Concept of the Build
In this build I wanted to embrace Amara’s potential for a close-range elemental destruction by using one of the most badass weapons in Borderlands 3: The Hellwalker!
It will be your main weapon in your loadout and additional weapons are there to compensate for weaknesses of the gun. In order to make Wrainwright Jakobs proud, you’ll be using Jakobs steel to accompany the Hellwalker. With Infusion we can broaden our arsenal of Jakobs guns and use them more effectively at higher difficulty levels. Since Gearbox worked on the skill, you will still lose some damage-over time, but that is hardly the focus of this build.
Amara has a lot of skills, that can enhance the performance of this gun and uniquely fit the playstyle you want to go for while running with this tool of demonic destruction! So let’s see if she can make the Slayer proud!
Amara has …
Strong self-healing mechanics (Sustainment, Soul Sap, Samsara, Clarity)
Great shotgun synergy (Personal Space, Steady Hands, Transcend)
Extremely quick Reload Speed (Fast Hands, Alacrity)
Very high elemental damage (Anima, Tempest, Infusion)
With these tools, Amara can probably get the most out of this gun in this game.
In my testing so far, the key stats to improve this gun are:
Accuracy and Handling
In order to hit most of those key stats I created this build for Mayhem 4:
This build is based around the idea of Avatar with Alacrity . Avatar allows you to control the battlefield with two quick consecutive Phasegrasps. Alacrity with Avatar equals a crazy fire rate for Hellwalker. Soul Sap will keep you up, while you are Phasegrasping a target, so make sure you grasp the most threatening target, to take advantage of Ties That Bind.
I picked Laid Bare because it is quite beneficial for the Hellwalker because this build is not designed around oneshot-kills. In this build, your Hellwalker will get a pretty ridiculous fire rate and you want to take advantage of that. I created the build with Mayhem 4 in mind, and used the Takedown as a benchmark on how well it performs. Further detail on the skill choice reasoning can be found in the “Skill Choice” section of the guide.
Since the recent level cap increase this build can pick up Samsara and Indiscriminate, so I fully shifted my focus to Phasecast with the main build. However, you can still play with Ties That Bind but you will get far better resulsts with Sustainment and Personal Space because Ties That Bind does not activate Samsara.
What about Sustainment?
With Sustainment you will be a lot safer and it works better with Ties That Bind. Sustainment helps a lot because you will be able to heal with some of your guns without using your Action Skill or throwing Grenades.
If you don’t want to use Infusion, you should match elements and I would suggest to run with the elemental guns in the Jakobs arsenal. Put the points in Anima and Wildfire instead.
Obviously the core part of the build. This It seems to always drop with the same prefix (Speedloadn’= Reload Speed) and therefore has some locked parts. It always comes in fire element and seems to have a locked magazine size of 2. So it will always be a single-shot shotgun. High critical damage and good base damage. This gun also shoots the 10 bullets in the shape of a pentagram. Which just adds to how badass the gun already is. On every trigger pull you get a power chord played with a distortion effect. And if you equip the gun of the floor it plays a DOOM themed riff. Damn, I love it! With 70% Accuracy you also can hit headshots at a fairly decent range, but due to the bullet pattern point blank range criticals will yield the best results. Ultimately, this weapons performance largely depends on the user, since it is quite easy to miss shots with this gun. However, the reward of mastering this gun is certainly worth it!
2. Gatlin’ Gatling Gun
Ideally I would like an Anointed Bekah in this slot. However, unless Gearbox changes the way to acquire it, this Assault Rifle does the job as well. A good option for ranged combat. It spins up and once it reaches its full fire-rate mobs just disappear when you keep it on the critical spot. A good gun for mobbing and bossing if you have a Phasecast Anointed version. Even without a Phasecast Anointment this gun plays well with Ties That Bind, does excellent single target damage and solves any range issues you might have with the build.
This gun is still a beast, as it always has been in the Borderlands franchise. For a pistol, it does really high damage, even outperforming some shotguns on a single shot. With Infusion, you can add your preferred element to the gun to make it even more potent than it already is. With a corrosive Infusion, it works great versus high-armor targets like the Maliwan tanks in the Takedown. This is your badass killer, if you have a low fire rate on your Hellwalker in between the Alacrity Loop.
