Hello everybody and welcome back to yet another and probably final Weapons on a Stick session. So when you take a hammer and tried to make a version that replaces the blunt weight side with a thinner, bladed steel… well you get the axe. Well the more ‘proper’ version of this would be ‘Poleaxes’ but… I’m not sure if I can find a lot of specific poleaxe experts, there’s only a few. So… I think we’ll stick with Axes. It’s still on a stick after all, only the blade at the end of the stick is made of steel.
When it comes to axes, perhaps one thing it symbolizes the most is strength. Brute strength, in fact. I think you guys can forget about graces when dealing with axes, because it’s pure on concentrated power. Of course, it was created at first to chop woods or trees and to make use of it, great strength is needed, not some stylistic precision (though it does help!) As such, when it comes to video games and battles, a brutish character might come along with axe as further displays of their strength. I understand there are other cases that axe users didn’t look as brutish as most, but still, that’s the most common interpretation of those with axes. Or maybe they’re not brutes… they’re just crazy. But either way, it shows that those who wield the axe usually gives the vibes of menace or an overbearing aura.
With a lot of its brute connotations, a lot of times an axe appears in video games, specifically RPG’s… they’d belong to either brutish monsters or bandits. But there’s a lot more renowned axe experts that stands above these kind of people in their ways to use the axes. And therefore, let’s count down the Top 10 Video Game Axe Experts. As usual, the same rule apply, only from games I have played and only on per franchise.
All right then, it’s time to get into the chopping block. The countdown begins!
To start off this list, let’s go back to Brigandine. Of course, it’s a medieval game of knights and monsters, there’s no wonder that we’ll find someone who swings a mean axe. The Barbarian and the Berserker class by default is armed with an axe, and their brute strength shows that they have higher critical hit activation rate, regenerates hit points, and by the time Grand Edition rolls in, Berserkers can increase their physical strength with a spell. But even since the beginning, we’re already treated with someone that wields a HUGE and mean axe, and also backs it up with both eerie look and the great power to match it… the Death Knight Cador.
I mean, just look at this guy, with that kind of menacing skull helmet and mask, you just know that this is a knight you absolutely do not want to trifle with that easily, lest he smacks his massive axe Death Bringer to you. In the beginning of the game, he pretty much goaded the Almekian general Zemeckis into rebelling by pointing out that in the era of peace he will be obsolete, or at worst get executed for treason. With Cador’s words, Zemeckis rebelled and toppled Almekia Kingdom and turning it into the Esgares Empire, posing a threat to the whole continent of Forsena. But as of Cador himself, he actually has a sinister agenda…
Because in reality he’s actually a servant of this mad sorcerer Bulnoil who helped instigate war in the continent to release the Snake of Chaos Ouroboros to blow it away, because… because Bulnoil is a dick, simple as that. In addition, Cador wasn’t even his real name, he’s actually Leland, a warrior who was once the lover of the lady knight Halley, revived by, who else, Bulnoil. I did say he’s a dick, right?
In Grand Edition, Halley managed to talk some sense to him, causing Cador to turn back to the side of good and against Bulnoil… but he got killed in process. But hey, look at the bright side, at least he died as Leland, himself.
But even then, during his tenure as Cador, there’s just one thing I’d say about him… stay the hell away from him. Cador started out at Level 29, only one level short of maximum level. That means, whenever he’s in the battlefield, he’s always going to be a fearsome force in battle, he’s extremely tough and each blows of his axe is going to hurt like hell, and he’s even decked with several powerful spells, and if he runs out of MP, then it’s his axe that he swings hard enough that he could take a big chunks of hit points in each blows. Add in with his fearsome armor and skull helmet, and you have someone who strikes fear to your enemy ranks. Of course, if you’re playing as Esgares, many of the junior knights will surpass him later, but that’ll take time, and since many usually not use Esgares by normal means, Cador will be a constant foe whenever they strike at Esgares and they wouldn’t be that powered enough in early parts of the game, making Cador ahead of the curve and always be a dangerous foe.
Unfortunately once they have taken down a lot of castles of Esgares, Cador will leave Esgares, because Bulnoil called to him. He does appear in a few future cutscenes, but regardless of that, whenever he appeared in front of the screen, you know that it means danger, because Cador brings on the brute strength of an axe and the aura of fear that is not just from the swing of his axe, but also his status as the Death Knight and that goddamn armor set, making him take the place of #10 Top Video Game Axe Experts.
