I'm playing in a mostly mage style (though I have decent One-handed skill). Lately, I've been encountering more and more mages who are proving very difficult because of my low health.

I have the Mage Armor perk and I just need to know whether that and/or armor are actually worth anything against a mage. And if not, what are my best alternatives?

  • 2
    Check gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/38645/… for advice about taking spell damage and living. Most of that advice is mage applicable.
    – Amy B
    Nov 27, 2011 at 5:51
  • 1
    Am I the only person that thinks the best defence is dodging? The AI is seriously bad at aiming and most spells are slow. If you combine dodging with summons and companions you really don't need any armour. (applies only to ranged character)
    – AnnanFay
    Dec 1, 2011 at 22:11

6 Answers 6


Well, your best bet if you're having issues with fighting mages is using a ward. Wards protect from magic completely as long as the ward is greater than the magic being shot at you. With regards to armour, there are no downsides in Skyrim to wearing armour on a mage. It will not effect your spells effectiveness. I am a pure mage and I wear full daedric Armour.

Basically with regards to alteration magic(oak flesh etc) it is specifically geared towards Protection from melee damage so yes to answer you question wards are the only kind of magic that can be used to protect from magic.

you can also enchant armor with resistance to magicka/elemental but i personally prefer wards due to the fact that i use different enchantments on all of my armor and its easier to use a wards because not every enemy is magic related. wards are also really useful for protecting against dragon fire.

If this doesn't answer you question fully feel free to leave a comment and I will try to elaborate.

  • Ok thanks thats good to know. i guess the next question is about those alteration spells. stone flesh and things of the like do nothing against magic? only wards?
    – Guy0203
    Nov 27, 2011 at 6:44
  • @Guy0203 check my answer i hope that answer all your questions =). Nov 28, 2011 at 3:24

I would recommend:

  1. Carry some nice armour for these fights or
  2. Have your companion carry some backup armour for you that you can switch into before a fight.

Regarding wards look at this question. It looks at the advantages of oakflesh over wards.

  • Lol refer to my question in a post i was answering xD Nov 28, 2011 at 3:19

If you are being targeted by means of magic or weapons, than something is wrong.

Mages are no tanks - they cannot sustain direct hits more frequently than now and then.

If you are being surrounded or plain outnumbered, then use distraction and/or chaos to your advantage:

  • Use illusion spells: Rage, Calm and similar spells will shift the centre of attention from you to (multiple) other targets or completely disable them.

  • Use your companion as a meat shield. Let him/her take the hurt and flank or just step aside and wreak havoc among the ranks.

  • Use your horse. Well, it usually goes into fights itself, but does back away if the enemy is too strong, or just drops unconscious. Be careful not to hit it instead.

  • Always have your shields up (watch for the effect, go in third person to see it better). A couple of unlucky hits might bring you down quickly.


my tip: frost atronarch. just place it next to the enemy, start to heal urself and wait for the win =P


There is a quest where you can get a daedric shield, which blocks most spells. Also I use atronarchs ( fire, frost, storm ect) to soften enemy's in huge numbers. When in battle with tuff mages, I use the spells like shock, frost, fire,. But the spells ( sorry cant recall there names) that you can cast on the ground, and whatever enemy walks on them or hangs around gets cooked, shocked, or frosted. So with flames burning on the ground continuously, you can vanquish any strong undead enemy. I use the same spells for mages like shock. I place the shock spell everywhere then the Mage will either walk around over the areas you have placed the spells, or hang back, where I just sap there Heath with long range attack spells, or send in a atronarch. Also I'm a powerful archer. So if all else fails I shoot, and run, shoot and run. I can bring down a powerful dragon priest with my bow alone ( I did last night against a very powerful dragon priest on the dragon born DLC). So I think it doesn't hurt to branch out in other skills besides magic. I did and my Orc is one tuff Mage/warrior/archer hehehe.

Also save, save, save. Before any battle with powerful mages. Sometimes I have to die a few times, trying different tactics, before my opponent is finally crushed.

  • Is tuff mage a type of mage or? Never heard of it. Feb 15, 2013 at 10:32
  • Umm I'm bad with remembering names. Hmm let me think. Some warlocks are really tuff. Higher lever warlocks. Even when you face a few adept mages in any skill set is tuff. There's one cave I found, where I faced 4 adept destruction mages and a few lower levers at the same time whist was tuff. Kept getting killed by there powerful spells, I started using my bow and cleaned them all up. My bow damage is like 150 damage.
    – Sylar
    Feb 16, 2013 at 4:24
  • Also my sneak is very high too. So the bow mixed with high sneak will clear any room. When casting spells, sometimes I'll conjurer up a frost an atronarch, and while the Mage is distracted, I flack them, and come up behind a gut them with my sword.
    – Sylar
    Feb 16, 2013 at 4:45

I have had this same problem when fighting mages. It was not until recently that I started leveling up alteration, and I noticed a pretty cool perk. If you are willing to get to Master Alteration, spare a point for the Antronach Perk - it absorbs 30% of the enemy's magic attack into your magic. Combine that with a ward, and you can both be countering damage and regenerating magicka at the same time, a useful tactic when fighting electromancers especially, but it works with them all.

There is also a level 60 Restoration perk which allows you to regenerate stamina when using healing spells, useful for ice mages that drain your stamina and cause slow movement, meaning it will be incredibly hard to dodge incoming spells.

I hope I was able to help. If you can't find a way to level up Alteration quickly enough, standing in water and casting Waterbreathing over and over seems to work, that's how I gained the last 30 or so levels.

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