[DDD Guide] Athena skills guide

(Where's lucky?) #1

This is a guide to all of Athena’s skills, what to take, not to take, synergies, etc… I am as new to this as most of you so please let me know if you agree or disagree as I will be very open to making edits and changes. The game is too new to know everything, so this will be a living document and hopefully as the past guides a community guide of everyones thoughts.

Here is the scale
Sub-par: These are the skills that are generally bad and its really hard to make them worthwhile.
Below Average: These are skills that can be useful but requires you to build around them a bit, just throwing them in to move down a tree is a usually bad idea because there are better options.
Average: These are the skills that are solid choices to move to the skills you really want.
Great: These skills will make the game much easier and should be taken always if you are at that point in the tree they are located in
Outstanding: Skills of this rating will be gamechangers that you base your build and playstyle around, they should be taken with almost every set up if you are in that tree.


Invictus :star::star::star:

Increases the damage dealt by the thrown Aspis by +7% per rank.

  • 5/5: +35%
  • 11/5: +77%

I rate this at average because it does what it says, it is multiplicative as it stats, but there are 4 skills in her tree that can boost the Aspis damage as well. This isn’t needed and in the end choosing it or Ephodos really depends on which skill matches your play style better they seem to be pretty equal in terms of what they do for you.

Ephodos :star::star::star:

Increases Movement Speed and Gun Damage while holding the Aspis. +4% to both per level

  • 5/5: +20% Gun Damage and Movement Speed
  • 11/5: +44% Gun Damage and Movement Speed

This is average because the buffs are only active while your Aspis is up and the damage is additive. That being said the movement speed is really great to have in addition. Like I said for Invictus these skills are pretty equal and both very solid tier one skills.

Vanguard :star::star::star:

While the Aspis is active, you and nearby friends gain health regeneration based on rank. The health regeneration increases as the Aspis absorbs damage. The rank is 0.5% per point per second

  • 5/5: Rank 5, 2.5% per second and damage absorbed
  • 11/5 Rank 11, 5.5% per second and damage absorbed.

This is a skill you most likely want but it is still average. Without absorbing damage the healing isn’t great but once you Absorb some damage you can heal up fast, the bubble is a bit small for healing teammates it is still by far your Best healing skill and pretty important to many builds.

Hold the Line :star::star::star::star:

Boosts the maximum duration the Aspis can be held before it is automatically thrown by +1.1 seconds per rank.

  • 5/5: +5.5 seconds
  • 11/5: +12.1 seconds

This is great because of not only the survival that holding the Aspis gives you, but DPS buffs like Prepare for Glory and Ephodos, team buffs like Vanguard and United front, and the ability to max the damage of the Aspis as you hold it. The action skill with nothing to alter it has an 11 second duration and 16 second cooldown. That means 59% of the time your Aspis is not up. With this 11/5 that changes to 40% of the time your Aspis is down it pretty much flips it around.

Prismatic Aegis :star::star::star::star:

Allows the Kinetic Aspis to store elemental damage types. All different elements striking it are stored, and it deals damage of all stored types when thrown.

  • 1/1: Adds 4 more slots to absorb damage all incoming damage is separated into the elements they come in as.

A lot of people have been confused by this and its understandable why, its not very clear how it works. So here is why it is great. The Aspis has a cap of how much damage it can absorb and then it multiplies that by 2 and adds it to the natural damage. Then you multiply all that by the skills that buff it like Invictus, Omega-Senshu, Clear!, Maelstrom, and gear that boosts grenade damage. What this skill does to that is it add’s 4 slots, one for fire, shock, corrosive, and cryo. When you throw it each element will hit individually, so up to 5 hits per throw and they can also dot, in fact as far as I can tell it has nearly a 100% chance to cause status effect. Why this is so good is the cap of damage it can take in is not divided by these but it has a cap for each one. So your cap is now 5 times bigger. It can backfire on a few enemies that are resistant to what they shoot out and now that is the only damage you take in, but there are ways around that, like to get close and make them melee you instead. This is a rare issue, overall this skill makes your aspis way more powerful and functional. Combine this with skills like Maelstrom and Wrath of the Goddess and you really see how much it does, or the fact you can absorb your own grenades, barrels, and so much more you can pick what you absorb and throw back out many times.

United Front :star::star:

Increases your shield capacity by 4% per rank. 5% of the damage dealt to the Aspis per rank is converted into shields for you and your teammates.

