Triad Thunder's "Last Man Standing" Commando build

I’ve been rocking my OP8 Commando build for a while, so I figured it was finally time to give it a proper rundown. After trying to find a cool name for it, I just decided to call it my “Last Man Standing” build. Its primary role is to give Axton as much damage as possible, and because of this, I choose not to invest in some of his defensive skills (such as those in the Survival tree). This makes it a little more challenging to play, but I love it.

Speaking of challenging, I also decided a while back to ditch any and every Norfleet, Sham, Sand Hawk, Bee and Moxxi weapon that I owned. I wanted to play without needing to rely on these ridiculously powerful combos, and I have to admit that so far, I am LOVING it! I’ve been able to rediscover great weapons such as the Badaboom, SWORDSPLOSION!!!, Lead Storm and Pimpernel. This build came about and was refined due to this change of mindset, and while there are other builds that can still out-damage it, I can say with certainty that it isn’t exactly slouching in that department, either.

Another reason I love this build is that I can easily switch class mods without having to respec. This means that I can switch from the Soldier Mod to my other mods (Rifleman, Grenadier, Veteran and Gunner) and not have to worry about visiting the nearest Quick-Change station.

I don’t get too concerned about dropping into FFYL most of the time, thanks to Last Ditch Effort and Battlefront. Last Ditch Effort will always activate when in FFYL, and while some may view this skill as redundant or pointless, I prefer it for my play style. Other players build their characters with the purpose of staying out of FFYL, but in my opinion (again, my own play style as an example) I will eventually end up in just such a situation, so I would rather take this reality into account with the build. The additional movement speed in FFYL is also beneficial in that it can give me enough time to get a clear shot and get back up. Here is the build:

Edit 7/22/2019: The above build is now the tentative build that I will be employing. Upon reaching OP10 and testing its effectiveness, I will then iron out the final details.
After looking at my old build (OP8), I realized that while my play style emphasized Axton (rather than the turret) for damage-dealing, my build did not correctly reflect it. Also, I realized that the (purple) coms I used could be further augmented by specing into the boosted skills (for instance, my purple Veteran Com now has much more versatility thanks to both Last Ditch Effort and Pressure joining Steady). This may seem obvious, but I had not quite realized that by building around the coms I use, I could be much more effective.

Skill Tree Setup

First off, the Guerrilla Tree

Sentry=5/5: This one gets invested in every time, no matter the circumstance. More time for the turret to be deployed is always a great skill to have. Edit 7/22/2019: This skill is still a mainstay in my build, as more sentry time will make Battlefront last longer.

Ready=5/5: Reload Speed is indeed awesome, so I will usually spec it whenever possible. Edit 7/22/2019: No change here. Having Ready maxed helps out not only the Legendary Soldier Com, but my other coms as well.

Willing=5/5: This one gives me a great boost to my survivability, as the bonuses to Shield Recharge Rate and Delay will undoubtedly save my hide numerous times. Edit 7/22/2019: I have once again maxed out this skill, as it greatly helps me get my shields back up and ready. It’s a great match with Pressure as well.

Scorched Earth=0/1: Rocket Pods of Death! Since this skill scales correctly to any and every level, it has plenty of punch-even at OP8. Edit 7/22/2019: I decided to remove the point here because I want Axton to be the main source of damage-not the turret. Even though it’s only one point, I can find a better use for it elsewhere.

Onslaught=5/5: A very nice kill skill to invest in. Depending on your situation, extra gun damage and movement speed can either give you more power to take out that tough enemy, or it can give you some speed to get out of a hostile area. Pair this with the Metal Storm kill skill and watch the kill count rise! Edit 7/22/2019: Still maxing this awesome skill out. It’s totally worth the investment.

Grenadier=5/5: Some people don’t like wasting points just for 5 more grenades, but I do. Not only will they come in handy for my play style, but when they are combined with the Grenadier Class Mod, their true power can be seen. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing 2 L82 Digistruct Scorches die just from Storm Front Grenades! Edit 7/22/2019: Another mainstay of my build (which probably makes Scorch mad). I’m still rockin’ it.

Crisis Management=0/5: Another skill that not many people invest in. Instead of using this skill as a means of boosting my gun damage when my shield is down, I use it for something MUCH more beneficial: Fight for Your Life. To me, this is where Crisis Management shines. If you go into FFYL and you have CM speced, then it will always activate. I’ve found that the extra damage is really nice to have, and if you also picked up Last Ditch Effort, then the damage will be even MORE noticeable. Edit 7/22/2019: After much thought, I’ve decided to remove the points from this skill (everyone else: “YYYYYAAAAAAYYYYYY, FINALLYYY!!!”). I still concur with what I wrote above, but I chose Last Ditch Effort because I no longer wished to spend any extra points in the Guerrilla tree (extra points after grabbing Double Up).

Double Up=1/1: Slag. This awesome turret buff frees me up from constantly having to slag and swap weapons to kill an enemy. I can either attack the slagged target or focus on another enemy while the turret is busy with other target(s). I consider this to be Axton’s most useful Tier 6 skill. Edit 7/22/2019: I don’t mind slagging things myself, but if the turret can do some of it for me, then so be it.

Next up, the Gunpowder Tree Edit 7/22/2019: With the exception of the single point in Overload, the Gunpowder tree has remained the same as before.

Impact=5/5: Gun Damage? Yes, please!

Expertise=5/5: This skill is especially good when you equip the Legendary Soldier Class Mod. This also quickens weapon swapping when I’m using other class mods, too.

Edit 7/22/2019: Overload=1/5: I put a single point into this skill so that I can boost it to 5/5 when I put on the Gunner Com. This allows for more bullet hosing when I use assault rifles…and I love using assault rifles!

Metal Storm=5/5: Much like Onslaught, this kill skill is irresistible. The recoil reduction and fire rate increases will surely put a smile on the face of even the grumpiest person. Combine it with Onslaught for an even better experience!

Battlefront=5/5: Having 30% more gun, grenade and melee damage is great. It’s definitely worth the 5 points.

Steady=5/5: One of Axton’s most important skills if you enjoy chucking Tediore weapons, carpet-bombing enemies with grenades or redecorating the landscape using rocket launchers. This skill also makes specific Torgue weaponry even more powerful.

Longbow=1/1: Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. You may or may not enjoy the Longbow deployment, but you probably WILL love the increased turret durability. It’s always a great skill to have.

Do Or Die=1/1: I love being able to throw grenades during FFYL, so this one is also a keeper. The extra grenade and rocket launcher damage doesn’t hurt, either.

Nuke=1/1: Ah, the Nuke. Some find it annoying or useless, but not I. Aside from aggravating teammates, it does a fantastic job at knocking back foes. This can be extremely useful in keeping the enemy from advancing on your position. It might also buy you some precious seconds to escape if things get too hot. I will grab this most of the time.

Finally, the Survival Tree Edit 7/22/2019: The new Sanctuary DLC has allowed me to grab some skills from this tree that I wasn’t previously able to have before.

Edit 7/22/2019: Healthy=1/5: I put a single point in this skill so that I could get the bonus granted by the Legendary Soldier Com. It seemed like a shame to not put a point into it, as having a little more health is probably a good thing.

Preparation=5/5: Always a good choice. Having 2% health regeneration (4% with the Legendary Soldier Com) when your shield is full helps out tremendously at OP8. Edit 7/22/2019: Preparation is still as integral to my build as it ever was.

Last Ditch Effort=5/5: Some people don’t like this skill at all, yet I love it. Just like with Crisis Management, having extra gun damage available when in FFYL is awesome. I consider this an integral part of my build. Edit 7/22/2019: I put all five points into this skill so that I can have an improved chance of getting back up after I am downed. The damage is not limited to a certain weapon type, so this can give all of my weapons a little more “oomph.” The movement speed increase in FFYL can also help me get around an obstacle or gaggle of enemies so that I can get a clear shot.

Edit 7/22/2019: Pressure=5/5: I really wanted to get Pressure before, but I was always prevented from doing so by a lack of skill points. Now, however, I get to max it out, and it is a fantastic skill!

Edit 7/22/2019: Quick Charge=4/5 Having four points in Quick Charge allows me to fend off some dots that have the potential to kill me. I’ve noticed that it won’t really help with the really nasty dots (looking at you, Ultimate Badass Fire Mage), but it does well with the normal ones.


Since I’ve collected quite a bit of gear from my time playing Borderlands 2, I thought I would show the majority of them to you in video form. While I don’t show every piece of gear I have, I do touch on the ones I use more than others. Here’s the vid:

Weapon Slot #1=Ballanced Slagga–My favorite slagging tool. I love using it, so I always map it to the “Up” button on the D-Pad.
Weapon Slot #2=Explosive Badaboom/Nukem–Two different, yet completely awesome rocket launchers. When all else fails, go with Plan B. These get mapped to the “Left” D-Pad button.
Weapon Slot #3=Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold–This weapon never leaves its slot, and for good reason. It takes up the “Right” button on my D-Pad.
Weapon Slot #4=Depends–I use this last slot for certain scenarios. For example, a Corrosive Lead Storm if I happen to be going through The Forge or a Blockhead if I choose to take in nature when visiting The Forest. The right weapon for the job ends up going to the “Down” button on the D-Pad.
Shield Slot=Blockade–One of the best shields for Axton. The damage reduction from this shield will greatly increase your survivability.
Class Mod Slot=Legendary Soldier–This is by far my favorite class mod. It gives so many great bonuses that I don’t even bother with any of the other legendary class mods.
Grenade Slot=Longbow Slag Transfusion (also depends upon situation)–I like the Slag Transfusion Grenade because it works awesome in getting enemies slagged. The 0 Fuse Time on it makes the health return quick and dependable.
Relic Slot=Explosive Damage Relic/Bone of the Ancients–Both types of relics are excellent for maxing out your damage output. I only wish the Explosive Relic had a Cool Down bonus, too!

I’m really proud of this build. It’s gotten me through some tough places like Digistruct Peak, so I’m very happy with how it turned out. Here are some short videos of the build in action. Thanks for reading! Edit 7/22/2019: Once I have reached OP10, I plan on updating the following videos so that I can showcase the new build in action. Grenadier Vs. Scorches Veteran Vs. Boneheads Grenadier Vs. Doc Mercy Clones Grenadier+Soldier Vs. Assassins Rifleman+Soldier Vs. Saturns Rifleman Vs. Binary Vs. Tier #3 Rematch: Appetite for Destruction Vs. Pete’s Bar Soldier Vs. Saturns Grenadier Vs. Black Queens Soldier Vs. DigiTanks Commando Vs. Sawtooth Cauldron


This build inspired a lot of fun for me. While I do use Bee, Sand Hawk, etc a lot, there are days where I shelf them and go with a very different mix of items. Your stuff also made me a fan of Last Ditch Effort. Thank you for sharing all of this.


Thanks! I’m glad you liked it.


Nice videos and setup!




I found MoLMF’s DP run with Axton on Youtube while looking for something else- it was good and very informative (I rarely use RL’s at all, let alone the Creamer) but I didn’t notice him show his build as he usually does. Since I saw a comment from you on the vid I’ve decided to give your build a try- I’ve just started an OP8 run with him and want to try something different. I usually spec into Gemini/Double Up so it might be tough making the readjustment to only one turret but hey- if it works, it works… :sunglasses:

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That’s cool. My build forgoes some of the more popular skills like Quick Charge and Grit, but I don’t really need them to survive. I’d rather work more on memorizing enemy attack patterns and planning strategy than rely on certain skills like Grit.

I do like it because it is a bit different from the same old Axton build. I hope you have as much fun with it as I do!

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The comment about Grit resonates with me. I never use Grit, I don’t use Moxxi weapons for healing (except with Sal), and I don’t use launchers for FFYL, etc. I like to play a deliberate style and try to beat an area with tactics. I do typically run 26/15/26, but that is largely because I love the options that become available with the 2nd turret, Mag Lock + Longbow, etc. Planning turret deployment and field manipulation is a good time.

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Agreed. When you’ve played long enough to be able to predict what your enemies will do, it becomes a lot easier to manage things.

Don’t know why people aren’t putting their builds up. Really nice job on the write up Triad. And thank you for helping me with my rifleman build.

I’m glad I could help.

I’ve made a slight change to my build. The emphasis of this change is to maximize the Expertise skill so that I can still quickly swap weapons even when my other coms are equipped (the other ones besides the Legendary Soldier). To that end, the point from Pressure was moved there. Additionally, 2 points were taken from the Willing skill to max out Expertise.

Every time I think I’ve stumbled onto the perfect build, I find something else that I can tweak. I definitely can’t say that this will be the last change, although I can say that the majority of the build is cemented. Anyway, thanks for reading!


This is a good build I just can’t see me taking expertise over willing or pressure. I usually just stick one in it for any com boost but that’s just me.

Ha, yeah. I have no problem admitting that this build can make playing a little more difficult, but I really do enjoy it. The fact that I can use my Soldier, Gunner. Grenadier, Rifleman, Veteran and some of the other coms without having to change spec at all is one of the best things about it, in my opinion.

I agree I like builds were a lot of different coms can be used.

Finally finished up my OP8 run with this build and to quote Brick, “It’s been a hell of a lot of fun!” :laughing:

That’s cool! I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

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Love it. I never knew much about the UH line, and never was a big fan of Torgue weapons, but this build has very much changed my mind. I almost never have to use the turret, but when i do it is truly beastly. A truly sweet build for getting back to Borderlands after over a decade.

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That’s great to hear. I’m glad it works well for you! Also, welcome to the forums!

I too just returned from a long absence, and I’m currently on my way to OP10 (OP3 at the moment). Switching from console to PC has allowed me to essentially rediscover the fun of playing Borderlands 2.

I’ll be editing my original post (and build) within a few days to reflect the additional skill points gained from the new dlc, as new thought processes/observations have led me to slightly change things.

Again, thanks for your insight, and welcome!


Oh man, the legend returns! That moment in your old digi-peak runs when you showcased the Meteor Shower vs Dukino’s Mom blew my fledgling Axton’s mind. I’m excited to see how this build changes with the 8 skill points, as Axton ascends to even greater heights. And I’m 100% sure you’re gonna love the Peak Opener if you haven’t tried it yet

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