This is a build dedicated to getting the absolute most out of Iron Skin, enough to tank early to mid Steel Path content without worrying about recasting, while also offering a usable Roar. The helminth rank 11 ability Parasitic Armor is subsumed over [Rhino]'s 4th ability stomp (this ability has not yet been added to Overframe) and is the basis of this build. [Rhino]'s Iron Skin scales off armor value which can be increased tremendously by stacking multiple sources including Parasitic Armor, Ironclad Charge, Health Conversion, Arcane Tanker, Arcane Guardian and Arcane Ultimatum.
This loadout shares polarities with my buff/roar Rhino build : https://overframe.gg/build/205669/rhino-prime/roaring-rhino-buff/
For the non-helminth version : https://overframe.gg/build/207002/rhino-prime/iron-skin-rhino-non-helminth/
- When you begin in the mission, cast Parasitic armor followed by Iron Skin to get 30k for buffer
- [Regen] your energy with energy orbs, zenurik, energy pads e.t.c. to max 150 energy
3 (optional). Activate archgun for instant 1200 armor buff from Arcane Tanker, you want to do this before grouping enemies since the summon blasts enemies away (lasts 60s)
- (optional). Slam attack with exodia [Hunt] on a zaw to group enemies together or use Naramon executing dash and perform finisher on stunned enemies to proc Arcane Ultimatum for another 1200 armor (lasts 45s)
- Cast Parasitic Armor (lasts 19s)
- Find a group of enemies and use a grouping skill (magus anomaly, exodia [Hunt], vazarin snare)
- Cast Charge into the group of enemies (or out of the group of enemies if they are surrounding you for best results) to get [Ironclad Charge] bonus (lasts 12s)
- Cast iron skin twice, first to dispel it and again to recast it
- Keep Roar active as required
For even more meme bonus armor, use sources of increasing max shields such as [Shield Charger], shield osprey specter and [Hildryn]'s Haven (not sure if specter can cast this).
Here is a video demonstrating the sequence above:
[ youtube id="ZInH4k6DwwM" ]
Decent duration allows easier upkeep of roar at almost 40s and high duration timers for [Ironclad Charge] bonus and parasitic armor to make setup easier.
Using [Primed Flow] allows us to tank efficiency, so about 200 energy is needed to pull off the combo. This means you will need zenurik, [Preparation] or energy pads when you start the mission to get sufficiency energy before using the combo. Once you have millions of iron skin, you only need to cast roar every half minute, meaning you won't be spending much energy. Every couple of minutes you may need to refresh iron skin.
Range is untouched at 100%, giving a decent ironclade charge distance to hit multiple enemies, and decent roar radius.
Strength is arguably the most important stat in this build, since the formula for calculating iron skin uses power strength as a multiplicative factor three times (creating a cubic function). This is because Parasitic Armor scales with strength, providing 3474 armor at 313% strength, [Ironclad Charge] scales with strength providing 156% increase on total armor per enemy hit and Iron skin itself scales with strength as a direct final multiplier.
Here are some example Iron Skin numbers based on 313% power strength in this build:
- Basic Iron skin (direct cast) : 5907
- After charging into 1 enemy : 9275
- After charging into 20 enemies : 73k
- After Parasitic Armor : 30.5k
- After Parasitic Armor and charging into 1 enemy : 79k
- After Parasitic Armor and charging into 20 enemies : 951k
- After activating Arcane Tanker, Arcane Ultimatum, Parasitic Armor and charging into 1 enemy: 127k
- Activate Arcane Tanker, Arcane Ultimatum, Parasitic Armor, charge into 1 enemy and proc growing power: 150k
- Activate Arcane Tanker, Arcane Ultimatum, Parasitic Armor, [Growing Power] and charge into 20 enemies : 1.9M
For reference, in base steel path (<5min in Grineer survival), 1 million iron skin will last approximately 5 minutes of getting shot while standing completely still and not defending.
