[Build] Blue Steel - Legendary Hybrid Action!

#Blue Steel

Derek Zoolander, originator of both Duckface and Blood Rush
This is what your enemies see when you Blood Rush them

##Foreword

This is intended to be a companion build to Battery, which doesn’t use Legendaries. So if you’re just starting out with Athena, head on over there and see what she’s capable of with just Quest Rewards and sub-orange loot.

But, eventually you’ll get some Legendaries… So I made a build with a few of my favorites. This build can actually function against anything but Raid Bosses with just Fridgia and a Tesla grenade, but the Legendaries peppered in really add oomph. Unlike Battery, which is intended to be a leveling build, this is an endgame build, so it only really works at level 50/60. This build functions extremely well against mobs and bosses alike. Battery is a little better at taking down the Invincible Sentinel, but this one still works, and is more fun generally, since Battery is kinda one-dimensional. This build has a great mix of Melee, Maelstrom, EXPLOSIONS, and a little Defense to boot. I expect this build to become more attractive against Raids that don’t have 6 shielded phases…

##Main Loadout

###Guns

  • Bladed Fridgia
  • Staple weapon of the build. Super high freeze efficiency due to high base chance, x2 bullets per shot, and high Fire Rate. Both Freeze status and the Bladed prefix boost Melee damage, so this is a beautiful weapon. Freeze also boosts Critical Damage, which helps this gun in the DPS department as well when you need it.
    • Dahl Grip
  • Casual Torguemada
  • Mini-Flakker. This is easier to use than Flakker in a lot of circumstances, and especially easier to hit single person-sized enemies with. Instead of a large cube of doom, this shoots concentrated pockets of it. Each pellet has 100% additional Splash, and when they hit something, they each spawn 3 little Flaks of 100% Splash that fall down slowly and detonate after 2 seconds or if they come in contact with a new surface. If Explosions were Windex bottles, Flakker would be the “spray” setting, and Torguemada would be the “stream” setting. They both have their uses, and I’ve started carrying both.
    • Torgue Grip
  • Casual Flakker
  • Badass Buster. Freeze status boosts Explosive damage, and this gun does a LOT of that. When you see a Badass, throw a Quasar to strip its shield and stun it briefly, Freeze with Fridgia, then swap to Flakker and blast away. Note that the effective range actually starts a few feet in front of you. If you jump up and aim down at the enemy, you can concentrate the explosions and potentially trigger Smite at the same time. This is also a great weapon against clusters of enemies… Quasar says hi.
    • Torgue Grip
    • Luneshine: 30% chance to ignore enemy Shields.
  • fwap a Nukem
  • Shoots in an arc, meaning you can get Second Winds off those pesky Marauders who love to hide behind stuff. Also has a huge blast radius, so you don’t have to aim particularly well.
    • Torgue Grip, Exhaust
    • Tediore Sight
    • Luneshine: 30% chance to ignore enemy Shields.

###Other Gun Options

  • Laser Disker
  • For bosses, the reload explosions from this can often be easier to direct properly than Flakker, and since we don’t otherwise use Laser ammo, you don’t have to worry about being low when you come up to the boss. Just chuck 'em all right at him. Also works for wiping badasses off the map.
    • Maliwan Grip
    • Luneshine: 30% chance to ignore enemy Shields.

###Accessories

  • Grounded Black Hole Shield
  • My favorite Shield, ever! When depleted, it pulls enemies toward you before releasing the Nova.
  • Sticky Longbow Quasar Grenade
  • Shock Singularity with a Tesla effect. Builds lots of stacks, and has great crowd control ability. I like the sticky one specifically to pull enemies from ledges by placing the grenade on a wall.
  • 3DD1.E, Systems Purge, or Acrobat Oz Kit (Explosive)
  • 3DD1.E is my favorite, since its little shock thingies give you Maelstrom stacks, and it occasionally heals you, but Systems Purge adds a good bit of damage to your guns given the Oz to support it. Acrobat is for the more Melee-oriented players and the people who like to go FAST.
  • Celestial Gladiator Class Mod
  • My favorite Class Mod for a Melee Hybrid Athena. Boosts very useful things, and when you activate Aspis, your shield starts to recharge, no matter how much time was left in its Recharge Delay.
    • Fire Rate, Max Health
    • +5 Vanguard
    • +5 Hold the Line
    • +5 Gun Kata
    • +5 Clarity of Purpose
    • +5 Gathering Tempest
    • +5 Conduit

##Skill Details

###Xiphos

  • 5/5 Gun Kata
  • Huge increase to Melee Damage after shooting an enemy. Shoot to freeze, Blood Rush for the kill!
  • 5/5 Clarity of Purpose
  • A bit more Melee Damage, and some Health. Not bad.
  • 5/5 Omega-Senshu
  • Multiplies any Damage to enemies below 50% health. Great for bosses and badasses.
  • 1/1 Rend
  • Applies a Bleed DOT to enemies you Melee. Doesn’t benefit from Maelstrom, but does benefit from some Melee Damage bonuses. Triggers Tear and Bloodlust.
  • 5/5 Tear
  • Deal more Gun Damage to Bleeding enemies. This is a multiplier like Omega-Senshu. Tear, Cryo effects, and Omega-Senshu work beautifully together. Doesn’t boost Splash Damage, so this is more for Fridgia than Flakker.
  • 1/1 Blood Rush
  • Overrides your Melee with a dash that deals extra damage. If you kill an enemy or apply bleed on one that wasn’t bleeding, there’s no cooldown. Freeze, then Rush! Or Rush, then Flak! Or both!

###Phalanx

  • 5/5 Ephodos
  • Gun Damage and Movement Speed while Aspis is active. Helps for positioning Blood Rush, and boosts the shooting that triggers Gun Kata, or the shooting after Blood Rush/Rend that benefits from Tear.
  • 4/5 Vanguard
  • Gives Health Regen during Aspis based on your Max Health and how much damage Aspis has absorbed.
  • 5/5 Hold The Line
  • Aspis duration. 'Nuff said.
  • 1/1 Prismatic Aegis
  • Adds 4 more slots for Aspis to absorb damage into (Fire, Shock, Corrosive, Cryo), which it can deal back and apply DOT when thrown. Fire and Shock that’s dealt from the throw will build Maelstrom stacks, too.
  • 1/1 Clear!
  • Instantly revive allies by throwing Aspis at them, and get 1.4x Damage in Fight For Your Life. Great skill.
  • 5/5 Return Fire
  • Chance to reflect bullets and lasers back at enemies, which can trigger Gun Kata, Smite, and Systems Purge, inflict DOT, and build Maelstrom stacks if Fire or Shock is reflected. Decent passive damage, I prefer it to Prepare For Glory because of the Melee focus of this build.
  • 1/1 Wrath of the Goddess
  • Thrown Aspis can bounce to 4 additional targets, -33% damage each bounce. Excellent synergy with Zeus’ Rage and Clear!, which will both activate on each bounce. With this skill, Zeus’ Rage and Prismatic Aegis can build you a lot of Maelstrom stacks, as well.

###Ceraunic Storm

  • 1/1 Maelstrom
  • Storm Front and Quasar build tons of stacks, which boosts damage you deal other than Non-Elemental (e.g. Melee) or Bleed. Yes, it does boost Cryo and Explosive!
  • 4/4 Storm Weaving
  • Fire Rate and Effect Chance for 9 seconds after weapon swap. Merely required, but it’s also handy on Flakker/Fridgia swaps.
  • 5/5 Gathering Tempest
  • Mag Size and Reload Speed. Good to have on Flakker, especially.
  • 1/5 Conduit
  • Percentage Shield Regen based on Maelstrom stacks while you have a Shock DOT active on an enemy, such as from Storm Front and Quasar.
  • 1/1 Smite
  • Additional and powerful Shock and Fire hit when you shoot an enemy while Airborne and have 10+ Maelstrom stacks. 12 second cooldown.
  • 5/5 Unrelenting
  • Fire Rate and Weapon Swap Speed based on Maelstrom stacks after a kill. Even during normal combat, you can get quite a few stacks without even trying, but this skill really shows its power against Raid Bosses in combination with Elemental Barrage. See Raid Boss section below.
  • 1/1 Zeus’ Rage
  • Adds a Shock and Fire storm to Aspis throw impacts, which adds a few stacks and deals decent damage over a few seconds. Triggers with each bounce from Wrath of the Goddess.
  • 5/5 Elemental Barrage
  • During Storm Weaving, weapons have a chance to not consume ammo, based on Maelstrom stacks. This goes hand-in-hand with Unrelenting, because it mitigates the increased ammo consumption due to increased Fire Rate. At 700 or more stacks, all shots are free during Storm Weaving. This is pretty important for Raid Bosses. See Raid Boss section below.

Level 60 spec
Level 50 spec

##Raid Boss Loadout
###Raid Boss Guns

  • Practicable Thinking (Shock)
  • Not the most impressive in terms of DPS, but it does have excellent Fire Rate and good ammo consumption, which makes it an excellent tool to accumulate large amounts of Maelstrom stacks against spongy bosses. Stacks are a function of individual hits per second, making high-fire-rate shotguns ideal for this purpose because they throw lots of pellets downrange very fast. For more info on stacking mechanics and theory, click here.
    • Hyperion Grip
    • Torgue Stock
    • Error Code: O0L4M0A4
  • Practicable Development (Shock)
  • Once you have about 700 stacks, switch to this weapon. Elemental Barrage will ensure that you don’t have to worry about the ammo cost of this 4-barrel shotgun, while Unrelenting ensures you will be firing fast enough to maintain and even accumulate more stacks. Ideally you’ll never have to reload this one, so there’s no point in using the Glitch rarity. Instead, go for a Purple with Luneshine.
    • Hyperion Grip (accuracy) or Jakobs Grip (damage)
    • Torgue Stock
    • Luneshine: 10% Critical Hit Damage Bonus.
  • Casual Torguemada, or Casual Flakker
  • If the enemy resists Shock (such as one of the Sentinel’s phases), use whichever one of these you prefer (and can hit with) once you have well over 700 stacks from Thinking, Development, and/or Storm Front.
  • fwap a Nukem
  • Same as the main spec. You might want to keep this handy, just in case.

###Raid Boss Accessories

  • [Immunity] Asteroid Belt Shield
  • 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 Raid Bosses because the homing meteors it shoots can easily kill flying enemies, who are jerks and deserve it.
    • Priority: Grounded > Alkaline > Warming > Inflammable
  • Bomber or Strafing Run Oz Kit
  • For bosses, we can switch to a semi-CS build using Storm Front and a Bomber Oz Kit for oodles of stacks, which boost everything but Non-Elemental and Bleed damage and give us a lot of survivability with Conduit. If you prefer to gain stacks with guns, use Strafing Run instead. Any element will do, but Shock or Explosive is preferred for basic synergies.
  • Longbow Storm Front Grenade
  • This is the best Grenade I’ve ever seen for building Maelstrom stacks. Along with the Bomber Oz Kit, you can toss so many of these you’ll have more stacks than you know what to do with. Try shooting.
  • Surging Storm Class Mod
  • You have everything you need to make Storm do work against Raid Bosses. You’ll have to be more careful due to lower defensive ability compared to Celestial Gladiator, but the difference in DPS potential is enormous.
    • Shock Damage (erroneously says Electrocute)
    • +6 Unrelenting
    • +5 Storm Weaving

##Techniques

  • Draco Meteor
  • Push B to do a butt-slam, then immediately Blood Rush. This takes some practice, but it can add a substantial amount of damage to your Rushes, especially with an Explosive Oz Kit against a Frozen enemy.
  • Fridgia-no-kata
  • Shoot an enemy to Freeze, Blood Rush/Draco Meteor to activate Tear, aim for a Critical zone and fire away.
  • [EXPLOSION NOISE]
  • As above, except switch to Flakker or Torguemada after the Blood Rush/Draco Meteor. This is for Badasses.
  • Double Dash!!
  • Often, you can cheaply and quickly kill small enemies by simply using Blood Rush against them twice, especially if you Froze them first. Remember that Omega-Senshu applies to Melee as well. Try to get a feel for which enemies you can instantly kill from half health.
  • Sticky Situation
  • Get used to finding good walls to place your Longbow Sticky Quasar on to pull enemies off ledges or out from behind cover. Aspis up and Rush them.
  • The Five-Foot Flakker Rule
  • The distance that enemies get knocked back by Blood Rush is about the distance you want to be to use Flakker. You can also jump into the air and fire down at them to get better results since floor collision compresses Flakker’s explosion cube.

##Videos

Level 70 content coming soon.
See the old thread for level 50 content:
http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=387292

23 Likes

Nice to see you bringing your threads over

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This is one of the most fun Athena builds IMO. It has incredible diversity. I espesially enjoy the choice between using the flakker on cyroed enemies, or using melee. It means there is always an option no matter the situation. It leads to a very fun playstyle as the player doesn’t feel forced to repetitive tasks every fight.

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If you like the build, why not like the build thread? [/shameless self promotion]

4 Likes

I would, but I don’t like the formatting. Its not colorful enough.
Bwahahaha
I was gonna transfer mine, and meh. Its oogly.

I think I heard somewhere that they’re going to get a color plugin or some such nonsense.

Until then, this forum is going to look pretty bland.

It even strips html color, which I was not pleased with.

1 Like

Still a great build and scales well to 60.

Not sure what direction I am going to take the Butcher build in yet. My melee build might either go more Phalanx or (more likely) converge towards this (with swapping Vanguard for Bloodlust most likely).

##THE COLORS DUKE, THE COLORS!

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I am still laughing at the Ben Stiller GIF. Blue Still?

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Just a word to say that you should totally use this shade of blue in your op instead of This one. Not because it’s better, but because it’s name is “Steelblue”

…I’ll show myself out

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Well, it’s easier to read on the gray.

And topical. You’ve convinced me.

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Small adjustment: moved the point from Unrelenting into Gathering Tempest because I realized it gave me an extra shot on Flakker, Badaboom, and potentially Nukem (which I’m considering putting in the build instead of Badaboom for its ability to shoot over obstacles and enormous radius).

Plus Storm Weaving already gives a good amount of Fire Rate after a swap. Unrelenting generally only did anything against the Sentinel because of the sheer amount of stacks you can accrue. But I’d much rather use Battery for that anyway.

May I ask why 3DD1.E is suggested for mobbing? As we are using melee and bladed Fridgia, the bonus laser damage is not gonna help much :confused:

Eddie does a LOT of things beside laser damage. Care packages, and refiling your shields mainly.

3DD1.E perks:

  • Shield Capacity
  • Air Control
  • Occasionally shocks attackers (Maelstrom stacks)
  • Periodic health/shield restore
  • Free ammo/health/money drops

That’s a lot of good things. If you know of another Oz kit that can do all that, let me know.

Thanks haha. Didn’t look it up before, really great to know :smile:

I’ve been looking at this build for a while. Now that I finally have a Bladed Fridgia, I had to try it out. It’s easily the most fun I’ve had playing Athena. Good stuff!

Yup, easily the best Oz kit for Athena, and I never even remember it boosts laser. That’s its least important attribute.

Ah, well, it’s the most important Oz Kit for an Athena that doesn’t use Bomber, at least. Meaning, one without a heavy CS focus.

I do still use Bomber for bosses, which is the only time you really need or can benefit from huge stack counts for more than a second.

Yeah, Bombers are also very good general choices for CS and hybrid. That said, I like 3DD1.E’s extra health and shield boosts even against bosses. But situationally, sure, there’s better choices (like Ack Ack vs. RK5, etc).