Has anyone worked out a decent M4 pet build?

I specced into pet damage, Gamma Burst and related anointments and took it to the Cistern of Slaughter but it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I hoped. Am I missing something here? A big part of Fl4k, to me, should be working alongside the pets.

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theres no pet build u hoping for , pet dont do enough damage for mayhem level .

their only purpose is stay alive and give bonus stat for urself or be a tank when using red fang .

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I thought as much. It’s a shame since I loved Gaige. Hopefully they’ll get some big buffs in the future. Even if they received an anointment during Gamma Burst it could make all the difference.

All the testing I’ve done with pets, a fair bit of which was on M4. Fl4k Critter Lab In particular, here is the Skag going through a section of M4 Athenas (the most recent attempt) .

And the Jabber

There’s more if you want to take a look. I gave up on it, but then again nobody would be scrambling for Consecutive hit anoints or Green Monster COMs if no one experimented with them, so I would suggest giving it a go if you’re really interested. I haven’t played the new level cap yet, so maybe those points can do something idk.


i wish gaige is playable on bl3 , big time gaige lover here definitely not pedo lol

the closiest thing we get to see on bl3 would probably be shock tks wave + amara indiscriminate .

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It’s a real shame. From how Fl4k was originally presented, one of the things they should most naturally be able to do is an awesome pet build.


I agree that their damage is lackluster (though I dont spec full tilt into their damage like others have), but it would also be a little overpowered if they could wreck face like deathtrap could.

Differences being deathtrap was not permanent. That is, it stayed up most of the time since my gaige was doing massive amounts of damage anyway, but it couldn’t just be revived via activating our action skill like we can with Fl4k’s pets + gamma burst.

Another difference is that gamma burst builds makes your pet invincible for the duration, which deathtrap could never do.

I think balancing pet damage is hard to do, but it would seem unfair to make them do more damage while they have the capacity to be invincible and constantly taunt things when you have a Red Fang com on.

You make some good points. I think in my mind, I wouldn’t have pets be as powerful as Deathtrap all the time although during Gamma Burst it would be nice to be able to sit back and gloat at how powerful they become. So perhaps as powerful as him but only during GB, and then only if you have properly built for it. For me, part of the fun of Borderlands is being able to find those builds where we can kick absolute ass and feel like the indomitable vault hunter we have worked to create. For Fl4k, it would seem like an oversight if you were able to list his most powerful builds and one or two good pet builds didn’t feature among them.


If they just significantly buffed Ferocity and Go For the Eyes to where 5/5 in each would make the pets do very good damage then it would be balanced. It would require 8 points (anyone already speccing in blue takes 1 in each anyways) away from Fl4ks own damage or utility as a tradeoff which is pretty significant in the scope of Fl4ks current meta builds.

Another option is adding anoints that significantly buff pets, again this takes away from Fl4ks own damage and utility as a tradeoff making it balanced.


I was thinking about Go For The Eyes! yesterday and thought it could be improved if they changed it thus:

"Fl4k’s pets now have a chance to deal Critical Hits whenever they deal damage.

1 point: 10% chance
2 points: 20% chance
3 points: 30% chance
4 points: 40% chance
5 points: 50% chance"

I would leave it up to GB to decide how much extra damage these hits dealt but you get the point. The effect would be more consistent in combat, have far better use against bosses and work nicely with crit builds and skills such as Head Count.

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Thinking about other changes I would make, this would be the list:

  • Buff all pet damage skills by a percentage chunk.
  • Change the skills given on Red Fang to make them more relevant. Keep He Bites and add Frenzy and Hidden Machine. At the same time, He Bites can be changed into a one point wonder with 10% or 15% reflection right off the bat.
  • Take off the stack cap from Endurance so it essentially functions like Upshot Robot, one of my favourite skills from BL2.
  • Make it possible to instantly get the pet to target an enemy when aiming down sights. That, or just significantly shorten the amount of time it takes.
  • More specific commands so pet doesn’t suicide on bosses.
  • Ensure the Jabber bonuses also benefit from Barbaric Yawp.
  • Change the Dominance skill completely so that it becomes something which contributes significantly to pet builds.
  • Change The Power Inside so that it lasts for the full duration of Gamma Burst and not just the initial part of it.
  • While we’re at it, let’s change some of FL4K’s healing skills into life stealing skills.

Other people would possibly disagree with some of this, or have different ideas for how to go about it, but my point remains - Gearbox, please buff the pets!

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I’d be good with that, but I think there would have to be a lot of balancing for this to work. Because they are still invincible during gamma burst, so there would have to be a way for them to die during it. And as an avid Red Fang user, I think it may give the pets some unnecessary bonuses.

I think this sort of mind set is helpful to balancing out pets and their uses right now. I’d love to be able to have the options between:

  • Strong hitting pet & weaker Fl4k as a result
  • Strong survival tanking pet & heavier hitting Fl4k (which is what I currently use).

Would break up some of the monotony associated with the pets.

This could be a nice, and welcome change, and make me love Fl4k even more because Gaige was bae in BL2 haha.

I like Eager to Impress being on Red Fang just because it shortens my CD when gamma burst runs out. Frenzy should definitely be on here though, and I have no idea why it wasn’t on this to begin with.

P.s. sorry for the long post and many tags haha


If the pets dealing damage is too much given their permanence/invincibility with GB, then replace their damage buffs with something else because right now they are just a waste of skills if they don’t go towards anything meaningful.


@KittyShoes17 lots of good thoughts. I’d love to see Eager to Impress, He Bites and Frenzy on the same mod. So long as the cooldown never resets after GB ends, which is a problem I seem to encounter sometimes.

I like your thoughts on anointments and man would I like Endurance to become the modern version of Upshot Robot. I remember getting that skill on my Anarchy Gaige one afternoon and then blazing through the rest of TVHM, working closely with Deathtrap the entire way. The synergy is really nice and getting sometimes 15-20 stacks was truly satisfying. Capping the stacks just stops that momentum ever properly building up.

On the anointments, we could even just have ones which buff the pet and not Fl4k and the lack of a buff people might otherwise rely on on M4 be punishment enough.

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A few rebuttals.

  1. I strongly disagree that it would be OP for the pets to do DT level damage, primarily because pet builds, including DT, have never been OP. As much as the term gets thrown around, the fact of the matter is for something to be OP, it needs to be “overly powerful”, not just good. Which means to an extent, whether something is OP or not depends on the perception of both the devs and the players. On the dev’s end, with the exception of nerfing normal digi Jacks to not get roid, pets have never been nerfed. Gearbox has actually given them massive buffs in this game that, were it not for the introduction of M4 the same patch, would have been nearly sufficient damage wise.

On the player end, it’s pulling teeth to get players to ever consider pet builds as something other than a fun detour. Pet builds have always had a lower DPS ceiling that gun based builds. Even Jack, who had pets that hit in the 20 millions, would be out DPSed by a gun build. By the very nature of the fact that you are depending on an AI to do damage for you, pet builds in borderlands can never be OP. To be OP they would need to have an abundance of power, enough to make other options not worth pursuing. Good luck finding examples of that.

  1. DT wasn’t permanent, but he could last more than 40 seconds and had much higher scaling potential because of elemental matching, roid shields, and upshot robot. Fl4k can’t even element match pets since the elemental ones do the same damage as the kinetic, making them unequivocally the worst pets for damage instead of the best.

  2. Seem unfair is the operative word there. I think people tend to make 2 very incorrect assumptions when commenting on the possible OPness of buffing pets.

The first is they erroneously believe that end goal is to have pets be powerhouses without Gamma Burst. That isn’t the case because Gamma burst and the master tree are the only things that make the pet worth using. They can’t be powerful without it.

The second is that a pet having such base functionality as drawing aggro and doing damage is OP when that is more than half the reason to use a pet in the first place. What is the point of having a pet to tank and draw aggro if it falls over like tissue paper? It’s not like Gamma Burst gives the pet extra survivability outside of immortality. Removing the immortality would be like removing the roid damage from Jack: it may not have been intended, but the pet is far better for it, and removing it would destroy the pet.

Keep in mind that unlike any other pet class, FL4K gets extremely powerful passive bonuses for their pet being alive, and every skill in the master skill tree requires the pet to work. You can’t equip them with shields, and you can’t control where they go or who they attack most of the time. When using Gamma Burst, they are the only thing keeping you alive, you have no invisibility or taunting without red fang. Much like Mordecai, and unlike every other pet class, FL4K when speccing into their pet has no other layer of survivability; no shield regen or life steal or invisibility, only health regen that is in large part connected to the pet. Unless Who Rescued Who gave the pet grog nozzle levels of healing, it would still die extremely easily under heavy fire when you need it most.

Balancing out the pets is what is making them weak right now. They deal so little damage because GB tried to balance their permanence and passive buffs by gutting damage, yet since M4 all they’ve been doing is buffing the damage and not buffing utility. The pet tree, master, is the one most focused on buffing Fl4k and the pet together. Re-balancing it so you have to choose between one or other will completely gut the other Fl4k builds that use the master tree.

You’re seriously overestimating what FL4K’s pets provide. Even when built at their best, they don’t offer anything that no other pet has before except Lick the Wounds. If the others didn’t need “balancing” then FL4K’s pets don’t either. Having a pet that can do enough damage to easily handle trash and help with tougher enemies while providing bonuses and aggro draw for 40 seconds tops is not something that requires balancing, it is the standard that Borderlands pets have been operating on since at least BL2, and definitely TPS.


Those would need an astronautical buff to be the fix. I can have +200% pet damage and they still do notta as our pets stand now.

I feel gammaburst is the already the weakest of Fl4k’s builds in terms of dps I would hate to see that exaggerated anymore. I’m sure they thought it would work out like your first option but given that the gammaburst anointment was buffed and pets are still weak I don’t think that’s their immediate goal.
Of all the awesome ways to buff our pets there are in this thread giving them better skills or badass mods without fixing their balance is like giving a gun to a cat, they ain’t shooting nothing.


Definitely not overestimating what they provide lol. I’ve been running my red Fang gamma burst build for months now, and I get:

  • A tank that aggroed everything.
  • An invincible tank for 99% of the time, and can be revived on the off chance that it dies during gamma burst
  • The damage / movement / health buffs from whatever pet is being used
  • Constant stacks of Frenzy due to He Bites

I think we might be diverging off the original intent of the thread here, but I’d have to wholeheartedly disagree about your perceptions of deathtrap. I clocked something like 78 days on my main Gaige and deathtrap could easily shred through a room of enemies on his own. And his ranged attack was insanely helpful for keeping Rakks off your back lol. The difference here is that I specced nearly 100% into making my deathtrap a beast, and it worked. Of course when they added so many levels that I could also make myself a badass then it was just two of us melting everything in the game.

Where I will admit a tiny amount of fault is how the words “a little overpowered” were interpreted. I should have seen that coming, because people like to jump down throats when they hear OP. To clarify; I was saying it would be a little too strong for our pets to have the damage capacity of deathtrap from BL2, whilst simultaneously being invincible for 99% of the game (deathtrap could die, quite easily too) and having a constant taunt when using a Red Fang (did the Jack’s have a taunt? Cause I know DT did not).

Red Fang is not the same as the kind of pet build the OP was asking about. Your pet is a glorified turret in Red Fang, it isn’t meant to do damage (if it was, it would have multipliers like the Deadeye does). Taunts are not a guarantee of Gamma Burst builds just because its on Red Fang. Red Fang is not the only build for Gamma.

You got those same things from Wolf, and it had scaling damage and a debuff that gave 2x damage multi. Not dying really isn’t that big a deal when the bonuses it gives are in line with other pets and the damage is trash.

Tanking isn’t a positive. It’s a pet, its job is to tank. The skag doesn’t get a scooby snack for doing its job. If a pet can’t tank then it isn’t worth Jack.


the difference is that if you do the same with FL4K it doesn’t work.

The whole point of a pet is to have an extra companion on the field. It is supposed to tank and do damage, the passives are extra gravy that they gave us in this game. The digi Jacks took way more aggro than FL4K’s pets, did way more damage, and got you out of FFYL with Leadership along with giving you most of the same bonuses FL4K’s pets give.

I think we may be on different wavelengths in regards to what we’re thinking about DT. When I say the pet should do DT, I mean their TTK should be about the same as DT, who was also in line with the Digi-Jacks and Wolf in 1-2 shotting trash, and less than 20 hits to take down a badass. I’m not expecting the pets to hit millions of damage, but they should be one shotting trash easily when fully specced.

If you think the immortality is OP, just play a pet build on M2 or M3. It really isn’t as powerful as you think it is. And I mean a build that specs fully for pet damage.


Ironically said build would have more points in the red tree than the blue…

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At this point, you and I are going to go around and around without finding a middle ground because you have your beliefs of how pets should work, which I find incorrect, and I have my beliefs of how pets should work, which you find incorrect. And that’s fine.

This is exactly what my Red Fang build does lewl. Works with my pet. And he/she is invincible and taunts everything so I take virtually 0 damage.