Borderlands 3 Zane Leveling Build Guide (Level 72)

We're taking a detailed look at the best leveling build for Zane in Borderlands 3!

Our Borderlands 3 Zane Leveling Build Guide features a complete step-by-step leveling guide, focusing on acting skills and defense while constantly freezing enemies. Zane is the only vault hunter capable of equipping two action skills at once, but for the price of throwing grenades. As a tech expert, you will be misdirecting enemies with Digi-Clone, covering your six with a drone, or creating a barrier to protect your friends.

Zane is one of the strongest Vault Hunters in the entire Borderlands Franchise. He has a lot of Gun Damage bonuses that allow him to use almost every weapon to be efficient.

Note: The most important thing is to play however you want. As long as you are having fun, you are doing it right, but if you want to get some inspiration and follow some pointers on where to put your Skill Points, this guide is for you.

Related: Borderlands 3 FL4K Leveling Build Guide (Level 72)

Zane Do-It-All Build (Level 72)

We will show you the complete build focused on Zane's damage output that his Action Skills will support. It is not the most original build but the most versatile one. You can use any piece of gear with this one and make it work.

Image via Lootlemon

Early Game (Levels 2-14)

Like in many other looter-shooter games, early game is not the biggest challenge but also gives you limited options for the number of skill points at your disposal. Our main focus should be the best damage-increasing skills since survivability will not be an issue this early into the game. Zane has a lot of skills that are focused on Gun Damage and Movement Speed. I recommend starting with Zane's blue skill tree called Hitman.

Skill Points:

  • Violent Speed (Increased movement speed)
  • Violent Momentum (Converts movement speed into gun damage)
  • Salvation (Lifesteal)
  • Seein' Red (Buffs Zane's kill skills)

Skills and Augments:

  • Action Skill 1: SNTNL
  • Augment 1: Bad Dose
  • Augment 2: Winter's Drone
  • Action Skill 2: MNTIS Shoulder Cannon
  • Augment 1: nothing at the moment
  • Augment 2: nothing at the moment

First Playthrough (Levels 15-35)

In the next stage, you will focus on finishing up the blue tree and picking up its capstone. Hitman is Zane's most important skill tree, and almost every build you can make relies in some way on his kill skills, which are buffed directly by this skill tree. It helps tremendously in the entire game, but especially on higher Mayhem levels with increased scaling of some skills.

Skill Points:

  • 3 points into Cold Bore (Cryo damage and weapon swap speed)
  • Cool Hand (Reload speed increased)
  • Violent Violence (Fire rate increased)
  • Playing Dirty (Additional projectiles on shot)
  • 2 points into Good Misfortune (Action skill cooldown)
  • Capstone: Death Follows Close (Kill skill bonuses buffed)

Skills and Augments:

  • Action Skill 1: SNTNL
  • Augment 1: Bad Dose
  • Augment 2: Winter's Drone or Static Field
  • Action Skill 2: MNTIS Shoulder Cannon
  • Augment 1: nothing at the moment
  • Augment 2: nothing at the moment

True Vault Hunter Mode (Levels 36-46)

Now we just want some more versatility. When fighting against more formidable enemies, we might want to use various Splash Damage weapons in the game. It might backfire in self-damage. However, there is a way to gain immunity to your own damage.

Skill Points:

  • 2 points into Synchronicity (Gun damage)
  • 3 points into Borrowed Time (Skill duration)
  • Donnybrook (Damage and health regeneration)
  • 1 point into Duct Tape Mod (Grenade shot chance)

The most important part here is that 1 point into the Duct Tape Mod. We do not need that grenade shot chance at all, but it also gives us immunity from our own Splash Damage. Only 1 point is enough to give us that passive. You do not have to worry about shooting a Rocket Launcher into the wall and going into Fight for Your Life. You will be immune to your own damage (non-elemental). A DoT (Damage over Time) can still kill you.

Skills and Augments:

  • Action Skill 1: SNTNL
  • Augment 1: Bad Dose
  • Augment 2: Winter's Drone or Static Field
  • Action Skill 2: MNTIS Shoulder Cannon
  • Augment 1: nothing at the moment
  • Augment 2: nothing at the moment

Related: Borderlands 3 Shift Codes List (October 2021) – Shift Codes for Golden Keys & Rewards

End Game (Levels 47-72)

The remaining 26 skill points we will distribute also to reach the capstone of the purple tree. It will give us a lot of survivability and damage needed for the higher Mayhem levels and end-game content.

To finish this build off, I tried to max out the damage output and survivability to be able to go through even the hardest challenges in the game without too much trouble. I want to make sure that you can activate all the necessary anointments without any trouble with your MNTIS Shoulder Cannon. Other than that, this build is pretty simple, just run, shoot and watch them die.

