[Build] Winter is Coming a.k.a. White Walker - Level 70 Update

This is pretty much the build I used from the start with Aurelia and it worked out great. Therefore I want to share it with you.


Description:

This build uses some skills which only work with sniper rifles but those guns are just a small part of the loadout. Actually you’ll use a lot of different gun types. The build is also the most durable I’ve found while playing Aurelia.

Summary of all bonuses at level 70 (without bonuses from class mods):

  • up to +170% Gun Damage
  • +30% Elemental Damage based on the amount of gun damage
  • +60-135% Cryo Damage
  • additional +55% Cryo Damage vs. Shields
  • up to +40% Freeze Chance
  • 10% Cryo Damage Life Steal
  • +67% Critical Hit Damage
  • +65% Reload Speed
  • +30% Movement Speed
  • +100% Bullet/Projectile Speed
  • up to -200% Shield Recharge Delay
  • 44% Damage Mitigation
  • up to +150% Action Skill Cooldown Reduction
  • and a shitload of crowd control

I haven’t included the bonuses from I Never Miss and Wait for It.


The Skills:

The Huntress

  • Markswoman: You’ll get a decent amount of critical damage bonus out of it which is permanent and doesn’t need to be activated unlike a lot of Aurelia’s skills. The additional aim speed is handy but hardly necessary. The alternative is to max out Only the Best instead which I’d recommend only if you’re using your sniper rifle exclusively. But keep in mind that OtB will screw up the firing pattern of guns like Flakker, Torguemada and Hail. And we really don’t need the additional mag size for snipers since we have Silver Lining and our sniper shots will kill an enemy in one hit.

  • Only the Best: This skill makes it easier to crit on (fast) moving enemies. As long an enemy is under your reticle once you fire your gun you’ll hit with it. It also makes Torgue guns easier to use (except those with special behavior like Hail, Flakker and Torguemada). The mag size increase is important in combination with the skill Large Caliber since sniper rifles tend to have a small mag already. The alternative is to max out Only the Best instead of Markswoman which I’d recommend only if you’re using your sniper rifle exclusively. But keep in mind that OtB will screw up the firing pattern of guns like Flakker, Torguemada and Hail. And we really don’t need the additional mag size for snipers since we have Silver Lining and our sniper shots will kill an enemy in one hit.

  • Culling the Herd: We crit very often and therefore this skill offers a nearly permanent gun damage boost which is really important to amplify all your crit damage bonuses. This is a must-have.

  • Long-Range Killer: This skill is quite good when you’re fighting targets from far away (20 meters and upwards) where the additional damage can be more than 50% of your gun’s damage. In close-quarters combat (melee range) the additional damage is just ~1% of your gun damage. But it’s still better than the alternatives. The additional damage behaves like a separate projectile which is able to crit and applies the element of your gun. Here you can find an extensive analysis of that skill.

  • Warning Shot: Just one skill point to be more flexible when using different class mods. And since the Skullmasher, the #1 sniper rifle for this build, almost always triggers this skill you won’t loose anything.

  • Silver Lining: On sniper rifles and other guns (like shotguns) which have high burst damage potential this skill is great to counter reloads. Doesn’t do much on guns with high fire rate but less damage per shot.

  • I Never Miss: Neat skill which is hardly necessary for generic enemies (even badasses). Really only worthwhile for tougher stationary bosses. Keep in mind that all pellets of the Skullmasher have to land to get a stack. With the Skullmasher the stacks will disappear once you fire a shot which will kill an enemy. But that doesn’t matter because we don’t need stacks to kill enemies in one shot.

  • Magic Bullet: With our setup it’s very easy to critical hit an enemy with a sniper. This setup can be played close-range (with a sniper rifle) and that’s why we get both ways of healing: health regeneration and the healing from the nova.

  • Wait for It: Just one skill point to be more flexible when using different class mods. And since the Skullmasher, the #1 sniper rifle for this build, almost always triggers this skill you won’t loose anything.

  • Large Caliber: This is the reason why we want a few points in Only the Best. OtB can compensate the loss of mag size on snipers quite a bit. Huge permanent raw damage increase and decent reload speed bonus is what makes one-shots possible. The reload speed bonus isn’t necessary for our sniper rifle thanks to Silver Lining, nearly every shot (one-hit kill) will add a bullet to our magazine. Really only necessary for other gun types. For the latter you can try to get a mag size accessory on them to get more shots out of it before reloading.

  • Prudent Prudence: This skill is active pretty much all the time if there is at least one enemy trying to kill you. They’ll regret it because the bonuses from this skill are huge.

  • Custom Loads: Great skill if you can’t engage in close- to mid-range, if you need to kill enemies with precise shots. But thanks to the aim speed bonus from Markswoman you can utilize the bonus damage even close-range with a fast scope-shoot-unscope combination. When you want to deal different kinds of elemental damage in quick succession you can button mash your scope button since the elemental wheel will continue spinning even if you unscope from a previous shot. The next scoped shot will have the next element damage bonus.
    Sorry for the description of that one. Is it understandable what I try to say with the latter part of it?

Cold Money

  • Avalanche: This skill is good vs. generic enemies because you’ll get just one stack per enemy but there should be plenty to reach high counts. The slow decay rate let you carry the stacks from encounter to encounter without notable losses. But avoid dealing fire damage, e.g. if you use Custom Loads or shooting barrels.

  • Bitter Riposte: Great skill and one point wonder. This single point makes your shield a machine gun kind of Impaler/Flyin’ Maiden (Spike Shield with flying and homing spikes) with a nearly 100% chance to freeze enemies and good pathfinding. More points would just increase the spike damage which isn’t bad/too low but negligible.

  • Short Summer: We rely on our action skill and even if we don’t use cryo weapons thanks to Cold as Ice, Custom Loads, Bitter Riposte, Fragment Rain, Winter’s Veil and Wintertide we have more than enough sources to keep the stacks rolling.

  • Winter’s Fury: Great skill if you prefer close-quarters-combat since it adds a lot of utility and survivability, especially in combination with Polar Vortex. If you’re playing pure long-range this skill is hardly worth it.

  • Frigid Touch: All the skills I mentioned in the description of Short Summer will keep you healthy as long as there are enemies around you which you can kill easily to activate Frigid Touch. Pretty much a no-brainer. We can’t rely on it in most boss fights but it’s still a nice addition.

  • Fragment Rain: The synergy between this and Polar Vortax is insane. The radius is huge, enemies get staggered even if they’re airborne. The freeze chance isn’t spectacular but the enemies affected also suffer reduced movement speed.

  • Frostbite: Five points of this skill in combination with the Chronicler of Elpis makes Cryo the most powerful element on Aurelia. You really don’t need to swap weapons and elements depending on enemy type unless they’re immune to Cryo.

  • Polar Vortex: I haven’t thought I’d love this skill on this build. But I was wrong. Adds a lot of utility and survivability. Also synergizes with pretty much every skill in the Cold Money tree. A must have.

  • Cold Advance: As mentioned before we heavily rely on our action skill and increased duration is always a good thing. We crit very often which triggers this skill. Furthermore the more duration you stack right before a fight ends the more cooldown you’ll get refundend once the Frost Diadem Shard returns to you. Often I end a fight versus generic enemies with full duration. The longer the duration of Cold as Ice the more you’ll get out of Short Summer and Whiteout.

  • Whiteout: Even if you intend to play long-range primarily there are areas where you can’t keep distance to your targets, especially in a lot of interiors which includes boss fights. The description says “near your” but the radius is huge The ability to live about twice as long as without it is very handy.

  • Winter’s Veil: One point wonder like Bitter Riposte. Has a nearly 100% freeze chance like Bitter Riposte. The damage is negligible, too. But now you have a Spike Shield with flying/homing spikes and a Nova Shield in one piece of gear. An enemy won’t be able to attack you another time.

  • Wintertide: Let’s make every gun a cryo gun and boost a cryo gun even higher with the investment of just one skill point. Yes please! There’s no reason to not use it. Not that great in boss fights unless there are enough weak enemies to keep this skill activated.

Contractual Aristocracy

  • Duchess: You should invest one skill point only if you’re using the Celestial Baroness class mod. With that COM you’ll get free accuracy the longer you play. But even with 6/2 skill rank the bonus in accuracy is only noticeable on guns with low accuracy unless you have 150-200 stacks. Remove that skill point from Only the Best.

The Gear:

Guns:

  • A sniper rifle, either non-elemental or cryo. The Skullmasher is my primary weapon because it’s very easy to crit with, can be used close-range as a shotgun substitute, offers huge base and crit (modifier) damage to get the most out of Custom Loads & Wintertide and is able to trigger I Never Miss and both types of healing from Magic Bullet in one shot. Since it is non-elemental enemies can’t resist the damage type. The extreme raw power let you kill nearly every generic enemy (including badasses) in one shot and thus Silver Lining will keep your mag filled with little death dealers. As if this wasn’t enough, it provides extreme synergy with Cold Advance. Sometimes it even synergizes very well with Polar Vortax and let you hit multiple enemies. Very potent alternatives are Snider (Maliwan barrel) and ***Droog***. If you want to use your sniper rifle exclusive for long range encounters a Fremington’s Edge is also a very powerful alternative. Keep in mind that enemies with shields resist cryo damage and suffer reduced damage from it.

  • Recommended:
    Skookum Skullmasher :no_entry_sign: (Image)
    ~ Grip: Jakobs
    ~ Stock: Dahl
    ~ Accessory: Skookum (+damage)
    ~ Element: Non-Elemental
    ~ Luneshine: 30% chance to ignore enemy shields

  • Moxxi Gun: These guns are for the nasty bosses who deal too much damage in a short amount of time so you won’t survive. Switch to it, throw a grenade (preferably Teslas) and get healed by it while you’re doing additional damage with the gun. Due to Only the Best the trajectory of the Hail behaves differently. You have to stay much further away from the enemy to let the bullets split mid-air. When in doubt aim at the ground and directly hit the enemy before you. Just one projectile per shot hitting the enemy is still better than missing all your shots while trying to find the right distance. I prefer the Vibra-Pulse because it’s easy to acquire, easy to handle, synergizes very well with 3DD1.E oz kit and provides enough healing additional to some decent damage output (it can chain from enemy to enemy).

  • Recommended
    Vibra-Pulse :zap: (Image)
    ~ All parts fixed

  • Two additional guns of your choice. I prefer the ***Fast Talker***, the currently highest DPS SMG in the game, and ***Company Man***, one of the highest DPS shotguns. Speed kills!

  • Here’s a comprehensive list of other great guns for Aurelia: [Guide] Top Gear for Lady Hammerlock

Backpack Guns:

  • Pitchfork for Iwajira and the big phases of the Sentinel because they have huge crit spots and all pellets can hit. With this gun you’ll get massive amounts of I Never Miss stacks extremely fast.

  • Recommended:
    Pacifying Pitchfork :zap: :snowflake: (Image)
    ~ Grip: Dahl
    ~ Stock: Dahl
    ~ Accessory: Pacifying (+Damage)
    ~ Element: Shock & Cryo
    ~ Luneshine: 10% critical hit damage bonus & 30% chance to ignore enemy shields

  • Any explosive gun with high burst damage and preferably multiple pellets for very tough badasses and enemies without or with hidden crit spots in case you want to cause some explosive mayhem. I prefer the Ravager because it offers the highest burst damage of all Torgue guns (except rocket launchers which will kill you close range). Because of the low accuracy you have to be closer on the enemy which will reduce the damage of Long-Range Kill but this baby ofers enough damage to completely outweigh that disadvantage. Furthermore with 9/5 in Large Caliber you’ll get just one shot out of Ravagers and Hulks but this single shot is even more deadly and should be enough to eliminate the need for a second shot. Single-barrel Torgue shotties can fire two shots though but they offer far less burst damage.

  • Recommended:
    Casual Ravager :boom: (Image)
    ~ Grip: Torgue
    ~ Stock: Hyperion
    ~ Accessory: Casual (+Projectiles)
    ~ Element: Explosive
    ~ Luneshine: 30% chance to ignore enemy shields / Increases grenade damage by 5%

  • A Fight For You Life weapon of your choice. For standard enemies it isn’t necessary to have this kind of weapon equipped. I prefer an explosive Badaboom because of the huge mag size and ammo efficiency.

  • Recommended:
    Kwik-Change Badaboom :boom: (Image)
    ~ Grip: Bandit
    ~ Stock: Bandit or Torgue
    ~ Accessory: Kwik-Change (+Swap Speed)
    ~ Element: Explosive
    ~ Luneshine: 30% chance to ignore enemy shields / Increases grenade damage by 5%

Other Equipment:

  • A fast (recharge speed and delay) shield to get the most out of Prudent Prudence, Bitter Riposte and Winter’s Veil. I use a Tediore Inflammable Shield for general gameplay and a Reogenator for tougher fights. Tediore parts are preferred because they boost recharge rate and speed and the shields special effect. Additionally Tediore shields are the fastest in the game.

  • Recommended:
    Inflammable Shield :fire: (Image)
    ~ Body: Tediore
    ~ Battery: Tediore
    ~ Capacitor: Maliwan (Fire Resistance)

  • A Tesla grenade because it strips shields easily (since shields resist cryo damage) and synergizes very well with Polar Vortex and the Hail/Vibra-Pulse. The best possible version of it is the ***Storm Front***. The alternative is a Cryo Transfusion which deals less damage but freezes very reliable and heals you. With the latter grenade you’ll get two times healing: one time directly from your grenade and another time from Frigid Touch if it’s active. The third option is a Vladof Cryo grenade which offers an extremely high freeze chance, decent damage, thus good healing through Frigid Touch and an AoE effect which doesn’t hurt you.

  • Recommended:
    Longbow Storm Front :zap: (Image) or Longbow Cryo Transfusion :snowflake: (Image) or Longbow Cryo :snowflake: (Image)

  • 3DD1.E or Juggernaut Oz Kit because survivability can be an issue if you can’t kill a weak enemy to activate Frigid Touch, Whiteout isn’t active and there are no crit spots to trigger Magic Bullet. Our shield also doesn’t provide much defense. But there the oz kits come into play. 3DD1.E refills your shield and health occasionally, increases shield capacity (which is insane with a fast Tediore shield), absorbs laser shots, spawns some health and ammo packages upon killing an enemy and provides a damage boost to our Vibra-Pulse. This is all-round the best oz kit for this build. The Juggernaut comes on a close second. Juggernaut preferably with resistances to all elements which can cause elemental status effects because those can be a PITA on Aurelia. The element of the slam attack doesn’t matter much because you won’t slam that often.

  • Recommended:
    3DD1.E :boom: (Image)

  • Chronicler of Elpis (Image) is one of the best class mods for Aurelia and the best one for this setup. It offers a huge damage boost (increased cryo damage / +Large Caliber / +I Never Miss / +Frostbite) and thus also additional survivability (increased cryo damage --> Frigid Touch / increased freeze chance / increased shield capacity/ Cold Advance). Celestial Baroness class mod (Image) offers less damage but more utility than the CoE in form of ammo regen, additional spike damage, more accuracy and bigger sniper rifle magazines. If you can aim pretty well go for the Chronicler.
    Alternatives are:

  • Resourceful Big Game Hunter (+5 Culling the Herd / +4 Markswoman / +4 I Never Miss) is a great alternative for all those snipers which fire high damage projectiles (single) like standard Jakobs and Maliwan

  • Uncaring Sport Hunter (+5 Wait for It / +4 Only the Best / +4 Warning Shot) is one of the best class mods to specialize in the Skullmasher (use it exclusively) and abuse the special behavior in combination with Aurelia’s skill mechanics

  • High-and-Mighty Gentry (+6 Cold Advance / +5 Short Summer)

  • Ultra High Definition (+6 Large Caliber / +5 Only the Best)

  • Upper Class Privileged (+6 Culling the Herd / +5 Frigid Touch)

  • Frost Queen (+5 Short Summer / +4 Avalanche / +4 Whiteout)


Gameplay Videos:

Winter is Coming - Gameplay (Level 60)

Winter is Coming to Iwajira (Level 60)




[Outdated and redundant] Non-Sniper Version a.k.a. White Walker (Level 60)

Skill Calculator Link for Celestial Baroness class mod

Skill Calculator Link for Chronicler of Elpis class mod

Recommended Gear:

  • Enforcable Bullpup

  • Rightsizing Fatale

  • explosive gun of your choice (like those I recommended in the main part of the guide)

  • rocket launcher as a Fight For Your Life weapon

  • Celestial Baroness or Chronicler of Elpis class mod

  • 3DD1.E oz kit

  • fast Tediore shield

10 Likes

What do you think about the wheel speed on Custom Loads? I didn’t spec into it because I was worried that I would accidentally roll Fire and mess up my Avalanche stacks.

The element changes about every 500 ms (two changes per second). If you just worry about dealing fire damage it’s pretty easy to avoid it.

I’ve added two gameplay videos. One vs. generic enemies and one vs. Iwajira.

