I’ve never particularly liked Saryn, both as a frame to play as and a frame to play with. Saryn is probably the ultimate nuker, destroying rooms with ease. And because of her damage combinations, she does it better than anyone else. To the point that two Saryns are detrimental together, and things like Elite Sanctuary Onslaught become trivial.
Saryn kills with ease.
Before level 40 though, even a lowly modded Saryn can still nuke maps by pressing 4. Any time, as long as there’s some enemies around, Saryn can spread spores around and do massive Corrosive damage to enemies. With high health, energy reduction costs, a high base energy pool and a ton of synergies between her abilities, Saryn is a walking genocide. It’s hard to stay alive if you’re an enemy somewhere near Saryn.
Somehow, Saryn also has basically all the toxin types as well. She can EASILY cause Corrosive, Toxin AND Viral damage. Literally the three most powerful elemental effects in the game. All the other element-based frames are stuck with one element, with maybe a hint of the now useless Blast.
“Saryn has to work and keep her spores up!”
Keeping spores up isn’t that hard to do. It’s no different from maintaining any other secondary resource. Hildryn has to manage shields, Baruuk has to manage restraint, Nidus needs stacks before he can be useful.
What makes Saryn worse is that her power mostly comes from her Spores, her first ability. Not only does that mean she evades Simaris in Sanctuary Onslaught, but it makes her power spammy and somewhat cheap. In fact, Spores has a 50% energy cost reduction while other spores are active. Her Toxic Lash also has a massive duration on it as well, so, really, Saryn’s energy costs are quite easy to deal with.
Saryn’s only real problem is running out of enemies to infect.
“But what about other nuke frames and weapons?”
Yeah, other nuke frames have their problems too. Mesa in particular is basically an aimbot with 90% damage resistance to bullets. The Kuva Bramma is also guilty of being too strong, and has already been nerfed a little.
But most nuke frames generally tend to have something holding them back. Gara can become a nigh-unkillable ball of glass shards, but she has to spend a long time building that up. Chroma can take any gun and turn it into a monster, but has to keep himself damaged. Even if Saryn loses her spores and their, she gets them back easily, as long as there are some enemies nearby.
She doesn’t even need line of sight, like Mesa does.
“Hang on, Medic, you play Volt!”
Yeah, I know. Volt can be used as a nuke frame. I even have an effective one-forma build for this. But Volt, just like other nukers, has his limitations. Because he does electric damage, he gets hindered by armour, and there are larger energy costs to be considered. Volt can also provide to other players when not nuking things, by giving them bursts of speed, overshields and electric shields to hide behind. At least Volt gives back to the rest of his team a little bit.
Overall, Saryn is probably too strong.
But she won’t be nerfed. She’s a fan favourite. Not just in power, but in looks too. Popularity is also what makes Saryn strong. Because why would anyone touch a popular frame like Saryn?