Guard is a combat mechanic in Dragon Age: Inquisition.


Guard: A type of combat training that protects the target from damage. Incoming attacks must deplete the guard before the target loses health. Some abilities, spells, and weapons do bonus damage against a target's guard. A target with an active guard resists being staggered or knocked down.

--Codex entry: Status Effects

Guard generation and loss Edit

Full guard bar

A warrior's guard at full.

There are two aspects of guard generation, the maximum guard and things that add to guard. The latter increases guard (seen as a metal colored mesh over the health bar) until the maximum is reached. Increasing the maximum increases the amount of guard that can be added. Guard that would be added after the maximum is reached is discarded.

Unlike Barrier, guard does not decay over time. Instead, guard is removed when one of the following occurs:

  • No loss
    • Riding a mount as either the rider or in the party
    • Swapping members of the party in and out using the Change Party station in camps
    • Claiming a fort
  • Incremental loss
    • One point of damage reduces guard by one point, including damage from falling.
    • Loading a saved game can reduce the guard of the Inquisitor.
    • (Trespasser) Travelling through Eluvians has a chance of reducing guard.
  • Total loss:

If a character has both barrier and guard active, damage is applied first to the barrier, then to guard and finally to health. This is independent of whether the barrier or guard was applied first.

Maximum guard Edit

The maximum guard is computed by taking the guard factor, multiplying it by the character's maximum health and rounding down, where the initial, unmodified guard factor is 25% and bonuses are additive to that percentage.[1] If, for example, health is 100 and the guard bonus from an item is 8%, then the new maximum guard is 100*(25%+8%) = 33.3 rounded down to 33.

Maximum guard increasing abilities Edit

Bulwark icon Bulwark
Untouchable Defense Untouchable Defense

Maximum guard increasing items Edit

DAI-Rare-Belt-icon2 Enhanced Guard Belt
Evanura icon Evanura
Common Belt Icon2 Guard Belt
Unique belt icon Master Guard Belt
Unique belt icon Superior Guard Belt
Wintersbreath icon Wintersbreath

Gaining guard Edit

Guard is gained from the use of activated abilities or as a benefit from items, usually as a consequence of hitting an enemy. Guard that is gained from active abilities like War Cry do not depend on the level or aggression of the taunted creature. It is thus possible to build up guard by following a slow moving animal like a Gurn around and taunting it until guard reaches full.

Guard gaining abilities Edit

Challenge Challenge
Charging Bull Charging Bull
To the Death En Garde
Block and Slash Flawless Defense
Horn of Valor Fortifying Blast
Rally icon Rally
Shield Wall (Inquisition) Shield Wall
Walking Fortress inc icon Siege-Breaker
Unbowed Still Standing
War Cry (Inquisition) War Cry

Crafting materials that add guard Edit

Fade-Touched Onyx icon Fade-Touched Onyx (Guard)
Fade-Touched Obsidian icon Fade-Touched Obsidian (Guard)
Fade-Touched Silverite icon Fade-Touched Silverite (Guard)
Superb Dragon-Slaying Rune icon Sigil of the Bronto

Items that add guard Edit

Unique amulet icon Andraste's Sacrifice
DAI-Unique-Dagger-icon2 Aurora's Freedom
Masterwork Vanguar Mail icon Bownammer Plate
Estwatch Guard icon Estwatch Guard
Magehunter icon Magehunter
Masterwork Vanguar Mail icon Masterwork Battlemaster Mail
Masterwork Vanguar Mail icon Masterwork Vanguard Mail
DAI-Unique-Dagger-icon1 Savage Thorn
Cassandra-Divine-armor-icon The Divine
The Last Stand icon The Last Stand
DAI-Unique-Sword-icon1 Valos Atredum

Damaging guard Edit

Guard is normally damaged at a rate of one point of damage per one point of guard. This damage can be increased by the various abilities and items below, each of which give a bonus as a percentage. The final guard damage is computed by adding 100% to the sum of the bonuses and multiplying that by the damage done. For example, if the damage is 50, and Ring The Bell is activated in the attack (bonus 400%), then the final guard damage is 50 * (100% + 400%) = 250.

If the damage is greater than the guard, the guard damage bonus is ignored, the guard deducted from the damage and the remainder applied to health.[2]

Guard Damaging Abilities Edit

War Horn Break Their Spirit
Guard Smasher Guard-Smasher
Shield Bash (Inquisition) Ring the Bell
Spirit Blade icon Spirit Blade
Stonefist inquistion icon Unblockable Force

Crafting materials that add damage to guard Edit

Pyrophite icon Pyrophite
Summer Stone icon Summer Stone
Volcanic Aurum icon Volcanic Aurum

Items that add damage to guard Edit

Tyrddas Staff icon Accuser's Staff
DAI-Unique-Maul-icon Avvar War-Maul
Bane of Red Crossing icon Bane of Red Crossing
Bianca Arms Icon1 Compound Crossbow Arms
Generic enhanced ring icon Enhanced Ring of Guard Penetration
Audacity icon Knightslayer
Mark's Mangled Mace Icon Mark's Mangled Mace
DAI-Unique-Hammer-icon Mhemet's War Hammer
Bane of Red Crossing icon Punched by the Maker
Staff of the Void icon Pyre of the Forgotten
DAI-ringicon2-common Ring of Guard Penetration
Unique ring icon Ring of Smashing
Saboteur Knife Icon Saboteur's Knife
Unique ring icon Superb Ring of Guard Penetration
The Sunless Staff icon The Sunless Staff

References Edit

  2. BSN thread
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