[Guide/Project/WIP Build] Moze Squad, our girl needs you!

For a few weeks now, I’ve been theorycrafting a build and testing out weapons and gear for it. What’s the theme of this build you might ask? Well, there is none - it’s completely comprised of non-unique gear! What started as a fleeting idea, has now gained my focus and ascended to the top of my list of current WIP builds for Moze keeping me occupied.

I noticed that a lot of builds out there are incredibly gear-specific which goes without saying; it is Borderlands after all. So being the masochist that I am, I pondered whether Moze can potentially clear all BL3 content using nothing else but non-unique gear, in Mayhem 4. So I put together a provisional build, one that targets all the key skills and unlocks all of Bear’s best augments up to tier 4, while making it effective overall yet as least gear-specific as possible. This build could also be used by players who are new to Moze or looking to level her up in a new playthrough.

However, the build is nowhere near complete and I haven’t even begun to put it through its paces properly, so why am I even mentioning it now? Because there’s a HELL of a lot of testing yet to be done, I mean a stupid amount! I’m being thorough on my end and leaving no stone unturned - every weapon or piece of gear that spawns with the best anointed effects for Moze, I go out and test it. But there’s only such an extent to which RNG will be kind to one person.

Not only that, but multiple heads are better than one and in the spirit of the build’s namesake, Communist Masochist, I’m not going to claim bragging rights or ownership or anything of the sort when it eventually comes to the time when I write up the finished article in a separate thread. For those who are interested, YOU ALL can pitch in as part of this community-build!

So here’s what I’m requesting:

  • If you have non-unique weapons or gear with Moze anointments, preferably her best anointments ofc, either test them and give your feedback or send them to me if you don’t wish to keep them. I’m on PC btw and I’ll pm you my Epic tag.

  • Please pitch in with your findings and feedback in any testing you conduct related to this community-build. If you vouch for a particular weapon or piece of gear let me know.

  • Things like Cost-Effective Q-System, Splainer, Proton Rifle and Cloning Maddening Tracker are examples of non-unique weapons and gear which are valid for this yet are already well-known. We’re specifically looking for weapons in their categories and manufacturers which perform best so that players have more information and more options to choose from.

  • Any legendary or unique piece of gear will not count, basically anything that has red text on the card! Alien-barrel weapons are fine, they are officially not ‘unique’ weapons.

I’m running out of time as I write this so I’ll wrap it up for now. What I will do later is create a list of non-unique weapons and gear, both by weapon category and manufacturer, and constantly add to and edit it over time when there is more testing and feedback to factor.

If you feel like volunteering, let’s do it for our girl! And our bear! :+1:


I will list the weapons, grenades and shields by their categories first, and then go through each manufacturer that contributes to their chosen categories in alphabetical order.

PISTOLS - All weapons manufacturers in Borderlands 3 produce pistols except for Hyperion.

Atlas - The AX-7 performs best with its default burst-fire function. The AX-88 fires mini-rockets which deal splash damage, but at the cost of 2 ammo per shot, not much extra damage per shot and the projectiles are noticeably slower.

COV - The obvious choice here is the Splainer as it’s definitely one of the best-performing non-unique pistols in the game.

Dahl - The one that’s caught my attention most is the Falcon for its solid damage. You can find drops for this with over 1000 damage on the card and decent magazine size.

Jakobs - I would assume the Masher as a placeholder here at the very least, but requires more testing and feedback with Jakobs pistols.

Maliwan - The pistols are very different from each other. I got better results with the Blaster as it functions more like the Nebula SMG.

Torgue - More testing required.

Tediore - Tediore chucking in BL3 seems to be all about the homing MIRVs, in which case the Sureshot is the Tediore pistol you want for that.

Vladof - It’s been a long time (back when Mayhem 3 was the limit) since I tested Vladof pistols but iirc, I found the Creech to have the best performance.

SHOTGUNS - There are five corporations who manufacture shotguns.

