellis over Leaching because the burst heal of Trellis can be very important, especially when "permablocking" over attacking
idea for Warden) is there to give the build burst. As I've been running heavy this whole time, switching to light means that Kena results in still cheaper costing spells than what I was running, and it's up time is completely based on your preference. This monster set allows us to use both a defensive set with a resource set while still having enough damage to kill opponents.
Make sure to block cast, you can easily heal and buff while ensuring the upmost defense.
Against some builds Northern Storm can be your ace. Focusing on a player while storming them is massive damage while making your Dampen Magic gain 30% (not sure ATM but I think my Dampen is 8/9k in CP, making it a 10.5/11.7k Dampen.)
Potions and Poisons
Detection potions, they are practically necessary against the majority of NBs and usually result in an auto win.
Tri Pots are always welcome, can't go wrong hitting every resource pool.
Immovable potions are great but aren't always on the top of my list, the resource potions usually come first
Magicka or Stamina drain poisons are the best. They are used primarily for the resource return rather than the added cost to an opponent's abilities. The stamina poisons allow for more returns while blocking.
Game Play Footage
Here we find the Shepherd of the Frozen Valley, or SOFV, in his natural habitat. Unlike his Southern cousin, the SOFV prefers much colder climates.
Against Bleed Builds
Against almost all builds the "permablock" works extremely well. This does not hold true against bleed builds (which I expect to become more popular) as bleed bypasses block (typically these builds also maybe running Oblivion Damage Glyphs) once you have determined your opponent is running a bleed build keep blocking to a minimum. Use your shields as your primary defense, also keep Kena at a minimum to make sure you always have magicka to keep your shields up. Most bleed builds that can maintain pressure are squishy themselves making Kena overkill. Just maintain your resources and don't allow your shields to lapse (especially if you think a hard CC is coming). Bleed Builds will probably be the most difficult match up, but with proper resource control, the constant pressure and undodgeable pigeons will eventually bring them down. Keep in mind to always have Trellis active to minimize the bleed damage.
A great couple of combos are
Activating Budding Seeds, Northern Storm, or Healing Thicket and then triggering Kena.
Fissure > LA x2 > Racer > LA > Fissure > Racer > LA > Pulse - full on Kena with minimum cost (standard offensive rotation)
If you decide to run SnB ult, permablock until ult is ready, hit ult and bar swap for extended protection during offensive phase. The version that reflects abilities is a hard counter to mag NBs.
No CP Set Up
In Battlegrounds or in No CP Cyrodiil this build changes. Without the 24% block cost reduction from CPs, without the Stamina Pool boost from CPs, and without the Break-Free cost reduction CPs, the idea of "permablocking" on the back bar becomes rather unrealistic. Break-Free costs approximately 4800 Stamina, with a Pool of 10k Break-Free costs over 40% of the total pool.
So with this in mind, the allure of Alteration becomes minimal in No CP. We still like blocking Comets, Leaps, Soul Assault, Frags, and Incaps therefore SnB is still going to be our back bar.
I have found Riposte to be one of the best choice for replacing Alteration. The set provides very similar 2, 3, and 4 piece bonuses and the 5th piece can be proceed and bar swapped while maintaining the minor maim debuff - a debuff this build really doesn't normally have access to. I remove sturdy pieces and add full impenetrable, blocking becomes less of a priority.
The skills remain the same, if in BGs where movement is key I prefer Bird O Prey, less movement I prefer Shimmering Shield as you're guaranteed to have multiple opponents some of which will be using ranged attacks.
x5 Shackle Breaker