Best Reaver Warrior Build - Two Handed - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
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I would like to present this post about the Dragon Age Inquisition's two-handed Reaver build. It's an ultimate warrior constantly fighting at the edge of death. The less HP you have, the more damage it deals. It is a perfect build for those looking to reward their risky playstyle.

As you can guess Reaver's skills revolve around losing and gaining your HP to maximize damage. As a warrior, you will also be on the frontline.

Unfortunately, I do not recommend using Reaver as a tank as in my opinion this is both too risky and you miss the point of the builds. The build works well on Nightmare difficulty. You can see the showcase video of the top, and how alone it can tear through the hardest game enemies.

Abilities early game, levels 1-10

This is the beginning of the game. More or less you will need to once you unlock Reaver specialization. But before that, you still need to contribute to the party.

For this here are some recommended abilities and skills that you should get before reaching level 10

Order Skill Description
1 Mighty Blow Easily accessible ability to knockdown enemies
2 horn of valor iconHorn of Valor + Fortifying Blast Will allow you to generate Guard for your party members. Moreover, they will get buffs to armor and damage
3 Combat roll iconCombat Roll + Coming Through Deals AOE 500% weapon damage. You can also use it to reposition yourself. Ability also has a short cooldown

Otherwise, select abilities as you see fit.

After you get to levels 10-12 you will have a chance to unlock new specializations. Do it as soon as you reach New Haven. Now you are ready for the build.

Two-Handed Reaver Build

The idea of this Reaver build is to use Two-Handed weapons to maximize your damage. Of course, it will also unlock some amazing skills like Pommel Strike. Moreover, your main attack ability will be Dragon Rage.

Do not forget to respecialize  abilities before moving forward

Abilities - detailed explanation

Here I will list out what abilities you should invest in after you respec at level 10~ (once you get Reaver specialization). The abilities are listed in the order that they should be selected.

So as you progress through the game you can easily know what skills to get next.

Order Skill Description
1 ring of pain iconRing of Pain Mandatory ability to unlock other skills. It drains a lot of stamina, so its usage is fairly limited
2 blood frenzy iconBlood Frenzy You will probably never have your HP full, use that to your advantage and get a damage boost
3 Fervor iconFervor Increases your damage after an enemy is killed nearby
4 Scenting Blood iconScenting Blood Low health near enemies buffs your critical hit chance and speed.
5 Devour iconDevour + Lifeblood Your main survival ability. You will restore some HP to keep you from dying.
6 Dragon-rage iconDragon Rage + Ravage Your main damage ability. You lose HP but you deal a lot of damage.
7 War cry iconChallenge/War Cry Doesn't matter which you pick. It is a progression ability
8 Charging Bull iconCharging Bull + Gore and Trample This combo has a big benefit: gives you more mobility, allows you to generate more guard, and allows you to use a skill with 0 stamina
9 Grappling chain iconGrappling Chain Progression ability
10 Crippling blows iconCrippling Blows A bonus ability
11 Combat roll iconCombat Roll + Coming Through Deals AOE 500% weapon damage. You can also use it to reposition yourself. Ability also has a short cooldown

You should be at level 15 with these abilities. The core of the Reaver build for the Dragon Age Inquisition is finished. Now you can optimize the build around your playstyle, strengths, and weaknesses.

Defensive approach

Invest in these abilities if you want to feel more secure on the battlefield by staggering and knocking down enemies.

Order Skill Description
12 block and slash iconBlock and Slash I do not use this ability, use it for progression
13 flow of battle iconFlow of Battle Once you have a high critical chance, you can drastically decrease the cooldown of your abilities.
14 pommel strike icon dragon age inquisitionPommel Strike + Staggering Strike A powerful ability dealing 700% weapon damage. Moreover, it will stun enemies.

Offensive approach

This approach will allow the character to concentrate more on the offense. The result is larger stamina regeneration and more offensive abilities.

Order Skill Description
12 Mighty Blow Strong ability, allowing to knock down an enemy. However, it is stamina intensive skill
13 shield breaker iconShield-Breaker After a critical hit enemies become weaker by losing armor.
14 whirlwind iconWhirlwind AOE attack, is useful when you are surrounded
15 clear a path iconClear a Path Drastically increases stamina regeneration as you will be hitting many enemies with your abilities
16 Rampage iconRampage Focus ability can be of great help in tight situations.

