Borderlands 2 Class Breakdown: Zer0 the Assassin
Borderlands 2 is a unique experience, and the class you pick at the beginning of the game is a big part of that. Each class suits a different play style and picking the right one is key for your domination of Pandora. Today, I cover the Assassin class; the one I’ve been using the most.
The Assassin class focuses on dealing large amounts of damage whether you’re sniping or using a melee build. I put my focus on melee, as Zer0’s special ability is to distract enemies with a decoy. If you put your skill points in the right places, you can deal killing blows with the combination of the decoy and a quick tap of the melee button. I would start out spending points in Counter Strike (if you get hit, then melee attack, you can deal massive damage) and Iron Hand (which increases your maximum health and increases melee damage.) Some other skills I invested heavily into was Killing Blow (Greatly increases melee damage to enemies with low health) and Fast Hands (which increases reload speed and how fast you switch weapons.) If you wanted to use Zer0 as a sniper, the Sniping portion of the skill tree is an easy one to follow.
There is a timer on the decoy feature that lasts for 5 seconds. The sooner you attack, which breaks the decoy, the faster cool down you receive to be able to use decoy again. On the other hand, the longer you wait to attack, the more damage you deal. When facing tougher enemies, I would recommend letting using decoy and staying behind them, when there’s under a second left, melee them in the back in order to have a high critical hit chance.
Single player and co-op provide different challenges for the Assassin class. I put some points into sniping, while maintaining a focus on melee combat. That way when I saw far off enemies, I could engage them with sniper fire and draw them to me. When they got near, I would use a combination of decoy and melee to finish them off, since they were weak from sniper fire. This only worked in large spaces, as in cramped corridors I would use assault rifles to weaken enemies and finish them with melee.
When playing co-op with a friend, make sure you don’t melee people with low health if your partner is on Second Wind, since they either need to kill someone or have you revive them. In heated firefights, I would throw my decoy out then run over and heel my co-op partner while the decoy gets bombarded with bullets. Using the decoy in this way makes you the best medic class available, unless you’re using the commando and have the equally distracting turret as a cover up to heal.
When building a class, make sure you incorporate skills from each tree. For melee, it is recommended that you level up Counter Strike (adds counter strike damage) and Iron Hand (increases max health and melee damage) as soon as possible. From there, adding Ambush (added backstab damage) is a nice touch due to the decoy ability. Try to max out the bloodshed tree with you leveling points, while then adding remaining points into the cunning skill tree. This will give you the most deadly assassin this side of Pandora.
Sniping skill tree will differ the spending tremendously. Focus solely on the sniping part of the tree (the one on the left in the picture above) and use your remaining points on the bloodshed tree. Make sure you add points to Headshot (adds critical damage percentage) and Iron Hand (the max heath and melee percentage boost from above.) You'll also want to focus on Killer (which increases critical hit percentage and reload speed,) and Precision (which adds weapon accuracy.) From this point you'll be able to pick and choose skills based on your gaming tendencies. Some skills may be useless to you, but valuable to others.
From all the character classes I’ve used, Zer0 is the most interesting and fun character to play with. That’s not to say the other characters aren’t fun (they all are) but Zer0’s experience feels different from all the others. I don’t usually play as melee characters, but Zer0’s high damage, high critical hit, and decoy ability make him a fun character to play as in single player and co-op.
This is part one of a four part series. The Siren is next, followed by the Gunzerker, and finishing up with the Commando.
What do you think about Zer0 the Assassin? Was he your character of choice? What skills did you use to make him great? Did you play as melee or a sniper? Let me know in the comments below