Creating the best Morrigan Build in DAO depends on your choice of character class and playstyle. If you intend to play your Circle or Dalish mage as a Blood Mage, Morrigan might be best as AoE (area of effect) elemental support or a spirit healer. But if you choose one of the other mage specializations, warrior, or rogue, Morrigan can be an amazingly effective 2nd DPS party member.
This Shapeshifting Blood Mage build allows Morrigan to cast A0E spells, rack up Blood Mage DPS, and then transform to Flying Swam to continue the damage and regain enough health to get back to being a Blood Mage.
Shapeshifting gets a bad rap, but that’s mostly because players don’t understand how to use it. Mages serve three prime functions: obliterate, disable, support. Shapeshifting can never excel at any of these functions, so it’s most effective when it complements a focused mage playstyle.
After any generalized mage uses all her mana, she can shapeshift to create another tank. A mage focused on Primal spells will have an effective means for dealing with aggro. A mage focused on Creation can mete out some tremendous DPS in the bear or spider form. However, used correctly as part of this build, Shapeshifting will get your Blood Mage back to casting blood spells.
Since Blood Mage draws on health to power spells instead of mana, your first aim should be to end the battle quickly before Morrigan’s health drops too low to sustain her spells. This is where her Blood Wound spell really shines and can turn the tide of the battle. It does a lot of damage and can paralyze any enemy who doesn’t make the physical resistance check. Further, and unlike most AoE spells, it hits multiple enemies without damage to the party members.
If Morrigan’s health drops too low, she shapeshifts to Flying Swarm. Swarm is a living AoE spell and ignores spell resistance. Further, the Master Shapeshifter skill allows her to gain back health while inflicting nature damage on her enemies. This skill alone puts the Morrigan Build on equal footing with any DPS fighter. Once she’s back to full health, switch back to Blood Mage.
Bear & Spider: While fun to shift early in the game, these won’t be as useful once she can access Flying Swarm.
You won’t be able to run this Morrigan Build on your very first playthrough. You can only unlock the Blood Mage specialization when your primary character is a mage. However, once it’s unlocked, it will stay unlocked for future games.
For Blood Mage, you need to stack points into willpower and magic, to cast sustained spells and get the benefit of higher spellpower, respectively. As a Shapeshifter, Morrigan’s forms use spellpower to determine their attributes and attack power. For the Morrigan Build, use a pure magic approach.
Morrigan at Level 25: (she starts at level 7)
Strength: 14 (14) | Dexterity: 16 (16) | Willpower: 25 (21) | Magic: 60 (24) | Cunning: 16 (12) | Constitution: 20 (10)
Health: 231 | Mana: 190 | Attack: 57.4 | Spellpower: 50 | Mental Resist: 35.5 | Physical Resist: 10
Master Survival – requires 16 cunning
Master Combat Training – the description says it all, “Mages can take more damage from an attack before it interrupts their spellcasting.”
Morrigan starts with Herbalism and Combat Tactics. Use the remaining point in either of these lines.
Arcane – Master 1-4, for Arcane Mastery and permanent spellpower bonus
Primal – Fire 1-3, Earth 1-2, Cold 1-3, for Cone of Cold
Creation – Healing 1, for Heal, especially if there is no other Creation mage in the party
Spirit – Mana 1-4
Entropy – Sleep 1-4
This should leave 4 spell points.
Shapeshifter 1-4, for Master Shapeshifter to increase damage and attack
Blood Mage 1-3, for Blood Wound. This is arguably one of the most over-powered spells in the game.
Weapons & Armor
These are the recommended weapons, armor, and accessories for the Morrigan Build. Note that the Blood Mage attributes do not stack, so the Blood Ring is the best accessory. Also, these items are all found in the original game, without needing DLCs.
- Main: Staff of Magister Lord
While Blood Mage doesn’t quite need mana regen, the other attributes are prime.
Damage: 4.8 | Range: 58 | Spellpower: 7 | +6 Willpower | +4 Mana regen in combat
+6 Spellpower | +10% fire | +10% spirit
- Second: Ser Jory’s Balanced Greatsword
The only sword with no strength requirement. Attacks in shifted form depend on the current weapon.
Damage: 11 | Armor Penetration: 3 | Critical Chance: 1.50%
- Robes: Robes of Possession (restricted to Morrigan) or Archon Robes (health regen in battle)
- Gloves: Silk Weave Gloves (+20% nature damage in Flying Swarm form)
- Boots: Magus War Boots (+12 defense)
- Hat: Reinforced Magus Cowl (+2 willpower, +20 mental resistance, -1 dexterity)
- Belt: Belt of the Magister Lords (+3 spellpower)
- Amulet: Lifedrinker (+4 spellpower)
- 1st Ring: Lifegiver (health regen, in & out of battle, +10 Con, +3 Armor, 20% healing effects received)
- 2nd Ring: Blood Ring (reduces health cost by 25% while Blood Magic is active, +5 spirit damage)
- Arcane Technique Tome: +1 spell
Pros & Cons
- In battle, the Morrigan Build cycles between Blood Mage and Flying Swarm, which keeps her alive and casting spells.
- She is a more versatile companion: tanking or casting AoE as needed.
- When damaged by an enemy, Swarm’s mana drains instead of hit points. No problem for a Blood Mage.
- With extra spell points, grab Haste from the Creation tree. Hasted Swarm adds genuine delight as she literally swarms around enemies for maximum hits.
- Morrigan has Shapeshifter as her level 7 specialization. So, like the other companions, she can’t take Blood Mage as a second specialization until level 14.
- Sustained spells disengage when Morrigan shapeshifts.
- If Morrigan is the only mage in your party, you may suffer if she doesn’t take Heal.
- This build needs careful Tactics customization, so that Morrigan doesn’t die from lack of health. Create an action that if she falls below 50% Health, she casts Flying Swarm. Set another action to Deactivate Flying Swarm when her mana is down to 10%. This should keep her in the Blood Mage-Shapeshifting loop.
The Shapeshifting Blood Mage is a great build for Morrigan. Upon entering combat, Morrigan blasts everything with an AoE spell or Blood Wound. When she’s out of health or draws too much aggro, she shapeshifts into Flying Swarm to impart damage and heal. Once she’s healed, she’s back in Blood Mage mode and dealing more hurt. Easy-peasy.