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At some point in the third chapter of the game you encounter a high dragon.

It is in the quest "Mine Massacre" in the bone pits.

Most of the combat so far in Dragon Age II is pretty easy, but this one drags on for a long time, consuming enormous amounts of potions and still that damned dragon just won't die. It doesn't help that the dragon seems to be immune to most special effect, which prevents me from using any of the awesome cross-class combinations.

Does this high dragon have any vulnerabilities? What are some effective tactics to kill it?

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8 Answers 8

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As it's a fire dragon, it's extremely susceptible to cold: stock up on +cold damage items like Cold-Blooded or Mutiny, and try to get the Elemental Weapons spell.

But the fight is supposed to be a long one: it's got a huge amount of health. Health potions probably aren't going to cut it, and you should dedicate one of your party members to be the healer. Also make sure to stock up on fire resistance gear.

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1  
I found Runes of Fire Warding to be extremely helpful. After fully kitting her armor and shield with them, Aveline had 100% fire resistance. Also, there are (at least) three different varieties of healing potions: Health Potions, Restoration Potions, and Elfroot potions. They do not share a common cooldown timer. –  anthony137 Mar 16 '11 at 19:47

One cheap trick is to move to furthest point of the map when Highdragon is on the ground. When you are far enough your characters will go off from the battle. Then your characters will heal and you can save if you want to.

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Cold spells are the best. You are gonna need a healer and a lot of potions.

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Critical phases are those, when the dragon is on the highground, spawning small dragons and shooting fireballs at you. Deal with the mature dragons as fast as possible, they are tough.

While he is on the ground with you, the task is easy. You just need two ranged characters. Take control of the one, who is under attack from the dragon. Let the other one deliver his shots. When the dragon decides to attack the shooter, switch control to him and start evasive manuvers. You can evade his fireballs by simple running around. Repeat.

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Kite. Kite like a mother. I managed to do this without much problem. She was focused on me the whole time, I'm playing Rogue. So I just run around and let my team grind her down.

Not sure who I had in my team. But it was Me as Rogue, two mages and I think the Templar. Just remember to run away when she screams to avoid the stun.

I do have quite a few auro skills on my team, like accuracy, elemental weapons, heroic aura and rally. So perhaps that helps.

Also don't forget Spirit damage halfs both physical and elemental resistance, so this is a good choice for you mage staff, then use the elemental weapon skill, to make everyone's weapons awesome!

Some strategies on the Wiki at the bottom of the page, http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/High_Dragon

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You better have a bloody good tank, have Anders with specialized in both damage and heal (switch auras when needed: heal when your team's general health is low, then back to damage dealing when everybody's back up up to speed).

ONE GOOD TIP, that got me to defeat the bloody lizard on first try: have with you Fenris for close damage (extremely helpful when the beast is on the ground), and focus his talents on dealing damage, and have Varric and Anders to do some range damage when the dragon gets away, as close combat won't work at this moment. Give those 2 range guys the best range weapons you can because spells and special attacks won't work, only raw attacks. If you can deal enough range damage when the dragon is away, you should be able to finish him in about 10 min.

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This may sound incredibly stupid, but I managed to beat the High Dragon with only a sword/shield warrior (after the dragon obliterated the rest of my team) by running in a circle like an idiot around the thing and dodging and hacking (and using a potion when I get particularly low).

Granted the battle ended up taking me around 35 minutes to complete and it felt incredibly cheap...but eh.

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Some additional ideas.

  1. Delay the quest until you get more experience.

  2. Stock up on Potions, especially Myrtle's favor which for the low price of 2 gold can bring companions back to life. Removes the need for a dedicated healer, albeit for a high price in gold.

  3. A "tank," usually a high armor/health/defense Warrior/Aveline, should be the Dragon's target of choice. Since the Dragon has numerous AoE attacks, the rest of the party should preferably be ranged units (any archer or mage), though stick a dual weld rogue behind the High Dragon is acceptable. Just don't have all your characters standing in close proximity to each other, spread them out.

  4. If the Dragon starts chasing some one other than your tank, have that character flee, which will probably need to be done manually. Chances are the "squishy" character will be able to keep ahead of the Dragon while the rest of your party fires away from range. This tactic is commonly called "kiting."

  5. Play on an easier difficulty.

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