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AC2 CA 010 Spears

The heads of a halberd and a spear

Long weapons, also known as pole weapons or polearms, are a class of mêlée weapons characterized by long shafts as their basic structure. In general, the length of such shafts ensure that the weapons necessitate two hands to wield effectively in combat while their overall profile extend the wielder's effective range.

The most basic examples of long weapons include the quarterstaff and the spear, though numerous, far more sophisticated variants exist, such as the halberd, the Guandao, the Pike Hammer, the bec de corbin, and the corseque. Because of their long range, polearms can be employed to effectively keep adversaries at bay, and historically, they have served in dedicated defensive roles such as on the battlefield against cavalry. Seekers, guards specialized in the use of long weapons, were a mainstay of professional armies before firearms rendered mêlée weapons obsolete, and these soldiers were often deployed as guardsmen of entrances and exits.

Description

ACB-Ezio Spear Impale

Ezio impaling a guard

The aptly named long weapons are essentially polearms: weapons whose main bodies are shafts typically longer than their wielders' height. The most basic variant of this is a staff, no more than a long stick typically constructed from wood, and almost all other variants are derived from embedding a deadly object—especially a blade or sharp point—at one end of a staff. Common examples include the spear,[1][2][3] the halberd,[3][4] and the pike.[5]

The function of polearms is to increase the wielder's leverage. The extended reach allows the user to maintain a greater distance from his or her opponent than he or she otherwise would with a shorter weapon such as a sword, keeping enemies at bay and yet still within striking range. For this reason, polearms can be formidable in defensive capacities; historically, solid formations of pikemen served as effective counters against cavalry.[5]

Because they deterred easy counter-attacks from wielders of shorter weapons, even the legendary Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze struggled to counter Seekers, combatants wielding polearms, for most of his life without relying on his Hidden Blades or an equally long weapon, such as a greatsword or another halberd.[1][2][4] Even so, it was not an utterly impossible feat for him to do so with a short sword, as he demonstrated throughout his operations in Spain in 1191, only that it demanded swifter reflexes and more precise technique.[6] Ironically, Ezio found it easier to combat Seekers when unarmed; wielders of polearms can be more susceptible to being disarmed, as the long handles provide prominent and safe targets for the grasp of an open hand.[1][2][4]

Given their size, long weapons can be more cumbersome than shorter alternatives, limiting the mobility of their wielders. Spanish Seekers tended to adopt stationary battle stances[6] while Ezio had a habit of discarding any polearm on hand before engaging in freerunning.[1][2][4] While polearms can hinder a user's ability at parkour, skilled Assassins, such as Arno Dorian and others of the French Brotherhood, have proven that this can be overcome through training.[3]

Fragility

Historically, the poles of long weapons were constructed out of wood, a material not especially durable against the striking of a metal sword. As a result, they lacked the resilience of swords and could be snapped in two after a few slashes, or one, when used to parry against the Smash Attack of a heavy weapon.[1]

Combat techniques

Sweep Attack

ACB Ezio Spear Sweep

Ezio performing a sweep attack

A standard technique utilizing a long weapon that pervaded throughout European history is the Sweep Attack, so called because it involved sweeping at an opponent's legs to cause him to trip and fall.

Although a sweep to the legs with a bladed polearm can sever the target's limbs entirely, a proper Sweep Attack is non-lethal, and thus delivered with the shaft of the weapon. The result is achieved by swinging the polearm around the rear of an opponent's legs, and through sheer force alone, knock their feet from right under them.[1][3] A collapsing enemy may even crash into those behind them, further disrupting enemy ranks.[1]

Correct execution of the maneuver, however, necessitates standing still to prepare for the sweep, effectively rendering its user highly vulnerable to interruption by an enemy attack. To compensate, the sweep can be performed with shorter preparation time, though at the cost of greater efficacy, as the more force placed behind a sweep, the wider the arc of its effect.[1]

The Sweep Attack was a fairly ubiquitous technique; Seekers throughout Italy and the Ottoman Empire practiced the maneuver during the Renaissance.[1][2][4] Assassins, too, were trained in it, and the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood, Mario Auditore, taught it to his nephew Ezio Auditore.[1] While polearms were phased out by firearms by the French Revolution, the Assassins, who continued to service the weapons, still provided standard lessons on the technique to their recruits, such as Arno Dorian, during that era.[3]

Throw

From the Fall of Monteriggioni, Ezio Auditore learned a far more radical application of long weapons, one which from then on, he favored far more than the Sweep Attack whenever he had a polearm in his hand. With his expert marksmanship, Ezio could hurl a polearm directly at an enemy with extreme precision, skewering him or her from a distance of more than ten meters. As with a Sweep Attack, this technique requires preparation, as the user has to swing the weapon around to properly position his arms for the throw, as well as take time to accurately aim. Parallel to this, Ezio developed a similar technique with heavy weapons, wherein he threw the weapon at target with a powerful swing.[2][4]

Weapon statistics

Ptolemaic Egypt (1st century BCE)

Spears

Name Rarity Quality (Max Level 40) Damage (Max Level 40) Attributes Availability
Adamant Reed Rare 86 337 Bleeding on Hit II

Critical Hit Damage I

Unlocked through Twitch Prime Pack DLC
Cyrene's Spear Legendary Critical Hit Damage III

Adrenaline on Kill II

Health for Critical

Complete One Bad Apple
Golden Feather Legendary

Critical Hit Damage III

Critical Hit Rate II

Sleep on Hit

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Handy Spear Common 85 340 Critical Hit Damage I Blacksmith, Loot
Iron Spear Common Critical Hit Damage I Blacksmith, Loot
Lance of Anhur Legendary 91 337

Critical Hit Damage II

Adrenaline Regeneration III

Health on Hit

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Leaf-shaped Impaler Common 85 334 Critical Hit Damage III Blacksmith, Loot
Light Spear Common 84 334 Critical Hit Damage II Blacksmith, Loot
Needle Rare 88 344

Bleeding on Hit

Critical Hit Damage

Blacksmith, Loot, Nomad's Bazaar
The Phoenix Legendary 91 340

Critical Hit Rate I

Critical Hit Damage III

Health on Kill

Nomad's Bazaar
Pilum Rare 87 339

Critical Hit II

Adrenaline on Hurt I

Blacksmith, Loot
Sarissa Legendary

Critical Hit Damage III

Adrenaline on Kill I

Cursed

Blacksmith, Loot
Sekhmet’s Spear Legendary Critical Hit Damage II

Critical Hit Rate I

Health on Kill

Blacksmith, Loot
The Serpent of Serapis Rare Critical Hit Rate II

Critical Hit Damage II

Helix Store
Shooting Star Rare Critical Hit Damage II

Critical Hit Rate II

Complete Fair Trade
The Trial Rare Critical Hit Damage II

Adrenaline on Hurt I

Unlocked through Uplay
Was Scepter Legendary 94 282 Combo Multiplier IV

Critical Hit Rate II

Health for Critical

Helix Store

Scepters

Name Rarity Quality (Max Level 40) Damage (Max Level 40) Attributes Availability
Acacia Rod Rare 87 277

Combo Multiplier III

Critical Hit Rate I

Blacksmith, Loot, Nomad's Bazaar
Alexandria's Light Legendary 91 277

Combo Mutiplier II

Critical Hit Rate III

On Fire

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Apep's Staff Legendary 92 280

Combo Multiplier III

Adrenaline on Hurt III

Poison on Hit

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Bladed Scepter Rare

Combo Multiplier II

Bleeding on Hit I

Blacksmith, Loot
Bringer of Chaos Common Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Ceremonial Staff Legendary 92 284

Combo Multiplier IV

Adrenaline on Kill I

On Fire

Blacksmith, Loot
Cotton Swab Legendary 91 275 Combo Multiplier III

Adrenaline on Kill III

Health on Hit

Wacky Items Pack
Cypriot Gabbro Head Common 85 268 Combo Multiplier III Blacksmith, Loot
Hasanlu Skeptron Common 85 277 Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Nubian Scepter Legendary 92 284

