Maya's Pimpernel Guide

There are lots of threads in the zer0 forum about the pimpernel but very little information on why Maya is the second best Pimpernel user.

How does the pimpernel work?

The pimpernel does more damage than any other gun on a single shot.
This is a Maliwan unique sniper. When you shoot this magical gun after it impacts, you get a second inpact that hits above the first shot and then splits into 5 bullets that each get full card damage and full damage buffs. The distance the second impact happens depends on the velocity of your shot, and each of the 5 child projectiles can crit if hit right. After the extra 5 pellets hit the first time, they continue and can hit a second time for 50% damage. On top of all that since its a maliwan you have 50% splash damage on each pellet. To crit with this gun you have to shoot below the crit spot, the distance below depends on the velocity of the bullet, so accelerate effects the distance of the sweet spot.

What are the best parts for a pimpernel with maya?


  • The best prefix is always Barking because of the splash damage.


  • Jakobs
  • Jakobs for mobbing to increase your base damage as much as possible on a single shot. This does lower your accuracy impulse, reload speed and fire rate. But the damage you gain is more than worth the losses. Even if you put a vladof grip on it you only get a 1.6 fire rate and it is a 1.3 with Jakobs, not a huge loss. If you put a hyperion grip on it you have 94.4% accuracy, Jakobs gives you 93.7%, not a huge difference. With a maliwan grip your reload speed is 3.1, with Jakobs it is 4.2 that one is a bit of a hurt but this is so powerful most your shots kill enemies in 1-2 shots. The Jakobs grip gives you an 8% damage buff and since it has 6 pellets that is a huge bonus.


  • Dahl or Hyperion
  • Dahl’s reduces recoil but recovers slower and has a slight sway while ADS
    Hyperion goes a bit bigger on the recoil but recovers faster and has less of a sway while ADS

This is a gun that is not best being pure.

What is a sweet spot and how do you find them?

This is the sweet spot thread in the zer0 forum. Sweet spots are the location where you should shoot the target in order for the 5 extra pellets to all hit the crit spot. Now since the distance between the first and second impact depends on the bullet velocity, the more points in accelerate will change that sweet spot.

How you compensate for this is make your build, put on your com and shoot the walls in sanctuary, and even the people in town. Learn your distance. Shoot at different distances, shoot the floor, shoot the target dummy from different angles. Once you know this then go back and look at the sweet spots as a starting point and adjust to your distance.

Sweet spots in phaselock can be more complicated, but I’ll do my best to make it easy. Some targets will be in the air at an angle with their head hanging over the air and it seems it cannot be hit. Sometimes they are curled up in a ball. Some times their crit is on the bottom. Above when I was talking about the distance, use that instead of sweet spots. The reason is the sweet spot depends on the angle they are to you and there are just a ton of variables. Sometimes you have to shoot a knee hanging out on bruisers, or a hand on a psycho. With skags and stalkers you hit he crit wtih the first shot and let the extra 5 hit the body and most will be one shot. Some times you cannot hit it, but those are usually tiny trash mobs that can be one shot with body shots, or just hit a head shot and it will still one shot it.

What skills make it great with Maya?

  • Converge When the 5 extra pellets hit they continue to travel out and can each hit a second time. Since maya can group up all the enemies and even better group up and slag the chances of these extra pellets hitting is very good.
  • Sub-Sequence Since the pimpernel does more damage than any other gun with a single shot, and has no bullet speed issues, AND the way it works with chain reaction, the pimp will get you more SS procs than any other gun in the game.
  • Chain Reaction Each pellet has a 40% chance of reflecting after its hit and hitting another time, this can happen more than once. That is on average one proc every 2.5 impacts and since this has 6 pellets that is an average of 2. Now if the first pellet reflects the 5 extra orbs respawn on impact again and now they can each hit twice and now you have a chance of 5 pellets bouncing since you have 12, and with 5 pellets bouncing you have an avereage chance of 2 more pellets to hit again. That is 19 pellets of original card damage plus 50% splash damage all for the price of one sniper shot. You can be impessed now. I wrote a more in depth guide on how chain reaction works with other guns here.
  • Reaper is amazing because it adds the 40% damage to all other damage besides slag. So that 40% is added to base damage, bar, wreck, accelerate, mind’s eye, relics, elemental multipliers, splash damage, critical hit damage, extra com damage, etc… Now take that and realize that it does that to all 6 pellets and you have a ton of damage.
    Immolate Take all that I just said above and immolate comes after slag, yup, after slag.
  • Restoration In op8 with one point in here you can heal a teammate to full with one bullet, also your extra pellets can hit an enemy and then heal a teammate.
  • Mind’s Eye What is better than applying the bonus once per shot? 5 times per shot.
  • Lifetap gives you 6% lifesteal with 5/5 in it, well you one shot an enemy and the orbs go out hit other enemies and dot them giving you instant healing, where other guns you have to waste time finding your next target to shoot, the pimp already healed you. Also since it does more damage than the rest, it heals you more than the rest.

How much damage does it really do?

Jakobs Barking non Bee
Final base damage
655,518*(2.145) = 1,406,107

Jakobs Gentlemans non Bee
Final base damage
585,700*(2.145) = 1,256,326

Final Damage = ((Final Base Damage * Splash Bonus(1.5)*6+ (Final Base Damage * gun crit multipler and minds eye and bar)*5)*Elemental Multiplier(1.75)*bone(1.4)*reaper(1.4)*slag(3)

Jakobs Barking
((1,406,1071.5)6+(1,406,1071.567)5) 1.751.391.43= 241,843,057

Jakobs Gentleman’s
((1,256,3261.5)6+(1,256,3261.767)5) 1.751.391.43 = 228,916,763

So without the Bee the Gentleman’s does -12,926,294 less per shot, which is not terrible, but that gets much worse with all body shots when you miss a sweet spot.

Jakobs Barking with Bee
Final base damage
655,518*(2.145)+1,825,859 = 3,231,945

Jakobs Gentlemans with Bee
Final base damage
585,700*(2.145)+1,825,859 = 3,082,185

Jakobs Barking
((3,231,9451.5)6+(3,231,9451.567)5) 1.751.391.43= 555,877,660

Jakobs Gentleman’s
(( 3,082,1851.5)6+( 3,082,1851.767)5) 1.751.391.43 = 561,608,861

With the Gentleman’s you get an extra 5,731,201. When you take into effect that when your bee is down you get 12,926,294 more a shot with the Barking and Barking also gives you much more on a body shot, you are better off with the Barking.

So here is proof that these numbers are not inflated. You will notice in this picture the damage is more than the math. The reason why is his head is against the board and 2 of the pellets that split off hit a second time increasing the damage more. This is also without Wreck and the Bone of the ancients. The pimpernel is really that powerful.

How does dps work with the pimpernel?
It doesn’t. DPS calculations take into effect full magazine size, fire rate, and reload time. If you are killing 90% of your enemies in less than a clip then that formula falls apart. It only works for guns that you are putting a full clip into. If you want to figure out a decent Pimpernel mobbing dps you would take 3 shots and fire rate into it. With that the one with the biggest base damage will always win.

How does the Pimpernel compare to other snipers?

Some people have made a statement that it is too hard to hit sweet spots with the Pimpernel so you are better off with just a snider. Now the snider is a great sniper, but it is not that hard to sweet spot a phaselocked target, the damage is massively different and Sniders to not work with Maya’s skills like the Pimpernel does. These Sniders will be tested with the same Jakobs grip that the Pimpernels were

Snider Barking non Bee
Final base damage
861,095*(2.145) = 1,847,048

((1,847,0481.5)+(1,847,0481.567)* 1.751.391.4*3= 57,875,409

Snider Gentleman’s with Bee
Final base damage
791,277*(2.145)+1,825,859 = 3,523,148

((3,523,1481.5)+(3,523,1481.767)* 1.751.391.4*3= 117,593,181

So even with the bee the best Snider does less than half of the Pimpernel without the bee. When you take into account that the Pimpernels extra pellets can hit other enemies around, and how it works with Chain Reaction you start to really see how far far behind these other snipers are. With the bee on both guns you are only doing about 20% of the Pimpernels damage with the Snider.

How does the pimpernel compare to the sandhawk?

This depends on the enemy and the bee. With the bee and the cat com the sandhawk does more dps, 32 pellets all full amp damage with one pull of the trigger. Now the sandhawk with that one pull of the trigger takes 12 ammo. To get that you have to be ADS which limits your movement and field of view. The pimpernel will do the same damage ADS or hip fire. The pimpernel will do much better with fast moving and flying targets. This really depends on the fight. Mobbing I will take the pimpernel everytime, most raids the sandhawk. In game bosses its a toss up. Bloodwing, handsome dragon, leviathan, Jackenstien, motor mama, Badassasaurus Rex, Pistons Blimp, OMGWTH, Dexi, Vora, and Vermi are all better with the pimpernel.

What are some of the other benefits of the pimpernel other guns cannot do?

Best damage per ammo in the game. Yeah yeah infinity, shut up. The pimpernel is a rare power hitter that only consumes 1 ammo per shot. The DPUH 6, norfleet 3 out of 33 in the pool, sandhawk 3 and 12 while ADS, Interfacer 2 ammo per shot. Sick of ammo issues try a pimpernel.

  • Unlisted pellets. Since only one pellet is listed all pellets get full amp damage. With that chain reaction I showed 19 pellets getting full amp for the price of one ammo.
  • Shooting around corners. When a marauder is hiding behind cover you can shoot the ground to the left or right of him and hit him with one pellet. Many times this will knock him back a bit and then you can phaselock him, or hit him a second time.
  • Extra pellets hitting twice. When you have a group crowded up, which happens all the time, you have a very high chance of these hitting a second time making a 6 pellet gun into a 11 pellet gun.
  • Healing from dots. Since each pellet has a 37.5% elemental chance and you have 6 pellets, more times than not you get a dot. So either lifetap, or switching to a moxxi gun you can heal really fast.
  • One of the best slagging guns in the game. A non all maliwan has 56.3 elemental chance, all maliwan has 64.8% chance. Again take in 6 pellets and the fact the extra 5 all split out you can slag a ton of enemies, even if you miss you can slag over 5 targets if you are a bit lucky.
  • One one pellet is effected by bullet deflection. Only the first impact will bounce off of an enemy with built in deflection. The second 5 will act the same.
  • Crit only enemys still take damage. Enemies like dexi will take full body damage weather you hit his cit spots or not because of the splash.

I knew Maya was a beast with a pimp, but I didn’t know how much of one she was… :eyes: I may have to dust mine off and take her out mobbing again.

1 Like

Porting this over got me thinking just how broke this gun would if been in TPS, Athena would wreck with it

Need to get me one of these for my Maya. Quick question: is it possible to include a link or pics showing what the preferred grip and stock actually look like? There are so many types/parts in this game, it can be hard to know what you’re actually looking for at times!

1 Like

There you go

Ta muchly!

Also thats a link every borderlands fan should have bookmarked.

I think this link is broken!

Put old before forums

nisha would reck more. B0re, chain reaction and Nth degree make this thing instant kill big bosses, so unforgiven would do it as well.

Yes she would, also tombsone making hitting sweet spots less important. She would be 100% broken with this gun

uh…dumb question, but…

How do you get different elements of this gun if it’s a quest reward? or is it fire only??

I did get the barking at 50 and was able to use it to about 56 in uvhm and would like to get it again at higher level.

It comes with all Maliwan elements (basically all but explosive). Aside from saving without quitting to try for a version with different parts/elements you can also get a new version in UVHM leveled to your level (when you accept the mission) and use the aforementioned technique for specific parts/elements and/or reset UVHM to get yet another version.
Alternately, trading here would be an option too. Different characters are one as well if you don’t want to reset one character’s UVHM progress.

If you’re trying for a specific prefix/element just sign out of your profile if you get something you don’t like (signing out of and back into your profile is faster than completely backing out of the game via dashboarding). Sign back in and you should be back at the entrance to Washburn Refinery. Run back to Censorbot and repeat as desired. If you want more than one (legitimately) then you either have to trade for it, reset UVHM so you can play the dlc again or run more than one VH…

I ported the sweet spots guide over into the Zer0 section so we wouldn’t lose it. Derch is going to be adding some, so take a look at it if you’re having issues with the Pimp.

A fair warning its not going to be what you think it is

How to ask this (probably awkwardly worded question ahead, and not necessarily applying solely to Maya) - how precise is the bullet trajectory after the initial hit? For example…


…will hitting spot B (yellow line), which is basically under his torso, result in the initial bullet split going straight up into his body where the second split happens and blows him into skag fodder? Or is there not that much difference between hitting A (red line) and B, damage-wise, and I’m over-thinking this?

I’ve tested this rather a lot recently and I think that B will do what I described, but I’m not positive. Results were gathered while using a Bee and trying to judge by the number of impact sounds it produced (splat…splat splat vs splatsplatsplatsplatsplat etc)…highly scientistical and stuff.

I addressed that in the sweet spot guide

I also posted this in the other thread but I’ll add it to the OP here as well, sweet spots 101

Thanks for that…I appreciate it.


If you’re referring to the apparent distance to the bandit, the image is one that I simply grabbed from the wiki and not a screen from my game. I wanted to find a pic of a bandit crouched down on one knee, thinking that it would be a better way to illustrate the two target areas I asked about, but the one I used was the best I could find on short notice.

FWIW deux - She has 6/10 into Acc which I believe improves the gun’s performance a bit against larger targets, especially loaders (one good hit on their thigh area and they’re usually in pieces on the ground…that’s so cool).