Lee has played "Skyrim" for several years now and enjoys writing about it and her various Dovahkiin.
If you're like me and love playing very powerful, very dangerous mages, chances are you don't need a staff. You won't after reaching a point where you rarely if ever run out of magicka. But maybe you use a custom skeleton that allows you to carry a stave on your back and enjoy the aesthetic of carrying one? I know I do.
Or maybe you're roleplaying a warrior-type character who only uses magick through staves as a rule.
Whatever the reason, I'm here to tell you where to find the most powerful staves in Skyim and how to get them.
The Wabbajack is the daedric artifact of Sheogorath and is given to the player after completing "Mind of Madness," a short quest that can be gotten in Solitude by talking to Dervenin, a crazy guy who wanders the streets talking to himself.
This is probably the most fun staff in the game and—to hear players tell it—the only staff worth getting. It's not only hilarious to use but also incredibly useful.
Turn dragons into bunnies. Reset your follower's level cap. Turn Ulfric into a crab. Go wild.
The Aetherial Staff
The Aetherium Forge quest is a series of dungeons that come with the Dawnguard DLC and you have three options of a reward at the end, one of them being this stave. You trigger the quest by either reading the in-game book Lost to the Ages or stumbling into the dungeon Arkngthamz. The quest is very long, but because I love playing adventurers who enjoy diving into dwemer ruins (and solving puzzles, following maps, the whole explorer trip), I've always loved it.
To be honest, though, I actually wouldn't call the Aetherium Staff you get out of it powerful. It's on this list because a) it looks neat and b) someone might find it useful for their roleplay. I normally go with the Aetherium Crown, as that benefits a mage the most, and I mostly play mages.
The Aetherium Staff basically summons a dwemer spider or guardian for 60 seconds. Not every great but pretty cool for someone who always wanted their own dwemer guardian. I always wished there was some mechanic in the game that would allow you to build dwemer guardians. That would have been so cool.
I actually hate hanging out in Falkreath because of the Barbus quest that gets crammed down your throat, on top of the fact that there aren't many dungeons to explore down there. In fact, most of the dungeons are either boring (full of zero-challenge skeletons) or quest-specific (Mehrune's Razor or Pinewatch). So when I found Halldir's staff, I realized the folly of my foolish, foolish ways.
Halldir's staff can be located in Halldir's Cairn down in Falkreath (be prepared for a boss fight).
What's interesting about the staff is that it can be very valuable for a sneaky character, not a mage. The staff can be used to place Calm on enemies you have hurt, and then you can kill them and Soul Trap them all! It's an area of effect spell, so you can basically use the staff to harvest souls!
Keep in mind that you have to hurt your targets first for the effects to work. So someone playing a thief or assassin who knows rune spells would be a soul harvesting machine.
Hit your enemies with a Shout that won't kill them, cast Calm with the staff, kill them all with a rune spell. Rinse and repeat to capture their souls!
I played a thief/assassin who used runes—try it! It's so fun.
All that being said, it's not a very powerful staff (most staffs in Skyrim aren't, so this entire article is going to be a bit ironic), but it's good for a low-level character. That's why the recommended level for Halldir's Cairn is only 6.
This is probably one of the most popular staffs after the Wabbajack because the quest to get it is so fun (unless you're married to Ysolda, and then it kinda sucks). You must complete the quest "A Night to Remember," during which the Dragonborn gets drunk and can't remember what happened the night before.
The staff can summon a level-based dremora, which you can then torment to level up your skills. I.e., if your Dovahkiin's an archer, you can shoot the dremora to gain archery skill points.
You may also get a daedra heart by using the Wabbajack on the summoned dremora and then killing it.
The Skull of Corruption
The Skull of Corruption can be obtained by traveling to Dawnstar and completing the quest "Waking Nightmare."
People say this staff is weak, but its area of effect spell can actually be pretty useful. At least at a low level, and sometimes at a high one.
You basically charge it by stealing people's nightmares as they are sleeping—which can be really fun if you're roleplaying an evil character or a vampire or something. Doing this as an assassin is amusing. I remember I used the staff to steal people's nightmares before killing them for a contract. Haha. Good times.
That being said, the staff is only useful when fully charged. It also doesn't clone npcs, which is a downer.
The Staff of Magnus
This staff should be at the top of the list, really. The Staff of Magnus is acquired by finishing the College of Winterhold questline.
It's supposed to be the most powerful staff in the world and yet it barely does damage to your enemies. Bethesda obviously didn't want the Dragonborn to be (even more) overpowered but come on. They could have at least made the staff more useful than the Staff of Fireball.
That being said, the staff is invaluable because it replenishes your magicka by draining your enemy of it, which means you can endlessly cast spells. And once the enemy's magicka is drained, their health is next.
So, it actually is powerful, but only for a mage (obviously). I finished Labyrinth with a recent mage character who acquired the staff, and they are practically invincible now.
The Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson
The Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson can be acquired by starting the College of Winterhold questline and completing Saarthal. You can pry it from the cold, dead hands of Jyrik himself. Sounds like fun, right?
The staff casts Lightning Bolt, taking 25 health damage and twice as much magicka. It's useful for a low-level mage, which you probably are if you start the college quests straight out of Helgen.
I'm not sure why, but the staff of Jyrik is one of my favorites in Skyrim, regardless of the fact that it's really not all that useful. I think I just like the way it looks. It's got that Gandalf feel.
And that's it. Sadly, the most powerful staves in Skyrim actually aren't that powerful after all. Did I miss one? If I did, I'll come back and be sure to add info on it.
Now that you know where to find these weapons, best get the game loaded. These utterly useless staves aren't going to find themselves!
© 2018 Lee
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on December 20, 2018:
I would get the Sanguine's Rose just because it's pretty. And also the Dark Brotherhood.
There's a guy who pops up in one of the dragon places, I can't remember his name but he has a weird mask and a pretty powerful fire staff. I always had fun blasting people away with that thing.