#- Stoker’s Guide to the Dahl Professional -
###“Heavy, accurate, and effective. Assuming you’re strong enough to hold one!”
Welcome, everyone! In this guide I’d like to share with you a Professional build that I believe is Lily’s best setup for Crawmerax killing and among one of the absolute best builds in the game for general combat. I’ll be covering her skill tree, recommended gear, and many other gameplay tips. I plan on regularly updating this with better pictures and video tutorials as soon as I get my new computer as well. Before we get started, I’ll summarize some of the pros and cons of this build:
- The best Crawmerax build I’ve been able to make.
- Very powerful and versatile while utilizing just about every weapon type in the game.
- Lots of mobility and defensive ‘survivability’.
- Limited to one manufacturer and very gear dependent. (But luckily for you, it just so happens to be the best gun manufacturer in the game!)
- Not a very good elemental build.
- No ammo regeneration.
First and foremost, ‘why use Dahl?’
- Dahl; my pride and joy. In my totally-not-biased opinion, Dahl is the most well-rounded and best overall manufacturer in the game. They’re often overlooked for some unfathomable reason, but I’m here to enlighten all of you Dahl rookies! They generally have higher than average damage, great recoil reduction, and slightly improved reload speeds. However, what truly sets 'em apart from the rest of the pack is their legendaries. (Excluding the Wildcat, of course… I’d rather not talk about that.) The Anaconda, Bulldog, Penetrator, Raven, and even the Hornet are by far some of the best guns found on Pandora and will be the spotlight of the gear section. Yes, this build is unfortunately very gear dependent but I assure you that your time spent farming will be worth it in the end!
‘Okay, got it. But why use Lilith?’
- Because Lily is the only one with the Dahl Professional COM. Thus, I’d recommend you name her Dahlia or Raven. No? I suppose you could name her Nikki Minaj for her Anaconda song or Georgia for the UGA Bulldogs then. Still no? Okay, fine… I’m admittedly not a huge fan of the Siren because most of her builds tend to be too similar and I believe she’s a bit overpowered. That said, her skill tree is still the most suited towards the style of play I’ll be going over whether she had the Professional COM or not. Let’s talk about those skills now, shall we?
#Build Overview )
##Controller Skill Tree:
Increases the capacity of our shield by 25%. No reason not to pick this one up, especially given that the useless Striking is the only alternative to travel down the Controller tree.
Inner Glow 5/5
While phasewalking, we’ll regenerate 7% of our total HP per second. This is very useful for emergency situations and regenerating health between fights.
Dramatic Entrance 5/5
With a Professional COM that has a +4 in this skill, we’re able to reach 5/5 by only investing 1 skill point into it. At 5/5, Dramatic Entrance will daze all enemies around her phaseblast radius; the explosion upon entering and exiting phasewalk.
Hard To Get 5/5
Decreases the cooldown of our phasewalk by 16 seconds. This skill combined with Blackout can allow for damn-near constant phasewalking if we’re killing enemies quickly.
Girl Power 5/5
Every kill will cause our shields to regenerate by 7% for a few seconds. This is one of her best skills.
Mind Games 5/5
Every round fired has a 25% chance of dazing the enemy. This means just about every projectile spread from a shotgun or masher will daze an enemy. Every burst from an anarchy and combat rifle will likely leave 'em dazed as well. I love this skill and soon you will, too.
##Elemental Skill Tree:
With the Professional equipped, this will increase our rate of fire on all weapons by 40%.
With 5/5, this will increase our chance of causing elemental PROCs + damage over time by 8%. This is a great skill, but won’t be used much in this build. Feel free to pick up Resilience or Radiance if you’d prefer to have those.
The Professional COM is the primary reason I play as a Siren, but her Intuition skill is a close second. Intuition will increase your movement speed by 50% after each kill. It’s not necessary at all, but it’s a lot of fun and makes combat feel more fluid and fast-paced. This skill has a big role in our playstyle.
##Assassin Skill Tree:
Adds 25% critical damage. This is a must-have.
Silent Resolve 5/5
Greatly reduces damage received for a few seconds after phasewalking. This is extremely beneficial for an aggressive style of play. I’ll expand on that later in the gameplay section of the guide.
This will add 10% damage for 7 seconds after each kill. It slightly improves accuracy and accuracy recovery as well.
Hit & Run 2/5
This was my final skill dump to add about two seconds to phasewalk duration. Use these final two points on whatever you’d like if you don’t feel this is beneficial enough. As an alternative, I’ve found that dropping a point into Radiance and Phoenix can help by exploding barrels and doing a small amount of damage while phasewalking around tight maps with lots of enemies.
High Velocity 8/5
With the Professional equipped, our bullet velocity will be increased by 160% and our damage will be increased by a passive 32%. This skill makes fighting at long distance much easier and the damage increase is pretty significant. Be sure to pick this one up.
Each kill will reduce the cooldown of phasewalk by 6 seconds. This skill is really convenient, but by no means a must-have.
Now that we’ve covered all of that, I’ll go over the gear we’ll be using before moving on to the playstyle and Crawmerax tips. A lot of you may be wondering why I’ve chosen certain skills over others and I’ll shed some light on that soon. Just bear with me for a bit.
#The Gear )
(For the sake of the guide, all of the gear linked below has been created in WillowTree to show the best possible configuration of each item, excluding preferences like materials, optics, and stocks. Viable variants of each weapon shouldn’t take too long to find, though.
##Dahl Professional COM:
- The glue that holds this entire build together, the Professional. She’s a beauty, isn’t she? With bonuses to bullet velocity, damage, rate of fire and magazine capacity, this COM is set to make just about any Dahl in the game a lethal piece of firepower. I prefer to have a +4 in Dramatic Entrance so we can get by with only allocating 1 point into it, but any version with mag’ capacity instead of shield capacity will be just fine.
- Say hello to the highest dps shotgun in the game. It has a fast rate of fire, barely any recoil, a quick reload speed, and an extremely high mag’ capacity of 28 courtesy of the Professional bonuses. It’ll bite through anything in the game and I find this to be the most important weapon in our Dahl arsenal. The Bulldog is relatively easy to find and Barrel 5 variants make them more effective for longer ranges at the cost of some damage if you’d prefer that route. I personally prefer barrel 5 for the accuracy and the damage increasing terrible accessory, but most people seem to prefer the beefy barrel 4 with a frenzied accessory. My only recommendation would be to find one without a stock because Dahl weapons already have plenty of recoil reduction and the quicker reload speed is invaluable.
- Mordecai ain’t the only gunslinger 'round this town. I was a Ranger player for many years ‘til I started messing around with this build. That alone should be a testament to its power in the hands of a Professional. The Anaconda is the second-most powerful revolver in the game, but unlike Jakobs’ Unfrogiven, it has a fast rate of fire and very low recoil. This bad boy can take down Craw or any other enemy in the game with ease. The bonuses from Quicksilver, Enforcer, and High Velocity make Lily no slouch in the revolver department. Combine that with good accuracy recovery, rate of fire, damage, and projectile speed. Morde-who? Much like the Bulldog, I’d recommend stockless variants for the quicker draw and reload speeds. Some may prefer 6-round magazines (which is increased to 8 due to our COM), but I’m a fan of the 2-shots. It’s also worth noting that, despite popular belief, the Urban material may be preferred because of the quicker draw times and reload speeds compared to the slightly more powerful Desert material.
- Many people consider combat rifles to be inferior to smgs and machine guns, but the Raven paired with Lily’s skills makes it very lethal at medium to long ranges. It’s a bit situational, but very fun and worth having in our arsenal. Also, the Professional makes this a 6-shot burst instead of a 4+1. I prefer to have a stock on my Ravens for the recoil reduction because I tend to use them for long range over anything else. For shorter ranges or Crawmerax, however, I’ll go with a Stomper.
- Combat rifles are weak, they said? Hah. Due to the way weapon naming is generated, this Urban material monster is the most powerful burst-fire weapon in the game that’s capable of handling any enemy with ease - including Craw. I’d recommend this over the Raven if you’re able to get your hands on one. However, this weapon is EXTREMELY rare so a Punishing (Urban) Raven may be a good alternative until you find one.
