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Maya Skill Guide

Table of Contents

General Info

Here is the scale:

⭐ Sub-par: These are the skills that are generally bad and its really hard to make them worthwhile.

⭐⭐ Below Average: These are skills that can be useful but requires you to build around them a bit, just throwing them in to move down a tree is a usually bad idea because there are better options.

⭐⭐⭐ Average: These are the skills that are solid choices to move to the skills you really want.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Great: These skills will make the game much easier and should be taken always if you are at that point in the tree they are located in

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Outstanding: Skills of this rating will be game changers that you base your build and play style around, they should be taken with almost every set up if you are in that tree.

The scores are on a 5/5 rating, if you have to boost them to 10-11/5 to make them great then they are just average.


This was supposed to be her elemental tree, but those skills did not scale well when you hit late TVHM and got really bad to even useless in UVHM. That being said this is probably the tree most used in endgame content because of its great DPS skills and ruin, the best way to slag in the game. To get to ruin you have to spend 5 points that are less than ideal.

Flicker: ⭐⭐

    • +6 elemental effect chance per level
    • 5/5 = +30%
    • 11/5 = +66%

Summary: Early game this isn’t bad at all, dots are not what they were in borderlands 1 and they are also not stackable, but in normal they get the job done. In mid-game TVHM to level 61 this skill gets pretty useless. In the endgame, dots don’t do any noticeable damage and sometimes even lose the fight to health regen, but with damage scaling compared to your health dot damage can be great for healing with Moxxi guns or lifetap. So endgame it is not all used as intended but there is a use for it.

Foresight: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Increases magazine size and reload speed with all weapon types. +4% magazine size and +5% reload speed per level

    • 5/5 = +20% magazine size and +25% reload speed
    • 10/5 = +40% magazine size and + 50% reload speed

Summary: This is one of her best tier-one skills, just flat-out DPS increase. With Phaselock and skills like Wreck, the last thing you can do is get caught reloading mid Phaselock, this helps that greatly.

Immolate: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Adds 10% per level as fire damage to all shots fired when in FFYL.

    • 5/5 = + 50% damage
    • 11/5 = + 110% damage

Summary: On paper, this looks like just a FFYL skill but only being fire holds it back. It’s much more for 2 reasons. 1. with Gearbox math it’s all about where the numbers are in the formula, they can be at the end and be multiplicative or inside the formula and additive. This is the first and even boosts slag damage. So the % damage this adds isn’t just to the listed damage on the card, it’s everything. 2. You have the immolate glitch where you can track your health to 0 and have this bonus on while alive and have a full bee shield on for massive damage. There are many threads on this. With guns like the Florentine, you can have slag, fire, and shock damage on one enemy, making it really easy to get up when down. The fact we can throw scorn in FFYL makes this even better.

Helios: ⭐⭐⭐

Phaselocking an enemy causes a fiery explosion damaging all nearby enemies

Summary: This also received a buff from the Oct 29th patch and I moved it up one rank because while on its own the damage is better but not great, combined with skills like Sub Sequence and Life Tap it’s much more effective. Putting out a fire nova on a bunch of enemies help, it still hurts that it comes pre ruin but that is why it’s better with SS because a lot of the enemies should already be slagged. Also since the Legendary Binder boosts both Helios and Suspension makes it even better. The increased damage also plays really nice with life steal from either Moxxi guns or life tap.

Chain Reaction: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

While you have an enemy Phaselocked all of your bullets that hit enemies have an 8% chance per level to ricochet and hit another nearby enemy.

    • 5/5 = 40% chance
    • 11/5 =88% chance

Summary: This is one of her best and maybe least understood skills. I see a lot of people not using this because they don’t understand it. When a bullet does this you do full damage to the first and second target, also effects like splash will hit both times as well. So this, like Immolate, is a multiplicative damage increase. This skill makes Maya capable of killing multiple enemies with one pull of the trigger, and I’m not talking about launchers. Only Zer0 is capable to do something like that, but Maya can do it much easier. This combined with Ruin and Converge is what makes Maya one of if not the best mobber in the game. This can also destroy bosses like bunker or Saturn in seconds, similar to how B0re works. This is great with high damage slow firing guns like snipers, or guns that throw a ton of bullets like shotguns and SMG’s. The drawbacks are its only while Phaselocked, doesn’t work on Phaselock immune enemies with no other targets around, and can accidentally kill your Phaselocked target if you are trying to keep him alive.

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.

Summary: This went from one of the worst if not the worst game changer in the game, and now with the Oct 29th patch it is quite powerful. It received a massive boost and now can kill on its own with almost no gun damage, click here to see it in action at 2.6k, and with skills like converge and ruin it’s not hard to group up a bunch of enemies into the cloud. Now fitting for Maya, Cloud Kill is amazing for mobbing but won’t really save the day for raids. It will help but won’t really make a huge difference, but for the rest of the game outside of raids, this is insanely powerful.

Backdraft: ⭐⭐

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.

Summary: While this got a buff like the rest of Maya’s rank skills I’m not moving it up in rank. Maya still can’t melee in op8 so half the skill is wasted and unless you go all in for a carpet bombing build (link below) the nova isn’t doing to do much. It is better than before but it’s still really 1 point or 11 points from a com. There are a few niche uses but that makes it stay at a lower rank.

Reaper: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

You deal +8% increased Gun Damage per level to any enemy who has more than 50% of his health remaining.

    • 5/5 = 40%
    • 11/5 = 88%

Summary: This is another skill that works better than it sounds on paper. 2 reasons why it’s better than it sounds. 1. Like immolate its multiplicative so you include your other boosts before the % added from reaper. 2. Shields don’t count as enemy health, so for lots of enemies you get this bonus for more than 50% of the damage you have to do to kill them. This is one of the better sniping skills of the game since you want to OSOK them anyways. Even guns like SMG’s which are small damage shot many times quickly still work great with this skill. It does not give a full bonus to splash damage that receives grenade buffs, on those it only applies to normal damage. You can find more info here as well as a list of what splash guns work with it in different ways.

Blight Phoenix: ⭐⭐

Kill Skill. Killing an enemy causes you to deal constant 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.

Summary: This is not the phoenix from the first game, even with 2 elements. Like her other skills in this tree, the scaling and dots don’t do enough damage and its only purpose is to stun melee attackers and give you “cool” wings. But the stun works the same with 1 point or 5 points. It is worth spending the 1 point for the stun at any point in the game but never is worth putting 2 points into it.

Ruin: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Action Skill Augmentation. Phaselock now slags, corrodes, and electrocutes all nearby enemies.

Summary: Maya’s best capstone and really only because of the slag and synergy with other skills. The corrosive and shock damage are nice early game but you don’t notice them on the endgame. But since slag got a buff in UVHM this got better. With converge and the fact this kicks in a second after Phaselock you slag a whole group. Sub Sequence will let this re-trigger each time an enemy gets Phaselocked. Add in a chain reaction and it’s easy to kill a mob. Even Phaselock immune enemies like bosses and threshers still get slagged from this. With Phaselock having such a quick cool down to start with, add things like relics and COMs with cooldown you can apply a ton of slag quickly and for free.


Not just a healing tree, but a couple of great DPS skills to balance it out. There are many great Nurse builds that focus on this tree both for co-op and solo and can still do damage. With Moxxi guns some players don’t see a need for this tree and focus on the other 2, some other players prefer to use her healing skills so they don’t have to rely on Moxxi guns to heal. It’s really up to personal preference.

Mind’s Eye: ⭐⭐⭐

    • +5% Critical Hit Damage and +6% Melee Damage per level
    • 5/5 = +25% Critical Hit and +30% Melee
    • 11/5 = +55 Critical Hit and +66% Melee

Summary: This is a solid tier-one skill the crit bonus isn’t anything to complain about. The melee bonus is a bit of a waste like backdraft she doesn’t have enough melee skills to make it worth investing in them. The crit bonus can really add up, but it is an additive bonus, not a multiplicative one.

Sweet Release: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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, does not increase with level).

    • 5/5 = 5 orbs up to 15% healing each
    • 11/5 = 11 orbs up to 15% healing each

Summary: This is one of the best healing skills in any character’s skill tree and somehow it’s a tier one. It often seems like more than 15% but orbs tend to hit you many at the same time. In reality, it heals you up to 15% based on how high or low your health is. Percentage-based healing skills are also a huge advantage because you can health stack without worrying about getting back above the healthgate range. The orbs can not only heal everyone on your team, but also turrets, Death Trap, or even NPC’s or friendlies like the constructor you have to keep alive in Opportunity.

Restoration: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in co-op

+3% Maximum Health and attack allies to heal them for 6% of the attack damage per level.

    • 5/5 = 15% maximum health and 30% healing
    • 11/5 = 33% maximum health and 66% healing

Summary: This is a rare skill that gets better from scaling, in the late game, your damage gets so far above your health with scaling, and even more in op where health does not scale you can one-shot your teammates to full health with only 1 point in this. The value to heal your teammates to full health from 1 shot and only spending one point is a huge value.


+10% Fire Rate and +6% Damage with guns per level while you have an enemy Phaselocked.

    • 5/5 = +50% fire rate and 30% damage
    • 11/5 = +110% fire rate and 66% damage

Summary: This is her best DPS skill, damage and fire rate are simply huge and it hits big numbers maxing it out as well. Getting over 100% fire rate combined with chain reaction and converge make this even better. Top it off with a Cat com and she can keep up with the best of them for DPS while mobbing. The downfall is of course you need a Phaselock-able target making this bad for a few boss fights and some areas with threshers. It’s not as bad as some make out, half the raid bosses have minions you can Phaselock.

Elated: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

You and your friends regenerate 1% health per second per level while you have an enemy Phaselocked.

    • 5/5 = 5% health per second
    • 11/5 = 11% health per second

Summary: There are a few things that make this a really great skill. One is it is instant health, you don’t have to kill the target, in fact, it’s better to leave him up there and not only keep healing but also keep wrecking. Second, it is percentage-based healing again so you are not punished for health stacking. Third, it is based on your health. So in OP8, a Maya can get their health up to and past 3.5 million, while a min-maxer is going to have around 650K health. So with elated at 10/5, you will heal for over 350K per second, which is instant health gating for the duration of Phaselock. Many people debate this and sweet release as they are Phaselock-dependent healing skills. If you are not going Nurse, Sweet Release is better, but as a nurse elated is better. But if you want a lot of healing get both, heal through Phaselock, kill your target at the end and get orbs coming at you. Things like this really let you tank.

Res: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in co-op

You can instantly revive a friend in Fight for Your Life by using Phaselock on him/her.

Summary: Not much to say, it does what it says.

Recompense: ⭐⭐

Taking Health damage has a 10% chance per level of dealing an equal amount of damage to your attacker.

    • 5/5 = 50% damage
    • 11/5 = 110% damage

Summary: This suffers from bad scaling the enemy’s health gets so much larger than yours that this really just tickles them and in higher levels, you don’t want to spend a lot of time with your shield down either unless you are running a rough rider. You can make it work, but it takes a lot of pieces and is still not great. This can be made into a powerful tanking skill with a grog nozzle at op5 and below, making you un-killable. 10/5 Recompense makes you INVINCIBLE with a Grog Nozzle(below OP5). Also, 11/5 Recompense is 100% damage return plus a 10% chance for double damage return.

Sustenance: ⭐⭐⭐

Regenerate 0.4% of your missing Health per second per level.

    • 5/5 = 2% health per second
    • 11/5 = 4.4% per second

Summary: I see and hear many people saying 2% health in a second will take too long to heal you to make a difference but every time I put points into passive healing it does make a difference in combat. This still will also help you heal or at least stay alive through dots and at higher levels dots can be a death sentence without a way to heal through them.


Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives you 1.2% Life Steal per level for a short while.

    • 5/5 = 6% life steal
    • 11/5 = 13.2% life steal per second

Summary: This makes you a Moxxi weapon so you don’t need to switch to a gun to heal. All you have to do is get a kill, not hard while mobbing, and you can make a Sand Hawk into a Rubi. This is another tank skill that if combined with her others you can just rush into combat and keep killing and not worry about healing because you just will. This works great with Kinetic reflection, and her dot skills like flicker, ruin, helious, etc…

Scorn: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Melee Override. Press [melee] to throw an Orb of Slag that constantly damages enemies near it. This ability has a 18-second cooldown. Pressing [melee] when Scorn is on cooldown will perform a regular melee attack.

Summary: There is more to this than meets the eye. Scorn is a slow-moving ball that shoots beams of slag out that act like bullets each with a chance to slag but not 100% chance. If you throw the ball right you can slag the entire field of enemies and also blow up loot piles and even barrels. A few other advantages of this are you can use it while in FFYL and on a ladder. The downsides are you can slag yourself, you can only reduce the cooldown with melee override relics, and the chance to slag is lessened by overpowered enemies. That makes it less effective than ruin at higher levels mainly just based on cooldown time alone.


This is probably Maya’s most balanced tree offering some DPS, defensive shield, and crowd control skills, as well as offensive crowd control skills. At every level cap, almost all builds have invested points in this tree at least to the game changer, which I would consider her best. The challenge about this tree is the capstone is a love or hate skill.

Ward: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    • +5% Shield Capacity and -8% Shield Recharge Delay per level.
    • 5/5 = +25% shield capacity and -40% recharge delay
    • 11/5 = +55% shield capacity and -88% recharge delay

Summary: This suffers on the capacity front because Gearbox has a cap on shield capacity buffs at 72 and the most capacity that can be buffed is 1,128,380. The good news is a fast delay is more important the capacity. Getting up to 80% or more delay reduction with coms is huge for all shields, including the infamous bee which usually has around a 6-second delay. Or you can take quick shields and make them instant. So not only great with amp shields but adaptive ones like the neo and evo turn her with those and her healing skills into a real tank.

Accelerate: ⭐⭐⭐

    • +3% Gun Damage and +4% Bullet Speed per level.
    • 5/5 = +15% gun damage and 20% bullet speed
    • 11/5 = +33% gun damage and 44% bullet speed.

Summary: This is another really strait forward skill, the damage is great and bullet speed is not only welcome for fast flyers like buzzards but helps with many great guns that suffer from slow bullets like the sandhawk, slowhand, twister, plasma casters, etc… There are a few guns that velocity can have negative effects wtih like the pimpernel and godfinger, so matching this to your gear can be important.

Suspension: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Increases the duration of Phaselock by 0.5s per level.

    • 5/5 = +2.5 seconds to Phaselock duration
    • 11/5 = +5.5 seconds to Phaselock duration

Summary: The base duration of Phaselock is 5 seconds so with this you can double it or more with a com. Getting Phaselock up to 10 seconds or more is huge in a game like this that is fast-moving, not only do you get that wreck and elated bonus for longer, you can get a lot of ruins to proc if you have Subsequence. I’ve of as many as 7-9 in a single Phaselock duration but more common would be 2-4 as an average. If you can get converge and ruin to proc 2-4 times during a 10-second Phaselock everything will not only be slagged but constantly pulled off their feet getting rid of a lot of agro making mobbing a cakewalk.

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.

    • 5/5 = 50% damage reduction and 100% damage to enemies
    • 11/5 = 110% damage reduction and 220% damage to enemies

Summary: This is a favorite by many but starts to suffer from scaling a bit in the endgame. The fact with a COM you can get bullet damage up to 220% is great but bullet damage from enemies isn’t great and the attacks that really healthgate you are non-bullet but the fact that the enemy’s bullets not only don’t hurt you but heal you at 11/5 is nice. That being said this is still a solid skill, increases survivability a lot in bullet-heavy areas, increases your DPS and you can heal from the reflected bullets on top of it. The effectiveness of this just really depends on the map you are in.

Fleet: ⭐⭐⭐

Your Movement Speed increases by 10% per level while your shields are depleted.

    • 5/5 = +50% movement speed
    • 11/5 = 110% movement speed

Summary: This is a situational skill for her as well, really nice with the breakneck banshee com and a Rough Rider to make you run like sonic and hard to hit, but that com doesn’t add anything to your DPS which can be a challenge. This also works great with the love thumper melee builds or Flame of the Firehawk builds and those are a ton of fun. Others just pop in here to get out of trouble when they need to find cover. It’s used in many ways by many people and has no real downside.

Converge: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Your Phaselock ability now also pulls nearby enemies toward the original target.

Summary: This is Maya’s best game changer and real crowd control skill. The synergy with this and Ruin, Chain Reaction, Wreck, and Subsequence you can just throw enemies around the map, out from behind barriers, stop ion loaders from doing that annoying shield, etc… Add in the few seconds you gain from the stun it gives enemies while tossed lets you do what you want when you want. But it’s not just a selfish skill. It’s great with Axton and his turrets, zer0 and a Love Thumper or B0re, Kreig with a FOTFH or Bloodsplosion, sal just got new easy targets, and Gaige with Close Enough. Maya isn’t just the best co-op teammate because of her healing, but her crowd control, which this skill is the base of.

Inertia: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

    • 5/5 = 4% shield regen per second and +50% reload speed

Summary: When you get a kill your shield starts to recharge with the % to its max capacity for 7 seconds no matter if you keep taking damage or not, this includes dots. The reload buff up to 50% is a pretty good DPS buff to add to one of her best survival skills. Inertia is one of those skills that every build should have unless you are running a FotF or Fleet build.

Quicken: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Increases the Cooldown Rate of your Phaselock’s Ability by 6% per level.

    • 5/5 = 30% cooldown reduction

Summary: Even though Phaselock has the quickest natural cooldown of all action skills why not get it less and have more crowd control, between this, relics, and COMs you can get it down to less than 6 seconds if my math is right.

Originally Posted by fgambler:

    • BoA + L. Siren + Quicken = 5.65s
    • BoA + L. Siren = 6.5s
    • BoA + L. Binder + Quicken = 6.31s
    • BoA + L. Binder = 7.38s
    • BoA + Quicken = 7.34s
    • L. Siren = 8.49s
    • L. Binder = 10s
    • BoA = 8.84s
    • Quicken = 10s

Every item makes difference. You just feel like your cooldown is getting almost instant. Make a party with 1~3 L. Binders and it gets ridiculous. An L. Siren can have a cooldown of 4.10s.

Sub Sequence:⭐⭐⭐⭐

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).

    • 5/5 = 100% chance

Summary: When it works it’s great when it doesn’t it’s really frustrating. Most times it just finds the nearest enemy and Phaselocks and re-applies your Phaselock-dependent skills, but when it’s searching your timer still goes down and your Phaselock skills are not active. It’s not fast enough to catch surveyors and other flying targets but will keep trying. It can also get stuck on walls or waste time flying in the air. All that said when it works great it’s an amazing skill and mobs don’t stand a chance, just follow the bubble and shoot.

Thoughtlock: ???

This can be bad or outstanding, read what I wrote about it below:

Phaselock causes enemies to switch allegiance and fight amongst themselves. Additionally, Phaselock’s duration is increased by 4 seconds.

Summary: This is a love-or-hate capstone. So when you apply this a small Phaselock bubble goes around the enemy’s head and he is now friendly to you and your teammates. Enemies will agro to the Thoughtlocked target most of the time and fight among themselves. All the Phaselock-dependent skills will activate ruin, wreck, converge, chain reaction (will not work on Thoughtlocked enemy since it’s no longer an enemy), sweet release, elated, and suspension. Adding 4 seconds to the duration and maxing out suspension you can make your Phaselock last 14.5 seconds at the absolute max almost 3 times the regular duration. Getting all those buffs to last the long sounds great and it’s the argument along with the agro relief that the Thoughtlock fans use. The main drawback is that you no longer Phaselock something, instead of a target sitting up as an easy target they are running or flying around. They also are now friends so they can be healed by things like transfusion grenades, Death Trap, and turrets won’t attack, they are no longer a red dot on your map, and the bubble on the head is so small it’s hard to teammates to see it if there is a lot going on at the time. If you have a mob is generally good, if you have one enemy it’s a pain. Rabid skags, for example, have a lot of health and move fast if they are the last skag and you Thoughtlock it they will turn around and run away and you can’t hit the crit and kill them. But if you only have Phaselock you can just pop them in the face a few times and no more rabid skag. Other enemies like spores from DLC 3 are bad with Thoughtlock, surveyors can sometimes replenish your shield or just fly away. So it’s a double-edged sword that some love and some hate.

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