Shock main or Matching elements?

As the title says, is it more efficient for gaige who spec heavily into LBT uses shock only with occasionally corrosive or always matching elements is more portent?


1 Like

Thunderball Fists vs flesh would outperform a similar ROF Maliwan incendiary pistol vs flesh.

(1 + 1 + 1.5) * 1 > (1 + 0.8) * 1.75
3.5 > 3.15

With 5/5 in WDT, that’s 3.5 * 1.15 = 4.03.
With a +5 COM bonus to WDT you can get 3.5 * 1.3 = 4.55
A Shock Bone would be matched by a Fire Bone.

A Bee shield applies 3 times per shot with the Thunderball Fists too. If you have a point in Nth Degree, you get the powerful secondary orb on every 8th shot.

The downside of this approach is that Gaige can easily kill herself with the orbs produced by an OP-level Thunderball. Grounded shields are ineffective. (The Transformer Shield might work situationally.) However, a mid-range engagement and a circular attack will avoid the detonating electrical orbs.

1 Like

You should really compare 2 identical purple maliwan pistols, 1 of all 3 main elements(it’s annoying for corrosive, since bl2 doesn’t have an armored dummy). Then if elemental matching wins you add in the T-ballfist to see if it makes shock only pull ahead.

These test should start simple and expand as needed


I think every gun will be more effective when matching elements against non-resistant enemies. A generic shock gun will always be inferior to an otherwise identical incendiary gun on flesh or a generic acidic gun on armor.

Padomay wrote “OP10 and PS” so he is unlikely using NVHM where element matching is less important than in TVHM or UVHM.

The Thunderball Fists has 100% splash and a 150% secondary orb. That’s what makes it outperform an element-matching pistol. It also makes this weapon extremely effective against slow shielded targets.

If there were a Fireball Fists or a Acidball Fists, then we could do a perfect comparison. And element-matching would be essential to maximize damage.

But of course a Sandhawk or Bekah can be better than shock weapons because of multiple unlisted projectiles which exploit the Bee Shield. A shock Fibber might be the strongest weapon if Gaige can maintain her Bee Shield. (I have never obtained a shock Fibber.)

1 Like

Point missed again. The OP’s question is about shock only vs element matching.

The T-Ball is a fine gun that has nothing to do with the question, despite your best mathy attempts to shoehorn it in.

Element matching will beat shock. Question answered.


Element matching will usually be more effective than shock exclusive. That’s not to say you shouldn’t rely on shock with LBT, since it’s as close to a universal element that bl2 has to offer, and with the right set up it can come very close to matching what the correct element could do. There’s also the fact that flesh enemies in digistruct peak take neutral damage from fire, so in DP a shock build will do better against flesh than a fire weapon will.
In my experience, running shock only is okay for general mobbing, but when you get into raids or beefy bosses(Saturn, bunker, warrior, etc) you’re going to want to switch to the optimal element.


here we go again with apple to orange comparisons.


Of course the Thunderball Fists pistol is related to the question. Just as a Hellfire or Avenger are related to the question. Gaige isn’t going to use a green rarity weapon in UVHM or OP10. We’re likely talking about typical top gear, legendaries and a few red text blues, maybe a pearl or seraph gun.

Are you always more potent with fire on flesh and acid on armor? Maybe. It depends on gear. If you’ve got a Thunderball Fists pistol, the answer may be no. If you’re fighting fleshy enemies that have high resistance to fire, then no.

I don’t know what gear anyone has. But if I were to focus on a LBT shock Gaige, I would use weaponry that excels at shock. No shoehorn necessary. It’s like Maya doing a burn build…but we don’t mention the Hellfire?

1 Like

It’s one aspect of the question, insofar as it is a shock pistol. The question is broader than that though. Element matching is a technique that is not exclusive to weapon type. And generally speaking, if it is the only case where the answer is yes that places it firmly in the land of “exceptions to the rule”, rather than making it the rule. You can talk about different pieces of top gear all day long, but not everyone is willing to slog to Captain Flynt, or sprint to Sparky, and kill them repeatedly for the drop. So in answering the question it is best to make note of the possible exceptions rather than use them as a basis for the answer rather than have someone who doesn’t have that patience (or the blessings of RNGsus) take that answer and be frustrated finding that it’s wrong because they don’t have the piece of gear used to base the answer.


Ya think? But yes, the OP levels are the territory for legendaries. That’s why incendiary weapons are probably represented by Hellfires, Toothpicks or World Burns, true.

So these are examples for weapons to compare the Thunderball Fists to, while this information:

is of rather low relevance. While using high-class elemental equipment even the Thunderball Fists will be outperformed by elemental matching:

In fact, it is that easy. The question how good the Thunderball Fists is belongs into one of the gear threads, alas.


That’s why i said you start with evenly matched gear, then you expand from there. But don’t listen to me, it’s not like I’ve ever tested anything

This is all completely off topic tho. I have no way to test the OPs question myself, so I’m trying to help others learn proper testing procedure


why not compare a fire/corrosive and shock fibber, now that is …


Ok. Do we think Padomay was merely wondering whether 1x1 > 1x1.75? So the question surely involves gear. Now maybe that discussion doesn’t belong in this section of the forum.

So I will admit that 1x1.75 > 1x1 for elemental multipliers in UVHM.

I think Padomay was wondering if a couple shock weapons and “occasional corrosive” gun could be as potent as incendiary weapons. The answer is maybe. The Thunderball Fists or ricochet Fibber pistols are good candidates if you want to swap weaponry fewer times per battle as a “Shock Main” .

1 Like

Yes, this is a good idea. But it is impractical on a PlayStation.

1 Like

Believe it or not, a bunch of the testing you find here was done on consoles. I’ve tested on a Playstation, and so have many others. It is certainly more difficult than on a PC, but that hasn’t stopped anyone yet.


Not with you, no.


That’s gonna depend on how you wanna meter it. If you’re looking at it from a face value numbers situation, sure, you’ll wanna match elements.

But, if you have some really good shock locked weapons, have shock and ahhhhhh, electrical burn, and Interspersed out burst, the shock build can be more convenient.

See, you don’t have to hit super maximum damage to be successful, and if you’re spending the skill points on shock, then it’s a bit wasteful to use matching elements when you’re already buffing shock to almost matching elements.

Then take into account that enemies on the peak don’t have their Flesh vs Fire weakness, which means you can actually buff shock more on the peak.

There’s a lot of variables, but my opinion is that you gain more utility and secondary strength through the use of shock weapons than matching elements. Especially with that Shock and Ahhh/Electrical Burn combo


I go ahead and go with a (mostly) shock build with her, but I keep a corrosive Hail in a slot for the more stubborn loaders I come across (especially ION loaders who resist shock.)

But for fleshy mobs, all the shocky stuff + EB kicking in is enough to plow through them. Maya’s the only character I really get into element matching with; Zer0 is Jakobs, Sal is mostly-Jakobs too with the Deputy build I usually go with, Axton is all explosive and Krieg chops (and also explodes.)


LBT shines with your grenade, as they have the higher electrocute damage value. So, If you have a Chain Lightning, your EB is going to tear through flesh mobs.

EB can benefit from both Shock and Fire bones, the final damage is the same. Also, 10/5 WDT is pretty strong for shock guns.

The fact is, fire on flesh with a bone is going to outperform but shock is still solid and you can get through with it.

Personally, I use fire guns with a Chain Lightning and the Legendary Catalyst COM but a T-Ball Fists is really strong as said. Also, Shock Fibber/Hail are more than enough, even at OP10.
If you want to swap less, go with the shock loadout. It will perform, if it is what you fear.


This ^. Adding fire damage on top of shock is a win when dealing with flesh enemies. And also a heck of a lot of fun!