[Build] Cub-ikaze - Frequent Action Skill Start/End Anointment Triggering and Kamikaze Cubs

In an effort to break Moze away from the clutches of Consecutive Hits, U-Rad, or 300/900 anointments while still being able to switch weapons without being denied an active anointment for long, I fiddled around to find a way to enable Moze to activate Action Skill Start/End anointments to a level similar to the other Vault Hunters. And so, I bring you a new build;


The basic idea of this build as as such;

  1. Deploy Iron Cub right next to an enemy to trigger Action Skill Start Anointments, ideally with a wall nearby the enemy to help with Step 2.
  2. Have Iron Cub destroy itself with grenades as it tries to kill the above enemy in order to trigger Action Skill End Anointments.
  3. Use the Eternal Flame to quickly reset Iron Cub’s cooldown.
  4. Repeat.

Skill Rationale

  • Bear Mother - We pick Iron Cub over Iron Bear because it deploys significantly faster than Moze can hop into Iron Bear and hop back out of it. Big Surplus is a free 500%~ damage whenever Cub is benched, Biofuel keeps Moze healthy, Explosive Fury aids in triggering the Eternal Flame’s effect, and Baby Nukes is picked up to turn Iron Cub into an Iron Bomb whenever we drop 'im off next to an enemy to hug them explosively. If you want to spend the points elsewhere, you can take all the points out of this tree other than what is in Big Surplus.

  • Demolition Woman - Vanquisher Rockets are the augment of choice for making Iron Cub go kaboom as quickly as possible (Grenade Launchers can work as well). Fire in the Skag Den is both an easy 500%~ fire damage and a means of triggering the Eternal Flame. Stainless Steel Bear is avoided to keep Iron Cub’s health low for easy kamikazes, but if you miss the extra damage it gives to Skag Den, invest away. It is simply personal preference of not exploding myself as to why I avoid Torgue Cross-Promotion, invest in it at your leisure. Means of Destruction is always a solid skill to go for to keep the grenade supply stocked, while Pull the Holy Pin helps with triggering Redistribution as well as allowing us to go further down the tree. Vampyr is Vampyr and thus survival for Moze, and the rest of the points are thrown wherever you desire in order to reach Short Fuse.

  • Bottomless Mags - Cloud of Lead both adds another source of fire damage for the Eternal Flame as well as conserves ammo, so it is the easy choice for going further down the tree. Stoke the Embers bolsters all the fire damage we’re doling out, and Redistribution is an easy one-point investment for ammo regeneration and survival. The one point remaining until tier 2 can be put in either Dakka Bear to make Cub deal just a bit more (self) damage, or Scrappy can be picked up instead for just a bit of swap speed and damage. Scorching RPM’s is a solid means of boosting Moze’s DPS, and Rushin’ Offensive is there for extra survival. The last remaining point can be invested wherever you want it, I simply stuck it in Specialist Bear to give Cub a bit more damage for exploding itself and/or enemies. If you take a few extra points out from the other trees, you can grab Some for the Road for fun with Heavy Weapons.

  • Shield of Retribution - Armored Infantry is preferred to go further down the tree. Bubble Bear is avoided since we’re trying to make Iron Cub go kaboom. Drowning in Brass fits excellently in Moze’s damage formula, and Experimental Munitions is one last means of fire damage for the Eternal Flame.

Recommended Gear

There aren’t a ton of specific pieces of gear required (mostly just the Eternal Flame), as Moze can make many weapons work. For the most part I’ll simply mention pieces of gear that mesh well with this build in particular.

  • Flipper- Being able to fire up to nine projectiles at a time means many opportunities to trigger the Eternal Flame’s special effect, otherwise the Power Coil is an easy pick for raw power. Since the theme of this build was to break away from Consecutive Hits/U-Rad/300-over-90 (although those are as potent as ever), the splash and next two mags anoints are solid choices.

  • Corrosive Backburner- For when Iron Cub doesn’t manage to kill itself in Mayhem Mode with splash augments, we use this to give it the Old Yeller treatment. Fire a shot or two and quickly switch to the weapon you want the anointment to be activated on. I recommend variants with higher splash radius to ensure the job. The anointment is up to you, whether it is the 300/90 anointment for one-shots on enemies (not Cub) or the U-Rad anointment for easier Second Winds.

  • Shields with multiple Absorb/Shield Charge/Turtle pieces - Shield Charge and Absorb work in different ways to achieve the same goal of maintaining Topped Off in the rare instance the Eternal Flame’s effect isn’t available or you’re using a different Class Mod, while Turtle parts are nice for lowering Iron Cub’s maximum health (Iron Cub’s health pool draws on Moze’s, so the smaller yours is the easier Iron Cub can explode.) The Old God is great in particular since it has the bonus elemental damage going for it. Whatever shield you prefer can be slotted in here except for any that increase your maximum health such as the Plus Ultra. Grab your favored shield with an anointment for 50% Bonus (Element) Damage for 10 seconds.

  • Stop-Gap/Stinger/Nova-Berner/Frozen Heart and other shields that benefit from the “On Action Skill Start, trigger any shield effects” anointment - The Stop-Gap can come in handy for hectic locations like the Slaughter Shaft or the Maliwan Takedown bridge, the Stinger and Nova-Berner are the cream-of-the-crop nova shields, and the Frozen Heart could be very interesting with a Face-puncher or Fish Slap.

  • Cloning Maddening Tracker - Moze’s bread and butter grenade is used for the typical reason of Vampyr, but it also excels at igniting multiple enemies due to Skag Den. Otherwise you can slot in your grenade of choice, just be sure to have another anointment for bonus elemental damage on it that isn’t the same as the one you may have on your shield.

  • Eternal Flame - The centerpiece of what makes it possible to easily cycle action skill cooldowns. The skills aren’t particularly important (would recommend Really Big Guns so Cub can off itself a bit easier), just try to get one with Splash Damage, Action Skill Damage, and a weapon-type damage of your choice.

  • If you’re dead-set on not using the Eternal Flame, you won’t be able to easily cycle cooldowns but it is possible to lower the cooldown to anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds depending on your set-up. A build like this could be used alongside some Action Skill Cooldown passives on your class mod and artifact in conjunction with the anointment for 30% faster cooldown after kills (on your shield) and Topped Off to really crank your cooldown speed. Class Mods that boost Grizzled such as the Bear Trooper are appreciated as well. Check out the Cooldown Thread to optimize your cooling. Lastly, the Blast Master can be used to beef up the damage of Baby Nukes.

  • Snowdrift relics - Snowdrift is handy for being able to dart next to an enemy, drop Iron Cub, and dart back out to reap the benefits. Victory Rush and Otto Idol are solid general purpose options, but the Pearl of Knowledge is always solid for more damage while a Deathless/Lunacy is suitable for the more shield-oriented Gunners out there. Passives to look out for are Area-of-Effect, Magazine Size, weapon-type damage, or (element) damage.


Giving iron cub the “old yeller treatment” is both sad and hilarious!.!.!.!

It’d be great if we had the option of being able to just dismiss/refresh cub with another button press. When the overall design goal of the tree is to have cub out as much/long as possible, but a chunk of players just want to proc annoint (and GBX knows it), pigeonholing them into kamikaze builds is the least preferable outcome for anyone.

That’s a huge designer red flag, and I hope someone from GBX pays attention. A well-designed game shouldn’t cognitively lead players to seek ways around actually playing it. There’s a difference between building a walking suicide bomb (intended to actually kill the enemies) and building a walking bomb for suicide (intended to kill itself).

It sounds like that’s basically what you’re after here, right? Just using cub for tactical annointment procs? Your build is solid; I just wish it weren’t necessary to achieve the desired end result.

That’s one way to fire ASS/ASE anointments with her, though you’re about to get a phone call from the ASPCR for robot abuse. :laughing:

Haven’t tested it yet, but I’m curious to see how being able to use Start/End anoints with the Eternal Flame stacks up damage-wise to other class mods (ignoring obvious boosts to Skag Den).

Also, this set-up can use Tenacious Defense without actually emptying your shields, so it becomes possible to use it with 1-hp builds.