I found something strange when I was playing Borderlands 3’s Bounty of Blood DLC this past week. Despite claims that action skills were scaling to match Mayhem levels, I didn’t really feel that at all while playing. All my gun-based builds were leagues better than anything using action skills, which made me especially sad for Moze, who had yet another era where her whole core ability, Iron Bear, was useless.
Until…a wild hotfix emerged.
Some time after the DLC debuted yesterday, Gearbox unleashed a hotfix that was supposed to further buff action skill and melee damage.
Well, it certainly buffed Iron Bear damage. Though “buffed” is probably too weak a word. Whatever Gearbox has done to Iron Bear with this hotfix is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the game.
While no, I still cannot see a big difference with things like Zane’s clone or FL4K’s rakks doing much damage, Iron Bear is a different story.
Whatever they did to scaling allows it to destroy everything in Mayhem 10, and you really don’t even need any gear, or even the blue Bear skill tree, really.
It doesn’t matter what ability you use. Moze’s Iron Bear does absolutely absurd damage now. I threw on a Bear Trooper mod for extra fuel and found that no matter what attachment I used, I was wrecking both mobs of enemies and big bosses alike. I was doing 46 million railgun crits. I could three shot Mayhem 10 enemies with the minigun. Nukes can now clear entire rooms. There’s truly nothing Iron Bear can’t do.
You seriously don’t even need like, any gear. I picked the Bear Trooper mod for fuel and because I got one in the DLC with 36% action skill damage, which boosts things even further, but really no weapons at all have anything to do with Iron Bear damage, though some have anointments that boost their own damage after getting out of Iron Bear. But you’re never going to want to do that.
What I have I done messing around with Broken Iron Bear Moze? I can kill any boss in the DLC to farm them in anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds, depending on which one it is. I soloed Maliwan Takedown on Mayhem 10 for the first time, and it was not particularly hard. I got further than I ever have soloing the new Guardian Takedown, and when I failed it was just because of dumb crystal mechanics, not enemies. These are the tankiest mobs in the game, and they felt like nothing.
I have no idea if Gearbox is going to leave this alone or not, or if they’ve accidentally gone too far in yet another example of them not really balancing the game properly for most of the past year. We’re just lucky it’s working to our benefit now, and honestly, I say just leave it. Honestly, what’s the harm. Poor Iron Bear has been bad like 95% of the time the game’s been out, let it be broken for a while.
Here’s a super quick rundown of my current Iron Bear builds that I am having the best luck with in most activities:
- Cryo minigun Iron Bear for mobs, Corrosive railgun for (some) bosses.
- All weapons with 50/150 radiation.
- Go all the way down the blue tree to get Iron Bear back as soon as possible.
- Go down the green tree to get all Iron Bear damage buffs you can.
- Just a tiny bit down the orange tree for extra shields.
- Bear Trooper mod with action skill damage.
- Deathless artifact with cryo damage.
- Grenade with 25% action skill damage on throw.
- Front loaded shield with 75% increased shields after leaving Iron Bear.
Have fun. It’s impossible not to.