Handmaiden level 30 row talents&her passives


So yesterday i was reading a reddit post with some guy asking “which talent on the level 30 row is the best handmaiden got?” or something to that effect. I went in there out of curiosity and as expected it was a really mixed bag.Some people love [power from pain], they think it´s great that it can be activated and works on any type of enemy. Others love [bladedancer] for clearing hordes while another group sternly advocates for [Ladrielle]. I myself didnt really mind it all that much at the time more than archiving it to the back of my head somewhere.

But then today when i was playing WHC i saw a discussion between a handmaiden and a grail knight and it felt like i´d been clobbered. It started with the handmaiden noting that [Ladrielle] didnt really feel useful for anything except running away&killing specials and neither of her other ults really feels any good either.

To which the grail knight responds :

“No wonder, [Ladrielle] and [PfP] are basically shade´s [cloak of mist] split into two parts and both massively downgraded. Meanwhile [bladedancer] is a talent that does not function on its own and requires focused spirit to deal any good damage and wraith walk to not be a kamikaze dive against hordes”

And i was just sitting there like “holy shít he´s right”.


But really what about [PfP]? Is it not good with a semi permanent 25% critchance as long as you have access to the plentiful enemy population? I´d honestly say its decent but far from actually good given that the only time it really matters is hordes&patrols and it also has the issue of locking in wraith walk&killing options. Compared to WHC or Shade it´s just terrible.

So yeah, In my opinion now there is need for some changes.

I would honestly suggest adding [wraith walk] as a passive, because given that both [bladedancer] and [PFP] promote her dashing face first into/through dogpiles of enemies she kinda deserves a built in way to get out that does not kill her build options to enable it. Having an ability that you cant use sucks and its already risky enough to dash away from the team with specials and whatnot around.

Then…buff [power from pain], a lot, and no need to be afraid about it because honestly without some crazy synergies being added it wont make her overpowered at all. And it kinda needs it to contend with [bladedancer].

I´ll be clear on this, it´s massively worse at clearing hordes and even it´s supposed specialty of “crits work on armor” doesnt really sell well when the extra crit chance is so conditional, not that high while also lacking synergies.

Imagine if WHC had to hit at least 3-5 elites with his 100% crit chance ult to actually activate that perk.

Finally…remove [Ladrielle], this talent honestly just makes no sense on handmaiden at all. She is supposed to be a guard of the Everqueen but here she has a talent that specializes in letting her run away and hide while letting her allies take the danger for her? Imagine a royal guard that runs away when assassins appear and goes to hide in some palace sideroom with only one entrance to save themselves while all their friends are fighting outside…

But if we gotta keep it then combine it with [PfP] (still ends up as a downgraded mist cloak) and add a new one instead.


Changes be needed.

Yep, and all 3 of her ults basically reward her for ditching her team and ignoring those passives of hers, and without [wraith walk] it´s a coin toss if she suicided by doing so or not.

Ladrielle might not kill her right away but it sure as hell makes it harder for everyone else while making her far more vulnerable to assassins and being dogpiled after 2 seconds.


I will admit it’s kinda funny watching the biggest shield on the team suddenly disappear from sight. HM definitely has a lot of conflicting tools/identity; she seems geared to stick to the team and hold the line (revive speed, bonus stamina, insane stam regen aura, potential 90% block cost reduction) but then her ult can just let her run off away from the team and drop aggro on everyone she’s left without her support.


Cloak of Mist is pretty commonly accepted to be overpowered so I wouldn’t use it as a comparison point personally.

To me the issue isn’t so much with the power of each of her Ult talents, for a 20 second Ult I think they’re all appropriately powerful. The problem lies more with lack of variety, and, as @Incandescent pointed out, anti synergy with the rest of her kit.

Ladrielle is dumb and I dislike it more and more with time. It’s counter to her identity, and hurts your team in a lot of instances. It does make clutching absolutely stupid easy though so I’m not surprised at all it’s so popular.

Power from Pain and Bladedancer both result in an awkward, similar playstyle. To me this is the biggest sin of the row, having two options that play very similarly. She really needs an option that doesn’t rely on specifically Ulting through enemies, and also isn’t Ladrielle. I personally thought the cleave talent from the BBB was a really cool idea. If they’d just made it activate on Ult, without needing to pass through an enemy (which was counter intuitive honestly) I think it could have made for a great option. Power from Pain is about as boring as it could imaginably be, just a crit chance increase. Doesn’t feel impactful in a meaningful way and is not interesting at all to use. At least cleave was relatively unique and it has a more visceral impact on the feel of your weapon.

Then there’s the issue of the base Ult itself being unreasonably boring and unimpactful. I don’t know why the base bleed was removed, I assume because it was cheesy in combo with Ladrielle. So remove Ladrielle then give the base Ult its bleed back (less potent than what Bladedancer currently gives). Then change Bladedancer to enhance the bleed damage and make it do a bit of damage to armoured foes.

Next replace Power with Pain with the Cleave talent as outlined above to give her an option that lets her Ult in place and still get benefit.

Then what to replace Ladrielle with? That’s hard but something akin to Dawi Drop could be pretty fun. Like +100% damage + better armour piercing during and up till about a second after your Ult dash ends. Like you’re using the momentum for an extra strong attack. Main problem is it would be awkward with the current system wherein block cancels the dash. If this was changed across the board so you cancel charges by simply pressing the Ult button a second time (a change I would like to see anyway) then I think a talent like this could be interesting and quite useable.

That way your options are:
Do good damage to high density enemies while being mobile and fairly safe.
The option that lets you Ult in place and benefits your role as frontliner
The single target/anti armour option to deal with elites better.

Seems like a decent spread of options but I’m sure more experienced HM players than me can come up with some better options.

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This is an extremely lazy way of thinking. Is cloak of mist OP on shade because it gives her stealth and 100% crit alone? No it is not, arguably slightly too strong but not OP. What makes It is overpowered is ridiculous synergy with “vanish”, her backstab bonus damage and the “crits from behind instantly kill”. These combined is what creates a problem.

They are not though, each and every one of them is a borderline suicide assist as they are now on their own and having a suicide dice roll on a 20 seconds cooldown with the chance for at best a " somewhat good" reward is not what i´d call great.

Err not really, awkward yes but not similar at all. The latter clears out hordes and lets her focus on elites while the former kills nothing outright and instead just displaces her while also making a little bit better at fighting. Issue is just that she has no real crit synergy so even a 25% crit chance bonus does not really end up doing much at all on average and what it does is not worth the risk.

I honestly never tried it and do not know anything about it more than that it existed but it kinda sounds like it infringes a lot on Merc kruber territory as the king of cleave.

I really, really agree. Base ult as it is now is extremely dull and uninspired and Ladrielle does not belong. But Bladedancer doesnt really need to work on armor or even a massive damage boost.

As long as wraith walk becomes a passive i think it´s good enough, probably.

Hm this feels a bit off, i think her having dashes isnt wrong and killing her mobility seems off, instead just make it so the cleave buff activates even if she dashes into a wall or something. If we wish to use this option.

Indeed, what to use? I was thinking some magic themed buff or so might be fun like her weapon starting to glow and becoming empowered and such. This is similar to the cleave buff you suggested but perhaps more anti armor could be used.

Ideally i would not copy over dawi drop and keep it exclusive to the dwarf.

From my perspective the present is bad to the point where all suggestions are appreciated so do feel free to stick around. But i am curious, thoughts on wraith walk being added as a passive?

That’s a fair point but I still think it’s too strong for its cooldown even without all those synergies honestly.

This is quibbling honestly. My point was just that they don’t feel meaningfully different to use in the way that, say, GK, Engi, or even BH’s Ult talents do. You can’t really tangibly feel the difference between Bladedancer and PfP as you’re using them. Which I think is a shame.

Eh I don’t really see why Merc gets to have a monopoly on cleave bonuses but whatever, I’m not that tied to the idea.

I wasn’t suggesting it should remove the dash. Just saying it would be an option you’d still get value from by dash cancelling, similar to Zealot and Slayer do. The mobility is still there as an option.

It’s a fine enough idea. I just don’t love solving issues by adding passives, or by doing things that have knock on effects (then Wraith Walk would need to be replaced with something else). Also I really really think PfP is unforgivably boring so I’d much rather see it replaced than add things to support it better.

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I would say I main Handmaiden - always loved how her kit made her so good at the core gameplay loop of fast-paced, brutal melee combat.

Her ult has always been in a bad shape, but it’s definitely worse innately now. For so long, the invis talent was the only one that made sense - the old Bladedancer literally did nothing (broken) and reducing the cooldown by 30% was goofy on a 20-second cooldown. Despite that, invis was ridiculously useful for special sniping, and the bleed from her ult was very useful.

Then, instead of just fixing and tweaking the talents, they decided to remove a core part of the ult, the bleed. It never seemed OP, and I have no idea why this was done, tbh, as it removed half the function - something that nearly every other ult has. Shade’s invis can be an escape or a repositioning tool to do max damage. Shouts on various characters do knockback and something else besides. With all these great ults, there’s always a consideration; “Should I use this for x or y situation?” (Not all are like that innately, but it seems most; even Bounty Hunter’s blast does knockback up close!).

And besides that, the Dash has a massive problem, that enemies can target you immediately after using it (unless you take the invis talent), which means you are often put on the defensive immediately after using it. This problem hasn’t ever been addressed, and so it sits as half an ult that is occasionally useful for escaping a corner, cheesing a revive, or in my experience mostly just moving forward a little quicker.

I think the ult needs its old bleed back. If it’s enough to kill Skavenslaves at max power, then it’s useful, because it can clear out chaff. If with some stat investment you can kill other lowest-tier infantry, that would make sense. It doesn’t need to be able to kill mid-tier infantry, but it will help since it will often make them take less hits from your allies.

As for talents, I think they need to tie into the class’s core concepts. Some suggestions (more than three, just throwing out some ideas that might help fit her class concept):

Guardian - Dashing makes Kerillian and her nearest ally take 20% less damage for 5 seconds, increasing to a 50% reduction for 10 seconds if they are downed. This ties into her ability to get in and save allies, while at least providing a general use the rest of the time. She can also insta-cancel the Dash to get the buff while not leaving the team, assisting her in being a front-liner.

Bladedancer v1 - Kerillian slashes around her as she dashes (think a visual effect, players should maintain the control they currently have), dealing non-AP direct damage to all enemies near her path. This, along with the default bleed, could be enough to kill things up to the common Marauders and Bulwarks. Give this a decent stagger, so chaff enemies can be knocked back. This is one way to give her an aggressive option that doesn’t automatically put her in a bad position (and without having to give aggro to all your allies).

Bladedancer v2 - just as an alternate, this version could make it so she does an attack at the end of her dash that pierces armor. I’m not talking Shade’s one-shot, but something that will hurt a Chaos Warrior and make him stagger (though not bosses). Still give it stagger on common enemies, but no more damage than the usual bleed.

Wind Dash - gives a second charge of Dash. This can play into the speedrunner-type or the ultra-mobile type of play. Her bleeds do not stack, so this doesn’t let her delete a lot more types by just dashing in and out immediately, but does let her move in to get a vital target and get back.

So there, my three suggestions.


Personally I always found the power from pain and bladedancer to be somewhat annoying to use. At least with ladrielle the effect is simple and allows you some additional flexibility without much thought put into it.
Sure it might not exactly mesh with the lore but then again not much about her ability currently does that and personally I would kind of love to see the dash changed to something completely different.


I just wonder… if you are not going to use stealth, what’s the point of playing HM? Shade is better. Even though Shade is better about stealth right now. HM is focused on survivability and has useness on weave things.
I wouldn’t play HM if there was not stealth.

She used to be worse, but fortunately got a little better. Your first sentence is why I suggested something like this in an older thread:

I believe the power of an ability should correlate with its cooldown. It’s one of the reasons Unchained’s ability is annoying. A long cooldown for a vent and tiny bit of damage/stagger.

Handmaiden could get a little bit better ability options/default but just increase from 20 to 30 or something.

I really liked the revive talent they had for her before reducing its power and replacing Ariel’s Benison with it. It would be neat to bring something similar back and replace one of her two damage talents with it. Like, make dashing instant revive people and give more green health back or more temp health. Giving revived allies temporarily invisibility or invincibility. Making it knock back enemies upon revive. You can also have a talent increase cooldown time or reduce recharge rate, but have a more powerful effect. There are a lot of cool options here.

I think a lot of people forget that her baseline dash used to not only have bleed, but also stagger. My favorite thing about Handmaiden, despite thinking she’s still a bit dry to play, is her stamina regen aura

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It’s okay with Spear, Glaive, Spear and Shield and the 1h Axe but it’s overkill on the other melee weapons because of the crit bonuses they already have.

Gift of Lardrielle could just make the ult count as a 2 second long dodge instead of stealth. No aggro drop, fitting for Handmaiden.

Bladedancer could make melee attacks apply bleed instead. Something more active to contrast with Power from Pain. Could instead make the bleed apply through armour and flinch enemies out of light attacks (but only once for that ult instance).

Cloak of Mist is overpowered because of the cooldown reduction it grants. Even without Vanish the elite dps is too high. Would be like if Fervency had a 45% cooldown reduction. Could be brought down to 25% and still be a very good talent for elite dps.

Cleave did infringe on Merc’s territory. It was definitely better though, mainly because it only required HM to go through 1 enemy.

Funnily enough Zealot essentially gets Wraith Walk for free during Holy Fervour. Any ideas on what could fill in Wraith Walk’s spot on the talent tree? If people end up being opposed to Wraith Walk being added as a passive, would anyone be opposed to a milder form of it as a passive (let’s say the player has reduced radius and can more easily dodge between enemies but not directly through them)?

Very fitting for Handmaiden. Currently IB taunts enemies to take aggro, and FK takes aggro by staggering them. Handmaiden doesn’t have any unique way to take aggro, so something like this could be cool.

Handmaiden’s ult used to stagger enemies? No wonder Handmaiden felt worse after WoM went live.

Dance of Seasons is still weird imo. Handmaiden is blocking a lot of the time, but not for strictly defensive purposes. Most of the time it’s for pushing/push attacks for cc and horde dps. The 100% stamina recovery aura means the split this talent has doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’d just change it so that you get both the power and dodge range bonus regardless of whether or not you’re blocking. It makes it a better version of the 20% dodge range talents Merc and WHC have, but it’s fair for Handmaiden to better in this area as it’s one of Handmaiden’s specialities.


All good points, just wanted to add something regarding this:

Ideally I’d like to see the base Ult given dodge state, since enemies tracking you through it so well feels awfully unintuitive and a bit jank.

If dodge state was added in any form, it’d also be cool if the Ult procced dodge based talents IE Willow Stance and Dance of Blades for added interesting synergies.

A superb idea. Would absolutely love that over current Ladrielle.

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honestly all dashes should be dodge states

it’s kinda ridiculous watching a foot knight get yanked back like 30 meters because a hook got him mid charge. Hilarious, but definitely not reasonable in my opinion lol


Can I hijack this topic to talk about longbow waystalker? I think she needs a bump, huntsman, RV and bolt wizard are leaving this class in the dirt (and I dislike hagbane)

Well yes i do agree, but not by much honestly and something like 10-20 seconds extra CD from what it has now would probably make it just fine if those synergies were not in play.

…Well those two are definitely not as distinctly different as what some others got for final row choices. It´s still a dash followed by fighting to whatever degree, but honestly in my opinion it plays very differently and especially so on hordes.

Most melee careers tend to have a niche that they occupy and letting them have their own is to make them distinct from eachother. This doesnt always work out so well like the ongoing case with shade but the idea was there.

oh my bad, then it´s fine.

hmm yeah loading something with passives to make it work doesnt sound ideal but we got what we got to work with. As for PfP vs a Cleave option i mean…are they really different in practice? Both just flat out boost your damage&help you fight many enemies but PfP in a better condition would have the perk of also being good with armor.

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Indeed, Blandedancer and PfP are both have negative synergy with the rest of her kit and lock her talent choices down a lot if you dont want them to be glorified suicides. And indeed a dash has passes through enemies and puts her away from the team is not fully lore friendly, but at least the aggro drop isnt there so it´s not a overwhelming problem in their case.

That´s the thing kinda, her actually fairly safe build is Ladrielle with wraith walk for mobility through hordes but this ends up as a build that invested everything into safety and does nothing else well.There is almost no situation where invisible handmaiden does anything better than Shade except revives but…reviving a downed ally in a horde will just result in the ally dying anyway in 4 outa 5 cases.

Hence i call her present state bad and want buffs or changes of some kind so her ult can become something meaningful.

Again I ain’t set on Cleave Ult or anything. Would just be nice to see an option where dash cancelling actually has some benefit. Again I personally find cleave more visually impactful than crit chance so I like it a little more than PfP, certainly ain’t saying cleave Ult would be stronger. Anyway didn’t really wanna make this one Ult talent option any kind of focus.

Yeah I just think it would be neater to have Ult talents that worked better on their own, and not have more than 1 option heavily skew you towards Wraith Walk. If it’s one Ult option that encourages you to use Wraith Walk that feels more like a nice synergy than an oppressive build factor like it does now.

Isnt loading so much of her kit power into trying to “save her team” bad? Why not load more into making her better at preventing those fails from actually occurring?

I recall the base bleed but i honestly have no memory of it staggering, was this removed early on?

That´s the problem, it´s okay, it´s alright, not particularly good. And it´s her only ability.