Hyperion - I prefer the Outsourcer as it has fewer pellets but more damage per pellet, and fewer pellets in shotgun blasts tend to reduce the spread and make them more accurate. Hyperion also make the Host which is their alien-barrel shotgun; it’s quite effective for a splash damage weapon.

Jakobs - I found the Longrider more reliable for landing pellets from distance.

Maliwan - The Shockwave requires you to be a little closer to the enemies but because you charge it for a single blast, you may as well get one with the ‘Binary’ prefix for more damage.

Torgue - A lot of Torgue aficionados vouch for the Bangstick due to its high number of pellets in a single shot especially with the ‘Double-Penetrating’ prefix attached. The Protuberance is a real oddball because it can either be one of the best shotguns in the game or a complete flop, depending on which drop you get. If you’re unsure by the damage on the card, the alien-barrel itself will tell you if it has the bonus damage or not when you inspect the parts.

Tediore - It’s the Everblast that you want for Tediore abuse with homing MIRVs. This is the prime weapon for a Tediore build.

SMGS - Surprisingly, only four manufacturers in BL3 bother to produce SMGs. On a side note, avoid all non-unique alien-barrel SMGs that you see on your travels as they’re an absolute joke. The DPS is pitiful yet costs at least twice the ammunition to expend.

Dahl - More testing required.

Hyperion - If it’s damage you’re after, I’ve seen purple-rarity drops of the Powerplay with over 700 damage on the card.

Maliwan - The Nebula is an obvious pick as it’s basically the non-unique version of the Westergun and can often drop with higher cryo efficiency than its legendary cousin too.

Tediore - Grab a Keenfire for the homing MIRVs.

ASSAULT RIFLES - After pistols, this weapon type has the widest range of coverage with six different corporations manufacturing ARs.

Atlas - Seriously, don’t bother looking at any other AR than the Cost-Effective Q-System which is arguably the most popular non-unique weapon in all of Borderlands 3.

COV - Needs more testing.

Dahl - Needs more testing. Not gonna lie, I feel as though ARs are Dahl’s weakest category for non-uniques. Their DPS in general isn’t as impressive as what other manufacturers provide and that’s more to do with fire rate lacking a little.

Jakobs - Needs more testing. What I can tell so far is that the Gatlin’ prefix is best as it makes Jakobs ARs fully automatic.

Torgue - Look out for the Stranger as it provides the highest DPS of all non-unique Torgue ARs. The alien-barrel Blister is also worth a mention for potential damage, however it does fire like a flamethrower and requires you to be closer to your enemies.

Vladof - Needs more testing. Bezoomy has the chaingun barrel, but I feel like the Maslo can drop with a great balance of damage, fire rate and magazine size. The Burzum is an alien-barrel AR that has been mentioned in these forums several times in the past.

SNIPER RIFLES - Just like in BL2, five corporations manufacture non-unique sniper rifles. Unfortunately just like the Malak’s Bane and Stalker, all alien-barrel snipers are shockingly awful for both DPS and ammo-efficiency.

Dahl - I feel like Dahl are the top corporation when it comes to non-unique snipers; all of them have good performance. I personally lean more towards the Diamondback for its focus on accuracy with a reasonable combination of damage and fire rate.

Hyperion - Needs more testing. I don’t rate Hyperion snipers much but when glancing at the stats, it seems that the Mogul tends to have higher damage on average.

Jakobs - Those who played BL2 will know that the Muckamuck is the obvious choice.

Maliwan - For splash damage, you really ought to try out the Proton Rifle if you haven’t already done so. In more recent testing however, I have found that the Particle Rifle is not such a bad option if you’re looking for a non-splash Maliwan sniper as I had previously thought; it burst-fires three rounds in succession but only does so when you release the trigger after charging it, just like its Proton cousin. The Multiplex is awful - charge time mechanic followed by a fully automatic firing pattern.

Vladof - Their snipers tend to be blighted with the sort of reload speed that would be considered decent for heavy weapons. So when it comes to DPS, you want one that deals good damage per shot but doesn’t burn through the mag so fast with its fire rate that you have to reload even occasionally. More often than not, I see the Pooshka fulfilling this exact niche role.

HEAVY WEAPONS - This category doesn’t get mentioned much at all in terms of non-unique weapons as there are only four corporations who bother to make them.

Atlas - I wouldn’t look any further than the Pattern Black as it’s the Q-System of Atlas heavy weapons. It fires multiple rockets for the cost of just one which is even better for Moze.

COV - The COV’s range of heavy weapons, both unique and non-unique, are legitimately terrible, except for the hidden gem that is the Zooka. This thing fires like a heavy grenade launcher with large splash radius and serious damage potential with the Overkill perk.

Torgue - I honestly feel like heavy weapons are Torgue’s flagship weapon category. Whether you look at their legendaries or non-uniques, they have the most extensive range of great rocket launchers to choose from. The Quickie is well-known for being excellent at slaying bosses, while the alien-barrel Lump has the damage potential to clear entire rooms of trash mobs with just a single blast.

Vladof - Needs more testing.

GRENADES - Thankfully for Moze, there are non-unique grenades available that are a few of her best grenades in the whole game.

Atlas - It’s no secret that the Cloning Maddening Tracker is the best Atlas grenade you can get, if not the best grenade for Moze period. Up to 26 grenades from a single grenade toss, all homing in on enemy targets? What more could you ask for?

Hyperion - Needs more testing.

Torgue - The Bouncy Cluster-■■■■ EXPLODER can potentially produce more explosions than its Atlas counterpart and is also capable of appearing in different elements. However, there is no homing feature so it’s not as reliable for landing all its explosions.

Tediore - Needs more testing.

Vladof - Needs more testing.

SHIELDS - In BL2, there used to be as many as nine manufacturers for non-unique shields. In BL3 however, that number has been cut down dramatically to just three corporations. It seems like no matter the manufacturer, any non-unique shield can spawn with the exact same set of shield bonuses. The only thing that differentiates the manufacturers is that each of them tend to be weaker than the rest in one of the three shield stats.

Anshin - Tends to have lower shield recharge rate. But the capacity and recharge delay can also be fair. If you wanted a shield that provides bonuses when full or simply want to keep Topped Off active, then I would rate Anshin shields as being second best for recharge-efficiency.

Hyperion - Tends to have lower shield recharge delay. You can recognise Hyperion shields as they’re the ones that usually take around 7 seconds before they start recharging. While their recharge rate in isolation is better than that of Anshin shields, they also tend to have high capacities to boot. Combine all that, and Hyperion shields on average are the least recharge-efficient of the lot.

One niche upside is that their shields count towards Matched Set in a Hyperion allegiance build, but if you intend on wearing a non-unique Hyperion shield, I strongly recommend getting as many shield boosters for bonus stats and skills like Full Can of Whoop-Ass, as the slow recharge delay is your biggest obstacle.

Pangolin - Tends to have lower shield capacity. But for Moze this is not really an issue at all; she has skills to boost shield capacity and even if you don’t opt for that, the shields usually have respectable recharge rate and delay to compensate for lower capacity. This is the near-perfect concoction of shield stats that makes Pangolin the best shield manufacturer for recharge-efficiency. That’s why when you’re looking for shields that stack their bonus slots with either amp damage or power boosters, you ideally want it to be Pangolin.

CLASS MODS - Moze has plenty of good options to choose from for non-unique class mods. Bear in mind though that while purple-rarity class mods do provide a boost worth five extra skill points, they only spawn with a max of two bonus passives.

