Borderlands 3 - Idea for making Pet Builds more viable/accessible

So i’ve had this on my mind for quite a while. Though not a fl4k main myself, I do know some individuals who play as the character and are annoyed by the recent changes to his play style, as the currently available pet build is not the best it could be. And while bossing is still fine and good, mobbing has become quite a struggle. It seems some people are having success on Mayhem 3 but it requires ultra specific gear from what I’m hearing. I may be wrong but this is what I’ve heard. So! If gearbox wanted to make pet builds more universal and something people could pick up without having “the best” gear, this is what I think they should do.
Barbaric Yawp - Fl4k’s pet bonus skills are more effective. Up to 100% (200% now with the buff)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I first read this skill in the days leading up to the games release. I was hoping this meant: All skills involving Fl4k’s pets will have their numbers increased by 100/200%. But instead, we got: All of the passive abilities from Fl4k’s pets will have their numbers increased by 100/200%. And for 5 points, that just doesn’t seem worth it. But what if Barbaric Yawp did increase all pet skills? What would that look like? Well lets take a look.


Let’s assume this is the build we are using for a pet build, and that we have a Friend-Bot Class Mod with +4 Barbaric Yawp and +1 to Psycho Head on a Stick. I will also keep Barbaric Yawp as it was pre-buff to make these fake-buffs not ridiculously overpowered. So +4 would make skills 180% more effective.
Additionally, the Friend-Bot Class Mod gives your pet 20% extra damage and revives them when Fl4k gets a kill.

  • Stalker Skill Tree
    Self-Repairing System (5/5): +30% Max HP and 1.5% Health Regen (Your pet gains 3% Health regen)
    Sic’Em (3/3 ): Attack Command Damage and Cooldown +30%
    Eager to Impress (5/5): Action Skill Cooldown is reduced with each kill. -2.5% from pet kills and -1.3% from Fl4k kills. (if Barbaric Yawp is applied: -7% from pet kills and -3.64% from Fl4k kills. I was unsure if this classifies as a “pet” skill so I included both number sets)
    All My BFFS (3/3): Your friends gain half of your health regen and your pet gains double the amount of health regen you have.
    Lick the Wounds (1/1): Your pet can revive you
    Turn Tail and Run (3/3): You gain different bonuses depending on if you are moving or not. +0.9% Health regen and +19.5% Damage reduction while moving. +12% Fire Rate and +24.9% Gun Damage while standing still. (Your pet gains 1.8% health regen while you are moving)
    Rage and Recover (5/5): When Fl4k kills an enemy, his pet gains 19% Health regeneration for 3 seconds. (I’d consider this a pet skill. Thus it is effected by Barbaric Yawp)
    The Power Inside (1/1): Fl4k and their pet gain increased damage after they activate an Action Skill. +25% Damage. This bonus is doubled for Fl4k if they are at full HP when activating an action skill.

  • Master Skill Tree
    Ferocity (5/5): Increase Fl4k’s Pet Damage by 140%
    Who Rescued Who? (5/5): Converts 14% of damage dealt by Fl4k into Pet’s HP, and gives Fl4k 5.6% Health regen when your pet attacks someone. (Your pet also gains 11.2 Health regen when you gain your regen bonus.)
    Frenzy (5/5): When Fl4k’s pet damages an enemy, both you and your pet gain a stack of Frenzy, giving 11.2% damage per stack (Max Stacks: 10)
    Psycho Head on a Stick (2/1): Your pet gains 43.2% and 30% damage when you get a kill. Duration: 8 Seconds.
    Barbaric Yawp: (9/5): Your pet skills are 180% more effective. The bread and butter of this build.
    Mutated Defenses (1/1): Fl4k’s pet gains bonus health regen (72%)and damage resistance (54%) when it reaches low health

Additionally this would allow for different kinds of play as you can choose a Skag or the Jabber depending on the situation.
Like with most mobs or bosses you could go: Great Horned/Eridian Skag with the Endurance and Empathic Rage or Atomic Aroma Augments. But if the boss is far away (i.e Graveward) you could go with the Gunslinger Jabber with the Not My Circus and Until you are Dead Augments for extra health regen and a distraction. What do you think though? Please give feedback as i’d like to hear the opinion of some experienced fl4k players.

The way you fix FL4Ks pet build is to replace the Master tree capstone with something better. This will instantly make a pet build viable.
Because as of now, any pet build people try to play out make, will never use Dominance over The Power Inside.

For example one of the ideas that I listed in my thread about this was,
Replace Dominance with being able to have 2 pets out at the same time. Gaining the benefits of both pets. Like damage and movement speed from having a jabber and skagg at the same time.
This would synergize well with pet abilities like Barbaric Yawp.

Maybe adding a second benefit as well like, pets gain the same sheild as FL4K.

1 Like

It is true that making the change to Barbaric Yawp that I suggest would make it more of a capstone than Dominance could ever be, and would also make it the preferred skill in comparison. I do like your idea of having two pets out at once so you could reap both of their benefits. Would that mean both of them would have to spawn from the gamma burst?
I suppose in order to have a better understanding in the matter i should make my own fl4k instead of basing my thoughts on the opinions of others. Maybe the pet build fairs better against the mayhem levels than people are letting on.
But, to reiterate. I’ve heard so many people claiming it to be unviable in its current state that it feels like there must be some merit to all the people saying the same thing. And I thought maybe buffing the numbers (without actually buffing them aka having a skill to make them better) could be one version to fix the issue. That way it’s not completely overpowered during the campaign.

About your gamma burst question, it could either spawn both of them at the same time or choose one of the two randomly. With both gaining the effects of gamma burst.

Interesting. Sounds like it could be fun. Having two hulking beasts charging towards the opposition while leaking out radiation.

Just to be clear you believe my suggestion makes Dominance completely negligible due to BY’s potential strength? I can see that. Though I felt like it was a realistic buff that would put pet build more on par with the crit build we’ve all come to know.
It was really upsetting hearing my friends have to respec to another build and essentially neglect their pets (aside from the passives) because their fl4k couldn’t cut it once we got to Mayhem.

I’m just not a fan of dominance at all.
I think the mechanic of having to melee an enemy is clunky and not great when you have to go in close to enemies especially in difficulties like mayhem 3.
Also it is completely useless for bosses.
That’s why I suggested a change to dominance to something else that would also make the pet build better , also while synergizing with pet abilities that buff your pets.

1 Like

Yeah I understand that part. It’s essentially useless as a capstone as badasses have rocket launchers and being in melee range as fl4k is definitely not where you wanna be. I’ll take a look at the thread you mentioned earlier and try thinking of variations that could make fl4k more enjoyable with his squad of pets.
As much as I like the ridiculous possible numbers from the Barbaric Yawp change I mentioned. It doesn’t do anything about the garbage capstone that is Dominance. So that’s something to work on. Was nice talking to you dude.

1 Like

Likewise. :+1: