Masterwork materials are special crafting components that come in the form of item drops and ore deposits.
For example, you have a small chance to loot Fade-Touched Plush Fustian Velvet off high-level Red Templar enemies, or to get Fade-touched Silverite from Silverite ore deposits.
You can then use these materials to fill the Masterwork slot in a crafted weapon or armor piece for powerful bonuses.
There are 3 tiers of Masterwork materials – the higher tiers are found from higher lever areas / higher level monsters.
Note: some Masterwork materials can have different versions (Snofleur skin, for example, can either heal 1% maximum health on attack, or give you a chance to cast Horn of Valor).
Masterwork crafting materials are a great way to not only make your crafted gear a lot more powerful but also add cool effects to your attacks. And in some cases, they can even make or break your character’s build – as in the case of Reaver specialization warriors using the Guard on Hit masterwork.
But with so many choices, what are the BEST masterwork options?
Top 5 Best Dragon Age: Inquisition Masterwork Materials
Fade-Touched Silverite – On hit: gain 5 guard (Tier 3)
There’s no question that this is the best fade-touched masterwork material. You gain +5 guard with any attack (including spells) which is a massive survivability boost to any character, especially melee. My Reaver warrior and Assassin rogue went from chugging potions and constantly dying to surviving with no problem once I crafted an armor piece with Fade-Touched Silverite for them.
Best used by: Any character will survive a lot easier with this masterwork, although it is more important for melee.
Where to farm it: Fade-Touched Silverite has a small chance to drop from normal Silverite ore deposits. The best place I’ve found is the dragon area in Emprise Du Lion (past the broken bridge that you repair with a war table mission), around the Highland Ravager dragon in the Pools of the Sun, and slightly to the south.
You can either save the game before you loot the Silverite, and then keep reloading the game until you get a fade-touched one, or travel to another world area, and then come back and the Silverite will respawn.
Fade-Touched Plush Fustian Velvet – 10 % Chance to use Hidden Blades on a hit, 5 attacks (Tier 3)
This is arguably the best and most fun Fade-touched masterwork for pure damage, allowing you to cast the Hidden Blades ability, dealing roughly 500% weapon damage in total whenever it procs. This effect is vastly superior to other spell-proc masterworks.
Best used by: Melee or ranged characters with high attack speed or abilities that cause multiple attacks (like the mage’s Energy Barrage).
Where to farm it: Drop from Red Templars anywhere in Hissing Wastes or Emprise Du Lion. I prefer to farm it from a group of Templars that spawn north-east of the Tower Camp in Emprise – you can save the game before fighting them, and then simply reload if the Fade-Touched Velvet didn’t drop.
Fade-Touched Bloodstone – +7.5% extra damage for every enemy within 8 meters (Tier 2)
Despite being a tier 2 material, the Fade-touched Bloodstone is actually very, very good. It is essentially a flat damage boost for every enemy that is within 8 meters of your character, which means you will always have AT LEAST 7.5% extra damage.
Best used by: I would choose this over Hidden Blades for melee characters with slow attack speed, like warriors and Knight-Enchanter mages.
Where to farm it: My favorite area is near the Riverwatch camp in northwest Exalted Plains. Simply travel to the camp, and either save before looting the ore and reload until you get the Fade-touched version, or loot all of it and travel to a different zone and come back again.
Fade-Touched Hardened Gurn Hide – + 30% Damage bonus if not being hit for 5 seconds (Tier 3)
Although this masterwork material is difficult to farm, it is very powerful for ranged characters. A 30% damage bonus is massive as long as you don’t get hit for 5 seconds.
Where to farm it:
This has proven to be the most elusive Masterwork material. Not only are Varghests themselves rare, but they also don’t seem to be dropping the item at all (or at least not the tier 3 version). This masterwork has been fixed and renamed, and drops from Gurn, the rhinoceros-looking things in the Hissing Wastes.
Best used by: DPS-oriented Ranged characters (archers or mages) as they shouldn’t be getting hit that often.
Fade-Touched Snoufleur Skin – 10% Chance to grant 12 seconds of Horn of Valor (Tier 3)
This masterwork is deceptively powerful – it casts a Horn of Valor (warrior skill) which gives you a 15% attack and armor bonus. At first, it doesn’t look like it will match up with some of the other DPS materials on this list, but you have to consider the fact that it is an AOE bonus – so it can apply to your entire party!
And if you put it on a character with high attack speed (like a rogue), then you will have Horn of Valor up almost all of the time. I highly suggest putting this masterwork on any one character, so that you get the benefits for your whole party.
Where to farm it: Drops off Snoufluers in Emprise Du Lion and Exalted Plains. The best spot I found is on the frozen lake in northern Emprise Du Lion.
Best used by: This really depends on your party make-up. If your party has a lot of melee characters, I would put this on a DPS rogue or a warrior. If your party has 3 ranged, I would probably put it on a ranged character. The idea is to have as many members of your party affected by the Horn of Valor whenever it procs.
*Bonus* Fade-Touched Royale Sea Silk – Abilities cost 20% less mana/stamina if not being hit for 5 seconds (Tier 3)
This masterwork is a great addition for a mage character that is limited by mana pool rather than cooldown periods. I particularly like this masterwork on Necromancers, and builds that use a lot of lightning spells, since they have a high mana cost.
Where to farm it: Off Venatori in the Hissing Wastes.
Best used by: Mage builds that are very mana-intensive.
As a final note, putting two of the same Masterwork on one character does not make it stack. So if you put 2 Fade-Touched Silverites on your warrior’s gear, for example, you won’t get any added benefit – you will still only generate +5 guard on hit.
However, the same masterwork effect of a different tier DOES stack – for example, you can pair Fade-Touched Silverite (+5 guard on hit) and Fade-Touched Obsidian (+3 guard on hit) on the same character, for a total of +8 guard on hit.