In that Great Axe is tied with Staff for the smallest number of Tiers, six, making the highest tier Halberd is easier. And a Halberd is a Guaranteed Weapon, as it can be crafted from chest loot alone. However, there tend to be fewer Great Axe drops than e.g. Maces and Heavy Maces, and there are no Damascus Great Axes available as drops or chest loot at all; they must be crafted
Great Axe has a somewhat irregular Strength progression, which is only approximately 5.5 + (Tier Level x 5.5). This is the highest additional strength per Tier, but since there are only six Tiers, the Halberd is only tied for second highest damage, one point lower than the Heavy Mace's Destroyer.
Great Axe has the only Break Arts group entirely based on the affinity of the weapon, which make them adaptable to enemies' greatest affinity weaknesses.
Great Axe Design, together with the rarer Staff, have only six Tiers. This makes them the shortest ladders up which can be taken weapons that have accumulated a lot of Class and Affinity bonuses, rather than just throwing those weapons away because their Design is weak.
This combines with three strategies: Killing Dummies, Devolve, and Trash Collecting. Killing Dummies is self-explanatory: find practice dummies and hit enough of them enough times to raise Affinity and/or class to 100. The problem with this is, you want to get to killing Dummies as early in the game as possible, but weapons obtained that early, although maxed against a Class or Affinity, will be weaker than they could be if they were a higher Tier. Devolve uses Mismatch to turn those valuable Affinity and Class bonuses into a Spatha and/or Battle Knife and/or any other weapon that always gives Equal Combines. Therefore, they can be combined with any other Design, and because the highest Affinity or Class bonus is always retained in a Combine, the desired weapon Design can now have those bonuses. Trash Collecting follows the principle that every weapon always has some Affinity and Class on it; every one of them that can be Combined saves a considerable number of hits on a practice dummy. The problem is integrating all of the weapons into one, and the simplest means is, again, to Devolve them all. The weakness of this plan is that the time taken to Combine all of the junk weapons could have been spent on getting good ones, and the same weakness as any plan to Combine large amounts of items to gain Affinity and Class: that the 80% rate, such that two bonuses of 10 add up to 16 instead of 20, means it is an awfully long way to 100 that way. Better to use Combine to get roughly half or some other fraction of the way, and then Dummies / standing while monsters hit you for weapons and armor respectively, because those methods do not get diminishing returns. There are a lot of weapon and armor combinations that can mix baser metals with Damascus or even other baser metals to get Damascus, so check out the guides available to find those to mix with Spatha/Battle Knife or a similar armor combination.
First playthrough Halberd Edit
A Halberd can be constructed with only three blades, all found in chests, in the first playthrough.
- Balbriggan in a chest in the Stone and Sulfurous Fire room in the Limestone Quarry. A Sabre Halberd to turn the Balbriggan into a Double Blade can be found in the Delusions of Happiness room in the Second Abandoned Mines, and a second Double Blade to create the ultimate Great Axe weapon, Halberd, can be found in a chest in The Branks room in the First Iron Maiden.
- Or the Great Axe line can incorporate the second weapon available to Ashley, the "Tovarisch" Hand Axe. The chest Balbriggan + Hand Axe devolves into Sabre Halberd. A Large Crescent to turn it back into a Balbriggan drops at over 10% from a Hierwind Crimson Blade in the Rue Morgue area of Town Center South.
Equipments by TierEdit
- Main article: Break Arts#Great Axe
100 kills to get Curse much much earlier than the spell version. Getting Tarnish is easier with Polearm's Scythe Wind Break Art at 95 kills, than with Iron Ripper's 245.
- Bear Claw. Affinity: As weapon. Type: Blunt. "Smashes foe with a luminescent downward strike". Cost: 25 HP. Requirements: 20 kills
- Accursed Umbra. Affinity: As weapon. Type: Blunt. "Curses foe with a damaging strike". Cost: 40 HP. Requirements: 100 kills
- Iron Ripper. Affinity: As weapon. Type: Blunt. "Powerful blow that damages both armor and foe". Cost: 55 HP. Requirements: 245 kills
- Emetic Bomb . Affinity: As weapon. Type: Edged. "Unleashes a series of slashing blows". Cost: 75 HP. Requirements: 465 kills
Damascus Crescent, War Maul, Halberd Edit
From the first playthrough on, DAMASCUS Tabar 6th Tier Axes drop at 16/255 in Those Who Fear the Light. Collect four Tabars, and the only thing standing in the way of an Ultimate Weapon is the affinities. For players used to grinding in MMORPGs, the only thing hard about that is maintaining HP below at 149 or lower.
A single Tabar can be combined in the "Metal Works" Workshop with a Silver Khukuri to make a Damascus War Maul. In the second playthrough, at the Godhands Workshop, any material of dagger can be used, as Dagger has a lower Prevalence than Axe, but Silver daggers are an easy drop from the ubiquitous Shriekers and Quicksilvers; to get full Affinity and Class, put one set on the Tabar, and the other two on a Kris and Hatchet to make the required Khukuri (see Dagger with Axe for other possible results).
Adding another Khukuri to the War Maul makes a Halberd. This time, the two Khukuris can be obtained as is, rather than as separate Kris and Hatchet.