For some reason, a lot of people despise Bardin's 1h axe. I suppose because it's one weakness is horde control. It kills hordes quickly, but it doesn't control them at all, leading to a lot of dodge dancing and positioning being required. It is, however, his best melee option for elite killing save for the slayer locked twin axes. Three light attack kills on stormvermin, with only two of them required to be headshots with no +skaven, and two lights + push stab is fairly quick. Pretty fast Chaos Warrior culling via push stab spam, especially if you have fodder around you can use to regen stamina via temp healing. Taking drakkpistols or grudgeraker covers for the 1h axes weakness nicely, if you ever get caught in a place you can't dodge dance effectively, or just want to kill the horde faster because you can.
The reasons I see 1h axe being his best non slayer offensive weapon (not defensive, mind you. I prefer the 1h hammer for that), is because it kills elites quickly which are the number one danger in the game, hordes will never trip up any competent player and are just a mobile delivery of temp health for the team. The only time a horde is dangerous, is when elites are mixxed in, which the 1h axe is great at picking out, if someone on your team hasn't already done it with a ranged weapon yet. As demonstration of it's viability, I have uploaded two videos of me doing a screaming bell run with only bots as Ironbreaker and Ranger Bardin, using the 1h axe. My choice in using bots was to simulate a team of players that were poor at handling multiple different threats from all sides, forcing the team to rely heavily on the Bardin. This won't always be the case, or even often be the case, as it is right now, Legendary only takes a single competent and/or vocal/communicative player to trivialize it. It's almost silly how much easier the game gets when you have a single person going "Hey, let's move/hold here." whenever something comes up. Even if it's a bad spot, having the entire team move together and agree on a single strategy makes whatever the threat is much easier to manage.
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