Vlad the Impaler

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Vlad 9000
Trader Vlad9000.png
Pricing: £1500 (£1125)
Weight: 8 blocks
Ammo: 6 Hud Ammo Clip.png 7 (48)
Hud Flashlight.png 100 (recharges)
Ammo cost: £30-£240
Related achievements
Nail'd!.jpg Nail'd!

The Black and Wrecker Vlad 9000 nail gun. Designed for putting barns together. Or nailing Zeds to them. —Unused trader description. 

Vlad the Impaler (Also called Vlad 9000) is a magazine fed, pistol grip, nail-gun for the support specialist. At a weight of eight blocks, an ammo capacity of six, fast reload, and slow semi-automatic firing, it is comparable to the HSG-1 as a general weapon. The nails ricochet off surfaces up to 5 times and pierce with a 25% damage penalty.


The Support Specialist perk gives various bonuses and discounts for the Vlad 9000.

Level  Discount Price Sale value Damage Ammo capacity
Base 0% £1500 £1125 245 48
0 10% £1350 £1012 245 48
1 20% £1200 £899 269 52
2 30% £1050 £787 294 57
3 40% £900 £674 318 60
4 50% £750 £562 343 60
5 60% £600 £449 367 60
6 70% £450 £337 392 62

Price and Ammunition[edit]

Vlad has a base price of 1500£ and gets a discount of 150£ for each perk level, lowering the price to 450£ at most. Ammo price is 30£ for a magazine of nail bucks which means each shot cost is 5£ per buckshot.


Vlad has identical stats to standard Shotgun aside from its ricochet utility, spread and pierce efficiency. Each nail shot dealing 35 base damage and each buckshot spraying 7 nails just like a standard buckshot shell. Nails apparently have the high pierce efficiency of 0.75; only losing 25% damage per pierce and piercing up to three additional targets as base value without perk bonuses like other magazine loaded shotguns. When it comes to spread, Vlad loses so much potential here with a spread of 2500 units, second highest after Hunting shotgun, and making it impossible for ricochets to hit targets away from walls for a second time. Thanks to its magazine based reload of 2.6 seconds, Vlad will net more potential damage than standard shotgun at close up only to lose it over long distance.


  • Small magazine size and wide spread cause you to miss more pellets unless you let specimen get closer between shots, resulting in reloading much often than you intended and drying out ammo pool early in the wave. Long sightline corridors are one of the positions where wide spread ricochet is simply ineffective. Vlad requires a narrow choke or a solid surface to serve as a focal point for its bouncing pellets. Despite random spread looking way wider to hit anything, if aimed properly Vlad can sweep clear a group of low-medium grade specimens with ease at close to mid distance by half magazine. Utilizing ground ricochet shots to chew through first line of specimen and carrying a reliable sidearm such as MK23, Handcannon or Lever-action rifle helps you to pick off targets from range and stop your reliance on emptying the entire magazine.
  • Use the flashlight as a makeshift reticle, seeing in the dark and shine light for the targets behind explosion smoke. The light gives a good indication of where the center of your screen is and doesn't reduce your movement speed to quickly aim at rushing enemies to get rid of them. Flashlight helps to distinguish figures behind the smoke to react faster to the incoming specimen after a bombardment from a fellow Demolition. The flashlight will run out of battery power though, so you should turn it off when it is not needed at the bright light. Already large spread of the nail projectiles, will limit the effective reach of the nailgun and smoke screen hindering the close quarter vision, will usually force one to take cover instead of taking the specimen head on in that case.
  • Use the Nailgun's semi-auto fire rate and large spread to your advantage, whittle down bigger specimens by waiting them to come close or thin down large crowds of smaller ones for luring the bigger ones to a more favorable position. However, make sure you have a backup weapon when you inevitably need to reload small magazine or only approach it as a finisher to follow up volleying another shotgun. It can perform speedkill combos on big specimen but larger spread might not be utilized well when doing anything else other than sweeping trash specimen in chokes. Also the Nailgun's wide spread and ricocheting projectiles make it an excellent weapon for killing small enemies trying to sneak under the fire line such as Crawlers and Stalkers as it ricochets from ground.
  • Any combo that is done by Combat shotgun also can be performed by Vlad in a similar fashion. Vlad can be incorporated to flinch combos on Scrakes and nade stack combos upon Fleshpounds without any major problem as long as distance is determined well to land enough pellets. Vlad has the upper hand for faster reload sequence compared to refill the tube of cartridge fed shotguns but also at a disadvantage for wider spread and rather slower fire rate compared to most of them. However, while its wide spread also prevents most of the potential uncontrolled enrage of big specimen that are out of sight, possibility is not completely averted. Vlad using Support specialists, needs non-disruptive weapons to be used by team to judge how close the Scrakes or Fleshpounds are to cease fire or retreat when needed. Too loud or a big weapon that can sustain fire for too long might cause Vlad user to get punished because they misjudged the approaching spawns.
  • Because of the Nailgun's spread and constant need of reloading, it is less effective in wide open maps or when kiting. The Nailgun is best suited for enclosed, dark maps such as Bedlam, Biotics Lab, and Filths Cross. Besides that, depending on the hold spot on open maps, it can work well in small split crosspaths creating chokes. In the maps such as Abusement Park, Icebreaker, Evil Santa's Lair and Forgotten, such split paths, barricaded chokes with low ceiling and corners are easy to notice and hold the position. While it's great for wide sweeps, when precision is required a small sidearm, such as Handcannon or MK23 preferred for dealing with small trash gaining up on teammates or picking long range medium targets.
  • At usually wide open maps such as West London, Farm or Mountainpass where squad hardly would have space to manoeuver if they were to lock themselves in, Vlad requires some team work to be effective at open areas. A teammate Field medic or Berserker can take that role and tank big specimen for the rest of the team while Support Specialist have free time to wail upon the enraged target to bring it down quicker. Said maps have enclosed spaces to hold just to get the best out of Vlad, but team not always available or close enough to head for those very specific positions from the Trader when their perk setup of choice don't match the dynamics of a chaotic one way funnel.
  • Thanks to ricochet and pierce capability, Vlad actually capable of dishing out more damage to tall specimen when shot at their ankles and feet from up close. In enclosed spaces low ceilings also contribute to this effect on low angle ground ricochet shots. Besides enclosed spaces, any straight corridor leading to split paths that create chokes are the places where Vlad shines over other shotguns. As long as ceiling is low or lane has a sight of a short distance corner such as a spawn barricade dividing the lane; Vlad will dish out potentially more damage if its ricochet is utilized. At most common official maps some hold spots, regardless of open or enclosed spaces might have such positions where you can dish out more damage. This is especially useful to withstand threats when they breach into a low ceiling room or sweep the trash from the corner ahead more efficiently.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]


  • Comes equipped with a flashlight;
  • Nails pierce through targets to increase damage at aligned hitboxes;
  • High pierce efficiency of 0.75, which is shared by HSG-1 and AA12;
  • Nails ricochet off of surfaces and ground, capable of hitting the same target multiple times;
  • Cheaper than Combat Shotgun yet has similar capabilities;
  • Semi-automatic fire rate with only half second delay between shots;
  • Significantly faster reload than the other shotguns with magazines.


  • Requires frequent reloading;
  • Low magazine capacity of six shots;
  • Cannot be reload canceled like the pump-action Shotgun or Combat shotgun;
  • Very high spread, approximately 1.5 times larger than all other regular shotguns;
  • Limited ammo pool for a weapon which can't utilize its pierce to stack kills;
  • In open areas or kiting away, ricochet ability will not be utilized at all;
  • Wide spread and low pellet damage render the nailgun useless in medium-long range combat.

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