Best Rogue Builds - Dragon Age 2 (DA2)

By zanuffas
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Best Rogue Builds

In this post I will go in-depth on the best rogue builds in Dragon Age 2. This Is one of the three classes that the player can choose. It can use either Dual Wield daggers or a bow as a weapon. This leads to interesting options being a sneaky assassin, a long-range archer. So take your pick

I will try to go in-depth on a few builds that would suit different playstyles.

Rogue Dual wield Assassin build

This build is a lethal assassin that uses double daggers to take out enemies. You can expect insane amounts of damage on single target enemies. This will be a pure glass cannon that can die in a few seconds if not played carefully.

Attributes

The main attributes for rogue are Dexterity and Cunning. Dexterity provides increased critical chance, attack – for more successful attacks and damage. Cunning increases critical damage and defense which is needed to avoid enemy attacks.

rogue assassin build da2 attributes

Here are a few tips on how I recommend spending attribute points:

  • If you are the only Rogue in the group concentrate on getting 20 Cunning – Act 1, 30 – Act 2, and 40 – Act 3 as soon as possible. This will allow to reveal all traps and unlock chests in that Act. So for example you should have 30 Cunning just before the end of Act 1.
  • Regarding Dexterity your priority is 41. Why is that? This is what you need to wield the best dagger in the game. Moreover, this will ensure that you have a high base critical chance.
  • Willpower – I think this attribute does not need much attention for this Dual Wield build. Maybe put 4~ points at about level 14 and that should be it
  • Constitution – this attribute depends on how well your play. So I suggest evaluating yourself. If you die very often, it is a good option to invest in it. Otherwise, spend points on Dexterity or Cunning for maximum damage.

Overall, the more points you put in Dexterity and Cunning the larger will be your DPS, but you will die more easily.

So each level you can spend points like this:

  • Dexterity – 1 point (2 points if you get some dagger that you cannot equip)
  • Cunning - 2 points, until you reach 40.
  • Willpower Constitution, sprinkle every few levels.

Abilities

Now let’s get into the meaty part of the build. What abilities should you get for this Dual Wield rogue build?

rogue assassin build da2 abilties

We will take those skills that can ensure high DPS. Moreover, we want to concentrate on debilitating enemies rather than supporting party members.

Order Skill Description
1 Backstab Although it is not a very powerful ability, early in the game it provides good ways to reposition yourself as a dual wield rogue
2 Stealth Very good ability. You become invisible to the enemies. Moreover, enemies that target you get knocked back, and their actions are interrupted.
3 Unforgiving Chain Mandatory ability, that allows you to stack attacks increasing overall critical chance up to 20%
4 Speed Increases attack speed by 10%
5 Explosive Strike Uses up all of the stacks from the unforgiving chain. This results in a high damage attack.
6 Blindside Increases Rogue damage by 20% if attacking an enemy that is targeting other party members.
7 Merciless Strike Explosive Strike will now have a 100% critical chance and deals bonus damage to STAGGERED enemies.
8 Twin Fangs A very powerful skill that has 100% critical chance. Use it to take care of enemies insanely fast.
9 Mark of Death Reduces enemy damage resistance by 25% to all attacks that it receives
10 Bloodlust A great passive ability that restores at least 5% of stamina for each killed enemy.
11 Pinpoint Strikes We mainly take this for progression. I do not use it often, mostly on boss encounters where 100% Attack ensures that no attacks are being deflected.
12 Reversed Grip Decreases Twin Fangs cooldown by 10 seconds.
13 Assassinate Another powerful ability that has 100% critical chance and has insanely big physical damage amount.
14 Devious Harm Increases Critical Damage even more... This will make your total damage go through the roof.
15 Annihilate 200% physical damage against enemies that have BRITTLE status. Moreover, decreases cooldown by 10 seconds.
16 Overkill Assassinate now gets an additional boost to physical damage.
17 Pinpoint Precision Gives a 50% critical damage boost. Probably the most powerful passive ability
18 Precision We mainly take this for progression
19 Power We mainly take this for progression
20 Harmony Provides passive bonuses to Speed ability
21 Lightning Speed Increases Attack Speed by 5%
22 Energizing Speed Decreases all cooldowns by 10%. Allowing the Dual Wield Rogue build to use Twin Fang and Assassinate more often.

