Back 4 Blood: Ultimate Sniper Deck

Headshot. Headshot. Headshot.

Back 4 Blood’s team-building dynamics make it a great game to explore regardless of the role you choose to play. There’s always a need for a tank, a healer, a bomber, and last but not least, a sniper. Building the ultimate sniper deck in Back 4 Blood depends on a few factors, such as difficulty level, console or PC, and whether you’re playing online or with bots. In the end, being the best sniper you can be all boils down to one thing and one thing only.

Damage. All the damage.

Bullet damage, sniper rifle damage, weakspot damage, stacking damage–all the damage!

While I could set you would-be deadshots off into the ridden apocalypse with just that knowledge alone to help you be a better sniper, allow me to walk you through a few more in-depth steps to help your kill count climb ever higher.

Back 4 Blood - Bring on the Sniper Damage

Playing with people vs. playing with bots.

When it comes to tweaking the ultimate sniper deck, a big influence is whether you’ll be online or offline.

If you’re playing online with other people, you can each fulfill your own role and lean into synergy should a problem arise. This allows you to focus solely on sniping—nothing else. You don’t have to worry about tool kits since your team already has a good scout. And there’s no need to keep an eye on your health because your team healer is doing that for you.

Playing online brings communication and advanced teamwork into the picture, which frees you up to enter the flow of sniping.

If you’re playing offline with bots, you have a bit more work cut out for you. Bots will occasionally heal you–they even seem to spawn their own healing items. But they aren’t a dedicated healer type. Likewise, they will sometimes carry grenades or pipe bombs that they’ll throw when the worms hit the fan, but not on command.

They aren’t reliable. Which means you’ll have to rely more on yourself. 

You may have to sacrifice some damage cards for speed or healing cards to fill in your blind spots as a sniper.

To that end, we suggest the EMT Bag and Durable cards. They’ll help boost your health and trauma resistance.

And if you’re gunning through Nightmare, you may want a few more healing cards. You know, because Nightmare damage is unfair damage.

Bring the best character for the job.

Alright, this is really simple. Do you want to play the sniper role? Then play as either Jim or Walker. Preferably Jim Hossler. And preferably in that awesome Total Apocalypse skin.

Back 4 Blood - Jim is the Preferred Sniper

Pretty easy, right?

Because of Jim’s character card, the team gains 10% weakspot damage, and Jim himself gains 25% aim down sight speed. That team weakspot damage is different than regular weakspot damage, which means it multiplies when it stacks instead of adding.

That innate ability, coupled with a healthy amount of damage cards, makes Jim the obvious choice for a complete sniper build. Is he slow? Sure, so bring the Cross Trainers card to give him some speed. Is he fragile? Of course, so bring Money Grubbers and use all the extra copper you get to buy more health.

A good second-choice character to use is Walker because of his innate skills; while requiring a bit more work than Jim, they give a nice boost to individual and team damage. You could certainly do a lot worse than either of these characters.

Bring the best weapon for the job.

There are three different sniper rifles in Back 4 Blood, plus one assault rifle that could easily pass for a sniper. You need only remember that the Phoenix 350L is by far the worst of those choices.

Back 4 Blood - Select the Best Sniper Weapon

Pick the M1A or the BarretM95 any day over the Phoenix. Heck, pick the Ranch Rifle instead. The Phoenix will get you killed; its damage output isn’t high enough for most mutations, and its bolt action reload is too cumbersome to justify.

Snipers already have a hard time dealing with multiple enemies, aka hordes. When the hordes come, snipers are not good at clearing away the waves of undead enemies. The slow bolt action and low damage of the Phoenix merely exacerbate that.

The Barret may have a bolt action reload as well, but the high damage and maneuverability make the cost negligible. The M1A and the Ranch Rifle are essentially the same guns, and the Ranch Rifle is just classified as an assault rifle instead of a sniper. They both have a clip of at least eight rounds, do severe damage, and have great range.

The best tool for the job is not the Phoenix.

Machine pistols are the way to go when it comes to your sidearm. Find yourself a Glock Auto, Barreta Auto, or Tech 9.

Shoot this, not that

Back 4 Blood - Shoot this, not that!

Here’s how the majority of your gameplay will look:

  1. Sniper for mutations and bosses.
  2. Sidearm for everything else.
  3. And… go.

The above is why choosing an automatic sidearm is essential; your sidearm will be your “clearing” weapon. When the hordes come a’running, your sidearm is the best bet for clearing them out. Your sniper will only slow you down, and you’ll be surrounded, getting your teeth stomped out before you know it.

However, the sniper is great for those pesky mutations, ferocious, monstrous, or any other variation. Since you have weakspot damage stacked and mutations have those lovely, red, glowing spots on their bodies to aim at, your sniper can one-shot mutations on occasion. Same with bosses, who likewise have that pulsing mass of flesh on their body that screams, “shoot me!”

Don’t try to get fancy with this strategy.

Sure, use the sniper to clear out streets and alleyways; you can use it to help you thin out a building or two. But it should only be used at a distance and primarily when ridden aren’t charging at you. Once you’ve gotten their attention and they’re rapidly closing the gap between you two, switch to your sidearm and finish the job.

So. Many. Cards.

Yeah, there’re a lot of options when it comes to filling out an ultimate sniper deck. And as we mentioned before, while damage is your primary focus, the other cards in your deck depend on your circumstances. As we wrote previously, a key to a good deck is adaptability, which means bringing a few different cards on your missions.

We always bring at least one currency card with us. Copper Scavenger is a great choice as it can highlight piles of copper you’d otherwise miss. It also just straight adds more copper to the map. Always helpful. This allows us to purchase things we’d otherwise need a card for. Like extra health accessories and grenades, or more health and stamina.

Back 4 Blood - So many cards to select from.

Patient Hunter and Knowledge Is Power are two cards that absolutely must be in your deck as a sniper. They just give too much damage. Patient Hunter can net a 30% increase in damage and Knowledge Is Power throws on another 10% plus lets you see how much damage you’re doing with each shot.

We like to have Weapon Scavenger in our deck to help us find that automatic sidearm which sometimes doesn’t like to spawn. Not to mention it might just drop that purple M1A with legendary attachments we always dream of.

Silver Bullets, Large Calibur Rounds, Stock Pouch, and Combat Training should all be in your deck, as well. Sometimes we have Cold Brew Coffee and Controlled Movement. Other times we swap those out for extra health and trauma resistance, like when we’re on Nightmare or higher.

Ridden Slayer and Confident Killer are also must-have cards for your deck. Ridden Slayer will buff your weakspot damage by 20%, and Confident Killer will increase your damage output by 1% for every mutation you kill, maxing out at 15%.

Some honorable mentions are Reckless Strategy and Tunnel Vision. Both give great bonuses to your weakspot damage. But both cards also come with a debuff to your damage resistance. While in lower levels that loss of damage resistance wouldn’t hurt you much, in Nightmare or higher that’s too high a cost. Our goal is to increase strengths as much as possible without compromising our already established weaknesses.

For snipers, that’s fragility and movement speed. Snipers can spot enemies at great distances, but if they miss too much and let those enemies get close, they’re dead. A good team that knows their roles can make up for not just a sniper’s weaknesses, but all others as well.

Final thoughts on building the ultimate sniper deck

Being a sniper in Back 4 Blood is a lot of fun. Picking enemies off from a distance and holding down the line is thrilling. But it’s a serious role that, if not appropriately fulfilled, will see your team of survivors unprepared for the threats it will face. 

Of course, it should go without saying that even with the ultimate sniper deck the game can still come up short against a horrible draw of corruption cards. Be adaptable, be accurate, have a backup build and you may just survive the challenge.

Lastly, be sure to follow Back 4 Blood’s official Twitter, as new cards are still being introduced to the game.

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About Victor

Writer. Gamer. Outdoorsman. Victor has written across multiple mediums, with some of his work appearing in anthologies, magazines, and websites like Nerdist.com, SFFWorld.com, and CBR.com. When not writing, he is usually gaining inspiration for writing from the library of video games he owns. If he's not indoors, Victor is outdoors climbing mountains, hiking forests, or otherwise conquering nature.

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