Thoughts on Amara

I’ve been playing Amara since launch so I feel like I’ve got a decent-ish idea on what works and what doesn’t. The main issue I wanted to bring up here is that Amara’s non-grasp action skills and their augmented versions are not worth using on M4 in my personal experience. Most of them only offer damage with very little utility and that damage falls off severely at higher difficulties.

Phaseslam is particularly risky to use due to it’s longer animation and being so close range (the emote canceling only works on PC and it just highlights the issue of mid-jump downing). I’ve seen other people talking about this along with certain augments having bugged secondary effects (e.g. Deliverance). Ties That Bind is far and away superior in every category (damage, range, utility, ease of use, etc) except for triggering Slam and Cast specific anointments or debuffing bosses with Laid Bare. I feel like there’s no real value to using any of the others beyond M0 or gimmicky builds (Nimbus) as it stands.

I’d like to keep things constructive by giving ideas on how to improve these skills and make them more impactful. These are just a few suggestions of mine but feel free to offer your own if you’ve got them!

Fracture: Maybe that elemental ‘rift’ it leaves behind sticks around longer and deals stacking damage on anything that walks into it for a time?

Downfall: Cool concept but it leaves you vulnerable in mid-air longer than PS and the beam seems to do very little in most situations. Maybe add a knock-back/knock-up chance for added utility?

Tandava: A larger AOE range could do this one some good since it’s at the bottom of a tree and has a hefty cooldown

An avatar cast build is pretty strong on m4 even without a 250 cast loadout. But it requires building to it. Ie, I can cast two casts every 7 seconds and they do large damage.

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I guess it depends on what we’d consider large? I’m using Phazezerker with 5/5 Do Harm, Avatar, all the good stuff and it does mostly serviceable damage on mobs (element matching and all). The damage seems more noticeable compared to my guns when I’m near stack limit. The DoT off my Nukem/Ion Cannon seems to do more work killing the badasses than my actual Cast does though.

It’s kind of a shame, but Slam/Cast don’t really do anything in terms of damage on M4. The only action skill that actually does damage is TTB.

Cast/Slam are useful mostly for triggering the +250%/+300% anointments, and to a lesser extent for triggering augments like Soul Sap or Stillness of Mind, or for skills like Samsara and Laid Bare. Those are powerful but the damage itself from those action skills is a waste of time.

My favourite build is still Phasecast, but on M4 it just means triggering all that stuff, not doing damage with the AS itself. I don’t bother with Do Harm and Awakening since its damage is negligible either way. TTB is the only AS I use those skills for.

It’s a change of play style really, instead of trying to do damage with Phasecast, you use it to debuff enemies with Laid Bare and some other stuff. +250% weapons is what you do all the damage with.

edit: and forget Downfall. It’s crap.

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I agree that most of Amara’s action skills and augments could do with something to make them more prominent as far as M4 is concerned and have more impact than simply triggering anointments. But the thing about Amara that doesn’t make sense to me at all is that ever since Mayhem 4 was released, Gearbox has done nothing in the past 4 months to address the huge disparity between guns and melee power.

The paradox is that Amara herself says that her fists are ‘the stuff of legends’ and yet, neither her fists in melee nor her mystical siren fists from her action skills compare to the absurd levels of gun damage she can whip up. If you want a melee build that can comfortably handle all M4 content, you’re conscripted into using a certain shotgun to inflict ‘melee’ damage which is an option but it just doesn’t have the same feel.

Ignoring the disparity and simply leaving her literal melee potential in the abyss, it kind of does Amara an injustice both in gameplay and lore. She definitely already has enough class mods focused on gun damage, elemental damage, DOT damage and AS cooldown rate. What she sorely needs is a proper class mod that allows her to become more of a brawler.


Majority of the Phasecast variations are bugged or just don’t do what they say. Tandava dose exploded bit the radius is not very big and the skill has a longer CD with a meger damage increases. Your honestly better using any of the other Augments and putting Revelation on for a Nova that can DOT enemies.
Reverberation’s CD make it already not worth it that and the fact that you need to line enemies up. I would rather have more frequent casts that I fire off whenever I see a good shot rather then waiting for the perfect line ups.
Deliverance loses you damage but can put your ASE on enemies. Problem is the orbs seems to spawn at random times rather then on contact with enemies making them some times target enemies your blasting making the orbs go to a target that is about to be mulch. Better to just stick with the base version for the extra bit of damage.

