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What are some Warframe abilities that don't see any real use unless using an Augment?


Zahnrad

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NOTE: This isn't me trying to make an argument that Augments are too OP. But rather abilities are too Underpowered without an augment.

 

From my understanding, Augments are meant to give additional features to an ability or offer a new utility, playstyle or sidegrade, but every now and then we do come across Augments that serve as true upgrades to abilities.

I mention this because I wanted to use Styanax as an Undyne cosplay. To further encourage this, I swapped out Styanax's 2nd ability for Hydroid's Tempest Barrage, because to me it felt the theme of "raining spears"

And I will admit Tempest Barrage is Hydroid's 1st ability and not all 1st abilities are meant to be OP it felt...really underwhelming. I mean sure it caused knockdown but the ability itself didn't feel like it was adding much to the kit. (Even checked out a few videos which seems to suggest Hydroid needs buffs in general)

What shocked me the most was I thought it would synergize well with Styanax's 1st ability, by dragging them into one spot but even with Tempest Barrage being tapped instead of held, the missiles were rarely dealing much damage or hitting the group of enemies.

Yet applying the Augment for Tempest Barrage makes the ability go from worthless, to rather useful, since the Augment gives Tempest Barrage a 100% Corrosive proc on hit and increases Tempest Barrage's power strength by an additional 100%

 

And while I don't disagree with Augments making abilities better than they were previously, I do think it's a different case altogether if the abilities themselves can't provide anything of substance without their augment.

If this is happening to Hydroid I imagine it probably exists on other Warframes. So I'm curious. What other Warframe abilities exist out there with useless abilities that require a mandatory augment to make useful?

If you know any, I'd like to know. An explanation why would be helpful too.

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Ash's Shurikens (his 1)

in the first place it's not really used because you have blade storm for massive true damage and slash procs. 

With the augment it strips armor. Which is good but pointless unless you're also running his smoke screen augment which grants allies and yourself invis and +crit chance

base ability needs to be less useless to see actual use

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Mag's 2, 3, and 4 are pretty eh without augments. Before this patch, she required at least 2 augments to be able to work well, mainly her 2's magnetized discharge. I said before this patch because I haven't tried her update yet so I can't really comment on that.

Valkyr's War Cry is too short without Eternal War.. but I wouldn't really say it having no real use. Just very clunky to use.. maybe because I have been using Eternal War since forever.

Ash's armor stripping shurikens. Without the augment it's just your typical first ability stuff.

 

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Trinity's Well Of Life. Pool of life at least can turn it into a convoluted version of a dispensary, which is still seldom if ever used.
Frost's Freeze.
Lavos' Ophidian Bite. The healing and damage are both utterly negligible.
Excalibur's Javelins? I'm not sure anyone uses the augment on that, either.
Gara's Spectrorage
Limbo's Rift Surge.. which still.. ugh.
I'd say Mesa's Ballistic Battery, but no one will use it with augment, either.

I personally won't use:
Rhino's Iron Skin without Iron Shrapnel to reset it at my convenience.
Frost's Ice Wave. Due to it's energy cost/his stunted energy pool, I only ever briefly used it on Lavos, with augment.
Equinox's Rest & Rage, or Pacify & Provoke without their augments. Both are obscenely energy intensive on a frame that does nothing but bleed energy already.
Ember's Inferno... scratch that, everything on her kit. Literally nothing on her I want to use without the augment.

Honorable mentions:
Khora's Strangledome
Hydroid's Tentacle Swarm
Nekros' Desecrate
Ivara's Prowl

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I don't know what's popular and not, but Valk's Paralysis without its augment is really bad.    Null Star without one of its augments isn't horrible, but it's 20x better with one.

And the only time I use Sound Quake without its augment, it's for  the "Defense target take no damage" riven challenge.  

