Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Builds – Athena Gladiator Builds

Borderlands 1, 2, and Pre-Sequel are now available on Nintendo Switch. Borderlands Handsome Collection is also available free on Epic Game Store!

Athena is one of the six available characters for your to pick in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel.

Athena the Gladiator


Athena is pretty easy to play for new players to the series or Borderlands the Pre-Sequel. This is due to her beefy defense and a wide range of offensive abilities. Her Action Skill – Kinetic Aspis using the shield to absorb all damage, and at the end of the skill, all the damage will be delivered back to the enemies. This is the perfect skill for both Defense and Offense.

One thing to note is that this shield will only absorb frontal damage, basically everything you see on screen. The in-game description say “90 degrees Defensive Arc”

Borderlands Builds | The Pre-Sequel Level Cap


The Pre-Sequel maximum level is 70, you unlock the action skill at level 3, and customization of your build will start on level 4.

Borderlands Athena Skill Overview


As mentioned, you will use the shield to absorb all damage, throw it back at the enemies at any time or simply wait till the duration finish. This Absorb all frontal damage.

Athena Skills are divided into three branch Phalanx, Xiphos and Geraunic Storm (Those are pretty cool names btw, that’s why we love Borderlands)

TYPEFOCUS
PHALANXEverything related to Aspis (The Shield) This range from increase damage for your throw to making the Shield ricochet between enemies like Captain America.
XIPHOSDamage. Both Bullet and melee damage will be boosted by investing in this branch. You also get other effect like health regeneration.
GERAUNIC STORMElemental focus. Boost your elemental damage across all types. From incendiary to electro, you name it and this branch will upgrade it.

Borderlands Build | Athena Best Skills in The Pre-Sequel


Despite being an all-around powerhouse character, Athena can be built with different ways and playstyle. Unlike Borderlands, in Pre-Sequel, the builds are more complicated and require a lot more effort to got yourself the most powerful build. Let’s take a look at some of the universal skills that all Athena build need

Best Athena Skills | Phalanx

  • Invictus

Believe it or not, you will need that shield in every builds. It is Athena’s action skill, has a reasonable cooldown, and can either be your source of damage or defense. Invictus is never a bad pick in any situation. This skill is a great pick for starters, at later level, you can opt for other boosting skills.

  • Prismatic Aegis

The iconic aspect of playing as an Athena. This skill allows you to absorb all elemental damage. The absorption of the shield is always capped and this skill boost this cap. Your shield throw can now deal more damage along with an elemental status. This is the simplest description of this skill.

  • Clear!

40% Damage when you are downed. Explosion of the shield will save your allies. This is why we love Athena. Combine with the Ricochet upgrade, you will be the MVP of online play.

  • Prepare for Glory

Every time you activate Aspis, enemies will be more likely to attack you. You will gain a stack of Prepare for Glory, this increase your gun damage by 2% per stack. Good for Co-Op play, but also worth putting one point to get a damage increase here and there.

  • Wrath of the Goddess

Almost every Athena builds will maximize this skill. The Ricochet effect allows your shield to travel to multiple enemies, this comes along with all the bonuses from your skills like Clear!, Invictus or Maelstrom.

Best Athena Skills | Xiphos

This skill tree focus on damage and damage only, don’t expect anything defensive here. If you start out for this path, you already pick what

  • Gun Kata

One of the skill that increase your base damage, and the melee damage bonus is a welcome addition.

  • Clarity of Purpose

This is needed when you need more sustainability on your build. If you opted for a super offensive build, you may not need this skill at any point.

  • Omega-Senshu

You deal increased damage when enemies HP dropped to 50% HP. It as powerful as it sounds, this skill stack up with all your damage boost skill, and is your coup d’etat for the bad guys (or good guys, you are a boss!)

  • Rend

This add a bleeding effect to your melee attacks. For 12 seconds, the target will receive a tick damage. This is also boosted against high health enemies (Boss, elites mobs…) Rend also a base skill to get when you combine it with Tear or Blood Rush

  • Tear

Melee Damage >> Shooting Combo. This is your first one – two combo with Athena. Tear increase damage to bleeding target.

  • Blood Rush

This will upgrade your Melee Strike. Instead of a simple melee you is now dashing on the battle field to the nearest targets. The cooldown will be reset if you apply Bleed or kill the target.

The final uppercut to your 1-2 combo (Rend & Tear) Rend allow you to apply bleeding 100%, and Tear help you kill those enemies faster. This virtually make Blood Rush never got on cooldown.

Best Athena Skills | Ceraunic Storm

  • Storm Weaving

The bonus for this skill is enough to teach you to be come a swapping maniac. This will increase elemental effect chance and Fire Rate. At Level 5, you have 100% Chance to apply elemental effect and a 30% Increase to Fire Rate

  • Maelstrom

This is the bread and butter of Athena. You will become the caller of storm. The fact that this only need one point already show you how overpower this can be.

Maelstrom is a great investment with one skill point. You can stack up to 999 stacks of Maelstrom. This will give you ~400% Damage for elemental damage.

  • Gathering Tempest

A pretty basic Magazine and Reload Speed increment, good to have for all builds. As you will reload faster with this skill, adding stack to Maelstrom becomes easier.

  • Conduit

You can put one point to this skill and call it a day. Conduit simply recharge your Shield according to your Maelstrom stack.

  • Smite

Another powerful skill that goes well with Maelstrom. The damage of this skill increase per the stacks you accumulated. This basically a critical hit every 12 seconds.

  • Unrelenting

Fire Rate increased per Maelstrom stack. Enough said.

  • Zeus’ Rage

This is an superb boost to your Ricochet Shield (Wraith of the Goddess) This deal damage via an explosion on impact and continue with area damage.

  • Elemental Barrage

If you already master the Swapping at this point. Elemental Barrage add a 30% chance to not consume ammo and an additional chance per Maelstrom stacks.

  • Hades’s Shackles

A little hard to use in my opinion. Slamming will link you to an enemy. If that guy is killed, a super nova will be released and the more target it hit, the more stacks you have.

Not good for bosses but is pretty solid for general gameplay with the mobs.

Borderlands Athena Builds | Best Athena Builds


Thunderous Maiden

Ceraunic Storm >> Phalanx >> Xiphos

This build focus on the most powerful aspect of Athena – Elemental Combo. You will start this build with Maelstrom at level 4, then progress down the Ceraunic Storm – Remember to practice weapon swapping in the progress to trigger Storm Weaving.

Around Level 24, you should have one point in Zeus’ Rage and Smite. This allow you to deal more Shock and Incendiary damage. Superconductor will also needed to stack more Maelstrom.

Your next priority is Phalanx, as this will lead you down to Wrath of the Goddess, combine this with Zeus’ Rage and Athena has a huge damage boost around level 32 – You will be pretty comfortable with this build till end game.

After reaching Wrath of the Goddess, finish your build with utility skills from Xiphos. Blood Rush will be the icing on the cake for this build.

Super Charged Defender is a great class mod for this build as it will upgrade Superconductor, Conduit and United Front.

Some good weapons for this build

  • Miss Moxi’s Vibra-Pulse

High Fire Rate and Solid Damage. This is one of the best Electric guns in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel.

This is just one of the most common build for Athena, you can check out all variants of Athena builds here

Borderlands Collection Builds Guide

About ethugamer

A gaming enthusiast at heart, I grew up playing video games since the 90s. I am not a pro gamer at any means but video games have been a part of my life now. I currently writing and publishing content on the gaming world on this site with my second language (That's why ethugamer sounds a little awkward!)

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