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I've had more characters than I can remember in this game, lol. The only one i have left (thanks to a recent system cleaning to free up space) is my very first, mostly for nostalgia. She's a Breton; level 212, 700 magicka, 1000 health, 710 stamina. Her "build" is kind of irrelevant... The only skill trees not at 100 are Block, Restoration, and Two-Handed, and even those are above 40. That being the case, she does whatever I am in the mood for whenever I load up that file, lol. Last time I was running around going for stealth kills with a Stalhrim Mace, time before that I'm pretty sure I was using a combo of minions (summoned draemora, those little spider pods, that sort of thing) and Rune spells. Wait, no, there was one in between those two where I bundled her in heavy armor and a lot of Unarmed enchantment, and ran around punching giants and mammoths to death.
I've been playing a Dead Thrall Imperial on PC without any mods apart from Survival right now and I have to say it's been working wonders due to specific choices I've taken.
The biggest problem that Dead Thrall has is your follower/pet would fight with your thralls when one of them has some sort of AoE spells almost everytime a battle ends. For this I just picked Imperial for the race skill instead of investing on the Illusion skill tree just to get calm spells that would work on 40+ level npcs.
Another problem with Dead Thrall is over-leveling, without proper planning you'd level past a certain point where you can't re-thrall a corpse that scales with the player even with Necromage perk. One of the best Dead Thrall candidates is Vyrthur from the Dawnguard DLC, he, like Ulfric, scales to the player's level at *1.2 meaning that at a certain point, like past level 33-34, he'd be ineligible for thralling because the spell would never scale past level 40 and he, if you're level 40 is now 48. Necromage makes your spells scale by 25% when used on undead, and since Vyrthur is flagged as a vampire, you can re-thrall him as long as you stay at level 40. So limiting levels becomes very important, tying this to the choice of Imperial for the racial skill will allows you to use more perks on other trees without investing anything on Illusion that would help your Thralls survive longer like the Restoration tree.
Restoration is a must for the build to work past level 33. Necromage and Regeneration are invaluable. If you're planning to thrall a non-undead npc like Ulfric which also scales with your level at the rate of *1.2, you'd have to thrall him at 33-34 and never get him killed. Thralls scale to your level and past 34, if a thrall Ulfric dies, you can't re-thrall him ever again because he's not flagged as undead, so team healing skills(specifically from the DG DLC) are essential for your *1.2 thrall's survival.
Lastly, Investing into Enchantment also helps with your Thrall's survival, getting it to 100 early on before you pass level 30 is ideal when you plan on thralls like Ulfric. You kill him, loot his clothes and weapons, enchant them with as much health/health drain you could then put them back on. This allows you to lessen micromanagement inside battles like healing.
This is the most I've enjoyed this game in a long while, playing it more of like a card collecting game than a ES game is pretty f***ing fun.