Does anyone here like Thoughtlock?

Does anyone have a build which utilizes Thoughtlock, and really like it? I had this idea, but I don’t like it. In order to get to TL, I had to waste four points (Fleet). Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except I’m already wasting 5 over in the Cata tree (Helios), because Ruin is something I just can’t live without. So my biggest question is would the health being returned via SR and 4 points in Elated be enough to get me through? I usually rely on Life Tap for the majority of my heals, but I can’t get there with this build and keep Ruin. Is SR even useful with TL? I’ll want to keep the guy alive to draw aggro, not kill him for transfusions trails. But I love the idea of hitting an enemy with PL, having a slagsplosion and singularity trigger around him, and taking most of the aggro in the area for me. For those of you who’ve played around with this skill, how did it work out? And is my build as s*** as I think it is? If it helps, I’d run it with a L. Binder and a BoA.
if your on pc, we can do some runs.

Yes. Even though you’re not actually phaselocking your target, all skills which activate on PL or death of said target, will process.

Try this spec instead. Put those remaining points where ever you want.

Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

basically what I said, though i went backdraft instead of immolate and threw the last points in elated because w/e.

Light the @BookEmDano signal

Thoughtlock might be my favorite skill in the entire game. Well, to be fair, it’s Maya’s entourage of related skills that make this shine. It should be called Thoughtrock not because Engrish is funny, but because this skill is what makes Maya such a rock star: :smirk:

  1. Most enemies aren’t paying attention to you, and are, in fact, shooting each other. Their DPS is your DPS.
  2. The mob is repeatedly being condensed into a single, confused mass. This makes it easy for your AoE attacks to work over a large number of enemies per shot. Note that Converge doesn’t just pull enemies together; everything affected is stunned momentarily too.
  3. Your fire rate is up (Wreck), the team is getting healed (Elated and Sweet Release), everything is slagged for “free” (Ruin) and your damage is up both statically (from Wreck) and dynamically (from Chain Reaction). Turn the entire team into a light tank!

When I say “enemy handling”, I mean how you prioritize targets while Thoughtlock and Sub Sequence are active. For example, I like to use a singularity grenade to get the party started by pulling enemies together to begin; toss a singularity, then Thoughtlock an enemy near the barycenter of the now condensed mob before the stun wears off. If the mob contains enemies of largely the same caliber, I’ll soften one up before starting this, and Thoughtlock him first. The grenade pulls everyone together, the initial Thoughtlock Converges everyone together again, and this target should die within a couple shots if he’s weakened properly, firing Converge again.

Those three singularities in quick succession like that pack most mobs up pretty tight. This makes it so Sub Sequence re acquires a target much faster, re-Converging enemies yet again, and Ruin can easily reach and slag the entire mob every time it fires.

Note that environmental impediments to moving also hinder enemies’ ability to be Converged. Timing your first cast of Thoughtlock should take this into consideration. My first singularity grenade toss, for example, may be to suck a particularly stubborn enemy out of hiding, which (when followed up by Thoughtlocking a nearby enemy), will pull him completely out, and off you go. Also, your own position on the battlefield can be used to flush/draw targets into a position where there’s no impediment to Converging them.

If the mob includes a particularly big enemy, I’ll Thoughtlock him first, but focus my fire on everyone else; he should be able to tank the damage spillover where the other enemies will die (and he’ll be pounding them for me as well). By the time Thoughtlock wears off, he should be the last man standing and fairly worn down.

If the mob includes some maniac with very damaging weapons, try Thoughtlocking him first, and letting him purge the mob. For example, a Goliath Blaster or Burner Enforcer (both gunzerking with some Maliwan/Vladof nightmare) might quickly dispatch a mob for you… just keep an eye on them so when the mob is gone, you can drop them easily. Got a Scavenger who rolled a Maliwan corrosive SMG, an Ultimate Badass Marauder with an amp shield, or an RPG Loader with some corrosive thing? See how their local posse likes it.

If the mob includes an un-Thoughtlock-able enemy (say a Constructor), I’ll grab one of the local Loaders near enough to the Constructor that Converge will draw others near it without being the closest to the Constructor itself, and begin pummeling the Constructor. This makes the Constructor focus on the Loader (not you), and when the Loader dies, Sub Sequence should find another Loader as the next closest target (as opposed to the Constructor itself, which will end your action skill prematurely). Surveyors healing the Constructor are tempting as first targets, but unless they are far off to the side, Sub Sequence will generally go after the Constructor immediately upon the Surveyor’s death.

Also: in a pinch, Surveyors can be used to heal you. Take as much health as you want and kill 'em before they fly away. This guy healed me to full from a quarter tank with time to spare (and that’s a Neogenator I’m wearing, so the health value isn’t shallow, although I’m sure Elated and the Neogenator helped :wink:). They tend to hang out a little closer than I like (so I don’t use them to take incoming fire, since I’ll usually eat some splash). Case in point: the Constructor that spawned this guy has just switched to his “nuclear solution”. :grimacing:


I’ve used Thoughtlock extensively with and without Sub-Sequence. It is, by far, much more effective in a proper Sub-Sequence build, which also means that you want to actively target the Thoughtlocked enemy as much as possible. I would say that the real strength in Thoughtlock-Sub-Sequence builds is the amount of time you have to trigger multiple Converge affects. This essentially creates a dog pile on the Thoughtlocked target as the group gets pulled tighter and tighter. Most of the time you will never draw enemy fire when this is happening not to mention that the constant staggering from Converge will leave multiple enemies off balance.

I think one of the most underrated aspects of Thoughtlock is that the animation is much shorter. You don’t have to wait for the enemy to lift up. Also, you only have to adjust your aim horizontally rather than vertically when switching targets. You would be surprised just how much little things like this add to the speed of mobbing.

But using Thoughtlock will take some adjustments to playstyle. The biggest adjustment is that you are no longer dealing with a static target but one that can moves constantly, sometimes running off to no where in particular. It’s funny and doesn’t happen often but when it does can be annoying for you and your teammates. But you also get to see really funny things like when I was in the Arid Nexus hunting Tubbies and I watched two rabid skags literally chase each other in a circle for 14 seconds like a dog chases its tail. Just be ready for the occasional runner.

This also means that you have to get use to shooting moving targets. I think too much is made of this quite honestly. It’s much easier than most players think. I like to run straight up to the Thoughtlocked target and shoot them in the back with my Omen. Simple, a bit dirty, but highly effective. Just don’t try traditional sniping in a Thoughtlock build. Interestingly though, I’ve used Pimpernels to really good effect. Treat them like a shotgun and you’ll be fine.

I think @Adabiviak had some great pointers and tactical advice. It’s definitely good to learn individual enemy behaviors and how they sometimes react to Thoughtlock.

Here’s my level 72 build. My gear is usually Legendary Binder, Bone of the Ancients, Chain Lightning, Blockade or Neogenator, Fire and Corrosive New and Improved Omens, Intense Unkempt Harold, and a Slagga. I’ll sometimes swap in a Quasar and switch between Fire and Corrosive on my Bone of the Ancients depending on the map.

Quick question: If I turn a corner and find myself face-to-face with an Ultimate Baddass Loader (Like in the final area before Bloodwing) and Thoughlock him, will his massive nova stomp injure me when he goes after targets in his melee range? Or do I become immune to area damage my “ally” deals? I guess this includes blaster goliaths, too.
Thanks for all the tips/advice, builds, and anecdotes. They will prove very useful when I give this playstyle a try.

Thoughtlock targets become allies for its duration so you will be immune.

Good to know, thanks.

I’ve been having a ridiculously good time running this:
with Legendary Siren + Bone of the Ancients as primary COM and relic.

swap to Blurred Trickster for hilarity at bosses like BNK3R and Handsome Sorcerer. Chain Reaction is fun.

Blurred Trickster is kind of a waste when you’re running Thoughtlock since you have to target everything else aside from the Thoughtlocked target.

