Frightning's guide to the Plaguebearer com

Lilith, being the game’s premier elementalist, unsurprisingly has a class mod dedicated to Corrosive weapons. The Plaguebearer com is has the same 1st line and available 5th line effects as Mordecai’s Assassin com, but of course different skill buffs.

-Corroderate: Massive 1st line Corrosive damage buff makes enemies turn into green goo!
-Buffs to Mind Games and Inner Glow help with survivability.
-Bane of Lancemen.

-Lack of DPS skill buffs means that corrosive resistant enemies can be a pain to deal with.
-Effectiveness with non-Corrosive weapons is somewhat limited for the same reason.
-Not necessarily better than Mercenary com for corrosive SMGs.

The Build:

The why:

Controller Tree: 25 points
-Diva: More shield capacity? Sure.
-Inner Glow: Buffed by the com, we can nearly full heal despite not take Hit & Run in a single use of Phasewalk.
-Hard to Get: Shorter Phasewalk cooldown, why not?
-Girl Power: One of the most powerful defensive skills in the game, of course we’re taking this!
-Mind Games: Also buffed by the com, this gives our bullets a chance to Daze, any we shoot will quickly become Dazed, making them way less dangerous.

Elemental: 20 points
-Quicksilver: +35% to Fire Rate at all times? Sure.
-Spark: More tech pool and faster tech regen means more procs. More procs means more Corrosive DoT. More Corrosive DoT means more dead enemies.
-Venom: Also buffed by the com, this skill increases melee damage a little, but what’s far MORE interesting is that it converts your melee attacks to Corrosive damage (this has both +'s and -'s, but with this com, the +'s far outweigh negatives). These modified melee attacks have a small chance of inflicting corrosive DoT too. What’s more, this change also applies to using a melee attack to end Phasewalk (that melee attack is also Corrosive, though explosion is whatever element the artifact you are using current is).
-Phoenix: This is included mainly for the chance to save ammo effect it has, as this effectively increases magazine size, and thus DPS. The AoE Fire Damage at least helps with dealing with corrosive resistant enemies provided we can kill something to get it started. These 5 points could be moved elsewhere, maxing out Blackout, and/or invested into Silent Resolve and/or Hit & Run.

Assassin Tree: 23 points
-Slayer: More critical hit damage is always welcome.
-Enforcer: On-kill spread reduction and bullet damage, nice buff to our Corrosive weapons.
-High Velocity: Increased Bullet velocity and damage, lovely.
-Blackout (3/5): I’m running 3/5 in this so that our kills will help expedite getting Phasewalk back off cooldown. I chose to 3/5 this over Phase Strike because the latter is more valuable on a per-point basis in my opinion.
-Phase Strike: Given the way that Venom works, I decided that running Phase Strike makes a ton of sense in this build. Lilith’s regular melee attacks simply aren’t the powerful Venom or not, even with Hit & Run. Phase Strike however allows for 1 really powerful melee attack per Phasewalk (ending the Phasewalk). Since for the most part our Corrosive weapons will be FAR more powerful than melee attacks, I figured this was the best way to take advantage of the buff to Venom in a meaningful way that did not detract from the effectiveness of our weapons.


The rule here is simple: Corrosive=good. But what sort of Corrosive guns are available? There are a few which are worth mentioning specifically because of just how effective they are:
-Defiler: The Maliwan Legendary Corrosive Revolver is a favorite of many vault hunters for good reason: it is one of the very best Corrosive weapons in the entire game. Although Lilith is not as good with pistols as Mordecai, she nevertheless makes excellent use of the Defiler. In particular, like Mordecai, she is a small target and hence her aim is less frequently disturbed than Roland’s or especially Brick’s. Which is quite helpful when using the Defiler as it has a relatively slow fire rate but does extremely high damage per shot (especially with critical hits).
-Maliwan Crux: Maliwan’s Legendary Shotgun is also Corrosive only, and, like the Defiler, is a superior Corrosive weapon for its type. It is an excellent close quarters weapon for this build and Lilith is already very effective at close range thanks to Girl Power and her action skill.
-Serpens: Despite the horizontal wave-like motion of the bullets making crit-spamming difficult, the Pearlescent S&S Serpens is, nevertheless, an extremely effective Corrosive Machine Gun, and hence very powerful with this build.
-Horner: Dahl’s Legendary Repeater Pistol is also a Corrosive only weapon, and has a much better fire rate than the Defiler though it does far less damage per shot. It is burst fire while sighted/scoped which further increases effective fire rate, particularly with good trigger management. It is a superior Corrosive Repeater Pistol and hence an excellent weapon with this build.
Other corrosive weapons will generally have similar characters among corrosive weapons of their given type, hence we need only compare and contrast how the different types of weapons perform as Corrosive elemental guns.
-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 bullet hoses that will still stack DoT pretty well.
-Revolver Pistols: Slow fire rates, but always proc, so they WILL apply DoT every time (unless ofc the target is DoT immune, many bosses are). High accuracy makes 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 Spark, Slayer, Enforcer, or High Velocity, Corrosive Rockets are still quite effective with this build, useful for providing excellent AoE damage, and spreading Corrosive DoT around.

As is usual with Lilith, the higher capacity shield, the better. As such, the highest capacity Pangolin shields are typically best. In some situations, an Extreme Resistance shield of highest capacity may be desirable, particular a Hazmat Shield with Corrosive Carnages and Rocket Launchers will help diminishing the danger of your own splash damage to yourself.

Grenade Mod:
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 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 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).

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 is build prefers to use Phasewalk defensively, as the 1st line buff from the com is huge for your Guns (for which the relevant skills have also been spec’d), it is preferably to spend as much as possible out of Phasewalk DPSing enemies with your weapons. That said, when you do use Phasewalk, be sure to stay in it long enough for Inner Glow to fully heal you if it can, and end it with a melee attack to get the Phase Strike out of it for massive Corrosive damage (aim for a critical hit location if you can for even more damage). You should generally run the Corrosive element for Phasewalk, unless you are fighting in an area with some Corrosive resistant enemies, then it may be worth switching to another element.

This build with a Defiler can do more damage per shot to Knoxx than Lilith can with a masher (excepting perhaps an Unforgiven masher).


Does Venom give your melee hits a tech pool? Would spark help your melee hits from Venom proc more often? Do we know the proc chance from Venom? I have been trying to figure this out for an hour now. lol I found a Gamefacts post about the Spark and Venom but it’s 8 years old and I’m uncertain if that was true or patched or what.

I honestly have no idea, would have to see what the code looks like in the borderlands editor to be sure how it works. It’s possible that it does have its own tech pool and possible that Spark does indeed affect it. But even if both are true, the overall effect of Spark usually isn’t very big.

I’ve used venom on lilith, and I can say that it has a 100% proc chance.