Musings on my Axton - Build and Gear Advice

Apologies in advance for the length of this post, and any rambling

So recently I got Maya to OP3, then hit a wall trying to complete Digistruct to get to OP4, so have decided to take a break from her and get my 54 Axton to Cap, and hopefully, into the OP levels.

My Current build is this

With end game looking to be like this

Now I have been playing Axton a long time, and the end game build above looked all well and good in NVHM and TVHM, the Turret kick @$$ nicely, but in UHVM, while it does its job, I feel I need to step up my game more damage wise when the turret is down.

I have to say, I really notice the difference between Maya and Axton in UHVM, my maya build has both Ruin & Scorn, so multiple Slag powers while rocking any weapon

With Axton of course, I need to try and keep a Slag device on hand and weapon swap a lot more, I was using a 36 MM, it slags nicely, but last night I hit 55 and got myself an Electric Fastball (55), I never quite got the Explosive Builds before, but this thing was 1 shotting Pyre Nomads, and Pyre Nomads with Shields were down to 20% health in 1 Grenade, with no Slag.

Now I like survivability, it’s worked in NVHM and TVHM, but to much in UHVM means less damage, so now I am trying to tweak my build to get the fastball, and by definition, other Explosive weapons, to kick out more damage when the Turret is down, while also kicking it with guns

As I understand it, the Unkepmt Harold has a bullet, so would benefit from Gun Damage (and Amp Damage if I get a bee shield) and the explosive part would then get a bonus from Grenade Damage as that is splash, is that correct?

So building both Grenade Damage and Gun Damage would help my explosive build, provided I get weapons that do both?

I have read as much as I can on the forums, but I find it best if I try and work it out for myself then ask to see if I got it right, it sinks in more

So I thought something along the lines of this at 55

I have a Kerblaster already (but as it fires a rocket, it will only get Grenade damage, not gun damage?), a 55 Shock Fastball, and I could look at getting an Unkept Harold, and was thinking along the lines of this for weapon set-up, looking to use only weapons that posses both Bullet & Splash damage, so please correct me where I go wrong.

Also I would like to point out, I do not currently plan to farm quest rewards, so i am looking to get items I can farm from specific bosses, or the Loot Train, I will worry about Top Gear Items if I ever make it to OP8

1: Maliwan/E-Tech Slag SMG (preferably Hyperion for accuracy)
2: Unkempt Harold
3: Maliwan Sniper (in appropriate element, shock otherwise)
4: Bandit Rocket Launcher (I like the 3 rocket spread for FFYL)
Grenade: Shock Fastball (I might try and Farm an Explosive Fastball)
Shield: Tedior Fast Shields (These are saving my butt in UHVM, with 1.33 Delay dropping to around 0.39 (-70.8% recharge delay with Skills and BAR), it is regening between DoT Ticks even without a kill)
Relic: Currently +48% Health, but I am going to look for either a Cooldown Relic, or maybe an Explosive Relic (Can BoA drop as Explosive? I have only encountered Fire, Corrosive and Shock so far)
COM: Currently level 29 Legendary Soldier, +3 to all stats, not to worried about farming a better one, as I have a 60 +5 sat in the bank, and a 66 (Thanks Maya)

So based of the above 55 build, this would be a sort of 72 build, unfortunately, no 2 Turrets, but if I make it to OP8 and want 2 turrets and Good damage output, I will be back here

the alternative is, get 2 turrets, incase one gets destroyed, to maximize Battlefront uptime, but lose the slag

Any tips and critique welcome, I was going to try and Bee/Shield Regen build at some point, but I want to see what I can achieve without Amp Shields first, I want the Bee shield to make it easier once I can do what I need to do, not make it so I can do it in the first place.

Yes, that is correct.

That is also correct.

I can’t. Only fire, corrosion, and shock.

I you’re going for an explosive build, check out Triad Thunder’s “Last Man Standing”, or look at the Generic Torguemando thread. That should contain all you want to know.

Better Legendary Soldier would really, really help at level 55…

If you have DLC4, use Magic Missiles to double your slag power and they regen which allows you to get away from Grenadier and get into Onslaught which is a GREAT skill for Axton as long as kills are available.

Try this:

Your Gunpowder/Survival spec is the best one if you like survivability, as you said. Expertise is going to help with slagging so dont worry about it, the swap speed os really great.
The only thing I would change os getting Mag-Lock and maxing out Grit. Taking away 1 point from both Quick Charge and Resourceful is ok and Grit is Axton best skill imo.
Also, take 1 point from Preparation to spec Healthy. If you are going to stick with the Legendary Soldier COM. I would leave only one point in Expertise (6/5 with COM bonus) and fill Metal Storm with the other 4 as the fire rate and recoil reduction are both amazing for explosive weaponry.

Talking about COM, the Leg Engineer is overall a little better for explosive setups due to Battlefront boost.

Edit: One last thing, Quick Charge is actually bad with low capacity fast shields like the Tediore one of yours as the recharge is % fixed. Willing alone is the optimal choice for this kind of shield, but do spec Quick Charge for tanky shields like Turtles, Adaptives and unique ones like the Antagonist and the Blockade. Remember that Quick Charge main goal is to fight DoTs in the late game so you need the % regen to be able to overcome the DoT value.

Apologies for not responding earlier, when I got home, I wanted to get straight in, and basically spent the night farming the Snowman trying to get useful gear (not a single Explosive Shotgun All Night, but did get a new Leg Soldier COM)

I didn’t manage to get to Triad Thunders “Last Man Standing” build, but I did look over the Generic Torguemando thread, some good stuff in there, but he mainly goes Guerilla/Gunpowder with a little in Survival, I think my inpetitude will mean more Gunpowder/Survival, with some Guerilla

Biggest Issue I have is I want the first 3 tiers in Guerilla. ARG I need more points.

Well as part of gearing up I was farming the Snowman, and he very nicely dropped me a 55 Leg Soldier, so now I am +5 in all 6 stats :slight_smile:

Part of the Explosive build was to make the Fastball 1 shot almost anything, I do have a Slag Transfusion, and a 36 MM, rubbish damage, but slags fine, I was hoping to hold of doing the DLC’s until the end, but I might have to go start Tiny Tina’s and get a better MM, 4 blobs will mean less slagging

Preferably, I want to keep the fastball though and get a good slagging weapon, as its easier to quick swap, but fi I go for a full Explosive Build weapons wise, and do indeed go 2 turrets, I will probably have to get myself a new MM, if I find 1 Slag Turret works better than 2 Turrets, then I can go back to the fastball.

All very good points, thank you.

If one drops, I will be sure to try it out, until then, I tihnk the Leg Soldier (now at +5) will me more useful, cool down rate, Gun Damage and Fire rate, all good.

I had never thought about that, so if I stay with Tedior Shields, I might consider moving the points across to Forebearance instead, less DoT time, while rehcarging between DoTs might be just the key.

For most of the night I had this build

Only because farming the Snowman is different to mobbing, so I wanted consistent damage, so let the Turret Slag

So, with a Mix of the Torguemando and my own preference for Survivability, using Explosive Weapons and a Fast Tedior Shield, I think I will have a choice of the 2 following 72 Builds, currently planned with a Leg Soldier Com, and either an Explosive Relic or a Cooldown Relic (Damn you Bone of the Ancients)


A lot of Skills not Maxed, due to allowing me to get other skills, more all-rounder with Explosive damage, ditched Pressure for Healthy, I know a lot of people dislike it, but considering all Axton’s healing is percentage based, I see no point not Maxing Health, also, using a low delay shield, I do not think Pressure will help as much, and the Recharge Rate is always higher than the Capacity anyway.


Again, based on a Tedior Shield, ditch Pressure and Quick Charge

Both builds I think give the same amount of Survivability shield and health wise (though No Grit obviously in build 2), so the main difference is whether I have 2 turrets, and can deploy them more often, but I need to worry about applying Slag myself, or if I have 1 turret, which can be my Slag machine, then I can just gear up with Explosive weapons in each slot, with different ranges/mobs in mind.

It feels a little wierd not Maxing a lot of the skills, especially build 1, but I will have to get to 72 and see which one actually works best

Thanks for the help guys.

I second Triad Thunder’s Last Man Standing build. I used to have the standard Double Up/Gemini build and thought I would miss Gemini but not so- I’ve made it to Opportunity in an all OP8 run with the build and have had no issues. If you ever decide to use a tankier shield like the Antagonist or Blockade you’ll want to max out your shield skills, which IIRC taking Healthy actually helps. I don’t use Healthy my self but that’s just personal preference- so far your final build choice looks solid. Good luck…:+1:

I am off to find it and have a look.

Yeah, quick charge will definately go back in a Bee or other Shield build.

1 thing I did notice last night, which should have been obvious, but a Blue Torgue Assault rifle worked way better against the snowman than the Kerblaster, mainly due to the fact he has such a high crit area, and the Kerblaster would not Crit, but thanks to the DAHL Barrel Torgue Rifle I found, it did remarkably well, and at that point I had found a Rifleman Com and was trying that out.

(Increased Magazine Capacity, Extra Rifle Damage, +6 BattleFront, +5 Onslaught, I played with this build
trying to take him down faster and it was pretty sweet but I think the other build and a Kerblaster will do better mobbing wise)

Your first spec is nice. I would only get Mag-Lock and max out Battlefront taking 1 point from Onslaught. To be honest, the only thing I like personally in Onslaught is the move speed it gives.
Mag-Lock is a great skill to have, especially with Gemini. You can place your first Turret in a safe spot and keep deploying your second in the middle of the mob every time its get destroyed. It’s unvaluable, in my opinion, alongside Longbow.

Pressure is good due to its reload speed boost too, but I guess you can live without it.

Also, one point about the Bee and Quick Charge: they work basically the same way as tediore shields. You need the Bee fully recharged to get the AMP damage, so if it recharges only 5% per second it will take a longer time than if you let it recharge naturally. Pressure works wonder with it, as the recharge delay is huge.

I have tried Mag-Lock in the past, and the only time I ever got it to stick to something, I had messed up the placement :slight_smile: I may have try it again.

So are you saying, if Quick Charge kicks in, it will over-ride natural recharge if that has/or will kick in?

I have had a look at the last Man Standing build, its look good, and I can see why he wanted to stay away from the Bee and some of the Over-powere weapons, to my mind, some of them take so long to get, or need already good gear to farm and kill the Boss in question, I always prefer to see what I can do with gear that is less TG and easier to access (resetting playthroughs to get multiple of the same reward is OTT prior to End game in my personal opinion)

One thing I did wonder about in the Torguemada build, is it doesnt really need Explosive Weapons to work, it needs Bullet & Splash, as I had orignially intended.

Take the Pimpernel for example, it has bullets, splits into 5 is it? and has a splash effect, coupled with a BoA of the correct element, this would probably be more effective than just a pure Explosive build, due to BoA having Elemental Damage AND Action Skill Cooldown, so shot for shot, there might not be much in it, but over the course of a map, more DPS potential?

Of course that takes away form the Pure Torguemada build of having to swap weapons/relics, so I definately see the benefit of Pure Torgue, I just wonder if you apply the Gun and Grenade Bonus to just the right combo of Weapons, you could make a really good “theoretical” explosion build, without using any actual Explosive weapons (Sorry MR TORGUE).

I think I will try and stick the weapons suggested in the Torguemada build, concept wise, and have a play with Elemental matching buller & splash weapons when I try the OP runs.

And after last nights farming, I am tempted to try a pure Explosive Assault Rifle Build some time in the future, using the Assault Rifle Com
[Edit]Had to add in Nuke while I have the points[/edit]

The main problem about this is that not all splash damage is boosted by Grenade damage. There is a list, but the Pimpernel itself isnt boosted by grenade damage.

There is a lot of ways to play Axton. You can go explosive, elemental splash, Double Up/Gemini, Tediore reloads, Bee focused and etc.
The explosive is just easy, effective and fun. There arent a lot o enemies that resist Explosive, its a neutral element and explosive guns are usually powerful. Also, Axton use all his buffs this way and the spec itself boost grenades, so you can expect to use a Meteor Shower, Bonus Package or the Fastball and kill things with them.

Also, when you spec Resourceful and equip good COMs like the Leg Soldier or Engineer the BoA CDR ends up adding little.

Also, about Quick Charge, the shield only recharge the % through its duration as far as I know. Maybe @Derch or @Chuck80 can explain you better as both know the maths behind this kind of skill.

weapons by splash type anything not included doesn’t have splash damage.

About Quick Charge, are you refering to the “shield regen skills over-ride natural regen” thing? becasue that’s not true.

A skill that recharges your shield does so at it’s own rate independently of the shield’s recharge delay or rate.
If you have 5/5 in QC, you will recharge 5% of your shield’s capacity per second for the time it’s active.
If your shield starts recharging at the same time, you will get both sources working together, but they won’t affect each other in any way.

As far as explosive shotguns, I used to run a Ravager quite a bit, until I redid the “Sword in Stoner” quest and got a Casual Swordsplosion. Just watch out, it’s easy to kill yourself with it, but man that thing wrecks.

Quick Charge is totally unnecessary with a Bee…

Look at the Bee’s recharge rate…with specs it will recharge in less than a second. And with Willing you are going to get your delay even lower so by the time the skill would do you any good for the most part…the Bee is already up

Wasted points as the shield will recharge way ahead of the added benefit of even an 11/5 Quick Charge.

And remember…you have to get a KILL for it to even be of value.

Same with low delay high recharging Tediore shields…just as you already mentioned.

Other shields Quick Charge is GREAT…but not a Bee.

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Well got to play some this weekend, and tried a few builds while running Bloodshots twice

I found I was using my Magic Missile to slag way more than worrying what was slagged by my turret

I also found I was in a lot closer than usual due to the slow bullet traqvel of my Torgue Assault rifle, and the spread of my DPUH, my fast shield also broke a lot, and while it would come up quickly, with proximity to the mobs, not quick enough, I ended up in FFYL a lot, but the DPUH pulled me out.

Eventually settled on a larger shield, wanted an Anshin for the extra health and chance to get resist, but haven’t found one yet, so settle for an Explosive Nova Shield until I find what I actually want.

I do tihnk the fast shield would work very well for Axton going for twin slag turrets and the usuall stand off sniper builds, but the close quarters of Explosive weapons, the shield needs to be more robust, at least the way I play

So I settle on this build for the moment (approximately, I don’t recall the actual spread)

planned final build

Made it to 59, and got the following gear
1: 57 Purple Torgue Shotgun
2: 57 DPUH
3: 57 Purple Torgue Assault Rifle with a Vladoff Barrel
4: 57 Hornet (swapping with a 54 Kerblaster for grouped mobs)
+29% Explosive Relice
57 Legendary Soldier
58 Explosive Nova Shield
38ish Magic Missile

At 60, will try and take some time to replace the weapons, especially the DPUH and Hornet, but hopefully get a new Shotgun and Rifle.

Currently going through Tiny Tina’s to get a better magic missile, need to find some wizards and upgrade this grenade asap, it was doing okay, but i need 4 Orbs, and might as well get some damage out of it as I have an explosive build, plus, I it doesn’t seem to slag as consistently any more.

Thanks a lot to everyone helps so far, after so long playing Axton, only now is the learning curve really kicking in, I guess I have relied to much on the turret for to long. And I have to say, and Explosive Build character is so different to anything else I have played.

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With the beefier shields I’d suggest going 4/5 in Pressure and only 1/5 in Healthy with the L. Soldier boosting it to 6/5- you still get your health increase and a faster shield recharge rate and reload speed, which would allow you to max out one of the other skills in the Guerrilla tree (I went with Sentry)…

It’s a possibility, I just like to see large health numbers, if I am not being healthgated by a boss, I like to have tons of health for mobbing

As for Sentry, personally, as I am using Torgue Weapons, I think the Reload speed is preferable, I will have 5/5 in Resourceful and a Leg Soldier Com, so even if the turrets go down quicker, I should be getting them back quicker to, plus Reload speed in between action skill timing is so useful (the shotgun I have has 8 capacity, and uses 4 rounds a shot, right now, I think even more reload speed would be useful).

Try the Casual Swordsplosion as you are in Tina DLC. Adds a little more range a lot of damage for shotguns.
Also, Pressure is going to help you a lot more with high capacity shields than Healthy in overall. Especially nova shields, where you have to quickly recharge it in order to release the nova.

Also, there is one thing in Sentry you should care: Battlefront uptime. Especially with explosive guns. It is wise to max both first tier with Axton, just give some Onslaught and Able points, maybe you wont even notice the difference to be honest.
But your spec is ok. Get down to Gemini as you level up and after just fill the important skills.

Edit: This is an example of spec I would use for an explosive build, with the Leg. Engineer COM

Impact and Able get boosted so 1 point is enough in my opinion. You can swap Quick Charge for Healthy if you find it better, but I wouldnt spec out of Willing and Pressure regardless of the shield choice.

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Agree with above…

6/5 is plenty for healthy and 4 points in pressure will help a lot more than 4 more points in healthy.

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