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Crystal Assassin (Summoner) Revisited.

Shyguymask

Terrarian
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.
I agree about Palladium armor being useful, but I feel like the higher defense you'd get from Adamantite/Titanium armor would make up the difference since you'll receive less damage anyway. About 13-14 less damage in Master mode. And Titanium/Adamantite provides higher offensive benefits while Crystal Assassin armor provides better movement.

You have Gelatinous Pillion, you don't need wings. If anything its very fast "acceleration" for a lack of a better term makes it suitable for jumping into Twins and Prime's head to deal chunks of damage. The very short flight time is the only issues, but if that somehow becomes a major issue you can build a platform arena. I did get wings while doing the playthrough for my video for convenience, I didn't treat it like a race or anything.

I disagree with that. Varies on the build and playstyle, but generally if you're rocking an "offensive" build with Ranger and want to deal a lot of damage, the Ranger Emblem Pre-mech is a no brainer option as far as I'm concerned.

Magic Quiver is a 1.25% drop from a somewhat common enemy, while Titan Glove is a 16.67% chance drop from a somewhat rare enemy. It all comes down to RNG. Even though Underground Jungle is the fastest way to farm Mimics or at least close, I remember getting Titan Glove from regular mimics occasionally spawning in Underground crimson.

So is mining for Adamantite/Titanium in that case. Yes, Chlorophyte is easier to find, but blazing through lava layer with Ancient Chisel/Mining Potion/Well Fed is going to get you stacked too.

As for progression Post-Plantera, I find it advantageous for Titanium Facetank since you can rush straight to pillars and come back with Solar Eruption to efficiently decimate everything. Not to mention it goes through walls, so Hardmode easy is a piece of cake in that case. Ranger struggles against Hardmode Dungeon enemies compared to Melee and Summoner and even arguably Mage.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
I agree about Palladium armor being useful, but I feel like the higher defense you'd get from Adamantite/Titanium armor would make up the difference since you'll receive less damage anyway. About 13-14 less damage in Master mode. And Titanium/Adamantite provides higher offensive benefits while Crystal Assassin armor provides better movement.

You have Gelatinous Pillion, you don't need wings. If anything its very fast "acceleration" for a lack of a better term makes it suitable for jumping into Twins and Prime's head to deal chunks of damage. The very short flight time is the only issues, but if that somehow becomes a major issue you can build a platform arena. I did get wings while doing the playthrough for my video for convenience, I didn't treat it like a race or anything.

I disagree with that. Varies on the build and playstyle, but generally if you're rocking an "offensive" build with Ranger and want to deal a lot of damage, the Ranger Emblem Pre-mech is a no brainer option as far as I'm concerned.

Magic Quiver is a 1.25% drop from a somewhat common enemy, while Titan Glove is a 16.67% chance drop from a somewhat rare enemy. It all comes down to RNG. Even though Underground Jungle is the fastest way to farm Mimics or at least close, I remember getting Titan Glove from regular mimics occasionally spawning in Underground crimson.

So is mining for Adamantite/Titanium in that case. Yes, Chlorophyte is easier to find, but blazing through lava layer with Ancient Chisel/Mining Potion/Well Fed is going to get you stacked too.

As for progression Post-Plantera, I find it advantageous for Titanium Facetank since you can rush straight to pillars and come back with Solar Eruption to efficiently decimate everything. Not to mention it goes through walls, so Hardmode easy is a piece of cake in that case. Ranger struggles against Hardmode Dungeon enemies compared to Melee and Summoner and even arguably Mage.
As a ranger, taking 13-14 less damage in Master Mode is irrelevant because you don't have a tanky setup, so you'll still take a lot of damage anyway.

If you're going for complete glass cannon, yes, but it's not like you'll deal tiny amounts of damage without the Ranger Emblem.

Skeleton Archers are way more common than Mimics. Saying that Mimics are around the same rarity as Skeleton Archers is like saying that Titanium is only a bit rarer than Copper.

Um, my Metal Detector always at least says "Chlorophyte detected nearby!" whenever I'm in the Underground Jungle, whereas I rarely see "Titanium detected nearby!", even in the lava layer.

Rangers don't struggle that much in the Hardmode Dungeon. There's Chlorophyte Arrows, Crystal Darts, and Nano Bullets, which allow you to kill enemies without engaging them, and ranged weapons in general allow you to kill enemies from a distance without putting yourself in danger. But personally I do feel like rangers aren't the best class for dealing with anything underground.
 

whoneedsnamestbh

Eye of Cthulhu
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.
Yeah, it was a typo. The point I meant to make is the difficulty of pairing a whip and feral claws (fetid baghs, goddamnit) hypothetically, you would only lose a half to 2/3 of a second every four seconds getting whips in, but I have a poor sense of rhythm and have a hard time switching weapons like this fast enough to not get a net loss in damage, and I doubt I’m the only one.

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.
Well, there’s preparation and there’s min-maxing. A tank build like this specifically needs min-maxing: full or most Guarding or Warding, Cross Necklace, likely 1-2 Flesh Knuckles plus a mimic kill for Fetid Baghs, a full set of Titanium specifically, at least one Queen Slime kill. You also need the setup to deal with Queen Slime ro begin with, even if it’s a minecart rail.

Meanwhile, you could settle for Palladium, any tier 2 ore or Adamantite, or for summoners Spider of even Obsidian. Then buy leaf wings from the Witch Doctor, kill a few biome mimics, walls of flesh, or goblin summoners for your class’s weapon, and take down the mechs effectively.

