Being one of the mystical Sirens of the Borderlands universe has its perks, and for Amara it means getting to deal an insane amount of melee damage. In Borderlands 3, one of Amara's three skill trees is solely dedicated to getting up in the enemy's face and punching them so hard they explode. Thanks to a few key skills and a couple legendary items, players can make a melee build that will carry them easily through Mayhem 3 content with little resistance.
Necessary Skill Trees
This build revolves around Amara's Brawl tree, with some extra points tossed into the Fist of the Elements tree for bonus damage and elemental effects. Borderlands 3 players can start getting this build ready before Level 50, but for it to truly shine players should be at max level. There are several key skills that, when combined, turn Amara in an absolute punching machine. First and foremost, mid-way through the Brawl tree, Amara has Find Your Center, which grants a 100% increase to melee damage.
The capstone skill for this tree is Blitz, which allows Amara to dash toward an enemy with her melee to deal an additional 100% melee damage - and if the enemy is killed by Blitz then the cooldown is immediately reset. Several skills, like Clarity, Root to Rise, and Mindfulness all add to Amara's defenses, allowing her to be up close to deal this massive damage. The skill synergies within each tree are one of the many great things about Borderlands 3.
Fist of the Elements contains some of the best skills for Amara, but not many points will be sunk into this tree for this build. The most important ability in the tree is Illuminated Fist, which converts Amara's melee to her action skill element as well as giving it a 75% damage buff. Infusion helps give Amara increased elemental damage with her weapons, which will come in handy when getting to the necessary gear.
Tempest gives Amara a 30% buff to her elemental damage, and Shock damage gains an additional 20% on top of that. Players should try to run her Action Skill with Shock to maximize damage output, but thankfully players can move the element around as needed depending on the enemies they are fighting. As Borderlands 3 will not be getting DLC Vault Hunters, there's a chance Gearbox will add more skills later on for the existing Vault Hunters to make this build even better.
Key Weapons and Equipment
There are a ton of powerful legendary weapons in Borderlands 3, but with Amara's build players may only need one. There is one legendary Hyperion Shotgun called the Face-puncher that is practically made for Amara. While at first glance this gun may seem lackluster, its hidden perk is what makes it so powerful. Instead of scaling with weapon damage, the gun's damage is counted as melee damage and thus benefits from all of Amara's perks. Essentially Amara is shooting out small fists every time she fires this gun, making it the best in-slot weapon since it covers her only weakness: ranged enemies. Not only does this weapon scale with melee damage, it also can proc all of Amara's skills, like Jab Cross, which usually only activates when Amara deals melee damage.
In terms of shields, the best in-slot is Ward, a fairly reliable legendary drop from one of Borderlands 3's great bosses: Graveward. Ward grants a 300% melee bonus when the shield is depleted - which works for both Amara's fists as well as Face-puncher. Players should also search for the Breaker legendary class mod - specifically with a bonus skill point in Find Your Center for an additional 100% melee damage.
In terms of relics, players have some flexibility here to fine-tune the build depending on what is lacking. If players feel they are dying too easily, they can find a melee life-steal relic (which procs with Face-puncher as well) to constantly heal. If players want to deal even more damage, a melee-boosting relic would do nicely. Thankfully players can easily farm Borderlands 3 bosses to get relics quickly.
Overall this build is incredibly powerful and can carry players through Mayhem 3 TVHM playthroughs if they are careful enough. There is a find balance of knowing when to rush in for direct punches and when to stay back and fire with Face-puncher. Blitz allows for a strong melee attack but it does cause Amara to be right in the center of the fight. This build is incredibly fun and makes Amara one of the best Vault Hunters in Borderlands 3. Hopefully as the game continues to grow, Gearbox will add even more skill points so players can make this build even crazier.
Borderlands 3 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.