Vinsomer is one of eleven high dragons encountered in Dragon Age: Inquisition. After settling on the Storm Coast, and venturing south, the Inquisitor's party will encounter the dragon near the coastline, due west of the Blades of Hessarian camp, fighting a giant. The Vinsomer will leave that area if either the giant dies or if the party gets close enough to join in the battle.
Vinsomer eventually can be confronted on Dragon Island, located northwest off of the Storm Coast. In order to reach Dragon Island, the Inquisitor must first acquire and complete the war table operation Red Templars on the Storm Coast. Doing so unlocks the side quest Red Water, which then grants access to the locked dwarven ruin located in the southwestern-most area of the Storm Coast known as Daerwin's Mouth. Once the party reaches the end of the ruins a boat can be used to ferry to Dragon Island.
According to legend, an especially large Vinsomer was the last dragon felled by the hand of Caspar Pentaghast. In Nevarran poetry, its breath alone caused thunderstorms and its wings formed hurricanes. Modern Vinsomer no longer grow to the same length, but are wary, dangerous and usually prefer isolated, high and rocky coasts.
- Level 19 Boss
- 226288 HP (Nightmare difficulty)
- 59 Armor
- Greater Electricity Resistance
- Spirit Vulnerability
- Immunity: All Disabling Effects
- Immunity: Slowed
The Vinsomer breathes electricity, dealing electric damage. Accordingly, she’s resistant to electric damage but vulnerable to spirit damage. She is immune to almost all status effects; the one notable exception is poison, which will damage her.
Vinsomer’s attacks and abilities
All dragon attacks deal high amounts of damage and may inflict status effects with certain attacks. The Vinsomer uses the following attacks and abilities:
- Melee attacks:
- Claw: she will look at a target in melee range and raise the closest leg to signify a claw attack. This is done quite slowly and can easily be avoided with Combat Roll (warriors), Evade (rogues) or Fade Step (mages).
- Bite: she will bite a target in melee range, but only if they are at her front and attacking her head. Identifying this attack can be difficult as it uses a similar animation to other attacks.
- Tail: she will raise her tail up and to the side, then 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.
- Jump: although not strictly an attack, she will occasionally jump about the battlefield, knocking over any party members in range at both her start and end points.
- All melee attacks will knock over party members in range. Being knocked over deals damage and leaves the party vulnerable in the time it takes to get back to their feet.
- Elemental attacks:
- Electric ball: similar to a fireball, she may shoot a ball of electricity at a party member. The ball will deal damage on hit and leave a cloud of electricity behind afterwards. Any party member entering the cloud will have damage dealt to them over time. This ball can be avoided fairly easily because it travels in a completely straight line – just run to the side.
- Electric breath: she may breathe electricity at nearby party members. She will broadcast this attack by raising her head back and up. Unlike the electric ball, she will turn to direct this attack at party members.
- Vortex: she may raise her wings high up above her body and flap her wings four times. This generates a vortex that sucks party members outside of melee range close to her, dealing damage with every flap. It does not deal damage to party members inside the vortex. The vortex also deflects ranged projectiles coming from outside its area of effect, including ability attacks like Energy Barrage or Long Shot, but doesn't deflect attacks from inside. Get all party members into melee range as quickly as you can. Once the vortex is over, move your ranged attackers away as soon as possible.
- Guard: she may generate a full guard bar at random intervals. This is usually signified by her jumping away, lowering her head, stamping her feet on the ground, and glowing. The guard bar must be destroyed in order to keep damaging her.
- Berserk: she will occasionally raise up on her back legs then slam her front legs into the ground, knocking any nearby party members over and creating electric circles around each party member. These rings will move with you and will deal damage over time; however, they also deal damage to any other party members inside another’s ring. This means that two party members standing close together will be dealt damage from their own ring and also from the other person’s ring. Dispel removes the effect, but the damage can interrupt the casting of dispel, so you may need to try a couple of times.
Ideally, your party should have the following set-up:
Two mages, each with the following abilities:
One warrior, with the following abilities:
- Combat Roll
- Upgraded Shield Bash; if you have Trespasser, make sure the upgrade Ring the Bell is toggled on for its extra guard damage.
- An alternative to Shield Bash is the Battlemaster ability War Horn upgraded to have Break Their Spirit, but given the investment needed to get it you’re better off with Shield Bash.
Your choice of fourth party member.
It goes without saying that you will need to have decent equipment to stand a chance against any dragon, particularly on higher difficulties. However, there are some types of equipment that will give you a better chance against this particular dragon:
- Fire or ice staves for mages, with spirit runes equipped if you can manage
- Dragon-slaying runes for non-mage weapons will help but aren't mandatory
- Weapons that do additional guard damage, e.g. Mhemet's War Hammer (only if you replace the electricity rune!) or Pyre of the Forgotten
- Any armour with increased electricity resistance
- Any armour with increased magic defence (magic defence increases all elemental resistances)
- Any accessories that gives a health bonus
- Any accessories that increases electricity resistance
- Any accessories that gives a guard damage bonus
If possible, you should have the Inquisition perks "More healing potions" (Forces) and "Tempered glass flasks" (Inquisition) to expand the number of potions your party members can carry. The following potions/tonics/grenades are strongly recommended:
- Regeneration Potion – upgrade this potion as high as possible, as soon as possible. Adding proximity heal will mean that the regeneration potion heals the user and any nearby party members - this stacks. Adding lifeward means it heals more and faster when you're at low health. Equip it on as many people as you can.
- Electrical Resistance Tonic – particularly useful for your warrior, as they will take the brunt of the electric breath attack.
If you have any spare potion slots and/or you don't have access to one or more of the above potions, these may work as alternates:
- Mighty Offense Tonic - will temporarily increase damage. This may be particularly useful for this fight if it's been upgraded to include bonus damage against guard.
- Rock Armor Tonic - will temporarily increase armour.
- Healing Mist - this grenade will heal any party members in its area of effect. If it's been fully upgraded, it will also revive fallen party members.
- Tears of the Dead - rogues only. This adds poison to the rogue's attack, which will help whittle down the dragon's health but isn't that useful in comparison to other potions.
The biggest problem with this battle is the combination of the Berserk attack and the occasional full guard bar she’ll generate. The guard bar will extend the fight and the Berserk attack can't be dodged, which will wear down your resources. Otherwise, this is a fairly straightforward battle.
Turn off the barrier spell in tactics for one of your mages and keep control of that mage as much as possible during the battle. This will allow you to refresh your party’s barrier just as it fades, while the other mage’s barrier spell is cooling down, while it also prevents the AI from casting both barrier spells at once. This means you can keep up a barrier for most of the battle, if not all of it. Only switch away from your chosen mage when you need to take control of another party member to use Combat Roll, Fade Step or Evade to dodge an attack.
Keep your party spread out as much as possible. If you have three ranged attackers you will be able to keep your party spread out so that they don’t inadvertently damage each other when the Vinsomer uses her Berserk attack. The Vinsomer will stay on the ground for the duration of the fight, but she will likely deal the most (non-electric) damage when she leaps across the area. Again, keeping your party spread out will help minimise this damage.
You have two main options for this fight: either focus on her head, or focus on her legs.
Focusing on her head will occasionally interrupt her attacks while she shakes her head and stops attacking for a couple of seconds, buying you precious time. This is a good tactic to take if you are having trouble with the damage she deals out – particularly the Berserk attack, which cannot be avoided. However, focussing on her head will lead your melee attackers away from her flanks and into the line of her breath and bite attacks, plus it gives up any chance of making her collapse.
Focusing on her legs, on the other hand, will eventually make her collapse on the ground for a short time, unable to move. This makes her a great target for ground-based multi-hit abilities such as Mark of the Rift or Firestorm. In order to do this, you should target one of her legs and command your whole party to attack that leg. After you have dealt enough damage to it, she will flinch and jump away, knocking nearby party members over. You know her leg is damaged enough when it starts bleeding profusely. At that point, you should switch to a different leg and repeat the process until that leg is bleeding as well.
Once all four legs are damaged enough, she will collapse to the ground a short time after (the collapse is not immediate). However, dealing enough damage to all of the legs takes a very long time, almost to the end of the battle, and you may not be able to make her collapse before she dies. If you do manage to make her collapse, however, she will be close to death - hit her with everything you’ve got and if you’re lucky you’ll kill her before she recovers.
Killing the dragon yields:
- 11,718 XP plus 2,649 XP
- Influence 3000
- Power 4
- Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 304
- Dragon Age: Inquisition Collector's Edition Prima Guide p.327: "Berserk: A devastating 40-metre area-of-effect attack utilising the dragon's elemental ability."