Keeping true to its word, Borderlands 3 has racks on racks of guns. We haven't exactly counted, but a billion wouldn't be too surprising. Of course, these piles of guns range between different rarity subcategories. But, at the peak are the WMD's defined as "Legendary". These Legendary weapons are more creative than ever before, and that becomes clear at a glance with the Shotguns. These weapons are truly fearsome in BL3. And, while the internet as a whole is scrounging around trying to find every single Legendary in the game, we're here to tell the fans which ones we prefer or don't based on what we've seen so far.
Disclaimer: 99% of these weapons we used on a Level 50 Amara on both base TVHM and TVHM + Mayhem 3, so while their strength is obviously relative based on Vault Hunter, we did some extensive testing on this. Yes, all the Legendaries can be broken when used correctly, this is just our own personal opinion.
We immediately lied about the disclaimer, this first gun isn't relative, it's factually insane. The Flakker is good on any character, any difficulty, and at any time. This is seriously an immeasurably good Shotgun, and players don't even have to aim it. It's a Torque, so obviously it explodes, but not just once or twice. No, the Flakker shoots a group of 3 invisible shells that explode a bunch of times after about a half-second. In previous games, the Flakker had much better range but much less damage, this time around it's absolutely a close-range gun, but the damage is mindboggling. It's hard to justify using anything else, but we'll do our best.
Weapons that spawn a slow-moving projectile are sort of confusing. Why? Because enemies move around constantly in BL3. And we mean constantly. We tried the Lob for quite a while and found it pretty much useless. This is another Torgue shotgun but with a bit of that ugly alien/Eridian goop that shows up on some of the Leggo's. It shoots one large ball of energy of whatever element it dropped with that slowly flies through the air and does splash damage upon contact. But, if we were looking for a shotgun like that, we'd want one that actually hits, like the Kill O The Wisp which ticks away at enemies it flies past. In comparison, the Lob just feels like a cheap knockoff.
That's right, 2K and Gearbox have put quite a few weeb-inclined references into the Schlooter and this one can be found quite early. In Lectra City, there's a little puzzle Vault Hunters can find that spawns the One Punch bandit. Wonder who that could be referencing? If somehow they manage to survive this encounter, this enemy has a chance to drop this amazing shotgun. Basically, the One Pump Chump does insane damage, like really insane. It's a real melter of a Shotgun especially if used before Mayhem Mode. There's not much more to say, this gun destroys enemies in one shot, and has a 50% chance not to spend any ammo each and every trigger pull.
T.K. Baha was one of the first character players met in Borderlands 1 and his shotgun was the perfect introduction to how "wacky" guns could get in this new franchise. Sure, it was only obtained after rescuing his leg from his murderer, but still, pretty wacky. So, it's awesome that his weapon makes a return in BL3 as a Dahl Shotgun. The only problem is...it's terrible! Well, at least from what we could tell. The weapons are a lot wackier and varied compared to the OG looter shooter, so TK's "wave" of projectiles isn't as fantastical anymore. Plus, they just don't do much damage, and they're hard to hit.
People might notice after reading a lot of our "Best Legendary Weapons" articles that we have a bias towards ricochet weapons, and there's a reason why. Gearbox does too! There's just so many of them. Every bullet spawns more and therefore is worth more, whether its the Wagon Wheel Pistol, the Lucian's Call Assault Rifle, or the Conference Call Shotgun. This shotty is a staple of the franchise now since it was so heavily favored in BL2. To summarize, the Conference Call's pellets will always ricochet and spawn additional bullets after hitting an enemy, surface, or after traveling a certain distance. It's absolutely a fantastic choice to clear mobs of enemies or to use against the bigger bosses.
This aptly named "boring" gun is just so hard to use. It's situational, as it can be awesome when used against enemies packed tightly together and against foes with literal shields. But, it can't even hit aerial creatures and is insanely difficult to aim. The Boring Gun shoots 3 sawblades out of its barrel in a small arc. These saw blades then immediately hit the ground and travel along until they come into contact with an enemy. They'll travel up walls and over barriers, so they're great for hitting enemies behind cover. But, there's no fine-aim with this gun, and the increased splash damage makes it incredibly easy for players to damage themselves when using it. Frankly, its name is deceptive as the gun is almost too exciting and not dependable enough.
Ahh, the Face Puncher, one of the "worst" yet most amazing guns in the game. If a Vault Hunter isn't built for melee damage, this gun is essentially worthless. But, if they happen to love smacking enemies upside the head (especially with Amara), this gun is quite literally broken. Basically, every single pellet the Face-Puncher fires is equivalent to a melee attack, and normally it launches seven pellets. That means that at close range, a single shot into an enemy is the same as hitting them seven times at once! Plus it also benefits from melee effects from artifacts or skills. For example, if Amara has an artifact that gives her 50% of the damage she does with melee back as health, that'll apply to every pellet! It's a must-have for any melee build, end of story.
This 1997 Event Horizon reference weapon should be much better than it is. Its special effect as a Tediore weapon is that it creates a singularity/black hole if it is shot after being thrown. But, singularities are a bit odd in BL3. Amara has an Augment in her skill trees that adds a singularity to her Action Skill, and it only works half the time, plus it doesn't suck enemies in all that much. At least not for us. The same can be said for the Horizon. The singularity it creates isn't nearly as good as the turrets other Tediore weapons spawn or even the suicidal baby guns that the Baby Maker makes. Sadly this weapon was just graced with a relatively lame special effect that causes most players to walk right past it.
For much of the same reason the One Pump Chump is absurd, the Butcher is also crazy good. This weapon is another World Drop that was in both Borderlands 1 and 2. But unlike its past two incarnations, the Butcher is shockingly strong in BL3. It's a rapid-fire shotgun that randomly refills the magazine when shot. It can spawn with or without an element and has a relatively quick reload animation. Quite frankly, it's just a reliable shotgun, especially on the infinite ammo builds for FL4K and Moze. Heck, it can even be useful when used on Amara if she's using Phasegrasp with Dread! There's not much more to say, if players aren't into the AOE damage of the Flakker, the Butcher is a fantastic second choice.
And finally, we're ending on a perfect example of what makes some BL3 Legendaries bad. Each Legendary has its own unique special effect or "gimmick" but sometimes, the gimmick is more of a joke than something useful. The Nimble Jack is a double reference to both Handsome Jack and the age-old story about a certain candlestick-jumping Jack. And, as such, the gun is insanely accurate while in the air but fires sporadically while on the ground. It's a cute way to implement the idea of "jumping" into the gun, but it's useless. Airborne-shooting is not fun or implemented well in BL3. This bad boy feels much more suited to a low-gravity game like The Pre-Sequel rather than Borderlands 3.