Blood Mage build - Dragon Age 2 (DA2)

By zanuffas
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Blood Mage build

This post will go into great detail on the Blood Mage build in Dragon Age 2. This will cover how to best build mage Hawke to use blood for spellcasting

Blood Mage specialization becomes available at Level 7 or 14. It allows using health as a source for spells instead of mana. Moreover, you can use multipliers to decrease the amount of health a spell needs.

Blood Magic also enables crowd control for enemies that have blood.

If all of this sounds like your type of character, let's continue!

This post is WIP!

Blood Mage Wizard build

As you can guess this build concentrates on using various spells to mainly deal elemental damage.

Attributes

It is very important to correctly allocate your attributes as this decides what gear Hawke can use and how well you can deal with the health management.

Da2 Blood Mage Hawke attributes

Here are my recommendations for every level:

  • +2 Magic. This is the main attribute that will decide how much damage Blood Mage Hawke deals.
  • +1 Constitution/Willpower. So every level change between these attributes. Once you reach 18 Willpower, that will be enough for the best armors, and the rest of the points can go into Constitution.

So generally at a high level, you should have 30~ Constitution to have a decent pool of health for spellcasting.

Abilities

Now let’s take a look at what abilities the Blood Mage build should pick to maximize the effectiveness.

Da2 Blood Mage Hawke abilities

Here is how I recommend progressing with the abilities:

Order Skill Description
1 Spirit Bolt This is a cheap spell that deals decent damage
2 Chain Lightning Electricity element spell that will hit multiple enemies and will also knock them back.
3 Winter’s Grasp Ice spell, that freezes enemies, great CC ability.
4 Stonefist A great ability that deals physical damage and also has a high physical force to knock down enemies.
5 Petrify The enemy becomes entombed in stone. Although it will not be able to attack its damage resistance will increase
6 Cone of Cold This ability deals AOE cold damage that can freeze groups of enemies. Very powerful ability, but it deals friendly fire on Nightmare.
7 Dispel Magic This ability will allow you to remove positive magic effects from enemies.
8 Winter’s Blast This ability will allow Winter's Grasp to apply a BRITTLE status effect. This can be exploited by other classes for Combo damage.
9 Blood Magic Your most important ability that will allow Hawke to cast spells by using HP instead of mana
10 Grave Robber This ability will allow draining some health from enemy corpses. Great after the first few kills to restore your HP.
11 Sacrifice Another important ability that will allow draining allies HP to restore Hawke HP. This way Blood Mage can continue using spells.
12 Hemorrhage This is a very powerful spell that will pass any damage resistance and deal full damage to enemies with Blood.
13 Spirit Strike This will upgrade Spirit Bolt so that it would deal additional damage to enemies under the effect of DISORIENT. Moreover, it increases spell damage and decreases its cost.
14 Paralyzing Hemorrhage This will upgrade Hemorrhage to deal bonus damage. Moreover, if the spell is used on a STAGGERED enemy the damage will be increased by 500%. So be sure to have a warrior that can apply this status effect.
15 Chain Reaction Upgrades Chain Lightning. It will now Arc two times and more and deal bonus damage to enemies under the effect of STAGGER
16 Bloodlust Improves the effectiveness of Blood Magic by using less HP to cast spells
17 Golem’s Fist Upgrades Stone Fist so that it would deal bonus damage against enemies under the effect of DISORIENT
18 Desiccate Enemies are now less resistant to damage under the effect of Petrify. Moreover, they can now get status BRITTLE.
19 Deep Freeze Cone of Cold can now apply BRITTLE status effect on enemies. This can be exploited by other class combos.
20 Tempest We mainly take this for progression, but it is a decent ability to deal AOE electricity damage.
21 Galvanism Improves the effectiveness of all spells in the Primal tree
22 One Foot In Grave Robber will now deal bonus damage to enemies surrounding Blood Mage Hawke. Moreover, each enemy that is affected by this restores caster's health by 10%

I think these abilities cover the core of this build. Now you have a few variations to go into.

Build variations

Here are some build variations once you are finished with the core allocation. It can easily make Blood Mage go full offensive or also support the party a little.

Force Mage

The first one is Force Mage.

Da2 Blood Mage Hawke abiltiies force mage specialization

This will improve greatly offensive capabilities and give Hawke additional spells to use.

Order Skill Description
23 Fist of the Maker This is AOE spell that will deal physical damage to enemies. Moreover, it has a 20%chance to stun normal rank foes.
24 Telekinetic Burst We mainly take this for progression. Of course, this ability can be used to knock down a group of enemies, but it does not deal any damage.
25 Pull of the Abyss This is a very effective spell to pull enemies together. It will also reduce their attack and movement speed by 50%. After this spell, you can use other skills like Hemorrhage or Cone of Cold to deal big damage.
26 Maker’s Fury Fist of the Maker will now have a lower cooldown by 5 seconds
27 Maker’s Hammer The Fist of the Maker will have its radius increased. Moreover, it will deal a bonus of 600% physical damage to STAGGERED enemies.
28 Edge of the Abyss Greatly increases the size of the Pull of the Abyss. Total is 15 meters.

Spirit Healer

Another option is to take Spirit Healer specialization

Da2 Blood Mage Hawke abiltiies spirit healer specialization

This is more of a defensive approach that will greatly boost Hawke mage build constitution for a larger spellcasting pool. Moreover, you can also revive fallen allies

Order Skill Description
23 Healing Aura This is an ability that we will activate if the situation calls - your allies or you have low health. Otherwise, you should keep it disabled.
24 Group Heal Once you have Healing Aura active, you can use Group Heal to heal your allies and Hawke
25 Revival Allies can now be resurrected. This can turn the tide on some difficult encounters where a tank died and enemies ar swarming you and other group members.
26 Unity Group heal is now improved and restores 40% of health.
27 Renewal Revival is much more effective now.
28 Vitality You now gain +10 Constitution increasing the Blood Mage HP pool by a large margin. This will make you overall more effective in the battle.