4. Wagon Wheel
This is your group-extermination tool. This gun is just insane with the new elemental Anointments. Who needs a Brainstormer if you’ve got this baby?! This gun ricochets bullets all around a room if you hit an enemy with it. It has massive synergy with Indiscriminate and the new elemental Anointments. Just point it at mobs and watch them disappear because they get hit by a crazy amount of ricocheting bullets.
Additional Jakobs Shotgun options:
1. Sledges Super Shotgun
Yep, its back. This shotgun was my favourite in the previous games of the Borderlands franchise. It always looks pretty awesome and has interesting gimmicks. It has a pretty high magazine size and always fires in bursts. In previous Borderlands titles, the burst was limited to two shots. However, in this game Gearbox added the “Super” prefix, which adds a third-barrel to the gun, at the cost of fire rate. That way you get a 6 round burst in a single shot. I’d say it could use some more punch, but the “Super” prefix does quite a ton of damage if you get it on a point blank critical hit. I use this beauty to deal with fire-immune enemies or just as a secondary shotgun in my loadout.
2. One Pump Chump
A good option for ranged combat. This gun is pinpoint-accurate and has a fast reload speed. Therefore you can get a good fire rate with this build as well. I usually use it to take out targets that are hard to reach, like Jetpack Troopers.
Alternative Elemental Jakobs Arsenal for Sustainment
1. Rowan’s Call
I added this gun because I felt the need for a shock gun. And if you critically hit, it will ricochet bullets and refill your magazine. You basically have infinite ammo, as long as you keep it on the critical spot. This gun works pretty damn well with Indiscriminate and Ties That Bind and strips shields in seconds. It has pretty good damage per second on its own as well.
2. Queen’s Call -
Yep, this pistol was nerfed, but it still packs quite a punch and performs quite well in mobbing scenarios, even on Mayhem 4. It has a rather low magazine size with only three shots in one magazine on Amara. However, with Alacrity they reload extremely quickly and if you hit critical hits, you won’t have to reload them at all.
Of course, you want to get hit critical hits with it to activate its special effect. But this is Jakobs build, so what did you expect? You can go for the set with the King’s Call and you get an additional fire gun in your 4th slot.
2. The Companion / King’s Call -
This gun is a pretty good alternative, if you like to fan the hammer. The fire rate will depend on your trigger finger and if you get it on the critical spot, you will delete flesh mobs. It has a rather large magazine size as well for a Jakobs pistol. I usually switch to it, when I feel the need for a faster fire rate gun in between the Alacrity Rush Loop. It also helps with Sustainment, since you can also just spam it to regain health, when you need it. Or you can go for the set with the King’s Call.
Additional Gear for Utility
Sellout / -
Just to light yourself on fire for bossing and for taking advantage of a Elemental Projector.
Mayhem 4 enemies have a lot of health and you will be spamming your Hellwalker quite a bit. That is why I added the Redundant Facepuncher with a Bullet Vamp/ - and or Cutpurse Relic to refill your shotgun ammo in a single shot.
Still a really good choice and mandatory for this build. Without it, you will not be able to get the Rush Stack Loop with Alacrity to increase the Fire Rate with your Hellwalker on every second Action Skill. It also adds quite a bit off Cooldown Reduction and Weapon Damage.
Note on the passives: The best ones are Jakobs Critical Hit Damage, Weapon Damage or Shotgun Damage. Reload Speed is good as well of course. But getting the perfect COM is heavily RNG dependant, since you not only need the correct passives, but also the right skill point boosts. As you can see, my own Phasezerker is far from perfect or optimal for this build. I will have to pray to the RNG gods and keep farming.
A solid, rather sturdy shield, that has bullet absorption and complete shock immunity. Shock damage even heals you with this shield on. Recharge dealy and recharge rate are solid. It will work pretty well and is a solid choice, especially against Maliwan content.
A good alternative and my preferred shield against COV mobbing. It instantly recharges, when it breaks the first time. The recharge delay is not long at all and the recharge rate is solid.
The Stormfront and the Transformer synergize beautifully. Not only does it create a field of tesla coils that strips the shields of targets in the field, the coils heal you with Sustainment and regenerate your shield as well.
You can also use the Quasar to group up enemies for your action skill and more importantly for crowd-control.
Moxxi’s Bouncing Pair is a good option for healing because this build is quite the glass-cannon. Be careful though, you can kill yourself quite easily with this grenade.
The Elemental Projector Otto Idol helps with survivability and damage if I need to have some more punch.
The Snowdrift offers better mobility. The slide speed will allow you to weave in and out of cover and avoid tons of damage. This is essential for this build, because you do not want to take too much damage when your Action Skill is on cooldown. Especially in the Takedown on Mayhem 4 you want to avoid as much damage as possible.
Ideal would be the Victory Rush for more damage and movement speed after killing a badass enemy. The Otto Idol is an option as well because it just helps with the healing when you run a build without Sustainment.
The Anointments to drastically increase the damage output of the Hellwalker are the Phaseslam and Phasecast Anointments. This is really good for bosses.
Phaseslam (+ 300 Weapon Damage after using Phaseslam)
Phasecast (+ 250% Weapon Damage after using Phasecast)
For regular mobbing:
100% Bonus Weapon Damage, after using your Action Skill
Shield and Grenade:
- 50 % (Shock/Corrosive) Damage after Action Skill Usage
You want to have a set of two elements on your shield and grenade. This will add a ton of damage on your guns, and allow you punch through protective layers quicker. Try to match elements with the bonuses on your Artifact. And always use one element that is good for shields and one for armor, so a combo of Cryo/Radiation or Shock/Corrosive works pretty well. You can also stack Cryo/Corrosive Bonus damage on high armor targets like Wotan the Invicible. The endgame goal is to have these Anointments on your favourite piece of gear. You should be aware, that this will be quite the grind. So, if you’re up for it and you can spare the time, I wish you the best of luck.
Phasecast / Tandawa
I run this because the recent addition of Samsara with Clarity is usually enough to keep you up. An additonal Otto Idol really helps to make this setup safer. With the right Anointments this playstyle is much more explosive because you get two activiations of your ASE Anointments and can usually keep up your Phasecast Anointment for quite a while due to Topped Off. Tandawa has a longer cooldown but works better with Samsara. Try both of them and see what combat loop works better for you.
Ties that Bind - Control and shared damage. That is exactly what you want with high damage Jakob’s guns. I used to avoid it because the interaction of Do Harm and TTB is still quite busted. However, with the introduction of the Takedown and Mayhem 4, you want to take this to effectively deal with large groups of enemies.
Soul Sap/ Stillness of Mind - You get a higher Cooldown with Stillness of Mind. However, this augment gives you some breathing room to line up the perfect spot for multiple critical shots. The enemies won’t be shooting at you for a couple of seconds, which means that they won’t throw off your aim or knock you around. This augment can work if you already have Sustainment for healing. With the main build you depend on Soul Sap for healing and it provides you with a quicker cooldown. It’s personal preference, but if you want to get Personal Space you will not be able to get Sustainment. And I would not run Stillness of Mind without Sustainment.
Soulfire/ Shockra / Blight Tiger
You should usually use shock, so your Hellwalker can punch through health and shields. The On Action Skill End Anointments will take care of the additional armor if needed.
Switch to Phasecast and Soul Sap for bosses.
Fast Hands (3/3) - Good Reload Speed is a key component for the Hellwalker. The faster you reload, the faster you shoot things in the face. Since playing Krieg, I appreciate fast Weapon Swap Speed as well.
Do Harm (3/5) - This skill adds a massive amount of damage to Ties That Bind. For some reason, the damage to linked targets is considered as Action Skill Damage. You only get 3 points in this build, because in my opinion Laid Bare and Alacrity are more important for the Hellwalker. I value gameplay over raw damage. But hey, if you like broken stuff and you want to exploit the “Fakegrasp” glitch, take some points elsewhere and max this skill. It is just not the focus of this build.