If you were to specifically min-max an offensive build, of course it would take you just as long. Quiver, emblems, higher tier armor, etc. But a basic offensive, defensive, or just any get-go build can work *without* going out of your way to tend to them specifically, more than can be said about facetank builds.

From this point, gear upgrades come automatically. Summoner’s minions can last long if you don’t bother going for Tiger, and the whips are by far the easiest weapons to get in the class. Melee can get all the gear for the True Swords and Terra Blade just by gathering the items as you go about your day, and the only sidestep you need to take is Crippler or Shadowflame Knives. Crystal ammo and later Chlorophyte Shotbow is not difficult to make, and the only part of Megashark that requires going out of your way for are shark fins. Mage I’ll admit does have to go a bit farther out of their way, but many of the essential weapons are still cheap enough that you can pick them up as you go with only a small diversion from progression.

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.
Neglecting debuff damage, Spazmatism’s melee attacks also deal upward of 200 damage, which can still be a fifth of your health pool, plus his fast movement. Avoiding facetanking second phase Spazmatism just turns the fight into a regular summon fight featuring whips+blades with severely unoptimal gear until he dies. As for flying after Prime, yeah that’s probably a better way to deal with it - if you can catch up to him. Catching up to Prime is like holding a fish: a lot of effort and you end up dropping it sooner or later when it gets off of you (or in Prime’s case, this could also mean it’s about to spin). Or you could go in a wide oval around Prime and run in one direction with a gun for Twins. These don’t have the same level of DPS, but I almost guarantee you that they are a much simpler way to “cheat” the boss.

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.
Doesn’t needing to reach a skill floor to execute it properly, and then winning for basically free after you do so, apply to everything? Mastery of a run and gun build would be equivalent to almost never getting hit by boss attacks. In both cases, you can screw up hard if you’re doing it wrong, but have an easy time if you’re doing it right.

In this build, mastery includes whip timing, the abilities of positioning and aggressive pursuit, enough knowledge of game mechanics to set up the build. I’m aware of the strength of the build when you do master it, but it seems to me that the skill floor is substantially higher than almost any other build, and is highly specific in what exactly you need to pull it off and what exactly it *can* pull off.

With a run and gun build, mastery includes the ability to dodge boss attacks for extended periods of time and the ability to aim. Absolutely harder than I make it sound, but reaching this skill floor is much, much easier than the skill floor of facetanking, and then can be applied to a much larger breadth of situations including aggressive projectile monsters, optional post-Plantera bosses, and the Moon Lord.

Practicality should be part of the consideration of a build, and if the fastest by far kills have a very specific and hard to master practicality that’s difficult to apply to all situations, then I personally cannot call it the best build, even if it is the strongest in a technical sense. I guess it all depends on how you define strength, you could easily use the highest DPS by far argument to support facetanking being the strongest build. I don’t see it that way though, practicality is just as important as power, in my opinion.

Edit to elaborate on this point. This is what I meant when I said “i can’t call it better than other builds, more about the same”. This all plays back into subjectivity. Do you prefer raw shredding power, or do you prefer quick and broad efficiency? Both are valid arguments, but the point is that, because this pure, raw power sacrifices quick and broad efficiency: taking time to set up and being specific in niche and ability, it’s not *better* than quick efficiency with cheap and strong weapons. On the other hand, quick and broad efficiency that’s easy to learn sacrifices the raw DPS and shredding power that facetank offers. This is the core reason I disagree with a facetank build being the strongest build.
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
As a ranger, taking 13-14 less damage in Master Mode is irrelevant because you don't have a tanky setup, so you'll still take a lot of damage anyway.

If you're going for complete glass cannon, yes, but it's not like you'll deal tiny amounts of damage without the Ranger Emblem.

Skeleton Archers are way more common than Mimics. Saying that Mimics are around the same rarity as Skeleton Archers is like saying that Titanium is only a bit rarer than Copper.

Um, my Metal Detector always at least says "Chlorophyte detected nearby!" whenever I'm in the Underground Jungle, whereas I rarely see "Titanium detected nearby!", even in the lava layer.

Rangers don't struggle that much in the Hardmode Dungeon. There's Chlorophyte Arrows, Crystal Darts, and Nano Bullets, which allow you to kill enemies without engaging them, and ranged weapons in general allow you to kill enemies from a distance without putting yourself in danger. But personally I do feel like rangers aren't the best class for dealing with anything underground.
Why would the extra defense from tier 3 armors be irrelevant but the regen is fine? The regen won't magically "restore" a mistake every 5 seconds or something. It's a similar survivability boost in both cases. But the higher tier either give bigger offensive bonuses (and in Crystal Assasin's case, a movement boost).

What accessories do Rangers use if it doesn't include Emblem? In Expert mode, something normal would be like Wings/Boots/Shield of Cthulhu/[Damage accessory]/[Damage accessory]/[Something defensive like Obsidian Shield, Brain of Confusion or Charm of Myth, or maybe even a third Damage accessory].

For damage accessories, the options for Ranger Pre-Mech are Ranger Emblem, Putrid Scent and the quivers. Putrid Scent gives a similar boost overall but is harder to obtain (Not really practical to obtain in a Crimson world at all), and when it comes to quivers the % boost given is smaller. If you are playing on Master mode and/or use Crystal Assassin armor especially, there are even less reasons to not equip Ranger Emblem.

You misread what I said. I did say that Mimics are much rarer than Skeleton Archers. But the difference in drop rate is large as well (1.25% Vs. 16.67%).

