You can't gain something without giving something in return. – Always incendiary. No Alternative Fire mode and only fires sticky bullets. When a sticky lands on a surface or enemy, the user takes 10% of the weapon's damage as shock damage. Stickies deal shock damage on initial impact and incendiary damage on detonation, both of which can proc their respective status effects.
Usage & Description
As stuck gyrojets will initially deal shock damage with a chance of shock damage-over-time, this weapon can be ideal in taking down strong shielded enemies, then dealing direct damage with detonated gyrojets once they are shieldless. This makes it an ideal weapon for fighting Maliwan troops as well as the frequently shielded enemies in Mayhem Mode.
The self-inflicted damage is very minor, though it will cause the user's shield to go into cooldown and can eventually take a decent chunk off the character if fired continuously. It can be utilized to make a shield with boosters drop a booster, or to trigger and stack skills based on damage received. Due to its self-damage capabilities, it has some interesting synergies as listed below.
When used with the Transformer, the self-inflicted shock damage will restore 150% damage to the Vault Hunter's shields (since shock damage deals 50% additional damage to shields). This combo can be used to mitigate status effect damage. Note that this effect does not trigger shield recovery, it simply adds shields based on the damage applied by the weapon.
While Zane's Digi-Clone does not seem to take damage from using the Alchemist, it does seem to recover shields from damage when using the Transformer.
Emptying the magazine can allow Amara to accumulate enough Mindfulness stacks to make her shield recharge delay 0, and her shield recovery to be so extreme that her shields will recover before the weapon is reloaded.
The Alchemist can be used to trigger the depletion nova of the Nova Berner, which also causes a second nova when the shield is replenished.
Moze's Some for the Road skill allows a single magazine to go on for 5 seconds longer than normal, allowing for exponentially high damage.
The gyrojets do not gain any benefit from hitting critical points on initial impact, but upon detonation, they receive the critical hit damage bonus.
The self-inflicted damage is based on the projectiles themselves. As a result, skills that allow for additional projectiles to be fired, such as FL4K's Two F4ng skill or Zane's Playing Dirty skill, effectively double the self-inflicted damage.
The base self-inflicted shock damage seems to be approximately 10% of the weapon's damage and inversely proportional to the level of the Vault Hunter.
There are several factors that can change the amount of self-inflicted damage:
Increases to Vault Hunter gun damage increase the self-inflicted damage.
Splash damage reduction reduces the self-inflicted damage.
Elemental damage and status damage do not affect the amount of shock damage taken or dealt.
Shock damage resistance reduces the damage taken.
The damage inflicted cannot be recouped with life steal of any kind.
The weapon's name, effect, and flavor text are references to the manga/anime series Fullmetal Alchemist, in which the Law of Equivalent Exchange is stated as "Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return."