[Guide] Top Gear for Athena

(President of Jellybeans) #1

Thanks To:
@Exotek for the banner.
@BookEmDano for his Athena expertise.
@Derch for his efforts in maintaining the previous TG
@Sljm for his custom corrosive emoticon (And the original idea for Top Gears)
@ItsmeJamesAJ and @khimerakiller for their contributions

This is a list of the gear that we, as the community, feel is the best for Athena in each category. This is a community guide, so if you don’t see something on here that you think should be, post your recommendation.

The structure of the guide will be as follows: 3 to 6 slots in each category for the Top Gear: the best bits of gear that benefit Athena in the following categories:

  • DPS/Stopping Power
  • Ammo Consumption
  • Ease of Use
  • Effective Range
  • Elemental Versatility
  • Synergy with Athena’s Skills
  • Co-op Benefits
  • Other Factors (Moxxi, Melee, Glitch, Farmability, etc.)

Each piece of gear will be accompanied by a short rundown on the weapon, ideal parts and the means of obtaining. Everything is shown in relative order of preference: Weapon type, entries within each section, parts (if multiple are suggested), Elements, and Luneshine/Glitches (if any).

[color=coral]Note[/color]: Considering Athena’s various playstyles, the following tags will be used to identify which type of build is suited for a particular weapon:

   Storm: Her gun-heavy build that focuses on abusing Maelstrom and Storm Weaving
   Xiphos: Her melee-focused build
   Hybrid: Her gun-based build that focuses on debuffing enemies with Blood Rush without relying on Melee Damage

##Table of Contents

  1. Weapons
    1.1 Shotguns
    1.2 Submachine Guns
    1.3 Lasers
    1.4 Pistols
    1.5 Assault Rifles
    1.6 Sniper Rifles
    1.7 Rocket Launchers
  2. Items
    2.1 Grenade Mods
    2.2 Shields
    2.3 Class Mods
    2.4 Oz Kits
  3. Future Testing Candidates
  4. Additional Resources



#Shotguns
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Company Man

Storm: The Company Man combines Ammo efficiency, Mag Size, Pellet Count, and a high Fire Rate. This makes it the gold standard for Maelstrom stacking. It is probably the most important piece of gear that you can have if you rely heavily on Maelstrom for DPS. It should be noted that the Thinking is basically the same thing as the Company Man (It can outperform with enough Glitch Effect procs, but generally the Company Man is more consistent), and is actually farmable, making it more than suitable as a substitute.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Hyperion Grip
    Torgue Stock
    Practicable (Projectile Count) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Tales from the Borderlands Season Pass

Development

Storm: This Torgue-barrel Hyperion Shotgun is one of the most effective closers in the game for Athena due to its high Pellet Count, inherent Hyperion Recoil Reduction, and relatively high base Fire Rate. Its Ammo consumption can be entirely neutralized by Elemental Barrage, making it an ideal weapon to swap to after 400+ stacks. All of these features translate it into an absolute beast of a weapon that, in the hands of a skilled user, can take down the biggest, baddest enemies in a matter of seconds.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Hyperion Grip
    Torgue Stock
    Practicable (Projectile Count) Prefix
    Error Code O0L4M0A4
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Flakker

Hybrid: The Flakker (and by extension the user-friendly Ravager) is very similar to the Development in terms of its capability as a boss killer. It probably has more potential because of the Damage bonus on frozen enemies. However, the downside to Torgue weaponry is that you cannot build Maelstrom while using them so you will have to manage your stacks accordingly. Regardless, they are ideal closers for Xiphos-based builds that rely heavily on the Cryo buff, Omega-Senshu, and Tear for Damage.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Torgue Grip
    Casual (Projectile Count) Prefix
    Hyperion Stock
    Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Even-More-Disgusting-Tork in Stanton’s Liver
    Grinder/World Drop

Party Line

Storm: Another great closer that blends Flakker elements with the Ammo efficiency of Hyperion in one Incendiary package. You can easily reach max Maelstrom stacks with this while dealing a significant amount of Damage against flesh targets.

