Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty adds a whole new layer to the endgame in Borderlands 2. The level cap continues to stand at 50, but Seraph Crystals that you collect from the DLC's two new uber-bosses can be used to purchase all-powerful pink-class gear from an Oasis vendor. Farming the Warrior and Terramorphous in the main campaign is fun, but there's a two-attempt limit on Scarlett's Leviathan. The true long-term play value of the new DLC lies with Hyperius the Invincible and Master Gee the Invincible.
These so-called "Seraphs" take massive amounts of punishment and present a steep challenge even to three- and four-player parties. The rewards are randomized, but you can always count on at least a handful of Seraph Crystals, possibly a pink-class item or, as Gearbox senior producer Mike Wardwell told us, a "mega drop" of crystals. Wardwell also confirmed that there's no hidden boss in Scarlett (a la Vermivorous the Invincible), but you might see unique item drops from some enemies (such as Mr. Bubbles....).
While each Seraph presents its own unique challenges, there are a few general elements that apply to both. Most importantly: everyone needs to be at level 50. The reduction in damage potential that you'll see even at level 49 is significant enough to be a problem both of these fights, since your odds of survival decrease with every second you're locked in the arena. Neither boss will attack until after you strike, so take advantage of the opportunity to get everyone into position.
One more piece of advice: respec stations can be found near both arenas. Use them. A character build that works for run-of-the-mill baddies -- particularly any Kill Skill focus -- is no good for this pair. Read on for more boss-specific strategies to help you defeat Hyperius and Master Gee...
Hyperius the Invincible
Hyperius looks positively puny compared to Terramorphous and Vermivorous, but don't be deceived. His combined health and shield will be the biggest you've encountered when you fight him for the first time. Four overpowered Loaders that shield Hyperius while keeping him planted firmly on the ground join the raid boss on the battlefield.
Hyperius and his robo-buddies will slowly advance toward the nearest aggressor, launching volleys of missiles as they go. Hyperius himself will also sometimes release a series of damaging shockwave blasts that can't be avoided unless you stagger him at just the right moment. If the four Loaders are destroyed first, the big boss will start leaping around the arena, attacking the nearest player.
Here's some advice from Wardwell on taking down this first Seraph:
- Kill skills or phaselock skills are not optimal for this fight unless used to support others. You may want to respec towards a straight DPS or survivability build for this fight.
- The longer the fight takes, the more powerful his area-of-effect pulses become in phase 2. This makes the fight a race, and requires players to have sufficient gear to complete it. Players can gear for DPS to make the boss go down quicker, and/or can gear for survivability, which allows them to survive the boss for a longer period of time.
- Corrosive guns are best for the loaders and will also work just fine for the boss. One player should be on slag duty, though! An optimal way to do this is with the Siren’s Scorn skill, because it automatically slags and allows all 4 players to take advantage of the slag bonus without switching weapons.
- A quick regenerating shield is helpful for sustaining red area-of-effect pulses in phase 2.
- Transfusion grenades can help extend the fight in phase 2 if you don’t have the DPS to get him down.
Master Gee the Invincible
Unlike Hyperius, who is pretty much just a straight damage sponge, Master Gee presents more of a puzzle. When you first step into his arena, he's actually invulnerable. None of your attacks will penetrate his shields. The Master moves slowly, advancing straight at the nearest player, but he only deals out direct damage via melee attacks and when he occasionally drops to one knee to fire off a volley of slow-moving rockets.
The bigger danger in Master Gee's chamber is the constantly spawning stream of sandworms. They're easy to overlook and write off as Fight For Your Life bait, but that's actually the opposite of what you're really required to do.
The sandworms create pools of acid that grow in size until someone -- you, your teammates, or Master Gee -- steps into the center, at which point the acid is asorbed and the pool disappears. This is the only option you have for draining Master Gee's shields -- it also deals plenty of damage once the shields are gone -- so the real focus for this fight is on leading the boss around.
Here are Wardwell's tips for taking down Seraph number two...
- Master Gee has considerably more health than Hyperius, and he is literally invincible until his shield is gone. Both of these challenges can be overcome with a little ingenuity. Pay attention to the corrosive slime pools that form on the ground where worms are killed.
- Players will want to focus-fire down each sand worm after it spawns. Having 2 or 3 sand worms alive at once is not too viable.
- Surviving this fight boils down to keeping your eye on Gee and the sand worms at the same time. Too often, players will go down because they got jumped by Gee while fighting a worm, or vice versa.
- Health regeneration goes a long way in this fight. Do not spec for shield capacity or shield regen unless your teammates plan on handling the slime pools alone… this will make more sense after you’ve seen the fight! Players should expect to have no shields for most of the fight, so maximizing your health pool is the way to go. Also, booster shields are amazing in any fight where you expect to be taking constant unavoidable damage.