Dragon Age Inquisition: Knight-Enchanter Mage Guide
By David Root
Mages are expected to be the support for the party in Inquisition, either spamming Barrier and stunning targets or simply being a ranged DPS. However, Mages also have a very powerful specialization that turns them into a combatant that feels right at home in the thick of things. Knight-Enchanter is the most similar specialization to Arcane Warrior from Origins, however, instead of relying on the use of a big sword and heavy armor, Knight-Enchanters use spells to power up a powerful Spirit Blade attack and also rely heavily on Barrier for survivability. However, Knight-Enchanters are incredibly powerful, arguably the most overpowered class in Inquisition. Here is a complete guide on how to build up and play a Knight-Enchanter Mage in Dragon Age: Inquisition!
Spirit Tree: Barrier
Inferno Tree: Immolate, Wildire, Flashpoint, Pyromancer, Fire Mine, Searing Glyph, Clean Burn, and Chaotic Focus
Storm: Energy Barrage and Chain Lightning
Inquisitor: Mark of the Rift and Focused Teamwork
Knight-Enchanter: Spirit Blade, Amplified Blade, Fade Cloak, Decloaking Blast, Veiled Riposte, Combat Clarity, Fade Shield, and Knight-Protector
The basic concept of the Knight-Enchanter’s fighting style is pretty simple. We’re a melee/caster hybrid that wants to stay in melee range. We also have the ability to provide some simple support for our party with Barrier. Our main source of damage is Sprit Blade, an ability that builds up charges as we deal damage with our spells. It builds up to 99 charges and does so rather rapidly thanks to the Amplified Blade upgrade. We only want to use our Spirit Blade at 99 charges so that it can deal its maximum damage, however, we have spells that allow us to build up charges very quickly. The chief of these is Energy Barrage, which will build up all 99 charges needed to unleash our blade if all of its projectiles hit. This means that you should use this spell off cool down. Thanks to the Flashpoint upgrade in the Inferno Tree, the next spell with a cool down that we use won’t trigger a cool down whenever we get a critical hit. This means that you can potentially get combos like Spirit Blade > Energy Barrage > Spirit Blade > Energy Barrage > Spirit Blade. This will deal an insane amount of damage as well as keep your Barrier up thanks to our Fade Shield talent, which converts 30% of the damage we deal to power your barrier. Fire Mine is our single most damaging spell, and we should use it whenever we can, particularly in combination with the Ring of Doubt item, even in single target situations. It is also the ideal opening attack against ranged combatants such as archers, as they don’t move around as much. Chain Lightning is our secondary AoE spell and it builds up Spirit Blade charges quite quickly due to the amount of times it hits targets. Immolate is our filler AoE when Fire Mine and Chain Lightning are on cool down, and Fade Cloak is a good single target filler. Mark of the Rift should be used as our focus skill as it deals an insane amount of damage, and should be used on bosses to absolutely knock their socks off. Finally, use Barrier liberally. It is quite frankly the most useful spell that a Mage brings to the table in Inquisition, and using it on yourself as well as your allies is essential, and can save your more suicidal companions (looking at you, Iron Bull) from death. Also make sure to stay in melee range of your targets, as your Combat Clarity passive gives you an increase in mana regeneration when you are in melee range.
Weapon: The Encore Schematic is easily the best staff in the game, and the vast majority of our gear is going to be crafted as well. In addition to having great damage numbers, it also have a chance on hit to give your party one of three amazing offensive buffs. You can get this staff in the Trespasser DLC. Dragon Bone is the absolute best material to use as the damage roll for the weapon, as it gives the most damage. Ice Dragon Bone is the best for the metal offense slot, as it will net you a total of 12% attack. The cloth utility slots should be used by Dragon Webbing to give you a whopping 28% increase in critical damage bonus and Plush Fustian Velvet to give you 14% more attack. Another factor that sets this staff apart from others is that unlike other high-end staffs, it has slots for a staff grip and blade. Of course, we’ll take advantage of this. I personally like to use the Split Staff Grip Schematic combined with Silken Nether Cloth in the cloth utility slot to give you 6 more Magic, and Imbued Tusket Hide in the leather offense slot for a 21% boost in critical damage. For the staff blade, I go with the Masterwork Qunari Staff Blade Schematic using Silken Nether Cloth for 22 Magic or Dragon Webbing for 11 Magic and 11 Willpower. As for runes, the choice is mostly up to player preference, however, I personally use Superb Demon-Slaying Runes as we are going to be fighting a lot of demons in the game. Finally, use the Essence of Perfection that you get in the Fade to further boost the stats that you get from this weapon.
Armor: Go with the Superior Battlemage Armor (schematic). You can pick this up from the Hissing Wastes merchant, assuming you have The Short List as an Inquisition perk. This is the only Mage armor that has two utility slots. While one is a leather utility slot, this isn’t completely useless as you can use Imbued Tusket Hide to give you a boost in Cunning, which increases your critical chance. The cloth utility slot should be taken by Silken Nether Cloth for 12 Magic or Dragon Webbing for 6 Magic and 6 Willpower. Veil Quartz is the best material to use for the metal defense slot, as it will increase your maximum health by 64. The armor slot should be taken by Dragon Webbing as it provides the most overall armor. This armor also has two upgrade slots, which should be occupied by Battlemage Armor Arms (Schematic) and Battlemage Armor Legs (Schematic). To fill the cloth utility slots, I recommend using Dragon Webbing to give you a good mix of Magic and Willpower, and Silken Nether Cloth as your cloth defense slot, to increase your magic resistance. The best helmet in the game is the Cowl of the Pure, looted from a chest in the Bastion of the Pure in the Deep Roads. While the Battlemage Cowl (Schematic) may give you more offensive state points, the Cowl of the Pure provides you with far more armor and also a good boost in magic defense.
Accessories: Starting with out belt, I like to go with the Superb Belt of Health that you can get from a treasure map side quest in the Emerald Graves. The reason I go with this belt is because as a Mage, you are a bit more frail than other classes in the game, and having the extra health is a good way to mitigate that. If you feel that archers are a particularly pesky problem for you, the Superb Belt of Ranged Defense that you can get in the Unadin Grotto in the Exalted Plains is a good fit too. Lastly, if you feel that if you do not have issues surviving on your adventures, you can go with the Master Belt of Focus that you can pick up from a pile of bones near a Fade-Touched Lurker in the Frostback Basin. This will allow you to build up focus 35% quicker, allowing you to use your super-powerful Mark of the Rift more often. Andraste’s Sacrifice is easily the best amulet for a Mage, as not only does it reduce all of your ability cool downs by 10%, it also gives you a faster mana regeneration. This amulet does have an effect that makes it somewhat of a risk, as you have chance on hit to taunt all of your enemies within 8 meters of you for 4 seconds. However, this is worth the risk, as this taunt will grant you guard, and in this specialization, you have a lot of barrier built up at most times, meaning that you will likely survive this until a tank companion taunts back. Also, another thing to note is that while we will want to do the majority of our fighting in melee range, our opening Fire Mine will usually be casted from range. You can find Andraste’s Sacrifice in a chest in Villa Maurel in the Emerald Graves. For rings, the first slot should always be taken by the Ring of Doubt, as it is arguably the most powerful item in the game. Basically, it puts you in stealth when you are not attacking, and your first attack out of stealth will be an automatic critical hit. Combining with with Fire Mine has insane damage potential, as I have gotten them to hit for upwards of 30k. In addition, it also adds a slight boost in flanking damage bonus. You can find this item in the Exalted Plains.
How to Become a Knight-Enchanter
After reaching Skyhold and leaving it once, and then returning (I recommend doing this via Solas’ companion conversations, so you don’t have to go all the way to another zone), you should get a war table operation called Specializations for the Inquisitor. Completing this will summon three trainers to Skyhold. Commander Helaine is the trainer for Knight-Enchanters, and will give you some simple items to retrieve. The first of these items is the Writing on Knight-Enchanter methods, which can be found in Vivienne’s room in Skyhold. Next, you will need to obtain 3 Wisp Essences, which are obtained from Pure Wisps in the Fallow Mire. So, do enough killing there before you get to Skyhold, and you will easily have these before you even start the quest. Finally, you will need 10 Lazurite, which can be easily bought from the Black Emporium for 84 gold each. When you have assembled all of these items, go to your requisitions table in Skyhold and assemble your Spirit Blade Hilt, then finally return to Commander Helaine. Congratulations! You are know a Knight-Enchanter! Hopefully this guild has helped you understand how to play this incredibly powerful specialization!