Hey all! I posted this on the /r/battleborn subreddit awhile ago and someone mentioned it was a bit hidden and that I should toss it here. I put a fair amount of work into it and pretty proud of it! Hopefully both new and older players can get something out of this if they’re playing Mellka as she deserves more game time!
In case you would rather read it on reddit here is the post:
Otherwise I’ll see how it formats here. Enjoy!
#Kiratze’s Guide to Mastering Mellka
ii. Basic Overview
iii. My Helix Build
iv. Gear Mods
v. Mellka’s Role(s) + How To Play
vi. Tips and Tricks
Hello all! I recently just finished getting Master of Mellka and also fairly proud of my stats for her (as of May 9/16). I’ve got over 40 hours of experience with Mellka and feel competent enough to do a write up for her.
I feel she’s overlooked and by some people I’ve even heard her to be called underpowered. To that? I just say they don’t know to play her. Contrary to her “Easy” descriptor in the game; Mellka requires not only character knowledge but also a large deal of general game knowledge to play well, making her (in my mind) one of the stronger Battleborn under the right player. It’s not about just knowing her skills and learning to use them. It’s more about everything BUT her as a Battleborn.
So let me shed some light on Mellka and share my knowledge so you too can dominate the battlefield!
This will be a PvP centric guide aimed towards both beginners and advanced players
##Basic Overview of Mellka
Mellka is an Eldrid Assassin who has a skill set catered towards high mobility with both abilities being able to double as engagers/disgengagers. She’s slightly combo oriented once her ultimate comes into play and excels at taking out squishy targets and harassing from afar.
She starts with 1130 HP and like other Eldrid starts with no shield but uses natural Health Regen to survive.
Weapon - Mellka uses a machine pistol which has 20 bullets in each clip (can be upgraded to 30 with Helix). Upon reload, Mellka shoots a grenade from it which damage on impact and covers hit targets in venom which deals damage overtime for 8 seconds. (I find initial damage is approx 80-100. DoT is 10-16 per tick). Exhausting the clip FULLY will deal more damage. The Machine Pistol excels at medium range and damage falls off a fair amount at long range.
Melee - Mellka’s secondary attack is a quick 4 hit melee combo with the last hit uppercutting your opponent upwards and slightly forwards. Combo will do more damage against enemies covered in venom. Additionally, while sprinting and activating Quick Melee, Mellka will do a sliding kick for a short distance.
Claw Lunge - Mellka’s first ability is Claw Lunge. Upon activation, Mellka will charge forward a short distance and dealing 134 damage to the first enemy hit. Deals extra damage to enemies covered in venom. Jumping and activating Claw Lunge let’s Mellka traverse a large amount of distance in the air. Will travel in the direction you’re facing upon activation and can be used to lunge up, down, left, right, whatever.
Spike - Mellka’s second ability is Spike. Upon activation, Mellka will do a burst of energy, dealing 200 damage around her and launching her straight up into the air.
Blade Launcher - Mellka’s ultimate (gained at level 5 in game) is Blade Launcher. Upon activation, Mellka will prepare her Blade Launcher, allowing you to aim it. Pressing fire will cause Mellka to shoot three large venomous blades in succession that deal damage on impact. Can right click will aiming to cancel the ultimate.
Like with any Battleborn, Helix’s offer flexibility. While I do have some skills I always choose, be adaptable and don’t be afraid to choose a different augmentation if it fits the situation better.
Below I’ll go over every single Helix Choice and talk about my thoughts on them. In order to save space I won’t write what each augmentation does. For that you can refer to THIS PICTURE which has all the augmentations and shows my go-to build.
A star ( * ) will indicate my preferred choice.
Hobbling Strike - Good for engaging but that’s about it. Because Lunge is crucial to disengaging as well I’m not a fan of this choice. It makes Claw Lunge only have an additional benefit as an engager.
Hobbling Spike * - Great at kiting Melee assassins and slowing down people after your melee combo so you can keep pelting them with your gun. Additionally, provides more team benefit as you can hit more than one enemy with slows as opposed to Hobbling Strike only slowing one target.
Parting Gift * - Combined with Hobbling Spike, it only adds to your DPS and helps not only in team fights but wave clear potential which Mellka lacks. Even in duels, the extra damage can mean the difference in winning or losing the fight.
Spike Vault (extra mutation) - If you value the extra mobility over the damage, Spike Vault gives you additional vertical mobility alongside Claw Lunge.
Lift Off! - Like Spike Vault, some may prefer the extra mobility. It gives you more time in the air which lets you reach more places around the map and can also give more time to shoot confused melee attackers after Spiking.
Air Stall - Similar to Thorn’s augmentation, it can help get you get away from Melee attackers if they’re giving you trouble. The damage boost isn’t too noticeable though.
Frag Canister * - This is great for long range harassment (assuming your aim is well) and let’s you potentially cover more targets with venom. It helps in clearing waves and also makes it a bit easier to hit targets with venom as the grenade canister gets MIRV effect with the main canister exploding in mid-air, as opposed to just being one grenade flying through the air which requires more precision aiming.
Blade Ejection - Can be a nice little boost in damage to a single target and the projectile can be used to hit targets out of range of your lunge.
Action Reload (extra mutation) * - Great at upping your DPS and when combined with Refined Canisters at Level 8, you can spray and pray to your heart’s content.
Tactical Withdrawal - Great for players who enjoy being more mobile and prefer to use her gun rather than both her gun AND claw attacks. If you chose Hobbling Strike earlier, it combines well to create some distance between you and melee opponents.
Adrenaline Rush * - Gives you a bit more survivability while in the fray and an easy way to heal up a bit on enemy minions meaning more time spent in lane and less time going back!
Venom Contagion (extra mutation) - Good for PvE and if you’re purely going for farm and clearing waves of minions in PvP, it helps with that.
Eldrid Rhythm - Being able to potentially have an extra 300 hp is great. Combined with certain Gear Mods you can become pretty hard to kill. Best used in Incursion as it’s easiest to get to max stacks without dying.
Spike Burst * - Hit more things with AoE damage and Venom? Great! Improves your team fight capability and wave clear potential.
Desperate Lunge - Due to Claw Lunge not having great damage, it can be tough to activate as it only gives you the cooldown on kill. Additionally it only cuts the cooldown in half as opposed to giving you the ability to use it right away (which IMO would be a fair buff).
Power Spike * - More burst damage and more damage on Spike’s venom DoT? Count me in. Gives Spike more finish potential and ups your overall combo damage.
Second Wind - As someone who generally stays at a healthy life total, I prefer the extra damage but being able to get one or two extra Spike’s in a longer fight could definitely turn the favour to you.
Refined Canisters * - The extra clip size is nice but giving your bullets the ability to cover enemies in venom is the REAL reason I choose this. It improves your harassing as you can just switch between different targets and improves the chance your poison can kill targets running away rather than relying on your grenades hitting. In general it ups your DPS since as soon as you start shooting someone, that DoT starts ticking.
Potent Toxins (extra mutation) - Can still help with harassment and if you find you’re having a hard time finishing people off it can help. Haven’t tested yet but I believe it does affect Parting Gift’s venom as well. I find Refined Canisters will let you output more damage overall.
Thrill of the Hunt - Another nice choice to those who want that mobility. Can help you get out of sticky situations or to have some initiation potential when hitting someone with your venom grenade.
Feral Strike * - With Atk Speed gear, and envenoming a target before pouncing, you can rip through unsuspecting squishies before they can react. Because your melee combo also has a slight knockback, you can confuse people a bit running circles around them and knocking them around.
Finishing Blow - Used to be my go-to but overtime I found Feral Strike to be more effective in ripping through squishies. For someone who prefers more just combo-ing then getting out of the fight, this is a nice choice.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with either choice. Just depends on playstyle.
Blade Storm - With Refined Canisters, it makes it easy to get enemies envenomed so Blade Storm can home in on them. Having the blades bounce off walls also can help in team fights that happen in tighter areas. Good choice for those who aren’t great at aiming the ultimate.
Pool Shot (extra mutation) * - Affects a larger area with your poison and thanks to the Power Spike mutation I usually choose, all my pools of poison do more damage. Good over time damage while still keeping that initial punch.
All In - If you’re great at aiming your ultimate and want to focus more on single target damage; All In can be nice as it means all your damage happens at once as opposed to possibly missing a blade normally, which can lower your damage. Also, it’s great fun to see large chunks of HP just melt away.
While I haven’t had the luxury of testing every single Gear Mod yet, I’ll talk about things Mellka enjoys.
First off, if you’re interested in Mellka’s Legendary here it is
Reload speed is very good for Mellka and Attack damage is always nice. The extra ability is VERY fun and if you’re one to mix in melee attacks during fights you can get near instant reloads. Personally I would have rather had Reload speed AND Attack speed but it’s still a solid item for her and thanks to Mellka’s roaming capability, getting enough Shards for it shouldn’t be a problem.
Mellka is very flexible in terms of Gear Mods and it really just comes down to your playstyle. That being said, my top stats I think Mellka makes the most use out of are:
Movement or Sprint Speed. Compared to other Eldrid like Thorn or Miko, Mellka’s slower and being able to roam around the map faster is very important; not to mention sticking to people to keep clawing at them or to get in for a last Spike.
Attack or Reload Speed. Both do similar things for Mellka, being able to improve her rate of harassment with her gun. Attack speed will improve overall DPS (and affecting melee combo) while Reload Speed means being able to start shooting again sooner after firing off a venom grenade.
Health Regen. As I enjoy roaming a lot with Mellka, getting closer to max HP before another fight starts is nice. Combined with her natural Eldred regen it also means you can stay in lane longer to farm or harass enemies.
Overall, feel free to pick things to fit her playstyle. Hell, my Meltdown Gear loadout has a Build Reduction mod since I enjoy roaming and building everything with her. If you enjoy having more staying power in team fights, get some extra HP on her or a shield maybe. The things I mentioned above are just what I enjoy using on her the most.
##Mellka’s Role(s) + Playing Mellka
Mellka at her core is an assassin. Now, it’s up to you to decide what other things you want to accomplish.
Some other roles I would associate with her are:
I’ve sort of been coining her as a “Guerilla” Assassin. She excels at taking advantage of unsuspecting enemies and has the right tools to get in and get out. One of the reasons I find many poor Mellka players is they play her similar to other Assassins like Deande, Rath, Phoebe, etc. trying to all in opponents and getting too greedy. Good Mellka players will pick their fights and know when to GTFO.
My main rule is you should be mobile as Mellka. ALWAYS be looking towards other parts of the map. You see a Marquis farming a lane by himself? Punish him. Your teammates pushing lanes up and shards just respawned? Grab those and start building some Elite minions. Mellka hates being in one place for too long and she’s got the tools to roam the map and pick her fights. Don’t be afraid to use your Claw Lunge to get over walls, and traverse more distance. Jumping and activating it let’s you get around the map much faster (great for escaping a fight too!). Not only map-wise, be mobile in fights! Be unpredictable with your movement. Spike up onto a ledge and keep shooting your opponent who’s just wondering where the hell you went or lunge away, 180 and keep shooting! Just. Keep. Moving.
Mellka’s interesting to play because even though she’s an assassin she isn’t focused on just the kill. Rather, she almost slides into a supportive damage dealing role but can take advantage of the right moments to GET all the kills. This is why I value general game knowledge over just knowing how to use Mellka’s abilities. Knowing your enemy is the best thing you can learn.
For example, it would be insane for me to try and take on a Galilea 1v1. I know her skill set and mine and they don’t compare when face to face. But that Orendi and Marquis chilling together farming? With my abilities it’s a good chance I can kill at least one and push the other out of the lane even if it’s a 2v1. I know what those characters are capable of and I can play accordingly.
Mellka dominates squishies and backline characters. As an assassin you could care less about that Montana or Isaac in your face. Flank and hit that backline! Also thanks to your ability to harass, spamming venemous nades and bullets you do a great job at keeping enemy healer’s busy while your teammates can crush anyone NOT getting healed.
Due to her skillset, Mellka also excels at snowballing and making use of level advantage. Majority of games I play I’m always 1-2 levels ahead of everyone in the game. Reason for this is I farm as early as possible, using Spike and venom grenades to help clear waves. Once a wave is gone I’ll start harassing my opponents. Combined with minions, you can tend to set up for kills by yourself or your teammates. Another reason I get high level fast is I build a LOT with Mellka because she’s great at roaming. Building structures/minions and destroying enemy structures while you’re running around the map is a great way to get extra exp in addition to just making your map presence stronger.
Oh, and Mellka players should also be annoying! Her poison nades (and bullets if you took the right mutation) are great at peppering away at people’s shields and HP before you’re able to jump on them for a kill or to set them up for a teammate.
##Tips and Tricks
Spike + Claw Lunge is a great way to not only slow melee attackers for your teammates but gets you PLENTY far from the fight. Also good for getting around areas of the map you normally wouldn’t be able to.
Be pro-active with your skills. Holding onto things for the right moment is NOT how you want to play Mellka (exceptions to the rule of course). Spike those minion waves to push them. Ult that enemy Miko just to make him go back to base and deny farm/exp. Claw Lunge so you can get that large Shard a few seconds earlier. These are some of the things that’ll turn a good Mellka into a great one.
Also know how to properly be RE-active with your skills. Learning how to engage fights is paramount with Mellka. Saving that Claw Lunge as an escape tool as opposed to lunging into battle can mean a world of difference. Or maybe there are some fights where saving that Ult to turn a team fight around is better.
In Incursion on Overgrowth, using Spike to get onto your opponent’s first ledge is a great way to have access to behind the wall. This means you can harass anyone trying to heal up behind the wall and also this is my method of shutting down Marquis who try to cheese your sentry. Jump up, shoot them, hit them with a poison nade, and you’re free to jump back down or Lunge away. Just be careful of the enemy sentry sniping you between the fence.
Your Ultimate is your sniper. Your machine pistol has terrible damage at long range and it can be tough to hit people with your grenades if they’re far away. If I see an enemy in the backline who’s at very low HP, I’ll snipe them with my ultimate even if it means the damage was overkill; securing the kill is worth it.
Speaking of your machine pistol, it does the most damage at medium range so don’t be afraid to get a bit closer to up your DPS. Spike+Claw Lunge can get you out of pretty much any situation. That being said, even though you lose damage far away it’s still worth harassing.
Get used to the venom grenade arc. Being able to hit those bad boys is VERY important when harassing and killing off enemies who are running away. They actually have a fair amount of distance if you’re good at aiming.
When fighting stealth characters like Deande, Oscar Mike, etc. your venom DoT keeps ticking when they’re stealthed and you can use those damage numbers to keep track of them so you can shoot them.
Don’t be afraid to stop shooting and go in for your melee combo. This saves bullets so you can empty a FULL clip into them as they’re running away as opposed to a quarter of a clip then having to reload.
Be a Guerilla. This means there is nothing wrong with leaving a fight if you know a better opportunity for a kill will be there in the near future.
Don’t be afraid of running AKA know when to GTFO. Mellka is fairly squishy and doesn’t have the survivability tools like other melee assassins to stay in fights. Even though Spike + Claw Lunge can get you out of virtually any stick situation; knowing when you’re in over your head ASAP will mean the difference in living or dying since you’ll be able to pop those skills sooner.
I spent all night writing this guide and I hope you got something out of it or even if it just piques your interest enough to TRY Mellka out then that’s great! I may have missed some things so feel free to comment with any questions that my guide may have not answered.
Mellka is strong and from my experience one of the stronger characters in Battleborn but she does require a fair amount of time in-game and the right player. Once that happens though? Mellka can dominate a match while being a great support to her teammate to boot.
Shameless plug time.
If you’re interested in video content I’ll be getting more Mellka gameplay uploaded to my YT channel (among other things) here:
Otherwise I’m always open to being contacted on Twitter @Kiratze and it’s the best way to keep up to date with me in general.
Thank you guys for reading (if you got through it all!) and hope you all have a great night, day, or morning wherever you are!