[Guide] Top Gear for Athena

Can I borrow your glasses because I keep getting convinced into trying the Belt but it never impresses me even at 500-600 stacks it barely scratches trash mobs (not even badasses just psychos and sh!t). I…don’t think my heart can take it anymore…

It’s roughly the damage of a Torguemada pellet in my Battery build. shrug

And more damage than SoA. :stuck_out_tongue:

Writing off Asteroid Belt because it doesn’t one-shot psychos is like writing off Superconductor. Or Return Fire. Or 3DD1.E’s shock thingies. By themselves, yeah, each of them isn’t very impressive. But all together, they add up.

It’s another automatic damage method. Spikes only work in Melee range, and Novas are kinda counter-intuitive to the entire point of Conduit, namely keeping the shield full most of the time (Black Hole is godly in Hybrids though). They also have limited range.

Asteroid Belt benefits from constant Conduit and Maelstrom stacks, and while Aspis is up it literally covers your flank (Superconductor and Return Fire only work in the cone). It doesn’t do zero damage, which is how much shields that are just shields would do.

Its defensive stats are otherwise completely satisfactory. It can also come with DoT immunity, which is something SoA, Bulwark, and Haymaker can’t do.

So I ask you. If Asteroid Belt can keep you alive as well as most other shields, but it also does more than zero damage at infinite range to enemies you’re not even shooting at, what in your opinion makes this unsatisfactory compared to those shields that don’t do this?

I’m a little confused how you have no qualms about keeping Avalanche on the list even though Roid Athena practically doesn’t exist past 50 (I’m sure I can go into more depth on this if you like), but you’re so completely opposed to Asteroid Belt, which is a completely average shield with a completely unique damage mechanic.

I’m not saying it should replace SoA. I’m saying it deserves a spot because it’s unique.

  • Black Hole
  • Best Shock Nova, unique Singularity
  • SoA
  • Highest capacity, lowest HP reduction among Turtles
  • Asteroid Belt
  • Practically infinite range passive damage, synergy with Conduit
  • Haymaker/Purple Adaptive
  • Solid Capacity, HP bonus
  • Bulwark
  • Laser damage, Laser absorption

And that would be my list. Unless you can show me an effective Roid Athena past 50 (that isn’t more effective with Black Hole), in which case Avalanche could get a spot too.

Ug idk I’ll take a look again, from my experience it does enough damage to save you milliseconds when you eventually have to shoot them anyway.

I’ve used the avalanche though when I was testing bladed sniders/railguns and you definitely feel so much weaker without it.

I still don’t think you’re looking at Asteroid Belt the right way, but I don’t know how else to try to express what I’m trying to say other than “it gives enough defense, and it deals more than zero damage”.

Of course your melee damage is a lot higher with a Roid Shield… That doesn’t mean you’re more effective overall.

I’ve long thought it was an interesting idea to try to use an item that requires your shield to be down most of the time on a character that is focused on keeping it up (or avoiding damage, which is needed to keep it down) and with very little HP recovery ability.

But that’s just my opinion.

You don’t have to change anything on my account if you disagree. I’ve said what I need to say on the matter. I didn’t intend to be frustrating.

OP Updated, still iffy on COMs and Grenades (Fire Bee most likely getting absorbed into the Storm Front but idk what to replace it with just yet), and I feel a couple of the COMs do more or less the same thing, and are therefore not as representative as they could be.

Despite the break-away, since you were considerate enough to credit me in the main post, I feel obligated to share rest of the testing I’ve did. I don’t think I’ll be able to do some more testing because… college, but at least, here’s all the ones I did.

Excalibastard & 88 fragnum

Fatale & Cheat Code

Hard (hehe) Reboot

Hellfire & Oxidizer melting everything in Pandora

IVF testing in Robot Plant

IVF vs Laser Disker for chucking

Kerboom testing

Longest Yard

Major Tom & Thunderfire wrecking Pandora

Major Tom and Mining Laser testing

Sledge’s Shotty vs Pandora

Sledge’s Shotty vs Felicity

Toby’s Spadroon and Tannis Laser sucking big time

Umbrage is really good

Seriously, umbrage is good. (Felicity)

I decided to take up your offer to input my opinion on the Top Gear thread, so for the last couple of days I’ve been testing gear in my free time. Now I tried to keep an open mind when testing and these are the changes I would make.

These are just from my experience and may not be the best. For example I wouldn’t have touched the Flakker with Athena prior to the Claptastic Voyage. Now I think it’s one of the best closers she has. Now without further ado.


  1. The Octo should be added into the Party Line. Because even though the it has slow-ish bullet speed, it has a large amount of pellets and an amazing spread with good damage and reload speed.

  2. The Sledge’s Shotty should be replaced with the Glitched Bloody Oath Bangstick (Scav shotgun w/ Torgue barrel). Because it has the same ammo consumption, automatic, does’t have the bad recoil like the Sledge’s, can have any prefix, and has glitches. With the Boganella as lower ammo consumption alternative with different stats.

  3. And I know this is blasphemous even before I say it but I would replace the Torguemada with the Flayer. I know Maelstrom doesn’t boost the damage but it still preformed really well on Hybrid Athena. And if that does’t float your boat the Glitch Pounder (Torgue shotgun w/ Jacobs barrel) preformed better than the Torguemada did even with the extra 1 ammo per shot.

Submachine Guns

  • Hellfire- I would replace the Cheat Code/Fatale with the Hellfire. Now I have read the debates on it since day one, but just hear me out.
  • First why the CC should go. All of the SMGs I have tested already have really good hip fire, devaluing the Hyperion gimmick. The mag and reload speed is bad even for a crit closer. And the argument on the crit Athena doesn’t have, that’s what cryo is for or just get a Torrent with punisher luneshine and call it a day.
  • Now for the Hellfire. Without the DOT it stacks 2 maelstrom per shot b/c of the 50% splash, increased DOT chance, has the higher body shot damage than even the Torrent, suffers less from diminishing returns with Athena’s firerate, boominator luneshine buffs it/the Aspis & gernades, and the Femme Fatale com fixes any slight issues I have with the smaller mag and slower reload (oh the irony).
  • And on the vacuum issue. I ran it in the Regolith Range with a Phalanx & CS build and a Femme Fatale com and it still tore things up.


  1. I feel the Vibra-Pulse and Rosie shouldn’t be on the list even though the Vibra seems tailor made for Athena in a way. They didn’t preform well and the life steal isn’t needed for storm builds, Vanguard is enough to keep you above health gate.

  2. The Spadroon and maybe the Tanis Laser should be absorbed into the Absolute Zero as the 2 or 3 beams that are good on Athena.

  3. The Cat o’ Nine Tails should take the freed up spot. It doesn’t have the best damage, but its basically a ricochet Fibber with pseudo bore and multiple bounces. It stacks really good if you get the bounce right, and it has a really good reload and mag since it only uses one ammo per shot. Even though it relies on terrain its pretty good and fun :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:. And for being fire only and for what it is, it was killing Felicity pretty fast to my surprise. :open_mouth:


  1. The Glitched Synergy (Hyperion pistol w/ Vladof barrel) should be mentioned with the T4s-r as a better alternative when it comes to killing things with its superior damage, better mag, and access to glitches. Where the T4s-r is better as a utility weapon.

  2. I wasn’t impressed with the Shooterang and I think it should be replaced with the Probe. Now the storm doesn’t need it, but for builds that aren’t decently invested in conduit with shock guns and a SoA Athena gets kind of squishy. Hybrid builds can heal with a Storm Front, the Aspis, butt slams, Blood Rush and Rend. Xiphos can do the same and roid melees still get you above health gate or more, even after the nerfs.

Assault Rifles

They seem fine to me.

Sniper Rifles

Athena shouldn’t use SRs outside of a cryo Snider or a Pitchfork for raiding. But really all I want gone is the Omni-Cannon. Its good hip fire doesn’t make up for fact its non-elemental and all of the other things that make it bad. If you have to replace it go with something like the Invader. You have to ADS to get the most out of it, but you sorta have to with the Pitchfork too. But whatever its not a big deal.

