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Borderlands 2 Zer0 Melee Guide

Borderlands 2 Zer0 Melee Guide by loursnoir

Table of Contents

Introduction (MZG1)
The Meta Game (MZG1-1)
Gearing Zero (MSG2)
Guns (MZG2-1)
Shields (MZG2-2)
Class Mods (MZG2-3)
Grenades (MZG2-4)
Relics (MZG2-5)
How to Build a Melee Zero (MSG3)
Melee Zero wisdom, tips and tricks (MSG4)
Using Deception Properly (MSG4-1)
List of Enemies and how to approach them (MSG5)
Zero Build Examples (MSG6)
Pure Melee Build (MSG6-1)
Hybrid Build: Having an effective melee attack while using guns(MSG6-2)
Why Zero Isn't Meant for Tanking and Tanking Alternatives (MSG6-3)
Finding Melee Zero Relevant Gear Pieces (MSG7)
Links and Videos (MSG8)
Edit History (MSG9)

The Melee Zero Guide and the Definition of Melee Zero(MZG1)

A melee Zero is a Zero who focuses primarily on fighting at melee range and who chooses to use melee attacks over using guns. Having points in the bloodshed skill tree does not make you a melee Zero. If you find yourself using guns as a main source of damage rather than your melee attack, you are not a melee zero. Hybrid Zeroes with points in the Bloodshed skill tree can be effective, and making your melee attack effective while using guns will be explained and demonstrated later.

This definition is the core and most literal definition of being a melee fighter.

This is a general tips and tricks guide to playing Zero melee, along with some gear analysis and playstyle breakdowns. Depending on what you do, he can be incredibly impressive or completely underwhelming. You always have to keep in mind that Zero is not a samurai. Zero does not wear armor and only has shields just like every other class. His shields do not get the same kind of buffs that Axton has and he doesn't have the same degree of health regeneration as Salvador.Zero is a ninja, you have to play him like one. This guide is intended to help both experienced and novice players get an edge with the bloodshed skill tree for Zero, without making any concrete build claims and without a "best build" bias. Regardless of what is chosen, these tips, tricks and suggestions will help players mold and play better Zeroes and provide them with a nudge in the right direction to survive longer and clear areas quicker as an assassin.

The Meta Game (MZG1-1)

Most of us should have a firm familiarity with what the meta-game with Melee Zeroes is: Law and Order combo with a bloodshed heavy build and probably some points in cunning, particularly Rising Shot. While this works for some people, don't feel obligated to play the same way everyone else is playing. The meta-game usually exists for a reason, just like stereotypes, because there is some truth to them. The best builds for characters usually aren't found in the meta though, just the most popular.

To take a quote from Eric Schmidt, the CEO of google and making it applicable to Borderlands 2: "Many many people think they're doing something new, but they're not really changing the approach. [...] Innovation never comes from the established institutions." Sure, that seems pretentious to say in a gaming guide, but feel free to mess around with your own concepts, create your own builds and find out what really tickles your game playing fancy.

Gearing Zero (MSG2)

There is a large variety of guns in this game, bazillions of them, so there are a lot of options to how you choose to gear your Zero. The only problem is that when meleeing, you're not going to need bazillions of guns. You probably won't even need all four of the guns that you have space to equip. While guns will be mostly shirked aside in lieu of slashing things, there are plenty of viable options of what to do with the rest of your gear slots. These evaluations of the gear possibilities should make choosing the proper gear for your play style easier.

Guns (MZG2-1)

These are my opinions of the main gun types and my suggestions about whether or not they are preferential for Melee Zeroes and what add-ons work best with them.

Disclaimer: At the end of the game, your gun damage depends more on your skills that augment the main DPS of the gun than the gun numbers themselves. It may seem like a decent number, but it is nothing compared to a single melee attack with a Zero built to do maximum melee damage. Reloading and running out of ammo will slow you down if you aren't centered, or at least proficient, in using guns. If you have Rising Shot, this would make using a gun somewhat more viable with a Bloodshed build which includes Be Like Water, Like the Wind and Followthrough. You will still need a gun for certain situations, which are detailed later in "List of Enemies and how to approach them" section, but it is not necessary to have several. An example can be found in the Videos section.

