Making the Butcher a railgun: a successful experiment

The Butcher is a great shotgun: low pellet count, high rate of fire and native ammo regen. Ever heard the sound of the gun? God it’s amazing (at least Barrel 1). But it has one major drawback that kept it out of the “meta”, namely its low magazine size combined with the fire rate. The Butcher’s reputation as ammo eater can’t even be helped by its native ammo regen. The chance for ammo put in the mag was so low that we can’t sustain high DPS with its rate of fire. It just wasn’t viable to be out of bullets after a few engagements. Especially when the reload speed isn’t all that great either.

So what if we could fix the Butcher’s issue? What if we could fix the Butcher’s ammo issues and ideally even utilize the native ammo regen?

Well, that’s what I did. Halloween introduced a new terror anointment called 'While terrified, regen ammo’. Precisely, if you have 3 stacks of terror, you regenerate 16% of your magazine size per second which is quite a lot. If you have this anointment on your 10mag Butcher, you will notice a difference but it ain’t satisfying yet. That is because the mag size is still too low to really profit from the 16% buff. These are the steps I took to achieve my desired mag:

  • A Butcher with a 13 Base Magazine Size (also x4 pellets would be dope)
  • An artifact with +40% magazine size
  • A legendary class mod with +26% magazine size
  • Hyperion Genesis Shield

And boom, you have a 21mag Butcher with plenty of space/chance to regen ammo natively and additionally, 3 bullets per second put into the mag. Assuming a 21mag butcher and a fire rate of 8/s, we have to worry about 5 bullets per second leaving our magazine which would give us about 4s of firing the Butcher (compared to 1.25s with a 10mag butcher lacking the anointment). This means we quadrupled our firing time already and we haven’t even included either the random native chance yet or the Genesis shield. You see, there are many factors providing us with ammo one way or the other.

But what about the ‘eating up ammo like it’s nothing’ argument. Well, with so much ammo regen we cut this point at least in half. In all my M3 SS runs, I never had to once stop for ammo because my Butcher got too hungry. That is because we mainly shoot our ammo put in the mag by our buffs/perks, while running and gunning also picks up shotgun ammo. It definitely is not an infite build which is only doable via Cutpurse/Clone synergy but a major improvement to our baseline Butcher.

Since we’re here in the Zane forums and my everlasting will to make this character great, let’s have a look how I utilized our all new Butcher and made it even more powerful.

The goal of this skill tree is to give my Big Boom Blaster and Barrier more sustain, ultimately with CCC. CCC gives us our skill cooldowns back by just critting and being full in HP and shield. The BBB does the latter really well with its boosters and low recharge rate buffed by the tree while the HP part is covered by our next tree.

Hitman’s Salvation gives us all the healing we need (although I’m considering going for freeze life steal). Additionally, we go for Death Follows Close and Good Misfortune, picking up Playing Dirty along the way. Good Misfortune is vital to our Action Skills basically not expring. Even if they go on cooldown, Adrenaline gets us our barrier back within 5s. Because we’re running a double action skill build, we have to pick up Synchronicity that gives me 40-80% dmg boost (depending on the class mod I’m wearing).

So what buffs that improve our Butcher DPS do I have in total? Let’s go through them:

  • 40-80% Synchronicity
  • 15% Recurring Hex w/ Damage Terror Anointment
  • 0-20% Confident Competence
  • 10% Retaliation
  • 25% Damage Amp
  • 10% Big Boom Blaster Power Charge
  • 17% Ice Breaker Artifact
  • 25% Class Mod
  • 35% Vs. Frozen Ice Breaker Artifact
    = 214% Direct Increase to Weapon Damage, plus…
  • 30% Bonus Cryo from Cold Bore
  • 50% Bonus Cryo from Butcher Terror Anointment
  • 63-100% Extra Shot from Playing Dirty
  • 63% Critical Damage from Class Mod

We see that the power of a railgun is definitely there but we also have to improve accuracy and rate of fire. This happens via Confident Competence (33% Acc.), our Recurring Hex Terror Anointment (21% RoF) and Bad Dose (RoF). On top of that, the Butcher becomes increasingly more accurate due to being a Hyperion weapon or it’s the barrel, I don’t know to be honest.

In times where the meta is dominated by AoE builds, I believe the Butcher is an incredibly good choice for Zane if used in a way that enables its positives. My current Butcher also does not have an element as I believe it is the best element for single target endgame DPS, if weapon swapping isn’t your thing. Kinetic weapons only have one disadvantage in Armor, so guess what anointment my Butcher has? Cryo which has a decent advantage over Armor.

This absolutely shreds as shown in this “speedrun”. I ran through Heck, killing all enemies (!) with good modifiers in pretty much 5min. A similar run with almost the worst modifiers gave me a 6min run. With the right playstyle and speed, I can breeze through SS in under 30min, no issues whatsoever. Farming good modifiers can make this a serious competitor for current-patch Zane records although I don’t believe it to match the times from AoE builds.

So I guess that post got more of a build treatment as I wanted it to have, I might add one at a later time. I still intend to improve upon some things and definitely am curious about what I can do with a level cap increase! If you have any questions, let me know below.

1 Like

This is the first mention of a specific part for a weapon in BL3. Do we have a nascent parts reference somewhere?

This looks fun. I’m doing a build with the butcher on my Moze, but mag size can be increased easily.

The modding community created spreadsheets that explain all available weapon parts. It helped me with finding what I wanted. The barrel I have is Barrel 1 according to the spreadsheet and has fire rate and projectile increase as accessories. I only ever saw Butchers with two accessories max. Here’s the link:


And thus began the part spotting in Borderlands 3. The game was never the same again, as loot enthusiasts, not content with simply getting good stats on a rare gun, slowly went insane farming for the penultimate specimens of the worlds’ treasures to fuel their insatiable thirst for the meta.


Most parts don’t matter. Unless it was something that completely changed the gun like the Fiber barrels, parts can be ignored. Prefixes have a bigger impact on a gun than parts in BL2, we don’t yet know their impact on BL3, but I would assume the impact is minimal.

In BL2 if my DPUH had the wrong handle no one noticed. A Sham with 90-93% was just as effective as a perfect 94% sham. And so on…

You know that prefix is determined by a weapon part, right? So what you’re saying already makes limited sense in itself.

Also, I don’t know how you reply like this when OP is basically about proving the exact opposite. I mean, it always depends on what you’re trying to do. My idea was to stack magazine size and see how crazy all this ammo regen can get; pretty satisfied with how it turned out. Wanna go with a max dps parts Butcher? Go for it, but THIS build won’t work as good then. Wanna go with a random butcher because parts don’t matter? Definitely won’t work as good then.

Not sure what you’re trying to say about parts don’t matter. Go try the three butcher barrels. They are crazy different and sound different and offer different barrel accessories. Of course they matter. Maybe not to you though.

My reply was to the person directly above my comment when they said there is now a never ending grind for the right part.

When you don’t see a little arrow on the top right of a post the reply is for the person directly above them.

As I said most parts don’t matter. If I get a gun with certain manufacturer I get a small increase in a stat depending on that manufacturer and said part. A non match has its own benefits. But MOST don’t matter.

I’m sort of saying that in jest, but towards the end of BL2 if that’s any example, a number of farmers weren’t content with a weapon unless it was parted almost perfectly (I was hoping the rhetoric and the big fancy opening letter would convey a storytelling tone… like something read in a Morgan Freeman voice).

On topic though, I commend your efforts in making this work - making guns work in any meta (good or bad) is a quintessential part of the game for me.

Can someone show me this “Genesis” shield and it’s outstanding effect?