My suggested changes to Fl4k's Master tree

So, when I chose Fl4k for my first playthrough, I chose him for probably the same reason a lot of people did.

F***ING PETS!

But… much to our disappointment, we found them to be generally useless. I myself specced into the Master tree my first playthrough, but went into the crit build right before my first fight with Troy. So, instead of paying attention during the safety meeting at work, I decided to come up with some ways to make Fl4k TRULY a master of beasts, as his name implies.

PASSIVE BUFFS-
Increase pet damage by 200%

Now, I know that sounds like a lot, but I’ve run some numbers. Using the tier 4 jabber, his SMG does roughly 300 damage per hit. His attack command, a launcher that launches three times at an enemy, does between 5k~5.5k per hit, with no points into Ferocity. Capping out Ferocity brought it to around 500 per hit, with the attack command doing 7k per hit. Seems nice, but in the later difficulties, especially the Mayhem modes, we hardly notice the damage being dealt at all. Increasing the pet damage by this much will not only scale better for survivability later on, but scale better all around.

ATTACK COMMAND BUFFS AND CHANGES-
-Attack command key hold-down time reduced by 50%
-Attack commands have 100% accuracy.
-Spiderant Countess attack command changed to launch a web at a target, freezing it in place for six seconds
-Beefcake Jabber attack command changed to hurl **** at an enemy, enemies hit by this attack command will receive increased damage by 25% for 4 seconds.

So, not much passive stuff here. But one thing most Fl4k players would probably agree on is that attack commands are completely useless. For me, it’s for one major reason. I’ve timed it and it takes a solid 2 to 2.5 seconds to issue an attack command onto a target. And what’s worse is unlike Zane’s drone, attack commands will not be used by our pets if we don’t issue them. On top of that, most of them are generally useless, and can miss (here’s looking at you Meat-thief). Cutting the hold down time to issue commands will greatly increase not only our use of them, but our desire to utilize our pets in battle in general.

SKILL AND AUGMENTATION BUFFS-
-Ferocity caps out to increase pet damage by 100%, not 50%.
-Radiation damage dealt by Atomic Aroma increased by 50%, but decrease action skill time by 10%
-Pets receive health regeneration from Burst Aid at a reduction of 25%

These buffs will not only help improve build diversity in increasing the damage dealt by pets by investing in the Master tree, but will greatly improve pet survivability in late game.
AUGMENTATION CHANGES:
-Burst Aid moved from their 5 augmentation to tier 4, replace Endurance augmentation with “Release the Hounds!”
-“Release the Hounds!”: Activating Gamma Burst will also summon a random pet Fl4k has unlocked for the duration of the skill. This pet will offer 50% normal pet bonuses, totally random upon skill activation, and have damage decreased by 25%. Action skill cooldown increased by 25%.

So, the “Release the Hounds!” augmentation (I just really want to hear Fl4k say that :3), is what will make Fl4k TRULY a MASTER OF BEASTS! To keep balance, the random summoned pet should deal decreased damage, offer halved bonuses for the duration of Gamma Burst, and the action skill cooldown should be increased. Endurance is generally useless because of the cap it has built-in after five kills.
SKILL CHANGES-
-Dominance replaced with “No More Leash”
-“No More Leash”: Allows Fl4k’s pets to attack with their specific attack command without Fl4k having to issue them. Pets will only issue their attack command once on a target. Attack command power increased by 50%, Attack command cooldown increased by 25%.

I think it’s safe to assume that most Borderlands players will agree when I say that melee override skills are generally useless, and skills that bring enemy targets to temporarily fight for you are even more useless. The “No More Leash” skill, the capstone of this new Master tree is what will make pets shine, in and of themselves. This one point wonder skill will allow pets to do their attack command without Fl4k issuing one. We’ve trained and raised our pets since level one. After this long, they should be able to take on a bit more responsibility, right?

These changes to Fl4k’s master tree will not only encourage even more build diversity, but will greatly improve a generally lack-luster feature of the game that drew many of us to the game in the first place.

I posted this on reddit, but hoping posing it here will yield better results with Gearbox.

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The Countess’s attack command already has good utility tbh; the ability to teleport her anywhere and quickly establish aggro without having to use Gamma Burst is amazing for sniping and general ranged combat

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These are some interesting solutions. The things that I’ve seen from Gearbox seem to be a scaling factor that might come into play when selecting mayhem modes.

So pet dmg would go up by say, 100% for mayhem 1, and hp by 75%, that sort of thing. However, I could be totally interpreting the weird faces the gearbox devs make during couch Co-op when the question comes up.

We’ll see what the major patch does next week I think. Not super sure on that though.

I wouldn’t touch Endurance. Making Gamma Burst last longer is essential for Hunter/ Master pet builds, since they don’t spec around the Power Inside and 20 second Gamma Burst. Lowering the duration is a surefire way to nerf that playstyle.

Also, if we’re going to go with CC pets, we should go all the way. If FL4K’s pets can’t be scaled to do enough damage to be missed (I’d say a quarter of your damage output, whatever it is. Easier for some builds than others) then their CC should be bar none. I imagine something like Sofia in John Wick.
WARNING: If you don’t like graphic content, you probably shouldn’t watch this clip.


Those dogs get a fair number of killing blows, hold enemies down, distract and disorient them, and act as another layer of defense by attacking enemies in the flank.

This should be Fl4k.