Oblivion:Useful Spells

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Spell Making allows for a lot of freedom with magic in Oblivion, but making good spells requires some planning. A crafty spellmaker can combine the right effects to create very effective spells. Several examples are listed on this page. Spells and spell names here are only examples. For tips on custom spells to make specifically for training a skill, see each individual skill's page, under "Skill Increases".

Adding your own spells[edit]

If you feel you have a spell that should be in the list, you can add it. But please take into consideration that there is no room to list every useful spell, there are countless combinations of spells and many of them are useful. Because of this, we have some general guidelines we would like you to follow when adding your own spell.

  • Spells placed here should not be too obvious. Simply combining a few powerful effects is not a good idea, but instead show a new technique or gimmick that would not normally be noticed.
  • Explain how the spells works, and why it is useful, in its description and give a good name to that spell. Try to choose a name that is descriptive, rather than one that sounds cool. ("Mega-Bomb" or "Powerstrike" do not give you much information about what the spell will do.)
  • Make sure that this spell works as you have described it.
  • Do not add spells that exploit glitches.
  • Check if the spell is cost effective. Spells that require a very high skill level or an excessive amount of Magicka to cast generally are not effective.

Generally Useful[edit]

Lavacross[edit]

This spell is very handy for quickly and efficiently trekking through many of the Oblivion worlds. The "lava" encountered in Oblivion actually works just like water, except of course that it does damage over time. This means that a water walking spell can let you run and jump off the surface. The fortify spells increase the height and length of your jump. The restore health is obvious.

Light-Jump[edit]

This spell lets you jump a lot higher than you would normally be able to. The Feather effect allows you to move faster, and jump higher, as your encumbrance is a much lower percentage than it normally is. The Fortify Acrobatics obviously lets you jump higher as well. This spell is really useful when a fort entrance is blocked by creatures that you won't be able to kill, as it allows you to jump right over walls to the entrance. If there are a lot of hostile creatures, you can include a Chameleon or Invisibility effect to ensure you aren't seen.

Skeleton Key[edit]

Allows you to break into any house without being seen.

Unbreakable Repair Hammer[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 22; No skill level requirement.

Allows you to repair all your items without using up a single repair hammer in the process, allowing you to carry only one everywhere you go, provided that you will cast this spell before repairing. Take note that using this spell will not grant you the ability to repair magical items and/or repair your items past 100 if you are not yet a Journeyman and/or Expert in Armorer, respectively.

Equus Aquaticus (Water Horse)[edit]

This spell allows your horse to run across water instead of swimming. Since running is considerably faster than swimming for horses this allows you to navigate areas like the swamps of Leyawiin quickly.

Defensive Spells[edit]

Force Push[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 218; requires an Expert in Illusion.

A fun way to avoid a fight, most enemies will go flying across the map. (Note: you can trade Demoralize for Turn Undead to deal with Undead enemies. Such a spell has a base magicka cost of 145, requiring a journeyman in restoration.)

Hide in Plain Sight[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 228; requires an Expert in Destruction.

Cast this spell in the middle of a group of attackers, back away quickly and enter sneak mode. In most cases the attackers will lose track of you and break off combat. This effect is caused by the fact that if an NPC's Speed drops to 0, they are unable to target enemies beyond touch range (even if they have ranged magic) and are dropped back to a non-combat state. Be aware that casting this spell will be considered an assault on all NPCs within range.

Stun Grenade[edit]

  • Paralyze in x ft for 3 seconds on Target

Requires a Master in Illusion.

If you prefer Illusion to Destruction , it's best for you to create this spell instead of the similar "Hide in Plain Sight" version. Here's how it works... Simply cast it on the ground (it won't work on ceilings, walls, columns, etc) and every foe in the radius area will be disabled for 3 seconds, like a real Flashbang would do: this will give you the time to gain some distance (especially if you're a fast guy) and to eventually hide behind something (the enemy won't find you, especially if you're a very sneaky hero). I suggest you to choose a radius of 50/55 ft, but you might want to choose a lower value because of the high magicka cost. Alternatively, reducing the duration to 1 second can be surprisingly useful: enemies require an additional second to get up after paralysis, thus giving an efficient 2 seconds of control at 1/3 of the cost. Warning: this is a 100% defensive spell, however, should it hit an NPC who didn't notice you, the in-game crime system will count the cast as an assault!

