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How can I engage combat with The Chosen Assassin without taking damage?

The Assassin seems to often begin combat (including her first story mission debut) cloaked, being all but completely undetectable until she attacks. She is also often immune to Overwatch fire both before and after being revealed. Therefore, it seems impossible, or at least implausible, to engage her before she attacks at least once. Her attacks are also highly accurate (if they obey the same rules as her sword loot drop, they are always 100% and cannot miss).

This attack can be dangerous, dealing serious damage or even leading to an instant-kill. As such, I would want to avoid taking any hits at all. However, I do not see how that is possible. Are there any ways to deal with The Assassin without letting her attack you first? Alternatively, are there reliable ways to defend against the first attack?

Possible ideas:

  • Shooting explosives or flashbangs toward random areas where she might be (Implausible, unlikely, and wasteful).
  • Using Hunker Down (may or may not work, depending on the accuracy of the attack).
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  • My tactics include clearing out all other enemies, then moving my soldiers into a fairly open area, and setting up one soldier as bait. The other soldiers scattered so she can't knock them over with the wave. Then blow up the wall she is hiding behind and shoot the living hell out of her. It won't get rid of the "she attacks you first" problem though.
    – Sumurai8
    Sep 9, 2017 at 10:47

2 Answers 2

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There are three simple solutions available to you.

  • Battle Scanner - Unlocked as part of the Advent Trooper autopsy. Battle Scanners will reveal all concealed units, including disguised Faceless, burrowed Chyrssalids, or the Assassin herself, works through walls, and is thrown like a grenade.
  • Scanning Protocol - Available to Sergeant+ ranked Specialists, this provides the same functionality as the Battle Scanner, though it cannot be thrown.
  • Flanking - Your last resort option --If you suspect the Assassin is nearby, you can move your soldiers to the far side of cover, to attempt to visually identify the Assassin. Just like your soldiers lose concealment when flanked, so too can you break the Assassin's stealth by achieving a flanking L.o.S., revealing her for everyone.
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  • That last part about flanking is surprising! I thought thematically that she was actually turning invisible via a cloaking device or something, as opposed to just being really stealthy, so I didn't think that would work. This poses another question, though: If you do reveal her, will she still attack, or will she change her plans to regaining stealth before attacking? Can you prevent her from attacking at all by continuously revealing her? Sep 10, 2017 at 7:40
  • @SouthpawHare Nope. She's perfectly content to attack after being spotted. Sep 10, 2017 at 16:02
  • @SouthpawHare: This is similar to the Mimetic Skin gene mod from XCOM EW. It shows you as "blending" into the environment, but the effect disappears when you get flanked.
    – Flater
    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:34
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    It seems like the Reapers can spot the Assassin without flanking. I managed to reveal her (twice, so far) with my Reaper in Shadow, while the Assassin was in half cover and I had a significant height advantage on her. I'm not sure what factors into this (being in Shadow, being in half cover, a height advantage, ...) but there seems to be a 4th Reaper-related option to uncloak the Assassin.
    – Flater
    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:36
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    @Flater Whose turn was it? It's possible that either the Reaper had flanking sight of the Assassin during their move, or the Assasin was flanked by the Reaper during her move. Sep 15, 2017 at 18:28
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The OP may overestimate the Assassin's lethality after the first few missions are done. As you rank up, your HP improves, plus you should make Predator armor a high priority. As the game develops, you can survive a hit from the Assassin. Also, all the Chosen's direct attacks (the Assassin's Parting Silk) will put soldiers into bleeding out mode. This may be scant consolation in your first encounter, but you could just let her daze a soldier and extract knowledge if you can't handle her. Once you get 5 soldiers on the field, it gets easier as well.

If you play the game a lot, you may develop a sense as to where she might be hiding. You can sometimes infer her approximate location from the environment if she breaks a window while moving - this doesn't affect her invisibility. You'd then send a scout to try to get a flank on those locations. You are helped by the fact that she heads right for you, she's fast, and she will try to get to a flank position on your soldiers.

Retaliation missions and missions with the Lost are an interesting case, because she's revealed if any of the civilians or Lost flank her, and she doesn't seem to make any specific effort to conceal herself from them. Plus they to be present in enough numbers to make it tricky for her to ambush you.

With Scanning Protocol or a Battle Scanner in a Retaliation mission, do note that these will force the Faceless to activate - which means that they will now be looking to attack your squad. It's often possible to stay away from civilians during the mission, and in that case the Faceless would only reveal after all the ADVENT/alien forces were killed. So, trade offs.

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