Artificer Build Mastery: Ultimate Guide for ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition

In the vast and intricate world of “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” character specialization plays a pivotal role in shaping a player’s experience. Among the myriad of choices available, the Artificer build emerges as a unique blend of strategy and action, offering a distinct approach to combat.

This guide delves deep into the nuances of the Artificer specialization, from its core abilities and optimal equipment to synergies with party members and customization options. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer to Thedas, understanding the Artificer build can enhance your gameplay and open new tactical horizons

The Basics of the Artificer

The Artificer is one of the three specializations available to the Rogue class in “Dragon Age: Inquisition.” Unlike the other rogue specializations, which focus on stealth or direct damage, the Artificer excels in controlling the battlefield with traps and mechanical devices. Their expertise lies in creating opportunities for their allies while hindering their enemies.

Core Abilities and Skills of the Artificer:

  1. Spike Trap: This ability allows the Artificer to set a trap that, when triggered, sends enemies flying into the air. It’s an excellent tool for crowd control and creating space on the battlefield.
    • Benefits:
      • Provides crowd control by disrupting enemy movements.
      • Can interrupt enemy abilities or attacks.
    • Situational Uses:
      • Ideal for choke points where enemies are funneled through.
      • Useful for separating powerful enemies from their allies.
  2. Elemental Mines: The Artificer scatters a series of mines around them, each exploding to deal elemental damage. The type of damage varies, making it a versatile skill against different enemy resistances.
    • Benefits:
      • Versatile damage output due to varying elemental damage types.
      • Can affect multiple enemies at once.
    • Situational Uses:
      • Effective against groups of enemies.
      • Can be used to deter enemies from approaching a specific area or ally.
  3. Fallback Plan: A unique skill where the Artificer places a marker and can instantly return to that marker’s location, resetting health and position. It’s a great escape tool or a way to reposition quickly.
    • Benefits:
      • Allows for quick repositioning.
      • Can negate damage taken during the duration by resetting health.
    • Situational Uses:
      • Escaping from dangerous situations or powerful enemies.
      • Engaging enemies and then quickly retreating to a safer position.
  4. Hail of Arrows: This focused ability allows the Artificer to rapidly fire arrows in a targeted area, dealing significant damage over time. It’s incredibly potent when combined with other party members’ area-of-effect abilities.
    • Benefits:
      • High area-of-effect damage.
      • Can be combined with other abilities for devastating combos.
    • Situational Uses:
      • Effective against groups of enemies clustered together.
      • Can be used to finish off weakened enemies or break through enemy defenses.
  5. Opportunity Knocks: A passive skill that reduces the cooldown on abilities every time an ally critically hits. This skill emphasizes the Artificer’s role in capitalizing on the team’s successes.
    • Benefits:
      • Faster ability usage and increased uptime on skills.
      • Synergizes well with party members who have high critical hit rates.
    • Situational Uses:
      • Best utilized in parties that focus on critical hits.
      • Enhances the Artificer’s role as a support damage dealer.
  6. And Take Them Down: Another passive that boosts critical chance for the entire party when the Artificer critically hits. It synergizes well with “Opportunity Knocks.”
    • Benefits:
      • Increases the overall damage output of the party.
      • Complements “Opportunity Knocks” by promoting more critical hits.
    • Situational Uses:
      • Effective in parties with members who benefit from critical hits, such as dual-wielding rogues or two-handed warriors.

Each of these abilities offers unique advantages and can be used strategically based on the situation at hand. By understanding the nuances of each skill, players can maximize the Artificer’s potential and enhance their overall gameplay experience.

The Primary Role of an Artificer in a Party:

The Artificer’s primary role is as a battlefield controller and support damage dealer. Their abilities are designed to disrupt enemy formations, control space, and provide opportunities for their allies to capitalize on.

  • Control and Disruption: With skills like “Spike Trap” and “Elemental Mines,” the Artificer can dictate where enemies move and how they engage, often turning the tide of battle by controlling choke points or disrupting enemy advances.
  • Supportive Damage: While they can deal direct damage, especially with abilities like “Hail of Arrows,” the Artificer shines when they amplify the team’s overall damage output. Their passives boost critical chances, ensuring that the entire party benefits from their presence.
  • Adaptability: The Artificer’s toolkit allows them to adapt to various situations. Whether it’s repositioning with “Fallback Plan” or laying down a barrage of arrows, they can adjust their strategy based on the battlefield’s demands.

Recommended Weapons and Equipment:

1. Weapons:

  • Bows: As a ranged rogue specialization, Artificers benefit most from bows. The best bows for an Artificer would have high damage output, critical chance, and dexterity bonuses.
    • Suggested Bows:
      • Longbow of the Griffon: Known for its ability to shoot multiple arrows at once.
      • Elgar’nan Enaste: Offers a chance to cast Veilstrike on hit.
    • Crafting Tips: When crafting bows, prioritize materials that boost critical chance and dexterity. Dragon bone and Silverite are excellent choices.
  • Daggers: While not the primary choice for most Artificers, if you prefer a close-combat approach, opt for daggers with high critical chance and damage.
    • Suggested Daggers:
      • Bleeder of Souls: High damage and a chance to heal on hit.
      • Stone Stalker Blade: Offers bonus damage against living creatures.
    • Crafting Tips: Prioritize materials that enhance critical damage and chance, such as Dragon bone and Dawnstone.

2. Armor:

  • Light Armor: Artificers, being rogues, should wear light armor that enhances their agility and evasion.
    • Suggested Armor Sets:
      • Prowler Armor: Offers a good balance of defense and dexterity bonuses.
      • Superior Prowler Armor: An upgraded version with better stats and more upgrade slots.
    • Crafting Tips: Use materials that boost dexterity and cunning for maximum damage and critical chance. Snoufleur skin and Halla leather are good choices.

3. Accessories:

  • Amulets: Look for amulets that boost critical chance, dexterity, or specific abilities of the Artificer.
    • Suggested Amulet: Amulet of Dexterity for a direct boost to damage.
  • Rings: Rings that enhance specific Artificer abilities or general rogue abilities are ideal.
    • Suggested Rings:
      • Ring of Critical Chance: Increases the likelihood of critical hits.
      • Ring of Flanking: Boosts damage when attacking enemies from the side or behind.
  • Belts: Belts that increase health, resistance, or potion effectiveness can be beneficial.
    • Suggested Belt: Belt of Health for a direct increase in survivability.

4. Tips on Finding or Crafting Gear:

  • Exploration: Many of the best gear pieces can be found in hidden areas, chests, or as loot from powerful enemies. Exploring areas like the Hissing Wastes, Emprise du Lion, and the Deep Roads can yield high-quality gear.
  • War Table Missions: Some missions reward unique gear or crafting materials. Regularly check the War Table and prioritize missions with gear rewards.
  • Merchants: The Black Emporium, Val Royeaux, and Skyhold have merchants that sell unique and powerful gear. Regularly check their stock for updates.
  • Crafting: Always be on the lookout for rare crafting materials. Killing high dragons, for instance, provides materials that can craft some of the game’s best gear. Additionally, schematics, which determine the potential of crafted items, can be found throughout the world or purchased from merchants.

Equipping the Artificer with the right gear can significantly enhance their effectiveness on the battlefield. By prioritizing critical chance, dexterity, and specific ability enhancements, players can optimize their Artificer build for maximum impact.

Synergies with Other Party Members:

1. Warriors:

  • Blackwall (Champion): Blackwall can draw enemy attention with his tanking abilities, allowing the Artificer to lay traps and control the battlefield without being directly targeted.
    • Strategy: Use Blackwall’s “Challenge” or “War Cry” to gather enemies, then have the Artificer deploy “Elemental Mines” or “Spike Trap” in the clustered area for maximum effect.
  • Iron Bull (Reaver): The Reaver’s high damage output, especially when his health is low, can be enhanced by the Artificer’s ability to reduce cooldowns and increase critical chances.
    • Strategy: Pair Iron Bull’s “Dragon-Rage” with the Artificer’s “Opportunity Knocks” to rapidly unleash powerful attacks.

2. Rogues:

  • Sera (Tempest): The Tempest’s flasks can be used in tandem with the Artificer’s traps for devastating combos.
    • Strategy: Use Sera’s “Flask of Fire” to unleash abilities without cooldown, followed by the Artificer’s “Hail of Arrows” for a barrage of damage.
  • Cole (Assassin): The Assassin’s focus on single-target elimination can benefit from the Artificer’s crowd control and support.
    • Strategy: Use the Artificer’s traps to control and isolate targets, allowing Cole to focus on eliminating key threats with abilities like “Hidden Blades.”

