Battleborn: [B]alance TIER Caldarius

Caldarius Summary

I manage to get a few games in with Caldarius before the beta ended but not enough. To keep it short, he is fast, VERY fast. The only major drawback lies in his auto pistol damage. While I was in a game, I decided to keep track of the numbers of his pistol damage. Regular hits on character deals 20dmg, I equipped my legendary which provides 8% increase in dmg and attack speed which brought it up to 23DMG. He really does lack in power and deep down I want his pistol damage to be higher when i play him but then again maybe he’s better without. I feel like an increase in power would just cause problems in Caldarius mobility/Power balance. Lastly and quickly, if you are going to play Caldarius, its best to play with a keyboard and mouse. I tried on my playstation 4 and its difficult to be mobile while using the joystick to aim at characters. This character is balance but may seem unbalance to the inexperience who doesn’t know how to deal with his mobility.

Here’s an example of someone like me who knows Caldarius but was outplayed by an experience one. I seriously could not catch this Caldarius.

For the full tier list BETA Battleborn Tier List (FINAL)

So far Caldarius has been a pubstomping type character for me. He’s effective against teams that aren’t really coordinated, but anyone who knows how to fight against you can counter you really easily. I’ll probably do a bit more playing around with him today though, I feel like he might be an interesting character to master.

His desk with his pistol is low, but it’s a trade for his mobility and the fact that he also has a melee instead of a ads. I’ve grown use to him and almost have him mastered, plus his flashbang makes him quite a harasser. Though a boost to the pistol wouldn’t hurt, but then again Melka holds that, given she lacks Caldarius’s mobility.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t mind devs giving Caldarius some tweets, but then again he is a advance character.

I feel like he could still use a pretty substantial damage buff, especially when you compare him to Melka (who is really really powerful) She’s got well over twice as much damage on her pistol, plus she’s got that dot effect. I get that she doesn’t have the same mobility that Caldarius does, but it’s kind of ridiculous.

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Melka does possess much more damage with dot, but Caldarius, even lore wise, is designed to be a character who strikes his enemy and disappears. He’s far from being a discount character, more of poker who stuns and strikes, while Melka is designed to poison her target and gun them down. They share mobility, but they’re different play styles.

you don’t know what you are unleashing if gearbox gives him a damage buff, trust me.

Ok, maybe just a little damage buff. Most people that I’ve spoken to agree that Caldarius is definitely hard to use, and he take some learning, but in addition to that, he’s also a little weak. My other point was Melda kinda needs a nerf.

I can agree, Caldarius is definitely a hard character to use, but then again he is an advance character. I wouldn’t say Melka needs a nerf, but Caldarius could use some tweaks, such as the child grenades: they’re lackluster compared to firing 3 flashbang or his mutation that fires 3 at once.

Instead of a damage buff, make his helix options better. Specifically increase the duration of Blind from Flashbang and decrease cooldown on Flashbang and Gravitic Burst. Also they need to work on collision/clipping in this game. Tired of trying to make a move only to get caught up on some sharp corner like the edge of a stairway.

I think Caldarius is around C tier.

His gun tickles. Even if he is kind of fast, I don’t think he really brings enough to the team. His wave clear is pretty underwhelming, and he get’s out dueled by most melee and any ranged that can kite him.

He’s a really neat idea, but I think his primary attack should be more his gun instead of his melee. His melee isn’t that bad, but it’s probably the slowest “flurry” of melee attacks in the game. Which doesn’t fit for someone who is supposed to be fast. I think a good Caldarius concept would be to strafe around enemies using his dash while also shooting them and being superb at kiting.

He needs work.

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I can agree with that, fast swings on his melee

Agreed. I’ve been saying it before, but I think the problem is that his helix tree is so unimpactful that he doesn’t scale very well through matches. Most of his options are just boring overall as well.

A Little more damage on the pistol and faster swings for the sword swing. I mainly use the normal mellee because it is much faster for him. The broblem is the tickling is not enough. There other fast character like Thorn that move fast but don´t lack in Power. You don´t benefit the tam enough.

I love the TMP to be honest. I wouldn’t complain about a dmg increase of course, but I think it works really well right now as is. It reloads fast and is insanely accurate even for poking a Marquis at extreme range. The accuracy partially makes up for the dmg because it is fairly easy to get a string of crits on most enemies IMO.

I feel like Caldarius gets stronger and stronger as the match goes on, compared to his opponents. I can usually get more and more aggressive the higher my level goes, and still get away with it. The kills start to pile up for me late game, most of the time.

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I love Caldarius, he’s my favorite Battleborn in the game(played him the most in CTT & Open Beta), but I have to agree with some of the things said about him:

  • His TMP is far too weak; it’s weird, because in PvE, it works just fine, but in PvP, it feels really weak
  • His Secondary Attack Melee doesn’t really do that much damage; one of his Mutations gives him 15% health back per hit with the Secondary attack, but it’s too low to even make a difference(usually does 150-170dmg with the melee, 15% of that is…22.5-25.5HP…wow…)
  • His Dash Attack Special is really iffy, as I’ll sometimes ‘phase’ through the enemy or completely stop after activating the skill, forcing me to waste the Skill & enter cooldown; should have a wider hitbox/added ‘bleed’ effect
  • His “double-jump” is more of a dash than a jump; kinda misleading, as I was wondering why he wasn’t jumping as high as I thought he was(even with the Helix, he doesn’t jump high enough)
  • (This is mainly a PvE issue, but I’ll list it here anyway)His Ultimate gets canceled a lot, due to not having a high enough space for him to fly up; not really an issue in PvP, as if he’s canceled, the cooldown is significantly shortened to compensate(that, & there’s a ton of open space)

Those are just my thoughts on Caldarius. I know I’m being a bit biased on this, so please let me know if you think something(or everything) I typed out is a bit too much for him.

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I actually really appreciate when people give more information than barely any, it gives me more knowledge about the character and insight of things I may have missed. And I know the feeling of having a beloved character and only wanting the best for them (MORE BUFFS RIGHT?)

Okay TMP damage, i know its weak but thats because hes so fast, if you play this character right you will never get hit and you can dance around your opponent. A damaget buffs concerns me, Caldarius is fast and if they give him a damage boost then he will become a flying vulcan gun. He is fine in my opinion.

I can agree to this, his dashes and jumps are really sloppy but this has to do with the poor design. Gearbox needs to smoothen out his dashes for better gameplay of Caldarius

Brief guide to Caldie:

Gravitic Dash: The Bus. Dash is only rarely an attack, and is instead your instant disengage. It instantly gives you five sprint seconds of distance (more when upgraded) that can be activated in air and can turn. That’s ridiculous. You can leave fights at will with this and you absolutely should rather than wasting it on a difficult-to-land strike that deals mediocre damage and leaves you point-blank. Only engage with this if you see a weak or easily distracted enemy you can carve down with blades in 3 seconds or less, or if you just flashed a group of minions and want to use the Blade speed buff to carve them up.

It’s also key to nabbing all the neutral shard spawns quickly, which Cald should absolutely be doing every game, every spawn, unless your team has a pre-designated carry. Deny your enemy those resources!

Flashbang: Cald’s best ability. Flashbang should be upgraded with triple + bleed, you should reduce its cooldowns, and it should be liberally sprinkled on everything even mildly bothersome. It turns early minion waves into salad waiting to be chopped, violently interrupts gank spanks on your teammates, and covers outrageous amounts of territory. With triple + AoE upgrades, you can flash the entire central area of Incursion easily.

There is really no excuse for starting any serious fight without a flashbang. I’m dead serious. It needs to be your entrance theme.

Aerial Attack: Despite appearances, this is not Burst’s equal for disengagement - the startup time hurts it there. No, this is your snipe, your coup de grace. It deals far more damage than anything else you can do, and almost no one correctly estimates its speed, distance, and killing power. Sniping an opponent with this and then leaving immediately with Burst is the ultimate fly-by and basically unstoppable.

General Tips

Never use Burst on the ground. You’ll hit something and it’ll end early, every time you need it not to. Burst is air-only - plus, you can lateral-boost after it to frustrate enemy snipers working for the pickoff.

Burst cancels into sword swipes almost seamlessly. Don’t wait to start swiping, if you’re going to chase with Burst. You want to be out of there as soon as possible.

Your base damage is very low. Don’t bother chasing high-health enemies, just dump a clip or two into their back and look for someone else to harass. You don’t match anyone else’s killing power without your Ult and you shouldn’t try.

You’re paradoxically excellent at killing distracted thralls by circling behind them, dropping flash, and then attacking the back weak spot. Help out if someone else is going for the mercs!

Hope y’all get some use from this.

EDIT: It’s worth noting the unique Cald gear, the Sword of Transfusion, gives him 50% of his ult’s damage back as health. I shouldn’t need to point out how stupidly sustainable this makes him in the field, and unless you have an absolutely awesome other Epic, this is your first buy every time. You’ll have the shards for it, I promise.


You my friend get 2 thumbs up :thumbsup::thumbsup: for breaking down exactly how to play Cal effectively.

Caldarius was my goal for the Open Beta. I liked the idea of a fast melee Armored Core style attacker. I finally unlocked him at Rank 28 and…I died. A LOT. So I read forums and watched videos and everyone played him the same way I wanted to but it just wasn’t clicking for me. Then I noticed that he said, “Death from above.” in his sinister, robotic voice when you select him and got to thinking…

I give you the Death From Above Build (PvP)

TMP - Hated it at first and demanded a damage buff. Then I realized that the thing has almost no reload time and is very accurate even at a decent range. You do get a damage penalty beyond a certain range but it still does what it needs to - POKE AWAY SHIELDS.

Blade - More damage than the gun but slow as hell. Attack speed items + the helix buff got me to damn near 40% increased speed but it still wasn’t effective. What is it good for? Quick MINION CLEAR for early exp gain.

Gravitic Burst - EXIT STRATEGY! Caldarius launches forward and upon hitting an enemy launches up (WAY up) and back to basically where he started from. Pair this with the damage augment in the helix and all of a sudden he is IN AND OUT IN A SINGLE DAMAGING MOVE!

But wait, there’s more! The launch seems to be considered a jump. So what? That means after you launch yourself up and away you can STILL USE YOUR THRUSTERS in mid air to further adjust our position. For this we want IMPROVED THRUSTERS from the helix.

(SIDE NOTE: The ability does need fixing so that your boost is not stopped by small changes in the ground that you’re boosting on. Experience with a map will help with this in the interim but a fix is certainly needed…he doesn’t touch the ground anyways.)

Flashbang: BOOM BOOM BOOM! Flash Barrage/Bleed/Cooldown. Testing is needed to see how good the mutation that fires all 3 simultaneously is.

Aerial Assault: Here’s the thing, Aerial Assault can be triggered ANYWHERE! Even in the air. We want to reduce the cooldown and make it instant.

(SIDE NOTE: This needs a tweak so that you do not collide with environmental elements. Again experience with a map and the move will help but it’s annoying as F#&K.)



You’re fast, so be fast. Capture a forward tower quickly and then begin clearing minions. If engaged by another Battleborn, don’t even bother dueling use your double taps to dodge/back out of the engagement (if engaged by melee) while shooting. Pop them with a FLASHBANG for damage/bleed. With practice, few people will be able to do any significant damage to you like this. Use your melee after armor is stripped off minions to finish them quickly if you’re not in danger from other Battleborn. You can use FLASHBANG on minion waves if you’re confident you don’t need it for OH SH!T purposes. Collect money when you can, build/upgrade towers, and recall if you get too hurt since you can re-engage very quickly anyways. Let your healer focus on a tank character. Get to level 2 ASAP. Exit Strategy…

Now you can fight other Battleborn. Probably won’t be getting kills but you’ll be clearing minions faster and driving back all but the toughest Battleborn. Poke away shields with the TMP while using side to side movement for gun users and kiting back against melees. Once it’s gone, ATTACK! Dash in with Burst, take to the skies and lay down a flashbang once airborne. Depending on where you need/want to be after this encounter, boost to re-engage or seek safety behind minions/allies. Assists for days. Oh, and don’t miss, you might die…


Follow your minions, poke from the back to either clear enemy forces or hit opposing Battleborn. (You might want to disengage to help with Thrall camps. Usually don’t even need to stay for the whole thing. Just BURST into a Thrall, rain down down FLASH BARRAGE for the stun, maybe TMP some health down so that you’re cap person can secure; peace.) Now once a shield is down and the health of the hero is low enough (you’ll get a feel for the thresholds) go for the kill. BURST in, rain down FLASH BARRAGE AND THEN position as needed with IMPROVED THRUSTERS.

What about Aerial Assault you say? Good question. You use this to finish opponents if you engaged a bit early since they don’t know where you are or where to run/hide because their blind. Activate it in mid air after your FLASH BARRAGE and rain down great justice. IMPROVED THRUSTERS + AFTERBURNER can get you out of most situations if you have good map awareness.


You bring down shields before a reload more reliably, shortening poke time before kill combo, your engage hits harder, you are much less likely to miss and hit more enemy minions/Battleborn, and you can finish runners faster and more frequently. Need to test AERIAL BARRAGE a bit more to see what it brings to the table.

GEAR: COOLDOWN AND SKILL DAMAGE are necessary in my opinion to get that real assassin feel to this setup. You want your 1,2 punch available as often as possible . Maybe sprint speed if you can find an item that has COOLDOWN/SKILL DMG on it?

Playing this way is a ton of fun for me personally. I love the satisfaction of destroying someone from the air. Only the most talented of snipers can take you out of the sky if you’ve still got a shield and any kind of health left. Melees wish they had never even bothered. Pair yourself with a shielder and you become a pretty serious problem.

Please share your feedback and experiences if you decide to use this setup.