Dragon Age Inquisition Knight Enchanter Guide
Dragon Age Inquisition Knight Enchanter Guide by T0rin
The Knight-Enchanter (KE) specialization enables the mage class to take a very brazen approach to combat. Due to strong synergy between skill trees, the KE is able to focus all of its efforts towards offensive potential, and maintain a strong defense as a result of powerful skills. The one major aspect of gearing and focus that makes this specialization and build stand out is that you can quite literally dump all of your eggs into the Offense basket, and still come out on top due to the nature of how damage mitigation skills are implemented.
This guide is meant to help you progress through the levels and prioritize how you move down the various Mage skill trees, giving you an understanding of why you are making particular skill pickups and how you can expect to utilize them.
Gameplay in general can be broken down into two phases: 1) Moving into melee range, 2) Destroying your enemies. While it is not entirely necessary to be in melee range to kill your enemies, it is more efficient for generating your initial barrier and starting a fight by staggering one or more enemies with Fade Shield and following up with a Fire Mine to max out your barrier bar. The goal of mostly every fight is to generate some initial barrier, use that barrier to power Fire Mine and Immolate via Chaotic Focus, stagger enemies with Fade Shield to ensure they remain in place as the Fire Mine arms and then clean up with Spirit Blade after all the pending damage has resolved. You repeat this process with each group of enemies, utilizing Fade Step to move quickly between groups and Inferno spells to handle single stragglers as you move around the battlefield.
Before you actually unlock Specializations, you are a basic mage. You don’t have access to the tools you need to play the game like a KE, but you do have access to some of the skills you’ll be using a lot over the course of the game. Starting the game off by going directly down the fire tree towards Fire Mine is generally a good idea. Getting experience with proper placement of Fire Mine and understanding how enemies move and learning to predict their movement is key in the long term to ensuring proper use of the skill.
You might need to pick up Barrier early on, since you have very poor defense and proper use of Flashpoint procs will allow you to keep barriers up nearly all of the time you need them.
Inferno: Immolate – Start of Inferno tree for us, one of our most commonly used damage spells. Average damage, long range, good cast time.. good spell to spam, especially on fast moving targets. Pretty low down the priority tree in terms of spells you want to cast, but it serves a purpose.
Inferno: Flashpoint – Necessary skill to advance the Inferno tree, mostly helpful earlier on to get back-to-back Fire Mines or Barriers.
Inferno: Pyromancer – Necessary skill to advance the Inferno tree, doesn’t help much in terms of damage output as the enhanced burning duration is generally unnecessary. Panic duration does nothing for us.
Inferno: Fire Mine – One of, if not the best skill for a KE. Huge damage is used to power Barrier generation, down ranged enemies with ease and in combination with Chaotic Focus, leads to the biggest numbers the build will generate. Takes some practice to get used to when to use it and where to place it, but once you get the hang of the ‘arming time’, it is invaluable for staggering enemies and dealing huge damage.
Knight-Enchanter: Spirit Blade – The most frequently used skill in your repertoire. Deals good damage, hits a fairly wide swath of targets, deals spirit damage (the least resisted of all damage types), has no cooldown and costs very little to cast. This is basically the filler between everything you do, that keeps your barrier maxed out and keeps the damage piling up. When everything else is on cooldown or you are nearly out of mana, this is your go-to spell.
Knight-Enchanter: Fade Cloak – Very powerful spell, probably the most powerful you have. Offers invulnerability and invisibility. Enemies will stop trying to attack you and nothing will be able to deal damage to you while it is active. Activating it purges all negative status effects, including being knocked down. If you find yourself in a bad situation, this is what you use. Against enemies who cannot be staggered, this is how you counter their slow, big damage, telegraphed attacks.
Knight-Enchanter: Decloaking Blast – Turns an already powerful spell (Fade Cloak) into great CC and damage. Basically, as long as you are very close (phased inside of or right next to) to an enemy when Fade Cloak expires, you deal 1000% weapon damage and juggle them (toss them into the air) into a stagger. (knocked down, unable to react) Combined with Fire Mine, you can chain-stagger an enemy, and between the damage of those two skills, average enemies melt in front of you. They also never have an opportunity to damage you, because you lead into them while invincible, stagger them twice while maxing out your barrier, and giving you 3-4 seconds to spam Spirit Blade, generating even more barrier and potentially some guard.
