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The Destruction skill tree's "Impact" perk (req: 40 skill) has the following description:

Most Destruction spells will stagger an opponent when dual cast.

Which spells qualify?

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I know for certain that: the Novice-level spells (Flames, Sparks, and Frostbite) can't cause stagger, and the Apprentice-level bolt spells (Firebolt, Ice Spike, Lightning Bolt) can cause stagger. –  Kordos Nov 17 '11 at 21:08

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The strategy guide confirms your findings: the only spells not affected by it are Flames, Sparks, and Frostbite. Every other dual-cast spell will cause stagger.

However, after some testing and checking with the UESP, it's not accurate. Here's what I've found is benefited by Impact:

  • Apprentice-level direct damage: Firebolt, Ice Spike, and Lightning Bolt
  • Adept-level direct damage: Fireball, Ice Storm, Chain Lightning
  • Expert-level direct damage: Incinerate, Icy Spear, and Thunderbolt

Things that are not affected by Impact:

  • Novice-level direct damage: Flames, Frostbite, and Sparks
  • Master-level area-of-effect spells: Fire Storm, Blizzard, Lightning Storm
  • Cloaks: Flame Cloak, Frost Cloak, and Lightning Cloak
  • Runes1: Fire Rune, Ice Rune, and Lightning Rune
  • Specials: Arniel's Convection, Vampiric Drain (can't be dual-casted anyway)
  • Walls: Wall of Flames, Wall of Frost, Wall of Storms

So, 9 spells affected, 17 that aren't. Definitely not "most" Destruction spells even if you included Runes.

Notes

1Runes have an inherent knock-back effect: they could be affected by Impact, but it doesn't seem to make a difference either way.

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It may be because the first spells are not impacting anything, unlike bolts. –  M'vy Nov 17 '11 at 23:02
    
@Kordos I did some testing of my own tonight to confirm what the strategy guide says: cloaks don't count, and Impact doesn't seem to matter for runes (they knock back enemies anyway). –  user3389 Nov 18 '11 at 3:14

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