Fan the Hammer: an analysis of a broken playstyle

Nisha’s trees can all be easily described in a sentence:

Law and Order: taking damage makes you more powerful
Fan the Hammer: maximizing speed and showdown
Riflewoman: accuracy without aiming

I want to talk about fan the hammer, and how it’s the only tree you cannot really use as your main tree. Why ?
because you’ll run out of ammo
simple as that.
Try it with a Vladof pistol… you’ll be done in less than 5 minutes.
Salvador was the undisputed master of fire rate in BL2, and he had the means to back it up: ammo regen from both his action skill and a COM, ammo regen through 5so6, Inconceivable, and Filled to the brim all made sure he could take full advantage of the blazing speeds he was capable of.

Nisha fills that roll in TPS: Between Faster n you, Hell’s coming with me, OFEOY, Quick shot, Unchained and Showdown, she is capable of outputting lead as no one else can in this game.

Yet… she has NO tools to take the edge off … no ammo regen, no skill that allows for free ammo… all she has is the Cowgirl COM: 55 extra bullets… that’s it. From the COM that boosts fire rate the most.

Needless to say that it seems like there is a piece of the puzzle missing. A whole tree that CANNOT be used as a basis for sustained gameplay.
I really want to love FTH… but most of my testings revealed it to be very limited in options and filled with ammo issues. Even when tailoring my build and gear around ammo consumption, it’s still lackluster.

What can be done ?

From a programmer’s perspective: plenty.
The could increase the extra ammo granted by the Cowgirl COM (at LEAST twice as much…)
Bring back the infinity
Rework Gunslinger so that the reloaded ammo is free (not taken from your ammo pool) and will reload both guns. (Gunslinger is a piss poor skill if you ask me: Gunzerking did it for free on any gun for any amount of ammo… 5 skill points for that ?)
Make gunslinger reload said number of bullets after every kill during showdown too
Make showdown regen ammo
Make the second gun you get with OFEOY not consume ammo

From a player’s perspective?
well, most of us who tried to make FTH work went the same road: using the most powerful pistols available to maximize each bullet’s value.
That usually meant Jakobs pistols.
Yet Jakobs pistols don’t get any advantage out of about one half of the tree (or maybe…they are awesome enough to not need them… your call)
For those of us who wished to unleash the true potential of Nisha’s fire rate bonuses, you either run out of ammo in 5 minutes or learn to hold your horses… which is kinda sad considering it’s supposed to be the point: it’s fun to shoot like crazy…
Other options are to use FTH with other guns besides pistols (which works great) but it’s kinda beside the mark, especially considering the nature of the capstone.

(Also… Gunslinger is probably the worst skill in the game, and rivals Cloudkill for the worst skill in the whole franchise… )

Here’s a little rundown of your options for pistols:

Dahl: Bad
Semi-auto guns do not work well with a fast fire rate tree. and if you want to fan the hammer, you’ll use a Jakobs.

Jakobs: Outstanding
Best bang for your buck. too bad it’s beside the mark when it comes to shooting fast… still, a very solid workaround.

Scav: Average
Decent damage, average accuracy, big mags. Not bad choices, but not the best either

Maliwan: Good
Despite costing 2 ammo per shot, they have splash and a pretty slow fire rate to make up for their increased damage, and a high elemental effect chance… too bad the cryo versions are bugged and won’t drop… another knock on FTH

Torgue: Outstanding
Would probably be the best choice (low fire rate, high damage, one ammo per shot) if not for the slow bullet speed they are plagued with. still, probably the best way to maximize each bullet’s value.

Hyperion: Good
High damage, low fire rate, decent stats overall and an accuracy gimmick that works well with OFEOY’s hip firing. there are better options on the table, but it’s a solid one.

Vladof: Bad
Yes: Bad. Vladof pistols are way too wasteful and cannot be used for more than 2-3 minutes. they are IMMENSE fun for that 2-3 minutes, but they are not a good choice…

Tediore: Average
Average damage, fire rate… average everything.
Chucking those mags by accident is the kind of thing that we just can’t afford though…
The Shootarang is pretty good though, as it has increased damage and has “extra bullets” when you reload.
other than that… bleah.

as we can see, the range of options for a Pistol FTH build is severely limited…
Nisha needs FTH to have ammo use mitigation in some form, or the Whole tree is gonna stay gimped in gear choice.

I hope this doesn’t come off as whining.
I love this game, and I love this character, but I can’t help but think there is a bit of bad design at work.
An entire tree’s playstyle is lacking fundamental tools to be used fully, and it sorta leaves the impression that not a lot of thought was put into that part of the game.


At endgame, with ammo capacities maxed out, it’s not really an issue. You can take full advantage of Showdown with the Ol’ Rosie. Showdown’s auto-aim negates ALL recoil. Therefore, FtH is just as viable as RW, maybe even more so. I know UVHM is coming up, but currently, I can easily take out the Invincible Sentinel without running out of laser ammo. Remember that the minions drop a lot of ammo, so make sure you sweep the arena when you’re running low. As for mobbing, recoil-less rosie makes short work of all mobs. You can easily finish Titan Robot Production Plant with Rosie, and have a bunch of unopened ammo chests leftover to refill your ammo.