Pistols: Pistols should be the go-to gun for a melee Zero. Not just because of the Law pistol, although it's highly recommended, but also because of their quick fire rate, good accuracy and general convenience. There's also a large variety of pistols that mostly work with melee Zeroes and have convenient add-ons that function as a combo with what you'll be doing. My main suggestion for pistol manufacturers are Jacob's pistols. I personally haven't found another manufacturer for pistols as good as these, because the fire rate and reload speed are both amazing and there's always a solid amount of damage. while the clip size tends to be lower, it works out because they're the backup for your melee attacks and not vice versa. Maliwan pistols with slag are also a great choice. Stacking slag damage will help deal greater amounts of damage with melee attacks, especially when stacked with any + damage skill buffs you decide on. Regardless of what type of pistol chosen, it's a good idea to make sure that they have a bayonet attachment. Without + melee damage on your weapon, your melee build will suffer. Corrosive pistols are nice to have for taking out the joints of loaders and dealing damage to ones that can't be meleed.

Sub machine guns: Submachine guns of any type can be decent weapons, but the best choices would be close ranged ones, with high amounts of damage. Accuracy can be disregarded, to an extent, because you'll be up close a majority of the time. The less recoil the better, but since you'll be spraying and praying often with this type of weapon, it really won't be the biggest factor in gun choice. Submachine guns, to me, are the best weapon if you choose to have Rising Shot, because you can unload on the enemy as you approach them and quickly hit them with a fully buffed slash. They can also come with bayonets and Maliwan is my suggestion for them.

Shotguns: Most Zero players are probably using shotguns anyways, but for those who don't, I actually wouldn't recommend them, because you don't need high burst damage for a melee zero, because that is what your sword is. Shotguns with low accuracy aren't doing you any good with a melee build and if they have a long reload speed, you're wasting time reloading and lowering your DPS compared to what you could be doing with faster gun, or more importantly, your melee attacks. If you're going to get a shotgun, it should have a reload speed of no less than 2.7, a magazine size of around 10, at least, and a decent fire rate of around 1.2+. This may be hard to come by, but it's the only way I'll recommend them. Having tried the Terramorphus shotgun, with +50% melee damage, I still couldn't recommend it because normal slashes do more damage faster, when built properly.

Assault Rifles: There are plenty of great assault rifles, but I also wouldn't recommend them. I feel this way mainly because nothing in just about any Zero skill tree supports the use of them and any assault rifle with explosive ammo is a liability. They're good mid-ranged weapons, but if you choose to use one, make it one that is effective at close range.

Sniper rifles: Zero has an entire skill tree devoted to these. You don't need one as a meleer unless you're a prodigy with no-scoping head shots. Even then, you can just aim your sword upwards to try and get headshot. When using a build with ambush and backstab, the damage will be superior to lining up headshots, which will slow you down as a melee build without the additional crit damage for guns. You only need to choose a gun that will support and compensate for your short comings, not do the work for you.

Rocket launchers: Rocket launchers are nice to have for quick second winds and for taking out buzzards with a carefully aimed shot. Their ammo is scarce, which is fine, because you will have whichever gun you choose in your main hand anyways. These are used soley as get-out-of-jail-free cards. If you choose one, be very careful about using it at close range and be even more careful if it's a Tedidore, because you don't want to blow yourself up on reloads. The Bouncing Bunny is probably the most masochistic choice you could possibly make.

Shields (MZG2-2)

Melee Zeroes have a lot of options of what types of shields to use. Going with the meta-game is not always necessary, because there is a lot of potential to have when using Zero as a melee character.

Turtle shields: Ridiculously high shield capacity, which would seem underwhelming, but it allows you to eat far more bullets than most other types of shields. If you're reckless, these can be great, but definitely not necessary. Sacrificing health for more shields seems like a bad idea, but since shields are actually your first resort and health your last, it starts to make sense.

Roid: By far the most used Zero shield type and the way to access the greatest amount of Zero melee damage. The only problem is you have to keep your shields down to access it. This requires a much more animated play style, if having the shield deliberately down is your goal. Keep in mind, when the shield is up, it's just a normal shield like any other.

Booster: Booster shields are also a respectable choice, because the booster backs that restore shield capacity can help you stay along for longer in the midst of danger.

Spike and Nova: Spike shields are a great option because high spike damage adds to the DPS against melee attackers without needing any kind of buff or without having to have your shields broken. It punishes your enemies for retaliating, which is another way to look forward to taking a hit or two, when coupled with Counter Attack. Nova shields are like spike, but explode with a radius when depleted. If your goal is to get your shields to recharge quickly, having a nova shield with a low delay, lower capacity and high recharge rate would be a good choice.

Absorb: These absorb and store bullets, but you won't need this quite as much because you won't be using most of the bullets returned to you. If you go through the 700 pistol ammo you're given as a melee Zero, you're probably not really a melee Zero.

Amplify: AMP shields aren't necessary, because you probably won't have full shields often. The damage only applies to guns also, so at best you'll probably get one extra shot before your shield becomes no different than a standard one.

Class Mods (MZG2-3)

Class mods are one of the greatest ways to modify a build and make it function to your liking. There are a lot of options with Zero class mods, but not every one is applicable to a melee build. The stats that the class mod raises are just as important as the skills they raise, because the numbers scale with the level of the class mod and can genuinely make or break a build. The class mods Zero have are:


Infiltrator: Increases fire rate and melee damage. It's useful because it increases skills that are commonly used by melee zeroes, like Be Like Water, Unforseen and Iron Hand. The extra fire rate goes hand in hand with Be Like Water and can also assist in recovering from being downed.

Ninja: Increases melee damage. It has the potential to increase Backstab, resurgence and killing blow. Killing blow is useful, but it doesn't need a huge boost in skill points. Resurgence is the life blood of melee zero builds that don't rely on Law and Order and even then, it is still beneficial to have as one of Zero's FEW ways to get health back. Backstab is one of Zero's most important damage boosting skills, in any melee zero build. Ambush and Backstab when combined will provide most of the damage you'll be doing as a Zero.


Killer: Increases team critical damage, which could potentially be useful on enemies that have critical spots that can easily be meleed. Otherwise, it's something that is easily avoided. Fearless and Killer are better suited towards a Cunning gun build instead of a melee build and the only truly beneficial skill would be Ambush. This depends on how you build your Zero and if you want a 50/50 balance between gun use and melee damage...but once again, that sounds more like a cunning build.

Spy: The spy class mod has hidden potential with a melee build. Both Unforseen and Ambush are useful and add huge amounts of damage and the bonus cooldown rate would help with keeping Deception in arms reach. Velocity isn't really necessary, but the bonus gun damage could be useful for grabbing second winds with weapons besides rockets.

Stalker: Although Stalker doesn't give melee damage like Infiltrator or Ninja, it is completely viable as a melee build class mod. This is because Rising Shot, Followthrough and Counter Strike all affect melee damage and with high bonuses in those skills can compensate somewhat for the loss of melee damage. The additional pistol fire rate and magazine size would also be of use if you're using the Law pistol or a Slag pistol with a bayonet attachment.

Survivor: Survivor is completely viable as a class mod also, because the additional max health and regeneration will keep you alive for longer. With a Love Thumper build, it begins to make even more sense since you will not be relying on shields to protect you. Ambush and rising shot affect melee damage and Resurgence will help keep you alive.

Not recommended

Professional: This is almost exclusively a cunning build class mod and doesn't help with melee builded zeroes besides the extra ambush damage. Extra shield capacity is nice, but not at the expense of melee damage or crit damage.

Shot and Sniper: The shot and sniper class mods are completely irrelevant to melee builds.

Grenades (MZG2-4)

Grenades are one of the most vital parts of a melee Zero. I'm sure they often get overlooked, but a good set of grenades will be a game changer. Grenade delivery preference(Lob/sticky/rubberized/longbow/homing) is at the player's discretion, but these are my suggested grenades and my least suggested.

Elemental: It's always good to have elemental grenades around to compensate for the guns that you won't be carrying. With any grenade, homing is highly suggested because you can throw them from behind cover without having to peek up to look. This will definitely help you survive for longer periods of time in the long run, especially against constructors. Fire is my least recommended, but electric and corrosive are must haves.

Standard: It's a standard grenade. You wouldn't be missing anything by passing these up.

Mirv: I would not recommend mirv grenades in any regards because they require you to get out of the way when you throw them and you can easily get yourself killed with some wacky usage of them. Explosive Kiss of Death is an exception and my most recommended grenade, but any other mirvs, especially sticky ones, avoid like the plague.

Bouncing Betty: These are great grenades because the bullets won't backfire on you and you can toss as many as you want without having to worry about what will happen to you.

Area of Effect: I would highly suggest area of effect grenades, especially electric ones for taking out your own shields on roid damage builds, specifically the Love Thumper build.

Singularity: A good combination of delivery methods, elements and power will make for the perfect grenade. Singularity grenades can be used to stop your enemies from acting and rounding them up so you can sneak in for the deception/execution kill chain.

Transfusion: A must have for restoring health, since Zero has fewer ways to recover it, and my top choice for grenades to roll with. Choose one wisely and keep it equipped when you're not using the more conditional grenade types.

Slag: Slag grenades will make getting kills much much easier. Slag weapons don't always do the job, but slag grenades will. If you're using Law and don't want to risk switching out weapons and losing your melee damage in a time of need, keep slag grenades handy.

Special transport mention: I would not suggest rubberized grenades, especially in CQC.

Relics (MZG2-5)

Relics will often change your entire play style, as trivial as they may seem sometimes. A good relic is just as important as a build-matching class mod. Earlier in the game, you may not want to sacrifice Strength relics for any other types, especially when solo. As you get stronger and more comfortable, you may be willing to ditch the strength for Proficiency to get somewhat faster Deception cooldowns and more damage that way, or for Vitality for added survivability. Without much need for explanation, the relic choice is at the discretion of the player and is used to compensate for the weak spots not improved upon by the choice of shield or class mod.

How to Build a Melee Zero (MSG3)

Building a melee Zero isn't as difficult as a process as it may seem. It's actually rather simple.

Step 1: Self-reflection. You know more so than anyone else how you like playing video games. People from FPS backgrounds may prefer using plenty of guns, but still want the melee bonuses that Zero has above other classes, so the way they would be their character would vary from others. Players who like Borderlands 2's style and story, but not so much heavy gun play, may opt to do a full, or extremely bloodshed heavy build to avoid gun usage as much as possible. Consider what is fun for you and what you want to get out of your experience the most and choose skills accordingly.

Step 2: Survivability. Regardless of how you choose to play, dying often isn't going to help anyone. You have to choose a build for your melee Zero that will help keep you alive as long as possible. If you're going to use shields and not use a mechanic which requires them to be depleted, Grim could be a better choice for you. Iron hands should be maxed regardless of what you choose to do. If you're choosing a build where you aren't using a shield, Resurgence should be at a higher level than with a shield. If you're running a low Deception cooldown build, Innervate multiplies in usefulness, because the health regeneration bonus comes by a lot more often. Relics and class mods can be used to adjust your health and health regeneration if you want a Zero who can get in melee range, but who doesn't have to focus on bouncing all over the place (as much). If you're using Law and Order, you can take some points out of resurgence, because the damage you deal will recover your health. If you think about it, it could be used to become a tankier Zero rather than focusing on pure damage, because you lose out on damage when not utilizing roid damage.

Step 3: Damage. Knowing what guns you want to use and how you want to play as a Melee Zero will help you determine what kind of skills you need to up your damage. With pistols and melee, you may not want Rising shot, but if you're using a SMG it becomes a better choice. If you're using guns with a build that requires you to have your shields depleted, Fearless becomes a better idea, but when min/maxing melee damage it can be completely left out. It's the same way with Be Like Water. The build choices are limited, but not so limited that you can adjust them to get what you want.

Melee Zero wisdom, tips and tricks (MSG4)

This portion is dedicated to various pieces of wisdom on how to use melee Zeroes properly.

-If you are using any shield with ROID damage (Love Thumper/Order mainly) or using Unforseen, keep in mind that your clones and ROID damage can and will destroy breakable environment pieces such as gasoline tanks and elemental barrels. If you are not careful and you start swinging at an enemy standing next to one of these you will get yourself killed. Of course, this can be used to your advantage. You can toss a decoy in front of one of the breakable pieces of environment to lure enemies there and detonate it by cancelling Deception in whatever way you see fit.

- When meleeing, keep moving. Standing still not only puts you in everyone's line of fire, but also doesn't activate Like the Wind. Jumping can be an ideal form of movement, because jumping (even in place) activates Like the Wind and it is great for getting behind enemies.

- Bouncing on enemies heads put you in a position where it's difficult for them to hit you and you can get ambush/backstab damage on them.

- Take cover when you're in danger. You can jump over cover and crouch simultaneously, which will temporarily block enemies from reaching you. Always know locations to take cover from and which ones are best to avoid explosive damage.

- For builds that use Be Like Water, it's important to constantly switch between taking a shot, or a few shots, before switching to melee for an additional damage bonus. Jumping over enemies while shooting down, before slashing is a great way to incorporate all the buffs at once. Jumping and shooting will use Be Like Water, Like the Wind and other buffs (Followthrough if you get kills) all at once.

- For convenience, Left Alt button is a good alternative to the V button as a melee hotkey for PC players who don't have gaming mice.

- After using your guns, always reload them. You don't want to be in a position where you're down and the enemy is out of range, but you're wasting second wind time trying to reload your guns.

Using Deception Properly (MSG4-1)

When using a melee build, Deception is your bread and butter. It is also the plate, the fork and the knife. Using deception incorrectly can make this skill tree seem incredibly underpowered. When you use Deception, always throw the decoys at angles. 45 degree angles, along with full horizontal 90 degree throws, are your best friends. Youdon't want to throw your decoys directly in front of you because enemies will still shoot in the direction of your decoy and you will not only be blocking your shot, but also leaving yourself open and wasting time. Deception can also be thrown mid-air. Jumping and throwing Deception is a great tactic for getting the drop (pun intended) on enemies.

Jumping and turning when throwing deception will often get enemies to run directly past you and leaving their backs exposed.

When being chased, throwing deception in front of you and making a sharp turn can save your live and it's one of the few times throwing Deception directly in front of you is actually a good idea. It will block your shot, of course, but using melee attacks and missing does not cancel Deception the same way that shooting a gun does, so if your crosshair is accidentally green instead of red, you won't suffer too much if you can quickly get the kill after.

Deception will reveal stalkers that are hiding and show you threshers that are boring through the ground.

Execution is a must have for damage and as a utility skill. Execution when used properly can take down almost anything and it defines melee builds when combined with many must fall. If you are strong enough, it will 1hk enemies from frontal attacks, but you should always carefully use it as a back attack with badasses and stronger enemies. When you're using Execution, you can hit the button to trigger it as many times as you want, with the cursor locked on to get Zero to dash forward. This is good for closing the gap between enemies that are far away and distracted by your decoy. Keeping this in mind, execution can be used to take low flying enemies out of the air, such as Surveyors and Buzzards if they swoop down. Keep hitting the execution button to continue to dash forward if you really want to catch an aerial enemy with Deception.

List of Enemies and how to approach them (MSG5)

Bandits/Marauders/Rats/Hyperion Personel and Psychos: These can all be approached with a full frontal attack without having to sneak behind them. Jumping at them will slightly throw their aim off so you can hit them in the head and turn to take them out. Avoid running in straight lines towards them though, because most of them use guns that really hurt, especially if they're e-tech, elemental or corrosive. Take angles to get at, behind and through them.

Loaders: Gun, RPG, BUL, JNK and SGT loaders can all be killed with melee attacks without the risk of them exploding. Having a corrosive weapon/grenade handy is always a good idea, but with enough damage it should be possible to take out them and their shields. HOT, EXP and Badass loaders are all extremely dangerous to kill melee. These should not be meleed, but instead picked off at a distance. Badass loaders are included because they have a high damaging smash attack which will usually result in a 1-2 hit down. The diameter of the attack is also large and hard to avoid at a melee range. At end-game damage levels, constructors can be taken out with back attacks and if you're confident and brave enough, getting in a constructor's face to melee critical his large eye is possible. It most likely will get you killed, but ROID damage activates during Fight For Your Life, so getting a kill is possible and quick this way.

Creatures: Most creatures are a straight forward battle. Bullymongs, skags and varkids are all easily dispatched in melee range even though they can deal some nasty damage. To deal with bullymongs, running under their jump attack and back attacking them is very effective. With spitting skags, varkids and threshers, strafe as you close the gap between you and them so that you don't take any unnecessary damage before cutting them up. Rakks can be killed at melee range with a properly timed attack as they swoop in. Crystalisks are easiest in melee range, because hitting their legs will usually completely destroy them, which gives you an opportunity to kill them in 4 hits. Alternate between walking back and forth while taking out the legs so you don't get caught in their splash attack and make sure you stay mid ranged so they don't throw explosive crystals at you. Using deception to kill threshers is easiest, because cutting through the legs will restore health with resurgence and also deal damage to the main body. Without cutting the tentacles, threshers should be approached with extreme caution. When fighting stalkers, especially Rabid, don't be afraid to use Deception and make sure to jump often so they don't rush you with their quicker melee attacks and down you before you can react. Jump-->shoot-->melee->shoot-->melee is a good combo for taking out rabid threshers, especially if you're using Be Like Water and Death Mark.

Badass Psychos, Armored Maniacs and Badass/shield Nomads: More often than not, you will want to attack them with back attacks and throw your deception at an angle so that it is easier to get behind them. As they chase you at an angle, you have more of a window to hit them in the side/back and take them out quickly. Fighting them ranged can be less effective because of how strong and guarded they are.

Shock Nomads and Fire Nomads: Both of these enemies are just as dangerous as EXP/HOT loaders because back attacks will blow up their backpacks and cause them to explode. Instead of trying to net extra damage on them with Backstab/Ambush, take them head on by getting a side angle on them and jumping often.

Enemies in Vehicles: Buzzards and Bandit Technicals can be incredibly difficult to fight at low levels, especially when using melee. For these situations, having a corrosive damage pistol, sub machine gun or assault rifle can greatly reduce the time it takes to finish these fights. Well aimed rocket launcher shots and homing grenades (especially Kiss of Death) are great ways to take out fast and unreachable enemies. Singularity grenades are somewhat less effective because the singularity effects are stationary, even if sticky, and will not hit an enemy that moves out of them. When mashing the Execution button, Deception can be used to take Buzzards out of the air, as well as any aerial creature that flies low enough. Getting on the highest platform possible makes this easier to do. Use great caution when approaching Bandit Technicals, because being rammed results in instant death and respawn. Taking out the passengers in the vehicle can net Second Wind chances during FFYL.

Zero Build Examples (MSG6)

The intention of providing build examples it to exhibit the applications and efficiency of using a Zero who focuses on close quarter combat. Each build is complete and tested, but not necessarily the best builds possible. Instead, they serve as a template to guide melee Zeroes through their journey through Pandora. To do this, each example is elaborated upon on the basis of skill, gear and play style builds. Game play footage of each build can be found under the Links section of the guide.

Pure Melee Build (MSG6-1)

"The Law Thumper" Build

This is an incredibly hard hitting, almost exclusively melee build which is centered around the use of the Love Thumper shield and Law pistol.

With this build, Killing blow is intentionally left at 1/5 because the amount of damage that the constant roid buff provides allows 1HKOs to most enemies. Any additional points in Killing blow would be overkill because of this. Instead, the points that would've been distributed there are allocated to Be Like Water to provide an extra damage buff against enemies that don't die in one hit. Although this is uncommon and guns will become the secondary attack rather the main one, the BLW buff will help tackle enemies like Super Badass Loaders and Super Badass Pyro Threshers. Innervate is chosen for the additional movement speed, which makes it optional, but still a useful passive skill. The actual health regeneration comes from Resurgence due to the quick kills from all the stacked damage. Unforseen is essential to the fast paced action style of this build when coupled with Many Must Die, each kill redeploying the decoy and exploding the original one for massive shock damage.

The Gear Setup:

Law Pistol
Love Thumper Shield
Explosive Kiss of Death Grenades
Tesla Grenades
Bloodied Ninja Class Mod: + melee damage, +4 Backstab/+5 Resurgence skills
Vitality Relic: +45.2% Health

Optional: Rocket Launcher for quick Second Winds and for taking out buzzards

Tesla grenades are included in the gear build in order to deplete the character's shields completely before the start of battle to avoid dangerous situations. Explosive Kiss of Death grenades are also included in the build and are changed out after the shields are gone because they have a powerful fire DoT while doubling as transfusion grenades. These will help keep health high between kills and attack enemies behind cover and around corners. The Bloodied Ninja Class Mod is perhaps the best choice for this particular build because the melee damage and bonus Backstab points make taking down tougher enemies a breeze; Resurgence points compensate for the lack of shields and increase the overall survivability of the player, rounding out the rough edges of the build. The relic is optional, but after a certain damage horizon, a Strength relic is no longer necessary and the Vitality relic helps further augment the survivability of the player.

The Play Style: This build is the epitome of melee Zero game play and has a complete offensive focus. Players will be charging in to battle while Deception is up, but will be able to stay on the front lines with careful use of close quarter tactics. This is possible due to the Love Thumper shield, a roid shield with an incredibly long recharge delay. This is combined with the bonus melee damage of the Law pistol to create the most powerful form of Bloodshed playing. Back attacks with maxed out Ambush/Backstab will be enough to take out most Super Badasses in a single blow, but aren't necessary for normal enemies. Constant movement is required due to the lack of shield protection, but the damage more than compensates for it.

Hybrid Build: Having an effective melee attack while using guns(MSG6-2)

This a build which provides an example for what is possible while having a focus on gun play, but not neglecting the melee attack. With a carefully built ranged Zero, using the melee attack isn't necessarily vital, but it serves as a powerful tool in dispatching enemies without expending any ammo and with a set of bonuses that only building up the Bloodshed tree can provide.

With this build, Killing blow is still left at 1/5 because of the build's lack of emphasis on melee damage. At this level, it will provide just enough damage to pick off enemies who charge through your gun fire. Be Like Water is incorporated for the same reason, to maximize melee damage when enemies come too close and get quicker kills on them so attention can be directed at the next enemy. Followthrough stays because its Kill Skill buffs go hand in hand with Innervate while having a perfect synergy with gun and melee damage. Execution is kept as part of the build to do just as the name implies after using Death Blossom. It's a great addition to the build for tougher enemies like Super Badasses, particularly Nomads and Psychos, which can be dangerous to unprepared ranged players. The rest of the build is a standard Cunning build set, with Unforseen kept due to the suggested class mod use of the corresponding gear build.

The Gear Setup:

Law Pistol
Order Shield
Guns of Choice
Explosive Kiss of Death Grenades
Graceful Infiltrator Class Mod: + Fire Rate/+ Melee Damage, +6 Be Like Water/+5 Unforseen
Strength Relic: +18% Melee Damage

The Law pistol stays in this build for it's undeniable melee damage bonus. Although the main gun of choice should optimally have a bayonet, the law pistol will be the weapon to use during Deception Executions. This time the shield is Order, because the additional health returns will be important because the melee damage will not be enough to 1HKO enemies outside of Deception and surviving cannot be left in the hands of Resurgence. Order serves its exact purpose to keep the player alive while taking down charging enemies and providing a short, but necessary, roid damage boost if the shields go down. Any gun can be used with this build, but SMGs are preferred. This is left to the discretion of the player, because the build is 70/30 ranged/melee. Transfusion grenades are essential in any build where you will be approaching enemies head on, because this play style sacrifices the safety of taking enemies on from a distance. The Graceful Infiltrator Class Mod is my most suggested. Only a little bit of melee damage is lost when switching from Ninja mods to Infiltrator mods, but the bonus to Be Like Water and Unforseen and the additional fire rate compensate. This is because gun play becomes much more important and the buff to Be Like Water has a chance to shine. At skill rank 11/5, the Be Like Water buff is 44% gun damage and 66% melee. A Strength relic was chosen this time over vitality, because maintaining your health with Order makes maximum health somewhat less important and the more damage you do melee, the more health that is recovered by Order.

The Play Style: This is a Jack-Of-All-Trades build which has usefulness at any range. Melee damage is sacrificed in exchange for the comfort of having more powerful gun damage and a larger range. At the melee range, be sure to switch from the main gun equipped to the Law pistol to utilize Order's health regen and to make sure you are doing as much melee damage as possible. Shooting between melee slashes will help down the enemies quicker, especially if you develop the habit of constantly alternating between shooting and slashing when necessary. Transfusion grenades, like any melee build, will help you heal when your health is critically low.

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