Abilities

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In the combat system of The Banner Saga, regular actions are Movement, Attack (to Armor or Strength) and Rest. Abilities are special actions that can be performed or take place during a Battle that transcend regular actions. Abilities can be:

  • Passive, and either have an ever-present effect, or trigger under specific conditions without the player/AI having to initiate them.
  • Active, which means they replace a regular Attack and depleting 1-3 Willpower points to execute. The more Willpower spent, the more potent the ability. The maximum amount of Willpower spendable is equal to the ability's Rank. In turn, the power of an ability can be quantitatively and sometimes qualitatively affected.

Most units share a base class with a associated passive ability. Promoted hero classes, at Rank-1, have one active ability; promoting to Rank-2 and Rank-3 (Rank-3 and Rank-5 for the main trilogy) increases the Rank of the corresponding active ability by 1, up to a maximum of 3. Some Units and Heroes are considered the sole members of their class; They have abilities that are effectively unique to them in particular, and are in a similar way uniquely powerful.

In Banner Saga 2 and 3, a Hero which reaches Rank 6 gains a second active ability, typically one from a sibling sub-class with which it shares a base class. If there is more than one such sub-class, the choice is given to the player. This second ability increases in Rank when the hero reaches Rank 8, and again at Rank 10.

Abilities and items introduced in one installment are typically available in subsequent ones. This page categorizes abilities according to the installment in which their base class was introduced,as well as the units that start out with them. Click on the unit icons to view more details about each subclass. Expect spoilers throughout.

Contents

The Banner Saga: Factions[edit | edit source]

Banner0 banner vig.png

Class Unique[edit | edit source]

Raider[edit | edit source]

The Raider is a shield-carrying human melee unit. In Factions, he can be recruited from the Mead House.

Shieldwall icon.png
Axeman.icon.init.order.png
Axemaster icon.pngValgard.icon.init.order.png
Egil.icon.init.order.pngGudmundr.icon.init.order.png
Thrasher icon.pngHogun.icon.init.order.pngMogun.icon.init.order.png
Backbiter icon.pngBackbiter v2.icon.init.order.pngDagr.icon.init.order.png
Ekkill.icon.init.order.pngOli.icon.init.order.pngPetrus.icon.init.order.png
Passive | Shield Wall[edit | edit source]
By standing next to an ally, the raider creates a Shield Wall, raising the Armor.png of both himself and his ally by 1. This bonus remains until the Raider is no longer adjacent to the ally.
When multiple Raiders stand next to each other this effect is magnified as they mutually grant each other bonuses. Four Raiders standing in a square formation will each gain an additional 4 Armor.png.









Stonewall icon.png
Axemaster icon.png
Valgard.icon.init.order.png
Egil.icon.init.order.png
Gudmundr.icon.init.order.png
Active | Stone Wall[edit | edit source]

The Raidmaster braces for impact with his heavy shield, resisting damage from each strike for the next turn. Each hit the Raidmaster takes to either Strength.png or Armor.png is reduced, preventing him from taking permanent damage to either.

The Raidmaster can use Stone Wall to rush into a group of enemies and gain a forward advantage, or step in the way of a powerful enemy to block his movement.

Rank 1: Resists 3 Strength.png or Armor.png damage per hit

Rank 2: Resists 5 Strength.png or Armor.png damage per hit

Rank 3: Resists 7 Strength.png or Armor.png damage per hit


Bloodyflail icon.png
Thrasher icon.png
Hogun.icon.init.order.png
Mogun.icon.init.order.png
Petrus.icon.init.order.png
Active | Bloody Flail[edit | edit source]
The Thrasher strikes multiple times, randomly hitting his opponent for 1 Strength.png or 1 Armor.png damage. On the last hit, Bloody Flail does damage equal to 1 plus 1 for each ally standing adjacent to him. This last hit will randomly damage Strength.png, Armor.png or miss completely!
Bloody Flail does direct damage, making the Thrasher useful even when he is near death. For this reason it also does a great job of taking out wounded enemies who still have a lot of armor.

