TL,DR: Build is here. Grind Aurelia until you get a Frozen Heart shield with an anointed effect that causes extra novas (either “after reload, consume all terror to cause a cryo nova” or “cause a nova on entering and exiting IB”). Then pair that with a Blaster Master or your favorite epic class mod, an Ice Breaker artifact, and your favorite cryo splash damage gun (Westergun, Faisor, Protuberance, Host, etc).
I decided the other day that I was going to try to make a build that gets the most out of Tenacious Defense – 30% extra gun damage for 30 seconds is just too good to ignore. The first thing that came to mind for a build concept was nova shields – because if you’re trying to break your shield frequently, why not also get something out of it?
The obvious choice in this case was the Frozen Heart:
The cryo nova’s AOE is pretty large and its cryo efficiency, while hidden, must be off the charts because it flash freezes any mob, regardless of shield or armor hp. I tried to get a version with “cryo nova on reload” to drop (to no avail), but I did get one with the “nova on entering and exiting IB” effect, which is good enough to test the build concept at least.
The skill point allocations should be generally straightfoward. In the SoR tree, grab all of the shield and damage buffing skills on your way down to Tenacious Defense. You will have to allocate two skill points to go from tier 4 to tier 5; I put a point into TRL and Desperate Measures, but you could easily put those in Experiment Munitions and FCo’WA instead.
For the DW tree, I put one point in Grizzled to help with IB cooldown and then max out Skag Den and MoD (for grenade regen) – also to unlock Vanquisher rockets, since they are bae. I am using the Blaster Master, so I didn’t have to put points into PTHP or Vampyr, but you may want to consider that if you use another class mod.
You can do want with the rest of the skills, but I chose to put mine in the BM tree to keep myself from reloading – Cloud of Lead, Redistribution, and Matched Set.
I went with the Blaster Master since it buffs both my weapon of choice and the cryo novas and gives me free points into Vampyr and PTHP. There are also lots of epic class mods that could be good with this build – Firewalker, Shield Maiden, Lemniscate, Commander – really anything that boosts your preferred weapons and playstyle.
An Ice Breaker, preferably Otto Idol (for health regen) or Victory Rush (for extra damage). You will be freezing enemies constantly, so why not take full advantage of the debuff?
This is totally down to personal preference, but I am partial to the Faisor’s shotgun attachment as it has high base damage and cryo efficiency (which determines how quickly you can freeze enemies). The Westergun and Echo are also good legendary choices if you are using a Blaster Master class mod. Cryo alien barrel shotguns (Blister, Host, Protuberance) and pistols (all brands) also synergize well with this build. I’ve also tried the Ogre, but it really underperforms since it can’t drop in cryo (I used one with a cryo damage anointed effect; it still was kind of meh).
If you’re focusing on non-splash damage guns, the obvious choice (for now anyways) is the Nighthawkin as it always drops in cryo, has high base damage, and will shoot multiple projectiles at night if you get one with the ‘arctic’ prefix. I haven’t tested it, but I’m sure the Lucian’s Call is pretty effective at drilling frozen enemies in the face.
This also comes down to personal preference, but MIRV grenades are best since they will proc Vampyr multiple times in a single throw. I’m using the Nagata right now as you can just throw it at a frozen enemy, turn around and just walk away. That’s right, cool chicks don’t even look at the explosion.