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In-depth Hardmode weapon tier list

whoneedsnamestbh

Eater of Worlds
As for ranged weapons, snowball launcher has been already buffed to A+, don't think it is S though, no ammo versatility and does not emit light, which is useful in early exploration
I can vouch for Snowball Cannon beinf S. It has great DPS for a preboss weapon, which mind you can be obtained in the easiest non-default biome to survive in, and has both autofire and a disruptive fire rate. Ammo variety hardly applies pre-boss when your choice is bullet or rarer bullet with more damage, or arrow with debuff vs arrow with pierce.

DPS-wise it’s comparable to a Platinum Bow with frostburn, but it’ll always be a little higher thanks to autofire meaning it always operates at peak preformance, and is also significantly more disruptive single target than Platinum Bow. And considering the ammo is even cheaper than Frostburn, that’s another point in favor of it.

For its wide number of strengths and being one of the most capable pre-boss weapons that doesn’t require entering dangerous environments, and its autofire+fire rate allowing it to last as a disruptor until Megashark, S tier is fine for it.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
The thing is that I brought up Underground & Dungeon as my main examples of crowd control, while you brought up Pirate invasion (which is a smaller and least important part arguably).

Blade Staff can achieve just about the same, except it's automatic, you don't need to worry about ammo, the damage is higher against single target enemies and they'll stop and stunlock blue armored bones in place, while crystal darts may struggle to stop an incoming fighter AI on your face.
When you're underground, crowd control is not a priority. What you want are ways to eliminate enemies that pose a threat as easily as possible, and the terrain severely limits the usefulness of line of sight weapons in that regard, no matter the DPS. Since in higher difficulties enemies get much higher stat increases than bosses, being in an enemy's line of sight is pretty dangerous, especially if they fire projectiles. Crystal darts bounce, which allows them to kill enemies without putting you at risk, pierce or bounce between enemies, which can help against groups of enemies, smart-bounce, which means that they'll rarely miss, are fired at a fast rate with the Dart Pistol and deal higher damage with the Dart Rifle. Also running out of ammo isn't an issue while it is a bit annoying, because Crystal Shards are everywhere in the Underground Hallow, and don't forget that ammo consumption isn't factored into rank in this tier list.

Also, Blade Staff can only attack one enemy at a time, which means that unless the enemies are in an extremely tight clump, Crystal Darts are better for multiple enemies.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
When you're underground, crowd control is not a priority. What you want are ways to eliminate enemies that pose a threat as easily as possible, and the terrain severely limits the usefulness of line of sight weapons in that regard, no matter the DPS. Since in higher difficulties enemies get much higher stat increases than bosses, being in an enemy's line of sight is pretty dangerous, especially if they fire projectiles. Crystal darts bounce, which allows them to kill enemies without putting you at risk, pierce or bounce between enemies, which can help against groups of enemies, smart-bounce, which means that they'll rarely miss, are fired at a fast rate with the Dart Pistol and deal higher damage with the Dart Rifle. Also running out of ammo isn't an issue while it is a bit annoying, because Crystal Shards are everywhere in the Underground Hallow, and don't forget that ammo consumption isn't factored into rank in this tier list.

Also, Blade Staff can only attack one enemy at a time, which means that unless the enemies are in an extremely tight clump, Crystal Darts are better for multiple enemies.
Depends on your definition of "Crowd Control". To me, it includes the ability to react & take care of mobs that appear out of nowhere or hit you by surprise. And well, going by your explanation, Blade Staff excels at that. They automatically stunlock dungeon mages, take care of bats very fast and cleanly, can stop Giant Tortoises going at full speed and so on. I'm going to say it again, Blade Staff's ability to respond to threats perfectly and instantly makes LoS a no issue. Even if an enemy has 10000 HP and 330 contact damage, it's a no-threat if it's going to get automatically stunlocked and locked in place instantly by daggers anyway. You need to try Blade Staff again.

That bit about Blade staff is simply false. Blade Staff's AI actually attempts to separate the dagger and target multiple enemies at once when there are multiple targets. Or, is this about killing clumps of enemies? You need to refer to the gifs I posted above, because Whips + Blade make an insane synergy at eviscerating big clumps of mobs.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Depends on your definition of "Crowd Control". To me, it includes the ability to react & take care of mobs that appear out of nowhere or hit you by surprise. And well, going by your explanation, Blade Staff excels at that. They automatically stunlock dungeon mages, take care of bats very fast and cleanly, can stop Giant Tortoises going at full speed and so on. I'm going to say it again, Blade Staff's ability to respond to threats perfectly and instantly makes LoS a no issue. Even if an enemy has 10000 HP and 330 contact damage, it's a no-threat if it's going to get automatically stunlocked and locked in place instantly by daggers anyway. You need to try Blade Staff again.

That bit about Blade staff is simply false. Blade Staff's AI actually attempts to separate the dagger and target multiple enemies at once when there are multiple targets. Or, is this about killing clumps of enemies? You need to refer to the gifs I posted above, because Whips + Blade make an insane synergy at eviscerating big clumps of mobs.
The ability to react and take care of enemies that ambush you has nothing to do with crowd control. Reacting to enemies that ambush you is only an issue with very few weapons, like the Laser Machinegun for example, and in general has to do with how perceptive the player is and how fast you yourself can react. Crowd control describes how effectively a weapon can deal with multiple enemies at a time and how long it takes to do events that spawn many enemies at once with that weapon.

How the hell does Blade Staff excel according to my explanation? Does it eliminate enemies without putting the player in danger of being hit by other enemies? No! Does the Blade Staff bounce off tiles, allowing it to hit around corners? No! Does it pierce linearly, allowing it deal damage to lines of enemies? No! Can it kill enemies without much player input? Yes, but not very quickly, since hitting enemies with whips, which the Blade Staff is somewhat weak without, requires player input. With Crystal Darts, you can just spam them toward a location that'll make them bounce and go close to enemies, which'll make them lock on and most likely deal more damage than an unaided Blade Staff.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
The ability to react and take care of enemies that ambush you has nothing to do with crowd control. Reacting to enemies that ambush you is only an issue with very few weapons, like the Laser Machinegun for example, and in general has to do with how perceptive the player is and how fast you yourself can react. Crowd control describes how effectively a weapon can deal with multiple enemies at a time and how long it takes to do events that spawn many enemies at once with that weapon.

How the hell does Blade Staff excel according to my explanation? Does it eliminate enemies without putting the player in danger of being hit by other enemies? No! Does the Blade Staff bounce off tiles, allowing it to hit around corners? No! Does it pierce linearly, allowing it deal damage to lines of enemies? No! Can it kill enemies without much player input? Yes, but not very quickly, since hitting enemies with whips, which the Blade Staff is somewhat weak without, requires player input. With Crystal Darts, you can just spam them toward a location that'll make them bounce and go close to enemies, which'll make them lock on and most likely deal more damage than an unaided Blade Staff.
Are you judging Blade Staff's performance without whips? That's not how it works, Blade Staff relies on whips more than any other weapons, in general whips are really powerful and should be abused when playing Summoner. Again, refer to the gifs I posted earlier, we know that Blade Staff with Pre-Hardmode whips overwhelmingly shred crowds of enemies. Spamming Crystal darts also require player inputs, so I don't see what your point is. I think it's funny that you seem to show partial uncertainty about Crystal Darts' DPS compared to whipless Blade, because Whips + Ichor makes Blade deal 4x more damage or something like that.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Are you judging Blade Staff's performance without whips? That's not how it works, Blade Staff relies on whips more than any other weapons, in general whips are really powerful and should be abused when playing Summoner. Again, refer to the gifs I posted earlier, we know that Blade Staff with Pre-Hardmode whips overwhelmingly shred crowds of enemies. Spamming Crystal darts also require player inputs, so I don't see what your point is. I think it's funny that you seem to show partial uncertainty about Crystal Darts' DPS compared to whipless Blade, because Whips + Ichor makes Blade deal 4x more damage or something like that.
Well yes, but actually no.

