This page details an overview of the Block skill in Skyrim, including recommended perks, leveling tips, and where to find Block trainers.
Block increases the damage you deflect with and without shields… but most of the perks in the tree are dedicated to shields. Investing perks into block will allow you to perform power bashes, deflect arrows with your shield, resist elemental damage with your shield, move faster while blocking, knock enemies down while sprinting, and slow time when enemies perform power attacks, giving you more time to react to them. A lot of useful perks for a melee focused build, then.
Despite not being the “shield” skill per se, the perks in the Block tree do benefit shield almost exclusively. Shield Wall requires you to spend a point in it, but one perk is all you should give it, as the rate of return plummets for later ranks. Deflect Arrows will negate damage from arrows unlucky enough to hit your shield, but it’s really just a necessary step to the better perks. Of these, the Elemental Protection perk will reduce elemental damage you receive by 50%, making your shield a potent defensive item against mages and dragon breath. This perk itself isn’t worth much without Block Runner, however, as it allows you to move much faster with your shield raised, allowing you to reach enemies while maintaining a solid defence.
If you plan to use a shield, the aforementioned perks are definitely worth getting. As for the other perks, their value is somewhat dubious. The Quick Reflexes perk is perhaps the most useful outside the above, as it slows time when an enemy performs a power attack, usually giving you ample time to dodge out of the way. Power Bash and all the power bash related perks are very hard to recommend, however, as it’s just basically a power attack with your shield. Performing a normal shield bash works fine to stun enemies (especially if you’re smacking a naughty dragon trying to shout death at you), and if you’re going to waste the Stamina require to perform a power attack, it might as well be with a proper weapon. Shield Charge is also kind of fun, as it allows you to sprint with your shield raised and knock down anything in your path… fun, but not always the best option in combat.
Block levels up as you block attacks - the more damage from the attack, the faster Block levels up. Simple enough, just rubber-band your trigger button or weigh down your keyboard/mouse button and let an enemy swing at you, preferably while you’re backed into a corner so they can’t get around your shield, or knock you around the level. This is so simple, in fact, that you can do this pretty much as soon as you get out of Helgen, if you’re so inclined. Just make sure your health regeneration is better than the enemy damage output and you’ll be fine. Obviously this will be easier once you have better armor, as the less damage you take/more Health you have, the more dangerous foes you can use to build up your Block skill.
Block Trainer Locations
|Expert (Lv. 51 - 75)
|Master (Lv. 76 - 90)
|Mor Khazgur (Orc stronghold far to the west of Solitude)