I feel so sorry for Zephyr. While her Primed self is one of the loveliest things in the game, the original air- and flying-based Warframe just doesn’t do much flying. First, there was Wukong and his cloud form. Then there was Titania, with the ability to turn into a tiny, Archwing pixie at will. And now there’s Hildryn, the brand new Warframe which identifies as an attack helicopter and can fly far better than Zephyr ever could.
But Hildryn has a lot of other nice things tucked underneath those rippling, chunky muscles of hers, as well as a lot of shields.
You see, Hildryn doesn’t use energy, she uses her massive shield capacity to power her abilities. All her abilities drain shields in some way in order to work. Actually, Hildryn’s abilities are quite unusual and only somewhat fitting when it comes to being both an attack helicopter and a muscle-filled bodybuilder.
Hildryn’s first power, Balefire, is an exalted Staticor, basically, with each shot costing a small amount of shields to fire. You can charge up your shots as well, and if Hildryn has Overshields, her Balefire shots will ragdoll enemies. What’s interesting is that this is the first Exalted weapon which is a first ability rather than a fourth ability. Dealing base electricity damage, its stats aren’t amazing but you can so easily combine elemental mods to get more damage. The fire rate though is too slow for my tastes.
Hildryn’s second ability is Shield Pillage, which, as the name suggests, pillages shields from nearby enemies and restores shields to Hildryn and nearby allies. On top of that, Shield Pillage also gets rid of any status debuffs like Toxin or Slash, which would normally be very worrying to someone with low health. This also works on armour, meaning that Hildryn isn’t useless against Grineer, but Infested have neither shields nor armour, meaning Hildryn struggles against them.
Haven, Hildryn’s third ability, is a buff to herself and allies, giving increased shield capacity and regen, while dealing radiation damage to nearby enemies. Any ally or enemy affected by Haven drains from Hildryn’s shields. It’s a nice buff effect, nothing special.
Aegis Storm is Hildryn’s attack helicopter mode, and she can fly and hover around, stunning enemies and dealing more radiation damage to those close to her. While in this mode, you can only use Balefire, you can’t use any of her other abilities or your weapons. And that makes me sad because I really wanted to use a gun with a high rate of fire. Sure, there’s some stuff about Aegis Storm stunning nearby enemies and slamming them into the ground and dealing radiation damage but I want to be an attack helicopter with a minigun, not a slow cannon.
Because of her shields as energy and her tiny health pool, Hildryn also has a form of shield-gating, meaning that she doesn’t get instantly killed should something destroy her shields. While Harrow, Mag and Volt can all have shields, with Harrow reaching over 3000 shield capacity, all of them can be killed by a high level bombard rocket. Should said rocket hit Hildryn, she’ll shrug it off and hope her shields recharge before the next rocket hits. But as long as Hildryn refills her shields, every time she loses them, she gets 3 seconds of invulnerability as well.
As to where you can obtain Hildryn from? Her parts all drop from the Exploiter Orb, and you need at least second rank with Vox Solaris to buy her main blueprint.
Is Hildryn a good frame? Most of my clan mates are saying yes, but I’m not sure. Hildryn is more fun than effective, especially since she requires line of sight for most of her abilities. That can be problematic with Warframe’s many a tight corridor and AI using basic cover mechanics, and restricts just how much she can do. I’m honestly not that impressed with Balefire either, it’s just so slow and its explosions so small.
And weirdly, for someone who LOOKS really tanky, Hildryn’s kit just doesn’t feel tanky. Oh, and just like Garuda and Baruuk, she has no lore for her yet. She just appeared out of thin air, clearly.
Hildryn is a very cool frame, but it’s not really worth buying her with Platinum.