Im talking more specifically about pistol ammo and OFEOY builds. Laser ammo is one of the most plentifull in the game and is bugged to give you more on drops. Like I said in the OP, you can use FTH without pistols without problems, but its a bit sad that you cant really use it with most pistols since its supposed to be the trees focus.

yeah. Big issue is that ruthless is a tier 1 skill and is all thats required to pull that off.

I’m hoping the shield buffs will make the +60% shield penetration double lune-shine bonus stronger. That could help.

time to look for a fire maliwan pistol with that luneshine on it. :slight_smile:

With shield buffs. That might not be a half bad idea.

With Tombstone, Hot Lead, Trick Shot, Dastardly Maggie, a bomber Oz kit, Storm Front grenades and a Sham the willow playthrough is mostly doable with OFEOY. Admittedly, I used grenades to conserve a LOT of ammo. I used a 2x Hyperion corrosive on RK5 until it ran empty (40 seconds maybe) then switched to a shotgun, couldn’t see any other way. With 2.5x health and 3.5x shield buffs on badasses in IVHM I can’t see much chance of success with FTH.

Supposedly, enemies will drop more ammo in UVHM, but I doubt it’s gonna be enough to shore-up the flood of ammo FTH requires.

With storm fronts stripping shields (albeit your own too frequently in tight spaces) and Hot Lead doing some DoT with an assist to Tombstone I found that you don’t have to pull the trigger all that much IF you can sponge bullets with the Sham.

Again though, I was using all orange gear and it was feasible but not too easy. I need to go try it again with all blue and purple gear. I’d imagine that would be frustrating at the very least without an 84% absorb shield.

They do not need them. The build I use focuses around the maggie and celestial lawbringer and uses 7 out of 11 skills from FTH (well over half). It’s the faster fire rate skills that are useless to Jakobs. That said, Jakobs pistols fire fast enough (just let go of the right stick and slap that right trigger, or click faster). As other have pointed out there are plenty of other weapons that do make great use of it.

I don’t get why this tree should be wholly dedicated to all pistols, which seems to be what you’re making a case for (maybe i’m misreading that). The name is Fan the Hammer: you can only fan the hammer on a revolver, and there’s only one manufacturer making revolvers: Jakobs. Wikipedia about fanning: “Fanning is a revolver shooting technique in which one hand holds the trigger and the other hits the hammer repeatedly.”

So I wouldn’t call the entire tree broken, far from it. It’s just that the faster fire rate bonuses do not make sense since Jakobs weapons fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. Also since fanning the hammer using both hands, one for each of ya does not make sense in this tree. So I agree that the tree is a bit of a mess in terms of skills, but it’s not broken.

Well, I disagree with you, but I don’t know where to point.

On one hand you are saying that the tree is NOT about all pistols, and is about Jakobs pistols
and on the other hand, you say that those fire rate skills do not make sense in the tree.

…well, they don’t make sense only if we use your definition of what the tree is about.
so I would be of the opinion that you are misreading the TREE’s intent :slight_smile: (which would make a lot more sense from a design perspective)

I think some skills are clearly there to benefit Jakobs guns (Hell’s and Mag6) and some are there for other pistols (Faster and OFEOY, which benefits much more auto-pistols than semi-auto)

To me, it appears clear that the tree’s focus is about maximizing showdown and fire rate (in all it’s form)
and it also has a secondary focus on pistols…all of them.

I played some OFEOY Nisha in UVHM today with the ammo regen Moxxtail. Was not able to take down a pair of badasses (Scav and Mugger) in Pity’s Fall without running out of pistol ammo and switching to a meat grinder.

Got a Cryo T4S-R from the Holodome. Of course I got the Redundant prefix.

The tree’s primary intent is to buff Showdown. Buffing pistols, particularly Jakobs pistols and assault rifles, is its secondary intent. Not sure how well a Jakobs build will hold up in UVHM, but in the vanilla game, if one wanted to play with a Jakobs build for flavor (which is really the only reason), it was more than viable. But before Jack came along, beam lasers were tailor made for Nisha, and she is much more powerful with a Maliwan beam than she could ever be with a classic pistol/rifle.

Another very good reason to go with Jakobs pistols in FTH builds is ammo consumption. Jakobs pistols are very powerful and make each bullet spent count. They also get almost nothing out of fire rate boosts skills, so choices are more straightforward.

Stock up on moonstones and visit moxxi’s bar for her ammo regeneration drink every 10 minutes? (10 minutes is how long it lasts, right?)

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That amount of regen can’t even come close to keeping up with the fire rate of OFEOY.

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30 minutes


If they’re dropping more ammo I’m sure not seeing it. I’m hitting every crate and still buying more at almost every machine playing one gun Nisha with a Maggie in slot one, a cryo Redundant T4s-R in slot two, Flakker or Meat Grinder in 3 for second winds, and a Fremington’s Edge in 4.

Better get a +10% damage buff, This will decrease your ammo consumption rate by 10%

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So, I know a lot of people use the Titan Robot Plant for testing builds, but actually the best place to test builds is Tycho’s Ribs. The Super Mario Bros. room has a ton of enemies and a bunch of ammo chests for cutting loose with any loadout you choose.