The Zealot is Too Weak at Higher Difficulty

At higher difficulties (Malice+) the Zealot is just… terrible. You take so much un-avoidable health damage you are downed again…and again… and again until the game stops being fun. The only way to play the Zealot effectively is to play passively and at range - which is the OPPOSITE to the intended playstyle of the Zealot.

Trying to close distance to ranged enemies is also ridiculously difficult. It is impossible to avoid their fire and the stun-lock effect means you get rooted in place and take stupid amounts of damage. It’s just a stupid mechanic and it totally ruins what should be an incredibly fun class.

The Zealot needs a re-work and a buff to either allow ways to reduce or prevent ranged and unavoidable damage, or a way to recover health by dishing out sustained damage over time. The latter is probably the most sensible as it fits the play style of “keep swinging until everything is dead” that the Zealot should be built around.


Zealot is too weak for Heresy+ if you dont build for the 75% damage reduction.

Run an axe with the “crit chance increases on each hit” trait, or a knife with lacerate. Take the bloodletting feat and hunt down the heretic. Works perfectly fine even in Damnation. (Just don’t lose your DR. The double charge, or charge cdr on crit help with that quite a bit.)

Sure. It is dumb. You play a 40k game and have to use caveman tech to survive. But it works. (Melee weapons in a nutshell: Caveman > Anything else)


this is completly false. i play damnation only as zealot and have 0 issues. its a lot of fun and im always the last one alive either clutching or fighting until the end.

like radina said. use the axe its an amazing weapon and i run around chopping up heratics with my mk V axe


Id have to agree with @Haiboku and @Radina.Shevu on this. For Diff 4 and 5 when I see a Zealot who is aggressive and knows what to do it makes my life as a vet 1000x easier to support them.


So how do you avoid the ranged/fire/chip/stun-lock issues? THis is where I’m frustrated.

The cycle always seems to be: break cover > try to close range > get shot > stun-locked in place > toughness breaks > overwhelmed by mobs > end up in a pool of fire from a grenade or hit from a single sniper shot > die and spend the next 5 minutes staring at a wall waiting to be rescued.

The only counter I found was to play more passive and at range with a flamer (even then the aimbot accuracy of the ranged enemies depletes toughness so fast).

Zealot preacher is arguably one of the strongest careers in the game it just requires a little more knowledge and game-sense to play well at heresy+. Positioning is everything, and it’s your job to pull enemy specialists into melee to take pressure off your backline or use your Ult to help burst down dangerous enemies (especially heavily armoured foes, eg. crusher, mauler etc.). You need to master movement above all else to help you move from cover to cover - sprint sliding and dodge-sliding can help tremendously.

I regularly clear Damnation and I’m not even using the 75% dmg reduction crit build but a trusty combat axe and either a bolter for melting bulwarks or a flamer if we need the horde clear (shotgun is also a good shout). You need to have a good grasp of the fundamentals of melee combat (push, dodge, block) and learn your best weapon patterns. It’s a high risk/reward class but an absolute blast once you master it.


you have to be ultra aggro and make those mobs fight you in melee. to get to them you have to just be constantly slide sprinting and side dodging and make sure to have a good awareness of whats around you. zealot is very fast paced. you are always in the thick of everything and taking the biggest risk but if played right your team can follow up really well.


What would be a good option to make zealot feel better in melee?
I got 3 ideas.
Jump forward with melee weapons out is now replaced with a dash forward.
Now this let’s you reposition more aggressively into enemies.
Not so useful when fighting big hordes of melee units but great to close the gap on range units.

Second idea is melee kills or damage reduce the cool down of your ability.
Morr aggressive melee means more charge.

Last is full toughness armor on melee special kill or small amount of health back on special melee kill.

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Yup, it was a bug. It was the stupid Toughness bug making me take bleedthrough damage all the time. Now that is fixed the Zealot plays sooo much better.


ahhh the old im in the top 0.1% of skilled players, therefore the class is fine argument. good to see that wheeled out again.

and im not sure relying on one cheese build thast probably going to get nuked on the first balance pass really equates to a good class either

i think most people who play all 4 classes would be fairly comfortable in saying objectively the zeolot is the weakest , though the psyker really is trying.


I thought the weakest one in high difficulty is Ogryn. Ogryn got no cheese build, but is relying on Slab shield in high difficulty which blocks your sight like hell and damage-wise terrible melee weapon compared to the other classes the best melee weapon.

