The Specialist Axton

These are some builds that I have been playing with for a little while now. They are centered around the Specialist COM, widely considered to be the worst class mod for Axton. It is not hard to see why people don’t like this COM. It’s effect is barely noticable on most weapons and two of the skills it boosts are very niche skills at best. Still, there are two guns, the Tattler and the Slagga, that have some nice synergy with the COM and these builds will take advantage of that.

These are builds that I made for fun and as a change of pace from the more commonly used Axton playstyles. While I found these builds to be surprisingly effective, I still do not recommend them for things like raiding and Digistruct Peak runs. These are builds meant for mobbing. The Specialist COM is quite underpowered when compared to other options and these builds are intended to get the most out of it.

I tested these builds in what I like to call ‘‘poor man’s OP8’’, or in other words, level 61 with 4-player difficulty. There are two builds and I will post two skill trees for each build: one for level 61 and the other for what I assume to be the best build for level 72. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone would be willing to try them out at level 72 or even at OP8.

THE ELEMENTAL TATTLER BUILD

GEAR

This is going to be a fairly gear-specific build. Just a heads-up.

Weapons

The Tattler - The cornerstone of this build. It is quite powerful on it’s own, but it’s a weapon that gets the most out of the Specialist COM. The COM will turn it from a short-range weapon into a medium-range weapon. Get two of these, one in fire and one in corrosive.

The Slagga - It is already a reliable slagger, but the Specialist COM takes it to another level. If you really want, you can use your pimps and grogs as the slaggers, but even then, I urge you to at least give the Slagga a try with this COM.

A suitable long range weapon - Even though the Specialist COM buffs the Tattlers accuracy, it is still not a long range weapon. I used a Shock White Death when I couldn’t get to a suitable distance with the Tattler, but you can use whatever you like.

A suitable weapon for Second Winds - I constantly switched between a Shock Norfleet and a purple Bandit Launcher. Again, you can use whatever floats your boat.

Equipment

The Quasar - There are several reasons why I chose this grenade. First, you can use it to pull enemies into optimal range for the Tattler. Second, it strips shields. Third, it will most often pull your enemies into one big cluster, making the Tattler’s low accuracy less of an issue and letting you get the most out of your kill skills.

The Antagonist or The Blockade - I am not sure which is the superior option for Axton, but both of them will help you greatly in CQC situations.

Bone of the Ancients relics - More elemental damage and more turrets. As with the Tattlers, get these in both fire and corrosive.

A Specialist Class Mod - Get one that boosts Ready and Forbearance.

SKILLS

Level 61 - http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#55055150015505015010005200000000

Level 72 - http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#55055151015505015010005501050100

GUERILLA

Sentry is taken because this build relies heavily on the turret’s aggro draw and Battlefront.

Ready is a skill boosted by the Specialist COM we will be using. It essentially nullifies the long reloads of our two main weapons.

Willing is, in my opinion, one of Axton’s most important skills. We will be needing this due to the close-range nature of the Tattler.

Onslaught is another key skill in this build. It will help close the distance between our enemies. The extra gun damage is nice too.

Scorched Earth is a nice capstone. I can’t think of any reason not to pick it.

I picked Able because I find the health regeneration useful and because I don’t like to rely on Moxxi weapons as Axton.

Grenadier (level 72 only) was picked because I just couldn’t figure out where to put the remaining point.

Since this is a build reliant on the turret, I see no reason not to pick Double Up. We already made it this far down the tree, might as well pick it up.

GUNPOWDER

Impact gives us more gun damage. It helps us kill things faster. Not much else to say.

Expertise is a really nice skill with the Tattler since this gun relies heavily on ADS. The extra movement speed while in ADS mode is also really noticable with Onslaught active and the quick swap times are always welcome in UVHM.

Metal Storm and the accuracy boost from the COM turn the Tattler into a surprisingly accurate and deadly firehose of death. Also works really well with Onslaught.

Longbow Turret is an obvious choice.

Battlefront is taken because we will be using our turret quite often. +30% gun damage is nothing to laugh about and the extra grenade damage can be helpful.

Do or Die is excellent with our Quasar. Pull your enemies out of cover and close to you when you fall into FFYL. The constant 10% damage boost for grenades and rocket launchers is also great for just one point.

SURVIVAL

Preparation will heal us after engagements. Taking health damage is pretty much inevitable in UVHM so this skill will certainly help.

I could not decide which was superior, Pressure or Last Ditch Effort. My skill tree included Last Ditch Effort, but I will let you decide. Those skills are equal in my opinion.

Since our COM boosts it, I thought that putting just one point into Forbearance (level 72 only) would not hurt us. With this and Quick Charge (level 72 only) active, dots are but a minor annoyance most of the time.

I picked Mag-Lock (level 72 only) since we already picked Longbow Turret. It also makes the turret look funny.

THE NON-ELEMENTAL TATTLER BUILD

SKILLS

Level 61 - http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#54055150014505014510005000000000

Level 72 - http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#54055150014505014510005500050100

As you can see, we had to make some compromises from the previous skill tree to get the most out of Duty Calls. Keep in mind that we will be more suspectible to dot damage due to the removal of Forbearance.

GEAR

It generally uses the same gear as the elemental build, but with a few exceptions.

The Tattler - This time we will be using a non-elemental variant. A boosted Duty Calls gives this gun a really nice DPS increase.

The Relic - Since there is no Bone of the Ancients relic that boosts NE damage, you have some options here. A SMG Stockpile relic will work nicely, especially if you are using 3 SMGs for the loadout. A Bandit Allegiance relic will also be a good choice to further increase the DPS for the Tattler. A Bone of the Ancients is still a solid choice for the cooldown bonus though.

A Specialist COM - Use the blue one that boosts Ready and Duty Calls.

OTHER GUNS THAT WORK WELL WITH THE SPECIALIST COM

While I made these builds with the intention of getting the most out of the Tattler, there are still some worthy alternatives.

The Actualizer - This gun is actually quite similar to the Tattler. High DPS, but with low accuracy (for a Hyperion weapon) and a long reload time. This gun gets a lot out of the COM. Duty Calls is also really nice with a NE variant because the increased fire rate will make the Actualizer gain accuracy quicker. NOTE: Based on my testing, the accuracy boost will not affect the initial accuracy of the weapon, but it will affect the accuracy under sustained fire. The gun also has good synergy with Metal Storm for the recoil is quite high for a Hyperion weapon.

The Lascaux - It’s amazing how much Duty Calls helps this weapon. The already high DPS is increased even further. Unfortunately, the accuracy boost doesn’t seem to affect the weapon in any way. When compared to the Tattler, it has lower accuracy, but is more controllable when firing from the hip. A solid replacement for a NE Tattler.

GENERAL PLAYSTYLE

It’s all self-explanatory but I will write it all out to make the post seem larger.

Since these builds rely on kill skills, kill the weakest enemy in the group first. A Quasar will help you with target acquisition and crowd control. The Tattler needs ADS more than most weapons in the game (it is essentialy required unless you are within french-kissing distance from your target). If you run out of Quasars, keep to cover and wait for your enemy to come to you. If you fall into FFYL, use your Quasars to pull your enemies to you. Spamming Quasars in FFYL is also a fairly effective way of acquiring a Second Wind if you have Battlefront active, just make sure you don’t run out of them. Switch your Tattlers and Bones if the area demands it.

As I said before, I have not tested these builds out in true OP8, but it worked well in level 61 with 4-player difficulty active. I would greatly appreciate it if you try these builds out in OP8 or level 72 and let me know how they work.

Once again, these are far from the most effective builds for Axton, but they still work and they are a nice change of pace from the usual Tediore spamming. If you have any suggestions or questions regarding the builds, let me know.

Also, I apologise for my potential grammar mistakes, English is not my native language.

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I don’t get it. You pick a COM where the main DPS boost is from Duty Calls… then use all elemental weapons. So really the only damage boost the COM is giving you is just +48% Reload speed (Assuming you’re using a blue +6 Ready / +5 Forbearance Specialist COM since all your guns are elemental).

You’d get a lot better performance out of keeping everything (equip & skills) the same, but swapping out the Specialist COM for a Legendary Anything mod.

All you’d be losing is a little +% SMG accuracy, but then again why do you need more bullets to hit if each bullet hits harder?

I specifically stated that this build was meant to get the most out of the Specialist COM. The COM itself is fairly underpowered and legendary COMs will beat it in terms of DPS. This is a build that is meant to be used for fun and as a change of pace.

I tried it with Duty Calls as well, but it requires a different skill tree setup. I will try to add it if I have the time. It too was quite effective, but I found that an elemental Tattler build offered more DPS and better usage of the turret thanks to the Bone of the Ancients boosts.

Why not use a Lauscaux? It only comes in non-elemental so it has no elemental variants to compare its damage to, although its fixed pattern makes the SMG accuracy boost useless.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the Lascaux. It feels so inconsistent to me. I will probably give it another go when I try a NE Specialist build again though. This build mainly built around the Tattler, but I might recommend it as an alternative weapon once I add a NE Specialist build.

Of course you can try a NE Specialist build with the Lascaux yourself and let me know how it works!

[quote=“Eel37, post:1, topic:532400”]It is centered around the Specialist COM, widely considered to be the worst class mod for Axton.[/quote]I love it already. I use this for a similar reason on occasion, but have one with +Ready and +Duty Calls (and using with the Lascaux works quite well, although I find that the Lascaux does well on its own even without this, but it is a nice change of pace).

Nice setup! I’d love to watch a video showing how the Specialist change the spread of the Tattler.

I don’t have the necessary software to make the video unfortunately. The Tattler has high recoil and low accuracy. The Specialist COM counter-acts the accuracy part, but the recoil remains the same. The gun truly starts to shine when you have Metal Storm active though.

It is still not a weapon for long range engagements, but Metal Storm and the COM turn it from a short range weapon into a medium range one.

Updated the original post with a non-elemental Tattler build. I also made a small section where I take a look at some other weapons that work really well with the Specialist COM.

The fact that the Specialist takes Axton to his confortable range is amazing, in my opinion. Maya can use the Tattler mainly because of the healing skills from Harmony and Wreck with the Legendary Cat COM, so she can survive the range it needs to be effective.

Also, good call on the Actualizer. Have you tried the Omen? It can come in NE and get all the boosts to grenade damage and Dutty Calls.

The Omen is one of my favourite shotguns. Didn’t knew it came in NE, thought it was an E-Tech. I’ll have to try it out whenever I get my hands on one. I’m going to have to make some changes to the skill tree then, I did not include Steady in the initial builds.

Come to think about it, any version of the Lawful Ranger COM from TTAoK would probably be more benefitial to an elemental Tattler build. Might change it later on.

Duty Calls makes up for the Steady loss and work with the others guns too. The recoil could help you with the Tattler and Actualizer, though.

Dont know about the Ranger COM. In my opinion, it is not worth if you wont spec Grit or at least 1 point in Ranger. Also, the only versions I would recommend are the Chaotic Evil for things you can crit and the Chaotic Neutral for Tediore hybrid setups.

Maybe I’ll put a NE Omen in the guns that work well with the COM section. The Omen is already very powerful, but with Duty Calls and Axton’s inherent grenade buffs it could turn into a whole different beast. Guess I am going to have to brush off my raid boss Salvador build for the dragons, Omens don’t grow on trees.

I don’t know about Steady and the SMGs. The recoil reduction is just a little over half of what Metal Storm can provide and it lacks the fire rate boost. Looks like another thing to test out, maybe a maxed out Steady will help the Tattler more than I am currently imagining.

I dont think that Steady would work well in this build. Metal Storm already gives you a lot of recoil control so the points are better spent elsewhere. Also, Dutty Calls boost affects both gun and splash damage while Steady only boosts the splash.
I suggested the Omen because it is the only NE gun with splash that is boosted by grenade bonus iirc and you have both Do or Die and Battlefront. Also, the Omen can be played at mid range, just look for the converge point!

Duty Calls also boosts splash?! Maybe it’s possible to do viable a Specialist build based around the Omen and not the SMGs. Axton could literally have 5 buffs to the Omen’s splash damage, 4 from skills and 1 from BAR. I think we could be onto something big here. Maybe a NE Omen is the reason to use a Specialist COM.

Anyway, tried to farm for a NE Omen for 3 hours straight today, nothing. At least I got some nice Stingers for my pistolero Salvador.

Well, Im not 100% sure about this but the splash is based on the gun damage so all buffs to gun damage also buff splash. @Derch can correct me if Im wrong. He and @Chuck80 are the math guys aroud.

Yes splash includes base damage, additive base damage buffs, as well as elemental buffs if they are the same element as the splash. Amp also goes into splash damage.

Critical hit and buffs to crit do not touch splash damage.

Special multipliers are hit and miss.

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Oh boy, can’t wait until the dragons cough up a non-elemental Omen.

Thanks!

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