Quick Look: Enchanting
Your Enchanting skill determines the potency of your enchantments. The majority of the perks in this tree improve various types of enchanting statistics, such as the efficacy of skill enchantments, attribute enchantments and elemental enchantments. The most powerful of enchnters can put two enchantments on a single item.
As one of the three crafting skills, Enchanting is absolutely essential to a power build. Smithing increases the defense and damage of armor and weapons (respectively) and Alchemy can be used to bolster both Smithing and Enchanting, but Enchanting covers two areas that the other two skills cannot. First and most importantly, Enchanting gear will allow you to create the fine-tuned uber gear your character deserves. All that highly upgraded armor still can't protect you from magic, and this is a chink in our armor that Enchanting fixes.
Yes, you can buy arms, armor and accessories that bear enchantments - some of which are beyond what Enchanting can provide. But Enchanting can do something that you'll never be able to find or buy; obtain items with two enchantments on it. Only unique items like Daedric artifacts can boast similar enchantments, and they're not nearly as specific as the gear you can make for yourself. Want to make some uber thief armor? Or some gear that improves your Blocking, Archery, One-Handed, and resistances while making two spell schools cost nothing? Enchanting is your answer. Of course, without Smithing, your gear won't really be worth enchanting, and without Alchemy, you won't get quite as high attributes from your enchantments.. see why the three crafting skills play off each other to make godliness?
The bare minimum you need to make uber gear is the five ranks of "Enchanter", and a rank in each of "Insightful Enchanter", "Corpus Enchanter" and "Extra Effect". This, combined with basic magic resistance and absorb magicka from various sources (the Alteration tree, Atronach Stone, Agent of Mara, Breton Blood, Spellbreaker, the "Elemental Protection" perk etc.,) should be enough. If you're more ambitious, however, and want to throw up that third defensive barrier against magic (and you have the perks to burn), indulge in the "Fire Enchanter", "Frost Enchanter" and "Storm Enchanter" perks so you can make potent defensive gear. In either case, you can simply ignore "Soul Squeezer" and "Soul Siphon".
Leveling Enchanting ideally takes place after Smithing... if for no other reasons than by then you'll have had time to scour plenty of dungeons and break down enchanted gear, and you'll have plenty of things to enchant thanks to grinding Smithing. Disenchanting items to learn their enchantments is a necessary step, and if you're lucky and break down every enchanted item you find (or steal) you should end up with an Enchanting Skill Level in the 40s.
After that, take whatever weapons you created via Smithing (sans the arrows, of course - Iron Daggers work fine) and imbue them with the "Banish" enchantment. This should level your Enchanting skill up quite quickly and leave you with mounds of valuable items to sell.
There's one catch, though; you'll need a filled Soul Gem for each enchanted item you make. The quality doesn't really matter so much, so focus on quantity. There are two ways you can boost your inventory; go around Skyrim and kill weak creatures (not humanoids) after casting Soul Trap on them while you have empty Soul Gems in your inventory. Mud Crabs, Wolves, Draugr, Horkers - all work fine. It's a fine opportunity to collect alchemical ingredients while you're at it.
On the other hand, if you've already leveled Alchemy, or you otherwise have disposable income (after the Thieve's Guild radiants you should have a nice little war chest saved up) you can just go to the College of Winterhold and buy Soul Gems from the various merchants there, either filled or not, as suits your needs. If you can at least buy a few Soul Gems from the Winterhold mages you can enchant a few daggers with the "Banish" enchantment, sell them, and turn a tidy profit - any weapon you enchant with "Banish" will sell for more than any of the lower-quality (Common, Lesser, Petty, etc.) you could use to create them.
Note: If you want to get merchants to reset their stock without having to wait a few days, you can save your game, attack the merchant until they turn hostile (usually takes four hits for faction-related merchants - try not to kill them) then reload your game. Their inventory will have reset. Repeat as necesary.
|Sergius Turrianus||Expert (Lv. 51 - 75)||College of Winterhold|
|Hamal||Master (Lv. 76 - 90)||Markarth, Temple of Dibella|