Best Zane Builds – Mayhem 4 & Maliwan Takedown

We're taking a look at some of the top builds for Zane in Borderlands 3!

Our Borderlands 3 Zane Builds Guide features a look at some of the top options for the character and class. Zane has a lot of tactical ability on the battlefield! He can a clone for his enemies to strike at that takes the heat off of him, but can also spawn the SNTNL drone which will deliver heavy fire onto any nearby foes. If you're more of a team player, then you can run the Barrier ability which provides cover for you and your teammates in an open area!

Zane Builds

We're featuring multiple builds that you can choose from which take advantage of the different skill trees.

Mayhem 4: Maliwan Takedown Solo Build

Credit to ThiccFilA

This is a pretty item specific build, if you want to trade or find items from people check out ThiccFilA's Zane Discord. You are pretty much running around destroying everything with Brainstormer and the Protuberance Shotgun. You use Brainstormer for AOE and the Protuberance for single-target and it can regen your health and shield by shooting the ground when it is combined with The Transformer Shield. You'll want to take our your Corrosive SMG for taking out hard to kill armored targets. Check out the video guide for details on how-to play it specifically.

Key Items

  • Shock Protuberance Shotgun - This is a big damage Epic shotgun that works very well for Zane. You'll want some kind of damage buff Anointment on it like, "While Terrified, gain increased damage and fire rate. The more Terror you have, the higher the bonus." There's other options as well, so don't feel limited to just that one. Just don't use ones that give you bonus shock damage or you'll kill yourself!
    • Location - World Drop
  • Brainstormer - It's just the best weapon for taking down multiple enemies and will help you easily wipe out multiple enemies as you clear your way to bosses. Kill-o'-the-Wisp can also work if you don't have a good Brainstormer. You are looking for the Anointment that deals 50% bonus cryo damage while Terrified.
    • Location - Katagawa Ball (Skywell-27)
  • Kyb's Worth or Crossroad SMG - You are looking for a fast firing weapon with Corrosive damage on it to tear through the armor of the Maliwan Takedown enemies!
    • Location - Kyb's drops from Wotan & Crossroad from Katagawa Jr.
  • Sellout - You are just using this to shoot the ground so you can give yourself an elemental effect that will give you a buff from your Artifact.
  • The Transformer Shield - One of the best shields in the game, particularly when enemies are throwing shock around. This is particularly useful in Maliwan Takedown because that's a frequent occurrence. You'll want one with the apply Terror Anointment on Action Skill End or the one that gains you ammo regen while Terrified. You can also shoot the ground with your Protuberance Shotgun to regain your shields.
  • Grenade w/Anointment - Doesn't matter which grenade you have, it just needs to have the Terror Anointment that your Transformer doesn't have so you can stack them.
  • Antifreeze or Cold Warrior Class Mod - You can get slowed quite often in Maliwan and the Antifreeze will actually increase your movement speed when that happens. If you don't have one of those, you can rock the Cold Warrior.
  • Elemental Projector Artifact - This gives you a big buff to damage while suffering from an elemental effect. You'll be shooting yourself in the foot with the Sellout to give yourself the boost.

Video Guide

Mayhem 4: Captain Traunt Farm Build

Credit to ThiccFilA

This is a speed build meant for farming Captain Traunt in Mayhem 4 specifically. You build up speed by sliding around near Traunt and landing big hits to his crit area with your shotgun while sliding. The speed is aided by the Antifreeze Class Mod that increases the Weapon Damage you dish out while sliding or in the air. Your build gives you buffs to your damage if you are moving faster via the Violent Momentum ability. Drop your barrier as you go into battle, then slide over and put your clone right near Traunt. After that, all you need to do is slide back and forth hitting Traunt with shotgun blasts until he goes down!

Key Items

  • Protuberance Shotgun - This is an Epic Shotgun that can dish out quite a bit of damage. You'll hopefully find one with an Anointment like, "On Action Skill End, the next 2 magazines will have 50% additional bonus Elemental damage." You want damage that is different from what is on the shotgun itself. You might be able to get away with another high damage shotgun in its place.
    • Location - World Drop
  • Snowdrift Splatter Gun Artifact - Increases your sliding speed significantly, and gives you a +50% Shotgun Damage boost while sliding. This is one of the big key items of the build, and it's probably not worth trying it without this item.
    • Location - Road Dog (The Splinterlands)
  • Antifreeze Class Mod - One of the other keys to the build because of the +40% Weapon Damage increase you receive while sliding or airborne.
    • Location - Arbelest of Discipline (Mayhem 4 Required: Trial of Discipline)
  • It's Piss Grenade - While Zane doesn't throw Grenades, he can have his clone do it for him! This will give you a damage boost, and hopefully you'll find one with a +50% Elemental Damage buff Anointment to make it better.
    • Location - Sloth & Thunk (Konrad's Hold)

Video Guide

Leveling Build: Digi-Clone & Cryo

This is a great build that takes advantage of a lot of Zane's different skills that he has access to. If you're looking to be a bit more on the defensive side, we pick up a lot of different skills that will keep our enemies frozen in place! We max out Brain Freeze which slows our enemies repeatedly until they are frozen, and we combine that with abilities like Best Served Cold and Refreshment. These all pair very well with Calm, Cool, Collected which will regenerate our shield, health, or will instantly reset the cooldowns on our Action Skills if those are already full! That's pretty powerful in a build where we focus heavily on freezing enemies, and we can dish out a ton of punishment with our active abilities.

The build utilizes the Digi-Clone ability which also synergizes with our cryo passives by augmenting it with Binary System. This ability is also great for getting around the battlefield safely when we get into trouble. If we swap places with our clone, we'll immediately start recharging our shield due to the Quick Breather passive.

While we've got the bad guys focusing on the clone, we'll also have the SNTNL drone dishing out tons of damage as it flies around picking off foes. We pump up the damage with the augments by taking Boomsday which adds a rocket pod to SNTNL. This is taken further by the Almighty Ordnance augment that gives us the ability to target an area and have the bot launch a barrage of missiles on top of it. If we get a kill in this area, then the duration of SNTNL is reset!

We've got a full leveling guide for this build which you can find right here!

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About the Author

Shaun aka Evident is a lifelong gamer and creator of websites. He mostly focuses on shooters, but has been known to dabble in the occasional card game as well. You can find him binge watching TV shows in his downtime.

More Borderlands 3 Character Builds

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  1. It’s piss grenade mod is useless removes all dot debuff status effects that are applied to the enemy etc.