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Battle Brothers The Can Opener Build

A build that specializes in taking down a lot of the singular strong foes throughout the game, aswell as obtaining armor.

Battle Brothers The Can Opener Build

I do NOT go over bosses and legendary locations in this guide. Build efficacy there is varied.
At this point of the game’s existence, it’s nearly impossible to develop truly new and unique ideas. So, if you are an experienced player, you might not learn anything new from this guide. It is merely a tweaked version of another well known build, intended to be played a little like a downgraded enemy Assassin.


Battle Brothers The Can Opener Build
Battle Brothers The Can Opener Build


Similar to what is shown on the screenshot:

  • At least 80 HP with Colossus
  • At least 100 stam, preferably more – this matters for Puncturing
  • At least 45 Resolve before Arena Veteran trait for proper Fearsome application. More = better
  • Need to cross the ~135 Ini threshold to reliably outspeed all non-Adrenaline human opponents (except for archers and arbalesters) even as the fight drags on and stam is accumulated
  • At least 85 melee accuracy – always leveled
  • Melee defense – as much as possible, but rolls of 1 are best redirected to a good roll in some other stat. Dodge will compensate.
  • Craft a Hyena Fur mantle.
  • Obtain a Qatal. Though expensive, hiring an Assassin with one can be a good idea – in one package, you may get the dagger, a useful grenade, the best non-named Nimble body armor (Assassin’s robes), and potentially a good recruit – for this build or another.

The build is relatively demanding, but not insanely so. I think in the Caravan origin its possible to get a starting bro with good enough stats for this build – either that, or i hired a very cheap, well-rolled bro like a Ratcatcher or a Brawler who fit the requirements.

Oathtakers are the best fit for this role, but for early game – Brawlers, Butchers, Graverobbers, worse (lacking in MAtk) – Fishermen, Ratcatchers, Gamblers. Besides that, generic cheap backgrounds like Farmhands can occasionally roll well enough. Just don’t have less than ~85 accuracy.

If lacking in key stats, consider patching with Gifted instead of Adaptation or Pathfinder, or even just run Gifted regardless if you’re that kinda guy.

Using the Tryout option, look for nice traits – the build uses many stats, so you are pretty likely to find some redeeming qualities, like Strong or Quick, that’ll let you redirect levelup rolls elsewhere. Huge is a sidegrade – i personally like it.

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Well known meta for early game is to find the least forested, least mountainous congregation of hamlets in the center of the map or slightly more southern, and fight human enemies there. As much as i like Pathfinder, in this scenario it does way less for you than other perks. Therefore, leave it for last when leveling.

Strengths and weaknesses

What it’s good at:

  • This build WINS arena fights, and it wants to go to the arena for the Veteran trait to empower Fearsome. I don’t yet know about tournaments, i imagine depleting 3 throwing nets can be an issue.
  • Against most champions
  • Human enemies except barbarians; tough cans require some setup
  • Fallen Heroes, Geists
  • Beasts, but NOT Serpents or Ifrits
  • Orc Warriors and Berserkers without cleavers. It’s best to have a nearby tank taunt/aggro orcs with cleavers, if possible.

Decent to underwhelming against, from best to worst:

  • Goblins: You should mostly fight comps with many Ambushers at night. If you do, Dodge will help with survivability a lot
  • Hexen (dont know about the comp fought at Witch Hut): Equip a shield to disable Duelist; consider using a spear. Fearsome is a risk-reward situation: the more you’ve invested in Resolve, the less likely that the Can Opener is possessed, but if he is, his Fearsome procs can mean trouble for your Nimble brothers. If not possessed, fearsome is quite helpful against the accompanying beasts.
  • Necrosavants with ancient dead: wasting one or two nets, can serve as a bodyguard in the backline for other backliners, but cleavers can be a little scary – don’t have him piled up on away from team
  • Barbarians: A lot have cleavers, AND Adrenaline. Risky situation. I like to use the bird virtually every fight after i buy one: if you do too, you may have an easier time getting this bro on maces and hammers and not cleavers. Make sure to always use the wait command to negate potential Dazed and Staggered status effects, and if you didn’t know: you have to disable Auto-End Turns in the gameplay settings to do that.

Bad against:

  • Not sure about Lindwurms; i imagine this build can have problems if there’s like 4 of them, but otherwise alright if he is only in range of one at a time. Like many players, i (mostly) skip lindwurm fights
  • Ancient Undead
  • Ifrits: Fairly useless, but has the sturdiness; unequip knife.
  • Serpents: Hard counter the bro with their guaranteed Staggering, and for his lack of Underdog
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General tips

  • Root big game with a throwing net once it ends its turn. Walk up, then the next turn gingerly kiss it on the cheek three times. If you know beforehand you’re fighting someone whose gear you might want, make sure to equip the regular dagger beforehand – my version of the build saves a perk point on Quick Hands. If somehow caught with the Qatal in hands – make the 4 wasted AP points somehow fit in your strategy: walk 2 tiles back with the team, or keep him in the backlines on turn 1.
  • Resist the human urge to quickly spam stabs: the enemy may break sooner, and if it does, stop and consider your best next move.
  • As with any nimble bro, try to stay away from cleavers that arent taunted. Bird helps a lot – on him or some other high INI team member. Don’t forget to equip 1 or 2 bandages on someone in the backline.
  • If not locked in melee, can swiftly come to help a teammate with overwhelm and fearsome at the start of next turn – most of the time, with at least one proc of each.
  • Always use the wait command against stuns, orcs, nomads, but maybe not when he is fighting a cleaver user – getting hit would mean sooner bleed ticks.
  • In the bags, store a dagger for puncturing some unexpected armor or last enemies alive, and a throwing net for random chimp events like a mercenary attack.
    Early in the game and/or while leveling a bro while he doesn’t yet have good INI – bagging a shield for added security can be a good idea.
  • Have some other guy with quick hands carry an additional throwing net or nets just in case.
  • Do NOT have him surrounded by 3 full health, dangerous opponents. Two will mostly be okay
  • If your team is reasonably sturdy and holding the line well, don’t be afraid to leave him idle in the backlines for a while if that means he will be able to promptly get on the tough opponent when it finally makes contact. Strategize properly in advance: leave him a spot next to the miniboss, preferably 2 tiles of walking away. Bird helps.
  • If not bird, equip a Resolve trinket for improved Fearsome procs. Armor with the Hyena attachment is a must – it is worth an entire 3 good INI rolls. Direwolf attachment can be useful also – on a general backup nimble armor, perhaps.
  • Other than these special cases, the bro plays like a normal melee guy who acts before almost anything else.
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  • Case for Fast Adaptation: most valuable when rolling low chances like 50-ies, which you will sometimes have to rely on against that Champion Blade Dancer or, perhaps the most relevant example – puncturing a Brigand Leader with a heater. It helps with puncturing anybody, since the move comes with a penalty to accuracy. Unlike lowering the enemy’s Mdef with a throwing net, does not cost extra stam. Also good early game.
  • Quick Hands: In my mind, competes with Fast Adaptation and loses.
    My thought process is that quick-handing to a second net and throwing it costs a lot of stam, especially without throwing mastery. Complications arise: Now you have less less MDEF from Dodge, less Initiative (largely irrelevant: the opponent will most often be fatigued and slowed down, too – that is, if it even gets out of the net), and eventually you wont be able to triple Deathblow.
  • Killing Frenzy + Zerk: I want the single target elimination power instead. Pathfinder saves stam, INI, and makes the takedowns reliable; Fearsome is simply overpowered. Let other soldiers do the swing-a-lot jobs. You can run KF+Zerk and it will be a good build, just a totally different one. You can drop Pathfinder and cram Fearsome together with KF+Zerk – now your bro is better than mine in the Arena where doesnt need to walk as much and only on Sand tiles, but worse as a 1v1 assassin on any difficult-to-traverse terrain.
  • Recover on a KF+Zerk variant: pretty much not needed. With a regular Qatal and uninjured, your 15 recovered stam will let you to Deathblow + normal stab, or double normal stab – but i rarely stam out on this bro in the first place.
  • Underdog: I find large Dodge+Overwhelm value and careful planning to be adequate compensation.
  • Other: Crippling Strikes, Executioner, Fortified Mind to improve Fearsome – might be good alterative options that i haven’t tried.
Written by steemjanny

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