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Theorycrafting Time: Firestarter Moze

Michael Bitton Posted:
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With the release of Borderlands 3 fast approaching, I’ve begun thinking about the sorts of builds I want to try in the game once it’s out. I’ve been all about Moze (#MOZEGANG!) ever since she was unveiled earlier this year, but I’m excited to play each character in the game eventually.

Moze has a couple of more obvious build options if you take a cursory look at her skill tree, but what I want to focus on this week is a build with a fire-centric theme. This is Firestarter Moze.

The inspiration for this build came from a recent IGN video that showed off the game’s various weapon manufacturers. Children of the Vault, a weapons manufacturer that features weapons with an overheat mechanic in lieu of ammo, will apparently feature thrower weapons like the shockthrower shown in the video. I never expected to have flamethrowers in the game, but now that they’re likely, I had to see what kind of flamethrower madness I could put together with Moze.

As it turns out, not only can you set up Moze to torch everything, you can also trick her Iron Bear mech out to do the same.

This is primarily a Bottomless Mags build, but I do spend points elsewhere. I’ll be focusing specifically on the skills that are key to the build. There are some skills taken that are just obvious picks if you’re spending points in the tree and don’t really require any explanation.

Bottomless Mags

Cloud of Lead (5/5): This one is obvious. Cloud of Lead grants +Incendiary damage for both Moze and Iron Bear. As a bonus, it also helps with ammo (heat) management.

Matched Set (5/5): This is a pretty awesome skill for Moze in general (think Allegiance runs from BL2) because it gives you bonuses to magazine size and reduces heat generation for every item you have equipped from a matching manufacturer. Since this is a full blown flamethrower build, we’ll be stacking various Children of the Vault weapons to take full effect of the heat management offered by this skill.

Stoke the Embers (3/3): Another obvious pick. +30% Incendiary damage. No brainer here.

Specialist Bear (1/1): We’ll be equipping Salamanders in both of Iron Bear’s weapon slots for double the flamethrower fun, so why not grab a 25% damage bonus for doing it?

“Click, Click…” (3/3): The more heat we generate, the more damage we deal with our flamethrower. What’s not to love?

Demolition Woman

Some of the picks in this tree are pure theorycraft, as I’m assuming something like a flamethrower will count as splash damage. Even if this ends up not being the case, there are some key Iron Bear skills we’ll want from this tree.

Fire in the Skag Den (5/5): Bonus incendiary damage for dealing splash damage. If the flamethrower counts as splash damage, that’s an extra 15% of incendiary damage here.

Deadlines:  We’re equipping Fuel Economy to each of Iron Bear’s Salamanders (-25% fuel drain each) so this skill synergizes well with the our heat management needs by offering us another 30% reduction in fuel drain and returning 6% fuel on kill.

Grizzled (5/5): Iron Bear is as important as Moze herself to this build, so this is a must pick to boost his uptime.

Torgue Cross-Promotion (5/5): Increased splash damage radius on our flamethrower. Hopefully, anyways.

Stainless Steel Bear (4/5 or 5/5): This beefs up Iron Bears defenses and offers more fuel capacity. You can remove the one point we placed in Dakka Bear if you want to max it out and don’t care about the mountable turret.


If it turns out that the flamethrower does not deal splash damage, I have an alternative build in mind that pulls a couple of extra points out of Bottomless Mags (-1 in Rushin’ Offensive and Dakka Bear) and spends the rest of the points in Shield of Retribution and some in Demolition Woman.

Shield of Retribution

Selfless Vengeance (5/5): Every time you reload you’ll lose 5% of your health and gain a 15% Incendiary damage bonus. This has some anti-synergy with Bottomless Mags that I’m concerned about since you won’t be reloading as often, but it may still be worth picking up. Armored Infantry for some added durability is a solid pickup if it ends up not being worth it.

Drowning in Brass (5/5): This is a sort of no brainer for anyone putting points into Shield of Retribution, but it has some particular synergy with Scorching RPMs in Bottomless Mags by allowing you to counter the fire rate penalty.

Experimental Munitions (1/1): 10% Bonus Incendiary damage on crit. Shouldn’t be too hard to land crits with a big flamethrower and we want all the fire damage we can get.

Demolition Woman

Grizzled (5/5) and Stainless Steel Bear (3/5) for the same reasons we want it in the original build.

Iron Bear Alternatives

Double Molten Roar over Double Salamanders: Pure preference here, but if you’d rather stay at range with Iron Bear, you can ignite multiple huge fire patches using Molten Roar, though it will cost you more fuel to do so. I might try this out, but the main build will focus on double Salamanders.

And there you have it! Burn everything with Firestarter Moze when Borderlands 3 drops on September 13. Got some build ideas of your own? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!


Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB