Optimizing the Boom Sickle build

I love the Boom Sickle to death, but it is an odd gun – a splash Vladof shotgun that is technically an assault rifle. Extremely high base damage, but slowish rate of fire. Cannot roll with a splash anoint. So the path for optimizing a Boom Sickle build is not as a clear cut as you would approach, say the Kyb’s Worth, the Scourge, or the Redistributor/Hyperfocus.


I think I commit no crime when I say that the obvious class mod choice for a Sickle build is the Blast Master, since it is one of the easiest ways to tap into that sweet, sweet bonus splash damage. You cannot fire it continuously in order to benefit from the Green Monster’s hidden splash bonus and the Mind Sweeper doesn’t really synergize with shotguns.


Since the Blast Master naturally rolls with Vampyr, my first thought was put together a shield tank build using the Recharger and Tenacious Defense:


Performance was fine – cleared the TTD in one go, took down Wotes in 3 minutes – but I can’t help but think that I am wasting points by investing too heavily in the SoR tree. Perhaps that just taps into DiB and Click Click for damage would be a better choice:


I haven’t tried this build yet, but my concern is that between the 2/1 in Redistribution and the points in PTHP, I will end up with full mags most of the time, which would defeat the purpose of Click Click.


I’ve been playing around with a BM class mod has shotgun damage (understanding is that the Sickle behaves like a shotgun attachment), Vladof accuracy, and extra shield health. For an artifact, I went with the Snowdrift Victory Rush (mag size, AOE, max shields again), but I’m open to swapping that out for the Pearl. The shield health rolls aren’t great, but you can effectively double their value if you use a Recharger and I have a couple of those, including double capacity and one with vagabond and brimming. Grenade is the CMT; 1-2 points in PTHP and 2-3 Vampyr from the class mod is enough to keep my health topped up and get regular procs of Redistribution.

I’m not wedded to this gear though. I think I have a class mod with shotgun and splash damage, which I’m guessing is potentially – though maybe only marginally – better than my current class mod. I would hate to loose the accuracy though as it really tightens the reticle on the Sickle.


I have some with CH and 125% incendiary, which I’m guessing are the best in slot depending on your artifact choice. For shield and grenade, I went with elemental ASE, but I could also see switching to a grenade with OGT damage.

All of that said, I’m totally open to suggestions here.

I think you have 3 options here for gear:

CH boomsickle + Pearl

  • Tons of weapon damage + weird pearl multiplier + BM splash.

CH Boomsickle + Victory Rush w/splash boost

  • Plenty of weapon damage + splash boost on Artifact and VR every badass kill. You could use a splatter gun if you’re feeling frisky.

125 n2m Boomsickle + Pearl

  • Still decent weapon damage boost + Pearl multiplier + easier to stack pearl.

Then it comes down to build

  • Forge for QoL.
  • SF if you plan on carrying other guns, still a little benefit for boomsickle.
  • DiB is a good idea all around (might as well grab EM).
  • Anything higher in SoR is meh, especially with a CH + Pearl.
  • Click Click is tricky to use here, you want a large mag + regen to make sure you have enough ammo all the time. Not boosting too much is a difficult balance to maintain with smaller mag guns and Blast Master because you run too low you’re in a bind waiting for regen. Also meh with Pearl + CH.
  • CH has the advantage of weapon swaps being easier to match elements, n2m fire is a bit of a pain and you don’t want to use the same boomsickle all the time (eg wotan shield and wotan armour).

So what’s the best combination? It depends how much overkill you want compared to how much maintenance you want. Also depends on mag size, or ability to maintain CH/Pearl stacks.

I don’t have any concrete math but every time I try to put a CH weapon with Pearl and then compare it to the 125% + pearl or CH + last stand with good passives /victory then CH + Pearl always feels lackluster in comparison.

A good example of diminishing results by stacking weapon damage. Sometimes that last gear stack doesn’t outweigh the benefits of the other option. Especially when n2m has bonus projectiles doing some heavy lifting when combined with the Pearl.

I’m under the assumption that n2m + the Pearl would likely be the way to go here for maximum dps with the boomsickle. I also have not ran any numbers.

Also just noticed I forgot to mention the bonus projectiles with n2m in my comment… Which I believe will benefit from the Pearl damage boost (hitting with pearl damage twice). Important detail I left out because it’s assumed at this point, sorry.

Honestly it’s not even the diminishes it’s more of how Pearl boosts both your main damage and your 125% damage. It’s just a crazy combo with damage out the bum

Sorry edited my comment to explain further.

Yes diminishing in comparison to a CH + random artifact vs CH + Pearl.

With n2m it should be a very good choice.

Elemental damage matching aside, right? 125% is not going to help you as much against Wotan as a CH anoint.

With my Anarchy build 125% + Pearl outperformed any other combo on Wotan very noticeably.

125 + Pearl will probably out do CH + Pearl against armor. Assuming you’re using a proper element for the boom sickle.

I think. This is a Pris question tbh.

To clarify my statement above, I used Kinetic Anarchy’s.

As long as it isn’t the wrong element I think. Like shock or rad or whatever. Kinetic isn’t a huge issue.

The Anarchy might be a different story, I forget the math on that.

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I will say 160% splash + Pearl comes very close to 125%+pearl but CH+pearl is definitely the weakest of the 3.

Yeah with the n2m effectively hitting 2 times each pellet, or double damage + and - elements.

I wish I understood the Pearl a bit better but it’s still too fresh for me to plug into a damage formula. I feel like a max stack CH + Pearl should out damage a n2m + Pearl sometimes but I can’t friggin remember the pearl stuff.

Well the thing is the main bonus of the pearl is just additive to the CH which is already big at 200% so 200%+90% isn’t a big deal compared to 90%x125%. The 16%ish is separate but it’s separate to both anoints so doesn’t affect much there either.

But the CH is splash boosted, n2m isn’t?

Edit: can confirm CH + Pearl with BM will out do n2m + Pearl with BM

Maybe with the Boom Sickle but not with the Anarchy. I don’t have the SS’s anymore handy but my comparisons are in the top gear thread I think. I think it probably has to do with the way the Anarchy’s bonus works though.

Yeah again, I won’t touch anarchy discussions because I simply don’t have a clue about them.

However, if the weapon damage stack of the Anarchy gets splash boosted I think with BM CH should outperform. But I have no idea so don’t listen to me on the anarchy haha.

Another thing I found with Amara was 100% ASE + 2 ASE elements on nade/shield and a pearl outperformed CH with the same stuff. I can’t explain that at all, but it was very noticeably better in SS.

Are you sure you’re reaching max CH stacks before coming to that conclusion?

No I can’t be positive but I was putting 5 element DOTS on 5+ enemies at a time, well 4 DOTs since one is cryo. Stuff dies so fast though it’s hard to tell. The big difference was the DOTS were much larger.