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Gaige Cykotr0n build

[WHOOPS! This article is unedited – give us some time toclean it up! 🧹]

Disclaimer: This is a port of the original post by Cyk0tron 180 from the old gearbox forums 246. All the level 50 and 61 information is his, apart from some minor reformatting for clarity. I will update the original with build information to level 72, and any modifications suggested by the October 2015 game update. Please post any corrections, suggestions, or updates, and I’ll do the necessary editing. Additions to Cyk0tron’s original post are in italics. Special thanks to @0verload, @Adabiviak, @Chuck80, @cioran, and @johnrr6 for contributions that are (or will be!) in here somewhere.

Updated:

Nov. 17/2015, added slightly more class mod detail

Jan. 14/2017, added link to @Wingsday’s EB post (how did I miss that before?!)

Jun. 29/2018, updated some info on the Hail from @DeputyChuck

For a more detailed breakdown of Gaige’s skills, see the DDD Gaige’s Skills For You guide

For additional information on recommended weapons etc., see the Top Gear For Gaige guide

For advice on playing Gaige in UVHM, see the 50 Ways to Keep Gaige Alive guide

For additional information on the effects of the October 2015 update, see:
Electrical Burn Chances
EB Damage Contribution Post-Patch 297
Possible Changes to Gaige’s Skills

Outline:

Concept
Build and Videos
Primary Weapon
Gear
Getting There (Levelling guide)
Variants and Commentary

Concept:

As Cyk0tron 246 explained:

The concept is similar to Atroization’s Plasma Anarchist build. His Upping the Fire Rate is a good move. But for my play style I wanted things to die even faster. “I NEED MORE POWER!” as Gaiges voice seemed to exclaim in my head “MORE ANARCHY! MORE! MORE!”. Given that the games main DPS is basically Total Damage x Rate of Output (bullet per second) meant I needed to tweak one of those variables further. Discord and The Better Half are good but still limited, so I felt that Atroization’s build using Discord as the main focus was weighing down on my play style. Gaiges Anarchy has more potential in terms of ceilings on both variables. This meant that Discord has to take a back seat to full on Anarchy with help from DT (Hence why he gets Upshot Robot and Robot Rampage). With focus on maximizing Anarchy and DT assistance I think I have met my goal of crushing waves of enemies at a faster rate with my kind of play style. As for Discord, I only use it when DT is on cool down and i have over 100+ Stacks of Anarchy while being bombarded by flying mobs. I’ll pop Discord for a temporary accuracy increase so I can shoot down what ever it might be with my CC, Thunderball Fists, or my Badaboom x6 Launcher (which is using Explosive damage for those pesky Thunder Badass and Ion mobs). The only problem I had was going into FFYL more often since I didn’t receive the regen from Discord on a regular basis like Atroization’s Build. I remedied this by using the [color=steelblue]Sapping Hail[/color] 4.9k. This gun makes my build mostly complete due to it nursing my HP for 3% damage dealt.

Build Boundaries:

Level 30 Build 12.4k (For levelling up only)
Level 50 Build 9.7k
Level 50 Alternate 3.4k (See Commentary)
Level 61 Build with DT 3.8k
Level 61 Build without DT 2.6k
Level 72 Build with DT 9.9k
Level 72 Build with DT Alternate 5.8k (See Commentary)

Videos:

That Shocking B!tch Gaige Build 2.6k
Shocking B!tch VS Loaders! 519
Invincible Pete Ver 1 518
Shocking B!tch vs Terramorphous 1.0k
The Shocking B!tch and Minion Lv 61 vs Round 5 Bandit Slaughter 473

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Primary Weapon:

There are many guns that heal you. There are many guns that have good fire rates. There are many guns that are electric. But having all 3 in 1 weapon is genius! The shock [color=steelblue]Hail[/color] 4.9k or something similar (if you know a better weapon with these 3 traits, post it please) is so far the best gun for this build. It comes in 4 elemental varieties as a mission reward for completing the Bandit Circle of Slaughter, so can only be obtained once per playthrough per character. If you don’t get the right shock [color=steelblue]Hail[/color] 4.9k, you can exit the game with out saving and try again. (Alternatively, hit the trade forum for your game platform.)

