Either by massive bleeding, blunt force or sliced into pieces. The two-handed weapons offer strong and reliable burst damage. But what makes the two-handed weapon excel? Is it better to run an axe, mace or sword? How to get maximum potential out of these weapons? And what morphs should I go for? Critical rush or stampede? Dizzying swing or wrecking blow?
The two-handed weapon is exceptionally good at offering high burst damage for stamina classes. Especially in the player-vs-player (pvp) areas, this weapon of choice seems to shine, both as utility and damage output.
Critical rush or stampede?
The gapcloser of the two-handed weapon consists out of two morphs: critical rush and stampede. Both offering different benefits, both offering two different playstyles. Critical rush offers higher burst damage, based on the distance traveled. The stampede morph however makes it nearly impossible for you enemy to walk away due to its snaring capabilities. Nevertheless, both are very useful in pvp. But a choice has to be made at some point. Which morph to pick? The answer is rather simple, yet also complicated. For increased damage, critical rush is better. But is highly depending on your enemy. If your enemy doesn't increase distance, the benefit is not as high. In other words, your enemy is in control of the potential of this morph. In my opinion it is always better to be in control of the fight, not the other way around. An enemy that sticks close to you at all times, will render the benefit of critical rush over stampede useless. Only fleeing enemies with low health are (almost) a guarantee of a killing blow. Stampede gives you more control over the fight, because you decide when you apply the snare. Also the fact that the enemy can not increase the distance with easy, you have more time to cast your short-range abilities.
Cleave (and morphs), is it feasible?
The short answer is that cleave and its morphs do not give you a deciding benefit over your opponents. The bleed caused by cleave is easily cleansed, purified or out-healed. Also the shield (brawler morph) offered seems too small to make a difference. The only reason why you could run cleave on your build, is minor heroism (carve morph). But weaving light/heavy attacks in between abilities will probably be more beneficial. Cleave (and morphs) seems to be underpowered and not feasible in pvp.
Dizzying swing or wrecking blow?
The high burst of the two-handed weapon comes mostly from uppercut and its morphs. One offers a stun (dizzying swing), the other offers the empower buff (wrecking blow). Both offer high damage output, the only downside: it is a channeled ability (1s). Dizzying swing seems to be the most powerful of the two. Especially because the two-handed skills do not offer any other hard crowd control ability. The knockback stun delivered by this morph offers you time to both weave a light/heavy attack and cast a follow-up swing. On the other hand, wrecking blow offers an opportunity to increase the damage of your light/heavy attacks you weave in between or increase the damage for an ultimate ability. Again, the morph you choose has to fit your playstyle, but dizzying swing seems te have a small advantage over wrecking blow in taking control of a fight, due to its' stun.
Excecutioner or reverse slice?
The excecute ability of your build can make the difference between winning or losing a fight. Both morphs are very powerful and fit two different situations. Excecutioner seems to excel best against single targets and it would be best used in small scale pvp situations. In which you can target and terminate target after target. Reverse slice seems to be more beneficial in group pvp. The cone area of effect (aoe) damage it offers goes hand in hand with aoe ultimates (e.g. Dawnbreaker of Smiting). The answer to the question which one is better is rather simple: it highly depends on the situation you encouter most. Do you play small scale or solo pvp mostly, excecutioner would be the wisest choice. For group play reverse slice seems to have the upper hand.
Forward momentum or rally?
If you need the major berserker buff, this ability is a must have. If you need a heal over time (hot), this ability is a must have. The morphs however offer two very different benefits. Most people seem to pick rally. Rally grants you a burst heal when the effect ends. The longer the effect is active, the higher the burst heal. Stamina builds seem to rely mostly on this morph. Since it is one of (if not the only) burst heal for stamina builds. Forward momentum offers some extra movability on the field. It offers immunity to snares and immobilizes for 2 seconds. Exactly those 2 seconds are the reason forward momentum is not beneficial in terms of cost-to-benefit. The cost of this morph is indeed reduced, but the benefit is still useless. Especially considering that immovalibity potions offer higher uptime for the immunity.
Axe, mace or sword?
Two-handed weapons can be found, purchased and crafted in three types which give different benefits due to the heavy weapons passive. Swords deal an additional percentage in damage, axes deal damage over time (dot) for a couple of seconds and maces increase the physical penetration. Which should you run? After some testing in a controled environment and testing many hours on the field, I came to the conclusion that unless you run a set that offers physical penetration (e.g. 1 piece Kra'gh monster set), the mace offers the best damage potential. The sword however has more potential if your base damage is higher, since it is an increased percentage of your base damage. Personally I run 1 piece of the Kra'gh monster set and noticed my damage being higher with a sword than with a mace. But how about the axe? The axe has the same problem as cleave and its morphs. The bleed is easily cleansed, purified or out-healed. The only benefit is that some proc sets (like the shadow of the red mountain set) activate with bleeding damage.
The two-handed weapons benefit from high burst damage and healing. Either by running it on your backbar simply for the burst heal or major brutality buff. Or by running it as your main damage output. The two-handed weapons definately deliver to its expectations. High burst, blunt force and maximum potential to knock your opponents into oblivion.
dd/mm/yyyy - UTC +1
Delivering Elder Scrolls Online support, tutorials, guides and builds since 2011