Neural Simulation Spotlight: Gavin

Tips and tricks to help you dispatch the Adventist enforcer.

Purificant of the Adventists, also serves as an Emissary guard. A walking contradiction who is equally righteous and ruthless.

Gavin is a boss that you first encounter at the finale of Chapter 5 in the main story. He’s a highly mobile swordsman that chains attacks together while poking at you from a distance with his ranged attacks.

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Behaviour and Attacks

Gavin starts the battle with an HP shield. He has three distinct phases, with his attack patterns changing and becoming more complex as you chip away at his shield and health. All of Gavin’s sword attacks will stagger you, so try not to be hit by them.

At higher difficulty levels, Gavin will leave behind illusion clones when it takes certain mobility actions like dashing or teleporting. These will stagger on hit, so try not to run into them.

Phase 1

Gavin has access to two attacks:

Ground Cleave

Gavin strikes the ground, sending out three ripples that travel outward. These stagger on hit. They’re also pretty trivial to sidestep as long as you’re not right in front of him.

Oblique Slash

Gavin dashes forward and does a circular slash. At higher difficulty levels, he will follow this up with a forward thrust and then a downward slam. The slam in particular does a lot of damage, enough to seriously hurt or even kill an operative from full health.

Casual players: Like many of Gavin’s attacks, his strikes are quite telegraphed. Keep his followup attacks in mind, and you should be able to dodge away from everything. At difficulty levels where Gavin does not perform the two followup attacks, he can still do the forward thrust, so watch out for that too.
Speedrunners: This is the opening attack you’ll get most of the time, so you might as well learn how to play around it. The delays between attacks are just short enough to get a quick skill cast or shot off, so take advantage of it.

Phase 2

Once you deal enough damage to deplete his shield, Gavin will split his sword into two, also generating a large explosion around him that knocks you back if you’re hit. The battle then transitions to phase 2.

Cross Cut

Gavin slashes his swords in an X shape. This can be performed while stationary, or after a dash, as shown in the clip above. At higher difficulty levels, it will also fire a projectile forward, which staggers on hit.

Ground Cleave

This attack now comes with an additional Cross Cut. Sometimes Gavin will cast an additional Cross Cut afterward as well.

Oblique Slash

Gavin now opens this attack with either a double slash from his swords or a dashing forward thrust.

In either case, he will follow it up with another double slash from his swords. At higher difficulty levels, he will then finish with a Cross Cut.

Phase 3

Once you reduce Gavin to 55% HP (despite the marker indicating 50%, it apparently triggers earlier), Gavin will ascend upwards before crashing down, generating an explosion around him like the phase 2 trigger.

He then teleports to the centre of the map, where he also summons three cubes with parts HP. Breaking these cubes will down Gavin for a period of time, but not breaking them in time will trigger an explosion that knocks you back. At higher difficulty levels, a constant stream of projectiles will also shoot out from Gavin during this time. During phase 3, Gavin can also use this attack without the initial ground slam as part of its moveset.

Casual players: The cubes don’t actually have a lot of HP, and can be quickly broken with AoE skills like Chenxing - Ethereal Cloud’s ultimate skill. Take advantage of his downed state after to do huge damage for free!
Speedrunners: Just shoot him, man. He’s basically a sitting duck, so forget the cubes and directly attack him. Just make sure you time your dodge to not get hit by the explosion after.

Gavin retains his Cross Cut and Ground Cleave attacks from phase 2 with no changes.

Sword Slash

Gavin slashes with his two swords and sends out a projectile from each that staggers on hit. These projectiles take the form of a diagonal line, which means that you can sidestep towards the top side of the diagonal (in the clip above, that means to the right) to avoid it easily.

Oblique Slash

The final form of this attack. Like in phase 2, Gavin can begin with either a slash or a thrust:

The third attack is also still Cross Cut. However, the second attack now has Gavin teleporting forward to try and stay within range of you. This can make avoiding it quite tricky, so don’t be afraid to dodge more to ensure you don’t get hit.


Gavin can be an immense pain to deal with if you let his attacks overwhelm you. Try your best to keep your distance, but also mind your stamina bar; weaving in and out of Gavin’s melee strikes can deplete it faster than you think. Gavin is definitely a boss where knowing his attack patterns helps a lot; being able to anticipate followup attacks goes a long way to being able to evade them efficiently.

Team Building

Because Gavin starts with a shield, the usual ballistic damage DPS suspects will do great here. Yao - Winter Solstice, Katya - Blue Bolt, and Chenxing - Ethereal Cloud are all strong picks here, though Yao earns a special mention as her big burst damage meets very little resistance against Gavin’s lack of HP gating mechanics. Similarly, Cherno - Enigma can pop her orbs as hard as she wants to achieve competitive results.

Mauxir - Shadow Ka is great here as it gives you a stationary target to shoot, freeing up mental capacity to dodge Gavin’s attacks while maintaining DPS. Slowing Gavin with Acacia - Redacted or Cherno - Those Two can also buy you extra time to not be harassed, letting you DPS freely or take a breather to restore health with a healing support.