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    Squadmate Guide by TheBlackMamba

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 11/26/14 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    
        MASS EFFECT 2: SQUADMATES GUIDE
        Written by The Black Mamba
    
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    Table of Contents                                          CODE: Ctrl+F
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    1. Introduction                                            10intr
    2. Know Your Class                                         20clas
         A. Soldier                                            2Asold
         B. Infiltrator                                        2Binfi
         C. Engineer                                           2Cengi
         D. Sentinel                                           2Dsent
         E. Adept                                              2Eadep
         F. Vanguard                                           2Fvang
    3. Know the Enemy Faction                                  30enem
         A. Mechs/Non-Synthetics                               3Amech
         B. Blue Suns                                          3Bblue
         C. Eclipse                                            3Cecli
         E. Blood Pack                                         3Dbloo
         D. Geth                                               3Egeth
         F. Collectors                                         3Fcoll
    4. The Squad                                               40squa
         A. Garrus                                             4Agarr
         B. Grunt                                              4Bgrun
         C. Jack                                               4Cjack
         D. Jacob                                              4Djaco
         E. Kasumi                                             4Ekasu
         F. Legion                                             4Flegi
         G. Miranda                                            4Gmira
         H. Mordin                                             4Hmord
         I. Samara                                             4Isama
         J. Tali                                               4Jtali
         K. Thane                                              4Kthan
         L. Zaeed                                              4Lzaee
         M. Morinth                                            4Mmori
         N. Liara                                              4Nliar
    5. Squadmate Recommendations                               60reco
    6. Mission-Specific Recommendations                        60miss
    7. Collector Base Strategy                                 70base
    8. Other Notes                                             70othe
    9. Credits/Update History                                  80cred
    
    
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    ++++++++++++++++
    | Introduction |                                           10intr
    ++++++++++++++++
    
    This guide is for the second game of the Mass Effect trilogy: Mass Effect 2.
    
    The purpose of this guide is to cover all aspects related to or concerning the
    available squadmates in the game. Because squadmate abilities can often
    determine the ease or difficulty of getting through missions, it’s important to
    have a firm understanding of what each squadmate is capable of. As a result, we
    can use enemy factions and the user’s class to determine ideal setups for each
    mission. A good squad can make a large difference on Hardcore and Insanity
    difficulty.
    
    I hope that you find this guide useful. Feel free to PM me if you have any
    questions and/or recommendations regarding it.
    
    
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    +++++++++++++++++++
    | Know Your Class |                                        20clas
    +++++++++++++++++++
    
    One of the best ways to know what squadmates are most efficient is to know what
    things Shepard can and can’t handle by himself. The Adept excels at things that
    the Engineer doesn’t, but also has weaknesses that an Engineer doesn’t have.
    Some classes are sturdier and won’t need damage-soaker squadmates, while others
    have excellent crowd control and thus need more damage-dealers.
    
    NOTE: All of the tips that I provide for each class are based upon the builds I
    have posted. Suggested squadmates may change based on what your build and bonus
    power are.
    
    
    Soldier                                                    2Asold
    **********
    Weapons: Pistols, Shotguns, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles
    Suggested Build:
     - Hardened Adrenaline Rush (4)
     - Concussive Shot (0)
     - Squad Disruptor Ammo (4)
     - Inferno Ammo (4)
     - Cryo Ammo (1)
     - Shock Trooper (4)
     - Squad Warp Ammo (4)
    
    The Soldier is the weapons expert of ME2. He has access to every available
    weapon type sans SMG’s, and he also gets the most default ammo types of any
    class. Adrenaline Rush plays into his weapon mastery as well, allowing him to
    slow down time and nail shots while targets seem to “stand still.” Soldier
    Shepard also gets the highest passive health bonuses of any class in the game,
    and he is generally seen as a more durable combatant.
    
    The Soldier’s expertise with weapons helps him excel at drilling enemies with
    pure damage. Whether its shields, armor, or health, the Soldier has an ammo
    power to take it down more quickly. The only defense that he does not have an
    option for, in fact, are barriers. Warp Ammo is your best option of negating
    this. While an extra ammo power might seem redundant on a class that already
    has three, Squad Warp Ammo is fantastic against Collectors; not only does it
    take care of their barriers, but the Squad evolution allows every teammate to
    put more heat on the Collector forces with weapons in deadly crossfires.
    
    If you don’t have access to Warp Ammo or simply don’t want it, then any of the
    three durability powers (Fortification, Geth Shield Boost, and Barrier) are
    also useful on the Soldier, but be warned: on high difficulties, these defenses
    tend to get destroyed very quickly anyway. The cooldown of these abilities also
    strongly interferes with Adrenaline Rush, which tends to be a more useful
    defensive power anyway – especially if you evolve for Hardened Adrenaline Rush.
    
    Because the Soldier has access to assault rifles, sniper rifles, and shotguns,
    he is at a strong advantage when it comes to range. On missions where several
    enemies charge you at once (some Collector missions, Blood Pack missions), an
    Inferno Ammo shotgun does a wondrous job of taking down enemies. On missions
    with geth and Blue Suns forces from afar, a Disruptor Ammo sniper rifle will
    drop enemies very quickly. The assault rifle generally is your most useful
    weapon, however. It covers every range efficiently and is even more deadly when
    combined with Incendiary/Disruptor Rounds.
    
    When planning to spec the Soldier’s powers, it’s important to consider whether
    you want Squad evolutions on your ammo powers. Before you spec points into the
    final ranks of these abilities, be sure to consider whether your most common
    squadmates have ammo abilities or not. Miranda, Kasumi, Samara, Legion, Tali,
    and Mordin do not have ammo powers; Garrus, Thane, and Jack do not attain ammo
    powers until after their loyalty missions are completed. Zaeed, Grunt, and
    Jacob all have default access to ammo powers. In the early stages of the game,
    you may want to evolve squadmate ammo powers since it will likely be a long
    time before you can fully evolve your abilities to the fourth rank; then, if
    you have Lair of the Shadow Broker, you can complete it and respec squadmates
    as you wish, allowing you to drop ammo abilities on them if necessary.
    
    Alternatively, you may simply evolve these ammo abilities for the more powerful
    evolution as opposed to the Squad option. This is a particularly good idea for
    Incendiary Rounds; the Inferno evolution excels at helping you drop health and
    armored enemies in a hurry, and most squadmates either have an anti-armor power
    or an anti-armor weapon anyway.
    
    Advanced Training: Aboard the Collector Ship, you will have the opportunity to
    upgrade Shepard’s assault rifle, shotgun, or sniper rifle. I would personally
    recommend taking the Revenant since it offers deadly fire at the expense of a
    bit of range. Alternatively, if you prefer to stay back and take enemies out
    from afar with the help of Adrenaline Rush, then the Widow is also excellent.
    
    Squadmates: Miranda is perhaps the most ideal squadmate for the Soldier since
    her weapon damage and health bonuses benefit him the most; additionally, her
    access to both Overload and Warp make her capable of dropping any defense so
    that Shepard can tear into enemies with his weapons. Crowd control teammates
    are also very valuable; Jack and Samara are both particularly useful since
    their recharge times are low. (With Jack, you can actually spec out of her Warp
    Ammo if Shepard already has the Squad evolution, and invest fully in her other
    abilities.) Against Geth, Tali and Legion’s Combat Drone and hacking skills
    make fantastic distractions. Generally, as long as you take squad evolutions on
    both Warp Ammo and Disruptor Ammo, you can be a little more free about choosing
    squadmates since you’ll always be able to improve everyone else’s
    damage-dealing capabilities.
    
    
    Infiltrator                                                2Binfi
    **************
    Weapons: Pistols, SMG’s, Sniper Rifles
    Suggested Build:
     - Heavy Disruptor Ammo (4)
     - Cryo Ammo (0)
     - Assassination Cloak (4)
     - Incineration Blast (4)
     - AI Hacking (1)
     - Agent (4)
     - Squad Warp Ammo (4) or Area Drain (4)
    
    The Infiltrator is proficient in using sniper rifles and has the added bonus of
    possessing some tech abilities. His class-exclusive power, Tactical Cloak, has
    multiple functions. In addition to making Shepard invisible for the power’s
    duration, the cloak also provides a massive damage bonus to gunfire when the
    cloak is broken. This is why the Infiltrator is so good with sniper rifles –
    the high-powered shot becomes even more deadly when Tactical Cloak is added on
    top of it.
    
    Like the Soldier, the Infiltrator gets both Disruptor and Cryo Ammo (no
    Incendiary, unfortunately). Of these two abilities, Disruptor Ammo is
    invaluable; it provides a heavy shield bonus and also has stunning effects on
    synthetic enemies. This makes the Infiltrator capable of tearing through
    heavily shielded factions in a hurry – especially the Geth and Blue Suns. While
    Cryo Ammo can find use against health enemies (especially when evolved for the
    Squad evolution), it’s not really worth evolving the power when the Infiltrator
    has so many other valuable assets that deserve the points more. Additionally,
    because the Infiltrator specializes in sniper rifles, the freezing effects from
    Cryo Ammo aren’t typically useful since the extreme amount of damage tends to
    rip through health enemies anyway.
    
    On the tech side, the Infiltrator gets Incinerate and AI Hacking. Incinerate
    helps the Infiltrator deal with armored enemies that aren’t always practical to
    snipe – this includes many of the Blood Pack mercenaries, or the countless
    FENRIS and LOKI Mechs that you’ll encounter. At Rank 4, Incinerate can be
    evolved to have a radius effect. This bonus is very important, so consider
    maxing out Incinerate quickly. AI Hacking, on the other hand, is very
    situational. It only affects synthetics, and it only works once the enemy’s
    defenses are down. However, if you do manage to hack an enemy, it can provide a
    valuable distraction or disable a particularly dangerous enemy (like YMIR
    Mechs). For this reason, it’s worth putting atleast one or two points into AI
    Hacking.
    
    The Infiltrator’s main weakness is dealing with barriers. The best way to
    combat this is to select Warp Ammo as a bonus power, much like the Soldier.
    Because this power is useful against the tough Collectors, it’s also a good
    idea to evolve this for the Squad evolution if you plan on bringing power-based
    allies that don’t have ammo abilities. However, on missions where you’re not
    facing Collectors or the Blood Pack, the Infiltrator would actually benefit
    more from something like Energy Drain. Because it receives tech bonuses, offers
    a direct method for removing shields, and restores your own shields, it can
    potentially be an invaluable power against shielded or synthetic factions. If
    you already know what enemy faction you will be facing on a particular mission,
    then it’s recommended that you alternate between these two powers – as long as
    you don’t mind using some eezo to do it.
    
    Advanced Training: Aboard the Collector Ship, you will have the opportunity to
    either obtain the M-98 Widow for Shepard, or give your Infiltrator the ability
    to use assault rifles OR shotguns. For the Infiltrator, I would highly
    recommend selecting the Widow. While assault rifles are not a bad option
    (especially for missions with lots of barriers), the Widow is too good of a
    sniper rifle to pass up. The Infiltrator, being the ultimate sniping class,
    will make perfect use of it.
    
    Squadmates: Much like the Soldier, the Infiltrator benefits highly from
    squadmates with anti-barrier abilities as well as crowd control powers. Because
    the Infiltrator is less durable than the Soldier, any distractions or temporary
    stuns/setbacks are always useful, especially for sniping purposes. Once again,
    Miranda is one of your best options for her defense-stripping powers and damage
    boost. Tali is perfect against heavily shielded factions; her Combat Drone will
    help draw enemies out of cover while Energy Drain is a good direct option for
    shields. For Collectors, Samara is a fantastic option. You also may want good
    tanking characters for missions with lots of enemies rushing you. Grunt
    fulfills this role best, but Jacob has the added bonus of Pull to draw enemies
    out of cover. In either case, you can evolve Incendiary Ammo for the Squad
    evolution in case Shepard wants the fire effect – it’s particularly useful in
    close quarters where sniping is not practical.
    
    
    Engineer                                                   2Cengi
    ***********
    Weapons: Pistols, SMG’s
    Suggested Build:
     - Area Overload (4)
     - Incineration Blast (4)
     - Attack Drone (4)
     - Cryo Blast (2)
     - AI Hacking (1)
     - Mechanic (4)
     - Warp Ammo (3)
    
    The Engineer specializes in removing defenses, disabling enemies, and distract
    through his five tech powers. Overload and Incinerate will take care of most
    shields and armor, and both powers can be evolved for extra radius, allowing
    you to knock out the defenses of groups of enemies. Cryo Blast enables you to
    stop health enemies dead in their tracks – this is very useful against the
    Blood Pack faction after you’ve melted armor with Incinerate. As with the
    Infiltrator, AI Hacking is situational but still useful for making a
    distraction when synthetics are present. However, due to the usefulness of the
    Engineer’s other abilities, AI Hacking may not be worth spending any points in
    at all.
    
    The Engineer’s unique ability is Combat Drone. If you’ve used this power with
    Tali and Legion, you’ll know that it’s extremely useful for giving enemies
    something else to look at. Damage-wise it isn’t very effective, although the
    Rank 4 Attack Drone evolution can increase its offensive capabilities.
    
    Because the Engineer lacks proper barrier damage, Warp Ammo is once again going
    to be one of the best bonus powers. It also greatly helps the Engineer’s weapon
    damage, which he lacks greatly in since he is generally a power-oriented class.
    However, you may find that investing fully in a bonus power is a hindrance if
    you want to instead have access to all five of the Engineer’s tech powers. (See
    below for more details.)
    
    When accounting for all of his abilities, the Engineer generally excels against
    most factions. He does struggle with Collectors a little more than others,
    however. With the exception of Combat Drone, his abilities don’t really offer
    much crowd control against them, especially if Cryo Blast isn’t at Rank 4. He
    also naturally lacks barrier damage without access to Warp Ammo. For this
    reason, be careful when selecting squadmates against them. Choosing a solid
    biotic – like Samara or Jack - and a good weapon damage teammate – like Thane
    or Zaeed – will greatly benefit you and offset the Engineer’s relative weakness
    against the game’s most powerful faction.
    
    Speccing the Engineer’s powers can be somewhat difficult in comparison to other
    classes; because the Engineer has such a diverse skillset, it’s desirable to
    have access to as many of these skills as possible. Incinerate and Overload
    should always be maxed out, as they are your main sources of damage, and the
    passive ability provides some good bonuses that you will want. I would also
    strongly recommend four ranks in Combat Drone since the Attack Drone evolution
    can help you against non-shielded factions. That leaves Cryo Blast, AI Hacking,
    and Warp Ammo (assuming it is your bonus power). The Engineer benefits greatly
    from taking combat-oriented squadmates with them, and most of these characters
    already have ammo powers. For this reason, you might not want to spec into Warp
    Ammo at all if you already plan to keep people with you that have Squad ammo
    powers. If you do use Warp Ammo, I would suggest taking it only to the third
    rank so that you can spare enough points for two ranks of Cryo Blast and one in
    AI Hacking, as both will find their uses on specific missions.
    
    Advanced Training: Aboard the Collector Ship, the Engineer will have the chance
    to be trained in assault rifles, shotguns, or sniper rifles. Because the
    Engineer generally is better a long range, sniper rifles are a very excellent
    choice, but assault rifles aren’t bad either and can help you damage barriers
    better.
    
    Squadmates: Tech squadmates tend to be inefficient with the Engineer since they
    already possess some of the Engineer’s tricks. A solid biotic is a great
    choice, especially if Warp Ammo is equipped. As per usual, Samara is an
    excellent option (once you gain her loyalty) due to Pull and Reave. Thane
    offers a high amount of weapon damage in addition to his armor/barrier damage
    from Warp and crowd control with Throw. A loyal Jack is also useful for her
    Squad Warp Ammo if Shepard didn’t take it as a bonus ability. Finally, Garrus,
    Grunt, and Zaeed are all good weapon-oriented classes that offer Concussive
    Shot to damage barriers. I would recommend pairing up one of those three with
    one of the biotics listed above for the most efficient results.
    
    
    Sentinel                                                   2Dsent
    ***********
    Weapons: Pistols, SMG’s
    Recommended Build:
     - Throw (2)
     - Heavy Warp (4)
     - Assault Armor (4)
     - Area Overload (4)
     - Cryo Blast (1)
     - Guardian (4)
     - Warp Ammo (3)
    
    Often considered the “jack-of-all-trades” class, the Sentinel is capable of
    handling any situation in the game. His is the only character in the game that
    has two powers capable of destroying every defense (Warp and Overload). He also
    has Throw and Cryo Blast for crowd control, and Tech Armor for both defensive
    and tactical purposes. This combination of abilities allows the Sentinel to do
    very well against every faction in the game.
    
    Warp and Overload rip through every defense in the game. Warp is invaluable and
    should be evolved as quickly as possible; not only does it damage armor, but it
    also takes care of barriers that are often present in the Collector and Eclipse
    factions. Unfortunately, you must evolve Throw for two ranks before you can put
    any points into Warp. As with the Engineer, Overload is a fantastic tool when
    facing geth, Blue Suns, and Eclipse, who all have lots of shields. While it
    becomes moot against Collectors and Blood Pack, it is still important to invest
    in. Cryo Blast and Throw are both aimed at crowd control. Because you are
    forced to put two ranks into Throw in order to access Warp, it’s probably
    better to focus on Throw for crowd control as opposed to Cryo Blast. Throw’s
    high force also makes it better for flinging enemies off of ledges.
    
    Tech Armor is the Sentinel’s signature power. When the armor is activated,
    Shepard receives a shield boost of varying values (this depends on the level of
    the power); if you lose all of your shields, then the armor detonates, causing
    heavy damage in a radius and throwing all enemies back. This feature is
    extremely invaluable against hordes of Husks/Abominations, Pyros, krogan, and
    varren. At Rank 3 and higher, reactivating the armor will also reset the
    cooldowns of every character. For power-intensive squadmates like Miranda,
    Samara, and Tali, this is an extremely useful feature since it allows them to
    use their abilities almost as often as Shepard can. The final rank gives you
    two options. The first, Assault Armor, increases the radius, force, and damage
    of armor detonations and also provides an incredibly useful 50% shield bonus
    after armor is destroyed. The second, Power Armor, increases your power damage
    while Tech Armor is active and also boosts the shields you receive from
    initially activating Tech Armor. Personally, I think that Assault Armor is much
    more useful, especially if you go with Guardian for the final rank of the
    Sentinel’s passive. The backup shielding is the real seller: even when an enemy
    attack is strong enough to go through to your health, the shield boost you
    receive after detonation will negate all of the extra damage and restore 50% of
    shields. The more powerful detonation is also better against melee enemies, and
    ME2 has several of them.
    
    Warp Ammo is an easy choice for me as a bonus power. However, due to the way
    that the Sentinel’s powers are unlocked, putting four ranks into Warp Ammo
    cannot be done if you want to max out Tech Armor, Overload, Warp, and Defender
    (and you should want all four of these powers at Rank 4 on higher
    difficulties). Still, three ranks in Warp Ammo gives you a hefty 35% damage
    bonus against barriers, armor, and health, so even without a final evolution
    it’s a very useful ability to fill in the Sentinel’s relative weapon weakness.
    
    Advanced Training: Aboard the Collector Ship, you will gain the ability to use
    assault rifles, sniper rifles, or shotguns. Given the nature of the Sentinel’s
    abilities, assault rifles are a very good choice. Sniper rifles are a good
    option too, but keep in mind that since the Sentinel can withstand more heat
    than the Infiltrator, Engineer, or Adept, sniping is somewhat counterproductive
    when you can use Tech Armor’s shield boost to stay out of cover more often and
    shoot assault rifles.
    
    Squadmates: If Tech Armor is at Rank 3 or 4, then power-oriented classes gain a
    huge advantage. This includes Miranda, but keep in mind that her abilities
    mirror the Sentinel’s with the exception of Slam. Against geth, a loyal Tali is
    invaluable since her relatively long recharge times can be overridden with the
    reactivation of Tech Armor. The same goes for Jack and Samara, although both of
    them have faster innate recharge speeds when their passives are invested in.
    However, because the Sentinel lacks in weapon damage, combat classes are
    potentially even more useful. Zaeed and Thane are both great options, and both
    of them have useful powers that can be reset with Tech Armor. Legion is also a
    good choice once you acquire him.
    
    
    Adept                                                      2Eadep
    *******
    Weapons: Pistols, SMG’s
    Suggested Build:
     - Heavy Warp (4)
     - Throw (1)
     - Singularity (3)
     - Pull (2)
     - Improved Shockwave (4)
     - Bastion/Nemesis (4)
     - Bonus Power (4)
    Suggested Bonus Powers:
     - Stasis
     - Warp Ammo
     - Barrier
     - Dominate
    
    On higher difficulties where all enemies have protection, the Adept is at a
    rather large disadvantage since most of his abilities are only effective on
    health targets. Warp is the exception of this rule, and it should be evolved
    quickly since it generally gets used often, especially against heavily armored
    factions; the barrier damage also helps greatly against some Eclipse troops and
    most Collector forces.
    
    Every other ability that the Adept has is designed for crowd control, but only
    against enemies with no shields, barriers, or armor. Still, both Shockwave and
    Throw have enough force to knock enemies off their feet or briefly stagger
    them, and even Singularity and Pull can stagger a little bit. Shockwave is an
    extremely useful tool for keeping a whole line of enemies at bay and to
    temporarily stop them from attacking; it also does minor damage against
    defenses depending on the damage and force of the waves. For this reason, I
    would recommend fully investing in Shockwave. While not always necessary, it
    will prove invaluable on any mission where enemies tend to rush you.
    
    That leaves Singularity, Pull, and Throw. Singularity is probably the most
    useful ability of this bunch since it has an innate radius and does a better
    job of suspending enemies than Pull does. Pull and Throw are about even in
    usefulness, but because investing in Pull (and Singularity beforehand) is
    necessary to access Shockwave, you might as well focus on it and leave Throw at
    0. Additionally, having access to both Singularity and Pull makes it easier for
    you to create biotic explosions with Warp.
    
    Selecting a bonus power for the Adept can be tough. As you see above, I have
    not suggested any single power in my build, because the Adept actually has
    quite a few viable options. Most of the abilities listed below also benefit
    from biotic research upgrades and the Adept’s Biotic Mastery class, so consider
    this when choosing one. Naturally, Warp Ammo is on the list since it offsets
    the Adept’s weakness in weapon damage; additionally, the Adept is the only
    other class besides the Vanguard that can benefit from the “lift bonus” that
    Warp Ammo gives. With the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, Stasis becomes
    available. Unlike most of the Adept’s other abilities, Stasis works on every
    defense; while you can’t damage enemies in the Stasis field, you can stop them
    dead in their tracks for several seconds, giving you a chance to keep a
    particularly dangerous enemy out of play. Since the Adept lacks rugged
    durability, Barrier is also a good choice to help last longer in a fight.
    Unfortunately, it does have a rather high cooldown, even with bonuses from the
    Adept’s passive ability. The final suggested power is Dominate, if you have
    unlocked it from taking the renegade path in Samara’s loyalty mission. Dominate
    is essentially an organic version of AI Hacking, and since organics are more
    plentiful in the game, it has more use in general. Alas, like so many of the
    Adept’s other abilities, it only works with no protection.
    
    The final rank of the Adept’s passive ability is also up to you. Bastion gives
    you higher Paragon and Renegade bonuses, so if dialogue is important to you,
    then I would go for this. If you do end up choosing Bastion, then Stasis
    becomes even more useful as a bonus ability since the duration bonus affects
    it. Nemesis gives greater damage to Warp and Shockwave, however, and you will
    likely be using those abilities often.
    
    Advanced Training: Aboard the Collector Ship, you will gain a new weapon type.
    I would strongly recommend going with sniper rifles; shotguns are impractical
    for such a squishy class, and while assault rifles are solid, the Adept may
    have a tough time sustaining fire since he can take less damage. Sniper rifles
    not only give you minimal time out of cover but are excellent for taking out
    enemies suspended by Singularity or Pull.
    
    Squadmates: Against factions with lots of shield enemies (Blue Suns, Geth, and
    Eclipse), characters with shield-damaging capabilities should be at the top of
    the Adept’s priority list: this includes Garrus, Miranda, Kasumi, and loyal
    Tali. Zaeed can also be very beneficial if you evolve Disruptor Ammo for the
    Squad evolution. Squadmates like Legion or Grunt that can take more damage are
    also good since Adept Shepard is not very durable, and Tali/Legion’s Combat
    Drone does a good job of distracting from you. While other biotics aren’t
    recommended against heavily shielded factions, any of the five biotics can
    synergize well with the Adept since they all have either Warp or Pull, and the
    Adept can either detonate a Pulled enemy with Warp or use Singularity/Pull to
    suspend an enemy and then have someone detonate with Warp.
    
    
    Vanguard                                                   2Fvang
    **********
    Weapons: Pistols, SMG’s, Shotguns
    Suggested Build:
     - Inferno Ammo (4)
     - Cryo Ammo (1)
     - Heavy Charge (4)
     - Shockwave (3)
     - Pull (2)
     - Champion (4)
     - Area Reave (4)
    
    The Vanguard is a rather interesting character. It has the highest risks of any
    class available, but also reaps a lot of satisfying rewards if you use his
    abilities effectively. In the case of the Vanguard, he only really needs two
    powers to be successful: Charge and Incendiary Ammo. Everything else available
    to him, with the exception of his passive class, is generally not suited for
    his playstyle. Shockwave can be useful for causing havoc from a distance, but
    typically Cryo Ammo and Pull will not be necessary for a Vanguard at higher
    difficulty levels.
    
    Because of the Vanguard’s limited skillset, he has few options available for
    removing defenses of any kind. This is why it’s a really, really good idea to
    take Reave as a bonus power. Not only does it decimate both armor and barriers,
    but it provides great health regeneration for the Vanguard. This allows the
    Vanguard to refill both his health and barriers with two different powers. In
    fact, both Reave and Charge can turn the Vanguard into a surprisingly durable
    combatant. Not only do they both provide regeneration of some type, but Charge
    slows down time. For as risky of a power as Charge can be, it’s also a very
    good defensive tool. When under a lot of weapon fire, a Charge at the right
    time can not only restore your barriers but give you an opportunity to get
    behind cover.
    
    While the Vanguard can be really destructive on his own, squadmates (especially
    on Insanity) can be highly useful since the Vanguard isn’t great at damaging
    defenses – even with Reave. Remember that Reave will usually be competing for a
    cooldown with Charge. Defense-damaging teammates are invaluable here, as are
    long-range fighters for missions where the Vanguard can’t reach perched enemies
    (like during Grunt’s recruitment mission) or in situations where using Charge
    is a deadly mistake.
    
    As you progress through the game, focus on investing points into Charge,
    Incendiary Ammo, and Combat Mastery first, with one or two ranks in Reave as
    well. Once those four abilities are maxed, your Vanguard generally has
    everything they need to succeed. Shockwave can occasionally be useful for
    dealing small shield damage from afar, but generally you won’t need it.
    
    Advanced Training: The Vanguard has the option to either gain the M-300
    Claymore Shotgun or gain the ability to use assault rifles or sniper rifles. If
    you have the Eviscerator shotgun from DLC, then I would actually recommend
    choosing assault rifles instead of the Claymore. While the Claymore is a
    powerful shotgun, it isn’t always viable on the highest difficulties since one
    shot often won’t be enough to kill even trooper-level enemies, which makes the
    Eviscerator better. The Vindicator assault rifle also gives you a very strong
    option for mid to long-range combat in scenarios where Charging is not safe.
    
    Squadmates: Miranda is one of your best options here for her Warp and Overload
    abilities; Zaeed also proves useful with Squad Disruptor Ammo. This really
    helps Shepard on missions against the Geth and Blue Suns where shields are
    plentiful. Tali and Legion can provide useful distractions for Shepard as well
    with Combat Drone. Garrus is another viable option since he has Overload for
    shields and sniper rifles for long distances that the Vanguard can’t handle.
    Kasumi also has Overload, and she can make pretty good distractions too after
    Shadow Striking a target. Any distractions are very useful for the Vanguard
    since he can close in on enemies while others are preoccupied. Against
    Collectors or the Blood Pack, Thane can be very useful for damaging armor with
    Warp, knocking enemies off balance with Throw, and dealing heavy damage at long
    range with his sniper rifles.
    
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    | Know the Enemy Faction |                                 30enem
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    
    Knowing the enemies that you’ll be facing on specific missions is sometimes
    vital to your success. Sure, there are some holes in each class that need to be
    filled by squadmates, but it’s inefficient to bring a squadmate suited for geth
    on a Collector mission. This section, therefore, is designed to help in
    understanding each of the enemy factions at hand and what characters excel
    against them. This section does not include single boss enemies that only
    appear once; for instance,
    
    NOTE: All of the listed protections assume that you’re playing on Hardcore or
    Insanity mode. On lesser difficulties, not all enemies have shields, barriers,
    or armor.
    
    
    Mechs/Non-Geth Synthetics                                  3Amech
    ****************************
    Enemy Types:
     - Assault Drone       Shields
     - Cerberus Turret     Armor
     - Combat Drone        Health
     - FENRIS Mech         Health, Armor
     - LOKI Mech           Health, Armor
     - Rocket Drone        Shields
     - YMIR Mech           Health, Armor, Shields
    
    Due to how much they intermix with other factions, I did not include a list of
    locations for these mechs as they can show up in almost any faction that isn’t
    Collectors or Blood Pack; you’ll typically see them alongside the Blue Suns and
    Eclipse factions.
    
    Mechs are fairly easy to defeat. The majority of them have minimal defenses,
    and only the YMIR Mech proves to be a sturdy opponent. Assault Drones, Combat
    Drones, and Rocket Drones are all dropped very quickly provided you put the
    heat on them instantly; Combat Drones in particular can be a nuisance if you
    leave them around too long. FENRIS and LOKI Mechs are the next tier up, and
    while neither of them are particularly dangerous, they’ll rush you without
    hesitation; this can make them dangerous if you’re glued to cover and don’t
    take them out soon. YMIR Mechs, on the other hand, are very boss-like in
    nature; they take a lot of damage to bring down, and with their turrets they
    don’t let off of your squad very easily.
    
    Since mechs usually pop up with the other factions, there’s no real use of
    giving squadmate advice against them. Just bring a balanced squad (with more
    emphasis on crowd control), and you’ll do fine. They are the easiest faction as
    long as you don’t have to face too many YMIR Mechs.
    
    
    Blue Suns                                                  3Bblue
    ************
    Enemy Types:
     - Blue Suns Centurion           Health, Shields
     - Blue Suns Commander           Health, Armor, Shields
     - Blue Suns Heavy               Health, Shields
     - Blue Suns Legionnaire         Health, Shields
     - Blue Suns Pyro                Health, Shields
     - Blue Suns Trooper             Health, Shields
    Locations:
     - Dossier: Archangel
     - Dossier: The Convict
     - Dossier: The Warlord
     - Garrus: Eye for an Eye
     - N7: Archaeological Dig Site
     - N7: Blue Suns Base
     - N7: MSV Strontium Mule
     - Zaeed: The Price of Revenge
    
    As you can see, every Blue Suns enemy has shields on higher difficulties. For
    this reason, it is a very wise idea to choose squadmates who can deal damage to
    shields when facing them. This includes powers like Overload, Energy Drain, and
    Disruptor Ammo, or squadmates who specialize in SMG’s or assault rifles. It
    also doesn’t hurt to have characters that excel in crowd control, because
    although the Blue Suns won’t typically rush you as much as geth or the Blood
    Pack, they do often have LOKI and FENRIS Mechs that will. Armor damage isn’t
    bad either for the mechs, although there are very few Blue Suns organics that
    have it.
    