All of these abilities will ensure that the Rogue build deals a tremendous amount of damage in a short period of time.

After this here are some good ability recommendations that you can pick:

  • Inconspicuous
  • Evade
  • Subtlety
  • Follow-Through
  • Lingering Shroud

Feel free to pick any other abilities that you think will help you optimize your playstyle.

Tactics

For this build to work the main thing to do is to check your health and have a decent tank. The Rogue Assassin build has really low HP but has high damage. A group of enemies can easily take you down in a matter of seconds.

Some of this will be mitigated by your high defense.

Here are my overall tips to best play this rogue build:

  • Stealth skill is very useful. It will make you invisible to enemies. But more importantly, it will stagger enemies interrupting their current action. I prefer to run first with my Rogue attracting many enemies' attention. Due to this Stealth helped a lot.
  • You should use Twin Fangs on any enemies that are 100% HP normal rank or any HP Elite or higher. This is a very powerful ability that not only does crazy damage but also knocks back most of the enemies.
  • Unforgiving Chain is mandatory to charge up. It will ensure that you maximize your chance of critical hit with any ability that you use: backstab, Twin Fangs, etc.

Party composition

Here are some tips on what companions to pick:

  • A good tank that can draw enemies' attention is mandatory. This way you can get bonus damage from the Blindside passive. For this I recommend Aveline. Fenris can also work but not as well.
  • Another important aspect is to have a mage with Haste ability. For this Anders or Bethany is recommended. They will ensure that you have a high attack speed for fast stamina regeneration and very large DPS.

Otherwise, anything else works. You will be the main damage dealer and all other party members are there just to support you on survival

Rogue Archer Build

Archer is a totally different build that I can suggest. Unfortunately, it does not have good abilities like Dual Wield rogues. However, there are a few ways that I suggest going around this.

The build requires some additional effort from your companions. They need to be able to utilize Combos. Due to this, the best level to use this build is from around 13. Before that Archer is not really a viable option in my opinion.

Attributes

The main attributes for rogue are Dexterity and Cunning. Dexterity provides increased critical chance, attack – for more successful attacks and damage. Cunning increases critical damage and defense which is needed to avoid enemy attacks.

rogue archer build da2 attributes

Here are a few tips on how I recommend spending attribute points:

  • If you are the only Rogue in the group concentrate on getting 20 Cunning – Act 1, 30 – Act 2, and 40 – Act 3 as soon as possible. This will allow to reveal all traps and unlock chests in that Act. So for example you should have 30 Cunning just before the end of Act 1.
  • Regarding Dexterity your priority is 42. Why is that? This is what you need to wield the best bow in the game. This will also provide decent Attack value so that the Rogue Archer does not miss most of the hits.
  • Willpower – I think this attribute does not need much attention for this Bow build. Maybe put 4~ points at about level 14 and that should be it
  • Constitution – this attribute depends on how well your play. So I suggest evaluating yourself. If you die very often, it is a good option to invest in it. Otherwise, spend points on Dexterity or Cunning for maximum damage.

Overall, the more points you put in Dexterity and Cunning the larger will be your DPS, but you will die more easily.

So each level you can spend points like this:

  • Dexterity – 1 point (2 points if you get a bow that you cannot equip)
  • Cunning - 2 points, until you reach 40.
  • Willpower Constitution, sprinkle every few levels.

