Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

1,780 ratings
Dashi's Comprehensive Guide to: Maya from LVL 1 to OP8
By dashima
An expansive guide on how to level a powerful Maya from level 1 to OP8 (now including lvl 80)

Hello! I'm an avid lover of the Borderlands franchise, and I figured after 1000+ hours playing this game, I might as well go ahead and pass some strats. In this guide, I'll detail in depth playstyles I ultimately chose for Maya with UVHM and OP8 in mind. I'll discuss her action skills, skill trees, how I personally levelled her, what gear you should look out for and where to look out for them. I originally intended to make one for all the other Vault Hunters (particularly Krieg, Zer0, and Gaige), and maybe I still will one day, but I've since moved onto other things.

EDIT 04/08/19: Thanks so much to the community for voting this one of the top character guides and the #1 character guide for Maya! To pay you all back, I have uploaded additional build screenshots for the other characters at the end of the guide. Enjoy!

EDIT 06/28/19: Updated the guide to level 80 to reflect the new level cap.
People have been asking, and while I won't take monetary donations, I do accept leftover gems and other steam gifts. This is my trade link. I would like to thank each and every one of you who used this guide and gave it feedback a big thank you. This guide was a huge solo effort and I'm very happy that so many people found it useful enough that it needed updating years after release. Happy looting everyone!

If this helped you or you see something that needs to be added/fixed, let me know! My goal is to make this guide as accesible as possible towards players of all levels. If there's anything you don't know, feel free to ask in the comments or look it up on the Borderlands wiki[].
So You Think You're A Badass?
Borderlands 2 is a game filled with fun experiences and incredible, rewarding loot for those who search for it. What makes it better are the six character classes you can choose from, each featuring unique skills, builds and personalities! Every character has the capability to be the "most powerful" but only if you have the time and patience... and the correct build. In this particular guide, we'll be focusing on one of my favorite and all-out balanced solo/co-op characters: Maya.

We'll be the judge of that.

Every character starts off on the same playing field - Level 1 with no special starting skills regardless of which class you opt for. Skills gradually build over time and can be reset to choose a different set of skills at any time. This is the beauty of this game: if you pick a skill you don't like you can always go back and pick again.


A brief rundown of words frequently used in the game and this guide:

  • Normal Mode: The first game mode, where you start off at Level 1. You're a newborn baby with a gun. You're destined for great things.

  • TVHM: Stands for "True Vault Hunter Mode" which is basically New Game+ or the game mode that follows normal mode. Typically starts around level 30-ish. Harder enemies, better loot.

  • UVHM: Stands for "Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode" which is New Game++ and comes after TVHM. UVHM is the reason most builds wind up similar and often require the same gear. Slag is your best friend. Starts around level 50 and scales up to level 72. Very hard enemies, better loot. Legendary loot midgets and tubbies make frequent appearances and drop special legendary and pearlescent items.

  • Slag: While all elements in the game are important, completing UVHM as stresslessly as possible often depends on your ability to use this element.

  • OP: Oh ****, we've got a badass over here! Stands for "Overpower" Level. Once you hit level 72, you can unlock a secondary levelling system that levels the enemies instead of you. This goes up 8 levels (OP8) and can scale enemies up to level 80+. Don't worry, the loot levels too.

I. The Siren: Overview
This is the power of a Siren.

Maya is a powerful Siren who can use her action skill Phaselock to momentarily freeze enemies in combat. This allows her to pummel the phaselocked enemy without resistance or to focus on other enemies without having to worry about them. Maya synergizes well within a team and by herself because she's such a well-balanced class. Giving her a strong offense is ultimately her best defense. When levelled properly, she can deal the most consistently high damage and makes dealing with badass enemies, raid bosses and mobs painlessly easy. Needless to say, her action skill is gamechanging and doesn't involve poor level-scaling in higher game modes that some other characters suffer from. Ultimate badass spawned? Phaselock. Getting cornered? Phaselock. Friend dying 10 miles away? Need slag? Surveyors? Win the game? Phaselock.

An important factor to note is that Maya's strength does not necessarily come from one particular skill but an amalgamation of her combined skills and the gear you choose. Thus, she will require occasional respecs depending on the occasion but becomes one of the easiest characters to play solo once she levels out. Universal skill tree goals should be to maximize the skills "Wreck" and "Reaper" as these are Maya's top damage skills.

Phaselock the big one! THE BIG ONE!
I. The Siren: Skill Tree

A versatile Maya build w/ Legendary Binder

A quick look at her skill tree:


+5% Shield Capacity and -8% Shield Recharge Delay per level.
+3% Gun Damage and +4% Bullet Speed per level.
Increases the duration of Phaselock by 0.5s per level.
Kinetic Reflection
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy causes you to deflect bullets against nearby enemies, reducing damage to you by 10% and dealing 20% damage per level for a short time.

Your Movement Speed increases by 10% per level while your shields are depleted.
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy regenerates 0.8% of your Shield per second and increases your Reload Speed by 10% per level for a short time.
Your Phaselock ability now also pulls nearby enemies toward the original target.
Increases the Cooldown Rate of your Phaselock's Ability by 6% per level.

When an enemy dies under the effects of Phaselock, there is a chance for your Phaselock to seek out and affect another target (20% chance per level).
Phaselock causes enemies to switch allegiance and fight amongst themselves. Additionally, Phaselock's duration and cooldown are increased (3s and 4s respectively).

Mind's Eye
+5% Critical Hit Damage and +6% Melee Damage per level
Sweet Release
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy who is currently Phaselocked creates 1 Life Orb per level which automatically seeks out and heals you and your friends. The healing is stronger when you or your friend's health is low (up to 15% per Orb).
+3% Maximum Health and attack allies to heal them for 6% of the attack damage per level.

+10% Fire Rate and +6% Damage with guns per level while you have an enemy Phaselocked.
You and your friends regenerate 1% health per second per level while you have an enemy Phaselocked.
Taking Health damage has a 10% chance per level of dealing an equal amount of damage to your attacker.
You can instantly revive a friend in Fight for Your Life by Phaselock.
Regenerate 0.4% of your missing Health per second per level.
Life Tap
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives you 1.2% Life Steal per level for a short while.
Melee Override. Press [melee] to throw an Orb of Slag that constantly damages enemies near it. This ability has a 18 second cooldown.

+6% Elemental Effect Chance per level.
Increases Magazine Size and Reload Speed with all weapon types. +4% Magazine Size and +5% Reload Speed per level.
Adds +10% Damage per level as Fire Damage to all shots fired when in Fight For Your Life.
Phaselocking an enemy causes a fiery explosion, damaging all nearby enemies. +1 Helios Damage Rank per level.
Chain Reaction
While you have an enemy Phaselocked all of your bullets that hit enemies have a 8% chance per level to ricochet and hit another nearby enemy.
Your melee attacks deal additional Fire Damage. Also, when your shields become depleted you create a fiery explosion, damaging nearby enemies. Your shields must fully recharge between explosions. +1 Backdraft Damage Rank per level.
Cloud Kill
Shooting an enemy creates a lingering Acid Cloud, which lasts for 5 seconds, dealing constant Corrosive Damage to enemies who touch it. Only one Acid Cloud can be active at a time.
You deal +8% increased Gun Damage per level to enemies with more than 50% health remaining.
Blight Phoenix
Kill Skill. Killing an enemy causes you to deal Fire and Corrosive Damage to nearby enemies for a short time. The damage is based on your Level and the Level of the Blight Phoenix.
Action Skill Augmentation. Phaselock now slags, corrodes and electrocutes nearby enemies.
I. The Siren: Build, 1-15
During early levels, keep an eye out for elemental Maliwan/Hyperion SMGs, particularly e-tech plasma casters, Torgue/Hyperion shotguns and Vladof pistols with high fire rates (Vladof grip for those who can recognize it!). While Torgue weapons are always explosive, its shotguns in particular (hulks/ravagers) are decent enough to carry through normal, TVHM, and even UVHM.