And even if it helps her hit 100% crit chance with some builds i mean…she doesnt have the synergy with crits that say WHC or Shade does so she ends up being a discount version of either. I personally ran a number of games with it and glaive&spear and it just was “alright” at best, never terrible but not good either.

Bladedancer when it didnt make me suicide into a silent special, was and is amazing for clearing hordes meanwhile. And honestly i think it helps more with mixed hordes because while it doesnt kill armored targets it does kill everything else which lets you focus them.

PFP meanwhile leaves you in a spot where you are stuck fighting everything and wont actually get max yield against armor from it in the first place, and even if you do land good hits during a horde with it the overall clearspeed still ends up as fairly low.

The only time it really does substantially better is against armored patrols which is a pretty awful deal.

Sounds extremely underwhelming.

Honestly i think the present iteration isnt bad per say, just that it relies so much on wraith walk and the power talent to really do well.

No its still a bit different.

Shade becomes ridiculous with the 100% critchance&stealth&vanish because being able to position for easy backstabs means anything smaller than a chaos warrior gets oneshot while she remains invisible and free to attack.

If she didnt have vanish to keep her invisible she´d end up being attacked and thus lose the access to backstabs which would gut her DPS output relative to now.

WHC fervency meanwhile is amazing because it similarly grants 100% critchance and it also has a synergy, his “Critical headshots instantly kill man sized” and it also knockbacks&staggers everything around.

It lets him easily clear out any smaller group of nonshields/CW´s and makes him an excellent frontline fighter, even more so than any handmaiden not using shield i´d say.

A perfectly reasonable view that i am inclined to agree to given my dislike for the 5 enemies requirement on PfP.

Perhaps a buff like “Focused spirit” but for when she isnt dodging rather than taking damage, just for contrast to the other two options.

I think this was really long ago, way before WoM.

Alright fair enough.

Hm my view is a bit different, from my perspective it kinda still becomes “you gotta pick this talent if you wana use this ult or you are gimping yourself”.

Ah…maybe if bladedancer got a kind of double activation like Battlewiz jump can do, first dash goes in and causes bleed but second one just moves her&helps her get to safety again.

Problem with longbow stalker is that she cant be buffed :sweat:

Huntsman is better thanks to his ability being better overall for anything that isnt killing loads of stormvermin with a conc pot. Or just killing ambient enemies really.

RV is using the Masterwork Pistol and that thing is overpowered last i heard, wrecks armor and bosses alike which combined with his own ult makes it easy to understand why he performs better than WS.

Bolt wizard oneshots stormvermin on bodyshots but it seems to have its own share of requirements to even make it possible meaning WS cant complain much.

How would ya justify buffing longbow stalker looking at any of those guys? The best we can hope for her is that the coding for her ability becomes better…and to have ricochet replaced. A personal wish of mine would also be having all 3 of her lvl 30 choices restore sufficient ammo and kurnous reward be replaced with something more fun too.

But if you wish to discuss further then we can make a new thread^^

This whole running through enemies to get a buff does my head in when playing as Handmaiden.

Bladedancer -> On dash, your melee strikes now proc bleed(which can stack otherwise this won’t be good enough) for 10 or 15 seconds. Maybe have it provide increased cleave for the duration?

Power From Pain -> On dash, gain 5% crit chance(stacks up to 5 times) for every enemy killed for 15 seconds. Dashing when you have less than 5 stacks would reset this 15 second timer. At max stacks, dash no longer resets the 15 second timer but you gain 3 seconds to your ult duration for every enemy killed. This talent is already pretty nasty as is, so maybe increase cooldown timer to 25 or 30 seconds?

Onto invisibility. Get rid of it. Put in something else.

Whilst I like the fact that this topic is being discussed, I am slightly surprised at how little of the discussion is going towards actually fixing problem outlined above. The comment at the top by Incan summarises the entire issue, HM holds the line then goes off to Narnia with her ult where she gets mauled to death by emerald green dagger wielding bunny rabbits.

So if the biggest problem at the moment is Handmaiden’s ability to run away, get herself killed and leaving her allies by themselves, why aren’t we trying to offer alternatives? I understand that this thread is about the lvl 30 row and her passives, but HM suffers from the same problem as Pyro does. The ult talents are in the who-cares-category whilst the ult itself is part of the problem.

Make no mistake, this is not attempt at derailing this thread. I just simply want to point out that unless the ult itself is changed, or we get talents which no longer require HM to dash through enemies to proc some meaningful effect, the HM running away problem WILL persist.

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