Question from superfootdog

How do I beat the archdemon?

This dragon brings the rape. Seriously, he owns. So much. It's not even close to being fair. I have morrigan (spirit healer), Alistair (champion), Zevran (deulist), and myself (blood mage, arcane warrior), we're all level 20-21, equipped as well as I know how, Juggernaut, keening blade, Wade's dragonplate, Reaver Garments, Staff of the Magister Lords, the works, but I can't take this dragon. I'm using all of the army dudes, and I can only get him like half way down. Any help?

superfootdog provided additional details:

I'm on Nightmare; Redcliffe dudes do 1 or 2 damage, if they're lucky enough to even touch the beast. And I kinda killed Wynne. And, while I use poultices extnsively, sometimes the dragon can kill a party member (morrigan - the healer, of course) before i even know that she's taken damage, and before she and do anyhthing about it.. If anybody has beaten the demon on Nightmare, please help. Is the dragon particularly vulnerable to certain attacks? Is there a strategy I'm missing out on?

Oh but thank you very much for your advice, I apologize if i sound a bit ungrateful.

superfootdog provided additional details:

All right, that's very nice to know, I noiced that my warmth balms weren't doing a thing about anything.But what about dealing damage? This guy has an absurd amount of armor, and things that would norm ally deal excessive amounts of damge (nightmare, or an AOE) don't work because he's always immune or flying away. Are any of the armies particularly effective against him? I have all of them but the dwarves in full rank and file.

superfootdog provided additional details:

Thanks for the info about the armies, the golems really are the best. But it's still not enough. I have a save from while back, before I get into the whole mess that you can't grt out of (before the redcliffe invasion). I've heard that there's an excellent sword of dragon slaying in the Cirlcle of the Magi, is that something worth going back for? Otherwise, should i just turn down the difficulty? Because this dragon isn't going down on nightmare - at least not with anything that I've been hearing.

superfootdog provided additional details:

Well, thank you very much. I've loaded a previous save to level up and change my party, so i guess this is a bit unrelated, but where's a good place to grind for experience? Hell, where's ANY place yu can grind for experience? More on topic, should I use Alistair (with keening edge) or Sten ( with Irasuta or whatever it is - the sword of dragon slaying)? They're both fully levelled up at their respective talent (I mean sword and shield for Alistair, two handed for Sten), and i just can't decide.

Thank you very much, kraytone.

superfootdog provided additional details:

Thank you very much, I never noticed the ballistas. So to repair the ballista, do you need to have the deft hands/ mechanical expertise skill? Or just be a rogue?

Oh and I've had trouble deciding - should I bring with me Sten or Alistair as my warrior?

Accepted Answer

CrippledCarny answered:

This fight is a joke if you know the mechanics of it. The arch demon's damage is completely disproportionate, doing sizable damage to melee and only minimal to ranged. Oddly enough the demon does not force someone into melee range, meaning you can use a mage to ranged tank it. The mage can easily out heal the damage from the demon with just the Heal spell and Life Drain. Just give your melee a bow, turn free movement off and have them auto attack, and when the dragon flies around just makes sure he doesn't land in anyone's melee range, if so, move them quickly. If I'm not mistaken the ranged attack of the dragon does have splash damage, so you'll want to keep your team at a distance from one another.

Another interesting note about the fight is the spawn points of the darkspawn. When they pop up they do not run to the defense of their master, but they actually just stand there. The darkspawn have to be in range of you or a party member before they attack. A major flaw in the design of the fight is, if you keep the dragon around the area of the door you came in you will never be in range of any of the darkspawn, letting you focus fully on the demon. You can even still auto attack him from this area in phase two, when he flies to plat form on the left, but I believe he'll be out of range for most spells. The down side to this, however, is you can't use an army because they will for sure aggro the darkspawn.

To answer your other question about leveling, the easiest way to do this is with herb turn-ins to the dalish. The vender at the dalish camp sells endless stacks of elfroot for dirt cheap, which can then be turned into the dalish emissaries' supply crate back at party camp. For every turn-in your get exp and the elf troops get a buff. Around 20g will get you to level 25 and the most powerful elves you can ask for(though they still aren't amazing to tell the truth.) Also because your party members aren't really in your party when you're at camp they don't get the full exp from it, and will only be level 24, although by the time you get to the arch demon they'll have gained enough exp to hit 25 for sure.

