[Analysis] How useful is frostbite in UVHM? (Lvl 70 update)

###or: which classmod is best for a cryo build?


  1. Foreword
  2. Class mod comparison
  3. Conclusion
  4. Gameplay videos

##1. Foreword
Aurelia gets lots of cryo damage boosts from COMs and skills, but will that be enough to overcome the innate -60% damage penalty for cryo on shields, and how does it hold up against the bonuses from element matching?

I’m going to crunch some numbers, assuming avalanche and frostbite are fully specced. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll only take on normal hits while ignoring splash damage and crits.

best output is at 100 stacks of avalanche.
avg. output is at 40 stacks of avalanche.
worst output is at 0 stacks of avalanche
multiplier with frostbite active (multiplier without frostbite active)

  • Shock on shield multiplier is 2.75
  • Explosive on shield multiplier is 0.8, which is tripled to 2.4 on frozen targets.
  • Non elemental on flesh and shield multiplier is 1, on armor, it’s 0.8
  • Explosive on flesh and armor multiplier is 1, which is tripled to 3 on frozen targets.
  • Incendiary on flesh multiplier is 2
  • Corrosive on armor multiplier is 2

Straight cryo damage bonus from the COM and the cryo damage from avalanche stacks will be added as in

(1 + COM cryo dmg% + avalanche stack cryo dmg%)
##2. Class mod comparison

##Chronicler of Elpis
48% cryo damage, 9/5 frostbite and 5/5 avalanche

###vs shields
You need at least 86 stacks of Avalanche to get the cryo multiplier higher than 2.75
and at least 50 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 2.4.

best output = dmg * .4 * (1 .63 * 1.99) * 2.23 ≈ dmg * 2.89 ***(0.89)***
avg. output = dmg * .4 * (1 .63 * 1.99) * 1.78 ≈ dmg * 2.31 (0.71)
worst output = dmg * .4 * (1 .63 * 1.99) * 1.48 ≈ dmg * 1.92 (0.59)
###vs flesh and armor
You need at least 49 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 3.
Simply having frostbite active causes your cryo damage multiplier to be higher than 2 / 2.

best output = dmg * 1 .63 * 2.23 ≈ dmg * 3.63 (2.23)
avg. output = dmg * 1 .63 * 1.78 ≈ dmg * 2.90 (1.78)
worst output = dmg * 1 .63 * 1.48 ≈ dmg * 2.41 (1.48)

##Elite Creme de la Creme / Indifferent Gentry
11/5 Frostbite and 5/5 avalanche
###vs shields
You need at least 72 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 2.4.

best output = dmg * .4 * (1.77 * 2.21) * 1.75 ≈ dmg * 2.74 (0.70)
avg. output = dmg * .4 * (1.77 * 2.21) * 1.3 ≈ dmg * 2.03 (0.52)
worst output = dmg * .4 * (1.77 * 2.21) * 1.0 ≈ dmg * 1.56 (0.40)

###vs flesh and armor
You need at least 93 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 3
and at least 17 stacks for the cryo multiplier to be higher than 2 / 2.
best output = dmg * 1.77 * 1.75 ≈ dmg * 3.10 (1.75)
avg. output = dmg * 1.77 * 1.3 ≈ dmg * 2.30 (1.30)
worst output = dmg * 1.77 * 1.0 ≈ dmg * 1.77(1.00)

##Ice Queen
49% cryo damage, 5/5 frostbite and 11/5 avalanche
###vs shields
You need at least 84 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 2.4.

best output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 3.14 ≈ dmg * 2.63 (1.26)
avg. output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 2.15 ≈ dmg * 1.80 (0.86)
worst output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 1.49 ≈ dmg * 1.24 (0.60)
###vs flesh and armor
You need at least 45 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 3.
Simply having frostbite active causes your cryo damage multiplier to be higher than 2 / 2.

best output = dmg * 1.35 * 3.14 ≈ dmg * 4.24 ***(3.14)***
avg. output = dmg * 1.35 * 2.15 ≈ dmg * 2.90 ***(2.15)***
worst output = dmg * 1.35 * 1.49 ≈ dmg * 2.00 ***(1.49)***

##Celestial Baroness
5/5 frostbite and 10/5 avalanche
###vs shields
You need at least 15 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 1.

best output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 2.5 ≈ dmg * 2.09 (1.00)
avg. output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 1.6 ≈ dmg * 1.34 (0.64)
worst output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 1 ≈ dmg * 0.84 (0.40)
###vs flesh and armor
You need at least 82 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 3.
and at least 32 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 2 / 2.

best output = dmg * 1.35 * 2.5 ≈ dmg * 3.38 (2.50)
avg. output = dmg * 1.35 * 1.6 ≈ dmg * 2.16 (1.60)
worst output = dmg * 1.35 * 1 ≈ dmg * 1.35 (1.00)

##Eridian vanquisher
5/5 frostbite and 9/5 avalanche
###vs shields
You need at least 17 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 1.

best output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 2.35 ≈ dmg * 1.97 (0.94)
avg. output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 1.54 ≈ dmg * 1.29 (0.62)
worst output = dmg * .4 * (1.35 * 1.55) * 1.0 ≈ dmg * 0.84 (0.40)
###vs flesh and armor
You need at least 91 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 3.
and at least 36 stacks to surpass the multiplier of 2 / 2.

best output = dmg * 1.35 * 2.35 ≈ dmg * 3.17 (2.35)
avg. output = dmg * 1.35 * 1.54 ≈ dmg * 2.08 (1.54)
worst output = dmg * 1.35 * 1.0 ≈ dmg * 1.35 (1.00)


  • vs shields
    The highest cryo damage multiplier you can get against shields comes with the Chronicler of Elpis, which can even surpass the shock damage multiplier! The Elite Creme de la Creme and Indifferent Gentry come close to the shock multiplier but until you’ve built up enough Avalanche stacks, a shock sidearm is recommended.
    With the Ice Queen, Celestial Baroness and Eridian vanquisher, it would make sense to carry a shock and/or explosive side arm for taking on larger shielded enemies.
    With any of those COMs, your cryo weapons should do just fine against regular mobs, frostbite will mainly make a difference against badasses and bosses with huge shields.

  • vs flesh and armor
    In this category, the highest damage comes from the Ice Queen, followed by the Chronicler of Elpis.
    Interestingly, with high enough stacks, any of these COMs can outperform element matching and even the cryo-explosive multiplier :open_mouth:

##3. Conclusion:
Once you’ve build up enough avalanche stacks, the numbers on frostbite look really good. But I’d still debate its overall usefulness in not exclusively cryo focused builds, and here’s why:

  1. Only helps during action skill
    It always requires the action skill to trigger. Cooldown phase = no frostbite ⇒ back to a multiplier around 0.4 to 0.58 without stacks, and 0.7 to 1.24 with full stacks, at which point element maching will be much more ammo efficient.
  2. The need to spec auxiliary skills
    You’ll have to put points into Short Summer and Cold Advance besides Frostbite and Avalanche to be able to maximize the use of the action skill. That’s up to 20 skill points spent in order to consistently take advantage of frostbite and come close to the shock multiplier, which is very restricting if you plan on having more than one capstone in your build.
  3. Avalanche Stacks
    You absoluelty need the avalanche stacks to get a competitive damage multiplier.
    Building avalanche stacks alone takes quite long, about 30 mins to get close to 100 stacks. Furthermore, it’s not always easy to hold on to those stacks - longer distances without enemies, going into ffyl, falling into pits, accidentally dealing fire damage (even through barrels!), and you can start farming again.
    In Coop it’s even worse, with team mates killing mobs too fast and thereby denying you the gain of avalanche stacks, hanging out chatting, scrounging around for loot, grinding stuff in Concordia…
  4. Necessity to frostbite
    There’s rarely the need to frostbite enemies in order to get through their shield. In most cases, it’s far less complicated and takes only ever so slightly longer to do simple element matching.
    Even the toughest Ultimate Badass Mugger goes down within seconds when you do the cryo-splosions, same with Guardian Gargaunts and Radiant Ophas. Most shielded bosses (Bosun, Deadlift, Zarpedon) lose their shield pretty fast with just a good shock weapon and some shock grenades, and as for the Sentinel/Raidboss, it’s not very practicable to go farm 60+ avalanche stacks before going to face him.

###My personal verdict:
For a strongly cryo based build, it’s very good. For other builds (sniping, coop) there’s better skills to spec. The Chronicler of Elpis helps most with cryo damage against shields, while the Ice Queen gives the highest cryo damage boost vs all other targets. The Celestial Baroness is a good middle ground for hybrid builds, while the Eridian vanquisher, Elite Creme de la Creme and Indifferent Gentry are better fit for defensive and crowd control purposes.

##4. Gameplay Videos
I went ahead and farmed 100 stacks and tried it against some bosses. It works nicely vs the bosun and pretty okay vs felicity, but it’s still not enough to take on the raid boss. Back to shambooming it is. Don’t mind the FFYLs, I just like facerolling things with glass cannons.

The reason why I’m not putting these vids into my UVHM Aurelia vs Bosses video thread is, that here you need to farm Avalanche beforehand, which is not the most user friendly thing to do, and certainly not very realistic in coop either.


It takes a while to get rk5 frostbitten, thus it takes longer than element matching with custom loads. Also I forgot to equip the Ice Queen com for even more damage on RK5. Should probably retake it, and try to find a way to get that first soldier on the ledge left to the elevator out of the way fast, so my frost shard can directly go onto rk5

###Raid Boss
Normal guns still don’t quite cut it during the first stage, despite the 2.84 multiplier I get.

So it’s back to the ugly work around. Ideally, I should be using the cryo launcher only when the boss is frostbitten, and else switch to the shock badaboom, as well as stick to shock during his cryo resistant phase.
During the big form, the 3.57 multiplier on unshielded targets really shows, and frostbite really helps during the shock resistant phase here.


You are doing the formula all wrong read this

I know, lemme edit.

[edit] Done, it should be accurate now. I assume both cryo bonuses of Frostbite are multiplicative bonuses, and since I’m sticking to normal damage and ignoring splash damage, the formula

Output = (NormalHit * SpecMult * CriticalHit + SplashDamage) * ElemBonus * TypeMod

should turn into the following for cryo on shields:

Output = NormalHit * SpecMult * ElemBonus * TypeMod


SpecMult = (1 + FrostBite Cryo Bonus) * (1 + FrostBite Shielded Cryo Bonus)
ElemBonus = (1 + Cryo Damage from COM + Cryo Damage from Avalanche Stacks)
TypeMod = 0.4

Any objections?

Thanks for your analyses here! Lots of info to digest.

Looks better, without testing I’m not 100% sure of it works but that would be my guess.

I don’t really spec much into frostbite, just 2/5. As a cryo boost though, I prefer it over avalanche, even though I have 4/5 avalanche to get to the next tier. I like it better than avalanche because I would prefer the immediate 14% damage while using the action skill as opposed to gradual stack building. I also have no issue specing into cold advance, which makes frostbite active often. Frostbite seems to be active on enemies even a little after cold as ice is over. The bonus damage against shielded targets doesn’t replace shock though, no denying that.

If you have friends that also enjoy cryo weapons, can frostbite increase their damage too? Just wondering. The way it is written it would seem like it.

Haven’t tested it yet, but it would make sense that the frostbitten target is susceptible to all cryo damage.

Do consider a few points in short summer, so the cooldown can be shortened, while the duration can be prolonged with cold advance.

I’ve been toying around with this build and a chronicler mod, which gives the potentially higest multiplier vs shields (while the Ice Queen gives the highest multiplier vs unshielded targets), and at least in solo, I didn’t need a shock weapon at all. While building the stacks to around 80, I’ll have to switch to an explosive gun for frozen badasses, and from 80 on, I can simply keep using my cryo guns and even the biggest bad ass mobs lose their shield and health in under 3 seconds.
Only for cryo resistant enemies and bosses like the bosun would I need to temporarily use a shock gun with that setup.

I run 3/5 in short summer and maxed out cold advance, so it feels like cold as ice is active often enough to take advantage of frostbite.

In general, with a few points in avalanche and frostbite, shielded smaller enemies aren’t a problem, it’s bosses that have enough shield hit points to where it takes a little while with out shock.

Question about your build though, I’ve noticed in a few builds that alot of people skip winter’s fury. Why is that? Is it really not worth it?

Depends. It’s a crowd control thing. It doesn’t do damage, but it staggers enemies close to you and prevents them from attacking you for a moment.
One reason not to spec it could be that the singularity pull of Polar Vortex combined with the Fragment rain already offer better crowd control.
Another reason, that for sniper builds, you’re not gonna get swarmed by enemies anyways.

So if using the Celestial Baroness mod, you actually are losing damage without at least 15 stacks?

Or does the multiplier just not happen if it is less than 1?

Well, without stacks and a celestial mod, you’re doing 0.84 * cryo damage on shields with frostbite active. Without frostbite, that’d be the default 0.4 * cryo damage penalty.
That’s less than the multiplier of 1 for non elemental guns.

But remember that this is just on normal hits.
The celestial mod boosts a couple of crit skills instead of astraight cryo damage boost, so you can still get some nice damage that way

Oh, man, I missed this was specifically talking against shields.

Now I see it is all throughout the discussion. I just lost that in the details.

Makes way more sense now.


Yeah, without shields, the cryo against shield bonus from frostbite is skipped, but also the 0.4 penalty is gone. The resulting multiplier is always > 1, and with a moderate amount of stacks even > 2, at which point your cryo damage will outdo comparable corrosive or fire guns on element matching.

Edit: I’ve added the calcs for cryo on flesh and armor to OP, the numbers are pretty amazing. up to 4x cryo damage on shieldless targets is SICK

Numbers for Chronicler and Queen COM have been updated with the lvl cap raise, the other coms are not affected since they don’t have cryo damage boosts to begin with.

Dude thats not how Frostbite works. It doesnt use both multiplyers as you do in the formula, with 9/5 it does 63% bonus if target is flesh/armor and 99% if its shielded. So the SpecMult = (1 + 0.63) for flesh/armor and SpecMult = (1 + 0.99) for shields. No way cryo surpass the shock multiplyer.

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  1. Replying to 6mo. old posts is…welp…

  2. Lets Get ready to rumble…
    I can confirm that at the very least Frostbite is a spec mult independent of Cryo Damage.
    I can also confirm that it’s either the vs flesh bonus or the vs shield bonus, not both.

So this is the damage formula.

Output = (NormalHit * SpecMult * CriticalHit + SplashDamage) * ElemBonus * TypeMod

Lets ignore Splash and crit like the original post
With 9/5 Frost Bite your vs Shield bonus is 1.99, 1.63 vs Flesh

with base Damage X a CoE
vs Shields
Best : X * (1+0.75+0.49) * 1.99 * 0.4 = 1.78X
Avg : 1.48X
Worst : 1.19X

vs Flesh
Best : X * (1+0.75+0.49) * 1.63 = 3.65X
Avg : 3.04X
Worst : 2.43X

It holds true that Cryo > Incendiary/Corrosive with FB (and that all of his flesh/armor numbers are correct)

The funny thing is that Ice Queen actually provides the highest bonus vs Shields at 1.95X, more than CoE. ( I doubt that makes it the better COM as CoE has utility and more Damage through other skills and whatnot, just a fun anecdote).

So yeah in (6 months, before testing dummies right when the char was released) hindsight the truth is that you fall just short of only needing Cryo weaponry to maximize damage vs all enemy types. But vs standard enemies a SF to strip shields will do, as Queen CB and CoE builds Cryo super suprass most element matching. You basically onle need a shock weapon vs huge shield bosses, but even then you dont need it because Frostbite + Cryo Damage still gives you a respectable modifier, and at the very least completely eliminates the weakness of Cryo vs Shields, making it at least 1.0 vs everything.

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here you run the numbers trying to beat damage vs shields of electric weapons. (knowing the math is always good)

There is a however a bigger picture. The ‘cold money’ skill tree (most of the skills in) is incredibly synergistic with Aurelia’s Action skill ‘cold as ice’ .

In short heavy investment in cold as ice makes her action skill:

  1. Never END ! until all critable enemies are dead! Use accurate bullet hose (ex the machine, moxxi vibra pulse, droog, etc…) and cold advance. So frosbite all the time for all the people !!.
  2. Have massively increased damage ( high % cold element multiplier and frostbite debuff always on for the main skill) . All this always on cold damage that also heals you.
  3. PERMA COMBAT HEALING* (need to be able to chain kills). Think Wilhelm’s saint drone.
  4. Extra tankiness - greatly lowers shield recharge delay in longer fights when the never ending action skill has time to max out short summer. (also extra synergy with bitter riposte - big survival tool in her arsenal)
  5. Provide great crowd control with AOE freeze
  6. Helps cryo vladoff grenades do massive damage/healing

In this context you have the flexibility to use a shield stripping electric weapon , explosive is usually bad for long periods, since explosive damage DOESN’T heal you . OR massively increase your tankiness (lifesteal) and more freezing by also using a ice weapon (doesn’t need to beat electric damage vs shields).

Ice weapon with winter tide rolls TWICE per bullet impact to freeze the target. Those with splash (maliwan pistol /maliwan sniper) even three times. (sadly long range killer does’t trigger elemental effect application dice roll .)

Damage isn’t everything (dough always nice), life steal and CC and damage through the extra crit vs frozen also matter.

Four-year necro… That’s cold, man!