Shrapnel (Shrapnel shots, Sidewinder, Death Shrapnel, Frag Bullets)

Generating Shrapnel

  • Frag Bullets generate 2 shrapnel pieces when your bullets hit the wall (doesn’t matter if it’s direct or after piercing enemies, but only on the first hit on a wall - i.e. if you have bouncy walls then you don’t get frag bullets each time)
  • Shrapnel Shots generate 2 shrapnel pieces when your bullets hit an enemy (doesn’t matter if it’s direct or after piercing/chaining or even after bouncing)
  • Death Shrapnel generates 14 shrapnel pieces when an enemy dies (doesn’t matter how it dies) that spread in a circle of 11 (the 3 shots in the 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock direction have 2 pieces each)
  • SideWinder generates 2 shrapnel that goes with your forward shots (including double/triple barrel), while More Sidewinders generates 4, and Endless Sidewinders 10

Shrapnel Damage

  • Shrapnel damage (like Prospero’s Magic Bullet is a percentage of your regular shot (see Damage per Shot with some exceptions:
    • For most Heroes, Passive Skills don’t apply - e.g. Blazia’s shrapnel does the same damage regardless of the current health of the enemy; Frostina’s shrapnel doesn’t snowball; Dr. Toxic’s shrapnel doesn’t poison; Arctor’s shrapnel doesn’t Freeze
    • However, chance based Passive Skills do apply - Jackbot’s Jackpot, Fursus’ Iceplosion and Mortis’ Plague Cloud can proc off Shrapnel.
    • Berserk and Focus Shots don’t apply
    • I haven’t tested Power Tripper; but since it works for Magic Bullet it might work here too
    • No Critical Chance
    • Double/Triple barrel penalties don’t apply (probably because it’s simpler to not have separate shrapnel calculations based on whether it was the forward shot/s or spread shots that generated the shrapnel)
  • Shrapnel Shots and Frag Bullets will deal 34% of the damage of a regular hit
  • Death Shrapnel similarly deals 25% of the damage of a regular hit
  • SideWinder deals 20% damage of a regular hit each (so presuming both hit that’s a handy +40% bonus; with More SideWinder you’re looking at +80% and Endless Sidewinders gives +200%), but note that all of these only apply to your forward shots (so if you have Spreads and Homing your DPS gain won’t be as impressive as if you only had forward shots) and only for the first hit (unless you have Piercing Shrapnel)
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of enemy generated the shrapnel (i.e. shrapnel shots from a Ground Melee is the same as one from a Flying Ranged), only what kind of enemy is hit by it

Piercing Shrapnel

This is what makes Shrapnel really useful - you must have Shrapnel Shots for this to appear in the perk roll; this gives

  • ~86% damage after piercing (more piercing doesn’t degrade)
  • ~83% damage after bouncing (more bouncing doesn’t degrade)
  • ~72% damage if it has pierced and bounced (and doesn’t degrade further)

Strategy tips

  • Shrapnel Shots are a good choice early in the game, because they enable Piercing Shrapnel
  • The +40% damage from Sidewinder (or +80% from More Sidewinder) is pretty much guaranteed - if your main shot hits, it’s rare for the Sidewinders to miss; for all other shrapnel the hit rate varies a lot.
  • Unless you’ve already got Piercing Shrapnel, only SideWinder is useful for bosses (unless they spawn, but even then it’s marginal)
  • Frag Bullets is only useful if you are spraying a lot of bullets (i.e. back/vertical/spread shots) and is completely ineffective if you have Ghost shots
  • At harder levels (high floors on endless, tower tournament/castle) Death Shrapnel is rather useless (even after many hits to kill an enemy you only get death shrapnel once, and it isn’t more powerful for having needed more hits) and is likely only worth it if you’ve already got Piercing Shrapnel and if the other options are not so good
  • Shrapnel is less useful for the Plasma Cannon, Devastator, Gemini Laser and Nuclear Lasso (because the calculations are based on the shot damage and don’t include the damage of the Blast, Trail, Laser Link or Harpoon). Also note that only the Gemini’s shots generate shrapnel - the laser link doesn’t.

Revision History
Feb 7, 2023: Updated to include that Shrapnel can proc some hero passive skills

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