Blood Mage build - Blood Elementalist

Blood Mage build - Blood Elementalist - Dragon Age: Origins (DAO)

By zanuffas
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In this post, I will cover Blood Mage Build - Blood Elementalist - for Dragon Age: Origins. At its core, it is a standard caster, able to use various spells. However, what makes it stand out is the ability to use its Health energy to fuel spells and control the blood of the enemies.

Blood Mage Build - Blood Elementalist

If you are looking for the old build, you can find it here - Archived Blood Mage Build.

The build offers an elemental caster playstyle able to utilize - fire, cold, or even lightning to chip away and destroy enemies. The Primal tree will be the core of almost all the spellcasting that you do.

Still, as a Blood Mage, you will have the ability to cast spells with your health if you plan on conserving mana or are out of it. The specialization also offers very powerful spells like Blood Wound that can be an instant win on many encounters with enemies having the slightest drop of blood.

This build does come with risks, as a caster you can be easily destroyed and overwhelmed by enemies. I will offer some spells that will help you stun or freeze enemies daring to enter your melee range. Still, sometimes this will be a good tactic as something like Cone of Cold can freeze even the strongest foes.

The build has been played and tested on Nightmare difficulty

Character Creation

If you are into optimizing there are a few things that you can do to optimize your build a bit.

dragon age origins character creation window


There are 2 race options in my opinion:

Attribute Description
Human A little less optimized but can also be a choice for a caster build like this.
Elf The go-to choice for this build as it gets the biggest bonus to Magic.


The choice here is obvious:

Class Description
Mage The main class will give you access to all the spells mentioned in the build and recommended specializations.


Sadly only one choice is possible here:

Background Description
Magi All mages have to start in Circle Tower, no matter the race choice.


For the start of the game, all points should be invested - +5 Magic. You will want the mage spells to be effective, especially on Nightmare difficulty. Moreover, this stat will be crucial in becoming a powerful Blood Mage.

Need help with level-by-level attribute/talent progression? For my supporters on Ko-Fi or Patreon, I offer attribute picks on each level, for optimal progression.


I would recommend getting Coercion, this will help with some early-game dialogues and quest options.

Skill Description
Coercion 1 level will help in the early game to unlock some additional dialogue options.


The build is a pure offensive caster, still one or two spells to help with control are extremely useful.

Spells Description
Winter's Grasp Early game I think this spell is very valuable. You can slow enemies that are running toward you, or freeze weaker ones. It also deals decent damage.
Mind Blast Mind Blast is great, especially early on, as your tank will probably not be able to hold aggro. This will ensure that enemies are stunned and threat levels are reset.

Quest Priority and Locations

Once you have finished Ostagar and Lothering, the world will open up and you can visit multiple areas. Below I will cover some progression recommendations, to obtain a few core items needed.

If you do not have Specializations unlocked:

  1. Soldier's Peak - obtain Robes of Avernus.
  2. Other DLCs - Stoner Prisoner, and Return to Ostagar have a few useful items, but they are not crucial and could be delayed for later. Still, this is a great source of XP.
  3. Redcliffe Castle - unlocks Blood Mage Specialization with specific choices.
  4. Circle Tower - additional attributes for progression. Mana Clash can be useful for this quest but is not mandatory.
  5. Your preferred quests

For those that have Specializations:

  1. Soldier's Peak - obtain Robes of Avernus.
  2. Other DLCs - Stoner Prisoner, and Return to Ostagar have a few useful items, but they are not crucial and could be delayed for later. Still, this is a great source of XP.
  3. Circle Tower - additional attributes for progression. I would make sure to have Mana Clash or be close to getting it, for this quest.
  4. Your preferred quests

Full Build Setup

In this section, I will go with in-depth explanations of each important selection for attributes, talents, and skills. This will give you a better understanding of what role each decision will have on your overall build. The explanations can also be used to better decide your picks for optimizations


In this section, I would like to review the recommended attributes for Blood Mage Build. You will be required to pick them every level up, so optimizing and not wasting any of them will prove vital for the build.

dragon age origins blood mage stats

Attribute Description
Magic - everything This is the main attribute that the build needs. It improves the core aspects of mage - stronger spells, higher success chances, and more cost-effective heals.
Need help with level-by-level attribute/talent progression? For my supporters on Ko-Fi or Patreon, I offer attribute picks on each level, for optimal progression.

Regarding other attributes like Constitution or Willpower. I do not think this build needs them. The constitution can be useful for more spellcasting, but items should cover this. Overall, you only care about a single attribute.


The goal in my opinion is to get Combat Training and Coercion to a maximum. This will cover all the aspects that the main character would need in my opinion.

Skill Level Description
Coercion 4 Allows to overcome various dialogues, finish quests earlier, or avoid unnecessary combat.
Pickpocket 1 Access to one of the most lucrative quests in the game in terms of gold rewards.
Combat Training  4 Improves mana regeneration, and casting while under attack, mainly we want that +2 regeneration from level 2. Higher levels are a decent addition.
Tactics 2 Unlocks more slots, for the situations when you are controlling another character.


The build core is 1 specialization. Another one is free and generally depends on your preferences. Here is what and why I recommend.

Specialization Description
Blood Mage The core specialization of the build. Overall, you will be casting with mana, but the second source of HP can always be turned on/off depending on the situation. I do recommend using Blood Wound whenever it is possible as this is one of the strongest spells in the whole game.
Spirit Healer I picked this specialization mainly for the +2 Magic bonus. Otherwise, the spells are irrelevant. Of course, if you require Group Heal can be a good addition when you disable Blood Magic, to instantly restore a large chunk of HP for yourself and your allies.

You could also go with Arcane Warrior, and for a single Combat Magic investment (without activating) wear some better equipment, like Helm of Honnleath. However, with a heavier investment, I would go with the Arcane Warrior Blood Mage Tank build.

Talents and Spells

The build is a full caster at its core, so you will be slinging spells left and right. There are many various spells that you can get and it generally depends on the priority of the playstyle you wish to use.

Need help with level-by-level attribute/talent progression? For my supporters on Ko-Fi or Patreon, I offer attribute picks on each level, for optimal progression.

Blood Mage Tree

Three spells of the four are mandatory. The last one - Blood Control is optional, and I did not use it at all.

Spell Description
Blood Magic With Blood Magic's sustained ability, you can activate health point spellcasting at will. This will also allow using the next spells in the tree. When on low HP, remember to deactivate it.
Blood Sacrifice This can be used to restore health. It is very cost-efficient as it consumes 50 HP and restores 100. This is perfect to be used on your tanks and warriors or Ranger's pets that have big pools of HP.
Blood Wound One of the most powerful spells in the game. It will paralyze multiple enemies and inflict continuous spirit damage. You could say it is almost guaranteed to win, especially if all enemies have blood.

Spirit Healer

This is kind of an optional tree, but just taking the specialization will give you +2 Magic and improve spellcasting. I also recommend one spell in the arsenal:

Spell Description
Group Heal An excellent spell to have on the hand so that everyone in the group could be healed. This is optional, especially if you already have Heal.


Spell Description
Arcane Bolt Can be used to inflict fast damage when you need to finish off an enemy. Moreover, this is the first spell you obtain, so not many choices to avoid it. Excellent use for the early game.

Primal Tree

These spells are the core of the build and will allow dealing damage effectively to single and multiple targets.

Path of Fire Tree

Spell Description
Flame Blast Releases a cone of flames that deals good damage and can hit multiple targets. I would use it on enemies that get close to the Blood Mage.
Flaming Weapons Can be used as a buff to improve allies' weapon damage. I do not recommend using this if there is only one melee combatant.
Fireball Excellent spell, that will knock down foes and deal decent fire damage over a wide area. It is great for breaking enemy formations, especially at the start of the combat.

Path of Stone Tree

Spell Description
Rock Armor A decent defensive sustained spell that will improve the survivability of the mage.
Stonefist This spell is great for knocking out foes. Moreover, it can apply the Shatter effect with Petrify or Cone of Cold for the instant kill on weaker enemies.
Earthquake The spell can be used to make targets fall if they do not pass resistance checks. Still, I did not find much use for it, especially as it will affect your allies.
Petrify Excellent control spell, to disable a foe.

Path of Ice

Spell Description
Winter's Grasp This spell is the bread-and-butter option to slow down foes, especially early in the game. Sadly, it is not able to freeze enemies enough for a Shatter combo with Stonefist.
Frost Weapons An alternative to Flame Weapons allowing to empower melee weapons of allies.
Cone of Cold A very powerful spell, that can freeze multiple enemies in a cone. It deals decent damage and applies solid control.

Path of Storms

Spell Description
Lightning A simple lightning-based spell, I would say this has lower priority than other spells like Winter's Grasp or Arcane Bolt. Mainly due to their lower costs and slightly better spellpower modifiers.
Shock Similar to Flame Blast and Cone of Cold can be used at close range to hit multiple enemies.

Creation Spells

Healing Tree

Spell Description
Heal I think having at least 1 healing spell can be valuable in any encounter. I would avoid heavier investment as this will penalize the offensive spell list. You can also use this when you disable Blood Magic to instantly restore health.

Glyphs Tree

Spell Description
Glyph of Paralysis A simple yet effective paralysis spell to apply control on enemies like lieutenants or bosses.

Nature Tree

Spell Description
Spell Wisp A very important spell that will improve spellpower for higher damage.

Spirit Spells

Mana Drain Tree

Spell Description
Mana Drain Progression spell
Mana Cleanse Progression spell
Spell Might Very valuable spell, if you have mana capacity as it will improve weapon damage and spell success chance.
Mana Clash One of my favorite spells, that can instantly destroy enemy mages and inflict heavy damage to monsters from the Fade.


Spell Description
Mind Blast In case enemies are close to you, popping this spell will stun them and also reset your threat levels. This means that they are more likely to choose another target like the main tank.

Entropy Spells


Spell Description
Vulnerability Hex These are both excellent spells, that I recommend using on bosses. The reduced resistance will greatly improve your magic damage. Both Vulnerability and Affliction hex stack.
Affliction Hex


The gear you use with Blood Mage Build will play a crucial role in combat. Using good staves will improve spell damage, while robes and accessories will other aspects of the setup.

Below, you will find the gear that should be used with the build. Generally, the lower the item is in the table the lower its priority and the earlier you can get it. So the top ones are the best picks.

For a build that uses Blood Magic, you will want one item with Improved Blood Magic so that your spells don't drain as much HP. So I recommend looking at these:


Item Description
final reason iconFinal Reason Trades blows with Staff of the Magister Lord. This one is much cheaper and can be accessed earlier for this reason.
staff of magister lord iconStaff of the Magister Lord The best staff in terms of overall stat boosts, however, it is quite pricey.
magister's staff iconMagister's Staff I would say these staves are the same. So get the ones that are easier to obtain. Sadly, the spirit damage bonus is not as important and you will not use these spells as much.
Corrupted magisters staff iconCorrupted Magister's Staff
Wilhelm's Magus staff iconWilhelm’s Magus Staff Boosts electricity and fire damage.
Enchanter's staff iconEnchanter’s Staff It gives a bonus to Magic and improves elemental damage from main sources - Ice, Lightning, and Fire


Item Description
first enchanters cowl daoFirst Enchanter's Cowl Significantly increases the chance to dodge attacks. This effect stat with other items, can enable you to easily avoid enemy attacks. Still, this is only available very late in the game.
Helm of Honnleath iconHelm of Honnleath If you picked Arcane Warrior Specialization then, this Helmet becomes mandatory, as it is the most powerful option.
Collective Arming Cowl iconCollective Arming Cowl I think this is a good option for a Blood Mage as the additional Constitution will give a bit bigger casting pool.
the libertarian's cowl iconThe Libertarian’s Cowl Improves mana regeneration and gives a decent boost to defense.


Item Description
Vestments of the Seer iconVestments of the Seer Gives significant bonuses to willpower and magic, greatly improving the build's damage potential. Another good addition is improved armor to reduce damage.
reapers vestments icon daoReaper's Vestments An excellent pick for a blood mage build. It comes with improved armor, a higher chance to avoid attacks, and a larger HP pool. More or less everything that the build needs to improve survivability. Use it if you have  "Improved Blood Magic" from other sources. It is a pricey item, so I would delay its acquisition.
robes of avernus iconRobes of Avernus Gives the "Improves Blood Magic" effect. I think the robe is a great pick in the early to mid-game, especially if you will be using Blood Magic.
tevinter mages robes iconTevinter Mage Robes  Gives mana regeneration and a direct increase in spellpower improving your damage.
First enchanter robes iconFirst Enchanter Robes  Improves core stats of caster - willpower, and magic.
Senior Enchanter's Robes iconSenior Enchanter's Robes Improves core stats of caster - willpower, and magic, albeit with a lower bonus than First Enchanter Robes.
Archon Robes iconArchon Robes Decent robes that you can get early in the game if you do the Circle Tower quest.


Item Description
Storm talon iconAshen Gloves Gives bonus damage to the cold element. These are perfect if you are heavily using Winter's Grasp and Cone of Cold.
cinderfel gauntlets iconCinderfel Gauntlets Gives bonus damage to the fire element. Relevant for the use of Flame Blast and Fireball.
elementalist's grasp iconElementalist’s Grasp If you are using various elements, without limiting yourself to a few, I would recommend choosing this handwear.


