Content Type: Gaming Guides
Appearing for the first time as enemies in Mission 3.2 – Chelsea Tunnel, the Court of Owls are a group of elites who have been controlling Gotham from the shadows for centuries (think: owl-flavored Illuminati). Recently, they have been using a mysterious substance to revive past members of the Court of Owls into deadly zombie-like creatures called Talons, who accent their assortment of regular Brawlers and Shooters. At higher levels, Court of Owl swarms can be overwhelming, and the ability for some of them to resurrect can mean that you are fighting every enemy twice. These zombie assassins, then, are nothing to scoff at.
Members of this faction drop Organic Composite and Electrum. They can be found throughout the city after their introduction in Mission 3.2 – Chelsea Tunnel.
Feral Talons are, on the surface, fairly weak. They have little health, don’t deal too much damage unless their attacks cause the Toxic status effect, and aren’t incredibly difficult to dodge if you are paying attention. Even though they are essentially zombies, too, they also don’t ever attack in incredible numbers, usually coming at you in very manageable groups of three or four. However, the difficulty of Feral Talons (when alone) comes with their rapid speed and ability to avoid nearly all of your attacks. Until you knock them down with a heavy ranged attack or hit them with a Momentum Ability, you will almost never hit them. While this seems easy enough to do, it can get tricky to stun them with said ranged attack and then find time to capitalize on that, if they have any allies remaining (especially of the other two Talon types).
But, so long as you press the attack after stunning these Ferals, you should be able to take them out, letting you focus on the other threats. Talons require smart timing and a bit more aggression than other enemies, but if you are able to do that then you can make surprisingly short work of them. Also worth noting is that Feral Talons can be grabbed after being stunned, guaranteeing a high-damage Grab Strike.
Gladiator Talons operate very similarly to another shielded enemy: the Freaks Bulldozers that you would’ve fought before. All of the same tips for Bulldozers apply here, though Gladiator Talons do bring some special moves and abilities that make them a unique threat. Dodging and Guard Breaking is still going to be the bread-and-butter of fighting these behemoths, though the addition of leap attacks and a generally increased speed make doing so a bit trickier than Bulldozers. Remember to use Guard Break and Area-of-Effect Momentum Abilities in order to keep Gladiators from recovering and attacking you. And make sure to keep an eye out for their leaping and ranged attacks, as they can come with little warning.
The real challenge that Gladiators pose is, opposite from their Freaks counterpart, that they distract from other Talons. Feral and Hunter Talons, after all, require special focus and techniques to deal with and inflict the deadly Toxic status on you. Dealing with those unique mechanics while also trying to avoid a tanky, charging Gladiator can be frustrating, as the Gladiator always seems to attack right when you’ve got his Talon allies pinned. But, focusing on the Gladiator leaves you open to the dangerous attacks by other Talons. This means that, unlike nearly every other enemy group in the game, it is best to divide your attention between Gladiators and other Talons, switching between them to target whichever makes the most sense at any given time.
Hunter Talons are some of the deadliest enemies in the game. With a move set similar to League of Shadows assassins, they wield twins blades and dart around the arena. While they aren’t as evasive as their Feral compatriots, they will still avoid many of your attacks, and their large dodges can lead into dangerous counter-attacks, or put them out of range of effective melee. Unless you have armor to resist the Toxic status effect, it only takes two hits from their attacks for it to activate, draining your health quickly.
If Hunter Talons can be tricky on their own, they become downright lethal when taken on at the same time as Gladiator and Feral Talons. The speed and attack power of all three can make singling out individual foes difficult, and the sheer amount of moves and mechanics to deal with can be dizzying. That said, Hunter Talons can neither block, nor do they require specific attacks to stun, so it is often best to focus on them first. Their lower health pool also makes this easy. Hunter Talons (and Feral Talons) are especially susceptible to Area-of-Effect Momentum Abilities, which can completely wipe them out with little effort.