Short Newbish Gaige questions

Hello people, I’d like to ask briefly about 2 or 3 things I’m confused with WITHOUT taking recourse to detailed min/max munchkin articles because I really do not want to simply copy others. So far, I’ve read no complete “guide”, but there are still a couple of things I’m confused about, both inherently and out of experience. My Mechromancer is now level 51 and just finishing TVHM. My gear is all pretty mediocre but I seem to do ok with everything except bosses (can’t kill the ones in the expansion packs, basically) and the final rounds of slaughter around my level. Basically, I’ve investing heavily in BFF, the Anarchy tree only up to Discord (not a big fan of anarchy, since I like to hang back and actually hit things), and am 1 point away from Shock and ARGH in the middle tree. Since getting Sharing is Caring, I have so far been using Love Thumper and switching out to some common blue shield (for lack of a better) after summoning Deathtrap. Without Deathtrap to take the blows, I have to run from big packs.

Basically, I’m confused about 1-2 things in general and 1-2 specific things.

  1. What’s this about health not being good or “conflicting” with blood soaked shields? I read that somewhere. Isn’t more health just generally good for surviving? That’s why I usually have some health relic and also invested in Potent as Pony. But apparently, consensus here is that that sucks. Just curious: why?

  2. Why don’T you people like Fancy Mathematics? I realize that Blood Soaked Shields helps recharge (I have that), but isn’T FM nice for increasing max shield size anyhow? How could the two conflict?

  3. I’ve seen people say that Discord can be used “offensively”. How is that possible?

I suppose I’ll leave it at that for right now. THank you!

Because she doesn’t have strong health tanking abilities. There are certain characters like Krieg and Maya that have strong health tanking abilities that like having large amounts of health, but Gaige is more built for shield tanking.

Because some people consider it redundant. But I’ll say it, I love Fancy Maths. I take it in every build. And no, it doesn’t boost capacity, that’s Myelin.

Because it gives you more accuracy and fire rate, so it can be used when you need to send a lot of damage down range when you need it, since you keep the damage bonus from your Anarchy while it’s active.


1: yes, more health is better but BSS fills your shield up completely. Most things that increase your health will give you a % bonus, meaning that the more you have, the more you get. But since BSS is so good, you are better off focusing on increasing your shield rather than your health, and that often means turtle shields. It’s less about health being bad than it is about making good choices.

2: because of BSS, simple as that. Fancy maths will make the natural recharge of your shield better, but with BSS, that hardly ever happens.

3: Dischord increases accuracy by a fair amount. If you hit more often, you deal more damage. That’s especially true of shotguns: dischord will tighten that spread quite a bit. The health regen could also allow you to be less cautious and get closer to go for crits.

You can also gain anarchy stacks simultaneously while spending them in discord - called discord looping. This helps you health-tank so some extent (how much depends on how many stacks you start with etc.)

There’s also that business about health-gating, but I honestly can’t wrap my head around that stuff and I don’t like worrying about details too much.

Discord looping works with rational Anarchist. You gain 25 stacks, activate discord and spend them. When you reach 0 you start over, effectively having Discord on at all times.

You can’t really gain Anarchy fast enough to keep up with Discord spending them.

Healthgate is pretty simple: if you have above 50% health, you can’t be one-shot. You’ll fall to critical health instead. If you can go back to 50% health relatively quickly, you can’t really die, u less you catch a DoT.

Not really interesting for Gaige, unless you use Moxxi guns since most of her regen skills are %based.

True, but you can certainly slow it down a bit!

You don’t have to slow it down: as soon as you hit Zero, the next time you would gain a stack, you gain 25 instead. Making it last as long as possible is less productive than timing the moment you hit 0 with a reload or a kill instead.

Honestly, the build I’m using now doesn’t have BSS in it- I get why it’s so popular but since it’s a kill skill it doesn’t always help you in boss fights where easy to kill minions aren’t around. I have Fancy Mathematics maxed with a point in Unstoppable Force to take advantage of the com I use. Do you have any elemental relics? In UVHM it might be better to have those so you can kill enemies faster rather than trying to have a higher pool of health. What kind of weapons do you favor? I tend towards shotguns and high RoF pistols for her, so you might want to take a look at her Top Gear section and see if you can get hold of any of them…

OK thank you.

So if that is the case, and I am using shields (so far using a shield that boosts health, together with a health relic, which most people here deem subpar) together with BSS, what relic (besides health) would you suggest? And I guess you prefer turtle shields which reduce health? thank you

I’d go with a shock Bone of the Ancients and an Antagonist if you can get one. You don’t need to lower your health, but only Krieg really benefits from having a higher than “normal”* health pool.

*that is a health pool not being boosted by skills.

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The idea of turtle shields is a high capacity, not a low health. If you can get a high capacity with another shield, it’s just as good. (the antagonist is a good call) Personally, I love the Transformer on my Gaige, but I play with a lot of shock skills, so it might not be as good for you.

As for your relic, it really depends on your build, but a shock bones is always a good pick.
If you favor pistols, the Sheriff’s badge is always to be considered.

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Since I favor pistols and shotguns for Gaige I will be using either a Sheriff’s or Deputy’s Badge 99% of the time. Can’t say that I’ve ever liked turtle shields for any character but as has been said the Antagonist or Blockade for defensive shields or a roid shield to help out DT if your build focuses on buffing him (and while not a roid shield, the FotF is a popular choice in solo play- the constant novas might annoy co-op partners)…

I’ve used them while levelling when they’ve really been the best I could find. That said, I agree that mostly I’d rather use something else, and end-game certainly the Antagonist or Blockade (or Transformer etc. depending on build and focus.)

Those shields sound a little bit out of my reach, I just sort of make due with what I find, but hence my original question. I had so far favored Anshin shields, I forget the kind they are usually called (adaptive??), since they offer health boosts and resistances – seems like a good deal to me. That’s why with Potent as Pony and a Health Relic, I felt a bit more comfortable, since I get hit frequently when DT goes down. But apparently this is considered subpar, you people do not go for health, and probably thus use different relics (yours I have never been able to get) and different class mods (I just get what I can find). Seems like that little health bonus from the Adaptive Shield goes a long way with Pony and nice Health Relic – but no, right?
But that brings me to a last question: Does the resistance from the Adaptive Shield also resist any type of damage (including explosions and bullets)? And does the resistance apply even when the shields are down / depleted?
Thank you

That’s a perfectly fine approach while levelling up, especially if it’s your first character and you don’t have any “hand me downs” from one that’s gone before. The shield you have that fits your play-style is always better than the one you don’t have, or that is a poor match. End-game play (i.e. level 50, 72, or OP levels, depending on where you stop) is different. And some of the items that get recommended on top-gear lists are either impossible or really hard to get before you hit level 50 or 61 anyway.

As for your other question, I thought I’d just seen that answered in a different thread? In short: look at what the shield info specifies: if it’s “last type of elemental damage” that’s resisted, then non-elemental or other elemental types won’t be. If it’s a blanket “damage resistance” then any type of damage is reduced (but not completely prevented). There are also shields which off an immunity to a specific type of damage: alkaline shields to corrosive, for example.

My general tactic while levelling for relics is to keep the one that’s the best fit with my character and play-style. If I have space, I might keep a different one for specific situations (such as health regen versus action skill cooldown, or damage/ammo capacity for specific weapon types.) The same with shields: I might wear an adaptive, but keep a shock spike shield if I know I’m going to be mobbed by stalkers or something.

Edit: My understanding is that resistance is only active when the shield has charge; immunity shields are different, though.

Adaptive will resist all damage of the last element you were damaged by, be they bullet damage or DoT.

Shields with immunity will not reduce damage from that source, but will prevent you from catching a DoT.

Dont get us wrong: Using Adaptive shields with or without health relic is a good idea in general, it’s just that with Gaige’s skills, you’re better off concentrating on shields because of BSS. With Sal, Maya, Krieg or Zero, health is usually a better focus, but Gaige and Axton have better synergy with shields. Yes, pony is nice but BSS is just SO MUCH better.

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Thanks for the clarification!

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Until you get some of the shields mentioned I’d suggest using a spike/nova shield for melee heavy areas like Caustic Caverns and an absorb shield for bullet heavy enemy areas (particularly The Transformer, which drops from Pimon in the WEP or as a world drop)…

You can use Adaptives and stack health/damage resistance with Potent as a Pony and Made of Stern Stuff. Especially with a Roboteer COM.
But once you can spec into Blood Soaked Shield, a Turtle Shield is going to help you more - especially if you find one with immunity. Even a Spike/Nova is going to be a little better as they can add some damage and synergyze with Sharing is Caring.

Adaptives are good overall, but Gaige has more and better options. Doesnt mean that she cant use them, it just isnt optimal.

Hey thanks a lot. Trying out different stuff, seems to be ok with shield-swapping. Trying Protection relics instead of Vitality, and cooldown COMs buffing Fancy.
I just found something I had never run across before: The Impaler (shield). Not sure if I’m doing it right, but wouldn’t this be a fairly good choice for Sharing is Caring? Then switching to The Bee for me?