Top 15 Destruction Spells in Skyrim: The Ultimate ListThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Destruction spells are the main offensive skill for mages. These are divided into 3 categories called “Branches”: Fire, Frost, and Lightning.
These spells can be acquired through spell tomes from vendors around Skyrim, or looted from chests. Most of these destruction spells are best used in combination with other skills to deal greater damage, or combined with a real strategy.
It’s important to know which spells are best prioritized early on to avoid wasting your gold. Not to mention that maintaining your magicka can be tough since it seems to grow quite a bit slower than other skills.
Your play style can influence your Dragonborn and when combined with the best destruction spells in your arsenal you’re bound to crush enemies in dungeons all over Tamriel.
15. Flame Cloak
This wall of fire lasts for 60 seconds and enemies in range get hit with 8 points of fire damage per second.
This is best used by battle mages and melee fighters since it surrounds your Dragonborn with a strong aura of fire. It’s fair to say damage is a bit low, but if the enemy is already on fire they will take even more fire damage which can add up fast.
Note this spell is an Adept level 50 skill so it’ll take a bit of time to reach it but for sure it’s worth learning.
To obtain Flame Cloak you can talk to Faralda at the College of Winterhold.
14. Frost Cloak
Just like the Flame cloak, this wall of frost also lasts for 60 seconds and keeps hitting with some strong frosty magic.
It damages enemies in the same manner with 8 pts damage/second for all enemies in range. This spell is pretty basic yet it’s very effective towards melee type monsters.
To obtain Frost Cloak you can also talk to Faralda at the College of Winterhold, or snag this from a Court Wizard when you reach level 50 in Destruction magic.
13. Whirlwind Cloak
This one spell is the best choice for destruction mages and melee fighters since it follows less of an elemental focus.
Just like the two previous cloak spells this one deals a similar amount of damage and works with the same, except this can send your foes soaring in the air and create some real distance.
Casting this surrounds your Dragonborn with a whirlwind that blows attackers away. It lasts 60 seconds and is an Adept level skill.
This can be purchased from Talvas Fathryon once you’re a high enough level to use it.
Combining Ignite with Flame Cloak can boost your destruction level fast.
This one melts opponents and shoots a projectile of fire bolts towards your enemy.
It can also last for a good 15 seconds so you can cast other spells to amplify the damage while this is going on. In general this is considered the best combo for magic users who are still running around at lower levels.
You can obtain this skill by wearing Ahzidal’s Ring of Arcana that can be found in Kolbiorn Barrow. A bit tricky to find but well worth the effort.
11. Icy Spear
Icy Spear deals pretty decent damage to both Health and Stamina.
Probably one reason why it’s a very popular spell used in combat. So why is it only 11th on the list?
Because the spell can be quite difficult to make contact with enemies, especially on small or fast-moving targets. Also it’s an Expert level skill and getting to level 75 in Destruction can be quite difficult(granted far from impossible!)
To obtain Icy Spear you can visit Faralda at the College of Winterhold or find it as a skill book in various chests.
10. Frost Rune
This Magic Rune lays a trap on the ground that explodes when an enemy is nearby. Think of it kinda like an icy landmine.
Compared to the Lightning and Ash runes, this rune is highly recommended because it has an effect of slowing down enemies making it ideal for a classic ambush.
These types of magic runes are best used dealing with hibernating or entombed enemies behind sealed doors. All you have to do is cast it as close as possible and watch the fun unfold.
9. Chain Lightning
Area of Effect(AoE) skills are best used in taking down large groups of enemies faster.
Chain Lightning shocks nearby enemies and bounces around the area to hit some distant enemies too.
This is useful for dungeons that have hordes of enemies and it also hits some serious damage to enemy magicka stats—which makes it great for fighting groups of spell users.
Compared to the Icy Spear, accuracy isn’t a big deal here since even if this misses one enemy it’s gonna bounce around the room like a super ball. Plus this is an Adept level skill and easy to obtain so it’s worth grabbing even at early levels.
Fireball has a massive range of over 15 feet and deals about 40 points of damage to whatever it hits.
Once cast you’ll send one hell of a firestorm down onto enemies. Especially great for anything weak to fire. Even though this destruction spell is a crowd favorite, use this carefully since it can also hit followers if you have anyone by your side.
This is a short-range spell that passes through enemies and goes quite a distance. It’s possible to hit several enemies at once and the damage levels will jump up when your enemies are already on fire.
I’d add Flames alongside Fireball if you have the magicka because that is one hell of a combo.
Even though this is a starting spell and does considerably low damage vs other spells, it has a low magicka consumption too which means you can keep spamming this until the entire field is cleared.
Not to mention using a lot of magic will boost your destruction skill which is obviously great practice for a mage trying to level up.
6. Wall of Storms
With the Wall of Storms you’ve got a spell that can deal some strong damage and hit at a good range. It deals 50 shock damage per second to any enemy that it runs through.
It costs 145 magicka when it cast but it can really clear the field quick. And the good thing about Wall of Storms is that it does not harm the Dragonborn or followers.
I’d also argue this is best combined with Chain Lightning. You’ll be surprised at how absurdly powerful these spells are when used in conjunction with other skills and a high magic level.
Wall of Storms is an expert level skill obtained from our good friend Faralda once you reach Destruction level 70.
5. Wall of Frost
Similar to the Wall of Storms, this spell is cast on the ground to create a literal wall of frost.
This sucker looks scary as heck and it deals 50 points of damage per second. And much like other similar elemental spells, this is best used in combination with another frost spell to boost the total damage dealt with the combo.
Note that this isn’t something that dissipates fast. You simply pay about ~130 magicka per second that this wall is on the ground. Enemies that try to pass through it? Well, I hope they like ice.
Wall of Frost can be obtained from Faralda but you can also try your luck digging around in chests and looking for random loot.
Maybe not the best offensive destruction spell but it’s a nice one to balance out the offense/defense structure of your magic.
4. Wall of Flames
I really prefer these defensive spells and that’s the biggest reason I have to include both fire and frost. Both are so useful and they both help in different scenarios.
Even though at the end of the day this elemental spell is very similar; casts a wall of flames that inflicts 50 points of damage per second and eats up your magicka too.
But if you prefer fire over frost damage then definitely pick this up too.
This is an awesome frost spell that deals some very heavy damage. You’ll probably recognize the name from other RPGs like Final Fantasy and it’s just as powerful here in Skyrim(if not even more powerful!)
The only downside is that Blizzard can deal damage to the caster too, so you have to make sure you move out of the area as soon as possible after throwing out this spell.
Blizzard basically sends a huge ice storm in the area and engulfs everything within its radius. I mean seriously check it out.
This will damage all enemy stamina and affects their movement speed. But to even acquire Blizzard you’ll need a Master level 100 Destruction.
2. Fire Storm
This hellfire of a storm causes 100 points of damage to enemies within radius of the big fiery explosion.
Both hands are used to cast this spell and the casting time is actually pretty rough here. That’s one of the downsides of Fire Storm: while casting it can leave you vulnerable.
However the 100 points of damage across the board, this is no doubt a destruction spell that belongs in your arsenal.
After reaching level 100 Destruction you can pursue the Fire Storm spell. To obtain this you speak to Faralda and once you’re prompted to start the Destruction Ritual Spell quest you just get it done and boom! Fire Storm at your service.
1. Lightning Storm
This incredibly powerful skill creates a continuous stream of lightning strikes that deal 75 points of damage per second to health and half to magicka.
You’ll be slaying powerful dragons within seconds if you use this spell, and that’s why it’s on the #1 spot.
Just like Fire Storm, it requires both hands to cast and you can only get it once you complete the Destruction Ritual Spell quest(but you have to buy it afterwards).
Also while casting you can be interrupted by attacks. However using a shout then charging the spell can do the trick in most situations.
This is probably one of the more difficult spells to use properly in battle. However it’s also one of the strongest to give you a huge leg up against swarms of enemies in practically any area of Skyrim.