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Dragon Age: Origins


Dual-Wielding Warrior Guide

by JohnSay

Dragon Age: Origins
Dual-Wielding Warrior Guide
by John Say, [email protected]
Copyright 2010 John Say


	1.0 Introduction aka. What the guide is all about
		1.1 What is the Dual-Wielding Warrior?
		1.2 DW Warriors vs. DW Rogues

	2.0 Building your DW Warrior
		2.1 Attributes
			2.1.1 Strength
			2.1.2 Dexterity
			2.1.3 Willpower
			2.1.4 Magic
			2.1.5 Cunning
			2.1.6 Constitution
			2.1.7 Allocating your Points
		2.2 Skills
			2.2.1 Coercion
			2.2.2 Stealing
			2.2.3 Trap-Making
			2.2.4 Survival
			2.2.5 Herbalism
			2.2.6 Poison-Making
			2.2.7 Combat Training
			2.2.8 Combat Tactics
		2.3 Talents
			2.3.1 Warrior Talents
			2.3.2 Dual-Wielding Talents
			2.3.3 Warden's Keep DLC Bonus Talents

		2.4 Specializations
			2.4.1 Berserker
			2.4.2 Champion
			2.4.3 Reaver
			2.4.4 Templar

		2.5 Race and Origins
			2.5.1 Human Noble
			2.5.2 City Elf
			2.5.3 Dalish Elf
			2.5.4 Dwarf Commoner
			2.5.5 Dwarf Noble

	3.0 Playing your Warrior in a nutshell
	4.0 Final Thoughts

	5.0 Credits, etc.

	6.0 Spoiler Section


ver 1.3, 07 March, 2010
- Added notes to Templar Specialization and Playing your Warrior sections
- Added notes to Dual Striking Talent
- Fixed some typographical errors

ver 1.2, 15 February, 2010
- Added a Main-Hand + Dagger option in the attributes section
- Added notes to Dalish Elves section

ver 1.1, 05 February, 2010
- Clarified certain parts by changing their wording
- Added notes on some talents

ver 1.0, 04 February, 2010
- Initial Release

Alright, welcome to the guide! I'm John, and welcome to my guide on Dual-
Wielding Warriors for Dragon Age: Orgins.  This is my first guide for DA:O.
I am writing the guide purely from a casual player's perspective, because,
let's face it, there isn't really any point to min-maxing in a single player

Having said that, however, it doesn't mean that we won't be optimizing
our character.  Of course, all I will be giving are recommendations, so you're
free to disagree with anything written here.  In fact, if you have your own
opinions, I'd appreciate the feedback.

One last thing, I tried my best to avoid having spoilers whenever I can.  For
those bits of info that I find relevant to the DW Warrior, but could possibly
be a spoiler to some people are compiled into their own section, so people can
avoid them if they want to.

Anywho, let's get on with it, shall we?

1.1 What is the Dual-Wielding Warrior?
Anyone who has played a Warrior in DA:O knows that Warriors have all the
talent trees for any weapon combination: 2-Handers, Dual Wielding, Archery
and Shield talents to be exact.  The name speaks for itself: A Dual-Wielding
Warrior (or DW Warrior) uses 2 one-hand weapons and invests in talents around
their use.  It is a very easy build to play, and perfect for those new to the

DW Warriors are primarily damage dealers.  They are terrible at tanking
compared to Weapon+Shield Warriors, and the jury is still out on what Character
class actually deals the most damage, but as I've said before, this guide is
not about min-maxing and more about having fun with the game, so it doesn't
really matter.  That being said, there is something worth mentioning before we
move on with the guide.

1.2 DW Warriors vs. DW Rogues
A lot of people might say "If you wanna DW, go with a Rogue."  There are a lot
of tempting reasons to go with a rogue over a DW Warrior.  I will go over the
various pros and cons between the 2 playstyles:

DW Rogue
+ Can open locked doors and chests and, detect and disarm traps
+ More criticals due to backstabbing
+ Stealth
- Damage is reliant on backstabbing which requires careful positioning, hence,
  idle moments while moving into position
- Typically low Armor, which pretty much means you're dead when you grab aggro
- Pretty much stuck with Dual Daggers when optimizing for damage

DW Warrior
+ No positioning required, which means you can go crazy right off the bat
+ Typically higher armor, which equates to better survivability
+ More weapon options, since they can afford to invest in Strength
- No backstabbing = Less criticals
- No Stealth
- No opening locks and disarming traps

Clearly, both playstyles have their merits.  Utility-wise, a DW Rogue is better
but has more complexity during play, so if you're anything like me and can't
really be bothered with all that, go with a DW Warrior.

As I have mentioned, the primary role of a DW Warrior is to deal damage, which
means we need to allocate our stats and skills with that role in mind.  We also
need to take note which race and origin we are going to start with, as it will
affect your starting attributes, skills and talents.

2.1 Attributes
Attributes define your Warrior in a big way.  They determine how much damage he
does, what equipment he can wear, and what talents and skills are available to
him.  I will describe each stat's effects and their relevance in building your

2.1.1 Strength (STR)
Strength increases damage from all weapons except crossbows and staves. It also
increases attack in melee by 0.5 per point, and physical resistance by 0.5 per
point.  It also makes Intimidation checks easier.  Most equipment and talents
require a certain amount of Strength in order for you to use them, so this will
be one of our primary attributes.

Depending on what equipment you'll be using, you'll either be putting all spare
points here, or take just enough for all your talents and equipment.

2.1.2 Dexterity (DEX)
Dexterity affects how often your attacks hit by increasing melee attack score
by 0.5 per point. It also increases damage from daggers.  Less importantly, it
also increases defense by 1 per point, and increases physical resistance by 0.5
per point.  Daggers and several weapon talents require a minimum Dexterity
score, so this is our other primary attribute.

Going with 2 daggers will make you want to add as much Dexterity as possible; 
otherwise, get enough for all your talents.

2.1.3 Willpower (WIL)
Willpower increases stamina by 5 per point and contributes to mental resis-
tance.  Basically, having more Willpower means you'll be able to use your abi-
lities more often.

This is where you'd have a little more freedom with your DW Warrior.  If you're
like me, who enjoys spamming abilities to kill stuff, a few points here won't
hurt.  Though keep in mind, using abilities won't trigger Elemental damage from
Runes and Mage Sustained Abilities, so deciding how much Willpower to go with
is a matter of taste.

2.1.4 Magic (MAG)
Magic increases spellpower by 1 per point, contributes to mental resistance, 
and increases effectiveness of potions, poultices, and salves.  None of these
really matter with your DW Warrior, so don't add any points in Magic

2.1.5 Cunning (CUN)
Cunning contributes to armor penetration & mental resistance, as well as make
Persuasion checks easier.  If you plan on getting the Coercion talents, get
enough Cunning for those skills, otherwise skip it.

2.1.6 Constitution (CON)
Constitution increases health by 5 per point and increases physical resistance
by 0.5 per point.  If you find yourself getting knocked out too often, you
might be tempted to put a few points here.  Personally, I think it's a waste
since paying attention to the battle is a much better option.

2.1.7 Allocating your Points

When determining final values for your attributes, take note that each spe-
cialization gives bonuses to your base attributes, which is directly added and
counts towards determining required stats for Skills, Talents and Equipment.
More on this will be discussed later.  You have the option of getting 2 Spe-
cializations, so keep their respective bonuses in mind when planning out your
Attribute allocation.

Also, certain items give bonuses to your Attributes.  While they do not count
towards the minimum Attribute requirements for Skills and Talents, they do
contribute to minimum requirements for Equipment.

There are 3 approaches in deciding where to put stats, and they differ based
on which weapons you plan on wielding:  Dagger + Dagger, Main Hand + Main Hand,
or Main Hand + Dagger.  I list down my recommended stats (counting bonus stats
from specializations) for both options below:


STR - 42
DEX - Max
WIL - Base or around 20-25
MAG - Base
CUN - Base or 16
CON - Base

Going for this option gives your Warrior the fastest possible auto-attack
speed, which means this path makes best use of Elemental damage from Runes and
Mage Sustained Abilities.  The downside is that this path has lower damage per
hit, which also translates to lower damage from abilities.  This works best
against single targets.

Since damage from daggers benefit from DEX, we would want it as high as
possible.  Going for high DEX also ensures that your attacks hit more often.
The heaviest armors require 42 STR, but you may need less if you don't plan on
wearing them.  Master Coercion requires 16 CUN, but you can skip it entirely if
you want.  Finally, tweak WIL to your liking.


DEX - 36
WIL - Base or around 20-25
MAG - Base
CUN - Base or 16
CON - Base

On the other side of the spectrum, going for Main-hand weapons gives you less
auto-attack speed in general, but makes up for it by showing you much bigger
numbers per hit.  You'd want to stick to a Sword/Sword, Axe/Axe or Sword/Axe
setup with this build since Maces aren't really that great IMO.  Your abilities
will also hit harder.  Keep in mind that you won't make as much use of Ele-
mental Damage since you're probably going to spam your abilities a lot more
than the 1st option.  However, your Area-of-Effect (AOE) damage will be much
higher with this path.

36 DEX will be enough to get all Dual Wielding talents.  STR contributes to
your damage so every extra point goes here.  Again, Master Coercion is optional
and WIL is left to your discretion.


DEX - 30
WIL - BASE or around 20-25
MAG - Base
CUN - Base or 16
CON - Base

The 3rd option is to go middle ground by equipping one main hand weapon and a
dagger on the off-hand.  This build makes better use of elemental damage runes
than using 2 main-hand weapons (since your off-hand is faster), and deals
slightly more damage with abilities than the dual dagger option (because of the
main-hand weapon).  However, being a hybrid build means you'll have to live
with the fact that you are sub-optimal at both auto-attacking and ability
spamming.  Still, as the point of this guide is not to min-max, it is still an
option to consider.

30 DEX is enough to wield Tier 7 Daggers in the off-hand, as well as get all
relevant talents.  Since damage from daggers also benefit from STR, we put all
spare points in it.  Finally, CUN and WIL are set to taste.

2.2 Skills
Skills are abilities that are designed to be used outside of combat.  As such,
they provide other benefits to your party, as well as give access to certain
items in the game.  Some quests also require you to have the corresponding
skill in order to start or complete.  In this section, I will briefly describe
each skill and what effects they have in your gameplay experience.

2.2.1 Coercion

Skill Levels:
- Coercion - Requires 10 CUN
- Improved Coercion - Requires 12 CUN
- Expert Coercion - Requires 14 CUN
- Master Coercion - Requires 16 CUN

This skill provides Intimidation and Persuasion options during dialogue. I've
always opted to get this whole tree, but some people can live without it.  It
makes for a better playing experience IMO so I suggest getting it.

2.2.2 Stealing

Skill Levels:
- Stealing - Requires 10 CUN
- Improved Stealing - Requires 12 CUN
- Expert Stealing - Requires 14 CUN
- Master Stealing - Requires 16 CUN

This skill gives a character the ability to pickpocket NPCs.  Leliana starts
with 3 levels of Stealing, so you're better off leaving most of the attempts to

2.2.3 Trap-Making

Skill Levels:
- Trap-Making
- Improved Trap-Making - Requires Level 4
- Expert Trap-Making - Requires Level 7
- Master Trap-Making - Requires Level 10

The first of the crafting skills enables characters to construct traps or lures
from common components, so long as they also possess a plan to build the me-
chanism.  The second and fourth rank of this skill also increase the range at
which the character can detect enemy traps.  Plans can be bought from NPC ven-
dors, or found.  Characters need at least 1 level in this skill in order to use
traps.  This can make for some interesting battle tactics with a Rogue, but
since you aren't one, why bother?

