DDD - Zer0's Skills for You!

[size=16]This is meant to be a guide for new players to break down Zer0’s skills.[/size]

This thread is a part of

Doctor Dumbass: A guide to min/maxing

If you disagree with anything I have in
here or have anything to add, links, math, opinion, anything let me know
and I will gladly update and change it.

  • Terrible: These skills are a waste no matter what and should always be skipped

  • Sub-par: These
    skills either are just bad or did not scale well. You might be able to
    make them some what useable combined with other skills or gear making
    them an ok choice to pick if nothing better is available.

  • Average: Can help, not bad choices for going down trees.

  • Great: These
    skills will make the game much easier and should always be taken if you
    are at the point in the tree they are located in.

  • Outstanding: Skills
    of this rating will be game changers that you may want base your build
    and play style around.

The scores are on a 5/5 rating, if you have
to boost them to 10-11/5 to make them great then they are just


Required first skill.

Lasts exactly 6 seconds, 15 seconds cool-down. One
second is spent, if you do not use ADS, if you do ADS then no frame
cool-down is spent. (ADS - aim down sites)

  • Max cooldown at OP8 with a Bone of the
    Ancients color=cyan
    , OP8, max stats (47%) is 10.2

  • Max cooldown at OP8 with a Bone of the
    Ancients and a Legendary Hunter (class mod) is 7.7

You are given an additional minimum of 230%, to 650%
melee damage. It has an additional minimum of 40% to 200% gun damage
(based as overall weapon damage).
It does not give a crit bonus, despite the card.
It gives extra accuracy, stability, and a crosshair to any weapon lacking it.

[size=16]Cunning table:[/size]

Zer0’s support tree, and basic abilities.
The cunning tree is an integral tree to any Zer0
load-out, and with skills that cannot be skipped or forgotten. Cunning
spec contains key team skills and utility for all styles of

[size=16]Counter Strike:[/size]

Activated by chance, from any none DOT attack. It can
also be activated by ground tremors or non-damaging enemy attacks. It is
a melee boost that can grant massive damage when proc’d for an Execute.
For more information, check

Base: 50%, 5/5 - 250%, 10/5 - 500%

  • Melee Zer0: Great
  • Gun Zer0: Average (for a hybrid build)

[size=16]Fast Hands:[/size]

Gun swap and reload speed, a very good and welcome DPS skill.

Base: 5% reload - 10% swap, 5/5 is 25% reload - 50% swap, 10/5 is 50% reload - 100% swap.

  • All Zer0s: Outstanding


Skill gives a fire rate and gun damage boost based on how much your shield being damaged. This skill is active in FFYL.

Though it gives an additional boost to gun damage this
skill is Extremely Situational as it
requires a Rough Rider for constant activation.

Base: 5% fire rate - 3% gun damage, 5/5 - 25% fire rate - 15% gun damage,
11/5 - 55% fire rate - 33% gun damage.

  • Melee Zer0: Average
  • Gun Zer0: Average


Active multiplier skill that adds damage to your
attacks while you are in Deception, nearly a passive skill while in
co-op. Sometimes very conditional based on the fight.

Base: 4% damage, 5/5 - 20%, 11/5 - 44%.

  • All Zer0s: Outstanding

[size=16]Rising Shot:[/size]

Gives additional gun and melee damage based on successive attacks. (from gun or melee)

Stack decay is based on fire rate. Fast fire rates cause quick decay and low fire rates cause long decay time.
Excellent skill overall, high damage boost for any gun used outside of the following exception:
(Jakobs fire rate, does not stack when using Jakobs)

[color=tan]Base: 2% gun damage - 1.8% melee damage, 5/5

  • 10% gun damage - 9% melee damage, 11/5 - 22% gun damage - 19.8% melee

  • Melee Zer0: Average

  • Gun Zer0: Great


Highly contested skill based on level used, rank-based.
More viable in UVHM than Helios or other rank based skills. It can
created multiple times through Many Must Fall chains.

Base ranks from 1-11

  • Melee Zer0: Terrible (after level 61)
  • Gun Zer0: Terrible
  • Can be Sub-par (based on level given)


Multiplier skill, one of Zer0’s best co-op skills. Has a base 20% debuff to single enemy from all players for 8 seconds.

[color=tan]This has 20% base debuff when used alone, skill applies to an 80% debuff when used in Death Blossom (kunai thrown)

Skill grants 20% when used as melee attacks.[/color]

  • All Zer0s: Great
    (Requires Death Blossom for full effect)
  • All Zer0s: Outstanding
    (When used as a combination of Deathmark - Death Blossom)


One of the best Deception skills, gives an additional gun bonus, large movement speed during Deception and health regen.

Base: 2% gun damage - 7% movement speed -
.8% health regen, 5/5 - 10% gun damage - 35% movement speed - 4% health

  • All Zer0s: Great

[size=16]Two Fang:[/size]

Gives a chance to fire twice, costs ammo for the extra
bullet, and does not stack CA. It stacks with the Shadow of the Seraphs
allowing for a near 100% chance to fire a second shot.

More information can be found here.

Base: 6% chance, 5/5 - 30% chance, 11/5 - 66% chance.

  • Melee Zer0: Average
    to Sub-par (based on
    play style and weapons used)
  • Gun Zer0: Great
    (with low ROF/recoil weapons),
    Sub-par (with high ROF/recoil
  • Sniper Zer0: Terrible
    (can not stack CA, but can be a good situational skill)
    (multiplier to fire rate bonus)

[size=16]Death Blossom:[/size]

Kunai that can apply Deathmark during Deception by
pressing the action skill button or key, up to 4 (four kunai
per throw, five throws total)
times within a single throw.

This can be applied to multiple enemies but is removed
from all of them to a single enemy when one is melee’d. They have random
effects, including explosive and slag.

This is refreshed whenever you use (Many
Must Fall skill)
. Deathmark is applied using kunai hits, rather
than splash damage.
Applies an 80% debuff to enemies if applied directly. This damage is augmented by roid.

More information can be found

  • All Zer0s: Great (Requires Deathmark for full effect)
  • All Zer0s: Outstanding (When used as a combination of Deathmark -Death Blossom)

[size=16]Sniper table:[/size]

Most skills past (beyond it on
the tree)
B0re besides Velocity as a Melee Zer0 are not worth
grabbing, and thus will not be given melee Zer0 ratings.


Critical damage bonus. Additional damage for
color=tan[/color] free, given the placement at Tier 1 in the
tree. In comparison to Optics, this is excellent for mobbing.

Base: 4%, 5/5 - 20%, 11/5 - 44%.

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par
  • Gun Zer0: Average


is a rundown of Optics and how it affects Hyperion snipers.
Optics works with every gun, it’s exceptional when
using ADS type guns against enemies that have alot of effects and
animations (for instance, the Ancient Dragons). It is
based on the zoom of the scope used. Excellent raiding skill.

Base: 3% zoom - 12% sway reduction, 5/5 - 15% zoom - 60% sway, 11/5 - 33% zoom - 132% sway reduction

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par
  • Gun Zer0: Average
    Great (if you’re not used to being hit
    while taking a shot)


Kill skill, gives an additional critical bonus and
reload bonus. It’s very useful for chaining kills, gives potentially the
fastest reload of every character in the game.
Good indication that a kill was obtained, great mobbing skill.

Base: 10% critical damage - 15% reload
speed, 5/5 - 50% critical damage - 75% reload speed, 11/5 - 110%
critical damage - 165% reload speed.

  • Melee Zer0: Average
    (but essential when grabbing B0re past 61. Reload speed feels
  • Gun Zer0: Great


It affects your hip - aimed accuracy, your center
speed, crosshair bloom, time from sprinting to crosshair up, and a few
other things.

Base: +5% accuracy, 5/5 - 25% accuracy, 11/5 - 55% accuracy.

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par
  • Gun Zer0: Average, Great (if using spread weapons)
  • Sniper Zer0: Outstanding (is one of the main 4 sniper Zer0 skills)

[size=16]One Shot One Kill:[/size]

Additional bonus to the first shot in the magazine. Does not add to Amp damage.

Base is 12% damage, 5/5 is 60%, 11/5 is 132%.

  • Gun Zer0: Average (best used with specific weapons such as snipers or quad shotguns)

Quick note on Synergy: OSOK works
wonderfully with Killer. Although the bonus from OSOK is
, it is still at 60%, and 132% at 11/5 which is
great. Furthermore OSOK is a great opener coming out of deception to
kick start Zer0’s momentum in battle.

Zer0 has Killer with a big reload speed bonus of 75% at
5/5. But a Zer0 player needs to create the synergies between these two
skills color=tan[/color], shoot-reload, shoot-reload.
However, Zer0 must make sure his enemies are dying at a consistent pace
as well.

Killer is a Kill Skill, and he needs to keep it active.
OSOK is an appropriate skill on the sniper tree as this works best on
snipers, shotgun is a close second.

I would not recommend it with Jacob’s revolvers such as
the (Maggie - Greed), but you might make something
out of it with the (Unforgiven - Rex), high damage
single shot weapons.


Situational based on choice of weapons, but most
weapons work great with it. Allows less enemy tracking. Increases bullet
speed, while most bullet effects are time based rather than distance
based. Can severely impact guns like the Pimpernel.
explains how guns are affected by this type of boost.

Base: 20% bullet speed - 1.5% gun damage -
1% crit damage, 5/5 - 100% bullet speed - 7.5% gun damage - 5% crit

  • Gun Zer0: Average


Multiplied gun damage bonus that occurs upon piercing an enemy.

Creates an additional set of child projectiles when B0re procs.
B0re makes weapons with child projectiles deal massive
amounts more damage than listed on the gun card (I.E.
Pimperel, twister, DPUH, blockhead, etc).

B0re is something that requires
consistent setup
, so while it is an incredibly powerful
skill player’s still are required to work towards maximizing B0re.
to this to hear Coontail speak on what makes B0re a good

  • Melee Zer0: Outstanding
    (at 72) (Adds versatility to killing enemies that is
    otherwise not present)
  • Gun Zer0: Outstanding (if not skilled then you are definitely wearing pants.)

[size=16]Kill Confirmed:[/size]

ADS critical bonus, takes 2.7 seconds to gain the full
bonus (which can be reduced by ADSing over and over again
Requires dedication to make full use of the

Base: 8% critical bonus, 5/5 - 40%, 11/5% - 88%.

  • Gun Zer0: Sub-par (if
    more active), Great (if willing to be more
    passive about kills)

[size=16]At One With the Gun:[/size]

Hipfire Accuracy, Reload speed, and Magazine size
bonus, specifically for sniper rifles. Massive bonus to hipfire
accuracy, very useful for FFYL.

[color=tan]Base: 25% hipfire accuracy - 10% reload
speed - +1 magazine size, 5/5 - 105% hipfire accuracy - 50% reload speed

  • +5 magazine size.[/color]

  • Gun Zer0: Great (if using snipers)

  • Sniper Zer0: Outstanding

[size=16]Critical Ascension:[/size]

Each critical hit with a sniper rifle increases the
critical hit damage and weapon damage with sniper rifles by 6% and 5%,
respectively. The bonuses are considered additional and the effect can
stack up to 999 times.

The stacks start to fade away after 6 seconds, at the
rate of 1 stack per second. Scoring another critical hit with a sniper
rifle will stop that process. The lifespan of any given stack is 5
minutes, after that it disappears.

Accessing the inventory, using the vending
machines, climbing up the ladders, switching to another type of weapon
will rapidly decay all the stacks.
Using grenades or a
melee attack will not affect the stacks.
[color=tan]The sniper
rifles with unlisted additional projectiles will receive the full bonus
for each projectile.

This is most powerful of Zer0’s skills, and the most
powerful skill in the game, Critical Ascensi0n allows a sniper Zer0 to
quickly clear away an area, or kill a raid-boss solo, where critical
hits are easily achievable.[/color]

The method called “The pre-stacking with a critical
shown here
allows killing even the Overpower 8
Raid-Bosses in a matter of seconds.

Due to the fact that a stack “lives” for 5 minutes,
it’s practically impossible for a solo player to reach 999 stacks,
around 450-550 is the maximum possible. However, in multiplayer it’s


  • Gun Zer0: Great (if using snipers)
  • Sniper Zer0: Outstanding

[size=16]Bloodshed table:[/size]

Melee Formula.

Most skills past tier 3 are not worth grabbing for a gun Zer0. Thus they will not be given gun Zer0 ratings.

[size=16]Killing Blow:[/size]

Easily the third best teamplay skill in the game
(Res - 1, Deathmark - 2) Multiplies melee damage by
insane factors when enemy is at 30% health. One of the essential Zer0
skills, allows him to melee virtually everything with a given ‘win
health’ at which he can Execute and kill the enemy. It is strong enough
to not need a roid shield against mobs.

Base: 100% melee damage, 5/5 - 500% melee damage, 11/5 - 1100% melee damage.

  • Melee Zer0: Outstanding
  • Gun Zer0: Great (can be useful when mobbing)

[size=16]Iron Hand:[/size]

Bonus health is detrimental or useful based on how you
use it. Additive, straightforward, pretty terrible. Good for tweaking
health values with health gate builds.

Base: 3% melee damage - 3% health, 5/5 - 15% melee damage - 15% health, 11/5 - 33% melee damage - 33% health.

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par
  • Gun Zer0: Sub-par


Both a hated and loved skill. Never pick this up as a
melee build, but if you play anything else this can be wonderful. The
cooldown reduction (at most) can give half a second
back, but the shield regen is why this skill is used.

It is a kill skill that allows a bit of defensive help,
and also helps with DOT negation when under heavy fire. Shield delay is
independent of Grim: The shield will recharge as long as the kill skill
is active, and begin to recharge when the natural delay is over.

Base: .7% shield regen - 1.5% cooldown reduction, 5/5 - 3.5% shield regen - 7.5% cooldown reduction.

  • Melee Zer0: Terrible (once a roid shield is obtained)
  • Gun Zer0: Great

[color=cyan]In melee builds, it is good as a form of
tanking through your shield, but the moment you begin to use a roid
shield it becomes a hindrance to using melee shields properly.

Refer here.

While it may be good in your first 10-20 levels, it
quickly falls off as a defensive skill and does not teach a player how
to use shield timings and delay effectively. This is more of a skill to
use while picking up Execute and Backstab prior to Many Must Fall
(and/or roid shields), speaks to the fact that it
cannot deserve more than a ‘Terrible’ rating.[/color]

[size=16]Be Like Water:[/size]

Additional boost to melee and gun damage, based on
alternating melee and gun attacks. Can be useful in lower levels, falls
off later because of the micromanagement needed and tiny bonus given for

Base: 6% melee damage - 4% gun damage, 5/5 -
30% melee damage - 20% gun damage, 11/5 - 66% melee damage - 44% gun

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par
  • Gun Zer0: Sub-par (not worth building play-style around)


This gives additional gun and melee bonuses after a
kill, but is mainly used for the very fun high on-kill movement speed.
Good marker that a kill was obtained.

Base: 8% movement speed - 6% gun damage - 8%
melee damage, 5/5 - 40% movement speed - 30% gun damage - 40% melee
damage, 10/5 - 80% movement speed - 60% gun damage - 40% melee

  • Melee Zer0: Great, Outstanding (after grabbing Many Must Fall)
  • Gun Zer0: Great (can be disorienting)


While in Deception, the player rushes forward a short
distance extremely quickly. This is multidirectional and not bound by
gravity. There is no cooldown, Deception nor Execute is affected by
melee override cooldown relics.

This can have the same effect as Sal’s Fistful of Hurt
(without roid). It provides a large knockback
allowing you to knock and move enemies around (such as Gee or
Mad Mike).
Roided, and used in melee, this is the skill that
enables every Zer0 to deal massive damage.

Execute adds a multiplier of x2 at the end of the melee
formula. Allows recovery from knockback and can stun enemies. Allows
player to fly by executing after flying enemies. Execute is highly
dependent on how an enemy moves and FOV for ensuring that the target is

While it may not be directly useful for gun Zer0s, it
gives a high maneuverability while in Deception and a chance to close
distance much faster than running, giving high utility use to anyone
able to spec it.

  • Melee Zer0: Outstanding
  • Gun Zer0: Great


Conditional multiplier melee skill based around meleeing enemies in the back. One of the best Zer0 melee skills.

Base: 8% melee bonus, 5/5 - 40% melee bonus, 11/5 - 88% melee bonus.

  • Melee Zer0: Outstanding (Essential once able to obtain the skill)
  • Gun Zer0: Average (Only useful for hybrid builds)


This is a very strange skill, and very interesting to
use. It is virtually useless previous to obtaining MMF, and found more
use with a Rapier than it does much else. While it can be good, the
points that are used for it are a choice between it and other additional

Realistically this is the best option of Zer0’s
additional melee skill points when trying to reach MMF. It returns
health based on how low your own health is (and the death of
an enemy)
, but carries no guarantee of possibly health gating
you unless you are near death.
This is a kill skill.

Base: 4% health return, 5/5 - 20% health return, 11/5 - 44% health return.

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par
    (previous to MMF), Average (after as
    kills can be more easily obtained)

[size=16]Like the Wind:[/size]

Additional melee and gun damage boost based on your
movement keys being held for use of the skill. Movement keys
(or buttons) have to be held for it to work during
Executes. Realistically this is tradable with Iron hand because the
melee boost is the same, but the two skills give different buffs to
either gun damage or health.

Base: 3% gun damage - 3% melee damage, 5/5 -
15% gun damage - 15% melee damage, 11/5 - 33% gun damage - 33% melee

  • Melee Zer0: Sub-par

[size=16]Many Must Fall:[/size]

One of the best Zer0 melee mobbing skills. Refreshes Deception, Death Blossom, and Unforseen after a melee kill in Deception.

  • Melee Zer0: Outstanding (for mobbing, not bosses).

[BBB] Basic Build Boundaries Level 72
Here are a few basic build types you model your build after and move a few points around.

Melee Zer0
Sniper Zer0
Gun Zer0

TVHM Builds Level 50

Sniper Zer0
Gun Zer0
Boss Melee
Mobbing Melee

Normal Mode Builds Level 30

General Gun Zer0
Sniper Zer0

Forum Members Builds Level 72

El Casi Chingon - Nief - Shotguns and Melee
Blank Zer0 - Raptchur - Shotguns
Thievius Raccoonus - Coontail - Snipers (Cunning/B0re)
Utility Melee - VII - Melee with Options
Pimpslapper - Dotanuki - Pimpernels and Blades
True Assassin - DoodoaXD - Hybrid Zer0

Currently Precision is not as fleshed out
as I would like to be, I would love more synergy additions like what
was done for OSOK, and any forum member builds that were lost in
(or the builds given, if they are not as
accurate as I would hope).

Many thanks to Ahmed Hattem for some crazy cool banners! And to Drester, for helping me create the thread on these new forums. Big shout outs to these guys, much love.


Testing replies…

Man, this’ll take some getting used to…

It’s a shame the colours don’t work. I don’t know if you can change it on these forums, since I can’t see any icons that correspond to changing the colour of text. Probably something that needs changing.

I’d love colors.

Seriously. This forums needs it, or it’s just so…dreary.

Seconded that. My thread needs colors BADLY

Btw I need a new Avatar, so if someone is interested I would appreciate it

PM Altair!

Thanks for the feedback, I’ve passed this thread on to our team.

Oh wow, color? That’s exciting, thanks :slight_smile: I need to edit this thing pretty bad.

May I suggest inserting a few

horizontal rules

at strategic locations? Would help with visual organisation until the team can figure out how to provide colours.

Oh yeah. I need to work on this a lot.

They have implemented color text actually! I helped.

So I need to get back to editing the crap out of this.

I haven’t yet had the chance to click any of your provided post links but it’s a very helpful post.

I only just recently joined but I could help you format edit it if you want.

PM me!

I’d love that, I’ve been taking a break lately. Now that color is added, I need to take this on, I probably will Sunday honestly.

OMG new coding :frowning: this could be really cool if you can figure it out. Love Zer0 in the background. Is anyone still playing BL2? I just got it for PC… finally

yeah I play it on steam myself

Idk how i’m just seeing this… sorry. Add me if you want Drester, my steam name is raptchur. Just got this game a couple weeks ago, i have a level 52 Gaige and 51 Zer0, both just started UVHM. Just trying to get to OP8 so i can test out builds again.

I’ll add you the next time I’m on steam @Raptchur though my character is only in the low lvl 30’s I believe.

updated. @DarthSpiderDen, am I linked to your thread?

@Drester, SO much thanks. You’re awesome :smile:

Thread is updated, and looks good! I’ll be adding stuff here and there, but overall this is finished and a work of art.

@Jeffybug or @joekgbx, what threads are going to be stickied in here?

We can sticky the typical stuff. This one seems like a good candidate.