While not as popular as the Gunslinger com, the Assassin com is actually one of Mordecai’s best offensive class mods, giving him unmatched damage output with Corrosive weapons (Plaguebearer Siren comes kinda close). On top of being great for offensive com, it’s also not restricted to one weapon type like Mordecai’s other offensive com choices: Gunslinger and Sniper, which gives us a great degree of freedom in selecting our loadout.
-Extreme Corrosive damage output: Enemies=Instant green jello.
-Versatile: Works well w/ every weapon type, and even buffs our melee damage quite a bit through Lethal Strike.
-Hipster points: Gunslingers? BAH, I can kill knoxx faster than those guys anyways.
-Corrosive resistant enemies will laugh at you (and refuse to take significant damage).
-Weapons that aren’t corrosive are only modestly buffed by the com, so they won’t be the bee’s knees (and we’ll probably need to keep at least 1 handy for those pesky corrosive resistant crimson d-bags).
-Full 28 second bird cooldown (could be fixed at expense of other skills I’d rather have).
Sniper Tree: 20 pts.
-Focus: More Accuracy? Yes please.
-Caliber: For when we break out our corrosive sniper rifles.
-Killer: One of the best tier 2 skills in the whole game, AND it’s buffed by our com, you BET I’m running 5/5 in this!
-Loaded: Also for when we break out our corrosive sniper rifles.
Rogue Tree: 23 pts.
-Swift Strike: Bloodwing can deal Corrosive damage with the right artifact, might as well get the most out of that.
-Fast Hands: Less time reloading, more time turnin’ bandits into goo-piles.
-Out For Blood: For when we REALLY need a healin’.
-Aerial Impact (3/5): Having some Daze is always nice for debuffing enemy DPS, also helps our sniping/sharpshooting when they have **** for accuracy against us.
-Bird Of Prey: Corrosive Bloodwing might as well attack as many times as possible, especially if were going to put up with the full 28 second cooldown time.
Gunslinger Tree: 25 pts.
-Deadly: More damage with critical hits, AND its buffed by the com? Yes please.
-Gun Crazy: Double the bullets, double the fun! (only with pistols)
-Lethal Strike: It’s buffed by the com, and lets face it, nothing says “**** YOU!” quite as satisfyingly as cleaving that SOB in half with a single stroke. (One answer for some of those corrosive resistant enemies too!)
-Hair Trigger: For squeezing every last drop of acid out of our pistols.
-Relentless: This skill is insane, nice on-kill fire rate buff AND 25% chance for 100% more bullet damage?! Sign me up!
Note that the 3/5 could just as well be put in Out For Blood as Bloodwing will probably still heal you to full no matter how low you are. Giving 5/5 in Aerial Impact which means 100% chance to Daze (against same level enemies) instead of 60%.
The rule of thumb here is simple: anything corrosive is good. However, some corrosive weapons are just so damn good at their job that they deserve special mention.
Top of that list, is the Defiler: it’s already basically the best damn corrosive weapon in the game. Now add to that the fact that we’re playing Mordecai (mr. good w/ pistols) AND running a class mod that specializes in corrosive damage and, well, you get the picture (1-shotting SuperBad Devastators is totally possible!).
The Maliwan Crux is basically the Defiler’s shotgun cousin, and as you might imagine, performs EXTREMELY well on this setup, a great close quarter’s weapon (something the Defiler is suboptimal at, especially the 2-shot variety).
The Hornet is great option for midrange, not quite as accurate or deadly as a Defiler, but it has a much better fire rate (especially if you’re good with the Burst-fire while sight/scoped), and is a lot more accurate than the Maliwan Crux.
Despite the zig-zag bullet path making crit spamming hard, the Serpens is also VERY good on an Assassin Mordecai.
Different weapon types tend to have somewhat different behavior with their corrosive elemental effects, here’s a rundown of what they each excel at:
-Repeater Pistols: Low tech costs+moderate rates=tech pool lasts a while, surprisingly good for DoT stacking.
-Machine Pistols: Share the low tech costs of Repeaters, but have Stinger SMG level fire rates. Make great buller hoses that will still stack DoT pretty well.
-Revolver Pistols: Slow fire rates, but always proc, so they WILL apply DoT everytime (unless ofc the target is DoT immune, many bosses are). High accuracy make them great for sharpshooting DoT stacking.
-SMGs: High Fire Rate and good accuracy, but high tech costs, so poor at stacking DoT. Best for mid-range impact DPSing.
-Combat Shotguns: Generally low accuracy, high impact DPS, poor proc rates. Procs are an, all-or-none thing though, so when they do proc, it will stack quite a bit of DoT if all the pellets hit the target.
-Assault Shotguns: Similar to Combat Shotguns, but have higher fire rates and somewhat lower per-shot damage and pellet counts are usually lower (7 versus 7 to 12 depending on type of Combat Shotgun in question)
-Combat Rifles: Burst fire, and highly accurate, poor proc rates, and thus best of impact DPS sharpshooting.
-Machine Guns: Less accurate than SMGs but higher impact DPS, other characteristics are similar.
-Repeating Sniper Rifles: Extreme accuracy, high tech costs make DoT stacking hard, but proc chance is high, so they will proc periodically. Low fire rate. Best for long range sniping.
-Semi-auto Sniper Rifles: Very High accuracy, higher fire rate than Repeating Snipers, procs infrequent as a result. Best for long range impact DPSing.
-Rocket Launchers (also, Carnage Shotguns): Despite not taking advantage of Deadly or the Killer Shot effect of Relentless, Corrosive Rockets are still quite effective with this build, useful for providing excellent AoE damage, and spreading Corrosive DoT around.
Shield choice is pretty much user preference. Sometimes there can be reasons to use particular shields, such as a Hazmat shield when running Corrosive rocket launchers (and/or against enemies that do heavy Corrosive damage), but for the most part shield choice just needs to suite your playstyle. Mordecai is the only one of the four characters to have no buffs that scale with maximum shield capacity, hence he lacks the preference for high capacity shields that the other three characters have. Alacritous Shields have short recharge delays (especially Anshin versions!) and are well suited to sharpshooting as they often end up recovering some of (sometimes all of) their strength between successive hits by the enemy since their far away and will miss most the time. Impenetrable shields have high capacities (especially Pangolin versions!) and give maximum time to live when under continuous fire, which is VERY helpful in close quarters combat. Due to how much health Bloodwing can return via Out For Blood (easily far more than a full health bar), some might find that a Torgue Muscleman works well for staying alive as it’s easy to replace that lost health with Bloodwing.
Just like with the weapons, the rule of thumb here is: Corrosive=good.
Here’s a rundown of the various types of Corrosive nades and their uses.
-Contact: Basic general purpose explodes on contact greandes that do good damage in a moderate radius.
-Rubberized: These will bounce around like crazy! With some practice however, you can reliably throw them near enough to the enemy that they will explode immediately (their trigger radius a fair bit bigger than Contact grenades). Their blast radius also seems to be bigger than Contact Grenades too.
-Sticky: Stick to objects and people, will detonate after a brief timer. A little harder to land than Rubberized and Contact nades, but they’ll stay with the target and detonate a little later, this is helpful against enemies that hit-and-run (like Rakk) as it means they will get far enough away from you before the Grenade goes off that you won’t be caught in your own Grenade’s blast radius.
-Proximity Mine: Only stick to the ground but they will stay there for quite some time before detonating, unless of course an enemy wanders too close after their brief arming time. These are great against enemies that bum-rush you (skags, psychos), set up a minefield ahead of time, and then start the fight and let them run through the minefield to get to you.
-Longbow: The ultimate sniping Grenades, deliver exploding corrosive death with pinpoint precision over tremendous distances. Aim at the targets feet to make sure it lands next to them so they’ll feel the hurt. Also great for nade-jumping.
-Bouncing Bettie: Great for spreading Corrosive DoT all around, use these to soften up a mob for easy pickings.
-MIRV: Kinda like Bouncing Betties, but smaller blast radius and they take longer to do their thing. The upshot of this is that they deny area better than Betties do, and are somewhat better at getting at enemies in cover too.
-Rain: These Grenades are rather unique, the Grenade pops into the air about 10-15 feet and then rains down acid on anything caught below. These are REALLY good DoT stackers, use em to get a nice big Corrosive DoT stack going on your unfortunate victim(s).
Class Mod: Mat2 or Mat3?
It’s worth examining the question of when to use the Mat2 version, which has +84% Corrosive Resistance (this works out to +84% effective health and shields against Corrosive damage), versus the mat3 version, which has +42% Corrosive Elemental Effect Chance (this actually increases the tech pool regeneration rate of the currently held corrosive weapon by 42%, which has varying effects on actual proc rates). In most cases, the mat3 buff to corrosive tech is more valuable than the increased resistance to corrosive damage, but there are some exceptions. When using a Corrosive Rocket Launcher or Carnage Shotgun, the tech buff is irrelevant and furthermore, the corrosive resistance can help reduce the danger that our own splash damage poses to us. Similarly, when fighting against enemies that deal significant corrosive damage (such as Lance Chemical Troopers or Drifters), the Corrosive resistance buff of the mat2 version suddenly looks a LOT more appealing.
Gameplay Tips and other information:
This build is heavily invested in offense (and most Mordecai builds are), so you will be pretty fragile compared to typical builds on other characters. Play smart and us cover and range to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to duck for cover and stacking up some DoT and let the DoT itself finish the job. Bloodwing is your best friend when it comes to keeping you fighting shape, try to anticipate when you’re going to need health and be sure that Bloodwing has had enough to time to fly out and hit at least one enemy before calling him back (use the action skill again to call him back any time he’s flying about and you want him to return to you). Be mindful of the 28 second cooldown on him though, don’t assume he’ll automatically be ready for you the moment you need his healing (and Dazing) again. Beware of Corrosive resistant enemies, they generally won’t take much damage your corrosive weapons, so you’ll wanna have something non-corrosive that can deal with them at least in your inventory if not equipped and ready to go when needed. Corrosive DoT debuffs affected enemies, making them take additional damage while the DoT lasts, this means once you get the DoT started, they will be taking even MORE damage from subsequent hits. Corrosive DoT lasts longer than Shock or even Incendiary DoT, which makes it easier to stack up and maintain than other elements. Nevertheless, it’s still important to keep hitting a DoT stacked target periodically to keep the DoT stack from dissipating (it takes much more work to rebuild than it does to maintain).
The skillpoint setup in this build can easily be adjusted to work ideally with a sniper com (moving some points off of the Rogue Tree into Carrion Call), and works as-is with a Gunslinger com, or even a Jakobs Gunfighter Loyalty mod.