First of all I would like to thank Shadowreeper1337 for enlightening me about the power of the White Elephant Artifact and being kind enough to trade me one. (Shoutout to DP_Unkempharold for making me question my previous relic setup) Please credit me and and Shadowreeper1337 and include a link to the guide if you use this build anywhere else.
The build is centered around the increased importance of phaseslam and terror once a player reaches a full set of anointed items for melee Amara in combination with the White Elephant Artifact, Driver class mod, the Facepuncher and the Unforgiven for INSANE damage and survivability. Due to this, it requires god-tier items in order to be effective.
Description: While phaseslam is a relatively weak ability at early levels, with a full anointed set and the right talents it effectively becomes a +300 weapon damage for 8 seconds, + 200 melee damage for 8 seconds, +40% damage reduction for 15 seconds, + 38% accuracy/ 27% crit damage for 12 seconds with 30% lifesteal ability which does massive damage and allows you to leapfrog around the battlefield, effectively making it the best action skill in the game for melee amara.
To take full advantage of the tankiness and damage bursts, your main weapon will be a Redundant Face-Puncher which benefits from both the melee and gun damage anointed bonuses. Paired with a 75% lifesteal on the White Elephant relic and all our damage reduction, our enemies will be staring at a 15K+ effective health pool which regenerates instantly while dealing massive damage. Put simply, you hold a hand cannon which fully heals you on almost every shot and allows you to complete mayhem 4 Circles of Slaughter efficiently as melee Amara.
On top of this the White Elephant relic will give us insane damage potential after phase slam with which you can literally melt any boss and insta-heal through the toughest fights. This is because the 14 shots from our facepuncher will each have a 30% chance to spawn a random element sticky that scales with your melee / splash / aoe (not from grenade damage) and will also be able to crit, this crit damage can be boosted by the unforgiven and transcend after you empty a magazine on a crit spot. With the addition of the Driver class mod, our facepuncher shots will be boosted by our movement speed, this results in a 4x damage boost at max mindfulness stacks Furthermore, if you can manage to hit a crit spot in melee with the unforgiven while terrified with your shield depleted, spawning a sticky off it can do 9 million damage+ (vs a frozen target you can hit much more). This can do so much damage that it will skip Troy’s immune phase, he will instantly die.
While I won’t explain each talent separately, I’ll focus on where the build differs from other melee builds.
5/5 in root to rise and 0/5 in clarity: What we are aiming for is effective health, which means how many hits you can take consecutively without healing before you die. In mayhem 3 badass enemies will do so much damage that a few percentage of hp a second won’t save you, but having a larger health pool might allow you to survive 2 consecutive hits without going into to ffyl. With this setup you are both the tank and the healer, since your melee hits and facepuncher will be doing all the work and can fully heal you in 1 shot, Clarity becomes useless. Having a larger health pool stacks really well with damage reduction and ensures that you take full advantage of the massive heal bursts without overhealing. Finally, our Brawlerward shield and Samsara benefit from the 40% extra hp and together already give enough hp per second to survive most dots.
3/3 samsara 3/5 helping hands
3/3 Mindfulness - while the shield regen isn’t great since it can make you lose your brawlerward bonuses, the Driver Com’s dot will prevent this from happening. In order to make this work optimally you will need a low level brawlerward shield so the Dot alone will strip your shield every time you phaseslam. Use corrosive for your action skill so you get the longest dot possible for the most movement seed. The movement speed reaches 150% with a +3 Mindfulness driver and boosts your damage up to 4 times.
5/5 Arms Deal - Splash damage will work extremely well with our White Elephant Artifact, boosting the damage of the stickies which will be our major source of dps. Also gives a nice dmg reduction vs splash damage, making rocket launcher zealots less of a threat (You should still prioritize them)
1/1 Find your center
3/5 Jab Cross - A decent additive boost to our gun damage (including the facepuncher), and a large increase to phaseslam damage. Overall a meh talent so I could see 2 of these points going into helping hands if you want to be more tanky.
1/1 Do Unto Other 1/1 Guardian Angel 1/1 Blitz
Fist of Elements:
5/5 Anima - This will increase the length of your corrosive DoT from the Driver COM making sure your shield doesn’t regenerate and that you keep your brawlerward bonus and movement speed up most the time.
5/5 tempest 1/1 Illuminated fist, pretty self explanatory. Melee hits are converted to elemental damage and we do more elemental damage. These damage increases are also multiplicative which makes them extremely good.
3/3 fast hands, 2/5 do Harm, 3/5 restless, 3/3 transcend.
3/3 fast hands ensures that you will be able to get the next facepuncher shot sooner after reloading which increases your dps and healing, especially if you are too far to melee your target. The weapon switch speed works wonders when switching to the unforgiven for the sticky damage.
2/5 Do Harm is mostly a filler but works well with Restless and Jab Cross.
3/3 Transcend - Will make your facepuncher shots much more accurate after you phaseslam so you can land those stickies on the crit spots and boosts your crit damage on those stickies.
3/5 restless will allow us to have the phaseslam bonuses up more often which basically translates to + Melee damage +Gun Damage +damage reduction + mobility etc etc.
Soul Sap will be necessary since the animation of phaseslam is so long that you might find yourself at very low hp or dead at the end.
**Guardian Rank: While most of the Guardian ranks have a positive effect on melee Amara, you want to avoid the blue tree as much as possible. Avoid putting points in shield regen, capacity and delay, and if you put points in the rest make sure you avoid Shield reboot at all costs, it will completely gimp your damage after each kill since it will cause your shield to regen and you will lose your Brawler Ward bonuses. This is somewhat mitigated by the driver mod since the dot will prevent your shield from regenning I suggest only putting points in Health increase but stopping 1 point before shield reboot. You can reset your Guardian ranks by deleting your profile.sav while offline and starting the game again but you will also lose golden keys, skins, guardian points and your bank.
Phaseslam Anointed FacePuncher, as explained above, benefits both from melee and gun damage. If you time your facepuncher shots a fraction of a second before your melee attacks, you are effectively able to double your melee hits since you will be splitting your cd on melee and facepuncher firerate between the 2. In game, this happens almost instantly and it feels as if you didn’t shoot at all, but you did. This can also be good to keep up blitz vs tougher enemies. While it works amazingly in combo with the unforgiven, it is more than capable of killing enemies alone in 1 shot after phaseslamming and outdpsing your melee. Aim for the head, while the facepuncher cannot crit, the stickies can. Remember to keep moving both while you shoot and when the stickies explode as both benefit from the Driver’s damage boost. At max speed after phaseslamming the facepuncher alone can do 200k per shot after phaseslamming and much bigger facepuncher stickies. Usually if your face puncher shots brought them under 50% hp, the stickies should finish them off even without the unforgiven or any crits.
The Unforgiven will be the final piece of the puzzle vs badass and boss type enemies. Empty a Facepuncher magazine on the crit spot after depleting your shield (not completely necessary that you deplete your shield but it will help) and phaseslamming, switch to the unforgiven and watch their hp DISAPPEAR. Don’t just sit there and watch while you wait for the sticky to explode, moving increases sticky damage. Also, hitting a crit spot in melee with the unforgiven while terrified and spawning a sticky will result in a 2 to 9+ million damage sticky that will oneshot almost anything. Having a 50% terror anointed version will boost your stickies everytime you switch to the unforgiven while terrified.
A terror anointed Facepuncher will be our engine to keep terror stacks up while we wait for phaseslam to come off cd. This will allow us to have the gun damage / fire rate and 50% cryo bonus damage active all the time which provides a massive boost to dps. By using terror bonuses you can 1 shot Graveward with +45% hp or other negative modifiers.
The buttplug can be really good to melee enemies that are hard to crit with the Unforgiven and still spawns a massive sticky. It does 110% melee damage, which appears to be partially multiplicative (Unlike cov 120% melee damage weapons), making this our best weapon for straight-up melee. Furthermore, melee damage is doubled when hitting your enemies on the back. (you don’t necessarily have to be behind them) Like all stickies, a crit can be boosted by the unforgiven. Also good at keeping Blitz up vs weak enemies.
The Moar Linoge offers a +120% melee bonus, but is usually weaker in melee than the buttplug or facepuncher/ instant melee combo for our build. However, unlike the buttplug, it can offer some really serious shooting power. I run mine in corrosive to have an option for armored enemies since they take less damage from explosions. Make sure you stop shooting and start punching before it overheats so it can have time to cooldown (basically an automatic reload).
The Brawler Ward shield, the best melee shield by far. Using a lower level shield (lvl 1 is best) helps with shield stripping since the Driver’s dot will do all the work.
On anointment effects and stickies: Since I’m seeing a lot of people confused about the anointments I wanted to clarify a few things. 2 different anointments on a weapon and shield will stack (like 200 melee and 300 weapon damage) 2 of the same will not stack (like 2x200 melee or 2x300 weapon damage). While stickies are not boosted by weapon damage directly, weapon damage will increase your facepuncher damage which also means more sticky dmg (since they scale to the damage of each pellet). If you switch weapon at any point while the 300 weapon damage phaseslam anointment is active you will lose the anointment effect, even if switching to a weapon with the same anointment. Terror anointed effects on the weapon equipped and grenade mod will always be active while terrified.
Amazing at freezing enemies which boosts our melee damage by x3. I prefer not using cryo with the driver since it might slow you and reduce your damage. A shock version can also be good at stripping shields. Great at killing flying targets / freezing them to make them easy kills. The terror fire rate/ gun damage anointment also makes all your weapons immune to the terror accuracy debuff, unlike the 50% cryo anointment. Note that the +crit / extra pellet / cryo damage / ammo regen anointments cannot spawn on grenades.
The dot applied to yourself everytime you phaseslam breaks your shield if you use a lvl 1 brawler and brings you up to 15 mindfulness stacks for 15 seconds or so, place your actionskill to corrosive to get the longest Dot possible. It boosts your facepuncher damage to the point that you can hit 150-200k or more with high mindfulness stacks on the initial shot, resulting in much bigger facepuncher stickies. Remember to keep moving to keep the damage boost up.
Knife Drain White Elephant
As explained earlier, with anointed phaseslam gear and unforgiven +splash damage the relic outdpses other relic options by far and gives us constant healing. A Godly Relic. You can also opt for one without Lifesteal for more dps but with the unforgiven this won’t be necessary. Some people prefer other lifesteal relics that straight up add melee damage like planetoid or static charge relics for general mobbing since these will keep blitz up much better, but you will be nowhere near the dps of the White Elephant against tougher enemies. Note that a cutpurse relic will allow you to regenerate all your ammo in 1 facepuncher shot if you ever run out.
That’s all! Please credit me and and Shadowreeper1337 and include a link to the guide if you use this build anywhere else. Thanks!