A Warframe Tier List, or lack of thereof

“What is the best Warframe for Spy missions?” I’ve been asked as I cheese my way through a tricky Kuva Fortress vault, using Ivara and the Infiltrator augment, making almost all cameras, traps and other methods of detection obsolete. I don’t answer, mainly because I’m busy hacking terminals and dropping a Liset Air Support charge because a Loki followed me in and triggered the alarms. But afterwards? I still don’t have an answer.

Why? Because anyone can do a Spy mission. All Ivara does is make Spy missions easier. But better players will instead take Limbo or Nova, tripping alarms anyway and getting in and out so fast that the alarms don’t even matter. I did 99% of my early Spy missions as Volt because I didn’t have a better frame.

If you want a dedicated frame for Spy missions, then it depends on whether you want speed or reliability – Limbo and Nova offer speed, Ivara offers reliability, while Octavia, Ash and Loki offer a bit of both. If you want to though, you can take Rhino, the biggest, loudest, slowest Warframe, and do all but a handful of vaults (e.g. Uranus Archwing vaults) no problem.

Volt and his new Zaw
Volt and his badass Zaw, the Blade of the Dessaron

The same goes for Sanctuary Onslaught. People have asked me what the best build is, and I shrug. The easy option is a spore-spreading Saryn or a Maiming Equinox, but I’ve seen all sorts of builds. Someone like Volt can also do very well with Discharge and high range, strength and duration. But even the normal SO Volt build isn’t the only option. My preferred choice for Sanctuary Onslaught is a hybrid status and critical damage build using a Plague Zaw and Volt’s Shocking Speed augment for an extra 60% damage per status type.

You can apply this towards any mission type you like. What’s best for Excavation? Any frame you want, although some crowd control makes it easier. Defense missions? You could take the classic Frost or Gara but really as long as everything dies, you can take four Trinities and be absolutely fine. Same with Survival missions. Sure having Nekros makes things easier as he basically produces life support out of thin air, but as long as things die quickly and regularly, you can easily do 20 minutes.

When it comes to weapons, there are some very shit weapons and some very good weapons. But a lot of weapons, when fed enough Forma, can be excellent, or even godlike with a nice Riven Mod. You don’t even need Prime weapons. Some of the top weapons right now are the Amprex, the Arca Plasmor, the Rubico, the Lanka, the Opticor and the Prisma Gorgon, and only one of those is hard to obtain. Heck, when it comes to best weapons in the game, the Atterax (best known for its high range and combo with Maiming Strike) is available at MR2. What is more important is that you max out your mods, you get that Serration mod to level 10 and all that.

Modding is key here.

No matter what weapons and Warframes you pick, if you don’t put the right mods on your stuff, it doesn’t matter. Sure, a Mirage Prime with a Tigris Prime, an Akstiletto Prime and a Galatine Prime is insanely powerful, but if they are not modded right, they can be out-damaged by a Volt and a pointy stick.

Mirage Prime is a beautiful Warframe and the wings just make her better.
Fashion-frame-wise though, Mirage wins.

There are no tier lists. Just suggestions and a lot of mods.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% 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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