Dragon Age: Inquisition - High Dragon Side Quests Guide and Tips - Prima Games

Dragon Age: Inquisition – High Dragon Side Quests Guide and Tips

by Bryan Dawson

There are 10 High Dragons in Dragon Age: Inquisition. All of the dragons share a few common attacks, while some have a few unique abilities described in each enemy encounter below. It’s highly recommended that your party consist of three mages and one sword and shield warrior for all of the battles unless otherwise stated. This gives you the ability to have a Barrier spell up at all times, shielding your party from the dragon’s attacks.

For melee fighters such as warriors and rogues without ranged strikes, watch out for attacks from the dragon’s limbs and tail. Most of the dragons telegraph these attacks by lifting their limbs beforehand. As soon as you see a limb rise into the air, move any party members in close proximity. In addition, keep as many combatants as possible around the sides and back of the High Dragons to avoid their flame breath attacks.

Each High Dragon has a specific elemental resistance and weakness. To improve your chances of bringing down these beasts, equip your party with armor that protects against the elemental resistance, and weapons that inflict damage based on the elemental weakness. In some cases the weakness will be spirit damage, which generally means you need to equip a rune to your weapons.

It’s very beneficial to go into each battle with a full Focus meter, ready to use a Mark of the Rift or a Healing Focus should you need it. When the dragonling enemies spawn, which happens in almost every High Dragon battle, take them down as quickly as possible before shifting your focus back to the High Dragon.

High Dragon: The Ferelden Frostback

Location: Hinterlands
Recommended Level: 10+
Elemental Resistance: Fire
Elemental Weakness: Ice

Head into Lady Shayna’s Valley and make your way north. You have to deal with dragonling enemies, as well as a constant barrage of flame attacks from the Frostback. Take down the dragonlings as quickly as you can and make your way north to confront the High Dragon. The fight takes place in the center of the Blood Cliffs area.

When the battle begins, move your warrior into position in front of Ferelden and your mages behind the High Dragon. Make sure your mages are all equipped with Barrier spells and alternate between the three of them. Doing so should allow you to have a Barrier spell active on the warrior at all times. If you find yourself with cooldown on all three Barrier spells at once, you may need to manually cast each spell to ensure one is available when you need it. Pay close attention to the health of each Barrier so you know when you’ll need to cast the next one.

If you wish to avoid as much damage as possible, wait for the High Dragon to rear back, indicating a flame attack is coming. Have your warrior block or move to either side to avoid taking damage. Of course, if you have a Barrier spell active on the warrior, you don’t need to worry about this as much. If you opted to go with any other close-range attackers, they all need to move when this happens.

Periodically you’ll have to face additional dragonlings. By this time, your warrior should have the attention of the High Dragon, so shift over to the dragonlings and taunt them. If this is difficult for you, make sure every party member has a Barrier spell active on them. This may require you to move all four party members close to each other depending on your party configuration. It is extremely important that the dragonlings die as quickly as possible. You do not want to deal with them and the High Dragon at once.

When the High Dragon roars, it stuns your entire party. With the recommended party configuration this shouldn’t be a big issue, as only the warrior will take damage and should have an active Barrier spell. However, if the dragonlings are around when this happens, it can cause a problem. Yet another reason why they need to be dealt with quickly.

If the High Dragon flaps her wings, you won’t be able to attack it much during this time. Your warrior and other melee attackers will get knocked backwards, and most ranged attacks will have limited effectiveness. Just wait this period out and resume attacking once it’s over.

High Dragon: The Vinsomer

Location: Storm Coast
Recommended Level: 13+
Elemental Resistance: Lightning
Elemental Weakness: Spirit

Head to Dragon Island to face off against Vinsomer. You can reach Dragon Island by taking a boat from Daerwin’s Mouth. This fight is very similar to the battle against Ferelden. Once again you have to deal with dragonlings, so make sure they are taken down as quickly as possible. Keep your mages and other ranged attackers behind the High Dragon and as far away as possible. She will take fight and shorten that distance quickly, so be ready to move again if this happens.

In addition to everything you had to deal with during the Ferelden fight, watch Vinsomer’s neck. It starts to show signs of electricity, which intensifies as the battle continues. When it reaches critical mass, make sure none of your ranged attackers (or anyone other than your warrior) are in front of Vinsomer’s head. The electrical blast that follows can be devastating, but it’s easily avoided so long as you pay attention to the positioning of Vinsomer’s head when the electricity reaches critical mass.

High Dragon: The Northern Hunter

Location: Crestwood
Recommended Level: 13+
Elemental Resistance: Lightning
Elemental Weakness: Spirit

The Northern Hunter can be found in the castle ruins of the Black Fens. Rogues do not perform well during this battle, so leave them at Skyhold if at all possible. If you must run with a rogue, don’t rely on their abilities that require specific positioning and make sure they have ranged attack options. This is one of the few fights in which three warriors isn’t a bad option.

Unlike the other High Dragons, the Northern Hunter cannot be taunted, meaning she will attack any party member at will, generally the party member inflicting the most damage. That could be bad news for well-equipped mages and rogues, so stay on your toes. This is why three warriors is a valid option, because they have significantly higher defense than the other classes.

Aside from the inability to use taunts against the Northern Hunter, this fight is virtually identical to the battle against Vinsomer. Pay attention to the electricity around her neck and move away from her head when it hits critical mass. If you opt to go with a three warrior, one mage party, make sure your mage keeps Barrier active as often as possible and has Healing Focus ready as a last resort if your party is dying. Revival and Life Ward are also very good skills to have during this battle.

The Abyssal High Dragon

Location: The Western Approach
Recommended Level: 14+
Elemental Resistance: Fire
Elemental Weakness: Ice

Complete all of Frederic’s quests in the Western Approach region, then head south to the Wastes and set down the five lures you’ve obtained to call forth the Abyssal High Dragon. While you want to maintain a similar formation as the other High Dragon battles, with the warrior in front of the dragon and all ranged attackers behind at maximum range, it’s imperative to equip as much fire resistance as possible for your ranged attackers. The Abyssal High Dragon shoots fireballs at random party members and can quickly destroy your party if you’re not prepared.

The Abyssal High Dragon uses the same attacks as the other High Dragons, but when she flaps her wings, move your ranged attackers in so you can continue your assault. Once you down the High Dragon, head back to Frederic to complete his line of quests.

High Dragon: The Gamordan Stormrider

Location: The Exalted Plains
Recommended Level: 11+
Elemental Resistance: Lightning
Elemental Weakness: Spirit

Head to Crow Fens and the Gamordan Stormrider High Dragon will head north to the battlefield. The fight takes place around a body of water. As a lightning-based High Dragon, it’s very important to stay out of the water or you’ll be stunned more often than not. In addition, Gamordan Stormrider cannot be taunted, which means that warriors and close-range attackers are not particularly effective in this battle.

Your best party makeup is the standard three mage Barrier rotation with either a rogue or fourth mage to fill the final spot. Equip your party with electricity resistant gear and keep a Barrier spell active at all times to limit the damage inflicted by the random attacks of Gamordan Stormrider. Otherwise, this battle is fairly similar to the other High Dragon fights.

High Dragon: The Greater Mistral

Location: Emerald Graves
Recommended Level: 15+
Elemental Resistance: Ice
Elemental Weakness: Fire

Make your way to the far north portion of the Emerald Graves to encounter this beast. Most of her attacks are similar to the other High Dragons except for her wind vortex. This attack damages any party member who is not right next to the Greater Mistral. This causes the normal party makeup of three mages and a warrior to be far less useful. Instead, opt for the reverse party configuration of three warriors and one mage. Preferably, you have one sword and shield warrior and two warriors with two-handed weaponry to maximize your damage.

Before you head into battle, equip your party with ice (cold) resistant gear and remove any weaponry that inflicts ice damage, as it will be ineffective against the Greater Mistral. Fire-based weaponry is your focus here, so you can inflict as much damage as possible. You don’t need to worry about any dragonlings during this battle, but the Greater Mistral will take flight and shower your party with ice blasts.

Since you have to stay in close when the Greater Mistral is grounded, watch out for her close-range attacks. These are all telegraphed by raising the limb that’s about to attack, but you may have to switch to the party member in danger and move them if the AI isn’t smart-enough to do that on its own. Using the tactical camera for this battle isn’t necessary, but it’s not a bad idea, especially if you need more time to maneuver your party to avoid the Greater Mistral’s attacks.

Finally, have attacks ready that will break the Greater Mistral’s guard, as you’ll often be faced with a full guard meter you need to break through. If you’re not prepared it will lengthen the battle considerably.

High Dragon: The Sandy Howler

Location: Hissing Waters
Recommended Level: 18+
Elemental Resistance: Fire
Elemental Weakness: Ice

The Sandy Howler sleeps in front of the Tomb of Fairel. If you have a Mark of the Rift available it’s a good way to begin the battle. Otherwise, this is a fairly standard High Dragon fight. Make sure your party has skills or attacks that will quickly wear down a guard meter, or this fight can get pretty long.

