Elite Savages are enemies exclusive to the Elite's Crossing location within Candlerakk's Crag in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. They bear evidence of Professor Nakayama's hero worship of Handsome Jack, as they wear Handsome Jack masks rather than the tribal masks of their brethren.
Elite Savages are among Professor Nakayama's last defensive measures leading to his lair in the H.S.S. Terminus. Once the Vault Hunters arrive at the midpoint of the narrow suspension bridge at Elite's Crossing, Professor Nakayama summons a group of Elite Savages to attack them. Nakayama considers them his best warriors, and is notably terrified once all Elite Savages have been killed.
Elite Savages bear effectively identical attack patterns to Badass Savages, rushing head-on into melee range to swipe using their barbed, hook-like axes. Like Badass Savages, they are also capable of jumping up short ledges and throwing their axes to attack Vault Hunters that they cannot get into melee range of.
Their masks make scoring critical hits difficult, and they also carry large wooden shields that can make front-on combat difficult. Distractions such as Axton's Sabre Turret or Zer0's Decepti0n decoy can aid combat, drawing their attention so that they can be attacked from behind. Alternatively, weapons that deal splash damage, such as explosive weapons, can aid combat significantly as the full splash damage will always affect the Elite Savage. Weapons that deal damage over time can also be of use, as although the bullet damage itself will not be of effect upon impact with the shield, it is still capable of applying the damage over time effect.
- Elite Savages are the only type of Savage that are unaffected by Witch Doctors, and will not gain levels or heal when a Witch Doctor initiates their ability.
- The ragdoll physics of Elite Savages once they are dead are prone to glitching. Whilst most enemies in Borderlands 2 are subject to occasional twitching at most, Elite Savages are almost guaranteed to start spinning, flying and flailing wildly about for a lengthy period of time before suddenly freezing in place once the ragdoll physics expire. This often leads to amusing scenarios where the Elite Savage bodies fly high into the air or off the map completely before stopping in midair.
- This glitch will also occur if mods are used to spawn Elite Savages on other in-game maps.