A popular choice for many melee Brick players, the Skirmisher com provides for the possibility of near constant Berserk use, thanks to buffing Brick’s Short Fuse skill, which decreases Berserk’s cooldown. It’s 1st and 5th line effects are also team effects, making the Skirmisher com a superb choice in coop play, especially for a team with multiple melee Brick players on it.
-Endless ****ing Rage: Berserk has a mere 12/6 seconds cooldown (latter number if +4 is in Short Fuse)
-High utility: Buffs to Bash and Sting Like A Bee improve Dazing and mobility, both of which benefit Brick (and the former can benefit his allies too).
-Coop friendly: Team effects make the Skirmisher com an excellent choice for the melee Brick player with friends (especially if they are like minded about melee).
-Less powerful than Berserker com: For solo play, the Berserker com offers more powerful effects with the notable exception of the Short Fuse bonus.
-Durability is inferior to Centurion com: For pure tanking purposes, the mat2 Centurion com is straight up better than the Skirmisher com, however, this does com at the expense of some damage output.
-Some enemies don’t cooperate with being punched to death.
Brawler Tree: 30 points
-Iron Fist: Melee Damage, 'nuff said
-Endless Rage: The longer the 'zerk time, the better.
-Sting Like A Bee: It’s buffed by the com and allows to dash around the place from target to target quickly, you could perhaps steal a few points from this skill if you wanted to get to Liquidate so you can cut the remaining cooldown off of Berserk by shooting an explosive weapon.
-Heavy Handed: On-kill Melee Damage, punch time!
-Short Fuse: This is what makes the Skirmisher com so popular, 9/5 in this skills means Berserk has a mere 6 second cooldown, which is basically like not having a cooldown at all.
-Blood Sport: On-kill health regeneration; works like an insta-health, taking a short time to apply, but multiple kills in rapid succession will not waste remaining regeneration from previous kills.
-Hardened: Increasing our Maximum Health is highly desirable as Berserk regenerates 3% of our maximum health per second, and Blood Sport also scales with maximum health.
-Safeguard: More Shield Capacity, the tankier we can be, the better.
-Bash: Buffed by the com, this skill is very helpful at debuffing enemy DPS and mobility, which can is a nice answer to a bandit rippin’ into you with an SMG. The full 5/5 may be more than sufficient, given the com buff, so players that want the maximum up-time for Berserk can scavenge a few points from here to get to Liquidate over in the Blaster Tree.
-Juggernaut: On-kill Damage Resistance (12% per point despite the tooltip claim of 10%), this means that enemies will need to do 60% (12% times 5) more damage to achieve the same results on our shields and health than they would otherwise have needed to.
-Payback: This skill triggers on shield depletion, lasts for 10 seconds, and cannot trigger again until our shield fully recharges. It buffs virtually every kind of damage: Bullet Damage by 8% per point, Grenade Damage by 7% per point, Elemental DoT Damage by 7% per point, and most importantly to this build, Melee Damage by 7% per point. The trigger condition fits well with our able health and health regeneration, we will typical have little trouble taking advantage of the full 10 seconds of this effect.
-Die Hard: This skill is incredibly useful on just about every Brick. The massive increase in revived health and significant increase in FFYL time is priceless when ■■■■ goes bad and you end up on your knees. Even better, Berserk’s cooldown continues to tick while we are in FFYL, so more often than not Berserk is back up by the time we have our second wind.
Blaster Tree: 8 points
-Endowed: This buffs our explosive fists and also helps our gun play for when we need it (there are a few enemies that just won’t cooperate with being punched to death). This is also a matter of where to put our last points since we have everything of value to this build from the Brawler and Tank trees.
-Revenge (3/5): The last 3 points are put here because this skill is a very powerful Bullet Damage buff and hence will significantly help our gunplay when we need it. If you decide you want to go for at least 1 point in Liquidate, max this out with the points you scavenged from Sting Like A Bee and/or Bash.
As Berserk’s health regeneration is 3% of maximum health per second, the larger our health pool is the better. Since we also have Safeguard giving us a 40% increase in shield capacity and we typical aren’t going to have breaks in between taking damage to recharge our shield, we have a natural preference for the highest capacity Torgue shield we can find. This makes the (550XC) Impenetrable Muscleman the ideal shield for this build. The health regeneration of a Panacea is outclassed by the health regeneration we get from the 60% health boost of the Muscleman shield. Resistance shields do not reduce damage to health, so even if we are taking mostly damage of a single elemental type, the Muscleman will generally remain the better choice.
Since we can’t throw nades while Berserking, we have only a few reasons to consider when picking our grenade mod. If we anticipate taking heavy damage or are already missing a lot of our health, tossing a few Transfusion Grenades before popping Berserk can give us the boost we need to not end up on our knees. Corrosive grenades of any type can be used to spread the Corrosive debuff around, increasing our damage output (again we need to toss em before we 'zerk). The third reason would be to pick up a quick kill and get Heavy Handed and Juggernaut up immediately (and Revenge if we need to use our guns for any reason).
As this build uses Berserk as virtually it’s only offense, gun selection comes down to two things: Getting second winds, and dealing with enemies that we can’t effectively punch to death. We have 3/5 in Revenge (not applicable in FFYL) as well as 5/5 Payback (and 5/5 Endowed for explosive weapons) helping our gun damage out, but otherwise we’re leaning on base stats (and profs) to get the job done.
Mat2 or Mat3?:
The mat2 version of the Skirmisher com provides +42% Team Maximum Health, whereas the mat3 version grants -56% Team Melee Damage Resistance (despite the - sign, this actually increases the amount of melee damage you and your team can take before ending up in FFYL by 56%). The mat3 version is rather useful when fighting many types of creatures as well as Psychos, but otherwise the mat2’s maximum health buff is generally preferred.
Gameplay tips and other information:
It is highly desirable to use a Skirmisher com with the +4 in Short Fuse if available. Sting Like A Bee and Bash don’t benefit us all that much by being at 9/5 versus 8/5, but the 9th point in Short Fuse halves the cooldown of Berserk from 12 seconds to 6 seconds. It is typically wise to look for and go after enemies that are isolated from their allies, as you can avoid taking unnecessary damage that way. Prioritize enemies with highest DPS to durability ratio to cut down on much damage you are taking as quickly as possible (Sting Like A Bee help tons with this, and with how high our Daze chance is thanks to Bash, it can sometimes make sense to dart between 2-3 different enemies to keep them all Dazed).
Guns with melee accessories synergize well with this build thanks to the substantial melee damage buffs.
The skill point distribution in this build works as is with Berserker and Centurion coms, allowing the freedom to swap between them.