Hagbane short bow

As mentioned before it is a niche weapon. It is far from bad, it is actually quite good if you get the hang of it, but its not worth picking it over a longbow / swiftbow.
With a hagbane you want to charge shoot into an incoming horde, so your poison DOT kills them when they arrive to your team, or at least weaken them. Thats why it is considered a control bow. For bosses you shoot all your arrows without charging into the boss as fast as possible, since the poison stacks (viable with talents like, bosses death replenish ammo, ult replenish ammo)

The downsides are pretty clear. Longbow and swiftbow can control hordes as good as a hagbane, needs OTHER positioning, not better not worse. All bows have their advantages depending on the map, teamcomposition and difficulty.
What will give you most trouble though is killing specials, you need to fast shoot multiple arrows to kill one special, costing you a lot of time (yes you can kill warpers even after they teleport with your poison stacks)
Basically, you need range talents for a mainly melee build with situational range use of the hagbane, which is per se not that bad, but the other bows are simply better in all aspects except heavy crowdcontrol on distance. Try it, have fun with it, but dont expect to be as versatile as youre probably used to, especially on champion+.

As of I’m currently playing Kerillian on Champ, seeing your notes makes me not to trying it :smiley:. Only if I get orange hagbane with recovering 2 arrows on critical hit (or anything like that). And only on waystalker (which is not good on champ as handmaiden).

Hagbane sounds like a pain in the ass with FF, unless the Kerillian knows when to hold back :confused:

At least in beta, the recover ammo on crit trait weirdly didn’t work with hagbane.
I think it’s a fun concept, but a bit underwhelming in practice.

Hagbane was only useful in the early closed beta and sadly doesn’t really have a place in VT2 like it did in the first game currently

Shade can easily have enough ammo for it from her talent that recovers 1 ammo when backstabbing.

AoE damage was drastically overpowered in early beta, due to a stacking bug. It was tuned down a fair amount, but Hagbane had a bug where poison damage would proc additional poison DoTs.

Hagbane could probably stand to have its DoT damage pushed back up slightly, but I would disagree on categorizing it as a worthless weapon. Its strength is on Monsters and on Infantry, and against hyperdense Infantry, which comes up more often in Champion and Legend, it’s quite strong.

It’s basically trash tier bow. It kills trash rats, aoe is whatever and the dot is ultra bad.

Put it this way, you upload a full bow with 20 extr dmg to a boss and it does almost nothing. Even with max charge it does nothing. Try damaging an chaos knight with it. You’ll empty your quiver and he’ll still glide hit u.

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^This guy gets it.

Plus, trying to hoodwink someone in believing it is not under powered esp in comparison to its place in VT1 is just :man_facepalming: & silly asf

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That’s because you don’t understand how it works. Most people don’t. That’s more of a lack of tooltips and information though on the game’s end.

Hagbane is one of my favorite weapons in this game. The reason most people think it’s terrible is because its functionality is largely a mystery(like most DoT’s in this game); so much so that I took the liberty of asking developers how exactly the DoT portion of it functions. 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. I habitually use the Hagbane on Legend(600 PLVL) because it’s my favorite bow. All of Kerillian’s bows are useful though.

Hope this helps!


Woah, thanks for such detailed answer!

Citation needed.

And this is why citation is needed, because this is 100% untrue. If a developer actually said this, then it does not function the way they said.

It’s a stretch to say people think it’s terrible and suggest the reason is its ‘functionality is largely a mystery’. It’s common knowledge that critical hits ignore armor and Strength potions add armor piercing and damage to the DoT. Though I doubt anyone’s aware DoTs are not affected by the critical hit system.

It’s also common knowledge that the bow’s niche specialization is to kill and weaken clumped hordes, like in Vermintide 1. It’s believed largely terrible because this role is majorly outclassed by the other two bows, especially where ammo is concerned before people have leveled up to at least 15 on the Waystalker, well before they’ll get Oranges with an appropriate trait. The AoE doesn’t help if the team is smart in using chokepoints where the other two shine. In fact, it could be bad for the team’s health. As for Clan Rats and Marauders with Shields they can be shoved and tagged pretty easily but I’ll grant it can be a decent panic button if you have a bunch slide up on you. It can wipe a patrol with strength, but aside from a select few people (me included) who’s engaging them willingly? And that engagement and situation leads to a lot of digression so…

The AoE’s limp range won’t help if the horde spreads out too much. The damage on Legend and maybe Champion against Chaos in particular can be questioned too. Hero power dependent, its ability to stagger can be called into question, but nobody has the full details on that right now so we need to focus on the ubiquitous factors making this a weapon of liability.

At low levels and for a varying medium-long time, making consistent use of the bow next to other things like the Flamestorm Staff, Beam Staff, Drakegun, shotguns, the volley bow, will leave you with little to do when hordes come calling. You can hurt bosses decently enough (HP dependent), but you acknowledged the ammo situation with that as well. Even at maximum hero power, 600, some specials will require multiple arrows from the Hagbane to kill. You can say that’s not what it’s for, that it can just stagger them, but sometimes you’ll be the only one who can react to that situation and let’s be honest if you leave a Globadier unattended on Champion or Legend you’re sealing the team’s fate. The Longbow and Swiftbow comes back in here to sweep the Hagbane under the rug.

These reasons among others are why I say it’s useless until further notice. Rate of fire should be restored for a quicker reaction to being surrounded and saving teammates. AoE could be bigger. The ammo is absolutely a concern, especially on Handmaiden or Shade, and there are plenty of ways to go about handling that. I didn’t specify in my first post about Shields, yes. It can bypass Clan Rat & Marauder shields but not Stormvermin shields without strength. I stand by what I say: the Hagbane’s looking for a job. I loved it in V1, the only bow I’d ever use. I loved it throughout Beta, but when the nerf hammer came down and with the amount of specials that need to be conquered in the higher levels contrasted with my proclivity to play the lion’s share of my games in random pugs and all of the aforementioned discussion on it it’s just not reliable or flexible enough.

Outside of a technical discussion, I sympathize with your favoring this bow though. I’ve taken underpowered things and found a way to make them work because I struggle to make use of the Shade Volleybow in Champion as much as possible. You’ve got to contend that weapon is very much a liability without Ranger Veteran or Scrounger in play. The second you are out of ammo, you are in a precarious position no matter what your skill level.

You don’t need to even take my word for it. You can try everything I said in my post in an actual game and see for yourself. But given what you said in the rest of your post, it’s clear you didn’t try and never use the hagbane bow. You’re also trying to debunk facts by arbitrarily saying whatever comes to mind. I’m not asking you to post videos or pictures or anything of that sort. But if you went into a game for not even 10 minutes, you’d easily see and experience what I stated.

It’s absolutely 100% true. I’m going to assume you didn’t try it at all and you never use the hagbane.

Common knowledge by what standard? There is a ton of information in this game that is unknown. It’s also clear that a chunk of what I said is unknown to you because you’re declaring portions of it wrong. The OP asked for information and I delivered. You created a 1 page essay trying to counter-act what I said by ranting on a prejudicial monologue that it’s a terrible bow. Every weapon has its strengths and weaknesses. I stated what they were, how to work around them, and how the bow could be used. You provided no useful content other than “this bow is terrible because I can’t make use of it in the way that I want”.


Well, currently it is clear that hagbane IS viable, but only on waystalker due to lack of ammo (I don’t think it a good idea to pick ‘Quiver of plenty’ talent on handmaiden).

If you continue to post nonsense then I’m going to assume you’re being a pretentious troll. There is no AoE increase by holding the charge longer.

The rest of your reply is ad hominem that I’m not going to respond to past this: you are only considering the experience at cap, and not what the general player will see. You only talked about how you yourself used it. I explained in detail for a number of situations.

The AOE definitely does not get bigger the more you charge it. I’m not sure where the heck that idea came from - it wasn’t a thing in VT1, it wasn’t a thing in the technical betas, it wasn’t a thing in a previous release patch, and it sure as heck isn’t now.

For thinning clumped hordes, the Swiftbow is a huge amount better because of its godlike penetration, wonderful rate of fire, and much higher ammo reserve. I’m also really unclear on precisely what specials it’s good against; the impact doesn’t stagger any more than the Swiftbow but the lower RoF means that the special takes twice or three times as long to kill. For controlling an area…under what circumstances? Area control is typically measured against an incendiary bomb or, ideally, a canister of lamp oil. An incendiary bomb currently does area control pretty poorly since only Skavenslaves and Chaos Cultists will take a substantial amount of damage charging the area, and it burns out pretty fast. A Hagbane manages to do an EVEN WORSE job because its AoE doesn’t linger at all, and the DoT takes unacceptably long to kill a target. What are you proposing a player does to control the space, sit there and fire hagbane arrows at a choke point? Come on. Even the ‘shaving down bosses’ thing is a joke because the Longbow does that a ton better and will not require a nearby ammo box to do the job.

The Hagbane could easily be corrected into an area control role by letting the AoE persist for 4-5 seconds and making the DoT strong enough to be relevant against weaker chaff enemies and forbidding re-application until the DoT has completed, which would mean that hardier enemies would take an unacceptable amount of time and resources to kill elites and hardy specials with it. But at current, neither of these things are true and the Hagbane is completely outclassed by the other two bows depending on what role you need to play on the team. This is neither controversial nor surprising - the only thing that’s surprising is seeing someone vehemently defend it on completely false bases.

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No need to be so unnecessarily offended. Although after re-reading what I replied to you, I can see how I came off as aggressive and condescending and I see why you might feel that way(it wasn’t my intention).

After re-reading what I wrote, I see I worded it wrong. Charging grants AoE versus just the single-tap is what was meant. I’ll change it so people don’t get confused.

He asked for tips and how it can be used. Anyone could use it in the fashion I described, even if situational. I could certainly elaborate, but I was trying to be concise. I simply said it was useful. Similar to the shotguns, you certainly can’t run & gun through a level(as fun as that would be). But I imagine that’s not really the intention of their design though). I didn’t say it shouldn’t receive changes(buffs or otherwise).

i just wanted to stop by and say that you are not the only person who understands how powerful this bow is. it’s hard to defend something you know how to use well vs others who don’t. It’s very much like the many arguments that ‘elf is the weakest char’, it’s highly subjective to player skill.

i swear by this bow, on all difficulty levels, but i do agree, the ammo is so low that only the waystalker can properly benefit from it well enough through her ammo management skills.

the heavy attack DOES do more damage and also staggers targets. you don’t need a citation from the developers for this, try it out in actual combat. shoot light attacks at a horde vs heavy attacks. shoot light attacks at a boss vs heavy attacks. shoot at elites. whatever it takes for you to understand that heavy attacking with the bow vs light attacking with it has very different usages and scenarios.

are you serious? you posted a video of a bow being shot at the ground? this is not evidence of ANYTHING. goodness. at least link a video of hagbane being used against hordes or a patrol of stormvermin using light/heavy attacks to compare the differences.
It’s clear to me and Oenkrad that you don’t know how to use the bow, yet are trashing it.

Hagbane bow advantages:

  • decimating high density groups of enemies.
  • Fire and forget on specials. (Legend difficulty: 3 heavy shots on leech, 2 on unshielded SV, 2 on packmaster, 3 on gasrat, 2 on firerat/ratling, 2 on berserkers etc)
  • much faster draw than the longbow.
  • no zoom on bow. (more peripheral vision when heavy drawing unlike longbow)
  • staggering of large groups on heavy draw. (very good CC)
  • party getting overwhelmed everywhere? Spam your whole ammo pile to save the team.
  • rasknitt casting will get interrupted by the poison dot.
  • wrecks patrols. Kills off regular SV and troops, leaving only shield SV and chaos warriors.
  • A boss-killer weapon. Try drinking a str pot and heavy attacking any boss and watch them melt. Even without a str pot, each heavy arrow you land stacks the poison damage on it. The DOT will tear the bosses down at a very constant rate provided you can keep landing shots.


  • Friendly fire. You have to learn to aim it such that the aoe stagger/damage hits clumps of enemies but not your friends.
  • Shielded units: You have to spam arrows on them to break the block, before your arrows can penetrate their worn armor and do damage. Otherwise hit them from the back or sides while they are distracted.
  • Low ammo capacity. For the power of this bow, it’s understandable that they reduced the ammo count for it. Use waystalker class to maintain ammo.

people are probably gonna ignore what i wrote or find ways to counter my arguments, but based on my personal playstyle, it’s the best bow for me.

Longbows are too precise and slow, good for sniping and skewering but bad at everything else.

Swiftbows lack punch and damage, they don’t stagger, and they don’t do aoe damage.

Crossbows have an extreme reloading time, although burst damage is fantastic. also class locked.

The hagbane to me is an excellent all rounder. As with most arguments, people don’t know how to use it well, but instead of learning how to use it, pass it off as useless. Well, i guess that’s good, maybe devs will buff it and it’ll be even more powerful in my hands.


In my initial post, I incorrectly worded my sentence and it was implied that the AoE could be increased(such as in multiple stages) the longer you held it, when what I meant was that charging it grants AoE versus not charging it. That’s why he and another poster assumed the things they did. I have since corrected my initial post.

It’s true that the ammo on it is low to the point that it limits the options for it, as Handmaiden has no talents for recovering ammo and Shade’s primary way is to try and flank targets and hope the enemy doesn’t 180 to attack her. This very reason is why I have to rely on melee so frequently when not playing Waystalker. This is made worse when playing maps that lack ammo(I believe Into the Nest is one of the maps that doesn’t have guaranteed ammo periodically. Particularly towards the middle/end of the map).

Other than that, you pretty much nailed a lot of the points I would’ve said(or may have said).

One thing people new to this weapon don’t know, is the jump-shoot trick. (same is relevant to fireball stuff, trushot volley ability, volley crossbow to some extend and more). You can shoot this weapon point-blanck or in a tight formation, by jumping, so you can fire over your allies heads and get a better stagger, by hitting the middle of an enemy clump. Basically, you can do more damage by hitting not the front liners, but the guys behind them, while still killing front row with aoe effect. Try it, if you haven’t already, maybe you will find hagbane a bit more relevant then. Also terrain is crutial: you can wreack hawoc shooting downhill, but it is so much worse shooting uphill. And if you have hagbane on your team, try to not jump in front of them.
(offtop: please jump before using WS ‘f’ key, if you’re in the formation, to prevent ff on champ and legend)


yes. tricks like these maximise the aoe radius of damage splash. it’s fun to see your temp shields get maxed out in a jiffy after 2-3 arrows.

another trick is waiting for the enemy to clump up on a cliff or even one of your teammates, then shooting one in the backside that you know won’t cause friendly fire, which causes the whole stack of ten rats to die from one arrow, and saving your teammates in the process.

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