This Dragon Age Inquisition Companions Tier List will teach you which companions are the best and which ones you should leave on the bench.
If you’re playing Dragon Age Inquisition, you’re going to want to know which companions you should be taking into combat so that you can defeat all the dragons and every other high level encounter without breaking a sweat. This Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions Tier List will help you do just that.
You may think the best Dragon Age Inquisition companions are simply the ones with the most powerful class specializations, and to a degree that’s true, but a lot of powerful class specializations lose their edge when not being actively controlled by the player.
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Best Dragon Age Inquisition Classes TIER LIST
I should also note that Dragon Age Inquisition is a fairly balanced game, and you can easily complete it with any balanced party. As long as you have a tanking warrior, a mage and a rogue (ideally an archer), you shouldn’t encounter too much difficulty.
So, without further ado, here is the best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions tier list.
S Tier – Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions
If you didn’t opt to play as a tank yourself, which you probably didn’t, you’re probably going to want Blackwall in your party. Blackwall never dies. In fact, Blackwall almost always has full health and full guard throughout every encounter.
He’s a specialized tank in a game where have a tank in your party is a great asset. The only other character who could conceivably replace him is Cassandra, and Cassandra’s Templar specialty does not compare to Blackwall’s Champion specialty in terms of tanking ability.
When it comes to Dragon Age Inquisition companions, Blackwall is almost a must-have for most parties, especially if you’re going through the game for the first time.
A Tier – Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions
Sera, despite being the most annoying character, is probably the best rogue available among the Dragon Age Inquisition companions. Archers, in general, are the best damage dealers in Dragon Age Inquisition and while Sera’s Tempest specialty doesn’t have quite as much damage potential as Varric’s Artificer specialty, the game’s AI handles it a lot better.
Tempests are able to ignore cooldowns for a period of time which allows them to use Leaping Shot, one of the most broken abilities in the game, multiple times in quick succession. The AI does a fairly decent job of spamming Sera’s skills.
When controlled by the player, Varric will be S-Tier. The Artificer specialty is mindblowingly powerful, almost entirely because of Opportunity Knocks, which reduces cooldown times whenever someone in the party score a critical hit. When combined with Looked Like It Hurt from the Sabotage tree, which regains stamina for every crit, Artificer essentially ignores cooldowns and stamina requirements if you can get high enough crit on them (about 60-70%).
The problem is that to take full advantage of the Artificer specialization, you want to mainly spam Leaping Shot and use Hook and Tackle to close the distance whenever Leaping Shot takes you too far away from the enemy to do its full damage. The companion AI does not do this.
Spamming Leaping Shot (and to a lesser extent Explosive Shot when enemies are clumped together in large groups) is not only important because it deals a lot of damage, but because nailing its multiple hits are required to keep Artificer stamina high and cooldowns low.
As a result, Varric mainly functions much like Sera, spamming skills regularly, but without the additional bonuses the Tempest tree provides (aside from Opportunity Knocks and Hail of Arrows, which are both OP, the Artificer skills are underwhelming verging on bad).
Solas is probably the mage-iest mage you have available out of all of the Dragon Age Inquisition companions. Ultimately, Knight Enchanter is probably the best mage specialty, but the companion AI does an abysmal job at handling its more complex mechanics. Rift Mages, like Solas, on the other hand, do just fine under AI control.
As a Rift Mage, Solas gets a bevy of additional useful spells and power-ups. All three of Solas’s unique spells provide excellent crowd control. They get enhanced mana reneration. They do additional damage against weakened enemies which, between Solas’s Rift Mage abilities and the warrior in your group, is going to be all enemies.
If you have Solas invested in the Winter tree as well, trash mobs will spend their entire lifespan frozen or knocked down. Rift Mage skills also remain decently useful against bosses due to their damage and weakening debuff, even if they don’t provide the crowd control they do against normal enemies.
The main problem with Solas is that, without spoiling him, you can’t use him in the Trespasser DLC, which is essentially the endgame of Dragon Age Inquisition. Shame.
B Tier – Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions
Rogues are great, especially when they’re equipped with bows, and Cole is no exception. His Assassin specialty is very powerful and the AI does a decent job at taking advantage of it. The only reason Cole is in B-Tier is because there has to be a way to differentiate him from Sera and Varric, because although Cole definitely slaughters enemies, he’s lags behind Sera and Varric in terms of his damage output.
Cole hits a lot harder than either Sera or Varric, but he’s a lot slower in terms of using his abilities. Cole relies on dealing big damage through guaranteed crits from from stealth, which means you’ll want a lot of crit damage on Cole’s equipment.
His abilities synergize better with daggers than they do with bows, but daggers tend to be inferior to bows in Dragon Age Inquisition for a variety of reasons. His main usefulness is Mark of Death, which doubles damage against a target for 8-12 seconds.
