Bardin’s great axe is one of the coolest looking weapons in the game, with nice illusions and great feel.
It’s well known for its anti-armor capabilities and it also is not that bad against monsters, right?
Well, yes. But other weapons in Bardin’s arsenal are simply better - at least for IB. Namely - 2h hammer and 1h axe.
Why am I not using shield and axe? I enjoy “offensive tank builds” since dead enemy is better than alive enemy, so the faster I kill them, the better, killing potential helps more in difficult situations, especially when you’re the last man standing and ulti works the same no matter the weapon.
Lets start with the hammer. I’m using +chaos + armor power on charm. The hammer itself is vanilla. And at 600 hero power I’m dealing 24 dmg to CW with light swing. It means CW is dead in 5 light hits - no headshots needed, and scoring HS on CW can be tricky due to his arm and pauldron placement during attack animations.
Oh and 2h hammer delivers the same 24 dmg with push attack.
Worth to note: 2h hammer actually can benefit greatly from health on stagger simply by beating horde left and right with charged attack.
Now 2h axe, same situation - light attack is 17, 17, then 5,25. Good joke. Push attack? 5,25 too.
So you have to block-cancel every 3rd attack, which is time consuming and when you’re trying to wipe chaos patrol using speed potion, this is even worse.
Charged attack? 23 damage and is noticeably slower. Yes, it staggers CW. So the fastest way to kill CW with axe I think is 3 charged, 3 light attacks. Charged attacks take more time and leave you unable to block for longer. Hammer has no such issues. And 2h axe leaves you with temp HP on kill, because temp HP on stagger is not giving you back enough HP - yes, you can stagger even CW, but staggering CW and clanrat gives back to same amount of THP.
So, hammer may be slower to strike the light attack, but you can simply spam it not worrying about block-cancelling, long block downtimes etc. Spam left click, concentrate on the fight.
Finally axe is better. 21,45 vs19,5 and axe light is faster. Too bad 3rd light attack deals 10,5 dmg, so back to the drawing board I guess?
The only real advantage of great axe - charged attack. This deals solid 4 dmg more than light attack ( ), but vs boss when he’s aggroed on you, you don’t really have time for more than 1 swing, dodge, swing, dodge. So yeah, better vs bosses I guess.
But IB overall dmg output vs bosses is rather bad and well, drakefire pistols are noticeably better at delivering dmg to all monster-armored enemies anyway - since they are the main source of dmg, the difference between hammer and axe dimnishes in this department - when you’re not aggroed, spam pistols. Simple. When aggroed, you’re not going to deliver a lot of dmg anyway.
But the worst offender is 1h Axe. It delivers exactly the same damage with normal and charged attack vs monsters (bug?), has v. high attack speed, way better dodge range and dodge count (and dodge > block). The only real downside? Range. But it’s way easier to adapt to lower range than to lower damage output and lower dodge range and dodge count.
Horde clear is similiar to 2h axe. And the additional crit chance with crit stagger really makes a difference. How to win? Spam light attack and enjoy the carnage.
Maybe the numbers from the mod displaying damage are wrong, but I doubt that. I have used all 3 weapons and well, I still use 2h axe, cause it looks cool. But I know full well, that my IB is way more useful with 1h axe.
To make the 2h axe great again it needs its push attack power back, more 3rd light damage, so I won’t have to block-cancel it and a slight increase in charged attack damage. Voila. It should be the heavy anti-armor hitter, right now 2h hammer and 1h axe are simply better from gameplay perspective.
Also the dodge distance penalty of 2h weapons should be lowered, because low dodge count is already bad enough in the much more dodge-centered post-patch battlefield.