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Warframe Tier List – Which Warframes are Best

F Tier – Bad


Grendel is extremely clunky to use effectively. Even is you play the absorb minigame well, the payout is miniscule. Your reward for actually using Grendel’s slow, small AoE devour is an energy drain. Using the enemies you have devoured for his other abilities does almost nothing.

Even if you didn’t have to eat enemies to power his abilities, Grendel would still not be good because his abilities just do so little.


The worst of the three beginning choices – Mag. Despite having such a cool aesthetic, Mag is extremely underwhelming. She is meant to be a caster type Warframe that manipulates the environment to her advantage, with the downside of being in the lowest armor tier in the game.

However, what ends up happening in the fast based Warframe gameplay is that none of her abilities have any impact on the fight. Her abilities do almost nothing, but she still dies very quickly.


Nyx used to be one of my favorite Warframes when she first came out. Unfortunately, despite being better than she was before, the meta of the game has moved past her. CC frames have lost their place in the modern game, and unlike Vauban, Nyx has not gotten enough of a rework to remain relevant.

There’s no need to make enemies fight each other when you can just kill them instead with any of the great AoE frames that exist. Why take all the time to absorb and redirect enemy attacks when you can instead just kill them outright in a quarter of the time? Why mind control an enemy that won’t keep up with you and when they do happen to get an attack off will do almost no damage?


Zephyr has never been good. Her lighter airborne physics can be interesting, but when you swap frames often it just ends up being disorienting and frustrating. There are plenty of baseline ways to move quickly and efficiently with any frame, making Zephyr’s signature movement ability nearly worthless.

Tornados can be an OK CC, but modern Warframe highly prioritizes damage over OK CC. There is always a better option than Zephyr for every situation.

D Tier – Below Average


Ash had a niche role before the nerf to Covert Lethality. Now that it is a 100% damage increase instead of a guaranteed instant kill, Ash has very little to offer. You can still play the Covert Lethality build, but it will start to drop off at higher levels even if you invest a lot into finisher damage.

Enemies that do still die to his finishers are likely weak enough to be killed more efficiently by many other frames. Covert Lethality is also only single target, making its usefulness minimal. His stealth is useful, but outclassed by Octavia, Ivara, and Loki.


Stealth has little place in modern Warframe. If you want to run solo and be a stealth undetected assassin for fun that’s cool, but know that that playstyle is inefficient compared the the run-and-gun meta. Even if you do like the stealth playstyle, Banshee doesn’t even do a good job at it.

Silence reduces the range that enemies will detect gunfire, but doesn’t remove it. You’re still better off playing with a silenced weapon for stealth runs. Sonar can be a good damage multiplier, but the setup and the accuracy required is too much for the limited payout.

There are some fun meme builds for Sound Quake to kill low life enemies, but it won’t do you an good in mid-tier or higher content.


Healing has very little usefulness in Warframe, especially clunky healing. Garuda’s stationary heal is even more limited as allies are required to basically stand right on top of it to receive the heal. Even in stationary maps like Defense, players will almost never be in range of the heal, especially when it matters most.

Also, Garuda actually disincentives healing herself since she deals more damage while at low health. Sacrificing health for energy is interesting, but Garuda has no good skills to spend that energy on. If you get a good, energy hungry ability on her using the Helminth, she might have some use, but there is likely a better choice.


Hydroid would be F tier if not for his farming potential. All of his abilities are absolutely terrible in damage, even when buffed with mods. His only redeeming quality is the Pilfering Swarm augment for Tentacle Swarm, increasing the loot dropped by enemies, but Khora’s Pilfering Stragledome is better in almost every situation. The CC associated with it is decent in holding a choke point against many small enemies, which is common in material farming runs.


Inaros is hard to kill… that’s it. If you want to be carried by your team in high level content, Inaros is the good choice. With minimal investment, his survivability will match or even surpass that of other tanky frames. The issue is that is all he brings. Know that if you are playing Inaros, your only contribution to the team is the weapons you bring.


You would think that a frame that can stay almost perma-stealthed would be good, but in practice he falls short. The melee damage bonus of stealth can scale melee based build quiet well, but being in melee range of enemies exacerbates the real issue with Loki.

A good DPS build for Loki has little to no room for defensive mods; he will die almost instantly to anything that happens to hit him. Be it enemies targeting your allies or any kind of enemy AoE, Loki will go down quickly if he takes damage. Shield gating has helped with this, but it is still frustrating to seemingly randomly take so much damage.

You will also have to closely monitor your stealth buff, as you cant refresh it until it has expired, meaning you will be out of stealth for a short period while you recast it.


Xaku’s weapon stealing ability can scale OK at high levels, but it is still underwhelming compared to most frames. Adding Void damage to attacks is unique, but has very little practical purposes since it is not true Void damage – you can’t use it to hunt Eidolons for instance.

Since bosses will likely continue to be immune to Xaku’s Void damage to help with balance, they have very little to offer.

C Tier – Average


Atlas has a few good niche uses and good bulk through stats and Ruble that makes him hard to take down while still being helpful in groups. Rumblers are decent damage dealers that require almost no micro management. They can also body block choke points, helping to stack enemies up for AoE. Atlas’s rock wall also assists in this role, helping to block choke points and give enemies time to stack up, becoming easy fodder for many other frames and AoE weapons.

Finally, the augment for Petrify can increase the loot drops of enemies. Remember too that this is Atlas’s Helminth ability, so you can give the item drop boost to any other frame.


Ember is all about AoE. Updates to her skills have helped keep her damage relevant, but even with the buffs she still falls short on DPS, especially against Grineer and Corpus.

The new heat system will let you cast her abilities quite often and are a decently fun mini-game when you first start with her, but you will quickly master it and it starts to feel unnecessary. The heat system encourages you to use abilities primarily to maintain a good level of heat rather than actually choosing to use it because it is good in the current situation.

Against lower level enemies you can clear missions with just Ember’s abilities and not you weapons, but at higher levels you might as well stop using her abilities entirely.


Excalibur is the poster boy of Warframe for good reason. He is right in the middle when it comes to his effectiveness, often being a good baseline to compare other frames to. With the right mod setups, he can do well in specific content. You can choose to mod specifically to boost any one of his abilities, with each of them offering a totally different style of gameplay.

The Umbra version of him is unique and opens up a whole new level of theorycrafting since the AI controlled frame runs with a totally different set of rules than a normal frame. Despite being so diverse, Excalibur doesn’t really shine in anything specific.

While he can comfortably do most content in the game, there is always a better frame for the role he would be filling.


Frost can be great is certain situations, especially in stationary mission types like Defense. A well modded Frost can essentially keep any stationary defense objective invincible in low to mid tier content.

Where his effectiveness in this role falls off is when enemies start dealing more damage in high level content and the Steel Path. His Snow Globe just doesn’t scale well at higher levels and will break very quickly. You can use him as a soft CC with max range snow globes to slow enemies or a hard CC with Avalanche, but there are frames that server this role much better like Nova and Vauban.


Gauss can become almost immune to damage, as long as you can maintain his battery level. The issue is that investing into his high battery defensive build will limit the damage potential of his abilities. To make sure you stay at as high battery as possible, you actually don’t even want to use his damaging abilities, becoming entirely reliant on your weapons for damage.

Gauss’s speed is interesting, but is limited by the tight corridor nature of most Warframe tile sets. You will very rarely be able to move and full speed in most missions, often bonking into walls and doors, or having to stop to make a sharp turn or jump.


Hildryn is the first and currently the only frame who uses shields as a resource instead of energy. Unfortunately, none of her abilities are all that impactful. Her Exalted Weapon is pretty lackluster, to the point where it often won’t out DPS your normal weapons.

Pillage will help keep you topped off on shields, but the fact that it costs shields to cast means that when you need it most it is not available to you, punishing reactive play. Aegis Storm is a decent AoE hard CC, but she can’t do much while maintaining it, becoming reliant on her allies for damage.


Lavos does not use energy and instead can cast abilities when they come off cooldown, much like a traditional MMO playstyle. He can also augment his abilities with every different element, making him great for Condition Overload builds. Enemies will need to live for quite a long time though before this Condition Overload playstyle becomes effective.

Other than element augmented attacks, Lavos’s abilities don’t really offer anything special. The CD on his abilities is also so short that you can spend all your time casting them, especially if you choose to augment each with a double element. Lavos usually ends up being a lot of work for little payout.


There are some devoted Oberon players who will disagree with his placement here because they enjoy the Paladin archetype enough to see past Oberon’s issues, but Oberon is an average at best frame. Guaranteed radiation procs are nice, but killing the enemy is almost always better. This is an issue with radiation in general; a buff to radiation damage would be a significant boost to Oberon.

Where Oberon shines is in preventing, unavoidable status procs like Eidolons, but is very clunky to use in run-and-gun type missions. The healing from Oberon is not versatile or fast enough to be of any real use. Healing in general in Warframe is not very useful, and if you happen to need healing, other frames do it better while bringing more to the group like Trinity or Nekros.


Protea has decent damage from abilities, but it drops off at higher levels. Her grenades can cover a wide area but deal minimal damage. Blaze Artillery can be a fun turret to throw down, but its damage just isn’t there.

Her Temporal Anchor is unique, and you can do some really cool stuff with it. Despite probably being able to find some montages of how great it is, practically its use is much more limited. You’ll normally just end up using it before spending a bunch of energy and then resetting once your burst is over. It can also be useful for limited ammo weapons like bows, but there are other solutions to this issue other than bringing a whole frame to fix it.

Dispensary has almost no use in modern Warframe. Even in maps where people stand still, you will almost always get plenty of health and ammo from enemy kills. She can be an OK energy battery, but Trinity is better.


Trinity is the master of healing in a game that doesn’t need healers. There are some boss fights where Trinity’s heals and damage reduction can be great, but she often ends up being unnecessary. Most damage in this game is avoidable and dedicated healers are not needed if you don’t get hit… Also, considering that every frame in the game can rez teammates, and can even do so completely immune to damage in Operator, the penalty for running out of health is quite low.

Trinity can be fun solo where you play a reflective DPS healer, but unless you are getting hit a lot, it won’t deal much damage. Where Trinity still fits into modern Warframe is as an energy battery. Energy Vampire can keep your team topped off on energy, allowing them to use their abilities freely.


Valkyr was one of the first frames to offer damage immunity and was a melee beast when she came out. Unfortunately, Warframe’s power creep has led to many frames mostly eclipsing her even in melee. Her claws used to outperform every other melee weapon, but now with stronger melee weapons and riven mods, Valkyrs claws just aren’t as good as they used to be.

Where she can still shine is long, sustained melee cleave. She was my go to frame for slaughtering high level Wolf of Saturn Six, ramping damage quickly while being immune to his attacks. She can also be fun in the spin-to-win macro based slide attacks builds, but those have had some nerfs and don’t see as much play as they used to.


Vauban’s changes helped keep him relevant in the one-shot run-and-gun meta that has evolved since he first came out. His damage is now OK, but like many frames, doesn’t scale well at high levels.

Where Vauban is most useful is where he always has been: crowd control. Vauban can easily stack up enemies and effectively stop them from dealing damage at the same time. This allows him or other party members to blow up the grouped up enemies with AoE weapons and abilities.

B Tier – Above Average


Equinox is one of the few frames that can abuse the AI of Warframe to do some cool stuff. Certain weapons work wonders in the hands of an AI, as they behave differently than they do in a player’s hands.

Equinox also has access to a great AoE sleep. Equinox is a great choice for stealth affinity farming, as enemies that are asleep can’t detect you and take critical damage from your attacks. Night form’s Rest also can be used against conservation animals and counts as a capture, making Equinox the perfect frame to use for conservation.

Day form’s Rage can scale damage that enemies take from all sources, a weaker version of Nova’s damage boost. Pacify and Provoke can be a decent support to mitigate unavoidable damage in Night form and help support your team’s DPS frames in Day form.


Gara ends up being a better version of Frost in almost every way. You can choose how big or small you want Gara’s shield, Mass Vitrify, to be. On top of that, enemies often times will not even shoot at it, choosing instead to run against it mindlessly. Different parts of the shield have their own health pools as well, meaning that the shield won’t go down all at once.

The only issue is that it doesn’t have a roof, so try to cast it from a decent height to maximize its protection. Gara’s ground target Spectrorage can be used in addition to Gara’s shield to hold a choke point and stack enemies for AoE.


Harrow is an amazing support, if played correctly. Harrow can heal health and shields of allies while also providing great teamwide damage buffs. However, his mini game can be tough to pull off in hectic missions.

To get the maximum potential of Harrow you will need to be sacrificing a large amount of shields and then consistently landing headshot kills. If you can pull this off, Harrow will be a huge buff to your team; but it not, his contribution will be minimal.


Mirage’s Hall of Mirrors is a great ability to build around. It scales the damage of you weapons while also proccing extra statuses on enemies, making Condition Overload based builds ramp even faster. Holograms are separate from Mirage, meaning that if Mirage is standing on the edge of Limbo’s Cataclysm with her holograms outside of it, they can damage enemies while Mirage herself remains immune.

Slight of Hand may seem useless at first, but can perform well in scenarios where enemies continue to spawn in the same areas like Survival or Sanctuary Onslaught, though there are better options like Saryn or Volt.

Eclipse has huge potential to multiply outgoing damage or mitigate incoming damage. However, it requires you to micro manage if you are in light or dark, though both benefits are good.


Nezha is a great choice for a new player. His kit augments weapon play with quick but effective abilities. He can be quickly obtained by joining a clan and brings a good amount of defense with decent damage and CC that will scale well into the mid-game.

Warding Halo will keep you alive as long as you have energy to keep it going, giving you good survivability on difficult missions. Its absorb will drop off at higher levels, but at that point you should have some better frames to use. Fire Walker can be a really fun and effective ability, allowing you to actually kill enemies by just running around, or kill enemies chasing after you. Of course its damage falls off quickly at high levels, but the Heat procs can still stun enemies for a short time that cross the path you’ve drawn.

Divine Spears is a quick, long lasting hard CC, but doesn’t deal much damage. Blazing Chakram can be thrown at impaled enemies to produce some decent AoE.


Similar to Oberon, Trinity, and Rhino, Revenant can become immune to status procs with Mesmer Skin. The mind control from Enthrall can be good too, but like other CCs, it is often best to just kill the enemy instead. Finally, Danse Macabre can be a good AoE for mid level enemies, dealing continuous damage in a large radius. Revenant can fill multiple roles and can be played multiple ways, but isn’t great at any of them.


Rhino is an unstoppable force with a simple and effective team buff. Iron Skin can make you immune to status effects, knockdowns, and can absorb a bunch of damage. Rhino is surprisingly effective at Spy type missions, where he can just sprint through lasers, magnetic procs, and knockdowns straight to the vault. With the no longer obtainable (but still tradeable) Arcane Vanguard Helmet, Rhino turns into one of the fastest frames in the game, making him great at running straight to the objective.

Roar is one of the top choices from the Helminth for almost every frame because of how easy it is to maintain and how effective the teamwide buff is.


Titania’s unique ability to turn into a Archwing in non-Archwing missions can be almost game breaking at times, allowing her to fly through missions. While in this form she takes almost no damage with the inherent evasion along with airborne mods like Aviator. The Razorflies created by this ability also have high threat, often redirecting enemy attacks.

On top of unapparelled maneuverability and a huge damage reductions, this ability also equips two powerful Exalted Weapons that will tear through even high level enemies if modded properly (see my Steel Path Lephantis guide for one such build). Her other abilities are awkward and honestly confusing. If used properly they can be decent in certain scenarios, but Razorwing is what you should pick Titania for.


Wisp has one good contribution, but wow is it a good one. Reservoirs provide your team with three great buffs. The most noticeable is Speed. Movement, melee, and weapon attack speed are all increased, leading to higher DPS and faster clears. The AoE Reservoir will shock nearby enemies with a guaranteed Lightning proc, stunning them for a short time. Finally, the health boost may not seem like much, but it can be the difference between living and dying.

The best part about Resevoirs is that when specced correctly they last a long time, meaning that you can keep them on your whole team for most of the mission. They are a bit awkward to use on run-and-gun missions, but your team will love having you on any mission that you can keep the buffs up. Other than Reservoirs though, Wisp doesn’t have much else to offer; her other abilities look cool, but do very little.

A Tier – Good


Baruuk’s toolkit is diverse and effective. His abilities can help counter almost any situation. He can provide damage reduction to his entire team through Desolate Hands, and has great personal damage reduction on top of that with the Restraint mechanic and Elude.

He can also be quite effective in stealth affinity farming or other stealthy gameplay with his spamable sleep. Finally, his Exalted weapon scales decently into higher levels, while providing CC through reflection and weapon breaks and does decent AoE damage.

Baruuk is an extremely tanky frame while still providing damage and support for the team.


Ivara is a great stealth frame, second only to Octavia. You can counteract her inability to sprint or bullet jump while stealthed by rolling, making her plenty fast once you get used to it.

She can also get extra loot from enemies, though Nekros, Khora, Hyrdroid, and even Atlas are better at this. Ivara can also buff the damage of her weapons with percentage based abilities. With an Augment, she and her team gain critical damage from standing on Dashwire. On top of that she gains a headshot bonus while Prowl is active. These buffs made her my go-to for stationary extremely tanky targets like the Condrix from Operation: Scarlet Spear, ramping the damage of my weapons even higher.

Her Exalted weapon isn’t amazing mainly because it is a bow; it does good damage, but is slow. If you like the methodical playstyle of stealth bows, Ivara is the perfect choice, though I would suggest playing solo or with other like minded people to avoid the run-and-gun playstyle that most employ.

Also, Navigator is fun!


Khora is the only frame that brings its own companion to the fight. Her Kavat can be used in tandem with other companions. This means that Khora can get the benefits of a Kavat and another companion at the same time, though her Kavat cannot use the species specific precepts of the other Kavats.

Khora generally falls into two playstyles, and she is very good at both. Strangledome will CC, stack, and damage enemies that approach it, making it extremely useful in stationary missions. Strangledome’s augment allows it to produce extra loot from enemies and has great synergy with Nekros’s Desecrate as its Slash damage has a good chance of creating multiple bodies. Strangledome is a straight up better pick than Hydroid’s Pilfering Swarm in almost every scenario.

The other way to play Khora is to put everything into Whipclaw. With a good crit based, combo counter building, Riven supported stat-stick build, Whipclaw can do insane amounts of damage, to the point where I’m pretty sure it has the highest potential for damage in the game. You’ll be lacking in defense with this build, and you’ll need to keep the combo counter high, but seeing those huge red numbers is extremely satisfying.


Mesa will destroy everything that her Regulators can shoot. Unfortunately, not every enemy can be targeted by them.

Her Exalted pistols do extreme amounts of DPS, ramping up even more against any enemy that can survive the initial shots. With practice, you will get good at using them while in the air, mostly removing the stationary downside. Mesa can clear rooms in seconds and kills enemies so quickly that you can pretty much just spin your character around and kill everything in sight.

Mesa’s only potential downside is her survivability. Luckily, two of her other abilities can help cover this weakness, and the ability duration that helps her Exalted pistol build will also allow you to keep these defenses up at all times.

Mesa is my go to pick for shredding through Kuva Liches. Just be sure to Helminth away her #1 ability into something more useful, like Roar.


Nidus is a personal favorite of mine, but he has his issues. Though he has no shields, Nidus is makes great use of the much better defensive bar, health. Shields are not effected by armor – only health is. This means that you can invest heavily (maybe even spend your Umbra Forma) on buffing his health and armor. And even when you would die, some of your easily obtainable stacks will instead be sacrificed to give you another chance.

His CC can easily ball up a whole room for almost no energy, allowing you to nuke them down with AoE. It of course also works well with his line-based AoE attack, gaining a stack for every enemy hit. You can quickly gain stacks by balling up enemies and spamming his #1, as every enemy hits rewards energy.

With all those stacks, Nidus becomes nearly invincible. Linking yourself to an enemy will redirect most damage to them, adding even more damage reduction to Nidus’s inherent defenses. On top of his baseline health regen, he will also gain huge regen while inside his field while his bloodworms heal him even further. With Rage modded, you’ll never run out of energy when you need it most. You might in fact find that you have TOO MUCH energy since two of his abilities don’t even use it.

The only issue Nidus runs into is that his abilities won’t do much against large, single-target foes. Bosses and other enemies immune to his CC kind of invalidate his kit, but he’ll still be tough to take down.


Nova is the best “glass cannon.” She has tremendous damage contribution, but can die very quickly. Her defensive can reduce damage, but it is percentage based and fades quickly when enemies are nearby, leaving you defenseless.

Molecular Prime, her signature ability, can be played two different ways. You can either slow down enemy’s movement and attack speed to make difficult enemies easier to deal with (Slowva). The other option is to give Nova negate Ability Strength, which will increase enemy movement and attack speed (Speedva). This can be used to speed up trivial missions, especially in game modes like Defense or Survival, and lets you run the mod Power Donation with no downside.

Either path you choose for Molecular Prime though will bring its really great benefit: all effected enemies will take 2x health damage from ALL sources – allies, abilities, DoTs, procs, everything. Do note that this damage increase doesn’t effect shields, so it will be less effective against Corpus enemies.

Nova can also deal huge damage with anti-matter drop, though it is a bit tough to use at first. Once spawned, it will absorb damage done to it, detonating with a huge multiplier all absorbed (up to a large max) damage in a decent sized AoE. You and your allies can all use this ability to multiply you weapon damage while also turning it into AoE, but you will have to shoot a very small moving sphere.

Nova also brings some interesting utility with Worm Hole. Worm Hole can be used to speed up NPCs like the escort mission drones in the Plains of Eidolon. You can also use it to help (or troll) your team. Finally, using it solo can make Nova one of the fastest Warframes if done correctly covering huge distances instantly.


Volt is one of the frames you can pick right from the start, and he is by far the best as his usefulness continues on into the endgame.

Volt is one of the few frames in the game that can actually contribute to Operator based fights. Since Operators are much easier to balance for devs, we will likely continue to see Operator damage used in future boss fights. An Operator shooting through Volt’s Static Shield gains a 200% crit damage buff, adding damage not necessarily accounted for by the devs for that boss fight.

Volt is also one of the few frames whose AoE actually scales well even into endgame. Volt’s Discharge ability can be used to farm Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, though you may want to bring a Trinity energy battery with you as it is an energy hog.

Finally, Volt’s speed increase is great in all level content. It even increases melee attack speed, making it a good percentage based damage increase. It might take some time to find the sweet spot on speed; most maps in Warframe don’t lend themselves well to the speed that Volt can deliver.


Wukong is a great mix of defensive and offensive prowess. His passive ability will let you shrug off up to three deaths, healing you back up and giving you some great buffs instead.

Cloud Walker makes Wukong immune to damage and increases his movement speed, while also giving him the ability to freely fly through the level. Because of its low energy cost, Wukong has the option to fly invulnerable through most of the mission.

Another invulnerability, Defy, allows Wukong to absorb incoming damage and then redirect it back. Because it scales with enemy damage, it works well all the way into endgame.