  • 5/5: 20% Shield capacity, 25% of damage absorbed by the Aspis recharges shields.
  • 11/5: 44% Shield capacity, 55% of damage absorbed by the Aspis recharges shields.

There are 4 reasons I have this rated lower than average. One when your Aspis is up you don’t take any damage that is done to your front arc, 2 the duration of your Aspis is 11 seconds, 3 is if you are playing with melee teammates they will not like you, 4th the bubble again is not large and with the speed of combat its hard for your teammates to stay in it. So if your aspis is up you should have your shields full when you throw it most of the time. There are times or places where it is good to have a few points in here, but over all its less than what I hoped it would be.

Clear! :star::star::star::star::star:

Throwing the Kinetic Aspis grants Second Winds to teammates within range. Also increases all damage while in Fight For Your Life.

  • 1/1: +40% damage while in ffyl

This is outstanding for many reasons I’ll start with the less talked about added damage. Note that it says All DAMAGE, that means all damage, guns, splash, grenades, aspis, DOTS, everything, if it comes from you it gets a 40% multiplicative damage boost, and if your Aspis is up and you go down you throw it automatically. This is a massive damage boost that comes at the end of the formula. Next is the reviving of teammates. This alone is nice because the Aspis is a grenade they just have to be in the AOE of the blast, so we all remember trying to res a teammate with enemies all over them and getting the enemy instead, now you can kill that enemy and res your teammate, or if the enemy doesn’t die they are at least knocked back giving your teammate a chance to stay up. Also with Wrath of the Goddess you can res all 3 of your allies in a single throw, and yeah it will target them even if you hit an enemy first. This might be the single best support skill in not only this entire game but in the franchise history of borderlands.

Stalwart :star::star:

Allows the Aspis to absorb +20% damage from your friends’ guns per rank. Increases your maximum health by +5% per rank.

  • 5/5: 100% of friendly fire done to the Aspis is absorbed, 25% more health

This just isn’t needed, you are almost always better off having your teammates shoot the enemies instead of your Aspis, the solo bonus of more health is meh at best. The times you want to take this is to stack health since both of Athenas healing skills are based on your max health so if you are building a Tank Athena and you want to stack your health a lot then this is good.

Return Fire :star::star::star:

The Aspis gains +10% chance to reflect bullets and lasers in addition to absorbing their damage

  • 5/5: 50% chance to reflect bullets and lasers
  • 11/5: 110% chance to reflect bullets and lasers

This is a very solid skill that does a bit more than meets the eye. Yes when enemies shoot you it can reflect the bullets, and will if you boost it, but the bullets reflected can count as your bullets and work with your skills. You can gain maelstrom stacks with it and cause Smite with it, and Gun Kata. It does add to your DPS without causing you ammo as well since the bullets will go back to the enemy, almost free DPS.Tracking for the bullet to go back and hit the enemy is also pretty solid. There are a few things holding this back from being great, because what I just said about it sounds like a great skill. It only works with bullets and lasers, so no help on grenades, pure splash, melee, slams, etc…

Prepare for Glory :star::star::star::star:

Activating the Aspis makes nearby enemies more likely to attack you. Each individual enemy that damages your Aspis grants a stack of Prepare for Glory, each granting +2% gun damage. The stacks last a short time after the Aspis is thrown.

  • 5/5: 10% gun damage per stack.
  • 11/5: 22% gun damage per stack.

This isn’t great because of the damage but because of the agro draw. The agro draw of this is really far and really effective, making it one of her better co-op skills. Not just because you are drawing agro from your teammates letting them kill without worry but you are making sure your Aspis takes more damage increasing your damage, or skills like Vanguard and United Front. So even 1 point should always be put here even if you don’t care about the damage, that is if you are going to get Wrath of the Goddess. On the Damage side I have seen mostly 2-3 stacks on average and it lasts 3 seconds after your Aspis is thrown, so 20-30%. I have gotten up and seen stacks up to 6-7 from time to time. While unboosted 20-30% additive doesn’t seem like much, Athena has many multiplicative skills and to make those skills matter more they need something on the base layer to multiply. This fits that nicely. Boosted however seeing 44-66% or even on the high end 154% really really makes a difference. All that said you might be better putting 1 point in here and maxing out or putting 4 in Return fire instead. It really depends on your set up.

Wrath of the Goddess :star::star::star::star::star:

Causes the thrown Aspis to ricochet to nearby enemies up to 4 times. Each bounce does 33% less damage than the last.

  • Capstone

This is outstanding because of the synergy it has with so many of her skills, not only the extra damage it does and it can kill 5 enemies in one throw, which in its self is a really nice capstone.

