Former complainer about the current state of Slayer here. Did a bit of testing with Slayer yesterday trying out various weapons and talents, and I think Slayer might actually be pretty good given a specific build.
For about a month now I’ve been pretty upset about the comparison between Slayer and Zealot. However, I was almost solely looking at the Zealot’s strengths versus the Slayer’s weaknesses. It’s true that, in terms of talents and passives, the Zealot outdoes the Slayer by a considerable margin. However, I wasn’t considering a few things that might just propel the Slayer above the Zealot in the hands of a skilled player.
The two-handed axe and hammer combo
Both of these weapons stagger like a beast. On light attacks, the 2h axe can stagger anything that isn’t a chaos warrior, an attacking monk/berserker, or an elite charging a heavy attack. Basically anything that is unstaggerable aside from bombs or FK ult. This makes dealing with patrols and ambient elites a breeze. When a horde comes, you can just switch to 2h hammer and stagger even the thickest of beastman hordes, creating enough room to not get hit.
Grimnir’s Focus, actually good
I used to consider this ability bad but the most effective of the talent row. On other weapons, it’s mediocre, but with two handed weapons it’s up almost all the time. This is an inherent flaw with the talent, but what this translates to with my build is that I’ll be able to take much less damage than others in dangerous situations. Sure, if I make a mistake or get surrounded I’m pretty much dead, but DR does not directly translate to THP or total HP. It’s actually better (THP and total HP are doubled if I take 50% reduced damage).
Mobility w/ bounding leap is INSANE
It takes a bit getting used to, flying around the map and all, but bounding leap is actually insane. It allows you to snipe specials (in melee) quite effectively and gives you the ability to both save teammates and escape certain death through better positioning. I’ve been able to deal with specials on legend quite well in a bot party using this talent, and will continue to use it hopefully to similar effect.
Better window of attack than Zealot? Really?
Yes really when comparing 2h weapons to the axe/falch. Slayer will never be a better generalist than Zealot, but he will always be a better specialist. Due to the effect of stagger, frontline enemies will almost universally be unable to attack Slayer if played correctly. Bardin also attacks insanely fast with 2h weapons with leap and swift slaying, meaning you can stagger to great effect. Altogether, I’ve found I take less damage with Slayer than I do with Zealot.
Slayer’s fury, Skull-Splitter, Mainstay (or Enhanced Power), Adrenaline Surge, Grimnir’s Focus, Bounding Leap
5% Crit Chance, 20% Crit Powe
5% Crit Chance, 5% Attack Speed
Let me know about any feedback or advice you want to share, or if you think my post is complete garbage. If you’re going for the latter, please provide a reason why. Overall, my feedback is that Slayer is very good with a specific build, but some love needs to be given to dual axes and dual weapons on bardin in general to compete with his 2h arsenal.