Certain links will be broken but I’ve replaced the one I can. It would be a ton of work to replace all the work Bahroo and company did in the past lmao
I have all 6 classes unlocked for 72 OP8 and among all of them, this is surprisingly one of the most versatile, robust, and hardest-hitting builds I’ve found so far. For harder DP OP+ runs, pretty much every other class except Gaige and Maya needs to run with a heal gun (Rubi/Grog) on swap if not being used as a main gun (e.g., Salvador with Grog/DPUH zerking combo). Among all classes, Axton and Gaige are the only ones I’ve seen that can solo DP OP8 without needing a heal gun on swap. ( Atrozation has a video showing this with Axton. Caballo Gallo has a video showing this with Gaige.)
Many of us have tried variations of a 26/15/26 build to take advantage of 2x Gemini Longbow turrets with two barrels (Double Up). However, the player Atroization hit upon the strongest version of this general build archetype by tuning it specifically for a solo DP OP8 run. Atro seems to be too busy with school to really publicize or explain his build concept, so I’m taking the liberty to do so on his behalf because it’s just fantastic.
Note: there is a Gaige build (of mine) called the Insulated Discordant Bee, and a Maya build (of mine) called the Bouncing Ruin Bee, which are both equally fantastic. They are both also centered around The Bee just like this build, and in fact it was this build of Atroization’s that made me search for ways to get the same performance out of Gaige and Maya. The Gaige build is slightly stronger at general mobbing and requires a very aggressive face-tanking playstyle. The Maya build uses a similar playstyle to this Axton one. This Axton build is probably slightly stronger than either Gaige or Maya at high OP DigiPeak runs, because the fine tactical control with Axton’s turrets enables better, more precise aggro management. Axton’s playstyle with this build is more “cat and mouse” compared to the Gaige build.
EDIT: Subsequent discussion and testing within the first 60 posts of this thread, including thoughts and testing by Atroization too, have yielded an ideal template for this BeeFour concept that is -slightly- different from what Atro did his DP OP8 solo run with.
The skill tree and what makes it different from other 26/15/26 variants
Note that this skill tree uses only 68 points. That’s because this build concept is fully min/maxed with only 68 points, and the remaining 4 points can be used wherever you like. An additional 4 points can be freed up (for a total of 8) with only a very small degradation of the min/max aspects of the build. I’ll explain what you can do with these 4 (or 8) points a little further below.
I’m dubbing this build " The BeeFour " as a mnemonic to distinguish it from other 26/15/26 builds. This build is designed 100% around The Bee sheild. Therefore: 2 barrels + 2 turrets + Bee shield = BeeFour .
What’s different about Atro’s specific build? Four things all specifically oriented around maximizing up-time for The Bee:
- Max investment in shield recharge rate and delay buffs
- Max investment in health regen rate buffs (equating to 18% health regen every three seconds)
- Max investment in Action Skill cooldown buffs
- It features a max or near-max cooldown reduction for your turrets. You can use either the Legendary Engineer OR the Legendary Soldier COM, depending on where you want your healing component (in battle or out of battle), whether you want to run with weapons that have splash components, and whether you want to max out your turret redeployment speed as high as possible. Engineer is the pure min/max form of the build, especially if you run with splash weapons.
These five unique elements synergize to minimize the “glass” portion of the “glass cannon” effect of The Bee. In fact, it minimizes the effect so much that you literally never need a heal gun at the ready for any UVHM situations. Not even for a solo DP8 run. The Bee regens so incredibly fast that if you take damage, just jinking behind LOS cover or even just sprinting laterally away from a hotspot for what seems like a mere couple of seconds is enough to fully recharge the Bee and keep burning things down even if you’re still at 50% health or less. And your health also zips back up to full very fast. In practice, your health is always regenning at 6% per second as long as you are damaging things with guns or grenades (turret damage won’t boost health regen, though). Not killing things: just damaging them.
It’s nothing short of amazing. I run a Hellfire Krieg that abuses Flame of the Fire Hawk and rips through everything in OP3 and lower. I run a Grog/x Salvador that can bull through nearly anything. I run a Cunning/Bore sniper-centric Zero with Pimpernels that is resilient and hard hitting if you can nail the “sweet spot” with Pimpernels consistently. I run a “Nursing Wildcat” Maya with Legendary Cat that hits harder than a Gaige with 400 stacks of Anarchy. I’ve also run melee Zeros and melee Kriegs that abuse Love Thumpers and melee/axe synergies. Out of that entire bunch, this particular Axton build is my favorite because:
A. It supports a huge variety of weapon preferences equally well.
B. It burns down single targets faster than even sweet spot hits with a Pimpernel on a Zero built for Pimpernels. Squeeze>burst>dead on anything except Badasses and Constructors.
C. It’s completely robust without ever needing a Rubi/Grog on swap ready to save your bacon.
D. Unlike Gaige’s Deathtrap, who often tanks what he wants to tank instead of the think you wish he’d tank, and which you cannot reclaim early when no longer needed, Axton’s turrets can be deployed with surgical precision to tank exactly what you want tanked, and can be reclaimed immediately when no longer needed for ultra-fast redeployment. These turrets are extremely hard-hitting and extremely durable, and they serve to hold aggro from more enemies far more effectively than any Gaige build possible.
Only the very similar Insulated Discordant Bee build for Gaige comes close to this Axton build for exhilarating, face-rolling play.
Refresher course: Why The Bee?
In part, because it enables you to deal with UVHM difficultly even with crappy white and green guns .
In normal and TVHM playthroughs, The Bee was widely considered OP and broken. However, in UVHM mode, and especially in OP1-OP8 play, the Bee is instead an equalizer to get ahead of the ramped up HP Pools and Health regen scaling of UVHM play, especially at all levels above 61. The problem is that while nearly every class can benefit from the huge extra damage output of The Bee, not every class can realistically deal with The Bee’s main tradeoff, which is a low capacity coupled with a long recharge delay time (roughly a 6-second baseline before buffs/modifiers). Only Axton and Gaige have the ability to effectively minimize the downsides of The Bee. Maya can also minimize the downsides, but not to the same extent as Axton and Gaige.
Because Axton has access to some -grenade bonus- skills, it’s worth remembering (or learning) that The Bee and all amp shields already gain a huge extra bonus from weapons that have “splash damage”. Basically, The Bee (and all amp shields) deal their full listed amp damage value for the initial hit from every bullet, plus one more scaled hit for the splash hit from every bullet. So, for example, if the weapon you’re using has an 80% splash bonus, then the Bee hits twice as follows:
100% of listed amp damage for the initial bullet hit
80% of the listed amp damage for the splash hit.
So you would get the bullet damage itself + the gun’s splash damage itself + (amp damage * 1.80)
Now, Axton’s grenade bonus also ramps up The Bee damage by increasing the splash portion of The Bee’s output as follows:
Assume you have a 57% grenade bonus from 9/5 Battlefront and the same gun with an 80% splash bonus as in the above example:
100% of listed amp damage for the initial bullet hit
137% of the listed amp damage for the splash hit
So you would get the bullet damage itself + (the gun’s splash damage itself * 1.57) + (amp damage * 2.37)
As you can see, an Axton build centered around The Bee and splash weapons can make extensive use of his grenade bonus skills as well, especially if you use the Legendary Engineer mod (because it adds 5 points to Battlefront).
To see my own in-depth testing of The Bee in UVHM2 OP+ environments with LOTS more details and commentary, refer to Updates on The Bee at 72 OP+ levels.
To see which weapons have splash and more detail about amp damage and splash, here are three useful links:
For general UVHM mobbing and coop, pretty much anything you like. Seriously. I like the way SMGs “feel” with The Bee, so I run with a Hellfire, a corrosive Bitch, a shock Bitch, and some type of FFYL gun in the 4th slot (Norfleet, DPUH, or SWORDSPLOSION!!!)
For harder OP4+ play, such as an OP8 solo run, I don’t think you can do any better than what Atro uses in his video: A fire Sandhawk, a corrosive Sandhawk, a shock Gromky Lyuda, and a shock Norfleet.
