Bored of seeing/being a Bounty Hunter or Zealot every game you play? Want to be a fencing bad ass with the coolest outfit in the game? Want to not have to bother with pesky damage breakpoints and put properties into useful things? Want to be the only Saltzpyre who truly has the authority and tenacity to be worthy of barking orders at the rest of your party? Well look no further for here you shall learn how to play as a Witch Hunter Captain and make your allies think "Wow, maybe he isn't a completely garbage career."
You might be asking yourself "Who the hell are you and why do you think you have the position to be able to tell people how to play?" Well let me tell you, I am a absolute devotee to the Witch Hunter Captain since levelling Saltzpyre with him I forsook my Slayer oath in order to do my duty for the Empire by clearing Legendary with great success in random quick plays and (In my opinion) performing as an absolute team player and being an integral part to each missions success.
Well boys and girls of all ages and races, your Witch Hunter Captain training starts here, buckle up because its going to be an in-depth and long look into all the details of what you want to do to get the most out of playing this underrated and underplayed career.
I write all this not only because I want people to feel more confident in playing this career, but to put my thoughts into a thread so I can fully flush things out for my own benefit as well.
Disclaimer: This is all my
subjective objective personal preference and build, you may find success with tweaks in areas you find more useful or to your style.
Lets start with his passives and ultimate.
Witch-Hunt (Tagged enemies take additional damage. (20%)) this is group wide, so everyone in your group is going to be dealing additional damage to any enemy you tag.
Eternal Guard (No light attack block cost from frontal attacks.) this allows you to block more generic attacks than other characters, allowing you to do more push attacks into hordes without worry of completely wearing down your stamina from the odd light attack hitting your block. (Note, this will not save you when surrounded as you're getting heavied at this point and should clear a path and not just sit there getting hit)
Killing Shot (Critical hit headshots instantly kill man-sized enemies.) This beautiful passive allows you to pick elite enemies out of a pack with great success and with high enough +critical chance and your ultimate, you will cleave through hordes like butter.
Animosity (Pushes all enemies away and increases critical hit chance for nearby allies' by 25% for 6 seconds.) Obviously this is the Witch Hunter Captain's ultimate ability. It has a long recharge but for reasons explained later this is not actually an issue… It is a great tool for giving you and your allies the ability to as a group cleave through hordes quickly and safely, it can save an ally who has been hooked into a horde, clear enemies away if surrounded or away from a downed ally. It can even give your allies with the Scrounger trait (recover 2 ammo on critical hit) to unload onto bosses or hordes and walk away with more ammo than they started. Even without your allies, it is a great tool to give you more critical hits, and with more critical hits comes more one shots.
Next we go to static decisions, meaning Weapon choices, Traits, Properties, Talents and most importantly why.
Melee Weapon: Rapier. The natural choice any aspiring and veteran Witch Hunter Captain, the attacks are fast and the heavy attack is a pin point headshot attack which couples nicely with a talent you will pick and the one shot on critical hits. It benefits from increased headshot damage, so aiming at the enemies forehead or just above it will guarantee most attacks to be headshots. It has two charges to its charged heavy, so holding it down for a little longer will make it hit even harder (A bit less than double its single charge) and poke through more enemies. The push attack is very fast, making it very safe to use in most situations. It also comes with an infinite ammo side arm alternate fire option which does pretty decent damage close range… However the most important thing with this alternate fire is getting a critical hit headshot from really far away, killing an elite enemy with a shot that does less than 1 damage. Resourceful Combatant is your trait of choice as your attacks are already quick enough to not need Swift Slaying, and combined with your ultimate and your general critical hits make the long cooldown on your ultimate not as long as you might think. As for your properties +5% Critical hit and +2 Stamina, You want all the critical hits you can get and stamina is the difference between life and death in some situations, plus more push attacks is always a good thing.
Ranged Weapon: Brace of Pistols. Lets be real, is there really any other choice to even consider? These pistols do amazing damage, you will two shot all specials (One shot Assasssins and Three on Hookrat (Though a single headshot will make it two) assuming they are in close to medium range. Against Marauders it is a two hit on body shot with your tag bonus, Stormvermin is also two. Watch a Stormvermin Patrol melt with these pistols plus your ultimate. Got a boss or horde near an ammo cache? Go wild and don't stop shooting. Scrounger is your trait of choice here as combined with your ultimate, you will be regaining so much ammo as you fire into bosses or hordes with it active, even without it, you will get enough critical hits to last you for a good amount of time without finding additional ammo. As for your properties 5% Critical hit and +Damage versus Monsters Critical hit is there for the obvious reasons, the reason for the damage bonus here is to make your pistols more effective at killing Hookrats, and making it stronger versus bosses, as your strongest option against bosses is your pistols plus your ultimate. You can also opt for damage versus armoured if you prefer the increased effectiveness against Stormvermin.
Necklace: +2 Stamina, +20% Health, Witch Hunter Captain is squishy, so more health is better, and more stamina is good for reasons explained above. Trait is purely preference.
Charm: +5% Attack speed, Power versus Monsters/Armoured, Though already fast, you can't get critical hit here, so more attack speed means more attacks, more attacks mean more critical hits possibilities. Damage again is reasoned above. Trait again is preference, though I opt for Decanter (Potions last 50% longer).
Trinket: +5% Critical hit, +33% Curse Resistance, Reasoning here is pretty self-explanatory. Trait is either Shrapnel (Effected enemies take +20% increased damage) or** Grenadier (25% chance not to consume bomb on use)**.
Now onto your choices of talents:
Level 5: Charmed Life (+20% dodge range). The Witch Hunter Captain does not fight standing still unless you're fighting climbing enemies, against a horde or a couple elites, you must be moving and dodging, lunging in and out with well placed headshots against elites, and sweeping side to side with generic horde enemies, increasing your dodge range simply makes this easier and more effective.
Level 10: Deathknell (Increased headshot damage multiplier). The Witch Hunter Captain excels at getting headshots against all enemies with his normal attacks and charged attacks, using Deathknell makes your charged heavies do decent damage against bosses, but most importantly, it makes all charged attack headshots against every generic enemy a one shot kill, critical hit or not.
Level 15: Wild Fervour (+8% critical hit chance for 4 seconds when a taggable enemy dies) This will take effect whether the enemy was tagged or not, it just has to be taggable for it to work, this simply allows you to chain critical kill elite enemies with higher success than without it.
Level 20: Righteous Zeal (Temporary Health gained on kill) Even with your critical hits, this is still the most reliable and best option.
Level 25: Redoubled Purpose (Ultimate cooldown reduced by 30%) Quicker Ultimate recharge is always good, its a long one, so every little thing to get it quicker helps.
Now for the most important thing about the Witch Hunter Captain… How to play him during the map itself.
First things first… I will state this right off the bat. Success with this career is extremely player dependent, if you do not perform at a high level you will be a burden to your team. There are no middle of the road Witch Hunter Captains, only amazing players, or bad ones.
Second things second… You are not a Zealot, you are not a Bounty Hunter, try and play like one of them and you will find absolutely no success in this career.
Now to the meat of it.
Generic moving through the level: Simply put… Play like you would any class, kill any random specials and stray enemies without friendly fire, unlike some pointy eared folk that follow you around. Any small pack of 3-4 enemies can be quickly dealt with by a charged poke to the head on each of them.
Shielded enemies is a simple push attack to get them to lose their stamina, then you can simply charged heavy the head.
Shielded Stormvermin is 4 swings, push attack then charged heavy the head.
Every class operates the same moving through the level in general, the differences are during hordes and during bosses.
Hordes: The Witch Hunter Captain is fantastic at killing infantry… Aiming correctly with your swings provides so many headshots that you will just carve through them. Simply fighting a horde has two possibilities, either you are in open ground with a wide arch of directions they can come from, or they are funnelled… You deal with both of these differently. Should you find yourself in a funnel meat grinder, you will want to be using single charged heavies for headshots quickly killing the first few in line. If you are alone in dealing with it, do not be afraid to fire your pistols into the clump as they get closer to thin them out, swapping to the charged headshots then into push attacks once they begin to clump up.
If however you find yourself in an open space with a risk of being surrounded at any point you will want to keep moving, dodging left and right along the side or front of the horde, dodging their attacks and slashing headshots constantly, using push attacks once they start to clump. With the push attack, you will want to push one direction, and quickly pan to your other side to do the slash there, this is to avoid being hit from your blind side.
Now, the biggest threat during a horde are the specials which will undoubtedly spawn during it. Because of your extra dodge range talent, as well as the Rapiers natural long dodge distance, this allows you to, push attack, dodge back from melee, quick swap to your pistols, turn, tag and double shot the special, swap back to your melee weapon and resume the fight before they even catch up.
"But everyone can kill specials"… Well yes obviously, but no other character locked in melee can do it as safely as Witch Hunter Captain can, meanwhile everyone else swaps to their ranged weapon, gets hit 5 times and their aim goes completely off.
Bosses and Chaos Warriors: There is no way around it, you are not the slayer of Chaos Warriors, nor the demise of bosses, instead you perform a more subtle role, though just as important. You are keeping your allies safe and taking minimal damage from other sources, bosses rarely come alone, nor do Chaos Warriors, so while your allies deal with this threat, you can quickly pick off any extra infantry that come to avoid any stray hits dealing unnecessary damage. Should an ally get downed you can be the first responder to pick them back up by using your ultimate to knock the boss away. Specials will undoubtedly spawn during this time, and you are best suited for quickly turning and snapping two quick pistol shots to remove it. Give your allies a critical hit buff with your ultimate to move things along quicker, or use it to free somebody from a Chaos Spawns grasp. Of course while there are no external threats running around, you can assist on the boss/Chaos Warrior as much as you can.
Should a horde spawn, refer to the details of how to deal with a horde, you're not the boss killer, so keep this horde either thinned, or contained.
Feel bad for not contributing more damage to the boss or Chaos Warrior? Well actually you've provided a 20% damage buff to all your allies, so you've added a lot by simply existing.
And there you have it folks, my personal preference in how to build and play a Witch Hunter Captain. I have so much fun playing him in this way that I would not have playing a character which is frankly, easier to play. Doing well with the Witch Hunter Captain feels rewarding in a way that pressing F as a Waywatcher or Pyromancer simply doesn't.
Feel free to ask any questions, or add anything you think is missing. Though this is a Witch Hunter Captain guide, so comments such as "Play Bounty Hunter or Zealot instead" Are hardly useful.
Thank you for your time and for reading.
© Post "So you want to be a Witch Hunter Captain?" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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