    Because the Blue Suns won’t normally rush you, choosing squadmates that can
    fight from a distance are desirable too. For their shield damage and long-range
    excellence, Garrus and Zaeed are two of the best against Blue Suns (which is
    fitting since both of their loyalty missions have Blue Suns). Kasumi is also a
    great choice; between Flashbangs to disorient groups, Shadow Strike to pick off
    enemies from afar, and Overload to decimate shields, her abilities are very
    well-used against the Blue Suns. Tali is also surprisingly useful against the
    Blue Suns. Her Combat Drone distracts well from afar, AI Hacking comes in handy
    when the Blue Suns have mech companions, and Energy Drain of course works very
    well on their shields. You may want to wait until after gaining her loyalty,
    though, as Energy Drain is a critical power.
    
    The only two classes that will have a slightly rougher time fighting the Blue
    Suns are the Adept and Vanguard, who have no access to shield-stripping powers.
    This makes it all the more important to pick squadmates who can. For the most
    part, however, they are not a particularly tricky faction to fight against.
    
    
    Eclipse                                                    3Cecli
    *********
    Enemy Types:
     - Eclipse Commando         Health, Armor, Barriers
     - Eclipse Engineer         Health, Shields
     - Eclipse Heavy            Health, Shields
     - Eclipse Operative        Health, Armor, Shields
     - Eclipse Trooper          Health, Shields
     - Eclipse Vanguard         Health, Barriers
    Locations:
     - Dossier: Archangel
     - Dossier: The Assassin
     - Dossier: The Justicar
     - Kasumi: Stealing Memory
     - N7: Captured Mining Facility
     - N7: Lost Operative
    
    NOTE: The Shadow Broker troops are very much like the Eclipse faction, so when
    playing the DLC consider that the enemies will be very much like them.
    
    Eclipse is quite similar to the Blue Suns, but there are a few differences that
    set them apart. Unlike the Blue Suns, they do not have any Pyros, and they also
    have less weapon-oriented attackers. To balance this out, they instead have
    several power-oriented enemies. Engineers and Operatives can summon Combat
    Drones and shoot Incineration blasts while Commandos and Vanguards have biotics
    at their disposal (as well as shotguns). Eclipse is also more diverse in
    defenses than the Blue Suns; several enemies do still have shields, but
    barriers are also thrown in via the fairly common Vanguards. Like the Blue
    Suns, Eclipse will often use mechs, although probably even more so. This makes
    armor very prominent among their defenses too. Finally, Eclipse has several
    annoying powers that can easily tie you up if you’re not careful. Combat Drones
    should be hacked/killed quickly, as their stunning will be a huge annoyance.
    Incinerate and Warp blasts also have a tendency to catch you off guard and
    stagger you, so target the Engineers and Vanguards first if at all possible.
    
    Choosing squadmates against the Eclipse is easier than any other faction due to
    the diversity of enemy types you’ll normally face. Great abilities to have
    against them include Overload, Energy Drain, Disruptor Ammo, Warp, Concussive
    Shot, Reave, Incinerate, and most ammo types. Biotic controllers like Pull,
    Throw, or Shockwave are great too once you strip defenses.
    
    All in all, you can’t really go wrong with any squadmate when facing them.
    Everyone has something that’s useful for the faction. The only recommendation I
    would make is to ensure that you have someone with an anti-shield power on the
    squad, because even though they have diverse defenses, shields are still
    dominant and need to be taken care of.
    
    
    Blood Pack                                                 3Dbloo
    ************
    Enemy Types:
     - Blood Pack Boom Squad        Health, Armor
     - Blood Pack Pyro              Health, Armor
     - Blood Pack Trooper           Health, Armor
     - Blood Pack Warrior           Health, Armor
    Locations:
     - Dossier: Archangel
     - Dossier: The Professor
     - Jack: Subject Zero
     - Mordin: Old Blood
     - N7: Blood Pack Base
     - N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay
    
    NOTE: The numerous krogan fought during Dossier: The Warlord and the end of
    Grunt’s loyalty mission are very much like the Blood Pack krogan.
    
    The Blood Pack characters never have shields, and only the bosses will have
    barriers. Everything else is purely health and armor. In some ways, this makes
    them an easier faction, especially if you’re an Adept or Vanguard; however,
    their enemies are capable of dishing out damage very quickly, and charging
    krogan are not good if your squad can’t handle them. Taking squadmates that
    don’t specialize in armor damage can also be a major setback, so choosing
    accordingly is important.
    
    One important thing to remember about the Blood Pack is that they can
    regenerate health, and as a result anti-health powers are just as important as
    the anti-armor powers. This includes practically anything biotic along with
    abilities like Cryo Blast and Concussive Shot; for armor, go for Warp,
    Incinerate, or Reave. Most ammo powers aside from Disruptor Ammo are also
    highly useful for the faction, and Shredder Ammo can make a sizeable impact too
    once armor is down. Warp Ammo is probably a better alternative though since
    it’s effective against all Blood Pack defenses. If you evolve Jack for Squad
    Warp Ammo then she becomes one of the most effective squaddies against the
    Blood Pack. Finally, anti-barrier abilities will come in handy for the rare
    bosses, so try to make sure that atleast one squad member has something at
    their disposal to use; if you already have something like Warp or Reave then
    that should do nicely.
    
    One more thing: the Blood Pack enemies have a tendency to rush you more than
    the other two merc factions (especially krogan), so Infiltrators and Engineers
    are at somewhat of a disadvantage. This can be stopped by bringing someone like
    Grunt or Jacob to tank more damage, or simply a good biotic like Samara or Jack
    that will disable health enemies before they reach you. However, Infiltrators
    also get a slight advantage since Blood Pack enemies don’t have many long-range
    offensive options, making them easy targets for a sniper.
    
    
    Geth                                                       3Egeth
    ******
    Enemy Types:
     - Geth Colossus               Health, Armor, Shields
     - Geth Destroyer              Health, Shields
     - Geth Hunter                 Health, Shields
     - Geth Prime                  Health, Armor, Shields
     - Geth Recon Drone            Health, Shields
     - Geth Rocket Trooper         Health, Shields
     - Geth Trooper                Health, Shields
    Locations:
     - Dossier: Tali
     - Legion: A House Divided
     - N7: Anomalous Weather Detected
     - N7: Imminent Ship Crash
     - Overlord
     - Overlord: Atlas Station
     - Overlord: Prometheus Station
     - Tali: Treason
    
    Geth retain several of their unique enemies from Mass Effect, but in general
    the faction has a lot of changes. Geth Shock Troopers are replaced by Geth
    Hunters while Geth Snipers, Hoppers, Ghosts, and Juggernauts no longer exist.
    Destroyers now have flamethrowers and Primes can now summon annoying drones.
    However, in comparison to ME1 the geth faction is much more streamlined, making
    it easier to manage the various types on the battlefield. Additionally, there
    are far fewer geth missions than in ME1.
    
    With 100% synthetic enemies, no barriers, and a whole lot of shields, there are
    a few characters that shine against geth. Zaeed is very preferable when he has
    Squad Disruptor Ammo, and even without four ranks of the ability the rounds
    will only expand upon Zaeed’s exemplary weapon damage. While Tali normally
    takes a back seat to other characters, her skills are naturally very suited for
    the faction. Legion too has the skillset to battle them efficiently. While it
    lacks Tali’s Energy Drain, Legion still has great durability with Geth Shield
    Boost and also has far more range than Tali does with its sniper rifles;
    additionally, the bonuses from its passive ability give it a quicker recharge
    speed than Tali. As usual, anything with Overload works well. Area Overload
    becomes even more effective in the cramped quarters during Tali or Legion’s
    loyalty missions, as well as some of the areas of Overlord.
    
    The two classes that naturally have a disadvantage against geth are Adepts and
    Vanguards. Remember that the use of SMG’s will help greatly in tearing through
    shields, and you can also use Advanced Training specifically for geth missions
    to get Energy Drain, and then change it afterwards. Or you can simply ensure
    that your selected squad can effectively handle shields.
    
    
    Collectors                                                 3Fcoll
    ************
    Enemy Types:
     - Abomination                 Health, Armor
     - Collector Assassin          Health, Barriers
     - Collector Drone             Health, Barriers
     - Collector Guardian          Health, Barriers
     - Harbinger                   Armor, Barriers
     - Husk                        Health, Armor
     - Scion                       Armor
     - Praetorian                  Armor, Barriers
    Locations:
     - Collector Base: Infiltration
     - Collector Base: The Long Walk
     - Collector Vessel
     - Derelict Reaper
     - Final Battle
     - Horizon
     - N7: Abandoned Mine (Husks, Abominations only)
    
    Last but certainly not least, the Collectors are probably the most challenging
    faction to face in the game. With some of the most powerful trooper-level
    enemies, some really annoying horde-style creatures, and abilities unique to no
    other faction, the Collectors can possibly make short work of you on Insanity
    unless you have the right skills to succeed against them.
    
    Take a look at the composition of Collector defenses. It’s a pretty good
    balance between health, armor, and barriers, although the vast majority of
    enemies you face (except for the Reaper IFF mission) will be the three trooper
    types. For this reason, it is highly important that you bring atleast one
    person that can knock out barriers with ease. The best power for this,
    naturally, is Warp, but in case you’re not a Sentinel or Adept and you don’t
    feel like bringing Miranda or Thane with you, Reave and Concussive Shot also
    work well. Reave can actually be great against patches of troopers when evolved
    for the area evolution, so be sure to consider this if you’re using it as a
    bonus power (or if you bring Samara with you). Because I have recommended Warp
    Ammo as a bonus power for five out of the six classes, this is also naturally a
    very good ability to have with you, especially if evolved for the Squad
    evolution.
    
    With a lot of health enemies running around, Collectors are surprisingly
    vulnerable to simple biotic attacks; anything that quickly neutralizes pesky
    enemies or barrier-ridden troopers are golden on Collector missions. Pull does
    an excellent job of forcing enemies out of cover while Throw or Concussive Shot
    can knock back charging enemies easily. Shockwave is invaluable in later parts
    of Horizon and the Collector Ship and a damned near lifesaver on the Reaper IFF
    mission where you get swarmed by tons of Husks and Abominations. Other great
    disabling powers include Cryo Blast, Singularity, and Reave since it offers you
    health regeneration while stopping any enemies hit by it. Speaking of which;
    for all of the listed abilities above, radius evolutions are extremely useful
    if you have enough points for them.
    
    Armor is last priority but is still very important. If you already have Warp or
    Reave then they’ll work fantastically against armor, but for groups of Husks or
    Abominations you may consider Inferno Grenades of Incinerate (when evolved for
    the radius). Incendiary, Warp, and AP Ammo are all great as well, especially if
    multiple squad members can have them for cross-firing. Snipers are also very
    effective against armor, and typically they’re the best for damaging Scions
    from afar anyway. Don’t count on them for groups of Husks or Abominations,
    though.
    
    So which squadmates are we looking for here? Biotics are usually great,
    especially if the character has Warp or Reave – as a result, Thane, Samara, and
    Miranda are some of your best options. Other crowd controlling biotic powers
    are good too. Jack is good for this, but she falls short of others unless you
    have Warp Ammo unlocked. On the other hand, you can go for a combat-oriented
    type that can deal solid damage through weapons. Garrus and Zaeed are good
    options since they both have Concussive Shot, and they both also have
    anti-armor powers. Garrus’ Squad evolution on Armor-Piercing Rounds proves very
    useful. Mordin is the only other tech character that’s really suited for
    Collectors since his abilities are more focused on disabling and melting armor,
    although remember that he has no anti-barrier ability. Finally, Kasumi provides
    an extremely useful distraction against Harbinger-possessed Collectors with
    Shadow Strike, and her Flashbangs are useful for temporarily disabling whole
    groups of Collector troops.
    
    The classes that will struggle the most with Collectors are probably the
    Infiltrator and Engineer due to their lack of an anti-barrier power (and in the
    case of Engineer, a lack of range). Try to remedy this by picking a good bonus
    power beforehand if you haven’t already. You can’t really go wrong with Warp
    Ammo – especially on the Infiltrator – and Reave is awesome too if you don’t
    mind having a biotic ability on a tech character.
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    +++++++++++++
    | The Squad |                                              40squa
    +++++++++++++
    
    As the purpose of this guide is to provide useful information regarding squad
    setup, it’s important to understand more about the squad available. This covers
    the ten regular in-game squadmates (as well as Morinth), the two DLC
    squadmates, and Liara, the DLC-specific squadmate.
    
    I have provided a build for each squadmate. These builds are designed to give
    the most optimal results against the factions as a whole, rather than specific
    ones. However, I have also given notes for different circumstances with
    different classes, as some builds work better for different classes than for
    others. Additionally, I have provided notes for Collector builds. However, it
    can possibly be redundant to spec into these builds if you don’t have Lair of
    the Shadow Broker to respec powers. If you do not, then taking the most
    balanced build is the best choice.
    
    NOTE: I have not given a specific Rank 4 evolution for any of the ammo
    abilities; this is largely up to you. Different circumstances with different
    classes may make one evolution better than the other.
    
    
    Garrus Vakarian                                            4Agarr
    ******************
    Acquisition        Dossier: Archangel
    Specialization     Combat, Tech
    Weapons            Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Concussive Shot (2)
     - Area Overload (4)
     - Turian Rebel (3)
     - Armor-Piercing Ammo (4)
    
    Garrus is one of the first available squadmates in the game, albeit having one
    of the toughest recruit missions.
    
    Garrus is one of the few squad members to have a power dedicated to every
    defense in the game. With Overload, Garrus easily strips enemy shields.
    Concussive Shot makes a dent in barriers and also knocks down health enemies,
    while Armor-Piercing Ammo greatly improves his weapon damage against armor. His
    versatility makes him able to take on any faction efficiently; this is a trait
    that is very are in Mass Effect 2.
    
    Additionally, Garrus excels on missions where there are long, clear lines of
    fire for sniping. Garrus is best when left in a spot to pick off enemies around
    the battlefield without having to get into the heat of things; he is not a very
    durable squadmate. As a result, it’s a good idea to pair him with another
    character that uses a shotgun/SMG or is more durable, like Grunt, Jack, or
    Jacob.
    
    Garrus is a decent character against Collectors, but he lacks a bit of rugged
    durability and Overload also becomes a moot power for the faction. If you’re
    planning on using him during the Collector Base, spec out of Overload and
    invest full points into all of his other abilities instead (if you have Lair of
    the Shadow Broker).
    
    
    Grunt                                                      4Bgrun
    *******
    Acquisition        Dossier: The Warlord
    Specialization     Combat
    Weapons            Assault Rifles, Shotguns
    Upgrades           M-300 Claymore Heavy Shotgun, Krogan Vitality (x2)
    Health: 300
    Armor: 300
    Suggested Build:
     - Concussive Shot (2)
     - Incendiary Ammo (4)
     - Krogan Pureblood (4)
     - Fortification (3)
    
    Another squadmate available early in the game, Grunt fills the “tank” role in
    Mass Effect 2. With two special health boosts, strong passive health increases,
    passive health regeneration, AND his loyalty Fortification power, Grunt is able
    to withstand a lot of damage at high levels. He reaches an all-time durability
    high when paired with a Cerberus Tactician Miranda.
    
    His durability and use of shotguns makes him a valuable asset on missions where
    several smaller enemies attempt to rush the squad. The most ideal mission for
    him is perhaps the Reaper IFF mission very late in the game; it features tons
    of husks and abominations that run straight at you. Grunt can not only
    withstand these enemies, but you can use his Concussive Shot ability to knock
    them down (especially if it’s specced with an area affect).
    
    Grunt doesn’t perform as well on missions where long-range combat is favorable;
    he also lacks against shielded enemies due to his lack of anti-shield powers.
    However, against Collectors, Blood Pack forces, and mechs, he is very useful,
    especially when paired with a Warp character. Although Grunt has Concussive
    Shot for barriers, it doesn’t provide as much raw barrier damage, and Warp can
    also help with the direct decimation of armor.
    