I personally do not prefer this variation as it requires too much micromanaging and I give healing capabilities to Anders.

Other considerations

Of course, there are also other options – heavy investment into Creation tree for spells like Haste and Glyph of Paralysis. This also includes Heal, which can help allies to escape death. Moreover sustained ability Heroic Aura, will reserve your mana - which you do not use anymore, making it free to be activated.

Or you could put the rest of the points into Entropy. This will also allow to better control enemies, weaken them, making boss fights much easier.

So feel free to test out different spells and choose what is the most appropriate for you.

Tactics

To maximize this build you need some things to consider. First your party members. Here is what I recommend:

  • Warrior - Aveline, Fenris, or Carver for STAGGER status effects. You will be able to deal large combos with abilities like Chain Lightning and Hemorrhage
  • Rogue - Varric, Sebastian, or the worst option Isabela. They will play an important role in applying DISORIENT on enemies so that you could use Spirit Bolt and Stonefist for additional combo damage.
  • Mage - Anders. He will be able to cast healing and support spells like Glyph of Paralysis, Haste, Heroic Aura.

Equipment

For the Blood Mage build, gear is very important. It is one of the sources that allow you to improve the effectiveness of the Blood Magic. This results in less HP needed to cast spells.

Staves

All of the staves that I suggest give increased effectiveness to Blood Magic. This means that less HP has to be used to cast spells.

Priority Item Description
1 cold blooded icon da2Cold-Blooded Overall, this is the best staff that you can get. It greatly boosts cold damage, increases magic by 6. Moreover, it improves the effectiveness of Blood Magic
2 Corrupted Acolyte's Staff icon da2 Corrupted Acolyte's Staff This staff deals physical damage which can be a problem in Nightmare. However, it provides a bonus electricity damage of 16%. So it is very effective with Tempest and Chain Lightning.
3 Voracity icon da2 Voracity A decent staff that has fire elemental damage. I suggest keeping it in Act 3 as it will be effective against enemies weak to fire: Pride Demons, Bloodrager's, Slavers, etc.
4 Sketch's Resplit-Shaft icon da2 Sketch's Resplit-Shaft One of the first staves that you can obtain that have increased Blood Magic effectiveness.

Helmet

Priority Item Description
1 Adept Mage Cowl  
2 Circlet of the Dreamer  
3 The Apostate's Mask  
4 Cowl of the Silent One  
5 The Fugitive's Crown  

Gloves

There are not many options here, so go with anything before you can obtain the ones in the list.

Priority Item Description
1 The Hands of Fate  
2 Gloves of the Champion  
3 Gloves of the Void  

Robes

Priority Item Description
1 Robes of Unblemished Cleanliness  
2 Aldenon's Vestments  
3 Robes of the Champion  
4 Adept Robes
 
5 Robes of the Pretender
 

Boots

Priority Item Description
1 Dusty Traveler's Slippers  
2 Stalwart Treads  
3 Enchanter's Spatterdashes  
4 Boots of the Champion  
5 Sandals of the Mystic  

Amulets

Priority Item Description
1 Smite icon da2Smite I think this is the best amulet that Blood Mage build can wear. It gives bonus electricity, spirit, and fire damage. However, it requires you to fight quite a challenging boss
2 eye of the bearded dragon icon da2Dull Brass Amulet Similar to the below amulet but provides bonus armor and immunity to flank damage.
3 Urzara's Tooth da2Urzara's Tooth
The amulet gives +1 to all attributes and bonus health to cast more spells.
4 Talisman of Saarebas icon da2Talisman of Saarebas This will probably be your first amulet that gives a bonus to Blood Magic. Moreover, it gives a few points to health regeneration
5 Moonstone Amulet icon da2Moonstone Amulet
Act 1 amulet that gives a bonus to spirit damage.

Belts

Priority Item Description
1 Enchanted Silverite Chain Belt da2Enchanted Silverite Chain Belt A very powerful belt is obtained early in the game. It provides +1 to all attributes.
2 Master Wyvern Hunter's Belt da2Master Wyvern Hunter's Belt This is a really good option that gives a bonus critical chance. Moreover, it increases attack speed for auto-attacks.
3 Belt of Vigor da2Belt of Vigor Provides bonus health regeneration and increases health by 22 points for a larger spellcasting pool.
4 The Irons da2The Irons The belt gives bonus health and constitution. These will increase the HP pool for the Blood Mage build

Rings

Priority Item Description
1 Ring of the Ferryman da2Ring of the Ferryman A very powerful ring that gives bonus magic and increases electricity damage by 24%. Moreover, makes the wearer immune to stuns.
2 the fallen star da2The Fallen Star Provides +1 to all attributes and increases health. A perfect ring to be used as early as possible in the game.
3 Ring of Ruin da2Ring of Ruin The ring increases Blood Magic effectiveness, so be sure to wear it at least until Act 3.
4 Ring of Resilience da2Ring of Resilience Provides +1 to all attributes, which makes it a very good early game ring.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post about Hawke Blood Mage builds in Dragon Age 2. We went through how attribute points should be allocated, how to spend your ability points, and what gear to pick.

I hope everything is clear and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or ask a question on our Discord.

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Discussion

Anonymous

A great guide and build once again.

After many playthroughs of DA2 I have found that in nightmare difficulty the best tree to pick as a mage is Entropy. It makes the game almost too easy once you have enough points in. The Arishok fight becomes a child's play.

You might want to check it some time.

Thank you for keeping these amazing games alive.