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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

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. However, long weapons could still be used even if broken and even used to immediately counter a heavy weapon by ramming the broken ends into the body of the assailant.[1]

Combat techniques

Sweep Attack

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

Pelopponesian War (5th century BCE)

Mobile Animus 4.38

Name Tier Damage Speed Miss Chance Modifiers Requirements
Myrmidon Spear (T1) 14-35 1.50 5% +10 Defense
+10 Health
Mission reward
Myrmidon Spear (T2) ★★ 51-80 1.50 5% +20 Defense
+20 Health
7,500 Coins
3 Myrmidon Spears (T1)
Myrmidon Spear (T3) ★★★ 145-220 1.50 5% +40 Defense
+40 Health
15,000 Coins
3 Myrmidon Spears (T2)
Myrmidon Spear (T4) ★★★★ 410-535 1.50 5% +55 Defense
+55 Health
35,000 Coins
3 Myrmidon Spears (T3)
Myrmidon Spear (T5) ★★★★★ 1.9k-2.2k 1.50 5% +105 Defense
+95 Health
+3% Critical Chance
+20% Critical Bonus
+3% Dodge
60,000 Coins
3 Myrmidon Spears (T4)
Falx of Olympos ★★★★★ 4k-4.1k 1.50 5% +270 Defense
+260 Health
+8% Critical Chance
+80% Critical Bonus
300,000 Coins
220 Damascus Steel
90 Gold Ingot
1 Ancient Tablet
Spear of Leonidas ★★★★★ 4.3k-4.6k 1.50 5% +30 Attack
+190 Defense
+190 Health
+8% Critical Chance
+10% Critical Bonus
+5% Dodge
300,000 Coins
210 Damascus Steel
60 Fine Silk
1 Ancient tablet

Ptolemaic Egypt (1st century BCE)

Spears

Name Rarity Quality (Max Level 55) Damage (Max Level 55) Attributes Availability
Adamant Reed Rare 116 442 Bleeding on Hit II
Critical Hit Damage I
Unlocked through the Twitch Prime Pack DLC
Aten's End** Legendary 123 Critical Hit Damage I
Combo Multiplier IV
Health on Kill
Defeat Tutankhamun in the Duat.
Cyrene's Spear Legendary 122 445 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 115 445 Critical Hit Damage I Blacksmith, Loot
Iron Spear Common 114 442 Critical Hit Damage I Blacksmith, Loot
Lance of Anhur Legendary Critical Hit Damage II
Adrenaline Regeneration III
Health on Hit
Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Leaf-shaped Impaler Common 115 439 Critical Hit Damage III Blacksmith, Loot
Light Spear Common 114 439 Critical Hit Damage II Blacksmith, Loot
Needle Rare 118 439 Bleeding on Hit
Critical Hit Damage
Blacksmith, Loot, Nomad's Bazaar
The Phoenix Legendary Critical Hit Rate I
Critical Hit Damage III
Health on Kill
Nomad's Bazaar
Pilum Rare 117 445 Critical Hit II
Adrenaline on Hurt I
Blacksmith, Loot
Sarissa Legendary 124 697 Critical Hit Damage III
Adrenaline on Kill I
Cursed
Blacksmith, Loot
Sekhmet's Spear Legendary 121 Critical Hit Damage II
Critical Hit Rate I
Health on Kill
Blacksmith, Loot
The Serpent of Serapis Rare 117 442 Critical Hit Rate II
Critical Hit Damage II
Complete Fair Trade
The Trial Rare 116 422 Critical Hit Damage II
Adrenaline on Hurt I
Unlocked through Uplay

**Only available after downloading The Curse of the Pharaohs

Scepters

Name Rarity Quality (Max Level 55) Damage (Max Level 55) Attributes Availability
Acacia Rod Rare 117 363 Combo Multiplier III
Critical Hit Rate I
Blacksmith, Loot, Nomad's Bazaar
Alexandria's Light Legendary Combo Mutiplier II
Critical Hit Rate III
On Fire
Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Apep's Staff Legendary Combo Multiplier III
Adrenaline on Hurt III
Poison on Hit
Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Bladed Scepter Rare 117 366 Combo Multiplier II
Bleeding on Hit I
Blacksmith, Loot
Bringer of Chaos Common 115 Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Ceremonial Staff Legendary 122 366 Combo Multiplier IV
Adrenaline on Kill I
On Fire
Blacksmith, Loot
Cotton Swab Legendary Combo Multiplier III
Adrenaline on Kill III
Health on Hit
Wacky Items Pack
Cypriot Gabbro Head Common 115 361 Combo Multiplier III Blacksmith, Loot
Hasanlu Skeptron Common 115 363 Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Lord of Thebes** Legendary 123 368 Combo Multiplier III
Critical Hit Rate II
Health on Hit
Complete Unfair Trade
Nubian Scepter Legendary 122 366 Combo Multiplier II
Adrenaline Regeneration III
Sleep on Hit
Nomad's Bazaar
Peasant's Scepter Common 114 363 Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Pharaoh's Mace Common 114 361 Combo Multiplier II Blacksmith, Loot
Raneb's Hammer Legendary 122 368 Combo Multiplier III
Adrenaline Regeneration I
Health for Critical
Nomad's Bazaar, Helix Store
Ritual Scepter Rare 116 363 Combo Multiplier II
Critical Hit Damage I
Tribal Pack DLC
Scepter of Amun Rare 118 366 Combo Multiplier II
Critical Hit Damage II
Loot the chest in Alexander's Temple
Scepter of Thaati Rare Combo Multiplier I
Adrenaline Regeneration II
Monster Energy Promotion
Scorpion Sting Legendary Combo Multiplier III
Adrenaline on Hurt II
Poison on Hit
Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
The Sekhem Legendary 125 368 Combo Multiplier IV
Adrenaline on Kill III
Health on Kill
Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Siwan Scepter Common 115 366 Combo Multiplier I Blacksmith, Loot
Staff of Sehetep Legendary 119 363 Combo Multiplier II
Bleeding on Hit I
Health on Kill
Complete Bad Faith
Was Scepter Legendary 124 368 Combo Multiplier IV
Critical Hit Rate II
Health for Critical
Helix Store

**Only available after downloading The Curse of the Pharaohs

Anglo-Saxon England

Spears

Name Class Max Attack Max Speed Max Impact Max CRIT-PRC Availability
Anéntaks Spear Wolf
Areadbhair Wolf
Bannermen's Spear Wolf
Cadfarch Spear Raven
Carolingian Pike Wolf
Fafnir's Fang Wolf
Fyrd Spear Raven
Gungnir Bear
Svipul Wolf

Dane Axes

Name Class Max Attack Max Speed Max Impact Max CRIT-PRC Availability
Aella's Bardiche Raven Loot chest in Jorvik Theatre
Battle Sparth Bear Loot chest in Saint Helen's Spring, Lincolnscire
Bone-Biter Wolf Loot chest in Ikke en Oy, Rygjafylke
Bone-Maul Wolf
Dwarven Axe Bear Purchase the Einherjar Pack
Hemming's Axe Wolf Complete The Tale of Two Jarls
Lagertha's Axe Wolf Loot chest in Houseteads, Eurviscire
Moonlight Raven Ubisoft Club
Sepulcher Axe Raven Loot chest in Offchurch's crypt, Ledecestrescire
Sharp Stick Bear
Skadi's Blade Bear
Vordr's Bite Bear Slay all the Legendary Animals

Spanish Renaissance (15th century)

Name Tier Damage Speed Miss Chance Modifiers Requirements
Guisarme 16-26 1.50 5% +3% Critical Chance
+3 Agility
1,200 R
15 Copper Ore
10 Tin Ore
Voulge 17-25 1.50 5% +3% Critical Chance
+3 Dexterity
1,200 R
15 Copper Ore
10 Tin Ore
Spear ★★ 58-72 1.50 5% +6% Critical Chance
+10% Critical Bonus
+8 Agility
6,000 R
75 Iron Ore
75 Tanned Leather
Fine Guisarme ★★ 53-67 1.50 5% +6% Critical Chance
+5 Dexterity
21,000 R
200 Toledo Steel
200 Silver Ingot
1 Guisarme
Fine Voulge ★★ 56-64 1.50 5% +6% Critical Chance
+7 Lethality
+5 Dexterity
4,000 R
40 Iron Ore
40 Leather Scraps
1 Voulge
Halberd ★★★ 155-200 1.50 5% +9% Critical Chance
+10 Dexterity
13,500 R
125 Steel Ingot
125 Silver Ingot
Fine Spear ★★★ 155-185 1.50 5% +9% Critical Chance
+10% Critical Bonus
+10 Agility
10,000 R
125 Steel Ingot
125 Hardened Leather
1 Spear
Partisan ★★★★ 435-480 1.50 5% +12% Critical Chance
+12 Dexterity
+12 Agility
28,000 R
225 Toledo Steel
225 Steel Ingot
Master Halberd ★★★★ 440-485 1.50 5% +12% Critical Chance
+15 Dexterity
21,000 R
200 Toledo Steel
200 Silver Ingot
1 Halberd
Banner of the People ★★★★★ 2.3k-2.5k 1.50 5% +60 Defense
+150 Health
+17% Critical Chance
+20% Critical Bonus
+8% Dodge
150,000 R
235 Damascus Steel
100 Fine Silk
1 Emerald
Lunging Voulge ★★★★★ 2.5k-2.6k 1.50 5% +115 Attack
+12% Critical Chance
150,000 R
120 Gold Ingot
85 Fine Silk
1 Cinnabar
Dogged Halberd ★★★★★ 2.5k-2.5k 1.50 5% +65 Defense
+160 Health
+12% Critical Chance
150,000 R
120 Gold Ingot
85 Fine Silk
1 Malachite
Sly Partisan ★★★★★ 2.4k-2.5k 1.50 5% +15% Critical Chance
+50 Dexterity
+50 Agility
150,000 R
110 Damascus Steel
45 Gold Ingot
1 Obsidian
Striking Chance ★★★★★ 2.4k-2.6k 1.50 5% +100 Attack
+30 Health
+20% Critical Chance
+20% Critical Bonus
150,000 R
140 Damascus Steel
80 Gold ingots
1 Ruby
Axe of the Crusader ★★★★★ 2.9k-3k 2.00 3% +60 Attack
+40 Defense
+140 Health
+15% Critical Chance
+50% Critical Bonus
150,000 R
130 Damascus Steel
90 Gold ingots
1 Emerald
The Vizier's Eye ★★★★★ 3.4k-4.3k 1.50 2% +220 Defense
+10% Critical Chance
+20% Critical Bonus
+5% Dodge
+50 Lethality
300,000 R
240 Damascus Steel
170 Fine Silk
1 Ancient Tablet

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 Availability
Guisarme 1 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Voulge 1 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Complete 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% Complete 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% Purchase the Guard Pack or Secrets of the Revolution Pack DLC
Hooked Impaler ◆◆ 2 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Purchase the Secrets of the Revolution Pack DLC
Golden bec de corbin ◆◆ 2 1 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Uplay
Unity ◆◆◆ 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% Complete Bones of Contention
Light Halberd ◆◆◆ 3 3 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Complete September Massacres
Spontoon ◆◆◆ 3 3 3 4 1,000₣ Additional Damage: +25% N/A
Bisento ◆◆◆ 3 3 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Collect all artifacts in Les Invalides
Lance of the Strong Arm* ◆◆◆ 6 2 3 4 N/A Additional Damage: +25% Complete Last 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% Complete 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% Complete Last 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

*Only available after downloading Dead Kings

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

Appearances

References

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