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The Hivernal is one of eleven high dragons encountered in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It can be found in the eastern area of Emprise Du Lion. The Inquisitor can gain access to the region by completing the war table scouting operation Restore Judicael's Crossing. The dragon can be found in Etienne's Ring, the first arena seen after crossing the bridge.

Note: It is recommended to pick up the quest Breeding Grounds before going after the Hivernal, as the quest cannot be started if one of the 3 dragons involved have been killed prior to obtaining it.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Hivernal was once a coveted hunting target, thanks to the thick layers of fat beneath her skin which helped the early human tribes of the Orlesian Highlands to survive the harsh winters. Several Orlesian houses still proudly display stuffed Hivernals as trophies. During the age when hunting the Hivernal was a matter of necessity, a triumphant party would return to a feast, following which meat from the Hivernal would be salted and the hide would be turned into weapons, clothing and potions. The "Hivernal Feast" is stll celebrated in some villages, although few recall its origin.[1]

Quests[edit | edit source]

Breeding Grounds Breeding Grounds
Dragon Hunter Dragon Hunter

Locations[edit | edit source]

Emprise du Lion Emprise du Lion

Stats[edit | edit source]

Level 19 Boss
207873 HP (Normal difficulty) /226288 HP (Nightmare difficulty)
59 Armor
Greater Cold Resistance
Fire Vulnerability
Immunity: All Disabling Effects
Immunity: Slowed

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • The Hivernal breathes ice instead of fire, dealing cold damage. The dragon is resistant to cold damage, but vulnerable to fire. Bringing cold resistance tonics is a must on higher difficulties, particularly for your tank. Regeneration potions can also help, especially if they have been upgraded with Lifeward and Proximity Heal, as can Antivan Fire grenades. Equip your mage or mages with a fire staff. Dragon-slaying and fire runes can also help somewhat, but it's not required.
  • The battle against the Hivernal is almost identical to the one against the Greater Mistral in the Emerald Graves. The main difference is that the Hivernal will not generate a Guard bar at regular intervals as the Greater Mistral will; however, the Hivernal is two levels higher and correspondingly tougher.
  • The Hivernal will stay on the ground for most of the fight. She will make small "jumps" to cover distance at times. During the battle, at 75%, 50%, and 25% health, she will take off. Shortly after, she will return at high speed, breathing ice bursts at party members along her path, which will chill (slow) and damage them. Shortly after she will land, knocking any party members nearby off their feet and doing high damage to them. Spreading your party out and/or keeping the party moving when she takes off is a good idea. Abilities like Evade, Fade Step and Combat Roll will be useful to keep your party members out of harm's way.
  • All dragons will often attack any party member close to her 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, so 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 common to most dragons in the game. She will flap her wings 4 times, and every time, she will suck your party closer to her and do high damage to them. The ability has an extremely long range so it's doubtful you can outrun it. There are 3 ways to deal with this ability:
  1. 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.
  2. You can hide behind obstacles. This can be difficult because of poor AI pathfinding, AI unwillingness to stand where ordered even when "holding position", and the dragon constantly moving and destroying obstacles.
  3. 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) & 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 where they should. When the dragon stops flapping its wings, get your ranged party members out again quickly, so they don't get hit by the dragon's melee attacks.
  • The Hivernal will also use her Ice Blast ability if a party member that is not in melee range is generating threat. She will shoot a ball of ice in a straight line which will explode on the ground and leave a cloud of frost. Any party member that walks over this, will take damage and get chilled (slowed). Sometimes she will jump away from the party intentionally to use this attack. Avoid this ability with Fade Step/Evade/Combat Roll.
  • The Hivernal will use its Ice Breath ability at random points. She will signify this ability by raising her head back and up. She will then spray the ground in front and to the sides of her, seeking to hit any party members that are standing close enough. The breath will leave party members chilled as well as doing damage to them. Avoid this ability with Fade Step/Evade/Combat Roll.
  • Focusing your party's damage on the dragon's legs can make the dragon fall to the ground helplessly for a short while when you have damaged all four legs enough. 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.
  • Specific to the Hivernal's location in Etienne's Ring is a single character kill strategy for the very patient. Equip a mage with cold resistant armor, guard generation on hit and a fire staff with a Dragon-Slaying Rune. As one passes the statues before the stairs to enter the ring, hop up on the rocks on the north side and climb up to the top with the mage character. If you switch characters, pathfinding will teleport your first character back, so you only get one. Station the mage where normal shots cannot hit the Hivernal and keep firing. Normal shots will miss, but the triple shot goes around barriers such as the incline of rocks in front of you. This incline also protects the mage from the Hivernal's breath and the pull of the maelstrom ability. When it takes off, it can still be targeted with the staff and the breath attack takes so long to reach the mage, stepping aside is easy. Note that the freezing attack can't really be avoided, but since it does very little or no damage depending on resistances, just wait until the mage unfreezes and continue, as the Hivernal will never come up on the rocks.

Trespasser[edit | edit source]

  • With the addition of the DLC Trespasser an achievement has been added for defeating the Hivernal with the trial Rub Some Dirt on It' switched on. When this trial is active all healing potions only heal 1 health.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Killing the dragon yields:

  • 2,929 XP plus 1,324 XP
  • Influence 3600
  • Power 5

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

Superior Grenades Belt Superior Grenades Belt
Staff of the Void Staff of the Void
Emerald Emerald (2)
Masterwork Battlemaster Armor Masterwork Battlemaster Armor
Sigil of Deathroot Sigil of Deathroot (Trespasser required)
Dragon Gland Dragon Gland (50% chance)
Pure Dragon Blood Pure Dragon Blood (6-10)
Dragon's Tooth Dragon's Tooth (2-4)
Dragon Webbing Dragon Webbing (14-20)
Dragon Scales Dragon Scales (14-20)
Dragon Bone Dragon Bone (14-20)

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • As of Patch 5, the Amulet of Power Amulet of Power intended for Iron Bull can no longer be looted from Hivernal.
  • The frost dragon fought in Multiplayer is based on the Hivernal. Unlike it's campaign counterpart, the Multiplayer dragon can generate guard.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • "Hivernal" is a French adjective meaning "wintery" or "winterly".

See also[edit | edit source]

Trial of the Tower achievement

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]