Battleborn Character Guide

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Battleborn Character Guide

Post  Dwlr on Sat May 14, 2016 12:35 pm

Since the actual percentages are so subject to change right now I'm not going to get bogged down on percents and rather focus on effects. Since there is I have yet to find anyplace that stats the possible third mutations for skill tree I'm relying on first hand knowledge so updates may be slow. I will also include a brief overview of the character with the helix options. Difficulty to use is based out of 10 and doesn't go by Gearbox's arbitrary ratings. 10 being easiest to use and 1 being difficult to use, please note that I'm counting ease of use as ability to comprehend the character and ease of aiming (skills or weapons) not how easy it is to be successful with the character.

Oscar Mike:
Pros
Easy to use
Excellent at killing AI mobs
Stealth
Some control abilities

Cons
Weak compared to other Battleborn
Low survivability
Painfully long cooldown on Ultimate ability
Skills perform poorly against other players

Ease of use: 10/10

Weapons/Abilities
UPR-AR7 Assault Rifle - Accurate and fairly stable, it suffers from heavy damage drop off at a distance making you a mid-range character no matter how skilled you are at aiming. It's low damage relative to other Battleborn which tends to mean you'll be getting more assists than kills when engaging other Battleborn and will want to travel with others.

Stealth Generator - Allows for sneak attacks, but since it doesn't make you immune to damage it's use as a defensive tool mid-battle is relegated to PvE only unless you can get lost in the shuffle among other allied Battleborn to make an escape.

Frag Grenade - Unless modified your grenades explode after 3 seconds in the air or 1 second after impact with a surface. They deal moderate damage and are easy to use, but are much more effective at killing the AI than other Battleborn.

Airstrike - Unless modified your airstrike will lock down an area with bombs from above, this of course means they can have collision problems with the environment. It does work indoors if the ceiling is high enough. The damage is moderate, but most players can escape an unmodified airstrike without taking too much damage.

Tactical Rounds *Passive* - The first 15 bullets of your clip deal increased damage. Obviously this benefits from gear that increases reload speed so you can stay topped off whenever there is a lull in the battle.

Role: Support, Minion Killer
Oscar Mike is good at chipping away at an opponents health unfortunately that's all he can really do. He doesn't have very high damage output so he tends to have difficulty in duels. With his accurate fully automatic Assault Rifle he's good at assisting your team. His Frag Grenades do fair damage, but relative to some of the other Battleborn's skills they're not all that effective. The main use for Frag Grenades is for their area of effect making it a good tool for killing minions more so than other Battleborn or major enemies.

1. Impact Trigger or Sneak Attack
Impact Trigger causes your Frag Grenades to explode on contact which basically ensures your Frag Grenades deal damage (accuracy dependent) where when on a time delay they could be avoided by the vigilant. Sneak Attack improves the damage of any attack that breaks stealth while useful your only really damaging attacks are Frag Grenade and Airstrike, with Airstrike having such a long re-use timer, it's not going to benefit too much and Frag Grenades on a time delay can be avoid as mentioned so basically you don't have much that can take advantage of Sneak Attack making Impact Trigger a pretty obvious choice for most people.

2. Fragcendiary Grenades or Nades on Nades
Fragcendiary Grenades allows your Frag Grenades to create pools of fire that deal damage over time. This is extremely helpful for killing minions, stationary targets, or slowed/stunned targets, but a target that runs out of the area quickly isn't too terribly affected by it. Nades on Nades gives your Frag Grenades a MIRV effect, but it can be difficult to gain too much benefit. Fragcendiary Grenades give you some control since people tend to avoid the area of effect and anything that gets stuck inside the area of effect for any length of time will take heavy damage making it excellent for slow or stunned targets which can pair nicely with your Concussive Airstrike or since you truly are support following a Battleborn with the ability to stun can really increase your damage potential.

