Gamma God Build

Hi all. I’ve posted here quite a few times regarding the inefficiency of pet builds, ideas on how to improve said builds, and overall just enjoyed my time with the community and the game despite my frustration towards Fl4k’s inability to be the pet class I and many others hoped he would be.

That being said, I’ve put a hell of a lot of time into “perfecting” a pet build based on the current game build (patch).

The Gamma God, or GG (see what I did there) for short, is hands down the best pet build I’ve come up with, even after testing against multiple pet builds out there, including the more popular ones. This is going to be a bit unconventional. It might even be a little scary because some of my decisions are definitely not orthodox or following a more “obvious path.” I will link the build below, provide explanations for my decisions, and try to go as deep as possible, but feel free to just TL;DR your way to victory, hit the link, and try it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s good. It’s really damn good.


Major Differentiators
The Skag is dead to me. Approximately 90% of the builds that rely heavily on pets are going to tell you to use the Skag. Even the Master tree is pretty damn suggestive that Skags and Gamma go together like peanut butter and jelly, or whiskey and steak if you’re a champion like me.

This build uses the Spiderant Scorcher.

First of all, the Spiderant Scorcher does something unique; a ground pound AOE that leaves a pool of lava, and it does it constantly. Despite it’s occasional misplaced fireball attack, the AOE lava pool stacks with the gamma radiation. That means that anything close to the scorcher is going to be taking both fire and radiation damage. This turns your pet into a ball of pure hate and murders everything around it. It also provides buffed elemental damage, despite everyone saying it’s elemental resistance. The tooltip says, verbatim, “While accompanied by the Scorcher, Fl4k constantly regenerates health and deals increased Elemental Damage” with the line “Elemental Damage: +10%” underneath. Even if I was wrong, the 1.0% max health regen is vital as well, because that contributes to the regen pool that is shared with the pet via All My BFFs (including your friends, if that matters).

Second, you’re going to be spreading points a little thin between the three trees and this build does not use capstones. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes. I don’t blame you. It honestly hurts that I can’t have The Power Inside because for 15 seconds at full health your pet is doing +50% more damage. 15 seconds is nothing to scoff at. However, hear me out, because you’re not going for burst, you’re going for two things; survivability and consistency. If you can let go of not having a capstone, read on.

You and your pet are absolute tanks. Unlike most pet builds in other games, you aren’t going to get your balls rocked because your pet isn’t around to save your brittle nuts. The regen of this build is madness, and in the event that you do go down, your pet should have no problem getting you back up. In the reversed situation, the Gamma cooldown is so minimal you can throw your pet right back into the battle in a few seconds. We aren’t peasants, we don’t manually res our pets. With one point in Mutated Defenses, your pet will literally respawn with gamma active, then heal up to full almost immediately. By the time it’s a problem again, it’ll trigger Mutated Defenses again. You also have two points in Who Rescued Who? so feel free to use that fast-fire gun to get your pet’s health up even faster.

Lastly, also unlike a lot of builds, gear reliance is minimal. I created this whole build with a heavy focus on just that; don’t tell people how to make a kick-ass Fl4k then follow it up with “this guild is absolute garbage unless the RNG gods bless you with the perfect roll.” The only item you even remotely “need” to be effective is the mod that turns your pet into an aggro tank which I have found several of and doesn’t seem to be all that rare. Skill bonuses are pretty arbitrary but they do help. You’re just looking for “pet will aggro while gamma is active.”

Key Skills by Category
As I said, you’re both going to be very tanky. Surprisingly so. Your max health will be relatively beefy due to both Self-Repairing System and Pack Tactics. Your regen, well, let’s take a look at the skills facilitating this: Self-Repairing System (also regens), All My BFFs, Turn Tail and Run, Spiderant Scorcher, Who Rescued Who?, and Lick the Wounds if you count a free and reliable revive as regen. That doesn’t even include Mutated Defenses, which makes the pet a hell of a lot harder to take down (but has nothing to do with your regen).

Pet Damage:
This is secondary to health regen, but competitively important. As I mentioned in other posts, pet classes should be slow waves of reliable kills, not bursty, risky, or overly complicated. Regardless, pet damage is supported by: Ferocity, He Bites!, Frenzy, Psycho Head on a Stick, Pack Tactics, Gamma Burst, and Scorcher Fire.

Gamma Cooldown/Extension:
My third focus was making sure I got just about every skill I could to make sure Gamma was up and rolling significantly more often than not. It will be. Your pet will rarely be off the Gamma clock, and here’s why: Persistence Hunter, Endurance, Head Count, Eager to Impress. I believe that is every skill available to help out with Gamma and it’s plenty.

Fl4k’s Contribution:
This was my last focus, but still a vital element so you don’t feel absolutely helpless without your pet doing all the work. This also correlated with obtaining the Scorcher since you have to reach the third tier in order to unlock it in the Hunter tree. You’re going to get a baseline 27% damage increase for Fl4k without doing anything due to a few passives, but the active skills that give you the ability to burn down mobs are in the hunter tree: Interplanetary Stalker, Leave No Trace (less reload DPS drop off). These may not seem like much, but they’re all you’ve got for actual crit/kill skills which again, doesn’t include the 27% baseline dps increase, and skills like Frenzy where your pet’s performance improves your own.

One of the major variants that I would totally support is taking a few points out of Eager to Impress and dumping them into Two F4ng. The beauty of this build is that you can make two major decisions to shift the damage focus to Fl4k without a lot of critical analysis. Either shift those points, and/or replace Endurance with Empathic Rage, but that’s not my thing, cause I want my pet to do the work for me most of the time.

Things That Make Me S4d

This build is not perfect. Honestly, no build is “perfect” but this is about as close as you’re going to get to a Diablo 2 necromancer or WoW beastmaster (vanilla) hunter. With that, keep in mind there are some skills I had to scrap and kind of pissed me off, but it was for the greater good, or whatever.

Let me be real clear; my opinions are my own but Domination is an atrocity, and Megavore is way too reliant on lackluster aim and RNG to be all that amazing. However, The Power Inside is stupid powerful, and a burst capstone that would have complimented my build nicely. When this game gets a raised level cap, I know exactly where my points are going, and that’s rare in a BL game for me. Both Hidden Machine and The Fast and the Furryous (ugh) are good skills, depending on your playstyle, and you can skip Rage and Recover (you have plenty of regen, I promise) and dump that sweet point into Stalker. Just not yet. That one hurt.

You have to choose, as I said earlier, between Two F4ng and Eager to Impress. It’s a hard choice. I say switch around and see what feels good, but Two F4ng is a fan favorite for a good reason.

That’s it. That’s literally the only part of this build that annoyed me and made me rethink my decisions.

Things That Make Me H4ppy

Stop putting points into Go for the Eyes! Not having to put a single point in there to get my build where I wanted it to be really worked well. That skill is crap. The point investment for what it does is ludicrous, and the DPS drop off is insane on a boss fight, unless your pet weirdly glitches and it keeps resetting the “timer” which I still don’t know how it does that. There’s no timer reset in the skill itself so it’s pretty much one and done, for 5 points. Nope. Most of the anointed in Mayhem do not mess around and the more bullet sponge an enemy is, the less Go for the Eyes! is viable in a longer fight. So Go for Something Else! is what I’m saying.

I spent approximately 3 points between the trees for three massive improvements to the build:

Lick the Wounds is absolutely mandatory if you’re soloing, and although it can’t res your allies (as many have suggested), having it res you in essence, is still incredibly helpful to your allies that don’t have to res you. It’s also very reliable. Your pet will almost always stop what it’s doing and come charging back to you. You become priority one across the board and with the pet’s inherent tankiness I’d say the success rate is around 95%.

Psycho Head on a Stick doesn’t stack, let’s be real clear about that. It does, from what I’ve seen, refresh. For one point, if you decide to help your pet take down a stronger enemy (or weak one because why not), your pet will haul ass and kill a little faster on the next mob. It’s not absolutely mandatory, but for one point, your minimal contribution will keep your pet 10% stronger and 12% faster most of the time.

