A collection of ideas regarding Zane

Now, it would be an understatement to say that Zane is currently in a good spot and my ideas aren’t so much about making Zane stronger in general, but I feel like he could use more overall build variety with some of his skills and gear never getting used.

1: Praemunitus. The overall bonus for 3 points is too small and any less than 3 points won’t even affect most weapons. Suggestion: Increase the bonus per rank to 10% and add a minimum amount of magazine increase per rank. Rank 1 will increase mags by 10% but at least 1 shot, rank 2 by 20% but at least 2 shots etc.

2: Donnybrook. The skill isn’t really noteworthy unless you are running a Seein’ Dead Class mod. The damage is alright but the health regen could be better. The only thing I’d like to see changed here is the regen being based on his maximum health rather than missing health.

3: Duct Tape Mod: Not a big fan of how low the base chance is, it seems like a bit of a skill sink. Also, longbow grenades seem to have poor synergy with this skill, generally not teleporting to where the gun was aiming but instead flying a lot higher and usually missing the target.

4: Like a Ghost. This skill is kind of awkward. The base chance is not worth using so the skill is only really relevant if you just popped both of your action skills. With most Zane builds being based around keeping up your action skills as long as possible it’s sort of counterintuitive. Suggestion:
Buff the base chance to 10% at 3/3. Turn the additional effect into a kill skill that can add another 10%.

5: Trick of the Light: This is not a great skill. Outside of long range sniping and constant swapping with the “Which One’s real?” augment you aren’t really gonna get this to work well. Suggestion: Change the skill to provide bonus cryo on the next mag after swapping places with your clone.

6: Cold Bore. Not a particularily good skill. Unless you are using mostly heavy weapons, weapon swap speed is not a very relevant stat. Maybe if the cryo bonus was either larger or counted for more than one shot?

7: Good Misfortune. Has become a rather good skill since the Seein’ Dead COM was introduced. Apparently the diminishing returns aren’t working properly, though.

8: Seein’ Red. One of Zane’s cornerstones but utterly outperformed by a class mod. The issue here is that 90% of the time, it is more common for Zane to kill an enemy than to activate an action skill, meaning that outside of boss fights, the effect is actually rather neglectable. Potential fixes: a) All kill skills gain increased effect and duration (I’d strip the bonus effect right off the Seein’ Dead COM, it really doesn’t need it). b) Kill skills are also activated whenever one of Zane’s action skills ends (might still not be enough because, well, duration). c) For each active action skill Zane has a 5% chance of activating all of his kill skills when dealing gun damage (the main concern here would be whether this would be too strong when stacked with Seein’ Dead)

9: Brain Freeze. Nothing about the skill itself I’d like to change but I would like to swap it with either Adrenaline or Ready for Action, simply so not all of the first tier in the green tree is shield related.

10: Calm. Cool. Collected. Truth be told, this skill has historically been a bit of a troublemaker. Combined with a Rough Rider shield to circumvent the shield recharge condition and a barrier to keep Zane’s health topped off, CCC has for a long time made every single action skill cooldown or duration related ability completely obsolete. Recently it has lost a bit of relevancy due to the combination of Seein’ Dead and Good Misfortune being just as good as sustaining the action skill but if either were to be nerfed it might rise to dominance again. I’d suggest buffing the shield and health regen aspects of the skill whilst at the same time reducing the duration bonus to 50% and the cooldown to 25%.

11: Nerves of Steel. Has got to be one of Zane’s worst skills. Accuracy and handling are not directly related to damage and the way they are accumulated just doesn’t work well. Suggestion for a rework: Zane gains increased accuracy and handling based on the amount of shield he has. The fuller his shield, the greater the bonus. Per rank you gain a max value of 20% each.

12: Distributed denial. It’s just not a very effective skill. I have to be honest, I don’t really know how to fix that one. The issue is, a majority of shield effects are based on capacity, something the barrier doesn’t have.


1, 2, 3: All the Augments on the left side of Zane’s Green tree. They don’t work when the shield is picked up but that’s how most people use the barrier. I get the idea of Zane’s barrier in multiplayer being some kind of anchor point around which the team can gather but fact of the matter is, a lot of people play on their own and they prefer being invincible over having a little buff barrier standing around, looking pretty. Just slightly decrease the bonus effects when picked up but make them able to be picked up.

4: Bad Dose. It’s alright but the radiation damage doesn’t seem to scale properly, causing the drone to deal 2 or 3 points of rad damage per tick on max level. The bonus effects are also somewhat meh if you don’t hit a lot of enemies at a time with it.

5: Static field: Just needs to be stronger, particularily on Mayhem.

6: Almighty Ordnance. Never seen someone use that skill, honestly. I suspect that the damage simply doesn’t keep up. Then there’s also the issue with Zane being all about keeping your action skills up as long as possible and this augment only being usable once.

7: Binary System: Not bad but the damage is very lackluster on M4.

8: Which One’s Real? 4 seconds just isn’t really all that long, the effect is hardly noticable.

9: Doppelbanger: Eh… The damage doesn’t really keep up with mayhem health. I guess you can use it if you’re trying to get some more use out of ASE anoints but if you are running the clone, you are probably better off keeping it alive to get more out of your synchronicity (and mind you, you’ll need 15 points in the doubled agent tree to even unlock it, at which point you probably have a few boosts for the clone in there anyways).

That’s Zane’s kit for the time being, so let’s take a quick look at his Class Mods.

Executor: Is pretty good honestly (and depending on if and how seein’ red gets changed, might get even better). However I would like to see how high the bonuses are on the actual item card.

Antifreeze: A weird COM to say the least. I’ve heard it can potentially be pretty good but it’s also a bit of a meme in how it makes you slide all over the place. My main gripe with it is that it is a complete pain to get, having to complete a trial or playing the Takedown on M4 for even a chance at getting one is both difficult and takes quite a while. I’d also like to add an effect that allows Zane to shoot whilst sprinting, like Moze’s Rushin Offensive

Infiltrator: Not bad but also kind of odd. I’d like some more specific numbers on the item cards as to how much damage you actually get. It would probably be better if it boosted Violent Momentum rather than Like a Ghost but that would make it overlap with the Antifreeze in terms of boosted skills.

Cold Warrior: Not good. Some people like it because it boosts synchronicity which is alright but the primary effect on the COM is pretty poor and neither Ready for Action nor Trick of the Light are that great. My suggestion: Replace those two with Brain Freeze and Refreshment to make it his true cryo COM. Change the primary effect to essentially mirror the Icebreaker artifact, allowing him to deal more damage against frozen targets and increase his cryo efficiency.

Shockerator: One of Zane’s two worst Class Mods. Neither the effect is good, nor the boosted skills. I like the idea of granting a free augment but I’m afraid it doesn’t work well. My idea: Every time Zane swaps places with his clone, an electrical coil is placed where the clone was, dealing 3000 (at level 53) shock damage per second to nearby enemies. If more than one coil is on the field, all coils are connected with an electric fence that damages and staggers enemies that touch it (think Deterrence field). Additionally, the next shot after swapping with the clone will deal 200% bonus shock damage.
Skills boosted: Trick of the Light, Donnybrook, Praemunitus (if those are changed as suggested, that is)

Techspert: Just as bad if not even worse than the Shockerator. The main effect is undertuned and the skill boosts don’t provide any synergy and don’t make sense in the context of this being the only COM that affects SNTNL. I think this would be where the idea of granting an extra augment actually could work. I’ve found the Boomsday augment to allow the drone to deal quite acceptable damage, even on Mayhem, but many people prefer the utility from Winter’s Drone and Bad Dose. Thus: Grants the Boomsday Augment. Also, I feel like the activation chance of the cooldown/duration reset needs to either have its chance increased (if it remains a “on kill” effect) or changed to have a chance to activate upon dealing gun damage.
Skills Boosted: Salvation, Death Follows Close (can only boost by 1), Synchronicity.

Seein’ Dead: Pretty much the best COM in the game, arguably even too good as it makes one of Zane’s cornerstones completely obsolete. I don’t really like nerfing stuff but in this case it seems to be justified. I’d suggest: Activation chance: Reduced to 5% (currently 8%). No longer increases kill skill effect by 25%. This should still leave the COM plenty powerful but it won’t be the ultimate best-in-slot anymore and allow other class mods that were buffed accordingly to compete a little.

The problem is to make use of the RR you have multiple skills you have to invest in that wont matter due to how the RR works. Honestly the RR should count as broken/empty not full and then you could combo it with Infiltrator for some really cool builds there. This would help them make more builds viable which is their goal to not have 1 meta for each VH.

CCC resets needs to work with Seein Red which would also make the executor much more viable. Especially in multi player Where I can easily freeze something but may not always get the kill.

This 100% Static Field is visually obnoxious especially in split.

No nerfs though even to seein dead buff the others to the same level of coolness. My guess is that one VH will have a new BiS com with each DLC. Seein Dead drives a lot of sales for the DLC for people who want to hold off due to GBX business practices.

That’s why I would like to move Brainfreeze into the first tier. You still wouldn’t be able to completely skip all shield-related skills (as in those that don’t work with the RR. Like, Rise to the occasion works perfectly well with it) but you would only have to put 2 points overall into them.

Its been 5 months since launch and people have been suggesting very creative changes to zanes mods since then. I dont think GB is going to change them anymore.

For augments I think there might be a small chance for slight adjustmends.

You never know. At least there’s no harm in suggesting some changes. Besides, with Seein’ Dead basically outshining all of Zane’s other mods as well as a cornerstone they might feel like they have to do something.

I have a lot of replies… so commenting to edit this comment later

Now I’m scared for my poor, little thread

yes be afraid

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Trick of the Light is amazing. That’s my input.

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2: There’s really nothing wrong with donnybrook, the healing is strong, a lot of health regen is based on missing health and this is fine. Zane also has multiple other lifesteal and health regen skills.

7: Good Misfortune. I’ve said this in a zane buff thread right before seein dead came out. This skill is redundant to ccc, boomsday, and techspert. And the majority of people just use the best version of this effect. That’s why everyone played ccc before and they play good misfortune now. Also the diminishing return works fine, but the skill always has to give you something, it doesn’t diminish to 0. I think the seein dead and gm interaction was completely intended based on what they said about zane on the borderlands show, buffing him.

8: Seein’ Red. This skill is actually still going to be good when they introduce new class mods (as long as they’re good enough to not play seein dead). However it is even slightly underpowered as a cap stone and we’ve complained about this before as well. I actually really like your buff of kill skills on activation and ase. That’s a reall good one. I would also like to see the 25% buff removed from seein dead and added to seein red. It wouldn’t change many seein dead builds, except now they’ll take the capstone. And it would actually buff non seein dead builds. Seein deads effect should stay exclusive to it though.

9: There is almost no reason to change green tree around, I’m basically gonna address all your green tree grievances in one point. The entire tree is based on shields being full, stop trying to play a depleted shield with it. Brain freeze is one of Zane’s top skills. It’s not a tier 1 skill. Even if you swap stuff around you still waste the same amount of points running rough rider and ccc. It’s not a good combo for that reason. It’s also notable that the infiltrator has 0 synergy with this tree at all. In fact if one skill could get moved around it could be rise to the occasion added to the first row so that you can at least get the skill and play infiltrator.

10: Calm. Cool. Collected. Nothing about this skill needs changed. It is a phenomenal skill. Once again it’s bad design to create 4 separate things that all aim to keep your action skills up, people are going to use the best ones.


4: Bad Dose. This isn’t supposed to be a damaging skill. I believe the rad effect is simply for the system to track who’s effected. However I do agree this skill isn’t that great. It’s supposed to debuff enemies and buff you but it does both of those things extremely minimally. And they should either just buff the values, or change this a bit to do something else.

5: Static field: This skill does exactly what it should do.

6: Almighty Ordnance. Easy fix, make this a kill skill you have a % to be able to activate again. I’ve also said in the past I’d really like to see the rockets removed, and your grenade mod added instead.

7: Binary System: This skill also does what it’s supposed to do. I think shockerators effect should just be added to this and scrap shockerator.

8: Which One’s Real? The effect is hardly noticeable because this thing has a very small radius that barely effects larger enemies.

9: Doppelbanger: This is also a great skill. I think if a large knockback were added it would be fine.

Antifreeze: This com adds the best damage. There’s just no reason to play it. Like you said if seein red were changed it would be much better. I think if seein red were changed like I mentioned above people could play other class mods. I do think this also needs either full cryo immunity, or a larger buff to actually make up for how much cryo slows you. Becaue it slows you by more than 25% and it’s just laughable on so many levels…

Infiltrator: This does boost violent momentum. If this had damage reduction or health regen based on how low your health was it could be better.

Shockerator: We need a true clone com. The effect you mentioned just won’t do anything for the simple fact that a straight up damage value is never going to be good. It’ll be overpowered at low levels or underpowered at high levels and there’s never an in between. We need a real clone class mod that empowers the clone.

Techspert: Just give up on techspert.

Seein’ Dead: I think this is exactly fine how it is. The only reason this class mod is ‘so good’ is because it’s his only actual piece of good gear. The only way to ‘rebalance’ this with zane’s skill tree is remove the 25% and put it onto seein red. The overall effectiveness should not be nerfed, it should be rebalanced so you still get the same stuff as before, you just have to drop a point in seein red, but now other class mods get value.

Edit: We’ve kind of already gone through these ideas in depth already. The fact is they are not going to rework or change things. Any fixes need to just be simple and logical.


The amount of points was a brain fart on my end. But considering that zero shield CCC actually was one of Zanes main builds before the Antifreeze and Seein’ Dead were introduced, I don’t think it can be dismissed as easily. The mere fact that you permanently get the full health regen from Rise to the Occasion and the easier activation for CCC was enough to make this one of his better builds. At level 50 you still have enough points to go full on violent speed and violent momentum, take some of Zane’s better kill skills and get all the way up to Seein’ Red. Or alternatively ditch Seein’ Red and instead got 5 points in synchronicity.

Not questioning that. I question if it does it well enough to be worth your while.

Well… I don’t think straightaway removing or giving up on gear counts as an option.

I meant to say Violent Speed. I keep on confusing the two, both are in the first tier of blue, both are about violence and both have a bunny on it.

Gotta agree on that.

It’s not like Gearbox cares about that. I dunno if you started Borderlands with Bl3 but Bl2 had this little skill called Cloud Kill…

No! It’s my ugly little baby and I want it to be usable!

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Lol the ending gave me a chuckle.

The fact is ccc + rr was a combo popularized by authorities in the game but it wasted big points and lost out on damage. The benefit of rise to the occasion isn’t actually even a real argument imo. It’s 5% per second, and if you need health you likely don’t have shield in that moment anyway. I’ve found it really useful as DoT prevention personally. The main benefit is not having to have a full shield to proc ccc, however if you build with a couple points in borrowed time and run a low capacity + fast recharging shield, and use the skill ready for action which enables this… You see where I’m going. Even if you disagree and disregard all of that, just because you find one cool combo with one skill, you shouldn’t completely change that tree to enable that combo… especially when changing the tree does nothing for that combo, no matter what you move around you actually have to waste the same amount of points to get down to ccc… go on bl3skills and build the tree lol.

Static field is currently the best augment on the drone. I think it does perfectly fine to be honest with you, I have grievances with literally every other drone augment personally.

I know we can’t scrap shockerator I’m kind of exaggerating that both shockerator and that augment are underwhelming lol.

I think with infiltrator and like a ghost, the point is to keep aggro off of you, it’s just done badly since that skill is terrible. You likely want an infiltrator with 5 points in VM anyway…

Listen just because cloud kill was a thing doesn’t mean it should come back… as the very first augment in a skill tree lol.

Skill tree? One of us lost the context there. Iirc you originally said that about my idea for the Shockerator, stating that anything damage based would either be dreadful in the endgame or overpowered early on. But yeah, there is a bit of a general issue where if anything, they would have to introduce additional scaling for any damage ability in Mayhem.

In that case I might be using the wrong gear. I can’t really picture it being useful on anything but either amp or super low capacity shields (or if you are gonna work with a low level stop-gap, that might be a thing)

Oh yah you’re right, I was thinking about the first clone augment again it’s also on shockerator lol.

In general it’s good, it’s good with a lvl 50 stop gap, and it’s good in the ccc build to help restore shields. It’s honestly a good augment.

I miss Mayhem 3 with my Shockerator and Frozen Heart for mobs and Infiltrator Messy Breakup for bosses.

I liked Shockerator a lot

zane is not in a good place it is just one com and buffed annointed damages things that are outside of character’s core actually.

it is like oh you have barrier out? here have insane crit , have sntnl out have bonus cryo (bonus elemental damages by far outdo flat dmg buffs since they spawn entire extra set of projectiles) u have seein dead? all the conditions are now removed.

zane is actually no better than he used to be when everyone was pissed, funny they did not change a thing about character but now he is good. this is what game is reduced to give someone all reward no sweat items and everyone is happy, who would want to recode the whole damn character right.

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Well… For instance there was the time when they made it so a number of his kill skills could stack twice.
And the time when they made his Quick Breather skill heal his clone (admittedly, not without first accidentially breaking the skill entirely and having to fix it in a later patch).

By just looking at the name I’d would suggest either
A) get accuracy and handling for every enemy targeting Zane stacking up to X
B) get Accuracy and handling for 5 second everytime you or your barrier are hit stacking up to X

Exactly, Nerves of Steel should be renamed Nervous Nellie in respect to the actual skills conditions.