As if the four original protagonists weren’t causing enough destruction on Pandora, a fifth playable class has joined the fray. Gaige, the steam-punky Mechromancer is here to shake things up with her deployable robot friend Deathtrap. Deathtrap is a monster on the battlefield, and Gaige’s three skill trees offer vastly different approaches in combat. We break down the three skill trees so you can make the best choice possible. For a fully interactive skill tree straight from Gearbox, click here.
Best Friends Forever: The Best Friends Forever tree is all about keeping Deathtrap on the field as long as possible. A variety of abilities ranging from maximum health bonuses to extending Deathtrap’s duration, the majority of the tree is devoted to allowing your robot to achieve maximum destruction. An array of options are available to increase you all-around effectiveness, but hardcore enthusiasts may enjoy the more involved skills of the other class. Abilities like regenerating health while your magazines are full, giving your stray shots a ricochet effect and even giving Deathtrap a copy of your shield all serve to give you maximum survivability. For less skilled gamers, BFF is the way to go.
- Upshot Robot: This skill five extends Deathtraps duration five seconds for every enemy that you or your robot friend kill. In a big firefight, this means you can keep Deathtrap around almost indefinitely, at least until the enemies are all dead. The stackable melee bonus is just badass icing on the cake.
- 20% Cooler: This invaluable skill reduces Deathtrap’s cooldown up to 30%, despite the name. That is an obvious boon to anybody intent on keeping him around. In practical terms, it shaves about twenty seconds off your cooldown at max level. That can be significant in a fight.
- Sharing is Caring: The final skill in the BFF tree is this one, which gives Deathtrap a copy of your shield. Note that that means any effects your shield may have, like Nova blast or Roid damage, also transfer. Be careful if you are using a turtle shield, but otherwise, this is an invaluable tool for your Deathclap.
Little Big Trouble: Much like Maya’s Cataclysm tree, Little Big Trouble centers on dealing elemental damage, most of it electric. I prefer flame and corrode elements in Borderlands, so I wasn’t initially attracted to this tree, but the offensive options are enticing. You can add electrical effects to everything from your critical kills to Deathtrap, even to your reloads. Put enough points into this tree, and you will be a DPS monster, burning and electrocuting foes all over the battlefield. A couple unique Deathtrap abilities also make this an attractive tree, including a giant Iron Man-esque laser beam upgrade.
- Evil Enchantress: At full level, this adds 30% damage to any of your electrical, corrosive or burning attacks. If you have invested in this tree significantly, almost all of your attacks will do one, if not more, of those types of damage. Do the right thing, max this skill out as soon as possible.
- One Two Boom: Putting the single point into this ability is probably the best single point you can spend. After you have purchased this ability, Deathtrap will begin spewing energy orbs around the battlefield occasionally. Shooting one of these orbs does an insane amount of damage in a contained area. This is devastating, and should be used constantly.
- Make it Sparkle: This exciting ability allows Deathtrap to be charged with whatever element you shoot him with. All damage bonuses you may have accumulated apply to his new found superpowers as well, so when combined with One Two Boom this can make for some devastating electrical attacks.
Ordered Chaos: While the other trees are set up to assist you in battle in various ways, Ordered Chaos offers a more complex skillset that, if used correctly, can turn Gaige into an absolute terror. The entire tree is based around the concept of Anarchy. Basically, Anarchy is a stackable bonus you receive when you either kill a foe or completely empty a magazine. As your Anarchy goes up, your weapon damage goes up by a small percentage, but your accuracy drops a bit as well. This is originally stackable up to 150, with an extra 250 available through the Preshrunk Cyberpunk skill. Managing your Anarchy stacks is key to success while using this tree, so choosing your skills and reloads wisely is key here.
- Anarchy: The key to the whole strategy of the tree, Anarchy is the first skill you should purchase. Learn how to manage your Anarchy! Killing and emptying your magazine build up your stacks, but prematurely reloading your gun removes them. If you are finding yourself accidently ruining your Anarchy, pick up the Discord skill to compensate.
- Preshrunk Cyberpunk: This invaluable skill increases your Anarchy stack cap by up to 250%. That can equate to 437% more gun damage. Need I say more?
- Typecast Iconoclast: A sweet skill that is available early (tier 3), Iconoclast gives you a chance to gain a double portion of Anarchy every time you gain one. At level five, this means a 30% chance to double your anarchy stacks. With a potential of 400 stacks, you’ll need all the help you can get.
I hope this helps make your experience with Gaige that much better. She is free if you pre-ordered the game, and she can be bought for ten bucks right meow!