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Crystal Assassin (Summoner) Revisited.

Actually, you can fight him just like you would in every other mode if you simply place chests on your platforms. The bombs cannot blow up tiles holding a chest (even if it’s empty), so you can space them out and fight him like normal.View attachment 319603
(I used Dressers in the pic because they covered more space, so I thought they would more efficient. They were not.)

Now while that might sound incredibly resource-heavy, remember that Ore Veins are double-sized in FTW, and mining is incredibly fast thanks to the flimsy blocks. It only took me about 5 minutes of mining to get the iron needed for over 100 chests, which was more than enough to cover my arena.
Wow, this is very clever & super resourceful! 😊🥤
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Personally I'd only use Crystal Assassin Armor with Ranger ever.

We know why it's not good for Summoners.

For Mage, the armor doesn't even give max mana, which is a significant drawback. Even Forbidden armor gives 80 max mana and a bigger mana cost reduction.

For Melee, Titanium armor gives significantly higher defense, and you want those shards.

For Ranger however, Titanium Shards don't really benefit you in boss fights. And even though Adamantite has higher stats, the difference can be made up with the freed up accessory slot. So you end up with a better dash, around the same amount of Ranger DPS, and slightly more damaging support minions if you use those. There isn't even a difference in Defense points.
 
Personally I'd only use Crystal Assassin Armor with Ranger ever.
Well, I've always believed Ranger to be the best Class in the entire game. There's very few instances where it doesn't excel over the other Classes in every possible way, save for speed-kills & some specific areas similar to Hardmode Dungeon maybe. It wouldn't be a surprise then, if Ranger were to also get the most mileage out of a Class Neural Armor Set. 😒 🤷‍♂️

Most Hardmode Bows/ Guns are pretty frickin' destructive, even without the help of most Armor Bonuses.

We know why it's not good for Summoners.
I'm still not convinced, personally, but I'm willing to put my own bias aside to listen-to what seems to be the most desirable method to play the game, for most Terrarians. The effectiveness of my haphazard build, though heavily critiqued, was pretty d**n good, & this is a set-up you can obtain almost immediately after triggering Hardmode, because pure-Summoner has a huge advantage when fighting Queen Slime (even in Spider Armor).

As competitive as this set is, for when & how you can obtain it, I seriously think it deserves a second look. In some instances, obtaining Crystal Assassin's Set is about as easy as obtaining the Spider Set, not to include that Queen Slime is also the new source for Blade Staff.

For Mage, the armor doesn't even give max mana, which is a significant drawback. Even Forbidden armor gives 80 max mana and a bigger mana cost reduction.
True... but I was looking at this through the lens of progressions' sake. All of the Armor Sets comparable to Assassin's Set, require some form of prep, RNG, resource gathering, or grinding. With Crystal Assassin, you can make the huge leap from it, to Hallowed Armor, possibly in one game day! That's pretty frickin' impressive in my book, number crunching aside...

For Melee, Titanium armor gives significantly higher defense, and you want those shards.
I get the whole optimal thing, I really do. In this instance, I'm more concerned with the context. For what it costs to obtain the Armor Set, is the reward worth the investment? Does the Assassin's Set perform well enough to hunt down Queen Slime, rather than grind for rare ore, rare materials or engage in the normal progression path? I'd argue yes... of course! However, I'm taking myself out of the final say on this one. I'm mostly interested in other opinions, even if mine hasn't changed much. 🤔🥤

For Ranger however, Titanium Shards don't really benefit you in boss fights. And even though Adamantite has higher stats, the difference can be made up with the freed up accessory slot. So you end up with a better dash, around the same amount of Ranger DPS, and slightly more damaging support minions if you use those. There isn't even a difference in Defense points.
Which I'd also include... Assassin's Set is much easier to obtain & doesn't require you to crack any Demon Alters.
---

Edit: For context sake, I wanna show an example of just how one-sided the Spider Set vs. Queen Slime fight is. In fact, it's one of the few Master Mode+ fights you can make numerous mistake in & still win! Also, it gives me yet another opportunity to showcase just how useful Cool Whip really is, even though everyone else hates it! 🤣🥤
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
Well, I've always believed Ranger to be the best Class in the entire game. There's very few instances where it doesn't excel over the other Classes in every possible way, save for speed-kills & some specific areas similar to Hardmode Dungeon maybe.
Ranger actually arguably gets outclassed starting in Hardmode. It struggles against underground Hardmode enemies especially before you obtain Dart Gun/Rifle. Summoner rivals if not surpasses Ranger in DPS against most mech bosses. Pre-Plantera onwards it's not even a contest anymore with Summoner's Durendal boost outmatching Ranger's arsenal, unless you go for ludicrously-glassy gears with like no movement or survivability. In that case Summoner is still overall more useful for having more options and especially having way higher survivability with the Hallowed/Warding/Blade Staff setup. Even post-cultist, Phantasm + Ichor Arrows gets outshined by Stardust Dragon/Firecracker/Dark Harvest as far as I can see.

The only way Ranger truly shines in Hardmode from what I can see is by getting Tsunami Pre-mech. But if we're talking Pre-mech duke, Razorblade Typhoon is arguably way stronger of a weapon, doing high single-target DPS on its own and making underground exploration/grinding incredibly safe and easy. Through all of Hardmode, I never see Ranger being the best at anything ever. The closest would be Vortex Beater + Chlorophyte being the safest damage option for Moon Lord, it's good for that.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Ranger actually arguably gets outclassed starting in Hardmode. It struggles against underground Hardmode enemies especially before you obtain Dart Gun/Rifle. Summoner rivals if not surpasses Ranger in DPS against most mech bosses. Pre-Plantera onwards it's not even a contest anymore with Summoner's Durendal boost outmatching Ranger's arsenal, unless you go for ludicrously-glassy gears with like no movement or survivability. In that case Summoner is still overall more useful for having more options and especially having way higher survivability with the Hallowed/Warding/Blade Staff setup. Even post-cultist, Phantasm + Ichor Arrows gets outshined by Stardust Dragon/Firecracker/Dark Harvest as far as I can see.

The only way Ranger truly shines in Hardmode from what I can see is by getting Tsunami Pre-mech. But if we're talking Pre-mech duke, Razorblade Typhoon is arguably way stronger of a weapon, doing high single-target DPS on its own and making underground exploration/grinding incredibly safe and easy. Through all of Hardmode, I never see Ranger being the best at anything ever. The closest would be Vortex Beater + Chlorophyte being the safest damage option for Moon Lord, it's good for that.
Agreed. Summoner has ludicrous DPS throughout all of Hardmode, and even after EoW/BoC thanks to Obsidian armour, however Star Cannon is better for the WoF.

However what about comparing ranger to classes other than summoner? On its own, melee is pretty poor in DPS and range, and while mages' DPS is good, it doesn't stand out, plus mages are restrained by having to manage mana. Ranger is the safest class because with most weapons you've got gigantic range, no need to be aggressive, reasonable defense, and only have to deal with getting and not wasting ammo, which can be obtained in pretty large quantities.
I'm still not convinced, personally, but I'm willing to put my own bias aside to listen-to what seems to be the most desirable method to play the game, for most Terrarians. The effectiveness of my haphazard build, though heavily critiqued, was pretty d**n good, & this is a set-up you can obtain almost immediately after triggering Hardmode, because pure-Summoner has a huge advantage when fighting Queen Slime (even in Spider Armor).

