MeltedCow's Totally Subjective Guide To Kleese

(Braveheart to the Graveyard) #1

I feel like I’m going to have to change that title.

So, I decided to also make a Kleese guide, rather than just a single build thread like my Ghalt and Kid Ultra thingies. This is more akin to a normal guide, like my Hoodini topic.

Okay. Here we go. This guide assumes you know the basics of Kleese, but if you don’t, I’ll lay them out for you real quick: sit in your Energy Rifts, tase anybody who gets close, save your teammates as much as possible, never leave the said Rifts except for when you need coffee/covfefe. That’s about it. Oh, and here’s a Lowlidev link for reference:,h=00000000


MeltedCow’s Totally Subjective Guide to Kleese



Energy Rift: “Kleese opens up an Energy Rift that restores friendly shields by 88 and deals 88 damage to enemies every 3 seconds. A maximum of 3 Rifts, each have 450 health.” This is pretty simple. Skill damage increases the power of both the healing and damage of the rifts, so I recommend it. Heal power increases the shields restored too. Healing Recieved also affects the amount of rift shield restored. 12 second cooldown by default.

Energy Mortars: “Kleese shoots a barrage of 6 Mortars at an area. Mortars damage enemies for 24 damage and deal bonus damage to shields.” This is a fun skill that only does real damage with Overloaded Mortars at Level 2. It can also heal allies’ shields with Shocking Twist. Affected by skill damage, and if you take Overloaded Mortars, I recommend max shield gear. 10 second cooldown by default.

Black Hole: “Kleese summons a Black Hole that pulls in enemies towards it dealing 359 damage.”
The damage is more around 580ish come late game. Good CC skill. 55 second cooldown. Skill damage gear, again, is recommended.

Helix Tree

[details=Level 1]Shocking Twist lets you restore any ally’s shields with mortars, as long as they have a shield in the first place. A good rescue skill that unfortunately comes with the side effect of occasionally watching your mortars get soaked by a full-shield teammate rather than nailing the minion wave. That.
Sucks. Shocking Pulse will let your rifts deplete shields very quickly; if they have Shaurox, Kleese,
ISIC - anybody with kits that buff shields in some way - this is the better option. Also, you may want to take this if you find your allies eating up your mortars too often with the other perk.[/details]

Level 2

Shiftless Shells makes your mortars slow for 3 seconds, while Overloaded Mortars amps up the damage of your mortars by adding your shield value to them, breaking your precious shield in the process. My advice is to take Overloaded Mortars, as without them, your mortar damage will be poo-poo. If your team has barely any CC, take Shiftless Shells I guess, but you’ll still be missing out on that ridiculous damage. While O-Mortars does destroy your shield, you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you’re camping inside your rifts like a good little Kleese. This perk also makes Max Shield an even better gear stat for Kleese, for… obvious reasons.

[details=Level 3]Man, this level is a hoot, and it’s kinda sad. Chair Slam is just laughable; it lets you perform an aerial slam by pressing the taser button while mid-air, but it does such terrible damage and it consumes all of your energy. What makes it even worse is that the damage of it is based on how much battery life you have left; with ten bars, you’ll do half damage, and so on. If you’re hovering, you’ve already spent like 5 of your battery anyways. I think this one is due for a buff or a total functionality change. The mutation at this level, Quantum Precision, changes your primary attack to a little charge-based sniper beam. It sounds cool, looks cool (it adds a charge thingy to your watch to let you know when to fire),
and it’s burst damage. The problem is, it’s a DPS loss in terms of sustained damage. And it could do a little bit more damage anyways, like 5-10% or something. If you find yourself not constantly pew-pew’ing enemies with the regular Kleese attack, go with this option. It’s just a choice for long-ranged Kleeses. Recommended if you have an attack damage item like The Pacifier. The third option, Don’t Taze Me Bro, lets your taser chain to one extra enemy. Simple, but effective. Also works with The Pacifier because you can debuff two enemies with this. If you want to double the taze, or you don’t like the mutation, go with this option.

Level 4

Rift Network is the undisputed winner here. Linking your Rifts together to have 3-4x the POWAHHHH in one pulse? Awesome! While the other one is kinda fun, it’s too useless compared to Rift Network. It also takes too long to “destabilize” your Rifts, it’s about 8 primary attacks when it should be like 2. 2 primary shots, 2 mortars. Also just straight-up incompatible with Quantum Precision; it takes way too long yet again.

Level 5

Well, this is a fun level. Don’t Call It A Heal Chair, or, in my terms, DCIAHC, makes Kleese a portable level 1.5 healing station, at 38 per second. You MUST take this one if your team doesn’t have a healer. Extended Battery Life extends the battery life of your Battle Throne by 50%, bringing the maximum 20 bars up to 30. Good if you like floating around, your team already has a healer, or you find yourself tasing morons a lot of the time. The right-side choice, Get Ready For A Surprise, is just kinda dumb. Wow, do less damage than a Rift Network pulse when you die, oh boy. This needs to be buffed up to Toby’s self-destruct helix level of damage, or just changed entirely. I say we buff the damage of GRFAS, Chair Slam, and then just bundle the two together into one Level 5 helix. Then, replace the Level 3 Chair Slam choice with something that increases control of Kleese’s chair (Air control, movespeed, something along those lines).

[details=Level 6]A critical level for Kleese, this one basically only has two options; I’ll rule out the crappy one first. The crappy one is Expanded Mortar Capacity. It sounds nice because you think, oh, it’s increasing mortar damage because it’s adding 4 more mortars. Well, here’s the thing. Mortars do bad damage by default, right? So if you’re concerned about mortar damage, you pick O-Mortars at Level 2.
See, how Battleborn adds your shield damage to mortars is by dividing your current shield value by 6 and adding that to the mortar damage. When you add 4 more mortars to the mix, you are decreasing the amount of shield effect in each mortar, and you’re getting a really crappy damage boost (around 150).
Overall, it’s not worth it. It also increases the amount of time Kleese is vulnerable since it takes longer to fire off mortars. Which, in turn, forces you to take Tampered Mortars at Level 7. It’s a trap, and it sucks.
The other two options are far more viable: Bulk Savings lets you put one more rift on the field, which also lets you have even more POWAHHHH in your Rift Network. However, if you’re having troubles keeping your Rifts alive, go with the mutation, Rift Farm, which drastically reduces the cooldown of your rifts (a whopping 33%, bringing it from 12 to 8. Combined with cooldown gear, you can pump out Rifts every 7 seconds or so.)[/details]

Level 7

Yet another case of the mutation and left-side choice being better. Bouncing Balls of Death does what you think it does, it makes mortars bounce (twice) before exploding. Good on maps with tight corridors like Overgrowth, not for maps with big open space like Monuments. Timing it right, you could bounce the mortars between a wall and a player repeatedly and watch them drop from full health to none. But that’s really scummy and will get you hate mail, so don’t do that. The left-side option, Geezer Pleaser, restores your shields whenever you get a kill with your mortars. This works on both minor enemies and major enemies (like players), which makes it fantastically busted for PvE gameplay if used with O-Mortars. In PvP, I would use it on modes with minions. So, technically, all of them. But make sure they’re modes where Kleese is good, yeah?

[details=Level 8]This level is a clear divide between survivability and killability. Max shield strength through Brains over Brawn adds 150 to Kleese’s shield value, which is also a damage boost with O-Mortars.
If enemies are getting too close for comfort, take the increased taser damage with Brawn over Brains,
as it’s a substantial taser DPS increase.[/details]

Level 9

Here, Quick Pulse makes your rifts pulse every 2 seconds rather than every 3. Your other option is to double the health of your rifts with the creatively named Healthy Rifts. I will always take Quick Pulse till the day I die, but if ranged AoE is becoming an issue for you, go for Healthy Rifts.

[details=Level 10]Kitru says Sharing is Caring is the only viable choice here. I strongly disagree. Sharing is Caring gives Kleese and all his allies a 225-value overshield when the Black Hole detonates, if they are standing inside the Black Hole radius. You can use your Black Hole as a rescue device, albeit a kinda dinky one, with this helix choice. The other two are more appealing to me. Insta-Hole, the mutation,
reduces the pull time of your Black Hole by 40%. While 2 to 1.2 doesn’t look all too hot on paper, it’s pretty helpful in-game. It’ll let you pull enemies a lot quicker… duh. Which is generally helpful in an innumerable amount of ways. The third option is the spiciest. Square Root of Pain makes it so that any rifts in your Black Hole AoE detonate for 334 damage shortly after the Hole’s explosion goes off. I know what you’re thinking: This isn’t spicy, that’s just dumb! Who puts a Black Hole over their rift network?
You’re supposed to keep your rifts alive, not make them self-destruct!
Yeah, well, if you thought that,
you are right, but also wrong. See, you don’t have to just put a Black Hole over your beautiful Rift Network. Instead, when deploying your ultimate, put a Rift in the middle of it. The initial pulse of the rift will be around 130, provided you brought the proper the gear. So that’s already 130 damage added to your ultimate’s 500-ish damage. If a second pulse occurs, either because your rift isn’t dead yet or you have Quick Pulse, that’s another 130 damage. The second pulse should come out just before your rift explodes, totaling around 900 damage. Good stuff right there.[/details]



Skill Damage and Max Shield are the most important stats for Kleese if you ask me.

Max Shield

The Modernista

View on While this is a shield really made for Shayne, it isn’t that bad on Kleese. The extra little cooldown time works wonders when put together with an actual Cooldown timepiece. Unfortunately, it’s kinda based on luck. But it seems effective against Whiskey Foxtrot, at least in theory. After all, Foxtrot is one of the best counter of Kleese; this will help you negate at least a portion of that.

Executive Insurance Policy

View on this here is a legendary absolutely made for Kleese. Max Shield strength is perfect for him, and a shard generator is good on anyone. The effect also procs whenever your Rifts, or Geezer Pleaser, restores your shields. Well, that or my testing tricked me.

[details=Co-Opetition Inducer]
View on This is an amazing legendary for a Mortar build. You get 280 mortar damage just from this one item, provided you took O-Mortars. Unfortunately,
the shield recharge is kinda useless, since… I don’t think I have to explain that one.[/details]

[details=Voxis Core]
View on If this wasn’t so expensive,
I’d give it a higher ranking on the Kleese Legendary list that I have yet to write up. It has all the perfect stats for Kleese: Max Shield, Skill Damage, and the effect is the icing on top. ■■■■, I mean cherry on the cake. No, wait, icing inside the - DAMMIT![/details]

One-4-All Shield Array

View on This is a fairly mediocre shield item. 70 shield strength isn’t a whole lot, and the shield penetration is worthless. But at least it offers crit protection, and lets Eldrid benefit from your Rifts, even if it’s just a wee bit.

Investing Vanadium Battery

View on Not much to explain here. Like a discount version of the Execute Insurance Policy. But a solid pick on any character because of the shard generator. The other rarities of this shield generator are kinda meh.

Scheming "Old Fashioned"

View on cheaper Modernista, no special effect. I only recommend using this if you have a cooldown item to go with it, because on its own, the secondary effect is negligible.

Skill Damage

[details=Shield Web Interdictor]
View on It’s pretty easy to damage anybody with Kleese’s skills, be it spontaneously placed rifts or bouncy mortars. But with this legendary, you’ll leave their shields fried. The two stats it buffs also… okay, I don’t think I even have to say it at this point.
You get the idea. This legendary drops from Geoff.[/details]

Phlogiston Propulsor

View on I will probably never put this on Kleese because of its ridiculous cost and meh effect that can activate at the wrong time. But if you like the idea of zapping enemies away from Kleese, go ahead and use it. This legendary comes from the Phoebe operation, so it can drop from Legendary loot packs and the Phoebe Operation loot packs.

[details=Codex Fragment]
View on My personal favorite when it comes to skill damage Legendaries for Kleese. Max health ain’t bad on anybody, and the 18% skill damage you can receive from the effect is awesome. Good luck getting it to drop though,
it’s from The Archive…[/details]

[details=Lorrian Skill Spike]
View on Also hailing from The Archive, this legendary …
okay, I admit, I haven’t actually tried it yet. The secondary stat could be a lot better but it isn’t truly bad.
And the effect, at least at my surface-level glance, looks like it could work on Kleese, with how often his Skills do… something… By that I mean rift pulses and mortar impacts.[/details]

Bola's Target Finder

View on Oh, boy. The Bola’s Target Finder. The legendary that sold the world for a shred of dignity. But it payed the high price with its nerf, and it also literally has a high price at 1970 shards. If that doesn’t bug you, and you like pew-pew’ing faster, be my guest and take the Target Finder.

[details=Cognitive Predictor]
View on Honestly, this is probably superior to the LLC skill damage legendaries. Don’t bother with anything else below it but the Rare version, which gives extra skill damage after taking a hit to your shield. If you’re fine with sacrificing 98 shield strength,
go with the Rare version.[/details]

[details=Golemic Sigil]
View on If, for some reason, you have something against shield strength on Kleese, I suppose this filthy Eldrid gear would do. Epic is the best in its class,
unlike the Predictor line where the Rare competes with the Epic.[/details]

Because I’m a true Kleese, I’m lazy and I don’t feel like creating categories for the other types of gear - there’s just not as many that are important. I’ll just list some in a miscellaneous… list… here. But since I want to publish this now, I’ll add to it as time passes.

Song of Vigor

View on Coming straight outta The Sentinel Advanced, this little beaut if recommended for you DCIAHC lovers out there. Upgrade your heal chair by 7 points, bringing it up to 45 HR per second. Add heal power for some extra spice. I think heal power works with that, anyways… Plus, the base stats are just good for Kleese.

[details=Symbiotic Spores]
View on Heal power affects Kleese’s Rifts, and healing received affects the amount of shields restored. So, naturally, if you are concerned with restoring your teammate’s shields the best you can, go with the Symbiotic Spores. Watch out for teammates taking this,
though, because it’s just pointless if you bring it since it doesn’t stack.[/details]

The Pacifier

View on While attack damage isn’t that helpful or prioritized on Kleese, the secondary shield strength and debuff The Pacifier has makes this a good legendary for keeping Kleese alive. Attack damage boosts the taser damage as well, so if you like tazing things, you can probably use this - works great in panic situations.

[details=All-4-One Morale Booster]
View on This piece is a more selfish alternative to the Symbiotic Spores. You might as well take the Spores, since heal power and healing recieved is a better way to keep not only Kleese but also others alive. But if you don’t have the Spores, I suppose this would work. The DR doesn’t hurt either. To be honest, I don’t know if this item stacks with the Spores -
I get that it says “does not stack” but I believe that’s just referring to the fact that multiple Boosters/Spores on a team will not stack. Hopefully it stacks these two. If you combine them, bring a shard generator.[/details]

Also, here’s a tip from our lovely friend, regarding Rift Networks

(Gone off comms, will update this when i feel like) #2

As a Kleese main I’m going to read this <<…>>

(Braveheart to the Graveyard) #3

Nein! I didn’t mean to publish this! I HAVEN’T COMPLETED THE GEAAAAAAAAAAAAR


(Gone off comms, will update this when i feel like) #4

I’m agreeing with a lot of what I’m seeing anyway


(Gone off comms, will update this when i feel like) #6

You have the same estimations of the helixes as I do mostly, but one critical piece of advice when you reach that section is that rift network counts the number of rifts at the time you place it, so replacing your earlier rifts massively increases the effectiveness


Okay, this thread is unlisted. Let a mod know when you’re ready to go public.

(Braveheart to the Graveyard) #8

I’ll add that, assuming you mean… actually… could you explain? Because I’m thinking of two things right now and I don’t know which one you’re talking about.

@Psychichazard Danke!

(Gone off comms, will update this when i feel like) #9

I’ll post the effective difference in power(in terms of how powerful each replaced rift makes it)
A single powered rift is 1, double is 2, etc.

Most people I’ve observed place four rifts
1-2-3-4 you end up with 10x effectiveness of asingle rift

But if you place a rift again after your fourth and replace the first rift it becomes


13x as opposed to 10x just for replacing the first rift

(Braveheart to the Graveyard) #10

Okay, it was thought number two. I think I’m just going to quote you word for word on that and add it to the post, credit and all.

(Gone off comms, will update this when i feel like) #11

You’re welcome to, just trying to make sure the info gets out there

(Braveheart to the Graveyard) #12

Okay, I’m ready for it to show up again. I’ll flag and PM and whatever.

(Gone off comms, will update this when i feel like) #13

One hazard about shield web interdictor, it cancels your shield recharge rate for a few seconds(makes it 0)

Not a concern if you’re camping your rifts, but still knowledge that’s handy to have if you’re under fire without a rift by you

Lorrian skill spike becomes vicious on mortar strike builds. Treat it like an epic skill damage and let yourself be pleasantly surprised when the legendary effect happens

Great write up overall though!

(Braveheart to the Graveyard) #14

Aaaaaand let me add your comment that I forgot to…



Right, I’ll open the curtains.

(since CTT) #17

Morning, Psy :dukeego:

(The Title Master) #18

It was pretty much perfect up until level 7! Bouncy Balls Of Death is possibly the highest dps skill in the game, I don’t think that helix is contested!

(AkuTheWicked) #19

Can you elaborate on that? kinda interested on why you think that, not that i’m saying you’re wrong or anything, just curious.

(The Title Master) #20

If you use it correctly by aiming at the feet, Bouncy Balls can 100-0 pretty much every Battleborn, sometimes before they can even react to being hit. It can 100-0 the Elite Bots, and bouncing it between minion waves basically makes them non-existent!

Walrus’ video here shows Kleese (me) amped up with KU’s drones (about an 80% damage buff), and just the first few mortars alone did 18 damage. We tested it in a private match and they did somewhere between 30-40 damage to the 2nd sentry. Take away the 80% damage and you still have A LOT of damage being dealt in such a short amount of time!

Here’s a 100-0 on a full health full shield Phoebe, and I didn’t even do it perfectly!