Amara - 100 % melee/AS focused build - Viable? Improvable? What you think?

Hey guys,

first of all: Pls excuse me for my most likely improvable english. Not my native language. Trying my best.

Nontheless - to the reason of my topic. I can say that Borderlands is currently my most played franchise or most played non-only-online game of the last couple years. So I´m really excited to play this one. At the same time this will be my first Borderlands playing on PS4. And I nearly got like none experience in terms of shooter on console. So to get an easy start I wanted to try and start with an heavy melee and AS focused build, which I also never tried before.
May you wanna take a look at this and wanna give me some thoughts, if this could work out or if I failed to see some problems.

The AS should hopefully work as huge damage source and a catalysator for going for high melee damage numbers. And at the same time of course acceptable tankyness.
So here we go:


Root to Rise 5/5
Thats already the most questionable one. But I needed some last points to unlock the keystone. And here I will get the skill with the strongest HP boost. Most likely good against burst damage from bosses. And my other HP-reg skills will scale with max-HP. So here we go.

Personal Space 0/3
Just a quick note to the ones, I didn`t take in the Brawl tree. This one: Only damage boost for weapons. I don´t wanna use them. Or as rare as i possibly can. So we leave this one out.

Clarity 5/5
This will be my go to skill for my early game. Nice health reg. Stronger when being low. And even doubled after using my AS! And I will use my AS pretty often. So should be a nice choice for beginning.

Arms Deal 0/5
Won´t afflict my main damage sources. And the resistance is to specific in my opionion/ the skill points too precious. So no points here.

Samsara 1/3
In the end I still needed 1 point for the key ability. This one went here. A single point in a stackable one should always be nice. In this case a health/reg up to 10% in best case with only 1 point. Also released through my AS. Sounds nice. The gun damage ofc isn´t what I´m looking for. But nice to have.

Helping Hands 5/5
40% overall reduction? Really? Sounds like a non-brainer for me. And it even lasts 15 sec. My god. Like that one. And it also will get released throughout my AS. With high CDR I hopefully should be able to run around with this crazy tankiness like nearly most of the time.

Mindfulness 3/3
Also very nice one which will grant very high mobility, which should be needed in a melee build. Stacking when taking damage should be an easy one as melee. Even though it only lasts 5 secs. But op to 100 % in combination with a very short regenration delay of my shield = even more tankiness. Exaclty what´s needed in this build, outside of raw damage and resistance.

Find your center 1/1
A total no-brainer I would say. Just one point for finally a huge boost in melee damage. 100 % sounds acceptable. And again my AS will boost my stats: additional 75% melee range. Nice.

Vigor 0/3
Well, I also get my mobility with “mindfulness”. And this one isn´t nearly as strong. Cause it´s focused on Co-op. But cause I will also think about playing solo I will defintely leave this one out.

One with nature 0/5
May a suprise. But the max-HP-Boost won´t be as strong as “Root to Rise” and the the elemental damage reduction will be based on my AS-element. And this is going to be shock. So that´s again to specfic for me to spend points in. So 0/5.

Do unto others 1/1
1 point skills are often nice. I hope this one too. 8 sec cooldown sounds okey, cause it will amost instantly get triggered as melee. And I see litte damage boosts coming in for this one, cause it´s based on my AS-element = shock.

Jab cross 5/5
Now the other way round. My melee damage will now also boost the damage of my AS. So I guess there should be also no hestitation here. Should lead to a playstyle where I should be able to constantly switch high between AS and melee damage numbers.

Guardian Angel 1/1
Wow - this one also seems like a pretty strong one. Especially for playing solo/ without guns. Free Second Wind all 120 cd. Guess the cooldown is justified. On top of that an elemtal nova based on my AS-element again. Nice. And that with only one point. So again no time to overthink needed.

Blitz 1/1
This one is hopefully where my wanted playstyle slowly starts to shine. Hopefully also the great key ability I hope to be. Didn´t see any videos till now. But while reading there should be a lot to use: Dash/ gapcloser which will provide additional mobility. 8 Sec cd. Even resetted when killing an enemy. Should be great for “trash mobs”. On top of that again +100% melee damage.
Only question here is: It only says “dealing Elemental melee damage”. Based on what? Is it random? Or based on AS-element? That would be so nice and may make many things synergize very well together.

**Mystical Assault **

Do harm 5/5
Again a stackable skill which will be stacked throughout killing enemys. Should be quite possible to stack after unlocking “Blitz”. And will finally result in an even stronger AS - up tp 45%. Basically just what´s needed for the core of the build.

Restless 4/5
“Only” 4/5 cause the point will be needed somewhere else. Also not much too say. So many bonuses I will receive after activating my AS. And this one will make me able to do so even more often. So also a great choice in my opinion.

