Here's How The Developers Should Buff Zane

I’m going to go down the list and Tell step by step how the developers should buff Zane. I’m going to try to go through as many playstyles as possible, and make this a comprehensive buff guide. The communities feedback would be much appreciated.

disclaimer: I had to use a 3rd party website to get the skill descriptions because Gearbox’s own website somehow doesn’t have the live interactive skill trees anymore. some skill descriptions might be wrong

The Undercover Tree(Barrier)
This tree somehow became Zane’s best tree. Their is very little wrong with it. It could use some small buffs to a few skills.

  • Confident Competence: This skill gives 10% Gun damage and 22% accuarcy at Maximum shield capacity. I think the gun damage should be buffed to 20%. It’s a 1 point investment skill, and usually those 1 point skills have a massive impact. This skill does not.
  • Best served Cold: This skill does NOT need a cooldown. Does not do enough damage to warrant it. The cooldown was only 2 seconds. It seems like a cooldown for the sake of cooldown. Take it off. Even with 5 points it’s not that damaging a nova.
  • Refreshment: This skill is too far down the tree. Move up one tier or more.

Overall buffs to playstyle: Maliwan guns should not go through the barrier.

Hitman Tree(Sntnl)
This tree is problamtic. It seems fine at face value until you start comparing the kill skills to other vault hunters kill skills or even passives.

  • Cold Bore: This skill LIMITS Build diversity. Forcing Zane player’s to use one shot guns and constantly swap weapons in a gimmicky fashion. This may be controversial, but I would nerf the cryo buff and make the duration last either seconds or a full magazine.
  • Violent Momentum: Might be undertoned. That’s all
  • Drone Delivery: A 15 Second Cooldown to drop a grenade is actually ridiculous. If you want to keep this cooldown, make it drop two grenades for the price of one. or Halve the cooldown
  • Cool Hand: I think a reload kill skill is bad and can be merged with another ability. Violent speed or violent momentum would be preferred
  • Almighty ordinance(Augment): Skill needs a complete rework. Terrible.

Overall: The drones augments are weak. The best augments are the cryo bullets and the radiation augment. They are still weak. The drone scales badly.

Double Agent Tree
This skill tree has alot of potential but their are few things holding it back.

  • Duct tape: Might be undertuned. That’s all
  • Super Sonicman: There is no reason why this skill is so far down this tree when similar skills such as DonnyBrook and Synchronicity are skills available to you by lvl 10. Needs to be MUCH further up the tree.
  • Double barrel should be switched with boom enchanced
  • boom enchanced should be buffed even further. It’s undertuned.

Good tree but the issue with this tree is that it focuses on grenades but Zane doesn’t do any addition grenade damage. He’s just throwing grenades with poor aim and efficiency for less benefit than a character like moze. Also

Zane’s main problem is 3 fold. He doesn’t do any additional damage with the tree focuses.

  1. Shield Tree Focuses on Cryo. But Zane gets no additional damage benefit from cryo or frozen targets. Zane needs to do more weapon damage and critical damage to frozen targets. That alone will bring Zane in line with this playstyle. Also make the barrier work in mailwan weapons.
  2. The Sntnl/Kill Skill tree focuses on movement. But it’s under-tuned in all aspects. Plus Zane can’t run while shooting like Moze can. Which would have been an obvious skill to give zane. A buff to the benefits Zane gets from movement would be great while buffing some of the kill skills.The kill skills seem to be balanced with the expectation that players will use seeing red capstone. That’s poor design. And under-tunes all the kill skills inadvertently.
  3. The Clone tree focuses on grenades but Zane gets no addition damage benefit from throwing grenades than anyone else. In fact, his grenade regeneration is balanced out by the fact that he can’t CHOOSE when to throw grenades. An amara with an anointed grenade that regens on action skill end, can and will surpass Zane grenade damage potential. A buff to Zane grenade damage/splash damage could make him a true grenade master.

Class mods:
Zane has the worst class mods in the game with the least impact on gameplay. These class mods need entirly different perks. period.

Hard Counters:
Anointed should not be completely immune to cryo damage ticks. Immune to slowing and freezing is one thing. But a whole element shouldn’t be obsolete for no reason. My slaughter shaft run is over if 3 anointed shows up. Hell even two sometimes.

That’s it for now


This is the one single thing that pissed me off the most while playing Zane (Main Digiclone/ Second SNTL) when id activate SNTL id have to turn off the cold dmg of it for it to even do any dmg to the freakin anointed dudes. It was pretty even on other enemies, not super damaging but it attacked fast and had a chance to freeze. Maybe just re-work the anointed so they are immune to freezing instead of straight up immune to all cryo dmg.

Overall this seems well thought out, i like the idea of more nade dmg built into an already existing skill in the digiclone tree since it has the majority of nade skills.

It may also be helpful to show the nade count on Zane even if you have 2 action skills equipped since one of the skills consumes nades to buff your clone( Boom. Enhance). Its just a missing peice of info on my HUD, did my clone get the buff, did i not have anymore nades, did he get the full buff or just half, I have no clue because i dont know how many nades i had when popping DC.


Agreed. Zane is literally the only character who gets hard countered in this game. Other players on other vault hunters are complaining about some anointed badasses having immune phases indefinitely. While for Zane and Cryo it’s ALWAYS like that


Undercover tree comments:

  1. Confident Competence actually is 20% gun damage and 33% accuracy in game, which is actually really strong and his best, most reliable source of gun damage.
  2. Best Served Cold is on like a 3s CD. The cooldown seems silly, but I’m not killing things every 3 seconds typically anyways. When I am, at least 1 of those novas is proccing
  3. Refreshment could be moved up

My personal take about the Undercover tree is that the 1st row needs to be moved down 1 and the 2nd row needs to be moved up one and that’s it. The augments work, the run and gun build is overrated in the way a lot of people are running it, and Undercover synergizes with just about anything, making it his best tree.

Hitman tree comments:

  1. Cold Bore is not very good. It is like Zer0’s One Shot One Kill but worse. I’m sure there’s some weird niche synergy where you can cold bore/binary swap instant freeze with a good gun, but it never flowed well for me.
  2. Violent momentum is most likely fine. Devs mentioned they could/will look at the scaling and make a decision.
  3. Cool Hand is actually not bad. It is the one kill skill that gives you a bonus without getting a kill, and then improves the bonus on kill. I think more of the other kill skills should be like Cool Hand.
  4. The drone damage is pretty bad, but it gives you free slows, free radiation, or free shields/move speed which all have good utility. Seen machinegun tick for 600 dmg/s which isn’t bad and rocket pods hit for ~4-8k.

Double Agent comments:

  1. Just remove the CD on DTM
  2. Supersonic man is fine where it is, but could also be elsewhere and perhaps have a positive build impact
  3. Double Barrel and Boom Enhance shouldn’t be switched. Double Barrel is a powerful capstone and actually feels like one. BE feels more midtier.
  4. Boom Enhance should always consume the max amount of grenades if possible and only consume 1 or 2 grenades if that’s all that’s available. Grenade management ends up being a big deal if you go down DA and you should be rewarded for doing it properly.

Still TL, Read anyways:

  1. Zane needs flat weapon damage in his tree, or ANY form of gun damage that is unconditional. He loses his movespeed damage if he gets cryo damage, stands still, or goes into FFYL making it unreliable. He loses at least 20% his Synchronicity damage if he goes into FFYL because the barrier disappears when downed regardless of duration. He loses all of his Confident Competence damage when in FFYL or at 0 shields. Donnybrook is tied into kill skills which means he loses that damage every 8~ish seconds.
    Trick of the Light requires him not to be targeted and even if enemies are hitting the clone with Which One’s Real augment, the enemies aren’t always considered de-aggroed from Zane. This means your 18~ish% bonus damage and your only non-gun damage buff is randomly applied.

  2. Zane just needs to be able to run and shoot at the same time to completely solve that problem. It was a weird decision to give Moze Rushin’ Offensive instead of Zane.

  3. Zane can choose when to throw grenades with 1 AS + grenades, which in my experience, has tended to be stronger than 2 action skills most of the time. Borrowed Time is irrelevant with the amount of CDR you eventually get and the fact that Zane benefits more from skill downtime vs uptime in most scenarios.

Trick of the light was supposed to be his grenade gimmick, but it doesn’t work often and there are no other ways to buff grenade damage in his tree. While more flare would be nice, his infinite grenades seem more geared to maxing out Boom Enhance consistently rather than spamming. This synergy, if intended, should be expanded upon rather than making him a boring grenade bot.

Class mods:
Infiltrator and Executor are both good. Shockerator needs its nova damage buffed, but is otherwise good.

Techspert: SNTL duration refresh wouldn’t be bad if all 3 skills it boosted weren’t in Undercover near the bottom, where if you are already there might as well grab CCC. You can use it to get some tank stats without having to do CCC or get past mid Undercover, but need to mess around with it much more to find value in it.

Cold Warrior needs some reevaluation. Random status effect isn’t a big deal with no bonus status damage modifiers. If enemy is already frozen, it’s near dead, or the status effect applied to it is probably irrelevant at that point.

Anointeds: They are immune to being frozen solid like Vault Hunters, but they aren’t immune to the slow/CCC reset from brainfreeze. Zane just needs flat gun damage modifiers/crit damage modifiers that aren’t tied to Executor/his weapon, or less cryo damage bonuses.

Cold Bore should be changed to not do Cryo damage. It should either slow by a set amount to synergize with brainfreeze and do kinetic/shock damage.


Completelu agree. I know some of my descriptions are wrong. I write this while at work and only used the 3rd party site.

I didn’t quite see your opinion on Zane’s design loop. Do you think it is a good idea for zane to receive a damage benefit to hitting frozen enemies?

Boom enhance is pointless without double barrel. It buffs fire rate and gun damage and without double barrel you are buffing a peashooter. Clone doing 0 damage doesnt need the health or health regen. In fact, you want it to die so you can hit Seein Red again.

Skills shouldnt work in reverse.

Double Barrel as a mid tier cap would increase Zane DPS which he needs. But without Boom Enhance it would be a glass cannon. It at least gives you the option to get some DPS in.

Boom Enhance should consume up to 8 grenades and be a true capstone ability.

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Yes, that makes sense to me that he should do more damage to frozen. There’s rumors that the crit hit damage bonus from TPS cryo came to BL3 but I haven’t tested it and didn’t personally notice it myself if true.

Cold Warrior augment on class mod should be a part of a skill (i.e. Cold Bore) to give some extra damage and free up that space for something else that’s better and more flexible.

It’s not useless without Double Barrel, but it’s much better with Double Barrel.

I use BE in a non-DB build because BE gives me bonus duration and health which I can use to keep my clone alive. My clone does not die unless I want it to with Dopplebanger, which is another reason I use BE.

BE consuming more grenades is interesting, but first I want it to consume maximum amount every time. I understand the argument of giving Zane more gun damage earlier, but they should just do that instead of messing with DB.

The damage from DB swapping only lasts like 5~ish seconds anyways. When I do use DB it’s to make the clone stronger, not Zane proper personally. Just give him a flat damage bonus somewhere.

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BlockquoteClass mods:
Infiltrator and Executor are both good. Shockerator needs its nova damage buffed, but is otherwise good.

Techspert: SNTL duration refresh wouldn’t be bad if all 3 skills it boosted weren’t in Undercover near the bottom, where if you are already there might as well grab CCC. You can use it to get some tank stats without having to do CCC or get past mid Undercover, but need to mess around with it much more to find value in it.

Cold Warrior needs some reevaluation. Random status effect isn’t a big deal with no bonus status damage modifiers. If enemy is already frozen, it’s near dead, or the status effect applied to it is probably irrelevant at that point.


I agree with you regarding the Infiltrator and Executor. But I believe the Shockerater is bad by design not just damage. Most enemies that actually want to run up and hit /melee you are trash mobs that can be gotten rid of easily. I’m never in fear of being bummed rushed Shockerater is also the ONLY class mod that focuses on the clone tree, and I feel like the perk it gives is very situational and uninspired. It doesn’t entice me to build a certain way. Maybe the clone should have a chance to throw something out, or the clone recieved a copy of your other equipped action skill(two drones, or the clone has it’s own shield) would be much more inspired

So right now I’m running a 0 gun, nova shield, 2x action skill build. I spec into like 60/40 Green/Red and have the green capstone. I’ve messed with different variations of this build, but this is the most extreme variety.

Shield is Nova Berner.
Class mod is legendary shockerator
Grenade is shock Hex
Artifact is grenadier flashmelter, but that’s not optimal

Gameplay loop:
Whenever you activate either of your action skills, you proc the Nova Berner nova. When your shield goes down, it procs the Nova Berner nova. When your or your clone’s shield recharges fully, you proc the Nova Berner aura. When your barrier disappears, it procs the Nova Berner nova.

I use a gun that I can shoot straight while holding the Dopplebanger fuse since you can do both at the same time. The gun is irrelevant really, but I’m trying to find a better one. Experimented with Ruby Wrath’s vortex grenade but its singularity isn’t strong enough and the cooldown takes FOREVER making it useless for mobbing.

The rocket also doesn’t do much damage and won’t hit anything without the grenade. I’ve tried The Horizon, which works but the singularity effect activates slowly and you have the potential to blow yourself up.

Haven’t tried The Infinity yet, but it should work perfectly for that purpose. COV guns work well, but I’ve killed myself several times with Pain is Power.

My current problem is getting through armor, but if I just use a corrosive gun, I can basically 1-shot enemies with my huge Dopple-bomb.

I regenerate health so quickly because I use a nova shield that is constantly down, I have little problems with survivability. The nova with my setup also does like 30-90k damage so if I do go down I usually instantly second wind with full HP/shields if they are on their red hp.

It doesn’t do a lot of damage to shields, but that’s what the clone spawning with the shock Hex is for. There might be a better grenade for AoE shield dropping, but this one is good.

With Shockerator, I get free grenade regen without having to spec into it, or lots of it if I do. The shock nova only does about 2-5k damage but it’s shock which is always useful and it throws enemies to the ground. If you run up to a COV and they go to melee you and you Naruto swap your Digi-jutsu before the hit, Shockerator will proc. It also just procs if enemies are at melee range, because they tend to melee things in front of them.

Shockerator totally memes creatures, which isn’t hard to do anyways, but funny nonetheless. For COV/maliwan you have to use Naruto tactics to get it to proc and it’s just an extra bonus between Dopplebanger/spawn.

Just got done failing Slaughter Shaft on a new build I was trying. Stacking as much speed as possible. Literally zipping around the map like the flash. Could BARELY survive wave 1 and never got to wave 2 of round 1. I don’t see how people even almost do that without barrier.

Almost? I did it full 5 without barrier just no speed stacking bit actually doing sth useful

Elaborate my good sir. Because I have two zanes. One is my barrier zane using CCC build who does fine(kinda slow but very survivable)…then I have a clone and drone zane who is having all the trouble

I personally think Clone/Drone is his weakest arrangement, although it still works in specific builds.

There’s quite a few builds capable of doing that kind of content, you just need the right items and execution to make them work.

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Check my thread in this very topic I can not link from Mobile cba. It is called so I finally goto slaughter shaft and did it without CCC I think it has 2 runs one post patch with vdeo. Any remaining questions I will answer when I get home.

Another update came in went. I guess we are playing the new content as the weak class

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Well you can use the cutpurse thingy and mow everything down with a lyuda, or hive or whatever you want.