Merrill and Anders vs. Mage Hawke

#1AgentNounPosted 3/26/2011 8:59:20 PM
So, I'm playing a Mage Hawke for the first time, and I want to build Merrill and Anders to be able to do things that Hawke can't. Anders's version of Spirit Healer is straight-up inferior to Hawke's: Healing Aura and Group Heal are better than Panacea and Aid Allies, and Hawke has access to more spells that can be cast with Healing Aura up than Anders does.

Merrill's pretty easy. She can be a crazy perfect Blood Mage, because she doesn't need Willpower for equipment. This allows you to raise her Constitution into the sky, giving her 300-400 health by Act 3 and making her pretty much unkillable.

Is there anything that can be done with Anders to make him a really good support mage? I know he can be a pretty good offensive mage with Vengeance, but that's Hawke's job.
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#2ImbackhahahahaPosted 3/26/2011 9:02:16 PM
(Spoilers)






Killing him is about the the only good thing to do to him
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#3AgentNoun(Topic Creator)Posted 3/26/2011 9:03:25 PM
Still haven't decided if I'm going to do that in this playthrough or not! It's tempting.

But UNTIL then...
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#4IokuaPosted 3/26/2011 9:12:36 PM
Ander is pretty much useless if you're a Mage. Unlike Merrill, his class specific skill tree is mostly available for Hawke in a superior form, and considering a healer is really all Anders is good for... you'd be better off just not using him at all.
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#5AgentNoun(Topic Creator)Posted 3/26/2011 9:16:57 PM
Ander is pretty much useless if you're a Mage. Unlike Merrill, his class specific skill tree is mostly available for Hawke in a superior form, and considering a healer is really all Anders is good for... you'd be better off just not using him at all.

I could see how the Vengeance mode would be kind of awesome. The -50% damage resistance is a problem, but Rock Armor makes up for that a bit, and +20% damage (and healing himself every time he kills something) could be pretty great. But, that's a very high risk-to-reward ratio, compared to Merrill's blood magic, which encourages her to have ridiculous amounts of health, thus minimizing any risk to her.

Eh.
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#6GamemakoPosted 3/26/2011 9:33:38 PM
Here's what you have to understand. Varric and Sebastian have better specs than Hawke. Fenris and Aveline have adequate specs as well. Merrill and Anders both have thoroughly-inferior specs. That said, it's hard to ever think of blood magic as weak, so Merrill is still quite viable, but she completely lacks the creation tree, so if your Hawke is a blood mage and not a spirit healer, you may end up wanting to use Anders anyway just to have someone with res. 'Course, SH is pretty awesome this time around anyway, so hell.

Don't try to normally use Vengeance. However, abuse the fact that Martyr can be used without Vengeance activated if it's on a tactics slot. Same with Aid Allies and Regroup.

Normal use of Vengeance is utter trash. He isn't a blood mage, so having a lot of con isn't really an option (Martyr takes a proportional amount of HP to mana), and you'll be REALLY easy to kill as you're immune to healing. Killing makes you survive longer, but it's really a lot like a gimped version of Death Syphon that makes you prone to getting face****ed (+50% damage against your tiny HP pool).
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#7ClagiusClanlorPosted 3/31/2011 9:23:40 PM
Actually, even with spirit-healer Hawke, Anders has his uses. He can't launch spells as efficiently has Hawke or Merrill, and he can't heal as well either, but he can do both. Just double-down and have two healers in your party.

For the first couple of Acts, you don't have any revival abilities except for magic. That said, if Hawke goes down, Anders is available to revive her. And vice versa. The double-healer mechanic makes it far more difficult for things to go completely down hill. This is especially useful in long boss fights, like the stone giant. It sucks to get 30 minutes into that fight and then lose your healer, but if you have two healers then you can lose one and still get back up to full strength.
#8Witch ElfPosted 3/31/2011 10:25:47 PM
Merrill is generally superior as a blood mage because you do not have to invest in willpower for equipment with her.

So you can quite literally put every single level up point in constitution and magic, get friendship with her, put a few blood magic items on her, and you can eat up all your mana in sustainables with her, while getting four or five (or more) mana per health point lost when spellcasting.

Frankly, though, both Anders and Merrill are closer in power to a mage Hawke than the warrior and rogue NPCs are to that particular classed Hawke.

Mage Hawke really is nothing spectacular. The specializations are pretty meh, outside of Force Mage, and there's really no overpowered, insane abilities and/or builds for a Mage like there are for Rogue or Warrior. Mages are overall pretty much the same.
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#9ProdicalxPosted 3/31/2011 11:11:40 PM
Witch Elf posted...
Merrill is generally superior as a blood mage because you do not have to invest in willpower for equipment with her.

So you can quite literally put every single level up point in constitution and magic, get friendship with her, put a few blood magic items on her, and you can eat up all your mana in sustainables with her, while getting four or five (or more) mana per health point lost when spellcasting.

Frankly, though, both Anders and Merrill are closer in power to a mage Hawke than the warrior and rogue NPCs are to that particular classed Hawke.

Mage Hawke really is nothing spectacular. The specializations are pretty meh, outside of Force Mage, and there's really no overpowered, insane abilities and/or builds for a Mage like there are for Rogue or Warrior. Mages are overall pretty much the same.



I'm just not so sure about this. Varric doesn't technically need Cunning since he's set with a weapon, and if you have another rogue, he definitely does not need Cunning. Same goes for Isabella. Aveline and Fenris both need Constitution but they are warriors so they'd need it anyway (especially Aveline).

I'll agree that Dual Sword Rogue Hawke is FAR better then Isabella, Assassination tree alone, but I don't think Archer Hawke is much better then Varric, since Bianca tree is actually pretty good, and he has a extremely high Crit Rate and attack speed. Aveline is really only worse in Magic resistance and armor, Fenris is actually better in magic resistance, along with having pretty high damage, only slight worse then 2H Hawke. However, Hawke mage can be a FAR better crowd control/healer/damage output then Merill or Anders. Hawke can put on Heroic Aura/Healing Aura? (forget the name)/Blood Magic and then be a spirit healer along with spell slinger. Or he can be a big force mage and basically move all enemies except bosses at his will, controlling most of the fights. It's true Merill can become a nice spell slinger since she can focus on blood magic and Con, but she has no healing capabilities for the party, no reviving capabilities. Anders can do both of those, but has almost no mana to play with, and definitely isn't a damage dealer, the best you can really do is make him a somewhat buffing mage.

Hawke Mage can do what both mages can do, at the same time, and almost always better.
#10CelestialWyrmPosted 4/1/2011 12:15:26 AM
Witch Elf posted...


Mage Hawke really is nothing spectacular. The specializations are pretty meh, outside of Force Mage .


Force Mage is exactly what makes Mage Hawke spectacular. Gravitic Sphere ftw.
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