When it comes to weapons with the most unique variants, you’d think it’d be something simple, like the Skana or the starting Braton. After all, these are weapons seen from the very start of the game. They’re well-known and popular. For example, the Furis is one of the first guns you can make, and it has four variants. The normal Furis is given as a reward, while the MK1 Furis is in the market. But there’s also the Akfuris dual variant. AND we have the Dex Furis, the anniversary version.
But for some reason, the Cernos, a random bow not even closely related to the starter Paris bow, has FIVE unique variants. All of which are genuinely unique.
Let us now judge each of these bows, and their usefulness.
Basic Tier – Cernos
The Cernos is a bow. It’s a pretty standard bow. It does the job. It kills things. That’s… pretty much it. Compared to other weapons, the Cernos is pretty basic, but it’s cheap to make and cheap to use. There’s really nothing special about the Cernos, but you need two of them: one to master and then build into the Mutalist Cernos; then another to make into another Mutalist Cernos, which you then turn into the Proboscis Cernos.
Good Tier – Rakta Cernos
The Rakta Cernos is a Red Veil version of the normal Cernos. In that familiar edgy red and black theme, the Rakta variant is actually pretty good. Not only does it charge and shoot faster than the Cernos, but it is the fastest charging weapon in the game and has an insane projectile speed. The Rakta Cernos has one of the better Syndicate Procs. When you gain certain amounts of affinity, Blight will proc, doing 1000 Viral damage to all enemies within 25m, as well as giving you extra movement speed and restoring some energy.
Finally, the Rakta Cernos wins a reward in Fashion. Unlike other bows, the Rakta variant is worn straight across the back rather than over the shoulder, giving a cool spiked effect. On top of all of that, the Rakta Cernos has more polarities than even the Cernos Prime.
Great Tier – Cernos Prime
The Cernos Prime is, of course, the prime version of the Cernos. So, of course, you get its parts from relics. Now, the Cernos Prime is pretty awesome because it fires a line of arrows! It basically works a bit like Ivara’s Artemis Bow, firing a line of 3 arrows. And it scales with multishot.
Personally though, I can’t get used to the Cernos Prime. Most of the time, my extra arrows don’t hit anything, so they feel rather wasted. In a busy Infested Survival, the Cernos Prime is great. In a more empty area, it feels like it’s missing out. Still, the Cernos Prime boasts great stats and is still relatively easy to get, despite having been vaulted.
Slow Tier – Proboscis Cernos
The Proboscis Cernos is the newest addition to the Cernos family. Unfortunately, it’s also the slowest, with a much slower charge time before firing. This Cernos is an even more infested version of the Mutalist Cernos, and requires one to be built. Which requires a Cernos to build a Mutalist Cernos.
In battle however, the Proboscis Cernos is rather weird. It fires out a single arrow that then grabs enemies and slowly pulls them together before exploding. Think of it like Nidus’s Larvae, except slower and more tedious. Actually, this thing is just like the Lenz, the explosive Corpus bow. Except the Lenz has a cooler explosion and, despite having a delay, is just as fast as the Proboscis Cernos.
If you could detonate the Proboscis Cernos early, or just all-round speed it up, it would be a better weapon. In the mean time though, things just die too quickly to use it.
God Tier – Mutalist Cernos
I’ve left the best until last, even though it’s in the middle of the Cernos < Mutalist Cernos < Proboscis Cernos chain. The Mutalist Cernos fires just like the Cernos, but whatever it hits, it creates a cloud of Gas. Normally, this wouldn’t be that impressive. And originally, it wasn’t. But the Mutalist Cernos is unique in being the only weapon capable of using Split Flights without any downside. You see, the Mutalist Cernos loves Multishot and doesn’t care much about accuracy. And the gas clouds it creates also work with Split Flights, meaning you can keep your Split Flights buff up for longer.
More importantly though, the Mutalist Cernos is just as spammy as the Rakta Cernos, while also still hitting enemies you miss, thanks to the gas clouds. It’s all-round the coolest of the Cernos bows. Unfortunately though, it needs the second most work and requirements.
The question is, will we get more Cernos bows?
Honestly? I hope so. Although I don’t really know where else we can go with these bows. Maybe we’ll get a Grineer or Corpus variant next…