Morrowind:Useful Spells

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This page summarizes some useful spell effects for players either starting out or engaging in combat. Other related pages are:

Spells: All of the spells available in the game, as well as where they can be acquired.
Spell Effects: A complete listing of all spell effects, along with their relative costs.
Spellmakers: NPCs who can make custom spells from known spell effects.

Useful Spells for New Characters[edit]

Starting out, a super-powered spell isn't necessarily what you need. Going to a Spellmaker and making a custom, short-term, low-Magicka-cost version of a spell (you must already have a stock one of the same type) is often a better choice, as you're more likely to succeed casting it, will not run of out Magicka so fast, making repetitive casts will help raise the respective skill, and many of the stock spells last for longer than is typically useful. Also, several effects have better actual utility with a short-duration version. For example, if you're exploring along a coast using a long-duration Water Walking spell and you spot an underwater wreck you'd like to explore, or a cluster of Kollops that may hold valuable Pearls, then you will have to wait for the effect to wear off or spend more Magicka casting Dispel; a 1-Magicka-point, 11 second spell wouldn't have held you up so long. Similarly, a long-duration Levitation spell can keep you from being able to use Sneak to avoid enemies, or to use Rest to regain Health and Magicka, while also being frustratingly slow compared to walking. A 10 second Levitate is usually enough, except when exploring a tall area that requires a lot of flying.

  • Absorb Health – Tops off your health while damaging your foe.
  • Restore Strength – Recovers from the long-term negative effects of Greater Bonewalkers, without having to go to a healing shrine.
  • Turn Undead – Helps temporarily keep undead at bay, while tomb raiding. Driven back, they can be assaulted with ranged attacks.
  • Almsivi Intervention and Divine Intervention, as well as Recall (after a Mark) – Use as a spell, item, or scroll, these provide a quick retreat when you're out-matched. The intervention spells are also good for getting around: you are teleported to the closest Tribunal or Imperial Cult center, which may be quite some distance. It helps to learn and remember where they are.
  • Light and/or Night Eye – These help you see in the dark. They work best together, the first by creating a temporary light source radiating out from you (or the target), and the latter by raising the ambient light level in the whole area.
  • Water Breathing – Many caves contain treasure or passages underwater, and this will also help you dive for pearls off the coast.
  • Water Walking – Allows you to cross water much faster (at your land walking/running speed, which can be boosted in the normal ways), than by swimming or levitating. Standing on water is also safer, as creatures of both the land and sea cannot reach you; only Cliffracers can.
  • Levitation – There are many hills in Vvardenfell which are unscaleable without a high Acrobatics skill. Levitating over them will save you the time and effort of having to go around them, and it is safer and less costly that a powerful Jump spell followed by Slowfall. Be prepared to re-cast it (and factor in manual-spellcasting animation time) if you aren't certain you'll be back on the ground before the effect wears off. Levitation is also needed for getting into various places.
  • Summon – Generate a temporary ally to distract your foe and help you fight. Many summoned allies are immune to normal weapons, which makes them immune to the attacks of most creatures and many NPCs. You can even attack your own summon after the fight is over and Soultrap it, if you kill it before the summoning expires.
  • Bound Weapon and Armor spells – These provide temporary, weightless Daedric-quality gear, to help with fighting hard foes. Can also be used unarmed and unarmored, if you need to drop your usual gear to go back for a loot pile.

Visit Quest Rewards for a list of "free" spells.

Useful Spells for Combat[edit]

Other than the obvious attack spells, there are several tactical spell effects which can be very helpful in combat.

  • Blind – A good preliminary spell to use from a distance, particularly against archers or spellcasters, as it will keep them occupied until you can get in range.
  • Burden – Generally only useful in very large doses against opponents who are wearing heavy armor, as most opponents are not carrying nearly enough to become encumbered otherwise.
  • Calm – A sneaky way to stop opponents from fighting in order to gain a second chance at a sneak attack. Unlike most offensive spells, Calm is not resisted by creatures with magic resistance.
  • Command - A good way to get a few additional allies in a battle, if only for a little while. Also gives the non-Commanded creatures an additional target to attack instead of you.
  • Damage Attribute - Can cripple your opponents. Damaging your opponents' agility will have them falling over every time you hit them and struggling to block. Damaging your opponents' strength will reduce the damage they each deal and can lower the amount they can carry enough that they cannot move.
  • Demoralize – An enemy that's running away is an enemy that isn't attacking you. However, this can cause problems if they happen to run into town and start fights with the locals. Just hope the guards take them out for you.
  • Frenzy – A good way to initiate combat with a non-hostile target without being accused of a crime.
  • Levitate – A favorite of archers or spellcasters, as it gives you a perfect vantage point from which to attack your enemies while remaining out of reach. Be aware that many enemies who lack ranged attacks will flee if you levitate above their attack range. Also 1 point levitate on target with long duration makes them essentially run in place and can then be avoided.
  • Paralyze – Makes your opponents completely helpless. Be aware that some enemies, most notably vampires, are immune to paralysis, and most enemies have a small chance to resist it.
  • Silence – Invaluable against spellcasters, though you may want to use Paralyze instead. It costs the same and is equally effective in most cases.
  • Turn Undead – See Demoralize above. This is somewhat more useful, as undead are much less likely to be found near towns where they can cause trouble by running.
  • Water Walking – A good trick mostly for avoiding combat, as water-bound enemies can't attack you on the surface, and normally land-based enemies move very slowly in the water.