Iron Bear Action Skill Rework Idea

Hello, I’m Velvet, I’m here to share an idea I’ve had about making Iron Bear and Moze work better together as well as just making Iron Bear work better in a looter-shooter type game.

First I wish to set the stage about the concept of Action Skill design in Borderlands 3. Every Action Skill is a reworked version from one of the previous games, for example Fl4k’s Fade Away being Zero’s Decepti0n, Rakk Attack! is Mordecai’s Bloodwing, Zane’s Barrier is Athena’s Kinetic Aspis, most obviously Amara’s Phasegrasp being Maya’s Phaselock and the list goes on but for Iron Bear it isn’t so simple. The closest related Action Skills would have to be an awkward combination of Axton’s Sabre Turret, Gaige’s Deathtrap and Krieg’s Buzz Axe Rampage and even then it would be a bit of a stretch.

So why does it matter to compare old Actions Skills to Iron Bear?
Each previously named Action Skill expands on the pre-existing but with the mindset that Iron Bear was based from Sabre Turret, Deathtrap and Buzz Axe Rampage we can see a bit of resgression. Rather than being an addition to game play like Axton’s or Gaige’s Action Skills, Iron Bear is a replacement.

So why is being a replacement a problem?
A main point that should be brought up is that in the Borderlands Series gear matters above all else and very few Actions Skills interact solely with your weapons, so having a convenient, low damage turret that has utility but doesn’t scale or interact with your gear is still worth using because it is just a bonus tool for your character to use and is adding to your game plan. The problem is that you switch from a fully geared out Moze into a Turret that doesn’t (aside from HP) interact whatsoever with your equipment, most skills and takes away grenades. So what is the point of farming for gear if half the time your character won’t use it whatsoever?
It could be argued that Krieg’s Buzz Axe Rampage is similar to Iron Bear but Krieg still has access to his shield, relic, classmod, skill trees and capstones. He is one character while Moze and Iron Bear are two. (Iron Bear and Moze classmods rarely interact with each other aside from damage, ex. Bloodletter, Bear Trooper, Raging Bear, Rocketeer, Sapper).

If Iron Bear is buffed won’t that fix the problem?
Yes and no. The yes being Moze has an Action Skill, the no being it doesn’t interact with anything she does. So why ever farm for gear in the Series known for such a thing if Iron Bear will carry you through it anyways? Why play Moze over Iron Bear?

So what has this too long write-up been leading to?
My idea would be giving Iron Bear his own inventory. So you equip his weapons, shield, classmod and grenade effectively making Moze the first ever character to have 6 weapon slots, 2 grenades, 2 classmods and 2 shields (It would also offset her bad classmods previously mentioned). This would not only drastically improve Iron Bear but it would make the majority of Moze’s skills interact with Iron Bear. Matched Set, Redistribution, The Iron Bank, Click Click, Forge, Pull the Holy Pin, Short Fuse, Selfless Vengeance, Armored Infantry, Thin Red Line, Vladof Ingenuity, Behind the Iron Curtain, Phalanx Doctrine, Force Feedback and Tenacious Defense! And also who on earth wouldn’t want to duel wield Plaguebearers? (It even has "Bear" in the name)!
I’m not saying this should replace the already existing system because early leveling would be painful if you had to equip Iron Bear but late game it would be fantastic. The experience would be much like playing Salvador. It could be either or both.

So that’s it! Even though this will likely never happen I can always dream. I would love to hear your opinions. Thanks for reading.


You go boy <3
Same problem for me^^
If I could loot and use gear with iron bear I might want to use him. But not like that xD

I agree with everything you said^…I made a post of seeing Iron Bear concept art with a third arm (see the brainstormer):

Even something as simple as Moze’s currently equipped weapon (and anointment) on IB would make all the difference…but your idea is better

Nice post :+1:

It’s a nice idea, even ideal. However, I do not think gearbox will rework an action skill to this degree. They’re probably just going to scale it to where it does enough damage to kill a mob, but not enough to where just being out of iron bear is more effective. However, phase 2 stated that there will be an action skill damage increase in the class mods. Meaning the class mods and maybe relics could potentially interact with iron bear somewhat. At some point in the future, maybe blast master or green monster could interact with iron bear, and it will be better, but I don’t think they’d ever rework it to equip real weapons.

Its a nice idea, but I feel that Moze and Iron Bear has to be seen and act as one character with two playstyles so create a whole and independent set to each one could ruin the feeling of them being one in essence. Gaige and Deathtrap, Axton and Sabre, they really can act as two characters in one, each with its own playstyle, since nor DT or Sabre take away their guns. And beyond that, grenade modules and bottom stats from Artifacts and COMs doesnt apply to Iron Bear at all so I really dont see the point to create a new mechanic to give him each piece of gear rather than just make him able to use Moze’s own gear.

As Moze main, I feel that what lacks to Iron Bear is essentialy damage and direct interaction with her gear and some more skills. A simple way to do this, for example, is turn IB able to heal from stomps and/or bear fists while Moze uses a Artifact with “Knife Drain”, his bear fists proccing White Elephant’s sticky bombs etc.

He already can even proc the 500% crit nova if Moze’s holding a gun with that annoint when jumps into him, and it is one of the last annoints added to the game, so why not 150% grenade damage to grenade and rocket launchers as well? Why not previous features as Artifacts and Annointments?

I made a post a while ago talking about how one thing that could easily help to fix Iron Bear is make him able to use Moze’s Class Mods as he already does with Mind Sweeper (yes, he can proc it). Imagine Iron Bear using Miniguns with Sapper or Green Monster, Blast Master apllying its bonus to his splash guns and so on. It doesnt has to be always about pure damage, but synergies to build the damage too, right?

Doesn’t Iron Bear already get Green Monster? That was the whole point of Build-a-Bear.

Great idea, awesome I would say. But as the comments already stated I think it is a bit too drastic for a change. I think there would be two options to make IB viable without causing too much of a change.

One would be making IB drastically stronger(like, just as strong or even stronger than a well-builded VH) but making its cooltime a lot longer. This way Moze’s primal movement would be trying to kill mobs in order to stack Grizzly, so players will have the opportunity to access IB to wipe out swarms then fight on her own to activate IB once more. Though in this case Auto Bear obviously would have to be significantly weaker than IB(though still viable, since we won’t want to waste such a good skill.)

The other would be IB gaining access with Moze’s items’ effect. Dome shields with Frozen Heart nova sounds pretty awesome. Grenade launchers slamming Fastballs on mobs’ face? Yes please. That way users can truly customize IB to their taste, and it will be truly a force to be reckoned with.

IB not only needs more damage, it needs more diversity. Some weapons were not just worth checking out, and all of them are now. Gearbox would probably end up buffing damage and let this matter pass, but if they are gonna do it they seriously need to give Salamander and Bear Fist some more power.


Well, they can just give massive buffs to IB but drastically increase his cooldown. Moze would wreck anything while in IB, but you would use it sparingly. And it would be OP in early game.
Problem is the anointments would be active only a few times.

The idea to make IB wield two weapons like Salvador is… meh. If i wanted to play Salvador, i would just launch BL2. I prefer the concept art with the third arm.

Now that’s a great idea. Problem is, how would you make the minigun and the railgun, or even the salamander, interact with Moze’s gear ?

Also, i think what IB needs badly is anointments like : “While Moze is in IB, it deals 200% more damage” or something like this.

This is a very cool idea… Although, seeing how small they change things up till now (they introduce skill damage option in gear and some scaling damage sources 9 months after release even though they should realized that problems seeing BL2), I say the chance of this happens is almost to zero… maybe about 0.000000000000000001%.