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Alteration (Skyrim)

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SkillAlteration

The School of Alteration involves the manipulation of the physical world and its natural properties. This skill makes it easier to cast spells like waterbreathing, magical protection, and paralysis.

Alteration is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and is one of the six skills that fall under The Mage and Night-Blade play-style. The Alteration skill is raised by using certain kinds of spells that identify themselves as alteration spells. These alteration spells include the ability to don Magic Armor, detect entities either by illumination of the area or by magically sensing their presence; the ability to temporarily stun foes (paralyze), and a few special spells marked with * in the list below.

Changes from previous gamesEdit

Since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does not feature custom spell creation, all alteration spells are learned through spell tomes. Open lock, burden and feather spells are not present.

BooksEdit

Main article: Skill Book (Skyrim)
AlterationSkillBook
Alteration Spell Book
ZimakaruAdded by Zimakaru

The following books provide a permanent skill up to Alteration; locations are listed under each title, and may not be exhaustive. Skill books are one time use only. After a skill book is read once, reading the same book does not increase skills.

Alteration perks tree
Alteration perks tree
Terraviper-5Added by Terraviper-5

QuestsEdit

The following quests increase the Alteration skill:

SpellsEdit

The following is a complete list of Alteration spells:

Rank Spell Name Description Magicka Base Cost
Novice
(Skill level 0)
Candlelight Creates a hovering light that lasts for 60 seconds. 21
Equilibrium Convert health into magicka at a rate of 25 points per second. Caster can be killed by this effect. 0 (25 health per second)
Oakflesh Improves the caster's armor rating by 40 points for 60 seconds. 103
Apprentice
(Skill level 25)
Magelight Ball of light that lasts 60 seconds and sticks where it strikes. 84
Stoneflesh Improves the caster's armor rating by 60 points for 60 seconds. 194
Adept
(Skill level 50)

Ash Shell DB

Targets that fail to resist are immobilized in hardened ash for 30 seconds. 149 per second

Detect Life

Nearby living creatures, but not undead, machines, or daedra can be seen through walls. 100 per second
Ironflesh Improves the caster's armor rating by 80 points for 60 seconds. 266
Telekinesis Can pull an object to you from distance. Add it to your inventory or throw it. 170 per second
Transmute Transmute one piece of unrefined Iron Ore to Silver, or Silver Ore to Gold, if the caster is carrying any. 100
Waterbreathing Can breathe under water for 60 seconds. 222
Expert
(Skill level 75)
Ash Rune DB Cast on a nearby surface, it explodes when enemies are nearby, immobilizing them in hardened ash for 30 seconds. 248
Detect Dead Nearby dead can be seen through walls. 148 per second
Ebonyflesh Improves the caster's armor rating by 100 points for 60 seconds. 341
Paralyze Targets that fail to resist are paralyzed for 10 seconds. 450
Master
(Skill level 100)
Dragonhide Caster ignores 80% of all physical damage for 30 seconds. 837
Mass Paralysis All targets in the area that fail to resist are paralyzed for 15 seconds. 937

Master spells can't be purchased initially. To unlock Master Alteration spells, the Alteration Ritual Spell quest must be completed upon reaching level 90 Alteration.

Unlike other protection spells, such as Ironflesh or Ebonyflesh, Dragonhide is not affected by the Mage Armor perk, so light or heavy armor can be worn without losing any of the benefit from the spell.

PerksEdit

The following are the perks that become available for selection as the skill is leveled up:

Perk (Ranks) Requirements Description
Novice Alteration None Cast Novice level Alteration spells for half magicka
Alteration Dual Casting Alteration 20, Novice Alteration Dual casting an Alteration spell overcharges the effects into an even more powerful version
Apprentice Alteration Alteration 25, Novice Alteration Cast Apprentice level Alteration spells for half magicka
Mage Armor (3) Alteration 30/50/70, Apprentice Alteration Protection spells like Stoneflesh are twice as strong if not wearing armor (+0.5 per additional rank)
Magic Resistance (3) Alteration 30/50/70, Apprentice Alteration Blocks 10%/20%/30% of a spells effect.

Magic resistance does not stop friendly spells from affecting the caster. See also: Breton, Agent of Mara and The Lord Stone for a method of achieving 95% resistance without requiring any gear.

Adept Alteration Alteration 50, Apprentice Alteration Cast Adept level Alteration spells for half magicka
Stability Alteration 70, Adept Alteration Alteration spells have greater duration (+50%)
Expert Alteration Alteration 75, Adept Alteration Cast Expert level Alteration spells for half magicka
Atronach Alteration 100, Expert Alteration

Grants 30% Spell Absorption

Spell absorption will block friendly spells as well as hostile ones.

Master Alteration Alteration 100, Expert Alteration Cast Master level Alteration spells for half magicka

TrainersEdit

LevelingEdit

The Alteration skill level can be increased by using these tactics:

  • With 100 enchanting, it is possible to enchant apparal to reduce Alteration spell magicka usage (Fortify Alteration effect) to zero. With this equipped, it is easy to raise the skill using virtually any spell.
  • Wearing Master Robes of Alteration, Morokei, The Apprentice Stone, and an Amulet of Akatosh will increase the base magicka regen to 375%. This percentage can be raised even higher with a ring enchanted with Regenerate Magicka, depending on Enchanting level.
  • Waterbreathing can be cast while standing in shallow water for easy experience.
  • Telekinesis, while very magicka-expensive, will raise Alteration very quickly. One option is to just wait an hour every time magicka runs out, and face a wall or corner so when the item is thrown it doesn't hit anyone or get lost. Any item that can be picked up or dropped from the inventory can be used.
    • Since Telekinesis is a sustained-cast spell, using Secret of Arcana (only available through the Dragonborn expansion) while casting Telekinesis continuously is especially efficient, and can raise Alteration to 100 in less than 10 minutes as continuing to sustain the spell past the 30-second duration of Secret of Arcana will keep casting it cost-free.
    • If Alteration is reset to 15 by making the skill legendary, it takes approximately 14 and a half minutes of continuous Telekinesis with the Secret of Arcana exploit to get back to 100, if the The Mage Stone is in use. Without the Mage Stone, it becomes approximately 17 minutes, 20 seconds.
    • Using the Secret of Arcana exploit, Telekinesis on one hand, Detect Life on the other, a crowded area, and the Mage Stone, it is possible to go from 15 to 100 Alteration in less than 10 minutes.
  • Casting Magelight and Candlelight as often as possible provides a slow but easy flow of experience. Since Candlelight and Magelight are Novice and Apprentice level spells respectively, they are obtainable early.
  • Transmute Mineral Ore can be used to convert iron ore into gold ore (iron -> silver -> gold). From there, the ore can be smelted into ingots (remember that two gold ore are needed for a single gold ingot), and gold jewelry can be crafted and sold. Enchanting obtained items will increase prices, thus providing Alteration, Smithing, Enchanting, and Speech experience. Additionally stolen iron or silver ore, after being transmuted, no longer have the stolen tag, allowing it to be sold without having to go through a fence.
  • Casting Detect Life is a very quick way to level Alteration. The more 'life' that is detected, the faster this method works.
  • Repeatedly casting Stoneflesh or Oakflesh next to an immobile enemy (like the caged wolves in Cragslane Cavern) quickly levels Alteration.
    • Cragslane Cavern is involved in the quest Skooma Trade; a bug exists that may prevent that quest from being completed if it is visited before being sent there by the quest. There should be two caged wolves immediately outside of Cragslane cavern that may be used for this purpose without triggering the bug.
    • Alternatively, the Bloodlet Throne southwest of Helgen could be used to practice spells with the vampires on the other side of the barricade.
  • In the quest The Break of Dawn, casting Oakflesh then standing in the beam of the beacon will quickly level Alteration.
  • Stand next to a body of water that contains a Slaughterfish as an enemy and cast flesh spells

UsefulnessEdit

Alteration provides pure mages and magic dabblers alike the ability to bolster their defenses. However, until expert level alteration is purely defensive. In addition, alteration normally levels slowly because the "flesh" spells will rarely be cast more than once during each combat encounter. Their high cost also means that pure mages sacrifice tons of offensive potential by casting a flesh spell at the beginning of combat. In general, alteration spells are most useful for a character who in the long term wants to be more resistant to magic (the alteration perks magic resistance and atronach), a character planning to be able to paralyze their foes (a powerful effect), a pure mage who isn't confident in their ability to avoid weapons based attacks and so uses flesh spells, or a warrior who dabbles in magic.

BugsEdit

This section contains bugs related to Alteration (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  • The master spell Dragonhide may not increase the armor rating, at least not while wearing Dragonscale or Dragonplate armor. If the apparel is changed while under the effect of the Dragonhide spell, the armor rating may be brought down to one.
  • Casting the Waterbreathing spell while underwater can result in the spell not working.
  • Killing a paralyzed enemy may prevent it from being resurrected with conjuration spells.

See alsoEdit

AppearancesEdit


Start a Discussion Discussions about Alteration (Skyrim)

  • Unlimited Alteration Leveling

    4 messages
    • This is for the quest "The Break of Dawn," BTW.
    • I'm there right now, using stoneflesh, and it isn't working.  Neither is Oakflesh (only magearmor spells I have).  I'm not gaining ...
  • Fun alteration leveling game.

    3 messages
    • Sounds awesome, but one problem... how do I get alteration high enough to get telekensis?
    • It may not necessarily need to be levelled if you have enough Magicka and / or Equipment that reduce's the Magicka cost for the spell. I set...
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