I would say to focus on level up your heavy armor level early on, you can easly do that on whiterun house of the deads, dont kill the skeletons, raise your shield and let them atack, heal, run back to city when needed and keep levelling the armor/shield until you get enough defenses. From this point foward, you should be careful with mages (they will really hurt you). Abuse of shouts, 1h for more defenses and 2h for damage, poison your weapon is a good way to deal high damage any time of the game. About perks and statues are something you should put those points on how you are playing, if taking too much dmg, increase defenses perks, etc. The only perk which is mandatory, at least for me, is Smithing, you dont have to worry about damage and defenses with a legendary gear. So basically, build defenses early game, level up smithing, forge strong gears and thats it.