The Nomad: Assault Class Problem Child

Ahhhhhh. The Nomad. I have been longing to get to this one. And I waited…patiently oh have I waited. I have leveled him up to 20. Got a fair amount of the cards to level 4-5. Some 3’s but those are mostly the gold ones and a couple purple. I have seen the way it stacks. I have tried a number of different combinations that spoke to me based on the cards provided, the maps to be played on and the difficulty modifiers. I am excited to share with you my findings and to speak on what I liked and what I didn’t. If you have made it this far, thank you and let’s begin.

Beginner: Any one eyed jack with a 1 second responsive reflex can stomp a hole through any beginner mode, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as doing that with a Gnasher. This build focused on CQC (Close Quarters Combat). It harkens back to the classic Kait of running and shotgunning. It is very satisfying really and putting one in the back of a fleeing scion is Glorious.

The Stack:
Nomad Armor: The bread and butter. I often find myself taking this card into high tier as a mandatory fifth and sometimes first due to the close quarters nature of this “Sniper” Class.

Gnasher Proficiency: Gotta have those gibs. Of course you bring the shotgun damage card with you. Also…ever been increasingly salty about shooting a juvie point blank on higher tiers and it didn’t die? And then shortly after you did…yup this card basically denies that.

Powered Sprint: The Horde card, literally worthless in any other mode. This turns a hectic battlefield of swarming enemies into lunch buffet. I almost feel compelled to use it, but thankfully when you are sprinting non-stop and going on a murder spree, not having to rest to heal is actually beneficial.

Precision Resistance: Gotta stack that defense baby! Never know when a sniper will take a pop-shot at you while you are bouncing around or running them down. This just makes you that much more formidable.

Menace: This card is gold…well not actually in rarity, but in application. Everyone once in a while you will down an enemy instead of gibbing it. Get a quick execution and recharge you fear if it’s spent.

How it ^ works: Essentially you run around hitting corners and hunting down the enemies 1 by 1. You take up a solitary position away from the team. When the round starts usually 1 or 2 guys will find their way to you and the killing begins. Stay mobile, rush the enemy get in their face, shotgun em, heal and move on to the next one. Stay on the flank, apply fear when in combat with scions, look for executions when your ultimate is down. It’s on beginner so it’s easy, fun, and quick. Alternatively you can switch around precision armor with faze and pick up a retro lancer. It’s just as satisfying.

Advanced: This is where things start to get interesting. You will notice the same wild and crazy playstyle mentioned in beginner won’t fly here…at least not past wave 4. This is where the Nomad branches away into a more conservative operator. There are 2 possible paths for you to go here. Fear or Sniping. We will start with the fear build.

The Stack (Fear):

Nomad Armor: I cannot for the life of me stress the importance of this card. This build will focus on executions and proccing fear to keep the flushers out of your base and help your teammates. Getting shot in the ■■■ while you go for the chainsaw execution/retro sprint and getting downed is the worst and most embarrassing thing that can happen.

Execution Shield: The bread and butter of this build. As long as you can get to one, you can get to all of them.

Faze: The meat and cheese of this build. Getting that first execution at the gates…preferably littered with spike walls or razor wire, turns a full on enemy push into a slaughter house of maniacal butchery. Like leather face running down a victim, the beat will go on until every enemy that pushed those gates is a bloody mess.

Menace: This little golden ticket right here. Proper application of your ultimate right before a push, with about 3 enemies on the ledger to get sawed down, will see your ultimate safely back in your possession once the dust settles or just in time for the next push.

Terror: This card is a must. With all the executions you should be doing, you will have no problem getting your ultimate back. So you can use it with impunity, but I would save it for things like pouncers, scions, guardians or sentinels, that make it into the base or get to close. This gives your other teammates much needed time to kill the enemies before they come back or save you from what would be a fatal push on the enemies hands. Gives you time to pick up friendlies, refill turrets, rebuild walls. A lot can be done in 15 seconds.

How it ^ works: You need to develop a base of operations. Good fabricator placement where you can chokehold the enemy at certain points, litter those points with spike traps/Razor wire. Hard close the points with an electric fence and then you stand sentry at the entrance hugging the wall. The rest is history. Also you are going to need to acquire a retro lancer or a MK. 3 Lancer.

The Stack (Sniper):

Acceleration: Location, Location, Location. Get to a location with a neat vantage point. The ends of long hallways, or balconies overlooking large swaths of land. You have to maintain that 15 meters distance to get the most out of this build.

Rain Down: ONLY on certain maps that have elevated points where you can, on a majority of the time shoot down on the enemy. Otherwise…

Fearsome Aura: (On maps that don’t offer height differences or it’s very weak options for it.) Playing peekaboo with an elite drone or sniper all the way down the hallway? Fear his ■■■, make him stick his head up and then pull of a active reloaded DOUBLE damage shot.

Consecutive Shot: This card is broken…in a good way. Starting from your first critical hit, so essentially an all the time damage increase of X% per shot up until you miss and capping out at 200%. Versus slow moving/stationary targets…Scions…Stumps…Swarmak Blisters…etc…You can ramp up the dps very quickly and take down those foes.

Intimidation: The name of the game is headshots, but I am going to be honest, this card won’t come into play as much as you would want it to. The reason being is the 5 meter requirement, but when it does!!! Imagine Fearing a group of enemies taking cover close to each other. Then you pop of them. Then this card activates and they are feared again. Which stuns them for 1.5 seconds. Then you pop another one in that time frame. The remaining ones are stunned again…you get it. When it works… you can rack up a kill chain like no one’s business, but most of the time you will be getting solo kills or making the enemies run away from you. Still a really good card and works well at stopping a push on your gates if you can just get 1 of them.

Lifeline or Nomad Armor: This card is paramount. Most times you will proc intimidation and you won’t have the time to chain it. This doesn’t mean that that feared enemy can’t be killed regularly by you or a teammate. When that happens, the killer is awarded with a full health bar and some stim on top of that. Useful for when you are shooting a drone or Scion in the backside and get the kill that way. That’s for lifeline, if you were using Nomad Armor: Well that helps you put precision shots on an enemy without having the fear of going down immediately.

How it ^ works: This one is pretty much summed up in the card choices, but I will put briefly here some substitutions. You can choose to not run Lifeline or Nomad Armor and instead get Markza Mastery. This helps you with more damage down the line and a good suitable replacement to a longshot. You could also keep Lifeline and instead of Rain down or Fearsome Aura you could Run Armored Shot. This would allow you to kill an enemy at range, get stim and then start to apply bleed to a target…usually bosses/Scions…etc. Either way, you want to focus your damage perks in game as soon as possible to profit off of this build.

Inconceivable and Beyond: FEAR,FEAR,FEAR,FEAR,FEAR. If you aren’t causing fear, you are not contributing to the team. Stay down and keep your head low, prioritize executions, and use that fear as much as you can, but especially when threat of overrun is imminent. Stick to the walls, don’t be a hero or lone wolf.

The Stack (FEAR):

Terror: BET you didn’t expect this one? This is the MOST important card. Fear the whole hord for 15 seconds! For fifteen seconds you and your whole team gets to breathe and regroup.

Fearsome Aura: I Bet you saw this one coming. This distance of that fear is of paramount importance. You want to catch as many enemies in it as possible. Position yourself in cover at the front of your base to affect the most distance and let it rip.

Faze: Hug those walls, turn flushers away, buy time for your team.

Execution Shield: Nothing like going down immediately after an execution, This should stop that.

Menace: Prioritize those flusher executions, get your ultimate back as often as you can, and keep it ready and don’t be afraid to use it!

How it ^ works: Keep your head down, you are not a major damage dealer. Your role is shot kills, it is specifically executions and spreading fear. Keep the enemies off your team’s back and they should be able to handle the rest. I only wish there were room in this build for Lifeline.

The Conclusion (Tl;dr): The nomad is increasingly fun on lower difficulties and you can be aggressive, but at higher tier, you are subjugated to a more support role. The truth is, there isn’t enough damage down the line or reward for doing so to justify risking your head by trying to be a substitute Marksman or ■■■■■■ infiltrator. Stay at home (In the base) and keep the enemies out of the base. Prioritize team revives and set traps with grenades. When a boss shows up, you have to trust in your team. You focus the flushers and Scions…etc…they should focus on everything else. This is sad though. Because at high tier, you don’t have enough damage to stand toe to toe with the other assault classes. It makes me wonder why it’s even a assault class to begin with? It’s about as useful as the combat medic…which is to say very useful, but in a support fashion.

Proposed changes:

Menace: Currently awards ult recharge based on executions. Add in a clause for critical kills as well (Sniper headshots) This would be amazing and give the class a reason to pop some drone heads.

Faze: Remove this card and place it’s contents as well as the 10meter affect radius inside of the Intimidation Card. One card to fear them all. Executions or headshots.

Armored Shot: Remove the stim requirement on this card and replace it with critical hits instead. This would allow you to bleed anything you hit critically.

Concussive Rounds: Can we add some damage boost to this card? Please!?

Thanks for reading if you did and if you enjoy it, leave a comment. I am happy to discuss.


It sounds like you don’t really like the markza, I prefer a full on markza sniper headshot build on master, chainsawing and retro builds are also equally nice. But I do suppose you can get ultimates back really fast with nomad too with appropriate cards.

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If Armored Shot had such a change I’d use it for sure. Markza Mastery and Consecutive Shot can help recharge your Fear quite quickly from my experience, so long as you keep those crits flowing I mean.

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I will be honest here, I am not sure what increases your regen gain outside of executions. If what you are saying is true then it’s damage done as well. I will have to keep an eye on that.

Any damage dealt charges your ult. For every class.

I don’t mind the Markza. I even added it as a substitue card for the Sniper build I layed out at advanced tier. I just find it to be lacking as the waves get harder, but to be fair, all the cards for it aren’t entirely maxed out yet. That could very well change the dps and overall opinion.

Ah yes, Nomad. One of my favorite classes in the game. It is so versatile and the cards synergize so well and in very many different ways. A lot of viable builds with this one. I agree that it being labled an Assault class is kinda weird, but to be honest, it is a hybrid of many different things. A blend of a unique CQC playstyle, mid-range Sniping, and Team Support.

I have so much that could say about this class and its cards that in order to go through it all I’ll have to save it for a later post.

I have liked both builds but instead of choosing one or the other, I’d go with both as a hybrid build. It’s clear that Execution Shield + Faze go together and Markza Mastery + Intimidation go together. Those are two ways to spread fear, through execution and headshot. The 5th card I’d go with, would either be Armoured Shot or Consecutive Shot.

Armoured Shot seems better on Juvie, Sire, Pouncer, Guardian, Sentinel and bosses, if you’re more likely to miss headshot. It’s also good for daily / weekly without Execution Rules, so they can bleed out. It’d only work if you’re chainsawing plenty with Lancer, and it’d happen frequently anyway.

In gameplay, having both Lancer and Markza lets me tackle all sorts of enemies. The Scions, DR-1, Pouncer, Guardian, Sentinel and bosses cant be chainsawed, so that’s when Markza Mastery comes in. It does solid ranged damage, along with Armoured Shot bleed or Consecutive Shot, whichever you choose. And you’d also have the benefit of Intimidation card, to spread fear onto these tougher enemies (not boss). The Juvies, Drones, DB, and Sires and get chainsawed instead. So altogether, this build excels at both close and mid range.

The only weakness to that build would be that you’re a glass cannon with little to no resistance, unless spent on health perk. I normally spend precision rifle damage, ammo capacity and cooldown (?), left, bottom and right. I don’t really spend the health perk (top one). I personally don’t need health or res much, as it’s somewhat easy to avoid taking damage when you know how to. The other weakness is that Nomad isn’t great against tougher bosses like Carrier, Snatcher, Matriarch, Swarmak, Kestrel and Wakaatu. It would take a while, just not on the level like Demo, Tact and Infiltrator, having to do all those Markza shots with bleed or consecutive. So that’s why it’s an assault class, it’s pretty much offensive rather than laid back support kind. Driving enemies back literally says assault to me.

Another thing, when you spend perks into ammo capacity, passing waves seem you give you more and more starting ammo, even if you’re doing chainsaw / headshot half half of the time. So you’d almost not run out of Markza, and don’t seem to need Locker either. And I haven’t needed to collect ammo box much, if not at all.

Very good review about Nomad. I just want to add, if player is good at sniping, aiming Nomad class is quite useful with health perk and stunning boltok skill card. I choose stunning boltok shot instead of intimidation or Rain down because you cannot kill drones, shephards with one shot above insane difficulty and drones are pain in a… for a sniper. However, with one headshot with boltok, while having boltok stun skill card, stuns the target 3,5 seconds (lvl 5 ) then use marzka. Its sad though this card doesnot work on Dr1s and Scions.

I agree. The card should work on Scion Class enemies. As others have stated and so have I, your lack of immediate damage down the line when you need it is severely lacking. This makes bosses and Scion Class enemies a pain in the butt. However, they (Scion Class) can be feared, but that is…situational at best and not the greatest use of ultimate. Though a secondary fear will do it too, imagine you don’t have a enemy around to execute immediately.

