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Notable pre-Hardmode weapons in early Hardmode

Baconfry

Terrarian
minishark???
I'm already walking on a very, very fine line by saying that things like Flinx Staff and Beenades are usable in Hardmode when using armor penetration accessories. At least those weapons have the advantage of being very safe to use; the Flinx Staff easily stunlocks enemies, and Beenades can cover a massive area, easily cheesing enemies without line-of-sight.

The Minishark has around the same damage output as those two weapons while offering no unique advantages in return. It doesn't really reward you when you invest two accessory slots to armor penetration; it just becomes vaguely usable. Also, it will never benefit from the Sharpening Station. Minishark is stronger than the Musket once you unlock Ichor Bullets, I'll give it that, but you won't unlock those until you get your anvil upgraded. And by the time you've gotten your anvil upgraded, you're basically done with early Hardmode already.

If you look at all the ranged weapons I mentioned, none of them depend on an ammo type that requires a Hardmode anvil to craft. That's for a reason.

edit: still better than imp staff though.
 
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AngryNimbus

Terrarian
As for me, the diamond staff was pretty nice, a bit slow-ish, but pierces and damage is decent (with shark tooth and magic power potion, of course)
Pretty mediocre compared to hellwing + hellfire arrow/ book of skulls, but anyways, it might be useful

And aboveground, possibly Starfury> Nights edge
 
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Baconfry

Terrarian
Alright, had a little extra time to test those things.

Diamond Staff was considerably worse than Aqua Scepter, a weapon I didn't even bother ranking due to how heavily the Water Bolt outclassed it. It's got nice base damage but that's it. Water Bolt can hit the same enemy multiple times but Diamond Staff only hits once, on top of being slow and not very accurate. Would not recommend for anyone.

Starfury probably does deserve an entry since it cheeses the pirates pretty nicely with Magma Stone. Pirate's Curse isn't a problem as long as you leave enough space to walk backwards a bit. Extra points for being a melee weapon so it can activate Sharpened. Other than summoning weapons, I don't see any other pre-Hardmode weapon working well in this situation. (yes I tried Blood Rain Bow and it sucked)
Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 12.35.37 AM.png
 

AngryNimbus

Terrarian
Alright, had a little extra time to test those things.

Diamond Staff was considerably worse than Aqua Scepter, a weapon I didn't even bother ranking due to how heavily the Water Bolt outclassed it. It's got nice base damage but that's it. Water Bolt can hit the same enemy multiple times but Diamond Staff only hits once, on top of being slow and not very accurate. Would not recommend for anyone.

Starfury probably does deserve an entry since it cheeses the pirates pretty nicely with Magma Stone. Pirate's Curse isn't a problem as long as you leave enough space to walk backwards a bit. Extra points for being a melee weapon so it can activate Sharpened. Other than summoning weapons, I don't see any other pre-Hardmode weapon working well in this situation. (yes I tried Blood Rain Bow and it sucked)
View attachment 303896
Wanted to suggest Blood rain bow... It sucks, got it.
 

AngryNimbus

Terrarian
Can we consider Imps + Firecracker combo as a special case? Imps as main pre-HM weapon that doesn't have pre-HM (auxiliary) whips to synergize with and you'll inevitably need to kill WoF.
Tried it against black recluses (4 imps & firecracker vs 4 frogs & spinal tap) – they are about the same
Imps can deal more dmg, but stunlock them less

The latter is not important, as the whip itself slows enemies down a lot (obsidian set and feral claws)
Firecracker seems to multiply damage before ememy defense (imps do 15-20 dmg, whip 60-70)
 
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Baconfry

Terrarian
Imps can deal more dmg, but stunlock them less
I'm open to the idea that Imps can deal more damage with a Firecracker synergy, but it's the Firecracker that does most of the work. When you already have good damage output with your whip, it might be better for minions to stunlock enemies rather than dealing more damage. I'll test it when I get home but I'm keeping my expectations low.
 
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