Shock/elemental Gaige

I’ve got a question about a shock/elemental build.

Husband and I are doing another full playthrough - he decided he wanted to try out Gaige this time. I’ve got an anarchy Gaige parked at op4, but figured it would be fun to run through the game with her again. Since he’s focusing on OC, I thought I’d try for an elemental Gaige and focus on LBT and BFF this time to give us some diversity. I’m not really sure what build to go with, however - this definitely is nothing like my other Gaige build and this doesn’t quite fit my playstyle but hey - I’m expanding my horizons, right?

This is what I’m tentatively looking at for a possible 72 build -

I only plan on speccing into OC at the end, since I figure I’ll need the damage boost late-game and to be honest, I don’t know if it makes sense to put more points anywhere else (plus I really miss my anarchy!).

I figure I’ll eventually go with a L. Catalyst if I can get my hands on one and right now I’ve been working with shock relics (we just finished nvhm). Would there be a better COM?

Does this build seem viable? I know DoT sucks in uvhm, but given the right COM boosts, will it (sort of) make up for it? I’m guessing that, rather than rushing in and tanking like I did with my anarchy build, I’m going to need to hang back and let DT do a lot more of the work?

A couple specifics - is it ever worth it to put points into More Pep, given a COM boost? If so, should I max it out or just put 1 pt in to take advantage of the COM? Or just ignore it completely?

Every catalyst com I’ve found so far boosts Shock Storm. I know the skill is kinda worthless compared to others, but is it ever any good (while we play through early tvhm, for instance)? I haven’t touched it yet but it feels weird to ignore a skill that I get free points for early in the game.

Also, with all the shock boosts, and given a shock relic, does it make sense to focus on mostly shock weapons or would it still be better to switch to corrosive when appropriate?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

DOTs work fine in UVHM, you just have to run the way you always do there - slag your enemies.
Getting multiple DOT procs on a slagged enemy will kill them clear through OP8 if you match elements. It does take longer on OP8, but that’s to be expected.

Which COM to go with would depend on your gear, IMO. All Catalyst COMs offer a ‘team elemental effect damage’ modifier, so given that you’re playing co-op you might well benefit more from those.
The Wired Catalyst (points in WDT) could be a good middle way.
If your COM boosts More Pep I would leave the build as is, otherwise maybe throw a point extra in there, especially since it works in tandem with I/O.

When I say ‘as is’, I’d still put a point or two in Shock Storm. The real beauty of Catalyst builds is in the synergies. The damage from SS is unimpressive on its own but starts to do some real work when EE procs (it should always be active anyway) and further boosts EB which in turn cycles back.

If you lack a Catalyst COM but have found (for instance) a Wired Zapper one, there may be a slight benefit to more of a focus on shock weapons as long as you’re aware of the problems with the boosts to electrocute damage compared to base shock.

Do note: That’s only if you wish for some more expediency in co-op play, however.
Element matching is always worth it, especeially when you find a Catalyst COM.
Since you’re going BFF you’ll probably wish to switch shields right after summoning DT, so while you’re in your inventory anyway…

For BFF, MoSS doesn’t do very much for you. I’d put those points in Unstoppable Force, which (like Maya’s Inertia) does an excellent job of defeating DOTs as well as letting you quickly close range and punish the one who put them there.
CE is some basic free damage, but 5/5 seems way too much, especially with only two points in Preshrunk.
If you feel you can get by without Discord you’re braver than I, besides giving up the clear benefits of Discord looping.
You did say you were expanding your horizons, though (^_~)

If it were me I’d go with something like this:
and let your COM flesh out the LBT tree. It’s unfortunate we can’t have two capstones and RA, but that’s manageable.

Hope something here helped, have fun!

Thanks for the response!

I might just load up that build on my op4 Gaige and see how it plays out for me. I’ve got a L. Catalyst for her though I never really used it.

Husband isn’t into farming but I haven’t been above loading up one of my 72s and shamelessly trolling/face-rolling nvm for gear for Gaige. Between that and some really generous loot midgets in our game, I’ve got a nice little stash of shock weapons for her so far.

Given my shock arsenal- The Zapper coms I’ve found so far don’t give damage boosts as high as the Catalyst coms I’ve found (32% team elemental vs. something like 16% shock I think) - would they still be better for some reason?

One of my primary weapons has been a shock ricochet fibber, and I also have a semi-decent ravager and a doc’s quad - I’d hate to give up the points in CE because those all seem to pair so well together… would it make much difference to move those points elsewhere?

I think I can get away without discord. I never really got into discord looping and I guess I played her enough that switching back to her again even after a while just comes with an automated inner “no-reload” trigger in my brain. I’m doing it without thinking even though I haven’t even specced into it yet. That was nice to discover. That being said, since I won’t be relying on anarchy as much anymore, maybe the benefits of discord health regen would be better than putting all those points into Cooking Up Trouble? Maybe I could keep my CE that way and still get the discord benefits… just musing here.

Also, I feel like this is probably a dumb question but - when I get to Make it Sparkle, my guess is it’s better to hit DT with slag vs. whatever appropriate element?

Thanks again for your input!

You’re welcome!

Elemental effect refers specifically to that, and Catalyst COMs also make DOTs more potent. The straight boost to shock damage in a Zapper COM fits in the formula the way a relic would. As such, the Catalyst is much more versatile, while a Zapper can boost WDT up to 6 points plus the base shock bonus.

If you can find a Leg. Catalyst for your new Gaige the boosts to the entire LBT tree will make it a powerhouse in all events, including of course 5 points by default in WDT.
Since WDT works in tandem with anarchy, and since all the skills in the LBT tree work great in synergy you’ll be relying a lot on kill skills+anarchy to bring out the best in the tree anyway.
(Certain Youtubers have missed this since they only bothered to test things on Marcus’ dummy, but that’s another story.)

Simply put, a Zapper COM might be better in given situations (Pete, for example) while the Catalyst is more generally useful.

I’m generally not a friend of CE, but if you’re using a Fibber there’s no arguing that it will help. For the Quad and Ravager I think the benefit will be pretty marginal, esp. with one or two points in Preshrunk.

For me the benefit of Discord looping is only partially the health regen, with the increased fire rate being a more important factor, whether I want to get out of trouble or wreak extra havoc. I wouldn’t really rely on it for health regen, while the passive regen from CuT keeps my OCD in check.
If you have an inner ‘no reload’ trigger it’s going to be a different matter entirely and you won’t get the benefit of CuT to begin with. Moxxi weapons will make it a moot question, but I don’t know if you use those.
Just try both and roll with what works, is the best I can offer (*^ω^)

WRT MiS the question is perfectly sensible, and unfortunately hitting DT with slag only gives him a chance to slag enemies, not a guarantee. TBH, with DT’s high mobility and the general crossfire in most situations, I’ve found it difficult to keep him ‘slag exclusive’, he frequently winds up with the element I’m using very quickly anyway and I seldom take the time to reapply slag for MiS.

Testing this on your OP4 Gaige sounds great. Long ago when I was shown how powerful and fun a Catalyst build can be I was made a convert and I’ve been preaching since. Although I’ve cooled down the missionary work these days, I’d be interested to hear what you think ( -_・)

I respecced my op4 Gaige and took her for a spin through Sawtooth. It’s definitely a very different playstyle, but it was a ton of fun! I was swapping out weapons left & right, just trying to get a feel for things. It’s the first time I’ve really had a lot of fun with the Storm (can’t believe how well it wrecked buzzards!), and it was fun to watch Chain Lightning strip shields & set enemies afire in one go.

I was downed a couple times but was able to get myself back up - definitely still getting used to the lack of straight dmg output that I had with an anarchy build. It was a lot more fun & viable than I had anticipated, though!

I’d have to agree that it’s hard to keep DT slagged - assuming I could remember to switch to a slag weapon BEFORE releasing him, I still had to try to hit him before he zoomed off. And then he’d get hit with something else and that was it. The few times I saw slagged enemies running toward me was nice, though.

Part of my love for the Fibber was my inability to aim with an anarchy build. It’s a refreshing change to be able to hit what I’m pointing at, and as a result my preferred weapons might change. Thunderball fists were a lot of fun to play with, for instance. The only real benefit to CE I found was the ability to hit hidden stuff when I was downed (which, arguably, was a pretty good benefit) so I think I’m still on the fence with that one.

I definitely think I’m going to have to work on the discord looping.

In short, it was a lot of fun. I’ll probably play & tinker with things a bit just to see what things feel like, but I think I’ll be going with a build pretty close to what you recommended. Thanks again!

Very glad to hear it ( ¯ω¯ ) (Sorry for the kaomoji-spamming, but the emoticons on these forums give me a pain. Nowhere specific, just pain in general.)

WRT to changing things around on the preferred weapons front: Please forgive me if this sounds insultingly obvious, but you do have Pimpernels in your loadout, right? Apart from the blatantly OP Twister, they’re pretty hard to match. Ignore this if using them is already second nature.

Discord-looping took me a while to get the feel for as well, I found myself experimenting a lot and now I use it in a host of situations. While tough enemies and raids are a case in point, quickly dealing with things like Buzzards is one of those unexpected side benefits.

It warms the heart to hear you wrecked them, because seriously: scr*w those guys.

Glad to hear it worked out, and obviously tinker away to find the optimal build for your own LBT style.

Both Zapper and Catalyst should work through the game. The Evil Catalyst and the Scorched Zapper are their best variants as LBT main source of damage is Electrical Burn.
About matching elements, try to match it all the time if you can. There is no difference between a Fire or Shock elemental relic for Electrical Burn, so you can just use Teslas or a Chain Lightning to strip shields in general and to apply EE. This way you free your gun slots to Slag/damage with the proper element.
Also, charge DT with the right element for the area. His damage output is crazy with Make it Sparkle!

One more thing: try to grab Upshot Robot before Make it Sparkle. I found it more valuable when playing through the game and you can still get MiS before UVHM.

I do indeed have Pimpernels - just wasn’t ever able to make much use of them when I ran around with a lot of anarchy. I pulled them out when I respecced and had a lot of fun with them too. The Storm was still better with the buzzards, though somewhere between 100 and 110 stacks my accuracy with any of them went completely out the window.

I know the power of the Twister. I also cry at the thought of farming this again. I’ve already taken my OP2 Maya and my OP4 Gaige through repeatedly over the last few days, trying to get one to keep on standby for me when I level up to it, and still no go so far, even with the 4 player glitch… it’s probably my least favorite thing to farm. All that tedious running.

I’ve got it already. :slight_smile: I focused mainly on BFF and OC with my first Gaige so I knew how much benefit that has. As soon as I specced into it Hubby made a comment about it and now I think he’s taken a break from OC to work toward that.

I was playing around a bit with the build today, ran through Caustic Caverns, and it seemed as though Shock and AAAAGH did a ton of damage when it also it caused EB to proc. I had a moment when a thresher downed me, another popped up next to me as I reloaded and I got a second wind off guy next to me before I even knew I was down (or that he was there). Is there a good reason I shouldn’t put a point in there? I’d move it out of Typecast Iconoclast since I’m not too worried about gaining/maintaining stacks.

Pokashine, the Grandfather of Gaiges, has a vid about Pimpernel sweet spots with OC Gaige. Adjusting your shots to anarchy takes some getting used to, the same way it does with Accelerate and Velocity, but when you do it’s brokenly OP the same way it is with other characters. You want this. You really do.

