Takedown at the Maliwan Blacksite is an optional mission in Borderlands 3, added as part of the free Takedown at the Maliwan Blacksite DLC.

Background

"Blast your way through Maliwan's blacksite and shut down the secret weapons research project codenamed "Valhalla"."

Walkthrough

Objectives

  • Enter the facility
  • Fight through the facility
  • Kill Valkyrie Squad
  • Fight through the facility
  • Kill Wotan the Invincible

Strategy

It is worth noting that should the Vault Hunter die at any point before reaching the checkpoint, all of the enemies will respawn. Unlike other locations in the game, all of the mission progress is functionally erased upon defeat and has to start over from the beginning hallway. After pulling one of the two switches to begin the Takedown, the door exiting the Secure Airlock will open, leading to a path downward towards the facility. After navigating through Approaching Midnight and entering the Blacksite Perimeter, Vault Hunters will be met with a horde of Ratches and gunfire from the Maliwan turrets mounted on the perimeter wall. The Ratches have a greater health pool and damage output than their basic brethren elsewhere in the galaxy, but they can be ignored. Once the Assault Troopers manning these laser turrets are killed, 2 specialized Overspheres will fly over the wall to engage the assailants. They can still strafe and fire at their opponents much like their normal variations, however, they also have a shield bar and 2 new attacks: a charge attack that fires a fan of powerful laser beams on the ground and a spin attack that launches a flurry of tracking energy bolts similar to that of Katagawa Ball. Once these Overspheres are killed, the gate blocking access deeper into the base will open and a pair of Frontrunners and Assault Troopers will begin to cover up the access point.

Once the Vault Hunters finally breach the wall, they will be met with fierce opposition within Facility Staging Zone Gamma, rife with Flash Troopers, Med TroopersElemental Heavies and a distant Jet Trooper sniper in the distance, as well as two new troopers armed with experimental tech created by the weapons project: the Cloak Trooper and the Reflect Trooper. Although the next segment of this encounter can simply be reached by approaching the door into the facility itself, it is advisable to first clear out the opposition. Once the door is approached, it will open, revealing a Kraken heavy walker and a squad of Maliwan troops flanking it, while a Defender forms in the opening at the entrance and a squad ambushes the Vault Hunters behind them. Although the Troopers and the Defender can easily be disposed of, the same cannot be said about the Kraken.

The Kraken will continuously bombard its opponents with a volley of extremely powerful missiles while shrugging off light gunfire with its armor and shielding. However, it can easily be destroyed with enough patience and a decent and prepared loadout. Once it begins launching missiles, the Vault Hunters should stay mobile and dodge the missiles or find cover. Once done, there should be enough time to dispose of it. Once half of its armor is lost, however, it will create an impenetrable dome shield around it. To remove the shield, the Vault Hunters should look for a massive vertical opening in its shield and shoot the walker itself with a shock weapon. Once the shield is down, the Kraken can then be finished off before it can get another missile volley in. Once the Kraken is destroyed, the energy shield blocking further access into the facility will shut down, opening up to the Tritanium Receiving Dock, revealing docked Maliwan Dropships and vending machines next to a steep elevator that leads to the Nest of the Valkyries.

Once aboard the elevator, Vault Hunters will be shown an arena along with a trio of powerful Maliwan Mechs slamming the arena's main stage. This group of mechs are known as the Valkyrie Squad, powerful androids armed with Maliwan's new experimental tech. Once the elevator finally reaches its destination, the Valkyrie squad will begin to engage the intruders, engaging their opponents with their own means of attack. Once one of the Valkyries loses their shield, the entire squad will become shielded by an invincible bubble shield, in which then, the squad will split up and hover to one of the three unreachable platforms in the arena. Following that, a Digistruct Torpedo will land somewhere in the arena, revealing a squad of troops, either a full squad of Assault Troopers, a full squad of Flash Troopers, a pair of Assault Troops and a pair of Elemental Heavies, or a pack of Frontrunners and Nullhounds. Once a significant portion of the squad is killed, one of the Valkyries will descend from their platform to provide their allies with combat support.

First, Vault Hunters will face Sigrdrifa, the medium-sized Valkyrie coursing with Shock energy. Armed with a massive cannon, she has two primary means of attack: a barrage of shock bolts or a charged attack that launches powerful, bouncing Shock balls that will bounce around the arena until they expire or hit their target. The second encounter after another Digistruct Torpedo strike is Hildr, the small-sized Reaper seething with Radioactive energy. Much like other Reapers, she is armed with a powerful energy scythe capable of high damage. She also can launch a fan of 3 energy discs from her scythe if her opponents are too far away. Finally encountered is Rota, the large-sized Arbalest emanating with Cryo energy. Despite her large size, she has an impressive movement speed thanks to the additional thrusters on her back. She is armed with a cannon that fires a swarm of cryo drones, bearing a strong resemblance to a NOG's drones, and a micro foundry that is capable of producing defensive drones called Isaz Auga, who will position themselves above the arena, firing cryo beams down at their opponents until they expire, their mistress or they themselves are destroyed.

During their shielded phase, each one will engage the Vault Hunter until half of their health is depleted (however, there is a delay before their shield reinstates, so there is an opportunity to sneak in more damage or even destroy them). During the fight, there is a chance the Valkyries will call forth a horde of tiny mechs, called Huskarl, to help their subordinates or provide support for themselves. Once all Valkyries have individually been dealt with, they will all descend from their perches and begin fighting the Vault Hunters together. When one of the Valkyries are destroyed, however, the remaining Valkyries will become more aggressive and powerful with their attacks. The same can be said when only one remains. The encounter ends once the final Valkyrie is dismantled, opening an energy barrier at the northwestern corner of the arena, opening up to Katagawa's Reach which houses vending machines and another energy barrier blocking further access into the base. At this point, a checkpoint has been reached and the Vault Hunter will respawn at this location (as will all the enemies respawn at their designated locations).

Once the switch there is pulled, the Vault Hunters are, again, allowed deeper access into the base. However, the bridge leading directly to the labs where the weapon is being developed retracts, forcing the Vault Hunters to go the long way around, where they are met with a massive contingent of Maliwan troops barring access to the Prototype Transport Bridge. Once the squad is killed, the barrier inside will open, revealing two Badass Troopers and their subordinates attempting to stop the Vault Hunters from reaching the bridge. Once the squad is killed, the Bridge can then easily be accessed, revealing more troops blocking the way to the weapons research lab. Apart from the occasional Elemental Heavy and a Badass Trooper or two, the team can easily be disposed of. Once ascending to Katagawa Research, however, the opposition will intensify... significantly. Not only are there a lot of troops provided with a lot of cover, 2 pairs of the new experimental Oversphereswill spawn from the silos at the end of the bridge and arrive to meet their aggressors. When a significant portion of the bridge is overtaken by the Vault Hunters, a massive pack of robo-dogs will begin to spawn from the Maliwan crates in the distance, spawning a horde of Frontrunners, Gunwolfs, Nullhounds and even Badass Frontrunners. Once the bridge is finally secured and the last, strong means of defense is broken, a pair of Badass Elemental Heavies will fruitlessly attempt to keep the team from meeting their new weapon. There, the Vault Hunters should easily stroll through the Mechanized Warfare Development Labs, see some vending machines and enter the command room, Ragnarok Command, overseeing a massive and barren arena.

In the area is Wotan the Invincible, Maliwan's massive war machine. When the Vault Hunters first meet it, it will immediately activate its barrier shield and begins digistructing a pair of Riot Troopers. This first phase is the easiest to beat among the three phases. The Riot Troopers are noticeably weaker than their counterparts throughout the takedown and Wotan will first utilize its laser cannons, which fires a decently powerful barrage of laser bolts with almost exceptional strafe tracking. However, this can be easily avoided by hiding behind or at an untouchable vantage from one of the three pillars placed within the arena. The shield Wotan hides behind still makes it a threat; to deactivate it, the Vault Hunters should shoot at Wotan either through one of the 4 openings at its legs or from above at its "head". Once the shield is disabled, however, the difficulty then begins to ramp up.

Thus begins phase 2, where Wotan will swap its cannons for its powerful missile pods, easily more capable of crippling a Vault Hunter than a Kraken's missile pods. While firing these missiles, it will digistruct a squad of Maliwan Troops along with elemental Heavies. Wotan will continuously march towards the Vault Hunter(s), so if more than one Vault Hunter is present, making Wotan focus on a single Vault Hunter can help create distance for the rest of the team. In the event of a solo mission, it is best to constantly maneuver between the corners of the arena, only stopping to have Wotan catch up enough to keep him from the center of the arena (where he will always be nearby) This squad can easily be disposed of and thus can be saved for second wind's or destroyed immediately. Once Wotan loses a quarter of its health, it will stop walking and create a barrier shield similar to that of a Kraken's while digistucting a squad of Arbalests, Valkyries and Hoplites. As an entire squad comprised of mechs, they are significantly harder to kill than the basic infantry Wotan deployed before. Once that shield is destroyed, Wotan will begin to utilize its pounce ability to leap up to one of the pylons in the arena and rain down fire from its laser cannons and digistruct a pair of basic Overspheres and a pair of Stingers. Be aware that Wotan will continuously jump from location to location until it has received enough damage, at which point it will jump to the ground and sit still while engaging the Vault Hunter until it reaches half health. If Wotan should land on top of the Vault Hunter, or they use the pillar that Wotan is on top of, it can result in an immediate Fight-For-Your-Life situation, and they may get stuck in the jetstream of the pillar. Once half of Wotan's armor is lost, it will create two barrier shields along with a digistructed squad of Maliwan Troops behind the second shield. The squad can be depleted, but Wotan will still defend itself with its laser cannons. To remove the massive shield, Vault Hunters should enter the barrier and shoot at Wotan through that opening before it finally collapses. Wotan will still keep its inner shield, however, the gap in its shield will be patched over and Wotan will regain its missile pod ability and continue to rain fire as it did before. It then will cycle through its two weapons every 10 seconds before switching. The Vault Hunters should then position themselves on one of the closest pylons to Wotan and shoot at it from there. Once half of that shield is lost, Wotan will then digistruct two of the most powerful enemies harbored at the Blacksite, a combination of one Kraken and one Thor, or two of one given type (two Krakens or two Thors), both armed with barrier shields and one of the weapons their master has. These two walkers should be disposed of first before finishing off Wotan's shield. In particular, the Kraken missile fire is indistinguishable from Wotan's fire as the targeting reticles on the ground use the same visual indicator.

When Wotan loses its final shield barrier, phase 3 begins, Wotan will then separate into two different instances: the head of it, "Wotan's Better Half" and its legs supporting a tube where Wotan's brain is, which is the raid boss itself. Each is a versatile threat on their own: "Wotan's Better Half" will hover over the arena, digistructing Oversphere back-up while firing at their opponents below with its laser cannons. Wotan itself will occasionally pounce to a different corner of the arena, releasing a ring of powerful orbs while launching explosive drone "mortars" from a distance at its target. These mortars are fired with startling accuracy and Wotan can strike the Vault Hunter mid-stride while running, so increased speed is highly recommended. If a speed-increasing relic, shield, or class mod is not available, the next best thing to do is utilize the three pillars around the area. Position the Vault Hunter between Wotan and the pillar so the metallic brain is out of view, and watch for stray mortars. This becomes substantially more difficult to avoid if Wotan's Better Half is still flying about, forcing constant movement to avoid its barrage. The locations Wotan jumps to are specific, Wotan will always leap to one of three specific spots (the entrance, to the left of the arena, near the right corner pillar), however, whether he begins walking towards the Vault Hunter or immediately begins firing the mortars seems to depend entirely on what the AI decides. Though "Wotan's Better Half" is a great enough threat, it would be advisable to first target Wotan itself unless the Vault Hunter has a weapon capable of rapidly destroying the head. Wotan itself will have a shield bar that creates total immunity for its critical hit spot, so it should be removed with a shock weapon before switching to a corrosive weapon to melt what's left of Wotan's armor. Once the shield is down, targeting the brain will cause critical damage, and also interrupt its current attack pattern. Once both instances of Wotan are destroyed, the Takedown will be completed, however, once Wotan itself is destroyed, Wotan's Brain will emerge from the wreckage to futilely escape from its assailant; destroying it will also provide additional loot aside from the walker and head.

Completion

"Brilliant work, Vault Hunter! That arse-kickin' will make Maliwan think twice before they come at us again!"

Notes

  • The mission will automatically start upon entering Midnight's Cairn.
  • If the mission is completed, simply fast traveling to another location and back to Midnight's Cairn will reset the mission for another playthrough.
  • Only two checkpoints exist in the entire area; one is located at the start at the Secure Airlock, while the other is available midway at Katagawa's Reach after defeating the Valkyrie Squad.
    • Should the Vault Hunter be killed while other Vault Hunters are still alive during the mission, they will be forced to spectate until the team reaches a checkpoint. Alternatively, if all of the Vault Hunters in the game are killed, they will be forced back to the last checkpoint.
    • If a Vault Hunter is spectating while fighting Wotan the Invincible, they will respawn next to the one-way fast travel station at The Godsgallows should Wotan be successfully eliminated, allowing them to get the loot dropped.
  • If the Vault Hunter has enough distance from Wotan, he will not fire at them with his laser cannons at all. This works effectively for the first three phases if a defensive playstyle is used or to simply avoid damage.
  • After the February 13th hotfix that implemented Broken Hearts Day, a switch was added to Midnight's Cairn that allows players to toggle the difficulty of the mission. It can either be much easier and scaled to team size, or much harder as it was initially designed called "True Takedown".
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