Ice Breaker Fl4k ~ non GITM crit build

Welcome to the home of the “Ice Breaker Fl4k” build! This style of play is fast-paced, dynamic, and just straight up fun. Leave your enemies weak and immobile, and then go stealth and collect some heads!

Here’s the build in action!

-WEAPONS- (Don’t have all anointments yet!)


  • ACTION SKILL END - Gain 15% life steal for short time.

High ROF means lots of Hunter Skill stacks. Bullet regen/ricochet means we don’t reload. Frozen baddies means easy headshots and hard CC. We want this gun and we want it in cryo! There are a few acceptable alternates incase of accessibility or Mayhem trouble:

  • Crossroads - this little smg is nasty! It burst-fires like a Dahl and kicks out lots of pellets, fast. Things will get frozen, and you’ll get lots of Hunter/Head Count procs. may have to get up close though…

  • Butcher - To be honest with you, this x3 pellet shotty may be a bit faster at grabbing hunter stacks than the Lucian’s Call! With LNT, this gun REALLY does whatever it wants in terms of effective mag size. Lock n’ Load, and embrace the RNG!


  • ACTION SKILL END - Weapon damage +100% for short time.

The money shot. The Overkill skill from the Enforcer Guardian tree interacts with this gun’s ~40K base damage to stack power on consecutive kills to 500K or more. But should you have trouble getting it to drop or get hit with a shotgun nerf on M3:

  • The Hunt(er/ed) - Bolt-action, iron-sight sister rifles that benefit from +175% damage vs. creatures (inc. humans) or robots. Situational.

    • The Hunt(er) is preferable, as there are more “creature” enemies overall. You are also less likely to contend with the “Physical vs. Armor” penalty.
  • Monocle - Think inverse OPC. Jakobs sniper featuring an inflated crit bonus. The zoom is EXTREME. Play this one at range or “no-scope” it F4ZE style!


  • ACTION SKILL END - Weapon damage +125% vs. badass/boss/named for short time.

You should be grabbing these in single and double shot for every element like they’re going out of style just to cover all your bases. This is the definitive boss-killer right now for most classes/builds and Fl4k is no exception. I personally prefer the “Annexed” (x2) prefix w/ “Vicious” (extended mag) variant for the synergy with Head Count, but single shot can be more ammo efficient with LNT. On average, incendiary is your best bet if you’re not much of a collector. Radiation can be fun too!

The build is pretty well rounded with the above mentioned weapons so the 4th slot is purely supplementary. But you know I’ve got some sweet suggestions for you:

  • Hellwalker - High Damage, 10-pellet legendary Jakobs shotgun. Always rolls incendiary for increased damage against flesh. This is great for Hunter Kill Skill procs and action skill cooldown. Lightning fast reload too!

  • King’s/Queen’s Call - Has it’s place outside of GITM spam. With a bit of skill or frozen enemies, consistent headshots shouldn’t be too challenging.

  • Bangstick - You know the drill. Coat baddies with stickys and let it rip! the DP variant is a total 18 pellets!

  • Dictator - So. Many. Bullets. This Vladof AR is a proc machine with respectable dps in secondary fire. You’ll lose mobility though so be careful!

  • Shredifier - This gun is a BAMF. Honestly only Fl4k and Moze have what it takes to use it efficiently. Insane ROF and monstrous mag size. Look for the x2 variant.




  • ACTION SKILL START - Replenish 1 grenade.

Mine is the Recurring variant w/radiation. This will debuff baddies and slash cooldown times through its interaction with Megavore and Head Count. Throw these liberally during FA and pick off weaker enemies with the OPC to start Overkill chains. There are other options:

  • It’s Piss - This grenade provides a more direct damage buff at 20% for 6 seconds. The radius is surprisingly large and can easily tag grouped mobs with the effect.

  • Hunter-Seeker - Look for the “mitosis” variant for 3 drones per throw. Best used at range to allow the grenades to fire more shots before they make contact and detonate. Much like the Hex, this will proc Head Count through Megavore and reduce cooldown times.


  • ACTION SKILL END - Action skill cooldown rate +20% for short time.

The Re-Router adds some much appreciated survivability through life steal, but any amp will do. Amp’d shots come frequently enough that they don’t need to be micromanaged. However, allowing the shield to recharge during FA is highly recommended! Alternatives include:

  • Brawler Ward - Excellent performance under pressure! This shield comes with a passive 2% maxHP/sec that DOUBLES upon breaking, not to mention the shield drop grants +25% gun damage. The generous recharge delay allows some time to make use of these bonuses either offensively or defensively.

  • Band of Sitorak - Very low capacity w/speedy recharge. Bestows 22% gun damage upon breaking. Consider picking up a few variants, as the shield can roll up to 3 secondary bonuses:

    • +25% Max Health (fixed)

    • +10% Fire Rate while shield is depleted

    • +10% Movement Speed while shield is depleted

    • Elemental Novae on shield break

    • Area-Knockback on shield break

    • This shield has powerful synergy with the It’s Piss grenade. Manually dropping the shield within range of the target may confer a simultaneous +22% & 20% damage bonus.


    • +XX% Jakobs Weapon Critical Damage
      +XX% Weapon Damage
      +XX% Action Skill Cooldown Rate

This mod, in conjunction with the Lucian’s Call, forms the backbone of this build. The 3% proc chance for any purchased Hunter Kill Skills (specifically Interplanetary Stalker & Most Dangerous Game) will trigger constantly under sustained fire. ALWAYS make sure you have a few Hunter Skill stacks before going into FA. It’s free damage!

  • Note that +2 Frenzy is also a viable option but is tangential to the build. As of right now, it comes at the cost of a 2 rank reduction to Hunter’s Eye. Also, the skill has better synergy with the Gunslinger Jabber, at the cost of 10% elemental damage (which this build makes heavy use of) and 1% maxHP/sec regen.


  • +XX% Weapon Accuracy
    +XX% Cryo Damage
    +XX% Action Skill Cooldown Rate

Increased cryo efficiency and damage on frozen targets. This gives the Lucian’s Call some more bite by reducing the time-to-freeze, and tagging on a freeze debuff for good measure. Pair this with some supplementary RADIATION and you have a DOUBLE DEBUFF! I prefer the Ice Breaker Otto Idol for the 18% health regen on kill.


We’re using this tree for steady DPS and survivability. “What about SELF-REPAIRING SYSTEM?” you ask… This build makes use of flat life steal mechanics. While the potential 1.5% maxHP/sec could be helpful, it comes at the cost of +30% max health, rendering our flat life steal less effective. I also pass on the OVERCLOCKED skill. We can have too much of a good thing with fire rate, believe it or not. LEAVE NO TRACE’s cooldown trigger means that a higher ROF benefits less from the skill. The 12% fire rate buff from TURN TAIL AND RUN brings us to a bit of a sweet spot where we can gain a functional 30% - 50% mag size increase with most of the weapons in our loadout. Oh economical! The potential 20% fire rate from OC is overkill (especially when stacked with the guardian bonus you’ve no doubt accrued by now). Trust me. HIDDEN MACHINE is only guaranteed to proc upon starting an encounter completely untargeted so we’ll skip that for now.

    We will not be augmenting this skill with GITM. This build prioritizes utility over burst dps. You have 15+ seconds of health regen, enhanced mobility, and stealth. Use it!

      This augment will make your pets much more durable. They will pull aggro when Fl4k is most vulnerable, when FA ends. Make good use of the 6 seconds and reduce action skill cooldown as much as possible!

      10 additional seconds of increased movement speed and health regen. Between FA and this augment, you should have a much easier time staying alive.

  • FURIOUS ATTACK (5/5) - This one’s a given. Increased gun damage and decreased recoil with sustained fire.

  • EAGER TO IMPRESS (5/5) - Supplementary cooldown reduction. The primary use is for when you’re on a roll with the OPC and do not want to end your Overkill chain. In conjunction with HEAD COUNT, each individual kill can shave off at least 3 seconds.

  • ALL MY BFF’S (3/3) - Improving your pets’ survivability = Improving YOUR survivability. Excellent synergy with FA and both of the preferred augments.

  • LICK THE WOUNDS (1/1) - Free rez? Sure, I’ll bite! This becomes much more dependable with the NOT MY CIRCUS augment and BFF’S in place.

  • TURN TAIL AND RUN (3/3) - Excellent skill! This covers fire rate, gun damage, health regen, and damage reduction at a cost effective 3 points for max rank.

  • THE FAST AND THE FURRYOUS (3/3) - Basically a static gun damage and movement speed buff. TAKE IT!

For now, all we can afford to get here is increased action skill duration. However, a level cap increase will open up some great potential investments!

  • PERSISTENCE HUNTER (2/3) - Extends base FA to ~20sec. That’s 5 more seconds of stealth and an additional 15% health regen.

  • Note if you have opted for the +2 FRENZY variant of the Bounty Hunter class mod, your pet can grant up to a 20% damage buff at 10 stacks.

This tree is where all the magic happens! we get ammo refunds, cooldown reduction, damage boosts, and FREE CRITS! IMO, every crit-based Fl4k should be spec’d down the tree this way, at least up to BIG GAME . Not too much up for debate…

    My trusty spiderant 4R4CHNE rarely lets me down! This pet strikes an excellent offensive/defensive balance that sits well with this build. That… and it pukes up guns and ammo. Nice!

    1. 1% maxHP/sec
      Constant passive health regen that stacks with FA and UYD, making them both stronger.

      Most of the weapons in our loadout are elemental. They will benefit from multiplicative damage modifiers when matched with the correct type. An extra 10% on top of that is very significant.

  • INTERPLANETARY STALKER (5/5) - We want this for the potential, multiplicative, 30% damage modifier at 3 stacks. The Bounty Hunter class mod makes constant uptime a possibility.

  • LEAVE NO TRACE (3/3) - Magazine extender (on crit). The cooldown is 0.3 sec, meaing this can proc 3 times per second. For a VERY rough understanding of how that works, imagine any AR with a fire rate of 6/sec and a 6 shot magazine. If we fire for 1 second, we can recoup 3 shots and be left with 3 bullets in the mag. Functionally, the mag has been extended by 3, or 50%. This effect can compound on itself if we fire the remaining rounds, potentially leaving us with a single recouped shot in the mag. Now, we have a TOTAL mag size of 10 - this is a 60% increase to the 6 shot mag we started with. Guns with large magazines and moderate ROF make the best use of this skill.

  • HUNTER’S EYE (2/5) - Situational bonuses dependent on enemy type. The 24% damage vs. “Robots” and 18.3% damage reduction vs. “Beasts” bonuses are particularly useful, as we have the Lucian for armor but it is not very heavy hitting, and damage reduction is always appreciated. The Bounty Hunter class mod will cause bosses to trigger all HE’s bonuses!

    • Skill is Rank 4 w/Bounty Hunter class mod.
  • HEAD COUNT (3/3) - This is where the majority of your Action Skill cooldown will come from. High pellet count and bullet split mechanics will increase the effect. Always go for the head!

  • TWO F4NG (5/5) - Roughly a multiplicative 25% damage modifier-over-time for single projectile weapons. However, effectiveness begins to fall off with multi-pellet weapons. Most importantly, this skill turns the entire Hunter tree into a feedback loop of sorts. Spawned projectiles have an equal chance to crit through MEGAVORE, thereby refunding ammo, and/or reducing cooldown through LNT and HEADCOUNT.

    • Excellent synergy with weapons featuring bullet-split mechanics, like the Lyuda!
  • BIG GAME (3/3) - No brainer. Boosts IP STALKER’s damage modifier to nearly 40%! Also grants a ridiculous amount of damage, crit, and handling through all Fl4k’s other Hunter Skills.

  • THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (3/3) - FURIOUS ATTACK on roids! 25% gun damage, 10% crit damage, and 33% handling all before class mod perks or BIG GAME, with a very generous duration just for funsies!

    • Skill is Rank 6 w/Bounty Hunter class mod.
  • GALACTIC SHADOW (1/1) - 15% crit damage and bonus de-aggro effect. Solid skill!

  • MEGAVORE (1/1) - Tombstone-lite… This is a capstone and a half! Crits make things happen in this build, and this skill guarantees you’ll be making stuff happen 20% of the time no matter where you aim! Anything short of melee can proc this; grenades, Torgue stickys, rockets etc. Enemies with no/hidden weak points will buckle and fall like all the others, and you’ll have the added bonus of occasionally overriding FA “auto-crits” with “true crits”. If you don’t grab this skill, you’re honestly missing out…

    • Note that Rank 5 TWO F4NG functionally makes crit chance 25% or higher for single projectile weapons, as at least 1 in 4 shots have the chance to add an extra pellet.

