By far, the Sacrifice is an amazing quest to get a new Warframe. Unlike quests like Octavia’s Anthem or the Glast Gambit, the Sacrifice hows you everything that went into making a Warframe and Warframes in general. And like older frames of the past, it rewards you with a fully built Warframe at the end. Exceeeeeept it’s never that simple. Normally newly built Warframes don’t force you out of their bodies, try to kill you and run away. Normally Warframes don’t seem to have any true sapience at all.
But Excalibur Umbra? He’s still alive. And he’s very, very angry. Hence why I call him Angry Excalibur. I’m not going to go into details about what actually happens in the Sacrifice, but I do want to have a quick look at Angry Excalibur, compared to normal Excalibur and Founders Pack Excalibur. You see, Excalibur is the first Warframe to have three variations of himself instead of just a normal version and a Prime.
Compared to normal Excalibur, the Founders Pack exclusive Excalibur Prime isn’t that different. He has some extra polarities and more armour, the former of which you can do yourself with some forma, particularly one in his Aura slot. Excalibur and Excalibur Prime are pretty basic, and Prime seems to have just shoved a Void Key into his face. But unless you got that Founders Pack, you ain’t getting Excalibur Prime. So instead, everyone is getting Excalibur Umbra, after a very, very long time waiting for him.
Like, seriously, Warframe players were told they’d be able to get Umbra like three years ago. The Chinese version of Warframe already has Excalibur Umbra Prime, but he was the Chinese version of the Founders Pack, so it was all much of a muchness.
Excalibur Umbra has the same stats as Excalibur Prime, but he has two different polarities. Umbral polarities. Polarities that can only be found on Excalibur Umbra, his Exalted Umbral Blade and the cool sword you get at the end of the quest. Right now, there’s only a handful of mods that even fit in this umbral polarity slot – Umbral Intensity, Vitality and Fiber; and Sacrificial Pressure and Steel. These are based off the Warframe mods Intensify, Vitality, Steel Fiber and the Melee mods Pressure Point and True Steel, but cost Primed Mod levels of credits and endo to level up, cost 16 capacity at max level (two less than Riven Mods) and work similarly to Set Mods – the more of them you equip, the stronger the mod’s effects.
The new mods can be used on other frames, but the Umbral polarities are exclusive to Umbra and his sword, and you can’t forma a slot to get the new polarity, which means DO NOT FORMA OVER AN UMBRAL POLARITY – you can’t get it back if you do. Really though, the Sacrificial ones aren’t as good as the Umbral mods, and you kinda have to use them together to get the most benefit out of them – on their own, they’re only slightly better (or slightly worse, in the case of Sacrificial Pressure) than their normal variants.
Modding aside, there isn’t that much difference between the various Excaliburs. Umbra does have a more distinct helmet and more Prime parts, as well as a really nice scarf, but his base body is really similar to normal Excalibur. But there are two key things about Umbra which makes him unique.
The first is that Umbra will wander around on his own if you use Transference in a mission. You switch to Space Kid, Excalibur Umbra will help you kill things. But currently he has his own health pool, and if he dies or walks off an edge, you die as well and get zipped back to your frame in a pretty vulnerable way. Excalibur Umbra in this form uses basic Specter AI and tries to use his abilities as much as he can. But why would you want to use Space Kid when your Amps have a weakness to Grineer and are lackluster against Corpus and Infested?
Because he wanders around though, I wouldn’t recommend taking Umbra in a Spy mission if you intend on using your Operator. Because I did that, switching to Space Kid to do a spy vault and Excalibur decided to go and set off all the alarms.
The other difference is Excalibur’s second ability. Normal Excalibur and Excalibur Prime have Radial Blind, in which they raise their Exalted Blade into the air and blind enemies. Excalibur Umbra has Radial Howl, and literally screams at his enemies, having the added bonus that it removes resistances from Sentients.
Really, that howl is the most… troubling part of Umbra. All that pent up rage and hatred and suffering, and he’s screaming it all out so hard that it causes enemies to stumble around, blinded and stunned. A scream so full of pain that it hurts those around them.
And that’s why I’ve taken to calling Umbra Angry Excalibur. To take my mind off that little tidbit.
On the plus side, at least Umbra’s happier now, after that nasty Sacrifice quest…