Finally playing Skyrim again after 6+ years!

I recall on my last character I only leveled up stamina, because I learned the hard way, on a different character, that for any mage/stealth character health and magicka are somewhat useless late game. Why?

My last character had:

100 Magicka, 100 Health, 680 Stamina

Short Explanation:

Spells do not cost anything late game, because of enchanting. Additionally, high-tier spells like paralyze, invisibility, and calm used in combination with stealth make it pretty uncommon for you to ever get hit. Also, there is some fun-aspect to playing on 100 health for a mage/stealth build.

Now, what about stamina? Why is it useful. My argument begs the question, "why not enchant armor with fortify stamina, and put some points into magicka and health instead?"

Keep in-mind the late-game question is what to enchant your armor with, right? What is most efficient. For example, if you put some points into magicka, maybe you can enchant your armor with something besides magicka reduction.

Issue with Magicka:
Unfortunately, infinite-magicka > lots-of-magicka. Even if you put some perks into magicka, you'll likely end up wanting to use some enchanted magic reduction armor, so that enchantment slot will still be used even if you put a good amount of points into magicka. You cannot enchant infinite fortify stamina. Additionally, the amount is lackluster.

Issue with Health:
As discussed in the short explanation, for any late-game mage/stealth build you'll rarely get hit. At least 100 health gives the enemies a fighting chance.

Benefit of Stamina:
High stamina is convenient for getting places faster and carrying lots of items. Saves you time and money. It is extremely convenient to have 700+ stamina. You have almost total freedom to run around and carry whatever you want. You'll also level up things like alchemy faster.

In conclusion – I am not saying high stamina is great or OP. I am saying that magicka and health are somewhat useless, and stamina is at least highly convenient.

Does anyone have a counter point to this? Were there any changes to Special Edition that make health and magicka more viable? Last time I played was before special edition.

P.S. Playing on legendary difficulty if relevant.

  • 2
    Mountain climbing? May 26, 2021 at 7:25
  • 1
    @ThomasKoelle I am unsure on the meaning of "mountain climbing". Can you explain? May 26, 2021 at 19:05
  • 2
    Sure, at least one use for Hit Points is when falling. So if you only have 100 hp you can be unlucky and die from a fairly small fall down a mountain. May 27, 2021 at 6:47
  • @ThomasKoelle: Negated by Become Ethereal, which lets you tank unlimited fall damage on demand. Unless of course you mean accidentally falling off a mountain, but I rarely have that problem, personally.
    – Kevin
    Jun 3, 2021 at 19:57
  • If you're playing on legendary difficulty with 100 HP, then maybe you should play a more difficult game instead of Skyrim.
    – Mithoron
    Aug 14, 2021 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


Does anyone have a counter point to this?

Not really. The closest thing I have to a counterpoint is the general observation that late-game Skyrim is hilariously unbalanced to begin with, so any character build is viable, even if it's severely suboptimal.

In late-game Skyrim, it's fairly easy to hit the armor cap, the magic resist cap, all three elemental resistance caps, and still have a Standing Stone slot left over for the Atronach Stone (which gives 50% spell absorption, and stacks with all of the above). At that point, you're nearly impervious to all forms of damage and can tank almost any attack in the game. As you note, sneak is also broken, as is the "Fortify [spell school]" enchantment. There is also a well-known exploit that takes advantage of the fact that neither Fortify Enchanting nor Fortify Alchemy has a cap, and so they can buff each other to absurd heights and completely break the crafting system. As a result of all of these things, you can inflict damage with whatever means you like; it hardly matters as you will never run out of Health anyway.

And that's before we start doing really broken things, like becoming a Vampire Lord. Just look at these numbers for (the VL's version of) the Vampiric Drain spell. It's absurdly powerful even at level 1, provided that Serana is not following you, and it is clearly intended to be spammed (judging from how it is permanently equipped to your right hand, relatively cheap to cast, etc.).

Were there any changes to Special Edition that make health and magicka more viable? Last time I played was before special edition.

No. Special Edition's gameplay is almost perfectly identical to Legendary Edition. If you want a more interesting late game, you will need to install mods such as Vokrii or Ordinator (both of which are designed to make a larger set of character builds reasonable, and limit the overpowered-ness of some builds).

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