Zane Flynt is probably the most versatile of the four Vault Hunters in Borderlands 3. While it's true that he can't manually throw grenades, in exchange, Zane can equip two different Action Skills at once, adding a whole new level of complexity to an already diverse skill system. His three trees are called Hitman, Doubled Agent, and Under Cover. They seem to be focused around Kill Skills, Clone abilities, and overall tankiness. So, let's take a look at our picks for the 10 best Zane skills in Borderlands 3.
Disclaimer: this was written before the release of the game, we have not had hands-on time with BL3, and these skills are might have been changed for the final release. But, we have played all of the Borderlands games to date and have probably put hundreds of hours into them! That said, we wanted to be fair, so we organized this as such: 1 of each low tier skills from each tree, one of each mid, one of each high, and all three of the tier 6 skills as one entry.
10 Low Tier Hitman: Violent Speed - Keep On Killing And Keep On Moving
Violent Speed is a pure convenience skill. Movement speed is useful in Borderlands, but not at all mandatory. Customarily, throughout the franchise, there has been a lot of running back and forth. Now, signs show that BL3 will have less of it, but still. Gotta go fast, right?
In any case, this skill at max rank allows Zane to move 20% faster for 8 seconds after killing any enemy. That is a decent buff with a long duration, meaning that most of the time, it'll be active, making for overall quicker travel time throughout our journey in BL3.
9 Low Tier Doubled Agent: Borrowed Time - Action Skills Upon Action Skills
This is the first of many skills to give the player an extra incentive for successfully juggling multiple Action Skills. With Borrowed Time, Zane's Action Skills literally just last longer. Sure, even at max rank, 15% isn't much. But remember, that's per active Action Skill!
So, if a clever player always saved their Digi-Clone for when their Barrier was up, both would end up lasting 30% longer! It's not an insanely powerful skill or anything, but considering how much more focus there is on constant Action Skill usage in BL3, we think it's something players should definitely pick up.
8 Low Tier Under Cover: Adrenaline - A Full Shield A Day Keeps The Cooldowns Away
Like we said before, the Under Cover tree is all about keeping Zane fit as a fiddle, and it challenges players to do their part keeping him healthy as well. Adrenaline is a skill that decreases the cooldown for Zane's Action Skills, but the percentage is based on how undamaged Zane's shield currently is.
Basically, with a full shield and a max rank Adrenaline, both of the Action Skills will be ready a whopping 35% faster! But, as that shield takes damage, that percentage quickly decreases. Possibly a fantastic skill for sniper or clone-heavy builds, but an all-around great skill regardless.
7 Mid Tier Hitman: Salvation - Zane Has A Healthy, Killing-Based Diet
Much like Violent Speed, this Kill Skill will likely be active for the entire duration of most fire-fights and quests. Salvation is the bread-and-butter sustainability skill for players who want to build heavily into the Hitman tree.
Basically, kill one enemy, gain 10% Lifesteal on all damage dealt. Now, it's not 100% clear yet whether this also includes the damage from Zane's Digi-Clone or SNTNL, but still. A base 10% without having to gain stacks or anything? Why wouldn't we grab it?
6 Mid Tier Doubled Agent: Fractal Frags - If Zane Can't Throw Grenades, Maybe Holo-Zane Can
In Borderlands 2, one of the most boring classes, the Gunzerker, was top-tier in terms of potential damage. It wasn't because it had an insanely creative Action skill or unique abilities, it was mostly because they could use two guns at once. In a game with Legendary guns that break the balance, that's pretty absurd.
Well, Zane's Fractal Frags ability has the potential to be somewhere near that same level of absurdity, because it allows the Digi-Clone to throw a perfect copy of Zane's equipped grenade, including all modifiers. So, while Zane can't throw grenades himself, if he has a strong one equipped and keeps killing endlessly, his clone will toss them all out for him!
5 Mid Tier Under Cover: Rise To The Occasion - Technology Can't Make A Healthy Body
As an odd contrast to how much we gushed about Fractal Frags, we don't have much to say about this skill. Rise To The Occasion is just a good health regen ability to pick up. Basically, if Zane's shield is low, he regenerates about 5% of his max health a second.
It's a bit unclear as to whether this 5% is active if Zane's shield is down, or if it really is only when low, but it works well as a passive way to keep him alive in the middle of a fire-fight. Depending on the shield, this could be even better than we think it is. Basically, nab it if Zane seems to go down a bit more often than planned.
4 Mid Tier Hitman: Death Follows Close - One Of The Best Skills We've Seen So Far
Okay, so if Amara's absurd skill is Ascendant, than the comparable skill for Zane would be Death Follows Close. The skill is absolutely mandatory for any build dependant on Kill Skills. Basically, it just makes them better.
It both adds duration and effect to all other Kill Skills, meaning that the movespeed and lifesteal ones we just raved about? Yeah, they're even better now. The effect buff is 25%, which is huge for something like Lifesteal. It makes a huge difference, really. With an added duration of 7 seconds, regardless of the Kill Skill, it's a keeper for sure.
3 High Tier Doubled Agent: Boom. Enhance. - Our Very Own World-Destroying Clone
For those who have played Borderlands: The Pre-sequel, hopefully you remember the Doppelganger Jack Vault Hunter from it, as well as his Digi-Jacks.
Well, there was a high-tier skill for that character that spawned a Badass Digi-Jack which cleared entire rooms, and it's back. Zane has a variant of it now with Boom. Enhance., which utilizes his unused grenades in exchange for overall buffs. For reference, with three grenades, the Digi-Clone gets 60% gun damage, 243% max health, 15% fire rate, 93% reload speed and lasts 75% longer. Frankly, that's absurd. It sounds like a Tier 6 skill all on its own!
2 High Tier Under Cover: Calm, Cool, Collected - Literally Covers All The Bases
Basically, if the player has a focus on Cryo Damage, this is staggeringly useful. Freeze an enemy, your shield immediately start to recharge. Full shield? Well, then you get health regen!
Wait, what if you already have full health? Then your Action Skill cooldowns and durations are immediately reset. That's really dang good. It means that a smart Zane player can literally always have their SNTNL or buffed Digi-Clone active, as long as they avoid taking damage or freeze tons of enemies.
1 Top Tier Winner Hitman: Seein' Red - Just An Absurdly Powerful Combo Skill
Finally, we're at the Tier 6 skills. Let's not play around here, the best one is Seein' Red. Activate all the Kill Skill Effects at once whenever the player pops their Action Skill? Thats too much, especially with a build focused on Action Skill refreshes/cooldowns.
Whenever someone sends out SNTNL with all Kill Skills equipped, they'll immediately get extra movespeed, reload speed, life steal, fire rate, a chance to fire extra rounds, and longer duration for said Action Skill. Distributed Denial is useful, since it just copy pastes his shield, and Double Barrel is great because it just gives the Digi-Clone his gun, but Seein' Red just seems like a cut above in our opinion.