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Dragon Age Wiki

Flying Swarm is a mage spell from the Shapeshifter specialization in Dragon Age: Origins.


  • Flying Swarm's area of effect is a 4m sphere.
  • Attack speed is rate of AoE tick: once per 1.5 seconds.
  • Movement speed: 2.0x
  • In Flying Swarm form, the shapeshifter gains the following passive abilities: 40% displacement/dodge, -75% fire resistance, 100% missile deflection.
  • Gains Divide the Swarm and passive vampiric health regeneration (~20% of damage dealt on Nightmare, ~40% of damage dealt on Easy) with Master Shapeshifter. See 'Abilities' below for more information on Divide the Swarm.
  • Conjuration time: 2s.

Damage formula: initial testing[]

Damage is attenuated to 50% at a distance of 3.8 metres, to 25% at 4.5 metres. The damage per tick is effectively (5 + SP/6) * (1 + R).

This equates with SP being spellpower and R a random floating point number in the range [0, 1).

Factor into this the swarm does nature damage and you can reach a max of 50% nature damage in Awakening and take advantage of hexes in combat. Final formula with that factored in: (5 + SP/6) * (1 + R)*(1.05-2).


  • While in Shapeshift form no other abilities can be active.
  • Upkeep is in Mana.
  • Arcane Warrior Spellcasting: The spell can be cast with your weapon(s) drawn.
  • Flying Swarm's speed makes it useful as a means of getting around quickly.
  • The form ends as soon as the mage's mana is completely drained.
  • The Spirit spell Force Field does not prevent the mage from taking damage to mana, while in this form.
  • Scattershot will still hit the mage in this form.
  • Passive bonuses from gear apply to this form, so +x% fire resist, +x% spell resist, +x% nature damage and +x% dodge are all great additions. Despite what the description would lead one to believe, gear with +x mana/stamina regeneration, such as Cailan's Arms, does regenerate the mana pool. On hit bonuses do not apply, however.
  • With the Arcane Warrior specialization and the proper gear (some from DLC), 100% dodge, high spell resist, and high positive fire resist(when a Greater Warmth Balm is imbibed before entering this mode) is possible and creates a superb off-tank of foes lacking nature resist.


Divide the Swarm Divide the Swarm
Range: Medium
Activation: 32
Cooldown: 40s
Requires: Flying Swarm
The shapeshifter directs part of the swarm to break off and engulf a targeted enemy, temporarily disorienting and stunning the opponent. The spells also weakens the swarm, bringing it closer to the brink of collapse.


  • There seems to be a bug where the mage when left in this mode unattended with tactics enabled will try to cast spells from their repertoire regardless of whether it was listed in the tactics or not. On such an attempt, the cast is not successful and it almost completely drains the mana pool.
  • An "immortality" bug would occur if the caster tries to activate Flying Swarm under the effect of Anti-Magic Ward. Despite multiple tips showing "spell immunity", most bonuses (excluding immunity to Overwhelm) will still apply while the caster remains in humanoid form (i.e. they are able to caster other spells and activate sustainables). Although incoming damage drains mana instead of health as intended, the caster never runs out of mana thus takes almost no damage during combat unless being dispelled. An example of exploit can be seen here: [1].

See also[]