Fl4k is a bit of an odd duck among the cast of Borderlands 3‘s playable characters. Fl4k, of all the characters, most encourages going wide with his talent trees, picking up just the top end from all of the trees because a lot of the talents are so good on their own they don’t need deep synergy. You can specialize, but it’s not necessary, leaving Fl4k as one of the most flexible characters in the franchise’s history. You can pick anything and go nuts!
But that said, picking talents at random isn’t the most optimal way to go, even if it does work out just fine for Fl4k.
You can play Fl4k as damage, tank or support, though he’s admittedly a bit weaker at tanking than other roles. Here’s a quick look at those three basic archetypes.
Borderlands 3: Fl4k’s Best builds
Fl4k gets a lot of kill skills and stacking bonuses on kill, none more so than from the Stalker and Hunter trees. The only acknowledgment you give for this build that Master even exists is dropping three ranks in persistence Hunter for the free, permanent damage boost to all guns.
Your action skill choice matters for this build, with Fade Away being, in general, the best, working as both an escape tool and a hefty damage boost, not just from the free Critical Hits, but from the flat damage boost. The Fast and the Furry-ous gives you for being above half health; the regen from Fade Away is key, since you’ll be eschewing most of the other regen talents for this build.
Your choice of weaponry is pretty much entirely up to whatever the best weapon you’ve dropped recently is. Taking the talents in these trees gives you huge bonuses with both high damage, low fire rate weapons via talents like Ambush predator and Leave No Trace, while talents like Furious attack and Overclocked make you excel with high fire rate, lower damage weapons as well. Due to the nature of the bonuses being broadly applicable to all weapons, you still get benefit no matter what. Having an increased fire rate on Jakob’s sniper rifle, for instance, is no laughing matter, and increasing the damage of your Vladof assault rifle is still good as well.
Keeping your kill chains going and swapping weapons for optimal ranges is key and can be difficult, but it’s very satisfying once you get the hang of it.
Your choice of pet is mostly cosmetic, with all having their own benefits for this build.
This is the tank spec, focused on not dying and winning a war of attrition with enemies. You focus a bit more on your pets here, so spec into Master more than the other builds. Self-repairing System, Turn Tail and Run (both from the Stalker tree), and Hive Mind are key for survival, while Barbaric Yawp, Frenzy, and Pack Tactics are key for damage, along with grabbing as many of the damage talents as you can spare from the other two trees.
You likely want the Skag pet for this build as it provides more damage, where you do not want for survivability at all. Gamma Burst is your Action Skill of choice, amping your pet’s damage and toughness considerably.
Your damage output is relatively low until you get stacked up, but you exude a massive battlefield presence, being essentially in two places at once and are great at drawing fire from enemies and shrugging off their bullets with ease.
This is somewhat of a poor build for solo play but is excellent in group scenarios, particularly one with something like a Bottomless Mags Moze around to mop up enemies.
Much like the bounty hunter build above, this focuses a lot on the Stalker and Hunter trees. Unlike those, this aims to get as much regeneration as possible from talents like Self-Repairing System, Turn Tail and Run (both from Stalker), Who Rescued Who (Master, and as deep as you will plan to go), and then sharing that regeneration with the party via the Stalker tree’s All My BFFs. From there you go all-in on Hunter’s stacking damage bonuses with most weaponry and allow your party to enjoy regenerating massive chunks of their health per second without them having to do anything.
This build is perfect for parties with squishier builds among the other players or supplementing high risk, high reward characters like a Brawl focused Amara with steady, sustained health regen not tied to any of the party’s activated talents (like Amara’s huge health regen after using her action skill, or Soul Sap).
Both Fade Away and Rakk Attack complement this build, and the Spiderant pet is your main choice here.
This build lacks the damage of Bounty Hunter and the sheer presence of Beastmaster, but combines the latter’s survivability with more damage and a lot more provided to the party itself, without the sacrifice to theming and power necessary for the latter to spend that point on All My BFFs.
These are the three primary build paths, but the neat thing about Fl4k is that it’s easy to mix and match these roles while having higher damage than a non-damage focused spec in another character, making him the perfect all-rounder.