I never farm the Twister in that village - Low Gut Rot? Something like that - since the Dexi method has always served me better. The 4p glitch doesn’t help at all AFAIK.
Just go through the steps to summon Dexi and let the last wave of savages be. Stay in a vehicle to monitor things, let the UBA Witch Doctors level up the BA savages to UBAs and see if one of them turns into OOO. If not, drive towards a save point (I use the one towards the open ocean, which becomes more tempting by the minute) in order to reset them. Rinse/repeat.
Never fight anything from your vehicle. It’s made of cardboard, UBA Witch Doctor attacks will blow it up instantly and you might get perma-slagged in the process. (Being thrown from your fan boat while it blows up around you counts as exiting it. This is logic.)
The game expects you to beat that wave before Dexi spawns in, so they’re not going anywhere.
It’s boring but worth it. I always get the drop eventually, but some cursing tends to be involved.
If you’re feeling sufficiently inclined towards masochism you can even fight Dexi once you’ve gotten your shotgun, cos…yeah, no, no reason actually.
Apart from Gee it doesn’t get more boring.

S&A scales poorly, EB notwithstanding, but it looks cool and if you quickly switch to a Moxxi weapon you’ll get a full heal. I frequently leave it out, but that’s just my taste.

Those Pimps, though. Get in the habit and you won’t look back.

Later, Shock and ARGH! is going to prevent stronger DoT to proc so I highly recommend to spec out of it.

Thanks for the tip. I spent (waaaay too much) time trying this method yesterday. It’s just as tedious, but a different kind of tedious, I guess - like a nice relaxing boat ride through the swamp. In circles. Hundreds of circles. I took joy in boat-slamming the witch doctor by the save point every time. Three OOO spawns, no Twister. Sigh.

Interesting. How/why is this the case? (Not challenging, just curious.)

Exactly what I always do. When all else fails, excessive mindless violence will surely see us through.

May you have all of the the luck next time.

Shock and ARGH damage doesnt scale like the DoT from guns and especially grenades. If you apply EB with SaA! DoT you wont be able to apply it with the higher values from your gear, losing a lot of DPS.

I don’t think my updates are set properly and I missed this. Sorry.
It’s interesting that I’ve played Gaige at least a third of my 3K+ hours in the game and didn’t know this.
Mind you, I don’t think I’ve specced S&A since TVHM on my first ever char, but still. Apparently I was making the right decision through sheer…let’s call it ‘intuition’, since it sounds better than ‘luck’.

We’re now partway through UVHM (lvl 60) and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with how well she does with a focus on elemental. So well, in fact, that after really struggling through the last several levels with a L. Mechromancer (only legendary com I’ve found so far, figured I’d give it a spin since 9 pts in The Better Half seemed like a nice dps boost), I switched back to my Evil Catalyst and am doing far better now. It actually made my level 50 fibber viable again.

I’ve run into a really irritating thing I never had to deal with on my other Gaige, though - last night I kept suddenly losing all my anarchy stacks. This happened so often that I was lucky if I could maintain 30 stacks. I think it’s happening if I throw a grenade or summon DT in the middle of a reload animation - is this a thing? I’ve only put 1 pt into the OC tree for anarchy so far, so maybe I never ran into this with my other build because SLF sped up my reload times so much. Or is it a quirk with something in Lair of Infinite Agony? With my first Gaige I remember ending up in discord for no apparent reason pretty often while there.

I understand what you’re saying, but this confuses me as well. Fairly sure I’ve seen multiple elements stack on an enemy before - but you’re saying that hitting an enemy with shock from SoA would override/preempt any subsequent shock (or other element) I applied with a weapon?

Very odd. Can’t say I’ve come across it before, although I might be forgetting. As I said before, I’m too cowardly to run Anarchy without having Discord available so I might well have dodged that bullet.
Gaige’s skills can act up in the Tina DLC. I’ve had Discord trigger as well, and the problem with I/O making it impossible to crit that magical orc in ‘The Beard Makes the Man’ is a curios little glitch.
I can only suggest testing it elsewhere to get some more background or waiting for someone else to chime in.

Higher values than that already applied by S&A if I understood it correctly?
Better that @l_gabrielcruz answers, but I’d really like to hear more about this and testing it once we’re all clear we’re on the same page.

Glad you’re enjoying your Evil Catalyst. The Leg. one is even eviller.

There is a lot of time since I played with SaA, but when it applies EB you have to wait until the burn DoT end to proc it again so it kinda “locks” your damage potential as the SaA DoT is pretty weak.

OK, now I’m more certain we’re speaking of the same thing.
I know Overload has this in his list of Gaige skill deficiencies. Simply put, he is both correct and incorrect - or matters have changed.
The problem is an extension of the sometime glitch with Electrocute damage where a faulty DOT proc gets registered and the electrocute damage becomes much too low. As a result, the EB derived from it suffers in the same way.

It’s very easy to show that even though there’s an ongoing DOT with a value which is too low, a new one (or several) can be applied which registers the correct value - as will the resulting EB.
For the first time in forever, I just specced S&A and made sure to get ‘flawed’ DOTs from reloads. In spite of that I was able to immediately get fresh EB going with ticks in the 1.5 mil region on unslagged targets, which is where it should be.
I thoroughly disapprove of testing things on Marcus’ dummy alone, and did a Bloodshot run as well. The results were the same.
It’s a very annoying glitch and I strongly suspect it has gotten exacerbated by GBX’s constant meddling with splash damage, since the ‘flawed’ DOTs seem more likely to proc with some weapons than others.
I used a standard Maliwan pistol at times, but there’s no way that’s enough as a control.

Long story short: erroneous DOT numbers proc at regular intervals and the resulting EB is erroneous as well. This has been known for years.
Erroneous DOT numbers caused by S&A can be overridden an instant later, we’re not locked by those numbers for the duration of that particular DOT proc.

Obviously an hour’s testing on my part isn’t going to give any final and definitive results WRT S&A causing the ‘flawed’ numbers to proc more often - I have no clue.
We’re not locked in by them, however, as anyone can easily check for themselves.

Possibly this was a matter which was fixed since Overload made his thread, it’s over two years old.

More input and testing is definitely needed in all events.

That matches up with what I found yesterday - after my post I spent some time in front of the dummy and got inconsistent results. Sometimes the EB numbers were quite low and others seemed right where they should be, and I could never duplicate a consistent lack of dmg output when shooting again while the EB numbers from S&A were ticking - there were a couple times when it seemed like S&A prevented me from hitting normal EB numbers when I shot after, but most of the time shooting seemed to override the low numbers. I couldn’t seem to find a rhyme or reason between the discrepancies but at no point could I definitively say that S&A was always detrimental. Whether the weirdness happens often enough to make it a bad thing to keep or not hasn’t been clear to me - and it has saved my butt a few times so I’ve been hesitant to get rid of it as of yet.

Husband experienced the same odd reload thing last night- a couple times he went into discord while throwing a grenade in the middle of a reload animation. I had it happen too, though more rarely than the night before - but I’ve become much more cautious about when I throw one or summon DT. We weren’t in the Tina DLC so that isn’t the whole explanation. It doesn’t seem to happen all the time so I can only guess it has something to do with the timing of when in the reload it occurs, and using weapons that have longer reload times makes it more likely to hit that specific timing. In any case I’m really looking forward to getting discord for that reason alone right now!

Within 5 mins of each other, a couple tubby spiderants in Caustic were kind enough to give us both L. Anarchist and L. Catalyst mods last night, and a loot midget in Tundra gave me a shock bone a bit earlier. I’m a happy mechro now.

That happens when you aren’t the host. I lost all Anarchy during loading screens and randomly during play when I wasn’t hosting the last time I played in co-op.

And grats on finding the legendary COMs!