Mike needs some serious buffs

To anyone who thinks Mellka or El Dragon are in a bad state, you have not met Oscar Mike who in my opinion is the worst Battleborn in the game. He has relatively low dps and burst damage compared to other ranged attackers, he only has one damaging ability outside of his ultimate, and his stealth although serves as a good escape offers nothing else (until certain Helix options are taken) when other stealth abilities grants bonuses (Shayne with her slow, Deande with her damage boost, and Pendles with his speed boost). What also makes Mike worse than other characters is he offers no cc outside from a slow on an ultimate ability with a 50 second cooldown from a level 10 helix. Once upon a time, Mike was one of the best pushers in the game but with the nerfs to his fragcendiary grenades, it exposed all of his major weaknesses which were compensated with how good Fragcendiary was. I’m not asking for Fragcendiary’s damage to get buffed to the level it used to be but to address other areas in his gameplay which are really lacking. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Buff his grenade launcher damage to 300. This change would help Mike better establish himself as a pusher and give back some of the damage he lost. I know what some of you are thinking “Other attackers and pushers have one damage ability like Mike and they do fine” or “300 damage is too damn much” but let me make this argument, other pushers have enough damage on their basic attacks that they only need one damage ability. Example, Benedict. The bird man only has one damage ability in hawkeye but they are used to enhance his rocket launcher which does boat loads of damage. Even without hawkeye, Bene’s launcher does 190+ damage at level one. Another example is Orendi, who’s only real damage source is shadowfire pillars which deal 300 damage. However, she can spam them ad nauseum with the right helix choices, Mike’s nade is gated by a long 16 second cooldown with no form of cdr in his helixes. Even Ernest has his Egg and Grenade launcher which allows him to safely push waves down from a safer distance than mike

  2. Buff Mike’s assault rifle to deal 24 base damage, 36 with Tactical rounds 50% damage boost at level one. I know a lot of Foxtrot players would hate this change considering Whiskey finally does more damage than Mike but 18 damage from Mike’s normal rounds is laughable. Sure, Tactical Rounds helps up that damage but 15 rounds of okay damage is not enough to compensate for the other 15 rounds of piss poor damage. Mellka does 27 damage with her machine pistol along with her venom damage and Caldy has 24 damage with his tmp which is more accurate than Mike’s and has a faster reload, even Orendi can beat Mike out with her basic attack damage. Some may argue that Foxtrot only has one damage ability with his sticky nades but scrap blast makes up for it by buffing his overall damage thanks to the amp helix at level 2 Mike’s damage with his rifle only reaches acceptable levels of damage when he reaches level 7 when he has the 30 tactical rounds instead of the 15 and the 18% percent damage helix but by the the time he even get’s that damage, the games already over and is still comparatively weaker than other pushers. I think he needs to do more rifle damage early game in order to be effective as a pusher. Of course, some of these changes will require some nerfs to his level 7 helix so he does not do more damage than Foxtrot but if it means making Mike more early game oriented, so be it.

  3. Make Impact Trigger part of the the skill instead of a level 1 helix. Ever wonder why Mike builds are the same, because his helix options are either bad or they’re so good, you can’t pass it up. Impact Trigger is the latter. Sneak Attack does give good bonuses but considering Impact Trigger is mandatory because of the utility and instant damage. Without it, you have to rely on landing the nade on an enemy for the one second detonation but the enemy is likely going to get away from the explosion. Like they did with Boldurdash and his old level 2 helix, I think Impact Trigger should be part of the skill already. You could easily replace his level 1 left helix with something like a slow or cdr giving more build flexiblity between choosing the level 1 left helix and Sneak Attack.

  4. Increase fragcendiary’s radius and dot damage. right now it is the smallest of all the aoe abilities, its even smaller than Thorn and El Dragon’s and the only way to make it usable. Also the tick damage is laughable. it can’t clear waves and most enemies walk out of it before they can actually feel the damage. Buffing the radius is one step in the right direction but also buffing it’s damage will do it some good. I’m not saying bringing it back to 720 damage is a good idea but bringing it up to 360 should be good enough. That or increasing the damage based on your level likes Thorn’s blight would be better.

  5. Optional change, Tactical rounds deal aoe damage. This one is a bit extreme but it fits the pusher playstyle of Oscar Mike. I’m not saying they should have the same aoe as Benedict or Ernest, maybe more like the Torgue assault rifles from Borderlands. They can still crit to keep things fair. With this change, he’ll be able to damage two or three minions in a wave and actually push down the enemy lane.

This is how I think Gearbox should buff Mike. What are your thoughts on how they should change him.

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Why can’t the grenade and tactical rounds just do more damage to minions, it could probably explained lore wise too

That could work but he needs those enemy kills as well.

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I think you’re greatly underestimating Oscar’s dps, as well as the utility of stealth generator. Oscar has a high dps, fast traveling, long range primary attack; the strongest early game AoE in fragcendiary grenade; an amazing escape and mobility option in stealth generator; and one of the best ults in the game. He’s not in any dire need of buffs, and he definitely doesn’t need more CC.

This wouldn’t really change much, it would mainly show up when used for burst damage. If they do buff him, this is one of the better options.

This would be a 33% buff to an attack that really doesn’t need it. At level 10, Oscar would be doing 560 burst dps before gear, which would be way too much for an attack with so much range.

This would be interesting, but it wouldn’t make Sneak Attack any better in pvp. The problem with SA is that it’s on a long cooldown and requires using your only escape, so whatever replaces Impact Trigger would have to be weak to make this a tough choice in pvp.

This doesn’t need a buff imo. The DoT already more than doubles the grenade’s damage, and the small AoE rewards good aim. That said, I would like to see his level 8 damage buffs apply to the DoT, instead of just the initial explosion.

This would either be crazy OP or so small you wouldn’t even notice, better off just leaving it alone.

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If Mike’s dps is so good, why is he so underplayed? From my experience, Mike can barely push a wave while Foxtrot does it with ease. The only way Mike will ever be good is if they buff him or they nerf his competition to the ground. I still think his dps is lower than Foxtrot’s and Caldy’s

Caldarius’s level 1 DPS is lower than OM’s. He never gets an upgrade to his TMP damage, though, while Oscar gets much more range, +18% damage, and more tactical rounds at the appropriate levels, far outdamaging him on primaries as he levels up.

I think the main problem with OM that @THO is refering to is his inability to Lv. Up. His rifle could use some damage increase, I agree, but comparing it to mellkas Machine pistol is dumb.
Her gun now deals 27 damage a bullet at base, and venom deals 6 dps at base for 8 seconds. Thats a whopping 676 damage a clip, if you hit every shot (which is difficult due to spread) and manage to stay alive. And thats 540 if all bullets hit, 640 if you hit the canister, and wait 8 seconds for venom to finish its job.

OM’s Gun does 18 at base, 27~ for Tactical rounds at base, and has 30 bullets a clip with no spread. The recoil isn’t half bad. His gun does 675 damage a clip, and can reliably hit most shots. It should be noted He doesn’t require waiting to deal damage either, which is great. Therfore, his gun damage is pretty fine in my oppinion. He can reliably shoot an entire clip in 4 seconds, and a 675/4 brings us to ~168.75 dps. Thats much better than Mellka currnetly.

However, I agree with @THO when he says the Radius and tick dps could use an increase. It is pathetic right now, and it should be brought back up to 3/4 of what it used too be. I also like the 300 damage per nade increase, and think that a nades on nades buff is 150% nessacary.

An aoe tactical rounds is too powerfull. Maybe piercing rounds that lose damage as it pierces.
Heck, he could use more movement speed, to keep him pushing too.

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Even so Caldy can clear waves better than Mike, sticks to his targets better than Mike, and has more heath than Mike. The only Mike has over Caldy is his ult.

Compared to Foxtrot’s damage, it’s nothing. For Mike to succeed as pusher like Ernest or Benedict, he needs more damage on his rifle. Hell, Marquis does a better job pushing lanes and he’s been nerfed almost as hard as Mike has.

Ernest and Benedict are also considered by majority of the playerbase TOO POWERFULL. OM is kind of weak, I agree, but a major reason why he isn’t played as much now is his AoE nerf. He used to be the two trick pony, a great skill and ultimate to make him a nessacary pick. Now, hes a One-Shot pony, and definatly could use a napalm buff.
Please keep in mind that OM is also an easy character, great for use of new players. BB has had slight bursts of new players, but since it is still mainly a bunch of Veteran players, most learned how to use the harder Whiskey Foxtrot.

OM has a relitivly low skill ceiling, but he also has a relitivly low learning curve.
WF, on the other hand, has a higher skill ceiling (but not by much), but he also has a harder learning curve. After OM’s Slightly over the top nerf to napalm, people looked for someone similar, but different, and the now veterans began learning WF.

I would suggest two minor buffs:

  1. Increase Fragcendiary radius by 33%. This is not as wide as it used to be, but it’s not the pathetic puddle it is now either. By the same token, Nades on Nades should deal 70% base damage on initial detonation, and each cluster deals 30% base damage, making it better single target if unreliable.

  2. Stealth Generator causes OM’s shield to begin recharging on activation. Back in a Jiff causes his shield to recharge instantly. Stealth is the only cloak skill in the game with no other effect at all in base form - it’s consequently outgunned by other, similar skills like Smoke Bomb, Decoy, or Stealth Strike (two of which get shield recharge effects through helixes as well). This buff would let him either become a talented harasser or a ranged DPS with damage/health burst from Jiff/Sneak Attack.

OM’s primary and ult need no changes - they’ve been powerful and balanced since game launch.

Oscar mike was never a two trick pony IMO, he can be a decent skirmisher, take advantage of characters with big crit spots with the crit helix, be stealthy and do some sabotage and weaken waves before they reach the zone in doing so, and has good area denial, the main problem is his pushing power, as i think his tactical rounds and grenade should do extra extra damage to minions

PS: also wish his tactical rounds were more tactical lol

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Many new players start with him, which makes him look worse than he really is.

Early game, Oscar can napalm a wave for easy clear while Whiskey needs to shoot each minion individually. By the time Whiskey gets his napalm, Oscar can clear the lane with Airstrike.

Oscar is better than both at AoE dps. He also has better single target dps than Caldy and can even beat Whiskey with Space Lasers.

Drop napalm on every wave and shoot any shepherds and you should have no trouble leveling.

His base dmg is great mid/close range, with reload speed, voxis core and bolas target finder his nade and ult are to strong, specially if u go right lvl 1.

If you want a change it would be the stupid lvl2 right, hard to land and unpredictable.

Idk if u have ever tried reyna, her gun has an awfull reload, recoil and mag.

I think Oscar Mike is in a good place right now, I haven’t played him thinking he needs a buff at all, even napalm is still decent, a radius increase would be nice but I still don’t mind it how it is.

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I actually prefer if they give his fragcendiary grenade’s radius back, I was ok with the damage drop but putting the radius to what it is now was too much, it’s literally my best friend stopped playing this game and is always looking for a way to make me stop playing this game, other than that i would suggest some changes to his helix options like maybe Ghost mode doesn’t break other than when the duration is finished, boost the Disruption rounds to 75% instead of 25% and boost Hollow-Point-Round to 100% instead of 60% to give him more of a reason to use Shld pen.

I also agree with making Impact Trigger part of his Frag Grenade but what to put in there I have no clue, maybe a boost to recoil or reload spd maybe?

I would not object to OM getting a small boost to his AR damage. I’m not going to quote numbers here, because that’s what devs get paid for, but I can say that when you’re OM in Incursion and you’re below L4, you can drop an entire clip into a mini-minion from point-blank range and not kill it. That’s silly. Due to his minimal kill potential, the only way to level is to run around building, which means your team is a man short for the first 3rd of the game, at which point you’re usually down a sentry and fighting a delaying action. That’s sad. I love Mike (best voice script in the game!) but I barely play him since I mastered him, because I feel like I’m cheating my team. I could be playing any of half-a-dozen other characters I’ve mastered, all of whom would be more helpful…


Oscar Mike the worst Battleborn in the game…?


mike is a character that sounds bad on paper but I constantly perform well with him in games. He’s not hard to play either. Do people just do badly with him or have I never gone up against an equal team as Mike? Because I highly doubt it’s either of those. Something just isn’t right. The only buffs I’d give to Mike is impact trigger (like in OP’s post) being instant, and nade size boost.


I’ve played against good players with mike and done well so it isn’t the second part for sure.
I’ve also played against one of the best mikes on ps4, he really doesn’t need a buff.

You underestimate his early game way too much, he can take pretty much any big character out of the game, can easily melt the sheppard with crits and can napalm the little minions whilst theyre fighting your wave.

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Ernest and Benedict really aren’t much of a problem anymore tbh. They’re pretty easy to counter.

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