- Deja Vu – If multiple crits kill an enemy simultaneously, the skill rolls a chance to refund a pellet for each crit. This skill also benefits from kill skill bonuses.
- Eraser – On a crit, Eraser erases (hehe) the initial projectile and spawns a new one with increased damage. This newly spawned projectile gets certain on-hit effects reapplied to it, such as Crit, Splash Damage and Radius, Elemental, V1, V2, and debuffs.
- 32 Minute Video by LoneMasterino explaining Eraser in its entirety.
- New projectile also benefits from Splash Radius again. Very recommended to have Radius increases on COM and AoE roll on Artifacts.
- The card says “…dealing increased damage for every enemy pierced” but in practice it can pierce only one enemy because Eraser projectiles can’t proc Eraser again so there’s no point in lining up more than two enemies.
- Playing Dirty – The card is misleading. The way this skill works, on kill you have a percentage chance for the Playing Dirty effect to proc, which makes all five of your next shots to shoot an additional projectile. You can proc Playing Dirty again before these five shots run out to reset the count back to five. With extra points from a Class Mod you can reach over 100% chance for this effect to happen, but it does not provide any extra bonus.
- Our Man Flynt – The bonus damage provided when aiming down sights is V2 and it only applies to your gun’s bullets(and also bullets like the ones shot by Hunter-Seeker grenades). The effect where you apply the status effect of your weapon automatically on a crit when aiming down sights is not limited to guns, and can be applied by effects such as MNTIS or Digiclone’s damage.
- Violent Momentum – This skill has a cap of Gun Damage provided once you reach 500% extra movement speed. This cap is 640% Gun Damage at 5/5 but the skill scales with kill skill bonuses up to 896% on standard non-VM com setups. Link to Prismatic’s Violent Momentum scaling guide.
- Distributed Denial – This previous Capstone does not work well with many shield effects as well as not working with several Legendary Shields, specifically ones added post launch. A few effects it does work with:
- Spawns Booster shields when taking damage, in plentiful amounts.
- “When full” effects happen for a few seconds when Barrier is spawned/activated
- “On Empty” effects happen for a few seconds when Barrier’s duration ends.
- Novas spawn at Barrier’s base. When picked up, the Base is put underneath the ground, and as such Novas will not hit enemies unless you are airborne.
- This issue also applies to shields legendary shields such as the Impaler and the Void Rift.
- Amp shields apply the amp damage for exactly one (yes, one) shot and then do not amp any other shots. It does not stack with other Amp effects.
- Reflect parts work as intended, but Legendary reflect effects (such as Rico and Beskar) do not work.
- MNTIS ASA – Spamming your MNTIS cannon can give additional stacks of Supersonic Man and Borrowed Time, providing their respective bonuses above two stacks. This effect is based on how many charges are on cooldown/recharging as you’ll lose stacks as you regain MNTIS charges. Synchronicity does have a hard cap of two, however. MNTIS does not count as “Action Skill Active” in any other case.
- Futility Belt – This otherwise worthless skill has the effect of providing shield steal (similar to Moze’s Legendary Bloodletter com) when Zane has one stack of kill skills. This requires Salvation as well to function. This has no practical purpose.
- Art of War – This skill stacks gun damage upon activating an Action Skill or Action Skill Ability for the next shot. An Action Skill Ability counts as:
- Picking up and putting down Barrier
- Swapping with Digiclone
- Making SNTNL Target an enemy other than the one it is currently targeting.
- There’s no cooldown between targeting two or more different enemies, allowing you to gain stacks very quickly.
- You do not gain a stack if SNTNL chooses a new target by itself.
- Sheer Will – Recently tested by CZ47, the Cooldown Rate from critting does not apply to MNTIS. Zane’s other action skills are unaffected.
- Other shield effects have this same issue, such as the Loop of 4N631, All-In, and Plus Ultra.
- 150% MNTIS Damage Anoint – This anoint actually gives twice the value of which the card says, meaning you’ll actually gain 300% V2 from this anoint. Wow!
- Executor Class Mod – On top of all of its other kill skill bonuses, Executor also gives 20% increased Cryo Damage. This does get boosted by further kill skill bonuses and is additive with other elemental bonuses.
- Furthermore, recent discovery has taught us that the Executor class mod can only naturally roll 2 points in Violent Violence max. The Seein’ Dead class mod does not have this same issue.
Hustler is a DLC4 (Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck) Class Mod that drops from Locomobius. This class mod is mainly used to abuse Zane’s purple tree skill, Eraser (See “Notes On Skills” for more info), however it can be used to proc several of Zane’s other skills, such as:
- Brain Freeze
- Deja Vu
- Domino Effect
- Sheer Will
- Our Man Flynt (status applying effect)
As with FL4K’s Megavore Skill, Hustler can cause certain bonus elements to crit on your weapons.
- When using guns, any bonus element can be made to crit via Hustler, including Revolter, Conductor, N2M, URAD, ASE 50. The bonus elements can crit even when the actual bullet may not.
- With Shield Effects, Action Skills, Melee, and Grenades, only ASE 50 bonus elements are able to crit via Hustler.
- Unfortunately, as ASE 50 does not get mayhem scaled if applied to a source that receives it (such as Action Skills, Melee, and Shield Effects), this is mostly impractical.
A good number of weapons have cool interactions with eraser projectiles. Using a hustler allows us to get more projectiles to crit that otherwise would not have, which can lead to more Eraser projectiles being spawned. A few weapon recommendations are listed below.
Able to easily clear endgame content:
- Major Kong
Able to clear endgame content with a bit more investment:
- Critical Thug
- Shrieking Devil
- Red Eye Rocket Pod
Helps “unviable” guns to be able to be useful in endgame content:
- Zooka (COV Non-Unique Launcher)
For most of BL3’s life cycle, Zane has been generally thought of as being weak in FFYL. While this may have been true (and may still be true if you’re relying on strictly VM), Zane has options available in order to get out of FFYL for different types of build setups. If FFYL is a concern for you, try implementing one of these into your own setup.
Seein’ Dead Class Mod
- This is the easiest/laziest way to get out of FFYL that most people are used to using. This class mod allows us to regain the kill skills we lost when going into FFYL, which result in a large portion of our damage, specifically skills like Violent Speed, Violent Violence, and Violent Momentum. How Violent.
- Does not synergize well with Salvation and URAD guns as you’ll heal above the URAD Threshold.
- Digiclone can deal enough damage to easily kill most trash mobs, thus removing the Zane player’s “FFYL” status debuff
- Digiclone also gives access to the Old-U skill which can be used as a last resort when kills are not available.
URAD Meta Guns
- Having a URAD gun in one of your weapon slots is a safe move if one is personally afraid of FFYL. Since you count as having 0 HP in FFYL, URAD will be active almost all of the time.
- Specifically, a URAD Face-puncher combined with Cold Bore swapping is an amazing way to get out of FFYL thanks to the two insane bonus elements. Combine this with the Ground Breaker Guardian Rank and you stack up for an easy Second Wind.
- You can combine this strat with a cryo gun and ADS (thanks to another Guardian Rank Skill) while having a point invested in the “Our Man Flynt” capstone. This will instantly freeze the enemy and allow for x3 damage from the Face-puncher.
- This also works with Brain Freeze crits for freezing enemies.
- Other good Meta guns include:
- Plaguebearer/Backburner/Kickcharger (Great with Cold Bore)
- Free Radical
- Plasma Coil
- Ember’s Purge (Puddle deals great damage)
- Additionally, a Guardian Angel with the URAD Anoint can give the SNTNL Drone enough of a damage boost to help kill off other trash mobs, especially ones at a distance that are hard to hit with your own guns. Recommended on setups that already use SNTNL.
Our Man Flynt Capstone
- This Capstone deserves its own spot because each point invested provides an extra 25% V2 while you’re aiming down sights.
- You can also use a Cryo Gun to instantly freeze an enemy if you crit them, allowing to further hit crit spots as well as deal more damage to them if you’re using an Ice Breaker prefix artifact.
- The Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge is a useful FFYL artifact for your guns’ damage when keeping in mind we may not be benefitting much from Violent Momentum. This artifact gives 90% Gun Damage when fully stacked on top of the stacks themselves providing 16% multiplicative damage to your guns.
- Company Man can also provide some nice boosts to your damage in FFYL, such as providing manufacturer specific Gun Damage, Crit, or Fire Rate. Also has access to good passive rolls such as AoE Damage and Elemental Damage. More specific in usage than Pearl but still a great option.
- Despite the general dislike for Mayhem Modifiers, some of the modifiers that spawn extra “enemies” can provide extra sources for easy Second Winds.
- When using Barrier, effects like Laser Fare and Freeze Tag will not actually hurt you while your Barrier is active, turning these modifiers into free Second Winds if needed.
- Otherwise, modifiers like Healy Avenger and Drone Ranger are typically more preferred for mayhem modifiers for not being too-intrusive to normal gameplay, while also providing free Second Winds. Additionally, Buddy Systems are great when they’re not getting stuck in the wall somewhere.
- Speed Demon is one of the best Easy Modifiers for Zane’s damage (thanks to Violent Momentum) but it can also benefit FFYL as the speed boost is not lost when entering FFYL. It is less effective as you are technically crouching, but still a speed boost.
Part of Zane’s design also makes him one of the best characters at staying out of FFYL. While these are typically already accounted for in most setups in this document, we figured it’s helpful for newer players to state the strengths.
Barrier and its Augments
- This defensive Action Skill works wonderfully at giving the Zane Player another safety-barrier against enemy bullets.
- Works less well against certain attacks, such as Guardians, Lasers, and Splash weapons.
- Barrier goes down when you enter FFYL; this doesn’t seem useful for overall usage, but this can be utilized to proc certain shield-break effects like Novas or Depleted effects when combined with Distributed Denial.
- Generally considered to be the best skill for Zane’s survivability, being arguably more useful than his own Barrier.
- In almost every setup, we only put 1 point into Salvation because of the large amounts of damage we can output compared to the miniscule amount of HP we have (roughly 39k HP). Additional points are generally considered wasteful.
- This game has a mechanic known as “Health Gate” which prevents attacks from one-shotting your character if they are above 50% of their red Health bar.. With Salvation you are able to re-heal any damage you take that puts you below this threshold as long as you are shooting.
- Digiclone and its guns can also heal you while Salvation is active.
- With Digiclone’s Which One’s Real Augment, you can draw enemy aggro away from you and into the much more dispensable Digiclone. Combined with the fact that Digiclone can heal you while Salvation is active makes it a strong option for your survivability.
Duct Tape Mod
- This skill provides the Zane player immunity to their own Splash damage and Grenades at only a single-point invested. There are a few exceptions.
- Status Effects from Elemental Damage and Bonus Elements
- This can be further ignored via Cryo Damage, which does not apply a status effect except for applying cryo to your Zane, and can be further utilized by the Antifreeze Class Mod to give you the COM’s speed boost.
- The Red Suit Shield gives you full immunity to Radiation Damage, including the Status Effect Damage.
- Fish Slap Grenade counts as Melee Damage and not Splash Damage and as such does not get blocked by Duct Tape Mod investment.
- Status Effects from Elemental Damage and Bonus Elements
- Just get good.
- Utilize cover. Understand important targets (such as Snipers or certain Badasses) and take them out first. Kill enemies faster so that they do not get a chance to even hurt you.
- Avoid combinations such as ASS Break/Fill Stop Gap/Super Soldier as these gimmicks merely get you used to ignoring these gameplay mechanics instead of the player (that’s you!) becoming better at the game.
Huge thanks goes out to the previous owner of the build document ThiccFilA_.
For a while when Ancient Rune and myself took over the document, we merely just updated the builds he had left on there as well as added some of our own as we saw fit. As patches went on and Zane’s meta evolved, so did the builds.
ThiccFilA_ has done a ton of amazing work for Borderlands 3 and also Zane, and is still continuing to create Zane builds and content on his own behalf. We still wish to credit and thank him for all the hard work he did running the document over the years.