The Compleat Guide to Hail

Is this really necessary? Am I bored at work?


Mr. Torgue approves this ■■■■ even though it’s Vladof  

It seems that I am the forum’s leading mouthpiece on the Hail, so I thought perhaps I should simply create a guide, thereby saving everyone from my chronic pontification. When the subject comes up : “BOOM! Link! Here’s all you need to know!”

          Here we go!

The Hail is one of the most useful and deceptively powerful guns in the game. The standard features that you can find on the wiki :

  • As a Moxxi weapon it provides 3% (or is it 2.5%? …whatever…) healing, which at OP8 is more than enough to tank.
  • It gets 200% Type A (additive) crit damage (along with the standard AR negative 20%).
  • After a certain distance (although technically this is based on time and not distance - more on that later), bullets split in two. Because these are unlisted pellets, they get full amp damage.
  • Has 80% splash damage, so the gun can be further buffed by grenade boosts and elemental relics.

Notes on usage :

The challenge with this gun is of course the trajectory. Getting acquainted with the arc is fairly straightforward ; but the field of view is the main hurtle. Hip firing is certainly fine for characters who do not need accuracy, but in order to get the tightest spread one must ADS (as with any gun).

  • purportedly console has a much narrower FOV than PC making it that much more challenging. I play on PC, so my condolences to the console jockeys.
  • increased bullet speed affects both the arc (becomes higher and longer) and split distance (increases). This can come from Velocity, Accelerate and the “Swift” prefix. See here for more details on bullet speed.
  • bullet split distance is approximately 4-5 meters. Ideally one should be as close to that as possible to get the split and still retain optimal accuracy. This pic shows the distance (note the mission status :rofl:) :

  • between the splitting and the crit, a Bee shield will turn this into a monster.

Notes on parts :

  • Scope (technically only comes with sights : Vladof, Torgue or none) will increase zoom which will significantly limit field of view to the point where you can’t actually see a mid-range target. To minimize this, always get one without a scope (or nat will report you to me and I will rage :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:). Exceptions could be given to Gaige, Sal and Krieg…maybe…possibly…perhaps.
  • Grip : getting a Vladof grip is important as matching grip always gives increased mag size and reload speed. This is optimal for any gun, but a near-constant output plays especially to the gun’s strengths (tanking).
  • Stock : Dahl is standard fare for any gun, and this gun is no exception. A case could be made for Torgue, Vladof and even Bandit as almost-acceptable 2nd best ; Jakobs stock is unacceptable.
  • Accessories! Here’s where contoversy abounds! Bottom line : no matter what anyone tells you, there’s no one superior accessory.
    • Ferocious (damage) : increases damage, increases recoil, decreases fire rate.
      This is my preferred prefix for the characters who crit (more on characters later). Burst fire works best for accuracy. This will give the highest DPS for certain targets - but only when able to reliably crit. At certain ranges this gun is remarkably accurate. Maya makes the most of this accessory. Perhaps Axton too.
    • Rabid (wild) : increases damage, increases fire rate, decreases accuracy.
      This is the most commonly recommended accessory for this particular gun because the Hail’s grenadier barrel minimizes the accuracy loss that’s inherent in the accessory. The “Wild” prefix will ruin practically every other gun. DPS tests have shown that Rabid has the highest but one should always be wary of DPS tests. This is absolutely the accessory of choice for Gaige and Krieg (especially with PiP).
    • Skewering (bladed) : great with a Love Thumper. Also, a slag bladed Hail has replaced my hybrid Zer0’s Rubi.
    • Swift (bullet speed) : increases bullet speed and fire rate.
      Increases arc which forces the user to point down even farther ; increases bullet split distance by (very) roughly double. This can actually be fine for large targets like Terra but Rabid’s damage increase is ~12% higher.
    • Severe (accuracy) : increases accuracy.
      Well it’s better than no accessory!
    • Resolute (stability) : reduces recoil.
      Get a Dahl stock instead. Still better than no accessory.
    • Expansive (mag size) : increases mag size.
      Could be useful on raids, especially with Krieg. Never reload! Also could be nice for Gaige with Smaller, Lighter, Faster and The Better Half.

See here for a gun parts identification guide ; and here for a demonstration on ADS accuracy, Rabid vs Ferocious accuracy and the pitfalls of the Swift prefix :

Here is an example of what I consider a perfect Hail (accessory notwithstanding): no scope, Dahl stock and Vladof grip :

Notes on characters :

  • Maya can get the most out of the Hail’s crit damage simply because of Phaselock. What’s also a very pleasant boon is that a PL’d target is at just the right height that you can look straight ahead while firing , so you can keep a solid eye on your evironment. Her shield skills can reliably keep a Bee up further abusing the bullet split and crit. Chain Reaction + bullet split = awesome. The splash does not get Reaper bonus though.
  • Salvador : in my experience he really needs to use dual Hails. I’ve tried him with a Hail and a Lead Storm but the arc difference was frustrating. If face-tanking though, it can be used with any other gun.
  • Zer0 is not the best Hail user. He doesn’t have any specific skills to take advantage of the crit damage, splash or bullet splitting. Rising Shot and Two Fang will make it better, but it’s a very poor Bore performer ( or rather, takes a very specific situation ). Still, he does nothing to work against it.
  • Krieg, especially Hellborn Krieg, is one of the best users of the Hail. Its splash will reliably keep you on fire ; the splash also gets boosts from Fuel the Blood and can trigger Blood Bath. Works very well with Elemental Elation and Blood Filled Guns to build stacks giving a limitless mag size and absolutely crazy fire rate.
  • LBT/OC Gaige always has a shock Hail! Anarchy boosts splash as well as bullet ; Close Enough takes care of the accuracy problems ; Nth Degree + bullet splitting = awesome! See the link in the “Rabid” heading for more usage info.
  • Axton is also one of the strongest Hail users. I’ve seen on several occasions people ask whether the Ogre or Kerblaster is better on Axton and people dogpile in to yell “Hail!”. His grenade boosts get the splash damage cranked up ; reload speed keeps him tanking ; his shield skills can keep a Bee up extremely well ; his ability to increase base damage has a huge impact on guns with a high crit multiplier (for this reason, I might recommend the Ferocious prefix for more reliable crits).
  • special shout-out to Athena! You’re my girl!
  • edit : Nisha vid added.

The Hail is so devastating it can even take out entire armies :stuck_out_tongue:

As always let me know if there are any corrections to be made ; or any additional info I may have missed.
If you want to argue with me about whether or not it’s a great gun, just know that you will lose.


How good is the gun on an Anarchy Gaige compared to weapons with a fixed pattern (their accuracy being unaffected by Anarchy)? I like the Hail on Axton and Krieg due to their skill buffing the hell out of it, but due to none of Gaige’s skills really boosting grenade damage are there better alternatives for Gaige at longer ranges?


Fibber, Conference Call and Hail are the Holy Gaige Trinity ( plus the Norfleet if you’re into Quaternities ).

Its spread is fine even at 400 stacks - assuming Close Enough of course. Her poor healing skills allow her to pump out bullets at a massive rate and maintain her tanking ability - especially when there are few targets to get BSS looping. Also remember Anarchy boosts the splash as well - combine that with an elemental relic and you have massive multiplicative damage.

I’m not saying its every character’s best gun ; just that it’s one of the most reliable guns for all characters. For raiding, most now use the Conference Call with Gaige.


That kill is bloody impressive. Should I get the Hail in the three DoT elements or does shock beat them all with Gaige?


Just in case you thought that vid was me, it was Poka.

I not really sure the tipping point of an all-shock Gaige vs an element-matching Gaige to be honest. Ultimately the latter is better but the former is perfectly fine. I have a full set because why not? They’re super easy and quick to farm.


If you’re going for one of the shock-centric Gaige builds, then fire can be left out due to speccing into Electrical Burn. Likewise, you don’t need to worry too much about slag since there are better ways to keep that applied without having to swap weapons. Whether or not you go for a corrosive Hail to match the shock one depends on your tolerance for farming…

@Jefe - you have a stray extra return or space in the “Note on Parts” section just past the “DPS tests” link "Gaige and Krieg ( "


Awesome guide! All this Hail talk lately made me realize that I had a big hole in my LBT Gaige’s arsenal. She was using a shock Kitten for Moxxi needs but that gun really does get out of hand with a lot of anarchy.

She actually hadn’t done the bandit slaughters, so off she went. Eventually got a shock Rabid (Vladof grip, no scope… a Jakobs stock but it doesn’t seem to harm too much).

Over on TPS it’s Athena’s main gun(s) (have them in all flavors for her.)

I used to HATE the Hail when I first started BL2 (just could not deal with the arc at all) but I’ve come to love it.


Sweet guide. Does this mean that you will be linking this thread instead of preaching (I enjoy the preaching, you do excel at it :wink:) , @Jefe?

About us console peasants and the FOV issue. From my experience it makes it less flexible, but still perfectly serviceable. I find the best use to be large, relatively slow targets (Saturn and D’s mom in particular, but I even gave OMGWTH a taste) on PS3. I’ve also used it to take out advancing lines of mob enemies in the Friendship Gulag and Opportunity. The biggest problem with the mobs is switching back and forth to a straight firing gun. If you can stick with it for the length of an engagement it puts in work, but if you need to change weapons it can cause some embarassing Situational Awareness related respawns. At least it has for me.


That was the idea for the sake of forum cleanliness. However I do love my dogma - as you know.


you started out great, and this is where you lost me. I don’t think Mr. Torgue would approve of the lack of explosives. He wouldn’t let Jakobs in his DLC without a little explosives to give proper perspective. :wink:

Great guide tho. I love the clarification on Swift and Rabid specifically as I was misinformed on the Rabid prefix. :exploding_head:


Maya is awesome with the Hail. Good stuff as always @Jefe
Something I’d like to see(you do)…
Get Scorn and use a Quasar. group them together and let the Hail rain down upon them in Biblical fashion.

edit: I realize this is out of your comfort zone(Scorn) :wink:


That’s what I’d normally do. Chain Reaction will decimate the mobs that way. I wanted to show it against individual targets in that vid a bit more.


from what i remember, you’re not really a “scorn” maya player, iirc?


Sorry , right. Missed that part :wink:

Flaked out because it’s one of my Maya’s names


due to my selfish nature, I saw so many opportunities to quasar them in together and throw scorn out and let the Hail do the rest. But, that’s my playstyle. lol

edit: watching your vid really makes me want to pick up my Maya and get her to level cap. :sweat: But alas, I can’t pull myself away from the original right now. I am pretty focused at the moment on what I’m after. :wink: