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In-depth Hardmode weapon tier list

Baconfry

Terrarian
After a bit more testing, I can agree with bumping up the Raven Staff a bit, since it actually performs well when you get in close. (Granted, you have to be familiar with her attacks in order to get away with this.) Tempest Staff was nothing short of an embarrassment no matter what I tried to do. You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel when the minions are dealing less damage than your Morning Star.

Raven Staff --> A-
Tempest Staff --> C+
 

Bed_breaker117

The Destroyer
I think you might need to turn Vortex beater down to an S (is that higher?) or A+ because of how fast it can chew through bullets.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
I think you might need to turn Vortex beater down to an S (is that higher?) or A+ because of how fast it can chew through bullets.
That's probably not going to happen. All of these weapons are being ranked based on performance alone. Ammo consumption has no impact on performance, just like how a weapon's rarity has no impact on performance. I'd like to clarify that Chain Gun is not ranked lower than Xenopopper because of its high ammo consumption; it is ranked lower because it is weaker.
 

ZETTTABITE

Retinazer
That's probably not going to happen. All of these weapons are being ranked based on performance alone. Ammo consumption has no impact on performance, just like how a weapon's rarity has no impact on performance. I'd like to clarify that Chain Gun is not ranked lower than Xenopopper because of its high ammo consumption; it is ranked lower because it is weaker.
Plus, unless you are using Chlorophyte bullets the spread is unbearable
 

chapapote

Terrarian
What surprises me is finding out, after all this time hearing the opposite, that Stardust Cells do piercing damage. (Insert image of astronaut pointing a gun at another) At this point I have no idea of how piercing mecánica work with minions.
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
What surprises me is finding out, after all this time hearing the opposite, that Stardust Cells do piercing damage. (Insert image of astronaut pointing a gun at another) At this point I have no idea of how piercing mecánica work with minions.
it used to be that the stardust dragon used global immunity, this prevented other weapons from hitting something the dragon was mauling, stardust cells use local immunity, which means they use trigger iFrames per projectile, and don't trigger global immunity frames. However they still can get blocked if you have another weapon that triggers global immunity frames.

however in 1.4, and some later 'bug fixes' all minions that used to use global immunity now use static immunity, it is sort of an in between of local and global immunity. Instead of being per projectile its per projectile type, this prevents every segment of the dragon using a different iFrame counter (which would be stupidly overpowered) but means it now has the same interaction with global immunity projectiles as the cells.
 

AngryNimbus

Terrarian
A couple of thoughts on the Blade staff. As surprising as it may seem, it is not too far behind from Xeno Staff in some situations. The reason is its unusual mechanics. Instead of reducing enemy defence, it tends to simply add the damage value this defence would have given you. Just add everything. Blade staff (10 dmg), Ichor (8 dmg), Kaleidoscope (20 dmg), Betsy's Wrath (20 dmg). 58 damage per-hit in total. This, with 10 blades amd automatic Kaleidoscope gives you good single DPS and a total lockdown vs crowds. Additively, you can use all-Warding setup, since all damage is fixed. Sometimes combining the combo with Dark Harvest is also worth it.
Wow!
Among the best options vs Daytime Empress, beating Sanguine quite a bit, on par with Tiger, slightly behind Xeno, better tracking than Ravens.
Usable vs Moon Lord, absolutely seriously
Drops from the Queen Slime now, not Enchanted Swords

Analysis:
 
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Baconfry

Terrarian
A couple of thoughts on the Blade staff. As surprising as it may seem, it is not too far behind from Xeno Staff in some situations. The reason is its unusual mechanics. Instead of reducing enemy defence, it tends to simply add the damage value this defence would have given you. Just add everything. Blade staff (10 dmg), Ichor (8 dmg), Kaleidoscope (20 dmg), Betsy's Wrath (20 dmg). 58 damage per-hit in total.
I've done some field tests. Some of this is true, and it's a bit of a long explanation, so bear with me. Here's how I think it works based on the results I got.

The Blade Staff's damage is increased by half of the enemy's base defense, up to a total of 12.5 bonus damage. It is then reduced by half of their actual defense, which is somewhere between their base defense and 0 depending on how much Ichor or Betsy's Wrath has been applied. What this means is that the Blade Staff can only gain up to 12.5 additional damage from defense-lowering debuffs. It also means that it will gain less from those debuffs when attacking something with less than 25 defense.

Lightning Aura is similar, but the extra damage isn't capped at 12.5. It apparently uses a different system than Sharpening Station and Shark Tooth Necklace, meaning that it can penetrate more defense than an enemy actually has.

So if the Blade Staff's listed damage is 12, with Betsy's Wrath + Kaleidoscope we're looking at 44.5 damage per hit against everything with at least 25 defense. This is still kinda nasty, but not as nasty as 58.

I think you could squeeze an extra 5 damage onto the 12.5 bonus damage with Stinger Necklace and Shark Tooth Necklace, but yeah, diminishing returns.
 
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AngryNimbus

Terrarian
I've done some field tests. Some of this is true, and it's a bit of a long explanation, so bear with me. Here's how I think it works based on the results I got.

The Blade Staff's damage is increased by half of the enemy's base defense, up to a total of 12.5 bonus damage. It is then reduced by half of their actual defense, which is somewhere between their base defense and 0 depending on how much Ichor or Betsy's Wrath has been applied. What this means is that the Blade Staff can only gain up to 12.5 additional damage from defense-lowering debuffs. It also means that it will gain less from those debuffs when attacking something with less than 25 defense.

Lightning Aura is similar, but the extra damage isn't capped at 12.5. It apparently uses a different system than Sharpening Station and Shark Tooth Necklace, meaning that it can penetrate more defense than an enemy actually has.

So if the Blade Staff's listed damage is 12, with Betsy's Wrath + Kaleidoscope we're looking at 44.5 damage per hit against everything with at least 25 defense. This is still kinda nasty, but not as nasty as 58.

I think you could squeeze an extra 5 damage onto the 12.5 bonus damage with Stinger Necklace and Shark Tooth Necklace, but yeah, diminishing returns.
These observations are way closer to the truth than mine. Tag damage still seem to be additive, according to real tests (within error of 1-2 dmg. I can be blind a bit).
According to the formula above and testing:
17 damage listed, ichor only, 10 enemy def: 17 + 5 - 0 = 22 (true)

17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Kaleidoscope, 1000 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 472.5 + 20 tag = 1
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Kaleidoscope, 200 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 72,5 + 20 tag= 1
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Kaleidoscope, 100 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 22,5 + 20 tag= 27
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Kaleidoscope, 75 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 10 + 20 = 39.5
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Kaleidoscope, 70 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 7.5 + 20 = 42
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Kaleidoscope, 10 enemy def: 17 + 5 - 0 + 20 = 42

17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Spinal Tap,100 enemy def: 17 + 12,5 - 22,5 + 7 = 14
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Spinal Tap, 75 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 10 + 7 = 26.5
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Spinal Tap, 70 enemy def: 17 + 12.5 - 7.5 + 7 = 29
17 damage, Ichor, Betsy, Spinal Tap, 10 enemy def: 17 + 5 - 0 + 7 = 29

Seems that 42 dmg with kaleidoscope and 29 with the spinal tap is max for 17 listed
Is it effectively capped at +22 damage (ichor and betsy, all def reduction avaliable)? If the targets defence is 70 or less?

Moon lodrs core is a turning point, everything with more defence reduces damage?

Real tests:
Blade staff.gif
 
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