I TAKE NO CREDIT NOR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS CONTENT. I HAVE RETAINED THE ORIGINAL FORMATTING TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANY CHANGES ARE NEEDED. I WILL ONLY MAKE CHANGES FOR THE PURPOSES OF ACCURACY.
CREDIT TO @IdlePhantom FOR GETTING THIS STARTED. HOPEFULLY WE CAN GET ALL THE BUILDS PORTED!
So there was this thread that sparked a discussion among Salvador players about the viability of Brawn at the higher levels of the game, namely UVHM and the OP levels.
Now, it is an accepted fact that Brawn Sucks because of how poorly Brawn’s health regen skills scaled in UVHM and up, but there were ideas thrown around to make it at least serviceable that made sense to me and I, along with several others, decided to try it out.
My journey started out as a completed Hero’s Pass run on OP8 without using Moxxi (I did ham the 2 constructors with a Bee because F 'em) and here is the finished product. I am also open to testing out new stuff, just let me know here what’s on your mind.
I would like to also recognize those who are involved in the discussion: KingGed, dp_DBD, Chuck80, Troubled, cactus_farmer, Sljm, poisoned, Holyslitbatman, jiandersonzer0, leo_C441. Apologies if I missed anyone.
Now before we get to the actual build, I would like to get these off the table:
- I know Brawn sucks, so why am I doing this? At this point of the game’s life cycle, I want to try out anything new that would make the game fresh for me.
- This build is not the most optimal build for Sal and this is more for proof of concept purposes. He is recognized as one of the most powerful classes in the game because of Rampage/Gunlust builds, not anything that invests so heavily in Brawn.
- Please take note that I don’t have the math skills to back up this build and what I share now is all from my experiences and observations taking this build through mobbing runs of Lynchwood, Bloodshot Stronghold, Hero’s Pass, and WEP.
- You cannot facetank with this build in most cases. If you find yourself in an area with several powerful enemies immediately around you in all likelihood you will go down. There are niche instances where you can dive into few enemies but don’t expect to rush an Ultimate Badass Loader and expect to come out without a scratch. Your FFYL timer running out is more likely.
- That being said, the playstyle needed to make this work might come as alien for many Salvador players. You need to fight and engage from a distance and quickly dispose of enemies that rush you.
- This particular build does not use any Moxxi weapons. We will be depending entirely on Brawn’s healing skills and transfusion grenades.
- From the discussions from that first thread, it was suggested that since Come At Me Bro can only be used once per gunzerk, we should Gunzerk more often rather than Gunzerk forever. Hence the main point of the build is to avoid skills like Last Longer and Yipee-Ki-Yay which will extend Gunzerking, making you flip the bird less often, and invest in skills like Get Some and stuff like increasing the cooldown rate so we can Gunzerk more often.
- Enemy prioritization will also be key. Take care of high threat targets first and as much as possible leave the fodder for possible FFYL needs.
- You will need a shield that doesn’t tear like wet tissue paper, at least with normal mobs hits. This is because Sexual Tyrannosaurus will be your best healing skill outside of Transfusion grenades, Gunzerking and Come at Me Bro and you want to give you health a chance to regen and let your shield do a bit of tanking in pressure-packed situations. More will be explained in the gear choices.
Move, move, move! What this build lacks in upfront facetanking makes up for lightning movement speed. Use that to your advantage.
So if you give time to let Sal’s health regen do it voodoo and adjust your gameplay accordingly, you can get something like this:
- OP8 Wildlife Exploitation Preserve run featuring the Leg. Berserker
- OP8 Hero’s Pass run featuring the Legendary Titan
- OP8 Lynchwood run featuring the Chaotic Evil Monk and a purple Tediore shield
- OP8 Bloodshot Stronghold run featuring the Altered Beast and the Deputy loadout
- OP8 Magnys Lighthouse run featuring healthstacking
Hard to Kill - Additional health and a teensy bit of regen. The regen itself is negligible, even with COMs, but the additional health helps a bit with Brawn’s percentage-based healing. Outside of Titan mods this will be the only regen Sal has when not in combat.
Incite - When you get hit you get additional movement and reload speed. More speed is nice.
Ain’t Got Time to Bleed - You regen up to 4% of your health per second while Gunzerking, the strength of which depends on how low your health is. Coupled with Sexual Tyrannosaurus the regen is actually very nice. It’s no Grog Nozzle or even a Rubi, but the regen is noticeable. If you’re Zerking and it hits the fans you’ll be leaning on this regen moreso than Sexy T-Rex’s.
Fistful of Hurt - The Dickpunch. The knockback from this melee override skill can be useful in getting some breathing space with enemies that get in your face
Bus That Can’t Slow Down - Up to additional 50% movement speed while Gunzerking. ZOOM!
Sexual Tyrannosaurus - Getting hit gives you, without COMs, 2% health regen per second for 5 seconds. This is your most effective and consistent regen source, hence the importance of getting a shield that will let you take one or two hits. If you let Sexy T-Rex do its voodoo, the regen is actually a bit respectable.
Come at Me Bro - Brawn’s capstone skill. The panic button while 'Zerking. This will restore you to full health but draws everyone’s aggro to you. This supposedly also gives you massive damage reduction, keyword supposedly. You’ll be using this more for the health.
Inconceivable - Up to 50% chance for a shot to not consume ammo, depending on shields and health status. As this builds aims to keep your shield up, we’ll be seeing more of this during pressure-packed situations and FFYL.
Filled to the Brim - More bullets. More bullets is good.
All in the Reflexes - This gives you additional reload speed and melee damage. You can’t argue with additional reload speed.
5 Shots or Six - Kill Skill. Getting a kill will give you the chance to add a round of ammunition while firing. I am aware of how it can interact with Money Shot, but considering the alternatives (I’m Ready Already, Last Longer, Steady as She Goes) this would give me the least problems since it’s a kill skill.
Double Your Fun - Let’s you throw out 2 grenades for the price of one. This skill makes the Leech viable and allows you a few seconds to tank in emergency situations. Makes grenade throwing a lot more fun, can’t argue with that for 1 point.
Get Some - Shooting an enemy decreases your cooldown over 3 seconds and this alone will let you Gunzerk more often and flip the bird more often than any CD relic would. Get Some will also proc even during Gunzerking which makes this skill indispensable. Awesome guide to Get Some by @Sljm [ link updated to ported version - ed. ]
Locked and Loaded - Reloading gives you a fire rate bonus for a short time. You get to shoot faster after a reload? Can’t argue with that. I must admit, as this does not have Keep Firing with 10/5 Locked and Loaded from the Leg. Berserker COM the fire rate is addicting.
Quick Draw- Additional weapon swap speed and critical damage. As I find myself swapping weapons a lot to slag and kill I found this very useful, and the additional critical damage is welcome.
Money Shot - Get this. Period.
Down Not Out - Allows you to Gunzerk while in FFYL. Indispensable if you find yourself downed a lot.
You can swap points in and out as you prefer, of course.
You won’t be able to spam Gunzerk with this build considering that you will be depending on cooldown rate bonuses (ie I’m Ready Already, Bone of the Ancients, COMs) instead of Get Some but in exchange for that you will be getting one of Salvador’s mightiest DPS skills, No Kill Like Overkill. Basically NKLO will turn whatever overkill damage you get on an enemy and add it to your gun damage for any gun for 8 seconds.
So it’s Blood Bath before it was Blood Bath. The thing here is that the damage bonus for NKLO is reset every time you kill an enemy, so the ideal thing to do here is to damage a certain enemy, preferrably some common schmuck like a Marauder or Skag Pup, whittle their health down to a sliver, then give a WALLOP to finish 'em off (Fastball to the face, Money Shot crit Lady Fist shot, etc).
You’re sacrificing survivability for damage, so be prepared to play even more defensively than before. Your gear choices will be even more important since you can’t spam Gunzerk, meaning you’ll be using it in emergency situations.
So what about Sal’s other skills? Here’s my take on them.
Asbestos - I believe this skill would have similar issues with Axton’s Forbearance wherein the seconds shaved off the DOT are so miniscule that 5/5 seems hardly worth it; [ link dead regarding @DeputyChuck’s calculations on Asbestos ]. Considering that DOTs on OP8 are enough to kill you on their own would put merit into investing in Asbestos. I believe it comes down to personal preference on whether you’d like to take Asbestos in favor of HtK or Incite but personally I would put 1 point at the most for COMs bonuses.
Auto-Loader - Considering the other skills surrounding AL (Money Shot, Lay Waste, Down Not Out, Keep it Piping Hot), there isn’t much incentive in putting a point here. But a case can be made in its synergy with skills like Incite and Locked and Loaded, and Quick Draw in keeping a quick fire rate up considering that we don’t have Keep Firing.
Last Longer - Now for the build the I started out with I really didn’t take this into consideration, but when I completed my DP run LL was the gamechanger. All too many times I would run out of gunzerk when I needed DPS most (FFYL, etc) and having LL gave me the perfect balance of keeping gunzerking up and cooldown, which is mitigated by Get Some of course.
Steady As She Goes - This would have been a big help if it didn’t screw up Hyperion weapons’ gimmick, which I use a lot of.
So the idea of this build is to engage from far away, kill whatever rushes towards you fast, and to be able to tank a few hits to get Sexy T-Rex going.
Check out Salvador’s Top Gear thread for more awesome stuff. [ ed. note : link has been updated ]
You’re going to need good snipers if you want to be effective from far away but there are also non-snipers that are very effective from range. You will also need weaponry to deal with enemies up close and get in your face.
- Lyuda - Legendary Vladof sniper. Can come in all elements except explosive. This is my preferred gun for flesh targets.
- Pimpernel - Unique Maliwan sniper and can come in all elements except explosive. My corrosive sniper of choice.
- Longbow - Legendary Hyperion sniper, only comes in incendiary. If you can crit with this it’s a beast.
- Snider - Maliwan sniper rifle with the Maliwan barrel, can come in all elements except explosive. This is my preferred long range slagger. Why not the Pimp you ask? Because off-handing the Pimp will cause its child orbs to take on the element and damage of the gun you’re holding in the main hand, and while it’s awesome… it’s a bit of a touchy subject and that’s a discussion for another day.
- Lady Fist - Unique Hyperion pistol, can come in all elements except explosive. It’s 800% critical multiplier makes this thing a beast if you can hit crits with it. Because of its projectile speed there’s a bit of a learning curve in hitting crit spots from far away, especially with moving targets.
- Conference Call - Legendary Hyperion shotgun that can come in all elements except explosive.
- Interfacer - Seraph shotgun that can come in all elements except explosive.
- Unkempt Harold - Legendary Torgue pistol that only comes in explosive. It’s been a while since I used the UH without any passive fire rate bonuses and its slow fire rate actually pushed me to shelve it and go with shotguns for close range combat.
- Florentine - Seraph SMG that fires shock & slag bullets. My preferred shield stripper and slagger at close to medium range. It wasn’t there when I first did this build but… Hyperion Spooks and their curiously strong shields made me consider otherwise.
- Orphan Maker - Unique Jakobs shotgun that will inflict damage to you unless you hold in your off-hand so off-hand this with the Lady Fist and have lots of laughs when you crit-Money Shot. The staple of Chuck’s Deputy Salvador build. Just take note though, having Inconceivable in this build will mess up your Money Shot timing.
- Bitch - Legendary Hyperion SMG that has pinpoint accuracy. Great alternative to snipers if you run low on ammo. You’ll have to crit with this thing though if you want this to thing be effective.
- Slagga - Legendary Bandit SMG that fires 3 slag bullets at the cost of one. You won’t be killing with this more than often, but this is a very ammo-efficient choice for slagging.
As stated earlier, we need a shield that doesn’t go poof immediately, so with what I’ve run through so far these are my go to choices.
- Blockade - Seraph shield. I borrowed my Commando’s Blockade with all Dahl parts and it’s practically been the frontrunner for general use. Its natural damage reduction and balance between a high capacity and good recharge delay and recharge rate makes it a darling to use.
- Evolution - Seraph shield. Ideal parts would be Maliwan/Maliwan/Hyperion. Second best option as this gives health regen and taking shield damage increases the regen along with massive elemental damage reduction. This also increases max health. The lack of an all-around damage resistance keeps it from being my top option, so I pair this with a Skin of the Ancients relic. I openly swap with this and the Blockade, depending on what I need.
- Big Boom Blaster - Seraph booster shield. Has the highest booster chance in the game (Maliwan/Maliwan/Maliwan) and its boosters will replenish grenades and rockets aside from shields. This shield has beautiful utility as it can quickly give you 'nades and rockets if you’re low. Be warned though that the recharge rate and recharge delay here might catch you off guard if you’re not careful. Has a high capacity though so there’s that.
- Antagonist - Seraph shield. Between the Evolution and Antagonist this was my favorite shield during my Digistruct Peak run. Being able to slag things without shooting at them with a touch of damage resistance, bullet reflection and good shield stats were indispensable.
- Sham - Legendary shield. If you get hit and the Sham absorbs it then it would still ccount as an enemy hit, proc-ing Incite and Sexy T-Rex.
- Neogenator - Legendary shield and ideal parts would be Maliwan/Maliwan/Hyperion. This has the same stats as the Evolution but has a decreased capacity in exchange of a lower recharge delay and higher recharge rate. I will test this a bit more with a relic that increases shield capacity because at this point the Evolution has outperformed it.
- Tediore Shields - the insane low recharge delay and high recharge rate will definitely be of use to you but without any ‘natural’ damage resistances you’ll have to be more careful. A good alternative if you’re having trouble getting any of the red text shields.
I admit that I’ll have to do more testing here, so here’s the best of what I have so far.
- Legendary Berserker - The boosts to Locked and Loaded and Quick Draw are a huge boost to DPS considering that we don’t have KIPH and NKLO. The additional CD rate is helpful as well and you get more bang out of your buck with incite. By far the most useful COM I’ve used for this build.
- Legendary Titan - Paired with the Evolution and Hard to Kill, this makes your regen when out of combat more noticeable and the gun damage is a nice boost to DPS also. I pair this when a Skin of the Ancients with additional shield capacity to offset the shield reduction of the Leg. Titan. I am still lamenting the fact that this didn’t boost Sexy T-Rex.
- Monk - Boosts to Money Shot and Sexual Tyrannosaurus are advisable. I’ve found that either Chaotic Evil or Lawful Evil are viable with Chaotic Good as another good choice.
- Altered Beast - Preferably with boosts to Sexy T-Rex and incite, it gives additional health and reload speed. I took this for a run in Bloodshot Stronghold and was pleasantly surprised. Also, the increased reload speed will help keeping up Locked and Loaded, therefore keeping your fire rate up. A good alternative if you can’t find a Chaotic Evil Monk COM.
This is in order of my preference. Open to suggestion on other relics to test.
- Skin of the Ancients - A combination of Shield and Resistance relics. Ideal would be relics that would have a non-elemental resistance (SotA relics have up to 3 resistances) plus the shield boost to complement your shield. I prefer a non-elemental resistance since a lot of damage in the game isn’t elemental while you have two other resistances plus potentially the Evolution/Neogenator to deal with elemental damage. Run an Evolution but frustrates you with the slow recharge rate? Slap on a Skin with the increased recharge rate buff. Want to make your Blockade tankier? Get a SotA with increased shield capacity.
- Blood of the Ancients - Up to a 62% HP increase while increasing ammo capacity for up to two weapons types by as much as 85%. Couple this with 11/5 Sexy T-Rex along with a tanky shield like a Blockade and Antagonist and you got yourself a very respectable regen without diminishing your transfusion grenades’ effectiveness since your health isn’t stacked too high.
- Blood of the Seraphs/ Blood of Terramorphous - The main difference between these two is that the BotSeraphs will give an additional 39% health with a 1% HP regen per second while the BoTerramorphous will give no health increase but with a 1.6% health regen per second. I personally prefer the BoTerra between the two because it’s like having a 4/5 Sexy T-Rex on at all times.
Your 'nades will be another major source of healing but I also use killer 'nades as well.
- Leech - Legendary transfusion grenade. If this thing came in Slag then it would definitely see much more use. One advantage of the Leech is that the damage dealt by them is directly added to your health so you don’t have to wait for health trails from common transfusions to heal you. I have noticed that DOTs also heal you but I am going to confirm this when I start playing again.
- Longbow Transfusion - preferably in Slag. Try to get a 0.0 fuse time for maximum effectiveness. I agree with dp_DBD in his observation that Slag Transfusions didn’t slag often enough but it’s still healing.
- Fastball - Legendary Tediore grenade. For when you want things killed NOW.
- Magic Missile - Unique grenade from Tiny Tina. It’s got a good Slag chance and decent damage. Plus you’ll be throwing transfusions a lot so it’s nice to have a bit of regen.
- O-Negative - Seraph transfusion grenade. I would personally go for Purple tranfusions because while the O-Neg’s damage is higher (meaning higher heals), I think the lowest fuse time for the O-Neg is 1.2 IIRC, which is a damn long time if you’re waiting for heals. The lowest Leech fuse time is at .9, but the damage directly heals you while with the O-Neg and standard transfusions you’ll have to wait for the streams to reach you.
- Quasar - Legendary Hyperion grenade that acts as a singularity and tesla all at once. This can really help with crowd control and its damage is good also.
So basically this is it. Thank you for reading if you’ve gotten to this point. Here’s a video of Digistruct Scorch and Doc Mercy getting dickpunched off a cliff for your trouble :