You’ll want to utilize the M-300 Claymore, M-11 Wraith or the AT-12 Raider. For each of them, you’ll want High Velocity Barrel and Smart Choke. Recharge Speeds aren’t a pressing concern on this character. My personal favourite is the M-300 Claymore, but any are acceptable. The M-22 Eviscerator is a suitable substitute provided you don’t have any of these weapons.
Armor-Piercing or Warp Rounds for your ammo bonus. Both apply high damage and either ignore or weaken armor. Shotgun Rail Amp for weapon bonus, Adrenaline Module or Cyclonic Modulator for armor bonus. Use Grenade Capacity or Shock Trooper Upgrade for gear. The choice comes down to how many Repair Matrices you think you’ll need.
I wasn’t impressed with EDI in the single player mode… but this Alliance Infiltration Unit is incredible. Finally! An infiltrator tailored to shotguns! This makes her so unbelievably powerful but we have to skip out on Fitness because of her talents. Fortunately, with Repair Matrix, she has so high survivability that a lack of fitness is normally not an issue, but you still shouldn’t be careless. She isn’t a Geth Juggernaut after all. I’ll go over the powers, then the enemies and then some issues you may experience.
I adore her Tactical Cloak; we final have Shotgun Damage which skyrockets her damage output. With Shotgun Rail Amp III, M-300 Claymore X with High Velocity Barrel V and a cloaked point-blank shot, you’ll cause a massive 6,081.12 damage! Rank 4 for Damage, recharge at 5 to mitigate the lack of weight and Shotgun Damage at rank 6. If you PuG a lot, perhaps Duration is better but without Damage you’ll deal 40.00% less damage. This is how I normally use Snap Freeze, it’s basically just for weakening targets. So many people argue about whether or not Tech Combo is bugged so I play it safe and choose Damage & Weakness at Rank 6 which, I swear is better. Especially since you’re focusing on weakening and not explosons. Reach allows you to maintain some distance (and your shotgun will still deal high damage due to Smart Choke), and Cryo Explosion weakens enemies you have used Snap Freeze on. Win and win. Repair Matrix is like Stimulant Pack, but in my personal opinion, much better. In addition to massive and constant shield regeneration, if you’re down while it’s active, it’ll revive you too! Survivability at rank 4 is handier than the shield option, as it gives you a chance to flee with the movement speed bonus and that damage reduction is great as long as you can keep those shields up during it. Duration is superior at rank 5 as security in case you get downed and Enhanced Repair Matrix gives you better bonuses in this case because you’re not focusing on it being a second medi-gel, you’re focusing on not going down when it’s attack. Standard weapon’s platform spec for the class passive and no points for fitness.
The class itself has little trouble against any faction because the strategy doesn’t change regardless. Snap Freeze is your tool for disabling annoy minions like abominations, husks, cannibals, collector troopers and so on. It’s other utilization is armor weakening which is specifically for any boss-tier enemy. Tactical Cloak is your key to getting around undetected and skyrockets the damage of your weapon. If you’re quick, you can pull of a Snap Freeze and a shotgun shot during the second it takes Tactical Cloak to fade. Repair Matrix is your backup, use it generously but remember to keep stock. If possible, play grenade maps. On Hazard Ghost, Repair Matrix will completely mitigate the damage from the acid rain. She has the most difficulty with minions and flanking, so don’t bite of more than you can chew. In saying this, her cloaked shotgun strike should kill most minions, usually including Phantoms or armored minions (Pyros or Dragoons) and bosses will take only a few shots. Be cautious of sync-kills also, that’s why we’ve got Smart Choke so you can maintain some distance and still be effective.
The Alliance Infiltration Unit is tailored to killing, not objectives. Her functionality with Escorts and Uploads improves as long as you can keep Defence Matrix up just purely because she is frail. Her better objectives are Devices because of Tactical Cloak and Delivery because of the movement speed bonus Repair Matrix supplies. The only issues you may face are been surrounded by umpteen Mauraders so the damage output is strong enough to overcome Repair Matrix, and having Repair Matrix revive you, only to be sync-killed a second later (trust me, Phantoms are evil). Take care to ensure her health stays high, as Repair Matrix won’t save you from much if you’re surrounded on low shields and low health. Overall she is a powerful and versatile class but if she’s caught in the wrong place at the wrong time or you bite of more than you can chew, she will go down and its then you’ll hope you’ve got Repair Matrix. After all, this is no Geth Juggernaut.
2.5 – This character has an intense amount of survivability especially with the way Repair Matrix is evolved. Her shields restore at an insane pace and the bonuses to movement speed coupled with Adrenaline Module means she can fire her Claymore right in someones face and run off before any of the other enemies realise she’s been there. In saying all this, she is vulnerable to stagger and is weak defensively which is why you can’t be stingy with your Repair Matrices. If you learn the tricks, you can get through gold games easily without using any medi-gel or ops packs.
My recommendation is the Cerberus Harrier or the M-11 Wraith. You want heavy hitters, and these fulfil that definition. Both relatively close range, both excellent against armour and not bad against shields and barriers. Use the Extended Barrel and Extended Magazine on the Cerberus Harrier; and Smart Choke and High Velocity Barrel (For your knowledge: because it is a non-DLC weapon, it isn’t affected by the weight penalty but still receives the damage bonus/piercing bonus, BioWare is yet to fix this ‘bug’) on the M-11 Wraith. You can take the Acolyte with you as well for fear against Phantoms, use the Extended Barrel and Ultralight Materials/Extended Magazine on it. But even though it only adds a little weight at X, that slows your recharge speed, so if taking a low-level Harrier or Wraith, do not take the Acolyte with you. It synergizes much better with the Wraith and a steady Harrier can easily kill a Phantom.
For this class, we only want to use Warp Ammo. This is because targets affected by it receive armor weakening which benefits the whole team and it does bonus damage to anything affected by biotics (Reave). It yields, at IV, the highest flat-damage bonus of all the ammo powers at +60%. Use Assault Rifle Rail Amp and either Ardenaline Module or Power Amplifier Module for the armor bonus; it depends on whether you want to exploit the Drell’s bonus to Movement Speed from +20% to +25%/+35%/+45% or a Power Damage bonus to Reave and Cluster Grenade by +10%/+20%/+30%/+50%. I recommend Adrenaline if you are playing with randoms and Power Amplifier Module if playing with a strong team. Always use Warfighter Package or Grenade Capacity for gear.
I love both current (lets not forget we are awaiting a Drell Infiltrator) Drell classes, but of the two, my favourite is the Drell Adept. While both are just as aggressive, the Drell Adept has a clear advantage in staying alive; because he doesn’t have to use Biotic Charge to restore barriers which put him back into danger. Unfortunately, as with his Vanguard counterpart, he gets Pull as a power, which isn’t the greatest so we avoid it and get the things this class has to really shine. Particularly powerful on Gold, a well-played and smart Drell Adept can annihilate factions and top the scoreboard. I’ll go over the power evolutions, then the enemy stratgey and then the issues you may face while playing this class.
Reave is pretty much the standard spec you should use everytime. Always get Radius, 3m of Reave is nothing to scoff at and setting up multiple targets means well-aimed Cluster Grenades will get mutliple Biotic Explosions. On the Drell in particular, you need to go for maximum Damage Reduction to help mitigate and counter the poor defences he has. Avoid Pull, it isn’t need and isn’t worth investing into when you have better options. As for Cluster Grenades, Force and Damage will power up your grenades to deal more damage up-front, Damage Combo increases their damage by 100% against targets primed for Biotic Explosions (which you have Reave to do), the way they worded the power makes it sound useless, and you benefit more from 3 grenades for 3 separate explosions than 2 stronger grenades. Fitness is standard for Drell classes, you want the Movement Speed. As for Drell Assassin, you’re going for the 50% Power Damage Bonus and get, in the process, 22.50% Weapon Damage Bonus. Powerful to say the least.
As far as the class itself goes, it goes the best against Reapers and Collectors, simply because they are almost all Barriers and Armor. It, like most biotics, is less effective against Cerberus and I don’t recommend him for Geth because Reave has a 50% damage penalty against Shields. In saying that, against trooper level enemies he can deplete rooms to nothingness in a few Reaves and a grenade or two. Prime your targets with Reave and then detonate with Cluster Grenade. Fire off the Harrier/Wraith before your explosions and after your explosions to ensure maximum damage. Pyros and Bombers (without shields), Dragoons and Phantoms fall victim to Reave which annihilates Barriers and Armor and the explosion you can create with Cluster Grenade is insane. Cluster Grenades stagger all troopers and most bosses. Scions, Brutes and Ravagers aren’t difficult to kill either, sustained fire with Explosions and Reave will make quick work of them; quicker if you aim for the Tumors, Head and Sacks. Watch out for the Scion and Ravager cannons which easily down the Drell, as well as the Ravager slime and Swarmers. The bigger bosses are tougher, especially Primes whcih are the hardest for the Drell Adept to take out. Praetorians and Banshees are the easiest to dispose of because of the Barrier/Armor combination and Reave’s 100% damage bonus to Barriers and 50% damage bonus to Armor. Atlases are tougher than Banshees or Praetorians but stagger the easiest with explosions and Cluster Grenade. Just remember to fire your weapon, particularly at their weak points (Atlas Groin, Prime Head, Banshee Head, Praetorian Jaw). The Drell Adept is sort of the Jack Of All Trades when it comes to enemies; he is good at taking them all out but it isn’t a perfect road because their isn’t much room for error.
The Drell Adept is frail, even with Reave and max Fitness. There is more room for error than the Drell Vanguard but not much. Gold is still as unforgiving, especially if you make silly decisions. The Drell Adept can take down crowds, but it is easy to get overwhelmed very quickly, you’ll need the Movement Speed to get out of that. This Drell is very much a team player, working much better with other Biotics but is strong enough to be the only biotic on the team. He can assist with objectives but isn’t the best choice because of the lack of defence. The exception is the Object Recovery objective, where he moves faster than other classes. All in all, just watch your health or you’ll be down most of the match.
4- The Drell Adept is still a Drell, but he is more forgiving than a Drell Vanguard because of Reave. It is literally the Drell’s best feature bar his Movement Speed bonuses and Power Damage passives. You still need to be very smart when playing a Drell because they are just so squishy. Your’e Movement Speed bonuses help, but you cannnot expect that to get you out of trouble every time. As said, easier than the Vanguard but almost just as unforgiving when you make a mistake. Try not to run out of Grenades mid-wave or if you can help it, play on Grenade heavy maps. I recommend Goddess, as it has 4 ammo-crates with 2 grenades in each and it is small in size. Unknwon/Unknwon viable (though tougher against Geth), Gold viable and useable as part of a biotic team on Platinum. Great class, but difficult to learn to play if you aren’t used to Drell characters.
* Refer to the strategy below for an alternative Barrier/Rage spec.
The M-358 Talon is always excellent on biotic classes. It sets up Tech Bursts, Fire Explosions and Cryo Explosions with ease. Use the High Caliber Barrel and Piercing Mod with the Talon. Lightweight Shotguns work just as well, especially the Disciple because it staggers anything it hits. Use the High Caliber Barrel (or High Velocity Barrel if you have the Disciple X) and Smart Choke. A high level Wraith with the same mods is also viable, but only the Disciple has that consistent stagger effect. The Disciple and Wraith are both very accurate with Smart Choke on.
Use the Commando Package if you are using the Talon, at V it gives you +12% Pistol Damage and +12% Biotic Damage; otherwise, using the Shotgun Amp to power up the Disciple. For your Armor Bonus, use either Adrenaline Module or Cyclonic Modulator. For your Weapon Bonus, use the weapon amp respective to the one you are using. As for Ammo Bonus, it really depends on the weapon. If you are using the Talon, you’re better off using Cryo, Disruptor or Incendiary Rounds because the Talon is exceptional for priming targets with ammo powers. If you are using the Disciple or Wraith, use Warp Rounds. Enemies affected by Biotics take more damage when hit with Warp Rounds and Warp Rounds also offers the most Weapon Damage Bonus of all Weapons (60% at IV).
The Krogan Shaman plays very differently to other Krogan, it’s even more weight-dependant than the Battlemaster. He may not be able to solo Platinum like his Vanguard cousin, but he is just as valuable to a team. First, I’ll note the reason for the power evolutions and then the enemy strategies.
I didn’t go for Barrier because he’s a little too dependent on his powers and it comes with a 50% Recharge Penalty. Besides, you get more out of full fitness than 40% Damage Reduction. For those of you who think differently and won’t mind the recharge penalty, put 5 ranks in Barrier going for Durability at rank 4 and Power Synergy at rank 5 and leave Fitness at 3. Warp should always have 6 ranks and always evolved in this manner, it makes it the grand debuffer it is. Warp is the best asset to a Gold team, helping against bosses and gives the Shaman the diversity it otherwise lacked. Shockwave is your best tool; your staggering tool. I love to spam Shockwave at enemies before taking the enemy out with my weapon. Shockwave detonates all explosions (Biotic, Tech, Fire, Cyro) as well, making it more amazing plus it receives a 65% damage and force bonus with Biotic Explosions! The Disciple works well here because if you time your shots correctly, you can constantly stagger an enemy, potential leaving you utterly unharmed. You need both Damage and Capacity and Power Damage to get the 1000N required to stagger Phantoms on Gold. Rank 6 of Krogan Berseker is just to give the Disciple the extra kick is lacks in certain situations.
This build works excellently against the troopers, that’s everything no bigger than a Dragoon but the Shaman has more trouble dealing with Scions, Praetorians, Atlases, Banshees, Brutes, and Geth Primes. Warp and the use of Warp Rounds somewhat mitigate this disadvantage but on Gold, it will still take time to destroy them.
Having the ability to stagger Phantom and Dragoons consistently is a massive team asset, so the Shaman can guard the group during an Upload/Hack objective for example. The Krogan Shaman synergises well with Shield-Stripping classes, and especially players who use Cerberus Harriers, Black Widows and M-300 Claymores. If playing with snipers, keep your distance from them, no one wants a personal screen-shake buddy (Shockwave shakes the targeting reticule for snipers).
Ravagers are a separate issue. They aren’t difficult to take down, but their Swarmers are irritating even for a class with 1850/1850 Health and Shields. Shockwave can only hit a maximum of 3 enemies, so try as best you can for explosions on this enemy in particular. Biotic Explosion also stagger Atlases and Primes each time the hit them and sometimes with Banshees and Praetorians.
2.5 – Although he may not be a Krogan Battlemaster Vanguard, the Krogan Shaman Adept is still a great addition to the team with massive bulk, staggering abilities and the aptitude for boss-weakening. He is a lot of fun to play as and is a fresh breath of difference from the other Krogans. There is the learning curve however, because he cannot regain his barriers like the Vanguard can, but if you are reasonably experienced player (and if you are a long-time fan of this site, I assume you are a fan and play quite a bit) then you should be fine
*Be aware that Armor Boost does not work off host, if you play off host, get Damage instead
M-11 Wraith or to a lesser extent the M-22 Eviscerator are the bread and butter to this build. If you have access to neither, substitute them for a shotgun you are comfortable in using that isn’t too heavy and try to keep your Recharge Speed above 120%. Put the Smart Choke and Shredder (or High Caliber Barrel/High Velocity Barrel) on it.
Use the Beserker Package, Stronghold Package or Juggernaut Pacakage for your gear bonus. Armor-Piercing ammo is suitable or Incendiary to make Fire Explosions. Use a Shotgun Rail Amp or Strength Enhancer for your weapon bonus. It’s up to you for the armor bonus. Editor’s recommendation: Cyclonic Modulator.
Welcome to the Paladin. This build you will be mostly relying on your gun to kill things, but above all this build excels at debuffing and weakening enemies for your teammates to mop up. The shield mastery line I took will ensure you are nice and beefy, even on gold with a respectable 1050/700 that still doesn’t mean you can just sit out in the open though. On an Atlas, or other shielded/armored enemy you’ll want to spam energy drain and unload your shotgun clip while waiting for a recharge. Once you’re down to armor on an Atlas, you then use your Snap Freeze to weaken it by 50%, ensuring that Atlas in front/behind the wall you’re shooting Snap Freeze through melts like it was made of butter. With that said, be aware that your Snap Freeze with its range of 15m can shoot through walls very effectively. The last piece of advice, and this one will take some practice, is use your heavy melee (Omni-Shield) to safely stand your ground on an approaching Phantom. Just do not think you can sit behind your shield forever. Be very careful when a sync-kill boss (Phantom, Banshee, Atlas, Brute, Scion, Praetorian) nears, as they will grab you matter-of-factly and you’ll be a dead, lonely Paladin. The melee is a great Phantom deterrent though as it usually staggers one (or smacks her away and up into the air), especially if she’s down to health from a two Energy Drains.
3 – With a decent weapon, and decent aim, you can safely play gold with this build and do respectable. I don’t ever play aggressively, as I run with two very aggressive guys already, but this is one of the most fun support builds I’ve played.
A16, A16, C16, 1:9B, B1
Black with red highlights, black of any sort is a must for any Blackguard
Thank you to Gemeril for supplying the feature image below, showing you guys exactly what your “Blackguard” will look like
Asari Valkyrie: (4) Damage & Capacity, (5) Power Damage
Fitness: (1), (2), (3)
*For Rank 6 Tech Armor I prefer Durability. In saying that, I have the M-11 Wraith and Acolyte at level X so I don’t need the Recharge Speed. If you feel you need it, spec Tech Armour for Recharge Speed instead. The only issue here is you miss out on that nice extra Damage Protection boost.
The recommendation will be either the M-11 Wraith or both the M-11 Wraith and Acolyte.If you don’t have the M-11 Wraith, the M-22 Eviscerator is an okay substitute. It is better to just take the Wraith if you do not have it above Level IV or have the Acolyte above Level VIII. You need a rather quick recharge but it does not need to be 200%. You also only need to Acolyte if you plan to achieve countless Fire Explosions (which of course can be done with the just the Wraith but at lesser degree). I prefer to just take the M-11 Wraith, a boss-buster weapon that is a lighter, slightly-weaker, two-shot Claymore. If just using the M-11 Wraith, use Smart Choke and High Velocity Barrel (or High Caliber Barrel if Wraith is low level). If using the M-11 Wraith and Acolyte, use Smart Choke and High Caliber Barrel, and High Caliber Barrel and Extended Magazine respectively.
You will always want Incendiary Rounds. Damage-over-time from Warp, Annihilation Field and Incendiary Rounds combined is deadly. Shotgun Rail Amp if using the M-11 Wraith only or Pistol Rail Amp if using both, as your main strategy is Acolyte from troopers and Wraith for bosses. Cyclonic Modulator to give you a little more shields (500 if you use Cyclonic Modulator III and 750 if using Cyclonic Modulator IV). For gear bonus, you’ll benefit from Adaptive War Amp to superpower your biotics. If you feel too weak defence wise, use Stronghold Package instead but the former is the better option.
The Asari Valkyrie is one of the best-off classes in the game. It can’t set up explosions as fast as the N7 Fury, nor are they as powerful but it has the bulk which the N7 Fury lacked. Personally, my second-favourite Sentinel. I’ll give insight to the power evolutions, go over strategy against the faction’s enemies and list some problems the build faces.
The Tech Armor evolutions are different from how I would spec other Sentinels. The Valkyrie needs to keep Tech Armor on at all times, unless in danger from a Phantom, so Durability is the most important. Since you aren’t a Melee build, Melee Damage is useless on Tech Armor, best to make Annihilation Field and Warp stronger with Power Damage. As mentioned above, the last evolution depends on the player. I have no need for Power Recharge so Durability is my choice, and it is nice having that extra damage reduction keeping you alive longer. Annihilation Field is also different from how I spec out the Fury. Radius increases the Radius of the Field, so it is better than Damage. While I would take Movement Speed for the N7 Fury, I take Damage Taken on the Valkyrie as this stacks with both Warp and Incendiary Rounds. Finally, Drain is always necessary on Annihilation Field. Warp is evolved the only way it should be, maximizing debuffing and DoT. The reason Fitness only has 3 ranks is that it’s better to have that extra Power Damage from the passive skill than the extra Shields that Cyclonic Modulator and Tech Armor already supply you with.
The Asari Valkyrie can handle herself around all trooper-tier enemies; using biotic explosions and your weapon of choice (M-11 Wraith/Acolyte). Drain evolved Annihilation Field will begin recharging your Shields so close-quarters combat is not as complicated. The only worrying enemies are Phantoms and Collector Captains. Detonate Tech Armor to stun them and make sure you can give them a biotic explosion. Against armored troopers (Dragoons, Pyros, Bombers, Ravagers even), shoot and then Warp. This should create a Fire Explosion as long as your gun triggers Incendiary Round’s effect. Warp is an incredible detonator, being able to detonate all types of explosions (Biotic, Cyro, Fire and Tech).
The bigger foes, Brutes and Scions, will need the same tactic as the armored troopers. Against Brutes, it is easier to run up for a Biotic Explosion. Against Scions, it’s a little tougher as there is no Barrier to restore your own (unless possessed) and that Arm Cannon is deadly. For bosses: Atases, Banshees, Primes, Praetorians; you want to use Biotic Explosions. This is dangerous but you have the amazing Asari Dodge manoeuvre to get out of the way. You should be using Warp and your Incendiary-powered weapon on them also, creating a massive weakened target for you to support your team in taking out. Having this dodge to use gives you a lesser chance to be sync-killed; but be wary of Banshees that are in the Biotic Charge type stage (the only stage they can sync-kill you in; the glow with a wispy biotic barrier, not the one they pull up to block powers) and Praetorians in general. Praetorians can jump huge gaps and once stagger by their melee, a sync-kill is almost certain.
This class does not have much trouble against enemies, but she isn’t the best at doing objectives. To be effective in the Upload/Hack objective, the enemies need to be close (somewhat mitigated by Smart Choke Wraith). She doesn’t have the speed to do the Recovery objectives nor the stealth for the Devices. The Escort will be her niche as she is best against enemies when the are closes. Apart from difficulty with objectives, her main draw back is there isn’t enough points to go around. Fitness at Rank 3 gives her 625/625, which is bumped up to 1125/625 or 1375/625 with Cyclonic III or Cyclonic IV respectively. While this is quite a bit and you have the Damage Reduction from Tech Armor, if those Barriers are gone, she is incredibly frail. Pray an enemy has a Shield/Barrier nearby, use an Ops Pack or try your best to slide away (but be cautious of this, the dodge manoeuvre resets the Barrier Recharge Time).
2 – This class is a tanky N7 Fury and is played in a very similar manner. You are mainly in close-quarters so you need to be careful but your survivability should be stellar because of Tech Armor’s boosts and the Cyclonic Modulator (that should be being used). You are not invincible and if you make poor decisions, like running into a Praetorian and getting sync-killed, you’ll go down. This class is an asset to any team with its debuffing prowess and offensive expertise and is a dangerous comodity to lose.