The Fereldan Frostback is one of the ten high dragons encountered in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It can be found in Lady Shayna's Valley; the northeast area of the Hinterlands, closest to the Dusklight Camp.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Fereldan Frostback is a variant of High Dragon that is native to the Frostback Mountains. Even when compared to other High Dragons, Frostbacks are viciously territorial. They often claim a large swath of territory where their numerous offspring are allowed to roam, under the protection of their mother.[1]

Stats[edit | edit source]

Level 12 Boss
90000 HP (Normal) / 105261 HP (Nightmare)
38 Armor
Greater Fire Resistance
Cold Vulnerability
Immunity: All Disabling Effects
Immunity: Slowed

Strategy[edit | edit source]

The Fereldan Frostback is resistant to fire, but vulnerable to cold. She is immune to all debilitating effects. It is recommended to face this dragon at levels 10 to 13 using a warrior, a rogue dual wielding daggers and either two mages or one mage and one rogue archer. All party members should have fire-resistant armor and dragon-slaying or frost weapon runes. Equipping fire resistance tonics may also help.

Despite being the first dragon most players encounter, the Fereldan Frostback can be quite difficult even for players who over-level themselves before the fight. This is mostly due to her controlling the terrain of the battle as well as calling dragonlings to aid her, the latter often swarming the players.

There are four stages of the combat:

  • First Stage. As you enter the initial area close to the camp (Lady Shayna's Valley), the dragon will circle around, destroying the top of the central spire by smashing into it. Upon seeing your party she will start to periodically bombard you with fireballs. The first fireballs will be coming directly above you so try to dodge them and get close to the central spire. The dragon will change her path when you are far enough in. Standing behind the spire will protect you from this new wave of fireballs. You can also put in some hits with a mage or an archer. After a few rounds, she will eventually fly and land in the next area (Blood Cliffs). If somehow you are caught off-guard by a wild fireball, you have time to cast barrier in the time the fireball takes to travel. Be aware that this area contains dragonlings who will also attack you if they notice you.
Note: You can skip this stage altogether by running through Lady Shayna's Valley into the Blood Cliffs.
  • Second Stage. The dragon lands in the Blood Cliffs area and this is where the real fight begins. Get your warrior in front of the dragon and all ranged members to the sides close to her. If any party member is too far away, the dragon will flap her wings and suck party members in while doing heavy damage to them. This can be avoided by staying relatively close to her. All dragons are immune to taunting, so the only purpose to abilities such as War Cry or Challenge is to generate guard. Rogues with daggers should be at the back to maximize damage. Dragons have multiple targetable parts: dealing enough damage to any leg will force her to jump to the other leg. For example, when you hurt the left leg enough she will jump to her right. When she does so, reposition your team as before with only the warrior in front. This positioning ensures that only your warrior will be hit by breath attacks, and your party won't get stomped on. Though she can't be taunted, she will still attack the party member with the greatest threat generation, in this case your warrior wearing heavy armor. Cast Barrier whenever possible on the warrior or any member who needs it the most.
  • Third Stage. When you cut her health to 75%, she will take to the skies again, throwing fireballs and breathing fire down a path. This attack is a little tricky to avoid as it is faster than the fireball and has a wide AoE, so it is a good idea to keep your party on the move. She will land on a ledge and call dragonlings to attack you. Although you can used ranged attacks at this point, you should focus on killing the dragonlings to stop them damaging your party. The dragon will return to the field after killing all the dragonlings and the fight will continue as per the second stage. Taking her health down to ~50% will make her fly to a ledge and summon dragonlings again. During this stage the dragon may use a roar that will stun your entire party for a few seconds.
Note: If you manage to deal enough damage at around the 75% point, e.g. with an archer dealing critical Long Shot or Full Draw damage with a powerful bow, then she will not take off or summon any dragonlings and will remain on the ground for the duration of the fight. It may help to target her head, as enough damage there will interrupt her attacks and make her forget what she was doing for a moment.
  • Final Stage. Upon reaching 20-25% health, she will proceed to the final area. Climb up the hill by following the path. If somehow you can't get to her, your party can. The dragon will face you to the bitter end here, along with her dragonlings, although it will take longer for the dragonlings to reach the area compared to previous stages and it is possible to finish her off before any dragonlings reach your party. This area is smaller than the previous one so you might get caught by the maelstrom attack and/or get KO'd instantly by a wild fire breath attack, so this is when you should attack her all-out. She will also stun your party with her roar, but if you keep the party spread out, you're only likely to lose one member if she follows up with a breath attack after a roar. Once you kill her, loot her remains and claim the landmark.
Bug icon.png Bug! If you take too long to climb the hill in the final stage, the Inquisitor will be tossed into the stratosphere and out of combat. Random party conversations may even take place. If you do not act quickly and switch to another character still on the ground, you will die upon reaching the top of the map. Switching to another character returns you to the middle of the map but effectively resets the battle: the High Dragon will return to full HP while you and your party have the same HP and number of potions.

Trespasser[edit | edit source]

  • With the addition of the DLC Trespasser an achievement has been added for defeating a level 16 Fereldan Frostback with the trial Even Ground switched on. When this trial is active enemies scale to match the Inquisitor's level. The trial does not alter any of the dragon's tactics, however, a well-equipped party should still be able to defeat the Fereldan Frostback using the strategy mentioned above. Keep in mind all dragonlings will also scale to the Inquisitor's level.

Exploits[edit | edit source]

The Fereldan Frostback can easily be cheesed to death by a mage standing at the entrance to the Blood Cliffs at maximum engagement distance, using a frost staff along with the storm spell Energy Barrage to attack while she sits too far away to attack you. This exploit is due to staves and spells having essentially unlimited range and perfect accuracy. This will take some time depending on your level and you'll need to adjust your character since energy barrage will move them forward a little bit each time. Due to the distance, however, she won't fight back, and your allies will continually reset back up next to you, preventing them from getting close enough to aggro her.

This cheese is even easier if you have the ring of doubt, as Energy Barrage does not cancel the invisibility, and therefore allows you to be anywhere within attack range to kill the dragon.

Bug icon.png Bug! Occasionally when the dragon is fought using this method she will not change position as her health depletes. If she does not fly up to the final perch her skull may not spawn when she dies and therefore drops no loot. Other times, she drops her skull, but even if killed on the ground, the skull will spawn in an inaccessible location on one of the two perches. However, often the skull will simply spawn on your location (like with all distant loot drops) and can simply be looted as normal.

You can use this fight to farm for experience and loot from Dragonlings. They reward 36exp per kill along with the chance to drop valuable crafting materials. In order to do this, simply have a rogue with Stealth stay far enough away so that they don't get attacked and allow your 3 teammates to kill the creatures for you. If the loot doesn't appear at your feet (which it should if you're far enough away), then simply use Stealth to run in and grab all the loot.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

  • 1,057 XP plus 1,934 XP
  • 1600 Influence
  • 4 Power

Loot[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

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