I play with legendary difficulty. I am level 280. I used a bow and I think I have some stuff with like improved archery. One hit and an enemy is death.

One day I use flame to kill a mere wolf.

Turns out the wolf don't die. Takes too long to kill anyone with magic.

I guess a natural thing to do is to enchant some fortify destruction enchancement.

However, all it does is just reducing magicka costs.

Nothing (with restoration glitch) can allow me to cast hotter flame, for example.

So what's the solution?


Any high level mages in skyrim here?


1 Answer 1


TLDR: Destruction magic sucks.... especially compared to bows.

So, to improve the damage of destruction magic, there are 6 ways to do this. Reference the Perk Tree for the first two.

  1. Pick the branch of the perk tree for your favorite damage type... preferably all of them (see below) and pick up the appropriate damage increase (e.g. Fire magic, augmented flames) and max it out.

  2. Pick dual casting from the right side of the perk tree, then pick Impact (doesn't improve damage at all, but fairly important to be effective.)

  3. For any particular opponent, pick the appropriate type of attack (e.g. don't pick frost for Nords who are resistant to cold, do pick fire for Trolls who are vulnerable to it.)

  4. Max out Alchemy and brew potions of Destruction.

  5. Brew potions of Weakness to X (Fire/Frost/Shock).

  6. Get the most powerful spells of the destruction class (e.g. Incinerate or Firestorm for Fire).

And then, in combat, identify the appropriate type for your opponent, shoot an arrow poisoned with weakness to that type, drink a potion of Fortify Destruction, and then hit the opponent with the most powerful spell.

And, from all that, you can now see why it sucks. Because you can improve archery base damage with multiple enchanted items (necklace, ring, gloves, headgear), with multiple archery perks, potions of fortify archery, AND improve the bow with smithing, AND double enchant the bow, AND buy the best arrows, AND Sneak attack (doesn't work with destruction) AND poison the arrow.

So, in DND terms, the action economy for archery is 1 shot 1 kill, but for destruction, it requires 2 actions, one to poison the target and one to hit it with a spell, PLUS it requires a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of opponents elemental strengths and weaknesses.

Mixxiphoid has made some suggestions, and I've researched all the links. Note that I've not used these, so you'll have to see if they address the situation (and maybe report back).

The mod Arcanum - A New Age of Magic by noptasis is available on Nexus for Skyrim SSE and is also available on Bethesda Net uploaded by KosorsomesayKosm for XBox One.

The mod Midas Magic Evolved by darealslenderman is available on Nexus for Oldrim.

Also the mod Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim by EnaiSiaion is very popular and could address this as well. It is available on Nexus for Oldrim and Skyrim SSE, and also on Bethesda Net uploaded by EnaiSiaion for XBox One and for PC.

  • Arcanum is a good mod to add more usefull spell. For the original Skyrim one might use Midas Magic
    – Mixxiphoid
    Sep 21, 2020 at 17:46
  • 1
    @Mixxiphoid I updated the answer with these and another one that might help. Thanks for the suggestions! Sep 22, 2020 at 23:50
  • I used "Midas Magic" in Oblivion and "Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim" myself and they really fill the gap magic users will feel when they want to go magic only. Sometimes the step from one spell to another is too big, these mods add spells between and beyond.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Sep 23, 2020 at 5:43
  • Shalidor's Insights scrolls(Destruction in this case) stack with Destruction potions. Also, the Aspect of Terror perk in Illusion buffs fire spells unless you have the unofficial patch installed. That can make a dual cast of Ignite(Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana) very powerful(and at potentially minimal or no magicka cost as well).
    – Jtenorj3
    Jan 10, 2021 at 5:01
  • Forgot a few things. Dual casting does do extra damage(10%) but at the cost of 40% more magicka. A way around this is to wear multiple pieces of Fortify Destruction gear to either greatly reduce magicka cost or even eliminate it entirely. With a bow, you use up an arrow with every shot you make(save bound arrows that come with the bound bow). Granted they weigh nothing so you can carry like tens of thousands and will probably collect more than you use, but with Fortify Destruction gear you can basically have unlimited ammo for Destruction spells.
    – Jtenorj3
    Sep 22, 2022 at 2:32

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