Rock a Winfiltrator in Mass 2
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This is a simple and very fun way to run through Mass Effect 2. Best part is, it's good on any difficulty!
Let's start with the most important parts of this.
Job Class: Infiltrator (naturally).
Mass Effect 2's gameplay is drastically different from Mass Effect's and the most obvious is the combat arenas. No longer are they mostly open rooms with a few pieces of scenery to hide behind. You'll see a lot of cover-based combat this time around, and (surprisingly) a lot of enemies in places you can't easily reach (making Vanguard one of the worst job classes ever! But this is about the Winfiltrator!) The best answer to this gameplay change is the sniper rifle! They're a little hard to get used to at first but once you do you won't regret it!
Class Setup: Spec for damage!
Even though in higher difficulties you may want a few extra hit points or longer power durations we're going to spec for damage on the Winfiltrator. For that we need 2 abilities to evolve certain ways.
You want to evolve this into Assassination Cloak. The damage boost is a staggering +75.00%. Don't worry about the 6.00 second duration. With some practice you'll be able to line up a shot and end a merc's life in less time than that!
Again, we're going Assassination on this one. Evolve Operative into Assassin and you're looking at not only increased weapon damage but a sniper slow down of 2.25 seconds. It may not seem like a lot but this helps IMMENSELY!
Equipment: Time to get dirty!
Let's start with the more extensive. Armour. Customizable is best (even though most cases Kestrel Armour rocks!) We're going to be using special things to help you out.
On your Head you want the Kuwashii Visor. This gives you a 10% Head Shot damage increase. We'll be aiming for the head. And the more damage you can do the better. If you want you can substitute in the Kestrel Helmet as it gives a 5% Head shot damage bonus. You can get the Kuwashii Visor on Omega early on so before you even start collecting your team, you can do 10% more damage. The Kestrel Helmet is a download, so if you don't have it, don't worry.
Chest armor you WANT the Kestrel Torso Sheath. A 5% damage increase means even if you aim for the chest, you're doing more damage! Again, if you haven't downloaded the Aegis Pack (which you really should) you can use the Capacitor Chestplate instead. It gives you a reduced cooldown for when your shields break. Since your health and shields don't regenerate while in Tactical Cloak you'll want them to come back as quickly as possible if they ever break.
For the shoulders N7 Shoulder Guards are fine. They do the job with a 3% Weapon Damage increase. If you find you need more health then the Asymmetric Defense Layer can be swapped in for 5% Health increase. Kestrel is always an acceptable replacement for either of these.
Stabilization Gauntlets on the arms for a 5% Weapon damage increase! If not that the Kestrel Arm Sheathing will do with the 3% weapon damage and 3% shields.
For the legs you can go with pretty much any of the choices you have. I like Life Support Webbing for the 10% Health increase. Kestrel Power Pack is good for the 8% Shields.
That concludes armor, lets go to rifles!
M-98 Widow: AKA the Widow maker
This weapon is where there Winfiltrator gets its name. You may not have this heavy sniper rifle until after the collector ship but you won't scoff at what it can do! The highest damage output coupled with all our armor and power evolutions will put a bullet through a Krogan Warlord's head plate! The M-29 Incisor will tide you over until you get the Widow. The other sniper rifles are OK. If you want to train yourself for head shot's before the Widow, I recommend the Viper for its single shot ammo clips.
Extras: Upgrade ALL the sniper damage!
It goes without saying that you should upgrade all the sniper damage. Increases in damage mean you'll have to worry less about annoying things like Shields and Barriers.
Though you pretty much don't need any other abilities, here are some of the things I suggest.
Disruptor ammo will help you eat out enemy shields earlier in the game, a point or two into that will be useful until you get the Widow. Then you won't care.
Cryo Rounds. Ignore this outright.
Incinerate; go for Heavy. Earlier in the game it'll be helpful for armor. Later on the Widow has a 1.5 Damage multiplier for armor so it becomes only useful to stop Vorcha and Krogan from regenerating.
