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Warhammer Vermintide 2 Tanking Like A Boss

This guide attempts to teach new players how to hard carry teams on Legendary difficulty, instead of dying repeatedly.

Warhammer Vermintide 2 Tanking Like A Boss

I got Vermintide 2 back in the autumn of 2022 and quickly started to like it. However, one of the things that gave me trouble is that I did not want to be a burden on my teammates. For this reason, I leveled all my characters up to level 35 on Recruit difficulty before I started playing Legendary with friends.

Once I started playing Legendary, I quickly realized that spamming light attacks with Mercenary Kruber’s greatsword, to kill all enemies before they could deal damage, did not work as well on Legendary difficulty, as it had on Recruit difficulty.

This resulted in my friends having to pick me up from the ground far more often than I was comfortable with.

Tanking Like A Boss

For me, this was not acceptable, because my compulsive urge to help others meant that I wanted to be a boon, not a burden. With that in mind, I started thinking about how to stay alive. I identified several ways to do so:

  • Killing the enemies so fast they can not deal damage
  • Avoiding all attacks
  • Staggering enemies to the point where they can’t deal damage
  • Blocking

As I mentioned previously, method 1 proved to be unfeasible.

Option 2 is technically possible, but not everyone is Lelith Hesperax, and the AI director seems to have a penchant for spawning mobs outside of people’s field of view, and so even the best Shade player goes down sometimes.

Option 3 showed promise, but sometimes enemies still got hits in whilst I was charging the shield bash.

Option 4 seemed nice, but it seemed like you could not do it indefinitely without running out of stamina. And if you are blocking, you can’t attack, right?

Tanking Like A Boss

Then, one day, I accidentally discovered Pushing and Riposte. For those who do not know what that is, when you hold the right mouse button to block, and then hold down the left mouse button, it will make your character do a quick shield bash, then a quick attack, before going back into the blocking stance.

This gave me an idea. What if I were to focus on blocking for survivability, and pushing for crowd control, and riposte for killing enemies? I figured that maybe, if I focused on maximizing my stamina regeneration, block cost reduction and block/stagger width, it might even work.

As I was contemplating this, I was reminded of a scene from the movie 300. With dreams of awesomeness driving me onwards, I began investing my very humble collection of crafting components into making my first Ironbreaker build.

Tanking Like A Boss

It was not long before it started to pay off. The moment came when I hit Quick Play on Legendary difficulty and found myself playing Blightreaper with three other folks. We began making our way through the dark sewers, and when we were almost at the exit, all three of my teammates died. At the time I did not have a single red item, and the rest of my team was so certain that it was a wipe that they all started typing “GG” in the chat. But that is not what happened.

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Tanking Like A Boss

Despite not being able to see, being cornered by a horde, a Stormvermin patrol, a Plague Monk squad and several Specials, my build worked as intended.

I had effectively turned my Stamina Bar into my main HP bar, and any actual HP I did lose due to bad luck, were immediately replaced with Temporary Hitpoints, due to my constant staggering of enemies.

Over the course of several minutes, I tanked everything the AI director could throw at me whilst slowly cutting them down.

I emerged from the darkness, then resurrected all three of my utterly baffled teammates whilst roaring in triumph over voice chat, before dragging them through the rest of the mission.

Tanking Like A Boss

Having found a gameplay style that enabled me to not just do my part, but also carry my entire team in case of emergency, I then had to confront the fact that a team can only have one Bardin.

This meant that my next question was: “How can I do the same thing as other characters?”

Since I believe that I have figured it out, I wish to share my findings with the community.

That is the purpose of this guide. To teach all the new player who are struggling with Legendary difficulty, how to tank like a chad as Bardin, Kerillian, Kruber and Saltzpyre.

General-purpose equipment

Tanking Like A Boss

All four builds use the same Necklace, Charm and Trinket. Consequently, I have chosen to describe these in a section of their own. Since all characters use the same ones, it might also make sense for you to upgrade these to Red quality first. As an added bonus, this means that you will need far less Red Dust to deck out all classes.

NECKLACE:
Properties:
– Health
– Block Cost Reduction

Trait:
– Barkskin

CHARM:
Properties:
– Power VS Skaven
– Power VS Chaos

Trait:
– Decanter

TRINKET:
Properties:
– Curse Resistance
– Stamina Recovery

Trait:
– Shrapnel

Ironbreaker – talents & equipment

Tanking Like A Boss

MELEE WEAPON:
Type:
– Axe and Shield

Properties:
– Push/Block Angle
– Block Cost Reduction

Trait:
– Off Balance

RANGED WEAPON:
Type:
– Trollhammer Torpedo

Properties:
– Power VS Armoured
– Power VS Monsters

Trait:
– Conservative Shooter

Handmaiden – talents & equipment

Tanking Like A Boss

MELEE WEAPON:
Type:
– Spear and Shield

Properties:
– Push/Block Angle
– Block Cost Reduction

Trait:
– Off Balance

RANGED WEAPON:
Type:
– Briar Javelin (DLC weapon. An alternative from the core game would be the Longbow)

Properties:
– Crit Chance
– Crit Power

Trait:
– Resourceful Sharpshooter

(( The trait and the properties are the way they are because I use the same ranged weapon on Shade and Waystalker to complete the cooldown on my career skills faster. Also Crit Power does amazing things as Shade. ))

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Foot Knight – talents & equipment

Tanking Like A Boss

MELEE WEAPON:
Type:
– Mace and Shield

Properties:
– Push/Block Angle
– Block Cost Reduction

Trait:
– Off Balance

RANGED WEAPON:
Type:
– Handgun

Properties:
– Power VS Armoured
– Power VS Monsters

Trait:
– Conservative Shooter

Warrior Priest – talents & equipment

Tanking Like A Boss

FIRST MELEE WEAPON:
Type:
– Flail & Shield

Properties:
– Push/Block Angle
– Block Cost Reduction

Trait:
– Off Balance

SECOND MELEE WEAPON:
Type:
– Reckoner Great Hammer

Properties:
– Attack Speed
– Crit Chance

Trait:
– Swift Slaying

(( Honestly the second melee weapon is entirely up to you, but I like this. ))

How do these four builds work?

Tanking Like A Boss

Much like a Hoplite from ancient times, you keep your shield up by holding the right mouse button, and then you hold the left mouse button to shield bash + riposte when you wish to do so. Letting go and re-depressing the left mouse button will restart this. This means that unlike when you play Slayer, your LMB finger will not be hurting by the end of the day.

You should avoid depleting your stamina entirely.

You should also try to avoid enemies getting behind you. You can either do this by maneuvering, or you can do this by using the terrain intelligently.

You also support your team by using your ranged weapons intelligently to take out high profile threats, such as using Handguns and equivalents to pick off Specials before they bother your team, or if you are playing Ironbreaker, when to use your Trollhammer Torpedo warheads to best effect. As you gain experience as a player, you will inevitably learn what situations warrant expending your limited ammo.

I will point out that these four builds work with Yellow quality equipment, but that, of course, performance will increase with Red quality equipment.

These builds also support your team in other ways:
– Ironbreaker: Can exchange the Talent named Oi Wazzok for the Talent named Drengbarazi Oath in order to buff the entire team’s Power by 20% during critical moments.
– Handmaiden: Has an AoE Perk which increases your team’s Stamina Regeneration by 100%.
– Foot Knight: The Talent named Rock of the Reikland gives the entire team 20% Block Cost Reduction.
– Warrior Priest: Increases party HP capacity by 15%. Kills during Righteous Fury restore health to teammates. Shield of Faith instantly revives teammates.

Explaining the reasons behind some of my choices

WHY I FOCUS ON POWER:
Despite a heavy focus on staggering enemies, observant readers will have noticed that none of my builds use the Talents that make me deal bonus damage to staggered enemies. This might seem like a waste of potential to some people, but there are reasons for this.

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For starters, you can knock a monster back, but you cannot stagger it. This means that extra damage for my trollhammer torpedo whilst I am spamming armor-piercing high-explosive grenades at it is going to help me more.

Secondly, if I am surrounded by a horde, and I stagger enemies, they will fall backwards, behind their allies, and you can’t really hit them before the stagger expires and they walk back to you.

Thirdly, and most importantly, power does not only improve the damage of your attacks, but also the strength of your stagger effects. The higher your stagger strength, the more enemies you can stagger. This is especially important against Berserkers and Plague Monks, who have the ability to really rip into your softer teammates otherwise.

Fourthly, if my power level is high enough to stagger a type of enemy, then this type of enemy ceases to be a threat, because I can stun-lock it indefinitely.

OFF BALANCE ON ALL SHIELD WEAPONS?
In the event that a boss or a monster decides to focus you (admittedly a more common thing for me because I use Bardin’s taunt to make it so), they will aim all their attacks at you. This means that you will have to block them. The moment you block a single attack from that boss, he now takes +20% damage from the rest of your teammates, who are not being pressured by the boss and can thus focus on applying damage without being interrupted. This effectively allows you to contribute DPS without doing anything other than drawing aggro and holding the right mouse button.

BARKSKIN ON NECKLACE:
I have met countless people who prefer to run Natural Bond, and most of the time, they just die. This is because they can no longer be healed by healing items, and because the health regen is so slow that it doesn’t really contribute anything in high intensity scenarios. In contrast, having Barkskin means that you can literally be pinned by an Assassin inside of a poison gas cloud created by a Globadier, and the damage mitigation from Barkskin will still keep you alive long enough for the other three people on your team to recover you. Considering how often this has saved my behind, I consider it an absolute must-have.

DECANTER ON CHARM:
I enjoy downing a Strength Potion before I start spamming my ranged weapon at bosses as fast as my little hands can reload. This trait allows me to enjoy it twice as long. It also does wonders for your Special Ability Bar when you down a Purple Potion. In the end this does not really matter since this slot will be occupied by a Grimoire. On that note, never let you squishy teammates carry Grims if you can avoid it.

SHRAPNEL ON TRINKET:
Right after I down my strength potion, I throw a bomb at the boss I am about to nuke, to make him 20% more vulnerable to my trollhammer torpedo / anti boss attack of choice.

Written by Maxajax

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