**EDITS INCOMING, AS WELL AS THOUGHTS ON A REWORK; DETAILS AT THE END OF THE POST**
So, let's have a talk about Limbo. I realize that there are a number of controversial things in this game, but this one character irks me more than most of the others combined. But, before we get started, let me clarify my statement:
Limbo is fantastic.
That's not my issue here. I'm not going to go off ranting and raving about how he's a useless Warframe with no place in the current metagame, because that is absolutely untrue. And I realize that I just stepped on a few toes by saying that the Warframe that is currently a more ubiquitous troll than Vauban is in any way redeemable.
No, my issue is with player perception. Because I'm getting turned down for T4 matches when I show up in tails and a tophat, and that bothers me. So, I'm going to attempt to explain why I personally feel that Limbo is one of the best frames. I am in no way going to embark down the "Warframe[X]-is-masterrace-get-fukn-rekt-m8" inanity, so I would kindly appreciate it if you could show similar restraint in any replies or comments you make.
This is going to a huge wall of text, so I have included a tl;dr section at the bottom. That being said, I'd prefer it if you read what I've written in its entirety before you comment.
I think the largest amount of Limbo-bashing comes from the fact that he's more of a jack-of-all-trades than he is any one thing. He'll never support as well as Trinity, he'll never provide more control than Vauban, and he'll never provide as much over-all damage amplification as... well, any of the other frames that amp damage. But he is more than capable of being one of the best frames, should you learn how to use him.
And there-in lies another problem. I think I can confidently say that regardless of how much fantastic gear you stick in your loadout, if you do not learn to play Limbo as a character, you will still have a very hard time using him. He has the hardest learning curve of any character I have ever played in this game, hands down. Banish is incredibly situational, and requires significant mechanical skill; Rift Walk is not as situational, but still requires some pretty major timing and common sense; Rift Surge is negligible, and Cataclysm is arguably the single most frustratingly difficult ability to use in the game.
There are so many people that are used to just smashing their way through levels because they have good weaponry and mod setups. I mean, let's be honest, mechanical skill and common sense are redundant when you can just rush into a room with Rhino and spray quarrels everywhere with your Boltor Prime. So, it's no surprise that given how little skill most of the content in this game requires, now that there's a character that needs substantial skill to play even competently, said character is being derided as useless.
There are a number of other factors that I see contributing to the generally negative perception of Limbo, but those are the most critical in my mind; honestly, I couldn't care less if he has a tophat, that really doesn't have any effect on his viability.
Your Preconceptions (promptly followed by why they're categorically wrong)
> Limbo doesn't scale well into high-level play
Seriously, who started this? I cannot believe how often I hear this parroted, absurdly asinine line. Literally every ability he has scales without regard to enemy level: what part of invulnerability, percentage-based amplification, and the ability to render specific enemies completely and utterly useless falls off based on the enemy's level? Everything he does is utility, and utility does not stop scaling when enemies start getting stronger. His damage doesn't scale, but literally only two of his abilites do flat damage, and it's effectively an afterthought.
> Limbo doesn't do anything as well as others do
Alright, this one arguably has a degree of validity; he simply doesn't. But that doesn't make him useless. I have to emphasize his nature as a jack-of-all-trades control/support frame. He's never going to provide as much regenerative ability as Trinity, simply because that's not his intended purpose. He's meant to provide a variety of different buffs and debuffs in such a manner that they are effective without crowding out the other characters that perform similar tasks. Simply put, if he performed all of his roles as effectively as the other Warframes that were only able to perform one of these roles, he would render the others completely irrelevant.
> Limbo is better suited to trolling than actual gameplay
While I must concede that it's quite easy to grief other players with Limbo (even with the Banish rework), I disagree entirely with this sentiment as a whole. Vauban is incredibly easy to troll with, as are Loki and Zephyr (albeit, to a lesser degree). That doesn't mean they can't perform admirably in higher-level content. The Warframe doesn't determine how much you're going to get griefed, the person controlling it does. Classic guns-or-people argument, except Warframes don't turn St. Louis suburbs into a zoo when they're misused against minorities (kudos to anyone who gets the reference here).
These are the most common things I see people say. There are others, but I'd really like to finish this blog tonight, so I'll probably add onto this section at a later date. And my backyard is flooding at regular intervals, so there's that, too.
Why I Believe Limbo is Extremely Viable
> His Versatility
Most Warframes have a fairly specific niche in which they truly excel. Vauban is exceptionally good at controlling infested, Volt works exceptionally well in Corpus tilesets, Loki is great for high-level Void runs, and so on and so forth. Limbo, however, does not have those limitations. The rift mechanics are not biased towards any one faction, and almost all of the different game types can garner a distinct advantage from them. Rescue, Defense, Survival, Extermination, Excavation; in all of these modes, Limbo's jack-of-all trades skillset can provide a huge advantage. Whether it's banishing hostages in order to run to the extraction point or using a low-range cataclysm in order to render an objective invulnerable, Limbo's generic skillset can be tailored and then used creatively to gain a distinct advantage.
> His Flexibility
While I admit this is relatively in-line with the previous tenet, I do feel as though his ability to play multiple roles effectively puts him in a unique category. Erego, it deserves to be brought up independently. He can be played in so many different ways, as opposed to the usual one or two optimal set-ups that most other Warframes like Rhino and Loki have. He can be used as a duelist, banishing and eliminating high priority targets without having to be concerned with any of the surrounding enemies; he can be used as a support, utilizing a combination of Haven and Banish to keep allies in the fight while reviving teammates with Riftwalk; he can be used for control, casting Cataclysm in concert with the rest of his kit in order to zone a specific area and enable the team to wreak havoc inside it without fear of reprisal from other enemies. In fact, given the almost absurdly utilitarian mechanics inherent to the rift, there are very few traditional roles that he cannot fill at least adequately
> His Synergy
While there are a number of different directions I could take this segment, I think I'd like to focus on his Synergy within a team in general, as opposed to the synergy between his abilities and with specific Warframes, etc. Having a Limbo opens up a variety of composition opportunities that are previously unavailable due to the role requirements for basic play. In most scenarios, you will need a dedicated Warframe to perform a specific role to maximize your squad's potential; some of the more critical roles include Crowd Control, Support, Tank, Damage Amplification/DPS, and so on and so forth. However, with Limbo's ability to play different roles in an effective manner, there are a number of cases in which his mechanics can remove the need for one or even two of those roles while still allowing him to play his intended part. This opens up a variety of opportunities to creatively populate a squad that would not be available were you to use an individual frame for each approach. So, while you might lose out on the raw potency of Trinity's heals or Vauban's control, you can more than make up for it by by creatively utilizing the slots that they no longer occupy.
Sorry if this is a bit slapdash, but my backyard and sideyards are now flooding heavily, and I need to cut this off. I will continue contributing to this post at a later time when primordial flood gods are not trying to destroy my house.
So to recap everything I've said, Limbo is a frame that requires substantial mechanical skill, critical thinking, and the ability to intelligently develop builds, strategies, and team compositions ahead of time. He's not a bad frame, he requires a drastically different skillset than most of the other content does. So, if you're down here looking the tl;dr (and I know at least a few of you are going to post after reading literally nothing I just wrote if there isn't one), here it is:
tl;dr: It's not Limbo, it's you.
Now go read the rest of what I wrote before writing a comment.
======================= UPDATES =======================
I apologize for my absence from the game and the Warframe community in general, but I've been kind of busy; between out-of-town guests, preparing for Christmas, the storm of the century, and life in general, I haven't been able to get very much time to myself. But, things are starting to calm down a bit and I'll be able to be a bit more active online through Christmas. After New Years, I imagine the amount of time I'll be able to spend on gaming will jump back up to pre-Deluge levels; in the meantime, I've gone through and answered as many of the pertinent comments below as I could, and will continue to do so when I have time. Expect a few updates to the blog over the next few days, and a substantially more active presence in the Warframe community in general. There's a laundry list of additions to the blog below that I hope to be able to work on in the coming days, but until then, have a fantastic Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Pagan-Sacrificial-Holiday/whatever-holiday-floats-your-religious-boat!
=> An in-depth breakdown of roles commonly filled by Limbo
=> Loadout section
=> Ideas on a Limbo rework
=> Mentorship Program (more details at a later date)
=> Forma layout for general usage (I'm still working mine out, and a rework could change everything, so this will be one of the last additions)