Flashy? Yes. Great to see the damage numbers on a tank spike up? Sure. Doing anything for a team in PvP? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Alright, we get it, you’ve got a minigun that spits rounds faster than a porsche’s RPM. But Montana’s minigun, is NOT meant to be a DPS monster…least not in the way you think. The Firestorm Helix option at level 4, is fantastic for PvE. Most minions are either immune to slows, or don’t really suffer a negative effect from them.

But Firestorm…even full on Firelord builds, are more of a disservice to your team than a benefit Because…

  • You accumulate heat faster with Hailstorm. This alone will chop your damage off significantly until you unlock Feeling the Burn at 6th level. Further, you will lose the ability to DISSIPATE heat using Hailstorm. So instead of being able to shoot longer and rely more on Hailstorn to cut enemies down, it becomes a very niche move for you, because you have to be extremely low, if not empty of heat to make the most out of it.

  • Firestorm is far more noticable than Hailstorm for effect, especially after getting Feeling the Burn. When you overheat, you set yourself on fire, telling all and sundry that you are not just taking damage from OTHER people’s attacks, you’re taking damage from your own. there are ways to mitigate this, but they all come down to adding damage in a way you probably won’t like a few seconds after the enemy team realizes it too.

  • Bullet Buff at 8th level, HURTS your DPS instead of helping it. This takes a little explaining. When you strike a target with Firestorm, they take one DoT effect, dealing 24 damage a second for two seconds. Bullet Buff, doubles that time, to 4 seconds. But, they can only have ONE Firestorm DoT applied at a time. All you do with subsequent strikes, is reset the timer. So, unless you can spread all your fire effect around for four seconds before you hit your original target again, you’re not doing any more damage than normal. Indeed, focusing on ONE target, makes it that much harder to get sustained damage, because while Firestorm DoT’s it LOSES the slow. Which leads to…

  • Losing Hailstorm’s slow, neuters Montana’s damage to an absurd degree against other players. You’ve just LJD’ed in, they’re knocked up or stunned, and you get those barrels spinning. All their focus turns to that big gun spewing lead…But instead of panicking, they’re grinning as they run away at full speed, taking your little bit of damage plus your fire damage that probably won’t kill them when they get around a wall or to a healer. Montana’s damage falls off very quickly at anything outside of Melee range. While Firestorm’s damage can stay high, his minigun will generally do the same amount. If they can run at full speed, your damage plummets once they get away.

  • With no slow, and only a stun/knockup, Montana can be very easily outmaneuvered. Losing your slow with Firestorm is bad enough. But without that, you must now CONSTANTLY get in close to targets to do significant damage to players. Anyone who sees the Monty Firelord coming, knows he’s half a tank at best. He can initiate the fight…period. He can’t really sustain it when he starts overheating, he can’t slow enemies down, and his DoT is subpar at best. A Miko can take out a Montana if they’re cagey and fast.

Now, that’s why you SHOULDN’T go Firestorm/Firelord in PvP. Here’s why you SHOULD go Canadian Moose, i.e. the chill build.

  • The Cooler at level 4, gives you a wonderful headfake in PvP. Deliberately overheat your minigun while facing someone who mgiht be trying to escape or get an ally. They’ll see your barrels stop spinning and the glow tells em that you’re probably overheated, so they may turn and face you(remember, you’re the tank, you’re the one SUPPOSED to be getting hit) Wait till they get close, and pop The Cooler. Heat’s falling off, your damage reduction’s increased, and they’re slowed right in front of you…what a wonderful welcome for an obliging enemy. :slight_smile:

  • Icicles at level 6, will turn your damage uber. Congratulations, there’s no longer a minion wall for enemy players to hide behind and not take damage. Even better, MINIONS can no longer be hidden behind each other as you’re slowing and damaging the wave. See an enemy thrall or elitebot coming in front of their wave? Hose them all down with enemy penetrating bullets; maybe even a few players will get in on the chilly fun behind their lines. :slight_smile:

  • Bullet Buff at level 9, basically ends any fight in front of you. Yeah, remember that slow I talked about? Well, when you get bullet buff, it doubles in EFFECTIVENESS instead of duration like Firestorm. And…well, it’s real easy, and quite fun, to hit the same target over and over, keeping them slowed for the duration of Hailstorm, and two seconds afterwards. :slight_smile:

  • Slowing enemies also helps your team as well as you. I don’t know any team on earth, that wouldn’t welcome a slowing, stunning, damaging health monster like Montana as a teammate. He fits almost all teams, all builds. Even ones with a second tank as DPS, love him for being able to lock an enemy down once they get out of position.

So please, when you pick Monty for PvP, remember his strengths; being a massive health respository that also doubles as black hole for enemy players. Don’t try to be tops on the DPS list. Be a better tank than fireboat, and your DPS will grow


Love this post (you got a Like), but do have to disagree the Slow effect is non-useful on PvE enemies. They get slowed down too. Quite worthwhile on Evolved Thralls, for instance.

No no. I know a lot of enemies get slowed in PvE. The problem is very few of them are going to try juking or dodging away from you. Most just home in on one target, or shoot from ranged. And that’s what the slow is great at negating; that juke effect. if you’re trying to stall out minions from reaching Chronicle or a defense point, it’s a great move. But if you’re just moving from one section to the next, or fighting a boss, it’s usefulness goes down pretty quick.


Extra like for the CanCon: :heart:

I never played Montana and didn’t realize all the downsides to Firestorm. But just from being on the other end, the slow is way way better, it’s not even close.

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I’d generally recommend keeping the crowd control on Hailstorm in general. Although I do have a couple of points about your argument.
Bullet Buff isn’t a point against Firestorm builds, just against itself. The other two helix options at its level are both really good, and are better for Hot-Builds because the dps increase on the extra DoT isn’t likely to net you results against fleeing targets and you’re already more than capable of handling minions.
Montana can take Focused Fire and Weather Man to pump up his accuracy a lot, making engaging at range and shooting after fleeing targets much more effective. You miss out on Hot-Blooded, but you’ve also freed up Bullet Buffs Helix to take Icy Resolve for damage reduction.
It kind of sounds like you’re experiencing a lot of people trying to play Firestorm Montana like Hailstorm Montana and like many character with two different playstyles, it just doesn’t work like that.
As I said earlier I don’t think Firestorm would ever be better over Hailstorm for PvP, unless you’re just in it for fun, I only assert that it may be more complex than players may realize.


I am almost never see Montanas go Ice Build, and i jsut dont get why. Its SO much better. Better CC, better sustained damage, better survivabilty. Pretty much everything a tank is supposed to do


I’ve always gone Ice Build after I got the Fireside Sing-along lore. I tried Feeling the Burn and Hot-bloodied, but after reading this guide I went back to Cold-bloodied instead. I know use this build. I use Icy Resolve for PVE, but after reading through this guide, I’ve decided to give Bullet Buff a try and…man, it’s awesome! I’m starting to get more assists now and that’s always a good thing. :dukecigar:

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the biggest flaw in BB seems to be that kills are worth more than everything else so most people try to get kills either to level up or get more points. As long as this won’t change people will try to get the killing blow no matter what role they have to play

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Ayup. Which is perfectly fine with me because I’ve killed and assisted in killing quite a few people who overextended. :imp:

The problem with improving Monty’s accuracy at range, is that the damage falloff stays the same. Even though you might be hitting with rounds still from a distance, they’re doing far less damage than they would if his target were close and slowed. From point blank, I’ve seen Monty tick of 28 damage a slug on someone. But at the limits of what I would normally fire at, I’ve seen SINGLE digit damage counts in some cases. That’s a lot of damage sway to be putting into range. I’m not saying it can’t work, but I can’t honestly say if it’s worth the effort you’re going to put into the gear and helix build package to make it work. If you’re looking to just threaten someone’s shields, it’ll work fine unless they have a shield heavy build. Otherwise, I don’t quite think the damage is there for the effort put out.

His damage fall off is that bad? That’s a little awkward for the more heavy ranged role Firestorm seems to fill.
Guess there can be only one flaming muscle man in Gearbox’s heart.

Kills only matter in points. All that really matters is playing the objective, and knowing when to run away. Kills don’t matter, getting killed does.


But I love my firestorm :frowning:
Also the little time ive played Montana I’ve done better with it. On solo encounters with melee it is so much more effective. Also with randoms I find that in a lot of cases playing for yourself is better and even in pre-made teams don’t always coordinate with you.

Also smart Montana’s seem to start fire storm on low heat to keep applying its effects to get the burst damage and push opponents back, which is ultimately your goal as a tank.

Test it yourself. Go solo PvE on the Algorithm mission and at the start, move as far away from the first minions as you can, then fire. Watch your damage numbers as the small minions walk towards you.

Whenever I see a Monty with a Firestorm setup, I do what I can to get close. All that heat and hate, only works as long as you’re under his crosshair. Since he has no slow now, I just juke to the sides, and you’ll spend more time spinning him than taking the damage the limited time Firestorm will be up. After that, he’s either overheated or cooking himself, and will be running or dying :slight_smile:

That’s what I save my lumberjack dash for to get the stun. I almost never run in a situation where a wall is near me as a tank, even as Kelvin. I’ve been frequently good at landing it for a stun. But then again I come from using Boldur as my main. with Boldur dash it is a lot harder to hit due to body size and less control.

I also go for mob clears often so I’m not hit by everything under the blue moon.

True, but now you’ve also blown your only escape tool. By this point in the fight, you’ve either decided to take me down, or are trying to stun me and run away. Turn your back to me, and you’re eating someone’s stun or slow. :slight_smile: If you try and take me down, I can fairly well stall until I get backup, or I counterstun/slow you and swing momentum back in my favor.

Please understand, I’m not tryin to bash you. But you are giving up a LONG, sustained targeting slow, for a few extra ticks of damage…and that’s all it will ever be. In a melee fight, I have about 60% of the advantage, because you can’t slow me and stall me out. Montana’s quick melee and a flip to Hailstorm slowing me, keeps me from getting into melee range again easy. I have to blow a cooldown to do it, and even then, i could miss if you get off the trigger at the right time and strafe. But with Firestorm, even if you LJD-stun me, the second I come out of it I’m back in melee range with you. if I’m Shayne, I can actually stall out Firestorm by stealthing, If it’s Galilea or Attikus, hello stun. :slight_smile: if it’s Caldy or Deande, massive headfake with grenades or a holotwin. And dear god…Mellka? Slow, DoT, Boost to Melee damage against you, and I’m probably flying OVER you at this point, getting shots on your back. :slight_smile:

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That’s also implying that I don’t have players around me. I don’t over commit with Montana and am fine camping until a teammate is around me. No point in absorbing unnessary damage to risk a flank on the verge of a kill. I watch my map consistently, a tactic I pulled from using ghalt. If I am in a situation with Montana where I’m easily able to get flanked with no help then I’m not using him right.

I dunno, ive yet to go negative in the games I’ve used Montana and I’ve played a few premades and i use firestorm. But I also run health regeneration, attack speed and movement speed too so I get out of a few situations normal Montana’s don’t.

I can show pics of my current stats when I’m home tomorrow

No need. I don’t think you’re lying. I just think you’d do better with a chill Monty than you are with a hot one. :slight_smile: You sound like a good Monty tank. But as much damage as you do with Firestorm, the extra damage is like the extra damage a support can do: fine in it’s own right, but not worth sacrificing a core mechanic of the class.