  • Elements: Only :fire:
  • Best Parts:
    Tediore Grip
    Hyperion Stock
    Gentle (Projectile Count) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Holodome (Guaranteed in Round 4)

Torguemada

Hybrid: This is just a great all-purpose Shotgun to use in either Storm or Xiphos-based builds and probably the best Explosive option for mobbing.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Torgue Grip
    Hyperion Stock
    Casual (Projectile Count) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “Torgue-o! Torgue-o!”, when turned in to Mr. Torgue

Sledge’s Shotty

Hybrid / Xiphos: While vanilla Scav Shotguns like the Boganella offer up-front Damage, the Shotty takes the spot for the insane amount of synergy it has with Athena’s kit. Its high pellet count and two-shot burst make quick work of most enemies in the game.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Scav Grip
    Hyperion Stock
    Punisher (Critical) or Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop


##SMGs
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Fast Talker

Storm: If you can get your hands on a Shock or Incendiary Fast Talker, you will have an SMG that is highly capable of mobbing while also serving as a great stacking weapon in boss fights. Its incredibly high base Fire Rate allow it to instantly achieve high Fire Rate caps with only Storm Weaving or a modest amount of Unrelenting-assisted Maelstrom stacks.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Scav Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Kwikner (Fire Rate) or True-Blue (Damage) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Tales from the Borderlands Season Pass

Torrent

Storm / Hybrid: Normally Dahl weapons lack synergy with Athena because their burst mode requires ADS for their DPS and Accuracy. Not so with the Torrent. Its impressive all-around stats and improved hip-firing ability make it a true workhorse in a variety of situations.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Dahl Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Flying (Bullet Speed) or Stopping (Damage) Prefix
    Punisher (Critical) or Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Meg in Hyperion Hub of Heroism
    Grinder/World Drop

Cheat Code

Hybrid / Xiphos : Hyperion’s Recoil Reduction gimmick has amazing synergy with Athena because you can hip fire so easily while using Aspis. Add bonus Critical Hit Damage to that and you have an SMG that can excel in a variety of situations. If you like to use the Aspis as often as possible take a look at the Cheat Code in Shock and Incendiary as a primary mobbing tool. The Fatale (which is basically a better version of the Cryo Cheat Code) is a great alternative to the Fridgia with the advantage of stacking Critical Hit Damage on a frozen target.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Hyperion Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Promotional (Fire Rate), All-In (Damage), or Forthright (Melee) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “System Shutdown”
    Grinder/World Drop

Meat Grinder

Storm: Multi-pellet SMG that can rapidly produce stacks when you need it. The slight drop in Accuracy makes it behave more like a Shotgun, but it has good Fire Rate and synergy with Aspis to compensate.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Scav Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Kwikner (Bullet Speed) or True-Blue (Damage) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Meat Head in Triton Flats

IVF

Hybrid / Storm: This is your boss killer. The IVF brings the added versatility to the SMG class with its high Damage Tediore Reloads. This can reach an incredible level of DPS only moderate amounts of Maelstrom stacks, especially when coupled with a Femme Fatale Class Mod. The added benefit of element matching turns this thing into a monster when it comes to taking down large enemies like Badasses or Bosses.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :no_entry_sign: :snowflake:
    Note: Reload will be :boom: if the gun is :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Scav or Tediore Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Refill (Reload Speed) or Hefty (Damage) Prefix
    Boominator (Grenade Damage) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Fridgia

Xiphos: High Freeze Chance, Fire Rate, and hip fire Stability make this one of the best Cryo weapons that you can use in a Xiphos based build. ‘Nuff said.

  • Elements: Only :snowflake:
  • Best Parts:
    Dahl Grip
    Bladed (Melee) or Flying (Bullet Speed) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “In Perfect Hibernation”


#Lasers
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Thunderfire

Storm: Up until the Claptastic Voyage, Lasers were largely underutilized by a lot of Athena players, but then, everything changed when the Thunderfire nation attacked. The Thunderfire’s fires a Shock projectile that explodes into an Incendiary Nova at the cost of 2 Ammo per shot. A useful mobbing tool when you only want to use one to get the job done against shielded, fleshy targets. It’s quite obvious that the Thunderfire was created with Athena in mind. It should be noted that the Maliwan Accelerated Blaster can serve as a more Ammo efficient option in longer runs like the Holodome, as the dip in performance is barely noticeable.

  • Elements: Only :zap:
  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Grip
    Dahl Stock
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Despair and Self-Loathing in Subconscious
    Grinder/World Drop

Splitters

Storm: Splitters feature the Tediore Barrel and perform like Laser Shotguns. Both Maliwan and Tediore Splitters are amazing with Athena. Maliwan’s Dichotomized Splitters are stronger against bosses and large enemies with their higher DPS over time while Tediore’s Refracted Splitters are better for quick mobbing scenarios, as their higher projectile count provides quicker upfront DPS and stacking. Go get you one!

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Error Code O0L4M4A0 or O0L4M0A4
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Vibra-Pulse

Storm: While not as powerful as other beam lasers like the Spadroon or Rosie, the Vibra-Pulse more than makes up for its lack of Damage with its utility. This Shock-based Beam Laser heals you for a percentage of the Damage you deal via Moxxi Life Steal while also chaining Damage to multiple adjacent targets.

  • Elements: Only :zap:
  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Grip
    Dahl Stock
  • Obtaining:
    Moxxi’s Chest in Concordia

Absolute Zero

Hybrid: When you actually want to kill with Cryo, this is a great choice. High Damage and Freeze Chance at the expense of a short Magazine.

  • Elements: Only :snowflake:
  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Grip
    Dahl Stock
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from EOS in Deck 13.5
    Grinder/World Drop

Mining Laser

Xiphos / Hybrid: High Elemental Effect Chance make the Mining Laser a useful tool to Freeze or quickly take out enemies close quarters. The increased Ammo consumption is not that big a deal with the large Laser Ammo Pool. The Longest Yard or Excalibastard can also be used as melee substitutes: the former has a higher Crit modifier while the latter has a situationally useful gimmick.

  • Elements: :snowflake: :zap: :fire: 
  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Grip
    Hyperion Stock
    Melee Attachment
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “Infinite Loop”, when turned in to DAN-TRP

Laser Disker

Hybrid: The Laser Disker fires little disks that fly quickly and deal Explosive Damage, doing twice as much to airborne targets. While this alone is amazing, it is also the only Laser to feature Explosive Tediore Reloads, and while the Magazine Size is fairly small, the base Damage is large enough to allow this gun to easily compete with the IVF.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Tediore Grip
    Dahl Stock
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from 5H4D0W-TP in The Cortex
    Grinder/World Drop

#Pistols
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T4s-R

Xiphos / Storm: This is one of the most versatile weapons at Athena’s disposal. Equally adept in Melee or Storm builds, it can serve as a main Cryo weapon, Shield stripper, Maelstrom stacker, or accurate closer. It has great synergy with the Aspis and extends the Range at which Athena can engage the enemy.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Torgue or Vladof Grip
    Win-Win (Damage), Redundant (2x Projectiles), or Action (Melee) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Holodome (Guaranteed in Round 1)

Anarchist

Storm: If you can effectively manage Storm Weaving and Elemental Barrage, then you will get great results with an Anarchist. It can stack effectively but also has great potential as a weapon to swap to with Unrelenting active, so you can use Athena’s incredible Fire Rate buffs to overwhelm any enemy with bullets.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Vladof Grip
    Vengeful (Fire Rate) or Dva (2x Projectiles) Prefix
    Error Code O0L4M0A4 or O0L0M4A4
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Shooterang

Hybrid / Storm: Tediore Reload features aside, this Pistol boasts a very high base Damage and great all around stats. Shoot it more than you throw it and you will reap the rewards.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Tediore or Jakobs Grip
    Super (Damage) or Two for One (Double) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Slapper

Hybrid: The Slapper is a great Explosive option for Athena in any build. It has more Range and Accuracy than a Torgue Shotgun with a better Ammo consumption (Which is more sustainable due to the larger Pistol Ammo Pool). It makes great use of Athena’s Fire rate, Elemental Damage, and Gun Damage buffs.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Torgue Grip
    Double Penetrating (Double) or Hard (Damage) Prefix
    Error Code O0L4M4A0 or O0L4M0A4
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop


#Assault Rifles
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Hail

Xiphos / Storm: What do you say about the weapon that has it all? Bonus Projectiles, +200% Critical Hit Damage, +80% Splash Damage, and 2% Life Steal. The key to mastering this beast is learning its parabolic trajectory. The arc from BL2 has been flattened out in TPS, making it feel somewhere between the Lead Storm and the old Hail from BL2. This is, without a doubt, one of the best weapons for Storm Athena with all of its goodies, which also make it amazing in her other builds Go get you one.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Vladof Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Rabid (Fire Rate), Ferocious (Damage), or Skewering (Melee) Prefix
    Note: The Swift (Bullet Speed) Prefix makes the arc go EVEN HIGHER. I do not recommend.
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Iwajira in Serenity’s Waste

Shredifier

Storm: This is another all-purpose tool that works great in Storm builds. Excellent overall synergy with Ceraunic Storms and its Fire Rate boosts, Elemental Damage multipliers, and Ammo mitigation.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Vladof Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Swift (Bullet Speed), ,Ferocious (Damage), or Rabid (Fire Rate) Prefix
    Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) or Punisher (Critical) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Torgue Rifle

Hybrid: This is the dark horse of Top Gear. An Explosive option that gives you better Range and Ammo consumption than its Pistol and Shotgun counterparts, while also boasting the 90% Explosive Splash Damage characteristic of Torgue Assault Rifles. Solid stats all around, and especially good when paired with Cryo.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Vladof or Scav Barrel
    Torgue Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Slippery (Bullet Speed), Wild (Fire Rate), or Plump (Mag Size) Prefix
    Error Code O0L4M4A0 or O0L4M0A4
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Major Tom

