Dragon Age Inquisition Guide: How to Play Warrior
Warriors are your battle-hardened, front-line soldiers in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and swinging a sword is, of course, what they do best. The warriors (like party member Cassandra) are expected to tackle enemies head-on while your mages and rogues sit back and rain down spells and arrows.
When choosing a race there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Humans, Qunari and dwarves make your best warriors. Leave the elves for your rogue and mage classes. Humans start the game with a bonus ability point, dwarves get a 25 percent bonus to magic defense, and Qunari receive a 10 percent bonus to melee damage.
There are four different specialization paths for warriors to follow: Weapon and Shield, Two-handed Weapon, Battlemaster and Vanguard. It’s best to either go weapon and shield, or two-handed. A good rule of thumb is to go Two-handed with a Qunari and Weapon and Shield with a dwarf, while the human can go either way.
There are special abilities within each path you map to different buttons on your controller, and passive abilities that are always in effect once purchased. Change the button mapping for each ability in your “Tactics” menu.
Another key thing to look at before you begin is your character’s “Behaviors.” Here you can change when your characters use healing and stamina potions, the targeting behavior and whether you want them to defend or follow you.
Weapon and Shield
This is your typical tank build tree, and you can use your shield as a weapon as well as for defense. The Turn the Bolt and Turn the Blade passive abilities are a must-have for Weapon and Shield warriors, with each offering a buff against ranged and frontal attacks.
Shield Wall is for basic defense and the Chevalier’s Step upgrade. The upgrade allows your hero to move faster and protect nearby party members with improved armor.
Payback Strike allows you to recover from any disabling condition and swipe out. If you’ve just taken damage, your blow back is stronger and can stagger your enemies. The Sweet Revenge upgrade improves your damage output and stuns taunted enemies if you’ve recently taken damage.
Shield Bash is exactly what it sounds like, and its upgrade causes your warrior to lunge forward and do more damage.
The final attack ability is Lunge and Slash, and you spin with a slashing strike if your first hit lands. This also allows you to get closer to enemies just out of reach, and its Great Lunge upgrade allows for more damage the further away you lunge from.
The tree’s passive abilities include Warrior’s Resolve (10 percent stamina restored for every 10 percent health lost), Bear Mauls the Wolves (can’t be flanked and less likely to be staggered by frontal attack), Turn the Bolt (ranged damage reduction), and Turn the Blade (20 percent frontal attack damage reduction).
A fun class for the offensive-minded warrior, especially a Qunari with its 10 percent melee damage bonus. There is no point in wasting points in Weapon and Shield. Choose a path and stick to it to maximize those precious ability points as you build your character.
Block and Slash lets you deflect the next incoming attack and counter. Its Flawless Defense upgrade does bonus damage and adds to your guard (50 percent damage bonus and 15 percent to guard amount).
The Mighty Blow ability deals 200 percent weapon damage and bonus damage to grounded foes. Its Easy Target upgrade costs less stamina and deals 300 percent damage.
The Pommel Strike is a quick strike that stuns your target, and its Lightning Jab upgrade has increased stun duration and a four-second decrease in cooldown.
The Earthshaking Strike delivers a shockwave path to hurt all enemies in front of you. Its Shattered Ground upgrade causes fire damage to erupt from the fissure left by Earthshaking Strike, and enemies hit by the flames burn for eight seconds.
The passive abilities include Flow of Battle (reduced cooldowns after critical hits), Shield Breaker (armor reduction for six seconds after a critical hit), Guard Smasher (100 percent bonus damage vs. Guard), and Clear a Path (stamina boost for hitting multiple targets with one swing.)
The Battlemaster class gives you a couple of party-boosting abilities in addition to some new moves. Every Warrior will benefit from the Combat Roll. The Hamstring passive ability, which slows those you attack from behind, works well after a good combat role to an enemy’s back side.
The Grappling Chain is exactly what it sounds like — a chain you throw that pulls enemies up to you so you can begin swinging your sword. The Give Them the Boot upgrade then stuns an enemy with a swift kick to the face.
The aforementioned combat roll has a fast cooldown, two seconds, and its upgrade allows you to recover from most disabling conditions by rolling away.
The Horn of Valor sounds a blast to give your party increased damage and an armor bonus, while the War Horn ability leaves your enemies panicked. Both powers have upgrades.
Battlemaster has four passive abilities: the aforementioned Hamstring, Crippling Blows (critical hits reduce enemy damage by 15 percent), Coup de Grace (30 percent bonus to enemies stunned or knocked down), and Deep Reserves (faster stamina regen when its half gone).
Vanguard is another good tank class, with several handy abilities for directing enemies’ focus toward you — and away from your mages and rogues.
War Cry is a taunting shout that boosts your guard (guard provides additional health and must be broken before you can take damage). The Call to Arms upgrade grants you an armor bonus.
Challenge taunts a targeted enemy and improves your guard, and its upgrade gives you bonus stamina regen for successfully hitting a target with Challenge.
Charging Bull slams into enemies, knocking them to the ground while increasing your guard. Its upgrade after charging costs no stamina.
Unbowed allows you to gain 10 percent guard per enemy surrounding you, and its upgrade stops you from being knocked off your feet.
Bodyguard is the final ability, and it allows you to accept a portion of the damage meant for your party mates. You can ignore some of the damage transferred with its upgrade.
Click here to read our Mage’s guide, and here to read more about Dragon Age: Inquisition.