    Be sure to research the three Grunt-specific upgrades in the research lab; the
    health boosts and the powerful shotgun make him considerably more powerful.
    
    
    Jack                                                       4Cjack
    *******
    Acquisition        Dossier: The Convict
    Specialization     Biotics, Combat
    Weapons            Pistols, Shotguns
    Upgrades           Subject Zero Biotic Boost
    Health: 200
    Barriers: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Improved Shockwave (4)
     - Pull (2)
     - Subject Zero (3)
     - Warp Ammo (4)
    
    Jack is a handy character for classes that can’t control crowds very well, and
    also for missions where hordes of enemies rush at the same time. After
    investing in power recharge speed bonuses from Jack’s passive ability, she can
    effectively hold off whole groups of health enemies with Pull and Shockwave
    alone, especially if either of the powers is evolved for a radius evolution. If
    Shepard is a Sentinel or Adept (or if Miranda, Thane, or Liara is on the
    squad), then you can also take advantage of Pull to create explosions with
    Warp, neutralizing several health enemies in a hurry.
    
    After you complete her loyalty mission, you also gain access to one of the best
    anti-Collector powers in the game: Warp Ammo. When evolved for the Squad
    evolution, your weapons will practically tear through Collectors since every
    Collector enemy is comprised of health, barriers, armor, or a combination of
    them – and these three defenses are all vulnerable to Warp Ammo. The
    combination of the ammo type and the crowd control abilities make Jack
    particularly effective against hordes of Husks and Abominations; she is also
    pretty decent against mechs and the Blood Pack.
    
    Her real difficulty lies in shielded enemies. It is not recommended that you
    take her on missions where geth or the Blue Suns are primary enemies as her
    powers can’t effectively deal with them. Also, while she is preferable against
    the weaker Collector forces, she struggles a bit with the troops and Scions
    unless she has a teammate that can drop barriers first. Luckily Warp Ammo
    contributes to this a bit.
    
    
    Jacob Taylor                                               4Djaco
    **************
    Acquisition        Default
    Specialization     Biotics, Combat
    Weapons            Pistols, Shotguns
    Health: 200
    Barriers: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Pull (2)
     - Incendiary Ammo (4)
     - Cerberus Specialist (4)
     - Barrier (3)
    
    Available for the entirety of Mass Effect 2, Jacob shares a lot of traits with
    Grunt. Instead of Concussive Shot, he has Pull, which is also useful for
    neutralizing health enemies. Both have Incendiary Ammo, and Barrier replaces
    Fortification as a defensive power. However, Jacob ultimately falls short of
    Grunt due to his lesser passive abilities; Grunt benefits greatly from health
    regeneration and an overall higher health rating, which Jacob does not have.
    Additionally, Concussive Shot does direct damage to barriers while Pull does
    not. Jacob does have one perk over Grunt, though; a Pulled enemy can be
    detonated by any character with Warp, resulting in massive damage.
    
    Still, Jacob is applicable in a lot of the same situations that Grunt is.
    Miranda is a particularly effective squadmate to pair him with; she can remove
    defenses with Overload or Warp and then Jacob can follow up with Pull. This
    also applies to Sentinel Shepard himself, and the Squad Incendiary Ammo can be
    quite useful if Shepard has no ammo powers of his own.
    
    Jacob is at his best against mechs or Blood Pack members. While he also has
    some perks against Collectors, several squadmates out-perform him due to better
    abilities. For instance, Jack has Warp Ammo instead of Incendiary, which is
    more useful for damaging ALL Collector defenses. Jacob’s abilities just aren’t
    optimal in comparison.
    
    
    Kasumi Goto                                                4Ekasu
    **************
    Acquisition        Citadel (Kasumi – Stolen Memory DLC)
    Specialization     Tech
    Weapons            Pistols, SMG’s
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Rapid Shadow Strike (4)
     - Area Overload (4)
     - Master Thief (3)
     - Flashbang Grenade (2)
    
    Kasumi’s strong combat versatility along with her early acquisition (she can be
    recruited as soon as you finish with Freedom’s Progress) make her an excellent
    squadmate.
    
    While she lacks weapon strength and durability, Kasumi can serve many functions
    on the battlefield. With Overload at her disposal, she is a prime option for
    knocking out enemy shields in a hurry; her use of SMG’s also helps. For crowd
    control, she can use her Flashbang Grenades (after loyalty) to disorient whole
    groups of enemies. However, her real perk is Shadow Strike, an ability
    exclusive to her character. Shadow Strike serves many functions. It’s a great
    damage-dealer, for starters; it’s usually capable of dropping a health enemy
    after any defenses have been removed. The power also creates a distraction on
    the battlefield, allowing Shepard and another squadmate to fire away; this is
    very useful for Vanguards, since less heat makes it easier to engage in
    close-quarters combat.
    
    As a result, Kasumi generally excels against any faction she’s up against.
    While she lacks a solution for barriers, this only generally causes issues
    against Collector Drones and Guardians, and even then as long as you have a
    squadmate with an anti-barrier power you should be fine.
    
    
    Legion                                                     4Flegi
    ********
    Acquisition        Reaper IFF
    Specialization     Tech, Combat
    Weapons            Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles
    Upgrades           Widow Anti-Material Rifle, Geth Shield Strength (x2)
    Health: 200
    Shields: 350
    Suggested Build:
     - AI Hacking (2)
     - Attack Drone (4)
     - Geth Assassin (4)
     - Geth Shield Boost (3)
    
    With its very high starting shield amount, its two available shield strength
    upgrades, and the Geth Shield Boost ability, Legion is capable of withstanding
    a lot of shield damage when leveled up properly. As a result, it becomes one of
    the most durable characters in the game.
    
    Legion is also capable of using a powerful sniper rifle with the appropriate
    upgrade. While its passive ability doesn’t boost weapon damage as much as Thane
    or Zaeed, it is still capable of dishing out a high amount of sniper rifle
    damage. Its Combat Drone ability also allows it to distract enemies to make
    them easier targets for itself and the rest of the squad. With AI Hacking,
    Legion can also manipulate Geth and mech forces; however, this power loses
    usability on higher difficulty levels since AI Hacking doesn’t go through
    shields or armor.
    
    Legion’s main weakness (other than the fact that you acquire it so late in the
    game) is that it has no abilities that deal direct damage to defenses. This is
    why it’s important to pair Legion with a squadmate like Zaeed, Miranda, or
    Garrus so that you can use the latter to remove defenses for Legion. While
    Legion generally excels against other geth and mechs, it has such a late
    acquisition that often times there are few available missions left for it to go
    on. Try leaving Tali’s loyalty mission or the Overlord mission for the period
    after Legion’s acquisition so that you can use it in a few of them.
    
    
    Miranda Lawson                                             4Gmira
    ****************
    Acquisition        Default
    Specialization     Biotics, Tech
    Weapons            Pistols, SMG’s
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Area Overload (4)
     - Heavy Warp (4)
     - Cerberus Leader (4)
     - Slam (1)
    
    Miranda is arguably the most useful squadmate in the game. With an answer for
    every enemy defense, crowd control, and a passive ability that actually boosts
    squadmate stats, it’s hard to go wrong with taking her on any mission. For
    armor, she has Warp, which also serves as a debuff and a biotic detonator. For
    barriers, she also has Warp. Warp alone makes her proficient against Collectors
    and the Blood Pack; her bonus ability, Slam, also vastly improves her crowd
    control ability against the health enemies of these factions. Finally, Overload
    gives her an edge against geth, Blue Suns, and other members of the Eclipse
    faction. This allows her to basically handle any faction in the game with ease,
    as you’ll always be able to make use of atleast two of her powers.
    
    The second reason for Miranda’s versatility is her passive class power. With
    the possibility to increase squad health by 15% or squad weapon damage by 15%,
    she can offer great bonuses to teammates. With all bonuses considered,
    characters like Zaeed and Thane can attain weapon damage comparable to
    Shepard’s in the presence of Miranda.
    
    For this reason, Miranda is one of the best teammates against Collectors if you
    pair her up with a weapon-oriented squad member. Grunt benefits from the health
    boost at Rank 4, but he is really the only character that does, so weapon
    damage is more preferable in my opinion.
    
    
    Mordin                                                     4Hmord
    **********
    Acquisition        Dossier: The Professor
    Specialization     Tech
    Weapons            Pistols, SMG’s
    Upgrades           Mordin Omni-Tool
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Incineration Blast (4)
     - Full Cryo Blast (4)
     - Salarian Savant (4)
     - Neural Shock (0)
    
    Mordin specializes in armor damage and disabling health enemies, and he does a
    very good job at both of these aspects. Incinerate is one of the best
    anti-armor powers in the game; while it lacks the debuff of Warp, it can hit in
    a radius at Rank 4, which increases its effectiveness against groups of LOKI
    Mechs or vorcha. It also does respectable health damage. Cryo Blast and Neural
    Shock are somewhat redundant when both are invested in since they both pretty
    much do the same thing, and Neural Shock is even less useful since it only
    works against organics. For this reason, it’s usually a better idea to spec
    fully into Cryo Blast and opt out of Neural Shock completely.
    
    He is most useful against the Blood Pack faction or any mechs. Due to his lack
    of anti-shield or barrier powers, it’s recommend that when facing other
    factions (particularly Blue Suns or geth) you bring a character with Overload,
    Energy Drain, or Squad Disruptor Ammo. While Mordin has powers that excel
    against Collectors, he doesn’t have anything to strip barriers so characters
    with Concussive Shot, Reave, or Warp are desirable for those missions.
    
    
    Samara                                                     4Isama
    *********
    Acquisition        Dossier: The Justicar
    Specialization     Biotics
    Weapons            Assault Rifles, SMG’s
    Health: 200
    Barriers: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Throw (2)
     - Pull (3)
     - Sapiens Justicar (4)
     - Area Reave (4)
    
    At first glance, Samara does not look like a particularly useful squadmate.
    Pull and Throw are extremely similar in function, and neither one of them works
    against protected enemies. However, once you gain her loyalty to access Reave
    and attain enough points to invest fully in her passives, Samara becomes one of
    the most powerful squadmates in the game against Collector forces, and makes a
    formidable opponent against other groups as well.
    
    The extremely low recharge time of her powers with the Sapiens Justicar
    evolution gives her the ability to use her three powers liberally. Area Reave
    is a wonderful skill on her; not only does it function defensively for her when
    used against health targets, but it’s perfect for knocking out barriers and
    armor like Warp – only unlike Warp, it hits in a radius. Additionally, Pull and
    Throw work well for stopping advancing enemies or drawing stuff out of cover.
    
    After loyalty, Samara is most useful against Collectors or Blood Pack enemies,
    or the Eclipse faction due to the barriers of asari Vanguards and Commandos.
    While the Reaper IFF mission is potentially one of the toughest in the game,
    Samara greatly helps in dealing with the hordes of Husks and Abominations. She
    pairs up very well with an Overload kit, like Garrus or Miranda. The former can
    offer long-range weapon damage while Miranda’s Warp combos well with Samara’s
    Pull.
    
    
    Tali                                                       4Jtali
    *******
    Acquisition        Dossier: Tali
    Specialization     Tech
    Weapons            Pistols, Shotguns
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Attack Drone (4)
     - AI Hacking (2)
     - Quarian Machinist (3)
     - Area Drain (4)
    
    Tali’s usability in Mass Effect 2 ranges from destructive to almost useless,
    depending on the faction. Against geth and any merc faction that has mechs,
    Tali makes short work of enemies once Energy Drain is unlocked. Against
    everything else... she suffers greatly. Because AI Hacking only works on
    synthetics and Energy Drain only affects shielded enemies, she is at a severe
    disadvantage against Collectors and the Blood Pack, as Combat Drone becomes her
    only useful power.
    
    For this reason, maxing out Combat Drone early is a great idea. While the power
    isn’t exactly a game-changer, it does an admirable job of giving enemies
    something else to shoot at; it’s especially good for stalling tough/dangerous
    enemies like Harbinger, rocket troopers, or mid-tier bosses while you work on
    defeating the weaker forces. Unfortunately, Combat Drone has a rather high
    cooldown that can’t really be negated; unlike Legion, Tali has no recharge
    speed bonuses from her passive ability.
    
    Energy Drain functions like Overload, so be sure to invest fully in this power
    once you’ve unlocked it. You may even want to save points for Energy Drain
    until you do complete Tali’s loyalty mission so that you can immediately invest
    them afterwards (or, if you have Lair of the Shadow Broker, simply respec on
    Liara’s terminal). As said above, Tali’s combination of skills makes her most
    efficient against any faction with lots of shields or synthetics.
    
    While she is not 100% useless against the Blood Pack and Collectors (her drone
    can still be a solid asset), it is not recommended to bring her on Insanity
    difficulty.
    
    
    Thane                                                      4Kthan
    **********
    Acquisition        Dossier: The Assassin
    Specialization     Biotics, Combat
    Weapons            SMG’s, Sniper Rifles
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Throw (2)
     - Heavy Warp (4)
     - Drell Marksman (4)
     - Shredder Ammo (3)
    
    Thane shows a lot of versatility as a squadmate, capable at many ranges against
    many targets. His skillset makes him most useful against health, armor, and
    barriers – perfect for Collectors or Blood Pack forces. One Warp can usually
    knock out the barriers or armor of troop level enemies and put a sizeable dent
    in boss types. Throw is a good stun and knock out power for unprotected health
    enemies. This gives Thane both practical damage and a dose of crowd control.
    
    He is also one of the few squadmates that has fantastic weapon damage along
    with useful powers. Along with Zaeed, Thane has the highest weapon damage
    passives in the game at a maximum 50% extra. Additionally, when facing organic
    targets, Shredder Ammo provides even more damage to health. This makes Thane
    capable of inflicting heavy sniper rifle damage on unprotected enemies, often
    times enough to kill them with one shot – even against targets with high health
    values. With all of Thane’s abilities considered, he is one of the most ideal
    Collector squadmates in the game. If you have Squad Warp Ammo or have Jack as a
    second squadmate, then you can actually activate it instead of Shredder Ammo to
    give Thane an even greater edge against the Collectors.
    
    Thane’s only real weaknesses are his lack of durability and his relative
    weakness against shields, although his use of SMG’s does supplement that
    slightly. He still does respectable damage against shielded factions though,
    and he’s good for seeking out the Blue Suns and Eclipse targets that tend to
    stay back in cover.
    
    
    Zaeed                                                      4Lzaee
    ********
    Acquisition        Zaeed: The Price of Revenge (DLC)
    Specialization     Combat
    Weapons            Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles
    Health: 200
    Shields: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Concussive Shot (2)
     - Squad Disruptor Ammo (4)
     - Mercenary Warlord (4)
     - Inferno Grenade (3)
    
    Zaeed’s early acquisition, instant loyalty mission access, and diverse skillset
    make him one of the most diversely useful squadmates throughout the course of
    the game. For starters, Zaeed’s weapon damage compares to that of Thane’s; he
    too gets a 50% weapon damage bonus at the last rank of his passive power.
    Against synthetics or shields, this number is increased further due to the
    boost of damage from Disruptor Ammo. These stats make Zaeed a formidable
    opponent against geth, Blue Suns, Eclipse, and mechs. Additionally, his Inferno
    Grenades and Concussive Shot account for armor and barrier damage,
    respectively, and the Concussive Shot works well for downing unprotected
    enemies.
    
    With so many options for dishing out damage and controlling crowds, it’s hard
    to really know what points to spend and what to opt out of on Zaeed. I think it
    ultimately depends on how you plan to use him. If you would prefer to make him
    a Collector killer, then Disruptor Ammo should go. If you would rather he
    decimated geth and highly shielded factions, then the last ranks in Concussive
    Shot might be worth getting rid of. Or you could distribute points between the
    three active powers. In any case, I would recommend leaving the full points in
    the passive, as his weapon damage bonuses are quite unsurpassable given their
    uniqueness.
    
    Zaeed’s only real weakness is that he doesn’t do well with larger groups of
    enemies given his low durability and his lack of close-range weaponry. For this
    reason, consider bringing someone like Grunt or Jack with him to counter his
    low crowd control.
    
    
    Morinth                                                    4Lmori
    **********
    Acquisition        Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi
    Specialization     Biotics
    Weapons            Assault Rifles, SMG’s
    Health: 200
    Barriers: 250
    Suggested Build:
     - Throw (2)
     - Pull (3)
     - Endua-Yakshi (4)
     - Improved Dominate (4)
    
    Morinth shares three of the same abilities as Samara: Pull, Throw, and her
    passive talent (while they have different names, Ardat-Yakshi has the exact
    same evolutions as Asari Justicar does). Her third power, Dominate, replaces
    Samara’s Reave. In my opinion, this is a much less useful power. While Dominate
    can potentially turn dangerous organics against eachother and do some good, but
    the power in general suffers too much from the fact that it can only be used
    when an enemy is reduced to health. Pull and Throw also have this limitation,
    so essentially none of Morinth’s abilities can be used on protected enemies.
    
    Still, she can find some use against Collectors and other organic factions,
    especially on lower difficulties where there are no protections on many of the
    weaker enemies. However, unless you’re aiming to play as a pure Renegade in
    Mass Effect 2, I would just recommend keeping Samara. Reave is much more useful.
    
    
    Liara                                                      4Kliar
    **********
    Acquisition        Lair of the Shadow Broker (DLC only)
    Specialization     Biotics
    Weapons            Pistols, SMG’s
    Health: 200
    Barriers: 350
    Suggested Build:
     - Singularity (2)
     - Heavy Warp (4)
     - Asari Controller (4)
     - Stasis (3)
    
    In comparison to Mass Effect, Liara’s skillset is much more restrictive in ME2.
    While she does have access to Warp, and excellent power for removing the armor
    and barriers of the Shadow Broker troops, the effectiveness of her other two
    powers are diminished by restrictions placed upon them. The main problem with
    Singularity is its high cooldown. Although this is lessened when points are
    invested into her passive ability, it still doesn’t make the power worth it
    since it only lifts unprotected enemies. Stasis has a shorter cooldown but
    doesn’t allow you to damage enemies in the Stasis field, making it redundant
    unless you simply want to temporarily remove a powerful enemy from the playing
    field. In this case, Stasis is probably more worth it than Singularity.
    
    Since Liara is a default squadmate on only the Lair of the Shadow Broker
    mission, I would recommend bringing a squadmate with Overload, Energy Drain, or
    Disruptor Ammo since a lot of the Shadow Broker agents have shields. Garrus,
    Kasumi, Miranda, Zaeed, and a loyal Tali are all great options. Of course, if
    Shepard has anti-shield powers then he would be efficient himself. If you can’t
    bring a direct shield-damaging power, try to pick characters with assault
    rifles or SMG’s.
    
    
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    | Squad Recommendations |                                  50reco
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    
    In the final section I will point out notable squad configurations that are
    either solid versus any faction or particularly successful against a specific
    one. These squads usually fit with any class.
    
    
    Garrus/Grunt
    **************
    Weapons:           Assault Rifles (x2), Shotgun, Sniper Rifle
    Active Powers:     Concussive Shot (x2), Overload
    Ammo Powers:       Armor-Piercing, Incendiary
    Other:             Fortification (Grunt)
    
    The biggest perk of Garrus and Grunt is that they can cover any range
    efficiently. Garrus’ use of sniper rifles and Grunt’s shotgun expertise allow
    you to kill from near and afar; plus you get powerful assault rifles on both.
    Additionally, you get two ammo powers to choose from if you’ve evolved them for
    the squad evolution. This is an efficient use of firepower against any faction.
    Plus, with two Concussive Shots, enemies can be knocked about quite frequently.
    
    These two compliment eachother well against Collectors since they pick up on
    eachother’s weaknesses. Garrus can snipe at Collector troopers hiding from afar
    while Grunt takes care of close-range troops and Husks/Abominations. Grunt’s
    high durability also makes him a tough combatant against a very destructive
    group.
    
    The only minor weakness here is that neither character has a power for dealing
    direct armor damage; however, because Armor-Piercing Ammo and Incendiary Ammo
    are both excellent against armor, this shouldn’t be an issue.
    
    
    Garrus/Kasumi
    ****************
    Weapons:           Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:     Overload (x2), Concussive Shot, Flashbang Grenade, Shadow
                        Strike
    Ammo Powers:       Armor-Piercing
    
    This squad has a heavy emphasis on picking out single targets and destroying
    them. Garrus’ high sniper rifle damage packs a lot of punch into one target, as
    does Kasumi’s Shadow Strike. Additionally, access to double Overloads allows
    you to knock out almost any shields with the use of both powers at once (this
    won’t usually be necessary, however). Garrus also has the ability to briefly
    stagger targets with Concussive Shot and Kasumi can disorient everyone with
    Flashbangs. Needless to say, this pairing packs a lot of damage into their
    powers, and even though they are probably more useful against synthetics, they
    also excel against most factions in general.
    
    However, this group does not excel against hordes of enemies. Because Garrus is
    a sniper and Kasumi’s trademark ability is designed for single enemies, using
    this pairing against missions with lots of advancing mechs, varren, or
    Husks/Abominations is not the best idea.
    
    
    Garrus/Miranda
    ****************
    Weapons:           Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:     Overload (x2), Concussive Shot, Warp, Slam
    Ammo Powers:       Armor-Piercing
    
    This setup is ideal against synthetics or for missions in wide, open areas...
    in actuality, however, this is an excellent pairing for any class against any
    enemies. With two powers for barriers, two powers for shields, and one power
    for armor + another anti-armor ammo power, all defenses are covered with this
    group at all ranges. The pair also has good mutual benefits for weapon damage;
    Miranda boosts Garrus’ stats with her passive ability, and Garrus offers
    Miranda an anti-armor power that considerably raises her weapon damage as well
    against health and armor.
    
    This is a highly efficient pairing that works against any faction with any
    class. It’s especially useful if Shepard is a close-range class that can take
    on hordes and keep them at bay, but it’s not necessary.
    
    
    Garrus/Tali
    *************
    Weapons:           Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol
    Active Powers:     AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Concussive Shot, Energy Drain,
                       Overload
    Ammo Powers:       Armor-Piercing
    
    This is arguably one of the greatest combinations in the game against
    synthetics. With two anti-shield powers plus AI Hacking and the drone for
    distractions and more shield damage, Tali and Garrus can handle geth with ease.
    Plus they get the added bonus of having varied range with Tali’s shotgun and
    Garrus’ sniper rifle. Mechs and geth won’t get very far with the constant
    damage output, hacking, and stunning that this group brings to the table.
    
    The downsides to this pairing is that they generally have a hard time
    incapacitating health enemies – especially organics. Garrus’ Concussive Shot
    can only do so much, and the drone doesn’t always work. Additionally, the group
    struggles a bit against armor and barriers. Garrus does have AP Ammo, though.
    This is a great go-to group for geth missions or possibly Blue Suns, however.
    
    
    Garrus/Thane
    **************
    Weapons:           Sniper Rifle (x2), Assault Rifle, SMG
    Active Powers:     Concussive Shot, Overload, Warp, Throw
    Ammo Powers:       Armor-Piercing, Shredder
    
    While double snipers wouldn’t seem like the most efficient option, it is
    incredibly efficient if you’re facing enemies that don’t charge right at you.
    Garrus and Thane excel at wiping out single targets from afar, and they also
    have the abilities to counter every defense. This makes them perfect against
    Blue Suns and Eclipse, and possibly Collectors if you’re not on a mission with
    tons of Husks or Abominations. Additionally, you can tailor Thane’s powers away
    from Shredder Ammo if Garrus already has Squad Armor-Piercing; the extra armor
    damage proves to be much more useful for such a heavy weapon damage dealer like
    Thane. Plus, this gives Thane the ability to maximize his efficiency with his
    other two abilities + his outstanding passive stats.
    
    This group can potentially be useful against the Blood Pack; after all, there
    is a high amount of armor damage here and good crowd control with Throw and
    Concussive Shot. Despite this, the pairing is not good up close, so Shepard
    would likely need to cover that aspect. The same goes for the Husk/Abomination
    horde missions.
    
    
    Garrus/Zaeed
    **************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle (x2), Sniper Rifle (x2)
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot (x2), Inferno Grenade, Overload
    Ammo Powers:      Armor-Piercing, Disruptor
    
    Another double-sniper pairing, Zaeed differs in his role from Thane slightly.
    He brings Disruptor Rounds to the squad instead of Shredder, which improves
    versatility. Inferno Grenades affect more enemies than Warp but they deal less
    armor damage and nothing to barriers; Concussive Shot is quite similar to Throw
    although the former has added barrier damage. Put him together with Garrus, and
    you have some of the best versatility in the game for dropping defenses. You
    can alternate between Disruptor and Armor-Piercing Ammo depending on the
    mission; Disruptor is better for geth, Blue Suns, and Eclipse, while AP Ammo
    excels for Collectors and the Blood Pack.
    
    What weaknesses do they have? Dealing with enemies at close range. This can go
    one of two ways. Either the enemies won’t reach Garrus and Zaeed quickly enough
    due to the high amount of DPS the two give out, or Shepard needs to be able to
    hold the line if enemies make it to them. Therefore, this is one of the best –
    if not THE best – pairing for a Vanguard in the game.
    
    
    Grunt/Legion
    **************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle (x2), Sniper Rifle, Shotgun
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Concussive Shot
    Ammo Powers:      Incendiary
    Other:            Fortification (Grunt), Geth Shield Boost (Legion)
    
    This is a rather interesting setup made of two of the most durable squadmates
    in the game. Grunt has health regeneration and Fortification while Legion gets
    a hearty shield boost from his bonus ability. Additionally, Grunt covers
    long-range combat while Legion picks off enemies from afar with its Widow
    sniper rifle. The squad also offers various methods of crowd control that are
    particularly effective against geth due to the nature of Legion’s abilities.
    Also, because Geth Destroyers and Hunters tend to get up close and personal,
    Grunt’s resilience in close-combat accounts for that while Legion can pick off
    geth further out, such as Rocket Troopers and Primes. Also, oddly enough this
    is a great group against the Blood Pack too. Legion’s sniper rifles rip through
    armor quite well, especially when combined with Squad Incendiary Ammo. If it
    stands back and lets Grunt do the tanking against krogan, then Legion can deal
    significant damage.
    
    This squad has two weaknesses. For starters, it cannot effectively deal with
    shields or barriers unless Shepard has that covered, and the only two classes
    that have answers for both shields and barriers are the Soldier and Sentinel.
    Secondly, Legion’s very late acquisition makes the pairing useful for only so
    many missions. Still, this is not a bad choice for Legion’s loyalty mission, or
    parts of Overlord (Prometheus Station in particular).
    
    
    Grunt/Miranda
    ***************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot, Overload, Slam, Warp
    Ammo Powers:      Incendiary
    Other:            Fortification (Grunt)
    
    A pairing that covers almost all of the bases, Grunt and Miranda work very well
    together for taking on any faction that has rushing enemies with defenses of
    all types. For starters, Miranda’s passive health boosts will turn Grunt into
    an even more powerful tank. Additionally, Grunt’s combat expertise combined
    with Miranda’s focus on powers makes for a formidable group. Grunt’s Squad
    Incendiary Ammo gives Miranda more weapon damage while Miranda improves Grunt’s
    health in return. They are a very complimentary arrangement. Better yet, they
    are excellent against almost any faction.
    
    The only weakness is that they don’t really excel at long-range combat, but
    this won’t be an issue on the majority of maps you come across. Plus, if
    Shepard is a Soldier or Infiltrator, his use of sniper rifles balances this
    squad almost perfectly.
    
    
    Grunt/Mordin
    **************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot, Cryo Blast, Incinerate, Neural Shock
    Ammo Powers:      Incendiary
    Other:            Fortification (Grunt)
    
    A squad ideal for tackling armored targets, Grunt and Mordin have three
    abilities for disabling health targets, one anti-armor ammo ability, and one
    anti-armor power that can hit in a radius. This makes the pair not only useful
    for the likes of Collectors and the Blood Pack, but even more so for specific
    missions where enemies come at you in hordes. Mordin can continuously fire off
    Incineration Blasts to melt the armor of groups while Grunt charges on and
    takes out husks. Or, if the armor is already down, use one of Mordin’s
    disabling abilities to stop health enemies in their tracks. Concussive Blast on
    Grunt is also great for this.
    
    Do NOT use this squad for any faction that has a lot of shields. This includes
    geth, the Blue Suns, and most Eclipse missions (Samara’s loyalty mission is one
    exception where there are mostly troops with barriers). The squad simply
    doesn’t have the powers to deal with it, unless you plan on making Shepard take
    them out on his own.
    
    
    Grunt/Thane
    *************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot, Throw, Warp
    Ammo Power:       Incendiary, Shredder
    Other:            Fortification (Grunt)
    
    An interesting relationship exists between Grunt and Thane’s abilities that
    proves deadly against armored opponents. Grunt excels at short-range combat
    while Thane offers some of the highest sniper rifle damage in the game. Both
    enemies have decent crowd control options with Concussive Shot and Throw, and
    Grunt’s Incendiary Ammo combined with Thane’s Warp will decimate the armor of
    mooks and bosses alike. This is one of the most ideal setups in the game
    against Collectors and the Blood Pack as a result. Rushing enemies will quickly
    be decimated by Grunt while Thane will pick off troops hiding in cover.
    
    However, their effectiveness is lessened against heavily shielded bunches such
    as the geth or Blue Suns. Eclipse isn’t as bad as long as Shepard has an option
    for shields.
    
    
    Grunt/Zaeed
    *************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle (x2), Sniper Rifle, Shotgun
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot (x2), Inferno Grenade
    Ammo Powers:      Disruptor, Incendiary
    Other:            Fortification (Grunt)
    
    Like most squads that have Zaeed in them, this is a versatile combination.
    However, this one differs slightly from most in that Grunt accounts for Zaeed’s
    relative lack of durability while Zaeed compliments Grunt’s shotgun usage with
    sniping. With an extra Concussive Shot and Inferno Grenade to melt the armor of
    groups, the Reaper IFF mission becomes ridiculously easy with these two,
    especially if Shepard has another anti-armor ability like Area Incinerate or
    Area Reave. The group also makes short work of all merc factions. Also,
    although the pair has no direct anti-shield abilities, this is still a viable
    faction against Geth if you evolve Zaeed’s Disruptor Ammo for the squad
    evolution.
    
    If you’re a biotic or an Overload class in need of some manpower, however, this
    is a great pairing for almost any situation. Classes without an ammo type also
    get the benefit of being able to switch between Squad Disruptor and Squad
    Incendiary Ammo depending on the situation.
    
    
    Jack/Miranda
    **************
    Weapons:          Pistol (x2), Shotgun, SMG
    Active Powers:    Overload, Pull, Shockwave, Slam, Warp
    Ammo Powers:      Warp
    
    If Shepard deals high weapon damage, then this is a very good combination to
    bring alongside him for two reasons. For starters, Jack’s inability to strip
    defenses is covered by Miranda’s Warp and Overload. Once defenses are gone,
    then Jack can easily lift an enemy with Pull or topple several with Shockwave.
    Jack offers up Squad Warp Ammo, which will boost her weapon damage, Miranda’s,
    and Shepard’s against all defense types but shields. If Squad Warp Ammo has
    already been obtained, then this group will make very short work of Collector
    forces.
    
    Neither squadmate is particularly durable, however. Neither have very much
    range either. This is why it’s good if you can handle sniper rifles or assault
    rifles, as enemies that are far away and hiding in cover will not be
    susceptible to all of this group’s abilities.
    
