OK. Let’s start. I am playing melee Zer0 and I really love it. Tried other classes, but melee Zer0 is the way I want to play. First of all, it requires good skills, reflexes, fast-moving and thinking, and fast combat action, which I love. There is a learning curve for melee Zer0, like shield management, Deception time management, healing outside of Deception, and the (most importantly) right gear. But the biggest learning curve is in co-op. Why? Well, because you can easily kill your partners. Infamous Love Thumper shield! But that’s not all. You can also take away their fun. So, let’s get to the guide..
You are a ninja assassin. As one, you are mostly a lone wolf, predator seeking for targets and taking their life in a second. But wolves sometimes run in packs, and you have to know where are you needed, and where you are not. We consider here that you are playing with skilled/good players. So:
1. Regular mobbing : you are not needed here. All classes even on OP8 can easily mob. It is the most fun time in BL2, when hordes of enemies are decimated. So let other players kill them and let them have fun. Skip first lines of mobs, and move to mobs which are far away. Nobody likes when their targets are, in some miracle way, killed in seconds by invisible ninja. Always take care of long-ranged mobs (on difficult terrain, since Execute lets you dash in any direction) and far away lines. You have fun, and so do your partners.
2. Badasses, ultimates, super duper, Goliaths, etc : here you are needed to finish them quickly. Let them slag/Phaselock them, wait till last Deception seconds and kill them in two blows in their back or kill badasses which are on throats of your teammates. You can do insane damage in a short time and kill them easily, so with teamwork you are shining, especially with Killing Blow.
3. Bosses : With Grog Nozzle, right grenade mod, you can tank many bosses like master and DPSing them with melee like a king. Also when bosses are about 30% HP, your Killing Blow with a Rapier is mostly end of the fight. So try not to get too cocky and live long enough to use your finishing move! :smiley:
4. Support : Hell yes! And don’t forget : Deception gives you great ability to revive teammates and don’t forget about it. If they are dying from mobs, don’t try to show them how great you are and kill them all, stealing kills and Second Winds. Use Deception and your shock grenades to stun mobs and revive mates. It gives more fun for all of you and more satisfaction. Co-op, so co-op, bro!
So in short, this is where you are needed in co-op, and where you are not. In summary- don’t just fly around and kill all mobs- it is not cool for your team mates. Co-op with them to kill badasses and mid-bosses in spectacular way (Phaselock/Head Shots/Your Killing Blow), and don’t just spam them to death while your mates are crawling in FFYL mode. That’s not cool. And on bosses, you can be the tank (with Evisceration Grog Nozzle in hand) or focus on Backstab strategy hit-and-run, while your mates are getting boss attention. 30% Hp- and you are finishing it. You just keep dying trying to melee boss- that’s not cool!
Let’s be honest. They are two primary shields for Zer0- Hide of Terra (mostly Grounded) and Love Thumper. They are some subs for them, but we also want to be on our 100% in fun! So we consider those two. I use them in simple way : in solo mobbing – Love Thumper ; solo boss – Hide of Terra. For COOP – ALWAYS LOVE THUMPER! Now some of you ask: why? You will kill your mates, they will hate you, etc. Wrong! You are doing this if you play:
I will give you few simple tips: Always keep your LT down, so you don’t have to worry about shield management. Easier this way. But Tips:
1. Fight away from your mates . That means, skip first line of enemies and take care of further lines and, for example, badasses which are still away from your team. This way you are helping (killing, holding tougher guys) but you are not in risk of killing your mates. This is golden rule. Feel like a ninja. You are not a soldier in regular line. You are hunter, so hunt down enemies on upper levels, another rooms, badasses, suicide bombers etc.
2. BE AWARE OF BATTLEFIELD!! Don’t just press melee whenever you see “shining blue!”. First of all, that’s the way to kill mates and worst way to use Deception, since you are not taking care of using MMF and you are not thinking. Just trying too hard to stay in Deception is not cool. Two awesome and thoughtful kills are better then pressing blindly melee button. BE AWARE where your team mates are. If your team mate is fighting a badass and two mobs are shooting him, don’t run blindly on badass and kill mate. Take care of mobs. Don’t melee blindly in close quarters. Deception is skill that LETS YOU STAND for sec or two AND THINK what’s going on. Luxury that mates don’t have on other classes! USE IT and see where are far away mobs and don’t let them join the battle. Hunt them fast and quiet – like a ninja you are.
3. Speak, ask, talk. “Need help with badass?”, “Step away, I am going for melee!”, “Ok, I will take care of them, don’t get too close”, “Wanna kill it for a Second Wind?”. That’s the other easy way of not killing your mates with Love Thumper. Speak with them. 50% time I don’t kill them, because I inform them about my actions or try to monitor battlefield.
4. Look at their bars . Sometimes you need to melee mob which is close to you friend. Ok, so take a look at your friend’s HP and shield bars and don’t do too many melee hits. Low shield – take few steps back and return to melee after a sec, two. Easy way not to kill them, believe me. Harder on OP levels, sure, but everything needs practice.
5. In Deception, take your bloody time! In BL2, 6 seconds is long enough to take a look on surroundings. AND SILVER TIP: LEARN ROID DAMAGE NOVA RADIUS!! And you will be able to say if it will hurt your team mates or not (or maybe a mob you are not suppose to kill).
I am playing COOP on PC (UVHM on OP) with my fiance (Maya) and friend (Zer0 gun) on 4-player difficulty (using slide-mod for bigger challenge). In first day of my melee Zer0 I was killing them often. In next two I started to use tips and hints above, learning from my mistakes and now I am running Love Thumper always. Always with down shields and I am not killing them even once by accident. Well, unless they are running right into my death zone! But well, you have eyes too, remember!
Just wanted to share it with community, so you can still run your favourite Love Thumper (I love that shield!) and still have fun in co-op, and even more! Using tips above you will make you feel more like a ninja and silent hunter, less than Krieg or Sal! Style is also important. Ninja has style!
In case anyone would like to ask about builds (nothing new, standard builds for melee):
lvl 61 (here you can skip Be Like Water, and start getting Headshot skill if you want, but I prefer to max skill I am using NOW, not one that I will use later)
Evisceration Grog Nozzle/Rubi, Rapier (best with slag), Norfleet, DPUH/Pimpernel with blade or Butcher.
Grenade: Chain Lightning for fast heal, Storm Front for DOT heal, Quasar or Slag Singularity for CC.
Mod: Legendary Ninja or Shadow Ninja (best blue)
Shield: Love Thumper, Hide of terra for raids, Relic: Bone of the Ancient with shock dmg.
So that’s all. Don’t believe that the Love Thumper is not viable in coop. Gearbox is not stupid. They gave zer0 insane power as melee with LT, but took care that you need to think little more to be fun and viable in coop. So, good games and lets get KUNAI BACK!