Flame of the Firehawk is a legendary nova shield in Borderlands 2 manufactured by Maliwan. Flame of the Firehawk is obtained from the mission Cult Following: The Enkindling located in Frostburn Canyon.
Special Weapon Effects
From the ashes she will rise. – Constant incendiary nova effect when depleted, and triggers roughly every second. Any shield recovery forces a complete shield recharge before the effect can be triggered again.
Usage & Description
As with all nova shields, the Flame of the Firehawk is well-suited against melee attackers and tightly clustered crowds. Additionally, the special effect is also active when in Fight For Your Life, making Second Winds easier to obtain; if a Second Wind is not achieved with the shield, the nova bursts can obscure weapon aim.
A Flame of the Firehawk will suffer from investments in improved recharge delay (e.g.: Ward, Tactician class mods, Badass Rank), as these will reduce the number of novas fired before the shield begins to recharge. Performance is improved by investments in recharge rate, shortening the time charging to full. Capacity bonuses will have a negative impact unless matched by recharge rate bonuses.
Skills that automatically recharge a portion of a shield's charge (e.g.: Inertia, Blood Soaked Shields, Grim), even with only one point invested, completely negate the special effect of this shield. The novas only continue as long as the shield is depleted, and does not trigger again until the shield is fully recharged; with such skills, any kill made will partially recharge the shield and stop the novas. Such skills have merit on their own but effectively render the Flame of the Firehawk an above-average nova shield at best. However, with 5 points in Blood Soaked Shields, a kill will fully restore the shield and makes the special ability immediately usable.
The Flame of the Firehawk can be paired with a Moxxi weapon to damage enemies while healing the user. The Orphan Maker can also be paired with to extend the shield's nova duration by resetting the shield recharge delay with the gun's user inflicted damage.
Krieg can make the most of the shield as his Hellborn & Mania skill trees focus on melee and incendiary damage. Salvador can also use this shield and a Moxxi weapon that allows him to deal and sustain more damage while Gunzerking in open areas, especially when enemies are in close proximities, as the novas can easily heal him even when not attacking enemies. Slag weapons can also increase the potential of this shield.
- On average (i.e., for most shield parts combinations), only the Black Hole and Hide of Terramorphous provide greater base nova damage in a single blast.
- The Flame of the Firehawk can spawn with a Maliwan capacitor, granting the "Inflammable" prefix and fire immunity to its wearer but cannot spawn with any other type of elemental resistance.
- The reward icon for this item is purple for 'very rare', contrary to the orange rarity on the card when checked at any other time.
- If the user is holding a Moxxi weapon when a nova is released, damage dealt by the nova will be registered as being from the Moxxi weapon and will heal the user.
- A close range play-style as well as skills, class mods and relics that increase shield recharge delay or fire damage greatly improve the effectiveness of this shield. This tactic makes Krieg ideal as his skills not only increase fire damage and increase recharge delay drastically, but the nova blasts can active the skills Burn, Baby, Burn and Fuel the Fire setting him on fire and refreshing the time it takes for his shields to recharge.
- Moxxi weapons and Krieg's skill Elemental Empathy allow the novas to heal the wearer, ensuring longer staying power than normal.
- When paired with Gaige's skill Sharing is Caring, this shield allows Deathtrap to become a walking explosion, dealing massive damage to all nearby enemies.
- The Flame of the Firehawk is the only legendary item in the base game given as a mission reward.
- Although Flame of the Firehawk is a legendary shield, it is treated as a unique item, similar to the Norfleet and Longbow As such, it has no world drop and can only be obtained as a mission reward.
- The name of the shield and its special effect is reminiscent of Lilith's Phoenix skill from Borderlands.
- In recognition of the popularity of equipping Krieg with the Flame of the Firehawk, the "Meat Unicycle" Action Package for VaultHunter.EXE causes Claptrap to continuously emit fire novas while active, mimicking the behavior of the legendary shield.
- The flavor text refers to the mythological bird of the same name which was said to die in a burst of flames and to emerge from these flames reborn, effectively being immortal.