Action skill damage builds

This thread refers to Fl4k and Amara as they are the two vault hunters with action skills that are direct attacks. I want to know how other players are trying to build around damage based action skills and what your experience with those builds was.

This game has three action skills that can be used to deal damage to enemies in the form of an attack, four if you use atomic aura with gamma burst. I understand why sirens are fakegrasping instead of looking to make more action skill oriented builds. Though rakk attack was still viable for damage in mayhem 3, weapons with ase anointments made gun play an obvious priority with late game rakk builds.

With r4kk p4k and the driver class mods we have had alot of possibilities opened up for action skill oriented builds even in mayhem 4. I’m working on my own r4kk p4k build and my girlfriend has put some thought into an elemental projector/fleshmelter build using the driver mod and phaseslam. What bugs me is that I have seen zero builds that are using action skills for damage in matchmaking. This observation is only from 2 nights of running trials and circle of slaughter but you would think after several runs I would atleast see one phasecast but not once even after a dozen hours. As I stated earlier I’m not expecting many sirens to be working on mayhem 4 action skill builds, enjoy easily beating Fl4k in gun damage while you can.

At the same time I know my girlfriend and I are not the only ones interested in trying to push phasecast and phaseslam to their limits in mayhem 4. My girlfriend plays only as the siren, usually using phase grasp so this is a newer concept for her. She’s starting to get some decent output and combos and once she figures out the finer tuning needed for her skill points me and her will compare our possible driver builds to phasezerker builds and see how they stack up on mayhem 4.

With Fl4k it is unfortunate that gamma burst did not get anything to buff atomic aura with, except a generic anointment that requires you through a grenade every 6 seconds. However rakk attack would have been dead without r4kk p4k. Before this beautiful mod rakks were still very useful in mayhem 3 but without this mod they would have only been good for buffing weapons and healing in mayhem 4.

I’ve been testing different artifacts with this new mod. elemental projector and either of the rifles that self inflict fire damage are good to increase fire rakks. A good icebreaker made the cryo rakks fun as hell back when mayhem 3 was our hardest setting and hopefully 12 cryo rakks will be quit the boon to cryo builds.

Back to my main point though, I want to know what skills and artifacts other players have experimented with to increase their action skill damage to be on the level required for mayhem 4.

I’ve been working on an Amara build around splash Damage. You can use Tandava with Splash Damage anointment to hit for some pretty big numbers. Combine this with Phaserker & Avatar and you’re throwing out hard hitting AoE blast.

The only issue with this is that it’s on something like a 10-12 second cooldown with Guardian Ranks broken.

Once they’re fixed you should be able to throw out 2 Action Skills every 3-5 seconds with really high Do Harm stacks.

You basically want to stack as much Splash/AoE Damage on top of using a weapon that give +125% Splash damage on ASE.

The same thing applies for Fl4k when using his Rakks. AbbyHour has been running a Rakk attack build utilizing Splash Damage buffs. She can get the Rakks to hit for 45k+ per rakk.

I’m not sure whether you know this already, but just to get a theoretical view here is everything that goes into rakk damage:

  • FL4K’s Damage skills
  • action skill damage from grim harvest
  • splash damage and area of effect damage from artifacts.
  • bonus elemental damage from artifact rolls, scorcher spiderant, elemental projector

There are two gun anointments that will also increase rakk damage, the splash damage on ASE and terror cryo.

The fact that we cannot element match against every health bar is a limitation to action skill damage as a main source of damage, since the game uses multiple health bars to add difficulty.

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I was running a bounty Hunter mod with a splash damage buff on it for my m3 rakk build before mayhem 4 hit. I was also told a while back that AoE affected rakks too.
That Amara build sounds pretty close to her old one though, fire cutsman with splash damage anointment was :fire:. She wasn’t going for skill output back then just the buffs but she is the one starting to think phasezerker would be better for a m4 build.
I’m not telling her she’s right.

I thought ase anointments only buffed the gun that was anointed.
It works that way for enemies damaged by rakks take 1o0%ore damage.

Splash Damage Annointments are general. So they buff all “Splash Damage.”

I’m running a splash damage build on moze. So when I jump out of the Mech for 18 seconds any splash damage from her or Iron Bear is boosted by 120%. It’s a pretty significant damage boost for guns that go boom.

Here’s some figures on an incomplete Amara build.

This is on the second cast of Tandava. This can get crazy when you take into Remnant carry splash overkill damage from weaker enemies. Once the Guardian ranks are fixed you should be able to pretty much run around spamming her action skill for crazy high damage output.

If you combine this with a shield & grenade with +50% Elemental Damage from other damage and it won’t be an issue to smash 3 health Bars.

For example Shock is her strongest element, this will easily hit for a huge amount on shield. Add 50% bonus corrosive damage and the Armor bar is gone. Add another 50% Fire damage and you’re looking at massive overkill damage.

On top of this with her Soul Sap you can essentially run a DPS Mage Support role. Dealing crazy splash damage while healing the entire party. When running Soul Sap & Phaszerker I noticed I was healing my friends for 40k per phase cast.

Video showing all the gear I loaded up on her. This is far from optimal and I honestly had no idea I had this class mod until I went in my bank to get a Phazerker xD.

Thanks that’s nice to know, I have a few guns with that anointment so I need to test the gearbox math on that.
Should beat the 90 from elemental projector.

Rakk attack is an anointment proccer i think it is its best application. Get some good weappns with good ase(action skill end) and you’ll do fine. Honestly i think alot of action skills still scale poorly damage wise can’t speak for zane or moze but fl4k yea relying on ur skills for damage is gonna end poorly i think alot of the problem stems from lack of good anointments for during action skill(why are all the good anointments for when it ends).

Also I recommend going to the fl4k part of this site. https://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/c/Borderlands-3/FL4K

No reason why you can’t stack this on top. Get an Elemental projector with Area of Effect Damage & Action Skill Cooldown.

I guess I should have mentioned my Fl4k is at the same level as atleast half of the Amara driver builds I’ve ran into while raiding. Really their actually better with mobs than she is.
I’m doing more than fine and I also was told that the same thing about rakks and mayhem 3 a while back and proved him wrong.

Well shooting myself to deal damage isn’t part of a solid build outside of boss melting. I wish I could have both but I don’t have that anointment on Krieg’s guns.

I always felt gamma burst was way better then rakk attack at mobbing when you have red fang just letting all the enemies be aggro to your pet and sit back and cap skulls. Tho I always switched to rakk attack for bossing you freaking blow them up.

My rakk build is only good with mobs because of a good brainstormer, great Jakobs guns and anointed legendary grenades. Not exactly a casual build.
But my r4kk p4k build aims for being like a mage on the battlefield.

That sounds dope i haven’t really gotten the mod to really test it out rng is a b****. There really isnt alot ways to boost rakk attack’s damage outside of elemental projector and a 1 or 2 anointments(love to be proven wrong). If you post ur build we can help optimise ur build to get the most skill damage.

Hell yeah man, some different insight and ways of thinking are why I’m here.
For all I know rakk damage may never turn heads in m4 and icebreaker cryo rakks may be the best the mod has to offer.