Frightning's guide to the Blast Master com

(The quick and the dead) #1

Rightfully considered one of the strongest DPS buffing class mods in the game, the Blast Master com is all about bringin’ the pain via EXPLOSIONS!!! Sporting buffs to both Revenge and Master Blaster, this com significantly increases DPS with all weapons, but is especially potent with Explosive weapons thanks to the impressive +60% Explosive Impact Damage 1st line effect.

-Insane DPS: Enemies=Giblets
-1st line effects Explosive Grenades and Rockets too.
-Poor synergy with Berserk: Revenge and most of Master Blaster’s effects are useless while in Berserk.
-Selfish: No team buffs.
-Some enemies are far easier to kill with DoT rather than Explosives.

Below I give two builds, the first is a pretty standard Blaster-Tank style Blast Master build, the second, a hybrid build that is meant to mix Berserk and gunplay, necessarily sacrificing some tankyness to do it.

Blaster-Tank build:

Skill Tree:

Brawler Tree: 8 points
-Iron Fist: This is here mainly because I felt it was imperative to get to Sting Like A Bee in order to make Berserk at least usable.
-Sting Like A Bee (3/5): The dash this skill provides is invaluable while zerking to prevent being kited, particularly by gun-armed enemies.

Tank Tree: 30 points
-Hardened: For when our shields finally run out and we really need it. Also synergize with Berserk’s health regeneration as it’s 3% of maximum health.
-Safeguard: Might as well make our shields as tough as we can so we can take it on the chin and send it back…with plenty of interest.
-Juggernaut: Getting kills with this build is really easy, might as well get even tankier for doing so.
-Payback: Oh, you broke my shield? Now I’m angry…
-Die Hard: If they actually manage to cut through all our hitpoints, this will give us able time to kill someone and get back on our feet, not mention we revive with a lot of health thanks to this skill.
-Unbreakable: This skill will trigger only once until our shields fully recharge (same trigger condition as Payback), and gives power shield regeneration. At 5/5 we will get 75% of our maximum shields back in 5 seconds.

Blaster Tree: 30 points
-Endowed: This build is all about explosions.
-Rapid Reload: This skill is actually bugged, and increases recoil slightly, but recoil in BL is easy to counter, and the reload speed is worth it even after the +102% weapon reload speed most proficiencies grant.
-Revenge: This on-kill skill is one of the most powerful DPS amplifying skills in the whole game, AND it’s on the com. Must 5/5.
-Wide Load: For when we break out of Explosive Rocket Launchers.
-Liquidate: It’s on the com, so I figured why not? At least we are generally assured that Berserk will be up when we actually need (I mean want) to use it. If you don’t care take advantage of Liquidate, moving those points over to Cast Iron is a totally sound idea, you also just put 1 into it to take advantage of the com buff and then reduce Sting Like A Bee to 2/5 to get 5 points for Cast Iron.
-Master Blaster: Massive on-kill fire rate buff (15%/pt. despite the tooltip claim of 12%) and it also generates Rocket ammo (even if you don’t have a Rocket Launcher in your hands or even equipped at all). As if that wasn’t enough to sell you, it’s ALSO buffed by the com.

Alternate skill tree:

Brawler Tree: 25 points
-Iron Fist: Might as well get all the melee damage we can to help our zerking out.
-Endless Rage: More zerking, more punching bandits into giblets.
-Sting Like A Bee: Essential anti-kiting skill.
-Heavy Handed: What goes well with melee damage? More melee damage, this will likely already be active thanks to our weapons by the time we activate Berserk.
-Blood Sport: This is here because it’s a very effective skill for helping Brick stay alive while zerking, and with how much we’ve skimped on the Tank tree, we need all the help we can get in that category.

Tank Tree: 18 points
-Hardened: This skill is even more valuable for this version of the build because we are relying on Berserk to help us tank more, and we are also running Blood Sport, so more maximum health means that skill heals more health for us as well.
-Safeguard: This skill is both accessible and quite point efficient in granting more defenses, it’s also a stepping stone to get to Die Hard, which is one of Brick’s best defensive skills (saved my bacon many many times).
-Bash (3/5): These last 3 points can actually go in any one of several places. I chose Bash because the Daze effect can very helpful for debuffing enemy DPS, and it synergizes very well with Berserk. Other sensible choices include: Short Fuse (for even more frequent zerking), Payback (more dmg of every kind), Wide Load (pull 2 points from Rapid Reload if you wanna 5/5 this; if you want to make significant use of Rocket Launchers).
-Die Hard: This version of the build is probably more likely to take a knee here and there, which makes this skill all the more valuable.

Blaster Tree: 25 points
-Endowed: Don’t you get it already? EXPLOSIONS!!!
-Rapid Reload: This skill is less useful to this version of the build, but it’s still useful enough to warrant 5/5 unless you want to make significant use of Rocket Launchers.
-Revenge: Despite doing nothing for melee (or even rockets/grenades), this skill is still VERY worth investing in. It’s essential for making the Blaster side of this hybrid build work.
-Liquidate: This version of the build makes far better use of this skill. This is also making up for not having put points into Short Fuse, this is how we get Berserk back off CD quick.
-Master Blaster: Also an essential skill for the Blaster side of the build. As a bonus for those that are using Rocket Launchers, the rocket ammo regeneration works even while you’re zerking.

Shield: Brick has strong synergy with high capacity shields thanks to Safeguard and, also, Unbreakable (which is effectively a multiplicative scaling increase in shield capacity since it’s improved by other increases to maximum shields, namely, Safeguard). The hybrid version doesn’t run Unbreakable, and values health more because of Berserk’s health regeneration. This means that, in most situations, the standard build prefers the highest capacity shield that you can find, but the hybrid would be willing to give up some capacity in exchange for more maximum health, which Torgue shields can provide. An Impenetrable Muscleman would be an ideal shield for the hybrid build, though a maximum capacity Pangolin is also a very good choice (and is ideal for the pure Blaster-Tank build).

Grenade Mods: Since these are affected by the +60% Explosive Impact Damage (and +15% from 5/5 Endowed, for a total of +75%), the rule here is: Explosive=good. Choosing which type comes down to what you want out of your grenades.
Contact: Basic general purpose explodes on contact grenades 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 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 good for nade-jumping.
-Bouncing Bettie: Great for spreading explody death 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 a bunch of explosive submunitions on anything caught below. These are good against enemies in low cover as they can cover a modest area and reach over low walls.

As with the grenades, here the rule is the same: Anything Explosive=good. Note that Carnage Shotguns with the explosive accessory should be avoided because it lowers their damage for no benefit (as Carnages are, by default, already explosive). There are however, certain Explosive weapons that are standout performers.
-Ogre: The Atlas legendary machine is also legendary for it’s fantastic synergy with the Blast Master com. It is an above par explosive machine gun, so above par in fact, that it is one of the best explosive weapons in the entire game. Notably, Ajax’s Spear can spawn with the Ogre’s version of the Explosive accessory, resulting it what is known as an Ajax Ogre (it is referred to as Ogre with no prefix in game).
-S&S Crux: Not to be confused with the Maliwan Crux, the S&S Crux is, much like the Vladof Hammer an explosive assault shotgun, however it has a different pattern (a ‘+’ shape) and a much larger magazine (16-18 rounds, depending on materials), but doesn’t have the Vladof’s high fire rate. This means it’s not quite as superb as the Hammer at close range, but is more effective out at medium ranges.
-Hammer: Vladof’s legendary assault shotgun which fires projectiles in the shape of a Hammer and is always explosive. It has an extra 2 rounds in the magazine compared to standard purple rarity Vladof shotguns with comparable parts, and better damage, thanks to not suffering from the -40% weapon damage that ordinary blast assault shotguns suffer from due to the accessory. This makes it a top notch close-range explosive shotgun.
-Cobra: Torgue’s legendary semi-auto explosive sniper is another standout in the category of explosive weapons. An above par explosive sniper (despite the lowered fire rate relative to comparable purple snipers).
-Undertaker: This pearlescent Torgue rocket launcher not only does more damage than it’s purple counterparts, but has a superior fire rate and much larger magazine. This makes (non-elemental versions of) it among the best explosive rocket launchers in the game.
Explosive weapons don’t suffer from as much from the asymmetries in tech related stats and behavior as weapons of the other elements do. This means that Explosive weapons are more predictably consistent across various weapon types than weapons of the other elements. As this build possess strong buffs to damage and fire rate, and very little to reload speed (Rapid Reload) and magazine size (none except for Wide Load for Rocket Launchers), weapons which have large magazine sizes are often preferable, as are weapons with at least moderately high fire rates (this further explains why the Ogre is so damned good with this build).

Mat2 or Mat3?:
Strangely enough, the mat2 and mat3 versions have precisely the same 5th line effect: +42% Explosive Elemental Effect Chance. Thus it matters not what version you run.

Gameplay Tips and other information:
Both versions of this build are heavily invested in the Blaster Tree and as a result, your weapons will be substantially improved. The pure Blaster-Tank build pretty much specializes in gunplay only using Berserk occasionally often just to buy time to get into a position from which getting a 2nd wind will be easy. Do note that this version of the build runs Unbreakable, hence you should avoid activating Berserk at least until after Unbreakable has had it’s effect in order to ensure that you do not forfeit the powerful shield regeneration it provides. Some of the tankier enemies in the game are rather resistant to explosive, or, more to the point, are far more vulnerable to elemental DoT from one or more of the other elements. As such it’s often a good idea to pack a Shock, a Fire and a Corrosive weapon in you backpack for just such enemies. Since the 1st line effect of the com affects your fists in Berserk, you should (almost) always leave it set to the explosive artifact so as to get the most out of Berserk. This is especially important for the hybrid build, as melee damage and explosive damage buffs to his fists stack multiplicatively. The hybrid build also does not run Unbreakable, hence Berserk should be used as soon as your shields run out (so as to avoid wasting any health regeneration Berserk provides). Liquidate does not function while in Berserk, in particular, you can’t use your explosive fists to reduce Berserk’s cooldown while in Berserk.

The skillpoint allocation in the Blaster-Tank build works as is for Blaster-Tank builds with a Centurion, Titan, or Warmonger com.

The skillpoint allocation in the hybrid build works for a hybrid (mat2) Warmonger if you put the 3/5 into Rapid Reload and move the 5 points that were there into Payback.

(Samuraith) #2

Ok question I have and if your still here on the forums itd be appreciated. For your class mod the final bit of text at the end adds elemental chance to your weapons does this tie into explosive damage? Part of the reason I was asking was due to I found a com that offered better bonuses 3/4/3, 4 being in revenge with no add to extra elemental chance on the bottom of the com, is it worth it to have this or would more explosive damage and a extra point in that kill skill be deemed more valuable? If you do reply, thanks for your time.

(band) #3

It depends on how good that 5th line bonus is. I think the +elemental bonus perks go up to 45% or so. Using that as a benchmark, I’d balance how much you’re getting out of the 5th line versus 10% more damage on kill-skills. On one hand you’ve got a higher chance to get explosive procs all the time, on the other you’ve got 10% more damage on kill-skills.

If it’s a 660 or 560, I’d probably take the +elemental chance COM, as it’ll have one of the better available bonuses.

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(The quick and the dead) #4

The max is +42%, what that actually does, under the hood, is increase the tech pool regeneration rate by 42%. The tech pool, what is drawn from to make elemental ‘procs’ which deal increased damage (and for non-explosive weapons apply Damage over Time (aka DoT) to the target). The overall effect is rather small, due a number of complex reasons (many weapons will drain their tech pools rapidly, and then you get all kinds of interesting behavior based on time between shots, proc chances, and tech pool costs for the various proc levels (x1 through x4). You can see data for this in gearcalc ( ) if you look up the elemental accessory for a weapon of interest and read the details about that part in the window below the drop-down menus.

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(Samuraith) #5

So in effect are you saying that in the instance of explosive weapons, the let’s just call it 42%, does not apply? Apologies for the excessive questions but I’ve not tested this out myself.

(The quick and the dead) #6

It does apply, but the magnitude of the effect isn’t as strong as the numbers would imply due to how elemental ‘procs’ work ‘under the hood’. the tl;dr is that you’re not really missing much by not having it, but ofc it’s preferable to have if you can get it.

(Samuraith) #7

So in conclusion, in terms of numbers the percentage of elemental effect chance is a bit better than the extra buff you gain from the kill skill? Also if you dont mind you put in some abbreviations in your last response which I am unfamiliar with, hope you wouldn’t mind explaining what they mean. Thanks in advance for your replies.

(The quick and the dead) #8

It depends a lot on the weapon in question actually, because the effect of +42% to tech pool regeneration rate has a very variable effect on number and strength of ‘procs’ from the weapon (those are the elemental ‘explosions’ that you sometimes see from elemental weapons, and for non-explosive weapons are also responsible for applying elemental Damage over Time; aka DoT). I’d say that most weapons, the buff to Revenge will probably be more valuable in practice, but there will be exceptions. (likely, explosive repeater pistols are one such exception thanks to low tech costs)

(Bryanswpaulsen) #9

Whether the on-kill buffs to Revenge and Master Blaster are more important than the additional elemental effect chance largely comes down to the type of weapon being used.

My preferred weapon is the Torgue Cobra. It’s a sniper rifle that heavily rewards expending large amounts of its tech pool at once. Additional elemental effect chance helps reach those larger explosions sooner, and as the damage is so high the enemies do not typically need more than one bullet, the on-kill buffs are less relevant.

This also remains true for Blast Master players using non-legendary gear such as purple semi-automatic sniper rifles, and, to a lesser extent, revolvers. Tech pool regeneration is king for these two weapon classes.

If I preferred the Atlas Ogre, then Revenge is going to put in much more work. Due to the way its tech pool works, it gets much less out of the +42% Elemental Effect Chance as its most common explosive effect has no tech pool cost and the reward for larger explosions is not as dramatic as it is with the Torgue Cobra.

In the case of purple gear, excepting sniper rifles and revolvers, Revenge is more important due to the damage penalty the explosive accessory brings with it. The explosions will usually only be powerful enough to help get the first kill, as the tech pool depletes too rapidly and does not have a mandatory minimum proc.

Of course, given perfect class mods exist none of this matters too much. Before then it is a matter of how you prefer to approach the class. Fully automatic weapons need all the damage they can get from all sources, slower firing weapons with more powerful explosions need a full tech pool.

(Samuraith) #10

Just wondering do you know of any other good options for RLs besides the Undertaker, as I have not gotten one to drop, I’ve gotten a Mongol which is ok, but still seems to me like it lacks that punch. Also seem to be having issues dropping Commander Ajax as I am trying to farm his exclusive drop. I switched to a corrosive bouncing Betty but still have difficulties. And have a 60 percent explosive damage on the com and the elemental effect on the bottom I don’t have +4 in revenge just 3, so any advice to take I do have a cobra may give that a shot see if I can snipe him also just got a bitch with x4 explosive elemental effect. So thoughts and have you gotten Ajax’s drop yourself?

(Bryanswpaulsen) #11

Mongols do not have much opportunity to truly shine in this game. They require large targets to justify their otherwise mediocre damage. Helix Launchers do some incredible damage, and Spread Launchers have strong damage per second. Keep your eyes open for those two launcher variants. Otherwise a Redemption is good so long as you don’t kill yourself with the huge blast radius and the Nidhogg is pretty good.

However, Blast Master does not play as well with Launchers as a Warmonger class mod that has a 5th line increasing grenade damage. My own testing showed a substantial damage difference in favor of Warmonger.

Ajax will always drop the Spear, but as for the Spear-Ogre hybrid good luck. Some people take up to 200 kills to get theirs. You’re better off farming chests until a normal Ogre appears, but if you’re that determined be prepared for some tedious work.

Ajax takes ridiculous shock damage. If you have an Orion it puts in excellent work against him. Otherwise a Maliwan Defiler or Crux will deal with him. The Cobra does not do well against him because of his large health pool and the ridiculous damage over time other elements do.

While the Cobra is my favorite weapon it is best left to non-boss enemies. It’ll wreck normal Badasses like no tomorrow, but for badass Lance you’re better off pulling out an effective corrosive weapon to at least weaken him. Switching to the Cobra after the DoT has been activated is effective.

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(Samuraith) #12

Yeah I don’t know, I farmed him over 80 times this morning, I thought about hitting the armory more even though I have only seen one Ogre in there. Yeah I found a defiler and need to hunt some of my other characters think I did pick up a Orion. Seems trying to play a strictly purist build isn’t possible, which I’m fine with, maybe I took it too literally when I read no enemy has resistance to explosive damage. Thanks for the advice. Yeah think I just got a redemption and I’ve passed up several helix RLs. So, which I thought explosive was on all RLs by default, even with bonus elemental effect chance and explosive damage, it’s not as good as on the Warmonger? I’ve never used the com before.

(Bryanswpaulsen) #13

For Rocket Launchers the Elemental Effect Chance boost does nothing. Their effect is mandatory.

Given the way the Blast Master class mod is structured it has only partial synergy with Rocket Launchers. Revenge and Elemental Effect Chance only affect guns that fire bullets. The whole class mod only has flawless synergy with weapons that fire explosive bullets.

Warmonger, despite its imperfect synergy (again, Revenge does not benefit Rocket Launchers) significantly outperforms Blast Master in damage even with explosive launchers. Bombardier focuses on spamming rockets and is the only way to keep a Spread Launcher’s ammunition in check, but keeps the damage output up by sheer volume.

Being a purist only makes things harder than they need to be.

For Blast Master weapon slots:
Slot 1: Either a Maliwan Defiler, Crux, or a Corrosive Revolver. Corrosive functions as a damage enabler, serving to make your DPS weapon and burst damage weapon much more lethal.
Slot 2: Either the Torgue Cobra or a Rocket Launcher. Burst damage weapons for when something needs to die immediately. The Cobra fires a bullet and functions as a Blast Master’s rocket launcher, but with the obvious benefit of putting Revenge to good use.
Slot 3: Either an Atlas Ogre, Vladof Hammer, or S&S Crux. This is your DPS weapon.
Slot 4: Either a Maliwan Hellfire, Volcano, or Firehawk. This is your utility weapon as some enemies die much quicker to incendiary DoT than anything else. The S&S Orion is also useful for specific situations.

While grenades are usually up to player choice Corrosive Bouncing Betties really shine. Less weapon swapping is needed to mow down groups of damage resistant enemies.

(The quick and the dead) #14

The Undertaker really is a standout performer, but that doesn’t mean other RLs including basic purples (with right parts) aren’t viable choices. Given that you have Wide Load in the build, the 1-shot RLs can be especially effective in Brick’s hands as he can largely circumvent their main weakness (constant need to reload). Warmonger is probably the best com for RL dps (mat3 version specifically because the grenade damage buff applies to rockets and is multiplicative with weapon damage buffs, which also apply to rockets), but the Blast Master is no slouch when the launcher in question is explosive, and you have the extra rocket ammo regen from the com buffed Master Blaster, so you will generally find that, unless you use it to the complete exclusion of other weapons, you will generally never run out of ammo. (Bombardier com is also great w/ launchers, especially mat3 for allowing limitless rocket spam)

(Samuraith) #15

I’ve got a Cobra and a Kyros power with the explosive element on it. Ok, I’ll readjust what weapons I carry, I’ve gotten several hellfires and defilers, which something else I find odd maybe it isn’t but I’ll ask you guys I have found on several occasions lower level weapons will have higher damage than those in the 60s, maybe it has a lot to do with what parts are on each particular weapon. Whether it be my pearl Ogre or even my two shot 1300 or so defiler. Anyway I do want to take a moment to say thanks for both of your replies, I always enjoy meaningful discussion.

(Samuraith) #16

To be honest I’ve only gotten one pearl out of the armory and that was a Bessie, am still having trouble taking on crawmerax.

(Bryanswpaulsen) #17

Kyros Power isn’t very good. The health recovery effect compares poorly to the way the Cobra’s tech pool works. If you get a x4 Cobra the thing is just ridiculous, because the x4 multiplier has a 20% chance to achieve a big explosion at a low tech pool cost.

Weapon parts are more important than weapon level for Borderlands 1. It is not uncommon for very high quality guns around level 58 to outperform a low quality one at 68.

(Samuraith) #18

Yeah guess I just need to keep hitting the armory to get parted weapons at higher levels.