Look, just because I said Axes are used with brute strength and mostly used by brutes, doesn’t mean you HAVE to be a numbskull to properly use it (then again, Cador isn’t a numbskull). You can be a smart and a leader to others, while using the axe and all its brute force. Case in point, Oyakata-sama.
… Oh, right, sorry. I mean, Takeda Shingen as he appeared in Sengoku Basara.
It’s one thing about Shingen having always to carry the war fan or gunbai in most of his portrayal, considering that one tale where he got attacked by his rival Uesugi Kenshin in the camp that the only way of defense he knows is to block Kenshin’s strikes with that gunbai, but… that’s for another section. Because this is Basara, the land of over the top portrayal, Shingen’s gunbai gets turned into a big frickin’ axe to match his new big and muscular appearance.
But it doesn’t mean that he turned into a brute here, the Tiger of Kai is still, by all means, the insightful and honorable leader of the Takeda army. While he still aims to conquer the land under his banner, he still aims to create a land of peace. Most of his followers are at awe at the aura of awesomeness that he exhibits. For instance, what was that, he wants to ride a horse? A single horse is not enough, it has to be two horses that are capable to defy gravity and he rides it by standing on BOTH horses. That’s just an example of the many many awesome things Shingen does here, but in particular, there’s this one quirk that he shares with his ‘best’ protege, Sanada Yukimura… the act of calling each other repeatedly (See the link above. It rarely gets old), until it ends with punching each other in the face many times. Yep.
But wait, you may be asking, what does he do with an axe with all that, then? Well, because that’s what battles are for. With that much build and physical power, swinging an axe THAT big will be of no problem for Shingen. The swings of his axe covers a pretty good range and he still have time to include several other things like power punches or kicks, or using his axe to make the earth tremble or sprout out spikes. Or even make the Earth make a spike, which he uses like hitting a stationary baseball, the ball being the earth spike itself. Or maybe cutting down timber with style? He can also pretty much take his axe for a spin, and it swings so hard it generates tornado.
But I gotta say that Capcom kind of underuses him, he’s usually put out of commissions in many times and only appear with minimum fanfare like in the 3rd game’s expansion Utage. Thank goodness he’s back in action, mostly, in the 4th game’s expansion Sumeragi. And there’s the fact that his Basara skill… is just using his awesome force to make meteors rain around him. It is awesome, but… what does that have to do with axes?
But even then, sheer display of awesomeness being his main forte aside, there’s no doubt to me that Shingen can still swing his axe greatly like eating breakfast every morning. This, alongside his actual leadership, makes me value him greatly as an example than you don’t always have to be a total brute to be a good axe user, ranking at #9 for Top Video Game Axe Experts.
Yeah, I know some mythology stuffs beforehand, but Mayan mythology is one of those things that continued to elude me so far, I didn’t get enough sources for that. But of course, with that one wonderful game called Smite, it finally opens up with some of the Mayan deities out there to get into my knowledge base. Thanks for that, Hi-Rez.
And that was how I got acquaintated and learn about this God of Rains armed with his lightning axe… Chuck Norris.
Wait, no. Actually, I mean Chaac. The Mayan God of Rain.
I’m not sure how much I can explain his biography, but let me try anyway. So basically, beforehand there was no farmer in the Mayan civilization. Chaac ventured with his brother to discover the Maize, by cleaving certain mountains with his thunder axe. The Maize changed the life of Mayans forever since it was the substitute of crops, and he was praised. Pleased with that, Chaac decided that he could use a compensation price… that is, affair with his brother’s wife. Oopsie. When the affair was found out, the two brothers got thrown into a rift that never heals, and out of shame, Chaac’s threw his axe to the heavens, suddenly creating rains representing his regret of this one sin. But people end up surviving because of the rain actually giving life to crops of the people, and that’s how he decided to atone for those sins, by continuously rending heaven with the axe to make it rain and give life to men.
Yes, on research, Chaac actually HAS that thunder axe in other Mayan myth portrayals. So that makes it good for him, I suppose. But I digress.
When it comes to his performance in Smite, Chaac is all about sustain and shoving himself to the enemy ranks while causing big havoc on his own… while making Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. Well, I guess it kinda helps his strong bodybuilder stature, making his axe-wielding persona even more obvious. Always carrying his axe, Chaac can cover a very good range mostly by throwing his axe by his skill Thunder Strike. Axe gets planted to the ground, causing damage to nearby enemy and from there, Chaac can teleport there and spin his axe around with his Torrent, damaging nearby enemies while raising his protection. Or he can just call a Rain Dance and heals himself with automatically generated rain above his head and anyone near him gets slowed, because the rain makes muddy ground. Oh and if there’s an axe on the ground? There’s gonna be another rain over there.
He can also sustain his own mana by the swing of his axe, everytime he hits five times, all his skills just costs no mana. For just one cast. There’s actually quite a lot that his axe can do. In addition, for one mighty strike, Chaac can jump up and charge his axe with the Storm Call before bringing it down that it… causes big damage, knocks up and silences all enemies caught at once. That’s the kind of axe that rends the heavens. And if you’re nearby and can run, better do so before he pretty much tells you this with his axe.
As a Warrior God, it’s Chaac’s job to get into the frontline with his sustain and start swinging his axe to harass or whack enemies away with his axe that rends the heavens. In between his imposing build and surprisingly benevolent motivation and the way he swings around his thunder axe with power, he’s one of the best axe users, getting to
DA CHOPPA the #8 of the Best Video Game Axe Experts.
When I say that Axes are for brutish power characters, I would say that there’s only a few that can match its claims about it. One of them being this one giant golem born from the worshippers of Ares. Ladies and gentlemen, Astaroth from the Soul Calibur series.
Now I won’t say that I’m one of the more constant fan of Astaroth, he just seemed like another character to me, when everyone is mounting heaps and praise on him. I will say that he’s just as deadly as his extremely menacing look is. Look at that face and bald head, seriously. Truly a face that only mothers can love… if he has any at all and hasn’t hacked that mother’s head with his axe. Astaroth was created by the chief of the Ares-worshipping cult Kunpaetku and given the order to retrieve Soul Edge to strike against the chief of Gods Zeus. Safe to say, Ares grew to NOT like that order, giving in to berserker rages time to time and eventually decided that enough is enough. He rebelled against the cult and eventually culminated with how he’ll never let anyone order him around and vows to destroy everything in his sight, men or Gods alike.
Uh, yeah, good luck with that, buddy.
That said, I’m not kidding when I say that Astaroth leaves destruction in every steps he takes. But chiefly, he’s known for slaughtering everyone in Maxi’s village and instilling vengeance on him. Not that Astaroth cares, because why would he remember a certain someone when his target is practically everyone? It kind of fits about him being mostly a grunt created by someone, but I gotta say I’m impressed. That is one grunt to be watched out for.
With a size of that body also comes a REALLY massive axe. Astaroth is obviously moving very slowly, but while he hits less, he hits HARD. The size of that axe isn’t just for show, you know. When he has range that long combined with that kind of giant wielding the weapon, you know you better mind how he moves. Oh and if he’s not slashing you, he can also put you in his axe’s blade and spins you around with it. For someone that big, spinning a massive axe like that without getting dizzy is a feat!
Astaroth remains as one of the examples of a very destructive axe wielders, and when you consider the size of that axe and the power that comes with it, it comes of no surprise that he’s really a fan favorite. I don’t really consider him as highly as others, but he’s up there as one of the most memorable Soul Calibur characters and one of the best axe experts in video games, ranking at #7.
Tales series. Axes. When you have those two, who comes to your mind instantly? Symphonia’s Presea Combatir, of course. Unfortunately, she’s NOT in this list (and by that, unfortunately there won’t be a female in this list. I’m sorry.) Don’t get me wrong, I think amongst the Symphonia cast, she’s one of the most interesting ones. But I just didn’t put her here, in spite of her ‘small but powerful lumberjack’ profession she had… it’s because amongst the series, there IS someone else I knew to be a lot more menacing and dangerous when it comes to axes.
And he’s called Barbatos Goetia, originating from the Japanese-only Tales of Destiny 2. Most of you Western players probably know him as the Killer of Heroes, a bonus boss from Tales of Vesperia… Safe to say… that doesn’t cover fully the extent of how frickin’ scary and menacing Barbatos is.
Okay, let’s start with his story first, which surprisingly fits on being a VERY damnable brute. Barbatos was once a soldier of the ancient Ae’ther Wars, but betrays his fellow men to side with the strongest side. He was killed as a result and then as a retribution, his name is stricken out from the pages of history, treated like he didn’t even exist. For a time, even normal grunts and soldiers seemed like to have more existence than him. When the game rolled in, Barbatos is resurrected by Elraine and asked to help her in her quest with the reward being acknowledged of his existence and being called a hero, his greatest wish, in which in his opinion, being a hero means you just need to be a frickin’ badass, no morals needed. Barbatos happily agreed and off he went attempting to kill the previous games’ heroes through any means necessary… including the previous game’s hero Stahn Aileron. Through time loops and shenanigans, Barbatos only fights for one purpose only: To make himself known as the greatest, most powerful hero, and nothing except himself can give him defeat.
Yes, a despicable person through and through… but damn isn’t his delivery surprisingly delicious and not to mention with axe at hand, he presents himself as a big threat. At first, perhaps it looked really basic, he swings a powerful axe, can enchant it with fire… but his most noticable trait is that he demands you to fight like a man. You use item? He turns invincible and instantly casts a spell on you, making usage of item dangerous. Later on this extends to even spell-casting. Cast a spell? He throws you a free spell. Considering that physical fighting is severely nerfed in this game, you’re seriously in for a really tough fight when it comes to Barbatos. And he’s fought THREE times throughout the game. And did I mention that his axe can also shout out a gigantic beam called Genocide Braver that is highly damaging?
It’s not until when he reappeared as a bonus boss in the remake of Tales of Destiny that his axe fighting shines further. While his spellcasting is gone, the power of his axe goes even further. The axe can now pop up a huge boulder when he smashes the ground with it, and then shatter it with one strike, meaning that he gets even more powerful with his axe. Oh and you use item when he no longer casts magic? That’s his cue to make a mad dash and then grab the user before brutalizing them with his axe. Just so you know he’ll give you a hint why he’s so mad:
It’s one thing to use an axe mightily, it’s ANOTHER thing to get meta and use that as a reason to smack his axe around!
And of course, this is not mentioning about how he has this super dangerous skill involving with his axe called World Destroyer. Basically after charging his axe for a time, unless interrupted… Barbatos slams the ground with it, ruptures the ground… EVERYONE DIES. Yikes! Well, it’s not that the world is destroyed, but that is one reason you don’t fuck around with Barbatos.
Alas, just like how his story goes, I’m sure that not a lot will recognize Barbatos, since not only he’s technically ‘erased from history’, his game of origin and the time he makes his ultra menacing time count never escaped Japan. But for those who ACTUALLY knows about this game? Barbatos is one big axe-using motherfucker that you absolutely do NOT want to cross and hands down one of the most menacing characters in the series and ALSO the #6 Top Axe Experts in Video Games.
As someone who grew up in Sega Genesis… well there’s no frickin’ way I can NOT mention this one series that popularizes weapon-based beat’em up or hack and slash… the Golden Axe series. Its premise is simple. Evil warlord causes chaos in medieval land, go kick his ass while riding assorted beasts and using your weapons and magic and restore peace to the land. For the time, it works out just fine, and it provides a lot of good ass-kicking time.
Now I might be tempted to say that Death Adder is the one who gets this spot. After all, he’s the guy who wielded the titular Golden Axe and man does he ever look menacing. Especially when it comes to the Arcade where he’s actually made out of… tons of snakes turning into one hulking scary knight… Eeeuurrghh…! But! The Golden Axe tends to be possessed by other people, while in this setting, there’s always this one guy whose trusty axe accompanies you in the games he has appeared.
Yep, none other than our dwarven hero Gillius Thunderhead. In fact, I tend to think that he might be one of those guys that popularized that axes be one of the main weapons of video game dwarves, if it isn’t hammers. Gillius is one of the heroes of the game, the attack of Death Adder costed the life of his friends in Firewood Kingdom, and especially his brother. Swearing revenge, Gillius teamed up with two other warriors, Ax Battler and Tyris Flare, each having their own personal beefs against Death Adder himself, and stormed his castle eventually putting an end to the dark lord’s reign in the kingdom of Yuria.
So if there’s one thing Gillius cannot stand in addition of the death of his comrades, it’s people being oppressed. That’s why no matter how many times evil tried to misuse the Golden Axe for bad things, Gillius will be there with his trusty axe to hack them to pieces. It came ahead during the final confrontation with Death Adder in the Revenge of Death Adder game as Gillius made the one deciding strike with the axe he lent to the giant Goah to eventually finish off Death Adder for good, even at the cost of his life. A guy wielding a normal axe ultimately beating an evil guy wielding an extraordinary axe.
Can I just describe it as “HECK YEAH!”?
As someone who wields an axe, Gillius has tremendous reach in how he swings his axe, and they’re packing quite a power. As such, he’s the power fighter in the games he appear in. Tellingly, while he can wield magic, with either Thunder or Earth magic, he usually has the lowest magical aptitude, so it’s his axe swings that you will be using to hand evil’s asses in silver platter. Besides, he prefers fighting with weapons than magic anyway. But really, every swings of his axes count, they’re powerful enough to keep him alive through many times in fighting evil.
There’s a lot of sweet memories I had with Gillius. He swings his axe simply, but extremely effectively, and his long record of fighting evil and hacking them to pieces with his axe to protect peace is nothing to slug off. He shapes a lot of my childhood and my love for actions in video games, and with that, takes his place as the #5 best Axe Expert in video games.
… No, I haven’t played any games where he makes guest appearances like Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Or that Beast Rider games. My knowledge on the classic games should be enough for this. Next!
With the multiple weapons variety in League of Legends, obviously axes have been a decent choice for many champions. Yeah, they’re not limiting to just one axe expert. Well, there’s the Berserker viking Olaf who goes to battle with reckless zeal and keeping his hit points low just so he can slice and dice his enemies a lot more with his axe, and there’s Sion the Undead Juggernaut, who once was just an undead Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator that didn’t use his axe much, but now could give Astaroth a run for his money in terms of size, strength and axe usage.
This guy is just… all around brutal. Everywhere he goes, blood is splattering courtesy of his axe combat. I did say that the brute strength is synonymous for Axe experts, but one can also be a smart or leading people with it. Darius is one such people, he’s far from dumb, but he’s got the zeal for leadership and the battle lust to chop down his axe to whoever stands in the way of Noxus. Of course, this being Noxus, this isn’t something taken as granted. Darius actually used to be poor, fighting on the streets of Noxus for survival until the higher ups took notice of his prowess and promoted him as a soldier. And when there was a battle with Demacia, when his superior ordered a retreat, Darius now showed what it meant to be a true warrior. First, the superior is considered a coward and then Darius chopped off his head, and rallied his men to fight on, actually scoring a victory for Noxus.
When he returned home, we get a glimpse of Darius’ actually deeper personality. Seeing corruptions and weaknesses everywhere in the Noxian court, Darius considered them holding back Noxus’ true strength and started chopping their heads, one by one, to make sure Noxus can reign as a bonafide strong country, with the man he supported for this cause, fellow champion Jericho Swain.
By this, actually I am quite impressed with Darius. He looked like he was gonna be this brute general and right hand man of Swain, but he actually proved to be more, he’s a warrior, he’s a general, he’s… a man who loves his country and wants it to prosper, in the country’s proper way. Actually, that’s not so bad at all.
And amongst top lane, during that phase anyway, Darius is also a fearsome warrior with his axe. Every slashes of his axe applies a Hemorrhage, bleeding the enemies off their hit points. And he really pumps up his damage by making sure his next axe strike is a Crippling Strike, slowing them down in both attack and movement speed. And he can also do a massive Decimate axe spin that after a delay deals big damage, even moreso if it’s the blade that hits his target. And that’s why when you hit someone with an axe, hit it with the steel, not the stick. And if the enemy runs away, Darius can make sure they don’t, he hates coward after all, using his Apprehend to pull a group of enemies with the hook part of his axe.
And finally, here’s one thing that makes him scary… the Noxian Guillotine, his ultimate. With one gigantic leap, Darius delivers one clean strike that deals MASSIVE damage, if the enemy has been given many stacks of Hemmorhage, they WILL die in massive blood shower, the implication is that he’s chopping off the enemy’s head in one swift strike. And if the enemy DOES die with this, the cooldown refreshes for a few moments, enabling him to find another weak enemy to execute. You know, if that happens… just take my word for it. THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
With his stature, philosophy and tendency to soak his axe red with the blood of his enemies, Darius establishes the menace he brought. He’s not that bad as a person, he has his standards after all, but when it comes to battle, he’s as ruthless as he can be, as it is valued greatly in Noxus. I didn’t put him in my old, removed League of Legends list for no reason, you know. Darius stands out as one of the finest axe users that is actually a little calmer than usual, but still showing the lust for battle symbolized by the brutality of his axe, making him take the spot of #4 amongst Video Game Axe Experts.
And just for your information, yes I balance out between both Dota 2 and League of Legends, not just picking one. Just like League, there are plenty of those who use the axe as a weapon. And just like League of Legends, there’s also one Hero that symbolizes the usage of Axe the most, right down to the personality. It was quite similar to Darius that people have been comparing them who would win in a battle. And now that we have reached this number, I think the answer has been… obvious.
No really, that’s how he calls himself. His real name is Mogul Khan, but he just feels like he’s one with the weapon, so he calls himself Axe. And he’s just amusingly entertaining while his head is clearly not in the proper place. In between referring himself with third person and replacing any possible words with ‘axe’ as long as it rhymes, and shouting all the time, it makes for an amusing character.
Axe’s lore is actually quite similar to Darius’, since his came first, though the subtle difference existed. Let’s see, Axe used to be a grunt in the Red Mist army, then his superior showed a sign of cowardice. Axe chopped his head off, but still came out victorious and surviving in the war, even with his number of allies decreasing one by one… until the day Axe declared himself the General of the Red Mist army… except that there’s no one left in the Red Mist army. Of course, that really didn’t matter much for Axe, for he is a one man army, he IS the Red Mist army. And anyone who faces Axe… gets chopped down. No questions. He might be a poor commander and a less inspiring one compared to Darius, but he still gets the job done with his one all-solving Axe, that he feels like he’s one with the weapon and embodies its aspects, from its brute force to its battle lust.
And he apparently still gets a sidekick that writes off his story elsewhere. Yeah, for all his blood thirst, Axe doesn’t indiscriminately kill anyone he meets.
How much does Axe exhibits the qualities of an axe user? In addition of the brute force he brings with the weapon, Axe is pretty much encouraged and encouraging others to fight like a man, close range and until either of them die. His manner of attack with the axe is the Counter Helix, where after he’s attacked, he has a chance to spin around once, dealing damage to anyone nearby. While it might not be much, any creeps attacking count as a chance for Axe to spin, meaning that if he stands in the middle of creep wave… it can trigger a lot of spinning axes of death. And did I mention that it’s true damage? No amount of protection can save your from Axe’s… axe.
But people may think they can just run off, right? Well, Axe has his ways to make sure the enemy commits to battle. First he can inflict Battle Hunger to make sure the enemy stays in the fight unless they want to take damage for not killing anything. If they still run off and Axe manages to get close, he can use the Berserker’s Call, taunting enemies to come face him. That includes any creeps getting in his way, meaning that not only the enemy is compelled to attack him, it gives more time for him to spin his axe to death.
And just like Darius’, Axe’s ultimate is why you always have to keep your health high. Because once it hits a certain threshold, Axe’s Culling Blade, a clean slash from his axe WILL absolutely kill the enemies and completely resets its cooldown, and even make a spectacle out of witnesses, inspiring them to move faster. Now how powerful can this be when it’s similar to Darius? Well, compare this… both games have other champions/heroes that can defy death, not letting them die even if they receive fatal damage. Darius has to abide to this rule, so sometimes, even when the situation allowed it, his Noxian Guillotine might end up not kill the enemy. Axe’s Culling Blade? It ignores EVERY sort of protection, removing all protection buffs before outright killing them. Yeah, maybe Dazzle just gave you the Shallow Grave to protect you from dying while being pummeled by the enemy. Axe just shoves his middle finger on that ‘protection’ and kills you with his axe. That’s how dangerous Axe’s axe is.
So as stated above, Axe is not kidding when he prefers to be called like his weapon, he pretty much embodies the qualities of an axe expert. He’s huge, his axe knows no limit in what can be cut, he really prefers rushing in like a brute and wreaking havoc with his axe. All in all, it makes me want to forget that he’d be a bad commander and more like a really competent grunt. An extremely dangerous grunt that can kill more than a normal grunt, making him take the #3 Video Game Axe Expert.
And yeah, I’m still waiting for this Death Battle. Come on! Axe vs Darius! I’ll wait, Valve and Riot!
For this number, let’s go back once again to the realm of Azeroth. In other words, Warcraft.
The most known weapon of the Orc race is usually the axe. When it comes to battle, the Orcs are very proud of their battle tradition (in addition of their shamanistic roots, at least after Thrall set them straight again) so that the majority of their main force are mostly axe wielders, especially the Orc Grunts. There are sword wielding orcs, I know, but it’s the axe that is most iconic for the Orcs.
And when it comes to Orcish axe masters, the one who is most known and also my pick here happens to be a certain warchief of the Warsong clan. The patriarch of the Hellscream clan, Grommash Hellscream. Or ‘Grom’ for short.
Grom was pretty much the peak of every orcish berserker warriors out there. It’s even in his name, he screams a lot as he runs down to the enemy ranks, hacking and slashing everything he comes across. His lust for battle is just pretty legendary. In fact, the lust caused him to actually predate Leeroy Jenkins when it comes to ‘go charge right into the enemy ranks before your order is clear’. In spite of this, Grom still manages to be able to temper his lust from time to time, and even displays a lot of sense of honor. And all of it is matched with his one axe known as the Gorehowl. The axe that has felled several godlike beings.
Being the first to drink the blood of the Pit Lord Mannoroth that was offered by Gul’dan, Grom eventually participated in leading the orcs in the First and Second War. While at first succeeding, in the Second War, due to betrayals and other things, Grom tasted defeat and was forced into hiding as the orcs were hunted down by humans so they could pay for their atrocities. At this point, Grom became acquaintated with the young orc Thrall and saw hope in him. Grom then began imparting the knowledge and history of the orcs to Thrall, inspiring him to unite the clans and save them by returning to their shamanistic roots. He followed Thrall when the orc race went on an exodus to the land of Kalimdor.
But it’s there that Grom’s battle lust gets him into quite some trouble. After disobeying Thrall’s order (and preceding Leeroy Jenkins), Grom gets tasked to gather woods in Ashenvale, angering the demigod Cenarius. Cornered, Grom ended up drinking Mannoroth’s blood again, and with that, he landed a fatal blow to Cenarius with his Gorehowl. Yep, killed a demigod with his axe, with a little help of demonic corruption. Then Thrall has to bail him out from the corruption, and when confronting Mannoroth, they were once again cornered, but just when the demon delivered why he’s going to always bound to the demon, Grom gives the biggest ‘screw you’ ever to him: Go run to him, bash Gorehowl’s blade on the Pit Lord’s stomach… and the Pit Lord dies. A Burning Legion member, dying against one orc just by a fatal blow with one particularly mighty axe.
Blizzard, why isn’t he in Heroes of the Storm already?
Oh of course there’s the fact that Grom dies afterwards, but the death of Mannoroth freed the Orc race from the Pit Lord’s blood curse, so he went from someone who doomed the race into someone who saved the race. A legend was born. Which is quite a pity that his son, Garrosh, ended up running his legacy to the ground. But wait, Garrosh later went to the past to prevent Grom drink Mannoroth’s blood from Gul’dan. So Mannoroth isn’t going to be pleased on this and confronted Grom about it, except that Garrosh helped bring on the Iron Horde to pin down Mannoroth… and Grom kills him with Gorehowl. AGAIN.
Next time you want a God killed, you may want to call Grom to do the job… since you know… his axemanship can kill Gods.
The one thing I have against Grom is that he’s stuck with the Blademaster class, while he’s actually best at being a beefy Orc warrior, but I think I can excuse that because the only Orc physical based hero is a Blademaster. But even then, he still shows the brutality of the orc warrior, he actually makes a kit that is meant for samurai at least look like a legit axe technique. Critical Strike makes him leap and do extra damage while with Whirlwind, he can spin around indefinitely, slashing through everything with his axe.
But at the very least, I think he also finds proper usage of his axe when Grom appears as a Legendary card in Hearthstone, made for Warrior class, where he’s a 4/9 creature with Charge and Enrage for +6 Attack, meaning that he’s a tough bruiser creature that gets even more powerful if he’s actually wounded. If that’s not enough, even his axe, Gorehowl, appear as a powerful Epic card for Warriors, again, giving them a 7/1 weapon that uses its attack power as its durability score, making it a powerful weapon to finish off players.
All in all, Grom’s battle lust and brutality is pretty much unmatched amongst the Orcish Horde. But in the end, he’s also the guy who can keep it at bay personally at times, so he does know how to lead in addition of swinging his one axe that kills Godlike beings. While perhaps his son would trample upon his legacy, the legend of Grommash Hellscream who saved the Orc race from demonic corruption will live on in my heart, and his axe-swinging berserk rages make him one of the greatest axe experts in video game history. Ranking at #2.
An Axe Expert shows their best qualities with their massive strength and eagerness for battle. While it doesn’t mean that they cannot be smart or noble… to have those traits in addition of having the default battle-happy trait and great strength of most axe wielders is to me, what makes a truly great Axe Expert.
Fire Emblem is no stranger with axes, it’s part of the Weapons Triangle after all, the weapon that defeats lances, but beaten by swords. But there was a time where axe was… pretty much a joke, appearing only for enemies’ classes where none of your army can wield it. I’m looking at you, second book of Mystery of the Emblem. But ever since the Genealogy of Holy War, axe has been slowly getting the respect it deserves, but it only takes until the first game that is released in America that axes in Fire Emblem entered its golden axe, respected by players and all.
I have to be honest, this guy does more than just axes for me. Hector is awesome. He might act a little bit too gung-ho for a noble, but he still shows the actually good qualities of one, like actually being caring and having good enough leadership. Which is more than I can say than tons of nobles that are snobbish because of wealth. Also while he does know the importance of diplomacy and politics, if he prefers, he’d rather be down there in the battlefield with axe at hand.
If Ostia was a Kingdom, I’d say that Hector is close enough as the Prince. This guy has been a close friend with Pherae’s Eliwood, the actual main hero of Blazing Swords, and happily assisted him in the quest to find his missing father, which… spiraled down into a quest to fight off a mad druid called Nergal intending to bring Dragons to lay waste on Elibe. To quell this, Hector has no choice but to eventually discover the legendary axe Armads… but to take the weapon means that he must heed the warning and the curse of Armads… its wielders will not find death in peace, but always death in battlefield. This is where his character shines, Hector acknowledges this… but doesn’t care. As long as he can help his friend and stave off calamity, he’ll pay the price. And with that in hand, he helped out defeat Nergal.
And the curse of Armads took effect once the sequel, the Binding Blade, came in, where Hector was defeated while defending Ostia from Bern and succumbed to his wounds from it. But then, by that time, he already has someone to succeed his will to protect Ostia and Elibe, his daughter Lilina and her best friend, Eliwood’s son, Roy.
From start to finish, Hector always gave his all, rushing to battle happily with axe at hand. Sure, I know that Weapons Triangle is at play in the game, but for some reason, Hector has an uncanny trait to just flat out IGNORE that rule, with any axes at hand, be it the Wolf Beil to take down cavalries or armored knights with ease, or the aforementioned Armads. Must be the stats and his excellent growth. But regardless, send Hector to the frontlines and watch as he shoves off everything, even swords users and then he hacks away his enemies with nothing but his axe… Okay, he can wield swords once he promoted, but by that point, you’d be too attached with his axe fighting to even bother with that.
Of course you still have to keep in mind that he shouldn’t hog all the experience points.
And you know one thing? That legendary Armads he eventually wielded? It’s a HUGE axe. The ground quakes (a bit) once the blade is slammed to the ground. Hector, while being big, wasn’t as hugely build as the other characters up there like Astaroth, Barbatos, or even Grom, but he still has enough muscles beneath that big blue armor to actually spin it one handed above his head for a critical strike using the Armads. That’s just plain impressive and the peak of axe usage.
Not only Hector is a great expert at swinging his axe, his rash but good-natured personality also very much wins me over and shows why he truly exemplifies the qualities that axe users can aspire to be. His great strength is tempered with the sense of justice and responsibility and camaraderie with his friends. He will gladly throw his life on the line for the sake of his friends and if any enemies try to endanger them, they answer to his axe first and he still has it in his heart to protect and lead his people of Ostia. There’s a reason why I had to exclude Lords in my old Fire Emblem text countdowns, because if Lords are included, Hector would no doubt take the #1 spot with little difficulties. Just like he did in this list, the #1 Top Video Game Axe Experts.
I am ChrisX and thus ends the Weapons on a Stick session. Man, what a load of work! I think I need a break, I’ll just take this gel… and eat it… Wait… wait wait wait, what is that what is that–OH CRAAAP!!
(We are experiencing technical difficulties, the countdown will be back soon. Bear with us and enjoy the Honorable Mentions for the moment)