2.2.4 Survival

Skill Levels:
- Survival - Requires 10 CUN
- Improved Survival - Requires 12 CUN
- Expert Survival - Requires 14 CUN
- Master Survival - Requires 16 CUN

Having a character with this skill in your party enables you to detect the
presence of nearby creatures.  Additional levels improve the level of creatures
detected, and provide additional information.  Also adds Nature Resistance, and
Physical Resistance when maxed.  Pretty bad skill for anyone because it does
not give any relevant bonuses.

2.2.5 Herbalism

Skill Levels:
- Herbalism
- Improved Herbalism - Requires Level 4
- Expert Herbalism - Requires Level 7
- Master Herbalism - Requires Level 10

The second crafting skill, and IMO, the best one to have, enables the character
to create potions poultices, and salves.  As with Trap-Making, you need the
corresponding plan to create a particular item.  Having more Healing Poultices
and Mana Potions lying around is never a bad thing, while the other items can
be useful from time to time.  Morrigan starts with 2 levels of this, which
would make you want to leave all the potion-brewing to her.

2.2.6 Poison-Making

Skill Levels:
- Poison-Making
- Improved Poison-Making - Requires Level 4
- Expert Poison-Making - Requires Level 7
- Master Poison-Making - Requires Level 10

The 3rd and final crafting skill enables the character to craft poisons and
grenades.  At least 1 level of this skill is required for a character to use
poisons and grenades.  These items have certain interesting effects, but
they're not really a necessity.  Zevran starts with 3 levels of Poison-Making,
so leave the crafting to him if ever.

2.2.7 Combat Training

Skill Levels:
- Combat Training
- Improved Combat Training
- Expert Combat Training
- Master Combat Training

This skill unlocks the corresponding tiered weapon talents.  Get them as your
first priority.  'Nuff said.

2.2.8 Combat Tactics

Skill Levels:
- Combat Tactics - Requires 10 CUN
- Improved Combat Tactics - Requires 12 CUN
- Expert Combat Tactics - Requires 14 CUN
- Master Combat Tactics - Requires 16 CUN

This skill allows more script options in the tactics system.  If you're like me
and you're too lazy to micro-manage all your characters, then get this skill as
a second priority for your other party members.  If you enjoy combat party
management, then this isn't necessary.

2.3 Talents
Now to the meat of the build.  Talents define what your Warrior will be able to
accomplish.  In this section we will only be concerned with the Warrior and
Dual-Wielding Trees.  Shield, Two-Handed and Archery talents will be totally
ignored and thus are not going to be covered in this section.

2.3.1 Warrior Talents


Passively reduces fatigue, increases hit points and enables you to use heavier
armor with less penalty to ability usage.  Every Warrior should have this.


Increased threat while active.  This is a tank ability, and should almost never
be used.


Passive bonuses to damage, physical resistance, and mental resistance, as well
as a bonus to critical chance that increases proportionally if you engage more
than 2 enemies.  Does not stack with the Bard Ability Song of Courage.  I find
it to be a bit lackluster, but necessary if you want Death Blow.

Death Blow

If your warrior strikes the final blow, he regains some stamina.  Very tempting
but since you're forced to take 2 bad talents before it, I personally wouldn't
bother unless I have extra talent points lying around.

Precise Striking

Increases Attack and Critical Hit chance while active, at the cost of attack
speed.  Useful during the early game when Attack scores aren't that high yet,
but eventually will fall out of usefulness as your Warrior gets more powerful.


Increases threat to nearby foes on activation.  Don't use it unless you need to
off-tank (which is unlikely) or want to die quickly.  Sets up enemies for AoE
abilities, though.


Reduces threat to nearby enemies on activation.  Useful in some situations, but
careful aggro management makes this mostly unnecessary.

Perfect Striking

Gives +100 attack for 15 seconds when activated.  As with Death Blow, required
investment in 2 bad talents makes this a low priority.

2.3.2 Dual-Wielding Talents

Dual-Weapon Training

Your offhand weapon now deals damage closer to normal.  Yes please!

Dual-Weapon Finesse

Passive increase to attack and defense by 5 each.  Get it.

Dual-Weapon Expert

Increase critical chance by 2.5% and chance to make the target bleed.  Yet
another passive ability you have no reason not to get.

Dual-Weapon Mastery

Main-hand weapons (i.e. Swords, Axes and Maces) can now be equipped in the off-
hand.  Take it unless you plan on using dual daggers.

Dual Striking

While active, the Warrior strikes with both weapons simultaneously, increasing
damage, but your attacks cannot inflict regular Critical hits.  This makes all
your attacks attack with both hands instead of alternating between main and
off-hand.  The lack of Critical Hits only really matters once you get a high
enough Crit %.

Note: There have been several tests on this talent showing that it suffers
from some sort of animation bug where people claim that having Dual Striking on
causes your character to miss a lot more.  However, I don't seem to notice a
huge difference with hit rate between having Dual Striking on or not.  It may
mean that I have been really lucky, or maybe those results are skewed.  What
this means, is that the use of Dual Striking is left to your own taste.


The Warrior strikes with a stun dealing normal damage, then strikes with the
second weapon with a critical hit if the target was stunned.  Very powerful.


The Warrior makes a critical hit which gives penalties to defense and attack on
the target.  Use it at every opportunity, especially against ranked opponents.


The Warrior makes three blows against a target, dealing normal damage for the
first two strikes and generating a critical hit for the final blow, if it hits.
The target has a chance to suffer penalties to attack and defense, or be
knocked to the ground.  All final tier talents should be this good.  Get it.

Dual-Weapon Sweep

The Warrior performs a frontal arc sweep with both weapons with slightly in-
creased damage.  Combined with its low cost and cooldown, it's your bread-and-
butter AoE ability.  Be careful with threat though.


The Warrior performs 3 consecutive hits with normal damage.  Never a bad thing.


Increased attack speed, but drains stamina rapidly while active.  Very nice if
you can afford to keep it up all the time.  Dual-dagger Warriors would probably
use this more often since they won't rely on spamming abilities too much.
*NOTE: Tests show that having Momentum and the Mage Spell Haste up at the same
time pushes attack speed beyond a cap value, which would make your attacks roll
back to a slower speed, so keep this in mind when you have a mage in the group.


The Warrior hits all surrounding enemies with both weapons for normal damage.
Your second AoE skill.  Best used with 2 Main-hand weapons.

2.3.3 Warden's Keep DLC Bonus Talents

Blood Thirst

Increases movement speed, attack speed and critical hit-chance, at the expense
of greater damage received and continuously diminishing health.  Very risky,
but if you can avoid getting hit a lot, it's worth it.

Blood Fury

Knocks down nearby enemies at the cost of some health.  Very situational.

2.4 Specializations
So now we have an idea on what our DW Warrior can do, it's now time to pick a
specialization.  Warriors have a choice between 4 specializations:  Berserker, 
Champion, Reaver and Templar.  I will discuss each specialization and what it
brings to the table.

2.4.1 Berserker

Specialization Bonus: +2 STR, +10 Health

Berserkers focus on dealing damage, and will probably be your 1st choice as a
specialization.  Increased damage will come at a cost of increased Stamina con-
sumption, so if you find you run out of stamina too quickly, add a few points
in WIL.



Increased damage with a significant penalty to stamina regeneration while
active.  This a great ability to have for our DW Warrior.


Passively increases Nature Resistance and reduces the stamina regen penalty of
Berserk.  Very, very good.


Further reduces the stamina penalty of Berserk.  It just keeps getting better
and better!

Final Blow

Consumes all your stamina for a single massive attack, with damage based on
amount of stamina consumed.  Powerful, but may not be worth spending all your
remaining stamina on.  Having a Bard and a Mage with Rejuvenate in your party
helps alleviate this problem.    

