Anyone who has read my comments on Moze’s skills and skill trees in these forums knows that I’m not exactly full of praise for the latter half of the Bottomless Mags skill tree as most of it can be replicated with gear and thus you can allocate the skill points elsewhere.
However, after having spent some time toying around with a build for Iron Bear, I felt like crafting a build which doesn’t revolve so heavily around splash damage or shields and also intentionally makes the latter half of BM tree essential in terms of the build being able to fully function in the first place.
For a change, I wanted to try a build that doesn’t necessarily involve the Blast Master or the Big Boom Blaster, but I also wanted to try something different from the Mind Sweeper or Bloodletter COMs. The Rocketeer is fun but not that effective overall, and the Bear Trooper and Raging Bear class mods are for strict-IB builds only.
So I looked at the Green Monster which palpably relies on holding down M1 in order to reap the bonus corrosive damage. You pretty much want any gun you’re using to liberally throw away bullets and have no concerns of running out of ammo like the Infinity pistol, so that means stacking up wholesale on mag size bonuses and ammo regen wherever possible.
It also means that without a COM that gives +1 Redistribution, it makes it necessary to get Forge. This got me thinking about maybe a Vladof allegiance build as Vladof guns are usually the best for large mag sizes and faster rates of fire. But I was questioning whether there was something else; an extra ingredient of sorts to add to the recipe.
And then it occurred to me: magazines that don’t run out of bullets? Sounds like the best anointment for that is Moze’s new anointment bonus, 125% bonus fire damage for the next two mags after ASE. So as long as we don’t swap weapons after exiting Iron Bear, we’ve got 125% bonus fire damage no matter what and so long as we don’t let go of the trigger, we can build our way up to 100% bonus corrosive damage! The only thing left to figure out is: what’s the best base element for our weapons?
It’s actually bog standard kinetic damage - it tends to have the highest base damage out of its elemental variations of the same weapons and at its absolute worst, it’s only reduced to 80% of its damage when used against armour. But with kinetic base + 125% fire anointment bonus + 100% corrosive COM bonus? Theoretically speaking, the worst obstacle for you will be shields… and yet you’ll comfortably do more damage against shields than the same weapon (non-anointed) if it were in radiation.
In addition to flesh, kinetic has no negative damage multiplier against shields so even though fire and corrosive both get halved, you’re still essentially MORE THAN DOUBLING your base kinetic against shields with this molotov cocktail of a concoction which is not far off from using the same gun in shock! And once the shields are down, this molotov cocktail gets even better against flesh and armour!
I did a brief test run with an Unending Magnificent (without the 125% anointment bonus) and a Lyuda with the fire bonus and it was absurd. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any non-Overkill-boosted or non-ricochet weapon speedily murder the hell out of Maliwan badass commandos from distance so fast like I did with a molotov cocktail Lyuda!
Furthermore, a Green Monster COM with +5 Scorching RPMs and a passive 24% mag size increase would make this build even more insane. If you were then to add a passive 45% Vladof (or any other manufacturer you prefer) critical damage bonus, then it’s even better because manufacturer crit bonuses on class mods have their own place in the crit damage formula, meaning it’s completely multiplicative with everything else. The formula with 10/5 SRPMs and 45% passive bonus alone would look like this: 2 x 1.4 x 1.45 = 4.06
I’m not ready to finalise a definitive Vladof molotov cocktail build however; still need a lot of gear and have to properly put it through its paces in more challenging content. I’m still looking for that Green Monster COM and I know some of you loathe Vladof guns in general, but I’ll happily take any kinetic ones that deal 125% bonus fire damage if you don’t want them! Specifically looking for a x2 Unending Magnificent (preferably with the double barrels but that’s not too important,) a x2 ION CANNON and a Boom Sickle.
In theory, you could do all of this with other allegiance builds; a Hyperion-shotgun molotov cocktail build could be pretty lethal, especially because Hyperion manufactures shields and grenades to get the absolute max from Matched Set. Maliwan would be fantastic but unless you’re going it alone with a Tsunami, it would be advisable for your Maliwan guns to be in cryo + radiation; the nuclear winter theme is as close as it gets to replicating kinetic base damage.
I also didn’t know this until very recently and have yet to test it myself, but it’s been reported that the Band of Sitorak shield STACKS its extra passives each time it breaks! I don’t think it stacks max health, but the 22% bonus weapon supposedly does stack and so do the extra passives like fire rate, reload speed and movement speed. That combined with a molotov cocktail build, I can only imagine the sheer insanity…