Latest patch has caused a few key components of this build (BH com & GR points/perks) to stop working! I’ll be sure to update when these issues get sorted out.

If you’re playing on PS4, I might be able to help out with any spare gear I find! I’ll try to be prompt with updating this. Message me if you see something you need:

No eager to impress or hunters eye. Would appear you use persistence hunter for the gun damage? As the base fade away is a long 15 s. Do you go into FFYL enough for lick the wounds? Spiderant scorcher seems out of place here. Would you explain these decisions for me please? Maybe I missed something.

Hunter’s eye is tricky! The bounty hunter mod I run currently has +3 MDG and +2 Hunter’s eye, depending on the situation I may opt to take the 5 points out of second intention to get the +7 stats for hunters eye which is great for mobbing! But I think SI really helps for bosses with the lyuda’s Sluggish reload Incase you want to empty a second clip. It’s dealers choice between those two honestly as I don’t tend to notice HE activating on bosses and the jury seems to be out on that one

Persistence is a strong investment with base Fade, for 2 points I get nearly an extra 5 seconds should I want/need it. I can throw more hexes, rez if I’m in coop, reposition and wait for the amp charge for that perfect shot. The gun damage is a nice little bonus but 8% isn’t all that significant

Eager to impress is good if you’ve got plenty of enemies around you to nuke, but headcount just seems to outclass it for bosses/badasses. If you’re using a high ROF weapon and aiming for crits you can INSTA-cooldown your action skill, no need for adds or trash mobs to pick off

I find the scorcher to be a better pet overall than the gunslinger jabber. The 10% to elemental damage is more significant as elemental type gets multiplicative increases when they match up right, id rather have a 10% increase to base damage that then gets x1.5 and then crits, than add 5% to crit damage after the fact, also the regen is nice.

Lastly I don’t always go FFYL… but when I do, it’s nice to occasionally have a free rez!


Thank you very much for your post. I play something similar and I really love base Fade Away. However, I went down to The Power Inside. Why did you chose Megavore over the Power Inside? For bosses and enemies where the crit spots are hard to hit?

Edit: My current build:

Second question: The guardian rank overkill damage skill, do you know whether it also works with high pellet count shotguns? Because a purple Jacobs can have much more damage than OPC. In addition OPC has no bullet ricochet, so you can only kill three targets during Fade Away.

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I think the difference between megavore and power inside comes down to personal preference. On one hand with power inside you can get a guaranteed 25/50% damage increase with each FA activation, and without worrying about spec’ing down to megavaore on the hunter tree you have a bit more freedom to max out persistence hunter. I prefer just spec’ing down stalker for UE then grabbing megavore because it’s my understanding that crits can “crit” in a sense. You can see increased damage during FA if you aim at those yellow spots on graveward for example. With high ROF or pellet count you’ll have multiple chances to activate this weird interaction as long as you’re aiming for crit points anyway outside of FA. But… it’s not guaranteed like power inside. If we get a level cap increase, know I’ll be going for power inside first thing.

For overkill, my first instinct was high pellet Jakob’s too but it doesn’t seem to stack damage as well. Overkill may just apply to a single pellet? I do see consistent damage increase with the OPC’s single slug though. I manage to stack multiple kills because the shot definitely does ricochet, it may be a bit hard to see. But if you chain 2 kills with it, it seems to boost overkill twice in one shot. Also if you’re in FA and have unlocked the HollowPoint guardian skill - you’ll trigger those explosions because they’ll count as critical kills. The AOE splash will hit just as hard as the original shot fired. And even without the explosions you can get 6 kills off the ricochet

A good place to test the physics out is Athenas. Try running the stage up to Traunt, enemies tend to group together. After a few overkill stacks (honestly 3 or 4) you’ll be firing one pellet, clearing a group of 3 with hollow point, and see the bullet ricochet to maybe a group of 2 and clear them with boosted overkill damage and another explosion. It’s actually really impressive!

