by: Rob Kentworth
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/18/2012
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A guide for the Warrior class in Dragon Age 2. An introduction to the class is provided, alongside details on what the various attributes do for the class. In addition, the various skill trees are detailed and what the abilities do is described.
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Dragon Age 2 Warrior Guide: Class Introduction
The Warrior class in Dragon Age 2 can either be a damage dealer or a 'tank'. The class itself has access to most weapon types with the exception of staffs and ranged weapons. In addition, the Warrior can equip the heaviest of armors plus they have the ability to equip shields that also give an armor bonus. It's also important to note that you won't be able to dual-wield weapons.
If you're wanting a tank character, then you'll definitely want to invest in the Weapon and Shield skill tree. You'll also want to invest at least a few points in the Warmonger skill tree to gain access to Taunt. Apart from that, the Defender skill tree is quite appealing and the Battlemaster skill tree contains a few abilities that will help you hold the attention of enemies.
If you're wanting to use the Warrior as a damage dealer, then you'll definitely want to invest points into the Two Handed weapons skill tree. You'll also want to purchase skills from the Vanguard skill tree. You may also want to invest a few points in the Battlemaster skill tree, as some of the skills boost your stamina regeneration.
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Dragon Age 2 Warrior Guide: Useful Attributes for the Warrior
As with the other two classes, the Warrior has several attributes that are quite useful. However, you probably won't be able to boost all to satisfactory levels and this is partly where sustained abilities enter the equation. You should pick sustainable abilities that help whichever statistic, such as attack and defense, is lacking if possible.
As far as what the recommended attributes are, it depends on what type of character you want. First of all, strength and constitution are needed to wear the strongest armor. Next, you need to boost cunning if you don't want your Warrior to be hit often (it also increases your critical hit chance). Strength also boosts your damage and increases your attack rating, which determines your chance to hit enemies. If you want to cause critical hits a lot as well, you'll need to boost dexterity. Constitution also increases your health points and willpower increases your stamina. Keep in mind that your health and stamina pools don't increase with levelling anymore as well.
With the introduction and attributes covered for the Warrior, the skill trees are detailed on the next few pages.
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A Guide to the Warrior Class in Dragon Age 2: Weapon and Shield Skill Tree
This skill tree is pretty much essential if you want to play a tank. Certainly on higher difficulties at least. Lets take a look at each of the skills in the tree, along with their respective upgrades.
Shield Defense: Shield Defense will help you withstand attacks made by enemies attacking from the front but it also lessens the amount of damage done. It's a nice skill to take, but it's perhaps best to use it only when you don't need to create extra threat by causing more damage. Granted, you do have taunt abilities, but ideally, you don't want to have to taunt in order to get the attention of enemies.
The upgrade for the skill is called Shield Wall and this helps mitigate damage from rear attacks. It also helps with mitigating damage from the front. So, it's a nice upgrade to pick.
Perception: I'd recommend picking up Perception when possible because it'll further help reduce the damage taken when combined with Shield Defense and Shield Wall.
Safeguard: As with Perception, you can't go wrong taking Safeguard. You won't suffer large damage spikes with this ability if your armor is up to date with it eliminating critical hits.
Shield Bash: Shield Bash for me is the basic attack in the Weapon and Shield tree. It can be used to damage an enemy and knock them back, but don't expect it to produce any spectacular results. However, with the Pummel upgrade, it can stagger enemies. This helps to make it better at least.
The other two skills you can take, Scatter and Assault, are highly recommended alongside their upgrades. This is because they can both affect multiple foes and knock them back, as well as deal nice damage.
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A Guide to the Warrior Class in Dragon Age 2: Two Handed Weapon Skill Tree
The Two Handed weapon skill tree is the one you'll want to pursue if you want to be dealing a fair amount of damage, rather than 'tanking' enemies to prevent them attacking the squishier characters in your party, like the mages. Below, the skills and their upgrades are detailed:
Mighty Blow: You should be familiar with this skill if you've played Dragon Age: Origins. \\the only difference is that it can hit more than one for some extra damage. It'll also be your main attack skill wise, when using two handed weapons.
With upgrades, the skill can deal more damage and it can also be made to deal large amounts of damage against brittle targets. All in all, the skill is definitely recommended alongside its upgrades.
Scythe: Scythe will send your character charging forward and gives them a chance to knock enemies down, while dealing damage. With the upgrade, it can deal quite a fair bit of damage against brittle targets.
Giant's Reach: This skill doesn't do much apart from give a passive range increase for your two-handed weapon attacks. It's a pre-req for Whirlwind, so you'll want to take this skill if going down the two-handed weapon skill tree.
Whirlwind: A really nice ability due to it being an area of effect attack with the added bonus of being able to knock enemies down. The upgrades are also great, so the ability and upgrades are recommended.
Sunder: If you're going to go down the two-handed weapon skill tree, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn't purchase this skill. It's passive and can stagger enemies, alongside increasing your basic critical chance.
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Dragon Age 2 Class Guide: Vanguard Skill Tree
The Vanguard skill tree is perhaps best combined with the Two-Handed Weapon skill tree because it is also designed to help you deal damage to enemies. So, lets take a look at the Vanguard tree's skills.
Control: The Control skill is a sustainable ability that increases your attack by a set amount, meaning you'll have a greater chance to hit enemies and cause more damage. The upgrade further helps damage and you'll possibly want the ability turned on while fighting with two-handed weapons.
Destroyer: You'll want to pick this ability up as soon as you can, especially if focusing on hitting the enemy with critical hits. Essentially, it lowers the amount of damage that the enemy mitigates.
Might: Might is another sustained skill and this time, it increases your damage. So, if you find your attack rating is high, switch to this ability instead. It also helps to boost your criticial hit damage when upgraded. At the end of the day, it depends on what attributes you've developed with regard to which sustainable ability you use. Granted, there's nothing stopping you using both sustainable abilities from the tree but you won't have a big pool of stamina to work with.
Cleave: This is a really nice ability and it's passive, though I imagine it's not that great on easy and possibly normal due to enemies having lower health/being more susceptible to damage. It lets you kill enemies automatically, below a certain threshold.
Assail: This is an activated ability that lasts for a couple of seconds and it's best used in conjunction with the Might sustainable ability as they compliment each other nicely. With the upgrade, it'll hit multiple enemies.
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Dragon Age 2 Class Guide: Defender Skill Tree
The Defender skill tree is most suitable for tank characters. The skills are detailed below.
Stonewall: Stonewall will make your character unable to attack during the skill's duration. However, it reduces the damage you take and does give the ability to knock enemies back. Overall, it's quite nice when you need to quickly lessen the amount of damage you're taking, so you can have a heal spell cast on your character. It's also handy to use if you're in trouble, but your potion cooldown is nearly up.
The upgrade makes it even more worthwhile.
Adamant: Adamant is a passive ability that decreases the damage you take across the board by 5%, so it's another handy ability.
Turn the Blade: This is a sustained ability, which increases your defense by 10%. If you're lacking defense for a tank, then you should definitely take the ability. The upgrades further boost the effect and also boost your fortitude. It's also a pre-req for Resilience, which will make your character immune to knockbacks. So, all in all, it's quite nice if you want to be immune to knockbacks or to have an extra boost to defense.
Resilience: As explained above, this passive ability makes you immune to knockback. So, if you find knockbacks are annoying you, pick it up.
Elemental Aegis: This will help you minimise the damage you take from magical spells, so pick it up along with the upgrades if you find you're taking too much damage from magic and the elements. I especially found that the Qunari spellcasters can cause a lot of damage on at least the hard difficulty.
Resolute: This reduces damage by a flat 10% when magic and the elements are concerned. As magic damage can be quite harmful, this ability and Elemental Aegis do come in handy.
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A Look at the Warmonger Skill Tree for the Warrior Class in Dragon Age 2
The Warmonger skill tree, even if you're not that interested in it should you be playing a tank character, does contain one essential skill for tanks and that is Taunt and its upgrades.
Pommel Strike: Pommel Strike stuns your enemies and it's also useful for tank characters because when it's used, it essentially resets everyone's threat level as far as the enemy that it's used on are concerned. With the upgrade, the cooldown will be lessened and the stun'll last longer, while staggering a target. All in all, it's a pretty nice skill though enemies can become resistant to stuns as you go up the difficulty levels.
Tremor: It's basically an AoE attack that can knock enemies backwards. With the upgrades, it can also stun and stagger them. It's another nice ability really.
Taunt: This is essential for tanks as it allows them to transfer all of the threat from enemies to themselves. Even if you only pick up one ability from this tree, make it this one and its upgrade.
Bravery: Another nice ability here, especially when the upgrades are taken. However, if you keep your warrior near the other party members, then you might be able to manage with the Battle Synergy ability from the Battlemaster skill tree when upgraded for generating threat and keeping enemies off other characters.
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A Look at the Battlemaster Skill Tree for the Warrior Class in Dragon Age 2
The Battlemaster skill tree consists of support and sustained abilities. It's a nice tree to invest points in.
Rally: Rally basically boosts the mana and stamina regeneration of all party members and this is especially handy if you let your characters expend their mana at an alarming rate. It also enables party members to gain the benefit of some of the warrior's sustained abilities, so it's useful for all types of characters. The upgrade is also nice.
Battle Synergy: This sustained skill boosts the defense of your party and with the upgrades, it enables the warrior to generate 50% of the threat from party members, while also decreasing the damage they take. By taking the Hero's Synergy upgrade though, characters will receive less damage while your warrior receives more. Another caveat is that you'll need to keep your warrior close to your party for the threat generation.
Bolster: A warrior can only regenerate stamina by killing enemies, so this is a nice ability as it helps negate that but the main reason you'll want to take the ability is to access Second Wind and Deep Reserves.
Deep Reserves: Deep Reserves is a passive ability that also boosts your stamina regeneration.
Second Wind: This is an activated ability that restores all of your stamina, so it's great for long fights. The upgrades also enable the skill to reduce the cooldown for other abilities and also the cooldown for Second Wind itself.
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Dragon Age 2 Warrior Specializations Guide: Templar Specialization Skill Tree
If you find you're having trouble with enemy spellcasters, then this is certainly the specialization to take. In addition to making you more effective against spellcasters offensively, the skill tree contains a passive ability that gives you 50% to magic resistance, which is really nice.
Cleanse: Cleanse allows you to dispel any enemy magic in effect, within a specific radius. Upgrades increase the radius and also give the ability to silence enemies, making them unable to cast for a short while.
Holy Smite: This activated ability deals spirit damage to enemies that are nearby. Upgrades make it more effective against demons and spellcasters, while also enabling it to have a 50/50 chance of stunning normal enemies.
Silence: This ability is guaranteed to prevent an enemy from casting spells for a short while. With the upgrade, you can use Silence more often.
Righteous Strike: This is a passive ability that gives each strike a low chance to prevent enemies from casting spells for a few seconds. Due to the low chance of triggering, you may not find it as useful as it could be, but it is a requirement for Annulment which is quite handy.
Annulment: As mentioned above, this passive ability is useful. It increases your magic resistance by 50%.
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Dragon Age 2 Warrior Specializations Guide: Reaver Specialization Skill Tree
The Reaver specialization helps you to deal damage and it can also heal you, but the healing is countered by the fact that your health will be drained by using the Reaver's abilities. Thanks to a passive ability, you'll also find you deal increased damage when your health is low.
Blood Frenzy: This passive ability increases the damage you deal, but it's dependant on how low your health bar is.
Devour: This activated ability allows you to attack a single enemy, dealing damage while also regaining some health. The upgrades allow it to deal more damage, stagger foes and also stun them with more health being regenerated. In addition, it becomes more effective against disoriented targets, while having a decreased cooldown.
Sacrificial Frenzy: This activated ability allows you to deal more damage, but it does lower your health. The upgrade reduces the ability's cooldown timer.
Aura of Pain: This is a sustainable ability and it deals damage to enemies at set intervals within a specific radius, though it also damages you. The upgrades increase the damage done and also reduce the damage you take by having the ability active.
Fervor: This is a passive ability that increases your attack speed for a short period of time after an enemy's death.
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Dragon Age 2 Warrior Specializations Guide: Berserker Specialization Skill Tree
The Berserker specialization tree is all about helping you deal damage, though you'll find your stamina is drained at the same time even without using abilities thanks to needing Berserk active to use the tree's abilities.
Berserk: This is a sustainable ability that increases the damage you deal at the cost of draining your stamina. The upgrades reduce how much stamina is consumed and also increase the damage done.
Adrenaline: This ability can only be activated if Berserk is active. It has a short cooldown timer and if activated in quick succession before the duration runs out, the effects stack. Basically, Adrenaline increases your damage. Upgrades increase your damage and eliminate the cooldown timer.
Barrage: This increases your attack speed for a period of time, but it does make you take more damage from attacks. Again, Berserk must be active for this to be used as well. Upgrades lessen the amount of damage you take and also increase the ability's duration.
Death Blow: Death Blow is a passive ability that helps you regain stamina upon the death of an enemy. The amount gained is dependant on the enemy's rank, such as normal or elite. It's handy because you'll be constantly draining your stamina as a Berserker.