How does the Bloodlust tree even work?

My first Krieg was Mania-Hellborn, built solely with the express purpose of tanking and spanking. So I just booted up a LV30 Boosted Krieg and thought to take a whack at the Bloodlust tree this time, since it supposedly compliments the other two so well. I ran into my first issue when I took a good look at the skills: this makes no sense to me.

You get bloodlust stacks for dealing damage, and they decay fast. Meaning you’ll want to use stuff like Vladof guns and DoTs to get big stacks.
But that’s not what the tree benefits at all.
I see bonuses to melee, BXR, grenades, explosions, Torgue weapons? Meanwhile, Embrace the Pain is in the Mania tree. If you’re maining melee and explosions, how do you even keep your stacks?

On that note, how do you fight with this in general? Fuel the Blood wants you to kill with melee to buff grenades and Buzz Axe Bombadier, then Blood Bath wants you to kill with explosions to buff guns. But you don’t use guns in BXR, and when you use guns, you’re usually going longer range, so melee and re-entering BXR are more difficult.
What range am I supposed to be fighting at? Do I use grenades, melee, or guns? How do I keep up the bonuses, when they buff different kinds of damage than they require to activate? These are kill skills that run out after 6 seconds, and the bonus is dependent on bloodlust stacks which decay fast, so I just don’t see how to make the most use out of them.
Then there’s Blood-Filled Magazines, Blood Twitch, and Nervous Blood, which give buffs to guns that would be more useful and easier to use if two of them weren’t kill skills, and if BFM and Nervous didn’t take away from each other. I don’t really see where they fall into the equation.

And on top of all that, how do you keep up your survivability? Mania has Release the Beast for fast, reliable healing, and if you can’t get that, it has Thrill of the Kill and Fuel the Rampage for easier BXR heals. Hellborn has Numbed Nerves and Elemental Empathy, and with Fire Fiend, it can even work with melee and BXR. All I see for surviving with Bloodlust is Taste of Blood and maybe Blood Trance. Am I supposed to use the grenade buffs to spam transfusions?

I think that’s all of my confusion. I really don’t understand how I’m supposed to play this tree, and I’d like a bit of advice please. Thanks for reading.

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I suppose one should go skill by skill :

  • Blood-Filled Guns : added mag size. Only useful for gun-Krieg - but very useful for gun-Krieg (Tediore chucking, or just endless mag size to go with Hellborn’s Elemental Elation)
  • Blood Twitch : great for slag 'n swap - again for guns.
  • Taste of Blood : obviously for BXR. But a great way to build BL stacks for Blood Bath & Bloodsplosion. More on that…
  • Bloody Revival : worst skill in the game. Nuff said.
  • Blood Overdrive : I don’t know anyone who (ab)uses this.
  • Blood Bath : this is Krieg’s premier skill. Grenades trigger this but by far the most practical is the Fastball (which makes for killer Bloodsplosions). Also triggered by various splash-based guns and…
  • Buzzaxe Bombardier : this ties Fuel the Blood, Blood Bath and BXR together.
  • Fuel the Blood : this is the raid boss killer. Kill a minion with RtB or Hide/Rapier and go insane with Fastballs. For melee, it boosts Bombardier for axe chucking, which in turn triggers Blood Bath.
  • Blood Trance : again, a BXR skill in a gun tree which very few people use. A preference thing.
  • Boiling Blood : maintains stacks. It works ; not amazing.
  • Nervous Blood : strictly guns. Very nice to have.
  • Bloodsplosion : not much to say other than you want to have max stacks.

If you’re going strictly guns, this is all you need

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If you’re going RtB, then this

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Stacks are easy to build and maintain - especially with Taste of Blood (if melee). If guns, all you need is grenades (Storm Front, Pandemic, Fire Storm, etc,). Or go into Hellborn and Raving Retribution will do it for you.

Healing : Thrill of the Kill. You only need a point since Bloodsplosion has so much overkill damage. Or, again, go full Hellborn/Bloodlust.

Note : Blood Bath can be triggered by lots of elemental guns (Omen is extremely good for example) - so Hellborn goes naturally with Blood Bath.

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Thanks for the skill-by-skill reply. A lot of your points seem to have to do with synergizing Bloodlust with the other two trees and focusing on either guns or melee, resulting in good Bloodlust skills getting ignored.

I was more asking about Bloodlust on its own. Like, say I don’t have a high enough level to effectively hybrid Bloodlust with something else, or I just want to focus Bloodlust, get the most out of the tree before I move on. I want to center my build and playstyle around the Bloodlust tree itself, rather than use it to augment the other two trees/playstyles.

That’s where my confusion lies: the Bloodlust tree has good, useful tools for two (or more) completely different styles of play, and I don’t understand how to mix them together in a way that works, to make a lower-level Bloodlust-focused build work. And meanwhile, it lacks some tools that the other trees have that would make Bloodlust so much more effective and easier to use, like Mania’s survivability and Hellborn’s DoT.

I actually leveled both of my Kriegs with Bloodlust first. You said you started a boosted Krieg, which I believe comes with a max stats Blood Blister com, which is nice for the Blood Bath boost and the extra nades. If you’re trying to finish Normal or planning on the Lilith DLC I recommend getting yourself some Torgue gear. You have to get it yourself because you have no stash until you frag the Warrior, but common variants will work just fine. Level 30 leaves you with all of what @Jefe showed minus Bloodsplosion (start with the guns only spec and change to the other if you’re going RtB with the respec at 31). If you can find some nice MIRV nades from Torgue and a decent slag tool (you could set up to farm a Slagga with Clan Wars) you can set yourself up for some nice Bloodbath abuse. Shields are up to you, but eventually you’ll want a Rough Rider or FotFH.

As for how to play, you’re going to be mid range for the most part. Once you start firing you’ll build Bloodlust stacks fast, and those points in Boiling Blood will provide a time cushion to get your kill skills up. I never worried about prestacking, I would start firing the fastest piece I had and when the stacks got double digits I would dive into the explodey goodness. Alternatively you could spread DOTs and let them build your stacks for you. A pandemic nade (Storm Fronts and Fire Bees also do admirably, but any common Vladof AOE nade works fine) or 2 on the field to build stacks, switch to your high damage nade, a touch of slag, a Fastball or high damage MIRV to proc Bloodbath, and things just kind of give up. This strategy won’t help without chumps to fuel your kill skills, but that’s a different question that doesn’t come up as often as you’d think.

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Then stop at Blood Bath and go to Mania

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Then Boiling Blood, Nervous Blood, Bloodsplosion, Strip the Flesh, Redeem the Soul.

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I always thought of Bloodlust to be an augment for the other two playstyles, not really a thing on its own. If you look at most of the skills, they complement melee (Mania) or they complement gun builds involving setting yourself on fire (Hellborn).

I mean, it’s BL2, so there’s probably some way to make it work, but I think the tree is designed as a really clever partner to either gun or melee Krieg…I suppose you could just go with it as a basic gun Krieg for levelling. If you ignore the melee focused skills and just take the gun ones, you have a really solid gun Krieg with massive damage from Bloodbath, huge magazines and reload with Blood filled guns and Nervous Blood, and weapon swapping with Blood Twitch

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If I do that, then I don’t really have a Bloodlust focus anymore, do I? I’d need to completely rebuild the Bloodlust skill allocation in the following levels if I want to keep RtB.

So make some kind of fast-stacks prep to start? That sounds like it’d work to get and maintain stacks, I’ll try that, thank you.

Hmm. Yeah, that’s a Bloodlust-focused build with extra survivability, thank you.

I still don’t understand how Bloodlust is supposed to survive on its own without Thrill and RtS, and more importantly, how to utilize the other good tools of the Bloodlust tree in a way that works. Like, at the end of the day, I want to work towards making something like this work:


Perhaps even taking some of the other skills like Twitch or Trance.

Like, am I doing something wrong here? I feel like, given the responses in this thread, and my own confusion towards the concept, it sounds like I’m doing something wrong.
But at the same time, these are all skills in one tree, so I feel like there’s got to be some intended setup that mixes the melee, grenade, and gun elements all into one harmonious build/playstyle that plays and survives well on its own, and where points into the other two trees would just serve to augment that unique playstyle.
I just don’t know how that’s supposed to work.

How is Bloodlust a main component of both Mania and Hellborn builds, where most of the Bloodlust skills are useful, if Bloodlust doesn’t even mix well with itself?

It doesn’t - from a strictly healing perspective. Insert Grog if desperate.

Again, think of Blood Bath rather than the whole Bloodlust tree as the main supplement to Hellborn or Mania.

  • Hellborn promotes the use of elemental guns which typically have splash which triggers Blood Bath.

  • RtB => Fuel the Blood => Bombardier => Blood Bath.

Bloodsplosion is just the nuclear cherry on top.

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Okay, so I think part of your confusion is the role of grenades in this tree. There are some skills that exclusively benefit guns (through reload speed, swap speed, magazine size, etc.) and some skills that exclusively benefit Buzzaxe Rampage. But skills like Fuel the Blood and Blood Overdrive, which ties together melee and grenades, look weird without understanding the mechanics at play.

So Fuel the Blood. The reason this skills exists is because of its next door neighbor Buzz Axe Bombardier. Bombardier is a beautiful skill, it keeps the normal melee damage of your thrown buzz axe, tacks on explosive splash damage (which will also get boosted by Strip the Flesh), and then makes the whole thing count as grenade damage. So if you trigger Fuel the Blood at full stacks, your buzzaxe gets a huge damage boost when thrown, doing more damage than the melee attack.

But that’s not even the crazy part. The crazy part is that Bloodsplosion novas deal grenade damage too, which means melee Krieg can cause some truly wicked chains against slagged enemies. If you watch people Bloodsplode Pete, for example, you’ll see that they trigger the chain with a melee attack. That’s because of Fuel the Blood. FtB isn’t for thrown grenades, it’s for bombardier and bloodsplosion.

It’s also worth talking about the grenade aspect of Blood Bath. This skill just litters the floor with grenades, and more grenades = more better. In a gun focused build, grenades are often your best friends for building stacks of Bloodlust and Element Elation. Particularly AoE grenades like Vladof or grenades that cause a lot of DoTs like the Chain Lightning. In a melee build, they are great for slagging between Release the Beasts. Melee can also go DoT stacking route for EE which will increase the fire-rate of your thrown buzz axe.

Finally, Blood Overdrive. This one is just plain weird. It literally doesn’t do what it says. There was a thread about it a couple weeks ago. It’s also not the greatest skill idea in the first place. The hybrid playstyle it suggests doesn’t make a lot of sense. And decreasing fuse time is redundant when zero fuse grenades exist.

Hopefully this helps explain some of the ways melee, grenades, and guns play off each other. I tend to think Krieg is one of the coolest designed characters in the series. Although I agree with others that Bloodlust is not a standalone tree the way Mania can be once you have the capstone

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Raving retribution is also grenade damage (will benefit from Fuel the blood) . But since its damage type is locked into fire it is far less potent/cool/ flexible compared to bloodsplosion, so its very hard to advocate it over bloodsplosion in a melee build unless maybe while farming a health only/rich area …

And gun damage builds will have issues spending skillpoints into and triggering fuel the blood - requires melee kill to activate … Maybe something weird with blood overdrive …(not very effective, just different)

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Actually. That gives me an idea.
Do Bouncing Betties activate Blood Bath, Blood Overdrive, or both?

(all) Grenades kills will trigger bloodbath. (unless DOT kill in which case neither)

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You are quite right, and you could always do what @jefe suggests upthread in terms of build and stop at Bloodbath to start filling out the Mania tree. What I said reflects advice in other threads and how I handled leveling my Kriegs. At 31 I respecced for either Mania or Hellborn to grab the survivability offered and then built Bloodlust back up, Bloodbath by 50 and Bloodsplosion by 57. You don’t have to do anything that way, it’s just that Bloodlust (specifically Bloodbath) is considered an augment to the other trees by most, not a focus.

There is a comprehensive list of weapons that proc Bloodbath. Because Betties usually serve a purpose, spreading DOTs and slag (in which case low level nades are usually suggested and they wouldn’t do enough damage anyway), the explosion isn’t what kills so even if it could proc Bloodbath it usually wouldn’t. If you haven’t read the link @Jefe provided upthread you should take the time to do that. It will be helpful when determining what gear is really desirable for the almighty Bloodbath proc.

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Blood Overdrive is actually pretty nice, not as a centerpoint of your build, but as a complement to it.

Reducing the fuse time lets you use a wider variety of grenades, which is nice. Basically all nades become zero fuse time, so you can save time farming.

And then, you can get massive melee damage, finish off enemies with it, and proc that awesome +100% grenade damage bonus. That damage multiplies with Blood Bath when using a gun with grenade damage, so say you’re using a Hellfire, the damage by default is 100+50 = 150, then Blood Bath at 10/5 becomes 5(100+50) = 750, then Fuel The Blood makes it 5(100+100) = 1000. Or on a DPUH, you’d get a full 50% bonus damage.

The best part, you can get it and taste of blood more or less fully, with only six points. 5 in Taste + 1 in BO and you get 90% of the skill bonuses.

The best way to use it is with a Legendary Reaper with +99% kill skill duration, of course. With that duration, the melee bonus will last only slightly shorter than the duration of your action skill, so against armored enemies, you can be better off just killing a few weaker ones, throwing some slag bouncing betties to keep everything slagged, and then popping BAR to trigger that big damage resistance bonus from 10/10 Taste of Blood and kill the armored enemies with melee.

And the nicest part? If you use Blood Overdrive instead of Silence the Voices, you NEVER have to worry about hitting yourself in the face.

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Real Kriegers don’t anyways :wink:

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The lack of healing is the only real problem if you go down the Bloodlust tree first, but that can be taken care of. The FotFh (Flame of the Firehawk) combined with a Moxxi weapon, preferably a Rubi, will keep you healthy. Even though you get the FotFh early in the playthrough, it’s still useful. Tip Moxxi for a Bad/Good Touch to see you through until a Rubi becomes available. Preferably a slag Rubi!

Both Rubi (splash) and FotFh triggers Blood Bath. FotFh also builds stacks really fast. Now all you have to do is to get a first kill that triggers Blood Bath. Once that happens, your Rubi will deal some serious damage and trigger BB over and over. On top of that… All the healing you’ll ever need.

Just be careful that you don’t get caught out when your shield starts to recharge. If that happens, duck behind cover if you can until the shield is ready to go again.

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