I've finally got around to posting my first Fallout 4 build! I love the Power Armour in this game, and after experimenting with lots of different Iron Man ideas, I've finally decided on the one I liked. The Supersoldier combines several underrated perks for some awesome synergy and insane melee damage output and defence, all while being at less than 25% health!
For thousands of years military minds have aimed to create the perfect soldier...
The Supersoldier is the answer. A being bred for war, capable of razing entire armies, the Supersoldier is a weapon of mass destruction in human form. Pumped up on chemicals and living for nothing but bloodshed, the Supersoldier is supposedly immortal...
This build stemmed from wanting to make two of the most written-off perks in the game viable. Ricochet is often dismissed for having too low a chance to proc, but what many forget is that the lower your health is, the greater the chance. Nerd Rage is similarly dismissed for having too low a threshold, or just generally not being worth it.
I wanted to prove these nay-sayers wrong, so I set about creating a build that revolves around Nerd Rage in particular. The obvious offset to Nerd Rage's low activation threshold is to boost up defence as much as possible. Power Armour and other defensive perks cover for this. Since Nerd Rage requires you to be at 20% health, we can also throw in a bunch of perks and buffs that require low health, Ricochet included. Another offset to Nerd Rage's 20% health requirement is to be able to put out as much damage as possible.
The main idea here is to create a build than can spend its entire time at low health, with massive damage and defence to override this handicap. You take enough RADS so that you have between 20 and 25% HP, so that Nerd Rage will activate every time you're hit. So I created the Supersoldier; an unstoppable tank capable of putting out massive damage with melee weapons and tanking like a pro, all at 25% health or less!
We'll need a lot of Strength to be able to put out some decent damage. Grab the bobblehead as soon as you can for Rooted, and pick up ranks of Big Leagues and Armorer whenever you can.
Not worth putting anything in here, the only defensive perk is Refractor and that's useless to the Supersoldier.
High Endurance early on is necessary for HP. Grab the bobblehead for Ghoulish, which gives you constant HP regen while you've got RADS, and pick up Chem Resistant whenever you can. The Chems help offset the lack of health and can add a ton of damage.
The Supersoldier isn't much of a talker - just grab the bobblehead and put a point in here for Lone Wanderer whenever you can.
Extra experience gain is always nice, especially considering this is a rather big build (level 60). Put the You're Special! book here for 9, and grabbed the bobblehead for 10. Key perks are Science!, Chemist, Nuclear Physicist, and of course Nerd Rage.
Nothing really for us here.
I started with 1 Luck, but boosted it up to 9 and grabbed the bobblehead for Ricochet. Other key perks are all the crit related ones - Better Criticals, Critical Banker, Grim Reaper's Sprint, and Four Leaf Clover.
For final stats, we're looking at 9 Strength, 2 Perception, 10 Endurance, 3 Charisma, 10 Intelligence, 2 Agility, and 10 Luck. This includes bobbleheads, You're Special! and any other level ups you make to stats.
Level 60 Perks
I strayed away from my Skyrim instincts and went with a level 60 perkspread instead. Shoot for the damage and defence perks first, and gradually branch out into Luck. I don't actually advise going for Nerd Rage immediately - get Nuclear Physicist and Armorer perks first, to maintain a full suit of Power Armour. Big Leagues is also worth grabbing whenever you can - more damage is always good.
Fusion cores are your first concern - the cave under Red Rocket, Satellite Station Olivia and Robotics Disposal Ground are all early game places where you can find them. The Repair bobblehead at Corvega is definitely worth picking up too. By level 10 you're usually swimming in Fusion Cores, so I'd recommend heading down to the Atom Cats Garage to steal yourself a nearly full set of T-60 in the back of their yard.
Hunt down all the necessary bobbleheads once you've got that suit of T-60 upgraded. I'd also advise finding as many issues of Grognak The Barbarian as you can - extra critical damage is never a bad thing! I'd also recommend picking up Kremvh's Tooth and Pickman Blade - both are incredibly powerful melee weapons, which offer Bleed (Kremvh's Tooth also comes with Poison, but that's a fairly worthless effect). Both of their locations aren't particularly difficult, especially with Power Armour. Some other great weapons are the Grognak's Axe, and the Rockville Slugger - bring Cait to Hubris Comics to pick the lock, and just save up for the Rockville Slugger, it's not too expensive. From this point on you'll want to be in Nerd Rage range permanently. This means taking enough RADS to get your health below 25%, and pick up Ghoulish for the bonus HP regen. Other perks like Lone Wanderer and Rooted can help offset the lack of defence, and you've also got your power armour which will provide the majority of your defence. There's also some amazing synergy between Rooted and VATS melee - every hit in VATS melee is done while standing still, so you're getting 50% more damage while taking practically no damage yourself.
The moment you hit level 28, head to 35 Court. This place has a guaranteed spawn of a full suit of X-01 from level 28 onwards. Well worth a visit, and avoid it beforehand so you don't mess up the spawn.
Chemist is well worth picking up - it's incredibly powerful, and offers a wide variety of helpful buffs. Psycho, Buffout and Jet are all good picks at early levels, with Overdrive and Jet Fuel being worth their weight in gold for the bonuses they give you. Mass produce Jet - it uses basic ingredients which can be bought in bulk, and massively helps survivability.
Now that you've got all your Chems, you'll want to pick up the Chem Resistant perk. Throw the Blood Cleanser on your Power Armour torso and along with the first rank of Chem Resistant, you'll end up with something like 75% resistance to addiction, and Addictol/Refreshing Beverage can be used to fill in the gaps. Remove that Blood Cleanser once you've got both ranks, and are fully immune.
Now that you've got the basics covered, and enter Nerd Rage on a hit or two, go for the Luck perks. All those crit perks are well worth it - Better Criticals is great with Overdrive, Four Leaf Clover and Critical Banker go excellently together for amassing loads of criticals for taking out tough opponents, and Grim Reaper's Sprint basically means you can stay in VATS all the time, which is awesome for survivability. Ricochet also helps with both defence and offence - the third rank even gives you a chance to gain a Critical when you ricochet a bullet!
The Supersoldier maintains at the maximum 25% health all the time. This is easily attained by having 75% RADS or more, to ensure that on a single hit you'll enter Nerd Rage. Now, we've just got to compensate for that lack of Health. 9 Endurance gives us over 400 HP, so you've got nearly 100 HP. 2 ranks of Rooted gives you an extra 50 damage resistance, as well as 50% extra melee damage. Lone Wanderer gives a 30% damage resistance increase, as well as 25% extra damage. Ghoulish and Nerd Rage rank three ensure that you're always regenerating health, so that by the time Nerd Rage's slow time has finished you're back at 25% HP. Throw in the Emergency Protocols on your Power Armour torso and you're looking at near immunity to damage - 65% damage reduction with Emergency Protocols and Lone Wanderer, alone, not to mention your monumental defences with all the perks, companion buffs and Power Armour.
Now for the offensive; Rooted and Lone Wanderer give you an extra 50% and 30% damage respectively. Big Leagues gives you double damage with all melee weapons. Nerd Rage is an extra 40% damage as well. Now enter the Chems. You've got a massive variety in chems for dealing extra damage - Psycho and all variants of it for additional damage, Overdrive for better damage and 25% chance to crit, and Fury for extra melee damage and damage resistance at the cost of Perception. You've also got Jet for all purpose combat, Jet Fuel for extra AP and regen, and Ultra Jet for when you want to go nuts in VATS. Buffout is also worth buying (since you can't craft it) for the boost to Endurance, Strength, and max HP.
I'd also recommend picking up a load of the Companion affinity perks. Cait's Trigger Rush (bonus AP regen below 25% health), Hancock's Isodoped (20% faster crits with over 250 RADS), Preston's United We Stand (20% extra damage and damage resistance when outnumbered) and Strong's Berserk (20% extra melee damage below 25% health). All of these offer amazing synergy with the Supersoldier's set up - you can also throw in Curie's Combat Medic perk for a heal when below 10% HP.
A quick note on maxing companions. Cait and Hancock are both easy – just get naked, fast travel, and repeat, and take chems while you’re at it. Preston’s also fairly simple – just attach and remove a mod on a gun repeatedly. Strong can be quite tough; the only thing he loves that can be repeated is killing settlers, and the only thing he likes that can be repeated is eating corpses, and we don’t have that perk. He also dislikes it whenever you get into Power Armour. The best way I found for maxing Strong was sending him somewhere other than my main settlement, then going to that settlement and murdering all the settlers. Set up a recruitment beacon so you’ve got a constant supply. It can be a bit of a grind, but it’s worth it in the end, and doesn’t take too long. Alternatively, if you’re against murdering innocent settlers, just do as many of the Minutemen radiant quests as possible – Strong also likes it when you help people (I’ll never understand that mutant).
In combat, the main issue is closing in on your opponents. Since you'll want to be standing still to hit them (for Rooted's bonus) you'll need to close that gap fast. Jet can help with this - 30 seconds of it with all ranks of Chemist allows you to rush your foes and even get some free hits in. Jet Fuel is worth having active constantly for the AP bonus and regen. Here's where the Overdrived Servos on the legs can help. Once you've closed the gap just stand still and tank - you've got insane damage resistance and damage output, so taking out anything in melee range isn't a problem.
Just thought I'd add a quick section on equipment and the like - it's been covered in bits and pieces, but all in one section is preferred.
You've got a number of options here... The Rockville Slugger is a great weapon which can be bought very early on, and allows for getting a ton of hits in VATS with its 40% less AP cost. What's also interesting is that when wielded in third person in power armour it seems to swing at medium swing rate, not slow. Grognak's Axe is another fine choice - it does Bleed and uses far less AP in VATS than you might expect. Pickman Blade is a weapon I picked up for a ton of VATS hits. Kremvh's Tooth ended up being my weapon of choice - it deals monstrous damage, and comes with both Bleed and Poison. I also ended up carrying a ranged weapon for occasional use against turrets that were out of melee reach - any form of rifle will do.
Of course, you're going to want a full suit of Power Armour, and that suit will want to be X-01. I like to take a trip down to the Atom Cats Garage as soon as I can for a set of T-60 (you'll need to steal it off of a frame) minus the helmet to carry me over to the X-01 suit found in 35 Court at level 28. For your mods, I'd recommend a Targeting HUD for the helmet, Emergency Protocols for the chest, nothing on the arms, and either Overdrived Servos (faster running at the cost of more AP) or Optimised Servos (sprinting costs less AP) on the legs. I also like either the Explosive Shielding or Military Paint, for the extra protection or damage respectively. For those rare moments when you'll be stepping outside power armour, throw on Reginald's Suit (reward for rescuing Rex Goodman), Black Rim Glasses and a Newsboy Cap (found on the brother who is shot by DC guards on your second visit to Diamond City). This set-up will result in an extra 5 Charisma, bringing you up to 8 in total - just throw in some Grape Mentats whenever you feel like bargaining.
Ah, the fun part. Honestly, I find every chem useful, but my usual set up is:
That's 24 minutes (with all ranks of Chemist) of 100% additional damage, 25% chance to crit on every hit (and those crits dealing 250% damage), as well as extra strength (more damage) endurance (more health), +65 max HP, +35 max AP and increased AP regen. For when I'm in combat with a bunch of enemies I also like to through in an Ultra Jet to just VATS them all, and I also use Jet liberally - there's rarely a situation where Jet is useless.
A quick note on buying/versus crafting chems; I did a bit of both in my playthrough. Jet is something you definitely want to craft - the ingredients are easy to come across or buy in bulk. Similarly, Jet Fuel is also easy to craft, just remember to hang onto that flamer fuel. The rest of the chems I crafted when I could, and also bought in shops. It's easy to offload all of your ammo (since you won't be using guns) in exchange for a mountain of chems from Solomon and Doctor Sun.
I'd like to thank Mason for his presentation style which I blatantly ripped off.
Thanks for reading - I hope all of the synergies here make you want to take the Supersoldier out for a spin, and if you do, please let me know how it goes! I'd love to get some feedback on how other people view it. At the very least, try out a Nerd Rage berserker playstyle - it's a helluva lot of fun and brings some exhilarating gameplay!
Very interesting take and synergy with the low health and perks. I'm about to start my first Power Armor play through, so this brings in some interesting tactics.
This has to be my favorite of your builds.
No prob. I'm currently running a melee and guns PA build, hope to get it posted soon.
Awesome build Raid, I haven't messed around too much with Melee yet, but this has me sorely tempted to give it a shot. I think my favourite part of the build is the reliance on low Health, that just isn't something I would have considered and you've really pulled it off in an awesome way.
An easy +1 from me Raid, and I hope to see more builds from you soon.
Cheers DB! Yeah, the reliance on low health is really cool, and the bonuses all really add up, it's great fun.
Nice work Raidriar, and a 'like; from me
I added the (FO4) bit ot the end of your topic title, as this has become the 'norm' in this group