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Like their Zealot superiors, the Ultras are extremely skilled warriors. They possess extra-strong energy shields that can withstand several times as much damage as those possessed by regular Sangheili, and they can survive noticeably more physical damage as well (having roughly three times as much health as a standard Sangheili), although they are still vulnerable to headshots while unshielded. An Ultra Sangheili's shield is twice as strong as that of a Sangheili Major, and three times as strong as that of an Sangheili Minor (making it equivalent to an Overshield, or the shields possessed by Zealots with Energy Swords in Halo: Combat Evolved). On the Heroic difficulty, their shield will only be depleted after a full 60-round magazine of SMG fire, almost two dozen Covenant Carbine shots, or more than 18 Plasma Rifle bolts. Additionally, their energy shields recharge much more quickly than lower ranking Sangheili' and even those of John-117.
They often fight with heavy or dual-wielded weapons. Most also carry Energy Swords as their secondary weapon; when enemies get too close or deplete their shield, the Ultra lets out a war cry, drop their currently wielded weapon, and pull the sword out for close combat. A good tactic for fighting Ultra's would be to get close to one, and allow it to pull out an energy sword. When the Ultra takes a swing, side step, and assassinate him, resulting in an instant kill. This is the quickest and most efficient way of dispatching sword wielding Sangheili, or a Sangheili in close quarters combat (one could simply chain beat down, as one melee stuns them, but it takes more time), and is especially good against Ultra's, since the player would not have to deal with its very strong energy shields. The Ultras are able to continue in sustained heavy combat long after most Sangheili warriors' shields would have been depleted. Ultras, along with Sangheili High Councilors and Zealots, are the only Sangheili capable of surviving a full Shotgun blast or a Plasma Grenade stick during gameplay.