Storm: The advantage of Major Tom is its ability to fires 3 projectiles per shot. Coupled with Athena’s inherent Damage and Fire Rate boosts and you have an Assault Rifle that is highly capable as either a stacking weapon or a closer.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Dahl Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Deep (Bullet Speed) or Feral (Fire Rate) Prefix
    Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) or Punisher (Critical) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop


#Sniper Rifles
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Snider

Xiphos / Hybrid: High Elemental Effect Chance, Critical Damage, and a bonus 50% Splash Damage make the Snider quite a powerhouse in the hands of a Melee Athena, while also serving as a decent long range weapon for her other builds.

  • Elements: :snowflake: :zap: :fire:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Barrel
    Maliwan Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Sublime (Melee), Barking (Damage) or Gentleman’s (Critical) Prefix
    Error Code O4L4M0A0 or O0L4M4A0
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Droog

Storm: For when you want to go full auto at range or behind the Aspis. Best used as a closer after having stacked enough Maelstrom to benefit from Elemental Barrage to sustain the small Ammo Pool. You can also use a Longnail for its gimmick against enemies with large Shields.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Vladof Grip
    Dahl Stock
    Skorry (Fire Rate), Gromky (Damage), or Razrez (Critical) Prefix
    Error Code O0L4M0A4 or O0L4M4A0
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Pitchfork

Storm: The Pitchfork has incredible potential but its Dahl mechanics, Ammo consumption, and lack of Aspis synergy require careful planning. Treat it like you would using a Rocket Launcher as a closer. Five projectiles per shot at the cost of 2 Ammo and the Dahl gimmick require careful management of Maelstrom stacks, Storm Weaving, and Elemental Barrage. If you can manage this, it will prove itself among the best closers for Athena.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Dahl Grip
    Pacifying (Damage) or Night (Critical) Prefix
    Dahl Stock
    Punisher (Critical) or Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop


#Rocket Launchers
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Badaboom

Hybrid: Six Rockets per shot, deep Magazine, and ease of use make the Badaboom the best Rocket Launcher to abuse Maelstrom stacks with.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Scav Grip
    Torgue or Maliwan Exhaust
    Maliwan or Tediore Sight
    Clever (Reload Speed), Kwik-Change (Weapon Swap Speed), or Heap’d (Damage) Prefix
    Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Nukem

Hybrid: Highest Damage Rocket Launcher in the game at the expense of two Ammo per shot. Elemental Barrage makes its main drawback irrelevant, turning it into a monster, especially behind the protection of the Aspis. Pick it when you need close range power or mass destruction.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Torgue Grip
    Torgue or Maliwan Exhaust
    Tediore Sight
    dippity (Reload Speed) or Fwap A (Weapon Swap Speed) Prefix
    Piercing Rounds (Shield Bypass) Luneshine
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Flame Knuckle in The Holodome
    Grinder/World Drop

Kaneda’s Laser

Hybrid: Explosive Rocket Launcher with the ability to score Critical Hits. Nuff said.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Best Parts:
    Tediore Grip
    Torgue or Vladof Exhaust
    Torgue Sight (Fixed)
    Damage Attachment
    Note: The weapon will be called “Kaneda’s Laser” regardless of its Attachment, so look out for that
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Mongol

Storm: Using the Mongol with maximum Maelstrom stacks and Unrelenting active will literally transform the screen into a tidal wave of Rockets bearing down on your enemies.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:   :no_entry_sign:
  • Best Parts:
    Vladof Grip
    Torgue Exhaust
    Tediore Sight
    Rugged (Damage) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop


#Grenade Mods
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Note: Assume the preferred Fuse Time for all Grenades to be 0.0s, and the preferred Delivery method to be Longbow/Sticky Longbow.


Storm Front

Not only does the Storm Front deal Shock Damage but it offers one of the most sustained methods of stacking Maelstrom. The Storm Front’s wide area of effect makes it easy to blanket an area in a massive Tesla field. Highly functional Grenade with a focus on stacking Maelstrom and killing the enemy. You can also use the Fire Bee as an Incendiary alternative.

  • Elements: Only :zap:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Quasar

Quasar offers the best form of crowd control across all characters. Its large Singularity pull ensures that enemies are grouped for easier targeting or as a means of slowing their attack. Its secondary purpose is to strip Shields and stack Maelstrom.

  • Elements: Only :zap:
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Felicity in The Holodome and Titan Production Plant
    Grinder/World Drop

Cryo

The Vladof Area of Effect Grenade is highly effective for freezing groups of enemies solid. If you want a secondary means of freezing the enemies or as an alternative form of crowd control, this Grenade is perfect for melee or explosive minded builds.

  • Elements: Only :snowflake:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Transfusion

Transfusion Grenades can serve as either a primary or secondary source of Health Regen in Athena builds.depending on your reliance on Vanguard, Bloodlust, Conduit, and/or Moxxi weapons. You can also use a Leech for a quicker, less powerful heal, as it allows for more of a “panic heal”.

  • Elements: :zap: :fire: :snowflake:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Data Scrubber

The Data Scrubber is basically a Transfusion Grenade, but instead of Health, it restores Shields. It offers a different avenue of tanking when coupled with large Capacity Shields with characteristically low Recharge stats. It’s large Blast Radius also allows for easy Aspis absorption, which synergizes with skills like Prismatic Aegis and United Front. On top of all that, it also regenerates Grenades like the “Magic” Grenades from BL2 did. If you can get over the fact that it has a dumpy Delivery mechanism or the fact that it only comes in Shock, it’s a solid pick.

  • Elements: Only :zap:
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “Chip’s Data Mining Adventure”, when turned in to Chip


#Shields
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Shield of Ages

Shield of Ages quickly became the best Shield upon the release of Clappy’s DLC. It’s essentially a Fabled Tortoise without any drawback: It has the highest Capacity of any Shield, its Health reduction is half of the Fabled Tortoise, and you receive no Movement Speed debuff while wearing it. High Capacity Shields benefit the most from Conduit as it’s percentage based. Perfect for Shield tanking.

  • Best Parts: Fixed Parts
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “The Temple of Boom”, when turned in to Gladstone

Haymaker

High Health Adaptive and Elemental Resistance Shield that offers a respectable Capacity, and an interesting Melee gimmick. This is a very good alternative to the Shield of Ages for playstyles that don’t rely on Shield Capacity exclusively for defense and like the additional buffer that the Health boosts add. An Adaptive Shield can also be used to err more on the side of Shield Capacity.

  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Body
    Maliwan Battery
    Hyperion Capacitor
  • Obtaining:
    Mission Reward from “DAHL Combat Training: Round 5”

Black Hole

A passive crowd control Shield that combines a large Singularity pull with a high Damage Shock Nova. It requires full depletion to activate, and full Shield recharge to be ready again. Conduit is triggered on the Nova so you gain Shield back instantly.

  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Body
    Maliwan Battery
    Maliwan Capacitor
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Zarpedon in Eye of Helios and The Empyrean Sentinel in Eleseer
    Grinder/World Drop

Avalanche

The standout Shield for Melee builds due to its multiple means of freezing enemies and the highest Roid bonus of any legendary Shield.

  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Body
    Maliwan Battery
    Maliwan Capacitor
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Prismatic Bulwark

Prismatic Bulwark is a strong choice for Laser builds with its bonus Damage and the high chance to absorb Laser attacks, which are surprisingly more frequent than you would think. Given the list of strong Laser weapons introduced in the Claptastic Voyage DLC, this is a much more viable option for Athena.

  • Best Parts:
    Maliwan Body
    Maliwan Battery
    Hyperion Capacitor
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from Zarpedon in Eye of Helios and The Empyrean Sentinel in Eleseer
    Grinder/World Drop

Rerouter

The Rerouter is an Amp Shield that restores Health equal to the Amp Drain whenever you fire an Amp Shot. Naturally, the Rerouter has amazing synergy with Conduit, allowing you to abuse a higher frequency of Amp Shots.

  • Best Parts:
    Torgue Body
    Anshin Battery
    Maliwan Capacitor (Incendiary Immunity)
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from 5H4D0W-TP in The Cortex
    Grinder/World Drop


#Class Mods
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Celestial Gladiator

+27% Fire Rate / +19104 Max Health
Vanguard / Hold the Line / Gun Kata / Clarity of Purpose / Gathering Tempest / Conduit
Shield Recharges on Aspis Activation

Celestial Gladiator is worthy of its legendary status and is one of the best all-purpose Class Mods for Athena. First and foremost, this is a Class Mod built for tanking with most of the skills it boosts, Health boost, and its instant Shield Recharge upon Aspis activation. It also has some solid DPS boosts with Gun Kata, Gathering Tempest. and its Fire Rate boost. Athena is almost invulnerable with this Class Mod equipped.

