[Build] Battery - No Legendaries Required!

(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #1

#BATTERY
Smashing through the boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the battery
Pounding out aggression
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the battery

##Foreword

This is more or less the build I used to get Athena from level 1 to level 50, so it’s thoroughly tested. It’s my opinion that stacking Maelstrom is sufficent to affect your DPS without investing too much into specific damage skills (sufficient for non-Raid content, anyhow). The skills we will be investing into instead will be geared towards defense and passive stack accumulation.

Rather than give a long, detailed guide, I’m going to list level milestones, which will represent the level at which you’ll get a new Quest Reward weapon and the spec I recommend at that level.

As for Legendaries, I also have a build for a few of my favorites, called [Blue Steel]
(http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/t/id_for/4882), which is mainly a Xiphos (Melee) build with a mix of Phalanx and Ceraunic Storm to give you a lot of options in a single build. It utilizes Bladed Fridgia heavily, to boost damage by freezing enemies, but it has a few other tricks up its sleeve…

##Table: The Journey

  • Level 4: Alternating Vandergraffen (Spec)
  • Level 11: Zarpedon’s Cyber Eagle (Spec)
  • Level 16: Miss Moxxi’s Vibra-Pulse & Defender Class Mod (Spec)
  • Level 24: Toby’s Bright Spadroon (Spec)

Begin TVHM

  • Level 31: Alternating Vandergraffen (Spec)
  • Level 38: Miss Moxxi’s Vibra-Pulse (Spec)
  • Level 50: Miss Moxxi’s Vibra-Pulse (Spec)

See Skill Details for Level 60 and 70

The above are simply the “main weapons” of this build. They were selected because they are easy-to-obtain Shock Quest Rewards. A level 16 Vibra-Pulse can easily last you until 30ish, but Spadroon gives you a lot more oomph at the cost of having extremely short range. Once again at 38, Vibra-Pulse can do the job until 48 or so when you finish True Vault Hunter Mode. You can pick up a Spadroon in between if you like, of course. Since Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode is free and can be reset, there’s not a lot of reason to save quests until 50 in True Vault Hunter Mode anymore.

That being said, True Vault Hunter Mode will scale to 50 after you complete “Beginning of the End”. To get a level 50 Vibra-Pulse, simply enter Moxxi’s Back Door from Triton Flats to respawn the chest. This will serve you well in UVHM, and you’ll get a new one in the mid-50s (exact level varies since UVHM scales directly to you).

It’s probably efficient enough in terms of leveling this build starting from UVHM to simply play until you get a new Vibra-Pulse, then reset UVHM and repeat. Along the way you might find stronger Teslas, Defender Class Mods, and Bomber Oz Kits. You can probably hold off on the upgraded Asteroid Belt until you reach the level cap, since any shield will do until the final boss, even the Slammer you can obtain along with Vibra-Pulse.

##Final Loadout

###Guns

  • Miss Moxxi’s Vibra-Pulse
  • This is a pretty strong blue-rarity Shock Laser stat-wise, but what really sets it apart is its special effect: the beam can chain to an additional enemy, and you gain back health equal to 2.5% of any damage dealt while holding this gun. Any damage. Teslas, Return Fire, Superconductor, Smite, Oz Slams, etc…
    • Fixed parts
  • Option Slot (see Gear Details section)
  • Option Slot (see Gear Details section)
  • Option Slot (see Gear Details section)

###Accessories

  • Asteroid Belt Shield
  • Has a chance to shoots Explosive Homing Meteors when hit, which are boosted by Maelstrom. I especially like it because the Meteors can hit at any range. Hits that are absorbed by Aspis will not trigger the Meteors, but Asteroid Belt will still cover your flank. Ideally you’ll have one of every DOT-causing elemental immunity, but Grounded and Alkaline are the most useful at the moment because of the giant Sentinel inflicting these two DOT all over the arena. I like this shield in particular for this fight because the homing meteors it shoots can easily kill Serra Wardens, who are jerks and deserve it.
    • Priority: Grounded > Alkaline > Warming > Inflammable
  • Tesla Grenade
  • Lobbed or Longbow with the shortest Fuse Time you can find. Since Vibra-Pulse doesn’t deal that much damage on its own, you should throw these liberally. Most of the time you don’t even need to shoot.
  • Bomber Oz Kit
  • Free (and more powerful) Teslas! Since they’re the main source of damage and healing, this is the most sensible choice. Try for Shock, but I wouldn’t stress about the element or damage while leveling. The important bit is the Grenade Damage and Free Grenade Chance, because that directly affects your Tesla efficiency.
  • Supercharged Defender Class Mod
  • All of the bonuses this Class Mod gives are awesome. Having 100% chance to activate Superconductor accounts for a lot of free Maelstrom stacks, frequent Conduit activations, and decent, free damage. The boosted Conduit obviously benefits from this as well, and United Front increases Shield Capacity (thereby helping Conduit), and gives another way to keep shields topped off. This is by far my favorite defensive Class Mod for Athena.
    • Shield Capacity
    • +5 Superconductor
    • +4 Conduit
    • +4 United Front

As you can see, this build functions without so much as a single Legendary. The main gun and shield are guaranteed, and the rest of the gear is just random loot. Since the Item of the Day in vending machines is always Blue Rarity or higher, it’s really easy to itemize this build compared to others that need specific Legendaries. The hardest thing to get will probably be the specific Class Mod.

##Skill Details

###Ceraunic Storm

  • 1/1 Maelstrom
  • Increases Elemental Damage per stack, gain stacks when dealing Fire/Shock damage. Tesla grenades build enormous amounts of stacks. Note that this boosts ALL damage that isn’t Non-Elemental or Bleed. Use your imagination.
  • 4/4 Storm Weaving
  • Increases Elemental Effect Chance and Fire Rate for 9 seconds after swapping weapons.
  • 5/5 Gathering Tempest
  • Simple, but effective. Increases Mag Size and Reload Speed.
  • 4/5 Conduit
  • If you have an active Shock DOT, you recover Shield capacity based on Maelstrom stacks. Especially useful during times when Aspis is on cooldown, and easy to activate with Teslas.
  • 1/1 Smite
  • When airborne, successfully shooting an enemy deals substantial Shock and Fire splash damage based on Maelstrom stacks. 12 second cooldown, won’t trigger below 10 Maelstrom stacks.
  • 5/5 Superconductor
  • Enemies that hit Aspis have a chance to be Shocked, which gives Maelstrom stacks. Can apply DOT, which triggers Conduit. 5 Bonus stacks in addition to stacks from damage. Surprising range. 100% Chance at 10/5.
  • 1/1 Zeus’ Rage
  • Aspis throws start a Fire/Shock storm where they hit, based on the damage absorbed. With Wrath of the Goddess, each bounce will trigger its own storm.
  • 1/1 Hades’ Shackles
  • Slam Augment that put Shock Tethers onto nearby enemes. After a 3 seconds if the tethers are still active, or the enemy dies while tethered, they emit a Fire Nova and you gain bonus Maelstrom stacks. Convenient way to build some stacks quickly, but completely optional.
    ###Phalanx
  • 5/5 Ephodos
  • Gun Damage and Movement Speed while Aspis is active.
  • 3/5 Vanguard
  • HP recovery while Aspis is active based on absorbed damage. Doesn’t seem that great when you first put the shield up, but as you absorb damage it starts to take off. Vibra-Pulse heals more than this can ever hope to, though.
  • 5/5 Hold the Line
  • Aspis duration. EXTREMELY useful. Many skills in Phalanx work during Aspis, which this extends.
  • 1/1 Prismatic Aegis
  • Aspis stores the element of absorbed damage, allowing Maelstrom stack gains from absorbed Fire/Shock damage when thrown.
  • 1/5 United Front
  • Shield Capacity and damage absorbed by Aspis recharges your shield. Works well with Conduit. Boosted by Defender.
  • 1/1 Clear!
  • Thrown Aspis revives allies, and 1.4x damage in Fight For Your Life. Bounced throws with Wrath of the Goddess can also revive allies.
  • 5/5 Return Fire
  • Reflects bullets and lasers that hit Aspis, damaging enemies and gaining Maelstrom stacks from Fire/Shock rounds.
  • 1/5 Prepare for Glory
  • Causes enemies to focus you when you activate Aspis, increases Gun Damage for each enemy that you absorb damage from. Keep 1 point into this for the aggro-drawing effect, or if you play solo, put it elsewhere.
  • 1/1 Wrath of the Goddess
  • Aspis throws bounce to up to 4 additional enemies, triggering Zeus’ Rage (and potentially Clear!) with each hit. -33% damage each bounce.

###Xiphos

  • 5/5 Gun Kata
  • Increases Gun Damage, and gives a Melee Damage bonus after shooting an enemy. We use this for the Gun Damage and to get to Omega-Senshu.
  • 5/5 Omega-Senshu
  • Multiplies ALL damage dealt to enemies below 50% health. In UVHM, this is extremely useful against Badasses, who have more health relative to previous modes than other enemies, and Bosses.
  • 1/1 Rend
  • Causes enemies you hit with Melee to Bleed, dealing damage over time. This isn’t a Melee build by any means, but Rend can give us access to a few useful effects such as Tear and Bloodlust, and heal us through Vibra-Pulse.
  • 5/5 Bloodlust
  • Heals a percentage of Max Health per second per bleeding enemy. Along with the healing just from the Bleed damage through Vibra-Pulse, this can come in handy. You could also Blood Rush several enemies consecutively to stack more and more heals.
  • 5/5 Tear
  • Multiplies damage against Bleeding targets. Along with Maelstrom stacks and Omega-Senshu, this will be a substantial boost to Vibra-Pulse’s otherwise anemic damage. Use it well.
  • 1/1 Blood Rush
  • Melee Override. Rush towards an enemy and deal extra Melee Damage. If this applies Bleed to an enemy that wasn’t Bleeding (Rend is required), there’s no cooldown. While not a Melee build, we can still use Blood Rush for movement and the numerous benefits of causing enemies to Bleed.

Level 60 spec
Level 50 spec

##Gear Details

###Main Guns

  • Alternating Vandergraffen
    Likely the first Unique Laser we’ll find in either mode, and it’s a pretty good one. Even better, it always comes in Shock, which our main element. Deadlift is guaranteed to drop one of these every time you defeat him, and since he respawns, this is quite farmable. I highly recommend trying to get one with the Dahl Stock, as it improves Recoil and Accuracy Regen, and the Maliwan Grip gives the most damage per bullet, the highest Effect Chance, and more damage per reload than Tediore Grip. In Normal mode, you’ll outgrow this level 4 gun long before you reach Vibra-Pulse at 16, unfortunately. But in True Vault Hunter Mode, it will last you from 30 until 38 easily enough.
  • Zarpedon’s Cyber Eagle
    One of few Jakobs weapons with an element, and it happens to be Shock! This thing is really neat, and it makes a good replacement for Vandergraffen in Normal Mode until you get Vibra-Pulse. I wouldn’t bother with it for TVHM though. Fixed parts, no farming required.
  • Toby’s Bright Spadroon
    This is an interesting weapon. It’s similar to other Beam Lasers, except with a fraction of the effective range. It’s more like a Lightsaber. It’s the highest potential DPS Beam Laser, so with the survivability this build is capable of, we can certainly make use of it in spite of the short range. Wondrous against enemies who like to get close, less wondrous against enemies who fly away (assholes). As with Cyber Eagle, I wouldn’t bother getting one outside Normal Mode unless you really like it. Fixed parts, no farming required.

###Other Gun Options

  • Hail
    This is one of the more powerful Assault Rifles in the game, and it also happens to be one of the rare Moxxi lifesteal weapons like Vibra-Pulse. Iwajira drops this, but it’s not guaranteed, which is why this isn’t the main weapon of the build. Available in any element but Explosive and Non-Elemental. This weapon does take some getting used to because it fires in a parabolic arc, but once you get used to aiming it you can take advantage of its supreme power and healing. Bullets split at the top of the arc, and each pellet has 80% Splash Damage. +200% Type A Critical Damage to boot. This gun has it all!
  • Torguemada
    An excellent Explosive Shotgun. Shoots in a fixed triangular spread, with 100% additional Splash (most Torgue Shotguns have 85%), and spawns 3 Flak explosions per pellet that deal 100% Splash. With the Casual prefix, this gets 2 extra pellets that each come out stuck to one of the other three. More DPS than a Purple Bangstick even before you account for the Flaks. This weapon sits in between most other Torgue Shotties and Flakker in its power. Easier to use and obtain than Flakker, generally stronger than 1 or 2-barrel Torgue Shotties. For maximum effectiveness, jump into the air and shoot down towards your enemies. Pellets that miss will still leave Flaks.
  • Volt Thrower
    Solid Tediore Rocket Launcher with increased Rocket Speed that always comes in Shock. It’s a good Fight For Your Life tool that maintains and benefits from Maelstrom. I like Tediore Grip, Torgue Exhaust, and Mag Size or Damage Prefix. Sight doesn’t really matter, the only sight that does anything useful for this Launcher is Vladof, which will increase Fire Rate. Tediore increases Reload Speed, but not by enough you should care, since Tediore Launchers already reload super fast. Maliwan increases Rocket Speed, but this Launcher already has insanely fast Rockets.
  • Boganella
    This Scav Shotgun is better than practically any non-Legendary in its brand. Similar damage to a Purple 3-barrel with the accuracy of a 2-barrel, and higher Fire Rate and Mag Size than either. It’s exceptional. It can come in any element but Explosive, so naturally it can be used in this build as Fire/Shock. The ammo cost could be an issue if you’re not careful. It has unique voice clips that play while you use it. Most of them are funny.
  • Octo
    An interesting Tediore Shotgun, that shoots 10 (12 with Gentle prefix) pellets in a sort of sine wave cylinder, which stays mostly intact for the effective distance of the pellets. Pretty accurate for a Shotgun due to the pattern, but the slower bullet speed hurts it for long-range encounters.
  • Thorny Ol’ Rosie
    This is the second-highest potential DPS Beam Laser behind Spadroon, but with normal Beam range and can come in Shock, Fire, Corrosive, and Cryo. Huge damage. Not much else to it. When you turn in The Beginning of the End, if this isn’t Fire, quit without saving and try again. Vibra-Pulse is a good enough Shock Laser for our needs, so having this in Fire will round out our coverage.

###Shield Options

  • Rapid Release
    An unexpectedly good Nova shield, once you understand it. It has an uncommonly low Capacity, Nova Radius, and Damage, but exceptionally high Recharge Rate and a short Recharge Delay. Since the Defender class mod adds to Shield Capacity, and United Front further increases it, the low capacity becomes less of an issue and the Recharge Rate and Delay become more appealing. The low damage/radius is actually a blessing, since you don’t lose much from using parts that are intended to increase these attributes. I like to look for an Immunity prefix (it can spawn with any of them), and either Bandit or Tediore parts in the other slots, which increase Recharge Rate.
  • Miss Moxxi’s Slammer
    This is an interesting, if not particularly impressive shield. Since you get it along with Kiss of Death and Vibra-Pulse, it’s worth mentioning as a guaranteed shield. Booster Shields tend to have good all-around shield attributes, and the boosters are nice in theory, but unfortunately the fact that you have to pick them up manually really hurts them, especially since this build spends a lot of time airborne. This one drops special boosters that give Movement Speed, Fire Rate, and Reload Speed bonuses in addition to the partial shield recharge. The chance is pretty low no matter which parts it has, so the parts don’t matter too much. If you enter Moxxi’s Back Door from Triton Flats, the chest will respawn, allowing you to farm this shield, Kiss of Death grenade, and Vibra-Pulse.
  • Haymaker
    This Adaptive Shield is basically identical to any other blue-rarity Adaptive Shield, except for increased HP Bonus, and the additional effect of passing Damage-over-Time effects that are on you to enemies you Melee. We don’t use that effect really, so for us it’s just a force-quit-farmable Adaptive Shield with extra Health Bonus.
  • Turtle Shields
    Since they have enormous capacity, they play well with the shield-recovery focus of this build.
  • Adaptive Shields
    Like Haymaker, they have good capacity and give bonus health, and the elemental resistance can be a blessing. Between these and Turtle Shields, you should have plenty of options while leveling up even when you outgrow your quest rewards.

###Oz Kit Options

  • Invigoration
    Simple, but effective. This Oz Kit enables Oz tanks you pick up to restore 25% of your HP. Considering pretty much every single enemy you kill will drop one, this is a great effect to have early in the game, before you get Vibra-Pulse. Less useful afterwards.
  • Systems Purge
    An excellent DPS Oz Kit. This adds a damaging Non-Elemental shockwave to your shots at the cost of Oz, which is quite potent even though it’s not boosted by Maelstrom. In atmosphere, this can trigger rapidly since your Oz refills quickly. The damage that it adds will heal you through Vibra-Pulse, so this is a great way to add to your damage and healing simultaneously.

##Videos (Level 60)

See the old thread for level 50 content:
http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=388729

17 Likes
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#2

@Sljm

I recently experimented with a Defender mod at the Holodome with a hastily thrown together build. Probably not a great spec but I was just trying to abuse a Fabled Tortoise shield I’d been using. Other gear was shock Practicable Thinking, Vibra-Pulse, Fatale, Rigorous Rifle, Quasar, Strafing Run/Ack Ack, Shielded Defender. What surprised me was that I regularly hit 400-600 stacks during engagements and there were about 4 instances where I hit max Maelstrom stacks. I don’t know what your experience has been but I wasn’t expecting this kind of stacking performance from a build this tanky. Could be a lack of DPS skills outside of Ceraunic Storm and tanking a lot of Badass enemies with giant health pools? But I’ve clearly underestimated this class mod’s potential.

Have you revisited this build at level 60?

(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #3

I’ve planned it for 60, but I’m not actually 60 yet. Since this is my leveling build I intend to use this build from 50 to 60 exclusively to get a feel for how it should pan out, though. I’ve been working on other projects so I haven’t gotten time to play on TPS since before the holidays (except to beat level 52 Odjy a few times).

I think you hit the nail on the head though. The lack of non-stack DPS lends towards higher stack counts, which has implications besides damage thanks to Conduit. People talked about using low-level Teslas to get higher stack counts, and this is basically the same idea. Since if you’re using Conduit, your stacks have more than simply damage implications, trying to artificially avoid powerhouse DPS skills might actually work in your benefit overall. There might not be a difference in general DPS whether you have Prepare For Glory, or the equivalent amount of stacks you would gain without it, but at least with defensive builds like this, you have other benefits to having more stacks, without really losing general damage output. Obviously 999 stacks with all the other DPS skills will outperform it, but if you struggle to get that many stacks with how fast you’re killing enemies, it’s a moot point.

I highly recommend you give Return Fire a try with this build. Reflected Fire and Shock will accumulate stacks, and reflected Shock that applies a DOT can trigger Conduit.

Is there a particular reason you’re using Thinking and not Bullpup?

Also, I do prefer Supercharged Defender for the 100% chance of Superconductor. 1 point of Conduit doesn’t make a huge difference (.18% per stack vs .2%), and guaranteed Superconductor might mean more stacks, which would increase Conduit’s potential anyway.

I saw your comments about Flash Freeze. Though I don’t care for it myself since I rarely use weapons that don’t build stacks in this build, I don’t think it’s as terrible as people claim, especially if you use it specifically to preserve stacks while you’re Critting with your Cryo weapon or while you swap to an Explosive weapon to reap the frozen bonus. Generally people prefer to stick to Shock/Fire weapons, but Flash Freeze has its place. Actually I wish it weren’t so deep in the tree so I could use it in Blue Steel.

Anyway, if I can suggest a spec alteration for you:

I feel 3 points into Unrelenting is a good amount for the majority of weapons, especially with the stack counts a build like this can achieve. I’m assuming the point into Prepare for Glory is for co-op, since this is one of the best setups to use its second effect because you will not go down. I took 3 points out of Ephodos with the idea in mind that trading DPS other than Maelstrom should result in more stacks. That gives us 5/5 Return Fire, which I think pairs well with Superconductor for stack generation and passive damage. Otherwise, if you feel this skill is actually causing your enemies to die too fast and you’re not getting more stacks with it, Overload might be an interesting option, probably Vanguard would be a reasonable place to put the points because it increases tankiness instead of DPS.

I’d like to know what you think of these changes, but I think you’re right that in this case, focusing on tankiness will result in more stacks, which might not mean a significant loss in DPS (after a point) after all… At least not enough to say that being completely invincible wasn’t worth the price.

#4

I like Return Fire too. I was experimenting with the Gladiatrix right before Defender and I definitely see value for it in a build like this. Most of all I like the automatic Smite that it generates :smile:

Thinking was something I found recently and it’s been my trusted companion. I’ve never bothered farming for the Bullpup although not opposed to doing so. Shielded Defender was what I had on hand but I would easily switch to Supercharged should I come across it.

Flash Freeze is there for freeze and swap tactics. 1-2 points is optimal from my experience. It takes a lot more effort to manage more time but having that second or two where I’m not losing stacks allows me to switch to elemental and keep the stacks going.

Your new suggested build is nearly identical to what I came up with. I’ll try both :smile:

With the stack generation I didn’t feel the absence of Omega-Senshu or Tear. Really I’m relying on a blitzkrieg with Unrelenting and Elemental Barrage and I can say that it was equally effective at taking down every badass in the Holodome versus Blood Rush+Tear with the added advantage of tanking everything they could throw at me.

The stacking potential this has for sustained fights is impressive though. This is a tank build by every definition.

(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #5

Bullpup is statistically superior to every single-barrel Hyperion shotgun with the same Grip/Accessory, and due to accuracy and ammo consumption concerns, generally better than double and triple-barrel Hyperion shotties too. I think there’s a place for Development, but only with Elemental Barrage active or not as a main weapon (for example, in Corrosive).

Thinking is very good, and so is Aggressive Expansion (bl2 skin Tediore barrel), but none of them are quite as good as Bullpup. The huge magazine plays a big role in this, but its stats are overall solid as well. Face Time (double barrel) isn’t better by enough of a margin to justify the ammo cost, unlike Coach Gun vs Longrider. And when you factor in Reload times, it’s actually worse than Bullpup because of the short magazines.

Due to the reverse accuracy, Hyperion shotguns work best when you accept the idea you will be rapid-firing them to keep the accuracy high. Unlike Jakobs where you can instead try to kill an enemy in one or two shots, that’s not a good idea here due to the Hyperion gimmick… So, you either go for ammo-efficiency (Bullpup) or raw output (Development). No benefit in compromise in this case.

#6

The bigger barrel shotguns may actually have a place here. I have an shock Executive (3-barrel Crowdsourcing) that I was using along with the Thinking while I was farming Odjurymir. I was swapping to the Thinking repeatedly to build up to about 400 stacks and then swap to Executive and it was lights out. Quite easy to max out stacks even with a heavy ammo eater because of Storm Weaving+Elemental Barrage. Main difference was that I was using Storm so my fire rate on swap was much larger. But I think this would actually work really good here. I think I’m going to substitute that Torgue Rifle for the Executive and see how it goes.

1 Like
(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #7

Or, Flakker. :wink:

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#8

That calls for a visit to the Grinder.

1 Like
(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #9

If there’s a better weapon to make use of Storm Weaving, Unrelenting, Elemental Barrage, and Flash Freeze (and Cryo bonus) all working in tandem, I don’t know of it.

You might want a few more than 2 points into Flash Freeze though, because 2 seconds isn’t a lot of time to enjoy Free Flak.

1 Like
(Spark Seeker) #10

@Sljm I know that farming is kinda against this build, but what you think about the new Hologram COM? Superconductor and Overload help with the passive stacking and Flash Freeze allows you to maintain the stacks. Also, the COM add to Electrocute and Burn damage.

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#11

I like the idea of this the more I thought about it especially after playing around with the Hologram class mod some for Overload and Superconductor fun. Where would you suggest taking the points from? I was thinking 4 out of Conduit and 1 out of Flash Freeze from the previous spec.

Anyways, I did a run through Badass round with the new spec (minus Prepare for Glory because solo). The addition of Return Fire was a good call. It just fits in so nicely with the style of this build.

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(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #12

Well, if you’re going to use Hologram instead of Defender, you’ll still want a hefty investment into Conduit since your Class Mod doesn’t boost it.

I would use a purple Hologram with 5 Superconductor, and this spec:

The remaining 3 points can be distributed to taste. 4 in Gathering Tempest is enough for most weapons, 4 in Conduit is enough that at 400 stacks you’ll be recovering a third of your shield per second (almost half at 600). However, giving up the Class Mod shield capacity and United Front bonuses will mean your shield will be smaller comparatively. So you do actually lose a lot of tankiness since you also lose 5 points in Conduit…

1 point in Flash Freeze gives you 5 seconds, which is PLENTY of stack hold time with Hologram. And as I’ve mentioned before, 3 Unrelenting seems to be a sweet spot where you get enough Fire Rate without capping at low stack amounts on most of the fast weapons.

Depending on the weapons, you might not even need Gathering Tempest. Though it does wonderful things with Torgue shotguns, it’s not really necessary for Lasers and SMGs (though nice, for sure). More mag size does translate into higher stack counts though because you spend overall less time reloading vs shooting.

Personally, I would rather stick to Defender since it gives the most Shield capacity as well as Conduit bonus, while Hologram boosts DPS attributes instead of these.

I’d rather run this, at least if we’re still talking about maximizing tankiness and purposely marginalizing damage other than Maelstrom:

Using Hologram would trade in some tankiness for base damage it might not even need (also, its boosts are likely additive with Maelstrom in the first place). Then again, it might give “enough” tankiness. It would come down to style and preference, and pretty much hinge on whether you want Overload and Flash Freeze instead of Conduit and United Front. I prefer Defender.

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#13

@Sljm I would actually still use Defender so only the 1 point in Conduit boosted to 5/5 or 6/5 with class mod and take those spare points for Overload. Hologram was really just mentioned in passing because of Superconductor and Overload in one mod.

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(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #14

In that case, maybe this:

One could borrow a point from United Front and/or Gathering Tempest if one needed more Flash Freeze.

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#15

More Flash Freeze. Now that is something you don’t see many players say. I’ve found it pretty useful actually but I’m not sure if I’d want to go 5/5 or higher on it though. Explosive build maybe.

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(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #16

I toyed with the idea of that at release, because Flakker.

But I actually preferred Xiphos for it due to Blood Rush putting you pretty much exactly at the right range to Flak (the enemy gets knocked back into the Flak cube).

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(Zoë) #17

I’m still leveling my Athena (24 at present) and so I don’t have much to add to this discussion. I merely wish to thank you for moving this thread to the new forum. It’s been extremely helpful in teaching me about Athena’s mechanics! This truly is a great guide and a fun build to play with.

1 Like
#18

I like this build, and thank you for doing the testing so I don’t have to. I have Athena to 58 on the way to 60 – she cuts through everything thrown at her with only the occasional blip.

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(Really, really, ridiculously good-looking) #19

After reaching 60 and doing some playtesting, I’m happy with the current spec, despite the discussion about reducing damage to gain more stacks. I think this is a good balance that makes the build feel fluid. It doesn’t take too long to build enough stacks to feel strong, and it doesn’t need a lot of stacks to be powerful. I still reach +/-200 stacks without really thinking about it in general combat, which is enough for all of my current investments to become noticeable. And against bosses, you can simply throw more Teslas, and you’ll have more stacks.

I’m going to be replacing Rosie with Party Line, and I’ve settled on Asteroid Belt as the most effective non-legendary shield for this build. It has a good balance of shield attributes and a high chance to toss powerful homing meteors at enemies, which are boosted by Maelstrom stacks and Omega-Senshu.

You can also expect a video with actual commentary about this build and how to use it most effectively soon. Preview: don’t bother shooting constantly with Vibra-Pulse. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: This build 2 passive damage skills, Asteroid Belt, and grenades to heal and hurt things with. Shooting with Vibra-Pulse should be done when convenient to trigger Smite, ensure Conduit against Badasses, and finish off weak enemies. No need to constantly spray it so you can’t see anything. Even with the Continuous Damage bonus it’s far from impressive.

This build’s real damage is the Tesla. Never forget this.

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#20

Does that comparison include Turtle and Adaptive or is it only among Unique shields?

Also this sentence is worded strangely:

could you clarify please?

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