While you are levelling up, you can use any [color=magenta]E-tech Plasma Caster[/color] 1.7k. These can be found either at a vendor, by redeeming Golden Keys in sanctuary, or by farming the red weapon chests throughout the game. Of the Plasma Caster vendors, Hyperion and Tediore seem to be the best. You will be looking for the best damage and rate of fire you can find in a Caster type. Shock blue or purple SMGs should work in a pinch, but can easily be out-classed by the same level plasma caster.
Choosing and Using the Hail

As with any weapon in this game, the individual parts that go into a Hail do affect its performance. So while the Hail is a Vladof weapon, it can come with different grips as indicated by the weapon’s prefix. Rather than looking at any individual statistic, it’s best to look at overall DPS. The highest overall DPS, taking into account base damage, fire rate, reload time and ammo capacity is obtained for the following prefixes and grips (numbers cited for a level 50 version):
Prefix Grip DPS
Rabid Vladof 37.9k
Expansive Vladof 35.7k
Swift Vladof 34.1k
Ferocious Vladof 33.4k
Sapping (1) Vladof 31.7k
Rabid (2) Bandit 30.1k
Expansive Bandit 29.5k
Rabid Jakobs 29.2k
Expansive Torgue 29.2k
Rabid Torgue 29.0k
Expansive Jakobs 28.9k
Rabid Dahl 28.5k

Notes:

Sapping is the shock prefix obtained when the AR has no accessory
Although the Rabid prefix does carry an accuracy penalty, it’s not noticeable on the Hail due to the firing pattern and scope 126.

While there is obviously some benefit to farming for an optimum version, it can take some time just to get even the basic Sapping Hail. If, like me, you don’t have the patience to hold out for the best, the Sapping Hail is more than adequate at levels 30 and 50 for most purposes. If you intend to press through the OP levels and solo raid bosses, hold out (or trade) for the best you can get once you hit your desired end-game level.

Given the parabolic trajectory of the “bullets” from the Hail, it is well worth taking the time to practice against low level mobs (e.g. Three Horns Divide on normal mode) to get the aim down. For medium to long range, raise the aiming point up to rain down projectiles on your target. For close range, shoot down just in front of them so that the projectiles ricochet off the ground up into their body and head. Aiming down the sights can give you a slightly tighter pattern, resulting in a greater chance to score critical hits. (Hat-tip to @johnrr6 for raising this question)
Plasma Caster Vs. The Hail 86

Warning: Even though the Hail has superior DPS potential versus even the best E-tech Plasma Caster (not shown in video but close enough in stats), it has a “mortar” mechanic that some may not like due to preference or lack of skill. For those that can not stand the mechanic or choose not to learn it, I suggest the Plasma Caster.

One final option is a shock [color=steelblue]Kitten[/color] 1.4k. Like the [color=steelblue]Hail[/color] 4.9k, it is a mission reward (from DLC2) that provides both damage and healing, can come in all four elements, and can be obtained once per playthrough per character. It is often described as being like a shotgun, since the projectiles spread once fired. As such, it is most effective at close rather than long-range. Close Enough can hep here, especially in small spaces or areas with lots of walls, posts, and barriers. In Fink’s Slaughter House, for example, bandits can hide from you but not from your [color=steelblue]Kitten[/color] 1.4k!

For another view of both the Hail and the Kitten, check out @Derch’s guide to red text gear.

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Gear:

These Weapons are suggested for use with this build. A general rule of thumb is that any shock weapon can be used with this build, but I will suggest “the Best of the Best” here.
Assault Rifles:

Miss Moxxi’s Hail
Miss Moxxi’s Kitten
Shredifier
Veruc

Sub Machine Guns:

Shock Plasma Caster (Tediore and Hyperion strongly suggested)
Shock Sandhawk
Florentine
Miss Moxxi’s Good Touch

Shotguns:

Conference Call (shock or slag)
Miss Moxxi’s Heart Breaker
Ruslter’s Orphan Maker
Practicable Slow Hand (shock)
Jolly Roger
Sledge’s Shotgun
Triquetra
Striker

Pistols:

Redundant Fibber
Thunderball Fist
Miss Moxxi’s Rubi (shock or slag)
DVA Anarchist
Maggie

Sniper Rifles: (For all you Annie Oakleys out there)

Lyuda/White Death
Pimpernel

Rocket Launchers:

Badaboom
Norfleet
Miss Moxxi’s Creamer

Shields:

Since you will be in the thick of things most of the time, a nova shield is a good choice. Failing that, adaptive 198 or turtle 111 shields can be useful. The Bee is nice but its only good if you aren’t being hit and this build is made to be in the thick of it. Besides the Bee is meant for boss raids where you are avoiding being hit. Recommendations include:

Black Hole 2.6k
Flame of the Firehawk 1.1k
[color=pink]Evolution[/color] 1.2k

Class Mods (COMs):

From the original build description:

Class Mod: You want a purple/blue Wired Catalyst or Jill of all Trades mod. The Catalyst mod will be used for setups that don’t main an AR and want to enhance your Electrical DoT.

There are, in fact, several class mods that can be used while levelling up. These include:

Wired Catalyst (for boosting WDT)
Jill of All Trades (mainly during levels 1-30; Peppy to boost MP)
Zapper (Wired for WDT, Scorching for EB)
Slayer of Terramorphous (boosts EE, IO, amongst others)
Legendary Catalyst (boosts WDT, EE, MP, EB, IO)

Relics:

The strongest Shock Damage Relic you can find, and a Sherif’s Badge for Fibber or your favorite pistol.

Note: The original recommendation of the [Vault Hunter Relic] for raid bosses is deprecated, since for all practical purposes it only boosts the proportion of green rarity items 115 (at the expense of white ones.)

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Getting There:

Disclaimer: This is an ADVANCED build. The build can not be fully utilized untill or close to Lv.45. It is highly recommended you use Cooking Up Trouble, Transfusion grenades, or Discord to carry you till you are higher levels and are ready to spec into this build.

Here is a small outline of how you should consider progressing:
Lv.5: Death Trap
Lv.6: Anarchy
Lv.7-11: Cooking Up Trouble
Lv.12-16: Close Enough
Lv.17: Upshot Robot
Lv.18-21: Small Lighter Faster
Lv.22: Robot Rampage
Lv.23-26: Blood Soaked Shields 4/5
Lv.27: Discord
Lv.28: Blood Soaked Shields 5/5

At 5/5, Find a Nova Shield or get the Flame of the Firehawk 1.1k shield. The Blackhole Shield 2.6k is best.

Lv.29: Preshrunk Cyber Punk 1/5 (optional)
Lv.30-31: Typecast Iconoclast 2/5
Lv.32: Rational Anarchist

Now kick Jacks ass and destroy the Warrior and do TVHM. This is also a good time to farm a shock Sapping Hail from Fink’s Bandit Circle of Slaughter. An alternative would be a shock Kitten 1.4k from DLC2; both of these provide some healing based on damage dealt.

Now that you have access to Discord, you can re-spec and Move 5 points from Cooking Up Trouble to Myelin and begin your descent into the LBT tree. Don’t forget to skip all unique reward side quests so that when you kill Jack a second time, all rewards will level up to Lv.50.

Lv.33-37: The Better Half 5/5
Lv.38-42: Shock Storm 5/5
Lv.43: Shock and “AAAHHHHGGG!”
Lv.44-45: Electrical Burn 2/5
Lv.46-47: Evil Enchantress 2/5
Lv.48-50: Wires Don’t Talk 3/5

Note: The original build featured two level 61 options for the initial UVHM cap: one with Deathtrap, for general mobbing and levelling, and one without, for raid bosses. Since the UVHM cap is now level 72, I’ll skip the suggested route without DT for now. The following also takes into account the increased value of Interspersed Outburst and Electrical Burn following the October 2015 game update.

Lv.51-53: Evil Enchantress to 5/5
Lv.54-56: Electrical Burn to 5/5
Lv.57-58: Wires Don’t Talk to 5/5
Lv.59-61: Interspersed Outburst 3/5

Note: Once you’re above level 61 (i.e. Lv.62+), keep your eye out for Tubby enemies (UVHM only), who have chance to drop the Legendary Catalyst 502 class mod.

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Variants and Commentary:

Cooking Up Trouble: Passive health regen while holding a fully loaded gun. To benefit without losing anarchy stacks, switch to a weapon that’s fully loaded, or empty your current weapon. As noted above, you can move these points elsewhere once you get Discord

Close Enough: A must for any self respecting Gaige utilizing Anarchy.

The Better Half: Any increase to rate of output will help with DPS.

Upshot Robot: DT becomes optional at higher levels. If you decide to ditch him, reallocate this point to CUP While DT is not going to be your focus, having him on the field does help from becoming over whelmed in dense mob areas or entrenched bosses.

Myelin versus More Pep: MP works but it sucks. It only gives you a percentage more of the weapons percentage to cause an effect. Unless you get Evil Enchantress, Electrical Burn, and/or Wires Don’t Talk maxed out. Note that this set of skills benefitted from the Oct. 2015 update. If you decide to ditch DT, you can move points from eg. Strength of Five Gorillas back into Myelin

Shock Storm: This is one of those skills that looks great on paper, and featured heavily in Cykotr0n’s original builds. It should be awesome, especially after the Oct. 2015 update, and can be triggered by DT’s melee attacks. The biggest problem with it, however, is its range. One enemy has to be pretty much on top of another for it to work, so most of the time you get a fantastic sound and light show but no real benefit. Personally, I put these points elsewhere and use Tesla or singularity grenades.

Strength of Five Gorillas You need 10 points to unlock S&A. If you’re using DT, SoFG may be a better route than SS for the reasons noted above. Or, you can stick with Myelin

Shock and “AAAHHHGGGG!”: Free electrical explosions every reload? SIGN ME UP! Just be aware of any unexploded barrels in your vicinity. This skill also benefitted from the Oct. 2015 update.

Evil Enchantress: Finally a wonderful kill skill reveals itself! Really shows its flare after a kill for your electrical build!

Electrical Burn: Synergy with EE, WDT and, to a smaller extent, MP. Because the amount of fire damage per tick (for the DoT) is based off the amount of shock damage that triggered it, anything that boosts shock damage will boost the effect of EB. EB does not stack, but its timer resets every time it re-triggers so you can pile up significant burn DoT

Wires Don’t Talk: This is the only constant we are ever gonna get for shock damage outside relics.

Interspersed Outburst: Optional in the original build, but an extremely useful and underated skill that also benefitted from the Oct. 2015 update. Pre-update, the recommendation was to take it only if buffed by a COM; post update, it’s worth it even without the COM, as it is a good supplement to other slag sources and boosts your first shot from any weapon

Make It Sparkle: Once at the higher levels, you should give this serious consideration if you’re relying heavily on DT as it allows DT to apply corrosive, fire, or shock damage, or slag targets for you.

Anarchy: This is with out saying. If you don’t use Anarchy on Gaige… you can stop reading now and forget you ever bought or tried Gaige.

Smaller, Lighter, Faster: This build will utilize mostly fast reload shotguns, SMG’s, and AR’s. This really compliments DPS Rate of fire. The ammo capacity reduction of SLF renders some weapons, such as the Infinity, unusable. It can also be exploited by using a fast reload shotgun with a capacity of 2: since this gets reduced to 1 by SLF, resulting in an auto-reload. This keeps stacks regenerating, plays nice with CUP, and gives you constant S&A novas.

Robot Rampage: If you choose to go without DT, this point can be reallocated to Typecast Iconoclast. Pretty much the only DT skill that is easy to get and only has a draw back with a sound loop you have to get used to hearing. 7 swipes when he has like a stack 15 Upshot Robot is quite a nice sight and does help your DT survive if he can 1 shot enemies. I’ll add one other potential drawback: when this activates, DT first winds up, then spins rapidly on the spot with claws outstretched. On slow moving enemies or dense mobs, this can be very effective. However, some enemies (such as rabid stalkers) jump back during the wind up. Since DT spins on the spot, his attack completely whiffs. If you find this happening a lot, there’s no harm taking the point and spending it somewhere else even if you do main DT.

Preshrunk Cyberpunk: This is purely optional. Everyone has a comfort level of inaccuracy/damage increase. Mine lies between 150 and 200. After 200 stacks I pretty much lose control on my guns aim and basically my DPS rate with my play style begins to dip. A lot of players find the same thing. You may want more stacks if you’re regularly using Discord looping for constant health regen. Remember that Anarchy gives you a starting maximum of 150 stacks. I would suggest no more than 3/5 in PC

Blood Soaked Shields: This skill IMHO makes Gaige invincible as long as she can kill an enemy. It benefits most from nova shields or those that boost maximum health. The best compliment to this skill is a Fire Hawk, Black Hole, or similar nova. The only thing needed to cover its drawback is a way to get constant health. This build uses a combination of Discord and Moxxi weapons, transfusion grenades, or healing shields.

Discord: Use this as a situational skill since we want stacks of Anarchy beyond +26 to get our optimal DPS at higher stacks. Pop Discord by reloading eary if you have flying enemy(s) or heavy mobs while DT is on cooldown. Once in the clear, cancel by reloading to resume optimal DPS.

Typecast Iconoclast: I like freebies and two for ones are always welcomed.

Rational Anarchist: Did I mention I like freebies? 25 freebies? Hell yea we are picking it up!

Death From Above: Not part of Cykotr0n’s original builds, this skill also got buffed in the Oct. 2015 update. It has the potential to make for a very fluid play-style, but also be rather frustrating. My suggestion is to try it at some point. If you don’t like it and you’re going for the level 72 build and want The Nth Degree, you can put more points into TI and/or PC instead.

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