Slabs are a pretty important part of your arsenal at Arkane Studios’ Deathloop. The first one Colt receives, Reprise, restores him some distance away after death. While you need to return to your body and restore the lost Residuum, it basically adds two extra lives to your repertoire. After leaving Area or killing Julianna and harvesting Residuum from her remains, all Reprise payments will replenish. You cannot upgrade this Slab.
But that is only the beginning as there are other Slabs to acquire throughout the game. You get them from killing some Visionaries and there are six in total. Not all Visionaries (like Wenjie and Frank Spicer) have Slab and in order to acquire upgrades for Slab ability, you need to kill its corresponding Visionary again and again. Killing Julianna also sees her drop a Slab or upgrade, albeit totally random.
After receiving a Slab or upgrade, it needs to be infused with Residuum to make it available in future play sessions. Slabs typically require 15,000 Residuum while the upgrades require 8,000 each. The best way to earn more Residuum is to kill Visionaries. Ut can be worth going through specific Links just to farm the material along with the Slabs / upgrades needed and then immerse them at the end. Remember – any Rest earned in a Link will be lost once you start a new day. If any unneeded Drinkets have been acquired in this time, you can sacrifice them to earn a little more Residuum for Infusion purposes.
Let’s take a look at all these Slabs along with their upgrades. The first is Aether, sourced by Egor Serling, either at The Complex in the evening or at Updaam in the evening at Aleksis party. It gives invisibility for a short time, making the player undetectable by laser sensors (but not mines as those are motion sensors). Also, enemies can’t find you remotely but sometimes they can do it up close.
Here are the upgrades for Aether:
- Ghost – No standing power is used while Aether is active.
- Delete – Enemies killed while Aether is active will not leave a trace.
- Flicker – The Aether effect doesn’t stop anymore when attacked. Instead, you briefly become visible and then become invisible again.
- Step – Less damage taken while Aether is active, and being injured will no longer disable the ability.
Shink is basically a Blink from Dishonest and allows for fast crossing of distances. You need his pillars of the remains of Charlie Montague, which hangs out at Updaam at noon. Along with fast-crossing distances, Shift is also good for confusing nearby enemies. This makes it an ideal tool for getting out of a rough encounter quickly (because confusing enemies means less aggro, which means less damage is taken). The upgrades for Shift are as follows:
- Arrival – Travel more distance with ability.
- Dropkick – Using Shift and kicking an enemy will lead to sonic boom that damages enemies.
- Exchanger – Change positions with an enemy using Shift.
- Air – A mid-air shift can be used to float in place, which is good for negating fall damage.
Karnesis is the third Slab and can be obtained from Aleksis Dorsey. It can only be found in the evenings, hosting a party at his mansion. Basically, Karnesis works like telekinesis – it allows for pushing and collecting enemies to throw around. His upgrades include the following:
- Zone – Karnesis beats all enemies back within a certain range instead of one target.
- Prevention – Throwing enemies hover in the air and are unable to move.
- Flesh Bomb – Enemies affected by Karnesis will create a blast that damages nearby enemies when landing.
- Slam – When an enemy is affected by Karnesis, using it again will slam them to the ground forcefully.
Next up is Havoc, which you get from killing Zborowska Deer. She can be found in Fristad Rock at noon time. When Havoc is active, you take less damage and deal more damage. Taking damage causes your Power bar to deplete faster but is a great survival tool for those in favor of straight gun play. Here are all the upgrades for the same:
- Withdrawal – While Havoc is active, damage enemies to revive some Power.
- Euphoria – Increased damage is treated based on the amount of damage received while Havoc is active.
- Adversity – When Havoc stops, emit a blast that damages nearby enemies.
- Bulwark – Havoc drains Power faster and you move slower. However, taking damage is no longer actively draining Power with Havoc.
Finally, there’s Nexus, a Domino-like capability of Dishonored 2. It can be obtained from Harriet Morse in Karl’s Bay during morning time. Basically, Nexus allows for connecting enemies together. So causing damage to one enemy or killing it will eliminate all associated enemies. When throwing Nexus out, it will have a short area of impact when landing. This means that you do not need to aim exactly at a target or group of targets to link them together.
If two targets are a decent distance from each other, you need to cast Nexus again to connect them. Also keep in mind that the Power bar drains for as long as Nexus remains active on targets. More targets mean faster drainage. Here are all the different upgrades you can get for Nexus:
- Attraction – Nexus will house enemies when cast and cause them to become unstable.
- Influence – Enemies affected by Nexus will forge chains toward nearby enemies.
- Parasite – Damaging an enemy affected by the ability allows recovery of health.
- Attraction – The power drain rate when Nexus is active is reduced.
While playing as Julianna, she has her own special Slab called Masquerade. It can’t be upgraded and is automatically available when playing like it. This allows her to swap her appearance with NPC, including Seer. You can use this to guide another player on a wild goose chase while mastering as a Visionary or hiding among the other NPCs and getting the discount on them. Masquerade is very situational though – if you use it and then chase a player, your move will make it clear that you really are Julianna. Some players will note this and others will not be warned.
Best Slabs to Use
As for the best Slabs, it depends on your style of play. If getting high and killing scores of enemies is your thing, then Havoc with the Withdrawal and Euphoria upgrades is highly recommended. Pair this with a high-damage magazine weapon to keep the effect going, dealing more damage and ripping through almost any enemy. Your second ability can be anything else but I personally recommend Shift to escape quickly (if you have Power left), recharge Havoc and then rejoin the fraud.
For more stealthy players, Nexus and Aether are essential capabilities. The first can take down several enemies in one fall, making it simply indispensable when the fall is upon you. Use Influence and Defense to quickly bind groups of enemies together without worrying too much about Power drain. For Aether, recommended upgrades include Ghost, Phase and Flicker. Being able to stand still without draining Power fits very well with Nexus. Of course, you could also go with Nexus and Shift to escape if things go south. A silent pistol or nail gun along with a sniper pistol should complement the capabilities well enough.
If you are looking for a mix of both styles, then Havoc is recommended with either Nexus or Aether. You lose out on a decent amount of mobility without Shift but it does mean you can send enemies quickly without raising an alarm, sniffing through triple wires and sensors, and then tanking a ton of damage upon discovery. Aether is also extremely useful for reducing aggro as enemies will become confused as you suddenly disappear, making it easier to escape.