In Part 1 of our Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood abilities guide, we looked at the unlock system and several of the earliest skills, including Disguise, Sprint Boost, Smoke Bomb, and Hidden Gun.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out my tutorial/commentary videos for AC: Brotherhood yet, you can watch my Advanced Wanted video or my Manhunt strategy video. Or, if you really hate your eyes, my first Wanted video.
Today we’ll continue with more of the abilities available to you during your rise to mental sickness greatness, covering what the skills do and how they can be used for offensive and defensive situations.
By throwing Firecrackers to the ground, you’ll activate a powerful flashbang effect immediately blinding enemies in a large radius around you. Additionally, any NPCs within the blast radius will drop to their knees, shielding their soulless eyes. Thus anyone still standing is a player character. Firecrackers do not immobilize enemies like Smoke Bombs do, though players who have been blinded usually resort to using random skills or running for their lives, often right into your waiting hands.
Offense: Firecrackers is one of the most useful skills for hunting players because it can reveal a persona’s identity amidst a crowd of look-alikes. Due to its long range (about 20 feet) it can be safely dropped outside of your target’s Smoke Bomb, Mute, or Charge range, forcing him or her to run blindly until the effect ends. While many players prefer Templar Vision, Firecrackers doesn’t give your victim a chance to retaliate unless they’re extremely lucky and manage to snare you with one of the aforementioned abilities.
Defense: While Firecrackers is less useful while being hunted, it does still blind your pursuers, making it nearly impossible for them to kill you. In fact, it is fairly easy to land Stuns on blinded hunters, since it’s unlikely they’ll spam X randomly while blinded. One of the best times to use Firecrackers is in Wanted mode right before you go for a high-stakes kill: your target will be helpless, and it will be safe to kill him/her, since your own assassin(s) will be unable to kill you. Keep in mind, however, that Firecrackers does not remove lock-on markers, so kill or stun and get the hell out of there.
Morph instantly transforms four (six using Power Morph) of the nearest NPCs into your persona. With a quick flash, any group becomes a homogenous one comprised of you-clones, making it harder for enemies to tell who the real target(s) are. Morphed NPCs last indefinitely, so you can remain blended amongst them with little fear of enemies who aren’t using Firecrackers, Templar Vision, or Charge. Morphed groups can also create distractions by luring the focus of your killers towards a dense crowd of copies while you sit on the nearby park bench.
Offense: While Morph is commonly used to hide, it can also be used to reveal. Is your target in a 5-person group of identical personas? Blend into the group and use Morph. All NPCs will transform into you, and whoever hasn’t joined the party must be your target. Because Morph is so fast, it can catch players off guard, allowing for easy Incognito bonuses. You can also consider Morphing a group of NPCs who are walking towards your target, then leaving the group. Your victim may attempt to run from or stun the NPCs, allowing you an easier assassination.
Defense: Morph is a powerful defensive skill, but is often overused. While Morph’s ability to obfuscate your identity amongst NPCs is useful, it also makes your blended group stick out like a sore thumb. Killers looking carefully for you won’t have to think hard about where to throw their Firecrackers when a swarm of Courtesans rounds the corner! While Morph has many counters, it does protect you from players who don’t have those counters available and will often force enemies to waste abilities to oust you. Remember to always use Morph before your killer has Line of Sight on you; the trick won’t work otherwise.
Throwing Knives fly at your target swiftly (though not instantly), crippling him or her. Players hit with Throwing Knives will limp while walking and will be unable to run or climb buildings. People already climbing when struck will instantly fall to the ground helpless, and will be unable to climb again until the effect wears off. Throwing Knives require line of sight to use, so time them carefully when your intended pincushion is darting between pillars and buildings.
Offense: The most obvious use of Throwing Knives is to send annoying roofers tumbling into your blade. If your contract is jumping between chimneys like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, lob Throwing Knives at him/her and laugh maniacally as your victim plummets to the ground, leaving an easy kill. You can also use Throwing Knives just to slow fleeing pursuers or to help keep a fast-walking target in range as you close for a Poison or Focus kill.
Defense: Throwing Knives are rarely used in defensive situations, but they certainly work. If you find yourself on a rooftop and a suspicious character decides to saunter towards you, Throwing Knives can knock him or her back onto the street, or slow that person enough that you can easily escape during a chase. While the in-game challenges encourage you to use Throwing Knives to cancel Sprint and Charge use, in reality this is so difficult to do, you shouldn’t plan for it. However, if such an opportunity arises and you’re already locked on, go for it.
Ah, the much-reviled Templar Vision. When activated, you’ll be able to instantly see the true nature of everyone within 100 feet. Targets are blue, NPCs are white, and enemies are red. This ability is incredibly powerful since it makes Decoy, Morph, and Disguise useless, though it does have drawbacks. The largest downside is that, while using Templar Vision, your persona glows bright white. Any target who didn’t already realize you’re in the area is instantly alerted to your presence, and if that person can drop a Smoke Bomb or use Mute before you can lock on to the right person, you’ll be sitting in respawn with a 90 second Templar Vision recharge.
Offense: Templar Vision is an incredibly useful tool on offense, as long as you use it at one of two ranges. One option is to use it at point blank range of where you suspect your target is, so the second it’s activated you can assassinate him or her. In this way, your victim has no chance to run, though it leaves you susceptible to Mute, Charge, and Smoke Bomb if they do know who you are. The second option is to use it at maximum range, preferably from a rooftop. If your victim isn’t looking at the roof when you activate Templar Vision, they’ll be none the wiser when you lock onto them, then go for the Aerial Focus kill or when you climb down and get an Incognito stab.
Defense: Templar Vision has absolutely no use on defense. Making yourself glow a bright color isn’t exactly the best way to blend in with your surroundings. Do not use it for defensive purposes, period.
Other abilities, perks, and streaks
In Part 3, we take a look at the remaining abilities you can unlock. Afterward, we’ll have an opportunity to discuss perks and win/loss streaks, as well as general strategy. Stay tuned to Top Tier Tactics, as well as my YouTube channel, for more Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood strategy.