Black Desert Online

Nouver or Kutum: The History of boss off-hands and which one should you go for now


The debate about which one is the best among the same type of gear has been an ongoing subject since the release of Black Desert Online. In the beginning, players were discussing which Green gear is the best, and in the present, players are discussing which Boss equipment is the best. The discussions and experiments made in search of the best gear sets has and will likely never stopped.

Among all the gear, the two items that invoke the most intense debate are Nouver and Kutum. Nouver and Kutum are both boss off-hands, but the fight over which one is better has been on and off throughout the game’s run. When the hidden options were revealed last year, it seemed like Kutum had finally taken the throne. But with the recent updates regarding additional damage based on AP, Nouver is rising again and the debate has started again.

Then which one is the better one in KR right now? Let us look at the history of off-hand weapons, and find out the current state of boss off-hands.


▲ The fight over which one is better has been on and off throughout the game’s run.


In the beginning, there was a Nouver

The Dark Age of the new off-hand, Kutum

When the grand desert of Valencia was added and World Boss Nouver came out, the Nouver off-hand was the one that everyone was hungry for. There were some items like Ultimate Vangertz Shield that had high Accuracy and additional Special Attack damage, but Nouver was always the final winner.

Then, a new World Boss spawned in the west of the Valencia Desert. Kutum, the new World Boss, dropped a new boss off-hand called the Kutum off-hand and the ones who could not get a Nouver off-hand saw their chances of getting a Boss off-hand increase.

But the reign of Kutum did not last long. Back then, the hidden options were not an issue at all and a majority of players preferred AP over DP. Nobody wanted to use Kutum, which had a lower AP than Nouver.

But as time went by and players ran more experiments, Kutum slowly but clearly began to threaten the reign of Nouver. An increasing number of players started to argue “I tried both off-hands and it seems like Kutum is better in PvE.” The player-base opinion was divided into two: “People are giving false information just so they can sell their Kutums” and “You’ll notice the difference once you try grinding with Kutum.”

But the players’ opinions started to shift towards one side. More and more players ran multiple experiments and admitted that Kutum is better in PvE, and that opinion was accepted as truth.

However, players could not find the reason behind this difference. Although Kutum had Accuracy, but the difference in Nouver’s AP and Kutum’s AP seemed big enough to make up for the Accuracy gap. But a few months later, the hidden options were revealed and players could see exactly why.


▲ No one wanted to use Kutum. (Image source: BDO Official Forum - Emeth) 


The Hidden Options were Revealed

Was it Accuracy that made Kutum so much stronger than Nouver? The answer finally came out when the hidden options were revealed. It turns out, that Kutum had massive additional damage against monsters.

The additional damage to monsters that Kutum has is 34 at TRI(III) and 45 at TET(IV), which is 31 and 41 higher than Nouver’s at those same levels, respectively. Kutum has lower base AP than Nouver, but the high additional damage to monsters and Accuracy made it much more powerful than Nouver.

Unlike Accuracy, which was actually visible in the item description, Monster Damage was completely hidden. It has been officially proved that the datamined stats were true.

After the big revelation, the demand for Kutum rapidly increased while the demand for Nouver plunged. Kutum gives Accuracy and survivability in PvP, and deals more damage in PvE with the “hidden” monster damage. The meta had completely shifted, and there were only a very few people who preferred Nouver over Kutum.


▲ The revelation quickly shifted the meta and Kutum became the top off-hand again.


Another game changer: Additional damage based on AP

However, Kutum could not stay on top forever. Another game-changing update arrived in the KR server first, and then later in the NA/EU server. The update that started a new meta was the additional damage for characters with 251-270 AP and 271-300 AP. (Additional damage for 160-243 AP characters was only updated in KR because NA/EU already had this system implemented.)


The additional damage is especially significant when the character’s AP is over 271. Plus, 271 or over AP is impossible to reach with a Kutum off-hand. The update was big enough to shift the meta once again.

As the importance of AP increased, the demand for Nouver started to rise as well. The players who had Accessories with high AP chose Nouver over Kutum for additional damage, and the players who were upgrading their gear chose Nouver as well, hoping that one day when their gear is fully set Nouver will give them the additional damage.

Nouver quickly regained its past popularity, and the Nouver off-hands that were left over at the Marketplace were sold out. Nouver is not easy to buy anymore, and is one of the items that has the highest bidding competitions.


▲ Additional damage based on AP. The damage increases more when the character's AP is over 271.


The Meta in KR

The history of ups and downs for Nouver and Kutum is now over, and both off-hands are just as popular. When someone asks “Nouver or Kutum?”, the answer will be “whichever you get first.”

One thing you should consider when choosing between the two is your total AP when wearing all of your gear. If your total AP is less than 240 with a Nouver, than neither one will be better than the other one. The additional damage when your AP is below 240 is not that big, so using a Nouver off-hand will not give you any huge advantage. If you still want to deal more damage even if the amount is only slightly bigger, you can choose Nouver. If you want to play more safe, then you should choose Kutum.

Nouver is a little bit more popular for players whose AP is over 250, or even over 280. In PvP, players tend to have both Nouver and Kutum and switch between the two depending on the opponent’s gear setting. Also in PvE, some players prefer Kutum when they are grinding in high level grind spots like Gyfin Rhasia Temple so they do not die.

In conclusion, in KR there is no right answer to the question “Nouver or Kutum.” As such, this post was written not to give you an answer to the above question, but to help you choose your boss off-hand by giving you the history of the two boss off-hands.


▲ Both off-hands are just as popular!


Welcome to Black Desert Online Inven Global: We provide in-depth guides for BDO along with the latest information on updates within the KR server.


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    level 1 turikk

    Great article to finally explain the difference! One thing I think you could add was that for classes who have Pure AP off-hands, Nouver did not seem like a big upgrade as it does not have +1 Special Attack Damage.

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