|It deals dramatically more damage, but attacks with it are much slower.|
The heavy brand does the following:
- Adds +80% base damage, but take 50% longer to swing. This results in an average of +20% physical damage.
- The penalty to attack speed is applied after skill, but before the effects of shield and armour encumbrance.
Heavy offers a slightly weaker damage boost than flaming or freezing, but has the benefit of being irresistible. In an average situation, heavy is competitive with those brands. It has a clear superiority against high AC. Conversely, it is clearly worse for slaying-reliant weapons, like quick blades. Heavy is also poor for species with strong aux attacks, such as Tengu or Vine Stalker.
In addition, heavy weapons are less impacted by shield/armour encumbrance. For example, lets say armour increases attack delay by +0.1 decaAut:
- A regular weapon would go from 1.0 -> 1.1 delay, or 10% slower.
- A heavy weapon would go from 1.5 -> 1.6 delay, or 6.25% slower.
However, using heavy on most weapons introduces a serious risk - see below for details.
Risks of >1.0 attack delay
Heavy can be a good brand on average, but it can be very risky, as it can prevent you from reaching ≤ 1.0 attack delay. Most weapons have a minimum delay of 0.7; heavy turns that into a 1.05 decaAut delay. This represents a 5% chance of a regular speed enemy getting a double-turn of attacks.
For example, a deep elf annihilator's crystal spear can deal up to 102 damage. Doubled, that's 204 damage - more than the max HP of many characters. The chance of this actually happening is miniscule (0.003% to maxroll one spear, 5% to double-turn, further reduced by AC/EV/SH...). But it can still be an issue:
- Maximum damage isn't necessary. A high roll, say 80*2 damage, still really hurts.
- Most dangerous situations in Crawl involve multiple enemies. Add a single other deep elf to the picture, and max damage increases further. When you consider a pack of enemies, it skyrockets.
- Because "damage you can possibly take in one turn" is doubled, it can force you to use consumables much earlier.
- E.g. a komodo dragon deals 34*2 damage, before guaranteed damage reduction. To avoid the chance of being killed, you'll need to use something at ~60 HP rather than ~30 HP. (Remember that wands, Throwing, etc. aren't slowed by your weapon.)
This isn't exclusive to deep elf annihilators - it applies to just about any 10-speed enemy. Suddenly, fighting two naga sharpshooters becomes a big issue; each sharpshooter can do 45 damage before GDR, which turns to 150+ damage if the stars align.
Weapons that have a minimum delay below 0.7, like demon blades, demon tridents, and all Short Blades, can reach a post-heavy mindelay below 1.0. Though watch out for shields, which can bring the delay back up. Also, for weapons that don't reach 1.0 delay (e.g. hand crossbow + any shield), this point is obviously moot.
Tips & Tricks
- Slow actions can be useful in a turn count speedrun. Each attack takes 1 turn, regardless of how long the swing was. If a regular weapon would take 3 turns to kill an enemy, a heavy weapon would take 2.
- In addition, swinging an untrained heavy weapon is a better way to skip time than bread swinging. For example, swinging a scroll takes 1.5 decaAuts, but it takes 2.1 decaAuts to swing a heavy flail when you have 0 Maces & Flails skill.
|Melee weapons|| Antimagic • Chaos • Distortion • Draining • Electrocution • Flaming • Freezing • Heavy • Holy wrath • Pain • Protection • Reaching • Spectral • Speed • Vampiric • Venom |
Disruption • Dragon slaying • Reaping • Silver
|Launchers||Antimagic • Draining • Electrocution • Flaming • Freezing • Heavy • Penetration • Speed|
|Throwing weapons||Atropa • Curare • Datura • Dispersal • Poisoned • Silver|