Choosing Your Next Warframe: End-Game

Welcome the guide to choosing a warframe. This version is directed at our more advanced players and is intended to showcase the frame’s abilities to handle endgame, and the potential builds they have access to. Thanks again to all the /r/Warframe community member that stepped up to help out with this. You’ll be given proper named thanks at the end. 🙂

Some frames went without proper representation and may be slightly off: Atlas, Mag, Mesa, Mirage, Nekros.

So without further ado, let’s quickly cover some of the “stats” you’ll see in this guide and what they all mean.

Forma Count: This will be a simple count of the number of forma need for you to reach a maximized build. Primed variants may take more or less, depending on polarity.

Control: This is a rating of how well a warframe’s powers are are providing any and all forms of crowd control, whether it be blind, staggers or stuns.

Damage: This is the frame damage potential using only what’s in their kit. This accounts for all forms of damage amps and power boosts.

Support: This is a warfame’s potential for support their teammates, via a Heal, energy restoring power or damage amp that they also benefit, or can benefit from.

Survivability: This is similar to the next stat, but doesn’t prove any direct stat increase that improve it. Rather this is the category for powers which provide Mobility, Invisibility or anything else that can help you survive without proving stats.

Tank: This is a warframe potential to soak damage, counting for all available buffs/skills in their kit. Any kind of Armor Increase, Health increase, or Damage reduction fall here.

For Clarity, these stats are also going to be color coded. GREEN is above average, RED is below average. 4-6 is the average for most stats. Only Forma count will not be on a 1-10 scale, the rest of the stats will be however. 

These numbers are just the simple means of conveying the information at a glance. There will also be detailed coverage of the stats and why the numbers were given.

With that, let’s help you figure out what frames you might want to consider taking a look at for end-game uses.


 

Since this could end up being a lot of scrolling, I’ll set up some jumps to each frame:

Ash

Atlas

Banshee

Chroma

Ember

Equinox

Excalibur

Frost

Hydroid

Limbo

Loki

Mag

Mesa

Mirage

Nekros

Nova

Nyx

Oberon

Rhino

Saryn

Trinity

Valkyr

Vauban

Volt

Zephyr

Special Thanks


.

profile-full-ash

Ash

Forma Count: 2*

Control: 3/10

Damage: 9/10

Support: 3/10

Survivability: 9/10

Tank: 5+/10

The amount of forma required for this frame varies. Usually 2 is sufficient to max him out though. He may require more or less depending on if you opt to use the Exilius Slot and if using prime or not.

This frame has two common builds, A high power strength and efficiency setup for Bladestorm and a High Duration SmokeScreen Melee build. Both are capable of respectable damage. Ultimately, Bladestorm wins out in high level content. This is due to the damage not falling off due to it being Finisher damage, which ignores Shields and Armor and applies only to health.

Ash lacks controlling elements, only offering a very small  radial stun on casting Smoke Screen. Teleport also sets enemies up to finishers, which means they’d be stunned briefly.

Ash Deals a fair amount of damage, but lacks the scaling to really make him a solid 10. If he had a bit of additional scaling outside of the unstable bonus he gets from Melee Combos, he’d do insane amounts of damage. Though, between Bladestorm and Teleport-Finisher combos with melee, he has a great damage output.

All of Ash’s support comes from Smoke Screen. This is because it allows him to get safe and easy revives. With the augment, he can also provide his invisibility to others in a limited range.

His survivability comes from his natural stats, combined with Smoke screen and Bladestorm. when energy allows,  you’re almost entirely undamageable or completely invisible. Ash’s tanking capabilities are quite limited. While Ash Prime does get a slight bonus due to increased base armor. Ash’s natural stats do allow you to soak up a fair amount of damage, but not a ton.

With Ash, the main way you’ll end up staying alive is by the invulnerability time given by Bladestorm. This will often save your life, while taking several of those belonging to enemies. It’s also recommended to use Rage and Life Strike regardless of build for additional survivability.
Back to top


.

AtlasBuildProfile

Atlas

Forma Count: 1+

Control: 3/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 2/10

Survivability: 8/10

Tank: 10/10

It’s worth noting, these values may change when Atlas receives his augments. All frames will have augments and Atlas is no exception.

The most commonly used build for Atlas, which focuses power strength, durability and a little bit of range doesn’t require much to set up. Usually getting the main build together only requires a single forma. If you opt for use of the Exilius slot, it may take more. Side note: this build will be featured here soon, it just hasn’t been posted yet.

This build tends to take away from Atlas’ control ability, but not a ton. He can still use petrify and Tectonics for decent control potential. However, these are very limited due to their costs with the build. 

Since his primary build is focused on damage and scales with Power strength, Melee mods as well as an internal combo it can deal pretty serious damage. It gets plenty of scaling allow it to do reasonable damage late into missions.

Atlas really lacks the ability to be a true support at the moment. While he does offer a mix of control and defensive abilities, he doesn’t do much for a team other than damage.

His survivability is great, but suffers from his golems not lasting too long and Tectionic being a rather small wall. While they do soak damage for him and his team, they’re pretty unreliable.

Due to his natural stats and the fact he does have abilities that soak damage for him on occasion, gives him a fair ability to tank. He get a ton of armor, compared to most frames, which let’s him take hits quite easily.

Atlas shines more as a solo frame, due to his high damage. Though you will need a group if you have any intent on end-game content.
Back to top


.

profile-full-banshee

Banshee

Forma Count: 2+

Control: 10/10

Damage: 9/10

Support: 8/10

Survivability: 5/10

Tank: 2/10

A general use Banshee build requires only one forma, however, if you want to throw the additional one or two at her, you can make use of the exilus slot, or change her aura polarity. While Rifle Amp works for an Aura, Corrosive Projection or Energy Siphon bring more to your team. If you opt for a Max power Sonar build, she can eat a few forma in the process due to the high cost of power strength mods.

Both builds get a lot of control, the Max Sonar one just cannot use Sound Quake for long periods of time. With Sound Quake and Sonic Boom giving a ton of control capabilities, Banshee is arguable one of the best damage support out right now. The Damage and support portions of her stats mainly lying in Sonar. Which amps everyone’s damage, including her own. Silence is okay for support, but usually end game doesn’t require stealth, so it becomes pretty lackluster .

She gets a fair amount of survivability from Sound Quake stunlocking anything its wake. While this stunlock is useful, out side of this she is literally a glass cannon. Which means she does a ton of damage, but is really fragile. Hence she also has a really low tanking ability.

Out of the two possible builds for her, the more general use one much more rounded and allows full use of all her abilities. it’s also much cheaper to forma for. With Sonar being the main source of her damage potential and support, if you cannot aim for any reason, this entire ability goes to waste.
Back to top


.

profile-full-chroma

Chroma

Forma Count: 4+

Control: 4/10

Damage: 9/10

Support: 3/10

Survivability: 5/10

Tank: 10/10

Chroma can eat a lot of forma if you let him. The common end-game melee build will take at least 4, plus others if you decide on an Exilius slot. This is because most of his build will require a lot of High cost mods.

A lot of Chroma’s control factor come his ability to easily proc the Cold Status with both his first power (which is largely unused) and his fourth Ability, Effigy. This coupled with the Effigy’s ability to stun everything in an area gives him a fair amount of control, but Effigy’s drain doesn’t make it very worthwhile.

A lot of Chroma’s damage potential lies in Vex Armor. This ability also enables him as a lethal tank. This ability boosts his damage and armor based on whether he’s taking health of shield damage. When fully stacked, he can get up to a 7 times multiplier on his armour and 5 times his normal damage. 

While he is capable of supporting, it would take a specialized build to make it work, and may not be worth it. However, he does boost his team’s stats, so he can be a good addition to a team, even though the boosts are usually in a very close radius near him.

On top of his already high base stats, and Vex Armor, he has Elemental Ward. Depending on what element you can vary his survivability. Elemental Ward can add one of the following: Armor, Health, Shields, or Reload/Holster Speed. Armor, Health and Shield all add varying amounts of survivability, with shields giving the least.

When playing Chroma, the important thing to manage is always keeping Elemental Ward and Vex Armor active as much as possible. These are both the key to your damage potential and your survival. 
Back to top


.

profile-full-ember

Ember

Forma Count: 3-4

Control: 7/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 5/10

Survivability: 6/10

Tank: 1/10

Ember can use a lot of forma if you want to build her so you can effectively use all of her kit. How you build her depends on how you want to play her. How you build her also determines the amount of forms you’ll use. She’ll use the typical 3 at the least though.

Her control comes in the form of the constant heat procs that will be happening constantly thanks to World on Fire. When maxed for power strength, it can almost reach a 100% proc chance. On top of this really high damage, she does have Accelerant which also  will make enemies take 5.35x damage from all sources dealing Heat Damage.

Ember’s support capabilities come with the Fireball frenzy augment. This can add pure Heat damage to your ally’s weapons. This in turn can get buffed by Accelerant leading to a lot of bonus damage for generally not too much cost. 

Thanks to the absurd amount of CC she has, her Survivability is really high. She doesn’t even have to worry about casting it half the time, because it’s mostly provided by the channeled World on Fire, so it’s pretty much automatic.

Ember is another glass cannon. She doesn’t have the stats to tank, nor any abilities that directly help her survive damage.

The thing to remember with Ember is that a lot of her CC is contained in World on Fire and so is a ton of her damage. If you don’t have the energy to keep this up, she can end up falling on her face really easily.
Back to top


.

EquinoxBuildProfile2

Equinox

Forma Count: 3

Control: 7/10

Damage: 8/10

Support: 7/10

Survivability: 4/10

Tank: 3/10

It’s worth noting, these values may change when Equinox receives augments. All frames will have augments and Equinox is no exception.

Equinox is one of those frames that have a ton of variation. With Equinox, There’s the main problem that a wide assortment of builds possible, due to the fact of being build in so many way, we’re opting out of including a build and forma count.

Due to Equinox having two forms, and a total of 7 powers, this allows Equinox to be very diverse, offering plenty of Control, Damage and Support.  Equinox gets a fair amount of everything.

A lot of Control and Support is centered around Night form, offering both a sleep, Damage reduction Aura and a Heal. While the damage reduction aura provides a fairly good protection, it can drain your energy quick. The sleep however is a really potent form of CC, which can also lock enemies into an unalerted state, leaving them open to finishers.

