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I am interested in making an illusion mage but first I need to know if its feasible at high levels. Here are the points I'm most interested in:

  1. What is the highest level enemy I can affect with frenzy, taking into account of all illusion perks, dual casting, and whatever else that can be stacked on?
  2. What is the highest level frenzy poison that can be crafted, does your illusion perks affect that potion?
  3. What enemies are immune to illusion?
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One - Okay, WITHOUT bonuses at all, the Master level frenzy spell, Mayhem, will effect enemies up to level 25. The following perks add to that level limit in the following amounts:

Animage (+8 on ANIMALS) Kindred Mage (+10 on HUMANS Rage (+12 for frenzy spells)

So with those perks, the level cap increases on Mayhem from 25 to 45 on animals and 47 on humans.

Illusion Dual-Casting doesn't work for Master level spells since they require both hands to cast, but it does for single hand spells, so lemme do the math again for the best single hand frenzy spell, Frenzy.

At base level, frenzy effects enemies up to level 14. Dual casting APPROXIMATELY doubles this number (the doubling happens before perks are applied), this brings it up to 24, 12 gets added from rage, making it 36, which makes 44 or 46 depending on types of enemies.

Something of note, Animage unlocks at 20 illusion, Kindred Mage at 40, and rage at 70, so you wouldn't be gaining all the perk bonuses until at least 70 illusion.

Two - Your illusion perks won't effect your potions. As for highest level for a potion, that's a hard number to pin specifics on, as there are a lot of factors that can be manipulated as well as a general vagueness of information about the potion creation process.

THAT SAID, the fact that you can get the level cap up to the high 40s with just perks alone means that you won't need the best possible potions to make it that your spells can effect any non-immune enemy in the game.

Three - Dragons are always immune to illusion regardless of what you do. Undead(Dragrs, Vampires, etc), Daedra, and mechanical constructs (Steam Centurions, Worker Spiders, etc) are all immune until you take the Master of the Mind perk at 90 illusion.

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  • hmm... the fact that dragons are always immune does make this troublesome. – l I Jan 14 '12 at 22:59
  • Well, depends on what you play, dragons have two basic attacks, melee and shooting breath at you. Their breath is blockable with ward spells and they need to get close to you to use melee, and don't like moving very far when they land, meaning if you have decent restoration you should be able to take on dragons (albeit very slowly) with ranged attacks. That said, if you're trying to play some sort of spellblade char that uses illusion/alteration with melee, there might be problems. – Tarkenfire Jan 16 '12 at 14:39
  • I was planning on playing a pure illusion mage actually, so this makes it very troublesome :/ – l I Jan 16 '12 at 14:41
  • To get around the Dragon issue, simpley Level your Archery and get an Ebony bow. I some how have one that does 77 damage with no perks on it. I am waiting to perk it to legendary. I have the sneak at 100 now and I just sneak around killing everything...I drop dragons with my bow in 5 hits and I am only lvl 36. – user18881 Jan 24 '12 at 14:06
  • The doubling happens after taking perks into account. Just look at your magic menu to see that. Example:Frenzy affects level 14 by default, but with the Rage perk it affects level 26 which is the number that shows in your magic menu under that spell when you have that perk. Spoiler: during the Dark Brotherhood quest line, you are tasked with killing Gaius Maro. His level is your level, up to 100. It is possible to frenzy him in a city and let the guards kill him for you to avoid a bounty and get the bonus. Requires a powerful Fortify Illusion potion for frenzy to affect him. Poisons suck. – Jtenorj3 Jan 14 at 13:49
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Just so you know, the adjustment when dual casting illusion spells occurs AFTER the perk adjustments, not before. So frenzy vs an animal affects a level (base is 14, +8 from animage, +12 from rage = 34: now multiply 34 by 2.2 for dual casting) 74 animal.

So yes, with full perks illusion spells can and do affect (if mob is not immune) all the mobs in the game.

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In addition to the bonuses mentioned, vampires also get a 25% boost to the power, which. when combined with perks and dual casting, raises the level to over 80. And speaking of vampirism, the Necromage perk, while a vampire, also increases the effectiveness of all of your active effects, increasing this boost even more. What does this mean? It means that you can increase the effective level of your Frenzy PAST the maximum player level.

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Over level 100.

Frenzy base level 14

Rage perk adds 12 levels bringing it up to 26

It's possible to create potions of Fortify Illusion that can boost your spells by 158%. I don't totally understand the math, but after taking one the numbers change in my magic menu from 26 to 48. If you dual cast, that's 2.2x effect (105.6 so level 105 not even counting Animage or Kindred Mage). If you are playing as a mage, focusing on both Enchanting and Alchemy can buff both Illusion and Destruction.

Level 1 vampirism and beyond buffs Illusion spells by 25%. Some of the highest level NPCs are Miraak and Arngeir, each with a max level of 150. There is little reason to frenzy Arngeir, and Miraak is already hostile. One fairly high level potential target is Gaius Maro in the Dark Brotherhood quest line. His level is your level up to 100. You can frenzy him so city guards kill him for you, letting you both avoid a bounty and earn your bonus.That can also let you avoid a murder on your in game stats if you care about that sort of thing.

There are some enemies that never stop leveling with you. These include random "race name here" encounters, mercenaries(if you provoke them) and magic anomalies, as well as some potential followers. The randoms and anomalies are already hostile, and the mercenaries can be made hostile by picking the right dialog option. Little reason to frenzy a follower unless you gave them some really good weapons and armor and want a bit of challenge. Simply hitting them several times will also make them hostile but could lead to a murder on your stats if you kill them.

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