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Inside the Warframe Vault - Our Guide to Oberon Prime and Nekros Prime
Post by AdrianHaas @ 02:37pm 26/02/20 | Comments
Out of retirement and back patrolling the space streets, we take an updated look at Oberon Prime and Nekros Prime


The Prime Vault has opened once again, revealing the great reviver Oberon Prime and the corpse desecrator Nekros Prime. Unvaulted weapons are the burst-fire rifle Sybaris Prime, sword and board Silva & Aegis Prime, the truly mighty Tigris Prime, and one of the strongest heavy blades, the Galatine Prime.

The Prime Vault is the means by which Prime Frames and weapons that have been 'retired' and thus made unobtainable from Void Relics, are once again reintroduced into the game for a limited time. These (along with some tasty Prime cosmetics) can be purchased directly from the Warframe website or farmed in-game. The Relics containing the freshly unvaulted parts can be found in the Void, as well as Plains of Eidolon and Orb Vallis bounties, the latter two being preferable as you can earn extra relics for completing the bonus objectives.


“The Prime Vault is the means by which Prime Frames and weapons that have been 'retired' and thus made unobtainable from Void Relics, are once again reintroduced into the game for a limited time."



Unfortunately Oberon and Nekros haven't received a lot of love since their initial release in terms of updates, and as such their most useful builds rely heavily on Augment mods, and focus on the use of only one or two of their abilities. That said both Frames can still be turned into nigh-unkillable tanks with the help of Phoenix Renewal and Umbral mods for Oberon, and a high Strength Shadows Of The Dead modded Nekros.

Oberon Prime - Rise of the Phoenix



Oberon's first ability Smite, when augmented by Smite Infusion, provides scaling Radiation damage that ramps up well against Corpus & Grineer enemies, and whose damage boost is also granted to allies. With sufficient Strength, a Smite can swiftly destroy susceptible bosses like Kela De Thaym.

Outside of low-mid level missions, Hallowed Ground isn't particularly useful, except for negating Magnetic procs from Eidolons, and the Armor buff (when used in conjunction with Renewal) is less than substantial. The ability provides crowd-control by confusing enemies with Radiation procs, and when built for Range and Strength, a couple of casts can blanket almost the entire map of Hydron, killing most enemies up to around Wave 10.


Oberon's third ability Renewal is a decent but rather energy-hungry heal-over-time that, when compared to the healing provided by other Frames like Trinity or Wisp, seems downright inferior. However it's true benefit is the augment Phoenix Renewal, which auto-revives downed allies (who were within range of the initial Renewal cast), making a Phoenix Renewal Oberon an excellent ally for Arbitrations with its iffy revive mechanic.


“... it's true benefit is the augment Phoenix Renewal, which auto-revives downed allies (who were within range of the initial Renewal cast), making a Phoenix Renewal Oberon an excellent ally for Arbitrations with its iffy revive mechanic."



Reckoning, Oberon's final ability, is really only useful as a crowd-control device, as the damage output is fairly negligible. The ability has the chance to provide Health Orbs, but they'll only drop on enemies killed by the ability, whereas Nekros can produce Health Orbs without thinking about it from every enemy corpse, whether he killed them or not.


Now while I stated that both the second and fourth abilities aren't particularly good, when using them together (by casting Reckoning on enemies standing on Hallowed Ground), it becomes possible to strip the armour from entire groups of enemies. Very useful indeed.

Nekros Prime - Desecration Nation



Nekros' first two abilities are so inconsequential it's almost not worth mentioning them. Soul Punch provides weak damage, and trying to line up bodies to be used as projectiles is a waste of time. It's only redeeming quality is the augment Soul Survivor, which can revive a downed ally with a third of their health, but uses up all Nekros' energy in the process. It's both cheaper and easier to just Terrify enemies away from the downed ally and revive normally.

Terrify is a hard CC that is situationally useful, say when a defense object is getting swarmed, and when coupled with the augment Creeping Terrify will also slow enemies. Wooo. Terrify can be used for stripping Armor, but it requires several casts to completely strip, and at 75 energy per cast (at 100% efficiency) this is a stupidly expensive way to strip armor, especially when weapons like the Mara Detron can accomplish this within seconds.


Nekros' third ability Desecrate is the reason this Frame is included in almost every Resource farming squad, and continues to work alongside other looting Frames such as Khora, Atlas, Hydroid and Ivara. With the squad equipped with Slash based weapons to ensure plenty of body parts to defile, the loot is sure to flow. As the ability can become quite energy hungry with each corpse and body part consumed, the augment Despoil will allow Desecrate to cost Health instead of Energy. At first glance you might be asking why this is a good thing, but the answer is self-evident when you see the truly prodigious quantity of Health Orbs this ability creates. Couple this with the Equilibrium mod and you're perpetually renewing both Health and Energy. Aside from farming, a Desecrate Nekros is also an extremely useful squad member for long Survival runs as well as Excavation missions. If only it worked for farming Murmurs...


“Nekros' third ability Desecrate is the reason this Frame is included in almost every Resource farming squad, and continues to work alongside other looting Frames such as Khora, Atlas, Hydroid and Ivara."



Nekros' final ability Shadows Of The Dead summons fallen enemies to fight alongside him and, with the Shield of Shadows augment, absorb incoming damage, turning Nekros into a beast of a tank. There are several downsides however.


  • The casting animation is quite long, and Nekros is fully vulnerable during this time.
  • The shadows are rather distracting and can obstruct your sightlines, and even when visibly tethered to Nekros via Shield of Shadows, being shadows of enemies they are mistakenly targeted by allies (who do no damage to the shadows, but will waste ammo).
  • Any Oberon providing healing to the squad via Renewal will rapidly exhaust his energy trying to rejuvenate the shadows as their health continuously decays.
  • There's no way for Nekros to kill off unwanted shadows, nor choose from the 'queue' of fallen enemies which ones he'd like to re-animate, so you're sometimes stuck with less than useful enemies like Rollers. In addition, you need to wait until your current shadows die off in order to recast them at a higher level during Defense or Survival waves, leaving you vulnerable without their damage shield.
  • And finally, as Nekros can only summon from a pool of his own kills, if other squad members are more proficient at killing enemies, you may find yourself running out of shadows to summon, leaving you unable to mitigate damage.

In the end these back from retirement Frames are extremely useful in their own rights, and while it would be nice to see a rework of some of the less than stellar abilities, chances are good we'll continue seeing a Nekros as an integral member of Resource farming squads and an Oberon helping to keep allies on their feet during gruelling Arbitration runs.
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