As a mage class player, the primary means of dealing damage to your enemies is with Destruction magic. While there are numerous damage-dealing magic in the game, getting the most useful and powerful ones will help you in the long run.
But before discussing the best Destruction Spell, let’s familiarize ourselves with the different types of Destruction magic.
There are mainly 3 different elemental spells in Destruction school, each having a different style of gameplay.
- If you’re looking for crowd control spells like paralyze or slow down enemies, then getting the Frost elemental spells would be best for you.
- If dealing the highest possible damage is your priority, you should get Fire elemental spells.
- If you prefer a more balanced type of spell that deals good damage but also has some crowd-controlling and debuffing abilities, then Lightning element spells are your best bet.
We’ve listed the best type of spell for every elemental category in the list below. Starting with the Frost elemental.
Note: Most spells on our list are Leveled spells, which means you must be at a certain level in Destruction school to acquire their Spell Tomes. To learn more about leveled spells, you can refer to our article here.
This spell is simply a powerful version of Ice Spike. Icy Spear is an Expert-level spell that shoots a missile-like spear of ice, dealing 60 points of frost damage to the enemy’s Health and Stamina.
Furthermore, hitting enemies with the spear also slows them down by 50 points for up to 3 seconds. You can further increase the damage of the Icy Spear by getting the Augmented Frost perk from the Destruction skills tree.
As Icy Spear is an Expert-level spell, you can buy the Spell Tome from the specialist mages from the College of Winterhold, i.e., Enthir or Faralda. If you have the Dragonborn DLC expansion, you can Spell Tome from Talvas Fathryon in Solstheim.
Blizzard is the most powerful spell of the frost element. It’s a Master-level spell that deals 20 points of frost damage for 10 seconds over a fixed wide area.
Combining the Deep Freeze perk from the Destruction skill tree can also paralyze enemies that are affected by the spell.
The only downside of the Blizzard spell is that the enemies far away from the spell’s radius can simply walk out of reach. Furthermore, your allies and followers that are close by can get caught in the spell and take damage.
As this is a Master-level spell, you must complete the Ritual Spell quest for Faralda in the College of Winterhold. After completing the quest, you can buy the Spell Tome from her.
This is the most balanced spell on our list. It deals decent damage to enemies and also has some AOE capabilities. Chain lightning is an Adept-level spell that deals 40 points of shock damage to the enemies’ Health and Magicka.
After dealing damage to the enemy, the lightning leaps to a new target and deals 40 points of shock damage to them as well.
Furthermore, this spell is very forgiving when it comes to targeting enemies. You don’t have to be precise with your shots. You can rather strike walls, floors, and ceilings that are close to the enemy and still deal damage to them.
You can get this spell from specialist mages like Enthir, Faralda, or even the court wizard Farengar Secret-Fire in Whiterun.
While Chain Lighting is a spell that balances damage with AOE, the Thunderbolt spell solely focuses on dealing high damage to a single target. This Expert-level spell deals 60-point shock damage to Health and Stamina.
The reason why Lightning spells are so great is that, unlike other elemental spells, Lightning spells do not have projectile traveling time. Meaning every lightning spells you cast is instantaneous in dealing damage.
Like other Expert-level spells on your list, you can get the Thunderbolt spell from Enthir, Faralda, or Talvas Fathryon.
Lighting Storm is perhaps the most unique type of spell in Skyrim. Contrary to its name, this Master-level spell shoots out a constant bolt of lightning, dealing 75 points of shock damage every second while you’re holding the attack button.
This spell also kind of resembles the popular Kamehameha power move from the DragonBall Z series.
The only downside of this spell is mobility. While you’re casting this spell, you are unable to walk or run, making you vulnerable to melee attackers.
You can buy this master-level spell from Faralda after completing the Ritual Spell Destruction questline for her.
Visually, Fireball is one of the coolest-looking spells in the game featuring a fiery explosion effect.
Damage-wise, It is a very strong spell that can easily carry you through the early stages of the game. This Adept-level spell deals 40 points of fire AOE damage over a 15-foot radius.
Like Chain Lighting, you don’t have to be precise with your spell. You can aim and cast Fireballs at the nearby area like walls, floors, or ceilings and still deal damage to the enemy.
Furthermore, Fireball also sets the enemy on fire, dealing 20% flame damage for a couple of seconds.
You can get this spell from court wizards like Farengar Secret-Fire or the mages like Faralda in the College of Winterhold.
If you feel like the damage on Fireball is inadequate, then you should try the Incinerate Spell. Although the spell lacks the explosion effect from Fireball, it deals much greater damage in comparison.
This Expert-level spell deals 60 points of fire damage to the enemies and sets them on fire while dealing additional fire damage for a few seconds.
You can buy the Spell Tome for this spell from Enthir, Faralda, or Talvas Fathryon.
Firestorm is a Master-level spell that deals one of the highest AOE burst damage out of all the spells in the game. Casting this spell deals 100 points of fire damage over a 100-foot radius which also makes it the spell having the biggest AOE.
Since casting this spell will damage everything around you. This can be beneficial if you’re surrounded by enemies or could be disastrous if you have allies or followers with you.
You can get this spell as a quest reward for completing the Ritual Spell Destruction questline for Faralda.
An Honorable Mention- Whirlwind cloak
Although not as high-damage dealing as other spells on our list, the Whirlwind cloak still has its uses. Casting this spell on yourself surrounds your body with wind for 60 seconds.
Any enemies that get too close to you will be knocked off the ground. This can be very helpful to avoid charging melee attacks.
You can buy the Whirlwind cloak Spell Tome from Talvas Fathryon in Solstheim after completing the Wind and Sand questline.