20 Best Staves in Skyrim (Ranked)

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No mage is complete without their trusty staff.

These mystical weapons, often enchanted with powerful spells, can wreak havoc or create confusion in a group of foes if used correctly. Some staffs are incredibly powerful and require a skilled magician to wield them, which means that a staff is only as good as the wielder.

But some of the staffs that you can find in Skyrim have some pretty crazy enchants, and you might be doing yourself a favor by getting your hands in one of these.

20. Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson

staff of jyrik gauldurson skyrim

This powerful staff once belonged to Jyrik Gauldurson, a draugr lord who appears during the College of Winterhold questline.

He was mainly known for his abilities with the axe, so the staff was never used for combat purposes.

However the staff itself is a very powerful piece of magical weaponry, dealing 25 points of regular damage and twice as much magicka damage.

The staff can be looted from the room where Gauldurson is located, once the player kills him during the quest that is. The damage dealt by this weapon counts as lighting damage.

19. Eye of Melka

eye of melka skyrim

The Eye of Melka is a beautiful and malevolent-looking staff that can be found in Skyrim.

It does fire damage and even though the staff simply imitates a regular fireball spell, it’s still one of the most valuable staves that a wizard can hold in the game. Especially anyone who loves fire magic.

It’s awarded once Melka is freed and Petra is murdered.

The staff itself can be sold for over 1000 septims in most locations across Skyrim, so obtaining it could be a good call even if the Dragonborn isn’t ready to learn the serious arts of magic.

18. Staff of the Flame Wall

staff flame wall skyrim

So this staff is meant to be pointed at the ground before casting, as it invokes a giant wall of flames that engulfs everything that stands near it.

As you can imagine, this belongs to the school of Destruction so the higher level the player is, the less charge it will consume.

It’s a powerful staff that emulates the Flame Wall spell but it takes charges instead of Magicka.

When cast, Wall of Flame causes 50 points of damage per second to every single entity that stands in its path. As you can imagine that’s gonna leave a serious burn.

17. Skull of Corruption

skull of corruption skyrim

The Skull of Corruption is quite a unique staff. It damages foes for 20 on a single cast, but it may cause up to 50 points of damage if the wielder charges it with dreams.

Yes, you read that right: you must charge the staff by collecting dreams from those who are asleep in order to make it more powerful.

The staff can be acquired during the Waking Nightmare quest in Dawnstar.

One of the best places in the game to collect dreams and charge the staff is in the College of Winterhold, in the mage chambers where most people are asleep during the night. Wink wink.

The staff is also quite expensive so those who aren’t mages might want to get their hands on it to make a few septims of profit.

16. Wabbajack

wabbajack skyrim

The Wabbajack is the staff of the Daedric Lord Sheogorath which makes it one of the best Daedric artifacts in the game.

The Mad God has placed a crazy enchantment on this staff so the effect that it gives to the target is unpredictable.

It may cast a helpful spell or it could cause eternal harm to the enemy. This is basically just rolling the dice in battle so it’s up to you to decide whether to take the risk.

If you do want to give this a try, the staff is granted to you after the Sheogortah’s Mind of Madness quest.

15. Staff of Hag’s Wrath

staff hags wrath skyrim

The Staff of Hag’s Wrath is almost a carbon copy of the Staff of Flame Wall.

It casts a wall of flames on the target location that engulfs everything around it, causing 50 points of damage per second. The staff can be obtained in the Dark Tower once the Repentance quest is complete.

Illia, the holder, can be pickpocketed or traded with if you want to go the more honest route.

You may also kill Illia if you wish, as she will drop the staff upon death. So that’s if you want to go the complete opposite of the honest route.

14. Dragon Priest Staff (Wall of Lighting)

dragon priest wall lightning staff

The Staff of the Storm Wall does a similar job to the Staff of Hag’s Wrath, but it casts a wall of thunder that damages everything in its path for 50 points of shock damage.

The staff is often wielded by Dragon Priests so you’ll need to kill one or two of these creatures before you find one for yourself.

Well worth giving it a try because you’ll never want to give up the power of a lightning wall.

13. Dragon Priest Staff (Wall of Fire)

dragon priest staff skyrim

Now this staff is very similar to the Staff of Hag’s Wrath and the Staff of Flame Wall, but its design is quite unique as it belongs to Dragon Priests across Skyrim.

Just like its Wall of Lighting counterpart, it can only be obtained by killing a Dragon Priest and looting its body. So you’ll need to go through one hell of a journey to get this bad boy.

As you can imagine, the best way to use this staff is to spray it on the ground to stop opponents from passing or to cause area damage to a group of foes.

12. Staff of Icy Spear

staff icy spear skyrim

The Staff of Icy Spear casts an incredibly powerful bolt of ice straight towards anything you aim at.

It causes 60 points of frost damage to the target and it damages the foe’s health as well as its stamina. So this thing is pretty beastly!

The staff itself is incredibly expensive and it can be sold for almost 3000 septims if you need the money.

Its shape resembles that of both Dragon Priest staves and it can only be found in the Inner Sanctum.

11. Staff of Incineration

staff of incineration

The Staff of Incineration is not a unique staff, but it’s still a very powerful magic utensil that can only be found after a Dragonborn surpasses level 20.

It emulates the Destruction spell of Incinerate which means that the higher level the player is in the arts of Destruction, the less charge this staff loses.

Many vendors sell this staff once the player is high enough level but its price of 2750 septims makes it unpurchaseable for non-wealthy wizards.

10. Staff of Daedric Command

staff daedric command skyrim

Here we move over into the School of Conjuration with The Staff of Daedric.

It allows the player to summon powerful Daedra creatures from the depths of Oblivion and have them fight alongside in the battlefield.

This staff can be found inside the shrine of the Daedric Lord Mehrunes Dagon if you’re willing to venture in there, and it’s available while the player is completing the quest Pieces of the Past.

The staff might also be found as loot dropped by certain high-level enemies, although rarely.

It can also be crafted with Heart stones in the Dragonborn DLC.

9. Staff of Soul Trapping

staff of soul trapping

Although this staff isn’t particularly powerful, it is incredibly useful.

It allows the wielder to cast a spell onto any living creature, and if the enchanted creature dies within 60 seconds of the cast their soul will be used to fill a soul gem.

As such, you might want to combine the Staff of Soul Trapping with another staff, or use it alongside a sword if you’re looking to play as a Battlemage.

In any case the staff can be purchased in the College of Winterhold, or it can be found across Skyrim inside random loot chests or dropped from enemies. It’s not exactly a rare staff so you might be better off looking for one rather than taking the time to craft it.

8. Staff of the Frost Atronach

staff frost atronach

The Staff of the Frost Atronach lets you summon a powerful Frost Atronach which can quickly join the battle and start attacking your enemies.

This imposing creature will cause frost damage to its foes and help the player for 60 seconds before vanishing. The staff belongs to the School of Conjuration and it’s not as uncommon to find as you might think.

You can steal one of these staves from the College of Winterhold and some end-dungeon chests also have them as loot.

In any case, most powerful mages in the game have the chance to drop the Staff of the Frost Atronach when killed so you will probably happen upon one eventually.

7. Staff of Dread Zombies

skyrim dread zombies

The Staff of Dread Zombies is another powerful staff that isn’t difficult to obtain, as it’s dropped as random loot as well as sold by some mages in the College of Winterhold.

The staff itself allows players to summon a powerful dead body back from the grave that will fight alongside you for a full minute before returning to its corpse state.

If you’re cool to have walking corpses join you in battle then by all means: this is the staff for you, my young wizard.

6. Staff of the Storm Atronach

skyrim staff storm atronach

Much like the Staff of the Frost Atronach, this little baby lets you conjure a powerful Storm Atronach to fight with you for 60 seconds.

It’s a great skill to have going into battle as a mage.

To craft it you’ll need access to the Atronach Forge. However, the staff is also sold by mages at the College of Winterhold and in other areas of Skyrim once you have DLC’s installed.

5. Staff of Expulsion

Staff of expulsion skyrim

The Staff of Expulsion is one of the most expensive staves in the game.

This weapon can be bought from merchants (who often sell it at a high price) or may also be found in some containers as extremely rare loot. The staff is meant to be cast towards summoned Daedra and the spell sends them back to the depths of Oblivion – where they belong!

The only way to craft this staff with the Dragonborn expansion is by using 4 Heart Stones in the Neloth’s Staff Enchanter, located in Tel Mithryn.

4. Staff of Inspiration

Staff of Inspiration

The staff of inspiration is the best non-damaging staff that Skyrim has to offer.

This powerful weapon is to be cast on friends only as it increases their stamina, health, and rallies them to fight with even more enthusiasm.

This staff also makes any target not able to flee for 60 seconds, so it’s far more likely for the target to fight until their death.

Avoid casting this spell on foes, though!

It will make them stronger and replenish their stamina while also keeping them from getting away from you until they die.

3. Sanguine Rose

Sanguine rose skyrim staff

Sanguine Rose is one of the many Daedric artifacts that can be found in Skyrim.

It belongs to the Daedric Lord Sanguine, the guide of the Dark Brotherhood.

The staff can be obtained once you reach level 14 by completing the quest A Night to Remember.

This powerful Daedric artifact is one of the best staffs in the game because it has a high chance of summoning a leveled Dremora. As you can guess this follows the same formula as others: fights alongside you for a full minute before vanishing back to Oblivion.

Keep in mind, though, that the Dremora can’t be used to fill soul gems so this is only useful in battle.

2. Staff of Magnus

Staff of magnus skyrim

The Staff of Magnus earns its name because it is said to be the only staff capable of containing Magnus, the God of Magic.

During the beginning of the game this is owned by a Dragon Priest that goes by the name of Morokei.

You basically have to eliminate Morokei in order to get your hands on this ancient and powerful relic. But once you do you’ll never turn back.

The staff absorbs 20 Magicka per second unless the target is out of Magicka, in which case the staff will drain the target’s health. Yeah it’s pretty intense.

1. Miraak’s Staff

Miraaks Staff skyrim

So if you thought the Staff of Magnus was badass, check out Miraak’s Staff. This is a unique weapon that can only be obtained if you have downloaded the Dragonborn DLC.

It is owned by Miraak and you have to kill him and loot him in order to obtain the staff.

In battle this weapon summons poisonous tentacles on the ground wherever the spell is cast, which will attack any nearby foes and prevent them from moving across the area where they spawned.

Miraak’s Staff is ideal to be used when large groups of foes surround you as it can be used to separate groups and keep them from attacking you all at once.

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