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In-depth Hardmode weapon tier list

Baconfry

Terrarian
Guide Category
Weapon/Gear Use
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 1.4.1.2. (the latest PC version)

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. Some weapons (like broadswords and stationary AoE weapons) cannot be aimed.
Disruption - ability to protect the player through means other than raw damage (such as knockback or stunlock), assuming that it hits its target.
Safety - ability to damage enemies without putting yourself at risk. Extra 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 overall rank, as it has no bearing on combat performance.

Overall ranks are assigned using the following scale:

S rank: Immediately powerful and remains useful for a long time. Can be used effectively in any situation, or has one important role in which it is the absolute best.
A rank: Useful in the majority of situations. Efficient and likely a popular choice, but generally not considered overpowered.
B rank: Decent if you know how to use it. Might have prominent weaknesses, but performs well when played to its strengths.
C rank: Not so bad as to be entirely unusable, but bad enough that you would usually be much better off using something else.
D rank: Slightly better than nothing, but its inefficiency should be immediately obvious to anyone who tries it. Has no real place in a serious run.
F rank: Fails to do anything well. No one could possibly mistake it for a remotely good weapon. Using it is basically like crippling yourself.

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 consider revising 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

-inflicts some recoil damage if not careful


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. It is one of the few ammo types that you can damage yourself with, but it's pretty easy to avoid self-damage, and with automatic guns the damage tends to be minor anyways.

Squire and Valhalla Knight sets can use this to inflict self-damage with a Minishark and activate Ballista Panic. This is slower than using a Dungeon Spike, but unlike the Spike it doesn't inflict Bleeding and can be done anywhere on the ground. When combined with Brain of Confusion, Black Belt, and Star Veil, this also becomes an extremely effective stalling tactic.

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. However, if you can inflict Ichor some other way, Crystal Bullets will end up dealing more damage.

(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.

Due to the way High Velocity Bullets update their position, it's possible for a single bullet to damage large targets twice. Ironically, this is less likely to happen when your gun has higher base velocity.

(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 generally won't be the best choice against things that fly and move around a lot.
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.

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.

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. However, 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 get a nice supply of them for free if you farm 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. However, this won't stop Jester's Arrows from outperforming them against the Destroyer.

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
+synergy with multi-shot bows


Has the highest single-target damage potential for early Hardmode, especially against large enemies that don't move too much horizontally. With multi-shot bows like the Daedalus Stormbow, Phantom Phoenix, and Chlorophyte Shotbow, it forms a potent synergy that remains incredibly strong despite having received multiple nerfs.

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.

(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 not by that much; if something is moving fast enough to dodge the stars, it'll probably dodge the secondary Luminite Arrows, too.

"Technically hardmode"

Classy Cane and Pearlwood Sword: F

These two weapons weren't meant to be good in the first place, so F rank should come as no surprise. It's kind of unfortunate that they ended up being restricted to Hardmode to begin with, but even if they were available in pre-hardmode, they would probably suck considering that wooden swords are good only for the first few minutes of the game and get instantly outclassed by the Spear or Wooden Boomerang. I mean, with the Flask of Ichor and Titan Glove, you might be able to beat a lone Hardmode enemy with one of these, but I see no good reason to attempt something like that (unless you were conducting research for a tier list or something).

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

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 7 Pearlwood at a Work Bench / 12.5% chance to drop from Tax Collector
Best prefix: Legendary ¢

Pearlwood Bow: D+
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, autofires, and is actually strong enough to kill Expert mode bosses on its own without relying on Orichalcum armor. But even though it will almost never be your best option, the Pearlwood Bow can be genuinely useful in a serious run, which automatically makes it better than most pre-mech melee weapons.

To illustrate my point: 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: D-

It deals double damage to enemies with more than 90% of their health remaining. Sounds alright on paper, but in practice, what this means is that the average number of hits it takes to kill an enemy will be reduced by exactly 1. Since the average Hardmode enemy takes five hits or more with the Breaker Blade, reducing that number by 1 doesn't improve this weapon by much. The Breaker Blade has poor speed, poor range (despite its size), and poor disruptive abilities, which translates to very little mobbing potential and zero bossing potential. You should be able to find something better than this within the first ten minutes of Hardmode.

.............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.
While its damage output with the Endless Musket Pouch is unimpressive, it becomes quite fearsome when loaded with higher-grade ammunition. And because it is ammo-efficient, the opportunity cost of using such ammunition is very low. Since it has autofire, it performs quite similarly to the Megashark, and like the Megashark, 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. Compared to the Demon Scythe, it offers more immediate disruption, 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.

.............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. Since it scales with your minion weapon's damage, it has much higher damage output than Cool Whip, and 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.

This whip is part of the reason why Obsidian armor is still viable at this stage, as the speed increase causes blazing energy to activate much more frequently. It's great with Spider and Sanguine Bat minions, but not so much with the Blade Staff. You'll want to hold onto Firecracker even after beating Plantera, since there is a certain minion that synergizes with it to an extreme degree.

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

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


....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. If you need a basic sword, just stick to 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, and I mean literally the same. 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. Crafting a Phasesaber is basically like flushing 5 stacks of Crystal Bullets down the toilet.

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

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

....Availability: ####
Crafted from Phaseblade and 50 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, but the main issues are still the same: their short reach makes them useless against shooters and knockback-immune enemies. The Obsidian Swordfish offers a roughly similar performance without eating up any of your valuable resources.

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


UNHOLY ARROW / JESTER'S ARROW
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #####
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
..........Safety: ####


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

Dropped by monsters

Amarok and Hel-Fire: A+
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.

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

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

....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: ##
0.1% chance to drop from any enemy killed during a Blood Moon
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $

Bananarang: B
Depending on how lucky you are, this is potentially an excellent boomerang that can damage and stunlock enemies from a decent range, and could even be used for bossing. On the other hand, it could also drop in a stack of 1, making it completely useless. Realistically, this weapon is usable if it drops in a stack of 3 or 4, but any lower than that and you're better off using Chain Guillotines or something. Bananarang would be among the best pre-mech melee weapons if getting a full stack was realistically possible without an insane amount of grinding. But unfortunately there's a good reason why most people don't use this, and it has nothing to do with being weak.

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

....Availability: #
3.33% chance to drop from Clowns, in a stack of 1-4
Best prefix: none

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 also 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.

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

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

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

Marrow: B-
A much less user-friendly version of the Ice Bow, with around the same average DPS. Usually you would prefer a repeater or dart weapon in order to take advantage of their special ammo effects. Marrow is accurate and safe to use, but doesn't have much potential beyond that. Since it requires so much precision to aim properly, you'll find its relatively high knockback to be somewhat annoying. It also has a moderate case of Venus Magnum syndrome: very fast weapons without autofire tend to not be very popular for a reason.

.............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. It is much more spammable than Marrow thanks to autofire, and slightly 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: ####
..........Safety: ####


....Availability: ##
28.5% chance to drop from Ice Mimics
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 and is too slow to aim properly.

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: B-
With extraordinarily high speed and good damage, the pain that this weapon will inflict on your enemies is matched only by the pain it will inflict on your index finger. Its DPS is high enough that it can handle small crowds easily, despite only piercing once. However, it is only effective within mid-range before gravity kicks in, so it doesn't do very well against bosses.

A speed-increasing modifier makes a huge difference, since it essentially allows it to fire as fast as you can click.

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

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

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

Medusa Head: B
Decent for invasion events since it auto-targets multiple enemies and allows you to focus on dodging. It deals respectable damage to the Destroyer while automatically taking out its Probes. However, its range isn't quite long enough to interrupt things like Crossbowers and Deadeyes before they have a chance to shoot at you. Its lack of knockback also leaves you quite vulnerable to enemies that can chase you in midair.

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.....Disruption:
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....Availability: #
1% chance to drop from Medusas; 0.05% 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 big metal worms) 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
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CRYSTAL BULLET
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Crowd control: ##
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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 is definitely an upgrade to the Laser Rifle, 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.

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

Flower of Frost: C+
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. Aboveground, it is outclassed by Cursed Flames, and underground, it is outclassed by Crystal Storm.

