[Guide] Top Gear for Athena

I mean, there’s vanguard for one, beyond that, there’s always the hail and vibra pulse, both of which are on the list already on the list, are farmable, and do significantly more damage.

Beyond that, I think trying to play any charecter in TPS as pure (or as close as you can get) melee is an exersize in futility at this point. Not only are the charecters not really built for it, but all of them have so many skill points that you would be wasting tons of them trying to do that.

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@hoyle4 @bookemdano well, here is my proof of the lasers being top gear-worthy:

Laser Disker vs Iwajira - 1 chuck!

Iwajira kills & subconscious run with Tediore Splitters, Absolute Zero and Laser Disker - the absolute zero is also good with CS Athena!

Titan Plant Run with Tediore Splitters and Laser Disker

Hopefully this can get Tediore Splitters and Laser Disker on the top gear list.

I personally think the probe is TG on Clappy only, where Nova Spam is viable with any random probe as it reloads super fast regardless. I do really like @Wingsday’s points, it was similar to what Dano and I had discussed earlier.

@ItsmeJamesAJ I like the videos but for posterity could you do a similar run with maliwan blasters (and possibly Maliwan Splitters)? If I can see a direct comparison I can make a better judgement on my own and wont have to bug Dano constantly.( I like the comentary where my haphazard labelling with no experience is being taken personally :P) What I’m currently thinking is lumping a mention to maliwan blasters into the Thunderfire section and making a Splitter section for both Maliwan and Tediore splitters, but without comparison I obviously can’t make such a change on my own. I’ll also credit you in the intro when I eventually get to making such changes, cuz these videos are very useful.

Oh, good idea. Thunderfire is good compared to the blasters for several reasons: while it has a slower fire rate, it has splash (nova!), so it deals 2x elemental damage and 2x chance to set off DoT, and it has really, really, really high chance to proc DoT.

So if I’m understanding this correctly, you’re going to lump the blasters into “alternative recommendation” or whatever section of Thunderfire? Sounds good!

What exactly do you want me to do with the blasters? Raid? Mob?

Ideally another titan run as they’re better when they get to be fired for longer and it would be a serviceable comparison as uve already done one for. Splitters

The idea is we mention alternatives in the description of their better counterparts (you cansee this in mining laser clear skies haymaker etc)

Also from my experience the IVF is more than serviceable as a normal SMG its above average on many fronts.

I did another Subconscious run. I don’t think I’ll be able to take on Felicity with the blasters. Besides, the subconscious features a lot of different enemies with different traits which not only make it interesting but also allows me to show the various traits of the weapon in different circumstances. And, of course, subconscious run is longer than Titan run!

I will be uploading the blaster run as well as thunderfire run (to show just how superior it is - spoiler alert, a LOT) so you can compare the three - splitters, blasters, and thunderfire. Really, splitters should just replace blasters but I’ll let you decide that after you watch the footage. Note that I’m getting stacks mainly from skills in the blaster video - for instance, aspis that absorbed fire and shock bounces to 4 enemies = instant 150 stacks.

Now that I’ve read your previous post again, you wanted to test the maliwan splitters. Hmm, interesting. They have higher theoretical max DPS (because of the continuous damage boost) but I’m pretty sure they won’t be able to stack as fast as the tediore splitters. But then again, it’s maliwan, so it might have higher DoTs or something… I’ll test that out too.

edit: BTW, want me to test anything else (non-lasers, even)? I mean, the 2:51 EOS kill should be a testament enough for the hyperion shotguns but I’d like to test others out. If I can kill a boss with it, then I’ll go with titan run. If I can’t, subconscious run it is.

Also, I just noticed that you said Company Man is a better version of Thinking - I’d say it really depends. First, you only get one chance at Company Man, whereas with Thinking, you can get them easily at EOS fight to make sure you have the right parts. Also, Thinking does have higher DPS and higher maelstrom stacking AND can proc glitches, while all Company Man’s got going for it is the magazine size. I mean, there is a reason I use the Thinking instead of Company man in the 2:51 kill! So I’d like you to re-think Thinking (ha) and change that phrase, or even list it as an alternate.

Okay, I’ve done more testing with maliwan splitters, tediore splitters, maliwan blasters, and thunderfire.

Maliwan blasters vs Subconscious - no way I was doing titan plant run when these won’t output enough DPS against the boss

Thunderfire vs Subconscious - I know you didn’t request this, but this is to compare Thunderfire against Maliwan blasters and show how superior thunderfire is.

Maliwan Splitter in Titan Plant Run + Tediore Splitter vs Felicity - I did a titan plant run with maliwan splitter (not bad) and since it did formidably against Felicity, I tested Tediore Splitter against Felicity too. Interesting results here.

So it’s probably the best to replace glitched blasters with glitched Tediore/maliwan splitters. And now you see why I love Thunderfire so much. As for Maliwan vs Tediore splitters, they both work really great. However on Athena I think Tediore has the edge in that it stacks faster. And it requires quite some shots (9) for Maliwan splitters to get the full continuous bonus, so… I think Tediore’s on the win here, especially so in mobbing.

Wouldn’t the Excalibastard be a better alternative to the Mining Laser than the Longest Yard? It’s special effect is pretty much made for Athena. Having 3 enemies frozen with a single melee strike is a godsend for melee builds, and the difference in damage between the 2 isn’t enough to forfeit the utility the Excali provides for melee combat.

Also, is there any reason why no melee mods are in Top Gear? I understand that melee isn’t the best way to go with bosses, but if there is a space for it, the bloodthirster, boosting OS, may be good add.

Holy hell dude, 100% agree here. I do think excalibastard is superior to mining laser and longest yard for freezing at distance. At close distance, obviously there is absolute zero and fridgia, but at distance, nothing beats excalibastard, especially if you can aim.

And as for melee, I also agree with that too. In fact, this whole thread is not very melee-friendly, if you read responses above us.

I think trying to play any charecter in TPS as pure (or as close as you can get) melee is an exersize in futility at this point (quote from wingsday)

That sums up the attitude of comments in this thread.

I do have to agree with that though. Unlike BL2, there aren’t really enough skills on any character to support a pure melee style.

In BL2, Zero had several multiplicative melee increases, deception, DM, and melee COMs and relics. Krieg was Krieg, Sal could dual wield rapiers, and even Gige had With Claws and Upshot robot.

There really isn’t anything close to that in TPS. Claptrap and Nisha can situationally have insane melee damage output, but the amount of things you have to line up for it to actaully happen is ridiculous. Athena has the most consistent melee damage, but even then, she has 2 multplicative boosts in her melee tree, and only 1 works with melee.

It just seems that the devs did design every character to only be able to melee with hybrid builds this time around. If there is a way to still spec Athena mainly for melee at level 70, I would certainly like to see it. Otherwise though, I do agree with the general sentiment that melee is best used in a hybrid set up.

Still though, there are some melee specfifc items that may be worth a second look. For example, @sljm used the Meteor Shower shield for Maelstrom boosted homing balls in one his builds. If the shooting stars explosive damage gets boosted by Maelstrom, that could be another good shield for the list. Duality cits with melee and crit damage could be amazing for Atmosphere, since she doesn’t have any crit boosts.

@ItsmeJamesAJ I thought your run through the Subconscious with Blasters was quite good actually.

My thoughts on the Laser discussion:

I’ve tested Tediore Splitters in the BA Round of the Holodome and I wasn’t impressed with them. Poor accuracy, low fire rate, and high ammo consumption means that you fire a lot of rounds on target for very little to show for it in terms of stacks and kills. But I wasn’t running a Prismatic Bulwark and an Eddie so I had nowhere near the Laser Damage buff that you had. I think that adds a lot for Maelstrom to work with.

I know you don’t want to do it but a Blaster comparison against Felicity is in order.

Laser Disker is very much in the discussion for Top Gear. @Hoyle4 and I wanted to include four high utility lasers and two that favored a more hybrid playstyle. I don’t want to add more so it would have to replace one. What is your recommendation?

@Wingsday I’ve used purple and glitched Vladof launchers and like them but they don’t measure up to the current four or even other glitched/purple varieties. When the Berrigan came out I was really hoping that it was going to be the next Topneaa but was massively disappointed that they made it semi-auto. It just killed it for Athena.

@boombumr @ItsmeJamesAJ I would argue that end game Athena is not truly a pure melee character. After the Probe nerf and Shooting Star the days of one hitting everything and keeping your health topped off was over. If you look at the overall mechanics of her skill tree you will see that even her melee component is a set up for using guns. That is why in an actual melee hybrid build I gave the nod to Celestial Gladiator and Dominator. These two class mods are much more suited to the evolved melee playstyle that has developed versus something like Bloodthirster or Blademaster.

Generally it was decided that the Cel. Glad was your com for Melee builds for a similar reason to Wings’ quote wasn’t too much support for strict Melee.

As far as the excalibastard goes when you have 3 projectiles with 33% freeze chance the headshot freeze gimmick is less impressive. I could include it as a mention but that’s as far as its probably going to go.

@ItsmeJamesAJ I was really impressed by the Maliwan splitters of all things, and the Maliwan blasters weren’t performing as bad as you said they were, but I can definitely submit to an inferiority to the Thinderfire. @BookEmDano I’ve mentioned a change to incorporate splitters while still mentioning blasters, do you approve?

I wasn’t impressed with them

Maybe you were trying to use it like something it is not. For instance, when you’re against garguants, splitters are NOT the weapon for them. And of course they have relatively low accuracy, they’re like shotguns! So blood rush in to close in the gap and don’t fire too far from a distance! If you want, I can try to get tediore splitter + absolute zero + laser disker gameplay of holodome badass round for you to show you it actually does work, and it does work well. Just don’t think it will do as well as hyperion shottys; like you and hoyle said, compare within the weapon classes!

Definitely blaster. It seems fine when mobbing, but against anything tough, it holds no ground. And to get the max DPS, you have to hold it down for twenty rounds, which is just unacceptable considering that you need storm weaving to have the highest DPS boost available for Athena - unrelenting.


I’m really glad you could see the superiority of Thunderfire over blasters. Sure, the blasters don’t look too bad when you’re mobbing - Athena is really strong and everything just dies anyways - but against something strong? They show their weaknesses.

I was glad you were impressed by Maliwan splitters too. I was really impressed with them as well.

And as per Dano’s suggestion, I will be testing out the blasters against Felicity, but don’t expect it to do well.

By the way, while we’re on the topic of videos, what other bosses/mobbing runs do you suggest for these testing videos? I dislike the robot plant run because it’s too short and has lots of flying enemies and while I really really like Subconscious run, it doesn’t feature bosses. I’m out of ideas, basically - it’s not like TPS has tons of endgame content anyways.

I really like the beginning section of cluster pandora, you are guaranteed 3 badass Trojans and its really quick (about 1-2 minutes) but you can follow through to the other sections for a longer run.

Overlook is cool too cuz it has the same idea as titan bug its quicker.

Cluster pandora! Right, that’s a great area to show off!!

The only thing I like about Overlook is fighting the earworm and laughing my a** off!

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a Blaster comparison against Felicity is in order

Alright, I did it. They definitely fall short when compared to the splitters when going against tougher enemies, and the UBA’s and Felicity show that pretty well. Video is rendering now.

I wasn’t impressed with them

So i tested out the tediore splitters in the holodome and they actually did really well. I did die at round 4 (or was it 5? I can’t remember) BUT that has to do more with how I’m bad at holodome. Even if I was using hyperion shottys, I still die easily in the BA holodome (for some reason), so I think the 4~5 rounds I played show the strength of the Tediore splitters Very well. Would you like to see it?

I’m not going to play holodome again and try to finish the rounds because a. I don’t like holodome, b. it is more of endurance/survivability fight than it is about gun play, and c. I don’t have time. I don’t know how you were using the Splitters but they work really great for their purposes for me.

I’m convinced enough by the Maliwan splitters to have them usurp the spot, but I do wanna see the Blaster Titan run whenver that comes up.

Sure. I replaced my Thinking with a Shock Splitter while I was testing it in the Holodome. It just wasn’t a strong enough performer for me as either an all-purpose or a specialized weapon.

Btw, a common gear set for me in Holodome would be: Shock Taser, Shock Thinking, Fatale, Torgue Rifle.