Fist of the Elements

Anima 5/5
Actually the only skill in Tier 1 I got the hope I will profit somehow with my preferred playstlye. So basically without alternative. I´m acutally not sure if my AS will also trigger Status-Effect-Damage? If yes, this of course would be an more than okey choice. Would lead to an additional 60% Elemental-Status-Damage. And this one should be quite high.

And now, i guess, the final two skills, which - I hope so - will make this build really really totally work out:

Illuminated Fist 1/1
Wow - only one point. But the effect seems even greater. +75 % Melee. Well, that´s nice. Sounds already great and would be nice alone. But even better: Converts my melee damage into my AS-element. Wow. So i got two parameters for buffing my main melee damage source? Right? That´s nice. And there should be surely a lot of ways to buff melee or either shock damage.

Tempest 5/5
So cause of Illuminated Fist this one really starts to make sense. Not only buffing my AS-damage now. Now it´s also afflicting my melee damage on top of that! Hoping for a class which raises Tempest and some melee skills. There could be some potential here I guess.

And for Augments:

Seems like offering the highest base damage while quite a acceptable cd. Even though I will most liekly need to stack some CDR to get things going.


Soul Sap
Seeing no alternatives. And this one will add some bonus survivability based on my AS-damage. And I mean, that´s what my build shall be build around. So still a quite nice one I guess.

So what you guys think? Could this work out? Are there any skills - i didn´t see any of them - which don´t work like I think they will? Especially in Blitz and it´s element I´m interested.


If you don’t mind spoilers then check out Admiral Bahroo’s video on youtube. Melee Amara is certainly viable and in fact quite fast for level 50 proving grounds on normal and your build looks like a good one.

How it will scale on harder levels is yet to be seen but the developers certainly look like they are designing Amara to have the choice to melee. You will have to deal with the fact that you will be close up with the 40% damage reduction only half the time. Maybe fracture would be a better action skill?

The only thing I would say about your plans that I don’t think will work is sticking to shock damage alone. If you do that you will do a lot less damage vs flesh and armoured targets especially on true vault hunter modes.

Good thing with your build is that you can chose fire or corrosive. These will more then make up for the damage you lose from not having tempest. I don’t think it will be possible later on to stick to only one element.

Thank you very much :wink:

Na, I´m not that much worried about spoilers I would say. Guess I will look by chance, cause I´m sure there´s even then still waiting a lot of fun ahead :wink:

Yeah, I´m excited and curious to see how this could perform on higher and harder levels.
And thank you very much for your advices. Your right. Until I got some really high CDR it potentially could lead to a problem having the 40% reduction only half the time. Not sure how far the hp-reg can carry me. Fracture is definetly something to think about. Even better cooldown even though I´m going to loose some base damage. But guess that´s okey, when melee is later turning up. Will be testing around :wink:

Refering to your shock adivce: Was already a little bit worried about that, yeah. But I actually just thought of shock as kinda jack of all trades. Even more cause its supported in an even stronger way. But possibly your right. Later runs wont allow this I guess…At least as you could tell from the second game. But with this build I got the possibility to change and adapt, at least.
The biggest worry i had here is that this constantly switching of my element would kinda taking away the flow from the game from me and just ends up in feeling a bit annoying. But maybe they are also creating a shortcut for switching these elements. Who knows. Going to be suprised and for sure will test out every possibilty with this build and the greatest potential I can achieve :wink:

I guess its down to playstyle but a quick swap of elements to me seems a lot better then taking ages to kill a boss because you are doing 30% of the damage you could be doing. Worth checking Admiral Bahroo’s video on elemental damage as well.

Okey - i see. So shock isn´t the overall go to element like before. Good to know.
So guess switching elements is definetely inescaple and without alternaitves.
But for the case they give me an option to quickly change my augments, maybe several “loadouts” I for sure wouldnt have a problem with that. Or areas, that are focused on a mainly special type. That´s okey.

Well in proving grounds you may be forced to switch element type on the boss as he switches elements as soon as you empty his first health bar.

Or you can just be Fl4k and out crit everything.

Judging from how melee did in the previous BL games its a strong no as to wether it can manage on higher difficulty.
Judging from vids of her as lvl 50 with a unique shotgun that buffs melee and who knows what else that is slabbed onto her to beef up melee, now that does look fine in dmg but nothing amazing and that also seems like its being run on normal diff.
Melee seems fine on normal, i dont mind that its there, but is it good enough later? No i dont see it happening.

Your predicting how melee is gonna be in this game based on a 7 year old game?


Individual melee damage sources seem to have been reduced greatly. Bladed weapons seem to give between 60%-90% (there could be higher ones) melee damage as opposed to 50%-200% and melee passives are rather modest compared to Borderlands 2. But there seem to be more individual sources for melee damages too.