Fire is the weakest element. Nearly half of the game's enemies resist it and it has limited use with the exception of raid bosses. Fire starts losing effectiveness from about level 15 due to Hyperion enemies and a gradual introduction to shielded opponents. Shock and Explosive are all-around "safe elements" with very few enemies who resist them making both effective tools against almost everything. Corrosive is a strong secondary element for pesky armored enemies that appear everywhere.

Maya's Skill Progression: LVL 1-15

Vault Hunters aren't born, they're specced.
Interactive Build[]

After unlocking Phaselock, the next skill you'll want to go for is higher critical damage. In the first few levels, sniper rifles will be the most powerful weapon in the game and aiming for the head will be very helpful for getting rid of bullymongs and bandits alike. Sweet release is a powerful skill but with such a short phaselock duration (about 6 seconds), it may be difficult to quickly dispatch every enemy while they are phaselocked. Whether to put points into this skill or put them all into Mind's Eye depends on what suits you best.

Mind's Eye. Higher criticals. The extra melee damage is not useful and should not be what you're aiming for in a Maya build.

Sweet Release. The best passive healing skill in the game. Everytime you kill a phaselocked enemy, health orbs will appear and heal you or other players up to 15% health for each orb, like a free transfusion grenade. Each point you put into the skill gives another orb.

After five points into the first tier, you'll immediately want to pick up Wreck. Not killing phaselocked enemies fast enough? This will help. While Restoration might seem attractive in co-op games, it is virtually useless in normal mode because the guns are too weak to make a difference. You won't have time to be shooting at your friends and no character should be too dependent on other characters even in co-op! Sweet release is a much better skill if you opt for any healing skill at all and will synergize well with Wreck.

Wreck. One of Maya's best skills although it won't work against large un-phaselockable enemies that are by themselves (like Terramorphous). Will work against bosses like Bunker so long as you phaselock something else. Basically, the thing you phaselock doesn't have to be the thing you're aiming at - just having it up will activate Wreck.


Things to keep an eye out for:

  • Lascaux[]
    • A unique blue Dahl SMG that will always spawn in Frostburn Canyon submerged in a lake. The "Hunting the Firehawk" mission can be difficult so this freebee gun will help out. As a Dahl weapon, it will burst-fire when scoped.

  • Unkempt Harold[]
    • A legendary Torgue pistol that will sometimes drop from Savage Lee in Three Horns Divide. It's one of the best pistols in the game and definitely worth a try if you're lucky enough to get it. Always explosive, courtesy of Torgue.

  • Flame of the Firehawk[]
    • A legendary Maliwan nova shield that you can get from completing the "Cult of the Firehawk" questline given by Lilith in Sanctuary. Continually sets of fire novas while the shield is depleted. While nova shields aren't spectacular on Maya, they will certainly help deal extra damage and get faster second winds early on in the game.

  • Ravagers[]
    • Non-unique blue or purple Torgue shotguns with a quad (Torgue) barrel. Always explosive.
    • Bushwacks, Hulks and triple/quad-barrelled Torgue, Hyperion or Jakobs Shotguns are powerful alternatives.

  • Plasma Casters[]
    • Non-unique E-Tech SMGs that come in all elements. The best ones are manufactured by Maliwan and Hyperion. These shoot out orbs of energy and are deadly with Maya and a matching elemental relic.

  • Anarchist[]
    • Non-unique Vladof pistols with a Vladof grip. The high fire rate that comes with Vladof grips will destroy everything with its auto-fire.

  • Teslas[]
    • Non-unique Vladof grenade mods that cause an area-of-effect damage field. Always shock. The best ones have the Lobbed/Longbow delivery and have a 0.0 fuse time.

  • Cat or Binder class mods: Class mods can commonly be found in Zed's vending machines or in chests. Cat will boost SMG damage and damage-related skills while Binder will boost cooldown rate for all players and allow you to phaselock enemies frequently and longer.

  • Relics that reduce cooldown rate: Can be found frequently in chests and drops from enemies.
I. The Siren: Build, 16-31

Interactive Build[] UPDATED
w/ Res[]

From level 16, you can opt to take the first gamechanger "Res" or respec your points into Cataclysm (right tree) now that you have enough points to reach Chain Reaction and Reaper. Res is obviously extremely useful in co-op games but for players who really want to start pulling weight, reaching Chain Reaction, Reaper and the capstone skills Cloud Kill and Ruin take precedence.

The skill tree above uses Cataclysm. For this build, you'll first be putting points into Foresight, Immolate and optionally Helios to reach the other tiered skills.

EDIT: Cloud Kill was updated with a 3900% damage buff, so this skill is viable now! Put one point into this for a decent DPS keystone skill.

Res. You can instantly revive a friend in Fight for Your Life by using Phaselock on them. A one-point investment and can be used over long distances so long as you have a clear view of them.

Foresight. With 5 points allows for +20% magazine size and +25% reload speed which is decent for maximizing dps. This is more useful than Flicker which is why you'll want to initially pile points here.

Immolate. At face value this doesn't seem like a particularly good skill, especially because it adds fire elemental damage, but is potent and helpful for getting yourself second winds. It's better than Helios in all regards so it's best to either put all 5 points here or leave one point in Helios for the DoT (damage over time) benefits.

Helios. A generally weak skill and not worth placing more than one point into. The extra fire damage however is very useful for healing using Moxxi weapons... which I'll explain:

Right after Wildlife Preservation, a couple new sidequests should pop up in Sanctuary including "Rakkaholics Anonymous" from Moredcai. Pick this up as soon as you can and once completed, turn it into Moxxi for a blue unique pistol called Rubi. This will most likely be your first Moxxi weapon and will play a very essential role in healing you 12% of all damage you deal while holding it. This includes grenade damage, melee damage, and amazingly- any damage your Phaselock causes. This is why the one point in Helios is there. While all Moxxi weapons have a percentage of damage-to-healing properties, Rubi has the highest percentage in the base game. You'll want to hold onto this even if it gets vastly outlevelled because the healing percentage won't change and it will save your life! Just swap to Rubi, phaselock and heal.

Whenever I'm caught between two evils, I take the one I've never tried.
  • Best prefix: Doesn't matter.
  • Best element: Slag
  • Where to get it: Complete the quest "Rakkaholics Anonymous"
Read the above paragraph for gun details. This is absolutely a must in every character's early inventory. You can even use it through multiple game modes if you get it in slag.

Another good gun to get around this time are the unique blue Moxxi SMGs:
Bad Touch[]
Good Touch[]
which you can get by tipping Moxxi repeatedly at the bar. These offer a healing ratio of 2% and the guaranteed corrosive element on Bad Touches is handy for the robot-heavy questlines in Opportunity and the Bunker.

I. The Siren: Build, 16-31 (cont)
As you continue down the tree, you'll want to pick up a couple of her core skills, Chain Reaction and Reaper. Both of these skills are strong and should be maxed as soon as you can get them. Backdraft's measly fire damage is not worth wasting points on. Your Maya probably won't be standing close enough to enemies for Backdraft to be of great use anyway.

The last important skill in Cataclysm is the capstone Ruin and to reach it you'll have to put 5 more points somewhere else. Other than Foresight, Immolate, Chain Reaction and Reaper, the rest of the skills have no meaningful purpose so these last 5 are "dump" points that can be put anywhere you see fit. I personally like to put a single point into Blight Phoenix for badass Siren wings and the rest into Flicker.

Chain Reaction. A wonderful skill that will ricochet bullets in an unfortunate group of enemies standing too close to each other. Ricocheted bullets don't suffer damage reduction and take on full amp damage if you have an amplify shield equipped. It'll proc as long as you phaselock something so you don't have to be aiming at a phaselocked enemy for this to work! Perfect when paired with Converge and singularity grenades.

Reaper. Gives Maya a 40% damage bonus against enemies until their health is half-depleted. This extends to shielded enemies as well and is exceptionally helpful for bosses. With Binder class mods the bonus can be increased to 80%+.

Ruin. Phaselock will electrocute, corrode and most importantly SLAG the phaselocked enemy and anyone around them. The guaranteed slag effect is priceless and multiplies all damage by +100% (+200% in UVHM). It is great for healing with Rubi/Grog.

By the time you reach LVL 30, you should be close if not already finished your first playthrough of the game! Congrats honorary Vault Hunter! Assuming most readers own the campaign DLC from the GOTY edition, you'll want to complete Tiny Tina or Captain Scarlett's DLC for some of their unique items. Then it's onto TVHM!


Things to keep an eye out for:

  • The Bee[]
    • A legendary Hyperion Amplify shield that
      gives massive amp damage per shot with
      no shield drain whatsoever. It will always
      give amp damage so long as your shield
      is at full capacity (if you get hit, you have
      to wait for it to recharge). Amp shields
      were once incredibly powerful with
      shotguns but have since been nerfed so
      that the total amp damage is divided
      amongst multiple-pellet guns. However,
      with guns that have hidden extra bullets, such as the Sand Hawk and Harold, the full amp damage is applied to each individual projectile.
    • Rare drop from Hunter Hellquist during the quest "This Just In" from Mordecai in Sanctuary. It's much more easily obtained in Tiny Tina's DLC (see below).

  • Storm Front[]
    • A legendary Vladof grenade mod that is essentially the ultimate form of Tesla. Shock area-of-effect grenade that spawns child grenades that explode upon expiring. Tops for damage and Grog/Rubi healing. Best prefixes are Lobbed/Longbow.
    • Rare drop from the Splinter rats during the quest "Finding the Splinter Group" from Tannis in Sanctuary.

  • Hail[]
    • A blue unique Moxxi assault rifle and perhaps one of the only useful assault rifles in the game. Bullets fall in an arc and split in two; the unlisted bonus projectile will take on full amp damage from amp shields. It comes in all elements, heals you 3% of all damage done, has a +200% crit bonus and a learning curve due to its odd firing pattern. Aim low!
    • Can be obtained by completing all five "Bandit Circle of Slaughter" rounds in The Fridge.

  • Conference Call[]
    • A legendary Hyperion shotgun that can drop from the Warrior. I strongly recommend farming this boss several times to see if you can get this or any other good legendaries. This gun's bullets will frequently split off into multiple, criss-crossing projectiles and with Chain Reaction, will bounce bullets off enemies like no tomorrow. Comes in all elements (corrosive strongly recommended!) and the best prefix is Practicable for even more pellet hell. Sadly it no longer benefits from Amp shields like the Bee but is among the top 3 shotguns in the game, so whatever.

DLC Items:

  • The Bee (again)[]
    • Can also be obtained from Tiny Tina's DLC as a drop from Treants. The best place to find them is in The Forest of Being Eaten Alive by Trees AKA "The Forest" where you can find several of them scattered around the map. A couple tries will usually yield a Bee shield.

  • Grog Nozzle[]
    • Remember how nice Rubi was? Well, it just got dethroned. This familiar-looking blue unique Moxxi pistol does what Rubi does, except better. Carries a 65% lifesteal and a guaranteed slag element with a superbly high slag chance.
    • Obtained as a mission item from the quest "The Beard Makes the Man" in Tiny Tina's DLC. To keep the gun you'll have to leave the quest incomplete.
    • Be aware that this gun does not carry over into other game modes. So hold onto that Rubi for now.

  • Pimpernel[]
    • The BEST sniper rifle you can possibly get. A blue unique sniper that fires bullets that breaks into a star-shape pattern and has several benefits including increased crit damage, splash and multiple hidden pellets. It has a learning curve in that the extra pellets will rise slightly. Like with the Hail, aim low.
    • Can be obtained as a quest reward from the sidequest "Don't Copy That Floppy" in Captain Scarlett's DLC.

  • Sand Hawk[]
    • A blue unique Dahl SMG that has a special burst-fire pattern in the shape of a bird (8 pellets, 7 of which are unlisted). Combined with the Bee this gun is ungodly in Maya's hands. Try getting a sight you like because you'll be aiming down constantly if you use it.
    • Can be obtained as a quest reward from the main quest "Whoops" in Captain Scarlett's DLC.

  • Chain Lightning[]
    • A legendary shock grenade mod that shoots out a bolt of lightning that can chain between multiple enemies. Always comes with a 0.0 fuse and is excellent for instantaneously healing with the Grog/Rubi.
    • A rare drop from Badass Sorcerers in Tiny Tina's DLC. A good place to try for them is on the altar in Dragon's Keep. When you activate the gas tank and "offer" items onto the altar, there is a chance to spawn these badasses. You can effectively keep dropping items for an unlimited number of tries at this. Item quality doesn't matter so crap white and green loot and can be discarded.
I. The Siren: Build, 32-50

Seven wonders of the world...
Interactive Build[] UPDATED

TVHM is when your Maya build should really start to take shape. Throughout this playthrough you'll be pushing points into the other two trees now that Cataclysm is maxed. The order in which you put your points is entirely up to you so long as you push full points into Wreck, Ward and Suspension. You'll also be on the hunt for stronger, updated weapons and I highly recommend trying to get some of the uniques previously mentioned if you haven't done so already.

A good tactic that many experienced players will do is to skip all sidequests with good rewards (ie. Heartbreaker, Hail) until after the entire main storyline is complete. This is because once you beat the Warrior on TVHM, all unaccepted sidequests and their loot will level to you. The "Doctor's Orders" sidequest is another good opportunity for rare loot. In order to farm this quest you should not pick up any of the ECHO logs and follow the map to Bloodwing's holding cell. In a small room nearby it there will be 4 boxes (the third ECHO will be in one of them) and each box will have a 100% chance to spawn a loot midget so long as you leave the ECHOs untouched.

Wreck. Very aptly named skill. If you specced out of this earlier for Cataclysm, you'll want this back again ASAP. Combined with Reaper, most enemies won't survive a single Phaselock.

Ward. Considering the biggest drawbacks on the Bee are its slow recharge delay, this skill will help you keep it at full capacity more often. And probably save your life too. Decent skill for Maya but is especially great for Mayas using Bees.

Suspension. Sometimes phaselock is so good, you want more. Helpful against badass enemies that might take more than 6 seconds to batter down. Also great for phaselock-grog-flee tactics.

As you draw near to level 50 you'll want to jump right into UVHM. Some players mistakenly think that levelling more before UVHM will give them an advantage but this will screw them over. TVHM only scales up to level 50 and everything in UVHM will scale to the highest level player (if you're playing co-op) so if you start UVHM at level 55 you'll be fighting level 55 enemies with subpar gear.


Things to keep an eye out for:

  • New versions of everything previously listed.
    • Especially: The Bee, Sand Hawk, Pimpernel
  • Unkempt Harold[]
    • Previously mentioned, and now making a comeback. This gun will be very helpful for your trip into UVHM. The prefix you'll want to get is "Double Penetrating" because it makes a big difference.
    • Can be found as a rare drop from Savage Lee in Three Horns Divide.
    • Or even better: as a common Item of the Day in Torgue vending machines in Torgue's DLC.
  • Norfleet[]
    • A legendary Maliwan rocket launcher that will BLOW UP EVERYTHING!!! Probably the single strongest gun in the game and nothing beats it when trying to get a Second Wind. Getting this rare gun is extremely difficult however and can only be found from the raid boss Vermivorous who has a 0.04% chance of spawning if you play alone and 1.68% chance in a full team of 4. Best places to try and spawn it are in Caustic Caverns or Tundra Express - Farmhouse.
    • Can also be dropped by the raid boss Hyperius in Captain Scarlett's DLC but it is a very rare drop. Good luck.
  • Legendary Siren[]
    • A legendary class mod for Maya that can be found as a rare drop from various raid bosses including Pete, Voracidous and the Dragons. Boosts cooldown rate, gun damage and a decent number of skills. Worth using if you can find one.
  • Chrono Binder + Scheming Cat class mods
    • The best common class mods for Maya. Blurred Trickster is also a fun one to try but will require a respec to make use of more of the skills it boosts.
I. The Siren: Build, 51-61

I'm a min/max kinda gal.
Interactive Build[] UPDATED

W E L C O M E T O Ű̧ͩ̀̓ L̩̘̥͠ T̛͓͕ͦ̈͐̚ I̮̲͓̜̰͔ͯ̾̇ͤ̎͊ͫ͝ M̙̺̖̬͇̹̣ͥ̇ Ǎ̯͇̠̦̮̥ T̍ͣ͊ͬͮ̃̔ E̫̖͕͈̘̩̯ V A U L T HU N T E R M O D E

Of the things truly broken in this game the poor balance in UVHM takes the cake. Because of this, there are a couple new things that are introduced in order to maximize damage and survive:

  • Enemies scale. To the highest level player in the game. So if you're level 50 and someone else joins at 72, EVERYTHING will be level 72. This also means loot, quests and xp will always match the highest level.

