Elf melee thoughts, mainly Handmaiden

With cover or in coridor - yes. I wont be so sure about the open field.

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um, i think that most of the people here treat the handmaiden as a dps melee class. she’s a tank subtype. she’s not meant to push out the insane numbers you see on waystalker or the instagibs and flexibility of the shade.

Glaive is probably one of the strongest if not the strongest melee weapon in the game, you just gotta me use of a proper swing / push rotation.

sure handmaiden doesnt get the 15% benefit without an attack speed loss but to me her class makes sense, sure some numbers could be tweaked for her but i wouldnt say ‘‘First up, to even work as a melee class you need powerful and versatile melee ability…Handmaiden doesnt have any access to any kind of thing like this.’’ That’s just plain ignorant.

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That’s not why she’s valued. She’s one of the best tanks and supporting characters in the game. Her stamina regeneration and stamina regeneration aura make her unbelievably tanky and even moreso than Ironbreaker or Footknight. She doesn’t have as powerful a disabling active as FK/IB though and both FK/IB have more tank oriented talents. Handmaiden has the most stamina regeneration in the game though and it makes her incredibly durable. Her active can knock down hordes and kill them with a single dash(It doesn’t one shot marauders any more, but they’ll be killed by a gust of Bardin’s farts.) She can reposition easily, save runs, make certain things go faster(like grabbing Righteous Stand 2nd grim very quick without doing the jump puzzle), gives her team a stamina regeneration via an aura, and can flex between going damage and hamming on things to holding a position to block for the rest of her team.

Currently, her uninterruptible revive isn’t working in any way, shape, or form. Literally two of her passives though are focused around supporting her team. Stamina regeneration aura and uninterruptible revive. Her dash allows her to support her team and reposition as necessary or even delete+disrupt a horde.

I don’t find her role to be killing every special. That’s like saying Ironbreaker should try to hunt every special including ones on the other side of the moon(like Blightstormers). She can kill them, but of course she’s not going to do it as well as range-spec careers. Shouldn’t that be obvious though?

I noticed that with a lot of people’s opinions in this game, they’re quite biased based on experience or personal preference/skill. E.G., I don’t really like longbow/shortbow but I know they’re both still good bows. I play certain careers far less frequently, but I still recognize their strengths or weaknesses. I especially notice when it’s more of a player-issue and not a career-issue. But, let people want believe what they want I suppose.


Thing is tho, that you have to have something.

What does handmaiden have? She doesnt have any particularly high DPS, no strong waveclear, no control ability that doesnt have a overwhelming chance of screwing her over and her ability to kill any kind of special is truly beyond awful.

Heck she doesnt even have access to a shield of any kind, and her spear is a downgraded version of the halberd…meaning it has less damage and is inferior on the most premier type of melee specials…chaos warriors and stormvermin that is.

She isnt a tank, or even a sub tank, she is a self serving melee that relies on hordes running in a straight line towards her and the idea that there are no specials among said horde that might disable or break her guard.

And thats another point, she needs to constantly dash and run around like a chicken just no not get instakilled by a group of enemies + 2 stormvermin, because just to kill one vermin she needs 4 heavy attacks but to get those off she has to kill off all the small enemies just to have a chance at charging those up.

Footknight? Charges forward and knocks everything aside and can stagger any kind of enemy, even bosses, but it stops if hitting a enemy big enough…this means that he not only can reliably control a horde he still has the ability to run in a straight line back to safety even if the dash doesnt get stopped.

Ironbreaker? Most powerful control abilities hands down and he holds one of the two flamethrowers, best anti horde weapons there are bar none, he can also kills stormvermin fairly reliably in melee from what i have seen.

Heck even slayer is better at melee than handmaiden, his attackspeed steroid from his leap makes it hard for them to stop his attacks and his dash actually has a powerful stagger as well.

Handmaiden? Sure her dash bleeds enemies…but in exchange for the low cooldown the damage grows progressively more useless the higher difficulty you go, in the end it doesnt even kill assassins or packmasters.

Her special killing ability is about on par with the shade. With good aim on the longbow and the ammo on headshot trait you can one hit kill pretty much most specials on a headshot, stormvermin as well, whilst firing for free with the headshot trait. Yes her special killing isn’t quite as good as waystalker since waystalker has the autoaim ult but handmaiden can still give herself enough space to kill off any specials with her dash + invis.

Handmaiden has nothing on shade anti special.

Because shade can straight up oneshot 3 chaos warriors at once,if they are clustered.

Headshot? How about you try and pull that in a 10+ enemies melee?

Load heavy attack? Same situation.

Shade meanwhile, if there are a lot of enemies you just pop stealth, walk up to any problematic target and delete them while dancing through the next ones, if you have resourceful combatant then that action will only serve to quickly recharge your ulti for the next big hit.

I once kited a large groupinto a corner by myself and just before they reached me i used stealth, ran into the middle and used a heavy attack that hit almost all of them…all affected targets died, 2 stormvermin, 3 monks and a bunch of slaverats just straight up deleted.

And i didnt lose any health for it.

Handmaiden could never have done it nearly so quickly or cleanly.

I think you are partly confusing specials and elites. Shade deals with chaos warriors and maulers pretty well yes but they both can use a longbow which ruins stormvermin, shieldvermin and all the specials.

With the melee you need to learn positioning. If you are using the spear you dont need to be right at the front because of the longer reach. You just back away for a moment, get a quick headshot off then go back into melee. Shes a very strong frontline support because she keeps the rest of your frontlines stamina up which lets them keep pushing and using push stabs (very good for halberd users and slayer dual axe). Whilst she is doing this she can pop off shots to just keep specials off the teams back.

Also if you are wanting more anti armour in your melee weapon theres nothing stopping you from using the glaive and again, push stab on it is very good which with the stamina recovery you have you can use more liberally

Ehhhhhh I think it’s a bit of a stretch to argue that stamina regen is on par with the ability to kill half a dozen specials at the press of the button or instantly and repeatedly down multiple rot helms. There’s a good reason I don’t have stamina regeneration on any of my weapons, even on Sienna where my melee weapon is just a glorified blocking stick and I want to max out defensive capability. Stamina regen is just a poop quality. In any situation where you can make use of stamina regen, you’re safe enough you don’t need to worry about stamina regeneration. In any situation where you’re wanting more stamina, you’re either already dead or no amount of stamina in the world is going to help. Even when it comes to pushing or turtling, “Stamina over time” is not as valuable as your total effective stamina. When you’re in a bad situation where you need to push, you’re pushing and gtfoing that bad situation asap. If you can’t, you’re already dead regardless of stamina regen. If you can, you can go back to actually killing things and the stamina regen is wasted anyways. In most cases, it’s just going to waste.

Everyone needs to know positioning for melee on every class. It’s fundamental. What you’re describing there isn’t anything special that makes HM any better, it’s just normal play. Issue is, normal play on HM is vastly inferior to sub-par play on either WS or Shade, simply because spike damage and instant special/heavy removal are worth a great deal more than everything HM can offer combined.

Outside of solo speedrun, I’ve yet to single HM player who could change my mind that the class is beyond terrible. I would honestly rather run with 3 people and an empty slot than have a HM in comp.


PM me your steam ID and i could show you that she is at least of some use on champ / leg

Of course stamina regen isn’t on par with either of those two abilities. Two of those abilities are their respective characters ults and the other is a passive ability.

Sure you may not personally value stamina regen but again there are those who do. With people realising how good the slayer is, one of the recommended stats so that he can get more push stabs in as it pretty much turns into more dps is stamina regen.

The positioning is fundamental yes but the reason I mentioned that there was because OP seemed to be struggling with that particular concept. “Headshot? How about you try and pull that in a 10+ enemies melee?”

Sure, though will be a lil while before I’m back in game I think.

That said, don’t get me wrong, I know she’s not utterly useless but nothing is going to convince me she’s of more value than WS/Shade, especially since Shade’s buff. Someone who can kinda block a teensie bit more or dodge around the battlefield a lil better just doesn’t make up for an ult aimbot mercs a hundred non-LoS specials per run while having infinite ammo or team regen, or a class that utterly trivializes bosses and rot helms.

: - )

Oh ok sry I misunderstood you on the positioning thing. Yes, I totally agree with that as it’s a fundamental skill.

The HM + Slayer combo is nice for the slayer and all but a Shade could do the job of both, better. Slayer’s alright for Rot Helm killin’ but not as good as Shade now and she doesn’t need stamina support to shine as a DPS in general. Virtually no one does.

A group needs a lil tankiness and CC but beyond the bare minimum required, it’s wasted. It’s just min:maxing output. HM’s brand of tankiness in particular isn’t that helpful because she doesn’t have the CC or staying power of pure tanks and she sacrifices considerable DPS output to achieve this state. She barely tanks better than either Shade or WS, if at all, but her damage is hard stunted. It’s just not optimal.

In terms of viability I still think she does fine as a slightly tankier, walking glaive/longbow elf, who can arguably clutch harder than any other class. Main issue with her is shes just kinda boring in comparison to the other two classes.

That’s fair. A lot of the issues comes from people using her enhanced mobility in a way that causes them to not contribute, so she becomes a liability. Agree she’s boring.

IMO they need to buff her support role drastically. Give her some new and better auras. Improve the CC effect of her dash dramatically. They should give HM both a speed aura and WS’s regen aura. If she’s going to be boring and have worst output, she may as well be useful to the team. There’s not a lot they could do to here to make her gamebreaking because her kit is just so bland.

I think a big problem with her is because she is almost expected to be a clutch character, the handmaidens high points in a game are pretty much when everyone else is dead or dying and handmaiden is trying to salvage an already bad situation.

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That’s my core beef. I feel those situations are less likely to happen with either a Shade/WS because both will kill any threats before they can become an issue. HM isn’t as good at these clutch saves as Shade or Ranger Veteran, because both can avoid pulling a massive train to their downed teammates. HM, on the other hand, brings everything that just killed the team + everything else she encounters on the way, so it’s always just delaying the inevitable. Reinforces the “I’m the last one alive so I must be good” mentality common to tank classes that makes them appealing to newer players in MMOs in general.



just no.

first off, you’re comparing apples to oranges. the handmaiden isn’t a dps or ranged class. she’s a slippery harasser with arguably the best mobility in the game, which means that enemies can’t touch her. from that point onwards it’s all playstyle. a lot of players don’t know that one of the roles of tanks in the game is to ‘spread out’ the threats that the party is facing at any time. if you suddenly have a boss + horde + specials, it’s time to shine for the handmaiden to maybe pull the boss away, or carve a path through the horde with her ability so people can escape, or dash thru to save someone from a packmaster etc. the use cases are endless and it is ultimately up to playstyle to determine effectiveness.

i’m a shade main, and i can tell you there’s is no way the handmaiden can even compare to the killing potential of the shade. no contest. the handmaiden struggles on any hard targets and ranged specials, the shade just eats them for breakfast.

edit: ok i was triggered when i saw that comment and didn’t scroll down to see that others had already replied the same thing. lol

Again are you confusing elites and specials? The longbow, on any of the elf classes, can one shot specials with a headshot from most ranges. If the situation is particularly shitty, the handmaiden can deaggro more often than the shade can and doesnt waste a more valuable ult if the shade isnt using the ranged hits in stealth ability.

How does Shade deal with ranged specials better? The only special that shade deals with slightly better is quickly deleting a packmaster who has already grabbed someone. Every other special is pretty much the same just because of the large headshot damage on the longbow.

Please note as well that I have never once said handmaiden can deal with elites better than Shade.