I see frequent questions about this powerful (but sometimes misunderstood) weapon on this sub, so I thought I would do a quick primer.
What is the beam staff?
Personally, I think they should have called this the Blast Staff since most of the time that's what you will be doing. There are three attacks:
Continuous Beam (left mouse button). The beam strikes a target and builds up damage over 5 stages (from 75/150 damage at stage1 to 600 at stage5, base). Starting at the 3rd stage, it applies a 3-tick stacking burn based on the stage damage. The buildup resets when you switch targets (or go between the head and body hitboxes on the same target).
Railgun Blast (beaming a target, then pressing right mouse button). When you beam a target, you have the option to press RMB to unleash a spike of damage. The damage scales with the beam buildup stage, giving max damage at stage 5. The heat cost is always the same, so it is most efficient to blast at stage 5.
Shotgun Blast (Hold RMB, click LMB). The Horde Harvester, this should be your bread and butter. This close-up AoE blast deals 600 damage + 275 stacking burn tick per shot; this means that slaverats will die to one, clanrats to two, and with just +5% chaos, fanatics in two shots as well.
Do's and Don'ts
-Don't use the beam staff versus Chaos Warriors and Armored Lords (eg Skarrik Spinemangler).
+Do use on the target's body only. Switching between head & body resets your buildup stage.
+Do use on Bosses and Lords. This is the best boss DPS after Shade and Huntsman due to the stacking burn applied at stage 5.
+Do use on assassins, as it locks them into their tumble animations and they can be easily killed as they roll about.
-Don't use on hordes. This is very inefficient in terms of man-hours to enemies killed.
+Do use on all other specials.
+Do use on standing ambient elites, if you aren't getting in a head-shotters way. Stage 5 blast will kill Marauders and SV (even shield SV; the beam causes them to drop their shield).
+Do use the fastest blast you can to get Assassins off of teammates; the beam alone won't shove them off.
-Don't use on bosses/lords; continuous beam is more time- and heat-efficient.
+Do use to kill hordes, or any group of 4+ enemies.
+Do use to kill and hold back bezerkers; repeated blasts are great for keeping them off you and your allies.
-Don't use on Stormvermin, as it does very little damage. (In uncommon cases, you may want to use it to push away/hold back an aggroed SV patrol).
I use these strategies on Unchained to great effect, although it should work for any Sienna. For those curious, my build is below.
I have noticed that you will not get top kills with this build, since your teammates typically cut down the burning rats before they would have died to your burn damage.
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think in the comments! Please upvote if you think this guide will be helpful for others.
© Post "Beam Staff – Do’s and Don’ts" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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