[WIP BUILD | GUIDE] How to get the most out of Backdraft

Posted in April 12th, 2014, 07:59 AM

Hi everyone,
first of all I want to note that this research is based on a Nuu’s concept and his Impulsive Backdraft Maya build. Now that I’ve got that out the way, let’s get to it:

Although he uses Backdraft as a utility in his build, I’ve took another route to it and explored a full potential of Backdraft and how it could be viable in UVHM general gameplay to kill stuff with mostly just Backdraft.
First the Nuu’s concept for those who don’t know. The 2 things NEEDED for this to work is The Transformer shield and Moxxi’s Slow Hand splatgun. In his thread and video, Nuu explained how The Transformer and Backdraft synergize together. Although it’s still unknown why it works like this, it seems that shock damage that is absorbed, depletes your shield first and then refills it in a blink of an eye, therefore triggering Backdraft in the process. Even better, since Practicable prefix for Slow Hand makes this gun to shot 3 orbs, it makes the Backdraft to proc 3 times, if all 3 orbs are absorbed by The Transformer.
Now these are some of my own things I’ve noticed while experimenting. Since I wanted to get the most out of Backdraft, I’ve used blue Scorched Banshee COM with +6 to Backdraft along with a fire BotA relic, while Nuu uses a shock BotA relic and a Legendary Siren COM to get most out of the Slow Hand damage. The total amount of absorbed shock damage from The Transformer cannot exceed the total shield capacity; any surplus damage will be subtracted from a character’s health, bypassing the shield completely. Since Nuu uses Reaper in his build, as well as I am, and because this works as it is (dunno really if this was ever noted before) the self inflicted damage will account the Reaper in calculation as well. If you have more than 50% of your max hp, the surplus damage from a Slow Hand eating thru The Transformer can be deadly for a player. Even more if you use a shock BotA relic and Legendary Siren COM, because Reaper is a multiplicative skill and it calculates after all other damage buffs. Therefore Reaper is the key why you inflict so much damage to yourself with his build. That’s the reason why I’ve focused completely on a Backdraft and killing stuff with it. The other thing I’ve noticed with my build, is that you need Reaper to proc Backdraft novas (if you don’t use a shock BotA). If it happens that you have less than 50% of your max HP, the Backdraft novas WILL NOT PROC. If you use fire BotA to boost the Backdraft nova damage, self-infilicted damage will actually HEAL you while absorbing
the damage from Slow Hand.

Now on to the Backdraft.
We all know that this skill is a rank based skill, therefore it suffers from a poor scaling on higher OP levels like any other rank based skill. But…
Lets compare this with the all parts Maliwan Flame of the Firehawk shield on a LV72 sanctuary dummy:

All Maliwan LV72 FOTF nova damage (+max fire BotA): around 4,100,000

Rank 11 Backdraft damage (+max fire BotA): 1,194,000

That seems like a huge difference, right? Well, not exactly. While this works like I’ve described before, the actual damage from Backdraft will be:

1,194,000 X 3 [SH orbs] = 3,582,000

And all that while having the full shield, ability to heal yourself, do shock damage while effectively stripping the foes shields down and to fire your novas whenever you feel like. Add slag there and you have triple damage, so that’s more than 10,000,000 fire damage from a single Slow Hand shot. On a slagged flesh target FOTF will give you like 12,000,000 damage per nova, but unlike with Krieg, its not easy to maintain FOTF novas all the time while staying alive. So, this looks like a much better thing to me when it comes to Maya. But there is one more interesting thing which you cant do with FOTF:

Of course the result on the image above is dependent on a Grog Nozzle drunk effect, but lets face it, while mobbing its not that hard to proc it and it will sure come in handy as you have seen. And in that image I don’t even think that all orbs connected, but to cut the story short, no matter how many orbs you generate from a Grog effect if all connects, each and every will proc a separate Backdraft nova.
Just for the giggles, lets sum together the Backdraft damage from image above:

(3,582,000 X 4) + 7,165,000 = 21,493,000 from a single Slow Hand shot. Not bad don’t you think?

Anyway, here is a short video of a Backdraft in action. I find it better to shot the ground to make sure that all 3 orbs gets connected with the shield. This is much of a playstyle thing, because with Nuu’s build you need to be almost in a melee range to get Backdraft to proc. This way you will be safe from melee attacks while you circle around your foes, jumping over their heads and shooting them from above with a Slow Hand. With a full mag you can even “float” on the orb splash damage.

