A truly Zaney question, How do you play him?

I am somewhere in the mid 20 now with him, having fun and all but was thinking am I playing him wrong.

Side note I am only playing solo with him since my siren and moze I use for playing with buddies.

So I am doing the green tree and the barrier and also the perk that heals when you are near it.

Tried the clone and also drone but just can’t give up that nade and leave that open.

Am I robbing my self ? Does that drone get better as you go deeper ? The clone ?

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No, it’s your game and your build, you should play however you feel most comfortable with.

That said there are three passives to allow grenades being trown by the pets/gun, except for Duct Tape whose usefulness is arguable, the other two use grenades fairly often.

There can be only oooone truuuueee buiiiiild!

Seriously though, redknight0045 hit it on the head: you do you.

I’m playing two: one a Tediore allegiance with a build based around the clone, and the other is a Dahl allegiance with a build based around the drone (both have the barrier). I’m sure I’m nowhere near the top end of his builds, but he’s been a hoot so far.

Here is one of many builds that I use. If you don’t yet have a Maggie you can replace it with any masher Jackobs pistol until you get one. If you are not into pistols then any high fire rate weapon where you can control the recoil to consistently land crits will also work.

Here are some suggested modifications to the build given that you are currently in the mid 20s. Stay in the green tree then move to Double Agent then finish with Hitman. Don’t bother with the capstone in Undercover until you get a shield that drops boosters. If your shield has decent capacity forgo Hearty Stock and spec into Ready for Action instead. Take the points from Best Served Cold and Futility Belt and use them to max out Ready for Action.


5/5 Synchronicity, 5/5 Donnybrook
5/5 Rise to the Occasion, 1/1 Confident Confidence
Rest in Hitman.

Abusing Playing Dirty, Cold Bore, Overkill.
4200 one pump w/ 50% cryo bonus while terrified then swap to 3800 one pump w/ extra projectile while terrified.

Grenade has terror on action skill end. Rotate Clone and Barrier to always have terror.

Ward shield has health Regen while terrified. 2/4 % health Regen from ward shield + 5% health Regen from Rise to the occasion. 2/4/8% health Regen while terrified. Up to 17% health regen.

I walk through TVHM M3 with ease, 1-2 shotting most enemies. Only concern are bad modifiers, then I just adjust weapons accordingly.

clone and drone.
use clone to activate kill skills mainly and aim for annointments where i get 50% cryo damage when sntl is active and have an infiltrator mod that gives extra points in good misfortune to extend the drones time out upon kill.
i love dahl weapons so am trying to get bonuses to that on my gear and of course am using duct tape mod for mirv hex abuse.

not meta at all, but as has been said, i have just found what works for me and how i like to play. it will never be a quick boss killer or solo runner in m3 shaft but hey ho :blush:

i like this attitude.


Clone could be the best pet in game or useless if you don’t feed it. Won’t matter for a while, you’ll be close to endgame before the clone shines. That barrier you use could be the other strongest pet in game but the tree doesn’t gel well with a lot of gear and the only REAL damage boost is when you shoot through the shield. This works best with slower hard hitting weapons line the scourge. There are awesome purple weapons till you get legos.

I’ve had a great time playing as Zane even though I had planned on playing Fl4k first! I have a level 12 Fl4k and a newly level 50 Zane. I’ve enjoyed Zane though and haven’t been disappointed even though I think I will like Fl4k better most likely! I’ve been playing around with different builds with Zane and really my lack of good gear is the only thing holding me back! I’ve ran a barrier/clone and the sntnl/clone and I’ve enjoyed both! I haven’t felt underpowered ever although I am just running mayhem 1 for now. I’d like to farm some better gear and respec into a variation of a cryo build but I’m just having fun testing different builds out right now. I mean no doubt I can optimize my build and gear to get better results, but as of right now I’m running through everything pretty easily! Although my next step is to get Fl4k leveled up and compare the differences! My fiance is playing Moze and even with her build being a complete mess she is hanging in there and sometimes out damaging me for sure! I like Zane, even though I expected to play Fl4k but I don’t regret going with Zane, although I hope I don’t run into problems in mayhem 3 and beyond! I mean I feel like my build right now is balanced and not great at any one thing, I can put out good damage and survive with the utility but its hats for me to really gauge his strength until I get Fl4k level 50 and can really see the differences. From what I’ve read it seems that a Zane cryo build is most popular and it would be nice to have more visible options considering he is the one class that seems like he should have the most options! Mayhem 1 has been a breeze but I know moving up to 2 and 3 will be a challenge unless I respec and get better gear! But either way I’ve had a blast playing and some minor bugs would ne nice just to scale better in the harder difficulties!

I’m still learning though! I knew bl2 like the back of my hand but I’m still learning more about 3 and how I can get the most out of Zane!


Playing dirty is his best skill and I think the one thing he can do better than any other VH is utilizing high damage, single shot projectile weapons.


It’s especially Dirty if you can get a COM to boost it to 8 points! #OperativeLyfe

That and combining it with the extra projectile Terror anoint… so many pellets! :smiley:

I’m surprised at how much Playing Dirty is favored over Violent Violence. Violent Violence guarantees a sustained fire rate buff for 8 seconds, where Playing Dirty is a chance at an extra bullet for only the next five shots. Are those extra bullets free? Like if not, it’s just a one-time, brief burst in fire rate?

Are you using them with a specific piece of gear where a free double shot is better than a high fire rate? I’m playing with Dahl and Atlas weapons only on my two Zanes, but maybe you’re rocking a One Pump Chump or some other Jakobs thing with one chamber?


I tend to switch back and forth between Playing Dirty and Violent Violence. Playing Dirty is VERY useful on Jakobs Snipers, especially with Cold Bore. also Mashers and the Maggie never turn down extra pellets to help proc CCC - which can be said of many other weapons. Shotguns love more pellets as well, especially ones like the Brainstormer and now the Fearmonger.

I’m sure there’s math somewhere as to which one is definitively better but I’m reminded of a skill that Axton had in BL2 that not only increases fire rate, but also reduces recoil.

I’m not sure if it’s the same in BL3 but higher fire rate can lead to worse recoil. If that’s true then getting more pellets on target with Playing Dirty might be better overall… maybe?

Plus, Zane’s Playing Dirty is unique to Zane so … it’s just so neat! :smiley:

I’ve been having fun playing with Zane. Currently level 33 and on Nekratefeyo for first play through.
I use Barrier and Clone. I was not sure if I would miss the grenades or not, but my Clone seems to do a nice job tossing them almost where I would throw them. My Clone also seems to have better aim than me LoL.

I see most people like using the Hit Man tree. I personally haven’t used anything there yet and I am having fun. What I will do is after I finish NVHM, I will re-evaluate everything and respecc, like I did with my FL4K and Amara.

Pretty much anything works in NVHM. That will change with TVHM and Mayhem modes.

But no matter the meta, I pretty much do things my way.
I play the game for fun and believe that is what you want to do too.

In addition to farming I also recommend the trading post channel (what do you call subreddits in the forums?) for your platform. The trading posts are probably the best way to get specific items with specific stats and anointments. But farming is also fun and so is just working with what you have.

Don’t do this. It will break your heart :broken_heart:. Plus I’ve already done it for you :grin:. Just so we are clear, the “don’t do it” bit is referring to comparing Fl4k to Zane so by all means level up your Fl4k.


I find that I don’t need the extra pellets to proc CCC with the mashers and especially the Maggie. I also discovered that Donnybrook is better for Maggie than Playing Dirty. If you can get both then sweeet! But if you are using a multi-pellet weapon and you have to choose one over the other then Donnybrook yields higher DPS.

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Barrier and SNTL, L50, TVHM, Mayhem 1. Can push higher, but just being a bit lazy with my build. Random assortment of Legendaries, most from the past week in Mayhem 1.

Main perks are shield drain on Barrier and grenade drop from SNTL (I swap between that amazing Trans-Fusion grenade - is that BH-exclusive? - and at the moment that red text blue grenade with the Cyro). Add to that a +health on melee Artifact and I drop Barrier, pick it up, wallop the hard targets, then as Barrier is ending launch SNTL. I have the usual skills (Brainfreeze, Playing Dirty, etc).

Guarantees enough sustain to not go down, unless in the open and caught by multiple Evil Eye / Badass shots. Could probably have an easier time with clone instead of SNTL, might respect to head into M2 and higher.

I don’t know if “easier” is the word I would use to describe the clone. I have a love/hate relationship with the clone.

I love the clone because it has the best raw dmg anointments (130% increase on swap) which synergizes nicely with the 20% dmg increase from Double Barrel.

The hate part is how tedious it is to manage/position the clone, especially if you actually want it to shoot something because you need to put it in a crowd where it then gets destroyed by badasses (think Slaughter Shaft). And it’s just plain tedious (for me) trying to not have the clone fall behind as I try to move up and through a map.

GBX has said that in a future update the durability of the clone (actually they said all pets in general) should be significantly improved but that doesn’t change the tedious nature of managing/moving the clone up as I move through a map. And before you say it, I am aware of the Dopplebanger augment but it’s still tedious because a) it takes time for the clone to self destruct and b) the cool down is not instant.

I think the clone calls for a more conservative/methodical play style, which is a totally legitimate play style. But I enjoy the run/gun play style more. Maybe as I continue to age and arthritis becomes a thing I’ll appreciate the clone more. :grin:

It is my style to use SNTL and CLONE to target battlefields at maximum speed. It offers a more pure fps fun and makes the player feel his own skills. It is a way to use tactics rather than build.
And there are no tasks in the bl3 that, if fully trained, could not be done in this way.

Today I finally began turning my Zane into my latest Four Shotguns of The Apocalypse. I have two Splattergun Artifacts, one Ice Breaker and one Mind Melt. I take the mind melt for places with lots of ledges, and the ice Breaker otherwise.

So icebreaker is main, technically. I have a Frozen Heart. And a Cryo Hunter Seaker grenade. Clone and Drone. And four shot guns (this playstyle is probably dead in the water at slaughter shaft, oh well!). Hellwalker. Mind Killer. Phebert (cryo) and whatever 4th works for the situation. I give the clone the Phebert. And take the Hellwalker on slides to fire. When there’s a line of enemies, I switch to the Mind Killer. Slide and fire. With Zane’s speed boosts and speed damage boosts, it all adds up to big bursts :slight_smile:

i have seen so many comparisons.
have a level 50 fl4k and an upcoming siren that both show that they can take down bosses of in amaras case, mobs much quicker than zane.

is zane more fun and engaging though - ■■■■ yes.

comparison over!