Hello fellow commanders! Catstructor Penny here again with a different flavor of workbench this time, a non-event weapon, that’s been in the game since day one! Possibly a bit of an odd time to put this specific Workbench out, with Rat King and the Gravedigger just dropping, but hey! It's never the wrong time to learn about a fun new weapon! This subject in particular landed in my hands due to how much I’ve been enjoying playing Field Agent Rio recently, leading me to search for powerful pistols.
So it’s actually fair with this one, to unironically ask – “What even is the Bolt Bolt?” Because truly – not too many people use this weapon, or even talk about it! Categorically, it is a pistol which consumes medium ammunition. This alone is a bit of a niche, because it’s not the Founder’s Revolt, or any Viper / Thrasher auto pistol – nor is it any famous hand cannon, a lá the Bald Eagle, or even the Judge. The Bolt Bolt is most closely comparable to something between a Hunter-Killer, and the Founder’s Revolt due to its semi-auto fire, and utility based on bullet behavior. The reason I’m even bothering with writing this up – as you may have guessed – is because it’s actually not only viable, but very powerful!
So let’s break down those base stats, perk options, functionality, and hero synergies!
Crit Chance 15%
Crit Damage 75%
Fire Rate 5.0
Magazine Size 10
Durability per Use 0.12
Reload Time 1.6
Ammo Type Ammo: Medium Bullets
Ammo Cost 1
What can we glean from these?
So it fires exactly as fast as the Dragon’s Roar, or a teeny bit faster than the tiger. But – it does more damage per shot, than the Dragon’s Roar, Gravedigger, or Hunter-Killer. That means it’s already in the ballpark of 3 very formidable rifles as far as damage per second, and ammo efficiency for damage. Keep in mind, all 3 of those use medium rounds as well too! Furthermore, the Bolt Bolt has the gift of a base 75% Crit Damage, the highest possible. This is going to come into play later on in this analysis. Other than that, it does have a limited magazine, but a very low reload time – and average range. Its stats are nice, nothing extraordinary – but what really sets it apart is its ammo behavior.
The Bolt Bolt has the semi-unique characteristic, of piercing rounds. Now, they don’t work on the same level as the obliterator or noble launcher – they won’t plow through every building on the map, and they don’t go through riot huskies fridge doors or super shielders bubbles. But hold your disappointment – what they do do, is travel in a linear hitscan fashion directly forward without drop, through ALL damageable enemies. Now while its stats are okay; consider how much the Revolt’s viability goes up because its shots chain to just one more enemy. The Bolt Bolt – can go through forty enemies. Or more. It can get headshots on every one it passes through, and unlike the Revolt – whose sixth perk is always ricochet, the Bolt Bolt can cause Affliction or Snare – to every enemy any shot passes through. And, it can deal bonus damage to every afflicted or snared enemy it passes through. You can headshot 3 blasters at once; and clear them all in less than half a clip if the shot’s right with the Bolt Bolt. If you set up a simple choke point, or trap tunnel (watch those propanes though!) you can hit every enemy in front of you with more damage per second than any other pistol in the game, provided you hit a minimumo of just 2 husks with any bullet.
It is best used at close to medium range, so the maximum damage and best opportunities to line up shots can be taken advantage of. It will also heavily appreciate an investment into clip size to maximize DPS and sustained damage. It works best essentially in the way you’d use one of its close relatives, a hunter killer or revolt – permitting you actively line up shots to pierce through enemies. (Phase shift really helps with that.)
First and foremost, consider your preferred hero – and the availability of the Ranger and Rook outlander subclasses to yourself. If you have Field Agent Rio, or one of the Ranger heroes available and levelled, you’re best off with a crit build flat out. Even if you’re not, the crit build is broadly speaking more reliable than the headshot build in terms of damage.
For the crit build:
Preferred Element (any probably)
Damage to afflicted / snared (match 6th perk)
Affliction / Snare
Notes: This build capitalizes on the superior crit damage of the Bolt Bolt, and the cumulative bonus of running crit builds with the ranger and rook classes, which have pistol perks in their hero skill kits. Headshots are not mandatory, and this will more often put out more damage through large crowds, due to not needing to land headshots on all enemies the bullet passes through for maximum damage potential from the perks. If you run Ranger / Rook with a pistol crit rate bonus in support (Eagle Eye
For the Headshot build:
Preferred Element (Physical will help with mist monsters and lobbers / poisoners / huskies more, energy will keep it non-specialized for more heroe’s utility to fit with their standard weapons you have for them.)
Damage to afflicted / snared (match 6th perk) OR Damage to mist monsters if running physical, potentially.
Affliction / Snare
Notes: This is a less dependable, but more niche build – preferable to some heroes who are not specialized in pistol or ranged weapons, or need something for trash clear in their kit, or mist monsters at close range that isn’t a shotgun. There are better options for mist monsters; still – but in some cases such as encampments – a Bolt Bolt will come in handy due to hitting targets like Blasters THROUGH all the enemies between you and your target. The headshot damage, physical, and mist monster damage combo in particular will let you drop multiple mist monsters should you line up shots on them, in one clip.
As mentioned before, Ranger and Rook will get EXTREME value out of the Bolt Bolt’s unique capabilities. Ranger simply exceeds above all else with any pistol as a weapon based hero, and Rook shares some of Rangers skills- but has phase cannon to boot. It is worth mentioning, that Phase Cannon fires a piercing projectile, that will pierce up to the same level as the Bolt Bolt’s rounds. This gives Field Agent Rio a special synergy with the Bolt Bolt, due to the considerable amount of piercing / cleave damage she can deal with bolt bolt and phase cannon. Since the Bolt Bolt can eliminate so many enemies so quickly after phase shifting too, Field Agent Rio will also often get her phase shift back so quickly from Bolt Bolt kills, she’ll run out of energy before she runs out of phase shift charges. Not a bad problem to have, considering she wants to keep phase shifting for ‘phasers to stun’ to increase that pistol damage by 50%. Gunblazer benefits from this strategy to some extent as well, although not as much as Rook / Ranger.
Not only Outlanders gain benefit from the Bolt Bolt; Raven and the Double Agent class soldier in particular also see some synergy with it – due to the Bolt Bolts kill potential lowering their Lefty and Righty cooldown considerably, stacking debilitating shots on a large amount of enemies at once due to the piercing, and Explosive Rounds triggering at very interesting ranges due to the possibility of killing enemies in the middle or backs of crowds due to piercing.
So there you have it; the little pistol that could – alllll the way through fifty husks in front of it. If you have the chance, or the spare schematic XP, give it a shot or two! If not, ask me for one if we ever play! I’ve already 130’d mine, because it’s honestly that good.
If you are looking for a fun and interesting new weapon to try out though, I’d highly recommend this one! Hope this has been a help!
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