Warframe has a huge number of mods. Because of how many mods it has, it’s guaranteed that some Warframe mods will be bad. Some Warframe mods have no practical use despite sounding good on paper. Many Warframe mods have more useful variants or are simply too niche in their usage. In fact, some mods could be usable, if they didn’t cost so much. But there are plenty of mods that have the pretense of being useful when they simply are not.
Today, I want to talk about one of these mods.
Editor’s note: It turns out self-damage is actually going away in the next big Warframe update. But Cautious Shot’s purpose is still up in the air. Rather than rewrite this article, keep in mind that this is about a mod that existed for over a year while being utterly useless, even if it is buffed or changed in the future.
Introducing Cautious Shot
In terms of new mods, Cautious Shot isn’t very old. It was introduced in October 2018. That sounds old, but in Warframe terms, that’s about middle-aged.
What Cautious Shot is supposed to do is give up to -99% Self-Damage, with a downside of -15% total damage. It has a – Naramon polarity and, when maxed out, uses 10 mod capacity. The idea is incredibly simple: you slap Cautious Slot on a self-damaging weapon, for example an explosive weapon like the Ogris. In exchange for 15% less damage overall, you take 99% less self damage, making it harder to blow yourself up. This is meant to allow players to be able to use explosive weapons without having to play Inaros, Valkyr or other tanky frames all the time.
Except it doesn’t work like that!
The funny thing is, that 99% damage reduction is often not quite enough. Most weapons do huge amounts of damage and explosive weapons are no exception. While 99% reduced self-damage sounds like enough on paper, keep in mind that a base Mag for example has 225 health and 450 shields. At the same time, the Ogris’s 6m explosion does 300 damage, or 100 minimum self-damage. But Mag’s maximum health doesn’t scale nearly as high as the Ogris’s damage does.
This is due to the fact that damage mods are far, far more powerful than health and shield mods. It gets worse when you throw in damage types like Corrosive and Toxin, that reduce armour and ignore shields completely.
So even with Cautious Slot equipped on your weapon, you can quite easily blow yourself up.
Cautious Shot has even more problems
Even if we ignore the fact that the mod doesn’t eliminate the issue of self-damage, Cautious Shot still has a myriad of issues. The mod is very expensive and has a high capacity cost of 10. And although it’s an Exilus Mod, you still need to invest in a Weapon Exilus Adapter and possibly even a forma to fit the mod in. On top of your normal set of forma, since most explosive weapons come with few Polarities.
This means you are spending a lot of resources on a mod that doesn’t even really work
But you can’t even USE Cautious Shot on all explosive weapons! Cautious Shot can only be used on Unique Primary Rifle weapons, such as the Tonkor and Ogris, and weapons that can use Firestorm. Those weapons though include things like the Ignis and Opticor WHICH DON’T EVEN DO SELF-DAMAGE!
You end up with weapons that should be able to use the mod being unable to use it, and Cautious Shot being literally a wasted slot on weapons that don’t need it. Secondary weapons like the Kulstar and Angstrum; the explosive bows Lenz and Kuva Bramma, and the explosive Archwing Gun the Grattler are all incapable of using what could have been a vaguely useful weapon. And instead the Lenz and Bramma will get a new variant at some point in the future, meaning you have to spend more ammo.
So basically, Cautious Shot is shit. Don’t use it.
Unless you’re a certain pink and purple Ember with an Ogris Riven and a death wish.