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Arcane Warriors can use their sustained abilities to get very high levels of defense/armor/spell resistance (at the cost of extremely heavy fatigue). This can be powerful, but limits what the Arcane Warrior can do to basically being an auto-attacking machine (decent damage, great defense).

Some people prefer more of a 'hybrid' build. Meaning to engage in melee while throwing out cones of colds and the like. However, many spells cannot be cast with a sword in your hand. If you try to do so, your character will sheathe the sword, then cast. This delays the casting and can cause a lot of trouble.

This behavior is controlled by a flag called autodraw in the ability table abi_.gda. A flag value of 1 means the character has to unsheathe their weapon and assume combat stance before the ability can be cast (for example: Berserk, War Cry). A flag value of 2 (used only by spells) means the opposite - the character has to sheathe their weapon first, unless the weapon is a staff.

Aside from directly modifying the abi_.gda file, there is a work around for this behavior: switch weapon set right before casting a spell that requires sheathing weapon. When the character switches to their alternate weapon set, the weapon will always be in sheathed state, allowing the character to immediately cast the aforementioned spell. Pausing the game is recommended for this maneuver, since switching weapon set can be done when the game is paused, and this makes sure that you can issue the cast command before the character unsheathes the alternate weapon.

For those who don't want to use this mechanic, you can build your Arcane Warrior around those spells that can be cast with a sword in hand. A potentially viable alternative is to simply punch targets, keeping a shield equipped for the defense bonus. The shield will remain on your back, leaving you free to attack and cast spells as you wish.

List of Spells[]

(D) Means the spell can be cast with your weapon drawn
(S) Means the spell requires that your weapon be sheathed
(N/A) Means not applicable, typically because it's a passive spell


Arcane Bolt Arcane Bolt (D) Arcane Shield Arcane Shield (D) Staff Focus Staff Focus (N/A) Arcane Mastery Arcane Mastery (N/A)
Fade Shield Fade Shield* (N/A) Elemental Mastery Elemental Mastery* (D) Attunement Attunement* (N/A) Time Spiral Time Spiral* (D)
Repulsion Field Repulsion Field* (D) Invigorate Invigorate* (D) Arcane Field Arcane Field* (D) Mystical Negation Mystical Negation* (D)

*Only available in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.

Primal Spells[]

Flame Blast Flame Blast (S) Flaming Weapons Flaming Weapons (D) Fireball Fireball (S) Inferno Inferno (D)
Rock Armor Rock Armor (D) Stonefist Stonefist (S) Earthquake Earthquake (D) Petrify Petrify (D)
Winter's Grasp Winter's Grasp (S) Frost Weapons Frost Weapons (D) Cone of Cold Cone of Cold(S) Blizzard Blizzard (S)
Lightning Lightning (S) Shock Shock (S) Tempest Tempest (D) Chain Lightning Chain Lightning (D)

Creation Spells[]

Heal Heal (D) Rejuvenate Rejuvenate (S) Regeneration Regeneration (D) Mass Rejuvenation Mass Rejuvenation (D)
Heroic Offense Heroic Offense (S) Heroic Aura Heroic Aura (D) Heroic Defense Heroic Defense (S) Haste Haste (S)
Glyph of Paralysis Glyph of Paralysis (D) Glyph of Warding Glyph of Warding (D) Glyph of Repulsion Glyph of Repulsion (D) Glyph of Neutralization Glyph of Neutralization (D)
Spell Wisp Spell Wisp (D) Grease Grease (D) Spellbloom Spellbloom (D) Stinging Swarm Stinging Swarm (D)

Spirit Spells[]

Spell Shield Spell Shield (D) Dispel Magic Dispel Magic (D) Anti-Magic Ward Anti-Magic Ward (D) Anti-Magic Burst Anti-Magic Burst (S)
Mana Drain Mana Drain (D) Mana Cleanse Mana Cleanse (D) Spell Might Spell Might (D) Mana Clash Mana Clash (D)
Walking Bomb Walking Bomb (S) Death Syphon Death Syphon (D) Virulent Walking Bomb Virulent Walking Bomb(D) Animate Dead Animate Dead (D)
Mind Blast Mind Blast (S) Force Field Force Field (D) Telekinetic Weapons Telekinetic Weapons (D) Crushing Prison Crushing Prison (D)

Entropy Spells[]

Weakness Weakness (D) Paralyze Paralyze (S) Miasma Miasma (D) Mass Paralysis Mass Paralysis (S)
Vulnerability Hex Vulnerability Hex (S) Affliction Hex Affliction Hex (S) Misdirection Hex Misdirection Hex (D) Death Hex Death Hex (S)
Disorient Disorient (D) Horror Horror (S) Sleep Sleep(S) Waking Nightmare Waking Nightmare (S)
Drain Life Drain Life (S) Death Magic Death Magic (D) Curse of Mortality Curse of Mortality (D) Death Cloud Death Cloud (D)

Arcane Warrior[]

Combat Magic Combat Magic (D) Aura of Might Aura of Might (N/A) Shimmering Shield Shimmering Shield (D) Fade Shroud Fade Shroud (N/A)

Blood Mage[]

Blood Magic Blood Magic (D) Blood Sacrifice Blood Sacrifice (D) Blood Wound Blood Wound (D) Blood Control Blood Control (D)


Spider Shape Spider Shape (D) Bear Shape Bear Shape (D) Flying Swarm Flying Swarm (D) Master Shapeshifter Master Shapeshifter (N/A)

Spirit Healer[]

Group Heal Group Heal (D) Revival Revival (D) Lifeward Lifeward (D) Cleansing Aura Cleansing Aura (D)

Power of Blood[]

Dark Sustenance Dark Sustenance (S) Bloody Grasp Bloody Grasp (S)

Battlemage (Awakening)[]

Draining Aura Draining Aura (D) Hand of Winter Hand of Winter (D) Stoic Stoic (N/A) Elemental Chaos Elemental Chaos (D)

Keeper (Awakening)[]

One With Nature One With Nature (D) Thornblades Thornblades (D) Replenishment Replenishment (N/A) Nature's Vengeance Nature's Vengeance (D)