Axton starting UVHM


Moving this discussion here as suggested:

Level 51 Axton, doing some side quests around the Happy Pig (and hitting 52 in the process), spent most if his time in FFYL vs. the skags, then died consistently vs. Doc Mercy.

Build is
which I’m pretty confident about since I remember a similar discussion when I previously played BL2 early this year. :slight_smile: Could move the point in Expertise to Metal Storm (I think it’s there in the hope that one day I’ll find a COM that boosts it). Current COM is a purple Tactician, +5 Preparation (10/5), +4 Battlefront (5/5), +3 Resourceful (0/5). If I could get Axton to 72 I’m aiming for the standard Double Up/Gemini build.

I’d say his gear is good but not great. For enemies that are flesh and not made of fire, there’s a Dahl Plasma Caster and a Good Touch, level 51 and 50 respectively. I also used a blue fire Clement Thinking Hyperion shotgun (level 50) against the skags since they’re at point blank range and their crit spot isn’t reliably available. Might have been better just using the Plasma Caster full-time though. For enemies who can be easily critted, he’s also got a no-element level 50 Lady Fist. For slagging when the turret is dead, he’s got a level 52 Hyperion Plasma Caster and a purple level 50 longbow slag transfusion grenade mod (the latter is probably why he wasn’t in much danger of dying against the skags, despite taking a knee so often). For enemies that are flesh, made of fire, and hard to crit (Ultimate Badass Fire Skag) there’s a blue level 51 Torgue assault rifle. I’m not a fan, with the mediocre accuracy, slow bullets, and slow rate of fire, but it does OK. He carries several shock and acid guns too (and grenade mods in all the other elements) but those didn’t come up in my recent test run.

Shields are excellent, my choice of a purple level 52 Adaptive, purple level 51 Absorbing (32%), or purple level 51 Cracked Sash (recharge time 1.17s on the card, which I believe is well under half a second in practice with all of Axton’s bonuses). The Doc Mercy encounter was intended to test which works best for me, but the verdict was “doesn’t matter, Axton dies”.

Relic is a cooldown relic at 28.4% (blue, level 46, not that level matters a ton for relics generally).

FFYL gun is a green level 51 Bandit Launcher, nothing special, but it got the job done promptly the one time I needed it against the skags (all the other times a regular gun was easily able to get the second wind).

My conclusion is that Axton just doesn’t work for me in UVHM and I should retire him to mule duty. The issue is clearly between me and Axton, not me and UVHM, since my level 58 Maya is cruising along with no problems in normal gameplay. Thinking about it, I probably could get by a little better if I farmed a DPUH, but on the other hand if I can only make Axton work with a DPUH, that means I can’t really make Axton work.

Am I missing something important here? Admittedly I am somewhat rusty after eight months of playing other games (mostly strategy games at that, so my aging reflexes are probably worse than usual :stuck_out_tongue: ) but that doesn’t seem to be hurting my Maya at all.

(The quick and the dead) #2

Did you have your turret up when you took on Doc Mercy himself? That would probably help a ton (free slag+tons of dmg), other than that, the RL might be best to down the Doc quickly (high damage in short timespan). Because your build looks good enough that it should be getting things done, what com are you running (and what others if any do you have)?


The turret was up for a while vs. Doc Mercy, but even with Longbow it doesn’t last all that long. The skags also tore it apart pretty quickly when I was fighting them.

COM is a purple Tactician with +5 Preparation, +4 Battlefront, +3 Resourceful (which I don’t have yet). That replaced a blue Tactician with +5 Preparation and +4 Battlefront; the purple has marginally better passives which is the only difference now. The only other COM I have is a blue Pointman with +6 Grit and +5 Pressure. I’m not sure I’d use it even if I had Grit, but it’s interesting enough to keep around. Do I need to visit the loot train until I get a Legendary Soldier? If that’s even one that can drop before level 61; I’m a bit fuzzy on which legendary COMs are or are not available below that level…

(The quick and the dead) #4

Leg soldier is available at all levels, the others for Axton are 61+ in UVHM. So you have a thin, short delay shield, and are running a com that makes that delay even shorter? This strat is best with long range weapons like snipers where the distance between you and your enemies makes it likely that the shield will recharge between hits, you might try instead running a thicker shield and maybe a more damage or turret oriented com, such as Grenadier, Engineer, or Ranger (and adjusting your spec to take advantage of the com). That way you can take more punishment before going down (better at closer ranges where avoiding damage is much harder).


