The Focus System
This guide will be pretty basic to start with, but since it’s an end-game thing is listed as an advanced guide. This guide is aimed at exploring and detailing the Focus System launched with Update 18. This guide is a WIP for the time being until more info is uncovered.
What is the Focus System?
The Focus System is a new system that augments you with an extra ability, there are 5 options in total at the moment. Each of these abilities has a main purpose, but can be further upgraded to increase its potential and utility. This system is unlocked after completion of the “Second Dream” quest line.
This system takes a percentage all affinity gains past rank 30 for a frame or weapon and contributes it toward your Focus Affinity. This affinity can then be used to unlock and upgrade your chosen focus ability or abilities. Though it’s assumed you can only have one active focus at a time. This Affinity gain is controlled by usage of an item known as a lens, each focus has their own. These lenses allow your affinity to go into your selected focus and can be equipped on any Warframe or weapon. Each focus is named after an existing polarity.
The Tenno Schools
Currently, there are 5 focus skills in total, each with their own unique effect and upgrades. These represent the following existing schools:
- Madurai – Power
- Naramon – Knowledge
- Unairu – Willpower
- Vazarin – Healing
- Zenurik – Energy
Each of these has a focus on what they provide, but try to provide a mix of utility. Each is meant to represent a different mentality used by Tenno. The schools remain pretty close with their correlations. So let’s cover each tree individually and what they offer.
The Madurai School
The Madurai School is focused on raw power and damage, and has very limited utility. So let’s start with the Basic ability first, and work our way through the branches. Keep in mind each additional rank of each of these abilities will provide additional or stronger effects, but these are not currently known at this time.
Phoenix Gaze – Unleash a destructive beam that inflicts high damage to any target in its path.
- Phoenix Gaze Mastery – Reduces the cooldown of Phoenix gaze with the first rank.
- Blazing Fury – Increases Slash damage for the duration of the mission, active after first use of Phoenix Gaze
- Searing Wrath – Increases Puncture damage for the duration of the mission, active after first use of Phoenix Gaze
- Burning Rage – Increases Impact damage for the duration of the mission, active after first use of Phoenix Gaze
- Phoenix Flash – Reduces the distance of Phoenix Gaze, but increases it’s speed.
- Rising Ashes – Phoenix Gaze end with an explosive blast. All energy is depleted if player is caught in the blast.
- Chimera Breath – Phoenix Gaze Splits into three beams.
- Hades Touch – Targets struck by Phoenix Gaze have a chance to be Ignited.
- Meteorite – A forceful blast strike the target of Phoenix Gaze, damaging nearby enemies.
- Dragon Fire – A fiery trail remains in the path of Phoenix Gaze, burning enemies that cross it.
So in summary, a lot of damage boosts or damage increases, aside from the Chimera Branch, which offers more utility instead.
The Naramon School
The Naramon School focuses on Melee and discipline.
Mind Spike – Unleases bursts of Psychic energy that inflict Confusion on enemies.
- Mind Spike Mastery – Reduces Cooldown of Mind Spike.
- Mind Blast -Reduces distance traveled by Mind Spike, but increases its size.
- Traumatic Redirection – Mind Spike grants 3 charges of Truama. Melee attacks consume a Trauma charge to inflict critical damage. Trauma charges drain a player’s health while active.
- Tactical Spike – Mind Spike grants allies increased melee Crit Chance for a short time after activation.
- Reveal Weakness – Mind Spike opens enemies to finishers.
- Sundering Blast – Mind Spike has a chance to Disarm Enemies
- Cloaking Aura – Grants allies invisibility for a short time after activating Mind Spike
- Strategic Execution – Mind Spike grants increased Affinity from killing enemies with melee weapons, active after first use of Mind Spike.
- Deadly Intent – Grants increased melee Crit Chance with melee weapons, active after first use of Mind Spike
- Shadow Step – Grants invisibility when inflicting critical damage, active after first use of Mind Spike
The Naramon school offers some pretty nice advantages for melee players, bit not much else. It may be useful depending on the size of the confusion it inflicts.
The Unairu School
The Unairu tree focuses on bolstering your own defenses while shredding the enemy’s.
Basilisk Flare – Unleash a ray of petrifying energy that turns enemies to stone.
- Basilisk Flare Mastery – Reduced the cooldown of Basilisk Flare.
- Scorched Earth – Basilisk Flare ends with an eruption of flames blanketing a small area. The player will suffer corrosive damage if caught in the eruption.
- Lasting Judgement -Reduces Speed, but petrifies enemies faster.
- Crushing Force – Enemies petrified by Basilisk Flare continue to take damage.
- Weight of Justice – Petrified enemies take additional damage from Basilisk Flare.
- Stone Armor – Allies targeted by Basilisk Flare gain increased armor for a short duration after use.
- Eroded Defenses – Enemies petrified by Basilisk Flare have their armor reduced for a short time.
- Stone Shape – Basilisk Flare grants additional armor for the mission after activation.
- Medusa Touch – Basilisk Flare grants a chance to petrify enemies with attacks from melee weapon for the duration of the mission.
- Mighty Blows – Attacks with melee weapons reduce the armor of an enemy for a short duration.
The Vazarin School
The Vazarin school focuses on protecting from and healing damage.
Mending Tides – Unleashes several waves of restorative energy, healing nearby allies.
- Mending Tides Mastery – Reduces the cooldown of Mending Tides
- New Moon – Mending Tides grants the ability to revive fallen allies instantly, up to several times for the duration of the mission.
- Disciplined Approach – Mending Tides increases the range Affinity from kills is shared among allies for the duration of the mission after activation.
- Retaliation – Mending Tides mirror s a small amount of damage taken back to attackers for the duration of the mission after activation
- Mending Shower -Increases the radius of mending Tides but reduces it’s effectiveness.
- Polluted Waters – Mending Tides will instantly revive allies, but has a chance to inflict them with Viral and Magnetic damage.
- Protection Ward – Mending Tides grants a shell of protective energy.
- Commanding Words – Mending Tides grants an Aura that burst an enemy as it passes through them, stunning them for a short duration.
- Strengthen Defenses – Mending Tides also restores shields.
- Guardian Presence – Mending Tides grants affected allies a Protection Ward
This school can make any frame act as a support in a few ways. So it may be great on a small selection of frames that aren’t quite supports, but close.
The Zenurik School
The Zenurik School focuses on Energy restoration and general utility.
Void Pulse – Releases pulses of Void energy that suspend and incapacitate enemies for a short time.
- Void Pulse Mastery – Reduces Cooldown of Void Pulse.
- Time Stream – Has a chance to increase speed but reduce shields.
- Temporal Storm – Void Pulse has a chance to increase speed, but reduce shields for nearby allies.
- Energy Overflow – Void Pulse periodically replenishes energy for the duration of the mission after use.
- Systemic Override – Increases efficiency of Warframe abilities for the duration of the mission after use.
- Energy Spike – Causes energy orbs to restore energy to nearby allies for the duration of the mission after activation
- Energy Surge – Leaves a field that restores energy to allies standing within in.
- Rift Sight – Allows the player to see enemies through walls and displays them on the minimap for allies.
- Umbra Lance – Creates an aura around the players that lashes out at enemies with harmful Void energy.
- Magnetic Aftershock – Inflicts the target with an aura causing passing bullets to seek them out.
The Zenurik School may seem a tad broken at first, but while there are a lot of choices, you’re limited to a few. Still doesn’t matter, given only one branch is insanely useful.
Picking Your School
Well, which one you pick is really up to you, but there are some synergies that do exist. So let’s take a quick look into what those are, and what makes them so good.
This tree really shines when combined with high power weapon, or frames that deal a lot of Physical damage, like Excalibur.
- Most Snipers
- All Bows
- Latron Series
- Most Shotguns
Naramon really synergizes on melee-centric frames and Crit-based Melee weapons.
- Dual Zoren
- Dual Raza
- Dual Ichor
- Scindo Prime
Unairu pairs well with Melee frames and can also help on bulkier frames. It also works well with high attack speed melee weapons.
- Berserker melees
- Most Dual Swords with Swirling Tiger
The Vazarin school work really well for those frames that often play a support role, but don’t offer a heal or any kind of protection, and partially tanks due to Retaliation.
This tree can synergize with any frame really, due to the energy restoration it can provide, but works best with frames that do a lot of casting or don’t go for high efficiency. It may also be beneficial to frames that utilize Channeling skills, but this remains to be tested. It can also be beneficial to support frames.
Optimizing Your School
Since at the current time, we don’t know whether upgrading a part of the tree actually causes point loss, or if the points are for unlocking. Until we have confirmation, we’re going to assume it’s per upgrade and not per unlock.
So assuming that, each tree would need a minimum of the below values to max out its priority upgrades.
Madurai (15) – Assuming taking physical damage increases, cool down reduction and maxing the main skill itself. This makes the skill more spammable, while boosting your damage after the first use.
Naramon (14-17) – Execution Branch is taken and maxed, a single point in Mind Spike and Mind Blast, and Maxing Traumatic Redirection. Traumatic Redirection is a bit of a double edge sword, but the guaranteed crits work really well with the other passives. You could also max the mastery so make more frequent use of TR, but it can be quite risky for a squishier melee frame.
Unairu (10) – This maxes Medusa Touch, Stone Shape and Mighty Blows. Everything else is optional really. Unairu is really heavily melee focused, and these provide the best benefits.
Vazarin (19-21) – This maxes the main ability and mastery. Picks up Mending Shower for access to Polluted Waters, maxes that and maxes the Warding Branch, ignoring Commanding Words. Optionally, maxing Mending Shower may be okay. This give you a decent AoE Heal, Revive and Shield with lowered cooldown.
Zenurik (10-13) – This maxes the overflow Branch, which makes almost everything else optional. If you want to provide more energy to your team, you can also pick up and max Energy Surge for 3 more points. This maximizes the amount of energy it can provide to you and your team without taking.
This guide will be expanded upon and changed as time goes on, but we’re going to stop it here for now. It should have enough useful info