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Disclaimer: I've already completed the game, so I know what to expect in the final mission.

That said, the fight right at the end was (almost) a complete balls-up. I managed to

kill the first 2 avatars, but then I got pinned down in the open area after the bridge by the constant waves of reinforcements. In the end I took the last avatar down after exhausting all my grenades and with everyone in the squad wounded.

And that was just on Rookie.

So, I'm wondering what the best approach is for that fight, for my second playthrough on Veteran. Should I charge in and try to eliminate each boss as fast as possible, or draw them out on to the bridge? What squad composition would people recommend?

5

I'd recommend waiting on the side of the bridge opposite where the avatars and enemies spawn. I think that charging in is suicide, you're just asking to get flanked.

Send someone with high movement forward to trigger the avatars and waves of enemies, then run them back. There should be enough cover on your side of the bridge to just set up overwatch and destroy anything that pops into view. I'd recommend using mind control from your Avatar on any organic enemies, use these for scouting and early damage. I brought along 2 psi soldiers which made things quite easy as I just dominated an Archon and a Andromedon. Calling in Blazing Pylons every other turn as well as being able to launch acid is very useful against groups of enemies, and with this setup I had 9 soldiers able to overwatch and fire every turn, which made short work of any enemies. As another tip, try not to use any consumables before getting to this portion of the mission.

The squad I used on commander to win without injury was: 2 psi operatives 2 grenadiers 1 rapid fire ranger 1 gunslinger sniper

Another fun idea: I believe you can dominate a gatekeeper and use it's "raise zombie army" ability, which would make that last mission quite fun.

  • I'd be interested to hear from someone who's beat this on the hardest difficulty setting, as this is not even remotely close to what I did on Veteran. Killing the avatars was pretty easy. Everybody was across the bridge in overwatch behind the pillars and planters, except for a ranger who ran behind enemy lines and took up position on one of the high pillars. Any mob that got aggro'd would try to run towards the bridge and get lit up by the guys in overwatch. The ranger killed the avatars with awesome shotgun. – DCShannon Feb 19 '16 at 16:56
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    So your soldiers were waiting on the side of the bridge that all the enemies spawn on? – fina Feb 19 '16 at 17:10
  • Yes. They spawn in the courtyard on the other side of a wall, so they run around the wall to get to the soldiers. I think one avatar may have come running out and got shot as well. The avatars really aren't that durable if you just kill em real quick. I didn't feel like there were all that many enemies, although there might have been more when I killed the last avatar than when I started. – DCShannon Feb 19 '16 at 17:13
  • Yeah, I considered that plan as well. On commander the enemies are a little tougher so I played it as conservatively as possible. I'm not sure if the amount of enemies spawned changes based on difficulty. – fina Feb 19 '16 at 17:16
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    The number of enemies doesn't appear to change, but below Legend, there's a limit on how many enemies will take aggressive actions each turn, so it's significantly different. – Chris Hayes Feb 19 '16 at 18:56
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I managed to make in on commander difficulty using 2 snipers, 1 psi, 1 grenadier, 1 ranger, 1 support and the avatar. I had suffered 0 injuries and used only 1 fire grenade (the fight was fairly easy so I thought there will be another ultimate boss or something -> as a result I preserved them for nothing :)) ).

The trick was to use wraith armor on snipers. This way you can grapple on to a normally inaccessible area just after the bridge (one on the left, one on the right).

Strategy: 0. Rule number 1: Don't charge in. Position your squad as effective as possible and cover as much ground as you can (avatar teleports after being hit).

  1. Recharge all your powers before crossing the bridge (especially aoe from psi and avatar)

  2. I went 3 left 4 right.

  3. Mind controlled 1 unit with the avatar (doesn't really matter which, you just need the vision, just take one that doesn't die fast).

  4. Mind controlled a second unit with the psi (same note as before).

  5. Killed the 3rd unit and shot the avatar (took about half of his hp).

  6. Used aid on an the ally closest to the avatar. When he moved he got shot and lost his turn (you always need to do that or he hits like a truck).

  7. Mutons spawn on right platform, used a void rift and sniper serial to kill them all.

  8. Focused and killed the avatar.

  9. Put all that remained into overwatch.

  10. Sectoids spawned on left platform, killed them with a grenade.

  11. Avatar spawned and some andromedons on far left platform.

  12. Killed avatar with the snipers + 1 overwatch hit (after I ended turn). Ignored rest because they were far.

  13. Last avatar spawned, died from 2 crits of the snipers and 1 slash from the ranger.

  14. Congratulated myself.

Somewhere in between those steps I also used the void rift from the avatar and a null lance to take some snakes down (but can't remember when so I did not include it in steps :) ).

Snipers did most of the work (and I was glad because they were useless on the rest of the mission, since they had no high ground and shitty angles).

I think that without the wraith armor it would have been pretty hard.

  • Did any codexes spawn for you? Their weapon-jamming ability was what made my fight hard. Also, just to confirm: you split your squad up, with half going left and half going right? Isn't that a bit risky? – Hong Ooi Feb 22 '16 at 21:49
  • Did not get codexes (maybe finished to fast?)... Anyway they are one shot for snipers with bluescreen rounds (and one of them had them) and emp grenades. I may have got problems if had no chance to hit first though. About the risky part... it is a bit. Depends on how fast you can clear close enemies. I could one shot/two shot most of them. Also you actually NEED to split the team so you can always hit the avatars wherever they teleport. I don't say the strategy was perfect... but it did the trick. Also I should note that I had all upgrades, best weapon mods and pcs on all soldiers. – zozo Feb 22 '16 at 22:16
  • If the weapon-jamming annoys you... maybe you can try using a superior autoloader? But that implies that you reload 2 times at most on the rest of the mission. You could go autoloader + expanded magazine for that. Personally I went autoloader + aim bonus. But I think that's more a matter of preference. – zozo Feb 22 '16 at 22:21
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The best strategy would be, as described by many, a blitzkrieg against Avatars, since when they die it's all over. However I will tell you the other approach to this battle, for the case when you can't do it the easy way

I've had this fight last 15 turns from the moment I engaged the first Avatar because the second Avatar bugged out and teleported to the other end of the map, and I realised it only after a while and didn't send anyone to find it. This forced me to kill over 80 aliens before the last Avatar run in from the back of the hall, and here is my recipe to doing it:

  1. Mind control is your friend, but correct usage of mind control makes the fight so much easier:

    • Most aliens attack are weak and unreliable compared to your soldiers. Thus, use them for defence and utility. Codex's disarming, Viper's pulling are so much more useful than just some Berserker or an archon.
    • Aliens prefer shooting at the easiest to hit target. They don't care that Gatekeeper is armored, as long as it's exposed and next to them, they will shoot at it instead of taking pot-shots at humans, even if said humans aren't in cover.
    • Avatar's mind control is unlimited uses but limited duration. Make sure that its target perishes from enemy fire before you lose control, but not too soon.
  2. You need to be killing an average of 3-6 aliens per turn, or get overrun. Sometimes a sacrifice or a risky move should be made, if you are in danger of not getting enough aliens this turn and the next.

  3. Anything that gives you more shots — Serial, Death from above, additional Overwatch from support drones, — makes achieving the above target easier. Any move that does not take result in an alien shot has to be avoided.
  4. Be constantly on the move. Most cover is easily flanked, and most cover has opposing cover, so staying in one place is inviting disaster.
  5. Try to keep enemies clustered. Instead of spreading and taking on all enemy packs at once, hunt them down one by one. It's better to skip some of the tougher packs and ignore them till the Rift recharges and you can take them out all at once, then to take down two on the left, two on the right, and have at least one of your flanks in grave danger on the next turn.
1

It seems like defensive approach is just plain wrong since enemy have infinite reinforcements here. So the key factor is speed. Kill first avatar in the first turn, second - in the second turn and you have two or three turns left to hunt down that last bastard who have ill tendency to hide somewhere in some far corner of that large hall. I've got an assault character who killed first and third avatar. This assault had fully upgraded flanking attack (~15 HP per shot + Rapid Fire perk) and AP rounds. Also, this assault had superior speed PCS and sometimes got help from PSI Op with his "Inspire" ability, so she could dash from corner to corner, make a flanking attack, and retreat behind suitable cover ("Implacable" perk). Second avatar was the most difficult, as it managed to mind-control my assault mentioned above. So my soldiers had to shot it three or four times. Occasionally it was executed, as one of my soldiers had "Superior Repeater" upgrade, so some amount of luck was involved. Because avatars have tendency to teleport, my soldiers were scattered to three hunt groups across the hall and had mind-controlled Andromedon by my PSI and mind-controlled Gatekeeper by my Commander to make these small groups somewhat stronger. After all, this fight was flawless or almost flawless. It involved some luck, however.

0

I am doing my first go-through on Commander, having completed the game on the lower levels previously.

This time, I have:

My Squadsight sniper with Icarus Armour A Magus psi operative with a W.A.R. suit and a Blaster Launcher Two other Magi A medical Specialist A hacker Specialist with Berserker Armour

I have been setting up overwatch traps and then triggering the pods with Scanning Protocol

So far, I have got as far as eliminating the two-Andromedan / 3 Mutons pod (3rd pod), having already eliminated a Sectopod and several minions, and there's not a scratch on any of my soldiers so far, touch wood. I haven't used any one-shot talents or rockets yet.

You just can't beat those long-range area attacks like Dimensional Rift and Null Lance, and Capacitor Discharge and Combat Protocol are good also, so you never need to go toe-to-toe with the aliens. Find what little full cover you can, and send out your Gremlin or your psi powers, and give 'em both barrels.

I may be eating my words by the middle of the final avatar-hunt, but it's looking good so far.

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