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

Frostbrand: C+
Unlike the Beam Sword, the Frostbrand can pierce one enemy with its projectile. It also has marginally more reach. It's no substitute for a proper ranged weapon, but it can handle crowds fairly well without leaving you completely vulnerable to shooters.

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

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

Obtained from NPCs

Gradient: A+

Statistically stronger version of Amarok, though the difference is very small and not worth fussing about. 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: ###
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....Availability: ###
Sold by the Skeleton Merchant for 20 gold in Hardmode during full moon and waning phases
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$

Format C: A
Has the exact same base damage as Chik, and base damage is the only yoyo stat that matters. Since Format C is worse than Amarok and Gradient, you should only buy it if you don't have a Hardmode yoyo yet. It's not as good as Gradient, but it's a lot better than having no yoyo at all. Availability-wise, it is more useful than Chik because you don't need a Hardmode anvil to get it.

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

Ice Rod: B-
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.

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Crowd control: #
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....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 spread isn't so wide that you'd ever have to worry about accidentally blowing yourself up with an Exploding Bullet.

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 I imagine most people would go for the Jousting Lance since it's more than four times cheaper to purchase, though one point in the Shotgun's favor is that it can actually kill bosses.

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

Gatligator: A-
Uses standard bullets.
This is the best pre-mech gun 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
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Crowd control: ##
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EXPLODING BULLET
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Crowd control: ####

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

Sergeant United Shield: S
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 grant Striking Moment, which is completely useless in all practical situations, but dealing 4-digit damage to Green Slimes makes for an excellent party trick.

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Crowd control: ####
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.....Disruption:
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....Availability: #
Extremely rare chance to be sold by the Traveling Merchant for 35 Gold in Hardmode
Best prefix: 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). Apart from shattering the Destroyer, it also does exceptionally well against Queen Slime since it can take advantage of her minions to trigger more effects. Use it like you would use a Sniper Rifle; its projectile behavior might weird you out a bit, but whatever happens, it can only help you.

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

Slap Hand: D-
It is very good at what it does, but what it does is not something you want to be doing most of the time. Its ridiculous knockback makes it extremely inefficient at killing things, unless your target is immune to knockback, in which case you'll have defeated the entire purpose of using this weapon. And hitting projectile-based enemies with the Slap Hand is pretty much the opposite of what you should be trying to do as a melee user. What makes this weapon even weirder is the unintuitive method by which it is obtained; typically, you'd be fighting or fishing on the surface during a Blood Moon, not trawling underground for a Skeleton Merchant. So most players won't even get an opportunity to purchase this. They aren't missing much, though. If your goal is just to get nearby enemies to leave you alone, the Bee Keeper does a better job.

.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: ###
......Accuracy: n/a
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....Availability: ##
Sold by the Skeleton Merchant for 25 gold during a Blood Moon in Hardmode
Best prefix: Legendary $$

Jousting Lance: D+
An extremely difficult weapon to master, and its performance in most situations is average at best. It matches up well against contact-based enemies with moderate to high knockback resistance (such as Unicorns and Mimics), but it's a terrible choice against projectile-based enemies. Its absurdly high knockback is often a double-edged sword; for example, you might use it to smack an Illuminant Bat away from you, only for it to bounce off a wall and right back into your face. Surprisingly, its movement speed gimmick doesn't hurt its viability too much since you'll be moving all the time anyways, and the direction you're moving in doesn't matter. Its low range is what really prevents it from being useful most of the time. Still, I think this is a much better starting weapon than the Breaker Blade, and 6 gold is such an amazingly cheap price for a weapon that is arguably better than all the ore spears.

The best way to use this weapon is NOT to hold it out and start charging in a single direction. Rather, it should be used to stab enemies directly, kind of like a shortsword. A Shield of Cthulhu is helpful, but not required since you can boost its damage by jumping up and down.

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

Crafted from monster drops

Onyx Blaster: A+

Uses standard bullets.
The enormous damage that the Onyx Blaster deals in a single shot easily compensates for its lack of speed. Against large targets, you can easily deal more than 600 damage 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.

Its slow firing speed can take some getting used to, especially if you used it a lot prior to the nerf, but the Onyx Blaster still does Onyx Blaster things.

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

Sky Fracture: B+
One of the most overrated weapons in the entire game. For a long time the Sky Fracture was considered the best pre-mech magic weapon available, and if this was true (which it wasn't), that was only because most other magic weapons were worse. It has always been a rather sloppy and inaccurate single-target weapon, and now it has to compete with Spirit Flame, Orange Zapinator, and Crystal Storm, which offer just as much DPS while not being nearly as frustrating to aim. The Sky Fracture can handle some slower enemies, but using it against fast-moving bosses like the Twins will become annoying really fast due to its relatively low velocity which forces you to lead your shots by a large margin. It also has no crowd control abilities to speak of, and its efficiency against normal enemies is questionable; its high knockback (boosted further by its elevated critical rate) tends to juggle enemies around, making it even harder to properly land your shots. Even worse, its accuracy tends to suffer when used at point-blank range. If your aim is good, you might be able to take advantage of its high DPS potential against bosses, which are usually large enough for the Sky Fracture to hit somewhat consistently. But it will rarely be your most efficient option for anything else, and people tend to overestimate its damage output—it's not much better than even the Frost Staff or Magic Dagger.

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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. As with all flails, its spinning attack has disappointingly low knockback and attack speed, so focus on throwing the flail head.

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

Chik: A
Slightly weaker than Amarok, but what really prevents Chik from being useful 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, condemning it to be useless in most playthroughs.

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

Crystal Storm: A-
A magical machine gun that is most useful in cramped corridors, but is also decent against bosses, especially the ones 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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Crowd control: #
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....Availability: #####
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. Sure, 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's an excellent support option for mages who want to pair it with rapid-fire weapons like Crystal Storm and Bat Scepter, and it's also appreciated by rangers since it synergizes so well with Crystal Bullets. But if your primary weapon is a slow, hard-hitting weapon like Spirit Flame or Orange Zapinator, don't bother with Ichor.

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

Cursed Flames: A+
A superbly spammable weapon that completely dominates invasion events. 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 it 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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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Meteorite Bar x20, Pixie Dust x10, Soul of Light x10 at a Hardmode Anvil
Best prefix: Mythical $

Spirit Flame: S
Though it is somewhat 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.

.............DPS: #####
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....Availability: ##
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. 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 you might want to stick to Obsidian armor since Spider armor's increased capacity won't help that much.

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

Queen Spider Staff: S
While it is nothing special when first obtained, the Queen Spider Staff has monstrous potential and scales extraordinarily well into the lategame. In the beginning of hardmode, it is held back by its low base damage and your lack of sentry capacity bonuses; there's no opportunity cost for using it, but don't expect a solitary Queen Spider to accomplish much outside of cheesing the occasional enemy underground and spreading Venom. 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.

While it is always at least somewhat useful, the Queen Spider's full potential is only realized if you use hybrid sentry-based sets. Non-summoner characters will find it mediocre, and all Tavernkeep sets except Apprentice will prefer their corresponding sentries to take advantage of their set bonuses. Nevertheless, you might find such hybrid sets surprisingly viable, as some of the best individual armor pieces in the game (Shinobi Infiltrator's Helmet, Valhalla Knight's Breastplate, and Spooky Breastplate) provide benefits that can easily outweigh set bonuses.

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Crowd control: ##
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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Spider Fang x24 at an Iron/Lead Anvil
Best prefix: Ruthless $$

Cool Whip: B-
Cool Whip completely misses the point of being a whip. Whips are supposed to support your minions, and this is the only whip that does not interact with minions whatsoever. The summoner class derives much of its strength from minion+whip synergies, so Cool Whip is easily the least useful whip in the game. That said, it is still a whip, so it will perform better than many non-whip weapons if you're wearing Obsidian armor. It has slightly better reach than Firecracker, making it a little better for exploring since single-target DPS isn't as important down there. However, it will never be your best option when facing single bosses if you are using any minion weapon other than the Blade Staff, because Firecracker beats it by a wide margin thanks to the massive boost it grants to Spiders and Sanguine Bats. The Blade Staff doesn't appreciate Firecracker much, but it doesn't appreciate Cool Whip's lack of tag damage either; you should use Spinal Tap instead, especially if you are running Spider armor for stronger minions and weaker whips.

Of course, nothing's stopping you from alternating between Spinal Tap and Cool Whip if you're using a Blade Staff build, but that's not much better than alternating between Spinal Tap and Snapthorn. Once you obtain Durendal, you can still use Spinal Tap and Firecracker for their respective tag effects, but you'll have no use for Cool Whip anymore. I've seen many people argue that Cool Whip is good for crowd control and killing the Destroyer. This argument might have some merit if the snowflake dealt substantial damage to enemies, which it does not. The snowflake's DPS averages out to around 150-200 in the best-case scenario. (For reference, a weapon needs to pull at least 1500 DPS against the Destroyer in order to be considered good.) Sure it's better than other whips, but that isn't saying much. It might be your best whip against the Destroyer, but it will almost never be your best weapon against the Destroyer. (Though I will admit that it is very good at killing Probes while the Nimbus Rod takes care of the body.)

Technically, Cool Whip is the best pre-mech whip for someone who isn't using summons. This sounds like a stupid distinction, but it can be used unironically by non-summoners who drank a Flask of Ichor and just need something to inflict the debuff with. Cool Whip is much safer and more accurate than most melee weapons, hits all targets within reach, and just happens to have barely enough range to hit Spazmatism in its first phase when it's shooting fireballs. A Golden Shower or Blowpipe with Ichor Darts can obviously do the same thing, but the Flask inflicts the debuff for a longer duration on average. If you don't have a Sergeant United Shield or Shadowflame Knife, you can try using Cool Whip to support your other Ichor-dependent weapons, such as guns.

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....Availability: ####
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. 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.

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

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....Availability: #
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.

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


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

Bladetongue: B-
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. It is the strongest melee weapon against the Destroyer by far, and it's reasonably good for crowd control despite the unreliability of its bouncing ichor streams. But if you're at low health and you're about to die, the Bladetongue is probably not going to save you.

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

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

....Availability: #
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; even compared to other spears, its range is extremely short, which makes it difficult to attack enemies without getting hit in return. Against anything immune to knockback, this is not a viable option. 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 would avoid using this in Expert mode.

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

....Availability: ####
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.

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


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

Blood Moon Fishing

Blood Thorn: C-

Given that the Blood Thorn is almost completely useless against flying enemies, you'd at least expect it to compensate by dealing considerable damage to grounded ones. Sadly, that turns out not to be the case, as its damage output is thoroughly mediocre even when its janky, random hitboxes are actually hitting an enemy. It suffers from some weird piercing penalty that sharply reduces its damage against crowds to the point of doing literally 1 damage. In fact, the Crystal Storm and Sky Fracture deal nearly as much DPS to one enemy as the Blood Thorn deals to an infinite number of enemies. The fact that it switches attack styles depending on the position of your cursor and character is also very disorienting. If you aim it too far from the ground, the Blood Thorn stops acting like an inferior Life Drain, and instead starts acting like an inferior Shadowflame Hex Doll. This sentence alone should tell you everything you need to know about its overall viability.

Blood Thorn is one of the most visually stunning magic weapons, but after I tested it in combat, my disappointment was immeasurable and my day was ruined.

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

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

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

Drippler Crippler: S
This flail crushes grounded enemies like nothing else. 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.

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

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

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

Sanguine Staff: S+
Incredibly reliable minion against any type of enemy, including 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. More often than not, I observed that the minions were more effective at fighting off enemies than I was, and I wasn't even using summoner equipment! 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.

While it can fight competently at long range, its DPS reaches its absolute maximum when facetanking. This information might be relevant when you reach wave 15 of the Pumpkin Moon, where you can just fly upwards into the stacked Pumpkings and deal an obscene amount of damage with the bats alone.

The Sanguine Staff and Blade Staff outclass every summoning weapon you'll receive up until the Desert Tiger and Raven become available. 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.

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

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

Goblin Invasion

Shadowflame Bow: A

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.

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

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


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

Shadowflame Knife: A-
A highly spammable single-target weapon that deals 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.

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


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

Shadowflame Hex Doll: B+
This strange magic weapon is often impractical due to its poor 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. Like all weapons specialized for crowd control, it rips through the Destroyer, and it's also good for striking down scattered Probes. It becomes somewhat unreliable past the distance where the tentacles start to curve, so it's best to use it at close range; for this reason, the Shadowflame Hex Doll isn't well suited for Expert mode.

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

....Availability: ##
16.7% chance to drop from Goblin Summoners (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.

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

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

Pirate Staff: B+
In contrast to the Spider Staff, this minion is specialized entirely towards grounded crowd control. The Firecracker is highly recommended for use alongside the Pirate Staff; because Pirates have the highest base damage of any pre-Plantera minion, they will deal maximum explosion damage, and the Firecracker helps the Pirates concentrate on the grounded enemies that they do well against. This doesn't outclass the Spider Staff since spiders are much better for stunlocking single enemies, but it does have better DPS potential and crowd control, making it a superior option against the Destroyer (who is the only boss that this works well against).

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

....Availability: #
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 a boss will usually drop coins at least equal in value to the ammo you spent killing it. 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 your Crystal Storm over and over, you could yeet that gold directly towards a boss and actually make progress. Platinum Coins are not affordable outside of Journey mode and will not be discussed here, though I'm sure you can already imagine what it's like.

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. I wouldn't go so far as to sacrifice ranged bonuses by using full Adamantite, 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: Agile $$$

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, Queen Slime, Mourning Wood, and Pumpking. For single targets, use Holy Arrows. For multiple targets, use Holy Arrows. If you don't want to use Holy Arrows, you might want to try a different bow, because it comes pretty close to being bad when using any other type of arrow. 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 if you need a good bossing weapon, you'll be hard-pressed to find something better than this.

The Stormbow still works excellently against the Destroyer, but Unholy/Jester's Arrows actually outperform Holy Arrows for that fight. 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.)

HOLY 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 for direct combat, this weapon is usually not recommended. 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.

.............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 it is still far better than the likes of Blood Thorn since it doesn't suffer massive penalties for doing what piercing weapons are supposed to do.

.............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+
There isn't a single situation that the Dart Pistol doesn't perform well in. With Crystal Darts, it is a potent weapon for scattered crowd control that can heavily damage multiple enemies without much effort, even when used underground. Each dart doesn't deal exceptional damage per hit, but this is easily made up for by their ability to hit the same enemy multiple times. With Ichor Darts, it is an overwhelmingly powerful bossing weapon that pierces infinitely within close range and splits into a fan of projectiles at mid-range, dealing massive amounts of damage to large targets like the Twins, Mourning Wood, and Plantera if it splits inside them. Also, you can use Ichor Darts to tag enemies with the Ichor debuff and switch to another weapon with better DPS... or that's what I would say, were it not for the fact that a pre-mech ranged weapon with better DPS than the Dart Pistol does not exist. Nearly every other weapon in this section looks like a child's toy compared to this thing. Honestly, you could use this all the way up until the Lunar events if you wanted to.

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: B
This is the most powerful broadsword for this stage of the game, but not necessarily the most viable. Its range is so short that it's difficult to avoid taking contact damage when using it, so I would recommend using it as a "get off me" option in situations where you're already taking contact damage anyways. It should clear out these situations quickly with its incredibly high DPS, limiting the amount of damage you'll take. While approaching enemies with this weapon is not a good idea, it works great against enemies that approach you. It has a good matchup against enemies that are highly knockback-resistant but not immune (such as Black Recluses, Mimics, and Herplings).

For best results, use with Titanium armor.

.............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: A+
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: against a single target, its performance is unimpressive, 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. Life Drain is also excellent underground since it can penetrate into walls a bit, and instantly deletes most worm enemies from existence. It also 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 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.

If you ask me whether I think the Dart Rifle or the Dart Pistol is better, my answer is that I don't care. Both of them are way too powerful.

