This's a complex and thorough guide to help you beat the final boss of the Brutal Update - the Assassin.
Some Basic Info
The Assassin is the final boss of the Brutal Update, which many people consider like very overpowered and unbeatable guy. Truth being told, he's really very tough, but not immortal. You enters the fight with him after the Clock Tower or the Forgotten Sepulchre regions(and after visiting the Collectors' room of course).
Some facts about him:
- He has enormous amount of healh.
- He's very agile and evasive.
- He has TWO main stages of the fight.
Preparation for the Boss Fight
The Assassin is a kind of a boss which can't be beaten casually. You need a certain set of items and power-ups.
- 13 or more Brutality points. The boss has massive amount of hp, so in order to actually deal some nice damage to him you absolutely need to collect many brutality.
- At least 7 or more Survival points. Pretty obvious, you need some health to tank the possible damage from the boss. Also we're interested in that "bonus damage after parrying the enemy attack with a shield" stat, but we'll talk about this later.
- Tactics points are optional. Since I discovered that almost all skills are not very effective against the Assassin and used only to deal some additional damage, you don't need much of them. Toxic cloud, any bombs and grinder/crusher should be good enough.
- A powerful shield. This's the vital part of the preparation. Yes, the whole idea of beating the Assassin is based on parrying his attacks with a shield. Any shield would be nice, but the most effective ones are with the "bonus 300% damage to the next mellee attack" stat and Sturdy shield, Force shield, Spiked shield and Blood shield.
- A good trusty sword or melee weapon of any type with quick attack speed. This choice is up to you and the randomizer of the game, but my fav ones are Spiteful sword, Frantic sword and Blood sword.
- As many items with "-[amount]% of all damage taken" stat as possible. This could be mostly shields, skills and necklaces.
- "Ygdar Orus Li Ox!" is a good insurance too. You can get the "Never Fallen" achievement, if you manage to end the game with it though.
- The last but not the least - you need many Dead Cells overall experience and shield parrying experience too. And many, many failed tries. And a calm nerves, of course.
Here's my set:
The Assassin's Behavior and Attacks
The less HP he has, the quicker he becomes and the stronger attacks he perform. He also has two main parts of behavior - melee and ranged ones, which he switches one after another.
First stage(100-45% hp).
- TELEPORT. The Assassin can teleport away from you in two cases: first is when he finishes his melee sequence and teleports away to the corner of the arena to perform a ranged one. The second is when he's still at his ranged part, but you approach too close to him, so he also tps away.
- MELEE SLASH. Basic attack. He runs towards you and quickly hits with his blades two or more(up to six) times in a quick consistency. Every success hit stuns you for a short amount of time.
- HOOK THROW. Ranged attack only. Similar to your characters' skill, the Assassin throws a hook at you and, if not blocked, pulls to him. After that you become stunned and immobilized, then he charges his powerful attack, dealing great damage and pushing you across entire room.
- SHURIKEN THROW. Ranged attack only. The Assassin throws one or more(up to five) shurikens at you, dealing damage.
- SPEED DASH. Long-distance attack. When the boss lost some hp and standing very far from you, he can charge his speed dash attack, which will be shown to you as a yellow line acroos all arena. Then he, obviously, dashes through entire floor, dealing huge damage and stunning you.
- SHURIKEN RING Ranged attack only. The Assassin spins many shurikens around him, then throws them away in all directions. Also he always starts the second stage of the fight with this attack.
Second stage(45% or less hp).
When the Assassin has 45% or less hp left, he enters the "rage" mode. He pauses the game, says "Let's finish this.", unlocks the final attack and charges shuriken ring. Also in this mode the Assassin attacks at the max speed and brutality.
- SKY SWORDS. Boss' magic - always on. The Assassin literally makes the swords constantly fall from the sky at you until the very end of the fight. The swords always fall at your current position(homing). It's shown to you as a shrinking blue vertical pillar. Deals damage to the main character, obviously.
The strategy of the fight, according to the previous sections
As I said, the whole fight strategy is based on the shield parrying and then damaging. During my many failed previous tries I found, that dodge-rolls and jumps are not very effective for this fight, because they waste more time then parrying and more complicated. Also, dodge-rolls and jumps will not damage the boss, whereas parrying certainly will.
So, with a calm heart and focused mind you enters the final fight, ready to parry.
- Firstly, ALL of the Assassins attacks can be parried/blocked. Even after his successful hook's hit'n'stun you still can time it right and parry his powerful attack completely.
- Secondly, all parried shurikens reflect back at the boss, dealing additional damage.
- Thirdly, don't try to run close to the boss during his ranged sequence(cause he will teleport), just stand a few meters away and parry all stuff he throws at you. Then when he runs towards you for melee slash, just parry his attack, which will abort his sequence, and then deal some damage to him a few times. Then repeat till the victory.
- The tricky part starts at the second stage of the fight with sky swords. This's the part, where the Force shield is truly shines, cause it creates an incincibility forcefield around you for the entire 3 seconds, which in fast-paced action like this is like eternity. But if you have other shield it's OK too, but you need even more concentration and reaction to evade all this falling sword thing and parrying the Assassins' max rage attacks at the same time.
- Healing self with potion is very tricky, cause you almost never have enough time for that. And you absolutely wouldn't have it during the second stage of the fight, so it's smart to have an additional Tonic at your inventory as an insurance.
- Speed dash attack is easier and more useful to dodge-roll, than block or parry.
- Don't panic.