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The Graal Spike Thrower is a shotgun in Mass Effect 3.

Description[]

The Graal is one of a long line of krogan weapons used to hunt thresher maws. Its ammunition consists of oversized flechettes meant to pierce thresher hide and create deep wound channels leading to massive blood loss. For additional firepower, the weapon is double-barreled, and, as a last resort, possesses blades to cause internal injuries if the wielder is swallowed by the thresher. Using a Graal on a humanoid target has predictably grisly effects. Its shots can be charged for more damage.

Acquisition[]

Single-player

The Graal Spike Thrower can be found during the mission Priority: Tuchanka, against the safety rail when the Tomkahs are stopped by the break in the road. It is also purchasable from Cipritine Armory post-mission if it was missed.

Multiplayer

Weapons are randomly rewarded through purchases of item packs. The Graal Spike Thrower is categorized as rare and requires no multiplayer expansion packs.

Player Notes[]

General
  • The Graal can be charged for up to double damage, but this is risky and awkward to do while sticking to cover especially on higher difficulties. A safer way to use charged shots is from standing behind tall cover you can simply edge out from.
    • The Graal only expends one shot, regardless if it was charged or not.
    • You may charge the Graal and still be able to sprint, roll, dodge, melee, or use most abilities without losing the charge. You can also fire a held charged shot when you're stunned or otherwise unable to act, a feature of most other charge-able weapons.
  • Despite its description suggesting otherwise, the Graal deals all of its damage up front, with no damage-over-time (DoT).
  • Because the Graal shoots flechette projectiles, there is a noticeable delay from shooting to impacting your target. It makes shooting moving targets a bit tricky, but this can be remedied by leading your shots. It takes time to get used to this if you have been using the classic shotguns.
  • The impact of the flechettes has a high chance of staggering targets, even against some larger armored enemies, regardless of whether the shot was charged or not.
  • The Graal can deal bonus damage to enemy heads and weak points, unlike the Geth Plasma Shotgun, an otherwise very similar weapon.
  • In contrast with other conventional shotguns (but much like other non-standard projectile weapons such as the Scorpion or Kishock Harpoon Gun), the Graal ignores damage reduction penalties from shooting enemy armor, making it considerably more effective against armored opponents especially at higher difficulties. It also penetrates armor plating on enemies such as Brutes and Atlases, but unlike the Kishock it does not penetrate Guardian shields.
    • Also like most non-standard projectile weapons, the Graal's flechettes can't penetrate through objects, so there is no benefit to using piercing mods or ammunition.
    • Guardians or CAT6 Heavies can still be damaged by the Graal if the projectiles hit them where their shields do not protect them, such as their feet or through the eye slits.
    • Like the Kishock and most explosive weaponry, the Graal also ignores enemy shield gates making it capable of severely damaging or even one-shotting enemies protected by barriers or shields.
  • The Graal is highly accurate, even without the Shotgun Smart Choke mod. However, using the Shotgun Smart Choke allows the Graal to be effectively used even at long range.
    • The Graal is also one of only three shotguns whose accuracy can be improved by aiming down sights (zooming), along with the Venom Shotgun and N7 Crusader. However, like all shotguns, clinging to cover does not improve accuracy.
  • The Graal has a very high chance-per-shot of triggering the Power Combo priming/freezing effects of ammo powers/bonuses such as Cryo Ammo/Cryo Rounds.
  • Because the Graal really doesn't need any mods beyond the Shotgun High Caliber Barrel to be effective, there is a lot of freedom with the second slot for mods such as Shotgun Ultralight Materials or blade attachments for increased melee damage.
  • The Infiltrator's Tactical Cloak power registers a shot fired when you start charging the Graal, rather than when you actually fire off a shot. That means if you are cloaked and start charging you will uncloak whether you've fired or not. However, if you activate Tactical Cloak after you start charging you can release your shot without breaking cloak.
    • Combined with two regular shots, this allows you to unload an entire clip before the cloak damage bonus wears off.
  • The Graal Spike Thrower is a great weapon for Vanguards. A charged Graal will fire at the beginning of a Biotic Charge and if the fire button is held down the Graal can be fired a second time immediately after charging. Because of the Graal's high accuracy, this allows you to deal a large amount of damage in a short period of time.

Single-player
  • Due to the long-range nature of the flechettes, squadmates using the Graal will keep their distance from the enemy instead of closing in as they would with most other shotguns.
  • As with most weapons that possess a charged-shot feature, squadmates do not utilize it, firing only uncharged shots. It is still a decent option for squadmates, with good damage, effectiveness against all targets, and the ability to stun, though squadmates don't lead with their aim and will miss fast-moving enemies like teleporting Banshees.

Multiplayer
  • Like the Kishock Harpoon Gun, the Graal can be challenging to use when not hosting a game due to the travel time of the shots being lagged by latency.

Trivia[]

  • The idea for the Graal shotgun came from lead gameplay designer Corey Gaspur's nightmare about a crazy man chasing him with a nail gun.[1]
  • The Graal is one of the very few weapons that shoot rendered projectiles instead of tracers. Firing it into a wall results in a tight cluster of flechettes sticking out of the surface for several seconds. If the shot was charged beforehand, the flechettes will glow like hot metal, then quickly cool down to a black coloration.

References[]

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