  • Obtaining:
    Drops from The Empyrean Sentinel in Eleseer
    Grinder/World Drop

Storm

+49% Shock Damage
Storm Weaving / Unrelenting / Flash Freeze

This is the prominent DPS COM for an Athena. Nothing comes close to the amount of firepower that Athena can generate when using this class mod to its full potential and hitting max stacks with Maelstrom. The key skills are Unrelenting and Storm Weaving which have the potential at 999 Maelstrom stacks to increase your fire rate by 726%. Factor in Maelstrom’s 400% Elemental Damage bonus, Storm’s 49% Shock damage, and zero ammo consumption at 700 stacks via Elemental Barrage, and there is nothing that can withstand Athena. It is Storm Athena’s ideal Class Mod for raiding. For mobbing, however, it should be noted that the Rainbow Hologram is incredibly potent, especially with typically “low stacking” weapons, as it allows your abilities to do most of your stacking for you.

  • Best Parts:
    Surging (+6 Unrelenting, +5 Storm Weaving) or Raging (+6 Storm Weaving, +5 Unrelenting) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Dominator

+23% Fire Rate
Mercurial / Tear / Gathering Tempest

Fantastic DPS Class Mod for Hybrid builds that utilize Blood Rush+Rend combination to set up Tear’s Gun Damage boost. If you prefer a more aggressive play style, then consider using the Dominator.

  • Best Parts:
    Crimson (+5 Tear, +4 Mercurial, +4 Gathering Tempest) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Defender

+22342 Shield Capacity
United Front / Conduit / Superconductor

The Defender is the one Class Mod that can outperform Celestial Gladiator from a purely defensive perspective. The Celestial Gladiator emphasizes a combination of Health stacking, and Regeneration whereas the Defender’s entire focus is on bolstering defense through Shield Capacity and Regeneration. The combination of Conduit, Superconductor, and United Front adds a multi-layered approach to Shield Regeneration that enables you to maintain constant forward momentum. Due to the unique passive stacking capability of Superconductor, the potential to hit a high Maelstrom stacks is definitely a possibility.

  • Best Parts:
    Supercharged (+5 Superconductor, +4 Conduit, +4 United Front) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Femme Fatale

+49% SMG Mag Size / +43% SMG Gun Damage
Mercurial / Gathering Tempest / Unrelenting

If you have an affinity for SMGs then the Femme Fatale is an incredible class mod. Solid DPS perks with the SMG Mag Size and Gun Damage bonuses, combined with the Fire Rate, Weapon Swap Speed, Mag Size, and Reload Speed from Unrelenting and Gathering Tempest. Throwing in the Damage Resistance and Movement Speed of Mercurial is a nice bonus.

  • Best Parts:
    Relentless (+5 Unrelenting, +4 Mercurial, +4 Gathering Tempest) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Bloodthirster

+43% Melee Damage
+416.4 Health Regeneration
Clarity of Purpose / Omega-Senshu / Fury of the Arena

This is your Melee COM. The Bloodthirster aims to abuse the large multiplicative Damage boost from Omega Senshu in conjunction with her other Melee abilities to execute all who stand in your way.

  • Best Parts:
    Reaping (+6 Omega Senshu, +5 Clarity of Purpose) Prefix
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop


#Oz Kits
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Tranquility

The Tranquility may not be flashy, but it provides a respectable Gun Damage boost which is extremely valuable when used in combination with Athena’s several multiplicative Damage boosts. You can also use one of the several Duality Oz Kits to optimize your build for the weapon you intend on using.

  • Elements: :snowflake: :zap: :fire:  :boom:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Bomber

Boosts Grenade Damage, which is highly beneficial to most Tediore, Torgue and Maliwan weaponry. Throwing Grenades midair also comes with a 55% chance to not consume Grenade Ammo.

  • Elements: :snowflake: :zap: :fire:  :boom:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Clear Skies

The Clear Skies (and by extension the Ack Ack) is situational, but is amongst the best when it comes to fighting airborne targets. The individual mechanics offer some extra fine tuning when it comes to optimizing your build for specific enemy types and locations. The Clear Skies gives a multiplicative Damage bonus against airborne targets while also offering a Fire Rate bonus upon killing an airborne target,

  • Elements: :snowflake: :zap: :fire:  :boom:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

Acrobat

The frontrunner when it comes to Melee and Hybrid builds, the Acrobat not only boosts Melee Damage while airborne but also increases Movement Speed upon buttslamming. A fun and effective Oz Kit.

  • Elements: :snowflake: :zap: :fire:  :boom:
  • Obtaining:
    Grinder/World Drop

3DD1.E

The 3DD1.E has many features make it worthy of its legendary status: health and ammo drops, instant Shield Recharge, passive Shock attack, bonus Shield Capacity and Laser Damage. This Oz kit does so much in terms of utility, which definitely makes it a favourite of many.

  • Elements: Only :boom:
  • Obtaining:
    Drops from CL4P-L3K in Veins of Helios. If left alone during the “Eradicate!” mission, you can come back later to farm it.
    Grinder/World Drop

#Future Testing Candidates
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Have a suggestion? Don’t like some of the entries here? Post below and discuss with the community! We’re still a little bit short on data, especially involving Glitched weapons.

Current Candidates

#Additional Resources
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8 Likes
Supercell-- Tanking Build of the Elemental Persuasion
Help settling on build
Athena the Gladiator Resource Guide
Top Gear for Athena the Gladiator
(President of Jellybeans) #2

There, finally Done. Just btw I’m only posting this because I’m the edit monkey and it’s easier to do that if I’m in control of the thread itself, this is mostly @BookEmDano’s baby.

I’m in NO way knowledgeable enough about Athena to truly justify any of these weapons myself, so consult @bookemdano or @Derch if you have any disagreement about picks/

That being said, if you see a formatting error feel free to send that my way and I’ll fix that ASAP.

2 Likes
(Mshldm1234) #3

Just wanna post before I even read it, great job on the post, its nice for it to finally be updated. Also, Id definitely suggest recommending elements for guns along with parts.

2 Likes
(President of Jellybeans) #4

Well it’s mostly there, elements are shown in order of preference (But I admit it was mostly ballpark based on my limited knowledge of Athena)

1 Like
(Where's lucky?) #5

Thanks for doing this, I asked for mine to be closed and linked to this one. I also updated the link on the resource guide.

1 Like
(also known as brandpanz) #6

Minor detail, but it’s Sledge’s Shotty, not Shotgun (still don’t know why it got changed though).

Looking great though!

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #7

Oh, SWEET, we’re actually doing this now!!!

You definitely should add Laser Disker AND Tediore splitters. They are both excellent with Athena - Tediore splitters are GREAT for stacking AND they do great DPS, and Laser Disker… with Gathering Tempest and elemental boosts from Maelstrom, it can 1-chuck Iwajira. Let that sink in.

If you need video gameplay for ANY of this, I am more than happy to record some for you! Just let me know!

edit: I just read through the whole list again and I have two more suggestions.

First, the absolute zero is most definitely not just for melee builds. In fact, it is a staple in my CS Athena for two reasons: first, the cryo gets buffed by maelstrom, second, it does insane DPS already, third, it is very easy to handle from hip, and fourth, it freezes enemies very easily so you can proc flash freeze on demand. Boom!

I also disagree with the inclusion of 88 Fragnum because of… wait for it - Laser Disker. Laser Disker deals more damage per shot and more DPS than Fragnum (oh boy, especially with Bulwark and Eddie) and Fragnum’s hipfire spread is actually pretty terrible even with the laser attachment that tightens up the spread simply due to how the hipfire spread just spread out immensely upon firing anyways. Lastly, laser disker’s shots move faster AND have proximity detonation, so it is WAY better than fragnum for moving stuffs. Seriously, if you’re going to use fragnum, you’re better off using torguemada/casual pounder.

And this is just an observation, but I haven’t seen anyone using Longnail since the TVHM days. Interesting to see that it’s still on the “top gear” list.

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #8

Yeah, @BookEmDano you da man!

1 Like
(President of Jellybeans) #9

Yeah they’re both good we just wanted to be as fair as possible to her other builds while establishing the preliminary list. I don’t want the list to be “every single viable weapon” or “here’s 6 Storm weapons”.

That being said, what would be your fair cuts to make room?

Edit in response to your edit: A little unfair to bash the fragnum and comparing it to the laser disker. different categories and as far as pistols go its still top notch.

Also the Longnail was Dano’s addition he liked it there, as far as snipers go there isn’t much synergy with Jakobs so there’s a huge amount of staples gone, other maliwan stuff is just worse sniders. Pitchfork is the only Dahl thing that isn’t garbage imo, so unless you want something awful like the Fremingtons on there I think the Longnail deserves it.

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #10

I would take out blasters (they have less pellets despite the higher RoF so that means considerably slower stacking than Tediore splitters, AND blasters have lower elemental proc rate… it’s just stupid) and vibra-pulse (the damage is lackluster in this day and age of level 70 UVHM - besides, beams don’t stack and is hard to control by hip with the exception of Absolute Zero) and some ARs and snipers (they warrant testing). I’d also remove Fire Bee as 99% of the time, a storm front is going to be better anyways even against fleshy enemies in atmosphere. And of course, 88 Fragnum would be cut for reasons I explained in the post I’ve written above.

But trust me, laser disker and tediore splitters deserve to be in there.