I have three good shields, it doesn’t have to be the Cracked Sash. The Adaptive and Absorb are both pretty thick. When equipped the former is 78864+19504 health, the latter is 57078 (and 32% absorb, as I mentioned). The Sash is 25051. Listed delays are 5.74s for the Adaptive and 2.65s for the Absorb. It didn’t seem to make any difference which I used, Doc Mercy never went much below 50% health before dropping me.

(Vanaria32) #6

The Tactician is a fairly weak mod which I have seen literally noone use at endgame. The Pointman doesn’t scale well to UVHM also. Engineer, Rifleman, Grenadier or Tina Ranger anyday. Honestly your spec is good and your gear’s not bad…the tactician and pointman are just both really lame (and yet ended up becoming Legendary coms)

Anyway to deal with the Doc I’d recommend pinning him with a turret and then wasting him with a ton of elemental grenades, mixing in some shots of your Dahl PC and staying a good distance away.

As for skags…keep shooting and moving I guess. You can’t phaselock-converge masskill the lot of 'em as Axton but I never really register skags as a threat myself as any class.

Anyway I think the 8 month rustiness is somewhat responsible here, Axton’s the tactical kinda class so you should start doing better once you get back in shape :slight_smile:

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(Wh-?! A mask?! This is tooootally my face! I... uh... ) #7

You’ve got to lick it before you stick it, you’ve got to-

Wait. Wrong advice conversation. OK. Axton, Axton, Axton…

Yeah. Build is solid. Thicker shield is a good call. I would go with the Absorb, given the listed numbers. COM could use some heavy offense. Legendary Soldier would be an almost unbelievable upgrade. The extra cooldown and gun damage are very big, and it has a lot more going on than just those.

As far as tactics go… lead with the turret. Get it out ahead of you, and be very aware of the duration and cooldown indicators. Be backing out for cover before it disappears. You basically have to plan ahead for when it’s gone.

You know what, though?

I can’t run Gaige to save my life, and she’s a powerful class. I am a terrible Krieg. Awful. Absolute trash. Those two classes simply don’t click for me, even now. My daughter is 11 and runs her OP8 Gaige like a champ. I can log onto her fully geared Gaige and be embarrassingly horrible.

So… I don’t run those. Axton, Maya, Gaige, Sal… I can do all kinds of things with them. They’re intuitive for me. I feel happy and calm running them, and enjoy every moment of it.

Maybe Axton is your Gaige. Do you WANT to play as him? Do you look forward to it? Do you itch to log in as him? If not, don’t sweat it.


Just did another run. Being very particular about turret placement helped some - practice and tactics, as you say :slight_smile: . After multiple false starts and resets, I got the turret to go on the far side of Doc from me, in a place where it could shoot him. That negated the tower shield for most of the fight, and resulted in a mutual kill. So yay, I guess. Staying alive while killing things with that awful e-tech Bandit assault rifle for the follow-up quest was extremely difficult - another six deaths there I think. Then Assasinating the Assassins, another 3-4 deaths there, all but one on the upper level. Did sort of OK with the last two assassins though, with ridiculous amounts of kiting during turret recharges. Getting a quick initial kill to start the kill-skill buffs was huge, the couple times I managed it.

Absorb did seem to be the correct shield for that run, though I also like the Adaptive for scenarios where there aren’t nearly 100% gun-using enemies (pretty sure it wouldn’t have stopped those Lunatic Bombers from healthgating me in one shot anyway).

Sounds like hitting Mr. Snowflake in search of a better COM would be the next step, then. I remember liking an Engineer COM or two at low level. I don’t think I’ve seen those other three outside of the wiki.

I’m sort of in between on that one. I don’t like him nearly as much as Maya, obviously, but I look at his skill tree and see lots of great skills, most of which I already have, and think he should be awesome. And then I play him, and I’m not awesome at it at all. So if he does end up as a bank mule, that’s OK, but if I can make him live up to his awesome skill tree, that would be better. :smiley:

I’ll have to see if I’m still dying or hitting FFYL all the time once I’ve farmed a decent COM, by which point I should also be back in practice, or at least close to it.

(Wh-?! A mask?! This is tooootally my face! I... uh... ) #9

Full disclosure:

Having run Axton with max gear and skill points, I will never level another new one up. I am spoiled from Double Up + Gemini, max cooldown, and all of the shiny toys. He is so very different with all of those assets at his disposal. In my opinion, he’s worth getting through the grind.

Having said that, I still run Maya more.

(Vanaria32) #10

The Snowman is total bitch to farm in the absence of a Bee or powerful gear tbh so I would recommend the Badass Crater chest run instead. Good to see you got through the Doc Mercy fiasco though. I never really bother using that terrible AR to do the following quest tbh, I just use an actually decent E-tech like a Plasma Caster, lmao.

The Engineer is a solid mod. The Rifleman and Grenadier can turn up anywhere, so you’d have a good chance bumping into them also, but the Tina Ranger only in the Tina DLC. The Legendary Soldier mod is best of course, but you need to be really lucky to find that in a chest.

As some one who runs double-up/Gemini also I have to agree with @Handsome_Dad Axton doesn’t really come into his own in UVHM until endgame where he can get those skills and Longbow at the same time.

(Carlton Slayer) #11

If you want to give your Pointman com a try try this build:
My OP8 Axton runs Triad Thunder Last Man Standing build now but before that he was the classic Double Up/Gemini but I went with Gemeni first- deploying two turrets that you can place on walls and other out of the way places to draw aggro is a tactical advantage. In the climb between levels 50-60+ I don’t have a lot of pass along gear so I made it a habit to hit the loot train at each new level and started the Tiny Tina dlc just for a chance to run the Forest for Bees. If you want to try something really different my ne Axton (level 72) runs a Gemini/Nuke build- very entertaining so far but I still haven’t found a L. Ranger I can try with it yet. As for Doc Mercy splash weapons and A.O.E. grenades are a great way to get around both his standard and big shields…

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It’s not so bad using the cheese spot beside the elevator. I’m not sure I did it quite right because the Snowman’s wreath lasso hurling attack still hit very hard, but that spot negates everything else in the fight. And the Lady Fist is perfect against all snowmen with their giant heads to crit on. :smiley: Finished with the Good Touch after the wreath attacks started.

A lovely Engineer COM (+6 battlefront, +5 sentry) was in the chest where the yeti and snowmen fight each other, so that solves the COM problem pretty well. Nothing useful from the train itself, but I already had what I wanted from the run.

Aside from the miniature loaders at the end (mini JET loaders, ugh!) that’s about as Axton-friendly as a map can be, with open space everywhere, few melee enemies, and no suicide enemies, so it went quite well. And now Axton can use the set of level 53 gear that Maya picked up when she was at this level (fire Emperor, slag Emperor, Hornet) so he should be in decent shape for a while.

I tried that but the quest only registered kills from the quest AR, not the plasma caster. I don’t think the turret managed to kill-steal every single time I was using the plasma caster. Maybe if the kill came from the fire DOT the plasma caster ignited that wouldn’t count? But still that’s unlikely to happen every single time.

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(Carlton Slayer) #13

You can actually jam yourself behind the elevator there so that 99% of his attacks won’t hit you, including the wreath (his breath attack may still get you)- the only drawback is that you won’t be able to access your backpack so you might want to make sure you have what weapons and other gear you want to use already equipped…

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(Today, everything was fine in Opportunity and nothing bad happened.) #14

Fun fact: if you save the element-testing mission for Marcus, killing the bandit he brings out counts towards kills for that mission. Just make sure to slag it first, because it will take forever otherwise.

(G4ll0w Gl455) #15

Slag! Slag! Slag!..and use cover…and do not be in a hurry. I go low and slow on UVHM and so far it is working. I have 2 e-tech weapons I use extensively, an smg and an AR

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You do know that the last post here was from a year ago, right? :roll_eyes:

(G4ll0w Gl455) #17

Yup! But I’ve just really gotten into the games and do not come to the forums as often as I should.

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Haven’t read all the posts as I’m lazy :smirk: but all you need to do is get a DPUH, go to doc mercy, keep one enemy alive then put down your turret and kill the last enemy to get kill skills then melt doc mercy.


Worblehat’s definitely got Axton figured out by now…



Like I said… Reading is too much work for me :joy::joy:

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