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A Valhalla Knight's Guide to Not Using Set Bonuses

Discussion in 'PC Guides' started by Baconfry, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Baconfry

    Baconfry Terrarian

    When people talk about armor, they're usually referring to completed armor sets. And that's understandable, as armor set bonuses are typically so powerful that you probably assumed that they're optimal, and usually you'd be right. This guide is about the exceptions to that rule.

    As an example, one question I often hear on the Terraria Discord is "guys im about to fight plantera. is turtle armor good enough?"

    And the answer to that question is yes, it's "good enough". But is it the best? Turns out, the answer is no. Let's have a look at the stats.


    14% increased melee damage
    12% increased melee critical strike chance
    65 defense
    Deals equal amount of contact damage to attackers (calculated using attacker's base damage and defense)

    Since it's a melee-oriented set, surely its offensive bonuses must be best-in-slot for melee, right? Wrong! As it turns out, Turtle armor loses to both Adamantite and Titanium in terms of raw melee DPS bonuses.

    But surely the set bonus makes up for its lackluster offensive stats, right? Let's run some calculations.

    Since the Turtle set has 65 defense, Plantera's 2nd form (the only form likely to deal contact damage to you) will deal 38 damage to you on average. Assuming you have 500 health and enough time to drink 2 Greater Healing Potions, facetanking Plantera's second form will allow you to activate the Turtle armor set bonus 21 times. The 70 base damage of the counterattack is reduced to 65 by Plantera's 10 defense in that form, and you can deal that damage a maximum of 21 times on average. In summary, over the course of the entire fight, assuming the only damage you take is contact damage from Plantera's second form, Turtle armor's Thorns effect can be responsible for up to 1365 points of damage, with the tradeoff being that you'd be nearly dead at the end of the fight. That's around the same amount of damage that you could deal with three or four swings of a Death Sickle.

    tl;dr: in a serious fight, Turtle armor's set bonus is about as helpful as a glass hammer.

    So if not Turtle armor, what should be used instead?

    (Chlorophyte Mask, Turtle Scale Mail, Squire's Greaves)

    24% increased melee damage
    34% increased melee critical strike chance
    (15% increased minion damage)
    68 defense

    This hybrid set outclasses the full Turtle set in every area with a whopping 32% DPS advantage, losing only the set bonus. If you were looking for the best melee armor set for challenging Plantera with, now you have your answer*.

    *you can instead use Monk's Shirt, sacrificing 5 defense for 4% more DPS and 15% minion damage

    As you can see, with equipment from the Old One's Army available, we're entering a stage of the game where set bonuses are becoming optional, and sometimes not even optimal. This trend enters full swing once the final tier of the Old One's Army is unlocked, and at the center of this revolution lies one item: the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate.


    30 defense
    30% increased minion damage and massively increased life regeneration (+8 health per second)

    This is objectively the best single armor slot item in the game. 30 defense is indeed quite beefy, but that's not what's important here; what's important is the life regeneration. Let's put 8 health per second into perspective. The debuff On Fire! inflicts 6 damage per second. Therefore, the difference between wearing a Valhalla Knight's Breastplate and not wearing a Valhalla Knight's Breastplate is greater than the difference between being set on fire and not being set on fire. Another interesting fact: in the time it takes for Potion Sickness to run out, the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate will have healed you for nearly your entire health bar. This item isn't just a lame little stat bonus; it rivals the set bonuses of Luminite-tier gear. And it only takes up the body slot.

    "But it's a summoning-based item, right? If we can't use set bonuses and we can't get melee/magic/ranged damage bonuses from the body slot, then won't we be dealing low damage with other damage styles?" To that I say, that's absolutely correct... if you have a small brain! Using raw stat bonuses alone, one can easily create hybrid sets that can compete with, or even surpass, completed armor sets. All of the following sets are pre-Moon Lord tier.


    Actually, the best regenerative magic set is still the Spectre Hood. You might not be dealing much damage with it, but the Spectre Hood can bring you back from the brink of death like nothing else, while the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, for all its strengths, can perform no such miracle. However, if you want to heal at a decent pace (even against the Moon Lord) while still dealing respectable damage, you'll probably find this hybrid set to your liking.

    (Hallowed Mask, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Dark Artist's Leggings)

    12% increased magic damage
    37% increased magic critical strike chance
    +100 maximum mana
    (50% increased minion damage)
    +8 health/second
    49 defense

    Compared to your "standard" magic DPS set that most people take for granted:

    20% increased magic damage
    12% increased magic critical strike chance
    +60 maximum mana
    42 defense
    Magic damage creates homing projectiles, with average DPS of projectiles capped at 150 damage/second (before defense is taken into account)

    In other words: if 17% of your magic DPS exceeds 150, the hybrid set is better offensively (and defensively, it's no contest). The minimum magic DPS required to achieve that is 883 DPS. In practice, the DPS required is much less than that, because due to enemy defense, the spectre orbs will usually deal much less than 150 DPS. But no matter; the Razorpine, Laser Machinegun, and Razorblade Typhoon all blow past that threshold with ease. Even a sad weapon like the Staff of Earth can maintain more than 883 DPS against invasions.

    In conclusion, the offensive variant of Spectre armor is not even close to being the best pre-Moon Lord magic set. The Spectre Hood is still good, though.​


    Ranged is a bit more iffy, as apart from the Luminite-tier Vortex Leggings, there aren't actually any good ranged damage/crit bonuses in the leg slot, with the best being 8% universal crit from Chlorophyte Greaves*. Therefore, the set I'm recommending is actually a hybrid summoner set in the truest sense of the word; instead of ranged damage boosts in the leg slot, we'll be relying on minions to close the gap.

    *After Journey's End is released, if throwing bonuses turn directly into ranged bonuses, Fossil Greaves will become best-in-slot for ranged, which I find very funny.

    (Shroomite Mask/Headgear, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Forbidden Treads)

    x115% bullet damage OR arrow damage
    5% increased ranged critical strike chance
    +2 minion capacity
    30% increased minion damage
    +8 health/second
    49 defense

    Even with minimal investment, a UFO minion summoned with this loadout will deal around 160-170 damage per second. That's already leagues better than the entire Spectre Mask set bonus, and Forbidden Treads allow you to summon two of them. The additional damage dealt by these two additional minions easily makes up for the lack of a ranged bonus, and increase overall DPS more than an equivalent 15% ranged damage boost would. If you want, you can wear a summoning helmet like the Shinobi Infiltrator's Helmet while summoning your minions before swapping back to Shroomite, so they'll get a 50% damage boost instead of 30%.

    A little-known fact about the Shroomite head slot items: unlike other damage increases that simply add a flat 15% to the base damage of your weapon, the Shroomite Mask/Headgear calculates the damage with the other additive damage bonuses added on, and multiplies that by 115%. As long as you have decent damage bonuses from accessories, the head slot item alone will pull its weight.

    If you're curious about the DPS threshold past which 8% universal crit will outdamage two UFO minions dealing 170 DPS each, the answer is 4250. For a single target, that’s pretty unrealistic!

    But what about the stealth bonus from the full Shroomite set? Seeing as stealth requires you to stand still and gets canceled when you take damage, the set bonus is going to be literally useless in almost any PvE situation. Giving up the Shroomite Breastplate for this build is actually the more painful sacrifice, as it gives even better bonuses than the Vortex Breastplate, but that’s the price you pay for immortality.​


    If your goal is to stack defense and just watch everything bounce off your beefy defense stat, melee is still the class for you, as it's always been. The difference now is that even if something manages to scratch you significantly, you can just heal it off again. You know those anime supervillains who can get blown to bits just to regenerate completely as if nothing happened? That’s you now.

    (Chlorophyte Mask, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Valhalla Knight's Greaves)

    16% increased melee damage
    26% increased melee critical strike chance
    (50% increased minion damage)
    +8 health/second
    75 defense

    (Shinobi Infiltrator's Helmet, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Valhalla Knight's Greaves)

    20% increased melee damage
    20% increased melee critical strike chance
    (70% increased minion damage)
    (+2 sentry capacity)

    +8 health/second
    60 defense

    Well, as embarrassing as it may look, the best Valhalla Knight hybrid melee sets are just Valhalla Knight armor with the head piece swapped out. Chlorophyte Mask is for melee specialists, and Shinobi Infiltrator for those who want to give their minions an extra kick, and possibly use sentries as well. Forbidden Treads are worth considering if you decide on the Shinobi Infiltrator set. The Hallowed Mask is pretty similar to the Chlorophyte Mask and has a 10% melee speed bonus, but melee speed doesn't matter most of the time, so it's not listed.

    How does it measure up against Beetle armor? For those who get hit more than once every 3 seconds, these hybrid sets easily outclass the Beetle Shell, both offensively and defensively. In fact, against attacks with less than 90 base damage, the Hallowed/Chlorophyte hybrid sets will always provide more survivability. The Beetle Scale Mail set is a bit of a different story, as its role is pure offense rather than defense. As an offensive armor set, Beetle Scale Mail is actually the best melee DPS set in the game, surpassing even Solar Flare armor. On the other hand, it won't do much to prevent you from dying. So are these hybrid sets better than Beetle armor? The answer is maybe, but probably yes.

    And shockingly, this set is resoundingly better than Solar Flare armor, providing more survivability than Solar Flare even if you get hit by nothing but Phantasmal Deathrays.​

    Summoning (minion-based)

    "Pure summoner" is not an approach I'd recommend for anyone, but if you want to focus all your armor bonuses into minion damage, it turns out that the +30% minion damage on the Breastplate, previously considered a mere afterthought for the previous hybrid builds, makes a minion-based approach pretty viable. Surprise, surprise!

    Defensively this set might be slightly behind the other hybrid builds, but it is much, much more feasible to challenge the Lunar events using this set than with the trash you're stuck with if you don't run the Old One's Army.

    (Shinobi Infiltrator's Helmet, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Red Riding Leggings)

    Summon as many minions as possible with accessories and temporary buffs.

    (Spooky Helmet)

    Summon one minion.

    (Spooky Leggings, Spooky Breastplate)

    Summon two minions.

    (Forbidden Treads)

    (Valhalla Knight Breastplate)


    58% / 66% / 75% increased minion damage
    +3 minion capacity (58%, 58%, 66%)
    +8 health/second
    46 defense

    Obviously the minmaxing is pretty intense, but for a Valhalla Knight hybrid set, this is technically the highest minion damage and minion capacity attainable without Stardust Armor. (If you’re not interested in buying Shinobi/Red Riding for this purpose, you can just summon all your minions with Spooky Armor, then switch to the Treads and Breastplate). The regular Spooky/Tiki armor sets are pretty much dead in the water against the Lunar-tier events, but with the massively increased regeneration from the Breastplate, you might stand a chance. Heck, after you've beaten the Moon Lord, you can substitute the Stardust Leggings and Helmet into this set while keeping the Breastplate, and it will be more effective in combat than the full Stardust set. That's a perfect indicator of how good the Breastplate is (and how bad the Stardust Guardian is).​

    Pure Regen

    If you thought the Valhalla Knight's Breastplate on its own was nutty, it turns out that the Squire's Great Helm offers an additional 4 health/second regeneration of its own, which stacks with the Breastplate's 8 health/second to boost your regeneration to absurd levels. This is what drowning looks like when you have the Great Helm and Breastplate equipped.

    Aug-14-2019 01-29-45.gif

    You may be stuck with few offensive bonuses and generally suck at doing damage, but if your only goal is to outlast your opponents with an insurmountable wall of health, you can't get any better than this.

    (Squire's Great Helm, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Valhalla Knight's Greaves)

    20% increased melee critical strike chance
    50% increased minion damage
    (+1 sentry capacity)
    +12 health/second
    62 defense

    The theory behind this set is to simply maximize defense, as the Greaves are tied with the Vortex and Solar Flare Leggings for the highest defense in the leg slot (and are available before killing the Moon Lord). The 20% melee critical bonus is also not entirely wasted, as you might be using melee in the form of Vampire Knives for even more regeneration. Because the Great Helm has 12 less defense than the Chlorophyte Mask, it will provide less overall survivability than the Mask if you take damage more than once every 1.5 seconds, which is a really low bar. In other words, if you're not facetanking, use the Great Helm for better survival.

    (Squire's Great Helm, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, Forbidden Treads)

    30% increased minion damage
    +2 minion capacity

    (+1 sentry capacity)
    +12 health/second
    50 defense

    So here's the reasoning behind this one. The head and body slots are already taken, leaving only the leg slots available for customization. So now we ask, what is the single best pre-Moon Lord leg slot item, regardless of class? This might be somewhat debatable, but the +2 minion capacity from Forbidden Treads makes it a strong contender for that title. It also somewhat utilizes the 30% minion damage boost from the Breastplate (and while summoning, you can and should use a head slot item that actually boosts minion damage). Overall, this set is quite passive, but if your goal is to simply avoid enemies while healing and allowing your minions to slowly wear down your targets without your intervention, I think this is the best set you can possibly run.

    And there you have it. I hope this was informative, and I hope you've gained an appreciation of how powerful the rewards from the DD2 crossover content really are. Crossover content in general can often be hit-or-miss, but I'm actually quite fond of this one, as it's opened up an entirely new dimension of endgame creativity and customization, while putting a spotlight on lesser-known items like the Forbidden Treads and individual Shroomite headpieces.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  2. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    An amazing guide, I've been experimenting with different armor combinations too since the DD2 sets. But didn't wanted to flesh it out completely. Glad to see you've paid attention to all the details for all the classes! :D

    On a sidenote: Did you knew that the Valhalla's life regen stacks with the squire's helmet?
    Baconfry likes this.
  3. Baconfry

    Baconfry Terrarian

    I did indeed! In fact, I’m the one who added the helm and breastplate to the Terraria wiki’s “class setups” guide.

    But the helm is essentially a classless item, and I don’t know where I should put it. Should I use it with Valhalla Knight Greaves to maximize defense and try to do some melee damage, maybe synergizing with Vampire Knives? Or use Forbidden Treads to try to put the Breastplate’s 30% minion damage to better use? I think that’s something the reader will have to decide, but I agree that the information should be included here.
    ppowersteef and Alexander Frato like this.
  4. Alexander Frato

    Alexander Frato Terrarian

    Good :red:! That Valhalla knight piece is so very good!
  5. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    Ha, nice. :D

    I've personally used it as a defence item in my build, so it probably should be put there.
    It's a little doubtful to prefer it over the Chlorophyte Mask though, as it's quite a defence loss (12 vs 25) that it needs to heal up on it's own again. So whether it benefits depends on the playstyle.
  6. Lord Garak

    Lord Garak Retinazer

    I really hope they nerf Valhalla
  7. Baconfry

    Baconfry Terrarian

    there are four pre-Lunar activities that yield equipment that's considered top-tier for endgame content:

    -Old One's Army, tier 3
    -Duke Fishron
    -Frost Moon
    -Martian Madness

    of those four, the only one that provides armor sets is the Old One's Army

    turns out that those armor pieces are often best-in-slot and outclass the armor sets that were obtained slightly earlier in the game and require you to beat an easier boss

    *surprised Pikachu face*

    ...memes aside, on the subject of a possible nerf, I could live with the regeneration being decreased a bit. But I'll be damned if the regeneration becomes part of the Valhalla Knight set bonus, because that would be the same as flushing all this creativity and customizable player choice down the toilet.
  8. Lord Garak

    Lord Garak Retinazer

    They dumped that down the toilet when 1.3 created 4 specific endgame paths, I'm not a fan of armor mixing.