[Build] "Original" Bloodlust/Mania Melee Krieg


Good day, everyone, and welcome to my first post on the Gearbox Forums! This is the build I’m currently running for general mobbing, and it’s an effective build if used properly. It has a bit more Hellborn than most Bloodlust/Mania Krieg builds, but with the extra 8 points, it’s not only possible, but also quite effective.

Acronym Key

BXR = Buzz Axe Rampage
ToB = Taste of Blood
BB = Blood Bath
FtB = Fuel the Blood
BAB = Buzz Axe Bombardier
StF = Strip the Flesh
StW = Salt the Wound
StV = Silence the Voices
RtB = Release the Beast
EE = Elemental Elation

The Spec



4/5 Blood Filled Guns: Needed to get down the tree, and generally a solid tier 1 skill. TL;DR: Less reload, very nice.

3/5 Blood Twitch: I opted for this over other skills to make it to Bloodsplosion because when I’m not in BXR, I’m using guns for the purpose of either slagging enemies, or killing enemies to take advantage of Blood Bath , and trigger Blood Overdrive in the process. Having access to that swap speed to do it all is more effective, in my experience, than having extra reload speed when your mag size is massive already, and longer stack duration, when they already build up insanely quick thanks to gear choices, and some of the next skills on this list.

10/5 Taste of Blood: 75% damage reduction and 45 stacks per kill is amazing, and you’d be silly to skip this on any Krieg Build using BXR.

1/5 Blood Overdrive: Recently discovered by user peddroelm in this post here, this skill is incredibly bugged, and relies mainly on how many points you have in ToB, which means that with this one point, we’ll get an extra 500% melee damage when killing an enemy with a gun. This doesn’t stay active for the entire duration of BXR, but for one point, it is a substantial buff. I’ve tried this out a bit, and it seems to help against beefier enemies, but I might take the point out of this and a couple other skills to get some points in Flame Flare, idk yet.

5/5 Bloodbath: This is arguably Krieg’s best skill, and you should always spec into it, unless you hate guns and grenades.

1/1 Buzz Axe Bombardier: Combined with the next skill, this allows for your Buzz Axe throws to do more damage than your swings. This triggers BB as well.

10/5 Fuel the Blood: This skill is amazing. This boosts your Buzz Axe throws to absurd levels of damage, as well as Bloodsplosions, grenades become utterly monstrous, and an extra 20 stacks per kill during BXR makes this skill necessary. Period.

1/5 Nervous Blood: This skill is great, but not due to all of the mag size bonuses this build gets, reloading doesn’t happen that often, really, but 1 point is nice, and certainly noticeable.

1/1 Bloodsplosion: Kill an enemy, then everything else dies, or gets softened up enough to do it again. FtB boosts this.


10/5 Empty the Rage: More melee damage. In a melee build. Who would’ve thought?

5/5 Feed the Meat: Health stacking with Krieg is really good with all of the damage reduction Krieg gets, and the recharge delay is either welcome or doesn’t matter depending on the equipped shield.

5/5 Embrace the Pain: Both bonuses are really good. The recharge delay is less crucial with investment in Hellborn, but it’s nice when using certain gear.

5/5 Strip the Flesh: A multiplicative damage bonus to both BAB and Bloodsplosion is really good. Also makes specific gear choices that much better.

1/1 Redeem the Soul: Krieg necessitates a suicidal playstyle, which means you can occasionally go down, usually from a StV chain, so the extra FFYL time is nice, and quickly reviving allies certainly can come in handy

5/5 Salt the Wound: More melee damage is good. More shotgun damage is great, too, especially since some of Krieg’s best gear is shotguns.

10/5 Silence the Voices: A LOT more melee damage. The drawback isn’t terrible, since throwing Buzz axes doesn’t proc it, but it does suck when you occasionally get a chain of self smacks.

1/1 Release the Beast: Essential for melee Krieg. Improves BXR in every way (except the loss of the movement speed buff, WHY GEARBOX?!!), and makes it so you essentially have it on 0 cooldown. Nice.


