Zane can run Deathless relic and it is amazing (New Zane build guide)

As of right now, I am calling this my build, as I used no outside influence to make it and have not seen any video, post, or article that mentions a build similar to this. If someone has already talked about this specific build, I will edit this post and credit them. If this post gets enough attention I will also try to post clips of the build in use later on.

I made a build a few days ago for Zane that uses the Deathless relic and relies on shield strength to maximize both damage output and defensive potential. So far I have run both of RyanCentral’s Zane Builds, a Cryo build, and an infinite grenade build, and I believe this new build surpasses all of them. It allows you to have at least one action skill up at all times and keep shields at 100% very easily, while also adding the majority of damage and movement buffs found in other builds. I have been running TVHM M3 Proving Grounds and Slaughter Shaft with it and it is extremely easy to stay alive with this build while also doing some serious damage, both to mobs and bosses. And it also doesn’t require a specific weapon type to be effective.

Without further ado, here’s the build:

Skill Trees -

Shield Mod - Any Transformer, but try to get one anointed in Action Skill Cooldown Rate. It is crucial to have 100% resistance to shock damage since you are relying solely on your shields with Deathless.

Class Mod - This one is more subjective, you can use whichever one modifies the perks you like best. As you can see in the above pics, I have an Executor mod that gives +4 Playing Dirty and +1 Good Misfortune which are two crucial skills for the build, but it is not required for them to be this high. Based on your play style you may find it better to increase other skills. DO NOT increase Borrowed Time, it is important that you only increase Good Misfortune to get longer Action Skill duration (I will explain later). The Executor mod is probably the best one for this build since it increases so many status effects for each kill.

Grenade Mod - This build does not use grenades (and isn’t any worse off because of it).

Relic Mod - As the title implies, this build is focused around the Deathless relic. You want to find one that improves one or more of the following in the status effect list: Shield Capacity, Shield Recharge Delay, Shield Recharge Rate, or Action Skill Cooldown Rate (this one is the most important).

Note) while it is possible to run this build with a different shield/relic combo, this combo is the best and most effective at increasing your shield’s ability to stay at maximum. Whatever combo you use, you must have the anoints and the status effects being focused towards your shield and your action skill cooldown rate.

Build Description - Essentially, this build requires three things to be at its most effective: 1) your shields being at 100% capacity, 2) your action skills being up as often as possible, and 3) you are constantly killing enemies (this is not as crucial but killing things will always make things better). The great thing about this build is that it can act as both a solo build and a support build since it revolves around the use of Barrier and SNTNL.

In terms of damage buffs, you are getting +20% for having shields at full capacity, +20% for each active action skill, +20% at max movement speed, and increased damage over time with +25% fire rate. And most importantly in my case, 9/5 on Playing Dirty gives me a 90% chance to do DOUBLE DAMAGE on my first 5 shots after each kill. Bad Dose on SNTNL means that enemies will be irradiated and more susceptible to damage.

In terms of shield ability, using Nanites or Some **** on Barrier gives you improved Shield Recharge Delay when close to the barrier (and as I’ll explain in a bit, you’ll always be close to the barrier), and SNTNL’s Static Field will be constantly recharging your shield as well. This results in your shield being full almost all the time, which means you will have an almost permanent buff in damage and overall increased durability.

Now back to what I mentioned about Borrowed Time. As all dedicated Zane players know, his effectiveness rests almost solely on how long and how often he can have his kill skills up, which is why Seein’ Red is the cornerstone of any Zane build. So in short, since you activate all your kill skills every time you activate an action skill, you want those action skills to be as short as possible and cooldown as quickly as possible so you can activate them again as quickly as possible, right? But this isn’t entirely true. You want your action skills to end asap ASSUMING that you aren’t getting a kill chain going each time you activate them, because otherwise your kill skills will end while your action skills are only halfway done and you’re left powerless and defenseless. With this build, Good Misfortune is essential because it keeps your action skills going longer each time you get a kill, which results in the +20/40% damage buff from Synchronicity being activated longer. Unlike Good Misfortune, Borrowed Time increases their duration on a base level with no kill prerequisites, which means that if your kill skills end early you’re stuck waiting that much longer for the action skills to end before you can proc them again. This is why you want to avoid this skill like the plague.

How to use build - When mobbing, activate SNTNL first so it can go ahead and get to the enemies. Then activate Barrier and immediately pick it up. IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL THAT YOU ALWAYS PICK THE SHIELD UP because you want to be able to move around and get that +20% gun damage from Violent Momentum while also using Barrier as extra protection. Having Barrier picked up will keep you pretty much invincible for the duration of its life which increases the time your shield is at max. This is why you want to keep Barrier activated longer through kills and not on a base level, because when you get kills you are reactivating your kill skills anyway so you want to keep your Barrier up as well to keep the chain going. Once you’ve picked up Barrier, focus on getting a kill chain going to keep both your kill skills and Barrier active. If you do it right you can eliminate whole hordes of enemies with one activation sequence. The only times you do not pick the shield up are in team situations where everyone stands in the shield, or when killing bosses because their attacks are easier to predict and avoid. If you have a good amount of increased Action Skill Cooldown Rate, by the time Barrier ends the cooldown should only take 5 seconds so you almost instantly have it back again. And with SNTNL lasting much longer than Barrier, the time difference results in SNTNL lasting about as long as two Barrier uses. So every other Barrier proc, you are using SNTNL as well and getting the +40% damage boost.

I know earlier I said weapon type isn’t important with this build, but if you spec up Playing Dirty like I did then you will want to have a good range of Jakobs and Torgue guns in your arsenal, as when Playing Dirty is active you want each of those 5 shots to do as much damage as possible.

So that’s it, this so far the best build I have used for Zane. I believe that with further practice and improved timing of my action skill activations I can have my kill skills up 100% of the time. I know this post will probably get drowned out in all the other Zane builds out there but I really hope at least some people give this a try because it’s a very fun and very rewarding build that maximizes all of Zane’s strengths and has very few weaknesses.


tbh Deathless should proc both as 1% health remaining and full health at the same time. Unless they make a new relic that keeps ur health at max always for a shield zane Calm Cool Collected.

1 Like

you got gameplay vids?

Thanks for posting this! Im currently levelling my small second char as Zane and was asking myself how to live with a good viable build for the endgame. Guess this is the answer.

Hopefully Gearbox won’t nerf the deathless artifact into oblivion since I also use it on my main char now :sweat_smile:

If they do you can expect some angry tells now ^^

I was using something very close to this a month ago on my Zane. One pump chump. There are also guides on youtube around that time on this build.

This build work just as well with the exact opposite, meaning a Rough rider (and obviously you pick the kill skill that grant you life steal).