Playing as the Rogue class in Dragon Age: Inquisition gives you the chance to develop an Archer build. The abilities used in an Archer build allow for long-range attacks, explosive arrow hits, and hitting multiple enemies from a distance.
Archer builds will primarily use abilities from the Archery tree however, abilities from the Sabotage and Subterfuge trees can also be used. Here is how to construct the Nightmare Archer Build in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Need-to-Know about Nightmare Archer Build
This Archer build is suitable for the first ten (or so) levels of the game on Nightmare difficulty. You will spend a total of 11 points on this build. The build is almost equally effective with the Artificer, Tempest, or Assassin Specializations. In order to develop this build, you will want to use the following:
Death From Above -- a Passive ability that inflicts more damage by shooting from a height. The Maximum Damage bonus is 25%, and the Maximum Height is 2 meters. Cunning (on unlock) is +3.
Long Shot -- an Active ability that gains power with greater distance from your enemies. It will give you +200% Weapon Damage, and a +600% Damage Bonus at 15 meters. Do not use any upgrade abilities with this.
First Blood -- a Passive ability that does more damage to uninjured or slightly injured opponents. The Damage Bonus is 15%, the Health Threshold is 80%, and the Dexterity (on unlock) is +3.
Explosive Shot -- an Active ability that explodes and causes damage to enemies near the target. It has a +100% Weapon Damage effect with an Impact Radius of 4 meters.
Pincushion -- a Passive ability that increases damage with every consecutive strike. It has a Damage Bonus of 5%, a Bonus Duration of 10 seconds, and a Dexterity (on unlock) of +3.
Full Draw -- an Active ability. Perfect shots against undamaged enemies are even more damaging. It will give you +800% Weapon Damage, and a Damage Bonus of 800% at full health. You will want to use the “Stunning Shot” upgrade -- the enemy Sleep Duration will be 20 seconds.
Poisoned Weapons -- an Active ability that poisons your enemies for a limited time. The Duration is 10 seconds, with +25% Weapon Damage per second, and a Damage Duration of 8 seconds. if you use the Infected Wounds upgrade with this, it will give you a Damage Bonus of 25%.
Stealth -- An Active ability. It makes you invisible to your enemies. It lasts 30 seconds and has a Damage bonus of 50%. As long as you are hitting your enemy, you can’t be seen.
Easy to Miss -- a Passive ability. Makes enemies lose track of you, especially if you outflank them. Threat Reduction is 25%, Flanking Threat Reduction is 100%, Cunning (on unlock) is +3.
Armor and Weapons
As this Archer build is used in lower levels, you will probably be using lower-level armors and bow weapons (Levels 1 through 10). For bows, the Inquisition Longbow is a Level 1 bow with a +3% Attack and a +6% Dexterity.
The Shadowhunter Bow is a Level 10 Item with a +12% Flanking Damage Bonus, and a +25% faster Stealth speed. The Fereldan Officer Longbow is a Level 6 Item with a +2% Critical Chance and a +35 Dexterity.
It also increases maximum stamina by 15. These bows, with their Attack, Flanking, and Dexterity bonuses, will help the Archer in positioning, accuracy, and power.
In Armor, the Mercenary Coat is a Level 1 Medium Armor with a +6% Ranged Defense. Further up is the Griffon Mail, which is a Level 10 Unique Medium Armor with a +3% Ranged Defense and adds a +2 to Strength and Willpower. Generally, Armors with a high Ranged Defense are ideal for Archer builds.
Pros and Cons
Although this Archer build has its advantages, it also has its drawbacks. Here are some of them:
- The Long Shot ability, with its +600% Damage bonus (at 15 meters), is excellent for fighting long-range.
- The Poisoned Weapons ability allows for +25% Weapons Damage for a limited time. This, along with the Pincushion’s +5% Damage Bonus, can be used to wear enemies down continually.
- The Full Draw ability gives you +800% Damage to uninjured enemies. This is an undeniable boon to getting the first strike.
- When you shoot from a high place, the Death From Above ability will add a Maximum Damage bonus of 25%. This will also help defensively -- as a way to avoid enemy attacks -- and strategically, by providing an opening for an outflanking strategy.
- Speaking of outflanking, the Easy to Miss ability will add a 25% Threat Reduction and a 100% Flanking Threat Reduction. If you stay high and keep to your enemy’s sides, you will gain the advantage with this Archer build.
- Some of the abilities in the Archery Tree have fairly long cool-down times. For example, the Long Shot ability’s time is 8 seconds, the Explosive Shot’s time is 12 seconds, and the Full Draw’s time is 24 seconds. This can be detrimental if your objectives require a low recovery time.
- The cool-down times in the Sabotage and Subterfuge Trees are similarly long. The Poisoned Weapons and Stealth abilities each have a time of 24 seconds.
- The abilities listed here also have a Stamina cost. The Long Shot ability costs 50 stamina points, the Explosive Shot costs 35 points, the Full Draw costs 65 points, and the Poisoned Weapons and Stealth abilities each cost 20 points. If your character does not have high stamina, it will inevitably wear down the more you attack.
- This Archer build only works best when your character is positioned in a certain way. For example, the Death From Above and Easy to Miss abilities will only work if you are above and to the side of your enemy.
- Finally, this Archer build is suitable for the beginning stages of Dragon Age: Inquisition on Nightmare difficulty. For later stages, you will have to customize your Archer build once again.
Here is an alternative build made by KineticGTR