People have claimed Atlas is good for speed Zane and I’ve tried really hard to make it work but I find it to be too inconsistent to reliably use. And the reason is that in Borderlands 3 (and BL2 for that matter) damage is calculated at impact not at origin. This means in order to get the full benefit of Violent Momentum you must be moving fast when the bullet hits the target not when you fire the weapon. When you combine that with the fact that once targets are tagged you have no control over the travel time or path of Atlas rounds it’s just hard to be consistent. For example, I tried to get consistent predicable results by shooting straight up then running and sliding. That didn’t always work because depending on where the enemy was the bullets most of the time went straight after the enemy once it was fired, which didn’t give me enough time to run/slide. So the only time I was able to get max damage was when the enemy was far enough away where I could shoot then run/slide at the same time the bullets hit the target. Again, inconsistent.
What does work consistently however is shotgun speed Zane when paired with hit scan weapons like Jakobs shotguns. As for landing crits, that’s going to take skill and practice, but what can help improve your odds are class mods and/or skills that improve accuracy. With a smaller reticle and the tighter spread that it affords it’s easier to land crits if you are good at shooting what you aim at. But even if you aren’t a crit monster any artifact that increases shotgun damage while sliding paired with a good com that boosts shotgun damage should help make up for missed crits by doing good body shot damage.
Finally, Zane’s new class mod is perfect for speed Zane because it addresses the sliding problem by allowing you to get the benefit of its 40% damage boost by jumping. But if you can slide you’ll be able to combine the effects of Violent Momentum along with the class mods special perk to do amazing damage. But it’s a lot of setup and will require practice to master.
@flightx3aa (aka, ThiccFilA) streamed a Carrier build that does indeed leverage speed Zane to great effect. I’m sure he’ll eventually post a build video but I wanted to go on record to update some of my original comment by saying that Atlas can work consistently with speed Zane but at this point it seems limited to the Carrier because of how firing works with this specific gun. This means that if there are other Atlas weapons with the same or similar firing pattern you may be able to make them consistently work too.
If you are interested in this issue then you may want to subscribe to ThiccFilA’s channel so you’ll be notified when he eventually posts the build video.