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Old September 19th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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Default Gunzerker OP Build

Hi all. I'm Pelikins welcome to my GUNZERKER guide!

I am a successful theory crafter / guide writer for several well known games such as:

Diablo 3
World of Warcraft
League of Legends

I wanted to post this and share my experience and insight on this incredible new class, the GUNZERKER.

The Gunzerker is unlike any borderlands 1 class. He's incredibly powerful in the right hands reaching levels of survivability and damage potential that no other class can match in the mid/late game.

I'm going to go over a build and some itemization tips to give the reader an idea of what to look for in itemization and which trees to focus on while leveling up for the most satisfying game-play experience.

Personal philosophy: Tank vs Damage:

This has long been an argument between myself and fellow theory crafters on these forums.

Personally, I always lean more towards tankiness over DPS. Tankiness allows you to position more aggressively and inherently leads to more damage. I have always abided by the philosophy of "Dead DPS deals no DPS." If you are comfortably in your damage stance, you can do more damage than if you are dancing around frantically trying to survive. "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast." Hence, I don't compromise my durability for extra damage unless I'm getting a lot of damage for a little durability. I'd rather kill an enemy with 100% reliability at 30 seconds a kill than kill an enemy at 75% reliability at 10 seconds a kill. I'll spend the extra time to never lose, because I don't like losing.

If you would rather have the maximum damage possible... chances are you'll need to look elsewhere. If you want to clear content at a fast pace with minimal gear used at maximum efficiency. Then you're in the right place.


Do you enjoy being in the fray? Getting up close and personal with your enemy and delivering incredible amounts of damage while shrugging off blows with impunity? If this is how you roll, then roll a GUNZERKER!

GUNZERKER = SHOTGUN + debuffing SMG/pistol = WIN

The GUNZERKER is the absolute best shotgun user in the game. This has to do with his inherent mobility and reload speed advantages along with his ability to get unbelievably tanky so that he can get in close. To add to this, gunzerking regenerates ammo at a flat ammo/sec rate while shotgun ammo consumption is considerably lower than other weapon types. On top of all this, the gunzerker has the most broken shotgun talent in the game, "Steady as She Goes." With a high fire rate second weapon, the chance of accuracy improvement is more like a guarantee, and the accuracy buff eliminates the one downfall of the shotgun...range. With the accuracy buff up, the Gunzerker can deliver the devastating power of the shotgun at assault rifle range.

The build is 0 Gunlust / 18 Rampage / 27 Brawn

My build focuses primarily on the Brawn tree for survivability, while dipping into the rampage tree to further my survivability while adding an impressive amount of damage with minimal investment.

The first thing you'll want to invest in is Hard to kill talent. The name says it all. It makes you...hard to kill. For every 5 hp you have, you now have 6. In addition, you'll find the passive hp regen very nice in the early game to keep you topped off. The ability will only improve in strength as it complements your % based healing later on.

The next skill to build up is "I'm the juggernaut." This will give you a 20% damage reduction buff for each time you kill an enemy. Later on, this will mean every time you fire your shotgun. It makes your impressive health pool a lot more valuable and is a key source of damage mitigation.

Your next skill to level is "Ain't got time to bleed." This skill will carry you through most of the challenges that this game has to offer. Passively regenerating hp with gunzerking to allow you to simply burst down opponents in the ability's duration. You really only need a point or two in the ability to see a significant durability improvement. While leveling, I would simply put one point into this and then start working on the rampage tree.

Now working in the rampage tree, I pick up filled to the brim. This ability serves two functions. The first is the most immediate, it improves your clip capacity. This is very important for shotgun users especially as a 25% improvement will boost a 2 shot gun into a 3 shot before reload gun. Jakobs makes the best shotguns, but they tend to be only 1 or 2 shots before needing a reload. This skill will allow you to squeeze off an extra round for higher burst potential.

I next pick up "Last Longer." This will improve the duration of gunzerking an additional 15 second. That's 15 seconds of extra invincibility, a worthwhile investment.

I next pick up "Steady as She Goes." The true gem of the rampage tree. This ability allows you to hold a bead on an enemy without scoping in (very helpful since you can't scope in while gunzerking) and it gives both guns an accuracy improvement. This extends your shotgun's effective range and allows you to aim for critical locations rather than shooting for center mass resulting and a crazy damage increase. P.S. Each individual pellet from your shot gun has a chance to proc the accuracy buff.

Now that I have this precious gem and single best dps talent point in the game as far as I'm concerned, I'm ready to get invincible.

I go back to focusing on the Brawn tree. I pick up 5 points in Incite (tier 1).
This is a crazy good skill, very over looked. Every time you get shot, you get a move-speed buff and you reload 25% faster, which for a shot gun user is huge! You can now close on enemies/take cover 30% faster and you dps increases considerably.

Next I stick 3 more points into "Ain't Got Time to Bleed" to make me more invincible while gunserking.

I put one point into Fistful of Hurt, mainly for finishing power. The damage on this doesn't scale super well for the last game, but it comes in handy to allow that finishing melee to deal some more damage. It also has a little utility in the knock back.

Followed by 5 points in "Sexual Tyrannosaurus." S.T. lives up to its name...its hella-sexy. Some people may even prefer to rush it over grabbing "Steady as She Goes." It gives you 50% of what AGTTB gives all the time.

I then finish the tree off with the tier 6 ability "Come At Me Bro." This gives Gunzerker a secondary active that refills his hp completely, taunts enemies to attack you and gives DR. It basically translates to "While Berserking, you can't die unless you jump off the level."

Now that you've got all the tools, its time to be able to use them more often.

I get 4 pointing into "I'm ready already."

I then get a point into "Double the fun." I really don't think its necessary because a well placed grenade is overkill already...but it allows you to use a single scatter grenade to wipe out entire rooms. I really like it for when I think I may go down. I double my chances of killing an enemy with a desperation grenade to get me out of second wind (note you toss the grenade before you go down because you can't toss them when down.)

I then grab 1 pointsof "Yippie Ki Yay." This will basically make gunzerking last the duration of an engagement every time.

and my last points in "I'm Ready Already" for a final 5% cool down reduction and "Ain't got time to bleed" for a little more self healing while gunzerking. level 16 level 27 level 42 level 50

LOAD OUT: (How to gear your GUNZERKER)

Weapon 1: Slag SMG, Sniper Rifle, LMG, or Pistol: likely Maliwan. This is a duffing weapon primarily for gunzerking to make your shotty deal double damage. If you find a good enough slag weapon, you may want to use it as your general mid range weapon.

Weapon 2: Shot gun; likely Jakobs. Look for the highest amount of total damage. If you can find one that can be fired a couple extra times before being reloaded great...better accuracy is better...but look for damage over anything else.

A very strong one is the Triquetra handed out as a reward for the Clan Wars chain (The Dust). Keep an eye out for this one while leveling.

Weapon 3: Corrosive Sniper rifle or combat rifle. High fire rate is nice as you can then just aim center mass. This is your robot shredding gun. The game throws tons of loaders and vehicles at you and this kind of weapon will make short work of them.

Weapon 4: Rocket launcher. As high damage as possible. This is the "I'm down, but not out weapon" I switch to when things are looking rough but there isn't an enemy immediately near by. I pull out the faithful launcher and let loose a barrage of rockets to get me out of last stand. Its also great for taking out turrets and vehicles. Also remember to toss a grenade when low on hp (but throw it far enough away where you don't kill yourself if its a scatter bomb).

These 4 weapons are specifically placed in your load out. Chances are that you won't even use weapon 1 except while gunzerking (unless you find a really awesome slag weapon) So you'll be mainly scrolling between weapon 2 and 3 outside of gunzerk. While gunzerking you've got that wicked slag+shotty combo. It rocks, you've gotta try it! The second combo is rocket launcher + corrosive. That's really devastating against really tough mechanicals such as constructors.

relic: This one is pretty open. Personally, I like to get more loot so I go for ones that get me more rare drops. But ones that boost your ability cd reduction, hp, reload time, and weapon damage are also good.

class mod: Beast gives more hp and reload speed...which is awesome. There are a lot of viable options though. Use the best one you find.

Shield: It's all about your hp pool and elemental resistance. Boost your hp as much as possible and resist elements a much as possible. A big capacity is nice and you may want to carry one with high capacity to throw on against fire damaging enemies. But for a general use shield, just try to get hp.

BUILD 2 - Suggested for MAX LEVEL PLAY! (level 72)

For max level play (and near to it) I've changed things up a little.

I'm enjoying 26/26/15.

This build revolves around having 2 powerful weapon sets that you alternate between from kill to kill to eliminate reloading manually for trash. One bosses, you lead in with the butcher+CC and slag the boss, then rotate to the the double penetrating Unkempt Harolds and swap back and forth from there on to conserve pistol ammo and keep the target slagged.

DPUH's are also really great at splashing the ground in AoE, which can wipe out hordes of small enemies without targeting each one individually, while the hyperion shotguns are extremely accurate allowing you to use that weapon set to pick off enemies at long range. The two weapon sets complement each other extremely well and combined maximize your single target damage while not needing to heavily invest into ammunition regeneration since one set's ammo will regen while you use the other.

