If you’ve been checking out some new games recently, chances are you’ve heard of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or even grabbed a copy. We consider it one of the best entries in the franchise, and it also runs exceptionally well based on our PC benchmark. There are a lot of things to do in the game, however, your hero or heroine won’t get far if you’re playing like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide for you concerning the best abilities and skills you’ll need for combat in Classical Era Greece.
Whether you’re fighting Athenians, Spartans, pirates, cultists, arena combatants, peasants, or bloodthirsty chickens, it doesn’t matter — you’ll need the best skills in the game to succeed.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – The Basics Of Combat
Skills come in two types — active and passive. Majority of active skills require Adrenaline to use. You have three main combat stat lines or specializations in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey:
- Hunter – your ranged damage
- Warrior – your general melee damage (toe-to-toe fighting)
- Assassin – your damage when assassinating targets
I generally favor the sneaky and sniper playstyle. I’d sneak inside a fort to assassinate some important targets. If I do get discovered, I’d clamber onto the high ground and snipe enemies from afar. However, because I’m not afraid of some in-your-face action, I also pumped a lot of points in Warrior skills.
The game has several moments where assassination and ranged combat don’t really work in your favor. Conquest Battles, the Arena, boss fights, and even higher-level targets mean that your assassin’s tricks won’t be one-hit kills. It’s either that or you’ll find yourself running out of arrows and surrounded. That means you’ll need to get down and dirty.
Don’t forget that gear also provides bonuses to various stats or abilities. That means you can choose to focus on a specific build based on your equipment. Also, some skill ranks only become available once you’ve leveled up your spear (by killing Cultists). You can prioritize that questline to increase your efficiency in combat.
In any case, here’s how we’d rate the combat skills and abilities in the game as well as which ones are the best.
Warrior Skills And Abilities – Top Choices
Shield Breaker (3/3) – From mid to late-game, you’ll end up facing Athenians and Spartans that carry round shields or tower shields. It’s possible to take them out easily with well-timed dodges and parries, however, Shield Breaker is a ridiculously cheap way to do that. Shielded enemies get smashed with their own defenses and knocked back. Anyone nearby also gets staggered. The recharge time on this skill is quite fast as well.
Second Wind (3/3) – This is another mandatory pick. There’s no other way to explain it — you are going to get your ass kicked from time to time. That’s why you need this fast-charging self-heal to keep you alive.
Weapons Master (3/3) – This is a passive skill which you’re going to want to have due to the straight up bonus damage that it provides.
Gear Master (3/3) – Another passive. This one increases your armor rating. More armor equals more damage mitigation. Your character becomes beefier so what’s not to like?
Ring Of Chaos (3/3) -Another top choice from the Warrior tree. This one lets you smash the ground creating a shockwave that knocks back everyone surrounding you. This is perfect for taking out multiple opponents while on a ledge, tower, or ship.
Overpower Attacks (3/3) – This is a mandatory pick. Overpower Attacks deal an insanely high amount of damage to either single targets or multiple opponents depending on your weapon. Daggers allow you to pull off a blindingly fast combo. Meanwhile, spears are perfect for turning into a Dynasty Warriors character — it’s like a musou. Heavy blunt weapons have the most hilarious attack sequence where you can just hammer opponents away like baseballs. You can even chain the attack to continue swinging at multiple targets. Another kicker is that you gain invincibility frames when performing this attack.
Battlecry Of Ares (3/3) – Another obvious choice. The Battlecry of Ares gives you a temporary damage boost and immunity to death. At higher ranks, whenever you’re hit the attack buff is even increased. Oh, and it doesn’t even cost adrenaline.
Warrior Skills And Abilities – Optional Choices
Sparta Kick – Even though it’s the most iconic move in the game given pop culture and memes, it pales in comparison to Ring of Chaos. You’ll definitely want this in the early game, just kicking higher level enemies off ledges. Later on, you’ll drop this completely if you need the skill points.
Flaming Attacks/Fire Mastery – I say these are optional because they require a full Agamemnon legendary armor set plus another legendary engraving to make full use of their potential. These gear pieces will boost your fire attacks which, coupled with these skills, will make you nigh unstoppable later on.
Warrior Skills And Abilities – Don’t Bother
Bull Rush – Seriously, why even bother? Combat engagements in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are either tactical or turn into crazy slugfests. Bull Rush is unnecessary for either of those two. That’s because all it lets you do is run into opponents followed by a ground pound (rank 3). It’s also fairly stupid since once you knock people back, the ground pound doesn’t hit anyone.
Charged Heavy Attack – Why waste a second or two charging a heavy attack when you can just send people flying with an instant Sparta Kick, Shield Breaker, or Ring of Chaos? Those skills give you invincibility frames during their respective animations. This one does not while you’re charging your weapon.
Hunter Skills And Abilities – Top Choices
Arrow Master (2/3) – You can ignore the final rank that allows you to craft Explosive Arrows. You’re barely going to need those. Instead, rank 2 already lets you craft Paralyzing Arrows and Fire Arrows. The former is for targets you want to knock out and recruit; the latter is for nation supplies or grain storages that you want to burn. I generally just use normal arrows when taking out targets and they get the job done.
Archer Mastery (3/3) – Even if you don’t snipe often, you’ll still want to use this for the bonus damage it brings. Likewise, if you have an Adrenaline segment that’s not yet filled up, it will slowly fill over time when you’re not in combat. This is perfect when your enemies lose track of you and you need a quick Second Wind heal.
Multi-Shot (3/3) – After some consideration, I do feel that this is worth maxing out. The main draw (pun intended) of Multi-Shot is during Conquest Battles. When using normal arrows (with 3/3 Archer Mastery) you can essentially spam this until you run out of Adrenaline, thereby racking a lot of kills. The only downside is that trying to line up your shot will leave you open. You’ll want to put some points into the Warrior tree and have decent gear first — ideally mid to late-game. At the very least you’ll have the tools you need for Adrenaline generation, defense, and taking out enemies in melee combat with ease. Oh, and don’t forget to save at least one Adrenaline segment if you need a quick heal just in case.
Hunter Skills And Abilities – Optional Choices
Beast Master – This is mostly for roleplaying purposes and if you want to have a furry companion other than Phobos, Ikaros, and Barnabas (snort!) Plus, if you manage to tame a lion or a bear, those animals can take a lot of hits and dish out a lot of punishment as well.
Hunter Skills And Abilities – Don’t Bother
Everything Else – I suppose I’ll take a lot of flak from the Hunter-loving and snipe-happy players, but that’s just how it is. The remaining Hunter skills don’t really add much to various combat situations. Sure, you can have your own version of Sniper Elite with Predator Shot. You can also pretend like you’re Greek Legolas or the second coming of Artemis via Spread Shot, Devastating Shot, or Ghost Arrows. They’re all cool — but they’re useless in the long run.
Another point of contention is that because enemy levels scale in comparison to yours, you’re not always going to get one-hit kills via archery unless you’ve got gear pieces that greatly boost Hunter stats. Chances are your enemies (especially animals) will get close to you before you can even line up a good shot.
Assassin Skills And Abilities – Top Choices
Shadow Assassin (3/3) – This is going to be a staple because of how assassination, in a game like Assassin’s Creed, truly matters.
Critical Assassination (3/3) – Another must-have. Rather than a 40 percent boost to an assassination strike, you instead do a whopping 300 percent. This can net you some polemarch, captain or cultist kills if you’ve min-maxed your stats.
Stealth Master (3/3) – If you’re going to take down fort or leader house defenses, you’ll no doubt want this as well later in the game. Stealth Master just makes you a lot harder to detect when moving around while crouching.
Revelation (1/3) – Put one point in this early on and keep it that way. Ikaros is your main scout when you’re outdoors. Just keep him stationary and have him highlight all the enemies or treasures in a location. When your indoors or underground, that’s when you’ll need to use Revelation.
Assassin Skills And Abilities – Optional Choices
Rush Assassination – This skill looks flashy and fun to use. Unfortunately, it’s not going to save you in a lot of situations. Chances are, you’ll only critically wound a target without killing them which gets you spotted. Still, you can chain this ability for multiple kills (or near-fatal blows) until you get discovered.
Hero Strike – This is a pretty good Assassin ability that’s almost like a cheaper version of the Overpower Attacks from the Warrior tree. It can be performed while in combat and only uses one Adrenaline segment as well. The only downsides are its slow recharge rate and single-target effect. You’re probably better off using the actual Overpower Attacks, or a Shield Breaker/Ring of Chaos.
Venomous Attacks/Poison Mastery – I consider these optional for the same reason as Fire Attacks/Fire Mastery. You’re going to need some high-end sets, gear, and engravings to get the most out of these skills. Once you do then entire squads will disintegrate before your very eyes.
Shadow Of Nyx – The top-of-the-line Assassin ability isn’t a necessity in the game. If you’re being as stealthy as possible, you have nothing to worry about. If you get discovered, just hiding in a bush behind a couple of buildings will make enemies lose track of you. It’s either that or you’ll just knock them off towers anyway.
Assassin Skills And Abilities – Don’t Bother
Call To Arms – This skill has some use to give you a few laughs, but you’re better off putting points into other abilities first prior to this.
Vanish – Vanish stuns enemies surrounding you which allows you to escape and hide. The only problem is that it’s completely useless when there are archers around. They’ll still detect you which means you’ll remain in combat making this skill pointless.
Slow Time – No, just no. When you’re already getting a “slow time effect” when you make a perfect dodge, and even a second of respite after a parry, there’s no reason to get this skill at all.
This Is Odyssey!
So there you have it. These are how we rate the various combat abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Do note that even though some skills tend to be head and shoulders above the rest, it will always boil down to your playstyle and what you’re comfortable with.
Before we wrap up, don’t forget that you can also gain extra skill points from tomb steles in — you guessed it — tombs! It’s worth mentioning though that you don’t really want “every skill in the game” simply because it will get annoying mapping them on your keyboard or controller. Get the ones that help you out the most and kick some ass — Classical Era style!