As competitive as this set is, for when & how you can obtain it, I seriously think it deserves a second look. In some instances, obtaining Crystal Assassin's Set is about as easy as obtaining the Spider Set, not to include that Queen Slime is also the new source for Blade Staff.


True... but I was looking at this through the lens of progressions' sake. All of the Armor Sets comparable to Assassin's Set, require some form of prep, RNG, resource gathering, or grinding. With Crystal Assassin, you can make the huge leap from it, to Hallowed Armor, possibly in one game day! That's pretty frickin' impressive in my book, number crunching aside...


I get the whole optimal thing, I really do. In this instance, I'm more concerned with the context. For what it costs to obtain the Armor Set, is the reward worth the investment? Does the Assassin's Set perform well enough to hunt down Queen Slime, rather than grind for rare ore, rare materials or engage in the normal progression path? I'd argue yes... of course! However, I'm taking myself out of the final say on this one. I'm mostly interested in other opinions, even if mine hasn't changed much. 🤔🥤
Good luck defeating Queen Slime with Pre-Hardmode armour and weapons.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Agreed. Summoner has ludicrous DPS throughout all of Hardmode, and even after EoW/BoC thanks to Obsidian armour, however Star Cannon is better for the WoF.

However what about comparing ranger to classes other than summoner? On its own, melee is pretty poor in DPS and range, and while mages' DPS is good, it doesn't stand out, plus mages are restrained by having to manage mana. Ranger is the safest class because with most weapons you've got gigantic range, no need to be aggressive, reasonable defense, and only have to deal with getting and not wasting ammo, which can be obtained in pretty large quantities.

Good luck defeating Queen Slime with Pre-Hardmode armour and weapons.
I'd say Mage could be the worst "pure" class in the game overall, so it checks out.

Melee is the best because of its survivability alone. In Master you take 1 damage from EoC phase 2 if you go full tank (That applies to all classes with Plat armor but just to showcase how broken Defense is when abused), and against Mech bosses you still only take low double digit damage at best (only exceptions are Spaz's cursed-flamethrower, Destroyer's head and Prime's spinning attack, which are all the easiest to avoid.) Crossing with Summoner allows Melee to simply facetank hardmode bosses until EoL/Duke (which are optional, you could skip straight to pillars). Even though Ranger has reasonable defense, the difference in survivability between it and tank Melee is still night and day. Even against EoL/Duke Melee has Vampire Knives and Beetle Shell armor. In general defense/DR/regen > Damage, and only Melee can really abuse those.
 

whoneedsnamestbh

Eater of Worlds
Melee is the best because of its survivability alone. In Master you take 1 damage from EoC phase 2 if you go full tank (That applies to all classes with Plat armor but just to showcase how broken Defense is when abused),
That can’t be right. Master EoC has 54 damage, meanwhile Platinum Armor has 20 defense. If you had Platinum Armor and somehow also had 24 more from Warding pre-boss, that still leaves Eye of Cthulhu doing 10 damage (tanky, but not one). Master Mech bosses seem to do an average of 120 damage, which to reduce to “low double digits” would require 80-110 defense, pre mech. That’s slightly more realistic, but still requires a heavy spec into defense that harms mobility and dps. Unless I’m missing something, these numbers seem wrong.

Edit: I forgot about Ironskin and Shackle in early hardmode, which would reduce Eye’s defense to a measley 2. Guess you have a point here. Still, at that point, you have ti get full platinum, and then beat goblins pre-eye and produce a :red:ton of money for at least several warding, isn’t it more pradtical to just beat the eye? This ultra-tank set might be the most capable of beating master Eye, but you should also consider how realistic it is to actually get said gear in a playthrough in terms of deciding reliable builds, and for Eye, this ultra-tank in master certainly doesn’t seem it to me.

In general defense/DR/regen > Damage, and only Melee can really abuse those.
This is subjective. It’s not wrong to think tankiness is better than damage, but it’s not factual either. I strongly prefer to tear bosses down with DPS before they can do much damage or before I can slip up to begin with, and because of that Summoner/Mage are my strongest classes and Melee is my weakest. Survivability can be helpful so bosses don’t tear you apart, but in Expert+, chilling and tanking bosses only really works well for Plantera and Golem, in my experience. Other bosses simply have too much health or damage and more importantly can move too fast, even if you truly abuse high DPS, and you do have to actually fight - in which case tankiness can definitely help as much as offense but it certainly won’t ruin the bosses.
 
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Good luck defeating Queen Slime with Pre-Hardmode armour and weapons.
It took a few tries but, I just wanna point out that a.) I'm a scrub, so for better players this match-up is a breeze, b.) I was holding back [Nimbus Rod + Clinger Staff neutralize her adds] & c.) the only thing you might need to farm-out are Wings but, I think Harpy & Frozen Wings are pretty much equal in Flight time?? 🤔🥤
 

Coleyohley

Terrarian
This is subjective. It’s not wrong to think tankiness is better than damage, but it’s not factual either. I strongly prefer to tear bosses down with DPS before they can do much damage or before I can slip up to begin with, and because of that Summoner/Mage are my strongest classes and Melee is my weakest. Survivability can be helpful so bosses don’t tear you apart, but in Expert+, chilling and tanking bosses only really works well for Plantera and Golem, in my experience. Other bosses simply have too much health and can combo too much damage too fast, even if you truly abuse high DPS, and you do have to actually fight - in which case tankiness can definitely help as much as offense but it certainly won’t ruin the bosses.
I also think it's pretty flimsy to attempt to objectively rank the classes by effectiveness anyway. In order to be objective, you first need to set criteria, and even then you are only evaluating the classes based on that criteria, which is quite a flawed way of judging something by its merits.

It all depends on how you judge something. Are we judging a class based on its DPS? That leaves out ease of use, survivability, reliability, and so many other factors. Not to mention that many people will have different preferences, and so an objective argument may be entirely useless to them. Even if summoner was the best class in every aspect, my preferred method of movement makes whips extremely difficult to use consistently, so that alone makes the class much less powerful. Any ranking that says the class is the best will be immediately undermined by my preferences and thus make that ranking of Summoner inaccurate for me. I can't speak for other people about what preferences they might have, but I certainly don't buy into objectively ranking multiple different choices that achieve different goals.
 
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Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
It took a few tries but, I just wanna point out that a.) I'm a scrub, so for better players this match-up is a breeze, b.) I was holding back [Nimbus Rod + Clinger Staff neutralize her adds] & c.) the only thing you might need to farm-out are Wings but, I think Harpy & Frozen Wings are pretty much equal in Flight time?? 🤔🥤
I meant as a ranger, mage or warrior. Summoners have the absolutely broken Obsidian armour as well as pretty decent weaponry and armour that can be obtained within minutes of starting Hardmode.

As any other class you are almost entirely dependent on Hardmode ores to get good gear in early Hardmode that doesn’t require beating a boss or Biome Mimic.
 
I meant as a ranger, mage or warrior. Summoners have the absolutely broken Obsidian armour as well as pretty decent weaponry and armour that can be obtained within minutes of starting Hardmode.
Well, this was me still trying to make a case for Crystal Assassin Armor. Even if it was used just briefly to take out the Destroyer, it changes a 95/5 match-up, advantage Destroyer, to about 15/85, advantage "Summoner Assassin".
  • Destroyer vs. Spider Set (Master Mode), 95/5
  • Destroyer vs. Obsidian Set (Master Mode), 75/25
  • Destroyer vs. Assassin's Set (Master Mode), 15/85
Keep in mind, this is only if Nimbus Cloud & Clinger Wall are allowed to be used.

As any other class you are almost entirely dependent on Hardmode ores to get good gear in early Hardmode that doesn’t require beating a boss or Biome Mimic.
I think Ranger could probably pull it off too? Might have to test, but I think most of the Hardmode Ammunition is locked behind the upgraded Anvils. 🤔 🥤
 
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Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Well, this was me still trying to make a case for Crystal Assassin Armor. Even if it was used just briefly to take out the Destroyer, it changes a 95/5 match-up, advantage Destroyer, to about 15/85, advantage "Summoner Assassin".
  • Destroyer vs. Spider Set (Master Mode), 95/5
  • Destroyer vs. Obsidian Set (Master Mode), 75/25
  • Destroyer vs. Assassin's Set (Master Mode), 15/85
Keep in mind, this is only if Nimbus Cloud & Clinger Wall are allowed to be used.
Did you have the same build for every test, just switching the armour? The reason why your Crystal Assassin test had a 15/85 matchup (BTW did you really fight the Destroyer 100 times with each armour set?) was because of its dash. On the other tests you probably didn't use the Shield of Cthulhu, which put you at a big disadvantage.
I think Ranger could probably pull it off too? Might have to, but I think most of the Hardmode Ammon is locked behind the upgraded Anivils. 🤔 🥤
Hmm, let's see.

You could go for the early Hardmode bows (except the Stormbow which is locked behind a Biome Mimic), but the Ice Bow and Marrow aren't very good in general and the Shadowflame Bow converts any kind of arrow into Shadowflame Arrows, which move slowly and make the weapon unable to use the special effects of special arrows.

In terms of guns, you've got the Gatligator, which is very inaccurate, making it hard to use against anything at a distance, the Uzi, which requires a lot of grinding, and the Coin Gun, which also requires a lot of grinding and is fairly impractical to use. The Shotgun could be used, but it's not very impressive in any way.

The Toxikarp is pretty good, but it does require fishing, and if you're fishing for it you're going to get Crates, and in those Crates they'll be Hardmode ores... so why not craft a Hardmode anvil and make an Onyx Blaster or Repeater, which both have good DPS and are easier to hit bosses with than the Toxikarp.

The only truly decent Hardmode ranged weapon that doesn't need Hardmode ores, the defeat of a Biome Mimic, or any grinding is the Clockwork Assault Rifle, which you could get the instant you enter Hardmode.

But yeah, you'll probably need Hardmode ammo to actually deal good damage.
Darts are crafted by hand, you can actually just buy a blowgun from the witch doctor then start flingingng some hardmode darts as soon as you get crystals, cursed flames, or ichor.
Still, good luck defeating Queen Slime with a Blowgun and Necro armour.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
That can’t be right. Master EoC has 54 damage, meanwhile Platinum Armor has 20 defense. If you had Platinum Armor and somehow also had 24 more from Warding pre-boss, that still leaves Eye of Cthulhu doing 10 damage (tanky, but not one). Master Mech bosses seem to do an average of 120 damage, which to reduce to “low double digits” would require 80-110 defense, pre mech. That’s slightly more realistic, but still requires a heavy spec into defense that harms mobility and dps. Unless I’m missing something, these numbers seem wrong.

Edit: I forgot about Ironskin and Shackle in early hardmode, which would reduce Eye’s defense to a measley 2. Guess you have a point here. Still, at that point, you have ti get full platinum, and then beat goblins pre-eye and produce a :red:ton of money for at least several warding, isn’t it more pradtical to just beat the eye? This ultra-tank set might be the most capable of beating master Eye, but you should also consider how realistic it is to actually get said gear in a playthrough in terms of deciding reliable builds, and for Eye, this ultra-tank in master certainly doesn’t seem it to me.


This is subjective. It’s not wrong to think tankiness is better than damage, but it’s not factual either. I strongly prefer to tear bosses down with DPS before they can do much damage or before I can slip up to begin with, and because of that Summoner/Mage are my strongest classes and Melee is my weakest. Survivability can be helpful so bosses don’t tear you apart, but in Expert+, chilling and tanking bosses only really works well for Plantera and Golem, in my experience. Other bosses simply have too much health or damage and more importantly can move too fast, even if you truly abuse high DPS, and you do have to actually fight - in which case tankiness can definitely help as much as offense but it certainly won’t ruin the bosses.
Platinum Armor + Full Warding + Ironskin Potion + Bast Statue. That's over 50 defense. You can see it in action here, I didn't even have 100% Warding. I obtained these gears perfectly fine during my playthrough, it didn't take a crazy amount of grinding or anything. When it comes to Hardmode, even Melee/Summon hybrid has no issue getting over 100 defense Pre-mech, and Worm Scarf can provide further protection. You're right about a tank build harming movement, but DPS? It's the opposite. Titanium facetank does far more damage than anything else. Even in Pre-hardmode, your DPS won't be low since you get boosted by Armor penetration (Sharpening Station) and/or Summon Tag anyway.
I also think it's pretty flimsy to attempt to objectively rank the classes by effectiveness anyway. In order to be objective, you first need to set criteria, and even then you are only evaluating the classes based on that criteria, which is quite a flawed way of judging something by its merits.

It all depends on how you judge something. Are we judging a class based on its DPS? That leaves out ease of use, survivability, reliability, and so many other factors. Not to mention that many people will have different preferences, and so an objective argument may be entirely useless to them. Even if summoner was the best class in every aspect, my preferred method of movement makes whips extremely difficult to use consistently, so that alone makes the class much less powerful. Any ranking that says the class is the best will be immediately undermined by my preferences and thus make that ranking of Summoner inaccurate for me. I can't speak for other people about what preferences they might have, but I certainly don't buy into objectively ranking multiple different choices that achieve different goals.
Before I give my take, I'll answer your criterias, based on Melee/Summoner Tank Hybrid.

DPS-wise? Its damage against bosses is fine in Pre-Hardmode, mediocre against Wall of Flesh. If you are willing to play risky you can put out a lot of damage by combo'ing whips and melee weapons at close range. Against Hardmode bosses until Empress/Duke (which are optional), it's not even a debate.

Ease of use? It's a mixed bag. Whip stacking with three or four different weapons require practice on one hand. But simply one Melee-boosting whip will suffice pretty much. On the other hand, the tankiness enables you to facetank most bosses (especially in Pre-hardmode), to the point you hardly need to pay attention to the game. WoF is the one big exception.

Survivability? Yes.

Reliability? Not sure what that means specifically, but if it's about something like "Consistency", I'd say this is pretty consistent especially against pre-hardmode bosses that aren't WoF since you take so low damage.

But here's what actually matters. The objective of a video game is to "Win". The opposite of that is "Losing", usually when you lose all of your health and die, like in Terraria. Games are easy when achieving the "Win" condition is unchallenging and require relatively low effort. Games are hard when achieving the "Lose" condition is difficult to avoid and happens often. What a "Tank" build in the context of Terraria does is minimizing the chance of "Losing" the game to a very significant extent, and you don't actually lose out that much on DPS. Actually, depending on the boss and weapon(s), your DPS might be higher than traditional "offense" builds because you're facetanking the bosses. Even if you have a glass cannon build that can kill a boss in 25 seconds, there's still the perfect possibility that you make a mistake and die because you're so fragile. With a "Tank" build, you can afford to make many mistakes and still win. Depending on the boss in general, you basically can't lose the game at all.

