Barring the occasional hunt mission or fetch quest, the general formula of Back 4 Blood is more or less the same as Left 4 Dead: you start here, you want to be there, shoot everything in between. In order to mix things up a little bit, Back 4 Blood introduces the card system to add a pinch of roguelite zing to the process.
Prior to starting a campaign in Back 4 Blood, you can build a deck of cards you’ve obtained through Supply Lines, pickups, and other such sources. At the start of the campaign, you draw a bunch of cards to set your campaign parameters, and after every level you draw another to shift things a bit further. It’s a nifty way to tilt the odds a bit more in your favor (or against you, if you’re into that). However, there are quite a few cards in this game, some of which are absolute gems and others you should avoid like the plague, pun unintended. Here are some of the best cards in Back 4 Blood.
Best Cards in Back 4 Blood
Cards are divided into four broad categories:
- Reflex: Focused on stamina capacity and regeneration, exploiting weak points, and general movement and attacking speed.
- Discipline: Focused on how well you handle a gun, including bullet damage and ammo capacity, as well as the efficiency of your heals.
- Brawn: Focused on melee damage, health, damage resistance, and general self-sufficiency.
- Fortune: Focused on resource management, including how much Copper you earn and how frequently items spawn, as well as other assorted perks.
The cards you put in your deck should reflect both the character you’re using and your preferred playstyle. For example, if you have a preference for shotguns, and I know I do, you’ll want cards that increase how much shotgun ammo you carry, how much damage shotguns do, and so on.
With all of this in mind, here’s a list of cards that have a solid home in just about any deck build.
(Reflex): Hold E to free yourself from Grabs. +50% Breakout cooldown reduction.
The thesis statement of Back 4 Blood is that you can’t handle everything on your own, which is why when you’re grabbed by a Ridden, you need a teammate to bust you out. With Breakout, you gain a little more autonomy, giving you the ability to escape on your own should you get separated from the group (or they leave you behind like jerks).
(Discipline): Healing a teammate also heals you for 100% of the amount healed.
When everyone’s on their last legs and there’s only a couple of medkits between you, you have to decide between patching yourself up or fixing your teammate in the interest of the group. With Charitable Soul, that’s no longer an issue. You can heal up your teammate with the medkit and still reap the benefits yourself. It’s a win-win!
Run and Gun
(Fortune): You can shoot while sprinting.
Typically, you can’t shoot your gun and sprint at the same time, which can leave you vulnerable whenever you need to make a quick escape. With Run and Gun, you can run at full tilt while still mowing down any Ridden in front of you, which makes it much easier to escape from hairy situations.
(Reflex): Each bullet hit causes the target to take 1% increased damage for 3 seconds.
This card is super helpful for dealing with heartier Mutant Ridden like the Tallboys. Normally, you’d have to pump a few full magazines into them to put them down, but the escalating damage from Shredder cuts that down a healthy percentage, saving you some ammo in the process.
(Brawn): When you or your team kills a Mutation, gain 2% damage (up to 100%) until the end of the level.
Compared to Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood tends to throw the special Ridden at you much more frequently. While this can be a bit of a headache on its own, Confident Killer turns it into a boon. Every Mutant your team puts down will make the rest of the level that much easier, which is especially nice on levels that end with defense sections or boss fights.
Two is One and One is None
(Brawn): You can equip a Primary weapon in your Secondary slot. -25% Swap speed.
While some of the secondary weapons like the sawed-off shotgun or Desert Eagle are nothing to sneeze at, you can’t deny having two LMGs in your pants makes killing stuff a much easier prospect. Though, it might be wiser to have two different types of Primaries, just so you don’t chew through all of your ammo.
Marked for Death
(Discipline): Mutations you ping are highlighted and your team does 10% increased damage to highlighted enemies.
Here’s a great card for those that like to coordinate with their teams. If everyone is focusing on one Mutant, you can ping them with the Q key to increase the damage they take. Combine this with Confident Killer or Shredder, and you’ll be mowing through Mutants like fresh grass.
(Fortune): +2 extra lives, lose 50 Copper at the start of each level.
While you shouldn’t make a habit of being knocked down if you can help it, it’s comforting to know you can be knocked down two more times before being out for good. The prospect of losing Copper is a bit unappealing, but you’ll more than likely earn enough to cover the fee just by scavenging Copper piles in the levels.
(Reflex): +40% Stamina, +10 Health
This one is pretty open and shut: perform strenuous stuff more frequently, take a little less damage. It also has the side benefit of eliminating the need to upgrade your stamina from the store, since a 40% boost is already plenty for the whole run.