In the gunlust tree, I picked up 5/5 quick draw, 3/5 lock and load, 5/5 I'm your huckleberry, 5/5 Divergent Likeness, Auto Loader, 5/5 Money Shot, Down not out, and No kill like overkill. Quick draw increases your crit damage 10% with 5/5 (20% with relic) which is a substantial dps increase and speeds up weapon swaps which you'll be doing rather than reloading on small enemies and to slag and frag against bosses. Locked and Loaded is an amazing skill with keep firing that will substantially increase your dps. Divergent Likeness is a where a substantial amount of your dps is achieved, while I'm your huckleberry and money shot are what makes the DPUH a god-tier weapon for the gunzerker.

Divergent likeness is the real reason for venturing into this tree. 30% bonus damage on both weapon sets is what we are after here.

Money shot is a solid dps increase with our low clip size weapons. Inconceivable allows you to get multiple money shots off per clip. If you are running a butcher, the ammo regen can also allow multiple money shots per clip.

Down not out is the last pick-up in the tree. It's big benefit is consistency. If you happen to get downed at the start of your gunzerking, you stay gunzerking and get back up, rather than having a brief stage of being fairly useless.

Auto Loader is pretty much only useful for trashing... but for a single skill point it does a lot for the build even if it's just while trashing.

In the rampage tree, I've picked up the same thing's I've been suggesting for max level right along. Keep firing is the biggest dps benefit. The rest of the pick ups allow you to stay gunzerking 100% of the time, even against bosses. Keep firing is still a key asset for bossing, even with using 2 weapon sets. You'll need to find balance between managing ammo consumption with both sets and keeping the boss slagged on one hand. And maximizing benefit of keep firing on the other.

Finally in the brawn tree we pick up hard to kill, which is likely Salvador's most powerful mastery, a 4 points in Incite for the relic and the move speed is one of your hugest defensive abilities, and the last 5 points into juggernaut for some solid damage mitigation to compliment your hp pool.

Load Out:

Weapon 1: Conference Call (High Accuracy Shot gun) or Butcher (Pearl). For my main hand weapon I like the shock weapon elemental the best since there is no down side to the shock element but the debuff and bonus damage to shields and higher damage to armored targets than vanilla makes it better than vanilla in general.

Weapon 2: slag Conference call, or slag Butcher.

* I don't recommend 2 CCs because the recoil makes game-play un-enjoyable. If you can't get a hold of a butcher, then the slagga CC is still a great combo. You just won't get as much benefit from money shot or divergent likeness. 2 butchers will give you big gains in ammo savings (and it's always BA to have double pearls for show), but the damage on a butcher is still lower than a CC. I recommend a shock CC and a slag Butcher personally.

I run the Meteor Shower grenade mod. the bonus package is also really good. Placing two of these (while gunzerking thanks to double the fun) at the feet of a slagged enemy is a huge damage spike. If you are having trouble with a particular type of enemy. Slag it and apply grenades gratuitously. Just don't stand close by... They are also great if you thing you are about to go down as these will typically kill somebody and revive you... again, don't throw too close by or you'll knock yourself back down.

If you aren't running a slag weapon, you'll want to have slag grenades. I highly recommend the biddy variety as they will slag the most reliably and the longest.

For a shield I recommend having both a sham and an evolution/neogenator. The Sham is amazing against gun toting enemies. The evolution/neogenator is best against melee's, most bosses, and elemental enemies as it gives you a huge health pool, a lot of hp regen, and it has an extremely short recharge (small capacity is made up for by elemental resistance and fast recharges). If you don't want to swap shields ever, go with the Evolution/Neogenator for the best all around shield possible.

Carrying a %bonus HP relic with an Evolution/Neogenator and 10/5 hard to kill will put you well over a million hp. A full OP8 set will put a gunzerker over 3 million hp. People who say you can't tank damage in OP8 just aren't set up properly. You won't want to soak multiple heavy charge attacks... but you can survive one, and you can still brush off 90% of the attacks the game throws at you. With the massive massive amounts of movement speed that the gunzerk achieves with this build, you can easily evade 99% of the attacks thrown your way. Be smart and you can easily have hordes of enemies focusing on you, and you can mitigate and dispatch them all. In party play, you'll be the envy of all as you put out more dps than almost anyone, tank everything, and move at ridiculous speeds (Don't be a ninja looter...with great power comes great responsibility).

The shadow of the seraphs mod is also very good. It's something like a 20% dps increase if you just want more damage, it's the best way to go.

The legendary gunzerker class mod is still the best way to go. None of the new legendary mods can compare to the original, sadly. The number 1 reason, is the movement speed bonus it grants while gunzerking. That movement speed is such a massive survivability bonus, which literally allows you to dodge bullets in conjunction with +5 to incite. The second reason is the "Hard to Kill" bonus. That bonus is just really strong. The legendary class mod just offers the right skills to substantially improve the gunzerk in the right areas, including the cooldown reduction which will get you back to gunzerking again, even if your previous gunzerk went horribly.

If you want more damage out of your mod, then the evil monk mod is really strong with Unkempt Harolds.

Last edited by Pelikins; September 11th, 2013 at 11:40 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

Awesome guide, I will have to read through again when I am home. Until further notice this is the way I am to go. Only difference is I am going to stick with Shottie's, RL's, and LMG's.

I agree with you about his use of the shotgun. Even without direct buffs, that style gun really feels right for him. Which is great cause Shottie's are my favorite.

Again, Great Guide
Dad in Waiting....................
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

This build is extremely similar to Yaro's "Beastmode Salvador." Both have 17 or 18 points in Rampage as well as 27 points in Brawn.

I guess that just confirms how effective this build is overall. Great job!
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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I like your build idea. I was planning on going with LMGs and doing a build to use zerk to increase fire rate and put as many bullets per second as possible, but I might rethink it now.

I do have a couple comments/questions. First you said a Corrosive SMG or Pistol. Did you mean Slag? Corrosive is effective against armor. Slag is the elemental effect that lowers defense against Non-Slag damage.

And I think Relics give the bonus to loot, not class mods. But I might be wrong about that.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

Had to edit load out. The took the corrosive debuff away and gave it to slag. Edited.

Last edited by Pelikins; September 21st, 2012 at 06:33 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

I did find and it makes no note of slag corroding armor. Slag has fully replaced that mechanic.

Last edited by Pelikins; September 21st, 2012 at 06:34 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

You are right, Slag does not apply a DoT that is corrosive. But Slag does cause all other damage to be double, so that is the combo I thought you were going for.

That was my plan for gunzerking is to have one weapon be a fast fire, huge clip, slag weapon and my other to be a high damage shotgun.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Awesome thread.

The only thing i don't agree on ''GUNZERKER = SHOTGUN + debuffing SMG/pistol = WIN''
To maximize a debuff a riffle with high firerate and big magazine would be better.
Even better if the riffle is stable.

Unless you find those type of pistle/SMG with crazy stable high fire rate.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

Not sure if Hyperion makes Assault Rifles, but I know the Hyperion SMGs don't get as much out of the "more accurate" ability.

However, I currently use a slag hyperion pistol on my salvador coupled with a flame pistol, a high damage revolver, and a 4th weapon I haven't decided on yet (at 18 JUST unlocked the 4th weapon SDU, this game really drew that out haha) but am planning on either going Assault Rifle/LMG, or possibly another revolver... Thinking about doing slag+fire with a switch to revolvers. I'm going very gun lust though since I'm not getting as much out of having an additional 20% health and .5% health regen (if I'm gonna go down, I'd go down with double my health... He's incredibly tanky on his own, and anything that CAN take me down, WILL take me down)

Anyways, back on hyperion gear, I've noticed those seem to be the best options for his gunzerk ability early game. Especially pistols. They have quick reloads that actually beat out the accuracy effects decay, meaning after one mag your second mag will be at around 75% more accurate and increase back to 100% accuracy, and continue in this way for every mag following. With that slag pistol I mentioned, I've been hitting people with my flame pistol and watching their health vanish. That goes for just about every enemy too. Maybe when my reload speed is higher I'll look into shotguns, or when I get one I like, but currently pistols are my favorite. AR's I may dive into at a later date as well.

Currently though, my biggest suggestion for ANYONE doing gunzerking is Hyperion, Hyperion, Hyperion. They're also amazing for Fight For Your Life, in my opinion anyway.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gunzerker OP Build

Something else to add, I found this really, really freaking helpful. Inconceivable is amazing for Jacobs shotties. If you bring down your health to a good low level, get a high shield, you can rapid fire those shotties for some intense damage. Say for example you ave a shotgun that has an ammo cap at 2 or 3, and the icon says "Consumes 3 rounds per shot" this really, really helps. Low health can make you fire that shotgun 6-7 times before it actually reloads, and you don't spend any ammo!

I messed up a LOT of those Crystal monsters with three legs, forget their name, but I put some pain on those guys because of this.

Axton [33] Gaige [9] Maya [0] Salvador [50] Zer0 [11]
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