Dragon Age Inquisition Isabela Multiplayer Guide by Salsadips
Well its been a long time since I did one of these, but here is is, my Isabela guide. I played quite a lot of her in the Beta, trying out all the abilities but finally settling on this build.
Ive done a video which has some gameplay aswell which I have done to try and showcase the playstyle I am aiming to teach.
Isabella the Dualist brings a brand new mechanic to dragon age multiplayer, and this is the Vendetta / Elusive feature that she has. The way this works is by having abilities that can generate Vendetta, and ones that remove it, in exchange for elusive. The elusive generated is noted by the coins which appear above your health bar. You can have up to 3 stacks of elusive by default, with a passive option to bump that up to 4.
This elusive can be consumed in one of two ways. If you are hit by an enemy, then you will lose one elusive coin. You can also enhance certain abilities by choosing to ‘spend’ the coins.
With that out of the way, lets move onto what I consider to be the most effective Duellist build.
Your first and most important skill is unlocked by default, Bolt. This ability has no cooldown, but does consume 15 stamina, even if Bolt does not hit its target so it is best not to use bolt as a primary offensive tool. This ability applies Vendetta to any enemy it hits, and deals a reasonable amount of damage which should be enough to pick off a ranged unit or two. Bolt is an ability I try and use alternately between auto attacks and ability usage, in order to generate as much elusive as possible, which in turn makes you near invulnerable in a lot of circumstances. I Don’t find the upgraded version of Bolt too useful, as it can encourage players to fall out of the rhythem of ability usage, which is paramount to the dualists survival, but some may appreciate the free critical hit, especially on hard hitting abilities.
Next on the ability list is Flashing Steel. This is also unlocked by default, and it removes vendetta in exchange for elusive. It is an AoE attack, which means that if there is multiple enemiesmarked with vendetta in range then you will generate multiple stack of elusive. This ability also has a relatively fast cooldown, meaning you can use it in conjunction with bolt to generate elusive very quickly. Its upgrade just give flashing steel a higher damage rating, which I personally think is worth the extra point investment.
Flank attack is my third ability which I recommend. This ability when upgraded allows you to remove vendetta in exchange for TWO stacks of elusive, which is incredibly powerful indeed. It has a very short cooldown, as with flashing steel, so between these two abilities and Bolt, you should be able to tank even the strongest enemies. Just be careful of ranged units and units with fast attacks such as shadows or despair demons. Against standard melee units and slow heavy hitting bosses such as the red Templar commander or a high dragon, the Dualist is more or less invulnerable due to the constant generation of elusive.
My fourth and final ability is Swashbuckle. This ability has the potential to deal monstrous amounts of damage, 700% of weapon damage per hit to be exact, with the number of hits determined by how many stacks of elusive you have. So if you have 4 stacks, you will hit 4 times for 2800% weapon damage, which is effectively a similar amount of power as 4 fire mines depending on your daggers base damage. Needless to say, this is a ludicrously powerful ability and ive seen numbers upwards of 6000 damage per hit landing. However, it does have its drawbacks. It will consume all stacks of elusive, leaving you vulnerable to attack, so its important to only use this against a single isolated target, or to have a neaby target marked with vendetta so you can generate a stack or two of elusive immediately after using Swashbuckle.
The upgraded feature of swashbuckle is also incredibly strong. It increases attack speed by up to 20% for 10 seconds, 5% for each stack of elusive consumed. This increase in attack speed dramatically increases your effective DPS and it does mean you can combo up to another full stack of elusive, and cycle in swashbuckle again, though do be wary of your stamina count.
Lastly, passives. Isabela does have some exceptionally good passives, here are the ones that I personally think are the most effective.
Firstly, Look But Don’t Touch. This ability grants Isabela total immunity to all damage over time providing you have at least one stack of elusive active. Yes, this means that fire wraiths, rage demons, venatori commander and the inferno dragon are drastically less effective against her.
Naturally Evasive increases your maximum elusive stacks from 3 to 4. If you are using Swashbuckle, this is a must, for obvious reasons, but if you aren’t, then I would probably recommend against it as you will be spending two points for not much gain. Black mark causes enemies marked with vendetta to take an additional 10% damage from all sources. This debuff is good on its own, but when used in conjunction with my next recommended passive, Dead Men Tell No Tales
This passive turns Black Mark from a single target debuff, into an 8 meter radius one. You can mark entire spawns with vendetta providing you kill the initial enemy fast enough. It also synergises very well with Swashbuckle, as swashbuckle does not remove vendetta, so it will mark any neaby enemy with vendetta, to remove for a stack of elusive.
These are the strongest passives that I think the dualist has, but there is some others which are useful too.
Hoist the mainsail increases movement speed by 10% per stack of elusive, the Kirkwall kiss reduces cooldowns by 0.2 second per attack, which in turn allows you to generate elusive more frequently and Savvy grants a 20% stackable bonus to damage when alternating crossbow and dagger use. This caps out at 100%, but can be very useful, especially when setting up a combo for swashbuckle.
Unyielding is a great passive for when you need some emergency protection when isabela gets caught with her pants down, though you do need to go through Ambush to get it, so I prefer to use the two points elsewhere.
Anyway, that concludes my isabela guide. I’ll put my exact build order in the description if anybody wants to refer back to that.
Thanks for reading :)Other Dragon Age Inquisition Articles
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