I am judging Blade Staff's performance without whips, but not in the way you seem to think. Hitting an enemy with a whip and applying Ichor requires more player input than firing Crystal Darts, because with the latter you don't even need to aim, you just need to hold down a button. Anyone could agree that Blade Staff is pretty weak without whips and Ichor, so in order to deal high DPS (don't get me wrong, Blade Staff's DPS is very impressive with summon tag and Ichor) you need player input.
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
Well yes, but actually no.

I am judging Blade Staff's performance without whips, but not in the way you seem to think. Hitting an enemy with a whip and applying Ichor requires more player input than firing Crystal Darts, because with the latter you don't even need to aim, you just need to hold down a button. Anyone could agree that Blade Staff is pretty weak without whips and Ichor, so in order to deal high DPS (don't get me wrong, Blade Staff's DPS is very impressive with summon tag and Ichor) you need layer input.
I think you're just grasping at straws. Stuff like "you might need to slightly move your mouse before clicking" are so minor and insignificant it's pointless. Why are we even talking about that specifically?

By the way, a friend of mine actually offered to DPS test Chloro shotbow with ichor arrows against Master Plantera. In Godmode, with overwhelmingly glass cannon gears to the point of having zero mobility or defensive items (78% critical hit chance), it took 24 seconds according to him. That's quite far off from "Under 20 seconds", especially taking into account the insanely glass cannon gears (triple quiver, moon stone, avenger, ranger emblem, putrid, mixed armors). I wonder what time I could get if I went nuclear-offense gears with Sanguine/Firecracker/Hallowed/Snapthorn, and tried my best to to fight Plantera at point blank range as much as possible (Sanguine attacks much more rapidly when facetanking)? The point is that not only is your claim about Shotbow hard to believe if not untrue, but DPS numbers/kill times that in reality relies on ridiculously glass-y setups feel misleading to an extent depending on the weapon and boss when it comes to realistic practical play.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
By the way, a friend of mine actually offered to DPS test Chloro shotbow with ichor arrows against Master Plantera. In Godmode, with overwhelmingly glass cannon gears to the point of having zero mobility or defensive items (78% critical hit chance), it took 24 seconds according to him. That's quite far off from "Under 20 seconds", especially taking into account the insanely glass cannon gears (triple quiver, moon stone, avenger, ranger emblem, putrid, mixed armors). I wonder what time I could get if I went nuclear-offense gears with Sanguine/Firecracker/Hallowed/Snapthorn, and tried my best to to fight Plantera at point blank range as much as possible (Sanguine attacks much more rapidly when facetanking)? The point is that not only is your claim about Shotbow hard to believe if not untrue, but DPS numbers/kill times that in reality relies on ridiculously glass-y setups feel misleading to an extent depending on the weapon and boss when it comes to realistic practical play.
I retried almost the same setup as I used before, which is: Unreal Chlorophyte Shotbow, Hallowed armour, Obsidian Shield, Wings, Shield of Cthulhu, Molten Quiver, Amphibian Boots, Charm of Myths, and buffs (including Archery, Rage and Exquisitely Stuffed) and got 47 seconds against Master Mode Plantera. I did that playthrough many months ago, so I probably misremembered, like a lot. But unless you show Blade/Sanguine Staff getting a time of under 35 seconds against Plantera in Master Mode, I won't be convinced that they're much better in terms of DPS to other S/S+ tier weapons at the same point in the game.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
I retried almost the same setup as I used before, which is: Unreal Chlorophyte Shotbow, Hallowed armour, Obsidian Shield, Wings, Shield of Cthulhu, Molten Quiver, Amphibian Boots, Charm of Myths, and buffs (including Archery, Rage and Exquisitely Stuffed) and got 47 seconds against Master Mode Plantera. I did that playthrough many months ago, so I probably misremembered, like a lot. But unless you show Blade/Sanguine Staff getting a time of under 35 seconds against Plantera in Master Mode, I won't be convinced that they're much better in terms of DPS to other S/S+ tier weapons at the same point in the game.
In Expert, Both Blade/Sanguine can kill Plantera in 27 seconds with offensive (but not NUCLEAR) gears. With Full Warding & Hallowed Armor, Blade Staff does it in 31 seconds.

Now let's try "converting" those times to Master.

To simplify it, I'll take those Expert kill times and multiply them by 1.25x or so to take account increased HP. Plantera's HP in Master is 127% of her HP in Expert, but there's the additional accessory slot to take into account. Summoner would likely run Moon Stone, probably the best option for 7th accessory slot that would actually give a noticeably increase in DPS. I'm going to drop it to multiplying by 1.25x for kill times, rather than 1.27x, to take extra accessory slot into account. This is generous (realistically should be like 1.20x or something) and favoring your side of the argument.

127.024% of Plantera's 42000 HP = 53350.08, almost exactly her HP in Master. (Edit: made a small mistake, it's actually 127.5% of 42000 = 53550 flat. Misread the last three numbers of Plantera's Master HP as 350 instead of 550. Doesn't change anything though)

Blade & Sanguine with offensive gears: 125% of 27.4 = 34.25.

Blade with defensive gears: 125% of 31.03 = 38.7875.

So yes, with a standard balanced or moderately offensive build, they do in fact pass your trial of being able to kill Master Plantera in under 35 seconds.
 
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Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
In Expert, Both Blade/Sanguine can kill Plantera in 27 seconds with offensive (but not NUCLEAR) gears. With Full Warding & Hallowed Armor, Blade Staff does it in 31 seconds.

Now let's try "converting" those times to Master.

To simplify it, I'll take those Expert kill times and multiply them by 1.25x or so to take account increased HP. Plantera's HP in Master is 127% of her HP in Expert, but there's the additional accessory slot to take into account. Summoner would likely run Moon Stone, probably the best option for 7th accessory slot that would actually give a noticeably increase in DPS. I'm going to drop it to multiplying by 1.25x for kill times, rather than 1.27x, to take extra accessory slot into account. This is generous (realistically should be like 1.20x or something) and favoring your side of the argument.

127.024% of Plantera's 42000 HP = 53350.08, almost exactly her HP in Master.

Blade & Sanguine with offensive gears: 125% of 27.4 = 34.25.

Blade with defensive gears: 125% of 31.03 = 38.7875.

So yes, with a standard balanced or moderately offensive build, they do in fact pass your trial of being able to kill Master Plantera in under 35 seconds.
That’s just in theory though. How about you actually test it in Master Mode so that you can have reliable evidence.
 

whoneedsnamestbh

Eater of Worlds
That’s just in theory though. How about you actually test it in Master Mode so that you can have reliable evidence.
Master Mode is literally just a health boost over Expert, it’s not like it changes enemy AI or how you have to go about the battle. It also doesn’t change enemy defense. It’s safe to assume shyguymask’s tests would simply carry over to Master in the same ratio assuming you can dodge.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
Only if the kill times I have in mind involved taking significant damage as a strategy (which it doesn't) there would be a need to do it in Master again, but as whoneeds pointed out, it's literally just a health boost with nothing else being different. It's the exact same fight.
 

Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
Master Mode is literally just a health boost over Expert, it’s not like it changes enemy AI or how you have to go about the battle. It also doesn’t change enemy defense. It’s safe to assume shyguymask’s tests would simply carry over to Master in the same ratio assuming you can dodge.
What about the seventh accessory slot? It allows you to equip another accessory that could have an effect that impacts the kill times, such as the Moon Stone or Shark Tooth/Stinger Necklace. It also allows you to get an extra modifier.
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
What about the seventh accessory slot? It allows you to equip another accessory that could have an effect that impacts the kill times, such as the Moon Stone or Shark Tooth/Stinger Necklace. It also allows you to get an extra modifier.
Ok so you're still just killing enemies a slower than on expert.


Master Mode is literally just a health boost over Expert, it’s not like it changes enemy AI or how you have to go about the battle. It also doesn’t change enemy defense. It’s safe to assume shyguymask’s tests would simply carry over to Master in the same ratio assuming you can dodge.
I really dislike master mode, Stat inflation doesn't add any depth to the game, it just highlights the games flaws. All the cheap fights are more annoying and all the fair fights that I've already mastered feel no different.
 

Shyguymask

Terrarian
What about the seventh accessory slot? It allows you to equip another accessory that could have an effect that impacts the kill times, such as the Moon Stone or Shark Tooth/Stinger Necklace. It also allows you to get an extra modifier.
The 7th accessory slot only makes it easier to get a time of under 35 seconds and pass your "trial". Looking back, Moon Stone would probably have been better for my video than Summoner Emblem (+10% damage +10% melee speed).
 

starman2995

Terrarian
The thing I don't think you are taking into account with saying that the blade/bats are optimal at so many stages of the game is that they require current progression whips to operate as well as they do. Looking at the empress of light kill data sheet, all the whips there are post-plantera (at least the ones used for blade/sanguine). For the case of using the earliest whip available (morning star), the blade staff did worse than the dart rifle, and the sanguine staff only did a little bit better. I'm not saying that they should be rated only at the power level of the whips they have, I'm just saying that there is nothing really comparable on the entire tier list and that it should be carefully considered. There isn't really any other "enabling" weapon progression in the entire game that I can think of (where whips are what enable the summons to have the potential they have).

My takeaway is this: Dart pistol/rifle seems to be roughly comparable to blade staff pre-mech, with pistol/rifle potentially being ahead (though I don't know about sanguine + firecracker). The dart weapons are fantastic at that stage and remain useful/usable for a long time, but start to drop off and have weapons that overtake them. For the summons, instead of having weapons that overtake them, they get new whips that enable them to be stronger than they were previously. I'd imagine that if you were stuck using the same pre-mech whips with the summons, they would probably have roughly the same falloff as any other weapon. That is why they are the exception, and the way I see it, that is why they are so hard to rate relative to more "static" weapons.
 

CellarDoor96

Terrarian
The thing I don't think you are taking into account with saying that the blade/bats are optimal at so many stages of the game is that they require current progression whips to operate as well as they do. Looking at the empress of light kill data sheet, all the whips there are post-plantera (at least the ones used for blade/sanguine). For the case of using the earliest whip available (morning star), the blade staff did worse than the dart rifle, and the sanguine staff only did a little bit better. I'm not saying that they should be rated only at the power level of the whips they have, I'm just saying that there is nothing really comparable on the entire tier list and that it should be carefully considered. There isn't really any other "enabling" weapon progression in the entire game that I can think of (where whips are what enable the summons to have the potential they have).

My takeaway is this: Dart pistol/rifle seems to be roughly comparable to blade staff pre-mech, with pistol/rifle potentially being ahead (though I don't know about sanguine + firecracker). The dart weapons are fantastic at that stage and remain useful/usable for a long time, but start to drop off and have weapons that overtake them. For the summons, instead of having weapons that overtake them, they get new whips that enable them to be stronger than they were previously. I'd imagine that if you were stuck using the same pre-mech whips with the summons, they would probably have roughly the same falloff as any other weapon. That is why they are the exception, and the way I see it, that is why they are so hard to rate relative to more "static" weapons.
I was going to say something pretty similar to this. You can't really say that Blade or Sanguine Staff has a lot of longevity when you're effectively using a completely different weapon every time you replace your whip.

Imo minions should be evaluated based on their performance alongside non-whip weapons, since whips are specifically designed to synergize with them. However, if they're really good enough to deserve S+ or SS or whatever, then they should be able to provide the same or similar performance alongside any weapon. Similarly, whips should be rated for their performance alongside any minion, rather than specific combos. Basically "combo weapons" should be evaluated based on their average performance across all possible combos, rather than their best ones.

