Zane vs Moze ... I went wrong somewhere

Dear players,

I started playing as Zane, using Clone and Drone, because it’s fun to teleport there and back.
At the M2.0 update, I moved to Barrier and Drone, as it seemed way more reliable.
My current build is full Dahl, Seeing Dead COM (+4 Donnybrook, +28% gun damage), Back ham shield (+15% speed), Electric banjo, Star Helix AR (rad +100% cryo), Triple A pistol, Kaoson (auto +200% damage), Sandhawk. It goes up to M8, not super fast at killing things, but really hard to kill. I keep action skills active, run a lot to trigger buffs, etc. Farmed a lot to get the stuff.
After tweaking skills here and there, went with this:

I decided to level a Moze to change pace, at first went full bear, boosting it as much as possible.
At M2.0 update, I struggled a lot, and made some testing. Took things I stored in the bank, and farmed a bit.
Ended up with 1 HP build, Bloodletter COM (+2 DM, +28% gun damage), Transformer shield, Deathless relic, Monarch AR (double barrel +150% rad below 50%hp), Hellfire pistol (when out of AR ammo), Yellowcake (situational, I don’t use it often), Electric Lob and Storm front grenades (mainly for healing myself).
I use IB mainly as a “panic room” when the shield gets too low, despite a 60k+ capacity. I don’t focus on ASE annointments, so IB remains available for trouble times.
Because I maxed “Desperate measures”, and that I tend to kill myslelf with “Fire in the skag den”, it goes that way:

Both rock things in normal mode, no problem even running Maliwan takedown solo.

But it turns out Moze requires way less efforts to kill things in M8. Zane requires timing, precision and movement, using 2-3 mags to kill 1 enemy, while Moze can just stand there and unleash a wall of bullets, killing everything in sight with a single mag (except annointed enemies, ofc.).

Is the Monarch so good vs Kaoson/Star Helix ?
Or maybe because I built Zane wrong ?
Or is it just the characters that are not balanced ?


Monarch is a bossing weapon, so it is pretty effective in mobbing. Kaosan got a nerfed and star helix (one of my favorite) needs another buff

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I do agree Monarch dishes more damage, but holding it slows you down. I’m not super good at math, and playing on xbox, so testing is limited :smiley: I assumed Zane would deal more damage being able to go faster.

So, RIP Dahl build and go Monarch anyway, or … ?

Zane generally speaking has a better damage potential than Moze, but the Star Helix on Zane is just not as strong as the Monarch on Moze, particularily with Moze being able to keep up with the Monarchs ammo consumption.

I’d also say your Zane build could probably use some tweaking. Unless you are doing a full-on cryo build with CCC, you’ll generally want to stop at Confident Competence in the Green Tree.

You also may want to shift around some skills in the blue tree (more points in violent speed, playing dirty over violent violence and you don’t need more than 2 points in Salvation) to get better damage potential and if you have points left, try to get more movement speed.

So the build I would recommend for you looks something like this:

As for the gear you are using: Get rid of the Banjo. It’s just not very good. Since you are running brainfreeze I’d recommend you get yourself an Icebreaker, ideally an Icebreaker Victory Rush with mag size and splash damage.
Depending on if you wanna take the time to re-farm your stuff I’d also be on the lookout for other modifiers on your class mod. I’m not a specialist when it comes to Borderlands math but to my knowledge gun damage isn’t really optimal on Zane. Instead, try to get weapon class specific or splash damage bonuses.
When it comes to guns, well, the Monarch is still top tier, at least against bosses. The Kaoson is also still pretty good, same goes for the Sandhawk, though it uses prohibitive amounts of ammo.

If you can be arsed to farm the Maliwan Takedown for a Redistributor, do so. It still is one of the very best weapons for Barrier&Drone Zane in particular.
The Recursion is also still a top tier weapon for mobbing, particularily if you have some way of adding bonus elements and it pairs nicely with playing dirty.
You also may wanna farm a Plaguebearer or Backburner, they are basically the two best launchers in the game right now and Zane surprisingly can make a lot of use out of launchers just by shooting them whilst sliding or jumping.
I’d recommend you just ditch the Star Helix for now, it’s not a bad weapon per se, but it sadly drops off in higher Mayhem.

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Salvation is over kill, just need 1-2 points depending on build.

Ditch Cold Bore, put more points in Cool Hand(faster reload is more DPS) and 5/5 Playing Dirty(doubles damage with most weapons).

( @Superfr34k is responding and will have some good suggestions too )

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If you want to compare characters you have to get the gear right. If you play 1hp Moze, you have to play 1hp Zane. Even then, secondary rolls matter a lot on your class mods (I see 28% weapon damage which is multiplicative afaik, what are the other secondary stats?) . Mayhem mods have to be the same, too. So… a lot to pay attention to.

Edit 2: my take on “deathless Zane”

I’m well aware, that you probably don’t have duplicates of your gear and that it is a bit gimmicky to always swap the gear when changing characters, that’s just for comparing purposes, but if you get ASE gear, you can use that build really well and even without 1hp shield/artifact.

You don’t need Banjo anymore with Seeing Dead. Throw a Pearl on as your artifact that you’ll immediately see a pretty big damage buff.

Monarch is extremely strong, definitely stronger than either the Kaoson or Star Helix (which is a tad weak right now, though certainly playable). Haven’t had time to look at your builds, but as far as pure items you listed go, Pearl > Banjo and the Monarch is strong as heck.

Wow, thanks.

Lots of advice… but some points bother me a bit:

  1. Deathless Zane seems counterproductive due to how “Confident competence” and “Adrenaline” scale, while Moze 100% benefits “Desperate measures” at all-times. I’ d prefer to have a fully different load of gear from 1 char to another, so I’ll let the deathless on Moze side. Nice try though.

  2. From previous testing, “Violent Momentum” scaling is tricky. Investing 8 points to get full “Violent speed” and “Supersonic man” returns about 10% extra damage, which you get for only 6 points in the green tree as the “Redistribution” Barrier perk, without the annoyance of great speed changes. That way I get extra tanking from green points, plus 2 spare points.

  3. from point 2, wondering if “Violent violence” would not be more beneficial than “Violent speed” … +6% fire rate vs +8% movement speed, I’d say fire rate converts best into damage, but not sure.

Anyway, let’s invest in Playing Dirty, find a suitable Ice breaker, and make some more testing.

I’ll let you know what comes out.

Not really, apart from those two skills being drops in the barrel, you run around with full barrier all the time which is a shield…for your shield…
I understand the item swapping madness, not being very attractive. But maybe you find another pair of gear and try it out some time. I made guardian takedown with a variation of this.

Redistribution doesn’t work when carrying the barrier

Get rid of those defensive perks, the best defense is an overwhelming offense. Filling the hitman tree will make you clear much faster and get less damage. And the only defense you’ll ever need is one point in salvation and health gating. The only weakness to this is reloading.

Violent momentum scaling with 70% more speed only giving 10% more damage, is far from my experience with said skills.

Not on Zane. Provided you have your full 5 points in Violent Momentum movement speed is one of the biggest deals you can get. Violent Violence only translates to dps, but isn’t a true damage boost because you run out of ammo more quickly and spend more time reloading by comparison. On Moze, rate of fire is much more relevant because you can get ammo back and depending on your build and the weapon you are using might never actually have to reload.

I don’t know how you have been testing but rest assured that this isn’t quite accurate.
That aside, you are running Seein’ Dead and Salvation. If the lifesteal cannot keep you alive there is something very wrong with either your build or your gear. Redistribution also only works if the barrier is placed down and I’d assume that you’d probably want to pick it up most of the time.

As for the violent momentum damage bonus, this doesn’t quite check out. If you take a look at the math behind it here you should be getting way more than just 10% and that falls in line with the experience I have made on this character.

I’m assuming you:

1.) Built Zane Poorly
2.) didn’t have comparable gear + Anoints.

Zane is regularly considered unkillable 90% of the time in game, and Moze is… well, lets just say that many people are holding their breath to see if today fixes her.

I’m surprised no one has pointed this out yet but Futility Belt is actually a harmful skill. If I’m remembering correctly, the kill skill part actually increases the damage fire, corrosive and cryo does to your shield plus shock and corrosive does to your health.

On a lesser note, I would personally recommend moving those points from Hearty Stock to Ready for Action as I think Recharge Rate is more important than capacity when the barrier is a factor.


For Moze, looking at your build, you may want to try this. This is how I’ve built my Moze, and I only play M10. If you’re running a Deathless build with a Bloodletter mod, then all you can really take advantage of the red tree. There is a lot of amazing damage in there and her kill skills add even more and give her momentum. Once you get the ball rolling, you can keep killing at a fast rate.

I find that I don’t even need the blue tree and that red/green is way more fun. The healing you gain from doing damage while sprinting is insane. I can refill 120,000 shields in less than a second by firing while sprinting. Obviously using the Monarch in bipod mode, you won’t be able to sprint, so you’ll need to be aware of that, but otherwise you can always take moments to sprint and shoot to keep your shields at max thanks to Bloodletter.

I’m running:

  • Bloodletter class mod with +51% dahl critical, +35% AR damage, +35% SMG damage
  • Deathless with +20% AR damage, +20% radiation damage
  • Transformer with +shields after exiting iron bear
  • Quasar grenade with +50% corrosive on action skill end

For guns I’m using Dahl ARs and SMGs with the 150% rad anointment, particularly the SoulRender which performs extremely well. The key is definitely to be getting crits as much as possible. I’m able to solo the Maliwan Takedown on M10 with this build.

I also have an OPQ System with 150% rad anointment, and a Bloodletter mod with +51% atlas critical, and I’ll switch to that for fun sometimes, though I’ve always loved Dahl weapons and mostly use them for the enjoyment of it.

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Not sure what buffs they gave Moze today but I just took down Capt Traunt on M10 in about 3 minutes with a M10 Orchestrated Hellshock- this is something that has taken at least 10-15 minutes in the past (including using a Cost-Effective Optimized O.P.Q. System). Using this build right now:
Using Exploding. Bullets x2 for the augments. Gear is as follows:

M10 Cost-Effective Optimized O.P.Q. System (no anoints)
M10 Orchestrated Hellshock- while under 50% health deal 150% bonus radiation damage
M7 Hyperfocus XZ41- 300/90 anoint
M10 The Lob (shock)- when AS is active reduce all incoming damage by a small amount
The Transformer
Boomin’ Reinforced Bear Trooper- +1 Grizzled, +2 Stainless Steel Bear,+2 Explosive Punctuation w/ +21% weapon critical damage, +35% pistol damage & +56% Tediore weapon accuracy
Grenade: Surge- on AS end gain 50% bonus radiation damage with weapons for 10 seconds
Relic: Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge- +12% fire rate, +17% reload speed

I’ve picked up a couple of Kaoson’s and am about to start the new DLC- let’s see what happens now :slightly_smiling_face:

Moze can do triple the damage zane can do.

Zane is invicible though and skillless when barrier seeing dead with that killskill that gives duration back.

I mean u can slide for some sick.damage.

Moze can superslide too for damage just she dont got massive ms speed buffs…

Zands best damage is ase clone bang while staying full hitman with dome shield.

All the bunny icons.

Using clone bang is a mega difference with ase anoints.

But moze can pretty much passive sick damage.
Anyways irom bear works ok again at m10

The Hellshock (Maliwan pistol) got buffed today.

I grinded to level 60 and then made some iterating tests while farming for updated gear, still using my L57-M6/8/10 gear. Not getting the DLC until it gets my language.

I prefer by far playing on M8, setting modifiers to “Big kick” and “Holy crit”, so my screen is not filled with blinking effects and nonsensic tricks.

Zane :

  • Ice breaker artifact, even with poor stats, is definitely above Electric banjo.
  • Playing dirty does add damage, on an irregular basis, but often enough to be noticed.
  • Maxing Violent violence AND Violent speed feels more comfortable than investing in Supersonic man. Too much speed makes my aim shaky, so I can’t reliably crit (that 's what you get for playing FPS on a pad).

Tree goes as this :
(kept 1 point in Cold bore for QoL, swap a lot. More than 3 points in Adrenaline is not needed, already full-time on AS. Swapped Redistribution to Nanites perk, now reload in a blink)

Damage is better but still feels under Moze’s by a good mile.
I guess that’s suitable for a Dahl-dedicated build.


  • No need to bother gear update while leveling, beware though that your shield depletes faster if not updated, as the enemies do more damage.
  • L57M8 vs L60M8 seems roughly +50% damage (from what I see on 2 similar Hellshocks). Haven’t found shield yet to compare. The scaling is getting exponential, next level cap upgrade would hurt a lot.
  • Grenades are not just here for utility :smiley: and I can one-shot kill myself with L60M8 ones :frowning:
  • Gave a new shot at Clone to see how he does with a Sandhawk. Specifically set it to semi-auto before activating clone, and that little **** changed it to burst shot. Get back in your wallet, poor photocopy, my Barrier doesn’t change my settings (note to self : never ever again give him a Lob or Jericho).

Moze :

  • Put the 3 extra points in Scorching RPMs.
  • Experienced FFYL again (not happened for months) briefly, reaching L60 just before Wotan was bad timing …
  • still have to try IB, but too tired to change the whole build again.

As I said previously, the first purpose of building a Moze was to change pace.
Therefore, I avoid using kill skills and all Dahl weapons.
Electric lob refills full shield with 1-2 shots at feet, so no need to sprint. That way I don’t swap bipod in/out, I swap weapons. Add in Storm front grenades, and you can even stay still to aim.

Seems all pistols, non-Vladof AR, and Tediore SMGs got a buff.
Hyperion, Maliwan and Jakobs shotguns too.