Assassin Archer Build

Assassin Archer Build - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
Last updated:
In this post I will go through Assassin Archer Build in Dragon Age: Inquisition. This is a perfect choice for those looking for a stealthy archer that can deal tremendous damage using its Mark of Death talent. Moreover, you can disappear from enemy sights using stealth.

Assassin Archer Build

This part of the post will cover the Dragon Age Inquisition Assassin Archer build. So the build's main mechanics revolve around Mark of Death which can be used to create large bursts of damage, that insta-kill numerous enemies in the game.

Moreover, thanks to the Subterfuge tree, you will get access to Stealth and Evade + Shadow Step. These will be core skills giving the very high mobility, allowing you to move around the battlefield or disappear if things get bad.

If this sounds like your playstyle let's move forward

Abilities - before Specialization, Levels 1-10

Before reaching level 10 you will not have Assassin specialization. Due to this, there may be minimal constraints that you have. Here are two ways to spec before getting the specialization.

Order Skill Description
1 stealth iconStealth Great survival and damage boost ability at the start of the game
2 long shot iconLong Shot + Archer’s Lance I prefer to fight at a closer distance so the Eagle Eye upgrade does not benefit much
3 death from above iconDeath from Above We mainly take this to unlock the next ability
4 leaping shot iconLeaping Shot + Shot from the Shadows You can enter stealth after the attack, utilize this to gain additional damage boost, and to stay safe
5 evasion iconEvasion We take it mainly for progression
6 evade iconEvade + Shadow Step Major upgrade allowing you to reposition yourself at will
7 first blood iconFirst Blood  Attacks, when the enemy has a high Hp deal, increase damage. Will work well with Long Shot + Stealth.

Once you reach level 10~ you should be able to obtain Assassin specialization. You are then ready to move to the next builds

Abilities - Full Overview

This section will show the ability points allocation for this build in the game. For detailed progression check the next section.

Assassin tree

Assassin Acher build Assassin tree

Archery Tree

Assassin Acher build Archery tree

Sabotage Tree

Assassin Acher build Sabotage tree

Subterfuge Tree

Assassin Acher build Subterfuge tree

Abilities - progression till Endgame

Here I will cover detailed progression and explanations for the Dual Wield Assassin build.

Order Skill Description
1 hidden blades iconHidden Blades + upgrade This is an extremely powerful ability, however, with a long cooldown. I recommend using this after you activate the Mark of Death. Any upgrade will work, but pick Overkill for a boost in single-target damage.
2 i was never here iconI Was Never Here One of many ways for this build to enter stealth - by killing an enemy
3 knife in the shadows iconKnife in the Shadows Attacking from stealth will guarantee a critical hit
4 mark of death iconMark of Death A very powerful ability that should be used on strong enemies like bosses as it requires time to store damage.
5 caltrops iconCaltrops We mainly take it for progression
6 looked like it hurt iconLooked Like It Hurt One of the passive abilities that will allow you to restore stamina from critical hits. You will do them many due to many opportunities to attack from stealth
7 death from above iconDeath from Above We mainly take this for progression
8 leaping shot iconLeaping Shot + Shot from the Shadows Use this ability to deal large damage to large, grouped, or close proximity enemies. Moreover, you will enter stealth after this. The main use for this ability is to escape harm
9 long shot iconLong Shot Another ability you can use to deal damage from far away. I prefer to use it as an opener
10 stealth iconStealth + upgrade Enter stealth whenever you need: start of the combat, escape from enemies, etc.

Any upgrade will work:
- Lost in the Shadows: I prefer this one as it activates instantly
- Clinging Shadows: this upgrade can give larger damage boosts due to Knife in the Shadows passive ability
11 evasion iconEvasion We mainly take it for progression, but it gives 1/10 chance to evade attack
12 evade iconEvade + Shadow Step Use this ability to reposition yourself. I prefer using it with Leaping Shot: move in and escape with Leaping Shot for large damage
13 dai shadow strike iconShadow Strike + upgrade This ability will allow you to restore stamina and deal substantial damage. Pick an upgrade based on your preference:
- Long Shadows: a safer approach, with ranged attack
- Quick Blade: riskier approach, but deals more damage.
14 first blood iconFirst Blood Deal more damage to enemies with 80%+ HP. Works great with Hidden Blades or Long Shot
15 explosive shot iconExplosive Shot We mainly take it for progression but it can deal substantial damage to a group of enemies.
16 pincushion iconPincushion Hitting the same enemy multiple times will increase your damage
17 gaps in the armor iconGaps in the Armor Increases armor penetration

Some additional abilities to take when if you will have additional points:

  • Mark of Death upgrade Mark of Doom for additional damage
  • Ambush
  • Throatcutter
  • Full Draw - I do not like this ability as it is fairly slow. However, it can deal large damage as an opener + First Blood passive ability. If you get it, switch it with Explosive Shot in the quick bar.


  • Critical Chance – I suggest getting at least 40%+. Although most of the time you will be attacking from stealth for guaranteed criticals, I would still recommend having sufficient stat

  • Critical Damage – your priority stats once you have the critical chance stat covered. It will especially be effective in the late game

  • Dexterity – increases Attack and Critical Damage. However, the latter is increased by less amount (on equipment and crafting materials) than pure Critical Damage.

  • Cunning - increases critical chance
  • Attack – increases overall damage, but usually, you get smaller bonuses of it than critical damage so it has a lesser priority


This section will cover what gear you should pick for the build.

Weapons - obtainable

Unfortunately, the obtainable bows are not as powerful as craftable versions. If you want to maximize Assasin Archer DPS, you should invest in getting a crafted version.

