UVHM Zero struggles

Well, as the title says I’m having issues with my L52 Zero in UVHM. He doesn’t seem to do anywhere near as much damage with general mobs as e.g. Maya and I’m dying a lot. I’m hanging back and not charging in but generally unless I’ve only got one or two enemies to deal with I’m having a hard time of it.

Here’s my build so far: http://bl2skills.com/assassin.html#505041000051355105015010000000.

I’ve tried to follow the guidelines in the master build lists. I’m fairly underwhelmed by Zero’s melee ability and it seems enemies have to be on their very last legs for it to be of any use. Kunia are good and help out a lot and I don’t have too much issue with bosses like BNK-3R thanks to Bore, but for some reason enemies are reluctant to line up nicely for me so it takes a bit of work to utilise that much in general gameplay. Groups of Nomad Arsonists are very hard to deal with, which were a breeze with Maya.

As you can probably tell from my skills, I have more of a gun than melee playstyle. I’ve experimented a lot with different weapons but I’m finding it a bit hit and miss. For example, I can take out super bad Psychos quite easily with my Incendiary Lady Fist pummelling their crit spots, but fire Spiderants are almost spray and pray with a Lasceaux.

Gear wise I have nothing special and of course this is very fluid as I level up. In addition to the Lady Fist (L50) I have Maliwan snipers for Slag, Fire and Corrosive, all within two levels. I have a relic which reduces my cooldown by 31% and I’m relying heavily on my health COM to keep me alive as most enemies seem to down my shields with ease. A Tubby gave me a L52 WTF just recently, so I’m trying that out, and I have a purple Maliwan Incendiary SMG and a L52 Bunny for those frequent FFYL moments.

I do reasonable damage with Snipers, the Lasceaux (good for shield stripping), Lady Fist and NE Gwen’s Head, but otherwise everything is a bit meh. I also have a Torgue rifle which isn’t too bad, but otherwise nothing that springs to mind. Health wise I use a purple Homing Transfusion to help out.

I try not to barge in and hang back where I can, but that’s not always an option. I’m hoping I’ll adapt to him better as time goes on but at the moment I can’t say he’s a great deal of fun. Any ideas greatly appreciated.

It remembers me how much hard were my first steps in UVHM with my own Assassin :sweat:

General tips for entering UVHM in an easier way :
Farm very good gear at level 50-51 in TVHM (quest rewards, Moxxi gun’s, a few Legendaries easy to get, maybe a Seraph too)
Abuse Slag (you’ll need 2 Slag’s sources you can rely on at any time)
Always get something to strip shields (because a lot of mobs will have one in UVHM)

Z3r0 tips for UVHM :
Go Melee, really. It scales to your level, so you won’t be in hard time due to low leveled gear. It’s very difficult to master melee in UVHM, but it’s soooo powerfull when you do ! :slight_smile:
I played Sniper/Killer builds in NVHM and TVHM, but I had to change my mind when I started UVHM.
You’ll need some specific gear to ease your way, but once you’ll do it, you won’t be disappointed anymore :wink:

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I’ve modified your build a slight amount - http://bl2skills.com/assassin.html#500531100051055135015010000000

The Shock Decoy is really handy for both just the damage and clearing up shields. More useful than Fearless because you’re quite fragile so you don’t want to gear around not having any shield (unless you’re dealing with an Amp build? Perhaps? You’re not melee-focused enough for that to work, imo).

One rank in Vel0city is always worth it for the overall improvements; any more can be great but you have to be prepared for the wacky effects it can have on projectiles.

As long as your gear is levelled to you, you should be fine. I struggled a bit going into UVHM because all my gear was L49 or lower, and the damage formula kicks in at 3 levels under, resulting in all my stuff doing a lot less damage than was ideal. Grab some stuff with Golden Keys if you’re really struggling, otherwise just make sure your gear is at your level and you’ll be fine.

Think before engaging mobs; scout with Decepti0n, feel free to scurry away and wait for the cooldown, or head in with Kunai, apply to as many enemies as possible. Make sure your Decoy is close to them (if you level the Shock Decoy skill) and then unleash whatever weapon you prefer (Snipers are good, Shotguns are good). Retreat and repeat for very tough enemies. Always have a Rocket Launcher to hand for FFYL.


Thanks for the tips. I’ve found the melee less than impressive so far. Not sure what skills I’d want to give up for it?

The only guns that seem to do any damage are pistols and snipers, for some reason. I just shot a Scavenger at about three meters away with an on-level Bustling Bunny, which allegedly does 200K damage (normal guns around 12K), but I may as well have tickled him with a feather for all the damage I did. I sometimes don’t get the maths GBX uses for its calculations!

I think I’ve died more with Zero in UVHM so far than I did in my entire UVHM playthrough with Maya, and I’ve only just reached Bloodshot ramparts!

Thanks for the tips and build. I will try it out as soon as I’ve finished bringing Matchstick to his fiery end. See above for the rocket launcher. I do more damage with a Lasceaux in FFYL, for some reason.

Is Precision that worth it?

You could try it this way :
You won’t have Kunais until lvl57 and Bore is only usefull on Bosses while leveling, so you could wait for it

And try to get an Evisceration Slag Ruby in TVHM (quest reward, so dashboard farmable)

Remember to Slag any target everytime :wink:

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Yep the UVHM grind can be brutal working your way up the ranks, and you will die a lot. Multiple sources of slag including a slag transfusion (Slagga is wonderful for him as well), get a good shotty like a Ravager, CC, Quad, or whatever you can get your hands on. They mentioned it above, a good shock weapon is essential. Sounds like you’re at A Dam Fine Rescue, so you could go farm Savage Lee for a Harold, Zer0 can wreck with that. I don’t remember exactly how I built mine at the beginning since he was my first character, but your spec doesn’t look a whole lot different. Probably something like this. Good luck and keep at it, he is very rewarding once you hit 72/OP8!

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Tried this build. Haven’t died for at least three minutes so I’d say it’s a success!:smile:

You’re right about the Shock Decoy and it’s helped a lot against the Spiderants in the Dust. Off to test against enemies who can fire back now

Many thanks!

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Do you have any of the Headhunter packs? How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day is really good for getting gear at your level, what with the Train Chests that you get after beating the Boss.

Other gear you might want is Transfusion Grenades, singularity Grenades are fantastic for B0re (if you find a longbow slag singularity with 0.0 fuse then you’re pretty much set, no need to refarm for it.)

Otherwise, what COMs are you using with your build?

Yes, I have Mercenary day - just not played it yet! I’ve not done any DLC with Zero yet. If he can’t handle the main game I shudder to think how he’s going to manage the Skeletons in Tina’s DLC!

I use Transfusion grenades at the moment (haven’t found slag ones yet) and I’m using a Survivor COM. I did use a Sniper COM in TVHM but I’m feeling a bit weak in UVHM. I definitely didn’t have this many issues with either Axton or Maya.

Might have a look at Mercenary Day later. Appreciate the tip

Zer0 takes a lot more skill to play than Maya or Axton and I say this as a Maya player. When I play zer0 I can be doing great then one mistakes and its over. You have to be on your toes with zer0 for sure. It’s all about movement being hard to hit, where maya and axton you can tank a lot.


Mercenary Day is very short with simple enemies: reskinned Bandits and Bullymongs mostly, and the unique snowmen enemies have fairly low health compared to everything else. Mr. Tinder is an easy enough boss, but just be aware that unless you’re using a slag bouncing betty, he’s not going to be slagged, if you can slag him at all. He still falls very quickly to a Fire Vladof Sniper Rifle though, so really it’s just learning his attacks and kiting him.

The Skeletons I believe take extra damage from melee, but in general I use Torgue shotguns to deal with them. Tiny Tina’s and Hammerlock’s DLCs are where I switch from a Sniper-focused Build to a more generalized gun build since sniping in those DLCs are a pain.

As for COMs, I highly recommend Killer or Professional COMs, as they are fantastic for general gun builds.

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As Derch said, Zero requires skill. Practice makes perfect.

The other important factor is that you’re level 52. You’re precisely at the hardest part of the game. As you go up in levels you’ll have more skill points but the enemies will be proportionally similar, resulting in a net gain.

Also, generally speaking, Zero’s survival goes through DPS and movement: You can’t make him tanky, so your best bet is to kill fast and be hard to hit. The survivor COM is just OK.

Consider Two fangs as a DPS increase, it’s much better than what people initially think.

I would try to find a Professional COM: it does everything right for nearly all guns.

Well, Mercenary Day was a good call. First run and I got a Grounded The Bee and a Black Hole, as well as a couple of useful COMs, so not a bad effort. The changes to my build have been noticeable as I’m dying less. I’m guessing the advice is to continue up the Bloodshed tree to get Execute?

Thanks all for the help so far. Much appreciated

Grim and Followthrough are going to help you a lot once you get them. Execute is a good movement tool for guns builds but I would focus in Followthrough first.

When I play Zer0, I usually equip a shotty for out-of-Decepti0n damage, a FFYL gun, a Slag gun and something for sustained fire. Vladof and Dahl Pistols are very good with gun Zer0, Jakobs ones can do work to.
Also, some Jakobs and Dahl AR are surprisely good too. Torgue ones are amazing due to the additional splash damage.

And, as said, Professional and Killer are two really solid choices for COM.

Dont bother with gear rarity, Zer0 can make even commom white/green gear work out if your is outleveled.

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Drop the survivor com, learn how health gating works and make use of it. Get a rubi or a grog. Slag everything.

Picked up a Legendary Hunter from the Loot Train, so will give that a whirl.

That’s a pretty good all-situation-com. Though the skills on it aren’t the best in the world. Look for a legendary killer from tubbies, if you have a general gun build.

yeah I’ve done a few Dust runs but no joy yet. Think I’ll attempt the Bloodshot ramparts with what I have now. Got some decent snipers from the loot Train, too, which should help.

The Incendiary Lady Fist has made Frosty a piece of cake. He just wilts with the crits!

I use a cheap’n’nasty build for my Zer0, due to lack of skill… I don’t melee with him either.

If you wanna make Zer0 into a Salvador-style character, it’s pretty easy:
Skills: ALL the shootiest ones! None of the punchy ones.
Guns: Slagga, DPUH, Thunderball Fists and a RL.
Shield: Antagonist or any good Turtle Shield (Zer0 is brilliant with Turtles)
Relic: Sheriff’s Badge (just use a TVHM version)
Grenade: Slag Transfusion or something for shock like a Stormfront.
COM: Chaotic Evil Monk (this is the most important part for a shooty build imo).

Yeah it’s not an imaginative build, but OMG it chews though the troops. And he hardly ever dies if everything is dead already…

The tips above for the train are great - abuse that easy loot source!

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