AI Hacking was a favorite of mine in Mass Effect. Hacking Geth to do your bidding was the greatest feeling ever. In Mass Effect 2 it's slightly less useful. The number of synthetics to organics is decreased and even then you can't hack bigger enemies like YMIR Mechs and Geth Prime. A point or two to draw enemy fire into their own ranks will do.
There's a lot of cool powers you gain from doing your crew's loyalty missions, but some of them fit better with different job classes. I'll run through them all and which ones you should ignore for the Winfiltrator.
Although Stasis freezes an enemy in place and allows you to line up a shot for increased damage easier, its way too much set up for the Winfiltrator. Clock and Snipe will do you fine, no need for Stasis.
Barrier is always nice, but as a Winflitrator you'll be too far away to make use of it most times. Pass.
Reave is good for stopping an enemy in their tracks for a while, It does a fair amount of damage with even 1 point in it. It stops Health Regeneration too. If you want you can go with this, but there are better options for the Winfiltrator.
Slam is a really cool looking ability. But it doesn't really HELP the Winfiltrator. Pass.
Dominate is a personal favorite of mine. It's like AI Hacking for organics! If that's your thing than go for it! If not, there's still a few abilities that are better for the Winfiltrator.
Energy Drain is like a weird Overload. If you don't want to rely on ally Overloads or even Disruptor ammo then Energy Drain is great! It not only damages enemy shields but gives the energy to you!
Geth Shielding is really good, the downside is the same as with barrier. As a Winfiltrator you'll be too far away from the action to see its uses.
Neural Shockwave is pretty neat ability. I'd personally go with Reave since it does damage as well as incapacitate.
Flashbang Grenades are pretty useless. So is Kasumi. Forget both of them!
Fortification has the same problems as Barrier and Geth Shielding. Too far away from the action for the Winfiltrator to see any use from them.
Inferno Grenade is like a splash damage of Incinerate. You already have Incinerate its best to overlook this one.
Armor Piercing Ammo? Ha! Not only do you have Incinerate but you also have a Widow maker! Forget this one.
Shredder Ammo is nice, but it's nothing compared to....
Warp Ammo! Saved the best for last. Warp Ammo is pretty much the best choice for ALL classes. It puts a damage increase on your weapons against Barriers, Armour AND Health! If it did extra damage to shields it'd be no contest! Now, that being said, with how the Winfiltrator is setup you won't NEED Warp Ammo, so you're free to experiment with the other abilities I recommend. Ultimately your play style is what matters when choosing any of these.
Finally your squad mates!
The best companions for the Winfiltrator are those who complete things you need.
Garrus is great for his Overload and assault rifle support (or throw him on an Incisor Sniper Rifle and laugh).
Thane is like Garrus in that he can Incisor it up with you or you can use his Warp to take out barriers. Highly recommended.
Miranda fills pretty much all your ability holes having both Overload AND Warp. The downside is you'll be craving Medi-gel to keep her alive.
Mordin is great for what I call his Insta-burn. But you already have Incinerate, and the same problem with Miranda, he's pretty squishy.
Grunt is good for taking out Husks.
Jack is good for taking out husks. Also, if you don't want to put Warp Ammo on Shepherd, you can always put Squad Warp Ammo on Jack and bring her along. Then you're kind of chained to having her on your team if you want those awesome awesome damage bonuses.
Legion can support you with his own Widow, but for the most part he doesn't add anything new to the team.
Zaeed is a fun guy to run around with, but he doesn't really help too strongly with things like shields or barriers which, earlier on, will be your number 1 concern.
Tali's Combat drone is really the only cool thing about her. Shes too squishy for close combat (why a Shotgun!?) and you have AI Hacking so she doesn't fill any ability requirements.
Jacob is useless everywhere.
So is Kasumi. They're perfect for each other.
And so that ends our Winfiltrator Guide! Give it a quick try before Mass Effect 3 drops! Maybe it'll change your play style for the next installment? Enjoy!
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