Best Mage Builds - Progression, Spells, Tips

By zanuffas
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Best Mage Builds - Progression, Spells, Tips

In this post I will go into great detail on the best mage builds that you can make.

Do you see yourself as a mage who commands nature elements? Or a wizard covering yourself with barriers, wearing a two-handed sword, and casting spells from close range? Or maybe you want to make enemies explode?

The post will cover all of these options so that your imagination would be satisfied and the best mage build could be made

The builds covered in this post can easily work on Nightmare difficulty. However, you may need to have a good tank ready to cover your threat generation like this Blackwall build

Let's start!

Mage early game, Levels 1 -10

The early game is all about learning how to use the mage and dealing with enemies that game throws at you.

Order Skill Description
1 barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense Mandatory ability to have for a mage, at the beginning of the game
2 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment An excellent ability that does elemental damage based on your staff element
3 immolate iconImmolate Main fire element skill that you will have early in the game
4 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint If your spell does a critical hit, the next spell has no cooldown. Can work well in the early game with Energy Barrage
5 Clean burn iconClean Burn Will decrease your spell cooldowns by one second each time a spell is cast
6 Fade step iconFade Step + Energizing Step Use this ability to restore mana at any time. Moreover, you can use it to reposition yourself
7 chain lightning iconChain Lightning + Arcing Surge Your main lightning element ability. Can stagger multiple enemies.

Once you have these abilities covered you should be at level 10+ and you can select the specialization. Below I cover the best mage builds for different specializations

Necromancer Mage build

Necromancer specialization mainly focuses on dealing large amounts of damage over time. Moreover, it is a master of fear allowing to create confusion among groups of enemies.

Necromancer is best to be used with Fire Element due to natural synergies which I will cover below.

Ability points allocation

Before starting the build respec your ability points

To be able to fully utilize any build correct ability points allocation is necessary. Here is the order in which I would obtain spells and their upgrades:

Order Skill Description
1 horror iconHorror Your main crowd control ability. Try to use it on archers as they can shred you in a few seconds, so you need to have them under control
2 death siphon iconDeath Siphon This is one of the main abilities that will allow you to faster regenerate mana. However, it may take a while for it to activate. So it is best to have a large mana pool with Sigil of the Great Bear equipped.
3 blinding terror iconBlinding Terror More damage (+15%) to panicked enemies.
4 simulacrum iconSimulacrum Last resort ability. Probably you will die more often than needed until you get a hang of this build. Use those 10 seconds to dish out some non-stop spells.
5 walking bomb iconWalking Bomb + Virulent An extremely good ability, although quite costly for 65 mana points. Try to use it every time it resets. With the Virulent upgrade, the explosions will spread to other enemies.
6 barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense Essential spell for every mage, use it at the start of the combat or if you are getting attacked to put up a barrier
7 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment An excellent ability that does elemental damage based on your staff, good to mix up your elemental damage
8 flashfire iconFlashfire A strong single-target ability to put Fear into an enemy. I recommend using it on enemies who start attacking you to make them run away
9 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint If your spell does a critical hit, the next spell has no cooldown. Can work well in the early game with Energy Barrage
10 Clean burn iconClean Burn Will decrease your spell cooldowns by one second each time a spell is cast
11 Fade step iconFade Step + Energizing Step I would even suggest getting this before Barrier if you feel safe enough. This ability has two purposes:
- Reposition yourself at will, to run away or get closer
- Run through enemies to restore mana, before Death Siphon will activate

This covers an essential part of the build. However, as I mentioned to make it shine we will also need to do a heavy investment into Inferno tree

Order Skill Description
12 Pyromancer iconPyromancer Although we take it to unlock the next ability it will boost the fear and burning duration of your spells.
13 Fire mine iconFire Mine + Flaming Array One of the strongest spells in the game. Will activate instantly but mines will appear before the character. So to best use it, you will need to be close to the enemies.
14 wall of fire iconWall of Fire + Lasting Flames Use this ability to put fear in the enemy group and make them run away
15 peaceful aura iconPeaceful Aura Decreases the likelihood that enemies will target the Inquisitor
16 power of the dead iconPower of the Dead Killing an enemy will increase your damage by 20% for 10 seconds

With these abilities, you will have no problems dealing with any enemies.

Main stats

There are numerous equipment options in Dragon Age Inquisition. To decide the best gear decide on it based on the stats priority below. Have in mind this is more geared toward level 15+ Inquisitor:

  • Critical rate – the higher the better, more increased damage

  • Critical Damage – prioritize after critical rate

  • Cunning – increases critical rate, some armors provide huge bonuses

  • Magic - increases magic damage

Tactics and tips

Just taking correct spells is not enough. You should do some careful tactics planning. Here are my main suggestions for you:

Fire Mine effect DAI

  1. The largest damage dealer is Fire Mine. To use it effectively you need to be close to the enemies. As a mage, it may be hard to retreat or get close to the enemies so user Fire Mine together with Fade Step to reposition yourself
  2. Wall of Fire is a great spell to make enemies run away when they are close to the Inquisitor, companion or you want to block a pathway. Have in mind AI companions will not attack them, so you will have to force them with the Attack command (y button on PC)
  3. Walking Bomb is an extremely strong ability that best works over long periods of time. Due to this cast it early in the combat and whenever it is available.
  4. Death Siphon is a great skill, however, for it to activate you need to kill an enemy. So it will take time till you can restore your mana pool. To counteract this equip Sigil of the Great Bear

Rift Mage build

This is another great build that utilizes the Rift Mage specialization. The main idea of this type of mage is to use abilities that weaken your enemies. There are multiple advantages to this status effect: large mana regeneration, weaker enemies, increased damage.

So how would you best utilize all of this?

Ability points allocation

Before starting the build respec your ability points

To be able to fully utilize any build correct ability points allocation is necessary. Here is the order in which I would obtain spells and their upgrades:

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 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. Moreover, you can use quite often to put enemies in place
4 restorative veil iconRestorative Veil One of your main abilities that will restore mana when Inquisitor deals damage to weakened enemies.
5 barrier iconBarrier + Energetic Defense This is a good ability to put up a barrier when low on HP or starting a battle. The upgrade will make the barrier start decaying after 5 seconds
6 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
7 winter stillness iconWinter Stillness We mainly take it as an upgrade path. Although the ability looks good, many of the spells used in the game make the Inquisitor move a little and cancel the effect.
8 ice mine iconIce Mine + Chilling Array This build's main ability that you will use to stop enemies, create shatter combos and boost Winter's Grasp damage. The upgrade will activate the traps instantly but they can only appear right before the character
9 winter's grasp iconWinter's Grasp + Winter's Ruin This ability is quite costly. However, with the Winter's Ruin upgrade you will be able to deal 1000% weapon damage. For this to work you will need to use this on Frozen enemies. This is easily doable with Ice Mine
10 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Bombardment We take this ability as an alternative to having other element types besides Ice. Inquisitor will lose about 50% of effectiveness against enemies that have Ice resistance
11 twisting veil iconTwisting Veil Boosts your damage against weakened enemies
12 immolate iconImmolate We mainly take this for progression
13 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint This ability will allow you to use the next spell without cooldown if the current spell hits with a critical hit
14 pull of the abyss iconPull of the Abyss + Devouring Veil With the upgrade, the ability will do 500% spirit damage in AOE. As you will be weak against Ice resistant enemies this ability greatly boosts your combat capacity.
15 Clean burn iconClean Burn Each spell cast will reduce your cooldowns by 1 second
16 Conductive Current iconConductive Current Your damage will be increased the less mana you have

There is one additional spell that I recommend to get: Blizzard + Winter Winds. This is an extremely good AOE ability that you can use to further control the battlefield.

Main stats

There are numerous equipment options in Dragon Age Inquisition. To decide the best gear decide on it based on the stats priority below. Have in mind this is more geared toward level 15+ Inquisitor:

  • Critical rate – the higher the better, the more increased damage. However, if you have Ring of Doubt, feel free to leave it at 30%

  • Critical Damage – prioritize after critical rate

  • Cunning – increases critical rate, some armors provide huge bonuses

  • Magic - increases magic damage

Tactics and tips

Just taking correct spells is not enough. You should do some careful tactics planning. Here are my main suggestions for you:

  1. As most of the mage builds have a strong Tank in the party so that he could draw the enemy's attention.
  2. It is good to start the fight with Veilstrike. It can weaken enemies making sure that you deal more damage and have constant mana regeneration
  3. Pull of the Abyss and Energy Barrage are the main Inquisitor spells to fight against enemies that have cold resistance
  4. Your strongest spell combo is Frozen enemy + Winter's Grasp or Stonefist. I recommend using Ice Mine first. Once the enemies are frozen use one of the spells that have been mentioned.
  5. Fade Step provides two important options: change your position or run away and restore mana in case you are out of it.

Knight Enchanter Mage build

This is the last specialization that the mage can choose. In my opinion, this is the strongest one out of all based on the damage and also survivability.

Moreover, the most important part is to obtain Blade of Tidarion or Blade of Tidarion schematic. This weapon is what makes this mage build stand out from others. It will make Energy Barrage release 2x more particles

Ability points allocation

Before starting the build respec your ability points

To be able to fully utilize any build correct ability points allocation is necessary. Here is the order in which I would obtain spells and their upgrades:

Order Skill Description
1 Spirit Blade iconSpirit Blade + upgrade You will use this ability often as you will constantly be close to the enemies. I suggest using whenever Energy Barrage of Fire Mine is on cooldown. Choose your preferred upgrade
2 Combat Clarity iconCombat Clarity Additional MP regeneration in case enemies are close
3 Fade shield iconFade Shield Extremely good skill will synergize well with Chaotic Focus. Moreover, increases your survivability as you gain barrier per hit.
4 knight-protector iconKnight-Protector Reduces barrier decay, will synergize well with Chaotic Focus later on
5 immolate iconImmolate Casts instantly and deals moderate damage
6 Flashpoint iconFlashpoint After a critical hit, the next spell does not have a cooldown
7 Energy barrage iconEnergy Barrage + Energy Storm
Your main spell, because it launches many projectiles, one of it should trigger Flashpoint. Moreover, the element is based on your staff
8 Pyromancer iconPyromancer We take it for progression
9 Fire mine iconFire Mine + Flaming Array The strongest spell in the game now will spawn three times. This will result in instant activation and more damage. However, the mines appear in front of the Inquisitor
10 Clean burn iconClean Burn Reduces cooldowns when using a spell by 1 second.
11 Conductive Current iconConductive Current Boosts damage 5% for every 10% mana that is missing
12 Static Charge iconStatic Charge Even though we take it for progression to reach Static Cage, this skill still has good passive effects.
13 Static cage iconStatic Cage + Lightning Cage Combo this spell with Energy Barrage, to deal additional lightning damage to enemies.
14 Fade step iconFade Step + Energizing Step Use this spell to recharge MP fast during combat. Moreover, you can use it to change your position on the battlefield.
15 Fade cloak iconFade Cloak + Decloaking Blast This spell will deal 1000% Weapon damage as Spirit Damage if you reappear inside an enemy. Moreover, you can instantly get up from knockback when using this skill

With these spells, you Knight Enchanter mage should have no problems taking out any group of enemies.

Main stats

There are numerous equipment options in Dragon Age Inquisition. To decide the best gear decide on it based on the stats priority below. Have in mind this is more geared toward level 15+ Inquisitor:

  • Critical Rate - your aim is to have around 35% if you have Ring of Doubt, otherwise put at least 45%. This will easily activate Flashpoint

  • Critical Damage - once you have Ring of Doubt I suggest investing in this attribute. It will contribute the most to your overall damage.

  • Attack - increases overall damage a bit worse than critical damage boost

  • Willpower - increases your Attack indirectly but the bonus is lower than pure direct Attack increase

  • Magic - increases your Attack indirectly but the bonus is lower than pure direct Attack increase

Tactics and tips

Just taking correct spells is not enough. You should do some careful tactics planning. Here are my main suggestions for you:

Blade of Tidarion crafted DAI

  1. Blade of Tidarion or Blade of Tidarion schematic. This weapon is essential to wear. It will allow your main damage spell: Energy Barrage to deal crazy amounts of damage and also to constantly activate Flashpoint. But for this effect you need to have a rune with different elemental damage than the weapon's
  2. Use Fire Mine to deal large burst damage to enemies close by. Ring of Doubt further increases the spell damage due to a 100% critical hit.
  3. The easiest and efficient combo that I have found is Energy Barrage + Static Cage and then Fade Step. It should be cast so that enemies inside Static Cage would get additional lightning damage. After this, you can use Fade Step to move through enemies and restore MP
  4. Use Fade Cloak to instantly stand up if Inquisitor gets knocked down. This will make the mage far stronger in close combat.
  5. Spirit Blade can be used to attack while other spells are under cooldown.

Conclusion - Best Mage builds

Hope this post will help you greatly to build the best mage in Dragon Age Inquisition. I tried to cover the main points: abilities and tips that you can use to maximize your damage.

For more builds feel free to check the build feed

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