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Back4 Blood: Best Builds for Each Character

Back4 Blood: Best Builds for Each Character

While Back 4 Blood may seem like a carbon copy of Left 4 Dead, there are quite a few differences between the games. One of the chief ways Back 4 Blood distinguishes itself is by allowing players to customize their cleaner’s loadout and buffs via a deck of cards. To help you excel no matter who you choose to play as, here are some of the best builds for each character in Back 4 Blood.

How the Card System Works in Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood Best builds

You’ll want to tailor decks to both characters and your playstyle.

The card system is integral to how you build your character. Though you will start with some basic cards, you will quickly find yourself earning new ones, and specializing. Each card typically has an upside and as they increase in power, a downside that applies to the player or squad when activated. You can have a maximum of 15 cards in your deck at any given time. When you start a campaign, the first card in your deck is automatically played. After that, you’ll be drawing from this deck at the start of each new round(including a wipe or failure, so they give you a little bonus help when you need it). Sometimes you may draw extras, or even get more depending on the event. The Finale of the game for instance will give you your entire deck. Cards you find during the level do not count towards or against your 15 draw.

When making your selection, the Director — an AI system that determines the number of zombies, among other things — will also pick its own card to use against you. In this way, no two runs of Back 4 Blood are entirely similar.

You’ll want to have a good combination of cards for both your cleaner’s strengths, your own personal playstyle, and the good of your entire squad. At the same time, be willing to adapt and pick cards that can counter the ones played by the Director. There are over 60 cards to choose from, and it may seem daunting at first. Here are some great seed cards to aim for each cleaner to help you build a specialized deck and go. Remember, you earn and unlock these cards randomly via the supply system and achievements, so don’t fret if you don’t see them immediately. Mix and Match to get similar results with similar cards.

Best Doc Build: Dedicated Medic

Doc, as her name suggests, is best played as a dedicated medic. Here are four cards to maximize her healing potential:

    • Inspiring Sacrifice: Teammates heal for 25 health over 20 seconds when you or another cleaner become incapacitated
    • Charitable Soul: Earn an extra 50% of healing for yourself when healing another player.
    • Smelling Salts: +100% revive speed
    • Combat Medic: +50% Use speed. Teammates also get an additional 20% health when you revive them

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Best Evangelo Build: All About Speed

Evangelo is fast, but let’s make him a little faster:

  • Mandatory PT: +15% team stamina
  • Pep In Your Step: Precision kills net you +10% movement speed for 5 seconds
  • Superior Cardio: +20% stamina and sprint efficiency, as well as +5 Health
  • Run And Gun: Allows you to shoot while sprinting

Best Hoffman Build: Make Use of Your Extra Ammo

Hoffman comes with extra ammo right off the bat, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be using every last bullet available:

  • Shredder: target takes 1% additional damage for 3 seconds for every bullet that hits them
  • Two is One and One is None: Allows you to equip a primary weapon in your secondary weapon slot at the cost of -25% swapping speed
  • Ammo Scavenger:  More ammo spawns and better yet, you can sense it
  • Power Reload: Reloading a gun within 0.75 seconds of reaching low ammo increases its magazine size by 30% until you reload again
Back 4 Blood best builds for characters

Hoffman churns out and through ammo like no-one else. The right deck will make good use of that ammo.

Best Holly Build: Tank It Up

Holly is one of the only other characters who starts with a melee weapon and whose skills take advantage of them. Because of this, she can act as a pseudo tank for teams with the right combination of cards:

  • Combat Knife: Your bash is now a combat knife that counts as a melee weapon
  • Battle Lust: Melee kills grant 2 health
  • Berserker: Gain 10% Melee Damage, 10% Melee Speed, and 5% Move Speed for each Melee kill in the last 4 seconds
  • Vanguard: Melee kills give you and nearby teammate an additional 1 health

Best Jim Build: Stay Back and Don’t Get Hit

Jim shouldn’t be jumping into the fray of things, but can instead deal a lot of damage from a distance:

  • Patient Hunter: Damage is increased by 10% for each second you spend aimed down sights, up to 3 times
  • Evasive Action: Gain +20% movement speed for 3 seconds after taking a 10 damage hit
  • Front Sight Focus:  +20% Accuracy
  • Broadside: Getting a precision kill has a 20% chance of causing the target to explode and damage other enemies

Best Karlee Build: Great Squad Scout

Karlee has both speed and firepower, and these cards put both to use:

  • Superior Cardio: +20% stamina and sprint efficiency, as well as + 5 Health
  • Run And Gun: Allows you to shoot while sprinting
  • Hellfire: . +5% Move speed when not shooting
  • Evasive Action: Gain +20% movement speed for 3 seconds after taking a 10 damage hit
Best Builds for characters Back 4 Blood

Karlee is the ultimate scout, capable of spotting dangerous Ridden long before the rest of the squad.

Best Mom Build: Support the Squad

Mom can do both damage and healing, so here are some cards to maximize her support potential: 

  • Combat Medic: +50% Use speed. Teammates also get an additional 20% health when you revive them
  • Avenge The Fallen: When anyone becomes incapacitated, every other teammate gains +30% damage, unlimited ammo for 10 seconds, and +20% reload speed
  • Offensive Scavenger:  You can sense nearby Offensive Accessories. More Offensive Accessories spawn.
  • Inspiring Sacrifice: When you or a teammate becomes incapacitated, all teammates heal for 25 health over 20 seconds.

Best Walker Build: Maximizing DPS

Walker is the soldier of the group, and can dish out some serious damage against the Ridden. Here are cards that reflect that:

  • Large Calibur Rounds: +7.5% Bullet Damage +100% Bullet Penetration -20% Stamina Efficiency
  • Ridden Slayer:  +20% Damage to weak spots
  • Hi Vis Sights: +30% Aim down sights speed
  • Front Sight Focus: +20% Accuracy

Just the Beginning

Your cleaners are well on their way with these builds. Of course, you’ll still need to throw in more cards to make up a full deck, so feel free to experiment with other options. However, these cards should be at the top of your deck when playing, as they will definitely aid you no matter what levels you are playing on. Mix and Match as you unlock more cards, and tweak to your playstyle. Evangelo makes a great melee build, Karlee makes speedy support to run in and out for heals. You can save up to eight unique decks(just the number of cleaners eh). So find what works for you and your team. Those Ridden won’t kill themselves, and we got a world to take back!


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Nicolas Perez is a journalist who has played way too much Civilization 5. He’s rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.