[Build] Racing Nucular Warhead - A face-tanking gun build

This is the build I played the most in the past two weeks. It’s fast, tanky, has some fun synergies and can be quite addicting. In case you’re wondering what’s so special about it:

pestilence redsuit projector

These items synergise extremely well, the foundation of this build. Pestilence is quite potent in itself and makes quick work of shielded and fleshy enemies. But it also explodes in a huge radius around us when it breaks. The explosion usually would affect us as well.
That’s where the Red Suit comes in. Aside from its radiation damage aura (more on that later), it makes us completely immune to radiation damage (that’s also handy when standing close by rad-exploding enemies). But a radiation DOT can still be applied to ourself that way - without suffering from its damage. So, now we have a 0-damage rad DOT on ourselves which lasts extremely long due to Amara’s Anima skill.
In order to utilise this DOT, we slap on an Elemental Projector artefact that will make Red Suit’s and any rad gun damage even more potent. It’s a fun and fluid cycle.

An extremely powerful option/addition would be a radiation Hive rocket launcher that you fire before rushing into battle. But I like to retain some challenge, so I don’t use it, otherwise I’ll get bored real quick.

Now we have more potent guns and our shield’s radiation aura is also way beefier. What’s the next step? Believe it or not, the Red Suit’s damage provides life steal via Sustainment. It’s not huge but a welcome addition - still way better than any of Amara’s life regen bonuses. As long as you keep shooting and standing close to enemies you can’t die - unless you rush fully YOLO into way too many enemies while getting frozen without having your action skill available like shown in the video. :crazy_face:

Skill Tree

If you don’t feel the need for the survivability from Brawl you can remove the points below Mindfulness and invest them into Mystical Assault for more action skill damage, reload speed and/or cooldown reduction.

If you don’t like Ties That Bind you can also use The Eternal Fist. Especially when you have the shield anointment mentioned below it triggers on every grasped target so you’ll get way more out of those novas per Action Skill use when enemies aren’t clumped.


The only items required to make this build work are the ones mentioned above and those can easily be farmed:

  • Pestilence (COV pistol): don’t use a double projectile version, you’ll run out of ammo even faster, drops from Heckle/Hyde in Jakobs Estate or Atomic and Sylestro in Tazendeer Ruins
  • Red Suit (shield): it has two variable stats, so you could go for ammo absorption and another defensive stat, boosters look promising due to the auto-pickup from the most recent hotfix, best case scenario would be if you can get your hands on an anointed one with novas while Phasegrasp is active (more damage and healing from Sustainment), mission reward from “Angels and Speed Demons” in Devil’s Razor and drops from Atomic and Sylestro in Tazendeer Ruins
  • Elemental Projector (artefact): any variant works, it doesn’t have to be a legendary version, having cooldown reduction and radiation damage as stats are way more important, this is world drop only but since we don’t need a specific legendary version it’s quite a common drop

You could replace the Elemental Projector with an Atom Balm one but it’s noticeably weaker and it would remove a part of this build’s synergy.


You should definitely carry some backup weapons because the Pestilence eats ammo like crazy. A cryo/corrosive gun would be good because radiation is quite weak against armour. I love the Tsunami in this setup due to its inherent ricochet and it also heals via Sustainment. Enemies with three different health bars (shield, armour and health) get destroyed with this beauty easily. Fast shotguns are great as well since you’ll be close range most of the time.
In order to make it easy-mode just equip a radiation Hive (Torgue heavy weapon) and shoot a few times into the crowd before rushing in.

Class Mod

Anything that boosts Tempest works. The best results are accomplished with a legendary Breaker, Nimbus or Phasezerker (how original).

  • Breaker is great all around. Use the one with the highest bonus for Personal Space. That’s a huge multiplicative DPS increase. Since we almost always stand in front of enemies we’ll get the full bonus of the damage reduction and Personal Space’s damage.
  • When using Nimbus try to get one without conflux boost or you’ll end up accidentally igniting yourself quite frequently with a very potent DOT. That will kill you. Probably the weakest option of the three legendaries but still better than non-legendary ones.
  • When running Phasezerker remove the skill point from Do Unto Others and put it in either Do Harm or Violent Tapestry for 10 more Rush stacks. The aforementioned part about Conflux applies here as well. This one is almost on par with the Breaker COM due to the cooldown reduction and gun damage increase. The Anima bonus will also make your Pestilence DOT last longer which is beneficial.

Awesome build.