Some other abilities to consider

Ability Description
Warrior's Resolve iconWarrior's Resolve You will need to get additional abilities from the Sword and Shield tree. However, it will be much easier to manage your stamina as you lose HP
horn of valor iconHorn of Valor + Fortifying Blast Will buff you and your allies by increasing damage. The upgrade will allow you to also generate Guard on hit.
Deep reserves iconDeep Reserves Great skill if you find that you are out of stamina often
War horn iconWar Horn Can be fun to use, but then you will need to catch your enemies, which can result in wasted time.
Bear mauls the wolves iconBear Mauls the Wolves You will be less likely to get staggered

This section covers recommended stats and gear that you should use.

Note: some of the items are not the "best". However, their better versions are only available in Trespasser DLC, which is close to the end of the game. Due to this, they will be useful for a few hours at maximum

Stats and Attributes

These are the stats that I recommend prioritize:

  • Guard * on hit - important stat, so that you would be able to always have a full Guard bar.
  • Critical chance - have about 40%, after that concentrate on Critical damage.
  • Critical damage - invest in it once you have a high critical chance. It will drastically increase your damage.
  • Cunning - this attribute will help you get a higher critical rate
  • Attack - increase overall damage.
  • Willpower - increases the damage and also gives magic defense
  • Strength - your base damage attribute

Items and Equipment

In this section, I will cover Dragon Age Inquisition Reaver build recommended gear. Be sure to read it as it is important to have the correct equipment.

Masterwork materials

I suggest looking for Masterwork materials that give Guard on hit. These include materials like Fade-Touched Obsidian:

Fade-Touched obsidian

Masterwork skill Description Materials
Guard on Hit Essential to have for this build, otherwise the Reaver may die too often Fade-Touched Obsidian
Fade-Touched Silverite

Weapons - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 single incarnation iconSingle Incarnation Available during the Trespasser DLC. It is quite a powerful axe. I suggest trying it out and seeing, as it has unique abilities
2 demons advocate iconDemon's Advocate Extremely powerful Maul, that makes enemies explode after they are killed. I prefer this one compared to the others.
3 chromatic greatsword iconChromatic Greatsword Similar to Prismatic Greataxe, you will randomly deal elemental damage together with physical damage. This weapon can last you until the end of the game. The sword makes this Reaper Two-Handed build especially powerful
4 certainty iconCertainty The sword gives a +36% Attack boost, this equates to an almost 72 strength bonus. This can be an alternative to the Chromatic Greatsword if you don't prefer its looks
5 prismatic greataxe iconPrismatic Greataxe Due to the weapon mechanics, this weapon deals a bonus of 100% elemental damage. So with a skill like Pommel Strike, you will deal 600% elemental damage and 600% physical damage.

Weapons - craftable

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

Priority Item Description
1 prismatic greataxe scehmatic iconPrismatic Greataxe Schematic One of the more overpowered weapons that deals additional elemental damage together with Physical damage. Expect the Reaver build to deal crazy amounts of damage
2 chromatic greatsword schematic iconChromatic Greatsword Schematic One of the more overpowered weapons. However, the schematic can only be obtained in Trespasser DLC. Similar to Prismatic Greataxe Schematic
3 Axe of the Dragon Hunter Schematic iconAxe of the Dragon Hunter Schematic Has large Leather offensive slots, and can be easily obtained in a Black Emporium

Armors - obtainable

Unfortunately, there are not many options for obtainable armor that provide offensive bonuses

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.
3 revered defender armor iconRevered Defender Armor Abilities cost 10% less stamina with this armor. Moreover, it is perfect if you want the Reaver to have high armor
4 masterwork battlemaster armor iconMasterwork Battlemaster Armor Gives bonus stamina, which allows the use of more abilities
5 armor of the knights divine iconArmor of the Knights-Divine Abilities cost 7.5% less stamina. Moreover, gives bonus defensive stats.

Armors - craftable

Sadly there are not too many armors that you can craft to give a lot of offensive options. Your main priority is to either get Leather or Metal utility slots

Priority Item Description
1  The Skin That Strikes SchematicThe Skin That Strikes Schematic This medium armor can be worn by anyone and it has leather utility slots. This means it can boost either critical chance or critical damage.
2  Revered Defender Armor SchematicRevered Defender Armor Schematic A decent schematic that gives a large metal utility slot. However, you will need some luck to get it in The Descent DLC. This should be picked if you wish to have a higher armor value.
4 normal heavy armor schematic DAIBattlemaster Armor Schematic Great tier 3 schematic that you can get in Hissing Wastes. It also comes with Upgrade slots.

Helmets - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 stone stalker mask iconStone Stalker Mask One of the best helmets in the game. Gives a decent boost to dexterity and cunning stats.
2 helm of drasca iconHelm of the Drasca The helmet provides fewer offensive stats than the Winter Palace masks, however, it has a much higher armor rating.
3 unique Mask iconAmbassador's Mask This Winter Palace mask provides an 8% boost to critical damage. Equip it if you have a high critical chance of 50%. It can be used until you feel that your armor values are getting low
4 unique Mask iconMask of the Grand Duchess This Winter Palace mask provides a 12% boost to critical chance. It can be used until you feel that your armor values are getting low

Helmets - craftable

Priority Item Description
1 Superior helm schematic iconSuperior Skirmisher Hat Schematic This helmet gives Leather utility slots that you can use to increase the critical chance and critical damage. This is the best helmet in terms of DPS and damage and is easy to buy.
2 Revered Defender Helm Schematic iconRevered Defender Helm Schematic Provides a large number of metal utility slots, good for increasing pure attack damage
3 Duke's Mane Schematic iconDuke's Mane Schematic This schematic allows crafting a helmet with 11 metal utility slots. However, it is quite demanding to obtain the schematic as you will need first to finish the Jaws of Hakkon DLC.
4 Superior Venatori Helmet Schematic iconSuperior Venatori Helmet Schematic The helmet can be purchased early in the game if you have The Short List perk. It gives 10 Utility metal slots.


Priority Item Description
1 Enhanced amulet iconEnhanced Amulet of Barrier This is my recommended Amulet for Reaver. It will allow the build to survive in most of the fights. If you feel safe enough look at the second option to get additional stamina regeneration
2 Amulet of Death Syphon iconAmulet of Death Syphon This amulet will give stamina and hp regeneration after each enemy that dies nearby. Quite good as you will be in the front lines and constantly use abilities
3 Superb Amulet of Dexterity When the Reaver has a comfortable 40% critical chance. Use the amulet to boost critical damage by 20%
4 Amulet of the Rogue Use this amulet to increase Reaver's Critical Damage and critical rate in the late-game
5 Superb Amulet of Cunning This amulet should be worn if you have a critical chance of less than 50%.


Priority Item Description
1 Superb Belt of Urgency  iconSuperb Belt of Urgency or Enhanced Belt of Urgency If you manage to keep HP at 50% this belt will drastically increase the Reaver build attack speed. Of course, that is quite risky as you can die easily.
2 Superb Belt iconThe Bind That Guides Top-tier Belt, unfortunately only available in Trespasser DLC. Boosts Critical Chance by 10%
3 Superb Belt of health iconSuperb Belt of Health Great belt, if you need survivability, gives +200 Maximum Health
4 belt of life iconBelt of Life This belt gives +100 Maximum Health.


Priority Item Description
1 Superb Ring of Life-Drain iconSuperb Ring of Life-Drain This ring will drain HP from dying enemies. I think it is a safe option to use for Reaver. However, if you see that your build can work without it, look at more offensive options below.
2 Superb ring iconThe Hand That Cuts You only obtain this ring in Trespasser DLC. However, it gives a +20% Critical Damage bonus
3 Superb ring iconRing of Slicing The rings boost critical damage by 10% and critical chance by 5%. It is one of the best rings for this build
4 Superb Ring of Critical Damage Gives +20% critical damage, equip it once you have a high enough critical rate, otherwise go for the below option
5 Superb Ring of Critical Chance Gives a +10% critical chance. Great to boost it, if you have less than 40%

Tactics and tips

This is the trickiest part of the two-handed Reaver build. I include a video (at the top of the post) where I show how to best utilize the character and what tactics I use when running solo. With the party, it is 5 times easier, as you do not need to worry that archers will take you down.

Attention! Combat Roll can be used in any step if you need to get back from being knocked down or to reposition yourself fast.

  1. Start by using Charging Bull – this builds the initial guard and barrier (if you have Enhanced Amulet of Barrier equipped)
  2. In case there is an enemy with a shield use Pommel Strike
  3. Use Dragon-Rage two or three times.
  4. Use Charging Bull
  5. Use Devour
  6. Repeat from step 3


Thanks for reading this Dragon Age Inquisition Best Reaver build. It took a while to make the build and I can say it is amazing. I did not think it was possible to run solo with the Reaver. But it is and on Nightmare difficulty. You can constantly keep enemies under pressure, deal a tremendous amount of damage, and reposition yourself at will.

Not only that you are constantly protected by a barrier and Guard. I would say this build makes you a terrifying foe on the field.

Feel free to leave your feedback below! Thank you for reading.


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!