  • Clear!, with this you can revive 3 teammates and kill multiple enemies in one toss
  • Prismatic Aegis, this helps you get the 5 kills but even if you don’t you can get ice on it and freeze 5 enemies or more in one toss as well as build many many Maelstrom stacks
  • Zues’ Rage and this can build over 100 stacks in a single toss, sometimes closer to 200 stacks
  • Maelstrom not only can get stacks from this but Maelstrom also boosts this making the reduced damage per throw less since it gets more damage per throw from Maelstrom
  • Omega-Senshu, Clear!, Invictus, and Maelstrom also all boost the damage of this making each throw hurt enemies more.


Gun Kata :star::star::star:

Increases gun damage by +3% per rank. After shooting an enemy, melee damage is increased for a short time by +10% per rank.

  • 5/5: +15% gun damage and +50% melee damage
  • 11/5: +33% gun damage and +110% melee damage

This is a very solid skill, both the gun and melee damage are additive. Being additive can be a negative points to many but like I have stated many times if you have a lot of multiplicative buff you need base damage or additive buffs to build those other skills up. Also on melee builds shooting to activate it isn’t hard since Cryo is one of the biggest melee buffs in the game, if not the biggest melee buff in the game. This whole skill tree also really supports hybrid melee quite well and this skill matches that perfectly.

Clarity of Purpose :star::star:

Raises maximum health by +3% and melee damage by +5% per rank.

  • 5/5: +15% health and 25% melee damage
  • 11/5: +33% health and 55% melee damage

I have this below average because it only fits 2 build styles, melee and health stacking. As melee you don’t have a lot of different melee buffs so you want each one, that said to some melee styles health stacking is bad. Since Athena’s 2 healing skills are both based on her max health you can get your max health quite high with this and Stalwart, but not all health stacking builds are melee so half of this goes to waste with those. So if it fits your build take it, if not you are better off with 5 in Gun Kata the rest of the time.

Mercurial :star::star::star:

Killing an enemy increases movement speed by +4% per rank and damage resistance by for seven seconds.

  • 5/5: +20% movement speed and 20% damage resistance
  • 11/5: +44% movement speed and __% damage resistance (I have to get these numbers since its diminishing returns)

This is a really nice skill that works in pretty much any build, and really well thought out. When your Aspis is down you are vulnerable, this is one of the 3 survival skills she has outside of holding the Aspis. The damage resistance is a nice thing to have, and stacking that with things like Juggernaut Oz kits and Adaptive shields you are one tough Gladiator. Diminishing returns on the damage resistance is a bit of a letdown but its still really good. Then you have the movement speed, which also can help you survive, but more than that its always helpful to get to where you want to be faster. Between this Ephodos, and Blood Rush Athena is very very mobile and that helps both melee and gun builds greatly. The thing that hurts this skill the most is it shares a tier with one of her better DPS skill, if you can grab this skill its really solid and I considered rating it great.

Omega-Senshu :star::star::star::star::star:

Increases all damage dealt by +7% per rank to enemies with less than 50% health remaining.

  • 5/5: +35% damage
  • 11/5: +77% damage

This skill is outstanding because its multiplicative and it effects all of your damage. Multiplicative means it buffs your other buffs, and when I say all your damage I mean all your damage. It buffs your gun damage (bullet and splash), DOT damage, melee damage, grenade damage, Aspis damage, slam damage, you inflict it Omega-Senshu buffs it. Sure it is only active on when an enemy has less than 50% health remaining but the sheer amount of things it buffs and the fact it hits your other skills makes this very very powerful and a massive DPS buff. This is a skill every build should try to get and any com that boost this skill is a good com. 70-77% of this skill is a major game changer.

Rend :star::star::star::star:

Melee attacks cause enemies to bleed, inflicting non-elemental damage over time for 12 seconds. The damage is increased by up to +100% against higher-health targets, and benefits from melee damage bonuses.

  • 1/1: 12 second bleed with rank damage depending on enemy health

This skill on its own isn’t much, the bleed DOT is pretty good for damage and 12 seconds is really nice for a DOT duration. What makes this great is the synergy it has with 2 skill mainly, there are 3 others that it also has synergy with but those are less amazing. Blood Rush and Tear are the two ones that this is great with. With Blood Rush you can easily get almost unlimited resets with and you can just chain it over and over with ease, Tear makes any enemy with a bleed melt to your guns with ease. This is what game changers should be 5 other skills all work around this and it really changes the way you play the game.

