A while ago, the Top Gear threads for all vault hunters got merged into a single thread. But class mods in some cases are the centrepiece of most builds and Moze’s legendary range seems to be better than all the other vault hunters. That’s why I think it merits a thread of its own. But in light of DLC6 and the Heat Exchanger in particular, I think now is a good time to have a discussion about Moze’s legendary range, how they compare to each other, which ones could improve, etc.
What you see here is a list of all of Moze’s legendary class mods, allocated into different tier categories based on a number of criteria such as their special effects, their range of bonus skills, how easy/difficult they are to make viable builds for, etc. Each tier category is described to help set the framework of what sort of performance you can expect from a class mod of each tier. Obviously with future updates and DLC, this tier list will be subject to change.
Of course, the current list reflects my own opinions. I am open to discussion about the class mods as well as the tier categories they belong to. However, giving your own list without explaining why doesn’t really add anything of value to the discussion. I won’t consider any proposed changes unless they can be backed up with ample reasoning and consensus.
For example, each class mod has its pros and cons and so just blindly stating a class mod deserves to be higher for damage alone while ignoring its downsides, is not a convincing argument. I also encourage people to discuss ideas as to how Gearbox could improve the class mods that are at the bottom of the pecking order.
These class mods are ones which their special effects focus on and enhance Moze and Iron Bear as an active partnership fighting side-by-side. Even in the earliest days when Moze on-foot was stronger than Bear, having Auto Bear active at the same time was still a worthwhile boost in collective DPS. Ever since Iron Bear received Mayhem-scaling along with a few of Moze’s skills, their combined power has reached absurd levels. An S-tier COM can seamlessly fit into the Moze meta or any similar build variation of it and is powerful enough by default not to require specific rolls or ‘god drops’ when it comes to bonus skills and/or passive bonuses.
The irony of the Rocketeer is that it hasn’t changed one iota in itself since the game’s release and yet has been transformed into an S-tier class mod. Once upon a time, it was Moze’s worst class mod in her range, back in the days when Mayhem-scaling wasn’t even in existence. And look at it now: Mayhem-scaled Auto Bear operating on its fuel tank rather than just 15 seconds, along with Mayhem-scaled FitSD as one of the bonus skills. The power and the collective DPS that this COM grants Moze is enough to make it S-tier.
Now there is an obvious constraint in that this class mod is only effective if you’re using Iron Bear and immediately enter/exit so that Auto Bear doesn’t run on less fuel. But unlike Iron Cub, Bear does not carry a damage penalty, fuel consumption is always passive with Rocketeer and Moze gets the benefit of being able to use Big Surplus the entire time!
Where you place Auto Bear can make a difference in some situations. Place it in a good position and Bear can target almost any enemy around. Place it in a bad position however and he might not be able to help much, or might even be in the middle of heavy crossfire and get destroyed. Having both FitSD and TCP as bonus skills is major; Cloud of Lead however is a blemish on an otherwise impeccable COM. Definitely Moze’s best non-DLC class mod!
It’s very easy for Moze to ignite enemies, so a 15% chance for that to completely reset the cooldown of the most powerful action skill in the game is a pretty big deal. When you’re piloting Iron Bear, normally you want to craft builds around fuel-efficiency and maximising cooldown rate to get back in the cockpit as soon as possible.
But if you can eliminate that cooldown duration outright, then any skill points invested in either cooldown or fuel-efficiency can be reinvested elsewhere. It’s still an option if you want to include such skills, but the Flame COM essentially flips the script and reverses the key principles of being a Bear pilot, making it the paradox of Moze’s class mod range. It grants you free licence to invest completely into DPS skills when cooldown is no longer a hiatus you have to accept.
And if you don’t feel like being a pilot? You can not only take a leaf out of Fl4k’s book and live up to the title of Beastmaster but do a better job of it at the same time, by running a near-permanent pet build with Iron Cub who is certainly stronger than any of Fl4k’s pets. Even though the bonus skills are completely Bear-focused and of no direct benefit to Moze herself, the special effect alone is a huge insurance policy to be carrying around in your pocket.
What convinced me to bump Eternal Flame up to S-tier is that you can run a totally unfettered meta build for Moze and still have Iron Cub (with a point in Auto Bear) active 100% of the time and it made a tremendous difference during test runs through True Guardian Takedown. Even though Moze herself doesn’t get bonus damage like from other class mods or even get to use Big Surplus much, they’re all acceptable losses when Cub can follow you around all day and can be summoned at practically any time regardless of running empty or being destroyed. Eternal Flame is not just arguably the best Bear pilot COM; it’s also essentially Rocketeer for Iron Cub!
There’s no denying that the bonus damage from Flare is S-tier material. Having said that, if you had asked me before Season Pass 2 came along where I would’ve rated this COM, I would probably have put it in B-tier if not as high as A-tier seeing as piloting Iron Bear was the only way to make the class mod work, and you wanted to bail out of the cockpit after consuming half of the fuel tank, for refunding cooldown as well as cutting losses in bonus damage.
Fantastic burst damage potential but compared to the other Bear COMs before it, there was very little emphasis on fuel-efficiency at all. And when anointed weapons could grant Bear’s hardpoints with bonus damage, that meant that even with the more fuel-efficient class mods in use, Bear’s DPS was still somewhat overkill.
But then DLC5 came and so did Iron Cub along with it. We discovered that Flare’s bonus damage applies to not just Iron Cub but Moze too. In fact, it’s the one class mod that helps her reach her full damage potential. Granted, Flare cannot keep the duo of Moze and Bear going quite as long as either Rocketeer or Eternal Flame, but its bonus damage can make up for that. With Moze and Iron Cub as a pairing, Flare’s damage can annihilate anything and it really showed during the crystal phases in testing when it was giving Moze more breathing space around the crystals.
The other downsides of the Flare COM are that it’s pretty much dormant and ineffective when cooldown kicks in, and Cloud of Lead rears its ugly head again just like with the Rocketeer COM. But during cooldown, Moze still has Big Surplus and both SSB and MoD are decent bonus skills on any class mod. If you consider yourself a Moxsyist, this is certainly the class mod for you.
These class mods are solid choices in isolation and utilised in the right builds, their special effects and/or bonus skills have the potential to make them function like an S tier COM, but without the benefit of focusing on Moze and Bear as a duo. To make them feel like they belong in S-tier would require that you deviate a little from the Moze meta, whether that’s by choice of weapons and gear, choice of hardpoints and/or augments for Iron Bear, or allocation of skill points. Their special effects make them either seemingly generic on the surface, or not consistent or foolproof enough to join the ranks of the elite without being more specific with your choice of builds compared to their actual S-tier counterparts.
This used to be Moze’s #1 COM before Mayhem 2.0. If any class mod in Moze’s legendary range before that update was to be deemed S-tier, it would’ve been the Blast Master. But that could very easily lead to another question: was it ever truly S-tier in the first place?
Although Mayhem 2.0 did a lot more for other class mods, I say that the Blast Master was also positively affected by it because that 100% bonus splash damage still feeds both Short Fuse and FitSD which receive Mayhem-scaling. In fact, splash damage is a universal boost in the sense that it works not just when Moze is on-foot but also with Iron Bear, Iron Cub and Auto Bear with their splash hardpoints and augments. As long as you don’t reload any of Moze’s guns, it’s active all the time and even if you do have to reload, it only takes 50 seconds to reach the full bonus.
And for a class mod that doesn’t feed FitSD with more points directly, it still has one of the best range of bonus skills of all the class mods out there, and a range in particular that isn’t ‘god roll’ demanding in terms of drops compared to most of Moze’s other class mods. But when I tested it more recently in comparison with other class mods, it was hard to deny that it does fall short in certain areas. I wanted to keep it S-tier but to do so would be too subjective. I feel it’s closer to A+ territory than anything else, hence its relegation to A-tier and I’ll explain why.
The splash damage bonus, although not as good as the bonus damage from Flare, can be active 24/7 even with Bear/Cub on cooldown unlike Flare’s damage and it serves to make Blast Master very consistent and reliable in that regard. However, while splash damage can also apply to Bear, it doesn’t do anything for Capacitive Armature which is easily Bear’s strongest augment for his strongest hardpoint, and it makes a tremendous difference when fighting the guardians during the crystal phases on True Guardian Takedown.
In order for Bear to make real use of the splash damage, you’d have to swap out the Railguns for Vanquishers, thus deviating from the meta. Or you’d have to take points from Bottomless Mags and put them into Shield of Retribution to unlock Corrosive Sabot Round but it would still not have the same impact as Capacitive Armature.
By itself, the Bloodletter can provide a generous boost to Moze’s gun damage (and to a lesser extent, up to +100% Type A damage for Iron Bear in pilot/hybrid builds) with the expectation that you’re committing skill points to the latter half of the Shield of Retribution skill tree, although this does come with the caveat of reducing Moze’s health to 1 and forsaking health gate which is not usually recommended.
But a key skill is Rushin’ Offensive and if you combine that with this COM, you can instantly restore your entire shields in a single shot, making it Moze’s best class mod for amp shields as well as the Infernal Wish. This is a prime example of an A-tier class mod performing like an S-tier one given the right circumstances. This surprisingly yields a variety of viable end-game builds, including ones such as an amped-heavy weapons build or even a Urad build that can feature non-splash guns as well as standard splash weapons.
And the bonus skills aren’t bad either: the ideal drop being +3 Desperate Measures and +2 Thin Red Line so that you can get +100% gun damage without needing to waste an artefact slot on the Deathless. But if you’re able to rack up multiple kills in quick succession wherever you go, then bonus points in Phalanx Doctrine are also welcome.
I was of the opinion that this was S-tier but upon further testing and reflection, I think it adheres more to A-tier: solid in isolation and can have its S-tier moments with the right choice of weapons and gear, but not really consistent or foolproof enough by itself to merit elite status.
On the positive side of things, the special effect also functions for Iron Bear, Iron Cub and Auto Bear, meaning it’s a very versatile COM that allows you to utilise Bear however you wish. And it has arguably the best range of bonus skills in all of Moze’s legendary class mods. Even if you don’t get +5 FitSD, you still have TCP and Redistribution for backup!
But then you notice the class mod’s shortcomings such as the special effect itself being quite RNG-based which can result in great DPS spikes but for the most part, is not as consistent as others such as Blast Master. You must also be wary of the micro-grenades themselves as they have decent radius even without TCP’s aid. This becomes a nightmarish scenario in the crystal phases where you have to occupy smaller areas while engaging guardians who will rush or fly to you point-blank if you’re not able to kill them quickly enough. The COM is capable of great things but even in crunch situations, it can just as easily let you down as well as keep you down.
These class mods are both inherently useful and work exactly as listed on their cards but are nothing special or noteworthy in the grand scheme of things. Cater to them with the correct builds and they could feel like A-tier mods. But outside of such builds, they don’t truly revolutionise gameplay for Moze or Iron Bear in a distinct or eye-catching way by themselves to merit a slot in any of the top two tiers. In my estimation, I don’t think B-tier class mods need any revision or discussion in terms of buffs, but the floor is open to such discussions nevertheless.
This class mod is one I have mixed opinions about. If you were to judge purely by its cover, Raging Bear sounds like a real winner, a few might argue it is deserving of A-tier status perhaps. The bonus damage caps out to +50% but it’s Type A damage, it’s not a separate multiplier like that of the Flare COM. And while reducing fuel drain is a positive thing, it’s also something that is subject to diminishing returns the more you try to reduce it. This is demonstrated by the fact that Deadlines is one of the bonus skills. If you have 3/3 points from the skill tree already, you get -30% fuel drain. But land a drop that allows you to have 6/3, you only get -42% from it.
Therefore, Stainless Steel Bear is still the bonus skill you want most if you intend on being a pilot, as having extra fuel tank capacity is far more important than just spamming fuel drain reductions. But if you want to do a hybrid build, then Stoke the Embers is also a decent bonus skill to have as it directly boosts the incendiary elemental multiplier which helps Moze significantly when she has skills such as FitSD and Big Surplus. It’s still a great class mod for Bear even if it has always proven to be a pain to farm but ever since the introduction of the Flame COM that simply negates action skill cooldown, it’s an incredibly tough act for any Bear-focused class mod to follow.
While it is technically on one of the lower rungs of the class mod ladder, Bear Trooper’s special effects are a tad more significant than most people realise. Unconditionally, you get -50% fuel drain from the word go, which reduces fuel drain more than 6/3 Deadlines. More importantly, you get +50% fuel tank capacity. Combine these two stats together and you have an end product that is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to fuel-efficiency.
This also indirectly buffs Deadlines because with a bigger fuel tank, there’s more fuel volume being refunded. As far as bonus skills go, SSB is present once again while Grizzled makes a super-rare appearance, as does the undesirable Explosive Punctuation. Before Flame existed, this was the only Bear-focused class mod that paid any direct attention towards action skill cooldown.
Bear Trooper being categorised as B-tier might not make sense to some, but hear me out. I’ve done plenty of testing in the past with the non-DLC Bear COMs on all content, even on True Guardian Takedown. On numerous occasions, I took the exact same Bear build of mine, same hardpoints + augments, same bonus skills and passive bonuses on class mods included. All I did was change between Bear Trooper and Raging Bear. To no one’s surprise, Raging Bear obviously dished out more DPS, however, the bonus damage from that is +50% Type A damage which is additive with other Type A damage skills. All this amounted to in my testing, was roughly an extra 20% total DPS if I recall correctly which might be a surprise to some.
What I was losing with Raging Bear though was a lot more fuel in the tank to play with. When I re-tested the COMs at the time hardpoint anointments were introduced, the discrepancies were almost null and void seeing as even with the Bear Trooper, almost all mobs across all content were getting deleted in just one or two Railgun blasts.
The reason I place Bear Trooper (marginally) below Raging Bear is because the latter does a bit more for Moze in a hybrid build if you wish to exercise that option. But in terms of overall performance in a pure pilot build, both class mods are incredibly similar to each other, so much so in fact that it makes no logical sense for one to say that Raging Bear is good while Bear Trooper is bad, especially when given the same amount of points in SSB and matching passive bonuses on both class mods, one only has around 20-25% total DPS advantage while the other is more consistent with fuel-efficiency and can help more with mitigating action skill cooldown.
There’s not a lot to say about the Sapper, other than it’s Moze’s most powerful form of sustain outside of her skill trees. As long as you’re equipped with the right weapons, aim at enemies and never let go of the trigger, you might as well be one of the Invincibles. It’s very good for what it does but it’s nothing super-special, and its range of bonus skills only help with increasing magazine size as well as ammo and grenade regen. One niche build (that is completely theoretical and I have yet to test) that could make this feel as if it’s higher than B-tier is rolling with The Monarch as Moze can’t sustain herself with Rushin’ Offensive while in bipod mode, and the bonus skills can help greatly increase its magazine size which is not that large for a Vladof AR.
Criticisms of the Sapper are rather obvious ones: nothing about it is of any benefit to Iron Bear or Iron Cub, and there’s nothing in the range of bonus skills that offers direct DPS boosts to Moze. Technically, magazine size increases still result in DPS increases albeit more indirectly. And conflate that with the fact that it only works with guns that repeatedly fire as long as you can hold down the trigger, it’s a class mod that places several constraints on your weapon choice.
The life steal is certainly powerful as well as less conditional to a certain degree and that makes the Sapper a decent COM, but that’s its only real appeal and Moze has alternative ways of sustaining herself; it’s not as if she suffers greatly without this class mod. I think a B-tier rating is valid, but certainly the lowest of the B-tier category.
These class mods are not bad but one would be generous in saying they’re mid-tier at best. You can play around with them and have some fun in one or two niche builds, but they might not necessarily be the best or most foolproof picks for their respective niches, and they’re certainly not that useful enough to be used across a wide range of builds. Either the special effect alone or the range of bonus skills are what prevent these class mods from sinking any lower into the abyss. But I would say any class mod in C-tier or below, 100% merits discussion about why Gearbox should go back to the drawing board with it and how they can fix it.
This class mod is the one in Moze’s selection that truly has not aged well. You have to hold down the trigger for at least 12 seconds to get the full bonus of corrosive damage, and there’s a hidden, gimmicky splash damage bonus from when Gearbox seemingly used the Blast Master as the template for a copy-paste job when designing this COM. The problem with bonus elemental damage in general is that it doesn’t feed into splash damage, even though the corrosive damage from this COM is tacked onto the end of most things including grenades.
In order to use this class mod the way it was intended, you need a fully-automatic weapon that fires slow enough yet has a sizeable magazine to keep on firing to maintain the special effect. They then copied this again for the Sapper but at least life steal is effective enough not to require maximum build-up. The most notable weapon that comes to mind for the Green Monster is the Flipper or any Maliwan weapon that fits the criteria. But you can arguably get more DPS from other class mods without resorting to such an awkwardly contrived mechanic. Scorching RPMs is by far the best bonus skill on it, but Click, Click still to this day only drops with +1.
Here’s what I would do with the Green Monster: retain the idea of focusing exclusively on corrosive damage, but scrap the requirement of constantly holding down the trigger. Instead, any of Moze’s and Iron Bear’s skills that deal bonus incendiary damage or activate when you inflict the incendiary status effect, are all converted to corrosive damage.
Cloud of Lead, Fire in the Skag Den, Selfless Vengeance, Experimental Munitions, Big Surplus, Biofuel, My Little Friend and Running on Fumes, these would all either deal corrosive damage or activate when you inflict the melt status effect. I would also scrap Click, Click and replace it with Stoke the Embers in order to boost and promote the new special effect, while keeping the theme of bonus skills strictly within the Bottomless Mags skill tree.
This would be an incredibly unique and revolutionary way of playing Moze, especially as corrosive damage is arguably one of the two most important elements in both True Takedowns as well as fighting Hemovorous. This would also make Flesh Melter artefacts intuitive and lucrative to use as Moze. The potential DPS and performance would at the very least elevate Green Monster to A-tier status, if not reach the elite COMs and make it four in the S-tier category.
It’s not that bad in isolation, but it’s hard not to label the Heat Exchanger as currently being Moze’s worst in her legendary class mod range. The one redeeming feature of the class mod is that it has a solid range of bonus DPS skills for Bear, especially being able to extend Feature Creep beyond 2/1 investment. The DPS performance is quite respectable and Scorching RPMs is one of Moze’s best DPS skills for her to also benefit from, but there’s no real focus on fuel-efficiency or mitigating cooldown, and then we get to the elephant in the room: the class mod’s special ability revolving exclusively around just one of Bear’s hardpoints. To make matters worse, it implies a further constraint in that for both DPS and fuel-efficiency, you’re always better off taking the augment that makes the Minigun fire explosive rounds.
The problem with Miniguns is that as hardpoints go, they’re mid-tier at best. Railguns and Vanquishers will always perform better generally speaking. Then you have the explosive augment for them which as I already mentioned, is the best option for both DPS and fuel-efficiency. But a major problem with this augment is that Bear can easily self-destruct if he fires enough explosive rounds at enemies within the proximity of the splash radius. If that happens, not only do you lose Bear (or Cub) but you’ve then got to go through the entire cooldown duration before being able to call him back, with a class mod that offers nothing cooldown-related in either its special effect or its bonus skill range.
Iron Bear is still the most powerful action skill in BL3 which is why any class mod that focuses on Bear isn’t that terrible, but this one tries for a really unnecessary niche angle that can easily be outperformed by other Bear COMs in terms of overall performance. Seeing as Gearbox has given Moze three consecutive Bear-focused COMs in a row now and this is the latest in that production line, I as a Moze main hope they put to rest any further ideas of more action skill-exclusive class mods, at least for the time being. That is why I rate it as C-tier and at the bottom of the pile as the order currently stands.
My solution to fixing this class mod would take the first obvious step: scrap the Minigun exclusivity, while remembering that both Flame and Flare set a pretty high standard for Bear COMs. One rough idea I have in mind is that as Bear’s tank gets lighter on fuel, his fire rate, reload speed (including Minigun cooldown after overheating) and movement speed gradually increase, the idea being that with less and less weight with the fuel constantly burning, everything about Bear and Cub will increase in speed. But this wouldn’t do much of anything to address fuel-efficiency or cooldown mitigation, and anything cooldown-related has to bear in mind (pardon the pun) that Iron Cub’s cooldown can’t be refunded like with Iron Bear.
These class mods are where things are starting to look awful. They might have one or two redeeming features to them that make for either an enjoyable experience or somewhat make it viable in end-game content in the most niche of builds. But you’d have to be motivated either out of pure boredom or for the hell of it in order to justify running such a class mod in the first place.
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These class mods? Seriously? You have truly outdone yourselves, Gearbox…
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