How To Make Short Work Of Any Enemy In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

How To Make Short Work Of Any Enemy In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku
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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla isn’t a difficult game. If you venture at all off the beaten path, you’ll quickly accrue enough experience and gain enough Power levels to become an unstoppable Viking tank. Still, some boss fights — and other high-level enemies, like zealots — can be a pain. That is, unless you’ve equipped the best ability in the game: Focus of the Nornir.

Focus of the Nornir puts Eivor in a Legolas-like state. Time slows, and you repeatedly fire arrows until your stamina runs out. (Don’t worry: The move doesn’t use arrows from your quiver, so you don’t have to worry about depleting your stores.) If you’ve ranked Focus of the Nornir up — by nabbing its second Book of Knowledge — every additional enemy you kill in this state increases your damage for as long as the ability is active. The idea here is that it’s a terrific crowd-control method: Pair slow-motion with unlimited arrows and you can score a bunch of headshots.

But Focus of the Nornir is also invaluable during boss fights and against anyone else with a screen-wide health bar. If an enemy isn’t killed by one of your arrows, they’ll stumble for exactly as long as it takes for you to loose another. Time it right, and they won’t even be able to move. It’ll take just a few activations to eliminate pretty much any enemy. And if you have four adrenaline bars — the yellow gauges that dictate whether or not you can use abilities in combat — unlocked, you can easily punch way above your weight, sometimes even killing a boss before they can get within arm’s distance.

Gif: Ubisoft / Kotaku Gif: Ubisoft / Kotaku

For reference, yes, that’s me fearlessly taking on a zealot who’s roughly 50 or 60 Power levels above my own. Such a hero, I know.

You can find Focus of the Nornir’s Book of Knowledge in the furthest southwest corner of Ledecestrescire, right in the middle of Offchurch. (Ledecestrescire’s main narrative will take you there eventually.) A secondary Book — the one that powers the ability up so it stacks damage with each kill — is located in Bolingbroc Castle, in Lincolnscire. If all you care about is killing bosses, though, you can skip the second book. That’s only key if you plan on using Focus of the Nornir to take out hordes of rank-and-file enemies.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku, Fair Use

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku, Fair Use

You'll find the first Book of Knowledge here.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku, Fair Use

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku, Fair Use

And the second one here.

Is Focus of the Nornir a cheap trick? Absolutely! Will it make some of the most tedious, repetitive fights in this already-bloated game go by in seconds? Also yes. Those looking to ramp up Valhalla’s difficulty factor shouldn’t turn to the boss fights anyway. The true challenge can be found by messing with the difficulty sliders.

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  • The other important thing to remember about doing this is to use the Odin-sight to highlight the enemy’s ‘weak points’. (Not just the head.) If all the glowy points get hit, you’ll stun the target, opening them up to a colossally-damaging melee move. The fact that this ability slows time makes it so much easier to hit the glow-points than normal, making this a pretty damn broken ability.

  • Also I recommend using a bearded axe for a main weapon and equipping a hammer in your offhand.
    The axe shreds health and the hammer smashes defence plus knocks enemies to the ground for stomping action.

    Add in the running attack, throw projectiles back and throwing weapons from the ground and you can chew through large groups of enemies in moments and look freaking cool doing it.

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