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Character Build: Celestial Warlock

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Mage  #Character Build Alchemist  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build  #Race:Altmer 
  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    “Time is our Enemy”

    After my very successful Telvanni Wizard build, I had learned many things. Firstly my love for the Atronach stone and secondly my love for the not only the Staff of Magnus but, other staves as well. With this, I attempted to try to make the Staff of Magnus more powerful which had not been done before and will have it’s own section explaining itself. Thus I present the:

     The Celestial Warlock is in simple terms is Magnus in his mortal form. After centuries of life in other planes with Magna Ge, Magnus has sent his multiple reincarnates down to Mundus and other planes in the goal to keep order in the worlds he created. Magnus is not as powerful as he once was when he was creating Mundus but he is still very powerful on Nirn. He can command the stars using his crown forged out of pure magical essence called Aetherium. His two constellations are the Atronach and the Apprentice which are closer to Aetherius. His most prominent powers are his ability to drain magic from any crevice on Nirn either by absorbing, draining, recharging, and fighting.

    Nirn, Mundus, and Magnus

    During the Dawn Era, Magnus and the Et'ada; the equivalent of Aedra and Daedra were tricked by the god Lorkhan to create the plane of existence called Mundus. Magnus was said to have been the architect of the universe and created the schematics and designs for the realm. As Mundus was being formed the Et'ada realized that much of their power had been drained in the creation process and decided to terminate the project. The Et'ada had realized Lorkhan’s treachery; he had wanted them to wasted all their power in creating the mortal plane.

    An event called the Convention happened in which the Et'ada decided to convene at the Adamantine tower to punish Lorkhan for his deception. Following these events Magnus fled to Aurbis; the name for the universe which includes Void, Mundus, Aetherius, and Oblivion. During his departure into Aetherius he tore a hole in Nirn’s Sun, known as Magnus. Soon after the Et'ada followed him and became known as the Magna Ge and as they departed the created holes in the sky known as stars. In his legacy he left the mortals magic, constantly flowing out of Aetherius through Magnus, into Nirn.

    In the years that followed the Mer or elf race revered him as the god. The Aylieds, masters of the arcane arts worship him as the god of light, sight, and insight, dedicating temples to him. Some can be seen in Cyrodiil. Institutions throughout Nirn are devoted to acquiring knowledge of the arcane arts like the Synod, Mages Guild, Crystal Tower, House Telvanni, College of Winterhold, and to some extent the Psijic Order.  Legend says he created the Staff of Magnus, the staff that created the universe and controls the stars.


    The Constellations at your Command

    The Aetherial Crown can be used in possible the most effective way yet. Better than an enchanted circlet or helmet, it can augment the powers of both the Atronach and the Apprentice. As everyone knows Mason’s Obsidian Sentinel used the Advanced Atronach by fortifying it with restoration potions. The advanced Atronach can be used to obtain 100 extra magicka 100% spell absorption, which in my previous build I had a lot of fun with, and 100% slower magicka regeneration which is the bad part. . To combat this I created what I like to call the Advanced Apprentice.

    The Advanced Apprentice is exactly what it sounds like. It takes the same concept and doubles its output with fortify restoration potions. With testing I used a fortify restoration potion of 101% and tested the value to make sure it was correct. Surely it was and we now have a output of 200% magicka regeneration and 200% magical weakness. Pick up the Atronach Stone first then the Apprentice. With the Aetherial Crown we can now use these two stones in unison.

    To achieve the 100% Fortify Restoration value to augment our stones we need a few key things. Alchemy being one obviously maxed out at 100 and 5/5 in Alchemist, Benefactor,and Physician.

    After we have all the percentile perks we need a small Fortify Alchemy 35% in total to bring us to 101% in all potions we make. Stacking potions was a lot harder to calculate so I decided to take the easier route that required no skill/ enchantment looping.

    Both stones counter each other perfectly removing the negative effects from both stones and granting powerful effects on the caster. This effectively removes the slow recharge rate of the Atronach stone at a noticeable rate. The active effects list will not show the upgraded version so you can easily test it using Masons’ method. If you use a fortify restoration potion 65%, look at your mana and if it is over the original +50 from the Atronach stone, then it worked. For the apprentice there should be a very noticeable difference with the Atronach because otherwise you would recharge slower.

    *Note:Removing the crown and re-equipping it removes the effects because technically you are removing the stone. DO NOT REMOVE THE CROWN AT ALL COSTS


    Race: Mer (Elven)

    The best decision would be High Elves because they are the most pure of the Elven races. They also get a nice little +50 magicka bonus and a unique passive.

    Stone: Atronach and Apprentice

    These two stones go together perfectly and abide by the same law. Together the grant:

    • 100% Spell Absorption
    • 100% Magicka Regeneration
    • 100+  Magicka
    • The Spell Absorbtion knocks out the 200% Weakness to magicka, removing all negative effects as well as the 200% Magicka Regeneration working towards removing the 100% slower magical regeneration.

    *Note: Removing the crown and re-equipping it removes the effects because technically you are removing the stone. DO NOT REMOVE THE CROWN AT ALL COSTS

    Stats: 1/3/0

    Pretty standard for a mage and I like to follow this through most of my playthroughs like the Telvanni Wizard. The Health does not need to go farther than 200 which stops around level 30. After that you should have ridiculous amounts of magicka. As for Stamina, mages don't need it because the wear robes and sprinting is cheap because they don't wear armor.

    Click here for the Perk Spread

    Destruction: Other than Staves this skill will be the main source of damage. At early levels Impact can be abused to stagger lock. We will take all the Novice-Master perks to eventually get the storm spells. I chose to head down two of the elemental paths, frost and shock. Shock takes their magicka and frost takes their stamina making fights against both warriors and mages easier.

    Restoration: Like many who use restoration, going past adept is not needed. The spell close wounds should be sufficient enough to keep a mage with low HP alive. Recovery also helps counter the Atronach stone before the Aetherial Crown and potion Augmentation. As for wards we don't really need them because alteration flesh spells make up for it and once you obtain the advanced atronach it is self-explanatory.

    Alteration: Basic flesh spells and paralyze. Past level 30 it is highly recommended getting Dragonhide because Ebonyflesh doesn't cut it. Ebony flesh only covers roughly 30% of damage while Dragonhide covers 80%. Stability affects the slow time shout and paralyze.

    Enchanting: Used to enchant your equipment to increase alchemy and fortify magicka mainly. The alchemy skill must be increased by 35% or more to achieve 101% or more effects on potions. This skill along with alchemy are pretty vital.

    Alchemy: The bread and butter of the build. This is used to Augment our staves and upgrade our standing stones to make them advanced. With Alchemist 5/5, Benefactor, Physician, and a 35% increase from enchanting we can reach a standard magnitude of 101% for all created potions, doubling our output.

    Now that we are past the little Lore/Intro part I would like to dedicate this section to perhaps the most interesting weapons in the game itself. The Staves being: The Staff of Magnus, Miraak’s Staff, and Sanguine Rose. I have found a way to make all three of these staves stronger than their original form or as I like to call it, augment the staves.

    Staff of Magnus

     The Staff is  classified as Destruction that deals 20 points of absorb magicka per second and then 20 points of absorb health after their magicka has been depleted. However, first effect counts as an Alteration spell while the second effect counts as a Restoration effect. With this knowledge I devised a way to make the staff of magnus twice as strong. Restoration potions say “ Restoration Spells are stronger for seconds”. MAG meaning magnitude. Since the second effect is restoration with a Fortify Restoration Potion of 101% we can double the damage making it drain 40 damage per second. Unfortunately there is no possible way to make the first effect stronger because there is no item or potion in the game that enhances alteration spells.

    Sanguine Rose

    The Sanguine Rose is probably the most interesting of the three and possibly the most cheap. If you read my previous build I talked about a certain bug that basically absorbs conjuration spells when you have 100% Spell Absorption. The conjure spells include all summons except the Ash Guardian. When a conjuration spell is cast, it is absorbed and returns the magicka used to cast the spell. Although there is one exception.  Staves cost no magicka and cast summon spells for free but still get absorbed. The magnitude of the magicka absorbed is the cost of the charge taken away from the cast. The Sanguine Rose summons a Dremora for the cost of 215 out of the full charge being 3000. When using the staff the spell gets negated and instead it returns the charge to you as magicka being 215. Basically this can be used to give you free 215 magicka per cast of the staff. I would only suggest using this method as a special move or once per day. This was one of my best finds while doing this build.