Priority Item Description
1 tezpadams bane iconTezpadam's Bane Extraordinary bow, that provides 41 dexterity resulting in 41% critical damage increase. Moreover, gives an effect that makes enemy bodies explode on kill
2 arrowwood iconArrowwood This bow is available during the Trespasser DLC. Gives 95% armor penetration. I think it is an interesting bow to try but you get it quite late in the game.
3 heartstring bow iconHeartstring Bow Obtained in Frostback Basin and provides adequate stats.

Weapons - craftable

Priority Item Description
1 elgarnan Enaste schematic iconElgar'nan Enaste Schematic Obtained with Trespasser DLC. Has adequate slots and most importantly explosive arrow effect.
2 Grunsmann's Bow Schematic iconGrunsmann's Bow Schematic Provides 3 offensive leather slots excellent to maximize either critical chance or critical damage
3 Bow of the Beresaad Schematic iconBow of the Beresaad Schematic Provides leather slots for maximizing critical chance and critical damage.

Armors - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 stone stalker coat iconStone Stalker Coat This armor is a perfect match for this build as it provides a large boost to of 45 Cunning resulting in a much higher critical chance
2 the skin that stalks iconThe Skin That Stalks Obtainable only in the Trespasser DLC. Boosts Critical Damage, Critical Chance, and Attack.
3 Masterwork Prowler Armor iconMasterwork Prowler Armor This armor reduces ability stamina cost by 20% if not attacked for 5 seconds. This should be easy for Assassin Archer as it will be avoiding enemies most of the time.

Armors - craftable

Priority Item Description
1 superior prowler armor schematic iconSuperior Prowler Armor Schematic This armor has 23 utility leather slots if you include upgrades. Feel free to increase either dexterity or cunning based on what Assassin Archer build needs more.
2 Sturdy Prowler Armor Schematic iconSturdy Prowler Armor Schematic This is a cheaper alternative to Superior Prowler Armor Schematic. It also gives less defense and 22 utility leather slots.
3 Stone Stalker Coat Schematic iconStone Stalker Coat Schematic Can be obtained from The Descent DLC. Has decent slots, but is worse compared to the options above.

Helmets - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 stone stalker mask iconStone Stalker Mask Has both good bonus stats and armor rating. Can be obtained in The Descent DLC
2 helm of drasca iconHelm of the Drasca A decent mid-game option that gives a good boost to critical damage by increasing Dexterity.
3 unique Mask iconAmbassador's Mask Alternative to Mask of the Grand Duchess if you have a high critical chance (50%+)
4 unique Mask iconMask of the Grand Duchess Alternative to Ambassador's Mask if you have a low critical chance

Helmets - craftable

Priority Item Description
1 Superior helm schematic iconSuperior Skirmisher Hat Schematic The best craftable helmet that gives 10 leather utility slots and is easy to obtain
2 skirmisher hat schematic iconSkirmisher Hat Schematic A cheaper alternative of the Superior Skirmisher Hat Schematic. Has only 8 leather utility slots
3 Superior Adventurer Hat Schematic iconSuperior Adventurer Hat Schematic Costs only 182 Sovereigns and gives 7 leather utility slots. Get it if you are short on money.


Priority Item Description
1 Malika's Guard iconMalika's Guard As Assassin Archer will not concentrate on flanking damage this amulet will greatly increase the overall attack power.
2 Superb Amulet of Dexterity This amulet will increase dexterity resulting in higher critical damage.
3 Amulet of the Rogue This amulet will increase both critical chance and critical damage
4 Superb Amulet of Cunning The amulet will increase the critical chance, allowing to reduce ability cooldowns.


Priority Item Description
1 Superb Belt iconThe Bind That Guides This belt boosts the critical chance. Only obtainable in the Trespasser DLC.
2 Superb Belt iconSuperb Belt of Staggering This belt will allow Assassin Archer to stagger enemies. This can be a lifesaver in multiple situations.
3 superb belt of sunder iconSuperb Belt of Sunder Gives a chance to decrease the enemy's armor.


Priority Item Description
1 Superb ring iconSuperb Ring of Critical Damage Provides a large boost to critical damage, especially powerful once you have 50%+ critical chance
2 Superb ring iconThe Hand That Cuts Only obtainable in Trespasser DLC. However, provides large offensive bonuses
3 Superb Ring of Critical Chance Increases Critical chance allowing Opportunity knocks ability to activate more often
4 Superb ring iconRing of Slicing Expensive ring bought in Black Emporium. Boosts your critical damage and critical rate.
5 Superb Ring of Attack Increases overall Assassin archer ranged damage

Tactics and tips

This archer build has many tactical options on how to play. Here are a few combos that I suggest:

  • If you plan to use Mark of Death on the boss enemy, check that your active skills that deal damage are not in a cooldown. You will have 8 seconds and should deal the maximum amount of damage in that time.
  • Hidden Blades can be used as a strong opener with First Blood + stealth
  • Shadow Step can allow you to create amazing combos like Shadow Step + Leaping Shot dealing large amounts of damage and escaping to stealth. You can then continue with Shadow Strike to restore stamina and move to the next combo
  • Once you are level 16+ you should constantly have at least 50% of stamina so use active skills like Explosive Shot and Long Shot constantly to improve your DPS rather than using auto-attack.


Thank you for reading the Assassin Archer Build for Dragon Age: Inquisition. I hope you enjoyed the detailed information of abilities, tactics and gear recommendations on how to make this build work.


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!