The Abyssal High Dragon is one of eleven high dragons encountered in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It can be found in the southernmost area of the Western Approach, in The Wastes (south of Nazaire's pass). Prerequisites to fight the dragon include the Abyssal High Dragon quest chain for Frederic.
Abyssal High Dragons have long been thought to be extinct, with the existing exemplars often being confused with Hunterhorn Shrikes or Stonejaws that migrated in the search for prey. Only recently has the return of this special sub-species of High Dragon been confirmed in the Western Approach. Their fiery breath is described as hotter than a forge. The hunting habits of Abyssal High Dragons are not documented very well.
- Level 14 Boss
- 135703 HP (Nightmare difficulty)
- 44 Armor
- Greater Fire Resistance
- Cold Vulnerability
- Immunity: All Disabling Effects
- Immunity: Slowed
- The Abyssal High Dragon breathes fire, dealing fire damage. It is therefore resistant to fire damage, but vulnerable to cold. Bringing Fire resistance potions is a must on higher difficulties, particularly for your tank. Regeneration potions can also help. Equip your mage or mages with an ice staff (like Tempest, found in the still ruins in the Western Approach). Dragon-Slaying and Ice Rune also help somewhat, but they're not required.
- In preparation for the incoming Abyssal High Dragon, spread your party out, so that not everyone gets hit by her when she lands. Once she lands, she will stay on the ground for the entirety of the fight, except for some small "jumps" to cover distance at times.
- The Abyssal High Dragon moves around a lot, so abilities like Evade, Fade Step and Combat Roll will be useful to keep your non-tanks out of harm's way.
- Regularly, The Abyssal High Dragon will generate a full guard bar that you will have to wear down. Abilities that do extra damage against guard, such as upgraded Shield Bash, will therefore help in this battle.
- All dragons will often attack any party member close to them with melee attacks. She will signify a melee attack by raising the leg closest to the party member she will try to hit, avoid it with Fade Step/Evade/Combat Roll. Getting close to her tail will often make her raise her tail up and to the side in preparation to swipe the whole area behind her. A tail swipe is harder to avoid than an attack with her legs since it will cover a larger area, the best thing to do is to stay away from her tail.
- Every time the dragon lifts its wings high up over her body, she's about to use her "Maelstrom" ability, an ability all or nearly all dragons in the game have. She will flap her wings four times, and every time, she will suck your party closer to her and do high damage to them. The ability has an extremly long range so it's doubtful you can outrun it. There are three ways to deal with this ability:
- With high enough dps you can just weather it, since you will see this ability no more than a couple of times. Nuke the dragon down, popping potions, although you will burn through them quickly.
- You can hide behind obstacles. This can be difficult because of poor AI pathfinding, AI unwillingness to stand where ordered even when "holding position", dragon constantly moving and destroying obstacles.
- Lastly, and the best way, is to get into melee range inside the maelstrom circle. Inside it you will take no damage. As soon as you see the dragon's wings rise high, use your Evade (Rogues) and Fade Step (mages) to help get them inside the circle as fast as possible. Having your ranged party members stand not too far from the dragon at all times will help prepare for the maelstrom. Your melee companions will already be positioned where they should be. When the dragons stops flapping its wings, get your ranged party members out again quick, so they don't get hit by the dragon's melee attacks.
- The Abyssal High Dragon will also use her fireball ability if a party member that is not in melee range gets aggro. She will shoot a ball of fire in a straight line which will explode on the ground and set it aflame for a while. Any party member that walks over this, will get the "Burning" damage-over-time debuff. Sometimes she will jump away from the party intentionally to use this attack. Avoid this ability with Fade Step/Evade/Combat Roll.
- The Abyssal High Dragon will use its Fire Breath ability at times; she will signal this ability by raising her head back and up. She will then spray the ground in front and to the sides of her, trying to hit any party members standing close. The breath will leave party members burning as well as doing direct damage to them. Avoid this ability with Fade Step/Evade/Combat Roll.
- Focusing and damaging all four of the dragon's legs can make the dragon fall to the ground helplessly for a short while. A dragon which has a damaged leg will be bleeding severely from it. It will also show a "pain" animation and jump away if you have damaged a leg enough. Focus your damage on one leg at a time, after you see that leg start to bleed, change to another leg. When the dragon is lying on the ground, it is a very good time to use many of the party's ground-targeted focus abilities, like the Inquisitor's Mark of the Rift or Solas' Firestorm, since you know the dragon will not move for a short while. Typically it will take a very long time to damage the dragon's legs enough for it to fall, often taking almost the whole battle for it to occur.
Killing the dragon yields:
- 2,790 XP
- Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 304