In-depth Hardmode weapon tier list

Baconfry

Terrarian
This guide covers the overall viability and usage details of every weapon that becomes available after the Wall of Flesh is killed for the first time.

IT IS CURRENTLY UP-TO-DATE as of 1.4.4.9.

Each weapon has different aspects that contribute to viability. I will be using the following criteria:

DPS - damage per second dealt to a single target.
Crowd control - ability to continue to perform well against multiple targets.
Accuracy - how easy it is to aim the weapon, or how well it tracks enemies if homing. Not applicable to some weapons, like broadswords and stationary AoE weapons.
Disruption - ability to protect the player through means other than raw damage (such as knockback or stunlock). Weapon must be accurate for this to mean anything.
Safety - ability to damage enemies without putting yourself at risk. Bonus points (##) are given to weapons that have limited range, but can damage enemies from behind blocks.
Availability - ability to obtain the weapon without excessive grinding or luck. Not factored into final rank, since this guide is focused on combat performance.

Overall ranks are assigned using the following scale:

S rank: Incredibly useful for both the short and long term. Provides overwhelming power, irreplaceable utility, or both.
A rank: Useful, efficient, and generally worth a short grind. If Terraria were perfectly balanced, most weapons would be A rank.
B rank: A decent choice if nothing better is available. Has at least one solid niche. The cutoff for a "good weapon".
C rank: Not entirely unusable, but almost certain to be heavily outclassed. If it has a niche, that niche is very small.
D rank: Better than nothing, but only slightly. If you've used it for more than 1 minute, you know that it sucks. Has no place in a serious run.
F rank: You are better off attacking with a pickaxe.

I've also included the best prefixes, along with a rough indicator of reforge cost. Godly and Demonic are listed as best prefixes for weapons whose performance is unaffected by their speed, even if they support Mythical/Unreal.
Some weapons are used as crafting ingredients and will lose their prefix when made into a new weapon, but they should be reforged anyways if you plan to use them extensively. Most weapons eventually get retired anyways, whether they're a crafting material or not.

Of course, these will be rated relative to other options you have in your current stage of progression, and their matchup against upcoming events were also considered. Naturally these are based on my personal opinion and experiences, but if you feel like any of these placements are unfair, please reply and I will retest them.

Musket Ball/Endless Musket Pouch
+costs nothing to use
-no distinguishing traits


You might find yourself using the Endless Musket Pouch for practical reasons; it's an infinite ammo source, so it's the best ammunition to use for exploration if you want to save the more valuable stuff for important fights. Note that several guns gain the High Velocity piercing effect when using the Endless Musket Pouch, including the Uzi which is available before you normally have access to those bullets.

Silver Bullet / Tungsten Bullet
-no distinguishing traits

If you're using Silver Bullets at this point, it's probably because you've obtained a handful from smashing pots and you didn't want them to go to waste. Expect them to perform exactly the same as the Musket Pouch. They have 2 more base damage than the Musket Pouch and still enable the high-velocity effect of guns like Uzi and Sniper Rifle, if that matters to you.

Meteor Shot
+pierces or ricochets once
-mostly nonrenewable


A piercing bullet you can use early on, though you are generally encouraged to use arrows rather than bullets in situations that require crowd control. Still, if you're a gunslinger you probably found this extremely useful against the Wall of Flesh, and it'll be pretty useful for quite some time afterwards.

Assuming that the average meteorite yields 300 pieces of ore, a fully-mined meteorite can be converted into 7000 Meteor Shot, which is enough to feed an Unreal Uzi for more than 15 minutes. So use them carefully, but don't be too stingy.

Exploding Bullet
+high knockback
+damages multiple enemies
+no farming required
+good velocity


The absolute best anti-Destroyer bullet, with some utility outside of that when facing dense crowds too large for Meteor Shot to handle. They don't require an upgraded Anvil to craft, can be made in bulk, and drastically increase the viability of several early hardmode guns.

Party Bullet
+decent knockback
+no farming required
+good velocity

-no distinguishing traits
-messy


The best generic bullet you can make in early Hardmode without farming materials, though that isn’t much of a selling point considering how easy it is to farm for better ammo such as Crystal Bullets.

Golden Bullet
+increased profit when used on bosses/minibosses
+no farming required
+good velocity

-no distinguishing traits

The best way to use them is for repeated Eye of Cthulhu and Queen Bee kills. They're not for use against things that actually threaten you, except maybe for dealing the final blow to Pirate Captains.

(mythril or orichalcum anvil)

Crystal Bullet
+highest potential DPS
+large number of hits


The best bossing bullet if you don't think accuracy is going to be an issue. They are more likely to deal extra damage when fired against targets that are moving towards you. Crystal Bullets have a great synergy with Ichor and easily shred enemies with low defenses.

Cursed Bullet
+high damage
+good velocity

-no distinguishing traits


Dealing a fixed 24 DPS to any target stuck by a Cursed Bullet doesn't seem too significant at first, but when there are loads of enemies on the screen all burning at once, that can add up to some significant total damage. Of course the passive burning damage does nothing to control their movements, so be careful not to get overwhelmed.

Ichor Bullet
+high damage
+inflicts a powerful debuff
+good velocity


Generally superior to the Cursed Bullet if you're packing any sort of competent offense. The Ichor debuff greatly enhances DPS, so it is generally the strongest bullet if you don't have another way to inflict Ichor. But you usually do have another way, so it's hard to recommend Ichor Bullets when you can deal much more damage by using a whip, dart, or Golden Shower to inflict the debuff and using Crystal Bullets instead.

(one mechanical boss)

High Velocity Bullet
+incredibly high velocity
+pierces twice

+no farming required

The synergy between the Endless Musket Pouch and Uzi/Venus Magnum/Sniper Rifle is good enough that you generally won't find it necessary to craft an actual High Velocity Bullet if you own one of those guns. If you don't own them, you can go ahead and craft these bullets for cheap, which mainly benefits the Megashark (the most accurate automatic gun in this tier). Chain Gun enjoys them, too.

(all mechanical bosses)

Chlorophyte Bullet
+perfectly accurate
+uses a highly contested resource


Arguably the best bullet in the game. There are many guns that depend on Chlorophyte Bullets in order to be viable, and every gun is greatly improved when using them. Highly recommended for boss fights, or any situation really.

(plantera)

Venom Bullet
+high damage
+no farming required

-no distinguishing traits


Basically a straight upgrade to Cursed Bullets. However, they will usually deal less damage than Crystal Bullets, despite their higher base damage.

Nano Bullet
+high damage
+smart bounce
+inflicts situationally useful debuff
+no farming required


The positive effects of smart bounce aren't fully realized during aerial battles, but when fighting underground or near the surface, you'll find these very useful for their accuracy boost. While not quite as reliable as Chlorophyte Bullets, a major point in their favor is that you can just buy them. They also have the same base damage as Venom Bullets.

(final boss)

Luminite Bullet
+near infinite piercing
+highest base damage by far

-uses a highly contested resource
-comes too late to be of any use


The last bullet available. It destroys crowds of enemies and provides comparable DPS to Crystal Bullets, but won't work as well as Chlorophyte bullets against things that fly and move around a lot. You're not hurting for DPS given that you unlock Vortex stealth at the same time, so these bullets might be overrated, honestly.
Wooden Arrow/Endless Quiver
+costs nothing to use
-no distinguishing traits

An infinite ammo source that you'll likely use while exploring. Their low velocity compared with other ammo types is more noticeable with arrows than with bullets, but a Magic Quiver will fix that.

At first glance it seems to synergize well with The Bee's Knees, but Hardmode enemies have too much defense for that to be a good idea. However, it does synergize with Hellwing Bow.

Bone Arrow
+pierces once
-anti synergy with multi-shot bows

-difficult to resupply

Decent in pre-Hardmode, but in Hardmode you have access to as many Unholy Arrows as you could possibly want, so I see no good reason to use them at this point. They don't receive a fire rate penalty with the Daedalus Stormbow, but are still inferior to Unholy Arrows against the Destroyer.

Flaming Arrow
+easy to craft
-no distinguishing traits


They're alright. Feel free to use the freebies you get from chests, but if you're going to craft some cheap ammunition, craft Frostburn Arrows instead.

Frostburn Arrow
+easy to craft
-no distinguishing traits


Basically a free upgrade to Wooden/Flaming Arrows, but you should never find yourself in a situation where Frostburn Arrows are your best option since Unholy Arrows are buyable now.

Shimmer Arrow
+free upgrade to Wooden Arrows
-mind screw


An even cheaper budget option than the buyable arrows since you can just craft a bunch of Wooden Arrows and dump them in the Shimmer, and they have the same base damage as Unholy Arrows. However, I would consider their upside-down arc to be mostly a downside since you're probably used to a normal arrow trajectory. They do look very funny when used with the Daedalus Stormbow, though.

Jester's Arrow
+pierces infinitely (-10% per hit)
-uses a somewhat contested resource
-anti synergy with multi-shot bows


The only arrow that pierces infinitely, and works well against the Destroyer if you're using a standard repeater. In order for them to surpass Unholy Arrows, you need to manipulate the Destroyer to move horizontally (or vertically with Stormbow) so they can pierce more segments. Note that they will disappear after flying for some distance, so if you shoot them upwards, they're not coming back.

Unholy Arrow
+pierces four times (-5% per hit)
+no farming required

-anti synergy with multi-shot bows


You can buy them from the Arms Dealer for cheap or farm them from the Eye of Cthulhu, and they perform as well as Jester's Arrows for most purposes. Notably, they suffer from a lower piercing penalty than Jester's Arrows, and they don't cost any Fallen Stars to make.

Hellfire Arrow
+damages multiple enemies
+high knockback
+no farming required

-anti synergy with multi-shot bows


Really good for repelling groups of enemies thanks to their high knockback. Weapons like the Marrow and Pulse Bow also inherit their knockback value. However, they are generally not the preferred method of crowd control since the explosion radius is rather small, and their high knockback combined with the slower attack speed of bows/repeaters means that enemies won't end up bunched together like they do with Exploding Bullets.

(mythril or orichalcum anvil)

Holy Arrow
+high single-target DPS potential
+synergy with multi-shot bows
-penalized when used with Daedalus Stormbow

-less effective if target moves quickly


Essentially the arrow equivalent to Crystal Bullets, though the stars are significantly less accurate than the crystal shards spawned by the bullets. While their single-target DPS is very high against stationary or large targets, don't expect the stars to do more than 10 damage if you aren't using good ranged gear.

Cursed Arrow
+high base damage
-no distinguishing traits


Great for feeding weapons like the Shadowflame Bow, which are affected only by the arrow's base damage. Otherwise, pretty generic. Cursed Inferno is an excellent debuff when spread across multiple targets, which is something Cursed Arrows aren't good at because they don't pierce.

Ichor Arrow
+high velocity
+inflicts a powerful debuff


Considerably above average for bossing because they travel quickly and inflict Ichor. Also useful as a secondary if your primary is a gun with Crystal Bullets. If the debuff is all you care about, Ichor Arrows give you 50 more shots per Ichor than Ichor Darts, but the tradeoff is that Ichor Darts can be crafted by hand (and used with a Blowpipe/Blowgun) while Ichor Arrows require a Hardmode anvil.

(all mechanical bosses)

Chlorophyte Arrow
+ricochets once, smart bounce
-uses a highly contested resource


Less DPS potential than Holy Arrows, though they have the highest effective accuracy of any arrow thanks to their smart bounces. While not as reliable as Chlorophyte Bullets, they are still a relatively safe way to hit distant enemies that you don't want in your line-of-sight, and they are much better than any other arrow for killing scattered enemies over a wide area.

(plantera)

Venom Arrow
+highest base damage
+high velocity
+no farming required

-no other distinguishing traits


Usually the best arrow to use with the Phantasm against the final boss due to its velocity alone, which makes Magic Quiver optional. It also packs high base damage and decent knockback, and provides the best stat boosts for the Pulse Bow and Aerial Bane. Its sheer base damage allows it to usually tie with Holy Arrows against most relevant post-Golem bosses.

(final boss)

Luminite Arrow
+pierces four times
+highest potential DPS

-uses a highly contested resource
-comes too late to be of any use


The only piercing arrow that doesn't have an anti-synergy with the likes of Tsunami and Phantasm. It is more potent than Holy Arrows, but suffers from similar accuracy issues; if something is moving fast enough to dodge the stars, it'll probably dodge the secondary Luminite Arrows, too.

Notable Pre-Hardmode weapons

Night's Edge: B+

While not really worthwhile for any important boss fights, the Night's Edge is phenomenally useful for bullying random underground enemies, especially enemies with small hitboxes like bats, or worms and wraith-type enemies that can pass through walls. Its range and ability to be aimed in any direction give it a significant edge over most early Hardmode swords. Be sure not to overestimate its crowd control potential: each swing will only hit 4 enemies over its entire two rotations, so it's not as good against the Destroyer as it looks.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ##

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Blood Butcherer/Light's Bane, Muramasa, Volcano, Blade of Grass at Crimson/Demon Altar
Best prefix: Legendary $

Abigail's Flower: B+
You may remember Abigail for her mediocre showing in pre-Hardmode, but with modified scaling in Hardmode, Abigail's Flower is essentially an entirely new weapon. She can be considered a starter Hardmode minion that comes bundled with the Firecracker if that happens to drop from the Wall of Flesh, and you WILL use her with the Firecracker because that's the only thing making her viable. Thanks to the 2.75x damage multiplier from the Firecracker, she can blast the heck out of Black Recluses and help you get your starting summoner gear, and with Spider armor she can even assist with some Hardmode bosses like the Destroyer and Queen Slime. In fact, if you don't have the patience to get the Sanguine Staff, then she'll be your best option for the Destroyer. She's not good against the Twins because the Firecracker just barely lacks the range to hit them, but you can use her to get the Blade Staff and Durendal and go from there.

Abigail's main problem, apart from her occasional bouts of Rainbow Crystal Staff syndrome, is that she often feels like she's been stretched too thin. If you run Spider armor, you'll miss out on the whip range from Obsidian armor. If you use Obsidian armor, Abigail becomes too slow to do much of anything. She absolutely needs as many capacity bonuses as you can get, so minion mixing and hybrid tank armor sets are off the table. Nonetheless, I would consider this to be Abigail's peak performance; if you intend to use her at all in your playthrough, this is the best time to do it.

NORMAL
.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: #####

+FIRECRACKER
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: ###


....Availability: #####
Found growing on grass near Tombstones
Best prefix: Mythical/Furious/Godly/Demonic/Masterful/Ruthless ¢

Imp Staff: C-
This is not a recommendation, it is a warning. While it may seem enticing due to being the final minion in pre-Hardmode progression, the only notable thing about the Imp Staff is how unexpectedly bad it is. It is outperformed by almost every single other pre-Hardmode minion as long as you are using 2 whips (likely Snapthorn and Spinal Tap). Unlike the Flinx, Vampire Frog, Hornet, Finch, or even the lowly Slime, it is too slow to benefit much from tag damage, and its base damage isn't high enough to work well with the Firecracker. It does pierce, but that piercing ability is wasted because the imps love to shoot directly into the ground instead of lining up their shots. You will deal considerably more DPS with a 2 Vampire Frog + 2 Flinx setup, or 2 Flinxes with almost any other minion. I think this is probably the worst weapon in the game that people still convince themselves that they have to use.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 17 Hellstone Bars at Iron/Lead Anvil
Best prefix: Mythical/Furious/Godly/Demonic/Masterful/Ruthless ¢

Hellwing Bow: B
One perk of using the Hellwing Bow in early Hardmode is, of course, the Endless Quiver which allows its best attack to be spammed for free. The other perk is that it has infinite piercing, which automatically makes it a viable choice for the Destroyer despite being a pre-Hardmode weapon. Players who didn't get the memo and are still using the Daedalus Stormbow with Holy Arrows against the Destroyer might be surprised to learn that the Hellwing Bow deals higher DPS for that fight! Though it's not as strong as the arrows you should actually be using with the Stormbow, namely Unholy or Jester's Arrows. It is roughly comparable to the Stormbow with Bone Arrows, or the Sandgun with Pearlsand (which you will not be using lol). Unfortunately, the Hellwing Bow's poor accuracy makes it annoying to use in the caverns that early Hardmode takes place in, and even rangers will likely prefer the Night's Edge for random encounters.

This is probably the only pre-Hardmode bow you should consider using in Hardmode. The Molten Fury is just a worse Cobalt Repeater, the Bee's Knees is ruined by enemy defense, and the Blood Rain Bow was never good to begin with.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: ####
20% chance to be found in Shadow Chests
Best prefix: Unreal $

Phoenix Blaster: A-
Although it has slightly lower DPS than the Clockwork Assault Rifle and other early Hardmode guns, the difference is minuscule and anyone who can beat the mechanical bosses with a ClockRifle can probably do it with a Phoenix Blaster.

If you intend to use the Phoenix Blaster in early Hardmode, you should probably use it with Exploding Bullets, as they can be made without an upgraded anvil and provide some much-needed crowd control.

CRYSTAL BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


EXPLODING BULLET
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ####

.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: ####
Crafted from 10 Hellstone Bars, Handgun at Iron/Lead Anvil
Best prefix: Unreal $

Star Cannon: S-
No ranged weapon available in early Hardmode kills the Destroyer faster than the Star Cannon. Not even the Daedalus Stormbow, Dart Rifle, or Coin Gun. The question you should be asking is not "can I defeat the Destroyer with the Star Cannon", but rather, "how many Fallen Stars does it take to defeat the Destroyer with the Star Cannon". The answer is around 200 if you play aggressively and line up with its body to hit as many segments as possible, but even if you can't quite finish him off with your ammo supply, you can just bring another mediocre piercing weapon to finish the job. The Destroyer is probably the only thing you want to use the Star Cannon against, because its single-target DPS is kind of whatever and it's mostly carried by its infinite piercing ability. And of course, there is a more obvious reason why you can't just use this weapon against everything.

It's a tad expensive to reforge and doesn't need speed-increasing prefixes to do its job, so I'd probably go with Godly or Demonic to slightly reduce its ammo usage compared to Unreal.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ##
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Minishark, 20 Meteorite Bars, 5 Fallen Stars at Iron/Lead Anvil
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Blowgun: A
Both the Blowgun and Blowpipe essentially function as stat sticks that slightly augment the damage of the real breadwinner: Hardmode darts. Apart from their high base damage, these darts have additional effects that make them so powerful, they'd be viable even if you could just throw them with your bare hands. But you can't, so until you can get yourself a Dart Pistol or Dart Rifle, you'll be using these. One significant advantage of dart weapons is that their ammo is crafted by hand, so you can start using them immediately even before you have access to a Hardmode anvil.

Since most of the base damage comes from the darts themselves, there isn't really that much of a difference between the Blowpipe and Blowgun. The Blowpipe is noticeably faster, so you might prefer it if you're using it purely for inflicting Ichor.

ICHOR DART
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: ####

CURSED DART
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ###

..........Safety: ####

CRYSTAL DART
.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ####

.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: #####
Sold by the Witch Doctor for 5 Gold
Best prefix: Unreal $

Book of Skulls: B
The utility that it offers is very similar to that of a yoyo, though it trades away some DPS for better range. It is useful for eliminating trapped enemies without requiring line-of-sight, and I would rate it as the best pre-Hardmode magic weapon for underground combat. It can also be used as a last resort for cheesing the pirates. Think of it like a Bee Gun, but with knockback and actual damage.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
10.5% chance to drop from Skeletron (33.3% chance in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Mythical $

Demon Scythe: C+
One of the most difficult weapons to master, but its potential is undeniable. Since it is horrifically inaccurate at long distances, it functions more like a close-ranged anti-melee weapon thanks to its ability to juggle enemies backwards. Fighting on perfectly flat terrain patches up its accuracy problem and allows it to be used as a ranged weapon against grounded enemies, though you'll have to watch out for enemies with projectiles since the Demon Scythe does not have enough velocity to disrupt them before they get a shot off. Technically, you can also use it against the Destroyer and it won't be the worst thing ever, but unless you're doing a pre-Hardmode gear only challenge, maybe don't.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####

......Accuracy: #
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: ###
2.86% chance to drop from Demons and Voodoo Demons
Best prefix: Mythical $

"Technically hardmode"

Classy Cane: F

An obvious meme weapon with no redeeming qualities, whose only purpose is to establish the baseline for F tier because let's be real: if this isn't F tier, nothing is.

.............DPS: #
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from Tax Collector
Best prefix: Legendary ¢

Pearlwood Sword: D
It actually does a fine job as a starter weapon, believe it or not. Unlike the Classy Cane, it actually has stats, which can be improved further by reforging it to Legendary basically for free, and its high speed and knockback allow it to easily fend off basic Hardmode enemies. Now let me be clear, this is not a good weapon and would almost never be considered for a serious playthrough. However, it is far from the worst thing you could be using, and notably does significantly higher DPS against the Destroyer than the Daedalus Stormbow with Holy Arrows, as well as the Night's Edge. If you're feeling wacky, you can try it out and it's almost certain to exceed the zero expectations you probably have for it.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 7 Pearlwood at a Work Bench
Best prefix: Legendary ¢

Pearlwood Bow: F+
Uses standard arrows.
Ichor is an extremely powerful debuff that provides a substantial DPS increase to any weapon with a high rate of fire. In fact, it is so powerful that any weapon that can inflict Ichor from a distance should be considered for use as a support weapon, no matter how laughable its stats may be. So, as absurd as it sounds, the Pearlwood Bow has an actual legitimate niche: it can inflict Ichor on bosses with Ichor Arrows before swapping to a faster weapon that can take advantage of the defense drop. It's not a unique niche, because literally any pre-Hardmode bow other than Blood Rain Bow can do the exact same thing. Nor are Ichor Arrows uniquely suitable for this niche; the Blowpipe (yes, the one with 9 base damage that you find in Wooden Chests) can also inflict the debuff with Ichor Darts, doesn't require a Hardmode anvil for its ammunition, and is actually strong enough to kill Expert mode bosses on its own. But even though it will almost never be your best option, the Pearlwood Bow can be genuinely useful in a serious run, which is more than can be said about most pre-mech melee weapons.

If you're still not convinced, consider this: the well-known 90-minute Expert mode speedrun by Ningishu (viewable here) uses a Silver Bow with Ichor Arrows against all bosses between Destroyer and Lunatic Cultist, and the Silver Bow has the exact same stats as the Pearlwood Bow.

ICHOR ARROW
.............DPS: #
Crowd control: #

......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ##
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 10 Pearlwood at a Work Bench
Best prefix: Rapid ¢

Dropped by Wall of Flesh

Breaker Blade: C-

Very satisfying to one-shot weak enemies with, but its special ability is somewhat mismatched with the fundamental nature of the weapon. As large as it is, the Breaker Blade still has shorter range than most weapons from other classes, and short range is not a desirable trait for a weapon that's meant to be used as an opener. You can use it for the first few seconds of the Destroyer fight for amazing DPS, but outside of that it's probably worse than whatever weapon you killed the Wall of Flesh with.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: #

....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from the Wall of Flesh (25% in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Legendary $

Clockwork Assault Rifle: A
Uses standard bullets.
Despite having lower base damage than The Undertaker, this weapon is not to be underestimated. Its damage output with the Endless Musket Pouch is unimpressive, but it becomes quite fearsome when loaded with higher-grade ammunition. And because it is ammo-efficient, there is little reason not to use the best ammunition available to you. While it's not technically a machine gun, it produces a nearly uninterrupted stream of bullets, so it functions similarly to one. It is great in any single-target situation, serving you well until you can craft an Onyx Blaster. It can even be used against the Twins and Skeletron Prime, but that's pushing it a bit.

Though it has zero listed knockback, every bullet has a knockback value, so the Clockwork Assault Rifle can always at least slow enemies down as they approach. Exploding Bullets or Meteor Shot can be used for crowd control, and Crystal Bullets can be used for bossing (especially paired with a secondary weapon that can inflict the Ichor debuff). While Demonic is usually the best modifier, Rapid and Deadly are also excellent for their speed boost. If you're running armor penetration with Stinger + Shark Tooth, all three modifiers will perform about the same.

CRYSTAL BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ###

..........Safety: ####

EXPLODING BULLET
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from the Wall of Flesh (25% in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Demonic/Deadly/Rapid $

Laser Rifle: B-
A decent enough starting weapon for a magic user. Its linear piercing abilities are handy against the Pirate Invasion, and it can easily stunlock a single enemy as long as you aren't moving around too much. It offers more immediate disruption compared to the Demon Scythe, though its projectile is considerably more narrow. It'll hold the fort for a while until you can get something stronger, like a Spell Tome weapon. Due to its very mediocre single-target damage, it's best to use this only when facing three or more enemies.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from the Wall of Flesh (25% in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Mythical $

Firecracker: S
The Firecracker doesn't add tag damage, but the blazing energy effect easily compensates for that. The explosion nearly triples a minion's damage for a single hit, so this whip's damage per hit is effectively much, much higher than its stats would indicate. Spiders, Sanguine Bats, and Abigail all benefit greatly from it since the explosion damage scales with the minion's base damage. While it deals reduced damage to crowds of enemies, it will interrupt all of them, and sometimes that's more important. Like all whips, it is notable for its ability to safely eliminate enemies that can pass through walls, such as Clingers, Giant Fungi Bulbs, and Enchanted Swords. It also provides a decent amount of light, making it an excellent exploration tool even for non-summoners.

It is unlike any other whip because while most whips synergize with faster minions that deal less damage per hit, the Firecracker synergizes with slower minions that deal higher damage per hit. This keeps it relevant even much later in the game when used with certain minions, as long as you can put up with its short range compared to lategame whips. Note that it must strike enemies continuously in order to provide its boost, so if your target is hard to hit, you may prefer to use a non-whip weapon and only attack with the Cool Whip and/or Spinal Tap when you have the chance.

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....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from the Wall of Flesh (25% in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Legendary $

Crafted through mining

Ore Swords: D+

To be fair, most melee weapons aren't much better than these, but crafting Hardmode bars into swords is a pretty good sign that you don't know what you're doing. Their attack range is terrible, and they don't offer that much DPS, either. They work well only against the most basic enemy AI types. And though you can consider using them against the Destroyer, the problem is that a) they don't even offer the highest potential DPS against the Destroyer and b) attacking the Destroyer with a sword allows it to circle you and pin you to the ground while lasering you from all directions. Any role you might want them to fulfill is already fulfilled by the Night's Edge.

COBALT SWORD
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

TITANIUM SWORD
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 10-13 bars at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Legendary $

Phasesabers: D
These perform exactly the same as ore swords, apart from their inability to attack backwards when moving away from an enemy. They are at least slightly cheaper to reforge and use a different crafting recipe, meaning that you won't have to choose between armor or weapons like you do with Hardmode ores. However, the value added to your run is so small that you should probably find something better to use your Crystal Shards on, like Crystal Bullets or Crystal Darts.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
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....Availability: ####
Crafted from Phaseblade and 25 Crystal Shards at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Legendary ¢

Ore Spears: D
For the most part, they're better than their broadsword counterparts thanks to their infinite piercing ability which grants them higher peak DPS against the Destroyer, but the main issues are still the same: their short reach makes them useless against shooters and knockback-immune enemies. If you want a spear with good DPS, use the Obsidian Swordfish, and if you want a spear with good reach, use the Dark Lance. Neither of those spears require you to do Hardmode content, and both are better than even the Titanium Trident at whatever I recommended them for.

COBALT NAGINATA
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

TITANIUM TRIDENT
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 10-13 bars at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Ore Repeaters: A-
Uses standard arrows.
Very versatile, and can handle most situations as long as you have the right ammunition. For pirates and the Destroyer, use Unholy/Jester's Arrows. (Shark Tooth Necklace is highly encouraged if you're using Jester.) For other bosses, use Holy/Ichor Arrows. Their accuracy is improved slightly with Archery Potions, and improved significantly with a Magic Quiver. You don't have to spend your Adamantite or Titanium Bars on these; Mythril and Orichalcum will work just fine. Save your bars for a ranged headpiece and Frost Breastplate.

HOLY ARROW
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Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
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UNHOLY ARROW / JESTER'S ARROW
.............DPS: ###
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....Availability: #####
Crafted from between 10-13 bars at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Unreal $

Dropped by monsters

Amarok / Hel-Fire: B+

Yoyos are decent enough when engaging enemies directly, since they hit rapidly and deal respectable damage. However, in order to bring out their maximum potential, the key is to play dirty. Yoyos can hit enemies around corners and through one-block wide spaces, and are perfect for taking out enemies that can't reach you. They excel at underground combat, and unlike most weapons, their accuracy doesn't suffer when attacking enemies from above. If you have a Yoyo Glove/Yoyo Bag, by all means use it, but yoyos are strong enough to perform excellently even without one, and you might want to save that accessory slot for something else.

Both Amarok and Hel-Fire inflict pretty decent debuffs for this stage, with the Amarok's Frostbite being particularly nasty as it is the most potent DoT debuff other than Acid Venom and the debuffs inflicted by pillar weapons.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####

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....Availability: ###
0.33% chance to drop from enemies killed in Snow Biome / 0.25% chance to drop from enemies killed in Underworld and lower Cavern layer
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

KO Cannon: C-
It has better range than most melee weapons, but its range still isn't good. Like most mediocre melee weapons, it can deal with fighter enemies just fine, but won't work well against anything else. On the bright side, it deals quite a bit more DPS than broadswords at point-blank range, on top of being a lot more fun to watch. This performs about the same as the Anchor in most situations, though it's a lot less useful for the average player since the Anchor is really easy to get and the KO Cannon is not.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ##

....Availability: #
20% chance to drop from Clowns
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Chain Knife (remix): D+
If you take a kitten and scale it up three times, you get a large kitten, which is not the same as a cat. The remixed Chain Knife is basically a pre-Hardmode weapon that was crudely scaled up to Hardmode levels of base damage, and unfortunately that is not enough to make it competent in Hardmode. Simply comparing the name "Chain Knife" with "Chain Guillotines" tells you everything you need to know about how these weapons compare to each other: a knife is far less threatening than a guillotine, and there is only one of them. On top of having lower range than the Chain Guillotines, it deals significantly less DPS at its max range because you have to wait for it to return before firing again. The only time the remixed Chain Knife does decent damage is when you're spamming it inside the Destroyer's body at a position where it's overlapping itself, but this will obviously never work on higher difficulties of GFB where you get vaporized the instant an enemy touches you. Though to be fair, it's not like anyone was expecting much from the weapon that's meant to be a replacement for the KO Cannon.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ##

....Availability: #
20% chance to drop from Clowns (dontdigup and getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Bananarang: A-
The Bananarang is one of many generic mid-ranged melee weapons with average DPS that you might use if you're not brave enough to go full tank mode and use something more manly, like the Fetid Baghnakhs. Though I suppose you could also go full tank mode and continue to use the Bananarang, which is strong enough to take out the Twins and Skeletron Prime without too much trouble regardless. It's practically interchangeable with Chain Guillotines, Light Disc, and Shadowflame Knife.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: #
10% chance to drop from Clowns
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Nimbus Rod: A+
If you don’t have the patience to search for a Daedalus Stormbow, the Nimbus Rod will carry you through the battle with the Destroyer with almost equal ease. Using it comes with no opportunity cost; whether you’re exploring underground or dealing with an event aboveground, you can almost certainly find a way to make the Nimbus Rod useful. You don't even have to be a mage to want this on your hotbar at all times. It deals damage for free, and if you're smart with placing the clouds, the damage it deals is actually very significant. Usually, this involves luring enemies directly beneath you. This weapon is highly recommended against the Old One's Army, since it can take a decent chunk out of every enemy that emerges from a portal, and usually lasts for the entire wave. It also effectively one-shots the Lunar Pillars after their shields are down; just place the clouds over them, teleport away, and wait from the comfort of your home while the pillar dies.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption:
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ##
6.67% chance to drop from Angry Nimbuses, which spawn on the surface during rain
Best prefix: Demonic $$

Poison Staff: B
If you can get used to its rather wide projectile spread and middling range, this actually does pretty well against big bosses like the Twins. Its damage output against smaller enemies is not as impressive, and it doesn't have enough piercing power to cut through the Destroyer, but there are at least a few key situations where the Poison Staff might serve you well. It is surprisingly powerful considering that it's likely to be one of the first magic weapons you'll obtain in Hardmode.

.............DPS: ####
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......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: ###
2.5% chance to drop from Black Recluses
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Marrow: B-
Despite its low drop rate, it often manages to find its way into people's inventories thanks to the popularity of AFK farms. It's basically interchangeable with the Ice Bow, with higher damage per hit offsetting its lower fire rate. I find the Marrow a bit trickier to aim since the projectile is harder to see, but otherwise, there are no significant differences.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #
0.5% chance to drop from Skeleton Archers
Best prefix: Unreal ¢

Ice Bow: B
Kind of plays like a ranged version of Shadowflame Knife. Like the Marrow, it's a spammy weapon that works well with the Endless Quiver, and it's more accurate (but much less versatile) than repeaters. I wouldn't challenge bosses with this, and I wouldn't pull this out against invasions, but for stunlocking and killing random encounters underground, the Ice Bow is pretty great.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
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....Availability: ##
28.5% chance to drop from Ice Mimics
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Snowball Cannon (remix): A
Surprisingly decent, or perhaps not too surprising since the Snowball Cannon is the only remixed Hardmode weapon that has always been good in pre-Hardmode on standard worlds. It can function as a main weapon against Queen Slime and DDU mechs, with better DPS than the ClockRifle and Gatligator with Crystal Bullets. (I would not recommend using this or any non-piercing weapon against Mechdusa.) As with all rapid-fire weapons, Ichor debuff support is highly recommended. Gathering ammo for it is easier than collecting Crystal Shards for Crystal Bullets, but it's still something you have to do, and it does consume ammo much faster than its pre-Hardmode version.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: #####
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....Availability: ##
28.5% chance to drop from Ice Mimics (dontdigup and getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Beam Sword: C
A decent sword combined with a bad projectile to get a sword that's a bit better than other swords, though not by much. If you were searching for a proper long-ranged DPS weapon, then keep searching. The beam alone deals pitiful damage to one enemy, is too slow to aim properly, and is pretty janky on top of that thanks to the way it interacts with the player's facing direction. But, if for whatever reason you really want to swing a sword in one direction while farting a mediocre beam in the other direction, then look no further, as this is the only weapon in the game that can do it.

BLADE
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

BEAM
.............DPS: #
Crowd control: #

......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #
0.67% chance to drop from Armored Skeletons
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Magic Dagger: A
Has extremely high DPS considering you could potentially get it within minutes of defeating the Wall of Flesh. Powerful, disruptive, and it actually has the highest single-target DPS of any pre-Plantera magic weapon when used for facetanking: fire it directly upwards and each dagger will hit the boss twice. It is a bit limited by its lacking range when not facetanking, but it still works great against enemies that happen to float above you, like Skeletron Prime.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from naturally-spawned Wood, Gold, and Shadow Mimics
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Wand of Sparking / Wand of Frosting (remix): B
I'll assume that you're using the Wand of Frosting, since it can be upgraded immediately and there is no reason not to. The remixed Wand of Frosting is basically a marginally faster and weaker Frost Staff that is slightly worse in most other aspects, but is an acceptable substitute in situations where DPS is all you care about. While it has zero knockback, that doesn't matter for bosses who have 100% knockback resistance anyways. Keep in mind that it only pierces two enemies, which is not enough for it to be worth using against Mechdusa (though in fairness, neither do the Magic Dagger or Frost Staff).

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption:
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from naturally-spawned Wood, Gold, and Shadow Mimics / Crafted with 99 Ice Torches and Wand of Sparking (dontdigup and getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Demonic/Deadly $$

Medusa Head: C+
You would think that this would have a niche as an auto-targeting weapon that allows you to focus on dodging. The reality is that this weapon forces you to focus on dodging because it fails to kill the long-ranged enemies that shoot at you. Its range isn't long enough to interrupt things like Crossbowers and Deadeyes, and considering how close you have to get to the Destroyer to hit it with the Medusa Head, its DPS is very disappointing. Its lack of knockback also leaves you quite vulnerable to enemies that can chase you in midair. Truthfully, I cannot think of anything good to say about this weapon.

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Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption:
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....Availability: #
4% chance to drop from Medusas; 0.2% chance to drop from statue-spawned Medusas
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Uzi: S+
Uses standard bullets.
Even though the Uzi is the only thing you can obtain from the Hardmode Jungle before defeating a mech boss, its sheer power could make that grind worthwhile. It is strong enough to give the Megashark some serious competition, and it effectively provides access to High Velocity Bullets even though you're not supposed to have them yet. This allows it to easily cut through crowds of enemies (and worms of all sizes) without spending any ammo at all. And once you're ready for the mechanical bosses, you can load it up with Crystal Bullets and it'll perform about the same as the Onyx Blaster. The Uzi's rarity is the only thing that holds it back.

ENDLESS MUSKET POUCH
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####

......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #####
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CRYSTAL BULLET
.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #####
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....Availability: #
1% chance to drop from Angry Trappers
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Frost Staff: B+
With decently high DPS and velocity, this basically replaces the Laser Rifle in most situations, and its ability to pierce once makes it somewhat usable against the pirates. It has much higher velocity than many magic weapons, and can even juggle certain targets. The Crystal Serpent is the weapon you'd be most likely to compare it to; in comparison, the Frost Staff has better crowd control and a faster fire rate, but lower single-target DPS. Many other weapons offer better crowd control, so the Frost Staff is a sort of middle-ground option with no prominent strengths nor weaknesses.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption: ####
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....Availability: ###
2% chance to drop from Ice Elementals, Icy Mermen, and Ice Golems
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Ice Sickle: A-
The quintessential melee weapon. While it has limited use against fast-moving bosses, it shreds crowds of enemies at close range and vastly outperforms swords when it comes to beating them back, easily setting up an impenetrable barrier of lingering ice blades. It can hold off practically any number of fighter enemies, juggling them backwards while dealing very high DPS. However, it's pretty bad against enemies that don't give chase and instead fire on you from a distance.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####

......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ##

....Availability: ##
0.56% chance to drop from Armored Vikings, Icy Mermen, Ice Elementals, and Ice Tortoises
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Flower of Frost: B
It fires quickly and is quite economical to use despite its high attacking speed. However, its effective range is rather low due to its poor horizontal velocity. It also can't handle more than two enemies at a time. Usually you'll want to fire it while flying low to the ground on relatively flat terrain; this makes it reasonable for attacking rows of grounded enemies, but in those situations you'll usually prefer something with line-of-sight, like a Laser Rifle. While it is generally outclassed by Cursed Flames and Crystal Storm for surface and underground combat respectively, its DPS is still top-class among pre-mech magic weapons, so it may be worth considering for bosses. Just don't use it in a sky arena made entirely of platforms, because it will inevitably disappoint you.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: ###
28.5% chance to drop from Ice Mimics
Best prefix: Mythical ¢

Frostbrand: B+
Unlike the Beam Sword, the Frostbrand fires its projectile rapidly enough to be almost usable against bosses, and the Frostbite debuff it applies is a nice bonus that can contribute significant damage over time if applied to multiple targets. The projectile alone is only about a third as powerful as a proper early Hardmode weapon, so you should be using the blade whenever possible.

BLADE
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

BEAM
.............DPS: #
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ###

.....Disruption: ##
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: ###
28.5% chance to drop from Ice Mimics
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Ham Bat: D-
Everything potentially interesting about this weapon is overshadowed by its horrible range and mediocre damage. If you're ever in a position where you need the 21 HP of healing that Hearty Meal provides, then getting close to an enemy to bludgeon it with a melee weapon is probably the last thing you'd want to do. If the Hearty Meal buff were applied upon hitting enemies rather than killing them, then perhaps we'd be cooking, but as it stands, this pork is undercooked. Not recommended for safety reasons.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #
4% chance to drop from Pigrons; 0.2% chance to drop from statue-spawned Pigrons
Best prefix: Legendary $

Obtained from NPCs

Gradient: B

All the yoyo-specific advice in the analysis for Amarok also applies here. Gradient has higher damage and a shorter throw duration, and the throw duration is probably more impactful. However, in the earliest part of Hardmode you can't afford to be picky, so I recommend using whichever Hardmode yoyo you happen to get first. You'll be searching for a Skeleton Merchant in order to get the Yoyo Glove anyways, so it's reasonable to skip Amarok and buy Gradient along with your Yoyo Glove.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####

..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
Sold by the Skeleton Merchant for 20 gold in Hardmode during full moon and waning phases
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Format C: B-
Gradient's malnourished cousin. It has the exact same base damage as Chik, with none of Chik's other good qualities. It is the worst Hardmode yoyo, but it is probably still worth buying if you don't have one because the utility offered by yoyos is just that good. So I wouldn't say that it's a Format C, more like a Format B minus.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####

..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
Sold by the Skeleton Merchant for 20 gold in Hardmode during new moon and waxing phases
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Ice Rod: C+
A niche weapon that can perform some neat tricks, but generally isn't as effective as most magic weapons in its tier. While it fires stupidly fast, its range and velocity are a bit too low for it to contribute properly to most boss fights (though it can somewhat cheese Retinazer's second phase if you didn't already have a bunker to cheese it with). You can try blocking enemies off with a wall of ice and pelting them from relative safety, but that will probably only work underground, and you're usually better off using an equally disruptive weapon with better DPS. Also, please don't be that person who uses the Ice Rod during a crowded boss battle in multiplayer.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #####
Sold by Wizard for 50 gold
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Shotgun: B+
Uses standard bullets.
While it has slightly higher potential DPS than the Clockwork Assault Rifle, the Shotgun is substantially harder to use in most situations. However, it works just fine against bosses with Crystal Bullets, and against crowds with Exploding Bullets. It has a bit of projectile spread, but it's still tight enough to be useful over long distances. In my opinion, the Quad-Barrel Shotgun never outclassed this weapon at any point in its history; the Shotgun has much better effective range, and its projectile spread is much more tolerable in comparison.

There's no denying that the Shotgun is outclassed by most Hardmode ranged weapons, but if you've ever played on a public SSC server that threw you straight into Hardmode armed with only a Copper Shortsword, there's a good chance that you've used this. Nowadays, the Pearlwood Sword can fill that niche. Or the Jousting Lance, if the server also prevents you from destroying blocks (but you should probably just quit the server at that rate).

EXPLODING BULLET
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: ##

..........Safety: ####

CRYSTAL BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #####
Sold by the Arms Dealer for 25 gold in Hardmode
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Gatligator: A-
Uses standard bullets.
If you don't have an Uzi, this is probably your best option for crowd control when paired with Exploding Bullets, and it can clear out large groups of enemies by strafing them from above. Unfortunately, its poor accuracy makes it difficult to use as an actual ranged weapon, so you'll probably be shooting things point-blank instead to take full advantage of its high fire rate. Its accuracy actually isn't too terrible against large targets like the Twins; it performs much better than the Clockwork Assault Rifle at close distances (and about the same at long distances). It sort of works like a demo version of the Megashark, except it's not really a demo version because you paid 35 gold for it.

CRYSTAL BULLET
.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

EXPLODING BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####

......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #
Extremely rare chance to be sold by the Traveling Merchant for 35 gold in Hardmode
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Sergeant United Shield: A+
This is the only homing melee weapon you'll get for a very long time, which naturally gives it a number of unique advantages. When imbued, it is the most reliable way to inflict Ichor by far, irrespective of class. It performs at least decently against all mechanical bosses, and extremely well against Queen Slime. And it easily cheeses all underground enemies since it is both bouncing and homing. As a bonus, it can parry incoming contact damage and grant Striking Moment, which is usually not worth going out of your way to try to activate, but it actually isn't too hard to pull off against Duke Fishron in his final phase. That said, you can't realistically parry every single attack, so I would probably try to dodge him the normal way. It's not a Get Out of Jail Free card; you have to actually face the direction that the attack is coming from.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: #
Extremely rare chance to be sold by the Traveling Merchant for 35 Gold in Hardmode
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$

Orange Zapinator: A+
This is the wackiest weapon in the game by far, and it basically wins the fight against the Destroyer by itself. If it were any faster, its tooltip ("It might be broken") would take on an entirely new meaning, but even with its slow speed holding it back, it is surprisingly viable for what is essentially a joke weapon. It has extremely high base damage for a pre-mech weapon, and performs better on average against bosses due to the occasional omega-hit dealing upwards of 1500 damage in a single shot (which can potentially hit multiple times). The most common glitchy outcome is the laser teleporting backwards and hitting the same target again, which not only improves its DPS, but also grants more chances to roll the dice and do the funny. Apart from shattering the Destroyer with surprising consistency, it also does exceptionally well against Queen Slime since it can take advantage of her minions to trigger more effects. It is probably the only weapon that is truly luck-reliant when it comes to its actual combat performance, and always has a small but non-zero chance to completely cheese a difficult fight. Use it like you would use a Sniper Rifle; it is at least guaranteed to get a single strong, accurate hit on whatever you shoot with it, and whatever happens next can only help you.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ##
..........Safety: ####

....Availability: #
Extremely rare chance to be sold by the Traveling Merchant for 35 Gold in Hardmode
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Slap Hand: D+
Pearlwood Sword Plus. It has similar stats to ore swords, with the key difference being a comically inflated knockback value that, while funny to play around with, ends up being counterproductive most of the time. Stunlocking enemies in place is much more effective than sending them flying, especially if they have a ranged attack and therefore want to be as far away from you as possible. Nonetheless, like most swords it still manages to deal high damage to the Destroyer, and it's one of the few weapons that won't produce the usual unsatisfying metal clinking sounds when fighting the mechs.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ###

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: ##
Sold by the Skeleton Merchant for 25 gold during a Blood Moon in Hardmode
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Jousting Lance: F
A pathetic excuse for a weapon that you would only use if you just entered Hardmode whilst having never made Hellstone weapons for whatever reason and were truly desperate for something that could deal more than 2 damage, but you might as well use the Pearlwood Sword at that rate. It is extremely difficult to master and not even close to being worth the trouble. In theory, scaling with movement speed shouldn't be too bad because you're moving most of the time anyways, but the fact that it is a close-ranged, high knockback weapon that requires you to move means that this is pretty much the worst thing ever. 6 Gold may be a negligible price but this is still a robbery.

If you lost a bet and were forced to use this, the best way to use it is to either pair it with the Shield of Cthulhu's dash, or jump up and down while holding it inside an enemy. You can kill the Destroyer with it if you use a full tank set, but I wouldn't count that in the Jousting Lance's favor because a tank set can also kill the Destroyer with no weapon at all.

Yes, I know about Inner Tube and minecart cheese, and no, I'm not going to raise the ranking of an F tier weapon just because it performs well when paired with borderline bug abuse. Shut up.

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Sold by Zoologist for 6 Gold during Hardmode
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic ¢

Crafted from monster drops

Onyx Blaster: S-

Uses standard bullets.
Although aiming it may take some practice if you're used to automatic guns, the enormous damage that the Onyx Blaster deals in a single shot easily compensates for its lack of speed. You can easily deal more than 600 damage to large targets in a single shot, and upwards of 1000 per shot against the Destroyer. Most smaller enemies die in one or two shots, and it actually isn't that hard to aim, either. It has a relatively narrow spread for a shotgun, and it deals a huge amount of splash damage within a large radius. Because its explosive blast deals double the listed damage, it can even muscle through heavily armored opponents later on. It's perfectly reasonable to use this against Plantera, Golem, or even Duke Fishron. Note that it actually has an anti-synergy with Exploding Bullets, since the bullets deal piercing damage and may interfere with the explosive blast. If using this weapon against the Destroyer, you are better off using Meteor Shot.

CRYSTAL BULLET
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Crafted from Shotgun, Soul of Night x10, Dark Shard x2 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Sky Fracture: B+
The Sky Fracture is a mediocre weapon that sees widespread use mainly because it has acceptable DPS for bosses, is fairly easy to obtain, and most importantly, is one of the few reasonable options for the poor saps who restrict themselves to using magic weapons only. Its poor projectile velocity makes it extremely annoying to use against small targets, but this is less of an issue when fighting bosses due to their size. However, you still have to lead your shots by a wide margin. I would only recommend using it against bosses, because it is useless for crowd control and extremely inefficient at killing flying enemies due to its high knockback. Most magic weapons at this stage are specialized for crowd control with mediocre single-target damage, and the Sky Fracture gives up all of its crowd control in exchange for out-DPSing the others by a hair's width. Not very exciting.

If you are lucky enough to own an Orange Zapinator or Spirit Flame, there's no need to bother with this weapon. Otherwise, the Sky Fracture is a solid option for the Twins, along with the Crystal Storm, Frost Staff, Cursed Flames, and Crystal Serpent. The Magic Dagger and Shadowflame Hex Doll are shorter-ranged alternatives that can be used against Skeletron Prime. I only listed magic weapons because there is no reason to touch the Sky Fracture (or 80% of the other pre-mech magic weapons) unless you are doing a magic-only playthrough.

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....Availability: ####
Crafted from Magic Missile, Soul of Light x16, Light Shard x2 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Dao of Pow: A-
Though it is slightly tricky to use, the Dao of Pow smashes the living daylights out of almost everything you'll encounter up until mid-Hardmode. Its base damage is high enough that most enemies die after getting hit twice from the flail head, and it can be rapidly click-spammed to deliver higher DPS to enemies in close- to mid-range. It also reliably inflicts the Confused debuff to everything that isn't immune to it; often this won't be of much help since the debuff tends to only affect enemies that couldn't really threaten you anyways, but it does work on things like Pirate Crossbowers, rendering them useless for a while if it doesn't kill them in one shot.

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Crafted from Dark Shard, Light Shard, Soul of Light x7, Soul of Night x7 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Chik: B+
Performance-wise, it's about the same as Amarok, but its main problem is that it requires an upgraded Anvil to craft. You'll really want a yoyo when you're hunting for ores underground and fighting off cavern monsters, and Chik won't be around for that. However, once you do obtain it, Chik is a lot more potent than its base damage suggests because it travels faster than the other yoyos and isn't knocked away as far upon hitting an enemy. In practice, it hits faster than the Gradient and Amarok, and if it weren't for Amarok's Frostbite debuff, it would be the strongest pre-mech yoyo. So if you happen to be using Frost armor, Chik is the ideal choice, and even if you aren't, you may prefer Chik because it has the best overall duration and reach.

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Crafted from Wooden Yoyo, Crystal Shard x15, Soul of Light x10 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Crystal Storm: B
A magical machine gun that is most useful in cramped corridors, but is also decent against bosses if they're the type that chase you around. It easily stunlocks regular enemies while dealing around the same DPS as a Megashark, and has just enough range to damage Spazmatism during its flamethrower attack. Its projectiles spread out a bit, but that's not too much of a hindrance for a weapon that attacks so quickly; it is much more likely to hit flying enemies than many weapons with narrow projectiles, like the Laser Rifle. Like all fast-firing weapons, it greatly appreciates the Ichor debuff, especially because it helps to offset Skeletron Prime's increased defense during his spin attack (which is when he is the easiest to hit).

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Crafted from Spell Tome, Crystal Shard x20, Soul of Light x15 at a Bookshelf
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Golden Shower: A
While it can be used as a primary weapon when first crafted, it retains its usefulness as a quick defense debuffer throughout the entire game, remaining viable even after its own DPS starts to fall off. You could also use a Flask of Ichor or Ichor ammunition, but the Golden Shower applies Ichor without consuming any resources, and therefore grants you permanent access to the debuff. Its ability to inflict Ichor isn't the Golden Shower's only good quality; it pierces completely through and stunlocks any crowd you might realistically face, and despite not being able to inflict Ichor against the boss, it is an above-average weapon against the Destroyer (moreso if you have a Shark Tooth Necklace). It synergizes with rapid-fire weapons like the Crystal Storm and guns with Crystal Bullets, but slower weapons like the Orange Zapinator and Spirit Flame don't benefit much.

Ironically, if you are using it just for the debuff, the Golden Shower is much more effective for non-mages than it is for mages because you can't regenerate mana while using it. I would advise mages to use an imbued whip, boomerang, or Blowpipe to inflict Ichor instead, since Mana Regeneration can restore a large chunk of mana during those brief moments while using a non-magic weapon. Also, an imbued weapon inflicts Ichor for the longest duration on average (10-19 seconds, as opposed to 10 seconds for the Golden Shower).

The best time to use Golden Shower is when bosses start moving around quickly in a way that makes them hard to hit. You won't be able to deal any consistent damage during this time, but you can at least land one hit with the Golden Shower. The brief moments afterwards when bosses pause their movement are opportunities to deal as much damage as possible, and you don't want to waste those precious seconds using the Golden Shower and swapping when you could have applied the debuff earlier.

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Crafted from Spell Tome, Ichor x20, Soul of Night x15 at a Bookshelf
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Cursed Flames: A+
Back in 1.1, this was an infamous weapon in PvP for carpeting wide areas in endless projectile spam, and this is still the best way to use the weapon more than a decade later. You ideally want the fireballs to bounce as low as possible, so its damage will be concentrated on grounded crowds. However, it's sometimes a good idea to let the projectiles bounce a bit higher so they can catch flying enemies in the crossfire. This weapon deals more single-target DPS than the Golden Shower, even taking the latter's Ichor debuff into account. It also has more reach than the Flower of Frost. So bossing is a possibility for Cursed Flames, though it probably isn't your most efficient option.

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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Spell Tome, Cursed Flame x20, Soul of Night x15 at a Bookshelf
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Meteor Staff: B-
The Meteor Staff is basically the magic equivalent of a watered-down Daedalus Stormbow. Since it does literally nothing underground, it is strictly to be used against bosses and pirates. It has a somewhat favorable matchup against Prime and the Twins, performing a bit better than the Sky Fracture during phases when the boss isn't chasing you. And it is very good against the Destroyer, as you might expect. These positive matchups are offset by the fact that the Meteor Staff is useless during most of early Hardmode because this part of the game mainly takes place underground. It can technically be used for surface combat, but it won't be efficient unless your targets are very numerous or very large. Its extremely high mana usage is also a significant flaw; Mana Regeneration alone will not be enough, and you'll need a Magnet/Mana Flower in order to use it properly. It can definitely contribute to your run as an effective boss-killer, but it's not at all suited for general use. Also, it really sucks if you're playing on low resolution. If you're playing on a laptop, I'd recommend going fullscreen and zooming out in order to extend the Meteor Staff's range as far as possible, which massively improves its performance.

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Crafted from Meteorite Bar x20, Pixie Dust x10, Soul of Light x10 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Mythical $

Spirit Flame: A
Though it is wretchedly difficult to obtain, the Spirit Flame is possibly the best magic weapon to use against the flying bosses like the Twins, Skeletron Prime, and Queen Slime thanks to its homing abilities and high damage value relative to its modest mana consumption. It even has a little bit of splash damage against tightly-bunched enemies, though it's not large enough to hit more than two Destroyer segments. While it is extremely efficient at eliminating flying enemies, it doesn't do too well underground, so use it on the surface instead for invasions and boss fights.

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Crafted from Desert Spirit Lamp, Forbidden Fragment x2, Soul of Night x12 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Mythical ¢

Spider Staff: A
Summoners jump significantly in viability at the start of Hardmode thanks to this weapon alone, and unless you already obtained a full ore set, for the short term I honestly think that any non-restricted character should switch to Obsidian or Bee armor the moment this weapon is made. The spiders latch onto enemies and deal consistent damage while completely shutting down their movement, and are even usable against some flying targets like Pixies, Ichor Stickers, and Flying Dutchman cannons. However, some speedy, knockback-immune targets like Spazmatism can shake the spiders off. This weapon performs much better in areas covered with background walls, so if you want to fill your arena with walls in order to grant your spider minions maximum mobility, then I guess you could do that. But even if you're not willing to go the extra mile and build a spider-friendly arena, this is the ultimate anti-ground minion weapon for this stage of the game, and it is insanely good relative to how easy it is to get. It can even be used unironically against the post-Plantera dungeon since the entire place is covered in background walls, and it puts up a decent showing against Plantera herself.

You'll get diminishing returns after summoning 3 spiders, so instead of running full Spider armor, you may want to consider using it with Obsidian armor, or a tank set with a melee helmet. (Minion mixing is pointless because you can't mix with Abigail, the other pre-Hardmode minions are significantly worse than Spiders, and the ones that come after are significantly better.) Also, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position where you're facing Queen Slime or Skeletron Prime with only the Spider Staff available, don't use whips, because they'll cause the spiders to detach when the whip strikes an arm or Heavenly Slime. Instead, have the spiders manually target the main body and use any non-whip weapon.

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Crafted from Spider Fang x16 at an Iron/Lead Anvil
Best prefix: Ruthless ¢

Queen Spider Staff: S
The first good sentry you'll obtain in your run, the Queen is immediately useful and scales extraordinarily well into the lategame for largely the same reasons as the Blade Staff does. In the beginning of hardmode, as long as you picked up a War Table from the Old One's Army for the Strategist buff, you can place two Queen Spiders anywhere on your screen to cheese underground enemies, and her Venom debuff can deal some decent chip damage to early Hardmode bosses. After you beat your first mechanical boss and clear the Old One's Army a few times, you'll unlock new armors and new sentries. However, none of the new sentries are nearly as flexible as the Queen Spider, whose accumulated "missed" shots amass together into a highly-damaging sea of spiders that cover any terrain, both on the surface and underground. And in the lategame, after you have access to the best gear from the Tavernkeep, this early Hardmode weapon is still relevant, retaining its role as the least placement-dependent sentry in the entire game (other than the two postgame sentries). It offers more stable DPS than the other sentries, which all suffer from low accuracy or tiny range, and its high attack rate allows it to benefit more from the tag effects of lategame whips. Though for all its strengths, it is still predominantly anti-ground just like every other sentry.

The Queen Spider has higher single-target DPS than every sentry Cane even with set bonuses, and also outclasses the Flameburst Staff and Frost Hydra due to having much better whip synergy. However, its lack of piercing makes it worse than the Frost Hydra against the Old One's Army. You might be tempted to boost the Queen Spider by running sentry-based hybrid sets, but with the exception of full Squire, that's not really worth doing until post-Golem since the tier 2 armors are bogged down by their mediocre helmet stats.

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Crafted from Spider Fang x24 at an Iron/Lead Anvil
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Cool Whip: A+
With a surprisingly potent Frostbite debuff, a snowflake effect that acts as the rough equivalent of two bonus Blade Staff summons, and decent tag damage, Cool Whip is everything a summoner could possibly ask for, serving you up to Plantera or even beyond (if you are a crazy person who likes to stack three or more whips). It can even be used by non-summoners against the Destroyer, due to how efficiently it kills Probes. It's also nice as a sidearm for mages who can use it while their mana is low, since the whip tag and debuff maximize the mileage you get out of a single strike. If you're going to use this as a summoner, I recommend at least stacking it with Spinal Tap, as it only has 6 tag damage while Spinal Tap has 7.

Critically, its range is just slightly longer than the Firecracker's, which allows it to hit Spazmatism more consistently during its first phase. However, the cursed flamethrower in the second phase makes whipping basically impossible, so for that phase I don't recommend using either whip if you have access to a semi-decent ranged weapon.

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Crafted from Frost Core, Soul of Light x8, Soul of Night x8 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Obtained through Fishing

Crystal Serpent: B+

The Crystal Serpent's performance is average against most enemies, but it performs much, much better against bosses. Due to their large size and tendency to charge at you, bosses like Queen Slime and Spazmatism will take massive amounts of damage from each shot as they ram into all the secondary projectiles. This weapon usually has better bossing DPS than the Sky Fracture, and performs well in all situations that guns with Crystal Bullets perform well in (though the guns would be better if you have a choice). As a bonus, its mana cost is very low, so it can be freely spammed while exploring underground, and it's rather decent underground since its secondary projectiles bounce off of walls.

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0.5% chance to be caught when fishing in the Hallowed Biome in Hardmode
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Toxikarp: A-
Thanks to the existence of the Endless Quiver and Endless Musket Pouch, its ability to conserve ammo is hardly unique, but the Toxikarp has a number of other things going for it. Its large projectile is very effective against flying enemies, and thanks to its fast fire rate, it deals damage quite rapidly while covering a large area over your entire screen. This can be used against the Twins and Skeletron Prime, and should easily perform better than the Shadowflame Knife and Ice Bow. Note that fishing in the Corruption can be rather dangerous since the biome tends to spawn World Feeders.

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0.5% chance to be caught when fishing in the Corruption Biome in Hardmode
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Bladetongue: C+
Like all broadswords, this is a difficult weapon to use, but unlike most broadswords, the Bladetongue is powerful enough to possibly justify the increased danger it puts you in. Apart from being a reasonable weapon against the Destroyer, it's very good for crowd control despite the unreliability of its bouncing ichor streams. But this is definitely more of a weapon that gets you into trouble rather than getting you out of it, and it doesn't compare favorably to the other, far burlier Crimson-themed close ranged melee weapon.

BLADE
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BEAM
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0.5% chance to be caught when fishing in the Crimson Biome in Hardmode
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Obsidian Swordfish: C+
It's much better than the Breaker Blade, at least. It is very competent at dealing damage, but also very unsafe to use; its range is very short even compared to other spears, which makes it difficult to attack enemies without getting hit in return. If the enemy is immune to knockback, you're basically guaranteed to take contact damage. At least it can get you through the exploration phase of early Hardmode if you catch it right after defeating the Wall of Flesh, but it won't contribute much to any important battles after that. I'd avoid using this outside of tank sets.

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14.29% chance to be caught when fishing in lava in Hardmode
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic ¢

Anchor: C
The Anchor really doesn't want to face off against more than two or three enemies at once, but it packs a decent punch and it's a hell of a lot better than the Breaker Blade as a starting weapon. It also invalidates the KO Cannon's entire existence. A minor annoyance with the Anchor is that its projectile is so large, it often ends up colliding with the ground and returning prematurely, not to mention that it takes a while to return if it misses. On the bright side, it won't stop you from swapping weapons while it's out, so you can use it sort of like a crappy Magnet Sphere.

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4% chance to drop from Pearlwood Crates
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic ¢

Blood Moon Fishing

Blood Thorn: C+

Ironically, the best that this blood-themed weapon can hope to be is a severely anemic version of Life Drain. It's not too bad when it's actually hitting its target, but the most obvious problem with Blood Thorn is that it can only hit a distant enemy when there are blocks near it, and that's not a drawback that most people are willing to put up with in exchange for mediocre damage output. Despite having some of the most impressive visuals of any weapon, it is basically the definition of a junk rare. There is no reason to go out of your way to obtain this; even if you are on a Corruption world, it might be more practical to create an artificial Crimson and farm naturally spawned Crimson Mimics for a Life Drain than to try to fish for a Blood Thorn. I wouldn't even bother reeling it in.

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12.5% chance to drop from Hemogoblin Shark
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Drippler Crippler: S
A completely deranged melee weapon that is comparable to Chlorophyte-tier gear, dropped by an enemy that isn't much tougher than a Wyvern. There are two viable ways to use it: either throw it the full distance to pierce through linear crowds, or click rapidly to fire off as many projectiles as possible, damaging and stunlocking enemies at mid-range. The latter is also your best option for close-ranged DPS. With its massive base damage, it can even be used for bossing, and apart from shredding the Destroyer (obviously), it also deals reasonable damage to Skeletron Prime; I was able to destroy most of the boss's arms without even meaning to. In short, the Drippler Crippler is an incredibly nutty weapon that stays relevant for a very long time. I would go so far to say that the Flower Pow does not directly outclass it, since the Drippler Crippler fires piercing projectiles while the Flower Pow does not.

If you can set up an AHK macro to click-spam it as fast as possible, it surpasses the Fetid Baghnakhs as a facetanking weapon when aimed upwards.

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12.5% chance to drop from Blood Eel
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Sanguine Staff: A+
The main appeal of the Sanguine Staff is its accuracy and stable DPS, making it a popular choice against bosses. It also handles clustered enemies really well. Even if you're not a dedicated summoner, you'll definitely want to use this; just using a Summoning Potion and Bewitching Table will allow this weapon to consistently contribute to your total DPS, to the order of (base damage x # of capacity slots) since they attack around once per second. Of course, raw DPS isn't their only advantage; because the bats spend all their time traveling back and forth between you and your target, they're pretty good at keeping you safe since they knock enemies away 100% of the time. Not as insane for enemy lockdown as the Blade Staff, but still very good.

Its main downside is its obtainment method, because farming Dreadnautilus is extremely obnoxious. In contrast, while farming Queen Slime for the Blade Staff is also extremely obnoxious because of her projectile spam, at least it can be done reliably thanks to the abundance of Gelatin Crystals. The Sanguine Staff is rare to the point that many people question whether it's even worth getting. And if it were the only possible reward from Blood Moon fishing, I'd probably say no. Go for it only if you also want a Bananarang or Drippler Crippler.

While the Sanguine Staff starts off stronger with its Firecracker synergy, you might find Blade Staff more appealing later on since it benefits much more from post-mech summoner equipment and doesn't really care about the low offensive bonuses of Hallowed armor.

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50% chance to drop from Dreadnautilus (100% in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Goblin Invasion

Shadowflame Bow: B+

This offers roughly the same performance as a repeater with Jester's Arrows, but it does have a couple of small advantages: while it doesn't pierce as many enemies, it is slightly stronger, and it's completely free to use thanks to the Endless Quiver. Like Jester's Arrows, Shadowflame Arrows travel in a much straighter line than Unholy Arrows, giving them much better linear crowd control. Overall, this weapon is useful, but somewhat boring since it doesn't offer anything new to your arsenal.

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....Availability: ##
16.7% chance to drop from Goblin Warlocks (33.3% chance in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Unreal $

Shadowflame Knife: B+
A highly spammable single-target weapon that deals *barely* enough DPS to challenge bosses with, and will probably be among your safest options as a melee user. During invasions, it can create some chaos as knives bounce from one enemy to the next, but the bouncing effect is not reliable enough to be worth paying attention to. Except against the Destroyer, who is too large to avoid the knives and will consistently get hit by all three bounces. Against the Destroyer, it might not deal as much DPS as something like the Bladetongue, but it is much safer to use, so you can try using this if you don't have quite enough defense to tank him.

It is significantly worse at base than pre-mech ranged weapons like the Daedalus Stormbow and Dart Pistol and cannot outperform them even when wearing melee armor, so it is only really useful for melee-only challenges. That said, the popularity of these challenges means that the Shadowflame Knife gets recommended more often than it probably should.

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16.7% chance to drop from Goblin Warlocks (33.3% chance in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Shadowflame Hex Doll: A-
This strange magic weapon is a bit tricky to use due to its limited range, but it's among the best crowd-control weapons for early Hardmode thanks to its ability to cover a wide, cone-shaped area rather than a narrow line. Its single-target DPS is also deceptively high, with similar killtimes against all three mechanical bosses (though it falls somewhat short against Spazmatism's 2nd phase). With some help from Ichor, it is comfortably the strongest magic option against most single targets. One additional bonus is that it has relatively low mana usage, giving it basically 100% uptime against Skeletron Prime if you stop attacking when he is out of range. It becomes somewhat unreliable past the distance where the tentacles start to curve, so it's best to use it at close range; this makes it a natural fit on unconventional tank mage sets, although pre-mech mages don't have many good armor options for tanking, and by the time they do, the Hex Doll will most likely be outclassed.

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16.7% chance to drop from Goblin Warlocks (33.3% chance in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Mythical $

Pirate Invasion

Cutlass: D

It has better stats than ore swords, and can be obtained rather easily without requiring you to waste any crafting materials. Sadly, that's the best that can be said about the Cutlass; it kills weak enemies just fine, but isn't really usable beyond that. Anyone who has gotten past the Eye of Cthulhu should already know that broadswords aren't good for dealing with actual threats. Think of this as a sort of participation award from the Pirate Invasion. You probably won't be thrilled to get it unless it's literally your first Hardmode weapon, but at least it looks pretty good on a Weapon Rack.

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0.5% chance to be dropped by Pirates / 2% from Pirate Captains / 10% from Flying Dutchman
Best prefix: Legendary $

Pirate Staff: C
Having local immunity frames is nice since they won't interfere with each other, but what's not nice is the hideously incompetent AI that wastes most of its time either jumping over enemies or walking harmlessly through them on their way to attack something else. It really is a shame, because they would actually deal very high DPS against the Destroyer if only they weren't so stupid. They are the pirates who don't do anything.

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0.05% chance to drop from Pirates / 0.2% from Pirate Captains / 1% from Flying Dutchman
Best prefix: Ruthless ¢

Coin Gun: S
No one ever expects to obtain a Coin Gun, and many people don't have any firsthand experience with it, so few people actually know how good it is. As it turns out, the Coin Gun is very, very good. I'm not just talking about with Platinum Coins, either. With Silver Coins, this weapon is about as strong as a Megashark, and you'll usually break even with the money dropped by bosses. With Gold Coins, it's stronger than many post-Plantera weapons; for the relatively affordable price of around 3-4 platinum, you can easily blast through a boss that would otherwise give you trouble. In other words, instead of wasting gold reforging the same weapon over and over, you could yeet that gold directly towards a boss and actually make progress. This is what earns the Coin Gun its high ranking. Platinum Coins are not affordable outside of Journey mode and won't be relevant to most people, but if you must know, they deal about the same DPS as an unmodified S.D.M.G. with Musket Balls.

When using the Coin Gun, you'll want to prepare your coin stacks in advance; bank all your Platinum Coins, and prepare stacks of 100 Gold/Silver Coins each in your coin slots. Because it draws ammo from the coin slots first, you'll need to constantly micromanage your inventory in order to consistently fire the type of coin you want, so keep an eye on the ammo number displayed next to the weapon. Carrying an Encumbering Stone will prevent you from picking up random coins and messing up the order of your ammo.

For most ranged weapons, ammo is cheap enough that I wouldn't pay much attention to ammo conservation bonuses, but an exception can be made for the Coin Gun. If a penny saved is a penny earned, then a 20% ammo conservation bonus would basically earn you 1g 50s per second. Whether this is worth using full Adamantite armor is up to you, but it's a great idea to use an Ammo Box and Ammo Reservation Potion.

COPPER COIN
.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


SILVER COIN
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


GOLD COIN
.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability:
0.0125% chance to drop from Pirates / 0.05% from Pirate Captains / 0.25% from Flying Dutchman
Best prefix: none

Dropped by special Mimics

Daedalus Stormbow: S-

Uses standard arrows.
Raining arrows from the sky is not a reliable way to deal with most enemies, but the Daedalus Stormbow still has a very good matchup against large, predictable bosses like the Destroyer, Skeletron Prime, Queen Slime, Mourning Wood, and Pumpking. You'll usually deal the most single-target damage with Ichor Arrows, since the stars from Holy Arrows don't deal enough damage to make up for the built-in fire rate penalty that it suffers when using them. The Stormbow provides a specific answer to several important battles during the transition from early to mid-Hardmode, but is inefficient in most other situations (namely those that involve small targets), so you won't need it in your hotbar most of the time. But it is THE best weapon for taking down the next few bosses, thanks to the sheer quantity of projectiles making up for its horrible accuracy. One possibly relevant downside of the Stormbow is that you will probably not kill Spazmatism before triggering Retinazer's second form, so prepare yourself accordingly.

The Stormbow works excellently against the Destroyer, but not with Holy Arrows; you'll instead want to use Jester's/Unholy/Hellfire Arrows, or even Bone Arrows for that matchup. Later in the game you'll gain access to Chlorophyte Arrows, which can somewhat fix the Stormbow's accuracy problems. (However, you'll also gain access to the Chlorophyte Shotbow, which is a far more reliable weapon that does more or less the exact same thing.)

ICHOR ARROW
.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: #
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Hallowed Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Light in an empty chest
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Flying Knife: B
As far as melee weapons go, the Flying Knife is unique in that it is almost completely worthless for close-ranged combat. It can deal large amounts of damage to crowds of enemies, but does nothing to prevent them from swarming you. Trying to aim this weapon is such a mental struggle that it can easily distract you from dodging attacks, and its tendency to smack enemies towards you rather than away from you doesn't help, either. So this weapon is usually not recommended for direct combat. But for picking off groups of enemies that are trapped and can't reach you, the Flying Knife is a great weapon with several advantages over yoyos, namely its fullscreen range and lack of a time limit. It also deals substantial damage to the Destroyer while still allowing you to hide behind blocks, though the ensuing swarm of Probes is a problem that it was not designed to handle.

There are a couple of other tricks you can pull off with this weapon. At worst, it can be used like a poor man's Dao of Pow by simply throwing it in a straight line and letting it return to you, piercing all enemies along the way. You can also drag the cursor down where the Flying Knife can't reach, causing it to press itself against the ground and deal far more consistent damage to grounded enemies on top of it. This weapon isn't for everyone, but it can be quite good in the hands of someone who has enough patience to figure out how to use it (and is using a mouse rather than a trackpad). It also helps that the Flying Knife is a superb cheese weapon that arrives at a time when cheese weapons are in high demand. Use it with DoT debuffs for the best results.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: #
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Hallowed Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Light in an empty chest
Best prefix: Demonic/Godly $$$

Crystal Vile Shard: B+
It has a bit of an inferiority complex compared to Life Drain, but the Crystal Vile Shard is still a potent crowd control weapon that earns you a free win against the Pirates and can also heavily damage the Destroyer. Naturally, you'll want to abuse its wall-piercing capabilities to the fullest when fighting underground. Its short range becomes more of an issue when fighting on the surface, though I'd consider that a fair trade considering that it is a truly infinite piercing weapon with no damage falloff.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Hallowed Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Light in an empty chest
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Dart Pistol: S
If you were using a Blowpipe or Blowgun to inflict Ichor with darts, this is basically a straight upgrade that can act as your main DPS. The strongest single-target option is to continue using Ichor Darts, which will deal insane DPS if they split inside an enemy, but unfortunately this distance is shorter than the range of Spazmatism's flamethrower. Nonetheless, it is one of the top choices for eviscerating Skeletron Prime and the Twins, and you can continue using it post-mech if you want to use both Holy Arrows and Crystal Bullets and need a separate weapon to inflict Ichor with. It's also a very good crowd control option when using Crystal Darts, though its performance against the Destroyer doesn't quite match up to the Dart Rifle with Cursed Darts.

Ichor Darts will pierce infinitely before splitting. While this won't do as much single-target damage as hitting enemies with the sweetspot, it does allow you to juggle normal enemies backwards with knockback until they are far enough for the darts to split inside them and finish them off. And it also means that Skeletron Prime's arms and Plantera's tentacles can't bodyblock your shots.

CRYSTAL DART
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####

..........Safety: #####

ICHOR DART
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Crimson Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Night in an empty chest on a Crimson world
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Fetid Baghnakhs: A+
This is the most powerful broadsword for this stage of the game, and in fact it has the highest single-target DPS of any pre-mech weapon besides the Coin Gun. Obviously DPS isn't everything, but this is a LOT of DPS, and if you're planning to facetank, you might as well use the strongest weapon available while doing it. With a defensive build, you can basically flip the script on your enemies, kind of like how Pac-Man can eat a power pellet and start chasing the ghosts instead of the ghosts chasing him. I wouldn't recommend trying to facetank Skeletron Prime's spinning head, but it's a pretty good strategy for any other enemy that isn't programmed to fly away from you. If you aren't using it to facetank, it is a lot more niche and you'll probably only use it as a get-off-me weapon when you're getting swarmed.

Don't worry about the loss of offensive bonuses when running a tank set; it will always deal higher DPS with an all-Warding build than long-ranged weapons like the Shadowflame Knife will deal with an all-Menacing build. It can cheese the Destroyer as hard as the Daedalus Stormbow used to, but you probably need a Star Veil and around 80+ defense to pull off a full facetank in Expert mode, and 120+ to facetank Plantera.

.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: #####

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Crimson Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Night in an empty chest on a Crimson world
Best prefix: Legendary $$$

Life Drain: S-
Due to its ability to instantly disrupt large groups of enemies with perfect accuracy, this is one of the best magic weapons for getting nasty situations under control, especially those that involve projectile-based enemies. Unlike many weapons whose performance tends to fall apart as swarms of enemies start to accumulate, Life Drain thrives under the same conditions, completely shutting down both grounded and airborne enemies within a massive radius. Of course, the opposite is also true: its performance is unimpressive against single targets, and it may not be able to sustain itself off the Celestial Magnet alone. So it usually doesn't do well against bossesexcept the Destroyer, against which it is arguably the best magic weapon you could possibly use, and Queen Slime, which spawns hordes of annoying enemies that few weapons other than the Life Drain can handle. It is also excellent underground since it can penetrate into walls a bit, and instantly deletes most worm enemies from existence. As a bonus, it increases your passive health regeneration while in use, though it won't save you from the brink of death like Vampire Knives can. Ironically, despite literally being named "Life Drain", this weapon's ability to drain life ends up being a mere footnote compared to all of its other excellent qualities.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: #####

.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #####

....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Crimson Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Night in an empty chest on a Crimson world
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Dart Rifle: S
Apart from being slower and less reliable for stunlocking enemies, this weapon is just as nutty as the Dart Pistol and actually outperforms it in a handful of situations, namely against the Destroyer and the Old One's Army. With Crystal Darts, it shreds groups of scattered enemies just as effectively as the Dart Pistol does. With Cursed Darts, it melts the Destroyer (even offscreen), incinerates the Old One's Army, and still deals more damage to bosses than any other ranged weapon you'd likely have at that point. You could use Cursed Darts like you would use the North Pole and shoot them straight upwards to create a literal rain of fire, but that actually doesn't work too well against things other than the Destroyer because the flames will expire before they hit the ground. It's usually better to just aim at enemies directly, which guarantees that they'll be hit at least twice. No matter how you choose to use them, Cursed Darts will end up carpeting the entire area in flames and burning grounded enemies to bits.

The difference between the two mainly boils down to the availability of biome-specific darts. The Dart Rifle with Cursed Darts is better against the Destroyer, and the Dart Pistol with Ichor Darts is better against the Twins and Skeletron Prime (but not as good as the Daedalus Stormbow with Ichor Arrows). Both combos have specific synergies that encourage you to use them with their matching ammo: the faster fire rate of the Dart Pistol provides more mileage from the Ichor debuff, and the more powerful Dart Rifle helps Cursed Darts bulldoze through enemy defense. You have the option of using dart weapons with mismatched darts, but I wouldn't encourage it.

CRYSTAL DART
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: #####

CURSED DART
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Corrupt Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Night in an empty chest on a Corruption world
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Chain Guillotines: B+
It suffers from middling range, but its damage output is high enough that it can potentially be better than the Shadowflame Knife if enemies stay within reach of your attacks. Compared to the Anchor, Chain Guillotines have the advantage of not being completely scuffed when attacking an enemy that's above you, meaning that it is actually usable for boss fights. But there is little reason to use this over the wide variety of excellent pre-mech ranged weapons unless you're doing a melee-only challenge, and like most melee weapons designed to attack at range, its DPS is nothing compared to the Fetid Baghnakhs.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Corrupt Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Night in an empty chest on a Corruption world
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$

Clinger Staff: S
Like the Nimbus Rod, the Clinger Staff is a fire-and-forget weapon that passively damages enemies (and wrecks the Destroyer) without requiring any attention on your part. Unlike the Nimbus Rod, it creates an absolute barrier against any enemy susceptible to knockback, allowing you to completely ignore the majority of enemies from one side and focus on those that are more troublesome, like Pirate Captains and Dr. Man Flies. It also single-handedly filters out all the goblins in the Old One's Army while heavily damaging everything that is resistant to knockback. It usually won't deal high DPS to any single enemy, but that's not what this weapon was meant for. It spreads moderate chip damage (and Cursed Inferno) across multiple enemies while bunching them together, making them easy prey for minions and area-of-effect weapons. And even if its ability to knock things away isn't valuable to you, free damage is still free damage.

Apart from being arguably the most important non-summoner weapon for efficient OOA runs, it is also highly valuable for facetanking strategies since you can add significant DPS by placing it at your feet. This allows tank mages to do something sort of similar to Fetid Baghnakhs, as the combined DPS of a Nimbus Rod and Clinger Staff concentrated in a small area can shred through stationary bosses.

Its critical strike chance is calculated based on the magic weapon you're currently holding. Since Clinger Staff will almost never be the magic weapon you're currently holding, its base damage is the only stat that matters. Therefore, Ruthless is technically its best modifier. For the same reasons, it also gains a bit of extra DPS if you happen to use Sky Fracture a lot.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: #####


....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Corrupt Mimics, which can be summoned by placing a Key of Night in an empty chest on a Corruption world
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$

Dropped by Queen Slime

Blade Staff: S+

One of the two pre-mech summoning weapons that can actually be used against flying bosses like the Twins, Skeletron Prime, and Dreadnautilus. Not only is it perfectly accurate, it is the fastest-attacking minion weapon by far, putting most enemies in total lockdown. (Despite having zero base knockback, it gains a tiny bit of knockback if you have the Well Fed buff.) Any source of additional fixed damage will increase its damage output dramatically: the most notable sources of fixed damage are additional defense piercing (Stinger Necklace, Flask of Ichor, Sharpening Station + held melee weapon) and tag damage from whips (Spinal Tap, Cool Whip, Durendal). It has slightly lower DPS than the Spider Staff, but with a Shark Tooth Necklace equipped, it becomes about the same. In order to use this weapon properly, you need to understand how it works; because it has very low base damage, effects that add a fixed amount of damage per hit provide a monstrous boost to its damage output. So depending on how well you understand and build around it, it could be either very mediocre or very powerful. The Blade Staff's extremely low base damage also means that it benefits very little from percentage-based damage bonuses. This can be a blessing in disguise since it means you can run full Warding without sacrificing much of your damage, as long as you're still using defense penetration and whip tags.

While its dependency on tag damage makes it weak if not using whips or armor penetration, the Blade Staff can still be useful for stunlocking enemies while exploring. Even if it only does 1 damage, it can still hold enemies in place and prevent them from approaching or firing projectiles. Most enemies are rendered completely useless by just two Enchanted Daggers, which you can get easily with just a Bewitching Table. In addition, you're free to throw in an occasional whip strike even when not running summoner gear, which will help them deal damage to bosses and is one of the better things you can be doing as a mage when you're low on mana.

Due to its low base damage, this weapon doesn't work very well with the Firecracker. You'll mainly want to use Spinal Tap and Cool Whip to maximize tag damage. Later, the Blade Staff can synergize with Dark Harvest for some insane crowd damage, though it's more of a special-effects show than an optimal strategy since the Raven Staff and Deadly Sphere Staff usually do a better job dishing out damage.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: #####

..........Safety: ####

....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Queen Slime (33% in Expert mode)
Best prefix: Demonic/Mystic/Deadly/Hurtful ¢
 
Last edited:
Crafted or obtained from Mechanical Boss drops

Excalibur: C+

You'll be getting True Excalibur soon after this, so Excalibur's usefulness is short-lived, but you have to craft it anyway so you might as well use it. Its potential usefulness depends on what mechanical bosses you have left to kill. It obviously does pretty well against the Destroyer (though not as well as the Fetid Baghnakhs). It can also be used somewhat effectively against Skeletron Prime if you don't want to shell out 70 gold for the Mushroom Spear, which is otherwise better. It is garbage against the Twins, of course. Since it is a true melee weapon that receives the full benefit of melee speed, you may want to consider using it with Adamantite armor.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####

......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Hallowed Bar x12
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Gungnir: C-
Why would you make this? At least Excalibur hits every enemy in a wide area when you use it for close-ranged combat. Gungnir doesn't even do that, because its attack range is narrow and you have to aim it. You'd expect it to be stronger than Excalibur for single targets as a tradeoff for being more focused, but it is weaker in fact. And its improved range doesn't hit any important benchmarks; Skeletron Prime still floats barely out of reach, Spazmatism still trashes you, and the Destroyer (one of Gungnir's few good matchups) is probably already dead. The Mushroom Spear invalidates its entire existence.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ##

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Hallowed Bar x12
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Hallowed Jousting Lance: D-
This is an incredibly clumsy weapon, but it has a small handful of legitimate uses. It cuts down the Destroyer more effectively than most other melee weapons, and heavily damages Skeletron Prime during its spinning attack (only on Expert and Master mode⁠—on Classic mode, the spinning attack is far too slow). It is not optimal for those boss battles since you'll be extremely vulnerable to lasers when attacking at such a short range, but the Hallowed Jousting Lance can certainly deal significant damage, sometimes. Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that it is too gimmicky to use in most situations. While it can deal higher DPS than Excalibur and Gungnir in the hands of an experienced player, new players should skip this, and experienced players should only use this if they want to flex.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ##
.....Disruption: ###
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Hallowed Bar x12
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Durendal: A+
Offers both the best tag damage and the highest whip speed bonus for this stage. It boosts the Blade Staff considerably, and its superb attack speed allows it deal some damage to enemies on its own. Although its base DPS is not that impressive, its flawless accuracy and large area of effect make it perfect for scouting underground, and it even emits a fair bit of light just to sweeten the deal further. Due to its many desirable traits, I would consider it the best item to craft first with Hallowed Bars if you are doing a playthrough with no class restrictions.

While it's a fine weapon when used on its own, Durendal's potential actually goes a bit further than that. Durendal's Blessing will improve the attack speed of other whips, so it can be swapped back and forth with another whip if you're willing to minmax for optimal DPS. This allows the Firecracker to activate its effect much more frequently, and also provides a noticeable boost to the Morning Star. Spinal Tap can also be useful if you're using the Blade Staff, since tag damage from different whips will stack additively, boosting your total tag damage to 16 as long as you cycle between them. Overall, Durendal is a useful whip, but some of its uses are not obvious. Rather than replacing your other whips, it should be used alongside them to reap the benefits of both.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Hallowed Bar x12
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Hallowed Repeater: B+
Uses standard arrows.
Significantly more powerful than pre-mech repeaters and the Shadowflame Bow, though it can't quite keep up with the increasing standards set by other, stronger post-mech weapons. This can be used as an alternative to the Megashark that doesn't require a Destroyer kill, but it requires a Magic Quiver to be accurate. Usually, Unholy Arrows are your best bet for crowd control and Holy Arrows are best for taking down a single target. The former will remain your most consistent crowd control option even after you gain access to the Chlorophyte Shotbow, since they don't work too well with multi-shot bows. If you want to use this against the Destroyer, it outperforms the Daedalus Stormbow with Jester's Arrows.

It sees notable use in speedruns for most of Hardmode, as it is the strongest weapon that can be made with materials that you're guaranteed to get.

HOLY ARROW
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


UNHOLY ARROW
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: #####
Crafted from Hallowed Bar x12
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Red's Throw and Valkyrie Yoyo: A+
It's actually quite fitting that the best Expert mode-exclusive weapons are yoyos. In Expert mode, it's never wise to engage enemies directly; you should always attack from a safe position if you have the chance. This is something that yoyos excel at. Of course, these two yoyos have the downside of being extremely rare, and I wouldn't recommend farming for them considering that you can obtain Yelets from the Jungle fairly easily. But if you're lucky enough to receive Red's Throw or the Valkyrie Yoyo in your Expert playthrough, you should absolutely use it. They have infinite throw time and a bit more range and damage than Yelets, and Yelets is already considered a very good yoyo.

.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####

..........Safety: #####

....Availability: #
0.56% chance to obtain either yoyo from any hardmode Treasure Bag, alongside Red's or Lazure's set
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Arkhalis: F
Trying this out in Expert mode will make it abundantly clear that this is more of a novelty weapon than anything else, as it is practically impossible to use without taking contact damage (and let me remind you that this is only available in Expert mode). Arkhalis offers all of the drawbacks and none of the benefits of Fetid Baghnakhs, a weapon that many people already consider to be situational. It's perfectly fine for developer weapons to be strong, as demonstrated by Red's Throw and Valkyrie Yoyo. But Arkhalis isn't, and it's not the type of weapon that can be fixed with a simple damage buff. There is nothing that you could possibly want from such a pitifully short-ranged weapon that isn't already accomplished by the Fetid Baghnakhs, which also has better availability even if you're playing on a Corruption world.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: n/a
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: #

....Availability: #
0.28% chance to obtain from any hardmode Treasure Bag, alongside Arkhalis's set
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Waffle's Iron: C
One of the few projectile-firing melee weapons that gains a direct DPS benefit from melee speed since it actually fires one projectile per swing. Sadly, this is counterbalanced by the fact that the projectile itself is as mediocre as they come, and its lack of piercing makes it a poor choice against a certain leafy milf after she enters her wine-drunk cougar mode. Nonetheless, it is certainly better than the Shadowflame Knife, and while it doesn't make up for the mental damage and uncontrollable hair loss you'll experience when playing on Terraria's dumbest seed, it is undeniably cool that it even exists.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: #####
100% chance to drop from Mechdusa (getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Megashark: S-
Uses standard bullets.
The O.G. from version 1.1, Megashark is just as powerful and reliable as it was back in 2012 when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Thanks to its iconic status, it's not uncommon to see people using it for way longer than they probably should. Megashark is speedy enough to hold enemies in place and accurate enough to do so consistently from a distance, but its real potential comes from the various types of ammo that you can feed into it. Exploding Bullets turn it into an excellent crowd control machine that shoves hordes of enemies backwards while blasting them to bits. Crystal Bullets turn it into one of the strongest single-target DPS weapons, and it is among the best things you can use against the Twins and Skeletron Prime. It is only a very slight upgrade to the Uzi, so it you're lucky enough to own one, you can probably afford to skip the Megashark (though it's super easy to craft, so I don't know why you would).

CRYSTAL BULLET
.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

EXPLODING / HIGH VELOCITY BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ####

.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: #####


....Availability: #####
Crafted from Minishark, Illegal Gun Parts, Soul of Might x20, Shark Fin x5
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Super Star Shooter: B+
Its single-target DPS is a bit underwhelming relative to its ammo cost, but it has a small niche as the only relevant ranged weapon with truly infinite linear piercing. So it can be used sparingly against some specific targets like the Destroyer or the Old One's Army. It's a fact that a star that shines more brightly also has a much shorter lifetime, and while the Super Star Shooter definitely shines very brightly, it won't be usable for nearly as long as a Hallowed Repeater firing those same stars in the form of Jester's Arrows. You can use it specifically for the Destroyer, but keep in mind that the non-upgraded Star Cannon shreds the Destroyer almost as hard.

It's just as well that this weapon is available post-mech, since Conveyor Belts are also post-mech and those are your best bet for collecting ammo for long-term usage. If you want to make a conveyor skybridge, it's in your best interest to leave a crashed meteorite somewhere in your world so the game won't spawn any more.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: #####
Crafted from Star Cannon, Hallowed Bar x12
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$$

Light Disc: B-
Could be considered about the same as Bananarang, though one point in Light Disc's favor is that there is no RNG involved in obtaining it, so it might be a decent ranged choice for melee users on Crimson worlds. It has practically identical stats to the Chain Guillotines, just with 1 more base damage and a bit more attack range. Naturally, since the Bananarang and Chain Guillotines are pre-mech and the Light Disc is post-mech with a significant resource cost, there is almost no reason to use this if the other two are available. Even when using melee armor, it ties in DPS with the Megashark, and that's pretty sad.

You can still use the Light Discs if you want to wear melee armor (which is generally the best armor), and also suffer from a rare disease that causes you to explode IRL if you use a weapon from the wrong class. Apparently, this disease is not that rare within the Terraria playerbase.

.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ###

....Availability: #####
Crafted from Hallowed Bar x20, Soul of Light x15, Soul of Might x25
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$$$$

Magical Harp: C-
Compared to the Rainbow Rod, or even pre-mech magic weapons like Magic Dagger and Life Drain, the Magical Harp's performance is simply embarrassing. With some of the slowest projectiles in the game, this weapon struggles to land any hits at all beyond point-blank range, even when playing only the highest notes. You'd expect it to compensate by providing DPS that doesn't suck, but it fails to achieve that even when every note hits its mark. You can still try using this against the Destroyer and it'll be almost as good as the Crystal Vile Shard, but after that, you're best off chucking it into the Shimmer pool where it belongs.

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Crafted from Harp, Crystal Shard x20, Soul of Sight x15, Soul of Night x8
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Rainbow Rod: A+
In my opinion, the Rainbow Rod marks the turning point where magic finally starts becoming good. It offers reasonable DPS against bosses, wipes out crowds of enemies with splash damage, and can cheese things underground with its controllable projectile. It's a bit click-intensive, but its performance makes it well worth it. Note that it will only loop back to strike the same enemy if no other enemies are nearby, meaning that its single-target DPS is significantly higher against bosses than against individual enemies in a crowd. It is also more suited for open-air combat since the projectiles can waste their potential colliding with blocks when not manually controlled.

As it is one of the few weapons that cannot benefit from the universal autofire setting, PC users may find it worthwhile to set up an AHK macro to spam-click it, and bind it to something like middle click if you aren't already using that for quick mana.

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Crafted from Pixie Dust x10, Crystal Shard x10, Unicorn Horn x2, Soul of Light x8, Soul of Sight x15
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Optic Staff: A
Unique in that each minion is actually two minions, one of which is specialized for single targets and the other of which is specialized for crowd control. While Spaz doesn't scale well with capacity, Ret does with its single-target laser. Your main question is probably "is this better than the Blade Staff?" and the answer is yes for DPS (on summoner builds) and no for general disruption. One thing to keep in mind is that the Twins minions might sometimes knock enemies towards you, and Enchanted Daggers will never do that. Also, if you're not running significant summon damage boosts and just using an occasional whip hit to boost your minions, there is no significant difference in DPS between the Optic and Blade Staff.

Don't use this underground. If you have the Blade Staff or Sanguine Staff, use those instead; if you don't have either of those, use the Spider Staff.

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....Availability: ###
Crafted from Black Lens, Lens x2, Hallowed Bar x12, Soul of Sight x20
Best prefix: Ruthless $

Flamethrower: S
Offers the highest DPS of any pre-Plantera ranged weapon, with the drawback being its slightly restrictive range and the fact that you need to either set up a Gel farm or grind out Queen Slime kills to maintain its ammo supply. Nonetheless, it is way more practical to use than the Super Star Shooter, on top of being stronger. Save it for bosses, and you'll find that it's super effective.

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Crafted from Illegal Gun Parts, Iron/Lead Bar x20, Soul of Fright x20
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Dropped by monsters (req: 1 mechanical boss defeated)

Yelets: A-

Now is around the time the Amarok, Hel-Fire, and Chik start falling off, so Yelets is a welcome upgrade that is just as easy to obtain. In fact, it practically flings itself into your inventory, and is so common that you can just wait for a Godly or Demonic one to drop instead of reforging it. This is among the better melee weapons against Plantera, and matches up well against most of the Underground Jungle in general.

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0.5% chance to drop from any enemy in the Jungle, after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Unholy Trident: B+
This isn't quite as brainlessly spammable as Cursed Flames thanks to its relatively high mana cost and narrow, hard-to-aim projectile. However, it is incredibly powerful against invasions like the Solar Eclipse, dealing high DPS to up to three enemies at once. If you have a relatively flat arena to fight in, this is absolutely worth using; it easily kills enemies fast enough to sustain itself with a Celestial Magnet. It's kind of like a pre-1.4.4 Terra Blade that costs mana.

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....Availability: ##
3.33% chance to drop from Red Devils, which spawn after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Flower of Fire (remix): B
Despite its limited range, it has decent matchups against the Twins and Skeletron Prime on dontdigup because it can set up long-lasting traps, similar to the North Pole. If the boss is out of reach, just spam the Flower of Fire directly upwards to create a curtain of bouncing projectiles, and at some point the boss will fly in and get ganked. Its lack of piercing works in its favor in this case, since there are no immune frames. The fact that you are mostly fighting underground (or more precisely, the fact that you are heavily discouraged from fighting aboveground) means that the bouncing properties are more useful in general, and unlike most bouncing weapons it also bounces on platforms, giving it better effective horizontal range in most arenas.

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....Availability: ##
3.33% chance to drop from Red Devils, which spawn after a mechanical boss has been defeated (dontdigup and getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Obtained from NPCs (req: 1 mechanical boss defeated)

Mushroom Spear: B-

This is a very strong close-range weapon that you might consider using if you have access to Ichor. The spear itself deals high damage while the secondary mushroom projectiles deal many small hits. On their own, the mushrooms won't contribute much. But when paired with the Flask of Ichor's defense-decreasing weapon imbue, the Mushroom Spear deals higher DPS than the Death Sickle, and rips apart predictable chaser-type enemies like Mothron and Plantera. Unlike most melee weapons that can hit further than point-blank, it actually benefits from melee speed since the mushrooms are spawned per thrust and are non-piercing. It is also usable for short-range wall cheesing, though the spear itself does not pierce through walls.

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Sold by Truffle for 70 gold after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$$$

Code 2: A-
Statistically inferior to Yelets, but works the same. Probably not worth buying considering how common Yelets is, and how you're going to have to spend time in the Jungle anyways. Code 2's infinite throwing time is a slight advantage it has over Yelets, though Yelets can automatically refresh itself anyways thanks to universal autofire.

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Rare chance to be sold by Traveling Merchant for 25 gold, after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Ballista Cane: B
A lone Ballista sentry is rather pathetic, but the main reason to use them is because they happen to pair with Squire armor, which is the best tier 2 OOA armor set on its own merit. With Ballista Panic and the boosted piercing from the set bonus, they become quite fearsome. The problem is that in order to reach their full potential, you need to take damage to activate Ballista Panic. And this is not very tempting on higher difficulties. However, during the Old One's Army, you can get around this issue by stepping on a Dungeon Spike.

This sentry should only be used in crowd control situations, because the combination of Ballista + Firecracker loses in DPS to Queen Spider + Durendal even when Ballista Panic is active.

DEFAULT
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BALLISTA PANIC
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Sold by Tavernkeep for 15 Defender Medals after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Flameburst Cane: C-
Fires faster than the Ballista, but is less likely to damage multiple enemies, can't shoot upwards, and deals less damage per hit, which more than nullifies any advantage it could possibly have. Outside of the densely packed conditions of the Old One's Army, its explosions are just too small to realistically hit more than two enemies at once, and even within the Old One's Army, everything starts to fall apart when the Drakins show up to body-block the shots. Ultimately, you need a sentry-focused loadout for this weapon to be even close to decent, and there isn't even an incentive to use Apprentice armor with it because its set bonus doesn't improve this sentry's DPS. It just allows you to place the towers further back, which isn't much of an advantage considering that placing all your sentries towards the front is a perfectly viable strategy (as evidenced by the fact that the two sentries with zero view range are better than the Flameburst). Basically, it sucks.

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Sold by Tavernkeep for 15 Defender Medals after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Explosive Trap Cane: B+
Though it has the smallest range of the Tavernkeep's sentries, it makes up for it by dealing the highest DPS by a wide margin, especially when wearing Huntress armor. This allows you to set up kill zones before switching back to your ranged weapons, creating a deadly combo. Repositioning the sentries does require micromanagement, so you might want to stick to the Queen Spider if you don't want to bother with that. This is probably the most useful of the OOA sentries outside the event, although I think it still falls short compared to the overall utility offered by the Queen Spider.

If you're using Phantom Phoenix, the Oiled debuff provides a slight DPS bonus, though it's not worth going out of your way to activate. It just so happens that the Phantom Phoenix can set things on fire without giving up anything important.

DEFAULT
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HUNTRESS
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....Availability: #####
Sold by Tavernkeep for 15 Defender Medals after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Lightning Aura Cane: B-
The Lightning Aura is a wider but significantly less damaging version of the Explosive Trap. Though it has lower potential, it also requires less micromanagement. However, in any situation where the screen isn't densely packed with enemies, it will usually lose to the Queen Spider Staff. It can be considered a somewhat larger version of the Nimbus Rod, and works well if you're familiar with the area and know where enemies usually gather and get stuck. Or you could just set up a barrier with a Clinger Staff, and use the Lightning Aura to pick them off on the opposite side.

One interesting trick you can use for the Old One's Army is to set up a small floating block platform with actuators attached to a timer. During the event, you can summon Lightning Auras on the platform, and when the platform is actuated, they will fall down and stack on top of each other, essentially allowing you to deploy all your Lightning Auras near the start of the track where they can nail the incoming enemies all at once.

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....Availability: #####
Sold by Tavernkeep for 15 Defender Medals after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Mythical/Furious/Masterful/Godly/Demonic/Ruthless $$

Dropped by Ogre

Sleepy Octopod: D-

Unlike the Fetid Baghnakhs, this at least covers the area behind you, but its range is so awful that you might as well be attacking your enemies with a pickaxe. It is extremely difficult to kill something with this weapon without taking contact damage. And I know the same can be said of the Fetid Baghnakhs, but at least the Fetid Baghnakhs deals twice as much DPS. Forget about bossing; the Sleepy Octopod can barely even handle a Moss Hornet. The final insult is that its smash attack doesn't even work properly when you're flying, though it's not like this weapon would be remotely useful even if it did.

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....Availability: ###
10% chance to drop from Ogre
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic ¢

Brand of the Inferno: C-
It's actually a very competent melee weapon, and it's also useful on tanking builds who can use it to increase defense by a whopping 20 points while holding right-click. Unfortunately, it cannot be both of those things at the same time. The ability to parry attacks is potentially useful against predictable foes like Duke Fishron, though you'll probably wind up getting killed if you haven't spent hours practicing the fight in Journey Mode. And if you want to use it for parrying, it's outclassed by the Sergeant United Shield, which can deal the bonus damage from Striking Moment from a distance. Still, the ability to add 20 defense to a loadout that already has 140+ defense can make you nearly immortal even in Master Mode, and it might be worth considering in multiplayer if you're playing the tank role. A bit specific, but interesting nonetheless.

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....Availability: ###
10% chance to drop from Ogre
Best prefix: Legendary ¢

Phantom Phoenix: A+
Uses standard arrows.
This is a devastating crowd control weapon that still retains excellent single-target damage with Holy or Ichor Arrows. It is a little awkward in that it alternates between arcing arrows and straight-line phoenixes, but the phoenix is where the big damage comes from, so I recommend you focus on aiming that. If you're not using Chlorophyte Arrows, you'll need to be in somewhat close range in order to land both arrows on small targets.

The Phantom Phoenix does extremely well against bosses thanks to its multi-shot properties, which have great synergy with the effects of Holy and Ichor Arrows. But even if you want use the Endless Quiver, you'll still have access to the phoenix: an infinitely piercing, highly damaging projectile that can be fired for free, and cheeses the Destroyer almost as hard as the infamous Tome of Infinite Wisdom. The Phantom Phoenix's usefulness is especially surprising considering how almost everything else on the Ogre's drop table is absolute garbage.

HOLY ARROW / ICHOR ARROW
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CHLOROPHYTE ARROW
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....Availability: ###
10% chance to drop from Ogre
Best prefix: Unreal ¢

Tome of Infinite Wisdom: B
Its ability to dismantle the Destroyer in seconds is pretty cool, but probably not a run-saver since the Destroyer shouldn't be much of a challenge to someone who can handle not just another mechanical boss, but also the second tier of the Old One's Army. The Tome of Infinite Wisdom is definitely not a weapon you'll be relying on for most situations. Its primary attack is roughly the same as Crystal Storm, but with less utility in tight spaces and a bit too much knockback for its own good. The secondary attack is a very wide and powerful anti-ground crowd control option that can be used on uneven terrain, but with a ridiculous cost of 40 mana per cast, it basically can't be sustained outside of heavily crowded invasion events, where it can feed off mana stars with the Celestial Magnet. There it will be among your best choices, but as soon as something like a Mourning Wood, Ogre, Mothron, or Martian Saucer shows up, you should switch to a single-target weapon and focus on that.

If you want to use its tornado during the Old One's Army against offscreen enemies, I recommend wearing Celestial/Magic Cuffs and standing on a spike.

PAGES
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TORNADO
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10% chance to drop from Ogre
Best prefix: Mythical ¢

Ghastly Glaive: D+
The poster child for bad weapons that look really good when you use them on a row of five Target Dummies. It's kind of similar to Fetid Baghnakhs, in the sense that you'll be dealing good (albeit unfocused) damage to crowds of enemies, but your power trip will be rudely interrupted once you look away from your DPS Meter and realize that more than half your health is missing. Unlike the Fetid Baghnakhs, it only performs well against crowds, and if you don't already have a way to deal with crowds, you literally cannot receive this since the Old One's Army itself is a test of crowd control. Unfortunate.

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10% chance to drop from Ogre
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic ¢

Obtained from NPCs (req: all mechanical bosses defeated)

Pulse Bow: B+

Spammable and free to use with the Endless Quiver. It slices through invasion events, and can handle both sides of the Old One's Army at once if you set up a vertical wall behind each portal. Aim straight towards one side, hold your mouse key down, and as long as you have some minions to handle Wyverns and Lightning Bugs, you can turn your brain off for the entire wave until Betsy shows up. Aside from that, the Pulse Bow is an average weapon that offers middling DPS compared to most other bows in its tier, and requires a perfectly flat battlefield to reach its full crowd control potential when used aboveground. It's excellent underground where it can perform bankshots, and works very well against the Dungeon; it's a shame that the Dungeon is the only underground location you'll actually be spending time in at this point.