Lastly, Mutated Defenses, but I’ve said enough about that, is also a requirement. When your pet is radiating and fireblasting everything around it while taunting it’s going to get a few damage spikes. Mutated Defenses will be there to keep it alive, and in tandem with Lick the Wounds, make sure it doesn’t die trying to turn its back on enemies and revive you. Those two work very, very well together.

In Summation

This build is really not that reliant on gear. Find that mod I spoke of to really tie the room together (like a nice rug), then go with your gut. Although I highly recommend a fast firing weapon and the legendary MIRV Hex grenade. It’s ridiculous(ly effective and lazy).

Well, I’ve written more than I intended as usual, but this should cover a lot. The proof is in the pudding, or whatever, so just go try the build and let me know how it feels. So far it’s been the closest I’ve felt to an actual pet class. Thanks for reading, and I hope it’s as fun for you as it is for me.

Oh, and a final note that I should mention so you don’t waste your time. If you want to go back to Skaglife and get to that Stalker capstone with my build, you uh, can’t. Regardless of the sacrifice you’ll be making to action cooldown and Fl4k’s damage output, I only spent 10 points in the Hunter tree. You need exactly 11 in the Stalker tree, which means you’ll have to sacrifice an additional point in the Master tree to pull it off. Could be viable, I’m sure, but just a fair warning before you think you can easily shift like that (I tried, obviously).



Funny thing, this real close to what I’ve been cooking up lately. My thought process is very similar to your in a lot of ways, but I also have a few major departures. Here is what my goal is spec wise.

I’m also going capstone-less, because I believe none of the capstones are really NECCESSARY for a pet build.

  1. Megavore certainly helps refresh cooldowns with Head Count, but if you hit crits naturally anyway, there is no need to spend the extra points in a tree that does nothing for the pets themselves.
  2. Dominance is a play style choice, and one I can’t wait to try at that. But unlike its pal Thoughtlock, it doesn’t offer any insane perks like extra action skill duration, so I can put it on the backburner.
  3. The most controversial one: The Power Inside is a trap. Yes, it is 50% extra damage, but consider these two questions: how does it work with the duration of Gamma Burst, and how does it fit into the pet build? For the first question, pet builds naturally require the duration of GB to be as long as possible so you can keep the extra pet damage AND not die. Persistence Hunter and Endurance are a given, so your action skill duration will always be about 40 seconds (45% from Persistence Hunter + 15 seconds from Endurance). That means out of every engagement, the Power Inside will last only for about 1/3 of the action skill duration, compared to nearly 90% of the base GB duration. It will be active surprisingly little. 50% extra damage may make it seem worth it, but aside from the other points I’ll list below, think of how it will interact with the other pet bonuses. Stacking Frenzy to 10 and getting 5 kills in GB isn’t difficult, but can you do it within the first 15 seconds of the skill to take full advantage of all of FL4K’s pet damage bonuses?

Another point in this regard is how speccing The Power Inside effects your other choices. Like you’ I’ve been championing the spiderant for pet builds, but for a different reason: They are the ONLY pets that come with ELEMENTAL MODIFIERS! Just for equipping scorcher or countess, the pet will automatically deal an extra 75% damage to their respective enemies, and GB will scale of that damage to apply to its own. Basically, pet damage kind of double dips elemental damage. Unless the balance of the pets is seriously screwed up, there is no way any of the other pets should come close to that.

If you take the Power Inside, you need to make some tough choices with your remaining 22 points. Do you go down the master tree to get the Endurance Augment and give up free 75% bonus damage for your pet? Or do you go down the master tree to get the ants and miss out on the Endurance augment and deal with lower GB uptime? Both are tough choices, and to me, it isn’t worth it to choose between either of those for a damage bonus Endurance gives you anyway.

Also, don’t sleep on Go For The Eyes. I think the mistake most of us are making is that we assume that Jabbers are the only pets with worthwhile attack commands. Without any bonuses, a Skag’s charge does about 5,500 from what I’ve seen. Add in GftE, GB’s 75% damage increase, as well as 75% damage from matching elements, and I think chaining attack commands on melee pets will prove incredibly useful as a burst maneuver.

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I really dig the direction you’ve taken. You definitely shifted from pet damage to Fl4k damage in some regard, but only on the surface. You’ve still got a heavy focus on pet damage even though you skipped Ferocity entirely. That skill seems like such a no-brainer but I think it’s deceptive. Is the 50% damage only contributing to the actual normal attacks? Does it effect everything coming off of the pet and synergize with all the other skills, or is it just the pet’s normal hit damage? If that’s the case, I’d skip it too, because the pet’s single hits are probably its weakest damage.

I’m curious to know what your thoughts/research has been on Ferocity and why you skipped it.

Agreed on both accounts.

This is not only a solid point but considering I went into a mini tirade about how Go for the Eyes! doesn’t activate nearly enough to be viable, I should apply that same logic to Power Inside. That being said, however, I still stand by the two prior skills to Power Inside strong, and Power Inside is only 1 point investment after being unlocked. I’d probably still grab it, but not with quite the excitement I had on first approach.

Yeah. That too. I didn’t want to launch into too many details but I considered that as well, and since a ton of nice guns are elemental focused (including grenades) that’s just more damage. I think everyone goes with the Skag for aesthetic/convenient reasons but the Scorcher is insane. That fire pool AOE is a lot of fun to watch when it’s in Gamma and taunting at the same time. It’s a hot pool of death.

Good post. I’d be happy to theorycraft back and forth here, because I think we’ve both got the right ideas in slightly different directions.


Same here. I’m glad to speak with someone on the same wavelength :grin:.

TBF IDK. I haven’t done testing on the pets myself. I look at footage of pets builds on YouTube and compare the damage different skills add, and tailor my build around that. So…

That is the precise reason I skipped it. Take a look at this post.

IIRC, the build in that video utilized only 4/3 He Bites, and reflected attacks off the right enemies were doing between nearly 3-4x the damage of the basic melee attacks.

I also have a T4mer class mod in game that gives me +2 Ferocity, so I figured I wouldn’t necessarily
need to spec into it anymore than 0 since COMS give free points.

Depending on how heavy my pet focus was, I would too. For a hybrid based around spamming Gunslinger Jabber attack command, I would love Power Inside. I just think you sacrifice too much to make it work in a build for melee pets.

I love the Spiderant pools. Their AOE is pretty insane!

Also, I think the Hunter tree is a better mix for pet builds as of right now than Stalker, solely because outside of GB, pets are so weak they will rarely kill on their own. Head Count will lower cooldowns far faster, and considering everything Gamma Burst does for pet FL4K, I think that’s paramount. It makes building a pet FL4K kind of tough, because once you realize all the little pitfalls and tradeoffs you need to spec certain ways, you realize how off the beaten path a pet build is for Borderlands. It’s taken a lot of people a stupid amount of theorycrafting, and we’re still looking to find something that works :rofl:. Hopefully, the spiderants will help bring some of that damage the community feels is missing.


That’s insightful, and equally infuriating. What the hell, man. I might honestly just pull those 5 points and experiment based on that info alone. My class mod actually adds 3 points to Ferocity so those points might be better utilized elsewhere (like Two F4ng, for starters).

It’s easy to forget (some people skip it - it drives me nuts) how crucial He Bites! is. When you look at the 15% you’re like “that’s it?” Yeah, except mobs in Mayhem levels hit like trucks, and that’s likely 15% of what, a 5k hit? A 10k hit? Especially considering gun damage is included, and pets are getting needled by multiple gunshots. If the 50% pet damage works with the 15% thorns damage, then it’s a totally different conversation.

That’s where I’m simply applying some faith in the balance team at GBX. Outside of Gamma, I’m just plugging away at enemies until my pet is “worth a fraction of a ****” again. That’s my biggest problem. No matter how sexy I can design a build, I’m still at the mercy of the pet being a sub-par dot outside of Gamma.

Totally. This build is a reflection of that for me (yours too, tbh). It’s as close as I’ve come to feeling good about a pet build, and I still don’t feel great.

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Do you think you could post a short video of your build? Even cell phone video if you can. It really does help just to have footage available to show the effectiveness of different specs.

Nice! I moved to Gamma Burst myself too, before the FA nerf even. Im still not sure about He Bites though. In theory I like like the sound of it, but in practice so often enemies will try to melee fight my pet instead of shooting it. I’ve been going back and forth between that or Hive Mind. Which is another one that seems better in theory then practice.

This is my Crit Gamma Burst Build. It’s pretty gear reliant, not gonna lie, and your pet is there as utility really, but i like it quite a bit and it got through MH3 Slaughter and all Bosses rather well. The main items for it is anointed weapons with the Gamma Burt, being able to get radiation on Jacobs and Fire and cold/corrosive weapons is pretty neat. And pretty much the backbone of this build. Next you want a hunter class mod. Other suggestions include the Back Ham Shield and Hex Grenade (it crits!).

Not a problem. I’ll try to get something up soon – no worries on quality. I’ve got the gear to make a decent video.

It works for both types of damage. The only thing I’m not sure about is AOE, but it definitely works on melee and bullets.

May I suggest a compromise? Try the Cosmic Stalker COM. The increase Big Game and the 25% increase to Hunter skills on the COM will boost Frenzy (which is a hefty fl4k damage boost on its own) and Psycho Head while still giving you good DPS as well.

The Beefcake Jabber can get anywhere from 9.5-13k aoe with his attack command, and the gunslinger gets a little more, for 3 shots. Given the better base damage for both, I don’t see how the Skag or Spiderant can compete.

That right there is a problem.

RANT: I heard that the pets had differing damage values. I’ve never tested them myself, but I assumed it would be something like a 30% difference between the top and the bottom at most. From what I heard, damage wise pets went Jabber, Skag, Spiderant, with survivability going the opposite direction. If that were the case, things would have been workable, since the Spiderant’s elemental damage would have (rightly) put them ahead of the Jabber, but their melee style would mean they would deal a bit less DPS overall since they would need to track down their enemies and hit them. The Skags would need work, but still function as buff sticks (though even then, since scorcher gives bonus elemental damage, skags can’t compete in the damage buffing department). It would be workable, there would be balance between the pets and thus choices.

But what you just posted leaves no room for choices. I’ve gone through so many videos of pet builds, screenshotting damage numbers, looking for what would make a pet build work. The most damage I’ve seen so far was a 5,500 reflected ground stomp w/ 4/3 He Bites. The Beefcake Jabber does that every shot, and has a 14k attack command. That is just so far ahead that not even the elemental damage of the spiderants can catch up. That is just stupid, that a 75% damage buff, as well as an additional 75% from GB that you didn’t even need to use, can’t bring either of the other pets up to a Jabbers level.

You can basically just tack a jabber onto a crit build with minimal changes and have a far more effective pet build than people who throw everything into Gamma Burst pets. That is so far beyond the dumbest thing I could possibly imagine. They really need to buff the other pets to be within 30% of the Jabber, because that is stupid. Using every available multiplier the pets have available, the other 2 could never equal that. And since Jabbers don’t work as well with Gamma Burst anyway since it makes them put their guns away, it would be far more balanced to have the pets be able to overtake the Jabber during Gamma Burst and lose to it the rest of the time. That would at least make sense. Instead, the Beefcake’s auto attack does the highest damage I’ve seen on a pet (which didn’t even come from the pet btw), completely blowing out pets using their dedicated action skill and buffs.

I don’t mean for this to come off as me being mad at you. I’m glad you post video. I’m just super peeved that all of the theorycrafting myself and others on this forum have gone through to put together a viable pet build just got dunked on by choosing the “correct” pet. There is no way for the other pets to approach that under the current scaling. There is no “making it work” when the difference between a Skag’s basic attack and a Jabber’s is 500%.

I think I need to take a break for a little while. And while we’re at it, we need to seriously push GB to specifically buff the pets so that ALL ARE WITHIN 30% OF EACH OTHER! The way they have it set up now is so incredibly limiting and unfun, I feel like it’s a waste of time to continue trying to theorycraft when the devs seemed determined to hand me the answer on a silver platter.

Thanks again and have fun with your build.


I agree. It was shocking to see how much more damage the Jabber did when I replaced the Skag. The other pets need bonuses to make them viable


To clarify, my Jabber Build maxes out damage in Master and Stalker to get the Beefcake to hit that hard. But I think he would still do more with literally no points in any tree…

Pretty much. Since Gamma Burst doesn’t even work with jabbers, the main thing it has going for it is the legendary which adds a taunt. Which really shouldn’t even be a thing, since Gamma Burst is only good for pet tanking builds it should be baseline.

I have no idea what the team was thinking when they designed this mess.

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Funny thing ever since that video I made I’ve been switching things up and your build is similar to what I’ve been going with. Honestly I feel like all the pets were rushed and not designed well stat wise. If your pet changes and evolves with an augment to be something almost twice the size as its vanilla counterpart, it should have a pretty significant change in all its stats but that really isnt the case sadly


How well is Frenzy working with scorcher? I like scorcher for other builds but found frenzy stacks dont max or sustain without jabber… particularly with mobile bosses, graveward, and flying.

I tried pet builds leveling an alt with a friend but it was just so much slower than fade away and even rakk builds.

Spiderants are really bad at maintaining Frenzy on their own due to their odd AI and slow attacks. They often default to their ranged attack even if the enemy is just slightly out of melee range, which is not time efficient.

Also their elemental pools don’t seem to count as personal attacks for the purpose of Frenzy. They’ll drop it, the DoT ticks, but they get no benefit.

That said, if you have He Bites! from the Master tree, the damage reflect does count toward Frenzy stacks. So as long as they’re being actively attacked, they’ll max out Frenzy no problem.

Ok. So what annointed proc works here then? Frenzy just doesnt work for most pet builds, despite being an amazing ability on paper.

To make it worse, the cooldown (and even capstone) isnt the best. It seems like the builds need very strong changes or they need new annointed perks that change builds a lot.


I’m not even confident a hotfix could fix this anymore. The problems go beyond pet scaling at this point. The core design of the pets is way off the mark. There is no equality.

If you want to buff your damage, Scorcher is the best since 10% elemental damage will blow just about every other bonus out the water. If you want pet damage, Jabber hands down. Your biggest choice is between beefcake for tanking and gunslinger for damage.

I want to use the spiderant badly. It is my favorite pet. I can’t stand how goofy the Jabber looks. However, I can’t really leave the spiderant on its own to kill things, while I can with Beefcake. I don’t have to run Gamma Burst, which means that if I wanted to build around pet damage with the Jabber, I could go for Power Inside + Rakk Attack anointment for 100% bonus damage easily, and hit 25-30k attack commands back to back. The difference in clear speed between scorcher and jabber has been ridiculous so far, and I haven’t noticed it going down any more than the ant did.

Anointment that effect the pets specifically would help, but a bigger issue would just be giving them the damage they need outright. If all the melee pets hit as hard as beefcake, I’d be in heaven. I know GB won’t because Jabbers seem designed to be better out of Gamma Burst, and if the other pets did as well w/out GB as Jabber does, than they would probably feel like they do too much. I can dig that. But GB needs to buff the pet’s damage in GB way more, double what it does now. Take it from a 75% boost to 150-200%. Then it would at least be competitive with the Jabber sometimes.

Ive been using something similar to this for tvhm m3 slaughter dome only since it cant compete on bosses , been using anointed gamma burst heavy hitting guns to blow things up in 1 shot but i was using horned skag for gun damage did not think to try spiderant maybe the extra health regen will keep him alive for the odd 6 second downtime on burst where skag dies almost every time, all the gamma burst guns i use are elemental also so extra bonus