When it comes to trickery, it generally arrives in two forms – either the quiet, stealthy form that Loki embodies, or the “holy shit my eyes are burning” flashiness that Mirage personifies. Loki is stealthy, Mirage is completely in your face, blinding you with flashy effects, disco balls of death and duplicates of herself.
There’s nothing too fancy about Mirage. Her first ability spawns up to copies of herself, confusing enemies and quadrupling your bullet output. Her second ability can stop traps and cameras, and also places a small, glittering mine that damages enemies. Her third ability buffs her damage when in the sunlight and gives her damage resistance in shadows (although what actually consists of sunlight and shadows is anyone’s guess). Her fourth ability is a laser disco ball of death.
In fact, newbies might actually be familiar with the disco ball of death long before even seeing a Mirage. Shadow Stalker regularly uses a similar ball of pain, often to great effect.
But yes, Mirage, ability-wise, is pretty good.
At least on paper, and certainly up to a certain point.
While Hall of Mirrors, Mirage’s clones, will basically quadruple the damage of your guns and scales as much as your guns scale, the rest of her abilities can be finicky. Cameras and traps most of the time aren’t even that much of a problem, even in trap-filled Orokin missions. Sure, you get stronger in light and harder to hit while in shadows, but that’s also incredibly finicky and it’s not even consistent. And the disco ball of death? Past about level 50, all it does is tickle enemies.
Still, Hall of Mirrors alone is probably enough to carry you. Especially if you have a good weapon. One of the most powerful things in Warframe, back when I was new, was a Mirage using the Simulor. That may have been nerfed, but weapons like the Arca Plasmor, the Super Vandal and the Amprex are all insane when quadrupled by Hall of Mirrors. Unfortunately that nerf did make Mirage’s popularity drop by quite a lot.
Mirage Prime though, she’s something else. Not only does she not need Forma at all (she seems to come with 4-5 polarities!) but she is generally way better looking than normal Mirage. Normal Mirage is kinda alright, but Mirage Prime is beautiful. Mirage Prime funnily enough is also a lot easier to get, with entire sets available for about 40-50 platinum, rather than over 200 platinum from the market for normal Mirage, or being stuck behind a very easy but somewhat tedious quest. Mirage’s Hidden Messages quest is one of the oldest in the game, and it really shows. So yeah, Mirage Prime is a lot easier to get.
There’s another reason though why I like Mirage. As far as I’m concerned, Mirage Prime is one of the most beautiful frames around. A lot of Mirage Prime’s beauty comes from the fact that normal Mirage’s model is pretty old and has odd lumps and textures on it, but there’s something in particular about Mirage Prime. Maybe it’s because she seems… like an actual trickster. A joker. A harlequin doll. She personifies the murderous madwoman, dazzling you with tricks and beauty before filling you with bullets. She represents her theme in a far better way than most other frames.
Mirage Prime is also… well, she’s a straight upgrade, looks-wise, to normal Mirage. Normal Mirage is basically plagued with weird knobbly bits. That being said, if you get any of Mirage’s Tennogen skins, you can go a long way with how she looks. Even more so if you use Tennogen on her primed self.
So, to summarize, Mirage is alright, but she has the best fashionframe.