Skyrim conjuration

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Skyrim Conjuration Guide

Conjuration Spells List, Perks, Summons and Dead Thralls

By Leto Kersten

Conjuration is the art of summoning or resurrecting people to fight for you or work as a living shields. With Dead Thralls Conjurers can resurrect a dead NPC permanently. Not only can they be given gear to upgrade their damage, they also function as extra pack mules that can carry an unlimited amount of goodies. By raising the dead or summoning Atronachs, conjuruers can turn the tide of battle in a second. They can also conjure powerful bound weapons that can deal very respectable damage without the carry weight of a real weapon. This magic school also features the Soul Trap spell that allows you to fill soul gems to enchant your equipment or recharge magical weapons.

Be aware that playing with the dead is not appreciated by most common town folk and they often will call you out on that by saying things like: "That spell looks dangerous. Keep your distance" while you're walking through town with a Dead Thrall (or two).

Benefits of Training Conjuration
This school is mostly based on letting others fight for you, be it summoned Atronachs or risen zombies. Also, especially in the beginning of the game, some players use Bound Sword, Bound Battleaxe or Bound Bow in combat. The benefit of these weapons is that they don't have a carry weight, and the bow even gets free arrows while active. The conjured weapons are stronger than most that can be found in the beginning of the game.

The most powerful spell in Conjuration is with no doubt Dead Thrall, which can bring back one zombie permanently (two if you've invested in the Twin Souls perk), until it dies at which point you can bring it back again. And again. So long as they aren't disintegrated by lightning, there is no limit on how many times you can bring someone back. If you do not want to tinker with the dead, you can also learn spells to summon permanent Atronachs in the form of the Flame, Frost, and Storm Thrall spells. These cannot be outfitted with gear or used as pack mules, but are highly disposable so have their own advantages.

Raising the Conjuration Skill
Because Conjuration can be easily trained, it can be used like a few other skills to level up your character - even if it's just to have more perk points to spend on other things. Whenever you summon a bound weapon or a dead body to the land of the living, you are training Conjuration. In order to get experience for summoning creatures you need to be in combat, however. In addition to the initial cast experience, you will get a little experience for any damage your summoned creatures do. Leveling strictly through combat might take a while, so if you want to speed up the process I'd advise you to cast Soul Trap on a dead body repeatedly while using the blessing of the Mage Stone. You can push this further by applying four +25% Fortify Conjuration enchants to your equipment to cast the spell without having to wait for your Magicka pool to replenish. If mana's a problem, cast then wait over and over again to raise the skill.

Finding Conjuration Spell Books and Master-Level Spells
Conjuration spells can be found as loot like most others. Some races, like the Wood Elf and Breton start with the spell Summon Familiar right from the start of the game. Calcelmo from Markarth or Falion from Morthal can both teach you conjuration, but the master is Phinis Gestor from the College of Winterhold, who can teach you the highest level spells with a quest at level 90. Afterward, he will sell the rest of the Master spells - so check back! Almost all other mages who sell a variety of spells will sell Conjuration spellbooks as well. Look inside Jarl Houses. Most of them have a court wizard who can sell you a book or two.

The Dead Thrall Spell
This spell earns a special note as being one of the best Master level Conjuration spells: it will reanimate a dead body to fight for you constantly, although it only works on people. It can be purchased from Phinis Gestor at the College of Winterhold after completing the quest Conjuration Ritual Spell.

A Dead Thrall will use any weapon you give them, no matter what enchantment that particular weapon has. Depending on their skills when they were living some work better with swords and others with bows. It might be obvious that a Dead Thrall mage doesn't need a weapon though they may fight with one if you give it to them.

To change the weapons (and armor) of a Dead Thrall they must be killed again. Either kill them or summon another creature to let them die, and you can search their bodies for the armor you want to enchant or smith to a higher quality. Unlike followers, a Dead Thrall will benefit from most enchantments you give them.

Be aware, however, that Dead Thralls only use armor or clothing they used while living. That means that placing your own overpowered Daedric Armor has no effect if your Thrall wasn't equipped with one while being alive. That said, they will only accept that particular armor they were wearing and nothing else. Because of the way Skyrim is coded, they do see the difference between their own orcish armor and the one you're giving them. Because of that it is a good idea to change the name of the armor when enchanting it to something which includes the name of the Dead Thrall.

Depending on your thrall you still have a limited amount of armor your thrall can choose from. There is a trick to determine which armor they have, which can also be used to reset their gear if you lose something or need to put more powerful enchants on it. Go inside one of your houses and kill the Dead Thrall, loot his body and bring him back to life. Then, when you enter a new area (go outside) your naked Thrall will have generated a new outfit. You can kill him again and repeat the process before going back into the house (entering a new area again) to see what more he loaded. Mages will come with a different amount of robes which are already enchanted, so it is up to you which one they might put to best use. If a Thrall is then loaded with gear, he can wear it so you can outfit him in the best possible gear this way.

Whenever you have upgraded or enchanted the armor and weapons of your thrall, simply kill them again, loot their bodies, and place the new gear into the corpse. When risen again, their improved armoury should be equipped. Doing this, you also can use your thralls to be another pack mule for you as they cannot be overencumbered. When they die, they will have what they were carrying so can be resurrected after you store or sell the gear from their body.

If you have the perk Twin Souls you can have two Dead Thralls to fight at your side. Thrall the best enemies and equip them with their best upgraded armor while healing them from a distance in battle. This can provide you with the ultimate living shields in game.

It is also possible to start your own little army be using the follower glitch to have 4 followers (three if you've killed Cicero during the Dark Brotherhood quest line), 2 Dead Thralls, one horse and one dog with all (except the animals) wearing your equipped armor and weapons. You will find yourself having more time in dungeons searching for treasure while your "Army of Destruction" is cleaning out the room for you. Be aware that it can become pretty crowded in small rooms and you might find yourself having a Thrall (or two) blocking the entrance to the next. Ancient Dragons can be slain in seconds this way. This might make the game too easy for you even on Master Difficulty.

It is worth noting that the chance of bringing someone back to life in some cases depends on your level. This mainly applies to named NPCs. For example, if you are below level 30 and have just finished the Civil War quest line on the Imperial side, you can Dead Thrall Ulfric Stormcloack, and he will use his shouts during battle and talk as though he is alive. He can't be thralled again after you've passed level 30, as it will say he is too powerful.

Some unique characters such as Ulfric and Cicero can be looted for their unique outfits over and over using the noted strategy above to regenerate their outfit. That is one easy money maker.

Skyrim Conjuration Spell List

Here is a list of all the Conjuration spells in Skyrim by type, from least to most difficult. Please note Magicka cost is base. That is, what the spell would cost if you were casting it at lowest level without any perk for that spell rank (ie Expert Conjuration Perk).

The spells at any magic vendor are based on your Conjuration level, so if you want Adept or Expert spells get closer to Conjuration 50 or 75. Vendors restock every two days or so on average. Anything Expert or above must come from Phinis Gestor at the College of Winterhold.

Regular Summons
Spell NameSkill LevelMagickaSpell Description
Conjure FamiliarNovice107Summons a spirit wolf to fight your enemies for 60 seconds. Rather weak but good for training in combat.
Conjure Flame AtronachApprentice150Summons a Flame Atronach for 60 seconds. They are ranged fighters weak to ice but immune to fire.
Conjure Flaming FamiliarApprentice57A suicidal Familiar that explodes for decent damage. A good spell for training as he essentially acts as a homing missile. You get this spell as a reward for 'A Scroll For Anska' that can be started at High Gate Ruins directly east of Solitude or NNE of Morthal.
Conjure Frost AtronachAdept215Frost Atronachs are melee fighters with a lot of HP that make great tanks, at least against anything not wielding fire!
Conjure Storm AtronachExpert322Storm Atronachs cast Storm Cloak to do nearby damage and will cast Chain Lightning as well.
Conjure Dremora LordExpert358Dremora Lords are melee and have flaming swords. This does work with Twin Souls.
Summon Unbound DremoraMaster100This is the reward for the Conjuration Ritual Quest from Phinis at Winterhold College. The real reward in my opinion is the ability to buy the other four spells, as this one is impractical. It relies on you being at the Atronach Forge under the University in order to Summon the Dremora.
Flame ThrallMaster1000This makes a permanent Flame Atronach, which is no more powerful than usual but benefits from your perks all the same.
Frost ThrallMaster1100Same with Frost.
Storm ThrallMaster1200Same with Storm.

Atronachs can be handy when you are facing something weak to any of these elements. The most common weakness is Fire, given the game has frost dragons, frost trolls, etc. Not many opponents are weak to cold, but I summon the Frost Atronach when I need a tank. Storm Atronachs are only strong against things like Dwemer machines, but they are not usually resisted.

Raising The Dead
Spell NameSkill LevelMagickaSpell Description
Raise ZombieNovice103Reanimates a weak dead body (does not have to be human) to fight for you for 1 minute.
Reanimate CorpseApprentice144Same as above, only raises higher level bodies.
Dread ZombieExpert302Same, now affecting most corpses.
Dead ThrallMaster1000Works on humanoids, resurrects them permanently.

The Necromage Perk from Restoration will make your raised NPCs 25% higher level, which can make them stronger than they were originally!

Other Spells
Spell NameSkill LevelMagickaSpell Description
Bound SwordNovice93Creates a bound 1 handed sword in the hand you cast with. Can be dual-wielded.
Bound BattleaxeApprentice169Makes a Bound Battleaxe for 2 minutes.
Bound BowAdept207Makes a Bound Bow for 2 minutes.
Soul TrapApprentice107If your target dies within 1 minute of being hit, it will fill the smallest availble soul gim it will fit inside. Be careful as this can lead to petty souls inside grand soul gems. A great spell for leveling.
Banish DaedraAdept196Send low-level summoned Daedra back to their plane, gives no corpse.
Expel DaedraExpert215Send higher-level summoned Daedra back to their plane. Again, no corpse.

To dispel all bound weapons, sheathe them. The Daedra spells work on Flame, Frost and Storm Atronachs you encounter which when summoned by an enemy can still yield loot.

Skyrim Conjuration Skill Perks

To fill up this tree to the max the Dragonborn needs to invest 16 points, but depending on your build you may not need them all. For example: to 'just' be able to use Death Thralls all you need to do is spend 4 points in this tree from Novice Conjuration through Necromancy and Dark Souls up to Twin Souls. With the right enchantments, this spell can be cast for free as well.

Just like any other magical school Conjuration has five specific perks that can be used to cast Novice, Apprentice, Adept, Expert and Master spells for half Magicka. If you need this depends on your build, and on if you are willing to use enchantments on your characters clothing instead to cast Conjuration spells for nothing.

Below are the names of the Perks, the descriptions the game gives them and what they do for your character.

Conjuration Dual Casting
(level 20 Conjuration Magic required)
Dual casting a Conjuration spell overcharges the effect, allowing it to last longer. This is great for everything you will summon, be it creatures or weapons. You will get a much longer duration out of most of your spells. Summoning for a regular fight, you might want to single cast if you have no means to heal your summoned creature. Being a Necromage Vampire (see Restoration guide) overcharges this effect even more.

Mystic Binding
(level 20 Conjuration Magic required)
Bound weapons do more damage. In the early game this might be a very good perk to invest in. The Bound Bow can be used to take an early step into the Bow Conjurer strategy, but be aware that depending on the perks invested in Archery and smithing, eventually real bows can do more damage. That doesn't mean you couldn't be perfectly successful sticking with Bound Weapons for most if not all of your gameplay.

Soul Stealer
(level 30 Conjuration Magic required)
Bound Weapons cast Soul Trap on targets. Once again, effective as a Bow Conjurer. You shoot the target whose soul you'd like to collect (you need to have empty Soul Gems of sufficient size) and your minions will take care of the rest. Despite the enchantment and spell that also traps souls, the effect from this weapon doesn't seem to have a duration and lasts until the target's demise.

Oblivion Binding
(level 50 Conjuration Magic required)
Bound weapons will banish summoned creatures and turn raised ones. This perk is very useful when facing another Conjurer but you do not face them that often, so most builds can skip this.

Summoner (2 ranks)
(level 30/70 Conjuration Magic required)
Can summon Atronachs or raise undead (twice/three times) as far away. Handy for the sneaky Conjurer. Just hide in a corner and do your job.

(level 40 Conjuration Magic required)
Double duration for conjured Atronachs. Not that useful except as a prerequisite for Elemental Potency and Twin Souls.

Elemental Potency
(level 80 Conjuration Magic required)
Conjured Atronachs are 50% more powerful. Does exactly what the description says and is quite helpful for keeping Atronachs useful later into the game.

(level 40 Conjuration Magic required)
Greater duration for reanimated undead. Raised undead will last longer.

Dark Souls
(level 70 Conjuration Magic required)
Reanimated undead has 100 points more health. This bonus is lost when you use enchanted items on Dead Thralls. Since those are permanent anyway, you do not really need this perk or the double duration for Necromancy late into the game. Consider whether you need these to help you level. Having stronger Atronachs to do extra elemental damage when leveling is likely more useful as they do not require dead bodies.

Twin Souls
(level 100 Conjuration Magic required)
You can have two Atronachs or Two reanimated zombies. That is exactly what makes the Dead Thrall spell double its value, literarily. It's worth noting that this spell does affect the Conjure Dremora Lord spell, so you can use it along with your Atronachs or Thralls.

Conjuration Battle Strategies

Conjurer: The Conjurer uses his minions to fight for him and uses them as his pack mules. He often has Perks invested in Sneak as well to backstab the enemy from behind when they have no time spending attention to him. Or, he uses his minions to avoid combat all together. Know that for a Pacifist, Conjuration is not an option, as everything your minions kill does count to your Combat list.

Bow Conjurer: The strategy of doing a lot of damage and receiving less or even none of it. The Bow Conjurer is just like the average conjurer but, like the name implies, he will shoot the enemy with arrows from afar. What makes this even better: the Bound Bow does benefit from perks and levels from both the Archery skill as well as the Sneak skill and can turn a Bow Conjurer who is hard to reach into a very difficult opponent. Especially if he's constantly sneaking away with Muffle and Invisibility spells. At a high level the usefulness of the Bound Bow can even outride that of a Legendary Daedric Bow, though it will not be enchantable. The perks (see above) for bound weapons can make up for this for most Bow Conjurers.

Supporter: The Supporter is like a monk or healer himself, who constantly heals his (often tank) thralls during battle. Wearing armor that reaches the Armor Cap,and having a lot of health and enchantments to reduce Magicka cost for Restoration is recommended.

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Skyrim Mage Skills - how to max Destruction, Conjuration, Restoration, Illusion, and Alteration

Mage Skills in Skyrim, despite being utterly essential to Magicka-based classes and character builds, are some of the hardest to level up. For the most part, that's because they simply aren't used often enough: one Alteration skill use for some Mage Armor before combat, when Alteration doesn't level any faster than a multi-use school like, say, Destruction, means your level's going to increase at an absolute crawl.

Fortunately, now that you have maximum level Enchanting - you did read our Power-Levelling guide and Crafting Skills guide, right? - all of the below skills which require magicka to cast are much easier to power-level. Unlock all of the Perks for 'Enchanter', 'Corpus Enchanter', and 'Insightful Enchanter' and enchant yourself a set of armor or clothing - head, hands, chest and feet - which has the enchantment of 25% reduction in magicka cost for the skill you have in mind. With all four pieces combined, you'll be able to cast spells for free in that school, meaning you can infinitely cast them for power-levelling.

Below, we take you through the best, most efficient ways to spam your spells for levelling each school of magic.

The fastest way to level Alteration, Conjuration, and Destruction

How to reach level 100 Alteration

With the 100% magicka cost reduction enchantment mentioned above, there's a very easy way to get this skill to maximum level.

  • Cast the Telekinesis spell on a random item, and whilst holding down the cast button, fast-travel to the furthest possible point on the map. Because the game processes your journey to the new location as if you've been travelling there on foot, and because your magicka now never runs out, it will massively level up your Alteration skill, thinking you've been casting Telekinesis for hours of in-game time.
  • If this mini-glitch doesn't work for you, you can also simply dual-cast the spell on an item and leave your triggers held down for several hours, and you'll have been levelling up the entire time manually.

How to reach level 100 Conjuration

Conjuration is very slow to level up organically, but fortunately it's pretty fast to power level.

  • Simply cast Soul Trap on either a corpse (of any NPC, even creatures) or the ever-durable mount Shadowmere, who is obtained via the Dark Brotherhood questline. It's a rapid way to level, although it's also considered a bug by some.
  • Alternatively, you can continuously use the spell Bound Weapon whilst in combat. Pick a fight with something easy to avoid, like Slaughterfish, and stay nearby. You can resummon the weapon as soon as you hear the noise it makes on activating the spell, making it very easy to repeat at high speed.

How to reach level 100 Destruction

Another fairly easy one to level, Destruction can also be combined with Restoration when used against foes like Shadowmere which won't turn hostile, but can be healed.

  • Shadowmere's the victim again here, as simply dual-casting Destruction spells on the indestructable horse (or any other indestructable or 'essential' character which won't turn hostile) is the fastest way to grind it to maximum.
  • Destruction's XP yields depend on both the base cost of the spell and the damage inflicted on the target, and therefore changing the difficulty won't actually affect your XP yields either way.
Skyrim: What's new in the Special Edition and gameplay guides

Want more help with Skyrim? Find out how to join every guild and faction, how to earn Gold fast, learning about XP and levelling to 100, max Crafting skills, max Warrior skills, max Thief skills and max Mage skills, how to get married, where to buy a house, how to start Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLC expansions. If you're on PC, we have a list of console commands and cheats, and you can learn about the remastered version and how to install mods with our Skyrim guide. Finally, with Switch owners, we have Skyrim amiibo support explained to help unlock special Zelda-themed items.

The fastest way to level Illusion and Restoration

How to reach level 100 Illusion

There are a couple of ways to very quickly level Illusion, particuarly with the above enchantments fortifying the skill.

  • Firstly, you can cast Rally on NPCs without turning them hostile, meaning that spamming it in heavily-populated areas is a fast way to level. Second, you can also cast Rout and Pacify on a single enemy, equipping one spell to each hand.
  • As noted on the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages wiki, it's often wise to cast it on someone in an enclosed space, to avoid a bounty and stop them from moving away whilst you spam your spells.

How to reach level 100 Restoration

You'll need to actually heal damage to level your Restoration skill, meaning you can't simply run about healing yourself when already at full health. Some methods we've encountered include:

  • Dual-casting the Alteration spell Equilibrium, which converts your health into magicka, with a strong Restoration spell.
  • You can also use Shadowmere once again, by damaging her with destruction in one hand and healing with another.
  • Restoration can be combined well with Heavy or Light Armor skill levelling, as you can take damage from enemies at a similar level to your character and continuously heal at the same time.
  • Dwemer Ruins often house flamethrower traps, which deal continuous damage which can be healed infinitely with Restoration, as does the wind in certain areas by High Hrothgar.
  • It's also possible to repeatedly cast spells such as Circle of Protection and Guardian Circle anywhere - although they give you more experience if anything classed as undead (including you and followers if you're vampires, for instance) is inside the circle.
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Skyrim: Top 15 Conjuration Spells

Plenty of spells exist within Skyrim, granting unique bonuses and playstyles based on the school of magic. Out of all of the magic schools present, nothing can provide what Conjuration can. This school focused on manipulating the dead is key for enchanters and mages alike.

RELATED: Skyrim: Top 15 Quest Mods, Ranked

Conjuration allows you to summon nearly anything you can think of. You can summon bears, Atronachs, and even Daedric Lords to fight alongside you. Past that, manipulating the dead is also a key component of Conjuration, allowing you to create your own permanent thralls or entrap enemy souls into soul gems. Here are the 15 best Conjuration spells you can use in Skyrim.

Updated December 25th, 2020 by Charles Burgar: Now that Skyrim is on Xbox Game Pass, a surprising amount of people are getting into the franchise for the first time. Mages, warriors, or thieves, Skyrim allows you to play in any way you see fit. A major contributor to the game's open-ended playstyles lies in the various perks and spells that inhabit the sandbox. Conjuration has some of the most interesting spells in the game that nearly every playstyle can take advantage of. We have added five additional Conjuration spells to this list for players that are looking to push Conjuration to its limits or want to mix up their playstyle.

15 Reanimate Corpse

Reanimate Corpse would have you believe that it's limited to human corpses but that isn't true. You can resurrect anything from bandits to bears. The general applicability of this spell makes it fantastic.

You can animate most humans and animals with this spell, keeping them as a thrall for 60 seconds. Want a bear to maul enemies for you? Reanimate a bear before combat. You can't use this on horses, sadly, but the wide variety of things this spell can reanimate makes it a fantastic Conjuration spell, especially for an Apprentice level.

14 Command Daedra

While daedric enemies are rather rare in Skyrim, especially compared to past entries, being able to control one at will is incredibly strong.

This works on not just dremora enemies, but it also works on atronachs too. When you enter a dungeon and fight a flame or frost atronach, consider using this spell to attempt to control them. If it fails, the enemy will get stunned, giving you time to retreat or try again. This is a great spell you can use to turn the tide of battle.

13 Conjure Ash Guardian

Ash Guardians are static turrets that deal massive damage through ash-related abilities. These Ash Guardians can devastate enemies in narrow corridors or melee opponents that close the gap.

Note that the Ash Guardian needs a Heart Stone in order to be non-hostile with you. That said, it can work as an excellent distraction if summoned mid-fight regardless of having a Heart Stone. Since this weapon is bound to a rune, it does not impede on your summoning limit. Overall, this late-game Conjuration spell is a solid way to output some extra damage during a short-range fight.

12 Conjure Flaming Familiar

Flaming Familiar act as homing Fireballs, running towards enemy targets before detonating in a large area. Considering that this is only an Apprentice spell that costs 57 Magicka, it's surprising just how versatile this spell is.

It can be used in the early-game to kill bandits and other creatures to make leveling with Conjuration a little bit easier. During the mid to late-game, it can also be used as a means of weakening targets unaware of your presence since the explosion does not alert enemies.

11 Summon Arniel's Shade

Arniel's Shade is one of the most underrated Conjuration spells in Skyrim. This spell summons an ethereal version of Arniel from the College of Winterhold for 60 seconds, allowing him to reign fire and lightning onto enemy targets from a distance.

RELATED: Skyrim: Every Useful Glitch And How To Take Advantage Of Them

The main use of this spell is for Arniel to tank damage for you. His ethereal form is immune to most forms of physical and poison damage, making him a perfect meat shield while leveling your character. His damage output isn't bad considering how early you can obtain this spell.

10 Summon Arvak

Not every summoned creature needs to kill enemies, however. Arvak is a special steed you can ride on to cross the large open world of Skyrim, provided you finish this obscure Soul Cairn questline for an NPC.

While this spell technically has a 60-second duration, Arvak will not despawn if you are actively riding him. This means that this spell will summon a rideable mount for you whenever you need it, lasting as long as you need it. The questline is rather simple, requiring players to find the horse's skull and return it to its owner. Once that's done, you can now summon this horse whenever and wherever you are.

9 Conjure Wrathman

Wrathman are special enemies you can find in the Soul Cairn, added in the Dawnguard DLC. These enemies are formidable to fight against, so of course you can summon them.

These enemies look over the watchtowers and have a massive health pool. You can use this to your advantage and have the Wrathman tank attacks for you. You can further improve its power by grabbing various Conjuration perks, improving its health pool and damage.

8 Flame Thrall

For a Master level spell, Flame Thrall seems weak at first glance. This spell grants the player a permanent Flame Atronach, although it counts as your total summoned camp.

In practice, this is a lot stronger than you'd think. Flame Atronachs deal significant damage with their fireballs and ranged attacks. Unlike normal Flame Atronachs, however, this variant can use the Flames spell for short-range engagements.

7 Conjure Frost Atronach

Frost Atronachs are nigh-immortal due to their high HP of 1,667. These Atronachs can stand in front of dragons with little regard for their safety.

Of course, that makes Frost Atronachs perfect frontline minions for any mage. Even non-Conjuration mages can take advantage of the Frost Atronach's survivability by having enemies focus on damaging it first. Summoners, spellswords, and any mage leveling Conjuration should obtain this spell as soon as they can.

6 Bound Sword

Bound Sword is an excellent spell for getting you out of a tight situation in a pinch. This spell summons a Daedric Sword for you to use for two minutes.

RELATED: Skyrim: Every Combat Mistake You’re Probably Making

While it uses your Conjuration spell to summon it, using it to kill enemies levels your one-handed skill. You can use this to power level both perk trees, or simply use it on more range-focused characters when you need to fend off melee enemies when bows aren't an option.

5 Soul Trap

Soul Trap doesn't summon minions, nor does it create a weapon for you. What good could it possibly be then? This spell single-handedly allows enchantments to work on your weapons.

Soul Trap will apply an effect on the target for two minutes. If you can kill them during that duration, their soul will be trapped in a soul gem you own, provided you own a soul gem large enough. Soul gems are needed to enchant gear and recharge weapon enchantments, something vital for any mage. Without this spell, you will have a hard time using the strongest items Skyrim has to offer.

4 Frost Thrall

Compared to the Conjure Frost Atronach spell, Frost Thrall lasts an indefinite amount of time at the cost of an absurd Magicka cost of 1,100 to summon one.

That large Magicka cost is more than worth it; a permanent Frost Atronach will prove itself useful by taking copious amounts of damage while dealing a reasonable amount of melee damage to targets. This is an objectively better version of the Conjure Frost Atronach spell, making this a must-have for any mages.

3 Bound Bow

Conjuration includes things beyond summoning minions. Bound Bow does exactly what it says: it summons a Daedric Bow with arrows for you to use for two minutes.

While it only scales its base damage through the Mystic Binding perk, having a daedric bow on command is incredibly useful. It also comes with 100 ethereal arrows, letting you fire almost indefinitely during its duration. If you are a melee character or summoner, this can be fantastic in situations where you need to kill something from a distance. Those that want to level quickly can also use Bound Bow to level Sneaking, Archery, and Conjuration simultaneously.

2 Conjure Dremora Lord

Daedra are the most interesting enemies in The Elder Scrolls series. Their intimidating appearance and awesome looking armor make them a sight to behold.

You can tame one of these daedric soldiers by using the Conjure Dremora Lord spell. It summons a Dremora Lord for a minute, complete with daedric armor and a greatsword. They lack range damage, but if you have an enemy charge you, this Dremora Lord will chop them down in a hurry. There are few better bodyguards than a Dremora Lord.

1 Dead Thrall

Have you ever wanted to create your own personalized zombie? Dead Thrall is the best Conjuration spell you can use in Skyrim thanks to how much customization you can do.

This thrall inherits any items on it when it died, so you can gear your thrall out with the best items you can find. Want to have a tanky meat shield with full daedric gear? Give him a daedric set and resurrect them! The person you resurrect can also inherit abilities that NPC used. For example, resurrecting Estormo from "The Staff of Magnus" questline will use his signature Lightning Bolt spell. If you are alright with giving good gear to your thrall, this is the best Conjuration spell you can use in Skyrim.

NEXT: Skyrim: How To Get Infinite Stamina Without Mods


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Skyrim - Top 5 Conjuration Builds

Skyrim: Everything You Need To Know About Conjuration Magic

All of the magical skills in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can be a great deal of fun to play around with. Regardless of one's preferences for the arcane, there is always something to be found within The Mage playstyle's six core skills that can enhance a playthrough, or even make for an interesting challenge run. Conjuration is one that focuses on summoning allies and ethereal weapons as well as manipulating souls for one's own gain.

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With so much of this school of magic pertaining to dealing with creatures from other planes of existence and death, this playstyle is better suited for the Dragonborn unafraid of delving into the darkest parts of this Elder Scrolls game. There are tons of interesting facts about this skill that players have learned since Skyrim's release; many of which can be useful to those interested in Conjuration-heavy playthroughs, experienced mages in this field reflecting on past summonings, or those simply needing a laugh at some of exploitable mechanics players can abuse.

10 Summoning

The most famous spells in Conjuration have to do with calling an ally from another dimension to aid in battle. Players can summon a variety of different creatures, such as spectral wolves with Conjure Familiar. The Dragonborn can also gain the assistance of far larger and more powerful minions.

The mightiest of which are the three variations of atronach as well as Dremora lords. These can be summoned with the respectively named Conjuration spells. It should also be mentioned that spells exist that allow players to banish enemy summons, such as Expel Daedra. This can be handy in a fight against rival conjurers.

9 Ethereal Weapons

As some of the most interesting armaments, "Bound" weapons are those that players can use Conjuration spells to coalesce into existence temporarily. They are composed of wavering, translucent blue energy and come in many varieties. There are sword, battleaxe, and bow versions of this spell.

The most useful is Bound Bow since it grants the player a ranged weapon with infinite ammunition, albeit for only a couple of minutes at a time. However, in the time it takes for the bound weapon to dissipate, the Dragonborn will surely have recovered all Magicka by then, making this one of the most cost-efficient methods for ranged assaults.

8 Manipulating The Dead

Of the three main branches of Conjuration, this one is the most macabre. After slaying foes in combat, the Dragonborn can reanimate their corpses once each with spells like Raise Zombie to attack remaining enemies with their fallen brethren.

The most functional aspect of these kinds of spells outside of combat pertains to another of the skills that fall under The Mage constellation: Enchanting. To enchant items, one needs souls as fuel, though they must be contained within soul gems to be useable. Casting the Soul Trap spell on a target before killing them will siphon their life into an appropriately sized gem, though the player must be carrying empty soul gems for this to work properly.

7 Where To Find The Best Resources

Understandably, the best place for Conjuration spell tomes and quests is the College of Winterhold. Phinis Gestor, the Conjuration instructor, sells plenty of relevant books and can also be spoken with to unlock the quest that leads to him gaining master tier Conjuration spell tomes to sell. He is also a master in these arts and can teach the Dragonborn a lot about summoning and soul trapping adversaries.

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South of both the college and the town of Winterhold, players can find a grand shrine atop a peak. This one is dedicated to Azura, the Daedric Prince of dawn and dusk. Speaking with the sole priestess there, Aranea Ienith, will allow the Dragonborn to start the quest "The Black Star", which leads to a reusable soul gem capable of housing the largest specimens.

6 Master Tier Spells

After completing Phinis' quest and unlocking the master tier spells, players can enjoy summoning a permanent atronach with the corresponding "Thrall" spell to one's side that will last until they die. Thankfully, they can be resummoned, making these elemental beings some of the most convenient of the powerful ally-summons.

There is another master rank spell, however, and it is aptly called Dead Thrall. Much like the atronach thralls, this is a permanent spell. One that raises a dead body until it is defeated and crumbles to dust.

5 Preferable Perks

As with the other magical skills, there are perks for decreasing spell cost and dual-casting, along with the other more generic ones. However, the Conjuration perk tree has quite a few that summoners should take a close look at. For those seeking to improve their bound weapons, be sure to pick up the Soul Stealer perk for automatic Soul Trap casting when striking a foe with an ethereal armament as well as Oblivion Binding, which grants the same translucent equipment capabilities of banishing enemy summons and converting raised dead to the player's side when struck.

Those more focused on summoning allies instead of weapons should take the Elemental Potency perk for 50% more powerful atronachs and the greatly useful Twin Souls that grants the Dragonborn the power to have two conjured companions active simultaneously as opposed to just one.

4 Sadistic Summoner

The best way to increase one's proficiency in Conjuration is to use spells simultaneously. Though, instead of doing so in combat with real enemies, it is much more efficient to turn one's ghostly blade upon summoned allies. Both conjuring up an atronach and calling forth a bound weapon will yield experience, though it is when these things do damage that a better flow of level-ups can be acquired.

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The way Skyrim's engine tracks skill experience is by damage done, and with Conjuration this applies to such done by summoned objects and beings. Calling upon an atronach and then attacking it with a bound weapon will grant the player experience from hitting it with their ghostly armament, which will then aggravate the atronach into attacking. However, getting struck by one's own atronach apparently counts towards skill experience gain, making a fight with one's own summon worth a fair bit of skill-ups. If things get dicey, the Dragonborn can always cast the summoning spell again to banish the atronach.

3 Confused Corpse

Some things persist after death for humans. The need for a weapon in combat, due to humanity's mostly lackluster barehanded fighting techniques against beings like dragons and mammoths, lead to their programming acting in specific ways, even when raised from death.

Human characters that have no weapon when reanimated in combat will instinctively look for one, regardless of where they are. However, these beings can no longer function as proper people, so they fall victim to unexpected forms of demise. For example, in seeking a weapon, resurrected humans may try to run into a house to search for a sword or axe to aid their summoner. Though since undead cannot apparently enter a house, they will disintegrate into a pile of ash upon crossing the doorway.

2 Recruiting Enemy Raised Dead

Since necromancy is so common in Tamriel, players will often go up against enemy mages wielding Conjuration spells to resurrect dead creatures. Though, if one is skilled enough, this can be beneficial in combat. While the animation for a foe's Raise Dead spell is happening, the Dragonborn can cast a stronger version of this spell upon that same corpse, such as Revenant or Dread Zombie, in order to take control of the body that the adversary was trying to raise.

Interestingly, this does not count towards one's own summoned creature slots, meaning that the Dragonborn can call upon more allies while taking up a creature slot of the enemy mage.

1 Friend Into Foe

Accordingly, something similar can happen to the Dragonborn if they are not careful when battling a dragon priest. Some of these ancient liches have the spell Command Daedra, which grants them the power to turn the player's summoned atronachs and Daedra against them.

This is more prevalent of an issue at lower levels, therefore conjurers should be wary when tackling these levitating spellcasters early in their playthrough.

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Conjuration skyrim


Alternatively, repeatedly cast Soul Trap on your horse - unlike followers, your horse will not become hostile (or run away) no matter how many times you attack it.


  • If you have the Soul Stealer perk and plan to use Bound Weapons much, souls can be removed from soul gems by dropping them, which can help avoid "wasting" the capacity of the bigger soul gems with smaller souls. This only works on soul gems that you filled yourself, not pre-filled gems purchased from vendors.
  • Unlike in previous games, there are no Bound Armor spells. They have been substituted with the Alteration line of flesh spells.
  • Guards will comment on your abilities if you're proficient in the school of Conjuration: "Hail, Summoner! Conjure me up a warm bed, would you?"
  • Decapitated NPCs cannot be reanimated.
  • Creatures and NPCs brought back from the dead with Novice, Apprentice, Adept, and Expert-level spells will disintegrate into a pile of ash upon death, banishment, or once the effect wears off. NPCs reanimated with the Master-level spell, Dead Thrall, will not disintegrate and can be reanimated indefinitely. The level cap of reanimated undead targets can be raised by 25% with the Restoration perk Necromage.
  • NPCs reanimated with Dead Thrall can be used as a pack mule. Store whatever you want them to carry on their corpse and then reanimate them. If you wish to access your items afterwards or add more for the thrall to carry, kill it or summon/reanimate something else (this will cause the thrall to die) then take your things from the corpse or add more. The NPC can be reanimated again afterwards. You can also use this method to re-equip your thrall with any extra equipment you may have, although some may not equip heavy armor, and they usually wait until entering a new area to update their equipment.
    • There is the potential, though, that certain circumstances will cause the thrall to stop following you, and if left in a cell that resets, your items may be lost.
  • PCPS22.pngThralls will refuse to come out of Broken Oar Grotto for some reason, and dead thralls will resurrect after a certain amount of time.
  • Conjured Ash Guardians do not count as active summoned creatures, meaning that they will not conflict with other summoned creatures.
  • The Necromancy, Atromancy, Dark Souls and Elemental Potency perks have no effect on conjured Ash Spawn, Ash Guardians or Seekers.
  • The Soul Trap effect from Soul Stealer lasts 5 seconds.
  • The XP gain from the reanimate spells are not at all proportional with their magicka cost. Aside from the master spell, Raise Zombie gives the highest amount of XP, with Reanimate Corpse in third place, Dread Zombie in fourth and Revenant in fifth with the least amount of XP gain.


  • When affected by a Spell Absorption effect you can absorb your own summoning spells. You will pay the modified magicka cost of the spell but gain the base magicka cost. This can be used to quickly refill your magicka, but those who rely on summoning should be carefull, as random failure of a spell may lead to death, if it happens in a sticky situation.
  • If you cast any of the damaging Cloak spells while you have a conjured creature active, the creature will be dismissed. The reverse is not true; if you conjure a creature while a Cloak is active, both spells remain in effect. If you have the Twin Souls perk and two thralls or summoned creatures, then both summons will be dismissed. With the Elemental Potency perk all Elemental summons (Fire, Frost, Shock) are not affected by this issue (Dremora Lord is affected even with the perk).
  • When in third-person view, summoning a bound weapon in caves or dungeons may cause you to become frozen with an invisible weapon in your hands.
    • This can sometimes be fixed by going in and out of third-person and first-person views several times.
  • Summon Thrall spells can occasionally become "stuck" on your character, causing NPCs to constantly remark, "That spell looks dangerous!"
    • PC Use the console command to remove all temporary effects.
    • If you can turn into a werewolf, it will remove the effect and thus stop the comments.
    • Alternately, going to jail can get rid of this effect, as it dispels any active effects on you that are time-based. Because the Thrall effect is on your character for a certain amount of hours (that never count down), it is dispelled when sent to jail.
  • Summoning staves (e.g. Staff of Fire Atronach or Sanguine Rose) won't work if you have the Elemental Potency perk.
  • As a werewolf, corpses that you have already devoured can be essentially 'tapped' again with a low level raise dead spell and will grant extra werewolf experience even if you are unable to resurrect them. This effect also applies to animals if you have the werewolf perk Savage Feeding.
  • The Elemental Potency perk causes the Storm Thrall spell to stop raising your Conjuration skill.
  • Both the Bound Sword and Bound Dagger magic effect have their skill use multiplier set at 10, as opposed to the other bound weapons that have it set at 1, causing much greater xp gain.
The DANGERS of Conjuration - Elder Scrolls Lore


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