Rocket Launchers

  1. Glitch Vladof launchers should replace Kaneda’s Laser. I don’t see the synergy Athena has with Kaneda’s Laser and neither does the guide. The Vladof launchers have a good firerate, mag, reload speed, rocket speed, accuracy and are a good option for lower stacks of maelstrom because of their base stats and the ability for their gimmick of every third rocket not consuming ammo to stack with Elemental Barrage. Making the mag really big, and makes you rely less on reaching 700 stacks.


  1. The Fire Bee should just be added to the Storm Front. One is shock and the other is fire they don’t need 2 slots.

  2. The Data Scrubber should take the freed spot. Because not only is it a shield transfusion, it also regens grenades, and has a huge blast radius that even at moderate ranges will charge your Aspis and proc United Front to regen your shield even more. While still damaging enemies.

  3. The Leech should get the slot the transfusions have while listing the transfusions as its alternative. The amount of healing this thing does is insane even without maelstrom, but with it you become an immortal god ( :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:) on or above par with holding a Grog with a Storm Front hitting a couple enemies in BL2.


  1. The Haymaker really has no place on this list. I tried a handful of shields like the Asteroid Belt ect… But the shield that should get the spot is the Rerouter. With a variation of @BookEmDano’s Supercell setup with a Defender com it’s easy to get your shield back to full to get that over 100,000 amp damage once every couple of shots, which even on multi pellet guns its no joke. Add in the fact it can come with DOT immunity, HEALS YOU!!! for the amp drain, and can be combined with the Data Scrubber’s two shield regen abilities. Making the Rerouter a very solid option. The storm setup can also use the Rerouter, you’re just a little more reliant on the SF or Data Scrubber to regen your shield.
    P.S. It can heal you outside of combat too, so yeah. :acmaffirmative:

Class Mods

  1. I don’t have any Coms these should replace, but these three the Dragon (also probably the best chucking Com for non IVF throw reloads), Cannoness, and Protector are really good. So if you could do anything that, would be awesome. :wink:

  2. Now when this Com came out and I saw it I thought “Wow what a ■■■■■■ Com to go with a ■■■■■■ DLC.”, but the Rainbow Hologram deserves a spot within the Top Gear. In Cluster Pandora I got over 900 stacks of maelstrom 2 or 3 times just killing the enemies with my normal mobbing gear and strats on my way to where you turn on the digger during the campaign (all that just going strait to the digger, I didn’t even kill the vacuum area or the Destroyer area.). Throw in the fact it has multiplicative fire, shock and slam damage makes this thing over the top. And is probably CS Athena’s best mobbing Com even though it lacks the Storm Com’s DPS, it makes up for it in utility and shear damage.

Oz kits

  1. The Tranquility Oz kit deserves a spot, but I’ll leave how up to your discretion.

Miscellaneous Melee Gear

  1. I know melee Athena isn’t that good so that’s why I’m putting this stuff down here.

  2. The Moonlight Saga is a good melee Oz kit in a vacuum and at least it doesn’t do nothing in Atmosphere.

  3. And the Boxxy is the only thing I know that can strip your shield while your Aspis is up.

I know its a long post, but if you read it thank you. If any of the phrasing comes off pushy, I only did that to make it an easier write. And if you need anything just ask. Even videos, even though those type aren’t my thing with the whole no mic and 10 min max recordings.

Again thanks and I look forward to your feed back.


I’ll respond in full later (But in point form I’ll consider everything seriously but the Hellfire when I have the time, seriously tested that thing WAY too much)

@Bookemdano can share his thoughts whenever

1 Like

Ok, party time

I was personally underwhelmed with the octo when I was testing with other characters but I could go again with a bit more practice.

I could try a bangstick in direct comparison with the shotty my initial thought is “is the spread small enough to land more pellets in one shot then two center grouping shots from Sledge”

I probably won’t like the flayer (although its funny here cuz you bash my Crit argument elsewhere when Crit is the main reason to consider the flayer :blush: )

You didn’t open another Hellfire complaint so I’m going to act as you loved my SMGs.

Kitty cat is superdupe situational and downright useless in a pretty big chunk of scenarios. The Hellfire freezes over would make it on the list (as a mention in a Glitched Mali SMG section) before the cat.

