Hello fellow Vault Hunters,
Do you love animals? Do you relish the thought of them tearing your enemies apart? Do you not have time to farm? Does “social distancing” mean nothing to you? Is your soul elated by the sight of
HUGE CLUSTER@#%S OF ■■■■■■■ EXPLOSIONS???
Then boy-oh-boy, do I have the build for you.
This build is the culmination of several months of testing. I am confident in saying that, perhaps outside of He Bite’s reflecting raid novas, this is the absolute highest damage you can get out of FL4K’s pet. With the right set up, your pet can consistently hit in the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of damage. You’ll be able to insta-kill any boss in the game without immunity phases so long as you meet the correct conditions.
How does it work?
This build is based entirely around the Guardian Rank perk Hollowpoint. Needless to say, if you prefer to play without Guardian Rank or haven’t reached this perk yet, you can’t play this build.
@DocStrangelove explains Hollowpoint in his Overkill Explained thread, but as a quick refresher Hollowpoint will create an explosion on critical hit kills that deals damage equal to your Overkill. However, what really makes this skill amazing is that, unlike Overkill, the damage of Hollowpoint is uncapped, meaning that it can hit for some absolutely bonkers numbers. On top of being uncapped, this perk also scales with Pet Mayhem scaling, meaning Hollowpoint explosions from pet critical kills will deal X51 damage in M10.
The only way for pets to hit criticals is to take Go for the Eyes. This skill only provides crits on the first melee attack to hit an enemy.
The goal of this build is to take full advantage of this perk by loading up on as much splash damage as possible to boost the Hollowpoint explosion and pet damage, and then utilize the correct pets to hit huge melee crits with Go for the Eyes and blow up mobs of enemies.
Pets can stack overkill for FL4K even though they don’t personally benefit from it. This means we can utilize Overkill for a fairly consistent DPS increase, or maximize its potential with high damage single pellet weapons.
The Skill Tree
I know this looks like a really weird build compared to every other FL4K build, but there is method to the madness.
This build, more than probably any other, really takes advantage of the recent scaling changes to extract damage from both our pets and action skills. By utilizing certain interactions, we can just about make up any deficit for the personal damage FL4K is missing. There is a lot of hidden wonkiness with pets so I’ll use this section to go over some of the more important skills and why I made the choices I did.
Because of the mechanics of this build, only one pet really works: Spiderant Countess. Countess ticks every box for this build. Her attack command scales off of splash damage and it’s melee so it can proc Go for the Eyes. The most important feature of this pet however is that it’s melee attack is a teleport. Not only can she attack enemies from surprisingly long ranges, but she can move quickly and seamlessly from one enemy to another without running into any other bodies messing with her AI. As long as you are diligent in your commanding, you can essentially guarantee that Countess will not have an opportunity to get off a normal melee attack on an enemy before she teleports and kills them with her burrowing attack.
You can also use Beefcake Jabber in this set up since he primarily uses a gun to attack and only normally uses melee for his attack command, but he won’t be nearly as effective. His attack command has a much slower activation since he needs to physically get close to enemies before attacking them and, most importantly, his attack command doesn’t scale off of splash meaning his max potential is much lower than Countess.
Interplanetary Stalker - The pet damage listed in the skill description is false. This skill actually provides FL4K with 15% pet damage per kill rather than 5%. The combination of pet damage, AS damage, and bonus damage makes this an extremely valuable skill for us.
Headcount/Eager to Impress - Since we’re using Rakk, overloading on both these skills is wasteful, if not also detrimental. The old Headcount bug (where it constantly reset the cool down) is back, and @Ratore and others have reported it happens with Eager to Impress as well. Our pet will be getting enough kills for Eager to Impress to pull some weight, and most of our best weapons for this build will be multi-pellet and fast firing, so ditching some points in Headcount is actually a smart move.
Go for the Eyes - This build won’t work without at least 1 point in this skill, but your effective DPS will increase dramatically with as many points as you can spare in here. Hollowpoint is based off of the damage you overkill enemies with, so the higher your crit damage is, the more damage the explosion will do. While there is a tipping point after 7 points, you will deal far more damage overall foregoing Ferocity and focusing on crit damage.
This build has fairly lenient requirements to get started, as any weapon you pick up with the 200% splash anointment will do fine and any Class Mod or relic with bonuses to AOE and splash damage will suffice. I strongly recommend looking over the List of All Splash Weapons to see what your options are. I don’t own any of the DLCs, so all of the gear I’ve used for this build has been from the base game, and most it isn’t even Mayhem exclusive.
You have 2 potential paths to go for in gearing. You can go for fast firing multi-pellet weapons for Headcount and Megavor, or you can focus on high powered single pellet weapons to get the most use out of all the Overkill your pet is stacking for you. Whichever you choose, every single weapon in your loadout must have the splash anointment, as not having it active during an attack command will cut your damage to a 3rd of what it should be.
- Tiggs Boom - the bonus meteors make it incredibly simple to keep Furious Attack Stacks at 10. It’s very ammo efficient and decently accurate from range so you don’t accidentally blow yourself up.
- Nothingness - It’s a Maliwan Flakker that has better synergy with Overkill since it is only 1 pellet.
- Anarchy - One of, if not the most, powerful shotguns in the game. You need to ramp up some kills for this beauty to shine, or you can just spam reloads until you’re at max stacks. This gun doesn’t cause self harm unless it’s on the reload, so this is an extremely powerful and safe option.
- The Horizon - This weapon is more for utility than damage. In fact, I’d recommend the lowest level variant you can find so you don’t accidentally kill yourself unless you’re really careful. When you reload this weapon, you can shoot at it to create a singularity. This can be useful for grouping up enemies for Countess, but singularities in BL3 also have a tendency to throw mobs far away from each other. It’s great when it works though, so it definitely gets a mention.
- Kybs Worth - In a x3 variant, this weapon is surprisingly accurate from medium range. The healing Aura is a nice bonus.
- Flipper - If you have the Bounty of Blood DLC, this is a more ammo efficient, more damaging version of the Kybs. There is an initial ramp up period while waiting for all of the pellets to spawn, but once that happens this is an SMG shotgun that scales off of splash damage.
- Headsplosion - This Jakobs sniper is great for clearing hordes from far away. The explosive ricochets can bounce back towards you, so definitely keep an eye out while using this sniper.
- Storm / Krakatoa / Complex Root - Maliwan snipers are the only snipers that can roll with splash damage natively. The Storm took a bit of a hit with the extra projectile fix, but the additional tendrils can still proc Headcount through Megavor. The Krakatoa doesn’t actually deal increased splash damage, but it is arguably the most powerful sniper in the base game so it deserves a mention. I have no knowledge of the complex root other than that Mr, Torgue approves that ■■■■, so it’s in.
- Hellshock / Beacon - The Hellshock is one of the most powerful pistols in the base game, but it doesn’t deal splash damage. If you have the Bounty of Blood DLC, the Beacon is essentially a Hellshock that deals splash damage.
- S3RV-80S-EXECUTE - This weapon provides a 50% stacking debuff everytime you fire the mag to empty. Being able to roll with splash anointments, as well as the debuff lasting much longer than the Zheitsev’s Eruption, earns it a spot. As an aside, you can use the Eruption, but it works best for single targets and can’t roll with splash.
- Any of the current “meta” launchers work fine here. Just about every Heavy with the exception of some unique cans roll with 200% splash so pick whichever you like the best.
Since this is a Rakk Attack build, the two best shields to use will be a Stop Gap or Frozen Heart with Action Skill Start Anointments. The Stop Gap will provide you with invincibility so long as you use Rakk every 5 seconds. The Frozen Heart (in combination with our AOE and splash radius rolls) will Freeze enemies across the entire screen. Since we are building heavily into splash, the nova damage is also OK (novas don’t scale to Mayhem yet) and ends up healing you to full on just about every cast.
You can also use Black Hole to group enemies towards you, but it definitely isn’t the best choice if you can help it.
Quasar - Probably the best singularity in the game, and exemplary of all the issues associated with them, this grenade may once in a while deliver you a neat pile of bodies to be blown to smithereens. A fair amount of the time it will fling several mobs who were close together to different ends of the map, destroying potential Hollowpoint chains. Caveat emptor.
Whispering Ice - The singularity on this grenade is much milder than any other in the game, so it won’t fling enemies across the map. If you aren’t using the Frozen Heart and don’t need the debuff from It’s Piss, then this is your best option.
It’s Piss - One of the few debuffs we can apply that affects pets. Grab a low level one so you don’t die if you get caught in the blast radius.
No relic’s special effect works for the pets, so you have 2 options:
- Victory Rush - More personal damage
Otto Idol - More personal survivability
As for prefixes
Go for Ice Breaker if using Frozen Heart.
Use Flesh Melter in areas with lots of armor. Countess stacks it for you.
Use Elemental Projector or Snowdrift in every other scenario.
The Deadeye is the only legendary COM that boosts Go for the Eyes, and the 35% increased damage on high health enemies is one the few unique multipliers in the pet’s damage formula. We pretty much have to use this COM, nothing else approaches it.
For skills, the ideal will be a +3 Fast and the Furryous, +2 Go for the Eyes. I’ve tried a +5 Go for the Eyes COM before, and even with the same passive stat rolls it only did about 10k more than the above configuration.
Tips and Tricks
Harmageddon - This Guardian Rank perk is another of the rare multipliers that pets receive. A simple way to maximize this skill is to stategically set up your grenade and elemental ASE. Rakk can provide fire or cryo, your shield can provide shock or cryo (depending on Black Hole vs Frozen Heart), and your pet can provide corrosive damage, albeit inconsistently. You have your weapon slots, grenades, and grenade anointment to cover whichever elements you’re missing.
Attack command spamming - This build makes frequent use of attacks commands, which are admittedly pretty clunky most of the time. Some pointers for reducing the amount of time it takes to get off commands are
- Issue the command immediately after using Rakk attack. It seems to slightly cut down on the time it takes to activate the attack.
- focus on enemies in open areas, they’re easier to aim at
- You can issue attack commands while shooting. Doing so will ensure that the enemy is in your crosshairs and the attack will go through seamlessly.
FFYL - This is a Rakk build, so it is naturally very squishy. However, FFYL has numerous benefits and pitfalls that we must be aware of for this build especially:
- If you go into FFYL while your pet is underground, it will get stuck under the map. You can quickly respawn them by selecting another pet and then immediately selecting Countess, but the pet will not heal you for Lick the Wounds until it performs it’s spawn in animation, so be very careful with issuing commands when close to death. It’s much better to take the knee because…
- The pet deals 30% extra damage for 1 minute when it revives you. In areas like SS where you’re being pelted with damage and go down frequently, your pet will maintain this bonus nearly permanently. Enemies tend not to move as much when you are in FFYL, so use the time to issue an Attack command and stack some Furious Attack. As soon as the pet finishes reviving you, it will perform the attack command immediately.
- As long as you remain close to your pet, it will be nearly impossible to put you down. If your health is getting low, get close to your pet so it will be in range to revive you ASAP. I’ve gone down more than 20 times in a round of SS without dying, so trust me when I say this build is surprisingly survivable!
Thanks for taking a look. This build is the most fun I’ve ever had in BL3. Seeing my pet, which 2 months ago struggled kill trash mobs, hitting bosses for hundreds of millions of damage is a sight to behold, and the amount of explosions going off on screen would make Mr. Torgue shed a tear.
I’m renaming my FL4K Yoshikage Kira in honor of this build, as whenever FL4K points his finger at something and says “That one’s talking ■■■■” this is what happens.