Dragons are some of the most challenging foes you’ll encounter as you adventure throughout the wonderful world of Skyrim. Dragon battles are exciting and fraught with danger. With danger comes reward, however, and Dragon slayers are compensated with treasure — everything from gold and gems to valuable Dragon Bones and Scales (used for crafting Dragon armor in later levels). More importantly however, as the Dragonborn you will need to slay Dragons in order to consume their souls — thus allowing you to learn the Words of Power (i.e., Thu’um or Dragon Shouts). To gain an edge in battle, players should know their enemies. So without further adieu read on as the Skyrim Fansite presents a concise guide to Skyrim Dragons.
Dragons were once very common throughout all of Tamriel before becoming nearly extinct. Massive, reptilian, and beast-like, Dragons are actually a highly intelligent race who developed their own written language and speech. Their spoken language can be used to cast the Thu’um — a powerful magic also known as Dragon Shouts. In their own language, a Dragon is called a Dovah. The Dragonborn in turn is called Dovahkiin. Once thought long dead, Dragons have recently made a comeback in Skyrim.
As your character’s level increases in Skyrim, the difficulty of the Dragons you encounter will typically increase. Here then is a list of the common Skyrim Dragons and their important statistics:
[table caption=”Common Dragon Variants” width=”500″ colwidth=”20|20|20″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
* Sepentine Dragon,Blue,60,3565,150,290,300
* Please note that the Serpentine Dragon is introduced in the Dragonborn add-on while the Revered and Legendary Dragons are introduced in the Dawnguard add-on. These Dragons are not encountered in the standard game.
Besides the common Dragons highlighted above, there are certain unique Dragons in Skyrim you may encounter. These Dragons fall outside the scope of this guide, and will be addressed in later posts. These Dragons include:
- Black Dragon
- Red Dragon
- Undead Dragon
- Skeletal Dragon
Dragons will attack adversaries with their enormous teeth and tails (see above table for damage rating). In addition, Dragons will use magical Shouts in battle. Individual Dragons have the ability to breath either fire or frost (the Frost Dragon can only breathe frost and the Revered Dragon can only breathe fire). The damage rating of each Shout is followed in parenthesis.
[table caption=”Dragon Shouts and Damage” width=”600″ colwidth=”60|60|60″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Dragon,Fire,Fire Breath (20)|Fireball (25)
Dragon,Frost,Frost Breath (20)|Ice Storm (25)
Blood Dragon,Fire,Fire Breath (30)|Fireball (40)|Unrelenting Force
Blood Dragon,Frost,Frost Breath (30)|Ice Storm (40)|Unrelenting Force
Frost Dragon,Frost,Frost Breath (50)|Ice Storm (55)|Unrelenting Force
Elder Dragon,Fire,Fire Breath (60)|Fireball (75)|Unrelenting Force
Elder Dragon,Frost,Frost Breath (60)|Ice Storm (75)|Unrelenting Force
Ancient Dragon,Fire,Fire Breath (100)|Fireball (200)|Unrelenting Force
Ancient Dragon,Frost,Frost Breath (100)|Ice Storm (200)|Unrelenting Force
Serpentine Dragon,Fire,Fire Breath (100)|Fireball (200)|Unrelenting Force
Serpentine Dragon,Frost,Frost Breath (100)|Ice Storm (200)|Unrelenting Force
Revered Dragon,Fire,Drain Vitality (5/sec)|Fire Breath (100)|Unrelenting Force
Legendary Dragon,Fire,Drain Vitality (7/sec)|Fire Breath (125)|Unrelenting Force
Legendary Dragon,Frost,Drain Vitality (7/sec)|Frost Breath (125)|Unrelenting Force
Killing Dragons can be quite profitable. After slaying a Dragon and consuming its soul, a player can search the pile of bones for valuable loot. Typical treasure include:
- Dragon Bones (1-3 pieces)
- Dragon Scales (1-3 pieces)
- Gold (amount depends on Dragon’s level)
- Weapons and armor (possibly enchanted)
Revered and Legendary Dragons are also known to have Daedric weapons and armor.
Dragons offer worthy opponents on the battlefield. Rushing headlong into a fight will often have disastrous results (see the Skyrim Fansite video below entitled How Not To Fight a Dragon). Patience and a well-thought out battle plan are a player’s best friends when it comes time to face these menacing foes. Keep these simple combat strategies in mind:
- Use ranged attacks (bows and spells) and avoid close combat if at all possible. If you’re standing too close to a Dragon it will use its teeth and tail to devastate your Health. If you take too much damage at close range, a Dragon will kill you by snatching you its jaws and shaking you to death.
- If you are at close range, bashing a Dragon on its head with your shield will cause it to stop using its breath attacks.
- Keep moving to avoid being an easy target of a Dragon’s attacks.
- Use potions and enchanted items to protect against elemental damage (Fire and Frost).
- Don’t forget to use your own Dragon Shouts. Become Etheral is useful for escaping the effects of a Dragon’s breath attacks and Marked for Death makes Dragons slightly easier to kill.