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Yeah you are right and I think I choose to play as kind of sniper because I couldn’t play as fear or execution based I just couldn’t but I will give a try your The stack (fear) layout =)

Honestly, the issue I find with the class is having to choose between, going fear based or pseudo sniper based. I want to point out here that I think the most valuable card in the Nomads arsenal is Concussive Boltok. It is very much skill oriented and only really impressive at 3 seconds and higher, but I have put many a drone in their place with the stun and execute combo. It’s a pretty good way to get a fear chain going.

On maps with wide open areas, I like using the sniper build. Acceleration + crit damage perk is godly, to the point where the Nomad can qualify as an adequate replacement to the Marksman. On maps with tight corners and a lot of CQC, Fear everything. Get a Lancer and slaughter everyone.


Good point, map does make a difference.

Can I also add that the nomad’s Concussive Rounds card is also excellent for supporting the Tactician and Demolitions when they are working together with their Interrogation, Spotter Support and Confirmed kill cards to drop lots of Artillery ultimates on the enemy? It’s not always easy for the Tactician to grab a meatshield - especially the Elite variants. Flshbangs help, but having another team mate who can stun enemies and creat opportunities for meatshielding can be a God-send. Needs alot of teamwork though.

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That deep level of teamwork is something I truly love to experience and is too rare.

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Yeah I know right? I don’t play Horde with randomers very much at all and I’ve only had one occasion where I’ve gone into a lobby as Tactician, asked if anyone wanted to play Demolitions and put Spotter Support on, and for it to go swimmingly. I mean, sure, I did all the donkey work and all they had to do was press the Y button when my mark flooded the map, but there have been many occasions where the Demolitions can’t even do that right!

I pretty much always play with friends and they all know how to do this effectively. We don’t even need to communicate much - it’s basically expected that the Tactician is also responsible for using tac-com to check the statuys of Demolitions’ Artillery ultimate. We also call out viable meatshields as well and hold fire if possible.

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If it worked on them, one of the best cards in the game would suddenly become completely and utterly op.

Concussive shot is on all of my class setups. Stopping a dr1 or scion in it’s tracks with a pistol would completely break the class in my opinion.


Gotta lot to say about Nomad. One of my favorite classes in the game. Very versatile. The class is typically played in two ways, CQC Execution, Ranged, and any and all hybrids in between.

I’ll start with my usual CQC build:

-Execution Shield, Faze, Menace, Nomad Armor, and either the Shotgun card or stun Boltok (Concussive Rounds). Depends on wether I am playing Horde or Escape.

Execution Shield and Faze always go together. Being immune and healing while executing is essential to staying alive, and as the OP said, if you can get just one execution in a crowd, by scaring everything around you, you can get to them all and start one of the most fun gameplay loop chains of back-to-back-to-back executions.

Menace obviously synergizes really well with the above, and can recharge your Ult by itself with just 4 executions at max. Absolutely fantastic for spamming the Fear Ult, which in Horde will be necessary nearly every time you run into Scions or DR-1s to get double damage on them. In Escape, and even Horde if you have teammates that will focus on the bigger enemies, then IMO Menace isn’t as necessary because Faze and Execution Shield will usually be more than enough to handle all the smaller enemies. Therefore you could have room to use a different card than Menace, but if you plan on taking on bigger enemies as CQC Nomad in Horde, I recommend it in order to have your Ult ready constantly. Which with this, never be afraid to use it.

Nomad Armor isn’t strictly necessary if you are careful and evasive enough, because although Nomad is technically rather squishy, it is also the tankiest CQC class in a sense due to how you are literally untouchable if everything is just too scared to attack you. However, especially combined with the stim from Execution Shield, Nomad Armor can make the difference between wether you go down in just a few hits, or be able to survive just one more hit or two while you run to get that first, very critical execution to start the Fear chain.

Lastly, for my CQC Horde build, I like to run the Gnasher card. This is for dealing with Scions, DR-1s, Pouncers, and other big enemies that can’t be executed. Without the card, a normal non-active Gnasher shot does roughly 3000 damage. But with the maxed card, an active shot does over 6000, a little more than double the normal damage. Then, when you scare an enemy with Fear, Nomad does double damage again! Allowing you to do essentially quadruple the normal damage of the Gnasher! You can then kill all those aforementioned big enemies in less than a single mag of Gnasher as long as you active reload and Fear them. Yes, even on late-game Master.

My CQC Execution build listed above for Nomad in Horde needs only a Retro Lancer and the above Card Gnasher. No real need for a locker, can live off the ammo boxes to replenish between waves. I really wish the class started with Flashbang grenades, as they are necessary to help open an opportunity to push on things sometimes, especially big enemies.

Particularly on high difficulties, the way I play CQC Nomad in Horde is to Retro Charge things that are stuck in fences,using Nomad Armor to take an extra hit or two on the way there, guarantee survival during the kill with Execution Shield, scare everything around me with Faze, and Ult on Scions, DR-1s, Pouncers, etc while blasting them with the Active Gnasher card, then use a combination of all that big target damage plus Menace to recharge the Ult almost instantly and then repeat the cycle all over again. The lane is all mine with this setup. Can easily hold one by myself usually, depending on map.

The things to watch out for when I do this is the Retro/Chainsaw forced reload bug, wonky Retro Charge hit detection (will sometimes just awkwardly run right past things somehow) and avoiding anything that will flinch me out of charging, such as flashbang grenades, and teammates using active Embars or shock grenades. Not to mention, the final 10 waves of Master Horde are pretty brutal with how fast you will go down if a mistake is made. The CQC build can skip the Critical damage and Precision damage perks, as I don’t normally use them with this build.

However, those perks will be necessary whenever I want to use the Ranged build or mix it in with a hybrid.

My usual Ranged Nomad build:

-Consecutive Shot, Acceleration, Markza card, Intimidation, Fearsome Aura.

Consecutive Shot and Acceleration alone will allow Nomad to 1-shot active headshot kill Elite Drones with a Longshot on late-wave Master Horde. Don’t even need any extra stacks(Consecutive gets a free starting one) if you get the damage perks upgraded by then.

The Markza card however is the main point of this build, doing significantly increased damage with actives on top of all the other damage buffs, and is better at stacking Consecutive stacks. All this then doubled on scared enemies. The gun is tough to use at long range due to recoil and lack of zoom, so requires practice and careful shot placement (I miss Judgment’s Markza scope).

Intimidation doesn’t proc as often as I would like due to the short radius it has, but is still fantastic for killing groups of enemies stuck in fences.

Fearsome Aura is actually an underrated card IMO. The radius for your Fear Ult becomes absolutely huge with this, allowing you to cross-map scare enemies to start headshotting them, or even just to take pressure off of your teammates in completely different lanes. I was able to sit in the towers on River and scare things on the other side of the bridge before they could even get to it! Synergizes well with the ranged build IMO, and can spam it constantly because with how much damage you’ll do with the Markza, you can completely recharge the Ult by just killing a single Scion and such on Master.

Hybrid builds I like to use:


Execution Shield, Faze, Concussive Rounds, Consecutive Shot, Acceleration.

In my opinion, Nomad is one of the best classes for Escape, and can simultaneously perform a variety of roles. Like melee classes, Nomad doesn’t necessarily need ammo, and can be self-sufficient. And it spawns with one of the best Boltoks, able to get good range and damage, as well as stun problematic Drones and DBs (especially Elites) to either keep headshotting them or start the Fear chain. Nomad can create openings to push like no other. With the way Fear works, it also doesn’t have to worry as much about anti-CQC modifiers such as freezing bullets and Ultra Stopping Power.

Defensive Ranged/CQC hybrid:

Markza card, Consecutive Shot, Acceleration, Execution Shield, Faze.

This fun build is for the Horde dailies with Ultra Power Drain and the long Ult recharge modifier, essentially no base and no Ults. Maintain similar power of the full ranged build with a Markza, but this time keeping a Chainsaw Lancer in your back pocket for emergencies to Fear things away with executions.

There is so many builds, all this isn’t even talking about some of the other cards.

Lifeline paired with Intimidation could theoretically heal you and keep you alive as you headshot Fear chain things. Haven’t actually tried this yet.

Armored Shot could also be used with the above and is great with classes such as Combat Medic to give you free stim. Also great with Execution Shield, coming off of a Faze scare and dealing double damage plus now bleed to the nearby scared enemies that can’t shoot off the stim.

I’m not particularly crazy about Terror, as the running away part can get annoying when trying to actually kill things as Nomad, but I can see how it would be good for a more support focused build.

To some it up, yes, Nomad is fun and awesome. It can be quite devastating in a very unique way. While yeah, the Assault category is maybe a weird place for it, the disruptive nature of Fear truly deserves how the description calls Nomad ‘the eye of the storm’.

Definitely a favorite of mine.


Ok Zrod :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: