Retvik’s Warframe Tier List for Lazy People

It’s genuinely hard to make a Warframe tier list. There’s so many ways you can categorize Warframes! Do you categorize them based on how much damage they can do? How many enemies they can kill? What enemies? What level of enemies? How about missions? Is a Warframe bad because it can’t survive 3 hours in a survival mission? Or is it just not suited for the job?

So many questions, so many tier lists. Which is where I come in.

This tier list is simple: How much bang do you get for your buck? What Warframes require the least amount of effort and can be used effectively? In this article, I’ll walk though through Retvik’s Warframe Tier List for Lazy People. Lazy people like you and me.

Excalibur and Warframes speak to Lotus at Tennocon

S-Tier: Easy to Get, Easy to Use AND Gets the Job Done

  • Wukong
  • Rhino

That’s this category. Sure, it only contains two Warframes, but these guys do a LOT of work, considering how easy they are to get. Wukong can be bought for nothing in Clan Dojos, while Rhino parts drop from the Jackal fight. Sure, the Jackal is a bit tougher than he used to be, but it’s just about easy enough to do with an MK1-Braton and an Excalibur.

But you get so much for your tiny investment. Wukong and Rhino are both considered to be insanely strong. Natural damage boosts, high damage for your weapons, a form of immortality or healing AND low levels of crowd control. Both frames are hard to kill and also hit hard, and with very, very little investment on your part.

Primed versions are optional, but they’re definitely not required. Rhino Prime in particular gives very little benefit aside from some sprint speed. Wukong Prime is a tad more useful (and easy to get as of writing) but you’re not missing out on much.

A-Tier: Pretty Easy to Get and Use, Some Forma Required

  • Excalibur Umbra
  • Nezha
  • Volt
  • Inaros
  • Oberon
  • Valkyr

Excalibur Umbra is a strong contender on this list, simply because you get him, already at rank 30, from doing an otherwise kinda easy quest. Considering he comes at rank 30, alongside a badass sword and a second, magic badass sword, there’s basically no work to be done.

As for Volt and Nezha, they are both clan-tech Warframes, but they pack a punch. Volt (as I’ve discussed many times before) is an amazing jack of all trades frame. Nezha though is slightly more niche but still does a lot of work. He also has the bonus abilities to remove status effects, protect things with his Warding Halo and produce curious amounts of energy orbs. Something a lot of frames just can’t do.

Oberon and Inaros on the other hand are strong, tanky frames that ARE actually pretty easy to get. Oberon parts in particular drop like candy. The only downside is that they do a couple of forma or a potato at the very least. But they ARE easy to obtain, and Inaros’s quest is very simple.

Valkyr is included in this section because she requires very little work, and the Alad V boss fight is piss easy, even for a newbie. Immortality and cool slashing claws will go a long way, even if she lacks traditional crowd control.

B-Tier: Pretty Easy to Obtain, Not Always useful, Work Required

  • Mag
  • Gara
  • Ember
  • Nova
  • Zephyr
  • Banshee

These frames are all good, strong frames, but their uses are much more niche. Mag, Ember and Nova are all drops from various, somewhat easy bosses, but each one is strong for a specific reason and requires forma to reach that strength. Ember and Mag are damage dealers while Nova is heavily utility-based. This isn’t a bad thing, but these frames work best in specific situations (Mag against Corpus for example) and work better in groups rather than solo.

Gara would be A-tier, if she didn’t need a bunch of Cetus stuff. Sure, you can get her parts just by doing bounties, but the blueprints require gems and fish parts. On top of that, you have to do a quest to get her blueprint as well. Functionally, Gara is definitely a strong, jack of all trades frame. But she IS a bit of a pain to obtain.

Zephyr and Banshee are included because they’re clan-tech frames. While they aren’t as amazing as the three male clan-tech frames, they are still pretty good. Zephyr has some great mobility and damage reduction, but Banshee takes the cake with the huge damage she can pull off. Banshee’s only real downside is a reliance on augments and being rather squishy.

Also in this category are whatever frames are currently Primed and not Vaulted. This includes (at the time of writing) frames like Inaros Prime and Titania Prime.

C-Tier: Everyone Else

Honestly, most Warframes need a lot of work. You gotta level them up, forma them, feed them exilus adapters and so on. In fact, the majority of Warframes are useless without a potato installed. But most of the difficulty isn’t so much in the farm, it’s how repetitive the farm is.

D-Tier: Too Much Work

  • Grendel
  • Khora
  • Ivara
  • Chroma
  • Saryn
  • Ash
  • Trinity

This category isn’t filled with bad Warframes. In fact, all of these frames are genuinely really good. But they are a HUGE amount of work to get. Funnily enough, THREE of my most-played Warframes are actually in this category. But ALL these frames need a lot of work. Not just to obtain, but to fully forma and get ready for action.

Trinity though doesn’t need much work. The only reason she’s here is because the Ambulas fight takes FOREVER.

What? You were expecting more?

Well, I did say that this was an article for lazy people. And guess what? I’m lazy too!


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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