Only a couple more months until the trailblazer of the shoot-looter genre, Borderlands 3, comes out. The game is set to release September 13th, 2019 and has already shown off its four primary Vault Hunters. There's Amara, Moze, Fl4k, and Zane. And quite frankly, these classes look to be the most unique the series has ever had, but that's only thanks to the foundation laid down by the games that came before.
Now just as a heads up, the pre-sequel is a fantastic game but for this article, we're just going to cover the 10 classes from the mainline entries Borderlands 1 & 2. Now let's see just where the classes rank up when it comes to most powerful on Pandora.
10 Krieg The Psycho: The Biggest Psychotic Disappointment
Now here's the sad thing, right at the bottom of the list is one of the more unique classes Krieg, the Psycho. This character is another take on the "melee-focused class" that Brick was back in BL1. But, alas, Krieg is not nearly as good as Brick. Taking damage lowers the cooldown for his special which is an all-out ax-swinging rampage. The problem is that Krieg doesn't become viable unless using the right build, and only after a certain level. Before about level 11, Krieg's melee damage is much too weak. But, tons of brownie points for having an entire skill tree based on lighting himself on fire.
9 Zer0 The Assassin: The Murderer Obsessed With Emoticons
Zer0 is by far one of the best designed "assassin-type" characters in gaming history. His emoticon holograms are adorable and overall his design is slick and accurately emphasizes the theme of "stealth." But, this is a franchise about running in guns blazing, causing chaos, and Zer0 just isn't made for that the same way the other characters are. Again, all the characters in Borderlands are broken if built correctly, but Zer0's ceiling is just a bit lower than the others. Still, if someone likes throwing out holograms, going invisible, and stabbing enemies from behind like a true edgelord, Zero is perfect for them. No matter what, the skills B0re, Death Mark, and Decepti0n will be key.
8 Roland The Commando: And Leader Of Sanctuary
Next up we've got the Leader of the Crimson Raiders himself, Roland! Now seems like a good time to mention that the first Borderlands was much more "gun-focused" and the classes themselves made much less of an impact on damage than they did in Borderlands 2.
That said, looking back Roland was just too plain-jane, no real flair. And everything that was lacking in the Commando class got mostly fixed in BL2 with Axton. It's a shame that the two play so similarly, if Axton wasn't a direct improvement, Roland might've gotten higher on this list.
7 Brick The Berserker: Otherwise Known As 'The Slab King'
Brick, like Krieg, really only finds his footing in the later levels. His most useful skills are later in his skill trees while the early game ones just make him a bit tankier. His ability is to go Berserk. During this, Brick takes less damage, and he also goes around punching everyone. It's best to play Brick as a shotgun, rocket launcher, or melee focused character as he has specific skills that make those options even better. Basically, Brick is great at endgame, but takes a bit to get there and has a niche playstyle which lands a bit lower in the rankings.
6 Axton The Other Commando: The More Useful, Yet More Forgettable, Roland
Axton the Commando, the more mechanical evolved version of Roland. That said, Axton is about as boring as one could get design-wise, so at least Roland has more going for him. But what's so insane about Axton is that so many of his early game skills are great for all types of weapons, allowing him to be played a myriad of different ways from level one! Forty percent fast reload speed, 20% more gun damage, and 30% more health all on the first tier of his skills. Basically, for a game entirely centered around guns, Axton's gun-buffing passive skills are second to none.
5 Maya The Other Siren: All-Rounder Of Destruction
Maya is a bit different from Lilith, she's not constantly hopping between dimensions to heal or do elemental AOE's. But, instead, she's trapping her enemies in a pocket dimension.
Maya is the all-rounder of BL2 with her ability to shut down or nuke enemies with Phaselock, then unload clip after clip of elemental rounds into them. Plus, Maya can be built tons of different ways. She can focus purely on high-mag guns with fast reload speed skills. Alternatively, she can build around her Phaselock with abilities like Chain-Reaction, Cloud Kill, or Ruin. Basically, Maya is the best class for people who want to use all the elements and weapon-types.
4 Mordecai The Hunter: The Class Most People Play For Bloodwing
Mordecai is the Hunter class of BL1 which means he's best with slow firing, high accuracy weapons like snipers and revolvers. But, Mordecai isn't alone, he also has his faithful companion Bloodwing who functions as his active ability. This constantly drunk sniper is high on the list primarily because he crits constantly for some insane damage when built correctly. Early levels are all about skills like Focus, Deadly, and Gun Crazy while the late game is entirely built around Ransack and Killer. If used right, Mordecai will be running around firing two bullets for every one-click, crit'ing every enemy, reloading in a fraction of the time, and getting additional loot.
3 Lilith The Siren: Firehawks Constantly Phasewalking
Lillith is the end all be all for those who want to play a "supernatural" character in BL1, she's the first playable Siren and her primary ability is Phasewalk. This skill lets Lilith run around while invisible and shoot, hit, or hide behind nearby enemies.
Most of Lilith's best builds are centered around making her Phasewalk last longer and cool down quicker. Basically, it's all about Phasing, considering she does extra damage during, heals while Phasing, and even causes an AOE explosion when coming out of it. Lilith is a bit more one-dimensional in her playstyle than other characters, but the strength more than makes up for it.
2 Gaige The Mechromancer: Stacks On Stacks Of Anarchy
We mentioned earlier that BL2's Maya can be built all sorts of different ways, but there is no character more adaptable than Gaige the Mechromancer. Her main skill is the ability to summon her own "Claptrap" named Deathtrap! This monstrosity wanders around and absolutely decimates enemies while Gaige cleans up. Now Gaige has tons of options when it comes to skills but mostly it all comes down to Anarchy. This skill is tier one, only needs a single point, and buffs gun damage for every enemy killed or every magazine emptied.
This skill stacks up to an insane amount of 150 and can even be further raised to 400. Which means at max level Gaige potentially has 700% gun damage!
1 Salvador The Gunzerker: Slag In One Hand, Heals In The Other
And finally, we end on Salvador, one of the most underestimated characters in the Borderlands franchise. At first glance, this "Gunzerker" class seems to just be a fun play on the Berserker class from BL1. But, what it actually ends up being is much more exciting. Salvador is the absolute cap for damage when it comes to end-game fights.
Essentially, Salvador should always be Gunzerkin', running around unloading hundreds of bullets from both hands for absurd damage. And if he isn't, then he's not being played correctly. There are some specific builds in order to break the game with Salvador, but even without that, this character is by far the strongest.