Rakk Attack needs a rework

Firstly, I would like to preface this by saying I main Rakk Attack. I run a Stalker/Hunter build and use Rakk Attack over F4de Away because I prefer the combat cycle compared to F4de Away’s frankly ridiculous cooldown (I don’t run GR).

But Rakk Attack really needs a rework - because currently, I don’t think it qualifies as an Action Skill. This stems from 2 problems:

  1. The Rakks don’t do enough damage
  2. The Rakks don’t do much else BUT damage

At TVHM M3, against flesh enemies with a Stalker COM, the Rakks deal about 25k per Rakk (if you are fighting human enemies). I wouldn’t say that is terrible damage, but it is nowhere near spectacular either - which is problematic since the Stalker is supposed to provide optimum DPS with the Rakks. Furthermore, this damage falls massively against shielded or armored flesh enemies. The Rakks are almost never capable of killing COV badasses unless you have wore them down signficantly already. Almost always, using your guns is a superior option to your Rakks. The only time your Rakks can be a reliable DPS source is if you are using the Rakk Attack or splash damage anointments to boost their damage.

But that really is the smaller problem. It was pretty much a given the Rakk damage was gonna fall away at some point - that has been the case for all non-gear based skills in Borderlands. The bigger problem is the Rakks don’t have much to offer other than damage. And that issue lies with the Augments.

Of the 4 augments, 3 of them are related to Rakk DPS. One makes your Rakk effective against armored enemies, one increases your damage per charge while the last increases the cumulative damage of your charges (while decreasing your overall downtime between these charges). That would be great IF your Rakk was capable to be your primary damage output, but they are currently a secondary source to your guns, which means they actually limit the versatility of Rakk Attack.

Rakk Attack provides no aggro draw, no crowd control, very limited debuff capability (without anointments), limited healing - it basically doesn’t do alot. When Fl4k runs Rakk Attack, he is effectively a no-action skill class, like Hellborn Krieg or Blastmaster Brick - except Fl4k isn’t designed to be that kind of class - he lacks the survivability and QoL such classes generally have.

Alot of the strengths of Rakk Attack arise from the weaknesses of Gamma Burst and F4de Away (namely their cooldown), rather than the actual contribution of the Action Skill. If I were to ask one to list the merits of Rakk Attack and how it influences your gameplay, the list would be very short. Conversely, I could wax lyrical about how amazing Decepti0n, Digi-Jacks, Cold as Ice, Phaselock/grasp are without every comparing to another action skill. Yes, Rakks make great anointment proccers, probably the best in the game, but that is just a plaster over the lack of actual Action Skill interaction Rakk Attack provides. For most builds, one could replace Rakk Attack with an action skill called ‘Anointment proccer - pressing F activates all your anointments. This has a 5 sec cooldown’ and there would be no fundamental difference in gameplay.

Rakk Attack needs to something other than damage. Like maybe create a singularity for every enemy they hit, or Cryo Rakks need to have a guaranteed (or incredibly high) freeze chance, or chain damage capabilities etc. I’m probably not being terribly creative, but there’s lots of things you can do with such an action skil. Currently, they just don’t do much - and things will only go downhill as the difficulty of the game continues to increase with future DLC.


This actually sums up how I use the skill. If there was no anointment effects on ASE or Rakk Attack related, there’s no real reason to go for Rakks in M3 over Fade Away or even Gamma Burst.
Not sure what they can do at this point to change the AS. I’d be happy if it were made better but I’m not really holding my breath.


Yup, and that’s honestly pretty terrible, given Gamma Burst and F4de Away are both incredibly flawed as well (the former for its general uselessness without the Red Fang and the latter for its cooldown).

Honestly, there are 2 easy fixes for the action skill that would immediately make Rakk much better. Still not a good or great action skill - but at least provide some utility beyond damage.

  1. Give Rakk open a Cold One a guaranteed freeze chance like the Frozen Heart - or at least a +500% cryo efficiency.
  2. Falconer’s Feast should restore +20% health and +20% shield for damage dealt.

Rakk Attack is really sad, because it seems that after making so much progress from Bloodwing with Aurelia’s Cold as Ice, they seem to have regressed in their ideas and creativity.

