This is intended to be a community guide to skills. If you disagree with my rating of skills or there are synergies you believe I should be mentioning let me know.
Table of Contents
The rating system used is meant to indicate general usefulness. The star ratings are by no means hard and fast rules. Some skills, such as Matched Set, are amazing when built around but because they require special attention they do not receive high ratings.
Sub-par: These are the skills that are generally bad and its really hard to make them worthwhile.
Below Average: These are skills that can be useful but requires you to build around them a bit, just throwing them in to move down a tree is a usually bad idea because there are better options.
Average: These are the skills that are solid choices to move to the skills you really want.
Great: These skills will make the game much easier and should be taken always if you are at that point in the tree they are located in.
Outstanding: Skills of this rating will be game changers that you base your build and play style around, they should be taken with almost every set up if you are in that tree.
Big shields, more damage and a cool name, what more do you want?
Shield of Retribution offers Moze massive boosts to both offense and defense. This balance combined with little preference to gun types make Shield of Retribution a staple to both leveling and endgame builds.
Whenever Moze reloads, she loses a small portion of her health and grants additional Incendiary Damage to her and her allies’ rounds for 5 seconds.
Current Health Removed: 1%
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +3% of gun damage dealt
Current Health Removed: 5%
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +15% of gun damage dealt
A mixed bag skill, triggering it is anti synergistic to Moze’s skills however the damage boost is sizable. Moze does not have skill tree boosts to reload speed and offers skills in both Bottomless Mags and Demolition Woman that are anti synergistic to reloading. The bonus fire damage benefits from all other gun damage boosts in Shield of Retribution and Bottomless Mags.
Iron Bear gains a bubble shield that reduces damage taken.
The shield deactivates if it sustains too much damage, reactivating after a short cooldown.
50% Iron Bear Max Health added as Shields
Bubble Recharge Delay: 5 sec
This is a physical shield Iron Bear projects out. It’s a fairly sizable capacity, however we are given no way to sustain it under fire. The Utility it offers when hopping in and out of IB quickly is great as even at Mayhem 4 it gives you a bit of time to adjust. However for late game survival it’s not going to be the crux of your defense.
While Moze’s shields are active, she gains Damage Reduction and increased Gun Damage.
Damage Reduction: +3%
Gun Damage: +3%
Damage Reduction: +13%
Gun Damage: +15%
A solid all purpose skill that synergizes with everything Shield of Retribution aims for. Further investment in Shield of Retribution leads to this becoming nearly always on.
Drowning in Brass
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy grants Moze a stack of Drowning in Brass. Moze can have at most 3 stacks at any one time.
For each stack of Drowning in Brass, Moze’s Fire Rate is reduced, but Gun Damage is increased for both her and her allies. Drowning in Brass stacks last 15 seconds each.
Moze Fire Rate: -0.5% per stack.
Gun Damage: +4% per stack.
Moze Fire Rate: -2.5% per stack.
Gun Damage: +20% per stack.
An excellent skill. Fairly easy to build up stacks, this skill is the foundation on which Moze builds momentum in any encounter. The small sacrifice in fire rate is well worth the extra damage. That the skill applies to teammates and Iron Bear too is just bonus.
Thin Red Line
A portion of Moze’s health is Reserved and cannot be restored, but her Maximum Shield is increased by the same amount.
+20% Max Health Reserved and Added to Max Shields.
+60% Max Health Reserved and Added to Max Shields.
Most builds should get at least 2/3 Thin Red Line as Moze gets more out of having shields than she does Health. Armored Infantry is active when we have shields, hence Thin Red Line leads to more up time for Armored Infantry. Further down Tenacious Defense also benefits from some Thin Red Line as the bigger your shields the more it can restore.
A third point or more should be considered more carefully. With 3 or more points in Thin Red Line Moze loses the safety of Health gate. If your build cannot restore shields while taking damage then Health Gate is a better defensive mechanic than more shields. However combinations such as Thin Red Line, a Deathless Artifact and a Bloodletter make it worth giving up Health Gating.
A major reason Thin Red Line is amazing is that any reserved health also gets the benefit of shield boosts when being converted to shields. The nature of Thin Red Line being a non % based increase to shields means that it can give extremely high boosts to low capacity shields.
Moze’s Maximum Shield is increased, and she gains resistance to Shock Damage.
Shock Damage Resistance: +15.0%
Max Shield: +6.0%
Shock Damage Resistance: +47%
Max Shield: +30%
Shock resistance is Moze’s major weakness, anything we can do to mitigate it is worth investing in. The max shield capacity is great. The main thing holding this skill back is that it shares a tier with Thin Red Line and Drowning in Brass.
Full Can of Whoop-Ass
Entering Iron Bear causes Moze’s and her allies’ shields to immediately begin recharging at an increased Shield Recharge Rate.
Shield Recharge Rate +25%
For builds that aim to spend all of combat in Iron Bear this skill is of no value. You can stay in Iron Bear long enough that your shield will recharge naturally regardless of if you spec this. Builds that intend to use Iron Bear in short bursts such as for taking out a single target or to proc Annointments will get value out of Full Can of Whoop-Ass. The Shield Recharge rate boost is nice, however the true reason this is goo is that Full Can of Whoop-Ass will continue charging your shield throughout it’s duration even if you take damage.
Whenever Moze scores a Critical Hit, she deals bonus Incendiary Damage.
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +10% of Damage Dealt.
Bonus fire damage on crit? yes please. All the benefits of Selfless Vengeance for merely hitting crits. For 1 point this skill is a no brainer.
Behind the Iron Curtain
Moze’s Shield Recharge Delay is reduced, and her Shield Recharge Rate is increased.
Shield Recharge Rate: +7%
Shield Recharge Delay: -7%
Shield Recharge Rate: +21%
Shield Recharge Delay: -19%
For a tier 4 skill the bonuses are pitiful, furthermore they gain no benefit from the rest of Shield of Retribution’s shield perks.
Moze’s Gun Damage and Iron Bear’s Weapon Damage is increased depending on how low Moze’s health is. The lower her health, the greater the increase.
Gun Damage: up to +17%
Gun Damage: up to +50%
It’s only tier 4 but already we reach the culmination of what Shield of Retribution has built towards. Thin Red Line enables this perk to be always active and adding in items such as Bloodletters or Deathless artifacts allow us to take full advantage of the skill all the time. In setups that go for 1hp this is a 5 star skill and largely what the setup is based around.
However for builds that don’t go 1hp, Desperate Measures offers sporadic damage that isn’t great for a tier 4 skill. The skill is at it’s best when you’re in trouble and is still a decent option for going down the tree but it isn’t excellent outside 1hp builds.
Kill Skill. After killing an enemy, Moze gains a stack of Phalanx Doctrine. For every stack of Phalanx Doctrine, Moze’s Maximum Shield and Gun Damage are increased. Each stack lasts 30 seconds and there is no stack limit.
Phalanx Doctrine Stack Duration: 30 seconds
Max Shields: +3% per stack.
Gun Damage: +2% per stack.
Max Shields: +15% per stack.
Gun Damage: +10% per stack.
Phalanx Doctrine is everything we want from a Shield of Retribution skill. It adds damage for killing things quickly, which combined with Drowning in Brass lends to Moze being able to gain and maintain momentum quickly. The bonus shield capacity quickly leads to Moze gaining ridiculous Max shield counts and becoming extremely difficult to down when there are mobs to kill.
This skill can do wonders for Moze, the aspects that hold it back are:
- The damage has diminishing returns when stacked with the other damage skills present in Shield of Retribution.
- Shield Capacity is great but Moze has very few means of taking advantage of the increased capacity as she cannont recharge her shield through damage.
Whenever Moze scores a Critical Kill, her shields immediately begin recharging.
At end game this skill is just an inferior version of the guardian rank skill Shield Reboot.
For low level characters who have yet to unlock Shield Reboot it is a 2 star skill as it will start shield regeneration. However the skill is still weak as shield regeneration will be stopped by any damage taken.
Whenever Moze’s shield is fully depleted, she instantly restores a portion of her shield, and her Gun Damage is increased for a short time.
This skill can only trigger after Moze’s shields have fully recharged.
Restores: +40% of Max Shield
Gun Damage: +30%
Tenacious Defense Duration: 30 seconds
In a vacuum this is a great skill, offering both shield recovery and gun damage. The issue lies in the fact that Thin Red Line and Desperate Measures so encourages a 1hp build and for 1hp builds this capstone is useless as you will go down before the effect can trigger.
For builds that don’t heavily invest in Thin Red Line, and have the benefit of health gate this is a good capstone and worth the investment if you reach this point in the tree. The shield restoration has excellent synergy with all Shield Capacity boosts present in the trees and the gun damage is a nice to have.
Listen well, brothers and sisters: if your finger ever leaves the trigger, their boots shall never leave your neck.
Bottomless Mags offers Moze the ammo mitigation to take full advantage of fast firing weapons and offers damage boosts that compliment Shield of Retribution’s base damage. Oh and reloading might just become a distant memory.
Cloud of Lead
Occasionally, Moze’s and Iron Bear’s shots will deal additional Incendiary Damage and won’t consume ammo.
Every 8 shots does not consume ammo
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +2.25%
Every 4 shots does not consume ammo
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +11.25%
A good start to Bottomless mags, not consuming ammo will give time for us to regenerate our mag. The bonus fire damage is nice and offers a small boost against flesh. This is a solid skill you can’t really go wrong with.
Adds a manned turret to the back of Iron Bear.
The turrets damage at higher Mayhems is average, however it does offer you invulnerability. If you dedicate yourself to using the turret it can be used effectively in conjunction with Auto Bear, however for builds not focussed on using the turret it’s not worth the investment.
Moze’s currently equipped weapon gains a stacking bonus to Magazine Size and Decreased Heat Per Shot for every piece of equipped gear that has a matching manufacturer.
Heat Per Shot: -2%
Magazine Size: +2%
Heat Per Shot: -11%
Magazine Size: +10%
Has potential to be Moze’s biggest mag size boost, however it really needs 4 to 5 pieces of matched gear to outperform Cloud of Lead and because of this is more liable to run afoul of bad Mayhem Modifiers.
Stoke The Embers
Increases Moze and Iron Bear’s Incendiary Damage
Incendiary Damage: +10%
Incendiary Damage: +30%
A 30% boost to all fire damage. For a character like Moze who gets a lot of additive boosts to damage, in tier 2, a 30% multiplicative Damage boost is huge. The only thing holding this skill back is that the hardest content in the game is primarily resistant to fire.
After Moze scores a Critical Hit, she regenerates ammo for 3 seconds.
Ammo Regeneration: +5% of Magazine
5% is more powerful than it sounds. This skill is what makes Bottomless mags work. Combined with a large mag weapon and a mag size boost or two, Redistribution is enough to run an entire map without reloading.
The cherry on top is that crits scored by Auto Bear or even through your grenades will proc Redistribution.
Be aware if Redistribution stops regenerating your mag past a certain point it may just be that you are at max ammo and hence your mag is soft-capped.
While moving, Moze’s Handling, Weapon Swap and Mode Switch Speed are increased.
Weapon Swap Speed: +16.0%
Mode Switch Speed: +16.0%
Weapon Swap Speed: +48.7%
Mode Switch Speed: +48.7%
Scrappy is a nice boost to handling and gives Moze some extra adaptability. However being next to 2 of Moze’s best skills does it no favours. Requires favourable circumstances to be preferable to it’s neighbours.
Moze can sprint and shoot at the same time.
A nice boost to Moze’s mobility but Bottomless Mags doesn’t have enough synergy with close quarters weapons to make this skill exceptional. Hyperion and Maliwan are probably the manufacturers that benefit most from this skill as both have very manageable hip fire accuracy.
Moze gains increased Fire Rate and Critical Hit Damage. Iron Bear Gains increased Hard Point Damage.
Fire Rate: +3%
Critical Hit Damage: +4%
Iron Bear Damage +5%
Fire Rate: +15%
Critical Hit Damage: +20%
Iron Bear Damage +25%
Being the only skill tree boosts Moze gets to both fire rate and critical hit damage makes this skill extra valuable. Both bonuses are essentially multiplicative dps boosts. The only thing stopping this from being a 5 star skill is that the bonuses aren’t bigger for a 5 point skill.
Note: A weird perk of this skill is that it directly increases Short Fuse damage.
The Iron Bank
Increases Moze’s Magazine Size.
Magazine Size: +7%
Magazine Size: +35%
Iron Bank offers great synergy with Redistribution, Forge and Cloud of Lead. However it is a mag size boost that Moze seldom needs. Consistently hitting crits with Redistribution is enough to push your effective mag enough to not reload mid combat with most of Moze’s better guns. That class mods and relics can roll with +24% and +40% mag size is to me a good reason not to invest in this skill. If you are running a weapon that really needs mag size boosts this isn’t a bad investment, or if just getting down the tree is necessary.
Equipping two of the same Weapons on Iron Bear increases the damage they deal by 25%.
This is an excellent damage boost for Iron Bear. The 25% stands alone in Iron Bears damage formula, so you will always get a full 25% more damage for this single point. If you’re this far down the tree it’s this skill alone should make you seriously consider using two of the same Weapons.
Some for The Road
Moze gains infinite ammo for a 5 seconds after exiting Iron Bear
Not much to say about this one, 5 seconds where ammo consumption and mag size don’t matter is a lot. This skill is a boss killer. If there’s a target on the battle field you want dead this skill gives you 5 seconds insane dps to dispense of them. The only complaint is how slow Iron Bear’s entry and exit animation’s are, but for this level of dps boost it’s worth it. Alternatively gear can be annointed with this same effect.
Moze gains increased Gun Damage as her magazine empties. The less ammo there is remaining, the greater the increase.
If Moze has a COV gun equipped, she gains Gun Damage as her gun’s heat increases
At 1/3: Gun Damage: up to +12%
At 3/3: Gun Damage: up to +36%
A skill with so much potential, however the damage numbers are just too low. Where Desperate Measures takes all the synergy present in Shield of Retribution and puts it over the top. Click, Click… wastes the potential that Bottomless Mags has.
For a tier 5 skill to average just a 18% additive damage boost across a full mag is lackluster. Consider that Armored Infantry, a tier 1 skill, can average 15%. With careful ammo management and a large mag weapon it is possible to squeeze better performance out of Click, Click… however the performance pales in comparison the far simpler buffs available at the top of Shield of Retribution.
For further analysis of Click, Click… you can look here.
Moze constantly regenerates ammo for her currently equipped weapon.
Ammo Regeneration: +5.0% of magazine/sec.
All the great synergy of Redistribution without the conditional need for critical hits. Combining the 2 skills for 10% ammo regen and you get crazy deep magazines. Probably Moze’s best capstone.
As with Redistribution if Forge stops regenerating your mag past a certain point it may just be that you are at max ammo and hence your mag is soft-capped.
Demolition Woman offers Moze a combination of grenade and splash damage synergies. Vampyr being Moze’s only means of (skill tree) healing through damage and the support of 4 legendary class mods make this skill tree an endgame powerhouse.
Fire in the Skag Den
Whenever Moze deals Splash Damage, she deals bonus Incendiary Damage.
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +3%
Bonus Incendiary Damage: +15%
Almost all damage Demolition Woman Moze deals is splash damage. This ends up proccing on everything from grenades to Short Fuse. A solid damage perk for tier 1.
Firing Iron Bear Weapons drains less Fuel.
Killing an enemy while Iron Bear is active increases Fuel. This skill has diminishing returns.
Fuel Drain: -12.0%
Fuel Returned: Up to 2.0%
Fuel Drain: -30.0%
Fuel Returned: Up to 6.0%
Deadlines provides Moze with a hefty duration increase to Iron Bear up time, the fuel returned on kill rewards good play and can allow Iron Bear to last entire encounters. For those fantasizing about spending all their time as a badass mech pilot, Deadlines is your first step.
However if you plan to use Iron Bear in short bursts or as an anointment proccer then Deadlines offers no value.
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy reduces Moze’s remaining Action Skill Cooldown Time. This skill has diminishing returns.
Iron Bear Cooldown Time: -1 seconds
Iron Bear Cooldown Time: -5 seconds
Grizzled can be a great cooldown reduction for Moze when mobbing. The best part about the skill is that it works well in conjunction with other cooldown boosts. Generally stacking cooldown boosts is ill advised due to strong diminishing returns. However Grizzled does not suffer as badly from these boosts. If you do invest in Grizzled you should aim for a minimum of 4 points, anything less and the skill makes no noticeable difference.
For more information on Moze’s cooldown skill you can look here.
Note: The skill has diminishing returns past one second.
Means of Destruction
Whenever Moze deals Splash Damage, there is a chance to add ammo to her currently equipped weapon’s magazine, with a smaller chance to return a grenade.
Ammo Chance: +3.3%
Grenade Chance: +2.0%
Ammo Chance: +10%
Grenade Chance: +6%
Means of Destruction makes Demolition Woman tick. It essentially recycles all our firepower into more ammunition for us to continue killing with. Absolutely amazing skill, for low mag weapons such as the Flakker Means of Distruction is a more effective method of regenerating bullets in the mag than Bottomless Mags.
Note this skill has an unlisted internal cooldown of 0.3 seconds on grenade regen before it can proc again.
All Splash Damage dealt by Moze has a chance to double in size.
+3% chance to double Splash Damage Radius
+15% chance to double Splash Damage Radius
Bigger Explosions are something everyone can get behind! until they’ve blown themselves up… Torgue Cross-Promotion is a minimal boost to Moze’s crowd damage and gives you a better chance of proccing Vampyr however it also makes close quarters a risky business. More often than not this skill is more danger to Moze than any enemy, Demolition Woman has too many good skills to make this an advisable point sink. 15% chance to double a splash radius is tiny, for 5 points this skill is barely noticeable.
Stainless Steel Bear
Iron Bear gains additional armor and increased Maximum Fuel.
Iron Bear Armor: +6%
Maximum Fuel: +4%
Iron Bear Damage +4%
Iron Bear Armor: +30%
Maximum Fuel: +20%
Iron Bear Damage +20%
A corner stone of all Iron Bear centric builds. Stainless Steel Bear offers us sizable increases to damage, duration and survival. Not much to say on this skill, it’s 3 very desirable stat boosts that should interest all Mech Warriors but is of little use to Moze when on foot.
Note: A weird perk of this skill is that it directly increases Short Fuse damage.
Pull The Holy Pin
Moze’s grenades have a chance to score a Critical Hit, dealing greatly increased damage. Sources of Critical Hit Damage do not affect grenade Critical Hits.
Critical Hit Chance: +10%
Critical Hit Chance: +30%
Grenades dealing critical hit damage alone is great, however this does one better as it procs all Moze’s critical hit effects. Combining extra grenade damage and cross tree synergy make this a great skill for Moze.
After Moze exits Iron Bear, it will remain deployed in place for 15 seconds. While Auto Bear remains active, it will target and attack nearby enemies until its duration ends, then it will charge at an enemy and self-destruct.
If fighting beside Iron Bear isn’t enough to interest you, Auto Bear can proc skill such as Vampyr or Redistribution for Moze while she’s on foot. Auto Bear is a sizable DPS boost when you combine it with all the fire power Moze will be outputting. Auto Bear’s utility further extends into being both aggro relief and physical cover for Moze.
Whenever Moze damages an enemy with a thrown grenade or Iron Bear deals ara damage, for every enemy hit, she restores a portion of their missing health. Iron Bear receives half this bonus.
Restores +4% of missing health per enemy hit.
Restores +20% of missing health per enemy hit.
As Moze’s only (skill tree) means of healing through damage Vampyr is invaluable at endgame. It is arguably worth being the sole reason to invest in Demolition Woman. Grenades with mirv effects or chances to hit multiple times synergize best as they can proc Vampyr multiple times. Single hit grenades are a poor match for Vampyr as healing is not scaled off the damage dealt.
Iron Bear’s survival is also highly dependent on the sustain that Vampyr.
Why Can’t I Carry All These Grenades?
Increases Moze’s grenade carrying capacity.
Grenade Capacity: +1
Grenade Capacity: +3
This skill falls victim to the power of Means of Destruction. Moze can get enough grenade regen from splash damage through her guns and grenades that 3 extra grenades are unnecessary.
To The Last
Moze gains the ability to throw grenades while in Fight For Your Life. If she threw a grenade before gaining Second Wind, a grenade is refunded
Grenades are among Moze’s most valuable tools, to have access to them when in FFYL is great. It’s a 1 point skill that can be used to output damage or prep healing for when you get a second wind. Unfortunately this skill falls victim to the bad scaling of grenade damage and is seldom going to be a life saver when you go down.
When Moze deals Splash Damage, her Action Skill Cooldown Rate is briefly increased.
Action Skill Cooldown Rate: +5%
Action Skill Cooldown Rate: +25%
Demolition Woman Moze deals enough splash damage that this is essentially an always on cooldown reduction. The bonus however is minimal and can be outshone by even just a few seconds where the Guardian Rank topped off is active. You’re amost always better off taking Grizzled instead. Explosive Punctuation can be used if you’re really struggling for cooldown, however it generally is not advised.
For more information on Moze’s cooldown skills you can look here.
Whenever Moze deals Gun Damage, there is a chance of a secondary explosion centered on the target.
Secondary Explosion Chance: 20%
Secondary Explosion Damage: 75% of Gun Damage
Free damage for using our guns is great. The bonus benefits from all gun damage buffs in Moze’s skill trees, furthermore it is capable of re-applying Fire in the Skag Den. The damage it offers it offers is sizable when it procs however it can be unreliable with low fire rate guns. If you build for Iron Bear Damage and Splash then Short Fuse can become massive. The damage can become build defining when used in conjuntion with splash a full splash set up.
Short Fuse is heavily boosted when you use splash weapons and have means of boosting splash damage. For this reason Blast Master builds will get the most out of Short Fuse and push this skill to a 5 star level.
- Moze is capable of getting extremely high value out of Tediore chucking builds. These builds revolve around all the Mag Size buffs that Moze has and the additional fact that Tediore reloads proc Moze’s grenade skills. I’ve not included discussion of such builds in Moze’s skill trees as the mechanics that make Tediore chucking good are not Moze specific.