Favorite and Least favorite TPS bosses and why?

Greetings! This is yet another thread inspired by the coming of BL3. It seems that a good way to get an idea of what each of you are looking for is to ask the question, “Which are your 3 favorite and (1) least favorite boss fights in TPS, and why do you love or hate them?”

If you feel like going over or under on the number, that’s OK. If you want to divide lists up into fight mechanics, themes, or some other category, that is also OK. The goal is simply to get a better understanding of what it is that each of you prefer!

I’ll start with the bad…ish:
The fight itself is fine. There are reasons to move around, she does interesting things, the fight switches gears nicely, and there are adds to make things interesting. I won’t even complain that she isn’t respawnable. I consider that fight kind of a Bloodwing-esque turning point, and I would actually enjoy having a fight that unlocks after you kill Zarpedon, so that there is a repeatable boss fight in the same area, with the same drops, once you’ve cleared that part of the story. Perhaps a General Knox kind of situation, where a cyborg version of Zarpedon lurks on that pad area.

As it is, the Zarpedon fight is a fun fight. It leaves you wanting more, and it leaves wasted space behind once you’ve past it.

3. Despair & Self-Loathing. 2 bosses. 2 possible legendary drops. Adds. Incentive to move (avoiding those slams). Respawning barrels. A fast and interesting run for speed farming. Most importantly, no class goes down there and has their action skill ‘turned off’ by the fight. There is no ‘Maya vs boss’ situation. Cryo works! Despite access to your full arsenal of tools, the fight is still interesting because there are two of those buggers bounding around!

  1. Bosun. 3D fight environment, not just a flat field or field with cover. An airborn boss with respectable damage output, and solid, yet beatable defenses. This one is especially interesting to me because it’s a flying boss in what amounts to a relatively crowded area. Very cool.

  2. Eclipse & EOS. Tons of room to move, lots of cover, lots of incoming damage. Adds. Phases. Truly epic feel. E&E is a tough fight, and it gives a feeling of accomplishment when they go down. These two aren’t a pushover*, and that’s how it should be for an end boss. The Sentinel is similar in this regard, but E&E made my list because of the environment. The Sentinel area feels like a bowl. When I killed E&E in UVHM with Wilhelm for the first time, I went all over the map to avoid his attacks, and I loved having to strategize and use the terrain. It was very satisfying.

The * is because the right gear can certainly help you kill E&E quickly with a few classes.

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Wow. Not sure how my format got screwed up. Whoops!

Least favorite: rk5. I don’t like how he has a large health pool, and how if you have a slow firing or short range weapon you can barely hit him. Also, when you do kill it you get nothing good at all

Top- 3: Meg. I love how it is a short fight, and how you get a very good SMG if you are lucky.
2: cl4p-lk and infected Dahl soldier( don’t know his name). I like how you can get one of the best oz kits and you can get a legendary pistol that you can either use or grind. Trip isn’t too far if you can shortcut it
1: invincible imperial sentinel ( might have that wrong). I like how you can just absolute zero/ laser disker him away. Plus, with his very large pool it’s very likely that you’ll get something, whether it’s what you want or grinder gear

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Another boss that I hate is the badass stalker that drops the legendary COMs. The fight is super easy, but the rewards are pitiful. It takes to long to get him to drop something, and he has such a large pool that it usually isn’t what you want

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My least favorite is RK5. Such a boring and uninspired boss.

My favorite is Iwajira. Sure he’s not an official story boss, but I love fighting him.

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Not TPS but Saturn comes to mind as a boss I don’t want to see again - the small sentinel also has the same problem. They are bosses with large pools of health and some threatening attacks, this is good and typical of a boss fight, but to then to give no critical hit spot to these health giants I consider bad design, it gimps characters who rely on crit buffs to keep up on DPS, Aurelia is totally cripled verse the first form of the raid sentinel, because she is stripped of most of her dps potential. I think that any boss fight that strips a character of their crutch dps is really bad, saturn wasn’t noticeable in the same way because of Bore and Bee abuse.

My favourite boss design would be Boson, he is a shining example of an airborn fight done correctly. As @Handsome_Dad already mentions why he is well rounded I won’t go into that, but he also isn’t like fights such as bunker and rk5 where he just dissappears and leaves you to fight ads, he is dynamic and different as an airborn fight and I believe he is a good model to work from going forward.

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Least favorite: RK5 for all the reasons already mentioned. Boring fight, boring drops, takes away beam lasers, just bleh all around.


  1. RedBelly. They’re hilarious, for starters, and the dynamic of them splitting can be very challenging if you choose not to cheese Belly from the entrance. Cryo works, so no one’s gimped, and there are all sorts of midgets for second winds and kill skill activation. Great fight.

  2. Bosun. Others have already touched on this and I agree with them.

  3. Nel. I love how you spawn him. I love fighting through waves of goons to get to him. I love how open and dynamic the battlefield is in Regolith Range. This was a cool idea and I’m glad they implemented it so well.


  1. EOS. For all the reasons mentioned by the OP, plus the chance to get the Luck Cannon drop from the UBA Glitches. With some characters, I even found myself shooting out EOS’ rocket launchers for even more variety. And a guaranteed Legendary is a really nice touch.

Least Favorite:

Eclipse. Even with all the great things about the area in general, I found the health pool absurd. In contrast to how well EOS gets broken up into segments, Eclipse is long, monotonous, and tedious. The absolute last thing I want in boss fights, is making them longer. Especially with the “restart from scratch” mechanic. I also much prefer “easy to crit, but only some of the time”, compared to the “one tiny crit spot”. After the first time doing Eclipse, I literally said to myself, “I’ll never do that one again.” Imagine my disappointed when I found one of the most enjoyable segments of TPS ‘blocked’ by one of the worst (for me). I’ve since found some characters and gear that make Eclipse tolerable, but I really wish I could jump straight to EOS. I would have done the EOS fight many, many times if it weren’t so long to travel to, and weren’t behind a boss I don’t particularly enjoy.

The contrast between these two bosses in the same area highlight what I hope they keep in mind for BL3.

  • make the combat area interesting (like E&E, or Bosun, as opposed to Sentinel or Zarpedon)
  • break up the action into more variety (EOS, Sentinel)
  • don’t just throw an insane amount of heath at it (I’m looking at you, Eclipse)

Thank you all for your participation so far! I’d like to hear your feedback on a still developing thought:

Regarding giant bags of HP and long boss fights… I actually enjoy them, with a few qualifiers.

  1. I really want major bosses to feel like a big deal. The Sentinel and E&E absolutely do that. Invincible Son of Crawmerax feels that way. Hyperius feels that way. The Ancient Dragons feel that way. For those types of Big Deal fights, I don’t want a pushover or a brief event. I like to be able to get them done quicker with a lot of work and thought (E&E is a perfect example), but I don’t want a gimme.

  2. Phases and a dynamic environment really make these special, instead of monotonous. Double Saturns in Digistruct Peak… that’s just something I grind through. With Eclipse, the fight area and the adds help a bit. Still, the Eclipse part of the E&E event would have benefitted from something extra to keep it fun. Invincible Son of Crawmerax is basically perfect for BL2. That fight… the loot is terrible, and I still go down there, just because the fight is so damn cool.

  3. Speaking of loot… if the fight is intentionally designed to be a Very Big Deal, the loot situation shouldn’t leave a player feeling like they just climbed Mt Everest to get a free rubber band. An interesting way to handle that would be to have a large-ish pool, and possibly even something like guaranteed legendary + guaranteed glitch gun, or maybe even 2 guaranteed legendaries dropping from the second of a 2-boss event like E&E. That way, you’d have to successfully beat the whole event, but you’d get a juicy payout.

Most important point, to me, is keeping it dynamic. If I’m pretty playing peek-a-boo using one piece of cover to whittle a big bag of HP down over 15 minutes, that’s not fun. On the other hand, running around, killing evolving adds (varkids @ son of craw!), and having to think and shoot on the move… WOW. That is an awesome experience!


Well said. I should qualify my earlier comment about length by saying, I don’t want to spend a long time “doing the same thing over and over”. I like a long fight too, if it’s dynamic. EOS feels that way to me, while Eclipse does not. I’d gladly take EOS at much higher HP with Eclipse either much lower HP, or gone entirely.

(And I always thought it odd that after “tapping into the power of the H-source”, the EOS form is easier to take down).

Loot definitely has to be worthwhile. It’s worth repeating that. But making the fight interesting and dynamic is even more important, because then the repeats are something we look forward to anyway.

Something that I’m hoping they can give some attention to this time, is making raid boss fights more suitable for solo. Phases are a great way to do this, because in addition to adding variety to the overall task, it allows for ‘checkpoints’ where restarts don’t have to go all the way back to the beginning. One could also consider things like restoring HP to some fraction like the next 1/2 or 1/3. You’d still have to make significant progress to get through, but it gives solo players at least a bit of a fallback, since we don’t have the help of other players.


I completely agree, I think having health easily accessible - see volatile bits - interesting arenas and cool ads all go a long way to making big fights really enjoyable. I also feel like most epic fights should take a bit of time but not drag on for 15 minutes if you don’t use a broken gear combo.

Twin Saturn’s in the peak is a perfect example of a fight that requires either a bee or some other broken weapon skill combo to finish quickly, it’s doable without but is extremely boring and tedious with little terrain to use to weave about.

I hope Borderlands 3 takes a look at the way these big fights work and take some of these cool ideas and incorporate them into more exhilarating encounters.


Favorite: EOS. Such large hitbox, and the phases are cool as hell.

Least favorite: f***ing deadlift, I swear. He’s just annoying as f***

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Beginning of uvhm. He just f***s you right up

Homing shock grenades make short work of Deadlift.

I like Deadlift; or rather the arena the fight is in. Run in, boost up to the grey chest on the top left, spam homing shock and then apply Ravager to face. The vertical nature of the fight is fun.

I also like Felicity as she goes through shield/add phases and such. And she has a nice mini armory to loot after the fight.

Dislike goes to the Sentinel, again more for the level than the boss. The lack of cover and scant nature of ammo for the fight make the player manage their resources in a not -as-fun-as-it-could-be manner.

Special mention to Iwajira for just being there and being easy and finishing with the spectacular lootsplosion. Sure, loot goes everywhere but that’s the whole point…loot. loot everywhere.

I love what Deadlift represents: an interesting and challenging boss fight, right out of the gate. He can and will kick a player’s butt if they mess up. I spent a part of today swearing profusely because of him, having arrived at his door in UVHM with 49 Nisha. Having already beaten him with Jack, Athena, and Wilhelm, I figured I’d faceroll him with Nisha’s incredible damage output and 48 shock Rosie. He rewarded that thinking by recycling me 5 times before I decided to slow play it by hiding in the nook at the bottom of the area between cycles of Showdown. That approach got me through the fight on the first time using it.

That basically models the reality of Deadlift. I’d say he’s very appropriately tough without optimal gear. With an optimized set up, every class can trash him, but the fight is still fun because of the verticality and environment.

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Least Favorite

  • RK5

  • Low range weapons like beams and the Flakker are useless 98% of the fight. And low velocity weapons like Torgue weapons or the Wet Week cause you to basically empty half your mag by the time you get the leading distance right.

  • Skills like Blood Rush, Tear, Frostbite, ect… don’t work on him 98% of the time.

  • Really hard to stack a usable amount of Maelstrom off of.

  • Jackenstien type health where you have no clue how much damage you’ve dealt until one of his boosters breaks.

  • During my first encounter nothing indicated his boosters were his crit spot so I aimed for the cockpit the entire fight because none of my weapons had enough zoom to see if I was even getting critical hits. And if I did accidentally get a crit when he was nearby, I was to concentrated on not dying as his adds do more damage than he does.

  • The Invincible Sentinel - (Not the Empyrean Sentinel mind you) I hate 3 things about boss fights. The inability to debuff them with the game’s debuff element, the inability to score critical hits on them regardless if it is the entire fight or 10 seconds of that fight, and the BIG one of mandatory phases that can’t be surpassed. So he is basically a Saturn that can’t be B0re’d/Chain Reaction’d and has the phases of the Son of Crawmerax. Thus my immortal enemy. If only he would have resisted grenade damage like Eclipse, to make for the “perfect” boss fight. :expressionless:

  • He has an attack that is guaranteed to health gate you if you forget about it, or mistime it.

  • He runs away from you and can fly for added annoyances.

  • He can slag you and he can apply those oh so loved other status effects.

  • He also has bullet reflection mechanics, but so long as you are fast enough and learn the visual cues you can avoid it. So I’m kinda fine with this.

  • And to make it worse, the Longnail a weapon he drops can’t work as it is intended to on ANY of his phases.


  • EOS - Granted he has a lot of what I dislike in a boss fight. But he does have one thing, a threshold to know when I have truly decimated even his digital soul. He is one of the reasons I even joined these threads after lurking for 2 years. The challenge of figuring out how to kill him in 1 phase with thus far 5 out of the 6 characters has added a good half a year of entertainment on to this game for me (plus other stuff). His lack of a mandatory “phase-gate” like SoC, Vora, and The Sentinel is the reason I still play TPS. And the same reason I don’t really like to do arena speed kills, as I never know when I truly have done the best I could. And a insta-kill is as close as you can get.

  • Level 9 SH4DOW-TP - Simply because he is this game’s Voracidous. And a good way to gauge how truly powerful these characters are. As you also need to be able to handle the test of how well you can survive and how well you can last in a mobbing scenario where you don’t have your action skill the whole time. Because with this game’s easy scaling and broken engine most think Nisha is still top dog. But take her to level 9 w/ SH4DOW-TP and you’ll see what I mean by how she is “pseudo-powerful”.

  • I just wish he spawned more often.

  • Redbelly - I just find the fight fun, but I’m tried of writing so no details for this one.

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Run into his area directly at the first jump pad to the right, raised a bit on the floor. Run into the jump pad. You get launched as the cutscene starts. When back to the game, you’re on a floor with a low roof above. Run to the stairs straight ahead and then left. Go up and down those two floors as needed for best offense and defense. Stay off the electric floor unless you have a proper-level Kala shield. This is the only way I fight him anymore. I agree. He’s just annoying, and comes too soon during each playthrough. Let me get to Concordia first, at least.

My favorites have to be Eclipse and EOS. Yeah, Eclipse is a damage sponge, but I love the idea of fighting a huge badass mech. Plus there is plenty of cover and ammo. EOS feels epic, and my heart gets a shot of adrenaline during the fight, because it’s thumping by the end of it. Exciting, and completing it feels quite satisfying. The stuff dropped is usually good too.

RK5 doesn’t bother me as much as some of you. Corrosive blaster works wonders. I brought him down once surprisingly quickly with a green corrosive anarchist. (Love those.) I hide a lot under the bridge to the exit, get cover from his explosive death (jump to one side or the other as needed), and always find good opportunities to put some serious melty damage all over him. Half the time, he dies when I’m not even looking at him.

The first Sentinel form is fun, but the huge second is not. Does anyone actually use those platforms in here for anything? The place feels like the inside of a big can to me, with no cover, and no way to prevent getting mobbed. You just have to be able to dish more punishment than you take, and it really isn’t difficult once you understand the 3 phases.

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The bad one is more of a section:
The fleeing and flying bosses! I really hate RK5 for the distance, we have to fight him at most of the time. It’s not the beam-thing thats annoying, but the pure need of leading bullets by taking into consideration a bullet-travel-time of 3 seconds just to overcome the gap between you and RK5 is terrible.
Deadlift is a cool fight, but at that stage of the game, he is too hard on NVHM for new players, so he brings more frustration than fun. And he runs away from us!!! I am happy, enemies don’t backpedal nearly as much in Fight for your Life in TPS as they did in BL2, but why the hell does a boss backpedal like there’s no tomorrow ALL THE TIME? Its just plain awful design.

The good ones:
Iwajira: I am a huge fan of Godzilla, so fighting a moving Godzilla-easter-egg is just a dream come true for me.

The Denial-Subroutine: The fight is fun, the dialogues of the boss are great and he gives away a glitched weapon every time we kill him? I’m totally sold. And bonus points to the idea to have the opportunity of jumping over him. All I’m saying is: Flak from above!

Eclipse & EOS: While I still think that those are too healthy for regular story-bosses, they are really fair and well-balanced fights. They feel a bit dark-souls-like, especially EOS with his beam of death that destroys you in half a second (even at NVHM), if you risk too much on that free crits. You just don’t have that much room for error in those fights, but there is a lot of room to improve yourself on it, especially when playing as Aurelia. And you really get some good rewards for beating these two. Conclusion: that fight has it all; the heat of the battle i miss in a lot of games today, the room for improvement, the balancing, the mechanics and the reward that justifies the fight. Only negative point of the fight: Eclipse isn’t that special as an enemy and feels a bit boring from time to time. But still its a lot of fun to kill him.

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my least favorite would have to be the raid version of the sentinel, and that goes back to the first week of release and accepting the bestest story ever told mission expecting to find the TPS version of terramorphous. it was a bit of a let down for me, the fact that it’s simply the final story boss with increased shield/health and the added floor-is-lava mechanic.

the eclipse/eos fight is my favorite boss battle in the entire series and i think the reasons for that have been well covered here. huge in scope, excellent battlefield design, multiple phases and plenty of adds. also the most reliable legendary farm in the game for myself. love it.

here’s a different one: bruce. don’t get me wrong, he’s just a named badass outlaw, but he’s a mini-boss i find myself killing all-the-time. preceded by a multi-wave mob of scavs, 2 red chests in the nearby area, and redbelly waiting just ahead with a third red chest and moonstone chest behind him. it’s a great little run and bruce is at the center of all the fun.

and then there’s teh earworm, i really don’t think this one needs much explanation.