Normally, Specters aren’t that great. Sure, they can be handy at times, but because they spawn at the same level as a mission, they can die incredibly quickly. However I’ve always been a fan of Specters in the past, especially the likes of the Ancient Healer Specter. When it comes to the Steel Path though, Specters really began to shine, because the high levels mean your Specters will have high levels too. And the real winner? Wisp Specters.
Lots of Simple Buffs and a Tanky Distraction.
The Wisp Specter does two things. Firstly, like all Specters, Wisp is a great distraction if you’re on your own. Because Specters have the same level as the mission you’re in, on the Steel Path, you easily get level 100+ Specters. That means they last for a very, very long time.
But secondly, Wisp Specters are pretty unique as they use all their abilities. In particular, they will place all of their little plants, which will give you their buffs. Sure, the buffs are only at 100% power strength (most Wisps have about 200% power strength) but the buffs work. You still stun nearby enemies who get too close, you still get the movement speed boost AND you get 300 extra health.
As it stands, there are only a few other Specters that can use all their abilities, like Volt and Rhino Specters.
You don’t even need to get the fancy Cosmic Specters. The bog-standard crappy 1-star Specters work perfectly fine.
The only real downsides? Random buffs and distractions.
As far as I can tell, there’s only two issues with Wisp Specters. The first is that the Specter will randomly place plant buffs and randomly choose which buff to place. This does mean that you can sometimes end up with 6 Shock Motes, but it’s rare. Normally you get at least one of each.
The second is that… well, Wisp Specters can get distracted. The Wisp Specter I have uses the Kuva Bramma (back when the Kuva Bramma used to cause self-damage) but she’ll happily put that bow away to use sunlight to kill enemies. By “kill”, I mean stand in front of them making screeching noises with a laser beam from the sun that just tickles enemies. On the plus side, I get free radiation procs on everything the Wisp Specter hits.
Well, there is an additional downside that you need to get Wisp in the first place, but that’s not too big a hurdle. When it comes to weapons, anything will do, because your Wisp Specter will just use deadly lasers all the time anyway. Even more so with secondary weapons. Specters DO occasionally use melee weapons, but you should give them longer weapons (like staffs, polearms or the Paracesis) because… they’re not very good at meleeing things.
Really though, most Specters are useful.
You could use tons of Specters. Rhino Specters are great for their random Roar buffs. Trinity Specters will sporadically give you energy. Volt Specters will spam Speed and drop random Electric Shields at their feet. A small shoutout to the Excalibur Umbra Specter, if only because it can strip Sentients of their resistances.
But Wisp Specters stand out because their buffs are very long-lasting and easy to grab AND the buffs are persistent. The buffs only disappear should a Wisp place too many (you can only have 6 active at a time) or the Specter dies. And Wisp Specters… just don’t seem to want to die, it seems.
Wisp Specters saved my ass.
At the end of the day, I would totally recommend building Wisp Specters for the Steel Path. Or any specters, really. The free buffs are just too good an opportunity to waste.