loader image

FL4K Skills rating

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

Hi all! In this guide we will be analyzing the Beastmaster’s skills, action skill augments and their pets. This guide will highlight the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Fl4k and seek to help newer players make an informed choice when making builds. Special thanks to @Ratore@nodreamsonlygoals and @boombumr for their advice on Fl4k’s mechanics and the ratings.

Skill Ratings

:star: : Bad skills. Avoid them unless absolutely necessary.
:star::star: : Mediocre skills which are often too weak and conditional to justify sinking points into them. Take them only if there are no other options to proceed down the tree.
:star::star::star: : Useful skills. Often these provide a small but consistent/passive boost, or a large but inconsistent one. Pick them up if going down that skill tree.
:star::star::star::star: : Great skills that provide a generous boost to DPS or survivability while not being too impractical. When these skills are absent/not active, you will miss their presence.
:star::star::star::star::star: : Build-defining skills or massive DPS buffs, these represent the most powerful tools in Fl4k’s skillset.

Fl4k has several skills known as ‘Hunter Skills’ – these are often (but not always) stack or kill based skills, and can be buffed by investment into Big Game or equipping a Stalker COM. Hunter Skills will have the HunterSkill icon attached to them.

Fl4k is probably the most DPS-oriented of the BL3 toons, and they have a whole host of damage skills which come from different ends of the DPS multiplier. Simply put, boosts to the same multiplier are additive to each other, while boosts to different multipliers interact multiplicatively. For a more detailed overview the Fl4k Damage Formula Guide 137 is an excellent resource.

  • Gun Damage: The most common multiplier in the game – it is the Weapon/ ManufacturerType damage from COMs and your 100% weapon damage/Consecutive Hits anointments.
  • V1: Fl4k uniquely has a ton of these – and they generally buff all sources of damage, not just your guns – so grenades, melee, Action Skill Damage. The Victory Rush also provides a small V1 boost, as does C-C-Combo GR perk.
  • V2: An uncommon source of damage – these tend to be built on fulfilling a condition. The COM/ Artifact WeaponType bonuses and On Grenade Throw anointment are sources of V2.
  • Critical Hit Damage: This is multiplicative to the critical damage on weapon cards but additive to those on COMs. Fl4k also has skills with unique PostAdd Critical bonuses – these apply after the damage formula and are generally less powerful than other critical damage skills.
  • Elemental Damage: Kinetic damage doesn’t count as elemental. Elemental damage can be found on the Elemental Projector or Artifact passive boosts.

Fade Away   Fade Away   star star star star star



F4de Away is very powerful for a base Action Skill – serving a dual function of boosting Fl4k’s survivability and DPS. 15 seconds of invisibility is nothing to sneeze at, and allows Fl4k to weave out of heavy fire and breathing room to heal or revive your pet. All 3 shots in F4de Away also function as ‘pseudo-crits’, dealing a hefty amount of bonus damage on body shot. They do not receive critical damage boosts from skills or weapons, but will proc on critical hit boosts, most importantly Leave no Trace and St4ckbot, or the ricochet perk on Jakobs weaponry. The last shot in F4de Away will benefit off ASE anointments that proc on impact (Splash Damage, Named Enemies, Bonus Elemental). Details on damage calculation in Fade Away can be found here.

Augments

GiTM   Guerillas in the Mist   star star

Skill Description:

 

Guerillas in the Mist sounds much better in theory than in practice. The duration is exceedingly short – for mobbing, players can rarely do anything meaningful before the duration runs out, and even a single reload punishes the player. To make matters worse, its DPS is far worse than Base F4de, compounded by its inability to benefit from the stronger anointments. While it can have some niche applications involving Torgue weaponry, Base F4de and Rakk Attack outperform in almost every situation.

Not my Circus   Not My Circus   starstarstarstar

While Fl4k has great survivability in F4de Away, out of it, he is pretty squishy. Not my Circus draws aggro away from Fl4k, providing a buffer till Fade Away cools down. The pet damage reduction is fairly hefty and will keep your pet up except against the hardest hitting of enemies. Its also one of the few ways to consistently proc Hidden Machine.

Untilyouaredead   Until You Are Dead   starstarstar

Skill Description:

 

 

While not enough to keep Fl4k up if under heavy fire, the health regeneration is very generous and can be used in conjuct with Not my Circus to substantially boost Fl4k’s survivability. Combined with The Fast and the Furryous, the bonus movement speed is also very noticeable.

UnblinkingEye   Unblinking Eye   starstarstarstarstar

Skill Description:

 

 

The default option for bossing builds, Unblinking Eye adds up to a further 225% to Fade Away’s 200%. While not very noticeable while mobbing, it allows Fl4k to shred most bosses within a single F4de Away duration. Its also absolutely critical in allowing Guerillas in the Mist to be a viable playstyle. Weapons with ricochet projectiles allow for the bonus to be applied to several enemies at once.


 

Skills

Self-Repairing System

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

While not an absolute gamechanger, this skill provides a nice source of passive health regeneration for Fl4k. It will not keep you up in combat, but is useful between encounters/enemies to ensure Fl4k is above healthgate. The max health boost is great as it increases the potency of Fl4k’s more powerful regeneration skills.

Sic’ Em

  • Fade Awaystar
  • Rakk Attackstar
  • Gamma Burststar
Skill Description:

 

The boost to Attack Command Damage is hefty and multiplicative to other pet damage boosts. Unfortunately, Attack Command is a clunky mechanic with extremely poor damage, making this skill a subpar option to sink your points into.

Furious Attack HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:






While 10 stacks may seem intimidating, it is not too difficult to consistently keep at high stacks with weapons with a decent fire rate, provided you are specced into Big Game as well. The boost to gun damage is pretty mediocre, but can become a force to be reckoned with at 6/3 Big Game, which gives 32% weapon damage with a 5 points investment – which can be pushed to 37% with a Stalker COM. The Handling boost is very generous and noticeable on high-recoil Jakobs and Torgue weaponry, and makes this skill a worthy investment even with slow firing Snipers. It also buffs a small amount of pet damage, though this doesn’t receive Hunter skill bonuses.

Eager to Impress

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstar
Skill Description:



Another skill which works better in theory than in practice. While the Pet kill cooldown is pretty decent, this never happens at higher difficulties. The Attack Cooldown reset is similarly irrelevant. The cooldown provided by Fl4k is much smaller and insignificant in Gamma and Fade Builds, given their hefty cooldowns. On Rakk Attack builds, this is a viable option for those who want to avoid the Head Count glitch.

All My BFFs

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

Outside of Gamma builds, Fl4k doesn’t have a ton of health regeneration, which means your pet probably won’t receive substantial burst-healing. That said, it is an easily accessible source of pet regeneration for Megavore builds which don’t want to heavily invest into Master. However, this skill shines in coop with Burst Aid, allowing Fl4k to function admirably in a support role.

Overclocked

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstar
Skill Description:



While the boost to Fire Rate is definitely helpful, since its not a multiplier Fl4k has in high commodity, the passive boost is quite insignificant at 5/5. The bonus after reloading is more impressive, but to upkeep the bonus can be quite clunky, given its really short duration, and Fl4k’s poor reload speed. In addition, more fire rate is not always helpful, as it may make some weapons more difficult to use with Leave no Trace.

Lick the Wounds

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

A massive gamechanger at the higher difficulties of the game, this will save you so many times from situations normally fatal to other classes. The period while the pet revives you pauses the countdown of the second wind timer, greatly extending FFYL duration, making it very valuable even if your pet goes down mid revive. While located fairly deep down the Stalker tree, it is well worth a detour even for Master-Hunter builds.

Turn Tail and Run

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:






Turn Tail and Run suffers from doing a little of everything, but ultimately not being very impactful. The health regeneration is too small to be useful, though the damage reduction is definitely nice. Fortunately these boosts are effectively passive, given you basically move all the time in combat. Contrarily, this works against the damage portion of the skill. While the gun damage and fire rate boosts are very generous, and is amongst Fl4k’s strongest DPS skills, it rarely comes into play in mobbing. That said, it is helpful for F4de Away specs in bossing which have the privilege of invisibility to remain stationery.

The Fast and the Furryous

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:



Keeping above half health isn’t terribly difficult, and Fl4k has mechanisms to quickly reach that threshold even from low health. This gives Fl4k a hefty gun damage boost which is almost always present and Fl4k’s least circumstantial movement speed buff. A great skill which one should definitely grab if investing in Stalker.

Hidden Machine

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

This skill sounds much better on paper than in practice. Hidden Machine provides a hefty V2 damage boost which is multiplicative to many of Fl4k’s other skills. However, this bonus rarely comes into play, even for Fade builds. If any enemy was targeting you prior to Fade activation, you will not receive the bonus. The most reliable way to utilize this skill is via Pet taunts, which draws enemy aggro away from you. This can be achievable consistently with Gamma Burst and a Red Fang. Fade Away looping with Not my Circus can also be effective, but only a small niche of weapons with synergy with Head Count can accomplish this.

Rage and Recover

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

While on paper one of Fl4k’s strongest healing skills, close reading of the fine print finds this to be not the case. While probably intended to be sort of a burst-healing mechanic for Fl4k, Rage and Recover only heals missing health, and the numbers and duration is just too short to be significant even at a 5/5 investment. Still, if you are going all the way down the Stalker tree you may as well pick it up.

The Power Inside

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:



The V1 damage boost is very significant for a 1 point investment, even if it is additive to Fl4k’s other V1 boosts. The Power Inside buffs all of Fl4k’s and their pet’s damage – this includes guns, grenades, melee and Rakk Attack. With Rakk Attack and some Fade Away builds, this bonus is basically always on. The full health bonus is pretty difficult to keep up while mobbing (hence Megavore is the generally preferred capstone), but this is Fl4k’s premier capstone for boss-busting builds.

RakkAttack   Rakk Attack   starstarstarstar

Skill Description:

 

At lower Mayhem levels, Rakk Attack deals a very respectable amount of damage. This can become even more impressive if one understands how to optimize it. Fl4k’s V1 damage boosts such as Interplanetary Stalker or The Power Inside increase its damage, as does elemental damage and Action Skill damage buffs. All Splash and AOE damage boosts, the most powerful being the 125% Splash Damage anointment can massively increase its DPS, as does Elemental ASE anointments on grenades and shields (but not on guns). If one works to optimize this, Rakks can deal upwards of 100k-200k and kill the squishier mobs at M4. However, the true power of Rakk Attack lies in its synergy with ASE anointments. Given its short cooldown and multiple charges, Rakk’s can be deployed at a moment notice and will immediately activate any ASE anointments. This lends Rakk builds a lot of on demand consistent DPS, as well as a lot of versatility. Need more survivability? Get a gun with a lifesteal ASE anointment. Need unlimited grenades? Pairing Rakk Attack with a grenade regeneration anointment. Need more DPS? Rakk Attack allows for 100% upkeep of powerful ASE anointments – and its own anointment, which provides 100% V2 damage on damaged enemies, is one of the most powerful. Rakk Attack’s weakness is it doesn’t provide Fl4k with much aggro relief or defensive mechanisms, making it generally more squishy than Gamma or Fade Away builds.

Augments

RakkOpenAColdOne   Rakk Open a Cold One   starstar

Skill Description:

 

Rakks can deal decent damage prior to M4, but often suffer from being incendiary only, hurting their viability against armored enemies, making this anointment useful in such situations. While the freeze chance of the Cryo Rakks definitely isn’t terrible, it shouldn’t be relied on.

FalconersFeast   Falconer’s Feast   starstarstar

Skill Description:

 

 

Probably the best augment if you aren’t intending to maximize Rakk DPS (instead using Rakks for anointment upkeep). The health return isn’t particularly generous nor is it instantaneous – making it unreliable for any form of burst healing.

FlockNLoad   Flock ‘N Load   starstarstar

Skill Description:

 

The best augment for maximizing Rakk DPS, Flock and Load effectively doubles the DPS of each Rakk charge, meaning each Rakk charge deals upwards of 16000 damage independent of any DPS boosts. It also has great synergy with Falconer’s Feast, allowing for up to 28% health return per action skill use.

Rakkcelerate   Rakkcelerate   starstar

Skill Description:

 

On paper, this sounds like a very good augment. 3 Rakk Charges would mean reduced effective cooldown to Rakk attack, and overall potential DPS is increased by 50%. However, in practice, this tends to bug out like the Rakk Commander or the related anointment. And in between Head Count, Eager to Impress and Guardian Rank, cooldown is rarely an issue on Rakks anyway. That said, for a pure gun DPS build, it is still a decent option, if only for lack of competitive alternatives.

<Back to Top>


Skills

Interplanetary Stalker HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:





Provides a relatively hefty stackative V1 damage boost that applies to all DPS sources – that is guns, grenades, DOTs and Rakk Attack. In many Hunter-Stalker builds, this DPS is multiplicative (in absence of Power Inside). In loader maps, the corrosive damage is incredibly valuable, and Rakk damage builds value the AS damage boost from humans. It also gives the among the largest additive pet damage available to the player. That said, it can be difficult to maintain max stacks even with 3/3 Big Game, especially in COV maps or the Takedown, hence 6/3 Big Game (from the Stalker/Thrillbot) or the Bounty Hunter COM are the best ways to maximize utility of this skill. Take not Interplanetary Stalker is currently bugged – while the Corrosive damage, action skill damage and movement speed do receive the expected boost from Big Game, the universal damage boost and pet damage does not.

Leave no Trace

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

One of Fl4k’s defining skills, Leave no Trace gives a respectable % chance for critical hits to return ammo into your magazine. This skill can be broken by using weapons with high pellet counts, unlisted projectiles or those which can hit several times per shot, with each damage proc having an independent chance to proc Leave no Trace. This means certain shotguns and heavies can have their normally small magazines extended indefinitely. This skill is particularly powerful in Fade Away, since it allows for automatic critical hits to be scored, thus allowing the skill to work even without having to aim for weakspots.

Second Intention HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

Being Fl4k’s only reload speed skill, Second Intention useful for guns with poor reload speed. That said the boost, even on critical kill, is incredibly small, so this often gets passed up for the more valuable skills situated around it.

Hunter’s Eye HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
  • Bossing with Bounty Hunterstarstarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 



Hunter’s Eye provides different bonuses depending on the type of enemy Fl4k fights. The while not listed as such, Hunter’s Eye is a Hunter Skill and thus receives the appropriate bonuses from Big Game. The V2 damage against Armor is the strongest of the bonuses, as it is multiplicative to most of Fl4k’s other bonuses. Unfortunately, such enemies are rare unless playing he Handsome Jackpot DLC. The critical boost to humans is a PostAdd Critical bonus much like Fade Away, meaning it applies after the critical hit calculation, massively diminishing its value. It also doesn’t apply to Megavore or Fade Away critical hits. While the Damage Reduction from beasts is generous but niche given many ‘beast-type’ enemies do not qualify for the bonus. Hunter’s Eye also doesn’t conventionally apply to bosses. When paired with a Bounty Hunter against bosses, Hunter’s Eye becomes a top-tier skill – the Armor Damage bonus applies to all bosses and to all health-bar types, giving a huge amount of V2 damage.

Head Count

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

Head Count is far more powerful in practice than in paper. While the proc chance and cooldown reduction seems rather small, Head Count has tremendous synergy with weapons with high pellet count or can hit many times per second. Weapons such as the Brainstormer, Stagecoach, Bangstick, Dictator and Lump have amazing synergy with Head Count. Fade Away benefits greatly from Head Count and with the aforementioned weapons, its hefty 45s cooldown can be instantly eliminated. A crucial skill for Fade and Gamma builds. That said, Head Count is somewhat bugged – occasionally when a critical hit is scored when the cooldown timer countsdown, it can reset said timer. Rakk Attack builds, which have no issues with cooldown, may find this cost outweighs the benefit.

Ambush Predator

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstar
Skill Description:

 

Ambush Predator provides a meager critical bonus, but a hefty handling bonus, which activates when Fl4k is at least a certain distance from the enemy. This is approximately 8 – 9 m. While not entirely unremarkable, it tends to be ignored in favor of more crucial skills because of its small circumstantial bonus. To make matters worse, a lack of an indicator as to when the skill is active makes it difficult to build around. Generally, your points are better spent in Hunter’s Eye or Two Fang, even if sniping.

Two Fang

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

Two Fang is a skill whose utility really depends on the weapon you are using – those with 1 or 2 pellets will see a significant if sporadic DPS increase, but beyond that its effect is rather negligible. With single pellet weapons, it is worth it to maximize point investment with a DE4DEYE Com, though even at a lower point investment, its fixed proc pool can be worked to the player advantage in boss kills.

Big Game HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

Big Game is the central skill of the Hunter tree, and the glue which allows many other Hunter skills to work. Many Hunter Skills like Frenzy, TMDG and Interplanetary Stalker form the core of Fl4k’s DPS. The buff to Hunter skill strength results in an exponential DPS increase according to the number of Hunter skills invested. The main value of Big Game lies in the increase in Hunter Skill duration – which allow skills like Frenzy and Interplanetary Stalker to more consistently boost your DPS. A summary of Big Game (and the Stalker COMs) interaction with Fl4k’s Hunter Skills can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15mtnc3x-EHa34mx6SJbkKppuGXHWcRBBLRqS00-wOr0/edit?usp=sharing 162

Note: Currently the damage portion of IPS, as well as many of the Pet Damage boosts are bugged and does not receive the strength boost from Big Game.

The Most Dangerous Game HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 




With a fairly generous boost to weapon damage, critical damage and handling, The Most Dangerous Game is one of Fl4k’s best DPS skills. It provides a hefty DPS increase and allows even Jakobs and Torgue weaponry to have minimal recoil. Given the high badass density in most maps, this boost is almost always active. It also provides one of Fl4k’s most generous boosts to pet damage, even though this is currently bugged and does not work correctly with Big Game. The cash reward is fairly insignificant at endgame.

Galactic Shadow

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

The reported reduced aggro on the skill card does not seem to have any discernable effect on gameplay and should not be relied on. That said, the critical damage is nothing to sneeze at for a single point investment, making it well worth dropping a point if you are going down to grab Megavore.

Grim Harvest

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarhalfstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:



A fairly small gun damage boost, but is helpful because unlike many of Fl4k’s other skills, it is entirely passive. The pet damage bonus is sizeable and welcome. The boost to Action Skill damage is significant for Rakk Attack builds, especially on non human-type enemies, and is multiplicative to Fl4k’s V1 damage boosts.

Megavore

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

While at first glance, a 20% chance to score a critical hit may seem fairly insignificant, Megavore is one of Fl4k’s best skills because of its synergy with the rest of Fl4k’s skill set. It is great with Leave no Trace on shotguns, and works with the chains from the Brainstormer and Lump to restore the cooldown of the Fade Away and Gamma Burst – in particular when paired with elemental ASE anointments, which exponentially increase the chance for a critical hit to be scored. One cannot always score critical hits while mobbing, making Megavore a big indirect DPS increase. With weapons that cannot easily score critical hits like Heavies or certain shotguns, Megavore can actually represent a hefty direct DPS increase.

GammaBurst   Gamma Burst   starstarhalfstar

  • With Red Fangstarstarstarstar
Skill Description:





Gamma Burst is Fl4k’s pet oriented action skill, buffing their melee damage, adding 75% bonus damage as radiation and granting them functional immortality for the duration of the AS. That said, without augments, Gamma Burst does very little directly for the player. In addition, while intended to be the premiere pet action skill, it doesn’t benefit from certain interactions which can increase pet damage. Much like other bonus elemental damage in this game – the bonus radiation not benefit from Splash damage boosts, nor does it scale properly with Go For the Eyes. This makes Rakk Attack the superior choice for DPS optimization for pets that deal Splash damage. So, on its own, Gamma Burst is actually rather lacklustre. It does however, pair with one of Fl4k’s most powerful anointments and with a Red Fang COM, grant Fl4k excellent survivability courtesy of your invincible pet’s aggro draw. Attempting to use GB on a surface where the portal cannot spawn will activate action skill anointments.

Augments

AtomicAroma   Atomic Aroma   starstar

Skill Description:

 

 

The damage it deals at higher Mayhem levels is really lacklustre, it doesn’t benefit off most pet damage boosts and it doesn’t stack Frenzy. One synergy Atomic Aroma can have is in stacking the Consecutive Hits anointment/Pearl – but generally this should be your last option for a Gamma build

EmpathicRage   Empathic Rage   starstarstar

Skill Description:

 

 

Nothing much to complain about good ole damage, even if it is additive to other V1 type damage buffs. A solid choice for all Gamma builds.

Endurance   Endurance   starstarstarstar

Skill Description:

 

The boost to pet damage is welcome, but Endurance is most valued for its ability to increase Gamma Burst duration by up to 15s, allowing for upkeep of the 115% Gamma Radiation anointment and more importantly, pet invincibility and the pet taunt for an extended period.

BurstAid   Burst Aid   starstarstar

Skill Description:

 

 

Burst Aid provides a huge amount of health regeneration, and as long as Fl4k remains near the portal, he is almost unkillable. However, doing so can be rather impractical for most playstyles, and given Gamma Burst duration can extend more than 40s, but the rift will remain where it is deployed. Players will keep moving during gameplay, hence players rarely get the full benefit of the skill.

<Back to Top>


Skills

Ferocity

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstar
Skill Description:

 

Ferocity is the most generous pet damage boost offered to Fl4k, and while additive to many other pet bonuses, is entirely passive. A must grab for any pet-focused build, though gun DPS focused builds may prefer to sink their points into Persistence Hunter instead.

Persistance Hunter

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

An extremely valuable skill for Fade Away and Gamma Burst builds, with a 3 point investment, it allows for Gamma Burst durations of almost 30s (without Endurance) and Fade Away durations of more than 20s. It is particularly valuable in GiTM builds, giving them a duration of almost 8s. Rakk Attack builds do not benefit of the AS duration buff, but the gun damage provided is decent and more importantly, passive.

Go For the Eyes

  • Fade Awaystar
  • Rakk Attackstar
  • Gamma Burststar
Skill Description:

 

 

Go For the Eyes is already a conceptually mediocre skill – the bonus damage provided is already far too small, and only applies to the first hit on an enemy – making it already questionable to sink points into it. Furthermore, pet scaling issues makes it even more improbable for a pet to accomplish meaningful damage in a single hit. Lastly, despite being situated in the Master Tree, Go For the Eyes does not apply during Gamma Burst, the generally preferred choice for pet builds. All in all a terrible skill that should be avoided unless in niche builds.

Who Rescued Who

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

Who Rescued Who may not be flashy, but provides a small but reliable source of health regeneration for the player, provided they can keep their pet up. Fortunately WRW also provides an excellent means of doing so by healing your pet for a percentage of damage done. Given how much damage Fl4k can output at end game, this is one of the best ways to keep your pet alive for Rakk and Fade Away builds. While GB may offer the pet invincibility during its duration, they are particularly vulnerable in the moments after it ends – and WRW can be critical in those moments.

He Bites

  • Fade Awaystarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

The reflected damage is a very good way for pets to deal enemy damage at lnon-Mayhem levels. However, enemy health does not scale linearly with their damage at higher Mayhem levels, causing this skill to lose its efficacy. The reflected damage does proc Frenzy though – making worth dropping a single point in the skill.

Frenzy HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

Frenzy has the potential to be one of Fl4k’s most powerful DPS boosts. At 5/5 and 10 stacks, it provides Fl4k and their pet a hefty 40% V1 damage buff that can be further buffed by Big Game. This applies to all sources of damage. It is, however, limited by the short stack duration and wonky pet AI. While the Gunslinger is well-known for being able to stack quickly because of its range and fire rate, even then stacks can be unreliable due to poor enemy targeting (and tendency to find barrels). One of the more reliable strategies to stack it is to use pet taunts and place a point into He Bites. Frenzy’s power means it is well worth building around.

Psycho-Head on A Stick HunterSkill

  • Fade Awaystar
  • Rakk Attackstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstar
Skill Description:

 



Providing a conditional and measly amount of additive pet damage and pet movement speed you probably won’t notice (though it does help to stack Frenzy faster), Psycho-Head is a okay 1-point investment for pet builds really seeking to maximize their damage, but other builds may find superior alternatives to proceed down the tree.

Hive Mind

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

Hive Mind provides Fl4k a respectable 15% damage reduction at 3/3 – which is effectively passive so long your pet is up. The damage transferred to the pet can be problematic if not specced sufficiently to pet regeneration, but generally Who Rescued Who alone is enough to counteract this. This is even less of an issue in Gamma builds given your pet is functionally immortal.

Barbaric Yawp

  • Fade Awaystarstarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

Pet Bonuses refer to the passive stat boosts pets provide to Fl4k so long they are kept alive. For example, the Guard Skag provides +5% V1 damage. Barbaric increase the strength of these bonuses – at 5/5 your Guard Skag would instead give +15% V1 damage. While generally these bonuses aren’t very significant, some pets, specifically the Scorcher and Great Horned Skag, make it worthwhile. When boosted by BY, the Scorcher provides a hefty amount of elemental damage, a multiplier Fl4k has in low commodity, on top of decent health regeneration. At 5/5 BY, the Great Horned Skag gives both +15% V1 damage and +30% gun damage. Given all of these boosts are effectively passive, this makes Barbaric Yawp one of Fl4k’s best DPS skills.

Mutated Defenses

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 



With the right spec, your pet can get pretty healthy and will rarely be at low health – making the 15s cooldown pretty reasonable. This makes this skill a good panic button in the case where you pet takes heavy damage – especially for a single point. This is useful for Master builds which may not want to sink too many points into Who Rescued Who while still wanting their pet to be decently tanky.

Pack Tactics

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstarstar
Skill Description:

Pack Tactics is one of Fl4k’s best passive DPS skills, providing a very decent damage to Fl4k and their pet and boosting their max health. While the V1 damage provided is additive to some skills in the Master Tree such as Empathic Rage and Frenzy, it is much more reliable than either of them. Given most of Fl4k’s survivability stems from flat health regeneration – an increased health pool is always helpful.

Shared Spirit

  • Fade Awaystarstarstar
  • Rakk Attackstarstarstar
  • Gamma Burststarstarstar
Skill Description:

 

 

Shared Spirit is a conditional, but much more powerful version of Hive Mind. Applying only when Fl4k is below the 33% health threshold, it provides very significant Damage reduction that can help avoid FFYL. It is far from failsafe though – oftentimes when Fl4k’s health is low, his shield is down as well, and Shared Spirit’s damage reduction is insufficient to combat enemy damage in such cases.

Dominance

  • Fade Awaystar
  • Rakk Attackstar
  • Gamma Burststar
Skill Description:

A very poorly conceived skill – there is no reliable (and safe) way to proc it without a Face-Puncher. And even then, it is questionable if one even wants to dominate an enemy. The aggro-draw the dominated enemy provide is okay, but generally far inferior to one provided by pet taunts. And the invincibility of the dominated enemy slows down gameplay rhythm and works against quickly chaining the skill as an effective form of crowd control.

Vault Hunter Hub