I've been using the executioner's sword quite a bit recently and I figured I'd put together a post about how think it's best used, and how I would improve it.
Firstly, my setup:
I run merc with 22223, although only the level 5 talent is really important for using the exec sword.
On the sword itself, I use 5% attack speed 5% crit chance and swift slaying.
On charm, 5% attack speed is necessary and I also would put 20% crit power.
On Trinket, 5% crit chance is necessary.
The reason to stack crit chance and attack speed is to enable the exec sword to deal with hordes. the 10% attack speed from base boosts + 10% attack speed from paced strikes + 20% attack speed from swift slaying are all necessary to be able to deal with chaos hordes.
Dealing with elites, is of course, the raison d'être of the exec sword. However, I don't believe that the exec sword does this well enough. Of course the exec sword can one shot headshot storm vermin with the heavy attack, but so can the glaive heavy+ light combo, headshot from a longbow, dual dagger heavy attack, and many other attacks.
The executioner's sword also suffers when dealing with chaos warriors. Most of the chaos warrior's attacks will make it impossible to hit their head during their attack animation(especially during the overhead swing), and require waiting until they're finished for the brief window where they're standing still to be able to hit headshots consistently. This is due to the fact that most of the time the hit is taken by the shoulder armour. Further more, the attack animation of the executioner's sword means that one has to aim to the left of the chaos warrior's head for the first charged attack, and to the right for the second.
When fighting chaos warriors, it's more likely to kill them with crit body shots(which do about the same damage as headshots) than it is to kill them with headshots. On legend, the chaos warrior has 120 health.
- Headshots do 44 damage
- crits do 44
- crit headshots 55.25
- non-headshots do 18.50
This means that it requires three headshots, which are very hard to hit. Or, more likely, some combination of body hits and crit body hits.
Consider now, Maulers(the guys with armor only on their head). The irony with theses enemies is that while they're the easiest to hit on the head (no shoulder armour forever blocking your attacks), hitting them on the head is not necessary(and in some cases worse than body shots). The Chaos mauler had 90 health on legend.
- headshots do 44 damage just like chaos warriors
- body shots do 36.75 damage
- crit headshots do 55.25 damage
- crit body shots do 88.25 damage
This means that maulers can be killed in 3 headshots, 3 body shots, or a crit body shot and a body shot. For maulers, it's better to not aim for body shots. This can be improved by putting on 10% chaos damage, which means they die in two headshots, or one crit body shot.
The exec sword suffers when the enemies are engaged by more than one player(you). Many weapons deal knockback to enemies(specifically storm vermin), which combined with the incredibly slow movement speed while charging a power attack and the fact that the power attack can't be held indefinitly means that more often than not the enemy will be shoved out of the reach of your power attack as you're charging it. Compare this to the elf's favourite weapon: the glaive. The elf suffers no movement speed decrease while charging the power attack, and even moves forward slightly when executing the power attack. Further more, the glaive's power attack combo to the chaos warrior's head does 39.5 damage. That's just slightly less than the executioner's sword's headshot. That's not considering the first strike, which does 16.5 damage. The glaive out damages the executioner's sword, and is easier to land a hit on the chaos warrior's head(due to the angle that the second strike descends)
I don't think that the executioner sword needs that many buffs. It is already one of the only weapons that is good for kruber. To improve the executioner's sword, I would change the movement speed while charging the power attack so that he has the same movement speed when walking, or slightly less. I would also increase the damage on headshots to super armor up to a two power attack headshots(60 damage), so that it would be more rewarding when hitting the headshots.
Right now the executioner's sword is just an objectively worse glaive.
© Post "On the Executioner’s sword" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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