    Miraak’s Staff

    Miraak’s Staff basically shoots out a wall of tentacles that stagger and poisons the opponent. The opponent essentially stays in place making it easier to deal damage to him because he is not moving, notably the spell Poison Rune. Poison Rune is a restoration spell does 3 points of poison damage per second for thirty seconds. Since the spell is technically restoration it is affected by potions of restoration. If used correctly with a potion of fortify restoration 101% you can double the damage effectively. It affects the spell making it 6 points of poison damage per second for 30 seconds. The output of the rune totals to 180 damage and stacks DoT. I chose to make the staff more useful by using the DoT because the poison rune is very hard to hit with and the opponent must be standing in it. Because of this Miraak’s staff makes it easier to use and deals poison damage by itself stacking with the rune making it very powerful. This really is not an augmentation but, makes life a lot easier when you want to cast rune spells.



    I devised that there should be a Potion section of this build to be a guide to how to achieve these values and what Potions should be used. Also ingredients will be included and where to get them. As you would of had noticed to this point the Restoration Potion seems to be the most popular in the build. If not this build would be like any ordinary mage build. Although this is true other potions come in very handy and should be hot-keyed or favorited during battle to make is smoother and flow better. At least ten of these potions should be carried at all times. It should probably be cleared now that this build is heavily based on alchemy and was not originally. Lastly I was able to find the values of all these potions at For a good alchemy page check out Vazgen's useful recipe/alchemy guide.

    First of I’m going to restate what is needed to achieve the 101% value of all created potions.

    • Alchemy Skill 100
    • Alchemist 5/5
    • Benefactor
    • Physician
    • Fortify Alchemy Enchantment (total of 35% or higher)

    Philter of Ethereal Cosmos

    • Potion of Fortify Restoration 101%                                                                                                       
    • Restoration Spells are 101% stronger for 60 seconds


    • Small Antlers(Female Elk)                                                                                                                                
    • Yellow Mountain Flowers(Dawnguard in Ancestor Glade)                                                                            

    Used to:

    • Obtain the Advanced Atronach/Apprentice
    • Augment the Staff of Magnus
    • Make Poison Rune do more damage

    Flask of Astral Power

    • Fortify Destruction Potion 101%                                                                                                             
    • Destruction spells are 101% stronger for 60 seconds                                                                                    
    • Restore 127 points of Magicka


    • Ectoplasm(Ghosts)
    • White Cap(Most Bandit Caves)
    • Glowing Mushroom(Blackreach and Caves)

    Used to:

    • Increase the power of Destruction spells
    • Restore Mana

    Tincture of the Twin Moons

    • Fortify Alteration Potion 81%                                                                                                                       
    • Alteration spells last 81% longer for 60 seconds


    • River Betty(30 around the apprentice stone)
    • Grass Pod(24 around Northwatch Keep)

    Used to:

    • Used to have Dragonhide last longer so you don't have to recast it
    • Paralyze enemies for a longer duration

    Essence of Magnus

    • Fortify Enchanting 20%                                                                                                                                       
    • For 30 seconds, items are enchanted 20% stronger


    • Snowberries(15 in Yngol Barrow)
    • Blue Butterfly Wing (10 around Rorikstead)

    Used to:

    • Increase the magnitude of pieces of equipment
    • Ex. Adept Robes (+50 magicka) now becomes (+60 Magicka)


    As for equipment I had chosen clothing that resembled the staff of Magnus and the Aetherial Crown which aesthetically look nice. The set in total gives the user an average of around 300 magicka for free while wearing it.  

    -Aetherial Crown:  Stones to be used are the Atronach and the Apprentice. The final outcome for the crown is:

    • 100+ Magicka
    • 100% Spell Regeneration
    • 100% Spell Absorption

    -Temple Priest Robes: Must have the Dragonborn DLC. Found at the temple in Raven Rock. You must kill one of the priests there to obtain it. Some of you might be against it but to be honest I didn't really mind. It kinda breaks the role play but it is literally the coolest looking robes in the game. It gives a small enchantment; 75% magicka regeneration. It can be improved temporarily like all enchantments with a Fortify Restoration/Enchanting Potion.

    -Thalmor Boots/Gloves: Can be found of Thalmor Justicars around Skyrim. Probably again the nicest looking boots and gloves in the game because of the detail. The boots don't really have to be enchanted because they don't have much to offer. As for the Gloves you will needthem for the necessary fortify alchemy enchantment and a nice little fortify magicka enchantment.

    -Ring of the Erudite: Found during one of the dawnguard quest lines for the Volkihar side. It gives you +100 mana and it regenerates you magicka faster. The extra magicka is the most unique because you can't get that enchantment on a ring without exploits. It also looks very unique and flows in well with the greenish/ golden look of the set.

    -Astral Relic: An enchanted necklace used to help achieve the 35% fortify alchemy enchant needed to fortify our potions. The fortify magicka helps majorly too.


    As the Celestial Warlock you will have to embark on many conquests, journeys, and pilgrimages throughout the galaxy. Notable quests that will help you adapt and enhance your abilities on Nirn are:

    College of Winterhold: Other than the poncho robes you get at the end the Staff of Magnus is the real reward. Around level twenty is when it should be picked up. One of the other pluses is that you get access to almost all the spells in the game and expert trainers.

    A Night to Remember: One of the more fun quest skyrim has to offer it is required to obtain the Sanguine Rose which I have used very often.

    Volihar Quest Line (Dawnguard): I've never really played through the vampire side of dawnguard and it was interesting to see the perspective. During the quest chain a quest to obtain the Ring of the Erudite is available. I do not recommend staying as a vampire because the Celestial Guardian is not a Vampire. Getting a cure is not optional, this is why I did not use the necromage perk. So i don't encourage staying one.

    Lost to the Ages(Dawnguard): Needed for the Aetherial crown which this build is centered upon. I recommend getting the crown at around level 20-30 to complete the build halfway until you get the potions and alchemy set up along with all the staves and skills.

    Dragonborn Main Quest: This is mainly just to get Miraak’s staff which becomes very useful, especially against warriors. The main quest should be done after all the quests prior to this have been completed.


    These special moves are specifically based on the build itself and are unique to the play style and abilities that a Celestial Warlock would have. As you might have noticed Staves and potions are a big part of the build so most of these are actually combos.


    The Celestial Warlock nearly slows time with the sound of his voice, echoing through the galaxies. Note: Someone else actually found this.

    Requires: Slow Time (level three),Stability,Tincture of Twin Moons

    The perk stability will actually make the shout slow time last longer and Tincture of the twin moons will make it longer as well because the Slow Time shout counts as an Alteration Spell


    The Warlock unleashes one of his staves of power replenishing his pool of magicka.

    Note: This can be abused very easily. I recommend using this power once per day.

    Requires: Sanguine Rose, 100% Spell Absorption

    The Sanguine Rose when used with spell absorption will give the player magicka because the staff targets the player, SEE the staff section for a greater insight.


    The Celestial Warlock unlocks his full potential by going into battle with skin as hard as a dragon, spells as deadly as Magnus himself, and an aura as great as the stars.

    Requires: All potions mentioned in the potions section.

    Using all the potions in the Alchemy section will enhance your equipment enchantments and basically every spell casted along with any staff used. SEE the Potions section for more information on the effects.


    The Celestial Warlock summons writhing tentacles on the battlefield, trapping the opponent and then fires an arcane rune of poison, watching the enemy diminish.

    Requires: Philter of Ethereal Cosmos, Miraak’s Staff, Poison Rune

    Using the Philter of Ethereal Cosmos will enhance the Poison Rune Spell because it counts as a restoration spell and will be easier to use if the opponent is constantly staggered in the tentacles from Miraak's staff. The DoT from both poison effects will kill an opponent magically cost efficient. SEE the staff section for a better understanding.


    Magnus himself releases all his energy into the Celestial Warlock from Aetherius and commands him to defeat his unwavering opponent with his staff of power, sapping all of his opponents lifeforce.

    Requires: Phiter of Ethereal Cosmos,Staff of Magnus(RH),Thunderbolt(LH),Drain Vitality

    The potion will increase the staff of magnus' output and the drain vitality spell will help decrease the health of the opponent gradually which will eventually drain all three stats of the opponent until he is dead. SEE staff section for a better understanding.


    From the cold of the void, the Warlock turns the stars black as space, freezing all his opponents into eternal slumber. 

    Requires: Advanced Apprentice Stone, Weakness to Frost Potion & Blizzard

    Props to everyone in the comments for Blackfrost, the weakness to frost and magicka greatly increases frost magic, dealing over twice the damage.

    Closing Thoughts

    First off I would like to thank everyone that helped get my previous build to rank 80. I would also like to thank Ben for putting it on the hall of fame. Since i've gotten here the community has been so strong, especially the CB group. I feel that builds should only be added if they offer something new. I hope I did everything here to my expectations. Lastly I would like to thank the people that participated in helping me along the way to finish this build and get it out.


    -Ben C: Ben has been great since i've first ever posted my build and has constantly giving me tips. He directed me to Nikolaj Poulson who did some very important testing that went on with the build.

    -Nikolaj Poulsen: He was a big part of the process in finding out what the real aspects of the staff of magnus was. He was a really big help with other questions I had too and without him I could not of had completed this build. I really appreciated his help.

    -Tiberius Nero: Mr. Nero has to be the most helpful person to me since my Crystal Guardian. As some of you might know I'm not the best at pictures and Tiberius did a fantastic job on my two previous perks spreads. I contacted him asking for help and he was very helpful in creating an awesome equipment picture and the amazing looking perks spreads.

    -Thanks to everyone who tried this build and gave me their feedback.

    Until Next Time -Adrik


    Check out my other builds:

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    It should.  Spell Absorption is accounted for separately than Weaknesses and Resistances, and I don't think Spell Absorption has any bearing on Blizzard.  So the game should see 200% Weakness to Magic, which should affect Blizzard.  See the discussion on the first page of the comments here for more info.

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    I just finished reading through the build and it is lengthy, but full of neat tips and unique gameplay techniques. I found the Hourglass effect, lengthening slow time with stability, to be very helpful. Why only level 1 of the shout, though?

    The Sanguine Rose absorption regen trick is quite unique and extremely useful.

    Augmenting the staff of Magnus is similarly powerful and awesome!

    About the staff of Miraak, I didn't quite understand its section when reading through it. To me it read that you shouldn't use poison rune with the staff, but the "Arcblast" tactic includes them both. Sorry if I'm just reading poorly, but could you please set me straight?

    Sunfire, vampire's bane, and stendarr's aura seem like they would fit this build thematically, since the build and spells are both related to the solar system, as well as functionally, as they would also be powered up by the philter of ethereal cosmos. You can still buy them from the Dawnguard vendors with a scroll of pacify or temporary vampire's seduction power.

    Small thing; when you typed, "Like many who use restoration, going past adept is needed" in the build I think you meant to add a "not" in the middle of that sentence, as you didn't take perks past adept.

    This build deserves someone to take screenshots of it and its gear set in action (I assume you're on console Adrik) as its attire is not only highly functional, but also very suave with its sky-blue and gold color scheme.

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    After a bit more experimenting, it looks like that tool is essentially saying that Yellow Mountain flowers add an extra 25% to the magnitude of the Fortify Restoration effect (in the same way that Deathbell adds 50% to damage health, for instance).  That info isn't on either wiki, but if both you and the tool corroborate it, I'll take your word for it.  Like I said before, it's a great build in any case.  The Sanguine Rose trick is really clever.

    I do think James has a point, that salt, Abecean Longfin, and Cyrodiilic Spadetail are all probably easier to come by than Small Antlers.

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    The level one slow time shout has a smaller duration but slows time more

    Miraak's staff should be used with poison rune, ill try to make the section a bit more clear.

    Ill fix the typo :D

    It would be amazing if someone could make some screenshots, yes I do play on console.

    Thanks for the reply ^^

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    On the wiki level 1 is 30% slow, level 2 is 20%, and level 3 is 10%

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    No thank you! You reply was quite informative and the build even more so! The build's really great, it's bound to gather a lofty amount of likes in no time, and what's more is that it thoroughly deserves them as well! Let's both hope for the screens, fellow x-boxer. ;P

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    That's misleading. It says that it slows time to 30% of it's normal flow, a 70% slow, progressively increasing to 20% time at word 2, an 80% slow, and finally 10% time with all 3 words, a 90% slow (nearly frozen time).

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    Thanks! I hope I made it just as good or even better than my previous builds. One of the many great things of Skyrim is finding new features out through testing and playthroughs.

  • Member
    April 5, 2013

    Yeah, I was trying to clarify what UESP meant. Oh English, you fickle glitch...