I’ve been a longtime lurker on these forums, but figured I may as well share my go-to L72 Co-Op focused mobbing build for Gaige with my first post. It (mostly) ditches DT in order to pack a really powerful punch. It boosts all of Gaige’s personal DPS related skills, and also provides a tidy blend of survivability and versatility too.
Here’s what the build looks like:
The motivation for creating this build was that I was finding DT a bit tiresome, especially in Co-Op play. He can get in the way sometimes, and I was getting complaints from my regular playing partners that he was stealing second-wind opportunities. After spending most of my time playing fairly cookie-cutter OC/BFF builds that excluded LBT I started wondering about the possibility of ditching the lower half of BFF in exchange for LBT. Most LBT builds I’ve seen tended to do the opposite (apologies if I’ve overlooked any prominent exceptions on the forums here), keeping DT and ditching the lower half of the OC tree. However, I hate missing out on skills like Nth degree, Rational Anarchist and Discord, so for me sacrificing MoSS, 20% cooler, and the like was a trade-off I was more than happy to make.
Note that this build still puts DT out occasionally, and with RR, MiSS and Upshot he will do decent damage and be able to hang around, but without costing valuable skill points that could (IMO) be better spent making Gaige herself more fun and powerful. I mostly use DT as a distraction when necessary, but the build is designed to maximise Gaige’s mobbing potential without him. Missing out on Sharing is Caring is a big bummer, but I’m happy to make the trade-off.
My other desire was to spec Gaige in a way that would make discernible contributions during Co-Op play. Her only overt Co-Op skill is Buck-Up, but one of my regular teammates plays melee Zer0, so using this was out of the question.
However, based on her skill trees, Gaige can still make contributions to Co-Op play. She’s excellent at shield stripping, thanks to LBT, and she can also do a bit of in-built slagging thanks to IO. The Catalyst class mod confers a team-wide boost to elemental effect damage, so that fits in well with the Co-Op focus. Ruin Mayas will love playing with you! It’s also just a really fun build, and works perfectly well in solo play also, without requiring any tweaking.
The other thing that I wanted to achieve with this build is to design something that would fit really well with my playstyle. I like having constant healing, so prefer to make builds based primarily around Moxi weapons. These offset the health-drain from BSS really well, and also just generally make you tough to down. However, this build can also get by without Moxxi weapons if you have anything against them, as you’ve still got discord and Cooking Up Trouble to heal yourself with.
I also try and avoid slag n’ swap, or slag grenades, as I prefer to play Gaige in as fast and in-your-face way as I can. Slagging yourself with the magic missile is also a frustration that I prefer to avoid. Since I go LBT, I really like using the Storm Front and Chain Lightning to get the most out of WDT. Sans DT, I wanted to pack as many of Gaige’s DPS focused skills into the build as possible, but without having to go over 250 or so stacks (in order to preserve some semblance of aiming autonomy).
Here’s my preferred gear loadout:
Gun 1: Grog/Rubi (or any other slagging gun)
Gun 2: Heartbreaker
Gun 3: Shock or Corrosive Hail (depending on the area)
Gun 4: Preferred weapon for second winding (or a second Hail). I like using Topneaas, but you can put pretty much any powerful weapon in here.
Grenade: Storm Front or Chain Lightning.
The Storm Front will flat-out kill things in UVHM, especially if slagged. CL is handy in areas with surveyors and the like, or if you like the recharging grenade, but I find that the SF really helps the whole build to shine. It + the nova shields make for a deadly 1-2 combo.
Shield: FotFH or Black Hole.
The former is perhaps more powerful (depending on area), while the latter combines powerfully with the Storm Front. Throw it on the ground when you see a mob, and your shields will get stripped and the enemies pulled into both the tesla and your impending nova shield. FotFH is probably better suited to Co-op play, as the BH can sometimes cause a bit more chaos than is desirable. There are few things more fun than combining a well timed Storm front and FotFH shield strip with a Siren’s ruin phaselock, coverge and scorn. You’ll often not even need to bother firing your weapon.
COM: Legendary Catalyst
I found a slayer of terra COM to be a passable substitute (points in I/O, plus you can use MoSS for survivability. Just transfer 4 points from the OC tree into it for a nice DR boost), but really the Legendary Catalyst is a must here. The build won’t truly hum until you’ve got it.
Relic: Fire/Shock/Corrosive Bone of the Ancients.
I use the fire bone when rolling with FoTH, the shock with the Black Hole, and the corrosive bone when clearing loader heavy areas like Opportunity.
The decision to pass over all of Gaige’s shield buffing skills except for Myelin and BSS is a no-brainer when using Nova shields. Since DT isn’t really being used I prefer Myelin to Strength of Five Gorillas. It also helps you survive the Storm Front, especially if your shield isn’t grounded.
Special mention goes to BSS, which works beautifully with the Nova shields. A kill from the nova will fully-charge the shield so that it’s primed for the next one. UF, Fancy Math and Buck-Up all charge those shields at inconvenient moments, so you’re better off without them.
What I love about this build is that you get the full benefits of LBT and the OC damage and discord combo, while also getting to keep Nth degree, one of Gaige’s best DPS boosting skills. I normally use the Heartbreaker as my go-to weapon in fleshy areas. It’s great for stacking up fast, and the Moxxi heal (combined with Cooking Up Trouble and Discord), combined with LBT supercharged Storm Fronts and Black Hole or FotFH novas make you super hard to kill. Novas invariably bring you back up, as does DoT, provided your target is slagged. Often, you can bring yourself back up just by slagging someone nearby with the grog, especially if the FotFH is unleashing its nova blasts.
In the OP levels you will need to employ a bit more slag and swap, but in L72 UVHM you will rarely need to do this. IO and the sheer amount of damage sources that you are packing will carry you through most areas without much trouble. I tend to pull out the Grog when faced with a mini-boss or threatening ultimate badass (particularly the loaders) in order to ensure they get slagged, but otherwise I tend to just run around with a Heartbreaker or Hail killing to my heart’s content.
The build is more than viable in either mode, although in OP8 you will want to take out barrels as a first priority, especially when fighting in confined spaces due to the combo of the nova shields and Shock and Aaagggghhh. I know some people don’t like the latter skill, so you could easily re-allocate that point into EB or EE if preferred. I take it because it gives you one more way of spreading DoTs around for Moxxi healing, and generally find I can manage barrels OK if I’m attentive.
If the build has a limitation, it’s that it requires a somewhat specific selection of weapons, and really isn’t viable until you hit at least level 65 or so. Until then you’re probably better off levelling up with the standard BFF/OC build.
That said, FotFH and the Heartbreaker are very easy to acquire, since they’re both quest rewards, and are really the main cornerstones of the build. I was able to run it quite viably at L72 using a lower level Slayer of Terra COM (for the points in IO) and a Tesla grenade while I was farming for the Catalyst COM and the Storm Front.
Might upload some gameplay footage at some point, but in the meantime I’m curious to hear what people think.