Warhammer: Vermintide

An almost comprehensive sniper waystalker guide

chivalry screenshot1 - An almost comprehensive sniper waystalker guide
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INTRODUCTION

This guide is designed for mid-level players who are more or less proficient with the game at Veteran / Champion difficulty, and are looking to excel at their waystalking. It might be not that helpful for master players, and is marked as "almost" comprehensive: in the itemization section I will ask for Legend-tier players' help, for my own and everyone's use.

I am a Kerillian main since V1, capable (if struggling) of doing Legend runs. My Kerillian level is only 30+27 as of writing this (7 Red drops so far), mostly because I am taking my time to level up other heroes to 30 to get all Steam achievements.

 

ROLES IN VERMINTIDE

For starters, a bit of common verminscience.

There are a few roles that your hero can fill. No build as of my knowledge can fill every role efficiently, but every hero can be good at 3 roles, and the team wants every role covered by at least 2 heroes.

  • Sniping Specials. Arguably the most important role, because a Special left unchecked can put half of your team down in mere seconds. I'm inclined to add Berserkers to this list because they present a higher challenge than Stormvermins and Chaos Marauders; these don't really need a role of their own, so we can safely say "Specials and Elites" for the sake of simplicity.

  • Damage Mitigation. Not sure if I'm right, but I'm combining tanking and horde control into a single role. This role focuses around helping your team to avoid receiving damage by other means than killing everything outright: stuns, taunts, blocks, stealth, displacement and so on.

  • Boss Removal. Not every DPS hero can efficiently perform against Monsters and Bosses. Arguably a less significant role since most teams can handle these if they can get rid of other complications (hordes and Specials).

  • Superarmor Piercing. I'm putting this into a different role, because not all Monsters and Bosses have superarmor: most notably, Rothelms, Chaos and Skaven warlords belong here. Killing these isn't the same either as killing Monsters (Stormfiend is the only one armored, superarmored IIRC) or Specials (which usually require 1-2 quick shots from a distance, SP can be achieved with melee weapons). Superarmor is different from common armor (Stormvermin) in that it deflects most but the most piercing blows; if you can't pierce Superarmor, you'll be usually looking for weak spots.

  • Mass Murder. AoE damage and/or high attack speed. Arguably a less significant role because again, if the team can get rid of other complications, hordes are rarely an issue. Anyway, it's a role that can't be overlooked.

It gives us 5 roles total (6 if you opt to split DM into tanking and CC). Use them to measure how good your build is.

What I love about Kerillian (aside from her being an Elf) is that her every career excels in something and is almost a manifestation of some role. None would argue Shade is unsurpassed in BR. Handmaiden isn't actually the best in DM (Ironbreaker gives her a run for her money), but Clutchsaver is her middle name (not a role per se, but you can't ignore how good she is at it). And Waystalker is designed for sniping. There are at least 3 other careers (Bounty Hunter, Hunter, and Pyromancer) that contest her, but I wouldn't place a bet on them.

Waystalker's Trueshot Volley, Waywatcher's Bow, and Asrai Vigil give her SS role (with a bit of BR, SP and MM). Arrow-storm is a bit of MM and Amaranthe is a bit of DM, but it's not enough to gain these roles. We'll cover the rest with weapons.

 

WEAPONS

You're looking to cover as many roles efficiently with weapons as possible. Based on their qualities, all Kerillian's weapons can be split into two categories, A and B, and you'll likely want to use one A weapon and one B weapon.

  • "A" Ranged Weapons (Sniping, High Damage)

Longbow and Volley Crossbow belong here. You gain a dominant SS and a reasonable amount of BR. Volley Crossbow gives you some SP too, I believe, although I don't have enough experience with it (bodyshotting Stormvermin seems close to SP). You can't use Volley Crossbow with Waystalker. So, this guide is about sniper Waystalker, and I will not go into many details about SMG Kerillian; as a sniper, you want the Longbow and a "B" melee weapon.

  • "B" Ranged Weapons (Rapid Fire, Crowd Control)

Swift Bow and Hagbane Shortbow belong here. Both give you a substantial amount of BR (Hagbane gives more by default), some DM; Swift Bow gives some MM; and pretty much 0 SP. As far as I recall neither can pierce even ordinary armor. If you use any of these, you'll want an "A" melee weapon.

  • "A" Melee Weapons (High Damage, relatively slow attacks; "nukes")

Elven Spear, Glaive, Sword, Sword and Dagger, Two-Handed Sword belong here. I admit the category is somewhat strained, but the other two melee weapons differ quite a lot from these, even if Sword and Dagger seem like something in between Dual Swords and Dual Daggers. This split is mostly explained by which weapons make sense when paired with corresponding ranged weapons. Glaive gives you loads of SP, some of these give you DM, I'd say Two-Handed Sword gives you MM.

  • "B" Melee Weapons
Read:  Ranger Veteran discussion

Dual Swords and Dual Daggers belong here, even if they have little in common. They make most sense when paired with Sniping weapons: getting a Sniping ranged weapon with a high single target damage melee weapon makes you double down on a single role, and as such too lopsided. Dual Swords are a sawmill of bloody murder that turn you into a Slayer Jr. without jumping in the middle of nowhere screaming GRIMNIIIIIIIR; they are heavily MM oriented. Dual Daggers can pass as a BR weapon due to their high charged attack headshot damage, but they were moved to "B" because of their incredible attack speed that pairs well with slow sniping weapons.

I could go further in explaining categories, but it'll simply take too much. TL;DR the weapons were split based on their innate qualities, and taking an A ranged weapon provides the most versatility when paired with a B melee weapon, and vice versa.

Personally, I prefer Dual Swords over Dual Daggers. Their attack speed and sweep area provide you with enough safety at close range.

With Longbow and Dual Swords, Kerillian is a very efficient SS and MM hero (among the best at both roles). Both weapons are good at BR, so we can grant her that. She has little to zero SP and an insignificant amount of DM.

 

PROPERTIES AND TRAITS

Now, to setting our items up. This section is where I require aid of Legend-tier players: some properties were a matter of my own preference, but there might be some that I was wrong to overlook because they make just enough difference to, for instance, become capable of bodyshotting Berserkers.

  • Let's start with Trinkets because they seem to be the simplest of all. Shrapnel isn't the most aesthetically pleasing trait but seems to be the most efficient if it works: relying on chance to dupe a bomb isn't very promising, and Ordnance is just asking for trouble more often than helping. Shrapnel bomb opening can make quick work out of Monsters and Bosses. As for properties, 33% Curse Resistance is what you want on all heroes every day: it reduces the Health penalty for grimoires in your party. And I'll take 10% Cooldown Reduction any day on any hero that has such an impactful career ability as Waystalker. Revive / Respawn speed is basically what you want to never use.

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  • For Necklace, I prefer 20% extra Health and +2 Stamina (thanks to u/Hendor for confirming there are +2 rolls). Block Angle and Block Cost Reduction are possible replacements for flat Stamina. For traits, Shallya's Boon gives you most team health per healing drop (Hand of Shallya gives you more health per bandage, but you don't always get bandages); plus, it works with every other healing source (Amaranthe, T4 Talent, Morale Boost etc) which leads to amazing amounts of sustain.

  • For Charms, I'm leaning towards +5% Attack Speed and +10% Power vs. Monsters. I don't like Crit builds; I recognize they feel rewarding sometimes, but I'm not a fan of rolling a die every time I click. Choosing a Power property, I go for Monsters simply because there is no such thing as too much Monster damage. The more you deal, the sooner they go down, which is only good. However, there might be a better application for this property if a 10% damage boost can make a difference between 1 and 2 shots. Now, concerning traits. Charms are the most uncertain item because only half of the players in the team can utilize them, granted 2 out of 4 carry grimoires. However, as a non-tank hero, it's likely that you won't be the one carrying a grimoire. Out of all potions, pray for Concentration. Strength is a passable option if you drink just before throwing a bomb and firing your Trueshot Volley. Some people vouch for Proxy as the trait that gives you most team potion time per drop (200% total), but it's hard to apply correctly, different heroes need different potions, and some heroes don't really need any in particular. I suggest using Decanter. 150% Concentration with 40% Cooldown Reduction gives you FOUR Trueshot Volleys in a row, which is enough to wipe out a patrol, clear a clutch, or cut a chunk of rotting flesh out of a Monster.

  • For Ranged weapons, I was using Conservative Shooter for a very long time to resupply myself with arrows. It might, however, be superfluous when paired with Vaul's Quiver. Consider Resourceful Sharpshooter. In this case, it makes sense to go for +5% Crit Chance and +10% Power vs. Monsters (same reasons as above).

  • For Melee weapons, there are a lot of viable options. I'd go for Resourceful Combatant (you deal a lot of attacks to hope for crits every once in a while, and every crit brings you closer to the next Trueshot Volley), but Swift Slaying makes sense as well. You won't be blocking a lot with Dual Swords, so rather apply a "they can't hit you if they're dead" / "death is the best CC" Bardin mentality. +5% Attack Speed seems to be the best choice here for the same reason: remember that hitting enemies briefly stuns them and prevents them from killing you. For the other property, you could go for +5% Crit Chance to synergize with your trait, but I prefer +2 Stamina. It doesn't seem like much, but it keeps you alive in tough situations for just enough time to make distance or wait for reinforcements.

 

TALENTS

  • T1. Fury of Anath Raema. No such thing as too much Attack Speed. Both options are pretty good, but it gives you survivability while slaying Skaven (and scunners).

  • T2. Arcane Bodkins. On the other hand, these options aren't as shiny. Bodkins will increase your DPS on Bosses, and as someone here once said, "makes sure the shit goes down". Daughter of the Hunt is sort of unplayable (you can't rely on yourself being over 45% Health at high difficulties even with Amaranthe and Shallya's Boon, and it even requires you to deal Crits), and Ironfeather Flights is superfluos with the next talent.

  • T3. Vaul's Quiver. Sort of must have on every Waystalker, unfortunately. I was using Rejuvenating Locus for a very long time despite the argument that you don't need it on Legend because if you're hit you go down too fast for it to make difference, was using it until they started literally kicking me for running out of arrows. Well, with Vaul's Quiver you'll never run out of arrows unless you're shooting slaves left and right and you don't have any other resupply abilities.

  • T4. Khaine's Thirst. If you're a DPS career, health per kill always makes perfect sense.

  • T5. Asrai Focus. Brings you to a total of 40% Cooldown Reduction, which is a lot. Both other talents are redundant.

 

GAMEPLAY

Shoot stuff and don't die. Always works for me.

Save potions and bombs for Monsters, patrols, and clutches. Never be afraid to go to melee: your attack speed and sweeping area are good enough to outkill nearly every other career, barring Slayer. Always move in combat, and peek at your surroundings to make sure to sweep a blade across the face of that pesky rat that tried to flank you. You can solo the horde at Champion, not so sure about Legend: just slash them until they're too close, push and continue slashing, dodge while blocking if in trouble to make distance. Soloing both grants you an ability to clutchsave, and allows a team split for objectives (e. g. Blightreaper final stage).

Save your bow for Elites, Specials and above. Make distance with Stormvermin, quickly switch to ranged, headshot it, then switch back to melee (completely possible with experience). If you don't land a headshot, IIRC every Elite and Special takes 2 bodyshots which you can pull quicker than a Handgun reloads. Fire your Trueshot Volley whenever you see a non-regular enemy, if you're sure you'll be fine fire it at the horde. Remember that Specials remain your priority target at all times.

With Monsters, Rothelms and Berserkers don't take chances if you're their target: just block and dodge and pull back until they're killed or change their target. Prefer ranged over melee with Monsters and Berserkers. Don't bother with Rothelms unless they're the only enemy at the reasonable distance; the only ways you can damage them are charged Dual Swords attack and Longbow headshot. Both deal insignificant damage, although headshots can briefly stagger Rothelms; however, if you missed the head, you wasted both your time and your arrow.

Stormfiends field a superarmour too, but they're easy pickings because they remain stationary while firing their flamethrower, and they have two weak spots. Make use of your Arcane Bodkins.

Marauders have superarmored heads. They take 2 bodyshots to go down.

You are one out of two careers that can save a hero caught by a disabler Special behind a wall (e. g. lagged behind when the rest of the team jumped down). Fire your Trueshot Volley a bit farther than the obstacle (in the case above, higher than the ledge), but not too far. Use it to dispatch Specials before they can even see you.

 

CONCLUSION

Thanks for reading. I'll edit the guide if I recall anything else important, or if you provide me with some valuable information.

Cheers!


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