Anyone who has ever played a Borderlands game previously knows that a lot of the appeal comes from the Vault Hunters. And that is still true in Borderlands 3 . On a base level, the gameplay is pretty standard. Is it chaotic and absurd? Yes. Does it amount to much more than shooting enemies until their life bar empties? Not really. And that's fine! Because the interesting and diverse characters Gearbox introduces in each game are what bring the fans back.
And, because Skill Trees got a serious upgrade in BL3, there are tons of different builds for each character! There are a few that are just blatantly overpowers or even broken, but there are others that are insanely fun but a bit weak efficiency-wise. It's up to us to let you know all about our favorites so hopefully, you'll figure out your own way to play these fresh new Pandoran greenhorns.
10 Common: Fade Away Critical Machine FL4K
This is the most common build we've seen so far in the first month or so since BL3 has been out, and there are a few reasons for that. One, FL4K is by far the most popular character. I mean just look at them. Two, people will always desire the animal-based class because who doesn't love having a pet? And three, the players who saw how fast Crit FL4K melted bosses wanted one of their own. This build is obviously entirely centered around any skill that enhances crits.
It's heavily invested in the Hunter Tree while oddly having the Action Skill Fade Away from the Stalker tree as its foundation. Basically, use Jakobs weapons, invest in crits and Fade Away augments, and hold on to that gun for dear life. But, with the current trend of patches, this meta build might not last much longer.
9 Underrated: Temper Tantrum Samsara Amara
Next is a build not many people know about. Samsara is an ability early in Amara's Brawler Tree that is pretty polarizing. In essence, for every enemy damaged by Amara's Action Skill, she gains stacks that lead to some pretty hefty buffs to Gun Damage and Health Regen. Other than that and a couple of tanky skills, that's all that this build needs from the Brawler Tree.
The rest of the points are spread throughout the other two trees in order to buff Amara's Elemental Chance/Damage and her Gun Damage. In short, Fist Over Matter will max out Samsara immediately, causing Amara to do between 40-50% more Gun Damage and regenerating half her health per second. Everything else is just raw buffs so she can kill enemies while being unkillable.
8 Common: Bloodletter Infinite Shield Moze
Other than Fade Away FL4K, this build is the other most common and most broken. In as little words as possible, this build is all about throwing infinite multi-critting Hex grenades, regenerating ammo constantly, and keeping that shield capacity as high as possible. It's another odd build, but it somehow became incredibly popular. Two of the most important aspects of it are the Vampyr skill and the Deathless Artifact.
Moze needs to regen/heal from grenades, and she needs Deathless to double her shield capacity to astronomical levels. Surprisingly, there's a lot of variability in the guns and shields that can be used in this build, so it can be played a multitude of ways.
7 Underrated: Atomic Wonder Splash Damage Moze
On the flip side, people would expect the infinite grenade build to be considered "splash damage" but it isn't. Not entirely anyway. There's an entirely separate build for Moze that's centered around doing constant splash damage in order to heal and regen her Iron Bear. There's a lot less variability for the guns in this, but in exchange, players can choose to prioritize pure splash damage or cause their Iron Bear to shoot nukes as well.
Personally, we love running all Torque such as the Hive, The Flakker, and the Laser 'Sploder. It's not as invincible as the Bloodletter build, but it is tons of fun for areas like the Slaughter Shaft, Proving Ground, or Slaughterstar. This is a build perfect for waves of mindless bandits.
6 Common: Blitz Machine Melee Amara
Moreso than any other build, Melee Amara was pretty much confirmed to be the standard before release. The Skill Trees for all four Vault Hunters came out long before the full game dropped on September 12th, so players were planning builds in advance. And what most fans agreed on, is that Amara was meant for Melee. And they weren't necessarily wrong, it is the build the Dev's intended to be common and accessible.
A build where Amara is constantly regenerating health, Blitz-ing between foes, and melee'ing them into little puddles of elemental goop. It's not at all boring, just a bit predictable, though the Face-Puncher Shotgun can add some needed variety as well.
5 Underrated: Moze And Her Pet Iron Bear
Next, we have our final build for Moze that probably isn't all that good, but it is a ton of fun. One of Moze's Legendary Class Mods lets Auto Bear stay out for the entire duration left whenever Moze exits it pre-emptively. This means that Moze can hop in, hop out, and an AI-controlled Bear will slaughter foes on the field for over a minute on its own before turning into a kamikaze charging at the nearest Tink thanks to Auto Bear.
It's one of the more open builds, only really needing a few skills to buff the Mech, and a specific Class Mod. Everything else is up to the player, and that variability is what makes it so fun in our opinion. Players can either treat Iron Bear as a summon, or hop on the Dakka Turret and use it to tank damage and save ammo.
4 Common: Barrier-Centric Plain Jane Zane
As soon as Zane's Skill Tree leaked, we knew that his Barrier Action Skill was going to be the favorite. It buffs damage when friendlies shoot through it! That alone makes it too valuable to not use. But luckily, there are quite a few builds that are centered around the barrier, so Vault Hunters have some choices when it comes to how they want to build around this admittedly boring mechanic.
There are builds that keep Zane standing still within a Barrier Bubble, builds that have him running around constantly carrying his barrier at mach speed, and even builds where his clone is shooting through the barrier more often than Zane is. It's a real mixed bag and we're glad to see that Zane has the sort of variety that players thought he might have when he was first announced.
3 Underrated: Actual Beastmaster FL4K
Here's a harsh truth, FL4K isn't much of a Beastmaster. In fact, his best builds are all about ignoring his beast skills entirely. And, there are even some FL4K players who purposely don't grab an action skill so that their Pet isn't constantly "annoying" them.
But, there are a few elite fans out there that did the work, crunched the numbers, and sacrificed their precious time in order to figure out a build or two that lets FL4K's pets maintain at least a bit of viability. These builds all seem to ignore the capstones, and we know that's hard for players to do, but trust us, do the research, try the build, and let these three beasts strut their stuff.
2 Common: Mach Speed Iceman Zane
Out of all the Zane builds, this one is slowly pushing its way to the top as the most common. In fact, it's about as slow as ice now that we think about it. That's right, its Iceman Zane! This character build is centered around freezing foes while buffing your own movement speed, fire rate, and raw damage. It's a great build that when done correctly, will leave entire fields of foes frozen solid.
And only higher Mayhem Modes where the enemy spawns get pretty absurd, this couldn't be more useful. Especially in multiplayer. It does need a bit of grinding to get the right gear, but use this build around friends, and the complaints about Zane being the weakest of the new VH's will surely fade.
1 Underrated: Flame Of The Dragon Melee Amara
Last but not least, we have one of the more unique Elemental builds for Amara. Most builds either prioritize elemental damage or raw melee potential and don't mix the two much. But this one does! And its all thanks to a certain Legendary Artifact called Unleash the Dragon.
Let's break this build down into steps. Step 1, take down an enemy's shield. Step 2, punch them literally once or shoot them with the Face Puncher. Step 3, watch at the damage over time literally burns through their entire health bar. And that's it! It's that simple. Basically this build is what you'd get if you crossed the Firehawk with One Punch Man, and we're absolutely into it.