Don't rely on the metal detector. Just equip Ancient Chisel, drink Spelunker & Mining potions, then mine mine mine as fast as you can in the Lava layer horizontally. You'll mine a bunch of tier 3 ores in no time.

They do struggle compared to Melee and Summoner. Melee weapons like Fetid and especially Terra Blade deal more damage and are better at knockbacking enemies and keeping them away from you. And Melee has higher defense. Blade Staff for Summoner instantly responds to any threat, including airbone enemies falling above you. Hell it will even literally stunlock teleporting mage enemies. And Summoner deals more damage in general as well. Whips in general also just obliterate crowds it's not funny. It's also hard to take "Ranger can hit enemies from afar" into consideration when the Hardmode dungeon takes places in tight corridors and such.

Well, there’s preparation and there’s min-maxing. A tank build like this specifically needs min-maxing: full or most Guarding or Warding, Cross Necklace, likely 1-2 Flesh Knuckles plus a mimic kill for Fetid Baghs, a full set of Titanium specifically, at least one Queen Slime kill. You also need the setup to deal with Queen Slime ro begin with, even if it’s a minecart rail.

Meanwhile, you could settle for Palladium, any tier 2 ore or Adamantite, or for summoners Spider of even Obsidian. Then buy leaf wings from the Witch Doctor, kill a few biome mimics, walls of flesh, or goblin summoners for your class’s weapon, and take down the mechs effectively.

If you were to specifically min-max an offensive build, of course it would take you just as long. Quiver, emblems, higher tier armor, etc. But a basic offensive, defensive, or just any get-go build can work *without* going out of your way to tend to them specifically, more than can be said about facetank builds.

From this point, gear upgrades come automatically. Summoner’s minions can last long if you don’t bother going for Tiger, and the whips are by far the easiest weapons to get in the class. Melee can get all the gear for the True Swords and Terra Blade just by gathering the items as you go about your day, and the only sidestep you need to take is Crippler or Shadowflame Knives. Crystal ammo and later Chlorophyte Shotbow is not difficult to make, and the only part of Megashark that requires going out of your way for are shark fins. Mage I’ll admit does have to go a bit farther out of their way, but many of the essential weapons are still cheap enough that you can pick them up as you go with only a small diversion from progression.
It takes 5 minutes to craft rails and place them with Builder potion. I forgot about Star Veil but the ingredients for it come at the same time as you're grinding for Titan Glove anyway. If you turn your Underground Crimson into a dedicated area for farming/grinding, it can probably be a very good Mimic farm as well. So after you get Titanium Armor, you can essentially get Fetid, Flesh Knuckles, Titan Glove, Star Cloak, Cross Necklace and Ichor Flasks all in the same biome, doing the same thing. Then what's left is cheesing Queen Slime with a sky rail that will take 5 minutes to build.

The way you described how to set up the "min max" build sounds simple honestly. And really though, Leaf wings sucks. Tied for worst Hardmode wings alongside Angel/Demon wings, and over half a platinum coin to buy it isn't exactly cheap. Fairy/Frozen/Harpy wings are all noticeably better. Summoner needs to fight RNG for Sanguine Staff or grind Queen Slime for Blade Staff, and still need to grind Wall of Flesh if Firecracker hasn't already dropped (and Summoner Emblem too probably if using Sanguine.) Mage needs to grind to obtain any of its viable weapons except maybe Meteor Staff, but last time I used Meteor Staff its high mana cost made it meh for me to use. Same thing for Ranger, Dart Pistol/Rifle, Daedalus and Onyx Blaster won't be handed to you for free. The way you're describing these "get-go" builds make them look weak and undergeared, and wouldn't really be able to beat Mech bosses unless on the hand of a really skilled player that is probably trying to rush through the game in the first place.

Morning Star needs some grinding in the Hardmode dungeon to obtain. Dark Harvest needs grinding the Pumpkin Moon to get it. Kaleidoscope is a drop from Empress of Light, one of the harder if not hardest bosses in the game. They don't necessarily come "automatically" like Durendal and Hallowed Armor do. Terra Blade needs a lot of crafting and you need to do Solar Eclipse and beat a miniboss for it, that's not really some "Automatic" or "go on about your day" activity either. Sharks are pretty annoying to farm by the way because from my experience they are uncommon. All of these "small" tasks you're describing adds up, when with Titanium facetank you need to do far less "updating" through Hardmode.

Neglecting debuff damage, Spazmatism’s melee attacks also deal upward of 200 damage, which can still be a fifth of your health pool, plus his fast movement. Avoiding facetanking second phase Spazmatism just turns the fight into a regular summon fight featuring whips+blades with severely unoptimal gear until he dies. As for flying after Prime, yeah that’s probably a better way to deal with it - if you can catch up to him. Catching up to Prime is like holding a fish: a lot of effort and you end up dropping it sooner or later when it gets off of you (or in Prime’s case, this could also mean it’s about to spin). Or you could go in a wide oval around Prime and run in one direction with a gun for Twins. These don’t have the same level of DPS, but I almost guarantee you that they are a much simpler way to “cheat” the boss.
Simply don't get hit by Spazmatism. In his first phase he's just there. He just hangs at the side launching projectiles at you. Actually, his contact damage is lower than his Cursed Flame damage in the first phase. In the 2nd phase he's especially to avoid with Gelatinous Pillion, and the damage of his flamethrower is significantly lower than his contact damage.

Unoptimal? Having by far the highest survivability while still dealing decent DPS is anything but "unoptimal". Melee/Summon Tank Hybrid can also do the "Run in a straight line while shooting at the boss" thing with Shadowflame Knife and Blade Staff. The difference is that Tank is far less vulnerable to random mobs that may spawn during the fight, and doesn't have to worry about Retinazer's laser spam at all unlike "offensive" characters. When playing normally, you focus on how to survive the fight in the first place and try to win it. With Melee/Summon hybrid, you consider if you want to play greedy to win an otherwise nearly-unlosable fight faster.

Doesn’t needing to reach a skill floor to execute it properly, and then winning for basically free after you do so, apply to everything? Mastery of a run and gun build would be equivalent to almost never getting hit by boss attacks. In both cases, you can screw up hard if you’re doing it wrong, but have an easy time if you’re doing it right.

In this build, mastery includes whip timing, the abilities of positioning and aggressive pursuit, enough knowledge of game mechanics to set up the build. I’m aware of the strength of the build when you do master it, but it seems to me that the skill floor is substantially higher than almost any other build, and is highly specific in what exactly you need to pull it off and what exactly it *can* pull off.

With a run and gun build, mastery includes the ability to dodge boss attacks for extended periods of time and the ability to aim. Absolutely harder than I make it sound, but reaching this skill floor is much, much easier than the skill floor of facetanking, and then can be applied to a much larger breadth of situations including aggressive projectile monsters, optional post-Plantera bosses, and the Moon Lord.

Practicality should be part of the consideration of a build, and if the fastest by far kills have a very specific and hard to master practicality that’s difficult to apply to all situations, then I personally cannot call it the best build, even if it is the strongest in a technical sense. I guess it all depends on how you define strength, you could easily use the highest DPS by far argument to support facetanking being the strongest build. I don’t see it that way though, practicality is just as important as power, in my opinion.

Edit to elaborate on this point. This is what I meant when I said “i can’t call it better than other builds, more about the same”. This all plays back into subjectivity. Do you prefer raw shredding power, or do you prefer quick and broad efficiency? Both are valid arguments, but the point is that, because this pure, raw power sacrifices quick and broad efficiency: taking time to set up and being specific in niche and ability, it’s not *better* than quick efficiency with cheap and strong weapons. On the other hand, quick and broad efficiency that’s easy to learn sacrifices the raw DPS and shredding power that facetank offers. This is the core reason I disagree with a facetank build being the strongest build.
No, not really. Take Ranger for example. Low skill floor because it's as simple as picking a weapon and clicking to shoot a damaging projectile. The skill ceiling come from the ability to aim at the boss consistently while dodging at the same time, and the possibility of dropping Chlorophyte bullets in favor of higher-damage bullets if you think you can adapt your aim. Meanwhile Summoner has a moderate skill floor and a relatively very high skill ceilling. Nearly all minions behave very differently from each other, and different minions synergize better or worse with different whips. The skill ceilling is made very high with Whip stacking. In theory, stacking 3-5 whips depending on progression & minion is the way to absolutely maximize DPS to the limit, and even someone like me only uses 2-3 whips at the same time.

But Titanium Facetank? There's an existing skill floor because it's a "min-max" build that uses several specific options. But once you get there and set up the build, the skill ceilling is already hit basically. You just hug the enemy and throw a whip out time to time for a damage boost (don't even have to do it while moving let alone dodging).

Setting up for Titanium Facetank is not "hard to master" or "impractical" in the sense of inputs and skills in fights. Only thing is that it might be slightly tedious if you didn't properly plan ahead and isn't efficient at resource gathering. The only challenge is that it might take a bit more time to set up/grind for than regular builds. If anything, the only thing that is "impractical" is having an average or even beginner player fighting mech bosses while undergeared (Palladium armor with Leaf Wings, and no Ranger Emblem in the case of ranged weapons). That's not "efficient". You overestimate how much effort it takes to setup Titanium facetank when in reality as I said, it only takes a bit more time to setup while very easily lasting until pillars, potentially completely skipping building Plantera arena as well.
 

whoneedsnamestbh

Eye of Cthulhu
Simply don't get hit by Spazmatism. In his first phase he's just there. He just hangs at the side launching projectiles at you. Actually, his contact damage is lower than his Cursed Flame damage in the first phase. In the 2nd phase he's especially to avoid with Gelatinous Pillion, and the damage of his flamethrower is significantly lower than his contact damage.

Unoptimal? Having by far the highest survivability while still dealing decent DPS is anything but "unoptimal". Melee/Summon Tank Hybrid can also do the "Run in a straight line while shooting at the boss" thing with Shadowflame Knife and Blade Staff. The difference is that Tank is far less vulnerable to random mobs that may spawn during the fight, and doesn't have to worry about Retinazer's laser spam at all unlike "offensive" characters. When playing normally, you focus on how to survive the fight in the first place and try to win it. With Melee/Summon hybrid, you consider if you want to play greedy to win an otherwise nearly-unlosable fight faster.
The point I was making is that, by “simply not touching Spazmatism”, you miss out on the big spicy core of the facetank: Fetid Baghnakhs and Titanium Armor. You then rely on your blades and probably the whip, you end up treating the boss like you would in a Summoner bossfight - except compared to a Summoner build, you have a severe deficit in minion count, damage bonuses, and whatever you got from Obsidian Armor in tradeoff for your current survival power. This is what I meant by it being unoptimal and inefficient to not get hit by Spazmatism - at that point, you could just also make a summoner build for cheaper and do the same thing with offense instead of defense. As for bringing another weapon along, there’s two things with that: 1) a get-go build with the same weapons will again just be an example of the offense to defense trade-off, and 2) that’s another thing you have to get.

The other thing is, that while on the run, yes you have insane survivability, but what all are you missing out on? Several minion slots, a significant amount of damage, dash - unless you further go out of your way as well as take a bit from your ultratank to use any of these. There’s a certain loss to this: yeah, you’re taking limited damage from Retinazer or foreign mobs during the fight, but an offensive build can spec into mobility to avoid Retinazer altogether and/or race Retinazer down with DPS before they can do substantial DPS, and a defensive but not facetank build finds the middle ground.

Lastly, playing greedy to win the fight faster is yet another aspect of skill and strategic planning that this build involves. Do you want to play the fight like a common build, but just with an insane amount of defense instead of an insane amount of offense, or do you want to actually take advantage of the core of the build and put yourself in combatial risk to bite into DPS? Strategic thinking and planning mid combat, then executive skill to take the greed and risk dying to shred out a chunk of the boss’s HP.

It takes 5 minutes to craft rails and place them with Builder potion. I forgot about Star Veil but the ingredients for it come at the same time as you're grinding for Titan Glove anyway. If you turn your Underground Crimson into a dedicated area for farming/grinding, it can probably be a very good Mimic farm as well. So after you get Titanium Armor, you can essentially get Fetid, Flesh Knuckles, Titan Glove, Star Cloak, Cross Necklace and Ichor Flasks all in the same biome, doing the same thing. Then what's left is cheesing Queen Slime with a sky rail that will take 5 minutes to build.

The way you described how to set up the "min max" build sounds simple honestly. And really though, Leaf wings sucks. Tied for worst Hardmode wings alongside Angel/Demon wings, and over half a platinum coin to buy it isn't exactly cheap. Fairy/Frozen/Harpy wings are all noticeably better. Summoner needs to fight RNG for Sanguine Staff or grind Queen Slime for Blade Staff, and still need to grind Wall of Flesh if Firecracker hasn't already dropped (and Summoner Emblem too probably if using Sanguine.) Mage needs to grind to obtain any of its viable weapons except maybe Meteor Staff, but last time I used Meteor Staff its high mana cost made it meh for me to use. Same thing for Ranger, Dart Pistol/Rifle, Daedalus and Onyx Blaster won't be handed to you for free. The way you're describing these "get-go" builds make them look weak and undergeared, and wouldn't really be able to beat Mech bosses unless on the hand of a really skilled player that is probably trying to rush through the game in the first place.

Morning Star needs some grinding in the Hardmode dungeon to obtain. Dark Harvest needs grinding the Pumpkin Moon to get it. Kaleidoscope is a drop from Empress of Light, one of the harder if not hardest bosses in the game. They don't necessarily come "automatically" like Durendal and Hallowed Armor do. Terra Blade needs a lot of crafting and you need to do Solar Eclipse and beat a miniboss for it, that's not really some "Automatic" or "go on about your day" activity either. Sharks are pretty annoying to farm by the way because from my experience they are uncommon. All of these "small" tasks you're describing adds up, when with Titanium facetank you need to do far less "updating" through Hardmode.
Leaf Wings and palladium sucking was the point. For a significantly smaller price than reforging all your accessories, you can buy low tier wings. You can get palladium or either tier 2 ore instead of Titanium. You can get mid tier weapons that drop from easy targets. And you’re set for the mechs. It might not be a fast fight, but if you’re skilled at avoiding hits, you’ll win.

Onto a separate note. Do other classes really take the same anount of setup? Mage can make Crystal Storm, all three materials (Crystal Shards, Soul of Light, Wizard for spell tomes) can be obtained from the same environment, with a lower time than farming Biome Mimics. You don’t even need an anvil for these. And believe me, this weapon is plenty for the Mechs. Melee’s Shadowflame Knives or Drippler Crippler only take a bit more time to get than a biome mimic drop, and furthermore they only need one out of three of the normal mimic drops - this is probably the longest winded of the four. Ranger’s best Dart Guns come from the *same place* as your Fetid Baghnakhs, and Onyx Blaster actually requires a simpler set of materials. Summoner needs to beat Queen Slime, but so does your facetank build, and Summoner’s preemptive gear before that - Spider and Firecracker, especially Spider - should really be easier to get than full Titanium and Fetid Baghs. Then, in exchange for three Mimic drops, you can kill Wall of Flesh a few times for your class emblem and make an easy set of wings like Fairy.

Compared to this, this build *specifically* needs Titanium Armor (sucks for you if your world got Adamantite, now go fish), Fetid Baghnakhs, a few Queen Slime kills, several basic mimic drops. You could also get most of these from the same place: but then you have to set up a farm and wait as you slowly collect each piece in the set. I get what you mean with this sounding simple, but I don’t agree with it being more swift than another build which can liferally get full prep from similar or easier situations.
Plus, are you really going to just run Fetid Baghs until Cultist? I mean, you *can* if you know what you’re doing, but you also *can* use Sanguine and Blade, or Megashark until Cultist if you know what you’re doing as well. But the goal of this build is to have absolutely absurd DPS at the same time as high survivability, not somewhat above average DPS for somewhat above average survivability. Really, along the way, you would likely want Terra Blade, Dark Harvest, maybe Vampire Knives, or Frozen Shield. Maybe it’s less upgrading, but it’s still upgrading. Make your life a hell of a lot easier during Pillars.

No, not really. Take Ranger for example. Low skill floor because it's as simple as picking a weapon and clicking to shoot a damaging projectile. The skill ceiling come from the ability to aim at the boss consistently while dodging at the same time, and the possibility of dropping Chlorophyte bullets in favor of higher-damage bullets if you think you can adapt your aim. Meanwhile Summoner has a moderate skill floor and a relatively very high skill ceilling. Nearly all minions behave very differently from each other, and different minions synergize better or worse with different whips. The skill ceilling is made very high with Whip stacking. In theory, stacking 3-5 whips depending on progression & minion is the way to absolutely maximize DPS to the limit, and even someone like me only uses 2-3 whips at the same time.

But Titanium Facetank? There's an existing skill floor because it's a "min-max" build that uses several specific options. But once you get there and set up the build, the skill ceilling is already hit basically. You just hug the enemy and throw a whip out time to time for a damage boost (don't even have to do it while moving let alone dodging). Setting up for Titanium Facetank is not "hard to master" or "impractical" in the sense of inputs and skills in fights. Only thing is that it might be slightly tedious if you didn't properly plan ahead and isn't efficient at resource gathering. The only challenge is that it might take a bit more time to set up/grind for than regular builds. If anything, the only thing that is "impractical" is having an average or even beginner player fighting mech bosses while undergeared (Palladium armor with Leaf Wings, and no Ranger Emblem in the case of ranged weapons). That's not "efficient". You overestimate how much effort it takes to setup Titanium facetank when in reality as I said, it only takes a bit more time to setup while very easily lasting until pillars, potentially completely skipping building Plantera arena as well.

A build where you flee like an idiot along a pre-set path with a high ranged gun is significantly easier to execute than a titanium facetank build. The skill floor is so low, and yet it still lets you beat bosses with minimal difficulty. It takes no skill to sit in a box and use Daedalus Stormbow to cheese Destroyer, other than the skill to get the Daedalus Stormbow to begin with. Then you get to the floor ceiling. Mastering avoiding boss attacks has the same merit as mastering positioning for a facetank build, and you can basically learn to never get hit, ever. This same principle can extend to all four classes in a common build: master the boss’s attacks, master not getting hit.

While in Titanium, it takes a lot more to reach said skill floor/ceiling. A mastery of game mechanics that you needed to come up with this to begin with - whereas, any old idiot can figure out to run from the boss while shooting. An ability to glue yourself to the boss, at the same time having the strategic planning and basic dodging ability to not glue yourself to the bossnat the wrong time. A sense of timing and rhythm that allows you to abuse whips.

I really disagree with the statement that this build is not hard to master, an easy conclusion for the person who created the logistics of the strategy and who also already has the mastery of whip stacking and game mechanics. Everything I listed in the previous paragraph is something that takes skill, whether it’s a simple application like knowing when not to dive into Spazmatism, or a high end application like mastering whip+fetid stacking. Furthermore, while this goal point packs insane power, even you yourself admitted limitations of this insane power: the inability to handle certain fights like Duke Fishron and Empress, or the need to go back and gear up before fighting Moon Lord.

Meanwhile, this “broad and efficient” idea I was talking about has a lower need of player ability, and a wider scope of what it can handle (specifically: everything) at the loss of raw, extreme damage output. Palladium and leaf wings was a very low end example of this, that I was really using to force the point that, with ability, even shoddy, five second setups can deal with bosses. That was a separate point.

Imagine you take time to set up a fully capable “broad and efficient” character. (More time having efficiency sounds counterintuitive, but efficiency has several meanings: specifically, less micromanaging of bossrs and weapons, as well as being similar to the principle of being broad). You have the ability to, with moderate effort, deal with pretty much everything in the game; have an upgrade tree that lasts the whole game including Moon Lord; have an option, in the late game, to just crush everything coming up by killing Duke or Empress.

I already established that you get all this for the tradeoff of the completely insane DPS of a facetank build. And maybe this doesn’t handle Plantera or Golem as well as the facetank build, but it does handle Moon Lord better and has more of an incentive to bite into side events. Both general strategies have their strengths, and a preference to having such high DPS that you simply race down each boss is exactly that: a preference. This is why, all this time, I’ve refused to call any one skill set or any one total build better than the other.
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
The point I was making is that, by “simply not touching Spazmatism”, you miss out on the big spicy core of the facetank: Fetid Baghnakhs and Titanium Armor. You then rely on your blades and probably the whip, you end up treating the boss like you would in a Summoner bossfight - except compared to a Summoner build, you have a severe deficit in minion count, damage bonuses, and whatever you got from Obsidian Armor in tradeoff for your current survival power. This is what I meant by it being unoptimal and inefficient to not get hit by Spazmatism - at that point, you could just also make a summoner build for cheaper and do the same thing with offense instead of defense. As for bringing another weapon along, there’s two things with that: 1) a get-go build with the same weapons will again just be an example of the offense to defense trade-off, and 2) that’s another thing you have to get.

The other thing is, that while on the run, yes you have insane survivability, but what all are you missing out on? Several minion slots, a significant amount of damage, dash - unless you further go out of your way as well as take a bit from your ultratank to use any of these. There’s a certain loss to this: yeah, you’re taking limited damage from Retinazer or foreign mobs during the fight, but an offensive build can spec into mobility to avoid Retinazer altogether and/or race Retinazer down with DPS before they can do substantial DPS, and a defensive but not facetank build finds the middle ground.

Lastly, playing greedy to win the fight faster is yet another aspect of skill and strategic planning that this build involves. Do you want to play the fight like a common build, but just with an insane amount of defense instead of an insane amount of offense, or do you want to actually take advantage of the core of the build and put yourself in combatial risk to bite into DPS? Strategic thinking and planning mid combat, then executive skill to take the greed and risk dying to shred out a chunk of the boss’s HP.
The thing is that, does it actually matter? Whether a boss takes 20 seconds or four minutes, if they deal only 1-20 damage to you or are just particularly easy to avoid even without dashes, you are still pretty much guaranteed to win. Saying this in advance, even with the "Time limit" in mind, you still do far more damage than sufficient to kill the bosses in time. Bosses aren't "hard" based on just how long they take to kill by themselves, they are "hard" based on how easily they can make you "lose" the game in general. When it comes to the Twins especially, the "Time limit" shouldn't be taken into consideration because even fully defensive builds will have no issue killing them hours before daytime in-game. The only realistic way they can make you "lose"... is by killing you. When it becomes nearly impossible for you to "lose" the game against Twins, the fight has nearly zero challenge. It doesn't matter if Pure Summoner has a "shorter" fight, said "shorter" fight is still very significantly more dangerous and difficult on their side. What you don't get is that the whole "Facetank" thing is just a bonus. It's just to show off. It's just to be unnecessarily greedy. The way Terraria's gameplay works simply favors defensive/tank builds a large amount. Some games will counter/punish overly defensive playstyles by making you actually deal a very low amount of damage, or other games might simply have a lack of defensive options in the first place. Terraria is not one of those games. The benefits of prioritizing survivability are massive to the point of trivializing the game for the most parts, and the drawbacks are overall insignificant. Even the Calamity mod is overhauling Defense as a mechanic as a whole, by specifically preventing facetanking and general "lazy" gameplay during boss fights (hardly dodging attacks and just healing it off).

Leaf Wings and palladium sucking was the point. For a significantly smaller price than reforging all your accessories, you can buy low tier wings. You can get palladium or either tier 2 ore instead of Titanium. You can get mid tier weapons that drop from easy targets. And you’re set for the mechs. It might not be a fast fight, but if you’re skilled at avoiding hits, you’ll win.

Onto a separate note. Do other classes really take the same anount of setup? Mage can make Crystal Storm, all three materials (Crystal Shards, Soul of Light, Wizard for spell tomes) can be obtained from the same environment, with a lower time than farming Biome Mimics. You don’t even need an anvil for these. And believe me, this weapon is plenty for the Mechs. Melee’s Shadowflame Knives or Drippler Crippler only take a bit more time to get than a biome mimic drop, and furthermore they only need one out of three of the normal mimic drops - this is probably the longest winded of the four. Ranger’s best Dart Guns come from the *same place* as your Fetid Baghnakhs, and Onyx Blaster actually requires a simpler set of materials. Summoner needs to beat Queen Slime, but so does your facetank build, and Summoner’s preemptive gear before that - Spider and Firecracker, especially Spider - should really be easier to get than full Titanium and Fetid Baghs. Then, in exchange for three Mimic drops, you can kill Wall of Flesh a few times for your class emblem and make an easy set of wings like Fairy.

Compared to this, this build *specifically* needs Titanium Armor (sucks for you if your world got Adamantite, now go fish), Fetid Baghnakhs, a few Queen Slime kills, several basic mimic drops. You could also get most of these from the same place: but then you have to set up a farm and wait as you slowly collect each piece in the set. I get what you mean with this sounding simple, but I don’t agree with it being more swift than another build which can liferally get full prep from similar or easier situations.
Plus, are you really going to just run Fetid Baghs until Cultist? I mean, you *can* if you know what you’re doing, but you also *can* use Sanguine and Blade, or Megashark until Cultist if you know what you’re doing as well. But the goal of this build is to have absolutely absurd DPS at the same time as high survivability, not somewhat above average DPS for somewhat above average survivability. Really, along the way, you would likely want Terra Blade, Dark Harvest, maybe Vampire Knives, or Frozen Shield. Maybe it’s less upgrading, but it’s still upgrading. Make your life a hell of a lot easier during Pillars.
Looking at it from another perspective, think of all that gold spent on Leaf wings that could have gone into reforges instead.

You "can" indeed get "cheap" weapon options like Adamantite Repeater or Spider Staff... but they are "cheap" for a reason. They are weaker and less viable during boss fights. Your chance of winning are lower than if you were using better weapons. It's literally possible to kill the Moon Lord with a Flare Gun only and nothing else, doesn't make it a "viable" weapon. Don't get me wrong though, I see what you mean in a way. A build like Titanium facetank cannot function even remotely as well if it's not min-maxed and at least nearly perfected. It's still more than worth the bit of extra effort though.

Don't want to go off-topic, but can we talk about the Shadowflame Knife for a minute? Has anyone ever tried a build consisting of Shadowflame Knife (Shadowflame), Cursed Flask (Cursed Inferno), Frost Armor (Frostbite) and Fire Gauntlet (Hellfire)? How effective is stacking a bunch of those DoT debuffs together (-79 DoT in total I believe, from the same weapon)?

That's the thing though. You kind of just... wait. You aren't constantly going from one place to another and setting up new farms and such. You make the Underground Crimson your home and the majority of your build will come to you over time. You'd be surprised at how fast this process can be with good RNG.

Megashark has lower DPS than Blade/Sanguine, especially post-Plantera. It 100% becomes out of date compared to other options at that time. Both Fetid and Blade/Sanguine are significantly more efficient.