You don’t use the T4s-R for DPS u’d use an Anarchist or a Shooterang before you’d use a normal hyp pistol.

I have a lot of problems with the probe. It’s no grog you get no insane value from it you get no fixed element (kinda big) and you get no huge moxxie spike (its roughly the same as the hail but I haven’t conclusively made sure). The only real benefit you get over the hail is a faster swap times and reloads, but if you have a skewering hail you don’t even need to switch it out because it’ll freeze for you with its splash and do all your epic damage with its Crit.

I can take a look at the invader but I kinda like how the omni can be used as an explosive option while also serving as a fairly high damage hand cannon. I’m not too attached though.

Dano flat out said he’s tried all other launchers and found nothing that could beat these 4, and I can see why. Although it’s not explicitly stated there is baseline synergy with maelstrom (as with all launchers) but the Crit is really, really strong. Adding a free 2x multiplier that never existed in the damage formula before (especially Athenas with her super high Elemental damage multipliers that actually make the 2x even better), let alone a ROCKET LAUNCHER damage formula, is literally insane.

That Bee change was forever in the making but AJ didn’t like the scrubber so I didn’t have a suitable replacement. I might do it now that I have someone on my team.

What makes the leech better? Sure you get health now but you get less health and the transfusion trails are something that is easy for Athena to stall for. What’s your opinion on the Kiss of Death?

@bookemdano, your opinion on the rerouter? He makes a good point

We’re getting in the range of “almost all of Athenas COMs are TG” there’s only like 12-15 of them. I’ve been thinking of increasing the items pool by 1 because I had a problem with only having 5 Shields, I was also thinking about Melee COMs because I’m getting a “Jack of all trades master of none” feel from the Celestial and I want to accommodate a more specialized Melee com. With that if you see one redundancy where you feel one of your COMs serves a better niche I can accommodate if I do end up increasing the pool.

I wanted to put the Tranquility/Duality up for a long ass time. AJ thinks the strafing run is the weakest thing there, but if I buff the pool that’s for sure going up.

We’re kinda proportionally representative of the Melee stuff we didn’t want to cater so much as to include niche backpack items for Melee builds you catch my drift?

If we do end up buffing the non-weapon tier pool I have an idea for a 6th for everything but Grenades, which is why I’m.hesitant currently.

1 Like

Yeah it was really good to my surprise. Not the Company Man, but that’s a high bar.
I used CS Athena and a Storm Com

It’s better b/c of the aforementioned reasons above. But what puts it over the top is the crit prefix.
I used Hybrid Athena and a Dominator Com

That type A and B crit is hard to beat. And I more meant I wouldn’t go out of my way for a bad gun just b/c it has crit, and that there are other options.
I used Hybrid Athena and a Dominator Com

No I’m still gung-ho about the Hellfire. :wink:


I still recommend you try the synergy.
I used CS Athena and a Storm Com

Fair point. I still think the Shooterang isn’t for Athena though, but whatevs’

I was just throwing something out there. And the splash damage is nothing to special, and past psychos it starts taking more than 1 shot. Dare you to post a video of killing a non cryo’d UBA Trojan an still call it a hand cannon. Even when you cryo them it still takes forever.

I think that multiplier may just be added into the Maelstrom one causing diminishing returns, but IDK. I just don’t see when Athena would use it, let alone when she has +700 stacks.


Just try it first, but you heal 100% of the damage the grenades deal. It takes a second for the child grenades to home in on their targets just like regular transfusions, but once it starts its powerful as hell (especially with maelstrom) and last for quite a few seconds. And know waiting for trials that can disappear and home in on allies, pets, and NPCs.

I haven’t used the Kiss of death on Athena, but on other characters I wasn’t impressed.

I know you don’t like this but you could add the Dragon and Cannoness to the Dominator. And add the Protector (my personal choice for melee builds b/c beside Omega Senshu, her other melee oriented skills aren’t worth boosting. I find the survive ability and utility of the Protector more worth it.) to the Defender. But as I mentioned above the Rainbow Hologram deserves its own spot. +900 stacks of Maelstrom while mobbing is unbeatable.

That’s why I put them at the end and not in my list. :acmaffirmative:

I’ll do my best.

  1. Lasers?

CS build
Rainbow Hologram build
Hybrid build

My laser note were that cat reference cat o nine tales I’m satisfied with the lasers rn and if i were to remove one the super situationally decent cat of 9 tales isn’t the one I’d add.

The multiplier is a Crit modifier its definitely not absorbed or diminished by the maelstrom (actually the opposite effect is true)

Before a rl damage calc is (in an extremely simplified way)
BaseGun DamageElemental Damage*Element vs enemy bonus

Adding a Crit modifier essentially multiplies that whole equation by 2 which caters heavily to Kanedas because its base damage is fairly high to begin with and its reload stats are phenomenal.

1 Like

I tried. Its still good and changes the pace.

I meant the cryo explosive multiplier.

But when is it useful in general game play. The only time I use rockets on Athena is as a closer or second winds. And beside a few mini bosses, I don’t know when I would even potentially use it. Give a scenario to justify it, and UBA aren’t one.

Against any enemy/boss with an easy crit? One of the highest DPS Launchers in the game as it basically has the damage of a Duurp with a similar mag size and faster reload speed, not to mention
The fact that there’s no need to care about missile speed because of its laser. Vladof may not expend as much Ammo but their damage is pitiful in comparison.

Also the cryo explosive modifier isnt part of the Crit modifier so the ability to Crit only helps it further (even more so because it also gets the cryo Crit bonus)

Ok. I’m not going to push it if you don’t like it. But I still stand by my choice.

1 Like

Just a brief question, why the bangstick in this case over the firehose? The Damage per pellet here is about the same (Bangstick has ~100 BD over the Firehose), but the trade-off for going with the Bangstick is you get the 3 more pellets for like a supershitty spread and 1 more ammo per shot (That last point mattters less for Scav shotguns, but its still more shots you get with the firehose before you reload than with the Bangstick). I mean depending where you’re using it you have more potential DPS with the Bangstick, but with that spread on what targets are you actually hitting those pellets on.

The same reason people pick Quads over Bushwacks. The damage increase and pellet increase is just worth the slight decrease in other stats. And that why I put the Boganella as an alternative. Its a unique quest reward and has really good stats but isn’t quite a Bangstick. And ammo isn’t a problem in TPS, you kill enemies fast enough and they drop it all the time. And the mag it huge enough with Gathering Tempest, even with the 4 ammo per shot.





Quite a bit different with 400 damage increase per pellets v 64 damage increase per Pellet.

The tradeoff isn’t as much in the Torgue barrel’s favor when ur going up against a barrel bonus, but I trust @Chuck80 more on the matter.

Quad vs Bushwack
(1403918) - (1362215) = 48372
48372 / (13622*15) = 23.7% increase in damage

Bangstick vs Firehose
(1200517) - (1194114) = 36911
36911 / (11941*14) = 22.1% increase in damage

A similar and quite substantial damage increase in the end.

Most of the time, the triple barrel is just a bad compromise over either a double or quad. If you want to shoot at very close range, the quad is better: it deals more damage per pellet and shoots more pellets. all the other stats are too similar to notice.

I like bangsticks, but for my money with Scav shotguns, double barrels is where it’s at. The mag size is big enough to accommodate 2 shots at a time and the dip in accuracy (while numerically significant) is not that big in practice and the diminishing return in the number of pellets per ammo is not as great as the other barrels. And with about twice the accuracy over a quad, you can take it to mid-range.

In all my testings, I have never found the triple barrel to be the better choice, except for a very narrow and specific distance from my target, which is impossible to get consistently. a couple feet closer and the quad is better, a couple feet farther and the double takes it.

That said, the Bangstick would be my 2nd choice here.
Of course, it depends on the build and what you’re actually trying to accomplish here.

Don’t forget that with the exception of a seemingly special case with Hyperion shotties, shotguns don’t have matching barrel bonuses.

I recommended this for Hybrid Athena, where Blood Rush gets you to literally point blank range. In a one and done approach for everything but UBA’s.

With the passive glitch gun boost and gathering tempest at 10/5 from the Dominator Com a 55 mag at even 4 ammo a shot is more than enough.