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By the time you play on higher difficulty you should know the map the shield losing you is a non issue. Thats like complaining my flamer is slow and then proceeding to destroy a small army with it and still have fuel in the tank.

I think the a main thing with zlot is to understand his 2 charge distances. When you use his ability (with no enemy lock) you will go maybe 20 meters? I’m not sure. What I am sure about is when you hold your attack (lock onto an enemy) and charge, the distance you will lunge can double easily.

The secondary point to illustrate with the zlot is; What part of the range battle are you having consistent trouble with? (Specifically solo que) Be selfish and pick a ranged weapon to solve that problem. Lasgun for sniper/patrol, Bolter for anything really, pistol for specailists, flamer to clear a horde as some examples.

Regarding the zealot charge ability, locking onto an enemy has no tell but it’s usually the one in center and closest. I would practice his charge attack on cooldown on lower difficulties until you’re comfortable with weapon timing and range.

This charge distance is key to understanding in his ability to take the fight to the range units. Pinning a patrol before they can scatter is something the zlot should always be looking to take advantage of. (This is my main focus as an ogryn too)(that and pushing elites over is hilarious)

Once you master your weapons patterns you should be looking around to identify who are the targets in a fight. For example, Do you see a rager sprinting to you, or an ally? Did you notice a scab gunner retreat? A huge skill to learn is to look at your team as well, what are they doing?

By looking at teammates, a glance can tell you all you need to know. Someone is ADS or stuck in melee. Someone has turned their back and is retreating, or someone is dodging back getting overwhelmed. A big play can sometimes be to stop cleaning up your mess and go help someone else wash their dishes. Since you know what you would be pulling with you can effectively hold them off while applying damage to help your teammates. This is where your charge can clutch. A good team will understand the threats and retreat until they’re dealt with before rushing back in. Sometimes the chaff horde can be a break from the high intensity elites and specials. Another thing to think about is dodge dancing. You won’t have to look for a teammate that’s dodging with you.

Sometimes the best solution to a horde is to retreat so they thin out and you can manage the horde in slices. Once they start to surround you, you’ll get overwhelmed. Always look to retreat from being surrounded, your teammates should never be responsible for saving you from getting surrounded, you need to push attack your way out asap. The trappers, most specialist in general, are most deadly when you can’t dodge his/her ability.

As far as the range fire, I would say this is where positioning and map knowledge comes into play. If a patrol gets locked into a range fight, there is no shame in using cover or simply looking at your team to see if anyone else is taking the fight. Getting burst down and waiting for a revive is the worst thing you can do. The best thing you can do is stay available to help. I wouldn’t recommend leaving the room by yourself, and this is where it can get tough, but I would recommend to live and die with your team. The team mentality is everything in darktide. Clutching is a lot harder in darktide and the when the fight goes south, it happens fast. If you practice good gameplay habits, the team will naturally retreat with you, and they will naturally advance with you. If you’re unsure when to advance or retreat, follow someone’s lead. Yes following someone else won’t be at your pace, but you can immerse yourself in their gameplay style and maybe learn something new. If everyone is scattered around out of coherency, flipping tables for Grims or scriptures then try to find one teammate and stay with them. Most players check to see if your clearing a room and then move onto another room, sure this isn’t the worst thing in the world but I would recommend letting the player clear the room while you cover them. No one will watch your back, and there is always an enemy behind you, so watch their back and good players will revolve around you during a fight.

As far as the stun-lock, the times this has happened to me was when I was trying to walk/run towards fire, slide towards fire. This sucks, true, but you got caught out in the open you should be punished. The stun-lock issue can also happen when your stamina is depleted, and you block an attack with 0 stam. I can only surmise that you are sprinting everywhere, because the team is doing the same so you are trying to keep up or push ahead. Only you can look at your gameplay to identify what is happening or going wrong. I would recommend playing a mission and walking everywhere for a change. Only run when to the checkpoint or exit. period. If you want to run away, hold block and dodge backwards., only turn around to see where your going (very important).

Hope this mash of texts helps you turn your enemies into gravy, for the ogryn to eat of course.


think only issue is the “HP chipping” nothing more.

Lol wrong. I play on Damnation most of the time. Skill issue.

On the real, try stacking all of your curios’ main trait into +18-20% health. It is way more useful than toughness, because of the “melee chipping / dmg bleed through.” I’m running 330+ base health. If you want to play with Martydrom stacks (which I don’t recommend), you can even have all three and still have almost 200 health left. Now imagine once you actually upgrade all three curios to also all have "15% damage reduction vs gunners, +5% health, +30% toughness damage reduction). You’d literally be unkillable.

If you still suck, use an Eviscerator with the Momentum and Savage Sweep blessing (more than 10% toughness back on multiple hit, plus almost 200% more cleave) along with “Thy Wrath be Swift” talent so your push attacks and heavy 1 horde sweep attacks can’t be interrupted. If you’re still taking damage in melee range, then it’s truly a skill issue and you can’t be helped.


I think you are right, and I also think the people who think it’s good are right.

Zealot sucks at almost everything unless you are really, really good at playing this kind of character, and most people aren’t. The few who are wreck with it, though they have to use boring weapons instead of fun weapons.

Additionally, the weapons it has and others do not aren’t that good or if they are, aren’t fun. The flamer doesn’t feel fun in 1st person, though it does work well. It leaves you without long ranged options though. The Thunderhammer is junk because no AOE, bad rebound, needs charging, etc. The Evis is okay, it’s fun, and it’s the only reason I see to play the class currently, but it needs work. All the chain weapons do but this one is the closest to being pretty decent and fun and 40k.

To me that’s a fail, especially as it’s the only human sized melee specialist in the game.

I’m sure someone will tell me the differences, but as a class it looks like an import of homeless Saltzpyre from v2, which is also called Zealot. (I didn’t play Zealot, and lots of people didn’t play V2 at all.)

So the result is it’s much, much hard to play the human sized melee class well. I think that’s a massive oversight, and I seem to pick up more downed Zealots then any other class.

That said, I can’t deny there are some who play the class well.

Personally I’m hoping it isn’t long before it gets an option to have a totally different class in the same slot. We could really use an option for a melee class that isn’t ‘game berserker.’

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Eviscerator isn’t a boring weapon IMO. It’s the main thing that converted me from VT2 to Darktide even though Darktide is an unfinished game, and plenty of my VT2 tryhard buddies still play that game. With the right stats, perks, and blessings, I’m not sure what work it needs. It certainly DOES NOT need a combo change.

Flamer does suck, I agree. A bolter or a very good Kantrael Mk XII (the slower semi auto bolter) that 2-5 shots all elites and specials besides carapace armor (which is just the crusher and Mauler’s head) has way more ROI.

I would also argue that a berserker has it’s place more in this game than Zealot did in Vermintide 2. The best melee classess in VT2 killed enemies fast AND held aggro for backliners to pick off enemies. Grail Knight (great horde clear, great elite killing), Slayer (Almost as good as GK in DPS, but with a CC ult), and Saltzpyre WHC (great elite killing, great horde clear, great CC ult) all come to mind while Saltzpyre Zealot would just be running around the map, not even killing things as fast as the other three (not that I don’t enjoy the playstyle myself).

In Darktide, the maps are a lot more linear (here is back of hallway, here is front of hallway). The front and back are a lot more clear. Someone needs to be in the front keeping enemies tied in Melee. Both Ogryn and Zealot do this job well: Ogryn has huge sweeps to try to get aggro from as many people as possible, but doesn’t really have a taunt but can’t kill horde enemies really fast as easily. Zealot relies on raw DPS and has to keep killing to keep his survivability up. Done well, almost no enemy walks behind him to reach the Vets and Psykers.

If you’re a Vet or a Psyker… Just don’t shoot the trash mobs that the Zealot is fighting in melee. They have it covered and you’re taking away opportunities for them to regenerate toughness. Shoot the disablers and ranged enemies FURTHER BACK. If you watch my vids… Despite being melee focused I’m killing as many or more snipers and disablers with my gun as anyone else simply because my teammates aren’t reacting fast enough.


But Fatashark please… There’s no need to tweak zealot besides changing the talents that no one picks here Zealot Feedback and Suggestions


By the way, about the “hard to get into melee range” point you made. In case you didn’t know, you can hold down your Ult key and target a specific enemy within 20 meters. Letting go after will rush your character all the way to that enemy, even ignoring any enemies between you guys.

For comparison, using your ult without an enemy targeted makes you dash forwards 8 meters. Huge difference.


Well, Zealot in VT2 is arguably the best melee since he got melee and range power buff and attack speed from his low hp passive buff.

To high level player, he is somewhat weaker in killing power than WHC rapier head-shot only player some times, his immense attack speed gives him better survival ability. Zealot is easier to survive in hard situation, because of his great mobility with hit ult.

On the other hand some melee careers (Slayer, Grail knight) can’t help much in the highest difficulty (Weave 160, Cataclysm 3 level) At least Zealot is viable in Weave 160.