A lot of the damage in focused into Day form, offering a Damage amp, power strength boost and a blast of AoE damage that scales up based on the max health of killed enemies. The damage amp also makes enemies move faster as well, so it can be a bit of a double edged sword. The power strength boost is pretty minimal, but can synergize well with certain other frames, like Banshee, Valkyr or Volt allowing Equinox to boost the buffs they can provide by a small amount.

One thing is certain with this frame, it has low survivability outside of CC potential and no stats to do any kind of tanking.  It’s not quite a glass cannon either, though still fragile. While you’d think it might be a good idea to often switch forms, it’s generally not unless you find a build that works for all of their abilities cohesively.
Back to top


.

warframe excalibur

Excalibur

Forma Count: 3+

Control: 5/10

Damage: 9/10

Support: 4/10

Survivability: 7/10

Tank: 7/10

Excal takes the typical 3 forma to max out. In our version of his endgame Exalted Blade build, we tried to allow for as much time in Exalted Blade as possible while having the highest damage possible. Of course to get the maximum damage out of this, you also need a good melee weapon built around it. The weapon we chose is just an example, but this can be done with any weapon. Feel free to experiment with this build and make it to your liking.

Excalibur gets a fair amount of blinds that he can use to control enemies. Radial blind offer a moderate cost, larger range and longer blind, while a slide attack with Exalted Glade active will trigger a smaller, shorter blind.

A lot of Excalibur’s damage comes from Exalted Blade, due to the large amount of scaling it gets from Warframe and melee mods and the fact that physically hitting enemies with EB itself scales up the damage with the Melee Combo Counter.. he can deal absurd damage in a short period of time.

Excalibur doesn’t offer much support outside of his blinds, but they alone can be quite powerful and make him a worthwhile addition to any group.

Excalibur has decent stats that allow him to tank, but a lot of his resilience comes from Exalted Blade. This makes all damage from frontal attacks on him be reduced by 60%. Along with high moderate level of armor and decent health pool, it can make him appear to be quite tanky.

Excalibur is often seen as a jack of all trades, due to his balanced stats and kit. Exalted blade is at the center of his hit and a lot of his other skills synergize with it in some way.
Back to top


.

profile-full-frost

Frost

Forma Count: 2+

Control: 9/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 8/10

Survivability : 9/10

Tank: 8/10

Thankfully, Frost isn’t a frame that eats a lot for forma for a decent build. Usually his build consists of a mix of Range and Strength, with efficiency rounding it off. There are some slight variations to be made for certain factions and such, but for general use, this build works for most factions. Just beware of bombards. If you’re looking for a build to make sure bombards aren’t nearly as threatening, swap out intensify for Overextended.

Frost is close contender when it comes to looking for a king of crowd control, perhaps bested only by Vauban. He can constantly freeze enemies and shove them off an objective. When it comes to protecting an objective of holding down an area, look no further.

While he does decent damage with this setup, it’s more focused on Snowglobe. Though you can easily cast other abilities if you’re in a bind and need to clear an area of weak enemies. With no scaling, his damage does fall off slightly when it comes to end-game

A lot of his support and survivability come from Snow Globe. It’s like an extra layer of health that enemies need to cut through to touch you, an ally or an objective. Since it also scales with incoming damage during the first 4 seconds, it can be very reliable at all stages of the game.

Frost is naturally pretty tanky, sporting a fairly decent armor value. That and his high shields as well as Snowglobe can make him quite formidable and durable. Increasing his armor also boosts snow globe, so it’s a win-win for him, even if you don’t give him extra health.

When it comes to locking down an area of a map, Frost excels at this. Between snow globe, his multiple freezes and slows, and his durability in general.. It allows him to hold objective with ease. Just pay attention to your snow globe’s health though, otherwise you could just as easily fail.
Back to top


.

warframe hydroid

Hydroid

Forma Count: 2

Control: 7/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 3/10

Survivability: 9/10

Tank: 5/10

Hydroid doesn’t eat much for forma, but building for him can be pretty complex. We’d opt for a build similar to this one, which allows him to generate energy in a couple ways and use it offensively and defensively. The Rage Quick Thinking Combo allows you to survive easier while not making any major sacrifices. You can mess with it as you see fit however.

Hydroid offers great control,  and scales really well with Duration, rather than power strength in most cases. (Despite the build linked above using more power strength.) Both situations do however work very well for him. All of his abilities provide some form of control, but not all of it is a hard control like a slowing area or anything. Undertow will blanket an area pulling in enemies foolish enough to step in the pool of water that you become. Tentacle Swarm will ragdoll enemies for its duration while dealing finisher damage. Tempest Barrage creates a barrage of watery cannon balls that knock enemies down on impact. Tidal Surges can also knockdown and drag enemies around with it. Only undertow and Tentacle swarm offer solid cc that stops enemies completely.

Hydroid’s damage is okay, with his ultimate dealing finisher damage over time, he can deal a fair amount of damage, but the damage is pretty low still considering how tough enemies get at higher levels.

Hydroid doesn’t have much going for support. While Curative Undertow and Tidal Impunity could allow him to play a more supportive role, they also pull away a lot of his modding points for very little effect. Pilfering Swarm makes him an okay support for survival missions, especially when paired with a Nekros.

On top of all of his abilities providing control, most also offer a fair amount of survivability.  Tidal surge gives you a lot of mobility and damage immunity, as well as a proc cleanse if you use Tidal Impunity. Undertow also makes you immune to damage and can heal you or allies with Curative Undertow. Overall this gives him a lot of survivability, while not being a tank himself.

He does boast decent stats, but not the best for tanking for sure. Just don’t try to take too much damage in one sitting.

Overall Hydroid is a frame that can be used a couple different ways. The important thing to remember is that you have plenty of ways to avoid damage, and prevent it. Make good use of all of it.
Back to top


.

profile-full-limbo

Limbo

Forma Count: 1+

Control: 2/10

Damage: 4+/10

Support: 8/10

Survivability: 9/10

Tank: 4/10

Limbo is a frame that is pretty good with just a single forma. Especially if you run a typical duration support build. If you opt for the more aggressive variant which serves more of an assassin role, eliminating priority targets while protecting an objective with Cataclysm. Due to the variance in builds, It’s worth noting the second build has higher potential damage.

The only control Limbo has to offer besides shifting people to and from the Rift Plane is a knockdown that only procs on Banish. The Rift Plane can offer him a lot of control itself, by protecting allies or singling out enemies. However using it as actual control can be unreliable or risky, as banishing an enemy both negates their damage but also any damage to them.

Limbo deals okay damage, given that regardless of build, Rift Surge offer a pretty sizeable boost to damage. This skill is what gives him his damage potential as it’s a damage multiplier, but it only affects himself. If focused on power strength like the second build, this can easily have getting a crazy 568% bonus damage.

Due to Rift Plane being capable of protecting allies, objectives and also restoring Energy, this alone makes Limbo a great support. The Rift plane grants a 2 energy a second regen, which is almost the same amount as a group with fully stacked Energy Siphons. If you use the Banish Augment, Haven; Banish also serves as a reliable heal.

With Rift Plane protecting you from all damage outside of the Rift Plane, it gives Limbo really high Survivability. The only downside is you cannot pick up drops, carry objectives, or interact with objectives while in the Rift Plane. You can also die pretty easily outside of it if you’re not careful. The Rift Plane also makes him a pseudo tank, since enemies can still target him, but cannot damage him.

One of the big things to remember, while you may not be able to Banish bosses or Defense objectives, you can use Cataclysm to pull them to the Rift plane if needed. This works great for defending a cryopod. You can also banish rescue targets to keep them fully protected while you extract.

One last thing.. ALWAYS communicate with your team. Let them know they can roll out of banish if they want to. Inform them when you’re going to banish them, or tell them to ask when they need/want one.
Back to top


.

warframe loki

Loki

Forma Count: 2 or less

Control: 10/10

Damage: 1/10

Support: 4/10

Survivability: 9/10

Tank: 1/10

Loki doesn’t use much forma, Loki Prime Can almost go without Forma. The typical Duration build for running a stealth loki build uses two forma for it to be maxed. The Range/Disarm build takes only one. Both of these will take at least one less on Loki Prime due to the extra polarities. They may not require forma at all if not using the primed Mods.

Loki, especially one running the disarm build, is a great control frame. Loki has exceedingly high control thanks to Radial Disarm and Decoy. While decoy doesn’t last long under heavy fire, the moment’s respite it provides can be a lifesaver. With the Irradiating Disarm augment on, Loki’s Disarm acts similar to a Nyx’s Chaos, providing a larger amount of control.

Damage is by far not Loki’s thing. He has access to an easy stealth bonus, but a lot of end-game content has fully alert enemies almost negating any advantage this gives. It does allow him to be a decent melee though, despite him being a low health frame.

Loki’s Support largely comes from Disarm. While not a buff to an ally, it does protect allies from being hit at range. The confusion of Irradiating Disarm also helps in this regard.

A lot of loki’s Survivability lie in him going and staying invisible as much as possible. The fact that he’s super squishy as a frame himself means he pretty much needs to stay invisible to stay alive. This also means he has no potential to tank at all.
Back to top


.

warframe mag profile picture

Mag

Forma Count: 3

Control: 5/10

Damage: 4/10 vs non-Corpus, 10/10 vs Corpus

Support: 6/10

Survivability: 6/10

Tank: 2/10

Mag typically only has one build that sees any play, specifically as an Anti-Corpus nuker. This build focuses and turning enemy shields against them. It can work to some extent for Corrupted too, since there are shielded enemies there as well. On regular Mag it eats a few forma, the typical three. Mag Prime takes less, due to polarities.

Mag’s Crush and Pull abilities offer fair amount of control. While not much compared to other frames, it can help. She can boost this slightly with the Fracturing Crush augment, which immobilizes enemies while shredding armor.

She nukes Corpus, this is Mag’s best purpose. She can do decent damage to other faction, but absolutely destroys Corpus. The scaling of Shield Polarize also allow her augment to be of really good use to her for survival, since you will drain all nearby shields. She can endlessly blow up corpus thanks to their high shields.

Through Fracturing Crush and her ability to instantly restore all shields, she can make for a decent support. By no means the best, but there is still some potential there. Bullet Attractor makes up a large part of this, as she can use it to redirect all enemy fire to a selected target, saving her team from a lot of damage.

A lot of her survivability comes Shield polarize. Generally Mag will run with Redirection, which allows her to instantly restore her 1,000+ shields instantly. That combined with Bullet Attractor allow her to recover from most damage and avoid other damage. Though do to her low health and armor, and shields never lasting too long, it doesn’t make her feasible as a tank.

Just remember, if you need to deal with Corpus, Mag should be a Go-to choice for any player.
Back to top


.

profile-full-mesa

Mesa

Forma Count: 3

Control: 4/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 3/10

Survivability: 5/10

Tank: 7/10

With Mesa, she has a decent 3-forma build that allows her to play to her strengths quite well. It lets her use all her powers to decent extent, and gives her really good survivability.

A lot of Mesa’s control would come from Shooting Gallery’s periodic weapon jamming. the Staggering Shield Augment can also offer a fair amount of control as well. Shooting Gallery’s buffs also provide Mesa’s Support ability.

A lot of Mesa’s damage in packed into Peacemaker. With our given setup it won’t deal absurd damage, but it’ll be cheap to use to burst down enemies and carry on as normal.

Mesa is quite durable, between getting a fair amount of health and a 95% damage reduction from Shatter shield, it makes her durable in terms of survivability and tankiness. Shatter shield allows her to absorb most damage with no issues.

Mesa’s recent changes to Peacemaker allow it to deal decent damage without needing a lot of power mods to do so.  The augment for Ballistic Battery is also worth considering. Getting a guaranteed proc and a decent amount of extra damage on a  full charge is definitely worth considering. Staying active is a good way to play Mesa; while Peacemaker may be strong, it also locks you down and can make you a very vulnerable target, even with Shatter Shield up.
Back to top


.

profile-full-mirage

Mirage

Forma Count: 2

Control: 5/10

Damage: 9/10

Support: 6/10

Survivability: 8/10

Tank: 5/10

Mirage has two builds you’d see in end game. A damage focused one and a control focused one. Both take a minimum of two forma. The Damage one can substitute as a support-y build with use of the Total Eclipse augment, allowing her to pass along her damage reduction or damage boost.

A lot of Mirage’s control comes from Prism’s blind. This blind can get quite a large radius when set up for it. Sleight of Hand also offers some situational control, preventing panel use and traps that could potentially CC an enemy.

Mirage has insane damage potential. Between the boosts from Eclipse and Hall of Mirrors and its respective augment, she can deal a lot of damage very quickly.  While a lot of her damage being based  on  what weapons you use, she does have okay scaling potential.

A lot of Mirage’s support come from her Total Eclipse Augment and the CC Prism offers.  Total eclipse either offers a high boost to ally damage or defences depending on where she’s located. Giving either 568% damage boost to everyone in range, or 95% damage reduction to everyone in range.

Mirage has pretty high survivability and tank potential thanks to Hall of Mirrors and Eclipse respectively. Hall of Mirrors can cause enemies to target her clones, allowing her to avoid damage. She does lack the actual stats to tank, but a 95% damage reduction is nothing to pass off either. The only problem is she’s limited to when she can get it, since she has to be located in shadows, making it really unreliable.

Mirage works great as  supporter, caster or a control frame. Use her build variety to your advantage and take the appropriate build for the situation.
Back to top


.

warframe nekros

Nekros

Forma Count: 3

Control: 5/10

Damage: 3/10

Support: 6/10

Survivability: 5/10

Tank: 3/10

Nekros doesn’t typically take too many forma, it varies based on build. Usually 3 is enough to get the job done. The most commonly seen build is one focuses around Desecrate, usually used to make survivals easier to last longer and generate extra loot or health. He does have other builds that focus around other skills, but they’re very uncommon and tend to be slightly less useful.

Nekros has a fair amount of control. Between Soul Punch and Terrify, he has a decent amount of CC, though very limited, depending on power strength in Terrify’s case. Soul punch sends and initial target and some nearby target ragdolling away while dealing moderately low damage.

While Nekros’ Shadows can deal fairly decent damage if you mod for them, their damage is variable based on what enemies you killed. This and Soul Punch having pretty low damage itself means that in general Nekros’ damage is largely unreliable.

Terrify and Desecrate are the core of Nekros’ support capabilities. Terrify provides armor reduction to all affected targets, giving your team a pretty decent damage boost effectively. Desecrates ability to spawn ton of health orbs as well as extra life support and loot make him beneficial to just about any group, especially while farming.

A lot of Nekros’ survivability comes from Desecrate’s health creation. Between that and Terrify sending nearby enemies away from you, it’s plenty enough to keep you alive in most situations.

Nekros really doesn’t have the stats to tank. Shield of Shadows would allow him to take some extra hits, but against can be unreliable as it has a range cap to the tether that link you and your shadows.
Back to top


.

warframe nova profile image

Nova

Forma Count: 3

Control: 8/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 7/10

Survivability: 4/10

Tank: 1/10

Nova has two builds that are typically run, depending on the situation: Slow-va and Speed Nova. Slow Nova focuses on Control, whereas Speed Nova speeds up those incredibly dull defence missions, especially against infested. Of course you can swap mods out to provide better survivability if you wish.

The amount of control offered by Slow Nova is really high. This is capable of slowing entire rooms to a crawl. which makes her really good for most raids where enemies are better off being ignored most of the time.

The fact that Molecular Prime doubles all damage to enemies gives her pretty good damage. That coupled with a well charged Antimatter Drop can deal a lot of damage. Those two skills are the majority of her damage potential.

M. Prime’s double damage and slow/speed tend to make her a really good support. She also has Wormhole which can help your allies get around quickly as well.

Thanks to the slow she can provide and her wormholes, she can escape most sticky situations easily. This givers her decent survivability, but she absolutely cannot tank.
Back to top


.

profile-full-nyx

Nyx

FormaCount: 1

Control: 10/10

Damage: 8/10

Support: 7/10

Survivability: 6/10

Tank: 2/10

Nyx’s main build isn’t forma hungry at all. Which is good, because it makes her pretty easy to build as well. The only reason she needs a forma at all is because she uses a few high cost mods.

Nyx excels at control. All of her kit can provide control of some kind. Mind Control forces and enemy to side with you. Psychic Bolts can proc Radiation, or stun for several seconds with the augment. Chaos allows you to confuse all the enemies is a pretty big radius making them attack each other. Absorb make you invulnerable while pulling aggro to you, nullifying a lot of damage.

Nyx’s Damage comes primarily from Absorb, which can absorb  a pretty high amount of damage, allowing it to scale fairly well. Psychic bolts generally does negligible damage. Chaos and mind Control do contribute some damage, though indirectly.

Nyx’s Support is contained in most of her powers as well, and stems from her control. Mind controlling an Ancient healer for example allows you to heal yourself and allies. Chaos tends to negate auras for the duration of the ability, preventing energy drain from eximus units. Absorb draws aggro, and can shield allies near you from damage.

Between Chaos and Absorb, Nyx has really good survivability as well. Chaos can be used as quick disabler and can save you quite easily. If you find yourself out of shields and need a second to recharge them safely, Absorb can allow for that.

Despite her skills and their usefulness, she cannot be a proper tank by any means. If you want to count absorb for a little bit you can, but you’re immobile while it’s active.
Back to top


.

warframe oberon profile image

Oberon

Forma Count: 3+ 

Control: 8/10

Damage: 6/10

Support: 8/10

Survivability: 8/10

Tank: 8/10

Oberon can eat some forma up, if you want to go the extra mile for Exilius slot or a different aura polarity. Nothing too out of the ordinary with the forma count though, three is pretty typical.

A lot of Oberon’s control stems from his damaging abilities being capable of inflicting radiation procs. His First ability, Smite, can also proc Puncture, reducing incoming damage. Radiation is a strong element when it comes to providing control with a proc.

Oberon has two damage skills, both of which can deal fair damage in addition to the control provided by their procs. Though, Oberon is more suited to dealing damage with a good melee weapon.

He’s able to provide a sizeable armor buff with Hallowed Ground, which can be situational, but it also doubles as a debuff cleanser, clearing up all procs and negative effects. He also has a quite strong heal over time, which essentially increases your effective HP while it’s healing you, by healing damage up as you take it, instead of it being a burst heal.

Oberon can get insane survivability, due to his decent stats, as well as having access to an armor buff from Hallowed Ground, as well as a heal that slowly heals over time instead of all at once. All of this combined allows him to survive through a lot of damage.

Thanks to his decent stats, and the combination of the abilities he has, he can be an effective tank. Doing so properly will probably take plenty of practice though.

It’s advised to run Rage and Quick Thinking. This paired with his heal over time can allow you to have really high sustain for your health.
Back to top


.

warframe rhino profile picture

Rhino

Forma Count: 2+

 

Control: 7+/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 5/10

Survivability: 7/10

Tank: 8/10

With a small rework coming soon, these values may be adjusted slightly in the future.

Forma count can be variable based on the build you use. Ranging from the High Strength and Efficiency build for dealing damage, to the CC stomp build or even a Roaring support. He has a variety of build that allow him to have some diverse play.

Rhino’s primary control is Rhino Stomp. This skill, depending on if you build for it or not can determine how effective it is. On average though, it does quite well, even if your focus is a damage build. When built for it, it exceeds this potential and can be really effective for long-term CC.

Rhino can deal a fair amount of damage, we expect his damage potential to actually jump up significantly after his rework, but we cannot say for sure. For now though, his damage it decent and can get you through most content. To end game, possibly.

Rhino isn’t intended to support, but providing a damage amp to allies within range can be quite be powerful. If you build for it, this can have a decent potential. It could provide a damage boost greater than the one Nova offers if you wanted it to, it just doesn’t provide that CC, which Rhino does have plenty of with Stomp as well.

His survivability comes from his natural tankiness and of course Iron Skin. Iron skin is his main survival tool and it allows him to soak up a lot of damage. This combined with his high shield pool allow for a lot of survivability.

Iron Skin also allows for Rhino to be a decent tank. This and his naturally high shield and armor are what give him his potential as a tank. Though Iron Skin isn’t super great, as high level enemies can just shred it in seconds.

Rhino has fair potential to do a lot of things. How you build him and prefer to play him is up to you. Just don’t forget to keep Iron Skin up as much as possible.
Back to top


.

warframe saryn profile image

Saryn

 

Forma Count: 4

Control: 2/10

Damage: 8/10

Support: 6/10

Survivability: 7/10

Tank: 4/10

Saryn eats quite a few forma, but she can be very worth it. She can put out a lot of damage thanks to her being able to reliably proc Toxin and Viral.

Saryn lacks control for the most part, but Miasma does provide a short stun. Her Molt does act similar to Loki’s decoy in a sense, and can draw enemy fire away from Saryn or her allies on occasion.

With her rework, Spore is close to being near it’s pre-nerf potential. It literally melts people, just not quite as fast as it used to be capable of. This combines with guaranteed Toxin and Viral procs set her up for some lethal damage. Not to mention with both of these active, Miasma can deal some serious damage.

While Saryn lacks many traditional means of support, she can reliably proc Viral; which is a fairly potent thing to be able to proc on demand.  Viral essentially halves enemies health for a duration, effectively doubling damage.

Saryn has a lot of natural bulk, which while she isn’t a great tank, she does have high survivability. Between Rage and Regenerative Molt, this allows her to maintain high health while not putting yourself in a dangerous situation too often.

The rework for her may have changed her, but she’s still effective at doing what she needs to do. Though instead of straight DPS, she acts more like a Damage Support now.
Back to top


.

warframe trinity profile image

Trinity

 

Forma Count: 2+

Control: 2/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 10/10

Survivability: 7/10

Tank: 10/10

Trinity doesn’t take too many forma, it really depends on the build you choose to use. Typical she uses a Duration build focused on long-lasting damage reduction or a High strength/Range, minimum duration build to use energy Vampire to get her team lots of energy very quickly. 

Her control potential is very low, as Well of Life and Energy Vampire act a temporary stuns. These are the only CC she offers, but makes up for it in other ways.

Trinity has a lot of single target damage potential, by that I mean her Well of Life/Energy Vampire combo. When executed on either build, it’s capable of killing a single enemy in seconds, regardless of of their actual stats. It works because Well of life temporarily increases the health of the target, and Energy Vampire drains a % of this increased HP per tick. If EV is used when WoL is about to expire, it leads to it dealing the increased ticks to the enemy’s normal HP pool, killing them in usually a single tick of EV.

Trinity has insane support potential, due to her set of abilities. She can provide insane damage reduction, coupled with lots of healing. Blessing offers up to a 99% damage reduction, which is based on the lowest % hp on your team, which thankfully, you can use a glaive and nearly suicide with Quick Thinking and easily get a reliable 99%. Blessing also fully restores health and shields. On top of Blessing Healing, an EV build with the Vampire Leech augment can restore shields and over shield allies, when they’re at full energy, which should be most of the time

Trinity has a ton of survivability and tank, given she has plenty of ways to heal off damage as well as generally decrease incoming damage. Blessing giving 99% damage reduction make not only herself a tank, but her entire team as well. With it being fully reliable, it makes it incredibly powerful in terms of tanking.

Trinity usually serves two purposes, EV or Blessing. Unfortunately, these builds contradict each other. You can make a build that allows you to use her full kit, but it sacrifices the roles of both to some extent, so it’s generally better to use one or the other depending on the situation.
Back to top


.

warframe valkyr profile image

Valkyr

 

Forma Count: 2+

Control: 2/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: ~5/10

Survivability: 8/10

Tank: 10/10

Valkyr has two builds that work really well at end-game content. She has a Warcry focuses build that allows her to basically use her choice of melee weapon and destroy enemies with it, or a build focuses around maximizing Hysteria. The Warcry focused one generally takes less forma, due to not using a ton of demanding mods.

Her control is found in Rip Line and Paralysis. Both of these skills are used more for setting up high damage burst rather than actual crowd control, but could be used as such if you wanted.

Valkyr has amazing Damage potential. Thanks to Warcry, she can effectively use any melee she wants and still be effective thanks to the attack speed increase. With Hysteria’s scaling and damage potential, she can hit really hard when built for it. When you combine the two, her DPS can be insane.

Her support potential is pretty variable. She can set up finishers, and pull people around sure.. But the majority of her support potential comes from Warcry. The Melee speed buff and armor increase it gives her great potential. It’s effectiveness is variable based on what frames it’s affecting. Low armor warframes don’t benefit as greatly, non-melee centric frames generally don’t either.

Thanks to her natural stats and skill set, she is made to survive and tank. With between Warcry and a fully ranked Steel Fiber, she reaches nearly 2000 armor off just that. That with her high health pool give her a lot of survivability. As for tanking, Hysteria makes you entirely invulnerable as long as you maintain your energy. With the damage hysteria deal, this is insanely easy to do, as enemies can drop energy frequently.

Valkyr is a very melee-centric frame. As such, her melee weapons should be modded accordingly, usually damage, attack speed and of course life strike for easy health maintaining without Hysteria. Though if you need it as a panic button, you can always trigger Hysteria which has innate lifesteal; this will allow you to quickly recover from any damage while being invulnerable allowing for safe healing. Just keep in mind, when running Hysteria that Hysteria itself scales with melee mods,  so a differently built weapon is required.
Back to top


.

profile-full-vauban

Vauban

Forma Count: 1+

Control: 10/10

Damage: 2/10

Support: 5/10

Survivability: 6/10

Tank: 1/10

Vauban’s general build is pretty cheap, thanks to him only needing to focus Duration and range. Only a single forma is needed unless you wish to make use of the Exilius slot fully.

Control is where Vauban thrives. Sadly most everything else suffers for it. All of his abilities offer some control. Tesla can offer short stuns via electric procs, Bounce can launch enemies into the air, Bastille suspends enemies mid air and can repel others with its augment, Vortex pulls all enemies into a small area. Load of control, most of which enemies have a hard time avoiding.

Vauban’s damage takes the biggest hit, since his damaging abilities do very little damage, and the rest only provide CC. Vauban was made for control though, so he does fine without it. It is worth noting that occasionally Vortex can suddenly kill enemies for seemingly no reason instead of just CCing them, but is almost random.

Vauban is an okay support, while not in the traditional sense by any means. Bounce can be used to help allies reach high areas, though not advised. You can also stick Tesla’s to allies, allowing for those electric stun procs to stay with them and shock enemies that com in range of them.

A lot of Vauban survivability fall in his insane control. It’s pretty rare for you to take damage as a Vauban, since you can  basically keep most enemies from getting near you. Though due to Vauban’s low base stats, if something does make it past your CC, it’s likely to kill you. Point being, Don’t consider tanking.

Bastille and Vortex provide a lot of CC. Bastille offers a large area of denial zone that keeps enemies from getting near the center, especially with the Repelling Bastille Augment. Vortex is good for gather enemies into a small area, or just loot if you wanted it to.
Back to top


.

profile-full-volt

Volt

 

Forma Count: 5+

Control: 2/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 9/10

Survivability: 5/10

Tank: 2/10

Being a power strength and duration focused frame and a touch of survivability means lots of high cost mods. Volt eats a lot of forma, but slightly less if you opt out of formaing for fitting something in the Exilius slot. To fit the mods he can use the most, he will take 5 minimum.

Volt really lacks control, Shock and Overload tend to be he main CC, but Overload CCs you as well, and generally ends up being  a waste. This CC comes in the form of a brief stun from electric procs.

Volt can deal a lot of damage with a variety of weapons, including himself. Shocking Speed turns a good buff into a fairly strong attack, which allows you to attack by charging into an enemy. Without the augment, Speed is still a good buff to melee speed and movement speed. His shield offers a damage and crit boost to ally projectile passing through.

Between Speed and Electric Shield, Volt makes a great support. The speed boost ends up effectively reducing enemy accuracy, while increasing melee speed. The shield acts a deployable cover, but also provides a good damage amp. So it helps in quite a few ways.

Thanks to the increased movement bonus of Speed coupled with Electric Shield, you get decent survivability. It’s not mentioned much, but mobility can drastically change the survivability of a frame. With deployable cover backing this, it can get you decently far, but outside of the prime variant which has more armor, Volt actual stats are lacking and you might go down in just a few hits. So don’t try to tank.

Speed is easily what makes Volt. With Shocking speed, it become his best form of damage and pretty reliable CC as well thanks to electric procs.
Back to top


.

profile-full-zephyr

Zephyr

 

Forma Count: 3+

Control: 6/10

Damage: 3/10

Support: 5/10

Survivability: 10/10

Tank: 9/10

Zephyr is another frame that takes the usual amount of forma. Though she has a specialized build that takes a few more, it can be worth it.

Zephyr has fairly good Control potential. Tornadoes are really great for this, and Divebomb can CC in a pinch too. Tornadoes ragdoll enemies into the air, which can make them harder to hit, but also prevent them from doing damage. Divebomb can knockdown nearby enemies, but tends to be unreliable.

Zephyr really lacks damage. Her Tornadoes can do decent damage if set up for it, but generally cost a lot. Most of her damage comes from her weapons she chooses to use.

Thanks to the Jet Stream augment, Zephyr can be a decent support. Granting extra movement speed can be a lifesaving thing. The extra projectile speed can boost up a lot of weapons as well.

Due to her insane mobility potential, Zephyr is capable of escaping most any situation that could be extremely dangerous. Turbulence already deflect projectiles, but the added mobility let’s her quickly and safely get out of a lot of bad situations with ease. This coupled with it’s accuracy penalty to enemies makes her a hard target to kill.

Her form of tanking is kind of special. While not a flat damage reduction or anything like that, Turbulence deflects all projectiles. This means 90% of enemies deal no damage, barring most infested and melee units, which are a small portion of enemies. With her ability to escape damage easily, and being able to deflect projectile, she does her special type of tanking quite well.

Mobility is key to Zephyr’s survival. If you don’t keep moving, and don’t keep turbulence up, you can die easily. Zephyr is very fragile outside these things keeping her alive.
Back to top


We hope you enjoyed this advanced version of our Choosing a Warframe guide. This was a culmination of effort, not just myself. Lots of help from the /r/Warframe community too, you guys really stepped up to help out. Hopefully this guide is more accurate to your favorite frames and how well they perform for harder missions.

Special Thanks to the following Redditors that contributed to this guide:

  • 4G3NT_0R4NG3
  • 5133849641965486
  • AllMyJokesArgon
  • AnimationAbomination
  • Ashiirex
  • AtlasTradeM
  • Bhizzle64
  • Bionicme
  • Daunn
  • DirtyMonk
  • Eltanin
  • Fizio900
  • flamingfighter
  • Foxboy93
  • geezerforhire
  • Griffinith
  • GyrokCarns
  • Issun135
  • KingMe42
  • KSNO
  • LokiTheSuperSaiyan
  • Lukostrelec
  • MrBubbleSS
  • nsf_
  • Rhynocobear
  • Sesshomaru17
  • shadow_of_a_memory
  • Sorez
  • Surgii818
  • TheZamary
  • traybong43
  • Typhron
  • vaminos
  • XBitu

Long list, but they deserve their proper mentions. Thanks again 🙂
Back to top