FL4K is Not a Beastmaster (long rant)

That would be a compelling argument if it didn’t directly fly in the face of every other game in the series. Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and TPS each had characters that could do exactly the thing that you say is not part of the series design.

Again, this isn’t an issue of Fl4k’s pet builds being “a bit behind” or “not as competitive”. This is about them being completely nonfunctional past a certain point. It’s not even about comparing Master to Stalker, as Stalker is ridiculously OP, but Master can’t keep pace with Hunter either. Or any other spec in the game.

As far as actual pet performance goes, Fl4k is a massive step backwards in game design.


But that fundamentally changes the way borderlands is played. Again, your action skill is there to assist you in your playthrough, not do your job. Having a pet as powerful as you is ridiculous and would make Fl4k over powered. Some balancing needs to be done on all characters but nothing to the extent of making them a full on beast master. That’s not BL.

So, let me get this straight. You have no experience with Gaige in BL2, or with Wilhelm and Timothy in TPS, and your Fl4k isn’t even out of normal mode, but you’re certain that none of the people here pointing out obvious problems know what they’re talking about?

Do I understand that correctly? Because I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from.


Do you have any idea how low Master Fl4k’s damage is compared to Stalker or even Hunter?


Your really not getting the point here, dude. If you spend points to build around your pet, it SHOULD be about as strong as you are. Going with anything but a crit build, your not gonna clear rooms as much. With those points spent on your pet, is should indeed be strong. You really don’t have much experience with pet classes and it shows man.


I went and took some quick trial runs. Not optimized or anything.
The Gunslinger Jabber’s rocket launcher deals pretty good damage to badass zealots even on TVHM Mayhem 2. Don’t know if Gamma Burst/Cryo buffs the launcher but I used both. Most basic bandits take heavy damage if not get wiped in a single volley.
Anointed on the other hand. They’re something the pet build can’t deal with at all. Teleporting, immune to cryo, destroy the pets health with their attacks. It’s not something simple buffing is going to solve either without making the pets damage egregious.

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Yeah the Jabber does good damage. But the Skag and the Spiderant are really just, nothing like that


Hey, thanks for contributing. I agree that the Gunslinger can put out some quality damage if managed properly, which is one of the reasons I was so disappointed by the way Gamma Burst affects their non-Command attacks.

With Gamma Burst, the Gunslinger’s SMG, and Frenzy, there is the potential for a pet that does noteworthy sustained damage while also buffing Fl4k’s damage to a reasonable degree, but… it doesn’t work. Gamma Burst destroys the jabber AI for some reason.

Pets are useless vs anointed mobs and most bosses, yeah. In that situation, I’m okay with Master falling a bit behind the other specs… that’s always been the weakness of pet classes in Borderlands, they’re best at mobbing and second class at boss fights. Which isn’t a crippling weakness, a lot of specs have that limitation and are perfectly viable.

In that scenario, I’m fine with the Master role falling back to rely on its superior survivability… except the pets die instantly to AoE damage and have no way of avoiding it. So if it’s the explosion-spamming kind of anointed… yeah, you’re done. Don’t even bother rezzing the pet because it’s just going to wipe again five seconds later.

Same for heavy elemental damage. They’re not programmed to dodge ground damage effects and Fl4k has no way to command them to withdraw, so they eat all the damage, having zero resistance to it, and again keel right over.


The anointed spawns were just way too frequent for it to not be an issue. 2-4 on every run of the broadcast center.
Without them I wouldn’t put the jabber too far behind the overall performance of Wilhelm. But I never liked how aggressive Wilhelm had to play to keep Wolf going so maybe that’s just on me. Not being on a timer is definitely a consideration at least.


Hey there, I both agree and disagree with aspects of this post.

It’s true that pet builds are never top DPS. I think most people who enjoy pet builds are okay with that, because there are a lot of other benefits as you said. The question here isn’t whether Master’s performance is exciting or not, it’s whether it’s sufficient or not.

And it’s not. There are a number of fundamental structural issues keeping it from being viable.

However, I do agree that I’m willing have to have some faith and give Gearbox a chance. I’ve been playing this series since it came out. That means a decade of Borderlands, as of next month. It’s one of my favorite game series of all time.