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.

.............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: A+
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.

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, 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 Durendal + Spinal Tap.

Since it is the absolute best minion weapon for stunlocking enemies, the Blade Staff is arguably the best minion to use on a non-summoner set. 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.

Due to its low base damage, this weapon doesn't work very well with the Firecracker. Until you get Durendal, you're better off either using Spinal Tap or attacking with weapons from a different class. 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 usually does 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:

Baconfry

Terrarian
Crafted or obtained from Mechanical Boss drops

Excalibur: D-

The best that can be said about Excalibur is that it's crafted from a relatively plentiful resource, and that it's a necessary crafting material for better weapons later down the line. There is little reason to use it in combat; compared to most things you've obtained up until this point, its DPS is not impressive at all, and it suffers from every problem that all non-projectile swords suffer from.

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

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

Gungnir: D
Crafting this doesn't add much value to your run. It's not the strongest close-ranged weapon, and you probably don't even need a close-ranged weapon in the first place. It's much better for crowd control than Excalibur... which no one ever uses in battle anyways, so that isn't much of a compliment. In my opinion, you're better off using an Obsidian Swordfish or even a Hallowed Jousting Lance.

.............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's better than Excalibur and Gungnir in the hands of an experienced player, new players should probably skip this, and experienced players can almost certainly find something better to use.

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

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

Durendal: A+
Adds tag damage along with a boost to its own speed. You won't find a better source of tag damage until after the Empress of Light, and Durendal's superb attack speed allows it deal some damage to enemies on its own (though you should wear a Berserker's Glove/Fire Gauntlet in order to receive the full benefit). Obviously I wouldn't recommend this for non-summoners, as its range and damage output are a bit lacking compared to weapons of other classes. And even if you are a summoner, the Firecracker will still offer a better DPS boost to most minions while actively attacking. (One major exception is the Blade Staff, which receives a massive boost from Durendal's tag damage, but gains very little from the Firecracker.)

However, here's where it gets a bit more interesting. 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. It can even be used alongside melee weapons like the Chlorophyte Partisan to improve their attack speed, though not all melee weapons actually benefit from this. 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.

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Best prefix: Legendary $$

Hallowed Repeater: A-
Uses standard arrows.
Significantly more powerful than pre-mech repeaters and the Shadowflame Bow. This can be used as an alternative to the Megashark, especially if you have a Magic Quiver, which will boost its velocity to the point where it can be used comfortably against bosses. 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.

HOLY ARROW
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UNHOLY ARROW
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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.

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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. Nothing short of a complete rework will allow it to be viable at this stage of the game.

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

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. It's 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 best single-target DPS weapons, which most experienced players would recommend using 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
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EXPLODING / HIGH VELOCITY BULLET
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CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
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Crafted from Minishark, Illegal Gun Parts, Soul of Might x20, Shark Fin x5
Best prefix: Unreal $$$

Super Star Shooter: A
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, Old One's Army, or wave 15 of the Pumpkin Moon. 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.

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

Light Disc: B-
The Megashark deals more DPS than this even if you're wearing melee armor. Light Discs do have more knockback, but this actually makes it harder for them to deal consistent damage, as they often knock enemies out of their own attack range. It's essentially a bouncier version of Chain Guillotines that otherwise performs exactly the same, which is a major letdown considering that Light Discs require a boss kill and Chain Guillotines do not.

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Crafted from Hallowed Bar x20, Soul of Light x15, Soul of Might x25 for a full stack of 5
Best prefix: none

Magical Harp: C
The Magical Harp is basically the Hardmode equivalent of a non-homing Bee Gun, which is exactly as useful as it sounds. Thanks to its pathetically slow projectile velocity, its effective range is only around halfway to the edge of your screen. And though it technically has extremely weak knockback, it might as well be zero; Wraiths, Possessed Armors, and even Zombies can just walk right through it. In theory it does well against Plantera and eclipse mobs, but there are many pre-mech magic weapons that would do a much better job, especially because the Magical Harp's single-target DPS is something to sneeze at.

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

Rainbow Rod: S-
The Rainbow Rod does practically everything well. 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.

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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: B-
It's not objectively bad, just outclassed. You would think that its piercing abilities would give it an edge over the Blade Staff and Sanguine Staff during invasions, but that isn't the case; it performs fine, but it's not an improvement over those two. This can largely be attributed to its poor AI and the fact that it can only damage an enemy once every 12 frames, meaning that its DPS is capped at (base damage x 5) no matter how large your capacity is. Two minions for the price of one? Yeah, that's a big fat lie. You could craft this and get some use out of it, but it's definitely a downgrade to the other weapons previously mentioned. In fact, it's questionable whether this is better than the Spider Staff, which stunlocks enemies on the ground much more consistently while having around the same DPS. The fight against the Destroyer is the only time the Optic Staff is actually the best option, but even then it doesn't outperform Sanguine Staff by much.

(Spaz is way better than Ret, but don't tell him that. It's bad parenting.)

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

Flamethrower: C
The Flamethrower doesn't really have much to offer to a ranged user. It sacrifices a lot of range compared to all other ranged weapons, and gains nothing meaningful in return: both its single-target DPS and crowd control abilities are mediocre. In fact, it is arguably outperformed by the Clockwork Assault Rifle (literally the first Hardmode ranged weapon you could possibly get), which has around the same DPS, also handles crowds with High Velocity Bullets, and has much better range. And while the Flamethrower does appreciable damage against the Destroyer, it's pretty pathetic when you compare it to the Hallowed Repeater and dart guns with their special ammo. The gel that it uses for ammunition is reasonably common, but can't be purchased in bulk and must be farmed from a Slime Statue if you want to use it for an extended amount of time. Like its real-life counterpart, it is far more visually impressive than it is practical.

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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 starts falling off, so Yelets is a welcome upgrade that is just as easy to obtain. 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: A
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. For long-ranged combat, it performs a lot like a magical version of the Terra Blade, and like the Terra Blade, it works best when attacking enemies from the side.

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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 $$$$

Obtained from NPCs (req: 1 mechanical boss defeated)

Mushroom Spear: B-

This is a very strong close-range weapon that you might consider using on Crimson worlds. 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. It is also usable for short-range wall cheesing, though the spear itself does not pierce through walls. Aside from the Flask of Ichor, this weapon also benefits greatly from Durendal's Blessing, as its base speed is quite slow.

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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 if you have a Power Glove, and there's no way you aren't using one of those if you're a melee user.

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....Availability: #
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 Squire armor upgrades them to the point that they can be considered the best sentries against the Old One's Army specifically, thanks to their high range and ability to pierce 7 enemies. 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 or shooting yourself with an Exploding Bullet.

Ballistas are also decent as primary weapons, since they will fire at a nearby enemy instantly upon being summoned, so summoning them in the same place again and again is a viable way to deal damage. In this role, they can be compared directly to Explosive Traps. Ballistas are better against floating enemies, but Explosive Traps have no limit to how many enemies they can damage in one blast.

DEFAULT
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BALLISTA PANIC
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Sold by Tavernkeep for 25 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. 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. Basically, it sucks.

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Sold by Tavernkeep for 25 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, but it's generally worth it since you'll deal significant damage simply by summoning them on top of things. You can even use the Explosive Trap Cane exclusively to deal damage, which might be a good idea in the Dungeon later on. Overall, I'd rate this as the most useful sentry outside the Old One's Army, and a decent one for the Old One's Army itself (though being unable to reposition kind of hurts).

If you're using Phantom Phoenix, the Oiled debuff provides a nice 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.

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HUNTRESS
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....Availability: #####
Sold by Tavernkeep for 25 Defender Medals after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Demonic $$

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.

It's a shame that summon tag damage doesn't work with sentries. However, Ichor does work, and boosts the Lightning Aura's damage output by quite a bit. Another 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 25 Defender Medals after a mechanical boss has been defeated
Best prefix: Demonic $$

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 that makes this weapon much worse than it already is.