Item Description
Fade striders iconFade Striders The only boots giving direct damage improvement for mages.
imperial weavers daoImperial Weavers Improves the chance to dodge attacks, and works well with other gear giving the same bonus - First Enchanter's Cowl and Reaper's Vestments.
Magus war boots iconMagus War Boots Improves defensive values leading to more chances of avoiding attacks.
Bard's dancing shoes iconBard’s Dancing Shoes Improves defense and also reduces hostility, attracting fewer enemies.


Item Description
Sash of forbidden secrets iconSash of Forbidden Secrets This is the best build for Blood Mage build. It does provide significant bonuses to stats but requires one to have finished The Golems of Amgarrak DLC
Andruil's blessing iconAndruil’s Blessing One of the best belts all around. The bonuses to stamina regeneration are great to counteract the sustained abilities like Shimmering Shield, Haste, etc.
Cinch of skillful maneuvering iconCinch of Skillful Maneuvering You will need to finish Witch Hunt DLC to unlock this accessory. The chance to dodge is excellent for survivability improvement.
destructionist's belt icon Destructionist's belt A decent belt that boosts spellpower and damage.


There are plenty of choices for Blood Mage in terms of amulets.

Item Description
lifedrinker iconLifedrinker The only amulet to add pure spellpower. Works on Blood Mage only.
blood-gorged amulet iconBlood–Gorged Amulet  Significantly improves total health pool. Could be used together with Lifegiver to greatly improve the Blood Mage playstyle.
The spellward iconThe Spellward It is one of the best amulets as it increases the mana pool adds a chance to dodge and a significant boost to spell resistance.
Pearl of Anointed iconPearl of the Anointed The +1 to all attributes is a significant boost, especially at the start of the game.
Amulet of War Mage iconAmulet of War Mage Excellent early-game amulet, that improves all of the elemental damage.
Heart of Witherfang iconHeart of Witherfang Provides +1 to magic.


Item Description
Key to the city iconKey to the City One of the best rings in the game. It gives +2 to all attributes. It can be obtained in Orzammar
blood ring iconBlood Ring Provides "Improved Blood Magic" effect allowing to cast spells with less HP used.
lifegiver iconLifegiver One of the best rings for Blood Mages as it gives a significant boost to the HP pool for Blood Magic.
frostshear iconFrostshear +10% boost to cold damage.
ring of faith iconRing of Faith +10% boost to fire damage.
the lucky stone iconThe Lucky Stone Gives +1 to all attributes, which in turn will improve the constitution, magic, willpower - everything that the build uses.
band of fire iconBand of Fire Can be used together with Blood Mage specialization until you get access to the better rings.
ring of study iconRing of Study A great ring at the beginning of the game that you can obtain if you choose Magi origin.

How to use the Build

In this section, I would like to go through some general tips on how to correctly utilize the build.

Main mechanics

In this part, I would like to go through the core mechanics of the build. Using them you can construct your preferred playstyle and utilize everything that the various talent and equipment picks have to offer.

Sustained Spells

As with all caster Builds, this one will utilize Sustained abilities to some degree. Because you have an additional casting pool of HP, I do recommend running more than the usual amount of these spells:

  1. Blood Magic - the core sustained spell of the build. You can turn it on/off depending on the combat situation. This will allow casting spells with HP.
  2. Spell Wisp - a simple and cheap spell that will improve everything for the Blood Mage Build.
  3. Rock Armor - Improves armor, this will improve survivability, but I would leave it only if you have mana to spare.

And here are some optional ones, that I might use depending on the situation:

  1. Spell Might - increases spellpower and in turn spell success, and damage. I would use this if you have mana to spare, especially in the late game.
  2. Flame Weapons or Frost Weapons - a good addition if you have 2 melee combatants in the group to improve their damage.

Using correct spells

So the main aspect of the build and to use correctly spells like Flame Blast, Winter's Grasp, etc. is to know to what the enemies are weak. here are some main foes, and which type of magic you should use against them:

  • Darkspawn - Fire
  • Undead - Fire
  • Ogre - Fire, Nature, Electricity
  • Revenant - Fire, Spirit, Electricity
  • Spider - Fire

So as you can see Fire Element is excellent against almost all monster types. Still, you should avoid using it against enemies that are resistant to it - Golems and Dragons.

Freezing and Shattering

This is one of the most fun combos to use with the build. You will have two spells that allow you to Paralyze enemies - Petrify and Winter's Grasp.

If you follow up with Stonefist or an ally lands a critical hit, and the enemy is normal type they will instantly shatter. This does not work as effectively against Lieutenants and is useless against bosses. Still, you should try to paralyze these foes.

Arsenal of Control Spells

So as a mage, you do have plenty of spells that apply some kind of control. Let's go through a few of them:

  • Blood Wound - this is the strongest spell in your arsenal. It is cheap to cast, paralyzes enemies with blood, and inflicts spirit damage.
  • Mind Blast - excellent spell to stun most targets in close range. This will also improve your survivability In case you get overwhelmed.
  • Winter's Grasp - can freeze or slow down a single enemy.
  • Cone of Cold - freezes multiple enemies and makes the targets prone to shattering. This should be one of the core spells that you use, due to its effectiveness.
  • Petrify - paralyzes an enemy and makes them prone to shattering.
  • Stonefist - knockbacks a foe.
  • Earthquake - a great spell to slow down enemies or even knock them down. Sadly, I did not use it as much as it does not deal any damage.
  • Fireball - deals a good amount of damage, but most importantly it can knock down most of the targets that it hits.

Hexes and Elemental spells

If you are fighting a boss enemy I recommend utilizing Affliction Hex and Vulnerability Hex. These can weaken them and improve the damage of all elemental spells - lightning, spirit, fire, etc. I would avoid using it on Lieutenant or weaker enemies as usually, they will be dying too fast unless it is something like an Ogre or Golem, which are very sturdy opponents.

Enemy Mages

One of the main and most destructive enemies in the game (besides Templars) is Mages. They can cast Fireball, apply Hexes, or freeze you or your allies. For this reason, I recommend taking Mana Clash.

In most cases, it will instantly destroy enemy casters if they have full mana. So use it the moment you see a caster enemy. It also works on enemies that might have mana, like Fade creatures, even though many of them don't use spells.

Using Blood Magic effectively

So the main aspect of the Blood Mage build is that you have a second pool for spell casting - Health Points. This, of course, comes with the risk of dying if the enemy lands a strong hit, or you draw your attention elsewhere.

The simplest way to control this is to deactivate Blood Magic and use a simple Heal or Group Heal spell to restore yourself. This, of course, poses some risks as can take some time to pull off and might result in you dying. But after this, you will have a full mana pool to sling some spells.

A faster option is to use the Blood Sacrifice spell. It will consume the target's HP and restore a significant portion of your HP without turning off Blood Magic.:

  • On your Warrior character which is a tank or other sturdy combatant.
  • Ranger pets, especially Bear.
  • Healer casters can instantly restore their HP with a Heal or Regeneration spell cast on themselves.

Early Game Combat

The start of the game might be a bit difficult as you will be limited by your spell arsenal. However, with each level, it will be easier and easier. Here are some recommendations for the early game:

  • If enemies come close, you should be using Mind Blast to stun them and reset your threat level.
  • Use Winter's Grasp to slow down enemies that are coming in contact with you.
  • Fireball is an excellent spell to knock back multiple foes and deal a good amount of damage.
  • Cone of Cold can be used to freeze multiple targets.
  • For Blood Magic, you should activate/deactivate it based on the combat situation. Still, with relatively low HP and average items, I would not risk using it too much.

Late Game Combat

You will have a huge arsenal of spells, for different situations, I will try to cover some of them, but I will leave it to you to find the perfect combos for your playstyle.

  • The main spell to always use is - Blood Wound. It is cost-effective and can disable multiple enemies. Moreover, it will deal a decent amount of damage to all the foes under the effect.
  • Mana Clash must be used against mages or the Fade creatures. This will instantly kill or weaken them making the encounters easier.
  • I recommend following up with Fireball once the Blood Wound effect wears off, or it did not activate on everyone. This way foes will get Knocked Down applying more control.
  • You have even more options after that to put enemies in place - Glyph of Paralysis, Petrify, Stonefist, Cone of Cold, or Mind Blast. This will make the fight much easier and one of them is sure to work.
  • When amid combat, use your cone spells - Shock, Cone of Cold, and Flame Blast to hit multiple targets and kill them one by one.


Thank you for reading the Blood Mage Build - Blood Elementalist, post for Dragon Age: Origins. The build offers the ability to control enemy blood and use various primal elements - fire, cold, and lightning. With a deep casting pool of MP and HP, you will have no problems in most combat encounters.

Feel free to leave feedback 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!