View Full Version : [Unity] What governs Phantom Blade damage? [test vid linked]

08-30-2017, 03:50 AM

One of my viewers, LegoCobblestone asked:
"How are you insta-killing any guard you quickshot?"

My answer? I have no idea. It wasn't always this way, and I distinctly remember playing AC Unity and having only Gunners be consistently quick-shotted. This is a video of me testing different possible answers and trying to logic it out. If you guys have any other things for us to test, we should try them out and see if we can find some kind of consistent Cause-and-Effect across situations.

It's NOT having a Legendary Bracer equipped.
It's NOT having a high-damage Main Weapon.
It's NOT having a high enough Diamond Level.

It could have something to do with me having beaten the game and Dead Kings.

I can't unequip Skills in Unity, so I don't know what effect they would have on it.

It doesn't seem to be the "Improved Phantom Blade" Skill either. I played some Co Op with my friend Justin. I could One-shot guards in his world, which means it's associated with my character, not my world-state (if that means anything at all.) He shot a guard before and after getting Improved Phantom Blade and the two guards Resisted both times. The only other difference between his character and mine is that my Arno is "Legend" Assassin Rank. If you post in this thread, let me know if your Phantom Blade auto-kills everything or not, and what Rank you are. It doesn't seem likely that the Assassin Rank is what causes it, but I don't want to discount anything at this point.

Does anyone have any ideas for where to go from here? Watch the video to see the actual stuff I tested in motion. It's insane. I have zero clue what's causing this. I love it, don't get me wrong, it's a freaking BLAST that I can just tap L1 and cause INSTANT DEATH during my Stealth Reaper runs. It makes everything much less stressful and frustrating, and it's 100% something I'm grateful for. I just have no idea what causes it. Which means I don't know how to cause it in the games of other players. Which I want to do. Everyone should have this power.

08-30-2017, 02:23 PM
Where to go from here?

Sure, Play Syndicate while you wait for Origins to be released ;)

08-30-2017, 10:14 PM
"This does not help me, which means it does not help you!"
-- Altair Ibn-La'Ahad

Jokes aside, I've played quite a bit of Syndicate ;]


I want to figure this out because it presents an interesting challenge. This part of Unity is extremely obtuse and unclear. Even the devs don't seem to have definitive answers to what actually increases Phantom Blade damage, and that's pretty insane to me.

08-30-2017, 10:48 PM
I would imagine that it happens after a certain level.... I never really noticed and I played unity for hundreds of hours.... and I do not recall any time when the phantom blade did not kill with every shot.


Restart the game.... backup your save every time you level up (by copying the save folder and renaming it) then level up (probably 2 levels at a time to save time) and try the phantom blade... then try changing clothing and each time you add a piece check the hidden blade. Also check after you have done the training at the cafe. Once you have tried everything and it is not a 1 shot kill, level up again and repeat.

08-31-2017, 12:24 AM


Conclusions are that all of your Damage equipped, on Melee Weapon, Ranged Weapon, and Armor pieces, contributes to Phantom Blade damage. Different Diamond Levels of Guards have different amounts of HP. The player's own Assassin Rank and Diamond Level doesn't seem to matter, but all of their Damage Stats from their sword, gun and bracers together, does matter. We can Quickshot any guard in the game except LV5 Defender and LV5 Brute with the equipment in my vid.

/u/SerHolmes is the one who really did the calculations. He's amazing.

I'm not sure if we can exceed the Health Totals of LV5 Brutes and Defenders with stats, but I'm excited to try!

This is incredibly cool, this is really the first time that the Assassin's Creed community has definitive knowledge on what defines whether your Phantom Blade will Kill or only Damage an enemy. I think it's also quite interesting that this mechanic of the Phantom Blade Assassinating some guards and only doing Stealth Damage on other guards is a mechanical precursor to Hidden Blade Assassinating or doing Stealth Damage to guards in AC Origins. This likely means that this was planned for quite a while, but Ubi didn't think it'd be well-received for the Hidden Blade in Unity and Syndicate, so they just let it be for the Phantom Blade instead. For Origins, they judged that the mechanic was finally well-developed enough to attach to our Hidden Blade and build their whole Stealth system around it successfully. Neat stuff.

08-31-2017, 02:38 PM
Very interesting, nice find!

09-01-2017, 07:07 AM
Thanks, Cawa, I'm pretty happy about it myself. :D