Up front, I am going to say that Moze does not synergize well with COV guns (with the possible exception of the Zooka) because their heat mechanic does not interact with many of her ammo regen and mag size skills. Matched Set’s heat reduction bonus is good, but I can’t help but feel that Click Click’s damage bonus is better suited for 0 or low ammo builds where you can stay at or near max bonus continuously. That said, there some very strong COV guns out there, so with the right skills and anoints, we should be able to put together a good COV Moze build.
I tested COV weapons against the skills in the Bottomless Mags tree to see which were actually beneficial. On the positive side are Matched Set, which reduces heat per shot, and Click Click, which gives you a damage boost based on weapon heat. There is some tension between the two skill because while Matched Set helps to prevent/slow weapon break, it also slows the ramp up of Click Click. It also takes a little practice and skill to stay at optimal heat while not breaking your gun. Scrappy gets an honorable mention here because it appears to speed up COV guns’ start-up animation.
Cloud of Lead is effectively neutral for COV guns. It will give you that 11% damage bonus every fourth shot, but instead of not consuming ammo, it adds a round back to your mag – so no heat reduction. I’d also put Scorching RPMS in the neutral category – the faster fire rate increases your time to break, but it also increases your DPS and crit damage, which I think is a fair trade-off.
In the counterproductive category is Iron Bank, which appears to reduce your shots to break. As of the time of this post, we do not know why this is.
Redistribution and Forge are in their own category of “It Depends.” Both skills scale off the ‘shots to break’ number on your weapon’s card, not your total ammo reserves, so their effects are marginal unless you are holding something with a huge (100+ round) clip. Personally, I would recommend taking one of the two skills if you are using primarily COV pistols, as you can regen your entire ammo reserves in seconds while holding the Hangin’ Chadd. I would probably also put Some for the Road in this category as well because while it prevents gun breaks, it also inhibits heat build up – making it good for bossing, but not necessarily for mobbing.
I’ve also done some extensive testing on this and I think the +125% incendiary damage anoint is your best option for most weapons. No, wait – hear me out! Since you can’t hold the trigger forever like you can with other manufacturers, you need to focus on anoints that help deliver burst damage. This means that, on net, the bonus elemental damage on ASE anoints are going to perform better than the consecutive hits or kill stacking anoints.
I would make two caveats to this advice: (1) On the handful of weapons you can roll +160% splash damage, go with that – this is mainly the Zooka, Shredda and Blastphemy. (2) A Consecutive Hits SkeSkil is generally better for bossing because it shoots multiple pellets and has large mag with low ammo consumption.
THOUGHTS ON GEAR
CLASS MODS: I tend to favor Lemniscate and Low-Life class mods with as many points into Click Click as you can manage. The Sapper is an okay option too – you just can’t facetank with it like you can with other manufacturers because weapons breaks will happen. The Mind Sweeper and Bloodletter go with anything, so they are fine as well, but I don’t feel like either offers substantially better performance over the purple mods. The Blast Master is obviously not a good choice because weapon breaks count as reloads and you generally can’t hold the trigger down long enough on the Green Monster’s corrosive damage to ramp up all the way.
ARTIFACTS: I tend to favor the Pearl because it does not take a lot of hits to ramp up to full bonus. A Cutpurse Launchpad can also be good for refilling your ammo reserves.
SHIELDS: This will depend on how you build you character. One feature that can be useful is anything with the “adrenaline” part, which will boost reload speed when your shields are broken.
WEAPONS: This is also up to personal preference, but I tend to go with a pistol build that relies heavily on the Hydrafrost and SkeSkil. When it comes to multi-pellet guns, my preference is for low-count, high damage guns over the opposite, since this will reduce ammo consumption and lower the chance of weapon breaks.
I am mathing-out an optimal build – I will add one to this space once I’ve figured it out.