Hagbane shortbow is way too weak. Need buff

Hagbane waystalker has a very high uptime and dps output throughout a run, as well as providing a degree of crowd control. Moonfire is very strong but you can’t really hail a bunch of shots into elites/hordes and specials all at once without running out of charge.

Both weapons are strong.

I can get a video later, but to give you more info I tested it by spawning 24 cata3 stormvermin in a field and fired at them while retreating. Once they reach you, because they will, you have to dodge and mix in shots with staying safe. I tested this with the hagbane, moonfire, and longbow, and in order the longbow will kill all the stormvermin the fastest by a large margin, as it can 1 shot a stormvermin even on cata3. After some tests it takes about 40-50 seconds to kill all 24 of them, even faster if you land every headshot. Next up is moonfire which will take about 1 minute on the dot to kill all of them. Hagbane is the worst at this specific test (the one Hun mentioned) and firing nonstop with headshots, still took the longest at about a minute and 10 to 20 seconds to kill all the stormvermin. You should go try it yourself

Thank you for sharing your testing, but to be honest that is a very 1 dimensional test that doesn’t say much about real play.

For real though I’m out. It’s not a question to me at this point in the game’s lifecycle whether or not hagbane is an extremely strong weapon on WS. Don’t have the energy for this argument at the moment. There are plenty of people here who can hopefully hop in to explain the strength of the hagbane if you’re really unconvinced it’s a meta option. Really no disrespect intended, just out of spoons at the moment.

1 Like

That video would be a thing.

Moonfire is indeed able to deal a lot of armor damage but…you got 5-6 damaging shots then you´re outa full charge for the next 17 seconds or so.

Lets assume you kill 6 of them with one, which sounds strange in on itself given cata 3 SV got 115+ health…that leaves a full 17 seconds where you´ve got stormvermin running down on you while you cant do anything except melee and trueflight. How dafq do you survive 18 stormvermin bumrushing you on WS? If you telling me you got this perfectly clean terrain for it then stop right there, conditions are rarely so ideal which would make it a poor test.

Also boss damage and horde clear are both a couple of things, a pretty big couple things at times even depending on teamcomp.

If any bows are to be dabated whether it needs buffs or not, I honestly think that it should be after Swift gets some love. It’s undoubtedly the underdog, so Hagbane can wait for it’s turn. Whether Hagbane needs buff or not shouldn’t really be an issue atm.

Problem with swift is that anytime it´s been decent by itself then it becomes too strong in waystalker hands.

That bleed talent…

1 Like

Remember that difficulty matters in any of these discussions. DoT Fire Wizard is not that amazing in lower difficulty when horde health is lower such that the temp health and DoT is not as effective. Other allies can wipe out a horde quicker. In Cataclysm, you always have elites in every horde on top of higher enemy density.

I can see Hagsbane being more spammable when you have more elites to farm ammo off for free every horde while in something like Legend if you have another 1-2 players sniping elites/specials regularly between horde timers your ability to keep ammo up kind of drops because you have fewer specials/elites to rearm yourself with every horde.

For Cata and higher, I see Hagsbane being more useful on a mode with more ammo potential and spammability actually being a thing. Spammability on Legend is not always a thing as I have run into trying it with Waystalker, but both sort of perform about the same I feel on Legend. For some of those statements.

In any case, Hagsbane/Moon/Longbow are the least worrisome bows to worry about for balance at the moment and Swift Bow is the most pointless option.

I don’t get the issue.
Hagbane is a better version of Moonfire for Waystalker, yet Moonfire is a better choice for melee oriented careers like Shade/Handmaiden.
Both bows are great, but it’s based on careers like with any weapon.
Issue is that Hagbane is a good horde weapon and Waystalker doesn’t really want to fight hordes melee all the time. It’s a ranged career.
On melee careers Hagbane is not that great simply because you can deal with hordes and elites already and there are just better weapons for specials.


eh main reason hagbane isn’t great on HM and Shade is ammo sustain issues

Hagbane used to be very commonplace on shade before the bloodfletcher nerf, especially since you could use it to get barrage stacks before popping infiltrate


I’d say they are just about even when going for specials without Bloodshot being taken into account. Not sure how good the headshot bps are for the moonfire. The moonfire is somewhat faster if you do have Bloodshot ready to go.

To be another voice among others and to add onto what has already been said, there were and there are still reasons to use the Hagbane over Moonfire or the Longbow.

First of all, you are bog downed by the general master-of-all-trades feeling the Moonfire is giving off. Weapons in Vermintide, generally speaking have some sort of downside. To balance these downsides, weapons have their strengths/specialties. Some more apparent than others so let me clue you in.

I don’t like talking about weapons in a vacuum for games like Vermintide because this kind of discussion blinds you to all the little silver linings/synergies that are not highlighted when only damage numbers are being considered. Incan and DezZzO gave a good examples of what happens when you take the weapon out of your perceived vacuum and use it in actual gameplay.

Another thing is stagger. On Cata 1, a charged hagbane will stagger a SV enough so that it trips slightly and takes a step or two to the side without Enhanced Power or any properties. The moonfire requires 20% Armoured and 10% Skaven. To achieve same result in Cata 3, a charged hagbane require 3 stacks of barrage whilst the Moonfire is unable to do this even with Enhanced Power, 20% Armoured and Skaven and Hunter Procced.
This means that fighting a Skaven patrol, and basically any other patrol too, with the hagbane is far more lucrative than with the Moonfire. May Sigmar help the patrol in your sights, should there be a ledge nearby.

A charged hagbane(to give yourself an opening) followed by a heavy, or two, from your current melee weapon is a viable strategy. The Moonfire doesn’t need you to pull out the melee weapon and can just kill an elite in 1 charged shot. Do this a few times in quick succession however, and you’ll find yourself struggling( The GK and the Slayer may not be good special snipers) to contain those five specials cata 1 may throw at you. Six, if you happen to be on cata 3.

You’ll regret missing a charged arrow with the Moonfire. On the other hand, you have a few shots to spare with the Hagbane though. Let’s not be ignorant, not everybody’s a god-gamer whom hardly misses a shot. You can reach two shot body shot bps for nearly all specials(Wargor needs 3 headshots) with the hagbane without Enhanced Power on cata 1.

Now to pick your post apart.

Two, out of 3 of the Elf’s careers have access to some sort of ammo sustain and HM has Quiver of Plenty. Max ammo count is chosen based on all careers having access to the given weapon.

Moonfire suffers from the same. The only reason it can get away with is because of its DoT. Aim at the ground in front of it. The Hagbane has more ammo to spare and a 1 SBS bp for assassins so stagger it with the first show and kill it with the second.

Observation bias. In fact, you are factually wrong. The Hagbane chews through hordes just like Moonfire does with with either Barrage or Hunter.

First of all, weakening enemies is still very useful and as it has more ammo than the Moonfire, so this is something the weapon can get away with whilst still being useful. Second, this is the perfect example of what I meant by looking at a weapon in a vacuum.
The Hag’s AOE is not just the damage, but the stagger as well. Shoot this into the middle of any horde and you’ll have given yourself and your teammates valuable time to forgo any kind of dodging/pushing for just a moment to thin the herd.

A lot of players getting aim-punched because of the Hagbane would disagree.


1.Having ammo related talent doesn’t change the fact that hagbane has low ammo.
Other bows have reasonable ammo and talent works well.
Problem is that hagbane had low ammo yet dps is still low.

2.Shooting one more shot to kill 1 assassin is what i’m talking about. Moonfire can kill assassin without direct hit. Only AOE DOT will kill assassin. But hagbane need 1 direct hit + 1 AOE hit costing 1.5s to shoot. What if enemy are in front of you? Can you guard down for 1.5s?

  1. You have to spend all of your ammo to kill 1 single choas mauler horde. But there will be 2 more and your ult can’t kill mauler.
    shooting 34 arrow takes a lot of time. It is not fast.
    To kill 1 marauder, 6 AOE are needed.

4,5. You can’t get adequate stagger because of small explosion.

In other news, IB not so tough and Shade crap at boss killing.


majority of people belive the hagbane is a more than viable weapon, you won’t change this fact, even if you disagree.
you either can acept the reasons given to you or continue to argue for the sake of argueing.
so whats the point, this thread won’t entice devs to buff it, you may dont like it but thats the reality.

Tbh i dont think we will get any further updates on the balance of equipments since darktide isnt too far away anymore maybe a little tinkering with the chaos waste weapons but not much more…


I’ve been kind of interested in this discussion since I’ve recently gotten all the heroes to 35 / 650 and I did kerillian almost exclusively as shade, so I’ve been trying to build an effective waystalker that feels as powerful.

I play on champion mostly but have had wins on legend, and I don’t have any DLC, so that’s the experience baseline.

When looking at hagbane waystalker my points of reference are Sienna battle wizard with a flameblade / beam staff high DOT build, and Saltzpyre bountyhunter auto-reload auto-crit after melee kill with volley crossbow. Both of these builds I have found to be incredibly effective, with saltzpyre being better at special sniping, sienna being better at group clear and area denial, both being able to melt bosses for the most part.

When playing champ waystalker / hagsbane a few things stuck out to me.

  1. I wound up firing into groups a lot, which staggered as advertised, but the DOT felt quite low compared to, say, an DOT enhanced fireball or conflagration burst. With the former, I would shoot like 3 arrows center mass into a group and wonder if that was good enough, while with the latter I could basically fire once and know I deleted a circle of squishy enemies. I think this is due to the DOT falloff. I’d kill like two or three near the hit but the rest would truck on.

  2. Clearing groups seemed faster when I just did melee with dual swords and forgot the bow.

  3. Killing specials / chaos warriors / stormvermin took significant time. As bounty hunter this was a one shot body shot ordeal at medium range (thanks to auto crits and triple shots) and just a couple shots at long range. With hagsbane the time to kill was significantly longer and I felt more anxiety about whether I could wait for the DOT to kill or if I had to just keep pumping arrows until it died.

  4. I noticed I could chain stagger chaos warriors from range, basically forever, but not kill them. Potentially useful except…

  5. I did a ton of friendly fire. The thing I liked about sienna’s DOT build was I had DOT melee attacks with high stagger, and a DOT ult that didn’t hit allies. Saltzpyre’s bounty hunter was very precise so I could get high priority targets in groups, or even spam triple volleys right in front of allies without hitting them.

So my experience has suggested that the hoard clear of hagsbane isn’t really good enough to sacrifice special / elite sniping capabilities, and the FF AOE concern makes it a lot more situational than other bows. The ult can cover for the odd chaos warrior or special that needs to be dispatched quickly, but I feel like a longbow would be more useful.

Some additional thoughts:

Double arrows on kill + hagsbane. Sounds great, want to try it, but longbow seems like better synergy for ultra single target damage.

One thing that makes battle wizard DOT great is the melee DOT synergy with her ranged DOT and the DOT talent. Bounty hunter too, his melee / ranged synergy works thanks to the high precision of his ranged weapons. With waystalker + hagsbane I straight up can’t use the bleed talent, and the double arrows are only usable away from the team with hagsbane.

I wonder if the issue isn’t necessarily with the bow but with the lack of interesting / useful talent synergies? A lingering poison talent would be amazing for dual daggers and hagsbane, or an increased poison damage talent similar to battle wizard. Hell, even a talent that makes allies immune to the AOE would be great.

Edit: dual daggers might be bleed rather than poison so forgive the errant hypothetical above.

I mean, no offence, but if you bring a weapon that shines in its infinite cleave AoEs and stagger into a low difficulty where things get easily one shot and there’s a tiny fraction of the enemy density to worry about, naturally you’re not really going to understand what the fuss is about.

Just watch some Cata or modded WS runs on YouTube, especially true solos. The power of the hagbane should become apparent pretty damn quickly.

As a side note, famished flames BW is widely considered to be one of the most overtuned builds in the game. It shouldn’t be used as a comparison point for anything.

1 Like

That’s fair for cataclysm, but a lot of people play on modes that aren’t cataclysm. The bow should be viable at other difficulties as well. If a weapon becomes viable only on the most difficult difficulty setting, it’s probably not correctly balanced, in my view.

I think viable isn’t the word you’re looking for there. A weapon doesn’t get less viable on lower difficulties, it just can be a less competitive option compared to other choices.

Hagbane works great on all difficulties. On Cata and above it shines. That seems fine to me.


It is viable, everything is more than viable at every difficulty. Even most meme builds (excluding some of the aggressively awful stuff the community has come up with) are viable all the way to modded content or cata true solos. Stuff that deals with density very well doesn’t shine as well in lower content because there’s not as much of it, but there’s not really a balance issue there.

The game just isn’t balanced around champ, it’s really not balanced around legend even.



Sorry to say but the game is hardly balanced for cata, let alone anything else, Grail knight can still oneshot lords on lower difficulties with his double stab ability.

Slayer with a pickaxe and dawi drop can do the same to a monster…

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu