A soldier encased within a Fatui war machine.
These skirmishers do not question if they shall live or die as they advance into nations far from home to complete advance missions and lay the groundwork for operations to come.
Unlike the elite Mages and Agents, Fatui Skirmishers are soldiers of lesser individual might.
To complete their tasks and reduce losses in men and material, their tactics are thus more reliant on teamwork.
All the skirmishers can generate shields.
The Bracers will sometimes jump back from the player to deal ranged attacks.
- Geochanter Bracers: Shoots out Geo projectiles and can generate Geo Elemental Armor (weak to Heavy or Geo attacks), can also generate a Geo dome field.
- Pyroslinger Bracers: Shoots out Pyro bullets and can generate Pyro Elemental Armor (weak to Hydro)
Legionnaries can jump in the air and can do ranged attacks.
- Cryogunner Legionnaires: Shoots a continuous spray of Cryo, can generate Cryo Elemental Armor (weak to Pyro)
- Hydrogunner Legionnaires: Shoots Hydro projectiles that can heal allies and damage the player, can generate Hydro Elemental Armor (weak to Electro)
The Vanguards usually do close-combat damage.
- Anemoboxer Vanguards: Can generate an Anemo shield which can absorb elements. They can also recuperate dazed Skirmishers, allowing them to re-activate their Elemental Armor almost immediately.
- Electrohammer Vanguards: Swings their hammer to deal damage and can generate Electro Elemental Armor (weak to Cryo)
Abilities and Attacks
Their shields can be stripped off with elemental reactions, although as listed in the table below, some are far more effective than others. Active elemental armor is indicated with their equipment glowing brighter than usual, along with their elemental eye becoming bright red. The Anemoboxer Vanguard's shield functions differently from the other Skirmishers, as it is only temporary and meant to absorb all elements except Geo and Anemo.
Unlike Abyss Mages, which cannot be damaged as long as their shield is up, the Skirmishers themselves can still be damaged, they just take less damage. The Anemoboxer Vanguard has to be hit from behind however, as their shield provides full damage immunity. It is possible to stagger the start-up, preventing the shield from even forming at all, but should not be heavily relied upon.
When stripped of their elemental armor, the Skirmisher is stunned for several seconds as they attempt to recover themselves, and restores their resistances back to normal values.
Aside from the aforementioned resistances, the Fatui Skirmishers will be able to perform augmented attacks in this state:
- The Anemoboxer Vanguard can summon a shield with the power of Elemental Absorption. If the shield takes any Pyro, Hydro, Electro or Cryo attack regardless of angle attacked from, the Anemoboxer will break the shield and charge up a powerful punch of the absorbed element's type that also sucks players in.
- The Geochanter Bracer can fire three Geo projectiles and has the ability to teleport. They can also create a large shield that can block attacks from the outside.
- The Pyroslinger Bracer can fire three consecutive shots with their rifle and can also fire one shot after leaping back if the player gets too close.
- The Cryogunner Legionnaire sprays frost for much longer, and continuously walks towards their target while doing so.
- The Hydrogunner Legionnaire will fire multiple healing projectiles at once. These projectiles will constantly regenerate their allies' health.
- The Electrohammer Vanguard's attacks are imbued with Electro and deals AoE Electro damage when slamming the ground.
Skirmishers do not possess resistance to their own elements, instead having a 10% damage reduction for all elemental attacks, like the Hilichurls. Notably, they are 20% more vulnerable to physical damage, as with every other human enemy, although their shields nullify most of it when active.
The following analysis uses specific terminology from Gauge Unit Theory.
In general, the elemental armor generated by Fatui Skirmishers can be broken using elemental reactions. Each type of elemental armor has a particular elemental weakness, but elemental reactions caused by other elements still deal a small amount of damage to the armor.
|Elemental Damage Type|
- Hyphens represent immunity — the Fatui Skirmisher will take damage from the attack, but the armor will not take any damage because no elemental reaction occurs.
- Many elemental attacks apply more than 1 unit of their respective element: for example, Amber's Charged Attack applies 2 units of Pyro, so Amber only needs 2 Charged Attacks to break Cryo armor, or 40 to break Hydro armor.
- Elemental applications are still subject to their regular internal cooldowns, so attacking a Fatui Skirmisher too quickly using the same talent may not deal armor damage on subsequent attacks. (This is usually only an issue for characters dealing elemental damage using their Normal Attacks.)
- We can treat each elemental armor's "health" as 4 elemental gauge units of its respective element, so each elemental reaction deals 1, 1/20, or 1/25 units of armor damage. (Electro-Charged is an exception.)
- Hydro armor breaks differently compared to other armor types because Electro-Charged behaves differently from other elemental reactions:
- Applying Electro while a Fatui Skirmisher has Hydro armor will add Electro gauge to the Skirmisher.
