I want to make a build with full archery, full illusion, full light armor, partial sneak and non combat perks. Would a build like this work? I'm thinking I could use stealth+archery and illusion+dagger. How should I develop my magicka (if at all?). I know that there is a way to enchant 0% magic cost equipment, but that's probably late-game, and I'm not going to be a full-blown mage anyway so I think I would want to go for other more useful enchants.

  • I've always found illusion one of the most useless schools of magic. The best spell is invisibility which is great for assassinations or sneaking. The Calm/Fear/Frenzy-like spells are all limited to under level 25. Though if you like messing with AI it'd be rewarding.
    – AnnanFay
    Dec 3 '11 at 10:35
  • possible duplicate of choosing attributes when leveling Dec 3 '11 at 12:05
  • 3
    @Annan It's not a useless school, Bethesda just did a terrible job of explaining how it works/what influences it. Take a look at uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Illusion. With the proper perks, the actual level caps are in a useful range. It would be nice if they had a chance of success influenced by level (or stats...) instead of a flat cap, but that would be some crazy advanced programming. We're talking "Gateway to the Savage Frontier" sort of stuff now.
    – Fambida
    Dec 3 '11 at 12:27
  • @Fambida You could add a mod if you're on PC. Thanks for the heads up about the perks, I haven't really looked at them before. Dual cast Mayhem on boss, cast invisibility, eat popcorn... Makes me want to get out my illusion spells.
    – AnnanFay
    Dec 3 '11 at 13:26
  • @David B Hmm I haven't really considered that. Isn't that the case for any build though? Wouldn't a pure warrior type character need magic at some point in the game? Also, how much magicka do you think is suitable for such a build.
    – Rashoodeus
    Dec 3 '11 at 14:25

This plan is great for taking out bandits, bears and trolls. However it's not so great versus undead (while leveling) and dragons (always moving, or in melee range).

I can't really determine how much (base) magicka you'll need because there's a ton of unknowns.

Let me make some presumptions: You wear armor and not a robe in the chest slot. You don't want to use magicka potions. You don't have spell cost reduction or magicka increasing enchantments.

Calm is the bread-and-butter illusion spell while leveling. Considering perk and skill discounts, it will cost 40-60 magicka to cast. If there are 4 baddies, you'll want to cast it at least 3 times, but 4 times is better. If all baddies are calmed, you are out of combat and get out of combat mana regen rates (better than wearing a robe). In general, if you can calm everyone, during that 30 seconds you'll get back enough magicka to do it again (assuming no misses).

Invisibility is the crowning spell of the illusion school at 75 skill. Considering perk and skill discounts, it will cost 120-150 magicka. I don't have practical experience in using it to break combat (hope to soon), but if it does you'll get back that magicka before needing to cast it again.

Harmony is the most expensive spell of the illusion school. It costs ~310 magicka considering perk and skill discounts.

  • Invisibility broke my Oblivion game-experience for me, I intend on staying away from it in Skyrim as long as I can.
    – Konerak
    Dec 5 '11 at 22:04

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