The "Ultimate Rifleman" Commando Build

I’ve spent many hours talking with members of this forum, and crunching numbers on the skill calculator to come up with what is quite possibly the best build for an Assault Rifle Axton. Now that I’m finished, I thought I would take the time to share it for those interested.

EDIT: I’ve decided to go with a slightly different setup instead, though my old one will still work well.

The build attempts to get the most out of grenade damage boosted assault rifles like the Hail, Ogre, Spitter, and Kerblaster and is meant to be used with a purple Front Line Rifleman class mod.

There are three skills that this COM will boost: Onslaught, Impact, and Battlefront. Battlefront will provide the biggest boost to DPS (up to 72%) but is only active when your turret is up. Onslaught provides the second largest boost (up to 36%), but is only active after a kill. Impact provides the smallest damage increase (up to 24%), but is always present. OP8 Rifleman COMs will also provide 47% assault rifle damage, and 53% assault rifle mag size.

Now that you are familiar with rifleman class mods, let’s move on to my skill build.
Sentry 5/5: A 50% increase to turret duration means battlefront will be active longer. It also enhances the turret’s ability to serve as a slagging tool and distraction.
Ready 5/5: A 40% reload speed increase means I’ll spend more time shooting the enemy.
Onslaught 5/5: 30% gun damage and 60% movement speed for 7 seconds after a kill? Yes please.
Scorched Earth: Rockets will dramatically increase the turrets damage dealing capabilities, and can stun lock.
Able 4/5: 1.6% health regen for 3 seconds after I damage an enemy will keep me in the fight longer.
Willing 5/5: Probably his best defensive skill, it is crucial for keeping your shield up during a fight.
Double Up: This makes the turret far more damaging, and allows it to slag enemies for you.
Impact 5/5: 20% gun damage is always nice to have.
Expertise 3/5: Allows me to slag n’ swap more effectively.
Metal Storm 4/5: Provides 48% fire rate and 60% recoil reduction after a kill.
Overload 4/5: Will take my mag size from 37 to (with a rifleman COM ) 71. Minimizing reload time is key to staying alive in UVHM, especially when using a Hail.
Steady 5/5: The 25% grenade damage will also apply to the assault rifles I previously mentioned.
Longbow: The 100% turret health increase is crucial, and having the ability to deploy the turret instantly, and at a distance, can be the difference between life and death.
Battlefront 5/5: 30% gun damage and grenade damage will vastly increase your damage output.
Do or Die: Throwing fastballs is an easy way to get out of FFYL, and 10% grenade damage is nice too.
Preparation 5/5: Axton is very good at keeping his shield up, so the skill’s 2% health regen will be active constantly.
Pressure 5/5: This will dramatically increase your reload speed and decrease your shield recharge delay when you’ve been health gated.
Quick Charge 3/5: Yet another way to keep your shield up. This will regen 3% of your shield per second after a kill for 7 seconds, regardless of whether you are taking damage or not.

Gear: Weapon Slot 1: Hail: Axton’s best assault rifle, the Ogre (use a slippery Ogre) is a close second. This has the added bonus of healing you for 3% of damage dealt. The ferocious prefix is best.
Weapon Slot 2: Slagga: Probably the best weapon for slagging. The slag pimpernel or slow hand can work too.
Weapon Slot 3: Harold: it is one of the most damaging weapons in the game, and the splash can work around nomads with shields, or BUL loaders.
Weapon Slot 4: Hornet: Probably your best option for hard to hit armoured enemies like surveyors or ironclad lunatics.
Class Mod: Front Line Rifleman
Relic: Bone of the Ancients, useful for boosting cool down and damage. Use a Torque Allegiance relic with 24% fire rate and 85% mag size if you are using an Ogre.
Shield: Sham, great for maintaining ammo pools, and just as great for survivability.
Grenade Mod: Fastball, for activating kill skills and getting out of fight for your life, also use this if you need a quick heal, or have drained your clip and have no time to reload. The storm front can be useful as well. If you are using the Ogre, I would recommend the Quasar instead.

NOTE: I would recommend having the Blockhead and Deadly Bloom in your inventory for creatures.

Where to get the gear: The Hail is a reward for completing round 5 of Bandit Slaughter, the Slagga drops from the Hodunks (side with the Zafords), the Harold drops from Savage Lee in Marrowfields, the Hornet drops from Knuckledragger. If you need a launcher, farm King Mong in Eridium blight for the badaboom. The ogre drops from warlord slog in Tiny Tina’s DLC magic circle of slaughter. Purple Spitters can drop off bosses or be found in chests. Rifleman Mods can drop from bosses or be found in chests. Blues can be found at Zed’s in Sanctuary as well. Bone of the Ancients Relics can drop from loot midgets. The sham drops from Bunk3r and fastballs can drop from loot midgets or Pete the invincible. The deadly bloom is obtained from the mission “the overlooked, this is only a test” in Overlook, while the blockhead drops from creepers in the mine craft easter egg area of Caustic Caverns. Quasar drop from vermivorous, torque allegiance relics drop randomly from any loot source.

I hope you enjoyed my thread and found it useful.


Interesting- has it been play tested at level 72 and above and is this strictly for grenade damage or can weapons that produce splash damage also benefit?

This has not been play tested at 72. The Hail has been a couple of times, but with gear/skill setups that were in my opinion inferior. Any weapon with splash damage will benefit from grenade damage, the grenade damage resource thread should have most of the information you need. If you are using something other than an assault rifle, I would recommend placing the overload points into grenadier or last ditch effort. That, or max metal storm and quick charge while putting a point in mag lock.

Not all weapons with splash damage get grenade boosts, pimpernel for example.

Nice setup! I think you should try to get Mag-Lock and Phalanx Shield for Turret durability so you can keep the Battlefront boost rolling. Maybe some points from Expertise if you dont mind losing the swap speed.

Thanks for clearing that up Derch, I wouldn’t want anyone to be misinformed. Gabriel thanks bro! Phalanx shield only lasts a couple of seconds on OP8 and mag lock, while useful in some situations, is not entirely necessary. Still appreciate the suggestion though. Overload 4/5 is the best way to finish off your build if you are using assault rifles IMO, but if you are looking to get something in survival or guerilla that I don’t have, drop overload. Just don’t drop anything else unless you are going for a completely different type of build.

The main problem to play without Mag-Lock, in my opinion, is that you can not deploy your Turret at a safe place. This way it is a lot easier to get destroyed and you lose Battlefront fairly quickly. But that is me! Haha
Your setup is nice! I always enjoy when people try something with Axton that does not rely on the Legendary Soldier COM.
Also, I would drop the Harold to get a KerBlaster or Ogre. They benefit a lot from your COM and dont lose the Assault Rifle theme.

Definitely appreciate the suggestions man! Totally understand why you’d want mag lock, I just prefer having overload. Kerblaster and ogre are both good, especially the ogre, but I would just have them in my inventory and swap my hail for them if I wanted to use them.

Fun facts: With overload, a rifleman class mod, and a Torgue allegiance relic, you can increase the clip size of the Ogre to 233 (192 without overload). Overload and a Rifleman COM will increase the Hail’s mag size to 75.

Sorry for all the edits everyone, I just keep trying/learning new things.