That’s what this is about. I’m not trying to dump on Gearbox or be salty for no reason, I believe they do have the tools to improve this, and there’s even a chance they might, but I think the chance is improved if players help shed some light on the specific technical issues holding these builds back.


I’ll be honest, the annointed are annoying but with my current build for my pet its HP regens so fast most enemies cant down it, but it also cant really do much damage do them either so they are still annoying af

Very true, I also found tagging spam a bit dull and sometimes felt weary of the constant rush Wilhem was forced into in order to maximize pet uptime. It did work, though. Laser Guided, a Fridgia, Rolling Thunder and Omega Strike meant that little drone brought some pain.

I appreciate your testing and I agree with your conclusions.


Just an FYI… All classes have issues with anointed… They are meant to be hard to kill. So if I take what you’re saying now, then my Amara action skills should be able to take down anointed enemies on their own. That’s the way you have to look at class skills. Again, some tweaking needs to be done on all classes, not just Fl4k, but some of you want a pet that is too powerful. I’ll be leveling my Fl4k this weekend and will have a better understanding of this character by Monday.

You really need to stop trying to put words in other people’s mouths, especially if you’re going to do it while admitting your lack of experience in the subject matter.

I’m doing my best to be patient and hear you out, but the constant digs and jabs are making it very difficult. Nobody has said the things you’re accusing them of saying.


I have already posted in other threads about this topic but i want to keep this alive and at the top cause as it stands half way through my tvhm mayhem 3 run on a pet build fl4k i gave up and went to another class, its terrible and slow and needs heavy adjustments and i would rather play a another class than play a gun build on what i thought was a “beastmaster”


Thanks for sharing. I’m in the same boat, I have no real interest in gun builds. I’ve found some success with a Hunter build (I can’t stand Stalker for anything but boss farming these days), but it’s just not what I signed up for. I’d rather play Moze if I’m going for gun damage.


Yeah, I had a feeling that the pet tree would be underwhelming even before release, and it seems my suspicion was correct. I really think they need to give the tree some nice buffs, such as these:

-Increase damage and health for all 3 pets by a pretty generous amount.

-Allow the Jabber pets to continue using guns after Gamma Burst, and have Gamma Burst increase their gun damage instead

-Change Dominate so that it summons a whip that gives FL4K a much longer melee range, so that they can Dominate targets from a safer distance

-Show health bars for Dominated targets with a unique color so that you can keep track of them

-Allow FL4K to damage a dominated target if they are the last enemy alive

-Buff Barbaric Yawp considerably, doubling the tiny pet bonuses is nowhere near worth 5 points


All of your suggestions, love them. I have faith that they will make changes where needed though, only time will tell


Simple, solid, covers all the bases. I like it!

My only thought would be that I’m fine with tossing Barbaric Yawp entirely. My favorite talent in the Master tree is Frenzy, it’s both mechanically sound and thematically appropriate. Fl4k and their beast, working in tandem, etc. I’d love more like that.

Since the pet is often face tanking large amounts of incoming damage due to its inability to dodge, I personally would consider changing Yawp into a talent that resembles Wilhelm’s Hard to Kill, a stacking damage resistance buff that increases in small increments but has a high stack count. In this case, the buff would apply to both master and pet when the pet takes damage.

The pet is encouraged to run around like an idiot while gobbling up every elemental effect it sees, as it is wont to do, and it would further solidify Master’s secondary role as a defensive support buffer and general king of attrition fights. This would let pet Fl4ks be useful even in full groups, allowing them to serve as frontline medics.

Edited to add: It would also paper over some of the pet’s inability to hold any kind of meaningful aggro in large fights by letting it share some of its tankiness directly with its master.


Except one would expect that if you put 48 points into developing a section of your build, regardless of what it is, it should be serviceable right? Imagine if Explosive Moze or elemental Amara were just flat out useless even when having a full build dedicated to it. Would you still be going “well it shouldn’t be strong”?

If you can dump 48 points into buffing something, it should be viable regardless of what it is. Especially if it’s one of the gimmicks of the character!