Prismatic's Gearology and Math

Welcome to Gearology,

This thread was originally started as a collection of some of the weirder or more complex testing I’d come across. It has since evolved into a collection of gear breakdowns. Every write up is a stand alone piece and where possible I’ve linked to further research done on the gear. If by the end you still have questions on the workings of gear listed here, please ask and I’ll do my best to clarify.

Table of Contents


More Power?

Gain 300% increased Weapon Damage against enemies above 90% Health.

Last Tested on 11th of June 2020

This anoint is 300% v2 damage, . For those not familiar with the damage formula v2 is a universal modifier, it applies to all your damage. If you throw a grenade, melee and enemy or apply a dot it’ll receive this bonus.

How The Anoint used to work

Unlike popular rumors suggest this anoint always checks the base health bar to see if the enemy is above 90% health. So on Wotan its his armour Bar, on Agonizer it will be the Purple bar and on a badass Zealot it’ll be the red bar. DLC 2 enemies with 3 Red health Bars are only checked against the bottom Red bar. These are the same mechanics that both Fl4k’s deadeye com and the damage vs enemies below 25% health anoint use.

How the Anoint Works as of the 11th of June Patch

The anoint now checks if the enemies overall HP is above 90%.

As a v2 bonus the anoint is checked on hit and can therefore be swapped to from another gun. The bonus also applies to the whole shot even if the enemy falss below 90% health. So an enemy with 100 max health hit by a bullet doing 10 damage the damage will get the 300% bonus and the enemy will take 40 damage.

The interactions with multi pellet weapons are where this anoint gets complex. We’ll start with the simple case of shotguns. You only get the damage bonus on exactly the number of pellets required to put the enemy below 90% health. This makes shotguns underwhelming with it against the final health bar of an enemy as the gun receives minimal benefit.

Guns with unlisted projectiles however appear to be processed differently. If you land an unlisted projectile soon after a listed projectile you can trick the game into giving you the damage bonus regardless of if the the enemy is still above 90% health.The Bekah is an excellent demonstration of this as depending on your distance to the enemy you might or might not get the damage bonus on more projectiles than intended. A Scourge for instance tends to get the damage bonus on 1 rocket more than intended. The is down to the time between projectiles landing. A carrier or unseen threat by contrast however takes too long for the extra projectiles to land so you won’t get bonus activation’s. Unlisted Multi pellet weapons should be considered on a case by case basis. Some will excel others will run into the same limitations that Shotguns and other listed projectile weapons run into.

On Action Skill End, Deal 125% more Weapon Damage to Badass, Named and Boss enemies for a short time.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

This is an anoint that has been given very little testing. Recently however a few questions have arisen around it which sparked testing. To get the ridiculous out of the way first, Wotan does not count as a boss. This anoint will do nothing against Wotan or any of the Krakens, Thors or Better Half. Thanks Ratore for testing this! So this rather hilarious anomaly aside, onto the technicalities.

This anoint is not a traditional damage multiplier, you won’t deal a straight 125% more damage. This anoint actually functions as a bonus element, it adds 125% kinetic damage. It’s calculated the same as bonus elements are and will even create extra projectiles in the same manner.

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Brainstormer and Reflux

That’s gotta burn, Let’s put our heads together.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

My Brainstormers


The Reflux is a Corrosive version of the Brainstormer, all findings on the Brainstormer are applicable to the Reflux.

Thank you to @DocStrangelove who’s testing was integral to my understanding of the Brainstormer.

I’ll be doing my best to summarize but if you want to see an in depth discussion of the Brainstormer see: Brainstorming the Brainstormer, where a lot of this testing was originally done.

The Brainstormer creates chains and it’s easy to get lost in descriptions of what’s happening so, I’m going to use the following terminlogy to hopefully differentiate what the Brainstormer is doing.

Chain: the lightning effect that transfers damage from 1 enemy to another.
Link: Contains exactly 2 chains.

When the Brainstormer pellets hit a target, each pellet has a chance to create a Link. If a Link is created, then you’ll have 2 chains, 1 to a new enemy and the second either to another new enemy or back to the original.
A chain can at no point create a new Link, and that Link will always hit 2 targets.

The chains will deal 10 ticks of damage over 2 seconds. Each tick appears to count as a bullet impact and will receive buffs such as ASE bonus Elemental damage. This damage is calculated on original impact and will keep all damage buffs for the entire duration except for C-C-Combo which will fluctuate as you shoot. Amara’s personal space also has a special interaction. The damage bonus it offers will update depending on how close you are to the chained target, moving away will decrease the damage that the target takes, even if you were originally point blank when firing.

Each target appears to have a cap at of 5 Links, they can’t be affected by more than this at any 1 time. So if you’re pumped up on bonus elements and want to maximize your damage, try swapping targets after you’ve applied a few chains to the first bad guy.

There are 2 frequently asked questions that I want to address.

  1. Does the Redundant Version create more chains/Links?
  2. Do the Brainstormer chains benefit from Area of Effect damage boosts?
    No. The Brainstormer and it’s chains are entirely unaffected by splash and aoe boosts.

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Breath of the Dying


Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

Write Up and testing done by @DocStrangelove

Always corrosive, 0% status effect chance. When killing an enemy, 13 exploding orbs spread out horizontally in all directions. This number is fixed and can not be increased with bonus elements. The orbs will not hit you directly, but when they explode the splash damage can kill you, so caution is advised.

The orbs are technically explosive assault rifle shots: they receive splash/AoE and assault rifle damage bonuses. Their base damage is 6x (!) the damage dealt by the shot that killed the enemy.

Since base damage is based on the actual damage dealt on kill, this weapon double dips a lot: the orbs will again receive all bonuses like gun damage bonuses, elemental bonuses, etc. as if it were an assault rifle shot. They can also crit, so crit double dipping is possible.

One oddity of this weapon is that the bullets do not receive v2 bonuses, but the orbs do: bullet damage is not increased by assault rifle damage bonuses or skills like Personal Space, but orb damage is.

Bonus elemental damage from grenade and shield can negate the effect: if the instance of damage that kills the enemy is one of these, no orbs are spawned. However, bonus elemental damage from the gun’s anointment or e.g. from Forceful Expression/Infusion will spawn orbs. In this case, base damage of the orbs will be based on the instance of damage that killed the enemy, not on the weapon’s main damage.

Orbs will apply bonus elemental damage from all sources (including shield/grenade), except for Infusion which is ignored by the orbs. As the BotD has 0% status effect chance, bonus elements can’t apply status effects either.

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A broken smile beneath her whispered wings.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

The Clairvoyance is a relatively straightforward gun in comparison to some items in this thread. The sticky it places on crit however is worth a brief word.

Despite all appearances the sticky does not benefit from splash or aoe damage boosts. The gun gains no additional benefits from bonus elements, neither the sticky or the ricochet are multiplied by having more elements active.

Damage wise the sticky and ricocheting bullets get all the same bonuses as the original bullet. Effects like amp, overkill and gun damage are calculated at the time of firing the original bullet, whereas things like elemental multipliers are calculated on impact. These follow all the same rules as the normal damage pipeline.

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Driver and Violent Momentum Movespeed Scaling

Only on the brink we can see so clearly.

Last Tested June 1st 2020

A massive thank you to Lonemasterino (Lonemasterino#0405 on Discord) who has collaborated with me to flesh out this testing and iron out the math. Everything presented below is a result of our combined testing and work

Movement speed scaling is largely irrelevant, however Driver Amara and Zane both gain damage from it. So its worth knowing how it scales. This can allow for damage estimates and comparisons.

I will refer to the default move speed as base speed from here on out.

Movement Speed Scaling Above Base = [ (1 + Run Speed(0.532)/Slide Speed(0.6872)) x (1+Violent Speed + Supersonic Man + Infiltrator(15%) + Antifreeze (anti cryo bonus) + Charged Relay + Mindfulness + Vigor + Fleet + Vagabond + Speed Demon + Caffeine Caplets) x ( 1 + Artifact Movespeed + Victory Rush + Berserker Rush + STNL Move speed Anoint + Phaseslam Move speed Anoint(12%) + ASE Move speed Anoint) x (1 + Snowdrift ) ] - 1

Most gear states the values on the card, for stats that don’t I’ve listed the value in brackets. Run Speed is taken as the damage when you sprint and then take a shot, this value is slightly inconsistent as you’re slowing down while the shot is taken. Slide Speed I’ve taken as the highest value I could achieve in a slide, however again this will be inconsistent depending on when you fire in the slide. Max slide speed is achieve at the very start of a slide.

The conversion of movement speed to damage is however not straight forward. This is due to the way scaling becomes more effective the faster you go. For every 100% faster than base speed you go the scaling becomes more effective. This is easiest to demonstrate visually.

There’s a couple things to take in here. The first thing to note is that there is a cap, at 500% speed both Violent Momentum and Driver stop adding additional damage. You may ask how achievable is this cap? For Amara having 3/3 Mindfulness and Snowdrifting is enough to exceed 500% and cap your damage from Driver. On Zane with Seein’ Dead and DFC spec’d you require 5/5 Violent Speed with 2 stacks and an artifact move speed passive.

The red line is not representative of any in game move scaling, its presented to show the difference between how Violent Momentum and Driver scale more effectively with speed compared to if the scaling stayed the same as between 0-100% speed.

Driver and 5/5 Violent Momentum scale the same ate high speeds, however for speeds between 0 and 200% faster than base Driver is less effective. I suspect this is a but however can’t be sure. On the graph you can see the yellow line representing Driver that starts slowly but then catches up to and matches 5/5 Violent Momentum.

I’ve also included the Graph for 5/5 VM with both DFC and Seein’ Dead as that is a common Zane set up and is likely the most useful curve to Zane players.

All numbers are accurate and can be read off the graph, however if you’d like to calculate the damage done for a specific situation you can use this spreadsheet, which is the result of the collaborative efforts of Lonemasterino and Myself. The spreadsheet allows you to specify which move speed buffs you have and will return both your speed and the gun damage given by it.

If you are curious about the exact calculations for each speed feel free to ask and I can elaborate on the hows and why’s.

Side Note for people who play with a controller: Due to controller dead zones, you won’t reach top speed. Hence your numbers will always be marginally under. The margins are minimal (around 0.2%), however they do exist.

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Electric Banjo

We never could have foreseen the success.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

Electric Banjo


The Electric Banjo is a legendary artifact that gives your bullets a chance to chain shock damage to nearby enemies. I spent some time googling the artifact and it appears that the artifact is guaranteed to spawn with 2 stat rolls. Both rolls will be related to the Shock element. The Electric Banjo cannot spawn with a secondary effect - such as Deathless or Flesh Melter.

The chained shock attack is based on your bullet damage. The higher the damage of the bullet proccing the Electric Banjo, the higher the chain damage. The chain receives 25.5% of your bullets damage and then applies the shock elemental multiplier.

Chain Damage = Bullet Damage x 0.25 x v1 x v2 x Shock Elemental Multiplier

Due to the nature of this bonus being calculated after everything from critical hits to even Overkill, the chain can be pushed to pretty insane numbers. While testing in Athenas with no skill points and a Monocle, I stacked a bit of Overkill and hit the following:

That shock damage is the Electric Banjo applying to flesh.

If you have a bonus elemental damage annointment active, the chain will also receive bonus damage. I tested Moze’s Selfless Vengeance which gives bonus fire damage and that also applied to the chains. The beam does not appear to be classed as AOE or Splash and therefore won’t trigger skills that require Splash damage.

Chain Bonus Element Damage = Bullet Damage x 0.255 x Bonus Element % x Elemental Modifier

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Front Loader

You could always use a little more life insurance.

The Front Loader started as a Moze meta shield and has thankfully mostly fallen out of favour. However there are still holdouts that use it with Deathless relics and in other shield stacking shenanigans.

This doesn’t end up working out well. The Front Loaders bonus shield capacity (unlike Thin Red Line) comes after bonuses. Thus its affect on your overall capacity has diminishing returns the more shield capacity bonuses you have.

To put into perspective why this is bad lets consider a Moze example

For simplicity I’ll assume the shields have equal base capacity. At level 50 in a fairly standard 1hp Bloodletter setup. A Front Loader would end up with about 4000 extra capacity. The catch however is that the difference remains constant even after stacking Phalanx Doctrine. So while 4000 difference capacity is impressive when comparing 40000 vs 44000, it degrades quickly and once we add enough Phalanx to reach 60000 the other shield would be at 56000.

In the above example more shield capacity you stack the less the Front Loaders bonus means.

Any shield we compare a Front Loader to also has the advantage of optionally not sacrificing health gate. At this point there are a variety of attacks, from badass tink grenades to Wotan Mortars that can 1 shot anything that doesn’t have health gate.

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Good Juju

Kinda, sorta wants to end all existence.

Last Tested 2nd October

Write Up and testing done by @Ratore

Good Juju has a weird problem with its firing modes: one has the correct card damage while the other has much lower damage. They share no differences (that i could find) besides that.

The weapon has a crit penalty of either 45% / 50%, depending on parts: this applies to the Crit formula as

2 x (1 - Penalty), so
2 x (1 - 0.45) or 2 x (1 - 0.50)

This results in the crit modifier being a x1 or a x1.1, instead of the usual x2. The Penalty is placed where weapon card crit bonuses would usually be.

The weapon has a stacking Post Add crit bonus on bodyshots. This goes up to a maximum of 500%, and each pellet hit stacks it by 20%. This means that without Playing Dirty or Two F4ng, 25 bodyshot hits are needed to reach the cap (6 Bursts + 1 Pellet from the 4th). This applies to the Crit formula as

{ 2 x (1 - Penalty) } + Stack%.

The final crit formula ends up as

{ 2 x (1 - Penalty) x (1 + Skills + GRankCrit + ClassModCrit) } + Stack%

This heavily diminishes the effectiveness of the Vault Hunter’s Crit Damage skills/boosts when using this weapon, and makes the weapon’s crit mechanic the most valuable crit boost you can have.

By itself, a fully stacked Juju without any other type of boosts results in a x6/x6.1 Crit modifier depending if you have the 50% or 45% version.

Vault Hunters that have Crit Boosts should prioritize going after a good version with the 45% Penalty, but still take a higher base damage over the smaller crit penalty.

Extra elements on Shield/Nade or on Weapon do not stack it faster. Reloading/Swapping Weapons resets the effect.

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Green Monster

We often smilin’ at sights of violence

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

Thank you to @sammantixbb for testing and informing me of this and to @flightx3aa and SSpyR who helped me confirm the interactions.

The Green Monster’s Bonus corrosive damage doesn’t stack quite how the card says it does. It will start stacking when you fire your first shot, however it won’t stop stacking when you release the trigger. Instead the stacking will reset when you next fire a shot, swap weapons or reload.

The Green Monster has an unlisted extra effect. Not only does it stack bonus corrosive damage but it also stacks splash damage. This effect takes 50 seconds to reach max damage and can be reset in all the same ways as the Bonus corrosive damage.

I asked Sammantix to take another crack at summarizing how it works as I’m a firm believe this mod takes a lot to understand.

It builds up from the second you pull the trigger. For most guns, this fires a shot. For charge weapons, this can just be one click of charge. From this point on, you’re gaining stacks. If you pull the trigger again, it restarts. If you reload, it stops and goes back to zero. These stacks can be maintained in Iron Bear, allowing Bear access to the 100% splash boost.

Notably, certain charge guns act as a new trigger pull on each charge. Known examples are the Maliwan Storm and the Maliwan Recursion.

Sammantixbb also attempted to explain it here.

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King and Queen’s Call

Life is ours. We live it our way.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

The Calls


These guns have 2 mechanics of interest to me. The first mechanic is that they create 3 extra projectiles on crit and the second mechanic is that they have powerful lifesteal.

The extra projectiles are not simply a clone of the bullet that creates them, they have a different damage and are also affected by splash/aoe buffs. The extra projectiles are not based on the the critical hit damage that spawns them, but rather the damage before the critical hit multiplier, I’ll call this body damage.

Critical hit damage = body damage x critical hit multiplier

The formula to calculate the extra projectile damage is:

Projectile Damage = 1.5 x Body Damage x Splash

Note however in the time it takes for the projectiles to connect your C-C-Combo will likely of decayed. I found it more reliable to calculate projectile damage assuming I had no C-C-Combo.

The lifesteal is 12.5%, it can be calculated by the same formula I list in the Moxxi weapons section. The additional projectiles will heal for 1.5x the initial bullets healing.

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Kyb’s Worth

Stand in the f**kin’ circle.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

My Kyb's Worths, they are all my favourite

image image image

The Kyb’s Worth produces a healing aura on kill. I’ve known for awhile that the aura is significant, however I didn’t know how significant. The first surprise in my testing is that the Aura is not percent based, and will heal you the same regardless of your max health.

The healing is a function of the guns damage at the time of your kill. This includes any relevant kill skills you activate or stack on kill. The healing is however unaffected by the Binary prefix, the extra pellet makes no difference to the healing aura. The healing is 2 times the card damage (not including the x2 or x3). The healing appears to only be boosted by a characters base additive gun boosts, the game generally labels these Gun Damage or Weapon Damage. Guardian Ranks, Elemental bonuses, Splash and special multipliers all have no effect on the healing.

Healing Aura = Card Damage x 2 x (1 + additive boosts)

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Loaded Dice

Feelin’ lucky?

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

My Loaded Dice, I have many

image image image image image

That I even include this item is a surprise to me, however while testing healing on the Kyb’s Worth I discovered that the Loaded Dice restores health on kill. Yes, I’ll restate that, on kill the Loaded Dice restores health.

The reason I’ve included images of 6 loaded dice is because I wanted to be sure that it is indeed the Loaded dice restoring my health. I also tested with both Moze and Amara, killing things with anything I had to hand. They all restored health on kill.

So how much health does it restore on kill? From the tests I ran it seems to be about 17.67% of max health. All results where between 17.66% and 17.68%.

As for the math of how the loaded dice reserves health. The penalty is calculated before additive bonuses. So in the following overview of health calculations.

Max Health = [ Base Health x boosts x Reducers] + additives

Loaded Dice would be a part of the Reducers. If you try reserving health via something like a Front Loader or Moze’s Thin Red Line, that will multiply the full Max Health number.

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Lucky 7

O Fortuna.

Last Tested 5th June

My Lucky 7


Upon reloading the gun has a chance to gain special effects. These effects can be active simultaneously, however they disappear if you reload, enter FFYL or change maps. Entering and Exiting Iron Bear has no effect.

Special Effects

image Auto Crit

All shots count as critical hits. Bullets receive the same purple visual effect as an amp shot. Shooting a weak point gives no further bonuses.

image Full Auto

The Lucky 7 fires in full auto mode. You get the cards full fire rate and any bonus fire rate you have.

image Elemental Rounds

The Lucky 7’s shots are converted to a random element, and receive all damage bonuses for that element.

image Explosive Rounds

The Lucky 7’s shots are converted to splash damage, and receive all splash damage bonuses.

image 7 Shot

Fires 7 Bullets instead of 1. Every bullet gets full damage.

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Mind Sweeper

Brain blast!

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

The Mind Sweeper grenades can at first seem a bit inconspicuous, 25% chance on critical hit to trigger seems like a stiff condition. So what damage does it do to justify this? The answer is a lot.

The grenade inherits as its base damage the damage of the crit that triggered it. Furthermore the grenade also inherits the element from the triggering crit. So a fire vs flesh grenade (in TVHM) will do 175% the damage of the original crit. If this wasn’t enticing enough the grenade also gets all grenade and splash damage bonuses.

MS Grenade Damage = [Triggering Crit Damage] x Splash x Grenade x V1 x V2 x Elemental Multiplier

v1 and v2 are general damage multipliers, you can find an explanation here: [Guide] Borderlands 3 Damage Formulas.

This grenade is capable of triggering Pull the Holy Pin which will double the damage it deals, and comically enough give it the chance to re trigger the Mind Sweeper and possibly proc another grenade. Which can lead to chains of exponentially growing damage.

Example of a Mind Sweeper chain

The alert and eagle eyed among you may have noticed the possibility of double dipping on bonuses. I’ve double checked and yes the grenade will double dip both splash and elemental damage bonuses. So for best results get yourself Stoke the Embers and atleast one of +AOE damage or +Splash Damage and apply this with a gun that deals splash damage.

Examples that convey why double dipping is a big thing.

A normal gun that crits for 100 damage, will trigger a 100 damage grenade for a total damage of 200.

Say that gun deals splash and you add a 30% splash boost. It will now crit for 130 damage and the grenade it triggers will deal 169 damage for a total of 299 damage(49.5% more than than without the boost).

Critical = 100 x 1.3 = 130
Grenade = 130 x 1.3 = 169
Total = 299

If you really want the damage to ramp up, use elemental bonuses that also double dip. So lets start again with a new gun that we’ll say is fire and would crit for 50 before the elemental multiplier. In TVHM the gun will deal 87.5 crit damage. The grenade will then deal (87.5 x 1.75) = 153.1. So the total damage you dealt is 240.6.

Critical = 50 x 1.75 = 87.5
Grenade = 87.5 x 1.75 = 153
Total = 240.6

And lastly in case it hasn’t sunk in that this gets ridiculous lets add 3/3 Stoke the Embers and 30% Splash damage to that 50 damage gun in the last example.

Critical = 50 x (1.75x1.3) x 1.3 = 147.875
Grenade = 147.875 x (1.75x1.3) x 1.3 = 437.34
Total = 585

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One is enough.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

The Monocle’s red text affect is a large crit bonus when scoped. The exact bonus is often misquoted as 500%. In actuality the bonus is 250%. Considering the number of multiplicative critical hit bonuses the Monocle gets I don’t blame anyone for thinking the bonus is bigger than 250%.

As a Jakobs gun the Monocle gets a 10% critical hit bonus, furthermore as a Sniper rifle it gets another 20% crit bonus.

The critical hit multiplier for a scoped Monocle looks like so:

Critical Hit Multiplier = 2 x (1 + 0.2) x (1 + 0.1) x (1 + 2.5) x (1 + Skills and Guardian Rank) = 9.24 x (1 + Skills and Guardian Rank)

Due to how critical how critical hit damage is calculated in Borderlands 3, the Borderlands 2 wisdom of not boosting critical hits on high crit guns no longer holds. A guns critical hit bonus is now multiplicative to any boosts provided through character skills or gear.

Photo Proof of math related to the Monocle

I’ve already shown the Monocle used for testing. The important number is the 1461 base damage. My Gun Damage Guardian Rank is 14.41% and my critical hit bonus is 13.98%. I also have C-C-Combo unlocked so that’s another 2% multiplicative modifier.

A body shot with no other bonuses is therefore:

1461 x ( 1 + 0.1441 ) x ( 1 + 0.02 ) = 1704.96


A no scope critical hit:

1705 x 2 x (1 + 0.2) x (1 + 0.1) x ( 1 + 0.1398) = 5130.47


And finally a scoped critical hit:

1705 x 2 x (1 + 0.2) x (1 + 0.1) x (1 + 2.5) x ( 1 + 0.1398) = 17956.6


Here we see the number has been rounded down. However to be certain I shot twice in succession to stack C-C-Combo to a 4% bonus instead of 2, this pushed our expected crit over 18k.

1738 x 2 x (1 + 0.2) x (1 + 0.1) x (1 + 2.5) x ( 1 + 0.1398) = 18304.2

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Moxxi Weapons

Feeling lucky Sugar?

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0
Life steal was changed with the Mayhem 2.0 update and appears to benefit from all damage bonuses.

Moxxi’s weapon based Life Steal has changed from Borderlands 2. The healing no longer scales off your total damage or even affect your grenades. They follow the same method as the 15% life steal annointment.

This means they only scale off a vault hunters base additive gun damage boosts - what I will call Normal Hit. You do not receive extra healing for having Guardian ranks, Splash boosts or weapon type boosts. Matching elements and hitting crits are also irrelevant to your healing.

The only multiplicative boosts to healing are amp damage and the slide and airborne anoints.

Healing = [Life Steal %] x [Normal Hit] x [ Amp] x [Slide/Airborne Damage anoints]

Weapon Life Steal
Cheap Tips No Life Steal
Creamer 10%
Crit 5%
Hail 3%
Heart Breaker 5%
Slow Hand 3.5%
Vibra-Pulse 5%

Thank you to @DocStrangelove who corrected my previous assumption that the Creamer gave double healing on crits. He pointed out that there is a beam above the target dummy that can be shot to proc life steal. The Creamer just happens to have a big enough radius to damage this beam.

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It’s a terrible day for rain.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0
Write Up and testing done by @DocStrangelove

When an enemy is hit by Amara’s action skill, this class mod spawns an elemental cloud at the enemy’s location which has a chance to apply a status effect (DOT = damage over time) on every enemy touching it. DOT damage and chance are based on those of the weapon held.

The cloud will also damage the player, so Phaseslam isn’t ideal. I recommend Phasecast and Phasegrasp and their variants.

It is triggered only on the first enemy hit, so e.g. The Eternal Fist will not cause multiple clouds. There can be only one cloud at a time, so if a new one is spawned by using Avatar, the first cloud disappears.

The way this works is that the cloud “hits” enemies with 16 ticks of very low damage spread over 6 seconds. Each of these has a chance to proc the DOT, the chance being that of the weapon held. This means that weapons with very low chance (e.g. most shotguns) have a good chance to not proc DOT. It also means that weapons with 0% chance (e.g. Krakatoa, Breath of the Dying) can’t proc it at all.

DOT damage is also that of the weapon held, only that the element will be your action skill element. This means that Nimbus can deal massive damage depending on your weapon: the highest Nimbus damage I’m aware of comes from an Ion Cannon.

Nimbus also works with kinetic weapons, in fact kinetic weapons even tend to cause more damage. Kinetic weapons have “hidden” DOT chance and damage values (which are also used to determine DOT from bonus elements). DOT damage is calculated based on the weapon’s gun damage; since elemental versions of the same weapon usually have lower base damage, they usually cause less DOT damage than the kinetic one.

The way this works is that each weapon type/manufacturer combination has a certain DOT chance and a certain damage per second/gun damage ratio (there are a few exceptions to the rule, e.g. Hellfire). For example, Jakobs shotguns have a chance of 4% and a ratio of ×1.26, which can be observed on a Hellwalker: 900 gun damage × 1.26 = 1134 damage per second.

DmgPerSecond = GunDmg × Ratio

Damage is based on that of a single projectile, so since multi-projectile weapons such as shotguns or Maggie usually have low single projectile damage, they usually cause little DOT and as such are bad for Nimbus damage (exception: a x2 Ion Cannon has no damage penalty). However this also means that a One Pump Chump can deal considerable Nimbus damage thanks to its high single-projectile damage. Sadly, with a DOT chance of merely 4% it is likely to not proc the effect at all.

If your gun is cryo, DOT damage can be easily calculated because cryo efficiency equals the DOT/gun damage ratio: the Ion Cannon’s ratio is ×0.6825, and a cryo Ion Cannon has 68% efficiency.

DOT damage is increased by gun damage bonuses (the ones in red in the “All VH Formulas” document), which means that gun damage anointments like +250% and +300% also increase DOT and thus Nimbus damage. Since the cloud can hurt you too, Phaseslam is very dangerous: causing over 100,000 damage per second on yourself is going to make you sad. +250% after Phasecast is a much safer option.

Some final notes:

  • being DOT, Nimbus damage will not heal you with Sustainment.
  • being DOT, it will not damage enemies linked by Ties That Bind.
  • Wildfire can spread Nimbus DOT to nearby enemies.
  • Allure can suck nearby enemies into the cloud.

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Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge

Knowing is half the battle

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

Note this is testing from a few people.

The Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge has a few mechanics at play. Starting simple it has a restricted pool of stats it can roll. It can get any 2 of Mag Size, Fire Rate, Reload Speed, Max Health, Health Regen, and XP Multiplier - Thanks SSpyR for this information.

Secondly onto the damage portion of this artifact. There are 2 effects that enter play here.

  1. The stacking damage works a bit weirdly. Usually stacks build in a linear fashion, something like

1 + Bonus = 1 + ( Number of stacks x Bonus per stack)

This artifact however has an exponential growth. Where each stack builds on the previous one.

1 + Stack Bonus = 1.01 Stacks

So at 15 stacks you get 1.0115 = 16.2% damage bonus. I’m yet to confirm where this lies in the formula. It’s not something common like, gun damage, splash or v2. I suspect it might be entirely by itself. Though this is unconfirmed.

The second component to this relics damage bonus is the when full bonus. This bonus is gun damage and will add to the gun damage skills in SoR or a consecutive hits anoint. Credit goes to @plenipotence for working out the full stack mechanic and placing it in the formula.

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Prompt Critical

Explodermaster masterexploder.

Last Tested 6th October

Write Up and testing done by @Ratore

While the Prompt Critical’s Impact mode works as one would expect, its Sticky Mode has some unique behaviors to it. Here I’ll display them in the form of:

  • Sticky Impact - Impact damage of the sticky rounds;

  • Sticky Detonation - Detonation damage of the landed sticky rounds;

  • Explosion - The explosion special effect of the Prompt Critical, activated when triggering the sticky detonation on an enemy (doesn’t quite work on dummy).

Sticky Impact

The impact damage of a sticky from this weapon is applied in two instances that when added up result in the total sticky impact damage (and will match the weapon card damage if not affected by any modifiers). Let’s call them Primary Sticky Impact and Secondary Sticky Impact.

Landing a full shot means both of these damage instances being applied three (or four if you use the x4 variant) times, but only the Secondary Sticky Impact will bunch up into a single number, while the Primary Sticky Impact will show all of its instances separately.

Primary Sticky Impact = Card Damage x 0.80 x Gun Damage x V1 x V2 x Splash x Megavore Crit x Others

  • The Primary Sticky Impact is around 80% of the card damage, which will then also get all the other listed formula modifiers, alongside anointments and applicable bonus elements.
  • It cannot naturally crit. It may only crit through FL4K’s capstone, Megavore. When it crits throught it, it’s just like a normal crit and all boosts apply.

Secondary Sticky Impact = Card Damage x 0.20 x Gun Damage x V1 x V2 x Splash x Crit x Others

  • The Secondary Sticky Impact is around 20% of the card damage, which will then also get all the other listed formula modifiers, alongside anointments and applicable bonus elements.
  • It can naturally crit or Megavore crit, and all boosts apply.

Sticky Detonation

When shooting at the Jack dummy in Sanctuary, the stickies pretty much behave like a normal torgue sticky pistol with an increasing damage bonus per sticky, with the exception of having the split Primary and Secondary Damages on its detonation too. This makes the target dummy extremely unreliable for testing this gun.

When fighting an actual enemy, any stickies landed on the same enemy will blow up at once as a singular blast, and cause an Explosion. This Explosion is different from a Sticky Detonation, which I will cover now.

What we first need to note is what is the damage of a single sticky’s detonation. In practice, this is what matters for us, since it will be what determines the damage of the Explosion. This can be tested on the dummy if you manage to land only a single pellet. Much like the Sticky Impact Damage, the detonation also has a damage split.

When addep up, this damage split results in the total detonation damage, which is x2 the total Sticky Impact Damage.

Primary Sticky Detonation = Card Damage x 1.2 x Gun Damage x V1 x V2 x Splash x Megavore Crit x Others

  • This is for the detonation of a single sticky, not multiple.
  • The Primary Sticky Detonation is around 120% of the card damage, which will then also get all the other listed formula modifiers, alongside anointments and applicable bonus elements.
  • There is no double dipping occurring, but just a flat multiplier being applied on detonation.
  • Modifiers that are applied on shot (like Gun Damage and Amp) will only apply if the landed sticky during impact had them on begin with.
  • This cannot naturally crit. It may only crit through FL4K’s capstone, Megavore. When it crits throught it, it’s just like a normal crit and all boosts apply.

Secondary Sticky Detonation = Card Damage x 0.80 x Gun Damage x V1 x V2 x Splash x Crit x Others

  • The Secondary Sticky Detonation is around 80% of the card damage, which will then also get all the other listed formula modifiers, alongside anointments and applicable bonus elements.
  • You may notice it’s exactly the same as the Primary Sticky Impact formula, but in this case it can crit naturally or through Megavore.
  • Modifiers that are applied on shot (like Gun Damage and Amp) will only apply if the landed sticky had them to begin with.

This is where the dummy becomes completely unreliable: the Secondary Sticky Detonation will occur on every sticky that is blown up on the dummy, because you can’t really proc the Explosion on it. When facing an enemy, the Secondary Sticky Detonation will only occur once, and its damage will still be based on a single (one pellet) sticky.

This means that against an enemy, it doesn’t matter if you landed 3 or 10 stickies, the Secondary Sticky Detonation will always be as if you had only landed one when you activate the Explosion. The Explosion damage is based on the Primary Sticky Detonation, as I will display now.


The Explosion is what happens when you trigger the stickies from the Prompt Critical on an enemy. This causes all landed stickies to blow up in a singular explosion, dealing Explosion damage alongside Secondary Sticky Detonation damage.

Explosion Damage = Primary Sticky Detonation x Number Of Stickies On Target x Megavore Crit

  • The Number Of Stickies On Target required for the maximum damage is ten stickies. Anything more won’t grant increased damage.
  • This means that four shots are required on target, with room for 2 missed stickies. The x4 variant of the weapon and skills like Two F4ng/Playing Dirty can make this process quicker, although you likely still want the x3 variant so you can work with a better base damage.
  • Explosion cannot naturally crit. It may only crit through FL4K’s capstone, Megavore. When it crits throught it, it’s just like a normal crit and all boosts apply.

Alongside this, the Secondary Sticky Detonation will occur again and display as a separate number, hitting anything on the blast radius. Unlike Explosion, it won’t cause more damage in accordance to the number of stickies, and will rather always come up as a pretty low damage value.

The Explosion Radius also increases with the amount of stickies, and seems to cap at ten stickies or maybe a bit sooner (8~9? Not sure). The Explosion causes no self damage.

Other Information & Tips

  • Fade Away crits only apply to Secondary Sticky Impact and Secondary Sticky Detonation. Explosion, Primary Sticky Impact and Detonation do not get the Fade bonus.

  • Killing an enemy that has stickies on them will (usually? always?) trigger those stickies on death, still damaging anything in the blast radius.

  • FL4K has some of the best synergies with this weapon: the fire rate boost of sticky mode alongside Megavore making up for the issue of not being able to crit on part of the Impact/Detonation/Explosion basically turns Sticky Mode into a complete DPS upgrade over Impact mode. This is enough to just kill enemies purely with the Sticky Mode and trigger explosions on demand.

  • Moze with Torgue Cross-Promotion can significantly expand the blast radius and take advantage of the blast not causing self damage. Short Fuse can proc on the Explosion, but it might compete with the Secondary Detonation damage for a proc and result in not really impressive damage when triggering on the latter.

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Man’s reach exceeds his imagination.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

Ask someone for a redistribution pun.

Okay, yes, that was bad.


I looked at this gun as I was mostly curious as to why Zane’s cryo anoint has such a massive effect on it. The gun has an amped shot that produces a chain every 7th shot, this amped shot gets 50% amp. I saw this chain reach upto 2 additional targets, however I didn’t spend enough time watching chains to see if there is any restriction on how these chains act. My best attempts at counting showed that the chains deal a total of 9 ticks of damage. So you’ll get 9 instances of damage equivalent to your amp shot.

So where do bonus elements tie into this? For the first 6 shots the extra elements behave as normal. The 7th shot with the amp chain however plays up. Adding an extra element doubles the damage of the chains. Nothing intricate about it, take the damage you expected before and double it! then add you bonus element % for good measure. If we add a third element the chain damage triples, and so on…

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To each according to their needs.

Last Tested before Mayhem 2.0

Before digging into how the life steal mechanism here works lets get the basics out of the way here.

  1. This com does not receive a hidden splash damage boost like Green Monster
  2. The bonus does not affect Iron Bear.

Okay onto the life steal. The formula used is the same as all other BL3 life steal and can be found here. Thus it doesn’t benefit from bonuses such as splash or critical hits, but does benefit from gun damage bonuses.

The bonus actually doesn’t cap out at 12.5% as the card says. In fact from my testing the bonus is not capped at all. I was able to achieve 223% life steal in my testing, though it probably would have just continued to rise if I continued to shoot. The bonus will reset if you reload, holding the trigger down through reloads does not retain the bonus.

I found it hard to nail down an exact % that it grows by each second, however when I averaged out the numbers I did get it looks like the life steal % grows by about 11.5% every second. So after 3 seconds of holding the trigger you’d have 34.5% life steal.

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Haze amaze.

Last Tested 7 October 2020

As stated on this card this gun gives a damage bonus when its front facing shield is active. What isn’t stated is that the shield is refilled every time you get a kill. Furthermore this damage bonus is 250% and is classified as Gun Damage. Hence it is added to gun damage skills such as Donnybrook, Phalanx Doctrine, Wrath and Furious Attack. You can look here for more detail on the damage formula and how gun damage fits in.

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It's too powerful *spoiler, kinda*
[Guide] Top Gear for Moze the Gunner
[Guide] An Introduction to Borderlands Math
Questions about the electric banjo
ION Moze - M4 Build and Gameplay - Takedown / Slaughter
Means of Destruction and ammo regen not working?
Zane vs Moze ... I went wrong somewhere
BL3 Lootology 101 - A Compilation of Community Guides
[Build] Dotsworth - A Mayhem 4 Mobbing build
Zane Community Resources Guide
Best Grenade for "while in IB 20% chance drop grenade"?
[Guide] A Brief Guide on Passive Gear Bonuses
[Guide] Moze's Damage Formulas
[Guide] Top Gear for Moze the Gunner
Breath of the dying not working?
[Guide] Optimizing Moze's Damage - Math without Numbers
[Guide] The Current Moze Meta Build - Mayhem 10 Edition
Borderlands Math
[Guide] Top Gear for Moze the Gunner
Good Juju buff from August 20th Hotfix doesn't work
Life Steal Information, Math and Speculation
Reflux link damage, AOE?
M10 Sniper Amara Build with Nimbus COM
[Spoiler] Mozes New DLC Class Mod
Why use Blast Master when Green Monster exists?
Specific instances where not so good anointments are GREAT!
Borderlands 3 Hotfix [04/02/20]
Moze Community Resources Guide
Any major shakeups from DLC2?
[Guide] Top Gear for Moze the Gunner
Best Grenade for "while in IB 20% chance drop grenade"?
[Guide] Top Gear for Moze the Gunner
+gun damage diminishing returns: how does it work?
New com "Sapper" First Impressions plus farming spoiler
New com "Sapper" First Impressions plus farming spoiler
The pearl artifact with AOE dmg exists?
ASE Elemental anoints vs Sntnl Cryo/150% Rad anoints
[Tool] Gun Anointment Calculator
Balance the Pestilence 😢
[Guide] Some Mindsweeper Math and Gear Application
Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge
Question about the Pearl
List of weapons with LifeSteal?
Nerfed Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge vs BIS Victory Rush Elemental Projector + anointments
Build for iron bear moze -NIPPL_SALADS
Gain 300% damage on enemies above 90% health: effectiveness?
[Guide] The Current Moze Meta Build - Mayhem 10 Edition
Guide to the Current Moze Meta - Mayhem 10 Edition
Question about insane damage from mind sweeper
Skills or items that affect drone or clone damage

Alien barrel assautlt rifles: Vladof ones have some chaining effect, but I haven’t seen this with others. Do they have something else, or are Vladof just blessed like this (plus they have an alt-fire mode the others similarly lack)?


Does this mean anointments that boost crit dmg is better than ASE elemental anointments or SNTL/cryo anointments?

Not necessarily as the chains will re-trigger your ASE elemental annointments. The Brainstormer is also not a gun that gets much dps from it’s critical hits. I’d say weapon damage and bonus elemental still come out trumps here.

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I understand your words but I don’t dare hope that what I think you are saying is actually what you are saying :grin:! Are you saying that the tendrils trigger ASE as if they themselves are action skills? And if so when do they trigger? When the tendril is first established or when it ends?

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Sorry I might of been unclear.

If you use your action skill and when it’s over trigger a 50% bonus shock damage annoint.
Say one of your Brainstormer bullets hit for 200 damage. This gets a 50% bonus shock, So your total damage is now 300. if this bullet happens to chain, the chain will do 200 damage and it will also deal 100 bonus shock damage. So your total damage dealt is 600.

I’ve just used shock as an example here so we don’t need to deal with pesky elemental modifiers, however you could use any elements. Multiple elements would give you multiple bonus damages, for both the initial bullet and the chain.

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Electric Banjo. My preliminary looks says the damage it serves is based on the damage of the shot. But I didn’t get far beyond that

So it restores almost as much as the Otto Idol? I guess I never noticed because I had on a bloodletter that healed my shield instead. That’s pretty cool.

I’ll give them a look once I get my hands on them.

I intend to check the Idol to be sure but it wouldn’t surprise me if the percent health returned is identical.

I grabbed some old footage I had of a loaded dice bloodletter and I was able to spot the health returned. Although it required 0.25x speed, so I’m not surprised I missed it in real time.

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What’s your platform?

PC, same name as here.

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Stay tuned

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Sent! I’m not sure if I need it at all. But I can always farm a new one if I want

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Thanks, much appreciated. I’ll try remember to send it back when I’m done testing.

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Oh, of you get a chance, consider looking at the math on how Bonus Elemental Damage works.

Short version: Gamma Burst, 65% bonus radiation. Fires a shock weapon at test dummy. Both the shock and radiation number are the same.

Conclusion: Bonus Elemental Damage is calculated prior to elemental adjustment. So if a fire bullet does 100. The Radiation will be 65, not…65 percent of the fire on flesh damage?

Bonus elemental damage is calculated as if you fired a 2nd bullet of the new element that has x% base damage.

So assume your damage is 100 before elemental multipliers and that we’re in TVHM. For fire on flesh that becomes 175, if you then did 50% bonus shock damage it would be 100 x 0.5 x 0.65 = 32.5. Your total damage would be 209.5.

So if we skipped the Gamma Burst buff and the equation was only 100 x 0.5 = 50, the total damage would be 225? Like it would be better to go with a single, highest anointment buff (in this case the Gamma Burst for 100 x 0.65 = 65, so the damage would be 240? :confused:

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Have you looked at + elemental anointments in much depth? when I looked at them it was mostly what I expected. The only oddity I was getting was that the damage from shield and grenade anoints did not seem to be affected by weapon type damage bonuses from comms and artifacts.

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Yep, only the Vladoff ones chain (2 targets, doesn’t increase with Annexed mod). The primary beam ‘locks on’ to the target’s location so can lock onto heads for continuous crits without having to be incredibly accurate while aiming. Secondary beams lock onto heads of their targets and will crit provided no other body part is in the way. It’s also got an under barrel grenade as alt fire (always 1 shot, creates short lived puddle).

The Vladoff is the most complex alien barrel AR in how it works.

All (Including Vladoff Burzum) increase damage as you fire, capping at about +95% (see CoV Wizzperer for exception). Handling also decreases as you fire with vertical wobbling happening if you can fire them long enough.

  • Torgue Blister: It’s like a flamethrower that passes through targets to hit everything in the firing line (not splash damage).
  • Dahl Mngwa: Significantly higher base damage - dual scope.
  • CoV Wizzperer: Continuous firing damage bonus cap extremely high, if not capless (I’ve seen it at +235% without using Moze to reduce heat buildup on CoV weapons).
  • Atlas: Does not have alien barrel AR.

Using appropriate elements will make the biggest difference. In this case fire, radiation or cryo help most as they’re not debuffed like my shock example was. Among elements with the same elemental damage multiplier the highest % annoint wins.

I’ll have to re look. I did cursory checks that they’re calculated the same as other bonus damage but didn’t do much depth.