Dragon Age: Inquisition - Vivienne - Skill Guide
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 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.
Vivienne is the prim and proper head mage of the Imperial Court. As befits her, she comes with the very flashy Knight Enchanter specialisation. More so than the other mage specialisations, it radically changes how you can choose to build Vivienne.
For this build, like with the others, I'm going to focus on how to get the most out of the unique class, in an effort to set each character apart. It's also worth noting that you're perhaps best using your other mages prior to reaching level 9, and then respec Vivienne's skills once she's unlocked her unique class.
Knight Enchanter - Skills
With that in mind it's perhaps best to start with the unique tree and then dabble into the trees later on. Straight up, the bare minimum you need from this tree are these skills:
- Spirit Blade
- Fade Cloak
- Decloaking Blast
- Combat Clarity
- Fade Shield
With these skills under her belt, Vivienne will be a forced to be reckoned with up close. The spirit blade she carries dishes out an absurd amount of damage, whilst Decloaking Blast combined with Fade Shield means you can essentially maintain a near-constant barrier throughout almost any fight.
The other skills are all worthwhile but don't take the upgrade to Disruption Field. It's not all that useful, and interacts poorly with what you're trying to do; hit people with a magic-powered lightsaber.
Spirit - Skills
After you've nabbed these you want to head over and grab Barrier from the spirit tree, especially if you plan on having the A.I. handle Vivienne for the most part. You can pick up the upgrade too, as well as Guardian Spirit, if you really want to, but they're not essential.
Winter - Skills
A short stop at here grabs us Fade Step and, if you wish, the upgrade, Frost Step. The Knight Enchanter is a close-combat class and so you need some way of closing in on enemies to engage them, and this is the perfect tool. Not only that, it's incredibly versatile, should you find Vivienne low on life, it'll also dash her straight out of danger to somewhere a little safer.
Inferno - Skills
Then it's over to the fire spells. Immolate versus Flash Fire was an interesting decision to begin with, and initially I would have said go with whatever you prefer. Now though, after more testing, I'm confident that Immolate is vastly superior. Both spells have a similar effect, and Immolate has the chance to hit more enemies.
Still, this is only a stepping stone to what we really need in this tree: the passive skills. Flashpoint is a good start, and combines well with the low cost of using Spirit Blade on a regular basis. Clean Burn is even better, helping out our cooldown times will make us all the more aggressive. However, the real gem here is Chaotic Focus. When combined with Fade Shield, the two abilities create a ridiculous combination; you're attacks create barrier, the barrier is burnt away, strengthening your spells, and then the (now stronger) spells replenish your barrier, and the cycle repeats itself. Needless to say, this is one of, if not the most devastating combos in the game, making a joke out of most encounters.
After that, you're free to go wherever. If you're wanting some more long ranged attacks, you might want to hop over to the Storm tree and pick up a few spells like Chain Lightning or Energy Barrage. If you want some more defensive attacks, then you'll want to progress further through the Winter tree. Grab Ice Armor (pretty good), and then get hold of Blizzard and its upgrade.
What makes the Knight Enchanter so good, and slightly unbalanced, in my opinion, is that it's good simply by taking everything from the tree. You don't even need to "plan" the build in order for it to be particularly strong. Once you do start looking for combos though, the class becomes utterly bonkers.
Still, this is a fun way to play Vivienne, and does set her apart from Solas and Dorian as a mage.
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