Axton - Turret Only Build

There have been a number of turret-based builds here on the forums, but they all seem to question the viability of this approach. I can say conclusively that this works to a point; you won’t be raiding with these, but they are capable of handling some of the heavy hitters in your local mobs by themselves. At OP3, the turrets kill enemies at a rate that I find unusually fast for that far into the game. Bullyrotts, WAR, Angel, and SGT Loaders, Bone Crushers and Scavengers… just tested this out to confirm that they all die relatively easily. Here’s how:

  • First, here’s the build I used. Nuke hits surprisingly hard: a little less than 2 million for armored targets, a little less than seven million for flesh targets (both pre-slagged), so I definitely wanted that. The choice then came down to Double Up or Gemini, and I figured that they were kind of a wash: one adds two guns to one turret, where the other is one gun on two turrets (if there’s more math to this, let me know), but Gemini allows me to get Resourceful, place them in potentially strategic positions, and it lets me apply Nuke twice. Since the turrets will be doing the killing, I will be doing the slagging, so my character just loads slag weapons.

    If you can’t tell from the highlighted skills, I’m using an Auto Gunner COM. This is, I believe, the only COM that can increase the turrets’ damage output (by increasing their fire rate) as opposed to just extending their duration. They can easily outpace enemy health regeneration, and in practice, it occurs to me that I might be able to get away with an Engineer COM: the increase in fire rate gives you more damage output than longer sentry time with standard fire rate, but the Engineer COM comes with way more side benefits.

  • Second, here’s the technique. Pre-slag the targets. I used a slag Singularity to get enemies grouped together to facilitate hitting as many as possible with both Nuke shots. Then just run around the fight and focus on keeping enemies slagged; without slag, their health regeneration may outpace the turrets. If you’ve grouped or isolated the enemies properly, they won’t focus on you, and you can just focus on keeping them slagged while the turrets get the kill. If you’re so inclined, you can switch to an actual weapon and help drop the enemies, but the idea here is to let the turrets do all the work.

  • Third, here are some other considerations. I used a Cooldown relic. It doesn’t appear that an explosive relic helps Nuke, and I can’t think of any others that help with them? I’m not sure if holding the Little Evie while your turrets get a kill count towards the cooldown (and I want to be slagging mostly anyway). A slag Transfusion will help keep the turrets health up, but in practice, it’s just enough to shave off some of the incoming enemy damage. Still, it’s a reliable area slagger, and the health is just bonus points. BAR does not seem to make much difference in the turrets behavior? Those skills seem to apply to the Commando, not his turrets.

  • Fourth, here are some things to watch out for:

  • Enemies behind cover that you could easily shoot are tough for the turrets to hit.

  • ION Loaders’ shields keep the turret fire out and prevent you from slagging the group within. Usually, I’ve tossed the turret very close for Nuke to hit, which puts the turret within the shield, where the ION loader zaps it. Watch for that.

  • In retrospect, I may consider grabbing Onslaught, since turret kills activate this, and the movement speed is handy for dodging enemies that have it out for you instead of the turrets.

edit - some keyboard shortcut inadvertently posted this before I was ready, but this is basically it. I’m still testing some things, and may add a video later.

2nd edit - trying a very sketchy build with +5 in Laser Sight. What?! Yeah… I might be noticing a difference at mid range. Also, how does Geminuke sound for this build? Awful? Even better. :smile:

3rd edit - turns out the Slayer of Terramorphous doesn’t enhance the Nuke-derived burn DoT. Oh well…

4th edit - field notes:

  • Rabid Stalkers and Skags - no problem; they stay point blank on your turret, so eat all the damage.
  • Pimon and Tumbaa? Pimon isn’t a problem once you get his shield down (so the turret can see him), but you do have to corner and separate them individually.
  • The turrets couldn’t kill an Ultimate Badass Loader with their guns (although they dropped him to just a sliver of life). A Nuke follow up polished them off.
  • PWR and BUL Loaders will reflect the bullets if their shields are up, but if you Nuke them into melee range in a corner, they’ll drop their shields and will fall.
  • Threshers are a real problem, mostly because they keep washing off the slag by burrowing, which burns off sentry time.
  • Laser Sight… I’m not sold yet, but it may not have been working right (I couldn’t see the full beam, just the first foot or so of green haze.
  • Varkids are okay up to Super Badass versions, because, again, they tend to burrow to wash off slag which burns off sentry time. Still, I did drop one with a few applications of Nuke.
  • I think I’m also sold on the Engineer COM because Nuke is producing more damage per re-application with the huge cooldown (fire Nuke then immediately recall) than the weapons are with an Auto Gunner COM running for a full standard-length time.
  • Nuke was reliably one-shotting slagged Surveyors and Rakk that came within range. I didn’t come across any Super Badass versions though.
  • Nuke + turrets took out a slagged shock Ultimate Badass Skag in one go (and I was sure they wouldn’t). They did have him pinned, and he didn’t use his shock beam on them though. Nuke is awesome.

This sounds mega difficult at any level! I greatly admire the thought you have put into this build concept. I will have to study it in further detail.

What I have found is that the turret feels very powerful at lower levels (26 to 50) on nvhm and tvhm. At uvhm it seems strong up until around 62-72. Some wall I hit came up when I would use an engineer build for a very long time when I first encountered uvhm. Grinding up from 61 to 72 made me rethink my build as a whole. I lost a lot of effort I had put into turret reliably doing damage to using it as an aggro draw or distraction. Slag being more effective (or important) at UVHM changed how useful double up is for most commandos.

I love this idea and would love to see some video capture of this in action, especially at OP levels.

If you time it right Nuke can take out an ION loader’s shield so try throwing it just at the edge of it- it will take out the shield and allow you to keep slagging everything that was under it…

[quote=“Afro_Samurai, post:2, topic:1238817”]I love this idea and would love to see some video capture of this in action, especially at OP levels.[/quote]I have some that I will cobble together and publish this week some time. I seriously didn’t think it would be able to take out Rabid Skags/Stalkers or Scavengers, and frankly, while novel, the gameplay is a little boring, since I’m sitting here with this gigantic arsenal of insane weaponry letting the turrets have all the fun.

[quote=“Carlton_Slayer, post:3, topic:1238817, full:true”]If you time it right Nuke can take out an ION loader’s shield so try throwing it just at the edge of it- it will take out the shield and allow you to keep slagging everything that was under it…
[/quote]…never knew that! I’m not sure that I would use this technique with this build because I need Nuke to hit the Loaders cowering within while they’re slagged (where waiting for the shield to finish keeps them grouped together for easy mass slagging and Nuke damage), but for my non-turret-built Commandos, this will come in handy.

edit - okay, I’ve got 75 minutes of a run through the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve all the way to Mothrakk with only Turret kills (except Mothrakk… no thanks). I’ll probably have to shrink that for the highlights, but I should be able to publish tomorrow.

Video is up:

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This looks fun. OP 3 you said?

Is there anything out there that increases the nuke explosion damage from the turret? I was hoping for a glitch like the swapping to an Ahab when you throw the turret.

[quote=“Afro_Samurai, post:6, topic:1238817”]This looks fun. OP 3 you said?[/quote]Yeah, I play at OP3 to allow for some headroom to give weaker gear a buff to make it work for me this late in the game.

[quote=“Afro_Samurai, post:6, topic:1238817”]Is there anything out there that increases the nuke explosion damage from the turret? I was hoping for a glitch like the swapping to an Ahab when you throw the turret.[/quote]Not that I know of… nothing I see in BAR will, explosive relics don’t seem to, none of Axton’s skills seem to (slagging certainly does, and Deathmark probably does if you’re palling around with an Assassin). I even tried the Slayer of Terramorphous COM to see if that would buff the burn DoT (didn’t try a fire Bone of the Ancients though… ). Still, that won’t change it a ton if it works.

So calibrate your expectations with this: truly only letting the turrets kill everything (except Mothrakk) in a tour of the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve took me an hour and fifteen minutes. It was fun primarily due to its novelty, and I will probably be leaning on my weapons to finish off enemies as I move forward with this build. That said, I am changing my standard Dahl allegiance build to this: just because having two Nukes to drop can be very entertaining.

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