Hi all, this is a 3-Shot Fade Away build which seeks to maximize our Action Skill efficiency, that is to get multiple kills in one Fade Away duration, and quickly loop it back by exploiting Head Count. I wanted to avoid using the new meta weapons as much as possible, as I think they are pretty imbalanced and many remove the need for skill synergies altogether. Without further ado, lets get started.
Skill Tree and Guardian Rank
As you can see, this is pretty much a standard Stalker-Hunter set-up. Hence, I will simply explain the core skills of the build and their utility.
Our Action Skill of choice, Fade Away’s invisibility is our primary source of survivability, enabling us to evade enemy fire, and create distance so as to avoid blowing ourselves up with our Heavies and Protuberances. The pseudo-crits during Fade Away is a significant DPS increase as most of our weapons are not adept at scoring critical hits. It also allows Hollow Point to be procced consistently.
AUGMENTS: Use Not My Circus and Until You are Dead for mobbing. Not My Circus is extremely helpful for the few seconds where your Fade Away is on cooldown. For bosses, Unblinking Eye provides a welcome boost to DPS.
Leave no Trace: This is helpful to extend the magazine of your Heavies, especially the Nukem. But its main utility is to extend the magazine of the Brainstormer to ensure maximal cooldown return. Quickly swapping between the Brainstormer to your Heavies while the chains are still active can also rapidly replenish the latter’s magazine.
Head Count and Megavore: Critical to ensure Fade Away can be cycled quickly - given the use of an Amp shield, you are incredibly squishy outside of Fade Away.
Two Fang: This skill is primarily useful for bosses - most of our weapons can receive the full benefit DPS wise. For mobbing, it cannot really be relied on, and its value is diminished by the 300V2 anointment and Overkill.
Overkill: Most of the weapons recommended in this build have sufficient power to one-shot scrub mobs, but badasses tend to require a little more. Overkill provides this extra kick - increasing your damage per shot by up to 5 times.
Hollow Point: The explosion on critical kill allows weapons like the Lob and Unseen Threat, which conventionally don’t have a huge AOE, to kill several enemies at once, making the most out of your Fade Away duration. Hollow Point is incredibly powerful in this build because it is multiplied by the 300V2 anointment - and can kill groups even with minimal Overkill. With Overkill, it is not uncommon to see huge numbers upwards of 300-500 million damage.
Slot 1 and 4: The Workhorses
The criterion for this is a single pellet weapon with high damage per shot, which allows it to receive the greatest benefit from Overkill and the 300V2 anointment. For mobbing, the 300V2 anointment is an absolute necessity for all the weapons recommended here except for the Lob. These are not the only weapons that work, but just the ones I enjoy using.
- Nukem: The Nukem is the weapon with greatest synergy with this build. It has an absolutely massive splash radius, which work in tandem with Hollow Point to take out entire spawns in a single shot. Its also very good at killing you, so do watch out for that.
- Unseen Threat: Snipers benefit greatly off Overkill and Hollowpoint, and the Unseen Threat is the strongest conventional Sniper out there. The Unseen Threat’s special effect rarely comes into play while mobbing - but it will help you when most needed. The Unseen Threat is also the main bossing weapon for this build, and can still pretty much one shot any boss without an immunity phase.
- The Lob: Has amazing synergy with the 300V2 anointment - both the initial impact and subsequent damage ticks will receive the full bonus. While only the initial and final explosion crit via Fade Away, that is sufficient for all but the toughest of enemies. The Lob shines in its flexibility, as unlike the Nukem, it still packs a punch outside of Fade Away.
- Protuberance: The Protuberance is neither the most powerful or efficient choice for this build, its mainly here because its one of my favorite weapons. Still, with Overkill and 300V2, it can still put in the work in non-COV maps.
Recommended Anointment: +300% more weapon damage to enemies above 90% health
Slot 2: A non-Mayhem Brainstormer
- Brainstormer: The Brainstormer is a very powerful weapon and still does plenty work at M10 on its own. However, its main utility in this build is to exploit its well-known synergies with Megavore and Head Count to refresh Fade Away cooldowns instantaneously. Since we don’t want it to deal too much damage, a Brainstormer which is M0 or lower is recommended. Anointments wise, the Rakk Charge one is best, given it allows your other weapons to gain the shield and grenade anointments on swap. Since, this Brainstormer isn’t optimized for damage, the Redundant prefix is recommended, though not necessary.
Recommended Anointments: +1 Extra Rakk Charge, +15% Lifesteal ASE
Slot 3: When you really need to get ■■■■ done
The Mayhem 6+ Launchers have great synergy with this build - and are obviously some of the most powerful weapons in the game. I’m not the greatest fan of them as they kinda remove the need for this builds synergies, but they are undeniably efficient. The workhorses fall away a little in True Takedown (and True Wotan), especially without Overkill, so these weapons serve as a stopgap to pull you out of sticky situations.
- Backburner: Fade Away allows both the initial shot and the flowering projectiles to score pseudo-crits, meaning the Backburner has incredible damage potential. In TTD, pull this out against Badass enemies when you don’t have Overkill. It is also incredibly good against the Valkyries, Wotan and Eista.
- Plaguebearer/Scourge: These are the best Launchers to get you out of a tight spot. When you are under heavy fire, a few shots of these bad boys should thin out the competition to a manageable amount. Really good against Death Spheres, which aren’t a problem for the Nukem in normal Takedown, but can be a pain in TTD. Its also more practical than the Backburner, which is a total pain to farm from Pain and Terror.
Recommended Anointments: 300V2, +125% Splash Damage ASE
One-Shotter Shield: The One Shotter Shield provides a 2x multiplicative bonus to all shots when your shield is full - and within Fade Away this bonus is up relatively frequently. The One-Shotter Shield is preferred mainly because of its faster recharge rate and delay . Otherwise, both the Re-router and version 0.m are competent alternatives because the weapons used are single pellet. Anointment wise, +50% elemental ASE is best - you will receive the bonus periodically from the bonus Rakk Charge Brainstormer and the exit shot of Fade Away.
Grenade choice isn’t very crucial - it is more important to have a selection of grenades with the different -50% elemental ASEs. I generally keep around a bunch of Hunter Seekers just because of their utility in bossing.
Bounty Hunter or Stalker both work very well for mobbing. The use of the Brainstormer means the BH will basically always be at max stacks of all Hunter Skills. Stalker also won’t have much difficulty maintaining stacks because of the build’s DPS and ability to kill several enemies in a single shot. DE4DEYE is generally an inferior choice because the 35% bonus is additive to the 300% from the anointment, and Two Fang has diminishing value with Overkill and aforementioned anointment.
Otto Idol is the best option - outside of Fade Away, you are really squishy without a defensive shield and with the Nukem and Protuberance, you will be killing several enemies at once to receive signfiicant health returns. Last Stand is the best prefix - you will be invisible most of the time, hence giving ample time for the invincibility to reset for when you really need it. Passives wise, prioritize Area-Of-Effect Damage, which increases Hollow-Point’s radius.
These items are here primarily for bossing purposes. Though unless you are going for some cool one-shot kills, you won’t need them to farm bosses efficiently.
Pearl of Ineffable Wisdom: This artifact provides Fl4k with the highest DPS potential with most class mods (except the St4ckbot). Its also really easy to stack with Hunter Seekers. Most of you should already have one in your bank or backpack. Passives aren’t really important.
Non-Mayhem Stagecoach or Bangstick + St4ckbot: These are really just for when you want to pull off impressive boss kills. Using the x25 Stagecoach or x18 Bangstick for your first 2 shots of Fade Away will net you a huge amount of Weapon Damage for your exit shot. That said, the DPS difference between the St4ckbot and Bounty Hunter is pretty small, so this is just really here for min-max purposes.
Notes on Playstyle
If you are maining the Nukem or Protuberance, learn the firing arc of the respective weapons (though the Nukem is very forgiving because of its huge splash radius. Enter Fade Away and closely packed prioritize groups of enemies, so as to maximize Fade Away efficiency, and so Hollow Point procs from weaker enemies can kill the tougher ones. Once you get Overkill going, most things shouldn’t survive more than 1 shot. Just make sure to keep your distance - the Nukem can kill you very easily. The Unseen Threat and Lob are more flexible - use them as you would in any other build.
After firing your 3rd shot in Fade Away, immediately swap to your Brainstormer and spam it into a group of enemies. The enemies do not need to be very tightly packed - the Brainstormers chains have decent reach and great tracking. Most of the time, you should get your cooldown back in a few seconds. From there, just loop this cycle until all the enemies in the room are cleared. You may want to clear the last stragglers with the Unseen Threat or Lob. You will want to loop Fade Away as often as possible - it is not only the main source of DPS, but your best survivability as well.
Where things get a little more tricky is True Takedown. The Nukem, Lob and Unseen Threat still holds its own fine for most part, though sometimes, the last few stragglers are often a bunch of badasses who have been wittled down to below 90% health (the badass wardogs are the worse offendors). In these cases, the Nukem isn’t really gonna do much, and its against these enemies you may need to pull out Backburner or Plaguebearer. If things get messy on the bridge, quickly enter Fade Away and a few shots of the Plaguebearer should calm things down.
A video speaks more than a thousand words, so here is a Takedown and Slaughter Shaft run with the build. I’m not the best player, so apologize for the occasional sloppiness XD
Another clip of the Lob and Unseen Threat in the Anvil.
And just for fun, heres one of the Protuberance doing some work in Athenas:
Killing bosses in this build isn’t all too different from any other 3-shot Fade Away build. Enter Fade Away, toss a bunch of Hunter Seekers to get your Hunt Skills and Pearl stacks, fire 2 ‘warning shots’ to stack Unblinking Eye, then fire off a single high power exit shot. Given the weapons in this build are mostly single pellet, exploit Two Fang’s predetermined proc pool to maximize your damage per shot.
The main bossing weapon in this build is the Unseen Threat. It was a monster back at M4, and now even at M10, can still one shot most bosses without immunity phases, provided you know where to shoot to get the projectile split right. For bosses with immunity phases, like Troy, Tyreen or Wotan, the Unseen Threat is still works well, but the Backburner and Plaguebearer tend to perform alot better.
Some random bossing clips below: