Salvador the Gunzerker is the master of small arms fire in the hybrid role playing game / shooter Borderlands 2. In particular, the Gunlust skill tree makes him the best pistol using character in the game. The Gunlust skill tree has two distinct play styles: Swap Swap or Fire and Forget. The Swap Swap play style takes advantage of constantly swapping between two similar weapons. The Fire and Forget play style focuses on a single weapon and keeps firing it until it is empty. If either of these styles sounds like your preferred style of play, the following Gunlust skill tree guide will help you choose the best skills for Salvador the Gunzerker.
Locked and Loaded (Swap Swap – F / Fire and Forget – B) – Each rank of Locked and Loaded increases your rate of fire after reloading your gun. If you are swapping after each shot, rate of fire is worthless. The skill is much better for the Fire and Forget build, but still not top tier, because that build is best when using a high rate of fire weapon.
Quick Draw (Swap Swap – A / Fire and Forget – C+) – Quick Draw increases you weapon swap speed and gives you a minor bonus to critical hit damage. The latter bonus is relatively trivial, but good for both builds. The former benefit is critical to the Swap Swap build. The Fire and Forget build will occasionally take advantage when a weapon runs out of ammunition.
I’m Your Huckleberry (Swap Swap – A / Fire and Forget – A+) – I’m Your Huckleberry is pretty much critical to both builds. It will increase your damage with pistols and increases your reload speed. Both benefits are always good, the latter is just used more by the Fire and Forget build.
All I Need is One (Swap Swap – A+ / Fire and Forget – F) – This skill increases your gun damage by as much as 40% for a single shot each time you swap your weapon. Once you get this, you should be swapping weapons after each shot for the Swap Swap build and dealing a lot of bonus damage. For the Fire and Forget build, this benefit will kick in so rarely that it is basically a waste of points.
Divergent Likeness (Swap Swap – B / Fire and Forget – B) – Divergent Likeness either increases the damage of your guns while gunzerking, if you are using identical weapon types, or increases the accuracy while gunzerking, if you are using different weapon types. The bonus is nice, but you already deal increased damage and essentially have increased accuracy while gunzerking, so feel free to wait if other skills interest you.
Auto-Load (Swap Swap – A+ / Fire and Forget – D+) – Auto-Load reloads every weapon you have, except for your currently equipped weapon, after you kill an enemy. Additionally, if you immediately swap to another weapon after it activates, Locked and Loaded skill activates. The primary benefit is why the Swap Swap build wants it, because it keeps you from needing to reload most of the time. The secondary benefit is why the Fire and Forget build might take it. It allows you to swap weapons after a kill and get a rate of fire boost. That benefit isn’t worth it often, but may be worth the expenditure of a single skill point at some point in your career. For Swap Swap builds, it is important to note that this skill makes Money Shot all but worthless except while you are gunzerking and despite how good this skill is, you should avoid it completely if you intend to try to take advantage of Money Shot.
Money Shot (Swap Swap – D / Fire and Forget – B+) – Money Shot gives you a massive damage bonus on the final bullet fired from a magazine. The bonus increases for larger magazines and you need at least a 10 bullet magazine to get the highest possible bonus. If you can manage to get exactly a 10 bullet magazine, this skill essentially adds 40% damage to every shot for a Fire and Forget build. Since you are likely to have a slightly larger magazine, the benefit is effectively a little lower. Money Shot is only rarely useful to a Swap Swap build and basically impossible to use if you have Auto-Load, unless you are gunzerking. If you don’t, the best way to use this skill is to keep a weapon in reserve that only has one bullet left and swap to it when you need a big burst of damage. You will also occasionally fire your last bullet from your currently held weapon, but that will usually only happen while gunzerking.
Lay Waste (Swap Swap – D / Fire and Forget – A-) – Lay Waste gives you a fire rate increase and critical hit damage increase when you kill an enemy. Fire and Forget builds like and dislike this skill for basically the same reasons as Locked and Loaded. The critical hit damage just makes it slightly better than Locked and Loaded. Swap Swap builds once again gain basically nothing from the fire rate increase, greatly reducing the benefits this skill offers.
Down not Out (Swap Swap – A+ / Fire and Forget – A+) – Down not Out lets you gunzerk while in Fight for Your Life. Extra firepower during Fight for Your Life is always good, so you should put a skill point into this skill no matter your build.
Keep it Piping Hot (Swap Swap – C / Fire and Forget – B) – Keep it Piping Hot increases your damage with all weapons and attacks while your gunzerking is cooling down. Swap Swap builds will tend to gunzerk less often than Fire and Forget builds, but no matter what build you have, you will always gunzerk at times, especially when you need healing. The bonus damage is a nice side benefit. This skill is even better than its rating for your Fire and Forget build if you gunzerk as often as possible, rather than saving it for healing.
No Kill Like Overkill (Swap Swap – A / Fire and Forget – B-) – No Kill Like Overkill causes you to deal extra damage on your next shot whenever you kill an enemy. The extra damage is equal to the overkill damage you dealt to the enemy. This skill is better for Swap Swap builds because Swap Swap builds tend to deal significantly higher damage with each shot than Fire and Forget builds, thus dealing more overkill damage, in general. The one place that Fire and Forget builds shine with this skill is when they kill and enemy with a Money Shot. The majority of the Money Shot bonus will be carried over to the next shot and some of it may even carry over to the shot after that if you are lucky.
Recommended Equipment – In addition to skill selection, a key part to making this skill tree work is equipment selection. For a Swap Swap build, you will want to use at least two high damage revolvers. A good backup weapon for this build once you can carry more than two weapons is a sniper rifle. This is an especially good choice of a backup weapon if you choose to skip Auto-Load and get Money Shot. For the Fire and Forget build, you want high rate of fire weapons, preferably with good accuracy. Machine pistols and repeaters will be your best choice. You should take any repeating weapon you can find that has the smallest magazine that is at least 10 bullets. Since you will tear through your clips quickly, use an assault rifle as a backup weapon. You can hold a lot of bullets for it and it can take advantage of many of the skills from the Borderlands 2 Gunlust skill tree.