I think melee damage will struggle in higher game mods, as it did in previous games. It will greatly depend on your skill and whether you can reliably produce melee crits by aiming perfectly or not.

I also think the saving grace for Amara will be the use of the correct element. Elemental melee attacks were not really a thing in previous games and since the weakness modifer of elements increases with difficulty, Amara will greatly profit from this. On the other hand she will be horribly punished for using wrong elements, as they too get diminished more on Vault Hunter Mode.

I predict, a pure melee build is not going to work for this reason. Amara can choose one element when the fight begins and exploit those that are weak to it. But there will rarely be 1 elemental enemies, they will be diverse. So she must fight those with weapons instead in order to avoid the heavy elemental penalty.

And provided we do not have any hotkeys for it, changing the augmentation element will be very annoying and likely impossible in the heat of battle. So yea, Amara’s biggest strenght is also her biggest weakness, as shock is no longer an all solution.

There were elemental melee attack in BL2: Make it Sparkle. And it was OP when matching elements.

There are eridium guns with effects like +200% melee damage after using your AS that can be bought in the Crazy Earl shop.

I do think that a melee/AS focused build is really going to be not only viable but strong too.


Ah, I am not familiar with this ability. I only played Axton and Krieg and later Zero, once I realised how much better than Krieg he is. Thank you. :slight_smile: Forgive me for spreading wrong assumptions then. (EDIT: I just checked what this passive does. It buffs the melee attacks of deathtrap, not of the player. So I was actually not wrong by assuming, that Amara is the first to actually do this)

And you know that there will be such a weapon in Borderlands 3 ? Which gives 200% melee damage ?

There’s no reason to believe a melee build won’t be viable at endgame. We know Amara has coms that can boost her capstones/gamechangers. Bahroo kinda heavily hinted that either Find Your center or Blitz could be buffed by coms.

Knowing this, assuming either is buffed by +1 (and a com buffs it by say 50%), then Amara has up to +525% melee damage. Then she can change her melee to match elements, giving her x1.75 on flesh and armor. Then that elemental damage is buffed by 30%. Enemies damaged by her AS take +25% damage from all sources. Throw on a bladed weapon that gives her +100% melee damage, and Amara now has +2900% melee damage - this is far higher than Krieg was capable of, and Amara can actually efficiently apply her debuff element for x3 this amount. Given Melee Krieg was viable pretty much till high OP levels (and BL3’s scaling won’t be as harsh), Melee Amara should be viable and strong at the endgame. Will it kill raidbosses? Probably not, but it should mod and kill regular bosses pretty well.

Except that melee Amara has no acces to the 25% damage after Action Skill.

You want the passive from the red tree which gives 75% melee damage and converts her melee into her element. If you do this, you will not have a realistic chance to get the 25% passive from the blue tree. Not until they add more skillpoints.

She is really not as crazy as you make her out to be. She will be a nice mid game trash killer and that is it.

Weapons in BL3 can be anointed (sorta like luneshine in TPS). One of the anointed perks is +200% melee damage after phaseslam.

This sounds beautiful. Where have you seen this weapon ? Can you remember how long the duration is ? I wager it only said “for a short duration” as for most anointeds.

Err, I mean that’s not a remarkably big part of the 2900%, which will at worst drop to about 2300% aka still more than Krieg.

And yes, I am talking about UVHM endgame where she CAN access those skills, cos UVHM is where melee classes start feeling the hurt. In TVHM, Krieg was 1 or 2 shotting badasses without slag. And we all know there will likely be a UVHM a year or so from now.

I mean I don’t think Melee Amara will be ‘crazy strong’ - her gun builds have far more potential. But I do think that Melee Amara will be a strong mobbing class and have some capability to kill bosses even in UVHM (and definitely in TVHM)

Hm, I actually see her in a far better spot against bosses than I saw Krieg. Melee Krieg was absolutely helpless against big bosses. He could lame a few with bloodssplosion. But it basically came down to throwing your axe and hoping your ult will end and thus become ready again in order to heal you.

Amara (due to gear) has access to melee lifesteal and good synergies with shotguns. I think she will be able to hold her ground in melee range much better than Krieg could. But I also doubt, that she will have good dps against bosses. It all depends on how good the melee damage shotgun is compared to other weapons.

She will likely be bottom tier for boss dps.

I wager, melee amara will be more reliant on future level cap increases than others. She is very restricted with only 47 skillpoints. Maxing another skilltree will make it less of a decision, if you can have melee for mobbing and elemental mayhem for dangerous encounters.

In bahroos vid a single melee was doing 51k whereas his shotgun was only doing 8k and action skill around the shotgun or less. There’s gonna have to be a lot of scaling down to that melee to be insignificant to the gun damage then.

I still can’t understand how you guys can base the future of melee on a past game
When is clearly obviously they are trying to ensure melee is not underwhelming like prior .