Zephyr Prime

Hurricane Force Zephyr | General Use Steel Path | Tornado Nuke/Crowd Control/Defense

by last updated 4 days ago


Take to the skies with this golden bird of destruction.




60 / 60


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Zephyr Prime builds
Builds by ninjase

Hurricane Force Zephyr | General Use Steel Path | Tornado Nuke/Crowd Control/Defense


This Zephyr build is geared towards General use on steel path missions, particularly defense/mobile defense/excavation as well as endurance steel path survival/disruption, offering high range crowd control and grouping from airburst, AOE nuking and crowd control from tornadoes and easy survivability/defense from high range turbulence. Tailwind also gives quick map traversal and floating with tailwind gives passive crit chance bonus as well as good positioning away from melee units.

If you are new / beginner and just got Zephyr from the dojo, use this super budget ZERO forma non-prime variant with no primed mods :

Alternate Jet Stream Based speedrun/open world build:

[Archon Stretch] is a new optional addition. Tornado inherits elements shot into it and most weapons you'll use with [Zephyr] should be electric. This means tornado's can proc [Archon Stretch] for some free energy [Regen].


  1. Activate turbulence and keep activated on cooldown (watch your timer). Use turbulence to [Protect] defense objects.
  2. Hold 4 to cast three stationary tornadoes, or tap 4 to cast three homing tornados. Aim down sight to guide the closest homing tornado.
  3. Jump into the air and hold 1 to hover. This gives you a +150% crit chance boost (additive) and keeps melee units away. Tap 1 to traverse map quickly.
  4. Tap 2 to create airburst vortex that sucks enemies into tornadoes. Aim near the edge of tornado pull radius to get more enemies into tornado quicker.
  5. Shoot any tornado with your electric or gas weapon and watch them die.

Video demonstrating playstyle and weapon showcase:



We want duration mainly for turbulence uptime and as a bonus it affects tailwind travel speed and hover channelling cost. Tornado has a very long base duration already and airburst is not affected by duration at all.

[Primed Flow] with [Streamline] and Arcane Energize are necessary for energy upkeep. Consider adding [Fleeting Expertise] over [Streamline] if you do not own arcane energize and also consider using [Dethcube] sentinel with [Energy Generator] precept for additional energy orbs.

Note that range does NOT affect the actual pull and damage radius of tornado, which is locked at 10m per tornado. Casting three stationary tornadoes creates a triangle of semi-overlapping 10m radius circles, meaning the effective pull radius of a triple tornado is actually closer to 20 m radius. Having high range however increases airburst to nearly 20m pull radius, meaning if you aim an airburst at the outside of a tornado, you can effectively pull enemies from over 40m away into the centre of a tornado complex. High range is also extremely beneficial for Turbulence, allowing you to cover defense objects by standing next to them, and deflecting AOE projectiles further away so you don't take damage from AOE effects.

This does not affect the build in a meaningful way as strength only affects the damage of tailwind, airburst and passive tornado damage. It dos not affect the damage distribution from weapons, which is what does the bulk of damage.


  • Enemy radar helps plan enemy pathing for optimal tornado placement and airburst use
  • [Brief Respite] is an optional addition as backup survival against breakthrough damage (melee, explosions) or if turbulence is down for some reason (e.g. disrupted by Violence/Demolyst)


  • Cunning Drift for even more range
  • [Primed Sure Footed] or [Handspring] to prevent knockdowns which makes Zephyr vulnerable to melee attacks and reduces DPS (but this can now be replaced somewhat by Unairu Poise)
  • Aero vantage is an option that allows you to basically hover without tailwind, particularly if you choose to replace 1
  • [Vigilante Pursuit] if you don't run [Enemy Radar]

Flexible Slots
[Augur Message] and [Constitution] are flexible slots depending on if you are okay with recasting turbulence a little more often. Can swap these out for more range (Augur Reach), Rolling Guard or more efficiency.

Natural talent - essential quality of life mod but overall personal preference. Speeds up the animation of turbulence cast so recasts are faster meaning less downtime in vulnerable state and drastically speeds up slow cast time of tornado. If you feel you don't need this, feel free to swap it out. With Amber Archon Shards, if you can add 2-3 cast speed shards, you can free up the [Natural Talent] slot for rolling guard, more range (augur reach), more duration (Nira's or narrow minded) or an augment.

Rolling guard - optional useful mod for endurance runs. Even though turbulence blocks all projectiles, [Zephyr] will still need to recast every 30s and becomes completely vulnerable in between. Furthermore, AOE damage and environmental status effects still go through turbulence so the status cleanse and invulnerability from rolling guard is very useful for survival.

Funnel Clouds - Optional augment for use with AOE/ high spread weapons, put this over [Augur Message]. This makes tornadoes smaller but increases their total number from 3 to a total of 11 tornadoes. While they cannot innately pick up enemies with the augment, casting airburst or afflicting enemies with a ragdoll state causes them to be sucked into tornadoes exactly like without the augment. Because each tornado is smaller with a 5m radius they tend to overlap less. However, if you use an AOE/high spread weapon that can hit multiple tornados at once, then an enemy caught in a single tornado can potentially receive up to 11 damage instances of that one AOE shot, rather than the default of 3. Therefore you want to reserve Funnel Clouds when using weapons that can hit multiple tornados in one shot e.g. AOE weapons (trumna, bubonico alt-fire) and weapons with high spread (stropha, tenet arca plasmor). Single target weapons like fulmin and most bows work better without the augment.

Jet Stream - you want strength to use this augment, so it cannot be used in this build.

Airburst rounds - also scales with strength so cannot be used in this build.

Generally you will replace tailwind with a helminth ability, but you can also replace airburst for another ability that performs some grouping.

  • Spectrorage - [Spectrosiphon] is great to generate tons of energy orbs for you and your squad, since [Zephyr] does not need more crowd control or damage and spamming tornado and airbust can cost a lot of energy. This is also good for newer players who do not own a rank 5 arcane energize. Simply subsume spectrorage over 1 (so you can still airbust to suck enemies in, particularly with [Funnel Clouds]) or 2 (if you enjoy floating, but you can't use funnel clouds), and put the spectrosiphon augment over streamline or augur message.

  • Breach surge - sparks produced from tornado damage can feed back into tornados and make stronger sparks. Synergy seems good on paper but it is inconsistent in practice and tornados can already do so much damage you probably won't notice it. You may also want to build positive strength to help the breach surge multiplier.

  • Spellbind +/-spellbound harvest - decent option for the status immunity and knockdown resist if you don't own primed sure footed. Spellbound harvest augment returns energy whenever cast on 4 or more enemies.

  • Sickening Pulse - if you want enemies to die even faster than what Tornado alllows, use this to double-triple the gas/electric proc damage.


Nearly any weapon modded with either electric or gas works amazingly with tornadoes. This is because Tornados transfer the electric or gas status into each tornado which afflicts each enemy within the tornadoes with that status. Electric and Gas both have a small AOE effect that damage adjacent enemies, tornadoes included, which redirects that damage back onto enemies, basically magnifying the electric and gas status damage.

Electric is best on weapons with innate electric damage or shotguns that have access to [Primed Charged Shell] since electric mods scale the damage of electric DoTs and the number of electric DoTs are uncapped. Electric generally kills much faster and scales higher but gas is a decent alternative on weapons that cannot be modded well to make electric (e.g. Toxin innate kuva and tenet weapons).

On the other hand, while toxin/heat mods do not affect final gas damage and gas procs are capped at 10, meaning the immediate damage potential is lower, Gas clouds linger for 6s even after enemies die, so they have better sustained damage. This can be significantly magnified by Sickening Pulse.

NOTE: Gas procs tend to 'break' tornadoes easily. Each Tornado can absorb a maximum of 500,000 damage before it becomes unable to distribute further damage. If [Funnel Clouds] is on, each tornado will completely disappear after absorbing 500,000 damage. This means you will need to recast tornados frequently when using Gas with weapons such as Trumna.

Note that since tornados are counted as objects and cannot hold a status, galvanized savvy/aptitude/shot and [Condition Overload] that rely on status do NOT give bonus damage. As such, make sure you swap these mods out for +dmg mods instead if applicable.

Single Target Weapons
Electric Fulmin:
Electric Phage:
Electric Phantasma:
Electric Tenet Agendus:
Gas Verdilac:
Electric Nataruk - same build as fulmin (use point strike if no arcane acceleration):

AOE/Spread Weapons (use with Funnel Clouds)
Gas Trumna (Infinite alt-fire Grenade):
Bubonico Alt-fire (electric):
Corinth Alt-fire (electric):
Cedo Alt-fire (electric):
Kuva Ogris (electric):
Tenet Arca Plasmor (electric):

Zakti Prime (gas/Electric):
Akarius (electric):
Sepulcrum (gas):

Mausolon (gas or gas/electric):

Focus School
Unairu is the focus school you want to run on [Zephyr]. Unairu can FULL STRIP both armor and shields in a small area, and grouping enemies into a small area is exactly what [Zephyr] excels at. Furthermore, the main obstacle to electric and gas damage as levels increase is armor and shields! Now you can full-strip entire groups of enemies within tornadoes with a single tap of operator abilities. Unairu Poise also frees up the exilus slot as you can gain immunity to knockdown by just switching to operator every 40s.