Breaking Down the Inquisition - The Mage

A quick breakdown of three of the best ways to play as a mage in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is filled with class possibilities, however, the mage is one of my favorite classes to play. Whether you decide to rock out as a damage dealer, barrier caster, or a Jack (or Jill) of all trades, you simply can’t go wrong when wielding a staff and the power of the magic inside you.
No matter which route you choose to go you’ll always start with the starter skills, Chain Lightning and Flashfire, so these skills will not be included in any skill unlock lists below.

Skill Sets

There are four total skill tree sets for mages in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The first two are Inferno and Winter, both of which primarily focus on offensive abilities. The Spirit skill set is mostly defensive abilities, allowing players to create barriers to block enemy damage. The final skill set, Storm, offers several condition spells which can leave enemies stunned or otherwise incapacitated so that your party can gang up on them.

Barrier Mage

Noteworthy Skill: Revival

Dragon Age: Inquisition does not include a healing only class, so if you’re looking to keep your team standing up for longer instances you’ll need to think a little outside the box and get as close to a healer as you can. The first thing any Barrier mage needs is the Barrier spell. From there you’re going to want to unlock Peaceful Aura, Dispel, Revival, Elegant Defense, Lightning Bolt, Rejuvenating Barrier, Transmute Magic, Guardian Spirit, Mind Blast, Fortifying Blast, Strength of Spirits, and Life Ward – in that order.

If you only plan to run one mage in your party I highly suggest you run this style of mage, or at least something along these lines. Spells like Revival and Dispel are going to be key to keeping your party alive as you move deeper into the land of Thedas, and the last thing you want to see is that nasty loading screen after your final party member draws his/her last breath.

Black Mage

Noteworthy Skill: Energy Barrage

This is going to be the mage you use to keep your enemies locked down with varying conditions, as well as the guy you look to to deal massive amounts of damage in short amounts of time. As we mentioned above, the best way to go with a single mage party is to run a Barrier Mage, so this class style should only be run with a party that already has a Barrier Mage included.

Since you start off with the Chain Lightning skill you’re going to want to then unlock Barrier, Energy Barrage, Stormbringer, Lightning Bolt, Arcing Surge, Exploding Bolt, Energy Bombardment, Conductive Current, Pyromancer, Elegant Defense, Winter’s Grasp, Peaceful Aura, Dispel, Rejuvenating Barrier, Revival, Winter’s Chill.
Although some of the skills listed above are also used by the Barrier Mage, the Black Mage should have those abilities as well for any times that your Barrier Mage might go down, or is otherwise incapable or casting the needed spells.

Red Mage

Noteworthy Skill: Pyromancer

The final mage style in Dragon Age Inquisition is a bit of a meeting point between the Black Mage and the Barrier Mage. While the Barrier Mage is your best option for a single mage party, the Red Mage can replace the Barrier Mage if you’d rather have a more offensively focused single mage party.
Early on you’re going to need to focus on offensive abilities, however you will need to pick up the Barrier and Dispel skills just to help keep your party safe.
As a Red Mage you’ll need to obtain the Barrier, Energy Barrage, Peaceful Aura, Dispel, Stormbringer, Lightning Bolt, Revival, Elegant Defense, Arcing Surge, Rejuvenating Barrier, Exploding Bolt, Transmute Magic, Revival, Energy Bombardment, Flashpoint, Blistering Pain, Conductive Current, and Pyromancer skills.

It should be noted, that the Red Mage should only cast the Barrier spell when the Barrier Mage is unable to, or not included in the party. Otherwise players should focus on the multiple offensive abilities that this class style has.

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