[Top 3] Borderlands 2 Best Builds For Zer0

Zer0 the Assassin cuts in with his katana - and ego.

With his katana, cloaking, and expert haiku-skills, Zer0 brings a unique experience to Pandora. The BL2 Assassin is just as adept at sniping from afar as he is stabbing enemies in the back, which can make it difficult to decide how to build him. So, here’s the Top 3 builds to help you build Zer0 to best suit your needs!

1. Stealthy Sniper 

Best for: Sniping/Long-range Combat

Zer0 has the best skills for sniping, no question. These skills boost overall sniping performance, adding pierce and improving critical damage. 

If you tend to gravitate towards sniping gameplay, this build will fit you like a glove. It's on the higher end of damage builds too, so if chipping away at enemies with big shots sounds good to you, give it a try. You'll be nailing crtical points on enemies for serious DPS. 

For this build, you’ll want to invest in these skills:

  • Sniping Tree: Headshot 5/5, Killer 5/5, Precision 5/5, One Shot One Skill 5/5,
    Bore 1/1, Velocity 5/5, Kill Confirmed 1/5, At One With The Gun 5/5,
    Critical Ascension - 1/1
  • Cunning Tree: Fast Hands 5/5, Ambush 5/5, Rising Shot 5/5,
    Death Mark 1/1, Unforseen 5/5, Innervate 5/5, Death Blossom - 1/1
  • Bloodshed Tree: Killing Blow 5/5, Grim 5/5, Followthrough 5/5

It’s a build that asks you to hang back a bit so you can get the real good shots. You’ll  appreciate having some space between you and your target, and even more you’ll appreciate the huge damage it brings!

What This Build Does Best:

  • Sniping: With skills improving critical damage, zoom, and piercing, this build invites you to shoot from afar. 
  • Critical Damage: Headshot and Precision reward you for hitting critical points. 
  • Piercing: B0re brings a ton of value with piercing, which allows you to hit through targets. 
  • Damaging Big Targets: Big enemies will get hit by pierce shots multiple times, all thanks to B0re!

Use This Build If You...

  • Enjoy Sniping: if you prefer hanging back and taking calculated shots, this build supports that. 
  • Can Hit Critical Points: got good aim? This build rewards you for nailing weak spots.
  • Are Up Against Big Enemies: this build makes shirt work of bosses and big enemies, because of B0re's crazy piece effect. 

2. Cunning Bloodshed

Best For: Melee Damage 

Zer0 is great at sniping, and just as much he’s great at cutting down enemies with his melee abilities.

If you’re looking for a character who can zoom in and out of close quarters, dealing big damage from up close, then take a look at this build.

For this build, you’ll want to invest in these skills:

  • Cunning Tree:C0unter Strike 5/5, Ambush 5/5, Death Mark 1/1, Unf0rseen 5/5,  Innervate 2/2
  • Bloodshed Tree: Ir0n Hand 5/5, Grim 5/5, F0ll0wthr0ugh 5/5, Execute 1/1,
    Like The Wind 5/5, Many Must Fall 1/1

You’ll be using Decepti0n to weave in and out of battle, with Unf0rseen releasing shock damage when you exit stealth and Many Must Fall allowing you to chain kills and re-stealth. 

What This Build Does Best:

  • Melee Damage: you’ll maximize your melee damage with build, allowing you to cut down enemies at close quarters. 
  • Movement: your overall movement speed is increased here, and you’ll have the ability to dash to enemies with Execute. 
  • Decepti0n: overall, this build makes the most use of Decepti0n.

Use This Build If You...

  • Need DPS: This damage is excellent at delivering damage. 
  • Play Solo: this build scales well for solo play. 
  • Like To Be on the move: wanna weave in and out of combat like a proper assassin? This build gives you the ability to do so. 


3. Balanced Assassin

Best For: Leveling and General Play

While Zer0’s melee and sniping abilities can be polarizing, you can still have the best of both worlds. Well, you’ll give up some sniping abilities, but with this build you can still deal respectable gun damage while wielding your sword.

This build is ideal for the indecisive, or those who want to get through the game seeing all Zer0 has to offer. It's also just plain fun, making it a great choice for those long leveling sessions. 

For this build, you’ll want to invest in these skills:

  • Sniping Tree: Headshot 5/5 Killer - 5/5 B0re - 1/1 Vel0city - 5/5 
  • Cunning Tree: Fast Hands - 5/5 Fearless - 5/5 Rising Shot - 3/5 
  • Bloodshed Tree: Ir0n Hand - 5/5 Grim - 5/5 F0llowThr0ugh - 5/5 Execute - 1/1

You may notice that this pulls from every tree, with some skills we saw as highlights for the other two builds. Igs a great meeting ground for all of Zer0's specialities, allowing you to take advantage of crit boosts and melee alike. 

If you're split on how to build him, this is a great choice to just play around. You may struggle with harder content that asks for more focused specs, but if you're not looking to do that this build is just as fun!

What This Build Does Best:

  • A little of everything: pulling from every tree, this build gives you a taste of everything Zer0 can do. 
  • Early and Mid game: because it doesn't require you to dig deep into any one tree, this build works well as you level through the main game. 
  • Gun Performance: this build gives your general weapon handling some nice boosts. 

Use This Build If You...

  • Just Can’t Decide: Stuck between sniping or melee? Why not both?
  • Are Still Leveling : this build works well as you build up in level.
  • Appreciate Versatility: maybe you just like having multiple options. If so, this is the build for you. 


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Nothing fuels a creative career like diving into a good game. When in doubt, I pick up a controller and see what new experiences there are to uncover.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Hades
Top 3 Favorite Games:Borderlands 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Shovel Knight

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