This build is a bit of an experimental overlap type, it isn’t going to be specced around any singular weapon/weapon type and like my builds with Maya and Krieg, I generally try to leave room for some developmental flexibility. It is an OP8 build, so heavy endgame content focus and unlike my other builds, the equipment DOES have a focus on gun parts, so if that is too time/effort heavy for you, I can say now this probably isn’t the build for you.
In the advent of the community patch, some of this is probably going to only suit to console players in some regards, but I did develop a close enough match for the layout for PC players.
This branch will mainly be for critical/damage support, as well as improving accuracy for those on console.
Headsh0t: A flat 20% boost to all critical damage at 5/5, it seems pithy but combined with Zer0’s other critical boosts it adds up to huge damage.
Killer: A kill skill that boost critical damage by 50% and reload speed by 75% for a few seconds at 5/5, this facilitates improved damage and more easily sustained fire when repeatedly killing enemies, stacking with other critical bonuses and reload speed boosts.
0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill: The first shot from a fully loaded magazine deals 60% additional damage at 5/5, affecting every weapon type including shotgun pellets and any weapon that fires unlisted projectiles. Drastically boosts the viability of smaller magazine guns like Jakobs shotguns and is the key to the viability of the Infinity pistol with Zer0, especially when using The Bee shield.
B0re: A 1/1 ability that grants piercing to projectiles, up to 100% additional damage per enemy pierced and highlights all enemy crit spots when using Decepti0n. This skill provides the massive base damage increases to go with Zer0’s boosted critical hit damage, and while it mainly works for destroying mobs it is key to defeating some bosses with underlings such as Hyperius.
0ptics: Grants a 15% bonus to Zoom range when aiming down sights/scoped and improves Aim Steadiness by 60%, both at base and when taking fire.
Critical Ascensi0n: The capstone for the Sniping tree, grants a 6% critical damage and 5% base weapon damage increase to any sniper rifle upon dealing a critical hit, stacking up to 999 times and stacks decay over time upon missing/not dealing critical damage. This makes for an insane viable 6000% damage increase and 7000% critical damage boost, though actually accumulating stacks and retaining them is a difficult gambit. While it doesn’t have all the reinforcing skills as a fully
fleshed out Sniper tree, having it with the build makes ranged combat significantly more viable.
Precisi0n: Only for console players, grants 25% boosted Accuracy at 5/5, reducing bullet spread overall and tightening up pellet spray on shotguns. This does affect guns with set bullet patterns, tightening up the shape of their unique spread considerably for some weapons. Helps maintain all outgoing critical damage and getting the most out of certain guns.
This is the main tree for the build, these skills facilitate all the damage boosts from the Sniping tree and all around improve Zer0’s basic combat prowess in ways that help keep the build flexible.
Fast Hands: A 25% reload speed and 50% weapon swap speed boost at 5/5, this skill is simple but effective in keeping Zer0 armed and loaded properly at all times against different enemy types.
Ambush: A flat 20% increased damage boost to enemies unaware of Zer0 at any range or when targeting other targets such as his Decepti0n decoy. Another flat base damage boost, this synergizes with Decepti0n in letting Zer0 reorient himself in line with his target freely and deal greater damage as a result.
Rising Sh0t: A boost of 10% gun damage and 9% melee damage at 5/5, stacking 5 times for 50% gun damage and 45% melee damage for every ranged or melee attack hitting an enemy, the effects lasting a few seconds at a time unless refreshed. Faster weapons gain stacks quicker while slower weapons keep them for longer, encouraging swapping between weapons to prolong the effects as much as possible.
Death Mark: A 1/1 ability that grants 80% additional damage from all sources upon a marked target, marking done via melee hits or with Kunai in Decepti0n. This is Zer0’s foremost flat damage boost, responsible for the majority of the base damage multiplier for proccing all his critical damage off of, and the ability to use it in and out of Decepti0n works with the build’s mixture of variable range combat.
Unf0rseen: A Shock elemental explosion triggered when a Decepti0n decoy expires and/or Zer0 exits Decepti0n directly, dealing maximum damage at 5/5. This skill is exceptionally useful as not only does it make Decepti0n a controllable instantaneous high damage dealer, but the Shock elemental damage pairs excellently with any other elemental weapon to strip enemy shields and setting them up for additional damage as a result. Paired with the fact that grenades do not make Zer0 exit Decepti0n, it lets him freely set up enemies with Slag grenades to make the explosion itself more potent to begin with.
Innervate: A support effect for Decepti0n, while active Zer0 gains a boost of 10% gun damage, 35% movement speed and regenerates 4% of his max health per second (changed to a 20% status effect duration reduction, 35% movement speed and 5% heath regen per second for the community patch). This reinforces every aspect of Decepti0n to let Zer0 deal more gun damage, move faster to reorient himself on the battlefield, and regenerating health if in a tough spot.
Tw0 Fang: A 30% chance to fire twice at a single trigger pull at 5/5, it acts as an all around fire rate boost to Zer0 triggerable with any weapon type. For most this means a dramatic jump in fire rate and DPS, though with some weapons like sniper rifles and rocket launchers it can mean wasting ammo needlessly against already dead enemies. For shotguns, especially low magazine sized ones like Jakobs, it means dealing more damage in a smaller window of time and reloading more to synch with 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill for the increased damage.
Death Bl0ss0m: A 1/1 ability that augments Decepti0n, granting Zer0 five clusters of Kunai to throw at enemies with random element procs to inflict DoT effects along with the base impact damage, and are boosted by any boosts to melee damage. The ability to inflict Death Mark at range and against multiple enemies at once is a massive boon, and the randomness of the elemental proc damage makes for stacking multiple elemental effects at once regardless of equipped weapon elements.
This tree is taken only for a few select boosts to Zer0’s abilities, but does grant some additional leeway to use melee attacks.
Killing Bl0w: Grants 500% additional melee damage against enemies with low health at 5/5, is useful for when enemies are on their last legs and Zer0 is in the middle of a reload.
Grim: A kill skill that triggers a 3.5% shield regeneration effect and a 7.5% Decepti0n cooldown reduction for a few seconds at 5/5 (cooldown reduction is boosted to 20% in the community patch). This acts as an all around survival boost for Zer0, keeping his shields regenerating when killing enemies and granting faster use of Decepti0n for damage dealing and survival purposes.
F0ll0wThr0ugh: Another kill skill, this one granting 40% movement speed, 30% gun damage and 40% melee damage for a few seconds after killing an enemy at 5/5. This makes Zer0 faster and deadlier when successively killing enemies, and stacking with his other kill skills makes him a more mobile, dangerous killing machine.
Execute: A special Melee Override skill used during Decepti0n, allows for a fast moving dashing strike to the target. Useful for closing distance and taking down low health enemies.
Be Like Water: Community patch only, as a result of some of the skills being shuffled between skill trees. Shooting an enemy grants 30% damage to the next melee attack, and a melee attack grants 20% damage to the next gun attack. The skill can be extended and carried simply by switching back and forth between the two, and while more valuable for a fully close range melee build, it still does justice to this build at viable range as the melee boost does affect Kunai damage.
Zer0’s weapon selection for this build is much looser due to not delving fully into the Sniping tree or the Bloodshed tree to maximize or minimize his damage ranges respectively. While this does mean a lower potential damage cap than when using Sniping’s Critical Ascensi0n skill when using sniper rifles, it highlights the strengths of Zer0’s critical and base damage boosts for weapons like shotguns and pistols, and to a lower extent assault rifles, SMGs and a select few rocket launchers.
Again please note that these weapons will be very parts specific in most cases along with accessories, so this a definitively endgame result arsenal for the build.
These will be divided between close range, hard hitting burst shotguns and medium-to-long range sustained firing shotguns, though one could look at it as starting with Torgue in close range, Jakobs bridging close to medium range, and then Hyperion from medium into long range. The Hyperion stock is key for all shotguns used due to helping accuracy and recoil recovery, though the grips will vary. Overall, all shotguns benefit hugely from Zer0’s range of abilities to boost critical damage and base damage thanks to the damage multiplier from pellet counts.
The Conference Call: This will act strictly as Zer0’s foremost mobbing shotgun, due in thanks to the unlisted projectiles not only greatly increasing damage, but the spreading pattern from the initial firing line being able to hitting multiple surrounding enemies and the generation of the additional projectiles proccing B0re allows for massive amounts of damage for relatively very little effort and reasonable ammo consumption. The Practicable prefix here for additional pellets, and for console players with Precisi0n, the effect tightens pellet spread making the Torgue grip viable for the increased damage, whereas PC players with the community patch might consider the Jakobs grip to keep base accuracy at the cost of a slightly lower fire rate. However, given the Hyperion brand reverse recoil while firing, either could be viable on any platforms due to player preferences. Viable in Shock, Corrosive, Incendiary and non-elemental.
The Butcher: A rapid firing, variable magazine size/regenerative ammo shotgun with low base pellet count and damage, this shotgun is essentially an assault rifle. The magazine regenerates ammo in a roundabout manner, randomly refilling different amounts into the magazine itself as the gun is fired but not depleting from overall ammo stock, proving it is indeed ammo regeneration. It is a sheer DPS option at medium to long range, and the high fire rate paired with Hyperion reverse recoil can pile on insane amounts of critical damage in a short span of time. Zer0’s boosts to critical damage help this gun enormously, though it is required to use the Practicable prefix for extra pellets to make up the damage, the Jakobs grip working best here as it adds damage and the fire rate loss is utterly negligible. Viable in Shock, Corrosive, and Incendiary.
The Heartbreaker: A staple Moxxi shotgun, it has more limited use for mobbing or solo enemies due to being Fire element locked, but makes up for it with a fixed pellet spread in the shape of a heart, higher base pellet count, and a 50% critical hit damage bonus to go with a 2.5% healing effect. This is one of the shotguns that can actually deal even more damage without additional pellets, as the Critical prefix accessory adds another 50% critical damage bonus for 100% boost upon crit, and tightens up the pellet spread even further as a result. For Zer0 though this can be rather superfluous as he already has a massive critical bonus from all his skills, and due to the fixed pattern and the already enhanced critical damage on the weapon, it gives leeway for the the wider pellet spread and accuracy loss from the Practicable prefix at the boon of more pellets for more base damage and better fire rate, giving more for all those critical bonuses to multiply off of. This in turn makes the Jakobs grip a good option, boosting the pellet damage even further without adding further pellet spread and the fire rate loss is mitigated by the Practicable accessory itself.
The Twister: A difficult rare drop, but a huge boon to the build as possibly the foremost short range burstfire shotgun Zer0 could have. The weapon’s unique tornado spread with a pseudo-B0re effect synchs with B0re itself to strike a single enemy through multiple hit boxes multiple times as it passes through them, and with tighter grouped enemies can keep passing through them in turn. The locked Shock element makes it excellent for stripping through shields, and as a Jakobs shotgun it comes with the high base damage, fast as you can pull the trigger fire rate and additional 15% critical damage bonus. Paired with Tw0 Fang for faster fire, 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill thanks to the smaller magazine size, and working with the bonuses to Decepti0n and use of Unf0rseen, it ranks as Zer0’s best close range badass killer and small mob shredder, especially with the Rustler’s prefix for additional pellets and the Jakobs grip for higher pellet base damage.
The Orphan Maker: A Captain Blade’s Cursed weapon, this is a powered up Coach Gun that fires dual slug shots instead of multiple pellets, the two slugs’ massive damage offsetting the low count and also making it very easy to keep accurate on enemy crit spots, pushing the weapon from close range into medium range use. The Curse effect however makes for a 5% damage backlash per shot, so rapid-firing the weapon can deplete shields and even kill Zer0 if not used carefully. Use of the Rustler’s prefix for an additional 2 slugs has the effect of doubling the gun’s overall power and still making it very accurate even at range and easy to deal critical damage, but does not double the backlash damage, essentially making it two Orphan Makers for the health cost of one. The massively high base damage works wonders with Zer0’s critical bonuses and the low magazine size along with Tw0 Fang boosting fire rate will proc 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill very frequently. The use of a Jakobs grip of course boosts the slug damage even further. Always non-elemental.
The Quad: The Jakobs shotgun with the Torgue quadruple barrel, it works as a decent stand-in/replacement for the Twister if unable to get one to drop, or in the case of preferring a straightforward firing close range burst shotgun. It maintains all the advantages of the Jakobs brand the same as the Twister, though it doesn’t have nearly the damage potential with B0re as an offset. To make up for this, the Doc’s prefix for critical damage and a tighter pellet spread helps put all the pellets right on the enemy’s critical spots, though a Well Kept prefix for overall boost to all stats is a fair alternative along with the Jakobs grip. While this is peak as a purple rarity weapon, the perks of Gemstone effects on a Citrine Quad with the proper accessory and grip would of course be a welcome bonus. Always non-elemental.
The Coach Gun: The Jakobs shotgun with Jakobs dual barrel, another stand-in choice if the Orphan Maker’s backlash damage is deemed too unmanageable. Considered the peak Jakobs shotgun and high amongst shotguns overall, it is an all around exceptional choice for heavy burst damage even at medium range. The Doc’s prefix can add more critical damage and even tighter spread at medium range, though the Rustler’s prefix for 2 additional pellets makes it hit much harder at base at close range and still manages well at medium range thanks to Zer0’s already high critical bonuses. Jakobs grip of course for maximum damage per pellet, and use of the Citrine version especially is a viable choice. Always non-elemental.
The Jolly Rodger: A unique variant Bandit shotgun with the triple Bandit barrel, this a very easy but also very reliable gun to acquire in any or no element. It boasts rather good damage for a Bandit shotgun and the reload time is not quite as bad compared to the regular Bandit shotgun variants, the reliability showing in the fixed skull and crossbones pellet pattern. While it is too slow to be a proper sustained firing shotgun, it is also not strong enough to work for quick, heavy burst damage either, falling somewhere in the middle as more of a skirmishing shotgun. With Zer0, his base damage and critical damage bonuses along with his reload speed boosts greatly increase the gun’s natural viability, and the fixed pattern helps stabilize the accuracy enough to warrant the use of the Assssult prefix with the extra pellets and giving them a damage boost with the Torgue grip.
The SWORDSPLOSION: The only Torgue E-Tech gun, it fires spinning sword shaped projectiles that not only deal explosive splash damage on impact, but spawns two smaller swords that explode shortly after as grenades. This is a rather mixed gun for Zer0 as while the intial sword projectiles can crit and even proc B0re, the splash damage from the intial sword and the sword grenades cannot crit or proc B0re. This is still a step up however, as normal Torgue shotguns like the Ravage cannot proc B0re. If used, the Casual prefix for additional pellets is key, as it allows the firing of three swords and six grenades instead, and with the Torgue grip makes it more of a wide spread mobbing alternative. Always Explosive.
Zer0 is perhaps the best pistol user amongst the Vault Hunters, aside from maybe Maya. His quick reloads, boost to base damage and massive boosts to critical damage make them far more deadly in his hands than most anyone else’s, and he has a variety of COMs that reinforce their use even further. For pistols, grips will vary individually.
The Unkempt Harold: Considered one of the best guns in the game overall, the Torgue handgun fires 7 gyrojet projectiles per trigger pull at the cost of 3 ammo, extra projectiles being unlisted with splash damage for massive damage at wide close range. The gun has a ‘sweet spot’ where the projectiles first start to diverge in their firing pattern, in which case will deal the full total amount of damage as if all seven projectiles landed properly. With the Double Penetrating prefix, it fires 14 projectiles at the cost of 6 ammo, with the same overlapping spread and the same sweet spot for double the maximized damage, especially with a Torgue grip. For Zer0, the Unkempt Harold’s ability to crit upon intial impact and proc B0re makes it one of the most devastating guns in the game in his hands, in terms of outright burst damage. Always Explosive.
The Maggie: Legendary variant of the Jakobs Iron pistol, it is considered the ‘last Masher’ from the Borderlands 1 accessory variant revolvers, firing 6 pellets at the cost of 1 ammo. With the high base damage, made higher with the Dastardly prefix and a Jakobs grip applied to each pellet and paired with Zer0’s critical damage bonuses, it makes for a potent close range killer and a good non-elemental pistol alternative for any situation.
The Lady Fist: A unique variant on the Hyperion Apparatus pistol with the Dahl barrel, it boasts a massive 800% critical damage boost that by itself could equal or surpass all of Zer0’s own critical bonuses. The Win-Win prefix paired together with a Torgue grip for maximum bullet damage, solid fire rate and even greater than usual Hyperion reverse recoil for accuracy, in Zer0’s hands it becomes one of the strongest guns in the game for rapid critical DPS. Viable in Shock, Corrosive, Incendiary and non-elemental.
The Grog Nozzle: The best Moxxi weapon and utility weapon in the game, sporting a 65% heal effect on slow speed, low damage, constantly exploding Slag element locked projectiles with high Slag chance. Also possesses a passive 200% critical damage bonus, and the ability to make the user ‘drunk’, swaying heavily while granting a free projectile multiplier at no ammo cost and reduced accuracy and fire rate. This drunk effect can be passed to other weapons along with the critical damage bonus to staggeringly powerful results, and the 65% heal effect works with any damage sources, being grenades, Kunai, Unf0rseen explosions, even still traveling Twister projectiles. Granted as a mission weapon so parts and accessory are randomized, but in cases of proper dropped versions, the Evisceration prefix for melee damage and the Maliwan grip for increased elemental effect chance would work well for Zer0.
The Hornet: A drop from Knuckledragger and viably the first legendary drop in the game, the Hornet is an excellent Corrosive only handgun with good damage, a 6 round burst when aiming down sights, and all projectiles deal splash damage to great effect against armored and robotic enemies. Unfortunately this makes it a very situational weapon even with the Neutralizing prefix and a Torgue grip for better damage.
The Gwen’s Head: A random world box drop in The Dust, the Gwen’s Head is a surprisingly capable repeater handgun with good damage, higher magazine size, good fire rate and accuracy, a 38% critical damage bonus and a seven round burst when aiming down sights, all at the offset of fixed gun parts. With the Neutralizing prefix for better damage, it is a gun viable in any element that while not Zer0’s most powerful option, is head and shoulders above most other guns at OP8 endgame.
The Infinity: A legendary variant on the Vladof Anarchy pistol, this gun is either well valued or hated by most Borderlands players to one degree or another. While it only has 1 bullet in the magazine, the gun never needs reloading and puts out a massive fire rate with solid damage for a Vladof pistol. The gun’s fault lies somewhat in the fixed infinity symbol pattern which can make critical damage difficult past close-to-medium range. With Zer0 however, his boosts to gun damage and critical damage and use of certain COMs to boost his damage with pistols or maxing 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill to 11/5 along with The Bee shield can make it an exceptional mobbing gun in any or no element, particularly with the Purging prefix for damage and the Jakobs grip for even more damage, the Vladof’s naturally high fire rate offsetting the fire rate loss. Also for this build on console, Precisi0n drastically tightens the infinity symbol pattern, making it much more controllable.
Sniper Rifles -
Just because the build isn’t diving all the way down to Critical Ascensi0n in the Sniping tree doesn’t mean the build doesn’t get a hell of a lot of good use out of sniper rifles. The parts for these will be more flexible in pertaining to the individual guns’ strengths.
The Pimpernel: Based on the Maliwan Snider variant with the Dahl barrel, it is hands down the best sniper rifle in the game, especially in Zer0’s hands with his boosts to base damage and critical damage. The gun hits a full seven times, the first initial impact, a second upward jump, and then blooming into five projectiles simultaneously, all with full base damage and splash damage. This combined with a Hyperion stock for accuracy and a Jakobs grip for boosted damage makes it Zer0’s most definitive 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill sniper rifle, even with a slag variant on UVHM and OP8, and even to the extent that in some cases the Incendiary, Corrosive and Shock variants seem superfluous by comparison. However they all have their uses and at longer range are typically one of Zer0’s best options, with generally the Barking prefix for increased damage being the best bet for the accessory.
The Lyudmilia: Aka the Lyuda or White Death on Xbox, this is the most powerful straightforward firing sniper rifle in the game and second strongest overall after the Pimpernel, considered absolute strongest with Critical Ascensi0n due to it outpowering the Pimpernel in terms of fire rate and direct hitting accuracy. Already sporting a 120% critical damage bonus and the shots being able to split into three unlisted pellets at range, the gun also possess excellent fire rate and accuracy for a sniper rifle, even amongst other Vladof snipers. The Gromky prefix for damage is the most straightforward bet, and with a Dahl stock for recoil management and a Jakobs grip for more damage, it comes out to a well balanced psuedo-assault rifle for Zer0, even when hip fired and thus is useful at both long and medium range. Viable in Shock, Corrosive, Incendiary and non-elemental.
The Morningstar: A Hyperion Sniper Rifle variant, the gun seems like a merely slightly better blue rarity sniper rifle with an annoying AI voice attached when preforming any action holding the gun, but the gun has a short lived 20% critical damage bonus activated on critical hits that can stack, making it a sort of pseudo Critical Acensi0n skill, though much more limited. As Zer0 already has massive critical bonuses, this isn’t exactly the best choice for him, but it is indeed viable, especially with an Auditing prefix for damage, the Hyperion stock for better base accuracy and a Jakobs grip for even more damage. Viable in all elements.
The Diaub: A less powerful but more traditional sniper variant, the result of a Jakobs sniper rifle with the Vladof barrel for increased fire rate while retaining high non-elemental damage. This could be considered the best balance for a Jakobs sniper as it still retains high damage per shot, but with a more better fire rate than the other usually very slow Jakobs snipers. The fire rate bonus is enough to offset the decrease from the Jakobs grip for better damage, and the Dahl stock devours the recoil to keep the gun powerful and accurate at range and at high fire rate. As Jakobs already have a high critical damage bonus to go with those applied by Zer0 himself, the Skookum prefix for further damage is your best bet, and the Citrine version is always a good plus. Always non-elemental damage.
The Snider: The straightforward firing Maliwan sniper rifle which the Pimpernel is based off of, with the Maliwan or Dahl barrel. This is considered by many to be Zer0’s best basic choice for elemental sniping, as the reliable damage and splash damage compared to other sniper rifles along with the middle of the road fire rate makes it a reliable option at any range. The Barking for damage or Banbury for fire rate are the primary choices for prefixes depending on whether the player leans more towards one hit damage or rapid firing, and with a Hyperion stock for better accuracy and recoil recovery, the Banbury especially makes good use of the damage from a Jakobs grip. The Aquamarine Snider is considered one of the harder Gemstone drops, once due to a bug but now to lower drop chance, but also makes it one of the few places known to have Sniders in the loot pool. Viable in all elements.
The Sloth: A variant Dahl sniper rifle with greatly boosted base damage but at the cost of low projectile speed. Zer0’s use of Vel0city could speed up the bullets dramatically, but for the purposes of this build that isn’t really an option. However this does make the Sloth a good medium range sniper rifle choice, as the high base damage goes well with Zer0’s critcal bonuses and the three round burst fire while aiming down sights goes hand in hand with close range use of Decepti0n. Use of the Pacifying prefix for damage along with the Jakobs grip will make the base damage all the higher, and the Hyperion stock will keep the projectiles accurate if properly leading targets to compensate for the projectile speed. Viable in all elements or non-elemental.
Assault Rifles -
Assault rifles aren’t quite a perfect fit for Zer0, but the damage and fire rates at medium to long range can be a reliable fallback and they generally make for better skirmishing and sustained firing weapons than his shotguns. The Dahl stock is king here, providing accuracy and recoil management for all options.
The Bekah: The best assault rifle in the game, it follows similarly to the Lyuda in that it involves unlisted bullet spreading, but instead acts as three secondary spread bullets at a slightly slower speed behind the single initially fired bullet for a total of 4 per shot all at full base damage. With the inherent high fire rate and accuracy of Jakobs guns, this can mean massive amounts of damage in a small time frame if enemies are properly gauged at range. The Jakobs grip works best here for damage and retaining accuracy, though the sheer extra damage the gun puts out may allow for a Dahl grip to maintain better recoil. The Boss prefix for damage is a solid bet, though for Zer0’s base damage boosts and critical boosts, the Flush prefix for magazine size would help better maintain longer spurts of high damage DPS. Always non-elemental.
The Kitten: Another Moxxi weapon with a 2% heal on hit, this is a variant Vladof Rifle with higher damage and a 3 bullet per shot multiplier. This gives it a higher base damage tier than most comparable assault rifles, even on par with some legendaries. The only issue comes from the smiley face fixed firing pattern, as sustained fire will draw the rough shape of and making staying on critical spots somewhat difficult. However it can be managed, and with Zer0’s base damage boosts and critical damage boosts, staying on those crit spots is key, so the Severe prefix for better accuracy works best, furthered by Precisi0n if on console. A Jakobs grip is a viable damage option to maintain accuracy and still have better damage, as the Vladof fire rate makes the grip’s fire rate loss negligible. Viable in Shock, Corrosive, and Incendiary.
The Gatling Gun: Another 3 bullet multiplier gun, this one a Jakobs variant with the Vladof spinning barrel. The base damage plus the multiplier gives it insanely good damage, and with Jakobs fire rate and accuracy it makes for a near perfect straightforward firing assault rifle for Zer0 to deal out all those critcal damage boosts, putting it as a good stand-in/alternative for the Bekah. With a Jakobs grip for better damage or a Dahl grip for recoil management, it gets best use out of the Flush prefix for magazine size, as the extra bullet multipler eats ammo rather quickly. The Citrine variants are again welcome.
The Ogre: While not the best gun for B0re, the Ogre still holds up as an exceptional Explosive option for assault rifles. The extras 100% splash damage bonus paired with the random double firing bullets makes it a fast and heavy hitting weapon, but the random chance for boosted fire rate, reload speed and ricocheting projectiles makes it a veritable bullet hose. The Torgue grip adds better damage, and while the Nasty prefix would boost the damage further, the Slippery prefix tends to work much better since it offsets the slower gyrojet speed.
SMGs are generally Zer0’s weakest gun type, as they often don’t have the sheer punch per bullet of handguns and still lower fire rates than assault rifles. His base damage boosts do a good bit to help them along though, and there are still a few very good options for him to consider. The Hyperion stock and Maliwan grip are generally king for these, with only one real exception.
The Sandhawk: A variant Dahl SMG, this is widely considered the best in the game for sheer brute force damage, each shot consuming 3 ammo to fire 8 projectiles in the rough shape of a flying bird. All the separate bullets deal full base damage, and as the extras are unlisted they get full amp shield damage as well. The gun has a very close range sweet spot before all the projectiles spread into the flying bird pattern, in which all the damage is focused and can be devastating to enemies at close range. The Flying prefix is required to speed up the projectiles for medium and longer range firing, and while the base fire rate is rather poor, the Dahl burst fire mechanic can dole out 4 bursts in a short span, or 24 projectiles at the cost of 12 ammo. With the Dahl stock however, an extra bullet is added to the burst count, making it 9 projectiles for 4 ammo to a total of 32 per burst fire. Paired with Zer0’s critical damage boosts, all that brute force damage can be multiplied to insane levels. Viable in all elements and non-elemental.
The Bitch: While the Sandhawk is the brute force option, the Bitch is well regarded as the most powerful ‘traditional’ SMG in the game, taking the exceptional accuracy of Hyperion SMGs and pushing it two steps further with much better base damage and a generous 75% critical damage boost, meaning it was all but made for Zer0. While not as powerful as its sibling the Lady Fist, the Bitch’s accuracy, damage and fire rate make it on par with assault rifles in terms of longer range damage, and Zer0’s bonuses to base damage and critical damage only reinforce this further. While the Hyperion stock works best for it, the grip has a couple of options. The Maliwan grip boosts DoT activation chance, adding additional damage stacking with the high fire rate, while the Bandit grip adds magazine size, something the SMG types don’t have an accessory for. The go-to prefix for this one is Rightsizing to maximize bullet damage, and is viable in Shock, Corrosive, Incendiary and non-elemental.
The Florentine: This is the first really viable Seraph ranked weapon for Zer0, a dual Slag and Shock elemental Maliwan E-Tech SMG. As an E-Tech it sports the best damage ranges for an SMG, and the way the dual elements proc with Shock for the projectiles and Slag for splash damage, it makes for a two in one shield stripper and slagging weapon still capable of good damage on its own accord. In Zer0’s hands the boosts to base and critical damage reinforce its use as a straightforward weapon, and even if all other options for SMGs were disregarded for use with this build I would still recommend this one, due to sheer ease of access and the versatility it provides even for Zer0 who isn’t the foremost SMG user. The Consummate prefix for damage would help it along further, a Hyperion stock and Maliwan grip helping keep it accurate and continuously slagging enemies .
The Avenger: This one is down to player preference, in a number of ways. Foremost is that this is by far the hardest option to acquire as Pearlescents only have one fixed drop source, the rest dropping from Tubbies or Legendary Loot Midgits, so finding one at all, let alone the right prefix and parts is a trial unto itself. Second is that the weapon works to fulfill a couple of specific niche uses that may not 100% benefit this build, or just Zer0 at base, but do have their distinct uses. Chief amongst them being the Avenger regenerating SMG ammo over time, and seconded to it’s very unique chucking reload that makes it double as a Bouncing Betty/Crossfire grenade before final detonation, with the fired bullets during reload not being influenced by remaining bullets in the magazine. Using this with the Slag element, it ensures Zer0 has a constantly regenerating Slag source, and in fact used with the damaging reload can keep enemy mobs and bosses not only slagged but dealing damage to them as well. In that instance, the Hefty prefix for damage, a Hyperion stock to make better use of the gun’s direct fire and a Maliwan grip to boost the Slag chance would be the preferred options.
Rocket Launchers -
These are typically Zer0’s quick kill options to get out of FFYL, as while they tend to deal good damage they have poor synergy with his critical damage boosts and the likes of B0re. But the improvements to reload speed, accuracy and base gun damage do give them a boost even so. Parts can vary a bit with these depending on the exact launchers in question.
The Norfleet: For sheer power, this is the best FFYL gun in the game, able to typically one shot any normal enemies and even chew through mobs with no trouble. The high damage makes it so any of the elements is viable, even Slag, though Shock tends to be the best middle of the road option if just getting the one. As this one focuses all in one hit kill damage, a Torgue grip and Torgue exhaust boost the base damage even higher, while a Pussiant prefix for further damage or a Punitory prefix for projectile speed would be good choices for accessories. It is however worth noting that the Tw0 Fang skill can actually be an ammo waster in most situations with this launcher, as one shot should take down most enemies and thus makes the secondary shot redundant.
The Badaboom: The strongest straightforward Explosive launcher option, though it can come in all elements as well. The projectile multiplier makes it fire 6 rockets at the cost of 1 rocket ammo, making it shot for shot the best rocket damage-to-ammo expenditure of all launchers. While it also acts as a good FFYL weapon, it tends to be more of a siege weapon given the Bandit launchers’ better magazine sizes. As the Bandit grip is mandatory for the weapon, the exhaust choices can depend on whether using it solely as a FFYL weapon or for more frequent use. One hit kills would benefit from the Torgue exhaust for better base damage, though the Vladof for better fire rate would also help. Likewise, the Big and Rappid prefixes would be good choices.
The Topneaa: Possibly the best E-Tech launcher alternative to the Norfleet, thanks to the Vladof quirk of reduced ammo consumption and good fire rates. With a Torgue grip for damage and a Vladof exhaust for fire rate, this works better as more of a siege weapon than a one hit kill, but is still viable as one. Viable in all elements, this one is actually helped along by Tw0 Fang especially against stronger or tightly crowded enemies.
The Gear -
The supportive gear for the build at endgame is flexible to preferred damage ranges, the build itself highlighting the use of multiple options per any given scenario. While this centers mostly around the COMs used, the various shields and relics do greatly affect the playstyle.
Zer0 relies a bit more on shields for this build, as while not quite as fragile as a fully invested Sniper, he still isn’t able to tank much damage outside of a healthgating set-up, which is perfectly viable with this build but limits some of the skill options as a result. Variants with elemental immunities/resistances are highly preferred if able.
The Antagonist: One of the most best shields in the game for the ease of access and slew of abilities, this supplements the range flexibility for the build perfectly. The built in Kinetic Reflection ability procs to deflect and empower enemy projectiles and the damage reduction and slag projectile firing makes it a highly versatile shield option for Zer0, allowing him to focus more of his build flexibility on his chosen COMs. For this you want the maximum reflected bullet damage, capping at 880%.
The Bee: While again not having its capabilities supported by the full Sniping tree, this is nonetheless the biggest flat base damage bonus available for Zer0 to use with all those critical damage boosts. Use with unlisted projectiles is as always one of the biggest benefits, and it makes use of the Infinity a much more viable prospect for mobbing. This does of course work better at range to avoid damaging the shield, though use up close with Decepti0n is as ever an option.
The Evolution: Best all around adaptive shield, the additional health capacity and inversely increasing health regeneration under fire is one of the better options to keep Zer0 healthy when in more intensive fights, and the high adaptation percentage against elemental damage makes it especially more so against enemies with single elemental damage types.
The Sham: The best absorption shield in the game, and as a result the bane of most farming players searching to get that prime 94% maximum absorption chance. Given the sheer variety this build gives Zer0 in terms of weapon options, having this shield to keep ammo stocks topped off as much as possible greatly reduces his chances of running dry at inopportune times.
Turtle Shield: The purple rarity Turtle shield at OP8 is scaled to technically impossible usage as the massive health penalty generally takes off too much to be viable. However when paired with a Survivor COM to add max health total and health regeneration, it results in the “Zombie Zer0” build which constantly healthgates within regenerative range to offset Zer0’s typically glass cannon nature. As these come from any suitable loot source, it comes down to time, effort and RNG luck to get ahold of a suitable one. The legenedary and Seraph variants, the Fabled Tortoise and the Hoplite both tend to have superior stats, but the movement speed penalties on both are a death sentence for Zer0 and cannot be recommended whatsoever.
Grenades are even more valuable to Zer0 than most other Vault Hunters with the exception of Axton, due to the simple fact that use of grenades doesn’t drop Zer0 out of Decepti0n, allowing him to take advantage of the skill’s damage boost to bombard enemies before the skill runs out or he fires his weapon. Given the build’s use of Unf0rseen as well, it grants Zer0 even more arsenal flexibility. Ideal fuse time for all grenades is 0.0.
The Fastball: In terms of all grenades overall, this one is king, but for Zer0 especially it is a devastating grenade option. The straightforward tossing range makes it ideal for his medium to close range combat and the sheer overwhelming base damage makes for a suitable rocket launcher substitute that Zer0 can spam while using Deception to annihilate most normal enemies in rapid succession to keep his kill skills active, especially when paired with Death Mark and Death Bl0ss0m. Viable in Explosive, Incendiary, Corrosive, and Shock.
The Magic Missile The Chain Lightning The Fire Storm: The Tiny Tina ammo regenerative grenades, the only means of regenerating grenades in the game. While the Magic Missile is straightforwardly considered the best option due to high damage, slag chance and multiple projectiles that home in on enemies, the Chain Lightning does work well as an auto-seeking shield stripper and Fire Storm does well against grouped up flesh enemies. As they also share high damage and target seeking traits, they make excellent pairings with the Grog Nozzle for combat healing. If using the Magic Missile, ideally opt for the purple variant for four projectiles instead of two.
The Meteor Shower (Any Longbow Variant): The best straightforward Explosive grenade, the individual grenades having weaker damage than the Fastball but making up for it with multiplying child grenades for a wider damage radius, but in a tighter, more effective grouping formation than those of the Bonus Package, its legendary sibling. The high base child grenade count makes the multiple spawning additional child grenade count all the higher, and the higher arc the child grenades take means their blast radius overlaps much more effectively, making the a single use of the grenade as devastating as spamming multiple lesser Explosive grenades.
Slag Longbow Singularity: A purple variant Singularity grenade, this one works best to synergize with Decepti0n and Unf0rseen, as it gathers up nearby enemies and slags them, allowing a perfect set-up to hit them with the Unf0rseen explosion when firing. The damage of the grenade itself is not unimpressive at OP8, though it doesn’t benefit as much from being able to freely throw them in Decepti0n the way other grenades would.
Quasar (Any Longbow Variant): A Shock Singularity grenade with a wider radius and deals Tesla damage at the same time, excellent for grouping mobs, stripping shields and adding shock DoTs for Grog Nozzle healing.
The Pandemic (Any Longbow Variant): As there is no Corrosive magic grenade that regenerates grenade ammo, this is the next best thing, having a propagation effect that spreads out to multiple enemies to keep dealing additional damage. As this is only really effective on armored enemies and loaders, it does limit it’s usefulness somewhat.
Class Mods -
The COMs for this build take the flexibility of the skills and arsenal options and focus them in various close, medium and long range combat options for any variety of situations, from basic mobbing to raid boss farming. These primarily lie in the legendary and blue rarity COMs, though player experimentation with purple variants of the listed blue COMs is encouraged.
The Legendary Killer: The best overall option for critical damage regardless of the guns used with a flat 53% maximum critical boost, it beats out all the blue and purple Killer variants by including Headsh0t and Tw0 Fang to go along with Killer and Ambush, boosting them all by 5. Also boosts Velocity, not used in this build.
The Legendary Hunter: Possibly the most appropriate option for this build, it does a bit of everything to make Zer0 more of Zer0, boosting Decepti0n cooldown rate by 42%, reload speed by 22%, and adds a 33% critical damage increase along with granting 10% flat health regeneration when entering Decepti0n. The increases to Headsh0t and Fast Hands go along with those bonuses, and the boost to Killing Bl0w gives Zer0 a nice little addition to melee when in close range combat, all boosted by 5. Boosts C0unter Strike and Ir0n Hand as well, not used in this build.
The Legendary Sniper: The foremost long range option, giving Zer0 a taste of the full fleshed Sniping tree by boosting sniper rifle damage and critical damage by up to 48%, though the critical boost is bugged and affects all weapon types. The decrease to shield capacity can be a bit steep, around up into the high 100,000s or more in OP8 to offset the damage boosts. The boosts to 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill, Headsh0t and Precisi0n make sniper rifles that much more powerful in Zer0’s hands, but also effects use of shotguns and certain handguns like the Infinity, boosting all by 5. Also boosts Vel0city and Kill C0nfirmed, not used in this build.
The Disturbed Survivor: The quintessential survival option, and the key to use of the healthgating set up with a purple Turtle Shield by granting a flat boost to maximum health and adding health regeneration. For this version, boosting Rising Shot by 6 and Ambush by 5 to help keep mid-combat damage boosted after dealing increased surprise attack damage in and out of Decepti0n.
The Tricky Spy: The option that best synergizes with the use of Unf0rseen and frequent use of Decepti0n (props to DeputyChuck with his Spy Zer0 build that makes this as the central combat mechanic), the boost to cooldown rate for Decepti0n further facilitates this, this variant boosting Unf0rseen by 6 and Ambush by 5, both reinforcing the damage of the Unf0rseen explosion and any weapon fired by Zer0 during Decepti0n.
The Shadow Stalker: A more focused close-to-medium ranged option with use of pistols, boosting magazine size and fire rate for them, and granting additional shield recharge rate for defensive purposes. F0ll0wThr0ugh is the focus here, boosted by 6 to round out Zer0’s gun and melee damage as well as movement speed on kills, supplemented by Rising Shot being boosted by 5 to facilitate further enemy kills. This pairs especially well with the Unkempt Harold, Maggie and Lady Fist for either brute force or critical damage kills.
The Unequaled Professional: A good medium-to-long range option that works excellently with sustained fire shotguns and some SMGs, boosting reload speed and shield capacity for better running and gunning. Boosting Tw0 Fang by 6 makes for near double a shotgun’s fire rate and dramatic DPS jumps for SMGs, and boosting Killer by 5 grants even faster reloads and improved critical damage to get the most out of every shot.
The One Shot Sniper: This last one is an optional COM, used for the Infinity rather than with sniper rifles as the Legendary Sniper is the better option for them. This one is also much better serving at level 72 rather than OP8, as it will give the same skill boosts and only slightly lower sniper rifle damage and sniper rifle critical damage at the offset of a much lower shield capacity penalty, a necessity given that this COM is paired best with The Bee for this gear combination. The main boost is to 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill by 6, to grant a much higher base damage for every shot from the Infinity, and the second boost is rather player optional. For those on console especially the boost to Precisi0n by 5 greatly reduces the spread of the infinity pattern for the gun, making critical hits easier to maintain, though boosting Headsh0t by 5 for better critical damage overall would help as well.
These do a lot of work for Zer0 on this build, as they can either stand-in certain effects to allow use of other shields or COMs in different combinations, or grant entirely new ones such as improvements for different weapon brands or increased ammo stocks. For drop variants like the Allegiance and Stockpile relics, purple variants are ideal for the maximum number of bonuses at the highest possible percentage levels at OP8.
The Bone of the Ancients: Elemental damage bonuses in Incendiary, Corrosive and Shock, along with a boost to skill cooldown rate. While the Incendiary and Corrosive versions work phenomenally well against their particular enemy types, the Shock version grants a more well rounded boost for how it synchronizes with Unf0rseen, as the damage percentage bonus affects it as the only other method to increase its damage. Overall the increased cooldown rate paired with any other COM with cooldown rate bonus allows Zer0 to jump in and out of Decepti0n much more often.
The Blood of the Seraphs: A health boost and regeneration relic for Zer0 when he needs reliable health regeneration but still wants a focus on an offensive class mod and better defensive/ offensive shield, granting 1% regeneration and up to an additional 39% to maximum health.
Allegiance Relics: Four of note. A Jakobs for increased accuracy recover and recoil reduction, a Torgue for increased accuracy recovery and fire rate, a Maliwan relic for increased damage and reload speed, and a Hyperion relic for increased damage and reduced build up time before reaching full weapon accuracy.
Stockpile Relic: Three types for this build, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun and Pistol.