[Build] 4SS4SS4SSIN – Melee FL4K!
A melee build using Fade Away and the Buttplug. Go invisible and stab your enemies in the ass! Be bootleg melee Zer0!
LATEST EDIT 6/25/2020: With the latest patch, this now works at Mayhem 10!
Fade Away with Not My Circus and Until You Are Dead
Fade Away doesn’t give melee damage boosts, but melee attacks DO NOT count as shots towards breaking Fade Away so you can run around stabbing things as much as you want. Doing this is super fun. The point of this build isn’t to be the highest DPS FL4K ever, the point of this build is to stab things in the ass. Not My Circus draws aggro off of you for another 6 seconds so you can keep on buttstabbing, and Until You Are Dead keeps the movement speed and health regen of Fade Away going for a bit longer too. With skills to boost the duration of Fade Away, this gives you about 28 seconds to run around mostly uninterrupted while buttstabbing.
Spiderant Scorcher – The elemental damage boost is great if you’re using an elemental melee relic, and the heals are nice.
Gunslinger Jabber – Stacks Frenzy really well, and is an overall fantastic pet.
Great Horned Skag – Gives a small damage boost. On theme for melee.
Beefcake Jabber – Not the greatest, but uh, very on theme for melee?
FLAK does not have skills that boost melee damage specifically, so this build aims to get things that boost their damage in general. Also going for skills to boost action skill cooldown so you can go invisible as much as possible, and survivability so you don’t be ded.
Persistence Hunter: 3/3
With base Fade Away, this gives you 22 seconds to stab your enemies in the ass undetected.
Not an important skill, but need more points in something to unlock the next tier. This works.
At 10 stacks, this is a 40% damage boost that works on melee damage. The Gunslinger Jabber is great at stacking this.
Who Rescued Who: 1/5
More heals, having points in here helps keep your pet alive at M4.
Self-Repairing System: 5/5
More HP and health regen for survivability.
Eager to Impress: 5/5
More action skill cooldown means more assassassination. This skill isn’t as good as Head Count, but it’s still something. (If you’re mostly using an elemental melee artifact instead of a Knife Drain artifact and need more heals, put this at 3/5 and max out Rage and Recover instead.)
All my BFF’s: 3/3
Great for co-op, and also heals your pet.
Lick the Wounds: 1/1
You are going to get murdered sometimes while running this build, having your pet revive you is great.
Turn Tail and Run: 3/3
Damage reduction and health regen while moving for more survivability.
Hidden Machine: 5/5
This skill is weird right now but when it procs it’s great. 30% damage boost that works on melee, similar to Zer0’s Ambush. The trouble with this skill is it’s harder to proc than it should be, because enemy targeting mechanics are weird. It does NOT automatically apply when you’re invisible, or when enemies are targeting your pet. It mostly seems to proc if enemies have not detected you AT ALL, or in co-op when enemies are targeting another player. If you’re playing solo, you should activate Fade Away before engaging a group of enemies, to get this skill to work at the start of a fight at least.
Rage and Recover: 3/5
More survivability. (Again if you’re not using a Knife Drain artifact, max this out by taking 2 points from Eager to Impress, you’re gonna want the heals.)
The Power Inside: 1/1
This is a great damage boost that makes Fade Away actually boost your melee damage for most of the time it’s active. 25% extra damage, or 50% if you activate it when your health is full.
Interplanetary Stalker: 5/5
Another boost to damage, with 3 stacks giving 30% extra melee damage.
Leave No Trace: 3/3
A bit less reloading when shooting your gun to proc Head Count.
Head Count: 3/3
This skill is awesome for action skill cooldown. When you’re not invisible and buttstabbing, shoot enemies in the head as much as you can and you’ll get Fade Away back fast.
Hunter’s Eye: 4/5:
Ehhh… it’s something to put points into to get to Big Game. If you’re using a low-pellet-count gun to proc Head Count for cooldown, feel free to put these points into Two F4ng instead for moar bullets.
Big Game: 3/3
This is the exciting thing we can get now that the level cap is at 57. Unfortunately this skill is bugged and doesn’t buff the damage of Interplanetary Stalker, but it buffs the duration by a lot which is awesome. It should buff Frenzy as well. Using a Cosmic Stalker com with +3 into this skill, you can get 200% Hunter Skill duration and keep your stacks up very consistently.
Gun #1: Buttplug. This is the main gun for this build and in a lot of ways it’s the only important gun for this build. 110% extra melee damage, doubled when hitting enemies from behind. The math of this gun follows a weird formula that is partially multiplicative, so this gun does more damage than it seems like it should. When combined with +melee rolls on your COM and artifact or other melee boosting things, It can hit for higher damage than 120% bladed CoV guns even from the front.
Gun #2: Facepuncher. For dealing with hard-to-stab enemies and for making this build viable against some bosses without stabbable asses such as Graveward. The Facepuncher plus a Knife Drain artifact is also great for healing and staying alive between Fade Aways.
Gun #3: Any accurate and fast-firing gun for getting crits fast to proc Head Count and cool down Fade Away fast. A Night Hawkin or Barrage works great, and if you can get your hands on a Crader’s EM-P5 the extra movement speed is VERY fun. Getting one of these guns with a lifesteal on ASE anointment is great, switch to it when Fade Away is ending and you can have lifesteal while getting crits fast for cooldown.
Gun #4: Second wind gun. A x2 Ion Cannon is nice.
Other melee gun option: CoV guns with 120% melee blades and the “Gain 300% increased Weapon Damage against enemies above 90% health” anointment are awesome vs shields or multiple health bars and will do more damage than the Buttplug to those things. Switch back to the Buttplug when on the final health bar.
Moarr gun option: The Zheitsev’s Eruption can be overheated to debuff enemies, if you want to pretend you have Zer0’s kunai.
Shield: Brawler Ward. Best roid shield. 300% melee damage. Get a low level one if you want it to break more easily.
Artifact: Commander Planetoid. 75% MULTIPLICATIVE melee damage in a random element. This is a huge damage boost. The Knife Drain prefix is awesome and makes you very hard to kill. Elemental melee ones (especially Radiation Stone or Cryo Stone) ones will let you do a ton of damage but also you will be squishy. Look for artifacts with rolls for melee damage and action skill cooldown.
Other artifact option: White Elephant. The sticky bombs from this can crit, and it does ridiculous things when combined with the Facepuncher. Again look for Knife Drain or elemental melee prefixes.
Grenade: It’s Piss. A level 50 one can break Brawler Ward shields at level 30 or lower really well (A note: Things like damage resistance from Turn Tail and Run and extra self-damage from a DE4DEYE com will change the amount of damage It’s Piss does to your shield, might have to try different combinations to get something that consistently breaks your shield depending on your other skills/gear), and it can debuff enemies and heal status effects. Great utility grenade.
Class mod: Again there are some options. Cosmic Stalker is probably the best melee com, it increases the power of Hunt Skills by 25% and can add points to Interplanetary Stalker and Big Game, and these are all things that work on melee damage (note that this com and Big Game are bugged and won’t boost the damage of Interplanetary Stalker though, but will boost the duration). A DE4DEYE com boosts damage by 35% to enemies above 75% HP and this works on melee. This is pretty decent, but the skills it boosts are fairly useless. Another option is a Thrillbot com with Hidden Machine and Big Game. A weird option is the R4kk P4k com, it can boost Head Count for faster Fade Away cooldowns and Pack Tactics for more damage. Look for coms with rolls that boost melee damage and action skill cooldown.
Other things about FL4K’s skills and melee:
Melee doesn’t seem to be able to crit in BL3, which is weird. Too bad, there would be a lot of interesting and fun potential if FL4K’s crit skills could be applied to melee.
I was really hoping Unblinking Eye would proc on melee hits. That augment says “successive hits” not successive gun damage hits, but it only seems to work on guns. Aww. I would have loved it if I could melee enemies twice to get to the highest level of Unblinking Eye crit damage, then shoot them. Ah well.
FL4K has some other skills that increase damage in general and not just gun damage, that could be useful in the future when there’s a level cap increase. Barbaric Yawp plus the pet bonus from the Spiderant Scorcher or Great Horned Skag would increase damage a bit. Pack Tactics is another skill that boosts damage.
Shoutout to @sammantixbb for being bestest co-op buddy and helping me with this build and inspiring it in the first place. They sent me a Buttplug as a joke gift on one of my first days playing BL3 and I stabbed an enemy with it and my brain went “Invisibility… backstab… Hidden machine = Ambush??? …is this melee Zer0!?!???” and well FL4K isn’t melee Zer0 but that didn’t stop me from doing my entire first playthrough of the game all the way to the level cap using a level 4 Buttplug as my main weapon and I guess this is my life now.