Want all the Showdown? Here’s all the Showdown! Spend most of every battle in Showdown, strolling along the battlefield mowing down hoards and facetanking bosses in a way that can only be described as…Grogzerky.
As an added bonus, this build offers an extraordinarily high degree of survivability. Think of yourself as Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name mashed up with Connor MacLeod from Highlander and you won’t be very far off.
In the end, this build is all about two things:
Maximizing Showdown frequency and duration via the Celestial Lawbringer class mod. This class mod is the only item other than a high capacity shield that is absolutely required to make this build work as described here. Between the cooldown reduction and +5 Ruthless, you will spend about twice as long in Showdown as a non-Celestial user, with some individual Showdowns lasting for close to thirty seconds in high enemy density areas as the kills start pouring in due to the deadly synergy between Showdown’s inherent effects and your sprawling constellation of gun damage buffs: Tombstone, Quick Shot, Bona Fide Grit, Discipline, Rarin’ To Go, Crack Shot, Hot Lead, Short Fused, and Wanted. And as if this wasn’t damage enough already, potent capstones Thunder Crackdown and The Unforgiven provide still more opportunities for mass slaughter.
Enhancing survivability by majorly fortifying Nisha’s shields and self-healing capabilities. A high capacity shield in combination with Discipline and your class mod’s huge boosts to Law and Bottled Courage make it extremely tough for enemies to knock your shield down and keep it down. In terms of heath, the Celestial mod’s life steal while in Showdown, which can reach 13.5%, makes every gun you hold into a Rubi while it’s active and Order, Blood of the Guilty, and Bona Fide Grit all provide healing outside of Showdown.
While damage output is a bit lower per second here than it would be using a similar skillset and a Crapshooter or Chronicler of Elpis mod, it is by no means problematically so, and you’ll still tear through any standard hoard with absurd ease. Against bosses, especially the Sentinel, this build excels because it makes Nisha into much less of a “glass cannon” in long engagements without sacrificing damage to do it.
So just cowboy your black little heart out 24/7! It’s fun!
Gear (ideal prefixes and parts in parentheses):
I prefer a mostly Jakobs loadout because of the high damage (especially critical damage), rapid fire rate (without Unchained!), ammo efficiency, and great multi-pellet legendaries that synergize well with Hot Lead and Tombstone. That and the sheer cool factor of being a freakin’ space cowboy (gangster of love status optional, but highly recommended).
Maggie (Dastardly prefix, Jakobs grip, +critical luneshine). Your main weapon for tearing through common enemies.
Striker (Doc’s prefix, Hyperion stock, Jakobs grip, +critical luneshine). Ideal for badasses and bosses since it deals more damage per shot than Maggie but draws on a much smaller ammo pool.
Skullmasher (Skookum prefix, Dahl stock, Jakobs grip, +critical luneshine). You’ll often be using this as more of a hipfired “super shotgun” than a true sniper.
Excalibastard (fixed parts). Everyone needs a reliable cryo gun. This is my choice because of its insane interactions with the Tombstone skill and grenades as described below. It also has a blade to boost melee damage. Note that even an underleveled version of this gun is acceptable since you will be using it mainly for freezing foes and boosting your melee damage and not for shooting things to death.
Hammer Buster II (Boss prefix, Dahl stock, Jakobs grip, +critical luneshine). I mainly carry this as a reserve weapon for certain bosses like Felicity and Sentinel because of its built-in B0re-like effect against them. Be aware, however, that abusing this may put a strain on the game’s frame rate and may even lead to crashes.
Adaptive Shield, Turtle Shield, or other very high capacity shield. 35,000 or greater capacity is desirable at level 60. Adaptive Shields provide better defense overall but Turtle Shields allow you to build up Order stacks and reach your maximum DPS much faster at the start of a combat. You can basically think of Adaptives as your “boss/endurance shields” for lengthy battles and Turtles as your “mobbing shields” for shorter, more sporadic ones. Another interesting choice for mobbing is the Avalanche, which can potentially have a capacity of nearly 40,000 and the abilities to freeze nearby enemies with cryo spikes and novas and make Thunder Crackdown even better with roid damage. The Order stack growth rate with an Avalanche falls between a Turtle and Adaptive. High capacity should be your top priority in any case and that means Pangolin parts when possible.
3DD1.E OZ kit, for the extra shield, healing, and ammo he provides. Systems Purge (cryo) is also a great option if you want to trade some defense for loads of additional damage in high oxygen areas. The choice between these two mirrors the one between Adaptive and Turtle shields above (defense versus damage output), but Systems Purge holds an edge in atmosphere.
Quasar or Storm Front (Longbow, 0.0 fuse time). I prefer these grenades because they have a multi-hitting area of effect that can crit while Tombstone is active as well as freeze if you’re also holding Excalibastard at that time.
Non-legendary gear options: Iron (pistol), Coach Gun (shotgun), Muckamuck (sniper rifle), Gatling Gun (assault rifle), Fridgia (Bladed, this is the best alternative to Excalibastard as a cryo gun), Precision Strike or Juggernaut OZ kit (depending on how much you enjoy airborne combat, cryo), Vladof Cryo or Hyperion Singularity (cryo) grenade. See also “Non-Jakobs and elemental options” below.
Law 9/4: An extra 45% on top of a really large base capacity shield is nothing to sneeze at. It also helps with melee damage.
Order 1/1: Order stacks are amazing, simultaneously improving your damage output and health tanking. At full stacks, which is very easily obtainable, you have a 36% chance to heal damage instead of receive it when attacked. Since you heal twice what you would otherwise lose when Order activates, this means that taking damage heals you more than it harms on you on average! Discipline and Rarin’ To Go also combine to give you +90% to gun damage, +60% to reload speed, +45% to melee damage, and -45% to shield recharge delay while your Order stacks are maxed at 30.
The Third Degree 5/5: While this isn’t a melee focused build, Thunder Crackdown is a very powerful tool, and this helps you maximize it. It’s also a better option for buying down the tree than more Wanted or Jurisdiction (since the Celestial mod’s lifesteal ability makes that skill’s health regeneration completely redundant).
Rough Rider 1/1: I don’t really buttslam foes much, but you want more Order stack cap. A lot.
Wanted 8/5: Although it doesn’t do particularly spectacular base damage, every bit helps. Wanted damage can also critical while Tombstone is up, which is always nice. Still, this is overall the weakest skill that Celestial Lawbringer boosts and you’re mainly taking it to get further down the tree to ones like Discipline and Blood of the Guilty.
Discipline 1/1: Mindblowingly great with a big shield, which can otherwise take a while to refill “naturally.” This tops it off for free at least once per fight, confers a sizable boost to gun damage and shield recharge, and adds another five to your Order cap for one skill point!
Blood of the Guilty 1/1: More Order! And with the number of kills you and your allies can potentially rack up, the healing can actually be sizable.
Rarin’ To Go 5/5: With the potential to grant +60% gun damage and reload speed, this is easily Nisha’s best kill skill after Tombstone. It’s also vastly superior to Due Process or (yuck!) No Pain, No Gain for reaching Thunder Crackdown on the tree.
Thunder Crackdown 1/1: The final piece of the Order puzzle, this increases your stack cap to the maximum of 30. It also provides a powerful cone-shaped shock area attack usable every 15 seconds. With Law, Discipline, The Third Degree, and a bladed weapon in hand, you can use this to deal up to +1390% melee damage on a single attack. It’s great for stripping shields, crowd control (especially combined with singularity grenades), and landing the coup de grace on badasses. Oh, and of course it can crit and those crits will freeze if using Excalibastard (which you should be holding anyway since it’s bladed). When a problem comes along, you must whip it!
Ruthless 10/5: Absolutely vital. Ten points in this skill completely changes the feel of Showdown. You may actually laugh out loud at how absurdly long a single activation can last once the kills start pouring in.
Bottled Courage 10/5: Slightly bugged at the moment, with the recharge stat boosts not working at all. But how would you like to be able to instantly refill 100% of your gigantic shield at will up to once every 12 seconds? Yeah, it’s rad. This is the skill that truly makes shield tanking viable in long combats. It’s also what enables you to safely prioritize shield capacity over recharge stats.
Short Fused 1/1: Like Wanted, this skill doesn’t do particularly great damage on its own. It is a decent choice at the price of only one skill point, however, especially since you’ll be spending a lot of time in battle up close, unloading into enemies at nearly point-blank range. Also like Wanted (and Hot Lead), the bonus damage from this can score a critical hit separately from the attack that triggers it thanks to Tombstone.
Bona Fide Grit 10/5: 4% per second health regeneration on kill is actually enough to be useful and the 70% critical bonus helps to replace the one available from a Crapshooter mod.
Quick Shot 10/5: Nisha is built to hipfire, and +60% gun damage while doing so is very nice. You also get a sweet +70% fire rate boost, which is not terribly good for Jakobs guns (except snipers, which transform into rapid hipfiring death machines), but great for other guns.
Fistful of Bullets 1/1: Any build that uses shotguns at all should spend a single point on this, but it helps every gun to some degree by lengthening the time between reloads.
Crack Shot 1/5: At first glance, one point in this skill seems pretty underwhelming. Indeed, a mere 10% extra damage on a minority of your shots would be. But even a single point allows you to generate explosive novas from every full magazine kill, and the damage that these novas deal to anything nearby is considerable, especially if they’re able to score critical hits due to Tombstone being active. Overall this is one of the best single point investments available to Nisha.
Impatience 1/1: With many stacks at a time easily possible, this can make for near-instant reloads. I’ve seen ones so fast they almost can’t be seen. It’s like your gun refills by magic!
Hot Lead 5/5: With a mostly non-elemental loadout, it makes sense to utilize Nisha’s buffs to this weapon type. I chose Hot Lead over Magnificent Six because it plays better with bigger magazines and because multi-pellet guns like Maggie, Striker, and Skullmasher greatly benefit its ability to ignite enemies, making these weapons feel almost like flamethrowers at times. It also has insane Tombstone synergy, with the initial non-DoT bonus damage able to crit seperately from the main shot damage. Hot Lead crits allow for a sizable increase in your overall gun damage, even against things not particularly vulnerable to fire. Pity the ones that are, though…
Tombstone 5/5: Does Tombstone even need an introduction at this point? Your shots crit, your melee crits, your grenades crit, your buttslams crit, sneezing at enemies crits, thinking really hard about critting crits, everything crits all the time! Yay! The most important thing to remember is that all these “extra” crits from grenades, slams, Hot Lead, Unforgiven, and such will deal even more damage if you’re holding a gun with a large critical damage bonus when they trigger. This is yet another reason to go Jakobs! They will also freeze victims if you hold Excalibastard, which is just kooky.
The Unforgiven 1/1: Everything goes boom! Frankly, you’d have to be crazy to buy all the way down Riflewoman and skip this. It’s a room clearer almost all on its own. Frozen targets will suffer even more and the explosions from Unforgiven can even do critical damage while Tombstone is active! The combined effect of a frozen foe, a critical Unforgiven blast, and a crit damage boosting gun like the Skullmasher in hand is downright apocalyptic. Try it on the Sentinel sometime for a good laugh.
General play tips:
This setup is all about aggressive close quarters violence. Your shield buffs, Order, and lifesteal capabilities allow you to absorb an obscene amount of punishment and exist quite comfortably right out in the open under the enemy’s nose. Against regular foes, the flow of combat is: Dash right into the thick of the hoard, kill something to get your kill skills up, activate Showdown, reload to activate Quick Shot, and hipfire everything around you into oblivion. The Unforgiven will usually take care of any survivors, but if there are a few stragglers hanging on, your kill skills and Order stacks are likely still active and the next Showdown is only twelve seconds away. While you tend to kill fastest close up and hipfiring, aiming down the sights is still a perfectly viable option for distant targets, so adjust your fire accordingly. Cryo is not strictly necessary, but may help to speed things along against those beefy UVHM badasses, especially if you’ve already wiped out everything else on the battlefield and have no way to activate your kill skills. Adding Thunder Crackdown on top of the cryo debuff makes these situations even easier.
Against bosses…it’s pretty much the same thing. Kill a minion to power up, Showdown, proc Quick Shot, unload right into the big guy’s face. The only difference is how many times you’ll need to repeat this process: Zero times for standard fights and not many times at all for boss fights.
It’s not very complicated, but who needs subtlety when you both give and take hits like a tank?
Non-Jakobs and elemental options:
Jakobs guns are so badass that I have no idea why anyone would ever want to go this route, but I guess it is technically possible. I would recommend moving all five points out of Hot Lead and into Unchained if you’re mosly using elemental or fixed fire rate guns. No other adjustments should be required. For a list of great guns to try with this variant, see [Guide] Top Gear for Nisha.
While this build was mainly conceived as a high/max level one, some general tips on skill point allocation while leveling may be useful. First off, it’s wise to always devote your first skill point to Order. No other non-capstone skill nets Nisha so much for so little. Beyond that, you can continue down the Law & Order tree if you crave more durability or focus on The Riflewoman if you seem to be surviving fine and would prefer to prioritize your gun damage. Individual skill level and playstyle will really determine the best path for you. Unless you have access to the Celestial Lawbringer mod quite early, though, Fan the Hammer should be your lowest priority.
Special thanks to Chuck80, whose Deputy Nisha build was my starting point for this one. He’s also just a really cool guy.