best way to play a mage?

#1Legionnaire76Posted 5/14/2012 12:23:34 PM
So every time I try to play a mage I get stomped into the ground because I have no health and no way to keep distance between me and my enemies. Beyond that spells are fairly weak and because mages have no armor they are health potion addicts. Has anyone found a successful way to make a mage that doesn't get one-shot by 2handers/giants and actually deals enough damage to kill things before using an entire inventory's worth of health potions?
#2jfmorrisPosted 5/14/2012 12:28:46 PM
One way is to specialize in Conjuration, as my mage did. You draw the aggro away from yourself. Once you can spam powerful atronachs and dremora lords, combat becomes pretty trivial.
#3KoRiy5000Posted 5/14/2012 12:46:37 PM
stun lock is your best friend
#4The moonlight knightPosted 5/14/2012 12:51:03 PM
If you want to exclusively stick with mage stuff, I'd suspect you'd want to hurry up and get dragonhide, skip the mage armor perks and rely on that. Get a shout to allow you to prep it or invest in Illusion to use invisibility to prep the master spell. Illusion is VERY powerful, but requires the most perk investment of any spell school to really get it to shine. I'd recommend delving into alchemy as well because fortify alteration potions would be very helpful to double (or more) the duration of dragonhide, which you will end up needing.

Destruction is unfortunately just underpowered. It pretty much has to rely on impact to stunlock enemies slowly into submission.


So it seems like you need to focus in alteration, destruction, and it'd probably be a very good idea to also invest in enchanting and alchemy, and illusion and conjuration can help fill gaps in your defense or offense and sorta be your wildcards to get out of jams.

With all the necessary perks in enchanting and destruction to boost fire/frost/shock damage (and alchemy to make strong enough potions...or maybe premade ones would be strong enough), you can enchant weapons that do 81 fire and 81 frost/shock damage each strike. You don't need any melee skill to make use out of that. Very highly recommend you consider enchanting...hell, even a pickax and some random dagger with those enchantments. Dual-wield them, and it's a good way to preserve magicka.


...Still, I find it unlikely a mage won't have a very rough time, for a long time, until late game where everything can start to come together and you can fashion something competent. Magic is just not so great in Skyrim. It got a definite downgrade in Oblivion, and I'd say it was quite an overzealous one.
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#5KoRiy5000Posted 5/14/2012 12:55:47 PM
im goin to have to disagree with above poster. playing a mage is all about finding your style. destruction, alteration, conjuration, and illusion all have dif styles to be used and once you have played a round and found what is fun for you it becomes much easier. i prefer having lydia and 2 mage dead thralls escorting me as i cast fury spells on enemies to cause panic while theyre being slaughtered
#6The moonlight knightPosted 5/14/2012 1:09:27 PM
It's mostly destruction that's the problem. It's sort of the weakest link for a mage. Destruction is just...painfully weaker than melee. Maybe bows too. Iunno. But definitely melee. And when your main offensive ability is weak, and if you're also not wearing armor, well...that's rough. Conjuration and illusion are great indirect ways to overcome obstacles, and alteration has dragonhide, which is excellent. But as far as destruction goes, its best for stunlocking enemies from a distance. :/
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I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)
#7XydruPosted 5/14/2012 1:11:27 PM
For destruction, dual cast + impact for stun lock. Enchant lower spell cost or use alchemy for Fortify Destruction potions for more damage. Or both if you want and use the resto loop exploit for much stronger Fortify Destruction potions

Also, the Aspect of Terror perk in the Illusion tree give fire spells 50%(?) more damage
#8KoRiy5000Posted 5/14/2012 1:11:38 PM
The moonlight knight posted...
It's mostly destruction that's the problem. It's sort of the weakest link for a mage. Destruction is just...painfully weaker than melee. Maybe bows too. Iunno. But definitely melee. And when your main offensive ability is weak, and if you're also not wearing armor, well...that's rough. Conjuration and illusion are great indirect ways to overcome obstacles, and alteration has dragonhide, which is excellent. But as far as destruction goes, its best for stunlocking enemies from a distance. :/

very true. i wish the alchemy effect that allows boosting destro damage was an enchant option. i dont want one shot ability, i just want my flamethrowers to stay viable
#9NicodaemosPosted 5/14/2012 1:12:34 PM
Pick bows or One handed as your offensive skill, and specialize in either Heavy or Light armor. Who says mages don't have armor?
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#10alex1_2_3_4_5Posted 5/14/2012 1:18:58 PM
Conjuration is OP. Once you can summon a Dremora Lord, very few things will stand in your way.
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