This is what I have been running and have been seeing success with, and I wanted to share it.
Guide to Melee Tank Build
To preface this, I want to state that I personally have been using Holly with this build, but any character should be fine, just maybe not optimal.
To start out, I’m going to just show you the build:
To give a stat breakdown on what you are actually looking at, then here it is:
- Melee Heals 2 HP/K (3 W/Holly)
- Melee Heals 0.125 Trauma/K
- Melee Heals 1HP/K To Teammates Within 10m
- +40% Melee Damage
- Melee Attacks Cleave
- Bash is Melee
- +60% Stamina
- +20% Stamina Regen
- +3% Move Speed
- (+25 Stamina W/Holly)
- +25% Bleed Out Resistance
- (+5% Damage Resistance W/Holly)
- +65% Trauma Resistance
- -100% Fire Resistance
- +1 Extra Life/Down
- +45 HP
- At start of level Heal 15 Trauma
- At start of level Heal ALL Missing HP
- +3 Support Slots
- Breakout (Can Break Out Of Grabs Every 60 Seconds)
I want to explain why I decided to use each card:
In terms of quick ones to explain:
- Mean Drunk – Large increase to melee damage and makes melee an AOE, no drawbacks make this a really good card to use
- Confident Killer – You kill well above 15 mutations in a match and get a pretty easy +15% damage to all damage you deal, melee or not, and there will be times in which you need to switch to your gun
- Rhythmic Breathing – It is an easy +40% to stamina and every time you swing a melee weapon you use stamina, it also helps for long runs in finales or infinite hordes, no drawback
- Cross Trainers – +20% stamina is useful because of how melee weapons use stamina, but the fact that you also regain stamina 20% faster means that there is less downtime inside a horde of ridden trying to eat you alive. The move speed and health is negligible but cross trainers is better than energy drink which gives the same exact thing minus either move speed or health, I forget
- Vitamins – The more health you have, the better
- Breakout – Since you will be in the front line as a melee fighter, you will be grappled by ridden a lot
Now for the ones that need a bit more explanation on why I specifically chose them:
- Body Armor and Wooden Armor – The biggest thing in this build is preventing trauma and quickly recovering from it when it does occur, so the reason why you would take wooden armor despite the fact that you take double damage from fire is the fact that the trauma you accrue as a melee fighter is much more dangerous than flames, while flames can quickly kill you, they are much easier to avoid than the thousands of ridden that you will be facing.
- Fresh Bandage – Fresh Bandage also goes along with the trauma, in terms of this it can be life or death healing to full health at the beginning of every stage, and the fact that you get rid of 15 trauma is amazing
- Battle Lust + Vanguard (And why I choose Holly) – Battle Lust is the heart and soul of this build, with it being combined with the AOE attack that melee becomes with Mean Drunk, you are healing very quickly through damage and recovering an eighth of a trauma per kill, but when you easily kill more zombies in seconds than you get trauma with the trauma resistance from body armor and wooden armor, you can not go down whatsoever. Now with vanguard, you can make sure that you are keeping your team alive as well, but not only that, when combined with battle lust and using Holly, every kill heals you 3 health, and that is not including the weapon attachments, meaning you can easily get to 5+ health healed per kill
- Second Chance – The Extra Life is good, but with this build you won’t be going down, and if you do then that means there are a lot of ridden eating you, that bleed out resistance is life or death at this point, just remember that melee kills still count while you are down, so you can continue to heal if need be, but without the bleed out resistance you easily could be out damaged.
- Combat Knife – This is an easy one to explain, but I put this here to add emphasis on the fact that this is great, the combat knife, as the card says, counts as a melee weapon. This means everything explained above counts towards your bash as well, so if you are using your gun, you have a great backup and even when using melee can see yourself using the knife in tandem with whatever melee you have equipped
- Shoulder Bag + Fanny Pack – The reason I chose these is more for the fact that while yes, the 15% trauma resistance from the fanny pack is great, the support slots can save your life. There will be times when you are in a corner, there will be times when everyone is dead except you and you need to make a mad dash to the safe room, and what I like to have is four pills, these pills are quick to apply, you can still move while using them, and when you have four you basically give yourself your entire health bar back in temporary health, this can be the difference between life and death in certain situations, as sometimes melee isn’t enough, hordes are tough.
Recommended Melee Weapons
In terms of what I recommend, I recommend any melee weapon that swings horizontally.
In terms of what works best? The tiger claws, every hit they swing faster, they tear through bosses and mutations, as well as the horde that is in front of you.