Last updated on August 3rd, 2021
In this The Ascent Build Guide, I’m going to show you my Critical Commando Rifle Build, which primarily uses Burst Rifles to deal massive amounts of critical damage. I’ll share the Skills and Attributes you should focus on, the Augmentations you’ll pair with these, and the Tactical Gear, Weapons and Armor that work well for this Build. If you’ve been looking for a way to annihilate enemies from a distance while being agile in order to dodge attacks, then this guide is for you.
The Ascent Best Builds: Critical Commando Rifle Build
The Critical Commando Rifle Build specializes in dealing great critical damage in quick succession because of its Burst Rifle Proficiency. Unlike the Shotgun Slammer Build, you’ll want to be patient in shooting enemies from behind covers and from a distance due to your comparatively lower HP. This shouldn’t be an issue given your quick evasive movements that protects you from the majority of incoming attacks.
With your Mono Ranger Augmentation, you’re able to deploy a monobot who is equally as adept at using a Rifle to quell the growing number of enemies coming at you. Additionally, with Joyrun Dragon, you can summon a dragon to inflict stasis against multiple targets in front of you. This stops them in their tracks and makes them susceptible to exploding as long as you deal sufficient damage. Doing so also destroys nearby enemies while providing you the extra time you need to hide behind a cover.
Critical Commando Rifle | Character Creation (Skills and Attributes)
Every time you level up, you gain 3 Skill Points, which you can then use to allocate to one or several Skills of your choice. Take note that you can also gain additional Skill Points through exploration. Furthermore, each Skill influences Attributes that determine the effectiveness of your Augmentations or special abilities. Among the 8 Skills in The Ascent, you’d want to focus on Weapon Handling, Critical Hit Rate, and Evasion the most.
At lower levels, you’ll have to manage the points you’ll be investing in each of these Skills as it differs every now and then based on your needs. For instance, I’d prefer to start out with Weapon Handling at around 5 to 10 points, followed by Critical Hit Rate, and then Evasion but the order can change depending on the type of enemies I’m facing.
If you’re up against the Turbo Keesh who lunges next to you, you’ll focus on improving Evasion so you can quickly dodge their attacks. On the other hand, if it’s a simple Feral that deals Melee Damage then opting to increase Critical Hit Rate should easily wipe them out.
Let’s start with Weapon Handling. This Skill allows you to reload and swap Weapons at lightning speed, allowing for very little wait time. It works towards your advantage since you’ll want to reload your Burst Rifle in a millisecond to improve the speed at which you shoot.
Weapon Handling works really well with Critical Hit Rate and Burst Rifles because while you’re gunning down enemies in quick succession, you also inflict massive critical damage in the process. Your aim is to obliterate them by targeting their weak spots without giving them the time to counter any of your shots.
Lastly, there’s Evasion, which drastically lowers the Skill’s cooldown period. This lets you dodge attacks with agility, making it difficult for enemies to hit you. Evasion is best coupled with crouching behind covers, which you’ll mostly be doing with this Build. Since your HP isn’t that high, you’ll want to remain nimble and safe while shooting over the cover you’re hiding from. As a result, you stay protected as enemies die in front of you.
Overall, it’s best to maximize points at 20 for Weapon Handling, Critical Hit Rate, and Evasion to ensure that you fully gain the benefits of what this Build has to offer. For spare points, you’ll want to boost Tactical Sense between 10 to 15. This increases your Tactical Gear’s charge rate, which determines its activation frequency, as you damage enemies.
The higher the number, the more often you can deploy grenades, drones or turrets. Additionally, it’s worth investing points into Vital Signs to increase your max HP. At least 5 should do the trick to keep you alive. In total, Cybernetics should be your highest Attribute followed by Motorics, Frame, and then Biometrics.
The Ascent Rifle Build Guide | Augmentations and Modules
When it comes to special abilities, you’ll want to focus on Augmentations that utilize and considerably develop the performance of your Cybernetics Attribute, while taking your Build’s critical damage and mid-range playstyle into account. As such, it’s best to obtain the Mono Ranger and Joyrun Dragon Augmentations.
Mono Ranger lets you summon a monobot to assist in fights. The monobot uses a Rifle that shreds enemies into pieces. What’s more is your high Cybernetics Attribute directly influences its damage so you both end up eliminating targets more effectively. Mono Ranger is perfectly suitable for risky situations when there are too many foes and there aren’t that many covers to hide behind. As such, you’ll have the space to search for and to rush from one area to the next while panicking less.
On the other hand, Joyrun Dragon is a powerful Augmentation that again lets you deploy a creature, this time a dragon, which then goes through enemies to deal stasis. As a result, they’re stunned in place for quite a while, giving you time to shoot them. What you can do is to lure other foes next to them prior to dealing the maximum amount of damage possible as indicated by the green bars above their heads.
Once it reaches this point, affected enemies will explode while those who’re nearby will take the same damage. Similarly, since your Cybernetics is high, the number of targets you inflict with stasis increases.
Just remember to summon the dragon when you’re facing enemies as they won’t get affected otherwise. Far from other Augmentations that unleash a flurry of homing missiles like Homing Mim, Joyrun Dragon will not follow targets until they’re hit so be sure to aim properly.
Unlike Augmentations, Modules are meant to enhance your passive abilities. For this Critical Commando Rifle Build since you’re going to move swiftly to avoid incoming attacks while shooting from a mid-range distance, you’ll have to enhance your Evasion Skill and max HP. To do this, be sure to equip the Javelin Dash and Vitasigns Booster Mods.
Javelin Dash lets you move more smoothly and nimbly instead of rolling on the ground to dodge attacks, making it harder to target you. Meanwhile, Vitasigns Booster increases your max HP to improve your survivability. You’re going to need this more than the Speedheal Mod, which lets you gain extra HP from health packs.
The reason is the loot that dead enemies leave behind won’t always provide these packs so you’ll continue to end up with less HP. It’s therefore better to have more life to begin with. Who doesn’t want that?
The Ascent Rifle Build Guide | Weapon Selection
Because of your loadouts, you can choose two types of Weapons to swap in between Combat. For both your Primary and Secondary Weapons, selecting two Burst Rifles that deal massive Energy and Physical Damage should be enough.
Specifically, the EBR Enforcer, which is my favorite Weapon in the game, is the top choice at shooting down enemies. This is a powerful Weapon that doesn’t require you to aim directly to hit your targets because of its homing bullets, which follows them around on your behalf.
Moreover, this particular functionality is beneficial to you since you won’t be putting points into the Aiming Skill, which stabilizes and enhances your aiming capability.
Because it inflicts Energy Damage, which is the best damage you can deal against most enemies such as mechs, bots and thugs, you’re more likely to eliminate them faster together with your critical hits. Furthermore, its default reload time is extremely fast, thereby allowing you to reload before you can even blink. Lastly, it can easily be picked up from enemies at earlier levels.
For your Secondary Weapon, you can choose another Burst Rifle. Another impressive Burst Rifle is the ABR Commander, which mostly has the same stats as the EBR Enforcer. It deals a bit less damage though but it remains to be effective due to its Physical Damage and homing bullets.
Remember, it’s vital to have two Weapons that inflict different damage types since you’ll be switching between either depending on the enemy you face.
The Ascent Rifle Build Guide | Tactical Gear Selection
Similar to Augmentations, Tactical Gear provides you with a special ability, which can be in the form of grenades, robots or turrets, that aid you in fights. Since Tactical Sense is not a top priority, you’ll want to select the Tactical Gear that won’t take too long a time to charge based on the damage you deal. As a ballpark, aim for the gear with at most 700 charge value.
GR8 Fragmost Grenade works best with this Build because it instantly eradicates crowds of enemies. When multiple groups are rushing towards you, simply throw and detonate the grenade to make them explode.
You can also combine this with the stasis feature of Joyrun Dragons when you’re fighting against stronger sub-bosses like Bounty Targets. Both effects ensure that you’re able to simultaneously harm and eliminate numerous enemies efficiently.
The Ascent Build Guide | Armor Selection
When it comes to Armor, you’ll be focusing on acquiring the best head, torso and legs Equipment that’ll defend you from Physical, Energy, Digital and Fire Damage. At earlier levels, you’ll mostly encounter enemies like Ferals and Turbo Thugs that deal Physical Damage but as you continue to explore sections of each tier, you’ll have to protect yourself from the remaining damage types as well.
On top of these defenses, the following gear also provides you with Skill and Attribute boosts to further enhance your Augmentations so choose wisely.
For your headgear, equip one that’ll give bonuses to your Critical Hit Rate such as the F-50 Sledgehead Helmet. As a result, you’ll increase the chances of successfully dealing critical shots. With this helmet, your Body Energy is also boosted. Body Energy determines your max Energy, which is used up when you activate your special abilities from Augmentations.
For the torso, you should search for Armor that enhances all of your defenses such as the Runner Coat. In cases when you can no longer crouch behind covers due to the overwhelming number of enemies, this coat should come in handy. Furthermore, it also improves Weapon Handling, allowing you to reload and to swap Weapons much faster.
Lastly, for the legs, you ought to wear the Runner Trousers to further increase your defenses and to boost your Critical Hit Rate, Tactical Sense, and therefore, your Cybernetics Attribute as well.
Note that you’ll continue to find better Armor as you complete more and more missions. The purple ones, followed by gold gear, are the most rare and powerful types of Armor you can equip. With this Build, you’ll always want to constantly improve Cybernetics, which influences the strengths of your Augmentations, while boosting your Evasion or Vital Signs Skills.
Unlike Armor, Weapons require Basic, Advanced and Superior Components to improve overall damage. These components are obtained from chasing after loot, the locations of which are found in the map. Be sure to visit the Gunsmith to upgrade your Burst Rifles to make them more effective in combat.
If you find yourself fighting against mechs, robots or turrets, you can swap your GR8 Fragmost Grenade for the G92 Emp Grenade as it’s more effective. It should prevent these enemies from dealing considerable Digital Damage by briefly stunning them while inflicting Energy Damage.
Lastly, if you have additional Skill Points, you can maximize Tactical Sense to enhance your Cybernetics Attribute. In turn, this boosts your monobots’ damage. It also increases the number of affected targets in stasis caused by your Joyrun Dragon Augmentation. Alternatively, if you find yourself dying often, allocate at least 5 points into Vital Signs to improve your survivability.
Stay tuned for more of our Build Guides, and be sure to check out our The Ascent Wiki if you have questions about the game! What did you think of this Critical Commando Rifle Build Guide? What Build will you try out first? What guide would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!