Rank 1: 4 strikes total (3-7 damage, split between Strength.png and Armor.png)

Rank 2: 5 strikes total (4-8 damage, split between Strength.png and Armor.png)

Rank 3: 6 strikes total (5-9 damage, split between Strength.png and Armor.png)


Runthrough icon.png
Backbiter icon.png
Backbiter v2.icon.init.order.png
Dagr.icon.init.order.png
Petrus.icon.init.order.png
Active | Run Through[edit | edit source]

The Backbiter selects a target and then runs through multiple spaces to reach them, dealing 2 Armor.png damage to each character he runs through. He then stops behind his target and stabs them for normal Strength.png damage.

This allows the Backbiter to move through both friend and foe, giving him the highest mobility of any character on the board. The Backbiter is the most useful when hunting down ranged or weakened enemies hiding in the back rows.

Rank 1: Run through 2 tiles

Rank 2: Run through 3 tiles

Rank 3: Run through 4 tiles


Archer[edit | edit source]

The Archer is a human ranged unit. In Factions, she can be recruited from the Mead House.

Puncture icon.png
Archer icon.png
Bowmaster icon.pngNid.icon.init.order.png
Skystriker icon.pngOddleif.icon.init.order.png
Siegearcher icon.pngYrsa.icon.init.order.png
Alette.icon.init.order.png
Passive | Puncture[edit | edit source]
For every 2 points of Armor.png her target has lost, the Archer gains 1 additional Strength.png to her attack, as long as she didn't already move in the same turn. Deadly in the late game at finishing off maimed enemies, or dealing death-blows towards ganged-up bosses.
The effective attack bonus, without considering hit-chance, is given by the formula (TargetMaxStrength.png-TargetStrength.png)/2, rounded down.









Birdofprey icon.png
Bowmaster icon.png
Nid.icon.init.order.png
Active | Bird of Prey[edit | edit source]
Bird of Prey makes it possible for the Bowmaster to strike units before they are able to get in attack range and allows Puncture to be used against more enemies who may have been out of range from a normal shot.
Rank 1: Attack at +2 range, 100% chance to hit
Rank 2: Attack at +3 range, 100% chance to hit
Rank 3: Attack at +4 range, 100% chance to hit




Rainofarrows icon.png
Skystriker icon.png
Oddleif.icon.init.order.png
Active | Rain of Arrows[edit | edit source]
The Skystriker secretly selects an unoccupied tile in a 1-5 tile-range and then fires arrows in the air. If any enemy passes through the trapped tile before her next turn, they are hit by the falling arrows doing normal Strength.png damage and stopping them in their tracks, ending their turn. The falling arrows both hit and trigger Puncture 100% of the time, even if the Skystriker moved in the same turn she used her ability.
Rank 1: Fires 1 arrow (minimum 1 Strength.png damage)
Rank 2: Fires 2 arrows, + 1 Strength.png to the 2nd (minimum 3 Strength.png damage)
Rank 3: Fires 3 arrows, + 2 Strength.png to the 3rd (minimum 6 Strength.png damage)
Rain of Arrows can be used offensively or defensively; protecting allies, pinning enemies or even deliberately knocking opponents into trapped tiles for big damage.
Smart use of the ability can potentially lock down an entire team.




Slagandburn icon.png
Siegearcher icon.png
Yrsa.icon.init.order.png
Active | Slag and Burn[edit | edit source]

In Factions, the Siege Archer targets a tile (not a unit), occupied or not, in her normal attack range of 2-5 tiles. She slags the target-tile and its four adjacent ones and then fires a flaming arrow igniting the 5-tile area and causing an explosion. All units in the 5-tile area, enemies or allies, receive Strength.png damage while the unit occupying the target-tile receives additional Armor.png damage.

After the explosion, burning coals are randomly left on unoccupied tiles of the slagged area. When targeting an unoccupied tile, coals always appear on that central tile. Units who walk over the burning coals take 1 Strength.png damage. The coals burn until the Siege Archer's next turn or until she's killed.
Rank 1: 1 Strength.png damage (all units), 1 Armor.png damage (target), 2 burning coals.
Rank 2: 1 Strength.png damage (all units), 2 Armor.png damage (target), 3 burning coals.
Rank 3: 1 Strength.png damage (all units), 3 Armor.png damage (target), 4 burning coals.
Slag and Burn works slightly differently for Yrsa and other archers in the single-player trilogy. The initial explosion deals 2 Strength.png damage as opposed to 1. Additionally, the Armor.png damage to the targeted unit is equal to the Siege Archer's Break.png stat.
Rank 1: 2 Strength.png damage (all units), Break.png damage (target), 2 burning coals.
Rank 2: 2 Strength.png damage (all units), Break.png +1 damage (target), 3 burning coals.
Rank 3: 2 Strength.png damage (all units), Break.png +2 damage (target), 4 burning coals.
Just the fact alone that target damage scales with Break.png makes this a very powerful ability. Since Siege Archers' max Break.png is 3, Slag and Burn can be used to cause splinter and deal Strength.png damage all in one move.

Warrior[edit | edit source]

The Warrior is the 4-tile 2-handed axe-wielding Varl base melee unit. In Factions, he can be recruited from the Mead House.

Heavyimpact icon.png
Warrior.icon.init.order.png
Warmaster icon.pngHakon.icon.init.order.png
Warhawk icon.pngWarhawk v1.icon.init.order.png
Bersi.icon.init.order.pngSigbjorn.icon.init.order.png
Warleader icon.pngKrumr.icon.init.order.png
Iver.icon.init.order.png
Passive | Heavy Impact[edit | edit source]
The Warrior hits so hard that any enemies standing adjacent to his target on a Strength.png attack take 1 Strength.png damage from the shockwave.

Hitting a large target like a Varl or Dredge who takes up four tiles can potentially cause an impact across many more victims than hitting a single-square target such as a human.










Sunderingimpact icon.png
Warmaster icon.png
Hakon.icon.init.order.png
Active | Sundering Impact[edit | edit source]
The Warmaster hits even harder than an average Warrior, with no chance to miss. He can wreak havok with an additional +1 Strength.png and +1 Break.png damage to the target, plus bonuses to Heavy Impact.
Sundering Impact has a 100% chance-to-hit and does a minimum of 2 Strength.png and 1 Armor.png damage on its selected target. However, it is best used when carefully positioned to impact as many enemies around the target as possible in a single strike.

Rank 1: +1 Break.png to Heavy Impact

Rank 2: +1 Strength.png and +1 Break.png to Heavy Impact

Rank 3: +1 Strength.png and +2 Break.png to Heavy Impact


Tempest icon.png
Warhawk icon.png
Warhawk v1.icon.init.order.png
Bersi.icon.init.order.png
Sigbjorn.icon.init.order.png
Ubin.icon.init.order.png
Active | Tempest[edit | edit source]
The Warhawk uses his massive weight to sweep his weapon around himself, hitting multiple adjacent targets, friend or foe, for normal Strength.png damage.
Tempest triggers the Warhawk's passive ability, Heavy Impact, which in turn can cause a chain reaction of destruction if used in close quarters. Keeping the Warhawk out of harm's way until late in the fight will maximize his effectiveness.
Tempest hits the selected enemy target plus additional units, friend or foe, moving in a clockwise fashion around the Warhawk. After clicking on the enemy target (and before ticking to confirm the action) the units to be hit are highlighted with the purple-filled tiles.

Rank 1: Hits up to 2 targets

Rank 2: Hits up to 3 targets

Rank 3: Hits up to 4 targets


Forgeahead icon.png
Warleader icon.png
Krumr.icon.init.order.png
Active | Forge Ahead[edit | edit source]
The Warleader uses his experience in battle to issue commands to allies, moving a single ally next in line in initiative. As with any active ability, Forge Ahead terminates the Warleader's turn.
By re-positioning his allies' turn order, the Warleader can create new strategies such as giving Archers guerilla tactics, triggering abilities multiple times per round or sling-shotting a powerful ally to the back lines.

Rank 1: Command an adjacent ally

Rank 2: Command an ally up to 4 tiles away

Rank 3: Command an ally at any range

Shieldbanger[edit | edit source]

The Shieldbanger is the shield-carrying Varl starting melee unit. In Factions, he can be recruited from the Mead House.

Returnthefavor icon.png
Shieldbanger.icon.init.order.png
Shieldmaster icon.pngMogr.icon.init.order.png
Strongarm icon.pngStrongarm v1.icon.init.order.png
Provoker icon.pngFasolt.icon.init.order.png
Passive | Return the Favor[edit | edit source]
A character who attacks a Shieldbanger loses 1 point of Armor.png for each strike he makes.
Return the Favor triggers every time the Shieldbanger takes Strength.png or Armor.png damage from an adjacent enemy, which can make it devastating to hit him with attacks that strike multiple times. Ranged attacks do not trigger Return the Favor.






Bringthepain icon.png
Shieldmaster icon.png
Mogr.icon.init.order.png
Active | Bring the Pain[edit | edit source]
The Shieldmaster strikes an adjacent enemy for Break.png damage before hunkering down and boosting his passive ability, Return the Favor to return even more Armor.png damage for 1 turn.
By using Bring the Pain, the Shieldmaster can create a forward charge that punishes enemies for ganging up against him.

Rank 1: Normal Break.png attack and +1 to Return the Favor

Rank 2: +1 Break.png attack and +2 to Return the Favor

Rank 3: +2 Break.png attack and +3 to Return the Favor


Batteringram icon.png
Strongarm icon.png
Iver.icon.init.order.png
Strongarm v1.icon.init.order.png
Active | Battering Ram[edit | edit source]
The Strongarm smashes into an enemy or ally, knocking them back up to 4 spaces, and pushing them through anyone in the way. Battering Ram does Armor.png damage based on rank and adds 1 more Armor.png damage to the target for each unit they pass through.
The ability can be used on both friend or foe, making it versatile in many situations by changing a unit's position on the board without having to move them. Ramming a Shieldbanger does not trigger the Return the Favor.

Rank 1: Knock back and do 1 Armor.png damage

Rank 2: Knock back and do 3 Armor.png damage

Rank 3: Knock back and do 5 Armor.png damage

Malice icon.png
Provoker icon.png
Fasolt.icon.init.order.png
Active | Malice[edit | edit source]
The Provoker curses and spits at his enemy, forcing that character to move to attack him and perform a normal Strength.png attack on his or her next turn. With his high Armor.png, the Provoker often takes little or no damage from the assault.
While Malice can be a difficult ability to learn, it's devastating in the right circumstances. Negate a strong enemy for a turn, pull an enemy forward on the board or lock a character in place to set them up for future damage.

Rank 1: Target at a range of 1 (adjacent enemies)

Rank 2: Target at a range of 2 (one tile away, or diagonally adjacent)

Rank 3: Target at a range of 3 (two tiles away)

Note: The effect of Malice clears on the affected unit's turn, not the Provoker's, potentially allowing multiple instances of the effect at the same time. Malice clears if the Provoker is knocked out.


The Banner Saga 1[edit | edit source]

Banner1 banner vig.png

Class Unique[edit | edit source]

Landsman[edit | edit source]

The Landsman is a human base-class melee unit.


Icon light step.png
Eirik.icon.init.order.png
Rook.icon.init.order.png
Dytch.icon.init.order.png
Passive | Light Step[edit | edit source]
The Landsman uses his superior dexterity to move around bodies, allowing him to pass through, but not stop on, any allies.
Light step can help a crafty landsman get safely into position behind armored allies before going in for the strike, or escape from a dangerous position.



Icon rally.png
Eirik.icon.init.order.png
Active | Rally[edit | edit source]
Rally allows the Landsman to grant Willpower.png to allies when they'll need it most, making an invaluable support character.
Since Rally grants 2 Willpower.png per 1 spent, using the Horn on this unit can make it more efficient.
Rank 1: Grant an ally 2 willpower
Rank 2: Grant an ally 4 willpower
Rank 3: Grant an ally 6 willpower


Spearman[edit | edit source]

The Spearman is a human base-class melee unit.


Icon embolden.png
Ludin.icon.init.order.png
Tryggvi.icon.init.order.png
Passive| Embolden[edit | edit source]
Each kill the Spearman makes encourages allies to fight harder, granting 1 Willpower.png to the Spearman and any adjacent allies.
This ability is made effective by making use of spears' range of 2, as they can hide behind allies and make kill-strikes to regain willpower.


Icon impale.png
Ludin.icon.init.order.png
Tryggvi.icon.init.order.png


Active| Impale[edit | edit source]
The Spearmaster skewers an adjacent enemy unit doing normal Strength.png damage (with 100% chance to hit) before knocking it back with a kick to release his spear. Impaled characters will bleed for one round, taking 1 Strength.png damage for each tile of movement.
Rank 1: Bleed and Knock-back 1 tile
Rank 2: Bleed and Knock-back 2 tiles
Rank 3: Bleed and Knock-back 3 tiles
This can be especially deadly if bleeding characters are moved against their will, such as Dredge slingers using the Back Off ability. Take heed, knock-back by Impale will not push the target through other units, unlike Battering Ram or Mule Kick. Bleeding damage is not received for the tiles knocked-back by Impale's 'kick'.


Mender[edit | edit source]

The Spearman is a human base-class ranged unit.


Icon mend.png
35px
35px
35px
Active| Mend[edit | edit source]
Menders are able to quickly Mend on the field of battle, restoring the Armor.png of any ally anywhere on the battlefield. The amount of Armor.png restored is half of the Mender's current Willpower.png rounded down.

Rank 1: Armor.png restored is (Willpower.png+0)/2, rounded down.

Rank 2: Armor.png restored is (Willpower.png+1)/2, rounded down.

Rank 3: Armor.png restored is (Willpower.png+2)/2, rounded down.

Calculating restored Armor.png when casting Mend may be difficult, partly because the ability description in the Heroes tent is vague. The following table shows the Armor.png restored for all ranks of the ability, given the mender's Willpower.png when Mend is cast. It is advisable to draw any unneeded Willpower.png from the Horn, before casting Mend.
Willpower 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Rank 1 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10
Rank 2 - 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10
Rank 3 - - 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 11


Grudgewielder[edit | edit source]

The Grudgewielder is a human sub-class unit to the Raider.


Icon ekkill.png
Ekkill.icon.init.order.png
Active| Guts[edit | edit source]
The Grudgewielder throws away his shield, points his axe at nobody in particular, jumps three feet off the ground and crushes it down on the ground. Every adjacent unit, ally or enemy, receives regular Strength.png damage and is knocked-back several tiles. The knock-back causes an additional 1 Strength.png damage per tile. Units can not be knocked through other units, unlike other similar knock-back abilities, like Battering Ram.

Rank 1: Knock back 1 tile.

Rank 2: Knock back 2 tiles.

Rank 3: Knock back 3 tiles.

Note: Before the 'Balance Update', December 2016, Guts used to cause only 1 Strength.png (instead of regular) damage to all adjacent units.

Dredge (Melee)[edit | edit source]

The first enemy types encountered in The Banner Saga. Grunt, Stoneguard and Scourge have a melee attack-range and can be thought of as the Dredge analogues of human Raider, Varl Shieldbanger and Varl Warrior classes, respectively.


Grunt icon.png
Stoneguard icon.png
Scourge icon.png
Passive| Splinter[edit | edit source]
When a Dredge with the Splinter passive receives an Armor.png attack equal to or larger than 3, then all adjacent Dredge (of whichever class) suffer 1 Armor.png damage. This Armor.png damage is transferred in a domino-like effect along a 'chain' of adjacent Dredge.


Stoneguard icon.png


Active| Kindle[edit | edit source]
The Stoneguard kneels and smashes its shield on the ground creating an out-stretching shock-wave. All adjacent units, allies or enemies, receive 1 Armor.png damage and are knocked back up to three tiles, receiving an additional 1 Armor.png damage for each tile they are knocked back. This ability can cause up to 4 Armor.png damage to a unit and affects up to eight units leading to a tremendous damage output!

Notes:

  • Unlike the Battering Ram ability, Kindle cannot push units through other ones. So, blocked units received less damage.
  • Stoneguard AI (version 2.1.65) use of Kindle is many times questionable, often leading to more Armor damage to its allies rather than its enemies!


Scourge icon.png


Active| Tremble[edit | edit source]
When the Scourge is severely hurt and near death, it will retreat to a secure position, grasp its weapon with both hands and start vibrating it like a tuning fork. At the beginning of its next turn a Dredge Grunt will be summoned as reinforcements, spawning in a random border tile of the map and taking turn-initiative after the following enemy unit.

Notes:

  • In order to summon an ally, the Scourge devotes two of its turns.
  • When a Scourge is in the act of summoning while all its allies are knocked out, the battle's turn-queuing will enter Pillage mode with the two Dredge acting in a row, after all enemy units have taken their turns. This is not a bug.
  • Each Scourge will only use Tremble once, regardless of its remaining Willpower.png points.


Dredge (Slingers)[edit | edit source]

Dredge Slingers are first encountered midway through the first part of The Banner Saga and resemble human Archers in having the same movement and attack range.


Slag slinger icon.png
Fire slinger icon.png
Passive| Back Off[edit | edit source]
When a Dredge with the Back Off passive receives either Strength.png or Armor.png damage, it will move 3 tiles randomly, in a general direction away from the attacker.

Notes:

  • The random nature of Back Off makes Slingers hard to get, especially when you want to Break.png them and follow-up with a Strength.png attack.
  • Always be cautious when attacking a Slinger. Back Off movement can expose your allies to attacks from back-line Dredge that were blocked by that Slinger!
  • The exact conditions under which the Back Off passive triggers are not entirely clear; for example, Splinter damage does not trigger it. What is certain is that Back Off can only be triggered once between two turns of the Slinger.


Stoneguard icon.png


Active| Sunstrike[edit | edit source]
The Stoneguard kneels and smashes its shield on the ground creating an out-stretching shock-wave. All adjacent units, allies or enemies, receive 1 Armor.png damage and are knocked back up to three tiles, receiving an additional 1 Armor.png damage for each tile they are knocked back. This ability can cause up to 4 Armor.png damage to a unit and affects up to eight units leading to a tremendous damage output!

Notes:

  • Unlike the Battering Ram ability, Kindle cannot push units through other ones. So, blocked units received less damage.
  • Stoneguard AI (version 2.1.65) use of Kindle is many times questionable, often leading to more Armor damage to its allies rather than its enemies!


Scourge icon.png


Active| Tremble[edit | edit source]
When the Scourge is severely hurt and near death, it will retreat to a secure position, grasp its weapon with both hands and start vibrating it like a tuning fork. At the beginning of its next turn a Dredge Grunt will be summoned as reinforcements, spawning in a random border tile of the map and taking turn-initiative after the following enemy unit.

Notes:

  • In order to summon an ally, the Scourge devotes two of its turns.
  • When a Scourge is in the act of summoning while all its allies are knocked out, the battle's turn-queuing will enter Pillage mode with the two Dredge acting in a row, after all enemy units have taken their turns. This is not a bug.
  • Each Scourge will only use Tremble once, regardless of its remaining Willpower.png points.


Character Unique[edit | edit source]


Icon markprey.png
Rook.icon.init.order.png

Active Ability | Mark Prey[edit | edit source]

By slashing at an adjacent enemy target with his knife, the Hunter does a small amount of Break.png damage and then focuses the attacks of his allies on the target enemy.
Rank 1: Rook deals 1 Break.png to adjacent enemy, all in-range allies deal Strength.png attack to target
Rank 2: Rook deals 2 Break.png to adjacent enemy
Rank 3: Rook deals 3 Break.png to adjacent enemy
Any allies within attack range of the victim instantly attack after Rook deals break damage.


Icon threadtheneedle.png
Alette icon.png

Active Ability | Thread the Needle[edit | edit source]

By selecting an enemy in a straight line up to 5 spaces, Alette shoots through every character in the way, doing normal Strength.png damage to each, in addition to bonus Break.png and Puncture damage.
Rank 1: Alette deals full Strength.png and 1 Break.png to each target in the line
Rank 2: 2 Break.png to each target in the line
Rank 3: 3 Break.png to each target in the line
Thread the Needle is one of few abilities that can damage multiple enemies in a single shot, making it extremely powerful in the right hands. Even though it also hits allies, using Thread the Needle in tandem with some abilities, like the Raidmaster's Stone Wall, can be a good combination.


The Banner Saga 2[edit | edit source]

Banner2 banner vig.png

Character Unique[edit | edit source]


Icon frenzy.png
Bolverk icon.png

Passive Ability | Frenzy[edit | edit source]

The Berserker first attacks the enemy target's Armor or Strength, as directed, then does a Strength attack against a random adjacent target, friend or foe.
Because the second attack strikes a random target, care must be taken around allies, but if only a single target is in range, that target will always receive both attacks, guaranteeing a double strike.
Keep in mind, Folka has a special exception to Frenzied attacks, and will never take damage from Bolverk. This makes them a powerful duo.


Icon culltheweak.png
Bolverk icon.png

Active Ability | Cull the Weak[edit | edit source]

Bolverk becomes a wild animal on the battlefield, hunting down the weakest of his opponents and driving himself to greater Renown with an additional Turn for every Kill.
Rank 1: Target takes Strength.png - 2 damage, extra turn on Kill.
Rank 2: Target takes Strength.png - 1 damage, extra turn on Kill.
Rank 3: Target takes Strength.png damage, extra turn on Kill.
As long as he has Willpower and continues to kill targets, Bolverk can continue to use this ability each Turn, cutting a swath through the battlefield.


Icon bearrage.png
Bolverk icon.png

Active Ability | Bear Rage[edit | edit source]

Bolverk gains the Bear Rage ability when he is promoted to Rank 6.
The Berserker whips himself into a fury, terrifying nearby enemies and sending them fleeing in disarray. Affected enemies are so shaken they suffer a penalty to their Armor for one Round.

Additionally, the Berserker counter-attacks any melee blows from enemies brave enough to strike at him.

Rank 1: All adjacent enemies suffer a temporary -1 Armor penalty and move 3 tiles away from the Berserker; Frenzied counter-attack.
Rank 2: All adjacent enemies suffer a temporary -2 Armor penalty and move 3 tiles away from the Berserker; Frenzied counter-attack.
Rank 3: All adjacent enemies suffer a temporary -3 Armor penalty and move 3 tiles away from the Berserker; Frenzied counter-attack.
Bear Rage works especially well if Bolverk has an item with strength resist.



Icon shield mastery.png
Folka icon.png

Passive Ability | Shield Mastery[edit | edit source]

The Shieldmaiden's shield Absorbs all Strength damage onto her Armor until it is destroyed. She only starts taking Strength damage When her Armor is down to zero.
This means that if Folka had 14 Armor.png and was hit by a 16 Strength.png Dredge, Folka would lose 2 armor and no strength.
Shield Mastery is great at preventing chip damage, and if well-maintained, makes Folka a late-game superstar.


Icon champion.png
Folka icon.png

Active Ability | Champion[edit | edit source]

The Shieldmaiden stands ready to insert herself between her allies and any attacking enemy. Adjacent allies have all damage from attacks against them halved, but the Shieldmaiden also receives a half-damage attack from the same enemy.
Rank 1: Allies protected.
Rank 2: Allies protected; +2 Armor.png to self for one Round.
Rank 3: Allies protected; +4 Armor.png.
For maximum effect, keep as many allies adjacent to Folka as possible. When any adjacent ally is attacked, Champion will protect them, while using her Shield Mastery to Absorb Strength damage onto her Armor.


Icon shield smash.png
Folka icon.png

Active Ability | Shield Smash[edit | edit source]

Folka gains Shield Smash when promoted to Rank 6.
The Shieldmaiden smashes her shield against a single adjacent target. Target and all units adjacent to target (except Folka!), friend or foe, take normal Armor Break damage from the force of the attack according to the Shieldmaiden's BRK stat.
Rank 1: Break.png + 1 to target, adjacent units also take Break.png damage.
Rank 2: Break.png + 2 to target.
Rank 3: Break.png + 3 to target.
Without her shield she loses her passive ability, Shield Mastery.


Active Ability | Call Bear[edit | edit source]

Active Ability | Runic Gale[edit | edit source]

Active Ability | Breeze[edit | edit source]

Class Unique[edit | edit source]

Teulu | Passive Ability | Hit & Run[edit | edit source]

Cantref | Passive Ability | Free Roam[edit | edit source]

Teulu | Active Ability | Trample[edit | edit source]

Teulu | Active Ability | Mule Kick[edit | edit source]

Cantref | Active Ability | Pin[edit | edit source]

Cantref | Active Ability | Poison Tipped[edit | edit source]

The Banner Saga 3[edit | edit source]

Banner3 banner vig.png

Character Unique[edit | edit source]

Class Unique[edit | edit source]

Passive Abilities[edit | edit source]

Passive abilities seen in Hero units in The Banner Saga:

Passive abilities of Dredge units in The Banner Saga:

Active Abilities[edit | edit source]

Active abilities seen in Hero units in The Banner Saga:

Legend:

† marks unique abilities, available only to a single Hero. All other abilities can be unlocked by at least two Heroes.
♦ marks rank-less abilities, which always cost 1 WIL to execute having only one Rank (promotion doesn't improve them).

Finally, there's some "special" Hero active abilities, in the sense that they can be used only once in the game, under very specific (story-related) conditions:

  • Silver Arrow → Used by Rook or Alette to disrupt Bellower in the final battle of the first part of The Banner Saga.
  • Capture Bear → Used by Eirik to capture a Kragsman bear, which then gives him access to Call Bear active.

Active abilities of Dredge units in The Banner Saga:

Statistics[edit | edit source]

This table counts the new abilities introduced with each of the three games, and divided into: Passive & Active and Hero & Dredge/Warped/AI.

Note: AI-exclusive abilities in one game that become accessible to the player in the next, and vice versa, are not (double-)counted. See Dredge Heroes and Bolverk.

Ability Passive Active Total
Hero AI Hero AI
Factions 4 - 12 - 16
Saga 1 2 5 7 6 20
Saga 2 7 5 20 10 42
Saga 3 4 6 5 6 21
Sums 17 16 44 22 99
33 66

Evidently, Saga 2 introduced many more abilities compared to the previous two games.