Here’s the build I am currently running with Zane in Mayhem 10, who was my primary boss-farmer until I figured out that FL4K could speed that process along even further. As ever, we are going for as many kill skills as humanly possibly in this tree, and what’s especially key now here is lifestyle, because Mayhem scaling has broken life stealing in a way that it essentially makes you immortal, due to the increased damage numbers.
As you can see, I have maxed every skill in this tree besides weapon swap speed and the capstone, which is negated by the class mod. GearboxMagazine size and gun damage are the main ones here, and I did manage to get down to the movement speed upgrades, as going crazy fast is a key component of this build, especially with new Mayhem modifiers that literally makes Zane break land speed records.
Gearbox new anointment that you will want on pretty much every gun you use is the 200% damage when an action skill is active, because Zane will always have at least one skill active with this build, so it’s triple damage based on this anointment literally all the time (it does not stack twice to 400%, FYI). Gearbox like the Recharger for survivability, and the 15% speed on SN TNL anointment as it makes a fast build even faster pretty much all the time.
Gearbox my Jason build, I have the 150% damage increase for grenades while an action skill is active because it applies to the sticky bombs of that gun. Zane the Operative is the most flexible and versatile of the four Borderlands 3 characters, thanks to his unique ability to equip two Action Skills at once.
Borderlands 3 Zane build planner link: Primary Skill Tree: Doubled Agent Build Focus: Sustained High Gun Damage Best Skills for Class Mods: Synchronicity (Highly Recommended), Donnybrook, Trick of the Light, Violent Speed, Violent Momentum Your aim is to reach Supersonic Man, Trick of the Light, and finally the Capstone that is Double Barrel as quickly as you can, because your damage will be just way ahead of the curve as you follow this route.
Heading back to the Hitman skill tree, you’ll want to pickup both Drone Delivery and Death Follows Close (both of which are just indirect methods of further increasing your damage potential), and then investing your final points into Playing Dirty for the extra projectile chance. Schadenfreude, as well as being an excellent term that makes me smile whenever I hear it, is a great pickup for increasing your survivability a little; but the real star of the show is Doppelganger, which deals absolutely insane damage if you detonate your Clone very shortly after summoning it.
Borderlands 3 Zane build planner link: Primary Skill Tree: Under Cover Build Focus: Very High Survivability Best Skills for Class Mods: Hearty Stock (Highly Recommended), Adrenaline, Synchronicity, Borrowed Time Investing heavily in Under Cover will ensure that you can take pretty much anything any enemy can throw at you (particularly useful for certain boss fights), while our remaining skills will be given to the Doubled Agent tree to keep our damage potential up to scratch.
Despite this being a tank build, I’m of the opinion that damage is your priority in the early levels, so you should probably still start by picking up a good 3-5 Synchronicity. But after that, you should head back to Under Cover and build into Hearty Stock and Adrenaline (Ready For Action is also useful, but you can pick it up later on).
After this your aim is basically to go straight down the middle of the green tree, investing in Best Served Cold and Calm, Cool, Collected (both of which give you some lovely Bio-based CC and utility), and finally the Distributed Denial Capstone. Meanwhile, you should pick up the All-Rounder augment to turn your Barrier into a dome; and Nanites Or Some White, which we care about because of the fantastic shield recharge delay reduction (which combined with your points in Ready For Action will mean you regenerate shields at a ridiculous rate).
After that I tend to build up Under Cover and our tackiness levels before heading over to the Hitman skill tree. So that means picking up Hearty Stock, Adrenaline, Stiff Upper Lip, and Confident Competence first and foremost.
You’ll also unlock your two Barrier Augments of choice by doing this: All-Rounder (we love the dome) and Nanites Or Some White (better shields, hurrah!). With each new skill point you assign using this build, Zane will grow so much stronger, while still remaining versatile and flexible enough to accommodate pretty much any play style.
There’s no reason whatsoever to take the cap skill in the Hitman tree, even though that’s our main tree, because with Zane’s Sean’ Dead class mod, it’s totally obsolete. These Borderlands 3 Zane build offers incredible survivability, massive bonus damage, the ability to keep your action skills up almost indefinitely, and the potential to freeze as many enemies as possible.
So, if you’re using a weapon with a fairly decent magazine, this is pretty much a 30% damage increase. With this, you tend to want to use As and SMG son Zane over, say, Rocket Launchers or Shotguns.
Every time you kill an enemy you get more action skill uptime. Since you have the Sean’ Dead mod, this is going to increase your action skill uptime every few shots.
Duct Tape Mod– This skill allows Zane an opportunity to make use of his grenade mod by giving a chance to fire a grenade every time you take a shot after reloading your clips. 1 point should be more than enough to keep your grenades full since it’ll be active at all times due to the Sean’ Dead mod.
You could take some points out of Violent Violence to get more in Playing Dirty. You could take some points out of Violent Violence or Playing Dirty to put into Duct Tape Mod, which is a very good skill.
So this thing turns Zane into a crowd clearing machine. I mean, the main thing to point out is these Borderlands 3 Zane build is totally reliant on the Sean’ Dead mod, which you find in the Mo xxi DLC.
Otto Idol is also pretty good (gives health regent on kill). Be sure to check out the Games Section for more content like this and also check out the Borderlands 3 Section for game guides for Borderlands including builds, tips, best guns, character reviews and more.
Now that we’ve covered the skills you’ll be using, it’s time for the juicy part, the gear. The first bullet in the magazine has the chance to also fire a grenade, I don’t think I have to explain how awesome that is.
The victory rush is a legendary artifact that increases movement speed and gun damage after killing a badass enemy. The sonic boom Infiltrator class mod increases movement speed based on your shield percentage.
It has zero capacity, so every shot hits your health, this may make it sound like a terrible choice, but there's a catch. Since the Rough Rider is always depleted, you’ll always be getting the benefits of any skill that depends on lower shield capacity, so in this case, you’ll always have the max bonus movement speed and damage, and your clone will always be taking a share of damage done to you when it’s up.
A MIRV hex would also be a great fit here, or the grenade that’s been all the rage recently; the firestorm. In this build you’ll basically always have barrier up, watching the enemy’s futile attempts to get past those walls, and into the squishy goodness underneath.
Adrenaline: Zane gains increased action skill cooldown rate, this is based on how much shield you have, the more percent full, the greater the bonus Brain freeze: Whenever Zane scores a critical hit, there is a chance they will be slowed, the effect stacks until they are frozen Best Served Cold: whenever Zane kills an enemy, they release a cry nova, damaging surrounding enemies, this skill has a short cooldown Stiff Upper Lip: whenever Zane takes damage, he gains resistance to that type of damage Futility belt: increased Zane's non-elemental damage resistance, additionally, whenever Zane gets a kill, all damage is converted to non-elemental damage for a short time. Cold Bore: increases weapon swap speed, also adds bonus cry damage to first shot fire after swapping weapons Death Follows close: all kill skills get enhanced effect and duration Calm, Cool, Collected: whenever Zane freezes an enemy, shields are restored for a short time, if shields are full, health is regenerated for a few seconds, if health is for, action skill cooldown and duration is immediately reset.
The Prepped cold warrior is a legendary class mod, with the special ability to add another status effect, whenever you freeze an enemy, it also puts 2 points into synchronicity and ready for action, as well as one point into trick of the light Enhance: Whenever Zane summons his Disincline it consumes up to 3 grenades for every grenade consumed the clone gains increased gun damage, max health, fire rate, reload speed, and Disincline duration Brain freeze: every time Zane hits a critical it has a chance to slow the enemy, this stacks until they are frozen Best served Cold: whenever Zane kills an enemy they release a cry nova dealing damage to all nearby enemies.
Give this to your clone, and he’ll be sniping foes from across the map, Digit don’t miss The Bitch is a legendary Submachine gun, with extremely high accuracy and low recoil, it can very dependably hit cries.