Blackwall - Best build guide

Blackwall - Best build guide - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

Blackwall is a Grey Warden who will join the Inquisitor. You will meet him in the Hinterlands training the recruits. From the first meeting, you will see that he is an expert in close combat.

Moreover, once you unlock its specialization he is the best tank you can have. With this post, I will try to cover how to best build Blackwall in Dragon Age Inquisition

Important! The companion build is compatible with Nightmare difficulty, however, to pull it off correctly, be sure to have a good Inquisitor build

So let us get into it

Early game abilities, level 1 - 10

At the start of the game, it does not really matter which weapon you choose. Both shield & sword work.

Order Skill Description
1 challenge iconChallenge + Call Them Out This will be the main skill that Blackwall will use to Taunt enemies
2 war cry iconWar Cry The secondary ability for taunting enemies
3 grappling chain iconGrappling Chain We take this to unlock other skills
4 crippling blows iconCrippling Blows We take this to unlock other skills
5 coup de grace iconCoup De Grace We take this to unlock other skills
6 horn of valor iconHorn of Valor + Fortifying Blast Horn of Valor is an important ability. It will ensure early in the game that Blackwall and party members don't die easily
7 trust the steel iconTrust the Steel Provides 20% armor bonus to Blackwall

If you will have any points left invest them in the weapon tree that you use. Otherwise, this will be enough before you unlock Champion specialization for Blackwall at level 11.

Blackwall Two-handed Tank build

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

This build will be using a two-handed weapon. Even though you lose some defense you will gain the ability to knock out enemies more often.

Abilities investment - long version

In this section, I will go through all the skills and talents that need to be picked for this Blackwall build in the Dragon Age Inquisition.

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

Order Skill Description
1 line in the sand iconLine in the Sand This skill is only taken for progression
2 bulwark iconBulwark Increases maximum Guard for Blackwall
3 adamant iconAdamant Provides 20% armor bonus
4 resilience iconResilience Provides a 5% chance that an enemy is stunned when it hits Blackwall
5 unyielding iconUnyielding This ability gives a second chance. Instead of dying Blackwall becomes invulnerable for 5 seconds
6 walking fortress iconWalking Fortress + Siege-Breaker For 8 seconds you get invulnerability. This is the most overpowered ability that Blackwall has. By getting the upgrade each attack also increases Guard by 10%
7 challenge iconChallenge + Call Them Out Secondary ability to Taunt enemies that are not picked by Warcry
8 war cry iconWar Cry + Battle Roar With the upgrade, Blackwall should attract most of the enemy's attention to him
9 trust the steel iconTrust the Steel Provides 20% armor bonus
10 cutting words iconCutting Words As most of the enemies on the battlefield will be Taunted, this passive ability will increase damage to them by 20%
11 might blow iconMighty Blow + Easy Target A good Two-Handed skill to deal damage and knockdown enemies.
12 shield breaker iconShield-Breaker A critical hit will reduce enemy armor by 20%
13 whirlwind iconWhirlwind We take this ability for progression
14 clear a path iconClear a Path Each swing that hits multiple targets will restore your stamina by 10%.
15 to the death iconTo the Death + En Garde At this point in the game, you should have good equipment. This is when you take To the Death ability so that you could survive the increased damage from the enemy. The result is that the enemy takes more damage.
16 shield wall iconShield Wall We take this for progression
17 bear mauls the wolves iconBear Mauls the Wolves Reduces damage taken from Blackwall's flanks
18 untouchable defense iconUntouchable Defense Increases Guard bonus by 25%
19 itll cost you iconIt'll Cost You Returns 50% melee damage received to the enemy
20 livid iconLivid + Still Standing This ability will increase guard and reduce damage taken by each enemy that surrounds Blackwall.

If you have any points left feel free to put them anywhere else. However, I would say that the build is finished with the ones that I have listed above.

Abilities investment - short version

In this section, I will briefly show what skills should be picked for Blackwall. For a more detailed version check the next section.

Weapon and Shield tree

We only need to get the passive ability to reduce flanking damage

Blackwall Weapon and Shield

Two-Handed Weapon tree

By getting these abilities we will ensure that Blackwall will have sufficient stamina regeneration and Knockout skill

Blackwall two handed weapon tree

Vanguard tree

With this tree, you will get skills that ensure Blackwall ability to Taunt enemies.

Vanguard skill tree Blackwall

Champion tree

The Champion tree provides the overpowered tanking abilities. Ensuring that Blackwall can become Invulnerable multiple times during a single encounter

Champion skill tree blackwall build

Attributes and Stats

These are the stats that I suggest to prioritize when choosing equipment:

  • Constitution – provides health and increases 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

  • Attack – overall increase to damage

  • Strength – provides damage boost and some Guard damage boost

Best 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 Blackwall 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 higher 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 higher damage

Armors - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 revered defender armor iconRevered Defender Armor This is perfect for Blackwall Tank. It gives a +45 Constitution and decreases the cost of abilities.
2 masterwork battlemaster armor iconMasterwork Battlemaster Armor Increases base stamina and provides a decent defensive stats bonus

Armors - craftable

Priority Item Description
1  Revered Defender Armor SchematicRevered Defender Armor Schematic This schematic has the most metal utility slots in the game. Which makes it the perfect armor for Blackwall
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 Blackwall's defensive options and constitution

Helmets - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 revered defender helmet iconRevered Defender Helm The Helmet can be obtained in The Descent DLC. Provides very good defensive bonuses: constitution, melee defense, etc.
2 dukes mane iconDuke's Mane A decent helmet that gives a bonus  +8 Strength and +8% Melee Defense

Helmets - craftable

Priority 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 Blackwall 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 Blackwall 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 Blackwall. This way she can take more damage before HP will be 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


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 Blackwall always has his  Guard full.
2 Superb Ring of Staggering iconSuperb Ring of Staggering Increases the chance to interrupt enemy attacks and stagger them

Blackwall Tactics

In this section, I will go through what Tactics you should use for Blackwall.

Blackwall tank tactics

  • War Cry - set to Preferred. Blackwall has to use it at the beginning of the combat
  • Shield Wall - disable. Not relevant
  • Line in the Sand - disable. Not relevant
  • Whirlwind - disabled.

All other skills need to be set to active. This way Blackwall can correctly tank group enemies, deal damage with Mighty Blow and survive difficult encounters by using Walking Fortress.


Blackwall will be the only Grey Warden to join Inquisitor. Due to this, it is interesting to hear about him and his background. I hope this post will help you understand how to build him in the Dragon Age Inquisition.

Feel free to leave any comments below!



Rediscovering DAI with your builds, and it's so much more enjoyable to know how things can work together. In your other guides for rogues and mages you say tell them to follow the tank, and what are the settings for tank himself? Thank you so much!

Thank you! Personally, I did not change the default values. However, you could let the tank follow Inquisitor target


Thank you for these builds! Is there a reason why weose Horn of Valor after respec? I felt like that kept my party alive and now after respec, we're getting torn up! Maybe because I'm still lower level after respec so I'll continue with the guide! It's been helping with my Nightmare run thus far!

Hey! thanks you. The thing with Horn of Valor is that early in the game we do not have a way to get a good ability that make Blackwall tanky, so that is why we take it.

After getting specialization, new abilities unlock, which allow Blackwall to sustain larger amount of damage. Another thing, we need "Clear a Path" passive skill from two handed tree, to get better stamina regeneration. Blackwall now has more active skills and they drain stamina very fast.

However, you can skip two handed skills for now and go with Horn of Valor, but I definitely recommend picking the recommended abilities later on :)



These builds on all the games listed are amazing and have so much work and detail put into them. I hope you got some very rewarding and well deserved satisfaction from them. I really hope you will be doing this for a longtime into the future of gaming. Thank you! 🙂

Thank you! I am really glad that they helped you :)


Don’t know if anyone noticed this but when your about to put the long term investments down you say “ I will go through all the skills and talents that need to be picked for this Solas build “

Thank you, fixed it! I have been reusing some of my builds as templates :)


That makes sense


Is there a blackwall build that uses sword and shield. I don't need another dps I need a true tank

Hey! This build is not a DPS if you check what stats and gear we are concentrating on the damage has a lowest priority.

We take two-handed weapon because it provides means to restore stamina from auto attacks (the most important aspect for any warrior). Although Sword and Shield tree provides Warrior's Resolve, it won't activate as often later in the game due to constantly having guard.

The main point of Blackwall is his Champion tree, whether you choose Sword and Shield or Two-Handed it does not change much :) Later when I have time I may add Sword and Shield build


Thank you so much for these builds! I am successfully enjoying this playthrough with them but I am a sword and shield lover for tanks. Please do a sword and shield tank build for Blackwall. I would very much appreciate it! :) PynkSkyttles


What should you set his mana/stam threshold at?

I personally used 50% on my play through. I always wanted him to be able to have some emergency stamina. You can try even lower value, like 30%


You say keep all others active but your picture says to disable whirlwind. Trust the Steel needs to be before Cutting Words.

Thank you! Fixed the mistakes :)

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!