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Borderlands Hunter Builds: Sniper and Gunslinger

by: Simon Hill ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This is a guide for the Hunter character, Mordecai, in Borderlands. In this guide we’ll suggest two builds which will help you get the best out of your skill upgrades.

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    Raiding the Borderlands

    The successful blend of RPG and FPS in Borderlands makes it a title well worth investing in. You can read about the game in our Borderlands review. There are four characters to choose from in the game and each represents a different class. Using the well established RPG mechanic of building up skills by gaining experience you can develop your character’s abilities. The catch is you only have a maximum of 50 skill points (you'll get 45 to spend in the original game and 47 with the add on) so you’ll need to choose the best blend for you from the skill trees available.

    Any of the characters can wield any of the weapons in the game but of course each one has a natural specialization. You can read more about the weapons in our Borderlands Weapon Guide. In this article we focus on two builds for the Hunter character, Mordecai. The Hunter makes a terrific sniper or you can develop his general gun toting skills.

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    Mandatory Skill

    Borderlands hunter skill tree   Before you can select a particular strength for the Hunter class you’ll need to unlock his mandatory skill, which is Bloodwing. This skill allows Mordecai to summon a pet Bloodwing which can be used to attack the enemy. After delivering a swooping attack it will return faithfully to its master. The cool down period before you can use your Bloodwing again is 28 seconds.

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    Sniper Hunter Build

    The Hunter makes an excellent sniper and if you develop the right skills and grab a decent sniper rifle then he is a master of long range combat. We’ll start, naturally, with the Sniper Tree:

    • First Tier – Focus – This increases your accuracy with all weapons (+5% Accuracy and -10% Sniper Rifle Sway for each skill point up to a maximum of +25% Accuracy and -50% Sniper Rifle Sway).
    • First Tier – Caliber – This increases the damage you can do with a sniper rifle (+4% Sniper Rifle Damage for each skill point up to a maximum of +20%).
    • Second Tier – Killer – Killing an enemy increases your damage and reload speed with all weapons for a few seconds (+8% Damage and +6% Reload Speed for each skill point up to a maximum of +40% Damage and +30% Reload Speed).
    • Third Tier – Loaded – Increases your sniper rifle magazine capacity (+14% Magazine Capacity for each skill point up to a maximum of +70% Magazine Capacity).
    • Third Tier – Carrion Call – Every enemy you kill with your sniper rifle reduces your Bloodwing cool down rate (0.8 second reduction for each skill point up to a maximum reduction of 4 seconds).
    • Fourth Tier – Trespass – This increases bullet damage and gives you a chance of penetrating shields (20% penetration chance and +1% Bullet Damage for each skill point up to a maximum of 100% chance to penetrate shields and +5% Bullet Damage).
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    From the Rogue Tree you should take the following:

    • First Tier – Swipe – The Bloodwing attack causes enemies to drop additional money, ammunition and health items (1 extra item for each skill point up to a maximum of 5 extra items).
    • Second Tier – Fast Hands – This increases your reload speed with all weapon types (+8% Reload Speed for each skill point up to a maximum of +40% Reload Speed).

    From the Gunslinger Tree you should take:

    • First Tier – Deadly – This increases your Critical Hit damage (+6% for each skill point up to a maximum of +30% Critical Hit damage).
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    Gunslinging Hunter Build

    If you don’t want to be limited to a sniping role then you can develop the Hunter as a skilled gunslinger. We’ll start with the Gunslinger Tree:

    • First Tier – Deadly – This increases your Critical Hit damage (+6% for each skill point up to a maximum of +30% Critical Hit damage).
    • First Tier – Gun Crazy – This gives you a chance of firing two shots with each pull of the trigger when you use pistols instead of just one (+8% chance to fire two shots for each skill point up to a maximum of +40%).
    • Second Tier – Riotous Remedy – Killing an enemy gives you chaotic health regeneration for a few seconds (Starts at up to 3% of total health over 7 seconds and goes up to 15% at maximum).
    • Third Tier – Hair Trigger – Increases the fire rate and magazine capacity for pistols (+4% Fire Rate and +6% Magazine Capacity for each skill point up to a maximum of +20% Fire Rate and +30% Magazine Capacity).
    • Fourth Tier – Relentless – Killing an enemy increases you fire rate and gives each bullet a 25% chance of being a killer shot (+8% Fire Rate and +20% Killer Shot damage for each skill point up to a maximum of +40% Fire Rate and +100% Killer Shot damage).

    From the Rogue Tree take the following:

    • First Tier – Swipe – The Bloodwing attack causes enemies to drop additional money, ammunition and health items (1 extra item for each skill point up to a maximum of 5 extra items).
    • Second Tier – Fast Hands – This increases your reload speed with all weapon types (+8% Reload Speed for each skill point up to a maximum of +40% Reload Speed).

    From the Sniper Tree you should go for:

    • First Tier – Focus – This increases your accuracy with all weapons (+5% Accuracy and -10% Sniper Rifle Sway for each skill point up to a maximum of +25% Accuracy and -50% Sniper Rifle Sway).
    • Second Tier – Killer – Killing an enemy increases your damage and reload speed with all weapons for a few seconds (+8% Damage and +6% Reload Speed for each skill point up to a maximum of +40% Damage and +30% Reload Speed).

Borderlands Character Build Guides

This is a series of guides for the four character classes in Borderlands. You'll find specialised builds listed here to help you make the most of your skill points.
  1. Borderlands Soldier Builds: Offensive and Defensive
  2. Borderlands Berserker Builds: Melee and Explosive
  3. Borderlands Hunter Builds: Sniper and Gunslinger
  4. Borderlands Siren Builds: Melee and Gunslinger

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