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Are you sure, that this crit on crit thing really works outside of very special enemies like Graveward and enemies with explosive tanks on their backs?
My theory is, that these special crit spots have their own reduced health bars…
When in Fade Away a head shot doesn’t do more damage than a body shot. So the crit on crit thing doesn’t work here. So I don’t see a reason, why this mechanic should be different with Megavore. Although that would be great.

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OHMG. I just tested it. I was wrong!

48 hours on FL4K and I just noticed, that shooting things in the head does double damage in Fade Away! I always aimed for the body to make all pellets of my shotgun hit.

I couldn’t believe it at first either! I was searching all over for some post or some video or stream talking about this with no results, but it definitely exists!

Ye for some reason megavore crits count as “true” crits while fade away crits are something different, so if you hit crit spots while in fade away you will suffer way less from the damage reduction that Gitm gives you.

I found this thread which explains a lot:

This means that Megavore is more than a 20 % real damage increase (more than 20 % because other crit bonuses come into play) for body shots within and without Fade Away. When targeting crit spots, it should not increase the damage.

I tried Megavore now and I really love it! I think I will keep it over The Power Inside. It burns the cooldown so fast, Eager To Impress is not needed anymore. And my gut feeling is, that I do significantly more damage with Megavore, because I don’t always hit the crit zone and The Power Inside is an additive bonus and FL4K has already tons of weapon damage bonuses.

This is my build now, thank you for your suggestions:

I also farmed a OPC, but I am still not sure on it. It is so hard to compare, but my purple Jacobs which does about 50 % more damage than OPC seems to be better. It has 17 pellets and often kills 3 enemies with one shot during Fade Away.

That new build is solid! I might mess around with SRS too and see how I like the extra health/regen…

It’s good to finally put the megavore vs FA confusion to rest, it looks like you stand to gain a lot when it procs with or without GITM too which is great

I’ll take another look at high pellet Jakob’s when I get a chance - with OPC I consistently get up to X00K damage and sometimes 1M. If you’re seeing those numbers then a Jakob’s shotty is the way to go, especially with all the extra pellets! The devs could have just been wise to this and didn’t want 1M balls of death shooting across the screen once you’re on a roll! If you’re having trouble with the OPC though I’d recommend grabbing radiation grenades. You can toss them without breaking stealth and debuff mobs for extra damage before you shoot, waiting for amp charges off a shield help too. Those first 3 shots/kills can be all you need to start seeing BIG numbers, and after that, fade away is purely for speed, positioning and health regen. Most important - when you’re using OPC you have to stick with it, switching to a gun with lower damage risks breaking the chain, but it doesn’t take much to get it back!

So, I have a kinda scruffed version of this, just from my lack of gear, and I haven’t brought the guardian rank all the way down to the explosion in the red column, but yeah this seems really good. You’re absolutely right about finally having some CC. It can hold a whole mob in place pretty well. After reading this thread a little while ago, I just went and ran the first three rounds of Slaughterstar M3 with it (I’m fairly close to it in gear, just not quite as good as you have listed. Non-Annointed Lucian’s, Blue ice-breaker relic vs legendary, …etc.)
So, for me it can only get better as I can get better gear, but already, gotta say - it pretty well shreds. During this first three rounds, I actually never bothered swapping weapons from the Lucian’s, I just camped it. (I’ll have to on the last two rounds, of course) but like, I don’t have a rad hex, so I threw the Quasar for even more CC (that thing is pretty fun tbh, I kinda recommend trying it in there, throwing Nog mobs around like little ragdolls is hilarious.) But all-in-all, it worked pretty great, even with not being anywhere near min-maxed. I don’t have a single Anointed item equipped, even. And I used a Back Ham with 40% reflect instead of the Amp, cause I traded my amp a few days ago. So, like I say, it’s close but not exact, but working really well. Looking forward to gearing it the rest of the way out.

Right this build is gear dependent but not OVERLY so - not all my gear is currently anointed yet, I’ve got a few good ones like grenade regen on action skill activation and nova on Fade Away end, but I’m sure it would do just as well without them. I think the synergy between Lucian and the ice breaker relic alone forms the backbone of this build. I open every mob/round/boss with the Lucian’s until I get all the stacks and bonuses I want from the bounty hunter class mod, chuck a grenade or two, and go to work with a secondary weapon in Fade. OPC for overkill stacks, Lyuda for burst damage, or Hellwalker if I don’t already have an overkill stack. Then back to the Lucian again to start it all over. Once you get the rhythm down it feels great…

Also I agree the quasar is crazy fun!

Ok are we sure that despite the nerf GITM is not the way to go?

To GITM or not to GITM comes down to gear for me at this point. It’s the same reason I used to not give Rakks the time of day either. But some Fl4ks have been blessed by RNGesus and are running around with crazy good anointments that essentially have NO DOWNTIME because they can proc them with every charge. It’s absolute carnage! Look at it this way: a Rakk build with a “100% damage increase on action skill end/ after using Rakk attack”, is functionally NO DIFFERENT from GITM-FA, and then they can crit on top of it all. The synergy is unique to Rakk builds but not exclusive. If you augment FA with UE and “until you’re dead” with a boss anointment, you can burst through the first 3 shots and instantly gain a 125% damage bonus on graveward for example. You’ll also keep your +25% movement speed and 3% health regen for 10 seconds, and you keep the ability to “true crit”. Not to mention you can delete the cool down with a high ROF weapon and do it all over again. You get all that opposed to the 7.25 seconds MAX from GITM-FA, which gives you half-damage crits that gain nothing from Fl4k’s crit modifiers (and even some guns crit based abilities) you’re spec’d into unless you’re SPECIFICALLY aiming for the head. Right out of the gate, GITM-FA wins with a decent class mod and torque stickies. But when endgame hits and you start min-maxing, the scales tip to UYD-FA with good anointments

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You had me at Spiderant.

First playthrough for me, so how would you advise progressing through the build? And would you start with GITM and respec at some point (maybe once you hit Megavore)?

Thank you for your work!

Thank you!

Leveling Fl4k up is probably very different now from how it was in those Wild-West early release days. Those first 8 points into FURIOUS ATTACK and LNT used to be a sure bet. Now I would still invest the first 5 points into FURIOUS ATTACK to unlock the GITM-FA. Keep in mind that you can toggle the augment on and off as you need to! Then make your way down the Hunter tree and max out IP STALKER and HEAD COUNT. By this point you want to start keeping your eye out for a few good tools:

SMG/AUTO PISTOL (pref. with RAD element) - combined with HEAD COUNT you’ll be cutting your cooldown time a lot between FA’s and irradiating baddies for extra damage. Remember to always go for the head, even when in FA!

JAKOBS PISTOL/SHOTGUN - These are your heavy hitters! And they only get better in FA. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal while cloaked. Think “Gun-shed Zer0”!

TORGUE SHOTGUN (sticky mode!) - This is your killshot!
You should ALWAYS be ending a FA with this, then wait till the cooldown begins and detonate! they’ll all be crits, and they’ll shave lots of time off your current cooldown! if you can get one with a 3 shot mag, it’ll synergize wonderfully with base FA.

HIGH ROF (VLADOF) SNIPER (cryo pref.) - Consider this your Lyuda Jr. till you can come across the real thing. Use it for burst damage (x2 shot are the best). Also you’ll burn through ammo fast so save it for TOUGH spawns, not your average skag/psycho!

Skill point wise, from here you want to double-tap HUNTERS EYE for some nice passives and to open up TWO F4NG. Max that! From here you have options:

Your priority should be a bee-line to MEGAVORE, maxing out BIG GAME, MOST DANGEROUS GAME, IG SHADOW, then topping off HE. But you may be a bit tempted by PERSISTENCE HUNTER for your GITM-FA duration, and that’s alright - The 5 seconds is ridiculously short. You can throw in a point or two now. OVERCLOCK increases fire-rate if you’d rather go that route instead. Theres some other gear you should be looking out for:

OFFENSIVE SHIELDS - amps! nice damage spikes that may also happen in FA! can be a bit risky though, losing 20%-50% shielding all at once. Be careful!

DEFENSIVE SHIELDS - adaptives, regen, reflect chance, really anything to keep you above that healthgate

MODS - Nothing too specific, but look for extra points in TWO F4NG and BIG GAME. Both will boost DPS. If you can get mods with damage and crit bonuses that’s good too.

That blueprint will get you through your first run! on TVHM you’ll focus on filling out the stalker tree up to UNBLINKING EYE, then welcome to the farm fest…

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