Zephyr Prime

Zephyr Prime - Steel Path | Arbitrations | Invulnerable | Infinite Energy | Weapon Platform

by last updated 4 months ago


Take to the skies with this golden bird of destruction.




60 / 60


Damage Reduction
Zephyr Prime builds
Builds by ChangelingRain

Zephyr Prime - Steel Path | Arbitrations | Invulnerable | Infinite Energy | Weapon Platform

This is a pretty simple build for generating infinite energy for your entire squad, protecting defense objectives, and being generally invulnerable.

How-to/general gameplay loop:

  • Bring a good weapon for hitting Tornadoes - primary or secondary preferably, but melee or an archgun also work. This is a necessary step. The build is nonfunctional without a way to deal good damage to Tornadoes.

  • Keep Turbulence(your 3) active at all times - almost every attack in the entire game is a projectile, and thus is redirected and blocked by Turbulence. This also protects allies and any defense objectives you happen to be floating near.
    Due to running high range for Spectrorage, Turbulence's range is high enough to entirely block explosive projectiles like Bombard rockets, leaving you only vulnerable to melee attacks.

  • Wherever possible, be airborne, to prevent yourself from taking damage from melee attacks.
    If you have excess energy, hold-to-cast Tail Wind(your 1) to float in midair and keep your passive +150% critical chance active.

  • Cast Spectrorage(your 2) and hold-to-cast Tornado(your 4) for stationary tornadoes in its center - use this whenever you need to protect a defense objective, an excavator, or just want to turn a group of enemies into a bunch of orbs.
    Spectrorage will attract enemies into itself, which will cause them to be caught up in the tornadoes. Shoot the tornadoes to multiply your critical damage and kill enemies to generate energy orbs through Spectrosiphon - this generates an average of one orb per two enemies, which will pay for itself after an average of fourteen enemies. Or, if using Arcane Energize, an average of four enemies.

Why this choice/other options:

  • Replacing Airburst with Spectrorage+Spectrosiphon - High range causes enemies to enter the ring of mirrors but be caught up by tornadoes before they can damage them, allowing for consistent energy generation at the cost of an ability that has no synergy:
    • Airburst was changed to no longer enlarge Tornadoes - they spawn with the increased range Airburst used to give them, and it is accordingly useless for this build, as Spectrorage attracts enemies much more efficiently.
  • Quick Thinking - With an energy pool of 638 and a way to generate massive amounts of energy efficiently, Quick Thinking prevents any damage that slips past Turbulence(from, say, Lich or Sister abilities) from killing you.

  • Low Power Strength - Zephyr functionally does not benefit from Power Strength - Tornadoes pass 100% of the damage dealt to them to all enemies in range regardless of Power Strength, and benefit more from a weapon with high critical chance than increasing their mediocre base damage.

  • Speed Drift - There are very few Exilus options that are meaningful, as this build scales primarily with weapon damage, and the cast speed bonus makes Turbulence easier to maintain safely.
    If you're concerned about using energy pads, or just don't want to wait around for Energizing Dash, swap Speed Drift for Preparation to spawn with maximum energy.

  • Power Donation - Provides allies with additional ability strength, but makes Spectrorage marginally more fragile. Under normal conditions this is mitigated by Tornadoes. Swap to taste. Corrosive Projection is also useful. Aerodynamic is also nice, though the damage reduction is more useful for allies than you.

  • Molt Efficiency - Gives higher ability duration than Constitution, giving the build space for Rolling Guard, further increasing survivability with a panic button.

  • Arcane Eruption - Extremely funny and effective, but can be swapped for an Arcane of your choice.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Tornadoes pass weapon damage to all enemies in their range - this damage is not ability damage, and thus applies at 100% to ability-resistant enemies such as Ancient Disruptors and, more notably, Arbitation Drones. This allows the build to function with high efficiency in Arbitrations, as shooting the Tornadoes will pass damage directly to Arbitration Drones without needing to aim specifically at them.
    • Tornadoes also pass all status effects dealt by the weapon to enemies in range, which massively multiplies the effect of status effects. In the case of Gas damage specifically, the gas clouds produced can also deal damage to Tornadoes, further increasing the resulting damage.
    • Tornadoes prevent enemy-only punchthrough, such as Arca Plasmor, or Ignis, but not actual punchthrough - if you can hit multiple Tornadoes with a single shot, this will double or even triple the damage dealt. Explosive attacks do count as hitting Tornadoes, which can do utterly absurd amounts of area damage.
    • Similarly, hitting multiple Tornadoes with a single melee attack will pass that damage to every enemy in range, and this ignores Follow Through - hitting three Tornadoes with one melee attack triples the damage dealt.
    • Since Tornadoes pass weapon damage directly to enemies, Augments and weapon passives that trigger off of hits or kills will trigger when attacking them for each enemy hit or killed - this includes effects like Arcane Merciless, Hata-Satya, Bhisaj-Bal, and the Pennant's increased attack speed on heavy attack kill, but not Arcane Deadhead, Brain Storm, Skull Shots, the Knell's Death Knell passive, or similar headshot-based effects.
  • If approximately 500,000 damage is dealt to a single Tornado, it will break, becoming unable to pass damage to pass damage to enemies. If this happens to all three tornadoes, recast them to refresh their ability to pass damage.

  • Aiming while Tail Wind is active will dramatically slow your movement speed. Crouching, however, will give you a short boost of movement speed in the direction you're going, as if you were airsliding.

  • Tail Wind as a channeled ability has an exceptional energy cost and will constantly pull energy orbs to you, so floating high enough that Vacuum or Fetch can only pick up energy orbs directly below you can increase your overall energy efficiency. This will usually not be necessary, however.

  • While Tail Wind is being channeled, casting Turbulence or Tornadoes will not interrupt reloading or firing, and you can begin reloading or firing while still in the casting animations for Turbulence and Tornadoes.

  • Of the various enemy types, only Volatile Runners pose any significant threat to this build, though there are several other enemy types that can, but are usually poorly positioned or otherwise unable to, hit you through Turbulence for significant damage;
    • Volatile Runners as their explosions are surprisingly large, and, even when stunned and being pulled into a mass by your Tornadoes, can very easily hit you if you're positioned too closely to your tornadoes.
    • As far as other enemies that have notable Turbulence-ignoring attacks, these include, but should not be assumed to be limited to: Toxic Ancient screams, Amalgam Kucumatz beams, Symbilyst laser sweeps(not normal laser attacks), Aurax Atloc Raknoid rockets(may sometimes not redirect sufficiently to avoid AoE), Drahk Master glaives(count as melee, can steal weapon), Hyekka Master ignises(unaffected by turbulence)
    • Deimos Juguluses can be a problem, as they are immune to knockdowns, knockback, and being lifted, which makes them generally harder to deal with as you must cast Tornadoes on them rather than having them come to you.

Recommended Archon Shards:

  • So, if you've been using this build for a while, you've probably realized that it doesn't really need most shards - Amber are the most appealing, for starting with energy or increasing orb value or casting speed, but really even these aren't super necessary for the build. So what do you put on? There's got to be something critical you can do with your two years of stockpiled shards that'll help this Zephyr build out...
    • That's right. 5x Melee Critical Damage Crimson Shard. While most warframes find other shards more important, Zephyr is free to take advantage of one of the most powerful shard options - melee crit damage. Innocuously placed next to +25% Primary Critical Chance and +25% Secondary Status Chance, the Melee Critical Damage shard is far more powerful than either - five of them provide +125% critical damage, which is almost as much as Organ Shatter and Gladiator Might combined.
    • This is an exceptionally large boost, relative to the other options - +125% critical chance is less than a single Point Strike, and +125% status chance is two 60/60 elemental mods. +125% critical damage can completely replace Organ Shatter on your melee build, or better yet, stack with it.
  • If fully Tauforged, this bonus is +187.5%, which stacks with Organ Shatter and Gladiator Might for a total of +337.5% critical damage, more than twice as much as what you can get without a riven.