I completely disagree that it’s a waste. Here are examples:

  • thought locking loaders on the deck while beating the snot out of BNK3R
  • thought locking Handsome Sorcerer adds while shooting the face off the Sorc
  • thought locking snowman adds while shooting the face off Tinder Snowflake
  • thought locking spider ants while shooting the face off Pete
  • thought locking crysalid adds while shooting the face off the Warrior
  • thought locking adds while shooting the butt off Thanksgiving Dinner
  • thought lock a constructor’s healer while shooting the eye out of it…

and sooooo many more examples.

Basically, you thought lock a little guy and shoot the face off of the serious targets. That often gives me maximum time with Wreck and health regen.


  • thought locking the little skag while shooting the everything off of Saturn
  • thought locking a handsome jack double while giving Jack another reason to wear a mask
  • thought locking anything at all in Pyro Pete’s Bar while shooting the everything out of the everything
  • thought locking Mad Mike and shooting… Mad Mike. (nomads are slow moving, he’s the only threat, and you’ve suddenly got him at odds with his ads)
  • thought locking spider ants while you kill Scorch, or… thought locking Scorch while you kill Scorch
  • thought locking Doc Mercy while you kill Doc Mercy, so the ads in Digi are shooting at him
  • thought locking Oney while you kill other Assassins

Honestly, the hard part is figuring out where this isn’t beneficial. I suppose it’s annoying chasing the ninja turtle guys while they’re in the solo stage and decide to have upright seizures while thoughtlocked. That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Chain Reaction’s range becomes an issue because enemies scatter to position based on the Thoughtlocked target.

Thoughtlock is awesome! All the cool kids are doing it!

Not to stop the thoughtlock love fest here, but I do want to counter a few of your points.

You can also do that with phaselock quite efficiently, one shot if you do it right

You can’t phaselock them or thoughtlock them

Here is where I disagree and there will be more on the same subject, phaselock immobilizes enemies and thats the true strength of it. If you hold him still a few crits will do, but if he is fighting enemies he is moving and turning and isn’t always an easy crit, plus chain can hurt or kill the others around.

I call that one a draw because I know mad mike could also kill enemies for you…

This one in the peak I disagree totally, Scorch is so easy to kill in a phaselock with that massive stationary crit spot, and you will get a lot out of chain reaction since they spawn so close, a quick cooldown and the second one dies. Thought lock slows you down here because they move fast and if they are fighting you don’t always have the angle for the crit.

The same goes for Rabids for the most part, they all move fast and if you phaselock them the crits and there and still and they are dead, you are not going to crit a Rabid skag reliably while he is killing other skags, same with stalkers, etc…

Like above, phaselock easy crit, not phaselock, no easy crit

Kinda the same but I do see the value in this more since all 4 can be very dangerous, the agro relief is nice.

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The counterpoint to phase lock immobilizing is what the rest of the enemies are doing. For example, when you thought lock Mad Mike, this happens:

  1. Mike shoots ads
  2. Ads shoot Mike
  3. You may not be shot at.

This also holds true for Doc Mercy in the Peak, and you can get surveyors shooting at Scorch, Dukino’s mom stomping midgets, etc.

Moreover, slow moving targets who can be thought locked aren’t terribly difficult to kill while thought locked.

Another important note: I use the Blurred Trickster as a swap-to for where it is ideal, not as a go-to. An example is the Handsome Sorcerer, where I actually use a Legendary Cat COM. Same with Tinder Snowflake. In those cases, I prefer 10/5 Reaper and the fun of 10/5 Wreck if/when ads appear. For most places, I prefer the Legendary Siren for frequency of use. As such, the range of CR is never an issue for me.

Eeeehhhh, one other note:

I’m perfectly content to let people enjoy whatever style they like. I’m not a thought lock evangelist. I simply champion it in this conversation because I’ve found that it is very powerful and fun (subjective, of course) in most areas.

A thing that I enjoy is saying, "I’m going to try this thing out properly. X hours, and I’m going to make it work.

That approach turned my head around with TL. At first, I didn’t like it. I tinkered a bit with tactics, then felt like the clouds parted and sunshine flooded in. It is a very different experience now.

The point is, whatever you’re doing, find ways to make it as good as it can be, and have fun :slight_smile: