First of all, welcome to the first in a series of lore discussions surrounding the specializations in the Dragon Age games.
In this topic I will be exploring the Arcane Warrior Specialization as seen in Dragon Age Origins. This specialization has proved difficult to find much lore on and as such will likely be one of the shorter discussions on specializations I do. However, I hope that by the end of this I have helped you gain some more in sight into the Arcane Warrior.
The history of the Arcane Warriors is an ancient one which dates back to the times of the ancient elves of Alrathan. Solas mentions that Arcane warriors were elite guardsman often serving elven nobility as champions or guards. The formal name for the techniques used by Arcane Warriors is Dirth'ena Enasalin. Which translates to, knowledge that led to victory. It is said that many of the skills Knight Enchanters use are derived from this ancient elven technique.
What is an Arcane Warrior?
Put simply an Arcane Warrior is a mage who has learned how to best adapt their magic into martial combat. They are able to channel their magical strength into their weapons, augment their defences with powerful spells and are able to use armours and weapons like no other magic user can. It is not uncommon for an Arcane Warrior to be able to match the raw damage of a warrior or rogue character when levelled properly.
Combat Magic: Combat magic allows the Arcane Warrior to channel their magic into their weapons letting them use spell power to determine attack damage.
Aura of Might: This passive ability further boosts the benefiets of combat magic. As well as giving the mage bonuses to defence.
Shimmering Shield: This is an extremely effective ability for the Arcane warrior to use when faced with overwhelming numbers of foes. Shimmering Shield grants major bonuses to armour and elemental resistances but at the cost of a constant mana (magicka) drain.
Fade Shroud: The Arcane Warrior can tap into the raw essence of the fade allowing them to become ethereal whilst Combat Magic is active. The Fade Shroud grants a bonus to mana regeneration and a chance to avoid attacks.
Synergy with other Magic Schools
The Arcane Warrior makes for an extremely fierce combatant but in my personal experience, it shines most when using sustainable skills. The high fatigue generated from Combat Magic (Arcane Warrior) makes spell casting extremely costly. Some great sustainable skills include; Miasma( Entropy) school, which lowers the attack and defence of nearby enemies and also slows them. Rock Armor (Primal) provides an additional armour boost. Both Death Magic (Entropy) and Death Siphon (Spirit) can be extremely useful at passively managing health and mana. Spell Shield (Spirit) can be extremely effective when facing other magic users. And Arcane Shield (Arcane) provides an additional buff to defence.
An Arcane Warrior who also Specializes in Blood magic can be an extremely effective adversary as they can use their significant health pool to fuel their spells. The Blood Wound spell is very effective at creating threat and also effects a wide area, which is great for pulling heat off of your less stoic party members.
Assembling a party When choosing a party I have found it is good to have a Tank Sword and Shield Warrior, a Rogue Archer and Support/Healing Mage, with The Arcane Warrior acting as an off Tank and passive debilitator. A party made up like this will easily be able to handle any situation and offers great survivability on any difficulty.
And that brings us to the end of the Arcane Warrior discussion. Thanks for dropping by. If you have any questions about the topic or other Dragon Age related ideas please jump into the comments section and share your thought’s.
Until next time - Furrion