Skill trees are nothing new to Assassin’s Creed, but it’s arguably more of a keystone to the experience in Valhalla than ever before. Eivor has access to a wide range of Skills, Abilities, and Gear, and you’ll ultimately have to make choices.
Those choices will color the majority of your build while you navigate through the story. And because of its systems’ intersecting stats, not specializing comes with penalties.
The problem is that you can’t see what Skills you can get ahead of time. The trees slowly reveal themselves as you move through them, making planning your build kind of a pain.
You can roll back your choices at any time, but who wants to sit there and poke buttons until you decide which ones to keep? We have you covered.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Build Guide: Skills and Animals
If you go to the northern region of the Skill tree, you’ll find the red-colored Bear path. These are largely all about melee damage, both the ability to do more of it, and the ways you can deliver it. The Bear skills are as follows:
- Stomp: Downed enemies can be severely damaged on the ground with R3
- Dual Swap: RT + R3 swaps primary weapon for dual-wielders
- Perfect Attack: Extra damage from combos when pressing RB at the right moment during attacks
- Parry Damage: Parries deal damage!
- Berserker’s Mettle: Getting hit once by an enemy won’t hurt your Adrenaline if it isn’t a full bar.
- Light Bow Combo: Consecutive bonus damage for light bow attacks.
- Warrior Takedown: a RT takedown that will alert nearby enemies, but gives you bonus Adrenaline.
- Adrenaline Fiend: Damage boost for one or more full bars.
- Heavy Dual Wield: Can dual-wield two-handed weapons. This changes their stats.
- Terror: Nearby (weaker) enemies might cower if they see a Stun Attack.
- Battlefield Cremation: If you kill someone with fire, the fire will no longer go out, making their body dangerous.
- Sprint Bash: Sprint lets you push through NPCs and break stuff without stopping.
- Arrow Volley: You can unload your entire quiver at once with a light bow, stamina permitting.
Raven Skills are all about assassination. If you want an experience more close to previous Assassin’s Creed games, you’ll want to specialize here. The Skills are as follows:
- Backstab: Extra damage and stagger when striking an enemy’s back directly.
- Brush with Death: Dodging at the last second causes a slowdown effect.
- Guided Arrow: RB allows you to control an arrow.
- Advanced Assassination: An extra timed prompt allows you to assassinate stronger enemies.
- Predator Bow Combo: Consecutive predator bow headshots get extra damage.
- Explosive Corpse: Set a corpse to explode upon inspection.
- Chain Assassination: Kill a second enemy with an axe after an assassination.
- Breakfall: Reduces fall damage.
- Counter Roll: Roll towards a Rune Attack to vault over the enemy.
- Miasma: Killing an enemy with poison causes their body to emit a toxic cloud.
- Assassin’s Cantrip: Drop a smoke bomb after a successful parry.
- Auto Loot: The ability to steal cars. Just kidding; it’s exactly what it sounds like.
- Missile Reversal: Nearly any projectile can be caught and returned.
If you prefer bow attacks and ranged combat in general, Wolf Skills are the answer. These give your bow attacks additional properties, on top of Wolf-oriented bows giving you things like bonus damage.
- Stealth Recon: Crouching marks enemies automatically.
- Sprint Attack: RB lets you attack right out of a sprint.
- Bow to Melee link: Damage bonus for alternating between melee and ranged attacks.
- Emergency Aim: Aiming when an enemy detects you slows time and lets you try for a shot to stay undetected.
- Last Chance Healing: At critical health, a brief slowdown will allow you to heal or run away.
- Battleground Bolt: Pick up and throw weapons dropped on the ground.
- Stealth Adrenaline: Gain Adrenaline for looting or pickpocketing in stealth.
- Hunter Bow Combo: Time your shot with the end of drawing to get faster draw speed on the next shot.
- Grit: Regain “red” health on successful melee hits.
- Charged Shot: Two fully-charged and non-cancellable hunter bow shots.
- Bow Stun Finisher: R3 gives you a bow Stun Attack if you aim at a stunned enemy’s head.
- Arrow Reinforcement: Arrows never break, so you can pick them up after you shoot them.
As you can see, choosing a Skill tree to focus on will absolutely change what it feels like to play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. But it isn’t just Skills you need to worry about. Equipment also comes with animal affiliations, which means every piece of gear you find will be labeled as Bear, Raven, or Wolf. And gear also comes in sets.
This means that upon equipping two of a set you’ll get one bonus, and four pieces will grant an additional bonus. Along with that, points on each section of the Skill tree will give you blanket stat bonuses if you’re wearing equipment from that animal group.
So if you’re wearing Bear armor but are filling out Wolf Skill nodes, you’re costing yourself big time.
Since this is an Assassin’s Creed game, you aren’t exactly going to screw yourself out on the game’s ending if you “mess up.” That said, if you want to get the most out of the combat, it’s a good idea to meet the game at least halfway and play into its build synergies.
To that end, we have a couple recommendations in terms of how you can combine dipping into the other two animals to supplement your main one as you head to the end.
This requires the Berserker armor set. Unfortunately, you can only get this outside of the game itself. If you pre-ordered Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you start with it. You can also buy it with real money, or get it from the Ubisoft Connect app.
The latter is free too, so it’s worth taking the time to set that up if you haven’t already. The Berserker set gives you bonuses based on building speed on successful strikes. Which very nicely fits in with the axe Eivor gets as part of the story.
You can take this to the end of the game, especially if you combine your brutal attack skills with enough of the Raven tree to get you Backstab and Advanced Assassination. A lot of the Bear tree can be ignored if you want to dance around some skills you might not use, like Battlefield Cremation or Arrow Volley.
That way you can get something like Chain Assassination as well, to ensure you never really need to stop moving, but have the option to avoid going loud every time. Supplemental Wolf Skills for this build could include Battleground Bolt and/or Sprint Attack.
Focusing on Wolf can be super deadly, especially with weapons that give you additional bonus damage for headshots. But if you put some Bear in there, you can assure you won’t get your ass beat if things go a bit sour.
Bow to Melee Link, Bow Stun Finisher, and Grit go really well with Stomp, Parry Damage, and Terror. If you have enough points, incorporating Missile Reversal, Guided Arrow, and/or Counter Roll from the Raven Skill tree can also be a boon.
I like the Bear tree a lot, okay? Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has a lot of options, and ultimately you’ll be able to find ways to color your game the way you want. It just might take more time and effort than is really necessary to get you to the end of this adventure.