Origins | Ostagar | Lothering | Circle Tower | Warden's Keep (DLC) | Return to Ostagar (DLC) | Stone Prisoner (DLC) | Brecilian Forest | Redcliffe | The Urn of Sacred Ashes | Orzammar | Deep Roads | Denerim | Final Onslaught
Aldarion | Alistair | Leliana | Mabari War Hound | Morrigan | Oghren | Shale | Sten | Wynne | Zevran |
MORRIGAN, SHAPESHIFTER / BLOOD MAGE
Strength 14 Dexterity 16 Willpower 21 Magic 24 Cunning 12 Constitution 10
Starting Inventory / Magic Staff (Steel), Morrigan's Robes, Clasp of the Wilds
Starting Talents at 7th level
An alternative build for Morrigan is one that allows her to take advantage of both the Shapeshifter and the Blood Mage specializations in a nearly seamless system. The idea requires a bit of explanation. Once Morrigan develops her Blood Mage abilities, she will always keep the Blood Magic sustained ability active. Blood Magic draws upon health to power spells instead of mana. It amounts to a calculated gamble that the increased spell casting power will suffice to win the battle quickly enough to minimize the risks of drawing on health to empower spells. This gamble is often justified, since a single casting of Blood Wound for example often suffices to win a battle outright. If Morrigan's health is getting too low for comfort, she invokes the Flying Swarm ability. This will basically turn Morrigan into a fast and mobile spell-like entity that inflicts continuous nature damage on all enemies next to her. It also won't affect her comrades. Any attacks no her while in Flying Swarm mode will not detract from her health. It will instead reduce her mana, which will have been untapped while she was in Blood Mage mode. With Master Shapeshifter, the Flying Swarm will recoup health whenever it inflicts damage on the monsters. For an idea of what Morrigan can do with Flying Swarm, check out this video (not made by me):
So, Morrigan can let loose as a Blood Mage. If her health is getting low, she can turn into a Flying Swarm. Any attacks to her only reduce her untapped mana. Her own damage on the monsters recoups her health. Once she's back to full health, she can revert back to human form and resume Blood Magic. This can lead to quite a destructive and self-replenishing cycle, assuming the battle will even last that long.
If you do rely on Morrigan as your single Mage for your party, and whichever build you choose for her, be sure to include Heal in the mix so that she can aid her comrades once in a while. Get her Arcane Tomes if you rely on her as your sole mage. My progression for Morrigan was:
Bear Shape - More of a stepping stone to other abilities.
Sleep - A useful spell for a group of enemies that surround the party. Morrigan can also follow up by casting Horror on a sleeping target to either kill it outright or otherwise inflict plenty of spirit damage. This is the Nightmare combo.
Insect Swarm - See my comments above.
Death Magic - This doesn't work very well with Blood Magic, so it's really a stepping stone to other abilities in the tree.
Master Shapeshifter - The real point of this is so that Flying Swarm will recoup Morrigan's health whenever she inflicts damage.
Curse of Mortality - A deadly single-target spell. It inflicts minor damage, but also prevents the target from getting healed for its duration.
Blood Magic - Allows Morrigan to draw upon her health instead of Mana to power her spells.
Blood Sacrifice - Use with care. Can bail out Morrigan if she's low on health and she wants to continue to use Blood Magic, but can also kill a wounded party member. It's also a stepping stone to ...
Blood Wound - This is like Crushing Prison on crack. It may not score as much spirit damage on an individual target as Crushing Prison, but the fact that it has pretty much the same effect on multiple foes and can be cast without hurting your comrades even if they're in the area of effect means this spell often suffices to win battles by itself.
Death Cloud - Blood Wound inflicts spirit damage, so it makes sense to add a storm-spell that also uses spirit damage. This point will become evident when I describe Morrigan's inventory.
Cone of Cold - Now she starts to round things out by adding cold damage to her repertoire, which will be enhanced by her Robes of Possession. It may be an equally valid choice to take this and Blizzard earlier, especially if you rely on Morrigan as your only Mage. I suspect the reason I put it off till this point may be because Aldarion already had it.
Blizzard - Icing on the cake.
Affliction Hex - A minor spell with the benefit on reducing the target's elemental resistances.
Misdirection Hex - A spell that causes its target to pretty much miss all of its physical attacks. Keep in mind that it will draw that target's 'aggro' when you use it.
Death Hex - The target will be vulnerable to critical hits for the duration. It will also draw 'aggro' from the target. This spell, in conjunction with Death Cloud, can also subject the target to the Entropic Death combo that inflicts massive Spirit damage.
Blood Domination - This has some utility, but Morrigan's other abilities often prove decisive.
Waking Nightmare - Another card for Morrigan's deck. It works very similarly to Chaos in older D&D rules systems whereby multiple foes simply wander around and become sitting ducks for the party's attacks.
Expert Herbalism - The real point to this is to be able to take advantage of a method for raising limitless gold that involves selling Potent Lyrium Potions at a profit. The method requires the Master Herbalism skill, so Expert Herbalism is really just a stepping stone.
Master Herbalism - And voila.
Combat Tactics - Unlike Wynne or Aldarion, I heavily script Morrigan since her participation is often in situations where I don't have direct control over her. I thus like to give her as many tactics slots as possible.
Improved Combat Tactics - Same thing.
Expert Combat Tactics - Same thing.
Expert Combat Training - Improving her ability to cast a spell despite damage.
Self: Any - Blood Magic
Self Health < 50% - Flying Swarm
Enemy clustered with 3 other Enemies - Blood Wound
Self Mana - 10% - Deactivate Flying Swarm
Self surrounded by at least 4 Enemies - Waking Nightmare
Self surrounded by at least 3 Enemies - Sleep
Enemy Sleeping - Horror
Enemy Health > 75% - Winter's Grasp
Enemy Health > 50% - Lightning
Nearest Visible Enemy - Attack
I actually have rather more extensive scripting for Morrigan since many of her abilities will not harm comrades, and since her participation is often in scenarios where all of the other comrades have to join in as well.
Weapon: Corrupted Magister's Staff
Helmet: Reinforced Magus Cowl
Armor: Robes of Possession
Gloves: Silk Weave Gloves
Boots: Enchanter's Footing
Belt: Destructionist's Belt
1st Ring: Blood Ring
2nd Ring: Dreamsever
Some items provide bonuses that are helpful for any Mage build: Magic, Willpower, Spellpower, mana regeneration, and defense. Items that provide bonuses to Spirit damage will augment Blood Wound, Death Cloud, and the Nightmare combo. The Robes of Possession provides a hefty bonus to cold damage that will augment Cone of Cold, Winter's Grasp, and Blizzard. The Silk Weave Gloves will increase the damage she inflicts while in Flying Swarm form. The Blood Ring will also reduce the hit on health that she takes whenever she uses Blood Magic to cast spells.
I pump up Magic first to get fourth talents in various spell trees. After that, I go with +1 Magic and +2 Constitution. This makes sense, considering the particular system I have set up for Morrigan, and also because she has items that provide considerable boosts to Spellpower so there isn't as much of an onus to increase Magic as much.