Bloodlust :star::star:

For each individual enemy that is bleeding, you regenerate +0.8% max health per second per rank and this does stack.

  • 5/5: 4% health regen per bleeding target per second
  • 11/5: 8.8% health regen per bleeding target per second

The reason this is below average is enemies with a bleed on them die to fast to make stacking it not very possible. Even without a bladed gun trash mobs often die from one blood rush quickly do to the Tear DOT, so getting multiple stacks only happens if you really attempt to do so, but if you do that you also have those enemies alive and attacking you. Your survival is often better by just killing them. If you are going pure melee with a roid shield you will pretty much one shot everything you melee so this is really pointless and if you are going hybrid one melee and one shot takes care of most things. It’s a skill that is really interesting on paper but less so in game play. You can make it work but alone it is not enough to keep you healed and you will either need Moxxi guns or Vanguard as well.

Epicenter :star:

Causes your Slam attack to generate a Singularity effect, pulling enemies towards you and dealing minor damage.

  • 1/1: Singularity on slam with rank damage

This skill has 3 main issues holding it back. The first and most important issue is the radius of it is no larger than your slam, or at least I have not noticed it larger than that. If the enemies are already in your slam radius often it just pulls an enemy from one side of you to the other side of you. When I first read this skill I thought it would be like Maya’s converge but it is no where near that. The second issue is the damage increase is hardly noticeable, if this was bigger it could of made up for the lack of range but it doesn’t. The last issue is it is in the melee tree and so is Blood Rush, once I have Blood Rush I find myself doing that instead of slamming most of the time because of Tear and the damage Blood Rush does. If they increase the range on it I can see it being a good skill but for now its meh. If you have one point to spend you can put it here, it won’t hurt you.

Tear :star::star::star::star:

Increases gun damage by +7% per rank against bleeding targets.

  • 5/5: +35% damage
  • 11/5: 77% damage

This skill is great simply because it is multiplicative making the damage of it very impressive. It does not effect splash damage but that is ok, you Blood Rush an enemy and that enemy dies so fast from this skill. The power of this skill is why 2 other skills (Bloodlust and Fury of the Arena) sub-par, because enemies die so fast when they get this you can’t really stack those skills. Thats really all there is to it, make an enemy bleed and profit.

You’ve Got Red on You :star:

When an enemy dies from your melee attack or while bleeding, it explodes, dealing damage to nearby enemies in a radius based on rank.

  • 5/5: Rank 5 damage

This skill does almost nothing, the AOE is to small to really blow anything up and the damage it does to nearby enemies, which are few because of the small AOE, isn’t impressive. If you like to see enemies blow up then put on point in here for that, but thats it. It doesn’t help you and it’s a waste of points. The AOE is explosive so with explosive buffs, cryo, and maelstrom you can make it work but even with all that its pretty weak.

Fury of the Arena :star:

For each bleeding enemy, you gain +2% to fire rate and reload speed per rank.

  • 5/5: 10% fire rate and reload speed per bleeding target
  • 11/5: 22% fire rate and reload speed per bleeding target

This suffers for the same reasons that Bloodlust does, enemies with a bleed die to fast so you can’t really stack it and Tear is so powerful you don’t need to stack it. If you are doing pure melee you obviously don’t need it, but on hybrid again you will rarely get more than a stack and that enemy will die so fast you won’t benefit from this. If you are using shotguns 1-2 shots will take care of anything pretty much, if you are using smg’s or lasers they will melt so fast and if you are this deep you also have Omega-Senshu making them die even faster once they hit that 50% mark.

Blood Rush :star::star::star::star::star:

Press [melee] to dash towards an enemy and perform a melee attack that deals +40% damage. Has a cooldown of 10 seconds. If the attack kills an enemy or causes it to bleed, the cooldown is reset.

  • Capstone

This is great for reasons beyond melee, but on melee the 40% damage isn’t all it gets you also get a 50% hidden melee bonus that is multiplicative compared to the list 40% that is additive. So we are already off to a good start on it. Next is the ease of chaining it, either kill an enemy or make an enemy bleed and the cooldown timer resets, well Rend is 100% bleed chance so its not hard unless you hit an enemy that is already bleeding and don’t kill them. Then we have the range which is really good, you can get all over the battlefield with this which benefits guns as much as melee with the fact you can’t ADS while you hold the Aspis. I for one didn’t plan on doing melee so I never thought I would use this skill but the utility of it has won me over in just doing gun builds. It even helps survival because the speed you are zipping around the map makes it hard for enemies to lock in on you.

