Advice on Build

(Legendary Lunatic) #1

Hello, I have been playing TPS for a while now, I finished NVHM with Jack and am now doing the same with Athena. I’m heading down the left tree first, because early on it seemed the most sensible option. I have just finished the Zarp fight story-wise, and went to get an E-GUN afterwards. Build is as follows:

Using a lot of hand-me-down gear from when Jack got them, so using a Stopping Torrent (no element), E-GUN, a Stabbing KerBoom and a Skewering Shredifier, a Neutralizing Blowfly and a Reactive Viral Marketer. Shield is just a purple adaptive shield I got from a quest, United Protector COM with 13% Cooldown, +3 United Front and +2 Hold the Line. Sticky Longbow Cryo Singularity and 3DD1.E Oz Kit that I found in a machine (level 21).

(Avi16200) #2

You didn’t really wrote what kind of advice you want so I’m not sure what to write but regardless you should put a point into mealstrom. for a one point investment you get a lot of damage on elemental weapons, even if you’re not planing on going down the CS tree. A good shock/fire tesla grenade can make stacking very easy for you (get the stormfront if you’re willing to farm for it).

Anyway, your build is excellent but i would take some points from United Front and put them in PFG or Return Fire for more damage. 1 point in United Front with the CoM is fine, especially in normal mode where survival is a smaller issue.

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(Legendary Lunatic) #3

Thanks for the input. So if I did this, it would be better?

Also where do I farm a storm front in this game?

(Avi16200) #4

The build looks good, sadly the storm front can be farmed from a certain boss so you’ll have to farm vending machines or the grinder but a purple tesla grenade is enough for normal mode.
You should farm the storm front if you’re going to move to the CS tree next or when you are higher level and trying to get gear for your end game build.

(Legendary Lunatic) #5

@avi16200 Hey I’m wondering where she gets health from, I know Vanguard when the Aspis is up but can she be a little more survivable when Aspis is on cooldown?

(Maxageddon) #6

Bloodlust in the Xiphos tree can give some additional healing. If you go this route, playstyle can be a little counter intuitive since it helps to bleed a few targets before killing anything to get good use out of the regen. Conduit helps a lot for survivability as well. When Aspis is on cooldown, just toss some teslas on the battlefield. This does require some stacks to be built up though for the shield regen to really help.

Though my play through with Athena, I found stacking 5/5 in mercurial (more isn’t needed due to diminishing returns) and a good adaptive shield upped my survivability a whole lot too.

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(Avi16200) #7

Basically what @maxageddon said but additionally Athena is a much better shield tank than a health tank. Conduit in the CS tree combined with a good turtle shield can get you a powerful shield recharge that works almost passively (because you already spread shock DoT for Mealstrom).
Vanguard will keep you above health gate while your shield (both Aspis and actual shield) protect you.

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(Legendary Lunatic) #8

I appreciate the input from both of you. I am level 33 right now and all my skill points (apart from 1 in Maelstrom) are in the Phalanx tree, should I change it to go down CS instead?

(Maxageddon) #9

I respecced a lot while leveling up. Having at least one point in maelstrom is all you really need at first. The added damage from CS is nice, but not necessary at this point (although that 1 point is maelstrom makes most bosses a helluva lot easier). If you come across a low fuse tesla (any rarity, any level), that is all you really need for now. The teslas will stack better than most things, and with a bomber oz kit, you can really abuse them for stacking. That would allow you to focus more on the other trees while still getting good mileage out of CS. I’m 61 on my Athena right now, still using a level 30 something tesla with no issues.

I did spec into gathering tempest early on too, but mainly because slow reloads bother me, and the boost to mag size rules, especially with a com that boosts the skill.

Athena has really been the only toon where I wanted to try every single one of her skills vs Jack and Nisha, who I knew how I wanted to build them from level 1. I took this approach with clappy too, but less out of curiosity and more out of desperation to not die a lot.

(Legendary Lunatic) #11

@maxageddon @avi16200 Ok, i’ll carry on with what I was doing at least for now. I updated my United Protector COM to a level 33 version so I get +4 +3 now. Build is this:

Is Invictus worthwhile? I feel like it’s 5 wasted points but if it’s actually good i’ll leave it like that.

(Maxageddon) #12

I never really go for it, but its not a bad skill. Since you are maxing out hold the line, and specced prismatic aegis, you already have pretty good damage potential with your aspis. You could put them into gun kata for some flat damage, which goes well with maelstrom, or boost your healing with vanguard. Storm Weaving would also be good for those points, but unless you plan on going further down the CS tree early on, I find it a little unnecessary until I can also get some points into other CS skills to support it.

Edit: I’m assuming you are holding your shield instead of an immediate throw based on your spec into hold the line. If you are opening with a shield toss, invictus can be quite lovely.

(Legendary Lunatic) #13

Because i’m new to her (indeed fairly new to TPS) I have been holding it until i’ve stored some damage and if I manage to injure a few enemies, i’ll throw it, or let it auto throw, hoping to kill the weakened enemies. I tend not to throw it straight away unless I know it’s the last enemy and they’ll die if I do.

I took the 5 points out of Invictus and moved them to max out my two boosted skills and the remaining point went into Return Fire. This is all trial and error of course. I’m quite the veteran of BL2 but i’m a complete novice on this game!


You should consider redistributing your skill points and investing more into Ceraunic Storm at this point. Feel free to continue running the Protector mod but maybe try for something like this:,auto

You’ll be surprised at how much Conduit will offer you in terms of durability without being as dependent on your Aspis. But more importantly, you’ll start to gain some offensive capability that will help as you dive into TVHM and UVHM.

When you invest in Unrelenting and Elemental Barrage you will begin to see just how powerful Athena is. But in the meantime, learn the habit of swapping weapons and triggering Storm Weaving to help your Maelstrom stacking. It will really come into play later unless you decide to explore Xiphos.

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(Avi16200) #15

Invictus might seem not that good when compared to Ephodos at first but they are both equally good.
The Aspis damage benefits from many things like: grenade damage bonuses (from bomber oz kit for example), maelstrom, cryo and more that I might forget. Then Invictus comes as another multiplier which can generates large amount of damage from the Aspis. It also negates the damage loss on extra hits from WOTF.

The only wasteful thing would be to 5/5 both skills. choose what suits you more depending on play style.

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(Legendary Lunatic) #16

@maxageddon @avi16200 @BookEmDano Thank you all for your input. I’m now deep into TVHM, i’m level 37 and have just beaten Felicity. I decided that Invictus was less useful to my playstyle than Ephodos so I saved those 5 points. I also decided that United Front was somewhat redundant because while holding the Aspis i’m invulnerable (more or less) to frontal damage, so logically my shield would always be full before my Aspis times out.

I decided to make these changes

My intention is to next take Omega-Senshu and Mercurial, and then move to Storm Weaving. In your opinions (considering your far superior knowledge) is this a wise decision?

(Today, everything was fine in Opportunity and nothing bad happened.) #17

Those three skills (Gun-Kata, Mercurial, and Omega-Senshu) are the only ones that I took for my Phalanx/CS build Athena. And yes, all three of them are absolutely worth it. But you won’t find much more help going down that tree unless you want to play some type of hybrid build.

(Legendary Lunatic) #18

I wasn’t going further than those, no. But all 3 looked great :slight_smile:

(Avi16200) #19

I would take out 5 points from either RF or WOTG and put them in OS to boost your damage.
RF and WOTG are both great so just remove the points from the one you like less.

(Legendary Lunatic) #20

Does an Aspis throw count as a melee attack?

(Maxageddon) #21

I don’t believe it does. Below is a link from the resource guide for Aspis Damage.

For your skill distribution, it looks good. Going for mercurial and omega will help with defense and damage output. I really like the Xiphos tree personally, but unless you plan on using a bit of a hybrid playstyle, the rest of the skills don’t make much sense in it since they all pretty much depend on the target to be bleeding.

You may want to move 5 points from either Return Fire or Prepare for Glory (both really aren’t needed) to get either OS or Mercurial, as you would get more from either of those in combination with Prepare or Return than both Prepare and Return in terms of damage or survivability.