2.4.2 Champion

Specialization Bonus: +2 WIL, +1 CUN

Champions provide abilities to improve your party's Attack and Defense as well
as provide group debuffs for enemies.  A good secondary Specialization if you
want to add some utility to your DW Warrior.


War Cry

Surrounding enemies get a penalty to attack when activated.  Not bad, though on
its own isn't really a must-have.


Increases your entire group's attack and defense while active.  Good, but has a
high upkeep.


Passive increase to the bonuses from Rally.  Gives you a good reason to keep
Rally up.


War Cry now knocks down surrounding enemies in addition to its effects.  Makes
War Cry a must-have if you have the stamina for it.

2.4.3 Reaver

Specialization Bonus: +1 CON, +5 Physical Resistance

Reavers have talents that add some more damage to your attacks at the cost of
survivability, as well as provide some healing and a crowd control ability.
This makes it a decent secondary specialization.



Consumes corpses around you to restore some of your health.  More health is
never bad. Very useful in a pinch.

Frightening Appearance

Makes the target cower in fear unless it passes a Mental Resistance check.  An
extra stun is good, though its bonuses to Taunt and Threaten are negligible
since you won't be using those abilities a lot, if at all.

Aura of Pain

You deal constant Spirit damage to yourself and all surrounding enemies while
active.  Good, but risky, as you could end up killing yourself from the damage
or the extra threat you generate.  Spirit Resistance gear mitigates the risk.

Blood Frenzy

You deal more damage as your health decreases while active.  You also incur a
penalty to health regeneration in this mode.  While more damage can be
tempting, it's not worth the drawbacks IMO.  Still, you might find it to your

2.4.4 Templar

Specialization Bonus: +2 MAG, +3 Mental Resistance

Templars focus on anti-mage abilities, making it the most situational special-
ization available to Warriors.  IMO, Templar Talents are nothing to write home
about, but the specialization itself does give you access to armor that gives
hefty bonuses to spell resistance, making you a whole lot tougher to stop.  Its
final-tier talent is pretty interesting, though it's not really a compelling
reason to invest in Templar talents.


Righteous Strike

Passively drains enemy mana per attack.  Not bad, but some poisons do this more

Clease Area

Removes all dispellable effects from all nearby, friend or foe.  Short of re-
moving debuffs on your party, it's mostly useless since it also removes buffs.

Mental Fortress

Passive increase to Mental Resistance.  Decent, but not really necessary.

Holy Smite

Inflicts Spirit Damage to target and all nearby enemies, and stuns or knocks
them back unless they pass physical resistance checks.  Enemies with mana must
pass a mental resistance check else they lose mana and receive additional
Spirit damage based on mana lost.  Drawbacks include high Stamina cost and its
melee range.  A very interesting AOE ability that works as Crowd Control too.

2.5 Races and Origins 
Deciding on which race and origin your Warrior will have has several effects on
your Warrior.  First off, each race has corresponding Racial bonuses which
affect their starting stats.  Second, the Origin Story you pick will affect
what skills and talents your Warrior will start with.  From a role-playing
perspective, each Race and Origin Story combination also has its own flavor,
and thus provides a different game experience for each playthrough.

2.5.1 Human Noble
Racial benefits: +1 strength, +1 dexterity, +1 magic, +1 cunning

Starting Stats: 15 STR, 14 DEX, 10 WIL, 11 MAG, 11 CUN, 13 CON

Skills: Improved Combat Training

Talents: Shield Bash

Starting Attributes for Humans are pretty decent with respectable values for
STR and DEX.  They also start with 11 CUN, meaning less points need to be spent
there if you want to get all the Coercion skills.  Humans get the Combat
Training skill up to the 2nd level for free, which means you have more freedom
to allocate your Skill points later on.  Their 1st talent, Shield Bash, is
useless for DW Warriors and it's the Human's only drawback when it comes to
starting stats.

2.5.2 City Elf
Racial benefits: +2 Willpower, +2 magic

Starting Stats: 14 STR, 13 DEX, 12 WIL, 12 MAG, 10 CUN, 13 CON

Skills: Coercion, Combat Training

Talents: Dual Weapon Sweep

Elves start with the worst values for your two primary stats (STR and DEX) of
all Warrior races.  They also have the highest MAG value, which is pretty much
a waste of attribute points.  They do have higher WIL, which can be good or bad
depending on your playstyle.  Elves make up for it by getting the talent Dual
Weapon Sweep for free, which is 1 talent point less to worry about later on.
City Elves also start with Coercion, so they're better off with dialogue
options earlier than other races.

2.5.3 Dalish Elf
Racial benefits: Same as City Elf

Starting Stats: Same as City Elf

Skills: Survival, Combat Training

Talents: Dual Weapon Sweep (Xbox 360)

Dalish Elves are pretty much the same as their City counterparts.  Bad starting
attributes compared to other Warriors with Dual Weapon Sweep to make up for it.
Instead of Coercion, though, Dalish Elves start with Survival, which is a
pretty bad Skill IMO.  This makes the Dalish Elves possibly the worst
race/origin to start with as a DW Warrior, and should be avoided for
efficiency's sake unless you like their origin story better.

Note: In the PC version, Dalish Elves start with Pinning Shot instead of Dual
Weapon Sweep, making them even worse to start with.

2.5.4 Dwarf Commoner
Racial benefits: +1 strength, +1 dexterity, +2 constitution, 10% chance to
                 resist hostile magic

Base Stats: 15 STR, 14 DEX, 10 WIL, 10 MAG, 10 CUN, 15 CON

Skills: Stealing, Combat Training

Talents: Dual Weapon Sweep

Dwarves start with the highest CON values of all Warrior races, which really
only matters when rolling a tank.  They also start with a 10% Magic Resist
ability which is really great.  Dwarf Commoners start with 1 level of Stealing,
a relatively decent skill.  Finally, they start with Dual Weapon Sweep.  All of
this combined makes Dwarf Commoners the most efficient race/origin for a DW
Warrior, IMO.

2.5.5 Dwarf Noble
Racial benefits: Same as Dwarf Commoner

Base Stats: Same as Dwarf Commoner

Skills: Improved Combat Training

Talents: Shield Bash

The Dwarf Noble starts with the same attributes as the Dwarf Commoner.  They
also get the 10% Magic Resist ability, but that's where their similarities end.
DWarf Nobles start with the 2nd level of Combat Training like Humans do, as
well as get Shield Bash for free.  This makes the race/origin combination great
Attributes-and-Skills-wise, but terrible Talents-wise.

DW Warriors are just about the easiest class to play in DA:O.  All you need to
do is get in range and start whacking at your opponents.  If you have a tank,
make sure he builds a certain amount of threat before you start going crazy.
Opting to go with the heaviest armor helps in your survivability when you find
yourself pulling aggro often, and make sure you chug those health pots when

Dual-dagger Warriors will deal a bit less damage with abilities, so it would be
a better option to keep your sustainables up at all times and auto-attack your
targets.  All sustained abilities should be up at all times, and you'll be
stabbing enemies like crazy.

Dual Main-Hand Warriors on the other hand would focus on active abilities
rather than sustainables.  An option would be to use Taunt and/or positioning
to make full use of AoE abilities like Whirlwind.  Expect to see bigger numbers

Mix and match these styles as you see fit.  Just because you use two main-hand
weapons doesn't mean you can't benefit from having Momentum up all the time.

As far as companions go, there are only a few instances in the game where a
Tank-DPS-Healer setup is really necessary so you can go with whatever lineup
you feel like playing most of the time.  There are some things to consider,

- Having another Champion in the party would allow your Warrior to completely
  forgo the specialization and focus on the goodies of another specialization

- If you're having problems in the Stamina department, consider having a Bard
  or Mage with Rejuvenate around at all times (Lelianna starts off as a bard)

- Reavers would probably always want a dedicated healer in the group just to be
  safe (Wynne is heavily specced to that role early on)

- Having multiple Warriors in a group would eliminate some of the need for a
  dedicated tank in most fights, so you can let them focus on damage instead.
  Though it'll be wise to have a character specced for tanking for those
  situations where you DO need a dedicated tank. (either Alistair, Shale or a
  Mage specced into Arcane Warrior does nicely)

- Have a Rogue available at all times if you want to open all locked chests and
  doors.  Lelianna or Zevran can be specced for that purpose

Dragon Age: Origins enables players to explore various ways of playing the
game.  While some ways may seem better than others, there really isn't any
wrong way of doing things.  Taking into mind that, as a Single Player game,
going for the "best possible" course of action is a moot point, only emphasizes
that perspective more.

Dual-Wielding Warriors offer a fun and easy way to complete the game for casual
gamers, while offering a lot of options for more serious players at the same
time.  Variety is the spice of life, and DW Warriors are never lacking in that

All that has been written here thus far refer to my own style of playing the
DW Warrior.  In no way do I claim to be the authority in the matter.  If you
find anything here that you disagree with, feel free to send some feedback my
way.  The only time we ever stop learning is when we've stopped living, I
always say.


Credits, Shout-outs, etc

Big thanks to the people in the forums ( for being a
constant stream of ideas, which gave birth to the DW Warrior playstyle.

More specifically, big thanks to dkjestrup in the forums and his Character
Build Handbook.

Thanks to Marc Seguin aka Asmiroth and his detailed guide on the classes for
inspiring me to make my own.

Thanks to the Dragon Age Wiki ( for their info.

And finally, to Bioware, for making such a kick-ass game!

Who can use this guide?

Anybody can use this guide for their own, personal use.  Only the following
sites should have this guide posted:

More will be added in the future.

Copyright 2010 John Say










If you're reading this, you have been warned.  Included here are the aspects of
the game which is relevant in building your DW Warrior, but you may not want to
know if you don't want any spoilers.  More will be added as I get to them.

6.1 BROKEN CIRCLE Quest Line
Before finalizing how many points we put in each stat, take note that traveling
in the Fade during the [BROKEN CIRCLE] questline gives you permanent attribute
bonuses if you find all 21 items to interact with.  Attribute bonuses are as

STR - +4
DEX - +4
WIL - +4
MAG - +2
CUN - +5
CON - +2

These bonuses are added directly to your base attributes and count towards
requirements for Equipment, Skills and Talents.

6.2 Lothering Quests
There are 3 quests in Lothering that require a character in your party to have
a particular skill to start, and they are as follows:

- [TRAPS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND] - Requires Trap-Making
- [MORE THAN JUST PLANTS] - Requires Herbalism
- [A POISONOUS PROPOSITION] - Requires Poison-Making

6.3 Brecilian Forest
The quest [ELORA'S HALLA], has a dialogue option to complete it that requires
Improved Survival.  But since you can complete the quest without that option,
it's not really a necessity.

6.4 Denerim
The [CRIME WAVE] Quest line from Slim Couldry requires your main character to
have at least 1 level in Stealing or Stealth else he won't even be in Denerim.
Since Warriors can't ever get Stealth, Stealing is your only option.

6.5 How to Unlock Warrior Specializations

Berserker - Learned from Oghren if your approval is high enough, or buy the
	    manual from Gorim in the Denerim market place

Champion -  Completing the Urn of Sacred Ashes and curing Arl Eamon will unlock
	    the Champion specialization if his offer for a reward is not turned

Reaver -    Defile Andraste's Ashes and Kolgrim will teach you the
	    specialization.  Wynne and Lelianna would turn on you, though.

Templar -   Learned from Alistair if your approval is high enough, or buy the
	    manual from Bodahn Feddic at camp.

More to come as the need arises.