[Guide] FL4K Pet Guide


Firstly, original credit for this thread goes to @pestopartyy, who put this together before launch.
Also, thanks to @Ratore, @darreltan2004, @Space0ctopus, and @narfkeks for help with testing and suggestions throughout the months.

With the FL4K skill guide being completed recently and Mayhem 2.0 just released, it’s about time to finish this for anyone looking to really min-max FL4K’s pets. I’m not going to focus too much on pet damage in this post since they aren’t scaling for Mayhem 2.0 yet, but trust me once they do I’ll be all over with a dedicated pet compendium! In the meantime you can find their damage formula and other FL4K goodies in Ratore’s Damage Formula thread.

Now that we have a much better understanding of how the different pets work, we can see that there is a fair amount of nuance and min-max potential depending on what you want to do. This thread will serve as a resource that gives info on each of the pets and how to make the most out of them.

This is a community effort, so feel free to contribute any knowledge you may have on the pets as well so we can make this the most comprehensive guide possible!

Skill ratings

:star: : Bad skills. Don’t use these at all once you unlock other pets.

:star::star: : Workable. These pets are more niche and require specialized builds to really be worth taking.

:star::star::star: : Excellent. These pets will be the best choice for just about every build and are universally useful no matter what you’re doing.

Table of Contents

  1. Jabber
  2. Skag
  3. Spiderant
  4. Final Notes

Jabber

The Jabbers are handy sidekicks with unique mechanics. They are primarily ranged attackers, meaning they have a lot of strange interactions with FL4K’s pet skills. They also love impersonating Donkey-Kong, which can be a benefit or a detriment depending on your level of patience.
They are also the only pet that won’t commit suicide at Wotan, so that’s cool.

Jabber Sidekick

Jabber:star:

Requires no skill points to unlock

FL4K is joined by a loyal Jabber companion, armed with a Pistol. While accompanied by the Jabber, FL4K’s Movement Speed is increased.

  • Attack Command : The Jabber throws a Radiation Barrel at enemies.

  • Passive Bonus : +5.0% Movement Speed

  • Base Damage shot : 2274

  • Attack Command : 11991

Great in: Not running into Wotan

This pet is useful when you first get it, but like all of the tier 1 pets, it isn’t worth keeping once you unlock tier 2. It only has one passive, its damage is the worst out of all the Jabbers, and it doesn’t have any unique qualities that make it worth keeping.

Upside is, if for some reason you’re using attack command anointments, this guy has the quickest response to attack commands among all the pets. That’s not enough to save him from being a starter pet only though.

Beefcake Jabber

Beefcake:star: :star: halfstar

Requires 10 skill points invested in Stalker to unlock

FL4K’s Jabber evolves into a Beefcake, discarding its pistol and equipping a Shotgun. While accompanied by the Beefcake, FL4K gains increased Movement Speed and Maximum Health.

  • Attack Command : The Beefcake summons a melee weapon to deliver a powerful attack that knocks enemies back.

  • Passive Bonus : +5.0% Movement Speed, +10.0% Max Health

  • Base Damage shot : 5871

  • Attack Command : 11991

**Great in:**Attack command builds, pet damage builds (with or w/out Gamma Burst)

Beefcake’s max health passive is actually extremely useful for FL4K since they have so much percentage based healing. With Barbaric Yawp it actually gives as much health as Self Repairing System. However, in Borderlands it’s generally better to regen health than to have more, and the opportunity cost of taking a pet for a defensive bonus rather than an offensive one is rather high. He is also terrible at stacking Frenzy on his own for what it matters.

Damage wise, Beefcake gained a lot from the 7/23 patch. His shotgun received a 44% damage boost, putting its damage above Gamma Burst boosted melee attacks by 10%. He is also the best pet to take advantage of Go for the Eyes on attack commands, and this play style is viable for most mobbing content even on M10 when you utilize the Hollowpoint GR perk for extra damage.

Gunslinger Jabber

Gunslinger :star: :star:

Requires 15 skill points invested in Stalker to unlock

FL4K’s Jabber upgrades his gear and equips an SMG. While accompanied by the Gunslinger, FL4K gains increased Movement Speed and Critical Hit Damage.

  • Attack Command : The Gunslinger equips a Rocket Launcher to attack the target.

  • Passive Bonus : +5.0% Movement Speed, +5.0% Critical Hit Damage

  • Base Damage shot : 436 x40 in full burst

  • Attack Command : 23383 x3 rockets
    (Effected by splash damage, AOE)

Great in: Attack command builds, not running into Wotan, staying alive to pick you up

Gunslinger is the best damage pet bar none. His damage is so much higher than the others it isn’t even fair. He also keeps the most distance from enemies and will rarely die even in Mayhem levels, so he will always be there to get you out of FFYL. If you’re looking for a pet with a useful passive, his crit damage bonus can be helpful, but this isn’t the pet to go for as a stat stick.

It is amazing at stacking Frenzy on its own for what it counts.

