5 Essential Assassin's Creed Valhalla Skills for Early Zealot Takedowns

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has once again brought back a bounty hunter system of sorts with the return of the Order of the Ancients. This shadowy organization is full of behind-the-scenes leaders that players have to unmask through clues and exploration, but finding them is only half the battle. The much more challenging part – especially early on in the game – is actually beating them since they’re often well-equipped with high defenses and tactics you won’t find other enemies using.

Not all of the Order of the Ancients members will be a hassle, but the Zealots patrolling the roads and certain regions can be tough to deal with. They’re made even more challenging by a somewhat high level requirement of 90 that’ll leave players watching them pass by until you’re ready to take them on. Thanks to the game’s many skills and abilities, however, there are a few different techniques you can acquire that’ll make facing them much easier even if you’re on the hardest difficulty possible.

We’ve put together a list of a couple of abilities and skills that’ll be essential for taking down Order of the Ancients Zealots as soon as you’re able to even if you’re way beneath the recommended level for them. By the time you acquire all of the abilities, you’ll likely be at or above the Level 90 suggestion for fighting them, so just pick the ones that best fit your playstyle first and move onto the next best one for you if the Zealots still give you trouble.

Missile Reversal

This skill is one that you have to work towards since it’s further down south in the Raven skill tree, but it’s the No. 1 skill for taking on Zealots. It allows you to “parry” projectiles at exactly the right moment to send whatever’s thrown or shot at you right back at your assailant.

You’ll get a lot of use out of this against archers, but it’s also one of the best skills you can have for fighting the Order of the Ancient members early on. Zealots commonly use projectile attacks once they hit a certain health threshold, and whether it’s an explosive or a spear, you can throw it right back at them. The returned projectile won’t do a ton of damage, but it removes some of the Zealots’ best tools from their arsenal.

When using Missile Reversal, look for the moments when the Zealots start moving quickly toward you to attack. Keep backpedaling and they’ll eventually cut their charge short and throw a projectile which you can then send back at them.

Stomp

Stomp is one of the earliest Bear skills most players will get in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but it’s not often that you’ll get to use this against a Zealot. These Order of the Ancient members are typically walking fortresses that cause your attacks to rebound off their defenses which makes it even harder to knock them down.

However, if you get the Missile Reversal skill mentioned above, you’ll notice that returned projectiles almost always knock down the Zealots. If you run up quick enough, you’re able to get one Stomp in and then maybe one or two normal attacks while they’re getting up. It’s a very situational move, but when you’re already at a level disadvantage, every bit of damage helps.

Brush with Death

Another Raven skill worth obtaining early on for Zealots or really anyone else is Brush with Death. This move makes it so that time temporarily slows down once players perform a perfect dodge.

Aside from simply allowing players to get out of the way of Zealot attacks, this move can also be useful for hitting enemy weak points. The big shielded Zealots often have weak points on their backs which are extremely hard to get because of how well they track players’ movements and how their shields get put on their back when not in use. Brush with Death, if used correctly, will allow you to circle a Zealot and get the single shot off that you need to hit the weak point and work towards a Stun Attack.

Rush & Bash/Rage of Helheim

These two melee moves are abilities rather than skills which means you’ll have to find their corresponding Books of Knowledge to unlock them instead of investing skill points. Fortunately for players, this means you can get them early on and still work towards the other skills to build your arsenals.

Rush & Bash is found in Ravensburg while Rage of Helheim is found in Kjotve's Fortress. The former allows you to pick up an enemy – even a Zealot – and carry them until you throw them off a ledge or into an object. The latter lets you tackle an enemy followed by alternating punches until your stamina depletes. Both deal considerable damage to the Zealots considering how infrequently you can actually get attacks in against the defensive enemies.

If you have to pick one to use, pick Rush & Bash. It allows you to move the otherwise immovable Zealots and depletes their stun meter on top of the damage dealt.

Last Chance Healing

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Finally, Last Chance Healing is a literal last resort skill for keeping you alive in Zealot fights. You can find this skill over in the Wolf branches of the skill trees.

Zealots hit hard, and once they land one attack, there’s likely another one following it right afterwards. This ability will allow players to temporarily slow down time to heal themselves before the next fatal blow lands. It may seem a bit redundant on top of Brush with Death which is why it’s at the bottom of our list, but it’s meant to be a lifesaver, not something to rely on all the time. Learning a Zealot’s attack pattern is one of the most essential parts of fighting them, so having this skill in your kit will allow you to do that much quicker with fewer deaths.