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Extremely rare chance to be sold by Traveling Merchant for 45 gold after all mechanical bosses have been defeated
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Craftable after defeating all mechanical bosses

Chlorophyte Claymore: D+

This is one of the least useful projectile swords in the game. Its energy orb fires too slowly and with too heavy an arc to be a serious option for crowd control, and it can't even interrupt a Paladin without help from the blade. Since you're most likely using a Fire Gauntlet or Berserker's Glove at this point, both the Claymore and Saber deal insane knockback anyways, meaning that the Claymore is actually less reliable for knocking enemies away due to its slower speed. A lot of new players will craft this on their first playthrough, probably thinking that its higher base damage should make it a stronger weapon. I don't think those people will make the same mistake on their second playthrough.

BLADE
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ORB
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Crafted from Chlorophyte Bar x12
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Chlorophyte Saber: C+
It has the same DPS as the Chlorophyte Claymore, but its projectile is much, much more useful since it fires faster and pierces through walls, allowing it to cheese enemies underground. In most cases the Chlorophyte Saber is still outclassed by the Partisan due to its shorter range, significantly lower fire rate, and lack of knockback on its projectile, but the Saber's blade hitbox can be useful in a handful of circumstances. For example, it destroys the drifting spores that Plantera spawns during her second phase, while also dealing damage and knockback to the tentacles. Obviously the Death Sickle, Ice Sickle, and True Excalibur can do the same thing, but being outclassed doesn't make a weapon inherently bad. That said, Chlorophyte Bars are a highly contested resource, so I don't think you should make this. You'll likely be making True Excalibur at some point anyways so I recommend you use that instead.

BLADE
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SPORE
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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Chlorophyte Bar x12
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Chlorophyte Partisan: B+
While it requires a bit of experience and careful spacing, this is easily the best Chlorophyte melee weapon, packing superior range, damage, attack speed, and crowd control. It can be used in all situations where you might use a Death Sickle. Don't try to use it at point-blank range; its sweetspot is around half the distance to the edge of your screen, and it becomes unreliable when used on anything closer, since the spores aren't released until the spear reaches the end of its thrust. Some people compare it to the Mushroom Spear, but the Mushroom Spear's attack range is vastly inferior and it fails to deal significant damage when used for wall piercing. However, the Mushroom Spear is slightly more reliable at close range, while the Chlorophyte Partisan ironically requires you to keep your distance in order to work well. Due to its ability to exploit uneven terrain and cheese enemies through blocks, it is one of the best weapons you can bring to the post-Plantera dungeon.

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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Chlorophyte Bar x12
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Chlorophyte Shotbow: S
Uses standard arrows.
While its stats are slightly lower than those of the Daedalus Stormbow, the Chlorophyte Shotbow will almost always perform better since it is much easier to aim. Unlike the Daedalus Stormbow, it doesn't have a specific penalty when used with Holy Arrows, so it's one of the absolute best weapons you can use to shred large bosses like Plantera. Due to the very high number of projectiles, it greatly appreciates support from the Ichor debuff if you have it. Alternatively, you can use the Shotbow itself to inflict Ichor with Ichor Arrows, and follow up with Crystal Bullets from a gun. If you don't have access to Ichor, Holy Arrows are still the highest DPS option, though you can also use Venom Arrows if you prefer a more convenient ammo source, or if you're fighting something that moves around too much to be hit by the Holy Arrow stars.

HOLY ARROW
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..........Safety: ####

CHLOROPHYTE ARROW
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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Chlorophyte Bar x12
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Venom Staff: B
A strong and inaccurate weapon, though exactly how inaccurate it is depends on the size of your target. The Unholy Trident typically outclasses this during invasion events since its DPS doesn't suffer nearly as much when attacking a faraway enemy, and blasting things at point-blank range is not exactly a mage-friendly strategy. There was one point where the Venom Staff could reliably hit large enemies twice with the same projectile, but that doesn't seem to happen much anymore, leaving it inferior to the Rainbow Rod in most cases. However, it's still one of the better magic weapons against Plantera, and it's a very accessible choice compared to many post-Plantera magic weapons later on. And more importantly, it's the weapon you'll probably want to use against Plantera's second phase, since the Rainbow Rod is unable to focus down Plantera when there are so many targets on the screen.

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....Availability: ###
Crafted from Poison Staff, Chlorophyte Bar x14
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

True Night's Edge: A-
Very inaccurate at long range, but that's another way of saying that it rewards you for being in close range, which is exactly what a melee weapon is supposed to do; adjust your expectations accordingly. The projectile follows the player's movement, which makes it unique and not in a good way. It only hits 3 times, which can all be against the same enemy if it's at close range, making it sort of like a single-target Terragrim. You can try facetanking with this, but both of the upcoming bosses are killed faster with True Excalibur since they have additional parts that can soak up damage from the True Night's Edge's projectile, so it only overtakes True Excalibur after all the extra targets are gone. Like the original Night's Edge, it's best used for grinding up random enemies underground.

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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Night's Edge, Soul of Might x20, Soul of Sight x20, Soul of Fright x20
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

True Excalibur: A
Not actually meant to be the strongest facetanking weapon; that title still belongs to the Baghnakhs. True Excalibur is mainly useful when there are many enemies swarming you over a wide area, such as during a Solar Eclipse or Plantera's second phase. Unlike most swords, it will knock enemies away from you regardless of which direction you're facing. Its sheer size makes it the safest true melee weapon in the game, though like all swords it suffers from a blind spot underneath the player (which is more noticeable because it covers all other angles so well). Luckily, this blind spot isn't relevant if you're employing the tried-and-true OSOGOF tunnel strategy against Plantera.

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Crafted from Excalibur, Chlorophyte Bar x24
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Solar Eclipse (req: all mechanical bosses defeated)

Death Sickle: A

This weapon is amazing for juggling enemies in close- to mid-range, and it will be among your top choices for the battle against Plantera. Since it pierces through walls, it can safely deal with almost anything you'll encounter underground. Its limited range becomes more noticeable aboveground, but it should still easily defend you from anything that relies on contact damage by setting up an impenetrable barrier of long-lasting projectiles. Even if you obtain it after defeating Plantera, the Death Sickle will still be immensely useful if you're planning to explore the Hardmode Dungeon. It works well for most crowd control situations, though it doesn't pierce infinitely like the Chlorophyte Partisan does.

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....Availability: ##
2.5% chance to drop from Reapers, which spawn in a Solar Eclipse after all mechanical bosses have been defeated
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Dropped by Plantera

Flower Pow: B

Unlike with most flails, all three of the Flower Pow's attack modes have great utility if you care to learn them. Spinning the flail works as a decent close-ranged attack, while also providing some projectile support that stops caster-type enemies. Throwing the flail is excellent for smashing through crowds of enemies. Dropping the flail against the ground ramps up its fire rate and turns it into the melee equivalent of a Magnet Sphere, letting it chew through enemies with a machine-gun barrage of projectiles. It may not be an outstanding bossing weapon, but it is useful for almost everything else, including the Hardmode dungeon.

SPIN (projectile)
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THROW
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DROP (projectile)
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....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$

Seedler: S
While its base damage is relatively low, this weapon actually has extremely high DPS for a weapon that is so easy to use. Each seed hits like a spammable shotgun blast with semi-homing properties that make it good even against scattered enemies, and it can often kill frail enemies in one shot. These semi-homing properties also make it reasonably good for bossing, where it will serve as your best melee option until the Terra Blade. However, it only reaches optimal DPS if you can land the seed directly on a target, and that might not be possible during mid- to long-range battles like the Empress of Light. It also makes for a surprisingly good facetanking weapon since the seeds deal insane damage if they explode directly inside an enemy, and you might as well use the sword part of the weapon if the opportunity presents itself.

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....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Leaf Blower: C+
It fulfills the niche of a single target DPS weapon that fires in a straight line with poor velocity. This is an archetype that you've seen already with pre-Hardmode gem staves, Crystal Serpent, Unholy Trident, Crystal Storm, and Sky Fracture, and if you're a magic user, it's an archetype that you're probably sick and tired of at this point. While it does have slightly higher DPS than some other magic weapons available immediately after Plantera, this is also the point where you have access to Spectre armor, which disproportionately benefits weaker magic weapons. So in this specific context, the advantage in base DPS doesn't actually mean much. And considering that semi-inaccurate DPS is the only thing that this weapon offers, I don't think it's worth your time or reforge money.

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....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Nettle Burst: B-
While it's not especially powerful against single targets, using the Nettle Burst actually makes a lot of sense in many situations around this stage of the game. It's almost as good as the Wasp Gun against the post-Plantera Dungeon, and it's good for taking out the trash during most invasion events. Compared to the Wasp Gun, the Nettle Burst offers non-negligible knockback and full wall piercing, but lacks a homing effect and has limited range. I would prefer the Wasp Gun most of the time, but the Nettle Burst isn't too bad for crowd control. I don't think it can replace Life Drain, but it's a heck of a lot better than the Magical Harp.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: #####
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....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Wasp Gun: B
The ultimate counter to enemies like Paladins, Skeleton Commandos, and Tesla Turrets that are interrupted upon taking damage. Situations involving multiple shooters attacking at the same time become much less dangerous when you have the Wasp Gun shutting them down all at once. And because it is homing and has extremely long range, you can just start spamming it if the Lifeform Analyzer tells you there's something dangerous nearby. In fact, it is so spammy that even if you run completely out of mana, you can still use it if you're buffed with Mana Regeneration. It hits the piercing cap anyways, so its DPS won't suffer much. Don't use it against bosses, though.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: #####
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....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Grenade Launcher: B+
The Grenade Launcher deals high damage and fires rapidly, making it an incredibly effective crowd control tool. Its projectiles last a long time, so even if you miss your original target, they will probably collide with something if you're using it in a crowded space. You'll probably need the height advantage, and you must also pay attention in order to avoid blowing yourself up. This weapon is ideal for performing bank shots, and you'll get many such opportunities in the Dungeon. For underground combat, I don't recommend using Rocket III; the increased blast radius hurts the user a lot more than it hurts enemies. Use Rocket I, which is cheaper and safer.

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....Availability: #####
100% chance to drop from Plantera the first time it is defeated in Classic mode. 14.29% chance to drop on subsequent kills and in Expert mode
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Venus Magnum: A-
Uses standard bullets.
Strong, accurate, and loud. I'd say it's about on par with the Sniper Rifle you can get slightly later, though it's worth swapping to the Sniper Rifle if you're planning to use Crystal Bullets. In my opinion, the Venus Magnum works best as a "free" weapon for general use with the Endless Musket Pouch, since it gets the high-velocity piercing effect and circumvents its lack of ammo conservation properties. It's one of the better options against the Old One's Army thanks to its high multi-target DPS, even on non-ranged loadouts.

CRYSTAL BULLET
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CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
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ENDLESS MUSKET POUCH
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....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Pygmy Staff: C
Offers very good DPS against grounded enemies, but the keyword is "grounded". Enemies can easily counter Pygmies by employing an elaborate strategy called jumping, and there are a lot of important enemies that don't spend much time near the ground in the first place. At least the Pygmies can sort of deal with Golem, though they aren't noticeably more effective than the Twins in that fight.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ##
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....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Plantera, independent from its regular drop table
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Obtained from NPCs (req: Plantera defeated)

Proximity Mine Launcher: C

Thankfully, the 3x damage bonus from primed mines does not apply to self-damage. You'll still take potentially upwards of 200 damage if you mess up, though. It is usually too difficult to prime the mines during practical combat, but if you try to use it directly against enemies without priming them, it is completely outclassed by the Grenade Launcher. You can try using proximity mines against the Old One's Army, either placing them next to the crystal to catch wyverns and deal big damage to Betsy, or placing it behind your sentries to catch Drakins and minibosses that can withstand the initial onslaught. The mines only last a minute, so they'll have to be refreshed every wave, but it's not like you'll have much better to do between waves besides refreshing your Frost Hydra, Nimbus Rod, Rainbow Gun, and Clinger Staff. And with some clever placement, you can use them actively against slow targets like Ogres by deploying the mines in front so they activate right before being stepped on.

I think the saddest thing about the Proximity Mine Launcher is the fact that you can't use it to insta-nuke Golem because his body can't be hurt until his second phase.

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....Availability: #####
Sold by Cyborg for 35 gold
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Resonance Scepter: A-
Very similar to Life Drain in usage. Compared to Life Drain, it offers better DPS, but it's slightly worse at everything else. Its area of effect is noticeably smaller, and because it has lingering hitboxes and a slower attack rate, you actually have to lead your shots a little bit. One thing you'll start to notice is that if a weapon targets a specific point on your screen, it cannot target enemies that are offscreen (which sounds obvious, I know). But this is actually a significant disadvantage when you compare it to weapons like Unholy Trident and Sniper Rifle, which can hit offscreen bosses pretty easily with the help of minimap icons. Also, aiming at a specific point on the screen adds a layer of complexity that can distract you from dodging attacks; this affects Resonance Scepter more than it affects Life Drain due to its smaller hitbox.

I've been listing off downsides of the Resonance Scepter this whole time, but it's still a very good magic weapon. It deals great DPS to clusters of enemies, and unlike the Unholy Trident it can attack enemies directly below you without losing accuracy. In fact, it's almost a strictly better Inferno Fork. But is it worth doing what you had to do to get it in the first place? That's a question you'll have to answer on your own.

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....Availability: ##
12.5% chance to drop from Princess
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Special dungeon chests

Vampire Knives: S+

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a Crimson world, and arguably the most useful weapon in the entire game. It's simple, really: the only way to lose against most bosses is to die, and Vampire Knives make it nearly impossible to die, so in 99% of situations this is basically an "I win" button. Melee benefits greatly from its lifesteal because it's the tankiest of the four classes, but no matter what class you're playing, you'll probably want to use this. When imbued, it among the best weapons for applying Ichor since it has a wide spread, decent range, and innate healing, while also immediately letting you know when it hits a target. And with the Ichor debuff in play, it actually deals quite a lot of damage on its own, which in turn increases its healing output. That said, I would rate this as an S rank weapon even if it only dealt 1 damage with its healing output remaining unchanged. This will be useful from the time you get it all the way up until you destroy the final Celestial Pillar.

Melee/summoner hybrid sets benefit greatly from this weapon, since minions can keep up the offensive pressure while you're healing up with the knives, and the Ichor debuff will enhance their damage output. Hallowed/Spooky/Squire is a great set for a melee-based summoner, and you can later upgrade to Shinobi/Spooky/Valhalla. Of course, other classes can also use it for offhand healing and tagging enemies with ichor, which especially benefits fast weapons with low-ish base damage such as the Chain Gun and Bat Scepter.

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....Availability: #
Found in Crimson Chest. Crimson Key has a 0.04% chance to drop from any enemy killed in the Crimson biome and can be used after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$$$$$

Scourge of the Corruptor: S
At the moment it is obtained, it is easily the best melee weapon to use against the Dungeon since it floods the entire area with long-lasting, homing projectiles. In any environment where the javelin can reliably collide with blocks, the Scourge of the Corruptor is a dominant force that provides stable, high DPS against all enemies both on and off the screen. But for aerial boss battles, it is not as user-friendly as the Possessed Hatchet, since the javelin can miss its target entirely without spawning eaters, and the eaters aren't quite fast enough to chase down something that's moving at high speed. Rather than shooting upwards into the sky, you should usually shoot it against the ground if you aren't sure you can hit a flying enemy with it (for example, when fighting against Betsy). You should also keep shooting it against the ground when you don't see any enemies on your screen, just to keep the projectile spam going. I don't think this is as useful as the Vampire Knives, but let's be real, almost nothing is as useful as the Vampire Knives. The Scourge of the Corruptor is a very strong weapon in its own right.

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....Availability: #
Found in Corruption Chest. Corruption Key has a 0.04% chance to drop from any enemy killed in the Corruption biome and can be used after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$$$$$

Rainbow Gun: B
This has the same basic concept as the Magnet Sphere: you fire it once and swap to something else. I don't think this is quite as useful as the Magnet Sphere since it has a narrower area of effect, it actually needs to be aimed, and you'll often have to descend to the ground to fire it at the best angle. But it adds DPS to your setup for free and can be used alongside the Magnet Sphere, so there's no reason not to have it in your hotbar. You can benefit from using this even if you aren't a mage. If you don't want to invest much attention in the Rainbow Gun, you can just fire it at some random angle in the middle of a fight; it won't be optimal, but it'll be better than nothing.

It has a significantly shorter duration than the Clinger Staff and Nimbus Rod, but 40 seconds is still more than enough time to vaporize the Old One's Army if you refresh it at the start of every wave. I'd probably rank it lower if the Old One's Army didn't exist, but this weapon, along with the Clinger Staff, is essentially mandatory if you want to do OOA without sentries for whatever reason.

Its reforge cost is so high that it's a good idea to stop once you have any +15% damage modifier, such as Mythical, Godly, Demonic, or Masterful.

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....Availability: #
Found in Hallowed Chest. Hallowed Key has a 0.04% chance to drop from any enemy killed in the Hallow biome and can be used after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Piranha Gun: B+
Getting the first shot off is the hard part and might require you to move into close range to ensure that all three piranhas land. But after that, you can hold down the attack key and focus entirely on your movement while automatically eliminating every threat on the screen, one-by-one. Note that it's sometimes worth manually withdrawing your piranhas if a bigger threat shows up (like a Ragged Caster or Paladin). While the piranhas only latch onto one enemy at a time, they will damage every enemy that they touch, which can lead to massive total DPS in a few situations where loads of enemies end up stacked on top of each other. This weapon benefits greatly from Ichor, but there's no way to inflict the debuff in singleplayer without releasing the Piranha Gun, so you decide whether that's worth it for you.

If you're planning to use the Piranha Gun as your main weapon, the Shroomite Helmet is the best option for it, and you can use the Adamantite Mask or Hallowed Helmet if you prefer the flexibility of your other weapons. You can also run full Hallowed if you prefer its defensive effect. While Shroomite stealth is useless most of the time, the Piranha Gun is perhaps the only weapon in the game that is able to somewhat consistently utilize it, as the damage bonus will remain active as long as you were stealthed when the piranhas were launched.

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....Availability: #
Found in Jungle Chest. Jungle Key has a 0.04% chance to drop from any enemy killed in the Jungle biome and can be used after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Unreal/Godly/Demonic $$$$$$$$

Staff of the Frost Hydra: B
A decent sentry when fighting on flat terrain, and a substantial upgrade to the Queen Spider Staff in many cases. Melee hybrids appreciate it the most since they get the best sentry helmet (Shinobi Infiltrator), giving them two extra sentries without sacrificing much offense thanks to the helmet's 20% melee damage boost. Piercing mechanics hold the Frost Hydra back a little since it can miss entirely against targets that are under attack by another piercing weapon, and the Hydras can interfere with each other if they fire at the same target. But the piercing at least gives it a niche over the Queen Spider, which otherwise outclasses the Frost Hydra during single-target boss fights. Like all sentries, it is practically useless against speedy flying enemies like Duke Fishron and Martian Saucer, so don't count on it for those.

The real selling point of the Frost Hydra is that it doesn't cost Etherian Mana to summon during the Old One's Army, and instead runs on your usual sentry limit. This allows you to actually take advantage of your OOA armor's sentry capacity bonuses, and 3 extra Frost Hydras can make a massive difference towards clearing the event since each of them is at least as good as a tier 3 Flameburst sentry, if not better.

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....Availability: #
Found in Ice Chest. Frozen Key has a 0.04% chance to drop from any enemy killed in the Snow biome and can be used after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Desert Tiger Staff: A+
I hope you remember where you stashed your Firecracker, because it's the best whip to use with the Desert Tiger, and nothing else even comes close. Since Firecracker becomes more powerful in proportion to the damage your minion can deal in a single hit, the combination of Firecracker + Desert Tiger allows you to deal ludicrous amounts of damage, to the point of out-damaging many Lunar-tier weapons. It's not perfect since the Firecracker has noticeably less range than later Hardmode whips, but that's still a pretty generous range for a weapon that deals upwards of 1000 damage per hit and hits almost 3 times per second. For easier Firecracking, you'll want to use Tiki armor to partially offset the lack of range.

Of course, you don't need the Firecracker in order for the tiger to be useful on hybrid sets. Even when left unattended, a tiger with +2 cap provides a far higher effective DPS boost than many set bonuses. It's also one of the better solo minions for people who aren't playing as a full summoner, but investing in its capacity is still absolutely worth it.

NORMAL
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+FIRECRACKER
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....Availability: #
Found in Desert Chest. Desert Key has a 0.04% chance to drop from any enemy killed in the Desert biome and can be used after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Dropped by Dungeon monsters (req: Plantera defeated)

Magnet Sphere: A

The best way to use the Magnet Sphere is to fire it once and swap to something else, making it essentially a free DPS upgrade. And more importantly, using it this way makes you feel like you're GAMING. Compared to the Rainbow Gun, the Magnet Sphere needs to be refreshed more often, but it matters less which direction you fire it in. Like the Rainbow Gun, it loses a lot of usefulness in high-speed aerial boss fights, like Betsy and Duke Fishron, but it works great against basically anything else. For those who are willing to pay attention and swap weapons during combat, the Magnet Sphere will improve combat performance significantly. As a bonus, it is probably the most efficient weapon for extracting health from enemies with the Spectre Hood.

Due to the way magic critical strike chance is calculated, a Ruthless Magnet Sphere is slightly preferred over a Mythical one, unless you plan on holding the Magnet Sphere after firing it instead of swapping it out.

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....Availability: ###
0.33% chance to drop from Armored Bones of any type
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Kraken: A-
If you haven't obtained The Eye of Cthulhu yet, the Kraken still does an excellent job, and the Dungeon is the perfect environment for yoyos to perform well in. Its infinite throw time is an extra bonus compared to Yelets. This is so close to The Eye of Cthulhu that I wouldn't go out of my way to obtain it if I obtained the Kraken first.

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....Availability: ####
0.25% chance to drop from any enemy in the post-Plantera dungeon
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Keybrand: C
Unlike many close-ranged melee weapons, Keybrand deals obscene amounts of damage, killing most enemies in a few hits while also punching through stationary bosses. It is especially potent after the target's health drops below half. However, just like all close-ranged melee weapons, it is extremely unsafe to use and often ends up being useless against enemies that aren't programmed to approach you. Unless you're running a full tank build, you'll find that using the Keybrand will cause the enemy to die a little bit faster in exchange for making you die a lot faster, which is a tradeoff rarely worth making. It's very similar to the Psycho Knife in this regard, the main distinction being that the Psycho Knife is stronger at first but falls behind the Keybrand once the target's health reaches around 30% or so. Of course, this only matters when facetanking a boss like Golem, and when running a facetanking build, both swords can solo it in Master mode anyways because Golem sucks.

Expert/Master mode both encourages and discourages the use of this weapon: enemies have more health, making the Keybrand's high DPS more valuable, but they also deal higher contact damage, making it even riskier to use. Ultimately the latter wins out, and I don't recommend using this on higher difficulties.

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....Availability: ####
0.5% chance to drop from Armored Bones of any type
Best prefix: Legendary $

Katana (remix): C-
These layers of glorious Nippon steel have been folded over 1000 times, but that's apparently not enough to be viable in Terraria's lategame. It's surprising (and a little disappointing) how similar the remixed Katana is to the Keybrand that it replaces. It is a true melee weapon with insane DPS, and its reach is a lot better than the Psycho Knife's, but it's still an inherently bad idea to try to use a true melee weapon on a seed that causes you to explode into bits of confetti when you take contact damage. What makes the Katana worse than both the Keybrand and Psycho Knife is the fact that you cannot attack in the opposite direction your character is moving, so you can't even try to use it against a knockback-resistant enemy without facetanking.

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....Availability: ####
0.5% chance to drop from Armored Bones of any type (dontdigup and getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Legendary $

Shadow Jousting Lance: F
This is basically a bigger, more damaging version of the Copper Shortsword. At this point, your mobility is high enough that you could probably use it in a tiny handful of situations without looking completely stupid. For example, you can kite Headless Horsemen and Pumpkings with it, and you can also blast Bone Lees backwards with a dash-boosted strike. But for the most part, it isn't a viable way to deal with any remotely threatening enemy. It sends basic enemies flying, but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't collide with you anyways. This weapon takes a stupendous amount of effort to learn how to use properly, and offers mediocre returns even when performing at its absolute best. You could have maybe gaslit yourself into using the original Jousting Lance because most other melee weapons at that point weren't much better, but we're post-Plantera now, and there's no longer an excuse to be using something like this.

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....Availability: ##
4% chance to drop from Giant Cursed Skulls
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Morning Star: S
It's true that base damage isn't everything, but that's a LOT of damage. Even if you're not a dedicated summoner, you're probably seeing a ludicrous base damage stat on this thing if you're running a hybrid set with Old One's Army pieces (which you probably should). You might expect its high damage to be counterbalanced by having slower speed, but it's not even that slow! This is the bread-and-butter whip for summoners, acting as your main DPS along with the speed-boosting Durendal and/or Dark Harvest. If you can handle stacking at least three whips, you will probably be using this for the rest of your playthrough. If you don't want to stack whips, you'll be using it interchangeably with the Dark Harvest until you get the Kaleidoscope. Even if you're not a dedicated summoner, this is still useful in the short term for eliminating Dungeon Spirits, Giant Cursed Skulls, and caster-type enemies in the dungeon. Enemies that can pass through walls can always be hit by whips, and enemies that teleport after being hit tend to be countered by weapons that deal massive damage in a single hit.

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.....Disruption: ####
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....Availability: ####
0.5% chance to drop from Armored Bones of any type
Best prefix: Legendary $$$

Shadowbeam Staff: B+
The best word to describe this is "outclassed". We're reaching the point in the game where enemy movement is getting more complex, and straight-line linear piercing is not the gold standard of crowd control anymore. Thanks to its super narrow projectile, it takes a lot more concentration to accomplish the same things that the Rainbow Rod and Spectre Staff can do with zero effort. The best thing about bouncing projectile weapons like Water Bolt and Scourge of the Corruptor is that their projectile spam persists for a good while, which is something that the Shadowbeam Staff cannot accomplish. Nonetheless, with Spectre armor making it possible to succeed with even the crummiest of magic weapons, you can certainly use this if you want to, but it doesn't have any qualities that would tempt you to do so. You'd think it would excel against the Old One's Army, but since the beam doesn't travel offscreen, it's hard to justify using it over the Tome of Infinite Wisdom, or even a Sniper Rifle with no ranged bonuses.

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....Availability: ##
5% chance to drop from Necromancers
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Inferno Fork: B
The Inferno Fork is a very strong crowd control weapon with one significant weakness: its projectile travels agonizingly slowly, making it tricky to use against anything that isn't moving directly towards you. On the bright side, you can repel any number of fighter enemies simply by firing the projectile at your feet, so it will be very useful if you get it early on while exploring the Dungeon. I would usually avoid using this against flying enemies since the projectile travels too slowly, it can't deal splash damage if it misses, and the payoff isn't that great considering that many flying enemies have low knockback resistance. But some bosses (like Golem and Duke Fishron) are large and predictable enough for the Inferno Fork to hit reliably, so it's a viable option for those fights. It clears out Duke Fishron's detonating bubbles and deals significant collateral damage to Golem's fists.

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Crowd control: ####
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....Availability: ##
5% chance to drop from Diabolists
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Spectre Staff: S-
Significantly stronger than the Rainbow Rod for single targets, and it still slices through crowds reasonably well. The main advantage this has over the Rainbow Rod is its ability to autofire. It actually fires faster than the piercing damage cap can keep up with, meaning that its total DPS will increase if it has multiple targets to attack. It also means that you can stop at Demonic or Godly without really losing much, if you're planning to use it for single-target bossing. If you want to optimize your total DPS against speedy bosses like Duke Fishron, a good strategy is to spam the Spectre Staff until you have a large mass of projectiles chasing down your target, then swap to a single-target, non-piercing weapon like the Heat Ray.

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....Availability: ##
5% chance to drop from Ragged Casters
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Rocket Launcher: C+
Of the three rocket weapons that carry the risk of self-harm, the Rocket Launcher is the one you're most likely to damage yourself with. People playing PvP generally want to use slower weapons with high base damage, a description that perfectly describes all rocket weapons. So using this weapon is basically like optimizing PvP damage against yourself. And unlike the Grenade Launcher, it blows up immediately on contact with any surface. For those reasons, you absolutely do not want to use this in the same area you received it in.

So you'd typically use this in open-air battles, where its performance is quite decent and you can probably get away with using Rocket IIIs. Its velocity is still somewhat of a problem, and I would never use this if I also had access to the Stynger. But if you're good at aiming it, the Rocket Launcher can put in some work, at least for a short while. I think its main issue is that its velocity is way too low to consistently hit enemies in the air, and the Grenade Launcher outclasses it when fighting enemies on the ground.

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....Availability: ##
5.56% chance to drop from Skeleton Commandos
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$

Tactical Shotgun: B
Uses standard bullets.
It is better than the Megashark, but strictly outperformed by the Sniper Rifle. A Tactical Shotgun using Crystal Bullets against an Ichored target will still lose in DPS to a Sniper Rifle using Crystal Bullets against a target with no Ichor. It also lacks the Sniper Rifle's innate High Velocity effect, and it's not even more ammo efficient. Nonetheless, you can't be too picky when it comes to post-Plantera Dungeon drops, and if you didn't get a Sniper Rifle or Venus Magnum, this might be your best short-term option for a few upcoming fights (mainly Duke Fishron, who is severely allergic to Crystal Bullets). Ranged weapons are rarely bad, and the Tactical Shotgun definitely isn't bad; it just isn't the best.

CRYSTAL BULLET
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Crowd control: #
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CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: ###
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....Availability: ##
7.64% chance to drop from Tactical Skeletons
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Sniper Rifle: A+
Uses standard bullets.
Crystal Bullets are the best option for this weapon most of the time. Its stupendous base damage allows the crystal fragments to cleave through the defenses of enemies that otherwise wouldn't take much damage from them; against large enemies that move quickly towards you, this can effectively deal up to 2 times the weapon's listed base damage per shot. It mauls predictable foes like Duke Fishron and Golem, easily outperforming the often-recommended Tactical Shotgun + Chlorophyte Bullet combination. And Chlorophyte Bullets are still a good option for smaller, more agile foes like the Empress of Light. This is basically straight-up better than the Tactical Shotgun in terms of accuracy, DPS, and utility.

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Like the Venus Magnum, it is an effective crowd control option when used with the Endless Musket Pouch, and it is impacted less by the low bullet damage since most of its damage comes from the gun. Unlike the Venus Magnum, it is also an extremely efficient user of valuable ammo due to its very slow ammo consumption rate. Note that since it is the strongest gun that does not have innate autofire, it is the gun of choice for hybrid ranger/summoners since it can be smoothly cycled with whips, and it can also be cycled with the Electrosphere Launcher for greater total DPS.

CRYSTAL BULLET
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CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
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ENDLESS MUSKET POUCH
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7.64% chance to drop from Skeleton Snipers
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Paladin's Hammer: B
One of the better crowd control weapons out there. While many piercing weapons offer below-average DPS against single targets, the Paladin's Hammer's DPS is not below-average at all. It delivers tremendous damage and knockback to every enemy within range, and its projectile is so large and travels so fast that you won't have any issues with aiming it. The main problem with this weapon isn't its performance, but rather how difficult it is to get. Paladins are both rare and incredibly dangerous; a large percentage of deaths in the post-Plantera Dungeon will probably involve a Paladin, and you obviously can't collect any prizes if you're dead.

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....Availability: #
6.67% chance to drop from Paladins
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Solar Eclipse (req: Plantera defeated)

Terra Blade: S+

Terra Blade completely overshadows every melee weapon you'll obtain around this point, and it's not even close. It's no exaggeration to say that you can use this against the Moon Lord, and it might actually be the best overall DPS during the first ten seconds thanks to its ability to easily hit multiple parts. Because the projectile fire rate scales directly with melee speed, you may want to use this with Beetle Scale Mail armor since it's the only good projectile weapon that actually benefits from the set's otherwise-useless melee speed bonuses. You don't need to invest heavily in melee speed; you were probably using a Menacing/Lucky Fire Gauntlet and Mechanical Glove already, and that's more than enough. It's basically on par with the weapons in the final third of this tier list.

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Crafted from True Excalibur, True Night's Edge, Broken Hero Sword
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$$$$$

The Eye of Cthulhu: A-
Anything that's immune to knockback gets absolutely ripped to pieces by this weapon, with or without the Yoyo Bag. Anything that isn't immune to knockback usually won't have enough health to withstand more than two or three hits anyways. Sure it has the same mechanics as any other yoyo, but its base damage is so ridiculous that you probably won't even care that it can be used for wall cheesing. You can just engage things out in the open and kill them before they ever get a chance to hurt you. It works especially well when facing two or more big targets stacked on top of each other, which comes up pretty often during the Pumpkin Moon. Though it is not absolutely necessary for The Eye of Cthulhu to function, Yoyo Bag is still highly recommended to enlarge its hitbox and grant extra range.

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....Availability: ####
25% chance to drop from Mothron after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$$

Butcher's Chainsaw: C
This is my favorite bad weapon. Unlike other bad weapons like the Blood Thorn and Ghastly Glaive, the Butcher's Chainsaw makes no attempt to gaslight you into thinking that it's more effective than it actually is. Its strengths and weaknesses are exactly what you'd expect them to be. It won't work at all for boss battles, and can barely handle basic enemies like Scarecrows and Splinterlings without putting the user at risk, but cutting through enemies with a literal flaming chainsaw is the purest form of satisfaction that you can get from a video game. It's notable for the chainsaw itself having infinite piercing, which allows it to delete a coiled-up Destroyer instantly and might be handy in other random fringe situations. As you might expect from a chainsaw, it's not at all practical, but very fun.

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....Availability: ###
2.5% chance to drop from Butchers, which spawn in a Solar Eclipse after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Psycho Knife: C-
This is easily the most damaging broadsword in its tier, but the only enemies it does well against are still the slow, predictable kind. Many other weapons can offer nearly as much DPS from a much longer range. It has the exact same niche as the Fetid Baghnakhs, but the usefulness of that niche is becoming questionable since we're starting to run out of facetankable bosses. It might work against Mourning Woods, which are not fully tankable but do drop hearts to replenish your lost health. I think I hardly need to mention that this weapon is practically worthless without knockback immunity.

If you want to use the Psycho Knife as your main weapon for some reason, you might be considering using Titanium armor, but I think defense is more important, so my personal recommendation is Squire armor with the Hallowed Mask. You can use it to facetank Golem on Classic and Expert mode, and even on Master mode, kind of. (You might not be able to facetank the entire fight in Master mode, but you can probably win a DPS race against the second phase if you have more than half your health left.)

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......Accuracy: n/a
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....Availability: ###
2.5% chance to drop from Psychos, which spawn in a Solar Eclipse after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Deadly Sphere Staff: A
It is basically a sidegrade to the Raven Staff that has slightly lower DPS but is better at everything else. Its tracking is noticeably better, and the fact that it deals more frequent hits with lower base damage means that it gains more benefit from whips compared to the Ravens. However, while its AI is pretty good, it can't really compare to the flawless tracking of the Blade Staff. Nonetheless, this is highly recommended for both dedicated summoners and non-summoners who don't mind giving up the Blade Staff's disruptive power for a bit more DPS.

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....Availability: ##
2.5% chance to drop from Deadly Spheres, which spawn in a Solar Eclipse after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Toxic Flask: C
Its single-target DPS is limited by the piercing cap despite not actually piercing through enemies, but it creates so many projectiles over such a wide area that it manages to be an effective crowd control weapon regardless. You can fly over large groups of weak enemies and bomb them from above, shredding them in seconds. I would only recommend this during invasions, since it's otherwise tough to get enough stars to sustain its steep mana cost. One nice advantage it has over Life Drain is that it can hit enemies below your screen, so you can drop it on groups of Mourning Woods while staying out of reach of their Greek Fire.

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Crowd control: #####
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....Availability: ###
2.5% chance to drop from Dr. Man Flies, which spawn in a Solar Eclipse after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Mythical $

Nail Gun: B+
It's basically a single-target Stynger. The Nail Gun has around the same DPS potential, but isn't as effective for crowd control since it takes a bit longer to kill most targets due to the explosion delay, and the explosions aren't that large, either. When an enemy dies, all nails that were attached to it fly off at random angles and will usually be wasted, so I don't recommend using this against enemies with low health. Instead, it should mainly be used for killing bosses. It gets outclassed by the Stynger and Jack 'O Lantern Launcher pretty quickly, but it's not a bad choice if you happen to obtain it first.

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Crowd control: ##
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....Availability: ##
4% chance to drop from Nailheads, which spawn in a Solar Eclipse after Plantera has been defeated
Best prefix: Demonic/Deadly $$$$

Dropped by Golem

Golem Fist: D+

It has higher theoretical DPS than the Possessed Hatchet, but in practice it will only reach those levels of DPS when attacking something at point-blank range. This is a scenario you will virtually never encounter in the endgame. Duke Fishron, Empress of Light, Everscream, Ice Queen, Martian Saucer are all either too dangerous to approach, or refuse to approach you at all. So the Golem Fist ends up being a mediocre mid-range weapon the vast majority of the time. Even if you do attack something at point-blank range, this weapon's massive knockback ensures that it won't remain in point-blank range for very long. In short, it is one of the last weapons in Terraria's game progression that I would consider truly awful, and no one should be excited to receive this as a Golem drop.

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Crowd control: ##
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12.5% chance to drop from Golem
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Possessed Hatchet: B+
An accurate, low-risk option that allows you to focus on movement. Probably the best melee weapon for dealing with flying enemies until you have access to Flairon, and its DPS is just good enough to be worth considering against bosses that you're having trouble hitting consistently. Unlike the Spectre Staff and Scourge of the Corruptor, its projectiles have enough velocity to consistently track down Duke Fishron and the Empress of Light, so you can just spam it in the boss's general direction and deal stable DPS for the entire fight.

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....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from Golem
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Stynger: A
An all-purpose weapon that works well for both bosses and invasions, as long as you can land your shots. It also carpets the ground with explosive shrapnel, making it excellent for crowd control. This weapon is ideal for moon events since it can chew through bosses while dealing lots of damage to enemies on the ground, and as a bonus, Stynger Bolts are cheaper than Rocket IIIs. Compared to the Rocket Launcher, it has around the same DPS potential, but is more accurate thanks to its higher velocity, covers a wider area on the ground, and most importantly, is completely risk-free to use.

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....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from Golem
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Heat Ray: B+
Its single-target damage output is superb if you don't mind its lack of a homing effect. This is leagues better than the Leaf Blower, dealing significantly more damage per second while also being much more accurate. Though of course it isn't quite as accurate as the Bat Scepter or Spectre Staff, both of which have roughly the same damage output as the Heat Ray. At least it's much easier to obtain.

Since it is extremely accurate against things that are on your screen and inaccurate against things that aren't, it's a good idea to hold your fire while a boss is offscreen so Mana Regeneration can refill your mana a bit.

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....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from Golem
Best prefix: Mythical $$$

Staff of Earth: A+
Obliterates groups of enemies over a wide area, and hits like a truck. The Staff of Earth is among the best magic weapons to use against the Martians (including the Saucer's first phase), and also smashes through any ground-based enemies you'll encounter in the Lunar events. Its damage per hit is so stupendously high that it can even be used against late Frost Moon waves; it literally crushes large targets like Everscreams even harder than the Heat Ray if you can attack them at a downwards angle.

also, 80% crit on an all-menacing build lol

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....Availability: ###
12.5% chance to drop from Golem
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Obtained from NPCs (req: Golem defeated)

Celebration: C-

Its performance is rather lackluster compared to other early rocket weapons, but Celebration's advantage is that it will never hurt you. That said, neither does the Stynger. The Celebration's explosions are very large, but their hitboxes are not. As you'd expect from a weapon directly sold by an NPC, it's pretty mediocre. Every post-Plantera ranged weapon is stronger than this, apart from the Proximity Mine Launcher which is also sold by an NPC (and becomes better when the mines are allowed to activate).

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As if its complete lack of desirable traits wasn't enough, one additional reason you might not want to use it is that it can be pretty difficult to tell what the hell you're looking at when you're spamming weaponized fireworks.

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....Availability: #####
Sold by Party Girl for 80 gold after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$$$

Pumpkin Moon

Stake Launcher: S

An absurdly strong crowd control weapon that hits hard enough to be worthwhile even against a single target. It's excellent on arrow-based loadouts that primarily use Holy Arrows, as it provides better crowd control without requiring an ammo switch. Stakes receive a small damage penalty when piercing through many enemies, but you'll barely notice because it kills things so fast anyways. It's useful against the Old One's Army since it packs a bigger punch than the Pulse Bow if you really need to focus damage on one side.

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....Availability: ###
2% to 20% chance to drop from Mourning Wood, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

The Horseman's Blade: C
One of many strong close-ranged weapons, though rather difficult to use outside of a defense-stacking loadout. The surrounding context is what kills its usefulness, since there aren't any facetankable bosses remaining after Golem, and trying to chase down the Empress of Light, Duke Fishron, or Betsy with a true melee weapon is not going to work. Even if you view it purely as a tool for converting Mechanical Worms into money, it's still outclassed by the Butcher's Chainsaw.

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Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: n/a
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....Availability: ##
1.56% to 12.5% chance to drop from Pumpking, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Candy Corn Rifle: C+
It is very difficult for a ranged weapon in this game to be truly bad. That being said, the Candy Corn Rifle is pretty bad. It is both inaccurate and weak, to the point that it performs worse than even the Megashark with High Velocity Bullets. It's directly outclassed by the other ranged weapon dropped by Pumpkings, which is equally inaccurate but actually does damage. The only good thing I can say about the Candy Corn Rifle is that its ammo is cheaper than Musket Balls, but this amounts to basically nothing because the Venus Magnum and Sniper Rifle can do a better job for 0 copper per shot. The only area where its bouncing properties might be useful is the Dungeon, but that also amounts to basically nothing because you need to farm the Dungeon to create a Pumpkin Moon Medallion in the first place. This is probably the weapon that's hurt the most by not having local iframes, though I doubt it would be very good even if it did. It really does live up to the reputation of Candy Corn as one of the least delicious Halloween candies. I recommend you go for something tastier, like a nice juicy Stake.

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....Availability: ##
1.56% to 12.5% chance to drop from Pumpking, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Jack 'O Lantern Launcher: B+
Explosive Jack 'O Lanterns deal damage twice when they hit an enemy directly, so its DPS is a lot higher than its stats would indicate. It can be considered a direct upgrade to the Grenade Launcher: it has substantially higher damage output, its projectiles last longer and cover a larger area with their bounces, it will never inflict self-damage, and it is much, much less expensive to use. In fact, it uses cheaper ammo than any rocket weapon. However, while it is slightly more powerful than the Stynger, its projectile is more heavily affected by gravity, so you might prefer the Stynger for boss fights.

Its bouncing behavior makes it surprisingly good against Duke Fishron during his final phase, as you can set up bouncing Jack 'O Lanterns while he is intangible and he will run into them as he charges.

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Crowd control: ####
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....Availability: ##
1.56% to 12.5% chance to drop from Pumpking, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Bat Scepter: S-
A long-ranged weapon specialized for killing flying enemies. With its consistently high damage output, it’s a good choice for Spectre Hood users who can use it as they flee. It has a strong homing effect, so you can simply fire it diagonally into the sky to minimize the chance that your bats will collide with blocks and disappear. Compared to the Spectre Staff, the Bat Scepter isn't as effective for crowd control, but thanks to being non-piercing, it will occasionally experience bursts of extremely high DPS when a massive clump of bats catches up to an enemy and collides with it all at once. It also benefits more from the Ichor debuff since it deals more hits per second.

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Crowd control: #
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....Availability: ##
1.56% to 12.5% chance to drop from Pumpking, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Raven Staff: A-
Compared to the Blade Staff and Deadly Sphere Staff, the Raven Staff offers better raw numbers but significantly worse overall utility due to its inferior AI, making it sort of like a Finch Staff that ate all the protein powder but never got any smarter. If you're just using the free summons from the Bewitching Table, you probably don't have much use for this. But if you don't care about stunlocking enemies, then the fact that Ravens deal almost 40% more damage per hit than Deadly Spheres allows them to win out in overall DPS despite their occasional clumsiness. It looks a lot worse than it actually is. The Raven Staff should mainly be used for single targets; unlike Deadly Spheres, Ravens deactivate their hitbox for a while after hitting an enemy, so they aren't as good for crowd control as they look. It does pretty well against the extremely relevant Empress of Light, and there isn't much of an opportunity cost to obtaining it since it's a likely byproduct of a summoner's grind for Necromantic Scrolls, Dark Harvest, and Spooky armor.

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....Availability: ##
1.56% to 12.5% chance to drop from Pumpking, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Dark Harvest: S
At this point you might be thinking something like "how can almost all the whips in the game be S tier?" It's not that complicated, really. Whips are just inherently good mechanics-wise with their rapid attack speed, near-perfect accuracy, and mobbing capabilities. Dark Harvest is no exception, and it bears the distinction of being the fastest whip in the game. Its innate speed boost allows it to tie in DPS with the Morning Star, but unless you're playing on mobile, nothing's stopping you from using Dark Harvest and swapping to the Morning Star to boost its DPS to insane levels on top of stacking the tag effects. Or even tripling down and stacking it with Durendal's Blessing. If you don't feel like whip stacking, then pick Dark Harvest for crowd control and Morning Star for single targets.

The "Dark Energy" described in its tooltip essentially adds an AoE poison effect to your minions' attacks, dealing 10 extra damage per hit to the target and all nearby enemies. As you can imagine, its synergy with the Blade Staff is rather insane in those situations, dealing widespread crowd damage at a similar rate to the Blade Staff itself. The Xeno Staff also gains a respectable boost from Dark Harvest since it attacks at a rapid rate.

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....Availability: ##
1.56% to 12.5% chance to drop from Pumpking, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$
 
Last edited:
Dropped by Duke Fishron

Flairon: A-

A strong melee weapon that strangely doesn't work like a flail at all. To get maximum mileage out of the Flairon, you need to intentionally miss by as narrow a margin as you can afford, or try to catch your enemy at the tip to ensure that the flail remains in the air for as long as possible. The head should only be used for inflicting Ichor. The bubbles are a bit slow-ish, but as long as they're deployed near the target, they will probably all hit their mark. Many of the upcoming fights are aerial battles, against which the Flairon does excellently, especially if your enemies are the kind that chase you down. Truthfully, I think the Terra Blade is still better than this, though at least the competition is a lot closer than it was with the other post-Plantera melee weapons.

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....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Tsunami: S
Uses standard arrows.
Obscenely powerful for bossing, but works well against anything, really. Even when using Wooden Arrows, it punches through enemies more effectively than most melee and magic weapons. It's also more accurate than repeaters because its line of arrows is so wide, ensuring that it will rarely miss its target entirely. And if the Tsunami kills its target in one shot (which is likely), any remaining arrows will keep traveling, dealing damage to anything behind the original target. Holy Arrows might have some issues with velocity, but this problem disappears if you're using a Magic Quiver; if not, you can use Ichor or Venom Arrows, which have high inherent velocity and will deal stupid amounts of damage anyways. Every pre-Lunar gun and rocket launcher pales in comparison to Tsunami (and its semi-clone Eventide).

HOLY ARROW
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ICHOR ARROW
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....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Razorblade Typhoon: A
Of all the endgame crowd control weapons, this is probably the easiest to use. Unlike many other infinite piercing weapons, it has homing to ensure that it cuts through crowds of enemies no matter where they are on your screen. And unlike many other homing weapons, it has enough velocity to consistently reach its targets. However, it does not have as much single-target DPS as the Razorpine and Bat Scepter, so its usage against bosses is limited. It really shines when fighting on uneven terrain, since unlike the Nightglow it can easily cheese enemies around corners and small hills.

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Crowd control: #####
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.....Disruption: ####
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....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron (dontdigup and getfixedboi seed)
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Bubble Gun: B+
At the cost of attack range, it offers insane single-target DPS that shreds most enemies before they can even touch you. Its range is actually not that bad, either. While it can't contribute to every fight, it works incredibly well for some specific matchups, such as kiting Duke Fishron and overwhelming crowds of enemies with its sheer quantity of projectiles. It also has an incredibly low mana cost, so you'll almost never have to support it with mana potions or even Celestial Cuffs. It can be directly compared to Starlight, the difference being that the Bubble Gun is much better against enemies that chase you and much worse against enemies that don't.

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Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: #####
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....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Aqua Scepter (remix): S+
Now this is just getting silly. With its insanely rapid hit rate and unexpectedly high base damage, the remixed Aqua Scepter is a hilariously strong weapon that can basically be thought of as a Razorpine that pierces. Where it gets truly ridiculous is when you use it against large targets directly above you at the top of your screen, which causes the water streams to hit them multiple times, so it's actually equivalent to THREE Razorpines. With this trick, it easily surpasses even the Last Prism for certain bosses like the Empress of Light. This works because the slower the streams are traveling when they hit an enemy, the higher the chance that they will still be inside the enemy when the immune frames wear off, resulting in double or even triple hits.

The funny thing is that the Aqua Scepter is almost balanced in spite of everything, because the only place you can fight Duke Fishron in this seed is the low-gravity hellscape of the surface Ocean. If you can manage that (and it's not terribly difficult with a Witch's Broom or some kind of plan to get him closer to the underground), then this weapon blasts the rest of the game to smithereens like sandcastles before a fire hose.

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....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Tempest Staff: B-
It has the worst AI of the lategame minions, but it's still strong enough to outclass the Raven Staff on most summoner loadouts. If you're not a dedicated summoner and just want a reliable support minion for stunlocking underground randoms, this is not worth using over the Blade Staff or possibly even the Spider Staff. One of the main problems with the Tempest Staff is that its attack rate and base damage are both average, meaning that it won't benefit from Kaleidoscope as much as the Xeno Staff and won't benefit from Firecracker as much as the Desert Tiger. You should definitely upgrade to Xeno Staff if you can, but at least the Tempest Staff is the best (and only) lategame minion weapon you can reliably get without triggering an event.

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Crowd control: ##
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..........Safety: ####

....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Dropped by Empress of Light

Starlight: B+

It may be well-known for its limited range, but that range is just barely enough to reach all of the Moon Lord's parts consistently. Granted you probably won't be fighting Moon Lord on-screen unless you have a defensive build, but if you are using a defensive build, you might as well be using this. It's comparable to the Solar Eruption, being easier to aim with a much larger sweetspot at the cost of having less range. One nice thing about Starlight is that, unlike the Bubble Gun, its performance doesn't suffer when attacking enemies that are moving away from you.

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....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Empress of Light
Best prefix: Legendary/Godly/Demonic $$

Eventide: S
Uses standard arrows.
Eventide is extremely similar to Tsunami: Tsunami fires five arrows, while Eventide fires four arrows in addition to a special arrow that deals double damage (functionally equivalent to six arrows), offsetting its slightly lower base damage and speed. They are similar enough that the choice between Tsunami and Eventide ultimately comes down to which of their two respective bosses you find more manageable. Eventide does have one small additional advantage: it is actually worthwhile to use with the Endless Quiver, since it gains crowd control without taking a massive penalty to single-target damage like Tsunami does when using piercing arrows. (It is also unreflectable.) Another distinction is that Eventide heavily relies on Magic Quiver to be consistent with Holy Arrows, otherwise its projectiles will spread out too much.

HOLY ARROW
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.....Disruption: ####
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ENDLESS QUIVER
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....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Empress of Light
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Nightglow: A+
Nightglow has some disadvantages compared to Nebula Blaze and Razorblade Typhoon, but overall it strikes a good middle ground between single target DPS and crowd control. Its most noticeable downside is its limited range and line-of-sight requirement, which prevents it from hitting offscreen enemies like the Moon Lord's core and anything else that you wouldn't dare fight up close (and in the endgame, this category includes many things). Its mana cost is also significantly higher, which might not be an issue when mowing through normal enemies with a Celestial Emblem but will become very noticeable if you try to use it against a boss. It does provide more DPS than the Typhoon for single targets, but both weapons are more useful for crowd control anyways, and in that context a small increase in DPS doesn't matter much. Overall it is still a useful weapon, but it's not worth specifically farming for since it won't have much of a place in your endgame plans.