There is a reason I nickname this build the "Juggernaut". It's sheer brute force at close-range enables it to stand up to even Master mode pillar enemies (Not "invincible", you can still very well die considering Solar pillar enemies deal 200-300 damage on average, but you get my point). Even with Post-1 Mech gears (Durendal, that's it) you deal thousands of DPS by walking into enemies while swinging Fetid. Meanwhile I was heavily struggling to kill enemies with Dart Pistol which was hitting like a wet Dorito chip at that point. Even Blade Staff will take some time to slay Pillar enemies (much faster than Dart Pistol but still). Hell not something serious to take into consideration, but if you build a good platform arena to assist Gelatinous Pillion's short flight time, you would actually have a decent shot at Moon Lord considering it's a Post-1 mech build (Or you could simply ditch Durendal and have it be full on Pre-mech, not a huge difference).

A build where you flee like an idiot along a pre-set path with a high ranged gun is significantly easier to execute than a titanium facetank build. The skill floor is so low, and yet it still lets you beat bosses with minimal difficulty. It takes no skill to sit in a box and use Daedalus Stormbow to cheese Destroyer, other than the skill to get the Daedalus Stormbow to begin with. Then you get to the floor ceiling. Mastering avoiding boss attacks has the same merit as mastering positioning for a facetank build, and you can basically learn to never get hit, ever. This same principle can extend to all four classes in a common build: master the boss’s attacks, master not getting hit.
As I've said, any classes can do the "run in a straight line" strat. Any classes can sit in a box to cheese Destroyer and pick it off with a suitable weapon. Even if you've fully "mastered" a boss fight and know how to never get hit, actually dodging attacks and being "skilled" at the game takes much more effort and inputs than moving around drunk taking next to no damage from boss attacks.

What I said at the beginning of this post also applies here for Twins/Prime. Against those two bosses specifically, the "Facetanking" part is just a bonus to show off, and you're judging the build as a whole based on the difficulty of chasing down Twins/Prime and out-DPS'ing them when that's not the main thing that makes the build so powerful in the first place, it's the "basically impossible to lose unless you actually try to die on purpose" level of survivability it provides. Against Destroyer and Plantera you're straight up not moving at all, literally standing still.
 
Random Post: Well, I finally got around to it & yeah, pre-Hardmode Ranger can defeat Queen Slime (no cheese). Took about three tries, & boy do you have to know the Class well to make this work! It's a bunch of adapting & decision making IMHO, so it's a pretty intense fight. With a knowledgeable enough Ranger, I'd give this match-up 55/45, advantage Ranger.

One last thing, I think this fight would feel much different on a completely flat surface, where the bouncy projectiles were much less threatening & the use of Grenades made much more sense; in that case, it'd put the favor toward Ranger a tad-bit more, like maybe 60/40?? 🤔🥤

 

Coleyohley

Terrarian
Random Post: Well, I finally got around to it & yeah, pre-Hardmode Ranger can defeat Queen Slime (no cheese). Took about three tries, & boy do you have to know the Class well to make this work! It's a bunch of adapting & decision making IMHO, so it's a pretty intense fight. With a knowledgeable enough Ranger, I'd give this match-up 55/45, advantage Ranger.

One last thing, I think this fight would feel much different on a completely flat surface, where the bouncy projectiles were much less threatening & the use of Grenades made much more sense; in that case, it'd put the favor toward Ranger a tad-bit more, like maybe 60/40?? 🤔🥤

I don't mean to detract from your achievement, but most of the key items in this fight is Hardmode, namely the weapons and usage of wings. Is it just the armor that's prehardmode? In that case I suppose that's fine.

Other than that, It needs to be pointed out that this battle was 6 minutes long. That's quite a long fight, and it takes a lot of endurance to go through such a long fight, even more so if you lose near the end and need to retry. With that in mind, I'd say the advantage is absolutely not the player's.
 
I don't mean to detract from your achievement, but most of the key items in this fight is Hardmode, namely the weapons and usage of wings. Is it just the armor that's prehardmode? In that case I suppose that's fine.
Well, this is a measurement of "least investment", or I'd say.. the bare minimum requirements. Basically, how fast can a Player progress to the next Armor/ Item tier without much farming, reforging or exploration. The reason I used Explosive Rounds instead of Cursed Darts was an example of this. I suspect this might be the best possible scenarios, using Blow Gun & Cursed Darts instead of a Shotgun & Clockwork Rifle. Pretty much anyone can do this fight, the more upgrades they add, meaning, Armor upgrades likely aren't necessary here. 🤔 🥤

Oh... & if it helps, don't look at this as an "achievement", it's more of a progression skip showcase; since I was making a case for Crystal Assassin's Set in the first, original post.

Other than that, did you forget that this battle was 6 minutes long? That's quite a long fight, and it takes a lot of endurance to go through such a long fight, even more so if you lose near the end and need to retry. With that in mind, I'd say the advantage is absolutely not the player's.
I was looking at it from the perspective of using the best possible "Pay-to-Win" option, which would be Grenades & Cursed Darts. Neither was used in this fight, but as you can see, if you adapt well, with just a Shotgun, it's still doable. I might add a video using the Blowgun, but I assumed it wasn't necessary, since it's practically Dart Rifle 0.5. 🤷‍♂️🥤

Update: Yeah, with the Blow Gun, this is definitely a 60/40 match-up, advantage Ranger (& I think that's being generous toward Queen Slime). Also, a LOT of DPS is being left on-the-table because of the platformed Arena. This fight would've gone much quicker & the adds would've likely been totally neutralized.
 
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