Fire Rift Mage Build

Fire Rift Mage Build - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
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In this post, I will go through the Rift Mage Fire build in the Dragon Age: Inquisition. They use the Fade to manipulate energies in the world. This results in throwing enemies around and weakening their combat potential together with an arsenal of Fire spells.

Rift Mage Fire Build

This build's main concentration is crowd control through putting enemies in Fear or Knocking them down. You can be sure that by using Veilstrike enemies will stay down. Moreover, the applied Weakened effect will restore MP using the Restorative Veil passive.

Moreover, being able to use Pull of the Abyss together with Fire Mine will create an instant-killer combo against normal foes. So not only do you have extremely strong spells, but also ways to regenerate MP and put enemies under control.

Abilities - before Specialization, Levels 1-10

Early in the game, your inquisitor should be a simple mage with these core abilities:

Order Skill Description
1 Barrier iconBarrier A great ability to survive critical encounters. Recommend having it at the start of the game, especially if you play on Nightmare.
2 immolate iconImmolate + Wildfire Easily accessible AOE fire ability. The upgrade gives more damage and a shorter cooldown
3 peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura
The Inquisitor will generate less threat
4 dispel iconDispel
Good early in the game, when rift enemies can be strong. You can use it to take out summoning circles
5 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment This is an amazing ability, releasing multiple particles. With it, there is a higher chance of generating a critical hit for the next passive ability. Moreover, the element damage depends on the staff you have equipped
6 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint
If you land a critical hit, your next spell does not have a cooldown
7 Pyromancer iconPyromancer
We take this mainly to unlock the next ability
8 Fire mine iconFire Mine
Very strong ability allowing to deal 1600% of weapon damage.

It is a well-rounded skill allocation, allowing for an effective way to deal with enemies. At about levels 10-12, you should get Rift Mage specialization. Once you have it respec your abilities.

Abilities - Progression till Endgame

Here I will explain the order in which the abilities should be obtained for the Rift Mage build.

Order Skill Description
1 stonefist iconStonefist + Shatterstone This ability has a short cooldown and it can apply a weakened state. Moreover, it deals damage and also knockouts enemies in AOE with the upgrade.
2 encircling veil iconEncircling Veil Increases spell duration bonus against weakened enemies.
3 veilstrike iconVeilstrike + Punching Down This ability does not deal damage. However, it sets Weakened state + knockback enemies in the AOE range. However, for me, it gives a small breather as the ability enters the tactical camera to go through what is happening in the field
4 restorative veil iconRestorative Veil One of your main abilities that will restore mana when Inquisitor deals damage to weakened enemies.
5 Barrier iconBarrier  This is a good ability to put up a barrier when low on HP or starting a battle
6 flashfire iconFlashfire This is a decent ability, but quite costly. You can keep it in the hot bar until you obtain Fire Mine
7 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint If a spell scores a critical hit the next spell used will have no cooldown. Will work well with Energy Barrage
8 Clean burn iconCleanburn Each spell used decreases spell cooldowns by 1 second
9 wall of fire iconWall of Fire A great AOE ability that puts enemies into fear. Works well with Pull of the Abyss. However, you can use it to protect yourself or your allies from incoming enemies
10 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment A staple ability for most mage builds. It works well with Flashpoint. However, the main reason why we take it is that it will use elements from the staff damage. This way you can have other elements that deal damage besides Fire
11 Fade step iconFade Step + Energizing Step A frost ability that has two purposes:
- Reposition yourself and run away
- Restore mana with each enemy you pass by
12 twisting veil iconTwisting Veil Damage bonus to weakened enemies
13 pull of the abyss iconPull of the Abyss + Shaken Veil I prefer the damage upgrade for this ability in this particular build:
- You already have two spells that apply weakened state
- This upgrade will do Spirit damage, which is the least resistant by the enemies
14 Pyromancer iconPyromancer Although we take it for the next ability it still provides decent bonuses to fire and fear duration
15 Fire mine iconFire Mine + upgrade One of the strongest abilities of the mage. Use it together with Pull of the Abyss to take out a group of enemies. Moreover, you can use it on yourself or your allies to protect from incoming enemies.

Get Flaming Array upgrade if you feel confident getting close to enemies. Otherwise, choose Searing Glyph for knockdowns
16 Conductive Current iconConductive Current A good passive upgrade that increases the damage for each mana % that you miss.

Here are some additional abilities that you could consider once you get more points:

  • Barrier upgrade Elegant Defense
  • Peaceful Aura
  • Gathering Storm
  • Lasting Flames - Wall of Fire upgrade
  • Winter Stillness
  • Dispel

Abilities - Overview

Here is a short overview of how you should allocate your abilities. For a detailed explanation check the next section.

Spirit Tree

Rift Mage Fire build Spirit tree

Storm Tree

Rift Mage Fire build Storm tree

Inferno Tree

Rift Mage Fire build Inferno tree

Winter Tree

Rift Mage Fire build Winter tree

Rift Mage

Rift Mage Fire build Rift Mage tree


As with most builds at the start of the game, your priority should be base stats and critical chance. Later on, you should be concentrating on critical damage to maximize your DPS.

  • Critical chance - with Ring of Doubt, try to keep it at 20%, without it 50%+ is recommended

  • Critical Damage – your priority from level 15~ or when you reach 50% critical chance

  • Attack - boosts overall damage, usually, the bonuses are higher than attribute-based ones
  • Willpower - boosts Rift mage overall damage and also gives magic defense.
  • Magic - boosts overall damage

  • Armor – a priority for low levels, up to level 12

Rift mage stats

Equipment Recommendations

In this section, I will go through the recommended equipment for the Dragon Age Inquisition Rift mage build

Weapons - obtainable

The staves are quite good, however, they are usually surpassed once you can get Tier 4 materials

Priority Item Description
1 dai hakkons wisdom iconHakkon's Wisdom This staff gives +100% critical damage. It is a good alternative to Isana's Song if you have at least a 50% Critical chance
2 Isana's Song iconIsana's Song This staff can be obtained in The Descent DLC. Provides +41 to magic. In terms of pure damage, it has no equals. It also has a 10% chance to cast Chain Lightning.
3 Earnest reprisal iconEarnest Reprisal I recommend this staff, only if you have a high critical chance of 50% or more. Or you have equipped Ring of Doubt
4 staff of the void iconStaff of the Void The staff is obtained from high dragon Hivernal. Moreover, it provides adequate stats

Weapons - craftable

Generally, I prefer craftable staves if you have good masterwork and other materials

Priority Item Description
1 Encore iconStaff of Corruption Schematic Although this is Tier 4, I would still go for Wrath of Lovias Schematic that provides better slots for the end game.
2 Encore iconEncore Schematic One of the best staves in the game as it gives offensive buffs for all party members
3 Encore iconWrath of Lovias Schematic The stave gives leather slots for increased critical chance or critical damage

Helmets - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 cowl of the pure iconCowl of the Pure Can be an alternative to the Mask of the Grand Duchess. However, it will only increase attack and not critical stats
2 helm of drasca iconHelm of the Drasca
A mid-tier helmet, I would recommend equipping this if you do not have the Winter Palace masks or Cowl of the Pure
3 unique Mask iconAmbassador's Mask I would still recommend Mask of the Grand Duchess. However, if you have a high critical rate (50%+), this helmet is much better.
4 unique Mask iconMask of the Grand Duchess The best helmet in terms of the boost to critical chance.

Helmets - Craftable

Priority Item Description
1 Superior helm schematic iconSuperior Skirmisher Hat Schematic Great slots for increasing critical stats. best craft
2 battlemage cowl schematic tier 3Battlemage Cowl Schematic Upgraded version of Tier 2 schematic. Provides better utility slots. Similar to other Tier 3 schematics
3 superior seer cowl schematic iconSuperior Seer Cowl Similar to the other options in Tier 3.

Armors - obtainable

Here is a recommended list of obtainable armor that you can wear.

Priority Item Description
1 the skin that stalks iconThe Skin That Stalks Obtainable only in the Trespasser DLC. Boosts Critical Damage, Critical Chance, and Attack.
2 Vestments of the pure iconVestments of the Pure Similar to craftable version. So choose the one that you prefer. Gives 45 points to willpower
3 Unique robe icon.pngMasterwork Battlemage Armor Reduces the cost of the abilities and spells. Moreover, gives +6 to the magic attribute
4 robes of high keeper iconRobes of the High Keeper The Robe provides decent stats, especially if you use Focus abilities often. However, you have to be an Elf Rift Mage to wear it

Armors - craftable

I think all of the armors listed below are extremely good, choose the one to your liking

Priority Item Description
1 Superior Robe schematic iconSuperior Battlemage Armor Schematic This version has one Cloth and a leather utility slot. Quite powerful and can be bought in Hissing Wastes. Moreover, you can add Arms and Legs upgrades to have an even larger boost to damage
2 suberp antaam saar iconSuperb Antaam-saar Schematic
The schematic gives 3 Leather Utility slots to increase offensive stats. I think it trades blows with Superior Battlemage Armor Schematic, due to the leather slots that it provides
3 Vestments of the Pure schematics iconVestments of the Pure Schematic Top-tier armor schematic. However, it does not have leather utility/offensive slots


Try to find and obtain amulets that have higher priority. They are better for this build

Priority Item Description
1 Superb Amulet iconAndraste’s Sacrifice The best amulet for a mage. Gives higher mana regeneration and decreases ability cooldown. However, you will constantly taunt enemies, so it can be risky without a good Tank.
2 Superb Amulet iconSuperb Amulet of Dexterity Boosts dexterity, which increases your critical damage
3 Superb Amulet iconSuperb Amulet of Cunning Equip this amulet if you do not have Ring of Doubt. This way you can increase the critical chance naturally.
4 Superb Amulet of willpower iconSuperb Amulet of Willpower Boosts willpower which increases Rift mage damage health and magic defense


Try to find and obtain belts that have higher priority. They are better for this build

Priority Item Description
1 Superb Belt iconThe Bind That Guides Great belt, for this build. Unfortunately only available in the Trespasser DLC
2 Superb Belt iconMaster Belt of Focus or Superior Belt of Focus More Focus results in more often Mark of the Rift if you are the Inquisitor
3 Superb Belt of health iconSuperb Belt of Health or Belt of Life Boosts HP resulting in better survivability especially mid-game or in the end game encounters.


Try to find and obtain rings that have higher priority. They are better for this build

Priority Item Description
1 Superb ring iconRing of Doubt Probably the best ring for the Rift mage. The character will enter stealth during combat which will guarantee a critical hit.
2 Superb ring iconThe Hand That Cuts Only obtainable in Trespasser DLC. However, provides a large boost to critical damage
3 Superb ring iconSuperb Ring of Critical Damage Boosts critical damage by 20%. A strong option that will work well with Ring of Doubt
4 Superb ring iconRing of Slicing Expensive ring bought in Black Emporium. Boosts your critical damage and critical rate. I suggest getting this mid-game.
5 Superb ring iconSuperb Ring of Critical Chance Boosts critical chance. Equip it, if the rift mage has a low critical chance.

Tactics and Tips

I would say this build will require a bit more micromanaging from the team. But it should still be enjoyable. Here are the main tips:

  • The main thing that makes your party make or break is a good Tank. With it, this Rift Mage build becomes extremely powerful.
  • Fade Step should be used to reposition and restore MP
  • Throw out Flashfire after you have Fire Mine.

How to engage in combat:

  1. At any time in the combat if you see an enemy getting close or targeting you cast Wall of Fire on them to incite Fear.
  2. Cast Barrier on the Inquisitor + companions
  3. Use Fade Step to get close to the enemies like archers that may be far behind.
  4. Activate Veilstrike to weaken and knock down them
  5. Use Fire Mine on the group of enemies.
  6. If you took the Searing Glyph ability upgrade until the mine activates use Pull of the Abyss for a bit more damage and keep the enemy in place
  7. Juggle between Veilstrike + Stonefist + Pull of the Abyss to keep enemies on the whole field in check

Rift Mage Fire build hotbar


Thank you for reading the Dragon Age: Inquisition - Rift Mage Fire build. it is an amazing build and one of the most powerful options in the game. The fast mana regeneration, the all-powerful Fire Mine, and other Rift mage spells will be your bread and butter.


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!