While Cole does decent damage because he’s a rogue, due to his specialization you either need to equip him with daggers to get the most out of his abilities, which will result in him dying regularly, or equip him with a bow and watch him do inferior damage to the other archers.
Still, Mark of Death is insane, especially if you’re an Archer yourself or you bring another Archer with you alongside Cole. Doubling Varric’s damage for 12 seconds on top of Cole’s own damage is pretty OP.
When it comes to Dragon Age Inquisition companions, Cole is a solid B-Tier. Probably A- Tier vs A+ tier for the other archers if I set it up that way, but I didn’t, so B-Tier it is.
Dorian deals comparable damage to Solas since he has access to a variety of DoTs that provide significant utility in trash encounters by summoning undead allies while also providing decent damage in long boss fights.
Where Dorian’s Necromancer specialty falters is that a lot of its utility is only available for trash encounters, which are trivial. The only time the game really challenges you is in its boss fights, where a lot of Dorian’s skills go to waste.
Still, he’s a strong mage and his DoTs do a fair amount of damage even though you have to spend 5 arguably wasted skill points in his tree to get them.
Among the best Dragon Age Inquisition companions, Dorian is a solid B-Tier.
C Tier – Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions
Cassandra is your other option among the Dragon Age Inquisition companions for a tank besides Blackwall, and she’s decent enough. If you really hate Blackwall for whatever reason, you can certainly get by with Cassandra. She sacrifices a bit of Blackwall’s survivability for slightly higher damage and team-wide buffs.
The problem is that almost all of her Templar specialty’s skills are effective only against demons. Which is not huge problem, since you are constantly facing off against demons in Dragon Age Inquisition. However, the biggest threats in DA:I are not demons, and when you’re not fighting demons, the entire Templar tree is just a 15% damage buff and 10% elemental resistance.
Still, unlike Blackwall, who runs out of skill points after maxing out Champion, Vanguard and the left side of Battlemaster, Cassandra can pick up most of the abilities in the Weapon & Shield tree if you ignore Templar almost entirely aside from the damage buff, so in a way you can treat that like her specialty.
Vivienne’s specialty, Knight Enchanter, is a great specialty, probably the best specialty for mages, even after being nerfed in post-release patches. Unfortunately, the AI wasn’t particularly adept at handling the Knight Enchanter mechanics before the nerf, and even less so after.
Essentially, the way Knight Enchanter works is that as you cast spells, your Spirit Blade spell powers up. So you cast your spells, then run in using the Knight Enchanter’s Fade Cloak spell, emerge from Fade Cloak inside an enemy, dealing massive damage, and use your Spirit Blade until its charge depletes, then rinse and repeat.
If the AI does that successfully from time to time, it seems to be purely by chance. Which means under the control of the AI, you only really seem to get Knight Enchanter’s other advantage: massive survivability.
Knight Enchanter’s barriers are supercharged. They last seemingly forever and refill constantly as long as you’re dealing damage. Vivienne is able to take advantage of this. She will very rarely die.
That makes her a fairly great support mage. Unfortunately, aside from Barriers and the occasional Revive, her damage lags behind both other mages by a huge margin.
Knight Enchanter already puts out less damage than the other specialties in exchange for its survivability, and the AI can’t even maximize the potential of that lower damage cap. It also lacks any passive skills that increase damage from the other mage skill trees.
Put all this together and ultimately when it comes to the best Dragon Age Inquisition companions, Vivienne is just C-Tier.
D Tier – Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions
Iron Bull is capable of putting out a lot of damage. The issue with Iron Bull, like many of the Dragon Age Inquisition companions, is the AI. Under the control of the AI, he will die almost every fight.
Iron Bull’s Reaver specialty relies on health management through careful use of Dragon-Rage, which costs health, and Devour, which refills health. The goal is to stay around 30-40% health to maximize the damage bonus from Blood Frenzy. The AI is terrible at managing this mechanic.
In the early game, Iron Bull will tear through enemies at little risk to himself. Later, when enemies are more threatening and more numerous, he’ll pump out incredible damage right up until the point where he quickly dies as soon as he gets targeted. If you don’t adjust his AI, he’ll drink all your potions every fight.
A lot of people swear by Iron Bull, but I’ve used him in multiple playthroughs and his most notable contribution to the team is dying even more often than Dagger Cole.
Even though he’s a badass, I can’t in good conscience place him any higher than D-Tier in terms of the best Dragon Age Inquisition companions.
That about covers it when it comes to the Best Dragon Age Inquisition Companions Tier List. Be sure to check out the Games Section or the Main Page for more content like this, and click here for more Dragon Age Inquisition guides.