About this guide: I have been using a lot of conjuration in Skyrim since I really dislike followers and unless I need them for specific quest or I am making a Dwemer scrap metal run I leave them behind, but having a little help is still extremely nice and I have found that the different summons have different uses that they are ideal for. So I decided I would release this guide on them. I will include a short section on necromancy, but personally I don’t really use it so I won’t go into too much detail with it, but I will explain a little bit about how to maximize its usefulness. I will go through each summon one by one, level tier by tier, and explain the ideal usage for each. Please note that while I do now have Dawnguard and Dragonborn I have yet to fully test out their summons. So please allow time for me to add onto them as I can. This will be a work in progress for a little while. Novice: Familiar: This little guy is not the most useful thing you have, but he will get you to Apprentice level spells easy enough. I personally use this as an opener until I have a body or two and then stick to using Raise Zombie until I get to Apprentice level spells. It just isn’t good for a lengthy fight at any level. Its health is too limited, damage too low, and has to get up close to fight. It can’t even tank for you effectively. Use it to make bodies then start raising the dead until you get to Apprentice level summons. Apprentice: Flame Atronach: This is one hot lady. I mean literally hot, she’s on fire. Bad puns aside this here is your first useful summon in my opinion. She isn’t a complicated summon in lines of attacks. She floats and seems to skate around using flames as she throws Firebolts at the enemy, and has a Flame Cloak on during combat. When she gets up close to the enemy she slaps them and burns them with her Flame Cloak. She doesn’t have much health, but she can do some damage without getting close. You’ll be using her for range until you got your hands on the Expert level Storm Atronach. She is also immune to fire. Flaming Familiar: This looks the same as the useless Novice level Familiar except it is made of fire, but that’s where the similarities end. This spell summons a flaming wolf for 6 seconds, who then tracks down and bites the nearest target before exploding for a reasonable amount of fire damage to anything nearby upon death or at the end of its duration. This guy is cheap to summon and works exactly like a fireball with a tracking system and has the longest ranged summon distance without perks, not to mention it is cheap to summon and will sky rocket your leveling once you can cast it effectively. Treat this more like a fire and forget Destruction Spell rather than a conventional summon. I suggest actually getting this at level 1. So if you want a good solid Conjuration Mage exit Helgen, and travel north to Dawnstar, then travel west along the coast to High Gate Ruins. Here you will meet a nice Nord mage named Anska, she will give you a quest in which you help her retrieve a scroll, after battling a powerful Dragon Priest named Vokun -who will be wearing a mask with a 20% spell cost reduction to Conjuration, Alteration, and Illusion-, she will teach you this invaluable spell. Boneman: This here is a spell I have found to be pathetically useless unless being used as an early game dragon killer when Flame Atronach is possibly going to be ineffective. For necromancers this guy makes use of the necromancy perks. So consider this guy for that reason, but don't rely on him much since his use wears out quickly. Adept: Frost Atronach: This is your first melee tank. I have never seen frosty the angry snowman use a ranged attack, but damn does he have health. This guy stabs and beats the enemy to death with the giant frosty spikes he has for hands while he blocks everything from getting to you. He makes a great tank and so long as you replace him he will be your best friend in the whole wide world through the later levels of the Adept tier or whenever you need a tank or an extra melee user. You will be using him for all your tanking needs until you reach the Expert spells. He is also immune to frost damage if you find you need it. Expert: Dremora Lord: This guy knows how to tank, knows how to deal damage, and is going to completely replace everything else you may summon unless you need a ranged user. This guy packs a punch and can take it. Wearing daedric armor and having a big ol’ Daedric Greatsword of the Inferno he truly is a force to be reckoned with. Just drop him in front of you and watch as he sniffs out weakness and kills virtually everything in his path. Think of him as your new tank and make sure you keep him marked as a favorite if not hot-keyed. You will likely be using him a lot. As a nice plus he also has actual combat dialogue and taunts as he fights. I use even after I get the Master spells. Storm Atronach: This is your ranged user from here on out. He fires lightning bolts at the enemies and I think I have seen in act as chain lightning even. He also seems to have somekind of shock wave he uses in melee, but basically this is your dragon killer. Just summon him and let him snipe out the dragon while it’s in air with his pin point precision. He is also good when going up against a place like a fort where enemies are on the walls or grouped together, as he can hit them all at once as well as do some wall clearing without needing to climb the stairs to get to them. He has some kind of electric cloak spell going on and has complete shock immunity. Master: Thralls: These are all identical to their lower level equivalents except they don’t wear out, are more powerful, and seem to have more attacks at their exposal. I prefer to use Storm Thralls when outside so they can help me will anything I may come across, point out enemies early, and to alert me of dragons. Flame Thralls are sometimes nice for indoors where the Storm and Frost Thralls get stuck in doorways due to being so big and bulky. They are expensive, but nice to keep running since they can assist you and often begin fighting before you yourself can begin the fight. Necromancy: I personally don’t use much necromancy, but I did experiment with it enough to learn about how to make the most use of the undead. The key here is to know what you can and cannot reanimate with your spell, and always revive the strongest body you can, make sure you kill the first thing you can in each fight and use that to help you make bodies as you work up to the strongest enemy in the group that you can resurrect. Every 25 levels grab that next spell so that you can keep bringing back the dead as well as raise stronger minions. Dead Thralls can act as followers and pack mules, but must be a playable race, elder, or Dremora. Also all non-Thralls will turn to ash upon death or after the spell wears off, preventing reuse of the same body. You also can not use bodies without a head as minions. Before I go: I am glad I managed to release a new guide as school has eaten all my time and I will try to have more out soon. Please make suggestions or ask any questions you may have and I will try to answer them. I would also like to thank those who have commented on my other guides, I appreciate the support.