Anyone using the clone/drone combo...what are your deployment tactics?

I’ve been slowly trying out all four characters (started playing the game late), and I’m getting Zane close to endgame when I can start mayhem levels. I did put a few points into the defensive skills of the Barrier tree, but I’m trying to focus more on using a mix of the clone and drone.

Just wondering whether you have any tips on getting efficient use out of them in combat. Do you deploy one of them first and hold the other briefly, or spam them whenever the CD finishes?

With the clone, do you try to place it for a strategic advantage, with some cover in case you need to swap?

It’s a really interesting class with all those gadget options. So different from the other two I’ve used extensively, Moze and Amara.

Absolutely - I love doing this. I’ll drop the clone behind a corner or wall before engaging a mob, run out into the middle of the fight like a maniac until I’m just on the other side of the mob, then switch places. The mob will swarm the clone and as they switch cover, I’ll lay into their backs/flanks.

I’ve found that Which One’s Real has a cooldown that’s not too far off from the position swap cooldown, so hopping around the mob constantly is surprisingly fun (and I’ve got a couple weapons with “on swap” anointments).

The clone just sort of does its own thing, so I fire them both at the same time to maximize Synchronicity and Borrowed Time. Sometimes I point the drone at a specific enemy, but I’m mostly jockeying around the clone.

I’ll also use the clone to let me get to a rooftop with an engaged mob. First: get to the rooftop of your choice with a good look at a location where a mob will be. Throw the clone and run down to wake/spawn them, then swap back: you’re on the roof, and the mob is out. It’s an issue that plagues long-distance snipers where enemies might not even spawn given how far away you are; you have to get down there to get them going (not necessarily aggro, just spawned), and then get back to your perch. The clone makes this a snap.

I also occasionally abuse Doppelbanger to throw the clone like a bomb (and this gives Zane a lousy but functional repeatable Action Skill Start/End trigger for anointments).

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Nice…some great tips here. I’ve been wanting to do more sniping but found it so hard to do when I’m getting swarmed. Using some of that verticality should really help.

I use the dopplebanger as well, for exactly the same reasons you describe. I remember playing as Axton in B2 and always loved that I could cancel out his turret and get time back on the cooldown (I also did this a lot with Moze when I was leveling her).

If I give the clone a sniper, is it pretty accurate? Never sure what to spawn it with, but I’ve been leaning hard on anything that strips shields, since this helps me out.

I generally like to use the Drone first because you can activate it whereever and whenever you want, i.e. mid-air when dropping into a boss arena. It also seems like there’s a shorter delay until you can spawn your clone after activating your Drone than the other way around.

The Clone I usually like to place pretty much in the middle of an engagement, right into the enemies face at which point I then usually try to flank around the group or retreat back a bit.

I mostly use the swap for one of two things:

1: Healing up the Clone with Quick Breather
2: Escaping situations where I am getting surrounded or rushed down

There’s a number of good weapons for the Clone. He’s fairly accurate with snipers (and does actively try to aim for crits), however since he doesn’t have recoil compensation and immediately stops shooting when he gets off-target, his rate of fire can suffer a bit.

The Clone is best with weapons that either have little to no recoil or weapons like the Hellwalker that reload after every shot anyways. On the other hand you might want to give him weapons that do great damage but wouldn’t normally be considered ammo efficient, like the Sandhawk.

The Clone is also solid with Rocket Launchers in general, but in that case you need to be careful that he doesn’t get rushed, otherwise he might kill himself with his own splash (or just use a shock weapon with a Transformer because the Clone doesn’t get bonus elements, anyways).

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Like others, I deploy Drone first, it gets things going and it also has more survivability, so get it flying early. It also disrupts shields, so Clone and my fire will be more effective.
I usually run forward, deploy Clone, then run away. Clone will pick up a lot of aggro that way and do damage, while I strategically shoot from the sidelines.
This is very effective with bosses generally. Wotan, for example, I dash forward up to the shield gap, put the drone there, and run away to the towers. Clone does a decent amount of damage to Wo, but more importantly takes the aggro while I shoot for the kill from a distance.
I swap for two reasons;

  • I’m getting my butt kicked, stick the clone in here!
  • Laddering forward. If I’m going through a corridor-like area (Nekrotafeyo, Maliwan takedown, etc.) I’ll make a bunch of forward progress either by fighting or just running, then swap with Clone. It starts killing things and I once again run to catch up. Always want Clone up front.

As for clone weapons, I tend to give him high fire rate over accuracy and individual slug damage. Currently he gets the appropriate element Light Show and does a hugh amount of damage with that, including many crits.

As for sniping, I don’t use snipers in BL3. I was all Sniper in BL2, Lyudas and Pimpernels. But I just can’t (even after a few thousands hours) snipe weill in BL3. Can’t really put my finger on the reasons, but some are;

  • Enemies move more than in 2. Enemy movement during combat is much more like BL1, lots of little movement that keeps your aim off crit spots.
  • Recoil. Snipers in BL3 feel like (haven’t done complete testing) they kick more, leaving the follow up shot harder to place. A Lyuda in BL2 was laser-like, you could splat 3-5 shots in a row on crit spots. BL3 not so much.
  • Maliwan capacitor charging times. I’d love to use Maliwan snipers. But the capacitor charge just destroys my play style.
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That’s been a thing since BL1 I suppose - local mobs seem to have a proximity spawn trigger, so you need to at least trip that so they come out, and then get back to a safe spot. Zane’s Clone transport makes this easy… everyone else has to run back to their hidey hole on foot. That said, these mobs also seem to have a combat trigger, so you only need to spawn one enemy before returning to your campsite; once you engage that one, the rest should come out.

FL4K’s stealth is good for this because you can zip through an encampment invisibly, which will spawn the locals without them seeing you while you get yourself into position.

General complaints about sniping in the game are not unfounded, but complaints that sniping does not work are similarly unfounded.

I haven’t found the Clone to do well with snipers if only because it doesn’t seem to aim for headshots. It doesn’t, however, suffer from ammo consumption, so it can unload some Vladof thing as long as you can keep it up (though that’s just a fancy AR at that point). The Clone also uses the default element/mode on weapons, so keep that in mind when selecting a weapon to give it. It won’t track with Atlas guns, it will use the first listed element on a Maliwan weapon, it won’t use the alt fire on a Vladof gun, etc.

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This. :+1:

With the clone in the thick of it

can have a lot of effect in close range. Actually, the Hellwalker is my current weapon of choice for the clone.

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I didn’t use zane much, even though I enjoyed his fast playstyle the most. To keep his bonuses going I would activate one skill first, then keep the other one in reserve to try and make sure the cooldowns will overlap and I always have an action skill going.

Sometimes I activate the clone outside of combat so I can escape if I need to, if you use the clone its a good idea to get the cryo nova skill.
I used that to strategially flash around slowing enemies down to setup aoe.

I’ve been using the augments on the clone which allow it to strip shields and debuff, hoping that i can give it a short window to start softening the mob, then deploy the clone and start the whole duck and weave thing with swapping back and forth.

I really enjoy the thought process that goes into each fight, as you figure out the best placement for yourself and the clone, as opposed to FL4K, where I was basically just dropping the gamma skag into a mob, and using his taunt to get some time for whittling away the crowd. A ton of fun, for sure, but I never feel as engaged in the flow of each skirmish (as I do with the clone drone combo)

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Something I dont’t see mentioned is that one of the most useful aspects of the drone is the little targetting icon that appears over the enemy your drone is stuck to.

This icon allows you to keep track of a specific target when things devolve into chaos and also hovers very close to an enemy’s crit spot. A lot of times I am able to continue landing crits by simply aiming at the icon even when literally everything around me is exploding and my target isn’t even visible. It’s also great for scalping enemies that are crouching behind cover! Haha

Unfortunately, the drone has a limited range when trying to assign it to a specific target. I like to snipe as well with Zane (I build him like I used to play my Mordecai in BL1 with drone subbing in for Bloodwing) so if a target is too far away for the drone to attack you can drop a clone, rush in to stick drone, then clone swap back to safety.

I deploy the drone first as it really ramps up your speed and you get the health regen. Once you fill out the tree just give the clone a sand hawk and let it destroy everything (I suppose the OPQ is still good though I’ve stopped using it now that it’s 8 levels underleveled). Someone said the clone isn’t good with snipers–I only give him the sand hawk and it destroys everything–bosses like Traunt literally take 2 seconds on MH 10.

The only negatives for the clone is that it does not get the anointment benefits (so for example, I don’t use the sand hawk myself–I just give it to my clone so I don’t care if it’s a generic, Zane, Moze, etc. version–I just want the highest damage output) and it won’t target certain enemies (will not attach Psychoreaver it it’s second phase and does not appear to attack the upper half of Wotan when it separates in its final phase).