XCOM 2: WOTC - Tips for Fighting the Chosen

These guys ain't so tough.

I love fighting the Chosen. These villains are great fun. I love the funny banter of the Hunter. I dread the stealth of the Assassin. I don’t much care for the Warlock’s obnoxious fanaticism… but that makes killing him more enjoyable. And they are tough! Even for seasoned Commanders the Chosen are always dangerous. Usually when they are all dead and gone, I abandon the campaign, calling it a win. The Chosen are simply the best part of WOTC.

Fighting the Chosen can be daunting for beginners. This guide is intended to help you find a way to kill them. Not just fend them off by allowing them to capture a soldier. Your goal should be to kill them every time they show up. The first few encounters will be the hardest, but even in the early game this is an achievable goal, as long as you follow a few simple protocols.

Get to Squad Size I:

This should be your highest priority in the early game. This means building the GTS on day 1, putting your first engineer on that job, and then using your supply drop money to buy Squad Size I. Easy. You will have 5 soldiers on every mission after the 4th. Hopefully the Chosen won’t show up on that 4th mission…

Getting to Squad Size II can be done pretty quickly as well. You need to get a soldier up to Captain rank, which can be done using the Resistance Ring. Put your highest ranked soldiers on Covert Actions with Promotion rewards and you will soon have a Captain, and unlock 6 soldiers on every mission.

Know the Chosen’s abilities:

When the Chosen appears there will be a freeze frame listing all of his/her Strengths and Weaknesses. Don’t skip through this. They gain abilities as the game progresses, and you need to know what they have been given. Even if you already know their abilities it is a good idea to read it every time, reminding yourself of what they entails. For example, if the Chosen has All Seeing, you can’t use a scout. Keep your Reaper back with the rest of your squad.

Isolate the Chosen with good Scouting:

The best way to isolate enemies is to keep a scout (Reaper, or Phantom Ranger) in concealment. That soldier can steer your squad in the right direction, and away from multiple pods. Good scouting will help you set up overwatch traps in good position, and keep you from activating a second pod by moving forward too aggressively. Dealing with one pod at a time is still the easiest path to victory in XCOM; especially against nasty enemies such as the Chosen.

To understand why scouting is even more effective against the Chosen, consider these points:

  • The Chosen do not show up until after you break concealment.

  • Once a Chosen arrives, the mission timer will be suspended.

  • Chosen have a ton of HP, and cannot be controlled.

  • If other enemies are active, you will want to kill them first, and your squad will be unable to focus on the Chosen.

What all this means is that you need to isolate the Chosen, and this is very achievable because you get to eliminate one enemy pod before a Chosen appears. In the early game, if a Chosen is on the map there will be 2 other enemy pods. If you take out one of those pods you will only have one other pod to avoid/destroy before fighting the Chosen. Also, the mission Timer will be suspended when they arrive, allowing you to focus on killing the Chosen. And kill it you must, because it can’t be stopped any other way.

The Chosen cannot be controlled with a Flashbang or Stasis, as those don’t affect them. The Frost Grenade only takes away 1 of their 2 actions. High cover and Suppression aren’t great either; The Assassin has Shadowstep and is guaranteed to hit with her blade, the Hunter has Grapple and good aim, and the Warlock has Mind Control and Mind Scorch which ignore cover. Your best bet when fighting the Chosen is to hit them hard, before they hit you. Or hit them hard, after they hit you. what I’m saying is just keep hitting them, because defense doesn’t work. This is a huge problem when other enemies are nearby. The Chosen have too much HP to kill in one turn, so you will want to kill the weaker enemies first, giving the Chosen ample time to wound, daze, and then capture your soldiers.

Keep your Squad Together:

Consider these points:

  • The Chosen are incredibly fast.

  • They will often move backward, and into high cover. Even the Assassin when using her blade, will get to move away afterwards.

  • Most enemies in XCOM, including the Chosen, will not break Line of Sight with your entire squad.

What all this means is that you should keep your squad tight prior to contact. This will limit how far backward a Chosen can move, as they will not break LOS completely. The most dangerous situations are when the Chosen are out of reach, or when you stumble into another pod of enemies. Both of those situations become more likely if the Chosen are able to move further away. If you keep your squad tight, you will likely be able to attack the Chosen with all of your soldiers, and without having to expose too much fog of war.

Alpha Striking is usually better than Overwatch trapping:

Unlike other enemy pods, the Chosen are active and able to attack the moment they appear. This means that an overwatch trap is less effective on the Chosen; as the Chosen will often get to fire back before your turn. They are also likely to have abilities that mitigates overwatch shots, such as Shadowstep, Kinetic Plating, or Revenge. If the Chosen you are facing doesn’t have any of these abilities, and is too far away to attack, go ahead and set up an overwatch trap. But when the Chosen get into range, hit them before they hit you. With your squad tightly positioned and all of them able to attack, killing a Chosen should take only 1-2 turns. This is crucial as the Chosen are good at disabling your soldiers and repositioning away from you.

There are numerous ways to get the most out of your first turn. Often you will want to uncover and shred armor with a grenadier or with the reaper’s claymore, and then hit them with your shooters. If you can do it safely, running a Ranger right up next to the Chosen is a great way to kill them. If the Ranger has a bond mate, they can shotgun the Chosen twice; with Rapid Fire, 4 times.

Reapers are the easy button:

Aside from scouting, a Reaper is able to deal huge amounts of damage to the Chosen before it reaches your squad. Both the Claymore and Remote Start ability can be used without breaking concealment. A Phantom Rangers can play spotter for your Sharpshooter, but not as safely as a Reaper which has a smaller detection radius. The Reaper is also the best class at hunting for the hidden Assassin, because they gain speed when they are concealed, and thus can patrol a larger area ahead of your squad.

If the Chosen gains the ability All Seeing, this will prevent the Reaper from scouting. If the Chosen gains Blast Shield that will neutralize the Reaper’s explosive attacks. It is pretty unlikely that a Chosen will have both of those abilities; in that event you will have to do things the hard way.

Fighting Chosen in the their base:

Before you fight the Chosen you will need to wander through its base, fighting 3-4? pods of nasty enemies. Try not to use up all your grenades and single use abilities on these henchmen as you will want them to fight the boss. You don't even have to kill them all. Just find the teleporter room, and that will take you to main event.

There will be a couple enemies in this 2nd room that you should try to kill before activating the Chosen. You can move forward a bit, but if you go too far the Chosen will activate and you will have a harder time of it.

Once you start fighting the Chosen, the battle doesn’t stop. You will need to kill the Chosen multiple times; and in between you will be trying to destroy the Chosen’s Sarcophagus. With that in mind you should keep an eye on your ammunition, and position. If a soldier runs dry on the turn the Chosen is killed he won’t be able to do as much damage to the Sarcophagus. If he is out of position; again less damage.

If possible, you want to kill the Chosen with the first move of the turn, rather than the last. This will allow most of your soldiers to attack the sarcophagus for one extra turn. This is hard to engineer and dangerous, as it means you are allowing a Chosen to live one turn longer. There are a few abilities that will help you kill the Chosen quickly. Banish is maybe the single best. The next best option is a Ranger with Rapid Fire.

When new enemies are summoned, again it is often better to live dangerously, and stay focused on the sarcophagus. Just don’t give them a chance to kill anyone and you should be able to heal up with the Specialist. And you must have a Specialist on this mission, preferably one with all the healing abilities.

Perhaps an even more important tip is that Bluescreen rounds do bonus damage to the Sarcophagus. Equip those on the Grenadier and give him Chainshot.

Other Important Tips:

  • The Assassin will come at you as soon as she appears, and she moves fast. A concealed soldier can reveal the Assassin before she attacks; if you are lucky.

  • Hunting for the hidden Assassin with all your soldiers will often spread them out too far, making it easy for her to strike and retreat. Better to keep your soldiers tight so that you can respond after she attacks.

  • The Assassin can be baited into using harbor wave on soldiers grouped close together.

  • The Hunter will use his grapple to flank and kill your soldiers. Keep in mind where he can grapple to.

  • The Hunter and Warlock can be attacked from range by a Sharpshooter using squadsight.

  • The Warlock’s Spectral Zombies are not very dangerous, but they can reveal your concealed Ranger or Reaper. The Zombies often spawn near to your squad (8-12 tiles away maybe?), in line with the Warlock. It is a good idea to position your scout away from that area.

  • The Warlock’s Mind Control ability is very dangerous. There are only a few ways to break it. If you do enough damage to the Warlock he will turtle up in a protective shell which cancels the Mind Control. The tier 2 bond mate ability “Stand By Me” and the Psi Operative ability “Solace” will both cancel all mental status effects, including Mind Control. Also, Mind Shields can be worn when you expect to encounter the Warlock, which prevents Mind Control.