For Honor: Best Brawler Assassins

For Honor Best Assassins
Which assassins stand out in small-scale combat?


These days, being an assassin-class character means nothing but reflex guard, bad perks, and bad renown gain, among other general weaknesses. But if you wanted to take one into a smaller scale engagement, where most of those issues go away, which would you want to choose? 

Let's get right into it. Some clarifications and criteria: 

  • We will be weighing each assassin by their a) ability to face an opponent alone, b) ganking potential, c) anti-ganking potential and d) teamfight ability.
  • The assassins are ranked in order, so #4 is better than #5, #3 is better than #4, and so on. 
  • The scale is as follows: 
    • Very Poor -> Poor -> Below Average -> Average -> Good -> Strong -> Very Strong -> Needs Addressing

 

#5: Nuxia

Hook swords to attack your opponents and their weapons.

  • Teamfighter: Below Average 
  • Duelist: Strong 
  • Ganker: Above Average 
  • Anti-ganker: Average

Nuxia, while definitely lower on the ladder of powerful brawler assassins, is not to be underestimated against a lone foe, by herself or with her ally. Unreactably parried heavy/trap attacks combined with her wickedly quick lights makes her very dangerous to turtle against, even for a walking fortress like Conqueror, whether she's on external or not. 

While her strong point is dueling, Nuxia's only (but not insignificant) advantage when outnumbered is her very fast target-swapped light attacks. Her heavy finishers can knock an opponent down while she's in revenge, confirming serious damage if their ally doesn't time an interrupt correctly. Where Nuxia struggles, however, is as a teamfighter, where her low range, risky chase move, and easily interrupted traps hinder her significantly. 

#4: Shaman

shaman

Vicious throat-slitter and predator.

  • Teamfighter: Below Average 
  • Duelist: Strong
  • Ganker: Very Strong 
  • Anti-ganker: Average

Shaman is similar to Nuxia in her dueling strength, however her main damage dealer (bite) is utterly useless until one of the opponents is dead, which dramatically impacts her ability to teamfight well. Low health, reflex guard, and a lack of hyper armor also make it difficult for her to sustain offense unless she makes thorough use of her dodge cancels. As an anti-ganker, Shaman relies on these dodges even more (and her superb dodge attack) to evade lots of different setups and stay on the move. 

Her ability to heal off of bleeding foes, and her variety of methods to access bleed, are also quite handy. Where Shaman truly shines, however, is as a ganker. Once one of her enemies are dead, and her teammate isn't, Shaman's bite becomes one of the most devastating and oppressive ganks in the game, especially when combined with a Nobushi or a Peacekeeper ally. 

 

#3: Gladiator

gladiator

Wide array of unblockables for piercing pressure. 

  • Teamfighter: Below Average
  • Duelist: Above Average
  • Ganker: Strong 
  • Anti-ganker: Average

Gladiator beats out Shaman not for his teamfight ability (although he rivals her for external pressure, and evasive potential with his dodge bash), but for his damage and faster heavy attacks, as well as much more accessible and less interruptible ganking tools. He may not have anything quite as oppressive and devastating as the bite, but he also doesn't need to kill one of his enemies first to use it. 

Gladiator also doesn't lag too far behind on his own, with his fairly quick lights being useful both as target-swaps and against a solo enemy. He's got a myriad of unblockables with decent tracking (and which aren't nearly as risky anymore, thanks to the CCU removing the stamina cost of getting parried). 

#2: Shinobi

shinobi

Definition of "harasser". 

  • Teamfighter: Strong 
  • Duelist: Above Average 
  • Ganker: Stronge 
  • Anti-ganker: Below Average

Shinobi is a mosquito incarnate, extremely hard to hurt if he knows what he's doing whether he's alone or with a friend against one or two foes. He's not the best at actually killing people when outnumbered, but he can still be a great staller if you're not careful or if using slower characters. 

Similar to other characters on this list, however, Shinobi's strong suit is ganking and harassing enemies who aren't locked onto him, because he's too far away to threaten, but still close enough to be a serious hindrance. He can trivially interrupt punishes with his own hard-hitting Sickle Rain grab, or with a simple range heavy, and has plenty of tools to escape and close distance, making most of his moves very safe and difficult to punish. 

#1: Berserker

Berserker

Two axes and an answer for every scenario Brawl has to offer. 

  • Teamfighter: Strong 
  • Duelist: Strong 
  • Ganker: Above Average 
  • Anti-ganker: Strong

Ahead of his fellow assassins by miles, Berserker easily crowns his class in Brawl. He's got everything; unblockable pressure, undodgables, chase (slow but effective and armored), hyper armor, target swap potential, recovery cancels, good damage, and even the best deflect in the game. Berserker stands out in brawl, not just among assassins, but across the entire cast, which is something no other assassin character can claim. 

The only thing other characters on this list do better than him is ganking potential. Berserker doesn't have Shaman's bite, or Shinobi's Sickle Rain grab. But while he may not have as many unblockables as Gladiator, he only needs one (easily accessed and armored, with solid damage) to threaten anyone foolish enough to put him on their external guard. 

 

Special Thanks

Thank you to u/Primedanny417 for lending her competitive experience and knowledge to this article, and another thank you to u/The_Filthy_Spaniard both for recommending Primedanny and sparing time to give initial draft advice as well.

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The first letter met her fate at the business end of a pair of scissors. The second letter is too blind to matter. Only the third letter's writings are still significant, so you're in the right place.
Gamer Since: 2006
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