The Unforgiving Duc Hunting Zane build

I never intended to write a build guide because I’m too lazy so I would rather make a video. But @dleithaus tricked me so I accidentally kinda wrote one. :grin:

The original version of the build is described in the video below. But like I said, @dleithaus tricked me, and what comes after the video is the latest version; the Super Saiyan God version! Eventually I will make a video showcasing the latest iteration but I’m kinda busy at the moment so the written word will have to suffice for now. There are some details missing in the write-up that I intend to cover in the video. Specifically, why I spent my skill points how I did. If you’ve watched some of my previous videos then you’ll probably know most if not all of the reasons but there are a few breaks with my norms that’s worth exploring.

Super Saiyan God Unforgiving Duc Hunting Zane

Before I get into the build I need to explain the play loop because the play loop affects some of the build choices. The play loop is a combination of precision 1 shot head shots and fan the trigger firing.

Let’s begin assuming we have no Overkill built up:

  1. Fan the trigger firing to put 8-12 stickies on target (the numbers are 8-12 instead of 4-6 because we assume Playing Dirty is active). Brain Freeze should proc.
  2. Reload.
  3. Fan the trigger again then swap to the Unforgiven.
  4. Now we have some Overkill
  5. A single head shot to a trash mob enemy then swap to the Unforgiven. I may do this a couple times to stack Overkill. But! If the trash mob enemy got pissed on then I don’t because the combination of the piss + the on throw anointment means that the crit swap kill gives enough Overkill damage that I can 1 shot a triple bar badass. From there it’s all 1 shot crit swap shots on everything until I miss (i.e., goto #7).
  6. Anointed interrupt the normal play loop so they get their own number. When I have Overkill damage and there is an anointed I’m über patient and try to wait for Drone Delivery then I erupt on them and try to land that Overkill primed head shot. If I miss then I switch to the pearl and try to land fan the trigger head shots while crit swapping between clips and periodic bursts of eruption.
  7. When not facing anointed and Overkill has been lost goto #1.
Skill Trees


class mod


I use two artifacts. The main one is the Icebreaker Victory Rush. I use the pearl when I’m facing anointed because they can’t be frozen so the Icebreaker’s dmg buff is moot. Additionally, it’s because of the pearl why my drone augments have changed from the previous iteration of the build to Bad Dose and Static Field. I was already using Static Field in the old version but it has an additional benefit in this version. Both augments apply DoT effects and DoTs help us gain and maintain stacks for the pearl.


For the Easy modifiers don’t be fooled by Big Kick Energy. +25% gun damage is nice but the recoil on The Duc can be challenging enough to control when rapid firing so you’ll definitely notice the 100% increase to handling from Big Kick Energy.

Galaxy Brain is the easiest modifier to use for this build because the build is SO crit focused and with Galaxy Brain you can’t miss the crit shots! :grin: But if you are a good shot then Slayer is the best option. Slayer is particularly AMAZEBALLS because of how it interacts with Overkill. Because of crit swapping, a central component of this build, Overkill gives this build amazing one shot potential and Slayer provides a shortcut to INSANE amounts of Overkill damage.

The medium modifier to avoid is the infusion one where enemies are immune to cryo.

The hard modifiers are mostly irrelevant.

As far as I’m concerned Holy Crit is the best very hard modifier. The only time it’s not the right choice for me is maps/content that have bosses whose crit spots aren’t always accessible (e.g., Wotan, Valkyries, Killer Volt, etc).


Hey thanks great work! Much to be considered.
I have not seen a COV Eruption assault rifle quite yet.
Again, appreciated. :grinning:

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It’s going to be a long time before I remember this enough to consider it when loading a character. :laughing:

The core if this is that Zane is leveraging Playing Dirty to stack Duc shots higher than the normal mag size would allow? I may try to do something similar with FL4K (my Jakobs rep) though I get that it won’t be as, eh, efficient.

That’s an EXTREMELY important part of it but not the only part of it. The part you’ve described is 1/2 of the whole. Let’s call it the enabler because it enables the second 1/2. :laughing: The second half is crit/dmg swapping and it is how an underwhelming gun like The Duc can 1 shot triple bar badasses in M10.

So it goes a little something like this. Because the first part delivers double pellets and because the pellets are stickies there are two sets of damage numbers and the second set has a delay. The first set is the impact numbers but that’s not where the real damage is. The second set is the stickies exploding and because there is a delay between impact and explosion we can exploit crit/dmg swapping. Note the introduction of a /. Before M2.0/Cartel there would be no slash and the words would have simply been “crit swapping”. But thanks to M2.0/Cartel we have a new anointment (i.e., 300%/90%) that behaves like crit swapping. So getting that anointment on an Unforgiven and combining it with Overkill turns The Duc, or any other sticky based weapon, into utter insanity. Additionally, because The Duc is a Jakobs weapon the stickies ricochets so you can wipe out multiple enemies by shooting someone else entirely!

Nice… I think I’ll play my Jakobs rep next to give this a spin. Thanks!

300%/90 isn’t additive gun damage, it’s V2 multiplicative damage and it applies to grenades, action skill , melee etc

Sweeet Jeebus!!! :exploding_head: Sometimes it’s GREAT to be wrong!! :partying_face: Thanks for the correction!

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oh my!

What’s an example of that anointment hitting one of our action skills? :thinking:

Unno guess the drone will do 300% more damage to someone above 90% health…not that we would be able to notice anyway lol

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Right, but what… gear would transfer that? Like if I’m holding an SMG with that anointment, all my damage output as listed above gets this modification? :open_mouth:

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Yes, all gets it…just only on enemies above 90% on the final health bar.

Holy ■■■■… I haven’t really played with that anointment (have been ignoring it on everything except shotguns, RPGs, and sniper rifles, all of which have been sitting in my bank, waiting for those characters to take them out for a spin).

That doesn’t transfer to Iron Bear, does it?

It does not.

That anoint is far more multipurpose than the text implies or one would think.

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If I had to guess what it would buff (for better or worse)… Zane’s Clone output, Gamma Burst, pet damage (including Rakk Attack), almost everything Amara can throw?

The following is to get y’all excited about the upcoming updated build video. Here is a screen capture where the build is hitting for +48 million!!! :partying_face: This was a 1 shot head shot against a triple bar badass Tink. So for those who claim that ONLY meta weapons are viable in M10 have some science :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:!!! :crazy_face:

Congratulations. You crit swapped (or god swapped. I haven’t seen whether you got the 300/90 Anointment yet) a stickie.

That’s not EVER and indication of viability. That’s the Duc and Unforgiven being goofy together. Yes. It’s a playstyle and you’re doing work to perfect it.

But it does not give you any ground to stand on in the discussion of balance. Ever notice I stay out of Bear Balance discussions? It’s because when I play, I find as many wonky interactions as possible to get the most out of things. Just like you’ve done here.

But we can’t apply our super niche’d out mechanical ability to the balance discussion at large.

Because what happened is this. There was a damage threshold for good weapons…this damage threshold was whether a weapon could survive areas in mobbing or boss fights before running out of ammo without Cutpursing.

They have doubled our damage and multiplied enemy health by 12. That means that the damage threshold has effectively moved upwards a factor of 6. This leaves many weapons that were “cutting it” on the floor for now.

What I’m saying here is not that your DucSwap isn’t valid, but that, if that’s what you’re using to discuss this current topic (as you just did), then you’re out of line, much the same as someone who Bee-Harold/Hawked would be unwelcome in the discussion, because the mechanics they are using put them far above average or even above average performance numbers for a well balanced situation.


I NEVER have and NEVER will put my soapbox on the shaky ground of balance because I don’t believe in it.:grin: To me, “balance” in a Borderlands game is a made up word. Which is why I’m mildly annoyed that y’all keep trying to ascribe notions of balance to my comments and ignoring my actual point. Which is the fact that Borderlands, unlike other gun games is not strictly constrained by the base damage of its guns. There are interactions to exploit to get work done and sitting around complaining about balance is about as productive as putting your laundry out to dry in the rain.

The fact that there is no balance in a Borderlands game coupled with the fact that there is a difficulty mode where MASSIVE killing power is necessary, is why I have no beef with the über powerful weapons from M2.0/Cartel that currently dominate the meta because they provide an avenue for those who don’t want to or can’t lean on what you call “playstyle” to get work done at the highest difficulty level.

For the record, crit swapping alone is not enough to achieve +40 million. It requires a build up of Overkill which means I mustn’t miss and on top of that, because my very hard modifier is Holy Crit all my shots need to be head shots! So this build is skill based, so much so that today I lowered my mouse DPI sensitivity in an attempt to increase my accuracy so I can better track the tiny head movements of enemies (e.g., enraged Goliaths, badass maniacs, anointed, etc) or that twerking move that Maliwan trash mob enemies like to do. This DPI change is currently wrecking havoc on my play sessions because I’m conditioned for the higher sensitivity. Yet here I am, in the Slaughter Shaft, putting in the work to make it work because for the first time in a LONG while BL3 is once again challenging and interesting and thus worth playing.

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As I understand it Adrenaline is basically pointless once you unlock the Topped Off guardian perk. It takes your cool down from 1/(1 + 2) = 33% to 1/(1 + 2.35) = 30%, which is practically nothing.

It is useless but I needed to get down the tree and out of all the skills at tier one and two it was the best of no good options. For example, Hearty Stock would work against the build because it’s a CCC hybrid and more shield capacity on a shield (Transformer) that’s already tanky is problematic.

Why not 3 points in Stiff Upper Lip?