One of the more difficult bosses Shepard will face in Mass Effect 3 is themselves, or more specifically, the Cerberus Shepard clone in the Citadel DLC. Though most fans remember Mass Effect 3: Citadel for its post-mission content, like Shepard’s party and the casual encounters and mini-games with current and former squadmates, the DLC’s main mission is equally lighthearted and fun, if not somewhat challenging. From needing to fight with only a single weapon, no armor, and scarce ammo to facing what is effectively an evil twin, Mass Effect 3: Citadel is unlike anything else in the trilogy. During the final boss fight of the main mission, players will face the Clone, whose abilities depend on the class players have selected for their Commander Shepard.
The fight with the Clone in Mass Effect 3: Citadel takes place aboard the Normandy in two distinct stages, separated by a cutscene of the Normandy’s crew. The first stage is the most difficult, as the Clone, like Shepard, can heal with medi-gel and replenish their shields. To defeat Shepard’s Clone in Mass Effect 3: Citadel, players will need to anticipate and counter familiar attacks based on their class, use cover effectively, and avoid their grappling melee attacks.
Tips For Fighting The Clone In Mass Effect 3
The most important thing players should remember when fighting the Clone in Mass Effect 3 is that it fights almost exactly the way Shepard fights. This means players will face the following class-based attacks and loadouts:
- Soldier: Carnage, Fortification, N7 Valkyrie
- Infiltrator: Tactical Cloak, Incinerate, Black Widow
- Vanguard: Charge, Nova, Warp, M-11 Wraith
- Sentinel: Warp, Incinerate, Tech Armor, M-11 Wraith
- Adept: Warp, Barrier, N7 Hurricane
- Engineer: Defense Drone, Incinerate, N7 Hurricane
The Clone always has a melee grappling attack, similar to a Husk, and grenades that will cause a lasting fire to burn on areas of the arena and chip away at Shepard and their squadmates’ health. While the Clone does have very high armor and shields, abilities like Fortification, Barrier, and Tech Armor appear to only be for aesthetics and do not contribute the extra level of protection that they would for the player character.
The Clone begins the fight with five medi-gels, which they will use when their armor reaches about half. This will fully replenish their armor, which can become frustrating. However, the Clone does not pick up more medi-gel during the fight, so once these five have been deployed, they will no longer be able to heal. Once the Clone is down to two medi-gels, the mid-fight cutscene will play, and the second round of fighting will begin. At the start of the second round, the Clone is returned to full armor and shields, and the shields are 50% stronger than before.
Like most bosses across the Mass Effect trilogy, the Clone tends to primarily focus on Shepard, leaving their squadmates free to attack the more minor minions and Agent Brooks. Prior to the fight, Shepard should make sure to bring squadmates with anti-armor abilities, like Overload, Warp, and Incinerate. Good options include Garrus, Liara, and Kaidan. They should also consider bringing heavier weapons that can be used to stagger the Clone and keep them back to prevent their grappling melee attacks. Good choices can include the M-37 Falcon, the Scorpion, and the Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle.
The Clone does have immunity to some powers regardless of class, including the effects of Stasis, Defense Drone, and any physics-based biotic abilities. Shepard should keep this in mind both when choosing squadmates and a loadout and while strategizing during the fight.
Because the Clone will almost always elect to target Shepard, so squadmates should be ordered to attack Brooks. During the latter portion of the fight, if Brooks goes down, the Clone will sometimes go to revive her, presenting an opportunity to get a few free hits. The squadmates can also target the minions who spawn with the Clone and Brooks to make the fight less difficult. Shepard will need to ensure their squadmates stay out of zones burned with the Clone’s grenade fires, however, as this can cause constant, sustained damage and quickly down a squadmate. Squadmates do not necessarily leave the fire on their own and must be ordered to do so.
When the Clone uses their projectile ability, like Warp or Incinerate, it will track Shepard. They may need to dodge, duck into cover, or roll to avoid the blast, which can be otherwise devastating. As the Clone charges and grabs for Shepard, players will need to spam the melee button to win the grappling fight. If they do manage to win, the Clone takes a sizeable amount of damage, which can be beneficial.
Ultimately, it is usually far easier to defeat the Clone in Mass Effect 3: Citadel with weapons rather than powers, as there are many abilities the Clone is outright immune to and many more that have limited effects on shields or armor. Given Shepard and the Clone are meant to be evenly matched, using strategic combat, moving from cover to cover, and relying on squadmates will help give the real Shepard the advantage over the imposter.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with backward compatibility for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.