Useless Zane Skills and Class Mods

Given that the general guide has not been updated in a long while…and all the patches and updates and DLCs

What is a 'general consensus" on what Zane skills and class mods are just frankly useless…

Or at least “least useful.”

Moze had some…like “Why can’t I carry all these Grenades?” and “Explosive Punctuation” and some classmods that sounded good but took a lot to make them “work” or were just plain weak to begin with.

Surely those exist on Zane…

Inquiring minds want to know…


I would love to have a serious dialogue about what skills and class mods need buffs or reworks but Gearbox doesn’t seem to care so I’m a little demotivated to rehash these fruitless discussions.


I can go over a list of the Zane skills that just aren’t useful much.

Under Cover (Green) Tree

  • Hearty Stock: It’s just more shield capacity, which already does not provide much in terms of survivability. On top of the fact it’s anti-synergistic with Calm, Cool, Collected further down the tree since it’ll take longer to top off your shields for the effect to happen.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Damage Resistance is a useless and meaningless stat.
  • Futility Belt: Buggy skill that gives Damage Resistance and can sometimes be detrimental if the damage you were taking would already be less (like fire damage on your shields).
  • Nerves of Steel: Hard to stack, easy to lose. Does not provide any good bonuses for a Tier 5 skill.

Hitman (Blue) Tree

  • All the skills in this tree are generally useful.

Double Agent (Red) Tree

  • Sychronicity: Insignificant amount of Gun Damage compared to Zane’s other options.
  • Like a Ghost: Damage avoidance is weird and somewhat relies on MNTIS Spam to be any amounts of useful.

The Professional (Purple) Tree

  • Renegade: Very, very small amount of health regen. Zane has better options like Donnybrook and Rise to the Occassion.
  • Tunnel Vision: Decent skill, just better places to put said points.
  • Art of War: Conditional Gun Damage reliant on spamming Action Skills for a single shot. Again, it’s just Gun Damage.

Legendary Class Mods:

  • Critical Mass: Overly redundant in terms of skills (Deja Vu is dead points), provides nothing of any real use outside of “not reloading” which the COM already boosts (Domino Effect) and Zane already has other great reload speed skills (Cool Hand)
  • Cold Warrior: Status Effect that is only useful for Harmageddon (Guardian Rank). Not great skills outside of Trick of the Light (which is a “just good” skill at best).
  • Techspert: Outdone by other options like Seeing Dead/Seeing Red and Good Misfortune. Okay defensive skills.
  • Shockerator: Fun skills for grenade spam, actual legendary effect can be very negligible.

If you have any further questions about skills I did or did not include, feel free to ask and I can clarify.


Interesting topic discussion.

Its difficult as mods such as the shockerator was my go to at level 50 but have just taken other peoples word that its now useless and haven’t actually tested it again.

The conductor is one that also gets bad press but given the shock damage is global, its a nice addition for a nova-spam/sntnl build (currently with terror cryo)

I guess it could be clarified as to whether this question is for takedowns/hemo or dor general play as i did actually use the techspert the other week as an easy way to keep sntnl up and for mobbing it was easily adequate.

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I’m at level 40, Normal mode, and 1st play thru…and find just about anything works right now. Zane just destroys with about anything. And a refreeshing difference from Moze in action skills and play style. Also a tad more complex character in options I think. But I played Moze exclusively for two years so Moze just isn’t that “complex” anymore.

\Was thinking more along the lines of level 72 end game and things to look out for.

For the Two Takedowns
The Two Raids
Slaughter 3000
Other Endgame types…

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PERFECT! Exactly what I was looking for!


I would love for the green tree to provide more bonuses while shields are full or depleted.


I have tried all the action skills (pretty much) and find the least useful SENTL and MNTIS.

What are you guy’s takes on Action Skills.

The clone does pretty darn good damage inside your barrier …but it’s normal mode.

Does the Barrier hold up at all in end game??

They’re all generally useful.

Digiclone is probably the outright best. Does damage, obviously, but much more than that. Defensively it provides aggro relief, meaning enemies won’t shoot you, and its guns can proc Salvation to help keep you healed. Furthermore, the Old-U skill gives you a single Get-Out-Of-Jail free card. And it scales very well into mayhem mode.

MNTIS is the most versatile since its very spammable. The damage when you crit with it is very nice and becomes great when you invest into it. The main appeal to MNTIS is use with the “Seeing Red” skill in the Hitman tree to keep your Kill Skills up (and your other Action Skill with Good Misfortune). It is also used to activate “On Action Skill End” anointments.

Barrier can be a bit “redundant” in regards to its defensive capabilities since Zane already has fantastic defensive options, but it’s a very cozy and familiar action skill. The barrier amp is consistent damage for your guns and has synergies with gun like the Redistributor from Maliwan Takedown (only synergy really I suppose). It can also be helpful with keeping the “Topped Off” Guardian Rank skill for more CDR, as you’ll be able to avoid some chip damage.

SNTNL is in a weird spot. Previously it was mainly used for the “100% Bonus Cryo while SNTNL is active” anoint before MNTIS came along and gave us access to better anoints. The utility it provides is fine it its own regards but it really just doesn’t provide much. Winter’s Drone augment can freeze enemies with relative ease. Bad Dose applies radiation status effects for the rad-splosions (and it also doea a very minor and insignificant debuff).
Its better augments include Static Deterrent Field (which is great for shield regen) and Boomsday (which is one of its better damage options). Almighty Ordinance is great for damage but the “one time use” of it absolutely kills any viability for that augment.
Overall, unless you use a Guardian Angel from the DLC 6 first Vault Card, SNTNL’s damage kinda falls short as well as its utility provided being very unnoticeable. But it is very cute.

To answer your main question, any combination of Zane’s action skills can be endgame viable.


Joseph has pretty much nailed it imo but would add the main strength of the barrier along with comfort is its interaction with the redistributor as it makes every shot amp thus every shot amp.
My 2 main zanes use clone and mantis for max damage both through the clone and being able to proc ase anoints and/or ass.
The clone provides a very unique gameplay loop being able to swap to flank etc and means you have to think about the battlefield as a whole rather than whats immediately in front of you. Personally one of the most enjoyable skills in borderlands history :grin:

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My primary Zane build (which does well on all content) uses only SNTL and MNTIS cannon. I don’t use the other action skills as a general rule. When you throw an ASS Frozen Heart in there with an Ice Breaker, it’s very powerful. I feel certain you can probably get just as much or more out of Clone and MNTIS, but Clone has never been my thing. I believe Clone is most powerful once you turn on Mayhem levels because of the way scaling works, but I don’t know the math on that too well. I do know you have to be mindful of the weapon you’re holding when you throw out your clone, and I am not a huge fan of the micromanagement involved there. Again, that’s just me though. Personally, I find the Barrier to be the least useful action skill, unless you are using the Redistributor to get the continuous amp shots.

I like MNTIS cannon because it has the cryo augment and the “Get over here!” Raiden debuff augment LOL. And also fast cooldown and the ability to use it frequently to proc ASEs. The SNTL drone is up constantly, gives you some debuffs as well, and also helps me identify where that last enemy on the map is hiding behind cover LOL.

Just my 2 cents.

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Thanks fellas…at this point I really have no clue what I am doing…

A little bit of this….a little bit of that…oops that didn’t work. Lol

I was so used to M11…When I finished my first play through, I immediately went to M11 and TVHM…

Oh boy….took me 10 minutes to kill a normal enemy….

Big mistake……back to M1 or 2 till I level to 72…then can gradually gear up back to M11.

There is a clear reason why you need M10 guns to play at M10 or 11 :grinning:

I had forgotten that reason but was reminded in a not so gentle way….


I’ll say right off that I have the least experience with the MNTIS cannon, but I’ve found great utility and synergy for all Zane’s action skills.

The Barrier is great, especially once you figure out the augments. All-Rounder is pretty much a guarantee for me when using this skill; the 360 coverage/amp damage is great when you’re against big mobs or boss enemies with really large attacks. The Deterrence Field is helpful for keeping melee enemies away from yourself or the clone (in my experience, melee and splash kill the clone more than anything else). I’ve seen DF stagger enemies mid-jump-attack many times, and it peels away shields while it’s doing it. Distributed Denial may be one of the most broken skills in the game, but it does have a few useful tricks. Combine it with an All-In, Big Boom Blaster, or any other booster shield, and you will be swimming in the things. The Whiskey Tango Foxtrot explosives proc as well, providing another layer of deterrence, but putting some distance between Zane and their splash. A Black Hole or Void Rift shield with ASS anoint can turn the Barrier emitter and the dome itself into a kind of trap. Their singularities originate from the Barrier emitter, as well as their respective novas and homing spikes. Combined with Deterrence Field, this gives you a very tight group of staggered, sometimes frozen enemies, ripe for splash damage. The other augments are kind of meh, as are the skills beyond Distributed Denial, but it definitely has it’s upsides.

The SNTNL drone was my go-to skill before I started using the Clone. It might be worth it on just the SNTNL cryo/15% movement speed anoints, but damned if it doesn’t constantly proc Seein’ Dead and Good Misfortune. I love drone delivery, since I tend to run 2 action skills, instead of one with grenades. Keeps the It’s Piss and Mesmers in the fight. It’s also his only original action skill that can be deployed in almost any place/time. The clone won’t summon on certain terrain, and the barrier emitter will break as soon as it hits Killavolt’s floor. You can also set it to attack a specific target, where the clone will attack whoever it pleases. Which reminds me, the SNTNL always procs Trick Of The Light, since enemies can’t target the drone.

I love the clone. I’ve heard some people call it a “dumb AI”, but like any other action skill, it’s a tool, and it’s on you to use it effectively. That said, without Double Barrel, Donnybrook, and Boom Enhance, you’re looking at some diminished capabilities. I enjoy Fractal Frags for the same reason as Drone Delivery. Old-U has been a lifesaver, especially when everyone is dead, and you end up in FFYL because of some stupid barrel or residual explosion. Double Barrel can be one of the most fun, interesting skill in the game. While the fire patterns of the Clone make it ineffective with certain types of weapons (continuous beam and certain full-auto esp), it can absolutely wreck with others. The Hellwalker, Rowan’s Call, and Trevonator to name a few. The Grease Trap is awesome, because you can be spraying the Hot Grease while the Clone uses the Fire Starter mode. The clone is also great with Launchers, and other weapons that eat ammo (Tizzy). I love handing him a RYNAH. And oh man, weapons like the Flipper, with Clone ammo regen anoint? :kissing_smiling_eyes: :ok_hand:
Oh, and of course, the switching with the clone when you find yourself falling to your death. :sweat_smile:


Is Eraser worth it?

Does the additional gun damage only apply after piecing?

What weapons would make this skill great? Jakobs And all “Call” weapons?

Check out Moxsys Ricochet Wizard on YouTube to answer that question. Love that build! Out of all of them the most.

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Eraser is like Bore on paper, but much dumber and more powerful in practice since it has a similar effect but doesn’t need overlapping hitboxes AND double dips a bunch of your damage stats.

For Hustler/Eraser try Creamer, Globetrotter, Yellowcake from launchers

Shrieking devil, Anarchy, Critical thug, Recursion, Shocker from shotguns


OK…take back what I said on favorite action Skills.

SENTL and MNTIS combined…with the Drone delivering Grenades and an Executor mod…

Just wow.

And I have been totally used to slow assed Moze…

Get those Kill Skills going and the speed boosts Zane has and just….WOW!

Haven’t played any of the DLCs yet so no Seein Dead but the Executor is Awesome.

Infiltrator is actually TOO fast for me….throws my targeting off…but LORDY!

Dahl Assault Rfles and Vladof weps are Awesome on Zane….and I LOVE auto firing Dahl ARs…feel so GOOD! Crit Machines.


Best Shields…??

I was thinking
Super Soldier
Infernal Wish
Frozen Heart

(for survivability…and depending on perks)
Gas Mask

General Good
Old God

Dahl ARs and Infernal Wish and Zane…

Work well?? Downsides??

Incidentally…any of you guys run into this? Breath of the dying was incredible at TVHM and Mayhem 1 and 2. Spawned those orbs like no tomorrow on kills. Yet at Mayhem 11 , I am VERY rarely getting the orb spawn on a kill…VERY rarely!

Do I have a skill counteracting it somehow now I have more points?

Or is this just another case of he top Mayhem levels completely nullifying a great weapon?

I had similar experience, but attributed it to the fact that it takes forever to kill with it (base damage is not that great), so you will get these orbs very rarely (and they seem to deal most of the damage).

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I think everyone could agree green tree doesn’t offer enough benefits for the point investment.
And more often then not the best way to keep your shields full is to use interactions that don’t usually involve wasting points in the green tree to begin with.

The bottom half of green tree need the effects doubled in my opinion. Freezing an enemies for small life steal when blue tree has a better option on 2nd row? CCC never gets used much because most other class mods suck and kill skill Zane is clearly the best/ only way to play

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