Phoenix Point: Assault/Sniper

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Main: Phoenix Point: Soldiers

Legendary difficulty

ENTIRE ARTICLE NEEDS A RE-WRITE

Early game[edit]

Trash.

Sniper/Assault do not shine in anything, and aren't good enough specialists. Since you are starved for Skill Points during your entire run, you want your to-be super soldiers to start gaining SP as soon as possible. That means that even creating a Sniper/Assault to shine in the early game would hamper your mid-game soldiers. So that makes them entirely unplayable trash.

It would have been neat with a super accuracte assault rifle using Cautios, Trooper and the sniper perk, and then letting him shoot four times per turn at a cost of 12 will points, gaining back two action points per unit killed. If he kills worms, he doesn't get any WP back, causing him to be depleted and unable to contribute for the rest of the fight.

I'm not even impressed by the build that enables PWD and +4 WP, as that would still require putting Skill Points in a build that isn't great. He doesn't even have the proficency to use heavy armor to allow him to take a hit and return fire, and if he uses it anyway, he won't be able to use the Jet Rocket reliably to Jet and shoot point blank. And it's a disaster if you make a risky move thinking he can Jet away... Dash in, Rapid Clearence, kill one, go back to 3 AP and Jet back... and then he doesn't.

However, during the WP starved mid game, a Heavy/Assault can shoot twice per turn without using WP, using those shots to finish off aliens and give 1 WP to all allies. With heavy armor, he is enable him to stand his ground and shoot twice per turn, and also take a hit and return fire.

Mid game[edit]

Trash


End game[edit]

Trash




Old text below[edit]

Personal perks[edit]

Improving main function:

  • Cautious: 20% bonus accuracy and -10% damage dealt
  • Close quarters specialist: Gain shotgun proficiency with +20% accuracy and melee weapon proficiency with +20% damage
  • Farsighted: Additional +2 to willpower and 10 perception
  • Quarterback 25% bonus grenades range and +2 speed
  • Self defense specialist: Gain PDW and handgun proficiency with +10% damage, +10% accuracy and +10 tiles hearing range
  • Sniperist: Gain sniper rifle proficiency with +25% damage and -4 willpower (not optimal)
  • Trooper: Gain assault rifle proficiency with +10% damage and +20% accuracy

Expanding options:

  • ?

Uses[edit]

  • Marked for Death (+10 damage on each individual bullet) & a shotgun
  • Assault rifle for 1 AP with Marked for Death (+10 damage) and Rapid Clearence (+2 ap per kill)
  • Assault rifle with +70 accuracy with both personal perks and lvl 5 sniper ability. That returns fire. And Rapid Clearence. That removes armor from disabled body parts.
  • With perk, PDW for 0 AP.
  • Always 0 AP overwatch with a gun
  • Normal sniper shot with 1 AP assault rifle overwatch

Quote[edit]

ASSAULT/SNIPER* (w/ Sniperist) TRASH TIER? LIKE, DOUBLE-WTF? To quote my little brother: “Other people have been saying that assault/snipers are, like, the super-mega bestest of the best, all-time, most-supreme dual-class combo in the game, so how come assault/sniper with, like, bonus damage to sniper rifles—on a freaking assault/sniper—is trash tier? Like, totes loozzen it, dude!”

Yep. Trash tier. It’s the -4 willpower with the Sniperist perk that makes it trash tier. Assault/Snipers need willpower to do their thing. Starting a kill chain with an assault sniper—just a typical kill-spree with a couple dashes and a couple quick aimed shots, requires a soldier to spend 17 willpower just to get it going. And an assault/sniper ought to have a bit more willpower on hand to feed the next kill to keep the spree going. So you want to have an assault/sniper with a minimum of 17 willpower, but, ideally, something more in the 20 to 24 willpower range (maximum to increased maximum with up to two random, willpower-boosting perks).

Picking up Sniperist on an assault/sniper caps that soldier’s willpower at 16. So, now your soldiers doesn’t have enough willpower to get a typical kill chain going. Whoops!

Loosing 4 willpower really hampers the assault/sniper build, degrading their overall abilities and combat power. And that’s why this particular assault/sniper* (w/ Sniperist) build is trash tier.


ASSAULT/SNIPERS are B-Tier? WTF?

Assault/Snipers are good. But they aren’t the best. They are generalists. They are flexible. They can use a wide variety of weapons, and can engage at any range. They can Dash shoot, Dash again—unlike the assault/berserker builds that need to get all their Dashes done and their Rapid Clearances activated before triggering Adrenaline Rush.

Assault/snipers are Jacks-of-all-trades, masters is none. They are like minivans; you can do a lot of things with them—just none of them well. (Or as well as more specialized soldiers can do their jobs).

The Assault/Sniper* (w/ Personal Defence) is pretty close to an A-Tier build because that soldier gains proficiency with PWDs, powerful 1AP attacks that can be devastating when delivered in close range. And the Assault’s Dash ability ensures that can happen. Then add Quick Aim to the mix and you can pump out PWD attacks for 0AP. If your assault/snipers have willpower, they can keep attacking and attacking.

But for an assault/sniper to truly reach A-tier status, you need the A-tier park combination, Self-defence (for PWD proficiency) plus the two perks that boost willpower (Healer and Farsight), which will bring the assault/sniper up to a maximum of 24 willpower.

Everything an assault/sniper does requires willpower. Lots of it.

The Sniper/infiltrator isn’t the only sniper-type that can take out two tritons in one turn. The assault/sniper can do it too, just dash (-3 willpower), activate rapid clearance (-5 wp), take a quick aim shotgun shot (-3 wp) followed by another quick aim shot (-3 wp) to get the kill (+3 wp) and conserve AP followed by a second Dash (-3 wp), and two more Quick Aim shots (-6 wp) followed by a kill (+3 wp), followed by a move and a shotgun Overwatch. Everything is pretty comparable to what the sniper/infiltrator did from the other side of the map, but the biggest difference is in the willpower expended to make those moves happen. The sniper/infiltrator spent 6 wp on two quick aim shots and got 6 wp refunded with kills, whereas the assault/sniper burned 17 wp and got 6 wp back, ending the turn down -11 wp. The sniper/infiltrator will be able to go to town on a couple more tritons the next turn, and the assault/sniper is in good-luck-with-that land. Or the assault/sniper might end up recovering and essentially contributing dick-all to the fight the next turn. You know, like a broken down minivan.

On Legend difficulty—where there are more enemies spawning on the map—having a soldier take a union-sanctioned recovery break in the middle of a heavy firefight isn’t exactly ideal. So on higher difficulties, the assault/sniper is kind of a one-trick pony. Or do that trick, work like crazy to regain WP by harvesting kills for the the next five or six turns, and then, maybe, do it again if there are any enemies left. Plus a few enemy types like Tritons Ghouls and screaming Sirens that can zap a soldier’s willpower. These enemy can reduce an assault/berserker’s willpower to zero, and those soldiers are like. “Willpower? We don’t need no stinking willpower” and just carry on fighting. Zap assault/snipers’ willpower and those soldiers are mission-killed, rendered ineffective and unable to leverage any of the things in their build that used to make them somewhat half-decent soldiers.

And then there is the corruption mechanic in the Corrupted Horizons DLC. Soldiers lose willpower due to corruption, which is a minor inconvenience to sniper/infiltrators and assault/berserkers and a massive concern to the assault/sniper and heavy/sniper. Losing willpower diminishes these soldiers’ ability to spam Quick Aim, and as a result, their combat power is reduced significantly.

According to u/EdmonEdmon, assault/snipers are cheap when it comes to spending Skill Points to dual class soldiers. And he’s right. But you also get what you pay for.

The core of the assault/sniper build is the Quick Aim perk, which you can get by spending 50 SP to pick up the sniper class and another 15 SP to get Quick Aim. And you’re pretty much done at that point.

Except you actually aren’t done with just 65 SP. That soldier also needs more willpower, and on Legend difficulty, that means spending another 182 to 197 SP just to boost that one stat; while only earning 5 SP per mission, you’ll have to baby an assault/sniper through 35 to 40 missions just to get them up to speed.

Now, I’m aware that there are older guides proclaiming that assault/snipers are the best dual-class builds. Those were written right after Heavy/Snipers stopped dominating the Meta (in an era when Rage Burst was ridiculously overpowered—allowing you to dump an entire magazine of ammo into a target with any weapon you could aim, which for a Heavy/Sniper with a Pythagoras rifle meant 120 damage x 15 shots for something like 1800 damage going downrange, so no wonder OG Phoenix Point players were a little salty when Rage Burst was nerfed into the ground). Back then, soldiers also earned more Will points with every kill, and the assault/sniper used to have near unlimited Dash that didn’t use up any action points, so you could keep its kill train going by recovering wp on kills alone. But that was your grandpa’s assault/sniper.

Today’s assault/sniper runs a willpower deficit when doing its thing. And because they actually run huge willpower deficits, the assault/sniper can be incredibly vulnerable to certain enemy types.

The assault/sniper can—in the right situations—be incredibly powerful. If you can earn enough Skill Points to pick up sniper perks like Marked for Death (easy to do on Veteran difficulty) you can mark a target before shotgunning it and get +10 damage per bullet—essentially negating much of the enemy’s armour with an extra 100 damage out of a single Anu shotgun blast—to deal a massive 450 damage with that one shot.

But if you’re doing things like that—marking for death while quick aiming and dashing—you’re burning massive amounts of willpower and only getting a fraction of it back.

On Veteran difficulty, a couple assault/snipers can carry the squad by doing serious damage, blowing their willpower loads while clearing most of the map. And you’ll be in mop-up mode before you have to worry about assault/snipers needing to recover their willpower. That’s why they are so good on Veteran difficulty and why noobs think the assault/sniper is, like, totes-amazeballs awesome. But if you try those stunts on Legend, your assault/snipers will be out of willpower while you still have a half-dozen or more enemies surrounding you. Sirens will come in and mind control your low-willpower assault/snipers. Ghouls will pump them full of viral damage and have them cycling between panicking and recovery for the next dozen turns. And you’ll be like, “This game, WTF?”

In other words, assault/snipers don’t scale with the game’s difficulty very well. Once upon a time they did. But they don’t anymore.

On higher difficulties, assault/snipers are still valuable members of the team. They just aren’t the stars on your teams anymore.

However, there are some tools in the game to help out our beloved b-tier assault/snipers so they can survive Legend missions and still be useful.

First up, assault/snipers don’t have Ignore Pain like assault/berserkers do, so any disabled arms will limit their ability to use anything but a pistol for the rest of the mission (whereas as assault/berserkers—juiced up on combat meds—are, like, “Arms? We don’t need no stinking arms” and carry on fighting). When you get into the mid-game and the Pandorans start fielding super-stealth sniper tritons, you’ll be dealing with an average of one disabled limb incident every turn. So the odds of an assault/sniper getting wrecked this way approaches 100% by turn 3 or 4 in a typical battle (on Legend difficulty). Solution: add a Technician to the squad. The technician’s Field Medic perk restores disabled limbs. If you’ve got assault/snipers on the squad, technicians are essential, must-have additions to your teams (on higher difficulties). And now for the Assault/snipers biggest weakness, the mission-killing panic cycle. Solution: add a Priest to the squad. Priests have a perk that gives them a no-panic aura. If you’ve got assault/snipers on your squad, bringing a priest along is a must-have addition to the team when you get into the mid game. That will lessen the danger posed by Triton Ghouls significantly. And, look, if you have a build that needs one or two other soldiers on the squad just to support assault/snipers and keep them in the fight, that isn’t S-tier. Or even A-tier for that matter.

TLDR: Assault/Snipers are good. But not that good. B-tier!

External links[edit]