3. Red Dot Sight or Scope
This one is a toss up. The Red Dot Sight lets you aim with no reduction to movement speed. Speed is life and it's quite a bit more accurate, but the Scope extends your effective range not because of the zoom, but because it reduces the damage drop off from range. You're not effective at long range with the Scope, but it is a very noticeable improvement, but you're relegated to hip-firing at close range as the speed loss from aiming is quite noticeable when talking about PvP. The way I see it is the Scope is nice for support and gives you some defense against snipers as they tend to be frail, but the Red Dot Sight tends to be better if you find yourself alone, improves your performance at Oscar Mike's range sweet spot, and is simply easier. Given how Oscar Mike is more a beginner friendly character I'd tend to recommend the Red Dot Sight over the Scope, but the Scope is more versatile and what I take personally.

4. Back in a Jiff or Tactical Espionage Action
Back in a Jiff starts your Shield Recharge when you stealth, this is really your only survivability option, but it's not all that helpful since most players can simply target the spot you disappeared at and kill you using it because you're low on health. Tactical Espionage Action increases your Movement Speed while cloaked which really tends to save your life more in PvP than the meager Shield Recharge as you can get away from combat more easily which once safe then you can simply wait for your shields to recover normally and be better off. Since the AI ignores you once you stealth Back in a Jiff has clear advantages in PvE, but Tactical Espionage Action would be my choice for PvP.

5. Hollow Point or Debilitating Rounds (Rank 9) or Double Tap
Hollow Point rounds provide solid Shield piercing for your Tactical Rounds, this is nice for PvP for killing those who return to combat with low Health, but full-shields. Debilitating Rounds adds increased Damage on Critical Hits achieved with Tactical Rounds which is nice for opening a fight with increased damage or trying to steal kills, but ends up being lackluster over all not to mention requiring more effort than the other two options. Double Tap effectively makes every round in your clip a Tactical Round which translates to a 25% increase in Damage per Clip as it does nothing for the Tactical Rounds you already had.

6. Far-Flung Frags or Stealthy Shields
Stealth Shields increases your Shield Recharge Rate while cloaked, but considering cloaking actually isn't a very good defensive tool when you're already dying so it's benefit is fairly moot. On the other-hand Far-Flung Frags gives a significant benefit to the range of your best method of dealing damage and for closer areas you need to aim in the air less making a transition from your Frag Grenade back to shooting quicker.

7. Agility Training or High Velocity Ammo (Rank 3) or Disruptor Rounds
Agility Training is increased Movement Speed which is nice, but by no means a game-changer given it's relatively marginal boost. High Velocity Ammo increases Damage outright of every bullet fired, considering most of the time you have to go through an enemy's shield to get the kill doubly so since Frag Grenades deplete the Shield first High Velocity Ammo helps you kill quicker. Disruptor Rounds have a niche use in killing enemies that are fighting with Full or High Shields, but low Health. Disruptor Rounds are situationally good, but High Velocity Ammo is consistently good and give you a benefit in any situation.

8. Fragpocalypse or Concentrated Frags (Rank 5) or Embiggened Boom
Fragpocalypse is a no fuss 15% power boost to your Frag Grenades. Concentrated Frags trades Area of Effect for higher Damage, this is good for burst Damage, but since it reduces the Area of Effect for your Incendiary Effect you're sacrificing quite a bit of control taking this mod with Fragcendiary Grenades. Embiggened Boom increases the Area of Effect of your Frag Grenades which also increases the Area of Effect of your Fragcendiary Grenades making a veritable field of fire. Embiggened Boom has the best utility which works for PvP or PvE scenarios alike and is always a good choice, but Concentrated Frags is a good choice for straight PvP burst damage against other Battleborn when it's 1v1.

9. Stealth Savings or Ghost Mode (Rank 12) or Operation Sneaky Ghost
Stealth Savings refunds your cooldown for ending Stealth early which is useful for a myriad of scenarios plain and simple. Ghost Mode allows you to use Air Strike and remain cloaked which is great for causing chaos with when coupled with Fragcendiary Grenades boosted by Embiggened Boom. Operation Sneaky Ghost extends the maximum time you can stay cloaked which seldom comes into play in any reasonable sense, but you can make niche use of it on occasion. Stealth Savings is the most practical to take advantage of Stealth frequently, but the chaos that can be caused with Ghost Mode and Frag Grenades is more appealing to me for PvP.

10. Holy Crap, Space Lasers or Danger Close (Rank 7) or Holy Crap Concussive Strike!
Space Lasers reduces the Area of Effect, but allows your Airstrike to pierce the environment making it versatile and easier to use. Danger Close centers your Airstrike around yourself, but this is fairly moot since you can aim either of the other options at your feet if need be. Concussive Strike appends a slow effect to your Airstrike letting you keep a larger Area of Effect compared to Space Lasers while improving your Damage on a single target, additionally the slowing effect can be used to hold enemies inside Fragcendiary Grenades fire effect longer increasing damage that way. Space Lasers has higher concentrated Damage, but Concussive Strike tends to be the better option for a wider number of situations in PvP. Space Lasers with it's concentrated damage tends to be more effective for killing Bosses that tend to be fairly stationary so in PvE it may be the better choice.

Whiskey Foxtrot:
Pros
Good control abilities
Easy minion clear (after reaching a certain level and after unlocking Napalm)
Good quick melee for a shooter character (solid damage and high knockback)
Versatile (good at long and short range depending on how you build him)
Relatively quick skill cooldowns
High sustainability
Easy to use Wound (Pretty low cooldown and able to increase the AoE with Spread Shot)

Cons
Hard to be successful with
Instant cast Scrap Cannon after update
Relatively low survivability
Low skill velocity

Ease of use 6/10 (Straight forward to use, but long animations and slow skill velocity can make it hard to hit with skills.)

Weapons/Abilities
UPR-SL3 Tactical Rifle - 3-round burst (base) and accurate despite a lot of complaints which stem from the recoil rather than the actual rifle. High single bullet damage for it's firerate giving you high critical damage (the modifier is the same for every character) especially with accurate fire. Technically the 2nd highest DPS in the game with your passive attack boost going it is harder to use than Oscar Mike's Assault Rifle, but it also can be used more easily at a distance with less wasted shots.

Sticky Bomb - About as you expect it operates on an arc that is displayed for ease of aiming, but has a 3 second fuse and a relatively slow launch speed which can make it difficult to use. Since the fuse timer is so slow it can make it hard to get minion kills as your team can kill minions before the bomb detonates likewise an enemy that would otherwise die to a sticky bomb explosion can be killed by your team making you miss the kill you rightly deserve which can result in a bit of frustration and an artificially low score relative to your actual contribution.

Scrap Cannon - Effectively a Master Key (under-barrel shotgun), it has an arc, but the arc is not displayed, the projectiles move pretty slow. The projectiles do bounce, but die pretty quickly. Relatively low damage un-modified, but a pretty quick cooldown and the projectiles have the ability to score critical hits increasing it's damage upto 150% which really just starts to put the base ability on par with some of the other skills. Modified the Scrap Cannon can be quite effective, but modified incorrectly it can be a fairly useless skill as well. It is now instant-cast so you have to adjust your aim and be ready to fire whenever you want to use it, this is a big nerf for anybody who experienced the previous iteration and knows what they're missing, it does increase the DPS potential from it since it does fire much more quickly. One of the best Wounds in the game, it's quick to fire and pretty easy to hit with at a variety of distances.

Overdrive - Basically full-auto of your standard rifle. While it is a massive boost to your fire rate and clip size it's damage remains the same as the basic rifle for better or for worse. Thought to be lack-luster by some it's DPS potential is actually fairly ridiculous while it's active, but it should be noted that using all the rounds forces you not only to remove the attachment, but forces a reload making the animation times longer than pretty much every ultimate which I suppose keeps it in check, but is also kind of unnecessary that it has start-up animation, ending animation, and then forces a reload. You cannot fire your Scrap Cannon, but you can use Sticky Grenades, you can ignore the ending animation by firing the Scrap Cannon which can also finish off weakened opponents before you have to reload, but it's usually best not to be caught in the middle of a fight with it ending.

Combat Rhythm *Passive* - On a kill you get a nice 25% damage increase for 10 seconds. Large shards count as a kill as do minions so you have a few ways to activate it in PvP without having to kill a player, but since it's kill dependent it provides little benefit for Capture Mode which is already a weak spot for Whiskey.

Role: Support, Minion Killer, Control
Mainly due to a long reload time you're going to have a hard time getting kills, but despite the complaints Whiskey does have decent DPS and can carry that damage with surprising range with Scoped Up at level 3. You primarily gain your minion killing ability after Napalm, but timing the explosion and using it as a mine or using them as mines depending on your mutation choice you can still effectively kill minions between your Scrap Cannon, Sticky Grenades, and your Tactical Rifle. Your melee can kill minions rather quickly as they take bonus critical damage and as previously mentioned he has a rather strong quick melee. Your control comes from a myriad of sources you have Slow available for your Sticky Grenades, Multiple Napalm fields, your Scrap Cannon can be modified for various control effects, and your high knockback quick melee can even push enemies back into your team's attacks or push off an opposing melee character for a chance to escape.

1. Weighed Down or Shield Scrapper (Rank ?) or Flak Off
If you have trouble aiming your stickies you can viably take Shield Scrapper, but only if you want to take the recently buffed Swiss Cheese as the boosted damage does provide a good opener while Swiss Cheese's buffed damage and duration gives you high follow up damage improving your killing potential fairly well since with Shield Scrapper your Scrap Cannon can strip shields to open up enemies to buffed crits so you waste less of your buffed damage potential stripping shields. Flak Off is decent with Scrap Bank, but Swiss Cheese is hard to ignore with the buff to it and the main reason to take Scrap Bank these days it to have access to more Wound when playing healing heavy teams in PvP.

2. Swiss Cheese or Scrap Bank
Swiss Cheese with it's buffed Damage being at a 25% boost of your Tactical Rifle for 8 seconds is the obvious choice for killing potential, the stealth reveal is just a small bonus since Wound has a visual effect and can be used to track stealth enemies. Scrap Bank still has use though it's damage boost and usefulness has decreased thanks to the Cooldown Reduction on Scrap Cannon making it less important to have the extra shots, but the ability to reapply Wound as needed can be useful and you can still use it as it was pre-buff and use it as a finisher with the faster fire it has higher DPS even if it's clunkier to use due to the insta-cast in theory it is more effective damage wise than it was before, but is not longer the damage choice over Swiss Cheese.

3. Red Dot Sight or Scoped Up
Scoped Up DOES extend your effective range just like Oscar Mike's Scope mutation. Scoped Up offers you range diversity and contrary to it's description Red Dot Sight doesn't completely remove the movement penalty and rather just reduces the penalty so hip-firing still has it's advantages. The firerate improvement for the RDS is nice, but it leaves you without options and is generally not worth it over Scope Up.

4. Triple Threat or Sticky MIRV (Rank ?) or Stick 'n' Sap
Triple Threat is the obvious choice, being able to control your pools of Napalm when your reach level 6 vastly improves your waveclear and control. Sticky MIRV is an ease of use option and quicker to fire so it has benefits for those with problems with Stickies, but still want added control ability from creating multiple Napalm Pools. Stick 'n' Sap is technically the most damaging option and Sticky Grenades do make a good opener so the added damage to shields can be nice, but IMO it's not worth giving up the control associated with 3 pools of Napalm which is really the only way Napalm is superior to Oscar Mike's Fragcendiary Grenades.

5. Reload Burst or Killer Regen (Rank ?) or Speed Burst
Reload Burst actually in theory provides pretty solid DPS boost, but the sacrifice of sustainability you get from Killer Regen is simply not worth it, but if you're dedicated to "sniping" and Wave Clear with Whiskey it is actually somewhat of an option. Killer Regen triggering on Minion Kills and Large Shard Kills gives you the ability to not have to head all the way back to base and if you are thinking about retreating it gives you a near equivalent alternative in terms of regaining health and nets you some shards at the same time, this obviously isn't an option if your team farms the large crystals or you're located close enough to base that it's faster to manually run into the base for full health. I'd actually argue Speed Burst is a solid alternative for Capture Mode where it's close quarters and there aren't any minions/limited minions to trigger easy Regen. Killer Regen isn't a great survivability skill it's a sustainability skill by that in a fire fight Killer Regen isn't great for keeping you alive, Speed Burst could save your life where Killer Regen would let you down, but since bonuses are multiplicative if using Speed Burst be sure to include Movement Speed gear to stack the benefit and since it's capture mode an equipment with improved speed on a kill of player is a cheap way to generally gain a larger benefit especially since all you have readily available is major enemies to activate your passive/Speed Burst.

6. Flakback or Napalm (Rank ?) or Sticky Speed
Until you get Napalm take Flakback, it's actually a pretty good escape tool doubly so with Flak Off, it can also be used as an extra jump giving Whiskey surprising and out of character mobility including being able to backdoor Overgrowth in Incursion. (The route by the double Thrall spawn) There are those who even take it over Napalm, but if you took Sticky MIRV or Triple Threat Napalm is the obvious choice, if you took Stick 'n' Sap then you can make an argument that the average Battleborn takes 1-2 ticks of damage from Napalm and that's not a lot, without the extra pools your Wave Clear will be lacking as you can't deal large amount of ticks to moving minions without multiple Napalm pools so a single Napalm pool is truly just an inferior version of a level 2 mutation on Oscar Mike. Nobody should ever take Sticky Speed.

7. Duct-Taped Mags or Shield Pen (Rank ?) or When Three Just Isn't Enough
Shield Pen is too low to be worth it over the other options plain and simple. When Three Just Isn't Enough leaves you with your glaring weakness of a long reload speed where fleeing low life enemies can still get away while you're reloading. Duct-Taped Mags can get you that kill on a fleeing enemy forcing the respawn and in a normal fight it still provides a decent DPS boost and doesn't add additional recoil like When Three Just Isn't Enough, it also doesn't have the occasional bug that keeps your Ultimate from firing full auto like When Three Just Isn't Enough does. The DPS boost is overall lower, but 4 shots instead of 3 isn't a 33% increase in fire rate either like most want to believe as those people don't take into account the interval between bursts. Duct-Taped Mags can be primed before entering combat which guarantees you 2 quick clips if you so choose or you can make sure the first the reload is full length and then the reload between the 2nd and 3rd reload depending on where you think you'll force a retreat to try to pick up that kill. What level 7 boils down to is higher DPS (When Three Just Isn't Enough) and not being stuck letting an enemy escape with low life, I prefer the latter as a safety net when the Scrap Cannon doesn't finish off the fleeing enemy.

8. Spread Shot or Long-Distance Flak
Spread Shot has synergy with Swiss Cheese to apply your damage buff over an area additionally it has synergy to spread the Wound debuff no matter which choice you took at Level 2. Long-Distance Flak buffs your damage potential at range which is good for the historical benefit of Scrap Bank which was to circumvent having to Reload against fleeing enemies.

9. Swift Sitckies or Stronger Stickies
Swift Stickies improves your Wave Clear with Napalm improves your damage more than Stronger Stickies does if you took Stick 'n' Sap and is all around the obvious choice. Stronger Stickies can give you that unexpected kill when combined with Stick 'n' Sap taking advantage of them not being able to regenerate shields while fleeing and then appending a higher burst at the end netting that surprise kill, but it's highly situational.

10. What Shields? or Overoverdrive
Overoverdrive is objectively better you can always take What Shields? if you're fighting enemies that have had the tendency of returning with low health behind full or high shields otherwise your team and your other abilities have to go through enemy shields and Overoverdrive is always going to provide a benefit whereas What Shields? can be wasted if it doesn't have that situational advantage.
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