    
    Jack/Thane
    ************
    Weapons:          Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Pull, Shockwave, Warp, Throw
    Ammo Powers:      Shredder, Warp
    
    Between Jack and Thane there aren’t many biotic abilities that you don’t have;
    for this reason, this is not a good pairing if Shepard is an Adept or even a
    Vanguard. However, considerable strength can be found in this pair versus
    Collectors and other heavily armored factions. Like the Jack/Miranda combo,
    this squad has access to both Squad Warp Ammo and Warp itself. The difference
    is that Thane deals a considerably higher amount of weapon damage than Miranda
    does, so Warp Ammo actually ends up benefiting him more. It even makes his own
    ammo power, Shredder Ammo, somewhat moot since Shredder Ammo only affects
    health whereas Warp Ammo affects health plus two other defenses. This pairing
    also has greater range and also versatility of range since Jack wields shotguns.
    
    The main weakness in comparison to Miranda is that Thane cannot disable
    shields. For this reason, unless Shepard has Overload or Disruptor Rounds, it
    is not advisable to take this pairing against geth, Blue Suns, or Eclipse.
    Still, there is a high amount of crowd control mixed with armor damage in here,
    making this pairing very ideal for missions with hordes of armored enemies –
    i.e., the Reaper IFF, the Quarian Crash Site, The Long Walk, the Hahne-Kedar
    Facility, etc. Blood Pack forces are trivial with this pairing.
    
    
    Jacob/Miranda
    ***************
    Weapons:          Pistol (x2), Shotgun, SMG
    Active Powers:    Overload, Pull, Slam, Warp
    Ammo Types:       Incendiary
    Other:            Barrier (Jacob)
    
    The game’s default squadmates actually have a lot of synergy with eachother,
    especially if you’re an Infiltrator. Of course, Miranda tends to synergize well
    with most squadmates, but Jacob’s durability, ammo power, and low-cooldown Pull
    go together well with Miranda’s defense-stripping abilities. As with anyone who
    has Overload, a quick Overload + Pull renders almost any trooper-level merc
    helpless. For Blood Pack vorcha and most Collector troops, a Warp + Pull does
    the same thing. This is a highly effective combination to have. Of course, you
    can also use Pull + Warp for biotic explosions.
    
    With Squad Incendiary Ammo added on, this group will bust through armored
    targets easily and do pretty well against barriers and shields too. The only
    thing that’s lacking here is range; once again, if Shepard is an Infiltrator,
    this is covered very well. An Infiltrator also has Disruptor Rounds. With the
    Squad evolution, you can swap out with Incendiary ammo whenever you’re against
    a highly shielded faction.
    
    
    Kasumi/Legion
    ****************
    Weapons:          Sniper Rifle, Assault Rifle, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Flashbang Grenade, Overload,
                       Shadow Strike
    Other:            Geth Shield Boost (Legion)
    
    One of the game’s better options for synthetics, Kasumi offers Overload for
    shield damage while Legion brings AI Hacking. Combat Drone also does a good job
    of distracting enemy synthetics and dealing shield damage, and Shadow Strike
    can also draw the attention of enemies. All of these abilities together make
    this a rather great group for keeping the pressure off of Shepard. Plus Kasumi
    can fire off Flashbang Grenades to disorient enemies. Additionally, the two are
    excellent for dealing with enemies hiding far away; Kasumi can reach them in a
    hurry with Shadow Strike and Legion can easily snipe at them.
    
    However, this group is not advisable for factions with lots of barriers or too
    much armor. This pretty much rules out Collectors; although Kasumi does fine
    against them, Legion has more trouble since none of his abilities are
    particularly suited for them.
    
    
    Kasumi/Miranda
    ****************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Pistol (x2)
    Active Powers:    Overload (x2), Flashbang Grenade, Shadow Strike, Slam, Warp
    
    Another excellent squad against synthetics, Kasumi and Miranda are both highly
    power-oriented, which fits well for a Soldier or Vanguard. With two Overloads,
    anything synthetic will get decimated on this squad, and shields drop very
    quickly, enabling weapon classes or biotics with powers like Pull to make short
    work of the unprotected enemies that are left over. Additionally, Miranda and
    Kasumi have other cool abilities like Warp, Flashbangs, and Shadow Strike to
    manipulate enemies in other ways. Warp, of course, is useful in a variety of
    circumstances, and it accounts for the group’s otherwise incompetence with
    armor. Flashbangs do an excellent job of stunning groups, and Shadow Strike
    will draw enemy attention, which is perfect for a Vanguard that needs to close
    in or a Soldier who wants to tear into enemies with weapon damage.
    
    This squad doesn’t really have any weaknesses outside of the fact that they are
    both highly power-reliant and neither one is particularly durable. This is why
    the Soldier does well with these two, and the Vanguard also benefits highly.
    The Adept will also enjoy the double Overloads, which lighten the Adept’s
    weaknesses considerably.
    
    
    Kasumi/Tali
    *************
    Weapons:          Pistol (x2), Shotgun, SMG
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Energy Drain, Flashbang Grenade,
                       Overload, Shadow Strike
    
    Here’s another pair that’s effective against geth, synthetics, and shielded
    enemies. Again, this group has two options for destroying shields, and for Tali
    this also works as a defensive measure. With so many “disabling” techniques in
    the combined skillset, this pairing can also keep geth in check almost
    constantly. Hack one, throw a Flashbang to overheat weapons, release a
    distracting drone... there’s a lot you can do for battlefield control.
    
    On the downside, neither of them are durable, neither have the most effective
    anti-armor abilities (except Kasumi’s Shadow Strike), and neither have
    effective anti-barrier methods either. Additionally, while the pair has good
    disabling techniques, they can’t handle groups or hordes of enemies well, even
    though Tali has a shotgun. It’s best to limit this combination to groups of
    purely shielded enemies, and even then Shepard will have to compensate for the
    relative weakness against armor this group possesses.
    
    
    Kasumi/Zaeed
    **************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot, Flashbang Grenade, Overload, Shadow Strike
    Ammo Powers:      Disruptor
    
    Here’s another excellent squad versus synthetics, and this one is unique in
    that it doesn’t just offer two anti-shield active powers, but one regular power
    and an ammo power. When evolved for the Squad evolution, not only will you have
    Kasumi’s Overload, but also a whole squad cross-firing with little disruptors
    in the bullets. Additionally, due to Inferno Grenades and Zaeed’s high weapon
    damage, the combination will decimate armored foes in the process. This makes
    the squad practically invaluable against any geth or mechs.
    
    While this squad is very good against the Blood Pack and Collectors too, it’s
    more practical to spec out of Overload and Disruptor Ammo if you know that
    you’ll be facing them. You’re still left with two great abilities on Kasumi
    (Shadow Strike is awesome for trolling Harbinger) and an anti-armor and
    anti-barrier power on Zaeed. While the overall power of the two is lessened,
    they can still hold their own against Collectors quite well.
    
    
    Legion/Tali
    *************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking (x2), Combat Drone (x2), Energy Drain
    Other:            Geth Shield Boost (Legion)
    
    Now here’s a rather interesting pairing; on paper, this does not look good due
    to the doubling up of two abilities, but when you pit Legion and Tali against
    geth, they are nigh unstoppable. Why is this? If you spec the two so that they
    each specialize in either AI Hacking or Combat Drone (for the purposes of
    making efficient usage of points, it’s better to take Legion’s AI Hacking to 4
    and Tali’s Combat Drone to 4) and then fill in the rest of their points in the
    passive and bonus ability, then you have two very distinctive characters that
    no longer share the exact same abilities, but also kick butt against geth.
    
    In addition, Tali and Legion cover both short and long ranges well with their
    weapons. Legion also has a very high durability with all of its shield bonuses
    from upgrades and its passive bonus power, and Tali gets Energy Drain to
    restore shields.
    
    The only weakness of this pairing is that until Tali has unlocked Energy Drain,
    the pairing can’t actually deal any direct damage against shields with powers
    alone, and will have to rely on Shepard to deal it. They also don’t have a lot
    going for them against geth armor. In fact, with the exception of Legion’s
    sniper rifle, a lot of the damage in this setup has to come from Shepard. If
    Shepard is a weapon-oriented class, then this should not be an issue.
    
    
    Legion/Zaeed
    **************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle (x2), Sniper Rifle (x2)
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Concussive Shot, Inferno Grenade
    Ammo Powers:      Disruptor
    Other:            Geth Shield Boost (Legion)
    
    Here’s another excellent combination for geth forces. This one is probably
    slightly better than Legion/Tali since Zaeed gets an anti-shield power to start
    with as opposed to during his loyalty mission, and with loyalty he gets the
    Inferno Grenades to melt armor. This covers your bases against geth a lot
    better, and Legion can also benefit strongly from a Squad evolution of
    Disruptor Rounds.
    
    The disadvantage of this group, however, is that they cannot effectively deal
    with enemies up close. This is why the squad is most efficient when Shepard is
    a Vanguard, or possibly an Adept so that you can use your biotics to keep
    enemies in check when they get near you. The extra shield damage with your guns
    will also help biotics greatly.
    
    
    Miranda/Mordin
    ****************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Pistol (x2)
    Active Powers:    Cryo Blast, Incinerate, Neural Shock, Overload, Slam, Warp
    
    Miranda and Mordin are another very power-centric group, but an interesting
    synergy exists between Miranda and Mordin’s powers. Miranda can easily remove
    any defense with Overload or Warp, and Mordin can follow it up with a Cryo
    Blast or Neural Shock to immobilize the health target. This synergy also works
    in other ways. The two can use their combined abilities to practically destroy
    any armored boss; Miranda can drop their shields/barriers with Overload/Warp,
    then Mordin uses Incinerate to start melting armor, then Miranda lays down
    another Warp, and then when you reach the health, Mordin unleashes Cryo
    Blast/Neural Shock to finish them off.
    
    While most pairings with Miranda generally excel against several factions, this
    one in particular is excellent against almost anything if you can throw in ammo
    power to the mix; Disruptor is pretty good, or possibly Warp for added barrier
    damage against Collectors. If you’re an Infiltrator and you have both ammo
    abilities, then this is a fantastic squad for you. Just keep in mind that
    neither one of them is very durable, so try not to let them get overwhelmed too
    quickly, although this shouldn’t be a problem given their ability to drop
    health targets quickly. They are also somewhat weak against larger boss enemies
    like Praetorians and YMIR Mechs (Scions are not an issue since they both have
    good armor-damaging powers).
    
    
    Miranda/Samara
    ****************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Assault Rifle, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Overload, Pull, Reave, Slam, Warp, Throw
    
    With a plethora of biotic abilities + Overload, Miranda and Samara are pretty
    well suited for anything. In fact, Samara serves almost the exact same role as
    Mordin does, only she has one better weapon than Mordin and has slightly
    greater durability due to Reave’s health regeneration. Additionally, Samara’s
    Pull works exceptionally well with Miranda’s Warp for biotic explosions. Like
    Mordin, Samara also exhibits high synergy with Miranda’s defense-stripping
    abilities: most enemies can be completely disabled with a quick Warp/Overload +
    Pull/Throw combination. On missions with a high amount of armored enemies,
    Samara’s area Reave can also be put to good use.
    
    While not completely advisable against geth (unless Shepard also has an
    anti-shield ability; Disruptor Rounds are once again very good), this pairing
    can take on almost any faction in the game to great effectiveness. Until you
    get Samara, Mordin and Miranda are great, but once Samara is with you, she
    accomplishes nearly the same thing as Mordin with a few extra perks.
    
    
    Miranda/Tali
    **************
    Weapons:          Pistol (x2), Shotgun, SMG
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Energy Drain, Overload, Slam, Warp
    
    This is probably one of the most effective anti-geth setups in the game if
    Shepard is a combat-oriented class. As long as Tali has Energy Drain unlocked,
    these two will tear through shields through a combination of Overload and
    Energy Drain. When stripped to health, Miranda can either fling them around
    with Slam, or Tali can hack the synthetics for greater crowd control; if
    stripped to armor, Miranda can also Warp them down, although another anti-armor
    ability wouldn’t hurt this group. Incendiary Ammo classes are particularly good
    since they also offer a squad ammo ability.
    
    While best against geth, this group is also pretty useful for the other
    shielded mercs as well, and since they usually come with synthetic mechs and
    drones, AI Hacking still maintains its uses. Just don’t expect this pairing to
    tear bosses up too much; they can only deal so much damage outside of their
    powers.
    
    
    Miranda/Thane
    ***************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Sniper Rifle, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Warp (x2), Overload, Slam, Throw
    Ammo Powers:      Shredder
    
    Here’s a pretty excellent anti-Collector squad that works effectively before
    both characters have gained loyalty. Like the Miranda/Mordin and Miranda/Samara
    pairings, both characters feature anti-armor abilities, only in this case,
    having double Warps gives you the potential for extremely high damage against
    heavily armored targets like Scions, Praetorians, Harbinger, krogan, and all of
    the boss-type merc enemies. This feature does not go unnoticed on a Collector
    mission. Additionally, Thane has access to Throw and Miranda to Slam (after
    loyalty), which gives the group strong crowd control once defenses are down.
    Finally, unlike the two pairings listed above, Thane gives the squad greater
    weapon damage, especially when combined with Miranda’s bonuses.
    
    The expense of this group is that they cannot effectively deal with enemies at
    close-range or hordes that are too big. While area versions of Slam and Throw
    are available, this alone isn’t good enough for two fragile characters like
    Miranda and Thane. A shotgun-wielding class will do the two well. Additionally,
    tech-based classes (besides the Sentinel) will find the group’s anti-barrier
    abilities to be very useful. There are a lot of classes that can strongly
    benefit from this arrangement.
    
    
    Miranda/Zaeed
    ***************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, SMG, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot, Inferno Grenade, Overload, Slam, Warp
    Ammo Powers:      Disruptor
    
    This is arguably one of the game’s greatest pairings. It matches a versatile
    power character with a very versatile weapons character, and their strengths
    are mutually beneficial. Zaeed provides high weapon damage where Miranda
    cannot, and Miranda boosts Zaeed’s weapon damage even further. Zaeed has
    Inferno Grenades for lesser damage on groups of armored enemies; Miranda has
    Warp for high armor damage on a single armored target. Again, Miranda offers
    high shield damage with Overload while Zaeed gives the entire squad passive
    shield damage through Disruptor Rounds. Finally, barriers are tackled through a
    mix of Warp and Concussive Shot, and health enemies are disabled through
    Concussive Shot or Slam. There are multiple options for every single defense.
    
    There is no one faction that really suffers more than another from this
    pairing. In fact, you can actually respec the pair’s powers for the most ideal
    effects against the faction at hand. For Blood Pack and Collectors, Miranda
    drops Overload and Zaeed drops Disruptor Rounds (while not practical to do this
    constantly, it is a good idea to respec without these powers when you go on the
    Suicide Mission, where it’s all Collectors).
    
    Because this pairing is so great at filling in every gap, there is also no one
    class that gets a bigger advantage than another with this grouping. Adepts and
    Vanguards will love the anti-shield potential here, while Infiltrators and
    Engineers will make use of the anti-barrier powers. Soldiers will enjoy the
    ability to strip lots of defenses before tearing into enemies with weapon
    damage, and they also get Miranda’s damage bonus. A Sentinel, on the other
    hand, puts this squad into the stratosphere, as you will have THREE options for
    every defense in the game.
    
    
    Mordin/Samara
    ****************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Assault Rifle, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Cryo Blast, Incinerate, Neural Shock, Pull, Reave, Throw
    
    As you can see, Mordin and Samara share very similar abilities. They both have
    an anti-armor power (Incinerate, Reave) plus two powers for disabling health
    targets (Cryo Blast and Neural Shock, Pull and Throw). While this would seem to
    make them redundant together, they are not if you pit them against enemies
    where their strengths lie, much like Tali and Legion. In this case, this
    pairing decimates the Blood Pack and Collectors, especially if you have evolved
    for radius evolutions. Even though the squad is not overly durable, there is
    such a high amount of crowd control going on that neither one of them should
    really be in danger unless you let a stray krogan or group of husks get close.
    Even that’s pretty hard to do since every power available to the two can be
    evolved for a radius evolution.
    
    This is a killer pairing for any combat class against the factions mentioned
    above. A Soldier or Vanguard will also be able to provide Incendiary Ammo,
    which only furthers the armor damage being dealt. Just don’t pit this group
    against the geth or Blue Suns unless you want to deal with all of the shields
    yourself...
    
    
    Mordin/Thane
    ***************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Sniper Rifle, Pistol
    Active Powers:    Cryo Blast, Incinerate, Neural Shock, Throw, Warp
    Ammo Powers:      Shredder
    
    Another ideal combination against heavily armored foes, Thane’s replacement of
    Samara has its positives and negatives. On the plus side, Thane has the highest
    squadmate weapon damage in the game, and Warp is probably a better anti-armor
    ability against bosses; it also combos well with Singularity/Pull classes. He
    also gives the squad Shredder Ammo, although typically it’s not worth evolving
    Thane’s ammo ability to Level 4, as it forces you to remove a final rank from
    either Warp or his passive – neither of which is a good idea, in my opinion.
    
    On the negative side, Thane has less crowd control and cannot deal armor damage
    in a radius. Luckily, Mordin covers this. You can typically use Mordin’s
    Incinerate on groups of weakly armored enemies and focus Thane’s Warp on
    heavily armored targets, like Harbinger or Scions.
    
    This squad is applicable in all of the same situations that Mordin and Samara
    are.
    
    
    Samara/Thane
    **************
    Weapons:          SMG (x2), Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle
    Active Powers:    Throw (x2), Pull, Reave, Warp
    Ammo Powers:      Shredder
    
    Another biotic powerhouse team, Samara and Thane are once again only
    recommended against non-shielded factions, but when you put them up against the
    likes of the Blood Pack or Collectors, they excel. There is great potential
    here for flinging enemies off of ledges or for knocking back hordes of husks
    and abominations, which makes this group ideal for the Reaper IFF mission – or
    any circumstance where you need sufficient crowd control. Samara can devastate
    groups of armored targets with Reave while Thane tears away at boss armor with
    Warp. Both can make the weaker ones fly with Throw, and Samara can Pull a few
    enemies to set up a nice explosion with Warp. Both offer pretty good weapon
    damage as well. This pair has a lot of synergy with eachother.
    
    In fact, if you’re a character that has Overload or even Disruptor Rounds, this
    squad can potentially be great against anything. Because they both have SMG’s
    and Samara uses assault rifles, shields actually aren’t too big of a problem.
    The squad’s versatility outside of shield damage is very, very useful for most
    classes in the game, especially those that don’t have the best options against
    barriers.
    
    
    Tali/Zaeed
    ************
    Weapons:          Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol
    Active Powers:    AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Concussive Shot, Energy Drain,
                       Inferno Grenade
    Ammo Powers:      Disruptor
    
    A fantastic pairing against geth forces, Tali’s Energy Drain combined with
    Zaeed’s Squad Disruptor Ammo are ideal for tearing apart enemy shields and
    stunning synthetics. Zaeed also makes up for Tali’s lack of armor damage with
    Inferno Grenades, which allows the group to handle Primes more easily than
    normal. There’s also a good amount of range here with Tali able to get in close
    with shotguns and Zaeed to snipe/shoot from afar with his rifles. Throw in a
    fair bit of crowd control with Concussive Shot, AI Hacking, and Combat Drone,
    and this pair is set to go against the geth or any heavily shielded merc
    faction.
    
    There are no real drawbacks when this squad is faced against geth, Blue Suns,
    or Eclipse, so if Shepard can contribute some more armor damage or crowd
    control to the group (which any biotic can do perfectly), they’ll be good to go.
    
    
    Thane/Zaeed
    **************
    Weapons:          Sniper Rifle (x2), Assault Rifle, SMG
    Active Powers:    Concussive Shot, Inferno Grenade, Throw, Warp
    Ammo Powers:      Disruptor, Shredder
    
    Thane and Zaeed have the highest weapon damage passives of any character in the
    game, and both of them also wield sniper rifles. This makes them capable of
    dishing out tons of damage from afar; this number is increased even further
    when facing shielded enemies if Zaeed has Squad Disruptor Ammo. If you throw in
    an Overload or Energy Drain from Shepard, this squad will decimate against any
    faction since both characters can also adequately deal with armor and barriers.
    
    Because of their high focus on weapon damage, this squad is ideal for a
    power-oriented class; tech types will benefit from their barrier damage more,
    however. Or, if you’re an Adept with good crowd control and you’re facing an
    armored faction, bring Thane and Zaeed along to deal the solid weapon damage
    for you while you throw stuff around and send out Warps. A biotic combined with
    these two can make quick work of Collectors.
    
    Be careful though, because this group is not the best for dealing with enemies
    up close. It shouldn’t ever come to this due to their good group-stopping
    ability in Throw Field and Concussive Blast, but it is a possibility.
    
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    | Mission Recommendations |                                50reco
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    
    Due to the circumstances of various mission layouts, some squads may be more
    useful than others.
    
    NOTE: These squads are ONLY recommended if you’re more concerned with gameplay
    as opposed to dialogue and story. There are often better squadmates if you want
    to hear unique lines.
    
    
    Dossier: The Professor
    *************************
    Primary Factions:      Blue Suns, Blood Pack
    Suggested Squad:       Zaeed and Garrus/Grunt
    Other Suggestions:     Miranda, Jack
    
    While there are some Blue Suns enemies on this mission, they are very few in
    comparison to the vorcha and krogan encountered later on. Additionally, because
    the streets of Omega offer a lot of opportunity for sniping, Garrus and Zaeed
    can put this to very good use. However, there are also sections where several
    krogan and vorcha will come at you simultaneously; Grunt is able to handle
    these sections quite well. Miranda and Jack don’t have the range of Zaeed or
    Garrus; however, both have abilities that come in handy for the varied enemies
    of this mission. Jack’s Shockwave is also highly useful for knocking the large
    groups of enemies in the latter part of this mission off their feet, and Pull
    is great for getting vorcha off of balconies.
    
    
    Dossier: Archangel
    *********************
    Primary Factions:      Eclipse, Blood Pack, Blue Suns, Mechs
    Suggested Squad:       Kasumi and Miranda
    Other Suggestions:     Grunt
    
    This dossier mission features every main mercenary faction, so you will
    predominantly have a lot of armor and shields to work through with a sprinkling
    of barriers from the Eclipse Vanguards. As such, double Overloads from Kasumi
    and Miranda are invaluable here, and Kasumi’s ability to sneak around
    Archangel’s hideout with Shadow Strike to pick off hiding targets is really
    nice. However, be warned that there is one very difficult bit of this
    recruitment mission that features a lot of Blood Pack forces coming at you at
    once. Grunt is extremely useful for this bit since he doesn’t go down as
    easily, so if you would prefer to swap him out with Kasumi or Miranda, it will
    not be an issue and should make that section easier.
    
    
    Dossier: The Convict
    **********************
    Primary Factions:      Blue Suns
    Suggested Squad:       Garrus and Zaeed
    Other Suggestions:     Kasumi, Miranda
    
    Shield-damaging abilities are incredibly powerful here, as every Blue Suns
    trooper will have shields on Insanity. In essence, any of the four characters
    with anti-shield powers will do well here, but Garrus and Zaeed are
    particularly more useful since they can snipe in the very large rooms aboard
    Purgatory, where enemies don’t rush you very quickly. In fact, shotgun-users
    are at something of a disadvantage here since it’s a dangerous idea to get too
    close to the big crowds. Double Concussive Shots are also great for getting
    enemies off their feet if they poke out of cover.
    
    
    Dossier: The Warlord
    ***********************
    Primary Factions:      Blue Suns, Krogan
    Suggested Squad:       Miranda and Garrus/Zaeed
    Other Suggestions:     N/A
    
    Unless you want to hear the dialogue of other squadmates, I wouldn’t stray too
    far outside of Garrus, Zaeed, and Miranda on Insanity. There are a surprising
    amount of spots on this mission where enemies are far away and shooting rockets
    at you; not only does this make shotguns next to useless for those bits, but
    Kasumi’s Shadow Strike also becomes a moot ability, because similar to how the
    Vanguard cannot reach these places, Shadow Strike can’t either. Garrus and
    Zaeed are both excellent here for their sniping ability. However, Miranda is
    almost necessary in my opinion due to Warp. There is a portion of the mission
    where you will face several krogan at once, and Warp is the easiest way to drop
    their armor. Zaeed does have Inferno Grenades if his loyalty mission has been
    completed, but they won’t melt as much armor, and Garrus won’t yet have
    Armor-Piercing Ammo.
    
    
    N7: Hahne-Kedar Facility
    ***************************
    Primary Factions:      Mechs
    Suggested Squad:       Jack and Mordin
    Other Suggestions:     Grunt, Jacob
    
    Available early in the game once you complete the two relevant side missions
    that are prior to it, the Hahne-Kedar Facility is one of the unique parts of
    the game where armored enemies tend to relentlessly rush at you. For this
    reason, Jack and Mordin are invaluable characters to bring with you. A constant
    use of Shockwave combined with Incinerates and Cryo Blasts will keep the mechs
    at bay, allowing Shepard the chance to easily drop them and advance along the
    line – and LOKI Mechs are VERY relentless. Snipers have a difficult time here,
    although Zaeed’s Inferno Grenades can be useful for the groups of armored
    mechs. If Jack or Mordin are not available, then Grunt and Jacob can make good
    damage soakers too that also burn through the mechs with Incendiary Ammo.
    
    
    Horizon
    *********
    Primary Factions:      Collectors
    Suggested Squad:       Miranda and Grunt/Zaeed
    Other Suggestions:     Garrus, Kasumi, Mordin
    
    Miranda is somewhat of an essential squadmate here since she is the only one
    with access to Warp. Although Overload is useless here, Warp is going to be
    useful almost 100% of the time since every enemy will have either armor or
    barriers on Hardcore/Insanity. I would also recommend Grunt as your second
    since his Concussive Shot functions as both crowd control and barrier damage,
    and his close-range demeanor make him perfect for the hordes of Husks that
    you’ll encounter later on. Zaeed is also a great second to Miranda IF you’ve
    unlocked Inferno Grenades, which are very helpful for the Husks. Garrus,
    Kasumi, and Mordin are also decent choices, but these characters only have
    powers suited for either armor or barriers instead of both.
    
    
    Dossier: The Assassin
    ************************
    Primary Factions:      Eclipse, Mechs
    Suggested Squad:       Miranda and Garrus/Zaeed
    Other Suggestions:     Jack, Samara (loyal), Tali (loyal)
    
    This mission has a LOT of enemies that have every defense type. For this
    reason, a combination of Miranda, Garrus, and Zaeed is probably most ideal
    since they can handle every defense and dish out a lot of damage; however, if
    Shepard himself is competent in handling defenses, then you should be able to
    stray from this arrangement a bit to bring in someone like Tali or Jack that
    offers more crowd control. There are a lot of mechs on this mission, so Tali’s
    AI Hacking proves useful, and Jack’s Shockwave can topple the crowds of enemies
    that like to hide behind crates and walls. If both Tali and Samara are loyal,
    then the two of them can actually make a really fantastic squad if Shepard is a
    weapon-oriented class.
    
    
    Dossier: The Justicar
    ***********************
    Primary Factions:      Eclipse, Mechs
    Suggested Squad:       Miranda and Thane
    Other Suggestions:     Garrus, Grunt, Jack, Mordin
    
    Unlike other instances where you face Eclipse mercs, Samara’s loyalty mission
    has enemies mostly comprised of barriers with few shielded ones. Also, because
    this environment includes canisters of acid that improve biotics, both Thane
    and Miranda will receive benefits from it. Adding in the long, open sight
    lines, and Miranda and Thane are definitely the most ideal choices for this
    one. Double Warps allow you to drop barriers quickly, and Thane can use Throw
    to knock enemies around. Miranda’s Overload will also be useful for the few
    shielded rocket troopers your meet. If Thane is not available or you don’t wish
    to use Miranda, then there are a plethora of other characters that can make
    good squadmates here. Mordin’s Incineration Blast comes in handy for the groups
    of mechs that you’ll encounter, and Jack can use Pull to get enemies out of
    cover to be detonated by a Warp from Thane/Miranda.
    
    
    Dossier: Tali
    ***************
    Primary Factions:      Geth
    Suggested Squad:       Garrus and Zaeed
    Other Suggestions:     Kasumi, Miranda, Legion
    
    Overload, Disruptor Ammo, and sniper rifles are your best friends in this
    mission, and the Garrus/Zaeed pairing fits these necessities extremely well.
    Should you not wish to bring one of them, then Kasumi and Miranda are excellent
    backups. Also, should Legion be on your team at the time of Tali’s recruitment,
    it is not only a rather useful teammate for hacking geth but it also has a lot
    of unique dialogue...
    
    
    Collector Ship
    ****************
    Primary Factions:      Collectors
    Suggested Squad:       Thane and Garrus(loyal)/Jack(loyal)/Miranda
    Other Suggestions:     Grunt, Kasumi, Zaeed
    
    While the entirety of the Collector Ship mission is difficult, the toughest bit
    – and arguably the toughest of the entire game – is the fight on the platforms
    in the enormous central chamber. Here, you will benefit most from teammates
    that can pick enemies off from afar or offer up barrier damage. Because Thane
    fits the bill on both of these roles, I would consider him a mandatory
    squadmate for the mission if you’re having trouble passing it on Insanity.
    
    The second squadmate can be a variety of teammates. If Jack is loyal, then I
    would suggest her for two reasons: first, her Squad Warp Ammo is incredibly
    beneficial to the squad if Shepard doesn’t have it (and if Shepard doesn’t,
    then I would recommend it for this mission unless a loyal Jack is going).
    Secondly, Jack’s Shockwave comes in handy near the end of the mission when you
    face off against several clustered Collectors and hordes of Husks/Abominations.
    As always, Miranda is a worthy combatant since Warp tears through every
    Collector defense, and Miranda’s passive squad boosts are really useful.
    Finally, a loyal Garrus with Squad Armor-Piercing Ammo – or even just AP Ammo
    for himself – can do some good damage against Scions and Praetorians, and his
    Concussive Shot is great for barriers too.
    
    Grunt, Zaeed, and Kasumi are also good choices, especially if they’re loyal.
    Ultimately, choosing a squad here is not that difficult since most everyone
    with the exception of Tali will benefit the team in some way. Experiment a bit,
    and if you find out that your current squad can’t handle the fight on the
    platforms well enough, then simply restart the mission and adjust. There’s no
    fighting up until the platform battle, so you won’t have to replay too much.
    
    
    Zaeed: The Price of Revenge
    ******************************
    Primary Factions:      Blue Suns
    Suggested Squadmate:   Garrus
    Other Suggestions:     Kasumi, Miranda
    
    Shields, shields, and more shields. An Overload character is very ideal for
    your second squadmate, and Garrus happens to be even more suited for this
    mission due to the long sight lines. Kasumi and Miranda are still great
    options, though. While a loyal Tali also has good shield damage, her hacking
    ability won’t be as handy here since there are few mechs to fight.
    
    
    Jacob: The Gift of Greatness
    *******************************
    Primary Factions:      Hunters, Mechs
    Suggested Squadmate:   Miranda
    Other Suggestions:     Garrus, Mordin, Zaeed
    
    The Hunters have shields, and the plethora of mechs here will have lots of
    armor. Miranda is probably your best all-around option, but if Mordin has
    Incineration Blast or Zaeed has unlocked Inferno Grenades, then those area
    armor abilities will become more useful.
    
    
    Miranda: The Prodigal
    ***********************
    Primary Factions:      Eclipse
    Suggested Squadmate:   Garrus
    Other Suggestions:     Kasumi, Tali (loyal), Zaeed
    
    Garrus is the most solid option here due to the long sight lines and the mix of
    shields and barriers, which is perfect since he has Overload and Concussive
    Shot at his disposal. Kasumi and Zaeed are also good options due to their
    anti-shield abilities, and a loyal Tali can hack mechs and drain shields with
    Energy Drain.
    
    
    Jack: Subject Zero
    ********************
    Primary Factions:      Blood Pack
    Suggested Squadmate:   Grunt
    Other Suggestions:     Jacob, Mordin, Samara (loyal), Thane
    
    Biotics that can fling health enemies about are very useful here, but Grunt is
    even better since he can handle the packs of varren and charging krogan very
    well and still contribute with his Incendiary Ammo and Concussive Shot to knock
    enemies about. Basically, anything that has access to solid armor damage or
    incapacitation is really useful for the very aggressive enemies on this mission.
    
    
    Mordin: Old Blood
    ********************
    Primary Factions:      Blood Pack
    Suggested Squadmate:   Thane
    Other Suggestions:     Grunt, Jack, Samara (loyal)
    
    Unlike the encounters with the Blood Pack during Jack’s loyalty mission, you’ll
    have more freedom to snipe enemies from afar during Mordin’s encounter, meaning
    that Thane is ideal since he offers both long-distance sniping and solid
    armor/barrier damage and incapacitation with Throw. If Thane isn’t present,
    however, there are a variety of teammates that work well here. Jack can topple
    the groups with Shockwave, a loyal Samara can fling enemies around with
    Pull/Throw and drop armor with Reave, and Grunt can do his usual tanking and
    armor damage with Incendiary Ammo.
    
    
    Grunt: The Rite of Passage
    *****************************
    Primary Factions:      Blood Pack
    Suggested Squadmate:   Samara (loyal)
    Other Suggestions:     Jack, Mordin, Thane, Zaeed
    
    Another Blood Pack mission. The difference here is that there will be a lot of
    armored enemies rushing you at once, and the Klixen in particular are very
    durable. This means that characters with good armor damage and incapacitation
    are better if they can recharge their abilities quickly, and a loyal Samara
    fits the bill here. Jack is also really excellent for providing crowd control
    at a quick pace, even though she won’t have any direct armor damage. Squad Warp
    Ammo is extremely useful, however. Zaeed’s Inferno Grenades are also quite
    handy, as is his Concussive Shot. Mordin also can use Incineration Blast quite
    effectively. Thane is yet another option, but Warp doesn’t have a radius.
    
    
    Garrus: Eye for an Eye
    ************************
    Primary Factions:      Blue Suns
    Suggested Squadmate:   Kasumi
    Other Suggestions:     Legion, Miranda, Tali (loyal), Thane, Zaeed
    
    Snipers and shield-damagers are great on this mission. Because there are
    several high profile targets as well, Kasumi’s Shadow Strike is remarkably
    useful for knocking them out and providing distractions; there is a lot of
    gunfire going on. This is why Tali is also an excellent choice if she’s loyal,
    as there are several mechs to hack as well in addition to the shields to drain.
    AI Hacking is particularly useful for the double mech battle near the end.
    Miranda, Thane, and Zaeed are all good companions too.
    
    
    Tali: Treason
    ***************
    Primary Factions:      Geth
    Suggested Squadmate:   Garrus/Legion/Zaeed
    Other Suggestions:     Jack, Kasumi, Miranda
    
    While a sniper wouldn’t be my first choice for the cramped rooms aboard the
    Alerei, the geth that you’re facing on this mission are very susceptible to
    shield damage, so Garrus and Zaeed are great choices here (although Zaeed loses
    some of his worth if Disruptor Ammo doesn’t have the squad evolution). Other
    Overload characters like Kasumi and Miranda are excellent choices too, and
    Jack’s access to Shockwave is perfect for toppling the hordes of geth that you
    encounter in the small rooms. However, should Legion be present, taking it is
    good for two reasons; its AI Hacking ability is great for geth, and it causes
    some rather interesting dialogue among the quarian admirals and during the
    trial.
    
    
    Reaper IFF
    ************
    Primary Factions:      Collectors (only Husks, Abominations, and Scions)
    Suggested Squad:       Grunt and Samara
    Other Suggestions:     Jack, Mordin, Zaeed
    
    The Reaper IFF mission can be either a very smooth experience or a disaster
    depending on your squad. The vast majority of this mission features enormous
    hordes of husks and abominations charging at you and your teammates; while
    these enemies are easy to defeat individually, this is not the case when you’re
    on Hardcore/Insanity difficulty and facing several of them at a time. They will
    overwhelm your team very quickly if you don’t drop them in a hurry; if they
    don’t overwhelm you, then the Scions with their constant shockwaves will. As a
    result, you need squadmates that can handle them.
    
    Grunt is perhaps the biggest no-brainer here for a few reasons. First of all,
    he is durable enough to withstand the pressure of several Husks and
    Abominations coming at him at once. Secondly, his use of shotguns combined with
    Incendiary Ammo allows him to rip through the armor of all enemies encountered
    here. Finally, he can use Concussive Shot (or even better, Concussive Blast) to
    topple the enemies after their armor is gone. Assuming that Samara is loyal,
    her abilities compliment Grunt’s extremely well. If you are already at Level
    30, then you can max out Pull Field, Sapiens Justicar, and Area Reave to
    cripple the enemies on this mission. Not only are the two area powers
    incredibly useful for the hordes of Husks and Abominations, but Samara gets a
    very quick recharge speed if you evolve her passive to Rank 4. She can
    constantly send out Pulls and Reaves to keep all of the enemies at bay while
    Grunt tanks.
    
    Other great alternatives here include Jack, Mordin, and Zaeed. Jack is very
    similar to Samara in function; the exception is that she has Warp Ammo instead
    of Reave. If Shepard doesn’t already have Warp Ammo as a bonus ability, then
    Squad Warp Ammo from Jack will be a lifesaver in addition to Pull and
    Shockwave. Similar to Samara, Mordin can rattle off constant Incineration
    Blasts and Cryo Blasts to keep the numerous enemies at bay; he does have longer
    cooldowns than Samara, however. Zaeed’s Inferno Grenades are perfect for the
    hordes of armored enemies and his Concussive Shot works well for disabling them.
    
    While Miranda and Thane are also good since they have Warp for armor and
    Slam/Throw for disabling the Husks and Abominations, it’s important to note
    that Warp does NOT hit in a radius, meaning that it will lose a lot of utility
    against the hordes in comparison to Area Reave, Inferno Grenades, or
    Incineration Blast.
    
    
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    | Collector Base Strategy |                                70base
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    
    WARNING: The following part of this guide details every correct and incorrect
    choice that you can make during the Collector Base. For this reason, I wouldn’t
    advise reading this guide if you don’t want to be spoiled to details regarding
    how to make it through the Base with zero casualties.
    
    
    Collector Base: Infiltration
    *******************************
    Tech Specialist:        Tali, Legion, or Kasumi (must be loyal)
    Fire Team Leader:       Jacob, Miranda, or Garrus (must be loyal)
    Suggested Squad:        Thane and Kasumi/Legion
    Other Suggestions:      Garrus, Grunt, Samara
    
    First of all, be warned that choose a non-ideal or non-loyal tech specialist or
    fire team leader will result in the death of your tech specialist. This means
    that even a loyal Tali, Legion, or Kasumi can die if your fire team leader
    isn’t the correct choice.
    
    The first segment of the Collector Base features – you guessed it – Collectors.
    However, there are a few twists to this mission. For starters, you’re often
    under time constraints to activate valves so that your tech specialist can get
    through without being fried; reach the valve too late, and they’re dead. For
    this reason, distractions are a good thing, and both Kasumi and Legion can do
    this quite well with Shadow Strike and Combat Drone (respectively).
    Additionally, Legion is also fairly durable with its Geth Shield Boost, making
    it easier for it to stay alive while the fights are ensuing. Harbinger appears
    quite a bit, and since Kasumi can troll him very well with Shadow Strike, she
    is another great option. Thane brings about more solid barrier/armor damage,
    and the various open areas give him good opportunity to snipe.
    
    Note that the loyalty of your squadmates in this section do not matter.
    
    
    Collector Base: The Long Walk
    ********************************
    Escort:                 Jack, Mordin, Kasumi, or Tali (must be loyal)
    Barrier Specialist:     Samara/Morinth or Jack (must be loyal)
    Fire Team Leader:       Miranda, Garrus, or Jacob (Garrus/Jacob must be loyal)
    Suggested Squad:        Garrus/Thane and Samara/Jack
    Other Suggestions:      Legion, Mordin, Zaeed
    
    Note that the escort actually doesn’t matter as long as they’re loyal; however,
    Mordin, Kasumi, Tali, and Jack are all good choices since they offer the lowest
    rating for the Hold the Line section of the third mission. Since Jack is a
    possible barrier specialist, I wouldn’t choose her to go unless you know you’re
    going to pick Samara/Morinth instead. Keep in mind that your chosen escort will
    not be able to accompany you during the Long Walk OR during the final battle,
    though.
    
    When it comes to the barrier, Samara/Morinth or Jack are the only ideal
    choices, and they must be loyal as well. If they are not, then one of your
    squadmates that you choose to go with you under the barrier will die at the
    end. For the fire team leader, a non-ideal or non-loyal fire team leader will
    die. The only exception to this rule is Miranda, who will not die regardless of
    loyalty. The fire team leader has no effect on any part of this mission other
    than themselves, however.
    
    Once you’ve chosen your specialists and escort, then it’s time to pick a squad
    for the Long Walk. This mission features more Collector troops, but this time
    there will also be several Husks/Abominations and Scions too. Snipers have an
    advantage here since they can deal a lot of damage from the confinement of the
    bubble; shotgun classes are weaker since they don’t have the range. Garrus and
    Thane are both excellent choices. For your second squadmate, consider going
    with either Jack or Samara (the one that isn’t holding up the barrier,
    obviously). Samara is the more useful of the two since she has access to Reave,
    but Squad Warp Ammo from Jack is also very handy.
    
    Like the first section, the loyalty of your squadmates doesn’t matter here. If
    the barrier specialist is not ideal, then loyalty still won’t matter as the
    game has a preset list for squadmates that automatically die.
    
    
    Collector Base: Final Battle
    *******************************
    Suggested Squad:        Thane and Miranda/Samara (must be loyal)
    Other Suggestions:      Jack, Legion, Mordin
    
    First of all, one huge thing to consider during the final phase: your Hold the
    Line rating. Assuming that you’ve recruited everyone possible, had no
    casualties throughout the base mission, and you sent an escort earlier, you
    will have nine squadmates holding the line while you head to the central
    chamber. Each squadmate has a value for the “Hold the Line” sequence (if the
    character is not loyal, then they will have the lower value):
    
    3 or 4 – Garrus, Grunt, Zaeed
    1 or 2 – Jacob, Legion, Miranda, Samara/Morinth, Thane
    0 or 1 – Jack, Kasumi, Mordin, Tali
    
    The nine squadmates that are left behind count for your “Hold the Line” rating.
    This rating is determined by adding together all of the values of the nine
    squadmates left behind and then averaging them. If the average is above 2.0,
    then there will be no casualties.
    
    Assuming that all of your squadmates are loyal, anyone that you take on the
    final squad will survive. Additionally, if all of your squadmates are loyal,
    then it is far more likely that no one will die holding the line since greater
    values will increase your averaged score. For greater safety, leave atleast two
    of the characters with a “3 or 4” value behind to ensure that your average is
    high enough. It is impossible to lose a squadmate if you do this – even if you
    chose an escort that has a higher value.
    
    If certain squadmates are not present or if you didn’t secure everyone’s
    loyalty, then things get increasingly trickier if you’re trying to save
    everyone. Taking squadmates to the final battle that have low values is a wise
    choice; if you bring along a loyal Jack and Mordin, for instance, and you sent
    back a loyal Kasumi/Tali as an escort, then you can have several disloyal
    characters holding the line without losing any of them. (There eventually comes
    a point where too many disloyal teammates drags your average down too much,
    however.)
    
    For the sake of the final mission and its challenges, Miranda and Thane are a
    rather excellent pairing. Although they have medium Hold the Line ratings, this
    still leaves Garrus, Grunt, and Zaeed behind, which will practically ensure the
    success of the other team. Miranda can spam Slam and Warp on the Collector
    troops while Thane also spams his abilities and snipes. Samara is an excellent
    alternative to either character, and Jack’s Squad Warp Ammo is highly useful as
    well. Legion with its Widow sniper rifle is also a surprisingly powerful
    teammate here, especially if you’re using a squad ammo power like Warp or
    Incendiary Ammo. It is also rather survivable due to the Geth Shield Boost, and
    its drones are great for distracting Harbinger.
    
    
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    +++++++++++++++
    | Other Notes |                                            60reco
    +++++++++++++++
    
    - For simplicity, you’ll find that Garrus, Miranda, and Zaeed are your three
    most versatile squadmates in the game, especially after loyalty. All have
    powers tailored for every defense in the game. Other teammates are better
    specialists in certain areas. Thane and Samara, for instance, have powers that
    destroy the Collector faction. Mordin and Grunt are tailored for the Blood
    Pack. Tali is obviously invaluable against Geth, and Kasumi shines against the
    Blue Suns.
    
    - Building squadmates can be somewhat difficult before you have gained their
    loyalty. If you are sure that you want to spend several points in a bonus power
    tree but haven’t yet gained the character’s loyalty, then consider not spending
    points. This task is solved with the completion of the Lair of the Shadow
    Broker DLC, however; I would recommend doing it as quickly as possible.
    
    - Once you unlock the Retrain Powers option in Mordin’s lab, use it to your
    advantage. An Engineer or Sentinel Shepard may consider dropping Overload for
    missions with Collectors and instead investing fully in Incinerate or Warp;
    similarly, when you fight Geth or Blue Suns, retrain your powers again and
    evolve Overload.
    
    - Ammo powers are tricky to evolve. On one hand, Shepard is going to benefit
    the most from them out of anyone, so if you’re a Soldier, Infiltrator, or
    Vanguard, it is a good idea to take the more powerful evolution so that you can
    do max damage. However, you’ll find that the game’s sniper characters (Legion,
    Thane, Garrus, and Zaeed) benefit tremendously from squad ammo powers. While
    Garrus, Zaeed, and Thane already have their own ammo powers, these powers
    aren’t always useful. For instance, Zaeed’s Disruptor Ammo is not an ideal ammo
    power versus Collectors. Overriding it with a squad ammo power like Warp Ammo
    is a good choice. In Legion’s case, using any squad ammo power will be very
    useful for its damage.
    
    - In the case of squadmates, I would almost always recommend evolving for the
    squad evolution, unless Shepard already has the ammo power.
    
    - Don’t underestimate the seemingly “weak” powers on Insanity, like Pull,
    Throw, Concussive Shot, Cryo Blast, or Combat Drone. These powers are
    surprisingly useful for immobilization. Because squadmate powers will hit
    instantaneously if the squadmate is not in your vision, activating the power
    wheel and then using a quick immobilizer can often mean the difference between
    living and falling.
    
    - Some characters are powerful before loyalty while others gain their most
    viable asset after loyalty. Jack, Tali, and Samara are cases where they have
    very limited usage before loyalty since their loyalty power gives them an edge
    or stronger diversity; Garrus and Zaeed are also similar, but they are still
    quite viable beforehand. Characters like Miranda, Mordin, and Thane are
    extremely usable before loyalty since their loyalty ability is not as useful.
    
    
    
    
    ============================================================================
    ============================================================================
    
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    | Credits & Update History |                               80cred
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    
    Credits:
    - Mass Effect Wiki for their plethora of ME-related information.
    - Bioware for making a fantastic game.
    - You for reading this.
    
    I hope you found this guide useful; it is a simple one, but the point is to
    inform and to recommend for using your squadmates, and I believe it
    accomplishes that purpose.
    
    Thank you again!
    
    
    
    
    
    Update History
    ****************
    6/11/14 – First version completed.
    

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