In Defense of Redirection and Shields in Warframe

After getting rid of one of my Riven Mods today, the person I traded with wanted to show me their collection of overpowered weapons that have been improved by their other Riven Mods. I wasn’t doing anything, so I happily joined them in the Simulacrum so they could show me their things. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed, especially when they said “watch me survive these 8 level 130 Heavy Gunners” then proceeded to use Valkyr and her Hysteria.

This person though freaked out when they saw my Volt Prime with my 1200 shields and only 420 health. They screamed that Redirection was a bad mod and that I should always build for armour and health rather than shields. They then spawned 8 level 130 Toxic Ancients (an uncommon enemy which can completely bypass your shields) and told me to stand in the middle of them. Needless to say, they got pissed off when I used Discharge before doing so, because who the fuck stands in the middle of a bunch of high level enemies and does nothing?

A bunch of random Warframes.
A bunch of random Warframes, each one with a different way of stopping themselves from dying.

The problem is, most of the time, yes, health and armour are a better choice. But not everyone has a great amount of armour. Volt, the second best starter frame, has 15 armour, making Steel Fiber an utterly useless mod. Volt Prime has 100 armour, which is an improvement, but not by much.

For armour-less frames, there is an alternative. Quick Thinking is a mod that saps your energy should you hit 2 health. On someone like Trinity, who can instantly replenish a ton of energy, Quick Thinking makes you nigh invulnerable. But the mod is a rare mod that costs 15 capacity, far more than most other mods, and has a D polarity, making it harder to fit into builds.

So what else can you do but use Redirection? After all, shields, even at base recharge speed, are technically infinite, while health is harder to replenish. Shields recharge no matter what, but health requires the small chance for health orb drops (which heal 25-100 health) or require you to use Life Strike or Medi Ray or a Warframe ability. Combined with Guardian, you basically have a mini shield-gate every 30 seconds, which also protects your health. The way I see it, I’d rather roll around like an idiot whenever I get a toxin or slash proc on me. Because rolling can completely negate the two damage types that instantly bypass your shields. And the things that cause toxin in particular are really easy to see.

When it comes to my builds, I always reserve 2-3 slots for survival. On Volt Prime, because he already has incredibly high shields. I have 1200 shields on Volt Prime, which I can double to 2400 shields with Capacitance. I also have space for Quick Thinking, and I switch between it and Vigor as I want to, depending on the mission. Because sometimes that extra health and shields are useful, and Quick Thinking becomes useless in low energy missions and missions with parasitic enemies.

Just because I use Redirection on Volt though, doesn’t mean I’m dumb and am using Redirection on everyone. Of course I use Steel Fiber and Vitality on frames with high armour. The way I see it, there’s no point dealing in absolutes, you have to build and adapt. It really depends on the situation. After all, even a Quick Thinking will be useless on a normal Volt, because he has such a small energy pool, as do many non-prime frames. So for him and Mag, using Redirection is really your best bet. But obviously using Redirection on Valkyr or Inaros or whatever is stupid, because they have high armour and, in Inaros’s case, no shields at all.

And honestly, at everything below level 100, which is the majority of Warframe’s gameplay, as long as you’re careful and know what you’re doing, you’ll survive.

But really, when it comes to higher levels of gameplay, most things will one-hit or two-hit kill you anyway. One Bombard rocket, one stray Scorch, one burst from a Sapping Osprey’s mine, you could end up dead. Past about level 200, everything kills you in one hit anyway. The focus changes from not taking damage to killing everything before they can damage you.

After all, the best defense is a good offense. In this case, it’s turning every enemy into a bloody splat before they can do the same to you.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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