Cassandra Tank Build

Cassandra Tank Build - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
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I will be covering the Cassandra Tank Build for Dragon Age: Inquisition. She is one of the first companions that you will encounter in the game. She has a templar specialization and can be an effective Tank character with strong offensive capabilities.

Cassandra Tank build

This build is for those who want to have Cassandra as their main tank in the group. Although she may be a bit weaker than Blackwall, she can do the same job.

Abilities - Early Game, levels 1 - 10

I will assume that Cassandra will be your main tank at the beginning of the game. Even though Blackwall may be better, for some players it may take a while to get him. So we will first build Cassandra as a tank.

Order Skill Description
1 shield wall iconShield Wall
Cassandra gets it by default
2 payback strike iconPayback Strike
You get this ability by default, not impressive, but enough for the start of the game.
3 challenge iconChallenge + Call Them Out
Taunts the enemy and generates 10% Guard. With the upgrade, it has no cost.
4 war cry iconWar Cry + Any upgrade
AOE Taunt. I would suggest trying out both of the upgrades. Call to Arms may be better for newer players
5 warriors resolve iconWarrior's Resolve
Gives a stamina boost for lost hp. Good ability especially in the early game
6 trust the steel iconTrust the Steel
Gives a 20% armor bonus
7 bear mauls the wolves iconBear Mauls the Wolves
Cannot be flanked by enemies

Once you reach level 11, specializations will unlock and you can start working on the full Cassandra build

Abilities - Overview

This section will shortly cover what abilities should be picked in what tree for the Cassandra Tank build.

Templar tree

Our goal is to have Wrath of Heaven, to stun groups of enemies.

Templar skill tree Cassandra tank build

Vanguard Tree

We want to have both Taunting abilities and late in the game Livid

Vanguard skill tree Cassandra tank build

Battlemaster tree

Getting Horn of Valor will ensure that Cassandra and party members constantly have Guard on themselves.

Battlemaster Cassandra tank build

Two-Handed Weapon

Getting Pommel Strike ensures that we have cheap offensive skill to knock out enemies.

Cassandra Two-Handed Weapon tank build

Weapon and Shield

Only get the passive ability to increase the survivability of Cassandra

Cassandra Weapon and shield tank build skills

Abilities - Full Progression

In this section, I will go through all the skills and talents that need to be picked for this Cassandra Tank build in the Dragon Age Inquisition. Feel free to adjust your abilities based on preference. This is just a recommendation

Remember that you will need to respecialize skills before making this build

IMPORTANT: Get a relevant Amulet of Power for Cassandra to maximize the number of ability points

Important note: I personally recommend using a Two-Handed sword for a tank build. Even though you would think sword and shield are more "logical", the two-hander has better crowd control skills, and some of the talents from the Weapon and Shield tree work without a shield equipped.

However, you are free to use Sword and Shield if you prefer, just do not invest anything into Two-Handed weapons and swap those skill points for Weapon and Shield tree abilities.

Order Skill Description
1 spell purge iconSpell Purge
Even though this one is not mandatory it allows you to clear spawning monsters from Veil Tears
2 blessed blades iconBlessed Blades
We take this ability for progression
3 makers will iconMaker's Will There is a 5% chance that your attacks will weaken the enemies
4 there is no darkness iconThere Is No Darkness Boots resistance by 10% to elemental and spirit damage
5 wrath of heaven iconWrath of Heaven + Embrace the Light Your signature ability. Deals 1000% of weapon damage, and also stuns enemies in AOE.
6 challenge iconChallenge + Call Them Out With the upgrade, your tank can constantly taunt any enemy that is attacking your mages or rogues without any stamina cost
7 war cry iconWarcry
Will Taunt enemies in AOE, it is a decent ability, but this build already has a free Taunt so we do not take the upgrade
8 trust the steel iconTrust The Steel Increases armor by 20% when you have an active Guard
9 grappling chain iconGrappling Chain
We take this ability to unlock the next ones
10 crippling blows iconCrippling Blows Enemies are weakened with each critical hit you do
11 coup de grace iconCoup de Grace We take it only for progression but still increase your damage against stunned enemies
12 horn of valor iconHorn of Valor + Fortifying Blast Cassandra is a weaker tank compared to Blackwall. For this reason, we take Horn of Valor to increase Guard generation for her and other group members
13 block and slash iconBlock and Slash
We take it to unlock other abilities
14 flow of battle iconFlow of Battle
Each critical hit reduces cooldowns, we mainly take this for progression
15 pommel strike iconPommel Strike + Lightning Jab
This ability is extremely strong and also cheap to use. There is no way to not recommend it.
16 shield wall iconShield Wall
We take this for progression
17 bear mauls the wolves iconBear Mauls the Wolves
This passive skill will reduce damage taken from the flanks
18 untouchable defense iconUntouchable Defense
In this late stage of the game increasing the maximum guard will be beneficial
19 itll cost you iconIt'll Cost You
Returns 50% of damage to the enemies
20 livid iconLivid
Reduces damage taken and increases your damage for each enemy near you.