Abilities

In this section, I will go through the best abilities for Rogue archer build.

rogue archer build da2 abilities

Here is how I recommend to allocate ability points as you progress:

Order Skill Description
1 Pinning Shot This will be Archer build one of the main abilities. It has decent damage and can pin targets, making them immobile.
2 Speed Increases attack speed by 10%
3 Miasmic Flask We mainly take this for progression. However, early in the game, this ability provides decent crowd control options for the rogue.
4 Rush We mainly take this for progression. However, it can be used to escape groups of enemies if surrounded.
5 Rapid Pinning Shot Pinning shot effect duration is increased and cooldown is decreased.
6 Bursting Arrow We mainly take this for progression
7 Blindside Increases Rogue archer damage by 20% to enemies that are targeting other party members.
8 Disorienting Shot Very powerful upgrade. Allows Pinning Shot to have 100% to apply DISORIENT on enemies. This can be exploited by warriors and mages with Combos.
9 Charge Rush can now knock back enemies.
10 Fatiguing Fog One of the main abilities that you will use with the Archer. It will slow a group of enemies decreasing their overall speed by 50%
11 Bloodlust Killing an enemy restores stamina by at least 5%
12 Mark of Death This Archer build will now be able to weaken enemies by decreasing their damage resistance.
13 Pinpoint Strikes This is a very powerful ability, especially in the midgame. Your archer will probably not have a 100% critical chance so this ability will ensure it for 10 seconds.
14 Relentless Strikes Gives bonus duration to Pinpoint Strikes
15 Devious Harm Increases Critical Damage by 1% for each Cunning point that the rogue archer has.
16 Impenetrable Fog Fatiguing Fog will now obscure allies increasing their defense attribute value.
17 Overpowering Fog Fatiguing Fog will now apply DISORIENT on enemies that enter the fog. Use this with other group members for Combos.
18 Precision We mainly take it for progression
19 Power We mainly take it for progression
20 Harmony Improves Speed sustained ability by giving bonus critical chance and attack.
21 Lightning Speed Speed now further increases attack speed by 5%
22 Energizing Speed Reduces the cooldowns of abilities by 10%. This is a great ability as now you can use Pinning Shot and Fatiguing Fog more often for even more combos.

Now you have two options for the second specialization you have two options:

Shadow specialization

rogue archer build da2 shadow abilities

You will get the sweet bonus critical damage from Pinpoint precision:

Order Skill Description
23 Pinpoint Precision Increases the critical damage by whooping 50%.
24 Disorienting Criticals You can now apply DISORIENT with critical hits while being obscured. This is an interesting alternative of how to use Fatiguing Fog on yourself rather than enemies.
25 Evade We mainly take this for progression
26 Chameleon's Breath Use this ability to obscure yourself and your allies
27 Chameleon's Cloud Increases the duration of Chameleon's Breath and diameter.

Duelist specialization

rogue archer build da2 duelist abilities

It will give a very good ability that deals a large amount of physical damage:

Order Skill Description
23 Throw the Gauntlet We mainly take this for progression
24 Parry We mainly take this for progression
25 Vendetta The very good ability that can deal a large amount of damage to a single target. This is what this build mainly lacks.
26 Sure Strikes Increases Attack by 20%, greatly reducing the chance that your attacks will deflect against Lieutenants and bosses.
27 Blood Feud Decreases Vendetta cooldown and allows to deal bonus damage to enemies under the effect of STAGGER.

Tactics

Sadly, making an effective Rogue Archer is quite difficult compared to other builds. Based on what we have, here are my recommendations:

  • Apply Fatiguing Fog to groups of enemies and have your mages use Spirit Bolt, Stone Fist for fast Combos and large damage.
  • Use Chameleon's Breath on yourself to constantly apply DISORIENT on enemies with critical hits.
  • Pinning Shot is a very powerful ability. It can immobilize most of the enemies in the game. But more importantly, it applies DISORIENT 100% on any enemy. This is crazy and allows for good combos.
  • Do not expect large damage with this build. It mostly relies on your companion's combo attacks

Party Composition

This aspect is especially important for this build to work. Sadly you cannot do it incorrectly as the Rogue archer build is not strong enough by itself. Here are my tips:

  • Anders, Merrill, Bethany - these companions have abilities like Spirit Bolt and Stonefist to utilize DISORIENT effect on enemies for large combo damage.
  • A good Tank is also a great option to draw attention. However, I would rather go for something like Fenris who has a bit larger damage output compared to Aveline

Equipment

In this section, I will cover some of the equipment that I recommend using with Rogue builds.

Daggers and dual wield weapons

Priority Item Description
1 finesse icon da2Finesse This is probably the best dagger in the game. It also comes with a rune slot, that you can use to maximize your damage.
2 The Maker's Kiss icon da2The Maker's Kiss The dagger deals Spirit Damage. I suggest having it as an option against enemies weak to this element.
3 shard of the fallen icon da2Shard of the Fallen I think this dagger is very good. It may lose some DPS but it gives a chance to restore health. Because Dual Wield Rogue build has a very fast attack speed you can easily take on groups of enemies.
4 bard's honor icon da2Bard's Honor This is not a dagger but an axe. However, it can be worn by Dual Wield Rogues. It is decent throughout the game.
5 stitch-maker icon da2Stitch-Maker Act 2 dagger that comes with a +9% boost to critical damage and a rune slot.

Bows

If you went with the One-handed build here are some weapon options:

Priority Item Description
1 Jackal's longbow da2Jackal's Longbow This bow is a very strong option in Act 3. It deals fire damage. However, it does not have a rune slot. If you will have Primeval rune look for other options
2 Hood's message to the king bow da2Hood's Message to the King A very good bow throughout the whole game. It also comes with two rune slots. Moreover, it deals bonus damage to demons and undead of which there are plenty in Act 3. Very good choice for Rogue Archer build
3 absolution da2Absolution Another Act 3 alternative to the bows mentioned above.
4 The Heaven's Answer da2The Heaven's Answer I think this is the best bow in Act 2. Moreover, it is fairly cheap.
5 the runts spiker icon da2The Runt's Spiker I think this is the best option in Act 1. It provides a bonus to critical chance and physical damage.

Amulets

Priority Item Description
1 Four-Fingered Eddie's Lucky Talisman da2Four-Fingered Eddie's Lucky Talisman The best amulet that a rogue build can wear. Gives increase cunning, dexterity, attack speed, etc.
2 eye of the bearded dragon icon da2Dull Brass Amulet Provides +1 to all attributes. A decent option
3 sacred heart icon da2The Sacred Heart The amulet provides +2% to critical chance and +4% to physical damage
4 Pewter Pendant of Wolves Howling at the Moon icon da2Pewter Pendant of Wolves Howling at the Moon This amulet can be obtained in Act 1. it provides +2 to critical chance

Belts

Priority Item Description
1 the belt of promise da2The Belt of Promise The belt gives +3 to cunning and dexterity making it the best choice for any rogue build
2 Master Wyvern Hunter's Belt da2Master Wyvern Hunter's Belt I think this is a bit worse compared to the first choice. This belt provides bonus attack speed and critical chance based on the Hawke level when it was obtained.
3 Ties That Bind belt da2Ties That Bind Provides dexterity and Attack speed based on the level when Hawke obtains it.
4 the antivan garrote da2The Antivan Garrote The belt can be obtained early in the game and gives +2% critical chance and +4% critical damage. I would say this this very good choice for Rogue early in the game
5 Enchanted Silverite Chain Belt da2Enchanted Silverite Chain Belt Provides +1 to all attributes.

Rings

Priority Item Description
1 Puzzle Ring of the Black Fox da2Puzzle Ring of the Black Fox The ring provides all the stats the rogue needs.
2 the graven circle da2The Graven Circle This ring provides the largest critical damage boost out of all items. However, it depends on Hawke's level when it was obtained.
3 Ring of Resilience da2Ring of Resilience Provides +1 to all attributes
4 carved ring of the vhenadahl da2Carved Ring of the Vhenadahl The ring provides a +2% critical chance. Unfortunately, only obtainable late into the Act 1
5 ring of the archmage da2Ring of the Archmage The ring gives bonus critical and physical damage.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helped you to better understand how to best build Rogue in Dragon Age 2. We went through two main weapon types: bow and dual wield. Moreover, this covered the best companions for different options.

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Discussion

Anonymous

Thank you!