Be aware that as of 7/23 patch that increased mayhem scaling, Gunslinger will frequently kill himself with his attack command on high mayhems. There isn’t much you can do to mitigate this, but just be extra careful when using the AC.

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Skag

Skags are a great generalist pet. Their passive Bonus Damage is universally useful, and since all they do is melee they tend to be the "smartest"pet. As pets, they aren’t incredibly interesting, but if you want a stat stick then you can’t go wrong with any of them in a pinch. If you want a pet that kills things though, don’t look here. They aren’t great at it.

Guard Skag

GuardSkag :star:

Requires no skill points to unlock

FL4K is joined by a loyal Skag companion, which will increase FL4K’s Damage.

  • Attack Command : The Skag vomits acid onto enemies.

  • Passive Bonus : +5.0% Damage

  • Base Damage melee : 2,998

  • Attack Command : 2,998 x4 ticks

**Great in:**N/A

Besides the fact that Guard Skag is a good skaggo, there isn’t anything that makes this guy worth keeping equipped past level 12. He only has one passive, his attack command is weak, and he doesn’t do anything mechanically different than the other skags.

Great Horned Skag

GreatHornedSkag :star: :star: :star:

Requires 10 skill points invested in Master to unlock

FL4K’s Skag evolves into a larger, Great Horned Skag which will increase FL4K’s Damage and Gun Damage.

  • Attack Command : The Great Horned Skag charges at enemies and knocks them into the air.

  • Passive Bonus : +5.0% Damage, +10.0% Gun Damage

  • Base Damage melee : 2,998

  • Attack Command : 11991

Great in: Stat stick
Horned Skag’s passive increases to Bonus Damage and Gun Damage are extremely potent and make him one of the best pets to take on any build. With 5/5 Barbaric Yawp he will give you 45% damage total on his own. More damage is never a bad thing.

However, his usefulness will depend heavily on your build. FL4K is able to access a lot of V1 damage on their own, and elemental damage is a much better damage bonus with something like a pearl. Come level 65, Horned Skag’s passive won’t be as impactful. It is still a great bonus though.

Be aware that as of 7/23 patch, his attack command is dealing 50% of the damage it should be doing.

Eridian Skag

EridianSkag :star: :star:

Requires 15 skill points invested in Master to unlock

FL4K’s Skag evolves into an Eridian Skag, which will increase FL4K’s Damage and Fire Rate.

  • Attack Command : The Eridian Skag pulls nearby enemies in by generating a Singularity.

  • Passive Bonus : +5.0% Damage, +5.0% Fire Rate

  • Base Damage melee : 2,998

  • Attack Command : 8,394
    (Effected by splash damage, AOE)

Great in: Meh as a stat stick

Eridian skag is still a skag, so is somewhat useful simply for the Bonus Damage. The increased fire rate isn’t bad, it’s actually quite good considering FL4K doesn’t have a ton of easy access to fire rate, but the amount is low even with 5/5 Barbaric Yawp. While it is still a DPS increase, it won’t as useful as the extra Gun Damage for most weapons.

Since Eridian is a tier 3 pet, he gets splash damage on his attack command as well. Unfortunately, unlike Gunslinger and Countess, he has the worst base damage out of any pet’s attack command. Splash is splash and with a dedicated build you can still get it to do more than most of the other pets, but not by much, and not enough to justify building around it.

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Spiderant

Spiderants are very interesting. With All My BFFs, their base regen applies to their own health, making them able to withstand tremendous amounts of punishment even with low health regen. This also makes them a great choice for support builds utilizing All My BFFs to grant team health regen. This also makes them great for healing teammates since All My BFFs applies your healing percentage to the entire team.

Two of the spiderants are come in elemental variants, meaning they can stack Frenzy with their DoTs, and have synergy with the Pearl, Flesh Melter, and Consecutive Hit anointments. They are very quirky, but extremely useful.

Spiderant Centurion

SpiderAnt :star:

Requires no skill points to unlock

FL4K is joined by a loyal Spiderant companion, which will cause FL4K to constantly regenerate health.

  • Attack Command : The Spiderant charges into enemies.

  • Passive Bonus : Regenerates +1.0% of Max Health/sec

  • Base Damage melee : 2,998

  • Attack Command : 11991

Great in: N/A

Centurion has the same problem as the other tier 1 pets: no second passive means it will be instantly invalidated the second you unlock Scorcher. It also doesn’t have any interesting mechanics, which sucks because the other spiderants have them in spades.

Be aware that as of 7/23 patch, her attack command is dealing 40% of the damage it should be doing.

Spiderant Scorcher

Scorcher :star: :star: :star:

Requires 10 skill points invested in Hunter to unlock

FL4K’s Spiderant evolves into a Scorcher, occasionally dealing Incendiary Damage to all enemies nearby. While accompanied by the Scorcher, FL4K constantly regenerates health and deals increased Elemental Damage.

  • Attack Command : The Scorcher charges enemies.

  • Passive Bonus : Regenerates +1.0% of Max Health/sec, +10.0% Elemental Damage

  • Base Damage melee : 2,998

  • Attack Command : 11991

Great in: Stat stick

Scorcher is overloaded on good things. Her elemental damage buff is absolutely bonkers, and is one of the most powerful damage bonuses you can get for FL4K. Considering how low most of FL4K’s health regen skills are, the 3% you get from this skill with 5/5 Barbaric Yawp is actually substantial. She is also surprisingly effective at stacking Frenzy with her lava pool attack, which does a decent amount of damage itself on M4 even. This attack is also great at stacking the Consecutive Hits anointment and the Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge.

As an aside, if pet damage does get buffed to the point of being viable, Scorcher’s fire locked melee attacks, in combination with her lava pool which deals radiation damage during Gamma Burst, deals a solid amount of damage. On M4 and below, Scorcher can actually be fairly effective as a damage source for weaker enemies during Gamma Burst.

Be aware that as of 7/23 patch, her attack command is dealing 40% of the damage it should be doing.

Spiderant Countess

Centurion :star: :star:

Requires 15 skill points invested in Hunter to unlock

FL4K’s Spiderant evolves into a Countess, which will cause FL4K to constantly regenerate health and gain Damage Reduction.

  • Attack Command : The Countess burrows underground and then emerges dealing Corrosive Damage in an area.

  • Passive Bonus : Regenerates +1.0% of Max Health/sec, +5.0% Damage Reduction

  • Base Damage melee : 2,998

  • Attack Command : 23383
    (Effected by splash damage, AOE)

Great in: Attack Command builds

Countess is amazing choice for damage, equal to Gunslinger under the right circumstances. Her teleportation attack command is extremely useful for moving her around the battlefield and behind cover, and it also does a boatload of damage when built around. Countess can also stack the Flesh Melter artifact for you, although she doesn’t benefit herself.

Definitely don’t take her for the passive though. You have several other sources of damage reduction that cost less points and give the same amount as Countess.

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Final Notes

Hopefully this guide helps you on your way to min-maxing your battle buddy! I expect there to be some changes to pets in the future so these ratings are subject to change. Until then though, GLHF and bring plenty of Skag chow! :canned_food: :canned_food: :canned_food:

14 Likes

These are ranked through the lens of the most amount of damage output possible, not necessarily the most pet damage possible, no?

Correct. I can’t really rate Gunslinger and Countess as highly as Scorcher and Horned Skag with pet damage as it is right now.

I’ll cover pet specific damage in another thread once we get scaling at least.

Good work :ok_hand: If you know I was wondering what the maximum mayhem level in the new mayhem 2
0 pets can do before they begin to fall off?

Attack commands work up to M4, haven’t tried past that yet. M6 is definitely a no go though. M4 at 1000% was difficult, so there is no way we can pump up our damage enough to get to 3000%.

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Man, I’m sticking with my guns on the fact that Fl4k’s pets should gain Fl4k’s Overkill damage. I would think this would be an easy adjustment that could really help pets damage output scale with Mayhem levels.

But, overall theme here is right on point. No true reason to run anything but Scorcher, Gunslinger or Horny Skag past M4.

I’ve been doing some math on various scaling, while I was at it I checked what the base melee damage is for Fl4k’s pets and I thought I’d drop it here.

Pet base melee damage = 7.5 × 1.105level

5 Likes

Yes, they increased it back in the November patch. Definitely would be a good idea to include it!

I don’t know for all attack commands, but for the only two that do damage it’s 58.5

Another thing to add that’s good about the Great Horned Skag is it can stop the immunity phase of the Annointed Militant knocking it in the air.

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Never tried that before. I wonder if any pet with knockback can do that…

Not too sure about beefcake jabber haven’t tested but Eridian Skag i know won’t work.

Beefcake definitely has knockback, and Scorcher does have a bit of knockback on it’s roll attack. I’m not sure about the stomp though…

ah gotta test those when i’m on next time. Stomp probably not.

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Also sorry for being so chatty but thanks for this awesome guide! Really helpful and informative! Hope to see more like it! :slight_smile:

2 Likes

No problem, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

It’ll be interesting if Scorcher also works. The attack commands would actually be useful for CC then.

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Nice guide, man, great work. Let’s hope those pet buffs come soon and they get it right on the second try.

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Finally got around to being “back” in the forums. Nice work on the thread! Hopefully we get those pet buffs soon.

3 Likes

Nice write up.
Learned a little bit new, more due to the fact I have never used a Jabber.
I love my scorcher, and my 2nd FL4K runs with a Great Horned Skag.

I tried using the Spiderant Scorcher but I quickly realized it had an unintentional side effect: its flame attacks are just so bright compared to everything else. If you’re outside during the day it’s not really much of an issue, but in any sort of indoor environment, the visual pollution is significant and makes it harder to aim (it gets worse the tighter and darker the space is). I don’t know if there are any settings I can change to lessen the effect (playing on PS4), but I think I’d rather stick with the Countess for that reason.