The first thing any warrior must to do is to choose a weapon skill. Weapon skill choice is actually a choice of weapon that you are going to use and it's based on special moves. 2.1. Special Moves Each weapon type in the game has a primary and a secondary special move. The primary/secondary moves require 70/90 weapon skill and Tactics. Some moves as well require Bushido/Ninjitsu. Performing two special moves within 3 seconds will double the mana cost of the second. Special move mana cost can be decreased by having multiples of certain skills. With 200 to 299 combined skill points, the cost will decrease by 5 mana. Having 300 or more it will decrease by 10 mana. The included skills are weapon skills, bushido, parry, lumberjacking (and some others that rarely used in PvM). There are just few special moves that usable in PvM: Double Strike (DS), Double Short (DS), Armor Ignore (AI), Whirlwind Attack (WW), Feint. Double Strike and Double Short double your damage. They also double chances to trigger your weapons effects like Hit Fireball, Velocity, etc. Armor Ignore increase you damage due to ignore target's resistances. Since most of mobs have lowest resistance under 50 DS in combination with Concentrate Weapon usually does more damage than AI. But in some mobs have 70-80 in their lowest resists. In this cases AI does twice more damage. AI does the same damage to all mobs so it's more universal move. WW is an excellent move when you fight several mobs at the same time. It hits all mobs around you and also gives you a bonus up to 100 based on bushido skill and amount of enemies (it's required 120 bushido and 5 enemies to get max bonus). WW is especially effective in combination with Confidence because it allows you to unkeep HP and Stamina while crowded. Feint reduce the damage a target does (up to 50% at 120 Bushido or Ninjitsu). It sounds good but there are few drawbacks. It's useless when you opposite to several mobs because it affects one mob only. In one per one situation using Feint means less damage and therefore less mana for special moves. So after applying feint you often don't have enough mana for DS/AI. But it can be very handy vs heavy damaging mobs when you have very high mana leach (100% HML reforged or wrath form) or use bandages as your main way of healing and/or don't use DS/AI for some reasons. 2.2. Weapon selection Now all weapons with the same base damage have the same base speed so selecting weapon is really selecting special moves you are going to use. Slower weapons do more damage and therefore leach more mana for special moves. In addition HML/HLL are scaled on weapon speed - you can imbue less HML/HLL on faster weapons. There is an unpleasant effect known as Positive feedback: if you do less damage you leach less mana, can't chain DS/AI and as result do even less damage. It's usually better to don't have SSI on your weapon. In addition to occupying a slot than can be used for HLA or other useful mod it also decreases HLL/HML values. DS/AI weapon must do enough damage so you are able to chain the special move. So minimal weapon speed for those weapons is 2.75s (if you have 120 tactics/anatomy and reforged 96 HML). Faster weapons is not good because they do low damage that usually is not enough to chain AI/DS. Optimal weapon speed is 3.00-3.25 if you have a good suit and 2.75-3.00 if you haven't. If you are going to get SSI on your weapon than optimal weapons speed is 3.50-3.75. For WW weapons base damage is not so important. Therefore it's better to have faster WW weapon (to get max speed without potions and Divine Fury). It's low sense to use 1H WW weapon except the case when you haven't parry but use a shield for mods. So maximal weapon speed for those weapons is 3.50s. You can use slower weapon but it will be less effective. Good Feint weapon should has DS/AI as another special move. There is little sense in good defense when you can't do offensive moves. 2H weapons do more damage than 1H weapon. This is more noticeable for faster weapons (and more important due to positive feedback effect described above). Also 2H weapon has 600 imbuing intensity and therefore allow to imbue more properties. And finally 2H weapons have slightly higher chance to block. Tinkering weapons are can be reforged using Blacksmith Hammers. Carpenter weapons are especially good because they can be enhanced to get additional mods. Your main weapon must have AI or DS. If your main weapon has DS than you need also AI weapon for rare mobs with high lowest resist (like Unbound Energy Vortex and some bosses). To clean up crowds fast you need WW weapon. If you have 120 chivalry and some FC/FCR you can use Holy Fire instead. 2.2.1. Whirlwind Attack Humans/elves: Radian Scimitar (S, 1H, 2.50s) Double Axe (S, 2H, 3.25s) Black Staff (M, 2H, 2.75s) Kama (F, 2H, 2.00s) War Hammer (M, 2H, 3.75s) Large Battle Axe (S, 2H, 3.75s) Gargoyles: Gargish Talwar (S, 2H, 3.50s) Gargish War Hammer (M, 2H, 3.75s) 2.2.2. Armor Ignore Humans/elves: Hatchet (S, 2H, 2.75s) - can not be reforged Bladed Staff (S, 2H, 3.00s) Broadsword (S, 1H, 3.25s) Longsword (S, 1H, 3.50s) War Axe (M, 1H, 3.00s) Hammer Pick (M, 1H, 3.25s) Leafblade (F, 1H, 2.75s) Spear (F, 2H, 2.75s) Composite Bow (A, 4.00s) Gargoyles: Disc Mace (M, 1H, 2.75s) Soul Glaive (T, 4.00s) Stone War Sword (S, 3.75s) 2.2.3. Double Strike Humans/elves: Daisho (S, 2H, 2.75s) Pickaxe (S, 1H, 3.00s) Scimitar (S, 1H, 3.00s) Double Axe (S, 2H, 3.25s) Two-Handed Axe (S, 2H, 3.50s) Maul (M, 1H, 3.50s) Repeating Crossbow (A, 2.75s) Yumi (A, 3.25s) - you can't use Double Shot when walk by foot Gargoyles: Gargish Daisho (S, 2H, 2.75s) Dual Short Axes (S, 2H, 3.00s) Pickaxe (S, 1H, 3.00s) Gargish Maul (M, 1H, 3.50s) 2.2.4. Feint Humans/elves: Daisho (S, 2H, 2.75s) Leafblade (F, 1H, 2.75s) Gargoyles: Gargish Daisho (S, 2H, 2.75s) 2.3. Weapon skill 2.3.1. Swordsmanship The best melee weapon skill for humans/elves in PvM is Swordsmanship. A Double Axe is the only weapon in the game that good vs single mobs and vs crowds. You can use a Bladed Staff for mobs with high lowest resists and a Daisho when you need more defense (providing than mob has at least on low resist). If you prefer 1H weapons for some reason then you can use Broadsword (3.25)/Longsword (3.50) for AI, Pickaxe/Scimitar (3.00) for DS and Radiant Scimitar (2.50s) for WW. Broadsword + Scimitar + Radiant Scimitar make a good combo: with 5 SSI on the suit you get max swing speed with your DS weapon. When you need AI vs bosses you probably use potions anyway so you get max speed with AI weapon. And WW weapon is fast. Double Axe with 30 SSI + Bladed Staff as well make a good combo for the same reason. You need switch between DS and WW weapons. You also get an opportunity to add Feint weapon to this combo. You can use Double Axe without SSI if you get 35 SSI on your suit. 2.3.2. Macefighting There is no reason for humans/elves to take Macefighting. Its main drawback compared to Swordsmanship/Fencing is absence 2H mace weapon with AI or DS. And there are no any advantages (like a weapon with two good special moves) to compensate it. There are templates like mystic dexxer or 4/6 paladin for which 1H weapon is better. In this case you may prefer to be a Gargoyle because you can imbue more HML/HLL on gargish weapons. And the only gargish melee weapon with AI is a Disc Mace. For example, compare weapons: War Axe (3.00s): 12-16 dmg, 30 DI, 100 HLL, 75 HML, 22 HSL Bladed Staff (3.00s): 14-17 dmg, 50 DI, 100 HLL, 75 HML, 50 HSL Disc Mace (2.75): 11-15 dmg, 45 DI, 93 HLL, 93 HML, 30 HSL Disc Mace (2.75): 11-15 dmg, 50 DI, 93 HLL, 75 HML, 36 HSL Black Staff is the best WW weapon in the game but its potential will be wasted because your suit must be designed to use a War Axe or a Hammer Pick. 2.3.3. Fencing The main drawback for Fencing is absence of slow AI/DS weapons. Both usable AI weapons - Leafblade and Spear - are 2.75s, and there is no usable DS weapon at all. You can get 100 HLL and 82 HML on a Broadsword and leach 25 mana with 150 dph. You can get 96 HLL and 68 HML on a Leafblade and leach 18 mana with 130 dph. It's not enough to chain AI. You can get 68 HLL and 96 HML on a Leafblade and leach 25 mana with 130 dph. But in this case you leach two times less life. So you cannot get good results with Fencing if you relay on HLL to keep yourself alive. But if we consider weapon without HLL (Vampiric/Wraith) the difference become less significant and it is partially offset by the fact that you need 15 less SSI on your suit. A fencer usually can't kill monsters as fast as a swordsman does but there is a reason to sacrifice your raw damage output. It's named Leafblade. It's the best Feint weapon in the game. Daisho is not so good because when you need Feint to fight a monster it's usually have all resists high. There is a potentially problem with feint - you can run out of mana. To keep feint on you need use it every 4th swing. Without AI your damage will be low so you leach little mana with those hits. The more you miss the more real the problem is. And it becomes essential when the monster you fight has 140-150 wrestling (for example, Fend). Fortunately the most of big bosses have 100-120 wrestling. To work around this problem you may use Wraith form. Base damage isn't so important on WW weapons so Kama is good. 2.3.4. Archery/Throwing The only PvM weapon for Throwing is a Soul Glaive. For Archery you can choose between AI and DS weapons but you definitely will need AI for mobs with high resists. Since HML/HLL are halved on ranged weapon you can't chain AI (except in Wraith form). (Now you can - with 50 HML reforged and 300 skill points for cost reduction.) Throwing is better when you need free hand. From the other side, bows have more imbuing weight and can be enhanced for additional mods. You do more damage with a Yumi and probably will be able to chain DS vs monsters that have a low resist (especially if you use Discordance).