Port / new write up in progress, as well as OP8 gameplay videos. In the mean time, check this to see what is this all about,



Can’t wait to see more on this, I’m planning on trying it out on op8 soon with the new patch.

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I updated the guide. Thanks for porting this over, Exotek.

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I don’t get what’s going on. How does he keep doing novas?

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He’s wearing the Transformer shield that absorbs shock damage to restore shield, but the way it works is that first the damage is applied (depleting the shield and creating the Nova) THEN the damage is absorbed filling the shield back up in a flash. The use of the Slow hand (a Moxxi gun) ensures he survives the process.

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I gotta try this! I need the Transformer and mod tho, looks like I have some farming to do.

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Just a quick question, does the Chance to Absorb Ammo effect the nova? Like if I had one with the lowest Chance and one with the highest, would Backdraft trigger more with the shield that has the lowest Chance because it is not absorbing the ammo?

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When she shields absorbs the shot you shouldn’t take any damage, so the nova won’t proc.

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So in this case I should farm for a Transformer with tho lowest possible chance to absorb. That’s what I suspected.

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you still need the maliwan capacitor to prevent shockdots on yourself, but other than that yeah, I guess so.


I’m pretty sure the transformer always spawns with shock immunity

Also, a high absorb chance isn’t a bad thing: it protects you from enemy fire and if your shot doesn’t create a nova, you have still dealt shock damage to nearby enemies. A practicable Slow hand will also have 3 chances per shot to create a nova, and if you’re unlucky, you’ll get 3 ammo back for a single one spent. It’s still a win.

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ah, you’re right…this is mildly awkward


Hello! I made an account just to type a comment.

I recently farmed up the Transformer, Practicable Slow Hand and a Banshee COM. They are all level 50 and I just started UVHM, at level 52. So far, I had a blast going through the Bloodshot Stronghold and Pyro Pete’s Bar and the like, erupting in firey novas while also dealing every other element at my disposal. It feels like I’m playing as Hellborn Krieg, except I can actually use my action skill and not gimp myself! I have two questions though:

Would it be worth it to run through UVHM with this setup and my level 50 gear (until I find better substitutes, obviously)? And also, how do you propose I distribute my skill points as I level up? Thanks!

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Have you tried with the Thunderball fist instead of the Slow hand ?

I use both the Tball and Transformer on Gaige and it works great even without Backdraft, so it should on Maya too.

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I think the Slow hand is a better option here, actually, for one important reason: Moxxi. Safety first, and when you’re doing as much self-damage as this build does, every little helps. Plus, the slow hand can trigger three novas at once rather than one or two, and is more ammo efficient. Could be a good backup in case of emergency, though.


That’s true. I’m pretty sure the Slow hand is as good as it gets. But the TBall is no joke and could be an interesting backup.

First, you have life tap that acts like Moxxi guns.
Second, the list of things the TBall does better than the SH is pretty long:
more ammo efficient (I disagree with you here: shotgun ammo is less plentiful than pistol ammo, so to me the edge goes to the TBall. It’s also a more granular spending since sometimes, one Nova is enough)
Better bullet speed
Much faster reloads
Range is better
So is accuracy
Higher DPS
Can crit
If you absorb a ball, you get RL ammo.

Anyway, it’s just an idea :slight_smile:


With this build you shoot your feet to get the nova’s. With the T-ball it would take longer for the ball to pop up and explode and in that time enemies can drop your shield and you die.

So things like bullet speed, accuracy, range, and critting is meh.

Also the slowhand sets off Backdraft 3 times, once for each orb, compared to once with T-ball fists.

It’s really no contest, no other gun makes this work like the slowhand. Bearcat might be the closest.

This is maybe the most specialized build we have seen, not a lot can easily be swapped out as far as gear goes.

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What about Maliwan Rocket launchers? They would probbly kill you if they got through your shield, but its still 2 novas.

And in that same vein, what about e-tech lauchers? Could they work?

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Shock Badaboom :slight_smile:

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but why those instead of the slowhand?

Slowhand doesn’t have the ammo issues and you want a low absorb chance since if you absorb it you don’t nova. So you will run out of rocket ammo.

This isn’t the sham.

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