I love the IDEA of Excalibur. When I was still new to the game just getting through the star chart. I realized I reallllly liked melee. Soo I looked through the frames and decided Excalibur is pretty cool and should fit that kind of play-style. I even went through the pain staking trouble of farming him from the Ambulas which was mildly difficult for my newbish self. The reality though when I actually started to play him is I just didn't find him fun and found that there were other warframes better suited for it. Rhino and Inaros are tankier and easier to get. Valkyr is tankier and has her warcry. For being the poster boy of the game having the only exclusive prime warframe, and the first umbra frame I find this just sad. I mean his 4 IS really strong and he does have a lot of utility, but everything he has going for him I feel doesn't suit him, or there are other frames that do it better.
First off I feel his passive should apply to heavy blades. I mean it applies to rapiers so I feel it only makes sense it should also apply to something like war.
Next I actually REALLY like his first ability. I feel it's his only ability besides his 4 that really suits him. However there are a couple tweaks I think it needs. First it definitely needs an up in pace. It's a really slow ability for what it is. Second isn't really a big deal, but it would be nice to see an improvement to the animation. Right now he kinda just slides across the floor towards the enemy which might work for atlas's punch but Excalibur is a swordsman. According to the wiki his 1 is affected by melee mods which is perfect. Anything other than that I would like to hear second opinions on. Like maybe not using exalted blade for it so it could just be a amplified melee and it could crit and status.
his second ability is just... it's cc and it's nice, but it honestly just feels like unless your using it for a reason like finisher based challenges(like nightwave or rivens) it's just faster to kill the enemy with your 4. He doesn't have Inaros's passive soo it's not like he can heal off it. Honestly I feel this would be the perfect place in his kit to give him some survivablity. something he kind of lacks in higher level missions. A way to heal, damage reduction anything. The specifics aren't really important and I'm sure someone will suggest something bellow, but DE can easily come up with something good.
The third ability is even more lame than the second. It's a aoe damage that may have decent base numbers but It will still only ever actually do anything in lower level missions. 75 energy for a liiiiittle bit of damage? All when he once again could press 4 and deal ten times more? Honestly I really DON'T know what to replace it with, but more than any other I feel this one needs to be changed. Honestly something that actually you know plays into him being a swordsmen would actually be cool. Like an attack speed buff or something. One of the things I hate most about eternal war is that this would be PERFECT for Excalibur on his third ability, but alas I doubt they would ever just swap abilities and augments around like that.
Finally his fourth ability, his exalted blade. You would think by the way I have been mentioning this ability I was completely fine with it, but that couldn't be even further from the truth. It just feels like an inferior desert winds. My suggestion on changes and what would make it better can go one of two ways. AOE focus or Single target focus. One of the reasons I feel his exalted blade is inferior is the AOE of desert wind is faster and larger which is NICE. It feels really good in the kind of game that warframe has become. While Excalibur's exalted blade has a tiny slow moving projectile. So if they want him to still have range on it. That's what I feel needs some work. The AOE needs to actually even remotely compare to Barruk's desert wind. However I personally feel he should take a completely different approach soo as not to have the two step on each others toes and give Excalibur a more defined role. One thing that exalted blades DOES have going for it that desert wind does not. It actually has a combo counter. However BECAUSE the stupid slow moving projectile is there you might not have known this(you probably did though) because the projectile does not actually count towards the combo counter. Soo what I recommend is instead take the projectile away all together and instead when his 4 is activated either lower or remove the cost of his first ability soo that Excalibur can turn into this amazing high damage, high speed, single target machine. I feel like this would SIGNIFICANTLY make him actually feel like a gosh darned swordsman. Cause right now. You press 4 and do the freaking running man as you throw high damage projectiles at people that fall off in damage as level's start to get higher. THAT'S why I can't stand the current Excalibur. *drops the mic* PEACE OUT (sorry couldn't help it.)