Should Iron Bear be activated early, or as a safety net?

I’m just playing B3 for the first time, and tried out all the characters for the intro on Pandora. I really dig Moze and the Iron Bear skill. I’ve never been the greatest shot, so I’m building Moze around the defensive shields skill and making IB tougher.

My question is, since there’s such a deep cooldown on this skill, how do you tend to play Moze during each encounter? Do you fire it up right away, when combat starts? Or do you take advantage of your deep shield pool to whittle down the numbers, and use Iron Bear when your shield breaks? (I use the skill that takes my health and converts it to shields)

I read on a few older threads that IB builds don’t require as many unique pieces of gear, because it’s based around skill points more than anything. Is that still true?

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I’ll tend to take out as much as I can (or, at least, burn down the health on the priority targets) then hit IB before my health bar runs out. I’m not heavily specced into shield skills, but I did spec for as much IB time, health, and damage as possible. On my preferred mayhem mode (a pretty low 2), by the time IB finishes I’m at full health and shields, and the cool-down remaining after Auto Bear finishes is usually just a few seconds. Unless I’m in very heavy traffic with lots of radiation and corrosive incoming fire, I can usually run out the full duration of IB’s skill timer as well.

Not an expert on builds, but given all the boosts Moze can get on extra elements and splash damage, there are a wide range of weapons that work - I suggest looking through the ‘Top Gear for Moze’ guide for that. Just be careful if you’re on MH10, as the self-damage from splash at close range can be lethal.

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Thanks, I’ll check out the gear threads. I like what you said about getting a set up with a drastically shortened cooldown. I figured there’d be some way to do that. I remember Gaige being the same way, and IB really reminds me of hers in the sense that it has a long duration but a long cooldown.

I think this should cover the skills part:

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Awesome. I like seeing a bit of commentary on each skill. Gives me a better sense for what might work for me, even if not a high rated skill. I’m basically just looking for anything that helps keep both me and the IB alive in hard content.

Just taking a look now. I’m using a Bear Trooper COM to boost Grizzled, Stainless Steel Bear, and Explosive Punctuation. I’m also specced into Deadlines in that tree, and Security Bear in the shield tree. I also realised I’m at least partially specced into shield skills, especially the 1 pointers.

One comment warned against the skill that converts health to shields because of something called “healthgating”. What’s that mean?

Health gate is a mechanism that ensures under normal circumstances you can’t be one-shotted. The skill in question makes your health so low that the health gate mechanic will never save you. There’s some gear that has similar effects - removes all but a sliver of health and converts it to shields. So, if you do every lose your shield, you are pretty much guaranteed to find yourself in FFYL.

Ah, okay, I see what you mean. So basically your shield becomes the only safety net you have. I guess that would be okay if you’re spending a lot of time in Iron Bear. Thanks.

There’s a bunch of people running a build around the idea - look up ‘Bloodletter’. Part of it is the anointments that trigger on <50% health. You can put out quite a bit of damage that way and, as long as you can keep your shields up or have a quick out for FFYL, you’re ok. Not my personal choice, but it’s one way of taking advantage of an in-game mechanic.

As you gain skills, guardian ranks and so on. The long cooldown can be mitigated. But that’s more toward end game.
How you play Moze and Iron Bear is a little of personal preference and in my case. Highly situational. :wink: I have Auto Bear so sometime in high mob density area I’ll jump in/out right as I start.
VH101 advice is probably the best recommandation.

Moze doesn’t have “auto revive” from skills or pets but she can avoid certain FFY by jumping into IB.

One skill I suggest you take a deep look at is Vampyr. Not all grenades or IB guns works with it. Knowing what proc it or not is a life saver.

Thanks…I’ll take a look. I noticed that IB seems like a great way to avoid trouble once the shield breaks. But then I’ve thinned out the mob some, so once inside the mech I look for priority targets like badasses.

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As I said, it can be highly situational. Depending on your build and personal preferences.

That’s one of my favorite thing when I play Moze. Not all encounter need to be the same. Expecially when you add the different anointment types. As I said. Sometimes I’ll jump in/out early. Usually the cooldown will be done before Auto Bear. Or I’ll stay in to take out a Rocket Launcher Badass.
Most of the time I’ll wait until I feel in trouble or the speed up cleaning the remaining targets who just don’t want to play. :wink:

I run a Blast Master build, so Moze can dish out DPS all fine on her own. And in fact, I have the skill tree specced in a way that also maximizes Iron Bear’s damage, so he hits HARD on his own as well.

However, Moze goes down often due to her own grenades and splash damage and is unable to facetank enemies that bumrush you (again, not because they deal a lot of damage, but because they bring the grenade/splash to YOU). So in that case, Vampyr doesn’t really help, and you really want to make sure you have Iron Bear ready.

So for me, I try to go for consecutive hits anoints on my weapons and just stroll on my own, only bringing out Iron Bear when necessary, especially when entering & exiting Iron Bear takes a long time (which also means iframes!) In “endgame” content such as the True Takedowns, you may want to supplement your damage with Auto Bear, so I bring out the weapons that truly abuse Some for the Road and the “+160% splash damage after exiting Iron Bear for 18 seconds” anoint, and it absolutely shreds everything.

TL;DR: depends on the content, but for most mobbing, you don’t really need to hop in & out of Iron Bear often.

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Leveling up a new Moze, probably the easiest way to go would be to use the Demolition Woman tree and invest in Iron Bear. Use Iron Bear to take out tougher enemies and eject around half fuel remaining. Then use Grizzled to decrease the cooldown time and take out easy enemies on foot to get Iron Bear back.

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There is more than one way to put together a low-HP build, including using shields with short (less than 2 seconds) recharge times and using the Big Boom Blaster shield. I don’t see healthgate as that a big of a deal, but as VH101 says, it is largely a player preference thing.

Grizzled is going to be your main source of help on IB cooldown reduction in your first playthrough. Once you finish that and start accumulating Guardian Ranks, unlock the ‘Topped Off’ and ‘Shield Reboot’ perks as soon as you can.

As for how I ride IB. If I’m piloting, I jump in as soon as the encounter starts and jump out once I’ve expended 1/2 to 2/3 of his fuel. If I’m doing a 50/50 or gunner build, I will fight on foot until I feel like I need the extra firepower and protection.

Pro-Tip: You and IB are invulnerable for a few seconds when you jump in and out; Moze is also invulnerable when sitting in the Dakka Bear turret.

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Didn’t knew you could do that!

You can sit in the turret when Auto Bear is out.