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Old September 26th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #1
The Melee Zero
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 364
Exclamation Guide to Playing Melee Zero (New Vid+Leveling Guide!)

7/29/13: The New Video:

Also, each build section is updated! Check Update History!

Guide to Playing Melee Zeroes

Table of Contents

Introduction (MZG1)
The Meta Game (MZG1-1)
Gearing Zero (MZG2)
Guns (MZG2-1)
Shields (MZG2-2)
Class Mods (MZG2-3)
Grenades (MZG2-4)
Relics (MZG2-5)
How to Build a Melee Zero (MZG3)
Melee Zero wisdom, tips and tricks (MZG4)
Using Deception Properly (MZG4-1)
List of Enemies and how to approach them (MZG5)
Zero Point Assignment Leveling Guide (MZG6)
Zero Build Examples (MZG7)
Pure Melee Build (MZG7-1)
Raid Boss Build: Killing Bosses with Zer0(MZG7-1B)
Hybrid Build: Having an effective melee attack while using guns(MZG7-2)
Hybrid Build: Longbow Zer0 (MZG7-2U)
Why Zero Isn't Meant for Tanking and Tanking Alternatives (MZG7-3)
Leveling BAR for Melee Zero (MZG8)
Finding Melee Zero Relevant Gear Pieces (MZG9)
Links and Videos (MZG10)
Edit History (MZG11)

The Melee Zero Guide and the Definition of Melee Zero(MZG1)

A melee Zero is a Zero who focuses primarily on fighting at melee range and who chooses to use melee attacks over using guns. Having points in the bloodshed skill tree does not make you a melee Zero. If you find yourself using guns as a main source of damage rather than your melee attack, you are not a melee zero. Hybrid Zeroes with points in the Bloodshed skill tree can be effective, and making your melee attack effective while using guns will be explained and demonstrated later.

This definition is the core and most literal definition of being a melee fighter.

This is a general tips and tricks guide to playing Zero melee, along with some gear analysis and playstyle breakdowns. Depending on what you do, he can be incredibly impressive or completely underwhelming. You always have to keep in mind that Zero is not a samurai. Zero does not wear armor and only has shields just like every other class. His shields do not get the same kind of buffs that Axton has and he doesn't have the same degree of health regeneration as Salvador.Zero is a ninja, you have to play him like one. This guide is intended to help both experienced and novice players get an edge with the bloodshed skill tree for Zero, without making any concrete build claims and without a "best build" bias. Regardless of what is chosen, these tips, tricks and suggestions will help players mold and play better Zeroes and provide them with a nudge in the right direction to survive longer and clear areas quicker as an assassin.

The Meta Game (MZG1-1)

Most of us should have a firm familiarity with what the meta-game with Melee Zeroes is: Law and Order combo (in the past) or Rubi and Rapier (presently) with a bloodshed heavy build and probably some points in cunning, particularly Rising Shot. While this works for some people, don't feel obligated to play the same way everyone else is playing. The meta-game usually exists for a reason, just like stereotypes, because there is some truth to them. The best builds for characters usually aren't found in the meta though, just the most popular.

To take a quote from Eric Schmidt, the CEO of google and making it applicable to Borderlands 2: "Many many people think they're doing something new, but they're not really changing the approach. [...] Innovation never comes from the established institutions." Sure, that seems pretentious to say in a gaming guide, but feel free to mess around with your own concepts, create your own builds and find out what really tickles your game playing fancy.

Gearing Zero (MZG2)

There is a large variety of guns in this game, bazillions of them, so there are a lot of options to how you choose to gear your Zero. The only problem is that when meleeing, you're not going to need bazillions of guns. You probably won't even need all four of the guns that you have space to equip. While guns will be mostly shirked aside in lieu of slashing things, there are plenty of viable options of what to do with the rest of your gear slots. These evaluations of the gear possibilities should make choosing the proper gear for your play style easier.

Guns (MZG2-1)

These are my opinions of the main gun types and my suggestions about whether or not they are preferential for Melee Zeroes and what add-ons work best with them.

Disclaimer: At the end of the game, your gun damage depends more on your skills that augment the main DPS of the gun than the gun numbers themselves. It may seem like a decent number, but it is nothing compared to a single melee attack with a Zero built to do maximum melee damage. Reloading and running out of ammo will slow you down if you aren't centered, or at least proficient, in using guns. If you have Rising Shot, this would make using a gun somewhat more viable with a Bloodshed build which includes Be Like Water, Like the Wind and Followthrough. You will still need a gun for certain situations, which are detailed later in "List of Enemies and how to approach them" section, but it is not necessary to have several. An example can be found in the Videos section.

Pistols: Pistols should be the go-to gun for a melee Zero. Not just because of the Law pistol, although it's highly recommended, but also because of their quick fire rate, good accuracy and general convenience. There's also a large variety of pistols that mostly work with melee Zeroes and have convenient add-ons that function as a combo with what you'll be doing. My main suggestion for pistol manufacturers are Jacob's pistols. I personally haven't found another manufacturer for pistols as good as these, because the fire rate and reload speed are both amazing and there's always a solid amount of damage. while the clip size tends to be lower, it works out because they're the backup for your melee attacks and not vice versa. Maliwan pistols with slag are also a great choice. Stacking slag damage will help deal greater amounts of damage with melee attacks, especially when stacked with any + damage skill buffs you decide on. Regardless of what type of pistol chosen, it's a good idea to make sure that they have a bayonet attachment. Without + melee damage on your weapon, your melee build will suffer. Corrosive pistols are nice to have for taking out the joints of loaders and dealing damage to ones that can't be meleed.

Sub machine guns: Submachine guns of any type can be decent weapons, but the best choices would be close ranged ones, with high amounts of damage. Accuracy can be disregarded, to an extent, because you'll be up close a majority of the time. The less recoil the better, but since you'll be spraying and praying often with this type of weapon, it really won't be the biggest factor in gun choice. Submachine guns, to me, are the best weapon if you choose to have Rising Shot, because you can unload on the enemy as you approach them and quickly hit them with a fully buffed slash. They can also come with bayonets and Maliwan is my suggestion for them.

Shotguns: Most Zero players are probably using shotguns anyways, but for those who don't, I actually wouldn't recommend them, because you don't need high burst damage for a melee zero, because that is what your sword is. Shotguns with low accuracy aren't doing you any good with a melee build and if they have a long reload speed, you're wasting time reloading and lowering your DPS compared to what you could be doing with faster gun, or more importantly, your melee attacks. If you're going to get a shotgun, it should have a reload speed of no less than 2.7, a magazine size of around 10, at least, and a decent fire rate of around 1.2+. This may be hard to come by, but it's the only way I'll recommend them. Having tried the Terramorphus shotgun, with +50% melee damage, I still couldn't recommend it because normal slashes do more damage faster, when built properly.

Assault Rifles: There are plenty of great assault rifles, but I also wouldn't recommend them. I feel this way mainly because nothing in just about any Zero skill tree supports the use of them and any assault rifle with explosive ammo is a liability. They're good mid-ranged weapons, but if you choose to use one, make it one that is effective at close range.

Sniper rifles: Zero has an entire skill tree devoted to these. You don't need one as a meleer unless you're a prodigy with no-scoping head shots. Even then, you can just aim your sword upwards to try and get headshot. When using a build with ambush and backstab, the damage will be superior to lining up headshots, which will slow you down as a melee build without the additional crit damage for guns. You only need to choose a gun that will support and compensate for your short comings, not do the work for you.

Rocket launchers: Rocket launchers are nice to have for quick second winds and for taking out buzzards with a carefully aimed shot. Their ammo is scarce, which is fine, because you will have whichever gun you choose in your main hand anyways. These are used soley as get-out-of-jail-free cards. If you choose one, be very careful about using it at close range and be even more careful if it's a Tedidore, because you don't want to blow yourself up on reloads. The Bouncing Bunny is probably the most masochistic choice you could possibly make.

Shields (MZG2-2)

Melee Zeroes have a lot of options of what types of shields to use. Going with the meta-game is not always necessary, because there is a lot of potential to have when using Zero as a melee character.

Turtle shields: Ridiculously high shield capacity, which would seem underwhelming, but it allows you to eat far more bullets than most other types of shields. If you're reckless, these can be great, but definitely not necessary. Sacrificing health for more shields seems like a bad idea, but since shields are actually your first resort and health your last, it starts to make sense.

Roid: By far the most used Zero shield type and the way to access the greatest amount of Zero melee damage. The only problem is you have to keep your shields down to access it. This requires a much more animated play style, if having the shield deliberately down is your goal. Keep in mind, when the shield is up, it's just a normal shield like any other.

Booster: Booster shields are also a respectable choice, because the booster backs that restore shield capacity can help you stay along for longer in the midst of danger.

Spike and Nova: Spike shields are a great option because high spike damage adds to the DPS against melee attackers without needing any kind of buff or without having to have your shields broken. It punishes your enemies for retaliating, which is another way to look forward to taking a hit or two, when coupled with Counter Attack. Nova shields are like spike, but explode with a radius when depleted. If your goal is to get your shields to recharge quickly, having a nova shield with a low delay, lower capacity and high recharge rate would be a good choice.

Absorb: These absorb and store bullets, but you won't need this quite as much because you won't be using most of the bullets returned to you. If you go through the 700 pistol ammo you're given as a melee Zero, you're probably not really a melee Zero.

Amplify: AMP shields aren't necessary, because you probably won't have full shields often. The damage only applies to guns also, so at best you'll probably get one extra shot before your shield becomes no different than a standard one.

Class Mods (MZG2-3)

Class mods are one of the greatest ways to modify a build and make it function to your liking. There are a lot of options with Zero class mods, but not every one is applicable to a melee build. The stats that the class mod raises are just as important as the skills they raise, because the numbers scale with the level of the class mod and can genuinely make or break a build. The class mods Zero have are:


Infiltrator: Increases fire rate and melee damage. It's useful because it increases skills that are commonly used by melee zeroes, like Be Like Water, Unforseen and Iron Hand. The extra fire rate goes hand in hand with Be Like Water and can also assist in recovering from being downed.

Ninja: Increases melee damage. It has the potential to increase Backstab, resurgence and killing blow. Killing blow is useful, but it doesn't need a huge boost in skill points. Resurgence is the life blood of melee zero builds that don't rely on Law and Order and even then, it is still beneficial to have as one of Zero's FEW ways to get health back. Backstab is one of Zero's most important damage boosting skills, in any melee zero build. Ambush and Backstab when combined will provide most of the damage you'll be doing as a Zero.


Killer: Increases team critical damage, which could potentially be useful on enemies that have critical spots that can easily be meleed. Otherwise, it's something that is easily avoided. Fearless and Killer are better suited towards a Cunning gun build instead of a melee build and the only truly beneficial skill would be Ambush. This depends on how you build your Zero and if you want a 50/50 balance between gun use and melee damage...but once again, that sounds more like a cunning build.

Spy: The spy class mod has hidden potential with a melee build. Both Unforseen and Ambush are useful and add huge amounts of damage and the bonus cooldown rate would help with keeping Deception in arms reach. Velocity isn't really necessary, but the bonus gun damage could be useful for grabbing second winds with weapons besides rockets.

Stalker: Although Stalker doesn't give melee damage like Infiltrator or Ninja, it is completely viable as a melee build class mod. This is because Rising Shot, Followthrough and Counter Strike all affect melee damage and with high bonuses in those skills can compensate somewhat for the loss of melee damage. The additional pistol fire rate and magazine size would also be of use if you're using the Law pistol or a Slag pistol with a bayonet attachment.

Survivor: Survivor is completely viable as a class mod also, because the additional max health and regeneration will keep you alive for longer. With a Love Thumper build, it begins to make even more sense since you will not be relying on shields to protect you. Ambush and rising shot affect melee damage and Resurgence will help keep you alive.

Not recommended

Professional: This is almost exclusively a cunning build class mod and doesn't help with melee builded zeroes besides the extra ambush damage. Extra shield capacity is nice, but not at the expense of melee damage or crit damage.

Shot and Sniper: The shot and sniper class mods are completely irrelevant to melee builds.

Grenades (MZG2-4)

Grenades are one of the most vital parts of a melee Zero. I'm sure they often get overlooked, but a good set of grenades will be a game changer. Grenade delivery preference(Lob/sticky/rubberized/longbow/homing) is at the player's discretion, but these are my suggested grenades and my least suggested.

Elemental: It's always good to have elemental grenades around to compensate for the guns that you won't be carrying. With any grenade, homing is highly suggested because you can throw them from behind cover without having to peek up to look. This will definitely help you survive for longer periods of time in the long run, especially against constructors. Fire is my least recommended, but electric and corrosive are must haves.

Standard: It's a standard grenade. You wouldn't be missing anything by passing these up.

Mirv: I would not recommend mirv grenades in any regards because they require you to get out of the way when you throw them and you can easily get yourself killed with some wacky usage of them. Explosive Kiss of Death is an exception and my most recommended grenade, but any other mirvs, especially sticky ones, avoid like the plague.

Bouncing Betty: These are great grenades because the bullets won't backfire on you and you can toss as many as you want without having to worry about what will happen to you.

Area of Effect: I would highly suggest area of effect grenades, especially electric ones for taking out your own shields on roid damage builds, specifically the Love Thumper build.

Singularity: A good combination of delivery methods, elements and power will make for the perfect grenade. Singularity grenades can be used to stop your enemies from acting and rounding them up so you can sneak in for the deception/execution kill chain.

Transfusion: A must have for restoring health, since Zero has fewer ways to recover it, and my top choice for grenades to roll with. Choose one wisely and keep it equipped when you're not using the more conditional grenade types.

Slag: Slag grenades will make getting kills much much easier. Slag weapons don't always do the job, but slag grenades will. If you're using Law and don't want to risk switching out weapons and losing your melee damage in a time of need, keep slag grenades handy.

Special transport mention: I would not suggest rubberized grenades, especially in CQC.

Relics (MZG2-5)

Relics will often change your entire play style, as trivial as they may seem sometimes. A good relic is just as important as a build-matching class mod. Earlier in the game, you may not want to sacrifice Strength relics for any other types, especially when solo. As you get stronger and more comfortable, you may be willing to ditch the strength for Proficiency to get somewhat faster Deception cooldowns and more damage that way, or for Vitality for added survivability. Without much need for explanation, the relic choice is at the discretion of the player and is used to compensate for the weak spots not improved upon by the choice of shield or class mod.

How to Build a Melee Zero (MZG3)

Building a melee Zero isn't as difficult as a process as it may seem. It's actually rather simple.

Step 1: Self-reflection. You know more so than anyone else how you like playing video games. People from FPS backgrounds may prefer using plenty of guns, but still want the melee bonuses that Zero has above other classes, so the way they would be their character would vary from others. Players who like Borderlands 2's style and story, but not so much heavy gun play, may opt to do a full, or extremely bloodshed heavy build to avoid gun usage as much as possible. Consider what is fun for you and what you want to get out of your experience the most and choose skills accordingly.

Step 2: Survivability. Regardless of how you choose to play, dying often isn't going to help anyone. You have to choose a build for your melee Zero that will help keep you alive as long as possible. If you're going to use shields and not use a mechanic which requires them to be depleted, Grim could be a better choice for you. Iron hands should be maxed regardless of what you choose to do. If you're choosing a build where you aren't using a shield, Resurgence should be at a higher level than with a shield. If you're running a low Deception cooldown build, Innervate multiplies in usefulness, because the health regeneration bonus comes by a lot more often. Relics and class mods can be used to adjust your health and health regeneration if you want a Zero who can get in melee range, but who doesn't have to focus on bouncing all over the place (as much). If you're using Law and Order, you can take some points out of resurgence, because the damage you deal will recover your health. If you think about it, it could be used to become a tankier Zero rather than focusing on pure damage, because you lose out on damage when not utilizing roid damage.

Step 3: Damage. Knowing what guns you want to use and how you want to play as a Melee Zero will help you determine what kind of skills you need to up your damage. With pistols and melee, you may not want Rising shot, but if you're using a SMG it becomes a better choice. If you're using guns with a build that requires you to have your shields depleted, Fearless becomes a better idea, but when min/maxing melee damage it can be completely left out. It's the same way with Be Like Water. The build choices are limited, but not so limited that you can adjust them to get what you want.

Melee Zero wisdom, tips and tricks (MZG4)

This portion is dedicated to various pieces of wisdom on how to use melee Zeroes properly.

-If you are using any shield with ROID damage (Love Thumper/Order mainly) or using Unforseen, keep in mind that your clones and ROID damage can and will destroy breakable environment pieces such as gasoline tanks and elemental barrels. If you are not careful and you start swinging at an enemy standing next to one of these you will get yourself killed. Of course, this can be used to your advantage. You can toss a decoy in front of one of the breakable pieces of environment to lure enemies there and detonate it by cancelling Deception in whatever way you see fit.

- When meleeing, keep moving. Standing still not only puts you in everyone's line of fire, but also doesn't activate Like the Wind. Jumping can be an ideal form of movement, because jumping (even in place) activates Like the Wind and it is great for getting behind enemies.

- Bouncing on enemies heads put you in a position where it's difficult for them to hit you and you can get ambush/backstab damage on them.

- Take cover when you're in danger. You can jump over cover and crouch simultaneously, which will temporarily block enemies from reaching you. Always know locations to take cover from and which ones are best to avoid explosive damage.

- For builds that use Be Like Water, it's important to constantly switch between taking a shot, or a few shots, before switching to melee for an additional damage bonus. Jumping over enemies while shooting down, before slashing is a great way to incorporate all the buffs at once. Jumping and shooting will use Be Like Water, Like the Wind and other buffs (Followthrough if you get kills) all at once.

- To most effectively utilize all the buff damage as possible, keep an eye on the buff icon bar at the bottom of the screen. For example, it's easy to miss out on when counter strike is available.

- For convenience, Left Alt button is a good alternative to the V button as a melee hotkey for PC players who don't have gaming mice.

- After using your guns, always reload them. You don't want to be in a position where you're down and the enemy is out of range, but you're wasting second wind time trying to reload your guns.

Using Deception Properly (MZG4-1)

When using a melee build, Deception is your bread and butter. It is also the plate, the fork and the knife. Using deception incorrectly can make this skill tree seem incredibly underpowered. When you use Deception, always throw the decoys at angles. 45 degree angles, along with full horizontal 90 degree throws, are your best friends. Youdon't want to throw your decoys directly in front of you because enemies will still shoot in the direction of your decoy and you will not only be blocking your shot, but also leaving yourself open and wasting time. Deception can also be thrown mid-air. Jumping and throwing Deception is a great tactic for getting the drop (pun intended) on enemies.

Deception gives the most bonus damage when the counter is close to 0. Timing kunai throws and judging the amount of time it'll take to execute from your position to the enemy will allow you to properly time the attack and get the highest numbers possible. It's also important to keep in mind that some of the kunai may explode if you get too close to them and this can result in putting yourself in to FFYL mode.

Jumping and turning when throwing deception will often get enemies to run directly past you and leaving their backs exposed.

When being chased, throwing deception in front of you and making a sharp turn can save your live and it's one of the few times throwing Deception directly in front of you is actually a good idea. It will block your shot, of course, but using melee attacks and missing does not cancel Deception the same way that shooting a gun does, so if your crosshair is accidentally green instead of red, you won't suffer too much if you can quickly get the kill after.

Deception will reveal stalkers that are hiding and show you threshers that are boring through the ground.

Execution is a must have for damage and as a utility skill. Execution when used properly can take down almost anything and it defines melee builds when combined with many must fall. If you are strong enough, it will 1hk enemies from frontal attacks, but you should always carefully use it as a back attack with badasses and stronger enemies. When you're using Execution, you can hit the button to trigger it as many times as you want, with the cursor locked on to get Zero to dash forward. This is good for closing the gap between enemies that are far away and distracted by your decoy. Keeping this in mind, execution can be used to take low flying enemies out of the air, such as Surveyors and Buzzards if they swoop down. Keep hitting the execution button to continue to dash forward if you really want to catch an aerial enemy with Deception.

List of Enemies and how to approach them (MZG5)

Bandits/Marauders/Rats/Hyperion Personel and Psychos: These can all be approached with a full frontal attack without having to sneak behind them. Jumping at them will slightly throw their aim off so you can hit them in the head and turn to take them out. Avoid running in straight lines towards them though, because most of them use guns that really hurt, especially if they're e-tech, elemental or corrosive. Take angles to get at, behind and through them.

Loaders: Gun, RPG, BUL, JNK and SGT loaders can all be killed with melee attacks without the risk of them exploding. Having a corrosive weapon/grenade handy is always a good idea, but with enough damage it should be possible to take out them and their shields. HOT, EXP and Badass loaders are all extremely dangerous to kill melee. These should not be meleed, but instead picked off at a distance. Badass loaders are included because they have a high damaging smash attack which will usually result in a 1-2 hit down. The diameter of the attack is also large and hard to avoid at a melee range. At end-game damage levels, constructors can be taken out with back attacks and if you're confident and brave enough, getting in a constructor's face to melee critical his large eye is possible. It most likely will get you killed, but ROID damage activates during Fight For Your Life, so getting a kill is possible and quick this way.

Creatures: Most creatures are a straight forward battle. Bullymongs, skags and varkids are all easily dispatched in melee range even though they can deal some nasty damage. To deal with bullymongs, running under their jump attack and back attacking them is very effective. With spitting skags, varkids and threshers, strafe as you close the gap between you and them so that you don't take any unnecessary damage before cutting them up. Rakks can be killed at melee range with a properly timed attack as they swoop in. Crystalisks are easiest in melee range, because hitting their legs will usually completely destroy them, which gives you an opportunity to kill them in 4 hits. Alternate between walking back and forth while taking out the legs so you don't get caught in their splash attack and make sure you stay mid ranged so they don't throw explosive crystals at you. Using deception to kill threshers is easiest, because cutting through the legs will restore health with resurgence and also deal damage to the main body. Without cutting the tentacles, threshers should be approached with extreme caution. When fighting stalkers, especially Rabid, don't be afraid to use Deception and make sure to jump often so they don't rush you with their quicker melee attacks and down you before you can react. Jump-->shoot-->melee->shoot-->melee is a good combo for taking out rabid threshers, especially if you're using Be Like Water and Death Mark.

Badass Psychos, Armored Maniacs and Badass/shield Nomads: More often than not, you will want to attack them with back attacks and throw your deception at an angle so that it is easier to get behind them. As they chase you at an angle, you have more of a window to hit them in the side/back and take them out quickly. Fighting them ranged can be less effective because of how strong and guarded they are.

Shock Nomads and Fire Nomads: Both of these enemies are just as dangerous as EXP/HOT loaders because back attacks will blow up their backpacks and cause them to explode. Instead of trying to net extra damage on them with Backstab/Ambush, take them head on by getting a side angle on them and jumping often.

Enemies in Vehicles: Buzzards and Bandit Technicals can be incredibly difficult to fight at low levels, especially when using melee. For these situations, having a corrosive damage pistol, sub machine gun or assault rifle can greatly reduce the time it takes to finish these fights. Well aimed rocket launcher shots and homing grenades (especially Kiss of Death) are great ways to take out fast and unreachable enemies. Singularity grenades are somewhat less effective because the singularity effects are stationary, even if sticky, and will not hit an enemy that moves out of them. When mashing the Execution button, Deception can be used to take Buzzards out of the air, as well as any aerial creature that flies low enough. Getting on the highest platform possible makes this easier to do. Use great caution when approaching Bandit Technicals, because being rammed results in instant death and respawn. Taking out the passengers in the vehicle can net Second Wind chances during FFYL.

Zero Skill Point Assignment Leveling Guide (MZG6)

Level 5 Deception: This is your action skill and the only option you can take.

Level 6 Killing Blow 1: Killing blow is the first skill you want to get, even before Iron Hand because Killing blow is one of Zero's multiplicative bonuses and one of the most important skills he has in terms of doing melee damage. The extra damage from killing weakened enemies with this skill will count more than the bonuses from Iron Hand, especially playing before you get your first class mod.

Level 7-11 Iron Hand 1-5: You're going to want to 5/5 this next, because the extra health is required regardless of play style. The melee damage will start to make melee more worthwhile early game. Find a +50% damage pistol as soon as possible. It should be possible to find one before reaching Sanctuary, or definitely before the end of the quest you receive after reaching Sanctuary.

Level 12-16 Counter Strike 1-5: Counter strike is necessary because things most likely won't be dying in one hit at this point of time. Law should be around the corner as far as level progression goes in the first playthrough, so having both Killing Blow and Counter Strike will rocket Zero's damage.

Level 17-20 Killing Blow 2-5: Finish leveling Killing Blow to work down the skill tree to execute.

* Sometime around this level you should be able to get the Law Pistol and Order shield. After getting these, starting the first DLC is an option in order to get the Rapier as soon as possible.

Level 21 Execute: Execute is just as important to a melee Zer0 as Deception itself and kills will start moving much faster with this skill on board. Follow proper melee Zer0 procedure (as stated in the guide) and start having fun killing things even quicker than before.

Level 22-26 Backstab 1-5: From now on, all of your kills melee should be from the side or back to activate backstab damage. This stays true until you have a roid shield strong enough to kill enemies without backstab damage.

Level 27-31 Followthrough: Followthrough is a great kill skill and useful for a regular playthough in story mode. Movement speed and damage is the way Zer0 stays alive. Defense through offense.

Level 32-35 Resurgence: By now the first playthough should be near over, if not already, and at Law and Order should be available. If you haven't already gotten and started using them, Resurgence is probably your only way to recover health without hitting chests. Then again, Rubi should be available also and that'll lessen the necessity of Resurgence. It's really just somewhere to put points to get to Many Must Fall.

Level 36 Many Must Fall: The ultimate validation for melee builds and the skill that allows chain killing, what makes Zer0 so awesome, possible.

Level 37-41 Ambush: Additional damage from back attacks with melee to compliment Backstab. There's no reason not to, but plenty reason to do so.

Level 42 Death Mark: This skill gives your melee swing a debuff effect giving even more % damage to Zer0. With Death Blossom, this can be stacked and that will be important in the future. For now, this means hitting things over and over at melee range will do more damage.

Level 43-47 Rising Shot: Stakable buff for melee attacks and ranged attacks. Fast decay rate, but the additional damage is noticeable and valuable, especially when using the law pistol or rapier, if you choose to do the DLC before level 50.

Level 48-50 Innervate: It's a better choice than Unforseen for Many Must Fall builds because of health regeneration and movement speed. This allows for faster transportation to targets when not executing or when escaping is necessary.

Zero Build Examples (MZG7)

The intention of providing build examples it to exhibit the applications and efficiency of using a Zero who focuses on close quarter combat. Each build is complete and tested, but not necessarily the best builds possible. Instead, they serve as a template to guide melee Zeroes through their journey through Pandora. To do this, each example is elaborated upon on the basis of skill, gear and play style builds. Game play footage of each build can be found under the Links section of the guide.

Pure Melee Build (MZG7-1)

"Roid Rage" Build

This is an incredibly hard hitting, almost exclusively melee build which is centered around the use of high damage roid shields and the Law pistol/Rapier Rifle.

With this build, Killing Blow is 5/5 for the massive additional damage needed to take out bosses and higher level badasses. At early game, Killing Blow can be passed over and the points later respecced. So in that example, instead the points that would've been distributed there can be allocated to Be Like Water. Innervate is chosen for the additional movement speed, which makes it optional, but still a useful passive skill. Points are dumped in Resurgence to get to Many Must Fall, but early on this is a great way to recover health before obtaining the Rubi pistol. Counter Strike on full melee builds applies an occasional extreme boost in damage, which helps against the rare occurences of enemies that don't go down in deception, especially bosses. This is coupled with Rising Shot when multiple hits are necessary, which compensates when tanking with the Rubi pistol. Innervate is a useful optional skill for getting out of sticky situations.

Because of the Rubi Pistol, Love Thumper is preferred for the higher roid damage over Order Shield. Law and Order is a reliable and easy to get combo though and both shields can roll well with some dilligent farming.

The Gear Setup:

Law Pistol/Rapier Rifle
Love Thumper Shield/Order Shield/Hide of Terramorphous
Explosive Kiss of Death Grenades
Tesla Grenades
Bloodied Ninja Class Mod: + melee damage, +4 Backstab/+5 Resurgence skills
Vitality Relic: +45.2% Health

Optional: Rocket Launcher for quick Second Winds and for taking out buzzards

Tesla grenades are included in the gear build in order to deplete the character's shields completely before the start of battle to avoid dangerous situations. Explosive Kiss of Death grenades are also included in the build and are changed out after the shields are gone because they have a powerful fire DoT while doubling as transfusion grenades. These will help keep health high between kills and attack enemies behind cover and around corners. The Bloodied Ninja Class Mod is perhaps the best choice for this particular build because the melee damage and bonus Backstab points make taking down tougher enemies a breeze; Resurgence points compensate for the lack of shields and increase the overall survivability of the player, rounding out the rough edges of the build. The relic is optional, because the extra damage from a Strength Relic is negligible and the Vitality relic helps further augment the survivability of the player. If not using Legendary Hunter, or early game, Cooldown and Vitality relics are great choices.

The Play Style: This build is the epitome of melee Zer0 gameplay and has a complete offensive focus. Players will be charging in to battle while Deception is up, but will be able to stay on the front lines with careful use of close quarter tactics. This is possible due to the Love Thumper, a roid shield with an incredibly long recharge delay. This is combined with the bonus melee damage of the +100%/200% melee damage guns to create the most powerful form of Bloodshed playing. Back attacks with maxed out Ambush/Backstab will be enough to take out most Super Badasses in a single blow, but aren't necessary for normal enemies. Constant movement is required due to the lack of shield protection, but the damage more than compensates for it.

Raid Boss Build: Killing Bosses with Zer0(MZG6-1B)

This is the Level 50 build that most players, including myself, use when fighting story and raid bosses. This is because in most situations Many Must Fall is not useful in a boss fight and the bonuses from the Cunning tree are, counter-intuitively, better for melee fighting in these conditions.

The skills in the Bloodshed tree are there in order to work down to Execute. Killing Blow and Backstab are two of Zer0's strongest melee skills, so maxing them is a must. Followthrough points are there for lack of a better place to put them. Counter Strike when being under constant pressure is ridiculously powerful in addition to the other bonuses and Ambush/Backstab is a damage machine. Since most bosses aren't likely to go down in a hit or two, Rising Shot helps stack damage as quickly as possible and Innervate is supplemental. Two Fang is built up in order to get to Death Blossom.

Death Blossom is why people go down cunning for boss fights, each Kunai adding elemental damage and stacking the bonus from Death Mark, allowing for numbers not previously possible in MMF Bloodshed builds. Since Zer0 will be focusing on single targets in boss fights more often than not, this is the top tier skill that is most desired.

The Gear Setup:

Law Pistol/Rapier Rifle
A roid shield: Order/Love Thumper/Hide of Terramorphous/Punchee
Guns of Choice
Bouncing Betty/Bonnie Slag Grenades
Storm Front/Tesla Grenades
Bloodied Ninja/Legendary Hunter class Mod
Proficiency/Vitality Relic

Having a melee gun should go without saying at this point. The Rubi will allow tanking to a certain degree, but it is still necessary to be cautious against bosses. Roid shields are plentiful and based on what is available. Love Thumper has more roid damage than Order and is the easiest to manage of them all, but has the least survivability. Order can heal with Law, but that combo isn't necessary with the Rubi pistol. Alone, it still has great roid damage though and is easy to get early game. Since bosses are normally farmed after TVHM, this doesn't quite apply. Hide of Terramorphous has the most roid damage and also includes spike and nova damage, making it the hardest hitter. The downside is it is difficult to find and the shields have to be manage consistently to activate the roid. Punchee is a good choice because it's high roid, but fast recharge. This seems like a negative (and in general gameplay it is), but with fast recharge and high roid it increases survivability and the damage will keep coming as long as Zer0 stays in the line of fire. Storm Front Grenades are used to manage shields and as a tesla for Rubi health recovery, but Slag Bouncing Betty grenades keep the damage higher and should be in rotation. Bloodied Ninja is still one of the best damage class mods, but many people like Legendary Hunter also for quicker Deception procs.

The Play Style: If you have general melee Zer0 playing down, this build isn't very different. It works pretty much in a small step sequence:

1.) Lower shields (with tesla grenade)
2.) Attack/Dodge/Run/Shoot with Rapier/Law
3.) Switch to Rubi when you need healing
4.) Switch back to Rapier when entering Deception
5.) Throw all Death Blossom Kunai and wait until as close to 0.47 seconds
6.) Execute
7.) Repeat steps 2-7 (1-7 with Hide)

Hybrid Build: Having an effective melee attack while using guns(MZG7-2)

This a build which provides an example for what is possible while having a focus on gun play, but not neglecting the melee attack. With a carefully built ranged Zero, using the melee attack isn't necessarily vital, but it serves as a powerful tool in dispatching enemies without expending any ammo and with a set of bonuses that only building up the Bloodshed tree can provide.

With this build, Killing Blow is left at 1/5 because of the build's lack of emphasis on melee damage. At this level, it will provide just enough damage to pick off enemies who charge through your gun fire. Be Like Water is incorporated for the same reason, to maximize melee damage when enemies come too close and get quicker kills on them so attention can be directed at the next enemy. Followthrough stays because its kill skill buffs go hand in hand with Innervate while having a perfect synergy with gun and melee damage. Execution is kept as part of the build to do just as the name implies after using Death Blossom. It's a great addition to the build for tougher enemies like Super Badasses, particularly Nomads and Psychos, which can be dangerous to unprepared ranged players. The rest of the build is a standard Cunning build set, with Unforseen chosen due to the suggested class mod use of the corresponding gear build.

The Gear Setup:

Law Pistol/Rapier Rifle
A roid shield: Order/Love Thumper/Hide of Terramorphous
Guns of Choice
Explosive Kiss of Death Grenades
Graceful Infiltrator Class Mod: + Fire Rate/+ Melee Damage, +6 Be Like Water/+5 Unforseen
Proficiency/Aggression/Sherrif's Badge Relic

The Law pistol/Rapier rifle stay in this build for their undeniable melee damage bonus. Although the main gun of choice should optimally have a bayonet, the Law/Rapier will be the weapon to use during Deception Executions. This time the shield choice is Order if not playing with the Rubi because the additional health returns will be important because the melee damage will not be enough to 1HKO enemies outside of Deception and Resurgence alone isn't enough. Order serves its exact purpose to keep the player alive while taking down charging enemies and providing a short, but necessary, roid damage boost if the shields go down. Any gun can be used with this build, but SMGs are preferred. This is left to the discretion of the player, because the build is 70/30 ranged/melee. Transfusion grenades are essential in any build where you will be approaching enemies head on, because this play style sacrifices the safety of taking enemies on from a distance. The Graceful Infiltrator Class Mod is my most suggested. Only a little bit of melee damage is lost when switching from Ninja mods to Infiltrator mods, but the bonus to Be Like Water and Unforseen and the additional fire rate compensate. This is because gun play becomes much more important and the buff to Be Like Water has a chance to shine. At skill rank 11/5, the Be Like Water buff is 44% gun damage and 66% melee. The relics listed are the best choices, with cooldown always overshadowing strenght, Vitality being of general utility and the Sherrif's badge great if pistols are a weapon of choice. For players farming legendaries, the Two-fer Maggie is a great gun.

The Play Style: This is a Jack-Of-All-Trades build which has usefulness at any range. Melee damage is sacrificed in exchange for the comfort of having more powerful gun damage and a larger range. At the melee range, be sure to switch from the main gun equipped to the melee gun of choice to make sure you are doing as much melee damage as possible. Shooting between melee slashes will help down the enemies quicker, especially if you develop the habit of constantly alternating between shooting and slashing when necessary. Transfusion grenades, like any melee build, will help you heal when your health is critically low and makes managing health less of a hassle when not blessed with the Rubi.

Hybrid Build: Longbow Zer0 (MZG7-2U)

"The Warframe Build"

This build does all the hard hitting damage of a melee build with added specialization in sniper rifle use.

This build begins as any other melee build does, but the real quirks as far as bloodshed builds go are in Be Like Water and Fearless. Be Like Water was chosen because it grants extra damage when switching between using short-mid range sniper rifle shots and melee damage, which can all be done using the same gun. Being a Love Thumper-centric build, Fearless is chosen for the constant damage and Fire Rate bonus, which will stay active for the 3-or-so minutes that Love Thumper is down. The build is flexible with Innervate and Rising Shot also being good choices, but it is specifically designed to add the most consistent and easy to manage damage bonuses outside of being in deception.

The Gear Set-Up:

Contingent (bladed) Longbow
Any bladed secondary sniper rifle (or Pimpernel)
Legendary Hunter Class Mod
Longbow Storm Front (or Tesla Grendade)
Aggresion Relic for Sniper Rifle damage or Heart of the Ancients

The Longbow was the first choice in sniper rifles due to its extreme accuracy. It is very easy to get headshots with at short-mid range and does great damage for its level. It is also well balanced in general and shooting arrows is just cool. The concept of this build came from playing Warframe, but the Longbow is such a powerful and understated sniper rifle, that an entire functional build was built around it.

It's worth noting that the Legendary Hunter mod was chosen over a sniper one due to its bonuses to every skill used in this build, except Counter Strike, and its bonus to cooldown, reload speed and critical hit damage. While in most melee builds that run Legendary Hunter those aren't too useful, it becomes an obvious choice when building Zer0 in this manner.

The Play Style: This build takes the craziness of MMF Roid raging and adds powerful sniping to the fray. Snipers can be used to deal with situations in which one normally doesn't want to run in to, like when there are a ton of explosive barrels that would be destroyed by the roid affect or when there are ground splashing enemies. Blade Snipers can be used instead of Law/Rapier if Zer0 is well geared, because his roid damage should be enough to kill most enemies in deception. The rubi, dare I say, is the main offensive gun in the build in UVHM because it can be used to tank if enemies get too close and replaces Resurgence in terms of health recovering usefulness. MMF can be used to activate Killer and Followthrough and Deceptions can be ended with a powerful sniper rifle blast at enemies outside of melee range.

Why Zero isn't Meant for Tanking and Tanking Alternatives(MZG7-3)

What I classify as a tank is a character that has skills in their tree that allow them to create a build based around avoiding or mitigating damage. This is the exact opposite of what Zer0 is. He has Iron Hand which gives him a HP bonus and Grim which allows his shields to regenerate slightly quicker as a kill buff. That is the extent of survivability skills that Zer0 has that allows him to take and stave off damage. With this in mind, Zer0 doesn't really qualify as a tanking character, which could be efficiently done with just about every other character, Gaige and Axton especially.

Instead, melee Zer0 has a few viable and commonly utilized alternatives. The Law and Order combination is one, which allows him to recover Life on Hit as long as the two are used in conjunction. Moxxi’s weapon Rubi is another alternative which accomplishes the same effect, but without the need of the Order shield. Rubi is even more useful, but slightly harder to get because it doesn't always spawn with a bladed attachment and this may mean quest farming for a while before getting one suitable to your play style. Resurgence with MMF is another skill combination that guarantees a return of life, this time on kill. With a pure melee build the life on kill combination from chaining Deception kills will usually keep Zer0 at full health. Rubi is better for boss kills while its use isn't necessary for farming normal maps or enemies.

Zer0 is capable of using shields such as Hoplite and Fabled Tortoise to farm, especially when finding other means of stacking melee damage, but the lack of roid damage on either one makes them incredibly situational. Considering Zer0 doesn’t normally need any form of shields to be effective, playing it safe is possible, but not recommended.

Leveling BAR for Melee Zero (MZG8)

Badass rank is somewhat of an additional leveling system in Borderlands 2. This rank is increased through the completion of challenges and these challenges reward tokens that can be used to increase stats. There are 14 stats that can be increased and only 5 appear randomly at any time. These starts are:

Critical Hit Damage
Elemental Effect Chance
Elemental Effect Damage
Fire Rate
Gun Accuracy
Gun Damage
Grenade Damage
Maximum Health
Melee Damage
Recoil Reduction
Reload Speed
Shield Capacity
Shield Recharge Delay
Shield Recharge Rate

For melee Zero though, not all of these increases are desireable and some of them are actually detrimental to the builds that melee Zeroes use most often.

Most Valuable

Melee Damage: Melee damage is valuable for obvious reasons. In addition to your skills, class mod, relic and shield, having additional melee damage from BAR is like equipping a white class mod or relic. The higher the rank, it's possible to feel comfortable switching out a damage relic for something else and giving the player more versatility in build construction.

Maximum Health: Since melee Zeroes usually will not be able to help getting hit, having a higher life pool is a beneficial to surviving longer.

Elemental Effect Chance: Elemental Effect Chance increases the chance of dealing elemental effects with Death Blossom and also the chance of dealing elemental effects with bullets. If you choose to carry around a slag weapon, such as the popular Slag Evisceration Rubi, having the bonus chance to slag will help with dealing additional melee damage and buff/debuff stacking.

Elemental Effect Damage: Elemental Effect Damage increases the damage from Death Blossom, which is largely complementary to any cunning melee/raid boss killing build.

Somewhat Valuable

Critical Hit Damage: While critical hit damage is nice, most creatures don't have large and easily exploitable crit ical hit spots with melee weapons. Although a few cases are arguable, like constructors, a loader's jointes and bandits heads, the amount of time it takes to line up these critical hits is normally not necessary...especially when this is comapred to just getting the kill in a Many Must Fall melee build. Since this is a gun game and you will always have a gun on you, there is no harm in taking critical hit damage over other choices.

Fire Rate: Fire rate can be a useful choice from both a melee and gunning perspective. When using Be Like Water, having the extra fire rate can be nice to chain shots and slashes, especially with slower fire rate weapons (if the player would choose to use a bayonet-attached weapon that isn't the usual Rubi/Law/Rapier). Fire rate is also great for stacking Rising Shot before going in with a fully buffed melee strike.

Reload Speed:'s reload speed. Since Fast Hands is a part of just about every cunning melee build, taking reload speed only makes things better.

Shield Recharge Rate: This would be the shield choice to take. When the Shield Recharge Delay is done and the shield starts to recharge, having a faster rate of recharge can save Zero's life.

Least Valuable

Gun Accuracy: The majority of guns that Melee Zeroes typically use are already fairly accurate. Even in instances where they aren't, it doesn't particularly matter because the playing range for this build is mid-short range.

Gun Damage: Gun damage is great for pretty much every other build in the entire game. The fact of the matter here is though it's not good enough to be chosen over many other choices because guns won't be the primary source of damage for a melee Zero and the BAR can be better distributed other places. This especially comes in to play when considering that the BAR distributions have diminishing returns and those tokens would've been a greater help elsewhere.

Grenade Damage: Most Zeroes take their shields down and activate their roid damage using grenades. Don't overdo it and blow yourself up.

Shield Capacity: While shields keep players along for longer, shield capacity for Zero means needing stronger grenades to take the shield off. There are other ways to do this, including just getting hit normally, but for most players there are better options to use BAR.

Shield Recharge Delay: Shield Recharge Delay goes directly against the concept of roid damage. Roid damage is only active during the time the shield is 100% depleted. Having a faster delay means the shield goes up from zero faster and this means less time to utilize roid damage.

Recoil Reduction: The effective range of the build is mid-short range and normally the weapons used don't have great deals of recoil. For alternate weaponry melee builds and for using rocket launchers for FFYL, this could actually come in handy.

Finding Melee Zero Relevant Gear Pieces (MZG9)

Finding melee gear for Zer0 is usually pretty easy because a lot of the required pieces drop as quest items. Throughout normal mode these items can be gotten as they appear and they typically will retain their usefulness throughout the rest of the game. Where a lot of people get confused is when switching to True Vault Hunter Mode. You do NOT want to get the quest items as they become available in TVHM, because you will get them at this level and not at level 50 at the end of the play through. TVHM "2.5" is what it is called when you grab the quest items after beating the game and this is what you want to do, especially in preparation in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. UVHM works a bit differently, because you can get the items at the level you desire them when you are that level. The story progress only matters to unlock the quests required to get the items.

Rubi: Rubi is a very easily overlooked weapon that has massively increased the potential for Melee Zero and his survivability. It can spawn with a blade attachment (although only 50%) and as a Moxxi weapon it recovers health based on the amount of damage dealt. What makes Rubi special is the amount of damage it heals, which is about 12% compared to other Moxxi weapons (2%). Rubi by itself replaces the need to use either Law/Order or Resurgence (life on kill) although for farming purposes Resurgence is still useful. Rubi tends to be a staple item for taking down bosses and enemies with tough game mechanics. The slag version is normally preferred, but it's definitely not essential if you don't plan on firing many shots.

Obtaining it: Rubi is obtained from the mission Rakkoholics Anonymous give by Mordecai after the events of the Wildlife Preservation mission. Complete the quest and bring the gun to Moxxi rather than Mordecai. It may be worth farming this quest (through whatever means that you will) in order to get one with a bladed attachment.

Love Thumper: Love Thumper is one of the two premier shields for melee Zeroes and is made incredibly by its ridiculous recharge delay and roid damage. It is also the most convenient shield for regular Zero use because it is much easier to find and benefit from than Hide of Terramorphous.

Obtaining it: Love Thumper is a quest reward from the mission Best Mother's Day Ever. To get to this quest, first complete Stalker of Stalkers from the Overlook Bounty Board. Find Taggart's gift box by killing stalkers (wherever they appear) and afterwards defeat Henry to finish the quest. Love Thumper is the reward for doing so.

Hide of Terramorphous: Hide of Terramorphous is one of the two best shields for melee Zeroes depending on play style and has the highest roid damage of the two. In addition to the roid damage it also provides the wearer with high fire nova and fire spike damage. This makes it a great choice for dealing damage, but the downside is compared to Love Thumper, its recharge rate is much faster. Hide of Terramorphous is a shield which is generally more useful when managing shield down time against raid bosses rather than quick clearing of normal enemies/farming.

Obtaining it: Hide of Terramorphous is a rare drop from Terramorphous the Invincible. Good luck.

Legendary Hunter: The legendary hunter class mod tends to be a choice one with cooldown based melee Zeroes. It doesn't add all the damage that Ninja mods may, but Deception/Execution does more damage anyways, so it is preferred for raid bosses rather than normal play. All of its features go well with virtually any aspect of a melee Zero you would want to build.

Obtaining it: This will be one of the more difficult pieces to get, because it can appear anywhere with a low rate of dropping. The best chance of finding it is by defeating Vermivorous the Invincible, which may also be tough to get to spawn.

Might of the Seraphs: This relic is considerably useful with its incomparable bonus to melee damage. Although override cooldown rate isn't applicable to Zero, with Might of the Seraphs being easily accessible, it's definitely worth getting.

Obtaining it: It can be bought by the Seraph Vendor in the Badass Crater of Badassitude map in Torgue's DLC. It costs 50 Seraph crystals, obtained by killing the new raid bosses. The values of the item change, so it's wise not to buy the first one you see.

Law: This pistol is one of the main weapons used by melee Zeroes in the past and is still worth considering because of the fact it isn't cursed like the Rapier is. It has reliable bullet damage and +100% bayonet attachment, making it a solid choice for dealing bonus melee damage.

Obtaining it: The Law pistol can be found one of two ways:

1.) Completing the "Won't Get Fooled Again" mission in Sanctuary. It's hard to miss, because there will be a group of people standing around with Marshall Friedman around them.


2.) Farming the Sheriff of Lynchwood for the drop.

Order: This is the shield used in one of the most common Zero gear combos: Law and Order. When using them together, Order recovers life on hit. Without Law, Order is a standard roid shield.

Obtaining it: Order is a quest reward from the mission BFFs located in Sanctuary. You'll see four NPCs located next to Marshall Friedman standing at the bottom of the town. You'll have to determine which one is the actual thief.

The actual thief is Jim, but regardless of who you kill, you'll still receive Order as the quest reward.

Rapier: This is the highest damaging melee weapon for Zero. It doubles Law's ability to deal melee damage, but it is balanced out by Curse of the Porcelain Fist which causes increased melee damage. For Deception and occasionally for boss kills the Rapier is the go-to choice for high damage. It could also be alternated with Law, using Rapier during Deception only or with Rubi, using Rubi to recover HP during tough fights and Rapier for the kill. The slag version is typically part of the Zero meta-game, but if you don't plan on firing many shots, it really doesn't matter.

Obtaining it: Rapier is a quest reward from the mission Message in a Bottle (Hayter's Folly). The treasure is located behind a false wall where the objective beacon is. Once you get to the objective beacon, go behind the waterfall and you'll notice a bottle near the ground. Examine the bottle and it'll open up a passageway to get to the treasure.

Links (MZG10)

Love Thumper Max Damage Zero Gameplay Video

Hybrid Cunning/Bloodshed Style Zero Gameplay Video

(The Original) Melee Zero Terramorphus Kill

Melee Only Zero Boss Rush

pokapoka's Melee Jackenstine Kill

Longbow Zer0: Melee and Sniping UVHM Build

Edit History (MZG11)

9/26/12: First posted

9/27/12: Major reformatting with additional information and video added.

9/28/12: Some clarification changes, melee Zero definition and gun disclaimer added. Also added information about dealing with Vehicles and Shock/Fire Nomads in the Enemies section.

9/29/12: Added Builds Section, formatting updates and new Hybrid video added

9/30/12: Added Melee Zero Terramorphus Kill video

10/3/12: Renamed Tanking section and soon to complete it with information

10/11/12: Added Illgr1n's Melee Warrior Kill video

12/28/12: Added Melee Only Zero Boss Rush video

1/22/13: Added Section MZG7: Finding Melee Zero Relevant Gear Pieces

1/24/13: Added Section MZG6-3: Why Zero Isn't Meant For Tanking and Tanking Alternatives, added additional tips in to sections MZG4/MZG4-1

2/21/13: Removed Illgr1n's Melee Warrior Kill video and added pokapoka's Melee Jackenstine kill

2/24/13: Added Leveling BAR for Melee Zero section as MZG7 and changed the numbering to the following sections. Corrected all instances of MSG and changed them to MZG.

7/28/13: Added Section MZG6-2U Hybrid Build: Longbow Zer0 and the corresponding video. Also added section MZG6-1B Raid Boss Build: Killing Bosses with Zer0 and edited all the builds in the build section.

7/29/13: Edited Section MZG8: Finding Melee Zero Relevant Gear Pieces to state when to acquire gear and the difference between TVHM and TVHM 2.5.

Last edited by loursnoir; August 7th, 2013 at 01:11 AM. Reason: View Edit History section
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Old September 27th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Thanks for this guide! I skimmed it, but it looks to be full of good information. One thing though is that I hope you would go a bit more in depth for the Bloodshed skills such as viewing their use in a build, if you should use it or not, etc.

Other than that I like this build and plan to read a bit more of it when I get the chance.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Its a nice guide, detailed for sure.

Any videos of how effective some of these type of builds are always appreciated.

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Old September 27th, 2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Good guide - I've been playing a "Jack of all trades" Zer0 with some success, but may try melee focus based on this info. Thanks for posting!
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Old September 27th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Thanks for the guide! Any build suggestions? And any tips while levelling up? I am unsure if I should go Bloodshed right away or respec later.

72 Axton, 72 Slavador, 64 Krieg, 56 Maya, 51 Gaige, 50 Zero
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Old September 27th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Some good tips here for sure. I just started yesterday and ran up to level 10 with a buddy playing Axton. Any tips for using Zero and Axton together? I have been trying to snipe some to soften them up, then flanking the enemies rear when his turret pulls aggro. Deploying my decoy laterally from his turret seems to get the enemies in a kill zone for the turret and allows me to keep flanking and attacking from behind. I have been getting downed quite a bit but they are semi strategic second wind downings.

Running with a crappy sniper and an ok (for the level) shotty, with occasional pistols for backup/ammo conservation/variety. Using quick recharge/low delay shields. Points have been going to Iron Hand, Headshot, and Killing Blow, in that order so far.

What other tips do people have for early game, and playing with one other teammate, (in this case commando)?
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Old September 27th, 2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Some good advice, but I would suggest cleaning it up to be more readable - better spacing, formatting and font/color usage will make it a much easier read.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

Originally Posted by Ricter View Post
Some good advice, but I would suggest cleaning it up to be more readable - better spacing, formatting and font/color usage will make it a much easier read.
Yeah, I realized it needs to be better formatted also, but I wanted to see if the information was useful to anyone before I made it more official.

If it wasn't going to get any positive (or any at all) responses, I didn't want to put in the extra time, lol
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

I just respec'd at level 17 from sniping to bloodshed. I went from having a nearly useless action skill to having a rather effective one. I miss the Bore highlighting the crit locations, but I deal well enough considering Iron Hand is now making my melee do crit level damage anyway.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Guide to playing melee zero

New and improved!
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