Elf melee thoughts, mainly Handmaiden

Couple things to start off with. If you play HM, glaive is by far ur best option. HM passives make glaive an absolute monster of a weapon. Its only downside is low dodge range but with HM you negate that completely and it also benefits hugely from stamina regen for pushstab into light combo spam during hordes. The fact that you have such a long dodge range means that you can play very offensively against packs of elites like multiple CWs with multiple maulers. Glaive kills CWs with 2 charged combos if you hit one headshot (really easy with the glaive charged against CWs and if you fail, the cw is really low), this makes it so you can kill a CW during ur 3sec stealth if you start charging the hit while dashing.

HM vs Shade:

-For elites, shade is better during hordes because her ult gives a lot of dps but whenever you don’t have loads of unarmored/unshielded enemies around, HM with glaive, is way better at clearing elites. So shade is better during hordes and HM for ambients, so HM mainly for pace and occasional CW / SV patrol, obv shade destroys those if she has a conc pot.

-Shade destroys bosses, HM is decent against them with longbow/glaive but requires aiming to get headshots. Basicly troll and ogre its really good for and does decently against stormfiend / chaos spawn with glaive.

-They are more or less equally good at killing specials and clearing hordes, HM a little more skill dependant for hordes if playing glaive vs dual swords.

-HM is a little safer, gives team utility and does all the things I listed shade doing well, a little worse. So for example, elites during hordes, HM can dash into a horde and do couple chargeds in peace to delete any elite, a bit harder than on shade because you have to aim.

I think both HM and shade are a little op atm because of how good stealth is, shade a bit more so in group play, so here are my nerf proposals:

For HM I think they should make the stealth after dash break after an offensive action to make it a little less cheesy, since now its just 3seconds of free dps.

For Shade, couple options:

  1. remove the guaranteed crit from stealth attack, (buff dmg and give armor piercing to compensate) so resourceful combatant wouldnt get a free proc instantly when coming out of stealth AND make stealth CD start only after you come out of stealth.

  2. keep the cd as it is but make the duration 3-4seconds with a little movement speed increase.

I much prefer option 2 because I love often you can spam the skill but it feels really cheesy that you can be in stealth more than half the time. This would require for them to probably also change the talent that lets you shoot in stealth to something else.

Dual weapons cleave attacks stop on armor so you can only hit max 2 armored targets, same with SVs.

I actually think the guaranteed crit is fine. I do think the weapon traits in general could do with being looked at just because of how much certain weapons get with crits. Scrounger and heat sink being the main culprits. Some sort of internal cooldown or just capping it to so much per crit would stop quite a bit of bullshit. I do agree on the CD starting when you come out of stealth though.

I’m unsure if the duration needs nerfing especially that hard just for a little movement increase. It seems alright as is for what is supposed to be a 60 second cooldown ult. Handmaidens is 3 seconds at about 20 second cooldown for comparison.

The shorter duration and mov speed change would make the gameplay more fast paced and interesting, imo, the long stealth basicly makes it so you can always press it when it comes up and then start thinking what you wanna do with it, instead of doing fast decisions or thinking b4 using the ult.

Also about the HM comparison, shade can have 30% cdr with stealth so that’s 42sec cd for 10sec of stealth. The duration nerf wouldn’t really nerf shade as much as it would make her harder and more rewarding to play, imo. Also I said in my comment that i’d also want the HM stealth to be nerfed because its quite brainless aswell.

And yeah, scrounger definitely needs fixing but I think resourceful is fine atm for every1 else so it would be stupid to change a trait for 1 career instead of changing that career. Also heat sink is kinda broken atm because it doesnt work for confla / fireball aoe, so we don’t really know how much to nerf it because its straight up not working on half the staffs. I don’t think they should nerf heat sink b4 fixing it.

I feel like I’m playing a different game here from OP.

Handmaiden is top-tier for Legend; her usefulness is much less on lower difficulties. Her stamina regen both for herself and the buff to her allies is extremely strong; with a spear she can front-line for days by push-attacking - unless you’re facing hyperdensity, which you never want to face with any character - even IB Bardin will get the block broken on his shield without an ult in that situation. If you understand how to deal with hordes in general, she’s the absolute best at tanking and killing at the same time.

Spear deals great damage on headshots to most enemies, along with having extremely good range - it’s an incredibly versatile weapon, though dealing with Chaos Warriors is a weakness.

Glaive is her more offensive option, and basically makes armor obsolete. The downward attack on her charged attack does 48 damage to a Chaos Warrior! You can two-combo them, which is crazy good. It is one of the best weapons for dealing with mixed common enemies and armor, as you can chunk down the common enemies while still softening up the armor. The only real disadvantage I find with it are its low stamina and the relatively long period in which you can’t block while swinging.

What good are powerful headshots against single enemies? Pace. It’s vital on Legend, and her two-handed sword is pretty good at dealing with hordes while still retaining some reasonable anti-armor power. Very easy to headshot with consistently, too - its charged attacks are like the spear in reverse.

Dual swords are quite usable, too, and let her use her high mobility to move around the edges of hordes and wear them down, while her ult will let her escape dangerous situations easily. The invis talent is not just good for soloing, as she can use it in a horde fight to get the breathing room needed to snipe specials. Speaking of, it also helps her so much in the kiting situation you mentioned where enemies keep using charged attacks. Timed dodges avoid most, and those that do hit your block won’t usually matter because her stamina regen is so damn fast. Then you can just dash away to let them lose track of you and pick a few off. Those three seconds are SO amazingly versatile; she can heal, kill a special, focus a specific elite, revive an ally, get distance.

She’s not a primary anti-special character, but she can fulfill it as a secondary role, since the Longbow is extremely good at it - even the Swiftbow can deal with any non-armored special extremely well, and has great boss DPS (I like to pair it with Glaive so I have armor covered).

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The main reason being glaive is the best melee weapon shrug

I’ve played her through some leg runs, but i’d still prefer to play the two other careers as they bring more.
(It’s just that the way they’re oriented which being career skills and talent setups allows them to help out better proactively)

Where HM falls in the category of being better BECAUSE of her mobility which few can follow, it can make her a bit odd in quickplay. Tho i still hope they keep her in the same category just a few small tweaks or a HM only melee weapon ? :>

Just took a solo Champ quickmatch and had these results with a pretty decent group on skittergate ( as in no one died ).

I was trying out Dual daggers while having longbow.

Have you played the other classes? Handmaiden/Elf has one of the better weapon options and melee talents/passives (stam regen). All the things you described are issues for ALL melee in the game, that’s why everyone keeps complaining about how much better ranged is.

I smiled to some wierd responses in this tread but this gem just killed me:

“Heck even slayer is better at melee than handmaiden…”

Admittedly that might have been written without enough thought behind it, at the time i wrote it i was under the impression that slayer was effectively garbage for reasons according to people i had played with and read from on these forums.

Now i know that that isnt the case at all but i still believe the Handmaiden’s melee is kinda bad.

I mean, needing 4 heavy attacks to kill a fairly common enemy, the stormvermin, is nothing short of painful, and there are times when you wont have the chance to shoot them to avoid it.

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Doing something wrong there. Spear is considered bad against armored and 2-shots SV.

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It might two shot them with 2 headshots but only from the second heavy.

If you want to make that happen smoothly you need to LMB-RMB-LMB-RMB

Which they wont let you do if they can help it, and if other enemies are there its impossible to do at all x)

My point is that SV are still ok even with a bad weapon vs armor.
Kerillian has a great arsenal and HM has the best mobility with a solid +15% power.

That 15% power sounds great until you realize it effectively does nothing against anything except bosses and chaos maulers.

If we measure health as the amount of hits taken then that 15% adds absolutely 0 damage most of the time.

Waystalker kills stormvermin equally fast and shade does it even faster because a higher power bonus

Great arsenal?

The only legend-worthy weapons she has are glaive, spear(barely) and SnD for shade, melee wise.

Two handed sword would be nice if the swings werent so stupid, they dont actually hit targets standing on your side as well as glaive does and enemies constantly get into that gap.

As for ranged the only real options are hagbane and longbow, shortbow has eaten too many nerfs.

If this is a great arsenal then things are truly shitty ._.


Learn to attack/block. Or attack/block+push. Dont engage group of enemies with armored on the right side of the screen (all to the left won’t be staggered). Full crit build + swift slaying. This way you becoming solo wave killer, like Halberd Kruber who can cancel after first swing. You pretty much dont use charged attack on glaive until you completely safe (theres only one enemy and its not facing you).

By your argument then any talent that provides similar amount of power is worthless, so mercenary, whc and slayer to some extent. Too much effort trying to prove the illogical.

Shade requires a grimoire to match her 15%. In many missions the first grimoire is far from the beginning. Her other bonus, backstab, obviously has some requirements.

Too bad if it doesn’t work there. As far as I know, it’s only problem is currently the block-cancel.

And how is that worse than Kruber, Bardin and Saltz? It isn’t.

You are not forced to play HM, but saying it’s weak is complete ignorance. “But, but, she isn’t Shade…”. Yeah, really. She isn’t BH either.

It does. It identifies how many targets in wave you will hit at once, how many of them will be staggered, it define how good you stagger vs elites e.t.c.

Man I’m doing legend deeds with 2h sword and swift bow. It depends what you aiming for.
For example, if you have BH with xbow and falchion, pistols/shotgun + sheild axe bardin and rifle halberd kruber for run, you assume that your team have enough power vs elites / specitals, and what it really lacks is waveclear. If you have blunderbuss mace kruber, 2h sword pistol saltz and flamethrower whatever bardin then you assume u might have use that glaive and longbow.

Im not saying that swift and 2h sword absolutely perfect tho. Even after 2h sword charged strike range buff still think it may use some additional 20% range. And about swift bow. Well. Thats swift bow. It good only vs hordes. Good vs maulers inside horde, cause you can shoot them like a gunner. You can definitely kill stormsorcerer or leech with it. But skaven slaver is a trial already. But goddamn 50 arrows in stock, crit build returns lot of them and passive WW regen makes it never out of ammo

As a Slayer player more stamina is a godsend. The dual axe push followup is a fast double vertical swing. Few things are better at killing big targets. A common thing I do to stormvermin patrols is run in, push swing (kill) and dodge back. Jousting them like that is safe easy kills but the axes only have 2 stamina. Higher cap and more regen make a big difference in my killing potential.

I think a lot of people in this thread played with bad HM’s who did too many solo speed runs.

HM, in my opinion, is an extremely versatile class that fits very well into certain team compositions. Primarily, she works well when paired with dedicated elite/special killers. I find HM to work well with BH, Huntsman, slayer, RV, Pyro as all are classes that excel in taking out elites and/ or specials. A final comp like halberd kruber, HM, Pyro, BH can clear legend easy.

I play her with spear, as I like the safety it provides and love the push attack. Glaive is totally viable and much much better v armor. But I don’t think the role of HM is to be an elite/armor killer, if you want to do that roll shade. Her role is to create space for her team and to protect her teammates from threats so they can eliminate elites/specials without being harassed.

She is also the best in the game in aiding out of position teammates and helping revive someone who goes down at an inopportune time.

Built correctly (block arc, stam regen, block cost) she can push attack with spear near indefinitely which provides an incredible amount or CC. She can also take out specials mid horde safely from ulti invis w longbow - something no other tank can do.

TLDR: Lots of selfish HM with poor play. HM works best on a team where she doesn’t have to be responsible for armor elite killing. Spear push attack w added push/block offers some of the best sustainable crowd cc in the game. Her role is to create space for her teammates and help pick up the slack of out of position teammates with her high mobility.

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In my opinion she’s just nerfed footknight.
Infinite push attacks is good, but who the hell needs them, when you have halberd attack/block cancel, which is shield breaking btw and can provide stun for almost every CW you meet in run.
finding her passive totally useless. stamina regen for herself maybe useful. but i bet that none of your teammates thinks “god bless stamina regen”
spear suffers so much against default clan rats with shield and raiders with shields, not even talking about SV, that once there is a problem where you need your HM to help you vs these types of enemies spear is crap. and what you really need spear for? good looking? stop it, take glaive
If by protecting teammates you mean killing trash while they taking care of SV and CW, there’s no real reason to take spear instead of glaive, cause you can do same as Kruber doing it with his halberd i.e. attack/block cancel with higher stagger level and number of targets hit.
Spear btw dont have “linesman” att on any of his attacks and has low mass limit on attacks. So real use of spear is only single-doulbe target non-shielded non-armoured enemies, which is sucks by default. I dont think you can hold a side horde with charged attack/ block cancel by yourself while 2 of your teammates making care about boss and 1 more holding another flank.

That’s why everyone has been saying block push attack instead of attack block cancel…

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