- The Penetrator is our go-to bossing legendary. (Yes, it’s a glitched legendary.) If you can manage the recoil and stay at a reasonable range, this fully automatic sniper will rip through anything as soon as you pull the trigger. You’ll burn through ammo very quickly so I would only recommend using this against Craw or enemies with a lot of HP.
- For those that want to snipe traditionally, this is our best option. It’s the most accurate and powerful variant of a Dahl semi-auto sniper. Not as effective as a Mordecai sniping build, but still pretty dang viable considering the same reasons I listed about the Anaconda. Taking this to Zombie Island never gets old.
- The renowned anarchies of Borderlands… capable of spraying everywhere and bridging the gap between shotguns and smgs. I personally prefer the Bulldog, but everything I said about that is applicable to anarchies as well. Having the same bonuses as a Mercenary build, the only downfall to running this with a Professional is a lack of ammo regeneration. For those wanting a more all-purpose smg, go with a Dahl double instead of an anarchy.
##Anshin Ambush Shield:
- This is the shield I’d recommend if you can’t get your hands on a decent Rose. This alacritous shield has the fastest recharge rate and delay for its capacity. For prolonged fights, however, many may find an alacritous panacea more beneficial due to its HP regeneration. Despite their lower capacities, I highly recommend a shield with a fast recharge rate and quick recharge delay. It’s crucial to our aggressive and ambushing style of play. More on that very soon!
* *Quick note about elemental weapons, grenade mods, and phasewalk artifact choice:*
- By now you may have noticed that I didn’t post any elemental weapons. If you like using elemental guns from Nerf (S&S) or Maliwan guns that look like they came out of a cereal box, this guide ain’t for you! I do not recommend using any of them unless needed for Crawmerax minions because they’re rarely more effective than their base damage equivalents. The only Dahl elementals that I would suggest using are variants of this Bulldog, this Anaconda, and a Hornet. A shock variant of a Liquid Wrath (sight 3 and stock 3 for maximum tech) can be useful for taking down shielded enemies like Ajax from a distance, too. For the phasewalk artifact and grenade mod, I recommend anything corrosive to help with heavily armored enemies, but it doesn’t make a significant difference. I run with low level longbows for grenade jumping because, well, grenades suck in this game and should only be used to compliment your playstyle. Transfusion grenades are always a good choice as well.
###Click here for a link to an album with all of the items referenced in this guide.
#Playstyle & General Strategies )
When I planned this build, I wanted to make the most powerful Siren possible without sacrificing mobility, defense, or being too reliant on elemental damage over time. I wanted to to be effective across all ranges and to find a quick and efficient setup to farm Crawmerax. I think the Professional provides the best of all worlds, but I realize that a lot of people may not agree with my skill build. I’ll address that now:
The reason why I only have a few points in Hit & Run, maxed Intuition, and maxed Mind Games all comes down to my personal preference. I do not like using phasewalk as a defensive skill and thus I find no use for Hit & Run as I don’t generally sit in phasewalk to regenerate HP. Rather, I only use phasewalk for dashing from one spot to another and ambushing a group of enemies. I like Intuition because, paired with the constant dazing from Dramatic Entrance and Mind Games, it allows me to practically run circles around enemies without being hit. All of that said, everyone should feel free to experiment with what they feel works best! I’ve messed around with Phoenix for the chance of increasing my mag’ size even more, used Hit & Run without Intuition, tried 2/5 Mind Games without Spark maxed, etc. It’s all personal preference and you can’t really go wrong with any Siren build.
Let’s get back on topic! When playing with a Bulldog, Anaconda, anarchy and even the stomper, my strategy is to get in as close as possible and kill as quickly as possible. The dazing from Mind Games and Dramatic Entrance will slow all enemies down and reduce their accuracy. This allows for easier kills and, ya know, consequently increases our chance of surviving. Also, Intuition helps us both offensively and defensively because we can use it to close distance quickly or avoid dangerous situations. With frequent phasewalking, Inner Glow, Silent Resolve and a continuous supply of dazing, we’re able to wreak havoc on anything near us without taking much damage. The bonuses to magazine capacity and rate of fire further add to our offensive onslaught. This fast-paced, ambushing style of play is why a quick recharging shield is necessary for both regular enemies and Crawmerax. Fortunately for us, Diva, Girl Power, and Silent Resolve help negate the somewhat lower shield capacity.
That’s about all there is to it, folks! The strategy for longer range weapons like the Raven or sniper is pretty self-explanatory. Stay back, aim and shoot! High Velocity will make our shots travel much faster and Mind Games will turn our enemies into a slowly moving sloth of a target. If something manages to get in close, daze and phase back to a safe distance or switch your weapon and unleash Hell. The only thing we need to be weary of with this build is our ammo depleting. I find myself frequently burning through all of my sniper and smg mags, but I have never been in a situation where I’ve ran out of all ammo for every weapon type. Combat rifles last a very long time before running dry while shotgun and revolver rounds can be easily picked up in large quantities.
#Crawmerax Tips & Strategies )
Good ol’ Crawmerax, the purple lobster than has been terrorizing vault hunters for 7 years while keeping us all addicted and wanting more. He’s by far the most difficult enemy in the game, but appropriately drops the best loot! With our Professional build and some practice, though, he can become laughably easy to farm with nearly all of the weapons I posted. Below I’ll list what I believe to be our 3 best weapons for killing him and some general tips.
- The lower the sight magnification the better, but it’s not that important. I would argue 'til I’m out of breath that this is the absolute best weapon for killing Craw on a Professional or Specter Siren. I have killed him thousands of times and tried just about every setup imaginable across all characters and this one is by far my favorite. Mordecai may be able to achieve a faster kill under select conditions, but this is only a few seconds behind and much easier to manage. I’m consistently able to pull off kills between 20 and 30 seconds with a Liquid (Urban) Penetrator.
- With practice and a good aim, this revolver can be just as effective as the Penetrator. A 2-shot masher can take each critical spot out with one pull of the trigger. I find this method just a little bit more difficult to aim with compared to the Penetrator and thus have it ranked second.
- This one will probably come as a surprise because there’s a big drop off in effectiveness from the masher to this. I’ve found that a standard Dahl Double can slightly outperform a Bulldog, an anarchy, and a Stomper/Raven against Craw. While nowhere near as fast and easy as the first two, all of these guns can take him down between 30 seconds to a minute.
The best advice I can share for fighting Craw would be to familiarize yourself with his tendencies and do not prioritize the minions too much. On a Siren, we can pretty much disregard the minions entirely unless needed for a second wind. If you do find yourself getting swarmed by them, feel free to kill a few (always try to keep one alive for emergency second winds if possible) or put enough shots in 'em to daze them. As soon as Crawmerax does his diving slam attack, phasewalk behind him and take out his back. The rest will be history. If you’re getting hit by him too often or having a hard time getting him to dive, rotating around the rock structures can help turn him and expose his back. Taking out multiple critical hit locations before he’s able to recover and move again seems to increase the likelihood of him diving as well. Lastly, I’ve noticed that Craw has a tendency to dive a few steps after spitting his purple puke at you as well. Do your best to get behind a rock or strafe between his globs of spit rather than taking the safe option of camping in phasewalk until he’s done. I promise you’ll rather have the ability to zip behind him when he dives than have to wait for the cooldown because you panicked over his spitting. Every second counts when fighting the lobster.
For elemental secondaries, I’d suggest using variants of the Anaconda or Bulldog that I referenced in the gear section. A well-placed critical from those two can take out the Green Craw Worms and Craw Maggots with a single shot. If possible, do your best to leave the Armored (purple) Craw Worms alive because they are slow and can’t keep up with you. In summary, time your phasewalking well, don’t over-prioritize or panic about the minions, be patient, and practice good shot placement. Practice, practice, and practice again. Craw will cower at the thought of you in no time!
I think that just about covers everything, guys. I’ll upload videos as soon as I’m able to, but feel free to leave any questions you have below!
#Good luck and have fun!