Utilizing fire, frost and shock to decimate hordes of enemies can be a satisfying experience in The Elder Scrolls. Staves, in particular, can be fearsome weapons when they’re in the right hands. Battlemages can combine the devastating potential of magic with the tried-and-true protection of cold steel. But unlike pure mages, battlemages are not fragile in the least, which grants them potent offensive capabilities.
Any race in The Elder Scrolls Online can be a battlemage. Some, however, are simply more naturally predisposed to the archetype than others — not all of ESO’s races are made equal when it comes to balancing the application of brawn and brain together. Knowing which to choose from can undoubtedly make a player’s battlemage build a much more enjoyable and rewarding endeavor, so arming oneself with this knowledge beforehand is crucial when it comes to getting started.
It’s obvious that Nords typically make great warriors in The Elder Scrolls games. But it’s important to remember that Nords are no strangers to magic either. With the proper training and the right kit, Nords can potentially make excellent battlemages. They just have a higher learning curve compared to some of their neighbors.
Nords can be extremely difficult to kill. Combined with heavy armor, they have the Health and the Stamina reserves to stay in a fight for the duration. The Rugged and Resist Frost Skills make them even more durable to incoming spells and sword blows. A new player might consider a Destruction staff coupled with a Restoration spell in the offhand while wearing heavy armor. It surely makes for one tough Nord!
A Khajiit’s magical prowess should never be underestimated. Although they’re often renowned for their skills in subterfuge the Khajiit are still totally viable candidates for a battlemage build. Their Racial Skills are well-rounded enough that a mage-based playthrough is certainly doable.
If a player is feeling lucky, heavy armor can be swapped out for medium, which grants an experience boost from the Cutpurse Skill. Robustness and Lunar Blessings help keep the Magicka bar filled so that the spells can keep coming. The Khajiit’s natural quickness also makes them highly maneuverable battlemages in the thick of combat, which is more of a boon than one might think offhand.
4 Dark Elf
Dark Elves tend to excel when choosing any sort of magical archetype. They’re resilient combatants who are able to hit very hard when the situation demands it. Dunmer are not hopelessly weak in any one area, which makes them highly versatile as well as adaptable.
The Ruination Skill serves to amplify the damage dealt by spells. Resist Flame bestows a degree of protection against fire-based attacks. The Dynamic Skill serves to increase both maximum Magicka and Stamina, keeping them well balanced. Similar to the Khajiit, the Dark Elves can play as more agile battlemages, rather than as hulking, indestructible tanks.
A Breton can be a dangerous foe in any type of magical capacity. They definitely possess the right stuff to cut it as pure mages. Nevertheless, Bretons are no less intimidating as battlemages due to their innate understanding of the arcane arts.
Bretons tend to be an enemy mage’s nightmare. The Spell Resistance Skill grants them resilience against incoming magical attacks that is unequaled. If heavy armor is thrown into the mix, then Bretons can be a pretty tough nut to crack. The Gift of Magnus and Magicka Mastery Skills can keep the spells flowing from both hands. Staves aren’t always for everybody, after all.
2 High Elf
Like Bretons, the manipulation of Tamriel’s ethereal forces comes naturally to High Elves. Pure mage? Battlemage? Spellsword? It doesn’t matter. The Altmer can adapt to any magical playstyle rather easily due to their affinity for it. All it takes is some forethought with the necessary preparation.
The High Elf’s racial abilities make him an excellent candidate for a battlemage. The Highborn Skill even grants them a boost to their experience gain when using a Destruction staff. It makes for a deadly combination when used with Elemental Talent, which increases spell damage. Their vast reserves of Magicka allows their offhand to be used for offensive or defensive purposes as well.
Imperials, without a doubt, are superb battlemages. They manage to hit the sweet spot in terms of skills and abilities in a way that other races cannot quite emulate. Similar to their role in other Elder Scrolls titles, Imperials were made for this archetype.
The Imperial’s Racial Skills combine everything a great battlemage needs in order to be effective. The Tough Skill keeps them alive by increasing maximum Health. Imperial Mettle allows them to bear heavy armor while remaining maneuverable by increasing Stamina. Lastly, Red Diamond partially restores all three attributes whenever direct damage is dealt. Added together, it makes the Imperial the ideal battlemage by far.