Anyone who’s played Skyrim knows that the cheesiest way to play is to be a Stealth Archer. You maximize your Stealth and Archery skills and pick off enemies one at a time, with the dumb AI never really working out what’s going on. It’s a slow process, inching along and clearing everything out one by one. That sort of playstyle doesn’t work in Warframe though, does it?
Ivara is probably the closest thing to a typical Skyrim stealth character, and is by far the stealthiest Warframe in the game. While fellow stealth users Loki, Ash and Octavia can all turn invisible and Equinox has the ability to put enemies to sleep and act like she’s not even there, Ivara is the only frame that combines both and allows you to sneak through a mission almost completely undetected.
Ivara’s theme is that of the huntress, of the archer. Sneaking through the forest, hunting elusive prey. She comes with a magical Exalted weapon, the Artemis Bow, permanent invisibility (as long as you have energy and don’t run) and a quiver full of useful abilities.
The Quiver is the most interesting of Ivara’s powers. You can cycle through one of four abilities – an invisibility arrow that creates a…. circle of invisibility; a zipline arrow which allows you to make your own ziplines to run across; a noise arrow that attracts nearby enemies to wherever the arrow lands; and a sleep arrow, that puts nearby enemies to sleep. Apart from the noise arrow, these are all very useful when it comes to making your way around enemies. Even when you’re not sneaking around, putting enemies to sleep, making allied players and NPCs invisible and creating new paths that enemies can’t reach are all useful talents, and even the noise arrow can be used to distract enemies for a brief moment.
Keep in mind, that’s four abilities in one button.
Ivara also has the ability to fire a projectile and control it with her mind. You activate Navigator, Ivara’s second ability, then fire a weapon with a projectile and control it from an almost first person perspective. This mostly applies to bows and thrown melee weapons like the Glaive and Orvius, but as long as it fires a projectile, Ivara can control it. That means you can control things like the Sonicor’s energy projectile, the arc of shots from the Arca Plasmor or the burning disc of death from the Zenistar. While you’re controlling your projectile of choice, Ivara automatically goes invisible so you won’t be shot to death. That being said, you’re not invulnerable, so don’t activate Navigator while standing in a cloud of toxic gas or anything like that.
Prowl is Ivara’s invisibility. It reduces your movement speed and drains your energy, but you remain invisible as long as you have energy and don’t sprint or bullet jump. You can jump and roll as normal. Standing near enemies will allow you to pickpocket them after a few seconds, stealing loot without raising any alarms. You also gain a headshot bonus while invisible, useful if you’re using a bow or similar weapon. Firing a non-silenced weapon will briefly break Prowl and render you visible for a moment, but using silenced mods like Hush and Silent Battery mean you can fire away without breaking stealth.
Really, the Artemis Bow is the least interesting of all Ivara’s abilities. It’s another Exalted weapon, along the lines of Excalibur’s Exalted Blade, Mesa’s Peacemakers, Titania’s Dex Pixia and Valkyr’s
sharp claws of immortal rage and carnage Hysteria. The strength of the Artemis Bow is alright, but since it fires a volley of shots, it’s a bit trickier getting all that damage to go places. And since it requires a draw time, it’s not as point-and-clicky as other Exalted weapons. It’s still good to use though, and works alongside your Quiver, allowing you to fire a volley of sleep or noise arrows with ease. Unlike other Exalted weapons though, Artemis Bow drains 15 energy per shot, rather than constantly draining energy.
So where does Ivara excel? Spy missions of course. Especially with her Augment mod Infiltrate, which makes it so 99% of all lasers and cameras no longer trip alarms if Ivara walks though them. There’s also some other, more niche uses, such as doing survival missions without killing anyone, or doing Rescue and Exterminate missions without sounding any alarms, but Spy missions are sooooo easy with Ivara. Really, you can take her anywhere, she has enough damage and utility to be useful anywhere, but Ivara is rather flimsy when not invisible and is prone to being caught in the crossfire. But who cares when you’re invisible, right?
What’s Ivara’s biggest problem then? Obtaining Ivara. Obtaining Ivara is a long, tedious task. You get her by doing Spy missions flawlessly, getting all 3 data vaults. And it’s pretty random whether you’ll get a part or not. The chances of getting an Ivara part in the first place are rather low (about 11%), and unless you have someone like Loki or Limbo, it’s a slow process too. You can’t even farm Ivara parts during sortie missions, since Spy pops up in sorties almost every day.
Ironically, in trying to obtain Ivara, many people become rather good at Spy missions. A lot of people also just get immensely frustrated after the billionth successful Spy mission and go and buy her with platinum.
Still, she’s totally worth buying. If only so you can be a stealth archer.