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Zane “the Operative” Builds

Zane “the Operative” is one of the playable characters in Borderlands 3. He is the Assassin class of the game. With his gadgetry, Zane is extremely proficient at slipping into combat, creating chaos, and sneaking back out as if he were never there. You are basically the James Bond of Borderlands. Zane is the only Vault Hunter that has the ability to utilize 2 action skills. However, in order to do this, you have to sacrifice the ability to throw grenades. That said, you are able to grant your gadgets that ability. So the grenade mod slot won’t go unused. Zane has various play styles that tap into different action skills and skill trees.

Zane Build Setups

  • 1 Action Skill + Grenades
    • Most people will run 2 action skills since this gives you a lot of benefits. However, early game you might want to run just 1 action skill and really dive into that single skill tree to gain the most benefits early on. There was also a time that the porcelain pipebomb was massively overpowered and having that power at your fingertips is priceless.
  • Barrier / Drone
    • This setup became popular with the Calm, Cool, Collected and Seein’Dead builds. 100% uptime of your barrier means that you are invincible when you use the “All-rounder” augment. Also, the Barrier provides your projectiles with AMP damage.
  • Drone / Clone
    • Personally, I really like this setup, however, it’s a very active playstyle. Being able to switch positions with your clone to flank enemies and to keep you and your clone alive. Having the SNTNL drone on top of that to make the chaos even more complete.
  • Clone / Barrier
    • The Barrier is used for protection while the Clone is usually sacrificed to trigger other bonuses.

Popular Zane Builds

  • Seein’ Dead Build
    • One of the most popular builds for Zane is a build that depends on the Seein’ Dead Class Mod. This COM can trigger all of Zane’s kill skills and since he has a lot of them, you can constantly proc them. This gives you the ability to deal a lot of damage but also keep your action skill up 100% of the time.
  • Calm, Cool, Collected Build
    • Before the Seein’ Dead build, a lot of popular streamers used the Calm, Cool, Collected skill to keep their action skill up all the time. It’s a relative defensive setup but depends on Cryo damage. Since Cryo deals good damage and Zane specializes in it, he can become very effective at freezing enemies and taking them out.
  • Speed Build
    • Speed Kills and that definitely is the case with Zane. With these builds, the faster Zane goes the more damage he will do. Specific Skills, Gear, and Weapons are equipt to maximize this damage.
  • Playing Dirty Build
    • With these builds, you are heavily investing in the Playin’ Dirty skill. With this skill, you can double your damage with single projectile weapons. If you have the Seein’Dead Class Mod you can achieve similar results but you need the Moxxi’s Heist on the Handsome Jackpot DLC to obtain that COM. There are other Class Mods in the game that boosts the Playin’ Dirty skill.
  • Doppelbanger Build
    • These builds heavily depend on Zane’s clone and his Doppelbanger augment. By sacrificing your clone by blowing him up and having a fast action skill cooldown you can trigger various bonuses like the “on Action Skill End” anointments.

Borderlands 3 Zane Builds


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