The lights are on
From the moment Borderlands 2 was announced, I knew I was
going to start the game with Maya. I was
a big fan of Lilith in the first game (though Mordecai was my go-to-guy), and I
could not wait to get my hands on Maya’s Phaselock ability. What intrigued me most about her action skill
was how versatile it could be. While
Cataclysm seemed like the obvious choice, given its propensity for filling the
battlefield with orange numbers, there was another skill tree that caught my
eye – Harmony. I knew from the moment I
saw the Harmony skill tree, that I was going to make Maya into one hell of
support character. With the build I’ve
outlined below, I turned Maya into a healing-focused support character
specializing in keeping everyone’s health running high, with an instantaneous resurrect
for when things get sticky. Interested? Keep reading.
Like all classes in Borderlands 2, Maya has three skill trees
for players to choose from, but we’re going to focus entirely on the first two –
Motion and Harmony – for this build, with the majority of our skill points
funneled into second of these two trees.
You’ll want to start by putting as many points into the Harmony tree as
you can before branching out into the Motion skill tree – trust me, those
skills will be useful later, but you’re better off passing them up for now.
While all of the skills in this tree are useful in their own
right, there are a couple here that you can ignore completely if you just want
to focus on being a really excellent healer.
Once you’ve successfully unlocked Maya’s rockin’-awesome action skill
Phaselock, you’ll want to put your next five points into Sweet Release. At five points, this skill causes five Life
Orbs to spawn and seek out team members with the lowest health, with each orb
healing up to 15% of a player total health – the lower the health, the higher
the healing. You can bypass Mind’s Eye
for now. While the increased critical
and melee damage is nice, it’s not imperative to this build.
Next up is Wreck, in the second tier – this will increase
your rate of fire and damage with all gun types while enemies are
Phaselocked. This makes it much easier
to dispatch enemies you’ve locked, and it synergizes very well with the other
tier 2 skill, Restoration. This skill
will increase your max health by a whopping 15%, and allow you to shoot allies
to heal them. It converts 30% of your
damage into healing, and it even works on allied NPCs.
In the third tier, max out Elated, which gives 5% health
regeneration to the entire time while an enemy is Phaselocked. So the longer the enemy is in the air, the
more health you get (but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t blow that sucker away
quick-like). Follow this up with Res,
which turns your Phaselock into an instantaneous resurrect when used on allies
in Fight For Your Life. You can afford too skipt he last skill in this
tier, Recompense, because it does not really contribute to the build in terms
of increasing survivability for you or your allies.
Next, go for Sustenance – this will allow you to constantly
regenerate health. The lower your
health, the faster the regen. I cannot
tell you how useful this is. Many times
I have found myself with shields depleted and health dangerously low, and simply
by backing off from the fight or taking cover while my teammates keep fighting,
I was able to turn things around. Plus,
the health regen is constant, so you are literally always healing yourself.
Finally, finish off this tree with Life Tap, which allows
you to steal health from enemies for a short period of time after you get a
kill. This is especially good in really
intense battles, because every kill you get resets this skill, which means lots
and lots of regen. Also, fun fact:
damage over time status effects like corrosive and burning damage, when coupled
with Life Tap, equal heal over time benefits for you.
Now, you may be saying “But Joseph! You’ve totally bypassed Maya’s top-tier skill
in that tree? What about Scorn?!” Don’t get me wrong, Scorn is cool. It gives you an on-cooldown orb of Slag that
you can throw with your melee ability.
The orb travels away from you slowly, and has a good chance to slag your
enemies (and even if it doesn’t, it still deals damage to enemies it passes
through or by). If you absolutely want
to unlock this skill, you can, because the build does allow for a few extra
points to spend. I skipped over it
because it didn’t fit with my play style, which often involves getting in close
and dealing some damage on-on-one with weakened enemies. The trouble is that the orb of slag damages
Maya too, and can leave her slagged as well.
To finish up, we’re going to put 11 points into the Motion
skill tree. The first five should go
into the tier 1 skill Accelerate. This
increases bullet speed and damage for all gun types. This skill works very nicely with Restoration
in that it allows for faster and more efficient healing. It also matches up nicely with Sweet Release –
the faster you can kill the enemy, the faster you can get those delicious life
Next, go for Suspension in tier 2. This keeps the baddies Phaselocked longer,
which means longer regen from Elated, and more time to finish them off and get
the benefits of Sweet Release. (Are you
seeinga theme here?)
Finally, put one more point into Converge. This may not seem like it directly
contributes to the survivability of you or the team, but that may depend on
which weapons you’re using. If you have
just one weapon which allows for area of effect damage (say a rocket launcher,
or a grenade) Converge can be one of the more effective self-heals. Consider this: You pop Phaselock and pull
several enemies into one centralized location.
Kill the Phaselocked enemy, and then fire off a rocket launcher or grenade
into the crowd. Every single one of
those enemies is taking damage that is going to heal you through Life Tap.
At this point, you ought to have three skill points left (or
two, if you decided to unlock Scorn. You
can spend these however you like, but there are a few options that are better
for the build than others. Option 1.)
Kinetic Relfection in the Motion skill tree.
Each time you get a kill, for a period of time thereafter you have a 100%
chance to deflect enemy bullets, reducing their damage to you by 30%, and
diverting 60% of their damage to nearby enemies. Option 2.) Foresight in the Cataclysm
tree. It increases magazine size by 12%
and reload speed by 15%. This means more
bullets to fire at Phaselocked enemies before you’ve got to reload, and much
faster reloads if it comes to that.
Option 3.) Mind’s Eye in the Harmony tree. This would give you 15% increased critical
hit damage. Makes for a greater degree
of healing to you when you score critical hits while under the effects of Life
Now, the thing to keep in mind is that with this build, you’ve
always got two different types of healing going on: self-healing, and team
healing. You’ve got a lot of skills that
are working specifically to heal you, and a lot of skills that are healing you
and the team, and it’s important to remember which skills are healing which
people. A general rule is when you’re
Phaselocking an enemy, you’re healing the entire team, so it’s important to use
your Phaselock wisely. If that Phaselock
is on cooldown, you don’t have the automatic res, and you don’t have the team
regen. So, here are a couple tips for
getting the most out of Phaselock:
Need quick healing? Phaselock a weak enemy!
The enemy’s health has no effect on the healing
done by the Life Orbs it produces when it dies.
So Phaselocking and killing a Spiderling in a pinch is just as effective
in terms of healing output as Phaselocking and killing a War Loader.
Phaselock won’t work on that boss? Use it on his minions!
Some enemies in the game cannot be
Phaselocked. Rather than being trapped
in an alternate dimension of pain and sorrow and torment for a period of time,
these enemies will instead take a huge damage spike and keep on coming. As an alternative, hold onto that Phaselock
and use it as a quick res for a fallen ally, or Phaselock the boss’ minions to
provide consistent healing throughout the fight.
The great thing about this build is that it’s compatible
with nearly any play style. Whether I’m
hanging back with my trusty sniper rifle, or wading in with pistol in hand,
this build has my back. And while it is
tailored for team play, it has been perfectly effective in solo play as well. The optimal situation for this build, though,
is with a team of three or four, where the other players have a good enough
situational awareness to target and destroy the Phaselocked enemy.