I get he may not be the most straightforward of characters to play and can become fairly dependent on his gear working with modifiers, but I’ve been using a couple of decent builds that do work reliably with decent gear and management of positioning and awareness of cooldowns and enemies. I made a post about one of these builds before so check out that postif you’re interested in using the barrier/clone on infinite duration.
In this post, I am going to outline his more DPS centered build which I feel is a lot more straightforward than his infinite action skill build.
First, the build.
Second, I’ll discuss the reasons behind the choices in this build, starting with the Hitman/SNTNL tree.
Violent Momentum 5/5
Violent Momentum is among the few damage skills Zane has, so it’s a pretty straight forward pickup for a DPS build.
Cold Bore 2/5
The weapon swap speed at 2/5 is helpful enough to warrant these two points. 1 of these points is needed to move further down the tree later, and the other point is leftover at the end of filling out all the skills you will want in this build. But you can choose what you would want to do with those points.
Salvation even post nerf is a really great survival skill, it’s helped me plenty of times escape being punished when I had bad position and was caught out without my cooldowns. The lifesteal with Death Follows Close becomes 12% for 15 seconds, which you will almost always have on.
Death Follows Close 1/1
This skill almost doubles the duration of all your killskills, increasing them from 8 seconds to 15 seconds and makes them 25% more effective.
Cool Hand 4/5
Cool Hand increases your reload speed by 17% upon kill and 10.7% when your killskills are down. We needed to put 4 points somewhere to move further down the tree, and this skill is only worth going 4 points down as the 5th point only increases your reload speed by 3% more instead of the 4% all the other points did.
Violent Violence 5/5
Violent Violence gives you a 25% firerate buff when maxed out and with Death Follows close. This greatly improves the DPS of whatever weapons you’d want to be using outside of something like a masher.
Playin’ Dirty 4/5
Playin’ Dirty at 4/5 gives you a 50% chance to shoot an extra shot for your next 5 shots but I use a comm that gives me +4 in Playin’ Dirty which gives me a 100% chance to shoot an extra shot. If you can’t find a comm to boost this skill +4 I would take a point from Cold Bore and max this out instead, but it is unnecessary to max it out for me since 8/5 is 100% chance and 9/5 is 113%.
Seein’ Red 1/1
Seein’ Red activates all your killskills at once when you activate an actionskill. This is most helpful for getting started in a map for mobbing or a new round in a Circle of Slaughter. This also allows you to make effective use of your killskills when fighting bosses, making this build a fantastic generalist build if you really dislike swapping out your build for different content.
Next we’ll cover the Barrier/Under Cover tree as the Barrier is the other actionskill we will be using.
Adrenaline will give us drastically reduced cooldown times in conjunction with the Topped Off Guardian Rank skill which effectively does the same thing; reduces your cooldown rate based on how full your shields are.
Ready for Action 5/5
Ready for Action will help you keep your shields full to get the most out of Adrenaline and Topped Off, which will help keep your killskills active, which will allow you to both keep yourself healed and kill things.
Confident Competence 1/1
This skill increases your gun damage by 20% and accuracy by 33% when your shields are full, which they will be most of the time. People seem to skip this skill a lot and I don’t see why when it’s almost free gun damage.
Last, we’ll talk about the Clone/Doubled Agent tree as we do want 2 important skills in this tree.
We put 5 points here as this gives us 20% gun damage for each action skill we have out, which we plan to have both out most of the time, giving us +40% gun damage. This inconjunction with Violent Momentum, Playin’ Dirty, Confident Competence, and our last skill Donnybrook, is almost all the straight damage buffs we have in Zane’s skill trees, giving us almost all of his DPS.
Donnybrook is a killskill that gives us +19% gun damage and 3.1% missing health regen when active and speced into Death Follows Close. Since we’re playing around our killskills, this is a really nice pickup that I feel too many people speced into the Hitman/SNTNL tree skip over.
I should also note that you are going to want the Topped Off Guardian Rank skill in the Hunter tree as this will give us even shorter cooldowns, enabling us to always have our killskills up even in boss fights where their adds won’t spawn.
As for gear, it’ll always depend on your modifiers, but these are the ones I’ve gravitated towards.
This is a gun I pull out when it is nighttime as it’ll gain x3 projectiles and shred just about anything you come across when mobbing. The version I have has an anointment that gives me 50% bonus cryo damage when the SNTNL is active, further increasing the DPS of this gun. I recommend finding one with an anointment like that and a burst fire mode as that will give you the highest DPS (the burst delay is almost nonexistent on the Night Hawkin’ so it shoots faster in burst fire than it does full auto).
The Bekah is a great gun on all characters, it has 3 unlisted projectiles that fan out horizontally giving it great DPS.
Since the maggie was buffed on 10/17, it is now a very good option to be used on all characters.
The lasersploader is great on everyone, but I recommend getting a cryo version for mobbing as Cryo has the least drawbacks against shields, armor, and flesh.
Haven’t used it much post nerf, but I feel it should still be a good option for everyone. I recommend finding one like this as the anointment will give you essentially always on 50% bonus damage and it being in Cryo will be most useful for mobbing as it suffers the least penalties against the 3 health types.
I use this in fire when mobbing to just delete any anointeds that spawn. It is also still great for shredding bosses even post nerf.
Not sure if all versions come like this but if it always comes in fire with x2 projectiles and a large mag size, it is a fantastic pickup for mobbing creatures as it is incredibly ammo efficient, has decent dps, and is relatively accurate for an smg with x2 projectiles due to the tight, predictable, spread it has.
I use this version in corrosive to largely deal with tink turrets in the Slaughter Shaft or against high hp enemies that are all armor. In the bipod mode, it shoots 7 shots horizontally at the same damage as the initial pellet on the card (289 in this case).
Other guns I use are the Breath of Dying, Cutsman, TK’s Heatwave(parts dependent), The Duc, and Westergun but I recommend trying things you feel might work and replying this post with them so I can give them a try and maybe added them to this section.
As for shields, I usually stick to the:
The Re-charger is an all-around good shield at being a shield with fast recharge time, decent delay, and good capacity. Its Red-Text effect is that upon breaking it’ll instantly refill, with this ability being on a 20 second cooldown. Combine this with boosters, like this one I have and you have a great shield for survivability.
As for comms, I would stick to:
Executor +1 to Violent Violence +4 to Playin’ Dirty
I use this comm to ensure that I get 100% extra shot chance out of Playin’ Dirty, effectively doubling the DPS of whatever weapons I use. This skill synergizes best with high damage slow firerate weapons however (the Unforgiven is a fun gun to use this with). The +1 to Violent Violence is also nice as it gives me 6/5 in the skill, giving me a 30% firerate boost
As for relics, get anything with action skill cooldown rate, mag size increases, and boosts to elemental damage. I also like having snowdrift on my relics as this makes moving from position to position or zone to zone much quicker.
And as for grenades, use literally anything and or nothing as grenades cannot be thrown with this build (not that most grenades are that helpful outside of the hex and quasar).
To conclude, I feel people haven’t given Zane a fair chance nor have utilized his skills in the right way. I encourage everyone who can to try this build if they’re still doubtful of his effectiveness. If you have any questions about choices made in this build please reply with them so I can try to answer them. I hope this post has made Zane seem more powerful and fun to play for you, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing him.