Untrained individuals using what they have seen in the media as their sole source of information may believe there is only one way to drive a stake into a vampire’s heart during an undead combat engagement. In fact, there are several different methods by which you can strike this vulnerable mark. How you will decide which tactic to use will depend on several factors; distance, body position, weapon placement, and combatant strength are all variables that come into play when determining the ideal staking tactic. When you commence your training, be sure to practice all of the various maneuvers below. As you grow in proficiency with these techniques, you will begin to instinctively recognize which method is suitable to use against your undead adversary in a given situation.
The most well-known method of staking attack, the crowning stake is executed by holding the weapon in the ice-pick or reinforced ice-pick grip and driving it forcefully through the chest into the target. In order to execute this technique successfully, you must either shatter the sternum with your weapon or slide between the intercostal spaces of the third through sixth ribs close to the center of the chest.
Tactical Details: While the crowning stake is the most popular of all the staking techniques, it also can be one of the more difficult to execute. This maneuver requires a significant amount of power to execute successfully. The key to ensuring that you deliver a powerful enough strike is to visualize your striking far deeper into your opponent than necessary. Your intention should be not just to tap the heart, but power through it. It is also not uncommon for your strike to be diverted from its path by a skeletal obstruction, missing the target entirely, and the remote chance that your weapon will snap before reaching its target. Ensure that your weapon is sharpened, hardened, and made from the proper raw material to avoid combat failure. Employing the crowning stake also places you in the risky position of being directly in front of your opponent, leaving yourself open to attack; be certain to make your first strike count.