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 http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#55054150015104011000005040000000
which I’m pretty confident about since I remember a similar discussion when I previously played BL2 early this year. 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 ) but that doesn’t seem to be hurting my Maya at all.