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War Chieftain: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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Looking for the rank Jiralhanae Chieftain or Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, the rulers of the Jiralhanae?
Jiralhanae War Chieftain
Species and equipment information


Political and military information
Mission types



Pack Commanders


Covenant, then Covenant Loyalists


War Chieftains[1] are one of the highest Jiralhanae rank that seem higher than a regular Chieftain. The rank is featured in Halo 3, with War Chieftains playing a significant role in the Covenant's occupation of Earth and defense on the Ark. It is observed that most War Chieftains carry powerful ranged weapons, rather than Gravity Hammers. Although in Halo 3: ODST, War Chieftains can wield Hammers, making them some of the most powerful units in the game, due to having increased armor resistance (More than regular Jiralhanae Chieftains).



War Chieftains seem to be higher in rank than regular Jiralhanae Chieftains[2] and are responsible for commanding much larger packs than Jiralhanae Chieftains. Despite this, War Chieftains are more often seen guarding smaller outposts. They are commonly commanders of Scarab tanks, and always perform tasks with a crew only featuring Brutes,[3] rather than being warlords of packs. War Chieftains are believed to be the equivalent of a Sangheili Zealot.

War Chieftains should not be confused with the Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, though the Chieftain of the Jiralhanae likely also holds the rank of War Chieftain. The Chieftain of the Jiralhanae is the leader of the entire Jiralhanae race, or at least, every Jiralhanae in service of the Covenant.


Instead of the lucid red-clad armor of a Regular Chieftain, a War Chieftain wears a similar suit in golden bronze, with slightly more powerful shields. Their head crests are also more ornate, with a large forehead spike featuring a split "V" shape with jagged spikes lining the edges, and a smaller "V" further forward on the helmet. This makes the War Chieftains more recognizable and intimidating in battle.


War Chieftains usually carry Plasma Cannons or Fuel Rod Guns into battle and Spikers as sidearms, striking their enemies from afar while their subordinates close in and engage. This gives them considerable ability to suppress their enemies, allowing their own forces to move freely. If within range, they will often deploy a Power Drain to eliminate the player's shields. They may also throw a Flare to blind their opponents, and can use their weapons to devastating effect. War Chieftains are the only NPCs in Halo 3 (other than the Arbiter in Halo 3 single-player Campaign) that can melee with a Plasma Cannon without dropping it. There have been some instances where the Chieftain goes berserk, in which it can leap great distances and kill the Master Chief in a single blow.

It is advised that the player use long-range weapons against a War Chieftain, such as the Battle Rifle or Sniper Rifle. Use cover effectively and fire accurate shots to knock their helmet off. Meleeing it will cause it to stagger, simply allowing you to bludgeon it to death with melee attacks without having to worry about it counter-attacking you. It's also possible to kill one quickly by meleeing it, and then circling for an assassination. Incendiary Grenades are a good way to kill a War Chieftain, and if you can stick it on its weapon, a Plasma or Spike Grenade will do. Note that only their weapon can be stuck, and not their armor. On Legendary, sticking is not a guaranteed one-hit kill. You can still follow up with a headshot using a Battle Rifle or Carbine or a quick melee to take them down.


  • In Halo 3, War Chieftains are known to go berserk when a Power Drain is next to them. Leave the Chieftain alone for long enough and it will turn back to normal.
  • It is believed that in Halo: Contact Harvest, Maccabeus, and later Tartarus, wore the armor of a War Chieftain when he was the Chieftain of the Jiralhanae. It signifies a higher rank than the Regular Chieftain in Halo 3, which Tartarus could have wore prior to killing Maccabeus. . It's also possible that Tartarus's red armor was the Halo Wars variant.
  • In the last page of Halo 3: The Official Strategy Guide, it shows a War Chieftain holding a Gravity Hammer, though this is never seen in-game.
  • War Chieftains will never shoot up close with a Fuel Rod Gun to avoid splash damage, so it is useful to use a Gravity Hammer or an Energy Sword against them. However, try to avoid staying close to them for long, because it might choose to melee you. In Halo 3, if you do get close to a War Chieftain, it is advised to circle strafe right to avoid the melee. If you strafe left, the melee will affect you. If you strafe right, you have a easy assassination. If the War Chieftain berserks, do not engage him in close combat; his melees will be more harder to avoid. If the War Chieftain doesn't berserk but starts to swing his weapon instead of his fist (that is, if the Chieftain is wielding the Fuel Rod Gun), jump and then quickly turn around and assassinate him.
  • In the video Et Tu Brute?, A War Chieftain is seen with a Halo 2 portable plasma cannon. This could be because at the time the video was made, the Halo 3 plasma cannon had not been developed yet.
  • When playing Firefight in Halo 3: ODST, War Chieftains can be seen wielding Gravity Hammers.
  • On the level Tsavo Highway, it is possible to disarm a War Chieftain by getting him to board your Warthog and attack you. After getting off the Warthog, he would be disarmed, and he would charge at you and only use melee attacks.
  • The picture of the War Chieftain in the Bestiarum is actually a picture of a Brute that was scrapped and redesigned in Halo 3's early stages of development .



  2. Halo: Contact Harvest, page 245
  3. Halo 3, The Covenant
Jiralhanae Military Ranks
Commanders Army CommanderChieftain of the Jiralhanae
Standard Chieftains ChieftainWar Chieftain
Captains CaptainCaptain MajorCaptain UltraShip Master/Alpha Brute
Specialists StalkerJump PackBodyguard
Infantry MinorMajorUltra
Others Honor Guardsman

This article uses material from the "War Chieftain" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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