Transcend (3/3) - This talent is great because it boosts your critical damage after you use an Action skill and it can actually stack. With two stacks, you wind up with above 50% critical hit damage bonus after you use your Action Skill. You get more Accuracy as well, which is really important for the Hellwalker and Jakobs guns in general.
Alacrity (5/5) - With Avatar and 25 Rush stacks this skill will give you insane Reload Speed up to the point where you can just hold down the right trigger with the Hellwalker and just watch the gun go nuts. This skill will significantly improve your DPS with the gun.
Laid Bare (3/3) - 25% more damage if used in conjunction with your your Action Skill. Kunai for Amara, it’s pretty good! It activates on your first hit on enemies that are linked with Tiest That Bind, so it benefits guns that shoot very quickly in rapid succession. Which you will with the Hellwalker, if you use a Phasezerker with Alacrity and Fast Hands in the Avatar Build.
Wrath (3/3) - 40% bonus gun damage after you use an Action Skill. This skill cranks up your damage potential. Get it if you can get down to it!
Awakening (3/3) - This skills helps you to get more benefit of Do Harm and Alacrity. I would always take this skill with a Phasezerker setup, since your whole build works with the Rush loop.
Remnant (1/3) - This skill is not as strong, as it would be with a gun like the Unforgiven. Overkill generally does not work well with multi-pellet guns in this game. However, it is just one point and adds up to a good amount of bonus damage.
Avatar (1/1) - The capstone allows you to use your Action Skill twice and more importantly adds 10 additional Rush stacks. This is really good with Phaseslam and Phasecast and decent with Phasgrasp as well. You should use your Action Skill twice in a row quickly, since the cooldown depends on your last action skill usage. Overall you get more control and a lot more benefit of the Rush loop through this capstone. In my opinion, it is Amara’s strongest capstone.
Fist of the Elements
Anima (1/5) - Higher damage-over-time effects and duration helps with lighting yourself on fire and adds some additional damage. It gets boosted by your COM, so you will not have to invest heavily into it.
Infusion (5/5) - Gearbox worked on this skill and fixed some of its issues. Your damage-over time will still be a bit lower, if you infuse fire on flesh with a fire-gun, but it won’t diminish your direct damage. Overall, this skill helps you to increase your Jakobs arsenal because it improves the non-elemental guns of the build by quite a bit.
Steady Hands (3/3) - Most of the community seems to assume this is a bad skill. At least that’s what I picked up so far. However I disagree. Accuracy equals damage on a Jakob’s shotgun. The Handling helps as well.
Tempest (5/5) - Multiplicative elemental damage boost! Amara staple.
Dread (1/1) - 15 % Damage and automatic reloads on a grasped target? Yes please!
Indiscriminate (3/3) - Chain reaction in BL3. It does not have the strongest synergy with the Hellwalker. However, for example a gun like the Rowan’s Call gets a lot out of this skill. It already ricochets bullets through it’s own special effect on a critical hit and Indiscriminate adds to that.
Deep Well (1/1) - It does not really affect the Hellwalker much, but it really helps on the King’s and Queen’ Call. It adds an additional shot on both pistols, which actually makes a huge difference in usage and gameplay.
Sustainment (2/5) - Great survival skill. Life steal on elemental damage with your guns. Of which you are going to do a lot with this build. However, it only heals you with the base damage of your gun and does not take into account most of your other gun damage and elemental bonuses. It does not work with damage over time effects as well. It’s still great, but could have been much better!
Personal Space (3/3) - A great multiplicative damage skill for Amara. Extremely good for shotguns because you want to be up close and personal with them.
Clarity (2/5) - Constant health-regeneration that helps to deal with damage-over time effects in the game. It get’s boosted by your COM as well. You need to spend the points to unlock your corrosive element for Infusion.
Samsara (3/3) - I adore Samsara. If you aim your action skill correctly you get a whole lot of benefits. Loads of percentage based healing and additional gun damage. This is a skill that will work better for you, once you learn to fully take advantage of it. If you only ever get one stack of Samsara, it is really not worth it, but multiple stacks are really powerful.
Gameplay and Testing
Tyreen the Destroyer (M4)
Phasecast Lectra City
Thanks for reading guys! Always open for feedback, suggestions and improvements to the build