Blood Mage build - maximum spellpower mage - Dragon Age: Origins (DAO)
This build is about being all offensive and lashing out elemental spells. You will have limited survivability capabilities, but this pays off with over the top damage
This build works for the main character. However, Morrigan can also definitely use this, as she also has many skills in elemental tree
Elves are the best starting race in terms of starting attributes for mages.
If you use it on the main character do Circle of Tower first to get 16 Cunning (I recommend doing this on all characters)
You will need to have a healer in your party like Wynne to keep your tank with high HP (more on that later on)
For this build to work you will need to have a strong tank that can ensure that you are not being hit. Because you will have low hp and you will use it to cast spells
Get pickpocketing talent to unlock additional side quests in Denerim
Magic – attribute which will increase your spell damage. This is all that you need for this build
Contrary to thinking that blood mage needs constitution you should avoid it. Your mana pool will be your HP + MP. Due to this you will be able to cast spells easy without any big limitations
- Pickpocket - Level 1 (if you are the main character)
- Combat Training - Level 4
- Tactics - Level 4
If you have any other points left invest based on your preference.
You will use two main specializations: Blood Mage and Spirit Healer. I suggest getting the latter one second at level 14 and Blood Mage at level 7. This will increase your casting pool early in the game.
NOTE: you can also take Arcane Warrior and invest 1 ability point into Combat Magic. This will allow you to use Helm of Honnleath, the best helm in the game giving +2 to all stats. Otherwise, if it is being used by others you can skip it
How to unlock Blood Mage?
To unlock this specialization you will need to do the Arl of Redcliffe story quest. You will need to be a mage and enter the Fade.
Once you reach the last Demon it will show its true form. You will then have a conversation with it. If you are able to strike a deal one of the rewards will be the Blood Mage specialization.
For this type of build, you will want to use all the spells that scale Spellpower.
Level 1 - 7
At the beginning of the game, we want to build the offensive capabilities of the mage,
Winter's Grasp – great single-target spell, freezing enemies
Frost Weapons – progression spell, to get the next talent
Cone of Cold - area of effect skill, petrifying enemies (even though it looks like they are frozen)
- Heal – good to have at a start until you will have a dedicated healer.
- Fireball - an area of effect crowd control skill that knocks back enemies. Great when dealing with weaker enemies.
- Spell Wisp - provides a moderate bonus to spellpower
Get Blood Mage specialization at level 7. If you do not have it unlocked do Redcliffe castle's main quest to obtain it. You can also wait till level 14 and just take the Spirit Healer specialization.
Your strongest crowd control skill will only be available on the Blood Mage tree at level 14. So before that, you will want to have unlocked Blood Sacrifice
- Blood Magic – allows using hp to cast spells
- Drain Life - does not do much damage but can be used to quickly regenerate some of hp.
- Death Magic - this is optional, but you can use it to recover HP. It synergizes well with Blood Magic.
- Curse of Mortality - great damage over time ability. Scales with spellpower
- Death Cloud - an ability that deals a lot of damage and can trigger Entropic Death. Be careful how you use it, as Friendly Fire is possible
- Blood Sacrifice – your main healing spell, which you will use to take HP from your tank
Get the second specialization either Spirit Healer or Blood Mage
- Blood Wound – tremendous skill, allowing to paralyze living enemies in a wide area with fast casting. It also has a low cooldown and deals damage over time.
- Vulnerability Hex
- Affliction Hex
- Misdirection Hex
- Death Hex - Cast this on enemies when they enter the Death Cloud area. The result will be an Entropic Death combination. This is the biggest damage-dealing spell combo in the game.
- Mana Drain - can be used to recover some MP
- Mana Cleanse
- Spell Might - this sustained ability will allow you to further maximize your spellpower.
- Mana Clash - this ability will allow you to one-shot almost all enemy mages in the game
If you have any points left feel free to put them into Waking Nightmare, Arcane Mastery or any other spell that looks interesting or useful to you.
In the end, you should have all of these abilities at your disposal:
I list out by the priority which equipment you should use. The first ones are for the end game or close to it.
NOTE: you need to have at least one item with “Improved Blood Magic” status:
NOTE: if you will be using equipment that boosts Elemental Damage, for example, +10% fire damage, there is a cap of 30% for that element. So, having Wilhelm's Magus Staff and Dalish battery will reach that limit, and equipping ring Twitch ( with a 5% increase to electric damage) would have no effect.
|This staff is for pure spellpower and bonus fire damage
|Staff of the Magister Lord
|One of the best staves in the game due to overall bonuses to magic, mana regeneration, and willpower
|Corrupted Magister's Staff
|Provides +5 spellpower and increase in spirit damage of 15%
|Similar to Corrupted Magister's Staff. However, gives less spirit damage bonus but more mana regeneration
|Wilhelm’s Magus Staff
|The staff gives bonus fire damage. It is on equal footing with Enchanter’s Staff
|This staff is quite easy to obtain. It also boosts fire damage and gives +1 to magic
|Helm of Honnleath
|If you will pick Arcane Warrior instead of Spirit Healer this is a much better helmet
|Collective Arming Cowl
|This is the recommended helmet if you did not take Arcane Warrior. It will increase your hp a bit allowing you to cast more spells
|The Libertarian’s Cowl
|This helmet will provide a small amount of mana regeneration and some defense to avoid enemy attacks.
|Enchanter’s Arming Cap
|I recommend this cap as the worst option. It only provides willpower which allowing to cast the one spell more at best before you change to HP.
|Vestments of the Seer
|One of the best choices if you have other items with the "Improved Blood Magic" effect equipped. It will boost your armor and offensive power
|Robes of Avernus
|Provides "Improved Blood Magic" effect, that reduces HP consumed for each spell cast with Blood Magic active. If you already have an item with this effect, check other Robe options
|Tevinter Mage Robes
|Easily obtained robe and provides +5 spellpower to increase your spell damage
|First Enchanter Robes
|Boosts both magic and willpower resulting in higher damage and more MP.
|Senior Enchanter's Robes
|I would say this is equal to Archon Robes. The robes give a bonus to magic and willpower, increasing spell damage and allowing to cast few more spells before blood magic
|Gives a small boost to spellpower and health regeneration in combat. Great robe early in the game
Unfortunately, nothing special here, get gloves that boost your most used elemental skill:
|Black Hand Gauntlets
|Provides a boost to spirit damage of 20%. Will greatly increase the damage of Blood Wound and a combo of Death Cloud + Death Hex
|Boosts cold damage by 20%
|Boosts fire damage by 20%
|Boosts all elemental damage by 5%, good if you use all spells equally
Unfortunately, there are not many options for a mage:
|The best option for a mage, if you do not have them, equip any other boots
|Magus War Boots
|These are some of the best light boots in the game. They give +12 defense.
|Bard’s Dancing Shoes
|These boots reduce hostility and also increase defense.
The amulets are listed by the ones that provide the largest boost to spellpower
|This amulet provides the biggest boost to spellpower out of all amulets. The result is the biggest increase in damage
|Pearl of the Anointed
|Provides +1 to all attributes
|Heart of Witherfang
|Gives +1 to magic, so it is similar to Pearl of the Anointed, however, it provides fewer overall bonuses
|I would suggest equipping this amulet if you find yourself dying too often. It will increase your constitution resulting in a bigger HP pool and allowing you to cast more spells with HP.
There are many options here so choose based on what is available to you
|Sash of Forbidden Secrets
|To get this belt you will need to finish DLC Golems of Amgarrak, which should be played after you finish the game. So you can go for the next belt
|One of the best belts in the game, however, it is quite costly
|The belt provides +3 spellpower and is quite cheap to get in Ortan Thaig
|Belt of Magister Lords
|Similar to Destructionist’s Belt but does not give mana regeneration bonus
|Cinch of Skillful Maneuvering
|Although the belt is quite good by providing +1 to all attributes it gives a lower amount of spellpower compared to other options
|Top priority if you don’t have any other items equipped with “Improved Blood Magic”
|Key to the City
|This ring provides +2 to all attributes, one of the best rings in the game. It will increase your spellpower, give more HP and mana
|I would recommend this ring if you want a larger pool of HP to cast more spells or survive against enemy attacks, otherwise, go with the next options
|Provides +10% cold damage bonus
|Provides +10% spirit damage, will work well with Blood Wound and Death Cloud + Death Hex combo
|Ring of Faith
|Gives +10% fire damage bonus
|The Lucky Stone
|A good all-around ring that provides +1 to all attributes
|Ring of Study
|A great ring at the beginning of the game that you can obtain if you chose Magi origin
As this build is low on Hp and uses hp to cast spells, play it with your main character. However, it can be used both by Wynne and Morrigan.
You should apply all the buffs: Spell Wish, Blood Magic and Spell Might to maximize your damage dealt.
Use Heal to heal your tank after Blood Sacrifice (if you do not have a healer or she is out of MP)
Constantly use Blood Wound as it has a short cooldown and allows to control the battlefield
To deal maximum damage use Death Cloud + Death Hex.
The build deals tremendous damage, the Blood Wound will paralyze most of the enemies and if you are not being attacked by archers, there should be no troubles dealing with other opponents.
Just always have a lookout on your HP as you can drain it fast.
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