Zero or Kreig for Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, Single Player

Hi, been a couple years since I played Borderlands 2 and I wanted to go through the campaign and dlc again on Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. I remember that Zero and Krieg where my favorite characters from my last playthroughs so now I can’t decide which to play.

(both characters starting at lv 61, zero is melee build, krieg is fire and melee build)

I played the first couple of hours of both their campaign and I’ve found
Zero: great single damage, but really struggling with mobs, I can kill a couple people while deciption is active, when the skill is down I pretty much have to run either away from the fight or around cover. Since in borderlands most areas don’t have a lot of cover I really struggle to keep alive. I have to rely more on shooting from a range before I can use my melee skills and perks to get some kills, if begin the fight with deception to get a couple kills but there are still a few enemies close then I get focused pretty hard, lose a lot of health and I don’t have much health regeneration.
Kreig: great sustained damage and survivability, the points I have invested give him damage reduction and a lot of health regeneration from dealing elemental damage. The damage I am doing from melee strikes in general and during his active skill are enough to rival my Zero.

To summarise, my Zero is probably doing more than my Kreig, however that high damage is circumstantial (only while deception is active, target marked, behind target) whereas with Kreig his damage is not that much lower than my Zero’s peak and can dish out that damage normally, (without special circumstances). With Zero if I don’t have deception up I’m essentially running around focusing on not getting shot rather than shooting back, so at the start of the fight I try to thin out the mob from range or shave down their health for the deception and excecute but with Krieg I don’t need to play so safe due to the health regen from elemental, damage reduction, overkill skill and super buzzkill mode constantly refill my hp, while still doing damage that rivals zero’s peak.

So from my experience so far I am leaning towards Kreig, but I do really like Zero’s playstyle, and with Kreig I am running part melee and part fire build so enemies in the early game are all bandits who take a lot of fire damage when when I have multiple enemies on fire, the regeneration I get from them makes me super durable. When I reached the point where you have to rescue Roland and right the robots I noticed a dip in my chatacters ability but I was still getting the damage reduction buff and regeneration from slag and corrosive proc.
So I want to know in late game is it most likely to continue this trend or will I find that Krieg will have his struggles or Zero will shine in late game.

I played a lot of kreig a when he first came out and uvhm first came out, but I never touched the right tree, I understand is not as good in op8 but you’re aren’t doing that yet, my recomendation is keep krieg but maybe spec into the center and left tree as your damage will sty constant against bandits and loaders alike, plus bloodsplosion is really good.

I played zero a decent bit when the game first came out, but I’ve found I don’t like very much in op8 as a melee charecter, too much of a glass cannon for my taste.

I just started Krieg (level 10) while my ninja Zer0 has recently reached OP8: Krieg seems cool but I love Zer0.
That said, if you want to play Zer0 exclusively melee you need a evisceration Rubi / Grog Noozle so that you can keep slashing at enemies and be able to stay alive while Deception is down.
You’ll probably need cover if enemies are too far away, but with a good proficiency relic / bone of the ancient it shouldn’t take too long to be able to cast Deception again and start charging at them.

Of the two I prefer Krieg but like @matthewgarmsiri I didn’t touch the right tree. Others have success with Hellborn Krieg but for me it’s mostly Bloodsplosion with a side of Melee.

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Also, don’t quote me on this, from what I understand hell born kreig doesn’t scale well on op levels

I’ve found Hellborn Krieg to be fine at op8 unless you are playing against mostly fire resistant enemies, but even then with the right gear you can make it work…not sure at multi-player difficulty against fire resistant enemies, haven’t really tried that out much…

My mistake then, I’ve never looked too deeply into that tree, it’s just unappealing to my playstyle

Considering that Hellborn buffs damage, reload speed, fire-rate, elemental effect chance and (burn) damage I would say it scales really well at OP8, with a melee-centered build you’ll get really high survivability through the combination of Elemental Empathy, Raving Retribution and +% burn chance and damage.


Zer0 is the one character I’ve never been able to make work well. Maybe one of these days I should give melee Zer0 another go. But listen to the advice of others on him.

For Krieg, I recommend picking either melee or elemental damage. A melee Krieg needs very little in terms of gear. He can chain Release the Beast all day. And I’ve hit the damage cap by combining it with Bloodsplosions.

Hellborn Krieg needs decent elemental weapons, but he can do insane damage as well.

Either way, spec into Bloodsplosion. It’s one of those skills just too good not to take. I originally passed on it, and found OP levels a little too difficult. When I respecced for melee and Bloodsplosion, I found OP8 a much more manageable time.

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Melee Zero is very difficult to play well, particularly at OP8. There’s an awesome series of Man of Low Moral Fiber videos where he goes through in great detail how to play op8 Ninja Zero… It’s very gear dependent and still takes lots of practice and skill. I like his suggestion of reconfiguring your controller so you don’t have to press R3 constantly…

I find other Zero builds to be fine at op8 and given how damage Zero can put out, as long as you aren’t just charging around or staying out of cover too long, you should be fine with him. The safest is probably the sniper based build, as the Leg Sniper COM works well with a lot of weapons, like shotguns, in addition to snipers. Although I’m not wild on the skill boosts of the Leg Hunter COM, the movement bonus it provides is really useful and with good overall weapons/shields, this is a simple yet very effective setup.

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Interesting, do you find you are able to do enough Melee damage in that build at op8 without Silence the Voices?

I feel very much like you do about Zero. I never mastered him and he’s the only character I don’t have at L72 or above. I gave up in the mid-L50s. There are plenty of vids out there of Zero taking on The Peak with great success but I never developed those skills.

UVHM can be a bit of a frustrating slog, solo, especially if you can’t be bothered to farm the best weapons, like me :smile: I was ignoring UVHM for “fun” play but then the Krieg DLC was released and I found a BL2 Vaulthunter who felt as “badass” as the BL1 Vaulthunters. I powered him through UVHM even without any Slag in his skill trees. I’ve never OP’d a Krieg because the last thing I want to do is play him carefully :smile:

So, answering your question, I’d take Krieg to get through UVHM comfortably. However, if you want to put time and effort into a Zero build, I imagine that would be very satisfying. It was just beyond me.

did some brief calculations looking at the skill tree
(without class mods)
Zero at his peak gains 1610% melee damage (including 500% low hp execute, kill skill, 250% counter strike, deception up till the last moment, be like water and exclude be like wind since it doesn’t work during deception if you have execute.
Kreig gets 1100% melee damage, pretty straight forward, release the beast, no shields, on fire, silence the voices. dont know how to calculate blood overdrive because i havent used that tree yet and dont know how quickly you build stats.

with class mods i can imagine that the difference between their peek melee damage further increases but zero can only apply this damage once every 5 seconds with cooldown reduction but Kreig can apply that damage consistly.

however, i know the reason i skimmed through the earky part of the was due to exploiting flesh fire weakness and that will drop off when there is more enemy variety, im not sure if elemental empathy works on only burn or all elements.

I might stick with zero if he had better regeneration becauae i like being rewarded for tactical and precise melee assassinations in the heat of battle but with Kreig gets a lot of tankyness for close enough melee strength and offers bonus to your elemental weapons. what gear do i need to give him to get life steal? I’ve seen melee op8 zero solo a boss and they are constantly refilling their hp somehow.

As said before, any Moxxi’s weaponry, particurarly Rubi or Grog Noozle

sry i missed that, i dont like being too dependant on deception but this is a shooting game.
i hate going in for the kill with deception then get get focused down to low health. I cant one shot enemies with deception yet meaning i cant utilise many must fall skill, I do like the play style, so i should just tough it out till i get rubi.

i have no dout that Kreig is better at handling mobs and survivability, but playing as zero will keep me on my toes. when i get some life steal i think it will be worth the trouble you go though to get an assassination

no problem.

That is probably due to a poor roid shield: with a high enough roid bonus you can oneshot almost any enemy of your level, particularly if they are slagged and/or you hit their crit spots with execute.

I’ve found Silence the Voices essential, particularly in the OP levels. My melee Krieg doesn’t get far without it. It’s certainly dangerous but in my experience that demands caution rather than abandonment. Thrown axes are still buffed by StV so I tend to rely on those to whittle down targets, especially in one life situations like the Peak. Don’t move in to full melee until the target is weak, and if/when you do get a melee kill, pull back and throw axes because the Bombadier / Fuel the Blood / StV buff will make them exceptionally powerful. As long as you don’t use a roid shield, the power of StV far outweighs the risk at OP levels.

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I’ve gotten both to OP8, Zero with a pistol focused build and Krieg with a Hellborn/Mania build (although that will change slightly now that he has a Hide of Terra). I’m currently working on a new melee focused Zero- the hardest thing for me is getting the timing on Execute down (and I wasn’t aware that Like the Wind didn’t add to Execute damage- still learning things with melee Zero). All this being said, I think your determination should be based on how much fun you have with either at the highest level- and to me it sounds like you have a handle on them both, so why not double down on them? :relaxed:

If I had to pick one, Zer0. My first character, the one I have the most hours on, has the most diversity in how you can play him, very rewarding at max level with top shelf gear.

However, Krieg is also a lot of fun. I say work on both.

so far getting back into the series i have had more fun with Kreig because his tankyness and regen means i can focus more on combat rather than worry if im over extending. i like fighting in the thick of battle rather than hit and run. But I like taking the effort to set up your targets to take massive assassination damage in the thick of battle as well, which is why i like zer0’s design.

I think what concerned me most is that Kreig’s melee damage is close enough to zer0’s that it wasn’t worth all that extra effort. i now realise that my gear is a little crp and if i can farm the right gear then he can scale well.

why is it that Kreig cannot use roid shield? is it because the chance he can hit himself and instant ko himself. without roid shield does that mean zer0’s melee build way exceeds Kreig’s?