As the Battleborn DLC season comes to an end and we eagerly await news on Borderlands 3, I thought it was about time I wrote my Maya guide. I’ve been using this build for over two years and have played with several forum members, some regularly and for long periods of time, so it’s tested and proven to be effective coop as well as solo. This is something of a multi-purpose build, a hybrid set designed primarily for mobbing that incorporates hard crowd control, healing, and raw DPS, as well as being highly effective for raiding with a few simple gear changes. This build is versatile and can be used effectively with any number of weapons/items anywhere in the game and against any enemy.
First off, here’s a screenshot of the build - http://bl2skills.com/siren.html#555001545041050100000554510501
I should note that this build is heavily focused around use of Sub-Sequence and many skill/weapon choices compliment it, including and especially the Legendary Binder COM. (From here on I will refer to Phaselock as “PL” and Sub-Sequence as “SS”)
MOTION - In this tree we’ll be focusing heavily on PL buffs to get us down to SS, as well as some DPS and defensive buffs, including some of Maya’s best survival skills in this build.
5 points - Ward: This is one of Maya’s best defensive skills, and also greatly improves her effectiveness with The Bee for raiding. More shields = less deaths.
5 points - Accelerate: Some say that this skill detriments split-projectile weapons like the Pimpernel, but I disagree. If the secondary projectile/s pop higher, simply aim lower. Faster projectile speed could mean landing one more shot before PL wears off, or the difference between hitting and missing a moving target. And 15% damage, while not a lot, makes a difference when you consider how much damage OP8 weapons deal.
5 (+5) points - Suspension: This is one of the most important skills to the build. Longer PL means more Wreck and Chain Reaction, and more procs of SS which will also benefit some of our other skill choices. Also, it’s boosted by our COM, 10 points = 10 seconds of Phaselock.
5 points - Inertia: In my opinion one of the best kill skills in the game, fasted reload speed between kills means more DPS or a reload before SS procs, and recharging shield could mean surviving a heavy DoT. The Blockade in particular is strong here as it has a high damage reduction amount, so keeping it recharging keeps you alive.
Converge: One of the skills that synergises with Suspension, Converge is one of the only sources of crowd control in the game and multiple procs of Converge in a 10 second duration means a hard crowd control and plenty of area control or support if coop. This is a staple skill on any Maya build, but is especially strong here. Converge also strongly benefits Ruin, as it activates before Slag is applied, meaning you can slag an entire mob with one PL.
4 points - Quicken: Minimal point here, this is simply to get us to SS. Fleet will be ineffective with Inertia active and Kinetic Reflection is very situational, and even then doesn’t scale well to OP8, though it does benefit the Blockade and can be a good alternative. Quicken will only shave off a few fractions of a second off your cooldown, but during mobbing runs those few fractions add up to a few seconds. It’s not much, but it’s something. You can take KR as an alternative.
5 points - Sub-Sequence: This is the backbone skill of the build, rarely will you have a single enemy held by PL for 10 seconds, but with SS you can take advantage of the full duration. SS also allows you to proc Converge, Sweet Release, Helios and Ruin multiple times during the 10 second duration. Hard CC, mass healing for you and your team, multiple activations of slag, and several heavy fire DoTs, if ever you’re using a Legendary Binder COM you should not overlook SS.
HARMONY - Minimal investment in this tree to get to Wreck, and Res if playing coop (I always spec into Res just in case I decide to switch from solo to coop so I don’t have to respec, if you play solo ignore Res)
4 points - Mind’s Eye: Only four points in this skill to get us down to Wreck. +20% crit damage is always nice, especially with the Pimpernel. The melee damage is negligible.
1 point (+5) - Sweet Release: As our COM adds five points to this skill, we only need one point to activate it. Six healing orbs proccing multiple times thanks to SS is more than enough to heal you and your team, plus one point here means we have four spare for Mind’s Eye.
5 (+5) points - Wreck: This is one of Maya’s strongest DPS increases and should never be overlooked. With ten points, we get +100%fire rate and +60% damage while an enemy is held by PL, which is a massive DPS spike, while SS helps us to take full advantage of the whole PL duration and get more usgae out of Wreck.
Res: As mentioned above, this is only for if you intend to play coop. If you play solo, invest the extra point to any of the un-maxed skills.
CATACLYSM - This is where most of Maya’s damage comes from, as well as synergy with SS. Some of the skills here could be considered staple to any Maya build, this build will focus on most of those skills.
5 points - Foresight: This skill is mandatory to any Maya build, larger magazines and faster reloads mean more DPS.
5 points - Chain Reaction: Another staple skill, ricocheting projectiles can kill or at least wound enemies not in PL and this synergises especially with weapons that fire multiple pellets or splitting projectiles. This skill also works with The Bee, any ricocheting projectiles will receive amp damage if the shield is full, and if Kinetic Reflection or the Antagonist are active deflected projectiles can also ricochet. Essentially, this is just a spread DPS increase while PL is active.
4 (+5) points - Helios: Only four points here because that’s what we need to get to Ruin, Helios isn’t the strongest skill but since the late 2015 (October 29) buff it’s definitely worth some investment, not uncommonly will you notice Helios kills against weaker fleshy enemies allowing PL to move to the next target quicker. Helios activates after Converge but before Ruin, however with SS this skill will usually proc multiple times on groups of slagged targets and has a large AoE as well as strong DoT.
5 points - Immolate: This skill is particularly useful to me as I don’t carry a launcher. Cloud Kill can handle second winds against armoured enemies but Immolate can make the difference when in fight for your life against fleshy enemies. Always worth the investment.
Cloud Kill: Since the late '15 buff Cloud Kill is now notoriously powerful, it can kill weaker unslagged enemies and melts slagged Loaders. It has a large AoE and very heavy DoT which synergises especially well with Converge and Ruin, however the DoT can be applied to yourself and for some reason your allies as well, so be careful not to get too close and warn your melee teammates.
5 (+5) points Reaper: 80% damage against enemies with >50% of their health remaining is huge and this is one of the reasons why Maya is especially proficient with high powered weapons, with Reaper you can pick up some one-shot-kills you probably didn’t think otherwise possible (assuming you have a powerful weapon with very high damage) including against some badasses. Together with Wreck, this is one of Maya’s best DPS skills and among the best damage increases in the game in the game.
Ruin: The final staple skill, and probably the most important one, Ruin is auto-slag on every PL. With Converge you can Slag multiple enemies, and with SS you can keep renewing slag to keep the debuffs fresh, as well as refreshing the steady shock and corrosive DoTs applied by this skill.
and/or Pimpernel/s: Arguably one of the best snipers and overall weapons in the game, the Pimp is the standard weapon for this build. With a little practice you can find the “sweet spot” to hit on different enemy types, and one-shot-kill a huge variety of minor enemies as well as some badasses. I carry two, incendiary and corrosive, and since they deal such high damage per shot I rarely run out of sniper ammo. If you’re worried about ammo, just carry a fire one. My preferred parts are Maliwan grip, Hyperion or Dahl stock, Hyperion scope, and damage prefix (Barking). You can use a Jakobs grip if you prefer extra damage, but I don’t think it’s necessary and I personally prefer extra mag size and reload speed.
Conference Call: A corrosive Conference Call is a good alternative to a Pimpernel, it can kill Buzzards quickly and is probably more effective than the Pimp against Badass Buzzards (A Pimp can one-shot regular Buzzards, however). A Conference Call can also quickly melt Badass Constructors, so long as you have an enemy Phaselocked to activate Wreck, but again a Pimpernel can one-shot regular Constructors although it’s a bit harder to find the “sweet spot”. Also good if you’re worried about ammo consumption using two Pimpernels. My preferred parts are Hyperion grip and stock, Torgue sight, and foregrip accessory for two extra pellets (Practicable prefix). Again, you can use a Jakobs grip if you prefer extra damage per shot.