3. Mages:

  • Dorian (Necromancer): Dorian’s ability to control and weaken enemies can be paired with the Artificer’s traps for enhanced crowd control.
    • Strategy: Use Dorian’s “Horror” to panic enemies, making them more susceptible to the Artificer’s “Spike Trap” or “Elemental Mines.”
  • Vivienne (Knight-Enchanter): The Knight-Enchanter’s close-combat mage style can draw attention away from the Artificer, allowing for better positioning and trap deployment.
    • Strategy: While Vivienne engages enemies up close with her “Spirit Blade,” the Artificer can lay traps and control the battlefield from a distance.
  • Solas (Rift Mage): The Rift Mage’s ability to weaken and pull enemies can be combined with the Artificer’s traps for crowd control and damage.
    • Strategy: Use Solas’s “Pull of the Abyss” to cluster enemies, then deploy the Artificer’s “Elemental Mines” for maximum area damage.

Strategies for Maximizing Team Efficiency:

  1. Positioning: Ensure the Artificer has a clear line of sight to deploy traps and abilities effectively. Use warriors to create choke points where the Artificer’s traps can be most effective.
  2. Cooldown Management: Take advantage of the Artificer’s “Opportunity Knocks” passive by building a party with high critical hit rates. This ensures the Artificer can deploy abilities more frequently.
  3. Combos: Coordinate abilities between party members. For instance, use crowd control spells from mages to cluster enemies, then follow up with the Artificer’s area-of-effect abilities.
  4. Protect the Artificer: While the Artificer has some mobility and escape tools, they can be vulnerable if directly targeted. Ensure warriors and mages provide adequate protection.

Customizing Your Artificer:

1. Playstyle Focus:

  • Trap Specialist: If you enjoy controlling the battlefield with traps, focus on enhancing abilities like “Spike Trap” and “Elemental Mines.” Invest in passives that reduce cooldowns and increase the effectiveness of these abilities.
  • Supportive Sniper: For those who prefer staying at a distance and supporting the team, focus on bow abilities and passives that enhance ranged damage. “Hail of Arrows” and the base archery skills from the Rogue tree can be key.
  • Mobility Master: If you value mobility and repositioning, enhance “Fallback Plan” and consider integrating more evasion skills from the base Rogue tree, such as “Evade” or “Flank Attack.”

2. Alternative Skills and Abilities:

While the Artificer specialization offers a unique set of skills, don’t forget the base Rogue abilities that can complement and enhance the Artificer’s toolkit:

  • Stealth: A core Rogue ability, “Stealth” allows you to become invisible to enemies. This can be invaluable for repositioning, escaping danger, or setting up traps without being interrupted.
  • Explosive Shot: A powerful ranged attack that can be used in tandem with Artificer abilities for increased damage output.
  • Twin Fangs: If you’re leaning towards a dagger-wielding Artificer, this ability offers a quick and powerful strike that can be used to finish off enemies.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Apply poison to your weapons, adding damage over time to your attacks. This can be especially effective when combined with rapid-fire abilities like “Hail of Arrows.”

3. Tweaking Passives:

The passive abilities you choose can significantly influence your playstyle:

  • Looked Like it Hurt: This Rogue passive restores stamina upon landing a critical hit, allowing for more frequent ability usage.
  • Cheap Shot: Enhances your damage against disabled enemies, synergizing well with the Artificer’s crowd control abilities.
  • Dance of Death: Regain stamina with each kill, promoting an aggressive playstyle.

4. Equipment Customization:

  • Rune Choices: Depending on your primary enemies (e.g., dragons, demons, or humanoids), choose weapon runes that enhance damage against those types.
  • Armor Crafting: When crafting armor, prioritize materials that enhance the stats you value most, whether that’s dexterity for damage, cunning for critical hits, or constitution for survivability.
  • Masterworks: Utilize special crafting materials that add unique effects to your weapons or armor. For instance, a masterwork that grants a chance to cast a barrier on hit can significantly enhance the Artificer’s survivability.

The Artificer specialization in “Dragon Age: Inquisition” is a shining example of the game’s intricate character-building dynamics. This unique Artificer build, centered around traps and battlefield control, offers players a strategic edge in combat, emphasizing the importance of tactical prowess in Thedas. Their role in shaping battles, supporting allies, and enhancing team damage showcases the depth of gameplay choices available.

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Yet, the true allure of the Artificer build lies in its adaptability. While its foundational abilities are robust, there’s ample room for personalization. Players are urged to experiment, blending skills, gear, and teammates to tailor an Artificer that aligns with their vision. In a world where choices mold destinies, the Artificer build stands as a testament to the game’s rich diversity. Aspiring Inquisitors, dive in, explore, and craft your unique Artificer narrative.

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