Everyone trashes on Zane and I don't get why

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 5/5
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 5/5
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.

Synchronicity 5/5
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 5/5
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.

Night Hawkin’
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.

Lucian’s Call
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.

The Dictator
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.


hes just not very good in comparison - yes op weapons work but that s because the game is just easy at the highest possible difficulty.

Play amara or moze endgame and youll see the difference. 0 effort - much better results.

Not gunna aruge that other characters aren’t easier, but lots of people make Zane out to be completely ineffective and near unusable. I am trying to argue he is a lot more effective than people give him credit for

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Zane is trash bro

This game isn’t about useability. It’s about relativity. There are youtube videos of people beating the game with no skill points, and only melee. or only white guns. Doesn’t mean the game should be balanced with that in mind.

As a Zane main attempting to play endgame it’s very frustrating. Anointed completely negates my builds. Things take for everever to kill because I have no unconditional damage increases(Almost all of Zanes damage multiplicative skills are conditional). Stuff can go through my barrier. My best defensive moves are far down the skill tree. It’s hard out here fam


Like others have said, Zane just lacks something, which I find very annoying as he is the only vh I want to play as, I say a video posted on the hotfix thread of fl4k killing an anointed in less than 5 seconds, that same enemy would take Zane at least 2 minutes, maybe longer…

I gotta disagree with this sentiment. Anointeds are way easier to deal with if you have decent gear, most of the conditions for Zane’s damage can be easily met (40% for having your action skills up, 20% for keeping your shield full, 20% for just walking, 19% on a killskill, twofang on a killskill, firerate on a killskill). Most things can’t go through the barrier and the ones that can are pretty avoidable if you just use the environment to avoid those attacks and to isolate targets to kill them quickly if multiple spawn. And he has a lot of good survival in the 1st and 2nd tiers? The Barrier for starts is the single best thing for survivability, especially with the All-Rounder augment, Ready for Action greatly improves your shield, Rise to the Occassion has very substantial healing, Salvation also provides massive healing through lifesteal, Donnybrook also gives you quite substantial healing as well. You can also get shields with parts of augments to improve both your shield and healing.

And using the build I posted here gives you more than enough DPS to obliterate any mob as long as you have the right gear for the job.

Just use a lyuda, even post nerf any anointed is dead within 5 seconds.

I’ve made shortwork of anointeds also using the Bekah, maggie, crossroad, butcher, and others using this build as well. If it takes you 2 minutes to kill an anointed, you either need better gear or a better build.

ye lets try to point out some of the things…

Cryo sucks. Its bad and should never be used. For armor you use corossive, for red health you use inc. Shields are too common and cryo is poop against those.
Annointed are immune to cryo.

Zanes shield can break. His action skill can literally be broken.

He has no strong modifiers for crit (or elemental damage) which is the best stat in the game.

His lifesteal is generally worse than other characters either because its just bad (the cryo one - see above) or because its less consistent (only on kill - very relevant in multiplayer) and has less actual lifesteal% (10 vs 20 on amara)

His general reliance on last hitting enemies to proc kill skills makes him abyssmal in multiplayer.

His other 2 action skills pretty much just suck. And - just to say it again - his only good action skill can break.

Going fast sucks - makes it much harder to consistently land critical hits (see above).

He can use the broken shields(not talking about the action skills) but he gets much less use out of it compared to moze since he cant boost his shield size.

His annointed gear sucks. His unique class mods either want him to go fast or use kill skills (see above)

Way too conditional.

And before you post how “weapon XXX” still anihillates - yes - the game is easy. np Doesnt matter.


I don’t need a lesson on how zane stuff works. I told you the problems with Zane. And I told you its an argument of relativity. Amara Moze and Flak out perform Zane without even trying.

Or… And here’s a contraversial opinion, Zane needs to be buffed up to the level of the other vh’s, for fl4k to be able to kill one of the most annoying enemies in the game in less time than its taken me to write this just plain sucks, don’t get me wrong, I love Zane, his humour is perfect IMHO, just his dps is seriously lacking, and his action skills are pretty poor, in fact I only really use them to proc my kill skills, and even then I still don’t feel like a badass

Go play any other vault hunter’s main builds and you’ll know why we trash Zane.


Amara phasegrasps, shoots, and the enemy is dead.
Moze shoots or throws grenade and the enemy is dead.
Fl4k shoots and the enemy is dead.
Zane activates one action skill, waits, activates his other one, swaps for the buffs, shoots, and the enemy is dead.

I exaggerated. Zane just takes more effort. There’s nothing wrong with that.

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[quote]Amara phasegrasps, shoots, and the enemy is dead.
Moze shoots or throws grenade and the enemy is dead.
Fl4k shoots and the enemy is dead.
Zane activates one action skill, waits, activates his other one, swaps for the buffs, shoots, and the enemy is dead.

I exaggerated. Zane just takes more effort. There’s nothing wrong with that.[/quote]

That sounds about right.

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Cryo is great for mobbing, most enemies don’t have immunity to it and the debuff to shields is quite minor and it has a buff against armor and no penalty against flesh, it also allows you to freeze enemies, making them much easier to finish. For anointeds, just switch to a fire Lyuda if you really need them dead or using your high damage noncryo weapon of choice.

Clearly you haven’t played Zane before because the barrier can’t be broken, it only goes down when the duration runs out.

He doesn’t need them, you have quite a few gun damage buffs that you can achieve fairly easily and the base crit bonus is already substantial, try this build and you’ll see what I mean.

His lifesteal isn’t his only healing, he has quite a few ways of healing which combined with eachother give you tons of healing.

Not sure what you mean by this, but you can activate killskills by activating your action skill (of which he has 2 that can be used at once) which can be put on cooldowns shorter than how long the killskills last, effectively keeping your killskills always on.

The Barrier is fantastic for keeping yourself alive and the clone has huge benefits of which I described in the other build post that I linked to. But even if they do suck, the ability to use them to activate your killskills is a huge benefit to your DPS and survivability that even if they did literally nothing they would still be really useful in this build that would still be effective, I encourage you to try it to see what I mean.

I personally like movement speed but even if you don’t, the build I posted here uses none of his movement speed skills.

You’ll get much better use out of his skills with having your shields full, I don’t recommend trying rough rider builds as the health bonuses and damage reduction are heavily outweighed by just having a good shield imo.

His anointed gear can use some buffs but ones such as “50% bonus damage when X skill is active” such as this are really good as the SNTNL will almost always be active and having it on a gun with a projectile multiplier means the bonus is 50%+ on each pellet.

Hopefully this clear things up for you about Zane though, if you have other concerns reply with them and I’ll address them.

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Ive seen it break on rocket impact multiple times.

100% got destroyed rather than canceled or ran out.

Literally place shield - shield gets booped.

Anyway im not going to argue this things ive said my piece and you yours. Overall hes not particularly good.

I have, and I still think people are over critical of Zane. I encourage trying this build as there really isn’t anything complicated to this, just use his actionskills and shoot.

I don’t know how else to say it but it doesn’t break, maybe it’s just coincidence with the timing of the duration? But you can try it yourself and see that it doesn’t break.

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t break. I’ve watched the timer last the entire duration while several Badass Zealots bombarded me. I couldn’t see anything except for the timer.

should have recorded it unfortunate
didnt know i was the only person getting that i guess lmao

just to clarify: it was the “free the village” thing on eden-6 on THVM M3. 3rd wave or so - the one that spawns directly at the house where you first enter the area. Dudes with rockets.

Tried it multiple times as well - same result every time. Throw shield - shield pops up - gets hit - shield removed 3 seconds into the action skill - die.