Combo Multiplier II

Adrenaline Regeneration III

Sleep on Hit

Nomad's Bazaar
Peasant's Scepter Common 84 277 Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Pharaoh's Mace Common Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Raneb's Hammer Legendary

Combo Multiplier III

Adrenaline Regeneration I

Health for Critical

Blacksmith, Loot
Ritual Scepter Rare 86 277

Combo Multiplier II

Critical Hit Damage I

Tribal Pack DLC
Scepter of Amun Rare 88 277

Combo Multiplier II

Critical Hit Damage II

Scepter of Thaati Rare 86 277

Combo Multiplier I

Adrenaline Regeneration II

Monster Energy Promotion
Scorpion Sting Legendary 90 277

Combo Multiplier III

Adrenaline on Hurt II

Poison on Hit

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Siwan Scepter Common Combo Multiplier I Blacksmith, Loot
Staff of Shetep Legendary

Combo Multiplier II

Bleeding on Hit I

Health on Kill

Complete Bad Faith

Italian Renaissance

Name Damage Speed Deflect
Halberd 4 3 4
Spear 3 5 3
Papal Staff 5 5 5

French Revolution

Name Level Damage Parry Speed Range Cost Modifiers Requirements
Guisarme * 1 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Voulge * 1 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Murder Mystery – The Body in the Brothel
Fauchard * * 2 2 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Play Assassin's Creed: Initiates
Bident * * 2 2 3 4 250₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Cogneur * * 2 2 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Murder Mystery – Ancestral Vengeance
Hallebarde croissant * * 2 2 3 4 250₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Halberd * * 2 2 3 4 250₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Razorhead Spear * * 2 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25%
Hooked Impaler * * 2 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Secrets of the Revolution Pack
Golden bec de corbin * * 2 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Unlock via Uplay
Spear * * * 3 3 3 4 1,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Bec de corbin * * * 3 3 3 4 1,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
L'étoile polaire * * * 3 3 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Murder Mystery – Bones of Contention
Light Halberd * * * 3 3 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Spontoon * * * 3 3 3 4 1,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Bisento * * * 3 3 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Lance of the Strong Arm * * * * 6 2 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Dead KingsLast Rites
Crescent Glaive * * * * 4 4 3 4 5,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Lochaber axe * * * * 4 4 3 4 5,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Sparth * * * * 4 4 3 4 5,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Spiked staff * * * * 4 4 3 4 5,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Corseque * * * * * 6 6 3 4 N/A Additional damage: +25% Murder Mystery – A Dash of Poison
Crusader's Corseque * * * * * 6 6 3 4 25,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Ceremonial long mace * * * * * 6 6 3 4 25,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Lance of Saint Denis * * * * * 6 6 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Dead KingsLast Rites
Ceremonial partisan * * * * * 8 8 3 4 125,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Pike Hammer * * * * * 8 8 3 4 200,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A

Trivia

Combat
  • Spears and halberds have the longest reach of any melee weapon in Assassin's Creed II, and are the most difficult to counter.
  • The maximum combo strikes for long weapons is 3 hits in Assassin's Creed II.
Use
  • An individual half of a long weapon can be kept in an empty weapon sheath for later use, however, it will vanish upon a save and reload.
  • If a long weapon equipped by either Ezio or Seekers is broken in half by a Smash Attack, it effectively functions as a sword and can even be used to perform pistol executions.
  • Seekers can more commonly be found wielding the spear than the halberd.
  • The Papal Staff is the only weapon, aside from the Sword of Altaïr, to have the Damage, Speed, and Deflect stats maxed out in Assassin's Creed II.
  • It is possible to wield the Papal Staff by either poisoning Rodrigo Borgia, or by taking a heavy weapon from a Brute outside the Sistine Chapel, and performing the Smash Attack on Rodrigo.
  • During the Bonfire of the Vanities, one of Girolamo Savonarola's lieutenants, the Farmer, carries a unique long weapon, the pitchfork. However, once he is killed, it turns into a halberd.
Other

Gallery

References