Tempest Archer build - Complete Guide

Tempest Archer build - Complete Guide - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

In this post, I will cover the best archer Tempest build Dragon Age Inquisition. This specialization uses Flasks to boost their combat capabilities.

The Tempest build relies on maintaining mobility, staying mid to long-range from the enemy, and keeping the DPS up. All of this is made thanks to the abilities that we will select.

This build makes you dance around the battlefield. You can move in, deal damage, and move out while keeping enemies at bay. I definitely recommend this

Abilities, level 1 - 10

At the start of the game, you will want to play archer. I think the main step is to learn using Shadow Step as it will allow you to maneuver throughout the battlefield

Order Skill Description
1 stealth iconStealth Great survival and damage boost ability at the start of the game for Archer build
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 take this ability to unlock the next one
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, increased damage. Will work well with Long Shot + Stealth.

We do not have many active abilities but this will change once we obtain the specialization

Archer Tempest Build

This section will cover how you should make this build. The Archer build will concentrate on using the bow and Tempest abilities to control the battlefield and Inquisitors' physical capabilities.

You can expect: slowing time, infinite skills, and large damage numbers in a short amount of time

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

Abilities - detailed progression

Here I will cover detailed progression and explanations for optimizing your Tempest Archer build

Order Skill Description
1 flask of fire iconFlask of Fire + Unquenchable Flames Your abilities cost no stamina, however, with the upgrade of Unquenchable Flames they also have no cooldown. So you can spam skills like Throwing Blades or Leaping Shot
2 fury of the storm iconFury of the Storm When you have stamina below 50% it will increase the damage that you deal
3 thousand cuts iconThousand Cuts This is the Focus ability that synergizes well with Flask of Fire. You do not expend any Focus if you use it while Flask of Fire is active. So in a pinch, you can use this ability two times.

Of course, if you do not plan on using this bug Thousand Cuts can be extremely effective against boss enemies like dragons
4 killer's alchemy iconKiller's Alchemy Provides a damage bonus after you use an elixir
5 flask of lightning iconFlask of Lightning You will slow time around you and move at a normal speed. This greatly increases your DPS and can help you in a pinch.
6 caltrops iconCaltrops We mainly take this to unlock the next abilities
7 looked like it hurt iconLooked Like It Hurt An important passive ability for Tempest build. Allows to restore 10 stamina each hit
8 cheap shot iconCheap Shot Critical hits will sunder enemy armors
9 throwing blades iconThrowing Blades + Precision Targeting This is your main damage dealing skill. With Flask of Fire, you can spam it indefinitely to shred through a single enemy
10 stealth iconStealth Although we take it to unlock the next ability, Stealth is useful for escaping rough situations or at the start of the combat to position yourself appropriately
11 evasion iconEvasion A moderate passive buff that lets you evade attacks
12 evade iconEvade + Shadow Step Your main ability to move throughout the battlefield. Shadow Step is required ability for an Archer to change position at will
13 death from above iconDeath from Above We mainly take this to unlock the next ability
14 leaping shot iconLeaping Shot This is a powerful ability that allows you to deal a large amount of damage and escape from the enemies.
15 strafing shots iconStrafing Shots Because you will be using Auto attacks a lot, this will ensure that you do not lose your agility and can move freely while shooting
16 flask of frost iconFlask of Frost This will allow us to make some combos to extend other elixir duration.
17 flaskmaster iconFlaskmaster We mainly take this to unlock the next ability
18 ride of the storm iconRide the Storm This passive ability is a powerful one. It will give you a bonus duration of 3 seconds for a Flask if it is used after another one. So if you start with Flask of Frost and then activate Flask of Fire it will have a duration of 8 seconds!
19 first blood iconFirst Blood Will buff your damage to enemies that have high HP.
20 flask of lightning iconUpgrade Flask of Lightning to Stormrage Gives additional time for the time slowing elixir of 2 seconds

Although the build is already strong here are some other skills that you can obtain:

  • Pincushion - will boost your damage if you attack the same target
  • Lost in the Shadows - upgrade for Stealth, will activate instantly
  • Easy to Miss - reduces the threat generation
  • Leaping Shot upgrade - any upgrade will work, choose the one that you prefer
  • Poisoned Weapons + upgrade + Fighting Dirty - will boost your DPS

Stats and attributes

Here are the main stats which you need to invest to:

  1. Critical Chance – you should have it at 50%+. It will synergize well with Looked Like it Hurt ability that provides stamina restoration

  2. Critical Damage – once you have Critical Chance covered invest in Critical Damage. You will see huge damage numbers when using Flask of Fire and Throwing Blades in tandem.

  3. Dexterity – will boost both attack and Critical damage.

  4. Cunning - invest enough so that you would keep critical chance above 50%
  5. Armor rating – at low levels, until hitting level 11~

Best Equipment and items

This section will cover what gear you should pick for Archer Tempest build on Dragon Age Inquisition

Weapons - obtainable

Unfortunately, there are no exceptional options for the bows. If you want to maximize Tempest  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 the Tempest as you will be constantly avoiding enemy attacks

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 the 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. Wear it to maximize the Tempest build critical stats.
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.

Vitaar - obtainable

Helmets for Qunari players

Priority Item Description
1 cretahl vitaar iconCretahl Vitaar The best Vitaar for this build as it provides the largest critical chance bonus. Moreover gives +9% to attack and increases maximum health.
2 keen felandris vitaar iconKeen Felandris Vitaar This Vitaar is a decent choice for the Tempest build as it gives a 10.5% critical chance increase
3 Arishok's Vitaar iconArishok's Vitaar Another good Vitaar. Unfortunately, it is quite time-consuming to obtain this one, due to the need of collecting all shards. However, it is the only unique Vitaar in the base game (without any DLCs)


Priority Item Description
1 Malika's Guard iconMalika's Guard As Tempest Archer build does not concentrate on flanking damage, this amulet will greatly increase the overall damage.
2 Superb Amulet iconAndraste’s Sacrifice Gives bonus stamina regeneration (no other amulet does that) and provides lower cooldowns for abilities. Very strong amulet for Tempest
3 master cooldown amulet iconMaster Cooldown Amulet or Superb Cooldown Amulet Reduces ability cooldowns. This allows faster Flask usage on Tempest, making you much stronger on the battlefield.
4 Superb Amulet of Dexterity This amulet will increase dexterity resulting in higher critical damage for the Archer
5 Amulet of the Rogue This amulet will increase both critical chance and critical damage


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 iconMaster Belt of Focus or Superior Belt of Focus Higher focus generation will allow using the Thousand Cuts more often
3 Superb Belt iconSuperb Belt of Staggering The belt will give a higher chance to temporarily stun enemies with normal attacks


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 Tempest damage

Tactics and tips

In this part, I will try to give tips on how to best play this Archer build. Due to the tempest specialization, it takes some practice to pull it off. However, you can expect to deal crazy amounts of damage and shred bosses in seconds

Archer tempest quickbar

  • You can use Flask of Fire + Thousand Cuts, to use it two times
  • Use Shadow Step to close in on enemies and Leaping Shot to move away from them
  • use Stealth ability to position yourself on the battlefield before the combat
  • Once you have Ride the Storm, I would recommend starting the combat with Flask of Frost all the next elixirs that you use will have increased duration by 3 seconds
  • Throwing Blades should be used when Flask of Fire is active. It is a fast ability that can deal large amounts of damage. Getting Pincushion will increase this more. You can even forgo Flask of Frost, Flaskmaster, and Ride the Storm to get Pincushion earlier
  • Auto-attack is your main damage dealing way when the Flask of Fire is under cooldown. The best way is to constantly move and activate Shadow Step to change positions. This way enemies will miss you and have to run toward you to catch you.


Thank you for reading this Tempest Archer build in Dragon Age Inquisition. I hope you enjoyed it and I covered all the information that is needed.

Once you practice a bit with this build it is possible to take down strong bosses like dragons, alone

Feel free to share your feedback below!



No dw tempest section?:(

Unfortunately, I did not make it. But the idea would be similar. You would go for the Throwing Blades skill as the main damage dealer and build around that


What helmet do I use for a Qunari, all of them say human dwarf or elf

Hey, added a section with Vitaars. Unfortunately not many choices, but a good one can be obtained in the Descent DLC


Does this build do fine even without DLC? Some upgrades seem crucial.

You lose these upgrades: Stormrage and Shadow Step. The first one is nothing special, the second one will make you lose some mobility unfortunately, but that is not a deal breaker


Your guides are absolutely wonderful. Well-construed and precise, as well as, new player-friendly. Keep them coming!
I had a question. I've started a new game with a Dual-wield Rogue and I was thinking of a Tempest specialisation, since Assassin seems quite boring.
Do you have any good insights on that?
Thank you!


Thank you, I really enjoy making these builds.

I would recommend to go for Tempest. Assassin has Mark of Death, that can deal large amounts of damage. But Tempest is more exciting with numerous elixirs and strong Focus ability. You should also get Throwing Blades


If I use this as an AI build for Sera, what should I set her preferences to?

Okay, here are my suggestions for AI:

  1. Disable Evade

  2. Use Thousand Cuts yourself when you fight against boss type enemy

Otherwise everything else works. She should spam Throwing blades when Flash of Fire is active and with Flask of Lightning she will shoot crazy fast


Wow thanks

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!