If you’re still doubtful, I can provide video proofs as to why they’re amazing. Also, the lack of Hellfire in the SMG section disturbs me… I would rather take IVF out (laser disker’s the new chucking king) and put Hellfire in, because it’s still REALLY good in atmosphere.

1 Like
(President of Jellybeans) #11

I’m not flat out removing things unless they have a weapon in their category that can outperform them.

Your other queries are more in line for a serious discussion with @BookEmDano

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #12

Well, of course, I’m not demanding you to remove them - this is just the baseline for discussion and for further improvement to top gear.

edit: hmm, I also noticed that Probe was missing from the pistol list. That also warrants inclusion as it is a staple for any pure melee build.

edit 2: @BookEmDano

Hey, so that I don’t take up any more comment space, here is the list of all the changes that deserve looking at:

  • Add Tediore Splitters

  • Add Laser Disker

  • Absolute Zero is not only for melee; it’s also amazing for CS builds

  • 88 Fragnum should be removed. It holds no groud against Laser Disker.

  • Take out the blasters, as they are inferior to splitters for Athena’s purposes

  • I don’t know if Vibra-Pulse deserves to be on the list.

  • Same with Fire Bee, as Storm Front is going to serve you better 99% of the time.

  • Add Hellfire

  • Remove IVF (laser disker is objectively the better chucker in UVHM)

  • Add Probe because it is essential for melee builds.

1 Like
(President of Jellybeans) #13

There’s an issue with you praising the Hellfire and Bashing the Bee. If the SF is 99% better why on earth would I ever pick a fire locked SMG for TG?

There’s something to be said about the IVF not being locked to Explosive, just because there’s a bigger throw doesnt mean the IVF should be removed from.an entirely.different category. As far as smigs go there isn’t better that isn’t just worse versions of FT and Torrent. Im most likely to keep it unless Dano randomly changes his heart.

Your arguments on the lasers are strong ones though if you could provide some head-to-heads either with stack speed or speed runs at something like titan or both, your case would be much stronger.

Edit: As for something I can do, I can fix the labels on the AZ.

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #14

Excellent. Even small changes are a good start.

But for reals though, add Probe!

I don’t like titan production facility but I LOVE running subconscious (the whole thing, yes) and killing Iwajira so expect a video sometime soon about the lasers.

Hellfire is great because of the great DoT chances (naturally high DoT + splash damage, meaning x2 chance to proc DoT)!

In the meanwhile, Derch80 already has a great video of him using the splitters in his “deputy Athena” build post. Please do check that out,

1 Like
(Wingsday) #15

In the section for the Development, it incorectly says that Elemental Barrage negates ammo consumption at 400 stacks (should be 700)

Mostly personal preference here, but I think the Pitchfork should be above the Longnail because it can be used at high efficincy with much lower stack counts.

Also, I’m sure this has been discussed before, but thoughts on glitched Vladof launchers?

Finally, I’m going to throw my hat in the ring for Tediore splitters. I love the Savory Side Saber to death, but particulary on storm Athena it’s simply outclassed. (you should potentially not trust my taste in weapons when we’re not talking about TG, I’m a huge fan of the Party Popper, the SSS, and I’ve been known to dabble in the dark arts of the Min Min Lighter)

Edit: since it’s been mentioned twice now, I’m going to come out against the Probe. I don’t think it has a place in this game. The grog in BL2 was not even nessisary in most parts of that game, and in TPS, enemies hit significantly less hard and all charecters have much more access to health gain outside of Moxie.

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #16

I LOVE them. I agree they should be on the list

I’m not sure what “throw my hat in the ring” means (I’m guessing it’s an idiom), but I can attest that Tediore splitters are awesome.

I don’t use probe much, but you kinda do need it if you’re going for melee Athena, so…

1 Like
#17

I’ll respond in more detail tomorrow when I have some time but I just want everyone to know that I’m listening to your suggestions. Keep in mind that comparisons should be made within the same weapon category. @Hoyle4 and I purposefully reduced the number of Top Gear items so any suggestions should have a good reason to replace a current one listed.

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #18

I’m glad you’re listening. I am uploading the tediore splitter & laser disker videos right now so when they go live, I’ll let you know. Did you see my list of 10 suggestions? Obviously, not all of them are to be taken, but at least I hope that sets a baseline for discussion. Also, I don’t know why everyone is so against Probe when it is legit essential to any melee build.

(Wingsday) #19

I’m flattered that you value my opinion, but right now it’s 2-1 for the probe

(Resident DoT fanatic) #20

So what should be done to prove that it deserves a spot within the pistols? I mean, with melee Athena the only viable way to regain health (besides the small amount you get from Aspis) is with Probe…