Borderlands 3: Your guide to FL4K, masters of pets, invisible hunter, and solo specialist
Maybe Hunter+Stalker isn’t for you and you have something else in mind for FL4K. Well, here are some other options worth trying.
Borderlands 3 is out now and it’s an enormous game. Seriously, it’s huge. We here at KnowTechie want to make your trip to Pandora (and beyond) easier, so we’re going to be coming out with a series of guides on the four new characters (Amara, Zane, Moze, and FL4K), including an overview of their skill trees and potential build ideas. Ready to get started?
This one is for FL4K the Beastmaster.
FL4K is a pretty versatile character, with a fair mix of abilities just for them and abilities that center around animal companions. They can get support from a Spiderant (big spider with a mechanized appendage), a Jabber (monkey with a gun), or a Skag (mutated dog friend), plus a cooldown attack from a pair of Rakks (flaming bat things).
All of these pets can be teleported through a Gamma Burst portal to do radiation damage if you want that skill. Oh, and FL4K can turn invisible. Intrigued? So am I. Let’s dig into the skill trees.
Oh, and if you’re new to Borderlands 3, you should definitely start here first.
The Stalker tree is all about getting a Jabber – a monkey with a gun, essentially – and taking a back seat while it tanks and does your work for you. The active skill is Fade Away, which literally makes you turn invisible and grants significant buffs while you are. Add in some survivability and the Stalker tree becomes very, very safe and support heavy. Here are some feature skills:
- Jabber Sidekick (Base, pet): You get a Jabber, the monkey with a gun. It starts with a pistol.
- Fade Away (Base, action skill): FL4K can turn invisible. While invisible, they get three guaranteed critical hits, all of which deal bonus critical damage, before invisibility breaks. They also get increased movement speed and some passive health regeneration while invisible.
- Guerrillas in the Mist (Tier 2, Fade Away augment): Shooting no longer breaks invisibility, but Fade Away’s duration drops to 8 seconds and the bonus critical hit damage is reduced to 50%.
- Eager to Impress (Tier 2, up to 5 points): Kills reduce your action skill cooldown and pet kills reduce it even more.
- The Power Inside (Tier 6, 1 pt): FL4K and their pet get a 25% damage boos when you activate your action skill, which lasts for 15 seconds. If you’re at full health when you do this, the bonus is +50% instead.
Maybe you like your pet, but you’d rather take a more active role in combat than the Stalker tree provides. If that sounds like you, the Master tree is the aggressive version of the Stalker tree.
This one is mostly about dealing damage in tandem with your pet, whether it’s by just letting your Skag run wild or by actively using Gamma Burst, the active skill of this tree that blasts an area for radiation damage.
Here are some notable skills for this one:
- Guard Skag (Base, pet): The pet for this tree is a Skag, which is just a big, mutated attack dog.
- Gamma Burst (Base, action skill): Gamma Burst teleports your pet to a target location and constantly blasts that area for radiation damage. You can also use it to revive your pet if it’s down. Lasts for 20 seconds and has a 30-second cooldown.
- Go for the eyes! (Tier 1, up to 5 points): Your pet’s first melee attack on an enemy is an automatic critical hit and deals bonus critical hit damage. Also a reference to Minsc and Boo from Baldur’s Gate, which I could not pass up.
- Atomic Aroma (Tier 2, augment): While Gamma Burst is active, your pet gets a radiation aura that deals constant damage to nearby enemies.
- Dominance (Tier 6, 1 point): Overrides your melee ability to mind control an enemy for 12 seconds, which makes them fight for you while receiving constant damage. You can only have one Dominance active at a time and you can only dominate any given enemy once, but this skill has no cooldown.
You probably chose FL4K for their pets, but they also have a dedicated tree that’s all about them. The Hunter tree specializes in critical damage and kills skills, ideal for the snipers out there. The active skill for this one is Rakk Attack! which summons a rakk to dive-bomb an enemy for incendiary damage.
The real star of the show here is the final skill, Megavore, which gives ALL shots a chance to critically hit (instead of just headshots).
Here are some featured skills from the tree:
- Spiderant Centurion (Base, pet): The pet for this tree is a Spiderant that makes you constantly regenerate health.
- Rakk Attack! (Base, action skill) : Summon a rakk to dive-bomb enemies for incendiary damage. Has two charges.
- Two F4ng (Tier 3, up to 5 points): Chance to fire an extra projectile with every shot (25% chance at 5 points).
- Flock ‘N Load (Tier 4, augment): Each Rakk Attack! summons two additional rakks.
- Megavore (Tier 6, 1 point): All gun hits have a 20% chance to critically hit no matter where they hit on an enemy.
A Proposed Build – Infinite Invisibility
Eagle-eyed readers will already know what I have in mind: A mix between the Hunter and Stalker tree that allows infinite invisibility. This build will forego most pet skills in favor of FL4K-centric skills that bolster Fade Away and FL4K’s critical hits. This should be a hugely survivable, high damage build so silly that it verges on game-breaking.
Now unlike the other builds I’ve done, I have to make a big qualification here: We actually don’t know if you can reduce the cooldown of an action skill while that action skill is currently active. If you can, this build works. If you cannot, this build is dramatically less good and should probably be skipped entirely. We’ll see soon enough!
Ready to check it out? Here’s a link.
The crux of the build is our action skill, Fade Away, which lets us turn invisible. We’ll augment it with Guerrillas in the Mist, which makes it 8 seconds and reduces the critical damage bonus, but that’s 8 seconds where 1) every shot we fire is a guaranteed critical hit; 2) we move 25% faster; and 3) we get a constant 3% health regeneration per second. Since we’re aiming to be invisible 100% of the time, think of these as constant buffs. That alone should have your attention.
We’re going to use the Jabber companion and give it a shotgun with Beefcake Jabber because our pet deserves it. For our second Fade Away augment, we can take either Not My Circus or Until You Are Dead. I took the former because I like making sure attention is completely off me in combat.
The important skills are Eager to Impress in the Stalker tree and Head Count, Leave No Trace, and Megavore in the Hunter tree. The combination of these reduces our action skill cooldown will kills, reduces our action skill cooldown with critical hits, fires extra shots, and lets us critically hit anywhere on opponents instead of just their head or weak point.
Since all invisibility hits are crits, we should be able to just take a machine gun (anything about 10-16 rounds per second that’s even halfway accurate) and rapidly recharge Fade Away. That’s why it’s important that action skills can have their cooldown reduced while they’re active: If they cannot, none of this works.
From there, everything is just damage. Galactic Shadow boosts crit damage, Grim Harvest is unconditional gun damage, Furious Attack is stacking rapid-fire damage, Turn Tail and Run boosts our damage while standing still, and The Fast and the Furryous boosts our damage at full health. The vast majority of this build is optional, but there are some easy choices like 3 points in Persistence Hunter, our only Master tree skill, which is just a flat, unconditional 12% gun damage.
What do you think?
Will the action skill cooldown think work? Am I missing something potent in the other trees? Maybe Hunter+Stalker isn’t for you and you have something else in mind for FL4K. Feel free to sound off and discuss in the comments below or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.
Interested in the other characters? We’ve got guides for those, too.
- Your guide to Moze, the gunner with a mech, bringer of explosions and heavy firepower
- Your guide to Amara, the phase blasting, face-punching, bonafide badass
- Your guide to Zane – trickster spirit, roguish assassin, and Pandora’s Han Solo