In defense of the Silverback's defense mode

I’m like you; I believe the Pilot’s Silverback ultimate is more broadly useful when staying mobile. However, the Horde daily Vampire positive modifier yesterday was an excuse to drop Aggressive Armor or Healing Explosives cards to experiment with Explosive Munitions (kills in Defense Mode do 85% splash damage at level 6).

The explosions were oddly fun/satisfying from a visual standpoint, even with kill stealers siphoning away its full potential. I’d put it around or lower than Marksman’s Explosive Critical Hit, which I usually bring for that class, though consider “first-to-be-swapped-out”/low value except for on blatant spawn trapping maps like Overload. I think I’ll have to try Pilot’s Explosive Munitions on that map but otherwise I suspect it was a novelty I probably won’t do often.

The more interesting outcome for me was finding defense mode as a whole to not be utterly awful (I also tried it without that benefiting card). I had more turning degrees of freedom than I remember despite being stationary. Also, while I don’t typically lose the Silverback before time runs out-- and if you unload the Salvo into a boss, you can get that timer to run for quite a long time-- I feel like I never really even had any close calls. Only a Carrier slam one-shotted it like usual.

Does anyone know how much damage reduction (I assume that’s how it’s treated) the Silverback defense mode gets?

I think River was a uniquely great map to do this since everyone is usually packed in one “house” (Cafe/Town Hall, or even the West/Mill Spawns), all the enemies converge on it, and you’ve got a long line of sight. I just set up shop in defense mode to the left or right of the door with my back to a wall where no Sires could get to me, and went to town. Sometimes it took a while to notice a drone had been “knocking” at my door for a while but it was easy to just shoo him & his giblets off my porch with the Tri-shot.

I don’t know if other maps are conducive to this style. And I don’t have enough data to know if it was a truly meaningful benefit. It wasn’t one of the usual outright failure experiments, though. What is your own experience with Silverback defense mode?

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I have no idea. It may be like 20% if there is damage reduction.

Well comparing those 2 Cards you got to keep in mind how those Cards work and get affected by the Damage you deal.

e.g 85% the SB-Trishot kill equals 637 Damage or Salvo is about 1062.

Marksmans 85% Card means up to 25000 when using all Damage Cards and max. Damage Perks.

This also the Reason why Strikers GSD is so weak.

I don’t use it much. My experience is that it rarely makes a practical difference unless there is an absurdly extreme level of damage coming in at you.

Also, why would you use the Tri-Shot on a Vampire daily instead of the Mulcher?

The values are kind of strange.
Like Brawler’s All The Glory being 30% implies that killing something with a tackle would do around 2500 or so.
This isn’t my clip but Stick Brawler (the tackle did around 40k) causing a Carrier to do its explosion. It did around half the other Carrier’s health (120k or so)

So it seems to be based on the killing blow but the 30% seems to be based off of something else.

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Yes because Brawlers 30% are based on the HP of the Enemy you kill. The Card even says that and i guess the Scorcher Card and Damage Perk also add to it.

But if I kill a Juvie that is next to a Drone, the Drone will die too.

Oh and if you Stick Tackle a Juvie/Drone next to a Scion, the Scion will die as well.

All the Glory is a weird card for sure, i remember when killing a Drone next to a Warden or other Mini Boss almost killed them when it still was 50%.

Maybe theres another Glitch going on that Card, maybe the Card gives 300% instead of 30%? That would explain why a 40k Tackle Deals 120k (???)

If an enemy dies to burning out, the explosion is very weak but with a tackle it is strong. So it seems to be based off the killing blow.

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I did a game once on overload where I tried to stay in the silverback as long as possible.

Tactician takes right side, silverback on left. After a wave finishes jump out and both go to town with a repair tool in between the waves.

It was just me and my buddy but by the time the other players figured out what we were doing they were all helping out with a repair tool between waves. :laughing:

Defense mode explosions were fun but they do suck.

I hear defense mode explosions are fun on the warren.


It absolutely feels that way, especially as a weak payoff for meleeing someone for 10 seconds in Striker’s bottom tier Ultimate. But the uncertainty here on the various death-explosion cards reflect my confusion on this one. Do we know if GSD is scaling by either killing blow damage amount or enemy health? Or is it just a flat explosion value?

Well, as mentioned in the past:

Tri-Shot is just the default card for me and good for range like the half-the-map, house-to-spawn setup I was in. But really the answer is mostly that I got so caught up in my defense mode experiment I never got around in my limited runs to swapping that part of my default setup out. :slight_smile:

I realized later and should have mentioned in the OP that the double healing might have contributed to my perceived lack of any peril. I really need to run the experiment again on some other maps. Looks like today’s daily has Vampire again…

I’d been hoping to learn here what the actual damage resistance bonus was to try to retroactively tease out how much value it had. Though it occurs to me now that I also don’t even know numerically how many hit points Silverbacks have, so it’s hard to relate to player damage. Also, there’s supposedly a reaction difference in “fortification” health vs. player health?

Well, don’t leave us hanging! How long did that group effort actually make it last?

GSD is based of the damage you deal afaik, i’m assuming because i’ve never see someone kill something with GSD that was bigger than a Juvie or Leech. Maybe you can kill Drones and Big Guys too if they’re almost dead lmao.

Using a Breaker with maxed out Damage perk means GSD will deal 85% of 3750 which is 3187 or 85% of 5000 (Using the Breaker during Ult) which is 4250.

Marksman on the otherhand can headshot a Leech right next to a Scion and kill or almost kill a Scion with it depending on Wave/Perks/Cards/X-Ray.

Coming back to the Topic ranking Pilots Explosive Munitions around or lower as MM has to be one of the weirdest things i’ve read so far. :woozy_face:

They’re not even in the same League or Planet or Solar System. :joy:

Well, my topic was intended to be about some observations of defense mode and not a thorough evaluation of Explosive Munitions specifically. :slight_smile: And sorry for poor wording. I wasn’t trying to claim much about their damage outputs with that loose comparison quote, it was more meant as my perceived “relative usefulness of that card compared to other cards the class can bring”.

In my experience, Marksman’s Explosive Critical Hit is good, but I bring it more because I’m a bad Marksman that doesn’t get as much use out of the other cards I expect better players would bring more regularly in that slot.

I don’t have enough playtime with Explosive Munitions to back up my snap judgement, and certainly couldn’t tell you the damage calculation method for it and how it actually stacks up against a boosted or even plain Marksman headshot. However IMO Pilot also doesn’t have unassailably “must bring” cards after The Hammer and your Silverback weapon/healing strategy is solved, so it didn’t seem too outlandish to me at the time to put Explosive Munitions in a lower but roughly equivalent “I could see it” bucket. (For all zero people playing “defense mode Pilot”.) Cold Finish hasn’t been the same since we lost Lizzie’s freezing barriers.

Maybe I’m crazy. I will freely accept mockery for my poor Marksmanship, lol. Though I do have to ask if I attended the same sniper school as the person who thought it was good resource management to waste a Longshot bullet to headshot a Leech, even if it can take out a Scion… :wink:

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So it is mine because I don’t have to dedicate two card slots to healing(I like my cold finish even if it’s not that useful now), but whenever Vampire pops up I replace it with the Mulcher.

Unless you get Theron’d by two of those(or a Theron and a Boomshot) at the same time, because apparently they have to do more damage than even Boomshots do, or hit by an insta fort kill attack, the healing provided by the Mulcher through Vampire is more than sufficient and you get the same through the Salvo.

Though I also don’t play Pilot much now because 90% of the dailies(felt) have the stupid power drain modifier which only serves to be an annoyance to classes/builds that actually need a locker to work. And coupled with the uber slow recharge provided by lockers, because apparently having more than one Dropshot round per wave unless you have a level 4 locker and three or four of them stacked on it is just too much fun.

Well after Wave 10 you’ll need atleast 2 Headshots to kill a Scion anyway, but by shooting a Leech/Drone or what ever next to it while using Longshot handling and Explosive Headshot you don’t have to reload so killing them is faster, that’s why i tend to do that and because it’s fun. :grin:

And it’s less of a waste than the Demo throwing a Boomshot at it.

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Well once the mulcher runs out its dps isn’t too high even with the explosions and spawn trapping so yeah it gets close without the repair tool for more rockets. My tac was @XeRo_x_ReFlexes and he is absolutely cracked so it really depended on him.

I don’t really remember how long but I do remember I was purposely letting it blow up before boss waves to get a refill on mulcher.

Btw if you perk ammo capacity while you have the silverback active it gives you more ammo in silverback.

Give it a try, was really fun.

Permanently or just for that one ult activation?

Just that 1 time lol