Welcome to the world of proxy damage dealing and the sound of a large rocket mounted turret unleashing the very definition of destruction upon your very unlucky opponents. In this week’s article, I’ll be giving an in-depth look into the Borderlands 2 characters known as Axton, the Commando. While he is very far from being the highest source of damage per second, or DPS, in the game (which honestly shouldn’t matter all that much considering just how much chaos and destruction is being flung around during a normal four man game), he more than makes up for it with his ability, the Sabre Turret. With that ability by his side, any Commando player becomes a force to be reckoned with, hailing down massive amounts of damage with either dual turrets or a single destructive double-barrel slag gun. Within the depths of the following article you’ll find my recommended builds, favorite guns, and a little backstory on the character. Hope you enjoy!
As far as the backstory behind the man is concerned, Axton, the Commando, was originally a military officer from the planet Heironymous. From the design on his turret and the color of his clothing, I can only hazard a guess that he was employed by the Dahl Corporation, under the command of his then wife Sarah. After what was apparent showboating and glory-hunting for an unknown period of time, his wife was forced to make a choice. She divorced Axton and gave him a hint to move before the troops came and executed him. After a rather awkward and swift farewell, an undisclosed amount of time passes before we arrive at the map (Lynchwood) containing several ECHO recorders concerning Axton’s stay on Pandora. The next time we hear of his exploits, he has been captured by a band of Bandits, one of whom shares a name with a familiar Doctor Who character, but that’s off topic. We hear the current whereabouts of his wife, as well as a few snarky remarks before he tricks the men into opening his turret, which he tells them is an SDU (storage deck unit) that houses the money he’d been paid to bring them in. After turning in the bounty, Jack finagles Axton into his dastardly plan by putting out an advert on the radio, tempting Axton’s more greedy, fame-hungry side. The rest of his story from then on out is history.
In my time playing as Axton, there are two builds that I utilize that will be covered in this post, neither of which involve the standard gunpowder trees as I just can’t justify putting points into it. This is purely because my builds are focused on playing with a fully diverse team of 4 people. Keep in mind that these builds are my favorites and in my opinion the best ways to build the Commando, but may not be the case in terms of logistics.
The first and my personal favorite of these builds is a focus on the Guerilla tree, maxing it out to a degree and taking the skill point in Double Up. This is a personal favorite because the ability to slag is just such an amazing game changing skill at times, especially versus bosses. If you notice, I also spec into the survival tree in order to take both the shield and the magnet for better turret placement and survivability. The magnet is not necessary, however, and that point can be used in order to increase your cooldown rate further. I like this build in particular for the added assistance with DPS the turret gives you, as well as the shield and magnet from the Survival tree to help enhance your turret’s capabilities further. Keep in mind this Axton is being played with a team, so that should be taken into consideration while playing. I spec into the passives in the Guerrilla tree and the Onslaught ability, which is easy to maintain thanks to Double Up and any gun you could wield. Additionally, I take the bare basics in the Survival tree in order to keep my turret alive longer and refresh my ability CD much quicker.
The second build I enjoy focuses on utilizing the powers of Gemini and the turrets to essentially toss out two turrets at a time with accuracy and a large salvo of missiles to be fired into the hordes of enemies you fight on Pandora. With two turrets out at a time, you essentially double the amount of damage you are able to do, especially with the rocket pods attached. I choose to avoid many of the kill skills, as they don’t necessarily add much aside from basic survivability, which you should have with your teammates anyway. I also make it a point to skip the trees that affect fight for your life as well as shield recharge, but that could vary depending on how often one goes down during fights. Since I’ve essentially crammed myself to the brim with legendary weapons, I find it a lot easier to keep from getting downed on a regular basis, especially utilizing the Bee (legendary shield), and essentially any other gun in your arsenal.
There are a few basics here that I feel everyone will be gunning for regardless, and they are The Bee shield, a Conference Call shotgun, and a Babymaker SMG. On top of those there are the normally recommended legendary class mods and either the Blood of Terramorphous relic or a good Tediore relic for increased ridiculous damage on the Babymaker. For those of you who have yet to begin farming for orange weapons, the Bee drops from Hunter Hellquist in the Arid Nexus, the Conference Call drops from The Warrior, and the Babymaker drops from Madame Von Bartlesby in Tundra Express or Mad Dog in Lynchwood. While the weapons themselves are probably the greatest sources of damage in the game in combination with The Bee, they make the game a little more bland after acquiring them. Therefore I’ll be covering my list of favorite ‘niche’ guns, so to speak.
When it comes to Axton, in addition to the awesome broken combos with The Bee and essentially any other gun in existence, I tend to favor using the other shields such as the Black Hole or The Sham just for giggles, while tossing in additional guns such as the Volcano or the Veruc. I tend to favor the Veruc or the Shredifier just because of personal preferences. In addition to those, I tend to enjoy packing at least a rocket launcher of choice for back up second wind and an SMG because of the high fire rates and nice damage in close quarters. As far as those types of guns are concerned, I like using the Badaboom just because of the name as far as rocket launchers are concerned. When it comes to SMG type weaponry, I enjoy the Slagga over any other SMG type just to cover the added slag bonus damage when my ability is on cooldown. Essentially I keep at least one elemental gun (preferably slag, non rocket), a rocket launcher, an assault rifle, and either a pistol or a sniper rifle depending on what I’m feeling like playing at the moment. I’ll boil everything down to a list of weapons to make it a little easier to get through.
Assault Rifles: Veruc, Shredifier
Snipers: Pitchfork, Trespasser
SMGs: Slagga, Bitch, Babymaker, Hellfire
Pistols: Infinity, Maggie
Shotguns: Conference Call, Sledge’s Shotgun
Rocket Launchers: Badaboom, Miss Moxxie’s Creamer
In a game such as Borderlands, however, I encourage you all to find your own ways to play and enjoy yourselves. No class is limited by gun type, shields, or potential. Everyone can have fun using anything they can find at their disposal, and with the famed Bazillion-dier more guns, I think it’s safe to say that everyone will have a special style they like to use both online and off. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the first of my Borderlands 2 character guides. Tune in soon to catch my review on Zero, the Assassin.