Interesting build, close to some of what I’ve been doing. For mobbing, any random disribution of points in the Huntress & Cold Money trees would probably do! But those bosses need more thought. Gonna have to pull my Pitchfork back out & try. I’d avoided the Miss/Not Miss skills since I couldn’t get my head around that. But, since you only put a few points in them, I’ll try it out. I also want more points in Frostbite since it increases cryo damage to shielded enemies (that info is not shown in the build tree you used but it’s there).

Thanks for your efforts!

What element would you ideally want for the Pitchfork? I would think Shock in order to burn through shields as fast as possible, but with the Cryo damage enhancing skills I could see an argument for that as well.

if it were me I would carry one of each. for mobs I would use the shock pitchfork and a cry smg along with whatever you want for longer sniping/explosive. For bosses I would use vibrapulse for the shock (to try and heal) and cry pitchfork for the (generally) larger crit spots.

Thanks.

I don’t like stacking skills either. But I wanted a build which works with nearly every (resp. the best ones) class mod so I’ll be able to switch between them to get the most out of them in specific situations. And since the Skullmasher is able to trigger all of them just one point won’t hurt.

I’m aware of that. But I carry a Storm Front for shielded enemies. Aurelia’s damage is already high enough. More points in Frostbite would increase the pure cryo damage a little bit so a shield would drop a few ms earlier but you’d have to remove points from the other skills which are far more important, especially the defensive ones. Shielded enemies never were an issue for me, unless we’re talking about bosses but using cryo on a boss shield is a very bad idea.

Depends. Ideally would be a shock and a cryo one. Shock for tough shields and huge crit spots like the Sentinel and cryo for e.g. Iwajira. If you just want to farm one I’d go for shock because it will be the more universal one.

New and first video of the non-sniper version added.

Update: Added Long-Range Killer to the build again.


All-clear: Long-Range Killer works as intended.

Since I argued the last days that LRK doesn’t work resp. works very situational I wanted to substantiate my allegation with further testings. I don’t know whether they fixed it recently or I was blind when doing the first tests. It does work as intended. Always. I found some pretty interesting things.

  • The damage is based on the range - which should be obvious - and your gun’s damage.
  • It is affected by gun damage bonuses.
  • In close range (melee range) the additional damage is about 1% of your gun damage.
  • If you’re about 20 meters (estimation) away from your target the damage will be ~20% of your gun’s damage.
  • The additional damage behaves like a separate projectile from your gun.
  • It applies the element of your gun.
  • It can crit and is affected by crit damage bonuses.
  • Multiple projectiles per shot don’t affect the damage output. Just one projectile has to hit in order to apply the damage bonus from LRK.

Here’s an example of how powerful it can be, me sniping a Dahl Soldier in the Holodome with a Fremington’s Edge and no skill points invested except for LRK:

2 Likes

I swear that I only got the extra damage occasionally.
Still, looks like I got proven wrong.

Thanks DankRaft, i had been curious how that worked.

1 Like

Is it like splash and if the bullet outright kills the enemy then there is no splash?

SR I currently use doesn’t have splash (elemental Hyperion), its rather the fact that it seemed that LRK didn’t always proc (I.E. no visible numbers coming from the bonus damage).

I meant is it like splash in that way.

No.
LRK did occasionally kick in even when I only needed one shot to kill a Scav.

Edit:
Now that I come to think about it, though its only a theory. Maybe that the bonus always gets applied but the extra numbers aren’t always shown?

During my test I found the LRK numbers to be hidden behind the actual gun damage numbers because they’re smaller.

Huh, interesting.
I’ll do a doublecheck whenever I play TPS again. Glad that I didn’t spec out of it though.

1 Like

Cool, I was expecting another dud additive boost like Nisha’s Hot Lead or Short Fused.

But this nice multiplicative boost will please me greatly.

2 Likes

Updates to the build look great. The extra detail re: gear selection is nice. I’m still waffling on what I like best in terms of snipers. I was using a Cryo Snider for a long time and really liked it since you could often “pin” the enemy on the first shot with the cryo effect (for those enemies who aren’t already frozen by other skills anyway.) Switched over to my Skullmasher for now but I still think I prefer the Snider at long range since a lot of the masher’s pellets don’t land when at a long distance.

I noticed that you changed out the point distribution a bit in the build. IIRC you had a couple of points in Warning Shot previously. If I can ask, what was your reason for moving those points out given that the Skullmasher triggers this almost constantly?

1 Like