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Dragon Age Inquisition: The Battlemancer

Updated: Sep 23, 2022



Battlemancers are battlefield tacticians who always start with an edge in combat by using the best available skills and spells for each fight they enter. They love being in the thick of things, but unlike Knight-Enchanters, they don't rely on durability to win the fight: they use clever tactics and massive damage to obliterate their enemies. Depending on the fight, they also switch their spells according to what they need from their impressive arsenal.


This is one of the best builds for any Necromancer who plans to solo the game, but it also works well with a full team.


So, let's begin!






Skills:


As we know, Necromancers have access to a unique spell called “Waking Bomb”. What this spell does is: after applying it on a target, it will deal continuous spirit damage based on your weapon's base damage and after a few seconds, it explodes. You also have the option to detonate the spell manually.


What’s great about this spell is that it is also available as a masterwork! It works similarly, but with two exceptions:


One, is that the applications will be based on chance (10%), and the second is that the ticking damage and the final explosion damage will be based on the damage which applied it. So this means that if you applied Walking Bomb with a spell like Fire Mine(which gives 1600% weapon damage), your continuous spirit damage and explosion damage will be calculated based on the damage of Fire Mine.

This can cause a horrendous amount of damage. Especially if the target is weak to spirit damage.

But it does not stop here with Walking Bomb. As a Necromancer, you can manually detonate the spell, and that detonation will apply whatever upgrade you choose with your own spell.


With the Concentrated Detonation upgrade, Walking Bomb will turn into a single target spell, dealing colossal spirit damage on the specific target it procced on.


With the Virulent upgrade, it will cause secondary explosions, which will tear apart any crowd.

Both of these upgrades can be changed at any time outside of combat.


So, to summarize it: if you go against mobs, which happens most of the times, you switch to the Virulent upgrade.


If you are heading towards a boss battle, where it's just you and the boss, then you can switch to Concentrated Detonation.



On your way to the Walking Bomb spell, you will have to pick up a passive called "Simulacrum".

This ability will allow you to have an invulnerable "spirit" fight for you even after you fell unconscious. After the spirit leaves, you will die. Pretty useful if you are playing in a team, but if you plan to adventure alone, this passive can be a curse if not used well.


See, Simulacrum overwrites the Guardian Shield passive which normally gives you full Barrier after your health reaches zero, saving your hide in the process. Simulacrum activates first, therefore the shield you gain from Guardian Spirit will be useless, since the spirit already took over.


However, there are a few catches when it comes to Simulacrum. For you to understand why this skill is actually great if you solo, you need to understand how healing works in Inquisition. Normally when your health reaches zero, death happens. But death will not prevent you from receiving "healing effects". This is how you normally revive people. Heal effects can come from anywhere and they will give you health even after you died, resurrecting you in the process. For people who solo, the easiest way to achieve this is to get "Heal on hit" or "Heal on Kill" equipment. With Heal on hit, you just have to make sure you hit the target after you died and the heal effect will bring you back. With heal on kill, you have to kill an enemy during the short window as you fall to the ground. Simulacrum will extend this short window and it will allow you to have a guaranteed hit with Energy Barrage or make a kill with an exploding Walking Bomb, which will bring you back into life.


This passive skill has a ten second cooldown after activation, so you have to be careful not to die during this time.


But it does not end here with Simulacrum either...


Because of the way the ability works, it also has a unique "damage reduction" side-effect, because you can't take more damage than what your current health is minus one. This means that if your heath is at 50 point, you will never take more damage than 49, no matter how strong the ability is which hits you.

So, remember: the lower your health is, the longer you survive if you have an extra layer of protection like Guard or Barrier. This can give you massive survivability bonus if you chose to use it.

Neither of these effects from Simulacrum is required to complete the build, but they can help you survive better. After all, the Necromancer is pretty squishy.


Just Like any other Necromancer, a Battlemancer also has excellent regeneration abilities.

With their Death Syphon ability, they can literally suck life and mana out of their fallen enemies, and with the Power of the Dead passive, they will inflict more damage after a kill. However, using Death Syphon is not recommended if you go with the Simulacrum damage reduction route, since this would actually decrease the damage reduction effect because of your increasing current health after a kill.


Additional Skills:


Barrier is an invaluable asset for a Battlemancer, since you often jump right into the fray to land that Ice/Fire Mine. Elegant Defense is generally better, since this way you can put it up more often.

Mind Blast with the Fortifying Blast upgrade will increase your survivability significantly. It can also push enemies into your mines, and detonate a nice little basic combo on frozen and paralyzed enemies. It also has a special effect: some Walking Bombs can fail to explode after activation. You get the explosion sound and visual effect, but no damage is applied. This happens most commonly when you try to detonate frozen enemies. Mind Blast can actually detonate these failed explosions, because of the basic combo it creates when applied on frozen enemies. Another useful defensive spell is Fade Step. No upgrade is required however, since the basic spell will provide us with the necessary mobility.


As I mentioned before, Fire Mine is also a necessary part of a Battlemancer's arsenal, since it is one of the highest damage producing skill. Winter's Grasp is also a must on single targets, since with the Winter's Ruin upgrade, it can work wonders on fire immune enemies and bosses, especially if it procs Walking Bomb. This spell can be switched to Ice Mine with the Chilling Array upgrade if you go against mobs immune to frost.


As a third offensive spell, we will pick Energy Barrage. This spell has high damage, guaranteed hit on almost any enemy and it applies status effects based on your weapon's element: Chilled on frost, burning on fire and shocked on lightning. With its Energy Bombardment upgrade, the damage increases even further, thanks to the applied negative resistances.


Useful passive skills:


Ice Armor is great for additional protection, Mana Surge is used for frost explosion upon your Barrier's destruction, Static Charge is needed for interrupting enemies before they can hit you. This passive even works on bosses, although the hit sometimes still connects even if they get paralyzed from the passive.


Conductive Current can have great benefit, since it gives higher damage based on used mana. Winter's Stillness, Clean Burn and Flash Point are all great for faster ability activation.





Equipment:


Blade of Tidarion schematics. Reward for completing the war table operation "Stop the War between Nevarra and Tevinter" with Josephine. It requires the Trespasser dlc.


The rune is optional. The best result with this blade is to place an element in it which is different from the sword's. This way you can shoot both types of element as a projectile from Energy Barrage.


Placing a cold rune into this lighting based sword allowed me to apply "chilled" effect on enemies, therefore I was able to take advantage of Winter's Ruin’s 1000% damage boost.



Superior Battlemage armor schematics. Requires the Short List perk and a bit of luck. You can buy it from the Hissing Wastes merchant when it's available at the shop.


Note that the Sturdy Battlemage armor schematics can also be purchased from this shop, which is slightly weaker than this one, but you don't have to rely on random chance for it to turn up.


The upgrades on this armor can also be purchased from this shop.



For Sigils, both the Sigil of the Deepstalker and the Sigil of the Great Bear can be of great use for the Battlemancer, depending on the situation. It is best to keep both with you.


Sigil of the Great Bear: Reward for completing the War Table quest "Gain Orzammar's Friendship" with Josephine.


Sigil of the Deepstalker: Either random loot from chests or Deepstalkers, or reward for completing the War Table quest "Press the Orlesian Nobles" with Josephine.


Both of these sigils require the Trespasser dlc.


Superior Battlemage cowl schematics. You can purchase this item from the Stone-Bear Hold armor merchant from the Jaws of Hakkon dlc.


You can place either Willpower or Magic materials, depending on what you are looking for: more Barrier Damage(Magic) or more Magic Resistance(Willpower).


Belt of Winter Pact. Reward for completing the quest "Map to a waterfall". This can be changed to whichever element you favor the most: Inferno, Winter or Storm. I picked this to increase the damage of my Energy Barrage and my Winter's Grasp.


Andraste's sacrifice. You can find this amulet in a chest in Villa Maurel located in the Emerald Graves. It is an excellent equipment for the Battlemancer, since it accelerates cooldowns, increases mana regeneration, and it even adds guard occasionally.


You can buy Ring of Slicing from the Black Emporium. The Winter's Grasp ring is random loot. Naturally, Ring of Doubt can also work well here.


The last, and invaluable part of our equipment, is a fully upgraded Pitch Grenade.


This bomb will make sure that our enemies will be slow, deal less damage, take more damage and even paralyzed for a short time!


If used tactically, this little flask can help end difficult battles is seconds.


Combat:


Our goal is to maximize our damage output as fast as we can. We start with Barrier, then get close to our enemies by running or with Fade Step and basically unload on them.


Against mobs, the best is to start with Ice Mine(on more dangerous mobs, you can start with Pitch Grenade) and immediately apply Fire Mine on the frozen crowd. This should give a great amount of initial damage. Fire Mine also has a high chance to proc this way. After the two mines were applied, Mind Blast can detonate the still frozen enemies, adding a nice little basic combo damage. This also has a chance to proc Walking Bomb. Once it procs, with the Virulent upgrade, it can make short work of any crowd. Barrier and Mind Blast can be used to gain constant Barrier and stay safe from attacks while you are in close range. Still, if you prefer to take down some of the more dangerous enemies, Energy Barrage and Winter’s Grasp should be more than adequate for the job.


Against bosses, depending on their resistances, Fire Mine and Winter’s Grasp can deal a great amount of damage if they apply Walking Bomb. You should try to proc Walking Bomb with them as much as you can. Energy Barrage is also a great weapon against bosses because of its great number of projectiles, but since Walking Bomb can proc after each individual projectile, its damage after proccing Walking Bomb is pretty weak compared to Fire Mine or Winter’s Grasp.


After Walking Bomb procced, you just have to keep unloading on them and biding your time, while the damage from the masterwork can do its job.


Overall, this playstyle is very fun to play, but it requires constant attention. No doubt, this can be the highest damage having mage in the entire game, but you have to know what you are facing and how to deal with it. You have to prepare before every hard fight, browse through your arsenal (you have a spell for every situation after all) and pick the best possible spell and tactic for the danger ahead.


Good luck!


A Kis Herceg

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