 

 

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The abilities that are almost exclusively used with an augment are:

  • Inaros's Scarab Swarm
  • Volt's Shock, Ember's Fireball, and Oberon's Smite (they all just give elemental damage with the augment and are otherwise weak)
  • Nekros' Desecrate
  • Nova's Null Star (with either Neutron Star or Molecular Fission)
  • Banshee's Sonic Boom and Sonar
  • Atlas' Petrify?  At least I only use it for the loot...
  • Mirage's Sleight of Hand (and arguably her Prism)
  • Khora's Whipclaw (her Strangledome is sometimes used for defense or crowd control so sometimes you don't waste a mod slot on the augment, but it never makes the ability worse)
  • Gara's Spectrorage
  • Ash's Shuriken
  • Who in their right mind would use Zephyr without the augment that disables that passive (kappa)
  • Vauban's Vortex (or at least... you always SHOULD use the augment)
  • Possibly Hydroid's Tentacle Swarm (it's mostly used for resource farming)
  • If we're talking about a high MR type of player, I'd also add Excalibur's Exalted Blade, because it's that much better
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On 2022-09-07 at 12:35 PM, kapn655321 said:

Trinity's Well Of Life. Pool of life at least can turn it into a convoluted version of a dispensary, which is still seldom if ever used.
Frost's Freeze.
Lavos' Ophidian Bite. The healing and damage are both utterly negligible.
Excalibur's Javelins? I'm not sure anyone uses the augment on that, either.
Gara's Spectrorage
Limbo's Rift Surge.. which still.. ugh.
I'd say Mesa's Ballistic Battery, but no one will use it with augment, either.

I personally won't use:
Rhino's Iron Skin without Iron Shrapnel to reset it at my convenience.
Frost's Ice Wave. Due to it's energy cost/his stunted energy pool, I only ever briefly used it on Lavos, with augment.
Equinox's Rest & Rage, or Pacify & Provoke without their augments. Both are obscenely energy intensive on a frame that does nothing but bleed energy already.
Ember's Inferno... scratch that, everything on her kit. Literally nothing on her I want to use without the augment.

Honorable mentions:
Khora's Strangledome
Hydroid's Tentacle Swarm
Nekros' Desecrate
Ivara's Prowl

  • Frost's Freeze is used all the time without the augment to pop Snowglobes.
  • Equinox's Rest & Rage is used all the time without the augment, both Rage for speeding up the spawn in animation of the Hemocyte during Plague Star, and Rest being very much meta for stealth kill affinity farming at Adaro.
  • Ember's Fire Blast is great just for the armor strip, even without the Augment (especially with Helminth).
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On 2022-09-07 at 1:29 PM, Zahnny said:

NOTE: This isn't me trying to make an argument that Augments are too OP. But rather abilities are too Underpowered without an augment.

 

From my understanding, Augments are meant to give additional features to an ability or offer a new utility, playstyle or sidegrade, but every now and then we do come across Augments that serve as true upgrades to abilities.

I mention this because I wanted to use Styanax as an Undyne cosplay. To further encourage this, I swapped out Styanax's 2nd ability for Hydroid's Tempest Barrage, because to me it felt the theme of "raining spears"

And I will admit Tempest Barrage is Hydroid's 1st ability and not all 1st abilities are meant to be OP it felt...really underwhelming. I mean sure it caused knockdown but the ability itself didn't feel like it was adding much to the kit. (Even checked out a few videos which seems to suggest Hydroid needs buffs in general)

What shocked me the most was I thought it would synergize well with Styanax's 1st ability, by dragging them into one spot but even with Tempest Barrage being tapped instead of held, the missiles were rarely dealing much damage or hitting the group of enemies.

Yet applying the Augment for Tempest Barrage makes the ability go from worthless, to rather useful, since the Augment gives Tempest Barrage a 100% Corrosive proc on hit and increases Tempest Barrage's power strength by an additional 100%

 

And while I don't disagree with Augments making abilities better than they were previously, I do think it's a different case altogether if the abilities themselves can't provide anything of substance without their augment.

If this is happening to Hydroid I imagine it probably exists on other Warframes. So I'm curious. What other Warframe abilities exist out there with useless abilities that require a mandatory augment to make useful?

If you know any, I'd like to know. An explanation why would be helpful too.

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