Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Nisha Co-op Play Tips and Guides

Borderlands PreSequelFinishing up our coverage of the four playable characters in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, today we’ll look at some tactics to use if you’re playing as Nisha in a co-op party. Depending on how 2K decides to go with DLC, we could see multiple new characters coming – there were two extras in Borderlands 2 – so we could end up with more this time around. There’s already been some clues as to the Baroness being the first upcoming character, so I expect we’ll see a couple for sure.

As for Nisha though, she’s an interesting piece of a co-op party. She’s the only character that doesn’t really have much in the way of co-op focused skills. Instead, two of her skill trees increase her effectiveness with weapons, and the third uses a stacking mechanic to keep her healthy. With that in mind, she’s more suited to playing a purely offense role. Depending on how comfortable you are with stacking mechanics, the Law and Order tree is a good balanced option to go with. Otherwise, either Fan the Hammer or Riflewoman offer solid offense based skills that will help increase your damage output, without complicating the game too much.

Nisha really stands out against multiple enemies, over the boss enemies, thanks to her Action Skill Showdown. Since the aim snaps between targets, using Showdown efficiently, especially with some of the upgrades along the way to make it more effective, can really shut down the group and clear them out. The boosts to damage mean that it’s useful against pretty much any combination, including Badass enemies in the mix. Add in the co-op factor, especially with Wilhelm’s Wolf and Saint or Claptrap’s VaultHunter.exe potentially adding in lots of extra damage, and you can see that damage is not really an issue. The concern will be with her health and shields, since she’s a little more fragile than others. This is where class mods, along with the sheer volume of shield options, can really help. Nisha is a bit more dependent on her items across the board – her skill trees are designed to boost a lot of those items, not her stats directly. Thanks to her Riflewoman skill tree, using assault rifles or SMGs is a great option, with increased magazine size upgrades, along with boosts to hip fire accuracy. But with Fan the Hammer’s capstone skill, pistols are also a really strong build option, since you will spawn a clone when you pull a pistol out.

Nisha the Lawbringer Splash

Nisha shouldn’t be the core of your co-op team, mainly because her skills are more focused for building up her stats rather than the party’s. But she does fulfill an important role, dealing out lots of pure gun damage. In a four player party, you really should have a mix of each character of course; in smaller party sizes, she’s actually a character I think you can skip over. Claptrap and Athena are both more important in a co-op sense, and Wilhelm works better than Nisha, doing both damage and healing. I wouldn’t say that she’s the worst, but she’s definitely built for a specific playstyle, one that is more “lone wolf” than team builder.


Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Solo Nisha Build Guide

Borderlands PreSequelRounding out our run-through of the four main characters in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel‘s skill trees, today we’ll look at Nisha, the Lawbringer. As we’ve done with each previous character, today we’ll focus on her build and playstyle from a solo perspective. Tomorrow we’ll hit the co-op high points, finishing out this journey through the current crop of Borderlands characters. As the DLC characters are released, we’ll hit them as they come.

ACTION SKILL: SHOWDOWN – While Showdown is active, you gain drastically increased Gun Damage, Fire Rate, Reload Speed, Accuracy and Bullet Speed. The other big portion is that your aim will automatically snap to enemies, essentially acting like an aimbot.

LAW AND ORDER SKILL TREE: The Law and Order skill tree is based around building up stacks of Order and the various buffs that come from those skills.

Law: (Tier 1, 4 ranks) Law increases your Shield Capacity and Melee Damage by 5% per rank.
Order: (Tier 1, 1 rank) Every time you take 15% of your max health in damage, you get a stack of Order, which is capped at 10 stacks. For each stack of Order, you have a 1.2% chance to heal double that damage taken. Your stacks will quickly erode out of combat.
The Third Degree: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Your next melee attack will gain extra damage after Showdown ends as well as after killing an enemy. The boosted damage effect can stack up to 5 times.
Rough Rider: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) This skill augments your butt-slam ability. It increases your Slam damage and max Order stacks by 5. When you hit enemies with your slam, you gain stacks of Order, per enemy hit.
Wanted: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Any enemy that triggers an Order stack also gains a stack of Wanted. Attacking these Wanted enemies deals extra damage for each stack of Wanted.
Discipline: (Tier 3, 1 rank) Increases your max stacks of Order by 5. Every ten stacks restores your shields, as well as buffing your Shield Recharge Delay, Gun Damage and Melee Damage, for each Order Stack.
Due Process: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Hitting an enemy with your melee attack boosts your Gun Damage for a few seconds.
Blood of the Guilty: (Tier 4, 1 rank) Increases your max Order stacks by 5; when you or an ally kill an enemy, you gain some health back and a stack of Order.
Jurisdiction: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Showdown will now regenerate your health, and also boosts your Movement Speed.
No Pain, No Gain: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Increases your Gun Damage in proportion to how low your health is.
Rarin’ to Go: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Killing an enemy boosts your Gun Damage and Reload Speed, based on how many stacks of Order you have.
Thunder Crackdown: (Tier 6, 1 rank) Raises your Order stacks by 5. Your melee attack is also upgraded, now unleashing a cone of Lightning, dealing increased damage based on your Order stacks.

Nisha the Lawbringer Splash

FAN THE HAMMER Skill Tree: The Fan the Hammer tree is built to increase your effectiveness with guns, in particular Pistols; as well as Showdown’s effectiveness.

Saddle Up: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) This is a kill skill, meaning you need to get a kill to trigger it. Doing so will grant you increased Movement Speed by +4% and Gun Damage by +5% per rank, for a short time.
Ruthless: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Kills made during Showdown will extend its duration by +0.1 second per rank.
Magnificent Six: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) The last six bullets of any Non-Elemental gun deal extra bonus damage.
Bottled Courage: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) When you trigger Showdown, some of your shields will be restored. While Showdown is on cooldown, you gain lower Shield Recharge Delay and Rate.
Short Fused: (Tier 3, 1 rank) Killing an enemy gives your shots bonus Explosive damage for several seconds, closer enemies taking more damage.
Faster’n You: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) When you kill an enemy, you gain increased Fire Rate, Weapon Swap, and Reload Speed for several seconds.
Pickpocket: (Tier 4, 1 rank) Your melee attacks steal up to six bullets from enemies, loading them right into your gun.
Gunslinger: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Reloads a portion of your gun’s magazine when Showdown begins, and also when it ends.
Hell’s Comin’ With Me: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Reloading or topping off your gun with Pickpocket gives you a brief chance to fire twice.
High Noon: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) The longer you are in Showdown, you gain extra Gun Damage.
One for Each of Ya: (Tier 6, 1 rank) When you have a Pistol equipped, you’ll spawn an exact duplicate of it in your off hand.

RIFLEWOMAN Skill Tree: The Riflewoman skill tree, somewhat obviously, increases your skills with rifles and other guns.

Snap Shot: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) When you fire from the hip, you gain +7% Accuracy and +5% Recoil Reduction, per rank.
Bona Fide Grit: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) This is another Kill Skill – doing so grants bonus Critical Hit Damage and Health Regen for a short time.
Quick Shot: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) After you reload, you gain bonus Gun Damage and Fire Rate for a short time, while you fire from the hip.
Unchained: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Shooting an enemy gains a stack of Unchained, with a max rate of 1 per second. Each stack grants bonus Fire Rate.
Fistful of Bullets: (Tier 3, 1 rank) This is a pure increase to magazine size on all weapons by 3.
Crack Shot: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Firing the first shot from a full magazine deals bonus damage. If that particular shot kills an enemy, they explode, dealing AoE damage.
Impatience: (Tier 4, 1 rank) Killing an enemy grants a stack of Impatience, which increases your reload speed, per stack.
Hot Lead: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Critical Hits with non-Elemental have a chance to deal Incendiary damage, and have a high chance to Ignite enemies.
Trick Shot: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Bullets that hit walls or other scenery have a chance to ricochet into enemies at a reduced damage.
Tombstone: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) After you kill an enemy, all your hits have a chance to count as Critical Hits for several seconds.
The Unforgiven: (Tier 6, 1 rank) Shots during Showdown will ricochet off enemies, into other enemies, dealing 10% damage. Every enemy hit during Showdown also explodes at the end of Showdown.

In general, Nisha functions really well as a pure damage dealer. She doesn’t really have a ton of reliable health or shield regen skills, instead, she’s loaded with gun stat buffs. Her Action Skill lets her snap from target to target, dishing out the increased damage it has. From a solo perspective, this is a pretty feast or famine approach to playing. You’ll be relying on items for shield and health buffs primarily, that way you can max out the damage you deal. I would personally recommend the Riflewoman tree, then dive down the Fan the Hammer tree. Those trees will get you loaded up with strong weapon buffs, letting you run through enemies quickly. Nisha is a character that’s pretty well built for solo play, since she doesn’t have a lot of co-op focused skills; just make sure you keep her healthy and you’ll be taking enemies down.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Wilhelm Co-op Build Tips

Borderlands PreSequelYesterday I went over the skill trees for Wilhelm, the Enforcer, and put down some thoughts on how to play Wilhelm by yourself. Today, I want to go over his role in a party, when you’re playing with your friends. He’s a little different than Athena and way different from Claptrap, so depending on the role you like to play, he may or may not be your man.

Looking at Wilhelm from his Action Skill perspective, he’s your best bet to dish out damage to multiple targets. Wolf will go out and attack multiple enemies, while Athena’s Apsis only can hit one target, until you reach a capstone skill at a high level. With Saint added in, his action skill really makes Wilhelm the closest thing to a Tank that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has. Even compared to Athena’s Apsis, which absorbs damage from the front, Saint keeps your health up by regenerating it for the duration, and depending on upgrades can overload your shields as well. Add in his Termination Protocols skill and I think it really cements his role as Tank.

Borderlands Wilhelm Splash

As for your skill points, I would recommend going down both the Hunter-Killer and Dreadnought skill trees. Whether you go down one tree then the other, or both simultaneously is up to you. With the level cap at 50 still, you won’t quite be able to max both out right now, but as the DLC comes out, and that cap comes up, you will eventually be able to. I think those particular trees are better from a co-op perspective since they get Wolf and Saint both built up pretty well, dealing more damage, while also increasing Saint’s health regen ability. Since Saint also keeps your teammates healthy, it’s pretty important to keep Dreadnought built up, but don’t neglect Wolf. Depending on your party’s makeup, you might be not only healing with Saint, but also dealing out the damage with Wolf. A balanced party shouldn’t necessarily have to worry about this, since Athena and Nisha can both dish out damage, while Claptrap and Wilhelm can focus on health and shields.

I think in general Wilhelm is actually the one piece you can leave out of a co-op party. Sure he does good damage with Wolf, and the health regen from Saint is nice, but Claptrap has an entire skill tree that’s based around buffing and healing your teammates. Athena can do a good enough job tanking with the Apsis that you can switch them out, and with multiple guns, a party really doesn’t need to worry about damage output, other than hardcore bosses. That said, it is fun to see how Wilhelm becomes the boss in Borderlands 2.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Solo Wilhelm Build Guide

Borderlands PreSequelAs we continue our way through the four playable characters available in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, we’ve covered Claptrap and Athena already. Today let’s look at Wilhelm, the Enforcer. His first appearance was as a boss in Borderlands 2 with a much more cybernetic look about him. It’s through his skill trees that we see that transformation take place. His action skill makes him a really solid option to play solo or co-op, both dealing damage and healing at the same time.

ACTION SKILL: WOLF AND SAINT: Wilhelm sends out two drones, Wold and Saint, for 35 seconds max. The drones can be recalled before that duration is up, and results in a shorter cooldown. Each drone has a different role – Wolf seeks out targets and attacks, Saint stays close and regenerates 2.5% of your max health, per second.

HUNTER-KILLER Skill Tree: The Hunter-Killer skill tree focuses mainly on buffing up Wolf, while also boosting Wilhelm’s elemental effectiveness.

Afterburner: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Wolf’s air speed is initially boosted by 12%, then 6% per rank; and Wilhelm’s reload speed and projectile speed are boosted 10% initially, then 5% per rank.
Fire Support: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases your gun damage, with all gun types, by +3% per rank, also increases Wolf’s damage by 10% initially, then 5% per rank.
Venom Bolts: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Wolf’s shots have a 10% initial chance, then +5% per rank, to be Venom Bolts, dealing Corrosive Damage. This also grants +2% Corrode chance, per rank, and +4% Corrode damage, per rank, with your guns and grenades.
Suppression: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) This is a kill skill, meaning it activates when you get a kill. Killing an enemy gives you a +6% per rank, and Wolf a +15% per rank increased fire rate for a short period.
Laser Guided: (Tier 3, 1 rank) When you first activate Wolf and Saint, or press the Action Skill button while they’re active, Saint paints the target under your reticle. Wolf then focuses his attacks on that target. That target takes +25% increased damage from all sources. If a painted target is killed, while painted, Wolf and Saint’s duration is extended by 5 seconds.
Rolling Thunder: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) While Wolf is active, you gain a stack of Rolling Thunder ever 5 seconds. Each stack increases Wolf’s damage by +2% per stack, and increases +2% per rank.
Kill Switch: (Tier 4, 1 rank) Whenever Wolf is recalled, runs out of health or expires, it dive bombs enemies, dealing explosive damage.
Scramble: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) When Wolf is destroyed, it is replaced for once for free, and 30% time is added to Wolf and Saint’s duration. That time bonus is increased +5% per rank.
Cold War: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Whenever you apply a Shock, Incendiary or Corrosive effect, there is a 5% per rank chance for that target to freeze. You also gain a +2% chance, per rank, to increased status effect chance when using Cryo weapons.
Escalation: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Increases your critical hit damage by 5% per rank. In addition, critical hits reduce the cooldown on Wolf and Saint by 0.6 seconds, per rank. This effect has a 6 second cooldown though.
Omega Strike: (Tier 6, 1 rank) Wolf will periodically shoot out missiles to attack its targets.

Borderlands Wilhelm Splash

CYBER COMMANDO Skill Tree: The Cyber Commando tree is focused on turning Wilhelm into that cybernetic warrior we see in Borderlands 2. There are a number of Cyborg Augmentations scattered throughout the skill tree.

Laser Focus: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases your gun damage by +4%, per rank, and magazine size by +4 initially, then +2 per rank, for all Laser weapons.
Man and Machine: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases your health and shield capacity by +3% per rank. Also increases Wolf’s health and shield capacity by +5% per rank.
First to Fight: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Increases your gun damage by +8% per rank, but the bonus is lost 5 seconds after you deal damage; and is regained after not dealing damage for 5 seconds, or you take damage.
Targeting Scope: (Tier 2, 5 rank) This is another Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives you +10% critical hit damage, per rank; as well as +5% accuracy, per rank.
Power Fist: (Tier 3, 1 rank) This is the first Cyber Augmentation, this one for your arm. It’s a melee skill override. Press the melee button to preform an explosive punch, with an extended range. The ability has a 12 second cooldown.
Emergency Response: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Whenever your shield is depleted, Emergency Response activates, increasing your reload speed, fire rate and Wolf’s fire rate all for +10% per rank. Your shield has to fully recharge between activations, and the buffs are active for 15 seconds.
Shock Absorber: (Tier 4, 1 rank) Another Cyber Augmentation, this one for your legs. You can now shoot while sprinting. While doing so, you gain +20% gun damage, and suffer no accuracy penalty.
Divert Power: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) When your shields are depleted, and your health is below 30%, taking damage grants you [+50%, +66.7%, +75%, +80%, +88.3%] damage resistance, based on rank; as well as recharging 20% of your shield, per rank. This ability has a 25 second cooldown, and lasts for 3 seconds.
Meteor Slam: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Increases the damage radius of your butt-slam ability, per rank.
Welcome to the Gun Show: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) This a buff to most of the gun stats – weapon damage, reload speed, magazine size, accuracy and recoil reduction are all increased by +3% per rank.
Vengeance Cannon: (Tier 6, 1 rank) The final Cyber Augmentation, this one is a weapon. Whenever your shields are depleted, you activate your shoulder mounted Vengeance Cannon. The cannon fires Incendiary Laser Blasts along with your equipped weapon for 12 seconds. Your shields need to recharge fully between activations.

Borderlands Wilhelm Turnaround

DREADNOUGHT Skill Tree: The Dreadnought skill tree is primarily focused around building up Saint’s support abilities, while also increasing Wilhelm’s survival skills.

Auxiliary Tanks: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases Wolf and Saint’s duration by 2 seconds per rank, and the cooldown rate by +3% per rank.
Fortify: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases max health for both you and Wolf by 3% per rank; while also granting +4% increased gun damage while Saint is active, per rank.
Energize: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Saint will occasionally boost you and your teammates shields by 8% of your shield capacity, per rank. Saint also gains a +0.6% of your Max Health/second bonus to his health regen ability.
Heatsinks: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Improves shield recharge rate by +6% per rank, and initial -4% shield recharge delay, then -3% per rank. This bonus is doubled while Wolf and Saint are active.
Termination Protocols: (Tier 3, 1 rank) With this skill, instead of Fight For Your Life, you enter Termination Protocols, during which you can walk at a reduced speed, fire your weapons and you constantly shock enemies. If your timer runs out, your power core goes critical and you release a Nuclear Explosion.
Rapid Reinforcement: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) This is another Kill Skill. Killing an enemy increases your cooldown for Wolf and Saint by +4%, per rank; increases your movement speed by +3%, per rank; and your reload speed by +8%, per rank, for a short time.
Zero Hour: (Tier 4, 1 ranks) When Saint is recalled or expires, he explodes, deploying a Healing Zone underneath you. This zone is active for 12 seconds, and you and your teammates regen +8% max health/second in the zone.
Hazmat Containment System: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) If you have an Incendiary, Shock or Corrosive effect on you, you and your teammates gain an initial +17% resistance to that element. That effect is increased +12% per rank. Also, you will occasionally spread that elemental status effect to nearby enemies while it’s active.
Kinetic Armor: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Increases your max health by +5%, per rank. Also, close range attackers have a +5% chance, per rank, to be struck by Explosive Feedback. The closer the enemy, the more likely he will be struck.
Hard to Kill: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Whenever you are shot or hit by an enemy, you get a stack of Hard to Kill (max 100) which reduces all damage by 0.1% per stack, and an additional 0.1% per rank. All stacks are removed after a few seconds of not taking damage.
Overcharge: (Tier 6, 1 rank) Immediately after Saint is summoned, he releases an Energy Wave that Overcharges you and any nearby teammates for 10 seconds. Overcharge amounts to a +15% movement speed, +75% fire rate, +75% reload speed and +10 ammo regen buff.

Wilhelm is a really solid choice playing solo – not a lot of his abilities are designed to be co-op focused, and the ones that do have co-op boosts are also pretty effective for solo play. All of his capstone skills are worth building towards, with Omega Strike being the one that you can probably pass on. Skills like Termination Protocols or Welcome to the Gun Show are really powerful, and should definitely be on your plan. We’ll talk a bit about how to play him co-op tomorrow.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Athena Co-op Build Tips and Tricks

Borderlands PreSequelYesterday, in addition to going over my thoughts on the Vault of Glass raid in Destiny, I also ran through the skill trees for Athena, the Gladiator in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I gave my thoughts on how you should probably go about playing her from a solo perspective. Today I’ll point out a few of those skills that really benefit co-op play, as well as some tips how to go about playing with a party.

First, playing co-op you’ll probably want to focus on the Phalanx skill tree. In the second tier of skills, you can grab Vanguard, which will grant health regen based on rank, and you gain more regen while using the Apsis. Next up, you should grab United Front, to build up shields for you and your teammates using the Apsis; and in that same tier, grab Clear!, that way you can play medic for teammates that are in Fight For Your Life. Also important to grab would be Stalwart, letting your teammates build up the Apsis; and Prepare for Glory, letting you draw aggro away from your teammates. In general, using the Phalanx tree will also just get your defense buffed up a bit, while also building up your Apsis’ damage output.

Borderlands Athena Splash

Beyond Phalanx, you should probably also work your way through the Ceraunic Storm tree. Elemental damage over time is really great to have, both solo and co-op, letting you deal damage while pulling back to heal up. With multiple people pouring on the elemental damage, it helps clear out bigger fights quickly, and bosses fall really quick as well. To that effect, you’ll want to take the skills that build up Maelstrom stacks quickly, while at the same time grabbing the skills that increase the damage of those elemental damage effects.

Depending on your party make-up, Athena should generally be your medic and healer. Those Phalanx skills help make this role a lot easier to play. Having a Claptrap in the lobby also really helps, since the I Love You Guys skill tree helps tremendously. Beyond that, using the Apsis helps defend the party, soaking up incoming damage to turn right back around to dish back out; and with the boosts from Phalanx it becomes even more effective. Play a little conservative, especially for the mid-game levels, since by then you probably will have Clear! in your skills. With that skill, it’s important that you stay alive to use the Apsis to grant Second Winds to your party.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Solo Athena Build Guide

Borderlands PreSequelContinuing our way through the characters in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, today and tomorrow we’re going to look at Athena, the Gladiator. In general, she’s a pretty solid solo character, with a skill that lets her survive some encounters, then dish back out the damage she would have taken. Let’s go through her skill trees, just like we did with Claptrap.

ACTION SKILL: Kinetic Apsis – using your action skill button, you raise your Apsis shield in front of you. Doing so absorbs incoming damage – only from the front though. Once you’ve absorbed a set amount of energy – dependent on your level – you toss the shield out at enemies, dealing the base damage, plus double the stored damage. You can also toss the shield out earlier, at the cost of less damage. The Apsis has a cooldown of 16 seconds.

Borderlands Athena Splash

PHALANX SKILL TREE – in general, the Phalanx skill tree is based around building up the Kinetic Apsis. There are a couple skills in there to help boost co-op play, which I’ll point out.

Invictus: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases the damage of the thrown Apsis by +7% per rank.
Ephodos: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases your movement speed and gun damage by +4%, per rank, while you are holding the Apsis
Vanguard: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) This is the first of those co-op skills – it grants you and nearby friends health regen, based on rank, while you are holding the Apsis. The health regen also increases as the Apsis takes damage.
Hold the Line: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Boosts the duration of how long you can hold the Apsis before it’s thrown automatically by +1.1 seconds, per rank.
Prismatic Aegis: (Tier 3, 1 rank) Your Apsis will now store elemental damage – every type that hits is stored, and when thrown, all types stored are dished out.
United Front: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) This is another one with co-op value. Increases your shield capacity by +4%, per rank. 5% of damage dealt to the Apsis, per rank, is converted into shields, both for you and your teammates.
Clear!: (Tier 4, 1 rank) This is another co-op skill, throwing the Apsis grants Second Winds to teammates within range. It also increases all damage by +40% while you’re in Fight For Your Life.
Stalwart: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Another co-op skill – using this, your teammates can shoot your Apsis, which will absorb +20% damage, per rank. It also increases your max health by +5% per rank.
Return Fire: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Your Apsis gains a +10% chance to reflect bullets and lasers, in addition to absorbing the damage.
Prepare for Glory: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) When you activate the Apsis, you draw aggro from nearby enemies. Every enemy that damages your Apsis grants you a stack of Prepare for Glory, each one grants +2% gun damage. The stacks last a little bit after the Apsis is thrown.
Wrath of the Goddess: (Tier 6, 1 rank) When you throw the Apsis, it ricochets to nearby enemies, up to four times. Each bounce does 33% less damage then the last hit.

XIPHOS SKILL TREE – the Xiphos tree is built more around melee damage and abilities than anything else, including bonuses based around getting enemies to bleed from melee attacks.

Gun Kata: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases your gun damage by +3% per rank – after shooting an enemy, your melee damage is increased for a short time by +10%, per rank.
Clarity of Purpose: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) This is a straight up buff – +3% max health and +5% melee damage, per rank.
Mercurial: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Killing an enemy increases you movement speed by +4% per rank, and also [5%, 9%, 13%, 17%, 20%] increased damage resistance, per rank, for a few seconds.
Omega-Senshu: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Increases all damage dealt by +7% per rank to enemies with under 50% health.
Rend: (Tier 3, 1 rank) Your melee attacks cause enemies to bleed, which amounts to non-elemental damage over time, for 12 seconds. The damage is increased by up to +100% against higher-health enemies, and benefits from melee damage bonuses.
Bloodlust: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) For each enemy that is bleeding, you regen .8% max health, per second, per rank.
Epicenter: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Causes your butt-slam attacks to generate a Singularity effect, pulling enemies towards you, and also dealing some minor damage.
Tear: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Increases gun damage by +7% per rank against bleeding targets.
You’ve Got Red on You: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) When an enemy dies from your melee attacks, or bleeding, it explodes, dealing damage to nearby enemies, with the radius determined by rank.
Fury of the Arena: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) For each bleeding enemy, you gain +2% firerate and reload speed per rank.
Blood Rush: (Tier 6, 1 rank) You gain a dash melee attack. The dash attack deals +40% damage – but also has a 10 second cooldown. However, if the attack kills an enemy or causes it to bleed, the cooldown is reset.


CERAUNIC STORM SKILL TREE – It’s a skill tree that’s built around elemental damage, including a stack mechanic in Maelstrom.

Storm Weaving: (Tier 1, 4 ranks) Swapping weapons increases your elemental effect chance by +25% and firerate by +7.5%, per rank, for 9 seconds.
Maelstrom: (Tier 1, 1 rank) Dealing Incendiary or Shock damage grants you a Maelstrom stack. All elemental damage is increased by .2% per stack. Stacks decay slowly over time, and decay quicker the more stacks you have.
Gathering Tempest: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Increases your magazine size by +8% and reload speed by +5% per rank.
Conduit: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) While you have at least on Shock status active on an enemy, you regen .02% of your shields, per second, per rank for each stack of Maelstrom you have.
Smite: (Tier 3, 1 rank) When you are airborne, and have at least 10 stacks of Maelstrom, shooting an enemy will Smite them. Smite causes both Incendiary and Shock damage, based on your current Maelstrom stacks in a small area. Smite does have a 12 second cooldown.
Unrelenting: (Tier 3, 5 ranks) When you kill an enemy, your weapon swap speed is increased by .08% and firerate is by +.06% per rank, for each stack of Maelstrom, for a few seconds.
Superconductor: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Your Apsis has a 10% chance, per rank, to Shock nearby enemies when struck. If this happens, you gain +5 Maelstrom stacks per level.
Zeus’ Rage: (Tier 4, 1 rank) Throwing the Apsis creates a Fire and Lightning storm at the hit location, for a few seconds, dealing damage in an area that increases the more damage your Apsis has absorbed.
Elemental Barrage: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) While Storm Weaving is active, your weapons have a 6% chance, per rank, not to consume ammo, plus an additional .02% chance, per rank per Maelstrom stack.
Overload: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Whenever you kill an enemy that is either Shocked or Burning, there is a 9% chance, per rank, that the status effect will spread to nearby enemies. If this happens, you gain +4 Maelstrom stacks, per rank, and double if the enemy had both effects.
Flash Freeze: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) When you freeze an enemy, you gain Flash Freeze for 1 second, per rank, during which you can’t gain, nor lose, Maelstrom stacks.
Hades’ Shackles: (Tier 6, 1 rank) Performing a butt-slam attack links you to nearby enemies with a Shock Tether, which electrocutes them for 3 seconds. You gain +20 Maelstrom stacks for each enemy you tether. After those 3 seconds, or if an enemy dies, each target releases an Incendiary Nova. If you lose line of sight with an enemy, the tether is broken prematurely.

In general, Athena has a lot of skills that build up her gun damage, as well as damage over time, either with bleeding damage or elemental damage. From a solo perspective, being able to deal damage over time is awesome, since it can give you a break to get back shields or heal up. Her action skill is a real strong option for fighting bosses and badasses, absorbing their attacks, then dealing it back even stronger. I would say that as a solo player, you’re probably actually better off with the Ceraunic Storm or Xiphos skill trees. Since there are skills in the Phalanx tree with pretty clear co-op focus, those skill points could be better spent in the other trees.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Claptrap Co-Op Build Tips and Tricks

Borderlands PreSequelYesterday I ran through two of the three skill trees for Claptrap in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I purposely left out that third skill tree for today because it’s primarily a co-op focused tree. So today let’s go through that final skill tree, and look at some tips for playing co-op as Claptrap. On Monday we’ll move on to Athena, Wednesday will be Wilhelm, then the next Monday we’ll finish the characters with Nisha.

The main focus of the I Love You Guys skill tree is providing buffs for Claptrap and all your allies. These buffs can come from performing different actions, like reviving teammates, being in Fight For Your Life, having no shields, or they can just be straight buffs.

Best Buds 4 Life: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) When you revive someone, or are revived yourself, both players gain +7% damage resistance and regen .5% max health, per second, per rank, for a few seconds. While you’re downed in Fight For Your Life, you gain +5%, per rank, to gun damage and Fight For Your Life duration.
Maniacal Laughter: (Tier 1, 5 ranks) Increases the status effect chance by 4% per rank. When you deal status effect damage, you gain stacks of Maniacal Laughter (up to 200) – you and your allies regen up to .03% max health, per second, per rank for each stack of Maniacal Laughter you have. The lower your health, the more you regen.
Through Thick and Thin: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Increases the cooldown rate on VaultHunter.exe by 4% per rank. While you have VaultHunter.exe active, that cooldown rate buff is transferred to your allies.
Kick Him While He’s Down: (Tier 2, 1 rank) While you’re in Fight For Your Life, you draw aggro from nearby enemies, keeping them off your allies. This also unlocks the Action Package Clap-in-the-Box.
All The Things Are Awesome: (Tier 2, 5 ranks) Increases your firerate by 3%, weapon swap speed by 3% and max health by 5% per rank. For every teammate in the game, you gain an additional +1% firerate, +1% weapon swap speed and +2% max health per rank.
You’re…GOING TO LOVE ME: (Tier 3, 1 rank) When you kill an enemy, you generate a Friendship Nova, centered on that enemy. The nova heals you and your allies by up 15% max health, and players with lower health are healed more. Also unlocks the Action Package Gun Wizard.
Wax Off, Wax On: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) This is a straight buff – shield capacity and recharge rate are boosted +3% per rank, and recharge delay is reduced by -3% per rank.
It’s a Trap…Card: (Tier 4, 1 rank) When your shield is broken, you release a Mega-Nova, which heals you and your allies, up to 15% max health; and at the same time, the Nova damages enemies. Players with low health are healed more, and your shield has to fully recharge between Novas.
Pain Simulator is Painful: (Tier 4, 5 ranks) Increases your max health by 6%, per rank; and also grants a damage reduction of [4.8%, 9.1%, 13.0%, 16.7%, 20.0%] depending on rank.
Kick Him While He’s Up: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) When you gain a Second WInd, your gun damage, melee damage and crit damage all get increased by 5% per rank for a few seconds.
Organized Guns are Happy Guns: (Tier 5, 5 ranks) Increases your magazine size for all weapons by 5% per rank, and also increases teammates magazines by 2% per rank.
HIGH FIVES GUYS: (Tier 6, 1 rank) Hold the melee button to request a high five from your teammates. If you get the High Five, you and your teammate get +15% gun damage, +50% firerate and regen 3% max health per second. If you DON’T get a High Five, or you’re playing solo, you get the gun damage and health regen bonuses. There’s a 30 second cooldown between High Fives.

Borderlands PreSequel Character Splash

Looking through the list, there are a few skills that would have value for a solo player, but in practice, pretty much the whole skill tree is built around buffing up your teammates. There are a few different skills that are set up to heal you and your teammates, which is important with stronger co-op enemies. Another big skill that’s value might be underrated is Kick Him While He’s Down – drawing the aggro of enemies while your down takes the pressure of your allies, and might even make it easier for you to get a Second Wind. Which would then tie into Kick Him While He’s Up (It’s like they named them that way for a reason) – getting that Second Wind gets you a few important buffs. Having looked quickly at all the different skill trees, across the four characters, Claptrap’s I Love You Guys skill tree is really the most co-op focused. There are plenty of buffs in there, healing skills, and enemy management skills too. Any damage buff would also tie in well with the Fragmented Fragtrap’s subroutines, giving you a second skill tree to put points in early for co-op builds.