Dorian Best builds - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
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Dorian Best builds

This post is about Dorian Pavus. I will explain how to best build him in Dragon Age Inquisition

Dorian is a Tevinter mage that will join the Inquisitor on its journey. He has necromancer specialization which concentrates on dealing Damage over time, resurrecting himself, and taking over enemies.

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's start

Dorian level 1 - 10

Till level 10 we level Dorian as a simple mage. So there is nothing special with the skill selection or priority

Order Skill Description
1 Barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense Mandatory ability to have for a mage, generate a barrier for Dorian and allies
2 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment Generate numerous projectiles. Their element depends on the staff the mage has equipped
3 chain lightning iconChain Lightning + Arcing Surge A lightning spell that hits multiple targets. Deals more damage with the upgrade
4 peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura Dorian will generate less Threat
5 dispel iconDispel Use this to dispel Veil Tear monsters
6 immolate iconImmolate + Wildfire This fire spell is cheap and deals decent damage. The upgrade reduces cooldown

With these skills, Dorian will be helpful against all enemy types in the early game. Once you reach level 11 you are free to start working on the next build

Dorian Necromancer builds

I will cover two variations of the build. The first one is a simpler one that results in less micromanaging.

The second one is Dorian that utilizes every spell to put Fear into the enemies. The problem with Fear is that AI stops attacking them. For this to work you will need to manually click on the enemy and select "Attack my target"

Unfortunately, we skip Spirit Mark. Even though it is a great ability it creates a layer of micromanaging. When you want to progress with the story or escape combat fast you either:

  • Wait till the charm wears off
  • Or change to Dorian to disable the ability

This takes additional time and personally for me does not bring enough benefit

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

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

Dorian - simple Necromancer

This build is a simple one as its main focus is so that Dorian could deal damage and also would need no micromanaging.

Order Skill Description
1 horror iconHorror We take this mainly for progression
2 death siphon iconDeath Siphon After the enemy dies you get mana and health
3 power of the dead iconPower of the Dead Killing enemies will boost Dorian damage by 20%
4 blinding terror iconBlinding Terror Panicked or enemies under fear take more damage
5 simulacrum iconSimulacrum If Dorian dies he will respawn as a spirit for 10 seconds
6 walking bomb iconWalking Bomb + Virulent If the enemy dies from this spell, he will explode dealing AOE damage in 5 meters
7 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment Versatile spell to deal a large amount of damage
8 immolate iconImmolate + Wildfire Cheap fire spell with a decent amount of damage
9 Barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense A support spell to generate a barrier for Dorian and other party members
10 peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura Reduces thread generated by Dorian
11 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint If the spell used will make a critical hit the next one will have no cooldown period
12 Clean burn iconClean Burn Each spell used will shorten cooldown times
13 Pyromancer iconPyromancer We take this passive skill to unlock the next spell
14 Fire mine iconFire Mine + Searing Glyph Extremely strong ability, allowing to deal damage and knockdown enemies
15 Conductive Current iconConductive Current The less mana you have the more damage your spells do
16 chain lightning iconChain Lightning Even though we take it for progression it can steal deal decent lightning damage to many enemies
17 stormbringer iconStormbringer Free 300% weapon damage every 15 seconds
18 gathering storm iconGathering Storm Each basic attack reduces spell cooldowns by 0.5 seconds

These skills constitute the base of the build. However, there are still some considerations if you will have more points left

Late game investments

  • Upgrade Chain Lightning to Arcing Surge
  • Get Focus ability Haste
  • Get Dispel + Rejuvenating Barrier for increased mana regeneration

Tactics

Here is what Tactics I recommend for this build:

Dorian simple necormancer build tactics

The idea is simple. We want Dorian to cast Walking Bomb as often as possible. For other spells, he should decide when is it best to use them.

Have in mind that Horror should be disabled as we do not want to ruin our party AI.

Dorian - Pyro Fear build

This type of build will concentrate on wreaking havoc on enemies by putting them in constant fear and using the Walking Bomb to create explosions.

Order Skill Description
1 horror iconHorror + Despair One of the main abilities that generates fear. The upgrade will also deal damage over time
2 death siphon iconDeath Siphon After the enemy dies you regain mana and health
3 power of the dead iconPower of the Dead Killing enemies will boost Dorian damage by 20%
4 blinding terror iconBlinding Terror Panicked or enemies under fear take more damage
5 simulacrum iconSimulacrum If Dorian dies he will respawn as a spirit for 10 seconds
6 walking bomb iconWalking Bomb + Virulent If the enemy dies from this spell, he will explode dealing AOE damage in 5 meters
7 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment Versatile spell to deal a large amount of damage with an element based on the staff that you have equipped
8 flashfire iconFlashfire Ignite enemy and put him into Fear
9 Barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense An essential ability that supports Dorian and party members to generate Barrier
10 peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura Decreases Threat that Dorian generate with its spells
11 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint After a critical hit with a spell, the next spell has no cooldown
12 Clean burn iconClean Burn Each spell that Dorian casts will reduce the cooldown of other skills
13 wall of fire iconWall of Fire + Lasting Flames Your signature ability to generate fear in large areas, against enemies who step on it.
14 Conductive Current iconConductive Current The less mana you have the more damage your spells do
15 chain lightning iconChain Lightning + Arcing Surge Deals lightning damage to multiple enemies.
16 stormbringer iconStormbringer Free 300% weapon damage every 15 seconds
17 gathering storm iconGathering Storm Each basic attack reduces spell cooldowns by 0.5 seconds

These skills constitute the base of the build. However, there are still some considerations if you will have more points left

  • Fire Mine - will considerably increase DPS
  • Dispel + Rejuvenating Barrier - for faster mana regeneration
  • Haste - Focus ability

Tactics

For this variation of Dorian here is my recommended Tactics:

Dorian Fear necormancer tactics

We leave everything to active. However, Walking Bomb should still be set to preferred.

While under the effects of Horror, your companions AI will not attack the enemies. To override this behavior you should target the enemy and click "Y" (on PC), to make them attack the enemy.

Doing it this way will make sure that while other enemies are on effects of Fear you can concentrate on the single one.

Of course, if you are setting Fear on a single enemy with Horror, be sure not to attack it.

Dorian Stats

Overall the stats are similar to other companions. Before level 13:

  • Armor - you want him to survive for as long as possible
  • Magic - increases attack stat
  • Willpower - increases attack

From level 13+:

  • Critical chance - I suggest trying to keep it at 50% at least.
  • Critical damage - will scale better than attack, after you have a high critical chance
  • Dexterity - Alternative to critical damage
  • Cunning - alternative to critical chance
  • Magic - will increase your Attack stat
  • Willpower - increases attack

Best items and equipment

In this section, I will cover some recommended items and equipment for Dorian

Masterwork crafting

These are important abilities that you can use special materials to greatly improve equipment. Look for a Masterwork slot in the items when crafting.

Masterwork skill Description Materials
Hidden Blades Works well with Energy Barrage due to multiple hits. Greatly improves overall DPS Fade-Touched Ring Velvet
Fade-Touched Velveteen
Fade-Touched Plush Fustian Velvet
Walking Bomb Will generate Walking bombs more often Fade-Touched Imperial Vestment Cotton
Fade-Touched Lustrous Cotton
Fade-Touched Cotton
Guard on Hit I do not prefer it, but it is a great defensive option allowing to soak more damage for the mage. Fade-Touched Obsidian
Fade-Touched Silverite

General Items

  • Sigil of the Great Bear - this is mandatory for a mage. It will double the total mana pool and not weaken mana regeneration due to it being percentage-based.

Weapons - obtainable

Generally, the ones with a boost to critical damage should be equipped when Dorian has a 50%+ critical chance

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.
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

Armors - obtainable

Here is a recommended list of obtainable armors 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

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 Best craftable Armor. 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
For this armor, you will need Spoils of the Qunari DLC pack. The schematic gives 3 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

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.

Amulets

Priority Item Description
- Amulet of Power Gives Dorian a single ability point. It is consumed once you use it.
1 Superb Amulet iconAndraste’s Sacrifice This amulet provides both mana regeneration and a reduced cooldown modifier. However, it can be risky as occasionally enemies will get taunted as a side effect.
2 kitty's collar icon daiKitty's Collar Recommended by one of the players, this amulet is a strong combo with Simulacrum ability after Dorian dies and resurrects instantly. This way you can have infinite mana in many encounters. I suggest to try it out and see if you like this type of gameplay
3 amulet of renewal icon daiAmulet of Renewal This amulet will increase the mana regeneration rate. A good option for Dorian as Death Syphon may take a while to activate
4 Superb Amulet of Cunning Use this amulet to increase Dorians' critical chance by 5%
5 Superb Amulet of dexterity iconSuperb Amulet of Dexterity Equip this amulet once you reach a high critical chance of about 50% or more

Belts

Priority Item Description
1 Superb Belt iconThe Bind That Guides This belt boosts the critical chance. Only obtainable in the Trespasser DLC.
2 enhanced belt of the winter pact iconEnhanced Belt of Winter Pact or Enhanced Belt of Inferno Pact Although this belt increases the cold spell's power by 125% Dorian will have the HP decreased by 50%
3 Superb Belt of health iconSuperb Belt of Health The belt can be obtained in Emerald Greaves. It gives +200 health.
4 belt of life iconBelt of Life Similar to the above belt provides a large increase in HP.

Rings

Priority Item Description
1 Ring of Slicing The rings boost critical damage by 10% and critical chance by 5%. It is one of the best rings for this build
2 Superb Ring of Critical Damage Gives +20% critical damage, equip it once you have high enough critical Chance
3 Superb Ring of Critical Chance Gives a +10% critical chance. Great to boost it, if you have less than 50%
4 Superb Ring of Attack Boosts overall attack damage

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it will shed some light on how to best build Dorian in Dragon Age Inquisition

Feel free to leave feedback in the comments below

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Discussion

Anonymous

I think Kitty's Collar is the best Amulet for Dorian. Once he has fallen and trigger Simulacrum, he will have 10s to spam free spells. Then he will be revived by the effect of Kitty's Collar. It is really OP.

Nice! I added this as an option in the gear section

Anonymous

I can say this helped but some of the items to make the things you said i have no idea where to get them at. If you could include them that would be better, but its just my opinion :) have a good day!