Borderlands 2 DLC Review: Gaige the Mechromancer
After Randy Pitchford dropped a surprise tweet earlier this week announcing the early release of the new playable character DLC for Borderlands 2, Gaige the Mechromancer, spare time suddenly seemed to disappear. She is a spunky addition to the vault hunters and great way to change up the way you play the game. The new class’s action skill, Summon Deathtrap, offers a mixture of the first Borderland;s action skill Summon Bloodwing and Summon turret. Deathtrap flies around the map homing in on enemies like bloodwing, but it has high damage, a life bar, can kill more than one target, and a timer similar to the turret skill.
Deathtrap melee attacks all the enemies in range of his agro (which is fairly large and he can fly up to clifftops and attack from above enemies even out of Gaige’s range) and shoots lighting blasts from his eye at flying creatures and bots. Gaige herself also has some unique skills and abilities, which set her apart from the rest of the cast. With Borderlands 2 already having four completely unique classes and each skill tree being unique enough to almost be considered subclasses, I was curious just how she was possibly going to be able to bring something different to the roster. My doubts were dispelled almost immediately, and they were completely thrown away upon reaching level 11 and getting to try out all of her 2nd tier action skill buffs to Deathtrap. As the game progressed and more and more points got dumped into each skill tree with tons of respecs to figure out how to emphasize the unique play-style of each one, Gaige really set herself apart from the other classes and earned her rightful title as a bonafide badass
Best Friends Forever
This tree is Gaige’s take on the support class. Points in the tree grant bonus health, mobility, shield regeneration to Gaige and her allies, and increases the duration and tankyness of Deathtrap. The tree is great for team play because of it’s shield regeneration and defense from the harder more damaging enemies in a full four man group. Personally, I felt that this tree didn’t really showcase her as a particularly unique character, but it is still incredibly useful. Respec into this tree if you have good gear but keep dying, or if you want to support the team by keeping shields up and having a longer more consistent presence on deathtrap. Noticeable skills include Deathtraps shield recovery (recovers allies shields) skill, health regeneration when magazine is full, and copying Gaige’s shield on Deathtrap for creative damage opportunities.
Gear utilized with this skill tree: team mods, high capacity nova and spike shields, snipers, and assault rifles
Little Big Trouble
This skill tree is probably my favorite and is also the most gear dependent This is the Mechromancer much more unique take on big AOE damage skills and huge elemental damage chance. This skill tree is great for solo play and big group play for its high damage output capabilities, Deathtrap’s skill enhancements, and the many ways you can damage multiple enemies at the same time with fire and shock damage. Respec into this skill tree after you collect all the gear you would need to utilize all the skills this tree offers for fire and electric damage bonuses. Noticeable skills include increased elemental chance and damage abilities Deathtrap’s laser-beam that ignites and kills some badass targets and all regular ones, electrical burn witch ignites electrocuted enemies, and the ability to shoot Deathtrap with an element and have the rest of his attacks deal bonus damage of that element type and allowing additional ignites, slag, and other elemental effects.
Gear utilized with this skill tree: shield recharge or skill cool-down mods, high recharge nova and spike-fire and electricity shields, and Mailwan brand guns for as much bonus fire, electric, and slag damage on guns as possible.
Ordered Chaos might be the most unique, challenging, and damaging skill tree in the game, and can be so even as a secondary skill set. This skill tree is all about burning through ammo as fast as possible for as much damage as possible (and constantly gaining bonus damage while you do it). This set up grants experienced players a chance to really change how they play the game and get rewarded for doing so correctly with as much as 700% bonus damage. Put your leftover skill points into this tree for a jump in damage or max it out for a unique style of play and even more insane damage. Noticeable skills include Anarchy which gives stacks of 1.75% increased damage but 1.75% reduced accuracy for every kill and magazine completely emptied, the accompanying skill to increase your max stacks to 400 for an insane damage boost, the ability to manifest Deathtrap’s claws on your own hands for bonus damage and life steal, and a skill called discord which gives constant bonus accuracy, llife regeneration, and fire-rate at the cost of stacks over time.
Gear utilized with this skill tree: accuracy and any defense mods, high recharge and capacity shields, Tediore guns for their naturally flattering stats for anarchy, Jacobs for fire rate, and Hyperion SMGs for higher accuracy.
Overall Gaige was a complete blast to play these past two days. Her more item dependent offensive trees are probably the most fun to play even if they take a bit more work and gear to make fully useful, but she is still a great way to mix up the game if you want to start the story over with a new character. If you like Axton,but want to be more mobile and aggressive character, instead of one who hides behind turrets, download her to give her a go. For ten dollars you get a brand new character with back story, three brand new ways to play, one to support your friends, one to utilize the gear you’ve been collecting for the past month playing borderlands, and one to challenge vets and reward them for some of the highest damage bonuses in the game. Gearbox covered all bases and all players with this DLC by giving a class fo beginners and supporters, for gear grinders, and for those looking for a challenge. A solid download and worth its sticker price. I just wish the DLC came with a cut scene of her as Tiny Tina.
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