Twister: My third weapon, the Twister has extremely high one-shot-kill potential, although the firing pattern can be a little awkward. Accelerate benefits the Twister as the projectiles move slowly, and like most shotguns this weapon is best used at point blank range where it can kill almost anything that’s not a badass. It’s also great for stripping heavy shields. My preferred parts are Jakobs grip, Hyperion stock, Torgue sight, and foregrip accessory for two extra pellets (Rustler’).
Unkempt Harold: A great alternative to the Twister, especially if you have a Conference Call as shotgun ammo runs out quickly. The Unkempt Harold has can one-shot-kill smaller enemies and lay down a blanket of damage for charging enemies, as well as hit Skeletons and other enemies with elemental resistances particularly hard. I get less use out of this than the Twister and always favour a Twister, but this weapon is far easier to obtain and is a good alternative when a Twister is not available to you. My preferred parts are Torgue grip and sight, and either a damage prefix (Hard) or double-shot prefix (Double Penetrating) depending on the situation/area/enemies and usability.
Grog Nozzle: Because reasons. High slag chance against smaller enemies who you don’t want to waste a PL on and would rather melt with Cloud kill, and of course 65% life steal. Since we’re not running Life Tap this is a great way to stay alive, and I seldom find that I need four damaging weapons on Maya, but if you think Sweet Release will be enough healing you can take a Twister and Unkempt Harold instead. My preferred parts are a Maliwan grip and sight, and double-shot prefix (Binary).
Bekah: This weapon sees a lot of use on Maya, especially for Chain Reaction builds. Personally I have nothing against this gun, I just think there are better choices. However, it’s one of the best Crystalisk killers in the game, I keep one in my inventory for trips to The Fridge, Caustic Caverns, or Hayter’s Folly. My preferred parts are a Jakobs grip, Dahl stock, Vladof sight, and damage prefix (Boss). It’s also worth noting that the Bekah has an insane amount of recoil that may be unmanageable with any stock other than a Dahl, and even then you may need to compensate for the recoil under sustained fire.
Blockade: This is probably the best defensive shield in the game, with a very high capacity benefits greatly from Ward and the damage reduction combined with Inertia can help you survive heavy DoTs. As Maya’s DPS is so high there is simply no need for The Bee, though it does benefit greatly from Ward and is a great raiding shield. Any parts will do, I prefer minimum capacity for maximum recharge delay and rate, but a maximum capacity and minimum recharge delay variant will receive more benefits from Ward and Inertia.
Quasar: The only thing better than mass CC from SS/Converge is even more from a singularity grenade. Typically I use this while on cooldown to keep the enemies bunched up and away from me, as well as for stripping heavy shields. Purple singularity grenades can have a higher blast radius, but they don’t have a DoT and can’t output the shield-stripping shock damage of the Quasar. Longbow 0.0 fuse time, of course.
and/orBone of the Ancients: The elemental damage increase from a BotA is applied to the impact of a shot from an elemental weapon, not just the DoT, and unlike increases from aggression relics is multiplicative, not additive. I switch mine regularly depending on the area I’m in and the enemies I’ll be facing, incendiary for primarily creatures and bandits, corrosive for Loaders.
COM: This one has already been said, but it’s the Legendary Binder. +5 in Suspension gives us a 10 second PL, which is part of the reason to use SS here, with Chain Reaction chances are you’ll rarely get to use your full PL duration, and SS as stated above means multiple procs of Converge, Ruin, and Sweet Release which gets +5 from this COM, as well as Helios which destroys fleshy mobs. +5 in Wreck is further incentive to use SS, and +5 in Reaper means more one-shot kills with high-powered weapons like the Pimpernel and Twister.
This build focuses heavily on a sniper playstyle, finding a good vantage point or long line of sight to take enemies out from a distance while PL and all of its augments bunch enemies up for you and apply slag for quick kills. Unlike non-SS builds, I focus on killing the bound enemy to proc the skills mentioned above in the COM section. Shotguns are for close-range encounters when PL is on cooldown or for that running enemy who escaped Converge, as well as heavy shields like on Rabid Stalkers. You can also play this at mid-range if you prefer fast-paced gameplay (which I do solo) so long as you keep moving and throwing Quasars. This build can get through general mobs, bosses, raids with a gear exchange (Bee + Sandhwak) and even DigiPeak (Exchange fire Pimp for a Sandhawk) so it’s versatile enough that you’ll never have to respec, just carry additional gear in your pack if you want to do something different. I don’t use launchers for this build as Immolate + Pimpernel almost always get me out of FFYL, and if carrying a Grog Nozzle you don’t want to be wasting two weapon slots on situational weapons. Other weapons that can be used include The Bitch, Lyuda, Florentine/Plasma Casters, Blockhead, Interfacer, Butcher, Jakobs snipers and shotguns, and even the Chere-amie. This versatile build will get you from 72-OP8 without much trouble, and can be played using almost all non-unique items even at OP8. Maya laughs at Salvador.
EDIT: Here are some demonstration videos of this build, the first two are using only the Chere-amie to both show off this build using the gun that is often considered one of the worst uniques in the game (I tend to disagree with that notion) -
And this is a speedrun through Friendship Gulag using The Bee -
Since the level cap has been raised to 80, this build of course looks a little different now. I still use the same playstyle with a slightly modified build and loadout, which I’ll cover here.
MOTION - Only one minor change to this tree.
Accelerate: 3 points, down from 5. The reason for this change is that I wanted more points for HARMONY. I could remove two points from any skill/s in this tree, and Accelerate is the skill I value the least. Shields and PL proficiency are more important to me than a 6% damage increase.
HARMONY - This tree is where the major changes were made. Two points were taken from MOTION so I could reach Life Tap.
Mind’s Eye: 5 points, up from 4. Critical hit damage is always nice, and as I’ll explain further down the extra eight points were needed solely to reach Life Tap.
Sweet Release: 3 points, up from 1. The Legendary Binder adds +5 to this skill, and with SS it procs often, so you never really need more than one point. Like with Mind’s Eye, the extra points here were only invested to reach Life Tap.
Restoration: 1 point. I didn’t invest into this skill previously. I’m almost never shooting my allies when there are enemies around, and Sweet Release takes care of team healing, but one point is sufficient enough to keep an allied melee Zer0 healthy between Sweet Release procs when he’s fighting underneath PL and tops up allies between fights, so it’s not a bad investment.
Wreck: 5 points, no changes.
Elated: 5 points. Another skill needed to reach Life Tap. Recompense is nearly useless at OP levels, plus I’m invested into shield skills so I shouldn’t be taking health damage, and Sustenance is consistently inconsistent. Keeps my team steadily healed when fighting big enemies like Scorch on DigiPeak as opposed to the burst healing provided by Sweet Release against trash mobs. Max investment to make the most of a long PL.
Res: Still run it when I play solo, which I do most of the time, so I don’t forget it when a friend joins.
Life Tap: 1 point. For years, Maya players debated over SS vs LT. Now, like the Old El Paso girl, I say why can’t we have both? Because finally we can. I use high damaging weapons so one point is sufficient, and at OP levels you never need more than one.
CATACLYSM - No changes here, minimum investment as before.
My playstyle is mostly the same as before, with one subtle difference. Thanks to Life Tap (and to some degree Elated) I have much more consistent healing than before, so I rarely carry a Moxxi weapon now. I exchange a Pimpernel for a Conference Call, and use both the Unkempt Harold and Bekah a lot more frequently. The Bekah in particular has grown on me since making this post. The Twister sees a lot less use in my loadout as I lean more toward a Conference Call for my corrosive weapon.
Edit: The corrosive symbol still doesn’t work.