Hagbane bow guide

The hagbane seems to be a mystery to a lot of players, so I have run practical tests on the bow and asked questions in order to learn and put together something informative for players. So here is a good run-down on it:

Without charging the bow, it only hits a single target. AKA you can’t friendly fire an ally that has a gutter-runner on them. Charging the bow grants it AoE.

Its primary uses would be:

  • Thinning clumped hordes.

  • Killing/staggering specials.

  • Controlling an area.

  • Shaving down bosses. If you have an ammo box nearby, you can dump into them that way. If you’re really good, you can utilize the headshot weapon trait for ammo to fire near-infinitely into their heads.

The hagbane’s DoT will stack, so you can shoot it multiple times to stack the poison. When you’ve used it enough, you know when you can “fire and forget an arrow(or multiple arrows)” because the DoT will finish the target. In regards to how DoT damage functions, see the following:

DoT’s only apply if damage is dealt. This means that under normal conditions, DoT’s can’t be applied to armored targets(like chaos warriors). This is why Handmaiden’s Dash(her bleed DoT) does not normally affect armored targets like stormvermin. There are 3 ways to bypass armor and apply the DoT:

  • A headshot.

  • Critical strike. Critical strikes don’t increase the damage of the DoT(only the initial arrow impact damage that the hagbane arrow does, because only attack damage is affected by critical strikes); they simply allow it to bypass armor restrictions.

  • Strength potion. In addition to the damage boost to attacks, Strength potions allow all damage(including DoT’s) to bypass armor and deal damage.

Hitting a clanrat with the arrow of hagbane and having the poison AoE hit an armored unit(like a chaos warrior) will not affect them because the AoE of hagbane has a separate damage profile which in general contains no armor penetration. In order to apply the DoT in such a manner and affect armored units in an AoE, you’d have to either critically strike or be affected by a strength potion.
For example, you could absolutely decimate a clumped up chaos/stormvermin patrol, even on Legend, by consuming a strength pot and shooting charged hagbane arrows into them.

Hagbane details following May 13 2018:

If you want to maximize value out of each arrow, you charge it. LMB taps are for speed and precision(like knocking a gutter runner off of an ally without poisoning your ally as well).

I played around with test dummies for a bit and came across some results(All numbers are shown from my Handmaiden and no power talents on Legend target dummies):


The LMB tap applies 575(950 headshot) impact damage and 4 ticks of 275(1100 total) poison damage to the target hit.

The RMB applies 575(950 headshot) impact damage to the target and a light AoE impact damage to the target area(100) and surrounding targets(75, 50, 25 depending on distance from impact). The AoE impact damage does less damage the further away targets are from the point of impact. A hagbane arrow can also apply both impact poison damage and AoE poison damage to an unarmored target. This means that the unarmored target hit by the charged arrow suffers two ticks of damage:

  1. One applied from impact

  2. One applied from AoE

All targets not hit by the arrow itself can only suffer from AoE applied poison damage.

This means that it’s more “bang for your buck” to hit unarmored targets with charged arrows as you will apply both the impact poison DoT(275 a tick) and the AoE poison DoT(200 a tick) for 1900 total damage(1100+800).


The hagbane’s poison affects armored differently and is applied differently. LMB hits of the hagbane will not affect armored unless it hits the head, critically strikes, or is affected by a strength potion. RMB hits will do 125(200 headshot) impact damage and cause 4 ticks of 300 damage(1200 total). The AoE impact damage and poison from RMB will not affect armored targets, but can still affect unarmored.

A strength potion will allow you to bypass the restrictions of armored and allow application of damage from both the arrow impact and the poison(the testing dummies aren’t properly showing that the AoE poison and AoE impact damage can be applied to surrounding armored enemies during a strength potion. The second video, while not as crystal clear as I wish I could make it, demonstrates it can in a real game. In the third video you can see the control and damage done to the chaos warriors. Mind you, they were probably not 100% hp when I started firing into the group. I’m sure I could eventually make a better video.).

The one thing I’m not certain of is:

Does a strength potion cause you to inflict both impact poison and AoE poison to enemies you hit with the arrow in the same way it does to unarmored? I would assume it does given the behavior of how a strength potion affects it in an actual game and how an RMB affects an unarmored dummy.

The following are videos I put together for demonstrating some of the things talked about in this post:

Special killing

Control of enemies(slowing/halting the advance of enemies. Can also stop attack animations from enemies like maulers)

Boss killing(this one was Stormfiend)

Boss killing(the boss derped out and I could get easy shots on him. Clean demonstratiion of damage to Stormfiends)

Useful if cornered. Temporary life gained will likely negate any damage you cause to yourself via poison

Control of enemies(staggering a stormvermin off the ledge, in this case)


Now this, this is something I want to see on this forum.
Did they buff Hagbane recently though? I remember it being nerfed to nothing in the beta and I dont remember them reversing the nerfes on release.

Anyway, very informative.

1 Like

no. it’s just a very undervalued weapon (people shoot it, notice it doesn’t one-hit kill anything, then just mark it down as a lousy weapon) and are very surprised when they see other people using it properly.

1 Like

FS didn’t buff hagbane directly, but in 1.0.8 they fixed conservative shooter and scrounger not working properly with hagbane’s rightclick attack. So now it has a lot easier ammo sustain.

1 Like

this guide is for 1.07 though, but yes, those changes are very much needed!

1 Like

But why are shooting Stormfiend in the armored head, when shooting body is clearly superior since this way you should stack 2 posions?

Though I don’t think that AOE and Single-target dots stack on real targets. I think it’s bugged on dummies, just like str pot is bugged and doesn’t allow damaging armored dummies with AOE. Charged-attacking should deal x2 damage by this logic, and this can be easily checked on bosses. I tried it, and I noticed no difference to LMB spam in terms of overall damage.

Otherwise great guide, but Hagbane is still bad cause of low single-target damage (except bosses) and low ammo pool.

1 Like

I always found the bow a bit shït, but OenKrad PM’d me and gave me some tips. I’ve been trying it out on Champion and I was actually pretty surprised. It’s definitely has it’s uses. It saved my ass a few times when I got surrounded by SV. Hordes as well also melt, 1 shot into the front, 1 in the middle and 1 in the back. Almost the entire wave is dead.

Iunno why it’s not a carbon copy of how it is in V1. Really they could just keep lb how it is in V2 and straight clone V1’s hb and it’d be fine and balanced. Hell, they could even introduce tf bow and it’d be fine, as the v2 tempo is just so much faster.


TF has now migrated to ult. As for HB, idk honestly. There is new talents and traits, so no idea if the original one would have been OP or not.

They could still do a TF bow with reduced bend. To be fair, Trueflight Volley is drastically more aimbot than TF bow ever was. TF bow’s basically just a reduced ammo longbow that lets you bank shots around corners. They could tweak the radius of the aim correction as required to balance it.

1 Like

HONESTLY, trueflight bow was a big reason for my fun in v1 (the other being my red sword and dagger’s awesome regrowth and instakill traits). it is INCREDIBLY satisfying watching the arrow ZIP to the targets head, aiming it behind pillars or walls or building. i was really disappointed to see TF bow and bolt staff autoaim taken away =P

trueflight ability just doesn’t have the same kick to it.