Guide to Axton's Class Mods

Hi, everyone! I was looking through the Axton sub forum recently, and I noticed that a lot of the links in the Commando Resource thread weren’t working (I think the reason is that these threads never got ported over to the new forums before the old forums were retired). One really good thread that was among the ones missing was Afro Samurai’s “Guide To Axton’s Class Mods.”

I helped him with some of it, but he did pretty much all of the writing. I didn’t want to see it go away, so I salvaged and saved what I could. Most of it is intact, but unfortunately, the Legendary Soldier vs. Legendary Engineer DPS Comparison and some of the old links couldn’t be retrieved.

Regardless, this is a thread that is simply too good to let die. I hope you like it, and don’t be shy about leaving any feedback!

A Guide to Axton’s Class Mods


Introduction:

This is a collaborative guide for Axton’s class mods. Thanks to Triad Thunder for his contributions and to all the other members who have posted guides for other characters.


Background:

Class mods (COMs) come in five forms of rarity. Each form gives varying boosts to skills. The skills and bonuses that a given class mod provides depends on both the prefix and rarity:

White - Gives boosts to no skills and its respective passive bonus
Green - Gives boosts to one skill and its respective passive bonus (up to +5 after level 50)
Blue - Gives boosts to two skills and its respective passive bonus (up to +5 and +6 after level 50)
Purple - Gives boosts to three skills and its respective passive bonus (up to two skills with +4 and one with +5 after level 50)
Orange - Gives boosts to four or more skills and its respective passive bonus (up to +5 after level 50)

COMs are the blueprint for changing Axton’s effectiveness at a given technique. Whether it be an explosive build, a Tediore chucking build, turret build, immortal commando build, or jack-of-all-trades build… there’s a class mod out there for you!! This guide is intended to help those who are not familiar with Axton’s class mods to become more aware of how viable each one can be.

**Note: All players are entitled to their own opinions about the viability of each individual skill or class mod. I recognize that there are varying degrees of skill across all Axton players, and that this is not a 100% accurate representation of every single player’s feelings on each class mod. If you feel differently on the rating of a given class mod, then please describe why in the comments below. The integrity of this guide depends on your input!


Ranking System:

Bad: When a class mod is least preferred among most players with heavy criticism on its attributes.
Average: When a class mod is generally considered to be a viable choice but has more preferred alternatives.
Good: When a class mod is preferred among most players with minimal criticism on its attributes.
Outstanding: When a class mod is highly recommended and praised among all players at endgame.


Engineer - Good

+Sentry
+Battlefront
+Resourceful
Perk: Cooldown Rate (Maximum of +47% for OP8)

The Engineer class typically uses his turret as often as possible. Battlefront (one of Axton’s most DPS focused skills) has good synergy with Sentry since this skill allows the turret to be up a full 10 seconds longer. As many players may notice, 10 seconds can be an eternity when you are in the fray. Extra cooldown from Resourceful and passive cooldown is very helpful. Only downside is that the Legendary Engineer exists as a better alternative.

Ideal: Front line Engineer with +6 to Battlefront, +5 to Sentry.


Grenadier - Outstanding

+Grenadier
+Impact
+Steady
Perk: Grenade Damage, Explosive Damage Resistance (Maximum of +47% Grenade Damage and +32% Explosive Damage Resistance for OP8)

The Grenadier is a wide favorite among Axton players. Things that go boom are one of Axton’s specialties. And grenadier Axton has the ability to carry up to 21 Grenades without a stockpile relic and get additional damage on most weapons that have splash damage (check Blutfatals guide to splash damage here - Grenade damage Resource thread). That’s a lot of BOOM! Impact will boost all gun damage too, up to 44%.

Ideal: Expert/Impact Grenadier with +6 Steady, +5 to Impact if focus is using explosive guns
-OR-
Expert/Master Grenadier with +6 Steady, +5 Grenadier if focus is using grenades like the Fastball.


Gunner - Good

+Overload
+Metal Storm
+Steady
Perk: Team Fire Rate (Maximum of +32% for OP8)

A nice mod for team play, but it can also be a good com for kill skills. Metal Storm will up the fire rate by a decent amount, and Steady will make many explosive weapons (DPUH, SWORDSPLOSION!!!, and Ogre, to name a few) more effective. Overload isn’t critical to spec, but if you really want some extra A.R. magazine size, then it’s an option. An added bonus is that the Sabre Turret will fire faster than normal when this com is equipped (this does not include Scorched Earth), thus giving your turret slightly higher DPS.

Ideal: Heavy/Auto Gunner with +6 Steady, +5 Metal Storm


Pointman - Depends
For healthgating purposes with very specific gear and build: Good
For general usage: Average from NVHM to TVHM, Bad at UVHM

+Last Ditch Effort
+Pressure
+Grit
Perk: Health Regeneration, Max Health (Maximum of +11019.3 Health Regeneration and +352619 Max Health for OP8)

Grit and Pressure will make healthgating builds very successful, but if you are just using this com for regular play, then it will be very lackluster. Since this com is pretty devoid of gun damage skills (save Last Ditch Effort), you will most likely end up killing things slower than if you were using another com. Scaling of damage and health regeneration makes the Pointman’s perks very underwhelming. You are almost forced to use a white Turtle Shield with this com in order to make it usable at all.

Ideal: Unstoppable Pointman with +6 Grit, +5 Pressure


Rifleman - Good

+Onslaught
+Impact
+Battlefront
Perk: Assault Rifle Magazine Size, Assault Rifle Gun Damage (Maximum of +47% Assault Rifle Gun Damage and +53% Assault Rifle Magazine Size for OP8)

The Assault Rifle magazine size and damage boosts make using Assault Rifles actually fun. With Impact and Battlefront adding even more damage, even the humblest of assault rifles can do well. When you factor in the cherry on top (Onslaught), you get a fantastic incentive to get those kill skills. Your damage will slightly lessen when the turret is cooling down, but it’s not enough to be concerned about. (For more info on Rifleman Coms, see Triad Thunder’s tests - Axton and Assault Rifles: An In-Depth Analysis).

Ideal: Front Line Rifleman with +5 Battlefront, +4 Impact, +4 Onslaught


Shock Trooper - Depends

Good from NVHM to TVHM
Average at UVHM
+Onslaught
+Metal Storm
+Quick Charge
Perk: Shock Damage Resist, Electrocute Damage (Maximum of +32% Shock Damage Resistance and +53% Electrocute Damage for OP8)

All three bonuses are kill skills, so you should be seeing all three activate all the time. Players who prefer to storm into combat will appreciate the bonuses from this com. The Electrocute Damage only applies to DoT, and even if you play on L72 or below, using the com just to get this “bonus” doesn’t seem practical. The Legendary Ranger Com is just so much better.

Ideal: Assault/Heavy Shock Trooper with +6 to Metal storm/Onslaught, +5 to Onslaught/Metal Storm


Specialist - Bad

+Ready
+Duty Calls
+Forbearance
Perk: SMG Accuracy (Maximum of +35% for OP8)

Seen as a sort of “misfit” in Axton’s load out, the Specialist has failed to find its niche among most players. The bonus to Duty Calls is a decent boost to damage with NE guns. While it was once believed that Duty Calls was multiplicative, this class mod would have been a viable option for those who wished to create a NE build. Unfortunately, Duty Calls is in fact additive, and its potential is significantly outmatched in terms of damage by other class mods. Coms with boosts to Impact can do significantly more damage over a given time period. The boosts to Forbearance and Ready, along with the SMG accuracy boost, have not yet been seen as exceptionally useful. One could even argue that the Specialist is an under-powered version of the Legendary Soldier, with boosts to SMG accuracy and the bonuses to Duty Calls and Forbearance.

Ideal: Military Specialist with +6 to Duty Calls, +5 to Ready


Tactician - Good

+Battlefront
+Preparation
+Resourceful
Perk: Team Shield Recharge Rate, Team Shield Recharge Delay (Maximum of +53% Team Shield Recharge Rate and -35% Team Shield Recharge Delay for OP8)

A good team com with emphasis on shield recharge rate and delay as well as a nice bonus to Preparation. The Battlefront bonus provides a good buff to damage, while Resourceful will help your turret cooldown. Much like the Engineer Com, this will most likely be passed over for a Legendary Ranger Com, yet it’s still viable, especially if a Ranger Com hasn’t been acquired.

Ideal: Front Line Tactician with +5 to Battlefront, +4 to Preparation, +4 to Resourceful


Veteran - Outstanding

+Steady
+Last Ditch Effort
+Pressure
Perk: Reload Speed, Magazine Size (Maximum of +38% Reload Speed and +47% Magazine Size for OP8)

Veteran Coms and Tediore weapons were made for each other. Steady will make sure the explosions get represented, and with the added bonus of Pressure, you can unleash a Tediornado assault with great speed (provided your health is low). Last Ditch Effort is not necessarily needed, but it’s there if you decide you want it. Tediore throwing with the Veteran Com is fun, but it goes through your ammo quickly. However, you’ll have plenty of time to look for ammo because all of your enemies will already be vanquished.

Ideal: Expert Veteran with +6 Steady, +5 Pressure


Ranger (“Tiny Tina’s Attack on Dragon Keep” DLC Com) - Good

+Impact
+Ranger
+Grit
Perk:
-Evil variations: +Critical Damage (Maximum of +54% for OP8)
-Good variations: +Reload Speed (Maximum of +35% for OP8)
-Neutral variations: +Magazine Size (Maximum of +54% for OP8)
-Lawful variations: +Weapon Accuracy (Maximum of +35% for OP8)
-Chaotic variations: +Fire Rate (Maximum of +35% for OP8)
-True Neutral variations: +Magazine Size (Maximum of +86% for OP8)

The Ranger coms are all found in the Tiny Tina DLC, and each and every one of them are worth trying. Each version of the Ranger has unique properties and the best one depends on your specific build, gear, weapons, etc. The True Neutral Ranger was recently found to be the most effective at boosting a given Tediore reload because of the HUGE boost to magazine size. The Chaotic Neutral Ranger can also be quite effective with this particular setup, as pointed out by johnrr6.

Ideal: True Neutral Ranger with +6 Ranger, +5 Impact (Heavy-damage Tediore chucking), Chaotic Neutral Ranger with +6 Ranger, +5 Impact (Hybrid=good for Tediore chucking and general mobbing), and Chaotic Evil Ranger with +6 Impact, +5 Grit (Raiding)


Legendary Soldier - Outstanding

+Sentry
+Ready
+Impact
+Expertise
+Healthy
+Preparation
Perk: Cooldown Rate, Gun Damage, Fire Rate (Maximum of +47% Cooldown Rate, +39% Gun Damage and +25% Fire Rate for OP8)

The best overall class mod for general gameplay. Period. The 47% Cool Down is only 3% less than the Legendary Engineer (50%), the passive 39% gun damage boost is awesome for any weapon and the 25% increased Fire Rate will increase your DPS. This com is one of (if not THE) best that Axton can have at both early and endgame. I (and many other players in this community) simply cannot recommend it enough. Believe what the com says in the red text: This thing is like Christmas.

Ideal: Legendary Soldier with +5 Sentry, +5 Ready, +5 Impact, +5 Expertise, +5 Healthy, +5 Preparation


Slayer of Terramorphous - Good

+4 Sentry
+4 Ready
+4 Impact
+4 Expertise
+4 Healthy
Perks: Burn Damage, Burn Chance, Max Health (Maximum of +34% Burn Damage, +34% Burn Chance and +324409 Max Health for OP8)

Even though this com has +4 bonuses to 5 of Axton’s 6 Tier #1 skills, it has perks that are pretty lackluster (DoT and Burn Chance?!). The max health boost can be either a good or bad thing, depending on how you play. Despite these drawbacks, it does give you the boosts to Sentry, Ready, Impact, Expertise and Healthy. It can be a good temporary com while you’re still looking for a Legendary Soldier.

Ideal: Slayer of Terramorphous with +4 Sentry, +4 Ready, +4 Impact, +4 Expertise, +4 Healthy


Legendary Engineer - Outstanding

+5 Battlefront
+5 Resourceful
+5 Sentry
+5 Impact
+5 Able
Perk: Cooldown (Maximum of +50% for OP8)

Another fine com, this one really enables you to keep deploying those turrets thanks to its massive cooldown buffs. Much like the Soldier Com, the skills it boosts are mostly in the early parts of each skill tree, and this makes it useful with all sorts of builds. Because of this, there is no real need to give up the other skills that you might want in order to make your build work. This class mod and the next two class mods can be obtained after level 62 with the UVHM Pack 2.

Ideal: Legendary Engineer with +5 Battlefront, +5 Resourceful, +5 Sentry, +5 Impact, +5 Able


Legendary Pointman - Depends
For healthgating purposes: Outstanding
Bad at UVHM

+5 Pressure
+5 Grit
+5 Last Ditch Effort
+5 Able
+5 Healthy
Perk: Health Regen, Max Health (Maximum of +11460.1 Health Regeneration and +352619 Max Health for OP8)

With the addition of Able and Healthy, this com should improve your success with Pointman healthgating builds. Grit and Pressure will also help enormously. However, for things like mobbing, it lacks some real damage boosts. While not bad per se, there are quite a few other coms (even the non-Legendary ones) that can provide much more damage output than this one can. For more information on healthgating with the Legendary Pointman com, see this build and instructional video by VinylicPuma - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb1vp-l6kdk.

Ideal: Legendary Pointman with +5 to Pressure, +5 Grit, +5 Last Ditch Effort, +5 Able, +5 Healthy


Legendary Ranger - Good

+5 Ranger
+5 Quick Charge
+5 Onslaught
+5 Impact
+5 Metal Storm
Perks: Team Shield Recharge Rate, Team Shield Recharge Delay (Maximum of +56% Team Shield Recharge Rate and -35% Team Shield Recharge Delay for OP8)

This one seems to have elements from the Tactician (Team Shield Recharge and Delay bonuses), Shock Trooper (Kill Skills) and Ranger (Tiny Tina DLC, Impact and Ranger damage boosts). It starts out humble, but once you get a kill, the enemies start disappearing. The Ranger Com is one of the best mobbing coms that Axton has. Having 10/5 in Onslaught, Metal Storm and Quick Charge is just insane, and it will make using it really fun. The only drawback is the dependency on always needing kills to keep it powerful. Scenarios like raid bosses where there are not trash mobs make this class mod impractical. Plowing through a room full of weaker enemies like Bar Room Brawl is where this com’s effectiveness stands out. Killing Terra or Vorac on the other hand would be a difficult feat with this com.

Ideal: Legendary Ranger with +5 to Ranger, +5 to Quick Charge, +5 to Onslaught, +5 Impact, +5 to Metal Storm.

Again, Afro did most of the write up for this, so he gets all the credit. I hope this helped you in your search for the right com. If you see any errors or mistakes, then let me know and I’ll correct them. Thanks!

16 Likes

I think that the best version of the Grenadier COM is a purple with +5 to Steady. With a setup that supports the use of this COM you will want more grenades as they get a lot of buffs and turns into killing machines instead of just a Slag tool. All of the skills in the COM support a explosive Axton setup so there is no point km leaving one of them aside.
Also, there are at least three ideal versions of the Ranger COM: True Neutral for chucking bosses, Chaotic Neutral for Tediore hybrid or Chaotic Evil for raiding or mobbing. I believe that the damage matchs the damage from the Legendary Soldier (fire rate + damage vs fire rate + critical damage) or even wins it.
That said, I guess that the rate of it should be Outstanding instead of good.

Nice to see this guide back! imo it would be nice to see the max stats for each COM as well like how the Zer0 COM guide does.

1 Like

Agreed! Thanks for porting this over, @Triad_Thunder. :dukeaffirmative:

1 Like

I honestly think that a purple Expert Grenadier Com with Impact isn’t really needed. If I want to actually use weapons (instead of grenades), then it would be better just to slap on the Legendary Soldier. Even though I use a purple Expert Grenadier myself, I think that Steady and Grenadier are the skills that need to be on that com at all times.

I definitely like your input about the different aspects of the Ranger Coms (chucking, hybrid and raiding) though, so I’ll make sure to note that.

I’m not so sure about giving the Ranger an outstanding rating, however. If you stack that com against the Legendary Soldier (which is simply impossible to say anything bad about in itself), you can see that the Soldier covers so much more than the Ranger. Granted, bonuses like Fire Rate, Magazine Size and Critical Damage are really helpful, but the Soldier’s bonuses really enable it to be a truly versatile com. You get awesome boosts to Cooldown, Gun Damage and Fire Rate BEFORE even coming to the 6 skills it boosts. The Ranger can only boost 3.

Don’t misunderstand, though-the “Good” rating isn’t an “Average” rating by any means. The Ranger Coms may not be top-tier, but they are very good nonetheless.

Thanks for the feedback! I’ll add that in shortly.

My pleasure!

5 Likes

Also, I got one more questionar: when using Torgue weaponry, what is the better COM to use? What gives more DPS between the Grenadier and the Gunner?

1 Like

I’d love to see test results for Grenadier vs L Engineer for Torgue weapons. It seems to me that double dipping for +30% gun and +30% splash damage should yield more than a static grenade buff +25% splash damage. I may be mistaken, and accept correction.

Talking about damage, it is the +5 Battlefront from the L. Engineer vs the card + Steady from Grenadier as both of them boost Impact. The main difference, in my opinion, is that the boost from the Grenadier is static while you have to deploy your turret to get the boost from the L. Engineer, not that it is hard or anything. Also, the Grenaider allows you to do a lot of damage with MIRVs and its unique counterparts, not only boosting splash damage of Torgue guns.
But, yes, the L. Engineer gives you more damage output when talking about gun + splash if Battlefront is up iirc.

Between the Gunner and the Grenadier? If we’re assuming that both coms have +6 in Steady, then yes, I would say that the Grenadier would both do more damage and do more DPS.

Well, like you said, you would have the extra +30% Gun and Grenade damage from Battlefront on the Legendary Engineer versus the extra 5 or 6 points in Impact and the static +47% grenade damage boost from the Grenadier Com.

Let’s assume that the Legendary Engineer has the normal boosts (+5 to Impact, Battlefront, Able, Resourceful and Sentry) and that our Grenadier Com will have the “Expert” prefix with +6 Steady and +5 Impact. The Engineer will have the 10/5 boost to both Impact and Battlefront, so the total combined gun damage boosts would be about 100%, while the grenade damage boosts from Battlefront, Steady and Do or Die would be 95%.

The Expert Grenadier would have 10/5 in Impact, 11/5 in Steady and a passive bonus of 47% to grenade damage, so it would be able to get about 70% gun damage combined from both Impact and Battlefront, and it could give you a total of around 112% grenade damage from Battlefront, Steady and Do or Die.

So it looks like Legendary Engineer will indeed do roughly 30% more in terms of actual gun damage, whereas the Grenadier will seemingly do more in terms of grenade damage (roughly 17% more).

Keep in mind that these are just numbers, and I’m not saying which com might be better. My math may be off as well, so without testing either to see what the damage is, I cannot and won’t say for certain which is the better com in terms of damage. My personal opinion is that the Legendary Engineer will do slightly more damage.

I got silly a couple nights ago and ran a flex build (Double Up, Do or Die and 1/5 Ranger + Mag Lock and a couple points in Resourceful) with a L Ranger COM in Digistruct Peak on OP4 difficulty. Bee + Pimpernels, Lascaux, Hornet, Hard Harold. Ran loosey goosey until stupidly wiping (solo, btw) in the Assassins room. Pretty sure I could clear OP5 with that.

I was blown away by how devastating it was, but still recognize that 26/15/26 is easier.

Out of curiosity, which would be better between a Front Line Engineer (Battlefront/Sentry) and Sentry Engineer (Sentry/Battlefront)?

It would depend on your personal preference.

If you want a little more DPS for Battlefront with less Sentry time, then Front Line Engineer. If you want Battlefront to stay active for as long as it can, then Sentry Engineer.

I would probably go with the Sentry Engineer Com due to the increased Sentry time, which leads to a longer Battlefront duration.

Being a fan of consistency, I’m in agreement with Triad Thunder. One of the things that is often forgotten is that time spent not shooting means that duration skills are at least partly wasted. The turret is constantly firing, so it is exempt from this generality, but Battlefront is only useful while you’re shooting or tossing grenades. That tips the scale slightly in the favor of Sentry for me, because it gives me more time to use BF and also more time with the turret pumping slag and damage.

Good point.

Thanks, @Triad_Thunder!

It was my pleasure, bro!

Thankyou 4 the awesome info :).

No problem!