Perfect Shield[edit]

Boost from no armor to max armor for x seconds. This has been calculated to be the most efficient way to boost your AR the 85 points from zero to max. It costs a base 12.5 Magicka per second. At 100 alteration, it only costs 76 magicka for a 30 second spell, cheap enough for you to fully recharge the magicka cost of the spell before the duration is over. This spell is useful to maintain 100% spell effectiveness but it also works to pointlessly run around naked.

Recuperate[edit]

Take a break. Increased Willpower regenerates your magicka faster and you regain health while invisible. Great after a series of chain spells.

Spell of the Spelunker[edit]

Use this spell when exploring dungeons. Light allows you to see your path and any items or chests, and Detect life allows you to see and prepare for enemies beforehand. You can adjust the magnitudes for Light and Detect Life, use the values that works best for you. If you are a sneaky sort, replace the Light effect with Night Eye for x secs.

Offensive Spells[edit]

For details on creating reflect-proof spells, see the notes at Dispel.

Finish Him![edit]

This spell is rather useful on jumpy and annoying enemies. Cast this spell on an enemy and he will be paralyzed while you will get a dagger and full blade skill to quickly finish him in a few slashes while he can't defend himself or run away. Duration depends on how much magicka you have, but they should all be about the same amount of time.

Freeze![edit]

Requiring only a novice burden spell and 50 destruction to cast, this will stop an enemy dead in its tracks by crippling its strength and overburdening it so you have time to put some distance between it and yourself. Useful for mages who need to buy some time to set up another spell against a melee attacker. This effectively acts like paralysis except the target is still conscious. For higher levels, increase the duration or area effect to ensnare your helpless victims.

Friendly Fire[edit]

Can be used to reset detection of yourself, allowing multiple sneak attacks, or simply to make enemies fight one another. After starting a fight the enemies will fight to the death if you stay invisible, despite the command effect quickly wearing off. You may also want to add a damaging spell effect, so this can be used to attack as well, or a Silence effect, to prevent hostile NPC spellcasters from thinking they're out of combat and spamming heals on themselves.

Headshot[edit]

Ideally you should tailor the magnitudes of the spell to gain 100 Marksman and 100 Agility. Any more provides no added benefit. Cast this spell right before firing an arrow in Sneak mode. While the spell doesn't last long, it improves the damage dealt with the Sneak attack (which is multiplied) significantly. The damage is multiplied even more if you switch to a melee weapon (or fists) before the arrow hits the target. Be aware that casting a spell lights you up which may make it easier for enemies to detect you, but this can be avoided if you add the invisibility.

Neutralize[edit]

This spell allows you to stop an opponent from using whatever he or she wields. If an enemy comes at you with a sword or staff, this spell can stop them in their tracks, and repeated use can destroy their weapon altogether, forcing them to rely on Hand-to-Hand.

Predator[edit]

Requires at least an Apprentice in Destruction for this spell to be practical.

Choose the damage type according to preference; x should be chosen so that the total Magicka cost is 50 or less. As long as you keep casting the spell, your Magicka will never run out. Additionally, as long as you are still invisible while the spell hits, it will not count as assault; you will not gain any bounty, and your opponent will not attack, though they may flee or search for you. Simply keep casting continuously until your target is dead, and they'll never know what hit them.

Provoke[edit]

Destruction spell, it has no skill requirements.

A similar effect can be gained from any other hostile spell with a large area effect. The benefit of Weakness to Fire, Weakness to Frost, Weakness to Poison, and Weakness to Shock is that they have a minimal magicka cost (Usually magicka cost 1). This spell can be used to provoke creatures to attack you. It is useful in situations where you know there is an enemy around a corner up ahead and want to lure them to you rather than going to them... such as if there is a trap between you and your target or if the target is on a higher level that you can't jump up to. If the target is within range of the spot this spell hits then it will become hostile and move towards you.

Note that this works very differently from Frenzy. A target which is around a corner, up a level, or otherwise unaware of your location will not react to you at all if hit with a Frenzy spell. Likewise, if the target 'likes' you or is generally disinclined to attack then Frenzy may have no effect even if they can see you. The 'provoke' effect, on the other hand, is the equivalent of running up to every target within a 100 foot area and punching them in the face - you are initiating combat with them. Unless you have very high Chameleon and/or Sneak they will then know your location and come after you.

Righteous Blow[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 48; requires an Apprentice in Destruction.

If Turn Undead is the last effect you'll end up damaging the Undead creature and it'll run instead of fighting you. Just keep blasting away until it dies as it will never fight back.

Riot[edit]

  • Frenzy x ft for 60 secs on Target
  • Rally x pts for 60 secs on Target

Riot is most effective if you are invisible or have a 100% Chameleon spell. Its purpose is that whomever you cast this spell on, if you are invisible, they will attack anyone that is around them, except you, until they die, or the spell wears off. If you make someone attack a guard, even if the spell wore off, the guard will still continue to attack whomever you cast the spell on. It is recommended that Frenzy's area of effect is x > = 20, to ensure the mass chaos and effectiveness of the spell.

Shape of the Hunter[edit]

In front of your enemy's eyes, you shapeshift into a ferocious Clannfear! This spell confounds many enemies who will be quickly devoured without fighting back. Similar effects can be used to "shapeshift" into other Summoned creatures. This is as much a defensive as an offensive spell.

Slaughterhouse[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 134; requires a Journeyman in Destruction.

This spell is insanely powerful for a rapid one-two punch blitzkrieg in any area from mid-range to long-range for practically any difficulty mode. Follow through with another of this spell near a target, preferably at the ground next to the enemies as it automatically checks for a full 10 ft radius, and they collapse instantly. For only a total Magicka cost of 52, one can quickly clear any area full of enemies with health below 200 (which enemies have until a much higher level). One can add variation to this spell, such as additional elemental magic for a higher damage total at the second casting, or a wider radius. This spell, though, is ideal because of its very low total Magicka cost and this spell also renders many offensive spells obsolete.

Sleep Powder[edit]

This simple spell uses an overlooked area of magic to take advantage of the fact that when enough fatigue is drained from an enemy, that enemy will collapse on the ground until his/her fatigue has gone back up into positive numbers.

Once this spell is cast on an enemy, their fatigue will start to drain. Depending on your current level, you should adjust x and y accordingly.

An increase in x increases the speed of enemy collapsing, and should be anywhere from 50-100.
An increase in y decreases the spell cost (if y > x. The greater the difference, the lesser the cost), and should range from 3-10 seconds. Know however that a higher y value could result in having to cast the spell multiple times (which is still effective).
Note that fatigue regenerates at ten points per second, so the value x needs to be over 10 in order to be effective, also due to the slow casting speed y should be at least 2.
Z is a safety precaution, as you need to get up close and personal to use this spell. 2-3 seconds is fine.

Damage Fatigue for 50 points over 7 seconds costs 351 magicka to cast and requires mastery in destruction.

Soul Snatch[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 25, requires an Apprentice in Mysticism.

This spell will always successfully capture the soul of the killed target, and can also be used to instantly kill most enemies at early levels. Even at high levels when used as a finishing move, it is a significantly better option than a Damage spell because of its extremely low cost, and because it is safe to use even against enemies with Reflect Spell effects as long as you're careful.

  • The "maximum strength" version, at Drain Health 100, has a Base Magicka cost of 30 and requires an Apprentice in Destruction.

Static Burst[edit]

Shock spells move twice as fast, and Paralyze cancels any action the opponent is performing, whether casting a spell or performing a power attack. This combo is useful for any melee character. Against a single target, you can snipe targets from a distance (deer!), repeatedly cast and pin your quarry to the ground, or wait for an opening, cast, and hack away. If you add area (maybe 15ft) to the shock effect, provided it comes second, it may throw your opponents, since paralyzed opponents can be thrown by area spells.

Uppercut[edit]

Hit your victim with this spell combo and it will fall over, letting you hit it again and again with impunity. The Paralyze effect will make sure the victim stays down, effectively disabling it while you take it out with the damaging effects.

Optionally, an Absorb Fatigue or Restore Fatigue over time can be added to ensure your fatigue stays pristine while swinging away.

Vampiric Trance[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 380; requires an Expert in Restoration.

One problem with Absorb spells is that you must keep within close range of the target, giving them plenty of opportunity to attack you. By Calming the target at the same time, you can draw out as much Health as you can from the target in relative safety. Note that you will need 100% Spell Effectiveness to Calm a target above Level 25, precluding the use of armor.

Skill-Enhancing Spells[edit]

Bargaining[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 28; requires an Apprentice in Restoration.

Since no time passes in dialogue, you can take advantage from this by casting this spell right before starting to trade. You will be much better in haggling thanks to the Mercantile skill boost and the high Disposition. The Mercantile boost will also allow you to invest in a shop if you can't already.

If you lower the magnitude of Fortify Mercantile to 89 points, you will be able to cast this spell at a Novice level.

Blessing of the Gray Fox[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 133, requires a Journeyman in Illusion.

Simply crouch in front of the person you want to pickpocket an item from, cast this spell, and proceed. Although there is a slight chance you may be spotted, generally it works.

You can use the same concept when changing Sneak to Security. That way, you can safely open watched doors, and you will have a higher chance of successfully picking the lock as well.

Eloquence[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 46; requires an Apprentice in Destruction.

Cast this spell right before starting a conversation with an NPC.

High Speechcraft raises the "cap" on how high you can get an NPC's disposition with the persuasion mini-game. A low Personality gives a negative modifier while playing the mini-game, which means that once you have reached the maximum Disposition during the mini-game, the Disposition will rise even more once the Drain effect wears off.

Fortify Magic Skill[edit]

Requires at least an Apprentice in Restoration for this spell to be practical.

Depending on the magnitude, the cost of spells can be reduced down to a total of 0.2 times the base cost. Fortifying the skill counts towards reaching 100. This is particularly effective when you have a high Restoration skill, but your other magic skills are low. By casting the Fortify spell first, you will lower the cost of spells from the desired magic skill significantly.

Remedial Training[edit]

Destruction spell, it has no skill requirements.

Temporarily decrease your proficiency with a particular skill to deceive skill trainers into giving you lower prices and allowing the use of more convenient trainers at higher skill levels. A second or two duration and a high magnitude is sufficient. However, this technique does not work to allow quicker skill-ups; see Drain Skill. When the magnitude of this spell is 100, it removes training costs altogether, and completely eliminates the need for master trainers. Any trainer will train up while a skill is at 0, and for free.

This can also be used to get skills leveled above 100. When you are at level 100 or above, just cast this spell, train the skill you drained, then wait for the Drain effect to wear off. Be aware that increasing the skill level past 100 has no effect on gameplay for most skills; the only exceptions are Athletics and Acrobatics (see skill notes).

This spell's counterpart is also useful. You can initiate a Master Training quest by creating a Fortify Skill spell, with a short duration, powerful enough to use it right before talking to one of the advanced trainers. They will recognize your current skill level, and direct you to the Master Trainer (i.e. starting the quest). This can be helpful if you come across some of the items the Master Trainers ask for and you want to give them away immediately instead of holding onto them until your skill is high enough.

Note: this is patched by the unofficial patches on PC. The patches look at the character's skill mastery (journeyman, novice etc.) and not the character's skill level.

Speedy Travel[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 42; requires an Apprentice in Restoration.

This spell can be used in lieu of a horse. Cast it right before fast traveling. The game only takes your speed rating into consideration at the beginning of fast travel, not the duration of any effects you have active. If you find yourself Shadowmere-less (as she likes to wander off) or your horse is killed and you need to get somewhere fast, this spell will get you wherever you want in as little as half the normal time, depending on your base speed rating. This spell will not work if it is 'On Touch' and used on your horse. This is firstly because the game will only take the horse's speed into account for fast traveling if you are actually mounted at the time, and secondly because the game only takes into account the horse's walking speed for fast travel. So even if you made the spell last long enough for you to mount the horse and start fast traveling, your travel time would not be affected.

Travel Pass[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 21; no skill requirements.

This spell effectively raises your encumbrance by 600 points (with 100% spell effectiveness). Gather all your loot to one spot, pick it all up, cast this spell and fast travel to your town of choice. This works even though the spell will have worn off long before you reach your destination. The spell works since fast travel only checks your encumbrance at the current moment, and not at what it would be at the time you would reach your destination. It can be particularly effective if used in concert with other magic, such as the Redguard's Adrenaline Rush power, which adds another 250 points of encumbrance.

Special Effects[edit]

The following spells are not useful, but instead they let you play around with the game mechanics. If you wish to add your own idea here please make sure the idea is truly interesting for other readers.

Binoculars[edit]

Mysticism spell.

You won't need to actually cast this spell; just arm it. When you have a telekinesis spell armed and put the cursor over an item/NPC, you can see the interaction icon and caption for the item/person if they're in range of the spell. It's a good way to see who an NPC is and infer whether or not they're friendly without getting close. For some reason the caption with an NPC's name will flash (it won't do this with objects), so you might need to move the cursor around over them a few times until you see the info.

Detonation[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 68; requires a Journeyman in Destruction.

This spells will send all objects in the vicinity flying. The spell can actually be useful by rocketing away weapons from disarmed opponents, preventing them from picking their weapons up again. There is also a single quest that requires you to make a mess.

Flaming Sword[edit]

Destruction spell, requirements for Destruction skill depend on duration of spell.

The Disintegrate Weapon animation usually involves the victim's blade/sword (doesn't work with bows) being set on fire. As you can imagine when you cast this spell on yourself, your sword ignites. You must have your weapon equipped and unsheathed for this spell to work. Has no benefit apart from that it is fun. This spell will cause minimal damage to your weapon, as duration has no effect with disintegrate spells. Enchant your blade/sword with fire damage on strike to make this seem like the cause of your burning sword.

Light 'Em Up[edit]

  • Frost Damage 13 pts for 1 sec on Target.
  • Light 5 pts in 100 ft for 10 secs on Target.

Base Magicka cost: 38; requires an Apprentice in Destruction.

This spell demonstrates the fact that you can utilize Frost Damage to deliver a fog based effect of another kind, and that the radius of the effect is determined by that effect's radius, even though the visual effect of the spell is small, and determined solely by the Frost Damage effect. It also demonstrates that Frost Damage is delivered as a fog even if there is no radius applied to the Frost Damage. Note that the Frost Damage must be the dominant effect in the spell for this to work.

Lingering Chill[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 634; requires a Master in Destruction.

This spell acts as a trap. You can cast this spell on a random area and then wait around. If anyone walks into the area of your spell, they will instantly start taking damage. Useful for taking out allies (if need be) because it will inflict a lot of damage but only count as one attack, so as not to start a fight.

Locator (Taser Bomb)[edit]

Base Magicka cost: 71; requires a Journeyman in Destruction.

This spell will show you the locations of anything within 100 ft of your target by directing a lightning bolt at it. Also, it can be a useful spell if you decrease the area and increase the power.

Odd Little Trick (Auras)[edit]

A really odd spell that for some random reason, when cast, will produce the damage animation on the player for 120 seconds, though no damage is taken. Purely for entertainment, as this spell is utterly useless except for being quite fun to use. Note that some other spells, such as Weakness to Fire, work in a similar fashion, but have various bugs associated with them. The only minor bug with the above effects is that the shock animation sometimes disappears when you jump. Combine with Invisibility to have the spell effect occur apparently in mid-air.

This visual effect can stand at the base of various spells you want to give a dramatic appearance. For example, you can summon an entire set of Bound Armor, making it look like it has been formed out of fire. Simply add the desired Bound Armor effects to the spell.

The spell need not make contact with anyone to work successfully. Both the touch and target versions can be used anytime to generate the desired aura. Additionally, each spell is very cheap to cast (around 2-3 magicka). Though there are many spell effects that can be used, there are only a handful of visual effects that the spells share. For example, all "Weakness to" spells have the same appearance.