  • Healthgating. The damage enemies deal in UVHM is so great that shields and health will deplete in a single hit. However, it would be unfair if enemies could oneshot you every time they hit you so if you have over 50% maximum health, the game will push you to very low health but will not kill you. If you are under 50%, you will immediately be downed the next time you're hit. As long as you quickly heal between consecutive hits, you won't die.

    Some ways to effectively healthgate as Maya:
    • Phaselocking with Ruin and Helios in effect while holding Grog/Rubi
    • Throwing grenades like Teslas or Chain Lightning while holding Grog/Rubi
    • Shooting Harold and quickly swapping to Grog/Rubi. Harold's bullets move slowly enough for this to work.
    • The skill "Life Tap" or other health-regen skills/items
    • Transfusion grenades

  • Bigger is not better. You'll want to get the shield with the best benefits and in Maya's case, fastest recharge delay. Capacity does not matter because it will always be stripped within one hit. Same applies to health. Sometimes having a smaller health bar is actually beneficial because it allows you heal inbetween hits faster.

  • Slagged enemies now take +200% damage. Using the right element on top of this = PROFIT.

  • Did I mention slag? You'll be so dependant on this element to hammer out damage, slagging enemies will be like second nature to you by the time you complete UVHM. As Maya, this is luckily easily done thanks to her skill Ruin.

  • Gear gets stale fast. This mainly applies to guns, shields and grenades. After 3 levels they start feeling stale and after 5 they have to be replaced to keep up with enemies. The Bee shield should help mitigate this somewhat but eventually that shield will need to be replaced too! Luckily enemies will always scale to you so you won't have to worry about not finding on-level loot.

  • Tubbies! Legendary loot midgets! Seraphs! Luckily not everything is bad. These new types of enemies will drop new legendary class mods, all sorts of legendaries and an even rarer type of weapon called pearlescents. Certain raid bosses will now drop a special currency called “Seraph Crystals” which you can purchase Seraph weapons with.

Because of the nature of UVHM, I recommend you start Tiny Tina's DLC early and stop once you unlock the quest "The Beard Makes the Man" solely because of the Grog Nozzle and healthgating. Also, multiple copies of quest rewards can be obtained thanks to being able to reset your UVHM playthrough. (But between you and me, playing in a group and sharing loot between friends is much faster and more convenient!)


Maya's build should now be nearing completion with the addition of Converge. Skills can now be placed arbitrarily depending on personal preference; I generally like to put the rest of her points into Fleet for bonus movement speed, Accelerate, Sub-sequence, Quicken or Kinetic Reflection. Other skills have relatively limited use in this build.

Converge. A fancy skill that causes phaselock to act like a singularity. Ruin and Chain Reaction benefit from this skill tenfold and makes picking off enemies a breeze. Another nice effect that goes unnoticed is that it will disrupt enemy attack animations for a few moments, including ultimate badasses, which is a godsend in UVHM.

Fleet. Lets you zoom across the map when your shield is broken. There's also a special gimmick with this skill that can give you a constant 110% speed boost. GOTTA GO FAST

Accelerate. I put points in this skill almost entirely because of the Sand Hawk. Its bullets move slowly and gives enemies too much time to roll out of harm's way so this skill is here to mitigate that.

Quicken. Reduces cooldown. More phaselock = power.

I. The Siren: Build, 51-61 (cont)
Sub-sequence. A slightly wonky skill that will cause phaselock to transfer to the closest enemy and phaselock again. This only works if you've killed the original enemy in your phaselock and you do it fast enough that the action skill hasn't ended yet. With 5 points in this skill, phaselock can bounce around to almost 4-5 enemies with the addition of Suspension for extra phaselock time. Each subsequent phaselock also benefits from Ruin, Wreck, Sweet Release and Converge... each and every time. However, the phaselock orb suffers from some really poor AI and will often attempt to travel through walls and can't catch up with fast-moving enemies like surveyors, harmfully extending your cooldown. When it actually works, it works wonders and is amazingly helpful for solo play. Take at your own risk!

Kinetic Reflection. A generally useless skill unless you have a blue Mirrored Trickster class mod with +6 points in this skill. With 4 points in the tree plus the extra 6, you can reach near invincibility against bullet-heavy areas so long as you keep killing enemies.


Things to keep an eye out for:

  • Bone of the Ancients[]
    • An E-Tech relic that combines a cooldown relic with an elemental one. Literally the best possible relic for Maya; she won't need anything other than this. I recommend getting them in all 3 elements (Fire, Corrosive, Shock). One for every occassion!
    • Drops very often from Legendary loot midgets.
  • Pearlescents[]
    • A new batch of rarer-than-rare loot that
      can be found anywhere but drops most
      often from legendary loot midgets,
      tubbies and OMGWTH in Digistruct Peak.
    • Butcher, Avenger and Bekah (this one
      only appears LVL 61+) are the ones you
      want to look out for.
  • Seraphs[]
    • Another new batch of loot that can be
      obtained from Seraph vendors scattered around the campaign DLC. In order to buy them you have to obtain Seraph crystals by defeating DLC raid bosses in UVHM.
    • Antagonist, Evolution, Interfacer, Tattler, Florentine, Omen and Stinger are decent additions to Maya’s backpack.
  • Breakneck Banshee
    • If you put points into Fleet try to grab ahold of a blue version of this class mod with +6 Fleet. The lower the level the better because it takes away your maximum health. Paired with a Rough Rider shield this will provide constant bonus speed movement.
I. The Siren: Build, 62-72

Young girl became a legend.
Interactive Build[] with Legendary Binder equipped. (UPDATED)

While filling in the last gaps in your skill tree, you'll most likely complete UVHM's story and DLC around level 65 or so. A good place to try and level up quickly is within co-op games (while you won't receive xp from quests you've already completed, kill xp will still accumulate), by farming or by doing quests that can be done repeatedly (quest xp counts for these). Playing co-op will be the least monotonous method but if you prefer to play alone, Magic Circle of Slaughter: Badass round, Pyro Pete's Bar Brawl and raid bosses are good ways to rack up points.

Skills that didn't cut it and why

Scorn. Actually an okay skill but considering how points are limited I make do without it. This will spawn a big orb of slag that can easily slag a large group of enemies if you aim it correctly. The orb is much slower than Ruin (which is instant) and has a cooldown but it can be used from Fight For Your Life. Because Ruin and the Grog Nozzle already do plenty of work, I leave this skill out.

Life Tap. Like Scorn, this is a good skill too. I personally rely on phaselock/grog or grenade/grog healing more often but this skill can allow you to survive without Moxxi weapons altogether. Unfortunately to reach this and Scorn you have to sacrifice other skills, which I feel are too important to lose. It's up to you whether to take this or not.

Thoughtlock. Hilarious during normal and TVHM but detrimental in UVHM. It will change the allegiance of an enemy and cause them to fight their friends for the duration of phaselock. It also extends cooldown rate which is a big bad in Maya's book. Inconvenient in co-op games because it is often difficult to tell which enemy is phaselocked and prevents other Mayas from being able to phaselock them. Avoid this skill.

Cloud Kill. I love this game till I'm reminded this skill exists. Still love this game though. After the update, this is now a skill worth taking. GG gearbox.


OP Levels

When you reach LVL 72 you'll FINALLY be able to unlock the last stretch of the game: Digistruct Peak! Each successful time you beat the Peak you'll unlock one OP level and enemies/loot can increase by the number of OP levels you've unlocked. This differs from regular levelling because you/your character won't level at all. There are 8 OP levels in total and they start off simple gradually become more difficult.

In my experience, Maya has the best time out of all the characters with OP levels. The areas are large with enemies dispersed evenly which allows her to keep her distance and pick off enemies easily with enough time for her action skill to recharge. She can also phaselock surveyors; those pesky things can be more troublesome than bosses.

Raid Bosses & Maya

While Maya excels at mobbing and the Peak bosses, she struggles with a couple raid bosses because of unavoidable nova blasts and thereby the inability to keep the Bee charged. Voracidous is the worst by far but she can do well in fights against Hyperius and Pyro Pete with good timing. She has an exceptionally terrible time against the Dragons because she must spec out of almost all her elemental skills (boooo Thoughtlock Maya) due to the nature of the Dragons vs. elemental damage. It definitely helps to bring friends to keep the heat off of you (meat shields, basically).


Things to keep an eye out for:

  • New legendary class mods
    • With the second UVHM pack also comes a powerful set of legendary class mods for each class. These commonly drop from tubbies but only at LVL 61+.
      For Maya, the ones you'll want to get are:
    • Legendary Binder[] Hands down the best class mod for mobbing. Will give Wreck, Reaper and Suspension a solid 10/5 points. It also will benefit the entire team with a shared reduced cooldown rate. The big image above is an example of what your skill tree will look like with it equipped.
    • Legendary Cat[] For when you want to overkill the crap out of everything. Best class mod to use for big bosses that can't be phaselocked, like raid bosses and OMGWTH. Gives a huge bonus to SMG damage and boosts Wreck and Reaper 10/5 as well. No team benefits. Image to the right shows you what it looks like with it equipped.
I. The Siren, Build, 72-80

DLC UPDATE: New cap at lvl 80. Updated the skill tree!
Interactive Build[] with Legendary Binder equipped.

As of the new Commander Lilith DLC update, the level cap for heroes has increased to 80! This means 8 bonus points to add to your Maya build. The build is still the same (the dlc sadly does not offer more viable builds or gear) but you can take a couple more skills depending on preference.

Here, I went ahead and took Inertia, maxed out dps skills, and added a point to Restoration for the co-op benefits. Inertia is a great skill that will boost your shield recharge, effectively cancelling recharge delay time and any DoTs that might have been applied to Maya. It is a kill skill, so the majority of its use will be in mobbing over boss fights.

However, there aren't many other skills to take here that would be effective during a heavy boss fight, so this was my first pick for usefulness and synergy with the build. More speed is always better.

Can I take another skill instead?

Yes! Kinetic Reflection (if you intend to run with a Mirrored Trickster mod) can be useful albeit has more limited use than Inertia. Sustenance/Life Tap and other Nurse Maya skills can also be useful although I personally find them unnecessary with the Grog-healing mechanic.

Recompense is a fun skill to have (see below on Jesus bullets) and it only requires a single point investment to be effective at this level.

I. The Siren: Backpack
Top Gear for Maya
The finest weapons and armor

Sand Hawk
In. Not unlike Errol.[]

  • A blue unique Dahl SMG that shoots multiple bullets in the shape of a flying bird. As it is a Dahl weapon, using sights while shooting allows you to burst fire and unleash a barrage of birdy bullets. Because the extra projectiles are unlisted, each one receives full amp damage from amplify shields, most notably the Bee. In Maya's hands it will destroy everything in less than a single clip.
    • Best Prefix: Flying (projectile speed)
    • Best Element: Shock, Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Dahl stock, Dahl grip
    • Where do I get this?: Quest reward from "Whoops" in Captain Scarlett's DLC

  • Honorable Mentions:
    The B*tch[]
    A legendary Hyperion SMG that becomes more accurate the more you shoot it. After the first few shots it becomes extremely precise. Also carries a 75% critical hit bonus.
    • Best Prefix: Rightsizing, Proactive
    • Best Element: Shock, Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Dahl stock, Hyperion grip
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from the Bunker

    Plasma Casters[]
    Non-unique E-Tech SMGs that drop anywhere on Pandora. The best kinds are Hyperion-manufactured with a good element attached. Maliwan Plasma Casters are sometimes decent as well.
    • Best Prefix: Rightsizing, Proactive (Hyperion) / Consummate, Impetuous (Maliwan)
    • Best Element: Shock, Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Dahl stock, Hyperion grip
    • Where do I get this?: Can drop anywhere. I recommend red chests and if you're feeling lucky, the golden chest in Sanctuary

Sink me![]
  • A blue unique Maliwan sniper rifle and the best sniper in the entire game. Has a slight learning curve in that you should aim slightly below critical areas in order to get the maximum damage out of it. When you shoot an enemy with it, a second bullet hits above the initial shot and splits in a star-like pattern. Each extra bullet has the full damage of the original with 50% splash damage and 100% crit bonus. With Maya's skill "Chain Reaction" active, extra bullets can also bounce and hit other enemies.
    • Best Prefix: Barking, Banbury
    • Best Element: Slag, Corrosive
    • Best Parts: Dahl/Hyperion stock, Jakobs/Maliwan grip
    • Where do I get this?: Quest reward from "Don't Copy That Floppy" in Captain Scarlett's DLC

  • Honorable Mentions:

    This legendary Vladof sniper is the ultimate version of my favorite line of snipers: the Vladof Droog. Has an extremely high fire rate, low recoil and the legendary version will split in 3 bullets with increased damage and critical hit bonuses. Excellent for enemies and bosses with easy-to-hit critical spots but suffers from severe cases of "crap I'm out of ammo!"
    • Best Prefix: Gromky, Skorry, Razrez
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Fire, Shock
    • Best Parts: Vladof stock, Vladof grip
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Gettle in the Dust during the quest "The Good, The Bad, The Mordecai"

Unkempt Harold
Did I fire six shots, or only five? Three? Seven. Whatever.[]
  • A chunky legendary Torgue pistol that shoots 7 slow-moving bullets that split in a wide horizontal path at the cost of 3 ammo per shot with the exception of Double Penetrating which consumes 6. All 7 bullets have splash damage and are unlisted making full use of the Bee. The highest damaging pistol in game by a long shot and is always explosive making it devastatingly effective against, well, everything. Its bullets move slowly enough that if you shoot once and swap to Grog/Rubi you will instantly heal back to full health. Although it's a very dependable gun it will consume ammo like no tomorrow so it's best used in a combination with the Sand Hawk or with other non-pistol guns. The Double prefix might seem like overkill but it's necessary for OP levels.
    • Best Prefix: Double Penetrating
    • Best Element: Always explosive
    • Best Parts: Torgue grip
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Savage Lee in Three Horns Divide or sold as an Item of the Day in Torgue Vendors in Torgue's DLC

  • Honorable Mentions:

    Lady Fist[]
    Reference to the Lady Finger in the first Borderlands. This Hyperion pistol carries a huge critical bonus of 800%, the largest of any gun in the game, and comes in all elements. Excellent gun for when you want to pack a hard punch. I find it works best against enemies with easy crit spots like constructors.

    • Best Prefix: Dynamic, Win-Win
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Bandit/Hyperion grip
    • Where do I get this?: Quest reward from "Uncle Teddy" if you turn it into Una.

    The seraph version of Vladof Anarchists except this variant can ricochet. Like the Anarchist, it features very high fire rate and is easy to chain multiple crits with. It's essentially a tiny bullet hose of death.
    • Best Prefix: Vengeful, Righteous
    • Best Element: Shock, Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Vladof grip
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from the raid boss, Ancient Dragons of Destruction, in Tiny Tina's DLC
I. The Siren: Backpack, p2

Because it enters your face. Get it? IT ENTERS YOUR FACE![]
  • This seraph Hyperion shotgun is the number one shotgun in the game, if you learn how to use it. When firing, the pellets triple and split in three directions: the original pellets continue forward while the other two move left and right and converge towards the center in mirrored arcs after a certain distance. If you can hit enemies in that perfect spot where all the bullets meet, they will certainly die. Combined with its large number of extra bullets and high fire rate, no other shotgun can cause the mass destruction the Interfacer can cause. Its most notable downside is that it cannot be used at any range other than that perfect mid-range distance and it struggles against fast-moving enemies because its bullets take longer to travel.
    • Best Prefix: Practicable
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Fire, Shock
    • Best Parts: Hyperion grip, Torgue stock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Voracidous in Hammerlock's DLC

  • Honorable Mentions:
    A pearlescent Hyperion shotgun that shoots fewer pellets than other unique shotguns but has a very fast fire rate, reverse recoil and the ability to randomly replenish its ammo reserve every time it fires. The replenished ammo is directly placed into the magazine, allowing for extended chains of non-stop fire. While it doesn't reach the damage of the Interfacer persay, it's much more flexible and very effective against flying and fast-moving enemies.
    • Best Prefix: Practicable
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Shock
    • Best Parts: Bandit/Hyperion grip, Torgue stock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Legendary Loot Midgets (UVHM only) and OMGWTH on Digistruct Peak

    Conference Call[]
    Yet another unique Hyperion shotgun! This legendary once worked miracles with the Bee but has since been patched. Fortunately the gun itself hasn't changed and still reigns as one of the best shotties in the game. While shooting, bullets that make contact with an enemy or surface will ricochet horizontally in "T" shapes all over the map, literally sprinkling enemies with holes.
    • Best Prefix: Practicable
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Shock, Fire
    • Best Parts: Hyperion grip, Torgue stock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from the Warrior; Alternatively drops from the Handsome Sorcerer in Tiny Tina's DLC

Blows Up Everything!!![]
  • A legendary E-tech Maliwan launcher that shoots out three giant orbs and blasts everything to kingdom come. From card number alone, the Norfleet has the highest damage in the game and with its huge range of effect it's very dependable for getting second winds. This is a great gun to have but not one to rely on as Maya (if you are, you're doing something wrong). If you shoot it too close to yourself you will inadvertently die, even while in FFYL mode.
    • Best Prefix: Puissant, Prudential
    • Best Element: Shock, Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Maliwan grip, Tediore/Vladof sight, Vladof/Maliwan/Torgue exhaust
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Vermivorous and will sometimes drop from Hyperius

  • Honorable Mentions:
    A non-unique alternative to the Norfleet that fires quickly and consumes reduced ammo (every third shot is free). When fired continously, it can pour out a storm of rockets that rivals the Norfleet.
    • Best Prefix: Turbulent, Rugged
    • Best Element: Shock, Corrosive, Fire
    • Best Parts: Vladof grip, Tediore/Vladof sight, Vladof/Maliwan exhaust
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from anywhere and everywhere; I recommend red chests, and if you're feeling lucky, the golden chest in Sanctuary

    A legendary Bandit rocket launcher that fires 6 rockets per 1 ammo. This is the best legendary launcher aside from the Norfleet; it can come in explosive and is thankfully much easier to obtain.
    • Best Prefix: Big, Rappid
    • Best Element: Explosive
    • Best Parts: Bandit grip, Tediore/Vladof sight, Vladof/Maliwan exhaust
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from King Mong in Eridium Blight

Storm Front
Sometimes lightning does strike twice.[]
  • This Vladof legendary is a fusion between an ultimate tesla and a mirv. It will create a powerful area-of-effect radius and spawn child grenades around it. This is not only great for stripping enemy shields but will easily heal and keep you at full health while holding Moxxi weapons (or with Life Tap active) because of how long it lasts. Thanks to healthgating, this method can grant you brief invulnerability in dire situations. Just make sure not to throw it at your feet too often.
    • Best Delivery: Longbow, Lobbed
    • Best Element: Always shock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from the Splinter rats and Flinter during the quest “Finding the Splinter Group”

  • Honorable Mentions:
    A legendary Hyperion shock singularity with the largest pull among grenades, which works like a secondary Converge for Maya. Great for grouping together enemies or pulling them out of their hidey holes Fuse time and damage are inferior to Storm Front/teslas so beside the singularity effect, there is little other use for this grenade. Because of this, non-unique singularities are equally good if not better as they can come in slag.
    • Best Delivery: Longbow, Lobbed
    • Best Element: Always shock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Legendary Loot Midgets and Ultimate Badass Varkids

    Blue & Purple Teslas
    Tesla grenade mods as a whole deserve their own mention because of how potent they are from the beginning of the game all the way to the end. If you happen to find a perfect (0.0 second fuse) tesla with a good delivery (longbow/lobbed) the Borderlands gods are sending you a sign that you are in their favor. Perfect teslas in this game are arguably better than nearly all the legendary grenades mods, so if you can't find a Storm Front, this will do fine and dandy.
    • Best Delivery: Longbow, Lobbed; 0.0 fuse
    • Best Element: Always shock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from any loot source; your best bet is from vending machines, boss loot drops or chests
I. The Siren: Backpack, p3

Chain Lightning
Don't pay it back, pay it forward.[]
  • Everyone's favorite shock grenade! Chain lightning is the legendary version of the blue "Lightning bolt" grenade mod from Tiny Tina's DLC. It will always spawn with an instant (0.0) fuse time and passively regenerates grenade ammo making it one of the best, flexible grenades available in the game. When throwing it, it will send out a streak of lightning and chain between any nearby enemies, including pesky stalkers and surveyors. It does everything from on-the-spot healing to shield stripping thanks to its high base damage.
    • Best Delivery: Always instant
    • Best Element: Always shock
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Badass Sorcerers in Tiny Tina's DLC; I strongly recommend trying the altar in Dragon Keep to continually try and spawn them

  • Honorable Mentions:
Transfusion Grenades[]
Transfusion grenades spawn child grenades that steal health from enemies and replenish your own. The unique seraph variant of this grenade- O-Negative[]- is notable. For the most part, Moxxi weapons and Grog-healing have replaced transfusions but they are excellent placeholders while levelling, especially if you can get them in slag. Because transfusions are common grenade mods, they drop everywhere and are possibly the best non-uniques next to teslas. Best thrown when you're taking a lot of heat in combat as it will likely revive you and kill your enemy.
  • Best Delivery: Longbow, Homing
  • Best Element: Slag
  • Where do I get this?: Drops from anywhere; O-Negative drops from Pyro Pete in Torgue's DLC

The Bee
Float like a butterfly...[]
  • A legendary Hyperion amplify shield that gives a massive bonus to your bullets in exchange for absolutely no shield capacity loss. The catch? The shield must be at full capacity to work, meaning you must avoid taking any damage to make the most of this shield. It also generally suffers from very low capacity and long wait times before recharging, but these pose little problem for Maya thanks to her skill "Ward" and her incredible crowd control abilities. With this shield, you will essentially be a glass cannon with limited survivability (without good healthgating methods) and reliance on this shield will limit your options in combat. However, when used correctly, it is absolutely one of Maya's best shields.

  • The Bee has a special exploit in that its amp damage can distribute among multiple bullets in a single shot so long as the extra bullets are "unlisted." What counts as unlisted? If you check the number card on each weapon, the damage section will sometimes have (base damage) x(number of bullets per shot) ie. with shotguns. Sometimes, a gun can shoot multiple bullets but they will not be featured anywhere on the card (number of extra bullets are not listed or is false). Any of these extra hidden bullets will carry the full original damage of the Bee. So for instance, a shotgun with x7 listed pellets will divide the original amp damage by 7 among each individual projectile. On the other hand, the Sand Hawk has 8 bullets but appears as only one bullet on the card. Each of the 8 have full amp damage without any division, making for truly gamebreaking damage. With the example Bee above, the shotgun would divide the damage into approximately 89,059 dmg per bullet, with a max damage of 623,414 if every single bullet actually hits, while the Sand Hawk would carry 623,414 dmg per bullet, with a staggering 4,987,312 overall. As this both positively and negatively impacts guns, it's important for Bee Mayas to keep this in mind while picking and choosing guns.

    • Best Prefix: Inflammable, Alkaline
    • Best Parts: All Maliwan. Shorter recharge delay is always better!
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Hunter Hellquist during the quest “This Just In” and drops frequently from Treants in Tiny Tina’s DLC (I recommend trying the Forest)

  • Honorable Mentions:
The Sham[]
This odd little shield provides up to 94% bullet absorption. Generally not recommended but still worth a mention under the Bee because of how broken they both can be. It can be very helpful in bullet-heavy areas but otherwise falls flat.
  • Best Parts: Maliwan body, Maliwan battery, Hyperion capacitor
  • Where do I get this?: Drops from the Bunker

I'm rubber, you’re glue.[]
  • A seraph Maliwan shield with many, many features ranging from bullet reflection up to 880% damage and passive slagging abilities. Its capacity, recharge rate and recharge delay are all generally decent, making it one of the most flexible and balanced shields of the game. It synergizes well with skills like Life Tap and Kinetic Reflection but neither of these skills are necessary to reap the full benefits of this shield. Like an upgraded Sham, it excels in bullet-heavy areas but stands well on its own outside them. Note that the slag orbs it launches CAN inflict self-slag damage if you're standing behind partial cover so be wary.
    • Best Parts: All Hyperion
    • Where do I get this?: Can be bought at the Seraph vendor in Tiny Tina's DLC

  • Honorable Mentions:
Neogenator[] / Evolution[]
These two unique Anshin shields are similar enough that they are listed together. Both provide max health boosts, high elemental resistances around 80%+, and health regeneration. Pairs well with Maya up to UVHM, where other shields begin outperforming this one, and is the best shield for the occassional Nurse Maya. Neogenator tends to have a quicker recharge delay/smaller capacity, while Evolution has longer delay/larger capacity. Neogenators, in my opinion, have the upper hand in the regard that they can be found much earlier than Evolution, which only drops at lvl 50+.
  • Best Parts: Maliwan body, Maliwan battery, Hyperion capacitor
  • Where do I get this?: Drops from Spyco from the “Monster Mash” questline and Hyperius in Captain Scarlett’s DLC, respectively
I. The Siren: Backpack, p4
Another well-balanced shield that acts like a Turtle shield without the health loss and a larger capacity; can come with an exceptionally low recharge delay, and provides up to 38% damage resistance regardless of whether the shield is charged. The card reads otherwise but the resistance effect is actually bugged (in benefit of the player).
  • Best Parts: All Bandit
  • Where do I get this?: Drops from the Ancient Dragons of Destruction in Tiny Tina’s DLC

Bone of the Ancients
Suck the marrow.[]
  • Cooldown and elemental are the best types of relic for Maya, so Bone of Ancients is like her birthday present. This E-tech relic can boost up to 47% cooldown rate and 39% elemental damage in several different elements (shock, corrosive & fire). Because of the way math works in this game, the damage this actually provides is much greater than 39%. It’s beneficial to try and get all 3 element types and swap between them depending on the situation.
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Shock, Fire
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from anywhere but drops consistently from Legendary Loot Midgets

  • Honorable Mentions:
Elemental Relic (Explosive)[]
Included here because the Bone does not come in explosive; however it’s not extremely useful for Maya as her strength lies in elemental damage (explosive does not count as an element). Best used for things like the Harold or SWORDSPLOSION!!![]

Legendary Binder
Please hold.[]
  • My favorite class mod for Maya: the Legendary Binder, consequently the best class mod for mobbing and co-op. Huge damage, more phaselock, better healing, the best team benefit available, the ultimate siren. It boosts all of Maya’s best skills:

    +5 Suspension
    +5 Sweet Release
    +5 Wreck
    +5 Reaper
    +5 Helios

    With Helios being its only weakpoint. It boosts the entire team’s cooldown rate by approximately 30%, which includes Maya and anyone she plays with. With the skill Sub-sequence combined with a fully maxed out Suspension, Maya can consecutively phaselock mobs multiple times, reapplying phaselock-specifc skills such as Converge, Ruin, Wreck, Helios and Sweet Release. Boosted by this class mod, Suspension should extend phaselock duration up to 10 seconds and simultaneously allow her to phaselock more often. Naturally, the Binder also maxes Maya’s top dps skills, Wreck and Reaper.
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Legendary Loot Midgets and Tubbies (LVL 61+)

  • Honorable Mentions:
Legendary Siren[]
Increases cooldown rate (Maya only), gun damage and movement speed while phaselock is active. It boosts a handful of nice skills but does not include Wreck or Reaper, nor anything else of great importance. This loses to the Binder and the Cat in every aspect but is the best and only legendary class mod available before level 61. Great while leveling and can be useful against certain raid bosses.

Legendary Cat
  • Maya’s go-to class mod for bosses and damage. It boosts SMG damage up to around 138% and decreases accuracy (this really doesn’t make any difference). It solely boosts damage-related skills:

    +5 Accelerate
    +5 Mind’s Eye
    +5 Wreck
    +5 Foresight
    +5 Reaper

    Like the Binder, it includes Wreck and Reaper. All these skills combined with hard-hitting SMGs like the Sand Hawk = POWER.
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Legendary Loot Midgets and Tubbies (LVL 61+)
I. The Siren: Other Noteworthy Gear

Grog Nozzle
Hand over the keys, Sugar...[]
  • A blue unique Moxxi Maliwan pistol, much like the Rubi, but has low damage and an exceptionally high heal rate of 65%. Also has a hidden 200% multiplicative crit bonus, high slag chance, and can cause a "drunk" effect that can transfer to any other guns causing them to spew out multiple bullets without using extra ammo. This works for rocket launchers too.
    • Best Prefix: Doesn't matter
    • Best Element: Always slag
    • Best Parts: Maliwan grip
    • Where do I get this?: Mission item from the quest "The Beard Makes the Man." To keep this gun you should NOT turn the quest in.

  • Honorable Mentions:
    Once upon a time the Rubi was the best healing gun in Pandora. And then the Grog Nozzle kicked its ass. Rubi can still kill things though, so there's that I guess.
    • Best Prefix: Doesn't matter
    • Best Element: Slag
    • Best Parts: Maliwan grip
    • Where do I get this?: Quest reward
      from "Rakkaholics Anonymous." Turn it into Moxxi for the Rubi.

Counterbution revengence. The reckoning.[]
  • Completely useless pearlescent SMG other than its passive ammo regeneration. It does a couple other things, like a special “Bouncing Bitty” reload, but because the it can only be obtained past level 50 other weapons will easily replace it. When in a fix for ammo, swap to this weapon and it will instantly begin refilling your SMG pool.
    • Best Prefix: Hefty
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Legendary Loot Midgets and OMGWTH in Digistruct Peak

Get to it.[]
  • The only Bandit gun Maya will ever want. This blue unique assault rifle fires rapidly and non-stop until you either reload (manually, because the magazine is so large there won’t be an automatic reload till the bullets run dry) or swap weapons. It comes in all elements, and while it may be great for applying status effects, I actually recommend a non-elemental version for Maya. This is entirely because this gun is great when used in conjunction with the skill “Restoration” for healing teammates rather than dealing damage to enemies. A non-elemental version can also safely and accurately tag the Dragons, unlike the Harold. (Placing status effects on the Dragons while they’re in flight will cause them to resist all elements for the remainder of the fight.) The near absence of reloading and rapid fire rate is what makes this gun excellent for both of these activities.
    • Best Prefix: Expandifide
    • Best Element: Non-elem
    • Best Parts: Bandit grip, Vladof barrel
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from Dexiduous in Hammerlock’s DLC. Dexi is a secret raid boss.[]

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.[]
  • A blue unique Moxxi assault rifle, similar to the Hail[]. While the Hail does more overall damage, its odd firing pattern make the Kitten highly preferable. The Kitten will fire three bullets in the shape of a smiley face and heal the player 4.0% of all damage done. Paired with its wide spread and high fire rate, it can often outdo the Hail in terms of mobility and the actual number of bullets that hit their target. Because it acts like a shotgun, it is best used at mid-close range. While this is normally a risk for Maya, the gun’s healing is very forgiving. All elemental versions of this gun are strong and apply status effects quickly, making the slag Kitten a decent alternative for Grog/slag Rubi to keep enemies slagged.
    • Best Prefix: Ferocious
    • Best Element: Corrosive, Fire, Slag, Shock
    • Best Parts: Vladof Grip, Dahl Stock
    • Where do I get this?: Quest reward from “Everyone Wants to Be Wanted” in Torgue’s DLC

Blurred Trickster
  • A blue class mod with +6 in Chain Reaction allows Maya to have a very mob-centric build. It should be paired with Converge, Wreck and Suspension to make the most of this skill. While an enemy is phaselocked with 11/5 in Chain Reaction, bullets have an 88% chance to ricochet among other enemies. Using guns that fire multiple bullets at a time easily melt away groups of enemies with multiple ricochets at once. This mod spawns with either +5 in Life Tap or Kinetic Reflection, which are both powerful kill skills (I normally give preference to Life Tap). Builds with this class mod have generally fallen out of favor for the new legendary class mods (Binder, Cat) but are still effective in mob-heavy areas like Lynchwood, Opportunity and Circle of Slaughters, while using equipment that benefit from this boost, such as the Sand Hawk, Pimpernel, Harold, Bee or Antagonist shield.
    • Where do I get this?: Drops from anywhere, especially red chests.

Rough Rider & Breakneck Banshee
  • This is the final Maya gimmick I’m going to go over and luckily it’s a fun one! When Maya equips a blue Breakneck Banshee class mod with +6 in Fleet (+5 points in her skill tree) and a unique Jakobs shield with no capacity called the Rough Rider, she gains a 110% speed boost. Sadly, the other skills this class mod boosts are worthless and this build provides no survivability/offensive power whatsoever, so usage of these two items is limited to just running around as fast as possible. I personally find Fleetrunning okay for rushing tedious quests, speedrunning huge maps (Hammerlock’s dlc lmao), and catching up with other players in co-op. Also if you watch other Mayas do this trick, it’s fun to laugh at how broken their animation is. I recommend finding a Banshee class mod as close to as level 50 as possible because the higher its level rises, the more health it will subtract. It shouldn’t go any lower than 50 because class mods with +6 skill points only begin appearing at that level.
    • Rough Rider[]: Drops from the Bulwark in Hammerlock’s DLC
    • Breakneck Banshee[]: Drops from anywhere, especially red chests.
I. The Siren: Gameplay
A couple final tips on endgame Maya and how to play her effectively:

  • Phaselock the big one! Badass enemies and enemies with dangerous weapons (ie. rocket launchers) should always be phaselocked first. Recognize which enemies pose the biggest threat and get rid of them in that order.

  • Always be on the move. Regardless of whether you have the Bee equipped, Maya does not like being right up close in a mob. A healthy distance will keep her alive especially in UVHM.

  • See what's coming and act accordingly. The best Maya should be like an eagle on the battlefield - a good view of everything and able to kill or resurrect at a moment's notice. She's the crowd control goddess.

  • Sometimes it's best not to spam Res. If you see that a friend is in FFYL right next some rabid skag or ultimate badass loader that's tearing them apart, sometimes it's better to phaselock that enemy and manually revive them instead of res'ing only to have them go right back down again. A risky Res can sometimes result in your death, for instance, against raid bosses.

Jesus bullets.
This fun little skill called Restoration is pretty useless early on but can become a lifesaver in UVHM... not for others, but for yourself! If you get kicked into FFYL and some poor soul desperately tries to save you while getting shot at, you can shoot at them from FFYL mode and continually spam-heal them so neither of you die. Works well with bandit guns like the CHOPPER because of their large mag size.

Maya likes guns. Except maybe this one.
While this is a great weapon, carries around decent splash damage and both shock AND slag, it is actually not top gear for Maya after a certain point. A normal purple Hyperion Plasma Caster will actually do more damage than the Florentine when combined with a Bone of the Ancients (as a general rule you should always have the right Bone equipped). For instance, if you shoot a shock Plasma Caster with a shock bone equipped, it will receive the full bonus of the relic. The Florentine however will only receive partial benefit from the same relic because its slag damage accounts for half of the gun's elemental damage. Considering how Maya can easily slag with phaselock, the Florentine's special gimmick has less use for her than with other characters. If for whatever reason you don't have Ruin or another good method of slagging and you don't have a Bone, this is a great placeholder to have while levelling. Otherwise, it's a no-go.

In the end, Maya is a very straightforward and dependable character to play: phaselock, shoot the bubble, win. She takes full advantage of SMG and elemental damage and her presence in a group is rarely intrusive or unbalanced. Having a good Maya on the team can double the team's efficiency and she synergizes well with every single character, including other Mayas. She's fantastic for first time players as well as advanced players who might enjoy experimenting with her strong elemental capabilities.
Seraph Locations
All seraph items can only be found in their corresponding DLC so here's a simplified chart of which one is where. Underlined items can only be bought from Seraph vendors. Everything else can be farmed from the appropriate DLC's raid boss(es).

Seraph items from vendors will always cost 120 crystals with the exception of relics, which cost 50. Approximately 10-15 raid boss kills should merit 120 crystals.
Captain Scarlett's Pirate Booty
Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep

Blood of the Seraphs
Big Boom Blaster
Meteor Shower
Might of the Seraphs
Breath of the Seraphs
Hawk Eye
Lead Storm
Shadow of the Seraphs
Bonus: Other Builds
Here are some small bonus screenshots since people have expressed interest in seeing builds for other characters, but I was only ever able to create a guide for Maya. These builds were captured in 2015 for potential future guides but never came to fruition. There are also step-by-step screenshots just like Maya's (and lots of pictures of gear with the best parts)-- you can look in my Borderlands 2 screenshot gallery if you're interested.

Looks like I never took any for Axton. Rip in pieces Axton, I still love you. :'(
Edit: Axton added!


Gaige uses Lady Fist with this build. Aim at the ground in front of enemies, not directly at enemies. It's 100% broken, please try it.



This is Hellborn Krieg. He's a special boi and has a second melee explosion build that's completely viable too. I personally like this build because of toxic eye cancer. You'll need to use the Firehawk shield for this build.



Grog Nozzle... with a KNIFE. He also really likes Pimpernel. Go stealth, throw a handy chain lightning or similar 0.0 fuse shock grenade at your feet to strip your shield, then slice and dice.



Sal's inventory set-up is pretty important. Rough Rider shield is obligatory. With a Harold and Grog in his grubby hands, he'll never frickin' die.



Very similar layout to Maya. Axton's an all around solid solo character.
Thanks if you've made it this far and I hope someone will find it useful!
Many thanks to Gearbox for making such a delightful game that I'd be willing to stick my own foot up my *** trying to write this guide. I know full well the hype's died down, but I'm still holding out hope for Borderlands 3... :') EDIT 03/28/19: It's happened boiz... we did it.

All image credit is from my own in-game screenshots, the official Borderlands site, and the wonderful artist Yhrite[].

When you play the game of Vaults, you either win... or you die.
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magoalbi Jan 3, 2021 @ 9:35am 
10x a lot again for the best Siren's guide I've ever read so far! Do you have somehting similar for Zero? 10x in advance
Penguin Man Oct 26, 2020 @ 10:42pm 
i dont play the siren but this is a cool guide:cleandino:
Telia Oct 4, 2020 @ 6:24pm 
Awesome Guide, Thank you!
River Jul 13, 2020 @ 3:18pm 
Really helpful guide! Thanks a lot :okey:
Voidash Jul 4, 2020 @ 10:38pm 
extremely helpful, thx!
santhemaniac May 12, 2020 @ 9:00am 
Amazing, thank you!
Krahar Feb 11, 2020 @ 6:53am 
Thanks for the maya guide, where i find your other characters guides?
【 DgrayClock 】 Sep 15, 2019 @ 3:29pm 
【 DgrayClock 】 Sep 15, 2019 @ 3:26pm 
Mikes Aug 31, 2019 @ 8:40am 
greatly tnx man!