First of all, even with the buffs, the shield weapons don't kill enemies fast enough on Legend to add value to the team. On Legend you lose because you get overwhelmed by enemies, because there's 20 zombies between you and the hooked teammate, because the assassin keeps picking you off one by one and there's nowhere to dodge, because you tried to dodge to avoid a Chaos Spawn grab and a horde of rats was behind you, and so on. Extra stamina and wider block doesn't save you when you're surrounded by a horde and can't fight your way out before another wave hits you too.
Shields may *feel* better, one teammate testing out a shield had a blast playing it -*** but the numbers don't li***e, and when he saw he had 1/4 the kills and damage as other players he agreed it is still trash. When you can't get more than 100 kills on a 30 minute map, something is wrong with your weapon. Even a terrible player can just spam a great sword and get more kills.
So lets go ahead now and talk about why 1h axe and 1h hammer aren't so great either. Nice dodge, better dps than shield variants, but comparatively you are just trading the extra power on the 2h versions for the added mobility on the 1h versions. The mobility may help keep you alive, and thus may be preferable on less tanky Ranger Veteran and Slayer builds if you get hit alot. But if you can stay alive without the added mobility of the 1h-ers, then the 2h versions will add more value to your team.
Now, to compare the 2h axe and 2h hammer: the 2h hammer suffers the same problem as the WarPick. With the 2h hammer and WarPick there's just no way to kill Legend Fanatics with a single cleaving attack. There's no 1-shot fanatic breakpoint for Pick, and you need over 40% additional power on the 2h hammer charged attacks. The 1h hammer will kill a fanatic in 2 light hits with just 4.7% additional power, and you can spam those much faster than 2h hammer charge attacks.
Being able to quickly mow down zombie fanatics is probably the most critical tactic for survival on Legend. Fanatics come at you in very aggressive, hyperdense packs and pad Marauders and Maulers that will do a ton of damage if they are able to hit you. The faster you can clear out Fanatics, the more likely you are to avoid heavy blows from the other Chaos enemies. Breakpoints that allow you to cleave 1shot fanatics with weapons like Halberd, Glaive, 2h swords, and even weapons like Falchion etc add tremendous value to the team. Alternatively, weapons like Rapier, 1h hammer/mace, and Dual Daggers that can attack very fast and stagger multiple Fanatics are also quite good because of this efficiency.
What makes the 2h Axe superior to the 2h Hammer in my view is the fact that the 2h Axe 1shot cleaves Fanatics on the charge attack with no power added at all.
Both 2h-ers are good at deshielding enemies with light attacks and knocking them down with push attacks, but while the 2h Axe still has some phantom swing issues on its light attacks, they at least come out quicker and don't have that weird impact delay the 2h hammer does (unless you are quickswapping to spam light attacks).
The 2h hammer has great boss dps now, but the 2h axe has this incredible dodge while charging the heavy swing that is tremendous value in tight spots. The 2h axe also seems to have slightly longer range than the 2h hammer, and the axe charge attack can even connect with a hook rat before it can hook you.
The other thing the 2h hammer has going for it is that it is better than the 2h axe at interrupting Berserker charges.
The "Crowd Control" tag on the 2h hammer isn't really so great. You control crowds better with the 2h axe by killing everything with the first hit rather than having to swing multiple times to kill fanatics.
Therefore, at least until the hyperdensity problem is fixed, if ever, and maybe even after that, I'd say that the 2h Axe remains the best weapon for Bardin, so long as you are good enough with it that you don't need the extra mobility of say the 1h hammer to survive.
© Post "2h Axe vs 2h Hammer – What’s the best weapon for Bardin in 1.2? My thoughts." for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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