Hello folks, and welcome to the third installment of the Borderlands 2 In-Depth Character guides. In today’s review, I’ll be covering the latest of what may be many DLC characters for Borderlands, Gaige the Mechromancer. This genius, half-cyborg, half-human girl may potentially be one of the greatest sources of DPS in the game while specced into the Anarchy tree. Compounded by her trusty sidekick pet-type ability, this character is easily one of the best single-player characters for those of you who just don’t want to risk getting into hacked lobbies or dealing with rather unsavory people over online games. In comparison to every other character (with the possible exception of Axton), Gaige can hold her own against hordes of enemies due to the fact that her ability will tank tons of damage while allowing you to dish out damage yourself. Again, like the other guides I’ll be covering the history, recommended builds, and my favorite guns to utilize with this class. Without further ado, how about we jump straight into the guide?
Alright, let’s delve into the backstory of this somewhat maniacal little girl. We learn that Gaige used to be a somewhat normal little girl before whatever happened that turned her into a vault hunter. We learn of her endeavors to win the local science fair and of her hatred for a spoiled little daddy’s girl known as Marcie. As the story develops, we learn of Gaige’s unique skillset and talent, establishing her as somewhat of a child prodigy and genius, as she covers the basics of her project, which involves a lot of techno babble and confusing words. Additionally, we learn a little about her home life, as we hear interactions with both her father and her somewhat tiny online blog. Her project is apparently the prototype of her ability, Deathtrap (at that point known as project DT), made for the prevention of bullying (which I’m assuming has happened a lot to her). Gaige apparently knows quite a bit concerning the history of Pandora and the Hyperion corporation, and is incredibly well-versed in the events occurring on the planet, as well as Handsome Jack. After a small accident that left her with a nick in her arm, she replaced it enthusiastically with a cybernetic arm (which she uses as the medium to summon her awesome ability). After Marcie steals her idea and utilizes it to assist what Gaige refers to as ‘the most corrupt police force in the galaxy’, the Mechromancer decides to completely annihilate her opponent (figuratively) during the science fair, with a blessing from her father. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it), Gaige’s project does exactly what it was meant to do as Marcie shoves Gaige in a menacing matter. Deathtrap comes to the aid of our scientist and shreds the bully with his digistructed claws, after which Gaige is forced to flee the planet and go into hiding, choosing to explore Pandora.
Gaige has three trees, one of which focuses on Deathtrap (the BFF tree, otherwise known as the ‘girlfriend’ tree), the Ordered Chaos tree (which is a little complex for those of you who are new to the game), and the other tree which I decided not to bother with in light of the first two (Little Big Trouble). There are two ways I prefer to spec Gaige, as I find no use for the center tree, both of which vary greatly in their uses and playstyles. The first way I choose to spec the Mechromancer relies on her BFF tree, taking the increased duration for Deathtrap on kill, and pretty much every buff for him all the way down to giving him a copy of my shield (keep in mind that Nova and Roid shields take him into account as well, adding onto his overall damage once his shields are down. The Flame of the Firehawk is amazing at this). I take a couple of extra points into the BFF tree for the Deathtrap explosion ability and to max out the cooldown rate. After that, I spec all the way down the Anarchy tree until I hit the ability that gives you 25 on the first kill with 0 stacks of Anarchy (I’ll talk about why Anarchy is so amazing on the next build, as this one isn’t really focused on it.
The next build that I utilize focuses mainly on the Anarchy skill. I’ll cover a little bit about it before I continue. The Anarchy skill allows the user to gain stacks (up to 400 if you spec correctly) with infinite duration, each of which increases gun damage by 1% but decreases accuracy by 1%. This, when combined with the ricochet ability further down the tree, completely negates the accuracy debuff by ricocheting almost all of your bullets toward the opponent depending on the gun you’re using (with The Bee shield, this becomes incredibly deadly). Unfortunately, if you reload prematurely (before your magazine runs out), you lose all of your stacks of Anarchy. Every. Single. One. For this, we spec into discord, which slowly drains your anarchy stacks in exchange for healing and an increased fire rate while active. The best part about discord is that you can toggle it on and off by reloading prematurely (and not lose all of your anarchy stacks), making it a go-to ability for anyone going down the Ordered Chaos tree.
As far as recommended guns are concerned, I prefer anything that fires quickly in a short amount of time. Additionally, I prefer anything that fires multiple bullets at once. Any of the shotguns in the game make for decent weapons the moment they are picked up by Gaige (especially those with lower accuracy but immense damage). I also recommend the Maggie (legendary revolver from Jakobs), as it fires similarly to a shotgun in that it fires multiple rounds per shot. These weapons make it easy to hit that nth bullet (5th at max level), causing it to ricochet into the nearest enemy. I wouldn’t recommend anything like a sniper for either tree (as anarchy stacks kill your precision) or rocket launchers (they become too unwieldy with Gaige, and you really don’t need that kind of damage with max anarchy). Any of the fast fire rate weapons (assault rifles, SMG’s) are fair game as well, though I prefer to stick with the weapons that fire large amounts of bullets per shot. I will make a note right here that due to the passive on her other ability in the OC tree that lowers magazine size, the Infinity pistol is unusable (0 size clip) until further notice.
Assault Rifles: Veruc, Madhous, Shredifier
Pistols: Maggie, Gub
Shotguns: Anything 🙂
SMG: Slagga, Bitch, Hellfire
That’s essentially it for my review of the first (and possibly not the last) DLC character in Borderlands 2. Next week I’ll flip a coin to decide whether or not I’ll cover Maya or Salvadore (hopefully Salvadore, he’s fun). Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look into Gaige, the Mechromancer. Stay tuned for more in-depth character guides or other little tips and tricks!