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Gaige Interspeed Outburst build

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Author’s Disclaimer: The original article explained the benefits of using Interspersed Outburst, and gave some sample builds, but only went up to level 50. In porting this description, we’ve added additional detail taking into account both UVHM and the Oct. 2015 title update that boosted a number of Gaige’s skills. 

Why Manic Technophile and IO

This is the build I run as the Mecromancer and I haven’t spotted any other builds on the forum based around Interspersed Outburst or a Manic Technophile mod so I thought I would share why it’s great. Unfortunately, I play on the Xbox and don’t have any way to record videos so you will just need to try it out for yourself.

The section about Interspersed Outburst ended up being a lot longer than I expected… If you don’t care about the maths or why this skill is great just skip down to the builds. The tl;dr for this is bad guys take more damage when slagged and lots of IO makes it easier to slag.

Slag is an elemental damage type that has the added benefit of increasing the damage slagged targets take from other sources. While pretty much optional in normal mode, and useful but not essential in TVHM, it becomes essential due to the increased health and health regeneration of enemies in UVHM. When a target becomes slagged, it acquires a purple skin and haze effect, which is visible unless a second elemental effect – acid, fire, or shock – is applied while slagged. Slag lasts for a duration of 8 seconds in NVHM and TVHM, and 16 seconds in UVHM. Most enemies can be slagged, although some raid bosses are immune. The ability to apply slag without switching weapons – such as through a grenade – is therefore highly desirable. Both Axton’s turret and Maya’s phaselock can be modified through their skill trees to apply slag; Gaige has Interspersed Outburst as the penultimate skill in her Little Big Trouble (middle) tree.

How Interspersed Outburst Works

If you don’t fire the gun for 2 seconds you build a stack of IO. This will add another stack every ~2 seconds up to a maximum of 5 stacks after ~10 seconds. 

All stacks are consumed when you next hit a target. If you shoot without hitting anything then you will keep all your stacks.

For multi-pellet weapons, the first pellet that hits an enemy procs IO and clears the IO stacks; in short, you cannot stack IO stacks!

Note that there are things you can do that don’t reset your IO stacks, such as “Reloading, summoning DT, throwing grenades, swapping guns…” (Hat-tip to Chuck80)

Stacks are not lost when using fast travel or entering and exiting a vehicle; neither are they lost by going into FFYL or dying and respawning.

When the bullet hits it will do bonus slag damage and reset your IO stacks to zero. This damage is based on the number of stacks you have built up and is not affected by the number of ranks you have in the skill. This damage is not the main reason for using IO but it is a nice bonus. At level 50 with 5 stacks, this is worth 57.6K of extra slag damage.

The important part is the chance to apply slag to an enemy based on both the number of ranks in the skill and the number of stacks you have built up. The BL2 Wikia site states this as a 2% chance per rank per stack. Based on my limited counting of slagging and the percentages I’ve worked out below based on the formula I think this is correct. 

As far as I can tell the 10% bonus chance to slag from More Pep seems to apply. Its a great skill in this build as as it turns a 90% chance into a 99% chance

IO Gotchas

IO can interfere with certain challenges if the enemy’s health is low enough that the IO slag damage kills the enemy before the bullet.

Two fixes: either temporarily respec and remove IO or, if possible, shoot another enemy to spend the IO stacks before rapidly switching to the desired target for the killing shot (just make sure the second target is far enough away that your primary one isn’t hit be the digispolsion).

On older consoles, at least, it is possible for some fast-moving enemies to seemingly outrun the IO digisplosion and avoid becoming slagged. It’s possible this is because the enemy AI registers the digisplosion as a grenade: large bullymongs in Three Horns, for example, will deek sideways exactly as they would if you threw a grenade. Since events are frame-based, I’m assuming that both the digisplosion and the dodge occur in the frame after the bullet hits the target. The other tricky situation is something like a skag charging straight at you: they often seem to outrun the slag explosion. If you hit them while they’re stationary, however, they take the slag and associated damage.

Chance to Slag and More Pep

Note: This section has been supplemented with more recent data for higher-level characters and the buffs from the Oct. 2015 game update. It was taken from this thread and includes contributions from @0verload and @SkoDo

Damage as a function of the number of IO stacks

Stacks Old lvl.50 Old lvl.72 New lvl.72
      1. 11k 169k 414k
      2. 23k 339k 828k
      3. 34.6k 509k 1242k
      4. 46.1k 679k 1657k
      5. 57.6k 848k 2071k

Note: @SkoDo cites OP8 damage of 792k and 3960k for 1 and 5 stacks, respectively.

Chance to slag as a function of IO rank and stacks

All values are pre-October 2015 update

Rank Stacks Slag chance With More Pep
      • 1 1 2% 2.2%
      • 2 4% 4.4%
      • 3 6% 6.6%
      • 4 8% 8.8%
      • 5 10% 11%
      • 5 1 10% 11%
      • 2 20% 22%
      • 3 30% 33%
      • 4 40% 44%
      • 5 50% 55%
      • 9 1 18% 19.8%
      • 5 90% 99%
      • 10 1 20% 22%
      • 5 100% >100%
      • 11 1 22% 24.2%
      • 4 88% 96.8%
      • 5 >100% >100%

But What Does it All Mean?

For those who glaze over rapidly when confronted by tables full of numbers, here’s the summary: the two key bonuses of IO are slag damage and a chance to slag. While more damage never hurts, being able to reliably slag an enemy on the first shot from any gun is essential. Since stacks take a while to max out, boosting IO through both numbers of skill points invested in it (rank) and increasing the chance to slag by investing in More Pep make it easier to wreak havoc in any situation. Assuming that you have More Pep at 5/5 (and why wouldn’t you?), to get a guaranteed chance to slag with the full 5 IO stacks requires a minimum of 9/5 in Interspersed Outburst, which requires a class mod (or COM) that boosts this skill.

Class Mods

As stated, to get the desired rank of 9, 10 or 11 in IO requires a class mod that specifically boosts this skill. In the original game (NVHM and TVHM to level 50), this required either the Technophile 972 or Slayer of Terramorphus 166 COMs. The Ultimate Vault Hunter mode upgrade 2 (levels 62-72) added the Legendary Catalyst 436 class mod, however, which is the best class mod for this build.

Blue Technophile COMs boost two skills, along with a couple of stats. The purple variety boost 3; the Slayer of Terramorphus 5; and the legendary Catalyst, 5 (including, critically, both IO and MP). The legendary Catalyst can also boost team elemental effect damage.

From Shrimpling’s original post:

I would go for a Purple Manic Technophile Mod that gives you +5 to Interspersed Outburst and +4 to Fancy Maths and Strength of 5 Gorillas or a Blue Manic Technophile mod with +6 to Interspersed Outburst and +5 to Fancy Maths. This mod also gives you a bonus to shield strength which is always nice. The bonus to shield recharge is generally pointless because of blood soaked shields and Fancy Maths.

Using the Slayer of Terramorphus Mod means you either get a higher Anarchy stack limit from Preshrunk Cyberpunk or more Damage Reduction from Made of Sterner Stuff at the cost of a slightly lower chance to slag.

The Builds


Note: Shrimpling’s original guide included level 50 (TVHM) and 61 (UVH part 1) builds, but was not extended to level 72. Given that there are a number of level 72 and OP builds available, I won’t add those in. Check the Gaige Master Buid List for examples, a number of which (such as @PoeticNova’s Shocking Anarchist include the same LBT foundation.

Interspersed Anarchist

Based on Gaige doing most of the damage through Anarchy but Deathtrap can still clear out a group of bad guys on his own. For a Purple or Blue Manic Technophile Mod

Best Friends Forever (7 points)

  • Close Enough 5/5 – Makes Anarchy better
  • Cooking Up Trouble 1/5 – I had a point left over so took this for some bonus out of combat healing
  • Fancy Maths 1/5 (for possible 5/5 or 6/5 with class mod) Shield regen will come from BSS but this is useful when fighting bosses. If your class mod doesn’t boost this spend the point somewhere else as 1 point isn’t really worth it.

Little Big Trouble (21 points)

  • More Pep 5/5 – 10% bonus to slag chance
  • Mylein 5/5 – Extra shields
  • Shock Storm 1/5 – I like the explosions when DT kills things but it doesn’t often hit anybody else.
  • Strength of 5 Gorillas 4/5 (for possible 8/5 with class mod) – Extra strength for DT
  • Wires Don’t Talk 5/5 – Makes shock weapons stronger which is always useful
  • Interspersed Outburst 5/5 (for between 9/5 and 11/5 with class mod) – The reason for the build
  • Make it Sparkle 1/1 – Increases DT damage if you remember to shoot him. I find shock is the best type to shoot him with as it takes down shields so easilly… if you shoot him with fire or corrosive he finds it a lot harder to take down the shields of stronger enemies.

Ordered Chaos (12 points)

  • Anarchy 1/1 Without anarchy there is no chaos…
  • Smaller, Lighter, Faster 4/4 Necessary to progress down the tree
  • Robot Rampage 1/1 – Brutal in combo with Make it Sparkle
  • Blood Soaked Shields 5/5 – Instant Shield regen means you can have shields with long recharge times without it being so bad.
  • Discord 1/1 – Main healing source. Try to keep over 100 stacks of Anarchy if possible and just use this for healing.



Interspersed Robotist

The “no anarchy” build boosts Deathtrap a lot. Remember to slag the things DT is fighting… he will do double damage to them too.

Best Friends Forever (19 points)

  • Close Enough 0/5 – No Anarchy so has less use.
  • Cooking Up Trouble 5/5 – Main Source of out of Combat healing
  • Fancy Maths 5/5 (for possible 9/5 or 10/5 with class mod) – Main shield regen will come from blood soaked shields but this is useful when fighting bosses.
  • Potent As a Pony 4/5 – Makes DT live longer but mostly filler to get to Explosive Clap.
  • Upshot Robot 1/1 – More DT is always better.
  • Explosive Clap 1/1 – Lots of Damage for 1 point (Note: Does not scale well in UVHM, so feel free to move this point elsewhere)
  • Made of Sterner Stuff 3/5 – bonus damage for DT and a little bit of damage reduction. If we ever get more points to spend put them in here.

Little Big Trouble (26 points)

  • More Pep 5/5 – 10% bonus to slag chance
  • Mylein 5/5 – Extra shields
  • The Stare 1/1 – More DT fun. If you don’t like this skill put an extra point in Shock Storm. (See note on Explosive Clap)
  • Shock Storm 3/5 – As it is more about DT I’ve put the extra points in here instead of Wires Don’t Talk as he will be killing more stuff so making more explosions
  • Strength of 5 Gorillas 5/5 (for possible 9/5 or 10/5 with class mod) – Extra strength for DT
  • One Two Boom 1/1 – Another DT ability that is can be fun. If you don’t like this skill put an extra point in Shock Storm.
  • Interspersed Outburst 5/5 (for between 9/5 and 11/5 with class mod) – The reason for the build
  • Make it Sparkle 1/1 – Increases DT damage if you remember to shoot him. I find shock is the best type to shoot him with as it takes down shields so easily… if you shoot him with fire or corrosive he finds it a lot harder to take down the shields of stronger enemies.



Gear for all 4 builds


I use slag transfusion grenades for in combat healing and extra chances to slag in the middle of a fight. If you have the Seraph Crystals to spare the Slag O-Negative is the best version.


You have Blood Soaked Shields and/or Fancy Maths. As a consequence, the recharge rate and recharge delay are so not important.

I have used several shields successfully. My favorites currently are the Bee for killing bosses and the Sham for general play, but I have also tested this with non-legendary absorb and adaptive shields. A nova shield can work well with blood soaked shields but I prefer absorbing bullets or resisting elemental damage.


My recommendation is to choose your favorite weapon type and try to find a relevant relic to boost the damage. Make sure you have one of each element in your gun slots so you can easily swap for overcoming resistance.

When choosing your guns remember that slagged targets will take double damage but only stay slagged for 8 seconds. A high fire rate and big clip will mean you can pump more lead into them while they are slagged than a single shot sniper or shotgun. My other tip for choosing your Interspersed Outburst guns is to go for something with a long reload time… it gives you free stacks of Interspersed Outburst when you reload. 2 stacks at 11/5 IO is worth 48.4% chance to slag from a 4-second reload. Avoid using a slag weapon as it doesn’t get any bonus damage against an enemy that is already slagged from IO.

Random Loot is Random so don’t worry about finding these exact weapons but these are gun’s I have had success with:

  • Lead Storm
  • Actualiser
  • Hail
  • Ricochet barrel type Fibber – A must for any Gaige using Close Enough. It is great in Fight for Your Life mode for killing enemies hiding round the corner.
  • Bandit Assault Rifles and SMG’s of various colours.
  • Babymaker – despite the quick reload speed I find I have to run away from the “babies” quite a lot when they bounce off something close by which in turn builds some IO stacks!
  • Lascaux – easy to find, great for Anarchy builds.
  • Plasma Casters – They use too much ammo for my liking but everybody else seems to love them for Mechromancers.
  • Moxxxi’s Heart Breaker
  • Unkempt Harrold – For normal play I think the non DP version is better… It kills most bandits in 1 shot but is using half the ammo of the DP version. For killing Raid bosses the DP version is better.
  • Infinity – Great on the non Anarchy build, you still build the IO stacks when running between groups of bad guys just not on reload. Useless on any build with Smaller, Lighter, Faster due to it ending up with 0 clip size.
  • Thunderballs Fist

If you have a favourite gun that I haven’t listed try it out… It should still work just as well as it did before but will do double damage once the enemy is slagged.


I either use the Blood of the Seraphs for the bonus healing or the Sheriffs Badge for the bonus pistol damage. Alternatives include relics that boost damage for the weapons you use most, or incdease shock damage.

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