- Have at least 1 Spirit Healer in your party and many health potions, as you will need them when Corypheus uses his AoE attacks
- At best, have Carver (from at least Act 3) or Fenris in your team as tank, since they have a higher resistance against magic. Hawke with the templar specialization is also very effective as a tank.
- Arrange your party's automatic tactics as precisely as possible; one strategy is to remove the "aggressive" distinction from your party, so they don't run off and get stuck in the maze, and subsequently damaged by Corypheus' AoE.
Strategy #1 Edit
Start the fight with ranged attacks, which stun Corypheus, giving your tank time to use Tremor or Templar Skills to stun him even more. Corypheus will mostly counter these attacks with skills that deal elemental and spirit damage.
Each time you activate a statue when Corypheus goes into AoE mode, two Shades will appear and engage you. Be careful while moving around or fighting. Corypheus will spin around and deal AoE damage in every direction. Let your Spirit Healer mainly heal instead of fighting. As soon as the four statues are deactivated you have to engage Corypheus again. He will teleport himself into the middle of your party (at whatever pillar you happen to be at) and use stunning and AoE skills to deal damage before attacking directly again. Keep your distance and attack like before.
If Hawke has learned any templar skills, he/she can use abilities such as Silence or Annulment to stop Corypheus casting spells for a short time. As a character who relies on magic, he will be reduced to swiping at Hawke. Corypheus can still cause a lot of damage, but like most mages, magic is his primary weapon.
Corypheus was designed to be fought at any point in the game. He is the most complex boss and one of the longest battles. Corypheus will use different tactics depending on the level of his health.
The first phase is Corypheus’ basic attack mode, and the first one begins with him motionless for a couple of seconds, like most enemies are at the beginning of battle. This window allows all melee fighters to close the short distance and begin the attack. A Hex of Torment followed by every character’s most powerful attacks can quickly take off a relatively large amount of damage for this first phase. Melee fighters will only be able to get in one round of attacks before Corypheus responds with a bubble that knocks allies back (with no damage) and dispels any effects on him. Ranged fighters can continue to pound him with their best attacks and the tank can close back in to resume his. After the bubble, he will target a fighter and head for them. This character can lead Corypheus in circles while other fighters continue to pick away at his health. His physical melee attack is powerful and will damage and knock back anyone within the sweeping radius, but provides a bit of time from its start to leave the strike area. If he knocks you down, he will follow you and continue to knock you down repeatedly unless another party member can manage to catch his attention. If the target is constantly moving, the melee attack won’t even be activated until Corypheus stands still. He will eventually teleport to the other side of the room and start dealing moderate ranged damage to random party members. Interrupt skills work well here but don't work on him very long (some don't work at all, depending on the strength of your mage). Continue to pound him with ranged and tank attacks and hit and run attacks from weaker melee fighters to remove the remaining first quarter of his health.
Phase two starts when Corypheus is down to 75% health. These phases do little more than provide a way to recover health and stamina lost while beating on the magister. He will call on Dumat as he teleports to the middle of the room. He will begin channeling two walls of fire from himself towards the top and bottom two pillars and began rotating very slowly in a counter-clockwise direction. The fire walls can do the most damage of any attack in this fight and should be avoided or properly equipped and warded against. Even on the highest steps by the pillars, the fire will hit you for some damage. Do not be between him and the top or bottom pillars when he activates the fire, and as you run around, just stay behind the fire and you should be fine. In this phase you will have to interact with each pillar, which will summon two shades that you will have to defeat. There is a +90 elemental damage bonus from the pillar, depending on which you just touched (Nature, Fire, Lightning, Cold). The best tactic here is to move your fighters into a group on either side of the room when he calls on Dumat. Use a melee fighter to activate a pillar shortly before the approaching fire reaches it while the other fighters are ahead following the receding fire. Then have the activating fighter catch up with the rest as they continue to stay just behind the fire and use ranged attacks on a shade. This allows the ranged fighters to attack the shades as they approach, move a little, then attack again. This can take a lot off of one of the shades before they get within striking distance. In Act 3, each pair of shades can be dealt with quickly and easily at the same time. Lower level players can use a hit and run tactic, catching up to the fire between attacks. Using a Miasmic Flask or other stun attack on the full shade until the weaker one is finished can be helpful. As these are weak shades few stamina/manna attacks are needed, and each shade provides a large amount of health regeneration to all characters when it dies. All 4 pairs should have the group completely healed by the end of this phase. The fire walls do not damage the shades (normal mode). If necessary, follow the fire without activating the pillars to allow for health and stamina regeneration.
After all four pillars have been deactivated, phase one (basic attack mode) repeats. Corypheus stops his fire walls and warps from the center to his targeted fighter knocking any others nearby out of the way, so move them apart as soon as the last shade is killed. He will now occasionally use a powerful but very, very slow blue-centered fireball as an attack. As before, don’t hold back. Pour everything you have into him, with weaker melee fighters using hit and runs to deliver their strongest attacks while you lead him in circles and wear him down.
