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Borderlands 2 Boss Guide – Challenges Tips and Strategy

The Boss fights in Borderlands 2 can be rather difficult, especially when you’re trying to complete the skill challenges that come along with some of them.

Our boss battle guide endeavors to make that a little easier for you, with some tips and tricks that will keep your bones unbroken and all your precious blood in your body.

For more help on Borderlands 2, read our Character Builds, Heads and Skins and Vault Symbols Guide.

Knuckle Dragger
Knuckle Dragger is the first boss you fight, and he comes at you right off the bat. Right after Claptrap brings you to his hideout, he’ll have his one solitary eye stolen by the beast, and it’ll be your job to bring it back.

You’ll face Knuckle Dragger past the slanted cargo box that Claptrap opens for you. In the beginning of the fight, the monkey will stick to throwing rocks and bits of ice at you, so try circling around him while shooting at his head (this is one of the major weaknesses of the Bullymong enemy type). You’ll drop him to half his health in no time.

Once he’s at half HP, he’ll begin using some other attacks you need to watch out for. Firstly, he’s going to jump away out of range and summon some monglets to attack you. You might want to keep one or two of these alive in case you need an emergency second wind.

Secondly, When Knuckle Dragger comes back to the fight, he’s going to start throwing bigger stuff at you, including a full-size car. He also charges at you in an attempt to smash you to tiny bits with his powerful arms, as well as executing a jump attack at you that you really need to avoid.

A sort of exploit-ey tactic you can use is hopping back inside the cargo container when the fight begins. He can’t reach you in there, but he will throw small rocks at you. His larger projectiles can’t hit you in there either.

Periodically, he’ll jump onto the icy ledge above the container to try and lure you out, but just wait him out when he does so.

Boom Bewm
You’ll come across Boom (and his brother Bewm) soon after Sir Hammerlock has repaired Claptrap’s eye. You get a quest to ‘Escort Claptrap’ and before long you’ll run into the duo.

Boom will be sitting in a huge cannon called Big Bertha that will fire at you in two-round bursts every five seconds. Bewm is running around the cannon with a shotgun and a rocket pack.

It’s up to you whether you want to take out Big Bertha or Bewm first, but keep in mind that his death causes an endless stream of psychos to enter the fray.

The psychos are a double-edged sword, as although they can be annoying distractions when you’re fighting Boom, killing one of them can give you a second wind if while downed.

If you decide to take out Big Bertha first keep in mind that the cannon can do huge amounts of damage, but you can mitigate this by circling around it as the gun turns very slowly.

Keep shooting at the cannon and when it gets to about a quarter of its total health Boom will be flushed out and you’ll be able to advance to stage two of the fight.

Once dismounted, Boom and his brother aren’t too difficult to deal with as long as you don’t get too close to their shotgun blasts. Aim for the head.

Make Boom go Boom: This is a challenge which involves beating the Boom brothers without taking a single hit from Big Bertha.

While it’s possible to do it by constantly remaining on the move, another tactic is to take cover behind the red and white metal fin sticking out of the snow, then stepping out to take some potshots at the cannon in the five-second window its firing rate provides.

Salvador: Stay mobile and attack the turret without activating Gunzerker mode. Once he’s out, unload on Bewm to kill him quickly, then Gunzerk on Boom and the Psychos that appear.

Maya: Immediately Phaselock Bertha to damage it heavily, then stay mobile and needle the turret with small arms fire. Once Boom is ejected, Phaselock him and focus on Bewm to take him out quickly. After that you can focus on Boom himself.

Axton: Use the above strategy of hiding behind the fin, but before you start attacking the turret, quickly kill Bewm. Then deploy your Saber Turret (behind cover, of course) to keep the Psychos off your back while you destroy Big Bertha.

Zer0: Use the same strategy as Axton above, but use your deception to keep Bewm busy instead of killing him off. When Deception is just about to end, peek out of cover and take a shot at Boom for massive damage. Rinse and repeat until they’re all dead.

Captain Flynt
You meet Captain Flynt at the end of the ‘Minion Ascend!’ quest, which comes after you retrieve Claptrap after the last boss fight. Flynt uses a fire-embued pistol and a large club that can really hurt when he connects with it.

In the beginning of the fight, Flint is content to just stay near his ship and send some minions at you. Use this opportunity to get some damage onto him in between dropping the Marauders coming your way.

Keep in mind that the deck of the ship (which is essentially what you’ve been fighting on) sports a number of vents that periodically erupt in pillars of flame. You do not want to be standing on one when that happens.

Eventually, Flynt will get bored and leap down to eliminate you himself. He has a number of lunge attacks and just loves to smack you around with his stick, so don’t give him the opportunity.

Watch out when he’s on fire, as his fiery shield will reflect bullets back at you. The most dangerous thing about him is his Dragon’s Breath attack, which basically lulls you into a false sense of security by extinguishing his fire shield for a few seconds, then letting out a yell and a shockwave of fire out in all directions.

As long as you can avoid taking heavy damage from Flynt, stay away from the fire spewing vents and keep on peppering him with attacks you should be able to best him.

Fireproof: This challenge requires you to defeat Captain Flynt without ever being hit by his Dragon’s Breath attack.

Although this can be completed by maintaining your distance from him, an easier method is to run up the slanted wall of the tower to the area just below the wooden platform where he initially appears. This still leaves you open to gunfire but makes it so the Dragon Breath never reaches you.

Salvador: Go Gunzerk on the Marauders that appear at the start of the fight right away, as that will not only make it easier to take them down but will also put Gunzerking on a cool down that will end roughly while Flynt joins the fight.

Maintain your distance and use guns with big magazines so you don’t have to stop shooting to reload that often while in Gunzerking mode.

Maya: Use Phaselock to get rid of the Marauders easier, then climb to the ‘safe spot’ mentioned above to stay away from the Burning Psychos and the Dragon Breath attack.

Keep Phaselocking Flynt and hammer away while he’s helpless with your strongest weapon (that isn’t a fire type; those are almost useless against him).

Axton: Use your Sabre Turret to keep the Psychos and Marauders busy when facing Flynt. Use grenades and stay mobile, so he can’t get in range for a Dragon Breath. Use the Turret as much as possible but make sure not to deploy on a vent, that’s a waste of a good turret.

Zer0: Keep the minions distracted with Deception while you move away and line up sniper headshots on Flynt. Remember not to fire until the Deception has almost run out to get the most from the damage bonus.

When Deception is on cool down keep mobile, when it’s not repeat the above strategy, and you’ll eventually wear down Flynt with repeated sniper shots to the skull.

Bad Maw
You meet Bad Maw during the ‘Undercover Driver’ quest, when you use a bandit vehicle to infiltrate Bloodshot Stronghold.

You need to kill Bad Maw to grab the Bridge key he drops to proceed further. Bad Maw is pretty tough, especially since you won’t be able to get a headshot off on him due to the large shield he holds, and wields a powerful shotgun as well.

You’re going to want to keep your distance from the shotgun, but Maw has one huge weakness, there’s a hole in the middle of his shield. You normally can’t see the hole as he’s got three midgets tied to the front of it, but kill the midgets, and it’s clearly visible.

Remember to use conditions to amplify damage as you can’t headshot him.

Another thing to be wary of is Bad Maw’s charging shield bash attack. If it connects he’ll have done a good chunk of damage to you, and he’ll have closed the gap enough that his shotgun will really pack a punch if you don’t get away quickly.

You face W4R-D3N within the Bloodshot Stronghold in the Shrine of the Gunbringer when you’re on the mission to rescue Roland.

W4R-D3N is a Constructor bot, meaning he’s basically a walking factory production line and the longer he’s on the battlefield the harder it’s going to be to deal with him. He also fires Lasers and rockets at you when he’s not deploying badass loaders to make your life hell.

The fight can be very difficult if you can’t keep W4R-D3N’s shields down, especially as Repair Surveyors and Shield Surveyors fly around overhead and keep repairing him and the other loaders, he deploys.

You’re also fighting the clock here as you only have about four and a half minutes to take him down. Fortunately, for you, like in the fight with Boom and Flynt there’s another semi-exploit here.

When you enter the Shrine, sprint immediately to the wrecked car near the middle of the area. Both front doors of the car have been blown out, and you can take cover behind it and shoot at W4R-D3N through the window they provide.

I recommend you use a sniper rifle, and that you do NOT use a rocket launcher as the rockets cannot travel through the car and will blow up in your face, reloading a Tediore weapon is a bad idea for the same reasons.

Ignore the other enemies in the area as much as you can, and focus on taking down W4R-D3N as fast as possible.

You’ll face Wilhelm during the End of the Line quest. In which you need to reach a derailed Hyperion train. Wilhelm is in the train, and he comes out to face you as you draw nearer.

He starts out with no shield but quickly deploys a Shield Surveyor to rectify that. Remember though, a shield can only recharge if the host is not taking damage, therefore, use a status condition to make him take constant damage like a fire or corrosive weapon (corrosive is preferred as it is his weakness).

Wilhelm has three primary attacks. The most common one is a spinning whirlwind attack that damages and knocks away anything close to him. His second attack involves him pointing his arms out at you and launching a barrage of grenades.

Counter this by running at him so that the grenades pass by over head and explode behind you harmlessly. Lastly, he can send a volley of missiles at you; you can avoid this by strafing out of the way as the missiles don’t track well.

While fighting Wilhelm, try to ignore the loaders, he deploys as they can be useful for attaining Second Winds when downed, also, aim for either his head or the joints of his legs as these are his weak areas.

Master Of All He Surveys: To complete this challenge, you must finish Wilhelm without destroying any of his Shield Surveyors. This isn’t impossible, and can even be done solo, just be careful with your explosives. And focus on aiming for his leg joints as you’ll be less likely to damage the surveyors that way.

Axton: You’ll have to complete this entire battle without using your Sabre Turret. The turret might decide to take a few potshots at the surveyors, and that would be bad.

Stick to your guns, rockets and explosives instead. You might have to respec into another tree just for this fight if you’ve built a turret focused Axton.

Maya: Maya’s Phaselock can damage Wilhelm significantly, as he’s too large to be lifted and held by the ability, but be careful of the secondary effects, it might have as they might damage the Surveyors.

You might want to switch to Phaselocking the PWR and GUN Loaders that Wilhelm deploys instead to keep them off your back while you duel with the boss.

Salvador: Gunzerker mode can make quick work of Wilhelm depending on your choice of weapons. I recommend pairing a corrosive SMG for the constant status effect and a shock shotgun for the firepower and shield destroying capabilities.

Zer0: Deception will make avoiding Wilhelm and the Loaders a joke, but the lulls in combat while you’re waiting for it to tick down can let the Shield Surveyors regenerate Wilhelm’s shield.

Use a corrosive sniper rifle to counteract this weakness. Keep shooting at his head when Deception is on cooldown and stay mobile.

Bloodwing used to be a small pet belonging to Mordecai that Handsome Jack got a hold of. Now it’s bulked up on a diet of Eridium and become something to be feared.

In the start of the fight, Bloodwing will be in Slagged mode, and cannot be harmed. Just avoid its attacks and before long Jack becomes impatient and orders Bloodwing to switch to its other modes; Fire, Lightning and Corrosive. You can damage Bloodwing while it’s in these modes.

Bloodwing is vulnerable when it’s transforming from one form to another, as it must descent to the ground to do so. Use explosives to deal heavy damage in the time period.

In Corrosive and Fire mode, Bloodwing will hover above you and spew a stream of its respective element, while in Electricity mode, it spits shock balls.

During the fight, some skags will enter the arena, which can be used to attain emergency Second Winds. Get Bloodwing to 10% and Mordecai will fire a traquilizer dart at it that knocks it out. Once it’s done you can safely grab the Chip you need from its collar.

The Bunker isn’t a building, but a massive airship called BNK-3R.

When the fight begins, head up the stairs on the south side of the central platform and use the ivy-covered buttresses for cover against BNK-3R’s considerable weaponry. The weak point for this behemoth is the exposed flap just above the nose of the airship.

Stay in the cover provided by the buttresses, but remember that Loaders can spawn behind you near the chest so keep an ear out for the sounds of the robots behind you or an eye on the mini map. The Slab Buzzards will distract both BNK-3R and the Loaders and also drop health and ammo.

BNK-3R assaults you with mortars, spread-lasers, auto turrets and a huge death ray that will destroy you with one hit. It flies around the map and comes to a stop on the right and left sides to open up on the Slab Buzzards (and you) with its autocannons.

This is one of the times when it is vulnerable. You can destroy these to damage BNK-3R, but this means that it will no longer spend as much time in this vulnerable state.

Beware the Death Ray. Remember that the attack comes from a raised weapon module that extends from the top of the ship and when you see it start to charge take cover immediately.

BNK-3R Buster: This is one of the most difficult challenges, as it pushes most action skills off the table. You need to defeat BNK-3R without destroying its autocannons.

As they’re positioned close to its weak spot, this can be a problem. Using the Sabre Turret is out, Phaselock is a bad idea if you’ve specced into any area of effect secondary skills, and Gunzerking can only work if you’ve got extremely precise weaponry.

Axton: Your Sabre Turret can fail this challenge for you, so only use it behind cover where it will only attack Loaders.

Maya: Phaselock can be used when you haven’t got Helios or any other AoE effect tied to it, but as BNK-3R is so mobile you might accidentally Phaselock the autocannons while aiming for its weak spot, which is bad. Use it to keep the Loaders off your back.

Salvador: Salvador can use Gunzerking depending on which weapons he’s got. Fire at Loaders until your accuracy improves. Then you can risk shooting at BNK-3R during Gunzerk mode.

Zer0: Zer0 has nothing to worry about in terms of harmful side effects with his active ability. Just use Deception, wait until the timer has almost expired, then blast the weak point with a devastating sniper shot. You can use Deception to dodge the Loaders too.

You run across Saturn, a truly massive Loader, during the Data Mining mission. When the fight begins, run away to the north edge of Fyrestone as engaging him on open ground is a bad idea.

Use corrosive weapons to draw him down from the highway to ground level. Remaining behind cover is your best option as his size means he must stay in the area between Fyrestone and the lift.

Saturn’s two attacks consist of a barrage of homing rockets that dole out a great deal of splash damage, and a stream of smaller projectiles. He also has a mini turret that must be preserved for Second Wind purposes.

When you’ve reached the safety of Fyrestone, step around a corner on the left towards the pile of junk to use the L-shaped fencing as cover. This will keep you safe from the attacks of the behemoth.

Wait for the barrage of rockets, then peek out and shoot his head. Duck back when he starts shooting again and repeat as many times as it takes to beat him.

Note: It is possible to bypass Saturn entirely by using the lift just as Saturn jumps down from the highway. Veer left and trigger a checkpoint at the New-U station, after that, take off down the highway as fast as possible.

Saturn’s going to be hot on your heels, and you can use Zer0 and Axton’s abilities to get some breathing room. Gurzerking can also provide you with the necessary speed boost you need. You’ll know you’re in the clear when you encounter other bots.

Handsome Jack
Jack isn’t that hard to beat, but he does have some tricky attacks that can catch you off guard. He deploys a number of clones to confuse you, pepper them all with a fast-firing shock weapon to get rid of the shields. Find the real Jack and hammer him.

Watch out for a dangerous attack he releases when his shields are depleted. If you get downed shoot one of the Rakk flying overhead for a Second Wind. When he gets to 15% he summons the Warrior.

The Warrior
This is it, time to finish the fight. The Warrior is truly a beast worthy of a final Boss fight. Not only is it huge and resilient, but it’s fast; its attacks really pack a punch and during the fight, you’ll also have to worry about the fluctuating lava levels.

It has a number of attacks that can flatten you in no time. The first is that it spews large fireballs at you, the only way to avoid it is to take cover behind one of the block shaped rocks that litter the battlefield. The second attack is a tail slam that is almost guaranteed to down you in one hit.

The only way you can reliably avoid these attacks is if you keep an ear open and listen closely to what Handsome Jack is ordering the Warrior to do.

You can use these audio cues to take cover in time. Keep in mind that you and the warrior aren’t the only people there. The platform is also populated by Volcanic Crystalisks and Rakk fly around overhead.

They both actually work in your favor; however, as the Crystalisks will die from the Tail Slams and the lava and drop health and ammo while you can use the Rakk to get Second Winds.

Now for the weaknesses of the warrior; aim for either the mouth, or the chest. The head is a universal weak point for all the enemies you face and this remains true for the Warrior, but if you shoot at its chest long enough, you’ll eventually expose the heart of the beast.

The Warrior takes huge damage if you can unload a full clip at the heart, and will cause it to retreat into the lava for a breather.

The Warrior’s Way: This challenge is completed by defeating the Warrior without using its critical weakness; the heart. To do this you must aim exclusively at the mouth of the Warrior, and although it is hard, it isn’t impossible to do.

Axton: Sadly, the Sabre Turret is once again more of a liability then a help in completing this challenge. You’ll have to get your hands dirty yourself.

Maya: Phaselock is safe to use in this fight, as targeting the mouth will not damage the heart in any way, even with Helios.

Salvador: Gurzerking to get this challenge completed is fun as the large size of the Warrior means you’re less likely to miss and hit the heart. Go nuts.

Zer0: Use Deception for the damage boost it provides but keep in mind that the beast might dive into the lava out of rage of your attacks while you wait for the countdown for the last second. Shoot at your own discretion.