Like each game before it, Borderlands 3 gives our new Vault Hunters three skill trees from which to work. What makes this time around special is that each character now has three separate action skills to use on the battlefield. We'll break down each ability and its corresponding skill tree so you can determine which character is right for you.
FL4K is the Beastmaster class in Borderlands 3. They are a wandering robot with a mysterious past and a deep affinity for nature.
- Action Skill: Gamma Burst. Creates a rift and teleports an irradiated pet to the target location.
- Pet: Skag
FL4K's Master skill tree is all about your furry- er, scaly friend. Several skills offer attack buffs to your pet or you when their health is low. When you take damage, some of that can even she shared with your pet as well. The final skill, Dominance, allows FL4K to turn an enemy into an ally for a short period.
This tree augments your Skag into a Great Horned Skag or an Eridian Skag. Its Gamma Burst augments increase your damage, regenerates health to your and your allies, and extends the duration of Gamma Burst when your pet makes a kill.
- Action Skill: Fade Away. FL4K turns invisible, during which time they can fire up to three shots, each always a critical hit.
- Pet: Jabber
FL4K's Stalker skill tree specializes in medic skills, regenerating your health, and rewarding you for staying far from the battlefield. If you are in a fight for your life and spend a point on Lick the Wounds, your pet will attempt to revive you. The final skill, The Power Inside, doubles gun damage when FL4K is at full health.
Stalker augments Fade Away and your Jabber. At the cost of critical hit damage and a shortened duration, Fade Away won't end after taking three shots. You can also spend skill points to increase your critical hit damage while in Fade Away. Or you can opt for health regeneration and faster movement speed after it ends. Your Jabber can evolve into a Beefcake with a shotgun or can carry an SMG aside from its pistol.
- Action Skill: Rakk Attack. Rakks are sent out to dive-bomb enemies.
- Pet: Spiderant
FL4K's Hunter skill tree is all about increasing gun damage, specifically critical hit damage. Nearly every skill in this tree buffs critical hits in some way or offers you other benefits when scoring a critical hit. The last skill, Megavore, gives FL4K a 20% chance to score a critical hit with every shot, regardless of where it strikes the enemy.
This tree can also augment your Spiderant pet and Rakk Attack skills. You can choose to evolve your Spiderant into a Scorcher or Countess, dealing incendiary or corrosive damage. Rakk Attack can be augmented to send forth more Rakks, add cryo damage, or heal a portion of FL4K's health.
Amara is the Siren class. Imbued with mystical powers and an infamous intergalactic brawler, she fights tooth and nail against any injustices she sees.
- Action Skill: Phasecast. Amara casts out an astral projection of herself that deals damage to everything in its wake.
The Mystical skill tree focuses on gaining stacks of Rush and increasing the effectiveness of your action skill, specifically in regards to its cooldown. For every stack of Rush gained, whether from killing an enemy or from applying a status effect, Amara can gain increased damage or a better status effect chance. Avatar, this tree's final skill, allows Amara to use her action skill while in cooldown and increases her max Rush stacks. This can only be used once per cooldown.
Additionally, her augments boosts Phasecast's power. And it can be used to add elemental projectiles to her astral projection or make it explode, dealing damage to nearby enemies.
- Action Skill: Phaseslam. Amara uses her Siren powers to leap into the air and slam to the ground.
You can probably tell what her Brawl skill tree is all about just from its name. For the most part, Brawl deals with buffing Amara's melee attacks. Some skills in this tree also allow her to regenerate health and gain movement speed after she kills someone with her action skill. Blitz, the final ability, is a powerful melee attack where Amara dashes forward a short distance to deal elemental melee damage. A successful kill while doing so will immediately reset Blitz's cooldown.
Brawl's augments can let Amara summon a whole line of astral projected fists and adds a few elemental status effects to your action skill.
Fist of the Elements
- Action Skill: Phasegrasp. Amara summons a giant ethereal fist that locks an enemy in place, similar to Maya's Phaselock in Borderlands 2.
Much of this skill tree deals with elemental damage and status effects, from increasing their damage and duration to even allowing Amara to steal a portion of her enemy's health when dealing elemental damage. Her final skill, Forceful Expression, causes her guns to deal bonus elemental damage based on her action skill's element.
Augments in this tree can switch up the elemental damage of your Phasegrasp, turn it into a singularity that pulls enemies in, and allow you to link targets together.
Zane is the Operative class and brother to Baron Flynt and Captain Flynt from the previous games. He's a semi-retired hitman and apparently went to the same assassin school as Zero.
- Action Skill: Digi-Clone. Zane creates a digital clone of himself that can enter combat, distract enemies, and even swap places with Zane himself.
Most of the skills in Doubled Agent deal with buffing your Digi-Clone. Some of the skills grant you increased damage for you and your clone after killing an enemy. Another recharges your shield immediately after swapping places. And one doles out bonus shock damage when enemies aren't attacking Zane and are focused on his clone. Double Barrel, the last skill, gives your clone a replica of the gun you are using and increases your damage when you swap places.
This skill tree can augment Digi-Clone with cryo damage, proximity explosions once it ends, and can restore your shield based on the damage the clone takes. Or you can choose to share a portion of damage with your clone instead.
- Action Skill: SNTNL. A drone will be sent into the battlefield equipped with machine gun turrets.
Nearly all of the skills in Hitman are kill skills, meaning you need to kill an enemy to trigger them. Killing an enemy can grant increased movement speed, faster reloads, life steal from enemies, and the chance to fire an extra projectile. Unlocking the last skill, Seein' Red, automatically activates all of Zane's kill skills at once.
Augments in Hitman can add additional weapons to your SNTNL like a rocket or missile barrages, and can affect the elemental damage it deals.
- Action Skill: Barrier. A deployable barrier shield that blocks incoming bullets but allows you and your allies to shoot through it at enemies.
Under Cover is a defensive skill tree focusing on shield buffs, health regeneration, and damage resistance. Some of the skills improve shield recharge rate and delay or increase your maximum shield capacity entirely. A few of the skills even specialize in cryo effect damage. Distributed Denial, the last skill, grants Barrier the effects of Zane's currently equipped shield mod.
Barrier can be augmented to take the form of a dome that covers all sides, bump gun damage, shock enemies, and grant additional health regeneration.
Moze is the Gunner class, a former Vladof soldier who lost her entire squad in a suicide mission. Now she wanders the wastelands with her giant mech, Iron Bear.
Shield of Retribution
- Action Skill: Railgun. Iron Bear is equipped with a high-velocity railgun that deals shock damage.
Shield of Retribution does precisely what it sounds like it does; it buffs your shields in a variety of ways. You can increase your maximum shield, gain resistance against shock damage, have your shield immediately recharge after a critical kill, reduce recharge delay and increase recharge rate, or even sacrifice some of your maximum health to be put towards your shield capacity. The final skill, Tenacious Defense, instantly restores a portion of her shield once depleted and increases gun damage.
Augments buffs your Railgun with different elemental types. Iron Bear's melee attack, Bear Fist, can be unlocked and also be augmented with elemental damage under this skill tree.
- Action Skill: Minigun. Iron Bear is equipped with a minigun that can sustain a rapid-fire.
As its name suggests, Bottomless Mags keeps you in the action for as long as possible without interruption. Reloading takes up precious time. Skills in this tree focus on ammo regeneration and increased magazine size, with some even giving Moze infinite ammo for a short period. The last ability, Forge, constantly regenerates ammo for whichever weapon she has equipped.
Augments either add elemental damage to the Minigun. Or you can choose to equip a flamethrower that can be augmented to deal corrosive damage and drain less fuel, as it does not take traditional ammunition.
- Action Skill: V-35 Grenade Launcher. Iron Bear is equipped with a semi-automatic grenade launcher.
Demolition Woman is all about making the most of splash damage, affecting multiple enemies at once. If Moze deals splash damage, she might get deal bonus incendiary damage. Or her action skill cooldown could be decreased, or splash damage might double in size. The final, Short Fuse, delivers a chance for a secondary explosion on a target whenever Moze deals gun damage.
Her Grenade Launcher can be augmented with increased damage, reload speed, and a singularity grenade. You can also pick up a Vanquisher Rocket Pod for Iron Bear and augment it to deal radiation damage or fire homing rockets.
With each Vault Hunter, you'll always find a few skills that bump generic passive stats like weapon handling, reload speed, accuracy, etc.. These aren't necessarily tied to any specific skill tree and can be found in almost any of them.
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