Skyrim: The 10 Best Pieces Of Heavy Armor (& Where To Get Them)

Many players turn to Heavy Armor in Skyrim for its incredible armor rating in battle. A powerful Nord warrior wearing a full suit of Heavy Armor is something to be truly feared. There are countless pieces that can serve the player well depending on the build and playstyle.

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There are some pieces that are so powerful players should consider them when deciding upon a build. These pieces provide incredible armor ratings along with helpful enchantments and special abilities. Here are arguably the best Heavy Armor pieces in the game with helpful details on how to find them.

Ironhand Gauntlets are actually enchanted Steel Nordic Gauntlets that provide the wearer with 12 armor. They come with an enchantment that Fortifies Two-Handed attacks by 15 points. It may not seem like much but two-handed weapons are among the most brutal in the game and an extra 15% damage is nothing to scoff at.

These Gauntlets are worn by the bandit Hajvarr Iron-Hand. He leads the bandit gang that operates out of White River Watch. To find him players must go to the White River Outlook and climb to the top of the nearby mountain.

The Dukaan face mask is worn by the Dragon Priest of the same name. It comes with a 23 armor rating an enchantment that Resists Frost by 50 and increases Frost Damage by 25%. The increased frost damage is only really helpful to players using frost spells or weapons. But the Resist Frost enchantment is immensely helpful as most of the more powerful foes in the game use frost attacks. Put this on a Nord and the player is effectively immune to frost damage.

Players will need to pry it from the face of the Dragon Priest Dukaan. He resides in the White ridge Barrow ruin in the northern edge of the map. Players will want plenty of Frost resistance when facing him.

The following quests will bring the player to this dungeon where they can face Dukaan:

  • Black Book
  • Lost Knowledge
  • A New Order

The Cuirass of the Crusader is an ancient Relic that provides 43 armor. It comes with an enchantment that Fortifies Health by 10 and Restoration by 8. The player will be better defended, have more health, and can heal themselves more efficiently with this piece of Heavy Armor.

Players will need to have the Creation Divine Crusader installed. Once installed it will trigger the quest Relics of the Crusader which sends the player after this armor and it’s other parts. The exact steps are a as follows:

  • Travel to Four Skull Lookout a Nordic ruin near Karthewasten east of the Blind Cliff Cave.
  • Kill the Bandit Thieves wearing the Heavy set and the Reforged Light set.

The Vokun face mask provides 23 armor when worn. The main perk is the fortification of Conjuration spells, Illusion, and Alteration magic by 20 points. This armor provides decent defense while increasing a variety of useful spells in battle. This is a great choice for Battlemage-type characters who will often use these types of spells.

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Vokun is a tough Dragon Priest to face. He carries a powerful Staff of Fireballs that deals incredible fire damage in a large blast radius and can summon Storm Atronachs. Players are in for a tough fight if they want this piece of Heavy Armor.

If players insist on killing him they’ll need to go to the High Gate Ruins that are east of Solitude and northeast of Ustengrav. The quest A Scroll For Anska will bring the player here.

Miraak is the facemask worn by the champion of Hermaeus Mora. The facemask provides 27 armor and comes with a Fortify Magicka by 70. This is huge for magic users as it deepens their Magicka pool. This is something Altmer-based characters or Battlemage-types will be benefited most from.

There are a few things the player needs to do for this to appear in the game and be obtainable.

  • Install the Dragonborn add-on
  • Complete the main quest to confront Miraak
  • Have a higher Heavy Armor skill than Light Armor
    • If Light Armor is higher or equal to Heavy Armor the facemask drops as a Light Armor piece.

    Miraak is a fierce warrior that uses a variety of Dragon Shouts and spells. Players will want strong resistances to spells and elemental resistances to survive the attacks. He also possesses strong healing spells that can draw out the fight so having poison or damage over time abilities can help.

    The Nahkriin facemask provides the player with 23 armor when worn. It also has an Enchantment that Fortifies Magicka by 50, Destruction spells by 20, and Restoration by 20. This is perhaps the bests Heavy Armor helmet in the game for Battlemages or warriors who use Destruction and Restoration spells. Not only does it raise total Magicka but makes those two classes of spells cheaper to cast.

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    The player will have to kill the Dragon Priest Nahkriin. He’s encountered during the Main Quest The World-Eaters’s Eyrie. During this quest players will need to:

    • Set Odahviing free
      • Talk to the guard.
      • Pull the chain if talking to the guard isn’t an option.

      Ahzidal’s Armor of Retribution is a piece of Ancient Nord armor crafted by the enchanter Ahzidal. It provides 40 armor when worn and comes with a unique enchantment. When the player is hit with a melee attack there is a 5% chance to inflict Paralyze on the enemy for seven seconds. There is also a 5% chance to inflict a Stagger Push for 100 points. Essentially there is a 5% chance to stun and knockback enemies passively in melee battle.

      This armor is obtained during the side quest Unearthed which has quite a few steps to complete.

      • Read the book Ahzidal’s Descent which can be found in:
        • Ashfallow Citadel
        • Bristleback Cave
        • Damphall Mine
        • Edla’s house
        • Glover Mallory’s House
        • Greathall
        • Highpoint Tower
        • Tel Mithryn

        Players may want to spend some time farming 11 thousand gold before tackling this quest to cover all the donation costs.

        Created by the Daedric Prince Boethiah, the Ebony Mail is a powerful suit of armor. It boasts an armor rating of 45 and comes with two unique enchantments. Players have the Muffle effect while wearing this armor making stealth easier. It also deals five poison damage every second to any enemy that gets to close to the wearer. This is handy for the niche Heavy Armor wearing stealth-based characters and chips away at the enemy’s health during battle.

        Players get this piece of armor by appeasing Boethiah during the quest Boethiah’s Calling. There are a number of steps players must follow to satisfy the Daedric Prince.

        • Read the book Boethiah’s Proving which can be found:
          • Abandoned House
          • Fellglow Keep
          • Hob’s Fall Cave
          • Septimus Signus’s Outpost
          • Corpse of a Boethiah Cultist

          Lord’s Mail is likely the best chest plate of Heavy Armor players can obtain in the game. It provides an armor rating of 45 and comes with powerful enchantments. There’s Resist Poison by 75 points and Resist Magic by 17 points. The main prize is the constant effect Lord’s Mail Clock. This ability will absorb five points of health from nearby enemies when they get too close. This is basically a constant effect heal while simultaneously damaging opponents which is amazing for any melee-minded character.

          Getting the Lord’s Mail requires the installation of the Creation Lord’s Mail. Afterwards players will automatically being the quest Gift of Kynareth which requires the following:

          • Travel to Castle Dour.
          • Read the Emperor’s Letter.
          • Travel to the mercenary camp southeast of Fort Greymoor.
          • Defeat the Alik’r mercenaries.
          • Use the key from Majiid’s body to open the chest containing the cursed version of Lord’s Mail.
          • Take the cursed Lord’s Mail to Kynareth’s Shrine at the Temple of the Divines.

          It’s important not to wear the Cursed variant as it causes a 50 point drain on the player’s Health, Stamina, and Magicka.

          The Konahrik facemask is arguably the most valuable piece of Heavy Armor in the entire game. It offers 24 armor rating when worn and has the incredible enchantment Konahrik’s Privelege. When the player’s health dips below 15% one of three effects can trigger. The most common is that the player will receive a large heal. There is also a chance it triggers Flame Cloak that surrounds the player with fire that damages nearby enemies. The final ability that can rarely happen is a Spectral Dragon Priest will appear to fight alongside the player for 60 seconds.

          Getting this mask is quite the feat.

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