Like the other High Dragon battles, have your mages keep a Barrier spell active as often as possible. If you’re running with three mages this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you opted for fewer mages, wait until the Sandy Howler uses her wind attack (which damages all party members at close range), then protect your melee classes with it.

When the dragonlings begin to spawn, it’s imperative that you kill them off as quickly as you can. Ignore the Sandy Howler if you have to. If you let the dragonlings linger, they’ll begin to overrun your party as more dragonlings are called into battle.

Breeding Grounds (Emprise du Lion side quest)

As if the red templar/mage occupation isn’t enough, dragons moved into the region. So far, only a few high dragons have been spotted: a Hivernal, a Kaltenzahn and a Highland Ravager. But if they breed, the presence of these unique and powerful beasts could prove an even greater threat to the local population than the templars and mages.

Starting NPC: Baron Edouard Desjardins
Requirements: Complete the quest Capturing Suledin Keep
Reward: +1,324 XP, +600 Influence, +2 Power Level

Quest Objectives:

  • Slay the Highland Ravager
  • Slay the Kaltenzahn
  • Slay the Hivernal

There are three High Dragons in the Emprise du Lion region. You must defeat all three of them to complete the Breeding Grounds side quest listed above.

High Dragon: The Hivernal

Location: Emprise du Lion
Recommended Level: 17+
Elemental Resistance: Ice
Elemental Weakness: Fire

This battle is very similar to the Greater Mistral battle. Have skills and attacks ready to break the Hivernal’s guard meter, and stay on the move when it takes flight to avoid a barrage of icy airborne attacks. In addition, the Hivernal cannot be taunted, which means a party of three warriors can potentially be more effective than a mage-based party. This is especially true if your mages and ranged attackers are not well-geared to take ice damage.

While this is the easiest of the three Emprise du Lion High Dragon battles, it’s important to have as much cold resistance gear as possible. The Hivernal will fire a blast of ice at a random party member, which could potentially freeze them and may result in death if you’re not prepared for it. Make sure your mage has Revival just in case your cold-resistant gear isn’t up to the task.

High Dragon: The Kaltenzahn

Location: Emprise du Lion
Recommended Level: 19+
Elemental Resistance: Ice
Elemental Weakness: Fire

When facing off against the Kaltenzahn, you can use the same three warrior, one mage party that you probably used to battle against the Hivernal. You still need to equip your party with fire-based weaponry and armor that protects against ice damage, as well as skills and attacks that can reduce her guard meter.

This is very similar to the Hivernal battle, but it’s important to clear out the dragonlings as quickly as possible when they spawn.  Every time Kaltenzahn uses the roar that stuns your party, dragonlings spawn. That means you may have to fend off multiple groups of dragonlings if you can’t kill each group fast enough. Save your Mark of the Rift attack until Kaltenzahn is grounded.

High Dragon: The Highland Ravager

Location: Emprise du Lion
Recommended Level: 20+
Elemental Resistance: Fire
Elemental Weakness: Ice

Before you engage the sleeping Highland Ravager, you need to make some adjustments from the last two battles. This is not a cold-based dragon like the other Emprise du Lion encounters. You need to equip ice-based weaponry and fire-resistant armor to improve your chances of success. This is the strongest of the three High Dragons in the region, so your armor and weapon adjustments could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Unlike the other High Dragons, when the Highland Ravager uses her wind barrier attack, it inflicts damage to any party members close to her. This means you should switch back to a three mage, one warrior party configuration. Keep your mages at maximum casting range and make sure they maintain a Barrier spell on the warrior as often as possible.

When the Highland Ravager rears back and screams, flame circles appear on the ground. Move away from these as quickly as you can to avoid the eruption that follows. In addition, keep a close eye on your mages, as the Highland Ravager likes to move around the battlefield quite a bit. Your warrior should automatically follow her, but sometimes the AI won’t move your mages away in time.

Like Kaltenzahn, kill off the dragonlings as soon as they spawn. If you don’t, you risk getting overrun by multiple groups of dragonlings. Defeat all three High Dragons in Emprise du Lion to complete the Breeding Grounds quest.

Return to the Dragon Age: Inquisition Walkthrough.

Get amazingly detailed maps with all collectables labled plus how to influence character relationships in this 350+ page, 100% complete, official strategy guide.

Plus, the Collector’s Edition guide includes the following 3 digital in-game items – Mount, Ring, and Multiplayer Chest! Get your copy today!