One of the questions i see most often when browsing forums such as these is "what should i focus on when making a mage?", good question. Let me start off by saying from experience that if you try to play this like its Oblivion you WILL die...A lot. I designed this guide through hours of play time and many deaths in order to develop the best build for a pure mage(not a spell Sword). I will begin by listing a few points, and then outlining perk selection. 1) Forsake Illusion: i enjoyed illusion in oblivion(spamming invisibility while running through a dungeon untouched...godly), but sadly this is not the case in Skyrim, and I just didn't find it very helpful in actual combat. 2) Magicka Regen over Magicka Supply: I find the speed at which you recover magicka to be more important than the amount that you have, afterall you can't kite forever while waiting for your magicka to recover. This is not say that magicka supply isn't important, it is but you should probably cap yourself at about 250-300 magicka(not including enchantments), and focus on your health 3) Enchanting is very important: with enchanting you can effectively make your spells cost little, to nothing. with this you can sling master level destruction spells as if they were novice. 4) Have a follower: having a follower will take the attention off of you, you'll want to choose someone with heavy armor to absorb aggro, and tank your enemies.(I recommend lydia) 5) Wear Robes: If you don't already know this armor weakens spells to get the full effect you'll want to wear, clothing instead of mail. 6) Dual casting is helpful: This is not true for every school of magic but is invaluable for destruction, as it staggers your enemies and ups the damage, also if you still want to make an illusion mage duel casting doubles the the strength of the spell, for example fury effects level 6, but when dual cast effects level 12. now that i've got that out of the way i'm going to go over perk selection. Perks differ from mage to mage, so or the sake of this guide i'm going to go over a destruction based build. Destruction: -Destruction Dual casting -augmented fire, frost, or shock -Impact for destruction i chose to go with dual casting and impact in order to stagger would be attackers so i could better keep them bay as for what element to specialize in, it is completely up to you here's a break down to better your understanding. Fire- lowest magicka cost and highest damage output, it's traveling speed is in between frost and shock making it a great primary attack option. Dark Elves, Flame Atronachs, and Fire dragons resist this element Frost- medium cost, and slow moving frost is most effective for slowing down melee attackers a draining their stamina. Nords, Frost Atronachs, and Frost Dragons resist this element Shock- fastest movement speed, and highest cost it is most effective against fellow magisters because it drains them of there magicka. Storm Atronachs resist this element Restoration: -Recovery -Avoid Death(maybe i thought it was pretty cool) For restoration your focus should be on the magicka recovery aspect you may also choose to invest in the "regeneration" perk to better your health recovery in a pinch. Enchanting: -Enchanter -Insightful Enchanter -Extra Effect your focus should be on increasing your enchantments strength this will allow you to drastically reduce the cost of your spells as mentioned above. Alteration: -Magic Resistance -Atronach Focus on passive effects, perks such mage armor can be helpful, but with magic resistance you can kite easier by not having to worry about getting killed by another mage. You may also choose to invest into conjuration as well and that's fine, but if you use to many perks on things you want you'll find yourself lacking in what you need. This is my first guide and i would enjoy feed back as to how i could make it better. this guide only outlines the destruction character build, a different type of mage say a conjuration mage would have a very different build.