[Build] Siberian Nuclear Winter - Mayhem 11 Shotgun Build

I might be necroing a thread that hasn’t been touched since 8 months ago, but I’ve revived this ancient build and transformed it with one hell of a makeover. It used to be a BM/SoR build several level caps ago, but is now a DW/SoR build that focuses exclusively on shotguns. The nuclear winter theme remains intact and very noticeable in action thanks to a certain shield and grenade combo: Frozen Snowshoe/Heart + radiation Hex. All the relevant details and information can be found in the entirely rewritten OP up top.


Necroing this thread again because I’ve updated it for level 72. I’ve also updated other old builds of mine and will do rewrites for them, as well as adding old/new builds of mine to these forums in due time.

It’s still a Blast Master shotgun build with a nuclear winter theme as it was back in lvl 65 but it has been updated to be more intuitive with the choice of skills. One big example is that there are zero points invested in the SoR tree unlike before. The majority of the reinvested skill points are now in the 4th skill tree. I have edited the OP to describe this change and much more.


Yooo I use CoL like this and this was the only video I ever found when I was searching to see if other people had done this before me. Glad to find it again here. Not sure if you’re still using that technique but it’s been my go to with my on-foot Moze for a while now.

Honestly, I haven’t used that technique since before Mayhem 4 even existed. My main heavy weapons build uses the Flare COM and the bonus points in MoD combined with the Infernal Wish shield means that I can reliably get my rockets refunded for each shot with my Plaguebearer, not including whatever grenade I might be using for extra utility and MoD procs. So I don’t find myself ever needing to resort to that technique anymore. At best, you could get a three-round burst-fire gun (such as the Trevonator) to prepare Cloud of Lead for an ammo hog of a weapon like the R.Y.N.A.H which costs 8 rockets per blast. But there are better heavy weapons out there for both DPS and being far more ammo-efficient in comparison.

I went on a total test binge with various cryo splash weapons and grenades and I’ve updated the OP with a few additions:

  • Expanded the list of featured shotguns from 4 to 6
  • Added the Anarchy and the Boom Sickle
  • Added a paragraph under the Final Notes section which references viable cryo splash weapons that belong to weapon types other than shotguns

jo fun fact, because boom sickle permanently uses the “shotgun underbarrel” it actually counts as a shotgun for class mod bonuses

which may be relevant when looking for god roll coms

I’ve been theorycrafting something similar to this. Few questions:

  • What do you do against enemies who are resistant / immune to cryo or areas with a lot of shielded enemies, e.g. Guardian Takedown?
  • Where does the life steal come from? As I recall, the Recurring Hex will only proc Vampyr 8 times, whereas the CMT does it ~24 times.
  • Which platform are you on? Some of that gear is pretty specific.

I use the Trevonator and switch back between cryo and radiation, but you could also use shock if you’re not concerned about having a nuclear winter. Because the gun has such synergy with Short Fuse, it makes fantastic use of the 160% splash anointment which also boosts the damage of Bear’s nukes and lasts long enough for the full duration of Auto Bear. The cooldown skills from the 4th tree are enough so that you can enter/exit Bear again by the time Auto Bear self-destructs.

What’s also important is that the novas from the Frozen Snowshoe allow for great crowd control and also help set up Auto Bear for landing easier nukes, especially on airborne enemies who drop to the ground when frozen. Even during the crystal phases of True Guardian Takedown, I can be stubborn by using cryo guns and just focus on stripping the guardians of their armour so that Auto Bear’s nukes can get the bonus elemental damage from radiation on shields. Wotan is the other cryo-resistant question mark, but one that is easily answered thanks to the Redline.

It comes from Rushin’ Offensive which is great with the Recurring Hex. CMT is a great utility grenade but it’s kinetic so you lose 10% gun damage from Harmonious Havoc which doesn’t sound like much but then consider that the only other gun damage skill the build is invested in is Scrappy. My Blast Master COM has +1 Redistribution and +3 PtHP so the former skill is giving me 10% ammo regen and 5% health regen per second, while the latter skill is giving my Recurring Hex a 50% chance to land critical hits. Auto Bear is more reliant on Vampyr in this build than Moze is because of how well the Hex uses all the sustain skills combined with the Snowshoe novas.

I did test other cryo grenades. Mitosis Hunter-Seeker was the best option for DPS but unless you want to hold the Guardian Angel at the same time, the grenade DPS is almost meaningless compared to what the shotguns and Auto Bear can dish out. You may as well use a grenade for utility purposes. I found that the Recurring Hex (being an Atlas grenade that can track enemies, and also drops in only 3 elements with cryo being one of them) was making better use of Vampyr, PtHP, Redistribution and Rushin’ Offensive.

I’m on PC, some items I came across naturally and farmed for as well as spent eridium to get the desired anointments, others I tinkered with in a save editor for the purpose of saving heaps of time and being able to do more testing.

If you want to make getting the gear as simple as possible, just farm Private Beans for the Trevonator and test that cryo is its primary element - you’ll know for certain if you see the icon for Harmonious Havoc with accumulated stacks. Farm Road Dog for the Redline because it makes a tremendous difference against bosses. The Snowshoe tends to drop often from the Valkyries and the Sky Bullies in the Anvil are the dedicated source for the Hex. Fill up the other two weapon slots with anything in cryo so that you can get HH up to x6.

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That was really helpful, thanks. I’m wondering whether the Mind Sweeper may be better than the Blast Master because, after TCP, rolls on mod and artifact and +160%, an extra 100% splash may not be as significant as an entirely new incidence of damage. The Mind Sweeper can also give us our point in Redistribution and 4 points in Fire in the Skag Den, which, yeah… Powerful.

Mind Sweeper with shotguns? The only one which would make some sense is the Trevonator due to its unique firing pattern compared to other shotguns, and RNG might bless you with high DPS spikes at best, but it wouldn’t be consistent and you’ll have a torrid time making sure NOT to land critical hits when the guardians are trying to stop you charging the crystals in their takedown.

Another factor to consider is that Bear cannot land critical hits with Hammerdown Protocol and because he already benefits from Mayhem-scaling by default, FitSD literally does the percentage of bonus incendiary damage it states on its skill card when Bear is concerned. More skill points for FitSD sounds like a no-brainer on the surface but in this particular scenario, you’d be discarding 100% bonus splash damage which applies to Bear’s nukes, Moze’s splash guns, her grenades, double-dips into Short Fuse and benefits FitSD as well by extension.

So in switching from Blast Master to Mind Sweeper, at best you might get lucky with RNG. But what is a certainty is that you are sacrificing consistent DPS, dramatically increasing Moze’s chances of repeatedly falling to her knees and unquestionably nerfing Auto Bear in the process. I have a Mind Sweeper build based on sniper rifles and although I’m not motivated by the idea, thrown Tediore weapons count as grenades and can proc PtHP which subsequently can spawn micro-nades. Other than that, I don’t tend to consider Mind Sweeper much when theory-crafting builds.


Update: I’ve narrowed the list of non-shotgun alternatives in the Final Notes section down to 4 weapons after further testing. I found the power differential between the #2 options of each weapon type to be a bit too vast. Even brief DPS comparisons between Sand Hawk vs Boogeyman, Flipper vs Kaoson and Unkempt Harold vs Beacon are always going to produce obvious results.

What did surprise me the most however was testing out the various assault rifles that can deal splash and drop in cryo. The Rebound is COV which makes it not a good option for the Blast Master. The Dowsing Rod’s under-barrel grenade launcher didn’t impress me that much in DPS comparison tests with other assault rifles. I liked the Contained Blast when bossing but it didn’t feel consistent against mobs, while I found the opposite to be true with Juliet’s Dazzle. The only Dahl AR worth considering and testing was the Soulrender because the homing skulls deal splash damage. In testing, it was producing good results but unfortunately though, the main bullets are non-splash thus it’s not always consistent and it’s not a completely synergistic choice of weapon for a Blast Master build, hence why I removed it from the OP.

The one assault rifle that impressed me the most was the Faisor with its under-barrel shotgun. I was always aware that it’s decent, I just never tested it that much in the past to discover its full potential. In DPS comparison tests with all conditions being equal, the Faisor’s shotgun was killing Graveward faster than my Flipper! And unlike the other assault rifles I tested, it was providing high DPS and consistent results in both mobbing and bossing scenarios. After slaying Hemovorous with it, I then took it through True Guardian Takedown. It was rotten luck that my game froze and crashed before I could beat the entire run but with the support of this build, I had already used the Faisor’s shotgun to clear both crystal phases in one take before reaching that point. As far as Moze is concerned, the Faisor is perhaps the most underrated assault rifle out there and unlike the Boom Sickle, the shotgun does get boosted by assault rifle damage on COMs and artefacts.


I’ve been thinking of the Faisor for this build too. The specific rolls you’re going for are like finding a unicorn on console. Opening it up to any weapon make things pretty flexible. Might try out the newly buffed Unkempt Harold as well.

I actually picked up a generic Blast Master without any weapon type bonuses specifically to compare the non-shotgun weapons to each other and they were still doing solid work. Although it felt like enemies were dying quicker with the Faisor, my Flipper has 160% splash which also buffs your cryo novas and Bear’s nukes, and that makes a very noticeable difference both against bosses and in True Guardian Takedown with the crystal phases.

Wotan very recently dropped a cryo Tiggs’ Boom anointed with 160% splash. It was only a x9 version but that actually helped with this build in making it less likely to reload than a x18. You have to focus on stripping armour off the guardians so that Auto Bear can make the most of the splash anointment and also make sure you don’t get hit by your own meteors. But the 160% splash anointment helped in making the crystal phases more bearable and easier to beat, thus even the weakest shotgun on the list can beat True Guardian Takedown in this build.


Sounds good. I’m still farming gear, but I think I’m almost ready to start playing the build. I’ll probably go with a variation of:

Trevonator / Tiggs Boom

All cryo first, 160% splash. Farmed for 2 hours last night and got a variety of Faisors (and crossed off the Red Suit, Pestilence, EMP as equipment to get at lv.72), but not a single cryo one. Hopefully one will drop soon, though, it can only be a matter of time.

Then I have:

Frozen Heart, Iron Bear novas
Recurring Hex (cryo), 25% OGT
Blast Master (weapon damage, weapon crit, splash)
Ice Breaker Victory Rush (cryo damage, cryo efficiency, mag size).

Also have an Ice Breaker Deathless with AOE instead of mag size, so I’m considering a Urad version of this build… It would change the build a lot though.

I would not even consider the Deathless artefact even if it has AOE. Urad’s position in the damage formula renders it being incalculable with splash damage - it would contribute less DPS to the build than even consecutive hits, let alone 160% splash. The Victory Rush you have is superior for the mag size and cryo damage and with the weapons you’ve listed not being a single weapon type, I would say cryo efficiency is one of the next passives in the absence of AOE damage.

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Where does Urad apply in the formula? I was led to believe it just applied to all your damage. Guess Terror Cryo will be in the same place.

Looks like the Faisor can’t roll with 125 or 160 splash, probably because the splash is in the secondary fire mode. Next two mags radiation would probably fit the build though.

This link leads to Moze’s damage formula regarding bonus elements. Although Urad does technically apply to Short Fuse, it doesn’t do as much as FitSD which is the exception to the rule in this case as that is bonus elemental damage based on all forms of splash damage.

Apart from the Pushdug which is Vladof’s non-unique alien-barrel pistol, I think heavy weapons are the only weapon type of Vladof’s that can drop with splash anointments. The Faisor is in the same boat as the Boom Sickle and Sand Hawk: with no splash anointments, you want consecutive hits because that feeds into Moze’s splash guns and Short Fuse. N2M anointments fall under the same category as Urad except they don’t even apply to Short Fuse. Things like N2M 100% bonus elemental damage and Urad have more of an impact in non-splash builds.

This is the Bloodletter I am after. I am jealous now :frowning:

What platform are you on?

Update: got my cryo Kickcharger and Plaguebearer both anointed with 160% splash and it produces great results. I used to have a dedicated build for heavy weapons using the Flare COM + Infernal Wish + Toboggan, but they were anointed with consecutive hits and the skill build was set up so that Cub wouldn’t do anything other than proc the RoF capstone with his MYL augment because he had Bear Fist instead of conventional hardpoints, thus maintaining higher V1 damage for much longer, placing more build emphasis on Moze herself. It functioned the exact same way as my melee build except instead of Bottomless Mags for gun damage, heavy weapons of course means investing in Short Fuse which funnily enough, Cub’s Vladof AR augment can also proc!

In this build however, despite the absence of V1 damage besides the buggy Victory Rush, the huge difference is that Auto Bear actually kills enemies and can make use of the 160% splash damage anointment. The difference between consecutive hits and 160% splash in True Guardian Takedown can be seen when Moze uses her cryo weapons to strip the guardians of their armour - with 160% splash added to this build, Auto Bear can one-shot the guardians’ shields.

Another aspect to consider is that we are stacking the splash damage multiplier as much as it possibly can be. With 160% from the anointment, 100% from the COM’s special effect plus 39% from its passive bonus, +55% as AOE damage from the artefact and +30% from TCP, the multiplier becomes x4.84 which then double-dips when Short Fuse is triggered.