Ceraunic Storm

Storm Weaving :star::star::star::star:

Swapping weapons increases your elemental effect chance by +25% and firerate by +7.5% per rank for the next 9 seconds.

  • 4/4: +100% elemental effect chance and +30% fire rate
  • 10/5: +250% elemental effect chance and +75% fire rate

This is great because almost every skill in this tree revolves around Maelstrom stacks and this helps stacks as well as your DPS without them. Faster fire rate means not hits and more DOTS which means more stacks, Higher elemental effect chance means each of those hits has a much higher chance (double to be exact) of putting a DOT on your enemy. The number on it as pretty nice as well 30% fire rate is nothing to ignore and 100% elemental effect chance doubles your chance to put DOT on enemies. It does take some getting used to swapping and sometimes overswapping can eliminate your DPS gain so it takes practice and getting used when to swap and how often to swap, but once you do its a major DPS increase.

Maelstrom :star::star::star::star::star:

Dealing Incendiary or Shock damage grants you a stack of Maelstrom. All elemental damage is increased by +0.4% per stack per rank. Stacks decay slowly over time, and faster the more stacks you have and have a cap of 100.

  • 100 stacks: +40% damage
  • 250 stacks: +100% damage
  • 500 stacks: +200% damage
  • 999 stacks: +399.6% damage

This is one of the best skills in the game and it is tier one as well as only needing a single point investment. Many of the best skills for other characters are tier 4 or 5 and need 5 points meaning you have to invest 16-21 points for them and often boost them with a com, not this all you need in the 1 point and that can and should be done at level 3. Elemental damage buffs are always multiplicative and this is no exception, but not only guns but this helps your grenades and dot damage as well. Also because it is so easy to build stacks you don’t even need to go further into this tree if you don’t want to just grab Maelstrom. To put this into perspective for Bl2 veterans the Bone was the most popular relic because it added 39% elemental damage to a single element making it the best DPS relic most of the time, this can do up to 10x that for all elements at max stacks, but instead of a equipment slot its just a single skill point you have 8 equipment slots and 48 skill points. This is a lot of damage for very minimal investment.

Gathering Tempest :star::star::star:

Increases your magazine size by +8% and reload speed by +5% per rank.

  • 5/5: +40% mag size and +25% reload speed
  • 11/5: +88% mag size and +55% reload speed

This is the only skill in this tree that is both non elemental and does not have direct synergy with Maelstrom, but its still great. It is great because of the indirect synergy with not only Maelstrom but DPS as well. 40% magazine size is a big DPS buff, it can turn a 2 shot shotgun into 3 or make an smg with a deep magazine feel endless, which is great for building and maintaining Maelstrom stacks. The reload is nothing to ignore either, when ever you are reloading you are loosing stacks, the less time reloading the better. Adding those 2 together and you have a massive DPS boost and you are much more efficient with your Maelstrom stacks. This is also a skill well worth boosting and even to select it as your +6 as an option. Fire rate buffs can hit caps or cause wasted bullets, while this is always helpful, getting almost 90% mag size buff is almost doubling your capacity and 55% reload speed can be a game changer.

Conduit :star::star::star::star:

While you have at least one Electrocute status effect active on an enemy, you regenerate +0.02% of your shields per second per rank for each Maelstrom stack you have.

  • 5/5: +0.1% shield regen per second per stack (100 stacks = 10% per second)
  • 11/5: +.22% shield regen per second per stack (100 stacks = 22% per second)

I think the only thing that holds this back from being outstanding is the fact it only works on shock dots, but shock is the most neutral of all elements. Running around mobbing its pretty easy to maintain 100-300 stacks of Maelstrom and at 5/5 thats 10-30% shield regen per second. This is one of those skills that is so good even 2-3 points in it really help. There are few skills that are so powerful that you don’t need to max them out and give you spare points to play with, this is one of them. This is one of the better survival skills in the entire game. Add in the fact that skills like Smite, Zeus’ Rage, Superconductor, Overload, Prismatic Aegis, can all cause shock dots. So its not only your guns and grenades that can trigger this. This is a great skill that everyone if they are going down this tree should find points to put in here.

Smite :star::star::star::star::star:

When you are airborne and have at least 10 Maelstrom stacks, shooting an enemy will Smite them, causing Incendiary and Shock damage based on your current Maelstrom stacks in a small area. Has a 12 second cooldown.

  • 1/1: Rank damage based on Maelstrom stacks

This is outstanding because of the amazing damage it puts out for a single point. When enemies get hit by this they are dead, unless they are a boss. Since it hits them with fire and shock it also adds stacks and even works on NE, cryo, and corrosive guns as long as you have at least 10 stacks, it even works on bullets reflected from Return Fire. The cooldown time of 12 seconds isn’t bad and in low gravity its really easy to be in air but many times you get in without trying from enemies knocking you back and putting you in the air for a short while as you are shooting. Thats really all there is to it, 1 point, massive damage every 12 seconds, do it.

Unrelenting :star::star::star::star:

When you kill an enemy, your weapon swap speed is increased by +0.08% and your firerate by +0.06% per rank for each stack of Maelstrom you have for the next few seconds.

  • 5/5: +0.4% swap speed and +0.3% fire rate per stack (100 stacks = 40% swap speed and 30% fire rate)
  • 11/5: +0.88 swap speed and +0.66% fire rate per stack (100 stacks = 88% swap speed and 66% fire rate)

This is one of those skills that can really make Storm Weaving better, as I said before on a few other skills 100-300 stacks is the norm for mobbing so at 5/5 we are getting 40-120% swap speed, which really makes it easy to keep Storm Weaving up, then you add the 30% fire rate from that skill to the 30-90% from this skill and your DPS is now through the roof. Take any gun and give it 60-120% increased fire rate, and on each shot you are increasing your damage from Maelstrom and you have a really deadly combo. Take this on a boss fight where you can get up to 999 stacks and now you are looking at 330% fire rate, pretty much any shock/fire gun with that fire rate buff and those maelstrom stacks will get the job done.

Superconductor :star::star::star:

The Aspis has a 10% chance per rank to Shock nearby enemies when struck. When this occurs you gain +5 Maelstrom stacks per level.

  • 5/5: Shock chance 50% and bonus stacks 5
  • 11/5: Shock chance 110% and bonus stacks 5

This is average because it is situational, it can be bad or outstanding depending on your play style or build but also this is a skill that you want at least 10/5 point in if you are going to use it. The range on it is pretty solid when it says nearby, its not just a short melee range, I don’t have exact numbers but I would say 15-20 feet or 4.5-6 meters. The damage is also solid if you have a healthy amount of stacks as well as a short stun effect it seems to have on enemies. If you play close to your enemies play-style then this will get you a ton of stacks, lots of “free” DPS and it really worth putting a lot of points and a com into. If you play at more of a distance its a skill to skip. This entire skill tree is so full of great skills that it forces you to make choices on what skills really fit your build the best. Tier 2 has 2 skills that both justify putting 5 points in and tier 3 can easily cost you 6 points instead of one. This can be one of the best or worst choices for you.

Zeus’ Rage :star::star::star::star:

Throwing the Kinetic Aspis creates a Fire and Lightning storm at the struck location for a few seconds, dealing damage in an area that increases the more damage is absorbed by the Aspis.

  • 1/1: Rank damage based off of Maelstrom

This is great on its own and outstanding with Wrath of the Goddess. The nova is quite large, about the size of a large nova shield explosion but it lingers for a bit. Besides doing a lot of damage the size and duration of the nova builds stacks very well and combined with Wrath of the Goddess a single Aspis throw can get well over 200 stacks and kill more than 5 enemies. Since each reflection of WotG gets less damage the stacks building from this really help fight that as well as if enemies are close they can be hit by multiple novas. Good damage, good stacks, clears barrels really well, for 1 point there is a lot to love about this. If you have Clear! as well the nova helps kill enemies close to your fallen allies so when they get up they don’t go into a FFYL loop.

Elemental Barrage :star::star::star::star:

While Storm Weaving is active, your weapons have a 6% chance per rank not to consume ammo, plus an additional +0.02% chance per rank per Maelstrom stack.

  • 5/5: 30% chance and an additional 0.1% per stack (100 stacks = 10% additional chance)

The only thing that holds this back from being outstanding is you have to swap your guns every 9 seconds to keep it active. Going back to the 100-300 mobbing stack counts you are looking at 40-60% chance to not consume ammo, and that is a major deal with most weapons to increase your DPS. That can essentially double your Magazine size and on bosses you can get near 100% chance. When you start to add this to the other skills in this skill tree like Unrelenting, massive fire rate and massive chance to not use Ammo you are really building your DPS, as well as down time of reloading is a thing of the past so keeping high stack counts is really easy. This cannot be boosted by a com and for good reason it would be broken if you could. Now if you are not in the habbit of swapping your guns to keep Storm Weaving going then this isn’t the skill for you, but with skills like this I would get used to swapping guns.

Overload :star::star::star:

Whenever you kill an enemy that is Electrocuted and/or Burning, there is a 9% chance per rank that the status effects will spread to nearby enemies. When this happens, you gain +4 Maelstrom stacks per rank (double if it had both status effects).

  • 5/5: 45% chance and 20 bonus stacks
  • 11/5: 99% chance and 20 bonus stacks

Summary: This is another max or nothing skill, at 5/5 its good but there is heavy competition in this tree for skills and stacking maelstrom isn’t very hard, at 11/5 killing one enemy can chain to kill the entire room. If you have fire and shock dots thats 40 bonus stacks per kill with a 99% chance of them jumping to a new enemy to kill them for another 40 stacks plus the stacks from the dots themselves, etc… Now add in the fact that Maelstrom and Omega-Senshu both can buff dot damage its pretty easy to keep this going. It’s also one of the best ways to power level. Again on its own is nice and can help keep your stacks up mostly mobbing, but with so many powerful DPS skills and the ease of stacking with Tesla’s and fast guns it might not be needed. But this is a skill worth making an entire build around at 11/5 making clearing rooms amusing and easy.

Flash Freeze :star::star:

When you freeze an enemy, you gain Flash Freeze for 1 second per rank, during which you can neither gain nor lose Maelstrom stacks.

  • 5/5: 5 second duration
  • 11/5: 11 second duration

This is a hard skill to figure out, while easy on paper to understand it, the issue is when or why to use it. Freezing your stack count is great for swapping weapons, getting that critical hit boosts that Athena doesn’t have in her skill tree, helps deal with Badass enemies that are a threat in UVHM but… There is always the but, this skill tree has so many powerful skills it can be hard to squeeze points into this. Thats why I’m leaving this Below Average, you can make use of this, help keep your stacks moving mob to mob, increase your DPS with non shock/fire guns, etc… To do so you really have to know why you want it and how many points you want in it. There are many times where 2-3 points are much better than 5 points. Don’t ignore this skill but don’t take it without really good reason and proper gear to use it.

Hades’ Shackles :star::star:

Performing a Slam attack links you to nearby enemies with a Shock Tether, electrocuting them for 3 seconds. You gain +20 Maelstrom stacks for each enemy affected. After 3 seconds or if an enemy dies, each target releases an Incendiary Nova. The tether is broken prematurely if you lose line of sight to an enemy.

  • Capstone

While if used properly this can stack faster than about anything but you have to kill at least one enemy tethered to you, and if you also have overload I’ve seen upto 300 stacks from a single slam. Now if you don’t kill an enemy you tethered then yours stacks are closer to 15-20 stacks from this. So on many bosses this is not very useful but mobbing it can be really great. This is pretty weak for a capstone of such a powerful tree but like many skills if you know how to properly use it then it can be really great. It’s not worth going all the way down the tree for this but if you are in tier 5 I would get it.

You can find the other characters skill guides below
Wilhelm the Enforcer
Nisha the Lawbringer
Jack the Doppelganger
Claptrap the Fragtrap

This thread is part of the Dear Doctor Dumbass Series

[Guide] Nisha's skills for Tenderfoot
Does "You've got red on you" have any practical use?
[DDD Guide] A Lady’s Guide to Murder and Mayhem
[Guide] Color Codes for Build Builders
[DDD] Fragtrap's skills for you!
(Backdraft Guru) #2

Looking good, so BAD rating got removed? Anyway, stars are looking good :smile:.

(AKA Scruffy the Janitor) #3

:thumbsup: Looks good with the stars. Nicely edited.

(Where's lucky?) #4

Yeah there wasn’t really a need for it with her

(Min/Maxing and Flakker god) #5

Well Wilhelm and Jack still need a bad rating so just make one that has no stars.

(Backdraft Guru) #6

or just this :x:.

(Where's lucky?) #7

A 5 star rating could look like this


(Backdraft Guru) #8

Ive thought this,

Leave it like in yours Athena thread and just give :x: if the skill is bad, not that there is a lot of them anyways.

(Where's lucky?) #9

At this point I think I’m going to wait 5 days for UVHM for any real updates to this, unless there is a major mistake I made somewhere.

UVHM should shake things up quite a bit, the bleed skills might even get better.


@Derch I was thinking about the Bleed effect too after reading your ratings on it. I think the way most players approach mobs is to isolate individuals.

I think skills like Rend+Bloodlust+Blood Rush were meant to apply a Bleed effect to an entire group of enemies and then turn your guns on them. I can see a tactic like this working to make Bloodlust and Fury of the Arena more useful then they currently are rated.


@Derch I consider Storm Weaving to be the core skill of Ceraunic Storm, or at the very least on par with Maelstrom. It should easily be considered a 4-star skill. Here’s why.

Every skill in Ceraunic Storm benefits from Storm Weaving’s bonus to Fire Rate, Elemental Status Effect Chance, or both. And this is a skill that activates for 9 seconds simply by swapping weapons. It can be active indefinitely and is not dependent on getting a kill, activating Aspis, or a bleeding target. The miniscule loss of DPS by swapping weapons is easily overcome by the advantages you gain simply from employing this tactic. If you regularly swap weapons to use elemental appropriate weapons based on enemy type, you are gaining DPS by doing so. That alone is worth it. But then you have all of these other skills in Ceraunic Storm that gain from this simple act of swapping weapons and triggering Storm Weaving.

  • Maelstrom benefits from the increased fire rate and DoT applied so you gain stacks faster and maintain them therefore enhancing your damage.
  • Conduit is entirely dependent on shock elemental status effect which is instantly applied simply by swapping to a shock weapon and triggering Storm Weaving.
  • Unrelenting makes Storm Weaving even better on kill with it’s bonus weapon swap speed.
  • Elemental Barrage is active whenever Storm Weaving is active so you get a huge DPS boost by continuously swapping weapons and build up Maelstrom stacks.
  • Overload activates when you kill an enemy that is electrocuting or burning. Storm Weaving raises the chances of this happening and chaining Overload.
  • Flash Freeze can even benefit from it by swapping to a cryo weapon and instantly being able to freeze an enemy.
  • Smite, Zeus’ Rage, Superconductor, Hades’ Shackles- Improve their usefulness from an increased Elemental Status Effect chance. If they don’t kill the enemy they can apply a DoT and build/maintain Maelstrom, activate Conduit, and help chain Overload.

Maelstrom is the 1-point wonder but Storm Weaving is the real driving force behind Ceraunic Storm. It makes everything better in some way.

(Min/Maxing and Flakker god) #12

I like the 6 point one better, it solves some issues for some characters.

(Where's lucky?) #13

Those are all solid points, I had SW at 4 stars but bumped it down to 3 because sometimes swapping is counter intuitive to DPS if you are swapping for fire rate and proc chance but by doing so you are not shooting while you swap. Swapping to start a fight is always great and if you have time inbetween enemies. But with some guns with shallower mag sizes, between reloading and swapping you can loose as much as you gain.

That being said I might bump it back up, because you did make many good points.

In TVHM I was reaching the “soft cap” on maelstrom without worrying about about SW and it seemed like while it was good I didn’t need it. UVHM might change that.


@Derch Weapon swapping to match elements is not counter intuitive if you’re an experienced Borderlands player. It’s just a part of playing the game at a high level if you want to kill enemies efficiently. What you gain for the time it takes to do so is worth it and I don’t see a down side to doing so especially as Athena. BL2 characters had weapon swap speed added to a skill to accommodate elemental matching and slag but they didn’t have other skills benefit just by doing that. Storm Weaving changes all that with one simple gameplay tactic that a lot of players are going to do anyways. I think you’ll experience this if you pick up the skill and move further into Ceraunic Storm.

(Davin Dittrich - the one and only Narf) #15

Everyone experienced in playing BL2’s UVHM as not-Krieg-character will have little to no issues to play storm weaving-profitable. Its like swapping to and from a slag-weapon, but now, every element is like the new slag.
Except corrosive, which is still the niche-element.

(Stoop) #16

Thanks for porting this thread over!

1 Like
(Where's lucky?) #17

It was a good code learning experience, transfering BBcode into this. A few threads of this size and its pretty easy.

1 Like
(Stoop) #18

Markdown is much better than BBCode for sure.

(Spark Seeker) #19

Does Return Fire only proc Smite and System Purge or there is something else? A list could be good because with the level cap we can get to it and still have skills to support and maximize it’s effect


@Derch For me, Tear is the core of Xiphos. Everything else is a delivery mechanism for it. The same can’t be said for Omega Senshu, as good as it is. It’s big advantage really is that it is reachable for a lot of different builds. But if I’m going full Xiphos, Tear is the more important of the two.