Gaige, With Claws, And The Definition Of The Anarchist

So. I was listening to Derch’s Gaige tree videos today (because I decided that what I like doing is absorbing as much info as I can while driving for work), and he made a couple of points, that I think a lot of people echo. And to an extent they’re not wrong. But I think they’re wrong because we have had a massive oversight in how we view The Anarchist. So. What he mentioned was that With Claws doesn’t fit as a Capstone on Anarchy, and that the Legendary Anarchist COM doesn’t make a lot of sense.

So, to review, the LegAnarch COM gives plus five to:

Myelin: shield capacity and Shock resist.
Strength of Five Gorillas: melee damage for Gaige and DT.
Unstoppable Force: kill skill with movement speed and instant recharge delay.
Smaller Lighter Faster: quicker reload, less magazine.
Typecast Iconoclast: chance of Bonus anarchy stacks.

Passives are: auto-anarchy. More Gun damage and less accuracy, it’s like having a bonus 20-40 stacks? I didn’t do the fancy mathematics here.

So. What am I getting at, because I’m very bad at getting to a point. I’m getting to the idea that I don’t thing these are unrelated at all. So. A Legendary COM assumes you are past Level 62. This means you most likely have a Capstone, and are heavily invested in multiple trees.

When we look at “Anarchist” in this game, I think a lot of times, we just see it as “the gun damage goes crazy, but you miss a lot”. But this game has never really been about penalizing us with skills, it’s been about using skill “penalties” to push us towards certain playstyles. Nisha is pushed towards Jakobs guns by words like “non-elemental” and buffs to the bottom 6 bullets and top one bullet in the mag. This makes us go “hey. I should use a gun with 6 or less bullets so I can always use these skills!”

On top of this, melee wasn’t designed to be a full build…maybe with Krieg…post original game, who knows. But. Melee was designed to be an “oh crap” button. That’s why roid shields are “when depleted”. You get kicked, and you flail and kill an enemy to proc skills to get back on your feet. This is why I don’t like the “why put a melee skill on a non-melee character” argument. Because every character should have some cool melee thing. As much as this is a first person shooter, it’s an RPG. And part of the RPG Experience is that you respond to situations as they come and sometimes, you gotta swing.

Word of warning. I LOVE With Claws. Do I think it’s a Terrible Capstone? Yeah. It would have been a better mid tree skill attached to Robot Rampage, which a Capstone should have then Buffed. But that’s just my dream. But I love the thematics of With Claws. She created a monster bot…and then the monster bot made her. With Claws is such a character defining moment, that I want it regardless of my build. (Though my Sniper AoE Gaige will not have it because that one will be the antithesis of anarchy.)

So, back to defining The Anarchist. We keep looking at Anarchy Gaige as “you miss a lot, but when you hit, you hit hard. That’s the chaos of it. But close enough can balance it out”. And sure. Close Enough does synergize nicely with Anarchy. There’s a certain number of stacks where your new damage means missed shots still can do full original gun damage. But Close Enough isn’t part of the Anarchist build. And Anarchy isn’t designed to “make you miss”. It’s designed to push you into close quarters, where you stick a gun right into a psychos mouth and fire. DFA is an AoE attack that’s SUPPOSED to proc as you jump over an enemy to get to a squishy-er one and make everything fall apart in the process. Yeah, it’s bugged so it barely works that way, but they had a hope for it.

Now, you build up anarchy stacks. Move in super close. And you’re landing every bullet because the barrel is IN the enemies. You’re reloading fast and often. Shock novas. Shock DoTs. Stuff dying…but then something big gets at you and you’re not ready. It breaks your shield, and your ammo ran out and a reload will get you killed. SWING. If you’re wearing a melee shield, you take that damage, bonus that up with your Anarclaws, and you take out the big bad guy. Your shield recharges. Your health is up.

So. The Anarchist is a close combat warrior who knows that sometimes she has to get her claws dirty. She’s ready to tear things up with a gun, but sometimes, being up close means doing things with your bare hands.

But an Anarchist is also a mess maker. Chaos aficionado. So we loves our grenades. A Storm front. Or a Moxxi slow hand. And since shock can break your grenade and these things can’t hit you…we’ve got myelin. To increase the shield capacity and block some of that shock we’re surely gonna get on ourselves. But that shock can break our shield. Which then gives us a roid. Which then kills an enemy. Which pops Unstoppable Force, which let’s us either move to the next target, or get out, all while keeping a DoT away for 7 seconds as our shield keeps regenerating.

And so. I think that covers all the skills on the LegAnarch COM. I’m not sure if this had a point or if it matters, but it’s just something I couldn’t stop thinking about for the past two hours, and felt like sharing. So. Thanks.

-blood and metal

(Edit. Up there I said something about melee not being a full thing. I realize and recognize that Zer0 is a very very good sword killer and that is a very legit and actually designed build. I am running on having worked a month of 17 hour days and just made a very weird sweeping generalization that I…vaguely stand behind? But also know I’m wrong? Like. I think melee was designed to be blended in to your tool kit. I think even with melee Zer0, that melee wasn’t INTENDED to be the full focus. And I think that’s what I’m getting at? Idk. My blood is mostly caffeine and I can see noises)


zero is the best melee character. because he can do both mobbing and raiding with it. Krieg is the also good at mobbing but not so good at raiding with melee.

they have. i have killed Hyperius and Gee with a melee build with all characters at 72. Sal with a bladed rapier and grog with a proper build can hit 5M each time and fistful of hurt will deal 20M.

Maya with a thumper combined it with her phaselock skills, cloud kill and recompense is unkillable.

Axton with a love thumper wherein the novas are boosted by his explosive buff also works (although the weakest of the bunch).

I will just link the Hyperius kill with Gaige with Claws and Without Claws for reference

with claws (with 400 anarchy stacks)

without claws (no anarchy stacks)

BTW, that is a good build, make it complete with skills, gear and submit it in the build collection. :+1:


I mean, I do realize Zer0 is very very good at melee. I’m just really really gear turning at a lot of concepts here, and my biggest thing is the concept of “the melee character”. I absolutely love the hybrids. The blends. The way skills play together and interact to create really ridiculous outcomes. And yeah, I totally see how every character can do it. But, I really really think that my favorite melee is Gaige’s, where it’s really kinda supplemental to her other skills. Like, that she can WRECK with it, and then move on. And the fact that she really needs to do gun stuff to get there. But again, this was less about my build (Which I am writing up. Omg. So stoked), and more about addressing the “why is with claws here, and why does an Anarchist COM boost melee?” question that I think plagues a decent amount of content, at least that I’ve seen since I started looking.



This was a great read, you sure understand Gaige! She’s quite a complex character, I’d be interested to read your guide based on what you’ve typed here.

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DFA works as advertised - incoming enemy fire can lift you and in-game geometry can register tiny falls as you walk, causing the engine to register you as airborne (however briefly), so if you’re firing a weapon during these conditions, DFA will fire. It’s quite possible to work around this and control when it fires. Given the relatively weak damage and many players’ reluctance to burn Anarchy stacks for this anyway, I don’t think there has been much motivation around to practice this, but I love this skill.

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While I get what you mean, I do consider that definition to be a bit buggy in it’s wording. So. Sure, not a bug, but a feature.

How about I meet you half way and say “I wish they had made it ‘If you fire after pressing the jump button’”. It does kinda suck when Terra tosses you and your SMG keeps proccing it :joy:

That said, the sniper build I’m working on will utilize it? If I can get it to cooperate lol even of just one point

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I do too, or maybe the airborne requirement needs to be above some minimum that exceeds the tiny hops from taking fire or stepping down geometry. Smite uses the same mechanic, but I haven’t tested that to see if it’s got the same firing issues. It hits the radar less, since there’s no drawback (and it actually adds Maelstrom), so if it fires when not wanted, it doesn’t cost anything.

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Nice write up!
The problem with With Claws, imo, is the 0.6 only boost. I dont know if they tried to balance it because of the healing factor, but it should have been at least 1.75% like the gun damage.

About the Legendary Anarchist, it totally supports the aggressive playstyle.
You stack faster, get a passive Rational Anarchist from the card and some protection/move speed too so you can keep Momentum.
The COM lacks nothing at all.

DFA is a pretty specific skill and requires a specific setup, like IO and maybe SS, so they all have a COM dedicated to them.
I do not think it should have been in a more generalist COM like the Legendary Anarchist, as it supports a whole playstyle instead of a niche.
IO is in the Legendary Catalyst because EB is better proced from a grenade DoT, and just throwing a grenade is time enough to get at least 1 stack.

There is no point really, imo. The Legendary Anarchist is solid.


Yeah, it’s the only one that hits Typecast Iconoclast, no? When starting out a campaign with Anarchy Gaige, I usually rock this COM until I have a few dozen stacks before switching to whatever COM I’ll actually use.

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The Slayer does too, I believe, but it’s a four point boost and if you’re not gonna shoot for 600 it’s really not worth it

I think that’s Preshrunk Cyberpunk (total capacity for stacks), not Typecast Iconoclast (that gives you bonus stacks sometimes).

You know what? The last time I used Slayer was with the UCP. Hhahaha. My bad. It does NOT have Typecast.

Note that they actually don’t believe Strength Belongs on Anarchist. That’s kinda my point in this write up. Lol