Let’s talk about Nomad in Horde

I can’t imagine the amount of time one would need to test all weapons for all classes to calculate the time needed for Ult charge.

All I know some classes get their Ult very quick. Some don’t lol

Yeah that would take ages. However, the classes that can get their ult back multiple times a wave or Escape run are the ones with the shorter durations and highest DPS. So Demo, Tact, Blademaster, Nomad…etc).

Table here shows all that data about ULT duration.


I usually run a hybrid loadout, Consecutive Shot works wonders in recharging your Ult insanely fast if land several crit shots, I also use that one card that extends the fear radius, works wonders in keeping your team safe if things start going south.

Edit: Nomad is a wonderful class period, fun to play.


Execution Shield
Markza Mastery
Consecutive Shot
Nomad Armor

This is what I use normally. Nomad armor helps me take an extra hit or two which is very handy.


Been using a similar build, using Intimidation and that Fear radius card in my set up. Got a more support focused Nomad in mind.


I appreciate the summoning mention guys! Better a late post than never, I guess, lol.

Yes, it is. Killing a tanky Scion should usually get at least half the Ult back or more. I miss when Nomad had the Cooldown perk, because killing a single Scion would completely recharge an empty Ult! Allowing for ridiculous spammability.

Yes, very much so! Even in Horde. Typically takes a bit more finesse than other classes IMO, but otherwise as you can see from the various posts, Nomad is a very versatile class. Use that to it’s advantage, especially in lobbies with other Assault classes. It isn’t as easily devastating in CQC as Blademaster or Inflitrator, or at range as Demolitions or Marksman, but it can work between situations in ways that all of those certainly can’t.

Nomad is my overall favorite class in the game, as it can do pretty much all my favorite things. CQC, Sniping, tanking, and even provides decent support. I could go on and on about this class. It will be tough to keep my post from getting too big lol.

I’ll start with what have turned out to be my tried and true Horde builds, and some extra details on potential swap-out cards.

*Execution Nomad:

Execution Shield
Nomad Armor
Gnasher Proficiency

-This is what I’ve had the most overall success with for CQC. Starting with the basic Execution Shield and Faze as the obvious core of the build, and Menace to ensure that I have the Fear Ult available as often as possible. I typically use the Retro Lancer for executions instead of the chainsaw, because the Retro can’t be flinched out and is naturally much better for literally running at enemies to aggressively execute them. Then Gnasher the big stuff.

-Nomad Armor is a tad underrated. The 32% damage resistance might not sound like much, but can make the difference on wether or not you make it to that critical execution to start a chain.

-Gnasher Proficiency is also very underrated for Nomad, particularly in Horde where enemies start to get really tanky. By getting an Active with this card equipped, and then stacking that with the double damage passive to Feared enemies, you will do roughly 4X the base damage of a normal Gnasher. I save this exclusively for the big enemies that can’t be executed, such as Scions. They only take about 4-5 shots with the double health poison kicked in, so by endgame a full mag is still more than enough to kill them. The main reason I use Menace is so that I can have maximum uptime on the Fear Ult to help keep this big Gnasher damage going on all the constant Scions, DR-1s, and Pouncers that keep spawning.

*Sniper Nomad:

Consecutive Shot
Markza Mastery
Fearsome Aura

-This is what I’ve found works the best for me when I use a pure ranged build for Nomad. Stacking as much damage on the Markza and Longshot as possible, while chaining and spamming Fear as usual.

-Fearsome Aura is the key for this build. Extremely underrated for being able to Ult and scare things across the map in perfect Markza range, and also being able to support teammates via crowd dispersing without even having to move from your position. To give an idea just how huge the radius of the Ult is with this card, you can sit up in one of the towers on River, and be able to scare enemies ON THE OTHER SIDE of the bridge right before they start crossing it. And with the good damage output Nomad can have with this build, you will naturally recharge your Ult extremely fast regardless (like a little more than one Scion kill). So don’t be afraid to use it whenever you want to prime enemies and get that sweet bonus damage on Feared enemies.

*Execution/Sniper hybrid:

Execution Shield
Markza Mastery
Consecutive Shot
Fearsome Aura

-This build is the best of both worlds from the above two builds. This is good for when you already have a Marksman taking over the role of sniping, another CQC class slaying out, and/or just want to be able to cover all the bases. I usually play a bit closer to the fenceline with this one, spamming my cross-map Fear and popping things at range with the Markza, while keeping a normal Chainsaw Lancer in my back pocket for defensive executions on anything small that gets too close.

-This build is very self-sufficient as it takes the Nomad’s description of being a ‘mobile sniper class’ literally. I like using this one on the daily with the modifiers where there is no fortifications and long Ult recharge times. Just swap out Fearsome Aura with something else that isn’t Ult related, like IMO Acceleration or Nomad Armor.

*Other good cards for potential swap-outs based on situational or personal preference:

Concussive Rounds:

-Top-tier in Escape for letting Nomad setup executions without needing anything else but the Boltok it starts with. Can still be great in Horde as it helps to pick out those pesky Elite Drones and essentially completely counters enemies with Chainsaw Lancers. If combined with at least Consecutive Shot, then Acceleration, and maybe even Intimidation, the stun makes for some easy headshots while allowing the Boltok to do some good damage on it’s own. Making use of a Lancer bayonet and Flashbangs being so easily and readily available in Horde makes Concussive Rounds not as necessary there, but it is still a great card regardless. Great for the Drone-only Nexus Siege mode. You can also rescue downed teammates who are struggling with a Drone via a well-placed headshot!

Armored Shot:

-Notoriously difficult to use, this IS a good card. Teaming up with a Combat Medic and/Anchor will get the most out of this card if you are playing from range, aside from generally just being careful of course. However the precision weapon bleed damage is kinda weak, so it best mostly to help bleed out downed Drones and as a supplement to the rest of your damage. It does help out a lot with ARs and the Gnasher though. If you can combine it with the Gnasher card and the bonus damage to Feared enemies, the added bleed really helps to kill big targets. I personally find it actually kinda great with an execution build, because if everything around you is scared, then you don’t have to worry about getting the stim shot off. Then the bleed can help finish them off as they run away.


-The defacto support card for Nomad. For personal survivability and getting stim, it is overshadowed by Execution Shield in CQC and generally, if things are scared, they SHOULDN’T be hurting you to begin with. Bugs aside. Fun fact: if playing with multiple Nomads in a squad, JUST ONE of them with Lifeline equipped will work for all of them, no matter which Nomad Fears the enemy, it will always give stim when killed.


-Nomad isn’t as dependant on perks as some other classes, especially the execution builds. Health can always help take an extra small hit or two, no matter the build, and Ammo is great for holding up to four Flashbang grenades and helping sustain the Markza ammo that gets used up fast. The Critical and Precision Damage perks are typically only for the sniping builds though. You will definitely want them for late game though when the enemies get pretty tanky.

*Other tips:

-Figure out exactly where you want to engage the enemies in your lane(s) with whatever build you are using, then try to get barriers placed in just the right spot for the enemies to get stuck in. This is especially helpful for Nomad as it helps prevent enemies from being able to run away when under Fear.

-For Wardens in particular, it is best to stun them with a Flashbang first before Fear Ulting on them, so that they stay in place instead of booking it out of there or simply just not letting them turn their back to you while stuck in a fence. Makes them easy to headshot with a sniper build, and if using the execution build, hipfire the Gnasher upwards at point-blank while they are stunned. I was surprised how effective this was when I first discovered this. Alternatively, just temporarily grab a Scorcher.

-Keep in mind that you can still get chainsawed while in the middle of an execution! Even with Execution Shield. So respect those Lancer enemies. To counter them in CQC, hipfire your Lancer while approaching them to flinch them as they try to rev, then melee combo them. Also, typically you can Retro Charge them faster than they can react to finish revving the chainsaw.

-When using the Retro, especially against enemies stuck in fences, treat it like Brawler tackling and Charge>Execute>Roll backwards>Repeat.

-Speaking of the Retro, Juvies can inadvertently avoid getting stabbed when they jump to melee you. Best to keep them stunned, Feared, or stuck in fences to prevent this issue.

-A good Marksman will make a Sniper Nomad cry, especially if you can’t establish a separate lane. Seems more enjoyable to switch to either a hybrid build or full-on CQC build if there is a Marksman in your lobby.

-If there is another good CQC class on your team, the execution builds as is can easily support while still slaying a bit. Nomad makes a great backup in CQC.

-Execution Nomad essentially bypasses the extra damage and health the enemies get in Horde. Executions don’t care about health, and it is literally invincible while executing. Combined with Fear preventing most enemies from even attacking, it is indirectly the tankiest class in the game, IMO.

-Lastly, Nomad just isn’t a boss-killing class. The Sniper build and bleed can do good damage to one, but IMO your efforts are best spent clearing all the adds.

This is everything I could think of off the top of my head. I imagine that I might think of more later, but I hope that this helps shine some light on the potential of Nomad in Horde!


Alright, you’ve convinced me.

I’ll try Nomad again.


Love the post!

Such detailed response is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you @SMARTAN_427!

PS Autocorrect always wants to change your GT to Spartan :laughing:


Which is the better weapon to use as a sniper build the LS or the markza?
I assume with consectuive shot if i happen to miss a critical it resets? If yes i figure a LS is better than a markza in this situation since it decreases my chances of missing

I always have the resistance card for extra surviability

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As this is kinda discussion about Nomad, I’ll tell a story of a way to play that caught my interest.

Like a week ago I completed Dawn Horde with a level 19 (so perhaps not even highest level cards) Nomad. They used Longshot (no Markza) and, Boomshot. And they were pretty good, most of the times ending 2nd or 3rd in highest damage behind Demo (duh) and outperforming Gunner (me), and Veteran most of the times.

As they were defending same side as I did, I could see that they at least ran Blindshot (the bleeding card) and Lifeline, Perhaps Acceleration as there was a long distance. I saw they NEVER execute an enemy so all the Execution - oriented cards are out of the table, Same as Conseccutive Shots, and Markza Mastery, as I saw them dropping the Markza as soon as a Longshot became available.

What intrigued me most was that they didn’t use Ulti / Lifeline as a last resource but rather… at the ver y end of each wave (last 4 enemies or so), then they’d kill an enemy with Boomshot to get stim for the start of next wave, I guess the idea was to make use of the Bleeding when the waves were just starting and enemies hadn’t positioned to shoot at him yet.

Don’t know, intrigued me as to which cards may have been used (again, 0 use of Markza and 0 executions) Of course needed a locker which had 3 Longshots and 2 Boomshots… but, As I already stated, he was scoring 2nd or 3rd most of the waves so he wasn’t death weight or anything. And I don’t even remember going to pick him up lol.


A better option would be to use the card that does fear on a critical kill along with lifeline to get the stim, i have used that on certain maps, but ultimately a card that needs stim to work isnt going to do very well as your playstyle adjusts so that you dont get hit in order to keep stim

I just used all the damage cards on a match aong with the critical kill card and dmg resistance card, i did quite well since after i get the critical kill if i am quick enough i can get at least 2 more since you do double damage to fear enemies

They really need to adjust that card cause on master your stim goes away instantly, its only viable if you have a medic on your team


This stacks with all ballistic weapons including the Longshot. Having to reload after each shot doesn’t reset the damage stacks so it’s very possible they ran this card.


Not to mention Consecutive Shot Markza is very strong on him.


Nomad is perfectly viable in Horde, but it’s outshined by Marksman. That doesn’t speak that poorly of Nomad considering Marksman is the strongest Horde class in the game by leaps and bounds.

An execution build can work in Horde, but you’re going to be incredibly dependent on base setup and your team. The sniping build is stronger and more independent.

The Nomad execution build has a lot more utility in Escape.


Do Armored Shot and Consecutive Shot somehow conflict with each other? I was advised not to use those two cards together.

Yes, last I heard Armored Shot resets the damage stacks you get from Consecutive Shot.

Basically what happens is when you cause bleed damage from Armored Shot, each bleed tick isn’t classed as critical hit damage, so it resets Consecutive Shot. The only way to maintain the damage stacks is with critical hits.


My second favorite class
My secret squirrel buildout
Armored bleed
rain down or acceleration

If there is a decent combat medic in the lobby who i know will fight with the team and is running helpful

Armored bleed
rain down
consecutive shots

If there is a no combat medic and it looks like a weak team?

execution fear
terror fear extender
fear aura

When i just don’t give a crap and just wanna kill?
Rain down
armored bleed

Fight with team: if you have a good combat medic or someone else producing stim…kill with long distance bleed

Aggressive : Weak team…no stim available and people constantly going down…fight aggressively and get a lot of executions to keep the enemy off the team…Also use your ult to revive or get teammates out of bad situations


Well, depends on exactly what cards you are using, of course. Yes, missing a shot will reset the stacks. If you got Markza Mastery equipped then obviously you would want to use the Markza. It is also easier to build up Consecutive Shot stacks with the Markza. Plus, if running a hybrid where you execute AND snipe, the Markza is IMO a little more conducive to a slightly shorter range.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the Longshot instead. Consecutive Shot in fact gives you a free stack before shooting anything, so combined with the Acceleration card, the Precision weapon damage perk, and Critical damage perk, you are doing a lot of extra damage with every Longshot hit anyways. So if you feel more comfortable using that instead, then by all means! :slight_smile:

At least for a Sniper/Execution hybrid, anyway. If I’m going full-on Sniper Nomad though, I’ll use both Longshot and Markza simultaneously.

Interesting. Never heard of a Nomad doing that with a Longshot and Boomshot build but sounds like they put some thought into it with the stim prepping between waves.

I don’t entirely disagree but think of it like this, Nomad is all about guerrilla warfare: indirectly engaging enemies by either scaring them or sniping them instead of a head-on fight. With that in mind Armored Shot kinda makes sense as the whole idea is to do more damage when they can’t attack or hit you.

Yeah, having a good Marksman in the lobby kinda sucks for Sniper Nomad.

Eh, I’d argue that the execution build is more independent, since you can survive being overwhelmed a lot easier and aren’t so worried about ammo as much. But sniping is definitely safer and more powerful vs tough enemies, yes.

I haven’t checked on this in while, but I could have sworn I heard that this was fixed. IDK for sure, though. Maybe they broke it again.

Wow, no Execution Shield to go with the Faze card to Fear them? Interesting. I imagine you mainly sit back carefully near the team with this?


I have gone full execution only in horde master, i stay near the base and then i chain execute enemies, i use both lancers so i have different executions, i use the boltok stun card so i can get an execution as well or a stun grenade, when enemies have double health this build works well since executions ignore health and the constant fear allows for my team to not get shot a lot, bosses excluded

With properly placed barriers the enemies get stuck so i can keep the execution change going and if am in danger i pop my ultimate

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I consider Nomad one of my last challenges in Gears. In other words, I’ve played almost every class a lot and learned they’re all great if played right pretty much. So if I can’t solve a class, I want to learn more and figure it out. How can I make it work. Nomad I haven’t gotten there yet despite being level 20.

So I’ve tinkered with different Nomad builds and can’t figure out what I definitely want. I was trying to build around Markza and trying to combo it with friends when they play Anchor or Combat Medic so I can get regular stim and therefore do regular bleeding.

So far I’ve only had one day where I loved my Nomad and it was during the XP event where I leveled him to 20 grinding most of the day. Long range gambit was on and you just didn’t do any damage at close range, so I’d use my Ult often to get them further away and I’d use a chainsaw to help the team basically with smaller guys. It was fun that day because I felt useful.

What bothers me about the class is it’s a play style thing. You either like to play support or you like to kill and be the damage. On random teams, I’m more likely to find people who are helpful and can do something but can’t output the damage we need. I fully expect if it’s just me and one friend online, we need to be 60-80% of the team damage. I can’t do that with Nomad. Yesterday my friend and I had 1.1 million damage on wave 12, the randoms had barely 100,000 combined. So if I’m Nomad, who is doing the boss damage? Who is shouldering most of the damage burden? It feels like taking a key player off the table and doing a job better left to worse players.

That being said, I’m absolutely determined to level my Nomad cards further and tinker more until I can at least be the best Nomad I can be. I enjoy that type of challenge and want to see how far I can push the class. I also think on a great team, you could build entirely around close range fear type of stuff and making enemies run away.

I’ll be honest the worst part of this class is the low appreciation it gets. My best friend who I love dearly is sometimes an idiot. So my other friend or I will play Nomad and save the team with the Ult, he’s so in his own world he is clueless about the situation and starts yelling, “Who did that?! Now I can’t hit my headshots!” You’re welcome, dude. You had a mulcher scion coming to your side. Another wave he’s bragging about his damage as Gunner, not realizing at all my friend used his Ult twice to clear dangerous base invasions right next to him that saved the entire wave. It’s not all about damage, sometimes it’s about strategy. My best friend only sees the final damage and that’s it, so a lot of players don’t respect or appreciate that a Nomad can bail the team out and ALLOW you to do that damage. It’s an under appreciated class and I do enjoy it. I just would like to continue to improve at it.