After looking over the melee Gaige builds that have been posted here in the past, I’ve noticed that there doesn’t seem to be one designed for OP10. I’ve decided to fill that hole.
To start, here’s a video of the build in action: https://youtu.be/OeBxLKrV828
Quick preface. As shown in the video, this build works without Moxxi weapons. It’s far harder to play without Moxxi, but if you’re a purist about them this build will still be functional. Additionally, in the provided video I don’t summon Deathtrap. There aren’t any downsides to summoning DT, but I wanted the video to be a demonstration of the raw power of Gaige. ᴶᵘˢᵗ ᶦᵍⁿᵒʳᵉ ᵐᵉ ᵍᵉᵗᵗᶦⁿᵍ ᵈᵒʷⁿᵉᵈ
ᴵ’ᵐ ʰᵒⁿᵉˢᵗˡʸ ⁿᵒᵗ ᵛᵉʳʸ ᵍᵒᵒᵈ ᵃᵗ ᵗʰᶦˢ ᵇᵘᶦˡᵈ ᵇᵘᵗ ᶦᵗ’ˢ ˢᵗʳᵒⁿᵍ ᴵ ᵖʳᵒᵐᶦˢᵉ
The skill tree is bog standard:
For the most part the tree is self explanatory, the one thing that may raise eyebrows is the lack of Sharing is Caring. I choose not to use this skill for one reason: The Love Thumper. The love thumper WILL kill you with Sharing is Caring, as Deathtrap’s novas can damage Gaige. (For some reason.) I’ll explain why I’m using the Love Thumper in spite of this during the Items section.
The weapons are as follows:
Ideally slag, but not needed, as the slag chance is low, and Interspersed Outburst can allow any rapier to slag. This weapon is a staple of all melee builds due to it providing the largest melee damage boost of all weapons.
This slot serves to slag enemies quickly, as any time spent slagging is time spent not swinging. The Grog nozzle is the best, but requires you to not complete the “The Beard Makes the Man” quest, and as such I’ve listed the Rubi as an alternative for players that wish to clear all quests. The Slagga is never worth using over a Moxxi weapon, it is listed only for players who prefer not to use Moxxi weapons.
A good E-tech rocket launcher with 500+ stacks of Anarchy will kill what you point it at, no questions asked. I recommend an E-tech rocket launcher specifically due to their above average splash radius, which is quite nice for a build that relies on having high Anarchy stacks. A Norfleet would generally be better than a Topneaa, but is far harder to obtain.
This build only requires three weapons to function. There are plenty of weapons worth equipping to prevent situations where enemies decide to backpeddle to mars, and you’re unable to melee them. (Here’s looking at you, Marauder AI.) If you can’t think of a good weapon, refer to Wingsday’s wonderful “Top Gear for Gaige” post: [Guide] Top Gear for Gaige, revamped (WIP)
As for your items:
The Love Thumper/Hide of Terramourphous:
The Hide of Terramourphous is a far better shield than the Love Thumper for this build. Unfortunately a good Hide is unrealistic to obtain, and as such I’ve listed the Love Thumper as a good alternative. Just try not to get a seizure from the constant novas.
Legendary Roboteer/Slayer of Terramourphous:
The Roboteer is a more dedicated Melee COM, and if you don’t plan on pre-stacking it will be the ideal choice. The Slayer COM provides an extra 200 max Anarchy, which ends up outperforming the better skill boosts of the Roboteer when at max Anarchy.
As an example, without slag, roid, or a blade, a melee attack with 400 stacks of Anarchy and a legendary Roboteer COM will deal 1,763K damage to the target dummy. Under the same conditions, 600 stacks of Anarchy and a Slayer COM will deal 1,989K damage. An additional benifit to the Slayer COM is that it provides a sizable boost to max health, even when compared to the Roboteers +5 Potent as a Pony.
The Leech is ideal when not using Moxxi weapons, as it provides a constant stream of healing, and you simply cannot rely on With Claws to provide you with enough health to stay alive. This problem doesn’t exist while using a Moxxi weapon, as you’ll get full health whenever you hit a melee attack. The issue of needing constant healing doesn’t vanish completely when using a Moxxi weapon, though, as charging at enemies can be rough without a good health source.
Max health is really, really good. Even if you plan on using Deathtrap to soak up some damage, you will likely still get shot from time to time, and not dying to two bullets is nice. This relic won’t make you invincible, but it will help you tank damage when you must.
Generally you’ll be holding W and pressing your melee button a lot, the Grog/Rubi will keep you at full health while you’re meleeing, and the Leech will keep you topped off when enemies are at range. Unfortunately most of Gaige’s survivability comes from Blood Soaked Shields, which we can’t take, meaning that melee Gaige is a little bit squishy compared to the other Vault Hunters. This can be compensated for by making good use of cover, as difficult as it is to not run into crowds and start slashing, you will sometimes need to hold back for a moment and wait for enemies to split up. Make your best judgement call and you should be fine.
What I said above about making good use of covers applies doubly to playing without Moxxi, running into crowds without a plan is suicide. Make sure you always have a Leech going off when you plan to be taking damage. The Leech will effectively be all of your healing, unfortunately, The Leech will only heal you for about 6-7 seconds, as such you’ll have to throw one, take a few swings, and throw another one. It may take a second to get used to, but once you do you’ll have all the fun of playing Melee Gaige, but without all that pesky having health nonsense. That last sentence wasn’t strictly a joke. The Leech suffers from poor tracking, and so can sometimes fly off into it’s own little world and refuse to heal you. That issue is the key weakness of playing this build without a Grog/Rubi
Ultimately Melee Gaige is a strange little playstyle, it’s not the strongest way to play Gaige, nor the strongest way to play melee, but it’s still a fun and effective playstyle.
I felt the need to make this guide as the current one on the Mechromancer Master List, The Mechromaniac (a Build by Kalibur) doesn’t mention a few strong items for Melee Gaige (Namely The Leech and the Slayer of Terramourphous COM.) It also doesn’t mention the possibility of playing the build without Moxxi weapons.
Linked Kalibur’s Mechromaniac build.
Removed the Chain Lightning, upon further testing the Leech is a more reliable HP source. Sorry for the mistake.
Re-worded and clarified several things (E-Tech Rocket Launcher, The Leech’s tracking, COM choice, and various re-wordings for clarity.)
Changed the linked video, the new video is far cleaner gameplay-wise. The old video is still on my channel if you’d like to watch me play this build poorly.
- re-worded the small text statement at the top.