First Impressions of Cole Train (horde/escape)

I didn’t say “just burn them with guns” and I also said play smart (a trait that is in short supply with most of the randos I run into). You could still melee enemies quite a bit if you wanted, just play smart. Maybe have a jackbot willing to hang with you and if not just pick your moments. And it is hella cool to watch enemies you’re shooting catch on fire. He just launched today, so it’s a bit early to say he’s “eh”.


His tackle is faster than his punch - if you tackle one, punch another then roll you’ve got a shot. Otherwise kite and spread them out more.
He’s doing quite well for me in escape at inconceivable difficulty and he’s only 9th. The melee damage reduction card and the sprint damage reduction card are essential.
His biggest weakness is elite drones, you really have to be creative to get up on them before they drop you.
That may make him weak in horde. I’ll try and see tomorrow

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Haven’t played him yet, leveling up Clayton now, he is great fun. Cole sounds awesome I was looking at his skills earlier, the only character who can attack while roadie running…can’t wait to try him next.

Also his level 17 reward is the Cole Train banner where Cole is in Thrashball Gears holding a retro and I already have that :confused:

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Just finished 30 waves of Elite horde with @Hu1k_Daddy using 9th level Cole and after I learned not to have illusions about killing Scions or Bosses then running full time to maximize his sprinting damage reduction and I stayed up a fair amount of the time; After awesome people joined and started taking the pressure off it got even better AND now I’ve got +25% and climbing [health/regen] then 30 waves of insane may yet be posssible. That would be fun and yield cards so Cole is not a wash. Hu1k_Daddy came up with a good replacement name for “Gears 5: Horde” -> “Tri-shot Hero” . If everybody started referring to Horde as Tri-shot Hero then maybe TC would be shamed into providing ways for every character to do reasonable damage semi-reliably.
Still cole is fun… not going to Eclipse JD but fun especially with JD :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Well said.

ok. Bravo. Cole is an absolute breath of fresh air, never have I had so much… FUN clearing a horde wave! more uniqueness like cole please! This ws what a tank is supposed to be!


And he looks cool with the orange fairy dust trailing him.

Wish his fire was instagib like Gears 3 comet. Talk about having fun on a boss wave.

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One of Cole’s skill cards add fire animation to his normal melee attack (punch) but I don’t think it adds fire damage. I would enjoy it if that did apply fire damage.
Regardless, so far I have enjoyed the 2-3 hours I have been able to play as Cole and look forward to leveling him and his cards.


Should definitely max Lahni. With the right card combination, she becomes a beast (aka God mode)

My relevant skills are already all Level 3, 4 or 5. Already aware of her “tank” build. Been using it for a while. It’s really just Venom Blade hanging behind the other Level 4 or 5 skills alongside Epic Score Boost at Level 3.

I noticed this too. His banner is available via supply drops (or crafting)

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Got mine up to 8 last night before the game crapped out. Need to see how some of the higher level skills work, but my concern is that he’s going to be.a blast on lower difficulties, but struggle on harder ones when it becomes extremely difficult to get close to enemies. His burn effect doesn’t itself do as much damage as I’d hope it would.

I’m interested to see how his burn damage card and burning enemies explode card work after getting leveled up a bit.

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So what cards do you use?

I’m at Level 16, plan on getting 18 tonight. I’m comfortable with:

  • All the Glory
  • Soothing Warmth Damage Dash
  • Killing Time
  • Perk Up
  • Torch Tackle

Pro tip: Torch tackle, roll back, torch tackle.

About his ult, just spam B to tackle. It helps to have team mates mark enemies so can navigate the train and tackle them before its short ult timer ends. It’s why I use Killing Time. He can clear the 2nd Act beginning of The Clock and the ending spawn. As long as no one plants Shock or stuns him with Flash. Even Rejects blowing up, stuns him.

He has many useful cards so there could be more builds variety for Horde and Escape. It would depend on maps, modifiers, which difficulty… etc. But Torch Tackle seems the way to go for higher difficulty Escape. Or center’ing around that. I haven’t seen many Coles doing the Torch Tackle spam when I was levelling Clayton.

All the Glory is awesome for tackle explosive kills. Takes out many Rejects, Juvies or clusters. But it sometimes does too much damage to team mates. They need to stay clear or can risk whole HP disappearing. I had some team mates getting downed.

I am not noticing the effect of Soothing Warmth yet but I have it on just because it’s a Legendary and could resemble similar to Thrill of the Hunt.

Killing Time is basically useful when there’s many enemies in one area. Or for ending spawn. It seems one tackle in the train is enough to one hit K.O. And the All the Glory explosions help kill more, adding more time. It seems it’ll go up to 2 seconds per kill at Level 5. I have it at 4 at the moment. So can clear the whole spawn or whole area.

Torch Tackle, already explained. Faster than “sucker punch” which is slow. And need the burning effect for All the Glory explosions to work. Simply tackling already sets them on fire.

Perk Up, I wasn’t sure between this, the melee res, damage res during sprinting or damage res when ult ready. The other cards are situational and temporary. Even damage res when ult ready, wouldn’t be good because I use the ult whenever there’s opportunity for it. Perk Up seems more general and would work at all times.

The other cards I haven’t mentioned are still useful, but it all depends on when unlock them at what level. Like there’s little to point in Haymaker once Torch Tackle is unlocked. And better to stack as much damage resistances / reduction cards at early levels, until the better cards come along.

At the moment, I’m doing runs without shooting a single bullet. I leave the shooting to team mates. So Cole doesn’t need to pick up weapons. If someone levelling Clayton, it’s better to let him take them. Especially sniper weapons. Cole can still take out whole Juvies / Rejects / Elite pack at beginning of The Clock with just Torch Tackle.

These are just my opinion. Would experiment around more when maxed out.

Haymaker also doesn’t apply additional damage to tackle. They are two different things. Melee and tackle. I wasn’t sure until I tested.

Edit: Damage Dash seemed more useful on Incon, than Soothing Warmth. Lets me tank Claw Drones.


In escape I was running:

  • Haymaker
  • Perk up
  • Torch Tackle
  • Damage Dash
  • All the Glory
    But you’re right Haymaker doesn’t seem to stack with Tackle even though the card wording didn’t make that clear to me. In horde I noticed that Haymakers melee boost also did not stack with the breaker mace :frowning:
    Since Haymaker does do more harm than good - especially since I’d much rather tackle and explode an enemy then I’m going to give “Burn and Recharge” a shot in case it has the potential to facilitate “Sisters to the End” style ultimate leveraging :slight_smile:
    I like damage dash because I hope that it gets me to an elite drone for a tackle before I get dropped. I’m not as successful as I’d like to be with that however.
    To me Elite drones are more frustrating than Juvies. The stopping power and 2 hit drop that they get at high difficulty can make it challenging to pull off a tackle. Flash grenades and coordinated teamwork help with that though.
    I need more friends with headsets to play with.
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Does Cole have to be the one to get the kill for All the Glory to proc or does it work for teammate kills on burning enemies as well?

Cole has to do it

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“Burn and Recharge” does indeed let me use my Ult twice on clock after the saferoom and then at the very end just like “Sisters to the end does”
Of course, when I’m playing with Lizzie then since you only need one meatgrinder then I’d want to cycle it for something else if I could.

It speeds up a lot more from killing. So I don’t think that card is necessary to be able to use it twice.

I have noticed that on Master, Drones take two tackles. Scions take like 3-5 or something. So they are going to be burning, rather than killed instantly.

I still can’t get around the optimal loadout for Master because a Scion can still one punch me down, unless I had Stim. And something seem off like he’s not that tanky, unless had four resistance / health cards without the Soothing Warmth. Or I need to max out my cards first, they are all 4 or 5.

At the moment, I feel like Lahni in Venom is way more tanker than Cole.

At first I was able to tackle a scion and roll backwards immediately. Today at lunch however - something is way off and I can’t roll backwards reliably. Sometimes I end up getting rolled forward instead sometimes I get stuck.
It may come down to needing to play with headsets so we can coordinate Jack alternating between ubering JD and Cole :slight_smile: