Best Skyrim Destruction Spells, Ranked

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s combat is fairly consistent. Different builds have different strengths and disadvantages, but almost all will agree that a magic build is the most versatile and adaptable playstyle. Each form of magic has a distinct emphasis, such as healing, summoning, defensive, or attack spells.

The Destruction school of magic has the most consistent damage-dealing spells in the series. While some mods bring a slew of new spells to the game, the base game already has plenty of powerful elemental spells that do fire, frost, and shock damage.

Each factor serves a purpose, with fire inflicting additional damage over time, frost exhausting stamina, and shock annihilating enemy Magicka. However, contrary to common opinion, the Destruction school’s most powerful spells aren’t always higher mastery levels, and some can be cast right away.

Flame Cloak


This wall of fire lasts 60 seconds, dealing 8 points of fire damage per second to enemies within range.

Since it fills the Dragonborn with a powerful aura of fire, this is better used for war mages and melee warriors. Damage isn’t great, so if the enemy is still on fire, they’ll take even more fire damage, which adds up quickly.

This spell is an Adept level 50 art, so it will take some time to master it, but it is well worth studying. Flame Cloak can be obtained by speaking with Faralda at the College of Winterhold.



This is a spell that can only be used by players who have activated the Dragonborn DLC. It’s a classic spell that uses the frost element’s inherent benefit to slow down attackers. Using this spell at close range can be destructive, particularly if the player’s follower is a high-damage tank character.

Freeze summons an ice spike that does a small amount of damage (20 points) to both the Health and Stamina pools. For 15 seconds, the opponent is now greatly delayed, making for an easy takedown.



Over time, fire damage is one of the most reliable types of damage in Skyrim. The ignite spell sends out a burst of flame to set targets on fire at a low cost. For a one-time cost of 30 Magicka, this spell pays off because you can set enemies on fire and then turn to more powerful spells as the fire does its job. This spell isn’t the strongest in the world, but it’s a valuable weapon for any enterprising fire mage.

Frost Cloak


This wall of ice, like the Flame cloak, lasts 60 seconds and keeps hitting with powerful frosty spells. It does the same amount of damage to all enemies in sight, dealing 8 points of damage per second. While this spell is easy, it is very powerful against melee monsters.

You can also speak to Faralda at the College of Winterhold about getting Frost Cloak, or you can get it from a Court Wizard if you pass level 50 in Destruction spells.

Icy Spear


The Icy Spear spell, which is identical to Freeze, is a Frost spell that becomes usable when the player achieves Expert level Destruction magic. It’s a spell that uses a lot more Magicka than Freeze, but the effects are well worth it.

Icy Spear does about 60 points of damage to an enemy’s Health and Stamina pools. It’s especially effective against opponents who rely on their Stamina pool to launch powerful attacks.



Flames is the first spell that any destruction mage can learn and use. This is the devastation spell that any early player could be using, with strong damage and the ability to set opponents on fire to inflict increasing damage over time.

Since the spell works by focus, it’s also very effective for crowds of enemies at higher levels. Holding the cast in one hand causes a relentless stream of fire to rain down on unprepared melee opponents, evaporating their health and returning them to Sovngarde.

Whirlwind Cloak


Since it has less of an elemental focus, this spell is the best option for destruction mages and melee warriors.

This cloak spell is similar to the two previous cloak spells in that it does similar amounts of damage and uses the same mechanics, with the exception that it will send the enemies flying into the air and build some actual space.

Casting this creates a vortex around the Dragonborn, scattering attackers. It’s an Adept-level talent that lasts 60 seconds. Once you’ve reached a standard where you can use it, you can buy it from Talvas Fathryon.

Wall of Flames


Area-of-effect spells are a lifesaver for mage characters while battling several enemies in a room. The player can gain access to a spell called Wall of Flames at the Expert stage of Destruction, which is an outstanding field denial spell.

The Wall of Flames must be cast on the floor, where it will create a flame-filled field. The wall does about 50 damage per second, which is a significant amount of damage against opponents that like to rush the player and play at close range.

Wall of Storms


Wall of storms is a high-level damage spell that can be very useful. Casting for 145 Magicka per second is a significant investment, but producing a wall of lighting that deals 50 points of shock damage to health and Magicka easily adds up.

With the potential to inflict massive quantities of shack damage to a large number of enemies, devastation casters should often consider using this spell, particularly when being pursued by unrelenting draugr or bandits.

Wall of Frost


This spell, like the Wall of Storms, is cast on the ground to build a literal frost wall.

This monster has a terrifying appearance and does 50 points of harm per second. This, like other related elemental spells, is better used in conjunction with another frost spell to increase the overall damage dealt.

It’s important to note that this isn’t something that goes away quickly. Simply pay approximately 130 Magicka per second that this wall is on the earth.

Faralda can provide you with the Wall of Frost, but you can also try your luck searching through chests for random loot. It’s not the best offensive destruction spell, but it’s a good one for balancing out the magic’s offense/defense structure.

Frost Rune


When an opponent approaches, this Magic Rune lays a pit on the ground that explodes. Consider it to be an ice landmine. This rune is widely recommended in comparison to the Lightning and Ash runes because it slows down opponents, making it perfect for a classic ambush.

These spell runes are best used to deal with enemies that are hibernating or encased behind locked doors. Everything you have to do now is cast it as close to the goal as possible and enjoy the ride.



Fireball has a range of over 15 feet and does 40 points of damage on everything it touches.

Once cast, you’ll unleash a massive firestorm on your foes. This is particularly useful for something vulnerable to flames. Even though this is a common devastation spell, use it with caution because it can even reach followers if you have someone on your side.

You must be level 40 in Destruction to obtain Fireball, and the spell tome can be purchased or obtained randomly in Black Falls Barrow.


maxresdefault-1965544Incinerate is a must-pick against any foe since it is a classic fire spell and the bread and butter of any fire mage specialized in Destruction spells. It’s only open to players at the Expert stage, making it a challenging spell to master.

Incinerate, on the other hand, is a potent fireball that deals around 60 points of damage. As is customary with the fire aspect, enemies that are affected can continue to burn and take damage over time.



As a rare master class spell, Blizzard is the most powerful frost magic spell in the game. Blizzard, which works similarly to a flame cloak but has a longer range, does 20 damage per second to any opponent who approaches the spell’s impact for the length of its 10-second duration.

To melee or other non-magic builds, the 200 damage over time can be a huge damage boost. This spell is particularly effective against large numbers of enemies or aggressive melee opponents that are likely to pursue the Dragonborn and remain beyond the blizzard’s range. When attacking with other spells or weapons, this is an excellent spell for dealing damage over time.

Chain Lightning


Area of Effect (AoE) abilities are best at quickly dispatching huge numbers of enemies. Chain Lightning stuns close rivals and bounces across the field, striking far away foes as well. This is good for dungeons with a lot of opponents, and it also does a lot of harm to enemy Magicka stats, so it’s good for battling groups of spellcasters.

As compared to the Icy Spear, accuracy isn’t as important because this thing can bounce around the room like a super ball if it misses one opponent. Plus, since this is an Adept-level talent that is easy to acquire, it’s worth picking up even at a low level.

Lightning Storm


Lightning Storm is similar to Flames in that it involves both hands and stops movement. It fires a powerful beam of electricity that inflicts 75 shock damage per second on enemies trapped in its crosshairs.

The damage of this spell is incredible, and it also reduces enemy Magicka values by half, making it a great choice against mages. Much better, regardless of bonuses, this spell will disintegrate enemies before it destroys them. This is the most enjoyable spell in Skyrim, but it lacks the area scope and ease of use that a master-level spell should have.

Fire Storm


The Dragonborn erupts in a 100-point flaming blast, causing huge damage to all enemies within range. This spell encapsulates all that fire magic is supposed to be. The closest opponents are to the Dragonborn, the more harm the spell does to them.

As the player charges into combat, this ensures massive damage to vast hordes of dragons. In general, the firestorm spell can make players feel unstoppable. Catching a skeever and obliterating it with this ridiculously strong fire explosion spell is the ultimate pleasure.

Christian Allen Tandoc
Christian Allen Tandoc
Christian Allen Tandoc is a frantic writer, blogger, and ghostwriter. He quit his office job as an Applications Engineer for the love of writing. When he’s not working, he’s either playing with his PS4 or his 1-year old daughter.

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