Dragon Age: Inquisition - How to Play as a Warrior - Prima Games

Dragon Age: Inquisition – How to Play as a Warrior

by Bryan Dawson

There are two different ways to play as a warrior in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Both warrior types focus on Strength as their primary statistic, but the secondary statistic varies depending on which type of warrior you choose to play as. For the most part, warriors will tank or dish out a lot of damage. You need at least one tank in your party to take hits from the enemies you’re fighting, but with four slots available in your party, having a second warrior that focuses on damage is not out of the question.

The two-handed weapon warrior starts with Mighty Blow and War Cry, while the sword and shield warrior starts with Payback Strike and War Cry. The four main warrior skill sets are Weapon and Shield, Two-Handed Weapon, Battlemaster and Vanguard. Weapon and Shield focuses on defensive abilities, Two-Handed Weapon is very offensive, Battlemaster focuses on defensive abilities with more attention on agility and Vanguard has a good mix of offensive and defensive abilities.

Paladin Warrior

Recommended Skills (in order of priority): War Cry > Payback Strike > Shield Wall > Untouchable Defense > Chevalier’s Step > Call to Arms > Bear Mauls the Wolves > Challenge > It’ll Cost You > Unbowed > Grappling Chain > Shield Bash > Turn the Blade > Turn the Bolt > Still Standing > Give Them the Boot > Trust the Steel > Cutting Words > Bodyguard

Strength is the primary stat for any warrior, but for a Paladin Warrior your secondary focus should be on Cunning and Constitution. Cunning increases your defense and Constitution increases your health. These are two very important stats for a Paladin Warrior because they serve as the tank of the party.

The tank gets the attention of the attacking enemies and takes as much of the damage as possible, keeping the rest of the party safe from harm. Taunt abilities such as War Cry and Challenge are extremely important to get the attention of enemies, while Shield Wall and Untouchable Defense are some of the few techniques that help bolster the Paladin Warrior’s defense.

As a Paladin Warrior, you must pay attention to every enemy on the battlefield. If the enemy isn’t attacking you, that means it’s attacking one of your other party members. Chances are your party only consists of a single Paladin Warrior, meaning every other party member lacks the defense and health points to take repeated attacks and live to see the end of the battle. You need to be able to Challenge and War Cry every enemy on the battlefield, and use Grappling Chain and other similar techniques if enemies get away from you.

Best Skills


  • Skill Set: Vanguard
  • Effect Duration: 15 seconds
  • Reflected Damage: 50 percent
  • Cooldown: 24 seconds
  • Cost: 35 stamina

Bodyguard (also known as Cover in other games) allows the Paladin Warrior to take some of the damage intended for another party member. For example, if your mage is being attacked, you can use Bodyguard and a portion of the damage the mage takes during the duration of the ability is directed toward the Paladin Warrior instead. As the Paladin Warrior should have the best defense in the party, this is a very good technique to keep the other party members safe from harm.


  • Skill Set: Vanguard
  • Guard: 10 percent
  • Cooldown: 16 seconds
  • Cost: 20 stamina

Challenge and War Cry are very similar. Both techniques taunt an enemy, drawing their attention to the Paladin Warrior and increasing your guard. The difference is that Challenge requires less stamina and runs on a shorter cooldown timer. That means you can use Challenge more often than War Cry, especially when your stamina is running low. This is extremely helpful during longer boss battles or battles against large groups of enemies.

Grappling Chain

  • Skill Set: Battlemaster

Grappling Chain pulls a target toward the Paladin. It has one very specific use. When a mage or other ranged attacker is getting hit, use Grappling Chain to pull the target toward you. When combined with any taunting technique, this works well to pull enemies off of your mages and rogues.

It’ll Cost You

  • Skill Set: Vanguard
  • Reflected Damage: 15 percent

It’ll Cost You is one of the defensive skills that adds a bit of offensive power to a Paladin Warrior. Any melee attack targeted at the Paladin Warrior deflects 15 percent of the damage back on the attacker. This is especially useful during boss battles when the attacks are generally much stronger. It’s one of the few techniques that allow a Paladin Warrior to be offensive while still maintaining a defensive focus.

Shield Wall

  • Skill Set: Weapon and Shield

A Paladin Warrior is all about defense and increasing your guard. Shield Wall is a great way to increase your guard, especially against bosses. Shield Wall essentially blocks any attack, and the more powerful the attack, the more guard you’re awarded with. Add in Chevalier’s Step and you can move around easier while using Shield Wall, making this defensive ability even more formidable.

Turn the Blade

  • Skill Set: Weapon and Shield

This technique is strictly defensive. It provides a 20 percent damage reduction to any attack coming from the front. This works especially well when coupled with Turn the Bolt and Bear Mauls the Wolves. Turn the Bolt reduces ranged damage from the front by 50 percent, and Bear Mauls the Wolves prevents opponents from flanking you, making a vast majority of attacks hit from the front. With these three abilities combined, you can drastically reduce the damage inflicted upon your Paladin Warrior.

Untouchable Defense

  • Skill Set: Vanguard

Untouchable Defense is fairly straightforward. It gives your maximum guard a boost of 25 percent. The more guard you have, the more protected your Paladin Warrior is against incoming attacks, and the longer they’ll survive the battle at hand.

War Cry

  • Skill Set: Vanguard
  • Guard: 20 percent per enemy taunted
  • Cooldown: 24 seconds
  • Cost: 35 stamina

War Cry is one of the Paladin Warrior’s taunt abilities. It draws the attention of nearby enemies to the Paladin Warrior and away from other party members. In addition, it gives the Paladin Warrior 20 percent guard for each enemy that’s taunted, making this an extremely powerful tool when fighting against large groups of enemies.

Barbarian Warrior

Recommended Skills (in order of priority): Mighty Blow > War Cry > Easy Target > Block and Slash > Flow of Battle > Pommel Strike > Shield Breaker > Whirlwind > Guard-Smasher > Grappling Chain > Crippling Blows > Clear a Path > Earthshaking Strike > Coup de Grace

As a Barbarian Warrior, your primary job is to inflict as much damage as possible. You should focus on Strength as your primary stat, with Critical Chance as your secondary stat. You want to land as many critical hits as possible to increase your damage output.

Your defense is decent because you’re a warrior, but the Barbarian Warrior should not be the primary tank in the party unless you’re running two or three mages (all equipped with Barrier spells). There are enough classes and sub-classes in the game that you can dish out significant damage without the need of a tank that’s equally damaging.

If you use a Barbarian Warrior as a tank and he dies, you will be in serious trouble. However, if you have a Paladin Warrior as a tank and a Barbarian Warrior as a damage dealer, the Barbarian Warrior can temporarily tank if the Paladin goes down unexpectedly. Through the natural course of leveling up, your Barbarian will acquire some tanking skills, but knocking enemies down and scoring critical hits should be your primary focus.

Best Skills

Crippling Blows

  • Skill Set: Battlemaster
  • Effect Duration: 10 seconds

Barbarian Warriors focus on Strength first, but Critical Chance is the top priority after Strength. With every critical hit the damage output of the target is reduced by 15 percent. The effect only lasts a short time, but it can be stacked on top of itself. If you can land multiple critical hits in a short time you can drastically reduce the damage output of the target.  In addition, unlocking the ability grants the Barbarian Warrior +3 Strength to inflict more damage overall.

Mighty Blow

  • Skill Set: Two-Handed Weapon
  • Damage: 200 percent of weapon damage
  • Cooldown: 16 seconds
  • Cost: 50 stamina

The more your enemies are knocked down, the better off you are as a Barbarian Warrior. Mighty Blow inflicts significant damage and knocks the target down. It costs a decent amount of stamina, but it’s well worth it to score a knockdown on the opponent.

Pommel Strike

  • Skill Set: Two-Handed Weapon
  • Damage: 300 percent of weapon damage
  • Effect Duration: 3 seconds
  • Cooldown: 20 seconds
  • Cost: 35 stamina

Not only is Pummel Strike a highly damaging technique, it also stuns an opponent for three seconds. While the primary job of a Barbarian Warrior is not to stun a target, this helps the party as a whole and deals damage at the same time. A stunned opponent can’t attack, which means the Paladin Warrior isn’t taking damage and the mages and rogues aren’t being interrupted.

Shield Breaker

  • Skill Set: Two-Handed Weapon
  • Effect Duration: 6 seconds

As you play through Dragon Age: Inquisition, you’ll come across a good number of enemies that have armor. Shield Breaker is one of the few techniques that can break through that armor. It reduces a target’s armor by 20 percent for the duration of the ability. You also gain +3 Strength when it’s unlocked, allowing your Barbarian Warrior to inflict more damage overall.

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