- Immediately after Electro is applied and every 1 second afterward, the Skirmisher takes Electro-Charged damage, and 0.4 units is subtracted from each of the Hydro (armor) and Electro gauges.
- Since the Electro gauge also decays generally over time, each Electro unit ends up reducing the Hydro armor's gauge by 0.8.
- Like breaking shields, breaking armor follows a rock-paper-scissors mechanic: Cryo breaks Electro, Electro breaks Hydro, Hydro breaks Pyro, and Pyro breaks Cryo.
- The Anemoboxer Vanguard has a shield rather than the armor that other skirmishers gain. The shield completely negates all damage, but the Anemoboxer Vanguard will drop the shield to attack nearby targets after it absorbs any element or if flanked from behind.
- The Geochanter Bracer's armor functions much like the other skirmishers' armors. It provides strong resistance to incoming damage, but as Geo armor, it is depleted by Geo damage, heavy attacks, and explosions.
- It is not clear exactly how Geo armor damage is calculated. Still, in general, Geo damage and heavy attacks (including Claymore attacks and explosions such as the Overloaded elemental reaction, Amber's Baron Bunny, or Klee's Normal Attacks) deal the most damage (6–7 hits to break), followed by sword's Normal Attacks (~100 hits) and then polearm's (200–300 hits?). Non-Geo catalyst and bow attacks do not damage Geo armor. In addition, Plunging Attack also harms the Geo shields effectively (even with swords and polearms), especially with High Plunge attacks (~4 hits).
- Note that talents that deal elemental damage using a claymore/sword/polearm (e.g., via an Elemental Infusion) will still deal armor damage according to the weapon type, even if the infused element does not deal armor damage.
- The Geo armor does not prevent the Geochanter Bracer from gaining regular elemental gauges of other elements, so it is still possible to trigger elemental reactions (by applying two elements).
This describes a general strategy against groups of skirmishers. For strategies against individual skirmishers see their respective pages.
Skirmishers in general are often seen in groups of two or three, although occasionally a few might just wander about alone; rarely four or more will be found close together. Skirmishers are fairly weak when their armor is not imbued, and they do not usually apply the effects immediately, often waiting around 10 seconds in combat before doing so.
Hydrogunner Legionnaires should take first priority, as they are able to provide healing for their allies, which is further strengthened if they imbue themselves, not to mention that without an Electro character, taking them out becomes far more tedious. Anemoboxer Vanguards are the second-highest priority; they have a tendency to cover their allies and create displacement effects if their shield takes an elemental reaction, making the player easier to hit if allies are around. They also recover their fellow Skirmishers, more often than not causing them to immediately reapply their shields.
If the present two skirmishers are not present or killed, then the player should focus on Cryogunner Legionnaires and Electrohammer Vanguards. Cryogunners, while slow, deal more consistent damage if the player is unable to escape their guns, which is particularly the case if wet, as it will Freeze the player in place. Electrohammers deal more damage than the other skirmishers and can leave the player open to the more dangerous Overloaded or Superconduct reactions if a Pyroslinger Bracer or Cryogunner Legionnaire is present.
Bracers should take the lowest priority, as their attacks are fairly easy to dodge, attack far slower than the other Skirmishers and even when imbued, aren't much of a threat in the first place.
While possible to stagger a Skirmisher while they are in the process of creating their Elemental Armor, this is usually discouraged because their resistance values are significantly higher than normal when they do so. Bracers and the Anemoboxer Vanguard are more susceptible to staggering compared to the Legionnaires and Electrohammer Vanguard in normal combat when their shields are not active, with the former three being capable of taking fall damage, while the latter three just get knocked back slightly.
Fatui Skirmishers' locations can be pinpointed on the map by using the Adventurer Handbook.
- Bracers can summon their rifles or staffs on hand when they engage the Traveler in combat, much like how player characters do. The same principle applies to the other Skirmishers as well.
- Unlike Agents and Cicin Mages, Skirmishers don't carry a Delusion; instead their weapons have the ability to channel their respective elements.
- As a side effect of Dottore's enhancements, all Skirmishers have silver/gray hair.
- Vanguards wear Officer Caps instead of Fedoras.
- Along with the Kairagi, the Fatui Vanguards and Legionnaires are the largest human enemies in-game so far.
- In a cutscene that introduces Eula, an Electrohammer Vanguard that the Traveler took down disappear in red particles instead of blue.
- Bracers can be seen without their weapons, where they will do a salute idle animation. Cryogunner Legionnaires can be seen eating meat. Hydrogunner Legionnaires will periodically scratch their stomach. Vanguards will flex their muscles with other Vanguards.