I’ve always felt somewhat sorry for Nekros. Not completely sorry, since he, like most Warframes, is a weapon of mass destruction controlled by a confused, ageless teenager, but at least a little bit sorry. Because most of the time, Nekros is used only as a loot amplifier.
You see, Nekros’s third ability, Desecrate, extracts extra loot out of the bodies of fallen enemies. The more parts you chop an enemy up into, the higher the chance you’ll get more loot. Loot in this case refers to resources, ammo, mods, health and energy orbs, all of which are very useful. Desecrate also works in Survival missions, creating more mini air support capsules, and it creates more power cores in missions that use them, Excavation and Defection. The only thing Nekros’s Desecrate doesn’t effect is Reactant in Void Fissures. By default, Desecrate costs 10 energy per looted corpse, but you can drop that down more comfortable numbers using efficiency mods.
On top of that, you get a lot of energy orbs. Which give Nekros more energy to keep Desecrate active.
But Desecrate can actually get better. Most Nekros builds feature the augment mod Despoil, which causes Desecrate to use 10 health per looted corpse rather than 10 energy, again affected by efficiency. Because Desecrate though drops SO MANY health orbs, you will often almost instantly regain that health. Oh and all those health drops work nicely with the mod Health Conversion, which gives Nekros a lot of extra armor and can make him very tanky.
Oh, and fun fact, Nekros’s passive is that he regenerates 5 health for every enemy that dies within 10m of him. Which also works nicely with Despoiling Desecrate.
What about Nekros’s other abilities though? Nekros isn’t just a walking loot machine, is he?
Well, a lot of people would say yes. Some people would also say that maybe Shadows of the Dead, Nekros’s fourth ability, is kinda useful when his augment, Shield of Shadows, is used. Shadows of the Dead creates 7 enemies (picked from your 20 most recently killed enemies) and resurrects them into ghostly allies, whose health decays over time. Shield of Shadows transfers a percentage of damage dealt to you to your Shadows instead, giving you a little bit more tankiness.
Honestly, I’d recommend Shield of Shadows anyway, because while you’re shooting at hordes of enemies, you might not immediately notice that an enemy is in fact one of Nekros’s minions. Especially if Nekros summons a Nullifier and they have gold or blue energy colours… Shield of Shadows at least links all the shadows to Nekros so you can more easily tell what is and what isn’t alive.
Frankly though, Nekros’s shadows, whether you use the augment or not, are mostly just meat shields unless you manage to resurrect a bunch of Ancient Disruptors or Ancient Healers.
What of the rest of Nekros’s kit?
Well, Soul Punch is a pretty standard first ability, the single-handed, vaguely elemental power. Soul Punch though works basically a targeted Sonicor blast, and can send enemies flying if killed. It’s only really good though when you’re reloading, giving you a quick breather when you’d otherwise be weak. You COULD use the Soul Savior augment, which revives a downed team mate, but it costs all your energy and frankly, it’s often quicker to revive them. If you want to save team mates from dying, Oberon’s Phoenix Renewal would be better.
Then there’s Terrify. Most people I’ve seen don’t really use Terrify. I do though, because it’s Nekros’s more reliable crowd control ability. Soul Punch does ragdoll targets, but Terrify causes enemies to run away and not shoot at you. Not being shot at is a really nice thing in this game where most enemies are shooting at you. Enemies that run away are also pretty handy as it allows you to more easily prioritize targets. Weirdly, Terrify can be cast whenever you have energy AND it has an insanely high duration of 25 seconds (at level 30). Which is pretty damn high for a crowd control ability. Sure, Terrify isn’t as effective as, say, a dedicated ability like Nova’s Molecular Prime (which slows all enemies in a radius), but it does the job.
Oh and it also reduces armor, which is nice.
So yeah, Nekros isn’t just a loot machine. He does other things as well! But poor Nekros will only ever be remembered as “that guy who gives extra loot”.