Tired of running out of bullets and getting overwhelmed by hordes? Tired of runs ending because your teammates are all down? Tired of that feeling of dread as you wander around the map alone knowing that the run could end at any second?
If you do, it’s time to take an axe to the horde with this melee build.
Become the beefiest boy in town and make the Ogre jealous with both your damage output and your tankiness.
Character and Weapon Selection (Guide is WIP)
Best Cleaners for this build (In order): Holly, Evangelo, Mom
Holly: Pretty self-explanatory. Stamina Buffs and Damage Resistance works great for melee.
Evangelo: Stamina Regen, Move Speed and Re-usable Breakout. Best if you find yourself getting pinned a lot or like to move further in front of the team.
Mom: Extra Life and Instant Revive. Good if you find you or your teammates going down a lot.
Start with a Bat and get a Machete if you can. By the time you reach Mean Drunk, you should have an Axe or a Hatchet.
First 2 cards: Battle Lust and Down in Front
- Battle Lust: Allows you to face-tank easier. Melee builds are going to be the main horde clearer of the team, especially later on (yes, even better than Admin-Swap dual LMGs). With a well-timed swing, you could kill multiple Ridden and heal back up in seconds. However, this is not going to be enough to allow you to just tank in the doorway due to trauma and lack of stamina. I will get into strategies to counter this problem in a second.
- Down in Front: I know that, since melee builds take a bit of time to ramp up, putting Down in Front as card 2 seems counter-intuitive (“Just don’t hit teammates!”). However, because your team’s damage output is also going to be relatively low in the beginning, you will need to spend a lot of time peeling Ridden off them. You don’t want to hurt your teammate while doing this or vice versa. This also allows you to stay right next to chokepoints while allowing your teammates to spray without worry.
Next 3 cards: Berserker, Adrenaline Fueled, Spiky Bits
- Berserker: Congratulations, you have received your first power spike. The card allows you to swing like a madman, even when you’re out of stamina. It is insanely easy to max out the stacks on this card, especially if you get swarmed. 4 seconds may seem too short but trust me, even if the Ridden come at you one by one, you’ll see a significant improvement to your melee capabilities.
- Adrenaline Fueled: -75% Stamina regeneration is painful, but this will allow you to keep cleaving through whatever’s in front of you. As long as you’re making sure to hit multiple Ridden in one swing, you’re going to see yourself sustaining that burst from Berserker for a significantly longer time. Make sure to not over-use Sprint at this point though, you’re not going to be able to regenerate stamina quick enough to actively sustain yourself.
- Spiky Bits: Damage resistance and Melee damage upgrade. With this card, you’re going to be able to face-tank chokepoints much more effectively now. Damage resistance is going to let you heal more from Battle Lust and the Melee damage upgrade is going to improve your out of stamina damage (keeps Berserker going for even longer).
The core 5 card’s main intent is to allow you to be effective even when you’re out of stamina. Make sure to never jump into the fray without any stamina or Berserker stacks. You will be downed in these situations unless you can quickly swap to your primary to get stamina from Adrenaline Fueled.
Next 5 cards are: Face Your Fears, Body Armor, Meth Head, Vanguard and Numb.
- Face Your Fears: Trauma is the bane of Melee builds. The lower the max health, the higher the chance that you will be downed by a Special Ridden. And because you are going to be the frontline of the team, you WILL be hit a lot. Temporary health can exceed the max health limit, allowing you to sustain for longer.
- Body Armor: Further reduces trauma buildup. 15% ammo capacity loss isn’t too significant especially when you’re not going to be shooting a lot anyway. And because you’re not going to have any buffs for ranged combat, you can just pick up a weapon off the ground (and switch ammo types) if you really need to shoot.
- Meth Head: Sustains your melee mayhem for even longer. At this point, you could build up your stamina and Berserker stacks using melee. Also has the added bonus of letting you kill multiple common Ridden even with a Special Infected in the way.
- Vanguard: Congratulations, you are now also a healer. While it’s not going to be enough to replace Doc, your team is going to be able to survive much longer when being swarmed. 1 temp health per kill is no joke, especially with how many Ridden you can kill with one swing. You’re also getting 4 temp health per kill now, which always helps with tanking.
- Numb: Even more damage resist. With Spiky Bits, you now have 25% damage resistance. You can now gain health from one zombie even if it hits you before you kill it.
As you can see from my card selection, I am prioritizing building tank and stamina first before damage. At this point you are going to start seeing more horde triggers and special infected. Your teammates are going to need sufficient space and ammo to effectively take down those first. By being able to stay in the front longer, you can help your teammates conserve their ammo and give them space to aim properly.
Last 5 cards: Mean Drunk, Run Like Hell, Sunder, (Batter Up), (Motorcycle Helmet)
- Mean Drunk: I’m sure that if you’re playing Veteran, you know how common and problematic Special Ridden like Tallboys, Crusher and Reekers are, especially when they’re in your face. Well not anymore. With a 75% Melee damage increase and an added area of effect per hit, you can now use axes to clear hordes and Special Ridden alike. You’ll need to adjust your swings more but if a Special Infected shows up, you could kill it within 1-2 hits. The downside is that you’ll lose sprint, BUT you can…
- Run Like Hell: 15% move speed increase with one card. It may seem like nothing compared to losing sprint as you can’t dodge Crushers, Tallboys or Reekers as easily. However, with all the previous upgrades, you can now take the fight to them quicker (if you’re not holding a chokepoint that is). From my experience, 15% movement speed is enough to let you close the distance before they get another chance to hit you. With all your previous upgrades, you will most likely be able to stagger them. You can then just heal back up by killing common infected. Even though you won’t be able to outrun “incappers” (Special Ridden like Crushers, Hockers, Stalkers), with Run Like Hell you could still be able to stay relatively in-pace with your team.
- Sunder: Enemies hit by melee attacks with take 20% extra damage from all sources for 5 seconds. With Berserker stacked, you’ll be able to utilize this to burst down Special Ridden even if you’re not hitting their weak-spots. And even if you can’t, your teammates will have a significantly easier time killing them.
The last 2 slots are up to you. I prefer running Motorcycle Helmet and Batter Up as they buff my damage and health with minimal drawbacks.
Strategy and Veteran Playstyle Overview
Melee players are the frontline of the team. You determine how far the team moves up and which chokepoints to hold. You should be the target for all the damage and Special Infected abilities. And when the team starts getting swarmed, you are in charge of re-establishing the space needed for the shooters on your team to reorient themselves (i.e. Jim).
Common infected on Veteran are no joke. If the shooters are swarmed by common infected while reloading, they can quickly go down. This is the reason that I keep emphasizing chokepoints. The reason that chokepoints are avoided is because there is no space to avoid Special Infected if they break past the frontline and into the room your team is holed up in. Reekers are also a problem as it is difficult to avoid their toxic goo when trapped in a room. However, being outside is an even bigger problem as there are too many angles for shooters to be aware of.
The AI director loves to spawn Ridden behind you. And in the chaos of a horde, common Ridden can get a lot of hits off before you realize it’s coming from behind. Additionally, being outside leaves you and your team vulnerable to Hockers and Stalkers. You can end up with multiple pinned teammates within seconds if you do not prioritize taking them down (which is difficult during hordes as your movement and vision are limited).
With chokepoints, the person in the front is usually the person who is getting hit and getting pinned. Chokepoint also limit which direction infected can come from, allowing shooters to quickly switch between targets and focus fire. Don’t underestimate the damage from combined fire. Even with no weakspot hits, enemies can go down quickly in a hail of bullets (especially if Jim has his passive stacked). For Reekers, it’s all about chokepoint selections. Reeker goo can only spread to areas that it can see. That is why chokepoints in narrow corridors are death sentences. Make sure that there is space next to a doorway.
Here is a detailed example (it’s great, I know):
By positioning yourself in this way, you can create a blind spot where the Reeker can’t hit. If the door breaks, you could always move towards the wall next to the doorway.
Once you get to Mean Drunk, you could pretty much instantly kill any Special Infected that comes through the door.
Remember, Veteran difficulty is all about slow and steady. The more hordes you trigger, the more Special Infected will spawn. The worst thing to do during a horde if no saferoom is nearby, is to stand out in the open. Use the terrain to your advantage. You will need all the advantages you can get as Veteran is significantly harder than Recruit, especially when there is friendly fire.
Here we come to an end for Back 4 Blood Melee Weapon Guide + Card Overview + Best Strategy and Veteran Playstyle hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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