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1 thing I’ve done to save its survivability loss is with the terror annointments… grenades and shields can come with +25% hp on ASE. As you can pretty well send a new rakk every 6 -12 seconds. I find its working out currently

If you really want to max Rakk damage you can get Rakks doing over 100k damage on flesh. But this takes a lot of farming to actually get the right bonuses on the right gear with the right anointments to accomplish and also the prerequisite knowledge to understand how many multipliers will actually stack to buff the Rakk. Odds are you’ll be able to put together an equally if not more effective Gamma Burst or Fade Away build way before you can make that Rakk build because of how long it will take to farm for the right gear.

As they are Rakk’s very extraneous to Flak’s design. I would think any buff or rework to them should be designed to increase their interaction with the rest of Fl4k’s kit. As it stands they really only interact with The Power Inside compared to Fade Away/Gamma Burst which both improve, benefit, or trigger the functionality of about 10 skills each.

Agreed. Anything this rakk build does, gamma burst and fade away do better. No reason to use this action skill. There are numerous problems.

  1. rakk damage is too low against non flesh in particular. Cryo is also a poor option as it has the same weakness to shields as flesh and almost every enemy in m3 has shields.

  2. useless legendary class mod rakk commander.

  3. low survivability - despite flak saying “distract them”, rakks do not take aggro off fl4k.

  4. hex grenade nerf essentially buried this skill tree as it takes double digit hex grenades to kill tougher enemies.

  5. galactic shadow is broken. Fl4k has no less aggro with the perk on as opposed to it off. This kills any synergy between ambush predator and hidden machine.

  6. rakk cast time and travel time are counter productive to dps.

Fortunately you can do the gamma burst/red fang swap out trick to give your pet increased aggro. This will allow you to make a decent sniper build or whatever. I would spec into the master tree for perks to help keep your pet alive.

But that is okay. Anointments are the strongest things in the game plus Rakk has the objectively best offensive anointment exclusive to it (defense down). Change it to god mode 1m damage as well and it would completely break everything.

Adjust the AI so it isn’t wasted on barrels and pipes? Totally. Adjust the range so it actually hits further than Flakker range? All day. Change or offer a true nuetral element? Definitely. But otherwise it is just fine as is.


No that’s not okay. Phasegrasp can proc anointments on demand too, but it has so much more utility beyond that. Rakk attack cannot only be of value if you have anointed weaponry - then it is a gimmick not an action skill. An Action Skill must interact with the player. Like Decepti0n, Phasewalk/grasp/lock, Digi-Jack, Aspis, BXR, Showdown etc - it must change the way the player interacts with the game. Rakk Attack is just glorified Cloud Kill.

And if you actually read the post - the argument was not to give it 1m damage, but to give it utility other than dealing damage - like better healing, crowd control, freezing etc.

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I think it’s a bit disingenuous to discount Rakk’s synergy with anointed gear though. It is the best in the game at what it does, which is keeping those bonuses up 24/7, as well as the Power Inside. For FL4K’s kit particularly, it’s value comes from being a quick cast Action Skill with a short cooldown.

Rakk’s main function is damage while Phasegrasp ONLY has utility. Just the fact that Rakk Attack can do both damage and utility makes it difficult to balance. Remember, RA has a 100% status chance, which means enemies damaged by it will be staggered, and will either panic on fire or slow with cryo. Personally, for what it offers to FL4K, I find killing unshielded flesh targets easily to be an acceptable damage threshold for an action skill that is as spammable and offers as much to FL4K as Rakk Attack does. It’s a real “Jack of all trades” action skill, it does a little bit of everything, but no one thing in overwhelming quantities. It’s middling performance at base is made up for by the steroid anointments it gives to FL4K on a permanent basis.

As for a rework, I wouldn’t support too much in the way of most CC, only because the way CC works in this game is kind of blech. Singularities are terrible with with way the ragdoll enemies into the sky, and I wouldn’t want 4 rakk tossing around mobs every time I throw them out. Increased cryo efficiency would definitely be welcome, but most cryo guns have difficulty freezing through shields. It would be a cool affect for FL4K to have.

If anything, I would just increase Rakk size based on splash radius so they can do more AOE, and have them explode into an elemental AOE on impact (think radiation barrels).


Bro, did you really just point out the most insanely OP action skill in the entire series outside of Sal as an example?

I’ll tell you what, since Rakk is so bad in your opinion you can have Iron Bear, Drone, Barrier, Clone, AND another Gamma instead. See how that works out for you.

TBF, that doesn’t really advance the discussion either.

Rakk Attack is fairly middling, but it needs to be because when you take anointments into account (and you can’t discount them, you can get them on any piece of gear, even whites) it can give FL4K so much. It can double its own damage, double the damage of FL4K’s guns and grenades, provide grenade regen, and with terror anointments ammo regen, crit damage, fire rate, health regen, extra projectiles, and melee damage. It basically enables you to superpower your gear to fill in the gaps of what it can’t do.

If you need more CC, infinite grenades should help keep enemies frozen or ragdolled.
Need more damage? You can make your flakker deal triple damage.
Need healing? Several healing anointments and an augment.

Rakk Attack itself is basically a giant augment to FL4K that, like ranger or welcome to the gun show, just gives a bit of everything. Realistically, what more can you add to it? Aisde from upping the cryo chance, what more can it do for CC that won’t be more detrimental than helpful?


The two biggest things that Rakk Attack needs is:

1: More elements because watching you Rakk go up against shields is just sad.

2: A faster casting animation. This right here is why I personally can’t stand Rakk Attack builds even though when combined with anointed gear are one of Fl4k’s strongest builds. It just feels bad to constantly throwing out that way too long animation.

The reason I feel anointments should not be a huge swing factor is because they are an elite class of gear - intended to be incredibly rare and kind of ‘god-roll’ of gear. Rakk Attack’s synergy with them is undeniable - but when so much value of the action skill is placed on them, you know that your AS is incredibly flawed. Its like saying “hey this action skill is great, but only on shotguns with vertical grips and shields with all maliwan parts!”. I have spent a fair number of hours in this game, and the number of elite anointed gear (which truly benefit of ASE perks, stuff like +25% crit damage, +11% FR, or DOT chance are pretty much useless) are very few. I can only imagine it would be worse for people who spend less time on the game - or when the level cap/new guns constantly shifts the meta. Maybe Rakk Attack will be great on my Cutsman with +100% damage ASE - but how if I wanted to run a Night Hawkin, and I still haven’t found one with the right anoints? Rakk Attack’s value cannot rest on anointments - those should be a bonus, a kind of high-level meta builds requiring perfect gear.

And yes, Phasegrasp is mostly utility (though several augments and COMS can make them do damage), but all Borderlands vets know utility trumps damage 9/10 times when that damage isn’t gear based. And I really don’t think killing unshielded flesh targets is an acceptable bar - 95% of human enemies are shielded. Sure you can strip the shields first, but that really shows the limitations of the skill. Gearbox has made their intention clear M3 is just the beginning - M4 is coming and doubtless even steeper difficulties. If Rakk Attack can barely kill the weakest enemies in the game right now, it is gonna suffer when the difficulty ramps. But that would be fine… if it had utility other than anointment proccing.

And Rakk Attack is not a Jack of All Trades Action Skill - far from it. It doesn’t do a little bit of everything. Digi-jacks are a true jack of all trades action skill - they can do impressive damage in both Digi-life and Death, they can draw aggro like crazy, they have CC, they can provide huge survivability in DigiLife, they can help your guns and dps alot, they scale with gear, they can provide debuffs. Rakk Attack can’t even do a 3rd of that.

I agree with you regarding the singularity thing - if it worked like BL2, it would be great, but singularities in this game are hot trash. But I was just throwing ideas around. I do think that GB just needs to do 3 things to make Rakk Attack significantly better - and a true action skill.

  1. Give Cryo Rakks a really high cryo efficiency - but a balancing factor, like increased cooldown.
  2. Increase the healing from Falconer’s Feast significantly. In a game where powerful healing skills like Clarity and Sustainment exist - I don’t think its too much to ask for the healing to be 2-3 times as much.
  3. Rakks should be able to deal bonus shock damage. This could be attached to one of the augments or Grim Harvest.

You guys have nailed defining the skill eloquently. All I know is, I have tried a Rakk build a half dozen times because on its surface it seems like at should be class defining ability. But every time I end up being underwhelmed with it, especially as compared to the other two abilities. It is simply too weak in its current state.

Also I’m quite sure that the amount of charges is bugged, some items that are supposed to give +1 actually don’t

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It not nearly that limited. Getting the specific anointment on the specific piece of gear you want may be a challenge, but getting the anointment in the first place isn’t. One my Fl4k builds just utilizes purples with the anointments I want, no special synergy or anything.

The anointments are the point though. You’re thinking of Rakk as a standalone skill, but you need to consider that its synergy with anointments means it can’t solely be a standalone. You can get a white Jakobs pistol with a Rakk attack anointment and have permanent double damage on it.

Rakk Attack is for Fl4k what Gamma Burst is supposed to be for their pets, a massive steroid boost. Rakk Attack performs better in its role as you get more anointed gear, but that it essentially what it does. And it seems to be the design philosophy for most of the damage focused action skills in the game. Phasecast is only used to proc anointments, and Phaseslam is mostly used to proc anointments, and both of those tend to have far less utility than Rakk attack with certain augments.

I’m not saying I’m opposed to any changes, but I think the framing of your argument is off. You can’t handwave away RA synergy with anointments when suggesting a rework when it’s the best method in the game for abusing them.

For the amount of spammability RA has, how much more damage should it be doing? Sure, with no bonuses whatsoever a volley of 4 does 10k, but it can also do up to 100k every 2 seconds. A build that doesn’t go all in with with RA damage modifiers can still probably hit 60k every 2 seconds.

For CC, besides upping the cryo efficiency, which I already agreed with you on, what more could you do realistically speaking? Status effects produce a minor CC effect, but it doesn’t get in the way. Rakk aren’t pets, or even physical entities, they are basically rakk shaped grenades, so they can’t take aggro from FL4K. Do they get knockback? Do they trigger longer stumbles? Do they apply accuracy debuffs on enemies or something like the daze mechanic from BL1?

Whatever changes are made would probably have to be relatively minor QOL. I don’t think adding damage really changes anything, and in all honesty, stripping shields is simple enough that I don’t see that as a concern against Rakk. CC would be a nice touch, and there are ways to do it without making it burdensome, but GB would need to be careful not to make the CC more harmful than helpful. Outside of that, I think that where RA is right now, and what it provides for FL4K in terms of TPI and anointment uptime, make for a solid addition to their kit.


It not nearly that limited. Getting the specific anointment on the specific piece of gear you want may be a challenge, but getting the anointment in the first place isn’t. One my Fl4k builds just utilizes purples with the anointments I want, no special synergy or anything.

Neither is getting a vertical grip on a shotgun. But getting a vertical grip on a desirable shotgun? A Practicable CC or ROM? That is far more difficult. As I have mentioned before, the number of truly desirable anointed weapons I have aren’t alot - and I have spent a fair amount of hours in this game. For a more casual player, Rakk Attack’s value drops like a brick.

he anointments are the point though. You’re thinking of Rakk as a standalone skill, but you need to consider that its synergy with anointments means it can’t solely be a standalone. You can get a white Jakobs pistol with a Rakk attack anointment and have permanent double damage on it.

The way I view anointed weapons are like glitch weapons in TPS (some glitch combinations made even Amara’s Phaseslam anointments look bad). All classes could utilize the all powerful glitches, but Jack was far and above everyone else with them because of Leadership + AA + Marginal Benefits. Likewise, Rakk Attack is probably the best AS for using anointments in BL3. But the difference between Digi-jacks and Rakk Attack is that you could take Glitch weapons out of the game and Leadership, AA and Digi-jacks would all still be amazing and incredibly valuable skills. There are lots of Digi-Death Jack builds out there that don’t rely on Glitch weapons in the slightest. Conversely, take away Anointed weapons from Rakk Attack and suddenly you are left with an utterly mediocre action skill.

For the amount of spammability RA has, how much more damage should it be doing? Sure, with no bonuses whatsoever a volley of 4 does 10k, but it can also do up to 100k every 2 seconds.

As I mentioned above in the OP, I don’t think more damage is the solution (except maybe a better way of getting past shields) - Rakk Attack will never do enough damage at the true endgame. Rather, my main argument Rakk Attack needs to have increased utility outside of anointments so that any lack of damage can be compensated for. There are lots of ways to do it, but I reiterate the 2 simplest methods are:

  1. Give Cryo Rakks a really high cryo efficiency - but a balancing factor, like increased cooldown.
  2. Increase the healing from Falconer’s Feast significantly. In a game where powerful healing skills like Clarity and Sustainment exist - I don’t think its too much to ask for the healing to be 2-3 times as much.

And when I meant CC I meant cryo primarily - because its not really a debuff in this game without an Ice-Breaker. Obviously I don’t think Rakk Attack should draw aggro - I was just mentioning the different ways in which action skills provide utility outside of damage.


Just by the way its designed, that’s a tall order. It’s basically a grenade in the shape of a rakk. Besides upping the freeze chance, the things you can do with RA are limited.

Rakk Attack provides more than 30% healing and nukes trash, and has a chance to freeze enemies. That’s pretty fair considering it also maintains 100% uptime on the Power Inside.

And I think your example of glitch weapons is a bit misguided. Anointments aren’t glitch weapons for a Jack build, they’re the kills skills. Digi-Jacks were a decent action skill on their own, but what really drove them over the edge was leadership and their ability to provide steroid buffs for healing, damage, and ammo regen on top of Collaborate and Teamwork. Similarly, Rakk Attack is a decent action skill at base with Falconers providing a spammable heal and guaranteed status effects providing minor CC. Where the gravy comes in is TPI and anointments that supercharge FL4K on top of the base abilities Rakk Attack provides.

Again, I’m in agreement that the freeze chance could be much higher. Outside of that though, the skill at its base isn’t bad. It’s a steroid, it great for activating effects on demand. You can customize the steroids depending on your skills and the gear.

Gonna chime in as someone who’s done a lot of testing with rakks and has a fair bit of experience with the action skill’s pros and cons. I think the discussion that’s taking place here is great, I hear the concerns that darreltan has with the action skill and I too think it would be great to see it receive additional buffs to help it stay competitive in the higher mayhem modes and future dlc content we’ve got coming but I also and agree with a lot of the input that boomburner has made here. None of the action skills have been created equal and that’s fine, each has pros and cons to them and as far as rakks go it seems like gearbox balanced the difference between the overpowered nature of fadeaway compared to rakks by giving rakks better overall specific anointments and better synergy with many anointed weapons.

As far as the stripping shields issue, pairing a rakk build with something like a recurring shock hex or storm front, an aoe shock or radiation weapon like the hosts/protuberance or brainstormer makes enemy shields a joke and lets the rakks tear through trash mobs. The more difficult obstacle for the rakks to overcome is armour and that’s an issue that’s also shared with gamma burst. As much as I love gamma burst and the insane utility it provides red fang builds, it’s damage is mediocre, and it’s cooldown time leaves it unable to take advatange of on action skill end anointed effects. As discussed already this is where the rakks shine in comparison to the other action skill options of flak (plus its incredible synergy with power inside).

What hasn’t really been discussed here yet is the synergy rakks have with terror anointments specifically. With terror anointments having the potential to be meta defining as we’ve seen with many amara and Zane builds from builders like Moxsy, the ease that the rakks have in keeping up terror stacks is huge for the build. Using rakks with a shield and grenade that proc terror on action skill end + ammo Regen and then whatever dps boosting terror anointment you favour on your weapons, you get a buff to flak that his other action skills can’t achieve anywhere near as consistently. Interchanging the ammo Regen anointment for Health Regen would be a great way of getting around the issue of not enough Health Regen from the rakks themselves.

For something that cooldowns as fast as it does, has guaranteed status effect chance, can provide healing, recieve damage boosts from flak’s own boosting skills like interplanetary stalker/power inside/grim harvest, can proc one of his best dps boosting skills in power inside every time it’s used, recieve damage boosts from AOE damage buffing gear, is the best option flak has for building up and maintaining terror stacks fast and abusing it with different anointed gear, I’m pretty happy with where it’s at as an alternative to gamma burst and fadeaway. None of them are exactly equal and they don’t have to be, they each offer differnet playstyles but it would be great to see gearbox continue to make them competitive options to one another as the game move forwards and we get tougher and tougher content