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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.
Dorian is most likely the last mage who'll join your group in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Given that his unique skill tree, Necromancer, favours scaring the opponent to death (along with a few other things), it makes sense to play to Dorian's strengths and build him up as an aggressive mage.
If you've followed my other two mage guides for Solas and Vivienne, this build also ensures that Dorian doesn't overlap too much with what either of those characters is trying to do. If you want to blitz everyone with fire and lightning, then this is the build for you.
First off however, we need to get the basics out of the way. Barrier is still important, especially if Dorian is the only mage you're bringing along in a particular party. Peaceful Aura is also necessary, Dorian will fall quickly to enemy attacks. And, unlike Solas, he has less defensive spells to protect himself in a pinch.
Now the fun begins. The Storm tree is all about dishing out maximum damage, perfect for Dorian. Chain Lightning is a great spell to use on clusters of enemies, Arcing Surge is also a reasonable upgrade if you find yourself using Chain Lightning often. The big pick-ups here however, are Static Cage, the closest this game gets to "Crushing Prison" from Origins, and also Static Charge a passive skill that helps protect Dorian when he's spitting out a magical barrage.
There's nothing in this tree that's especially bad, to be honest. Energy Barrage is another worthwhile skill, and Lightning Bolt, along with the upgrade, adds some more crowd control. Conductive Current is something to consider, to the point where I'd be tempted to say definitely pick it up at some point. It's not as useful on mage's like Solas, but for someone like Dorian, he's likely to have a fairly shallow mana pool most of the time with the spells he's casting.
We're here just for a few skills. Immolate is one such skill. Dorian might be able to deal lots of damage, but he doesn't have much in the way of crowd-control, Immolate and Wildfire mean that Dorian can panic enemies, scattering them, and making sure they don't put up too much of a fight.
Depending on how many skill points you have lying around, the passive skills aren't bad either. Flashpoint and Clean Burn fit with the overall aggressive strategy, just note that there's plenty more options once we get to the unique skill-tree.
Horror and Despair complement the armament of attacking spells we have perfectly. Blinding Terror is another must-have, improving all of our panic-causing spells. After that, go with what you like the most, there's little here that isn't bad. Do note that Simulacrum sounds a little better than it actually is. Still, it's not too disappointing, considering it's on the way to picking up the Walking Bomb and Virulent Bomb adding more crowd-control to Dorian's arsenal.
When built right, Dorian is a great addition to a party, especially if your warrior slot(s) is taken up by a more defensive tank character. With this build, he'll complement the other mages you have, rather than feel like a duplicate. Just remember, whatever happens, keep enemies off him. He'll go down pretty quickly against pretty much any assault, even on the lower difficulties.
Play smart, keep him on a ledge somewhere, preferably above wherever it is you're fighting. The A.I. is reasonably good at keeping mages out of the way, just make sure to check in every now and then using a tactical cam. There's always the chance the game will have decided to send him hurtling into the middle of an enemy scrum for no reason. Once you pick up his panic-causing skills, however, things will get a lot easier.
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