Your personal top and bottom 5 characters for PvE

I don’t want to derail the “No Battleplan” thread any further, but it created a small little discussion I have more interest in.

What are your personal top 5 and bottom 5 characters for story missions and Ops? There should be some people playing PvE around here. :slight_smile:

It doesn’t really have to be a tier list or sorted by strength and I beg everyone to not get personally offended if your favourite character isn’t listed.

I’ll start with my top 5:

  1. Attikus: This is a character done right in my opinion. He is fun to play in PvE (I liked playing him in the open beta and I switched to him the moment I unlocked him after release until I could play Deande). He’s strong, he has enough survivability to not get oneshot by everything and best of all: His strength comes purely from his helix. Gear is just an addition to it. He’s my number one recommendation for everyone, who struggles with PvE and no one comes even close to being such a beast that turns almost any mission into a cakewalk.
  2. Shayne and Aurox: Survivability: Check. Ranged and Melee attacks: Check. Stealth escape: Check. Funny voicelines: Check. She’s not as strong as Attikus, but I never had any problems with her. She needs a health regeneration item, but the other two spots can be filled up with various stuff (I usually take shield strength and damage reduction).
  3. Deande: She’s a little squishy, but has a great escape and since I’m using a calculated risk build with her (shields are too small in PvE to be a defense, why not use them offensively?) she has very good burst damage when you can hit crits (which are very necessary for PvE). I had the least amount of problems in Demon Bear when using her.
  4. Caldarius: Blinds in PvE are basically stuns. Stunned enemies don’t move. Crits on non moving targets are easier. Caldarius has a weapon with decent accuracy. He’s basically “PvE meta - the Character”. I’ve played a few matches with randoms (when you still could find some …) as Caldi and they thought I was cheating because I could melt enemies in front of their eyes with him.
  5. Reyna: She’s been the character I used to carry low levels through PvE. Good burst healing, overshields, a bubble to avoid being shot by some stuff and a big “everyone please shoot that dude over there”-skill.

Obvious question: "Where’s Kleese?"
I admit he’s strong in every wave defense mission, but otherwise I find him too slow-pace to be fun. There’s often not enough time to set up shop before the action starts.

Honorable mention: Beatrix. She’s fun to have on your team in PvE, she has survivability and she also can finish missions without too much issues. But Wound is useless in PvE, so a big part of her kit is just wasting processing power by drawing the visual effect of it on enemies. My recommendation: Play her while she’s still fun, I fear she will get nerfed into oblivion and won’t be viable in PvE for much longer.

My bottom five (borderline unfun and unusable):

  1. El Dragon: He dies to things in one hit that just shouldn’t be able to do that. He’s gear dependent as no other character and absolutely no fun to play most of the time. I like the design, the voice acting and the idea behind him, but playing him in PvE is rage inducing.
  2. Mellka: Another character who was nerfed into uselessness (even after the slight buff recently). She started as a melee and ranged hybrid and was used as tutorial character because of that, she now is a melee character with no survivability and a pea shooter. She’s in a very weird spot between Caldarius and Deande, but does everything worse than those and dies very fast. A friend of mine uninstalled the game again after playing the prologue because she made it feel like playing UVHM with white gear in Borderlands 2 for him.
  3. Benedict: He lost his ability to crit, he stopped being fun in PvE. He’s one of the two UPR explosive guys that turn even a turorial boss like Arachnis into a long and drawn out fight. He dies pretty fast and flying isn’t very useful in the missions.
  4. Ernest: See Benedict for Arachnis the Invincible reason. Rated slightly higher, because the egg can sometimes be a little helpful in coop.
  5. Ambra: Maybe I just can’t play her. She does next to no damage, her passive is mostly useless (especially in OPs where enemies deal enough damage to oneshot you without triggering the overshield) and I get stuck with her on the map geometry more than with any other character. It was no fun for me to pop the Varelsi’s head in Oscar Mike and the Battle School when I was oneshot every two minutes and it was no fun to kill the Demon Bear by kiting her around the upper area and let her run into the sunspots and ults I dropped every few seconds. Getting close enough to use the main and alt attack is too often a death sentence for her.

Would be interested in other opinions here.


Top Five: (1 = best, 5 = lowest best)

  1. Ghalt

  2. Montana

  3. Marquee

  4. Miko

  5. Oscer Mike

Top 5 Worst: (1 = worst, 5 = less worse)

  1. El Dragon (obviously)

  2. Kid Ultra

  3. Beatrix

  4. Ambra

  5. Meilka

I personally like the UPR the most in both modes.


Another Ghalt, I see. :smiley:

Don’t find him any fun in PvE. The shotgun can do damage, but he’s slow, the traps are very underwhelming and the hook only grabs enemies and pulls them towards my face when I prefer to keep them away from me.

He’s not that bad to make the bottom five but he’s in the lower third for me. :slight_smile:

Oddly enough, I’ve done really well with her on Sentinel. She’s a beast against Golems. Terrible on OM-BS though. Best character personally for Demon Bear has been Oscar Mike. He’s still my most-played character in PvE. I really like Calderius for most things, but I’ve had a lot of problems with him in TFR (especially during the initial elevator fights). I probably just suck, though!

There’s still a bunch of characters I’ve only ever played once, so I’m not going to rank anybody just yet. I have to ask though - are we talking solo or co-op PvE?

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1: Toby
2: Orendi
3: Shayne & Aurox
4: Reyna
5: Whiskey Foxtrot)


1-5: Pick any of the fifteen that i haven’t played in PVP, and only to help someone out with in PVE for lore… :smirk:)


Kind of both. I can’t really talk much about full teams, biggest “group” I played more than one advanced story mission with was three players in total and Ops was two.

Deande in my rating is more of a solo character.

Feel free to specify when one character is coop or solo exclusive. :slight_smile:

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Top five:


Bottom Five:

No crits?? :thumbsdown:
And uhh… Pendles? Ambra’s pretty boring also.

Not in any particular order. Whiskey is my fave though.


Top 5.

  1. Galilea (Easy Mode)
  2. Kleese (Easy Mode)
  3. Montana (Easy Mode)
  4. Ambra (Easy Mode)
  5. Orendi (Chaotic Fun)

Worse 5.

  1. El Dragon (DEATH)
  2. Reyna (BORING)
  3. Toby (No Fun)
  4. Ernest (No Fun)
  5. Benedict (No Fun and DEATH)

Top 5:
Pure face melting fun. Epic Regen/Attack, Epic Damage Reduction/Regen and VoV gives her unreal power. The two regen items combined with regen from her helix and whatever little hp corruption steals makes staying at full HP trivial for many missions and lets her hurt things with her right 3 helix

I understand what was said about her getting 1 shot and that is definately a real possiblity, however if you give her some hp gear she no longer gets 1 shotted and has enough recovery to heal herself right back up. Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter is a godsend for her, unless you’re doing ops in which case Squad Goals BDU is similar but better. The other 2 gear slots don’t matter to much as long as she has the hp but Symbiotic Gauntlet (more hp!) and Bola’s Target Finder turn her into a death machine. Ranged Ambra with her legendary and Radiant Haleberd is fun once in awhile but she’s so much better at killing with a Bolas.

She’s another character that benefits from hp greatly but she also needs attack speed to build up osmosis stacks. Again Pain-2-Gain Re-Knitter/Squad Goals BDU are amazing but the attack speed gets her to full stacks faster and lets you self heal and apply a 30% damage reduction for 3 seconds. 3 seconds may not seem like much but with enough attack speed you can keep it up full time np. Mobs in PvE are dumb and tend to just stand still so Bola’s Target Finder in conjunction with Rip Tide/Wave Shock will let you destroy entire waves of mobs with 1 push of the button.

He’s tough to get going and he’s actully pretty squishy early on but later he’s nigh unkillable. Permanently inreasing your HP every 4 sec is insane and his unique sheild mechanics lead to fun later on, especially since he takes reduced damage with his shield up and can replenish his shield every time he uses a skill. He absolutely needs a shield regen item to overcome his natural -20% shield recover rate, but if you push it into the positive range and combine it with his 0 sec shield recharge delay he’ll be recovering any time he’s not actively getting hit. For fun, run an ops mission with him using Aria’s Encore, SKNK-WRK Decoherence Refractor and Ziggurat Schematic Serum. In the infinate spawn on Pheobe’s op I had him up to over 20k hp and once a min I was getting 10k+ overshield, just insane.

Thorn is a sniper, if you like snipers but don’t like Marquis she’s the next best thing. Symbiotic Gauntlet, Vigilants Power Scanner and a Drained Survivor’s Regrowth Serum makes her a solo power house. Worst thing about her is having to choose between letting your traps slow enemies or unleashing barrages of arrows more frequently, shame you can’t have both. Plus her jump is just fun.

Honorable mentions:
Wiskey Foxtrot, Kleese, Boldur, Montana, Kid Ultra

Bottom 5:
I guess I just don’t get her. With a ton of HP gear and Eldrid Rhythm I occasionally didn’t die as her, but seriously it was just occasionally.

Oscar Mike
This is kinda a love/hate relationship. His ops mission is hysterical and I get that he can be super powerful, but I just don’t really have fun playing him. If I get the urge to play a gun shooter I go Wiskey Foxtrot (see above Honorable Mentions)

I don’t get the appeal of this guy. Yea he’s got swords but so does Galilea and Phoebe and they’re at least interesting. With Rath you can hold the right trigger down and just walk through a board and win. This might be appealing to some people but I just don’t get why it’s fun. Also the fact his left trigger is comparatively useless kinda doesn’t sell him on me. I expected more from you Vegeta.

She’s fun when she’s not dead, but with her whopping 5 HP I’m dead too much to nuke faces. She challenges Mellka for my most dead character, but isn’t as high on the list because when she’s not dead she’s damn fun.

I’ve seen people be good with him, but I’m fairly certain they’re relying on some kind of black magic that the western world has yet to discover. Marquis mostly gets a bad vote from me because of how much I like playing Thorn. If he wasn’t also a sniper character I probably wouldn’t dislike him as much, but he’d still have the whole steampunk thing going on and I’m just tired of that. Plus useless owls are meh. His slow move is incredible, I just wish it was on a better character.

Honorable Mention:
El Dragon
I can’t say that I hate him, but the fact that I’ve played 29 chacters in this game besides him is a little telling.


Forgot to say: I refuse to use legendaries. Some of them trivialize the game to a point that it is no fun for me.

I’ve kicked people from my game in Borderlands 2 when they started shamfleeting and didn’t stop after I asked them to. Broken gear is a crutch and I don’t want the game to be balanced around stuff that you only get if you are lucky with RNG.

Use them if you want, it’s your game and I won’t tell you how to play it, I also won’t ragequit if someone in my team thinks they have to take orange stuff with them. I personally just don’t find it fun.

Edit: That post of míne sounded a bit rude :frowning:

Thanks for the long answer. I appreciate a good response with more details. :slight_smile:

Does extra damage to shields and can be combo-ed into his basic attack to increase his overall DPS. I’m pretty sure half my melee damage comes from his secondary whenever I play Rath.


Thorn is definitely fun, especially head-shotting those giant shield-bearing thralls on Sentinel. Is there a gear that gives more velocity to her arrows, though? Moving targets are still giving me some grief with her. And you’re right - some of the choices you have to make are tough.

Yeah, found that out the hard way :frowning: Haven’t really played enough of him to figure him out, so your comments about his shield were very helpful. Was on a team with a really good Kelvin player last week, and it was awesome - perfectly placed Ice Walls and timely Sublimates galore.

Personally for me the top five goes like this:

Rath: I just love this character. Plain and simple. Spin cancelling gives me a lot of satisfaction and while he may be squishy, manipulating his life steal for maximum effectiveness is very fun to do in PvE.

El Dragon: I suffer through the first few levels but once I get my gear up and my DR, I’m pretty durable. His knock up is amazing in PvE. Post level 9, El Dragon is immortal. And if I’m playing solo, having En Fuego every 15-30 seconds is pretty fun. Over all I think he’s one of the most fun characters to play. (not always the most effective, but fun

Benedict: He may not be able to crit but his basic attack can do enough damage that he’s great at clearing mobs. And I can just use Hawkeye for the extra burst on bigger targets. I love being hyper mobile with him.

Whiskey: Crits 4 dayz. That is all.

Attikus: pretty underwhelming in his early levels but when he gets to his late game, my god he’s a one man wrecking crew. Level 7 just let’s you melt through anything and level 10 let’s you melt through EVERYTHING!

Worst five:

Toby, I just don’t play him. I really just don’t. His damage is awesome but it’s just not fun for me to play Toby. I can’t land his shots or his stun mines to save my life and I always feel like I need to be farther back, no matter where I am.

Ernest: Just not as fun for me in PvE. He’s got a ton of damage but that’s about it in PvE.

Phoebe: her lack of self sustain forces me to play less aggressively than I would normally with melees in PvE. Her damage is great but mostly single target. That said I did actually have a lot of fun with her when the Phoebe op came out and I did a three man Phoebe run on an Australian server. Red Bar Phoebe FTW.

Kid Ultra: I have a lot of fun with him in PvP but his lack of crits makes his damage meh. You can negate this by putting damage amp drones on him but maintaining four of them is a chore and better done by putting them on someone else (which isn’t as fun for KU)

Reyna: Her actual damage is meh for PvE. Priority Mark can be useful against some of the enemies but her ability to clear waves of little guys leaves a lot to be desired. Her ult has little purpose until she’s level 10, in my experience. Shield booster is very nice though so I’ll give her props for that. I love self heals in PvE.


Playing mainly in story missions (and ops) solo or coop, there are some characters that aren’t well equipped to deal with any situation.

Ghalt : Two words : shotgun/revolver!!!
Marquis: I’m not a sniper fan, but hitting targets at safe distance is good for survival
Ernest: Grenade launcher
Attikus: Can’t exactly say why, but I like all of his skills
Phoebe: I had great runs with her without dying against 3 Ronin in Advance

Least favorites
Kelvin and Boldur: Basically, I don’t like their designs. Great skills and very powerfuls, but on 30, I just can’t invest myself as much as the others.
El Dragon: In any mode, I sucks, I die way too often
Mellka: Also sucks!! Enemy AI don’t care if you are little, they still hit you!!!
Reyna: Not bad, a little bit boring


Top 5: Toby, Attikus, Orendi, Shayne, ISIC
Bottom 5: Dragon, Mellka, Benedict, Pendles, Reyna

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So little Dragon love :cry:

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I loved him before they nerfed the life out of him, first character I got to mastery (and that was before the lore nerfs… I killed so many damn minions with him). He’s just so bad in PvE, can’t stay alive.

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You can make him pretty damn durable with max health gear and his DR. I picked him up after the nerfs (not right after, he got a few micro buffs by the time I picked him up). He needs to be built a specific way but he’s still very fun to play.


Honestly, that’s my problem with him: I don’t like his gear dependency.

A character should be viable without any gear. That’s something that Attikus does right and El Dragon painfully not.


You can make him work, it just requires a lot more effort, strategy, and patience than the rest of the cast.