Witch Hunter Captain Rebalance

WHC is moderately overtuned. This is because of both Killing Shot and Flense. The purpose of these proposed ideas is to bring under and over performing talents inline with balanced ones. Important changes are surrounded by brackets. Here are my suggestions for a rework:

Note: If a talent is not listed it had no modifications.

Condensed List of Suggestions
  • Killing Shot ‒ No longer effects range attacks that have passed their effective range.
  • Power of Sigmar ‒ Made visible to the player. No longer effects range attacks that have passed their effective range.
  • Sigmar’s Charm ‒ Made visible to the player.
  • [Riposte] ‒ Riposte is added to Deathknell. Talent slot fulled by Heretic-Hunt, “Tagging an enemy causes nearby enemies to also be effected by Witch-Hunt.” Turns tag into a small aoe. Enemies that cannot normally be tagged are also effected, but receive a fainter outline.
  • Deathknell ‒ No longer effects range attacks that have passed their effective range. Riposte has been added to Deathknell.
  • [Flense] ‒ Now only stacks two bleed stacks instead of three.
  • [Templar’s Knowledge] ‒ Increases the damage the WHC does to tagged enemies to 35% and increases it to 30% for allies (both increased from 25%).
  • Cast Away ‒ Stamina recovery on push adjusted to 35% from 40%.
  • Always Prepared ‒ If out of ammo when a special spawns, you receive two shots.
  • I Shall Judge You All ‒ Additional effects of a radius increase of 20% and a duration increase to 8 seconds.
  • [Fervency] ‒ No longer staggers enemies.
  • Unending Hunt ‒ Now requires hitting 15 enemies.


  • Killing Shot
    No longer effects range attacks that past effective range. This is true for Deathknell and Power of Sigmar. Adjusted to define WHC as a primarily close-quarters combat career.

  • Power of Sigmar
    “Increases headshot bonus damage by 25%. No effect on ranged attacks past effective range.”
    Passive is now visible to the player. No effect on ranged attacks past effective range.

  • Sigmar’s Charm
    “Increases critical strike chance by 5%.”
    Passive is now visible to the player.

Level 10 Talents
  • [Riposte]
    New talent, “Tagging an enemy causes nearby enemies to also be effected by Witch-Hunt.” Called Heretic-Hunt. Essentially turns the tag into a small aoe that affects all enemy types. Enemies that cannot normally be tagged are also effected, but receive a fainter outline.

  • Deathknell
    “Increases headshot bonus damage by 50%. No bonus on ranged attacks past effective range. Parrying causes your next melee attack within 2 seconds to be a critical hit.”
    No effect on ranged attacks past effective range. Riposte has been added as it is not strong enough to be an independent talent. This makes for a high skill talent.

  • [Flense]
    “Enemies hit by melee attacks bleed for extra damage. Stacks twice.”
    Adjusted from 3 to 2 bleed stacks (credit to @Rebel for the idea). This is to reign in its damage and make Deathknell the more rewarding option on single targets for the headshot inclined.

Level 20/25 Talents
  • [Templar’s Knowledge]
    “Witch-Hunt causes enemies to take an additional 15% damage from Victor and 10% from allies.”
    Originally a flat 5% for everyone. Adjusted to 10% for allies. For the WHC it is 15%. High synergy with I Shall Judge You All. Adjusted as 5% was too low.

  • Cast Away
    "Pushing an enemy enemy increases stamina regeneration by 35% for 2 seconds."
    Stamina recovery on push adjusted to 35% from 40%. This is to bring WHC’s level of cc more inline with the career’s identity and damage potential.

  • Always Prepared
    “If you have no ammunition when a special spawns, you receive 2 shots.”
    Inline with the theme of an always prepared WHC. Decent potential with non-ammo sustain ranged weapon traits.

Level 30 Talents
  • I Shall Judge You All!
    “Applies Witch Hunt to enemies hit by Animosity. Radius increased by 20%. Duration of Animosity increase to 8 seconds.”
    Radius increase furthers usefulness against patrols, hordes, and is inline with the talent’s theme. Duration furthers team-oriented burst damage aspect (contrasts with Fervency’s solo burst and Unending Hunt’s lower but continual damage).

  • [Fervency]
    “Animosity grants Victor guaranteed melee critical strikes for its duration. Animosity no longer pushes back enemies, affects range attacks or allies.”
    Removal of stagger defines Fervency as a dps talent. Removal of crit chance for allies text that is lacking in game added.

  • Unending Hunt
    “Hitting 15 or more enemies with Animosity refunds 40% cooldown.”
    Increased requirement from 10 to 15 enemies. Encourages more thoughtful usage of Animosity.

