We’ve finally reached the end of our journey through all the playable characters available in Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Each games’ six playable characters all have their own feel that helps make them all totally different. I’ve tried to keep these posts relatively high-level, that way there’s still plenty for you to discover. Today with the last character we’ll be looking at Aurelia, the Baroness. She’s Sir Hammerlock’s sister, and is all about using the new Cryo element.
AURELIA – THE BARONESS
Aurelia is the last DLC character available in either of the two games. Her action skill, Cold as Ice, tosses out a frost diadem, which will seek out enemies and cause frost damage over time. It continues to seek out enemies after it kills them, until its time is up. As such, you don’t need to go out of your way to find cryo guns, since you always have access to frost damage. Of course, depending on how you move down her skill trees, you still might want to keep your eyes out for certain weapons.
Her first skill tree – THE HUNTRESS – is the one that’s going to have you focusing on specific weapons. In this case, you’re looking for sniper rifles, which is nice, since there really isn’t another sniper-centric character in The Pre-Sequel. The skill tree isn’t solely focused on the rifles though, you have gun bonuses that apply across the board. If you do focus on sniping, then you’ll really like Long-Range Killer, which does extra damage based on how far you are from your target. There’s another distance based skill in here too – Magic Bullet. Critical Hits regen health, but the big thing is crits from snipers generate healing novas, with more health healed based on how far you are. And the capstone skill for this tree is really nice – Custom Loads. When you zoom in, a wheel spins with the elemental effects available, firing will apply that effect to any shot until you descope. Add in that critical hits generate novas of that element, and you have a super versatile skill.
Aurelia’s second tree – COLD MONEY – focuses around cryo damage, as well as Cold as Ice. Early on in the tree you have two skills that impact cryo damage right away. Avalanche is a stacking skill that increases your cyro damage and freeze chance, based on stacks, which you gain by dealing cryo damage. Bitter Riposte has you firing out ice darts at any enemy that damages you while your shield is fully charged. My favorite pick for Cold as Ice upgrades goes to Polar Vortex, which has your frost shard draw in nearby enemies whenever it latches on to an enemy. And then we get to the capstone skill – Winter Tide – which is a kill skill. Whenever you kill an enemy, all of your non-cyro guns deal cryo damage in addition to their usual damage, and your cryo guns do even more cryo damage.
Her final tree – CONTRACTUAL ARISTOCRACY – is the one that’s a little interesting. The whole focal point here is getting your teammates to sign contracts, making them your servants. When you get a servant, they gain increased shield capacity, and the contract only ends when either of you die. A lot of the skills here focus on getting bonuses for you and your servant. There are also a couple – especially in tier two – that keep you both alive. It’s hard to point to one specific skill and say that it’s the most important one to take, just because if you’re using this tree, you’re playing co-op and you’ll want as many skills in there as possible. The capstone skill though is pretty cool – A Backhand to Remember – which is a melee override. You backhand enemies, which has knockback and cryo damage, as well as providing movement speed and reload speed buffs for your allies.
Aurelia is a pretty straightforward character when it’s all said and done. Even though the contract mechanic is a little out of the norm, it’s essentially just turning you and an ally into a two-man team. She’s a great option for crowd control thanks to the focus on cryo damage, and pure damage thanks to the extra sniping skills. For a DLC character, she is actually a really strong option to add in to any party. Of the four DLC characters, I think that Aurelia and Gaige have the most effectiveness overall, with Jack close behind and Krieg being a bit more specialized.
And that brings us to the end of our Borderlands: The Handsome Collection coverage. It’s a fantastic way to experience two of the best games in recent years. It’s fun to play solo, but it’s hands down a better experience co-op. Grab some friends, pick your characters and dive in.