I also don’t get why Stillness of the mind is in Mythical Assult (Blue) it’s far more potent with Phasegrasp and matches the gameplay type far better. Heck Phaseslam works better with SotM dur to the larger radius and potential of binding several targets.

We also have Fist over matter that is all like “LOOK AT ME!!!” Or I won’t do damage :rage:
Then add in Samsara not triggering on half of the damage done by most action skills or action skill Augments and top it off with Remenet choosing to shut itself off randomly.

I think her and FL4K have a running bet to see who can be the most buggy character in BL3 XD.

It’s clear Amara had a ton of cool concepts put in to her that just didn’t go though the level of testing they should have. Based on the number of skills and combinations she has she would have required five to six times more testing then the other 3 VHs to be at a truly polished state at launch. The Admins on the forums have mentioned they are aware of several of her long standing bugs so hopefully in the next couple months we will see a patch with a number of bug fixes and or improvements to Amara.

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Borderlands 3 has a general problem with action skills and “entities” (Fl4ks pets, Zane’s clone etc.) not scaling with the Mayhem levels. If all those things at least got a damage buff that’s half of the health increase the enemies get, then we’d have a whole different game at our hands.

Your Mileage may vary, of course, but I … I feel incredibly weird sharing these cause, like, somehow my experience seems to be in the minority of Cast players. But, I wanna share so you can at least see why I think Cast is powerful in my work.

Some notes: I’m running a Band of Sitorak with Knockback and Radiation novas and Radiation ASE. My guns are ALL Siren Radiation ASE. My grenade is a just holding a Shock ASE. I ran this build in Lectra City and was having a good time despite Remnant breaking down in there. I don’t have photos there, and I do recognize that Athenas might mean nothing, but here’s just a few numbers I scored.

All of these photos were done while holding and using a Redundant Brainstormer with Siren Rad ASE. Fire Cast. Revelation Augment. The Cast variant is Reverberation. One Point in Remnant. 5 Points do harm. Clarity maxed Phasezerker. I also have bonus fire damage on my artifact.

Here we have a Remnant Orb into a few flesh enemies that may or may not have had shields at time of impact. That 3M is beautiful to me.

This is what a Cast into two new spawned enemies looks like.

I…I just decided to Cast on a bunch or ratch. I saved this one to make @Prismatic mad. This was a remnant orb off what I’d assume was the 6th ratch in the room. 17M made me laugh. That’s just absurd. This is by no means a number that will ever be reached in most scenarios, but, I’ll take it for the laughs. Also. Is this showing us than Remmies can crit?

6M. I just kinda rushed the room and this was where I actually started taking numbers down. I’ll have a photo from the pause angle below, I took on my phone. But a 6M remnant orb is hilarious. Note Brainstormer. It’s here to strip shields.

I’d say that Remnant is necessary, but one of the phone photos says otherwise.

This one had me confused. A first cast on a Nog that I’d been firing on managed a 1M. I guess I’d stacked Do Harm and Rush at this point, or had hit him with an earlier Laid Bare that lingered. But, this one was my prized capture.

This is that 6M at a better view.


IMO if they just reduce the cooldowns of Phasecast/Phasegrasp skills to be more comparable with Phasegrasp that would solve a lot of issues.

The main thing I find myself doing as Amara in TVHM m4 is running around spamming Phasegrasp to proc ASE effects. I will use Phasegrasp on specific targets but that’s it. When I messed around with Phasecast (equipping all Phasecast anointments and using the action skill cooldown bug to get unlimited use of Phasecast) I had an absolute BLAST. The fact I can actually use my action skill on every enemy is fun.

I did testing and found if you spec into Restless, have a shield with action skill cooldown anoint, and both an artifact and class mod with action skill cooldown bonus you can reliably spam Phasecast without needing the glitch.

So by reducing the base action skill cooldown for Phaseslam/Phasecast you make each of these pieces of gear less necessary and increase the viability of these action skills. We don’t need a full rework, the skills themselves are good if you can spam them. If you have to wait 30 seconds between uses they are useless on TVHM m4. I don’t think they should be easy to spam, since Phasegrasp can be “faked” to spam it, but even then the cooldown on Phasegrasp itself is short enough I can keep Driver proc’d constantly with an action skill cooldown buff of some kind.

After that just make all action skills in the green tree count as Phaseslam, rework Downfall (why not just let us shoot that beam out of our chests like a chest gun?) and allow Fracture to count for melee procs. I would say Amara is in a very perfect spot after that.

EDIT: Also Phaseslam should count as a slam for artifact procs.


Remnant actually does this quite often, there’s some funny stuff going on with that skill that sometimes causes it to do preposterous damage. My record so far is 353M, and Moxsy once got 852M or so during a live stream.

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Watching Cast kills escalate these orbs is by far the most devastating part of the build. But the true best part is when I move through enemies so fast that there’s multiple orbs hunting enemies down.

I have to admit that is some really impressive damage you’re putting out there. I’ve never been able to make my cast builds work that effectively. Maybe I should use Revelation more (visually, I’ve always found it difficult to pick out this effect to see how much it’s doing during fights) and see how it affects remnant orb damage too. Thank you for sharing, it’s made me reconsider my stance on Cast at least.

I totally forgot about her melee spec and now I feel bad. It was actually a lot of fun during m1 and m2 but it does become sort of shallow beyond that. There’s not much else to see past those four skills and the facepuncher kind of takes over every build for it. I agree that it would be nice if there was a Com or something similar that made her melee more dynamic.

The weekend got busy so I wasn’t able to really focus on this. But I wanted to bring up Glamour and ask around for opinions on it. Highest tier augment in the Brawl tree but I hardly ever see it in builds. I’m interested in opinions from anyone that’s used this on m3/m4 especially. Do you feel like the confusion/control effect is useful/worth an augment slot? If not, how would you buff/rework it to make it viable?

I believe it has the highest damage potential of all Phasecast variants by a good stretch. Even if you don’t line up the shots, it has some glitch where it sometimes does way more damage than it’s supposed to, apparently thinking it already hit a few enemies when it’s hitting the first one. So e.g. instead of 100%, 150%, 200% against three lined up enemies, you may get something like 250%, 300%, 350%. This is unreliable though and I don’t know what causes it.

As for Remnant, more kill damage = more Remnant damage, so I’d definitely go with Reverberation for this.

Reverberation used to be my favourite Cast variant, but the most important thing in my build is cooldown, so I returned to default Phasecast.

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I gave a try to Glamour once, just to see if the “control/confusion” worked as intended and if the skill had the same effect than previous variant like in BL2.
And… unfortunately yes, it works the same way…
It turns target into allies for a few seconds, so they fight on your side which is pretty much useless in term of damage input, they barely take aggro from non-affected ennemies and, for the worse part of the skil, they can’t be targeted/affected in anyway by VH during the whole effect

So you will be forced to not use your AS at ALL if they are few or only one target , because it will turn them invulnerable to you and your teammates…

The only things to do to improve this skill is to make targets still vulnerable to VH damages…


I recognized that the singularity augment is working far worse than any singularity grenade on skills like downfall, fracture, etc.

Also I thought it would be cool to select an augment in the skill tree, it turns out to just make you open your menus and interrupt combat all the time, which is not what I expect from an action game :confused:

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It seems to do it most when you’re cast spamming too, I guess. Getting 1M on a single target cast definitely seems to highlight this.

Glamour…is bad. As a slam variant, it neutralizes any effect from Samsara you could hope for. On cast it’ll nuke your Laid Bare hopes. And on Ties? Hahahahaha.

I dare you. Do ties that Glamour one time. It’s hilarious.

basically, it turns the grasped enemy and all tied enemies into allies, meaning no damage anywhere


I was hoping for some kind of niche use to Glamour that I hadn’t figured out (like Nimbus + Heavy Weapon DoT). But it sounds pretty bleak all around if it doesn’t help any of the action skills. I’m guessing the damage enemies do to each other isn’t scaled the same as the player either?

Oh right, Allure is really weird when it comes to certain interactions. Sometimes it kind of… flings enemies away from where you’re casting right? There were a few times I had to chase down enemies because of that. It would be cool if there was a way to make augment switching for all the VHs less clunky/awkward yeah.

if fracture for example would really work, you could make such a pretty lineup of enemies and then pump in with a CC or crossroad :smiley:
or shoot through with a lob

The first time I read Fracture I though it Auto targeted an enemy in front of you and launched them with sort of an eruption effect around it. The skills lack of range, speed and damage compared to Phasecast are what make it more or less bad. The only think it dose that Phasecast doesn’t is launch some enemies in the air and stagger larger enemies.

To me this isn’t a great trade vs basic Phasecast because if I want some CC from my high damage AS I will use Stillness of the mind.

Honestly I wish Fracture worked more like Phasegrasp and targeted a single enemy for a quick blast of damage that knocked them off there feet. It would solve the complaints about not having a quick Phaseslam ase like you and other suggested.