Demolition Woman, Shield of Retribution, or Bottomless Mags?
Yes, Borderlands 3 has finally arrived, allowing you to play as one of four Vault Hunters--Amara the Siren, FL4K the beastmaster, Zane the operative, and Moze the gunner. If you're interested in Moze, then keep reading. Below, we detail her three distinct skill trees and go into their respective strengths and weaknesses.
Moze's skill trees are built a little bit differently in comparison to her fellow Vault Hunters. When Moze uses her action skill, she summons her massive Iron Bear mech--regardless of which skill trees you invest points into. However, each skill tree contains several different weapons for you to unlock, allowing you to customize how Iron Bear fights. Moze's skill trees do possess a few perks geared towards her own growth as well, however--much like Borderlands 2's Gaige--Moze is all about working towards summoning her giant mechanical companion. Iron Bear is the star of the show.
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The Demolition Woman skill tree is all about explosions, amplifying the amount of splash damage that both Moze and Iron Bear can do. This tree automatically allows Iron Bear to equip a V-35 semi-automatic grenade launcher to one of its two arms, but investing points into the tree allows you to also unlock a Vanquisher Rocket Pod, homing missiles, and a nuke. Yup, you can just pop off a nuke whenever you summon Iron Bear if you put points into Demolition Woman. It's awesome.
The tree is also geared towards keeping Iron Bear active for longer periods of time, so if you just want to use the mech more often and for longer periods, then throw a few points into the first few tiers of abilities. Deadlines, for example, allows Iron Bear to use less fuel when firing its weapons and Stainless Steel Bear increases Iron Bear's armor and maximum fuel storage.
There are some fun mid- to late-game perks too. While not necessary for building the perfect Moze loadout, you might want to invest in them just because they're cool. Auto-Bear, a third tier skill, keeps Iron Bear on the battlefield after Moze has exited, allowing you to fight side by side and fulfill your Titanfall fantasies. If you loved playing as Krieg in Borderlands 2, then you'll probably also enjoy one of the final skills unlocked in the Demolition Woman tree: To The Last. With this fifth tier skill unlocked, Moze is able to throw grenades while in fight for your life--giving you an explosive option for nabbing a second wind.
Shield Of Retribution
If you want to increase Iron Bear's defensive potential, then Shield of Retribution is the skill tree you want to put points into. Right from the get-go, this tree allows you to equip a Railgun that deals precision shock damage. The tree also includes the option for equipping a Bubble Shield to Iron Bear though, as well as the Bear Fist attachment--giving Iron Bear a powerful melee attack.
The Bubble Shield is in the first tier of abilities and probably the first skill you want to unlock. Honestly, you probably want to unlock this skill first regardless of which tree you want to focus on. Despite being a giant mech, Iron Bear can't really take much of a beating so investing in a means of better defense is crucial for combat after finishing the campaign's early chapters.
Unfortunately, there aren't that many decent skills in the Shield of Retribution tree's second and third tiers. This isn't a very good tree, and you'll struggle to do enough damage to defeat foes if this is the tree you focus on. You definitely don't want to spec into it if you're playing solo, as then you'll really struggle against the bullet-sponge bosses. At the fourth tier, you do unlock the useful Close The Distance evolution for the Bear Claw that transforms the melee attack into a grappling hook, making it easier to bust through an enemy at point-blank range with one of Iron Bear's many weapons. However, without putting points into the other trees, you won't have the necessary attack power to really put this skill to use. You're probably best off just nabbing Bubble Shield and moving on to one of the two other trees.
Bottomless Mags is a fun skill tree to invest in and probably the one best suited for solo play with Moze. It's all about dealing as much damage as quickly as possible, starting off with a Minigun attachment for one of Iron Bear's arms. This tree also provides the option of unlocking a Dakka Bear manned turret for Iron Bear (which lets teammates catch a ride on your back and fire away), a flamethrower, a corrosive launcher, an ice cannon, and a mine cannon. That last one should please Titanfall 2 fans, as it basically transforms Iron Bear into a Scorch Titan.
Obviously avoid the Dakka Bear manned turret in the first tier if you're playing solo, but consider unlocking it if you know you're regularly going to play with others. Cloud of Lead is one of Moze's best skills, and it's found in the first tier of this tree--giving both Moze and Iron Bear a chance to deal incendiary damage with every attack and fire their guns without consuming ammo. You can continue the flame pain with the second tier Stoke the Embers ability, which increases Moze and Iron Bear's incendiary damage. This may go without saying, but if you decide to put a flamethrower or the fire-based mine cannon on Iron Bear, Stoke the Embers allows the mech to do tremendous amounts of damage to a group of enemies very quickly.
Consider investing in both Rushin' Offensive and Fuel Economy as well. The former allows Moze to sprint and shoot at the same time and the latter allows Iron Bear to run and consume less fuel while moving. With both, you can more easily make your way through a group of enemies more quickly. Once you're in the late game, grab Exploding, Bullets so that Iron Bear's minigun can fire explosive rounds (and be sure to put some points into the Demolition Woman skill tree so you do even more damage).
Then you can focus on Moze. Try to find a Vladof assault rifle or pistol with an additional gun barrel attachment that transforms the firearm into a minigun. This is perfectly paired with Some For The Road, where exiting Iron Bear will briefly give Moze infinite ammo. To continue the pain when the effect stops, unlocking Click, Click makes Moze more powerful when her gun's clip is almost empty.