Slayer vs Zealot, an obvious winner

Hey all,
Long time slayer main here. Used to main bardin in V1 and fell in love with slayer as soon as I unlocked him in V2. Unfortunately, although I still consider slayer good he’s just not up to par with some of the other classes, namely Zealot. Here’s several reasons why I think this to be.

  1. Outclassed and outmatched Slayer used to be the undisputed king of melee. He could comfortably deal with elites, bosses, and hordes by using two specialized weapons. My personal favorite is the 2h axe and 2h hammer. However now that zealot has access to the axe/falch, he can be just as versatile in melee without the detriment of having no range weapon. Zealot can also do similar damage to slayer without even using Holy Fervour, which makes me wonder: why would I go slayer in the first place? Would it be for horde control? In that case I should just go Ironbreaker with axe and shield, as he does that job much better than slayer with 2h hammer.

  2. Special sniping? HAH This brings me to my second point. I mentioned how Zealot didn’t have the detriment of no ranged weapon. This isn’t entirely true as slayer has throwing axes, but these things are extremely hard to use. They have nice damage and unlimited ammo, but with 3 shots. Couple this with the insane arc at range and the delayed throw, and you have one clunky ranged weapon. I honestly rather my slayer be really good at melee than pretty good at melee and unreliable at range. Zealot doesn’t have any of these problems as Brace of Pistols is better than throwing axes in all aspects and axe/falch can deal damage to everything… with light attacks. So if you’re like me and you like having 15% bonus power (or more attack speed), your only choice for dealing with specials is to leap face first into them, putting yourself out of position, potentially dying, and potentially not even killing the special.

  3. Made of wet tissue paper Slayer’s a shirtless dude with two axes, I get it: he’s not supposed to be tanky. This is fine, but then why make a spec that’s able to do similar damage (without ult) AND be tanky AND have an extremely strong range weapon? The tradeoff isn’t even remotely close. Sure bardin has grimnir’s focus (50% damage reduction on melee charge-up) but his base HP is 120. Zealot’s is 180, meaning he already has close to double Slayer’s hp. Couple this with his whopping 90% increased healing at 6 stacks of fiery faith, and resistance to a killing blow and you have one tanky one eye.

It just doesn’t add up to me. Currently I feel like the only reason to play slayer would be to have fun. He’s much harder to play than zealot and has much less reward for mastering. Just about the only thing he’s better at is horde control, and this can be done to much greater extent by an ironbreaker (drake gun + axe/shield). Meaning slayer has no niche anymore, he’s just a straight up downgrade.

Also, note to the devs and everyone else that read this far: I’m not asking for nerfs on zealot (maybe a small one wouldn’t be bad) I’m just asking that slayer have a defined role that isn’t performed as well or better by other classes.

  • For instance, Ironbreaker is the king of tanks while footknight is the king of CC.

  • Merc and Unchained both bring the utility of temp HP, but merc is better in melee and unchained at range

  • Waystalker and Pyromancer are both great at special sniping, but neither overshadows the other

  • Slayer should be the undisputed king of melee damage and zealot a solid bruiser (tanky with respectable dps) but right now Zealot is more or less the king of everything.


That’s what destroys me. The damage is nice but they are indeed hard as hell to use and part of the reason that is that case, is because of the delay in the throw. The 3 shots are whatever. Just that in cata you need two of them for some specials depending on range or stacks. The thing about even consider taking the “you have a ranged weapon” stance now. Is that if we then are balanced around having a ranged weapon. 21 of the 28 different loadouts that we can take are simultaneously invalidated.

We’ve discussed this at length in other feedback threads in the comparison to Zealot in particular. The comparison is as unfortunate as it is inevitable and unavoidable, even if cross career and cross character comparisons aren’t productive. We bring marginally more damage for requiring a massive amount of more effort to play.

On the topic of durability
The 50% will never be reliable as long as it can fall off between hits without being refreshed. But if it’s changed to refresh it then invalidates our 50% or 15 talent. So something’s gotta give in that tree. Our tankiness is also under the assumption that we don’t take Oblivious (which isn’t universally applicable) and don’t take (barge) which has no effect at all on anything outside of hordes. So you could potentially be a melee only career with 100 health. Rather unique but kind of awful to play.

I don’t consider Slayer to be that “bad” much like yourself. But it is true that the risk/reward/effectiveness ratio is out of whack. I agree with everything you’ve posted. Spot on.


I think his 50% damage reduction talent should increase the time a little, at least 2 seconds. As with heavy swing weapons, which is what I think it was designed for, the buff can run out before you finish a swing.

I also think the 5% crit talent should be made for having a 1 handed and 2 handed weapon. And make it a bit more interesting. Maybe half the values of the other two talents. 7% power and 5% attack speed or something.

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I agree whit you, but… both overshadow the poor Merch. Or as IB overshadows FK. Or as WS and BH overshadow HuntsM and RV.

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Slayer is trash now. I’ve played with him a bit since 2.0 and I just can’t stomach it anymore. His health is just too low for a melee frontliner. Zealot overshadows him by leaps and bounds.

But even then, the final nail in the coffin is how neutered his ult is now. AoE shouts have so much power versus the Beastmen now that his dinky little how does hardly anything at all. It used to be helpful for mobility and getting out of tight spots. It feels like a total gimmick now.


Merc is actually insane, I’d rate him the best spec in the game. He has great horde control w/ exe sword light swings, great elite killing w/ exe charged attack and he’s super tanky. I think its’ 40% damage reduction with ult, 10% with paced strikes, and he gives like 30 temp health. Nobody can do the same job as merc right now. He’s legit the jack of all trades who’s decent at everything.

Edit: 25% with paced strikes active, 40% on ult if spec’d for these things. That’s 65% DR in tough situations: very strong.


WHC is in the same league, if not a little higher because of his crit potential. His AoE shout with 40% refund with Rapier and a crit focused build is INSANE. It shreds everything. Crossbow or BoP for Specials.

Yeah, I feel like BoP is just way too strong. It’s quick fire is so insanely accurate and powerful. Then you can just unload the thing w/ a strength pot and headshot a boss to half hp.

As advantage, tHP on ult is good (but also here there is a problem, I would prefer -30% cooldown but still tHP given instead just -45% cooldown)… but as damage and defense, he can’t be compared with Zealot.

Exe sword is good if your team can handle hordes (staggering them), otherwise it is more less versatile and fast then Axe and Falchion or Dual Hammer.

True, in terms of raw damage and defense it’s hard to compare anyone to zealot right now. Though I do think the executioners sword is also one of the best weapons in the game. One crit will proc paced strikes in a horde and once that happens you’ll cleave through everything that isn’t armored. On armored targets it takes a bit more skill as you need to aim for the head to cleave. Still nowhere near as mindless as axe/falch light attack spamming, esp since you move so slow while swinging exe sword.

In terms of overall usefulness though merc is bar none.

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I think it’s in a good place now. In order to do insane damage you pretty much have to crit headshot the boss monsters. On the early WoM betas the Brace was stupidly OP.

That is true, you do need to headshot 80-90% of hits to do that kinda damage (taking out half a bosses HP w/ strength pot on legend) but still. I feel like either the accuracy of the hip fire needs to go down, the damage needs to be nerfed, or the ammo count needs to be reduced in order for BoP to compare to similar options. Currently I don’t see any Saltzpires going for other ranged weapons on legend, save maybe the bounty hunter.

The Cata guides I’ve seen for Saltz all use crossbow for all classes so BoP can’t be that out of whack unless the crossbow is just OP.

It’s strong on legend, definitely, but honestly it’s more how outright bad volley bow and repeater pistol are that forces BoP IMO. With no spread reduction talent I can only assume Repeater Pistol is even more niche than ever. I’ve just about come to accept that volley bow may never be good despite my love for it :’(

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“BUt slAyeR is suPpOSED TO be a GlASS cAnNOn”

Slayer is glass without the cannon. He’s a melee berserker that’s expected to avoid damage like Shade, but with unreliable talents and skills to do so. As hard as the heifer horde hits, Slayer might as well have no defensive skills because nothing can save him.

And people continue to compare Slayer to Zealot because that is the playstyle slayers want.

But alright, the community has been asking for less-than-50% damage reduction to be a passive for a year now and it’s becoming clear that ain’t happening (bEcAusE slAYer is GLass). Since a berserker playstyle is too taboo for Slayer than can we have his damage avoidance buffed to Handmaiden levels? Surely, we can at least justify the shirtless glass boy being able to dodge like a ninja or something.


Do Adrenaline Surge /w leap spam for AoE stagger.

It is still stupid strong. Cookiecutter? Yes. Fatshark does nothing but encourage it though through leaderboards and buggy content, so.

aoe stagger is relatively hampered given that they took crunch from us

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Taking anything other than adrenaline surge is a pretty bad idea. Itʻs almost a necessary talent at this point. Though the other choices would be nice, leap is your only escape and method of staying safe in hordes (high attack speed means you can stagger more).

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10% per stack wouldn’t be bad if enemies didn’t just vacuum towards you. With 5% on gear, 25% from No Escape, and 30% from 3 stacks maintained with throwing axes, you’d think enemies couldn’t just continue to rubber band at you, but they do.

I will take slayer over zealot, mostly because zealot on good team is nearly all time on low thp (if he dont have help from merc etc)

Any problem the Zealot has with THP the slayer has worse.
If I had to choose between having to take less risks and outright dying I’ll choose avoiding death every single time.

Slayers ONLY defense is THP gen. Saltz flat out gets more of it due to his out of this world broken passive. There’s worlds of difference between a 10hp Slayer and a 10hp Zealot who still has his passive.