Gearbox giving Zane the ability to use ASE’s much more effectively was probably one of the best things they have ever done. This build uses both melee and splash in order to ensure mobs and bosses alike get caught in the splash zone, and play sorta like Krieg with his fire hawk shield and Bloodsplosion abilities, only with more control over the nova and using certain gear to achieve this.
Gear: (Slot 1) Prompt Critical w/200% Splash Damage: this gun is basically Bloodsplosion, but in a gun. Using stickies will result in an explosion that stems from the combined stickies of one target, giving off high splash damage to nearby targets around that explosion. Sticky mode also offers high fire rate, which helps out since it is the main mode got mobbing. Impact mode offers a slower fire rate, and is best suited for single target damage. This can farmed from Evil Lilith in The Fantastic FusterCluck DLC (DLC4) at Castle Crimson
(Slot Two) Critical Thug w/200% Splash Damage: arguably one of Torgue’s best shotguns. Landing a critical hit with this gun will cause that shot to ricochet to another nearby target, causing even more explosions. This can be farmed from the Arms Race DLC (DLC 5)
(Slot Three) Juliet’s Dazzle w/200% Splash Damage: This underrated Gem has a lot more synergies with Zane that one would think at first. It’s decent damage, along with natural piercing ability, splash abilities, and high rate of fire bodes very well in Zane’s hands. Plus, refilling ammo on kill increases it’s DPS potential. This can be farmed from either Aurelia Hammerlock in Blackbarrel Cellars on Eden-6, or the Valkyrie Squad and Wotan the Invincible at Midnight’s Cairn. You must be at least above Mayhem 4 to get the item to drop.
(Slot Four) Face-Puncher w/U-Rad 50/150: This is mostly for second winds, as Zane does not have very good FFYL damage. Even with a seein dead equipped, it can be hard to get a second wind with the guns we have sometimes, so this is a very welcome addition in case things go south. This is due to the gun doing melee damage, while still benefiting from gun damage bonuses. Unless you are using barrier, however, I wouldn’t recommend using it while mobbing, as it cannot procc salvation. Can be farmed from Muldock the Anointed in Floodmoor Basin on Eden-6.
(Shield) Cryo Stinger w/Action Skill Start: This shield goes so well on Zane, as we can activate Groundbreaker whenever we want to. This due to groundbreaker and how it works. Since we are using hard hitting weapons, the bonus from groundbreaker will hit high numbers, causing enemies to take incredible damage. Combined with the fact that this build is using 200% Splash Anoints on the main damage guns, and the nova shield will start doing much more damage on a consistent basis. Frozen enemies also take 3 times more melee damage, and freezing enemies is something that Zane does very well. Therefore, this build will make this shield hit hard as possible when our gear and white text are working in tandem. I’d recommend getting this shield with the Action Skill Start anoint in all elements. I choose Cryo for this case in order to fit the theme of Cryo, and since COV enemies have plenty of armor and flesh, so it was the best choice next to fire for the anointed. This can drop from Anathema the Relentless at Minos Prime (Guardian Takedown).
(Grenade) Cryo Recurring Hex w/ On Grenade Thrown, deal 25% more Grenade, Weapon, and Action Skill Damage: Very easy way to freeze enemies uing Zane’s Skill, Brain Freeze (on crits, increased chance to freeze enemies). This is due to the drone being able to drop grenades from above enemies heads, causing them to Crit (as they can Crit naturally). Since they can Crit, this proccs brain freezes and allows easy damage for Zane. This can be farmed from the Sky Bullies at the Anvil on Eden 6.
(Class Mod) Seein Dead: Having Kill Skills out at all times is imperative for this build, especially if you happen to enter FFYL. Offers more Fire Rate than the other class mods as well, which works out because these guns get much more effective with high fire rate. Best rolls for this would be Splash Damage/Radius, Action Skill Damage, Melee Damage, and either pistol, shotgun, or assault rifle damage. This can farmed from the Handsome Jackbot located in the VIP Tower on the Handsome Jackpot DLC (DLC 1)
(Artifact) Ice Breaker White Elephant: Frozen enemies will now get even more damage received to them, and giving the stinger the ability to plant splash anointed boosted grenades is a no brainer as well. Best rolls would be specific weapon damage anoints (pistol, shotgun, assault rifle), AOE, and melee damage. The white elephant can be farmed from Agonizer 9000 located in the Guts of Carnivora on Pandora.
Skill Trees (Can be seeing at beginning of video, but I will do my best to break down the skills I choose here):
Blue Tree: Work your way down and get the Blue Capstone, as we want our kill skills to be effective as possible. Maxing out Violent Momentum is a no brainer, and getting 4/5 for the rest of your kill skills is a nice way to ensure that your DPS is as consistent as possible (Only 1/5 for Salvation though). 1/3 for Good Misfortune is all you really need for Action Skill duration. Getting Drone Delivery is also a must, as it will procc your On Grenade Throw anointment and help freeze enemies. SNTNL augments of choice are Bad Dose and Static Field for survivability purposes.
Red Tree: Just here to get Duct Tape Mod so we don’t wreck ourselves using these Specific Splash Guns. I usually max our Praemunitus and put two points into Borrowed Time to get to the skill. Only 1 point is need for Duct Tape Mod
Green Tree: Just here for Brain Freeze, so just max out both Ready for Action and the mentioned skill above. Better recharge rate and delay is nice to have, and brain freeze makes things easier to freeze on critical hits. We can also use all round for this build in case drone is not your thing.
Purple Tree: 3/5 for Deja Vu is enough for Chance at ammo purposes. 4/5 For Headman’s Hand, Commitment, Man of Focus, and Domino Effect for Critical and Gun Damage, along with accuracy and handling as well. Getting Fugitive is also a very nice skill to have, especially when using Torgue stickies. 1 point to Eraser as that is all we have for the moment, but even with just one point is still very strong, especially with our weapons of choice. MNTIS augments of choice will be Colder Shoulder for extra Freeze Rate and No Way Out for increase damage and pulling them closer to our nova radius, along with helping us making easier to hit crits.
Gameplay Loop: Have SNTNL out at all times, as this will keep you up and get you out of FFYL when you need it the most. Keep anoints up using MNTS Cannon and make sure to land crits for the most damage possible. Try to stay close to targets, and make sure you procc the Stinger shield after every reload in order to take advantage of Groundbreaker as often as you can. Other than that, stay away from barrels and enjoy the fireworks .
Side note: While you can fight bosses with these guns, it’s more suited for mobbing if anything. You’ll be relying on the stinger shield for the most part if you do choose to stick with these weapons. These are just some of my personal favs, but other guns that would be normally good on Zane will still work in this build (just keep note that your stinger won’t hit as hard if it isn’t splash damage anointed!). For the raids, I usually use either the Breath of the Dying or Recursion, as they can roll both with splash and curb stomp the bosses for the most part. Hope y’all enjoyed!