His Celestial Twin allows you to use the abusable AI of Warframe. Just like Excalibur Umbra, the AI works differently that players in some circumstances, leading to great results if played properly. Wukong can even buff his AI’s damage even further.

His exalted weapon, while cool, if the least impressive of his abilities. It can be a decent melee weapon if modded well, but other melee weapons, especially Rivened ones, will often server you better.

S Tier – Amazing


Chroma is so powerful that he has actually led to gamewide changes and a shift in how boss fights are designed.

Vex Armor allows Chroma to turn damage on shields into increased armor, and more importantly damage on health into increased weapon damage. Players used to use self damage from explosive damage to intentionally trigger the damage buff from Vex Armor. With enough stacks, Chroma’s weapons could scale to crazy levels, allowing him to shred bosses and tanky enemies with relative ease.

Unfortunately, you can no longer do this; no weapons cause self harm anymore, meaning the the damage needs to come from enemies now. This leads to Chroma actually wanting to take damage from bosses to turn it back around on them.

Every good weapon in the game is better Chroma’s hands. This huge disparity in damage between Chroma and most other frames has led to boss design almost always incorporating the much easier to balance Operators. I would imagine that no boss in the future can just be rushed down with pure damage because of how strong frames like Chroma are.

To top off his boss killing potential, his effigy also gives you a 2x multiplier on credit drops for some reason. Kill Profit Taker with multiplied weapon damage, drop effigy, double the payout.


Limbo is the most unique frame in the game, to the point where he can feel almost game breaking. Limbo manipulates the rift plane. Anything outside of the rift plane cannot interact with anything inside of the Rift plane and vice versa, with very few exceptions.

Limbo has multiple ways of pulling himself and others into and out of the rift plane. At any time, Limbo can dodge to enter the rift plane, leaving behind a portal for his allies to follow him in. This costs no energy and is only removed by dodging again or entering a Cataclysm, meaning Limbo can just stay in the rift plane forever. Limbo and allies that follow him into the rift plane also gain energy, meaning you and your whole team can take a break in the rift and recover energy while being immune to enemies.

Banish can be used on players and enemies pushing them into the opposite plane, but is often best used on Rescue allies. Casting this on a Rescue ally will make them impervious to any enemy not in the rift plane with them.

Cataclysm can be used to two great ways. With a large amount of ability range, you can create an arena where only players and enemies inside of it can interact with each other. This also allows you to use Limbo’s Stasis to freeze those enemies that are inside of the rift. A max range Cataclysm can also be used to destroy containers. Personally, I use a max range Cataclysm Limbo as my Syndicate medallion hunter since he can quickly clear large areas of destructible containers, leaving only the medallions.

A low ability range can be used to take objectives like defense and excavation targets out of the normal plane, making them immune to enemies outside of the small bubble. Your team can do the defense type mission without having to worry about defending the objective.


Nekros is my personal favorite frame. His main role is in creating extra drops from enemies, and of all the frame with similar abilities, he is the best at it. Desecrate will increase the amount of loot you gain from enemies by 54%, which adds up very quickly. The best part is that it is mostly passive; cast it once when you start the mission and it will remain active until you run out of energy, run through a Nullifier bubble, or cancel it yourself.

With the Despoil augment, changing the energy requirements to health, and a good ability efficiency build you can comfortably keep this ability up forever. His passive gives him 5 health for every nearby death, helping to pay for the desecrate. Not only does Desecrate produce extra loot, it also can create extra health orbs, energy orbs, ammo, life support on Survival, and energy orbs on Excavation.

Even with the best loot increase in the game, Nekros is no pushover when it comes to offense and defense either, with both bottled up into one ability. Shadows of the Dead is an amazing ability that turns dead foes into your allies while giving them huge buffs, raising them above their living allies. This means that no matter how strong enemies get, Nekros’s Shadows will always be stronger. In addition to redirecting fire from enemies, with the augment Shield of Shadows, Nekros can obtain a damage reduction of 90%.

The only real issue with Nekros is that his other two abilities are pretty bad. Terrify can find some uses as a CC with armor stripping, but I almost never find myself using it. Soul Punch is pretty much worthless, but that makes it a great candidate to be replaced by the Helminth. You can pick up Atlas’s augmented Petrify for even more efficient farming, a simple but effective ability like Roar, or really any other good ability that Helminth offers.


Octavia is the best stealth frame AND Octavia is the best damage scaling frame. You may think that the minigame of doing actions on beat sounds too tough to execute properly, but you can basically take this minigame away if you so choose by having something on every beat. This will let you spam whatever the input is and get credit for it being “on beat.” Remember too if you aren’t good at making songs or are tired of your current song, you can just turn the volume on the mandachord down to zero.

Built for stealth, Octavia can easily stay in stealth the entire mission, needing only to crouch a few times to refresh the buff. Not only that, but she can share this stealth with her allies. Even when not specced specifically for stealth, she can still maintain permanent stealth with enough attention. If you are a spin-to-win slide attack macro user, Octavia can gain stealth while spamming slide attack, giving her attacks the stealth damage multiplier. This party-wide stealth is in addition to the percent based weapon damage bonuses that Metronome also applies.

Built for damage scaling, Mallet will redirect damage back to enemies in a huge radius. It will never die from enemy fire, meaning it works no matter how powerful the enemies are. It also scales up with them as their damage increases. It even scales a bit off of enemy defense, like in Steel Path missions, as enemies will shoot it for longer and increase its damage even further, killing subsequent enemies even quicker. With its range doubled by Amp, it can take up a large portion of a room.

Mallet is most effective when it is the only target for enemies, which pairs well with Octavia’s stealth. Stay in stealth, let Mallet do all the work, and you can go for as long as you want in Survival missions. Bring a Speedva and a Desecrate Nekros and it’ll go even better.


Saryn is my try hard frame of choice. She has the perfect toolset to deal with almost every challenge in the game. She shows her true potential when enemies can last at least a few seconds in high level missions or Steel Path.

Spores scale quickly and spread fast. They also have no duration, meaning that any enemy with a Spore on it will die eventually. Uniquely, Spores actually scale their damage off of an enemy’s defenses; the longer an enemy lives, the more damage Spores accumulate and the longer you have to spread it to the next enemy. Spores created from a spread will not spread again unless they have been triggered in some way by Saryn, so enemies that die quickly may not give you enough time to keep your Spores going. Spores have a 50% chance for a Corrosive proc, and considering how fast they tick, they will strip an enemy’s armor very quickly.

Toxic Lash allows Saryn to burst Spores with every hit from any of her weapons, spreading the Spores to nearby enemies. Fast hitting or AoE weapons like Ignis Wraith work very well with this mechanic, allowing you to essentially push your Spores forward to the next group of enemies even on run-and-gun type missions. Interestingly, every spore popped by Toxic Lash buffed melee attacks contribute to the melee combo counter. Enemies can have a maximum of 12 Spores on them, meaning that every hit of a melee weapon will give you +13 to the combo counter, scaling Blood Rush type builds extremely quickly.

Miasma is probably the least useful of Saryn’s abilities, but is far from useless. Miasma can help spread Spores. It also stuns most enemies for a short time while proccing them with Viral, further increasing the damage they take from Spores and all other damage sources.

Saryn’s defensive ability, Molt, gives a plethora of defensive benefits. It removes status procs, distracts enemies, gives a speed boost, and when augmented gives a large health regen. While it may not be as flashy as her offensive abilities, with a Rage mod installed and a decent reaction time, you can stay alive in even the most challenging content.

Finally, it is important to mention that Saryn brings three elements to a fight, independent of her weapons. Spores procs Corrosive, Miasma procs Viral, and Toxic Lash procs Toxin. This frees you up to mod you weapons with other useful elements, elements you opponents are weakest to, or just full crit.