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Timothy – Sponsored by

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Basic information
Skill description
Bonuses and weapon synergy
Skill synergy
Popular combinations

Basic information

Skill title: Sponsored By
Skill Tree: Free Enterprise
Type: Capstone
Required level: 22
Skill levels: 1
Skill description

Your gun gains a manufacturer bonus, based on the last gun you held in your hands.

Dahl: +50% Recoil Reduction
Hyperion: +30% accuracy
Jakobs: +30% weapon damage
Maliwan: +25% damage as elemental (it adds elemental splash damage)
Scav: +35% magazine size
Tediore: +35% reload speed
Torgue: +25% damage as explosive (it adds explosive splash damage)
Vladof: +35% fire rate


The level/rarity of the weapon you swap from does not matter. The bonus depends only on the manufacturer.
An icon will appear on the far left, above your XP bar, indicating which bonus is active.
You can give a manufacturer bonus to a weapon of the same manufacturer.

Bonuses and weapon synergy

Dahl: +50% Recoil Reduction
This is not as popular as the others, since it does not provide a flat DPS buff. Still, +50% Recoil reduction is not bad at all, and can help Maliwan beams, Vladof weapons, Scav weapons, and Jakobs weapons quite a bit.

Hyperion: +30% accuracy
Similar to Dahl’s bonus, this gets shoved away for other buffs by most people. Still, with the added accuracy fom Jack’s other skills, like Believe, or Company Man, this additional 30% can make Scav weapons and Jakobs weapons near-pinpoint accurate, like the Skullmasher, and many shotguns.

Jakobs: +30% weapon damage
This is the highest damage buff of Sponsored By (although there’s more to that), and goes well on most weapons. Jakobs weapons become even more Jakobs-y, and no weapon can’t use a +30% damage bonus really.

Although seemingly straightforward and the best bonus to have, there is more than meets the eye. While it is higher than the Maliwan bonus, the Maliwan bonus allows you to add cryo damage on a non-cryo weapon, increasing its effectiveness (the enemy will be frozen, aka immobile and therefore easier to kill, and frozen enemies also take additional critical damage). If the weapon is cryo, you could add the Torgue bonus, since frozen enemies take additional explosive damage. Additionally, if a weapon is not able to one-shot an enemy (e.g. SMGs/Lasers), then the Vladof fire rate bonus will result in higher DPS than the Jakobs bonus. If a weapon was to receive the Jakobs bonus and be able to one-shot an enemy (e.g. sniper rifles/shotguns), then the Jakobs bonus would be indeed better to have. This effectively means that, although this bonus may seem as the best, outshining the others, it is not. At least, not for all circumstances.

Scav: +35% magazine size
This buff’s main use is Tediore reloads. If you factor in the additional magazine size and grenade damage buffs of Just Compensation, this extra 35% magazine size will take your Tediore magazine size to a whole new level. Otherwise, there are better buffs to pick. Note that swapping from a Scav weapon to another Scav weapon will partially fill your magazine, which means less reloading time for you. You could also buff a launcher’s magazine, to get a couple more shots before having to reload.

Tediore: +35% reload speed
This also gets overlooked, since it would be used for Tediore chucking, but having the Scav bonus is much more effective (and there is a physical limit to how fast you can reload). It would also look appealing for rocket launchers, but having the Scav bonus allows for another shot or two before having to reload, which is a huge DPS increase on its own. And of course there’s Believe, Marginal Benefit, and Absolute Advantage, which make this bonus fall out of grace.

Vladof: +35% fire rate
Weapons with high fire rates, especially Vladof ones, will become bullet hoses. Very solid DPS increase, although potentially a bit heavy on ammo, but then again, there are ways to manage that. Comparing this to the Jakobs bonus, Vladof will result in 5% more DPS, no matter how low the fire rate of your weapon is. Jakobs gives better damage per shot, Vladof gives better damage per second. Generally, on weapons that will be able to one-shot enemies (e.g. sniper rifles and shotguns), the Jakobs bonus would be better. On weapons that cannot one-shot enemies (e.g. SMGs and assault rifles), Vladof is better. But it of course depends on circumstances (elements, enemies, specific weapon trait, other skills etc).

Maliwan: +25% damage as elemental
This adds 25% of your weapon damage as elemental splash damage, which is based on the element of the weapon that you swapped from. This bonus does not benefit from grenade damage bonuses and critical hit bonuses. The elemental effect chance does not get transferred, which means that the added element will not proc on every shot, and its chance will not be based on that of the weapon you swapped from. Therefore, it makes no difference if you swap from a weapon that has a high elemental effect chance, since the results will be comparable, if not the same, with you swapping from a Maliwan weapon with lower elemental effect chance. The elemental effect chance of a Maliwan buff on another weapon seems to be fixed to around 8%, based on Zhabalabada’s testing. To somewhat counter this, you could swap from a Maliwan cryo weapon to a weapon with either high fire rate, or multiple projectiles. Or maybe both.
This appears lower than the Jakobs buff, but can beat it in some cases. Adding an element to a weapon with no element, or another element, is extremely useful and effective. The most popular and effective combination is to add cryo damage to a weapon with either high fire rate, high critical damage, or another element. This allows you to freeze enemies who are dangerous when left mobile (e.g. Eternals will ascend and regenerate their health to full if damaged and left unattended, and rabid stalkers are much easier to handle when frozen). Frozen enemies take additional critical damage, so having cryo damage on a high damage weapon is a very efficient killing combination, especially on Jakobs weapons, since they have multiplicative critical hit bonuses. Adding cryo damage to a high fire rate Torgue weapon is another effective combination, since frozen enemies take increased explosive damage. You can also add incendiary/corrosive damage to a Jakobs weapon, to get the added damage of the elemental multiplier, for the appropriate element on an enemy. Or shock damage to a non-shock weapon, to strip enemy shields. Or make them dance funny.

Note that weapons with multiple elements will transfer only what is shown in their item cards. The Frostfire will only transfer Cryo, The Thunderfire will only transfer shock, and Minac’s Atonement will transfer no element. All these weapons will still receive an element transferred by another Maliwan weapon, without losing any default elements.

Torgue: +25% damage as explosive
This adds 25% of your weapon damage as explosive splash damage. This will proc on every shot of the weapon you swapped to. Note that explosive does additional damage to frozen enemies. Unfortunately, this bonus does not benefit from grenade damage bonuses or critical hit bonuses.
Similar to the Maliwan buff, this may seem less effective than the Jakobs buff. However, considering frozen enemies take additional damage from explosive, having this bonus on a cryo weapon is highly effective and more powerful than the Jakobs buff would be. High fire rate cryo weapons have the most to gain from this, with the Fridgia, Torrent, and Shredifier being the prime examples.

http://oldforums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?p=5154855#post5154855 42
Posted by derch1981
I just did a bunch of testing on the Torgue and Maliwan bonuses.

They are treated just like your gun having splash damage. So they get additive base damage buffs, and elemental buffs but not critical hit buffs.
Neither get grenade damage buffs
Both buffs to proc on every pellet, so shotguns and multi pellet guns
are very nice with them.

So if you have a pistol that does 100 damage
100 + 9100 x 25%) = 100 and 25 shock damage
Now with 2 20% additive gun buffs
100 x (1 x 20% x 20%) + (100 x (1 x 20% x 20%) x 25%) = 140 and 35 shock damage
Now on a crit
100 x (1 x 20% x 20%) x 2 + (100 x (1 x 20% x 20%) x 25%) = 280 and 35 shock damage
Now on a crit with a shielded enemy
100 x (1 x 20% x 20%) x 2 + (100 x (1 x 20% x 20%) x 25%) x (1 x 2.5) = 280 and 123 shock damage.
I hope that helps

Skill synergy

High Frequency Trading allows you to swap weapons much faster, while Incentives will give you a temporary fire rate bonus for swapping. Great for Sponsored By, since its bonuses require swapping, and you might want to utilize a different bonus on a different weapon, depending on what you’re doing. Compound Interest also requires you to shoot an enemy with two different weapons, so it also benefits from High Frequency Trading.

Company Man gives accuracy and critical hit damage for equipping Hyperion items. Stacking its accuracy bonus with the Hyperion bonus of Sponsored By (and Believe, if you have it) makes an otherwise inaccurate weapon become almost pin-point in some cases, like the Skullmasher, or shotguns/assault rifles with a wide spread. Company Man’s critical damage bonus pairs extremely well with the Maliwan bonus, namely adding cryo to another weapon, since frozen enemies receive increased critical hit damage. You could also utilize the Torgue bonus on a cryo weapon (e.g. Fridgia) along Company Man’s critical bonus, to get the additional critical damage bonus on a frozen enemy, and also the additional explosive damage to a frozen enemy. Company Man’s critical damage bonus also pairs really well with the Jakobs bonus, increasing a weapon’s damage.
Note that Company Man is boosted by the Chronicler or Elpis and Projection class mods of the Holodome Onslaught DLC…

Just Compensation boosts magazine size, making Tediore reloads’ DPS hard to rival, especially if you also add the Scav bonus for even more magazine size. It can also boost magazines of weapons with heavy ammo consumption to a point where you do not need the Scav bonus, allowing for other bonuses to be selected instead.

Marginal Benefit grants a chance to insta reload weapons, negating the need to choose the Tediore bonus, thus making other bonuses available.

Absolute Advantage can also benefit Sponsored By. Jakobs shotguns become monstrously effective with it, and since their fire rate is already high, you could go with the Jakobs bonus, for even more damage, the Hyperion bonus, for better accuracy, or the Dahl bonus, for better recoil. If you are using a high magazine weapon, like a Shredifier or Fridgia, you will be able to shoot your magazine’s worth of bullets a few times before reloading, so you could either utilize Vladof’s bonus, to fire much faster without worrying about wasting bullets, or Maliwan’s bonus, to be able to freeze enemies quickly, or the Dahl bonus, to manage any recoil issues. Or simply use the Scav bonus to increase the magazine even more, and take advantage of Absolute Advantage’s advantage.

CEO boosts Absolute Advantage, and it comes with team accuracy and team critical damage buffs. It’s accuracy buff pairs really well with shotguns, assault rifles, SMGs, and some unique weapons with low accuracy or multiple pellets, like the Skullmasher and Maggie. The accuracy buff will also stack with Believe and Company Man’s accuracy buffs, which may be enough to compensate for a weapons low accuracy to the point where you don’t have to also chose the Hyperion bonus of Sponsored By, and go for another bonus instead. The critical damage buff of CEO pairs well with Company Man’s critical buff, more so if you factor in all the other weapon damage skills, like Money Is Power, or Synergy/Believe. CEO’s critical buff also pairs well with the Jakobs bonus, for damage, the Maliwan bonus, for freezing enemies to increase critical damage, the Vladof bonus, for increased fire rate (more so if the weapon is cryo), and Jakobs weapons, due to their inherent high damage and multiplicative critical hit bonus.

Projection boosts Absolute Advantage, as well as Company Man (or Best Foot Forward). It will probably replace CEO of All CEOs for builds utilizing Absolute Advantage, since it can also boost Company Man, which was already great with 5/5, and is arguably betten to have than Synergy, using the CEO class mod. And Projection boosts gun damage, which goes very well with the critical damage bonus of Company Man. Being able to boost Company Man beyond 5/5 will help many weapons, and having Absolute Advantage on the same class mod is beyond useful. Inaccurate weapons with high magazines will become devastating, like the Shredifier, Meat Grinder, etc. You will also not need to choose the Hyperion bonus of Sponsored By, thanks to the massive accuracy of Company Man. This class mods has amazing synergy with the Vladof bonus, the Jakobs bonus, the Maliwan bonus (mainly cryo), or the Torgue bonus on cryo weapons. A frozen enemy takes increased critical damage, which will be boosted to massive levels thanks to Company Man getting buffed by what is arguably one of the best class mods we have seen.

Celestial Doppelganger grants reverse recoil, eliminating the need to choose both the Dahl bonus of Sponsored By, if your weapon has recoil issues, and the Hyperion bonus, in many cases. This allows for other bonuses to be selected, depending on the high-recoil weapon you are using. For assault rifles (especially Vladof), Scav SMGs, Scav/Torgue/Tediore shotguns, and Tediore splitters, the most prominent would be Vladof/Jakobs/Maliwan bonus. For Jakobs weapons, the Jakobs bonus would work best, allowing weapons to one-shot many types of enemies, without having to deal with recoil, thanks to the class mod’s effect.
Popular Combinations

These are not set in stone. If your other skills can counter a weapon’s weak point to a sufficient level, like recoil, or simply enhance a specific trait, like fire rate, then you may not need the same bonus from Sponsored By, and another boost from it might prove more useful.
This list is not exhaustive, since it is impractical to list absolutely everything, and the best bonuses for it. If you do feel something major is missing, you are warmly welcomed to make a post about it.
Due to the nature of manufacturer traits, and unique weapon effects and behavior, weapons of the same category or manufacturer may have very different optimal bonuses. E.g. Hyperion shotguns are very different from other shotguns. As such, if you are unsure of the best bonus to have on your weapon, make a post mentioning it (and maybe your build), and someone will surely provide a suitable answer.


Explosive weapon: Give it the Maliwan bonus (aka cryo).
Cryo weapon: Give it the Torgue bonus.
Non-elemental: Maliwan/Jakobs/Vladof
Shock elemental: Maliwan (cryo)/Jakobs/Vladof


Dahl: Vladof/Maliwan/Jakobs bonus.
Hyperion: Vladof/Maliwan/Jakobs/Torgue (if cryo) bonus.
Jakobs: Jakobs/Dahl/Tediore/Hyperion bonus (depends on category and specific unique trait).
Maliwan: Torgue (if cryo)/Vladof/Jakobs bonus.
Scav: Scav/Vladof/Dahl/Hyperion bonus.
Tediore: Scav bonus.
Torgue: Maliwan (cryo)/Vladof.
Vladof: Vladof/Maliwan/Jakobs.


Railguns: Jakobs/Torgue
Splitters: Hyperion/Jakobs/Maliwan
Blasters: Hyperion/Vladof/Jakobs/Maliwan/Torgue
Beams: Dahl (especially Maliwan beams)/Maliwan/Vladof/Jakobs/Torgue
Min Min Lighter: Scav
Rosie: Vladof/Dahl/Jakobs/Maliwan (cryo)/Torgue (if cryo)
Excalibastard: Jakobs/Maliwan/Torgue
Mining Laser: Jakobs/Scav/Torgue
Spadroon: Jakobs/Vladof/Maliwan
E-Gun: Vladof/Dahl/Jakobs/Maliwan
Vibra Pulse: Vladof/Maliwan/Jakobs

Shotguns: Hyperion/Jakobs/Maliwan (all elements)/Torgue.

Bullpup: Maliwan/Vladof/Jakobs/Torgue.
Flakker: Scav/Jakobs/Vladof
Striker: Jakobs/Maliwan (cryo)/Scav/Dahl
Sledge’s Shotty: Jakobs/Maliwan/Torgue
Jakobs shotguns: Hyperion/Dahl/Jakobs

Sniper Rifles: Jakobs/Hyperion/Maliwan/Torgue.

Muckamuck: Jakobs
Fremington’s Edge: Jakobs/Maliwan
Skulmasher: Hyperion/Jakobs
Droog: Jakobs/Maliwan/Torgue

Pistols: Jakobs/Maliwan/Vladof.

Anarchist: Vladof/Maliwan/Torgue/Jakobs
Maggie: Maliwan (all elements)/Jakobs/Dahl/Hyperion/Torgue
Blowfly: Scav/Vladof/Maliwan.
Fragnum: Jakobs/Maliwan (cryo).Zim: Torgue/Vladof

SMGs: Jakobs/Vladof/Maliwan (all elements).

Fridgia: Torgue/Vladof/Hyperion/Maliwan/Jakobs
Torrent: Jakobs/Hyperion/Torgue (if cryo)/Vladof.
Fatale: Torgue/Vladof.IVF: Scav
Hellfire: Maliwan (cryo)/Vladof/Jakobs.
Meat Grinder: Vladof/Hyperion/Dahl/Maliwan/Jakobs
Marek’s Mouth: Vladof/Hyperion/Dahl/Maliwan/Jakobs

Assault Rifles: Maliwan (all elements)/Jakobs/Vladof.

Major Tom: Maliwan (all elements)/Jakobs/Torgue
Shredifier: Vladof/Maliwan (all elements)/Dahl.
HammerBuster II: Dahl/Jakobs/Maliwan
Ice Scream: Vladof/Maliwan/Dahl.

Launchers: Jakobs/Tediore/Scav.

Badaboom: Scav/Jakobs
Nukem: Scav/Jakobs/Tediore
Thingy: Scav/Jakobs/Tediore
Cryophobia: Scav/Jakobs/Torgue/Tediore

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