While possessing the Collector General directly, Harbinger can also control an individual Collector soldier in combat. This soldier gains a substantial advantage in strength, as well as the use of biotic abilities. The soldier whose body is possessed by Harbinger starts to crack open showing magma-like appearances on the skin. The transformation appears very painful to the Collector, showing them to twitch and shake as the Harbinger takes control.
Capabilities[edit | edit source]
When Harbinger possesses any Collector trooper in the fight, the Harbinger-Collector will lose all health yet it will gain fully-charged barriers and armor.
Harbinger will advance and attempt to engage Shepard at point-blank range. It possesses a variation of Singularity, which, just as a regular Singularity, can penetrate thin cover, and cause Shepard or squadmates to stagger back, effectively exposing them. Unlike Shepard's Singularity, Harbinger's collapses as soon as a target (be it Shepard or a squadmate) enter its event horizon, however if it strikes cover it will linger for a short duration, effectively denying it from being used as cover. Harbinger can also utilize fast moving Warp attacks that deal heavy damage. Both the Singularity-style attack and the Warp-style attack projectiles seek, but the Warp projectile's seeking is a lot less noticeable and it can be dodged at mid to long ranges by strafing. Harbinger also has a short-ranged splash attack which is similar to the Praetorian's Death Choir. It can deplete Shepard's shields in a single hit on Insanity difficulty. In addition, this deadly attack has an stunning effect that will cause Shepard to stagger back, which could be a death sentence on higher difficulty levels.
The higher the difficulty setting, the more frequently it will use these abilities. On Insanity difficulty, its biotic attacks can become a non-stop barrage.
Harbinger possesses strong biotic barriers and armor.
Tactics[edit | edit source]
- When fighting Harbinger, it is best to keep at a distance to make it easier to dodge the projectiles it fires and to avoid its dangerous close-range pulse nova. Harbinger will almost always try to close in, however.
- Squadmates are quickly overcome by Harbinger if they are the focus of its attacks as they aren't capable of dodging anything intelligently like the player can. Even if a squadmate is in cover they will soon get stunned out of cover by Harbinger's Singularity and then killed by follow up attacks. Moving Shepard in closer to Harbinger to draw its fire away from squadmates can help keep the squad alive but of course this is risky.
- Once Harbinger loses its armor it will disintegrate, there is no health bar underneath. Harbinger will usually possess another available minion soon after the death of the last host if there are still any surviving Collectors in the field. Otherwise it is likely to join the fight with the next wave of Collectors encountered.
- Although it's important to take out Harbinger quickly especially as it gets close, it's useful to take out all other Collectors first so that once Harbinger is defeated, there are no others for it to possess until the next wave of enemies.
- If you strafe left and right while in cover, almost all of Harbinger's attacks will miss you, including the Singularity projectile that knocks you out of cover, even at very close range.
- Another trick is to pop up right as Harbinger's Singularity gets near and then go back into cover. This will cause it to arc over you.
- During the short time it takes to possess a Collector trooper, Harbinger typically floats above any cover without moving or attacking. This presents a good window to deal as much damage as possible.
- The Geth Plasma Shotgun is one of the best weapons in the game for dealing with heavy barriers such as Harbinger's.
- Harbinger is susceptible to Flashbang Grenade's ability suppression effect and cannot use any of its attacks for the duration, rendering it totally harmless. A good strategy is to bring Kasumi with Improved Flashbang Grenade to neutralize Harbinger while Shepard and the squad focus on the other Collectors to deny any further hosts. While Shepard can have access to Flashbang Grenade as a bonus power, the version of the power Shepard gets can be difficult to aim and is somewhat inconsistent in its effects. Kasumi's version of the power hits immediately and is more reliable.
- Kasumi's Shadow Strike can also be quite useful versus Harbinger as it deals very heavy damage to all protection types and as a bonus is able to distract Harbinger when she appears next to it to deliver the strike. Kasumi gains temporary invulnerability during Shadow Strike so any damage she takes from Harbinger or any other enemy is not a concern.
- Harbinger has difficulty destroying Combat Drones quickly and as such squadmate's drones (from either Tali or Legion) are a good way of distracting it provided that any other enemies in the area don't shoot it down quickly. Squadmate's drones have quite a long cooldown unfortunately, though the Sentinel can compensate by activating a Level 3 or 4 Tech Armor to reset squad cooldowns.
- If Dominate was used on a target just before it is possessed, you will have temporary control of Harbinger after the transformation.
- Harbinger will sometimes possess a Collector that is under the effects of Pull. If this happens, and the Pull wears off over an open space, Harbinger will fall to its death.
- Harbinger typically possesses the weakest or the most wounded Collector on the battlefield; because of this, it is important to finish off wounded Collectors quickly before they are possessed.
- Harbinger's possession "cooldown" is much faster during the assault on the Collector Base, making it more likely that you will encounter it multiple times in a given firefight.
- Harbinger is immune to Stasis; however, just as with Dominate, Pull, and other disabling effects, Harbinger will sometimes possess a Collector that is under the effect of Stasis. In this case Harbinger will still be immobilized until the Stasis ends.
- Harbinger can possess Collectors that have been disabled by various powers or weapons and that includes heavy weapons. Collectors that were knocked down or stunned by the Arc Projector or M-100 Grenade Launcher can be possessed and Harbinger will remain on the ground or stunned briefly if so. This makes the M-622 Avalanche particularly useful as enemies it freezes remain so for 30 seconds (the longest disabling effect in the game), and if Harbinger possesses a frozen Collector, it will remain frozen for the remaining duration of the freeze.
- The M-490 Blackstorm's Singularity projectiles can keep Harbinger perpetually stunned for their entire duration until they detonate (about 5 seconds), dealing heavy damage to it and all nearby enemies in a large area. A good tactic with the weapon is to fire just one shot to suppress Harbinger while switching to a conventional weapon such as a pistol to finish it off after the Blackstorm's shot detonates.
Class Specific Notes
- If done correctly with Incendiary Ammo, a Soldier Shepard can strip its defences away quickly using the M-76 Revenant in close quarters.
- On lower difficulties, the Widow Anti-Material Rifle will often destroy it with a single headshot, especially with the bonuses of a Soldier's Adrenaline Rush or an Infiltrator's Tactical Cloak. If on higher difficulties, another good tactic is using the Widow, and to complement it with your own Heavy or Jack's Squad Warp Ammo. The slowdown effect from either power allows easily placed headshots that result in massive damage against Harbinger's biotic shield and armor.
- An Engineer's Combat Drone has a short enough cooldown that Harbinger can be kept fighting it almost continuously, at least with fully-evolved Combat Drone and Tech Mastery powers and the Tech Cooldowns upgrade.
- If you are an Adept, Singularity will hold Harbinger in place, allowing you time to take out its barrier and armor with Warp. In addition, Singularity will also drain Harbinger's barrier and/or amror, which helps defeat him.
- Because of its deadly close-range area attack, on high difficulty levels a Vanguard should never Charge Harbinger unless it has already been damaged enough that it can be killed immediately after the Charge.
Battle Quotes[edit | edit source]
When Harbinger possesses a Collector on the battlefield, it has a series of quotes to throw at Shepard's team.