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Warframe Crit Builds

August 1, 2013

Note, this post was last updated as of 13.1, so is really outdated. I don’t plan on updating it, but it’s still ok. Now that Primed Pistol Gambit has been released, some pistols are worth putting a crit build on if you level the Primed Pistol Gambit all the way to 10.

Players of Warframe may ask themselves, is it worthwhile to use critical hit and damage mods instead of elemental mods or base damage mods. The answer depends on the weapon you are using. Low level weapons or those without catalysts should not use crit builds. Stick to the base damage mods, the best elemental mod for the faction you are fighting and whatever else you want to throw in there depending on your play style. This post concerns players with level 30 “potatoed” weapons looking for the most DPS possible.

With 150% bonus crit chance and 120% bonus crit damage, primary weapons have the best critical mods and benefit the most from a crit build. However, they have mostly low base critical hit and damages, which limits their use. If you are concerned with ammo efficiency, you could use a crit build on the Burston and the standard Braton, but the fire rate/reload/magazine capacity mods do more damage in the short run. Since the Burston comes with a V polarity, which can be used on serration or split chamber, it will have a few more mod points left over for elemental mods and so you may be able to get all the mods you need and have room left over for a crit build. Hammer shot is not worth it for any weapon.

Primary Weapons where it is to your advantage to use a crit build:
Latron Prime

Sniper rifles are an interesting case. They all have very high crit chance and damage, and so a straight up DPS calculation would suggest that they are ideal candidates for a crit build. However, there are some problems with that conclusion. First, they often one shot enemies, meaning excess damage is wasted on overkill. Secondly, since they shoot so few bullets, critical hits, even at 33% are not consistent enough to be relied upon. High rate of fire weapons can use the law of large numbers to ensure that a long burst of fire will have at least a couple critical hits. Against high level enemies, a sniper crit build is worth it, against hordes of low level enemies, it is not.

As of Update 12, both the Dread and Paris Prime can get a 100% crit chance with Point Strike. The other bows have had their crit chances dramatically increased as well. Therefore, I would recommend a crit build for all bows.

Paris Prime
Snipertron Vandal

Do not use crit builds on shotguns. They all have mediocre critical base stats, and the crit mods are poor (90% change/60% damage).

If you have Primed crit mods, it’s worth using a crit build for the Twin Grakata.

Melee Weapons
Melee weapons have the poor crit mods (60% chance/90% damage). However, some melee weapons have excellent base crit chance and damage. If you use a crit build, also equip Berserker to increase your attack speed.

One more thing to note is that even though the numbers are yellow for cloaked attacks, they do not count as criticals when applying the organ shatter mod. True criticals while stealthed will show up as red numbers.

Melee Weapons worth using a crit build:
Ankyros (+ Prime)
Dual Cleavers
Dual Ichor
Dual Zoren

If you want to see any of my calculations, leave a comment and I’ll send you my spreadsheet.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Ion Cableheart permalink
    August 2, 2013 10:23 am

    I’ve just started to Kogake, and would love to know what mods to use (critbuild)

    • August 2, 2013 10:38 am

      Kogake are good against Greneer and poor against Infested, so start out with Sundering Strike and Rending Strike if you have them. If you use normal attacks commonly, then add pressure point and fury, and if you use charge attacks mostly, add killing blow and reflex coil. After those 4 mods, add the crit damage mods. Crit mods should always be added last, once your weapon is over level 20.

  2. fran permalink
    August 3, 2013 8:18 pm

    nice job making this 🙂 had fun reading it

  3. August 5, 2013 1:29 pm

    This has been enlightening, I like the burston and boltor, after level 30 if you respec a weapon will it still not count towards mastery points?

    • August 5, 2013 1:40 pm

      Currently, you only gain mastery points the first time you level a weapon. Using a forma will not increase your mastery, nor will selling the gun and rebuying it.
      If you like the burston, you could try the sicarus or the kraken, since they are also burst fire. The bolto and akbolto are very similar to the boltor as well.

  4. Prii01 permalink
    September 10, 2013 7:04 pm

    Update: The Strun Wraith is worth doing a crit build if you have extra points after Point Blank, Hells Chamber, both dual mods, and flechette. Given the base polarity slot and pre-installed catalyst, it shouldn’t be unmanagable to get a crit built by level 25 or so. If you can only fit one crit mod, use Blunderbuss.

    i completely agreed with that until you said “…use Blunderbuss”

    since if you add up 100 shots doing 100 damage you will get 10000 damage if you add crit to it you get

    20%@175% => 11500 => 10000 + 1500 base crit damage
    38%@175% => 12850 => 10000 + 1500 base + 1350 blunderbuss
    20%@280% => 13600 => 10000 + 1500 base + 2100 ravage
    38%@280% => 16840 => 10000 + 1500 base + 5340 blunderbuss + ravage

    this makes
    12% (1350/11500=11.7%) bonus damage for blunderbuss,
    18% (2100/11500=18.2%) bonus damage for ravage
    46% (5340/11500=46.4%) bonus damage if you use both

    if after the 5 mods you mentioned above (Point Blank, Hells Chamber, both dual mods, and Flechette) you can not add BOTH crit mods (and since the math gets really iffy and confusing) almost every damage mod becomes viable here (i mean its likely to be less then 3% difference in dps anyway)

    • September 12, 2013 8:20 am

      I’ll remove it. They’ve changed the base stats since I updated the article and that makes it difficult to have good advice with a long shelf life.

      • Prii01 permalink
        September 12, 2013 12:17 pm

        like i said math gets iffy and complicated but usually unless base crit damage is 200+ or crit%-mod has double the value of crit-damage crit damage is ahead

        to make a point on how much better crit damage is hammershot would outdamage PointStrike on all sniper rifles on average damage over a lot of bullets

        BUT for slow shooting weapons like sniper/bows with high crit rate i prefere the crit-chance mod even if crit damage is better there too 😉

        sry for nitpicking XD

      • September 12, 2013 12:20 pm

        No, thanks for nitpicking. The whole article is about nitpicking, so if I get it wrong, it needs to be fixed. I have to go back to this article every week or so just to keep it updated with current builds anyway. Once they redo the damage model in update 10, I’ll probably redo the whole darn thing.


  1. The Best Weapons in Warframe | azmytheconomics
  2. Warframe Best Weapon Builds | azmytheconomics

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