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Dragon Age: Inquisition is a hefty game. There's tons of stuff to organize: what characters are you taking? What equipment do you need? These character guides aim to give you a rough idea of how you can build each character, playing to their strengths and giving them a robust set of options in combat, hopefully making your time playing through the game more fun.
Obviously these aren't meant to be "the best" ways to build each character. Leave a comment if you feel a particular strategy has been neglected and we can all benefit from it.
Cole is likely to be the last party member you acquire in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Thankfully, he's a mighty good one. Unlike Sera and Varric, Cole is the one rogue who's more geared towards close-range combat. His unique skill tree, Assassin, a class that goes back all the way to the original game, specialises in dealing massive amounts of damage in a short space of time.
Despite this, Cole is no warrior. The main challenge with Cole is ensuring he can dish out plenty of damage with his dual daggers, whilst not taking much in return.
The most important skill to pick up early is Flank Attack, along with the Skirmisher upgrade. This provides Cole with an incredibly useful tool for not only dealing good damage, but also getting in close to an enemy target. You don't want to be wasting time having to trudge over to the enemy. Skirmisher is a great upgrade which will add to Cole's "stealth defence", as well as synergizing well with other moves.
Grabbing Twin Fangs is also worthwhile, although it's up to you whether or not to go for the upgrade. It's handy, but not essential. More importantly this gives us access to Dance of Death, which is great, especially later on in the game when Cole has multiple skills to use, as well as Sneak Attack.
Whilst it's up to you how much more you want to invest in this tree, cautious players might want to take a look at Parry as a useful defensive move that doesn't neuter your offence, operating much like Block and Slash does for warriors.
Subterfuge offers a wealth of options for Cole, and first off is the obligatory Stealth pick. It's also worth picking up Lost in Shadows here. This wasn't all that important for Varric and Serra, but for Cole, he's going to want to be operating at peak efficiency with those flank attacks and backstabs.
Both Evasion and Easy to Miss are decent passives, but it's going to be the right side of the tree you want to focus on here. Knockout Powder gives Cole access to a little crowd control, something he's otherwise lacking, but the real goal here is getting hold of Shadow Strike. Shadow Strike is already potent, but the upgrade takes it over the top, speeding up cooldowns on all Cole's skills, which he'll have a lot of.
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The upgrade to Knockout Powder and Mercy Killing can be good if Cole regularly finds himself in a party with a good amount of stun moves; if he's brought along with Cassandra and Iron Bull, for example.
Hidden Blades and it's upgrade are a good start here. From there, you most likely want to progress along the left side. I Was Never Here and In The Shadows really improve the effectiveness of Cole's stealth and his overall survivability. Along with this, Mark of Death is a good skill to have, although Shadow Strike in the previous tree should always take priority.
Of course, there's nothing bad about the right side of the tree either. If you take my earlier suggestion about combining Cole with stun-heavy characters, then Knockout Bomb and Comatose become incredibly useful, and the passives on this side are certainly not bad either.
If you find yourself with a few points to spare, then dipping into this set isn't a bad idea either. Poisoned Weapons, along with Infected Wounds, is still just as good here as it was with Sera.
One interesting skill Cole can make use of is Hook and Tackle, which operates like an opposite version of Grabbling Chain by pulling you towards the enemy. This can be a great way for Cole to cover lots of ground in between kills whilst Flanking Attack is recharging. What's more take the upgrade, It Beats Walking, and the skill has no cooldown or stamina cost, which is perfect!
Cole is easily one of the most fun characters to mess around with, especially if your main character isn't a rogue. Not only is he incredibly powerful, there's tons of different options and tweaks that can be made. The most important challenge for Cole is avoiding extended fights, he'll not take hits all that easily, and you'll want a good tank with plenty of aggro-drawing skills in case things go south.
All that being said, he's a solid character and can work well as the prime damage dealer in many parties.
© 2014 LudoLogic
Zack on February 09, 2018:
Shadow Strike's upgrade doesn't seem to do anything to speed up cooldowns, so I'm not sure if this build reflects an older patch, or what. But this does have the key survivability skills Cole needs, so it's a useful guide.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on December 22, 2017:
Great article! I don't usually take Cole with me that often because I often play as a rogue.