Alternatively, evaluate synergies separately from individual weapons. So for example Blade Staff and Durendal can each have an A rank individually, but Blade Staff + Durendal gets S. Baconfry already did something kind of similar to this by listing different weapon "stats" for different ammo types or armor bonuses.
 
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Shyguymask

Terrarian
The thing I don't think you are taking into account with saying that the blade/bats are optimal at so many stages of the game is that they require current progression whips to operate as well as they do. Looking at the empress of light kill data sheet, all the whips there are post-plantera (at least the ones used for blade/sanguine). For the case of using the earliest whip available (morning star), the blade staff did worse than the dart rifle, and the sanguine staff only did a little bit better. I'm not saying that they should be rated only at the power level of the whips they have, I'm just saying that there is nothing really comparable on the entire tier list and that it should be carefully considered. There isn't really any other "enabling" weapon progression in the entire game that I can think of (where whips are what enable the summons to have the potential they have).

My takeaway is this: Dart pistol/rifle seems to be roughly comparable to blade staff pre-mech, with pistol/rifle potentially being ahead (though I don't know about sanguine + firecracker). The dart weapons are fantastic at that stage and remain useful/usable for a long time, but start to drop off and have weapons that overtake them. For the summons, instead of having weapons that overtake them, they get new whips that enable them to be stronger than they were previously. I'd imagine that if you were stuck using the same pre-mech whips with the summons, they would probably have roughly the same falloff as any other weapon. That is why they are the exception, and the way I see it, that is why they are so hard to rate relative to more "static" weapons.
I don't see why needing to get current progression gears to maximize the damage of your primary weapon is a bad thing? That applies to every class. You need Celestial Shell for Melee, both scrolls for Summoner, you need Crystal Ball & Mana regen potions for Mage, you need to gather Ichor/Crystals/Chloro and so on for ammo for Ranger, you need to change armor sets through the whole game for every class, I could keep going on. Updating your gears up to date when necessary is one of the most basic things about the progression in this game.

One huge thing yourself isn't taking into account is that the Morning Star time had zero whip stacking. Even something as simple as Morning Star + Dark harvest will significantly reduce the kill time for Blade Staff and put it well above Dart Gun/Rifle. Using two long-range whips is also as easy as it gets for whip stacking, there is no reasons to not do it. This is just absurd, "Blade Staff + Solo Morning Star" is the most unrealistic & weakest way to look at Blade Staff's performance post-plant. No one should be using Morning Star without stacking with Dark Harvest. No one should be using Blade Staff without whip stacking. Let's not bring it up as if it's remotely worth considering, please.

I don't see how minions being reliant on whips change anything either. Ranger weapons are reliant on Ichor/Chloro/etc ammo for example. What's the difference? Not to mention it's still the minion that does the heavy lifting. Firecracker can't do big damage without a minion with big base damage. Whip stacking summon tag has no results if you aren't using something like Blade Staff to actually take advantage of the tag damage. If we were to rank synergies separately, then we'd need a looooot of entries. It's not just one whip, it's two or three whips. Blade/Spinal Tap/Snapthorn or Blade/Cool Whip/Spinal Tap/Snapthorn for Pre-Mech. Blade/Durendal/Spinal Tap/Snapthorn for Pre-Plantera. Blade/Morning Star/Dark Harvest/Durendal for Pre-Golem. Blade/Firecracker in general (lol). And so on and on, I could keep going for more blade staff setups and even other minion setups.

The dart weapons are fantastic at that stage and remain useful/usable for a long time

They get overshadowed as early as Pre-Plantera. Blade, Sanguine and Shotbow all deal more damage (unless you basically facetank with Ichor tanks). The only real niche darts have left at that point is Crystal Darts being useful against underground mobs and to a lesser extent Hardmode Dungeon.
 
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Dreadnautilus5000

Brain of Cthulhu
They get overshadowed as early as Pre-Plantera. Blade, Sanguine and Shotbow all deal more damage. The only real niche darts have left at that point is Crystal Darts being useful against underground mobs and to a lesser extent Hardmode Dungeon.
Cursed Darts are still really good against aboveground events and the Destroyer.
 
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