5/5 Fuel the Fire: This is definitely the better choice over Burn, Baby, Burn, because if you’re not killing, you’re slagging, and this makes it easier. Also, DOT’s help with Bloodlust stacks, setting you on fire, EE, etc.

4/5 Numbed Nerves: More damage reduction is good, and honestly, this skill is underated for melee builds, but due to diminishing returns on damage reduction bonuses, and points spread thin, I sadly have to go with only 4 points…

6/5 Pain is Power: This skill won’t usually change the number of swings to kill an enemy, and any more than 6 points in it results in crits doing less damage than standard melee swings, so 1 point is nice, just to take advantage of the COM more than anything, really.

5/5 Elemental Elation: Unlike , this actually increases the throw speed of your buzz axes, and by a considerable amount at that! Otherwise, it complements the gunplay and slagging aspects of the build, as well, so I’m all for it.

1/1 Delusional Damage: Because sometimes fire sucks, and slag is almost always great.

1/1 Hellfire Halitosis: This one might raise some eyebrows, but hear me out; This is a means of reapplying burns and regaining EE stacks during BXR. That, and I feel like this one point has much more impact here than anywhere else on the build, even if it’s not a great, or even very good skill. I’d give it a shot, if you haven’t tried it already, but if you’re not a fan, there’s plenty of skills you can top off with the 1 point.

Why not these skills?

Boiling Blood: Because you’re gaining 65 stacks almost every time you kill an enemy, so conserving Bloodlust stacks has never been an issue for me without this skill. On most gun builds, I can see it, but I’ve never once had this problem on a melee build, but you could probably teak the number of points in this skill to your comfortability.

Fire Fiend: I did mention my desire of reigniting during BXR when justifying my 1 point in Hellfire Halitosis, but Fire Fiend needs 5 to be half decent. If you’re building melee Krieg properly, it should not take more than a couple of swings to kill any trash mode, or most BA enemies in the game, so the burn effect from Fire Fiend rarely comes up. Plus, accuracy and reload speed are generally pretty good, but they’re unnecessary with this playstyle, and definitely not worth the investment.

Thrill of the Kill and Elemental Empathy: I grouped these two together for the same reason: They both throw off my RtB timing, with the former being redundant during BXR and the latter just not doing enough at 3 points. I can see why people would like these skills for melee, especially Elemental Empathy, but I don’t want my BXR to be delayed or mistimed by my own healing.

Flame Flare: Honestly, if I had a few more points to work with, this skill would be kind of nice to have, but personally, I find it’s not worth pulling points from any other skills to put a few points in this skill.

The Gear

Note: parts don’t matter much on most of these, so if I don’t specify any particular part or prefix, then assume you can mix and match. I don’t care enough to spend a lot of time farming for optimal parts on a particular gun, unless I absolutely need a specific part. Luckily, Krieg isn’t really gear dependent at all, so take what you will from that.


Slot 1 - imagePimpernel: This is my slag weapon of choice, but this could be any slag weapon you’d prefer. I just like the AoE slagging, and high slag chance. You’ll mainly be using this, so the enemies will be set up for your BXR.

Slot 2 - DPUH: This gun needs no introduction. On Krieg, it gets boosts from StF, and its splash gets boosted by FtB, as well as has a chance to proc BB. What’s not to love?

Slot 3 - Twister: An amazing weapon that Krieg can abuse the hell out of for the following reasons:

  1. It can proc BB.
  2. FtB boosts its splash damage.
  3. Want more damage? StW.
  4. More magazine size helps this gun a ton, and Krieg has magazine size in spades.
  5. This gun usually has abysmal fire rate for a Jakobs, but Krieg fixes that.

Slot 4 - :fire:/corrosive Omen: A solid gun for Krieg, and is good for all of the reasons that the Twister is good. I highly recommend it.