Also I didn’t know Novas while phasegrasp anointment was a thing.

So with the upcoming nerf to elemental projector will it still be the go to or will atom balm be the next best thing?

i got a roid red suit the other day in the mail. and thinking of going with gamma-melee fl4k (instead of melee-fadeaway), i will give a gamma melee amara a try.

Another great looking build I won’t be able to try forever because getting drops you want is so hard

Sounds like a Build a Itchy Flakker could be great at.
Maybe you can test it.

Looks fun, i was thinking in doing something like that, but with the atom balm artifact (boosts aura damage/ aura burst damage/ aura radius) but probably the elemental projector is more potent

elemental projector = greveward

Pestilence = Heckle

Red suit = Sylestro and atomic

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Random question: is Nuclear purposefully misspelled?

Got him. Back it up, we’re done here.

Yeah, this is often overlooked. It seems to be rarer than the other anointments due to it being Amara exclusive. And people don’t seem to like the Phasegrasp ones all that much so it’s rarely covered. But I enjoy it in this setup quite a bit.

It’s still very potent in this setup and almost always active without requiring you to use a separate weapon to apply it to yourself - Pestilence and enemy explosions do that for you. The only time I see the Atom Balm outperforming the Projector is when you’re able to herd together multiple enemies and prefer a more passive playstyle (without shooting your gun all that often) and/or going range with another gun. But then an argument could be made that the Red Suit would be redundant as well and you could switch to another build altogether.

As stated by brturossi, it’s quite easy to farm those items due to them having a specific drop source. I’ll add them to the guide for easy reference.

I only tried it before the hotfix and it was extremely good, too good for my liking. And having to keep some distance removed parts of the reason to go with the Red Suit. With the hotfix in mind, I’d go for a build with some points spent into Fast Hands and Alacrity. I currently can’t make any tests due to having no access to my PC and I also don’t like Torgue weaponry in general. But I expect it to still work wonders with the two aforementioned skills.

Yeah, I initially planned to use an Atom Balm because it fits the theme somewhat better. But there was no way for me to ignore the Projector because it does everything the Balm does but even more than that and better in this setup. And with having the DOT active all the time that also buffs the Red Suit’s damage and therefore healing the Projector was the obvious go-to.

Yeah, I had it spelled correctly until I remembered one of the Simpsons episodes… :smiley:

That’s pretty much what I figured.

Also, how do you multi-quote like that? I’ve had to resort to double posting because I can’t figure it out.

The easiest way is to mark the text you want to quote. Then a quote button appears above the marked text. Hit it and it will get included in the reply window.
Alternatively, you could hit reply on a post you want to quote while the reply window is open, hit the speech bubble, hit the reply button on another post, hit the speech bubble again, etc. pp.

So looking at this build a game why am I thinking that the breaker mod with +3 to personal space and this skill loadout based around the tsunami sounds extremely overpowered? With a different shield and relic of course

Yeah, the Tsunami is underrated in my opinion. Most people probably don’t know what it does and that you get healed by it (Sustainment) even though no element is shown on its card. There are obviously better guns for bosses but while mobbing it’s awesome especially due to the inherent ricochet.

Already killed katagawa ball over 300 times trying to get a good anointed one that I’m itching to try out with this mod:

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One thing I forgot to mention:
When you have a shield with the “Novas while Phasegrasped” anointment those novas also trigger on the second, third, etc. target when using Eternal Fist. So, Ties That Bind isn’t necessarily the best option to use in every scenario.

That works. Not as easy to do on a phone, but it still works. Thanks.

Just a bit of an update: I came across a variant of this build that uses a Maliwan Shotgun called Screaming Banshee (?), which drops from the Rare Hunt monster in Desolation’s Edge. It’s kind of like the Pestilence, but every shot it fires is an AOE (if I’m understanding correctly, the Pestilence only creates a Nova when it overheats). It would also provide more synergy if you could get a Cutpurse Elemental Projector, as you’d get the ability to regen ammo via the Facepuncher. Not sure if it’s actually better than the Pestilence, but definitely worth considering.

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Are you referring to the Shrieking Devil shotgun (drops from Blinding Banshee)? If so, it’s a great gun and works really well in this build. Actually, basically any radiation splash damage gun can work in this build. Pestilence isn’t the best one, I just mentioned it specifically because it’s underrated IMO.

Those things don’t exist legitimately. Artifacts can have only 1 main ability (Cutpurse or Projector) and a secondary one which is reserved for legendary effects.

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