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A TON of weapons tested against Empress of Light

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
Guide Category
Weapon/Gear Use
Have you ever wondered whether the venom staff or flower pow is a better weapon against empress? No? Well here's a huge chart.
1618932655283.png


Some chart explanations
  • The numbers are kill times in seconds
  • In the summoner area: MS = morning star, K = Kaleidoscope, FC = Firecracker, WS = Whip stacked kaleidoscopic, with durandel, and morning star​
  • Eye bats means I used 3 pairs of twins + 6 sanguine bats, it was an attempt to work around optic's iFrame issues​
  • Deadly bats means I used 4 deadly sphere + 5 sanguine bats, it was an attempt to work around deadly sphere's iFrame issues​
  • Throughout all the test I died 5 times: grenade launcher friendly fire, trying to maneuver empress into the toxic flask, in the optic staff + MS test, and twice using the copper shortsword​
  • The Colors represent roughly how hard hard it is to hit empress with the weapon​
    • Green - Means fast homing​
    • Light Green - Means fast non homing projectiles with good range​
    • Yellow - Means the weapon has somewhat limited range but doesn't have issues hitting in that range, this is really no different from Light Green for me, but these weapons may do worse for someone who plays less aggressive, or puts more distance between empress and themselves​
    • Orange - Weapon has slow projectiles that were somewhat awkward to hit with, or spread was very large that even at my fighting distance it missed often, this likely had an impact on the weapon's performance​
    • Red - Hitting empress with this weapon is a struggle, this likely had a major impact on the weapon's performance​
    • White - Slow homing weapons... not really sure how to rate these, they required me to make some extra U-turns​
    • All whips are considered Yellow, the colors in the summoner section describe the minions.​

What else was used
  • Witch broom was used for all my mobility
  • Buffs used were: wrath, summoning, bewitching, ichor imbue, archery, ale, sharpened, magic pow, mana regen, clairvoyance
  • Mana potions were occasionally used during the magic tests
  • Unless otherwise stated, 3 raven minions were used alongside the weapon
  • If the primary weapon didn't inflict ichor the possed hachet was occasionally used to do so​
  • Possed hachet was NOT used with the phantasm, piranha gun, or laser machine gun since those discourage switching weapons​
  • Here's the equipment used:​
  • 1618891758163.png
  • From left to right: bow, gun, misc ranged, melee, magic: stats, magic: spectre, magic: hybrid, pure summoner
  • The only reason I used putrid scent in gun build was because I forgot celestial shell existed when I was looking for a quiver replacement
  • Shroomite helmet was used in place of the adamantite mask when using styger or nail gun (it's not worth using on rocket launhcers since they get half thier damage from ammo which the shroomite pieces don't effect)


Got any questions?
Want me to test another weapon?
 

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qwerty3.14

Terrarian
I decided to test some more melee weapons: Copper shortsword, Bannanarang, shadowflame knife, drippler crippler, starlight, and Sky dragons fury.
Remember that I have 3 raven in every test... so the copper shortsword test was essentially just the sharpened debuff assisting the ravens (and ichor the few times I could get a hit with the sword)

I also retested the sniper rifle, LMG and razorpine. Since I found it odd that there was such a difference between the ammos, and I've generally heard that razorpine > LMG.
1618343923451.png

The old times were replaced with the averages from this chart.
 
Very cool; this is the kinda stuff I like to see! ☺️🥤

The only question I have so far is, what's your opinion about all of this? Did anything surprise you about the test, are there any specific builds you'd recommend from what you've discovered with all of this?
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
Very cool; this is the kinda stuff I like to see! ☺️🥤

The only question I have so far is, what's your opinion about all of this? Did anything surprise you about the test, are there any specific builds you'd recommend from what you've discovered with all of this?
What surprised me?

Well first was that chloro bullets seemed to always beat crystal, with how much I've fought Empress I thought my aiming skills would have made crystal bullets edge out over chloro. However every time Empress charges shes virtually impossible to hit for about 3 seconds.
Sniper rifle was the only gun to do better with crystal, probably because it has a high base damage so the shards aren't hurt as much by empress's defense.

Another suprise was with the grenade launcher, jack o launcher, and toxic flask. Most weapons I used had relatively little trouble hitting empress but these weapons were heavily effected by gravity causing them to JUST fall below where they needed to hit. This caused me constantly maneuver down to try and lure empress into the projectiles.
Death sickle had similar issues, the projectiles had so little range that I had to lure empress into them, as opposed to just throwing them in front of empress like with the chlorophyte partisan.

I was surprised to see the daedleus stormbow be the strongest pre plantera weapon (well except coin gun but that's pay to win), I was expecting chloro shotbow and ichor darts to beat it thanks to thier accuracy.

I was also suprised to see the raven staff out perform xeno in when using the mourning star, in past tests I've just used kaleidiscope but I guess xeno needs that tag synergy to beat ravens. This might mean that ravens are a better choice for hybrid builds that don't use whips.

With tsunami/eventide/aerial bane's infamous reputation I was expecting them to be the strongest pre lunar weapons by a considerable margin, so I was suprised when I saw the blizzard staff, laser machine gun, and xeno + kaleidoscope get very similar times.

Also... starlight you see empress likes to hover above the player a set distance, this means she will fly away if you try to get to close. When using the starlight I positioned myself right under her and we flew high into the sky, when the second phase started I hit the top of the world and had to bring her back down.

The nebula arcanum might be the biggest suprise, in the past I've always tried to use it as a CC weapon for the lunar events and was generally disapointed because the projectiles were to slow to stop enemies from flying into me... this was the same for empress until she stopped move to do the sundance the the clump of projectile caught up and immeditely tore off half her health, empress teleported away and the arcanums flew toward where she would start the second phase and finished her off basiclly as soon as phase 2 started.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
I don't buy the Raven times when it comes to realistic, practical play. I tested them briefly and as far as I'm concerned they have garbo AI against Empress of Light. They literally would refuse to attack EoL and only move toward me when I remotely moved to dodge bullet hell attacks. I'm not saying that you "faked" anything but I heavily doubt it applies into actual gameplay, since you'd need to pretty much move as least as possible for the ravens to actually attack EoL consistently. Same for Tiger to a lesser extent, it would float above EoL dealing no damage time to time. I assume it's done by specifically sticking close to the ground and moving as least as possible, in those situations it becomes doable to whip stack her with whips like Durendal, Spinal Tap and Snapthorn, so Blade Staff should be able to get a way lower time with this "playstyle".
 
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qwerty3.14

Terrarian
I don't buy the Raven times when it comes to realistic, practical play. I tested them briefly and as far as I'm concerned they have garbo AI against Empress of Light. They literally would refuse to attack EoL and only move toward me when I remotely moved to dodge bullet hell attacks. I'm not saying that you "faked" anything but I heavily doubt it applies into actual gameplay, since you'd need to pretty much move as least as possible for the ravens to actually attack EoL consistently. Same for Tiger to a lesser extent, it would float above EoL dealing no damage time to time. I assume it's done by specifically sticking close to the ground and moving as least as possible, in those situations it becomes doable to whip stack her with whips like Durendal, Spinal Tap and Snapthorn, so Blade Staff should be able to get a way lower time with this "playstyle".
Is using the witch broom to dodge attacks not considered realistic practical play? I've beaten daytime empress several times using the witch broom including a pure summoner build where ravens were my minion. The ravens also had no issues keeping up when I used betsy wing hover. The ravens don't really have speed issues as long as they don't fly offscreen, and empress is a boss you can be reasonably safe being close too since most of the projectiles start away from her when they fly toward you. It seems to come down to playstyle differences because I did summoner tests a while back and people reacted in a similar way... maybye this video I used back then would help explain things?


As for your tiger complaints it sounds like you're experiencing the bug where in journey mode when time is frozen it just hovers above things.

I will try out whip stacking with the blade staff and xeno staff.
 

J Bame

Terrarian
It's really, really interesting to see the Boulder Staff, a weapon designed to be good against groups of grounded enemies perform better than its counterpart meant to specialize in fast flying bosses.

Also tfw north pole is barely better than Drippler Crippler despite coming like 4 tiers later
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
It's really, really interesting to see the Boulder Staff, a weapon designed to be good against groups of grounded enemies perform better than its counterpart meant to specialize in fast flying bosses.
I did some more testing to see if it was really the case...
1618372388326.png

yep... chart has been updated


Also tfw north pole is barely better than Drippler Crippler despite coming like 4 tiers later
At least its not as bad as the toxic flask... when I died using that thing I was tempted to leave it as just "Don't"


Added Whip stacking tests to the blade staff and xeno staff marked as "+ WS"

Hover wings might be considered overpowered so I made a new video.
Master mode
Day time
No dodge gear
@Shyguymask Does this qualify as 'practical play'?
After the video I did a few more timed fights, they averaged out to about 46 seconds
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
It's definitely playing quite a lot greedier in the fight especially toward the end where you're pretty much surfing next to hitboxes. If you completely mastered & memorized the fight then this looks perfectly doable and viable, but for general purposes Blade or Xeno Staff are safer and more consistent options. That said however I have heavy doubt on the "WS" time for Blade, there is honestly no way that it's only an improvement by four seconds. In my "Blade Vs. Sanguine" comparison video, Blade Staff got a time of 42~ seconds against EoL with Kalei/Harvest/Betsy's. Remove Betsy's wrath and you can add a couple more seconds to that, to around 45-50 or something. The thing is that it was with Hallowed armor, with Spooky Armor you should easily be able to get a sub-40 time if you played similarly as with Ravens and went all out with Kalei/Harvest/Durendal with Ichor Flask. If you find Stacking 3-4 whips too hard then I guess I could try hopping into my Journey mode world with godmode on for a "proof of concept" on what it would look like if you played similarly as with ravens and went all out with whip stacking.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Maybe you should try the magic weapons again, this time with a full set of Spectre armour with the Mask, because the damaging orbs might change the results and Spectre armour is probably what most players will use.
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
It's definitely playing quite a lot greedier in the fight especially toward the end where you're pretty much surfing next to hitboxes. If you completely mastered & memorized the fight then this looks perfectly doable and viable, but for general purposes Blade or Xeno Staff are safer and more consistent options.
If the phase 2 sun dance scares you then you can do a slightly different technique. In the video I moved down while she was creating the bolt then made a 90degree turn to dodge the bolts and that put me right into her sun dance. Alternatively you could move horizontally while she creates the bolts then fly down to dodge them and this should put you out of range of the sun dance, however it also puts you out of kaleidoscope range. This is what I did near the end of the first video.

Also obviously you can use hallowed armor, it allows you to make at least 1 mistake per fight. If there was only 1 time you thought "that's way to close" then hallowed would cover it.

That said however I have heavy doubt on the "WS" time for Blade, there is honestly no way that it's only an improvement by four seconds. In my "Blade Vs. Sanguine" comparison video, Blade Staff got a time of 42~ seconds against EoL with Kalei/Harvest/Betsy's. Remove Betsy's wrath and you can add a couple more seconds to that, to around 45-50 or something. The thing is that it was with Hallowed armor, with Spooky Armor you should easily be able to get a sub-40 time if you played similarly as with Ravens and went all out with Kalei/Harvest/Durendal with Ichor Flask. If you find Stacking 3-4 whips too hard then I guess I could try hopping into my Journey mode world with godmode on for a "proof of concept" on what it would look like if you played similarly as with ravens and went all out with whip stacking.
keep in mind blade staff gets most of its base damage from tags, so its doesn't really care much for spooky armor's extra summon damage, spooky armor's +1 minion is all its really benefiting from. When I switch from spooky to hallowed I only lose 2 damage. Also I was not using Betsy's wrath that thing is like a second kaleidiscope, the reason I didn't use it is because EVERY weapon benefits from it so I don't think it'd be fair to have only 1 test where I use Betsy's wrath as a sidearm.

Anyway did some more whip stack vs no whip stack tests same whips as before.
1618410608748.png



Here's some tests I did for daytime empress on master mode, KBD = kaleidoscope, Betsys wrath, and durendel whereas KB = Just Kaleidoscope, and betsty's wrath
1618414133175.png

Betsy's wrath certainly helped but throwing in durendel seems to be more trouble than it's worth.


Maybe you should try the magic weapons again, this time with a full set of Spectre armour with the Mask, because the damaging orbs might change the results and Spectre armour is probably what most players will use.
I could try that, but that will take some time. I'll need to add a whole new column to the chart. I expect spectre to work better with 'weak' weapons and the mixed set better with 'strong' weapons.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Still unconvinced I went into Journey mode godmode and did some rough DPS tests while almost just standing still (Which favors Ravens) and with Spooky Armor (which again favors Ravens) and with the same accessories sacrificing movements (which yet again favors Ravens because % boosts). Only difference is that I used Violent instead of Menacing because 1. you already have so much % boosts and 2. It makes whips more efficient to strike with & micro.

Did it by stacking Kalei/Harvest/Durendal and the best case scenario for Ravens is that they kill EoL about 8~ seconds faster based on again rough testing. Hallowed Armor Blade clears Expert EoL in 45~ seconds, with Spooky they do it in 37-38 seconds. Ravens did it in 29-30 seconds. There was a "trial" with ravens I botched because I literally just moved left for more than half a second and they started flying toward me not targeting her, losing out on DPS. Ravens hit very rapidly as well when you stand still.

So yes. In practice, when you aren't that greedy with hitting at close-range, when you prefer using wings/insignia/dash and when you prefer using Hallowed Armor, Blades are straight up just better. Also, taking into consideration you were most likely dodging and not playing with godmode + the fact the gaps in your kill times are smaller, probably shows that simply having to actually dodge EoL sees Raven AI already start to crack.
 
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qwerty3.14

Terrarian
alright if blade minions are better for you then use them, I've never really had issues with ravens though. Even back when I always did betsy wings + insignia.

I used menacing over violent because violent doesn't buff minions, although menacing doesn't do much for blade anyway.

Edit: Ok so I decided to try a new build: Hallowed armor, and all accesories are reforged to violent, I'm using the kaleidiscope, dark harvest, and durendel, I've also swaped out the summoner emblem for a berzerk glove. I'm doing this on expert mode, and I've practiced this whip stack combo about a dozen times before recording results.
This build should be more biased towards blades than my previous builds. Since ravens were better at taking advantage of the emblem, spooky armor's damage, and menacing.
1618444976302.png

The results
1618445101150.png

So even on this build ravens still did better.

So my conclusion on the raven vs blade is this:
Ravens will do more damage in theory whether or not that happens in practice depends more on how you approach the fight rather than what build you use.
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
With a build that significantly favors Raven, they are about 8 seconds faster.
Then with a build that favors Blade Staff, Ravens are about 10 seconds faster, the gap being bigger than before, despite Ravens benefitting from % bonuses way more than Blades and said build lacking % bonuses.

Something doesn't add up here.
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
With a build that significantly favors Raven, they are about 8 seconds faster.
Then with a build that favors Blade Staff, Ravens are about 10 seconds faster, the gap being bigger than before, despite Ravens benefitting from % bonuses way more than Blades and said build lacking % bonuses.

Something doesn't add up here.

1618494886211.png

Did some more tests... The top is the hallowed armor build I just tried, the bottom was me going back to my original spooky build no whip stacking.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Did some more tests in Godmode and Hallowed Armor, this time almost completely standing still.


Blade #1: Violent & replacing Summoner Emblem with Feral Claws: 40 seconds
Blade #2: Full menacing & replacing Feral Claws with Summoner Emblem: 36-37 seconds
Raven with Full menacing & replacing Feral Claws with Summoner Emblem: 32 seconds.

The difference with Hallowed Armor is around five seconds when standing still. I learned that Violent is bad even with Blade.

pTysCxB.png
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
Did some more tests in Godmode and Hallowed Armor, this time almost completely standing still.


Blade #1: Violent & replacing Summoner Emblem with Feral Claws: 40 seconds
Blade #2: Full menacing & replacing Feral Claws with Summoner Emblem: 36-37 seconds
Raven with Full menacing & replacing Feral Claws with Summoner Emblem: 32 seconds.

The difference with Hallowed Armor is around five seconds when standing still. I learned that Violent is bad even with Blade.

pTysCxB.png
Could I get more specifics on what exactly you used, armor, accesories, reforges, potions, whips stacked? Also difficulty?
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Expert difficulty


Same accessories as in the OP unless otherwise noted as in my previous post

Violent for Blade #1, Menacing for Blade #2, Menacing for Raven

Hallowed Armor

Ruthless on Raven, Hurtful on Blade

For damage, the buffs I had were Summoning, Wrath, Tipsy (Ale/Sake), Exquisitely Stuffed and Ichor Flask. I whip stacked Kaleidocope, Dark Harvest and Durendal.
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
Expert difficulty


Same accessories as in the OP unless otherwise noted as in my previous post

Violent for Blade #1, Menacing for Blade #2, Menacing for Raven

Hallowed Armor

Ruthless on Raven, Hurtful on Blade

For damage, the buffs I had were Summoning, Wrath, Tipsy (Ale/Sake), Exquisitely Stuffed and Ichor Flask. I whip stacked Kaleidocope, Dark Harvest and Durendal.
Ok so standing still in godmode, with that gear I get about 50 seconds with the blades, I have no idea how you got 36-37 seconds with the blades
Ravens are around 40 seconds.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
By mastering whip stacking. Both Durendal/Dark Harvest are active at least 85% of the time, and I continually whip with the Kaleidoscope as much as possible until I have to refresh the two other whips, in which I do in a split second with no misinputs most of the time. If you want I could post footage but I'm busy editing other videos for my channel for now.
 
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