With these abilities, the core of the build is done, and you should have no problems finishing the game.

However, you can still get these skills if you have free skill points:

  • Still Standing - livid upgrade, boosts Guard amount
  • Hamstring + Deep Reserves - increases stamina regeneration when it is low
  • Warrior's resolve - gain additional stamina every time you lose HP

Cassandra Tank Stats

These are the stats that I recommend prioritizing when choosing the equipment

  • Constitution – increases base health and melee defense

  • Willpower – increases the damage and provides magic defense

  • On hit gain * guard – you will get more Guard on each hit. You can obtain this stat from Masterwork materials when they are used in crafting.

  • Ranged defense – bigger defense from ranged attacks

  • Magic defense – overall more magic defense, better than specific element defense

  • Melee Defense – more defense from melee attacks

  • Attack – overall increase in damage

  • Strength – provides damage boost and some Guard damage boost

With these stats high enough Cassandra should have no problem taking groups of enemies on herself. Moreover, as long as she generates enough Guard she can keep aggro on bosses.

Cassandra suggested equipment

In this section, I will go through some decent equipment that you can equip or craft.

Weapons - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 edgewise iconEdgewise This is the best defensive sword. It gives constitution, bonus armor rating, and a chance to taunt enemies
2 demons advocate iconDemon's Advocate This Maul gives +19 Constitution and provides the effect of exploding bodies when an enemy is killed.
3 chromatic greatsword iconChromatic Greatsword Not only it gives a large boost to damage but also raises elemental resistance
4 prismatic greataxe iconPrismatic Greataxe The weapon gives a large boost to damage and +15% elemental resistance.

Weapons - craftable

Schematics are usually better than obtainable counterparts. However, you need good materials for that.

Priority Item Description
1 dai masterwork brute hammer iconMasterwork Brute Hammer Schematic Due to a large number of metal utility slots, this Maul is perfect for a tank.
2 Masterwork Serrated Greatsword Schematic iconMasterwork Serrated Greatsword Schematic This blade provides both offensive and utility metal slots. So you can equip it if you decide that Cassandra can deal a bit more damage.
3 prismatic greataxe scehmatic iconPrismatic Greataxe Schematic The schematic comes both with offensive and defensive slots. Moreover, the weapon effect doubles the damage dealt. Use it if you wish to deal increased damage
4 chromatic greatsword schematic iconChromatic Greatsword Schematic The schematic comes both with offensive and defensive slots. Moreover, the weapon effect doubles the damage dealt. Use it if you wish to deal increased damage

Armors - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 the divine armor iconThe Divine Extremely strong armor if Cassandra was elected as a Divine during the Trespasser DLC. Grants guard on hit and bonus willpower
2 revered defender armor iconRevered Defender Armor This armor trades blows with The Divine. I prefer this one due to the decreased stamina consumption.
3 masterwork battlemaster armor iconMasterwork Battlemaster Armor Increases base stamina and provides decent defensive stats bonus

Armors - craftable

Tier Item Description
1  Revered Defender Armor SchematicRevered Defender Armor Schematic This schematic has the most metal utility slots in the game. Makes the perfect armor for Tank Cassandra
2  Superior Battlemaster Armor SchematicSuperior Battlemaster Armor Schematic More expensive alternative to Battlemaster Armor Schematic. Although it has worse slots, the armor value is higher. Moreover, comes with upgrade slots.
3 normal heavy armor schematic DAIBattlemaster Armor Schematic Has the most utility slots if includes the upgrades. Perfect for maximizing Cassandra's defensive options and constitution

Helmets - obtainable

Level Item Description
1 the divine helmet iconThe Divine Cassandra gets this helmet in The Trespasser DLC if she has become the Divine. Has optimal defensive stats boost
2 revered defender helmet iconRevered Defender Helm The Helmet can be obtained in The Descent DLC. Provides very good defensive bonuses: constitution, melee defense, etc.
3 dukes mane iconDuke's Mane A decent helmet that gives a bonus  +8 Strength and +8% Melee Defense

Helmets - craftable

Tier Item Description
1 Revered Defender Helm Schematic iconRevered Defender Helm Schematic Gives very good utility slots that you can use to increase constitution or strength
2 Duke's Mane Schematic iconDuke's Mane Schematic Provides 11 utility metal slots to increase constitution.
3 helm of the Inquisitor Schematic iconHelm of the Inquisitor Schematic The schematic is quite cheap and provides 10 metal utility slots.


The amulets are listed by Tier. Usually, the Best tier can be obtained late in the game, but it provides maximum bonuses.

Priority Item Description
- Amulet of Power Gives Cassandra a single ability point. It is consumed once you use it.
1 master cooldown amulet iconMaster Cooldown Amulet or Superb Cooldown Amulet Reduces the cooldown for skills. This way Cassandra can better handle aggro throughout the combat
2 Superb Stamina Amulet iconMaster Stamina Amulet or Superb Stamina Amulet Increases the pool of stamina. Great for using abilities early in the fight
3 Superb Amulet of Constitution iconSuperb Amulet of Constitution Increases Consitution that results in higher melee defense and HP pool


Priority Item Description
1 Master Guard Belt iconMaster Guard Belt of Superior Guard Belt Increases the Maximum Guard for Cassandra. This way she can take more damage before HP is affected.
2 Superb Belt of health iconSuperb Belt of Health Increases Health pool, allowing to soak more damage
3 belt of life iconBelt of Life Increases Health pool, allowing to soak more damage


If you see that Cassandra can handle enemies well: maintains guard, and does not die or use potions, feel free to use rings from the offensive build

Priority Item Description
1 Superb Ring of Life-Drain iconSuperb Ring of Life-Drain This ring will drain HP from dying enemies. However, look for other options if Cassandra always has her get Guard full.
2 Superb Ring of Staggering iconSuperb Ring of Staggering Increases the chance to interrupt enemy attacks and stagger them
3 enhanced horn of valor ring iconEnhanced Horn of Valor Ring Boosts your main supporting ability by extending its duration. Especially valuable early to mid-game.


Here is what tactics I recommend to use with Cassandra:

  • Challenge - Active, we do not want Cassandra to always spam it. Just enough to keep aggro
  • Warcry - Active. similar to Challenge this ability should be used occasionally to get enemy attention on the initial encounter
  • Horn of Valor - Preferred. This ability should be active at all times. it ensures both your and party members' survivability and damage increases.
  • Wrath of Heaven - Active. For best usage, I recommend using it manually at the start of the combat to stun groups of enemies.
  • Livid - Active. Let Cassandra AI decide when this should be used
  • Pommel Strike - we want Cassandra to use this ability, it can easily stun enemies

Cassandra AI tactics tank build

All other abilities should be disabled. Important note: use Spellpurge manually when enemies are spawning from the Veil Tears. This way you will lower the number of demons spawned.


I hope you enjoyed reading the Cassandra Tank Build for Dragon Age: inquisition. This variation should help you use her as the main aggro option throughout the game and also have a strong templar specialization at all times if needed.


Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!