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25% chance to drop from Empress of Light
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Stellar Tune: B+
The Stellar Tune looks like a homing weapon, but it's actually an auto-targeting weapon like the Medusa Head or Magnet Sphere. It doesn't have much trouble hitting enemies that charge directly towards you or move slowly, but it has a lot of trouble hitting Moon Lord, and often misses targets at the edge of your screen. Nonetheless, it is a perfectly viable choice for the pillars since you can use it to take advantage of natural cover and cheese enemies with its wall-piercing abilities.

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2% chance to drop from Empress of Light
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Kaleidoscope: S
It has decent range and smacks the hell out of most enemies without requiring assistance from minions. It also has a massive tag damage value of 20, which drastically increases the potency of UFOs. Dark Harvest makes a good partner for the Kaleidoscope since its tag effect also synergizes with UFOs, and Kaleidoscope appreciates the speed boost for its own damage output. You can bring out the Blade Staff for a funny meme combo, but expect significant framerate drops.

In tandem with Dark Harvest, it is so strong in fact that it enables lategame whip-centric sets (Tiki Mask, Shinobi Torso, Red Riding Leggings) to outperform full Spooky armor if your minion isn't very good, or if you're doing a whip-only challenge.

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....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Empress of Light
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Terraprisma: S
This is the most well-rounded minion weapon in the game, with flawless tracking and DPS comparable to that of endgame summons. It is also the most difficult item to obtain in the entire game, depending on who you ask. No player should count on receiving this in any given run, and if you're one of the elite few who have memorized and mastered the Empress's attack patterns, you're probably skilled enough that you don't need it. Terraprisma's performance speaks for itself: it combines the Dragon's damage with the Cells' consistency, and it basically steamrolls everything from that point onward. As it very well should, since it drops from a boss that is literally stronger than the Moon Lord. However, it is NOT better than the Stardust Dragon against the Moon Lord, so don't stress out if you don't see yourself getting it within three or so attempts. It's good, but far from essential.

If you suck at dodging, you still have a decent chance of receiving Terraprisma after clearing out the Nebula Pillar. When using optimal pre-Moon Lord mage armor and buffs, the Nebula Arcanum's DPS is so high that the Empress won't have enough time to use all her attacks against you, so as long as you can dodge Prismatic Bolts, Sun Dance, and Ethereal Lance v2, you're good to go. Any melee, ranged, or magic approach to this fight should probably use some combination of OOA armor pieces, since the reward for this fight is only relevant for pure and hybrid summoners.

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....Availability: ?
100% chance to drop from Empress of Light if all damage dealt to the boss was during daytime
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Martian Madness

Influx Waver: A

Very similar to Sky Fracture in the sense that it's a powerful single-target DPS weapon that takes a lot of skill to aim properly. However, there is one important difference between the two: Sky Fracture is widely used because there aren't many good homing weapons that can compete with it, whereas Influx Waver comes at a stage of the game where you're practically drowning in homing weapons that can match the Waver's damage output (granted, most of those homing weapons are from different classes). It also competes directly with the Terra Blade, which is far more accurate and much better at crowd control, at the cost of only being slightly weaker against single targets. Influx Waver is the optimal melee weapon against the large, predictable Duke Fishron, and its range gives it an edge over other melee weapons against the Old One's Army, but it is a lot more specific than the Terra Blade.

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16.66% chance to drop from Martian Saucer
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Xenopopper: A-
Uses standard bullets.
Direct upgrade to the Tactical Shotgun, but unless you're planning to use Chlorophyte Bullets, it takes some practice to use properly; you need to position your cursor directly over enemies rather than just pointing it in their general direction. The Xenopopper's raw DPS is extremely high with Crystal Bullets if you can master it, even higher than the Chain Gun's (making it the most damaging pre-Lunar gun). Unlike most guns, it is more of a mid-range weapon: it works best if you can catch enemies in the middle of the bullet cloud and spawn Crystal Bullets inside them, making it a bit like a ranged version of the Bubble Gun. When used correctly, it melts through Duke Fishron, Everscreams, and Ice Queens like they're soft cheese. Unfortunately, if you are being chased at high speed and your screen isn't zoomed out far enough, the Xenopopper tends to mess up and fire your bullets right back towards your face. So much for superior alien technology!

You also have the option to ignore the weapon's entire gimmick and use Chlorophyte Bullets. This is probably the best way to use Chlorophyte Bullets until Vortex Beater, since the Xenopopper is both stronger and more ammo-efficient than the Chain Gun. However, the DPS loss is quite noticeable compared to Crystal Bullets.

CRYSTAL BULLET
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CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
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16.66% chance to drop from Martian Saucer
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Electrosphere Launcher: B+
At first glance, the Electrosphere Launcher looks like a sidearm that you might fire off a few times before switching to your primary weapon. Sounds nice on paper, but unfortunately, endgame enemies move around a lot and the electrospheres don't have enough knockback to hold them within their area of effect, so the only way to consistently deal damage is to spam them constantly. Fortunately, it turns out that this is the most viable way to use the Electrosphere Launcher in the first place. It might seem wasteful to continuously refresh the electrospheres when they have such a long lifetime, but the DPS dealt by a single electrosphere is so high that it's worth the ammo cost (which is, admittedly, quite a lot). I'd say its biggest weakness is the poor velocity of the electrosphere projectile before it explodes, which makes it rather tricky to aim. Overall, a strong but annoying weapon.

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16.66% chance to drop from Martian Saucer
Best prefix: Unreal/Godly/Demonic $$$$

Charged Blaster Cannon: S-
It may be a lesser version of the Last Prism, but given that the Last Prism is the strongest magic weapon in the game, being able to harness even a fraction of that power turns the Charged Blaster Cannon into a dominant force that melts through everything. Unlike the Last Prism, the mana consumption of the beam is actually quite reasonable, though it can only be maintained for 5 seconds regardless of how much mana you have remaining. The other two firing modes are decent too, but they're cheap party tricks compared to the full beam. Notably, the uncharged shot is tricky to stunlock enemies with since it quickly gets replaced with the slower charged shot, allowing enemies to escape. Nonetheless, you have to go through those modes before the beam comes out, so you might as well aim them at your enemy while you're at it.

The full beam will not trigger Spectre healing, so you will have to use the first two firing modes.

UNCHARGED SHOT
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CHARGED SHOT
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FULL BEAM
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....Availability: #
0.13% chance to drop from non-boss enemies in Martian Madness
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Laser Machinegun: A-
It takes a while to get going, though the windup time isn't so long that you should hold down the attack button if you don't see any enemies on your screen. It's not quite as good as Razorpine in terms of raw damage output, but its improved range can occasionally give it an edge against offscreen targets. It is also rather poor if your playstyle revolves around dealing high burst damage and allowing your mana to regenerate between bursts, making it more suitable for use with the Magnet Flower. A set consisting of Spectre Mask and Dark Artist's Robes will reduce its mana cost to 3, and you can drop it all the way down to 2 by using Chlorophyte Headgear and any accessory that reduces mana cost by 8%.

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16.66% chance to drop from Martian Saucer
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Xeno Staff: S
This is the most reliable endgame minion for those who don't have Terraprisma. It doesn't get stuck, it delivers a constant stream of damage, and it doesn't miss. Kind of like having a horde of Magnet Spheres. No matter what you’re fighting, the UFOs will almost certainly land the first hit, and they have no downtime since they lock onto a new target immediately after finishing something off. A useful weapon for any class, especially when bossing, and it's also notable for handling flying enemies in the Old One's Army exceptionally well.

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....Availability: ###
16.66% chance to drop from Martian Saucer
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Frost Moon

Christmas Tree Sword: B+

It is actually insanely strong if all of its projectiles land on the same target, but that will basically never happen. Nonetheless, some scenarios come close, and that's where the Christmas Tree Sword shines. Its niche is comparable to the North Pole's, and I think it's a bit better since its ornaments linger for longer and its damage is a bit more targeted. Duke Fishron is the Christmas Tree Sword's best matchup by far because he smashes facefirst into nearly all of its projectiles, eviscerating himself. Sadly, Duke Fishron's death marks the extinction of all the big, fat, stupid enemies that charge directly into you, although it is cool that you can easily obtain the Flairon by using the Flairon that Mom says we have at home.

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5.19% to 7.78% chance to drop from Everscream, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Razorpine: A+
The standard against which single-target magic weapons are measured. It's powerful and simple to use with a relatively low mana cost, and it's the main reason why many people attempt the Frost Moon in the first place. The only point against it is that it's not a homing weapon, and at this point in the game, most enemies are so speedy and unpredictable that non-homing weapons start to fall behind a bit. It also has a very strange downside: because its projectiles are so dark-colored, it becomes harder to aim at night.

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5.19% to 7.78% chance to drop from Everscream, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Chain Gun: B+
Uses standard bullets.
The least subtle ranged weapon in the game, it operates on the principle that any problem, no matter how large, can be overcome by drowning it in bullets. Unfortunately the best bullets aren't easy to obtain in large quantities, so it might be a good idea to stick to buyable bullet types like Nano and High Velocity, instead of more valuable ones like Crystal and Chlorophyte that are not so simple to replenish. It generally does fine with buyable bullets, and Nano Bullets can even shore up its accuracy problems. Ichor improves its damage output immensely due to its incredible rate of fire, though I would recommend inflicting the debuff with a different weapon so you can use Crystal Bullets if you can afford to.

HIGH VELOCITY BULLET
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NANO BULLET
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5.55% to 12.5% chance to drop from Santa-NK1, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Rapid $$$$

Elf Melter: A
One of the two relevant endgame weapons that is optimal to use with the Shroomite Helmet, alongside the Piranha Gun. While not quite as dominant as the Flamethrower compared to other weapons of its tier, just like the Flamethrower, the Elf Melter is a potent crowd control weapon with surprisingly good DPS. I would probably have said that it's not worth crafting the Shroomite Helmet just for this, but you can freely swap between helmets using Shimmer, so feel free to take it for a trial run and see how much you want to commit to it. You can use the Shroomite Helmet if you want to use it a lot, or an Adamantite Mask if you want to use it a little.

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5.55% to 12.5% chance to drop from Santa-NK1, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Blizzard Staff: A-
This doesn't work well against everything, but there are some important fights that it does well against; namely Empress of Light, Duke Fishron, and the remainder of the Frost Moon. Like the Daedalus Stormbow, it is rather difficult to aim, but in return it provides insane amounts of damage against the large, predictable opponents you'd need it for. In fact, it has the highest single-target DPS potential of any pre-Lunar magic weapon (besides remixed Aqua Scepter), so even if you miss a bunch of your shots, it will still outperform a lot of other magic weapons.

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4.4% to 7.52% chance to drop from Ice Queen, scaling with wave progression.
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

North Pole: B
I genuinely don't know how good this weapon truly is. Sometimes it's extremely dominant to the point of chewing bosses apart in seconds, but most of the time it's just a garden-variety projectile melee weapon that attacks in a straight line. Depending on where you aim it, it can provide widespread crowd damage (by aiming to the side) or concentrated DPS on a single point (by aiming straight upwards). The problem with the latter is that it only affects enemies directly above or below you, it takes time to set up, and you can't move sideways while doing it. However, aiming it directly at enemies results in such a mediocre performance that you should probably use the projectile curtain strategy if you plan to use this weapon at all. There is one phase in the Empress of Light battle (the attack with the X-patterned lances) where she lines up perfectly to take a massive beatdown from the North Pole, and to be fair those 6 seconds of glory are 6 more seconds than a lot of weapons get.

AIMING AT ENEMY
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AIMING STRAIGHT UPWARDS
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....Availability: #
4.4% to 7.52% chance to drop from Ice Queen, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Snowman Cannon: S
Stat-wise, it doesn't seem like a massive upgrade to previous rocket launchers, but thanks to its homing abilities and lack of self-damage, the Snowman Cannon is easily the most reliable rocket weapon in the game. Without the fear of blowing yourself up, you can take full advantage of Rocket III and Mini Nuke I with their massive blast radius. (There is no point in using Cluster Rockets.) Using stronger ammo also helps to shore up its modest damage output, and while it will never match the single-target dominance of Tsunami and Eventide, nothing beats the Snowman Cannon when it comes to ranged crowd control.

Counterintuitively, Shroomite Helmet's rocket damage bonus does not apply to the base damage of your actual rockets, so the optimal helmet for standard rocket launchers with high-damage rockets is the Adamantite Mask of all things.

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....Availability: #
4.4% to 7.52% chance to drop from Ice Queen, scaling with wave progression
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$$$$$

Sold by Tavernkeep (req: Golem defeated)

Ballista Staff: B

You might be attracted to the Ballista Staff because of its huge numbers, and I wouldn't necessarily say you'd be wrong in doing so. It is useful mainly by association with Valhalla Knight armor, which is one of the best armor sets in the game, though Squire armor is serviceable enough for your first tier 3 attempts. You might even consider placing Dungeon spikes around your Old One's Army arena to activate Ballista Panic more easily. Outside of the Old One's Army, it can be used effectively on facetanking setups with Valhalla Knight armor, but its poor accuracy prevents it from being very useful beyond that.

Ballistas are great when placed midway between the portal and crystal due to their high range, but you should reserve the area near the portals for Explosive Traps if possible.

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Sold by Tavernkeep for 60 Defender Medals after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Flameburst Staff: C-
This may have been designed to be a jack-of-all-trades sentry, but lack of specialization is the last thing you want on a sentry since this type of weapon is already highly specialized to begin with. It loses in DPS to the Frost Hydra, it loses in crowd control to all the other DD2 sentries, and it has a huge blind spot above the sentry's head. Yes, it fires faster than the Ballista, but don't be fooled: its fire rate is still very slow, and its blast radius is too small for it to be useful for crowd control. While not completely useless, it's far worse than all the other sentries it's competing with, and is notably the only one that doesn't make mincemeat of the Old One's Army when used at its full potential. The other three sentries have the option to become good when backed by a set bonus, but Flameburst gains nothing meaningful from Dark Artist armor because a well-placed tower would be firing 100% of the time during the Old One's Army anyways. In fact, it is genuinely unclear whether this is better than the Queen Spider Staff, since they have around the same DPS (yes, seriously), the Queen Spider is more accurate against grounded enemies, and Acid Venom deals twice as much DPS as Hellfire. Don't buy this.

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Sold by Tavernkeep for 60 Defender Medals after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Explosive Trap Staff: A
The Red Riding armor set bonus ramps up its firing speed to the point that it beats all other sentries by a mile, both during the Old One's Army and outside of it. It demands constant attention since it needs to be repositioned often, but the damage output is worth it since few ranged weapons can delete a crowd of grounded enemies as quickly as four Explosive Traps blasting away at full speed. It's great when placed near the portals, and it's great for defending the crystal too since it won't miss. Several of them can one-shot the Etherian Wyverns before they can even touch the crystal.

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RED RIDING
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Sold by Tavernkeep for 60 Defender Medals after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Lightning Aura Staff: B-
In contrast to the extreme blasting enabled by Red Riding armor, Shinobi Infiltrator armor provides a more modest bonus to Lightning Aura sentries, which doesn't bode well for the Lightning Aura given that it's also weaker than the Explosive Trap by default. Nonetheless, the Lightning Aura has a few advantages: because it is the only sentry whose hitbox is active at all times, it can be used to delete Drakomire fireballs, and it also interrupts certain shooter enemies like Elf Archers and Tesla Turrets. Admittedly these advantages are rather small, but at least the Lightning Aura has a niche, which is more than I can say about the Flameburst.

If you have other sentries in your arsenal, it's best to reserve the space in the middle for Ballistas instead of Lightning Auras. Only those placed near the portals will deal damage; any placed closer to the center will only deal damage to Ogres. It also doesn't defend the crystal well due to its lack of burst damage against Etherian Wyverns, though it does a decent job of killing them as they emerge from the portal if you're using the set bonus.

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SHINOBI INFILTRATOR
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Sold by Tavernkeep for 60 Defender Medals after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$$$$$

Dropped by Betsy

Flying Dragon: A

Its niche overlaps heavily with that of the Terra Blade, being a fairly wide piercing weapon with extraordinary DPS when combined with the sword itself. While it has slightly higher peak DPS than the Terra Blade, it also has much lower velocity and its projectile isn't as wide. Its wall-piercing properties are also not as useful as you'd hope since all the underground content in the game is essentially over, though it could be handy for cheesing Solar enemies and might be useful for fighting pillars in getfixedboi. It's sort of like a midground option between the Terra Blade, Solar Eruption, and Daybreak, and would probably be more popular if it weren't locked behind such an obnoxious event.

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25% chance to drop from Betsy
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Sky Dragon's Fury: B
The only secondary-attack weapon that actually encourages you to switch between attack modes. The electrosphere attack covers a wide area but doesn't prevent enemies from approaching, while the spin attack easily dispatches nearby enemies but has limited range. They cover each other's weaknesses. This seems like a nice synergy, but the reality is that you could just choose a weapon that doesn't have those weaknesses in the first place. I would consider both attack styles mediocre on their own, and since Sky Dragon's Fury can only use one of them at a time, the whole is not better than the sum of its parts.

SPIN
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ELECTROSPHERES
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....Availability: ###
25% chance to drop from Betsy
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Aerial Bane: A-
"Airborne" describes basically every important enemy you'll be facing in the endgame, so the Aerial Bane's perk will almost always be active. This makes it a powerful choice, but since it can only fire one type of arrow, it is rather inflexible. While it packs a serious punch against flying enemies, the Aerial Bane is not necessarily accurate since its arrow is heavily affected by gravity, limiting its range. As a result, it ends up being a less reliable anti-air option than most homing weapons, despite its extraordinary damage output. It is also considerably slower than most bows, which makes it harder to lead your shots properly. This is especially inconvenient because Aerial Bane depends so heavily on killing enemies in one shot, and hitting them even a bit off-center allows them to survive. In fact, if it didn't deal bonus damage against flying enemies, it would actually kind of suck against them. It is generally much less reliable than the other endgame bows with Chlorophyte Arrows. However, its performance against Moon Lord is still decent if you don't mind its shorter effective range.

VENOM ARROW
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25% chance to drop from Betsy
Best prefix: Unreal $$

Betsy's Wrath: S+
Inflicts an upgraded version of Ichor with no relevant immunities. Betsy's Wrath is pretty much a no-brainer as a support weapon for bossing, and with its large area of effect and high damage, it's a strong magic weapon in its own right. Along with Vampire Knives and Dark Harvest, this is one of the best support weapons for summoners to use with their Kaleidoscope. It pairs well with weapons that deal many hits very quickly, such as Xeno Staff, Razorpine, and Phantasm. The fact that the final boss has 70 defense in its last phase just sweetens the deal further.

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25% chance to drop from Betsy
Best prefix: Mythical $$

Crafted from Celestial Fragments

Stardust Cell Staff: A

Compared to the Dragon, Stardust Cells are much better at disrupting multiple threats and offer much more stable DPS over time thanks to their flawless accuracy and DoT debuff, but they deal significantly lower damage to bosses. (Using Kaleidoscope helps to narrow the gap since the cells appreciate tag damage more than the dragon.) Dedicated summoner builds might be able to find use for the cell since it is better than the dragon at eliminating multiple annoying enemies that don't have much health, but it is absolutely not worth it if you only have enough fragments for one weapon. If you can craft both, it's a good idea to add at least one dragon segment even when you're planning to use cells. The cells and dragon will often target different parts of your screen, and that's usually a good thing.

While it's true that both the Stardust Cell and Stardust Dragon are good weapons for their respective niches, the dragon is far better for shredding the Moon Lord, and the Cell's advantage against the remaining pillars is less important since you can die to the pillars as much as you want without penalty. Also, it would seem that the Stardust Cell has the advantage of dealing non-piercing damage, which would allow it to deal damage alongside your piercing main weapons... but unfortunately, it actually deals piercing damage, just like the Ballista Staff and Influx Waver. It won't interfere with itself and it won't interfere with your main weapon, but it won't perform at its full potential if you're using something like Razorblade Typhoon or Solar Eruption.

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Crafted from 18 Stardust Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Stardust Dragon Staff: S
The Stardust Dragon Staff is a stupendous upgrade that will make your life much easier even if you've never touched a summoning weapon up until this point. It bypasses all barriers and hunts down enemies at every corner of your screen, and performs excellently with no investment other than a Bewitching Table and Summoning Potion. All three other classes can put together viable hybrid sets that boost the power and capacity of the dragon with minimal sacrifices to class damage bonuses. (These sets are Shinobi/Spooky/Valhalla, Shroomite/Red Riding/Tiki, and Spectre/Spooky/Dark Artist for melee, ranged, and magic respectively.)

Compared to the Stardust Cell, the dragon can occasionally experience some downtime since its AI isn't perfect at tracking down enemies. However, it will significantly outperform cells when fighting against Moon Lord, mainly due to the boss's extremely predictable AI essentially making it a sitting duck for the dragon. Against more mobile bosses (like Empress of Light), the dragon's slight lack of consistency drags it down a bit, though you can still expect it to perform as well as Cells on average. Also, it does synergize with Firecracker, but since Kaleidoscope deals significant damage on its own and Firecracker does not, you'll find the damage output similar enough that you might prefer to stick to the Kaleidoscope for its superior range.

The Stardust Dragon will never interfere with your piercing attacks, but the opposite does not hold true. Therefore, when using the dragon on magic hybrid sets, avoid using Razorblade Typhoon or Nightglow, and stick to non-piercing weapons like Bat Scepter, Razorpine, etc. (This mechanic is not really relevant to melee or ranged, since practically all endgame melee weapons and no endgame ranged weapons deal piercing damage.)

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Crafted from 18 Stardust Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Vortex Beater: A+
Uses standard bullets.
The choice between Phantasm and Vortex Beater comes down to whether you prefer the raw power of Holy/Venom Arrows or the consistency of Chlorophyte Bullets. Practically every YouTuber trying to showcase a no-hit Moon Lord fight will be using the Vortex Beater with Chlorophyte Bullets, which serves as definitive proof that it's optimal for damaging an offscreen enemy without paying attention to where you're aiming. Vortex Beater is also great for general crowd control during the Lunar pillars, though you will probably be sticking to the same ammo since it needs Chlorophyte or Nano Bullets to compensate for its wide bullet spread. This weapon is basically half a Snowman Cannon duct-taped to a Chain Gun, so it's not surprising that it's effective against both bosses and crowds alike. However, the Phantasm will see usage even after you obtain an S.D.M.G., and the Vortex Beater will not.

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Crafted from 18 Vortex Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Phantasm: S
Uses standard arrows.
While it offers the best single-target ranged DPS when used with Holy Arrows, it's trickier to use than the Vortex Beater against Moon Lord, who moves around a lot and also forces you to move around a lot. It's far from unusable in that fight, though, because it comes with a built-in aim correction system: your phantasm arrows will always point in the direction of a live target. Pay attention to the direction they shoot and adjust your angle accordingly. Aiming it during the final phase can be more troublesome since you can't just spray-and-pray while kiting like you would with the Vortex Beater, but it's completely manageable once you get used to it.

Because of its somewhat low damage value and large number of hits per second, this is a weapon on which a good modifier matters a great deal, and any damage boosts you can get from ammo, buffs, debuffs, and accessories will have a much larger effect than usual. Venom Arrows are actually a great idea since they have inherently high velocity and unrivaled base damage (which actually matters for Phantasm), and also because Moon Lord won't get hit by Holy Arrow stars consistently. Ichor Arrows also work very well with the weapon's death-by-a-thousand-cuts nature. Overall, using the Phantasm is a bit of a commitment, but it is insanely powerful and rivals even the S.D.M.G. when aimed properly. Be sure to use Magic Quiver and Archery Potion when using Holy Arrows; the velocity boost will significantly improve your aim.

This is generally considered less reliable for crowd control than the Vortex Beater, but it actually works well with Chlorophyte Arrows. You can spray the arrows into a dangerous area and eliminate enemies with smart bounce, and the satisfying part about Phantasm is that its phantasm arrows will immediately let you know that the strategy is working.

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VENOM ARROW / ICHOR ARROW
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Crafted from 18 Vortex Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Nebula Blaze: A
If you've made it this far, you'll probably have figured out that a weapon's base damage tells you virtually nothing about its viability, so the Nebula Blaze's extremely high base damage might make you wonder how the Nebula Arcanum is supposed to compete with a weapon that appears to be both stronger and faster. Indeed, the Blaze is faster, but the Arcanum is stronger. The dynamic betweeen the two Nebula weapons looks a lot like the dynamic between the Stardust Cell and Stardust Dragon, in that the former deals lower, more stable DPS while the latter scores a massive payoff during moments when a target is vulnerable. (Ironic as it seems, Blaze is the more stable one here.) Nebula Blaze is a perfectly good weapon, but its advantages over the Arcanum are not what many people think they are. Its knockback stat is basically irrelevant because it kills non-boss enemies almost instantly; while the Arcanum does the same, it's not as reliable for disruption because it has to pierce through them before circling back. The Blaze is also better for kiting the Moon Lord, who tends to punish you hard for changing directions (as the Arcanum often requires you to do).

Blaze is also useful as a sort of "Hail Mary" when your health is critically low (or when the Moon Bite debuff wears off briefly), since Nebula Blaze EX can heal you for massive chunks of health in one shot when using the Spectre Hood. You won't be able to heal for a long time after absorbing a wisp of that magnitude, making it less desirable for general use, but uniquely suitable for the Moon Lord fight, potentially allowing you to get a few heals even if you aren't using Recall Potions to cancel Moon Bite.

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Crafted from 18 Nebula Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Nebula Arcanum: A-
The Nebula Arcanum behaves a lot like the Wasp Gun, but on the final hit, each galaxy explodes into a massive burst of non-piercing projectiles. This gives it some of the highest single-target burst DPS in the game (I've seen the DPS rating go above 30,000 in some cases). In fact, the Nebula Arcanum's burst damage is so absurdly high that you can use it to defeat daytime Empress of Light without learning half of her attacks. The fight goes something like: Prismatic Bolts, dash, Sun Dance, trigger 2nd phase, Ethereal Lance v2, and then she dies.

So if you thought the Nebula Blaze vs. Nebula Arcanum dynamic was a choice between single-target DPS and crowd control, you'd be sorely mistaken; the Arcanum is better at both. Its primary disadvantage is its slow velocity, meaning that if you are kiting your target in one direction, the projectiles may not get a chance to deal their final hit, so you might be forced to make some more dangerous plays in order to let them catch up. It also consumes mana extremely quickly, though this problem can be mostly fixed by equipping a Magnet Flower. Because its projectiles last for a very long time, the Nebula Arcanum is probably the best way to use up extra mana stars on the ground. It can sustain itself indefinitely during invasion events if you have a Celestial Magnet (or any of its tinkers).

Because of its insane base DPS, in theory it will perform best with an armor set that maximizes raw stat bonuses (Hallowed Headgear, Dark Artist's Robe and Leggings) because the DPS from Spectre wisps caps at a set value. Of course, the inconsistent nature of this weapon makes this difficult to prove through trials against any living target.

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Crafted from 18 Nebula Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Solar Eruption: A-
Destroys all the crowds of enemies you'll encounter in the remainder of the Celestial events, but falls somewhat short against the final boss due to its middling range. Its DPS depends heavily on the distance to your target: up close, it's significantly stronger than Daybreak, but at greater distances it won't be hitting as frequently or accurately. While it's not optimal for boss fights, you can abuse its wall-piercing properties to great effect during pillar battles.

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Crafted from 18 Solar Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Daybreak: A
A bit of a slow burn (literally). It won't deal as much immediate DPS as the Solar Eruption, but it's very consistent and has far better range, so it's the best option for melee users who need to damage something at the edge of their screen. The fixed damage dealt by the Daybroken debuff keeps its DPS somewhat stable even if you don't land every shot. Phantasm is better if you don't care about class, but Daybreak is still a nice choice for a melee playthrough, especially because it isn't as harshly impacted by the low offensive bonuses of Beetle Shell, making it a perfect fit for a tank set.

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Crafted from 18 Solar Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Dropped by Moon Lord

Terrarian: A+
You can just drag this vaguely near an enemy's position, and the homing projectiles will take care of the rest. It is excellent for crowd control and sufficient for boss battles, being significantly better than either of the Moon Lord swords due to having much better accuracy. You can use the Yoyo Bag if you want, but it's not really that necessary because it doesn't improve the Terrarian's DPS and you don't need the extra range to consistently hit the Moon Lord while still avoiding the miniature Deathrays.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Meowmere: B
An extremely spammy weapon that carpets a wide area. Due to its stupidly high base damage, this used to be the weapon of choice for noobs on "free items" servers before Zenith was introduced. Unfortunately, it offers nothing to subsequent Moon Lord fights that you can't already accomplish with Daybreak (which deals higher single-target DPS when its debuff is factored in). It also has noticeably lower velocity, making it harder to aim with. So the best place to use it is during invasions, where it barely needs to be aimed at all. It spawns so many projectiles that you'll be killing things offscreen without really meaning to. Highly recommended for toddlers.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$$$$$

Star Wrath: B-
Star Wrath has the same flaws as the Blizzard Staff: it's inaccurate and it can't hit offscreen targets. It also has a lot of trouble hitting things at the top of your screen. On the bright side it has no mana cost, so you can spam it 100% of the time and eventually kill whatever you're trying to hit. It would be a lot worse if it wasn't for its extremely high damage per hit, but it's still almost objectively worse than the Terrarian.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$$$$$

S.D.M.G: S+
Uses standard bullets.
Basically, it's Phantasm but with bullets. S.D.M.G. actually falls behind Phantasm when the latter is using Holy Arrows against a stationary target; as a gun, its true advantage is its ability to use Chlorophyte Bullets, allowing it to consistently damage fast-moving targets and offscreen bosses. If this all sounds familiar to you, it's because every gun is pretty much the same when using Chlorophyte Bullets. The S.D.M.G. is probably one of the best Moon Lord drops to receive first, since it's a direct improvement to the Vortex Beater that most people use against Moon Lord for efficient runs (including speedruns).

The stealth effect from Vortex armor is a neat little toy that you didn't have access to before, which nearly doubles your DPS and doesn't even penalize your movement that much if you're wearing Soaring Insignia. This allows it to nearly compete with the likes of Last Prism in terms of damage output. Phantasm and Celebration Mk2 can also do this, but S.D.M.G.'s perfect accuracy with Chlorophyte Bullets makes it the best ranged DPS weapon in practice most of the time. You can also use Crystal Bullets to give it the highest ranged DPS in the game, and the S.D.M.G. does it much better than the Vortex Beater due to its pinpoint accuracy. I don't see much reason to use Luminite Bullets. Despite what the tooltip says, enemies will rarely line up in a convenient way for piercing bullets to take advantage of.

Note that speed-increasing modifiers boost its speed by 20% rather than 10%, so its second-best modifier is actually Deadly and not Godly/Demonic if you're poor enough to still care about that.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$$$

Celebration Mk2: A+
Its damage output is so insane that it barely needs to be aimed. Despite its wide and random firing angles, Celebration Mk2 is a reliable weapon for killing Moon Lord, Lunar enemies, and everything else simply because it covers such a huge area. Moving in close can be rewarding due to the weapon's inherent lack of accuracy, but you shouldn't feel pressured to do so because you'll deal massive damage anyways as long as you aren't aiming in the complete opposite direction.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$

Last Prism: S
Last Prism is almost universally accepted as the strongest magic weapon in the game, dealing so much damage that even Mana Sickness barely slows it down. It's great for crowd control even if you don't want to use a Mana Flower. Just like with the Laser Machinegun, if you don't see any enemies, stop firing. The scattered beams are much more mana-efficient to use, and equally effective against everything except bosses. One extra advantage of the unfocused beams is that they can activate Spectre healing while the full beam cannot.

If you want to try a silly facetanking strategy, stand on a spike with Celestial Cuffs and you can use the Last Prism indefinitely as long as you're being hit for 1 damage and aren't using a Cross Necklace. This can be used for easy Old One's Army farming if there's something you still want from that event. Not recommended for Moon Lord because facetanking him without a Cross Necklace is a very bad idea.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Lunar Flare: A-
Lunar Flare isn't a bad weapon, but it has no meaningful advantages over Last Prism. It only does exceptionally well against clusters of grounded enemies, and most of the more threatening Lunar event enemies don't spend much time near the ground. While Lunar Flare is better for underground combat, there is no more underground content for you to experience. You'll mainly spend your time fighting Moon Lord, an airborne opponent that is very easy to hit with Last Prism but rather difficult to hit with Lunar Flare. It does have lower mana consumption than the Last Prism, but you could just use the Prism's scattered beams if mana usage is a concern for you, and Last Prism is better than Lunar Flare even with maximum Mana Sickness. It is a bit unfortunate that the Lunar Flare will inevitably end up getting compared to something as broken as Last Prism, but viewed on its own merit, it is definitely better than the Star Wrath for PvE situations since the explosions give it a much larger area of effect against enemies on the ground. It's just hard to justify using when the guaranteed-obtainable Nebula Blaze is so much more consistent against the Moon Lord itself.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Rainbow Crystal Staff: B
Sort of does the same thing as the Lunar Portal Staff, but a little bit worse. It doesn't cover as much of the screen, it can't hit enemies that are moving too fast, and its attack range is just as limited. However, it does provide higher DPS than the Lunar Portal Staff against Moon Lord if you are standing still (not recommended unless you have 140+ defense). And it decimates the Lunatic Cultist in seconds since he stands still during all of his attacks. The Lunar Portal Staff does a much better job of protecting you when facing the pillars, though I suppose you can't afford to be picky; both Moon Lord sentries are far better than whatever sentry you were using up until now, so use whichever one you get.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Lunar Portal Staff: A+
A monstrous choice for sentry-focused builds, and one of the few Moon Lord weapons that I consider fun to use. All sentries have the disadvantage of forcing you to fight in a limited area in order to use them properly, but the Lunar Portals make up for it by killing absolutely everything. A defensive Valhalla Knight set can completely deny Moon Lord's deathray through sheer DPS alone, and an offensive Stardust set can still use it to shave off half of the top eye's health before you have to get out of there and fight Moon Lord the usual way. This completely outclasses every other sentry, but if you want it to be a primary source of DPS against Moon Lord, you'll have to run a defensive set. You can use Stardust Helmet + VK Breastplate + Stardust Leggings, or Shinobi Helmet + VK Breastplate + Stardust Leggings in Classic mode if you got less than 80 Luminite on your first Moon Lord kill.

Dodging the Moon Lord's deathrays when your screen is covered in similar-looking deathrays may prove difficult, which is another reason why I recommend defensive builds with this weapon.

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11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Craftable after defeating Moon Lord

Zenith: S+
Zenith is simultaneously the most powerful and least useful weapon in any ordinary playthrough. There is absolutely no PvE challenge that it doesn't trivialize, and there is also absolutely nothing that you can prove by defeating something with it. I reforged mine to Broken and it was still the strongest weapon in my arsenal of Mythical, Unreal, and Legendary items. Just like how any game becomes immensely boring if you use a cheat code to give yourself infinite damage, Zenith removes all the fun from combat and should be treated more like a "delete all enemies" button for when you don't feel like actually fighting.

For some reason, Zenith is used extensively in clickbait YouTube thumbnails, as if the video wouldn't instantly become unbearably dull if the player actually got their hands on this weapon earlier than they were supposed to.

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Crafted from Terra Blade, Meowmere, Star Wrath, Influx Waver, The Horseman's Blade, Seedler, Starfury, Bee Keeper, Enchanted Sword, Copper Shortsword
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$$$$$
 
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Other considerations and meaningful choices

What class should I use?

I'll answer that based on the assumption that you don't care about any special class challenges and just want to beat the game. On average, melee has the best armor and ranged has the best weapons. Summoner should always be used at least partially. Magic exists. To clear the game as effectively as possible, you are usually best off using ranged weapons with some combination of melee and ranged armor, alongside summons and at least one whip.

Class-restricted playthroughs are popular, but do not delude yourself into thinking that they are efficient. It is true that at any given moment, your offensive gear should ideally be boosting a weapon that you are actually using. But flexibility in a variety of combat situations is more important than raw damage. This flexibility should easily compensate for the possibility that you might, on occasion, find yourself using a weapon that doesn't get a 15% boost from your currently-equipped armor. Armor can only increase a weapon's DPS, and DPS is only 1 of 5 criteria that determine a weapon's effectiveness.

For an efficient playthrough, the class that you should use is the class that corresponds to the best weapon that you either already have, or can get within the next ten minutes. Most of the time, this will probably be either a ranged weapon or the Terra Blade. Summons are literally free damage and should be used at all times. Whips are also free additional damage for as long as their tag effects last (4 seconds) so you can "stack" them with your other weapons. Essentially whipstacking with non-whips in the rotation. This is easier with weapons without innate autofire when using the universal autofire setting, since they can be cycled through without releasing the mouse button.

The idea of using melee armor with ranged weapons, thus benefitting from the best that each class has to offer, is a strategy that tends to be utilized by both noobs and highly experienced players. The difference is that a veteran player is likely to optimize their defensive build even further. See the "offense or defense" section for more on why this works.

As for what your chosen class actually means with regards to the armor you'll be wearing, see this wiki guide.

Should I use a hybrid class?
If one of those hybrid classes is summoner, then yes. Summoner hybrids are the only hybrids that work, since summoning is the only class that can be wielded along with another class at the exact same time (unless you count the long-lasting magic weapons, which demand more attention). The idea is that you sacrifice some of your weaker melee/ranged/magic armor pieces and replace them with armor that increases summon damage and capacity, and in the end you gain more DPS than you lose. The advantage this has over traditional summoning is that you can fight more effectively with weapons other than whips (while still retaining them as a valuable option) and will probably have more defense than a pure summoner.

Hybrid summoners really take off when you can buy the tier 2 armor from the Tavernkeep, since many of the armor pieces he sells are best-in-slot for melee, ranged, and magic and just happen to also provide fat summon damage bonuses. Besides that, it's mainly something to consider when you examine the stats on each armor piece you're wearing and realize that one of them sucks and the set bonus isn't very good either, so you may as well replace it with a summoning piece.

Offense or defense?
A fully defensive loadout is, in most cases, mathematically the most likely to earn you a victory over any given boss. Yes, even in Master mode. This is because the benefits of defense are non-linear, and the stat grows more effective as you add more (whereas with damage and crit it's the opposite). While reducing a 100 damage hit to 90 is only a 1.1x survivability increase, reducing a 20 damage hit to 10 is a 2x survivability increase, and going any lower than that makes you functionally impervious to these hits. Since most of the "unfair" attacks in the game deal relatively low damage per hit, it is not difficult to reduce most of these hits to the single digits. The extra time bought by this survivability far eclipses any DPS bonus you can reasonably expect to get from your armor and accessories.

In order to reach such vast amounts of defense, you should probably abandon the idea of using any purely offensive accessories, and all but the most essential mobility accessories. You will probably end up with a redundant-looking set with multiple shields and multiple variations of Flesh Knuckles, all of which are providing essentially nothing but raw defense. It might seem like you'll have trouble with damage output if your only offensive accessory is the Celestial Shell, but in practice, being so thicc means that you can use extremely strong short-ranged weapons and fight more aggressively while flat-out ignoring some weaker projectiles, like lasers. The only way to lose most fights is to die, so it should not be controversial to suggest that an equipment loadout that makes you not die should also make you not lose.

A purely offensive set is considerably more challenging to win with, but it does get the adrenaline pumping, and can be effective in multiplayer when fighting next to a dedicated tank. If you do want to run an offensive set, you'll usually be pretty safe with an all-Menacing loadout. Any non-restricted playthrough should be running at least minor to moderate minion investment, and don't forget that the final boss has 70 defense which skews DPS calculations in favor of more base damage.

What accessories should I use?
It should come as no surprise that there is no straightforward answer to this question. The best I can do is equip you with the knowledge to make your own decisions.

Combat accessories are broadly classified as offense, defense, or movement accessories. In practice, offensive and movement accessories can be lumped into the same category because they tend to be used on the same sets, for the same reason that the people who enjoy full offensive builds tend to be the most reliant on their dodging ability. Fully defensive builds have no need for mobility other than wings (and optionally, Soaring Insignia). I would encourage you to stick to either mainly offensive or mainly defensive accessories, and not to mix-and-match unless you have no other options.

DEFENSIVE

Star Veil - essential for any facetanking setup. The sloppier your dodging skills, the more you'll get out of this accessory.
Shield - basically required when using close-ranged weapons, and should probably be used on tank sets anyways since they provide defense. Obsidian Shield should be used at minimum and it gets the job done. Ankh Shield is often hated on for its debuff protection being deceptively useless, but it is technically the best pre-Plantera shield due to having 2 more defense than the Obsidian Shield. Thanks to Shimmer, it is easier to obtain than it's ever been.
Charm of Myths - mathematically equivalent to 1.833 HP/sec of regeneration if you are using Greater Healing Potions. Pretty good when you're not planning to facetank and just want to fight more-or-less normally, since regeneration always provides the same benefit no matter how hard or how often you're getting hit.
Flesh Knuckles - the meat of your defensive build, literally. Mainly used to add raw defense. Stack as many Flesh Knuckle tinkers as you can for maximum effect.
Worm Scarf - one of the few defensive accessories that still holds up on offensive sets since it is based on % damage reduction. Conversely, it is not super necessary on heavy tank setups since they take less than 10 damage from most things anyway.
Brain of Confusion - runs on a similar concept to the Worm Scarf. They provide the same defensive effect in the long run. Like the Worm Scarf, it stops being essential on tank sets once you start beefing up with Flesh Knuckles and higher-grade armors like Hallowed Mask and Squire's Plating.

OFFENSIVE

Class-specific accessories - not as essential as you might assume since there are so many nonspecific offensive accessories that are just as good as the class-specific ones. Class emblems get a pass since the game just hands them to you for free at a time when you're heavily undergeared. I would not run more than one class-specific accessory on a loadout, personally. If I were to choose one from each class, it would be Fire Gauntlet, Sniper/Recon Scope, and Celestial Emblem for their respective classes. (Summoner accessories are not class-specific because anyone can benefit from summons.)

Mana-restoring accessories - as if magic isn't underpowered already, mages are uniquely "blessed" with the chance to sacrifice an accessory slot to partially solve a problem that other classes don't have to deal with in the first place. I think mages should just suck it up and learn how to use the quick mana hotkey, or switch to a whip or something when their mana runs out. If you're determined to cripple yourself with a mage-only challenge, then the Magnet Flower and Celestial Cuffs come the closest to solving your mana problems for offensive and defensive mage loadouts, respectively.

Classless accessories - should be the preferred choice for any offensive hybrid summoner (which any optimized DPS setup will be). Celestial Shell should be used on every endgame loadout due to providing decent offensive AND defensive bonuses at the same time. Destroyer Emblem and Avenger Emblem can be used if you want to squeeze out more offense.

Summoner accessories - great offensive filler items that can be used by anyone, though they are the most effective when running Old One's Army armor pieces with their high summon damage boosts. If anything, they are relatively more impactful on sets that aren't fully minion-invested because 1 minion slot would make up 1/3 of your minion offense on a non-invested loadout, and only like 1/8 on a pure summoner loadout. You would use Pygmy Necklace before Plantera, and Papyrus Scarab after. Necromantic Scroll if you have room for two summoner accessories.

Shark Tooth Necklace - notable for its usefulness in early Hardmode when your weapons can barely get past the defense of Hardmode enemies. Stack this with Stinger Necklace and you can do silly things like killing the Destroyer with Beenades. The lower your average damage per hit, the greater the relative benefit of armor penetration becomes. For example, if you deal 25 damage per hit, then the Shark Tooth Necklace is basically a 10% damage increase. This makes the Shark Tooth Necklace a perfect accompaniment for automatic guns with Crystal Bullets. Stinger Necklace is not necessarily an upgrade because the spawned bees inflict global immunity frames.

MOVEMENT

Wings - close to essential for most of Hardmode. Even the best infinite flight mounts cannot hope to match the agility offered by lategame wings. Several wings offer special abilities like pressing UP to boost vertically or pressing DOWN to hover, and I would almost always choose a wing with a special ability over one that doesn't, regardless of what the other stats are. I consider hovering to be the best wing ability, as hovering comes pretty close to a Master Ninja Gear dash for horizontal dodging, and the ability to instantly stop vertical momentum is useful about as often as the ability to rapidly boost upwards.

While most people are accustomed to using wings, some people have found success with mounts, including the Basilisk (with Bundle of Balloons), Gelatinous Pillion, and Witch's Broom. Use whichever feels most natural to you, but keep in mind that being mounted will lock you out of some movement options like dashing and grappling.

Soaring Insignia - levels the playing field for wings and gives you even less reason to use the ones with no special abilities. I would genuinely rather use a Hoverboard than Fishron Wings if I had access to Soaring Insignia. It is probably the Expert-exclusive accessory that changes gameplay the most, along with the Shield of Cthulhu.

Amphibian Boots - Soaring Insignia's pre-Hardmode equivalent, which significantly boosts the quality of your flight time. The fact that this greatly outclasses Terraspark Boots is a significant source of confusion for newer players, who might reasonably expect the game's ultimate shoe, which cost them hours to obtain and their entire life savings to reforge, to be better than some goofy ahh frog slippers. Sadly, this is not the case when it comes to actual combat. The only advantage that Terraspark Boots have over Amphibian Boots is 0.7 seconds of flight time, which isn't even enough time for you to reach the word "Terraspark" from the start of this very sentence. In fact, I'd say that the game's various balloon accessories and Magiluminescence are more deserving of a spot on your loadout than Terraspark Boots, as they also increase your aerial mobility to some extent.

Master Ninja Gear - a value pack that provides a bit of bonus survivability on top of the Tabi dash that it is most known for. This does replace the Shield of Cthulhu for most content you'd need it for, since it provides much greater distance and doesn't bounce you backwards if you collide with an enemy.




Here are some sample sets for Expert mode.

EARLY HARDMODE
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ENDGAME
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Crimson or Corruption?
While the ability to create artificial biomes lessens the issue somewhat, it is far more common to see people regretting playing on a Corruption world than a Crimson one. The ability to easily farm multiple Flesh Knuckles using Keys of Night is extremely valuable for people who want to use a tank approach, and the Vampire Knives have an irreplaceable niche while the Scourge of the Corruptor is strong but perfectly replaceable.

One of the more important points of comparison is Cursed Inferno vs. Ichor. In most cases, Ichor is the better debuff. It surpasses the DPS of Cursed Inferno if the target is hit more than 3.2 times per second, which most good weapons can easily achieve. However, one advantage of Cursed Inferno is that you do not have to keep attacking the afflicted target to receive the full benefit, so it has the potential to surpass Ichor if you're doing something weird like a 3x spawnrate run where the screen is constantly covered with enemies.

Of course, it is possible to import materials between worlds, and there is nothing unfair about creating a new world just to harvest its resources since you aren't sequence breaking by doing so. So if you really want to reap the benefits of both evil biomes, you can either do that, or play on a drunk world.
 
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The Anchor should be moved down to F rank honestly. The Anchor lacks any sort of usefulness in the point of the game you obtain it, it has terrible damage, limited uses, slower attack rate than a snail, and lacks any tactical uses to help defend yourself effectively(especially in Expert.) It should be down in the pits with the Crystal Vile Shard. (Which is a shame too, the weapon only gains any usability if you combine it with an Ichor debuff, and it still gets a rather subpar DPS anyways. The Crystal Vile Shard should really get a buff to make it worthy of being in the Mimic drop pools, such as armor penetration and slightly increased damage to up the DPS a bit.)

Other than that, excellent tier list! It clearly shows effort and thought put into it.
 
I've updated post #2, so this thread now covers every single weapon available in the latter half of Hardmode (except the stuff that drops from the final boss). I think there are roughly three times as many post-mech weapons as pre-mech, so as you can imagine, this took me several days to write. Hopefully you find it useful!

The post-mech weapons are roughly listed in the order you'd encounter them in, and the pre-mech weapons were in no particular order, though I did group them together if they were obtained in a similar way.
 
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Nicely done with the 2nd part of the tier list! Can't say I would argue anything wrong with the list rankings, mostly just boasts my own personal experiences with certain weapons which I'm not gonna bring up. (Hey, nothing wrong with personal preferences.)

I would like to see you group the final Post-Moon Lords weapons as its own tier, just to compare them among themselves along with the Pillar-tier gear. That gear is almost as strong as Moon-Lord-tier weapons, if not stronger, so why not include them as well?

Also, just noticed this:
Classy Cane: F
I'll have you know that this is incorrcet and unreasonable. The Classy Cane is the best weapon in the game, it can kill Moon Lord easily in seconds.
 
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KO Cannon can be obtained via statues, so it’s actually quite easy to get if you farm for it.
 
I would like to see you group the final Post-Moon Lords weapons as its own tier, just to compare them among themselves along with the Pillar-tier gear. That gear is almost as strong as Moon-Lord-tier weapons, if not stronger, so why not include them as well?
Sure, I've updated the post and added the post-Moon Lord weapons.
The Classy Cane is the best weapon in the game, it can kill Moon Lord easily in seconds.
Shh! We don't want people to find out; it would take the fun out of the game!
 
After a bit of testing, I've concluded that the Anchor deserves F rank way more than the Crystal Vile Shard does. Also, ballistas are much better and flamebursts are much worse than I initially thought. I don't hear people talking about sentries very much, so let me know what you think of these changes.
 
Very nice work on this! It must have taken you a lot of time. Lots of kudos.

Can't say I disagree with anything you posted. In my opinion it's all spot on. :)
 
The list looks fine but I personally feel like the Clockwork Assault Rifle warrants an "A" equal to the Laser Rifle or at least a "B+"

Though it doesn't have huge DPS or CC abilities the CAR (which I will now call it) comes at a point where HM bullets are still scarce and hard to find. With the CAR you can easily fire away your Crystal or Cursed Bullets early on relatively guilt free at incoming enemies. Though going straight to the Onyx Blaster is the ideal the CAR will give you a relatively nice foothold in HM before you do so and even after if you REALLY want to unload on that Rune Wizard without spending all your good ammo.
 
I’ll admit that the Clockwork Assault Rifle is one of the earlier things I tested, and I used the pirates as my test subject (against which it fares very poorly). I’ll re-evaluate it once I get back from work, but I don’t expect it to be higher than B+, given that it can’t help you when you’re surrounded. Maybe I’ll try loading it with Exploding Bullets. We’ll see.

I’m also considering lowering the ranking of the Bladetongue (low range), Phasesabers (low knockback), Flying Knife (annoying in general) and Rainbow Gun (distracting to use), while raising the ranking of the Possessed Hatchet, Cutlass, and Bananarang (3+).

I’ve also made some stealth tweaks (such as Shadowflame Hex Doll and Magic Dagger essentially swapping places). I’d appreciate if you guys give the list another once-over and suggest adjustments, no matter how small.
 
Alright, another major update. I've split the "lockdown" stat into two separate things, accuracy and disruption, and updated every single entry to reflect this. I've also added the best modifiers on each weapon for convenience.

In addition, several rankings have been adjusted.

Clockwork Assault Rifle: raised to B+
Crystal Storm: lowered to C
Shotgun: raised to C
Slap Hand: lowered to D+
Meteor Staff: lowered to B-
Spirit Flame: raised to B+
Bladetongue: lowered to B+
Shadowflame Bow: lowered to A+
Flying Knife: raised to A
Dart Rifle: raised to S
Clinger Staff: lowered to B-
Hallowed Repeater: raised to A+
Chlorophyte Saber: raised to C-
Chlorophyte Shotbow: raised to S
True Night's Edge and True Excalibur: lowered to C/C+
Possessed Hatchet: raised to A-
Tempest Staff: raised to B
Charged Blaster Cannon: lowered to F

idk, I've seen you guys reply more zealously to a tier list thread that you thought was far less accurate, but I really do appreciate replies, even if you're just campaigning for a shift from B to B+ or something. I think this thread could benefit from more visibility.
 
Note: The Ice Sickle can actually be obtained from ALL hardmode Ice biome enemies(excluding the Pigron, Wolves, and the Ice Golem). That wouldn't bump up the availability though since they have the same chance to drop, but it should still be noted in the tier list regardless.

I can't seem to find anything to argue about in the tier list now, but I'll do so if I find something in the future. Again, you covered a lot of ground in this tier list, awesome job!
 
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