Here’s a link to the polls I made for this topic: Witch Hunter Captain Rebalance Poll


I like the ideas but a couple quick things I’d like to point out:

  • on the level 10 row, killing shot would be an absolute must pick
  • heretic sighted should remain for the full duration, refreshing the duration with each tag imo so you’re encouraged to keep tagging to keep uptime (I prefer positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement where possible)

pretty ok with everything else I guess, kinda wish always prepared could be made more interesting since bonus ammo doesn’t matter a whole lot with the current arsenal, availability of ammo drops and conservative shooter/scrounger being a thing


WHC used to be Salty’s worst pick in the very beginning. Now it is arguably his strongest, but Salty, imho, has his three carreers almost at an identical level, which is good. Flense and Death Knell are equally solid picks, though I could very well see Flense getting tweaked/nerfed in the way that the bleeding effect is either only applied on critical hits or on the first target hit only.
WHC has very good build and weapon variety. Some of his talents are underused, but in general, WHC is in a very good spot. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. WHC is fun to play, and it has taken a long time to become fun to play. Don’t mess with that. Please.


WHC’s combined and sustained dps is one of the highest as far as melee combat goes (might be the highest), yet has one of the best defensive kit’s in the game, only lacking in damage reduction, and fantastic range options.

What my suggestions would do is reduce WHC’s excessive effectiveness against mansized enemies (they would still be very effective though) while increasing their effectiveness against Chaos Warriors and monsters. WHC would require more skill to play overall, but would still be very strong.

Frankly I’m not even sure how much of a nerf what I’m suggesting really is. Consider the following Rapier breakpoints with the buffed headshot passive+Deathknell+Assassin+tag
(Abbreviations: HS=headshot, s=shot, TK=Templar’s Knowledge):

  • Stormvermin
    1 S HS full charge with no investment (current patch 10%)
  • Bestigors
    1 S HS full charge with either 20% power or 10% + buffed TK investment (current patch 30% power + TK)
  • Maulers
    2 S HS full charge with no investment (current patch 10% power)
  • Chaos Warriors
    3 S HS full charge with 10% power (current patch 20% or 10% + TK)
    and 2 full charge + 1 partial charge HS with 20% power or 10% + TK (current patch 30% power + TK)
  • Monks/Savages
    1 S HS partial charge with no properties (current patch 10%)

There’s more but these are the most pertinent ones.

WHC is my favourite career. It’s honestly gotten to a point for me where I can’t enjoy most other careers because they are either too slow, simple, don’t require finesse or are unsatisfying in melee. I don’t want to nerf WHC into irrelvency - rather, I want WHC to stand as the career that requires the most skill and precision without any inherent reliance on random crit insta kills.

I’m not sure if it would. You’d be missing out on very good breakpoints with Deathknell, and will be getting less crits since the 5% crit chance passive would be removed and Unending Hunt would be slightly less frequent. Fervency would also be a whole lot more dangerous, and you’d gain no effectiveness against CWs or monsters with Killing Shot. That’s 1/5 attacks now for crits.

I would also recommend buffing the Rapier’s headshot multiplier on partial and full charge attacks like Sleezy suggested in this thread: Stagger Breakpoints which would result in the sustained dps of the full charge being higher l1 - l2 - block cancel chaining.

You make a good point. If it ends immediately after a target dies, it’s practically encouraging the player to keep a weakened elite alive for the duration of a horde. I’ve made an edit to reflect this in the main post.

I do as well, I just can’t think of anything right now without encroaching on BH’s turf.

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I feel like, in a current state of the game, WHC balance is somewhat not worth spending time and energy on.

The character is extremely solid and doesn’t break the game’s balance. Putting too much time into this topic would divert attention from other careers which actually need rebalancing.


I agree that there are more pressing balance issues and would not want work on WHC to come at the expense of work on other problems. However, I think WHC does need to be rebalanced, even if it’s after the other careers, and these are my thoughts on how to to do it. I also don’t want other careers to be pulled up to WHC’s level of power.

I personally do feel WHC can break a game. They can simply rack up too many elite kills too quickly. Yet outside of the crit kills even with Deathknell they feel kind of weak dps wise on elites/monsters for a finesse career, which is why I’m advocating for a buff to the unlisted headshot passive and for Riposte and Killing Shot to swap places.


WHC is fine is he is. he needs no nerfs or talent changes other than heretic sighted and templar knowledge. all his lvl 20 talents should be a buff applied to the whole team when tagging or taggable enemies die so that there is no obvious best one (wild fervor). heretic sighted could give the team a 10% atk speed buff for 5 sec when an taggable enemy die and templar knowledge could give the team a 10% dmg boost for 5 sec when a taggable enemy die. 5% crit chance form wild fervor is already a good buff.

The reason flense is “too strong” is because its a passive bleed effect on your melee weapon compared to having to block or get headshots to benefit from a dmg boost. riposte forces WHC to be more defensive and take things slower (otherwise missing out on the effect from riposte. deathknell requires headshots to work and are much more effective on some weapons than others (limiting the weapon choice)

A lot of people didnt like footknights bbb first comrades in arms talent due to it requirering footknight blocking, to not be punished by using the talent. passive effects will win over active effects in a lot of cases unless the active effects are good enough to warrant the active status.

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Honestly I don’t think that WHC needs a nerf… when compared with the other strong careers, that more or less fulfill the same niche, WHC has pro and cons.

For example Zealot is tougher and much easier to play. Merc has more control and gives better bonus to his mates. Slayer is tougher and has more control. Unchained same… more dmg reduction, more power, can use staff…

But I want to be brief, I just wanted to throw my personal idea… I respect your opinion.


Honestly, I would just remove Killing Shot without compensation and see how things play out for WHC. Instakills can not to be balanced in any way, even if they’re conditioned. It’s the same with invisibility, the mechanic itself is way too strong. It’s either keep it or remove it.

I’d try a ‘culling strike’ kinda thing, as in: a mob dies when its HP falls under a specific threshold. But that might not be practical for Vermintide as most mobs (outside of C3) simply don’t have enough HP in the first place, everything dies in two or three hits anyway.

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just give WHC a shotgun that actually works, totally different turf :^)

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It’s mainly because even under ideal conditioners it’s horde dps is much higher without any extra skill requirement (no need for headshots, timed blocks etc.), and only somewhat worse on elites. It’s cleave damage without drop off and bodyshot damage at that, on a headshot career.

Heretic Sighted buffing the attack speed of allies would both be too strong and be odd thematically (since it’s Victor’s zeal). I personally see the same thematic problem with Wild Fervour but couldn’t think of a replacement or change for it (even just 10% for only WHC would be too strong). Heretic Sighted is already fine (and from what I’ve seen a very common pick) depending on your build. With Unending Hunt the 5% is often unimportant, but it would work well with a moderately buffed I Shall Judge You All (enhanced consistency for burst dps). Having the same trigger condition for each of the three talents would be consistent but ultimately boring in my opinion.

Again I personally feel what I’m suggesting is more of a soft nerf and redistribution of WHC’s strengths. This new form of WHC would require more skill and overlap with BH in any way, while also having more overall versatility because of better damage potential against non-mansized enemies.

I’d also like to take a moment to say that originally WHC seemed like (to me) was supposed to be a dps/support/mobility hybrid. At some point Fatshark decided the dps was not enough. I actually prefer the dps direction and would rather less support because the support stacking in this game is overpowered.

Entirely depends on the condition really. You should try base crit chance with Riposte. It’s pretty balanced.

Without compensation you just have a career that has okay dps and ult spam to make space + essentially passive tag support. You’d also make Riposte fairly pointless on anything but bosses because on Cata it requires the tag + 1 property+Deathknell+Assassin for the Rapier’s partial to kill even a Bestigor on headshot - it’s far, far worse for the other weapons with the exception of the Axe & Falchion (the Billhook requires the same setup + the tag for even an SV). So unless one can take both Deathknell and Riposte it’s a dead talent. I’m not against Killing Shot being removed either (provided Riposte becomes a passive), though I’ve struggled to think of what would take Riposte’s place if it’s not Killing Shot. Multi-tagging is an option but doesn’t really follow that row’s theme (which is weapon interaction).

Another reason I wanted to keep Killing Shot as an option was because it averages out well, and sustaining headshots for an extended period of time to fish for crits is a skill (it’s just too strong to have in the kit passively).

I kind of feel like killing shot is the biggest issue here. Its stupidly strong on itself and would make pretty much any career instantly better and yet again if its removed from WHC:s kit he gets noticeably weaker.

So perhaps that’s where I would waste my effort instead of starting to mess with the core kit which honestly is pretty solid.

It’s problematic. It can tied to heavy attacks but then it’s nearly worthless on the Falchion and the 1h Axe. It could be something like “Critical hits take off 1/2 of any enemies except for bosses” but then WHC loses effectiveness if they aren’t always hitting things first which would encourage them to rush ahead. It could just be “Headshot always at least do at least 1/7 of a targets health, heavy attacks damage no less than 1/3” but that would scale weirdly well into elites and encourage even more attack speed spam.

I’m open to ideas.

From my own point of view it’s got so much jam-packed into it’s op. The only thing WHC doesn’t have is damage reduction (as the lack of stagger strength is mitigated by ult spam and slightly too strong stamina recovery). Overall I think my suggested changes would buff the weakest talents and nudge down the over performers.

I wouldn’t remove killing shot from his passives tbh, it would just result in a must pick like incandescent mentioned, unless you power creep the other 2 talents on that row.

Heretic sighted is fine tbh, it gets mostly used on solo runs anyway, team wide crit is still better in most cases.

Templars knowledge is weird, currently i don’t think it makes any unreachable bp’s reachable so i don’t see why i would choose this talent.

Cast away should just get removed tbh, with eternal guard passive i would just maybe build upon that.

I shall judge you all would still not get chosen over the other options unless it gives something significant. I’d rather it see reworked, why would i choose i shall judge you all as a bursting tool if i can ult with fervency and light sweep a group of elites away? currently its either go dps ult or more support/crit chance ult (which is also indirectly a dps increase + stagger increase), hard to compete.
i understand i shall judge you all would give a higher dmg increase + crit chance, but then either one of them should get removed, either the crit ult or the dmg boost, and i shall judge you all is a fine ult talent, just gets overshadowed by delete ult imo.

With these changes Fervency would have no stagger, making it dangerous, and you would have to sacrifice Deathknell (good damage with a buff to the headshot passive) or Flense (with the right nerf it would still be the highest aggregate dps talent) to light sweep elites.

With Sigmar’s Charm removed Killing Shot would only be slightly higher elite dps on average than Deathknell, but would be less consistent and would still have no effect on CWs/monsters/Wargors.

I Shall Judge You All would be a pretty large dps multiplier for your entire team. For 8 seconds, all your allies and yourself have 25% more crit chance and deal 20% or 25% more damage to what would practically be the entire horde. With a larger radius it would also have more control.

Buffing Templar’s Knowledge by 5% (might have to be slightly more) gives the Rapier some pretty good breakpoints (can oneshot full charge headshot Bestigors with just 20% power instead of a full 30%).

I would argue no stagger would make it easier, just ult close to an group an attack, no more them getting pushed back and you having to catch up a bit. but yes removing stagger would be a big deal.
also I would still go killing shot talent and just ult them to death, just light sweep their heads.

Yes its a good talent, just gets overshadowed imo, especially in the current state of the game, maybe on modded difficulties it could be usefull, not sure.

Ah i tought you meant “larger radius = more enemies get affected by the debuff”, if it gets a higher stagger range it could maybe compete, but i would still rather see something else instead, or in the spot of fervency.

How many breakpoints can other classes reach with 5% though. Also crit would still be more usefull i feel, due to trait procs and damage etc. (this might be less now due to pseudo crits).

Without the stagger you wouldn’t be able to ult for revive, and would have a lot more trouble getting the damage in on a boss. I don’t find the stagger to make headshots any more difficult because you can just time a full charge with the ult and release just as WHC shouts. A Chaos patrol would be much more difficult to get all the headshots in on. Compare that to a wider reaching I Shall Judge You All, which would both give everyone some breathing room and give a good dps increase for longer.

Fervency really isn’t that good. Due to opportunity cost/elite positioning it gets beaten by Unending Hunt except on FoW and some weaves. Unending Hunt is overall a lot more consistent and safer - especially for things like Deathwish Onslaught + Cata 3 solo (not possible currently without cheese afaik but it’s fun attempting).

They could also make I Shall Judge You All apply an additional tag damage increase to already taggable targets (I recall someone telling me there was a bug where it would stack the tag twice on taggable enemies at launch. True or not, it would certainly be strong, though I wouldn’t go as far as a full double stack).

It’s 5% for everyone else, which while unlikely to hit breakpoints is a significant overall dps increase, especially for things like cleave, and never has any down time (Wild Fervour has very little down time but it’s there). Perhaps 5% is not enough, but 10% might be too much. To really figure it out one would have to spend a great deal of time looking at spreadsheets and I do that enough already.

Yes i know, unending hunt is meta and without a doubt the best choice overall. i was talking about fervency and i shall judge you all. I also know i shall judge you all is great on paper, but in reality it gets overshadowed by either undending hunt and fervency. if you would make i shall judge you all have a bigger stagger radius (or stronger stagger power) + increased dmg + crit it would probably be too strong.
I just don’t see currently how there is a choice. you either go solo player killing ult or more support by going unending. I would say fervency is very strong, you stagger and can delete what you want, its basically a shade ult on a longer cooldown. is it the best choice? no ofcourse not.

Well we both don’t know the impact really. How much does 5% increase cleave by? How much more chance do you have with pseudo in place with 5% crit? Is it better to proc swift slaying more in turn having increased dps. or is pseudo enough to get a high uptime on ss where crit is no longer needed? If so is it on every career, or only on some? etc

From personal experience I’ve found that 15% crit chance is enough to guarantee Swift Slaying uptime. So 5% base, 5% trinket and then 5% weapon or 5% passive/talent.

Well if thats the case then i don’t really see power not being chosen, even in its current state. unless on maybe some careers that don’t go 15% crit or specific builds.

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