The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim made many strides to make mage-focused characters much more satisfying to play. While spell crafting was removed in this installment, the inclusion of dual-casting spells and enchanting gear has made this playstyle much more gratifying than in past installments.
Unfortunately, leveling a mage is a complete pain. Slow Magicka regeneration and a lack of spells can make mages feel subpar to other playstyles. That is until unique mage gear comes into play. With the right gear, mages are one of the most versatile and powerful characters you can play as. Here are the ten best pieces of gear for mages in Skyrim.
Updated on September 23rd, 2021, by Charles Burgar: Skyrim's 10th anniversary is almost here. Bethesda is releasing yet another version of Skyrim to celebrate, complete with fishing and a few Creation Club add ons. For players that have never played Skyrim before, you'll want to consider chasing the game's best items to create the best character possible. We've updated this list to include only the best mage items, explaining in more detail why they're powerful and how to obtain them.
10 The White Phial
|Effect||Magicka is increased by 20 points for 300 seconds|
|How To Obtain||"The White Phial" quest|
Potions can offer powerful temporary benefits such as healing or increased attributes. Unfortunately, their limited usage makes them rarely used in Skyrim.
There is one potion that somewhat negates this negative: The White Phial. This is the only potion in Skyrim that passively regenerates each day, allowing you to rely on its effects for tough fights. It can be obtained from a quest named after the item. It grants a potion of your choice once a day, ranging from extra Magicka to a large heal. We recommend the Magicka effect. This will make the early to midgame of Skyrim much more forgiving for mage characters that want to throw out as many spells as possible.
9 Necromancer Amulet
|Effect||+50 Magicka, Conjuration spells cost 25% less to cast, Health and Stamina regen 75% slower.|
|How To Obtain||"Blood on the Ice" quest|
The Necromancer Amulet is a great example of a powerful item that comes with an equally strong drawback. For smart mages, this negative can be circumvented.
While equipped, the Necromancer Amulet grants 50 flat Magicka and reduces the cost of Conjuration spells by 25%. As a downside, it reduces your Stamina and Health regeneration by 75%, but the use of Restoration spells can nullify this. Players can find this amulet after completing the "Blood on the Ice" quest on Calixto Corrium's corpse.
8 Sanguine Rose
|Effect||Summon a Dremora for 60 seconds|
|How To Obtain||"A Night to Remember" quest|
Mages typically have to sacrifice Health and Stamina to upgrade their Magicka. While it's a necessary sacrifice, that doesn't mean there aren't ways of keeping yourself safe from enemy attacks.
Sanguine Rose is a fantastic staff that all mages should have handy. As a reward from the "A Night to Remember" Daedric quest, it summons a Dremora to fight by your side for 60 seconds. This Dremora is rather tanky and does great damage in close quarters. Its effectiveness scales with your character's level as well, making this a must-grab when you reach level 20.
|Item Type|| |
|Effect||+50 Magicka, and Destruction and Restoration spells cost 20% less|
|How To Obtain||Defeat Nahkriin during "The World-Eater's Eyrie" quest|
Nahkriin is a Dragon Priest that inhabits the ruins of Skuldafn. You'll confront the priest near the end of Skyrim's main questline, just before you hop into the portal that takes you to Sovngarde for the final confrontation against Alduin.
Nahkriin's mask adds 50 points to your overall Magicka pool and reduces the cost of Destruction and Restoration spells by 20%. Considering these two schools tend to be the ones used most often, this mask is extremely useful for all parts of Skyrim. If you don't mind rushing through the main story, grab this mask as soon as you can.
|Effect||A blast from Wabbajack with an unpredictable effect.|
|How To Obtain||"The Mind of Madness" quest|
Sheogorath sure knows how to make exotic artifacts. The Wabbajack is one of the strongest and most iconic items in The Elder Scrolls series that is well-suited for any mage.
Completing "The Mind of Madness" quest will reward you with this special staff. Unlike most staves, Wabbajack fires projectiles with random properties. Wabbajack can shoot Fireballs, turn enemies into chickens, or instantly kill targets. Needless to say, this weapon is downright overpowered when RNG is on your side.
5 Archmage's Robes
|Item Type|| |
|Effect||All spells cost 15% less to cast, and Magicka regenerates 100% faster|
|How To Obtain||"The Eye of Magnus" quest|
Becoming a leader in any guild comes with some great benefits. The College of Winterhold rewards the player with the Archmage's Robes for completing its questline.
These robes reduce the Magicka cost of all spells by 15%, grant 50 flat Magicka, and grant 100% Magicka regeneration. This reduction in spell cost can be replicated with Master robes and crafted gear, but those only affect one school of magic; this applies to every spell in Skyrim. If you hate Enchanting or want an all-purpose armor piece, you'll have a hard time finding anything better than the Archmage's Robes.
4 Miraak's Gear
|Item Type|| |
Armor Set(Head, Chest, Gloves, and Boots)
|How To Obtain||"The Summit of Apocrypha" quest|
Miraak is a Dragonborn, much like yourself. His dragon blood and servitude with Hermaeus Mora make Miraak one of the strongest characters in Skyrim.
As with all strong characters, defeating him rewards some impressive gear. Miraak's armor is unique in that it grants spell absorption, the only armor in the game to do so. When combined with the Atronach Stone and the Atronach Alteration perk, you can reach 100% spell absorption—effectively making you immune to all elemental attacks and spells in the game. Should a spell or dragon breath attack impact your character, you'll gain a massive amount of Magicka, synergizing nicely with a mage's playstyle.
3 Cost Reduction Gear
|Effect||Fortifies Magicka or reduces the cost of a certain magic school|
|How To Obtain||Enchanting|
Some of the strongest items in Skyrim aren't found but rather crafted. Enchantments are the definitive way to enhance your mage in ways other items can't.
Cost reduction is one of the best enchantments, causing spells cast from a particular school of magic to cost less Magicka. These enchantments can stack to 100%, making every spell from that school free to cast. If you are using a school of magic that doesn't have such a cost reduction enchantment, you can instead use Magicka Regeneration and increased Magicka for a similar effect.
2 Aetherial Crown
|Item Type|| |
|Effect||Retains the last Standing Stone ability you held, granting you its effect in addition to those of your current stone.|
|How To Obtain||"Lost to the Ages" quest|
Depending on your build, the Aetherial Crown can be a terrible headpiece or one of the most overpowered items in Skyrim. For mages, it is typically in the latter category.
The Aetherial Crown allows your character to gain the benefits of two Standing Stones instead of solely one. A common strategy is to use the Atronach Stone as your first choice. When you're a vampire, it can be combined with the Necromage and Atronach perks to gain 100% spell absorption. Then, use the Crown to grab the Ritual Stone. Cast the Ritual power, resurrect an entire dungeon of dead NPCs into minions, take off the Crown, then equip it again to refresh its cooldown. Do this as many times as you want to create dozens of thrall NPCs while being immune to all elemental damage.
1 Ring of the Erudite
|Effect||While wearing this ring, you will receive 100 extra Magicka as well as regenerate Magicka faster.|
|How To Obtain||"Rings of Blood Magic" quest|
Don't let the Ring of the Erudite's description fool you. What sounds like a bog-standard regeneration ring is easily the strongest enchantment for any mage in Skyrim.
Gaining 100 extra Magicka on a ring is powerful enough, but Erudite's second effect lies its true power. The 2% Magicka regeneration alters your base regeneration instead of your total regeneration. Base Magicka regen is 3% per second, but that is enhanced to 5% with this ring. If you have 100% increased Magicka regeneration from another item, it would normally increase your regen from 3% to 6%. With this ring, however, it bumps that up from 5% to a whopping 10%. It's a multiplicative bonus to regenerating Magicka, something that is impossible to get through an enchantment.
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