I’ve always held the belief that Sentinels, no matter what, were better than Kavats and Kubrows, and honestly I still think they’re better than MOAs, even though MOAs combine most of the things that Sentinels and Kavats and Kubrows do. But lately, I’ve been running around with a Smeeta Kavat and I think my opinions are changing slightly.
Why am I running a Smeeta Kavat rather than my normal Carrier Prime? Well, it all started with the Week 2 Nightwave challenges. Two of the elite challenges involved hour long survivals, so we went off to do an hour long Kuva survival. Smeeta Kavats have a chance of doubling loot earned, so it seemed like a good idea to take my Smeeta Kavat along with me. After all, I always need more Kuva.
But I realised I hadn’t touched my Smeeta Kavat, who goes by the name Dingle, for a long time. To the point that I hadn’t gotten around to putting the new Fetch mod on him.
The Fetch mod is basically Vacuum but for Kavats and Kubrows. Vacuum basically sucks up all loot in a radius and drops it at your feet. For years and years, players have complained that Kubrows and Kavats were ignored because they didn’t have Vacuum. Sure, one would use a Smeeta Kavat or an Ardaza Kavat for niche gameplay, and one of the Kubrows had a really, really bad version of Vacuum that meant it would bring items to you one at a time, if it felt like it, but there was no point using them because Vacuum is sooooo good.
I mean, there was a reason that Vacuum was taken off Carrier and given to all the Sentinels. Originally, Carrier made up like 90% of all companion use, simply because Vacuum is such a quality-of-life feature. These days, Carrier is still highly used, mostly because Ammo Case means you don’t need to put ammo mods on your guns, but at least the other Sentinels get used as well.
Still, the animal companions are pretty overshadowed. Even with the Fetch mod. And the reason is insanely simple. Sentinels have guns and they are static.
“Yeah, so do MOAs!” you say. And you’re right. MOAs have guns as well. But MOAs have the same problem that Kubrows and Kavats have, as they have to move and follow the player around. And players in Warframe jump around like lunatics, leaping across the terrain like monkeys on caffeine. And the AI and pathfinding that control MOAs, Kubrows and Kavats really struggle to keep up with us.
Yes, sure, a Helminth Charger might be able to deal tons of damage and a MOA might be able to hack consoles in Spy missions, but they have to actually get there first. You might be halfway down a hallway murdering enemies while your pet is stuck sniffing corpses.
But for me? That’s fine. I don’t use my Sentinels or my Companions for combat reasons. My pets are all for utility only. Well, my Smeeta and my Ardaza Kavats are. You see, the Kubrows normally need to move around to do their things and they normally run around on the ground. Kavats are a little quicker and more agile, but more importantly, all their buffs just fall out of them and onto you. Unless you get the unfortunate bug where your pet gets out of range and can’t teleport to you (for example during the Exploiter Orb fight), a Kavat will always just drop its buffs on you. Kubrows don’t tend to do that.
Kavats also just seem to get better mods. Sure, Kubrows and Kavats both share health, armour and shields with their Warframe owners, but Kavats also have a handful of secondary attacks you can slot onto them that makes them useful – most importantly, they have a mod that allows them to reduce enemy armour.
MOAs on the other hand are more utility-based than Kavats AND they have access to Sentinel weapons, but they’re also much bigger than Kavats, much less agile and thus much easier to hit. They also blend in a lot when you’re fighting against Corpus, especially if they haven’t been gilded yet.
Overall, if you want something reliable, I’d still recommend Sentinels over legged companions, but now that they have the Fetch mod, it’s not too bad…