So, before I write this, I wanna slap a huge disclaimer on this particular guide/blog/expository piece:
EVERYTHING FROM THIS POINT ON IS BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE; SOME PARTS MAY HAVE ERRORS. YOU CAN AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH WHAT I SAY, BUT KEEP IT CIVIL IN THE COMMENTS. YOUR MILEAGE CAN AND MOST LIKELY WILL VARY.
So... moving right along: Let's cover the basics.
Sentinels are mechanical companions with very little upkeep and a relatively low barrier-to-entry. You can fairly easily obtain almost any of the sentinels, with the exception of the Clantech sentinels, Djinn and Helios. Both require a relatively large amount of rare materials, and access to a dojo that has the research on them completed. Realistically, neither of them are as common as the rest, not just due to their high cost. However, more on that later.
Types of Sentinels:
- Carrier: Arguably the most popular Sentinel, it picks up items within a certain radius and gives them to the Warframe it is partnered with. Its signature weapon, Sweeper, is devastating when modded correctly.
- Dethcube: Another fairly popular sentinel, Dethcube is all offense, all the time. Its signature ability Vaporize is capable of repeatedly stunning almost any enemy while doing consistent, massive damage.
- Shade: The stealth-oriented Shade is most popular among those utilizing lighter, more fragile frames. Ghost allows you to disappear when an enemy comes into range, and Revenge gives it a more intelligent manner of attack when compared to the other Sentinel targeting mods.
- Wyrm/Wyrm Prime: With a more balanced and utilitarian approach to combat, Wyrm is capable of adapting to multiple scenarios. It's signature ability Crowd Dispersion is arguably its greatest asset, allowing it to stun and damage multiple enemies in a small radius. Wyrm Prime is an almost purely cosmetic upgrade.
- Helios: A highly expensive and slightly more gimmicky sentinel, Helios stands apart from the crowd in two very distinct ways. One, it's main weapon is essentially a Glaive, and two, it has the ability to scan objects using its Investigator ability.
- Djinn: While not as expensive as Helios, Djinn is still pretty hard to get. It's ability Fatal Attraction can be a rather unreliable tool, but is still quite good. The least common sentinel, it is usually used as a source of Mastery rather than an actual weapon, despite its innate potential.
- Redirection/Vitality: These mods are both capable of drastically increasing a Sentinel's survivability by boosting its Shield and Health ratings, respectively.
- Steel Fiber: Boosts the armor rating of a Sentinel
- Fast Deflection: Substantially increases the Shield Recharge rate on a Sentinel.
- Guardian: This mod will automatically replenish the owner's Shields to their Maximum value when it has been fully upgraded.
- Regen: The sentinel will regenerate after destruction once.
- Sanctuary: Provides a spherical shield while the owner revives another player
- Damage Output
- Fired Up: Increases damage on repeated basic attacks; pairs exceptionally well with the "Deth Machine Rifle"
- Self Destruct: Deals large amounts Blast damage upon death, and pairs well with Regen.
- Coolant Leak: Slows enemies a small amount in an even smaller radius.
- Spare Parts: The sentinel has a chance to drop rare resources on death. Unfortunately this mod will not activate when paired with Regen or Self-Destruct.
Pros and Cons:
- Relatively easy to obtain
- Large amount of utilitarian mods
- Variety of practical uses
- No upkeep required
- More thoroughly researched (at this time)
- Sub-par survivability without modding
- Largely lackluster weaponry options
- Heavy modding required to reach endgame potential
- Limited targeting precepts
Kubrows are dogs that require an extremely large initial investment and have a hefty upkeep cost, however they can outperform Sentinels in a number of categories. The initial creation of a Kubrow requires an Egg, an Incubator Power Core, an open stasis slot, and a whole lot of time. However, this is balanced out by a massive survivability boost, access to some very beneficial abilties, and a huge advantage in combat.
Types of Kubrows:
- Sunika: The berserker of the Kubrows, Sunikas are most notable for their ability to provide large amounts of damage via finishing moves, and their ability to immobilize high-priority targets.
- Huras: Substantially more stealth-oriented than the other breeds, Huras Kubrows combine a cloaking ability with a lunging attack that can hit multiple opponents and deal moderate-to-high damage.
- Sahasa: These scavengers combine the utility of item-retrieval with the damage-dealing of finisher attacks. While they are unable to down their own targets like the Sunika, they are still capable at dealing substantial amounts of damage.
- Raksa: A highly defensive breed, Raksas are able to to use an ability similar to Nekros' Terrify in order to force retreat in enemies, while restoring their owner's shields as well. This breed substantially increases survivability, and has the most balanced stats.
Kubrow Specific Mods:
- Link Health/Link Shields: Drastically increases the Health and Shield values of your Kubrow by adding a percentage of your Warframe's maximum value in either stat.
- Link Armor: Increases the Armor rating of your Kubrow in proportion to your Warframe's Armor rating.
- Fast Deflection: Increases shield recharge rate of your Kubrow.
- Loyal Companion: Kubrows have additional time added to their bleed-out; amount added proportional to Warframe bleedout time.
- Pack Leader: Owner's melee attacks heal the Kubrow for a percentage of the damage dealt.
- Bite: Drastically improves critical chance and critical damage.
- Maul: Drastically improves the damage done by basic attacks.
- Scavenge: Allows Kubrows to pry open locked containers.
Pros and Cons:
- Incredible survivability
- Most general-use abilities scale extremely well
- Absurd amounts of raw attack power
- Extremely potent breed-specific abilities
- Highly effective even with low-to-moderate investment
- Extended investment extremely beneficial
- High resale value
- Very, very high initial time/resource investment
- Substantial upkeep required
- Can be difficult to obtain specific traits
- Mods are scarce and require substantial investment for maximum effect
- Many game mechanics have yet to be fine-tuned
- Lack of utility mods
- Downtime upon switching specific companions
While there are many people who seem to think that one companion is superior to the either, I have to disagree. They have very, very different roles, despite the many similarities in their usage. A Sentinel is a very viable choice for those new to the game or those who do want to invest a substantial amount of time and effort. For those who are willing to take the plunge, Kubrows represent an incredibly potent option as a companion, outstripping the sentinels in almost all core stats while retaining a reasonable portion of their utility. So, here's my breakdown of who should get what:
If you are:
- New to the game
- Unsure of how long you will continue to play
- Want an effective companion for a variety of roles
- Getting your first companion
- Unsure of your preferred playstyle/experimenting with different playstyles
- Not possessed of large quantities of currency/resources
- Don't play regularly
Get a Sentinel! They will fulfill a variety of roles at a cost-effective price, and enable you to experiment with companions in order to determine what you like and what you don't like!
If you are:
- Well established in the game
- Intending to continue playing
- Looking for a powerful ally for a specific role
- Aware of the companion mechanics and how to best utilize them
- Have specific preferences/builds that suit your playstyle
- Have enough resources to invest in without detracting from other gameplay staples
- Play often enough to ensure that a large investment in the game is not a waste
Get a Kubrow! They can be an extremely powerful ally, with the potential for near-limitless scaling as you upgrade mods and new mods are released!