Knight-Enchanter: Combat Clarity – Gives you some of the mana regen you need to spam everything you want. Does not fully fulfill your mana regen needs, and without Rejuvenating Barrier, you will eventually run out and be relegated to only spamming Spirit Blade.
Knight-Enchanter: Fade Shield – While not particularly flashy, this is one of the key elements of the build. Dealing damage generates barrier. Simple enough, right? When you can lead into an enemy with no barrier up, drop some quick damage spells to max out your barrier and use Spirit Blade to clean up the mess.
Knight-Enchanter: Knight Protector – Good early on, great as you get more powerful. This is what makes your initially meager/slow barrier generation palpable, as it makes your barrier fade significantly slower. Later on, it keeps you maxed out on barrier much more easily, and ensures you have barrier available for chain casting Inferno spells for enhanced damage with Chaotic Focus.
Inferno: Chaotic Focus – Huge damage booster for Inferno spells. Basically as long as you have any noticeable amount of barrier, every cast of an Inferno spell will take half of your current barrier and double the damage of the spell being cast. This not only gives you a large boost to damage output, but thanks to Fade Shield, a large boost to barrier generation. This one skill in combination with Fire Mine will absolutely devastate 95% of everything you encounter.
Inferno: Clean Burn – While a great skill, not hugely relevant until you have all of the pieces to the puzzle. Once you’ve got the barrier generation, Fade Cloak for defense and offensive potential with Inferno spells and Chaotic Focus, you can start to benefit from Clean Burn. And at first, it’s not super good, it just lets you burst a little before running out of mana. Later, after you pick up Rejuvenating Barrier, it becomes the key to putting out lots of damage quickly and reacting defensively with Fade Cloak.
Mid-Late Game Progression
At this point in the build, you will have everything you need to function. Immolate, Fire Mine and Fade Cloak serve as your “burst barrier generation” and main source of damage output in combination with Fade Shield and Chaotic Focus. You have the tools to survive and kill everything. From here on out your aim is to streamline that process by picking up additional skills, passives and upgrades that make everything more potent and re-usable.
Spirit: Barrier – Mostly a necessary skill to get further down the tree, used later in the game as a secondary source of barrier for your party when your “primary barrier mage” has his/her skill on cooldown. Most important in Dragon fights, not hugely necessary outside of that.
Spirit: Guardian Spirit – This skill serves as an insurance plan in case you neglect your barrier generation, get caught off guard or do something that would typically get you killed.
Winter: Fade Step – Your primary mobility tool in and out of combat. This allows you to get into melee range with enemies that sit at a distance, i.e. archers, wraiths, etc. Also very useful throughout the mid and late game for Dragon fights, as it allows you to re-close the distance when they “jump” back away from you. Also helpful when trying to get through doorways and your party members are blocking your way.
Inferno: Searing Glyph – An upgrade to your biggest damage spell, causing it to do big Damage over Time. Mostly helpful against bigger HP enemies, as the general run of the mill enemy will die immediately to Fire Mine or very soon after. Good for making Fire Mine a fire-and-forget spell on easier ranged targets later in the game.
Inferno: Wildfire – Along the same lines as Searing Glyph, but makes Immolate more potent and allows it to scale easier in the end game. More initial damage on a very frequently used spell and allows it to be used even more often.
Spirit: Peaceful Aura – Necessary skill to advance the Spirit tree, doesn’t do much for us since we are generating a lot of aggro with Inferno spells and can tank any aggro we do get. If anything this is a mild negative for us, since we actually want targets to focus on us en masse to make it easier to drop Fire Mines on more enemies at once.
Spirit: Dispel – Necessary skill to advance the Spirit tree. Useful mainly for insta-killing enemies that are spawning from a rift, otherwise not necessary as Spirit Blade can easily destroy enemy barriers with its 200% bonus damage against barriers. Of the unnecessary active skills you acquire, you have room for 1 of them on your hotbar. This is the one I use.
Spirit: Rejuvenating Barrier – The skill that turns you from an early/mid game Spirt Blade spammer to a later game Inferno spammer. This skill, in combination with Combat Clarity gives you so much mana regen that you will actually find it difficult to remain out of mana. This enables you to drop a lot of Inferno spells and make very frequent use of Fade Cloak to constantly juggle-stagger groups of enemies.
Storm: Energy Barrage – Necessary skill to advance the Storm tree. Does a decent job of working up a bit of Guard, (because it hits 12 times) but not really something you want to be using your mana on. Casts with little to no animation, so you can use it as you are charging into melee. Not really a good skill, but not the worst to have as your single unnecessary skill on the hotbar.
Storm: Conductive Current – Great passive skill when you are using everything as much as you can. Frequent use of Inferno spells and Fade Cloak intermixed with Spirit Blade spam will keep you at very low mana. If you can hover between 20-30% mana available most of the time, that’s a 35-40% damage boost on everything you do.
Storm: Static Charge – Actually really powerful passive against annoying enemies that stagger you frequently, like every guy who has a shield. Stuns them when they go to hit you, and allows you to wail on them and not have to worry about being knocked down. Since you are more or less always casting something, you will generally always get some kind of protection from this against melee enemies. Between this and juggle-staggering enemies with Fire Mine and Fade Cloak, you won’t actually get successfully attacked in melee very often at all.
You have two basic goals in gearing: 1) Generate Guard and 2) Improve damage output.
The first can be accomplished by crafting a weapon or piece of armor with Fade-Touched Obsidian and Fade-Touched Silverite. While both of these are rare versions of their normal variant, if you don’t have the luxury of farming for them, there are some static spawns of Fade-Touched Obsidian. The two spawns I am aware of are in the Hinterlands. The first is in a locked house in Redcliffe Village that requires the “Deft Hands, Fine Tools” perk. The second is in a lootable container on a boat docked in the area northeast of where the Hinterlands Dragon (Ferelden Frostback) spawns. Even if you can’t kill him, odds are you can sacrifice your party long enough to run past him, loot the Obsidian and run back out of his area, enabling you to Quick Travel away.
The second is a bit more complicated and requires you to craft gear as you go. Basically speaking, you want the highest base damage weapon you can find and you want to craft at least your weapon or your armor, in order to attain the Guard on Hit mastercraft proc. For the mid-game, the armor I used the Warden Battlemage Armor, which you can get the schematicfrom the Dalish vendor in Exalted Plains around level 10-12. You can ride that armor into the late game until you kill the dragons necessary to craft your final armor, thanks to the many layers of defense available to you as a KE.
In the end, you’re going to want a mix of critical chance, critical damage, magic, willpower and attack. When trying to decide whether one piece of gear is better than another based on available crafting slots, always value Offense slots higher than anything else, as it allows you to put “pure” Attack, Critical Chance and Critical Damage directly on your items. After Offense, Cloth Utility is best, as Willpower and Magic are your next go-to stats. After that, Leather Utility is best, as Cunning and Dexterity contribute to Critical Chance and Damage respectively.
In terms of schematics used for crafting, you can buy what are generally the second best schematics, but not the best. The best schematics need to be found. There are a variety of ways to do this.. ranging from farming random enemies in high level areas, “abusing” the loot spawn system or simply hoping that RNG will reward you with schematics you need. Regardless of how you go about it, here is a list of high end schematics and items:
- Superior Battlemage Coat (Masterwork, found)
- Sturdy Battlemage Armor (Canyon vendor, Hissing Wastes)
- Battlemage Armor Legs (Canyon vendor, Hissing Wastes)
- Battlemage Armor Arms (Canyon vendor, Hissing Wastes)
- Superior Seer Cowl (Masterwork, found)
- Seer Cowl (found)
- Seer Staff (found)
- First Enchanter Staff (Keep vendor, Emprise Du Lion)
- Hilted Staff Grip (Masterwork, found)
- Inscribed Staff Grip (Keep vendor, Emprise Du Lion)
- Dragon Staff Blade (found)
- Witch Staff Blade (found)
- Masterwork Qunary Staff Blade (found)
- Superb Amulet of Willpower (‘Celebrate the Dragonslaying’ War Table operation after killing a dragon)
- Superb Belt of Melee (found, not sure)
- Superb Belt of Focus (Dragon, Ferelden Frostback, Hinterlands)
- Superb Ring of Attack (Tomb of Fairel quest, Hissing Wastes)
- Superb Ring of Critical Damage (Tomb of Fairel quest, Hissing Wastes)
This is the gear I ultimately settled on after a good deal of experimentation. It offers the highest average damage per attack.