COM: Either one (note stats below are for OP3 versions of the COMs) See posts 103-106 of this thread for more info.
Max turret redeploy, splash weapon damage boost, and heal while shields are down:
Legendary Engineer (+48% action CD;
+5 Battlefront, Resourceful, Sentry, Impact, Able)
If you’re NOT using splash weapons and want max gun damage even when turrets aren’t out:
Legendary Soldier (+45% action CD, +37% gun damage, +24% fire rate;
+5 Sentry, Ready, Impact, Expertise, Healthy, Preparation)
Relic: fire Bone or corrosive Bone
Shield: Inflammable Bee or non-elemental Bee (Tediore capacitor for the fastest recharge delay)
Grenade: Your pref, but Magic Missile is never a weak choice.
Earlier versions of this guide recommended a non-elemental Bee based on asserted data at the time. My own detailed testing has more recently proven that all things considered, an elemental Bee is the best option, for reasons explained here: Updates on The Bee at 72 OP+ Levels. And among all the elemental resistances, Fire resistance is the best all-around choice. If you have a Corrosive Bee, that’s useful too when running in robot-heavy areas. And finally, if you don’t have an Inflammable Bee but you -do- have a non-elemental (Tediore) Bee, that will work just fine too as your full-time shield.
Coupled with all the other shield-buffing skills in this build, the Bee just zips back up to full amazingly fast after getting hit. One thing to bear in mind is that the damage from the Bee itself at these high 72+ levels is a MASSIVE part of your damage output. For example, an OP3 Bee does 940,095 damage per hit. An OP3 Bitch does 108,562 per hit. The +47% gun damage buff from your Legendary Anarchist COM ups that Bitch damage to 159,586 per hit. So your +47% gun damage buff is giving you an additional 51K damage, but just equipping a Bee gives you an additional 940K damage. Per hit. For a non-splash weapon. Because the Bee also adds an additional hit for the splash component, the Bee is even more devastating with most splash weapons.
Other key elements for the min/max version of the build are the new (UVHM 2 DLC) Legendary Engineer COM and the (DLC 4) Bone of Ancients relic. The Engineer gives you 10/5 Resourceful, which compounds with the Bone’s main buff to give you the fastest possible cooldown on your turrets. The Engineer’s other buffs do two other very important synergistic things:
A. The 9/5 Battlefront you can hit with the Engineer gives you a +54% -grenade bonus- while your turrets are in play, which GREATLY pumps the Bee damage for the splash component of any splash weapon (as long as it’s not one of the very few splash weapons that isn’t affected by a grenade bonus). For example, an OP3 Ogre might do 2798K per hit with the Bee alone, but when the turret is out, the Ogre now does 3681K per hit. Or, a Florentine does 1159K shock + 665K slag with the Bee alone, but when the turret is out, the Florentine now does 1236K shock + 1043K slag (slag is the splash component, with a 50% splash bonus). Or, a Hellfire does 4134K with the Bee alone, but when the turret is out, the Hellfire now does 5078K per hit.
B. It buffs Able to 10/5 which means a whopping 4% health regen per second for 3 seconds every time you damage an enemy with either guns or grenades (turret damage won’t trigger Able). Not when you kill an enemy; all you have to do is damage an enemy. So whether you’re shooting actively at enemies or sprinting for cover and tossing homing grenades (like Magic Missiles) at the ground in front of you, the moment any of your personal damage hits an enemy you get 12% of your health regenned over 3 seconds. And if you’re in a good position to just keep shooting at things with a full Bee shield (which also brings the health regen from Preparation into play), you are now regenning 18% of your health over 3 seconds because of the additional regen from Preparation. This means in 12 seconds of shooting or grenade throwing, you will regen 72% of your health as long as you’re hitting an enemy at least once every 3 seconds.
The main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be “standing in fire” and trying to face-tank things if your shield is down. If your shield takes a hit, just sprint for the nearest cover. Wait for your shield to come back (it’s very very fast, and often will happen just by sprinting/jumping for a few seconds even if you haven’t yet found cover). As soon as your shield comes back, don’t (usually) wait for your health to also come back: just turn around and find targets to shoot at. The simple act of damaging targets will bring your health back even faster.
Special note: A lot of Axton players swear by Crisis Management as a UVHM skill and might wonder at the lack of points there, because hits from normal UVHM mobs will often completely strip even really large shields in just one or two hits. As the preceding paragraph on playstyle shows, a basic idea of this build is that you should never be shooting at things if your shields are down, so Crisis Management is a waste and those points are better spent bolstering action shield/health regen skills in the Guerilla tree to the max.
See the build for yourself in action
How badass is this build? Watch Atro’s solo OP8 run through Digipeak. As you watch, bear in mind that this was his first OP8 attempt and he nailed it. Also bear in mind that he does not have a heal weapon on swap. Watch how fast his shields go back to full, and watch how fast his health goes back to full. Forget the fact that he’s using BeeHawk: Nobody can solo OP8 without a BeeHawk, ShamFleet, or Grog/DPUH combo. Yes, we know those are broken and OP combos. Take away the Sandhawk, though, and you’re still left with a very usable Bee-centric build that nicely support -any- gun in regular UVHM play. And is equally versatile for general mobbing or harder boss fights simply through your choice of guns and grenades.
Atro’s solo OP8 run: http://youtu.be/CsVYD46-IPA
What to do with the extra 4 (or 8) points
The build template is fully min/maxed at 68 points, leaving four points free to use however you like. In any of the three trees.
The min/max number crunchers among us are probably going to quibble with two specific choices in this build as being too wasteful of points, and there is merit to these arguments. In a nutshell, you can choose to spend only 1/5 points in Resourceful and you’ll hurt your turret redeployment speed by only -5% (~1 second). So if that very slight min/max loss if acceptable to you, then you have yet another 4 points you can redistribute within the Survival tree.
But Metal Storm is also at question here, and rightly so, but only for console players . Let’s look at the following two point allocations for the min/max template of this build:
5/5 Metal Storm
Some would argue that 3/5 Metal Storm is sufficient to hit the attack rate breakpoint for most of the faster guns that synergize well with the Bee. (such as the Bitch). However, bear in mind two important aspects of Metal Storm:
- Only console players are affected by the Attack Rate breakpoints (15 AR max, followed by 30 AR max, with nothing in between). PC players are not forced into these breakpoints, so you get every ounce of attack rate from 5/5 Metal Storm regardless of the gun you’re using.
5/5 Metal Storm might well be useful for other guns to just barely make it to their next threshold, and more recoil reduction is never a bad thing, especially for many guns that synergize well with The Bee.
As for Resourceful , many would argue that the diminishing returns on recharge rate past 6/5 is “too small to notice”:
Legendary Engineer + Cooldown relic (Bone) with 10/5 Resourceful = 19-21 seconds
Legendary Engineer + Cooldown relic (Bone) with 6/5 Resourceful = 20-22.7 second cooldown
Why the variation in cooldown times? Different stopwatch measurements by different players. Possibly using different OP levels of COM + relic. The point here is to show the general spread.
However, Atro himself explained that even that 1-1.7 second difference feels huge in a solo OP8 run through DigiPeak, and being able to get those turrets back into play tanking for you and buffing your gun damage even ~2 seconds faster can often mean the difference between life or death. My experience in normal UVHM mobbing bears this out as well. There are many times where being able to get those turrets back out in play that much faster has saved my bacon.
So to stay pure min/max according to the build concept, you would not choose to take up to 4 points away from Resourcefull and put them elsewhere in the Survival tree. However, you can argue that the roughly ~5% loss in turret redeployment speed is acceptable and those 4 points could be better used elsewhere.
So where to spend the extra 4 (or 8) points? Your choice, really, but three very synergistic options are:
- Want more chance to not die? Use them to fill Grit to 5/5
- Want to mitigate elemental damage? Use them for 4/5 or 5/5 Forbearance instead
- Want to run with non-regen grenades? Add four more with 4/5 or 5/5 Grenadier
- Do you use weaps with splash damage? Put the 4 points back in Battlefront to get +54% improvement over your base splash bonus.
Hope this was helpful to all the Axton players. Try it; you’ll like it!