Marksman - Your static or ‘resting’ DPS gets quite an increase while more ammo regen does wonders for stretching out your magazines. When it comes to crit damage, don’t neglect Experimental Munitions: it gives you more than an extra point of Scorching RPMs, plus the former has synergy with Pull the Holy Pin whereas the latter does not. Recommended roll: +1 Redistribution, +3 Scorching RPMs, +1 Experimental Munitions

Firewalker - Another solid class mod for DPS. In a way, you could balance the spread of points between the three skills depending on which weapons you’re using. But I think for higher and more consistent DPS overall, it requires a type of drop that’s much harder to come by than with other non-unique class mods. Recommended roll: +5 Drowning in Brass

Commander - This is another great pick for a class mod. In a strict Auto Bear build, Deadlines isn’t necessary but is an option here in case you want to pilot Iron Bear occasionally. In addition to bonus points for Vampyr which should allow you to face-tank almost anything with your grenades, it picks up the tier 5 gamechanger Some for the Road which is fantastic in conjunction with Auto Bear as you’ll get more frequent usage out of it. Recommended roll: +1 Some for the Road, +4 Vampyr

Low-Life - Avoid picking up any drop of this COM that has Thin Red Line - you’ll risk sacrificing health gate if you do! You want this for the damage skills that come with it. Recommended roll: +3 Desperate Measures, +2 Click, Click…

Lemniscate - This class mod is the one to get if you feel magazine size in general is too short for your likings. It offers both The Iron Bank and Click, Click… which allows you to strike a balance where you’ll get gradually increasing DPS yet have enough mag size to ward off reloading for a while longer. Either that or you’re going for an allegiance build in which case, you’ll want something more specific. Recommended roll: +5 Matched Set

Baby Boomer - I mention this one with slight reluctance. Yes, it’s a very good class mod - it gives +1 Redistribution and it’s the the only COM that boosts Means of Destruction. The biggest issue with it is that it also boosts Torgue-Cross Promotion: a skill that draws a few mixed opinions but mostly has a negative reputation among many Moze players. One or two have argued in favour of having one point in TCP. Whether you look for that in a class mod is entirely up to you. Although you lose two skill points and a passive bonus by scaling down to a blue-rarity class mod, it’s an option in case you can’t stand TCP. But if you’re fine with TCP or your only form of splash damage is your grenades, then look out for this. Recommended roll: +1 Redistribution, +3 Means of Destruction, +1 Torgue-Cross Promotion

RELICS - After grenades, relics are arguably the next best category in terms of Moze possessing power closer to a build comprised of legendaries and unique gear. Like their legendary cousins, purple-rarity artifacts can drop with a maximum of three passives. For Moze in particular, I would recommend them being + magazine size, + AoE damage and + grenade damage. The first two in particular are bigger bonuses than what you would get from class mods.

Last Stand - Super-useful especially if you have 60% max health. Moze has ways of using Iron Bear to boost her own survival and kill time while the 40-second cooldown is ticking.

Snowdrift - If you favour speed and manoeuvrability above all else, then this is the relic for you.

Elemental Projector - This is a little risky because getting more frequent usage out of this relic entails self-harming with splash weapons until you’re suffering from the status effect itself. If you really feel like you need the extra damage then go for it, but you use it at your own peril.


I’d start by looking for a marksman com with 5/5 scorching rpms.

Edit: And a Torgue stranger.

I have some burzums around that would be nice to throw and see how they perform. If I can find them I’ll send them over.

1 Like

I always figured she was less of a Commi and more of an An-Cap.

I’ve got a hellwalker with infinity clip for 5 seconds after exiting IB and a few large clip 1% in hit weapons I want to try on her soon, wanting a bitch with 1% on hit just for her too.

Purple vladof snipers, they take ALOT less effort to make it infinitely firing then a lyuda and the they sacrifice firerate for a bit more dmg. They’re handling can be piss poor so I usually use a bipod (More oriented for sitting back and sniping)

Purple Dahl snipers, the diamondback its one of the nicest feeling weapons on moze in the game imo. perfect for mobbing while using a bm oriented build. Once you get a couple with nice anoints they’re amazing. (More oriented for closer to the action sniping)

1 Like

Binary Nebulas with whatever anoint you want. These things are basically epic wester guns with a charge time. They’re extremely effective and can do m4 content just as well as a wester.

Torgue mirv grenades. These are available in a ton of variations that all do really cool things that amount to a tone of damage and control. Unlike CMTs they actually come in elements as well, so they can be effective carriers for dealing with armor or shields without changing guns. Cryo is especially fun.

Tank Gal with 1SFTR/4SSB is the best COM for abusing torgue stickies, or basically any low mag weapons, without having to invest 21 points into bottomless mags.

2DIB/3STF firewalker com is great for a fire centered moze. Alternatively you can just go for a 5 DIB for a really impressive gun damage boost.

The Grenadier is a great COM for getting access to vampyr without investing points in DW.

Hyperion Hosts are extremely potent shotguns and have a high fire rate. They work great in a splash build with the splash anoints. Just stick with a shock one and dont spec into fitsd or cloud of lead until you’re used to the weapon.

The commander com offers both vampire and SftR (and ok, deadlines too…) in a single package. It has a lot of potential versatility.

true, but if you’re not investing in DW, the assumption is you’re investing in SoR/BM, so SFTR is achievable.

EDIT: baby boomer gives access to redistribution and MoD. the unfortunate part is that you’re getting at least 1 point in TCP, which is really unfortunate.

+1 to this, though any version of the Marksman is really good.

That said, I vote going full Deathless with a Low-Life class mod. Who needs health regen when you have a huge shield with <2 second recharge delay?

1 Like

I was actually coming here to talk about a thing when dealing with a Non-specific gear setup. It requires a re-evaluation of most of what we know. We say no to TCP because when we’re dealing with specific gear, we love our specific results and anything that is chance based is messy. That, and a bad TCP proc on a legendary gun or grenade can kill us.

But what we need to realize is that TCP has a lot of use. Vampyr percent healed raises with how many enemies you hit with a single grenade. To put it in perspective, at 5 points, hitting five enemies with a single grenade will ALWAYS heal you to full, unless something is borked in the system.

Also, MoD gets a chance to proc per enemy hit by splash damage. If you manage to hit 3 enemies with one bullet, that’s three rolls at a grenade. If you are firing a Splash SMG and that splash manages to hit multiple enemies a lot, more chances.

I’d say a solid investment is a single point in TCP (with the chance increase so low, it’s best to treat it as a skill that adds a new element, rather than hoping to max it out) and look for grenades with large radius, maybe singularities. (But not rain singularities. You want contact large singularities).

The often thrown Moze strategy is to throw as many baby nades as possible and hope for a trickle up of health, but a true maximization of regen is to have a few really large explosions. That’s my thoughts anyway.

1 Like

since its marksman, 1/1/3 is definitely preferable, and if you don’t need redistribution, you’d still want 1 EM / 4 SRPM. that 1 point in EM is worth a lot more than that 1 point in SRPM, and if you’re using redistribution, 2/1 redistribution is a big deal. 1 point in SRPM is only going to add 4% of your pre-crit value damage to each crit. EM adds 10% of your post crit value as bonus incendiary. even if the target resists incendiary at 50%, the damage from 1 point in EM will always be more than 1 point in SRPM.


I was going to say that too. EM is worth more than a point or 2 in SRPM. On top of that, it adds 10% (20% with 2 points) fire damage to PtHP procs.

grenades are still super problematic. a lot of useful legendary grenades have pretty weak base damage. epic grenades, are another story. if you’re going to use TCP, even just a single point, you have to be very careful about what the radii on your grenades explosion is. i’m currently doing a hyeperion only playthrough, and the 1 of point i have in TCP due to the mindsweeper com i got, is still downing me very regularly with longbows. if you start using tracking atlas grenades instead, you’re going to down yourself a lot more often when melee NPCs drag a tracked grenade over to you.

if anything, TCP really restricts what gear is OK to use, whether you’re using legendary gear or not, and i think for a build like this that is specifically trying to maximize non-legendary gear, that restriction can be a problem.

1 Like

That’s part of the risk with TCP, very true. It’s gonna really depend, I suppose, on how you like your grenades. TCP automatically requires that you take a more distance oriented approach, but quite honestly, I feel like most of Moze’s kit suggests a mid to long range style.

Examples: grenades. Splash. Keeping your shield up. The fact that Iron Bear’s aim is best at a moderate distance. Mindsweeper.

I’ve come to love and respect my newest point in TCP because watching a whole section of enemies get washed is fun for me.

But yeah, trackers are gonna burn you. I like a good Vladof Singularity with an element. Binary singularity if I can find them. But this starts to get into very specific playstyle territory.

1 Like

I’ve started making use of TCP again. I’ll be doing an update to the skill trees in my Torgue build to reflect this too. I took two points out of extra grenades, and put them into TCP.

Groups of mobs die faster and grenade regen is more consistent. Makes Bear Miniguns work like artillery shells.

1 Like

Anything that can get a Sabot round through Wotans shield automatically gets my respect, so, I’m with ya there!

1 Like

Sure, but the fire rate boost is significant, and should not be overlooked when considering raw damage over DPS. Substantial boost to IB damage output too.

perfect example of a decent Nebula i just found during my current playthrough:

As well as non-unique weapons and gear, feel free to provide feedback on the skill build itself. Remember that it’s supposed to be a build that doesn’t demand super-specific gear; if you want to swap between different guns or use different class mods in order to acquire niche skills, it’s easier when the foundation of the build is strong enough to allow such changes more seamlessly and with fewer downsides. But provisionally, this is what we have:

  • The provisional build goes for a 15/18/15 ratio in BM/DW/SoR - this is so that we simultaneously spec some points into Vampyr and so that Auto Bear has access to Target Softening, explosive Minigun and all three elemental augments for the Railgun.

  • Target Softening (on the right hardpoint) is to help Moze score bonus damage as well as Bear’s left hardpoint which will do more damage thanks to Drowning in Brass. The left hardpoint however can be changed to suit whatever situation you find yourself in.

  • Thin Red Line is at 2/3 because it helps Moze get more out of Vampyr, and Full Can of Whoop-Ass has the most value in an Auto Bear build, especially while wearing a non-unique shield. Grizzled is at 5/5 because we want to ensure that Bear is ready to deploy again asap, and Fire in the Skag Den is only 3/5 because some folks might not go after guns that deal splash. I imagine some will debate one point in Dakka Bear instead of Scrappy.

While theorycrafting this build at first, I was wondering which capstone was best to go after. But then it occurred to me that the majority of tier 4 and 5 skills in all three skill trees are somewhat niche. Even if you reach the capstones themselves, Forge can be replicated with +1 Redistribution from either a Marksman or Baby Boomer COM. Short Fuse ironically is a lot more gear-specific than its card description would have you believe, assuming you wanted to reach it and then maximise the capstone’s effectiveness. And while Tenacious Defense is not so gear-specific in isolation, it would mean stripping points from skills like Vampyr, Pull the Holy Pin and Scorching RPMs just to get it, as well as sacrificing the option of Target Softening and the explosive Minigun.

So the provisional build is the way it currently is so that if for example, you wanted to make an allegiance build out of it, then you’ve got the Lemniscate COM to make it possible. Feel like you can’t live without Some for the Road? Choose either the Commander or Tank Gal class mods. Do you insist on having Phalanx Doctrine? Look for either the Shield Maiden or the Tactician. Does the sight of 0 points in Desperate Measures irritate your eyes when you’ve got 2/3 in Thin Red Line? You can get yourself a Low-Life COM for bonus points in Click, Click as well as DM.

P.S. - I’ve made some additions to the OP but will sort out formatting and such when I have more time later on.


So with our new understanding of short fuse, and then SSBs interaction with it, I’ve had a very difficult time justifying a build that doesnt go for short fuse, whether it’s a splash build or not.

The main reasons are that, regardless of gear choice, DW offers really good versatility, the majority of its damage is situation-free and it makes IB a great short burst damage bomb with unaugmented rocket pods. It does a good job of utilizing the 1 of points you get from COMs as well.

So my generic build has been 26DW/6BM/16SoR, with a lot of flexibility in the point distribution between SOR and BM, basically based on whether or not the main weapons being used benefit from the 6 points in BM, putting those 6 points into SOR to hit 2DM instead, or if the primary weapon is fire based and validates 3 points in stoke.

1 Like