Best first tree to go down?

Hey guys, I’m trying athena for the first time and need some help.
I’m lvl 13 and started off in the cerumaic ( sp) tree down to smite. …great skill. But I’m having trouble keeping stacks and staying alive.

I heard that the far left tree is also a great tree to start in as well, after you get the maelstrom skill.

Just looking for some early level help. Her action skill feels useless and her stacks are tough to get up. Thanks guys

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I went down the Phalanx tree first and got the most important skills from that (Ephodos, Vanguard, Hold The Line, United Front, and Prismatic Aegis or Clear!, then finally Wrath of the Goddess) before going down CS after level 25-ish. Wrath of the Goddess and Zeus’ Rage work so well together. You also get to keep your Aspis out longer with Hold The Line, which lets you tank badasses/bosses longer, and while Vanguard’s healing isn’t spectacular, it’s serviceable, and not too bad with a Protector COM.

Normal mode isn’t too bad as far as needing lots of damage, so I found it was best to go defensive first and work down the CS tree in late Normal/TVHM when the enemies start getting tougher. The Xiphos tree felt underwhelming on a new character, but that’s probably just my playstyle.

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Really good advice. Thats kinda my mindset too, was to make better use of her action skill and some survival.
right now the elemental tree is fun, but finding it not as useful as it could be.

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Elemental Tree really needs some specific weapons to build stacks fast enough, and it’s hard to find them early game. It’s still a viable tree to go down, but i did Xiphos first, because Blood Rush.

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Never been a big fan of melee in such a gun oriented game. But I know it’s insane though

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Like Order, Maelstrom is an amazing one point skill. Grab it as soon as you can and then go down the Phalanx tree. Teslas grenades synergyze perfectly early on with Maelstrom, and almost all the lasers are good (Deadlift one, Moxxi one and etc). Look for the Battery build in this subforum, its an amazing build with some level up and gear tips.

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Turtle shields plus Conduit and a decent shock weapon will give you enough tanking ability that surviving shouldn’t be a problem. 100 stacks is enough to kill anything in front of you in Normal and that shouldn’t be an issue achieving.

If you’re looking for a good leveling guide then read up on @Sljm build

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Guns ain’t got sh*t on Blood Rush.

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I checked the build, but the link to the early level builds are broken :confused:

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How many points in Conduit do you have?

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2 in conduit, 3 in gathering tempest, 4 stormweaving, 1 maelstrom, , 1 smite.

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If you’re having difficulty stacking then additional points in Conduit will really help defense. Max it out then go back for Smite and Gathering Tempest.

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I dont see how conduit can help. It just helps recharge a small bit of shields per maelstrom

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You’re underestimating Conduit. You can regenerate your entire shield from 0 in under 2 seconds regardless of capacity with 300 stacks of Maelstrom. It is the best tanking skill that Athena has.

But it is reliant on Shock DoT so maybe you aren’t seeing its value because you aren’t doing enough to stack and apply that. One tesla or shock Singularity and you’ll easily see 200-300 stacks.

My level 70 build is designed for tanking with this concept at the forefront:

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I can get better stacks up now, but maybe I should consider conduit. So take all 4 first skills in that tree then?
Right now I have only shock weapons, nades,02 kit and shield. I’m finding shotguns work the best with gaining nalestrom, outside of a tesla.

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Yes, I would max out first and second tier unless you have a class mod that adds points to those skills.

Yes, Hyperion shotguns are the best stack builders for Athena.

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I did forget to mention Conduit. It really is a great skill. for the longest time I passed it up as I went down the CS tree, but I won’t any longer. @BookEmDano is absolutely correct, and I actually think it might be her best survival skill next to maybe Hold The Line, with the advantage that Conduit doesn’t care if your Aspis is out or not. However, it is somewhat gear-dependent, so I was okay with waiting until level 30 to start getting it. YMMV, of course.

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Yea, I’m still struggling with Athena at pity fall. I kill slow and go into ffyl too Often. Once again, only 2 in conduit, but I live having smite.

I want to like her, but I feel so underpowered right now. Then again, could be bc I have okay gear.
Others have suggested to go phalanx tree first, with the combo of maelstrom instead.
Is she a slow starter or am I playing her wrong. I’m rushing in and doing what I can.

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http://i3.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/010/334/U-WOT-M8.jpg
It’s full-on invincibility from the front, AND potentially massive damage, with aim-assist, and that’s without any upgrades.

Anyway, Phalanx is good too but I’ll just go ahead and hype Ceraunic storm, the best goddam skill tree in borderlands history. Maelstrom stacks are nice, but you don’t need to completely rely on them in normal, or even true vault hunter mode, you get a massive mag size AND reload speed buff, and in general, a great selection of offensive AND a great defensive perk in the form of Conduit
Try a tesla grenade for stacks, and don’t forget to get Zeus’s Rage. A lot of people stop at smite, and sneer at Hades’ Shackles, me, I can’t let it go. It’s great, especially if you have trouble building stacks, which is mostly what it’s good for (the damage is indeed mediocre, although it’s free shield stripping)

Xiphos is neat too, but it’s best to just respec into it once you can get bloodrush. It was my plan originally but CS converted me

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I mean that her skill is pretty useless at my lvl 14 or so. Can’t dish out good dmg, not elemental, can’t hit multiple targets. I know it’s great later, but right now it feels like more of something that hinders my reload speed and doesn’t let me ads.

I’ll try to respect her and max out conduit first and see if I have more toughness.
Def. Need better guns than my shock smg and shock AR. Blowing through ammo and not getting enough stacks with them.

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