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

Brand of the Inferno: D
The Brand of the Inferno's parry ability exists just to tempt you into doing something extremely stupid. This isn't a matter of having a high skill cap; activating Striking Moment is about as easy as hitting Duke Fishron with a Copper Shortsword without getting hurt. At the time of writing, over 12 million copies of Terraria have been sold, and I'm willing to bet that none of those people have the computer-like reflexes you'd need to consistently activate Striking Moment. So without the parry, you're left with a sword with above-average stats but no projectile, making it no different from every mediocre melee weapon I've described up to this point.

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

Phantom Phoenix: S
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 the same target, unless that target is a boss.

As it happens, 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. And even if you want use the Endless Quiver with this, you'll still have access to the phoenix: an infinitely piercing, highly damaging projectile that can be fired for free. 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 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.

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

Ghastly Glaive: C-
Kind of similar to Fetid Baghnakhs, in the sense that you'll be dealing stupendous 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 ¢

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 obviously using a Fire Gauntlet 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 itself 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. It's so heavily outclassed by True Excalibur that it's not even funny.

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.

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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. Loaded with Holy Arrows, it's one of the absolute best weapons you can use to shred large bosses like Plantera, though it does appreciate 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.

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

Venom Staff: A+
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. But the Venom Staff is a far superior weapon for taking down bosses, with higher single-target DPS potential than the Rainbow Rod. It is specifically strong against large enemies because it can hit them twice with the same projectile, resulting in extremely high DPS that cuts through Plantera, Golem, and Duke Fishron quite easily. It is also a very accessible choice compared to many post-Plantera magic weapons later on.

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

True Night's Edge: A
This and True Excalibur are the first long-ranged Hardmode projectile swords that are strong enough to be viable when using the projectile alone. For melee users, True Night's Edge provides the best long-ranged DPS against a single target, though take that with a grain of salt because it is still outperformed in that role by weapons from other classes. When attacking with the blade and beam against the same target, it is significantly stronger than Fetid Baghnakhs and about the same as the Psycho Knife. In fact, you can use it to facetank bosses and beat them in a DPS race, though the beam alone is strong enough that you shouldn't really have to do that.

BLADE
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BEAM
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Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ##
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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+
While True Night's Edge doesn't have much competition in its role as a melee single-target damage dealer, True Excalibur faces a little bit of competition as a crowd control weapon from the likes of Death Sickle and Drippler Crippler. However, it's not outclassed in any way thanks to its superior attack range and relative ease of use. True Excalibur actually comes pretty close to True Night's Edge when attacking up close, and its projectile isn't far behind either when it comes to single-target damage. It also helps that the two swords aren't competing for resources, so you can easily use them both (or just use whichever ended up with a better prefix).

True Excalibur scores extra points for being more consistent against Plantera's second phase.

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

BEAM
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ###
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....Availability: #####
Crafted from Excalibur, Chlorophyte Bar x24
Best prefix: Legendary $$$$

Solar Eclipse (req: all mechanical bosses defeated)

Death Sickle: S

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. Aboveground, its limited range becomes more noticeable, 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 can handle basically any crowd control situation other than wave 15 of the Pumpkin Moon, where you might want to switch to a Chlorophyte Partisan or something.

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

This weapon is the perfect showcase of Journey's End flail mechanics; unlike with most flails, all three of the Flower Pow's attack modes have great utility. 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 excellent for almost everything else, including the Hardmode dungeon.

SPIN (projectile)
.............DPS: ##
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ###

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

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

DROP (projectile)
.............DPS: ###
Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: #####
..........Safety: ####

....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, an area in which it greatly outperforms 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 (though it is still better than the Influx Waver for that fight).

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

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

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

Leaf Blower: C+
The Venom Staff deals significantly higher DPS to single targets, which leaves the Leaf Blower in an awkward spot: since it is a rather imprecise non-piercing weapon, it only does well against bosses, but there's no reason to use it when the Venom Staff exists and can be obtained rather easily. In fact, even the Poison Staff can compete with the Leaf Blower during major fights like Golem and Pumpkin Moon. Despite DPS being the only thing it has to offer, the Leaf Blower's DPS advantage compared to things like Sky Fracture and Spirit Flame is so tiny that it's probably not worth your time (or reforge money).

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

....Availability: ###
14.29% chance to drop from Plantera
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$

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 nonzero 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: #####
......Accuracy: ####
.....Disruption: ####

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

....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 it's very likely that its DPS won't suffer at all.

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

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

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.

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

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


....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: B
Uses standard bullets.
In theory, autofire shouldn't impact the performance of a weapon. In practice, it absolutely does, because no human being can click with the perfect timing to fire a shot every 7 frames (almost nine times per second). Fortunately for the Venus Magnum, even if you are a bit sloppy with timing your clicks, its overall DPS should easily exceed the Megashark's. It theoretically has higher DPS than the Tactical Shotgun and Sniper Rifle, but you probably won't reach it realistically, so I would treat those two guns as upgrades to the Venus Magnum. Note that if you're playing on a laptop and aren't using a mouse, this weapon is basically unusable, and even if you have a mouse, you might not want to use it for more than a few minutes at a time anyways (for ergonomic reasons).

The Endless Musket Pouch is an excellent option for it since it gets the high-velocity piercing effect, and the Venus Magnum has no inherent ammo conservation properties.

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

CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
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Crowd control: #
......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: #####
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ENDLESS MUSKET POUCH
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####
......Accuracy: ####

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

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

Pygmy Staff: C-
Pygmies deal respectable single-target damage when they are hitting their enemy, but the list of enemies that they can actually hit does not include important targets like Martian Saucers and Pumpkings (you know, enemies that summoners would actually care about). Nor does it noticeably outperform Sanguine Bats, Enchanted Daggers, or Spiders even in the matchups where it can deal damage. A minion that can only attack near the ground is destined to fail in a game where players are expected to be flying most of the time. Compared to other minions, it's not even like the Pygmy Staff trades away reliability for better damage; it's just worse at everything.

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

....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. Primed mines are usually too difficult to use in practical combat, so you'd probably be better off attacking enemies directly with it, a role in which 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, 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.

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

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

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 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.

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

....Availability: #
Extremely rare chance to be sold by Traveling Merchant for 45 gold after Plantera has been defeated
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. 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. The hardest choices require the strongest wills.

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

......Accuracy: #####
.....Disruption: ###
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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. The Vampire Knives have saved me from my own stupidity more times than I could possibly count. 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. 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 + Sharpening Station 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.

.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ##
......Accuracy: ###
.....Disruption: ####
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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
This is the best weapon to use against the Dungeon by far, 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.

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

....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: A
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. It does deal piercing damage, though, so using a Spectre Staff or Wasp Gun next to it might not be the best idea. 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.

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.

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

....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). 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, you should swap out your Shroomite Mask/Headgear/Helmet for a Hallowed Helmet. You can also run full Hallowed if you prefer its defensive effect.

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

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

....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. 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, but this is far better than not being able to pierce at all. Like all sentries, it is practically useless against speedy flying enemies like Duke Fishron and Martian Saucer, so don't count on it for boss fights.

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.

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

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

....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: S+
(PSA: if you're experiencing a bug where the tiger spins over a target without attacking, go to Journey mode menu and unfreeze time)

This minion single-handedly allows hybrid sets with the Spooky Breastplate to outperform conventional sets like Spectre and Beetle. It is the most powerful minion available when you receive it, and you can stick with it all the way until the Lunar events. Besides Terraprisma, Xeno Staff is the only thing that gives it any real competition due to its synergies with Kaleidoscope and Dark Harvest.

Firecracker is the best whip to use with the Desert Tiger; 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.

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.

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

....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. 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.

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

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

....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.

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

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

....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. Killing things 1.5x faster in exchange for dying 3x faster is a tradeoff almost never 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.

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

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

Shadow Jousting Lance: D
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. The original Jousting Lance was a reasonable choice simply because most other melee weapons at that point were even worse, but we're post-Plantera now, and there's no longer an excuse to be using something like this.

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

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

Morning Star: B+
If you're running any half-decent summoner set, there's a good chance that you're reading upwards of 300 base damage on this thing. That's enough to one-shot Diabolists and two-shot almost everything else in the Dungeon. It kills things a lot faster than Durendal for sure, and it's much safer than broadswords thanks to its excellent range and wide arc. It even works against Giant Cursed Skulls inside walls, so even if you aren't a summoner, keeping it in your hotbar might be a good idea if you don't have another wall-piercing weapon. As a summoner, whipping things with Durendal for the speed boost and Morning Star for damage will likely be your bread-and-butter combo for a while until you unlock Dark Harvest. The total tag damage is slightly lower than the tag damage provided by Durendal+Spinal Tap, but the heavy damage dealt by Morning Star itself easily compensates for this difference even when using the Blade Staff.

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

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


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

Shadowbeam Staff: C
The most excessively nerfed weapon in the history of Terraria's development (with the possible exception of Molotov Cocktails). It used to pierce infinitely, but now it suffers a damage penalty for each target it pierces. It's hard to imagine it being all that powerful prior to the nerf, since pretty much every video showcase of the Shadowbeam Staff being "overpowered" was against stuff like the Destroyer, 100 Brains of Cthulhu, or the Pirate Invasion (in a perfectly flat arena). As it stands, there is little reason to use this over the Unholy Trident or Venom Staff, which deal far higher direct damage. Its ability to bounce off walls is also of questionable utility since the Nettle Burst, Wasp Gun, and Explosive Trap Cane are far more reliable for picking off trapped enemies. And enemies usually don't line up in such a way that it would be easier to hit them with the Shadowbeam Staff than with any other piercing weapon. In short, it has low DPS and doesn't offer much else, so you should probably skip it unless you were using a Laser Rifle or something.

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

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

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

Inferno Fork: B
The Inferno Fork is a very strong crowd control weapon, but it suffers from having a bit too much knockback, making it less efficient for killing enemies than the Nettle Burst since it tends to knock enemies out of its own area of effect. On the other hand, 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.

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

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

Spectre Staff: S
For single targets, this is significantly stronger than the Rainbow Rod, 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: B-
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. Rockets are more dangerous than Exploding Bullets for the same reason that weapons that trade away speed for raw damage are favored in PvP: you only need to mess up once to take a fat hit that you might not be able to recover from. 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: A
Uses standard bullets.
The Tactical Shotgun and Sniper Rifle both have properties that make them less-than-optimal for general crowd control, but absolutely amazing for ripping through bosses—especially Duke Fishron. The Tactical Shotgun can be considered the more user-friendly of the two guns, since it has autofire and doesn't need to be aimed with as much precision as the Sniper Rifle. However, it generally won't deal as much damage unless you inflict the Ichor debuff somehow, like with the Dart Pistol, Golden Shower, or imbued Vampire Knives. I would usually use Crystal or Nano Bullets with this gun, and only resort to using Chlorophyte Bullets when facing a boss that is too small or distant to hit consistently, like the Empress of Light or Lunatic Cultist. Both the Sniper Rifle and Tactical Shotgun are stronger than the Megashark, but not by a huge margin. Choosing the right bullet definitely matters more than choosing the right gun.

CRYSTAL BULLET
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CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
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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. The Sniper Rifle usually does better than the Tactical Shotgun against bosses since it's hindered less by their relatively high defense stats; its theoretical DPS is always higher, but since it doesn't have autofire, it may not actually perform better if you mess up its timing. Still, its timing is a lot easier to manage than that of the Venus Magnum, so getting it to outperform the Tactical Shotgun is not that hard.

It is an effective crowd control option when used with the Endless Musket Pouch, with the advantage of being much less nightmarish to use than the Venus Magnum.

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: A-
Probably one of the best 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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6.67% chance to drop from Paladins
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Solar Eclipse (req: Plantera defeated)

Terra Blade: S+

An absolute monster of a weapon. The beam alone deals more DPS than many other weapons can hope to achieve, and you also have the blade itself to swat down anything foolish enough to approach you. With Beetle Scale armor, the Terra Blade is almost as strong as the Coin Gun with Platinum Coins when fighting at close distances. (Use Hallowed Mask, Monk's Shirt, and Squire's Greaves when not fighting at close distances.) One slight downside is that it's trickier to aim than the Seedler, but that won't stop it from being your best option for mowing down bosses and everything else. There were times in Terraria's development history when the Terra Blade might not have been worth the hype. This is not one of those times.

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

Butcher's Chainsaw: D-
This is my favorite bad weapon. Unlike many other bad weapons like the Blood Thorn and Cool Whip, 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. On wave 15 of the Pumpkin Moon, it can actually be used against the ridiculous number of Pumpking spawns, but it's still no better than the Psycho Knife or The Eye of Cthulhu in those situations. As you might expect from a chainsaw, it's not at all practical, but very fun.

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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. This weapon's most useful role is probably shredding the Pumpkings and Mourning Woods on wave 15 of the Pumpkin Moon. Since you'll be taking boatloads of damage no matter what, you might as bring out the best DPS weapon you have access to, and facetank with a Cross Necklace while staying alive by picking up hearts.

If you want to use the Psycho Knife as your main weapon for some reason, Titanium armor might be worth considering. 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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....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: C
Like the Optic Staff, it is a contact-based minion weapon that suffers from poor AI, and it's really, really bad if you're a dedicated summoner thanks to its piercing i-frames. If you have a minion capacity of 7, your DPS will be no higher than if your capacity were 3. It is also unreliable against enemies that can move quickly, a category that includes basically every boss except Mourning Wood, Santa-NK1, and Everscream. That said, it's an alright crowd control option if you aren't a summoner and just want a single minion that can smack things around a bit. The Raven Staff outclasses it in every possible way.

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

Toxic Flask: B-
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 excellent 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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....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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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: C+

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: all of these bosses are 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, no one should be excited to receive this as a Golem drop.

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

Possessed Hatchet: A+
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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12.5% chance to drop from Golem
Best prefix: Godly/Demonic $$$$

Stynger: S
Completely dominates 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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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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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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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 (other than the Proximity Mine Launcher, which is also sold by an NPC).

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

The Horseman's Blade: C-
I think it's fair to say that using The Horseman's Blade to rapidly kill statue-spawned enemies and create an unstoppable army of flaming pumpkin heads was not the weapon's intended use. If we disregard that gimmick and examine The Horseman's Blade's own merits as a weapon, it turns out that it's not much better than an ordinary broadsword most of the time. The main issue is that it requires being in melee range to work; a homing projectile isn't worth much if it can't be created without putting the user at risk. This problem is made worse by its unimpressive speed compared to the Terra Blade or even the Keybrand. That said, it is the best weapon for killing weak enemies with, since you can use them to spawn extra Flaming Jacks.

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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: A-
This is probably the best crowd control weapon for bullet users at this point. It covers a much wider area than the Stake Launcher and pierces through enemies, ensuring that your intended targets can't be body-blocked. Its single-target DPS is also quite decent, allowing it to chew through most Frost Moon enemies at a reasonable pace. As a bonus, its ammo is cheaper than Musket Balls, which is a good thing since you'll need lots of it. The Candy Corn Rifle's biggest flaw is probably its inability to reliably hit flying enemies at the edge of your screen. It works fine against Everscreams and Santa-NK1s, but for Ice Queens, you may want to switch to a Sniper Rifle.

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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: A
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.

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

Raven Staff: A-
Compared to the Deadly Sphere Staff and Optic Staff, the Raven Staff doesn't suffer from piercing immunity, which causes its DPS to skyrocket in comparison. It can also cope with some degree of enemy movement, as long as they aren't moving faster than you. The most frustrating thing about the ravens is that they will return to your side if their target is too far away, they don't have a hitbox while returning, and their return flight is so painfully slow that you might not ever be able to reactivate them without moving into harm's way. A raven that's returning to you moves exactly like an enemy that's trying to ram into you, so dodging enemies means you'll also dodge your own ravens, causing them to potentially end up in an infinite cycle of uselessness. For this reason, you should be careful not to let your main target get too far away, and pay attention to your ravens so you can touch them if they start flying back. It is excellent against invasion events, but its effectiveness against bosses like Duke Fishron and Empress of Light depends heavily on how you approach the fight (or more precisely, whether you choose to approach at all). On average, it will significantly outperform Sanguine Bats against Empress of Light, but it is far sloppier against Duke Fishron.

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

Dark Harvest: A+
In contrast to Durendal, this whip is designed to shred through enemies on its own. Its ability to boost its own attack speed makes it slightly stronger than Morning Star as an attacking weapon when used alone (though Morning Star is stronger after activating Harvest Time). The speed increase even stacks with Durendal's Blessing if you're willing to do some intense micromanagement, though much of Dark Harvest's appeal is that it offers about the same DPS as Durendal + Morning Star without requiring constant switches.

The "Dark Energy" described in its tooltip essentially adds an AoE poison effect to your minions' attacks, dealing 10 extra damage per hit to all enemies near the original target. 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. Note that Dark Energy has no effect when you're attacking a single target, so it's not the optimal whip to use against bosses if you plan to rely on tag damage (for example, when fighting a boss that moves too fast to be whipped more than once every few seconds). However, it does just fine as a speed-increasing support whip for the Morning Star since it provides a bit more speed than Durendal, offsetting its lack of single-target tag damage. This extra speed also makes it better for supporting the Kaleidoscope later on, or for supporting the Terra Blade right now if you're planning to use it as a close-ranged weapon.

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

Baconfry

Terrarian
Dropped by Duke Fishron

Flairon: A+

A stupendously 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. This is probably the best pre-Lunar melee weapon for most purposes.

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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: S+
Possibly the best magic weapon in the game for general use, both aboveground and below. It rapidly and effortlessly cuts through hordes of enemies of any size, immobilizing them in an unrelenting barrage of hits. While its single-target DPS is not the absolute best (being only slightly stronger than the Bat Scepter), it's still great against bosses due to how reliable and accurate it is. Many homing weapons have somewhat low velocity, but the Razorblade Typhoon doesn't suffer from this problem, so not only is it easier to aim, but it also provides near-instant disruption even to enemies at the edge of your screen.

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....Availability: ###
20% chance to drop from Duke Fishron
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.

With Chlorophyte Headgear, Dark Artist's Robes, and any -8% mana usage accessory, you can reduce a Masterful Bubble Gun's mana cost to 1. This is almost certainly overkill, but I thought it would be funny to point it out.

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

Tempest Staff: C+
The Tempest Staff is easily the worst Duke Fishron drop, and it offers nothing that could possibly give it an advantage over the other minion weapons that helped you get this far. Despite being specialized for single-target damage, it still deals less damage than the Desert Tiger, Xeno, and Raven, even assuming that it actually hits its target. This is made worse by the fact that Xeno and Desert Tiger have excellent synergies with tag damage or Firecracker respectively, while the Tempest Staff doesn't synergize too well with either since its damage and fire rate are both average. You know how you can usually cheese bosses by flying in circles? When you're using the Tempest Staff, the roles are reversed, and now the bosses are cheesing you. It at least has higher DPS potential than the Sanguine Staff, though it won't always perform better due to its terrible accuracy and dumb AI that forces it to slowly fly back to you if its target moves too far away. This is a weakness it shares with the Raven Staff, but the Raven Staff is better at literally everything else.

The only way it can be useful is if you defeat Duke Fishron before Plantera. And as you know, this is regarded by most people as breaking sequence. Even if you obtain it pre-mech, the best it can be is a side-grade to the Sanguine Staff since it is far worse against all three mechanical bosses. To put it in perspective, literally any other weapon from Duke Fishron would easily steamroll everything until Golem if you obtained it that early.

Thanks to its inherently flawed design, the Tempest Staff has resisted all of Relogic's attempts to buff it, and remains one of the most disappointing weapons in the game.

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

Dropped by Empress of Light

Starlight: C+

If you loved the Fetid Baghnakhs in 1.3, you'll love this. I don't think it's quite as useful as most other weapons in this tier due to its short range, and unlike the Bubble Gun, it doesn't leave a lingering trail of projectiles to damage chasers. It works decently well against all the floaty, relatively slow enemies spawned by the Vortex Pillar, but it only works against a handful of foes from other pillars (notably Selenians, Brain Sucklers, and Star Cells). It won't perform well against bosses at all, as its damage output is not high enough to compensate for the downtime you'll experience while dodging attacks. Think of it as a prototype Solar Eruption with half the range and no wall piercing.

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

Nightglow: S
An excellent bossing weapon that will mostly replace your Spectre Staff. and offers a bit more single-target damage than the Razorblade Typhoon. Its seeking range is very high, and it can chase anything on your screen provided it has an unobstructed view. Nightglow isn't quite as mana efficient as the Razorblade Typhoon, but that's fine because neither weapon really cares about being out of mana as long as you have the Mana Regeneration buff. They are more limited by the piercing damage cap than their attack speed, so even when firing at a reduced rate, the damage output will still be more than good enough.

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

Stellar Tune: S
The Stellar Tune looks like a homing weapon, but it's actually an auto-targeting weapon like the Medusa Head or Magnet Sphere; it can miss its targets, though its projectiles are wide and erratic enough that it usually doesn't. That said, it just barely lacks enough reach to perform well against certain bosses, and its DPS is a bit below that of the Nightglow. But when fighting underground or near the surface, this weapon is almost as good as the Lunar Flare. It's perfect for taking advantage of the terrain when fighting the Lunar Events, which is especially useful since it's unlikely that you'd have an arena.

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....Availability: #
2% chance to drop from Empress of Light
Best prefix: Demonic $$$$

Kaleidoscope: A+
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. You can meme even harder by using Obsidian armor, which actually isn't as stupid as it sounds because the Kaleidoscope with +50% range and +35% speed is a completely different beast.

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

Terraprisma: S+
This is the strongest summoning weapon in the entire game. 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.

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. For extra safety, open with Hallowed armor and switch to your best offensive magic set after you get hit.

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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: B

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. It also competes directly with the Terra Blade, which has superior piercing and projectile velocity, on top of being just as insane as pre-nerf Fetid Baghnakhs when used as a close-ranged weapon. You might enjoy using the Influx Waver if you were also a die-hard fan of Sky Fracture, but most people will find it too frustrating to use against any enemy that isn't highly predictable or large. C'est la vie.

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....Availability: ###
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, compared to Crystal Bullets, the DPS loss is quite noticeable.

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

Electrosphere Launcher: B+
The Electrosphere Launcher's damage and crowd control against grounded enemies is nearly unmatched, but it will never be your first choice when facing flying enemies. It has a slight learning curve because the spheres deploy directly at the cursor's position if they don't collide with anything beforehand, and spheres will be deleted if you deploy them too close to each other. Don't be stingy when using it; even when fired constantly, it still consumes ammo much slower than most rocket weapons.

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....Availability: ###
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. 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.

The full beam is incompatible with Spectre armor, so consider wearing a hybrid set if you're planning to use this as your main weapon.

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, it scales linearly with capacity, 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.

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

Frost Moon

Christmas Tree Sword: B-

It produces a lot of projectiles, but even assuming that every single one of them lands on the same target, it is still weaker than the Terra Blade. It does at least cover a wider area than the Terra Blade and can somewhat counter flying enemies like Brain Sucklers, Alien Hornets, and Star Cells, though that's not too impressive since those are the most basic Lunar enemies you'll encounter. Overall, the Christmas Tree Sword is like a non-homing version of Flairon, which is pretty bad considering that homing is what makes Flairon good in the first place.

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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 very simple to use, 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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....Availability: ##
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 the Chain Gun will eat up in no time. 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.

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: C-
A hilariously weak single-target weapon that offers about the same DPS as the Shadowbeam Staff. None of its other qualities are good, either. It has shorter attack range than every other endgame ranged weapon, and it's significantly worse for crowd control than Eventide (which takes about as much effort to get, on top of being significantly stronger even when using the most basic ammunition). As an added insult, the damage bonus from Shroomite armor's head slot doesn't even apply to the Elf Melter. Sell this piece of garbage immediately.

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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, so even if you miss a bunch of your shots, it will still outperform a lot of other magic weapons.

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....Availability: #
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. So the most practical way to use the North Pole is to attack directly with the launched spear while staying close to the ground. Since snowflakes deal reduced damage when more of them are on your screen, you'll want to be as accurate as possible to maximize the damage dealt by those that hit their mark.

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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. 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.

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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: A-

Like its predecessors, the Ballista Staff is a great sentry against the Old One's Army, but rather mediocre outside of it. It can at least clear out crowded areas very quickly through resummoning. When left alone, it won't reach truly impressive levels of power without Ballista Panic, which is hard to take advantage of on higher difficulties. However, placing Dungeon Spikes around the arena before starting the event allows you to maintain Ballista Panic pretty easily. Outside the event, you can activate Ballista Panic by shooting yourself with a Minishark + Exploding Bullets if you don't have anything better to do. This can also be an effective way to stall for time when combined with Master Ninja Gear, Brain of Confusion, and Star Veil.

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.

DEFAULT
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BALLISTA PANIC
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Sold by Tavernkeep for 100 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 a sentry needs. 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. 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. In fact, it is genuinely unclear whether this is better than the Queen Spider Staff, since they have around the same DPS (yes, seriously) and Venom deals actual damage while On Fire! does not. Don't buy this.

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Sold by Tavernkeep for 100 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.

DEFAULT
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RED RIDING
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Sold by Tavernkeep for 100 Defender Medals after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Demonic $$$$$$$$

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.

This should never be the only sentry you use against the Old One's Army. 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.

DEFAULT
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SHINOBI INFILTRATOR
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....Availability: #
Sold by Tavernkeep for 100 Defender Medals after Golem has been defeated
Best prefix: Demonic $$$$$$$$

Dropped by Betsy

Flying Dragon: A

It is slightly less powerful than the Terra Blade, but it has a much wider projectile that gives it a far better matchup against all the erratically-moving fliers you'll encounter in the Lunar events. Much of the difficulty of endgame battles comes from the fact that enemies are hard to hit in the first place, so Flying Dragon actually ends up being pretty good for crowd control against swarms of Brain Sucklers, Star Cells, and Nebula Floaters (but NOT Selenians). As it turns out, size does matter.

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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: B+
"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 bad because Aerial Bane depends so heavily on killing enemies in one shot, and hitting them even a bit off-center allows them to survive. For the Lunar Events, this is much less reliable than the other endgame bows with Chlorophyte Arrows. However, its performance against Moon Lord is still very good if you don't mind its shorter effective range.

VENOM ARROW
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....Availability: ###
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 Phantasm, Razorpine, and Nebula Arcanum.

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....Availability: ###
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 a few dragon segments 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.

The choice between the two Stardust weapons is not a matter of "personal preference" like people often say it is. Stardust Cell is a good minion, but it's not good enough to compete with the Stardust Dragon, especially because the dragon is far better for shredding the Moon Lord and you probably care a lot more about that. I can think of several situations where it's optimal to run full dragon, but practically no situations where it's optimal to run full cell. 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/Spooky, and Hallowed/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 not to the point that it would ever be worse than cells. 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 should stick to 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.)

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

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


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

Vortex Beater: S-
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 everyone trying to showcase a no-hit Moon Lord fight will be using the Vortex Beater with Chlorophyte Bullets; from this you might guess that it's optimal for damaging an offscreen enemy without paying attention to where you're aiming, and you'd be correct. 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.

CHLOROPHYTE BULLET
.............DPS: ####
Crowd control: ####

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


....Availability: #####
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. It won't be optimal against the final phase on Expert because you'll be too busy getting the heck out of there to focus on aiming, but it can get you through the first half without too many problems.

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. 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.

For crowd control, this is generally considered less reliable 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.

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

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

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


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

....Availability: #####
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 should immediately raise some red flags in your head. Indeed, the dynamic between the Nebula Blaze and the Nebula Arcanum 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 still a perfectly good weapon, but its advantages over the Arcanum are not what many people think they are. Despite its lack of knockback, it is better for immediately dealing with nearby threats since it kills them almost instantly whereas the Arcanum has to pierce through them before circling back. It 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 upwards of 300 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 pretty bad for general use, but uniquely suitable for the Moon Lord fight.

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

....Availability: #####
Crafted from 18 Nebula Fragments at the Ancient Manipulator
Best prefix: Demonic $$$$

Nebula Arcanum: S-
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).

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

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

....Availability: #####
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.

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

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

....Availability: #####
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.

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


....Availability: #####
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. Yoyo Bag is recommended as usual, not because the Yoyo Glove greatly improves its damage output (it doesn't) but because the Terrarian greatly appreciates the bonus range from White String.

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

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

....Availability: n/a
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.

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


....Availability: n/a
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.

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

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

....Availability: n/a
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 strongest ranged DPS weapon in practice most of the time.

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.

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


LUMINITE BULLET
.............DPS: #####
Crowd control: #####

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

....Availability: n/a
11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Unreal $$$$$$

Celebration Mk2: S
Its damage output is so insane that it barely needs to be aimed. Despite its poor-looking accuracy, 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 because it allows you to land the red rocket more often, 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.

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

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

....Availability: n/a
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.

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

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

....Availability: n/a
11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Demonic $$$$

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. On top of that, it penalizes sustained use just as harshly as the Last Prism, which you might notice if you're using the Magnet Flower and Spectre Hood. In fact, Last Prism ends up being more efficient if you mostly use its scattered beams. 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 Nebula Blaze and Nightglow are so much more consistent against the Moon Lord itself.

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

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

....Availability: n/a
11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Mythical $$$$

Rainbow Crystal Staff: B+
While it's probably not the Moon Lord drop you were hoping for, the Rainbow Crystal is strong enough that it might be worth running a specialized sentry set for it the next time you challenge the Lunar events. It consistently pulls the highest DPS of any sentry during crowded invasions, and can even chip at bosses somewhat if you're fighting in a dedicated arena. Moon Lord never drops enough Luminite for a full armor set in one kill, so using a broken set with one Luminite piece (ideally Stardust Leggings) actually makes a lot of sense if you're getting ready for a second Moon Lord battle. In this case, you'll likely be using Shinobi Infiltrator for the head slot and Stardust Leggings for the leg slot. Dark Artist and Red Riding have significantly weaker helmets, so running a sentry hybrid is not as lucrative for magic or ranged users, though it's still not a bad idea.

Sometimes life gives you lemons, and sometimes the Moon Lord gives you a Rainbow Crystal Staff, but at least it has decent potential when given just a bit of investment.

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

....Availability: n/a
11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Lunar Portal Staff: C
The sentry that everyone kind of forgot about due to not being especially bad or good in 1.3, back when the Rainbow Crystal Staff was pretty much the worst thing ever. Nowadays, the Lunar Portal Staff is easily the least exciting Moon Lord drop since it does practically everything the Rainbow Crystal Staff does, but slightly worse. Of course, it is still worth using since it greatly outclasses every pre-Moon Lord sentry. It's actually somewhat impressive if you're using a sentry helmet, since it can stunlock enemies briefly and covers a wide area with its beams. But that doesn't change the fact that most players are rightfully disappointed when it drops. You could have been mowing everything down with an S.D.M.G. or Last Prism but instead you got this.

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

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

....Availability: n/a
11.11% chance to drop from Moon Lord
Best prefix: Ruthless $$$$

Craftable after defeating Moon Lord

Zenith: F
made you look lol

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


....Availability: n/a
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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Baconfry

Terrarian
The forum overhaul last year added a character limit, so I had to split the guide up into 3 sections. This post is reserved in case I come up with anything else to use it for, like a new section or something. Anyways, thanks for coming to my TED talk.
 
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sharkman0101

Spazmatism
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.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
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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sharkman0101

Spazmatism
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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Godley

Skeletron Prime
KO Cannon can be obtained via statues, so it’s actually quite easy to get if you farm for it.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
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!
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
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.
 

Gotcha!

Pumpking
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. :)
 

Mage-of-Rage

Duke Fishron
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.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
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.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
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.
 

sharkman0101

Spazmatism
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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