Class Mod - Legendary Sickle: If it weren’t obvious already, this is the COM of choice. No other COM comes close to this in regards to melee damage buffs, so use this.

Grenade Mod - Longbow Quasar: These aren’t just amazing at being some of the only source of CC in the game, but using them them also helps facilitate Bloodsplosion chains, which is really nice. Another great option would be a low level Longbow Pandemic, for stacking and reignition during BXR. I prefer this grenade over other Vladof grenades personally, but Vladof grenades in general are really good at this. I would even recommend trying the Electric Chair or Antifection, but just like with the Pandemic, you’ll probably want these in lower levels, since Krieg’s playstyle facilitates a sort of “in your face” strategy that results in you likely running through the effect of these grenades

Shield - The Rough Rider: A great shield for Krieg, since it stacks health and damage reduction, and is always down, so it’s great. It does everything I want from a shield, by kind of not being a shield. The Flame of the Firehawk is another obvious good choice, but I don’t find it as fun, personally.

Relic - Blood of the Ancients: Like I said earlier, stacking health and damage reduction is really good on Krieg. I like to get one that boosts Sniper Rifle and Shotgun max ammo, but this is dependent on what guns you like to use, really.

The Playstyle

Encounters generally look like this for me:

Lob a few Quasars into the fray and start slagging with the Pimpernel, until my health is in RtB range. Activate BXR, smack an enemy dead, and if the Bloodsplosions don’t kill the enemies, start chucking Buzz Axes. Once BXR is over, and if there’s still anyone breathing, switch to your DPS weapons and take advantage of the Blood Bath boost until they’re all dead. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


Krieg is one of, if not the best Vault Hunter for mobbing. If you enjoy a fun, chaotic, and generally suicidal playstyle, Krieg is definitely the character for you. This build generally isn’t great for raiding, but against certain raid bosses that are susceptible to Bloodsplosion chains, this build can generally do good work. If that’s not the case, there are other great builds, such as Tediore Chucking and Gun variants of Krieg that a really great in their own right, but this build is my favorite to play. I know most of this isn’t new knowledge, especially to vets of the forum, but I hope that through this build post, I could teach someone something new about my favorite character :slightly_smiling_face:

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Here we typically use the abbreviation “BXR”, as BAR refers to badass ranks.

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My bad! I’ll edit it now. Thanks for the heads up!

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The odds of this setting things on fire are not great without fuel the fire skill kill active. Especially vs shields or armor. (it rolls a bunch of times to apply multiple fire DOTs - having more of them catch on would be more of a concern for a build making use elemental empathy for healing )

With this build you only have 35% (5/5 fuel the fire) chance to set yourself on fire when applying an elemental effect …These odds aren’t overwhelmingly in your favor even vs on level enemies.

Have you tested this build variation for sufficient time ? Is halitosis a reliable enough source of self ignition?

5/5 Fire fiend might cost more skill points but it is a bit more reliable (no cooldown on the number of melee swings) . Maybe try ditching salt the wound and see if it works better ? …

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I might consider it, but I’m still not a fan of fire fiend on melee. For just reigniting, it’s pretty good, but for keeping DOT’s, it’s not great, since that enemy is going to die after the second or third swing anyways. But then again, neither is Halitosis. It’s not that great of a skill, and isn’t super effective at reigniting, but that one point would probs be more optimal elsewhere. Honestly, I might just be better off with a pandemic or fotfh to get the job done, then I can move the one point to numbed nerves or something. But for gits and shiggles, I’ll give fire fiend another shot and see if I like it. thanks for the advice!

Don’t forget that, as a melee overide, it will activate if you forget and take a swing at a trash pile (because you never know when it might contain something orange or an LLM). I’ve had it set off an adjacent barrel when I forgot about that…

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Lol, yeah, I’ve had that happen too, but at least it’s not generally being used during combat, but melee-ing trash piles instead of just holding the interact button is still a habit I need to shake if I want to keep using Halitosis.

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