I'm at level 67 and I have a couple skills at 100, so I'm considering whether to make one legendary to improve leveling. But I'm not sure how making Alteration, Illusion or Destruction legendary would affect my spells. Will I lose my more powerful spells when my skill level resets?

For example, Fireball is an adept level Destruction spell, available at Destruction 40. If you reset Destruction to 15 after learning Fireball, do you:

  1. Forget Fireball and have to buy it again?
  2. Keep Fireball, but have to get back to Destruction 40 to use it?
  3. Use Fireball, but do less damage or pay a higher magicka cost?
  4. Use Fireball as normal?

One webpage I found suggested that casting master-level Destruction spells after making Destruction legendary allows fast leveling, which suggests that either #3 or #4 is true, but I couldn't find anything that definitely stated this was true. Can anyone confirm? Also, from the wiki descriptions and answers here on Arqade, I know I have to reassign perk points, and won't be able to buy high-level perks in legendary skills until I build my skill back up. So, I'm guessing I won't have the stagger effect of dual-cast Fireball and will have to pay more to cast it. Also true?

Should I just avoid making a crucial skill legendary and go with something safer, like Alteration or maybe Smithing, which is also 100?

  • You should avoid making a crucial skill legendary. The best skill, by FAR, is to make the Illusion skill legendary after you have gotten the Harmony spell. One cast in Whiterun will level it from 15 to 55+. – Nelson Apr 19 '15 at 21:46
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    Comes with a caveat though. You need to setup gear that gives you free illusion spells. Harmony will cost over a thousand magicka at skill 15. – Nelson Apr 19 '15 at 21:51
  • I consider Illusion critical, too, the perk to cast Illusion on undead and dwemer automata is too useful. But as I noted in a comment below, I have the gear, and that seems to remote the sting of resetting skill and losing high-level perks. However, doesn't Harmony act like Pacify, which makes NPCs hostile when the effect wears off? – John Laviolette Apr 20 '15 at 0:35
  • It is not an aggressive act. You should check out the details on the usep for details – Nelson Apr 20 '15 at 5:44
  • I don't see anything on the wiki about it not being aggressive. I know from experience that if I use Pacify on a target, it will make them hostgile when the spell ends or if they resist the spell. – John Laviolette Apr 20 '15 at 6:47

All of the perks for that tree are reset, so you will lose stagger effects and other bonuses that leveling up gave you.

You do not lose the spells themselves, nor have to get back to a certain level to use them again. There isn't a skill level requirement for using spells, so long as you have enough magicka to use them. Option 3 is probably the most accurate, in that they'll be a lot less effective due to your skill level and associated perks resetting.

Be wary of making a skill you use frequently legendary, especially a combat one. Going with alteration or smithing would be a good idea in my opinion.

  • I made sure I had a saved game, made four enchantments to reduce Destruction cost to 0, and tried to verify. The spells do indeed work, and casting Fire Storm for zero magicka lets you earn back 2-3 levels at a time, although I think you need to attack stronger opponents to get the full XP benefit possible. I'm currently hunting giants and mammoth, which is still tricky. I wind up sneaking up close while invisible, casting Fire Storm, then turning around and using Whirlwind Sprint to get out of there and hide, then repeat. – John Laviolette Apr 20 '15 at 0:29
  • Harmony is the best leveling skill possible. One cast in Whiterun levels illusion from 15 to 50+. – Nelson May 9 '15 at 5:40
  • Telekinesis fast travel(Alteration) is excellent too. With 100% cost reduction, hold an item with the spell(maybe pine thrush or rock warbler egg) and open your map. Fast travel a long way like between Riften and Markarth or vice versa(or their stables) and you can go from 15 to 100 Alteration in a single load screen(almost instant if Skyrim is installed on an SSD). Instead of cost reduction, you can use Secret of Arcana from black book Filament and Filigree in Kolbjorn Barrow on Solstheim. Riften and Markarth are 25.5 hours apart. Beware dragons after fast travel(mainly in/around Riften). – Jtenorj3 Nov 12 '18 at 21:06

what it does is the following : for example if you apply "legendary" on a spell for example lightning storm this is how the damage will amplify for example it will go from 90>100,it willnt affect anything but you will just lose traits such as : master spell cast cost halves and that kind of stuff.so it will have same damage and same mana cost if you hadnt gotten that trait. you got it now ?? you will be able to cast everything.even if impossible happens and your proffesion level dumps down to lvl 1 you will be able to use master and expert spells but ofc if you have enough magicka but if you use something like lightning storm you will be able to cast it 100% cause it just drains mana and not just instantly uses it like other master spells :blizzard and fire storm do :)

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    Welcome to Arqade! This post is a bit difficult to read. Do you think you could break it up into paragraphs with proper sentences and punctuation? It sounds like you're saying you lose the perks but don't lose the spells, which is already stated in the existing answer. I also see something unclear about damage ("the damage will amplify for example it will go from 90>100"). What are you trying to say there? – DCShannon Mar 28 '16 at 14:35

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