With a Tank build in Terraria, killing bosses is much easier. It takes a lot less effort and skills. It takes from a bit more time to very significantly less time depending on the boss. Why is "Normal/Classic" mode easy? Because you takes a lot less damage and can make many more mistakes before "Losing". The same description applies to a build like Melee/Summoner Tank Hybrid. You take a lot less damage, can make many more mistakes, and against several bosses you actually kill them faster than other classes. Melee/Summoner Tank Hybrid is the "Strongest", "Best", "Most Viable", etc class/strategy in the game because it's overall the easiest to beat the game with. It's the easiest way to achieve the "Win" condition that also takes the least effort & skills.

You may not think it's "fun", in fact that it's "lame". And I'd agree with that actually. But Viability and Fun are two different things.
 
Did you have the same build for every test, just switching the armour? The reason why your Crystal Assassin test had a 15/85 matchup (BTW did you really fight the Destroyer 100 times with each armour set?) was because of its dash. On the other tests you probably didn't use the Shield of Cthulhu, which put you at a big disadvantage.
Oh, no. I didn't really do 100 fights, more like 10+ at most. Those ratios were me shootin' from the hip, they're very general & subjective. I was just using them as a numerical representation of certain things that I considered in each fight (with no cheese). For example:
  • Is it possible to no-hit the Boss? [Yes/No]
  • If no, how much DMG should the average player expect to take?
  • Are the no-hit conditions Weapon/ Build dependent? [Yes/No]
  • How much precision is required to avoid DMG (margin for error)?
  • Are there any techniques to mitigate DMG taken or preferred glancing blows? [Yes/No]
  • Is the fight a DPS race? [Yes/No]
  • Is the fight a battle of attrition? [Yes/No]
  • Are there any, readily available hard-counters to the Boss/ Enemy? [Yes/No]
  • Are there any mandatory or recommended buff, adds or sidearms for the Boss/ Enemy? [Yes/No]
  • etc.
I'm not a numbers guy, so any time you see me posting number, plz take it with a grain of salt! 😅🤷‍♂️
 

whoneedsnamestbh

Eater of Worlds
Fair warning, Wall of Text has awoken. I got really invested into the subject and probably typed out way more than I needed to. Also, sorry admins for getting off topic.

First of all, your video was very well made and showed credit to facetanking that I didn’t see before, so kudos on that. I still don’t agree with it being objectively the best build though, more around an alt setup if you know what you’re doing. I’ll elaborate on that later.

Platinum Armor + Full Warding + Ironskin Potion + Bast Statue. That's over 50 defense. You can see it in action here, I didn't even have 100% Warding. I obtained these gears perfectly fine during my playthrough, it didn't take a crazy amount of grinding or anything.
Although it’s easier to reach 54 defense early game than I thought (I’ll admit I overlooked Well Fed and Bast Statue), I still don’t agree with a tank build being the best way to race down the Eye. I’ll start off by looking at how much it costs to apply this build at this stage:
We’ll assume 12 defense for free from consumable buffs that aren’t hard to get
-300 Platinum Ore for another 20, this is probably the easiest on here. Mining ore isn’t nearly as hard as people say it is, imo.
-Underground Desert: Bast Statue, 1/9 chance in a chest: or fishing (20% chance to obtain crate with crate potion, 9.3% to be oasis crate, 1/8 to be a bast statue) for another 5. A lot of RNG in this - you could get a house with Bast right outside the Desert, or have to fish for hours on end.
-We’d want at 4 warding modifiers to get another 16 defense, bringing us to 53. It looks like most accessories at this tier have a sell price between 50 silver and 1 good, meaning 83 silver or 1.66 gold, and this is neglecting prices increasing with modifiers. You can get 19 different modifiers, meaning between your four accessories you set to Warding, you could need to spend *over a platinum* on average (this can statistically vary, a lot) reforging. You’d need several dozens of gems for stained glass of a lot of time to farm frogs for sauteed frog legs to wield this money pre-boss. You could settle for smaller reforges, but then you’d have to reforge more accessories.
-In order to reforge this to begin with, you need to meet the requirements for, encounter, and defeat a goblin army.

Now, I believe you that this is attainable if you make it your goal, the price is a bit less than I thought before, but let’s look at something else you could do with this time:
-Make a mixed set of tiers 2-4 armor
-Make a gold or platinum bow
-Gather torches, wood, stone and ice for frostburn arrows
-Find hermes boots or sunflowers + swiftness potions
-Use the hours you saved not grinding to move on to the worm, jungle and dungeon tier
And this is perfectly capable for Eye of Cthulhu. It may not be a free win by taking 1 damage from the eye, but if you try at least a little bit, it sets you up for success. A 1-damage-per hit build is, although reasonably effective, simply not the *best* way to take on the eye, although not the *worst*.

When it comes to Hardmode, even Melee/Summon hybrid has no issue getting over 100 defense Pre-mech, and Worm Scarf can provide further protection. You're right about a tank build harming movement, but DPS? It's the opposite. Titanium facetank does far more damage than anything else. Even in Pre-hardmode, your DPS won't be low since you get boosted by Armor penetration (Sharpening Station) and/or Summon Tag anyway.
As for damage, in order for your damage to *not* be hindered by a defense build, you have to use weapons specifically designed for facetanking, and this wasn’t what I meant by a tanky build. If you’re not specifically using Titanium Armor and Fetid Baghs to facetank, you’re specifically giving up 28% damage in order to take 28 less damage per hit in the field of reforges. You also miss out on the benefits of other accessories that aren’t Worm Scarf, a shield, etc. Usually, a build with an offensive merit misses out on the benefits of a build with a defensive merit, and vice versa. *This scenario* is what I meant by tanky builds having less damage, I’ll admit I wasn’t accounting for a complete facetank.

Now I was actually really interested by this facetanking strat in the video, and I want to look into that further. I’ll go back on my previous argument that this isn’t effective, seeing your video prove me otherwise. But I also noticed things in the video that I have to point out as not being free about these fights, and how this build poses a need for ability as does any other build. You can use weapons like Fetid Bagh, Blade, Titanium and Snapthorn to However, this *does* require skill, as funny as sitting on a boss is. Here are some of the challenges I see with facetanking that the player has to overcome:
-Spazmatism’s fire breath deals 162 damage and his body deals 190, and both spazmatism and retinazer move around quite a bit, and in order to keep up with them, you need quite a bit of effort. Falling back during the flamethrower and then jumping back into spazmatism while also micromanaging health and whips, as in your video.
-Skeletron Prime deals a whopping 230 damsge while spinning, and while he isn’t and his damage is reasonable, he’s flying around like an angry wasp. In your video, you took rather significant damage from Prime’s spinning - almost a third of your health bar per hit, and when he wasn’t spinning it required significant effort to stay on top of him. Plus, I saw how low your health was at the end of that fight, and how much time you cut out where you simply stayed away from the boss and let your health regen judging by the position of the moon.
-You have to *stop* attacking temporarily in order to eat up the whip speed from the Snapthorn - if you mess this up, you could actually miss out on damage from Feral Claws. I myself have a physical issue with this - juggling multiple weapons within the 4 second timespan of whips is reasonably difficult if you don’t have a very good sense of rhythm.
-I concede on Destroyer, I saw how effective the tank build was versus him, but the same thing I said about Eye applies here: do you really need this overcomplication of a setup when you can just Dart Pistol, Life Drain or Daedalus Stormbow him to death with little to no issues?

