Vivienne - Best build complete guide

Vivienne - Best build complete guide - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)

By zanuffas
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In this post, I will guide you on how you should build Vivienne in Dragon Age Inquisition. She is an Orlesian mage who will join the Inquisitor group. She supports the old order where Mage Circles should be established.

She has a Knight-Enchanter specialization making her one of the strongest mages.

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

Abilities level 1 - 10

Till level 10 we level Vivienne 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 Vivienne 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 Lightning AOE spell. With the upgrade damage output increases further.
4 Peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura Vivienne will generate less Threat
5 Dispel iconDispel Use this to dispel Veil Tear monsters
6 immolate iconImmolate + Wildfire Fire spell is cheap and deals decent damage. Upgrade further boosts damage and decreases the cooldown

With these skills, Vivienne 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

Vivienne Mage build

This build will concentrate on constantly having barrier and using it to boost Vivienne. How will this work? With Chaotic Focus and Rejuvenating Barrier, Vivienne will have higher mana regeneration and increase in damage by utilizing the barrier.

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

Abilities - detailed progression

This section will cover what abilities and when you should be picked for Vivienne. This will help you to decide the optimal path to follow when leveling your companion

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

Order Skill Description
1 Spirit Blade iconSpirit Blade For this to be used AI needs to equip Blade of Tidarion and enter melee mage. On Nightmare difficulty, I have found that this may be too risky for AI to handle
2 Combat Clarity iconCombat Clarity Increases mana regeneration if Vivienne is close to enemies
3 Fade shield iconFade Shield The most overpowered skill for Knight- Enchanter. It will generate a barrier for Vivienne for each attack that does damage
4 knight-protector iconKnight-Protector Decreases barrier decay for the whole group. Different from what the game description says
5 Barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense Will increase Vivienne damage and boost party members survivability
6 Peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura Vivienne spells and attacks will generate less threat
7 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment An extremely good spell that will launch projectiles that can easily activate Flashpoint for faster spell casting
8 immolate iconImmolate + Wildfire One of the fire spells that will use Chaotic Focus to boost its damage
9 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint If the spell does a critical hit the next spell cast will have no cooldown
10 Clean burn iconClean Burn Each spell cast will reduce active cooldowns by 1 second
11 Chaotic focus iconChaotic Focus Half of your barrier will be consumed to increase the Fire spell's initial damage. Works perfectly with Immolate and Fire Mine (not Flaming Array)
12 Pyromancer iconPyromancer Boosts Burning duration
13 Fire mine iconFire Mine + Searing Glyph With Chaotic Focus this spell will deal large damage to enemies who activate Fire Mine. It is one of the strongest spells in the game
14 Dispel iconDispel We take it mainly for unlocking other abilities but you can also use it to remove summoning spots from Veil Tears
15 Rejuvenating Barrier iconRejuvenating Barrier Boosts mana and stamina regeneration for party members if they have an active barrier
16 Chain Lightning iconChain Lightning + Arcing Surge A decent skill that will hit enemies 6 times
17 Conductive Current iconConductive Current The less mana Vivienne has the more damage she will do with her spells.
18 stormbringer iconStormbringer Every 15 seconds launch a Lightning strike for 300% weapon damage
19 gathering storm iconGathering Storm Reduces cooldown by 0.5 seconds for each auto-attack

The build is quite costly, however, this will ensure that you have sufficient mana, mana regeneration, and offensive capabilities with Vivienne

Tactics and tips

Here is what Tactics I recommend for this Vivienne build:

Tactics Vivienne knight enchanter build

Important: set either Energy Barrage or Immolate to preferred. If you set them both, AI breaks and doesn't use any of those spells

Disable these spells: Spirit Blade, Dispel. The last one is optional, I do not see a point in using it, however, for others, it may be different as this is not an upgraded version.

With this setup, Vivienne should have no problem dealing large amounts of damage especially at the beginning of the combat.

Moreover, reduce the Mana threshold to 20% and set her to follow your tank.

Stats and attributes

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

  • Armor - for survivability
  • 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
  • Willpower - increases the damage and also magic defense.
  • Magic - will increase your damage

Best Items and Equipment

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


Here are recommendations for Masterwork skills:

  • Hidden Blades - works well with Energy Barrage and will proc quite often. These materials will active it: Fade-Touched Ring Velvet, Fade-Touched Velveteen, Fade-Touched Plush Fustian Velvet
  • Abilities cost *% less Mana/Stamina -will reduce the cost of using active abilities. Materials: Fade-Touched Velveteen, Fade-Touched Ring Velvet, Fade-Touched Fustian Velvet

General Items

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

Weapons - obtainable

Here are some great staves that you can obtain for Vivienne

Priority Item Description
1 dai hakkons wisdom iconHakkon's Wisdom Gives +100% critical damage. Extremely strong staff if you have a high 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 The staff gives a large bonus to critical damage. Use it on Vivienne once she has a 50%+ critical chance
4 staff of the void iconStaff of the Void Gives a small boost of 6% to critical chance and bonus magic

Weapons - craftable

This is a list of craftable staves that you can make to maximize the builds' damage

Priority Item Description
1 Encore iconEncore Schematic One of the best staves in the game as it gives offensive buffs for all party members
2 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.
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.

Armors - craftable

This section covers a list of schematics to craft armors

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. However, the schematic gives 3 Utility slots to increase offensive stats
3 Vestments of the Pure schematics iconVestments of the Pure Schematic The armor is not as powerful as the options above. However, it can be a good alternative if you think that the second option does not have enough armor

Helmets - obtainable

Priority Item Description
1 stone stalker mask iconStone Stalker Mask Gives a large boost to offensive stats and also increases armor
2 helm of drasca iconHelm of the Drasca
Provides bonuses to dexterity resulting in +8% increased critical damage. Gives a higher armor rating than Winter Palace masks
3 unique Mask iconAmbassador's Mask This mask provides a large boost to critical damage
4 unique Mask iconMask of the Grand Duchess Gives a large bonus to critical chance

Helmets - craftable

Priority Item Description
1 Superior helm schematic iconSuperior Skirmisher Hat Schematic Great slots for increasing critical stats
2 battlemage cowl schematic tier 3Battlemage Cowl Schematic Gives a Cloth Utility slot to increase magic related stats
3 Helmet schematics iconSkirmisher Hat Schematic Can be obtained earlier in the game with a leather utility slot.


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

Priority Item Description
- Amulet of Power Gives Vivienne a single ability point. It is consumed once you use it.
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 amulet of mage iconAmulet of the Mage A cheap amulet that can be bought in Black Emporium. Recommend it when you have 3k gold
3 Superb Amulet iconSuperb Amulet of Dexterity Boosts dexterity, which increases your critical damage
4 Superb Amulet iconSuperb Amulet of Cunning Increase critical chance resulting in overall higher DPS.
5 Superb Amulet of willpower iconSuperb Amulet of Willpower Boosts willpower which increases your damage and provides bonus 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, unfortunately, available only in the late game during Trespasser DLC.
2 Superb Belt iconSuperb Belt of Staggering The belt will give a higher chance to temporarily stun enemies with normal attacks
3 Superb Belt iconSuperior Belt of Focus A weaker version of the above belt.


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

Priority Item Description
1 Superb ring iconThe Hand That Cuts Only obtainable in Trespasser DLC. However, provides large offensive bonuses
2 Superb ring iconSuperb Ring of Critical Damage Boosts critical damage by 20%, equip it, Vivienne, either has at least 50% critical chance
3 Superb ring iconRing of Slicing Expensive ring bought in Black Emporium. Boosts your critical damage and critical rate.
4 Superb ring iconSuperb Ring of Critical Chance Boosts critical chance by 10%, use it if Vivienne has less than 50% critical chance


This post goes into great detail on how to best build Vivienne for Dragon Age Inquisition. You now know what abilities to choose, when to get them, what gear to use. All of this makes extremely powerful Vivienne build

Feel free to leave feedback in the comments below


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!