Skill Points:

  • Man of Focus (Improved accuracy and handling)
  • Headman's Hand (Critical damage increased)
  • Commitment (Gun damage and cooldown rate)
  • Fugitive (Sprint and shoot)
  • Tunnel Vision (Accuracy - just to go down the tree)
  • Domino Effect (Fire rate and reload speed increased)
  • Eraser (Critical shots can pierce through enemies)
  • Capstone: Our Man Flynt (Increased damage while aiming down sight)

Skills and Augments:

  • Action Skill 1: SNTNL
  • Augment 1: Bad Dose
  • Augment 2: Winter's Drone or Static Field
  • Action Skill 2: MNTIS Shoulder Cannon
  • Augment 1: Brain Dead
  • Augment 2: Proliferation

Gear Suggestions

  • Sniper Rifle: Sandhawk or Complex Root
  • Assault Rifle: The Monarch or Clairvoyance
  • Pistol: Light Show or Beacon
  • Submachine Gun: Redistributor or Blood-Starved Beast
  • Rocket Launcher: Backburner or Plaguebearer
  • Shotgun: Convergence or Conferance Call
  • Grenade Mod: does not matter, only annointment matters
  • Class Mod: Seein' Dead or Spy
  • Artifact: The Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge or Ice Breaker Victory Rush
  • Shield: Re-Volter or One-Shotter

For more on Borderlands 3 make sure to check out our article on Borderlands 3 Shift Codes List (September 2021) – Shift Codes for Golden Keys & Rewards and What is the Max Level in Borderlands 3?

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Borderlands 3 Zane Leveling Build Guide (Level 72)

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  1. got my own version of a leveling build. It utilizes the clone and its grenades for damage. problem is that most A.I. are very terrible with predicting where to throw the grenade(also duct tape mod has atrocious aim). This is fixed by the Atlas manufacturer(homing grenade). The only bad part is that this grenade manufacturer is required at all times.

    After the orange tree you can either specialize into more survivability/cooldowns, or more damage(blue vs green tree). I went the green tree. Build goes as follows:
    Orange Tree:
    +5 synchronicity
    +1 fractal grenades
    +4 duct tape mod
    +1 quick breather
    +1 duct tape mod
    +3 donnybrook
    +1 pocket full of grenades
    +2 donnybrook
    last two point into orange tree are flexible so long as you take Boom. Enhance. as your last talent in tree.
    +1 boom.enhance.

    Green Tree:
    +5 Adrenaline
    +5 ready for action
    +1 confident competence
    +3 stiff upper lip
    +1 hearty stock
    +5 brain freeze(freeze based skills aren’t really much of a focus until calm, cool, collected)
    +1 calm, cool, collected(honestly don’t know why this isn’t a capstone talent)

    Skill augments are as follows. Clone= schadenfreude+which one is real….shield=nanites+dome/deterrence.

    After that you got +6 points to spend as you see fit, so if something catches your eye go for it. This was intended as a leveling build, not a end game build. The build was designed to be flexible to the player’s play style. I also thought the clone could use some love.

  2. Love the build w modifications for some unique challenges. There are many of us out here; sight impaired, slow reflexes, etc. Could be a niche addition for what looks to be a promising company. Hit me up via email if you want suggestions. Also, the complete leveling guide is awesome.

  3. Love this build and have been using it all game. Just hit level 25 yesterday and it’s really starting to open up.

    I invested in under cover first for the 5% regen to up my survivability but I’m excited to max this out very soon.

    I noticed your cooldown calculation might be off. When you get 100% cooldown it cuts the cooldown time in half through this calculation / (1 + ). The 28 second cooldown would go to ~21 seconds and the SNTNL would go from 60 to ~44 seconds.

    It looks like you’re taking the cooldown rate and multiplying it by 1 – .

    1. I put brackets around the fields in the formula and it made them disappear.

      My calculation:

      cooldown / (1 + cooldown rate)

      Your calculation

      cooldown * (1 – cooldown rate)

  4. What relics or class mods would be great for this build? Also what should I focus on for Guardian Rank for this build as well?

    1. I meant to say what grenade mods should i look for?

    2. Oh in the same vein, what relics should I shoot for?

      1. Ignore this second comment about relics, I just woke up so im stupid and didnt realize I already mentioned it

  5. Thanks for this guide. Its rly helpfull

    1. Glad you liked it!

  6. Greatly appreciate this guide. So nice to have this in the opening days of game release…

    1. Props to Evident !

      1. Glad these have helped! Big shout out to Rayzl who got them done so quickly!