Now, my point is that this may be an equally effective build to everything else, unlike I previously thought, but I’m not convinced it’s free like you say it is. There’s strategic merit to it, such as the caution you had to take during Twins’ second phase and to watch your health versus Prime. There’s a need for precise movement like dodging a boss, but in this case it’s to stick to the boss when needed, fall back when you’re losing health, and avoid trying to tank deadly attacks like the flamethrower. You need to have practice and experience swapping out weapons on the get go and need accurate and precise timing to do so. Finally, a build like this does require significantly more setup than a get-go class build, like I described versus the Eye of Cthulhu. Put all this together, and I have to call a facetank build as effective a strategy as basic defense or offense, but not a better one.

Finally, I’ll acknowledge that this facetank build does get significantly easier to sustain in lower difficulties, considering the proportionally higher influence of defense, and lower boss attacks, but at the same time I do have to point out that this applies to any build: dodging boss attacks, recovering from hits, sustaining enough DPS even with weaker weapons. Maybe a facetank is by far the most effective build in Normal Mode - I’d have to play around with that - but for everything I’ve listed so far, I can’t support the argument that it’s the easiest build or the best path for a free win.

Between all this, although I take back what I said about these builds not being as viable, I don’t see the merit in Melee - specifically facetanking, being *objectively the best class*. I disagree with this forum’s obsession with calling Melee the weakest, but as I see it, specs into melee and especially into a complete facetank as you provided requires a certain skill set and a significantly above average need for preparation, that mean they are not *more* viable than other builds.

Wall of Text has been defeated.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Although it’s easier to reach 54 defense early game than I thought (I’ll admit I overlooked Well Fed and Bast Statue), I still don’t agree with a tank build being the best way to race down the Eye. I’ll start off by looking at how much it costs to apply this build at this stage:
We’ll assume 12 defense for free from consumable buffs that aren’t hard to get
-300 Platinum Ore for another 20, this is probably the easiest on here. Mining ore isn’t nearly as hard as people say it is, imo.
-Underground Desert: Bast Statue, 1/9 chance in a chest: or fishing (20% chance to obtain crate with crate potion, 9.3% to be oasis crate, 1/8 to be a bast statue) for another 5. A lot of RNG in this - you could get a house with Bast right outside the Desert, or have to fish for hours on end.
-We’d want at 4 warding modifiers to get another 16 defense, bringing us to 53. It looks like most accessories at this tier have a sell price between 50 silver and 1 good, meaning 83 silver or 1.66 gold, and this is neglecting prices increasing with modifiers. You can get 19 different modifiers, meaning between your four accessories you set to Warding, you could need to spend *over a platinum* on average (this can statistically vary, a lot) reforging. You’d need several dozens of gems for stained glass of a lot of time to farm frogs for sauteed frog legs to wield this money pre-boss. You could settle for smaller reforges, but then you’d have to reforge more accessories.
-In order to reforge this to begin with, you need to meet the requirements for, encounter, and defeat a goblin army.

Now, I believe you that this is attainable if you make it your goal, the price is a bit less than I thought before, but let’s look at something else you could do with this time:
-Make a mixed set of tiers 2-4 armor
-Make a gold or platinum bow
-Gather torches, wood, stone and ice for frostburn arrows
-Find hermes boots or sunflowers + swiftness potions
-Use the hours you saved not grinding to move on to the worm, jungle and dungeon tier
And this is perfectly capable for Eye of Cthulhu. It may not be a free win by taking 1 damage from the eye, but if you try at least a little bit, it sets you up for success. A 1-damage-per hit build is, although reasonably effective, simply not the *best* way to take on the eye, although not the *worst*.
The Bast Status actually comes naturally for me since I prioritize Underground Desert early game for essential items like Ancient Chisel and Magic Conch.

Guarding and Armored are fine too especially if you have Bast Status. A mix of Guarding/Armored/Warding will suffice for pre-Hardmode tank in general.

I almost always do Goblin Army before doing any bosses myself. And really, no matter the class and player, Reforging & TInkere's Workshop are really big and should be unlocked ASAP.

It's really not nearly as bad as you may think. What is clear is that we have different "check lists" in early pre-hm. And really though, things like gathering torches and crafting a gold/plat bow takes minutes to do, or are things you already do along the way.
As for damage, in order for your damage to *not* be hindered by a defense build, you have to use weapons specifically designed for facetanking, and this wasn’t what I meant by a tanky build. If you’re not specifically using Titanium Armor and Fetid Baghs to facetank, you’re specifically giving up 28% damage in order to take 28 less damage per hit in the field of reforges. You also miss out on the benefits of other accessories that aren’t Worm Scarf, a shield, etc. Usually, a build with an offensive merit misses out on the benefits of a build with a defensive merit, and vice versa. *This scenario* is what I meant by tanky builds having less damage, I’ll admit I wasn’t accounting for a complete facetank.

Now I was actually really interested by this facetanking strat in the video, and I want to look into that further. I’ll go back on my previous argument that this isn’t effective, seeing your video prove me otherwise. But I also noticed things in the video that I have to point out as not being free about these fights, and how this build poses a need for ability as does any other build. You can use weapons like Fetid Bagh, Blade, Titanium and Snapthorn to However, this *does* require skill, as funny as sitting on a boss is. Here are some of the challenges I see with facetanking that the player has to overcome:
-Spazmatism’s fire breath deals 162 damage and his body deals 190, and both spazmatism and retinazer move around quite a bit, and in order to keep up with them, you need quite a bit of effort. Falling back during the flamethrower and then jumping back into spazmatism while also micromanaging health and whips, as in your video.
-Skeletron Prime deals a whopping 230 damsge while spinning, and while he isn’t and his damage is reasonable, he’s flying around like an angry wasp. In your video, you took rather significant damage from Prime’s spinning - almost a third of your health bar per hit, and when he wasn’t spinning it required significant effort to stay on top of him. Plus, I saw how low your health was at the end of that fight, and how much time you cut out where you simply stayed away from the boss and let your health regen judging by the position of the moon.
-You have to *stop* attacking temporarily in order to eat up the whip speed from the Snapthorn - if you mess this up, you could actually miss out on damage from Feral Claws. I myself have a physical issue with this - juggling multiple weapons within the 4 second timespan of whips is reasonably difficult if you don’t have a very good sense of rhythm.
-I concede on Destroyer, I saw how effective the tank build was versus him, but the same thing I said about Eye applies here: do you really need this overcomplication of a setup when you can just Dart Pistol, Life Drain or Daedalus Stormbow him to death with little to no issues?

Now, my point is that this may be an equally effective build to everything else, unlike I previously thought, but I’m not convinced it’s free like you say it is. There’s strategic merit to it, such as the caution you had to take during Twins’ second phase and to watch your health versus Prime. There’s a need for precise movement like dodging a boss, but in this case it’s to stick to the boss when needed, fall back when you’re losing health, and avoid trying to tank deadly attacks like the flamethrower. You need to have practice and experience swapping out weapons on the get go and need accurate and precise timing to do so. Finally, a build like this does require significantly more setup than a get-go class build, like I described versus the Eye of Cthulhu. Put all this together, and I have to call a facetank build as effective a strategy as basic defense or offense, but not a better one.

Finally, I’ll acknowledge that this facetank build does get significantly easier to sustain in lower difficulties, considering the proportionally higher influence of defense, and lower boss attacks, but at the same time I do have to point out that this applies to any build: dodging boss attacks, recovering from hits, sustaining enough DPS even with weaker weapons. Maybe a facetank is by far the most effective build in Normal Mode - I’d have to play around with that - but for everything I’ve listed so far, I can’t support the argument that it’s the easiest build or the best path for a free win.

Between all this, although I take back what I said about these builds not being as viable, I don’t see the merit in Melee - specifically facetanking, being *objectively the best class*. I disagree with this forum’s obsession with calling Melee the weakest, but as I see it, specs into melee and especially into a complete facetank as you provided requires a certain skill set and a significantly above average need for preparation, that mean they are not *more* viable than other builds.
Keep in mind that the 28 extra defense is way more impactful than the 28% damage. Remember, you already have % boosts from your armor and perhaps accessories. It's all additive I believe. But with the way Defense work, each additional point of defense is more impactful than the last. Say that an enemy does 15 damage on Master. If you just put 10 extra defense points on the character, that drops down to 5 damage, so that's 1/3 of the damage gone. Defense is just that effective when you stack it a lot. You don't need movement accessories when you're facetanking with the Queen Slime mount.

When it comes to Twins, you're more so "Semi-facetanking" them mainly because of their awkward movement. Against Spazmatism mainly you want to either don't facetank its 2nd phase, or only do it when you are at full health and can take several hits. Otherwise, Spazmatism phase 2 is easy to dodge, and Retinazer's lasers will only scratch you at best (102-138 damage when you have 100+ defense and Worm Scarf). In the video my kill against them was a bit scuffed because I wanted to speedrun the kill and trying to facetank Spazmatism's flamethrower is the only reason I ended up getting low on hp. Like I said, even if you don't try facetanking for a faster kill, they will pretty much not going to kill you at all when you're tank and barely take any damage from Retinazer's lasers.

Same thing with Skeletron Prime, if you want to you can do the cycle of "facetank > get out to regen" three or four times and he's dead very quickly. Or if you want to play safer and just rely mainly on Summon Tag and Shadowflame knife, it's incredibly safe and you will not die at all. And like the Twins kill it's scuffed as well, there was no practice or anything beforehand and it was my first time actually executing the build. If I wanted to I could do "DPS tests" with this build and really showcase how fast this thing melts Twins/Prime with practice. For Plantera in particular, micro'ing weapons is a lot easier when you don't have to move, to be fair.

If you fight Destroyer "fairly" with Dart Pistol... you still need to dodge the lasers, you still need to avoid & kill the probes, you could still make a mistake and get annihilated by the head segment. And they'll take more time to kill Destroyer.

You say that significant preparation is needed for the build, and you'd be right about that. But here's the thing. It can easily carry you all the way to pillars. The longevity is more than there. Against mech bosses you at worst don't have to fear about actually dying and losing, and at best you melt them in seconds. You melt Plantera. You melt Golem even with Fetid but you may or may not need to build a tiny bit so that the shards actually hit the head in the first phase to make sure you win the DPS race. And then there's Lunatic Cultist, who needs no explanation. And hell, this build can handle pillars as well to an extent! Not even Master Mode Pillar enemies will last long against the Titanium shards! And you can still take at least several hits before dying! Then if you want to go back and obtain Terra Blade, Pumpkin Moon drops and Vampire Knives among other things, you have Daybreak, Solar Eruption and Stardust Cells/Dragon at your disposal. And if you're lucky, Picksaw as well.

What we can take from all of this is that while I stand by that it's overall the "strongest" build, it is not necessarily 100% beginner friendly as it requires knowledge of the game and planning ahead of time. It's like the Blade Staff vs. Sanguine Staff debate, while I say Blade Staff is overall slightly better for Pure summoners, I'd still recommend Sanguine over it in a heartbeat to a beginner since Whip Stacking is a legitimate advanced technique.
 

whoneedsnamestbh

Eater of Worlds
Keep in mind that the 28 extra defense is way more impactful than the 28% damage. Remember, you already have % boosts from your armor and perhaps accessories. It's all additive I believe. But with the way Defense work, each additional point of defense is more impactful than the last. Say that an enemy does 15 damage on Master. If you just put 10 extra defense points on the character, that drops down to 5 damage, so that's 1/3 of the damage gone. Defense is just that effective when you stack it a lot. You don't need movement accessories when you're facetanking with the Queen Slime mount.
Defense isn’t *purely* a better reforge, especially if you’re like me who favors offense. As I see it, warding modifiers can absolutely be more useful, but only if you already spec into defense. If your focus is on minimizing the amount of hits you take to begin with, or if you’re simply trying to be offensive, Menacing can be better as well. Or you take the middle ground. I usually personally just settle for whatever I get first between Lucky, Menacing and Warding.

Let’s say a significant Master hit does 160 damage, and we’ll imagine two possible scenarios:
-A: You’re a Mage. You have 40 defense, and add another 28 by Warding
-B: You’re an average Melee build, you have 60 defense and add another 28 by Warding
-C: You’re a heavy tank. You have 80 defense, and add another 28 by warding
In Scenario C, Warding removes a *much* larger percentage of the hit. In Scenario A, the amount blocked is only about 23% compared to no Warding, while in Scenario C, the amount of damage you take is actually 35% less.

This difference becomes more noticeable with small hits, and less noticeable with strong hits. If a hit deals 120 or 200 damage, the percentage blocked changes:
120 damage:
-A: Warding removes 35% of the hit compared to no Warding
-B: Warding removes 47% of the hit
-C: Warding removes 70% of the hit (yes, I’m aware how substantial this is. This is what I mean with Warding only being *more* useful if you’re already capitalizing into defense.)
200 damage:
-A: Warding removes 17.5% of the hit
-B: Warding removes 20% of the hit
-C: Warding removes 23% of the hit

Furthermore, in an offensive build, it tends to be the heaviest hits that mess you up the most. You’re on the run and can avoid most of the projectiles, but if you get smacked in the face by Duke Fishron or whapped by Spazmatism’s charge, you lose a pretty substantial fraction of your HP. Or you take knockback from Prime’s laser during his charge and get caught in the spin, etc. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure a facetank’s goal would be to take the *least* damage from hits possible, meaning not hanging out in attacks like Spazmatism’s flamethrower. At least, this is my experience. An offensive build that’s on the run and moving around like a fly is less likely to take projectile hits and more likely to take AoE or contact hits.

As for Menacing, assuming your goal is to take the least hits possible and race down the boss quickly, as is my playstyle, Menacing may be more useful. Like with defense, I’m going to assume you’re capitalizing into it.

In Hallowed Armor, you have 23% increased damage for ranged, 20% for mage and 17% for melee/summoner. We’re neglecting crit for now, but the assumption should be that it falls into a similar boat to Menacing, but the math would be slightly different because you start out with 4 of it.

If you add the best 2 emblems, you have 23% + 27% damage for Ranged and 20% + 30% damage for Mage, 17% + 27% for Melee and Summoner. Now let’s add another 10% for Wrath, 10% to Ranged for Stalker Quiver an 20% to Mage for Magic Power, 12% to Melee for Fire Gauntlet

By this point:
-Ranged has 70% increased damage
-Mage has 80% increased
-Melee has 66% increased
-Summoner has 54% increased
Adding Menacing:
-Ranged has 98% increased
-Mage has 108% increased
-Melee has 94% increased
-Summoner has 82% increased
This is a:
-29% increase in DPS for Ranged
-26% increase in DPS for Mage
-30% increase in DPS for Melee
-35% increase in DPS for Summoner

Now, these are as significant as defense+ Warding against a middle ground hit, less so against small hits and more so against large hits. From that, you can reasonably assume that if you aren’t specifically min-maxing defense or damage, it’s perfectly fair to spec into both Menacing and Warding.

These damage numbers get smaller as the amount of extra damage on a set get bigger, but at the same time, don’t the benefits from Warding get lower as you get more damage from a hit?

Of course, I can’t neglect lower difficulties. It’s pretty hard to deny that Warding > Menacing in Normal Mode, even myself as an early player abused the :red: out of it. It *will* make a bigger difference in Expert if you’re taking a lot of hits, but again I prefer to be on the run and race down bosses with damage before “take a lot of hits” applies. Again, a lot of playstyle comes into it and it’s very subjective.

When it comes to Twins, you're more so "Semi-facetanking" them mainly because of their awkward movement. Against Spazmatism mainly you want to either don't facetank its 2nd phase, or only do it when you are at full health and can take several hits. Otherwise, Spazmatism phase 2 is easy to dodge, and Retinazer's lasers will only scratch you at best (102-138 damage when you have 100+ defense and Worm Scarf). In the video my kill against them was a bit scuffed because I wanted to speedrun the kill and trying to facetank Spazmatism's flamethrower is the only reason I ended up getting low on hp. Like I said, even if you don't try facetanking for a faster kill, they will pretty much not going to kill you at all when you're tank and barely take any damage from Retinazer's lasers.

Same thing with Skeletron Prime, if you want to you can do the cycle of "facetank > get out to regen" three or four times and he's dead very quickly. Or if you want to play safer and just rely mainly on Summon Tag and Shadowflame knife, it's incredibly safe and you will not die at all. And like the Twins kill it's scuffed as well, there was no practice or anything beforehand and it was my first time actually executing the build. If I wanted to I could do "DPS tests" with this build and really showcase how fast this thing melts Twins/Prime with practice. For Plantera in particular, micro'ing weapons is a lot easier when you don't have to move, to be fair.

If you fight Destroyer "fairly" with Dart Pistol... you still need to dodge the lasers, you still need to avoid & kill the probes, you could still make a mistake and get annihilated by the head segment. And they'll take more time to kill Destroyer.

You say that significant preparation is needed for the build, and you'd be right about that. But here's the thing. It can easily carry you all the way to pillars. The longevity is more than there. Against mech bosses you at worst don't have to fear about actually dying and losing, and at best you melt them in seconds. You melt Plantera. You melt Golem even with Fetid but you may or may not need to build a tiny bit so that the shards actually hit the head in the first phase to make sure you win the DPS race. And then there's Lunatic Cultist, who needs no explanation. And hell, this build can handle pillars as well to an extent! Not even Master Mode Pillar enemies will last long against the Titanium shards! And you can still take at least several hits before dying! Then if you want to go back and obtain Terra Blade, Pumpkin Moon drops and Vampire Knives among other things, you have Daybreak, Solar Eruption and Stardust Cells/Dragon at your disposal. And if you're lucky, Picksaw as well.

What we can take from all of this is that while I stand by that it's overall the "strongest" build, it is not necessarily 100% beginner friendly as it requires knowledge of the game and planning ahead of time. It's like the Blade Staff vs. Sanguine Staff debate, while I say Blade Staff is overall slightly better for Pure summoners, I'd still recommend Sanguine over it in a heartbeat to a beginner since Whip Stacking is a legitimate advanced technique
Having to semi-facetank against Prime and Twins is exactly what I mean - you have to facetank while also trying mot to facetank too much, while managing both whips and feral claws, having to time when you dive into attacks and when to fall back. Except for Plantera and Golem, but everyone accepts that those are free to tank. To me, that takes skill, more so than just run and shoot with Ranged, Mage or offensive Melee. The preparation is another thing. I saw the DPS in the video, I’m not denying this build’s strength, but between these flaws, I’m not able to agree that this is the strongest build in the game on a merit that looks at everything. And when you switch off of it, you have to do more setup to change class or style than usual.

For Destroyer, the same thing I said about Eye can apply. You can spend the time getting full Titanium, Fetid Baghs, kill Queen Slime for blades, or you can chill with Palladium and get Dart Pistol and Cursed Darts. The latter isn’t a free win, but Destroyer should never be a boss you need a free win against, and there’s significantly less prep time.

And carrying to pillars is impressive, but what else can last until Pillars? Sanguine and Blade. Dart Guns and Megashark. Do you need one build to last until pillars? You get materials for Terra Blade on the way, which are signifiantly strong starting with the True Swords anyway and can last the entirety of post-Plantera. Mage gets substantial progression in weapons that are very easy to get - Crystal Storm, Rainbow Rod, Spectre Staff. Carrying yourself to pillars is impressive, but it’s hardly neccesary. And considering this build’s preparation and executive skill, I can’t consider it the strongest build just on the merit that it has the most DPS and lasts until Cultist. I’m not calling it *weaker* either - I saw how much DPS it could pull, but I’m still going to refuse to call it the best build.
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
Now, these are as significant as defense+ Warding against a middle ground hit, less so against small hits and more so against large hits. From that, you can reasonably assume that if you aren’t specifically min-maxing defense or damage, it’s perfectly fair to spec into both Menacing and Warding.

These damage numbers get smaller as the amount of extra damage on a set get bigger, but at the same time, don’t the benefits from Warding get lower as you get more damage from a hit?

Of course, I can’t neglect lower difficulties. It’s pretty hard to deny that Warding > Menacing in Normal Mode, even myself as an early player abused the :red: out of it. It *will* make a bigger difference in Expert if you’re taking a lot of hits, but again I prefer to be on the run and race down bosses with damage before “take a lot of hits” applies. Again, a lot of playstyle comes into it and it’s very subjective.
I'm in agreement that Defense/Warding isn't nearly as useful for anything that isn't a "tank" build. I think we had a slight misunderstanding since I spoke from the perspective of Melee/Tank, while you were taking all classes and playstyles into account. Warding and Menacing are the inverse of each other: Warding is much more effective when you already have a good amount of defense, but doesn't make that much of a difference with something like Spider Armor with offensive accessories. Menacing makes a significant in damage increase when your build is lacking % bonuses, but on top of a glass cannon build it doesn't make as big of a difference.

Having to semi-facetank against Prime and Twins is exactly what I mean - you have to facetank while also trying mot to facetank too much, while managing both whips and feral claws, having to time when you dive into attacks and when to fall back. Except for Plantera and Golem, but everyone accepts that those are free to tank. To me, that takes skill, more so than just run and shoot with Ranged, Mage or offensive Melee. The preparation is another thing. I saw the DPS in the video, I’m not denying this build’s strength, but between these flaws, I’m not able to agree that this is the strongest build in the game on a merit that looks at everything. And when you switch off of it, you have to do more setup to change class or style than usual.

For Destroyer, the same thing I said about Eye can apply. You can spend the time getting full Titanium, Fetid Baghs, kill Queen Slime for blades, or you can chill with Palladium and get Dart Pistol and Cursed Darts. The latter isn’t a free win, but Destroyer should never be a boss you need a free win against, and there’s significantly less prep time.

And carrying to pillars is impressive, but what else can last until Pillars? Sanguine and Blade. Dart Guns and Megashark. Do you need one build to last until pillars? You get materials for Terra Blade on the way, which are signifiantly strong starting with the True Swords anyway and can last the entirety of post-Plantera. Mage gets substantial progression in weapons that are very easy to get - Crystal Storm, Rainbow Rod, Spectre Staff. Carrying yourself to pillars is impressive, but it’s hardly neccesary. And considering this build’s preparation and executive skill, I can’t consider it the strongest build just on the merit that it has the most DPS and lasts until Cultist. I’m not calling it *weaker* either - I saw how much DPS it could pull, but I’m still going to refuse to call it the best build.
First of all I'm not sure what you mean by "managing feral claws", it's a passive accessories that provides bonuses and no special effects. Unless you meant Fetid. For whips, Durendal alone will suffice. As for the "not facetank too much" part for Twins only really applies to Spazmatism's 2nd phase. Unless you are terrible at avoiding the cursed flame projectiles from the 1st phase and get hit by all of them, I'm pretty sure you could easily go straight for Retinazer and rush it down without really fearing death.

When it comes to Skeletron, facetanking it is only really a bonus. When the laser and even arms don't deal any significant damage to you (73-150 damage with the exception of the bomb, Tank has 100+ defense and Worm Scarf + Endurance Potion), it's a very free fight. In fact, Skeletron Prime's head only deals 119 contact damage when not spinning, so chasing down its head while it's idle would most likely be a much better strategy for Titanium facetank. In my video, facetanking Prime's spin attack was really just an unnecessarily risky play for show.

Let's not act like Pre-mech doesn't involve a lot of preparation no matter the class. For Ranger for example, you need to mine for ore armor, and Palladium armor has low defense and damage bonuses. You Preferably want Adamantite/Titanium, Crystal Assassin or a mixed armor set (Mythril Greaves). You need to grind Mimics for Dart Pistol/Rifle and/or Daedalus Stormbow or another weapon. You need wings. You need to go back and get Ranger Emblem if it didn't drop already. You need to gather Hardmode ammo, though if you're going for Dart Pistol, you're already getting Ichor from Underground Crimson. Souls of Light may be obtained as well when you're trying to craft Crystal Darts. You need Magic quiver depending on the weapon you're going to use, and if you want to stack multiple of those for a glass cannon build, you need to either grind for Magma stone or make artificial Corruption (same if you want Cursed Darts and later on Recon Scope). If you want Endless Quiver/Pouch, you need the Wizard as well.

Pre-Plantera you'll either need to mine for Chlorophyte for Shotbow or need to grind for shark fins for Megashark if you haven't gotten those already. Dart Pistol/Rifle aren't going to deal as much damage I believe. After Plantera though you could realistically rush to pillars.

What about Melee/Summon Tank Hybrid set Pre-mech? Unless I'm missing something, you need: Titanium Armor, Ichor Flasks, Berserker's Glove, Fetid Baghnakhs, Blade Staff and Gelatinous Pillion.

Titanium armor and potentially Titan Glove (if it hadn't dropped by the time you are close to finishing the build) are perhaps the biggest time sinks. Before doing ANYTHING else, prepare an artificial Corruption biome and you'll be able to go back to it later and have the material for Eater of Worlds summon for the Worm Scarf. Flesh Knuckles, Ichor Flasks and Fetid can all be obtained in the same place doing the same thing (Underground Crimson). You are also indirectly grinding for Vampire Knives by doing this, with a bit of luck you'll get that as well. Both Blade Staff and Gelatinous Pillion are Queen Slime drops, who is very easy to cheese with a sky rail + its summon being relatively easy to find. And while you're searching for QS summons, you're going to find Souls of Light at the same time. If you aren't confident with your regular Mimic luck for Titan Glove, then build Plantera Arena in Pre-Hardmode and grind mimics there once you're in Hardmode. And don't worry about all of this, you're going to save time by dying a lot less often since you have a lot of defense.

If anything, grinding/setting up Titanium Facetank actually takes a bit less time than I thought while typing this. Some if it is planning ahead again, but as a whole it'll take a similar or barely longer amount of time to prepare compared to other classes/playstyles, and it's a build that easily lets you *rush* all the way to Post-Cultist with little to no struggle, ESPECIALLY if you got Titan Glove to drop early, you don't even need to bother making a Plantera Arena AT ALL in that case since you just facetank her.

Also, in theory any weapon can "last" until pillars. But when I talk about weapons "lasting" for a long time, I'm talking about them staying actually viable and dealing reasonable damage. Dart Pistol/Rifle hit like a wet stick after Plantera and when I rushed to pillars in my recent Ranger playthrough with Dart Pistol, I didn't have a good time at all, my damage against Cultist and Vortex enemies was non-existent and it would have been more worth it to go obtain a better weapon first so make the process a lot faster and smoother.

As a whole, Titanium facetank in Hardmode has a skill floor, but once you reach said "skill floor", the skill ceilling is right above almost touching the ground. Once you "learn" Titanium facetank and learn how to set it up & execute it, you've already almost mastered it. Just facetank most bosses.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Let's not act like Pre-mech doesn't involve a lot of preparation no matter the class. For Ranger for example, you need to mine for ore armor, and Palladium armor has low defense and damage bonuses. You Preferably want Adamantite/Titanium, Crystal Assassin or a mixed armor set (Mythril Greaves). You need to grind Mimics for Dart Pistol/Rifle and/or Daedalus Stormbow or another weapon. You need wings. You need to go back and get Ranger Emblem if it didn't drop already. You need to gather Hardmode ammo, though if you're going for Dart Pistol, you're already getting Ichor from Underground Crimson. Souls of Light may be obtained as well when you're trying to craft Crystal Darts. You need Magic quiver depending on the weapon you're going to use, and if you want to stack multiple of those for a glass cannon build, you need to either grind for Magma stone or make artificial Corruption (same if you want Cursed Darts and later on Recon Scope). If you want Endless Quiver/Pouch, you need the Wizard as well.

Pre-Plantera you'll either need to mine for Chlorophyte for Shotbow or need to grind for shark fins for Megashark if you haven't gotten those already. Dart Pistol/Rifle aren't going to deal as much damage I believe. After Plantera though you could realistically rush to pillars.
Palladium armour may lack in stats, but the set bonus provides really good survivability and it barely takes much mining since Palladium is a pretty common ore. If you're going for Adamantite or Titanium, you can craft a Repeater out of tier 2 or tier 3 Hardmode ores, which will do pretty well against the mech bosses and Queen Slime.

Wings are also needed for the Titanium melee/summoner tank build, or else you won't be able to hit the Twins or the Skeletron Prime with Fetid Baghnakhs for a lot of the battle.

The Ranger Emblem isn't a necessity, it's just a passive accessory that allows you to kill enemies and bosses a bit quicker.

The Magic Quiver isn't that rare, plus Skeleton Archers spawn in the Underground Hallow/Crimson/Corruption, so you might get it while getting Ichor, Crystal Shards or Souls. Not sure about you, but I always get the Magma Stone in Pre-Hardmode while I'm preparing for the WoF.

Mining for Chlorophyte is extremely easy and non-time-consuming, Chlorophyte is literally everywhere in the Underground Jungle.

After Plantera I'd go to the Dungeon for Ectoplasm (to make Pumpkin Moon and Frost Moon summons) and/or Sniper Rifle and/or Tactical Shotgun, as well as some accessories like Paladin's Shield and Rifle Scope, do the Moon events for Chain Gun, Snowman Cannon, or Stake Launcher and Witch's Broom, fight Duke Fishron (after getting Shroomite armour) for Tsunami and Fishron Wings, Empress for Eventide, Empress Wings and Soaring Insignia, and optionally Betsy for Aerial Bane. Then I'd rush to the Pillars.
 
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