When it comes to skills in Skyrim, one of the most misused and underutilized happens to be Conjuration. This is probably do to Conjuration’s extreme variety in play-style, which can cause many people to just overlook it. Despite all of the misconceptions about Conjuration, it can actually make a player extremely powerful if they know what they are doing. This guide will line out the exact details of Conjuration, and help you learn how to get the most out of one of the most interesting skills in Skyrim. So without further adieu, let’s get started with your guide to Conjuration.
Conjuration has three basic spell-types, bound weapon, creature summoning, and soul trapping. Almost every Conjuration spell can be bought from Phinis Gestor at the College of Winterhold.
Bound weapon spells temporarily summon a bound (equivalent to daedric) weapon from the plains of Oblivion. The three spells that fall under this category are “Bound Sword”, “Bound Battleaxe” and “Bound Bow.” The weapons stay around for about 120 seconds before disappearing and needing casted again. The act of summoning the weapons actually makes noise, so don’t try to summon one if there is an enemy nearby.
I cannot overstate the usefulness of these spells. Each time you use the bound bow spell you get a full quiver of 100 bound arrows, and a bound bow which weighs absolutely nothing. This allows you to always have a weapon ready, while never having to worry about becoming over-encumbered by the weight of your weapons. Throw in the fact that your weapon skill actually goes up every time you hit an enemy and you can probably see why these spells are amazing. Bound sword stands out as my own personal favorite, due to its extreme versatility. Since the weapon comes from a spell it can be smuggled into places where weapons wouldn’t normally be allowed, and the bound weapon also cannot be forcibly disarmed via shout. The spell costs less than 100 magicka, can be poisoned, and can be duel wielded. If you are also going to do a lot of enchanting (which I will detail in a later guide) you will want to pick up the perk Soul Stealer as you level up. The perks Mystic Binding (Level 20 Conjuration needed) and Oblivion Binding (Level 50 Conjuration, Soul Stealer needed) are must haves as well, though they may take several level ups before they become available.
Creature summon spells can also become quite useful in time. There are two types of these spells, resurrection spells and spells that summon atronachs and daedra. Of resurrection spells there are four power levels:
“Raise Zombie”(the weakest): Basically only good for resurrecting foxes and wolves. Costs 103 Magicka.
“Reanimate Corpse”: Can usually resurrect most animals, and some lower leveled beings. Costs 144 Magicka.
“Revenant”: Can usually resurrect most enemies, including Drauger and many humans. Costs 340 magicka.
“Dread Zombie”/“Dead Thrall” (the strongest): Should be able to handle just about everything. Dead Thrall is essentially the same spell, except it bring the resurrected back permanently and only works on humans. Dread Zombie costs 302 magicka, while Dead Thrall costs 618 magicka.
To be honest, the resurrection spells are probably the weakest of all of the Conjuration spells, but can still be useful when utilized properly. If the player picks up the perks Necromacy (40 Conjuration), Adept Conjuration (50 Conjuration), Dark Souls(70 Conjuration), and Twin Souls (100 Conjuration)then their Necromancer should be a much more viable fighter, but it will take a lot of effort to get that far. The biggest downside is that you have to kill something before you can use a regen spell. I can only recommend playing a necromancer if you’re also running some other kind of conjuror, but don’t let that stop you from trying it out.
The other spell-type that deals with summoning is atronach and dremora summoning. There are 8 different summon spells, and starting with the weakest they are:
Conjure Familiar– Allows you to summon a familiar, a ghost wolf, which will aid you in combat. Costs 107 Magicka.
Extremely weak, and really only useful at low levels.
Conjure Flame Atronach– Summons a Flame Atronach from oblivion for 60 seconds, at a cost of 150 magicka. The Flame atronach has 200 health (300 with Elemental Potency perk), can cast fireball spells, and explode upon death.
This atronach tends to be a long distance magic user, who is quick and sleek but cannot take a hit. It goes well with a physically attacking summoner.
Conjure Frost Atronach– Summons a Frost Atronach for 120 seconds, at a cost of 170 magicka. The frost atronach has 667 health (1000 with Elemental Potency perk) and mainly uses physical attacks. It also explodes upon death.
This atronach is a giant physical brute who is extremely slow and goes well with a ranged fighting summoner.
Conjure Storm Atronach– Summons a Storm Atronach for 120 seconds, at a cost of 255 magicka. The Frost Atroncah has 282 health (383 with Elemental Potency perk) and casts the spell “Chain Lightning” constantly. This spell hurts everyone in range, including the summoner of the atronach.
This atronach tends to be similar to the flame atronach, save for the elemental difference. I prefer the flame atronach due to the fact that fireball tends to not hurt the summoner, unlike Chain Lightning.
Conjure Dremora Lord– Summons a Dremora Lord to fight for 60 seconds, at a cost of 358 magicka. The Dremora Lord has 345 health and is unaffected by the Elemental Potency perk. The Dremora Lord comes equipped with a Daedric Greatsword of the Inferno and is completely incapable of ranged combat. They are also equipped with heavy daedric armor.
This summon spell is probably the most useful. There are few enemies that will be able to take down a Dremora Lord once they engage one in battle. Make sure that you summon the Dremora Lord close to the opponent, as the Dremora is extremely slow due to its heavy loadout. Also, the Dremora Lord seems to be weak to magic, so be careful when it comes to fighting other spellcasters.
The final spells that deal with creature summoning are “Flame Thrall” “Frost Thrall” and “Storm Thrall” which summon their respective atronachs permanently.
The final and most concise spell-type for Conjuration is the Soul Trapping spell set. The two spells that go with soul trapping are “Soul Trap” and “Banish.” These spells are meant to either fill soul gems or avoid conflict.
Soul Trap tends to go hand in hand with an Enchanting based character. Once a player casts Soul Trap he has 60 seconds to kill something, which will then be absorbed into a soul gem. Remember that the bigger the soul, the bigger the soul gem that will be needed.
Petty soul gems hold souls below level 4.
Lesser Soul Gems hold souls below level 16.
Common Soul Gems hold souls below level 28.
Greater Soul Gems hold souls below level 38.
Grand Soul Gems hold souls of any size except humans.
Black Soul Gems hold all souls. Note that only the Black Soul Gem can contain a human soul.
The banish spells have three levels, “Banish Daedra” “Command Daedra” and “Expel Daedra.” Banish Daedra is basically only good for getting rid of Flame Atronachs, while Command Daedra can take most atronachs and have them fight for the user. Expel Daedra is capable of sending all atronachs back to Oblivion.
And that about wraps it up with it comes to Conjuration, but be sure to stay tuned so you can see how Enchanting can go hand in hand with Conjuration in my upcoming guide on everything Enchantment related.
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