Pet/Master builds too weak for mayhem 3?

Maybe it was me just hoping but i thought a pet build would be you and your pet working equally since youre giving up insane gun damage and crit to play it, but pet builds are incredibly weak in end game, they work fine in normal and tvhm but in mayhem 3 the pet just cant do enough dmg (and fl4k neither if not using hunter tree) and also cant handle exploding anointed/badasses without dying, currently playing through tvhm on mayhem 3 and these are my two pet builds ive tried"cb__2015308718___p__2158073648-5_281565876-5_1740990601-3_4171864922-1_2927115417-3_2818453945-5_202840317-5_2675403350-3_696695617-5_814334668-3_2555484897-5_390492389-1_2694263575-3_3096568734-1""

ive put almost all my guradian ranks into cooldown reduction since the pet does a lot more in gamma burst but even in gamma burst he would take 10 minutes to kill a single badass, not sure what can be done but i feel like master tree needs some love (and buffs)


You’re 100% right. Both of your builds are almost identical to the ones I’ve explored and no matter what I do, even in TVHM, I get so tired of the performance I just roll my eyes and resort back to the Fade Crit build out of frustration.

My biggest issue is that I love pet classes, and given the Master/Stalker combo I honestly thought I’d be the class running around in lazy-murder mode. I’d be happy to control my pet, buff it, execute attacks (just not the aim/hold F to execute an unreliable attack garbage - but that’s another conversation), but at this point in Mayhem only the Fade Crit seems to be viable, or even fun.

The pet build is a grueling, slow, uninteresting, and tedious process (for me). That’s the whole reason I played Fl4k in the first place. I inched through TVHM and while it was “viable,” it was insane to see the difference between Crit and Pet builds.

I understand that every game has its flavor of the month builds, and I have a ton of faith in Gearbox, but man they really missed the mark on making a pet class feel good. Unless you like hiding behind a corner and watching your Skag smack a badass for 35 minutes, doing about as much damage as 1 shot of your assault rifle.

Anyways, sorry for the rant, but I totally concur – I just wanted to add to this since I really, really think this needs attention. Not to mention, the most effective build for the “pet class” is pretty much ignoring the pet outside of the free res.


Yeah you pretty much nailed it, though for me id rather just play another class than play a gun build on a “beastmaster”, im not even sure what can be done… pets need huge dmg increase if in masters tree but even then in tvhm almost everything has shields or armor, so it either needs a element augment or something special like being able to damage health through shields


It really is unfortunate that the Beastmaster is nonviable as a pet class.

While crit FL4K can be a very potent build, it’s not what I signed up for.


I’m using a similar build myself, it was pretty good early on but falls off so hard late game. Its sad because this game is supposed to have such diverse builds, but with Fl4k a pet build just isn’t really viable despite him being a beastmaster. Imo he plays more like a Ranger class in an mmo, where they have secondary pets they can summon on the side just to distract stuff for them mostly. Its no wonder you see almost everyone running crit builds with him. Here’s to hoping they buff the pet tree a bit, but probably not


I think that statement is the real issue here; this is purely speculative but I kinda doubt the vast majority of people that signed up for Fl4k intended to be a ghost sniper. For the sake of simplicity, if the Stalker is the “Marksman” and the Master is the “Beastmaster,” I think that’s fine because it diversifies the class. The problem is the Stalker is insanely OP while the Beastmaster is barely viable.

@Kuri I’m with you – I don’t really enjoy playing Fl4k at this point either, which is a damn shame. I went hard on a gun build and tbh yeah, you can pretty much obliterate a boss in less than 15 seconds with the right gear but it’s literally “hit fade away, click on boss.” Even when I join other online parties the second I do the fade away thing everyone is like “oh god, here we go again.”

I like your idea about the pet augment though. Even if there was a way to like, switch elemental stances or something that might be cool. Maybe replace the attack command (gross) with “switch element” and it turns Gamma into different elemental types? That could be cool.

Thanks for the responses.


You said it. I’m down with some build variety, I think it’s great that Fl4k has non-pet options. I just don’t understand why the non-pet options are so much more powerful, not only than the pet options but than almost any other build in game by a very wide margin.

Even Hunter isn’t all that bad, Stalker is the one that’s really stealing the show. It’s OP to the point that it becomes un-fun after a few days of play, it has too much of everything and no real weaknesses except the CD on Fade Away, which can be brought pretty low.


Yeah, and with the proper gear the cooldown isn’t even pretty low; it’s almost irrelevant. I watched a few YouTube clips of it refreshing so fast that the lack of health/regen was a non-issue. Fade Away is ridiculous in and of itself. Mobs cannot see you, getting hit/hitting doesn’t break stealth (with the skill), and unless you’re standing directly in the line of fire on a boss fight you’re basically invincible every 10 seconds for another 12+. Meanwhile my pet is ressing me every 15 seconds even with all my health buffs.

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No problem, maybe randy actually makes all 3 skill builds interesting to play, not only broken crit build so kiddos can nobrain invest points there to kill whole galaxy. Mmm weird definition of fun randy has.

Flak shares some of the same problems as Axton did. If you focused on Axton’s turret you would eventually reach a point at high levels where it just didn’t do enough damage to be useful, and at that point you’ve basically wasted all of the skill points that would have buffed Axton. The problem with Axton then was the lack of an alternative.

At least with Flak they did give an alternative path to relying exclusively on an AI companion, but it’s still unbalanced.

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Explosive Axton was legendary, I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

Also, he was called the Soldier, not the Turretmaster. There was a blueprint from the previous game that they were following where the turret is used as distraction/support while its owner does most of the damage.

The top pet class in BL2 was the Mechromancer, who has it right in their name, and while Gaige did have some serious endgame issues, with enough work Deathtrap could be made serviceable while mobbing on UVHM.

I do agree that the basic scaling issues are similar, being that flat damage buffs from talents are inadequate to keep pace with endgame, and TPS remedied this to an extent. Even Gaige’s ability to exploit synergies like Make It Sparkle were a step up.

Fl4k represents an active step backward for pet classes in Borderlands, sadly, unless something is done.


I am Beastmaster too, i choose Fl4k because of his pet, too

Sad that the pet is only a cosmetic thing, he do 200 dmg hits in THVM Mayham Mode 3, the Beastmaster Build is such to weak.

I only can play the Fade/Crit Build.
Is it possible to buff the strengh of the Pet?

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There’s actually a combo for Gaige right now that allows Deathtrap to absolutely smash, involving getting the capstones of BFF and LBT and then equipping a good roid shield. It doesn’t work against raid bosses, on account of Deathtrap not using melee attacks on them, but it puts out some pretty serious damage, and with the recent level cap increase, she can even pick up enough in anarchy to make it a good build.

That said, in general I feel like the Borderlands games have often had issues with pets and similar abilities scaling to end game. Moze’s Iron Bear apparently has issues on higher difficulties as well. I suspect the reason for these scaling issues is that in order the balance the game, the devs want to make sure that gearing up is important. If you can smash everything with your pet or non-weapon based ability, it minimizes your reliance on gear. It would be really nice if they came up with some system where Fl4k’s pets (and perhaps Iron Bear) could scale with your weapon/shield rating or something like that.

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This is a common problem with pet builds in general across many games, scaling tends to leave them behind because the player sacrifices some of their personal power to invest in their pet, but gear-based scaling often only affects the player.

BM Hunters in WoW have historically had this issue where their performance swings wildly from crap to godly and back again multiple times per expansion, because they keep falling behind with every new tier due to the flat scaling and then getting buffed back up to compete.

Your idea is close to one I’ve had. The game has the mechanism to track a player’s gear score rating, they could implement a scaling buff based on it in theory.

I would also accept more legendaries being designed to work around some of these issues. It would be a band-aid fix, but I care more about the end result (having a viable beastmaster spec)than how we get there.

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I was thinking that same thing. Making item score effect their output would be great. I used that build you mentioned for Gaige for a long while when it was possible to use them together and I loved it.


I’m on board with this. I went through the 40s looking at anointed gear thinking “ok, not all is lost. There’s probably a whole ‘set’ of beastmaster gear that finally gives my pet build some worth.” I was wrong. I am currently using a legendary class mod that gives 3 points to Ferocity, so my pet is doing 80% more damage and it’s still pretty negligible.

Unfortunately scaling is just one of the many, many problems with the pet build, but if scaling is one of the more prominent issues, it could be helped with some supplemental gear. As Razorback said, it’d be a band-aid fix though.

I played a BM Hunter in WoW for a long, long time (a solid decade) and I have experienced that issue first-hand. Log in on Monday, my hunter is top DPS in the raid. Same rotation, same skills on Tuesday and he’s in 8th place after a new tier of content. What the hell happened? Scaling happened.

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Tim was the same way in TPS. Equipping his digi-jacks with a roid shield allowed them to 1 or 2 shot bosses.

Honestly, I think Diablo 3 has the right idea in this regard. Pets in that game scale off your weapon DPS. They have tons of other multipliers on set items and other gear to keep them competitive as well.

A common thread for Borderlands seems to be that without a specific debuff to help the pet along (Laser Guided in Wolf’s case being a 90% multiplier) they need a way to scale off of gear. Normally that seems to be accomplished through shields, but with the introduction of the item score, I don’t see why that can’t be incorporated into a formula to scale the pets. That would have its problems no doubt, but we NEED a way for pets to scale with gear.

There is no reason for a pet in ANY game to be dying constantly on the easiest difficulty. FL4K’s companions are made of tissue paper.


With my current build my pet can tank like nothing. He can even sometimes kill annointed enemies if they don’t outpace his hp regen and down him. But he doe so little damage it takes him forever to kill just about anything even with the points to up his attack. On the upside I got another legendary class mod that makes him taunt constantly while in gamma and I can just waltz up and kill enemies while they all attack him to no avail lol

I agree; that’s how it probably should be. I don’t have a better solution, personally, but I’m also not a game designer at a triple A studio. I also like that this holds the player accountable for their pet’s efficiency. Pet sucks? That’s probably your fault – put on better gear. With Fl4k, I basically have limited to no control with how well it does. The only thing my gear tells me when I acquire a new piece is just how terrible my pet’s dps really is.

I played D3 a lot. My necro was running second to last Torments solo last season (I can’t remember the torment number right now, maybe 14). I can say with total sincerity I never once complained about my minion damage. Every time I picked up a new weapon, it was like my skeletons were inspired to hit harder. It really made the experience, uh, cohesive, if you will.

@AbelKurayami I have that same mod. It’s honestly pretty nice. I expect a mod to deliver the bonuses, but I expect a skill to deliver the taunt ability. That’s just one Fl4k’s opinion though.


Honestly I have to agree with you there. A taunt should have been something the pet has the ability to get through the skill tree

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