Sometimes, just sometimes, you can’t use the same Warframe for everything. Sometimes you gotta try new things. Sometimes you really, really want something dead. Sometimes, you actually want to be a stealthy ninja, going around sneakily murdering things.
Well Ash is really good at that.
Ash Prime is even better than that, and there’s a ton of them running around right now because nearly everyone got an Ash Prime if they had linked up their Warframe and Twitch accounts and were active the 7 days before Tennocon. Since there’s a load of newbie Ashes wandering around, really it was the perfect time to blow the dust off my own Ash Prime and take him out for a spin.
And to be honest? Ash feels like someone who’s pretty good at a lot of things but there are more niche frames who can do specific things better. Ash has teleportation, invisibility and an easy way to destroy cameras, which can make him pretty handy in Spy missions, but Loki and Ivara kinda just feel better at that. Ash can cleanly take out enemies, but plenty of other frames can do that too. Really, Ash’s niche is precision killing. You can single out and murder any enemy you want, apart from maybe Nullifiers. Using Teleport, you can jump to an enemy and open them up to a finisher move from your melee, or simply briefly stun them so you can shoot them. Using Fatal Teleport, you can have the melee kill be done automatically (although I’ve noticed sometimes that doesn’t work if you’ve got a bad connection, you just fumble around a bit)
Part of Ash’s problem is that he’s so perfect for solo play, so when you take him into a public mission, every enemy is most likely already alerted and possibly already vaporized by the numerous nuker Warframes that roam around. Ash needs time and patience to make the most out of his abilities. He’s not really someone you can just press buttons with and watch everything die. Well, he is, but that’s assuming you build for lots of power strength so Shuriken and Blade Storm do lots of damage. You need a few seconds to pick out targets, but someone like Ember or Saryn will kill much more quickly.
There are some niches for Ash though. He’s exceptionally good when it comes to missions will fewer but stronger enemies. Even more so when you use Fatal Teleport and a Dagger weapon with Covert Lethality on it. Covert Lethality does more damage on daggers, but also makes it so finishing moves are instakills. Fatal Teleport allows you to instantly do a melee attack on targets who have been opened up to finishing moves, so you can instantly kill most things except for bosses. This means Ash is perfect for Rathuum and the Index, the two arena-like game modes that require you to kill enemies who don’t just shoot at you.
On the plus side? Ash really isn’t a slideshow anymore. His fourth ability no longer locks you into a Power Point Presentation. See, that was my biggest issue with Ash back when I first played him. His fourth ability, Blade Storm, used to work by letting you select some targets, then you turn invisible and invulnerable while shadow clones of yourself jump around hurting and murdering those you target. Now, you can just target your enemies and have your clones murder the fuck out of things while you continue shooting them with guns and stuff.
Which is awesome.
Really, if you are playing Ash, you’re playing him to actually feel like a ninja. The invisibility, the throwing deadly shurikens at people, the teleporting to enemies so you can murder them, then sending shadow clones of yourself to murder more people while you finish off any remaining victims. It is SO ninja-y.
And once you get into the swing of things, playing Ash gets a nice flow to it as you teleport around, disappear in clouds of smoke and throw out shurikens and all that.
Yeah, so what if Ash is rather niche? At least he actually is a ninja, unlike most other frames. Ash totally is the Ninja Warframe.