At the 50% health mark (Phase 3), Corypheus again warps to the top of the seal and begins his counter-clockwise fire walls starting at the top and bottom pillars. He will also cause rocks to rise from the floor creating a maze of obstacles. Bear in mind that the maze will remain in place during the rest of the fight. The maze isn't too treacherous as long as you keep towards the outside walls. Moving the group as a unit (CTRL + A on PC) is the best tactic to prevent stragglers. The shades have slightly more health in this phase. Stronger shades and obstacles makes the process slower, but otherwise this phase can be handled exactly as phase two was- move just behind the fire, attack, then move again. Heal if necessary and conserve stamina for the fresh attack on Corypheus.
The same basic attack mode as last time follows phase 3. The obstacles make little difference here.
At around 33% health, Corypheus will warp and begin his fire walls, but this final time starts them at the left and right pillars. He also creates a thunderstorm and adds falling icicles to the ceiling. The icicles do minor physical damage when they strike from above, and sometimes create an icy patch that will slightly slow whoever runs over it. The lightning can cross any passage opening in the maze and deals a small amount of damage to anyone who passes through. This makes it necessary to move the group in small steps so that some don’t choose to take an alternate path through lighting to the point you indicate. The lightning blockages are temporary, but often it's safer to find another path than to wait for the lightning to go away (as the fire ominously approaches). In Act 3 it can be faster to take the occasional trip through the lightning and the minor damage that comes with it. The lightning and icicles do damage the shades. The pillars will now spawn two lieutenant ranked shades, so using strong attacks becomes much more helpful this time. Additional enemy health and obstacles makes this a more lengthy process, but deactivating all four pillars can easily be accomplished with full or high health and stamina if done quickly and avoiding the fire is not forgotten.
The lightning and ice continue for this final basic attack mode, randomly hitting fighters, so keep ranged fighters in open areas not openings to avoid lightning and hit Corypheus with everything. He adds a new tactic that places a large purple aura and small sphere around himself which seems to make him invulnerable for the short time he remains inside of it. Because this phase is longer and ice is hitting all fighters, it is more important to pay attention to and avoid Corypheus' direct attacks when possible. Other than that, the last third of his life is beaten out of him the same way the rest of it is.
Fight with Carver/Bethany in the party Edit
- Carver's Templar specialization works very well on Corypheus, stunning him and dealing significant damage
- Bethany's Force Mage specialization by the use of Fist of the Maker and Gravitic Ring helps to bind Corypheus down, even when he is using his AoE spells.
If you are playing on Nightmare, then I recommend bringing Anders. When Corypheus goes into his AOE mode, do not worry about any other characters but Anders. You can easily travel the maze and let Corypheus's own fire damage the shades as they get stuck in the rocks. Spells like Winter's Grasp, Cone of Cold, and Glyph of Paralyze are vital to keep the shades off you. He can also heal himself which is important. Keep moving and do not let the shades touch you. Once they are all dispatched, then you can revive your teammates and work on Corypheus. This works great for each of the two AoE maze phases.
This makes it possible (and relatively easy) to win this fight at low levels, while still in Act 1, provided that Anders knows the aforementioned spells, of course.
Strategy #2 Edit
The fight with Corypheus is long and without any options to save your game. Revival spells or potions are very handy if you make fatal mistakes, because you will need decent firepower for the entire duration of the fight. Even if you come well prepared, the fight is unusually difficult, and strategy is crucial to success.
After beating on Corypheus for a while, he will teleport to the center of the room, become invulnerable, absorb power from the fire elemental statue, start spewing highly lethal flames from his hands and rotate slowly counter-clockwise. The closer your characters are to the center, the more damage they take from the flames. Characters on auto-pilot will not avoid the flames, and if they are close to the center, a single sweep is likely to kill them (depending on your difficulty setting). Keep your entire party moving ahead of the flames, or hide some or all of them in the alcoves where the statues are when the flames pass by. If you stand at the top of the stairs, you will only take minimal damage from the flames. You now need to enter each of the alcoves to interact with the statues once again, to cut off Corypheus from their power. At each interaction with a statue, two Shades will appear, and you need to kill them to advance to the next stage in the fight. After killing all eight Shades, Corypheus will engage your party again in direct combat. When you have brought his health down some more, he will return to the center of the room, absorb power from the nature elemental statue and raise rocks from the floor, making it harder to run from the flames.
Repeat the process of activating each statue and killing eight Shades to advance to the next stage.
Corypheus will reappear on the floor for you to pound on him some more. Then the process repeats a third time, with Corypheus appearing in the center, becoming invulnerable, tapping power from the two remaining statues (representing cold and electricity) and starting to spew rotating flames from his hands again. He now raises more rocks from the floor, drops ice from the ceiling on your party and adds electric arcs that will cause additional damage when you run past them. The cold and electrical damage is relatively mild, but don't stand around near the arcs. You now need to deactivate the statues in each alcove again, and kill the eight Shades that appear. You've done this twice before, and it's not a whole lot more difficult this time around.
After all this running around, Corypheus finally reappears on the battlefield for your party to take him down. He has some powerful spells that inflict heavy damage, and he might teleport across the room a few times to escape when he is low on health, but other than that, he does not pull any more tricks.
- pcps3xbox360 In Phase 3 of the battle, the Pillar Guardians may not spawn, trapping Corypheus on the center pedestal and making the battle unwinnable. Reloading seems to resolve this issue. Also seems to be caused by having only Hawke alive in your party.
- pcps3xbox360 Corypheus may get stuck at 1hp and become unkillable.