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Zane from Borderlands 3
Zane from Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 – Best Build for Zane

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We’re back again with another Borderlands 3 build, and this time we’ll be taking a look at Zane: The Operative in Borderlands 3 who has the option to use three different action skills. Zane can create a barrier for himself and his allies, throw out a digi-clone, and send out an attack drone. Since the launch of the game, some players have felt Zane is the weakest character, but this build will show he can still get the job done.

Freeze Build

This build will focus on using Zane’s abilities which are related to freezing targets, and his action skill abilities. This is a popular build for those playing Zane and is overpowered if you have the right gear. The action skills we’ll use are the barrier and the drone (SNTNL). The augments for the barrier are All-rounder and Retaliation. The augments for SNTNL are Winter’s Drone and Bad Dose. We will be investing into abilities that increase gun damage, movement speed, shield recharge delay, shield recharge rate, and other unique abilities.

Under Cover Tree

This will be the main tree we invest in for Zane. The abilities we will invest in are: Adrenaline, Ready for Action, Brain Freeze, Stiff Upper Lip, Confident Competence, Futility Belt, and Calm Cool Collected. 

Adrenaline gives us action skill cooldown, which we need to make sure we are never left too long without our skills up and running. 

Ready for Action helps us keep our shields charged by increasing our recharge speed and decreasing the delay. 

Brain Freeze is a critical ability in this build. Every time we score a critical hit, there’s a chance we will slow down our target and eventually freeze them. 

Stiff Upper Lip increases our damage resistance and is a good perk to advance the tree.

Confident Competence increases our gun damage when our shields are full. 

Futility Belt is an ability that helps us with damage resistance after a kill. 

Calm, Cool, Collected is the best perk so far. Whenever an enemy is frozen, Zane begins to charge his shields, his health, or increase the duration of his skills. So if Zane is at full shield and full health, then his skills will immediately reset to their full duration. 

Zane's Under Cover skill tree


The take-aways from this tree are to keep shields topped off, action skills active for as long as possible, and to freeze as many enemies as possible.

Hitman and Double Agent Trees

The abilities we want to invest in for the Hitman tree are: Violent Speed, Violent Momentum, Drone Delivery, Cool Hand, and Death Follows Close. 

Violent Speed increases our movement speed after a kill, and Violent Momentum increases our gun damage based on how fast we’re moving. 

Drone Delivery allows SNTNL to drop a grenade based on our grenade mod every 15 seconds.

 Death Follows Close increases Zane’s kill skill’s duration and bonus. 

In the Double Agent tree, we will invest into Synchronicity and Donnybrook. Synchronicity increases our gun damage for every active action skill, and Donnybrook increases our gun damage after a kill. Donnybrook also gives bonuses to Zane’s clone, but we will not be using that action skill. We are just after the gun damage bonus after a kill. 

Skill tree for Zane

Why is this Zane’s Best Build?

Zane has a strange collection of abilities to choose from, and this build is one of the few that actually works. A lot of Zane’s abilities are kill skills and don’t provide the needed bonuses to make Zane a great character. His action skills are okay, but tend to not do much unless you use this build. The barrier is normally not active long enough to do any good, SNTNL doesn’t do too much damage, and the Digi-Clone is worthless since it has such low health. 

This build is centered around having the action skills provide Zane with bonuses. Since we will be keeping our action skills out longer thanks to Calm, Cool, Collected, the dome shield will help us stay protected, and SNTNL can debuff enemies and freeze them. 

It’s a good idea to use a gun like Lucian’s Call. Lucian’s Call is a good choice because you can fire for a prolonged and continue to hit criticals. If you don’t have one, I would suggest a gun that you can easily score criticals with and has a fast fire rate in order to capitalize on the Brain Freeze ability. Freezing enemies is key in this build and doing so will proc other abilities that make you a powerhouse. 

As long as action skills are active, shields are up, and you are freezing enemies, this is the best build for Zane so far. 

That wraps up our build for Zane, but don’t forget to check out our other builds for Moze, Flak, and Amara.

Borderlands 3 was released on September 13th, 2019 and is playable on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

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