Perk trees

#1 Posted by NFLD (28 posts) -

For a pure mage build how many schools should try to use?

#2 Posted by fetchfox (1265 posts) -

Alteration, Destruction and Conjuration in my opinion. Alteration gives you mage armor, destruction is obvious, and conjuration is great for quick weapons and summons if you need some battle support or a distraction.

#3 Posted by skrutop (3615 posts) -

I had a mage guide, but unfortunately it doesn't look like it made it through the site transition.

I mainly used destruction and alteration. For alteration, I grabbed the mage armor skills. The magic resistance skills were pretty useful, too. I didn't bother taking conjuration perks because I only used conjured allies for distraction purposes. I also had a melee follower with me to take the brunt of enemy attacks.

For destruction, dual-casting and impact were a must for keeping enemies off of me. If you want to stagger dragons, then you'll need augmented flames, shock, or frost. The novice destruction spells won't stagger, though, so you'll need something like ice spike, firebolt, or lightning bolt.

I didn't take the higher level adept/expert/master perks, because I used enchantment to lower how much my magicka my spells used to the point that I wasn't running out of magicka during battle.

#4 Posted by project343 (2825 posts) -

@fetchfox said:

Alteration, Destruction and Conjuration in my opinion. Alteration gives you mage armor, destruction is obvious, and conjuration is great for quick weapons and summons if you need some battle support or a distraction.

Conjuration really starts to fall flat on it's face toward the end-game. I feel like Restoration might be the better solution: making more efficient use of your defensive buffs.

#5 Posted by HistoryInRust (6312 posts) -

Mage Armor pales in comparison to a good set of Heavy Armor, so you may want to do some research before committing yourself to the Alteration tree for that specific purpose. Atronach and Magic Resistance, especially in tandem, are fantastic perks in the tree, however, especially against some of the later magic-based enemies you'll come across (this includes Dragons, as well!).

Conjuration really starts to fall flat on it's face toward the end-game. I feel like Restoration might be the better solution: making more efficient use of your defensive buffs.

I disagree with this. Flat out. Dremora Lords can hang with Dragon Priests on the higher difficulties. Frost Atronachs are damage sponges you can use as viable distractions. The Bound weapons aren't as good, statistically, as their corporeal counterparts, but it doesn't much matter if you're dealing damage from three other directions simultaneously.

@nfld: I think you'll naturally gravitate toward Destruction as your primary means of offense, as a pure mage. In this tree, you want to focus on getting Impact as quickly as possible. Any dual-cast, single shot spell will stagger most enemies (again, including Dragons). This will provide you the distance and time to cast other supplementary spells. Look into Conjuration to help support your direct assault, since you're going to want to shirk as much attention as possible, and because having multiple summons takes a lot of the stress of combat off of your shoulders at all times.

To this end, I'd also suggest you research the school of Illusion. By the time your Illusion skill is at 50, you'll be able to purchase the Quiet Casting perk, which allows you to use any spell or shout in absolute stealth. Illusion can be difficult to level without paying trainers, but this perk's advantages are huge and can allow you to wreak havoc and agony unto an entire room of enemies, be it through summons (ideal) or simple Destruction spells, before they even realize you're there.

Ultimately, you'll come out okay regardless of your choices. Anecdotally, I find a Quiet Casting Destructive Conjurer to be the most efficient "pure mage" build in Skyrim. It's sort of like an assassin build who uses fireballs instead of arrows and can call for backup in the snap of a finger. Your mileage might vary, though, and you might find other routes more interesting or enjoyable.

I cannot stress the fool's gold allure of Mage Armor enough, however. Don't fall for it. Just get some Heavy Armor and forget it exists.

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#6 Edited by mikey87144 (1774 posts) -

Destruction is a must no matter how you decide to use your pure magic user. Alteration should also get some strong consideration. After that, if you want to be stealthy then Illusion is a good way to go but if you want to be super aggressive Conjuration is a good add-on to Destruction. All these skills must be supplemented with Enchanting. That's the only way to maximize your characters magical attributes. You do find decent loot that does this but nothing is ever as good as what you can make for yourself.

#7 Posted by HistoryInRust (6312 posts) -

All these skills must be supplemented with Enchanting. That's the only way to maximize your characters magical attributes. You do find decent loot that does this but nothing is ever as good as what you can make for yourself.

Oh man. This. A hundred-fold, this.

Another reason why physical armor trumps Mage Armor. Enchantments can essentially nullify the magicka costs of any one particular tree, or they can boost your regenerative abilities far beyond their natural limits.

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#8 Posted by NFLD (28 posts) -

I really like to roleplay so I don't think heavy armor will work for the character I got in mind. I was thinking about a evil caster with a focus on just a couple of schools of magic to get that powerfull feel maybe take one-handed as well. Restoration I can see feeling out of character as well but then healing is a problem because I don't plan on any crafting. My first character was melee with alchemy and smithing so I leveled those up quick but was ho hum in everything else. It got a bit stale so Im switching it up this time. Illusion is something that looks like fun. I got all the dlc for this 2nd run so the vampire buff from dawn guard is something I got going for me. You all think I can roll with out crafting and restoration? I play on expert by the way.

#9 Edited by HistoryInRust (6312 posts) -

@nfld: Going without Restoration seems suicidal to me, especially on Expert. You're going to need to rely on some form of quick healing, because--as a mage without armor--you're going to endure a catastrophic amount of damage more often than you might think. And that goes double if you're thinking about picking up One-Handed as a backup skill. You let a hardy sword-swinging Nord or mace-bearing Orc get into breathing range and you're going to be picking up your own body parts like dropped change.

Two things I want to say, though.

First: There's precedent in the Elder Scrolls franchise for a sorcerer-mage to sport a heavy-duty armor set. Most notably, Morrowind's Divayth Fyr, arguably the series' most powerful mortal wizard, stood clad in an near-entire set of Daedric Armor. (Also, if you're thinking about rolling an evil character, how can you pass up the chance to wear Daedric Armor--the single most obnoxiously evil-looking thing in the game?)

Second: If you have Dragonborn, then I wouldn't sweat it. One of the rewards for finishing the main questline there is a perk reset. You can clean your trees out for the cost of a Dragon Soul. So you've got a ton of flexibility regardless.

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#10 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

I like Conjuration. Wish there were more creatures to summon though. One thing you can say about Oblivion, it had a ton of awesome summons'.

#11 Posted by NFLD (28 posts) -

All right finally got around to starting tonight. I hate the way they look but going with a high elf for the extra magicka also like the high illusion skill they start with. Still on the fence about if I'm taking restoration and one handed. I was struck by how tall she is and first person view is set higher as well got her face scared up and black eyes so she looks evil enough. Just got out of Helgan going scrap some gold up and buy a few spell books before making my to the collage to see that quest line. Not starting the main quest yet so no dragons are going to bother me on my way up there. Will start a new topic logging how I make out so look for it and give your opinion.

#12 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

I'd recommend making a Breton, Imperial, or Dunmer over a high elf. Ranking up your mana pool is way easier in Skyrim than in Oblivion, and Altmer are significantly vulnerable to magic damage (I think it's like a 50% exposure?). Not worth it just for the 50 mana, which you can get from another source anyways if you really want it (not sure if you want that spoiled or what).

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