Anyway, I hope this helps!
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Answers

viperesque answered:

Poultices and Wynne are your friend, that's all I can say. I just had everyone on a Health<50%: use least powerful poultice tactic, brought in the Redcliffe army and it was a cakewalk. And I was a lower level (19 I think). Seriously, by now you should have enough poultices stored up that you will have no trouble.
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John117X answered:

All of the archdemon's attacks do spirit damage. Maybe this won't help in this playthrough, but here goes:
Spirit balms are your friend - nearly 3 minutes worth of protection means you survive a lot longer.
The darkspawn general that you defeat in the denerim marketplace drops the corruption helm - 75% spirit resistance.
Any and all items that increase your spirit resistance should be equipped.
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D1A1M1 answered:

In the tactics i have all of my team use the most powerfull health potions in the invatory (self/health/>25/use strongest health potion) shale and sten to take out the darkspawn when the darkspawn show up. wynne to revive those that fall and I fought the dragon.

Youll have to forgive me for not giving exact names of all my equipment but i dont look at the names. If its stronger then what i got its put on.
Shale (do not forget to pick up items stores dont sell the best crystals)
Sten (full blood dragon armor, strongst greatsword posible, and two-handed master.)
Wynne (strongest armor & staff posible, all healing spells, and spirit healer master.)
Me (dragon bone armor, strongest long sword and shield posible, sword and shield master, and shied wall
activated)
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John117X answered:

The golem army is your best all around - fewest units but do massive damage both in melee and ranged. For the first 50% of the archdemon's health, it will swoop down, do tail sweeps, charges and spirit flame breath (and the AoE spirit damage Vortex power for health between 75% and 50%). At this point, the werewolves, dwarven armies and redcliffe armies are your best bet (werewolves have high attack but low defense, redcliffe soldiers have some ranged attacks, dwarves have no ranged attack but are substantially tougher). Between 50% and 25% health, it will stay on the collapsed section at the top left of the battlefield. Bring in your ranged armies (dalish elves or mages). For the last 25%, it will begin swooping and jumping again, bring in your other melee army.
AoE spells don't do much damage as it flies away, but place it right and the archdemon might land in the area of one again. I've found hexes and marks (e.g., mark of death) to be the best at affecting it. Apply any and all vulnerability hexes and keep your melee characters topped off on health and stamina. A ranged character with the arrow of slaying talent is invaluable.
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kraytone answered:

This requires MUCH micromanagement on Nightmare, but it is completeable ( hell, i did it, so it must be xD )

Tactics:
(self/health/>75/use strongest health potion)

Spirit balms are your best friend.
The darkspawn general that you defeat in the denerim marketplace drops the corruption helm - 75% spirit resistance. get that. Its meant for this battle.
Even Bioware said so on the forum.

I suggest getting lvl 25-30 before the battle too, then putting everybodies stats on strength for warriors and rogues, and willpower for mages, and getting alot of constitution.

The key to this battle is pausing alot and making sure everyone is fine. If damaged under 75%, manually use a paultice.

What made my win ALOT easier, was the fact I was a rogue using the arrow of slaying. Epic, with alistaire and sten tanking in full dragon.

The rest is up to you. Good luck :)
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TempyTown answered:

I didn't see this mentioned above, so I feel it bears mentioning: Ballistas are you best friend.

There are several scattered around the battlefield. My party was an arcane warrior, a regular warrior, a healer and a rouge.

- Have the warriors engage the archedemon head on, backed up by whatever troops you can spare
- Send your healer and your rouge AWAY from the fray, toward the nearest ballista.
- Interact with the ballista once to aim it at the dragon. Interact with it a second time to fire.
- Keep firing at the dragon -- doing massive damage each time -- until it jams
- Once it jams, have your rouge fix it, which usually takes about 10 seconds
- Continue firing (I had my rouge whip out a bow and plink away at the archdemon and my healer fire the ballista)
- If need be, have the healer stop firing long enough to drop a group heal

NOTE: When the dragon moves, which he will, make it a priority to get team healer/rouge the hell out of dodge. Pause the game, tell your warriors to attack the dragon, then move the mage and rouge ASAP.

I took the archdemon out on Nightmare with this strategy on my second try, and then only because I got rocked by the darkspawn reinforcements.

Hope this helps.
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Denethor0 answered:

Don't see much that I can advise on that other has not but answer concerning the sword you are referring to. The sword in question is named Yusaris, tier 6 greatsword with the following stats

Damage: 16.50
Critical Chance: 2.25%
Armor Penetration: 5.25
Strength Mod:1.10
+20% Fire Resistance
+10 Damage VS Dragons
And 2 slots for runes

It can be found when you complete the quest Watchguard of the Reaching. Not sure if he is classified as a Dragon though as he might just as well be considered Darkspawn....but good luck.
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doomslayx answered:

I found this fight not that difficult, just be sure to micromanage and heal up everyone that gets low on health. Pause a LOT. Bring lots of lyrium potions so you can keep Morrigan's mana maxed and keep her at a distance from the demon.

Also, to help with his armor use the telekinetic weapons sustainable if you have it, it will increase armor penetration and makes you deal quite a bit more damage. Hope this helps.
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