Impact is a perk that stands out due to what the Dragonborn can achieve with it, even at low levels. It allows a mage to stagger opponents when spells are dual cast. However, the larger the enemy the more damage one needs to inflict to cause stagger. Massive enemies such as dragons and mammoths can only be staggered if the damage of the dual casted spell is of a sufficient level.
Perks, potions, enchantments
Due to the stagger effect being linked to damage inflicted, and not the level of the spell, these perks are useful for generating stagger against an opponent with weaker spells. The "Fortify Destruction" property is useful for reducing the magicka cost (armor) and increasing the damage inflicted (potion). All Dragon Priest Masks found in Dragonborn, with the exception of Miraak, can also enhance the power of certain destruction spells.
- Augmented Flames 2/2
- Augmented Frost 2/2
- Augmented Shock 2/2
- Fortify Destruction
- Dragon Priest Masks DR
- Master level spells are not considered to be dual cast for purposes of this perk.
- Expert level spells can hit the damage threshold for staggering all creatures with only the "Augmented" perks listed above, however Adept level spells will not reach this benchmark unless the perks are taken and potions are imbibed.
- Adept level spells with an area of effect will stagger all opponents hit, opponents walking through "Wall" spells will become staggered when first entering the effect.
- Apprentice level trap runes will stagger all nearby enemies when dual cast and detonated, trap runes will also maintain their enhanced magnitude even after a "Fortify Destruction" potion has expired (if cast prior to the expiration).
- Dual cast destruction spells become the only ranged attack capable of a 100% stagger effect, the only ranged attacks capable of staggering massive creatures, and the only form of attack capable of staggering large groups of enemies simultaneously.
- Force Without Effort will not reduce the damage required to cause stagger, but can be useful for preventing interruption of Master level spells.
- If the Dragonborn has a large enough magicka pool, full destruction spell cost reduction or a very rapid magicka regeneration rate, then it is possible to indefinitely stagger or "staggerlock" an enemy.
Variations of stagger attacks
- The archery skill trees "Power Shot" perk does not stagger massive creatures and only has a 75% stagger when used in conjunction with Force Without Effort.
- The block perk "Shield Charge" can stagger/knockdown multiple enemies, but not simultaneously.