For maximum Iron Skin, you will want the combination of Arcane Tanker and Arcane Ultimatum (for 2400 extra armor total), although Ultimatum is much trickier to activate (requires Naramon School Executing Dash or Exodia Hunt slam attack followd by melee finisher) OR one of Tanker/Ultimatum and Magus [Vigor] (+45%) on next ability. To work magus [Vigor] in you will have to pop into operator and cast an ability just before activating parasitic armor, then before activating [Ironclad Charge].
As an alternative, switch Ultimatum out for something more useful like energize (especially if you run primed flow) or a DPS boosting arcane (e.g.velocity, acceleration, rage e.t.c.)
Parasitic Armor is the star of this build, providing 3474 armor when at full shields (1110 with [Redirection]) with just one press of a button. Compare this to other sources (1200 from arcanes, 1350 from [Health Conversion], 378 from [Umbral Fiber], 123 from [Gladiator Aegis]) and you will see how significant this is for Iron Skin. You could boost this even further with [Primed Vigor] but you will lose out heavily on duration if you remove [Continuity] (so roar is ineffective) or efficiency (meaning you can't cast the combo at max energy, without using an energy pad in between).
Elemental ward (Cold) is the next best alternatives, providing approximately 1291 extra armor at 313% strength. Defy is the next providing 750 armor at max cap. Warcry is the worst alternative giving only 430 armor, but provides the best additional utility from slow and melee attack speed. Note that since you don't need [Redirection] with these subsumes, you can slot health conversion so elemental ward + health conversion actually gives 2641 total armor.
Empower can also be used, but you will need to cast before each ability use which makes it a little more clunky to use, and provides less total boost compared to Elemental ward. Empower does however also benefit roar.
Ensnare or Larva are useful for grouping to help [Ironclad Charge], although there are non subume alternatives for grouping including Zenurik's void singularity, Arcane Magus Anomaly and Exodia Hunt.
Aura - [Growing Power] is great when it procs to get another 25% strength, but any aura is fine (e.g. steel charge if you need mod capacity), enemy radar is nice quality of life, mecha empowered for full mecha memes
Health Conversion- If you do not yet have high enough rank in helminth, remove Redirection and use Health Conversion instead.
Mecha Pulse +/- Empowered - a niche but slightly more annoying way to gain TONS more armor. Requires a direct kill of a [Marked Target] (not slash status), has a cooldown for marking and requires you to run a Kubrow or Predasite. To try keep the kubrow alive in steel path, you'll need [Link Armor] and to constantly cast parasitic armor or [Ironclad Charge] even while iron skin is active to boost the pet's armor (to get damage reduction over 90%). You can do this for fun if you want to mix things up a little. Replace primed continuity with mecha pulse and growing power with mecha empowered. Here is a mecha ensnare Rhino variant: https://overframe.gg/build/268102/rhino-prime/the-wild-hunt-rhino-ensnare-mecha-nuke-millions-iron-skin/
Run these builds for kubrow or predasite if you decide to use Mecha mods:
Why no umbral fiber/armor mods?
[Umbral Fiber] provides 137.5% extra armor (when paired with Umbral Int*ensify) scaling off base armor, which is only 275, giving a measly 378 extra armor. This is much less compared to what [Redirection] and power strength mods can give when stacked with parasitic armor (3000+), not to mention the arcanes (1200 each)
Swap enemy radar into aura (or vigilante pursuit over umbral intensify): https://overframe.gg/build/268079/
Immediately cast parasitic armor followed by iron skin to get about 30k iron skin straight away.
Find an enemy or two and charge them before casting the combo to get between 80-100k iron skin which should last several rounds.
- Vazarin: Has access to a grouping ability which helps ironclad charge buildup.
- Madurai: Sling perk gives +40% ability strength for 20s. This is best choice for maximising iron skin value.
- Zenurik: gives energy but also +20% ability strength on next cast