[Build] The Tesla coil

updated to level 80!

In no way am I a Gaige expert like @pokapoka or some of the others. But lately, I have leveled my Gaige to 72, and started playing around with her skills a bit more. I knew I didn’t want a build focused on Anarchy, so I started looking at LBT and what I could make out of it. This build is the result. I hope you will get something out of this too. :smile:

It can be played without using anarchy at all, and without DT if you so wish (though I still use both) and it’s tremendous fun.

First thing I did was look at @Draug’s Slag, Wind and fire thread, something all Gaige player should read… In fact go read it right now and from then on, i’ll proceed assuming you know what it’s about, because this build is heavily based on his work. Go ahead, i’ll wait…


Done ? Good, let’s continue.

(If you want more in-depth information about EB, you could also check out @Wingsday’s work here. )

So while the idea of a build that only chucks grenades had its appeal, I wanted this to be a full-fledged build, so I started looking at sources of damage over time (DoT) to see what could be made of this. (The results of my research can be found here. )

As you can see from these results, truly powerful shock DoT come from grenades, not guns.

But I found something very neat while playing around with Gaige’s skills.
Shock and AAAGGGGHHH! (SaA) will also spark DoT in base values around 20-25 like grenades, and will do so nearly 100% of the time. (it apparently got a boost in the last patch)

I now had a reliable source of DoT that required almost no resource. With the right gun, I can create a SaA nova every 2 seconds… about as long as shock DoT last conveniently.

So, the base gameplay of this build revolves around this: equip a fast-reloading gun, shoot once and reload to proc SaA, which will in turn proc Electrical burn. If this gun happens to be a Grog Nozzle, you will never die as long as you have a target nearby. With that alone, you can take care of anything flesh in the game, baring raid bosses maybe. Against armored foes (and the few things in the game that are immune to DoTs) we’ll use a combination of other things, we’ll get to this in the gear section.

Update: level 80: https://bl2skills.com/mechromancer.html#550050150521500053150551410153101000

No anarchy version
Well, there is a point in anarchy, but it’s just to be able to get to BSS. This is for those who prefer a heavier support from DT.

“Making a point about not using anarchy” version
I was not a rebel before it was cool to not be a rebel
SLF makes your reloads faster, a must in this build. If you want to use the variant of this build without Anarchy, I still recommend that you drop 4 points in this.

DFA loop version
As discussed here

More Pep helps with EB procs and shock DoT proc with grenades and guns as well as your odds to apply slag with both IO and your guns.
Unstoppable force allows you to move faster to reach enemies since SaA has a pretty small radius
IO helps you slag and transforms weak guns into more powerful ones.
I only put 2 points into EB as the COM grants +5, and additional points only increase the chances of it proc’ing, not increase the damage. With 7/5, it’s very reliable.
WDT increase DoT damage and it makes your other shock guns more powerful. A no-brainer.

A few pieces of gear are vital, but the rest is pretty loose, you can use what you want.

COM: The Legendary catalyst is a must here. While leveling up, the Catalyst or Zapper COM can do.

Relic: a Shock Bone is a given here.

Grenade: You have a few options here. The Chain lightning has very high DoT and aims itself. The Lightning bolt is harder to aim, but it does 1.5x as much DoT damage as the chain lightning. The stormfront is pretty powerful and covers a lot of ground. The Quasar also acts as good crowd control.
You can also use your grenade slot for other things like slag or for other elements. I have found the Chain lightning is the perfect medium-long range complement to SaA’s short range.

Shields: The 2 choices I have found to be the best are the Black hole and Transformer. The Black hole will deplete, pull in enemies (which will get staggered and be within range of both the nova and SaA) and immediately fill back up thanks to BSS. It’s a killer.
If you prefer chucking grenades to using SaA, the Big Boom Blaster is also a great pick. (Thanks @Afro_Samurai for the tip)

The Transformer is there for another reason. I regularly use the Thunderball fist with this build (High damage, one of the best shock DoT for guns, very fast reload) and you might hurt yourself with the ball. With the transformer, you not only get your shield back from the ball (meaning you can shoot at your own feet if you want, or not care about your target’s distance) but it also absorbs ammo from both enemy shots and your own shock balls. If you plan on using the no-anarchy version (in which you have sharing is caring) you can also protect DT from shock.

Also, as @KingGed suggested, the Hide of Terra is awesome in flesh areas and double as a very good choice for builds more focused on DT.

Guns: A lot of things going on here, I’ll list what I use more often, but you can use whatever you like

  • Grog Nozzle. The Grog slags reliably, heals you for 65% of the DoT you deal and has a reload speed of 1.6 seconds. If you have the luxury of having one from the Loot hunt, a Maliwan or Tedior grip are the best, expeditious prefix. If you don’t have a Grog (or don’t want to use one) the Rubi is almost as good. Same deal: Tediore or Maliwan grip, Expeditious prefix (and slag element). Against armored foes, I will also often apply corrosive DoT with the infection, and switch to the Grog, enjoying 8 seconds of immortality while I pile up anarchy, slag everything around, reset IO and DFA or spam reloads.
  • Thunderball fist. This is my main killing gun, I use this 75% of the time. Great stats all around, the orb kills as much as the shot, it deals high DoT damage for a gun and it also reloads very fast. BTW, the orb will proc DFA if you are airborn while it explodes, giving you an additional timing window to get it off. Another cool thing you can do, if you use the Transformer, is shoot at your feet: you damage everything around you and keep your shield topped off.
  • Infection. I don’t know how good it would hold up in OP8, but you already have a lot of ways to increase DoT damage, so you might as well put it to use. A gun that you fire a few times and then wait is perfect with IO and DFA, as you lose nothing by waiting a bit. You can also switch to your Grog while you wait.
  • Slagga. Walk in, spray the room purple, throw 1-2 Chain Lightnings, wait… go to the next room.
  • A shock sniper. The Chain lightning actually has a limit to it’s range. For those times, you might want to carry a sniper. Shock is a great choice since you already are wearing a bones ans have points in WDT. I have a Lyuda but a Pimpernel or Sloth are also great choices.
  • Jakobs Coach gun/ROM/Twister/Quad. With the right parts and a bit of help from SLF, you can get one that only has one shot in the mag, allowing you to spam reloads AND dealing a significant amount of damage AND stack a bit of anarchy.
  • A powerful shotgun/equivalent. Like a CC, Interfacer, Pimpernel or else. In corrosive, slag, explosive or N-E. Some foes are immune to shock DoT, some are immune to DoTs period. There might be a time where you need a big knockout punch that’s not shock-based.

…You’ll notice that I have no fire gun. And why should I? EB is so powerful that flesh targets are not even a challenge. everything else in my arsenal is to deal with …everything else :stuck_out_tongue:

#So what is the challenge then ?

  • Armored targets need to be dealt with the regular way. This is where DT, Make it sparkles, the Infection and IO come in.
  • Shock badass skags are immune to shock DoTs, so you need something else to deal with them
  • Constructors (and Badass Constructors) are immune to all DoTs (corrosive or shock) so you will need something else against them. Saturn is also immune to DoTs (a real pain with this build)
  • Slag skags and spiderants are immune to all status effects just like constructors. When running the peak, you might want to carry a fire gun just for them…
  • Fire-charged badass monsters are sort of immune to EB’s effect, but they can be killed with straight shock damage.

So there it is. I hope you enjoyed reading this and that it made you want to give it a try. :blush:
(and as always, if anyone with video capabilities feel like making a short showcase for it, It would be very appreciated)


Interesting build. Might I ask though, why a Grog, a gun you just railed against a half hour ago and not a Rubi, if challenge is what we are after?

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Simply put: the Grog is an Objectively better choice.

I would prefer if the Grog wasn’t in the game and forced people to think a bit more, but …it is in the game…so I’m gonna use it.

Also, I don’t know how much of a challenge this build is: against anything flesh, it’s super easy even with a rubi.

There are parts of the game that are challenging, like foes immune to DoTs. But against bandits or spiderants for example ? sometimes I kill enemies I had not even seen :stuck_out_tongue:

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I don’t disagree with you on that. I use a Grog on my OP characters for that very reason.
I may disagree w/ whether or not is should be in the game. It is and much the same, I’ll use it in the right situations.

I’ll be curious to give this build a shot, though Anarchy on Gaige has just recently become a fav of mine. Good to mix it up.

IDK…w/ some of the recent patch changes, I don’t see a lot of foes immune to DOT that much anymore…especially on Maya or Krieg. Nothing like melting loaders with Fire. :smiley:

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[quote=“Chuck80, post:1, topic:1087297”]Infection. I don’t know how good it would hold up in OP8, but you already have a lot of ways to increase DoT damage, so you might as well put it to use.[/quote]This is one of the, what, three or maybe four weapons that I know of that can kill enemies (with appropriately matching health bars) by DoT alone at OP8. With Interspersed Outburst on deck with max stacks, you ought to be able to one-shot basic loaders with the Infection (especially with the Legendary Catalyst COM). If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re in for a treat.

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(I removed the emoticon from my quote reply to protect my inner child who is terrified by it.)

I’ve been on a BL2 hiatus for a couple of weeks, and using the ‘no anarchy’ version of this sounds like a fun time in getting back into it while getting more accustomed to the new playstyles available to us. I’ve run similar builds before, but we have a different playing field now.
Thanks for this welcome kick back in the direction of the true faith (^ ω~)

(Why, apropos of nothing, would the Jeopardy theme be performed on a dulcimer?)

Very much so.

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Very nice setup and builds, and I’ve learned something new today !! :smile:
I guess it’s time to spent those last Seraph Crystals I saved for a Binary Infection asap and equip my Gaige with !!

I played a similary DFA Loop Version with a Binary Thunderball Fist and a Practicable Slow Hand Shock in the Transformer’s way and it was as funny as powerfull, the only thing that caused issues was DoT or Shock immun mobs.

I’ll give a try to that “I wait you to melt down” playstyle and the Storm too in a futur co-op game :innocent:

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I would avoid binary prefix on Maliwan pistols, they screw your accuracy too much IMO… Instead, go for something else, but the priority is a Maliwan or Tediore grip: faster reload time is important here. Expeditious is probably the best here.

Is Accuracy really annoying with Close Enough ?
I thought 2x pellets would do better with 2x chance of applying DoT :sweat_smile:

2 pellets that cost 2 ammo, with a slower fire rate, smaller effective mag size and close enough isn’t 100%. It’s not a DPS gun so getting more DPS is not vital.

With the Tball, if you miss, you miss with the ball even if close enough connects. With the Infection, it matters less… You try both and tell me :slight_smile:

IMO, Jakobs, Hyperion and Dahl pistols are good with the Double accessory, but Maliwan, Torgue and Vladof suffer. (The UH is an exception)

I’ll do that !
Assuming I have enough Seraph Crystals to buy two Infections ! :sweat_smile:

I knew there was something I forgot.
The Black Hole can indeed be a great asset, but there are some annoying bugs with it. Should the nova from your own shield overlap another nova from DT’s, there’s a risk it’ll affect you - and since you have two instantly healthgating sources of damage active, ‘affect’ means it will down you immediately.
It doesn’t happen often and it seems to be exacerbated by structures between you and DT, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

There’s something else about that shield, though…as much as I love having our own Gaige Phaselock (sort of), I’ve had that thing down me in ways I can’t explain. It hasn’t been overlapping novas, it’s just been…well, like I said, I can’t explain it.
Something’s awry {{ (>_<) }}

I never noticed because I use the DFA loop build most of the time so no SICaring. If I was to go that route though, I think the Transformer is a better choice since I can “heal” DT by shooting in his direction.

Nice piece of info, thanks :slight_smile:

I partly mentioned it because I was hoping someone had a hint.
I use the Black Hole a lot, but sometimes it feels like events just conspire to make it very buggy that particular session.

Very odd, and sometimes, alas, fatal.

Nice setup, Chuck! But I thought that you would go with the Teapot for corrosive haha

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If i ever gett those DLC4 grenades I might give this a shot. Interesting build you made there.

I don’t even use em that much, try it :slight_smile:

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Small edit to the OP:

WDT was recently fixed.
I changed the skill distribution a bit
Loadout was updated
Added a link to Wingsday’s work on EB

…it’s still 95% similar though

Out of curiosity, I was reading about a Maya build similar to this, and they recommended a Practicable Slow Hand in Shock. Would that work for this build as well?

How similar ?

The build revolves around EB, a skill that has no equivalent in any other character.

If you mean Exotec’s Backdraft build, the purpose of the slow hand is different.
In his build, you actually need to hurt yourself to create the novas, and the Slowhand is the best gun for that.

In my case, i’m using the transformer as a protection from my own (accidental) shots and maybe as a way to fill my shield while in thick trafic.

Yes, it could be good, but it’s not necessary or even the best choice.