[BUILD] Razor’s Edge (Casual Jakobs-Allegiance Hybrid)
Here’s a short version of the Razor’s Edge, my casual allegiance hybrid build. If you’re an old pro, gear up and go punch some bad guys in the dick. If you’re new to the game, or to Zer0, you may benefit from the more detailed breakdown that follows this summary. Gameplay video can be found at the bottom of the OP.
Skill Calculator: http://bl2skills.com/assassin.html#505041000050050145515500515041
Blade 1: Slag Evisceration Rubi
Blade 2: Slag Rapier
Gun 1: Maggie/Coach Gun
Gun 2: Bekah
Shield: Hide of Terramorphous
Class Mod: Legendary Killer
Relic: Jakobs Allegiance Relic
“CRITICAL KILLING / IS AN ART UNTO ITSELF / AND I AM REMBRANDT.”
This Cunning/Bloodshed hybrid combines two of my favorite Zer0 playstyles: melee and casual Jakobs allegiance. It’s a heavy-hitting, crit-focused, multiplayer build that relies on: (1) traditional ninja tactics; (2) grouping enemies with a Quasar for huge cluster shots with Jakobs guns; and (3) wise use of Many Must Fall and Death Bl0ss0m for maximum damage debuffs and effective team play.
As it stands, Razor’s Edge is an all-purpose build that excels at mobbing, mini-boss farming, and running multiplayer missions at any level. It can also be easily adapted for Digistruct Peak or Raid Boss teams. Jump into any random public game, and the Razor’s Edge can handle it with ease.
“COMPARISONS MADE / BUT WHICH IS SUPERIOR? / A TOUGH DECISION.”
For balanced hybrid performance, we will use two slots for bladed weapons and two slots for Jakobs steel.
BLADE SLOT 1: SLAG EVISCERATION RUBI
Standard melee gear for all serious ninjas. This will be your only slag source outside of the occasional lucky slag kunai. Bladed Moxxi strikes will also be one of your primary sources of healing, especially when you find yourself knee-deep in shielded nomads or dancing with a pack of rabid skags. Also, with Zer0’s gun buffs, shooting the Rubi is not only viable, it’s deadly. Your bladed Rubi will give Zer0 both the damage and healing needed for very close work.
(Item info: Rubi is the quest reward from Moxxi for “Rakkaholics Anonymous”. The slag and blade are both essential, and a Maliwan grip is preferred. An Evisceration Grog Nozzle is also popular among end-game ninjas, but is not farmable and must be acquired by trading.)
BLADE SLOT 2: SLAG OR SHOCK RAPIER
Many end-game hybrid builds omit Many Must Fall in favor of the huge spike damage you can deal to a single target by going no further than Backstab. With proper melee sequence and positioning, the 200% melee boost from your Rapier will give you consistent MMF chains. Chaining melee kills will help maximize the power of Death Bl0ss0m and Unf0reseen, which are both refreshed with each kill from Decepti0n.
(Item info: The Rapier is the quest reward from “Message in a Bottle”, in Hayter’s Folly. Slag or shock elements might be useful enough to justify shooting this low-powered assault rifle, whose main use is the blade. To get the most from occasionally shooting the Rapier, you may prefer a Vladof Grip, Dahl stock, and damage or fire-rate prefixes.)
GUN SLOT 1: MAGGIE
With two slots dedicated to melee guns, Slots 3 and 4 need to hold powerful, versatile weapons. Maggie is a masher-style revolver that hits like a truck. She’s great hip-firing at close range, or aiming down sights at medium range for easy crits. With six pellets per shot, Maggie is a wonderful gun for B0ring through clusters of enemies.
(Item info: Maggie drops from Mick Zaford, after completing Ellie’s “Clan War” questline by killing the Zaford gang during the showdown. Exit Lynchwood through the train station into the Dust, and there he’ll be. Save/quit on the Dust side of this door and you and your prey will spawn face to face. Jakobs grip will give mag-size and reload bonuses. The accuracy, damage, and mag-size prefixes all have their benefits. She’s an easy weapon to farm, so find one that feels right or suits your style. I’m currently using a Bowie Maggie with Jakobs grip. The matching grip gives it decent stats, and the blade provides reliable Killing Bl0ws on weakened foes without swapping to the Rapier.)
GUN SLOT 2: BEKAH
One of the most powerful Jakobs weapons in the game, Bekah shines at medium to long range. With enemy penetration, projectile split, and big Jakobs critical-hit bonuses, Bekah is your boss killer. Aiming down the sights as often as possible will give you the best damage, but she’s no slouch when carefully fired from the hip, and doing so will allow you to easily gauge the timing of her trailing projectiles. Because of the projectile split, there is a specific range for max damage. To get the most out of Bekah, take the time to learn the distance at which the split happens, and then, in battle, take the time to aim for critical hits.
(Item info: Bekah is a pearlescent assault rifle that drops only from Tubbies, and only past level 61. If you’re farming, take what you can get. If you’re trading, you might like a Jakobs grip, Dahl stock, and damage or accuracy prefixes. Derch drops science on the Bekah here: The Ultimate Bekah Guide
IN YOUR BACKPACK: JAKOBS SHOTGUNS/JAKOBS SNIPERS/FFYL LAUNCHER
If you find Maggie and Bekah too similar in performance for a given task, you can use your favorite Jakobs gun in place of Maggie. In my play-testing, a Coach Gun, Bushwack, or Quad is the strongest option and complements Bekah quite well. But any strong Jakobs weapon will excel with the Razor’s Edge.
Fancy a Twister for up-close mobbing or unleashing a B0renado on Hyperius? Found a sweet Hawkeye, Skullmasher, or Muckamuck for popping heads at long range? Or maybe you’d feel safer equipping a Badaboom or Nukem for second-winds at Digistruct Peak? Take your pick. Style points awarded for Jakobs gear, but all bets are off in UVHM and this is not a strict allegiance build.
(Item info: If you’re shopping for the perfect gun, you’ll love Troubled’s compendium of Jakobs gear: Troubled's Guide to Jakobs
CLASS MOD: LEGENDARY KILLER
The Legendary Killer mod provides the best all-around gun buffs, and with 10/5 in Tw0 Fang you are effectively increasing the fire rate of your Jakobs guns. A Legendary Ninja mod will give you the extra punch needed if it feels like your Rapier isn’t hitting hard enough. A true gun/melee hybrid, the Razor’s Edge should work equally well with either COM.
(Item info: Legendary Killer and Legendary Ninja class mods drop only from Tubbies, and only past level 61.)
SHIELD: HIDE OF TERRAMORPHOUS
The Hide is the game’s premier melee shield. It is also a top-tier defensive shield whose nova and spike damage will give you generous Moxxi healing when you need it most. Grounded, Alkaline, or Inflammable prefixes yield the highest roid damage, but any version will work.
The Bee With slag, kunai, two bladed weapons equipped, and a backpack full of big-ass Jakobs weaponry, you won’t need to swap to the Bee often, but it’s useful for special occasions, like Bar Mitzvahs or Double Scorches at the Peak. When you swap in the Bee, it will apply full amp damage to each of Bekah’s unlisted pellets. Just remember to put your Hide back on when it’s time for close work.
(Item info: The Hide of Terramorphous is a legendary roid shield that drops from its namesake. The Bee is a legendary amp shield that drops from Treants in The Forest, or from Hunter Hellquist in the Arid Nexus Boneyard.)
This is your crowd-control tool, and a cornerstone of the build. “Longbow” or “lobbed” delivery is essential. “Sticky” broadens your placement options. The shorter the fuse time, the better. You’ll use your Quasar to create space on a crowded battlefield, to draw mobs onto your exploding hologram, to set up B0re shots on clusters of enemies, to torment stalkers and other shielded enemies, and to heal yourself with Rubi. Lesser singularity grenades will work, but the Quasar is unmatched in its versatility.
There are three other grenades that are worth carrying: (1) teslas, (2) corrosive clouds, and (3) Tina’s magic spell grenades. The AoE grenades add some color to an otherwise non-elemental loadout and allow you to do some extreme health-gating under fire. The spell grenades are used primarily to regenerate your grenade ammo in between battles.
