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Welcome Home - PAX AUS 2014
By Master_Craig
Posted on 11/18/14
Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below. Buckle up. This is gonna be...

Borderlands 2 Commando Skill Tree List And Ratings

Version 1.00 by

10/16/12



Commando Skill Tree List And Ratings


Like Roland before him, Axton the Commando is a solid all-around character that's great for beginners and solid enough for veterans, particularly with the turret, to consider him as an end-game character. He might not look like it, but he's actually quite a flexible character, and can be molded for offense or defense depending on which skill tree you invest in.

Action Skill

Sabre Turret. At Level 5, the Commando can deploy this turret which automatically targets an enemy within its 360-degree circle and fires bursts of bullets. The target it selects is distance-based, namely the closest enemy in its vicinity. The turret lasts around 15-25 seconds before needing to cooldown, which at its base is around 42 seconds.

Guerrilla Branch

This left branch is meant for close-quarter combat and pure power, especially for the Sabre Turret. If you believe that offense is the best defense, this is the tree you want to invest in.

Skill                                Tier Ranks Effect (Rating)
Sentry
1 5 "+1 shot per burst and +2s duration for Sabre Turret per level." This is a strong choice regardless of which skill tree you invest in, as it effectively increases the overall DPS of the Sabre Turret. (4.5/5)

Ready
1 5 "+8% Reload Speed per level." This is one of the stronger upgrades for basic stats. At five full ranks, it reduces the reload speed of all weapons by almost half, and that means more bullets in more enemies. (4/5)

Laser Sight
2 5 "+10% Turret Accuracy per level." The Sabre Turret is fairly accurate already, as enemies need to be close to the turret in the first place. That said, a few ranks in this skill doesn't hurt and helps it land more hits than usual. (3.5/5)

Willing
2 5 "+15% Shield Recharge Rate and -12% Shield Recharge Delay per level." Having your shield recharge quickly and at a fast rate is both important, especially in True Vault Hunter mode where enemies can drop your shields in an instant. (4.5/5)

Onslaught
3 5 "Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives you +6% Gun Damage and +12% Movement Speed per level for a short time." This Kill Skill is among the best of those available across all classes. I mean, how can you not like more gun damage and faster movement speed. If you take this skill, consider wielding a gun with a high fire rate. (4.5/5)

Able
3 5 "Damaging an enemy regenerates 0.4% of your Maximum Health per second per level for 3 seconds." This might seem like a good way to recover health, but it only lasts a few seconds and it doesn't stack. The Preparation skill from the Survival skill tree does a far better job at healing the Commando. (2.5/5)

Scorched Earth
3 1 "Adds Multi-Rocket Pods to your Sabre Turret. 22 Rockets per Volley." Each rocket deals explosive damage and exponentially increases the damage output from the Turret. Also dealing with any flying enemies with ease and shield-wielding nomads, this is a must-have for this tree and is worth a look as a secondary ability. (5/5)

Grenadier
4 5 "+1 Grenade Capacity per level." Since grenades don't regenerate as it did in the last Borderlands, having a high grenade capacity is well worth it, especially when combined with continuous elemental damage grenades against bosses. Badass enemies be damned. (4.5/5)

Crisis Management
5 5 "+7% Gun Damage and +6% Melee Damage per level when shields are depleted." Melee damage likely isn't on your first agenda when your shield runs out but the added gun damage is worth while. Combined with Last Ditch Effort from the Survival tree, you'll have a solid chance of nailing your Second Wind from a Fight For Your Life state. (3.5/5)

Double Up
6 1 "Adds a second gun to the Sabre Turret and both guns fire Slag bullets." This is an amazing final skill that literally doubles the damage of the turret and, due to the slag bullets, gives you added damage output as well. What's not to like? (5/5)

Gunpowder Branch

The middle branch supports a more tactical, medium-range approach. Most of the skills in this branch improve the commando's basic stats and focus on explosive, non-elemental damage.

Skill                                Tier Ranks Effect (Rating)
Impact
1 5 "+4% Gun Damage and +3% Melee Damage per level." Straight-up gun damage is great for any build. If you're focusing on a different skill tree and have extra skill points, this is not a bad choice. (4.5/5)

Expertise
1 5 "+14% Weapon Swap and Aim Speed per level; +7% movement speed when aiming per level." In conjunction with the Ready skill in the Guerrilla skill tree, this allows the commando to almost always have a gun at the ready. Once you have lightning-fast swap speed and aim speed, you won't want to go back. (4.5/5)

Overload
2 5 "+10% Magazine Size for Assault Rifles." As it's focused on only one specific gun type, its use is extremely limited. The magazine sizes for assault rifles tend to be quite large anyway, but it does lessen the need to reload with them. (3/5)

Metal Storm
2 5 "Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives +12% Fire Rate and +15% Recoil Reduction per level for a short time." This is the preferable skill compared to Overload if you're not using Assault Rifles. But even if you are, having a faster fire rate and lower recoil, particularly for scoped weapons, makes it easier to deal with crowds. (4.5/5)

Steady
3 5 "+8% Recoil Reduction, +5% Grenade Damage, and +4% Rocket Launcher damage per level." This skill is all over the place by steading all types of gun fire and increasing damage for both grenades and rocket launchers, which have limited ammo. It's a fair choice. (3.5/5)

Battlefront
3 5 "+6% Gun, Melee, and Grenade damage per level while turret is deployed." If you're going for this skill, definitely put in a few points in Sentry in the Guerrilla Skill Tree to make this effect last longer. Phallic metaphors aside, this transforms your turret into a power surge for the commando. Look into reducing the cooldown of the Sabre Turret if you're focusing on this. (4/5)

Longbow Turret
3 1 "+100% Turret Deploy Range, +110% Turret Health." This is more of an interesting augment for the turret, allowing it to be aimed at targets far away while increasing its fragile health. The only trouble with this is that you have to be very careful where you aim and, well, if you can't get to the turret, you can't reclaim it to reduce its cooldown. (4.5/5)

Duty Calls
4 5 "+5% Gun Damage and +3% Fire Rate with non-elemental guns." Pure damage output can be just as important as elemental guns. I happen to like the latter more than the former, but pure damage output for headshots is important as well. (4/5)

Do or Die
4 1 "Allows you to throw grenades while in Fight for Your Life. +10% Grenade and Rocket Launcher damage." The added bonus to grenades and rocket launchers is nice, but it's the grenade-throwing that is the true winner. A homing, child-grenade-spawning grenade is strong pick if you're trying to get out of Fight for Your Life. (4.5/5)

Ranger
5 5 "+1% Gun Damage, Accuracy, Critical Hit Damage, Fire Rate, Magazine Size, Reload Speed, and Maximum Health per level". At five ranks, this is essentially a free badass token table of small improvements. None of it changes much, but it does help in a minor way. (3.5/5)

Nuke
6 1 "Deploying your Sabre Turret sets off a small Nuclear Blast." Wherever this turret is deployed, it sets off a local blast of hell and doom that usually devastates everything around it, just so it can pick off the rest of the chaff. Against Super Badass enemies in True Vault Hunter mode, it may not do much but against a regular crowd of enemies, it's super effective. (4.5/5)

Survival Branch

The right branch, as the name suggest, is about staying in the game. This keeps the commando from falling in battle with shields and a lower cooldown rate for the Sabre Turret.

Skill                                Tier Ranks Effect (Rating)
Healthy
1 5 "+6% Maximum Health per level." This is a boost that loses its effectiveness over time. Eventually, all enemies tend to dish out large amount of damage no matter what you do, especially in True Vault Hunter mode. It's better to concentrate on shields than health for staying alive. (4/5)

Preparation
1 5 "+3% shield capacity per level; regenerate 0.4% health per second per level when shields are full." This is the health recovery of choice for the commando as all shields automatically renegerate, and this dispels the need for Health Recovery vials. (5/5)

Last Ditch Effort
2 5 "+8% Gun Damage and +14% Movement Speed per level during Fight For Your Life." Gaining your Second Wind is incredibly important in any battle and especially as you approach that legendary level 50. Of course, you shouldn't be so reckless to lie dying on the floor and then get pissed off when no one picks you up (you guys know who you are). (4/5)

Pressure
2 5 "Up to 14% Reload Speed and -12% Shield Recharge Delay per level depending on how low your health is". Though this doesn't kick in until your shields are depleted, this gives you back the shields when you need it the most. During True Vault Hunter mode, it's quite effective. (4.5/5)

Forbearance
3 5 "-8% Status Effect duration on you and +1% Maximum Health per level." The health boost is all right, but it's the status effect duration that's the most important in True Vault Hunter mode where even normal enemies can have elemental guns. The trouble with elemental damage is that it doesn't allow your shields to recover, so this is fairly strong choice. (4/5)

Quick Change
3 5 "Kill Skill. Killing an enemy regenerates 1% of your shield per second per level for a short time." Your shield itself likely has a better shield rate than this skill offers, but it's decent boost once it's fully leveled up. (4/5)

Phalanx Shield
3 1 "Your Sabre Turret projects a shield that attempts to block enemy ranged fire but lets friendly attacks pass through." This is the main boost for the turret in this tree, allowing both the turret and those within or behind the turret to be protected against enemy fire. The only issue with it is that shield can be depleted quickly in crowds and against bosses. (4.5/5)

Resourceful
4 5 "+5% Action Skill Cooldown Rate per level." Don't ask questions. Get this skill now. (5/5)

Mag-Lock
4 1 "Your Sabre Turret can be deployed on walls and ceilings." This increases the maneuverability of the turret for sure but it isn't that incredibly useful. There are very few times when a turret that will hit a target from the ceiling won't already hit the same target on the floor. (2.5/5)

Grit
5 5 "You have a 4% chance per level to ignore damage that would otherwise kill you. In addition to not taking damage from the attack, you will also regain half your Maximum health." The problem with this is that it's luck-based and only 20% maximum at that. If you're in a tight spot, gaining half your Maximum health doesn't mean much. It's more important to increase your damage in Fight For Your Life to get a Second Wind. (2.5/5)

Gemini
6 1 "Allows you to deploy two Sabre Turrets." This doesn't extend the duration of the Turret; it instead allows you to toss two turrets during the same duration. If both have Phalanx Shields, then it creates a decent wall against all enemy fire. Add rocket pods to that from the Guerrilla skill tree and Gemini can show it's true colors. (4.5/5)
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