Best Drone and Clone builds?

The action skill pair I’d like to run (at least to begin with) is SNTNL and Digi-Clone, however most builds I’ve seen focus mostly on the clone side of things, buffing up the clone massively etc. I was wondering if there were any drone and clone builds focusing mostly on SNTNL, or is that just not a sensible option?


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The problem with focusing too much on the Hitman tree is that it’s heavily reliant on kill skills, so if there’s only one enemy, like a boss, to fight, that build is pretty much useless. It’s better to focus mainly on either the Clone or the Barrier tree, (which ever you like better) then go down Hitman. The clone tree will boost damage just by using your actions skill, making it useful far more often, and the barrier tree is focused on keeping you alive, making you very tanky. You can still get all the SNTNL augments if you put your points in the right spots so focusing on the Hitman tree isn’t necessary for a strong drone.

Not if you get his top tier capstone in the tree, which completely negates the criticism of focusing too much on the Hitman tree.

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That just means, in order to take advantage of Seein’ Red and most effectively use your kill skills, you have to alternate your action skills. It kinda negates the benefits of having two action skills if you shouldn’t use them both at the same time. You wouldn’t be able to use his capstone until level 26 anyway, meaning you’ll be halfway through the game before you gain that benefit.

Then again, this is just based on the skill trees themselves. When you take into account class mods and relic boosts, you could possibly get a huge reduction in cooldown time, depending on your gear build.

OK, thanks you make a good point about not necessarily having to focus on SNTNL for a strong drone and I hadn’t taken into account class mods + relics yet.

I’ve struggled to create any decent builds with the drone because its long cooldown is at odds with everything else the hitman tree is doing. Getting the high tier drone augments means building around kill skills, which means taking seein’ red and at that point you’d prefer to run two action skills you can use more frequently. Maybe something will end up being really good once we get a chance to try things out, but on paper the drone just looks underwhelming.

You can’t get to the last drone augments without getting at least one kill skill, true, but you CAN get there by only getting one kill skill and no Seein’ Red.

Grab Cold Bore, Violent Momentum, put 1 point in Drone Delivery, and then put 4 points in either Salvation or Cool Hand. Cool Hand will give you increased reload speed even before the kill skill, but Salvation gives you life steal, which is always useful. Whichever suits your build better, which would likely be Cool Hand since it gives you a boost without needing a kill.

You could technically do that, but it sounds like a really underwhelming build. Realistically if you’re investing that much into the hitman tree the good skills you have access to are geared towards on-kill synergies. You’re not literally forced to take them, but the alternatives aren’t making the drone look any more appealing.

It’s all about your personal playstyle. The cooldown for the drone is an easy fix, it’s all about what skills you choose and what gear you find(obviously).

If you want to use the drone, there’s all sorts of ways to make it work.

With all this does the SNTNL or Digi-Clone kills activate kill skips because that would make all the worry about getting a kill at least a little off the players shoulders directly. And with bosses they almost always have minions you could use to get a quick kill to activate the kill skills. Doesn’t seem like that big of an issue to me.

Most likely, yes. Every other “turret” type ability in every Borderlands games worked that way, so it feels safe to say yes, but it’s always possible this one is different. But I’d bet my Super Deluxe edition that the answer is yes, Clone/Drone kills activate kill skills.

True, but that’s not always the case. Borderlands 3 already showed one that didn’t have minions. It’s likely there are more. Plus, if you play with friends, they’d be getting some of those kills. If there are alot of different types of BA enemies, it could be hard to get a kill. It’s an unreliable way to get boosts.

If you want to go a kill skill heavy build, then go for it. I just think it’s a risky way to go.

That was my first thought as well but there are certain skills that make me wonder in bl3. For example DONNYBROOK where it specifies “whenever Zane kills an enemy”. Stating Zane’s name makes me wonder if the Digi-Clone and SNTNL kills won’t count for a kill

That’s a scary idea. But the clone/drone wouldn’t be considered separate from Zane because they’re just his gear, so “Zane” would be an umbrella term for Zane and his skills.

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Those are valid points. I’m normally a solo player so kill skills in bl2 were pretty important for some characters so that’s why I like them

I’m 50/50 solo/2 player coop so I feel ya. No matter what, if something doesn’t work, we can always respec later.