How to level Maya through TVHM and UVHM?

I know there are tons of build threads, but most of those describe end game scenarios with top tier gear. I just recently bought the Handsome Jack Collection, so I’m starting fresh and do not yet have access to unlimited funds or top quality items . What I am basically looking for is some advice on what skills and builds to focus on while grinding through TVHM/UVHM the first time, and also some advice on specific guns to snag at certain levels to help the process (whether the weapons be acquired by farming or mission rewards).

Thanks in advance.

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as far as loot goes, if you do side missions as you get them you shouldn’t be lacking for decent gear through normal/TVHM, in uvhm, I’ve found it’s nice to save the quests that give good loot for when I’m feeling espcially weak. Pretty much all of the unique quest rewards are at least decent, so you don’t have to worry about that too much, it really depends on what you want to use. as a word of advice, I would save some of the more powerful stuff from TVHM to pickup before hopping into UVHM, mabye the sloth/pimp, the lady fist, or something comperable.

Regarding skills, you can use pretty much whatever you want through TVHM, but going into UVHM I strongly recomend that you have either Scorn or Ruin, because the Slag will make your life a lot easier.

@Derch just uploaded a pretty nice video of tips for new players, so I recomend you check that out, including the comments, there are some good tips there too. (I won’t steal his thunder by posting the link, I suspect he’ll appear in here pretty shortly)

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That might help with skills to pick up

That covers a lot of gear that you can get as you go

That playlist shows some non red text gear at work.

So now that the links are done

  • TVHM just keep going until you hit a wall
  • UVHM like wings said make sure you have scorn or slag, really work on making sure you hit crits and know your limits of survival.

Thats another really helpful link


In addition to the advice that has already been given, I recommend consulting @Chuck80 's Quest rewards worth farming thread. Unless you plan on resetting UVHM, you might want to save certain mission rewards (Examples: Pimpernel, Sand Hawk) until you get to level 72 (assuming you don’t plan on doing OP levels).

Forum ID: Poisd2Strike
GT: Poisd2Strike
Gun Prefixes | Gun Parts | Max Stats
Maya OP8 | Banshee RR / NRR | Binder | Cat | Nurse | Siren | Trickster B / M

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Thanks for the help so far guys. I guess I should point out that I’m not new to Borderlands at all, in fact I’ve taken multiple characters through UVHM in the past (before Sir Hammerlock and Tiny Tina DLCs were released). However, I am new to Maya, so what I was looking for specifically here was some recommendations on some non end game builds that people have found effective. For example, do you guys find Cataclysm + Ruin to be the ideal combo for TVHM/UVHM, or are Scorn and the healing skills in Harmony simply too important to pass up on? Are there any specific weapons that you guys find super helpful in terms of complementing these mid game builds? Etc.

Thanks again!

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Really either of those will work, as long as you have the gear to back it up, if you go with cataclysm first you should probably have a moxie gun or transfuisions around to keep your health up. Conversly, if you go with harmony, you might find yourself lacking for damange, so strong guns and/or a strong damage COM are important.

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If Cloud Kill is as good in Normal and TVHM as it is in UVHM I would recommend getting it as soon as possible no matter what build you choose.

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After a LOT of experimenting with different skill builds through OP8, I’m of the opinion that the strongest ways to go are to grab Ruin and then commit to either Thought Lock or Scorn. My go-to build is this TL + Ruin build, which I’ve used to solo to and through OP8:

…and I’ve found that when I go without TL, Derch’s ‘Twisted Pimp’ skill build has worked better than anything else I’ve used.

The “why” of it is pretty simple: Maya doesn’t lack offense, if you’re packing Wreck and Reaper + Legendary Siren COM and drop even 1 point in Accelerate. What she really needs is a plan for defense/survivability. With my usual build, I rely on maxed out shield skills and using TL to draw enemy fire away from me, 'lock rushing enemies so that they run at other bad guys, etc. Without TL, you benefit incredibly from the healing skills, and Scorn helps offset the longer refresh time and shorter duration of Phase Lock.

Either way, the Legendary Siren COM is, in my opinion, the best all-around COM for Maya. Ward and Foresight are incredible skills to boost, and the passives are perfect.

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Starting TVHM: I recommend either a Harmony build with a Com that buffs Lifetap, or a Cataclysm build with a Binder COM (buffing Reaper). You want the capstone skill in either case for slagging, which is vital for Maya in UVHM and still really helpful in TVHM.

As you run through TVHM there are a lot of reasonable paths to follow. I like grabbing Suspension and Converge from the Motion tree (possible to get a capstone + Converge at L42), which synergize well with either of the build strategies I mentioned.

[Aside: If you’re leaning towards an eventual Thoughtlock build, my own feeling is that TL works much better with Cataclysm (Ruin re-procs whenever Sub-Sequence procs!) than Harmony].

If no TL, after you get Converge, I’d say switch toward investing in whichever tree you haven’t built in yet (If you built Cataclysm, start Harmony towards Wreck and Elated. If you built Harmony initially, start Cataclysm toward Chain Reaction and Reaper.

Starting UVHM: One thing you can build toward in UVHM is a Blurred Trickster build. IMO this build does NOT require top-tier endgame-type gear to be workable and its emphasis on Lifetap and CR - excellent mobbing skills - makes it great for a playthrough. My suggested framework for a Trickster build is Ruin, 1 point in Lifetap (for the COM buff) and Converge as well as the skills necessary to get that far (CR, Reaper, Wreck, Suspension, etc). This requires you to be level 63, which means the full Blurred Trickster experience isn’t available until later in UVHM, but can be run for a good long stretch of leveling between 63 and 72.

You can get a semblance of it earlier if you are willing to sacrifice some DPS. Go only as far as 5/5 CR in Cataclysm, and add another few points to Harmony to take Scorn (for slagging) and you can get there at 57.

It’s always the low - mid 50s that are the struggle. In that range Ruin + Converge, building towards Wreck and Elated as you go, is one way. You’ll start UVHM with good DPS but relatively little healing (Sweet Release might be necessary at the start). An alternative with more healing but less DPS is Scorn (with Lifetap, of course) + Converge, building down Catclysm toward CR.

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Agree with getting Cloud Kill ASAP. If I were to level up a Maya again, I’d go 5/5 in Sweet Release, and then down Cata for the 100% slag. Next priority would be Converge for area slag, which would be acquired at level 47, right before UVHM. The the rest of my spec would fill out down the Harmony tree for all the survival skills UVHM requires.