(Item info: The Quasar drops from Ultimate Badass Varkids, with Marcus’s loot train or legendary loot midgets as possible secondary sources. AoE grenades drop from any suitable source. For the legendary versions of these, you can hit Mortar for a Pandemic or the Splinter Group for a Stormfront. Ultimate Badass Wizards are the primary source for the magic spell grenades, though they also drop from the Handsome Dragon and the Handsome Sorcerer.)
RELIC: JAKOBS ALLEGIANCE RELIC
The Jakobs Allegiance Relic is your primary relic and is second only to the Legendary Killer class mod for boosting your gun work. Increasing the mag size and reducing the recoil on Jakobs weapons can help them keep pace with the powerful elemental weapons that traditionally dominate the end game in public lobbies.
Shock Bone of the Ancients. If you can’t find a good allegiance relic, or if all your gear has matching grips and ideal prefixes, you may get more benefit from a Shock Bone, especially when using the Twister, or for scoring big cluster shots with Unf0reseen’s shock blast.
Grenade Stockpile Relic. I keep this in my pack for one area, my personal roadblock at Digistruct Peak: The Assassins’ Circle. Did all four assassins spawn at once? Pin them up against a wall and lay waste while they’re staggered. On cooldown with low health and Reeth jumping on your head? Carefully place a singularity to create distance and heal at the same time. Carrying an extra five Quasars into particularly dynamic areas can soften an unlucky spawn, or turn a disaster into a successful solo run.
(Item info: Allegiance and Stockpile relics don’t have assigned sources. Marcus’s loot train always holds four relics, making it your most reliable source for non-unique relics. The Bone of the Ancients drops from legendary loot midgets.)
EQUIPMENT NOTABLY ABSENT FROM THE “BACKPACK” SECTION
Pimpernel, Sandhawk, Unkempt Harold, Interfacer, Norfleet. The Bank is a good place to keep your crazy raid gear, if you must…but if you start running missions with this stuff, I’m taking back those style points I awarded you earlier.
A shield-stripping grenade. In my play-testing, the overall utility of the Quasar far outweighed the benefits of the additional roid damage. I’ve been able to keep the Hide down quite well by simply allowing enemy fire to take out the shield. If you refuse to do blade-work without a shield-breaker, or if you have an active siren using Converge to create your clusters, you may want to equip your Tesla, Chain Lightning, or Stormfront.
“WHY, YES, I DO HAVE / THE SKILLS TO PAY ALL MY BILLS / FIGURATIVELY.”
Skill calculator: http://bl2skills.com/assassin.html#505041000050050145515500515041
Headsh0t and Killer are two excellent gun skills that get you to B0re. The first two are boosted to 10/5 by your Legendary Killer COM, and any Zer0 who has reached Level 16 should know how powerful B0re can be.
0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill holds four points that can be spent anywhere that suits your style. If you’re not regularly using a shotgun or sniper rifle that will benefit from the first-shot bonus, you can top off Unf0reseen, add more punch with C0unterstrike, or put all four into Precisi0n or Rising Sh0t for additional accuracy or damage.
Five points in Fast Hands for quickly swapping between your Rubi and Rapier during melee sequences.
Maxing Ambush is an obvious choice for guns or blades, and this bonus becomes even more effective on a team, when many enemies will be targeting your allies.
Deathmark’s new 80% debuff per mark is boss, and you can spread this around the field with Death Bl0ss0m. If you strike one enemy for a melee mark, and hit one each with thrown kunai, you have just increased the damage being taken by six enemies.
Unf0reseen’s recent buff gives Zer0 an excellent source of additional damage, and this is one of the build’s key skills. Throw your hologram into a group of enemies, drop a Quasar on top of your hologram to pull everyone close, unleash Death Bl0ss0m into the cluster, then stand back and open up with your favorite Jakobs gun. If any mobs from the cluster survive, they’ll be dead enough to finish off with a quick Killing Bl0w.
Innervate is Zer0’s best healing skill. It will help keep you above health gate, overcome DoTs, and it boosts your damage and movement speed. An invaluable skill in every build.
Tw0 Fang is another essential skill, effectively boosting the fire rate of your Jakobs weapons. At 10/5 with the Legendary Killer COM, this skill combines with your Allegiance Relic to turn your Maggie into a machine gun.
Death Bl0ss0m. Zer0’s most versatile capstone skill, employed by blademasters and gunslingers alike. Drop all your kunai onto a Big Bad who needs to die quickly, or mark five lesser enemies? The choice is yours, and both tactics can be very useful. Combined with Deathmark, this is by far Zer0’s best team skill. Getting ready to revive a downed teammate? Carefully apply slag and Deathmark to the enemy they’re trying to revive from and your ally will likely get the kill revive before you can lift them. Rabid stalker chasing your siren across the map? Help strip the stalker’s shield by hitting it with as many kunai as possible, before using Execute to knock the beast away from your healer. Sal’s rushing into that huge group of Elite Savages on the other side of the bridge? Mark as many as possible by carefully throwing one handful per enemy. Stupid Mages keep vanishing before you can hit them? Give them each a Deathmark to help your team track them. This is a strategic team skill whose benefits can be maximized by quick but thoughtful use.
Killing Bl0w and Ir0n Hand] are the foundation of any ninja’s skill set. 5/5 in each gets you down to the signature skill, Execute.
Backstab is one of the multiplicative skills in Zer0’s melee formula, and it needs to be maxed out to consistently chain Many Must Fall kills. Before Executing, make sure to swivel around behind your enemy. Strike from the front only when you really need to stagger a particularly dangerous foe, or when your Decepti0n timer won’t allow it.
F0ll0wthr0ugh’s movement buff lets you put all the pieces into place, whether you’re setting up a melee chain, spreading Deathmarks across the map, or positioning yourself for a huge B0re shot. Remember, movement is life. Get behind your enemy, land critical hits from cover, guard your teammates from aggressive foes, mark the dangerous enemies. Movement. Is. Life.
Like the Wind holds four Bloodshed points that can be spent anywhere that suits you. If you prefer Be Like Water, or if you want points in Resurgence for the COM bonus on your Legendary Ninja mod, go for it.
Many Must Fall will decimate the field, even at OP levels, with proper melee sequence and good positioning. More important for the Razor’s Edge is refreshing Death Bl0ss0m and deploying multiple instances of Unf0reseen. To get the most from MMF, you should throw as many kunai as possible after each kill from Decepti0n. If you chain through two enemies, you have more than doubled the utility of Death Bl0ss0m. If you chain through three enemies, you’ve now had the chance to throw 20 handfuls of kunai (five before the first kill, and five after each kill in the chain). This work needs to be fast, so any ninja experience you have will go a long way here.
SKILLS THAT ARE NOTABLY ABSENT
Vel0city tampers with the split on Bekah; use at your discretion. Precisi0n will tighten the spread on your favorite shotgun, so put the four OSOK points here if you favor accuracy over power. Rising Sh0t is omitted in favor of Unf0reseen, which is essential to the build. Grim is counterproductive to your blade work. Even though Resurgence is boosted by your Legendary Ninja mod, it is unnecessary since you will be using Rubi to heal with grenades and melee strikes.
“AND I DISAPPEAR / A GHOST AMIDST THE COMBAT / PREPARING TO STRIKE”
On the battlefields of Pandora, movement is life. You should be in Decepti0n as often as possible, positioning enemies with your Quasar, using all of your kunai, and actively attacking or setting up your next attack. Be sure to Deathmark priority targets, and use Execute to guard your teammates by staggering fast or aggressive attackers. Whether you unleash blade or bullet first, every attack you make from Decepti0n should strive to be a critical hit.
In traditional ninja style, wait till the last possible moment to exit Decepti0n with your blade. When exiting Decepti0n with your gun, it may be best to strike early, so your hologram and first shot hit as many enemies as possible. Outside of Decepti0n, you should be constantly sprinting, dodging, using cover, and shooting for critical hits. If you need to heal or catch your breath, you can swap to your Rubi, place a Quasar in just the right spot to buy some space, and find cover before hitting back with your favorite Jakobs gun.
Using Many Must Fall/Death Bl0ss0m, B0re/Quasars, and big-ass Jakobs munitions, you will be a whirlwind of blades and bullets, casting aside the corpses of the toughest enemies UVHM has to offer.
Southpaw Assassins (OP4 with Level 72 Gear):
Washburne Refinery and Hyperius the Invincible: