As I promised, I am now delivering you the list of the currently best weapons in the games. You can consider this my Christmas gift for everyone on the wiki.
The weapons were all thoroughly judged based on their damaging capabilities, utility, looks, and coolness factor (the last two were found not that relevant, else Dakra Prime and Lacera would be the top melee weapons and everyone would be mad), and the best out of each category were selected. Of note is that if I were to judge the weapons based just on the categories described above and not their type (primary, secondary, melee), not a single melee weapon would make it onto this list. Melee is just underpowered like that. Sure, Scindo Prime may pack loads of damage, but it just blanks out compared to the true powerhouses along the lines of Tonkor or Amprex.
If you have seen my earlier guide, you might notice that the size of God-Tier (which is basically what this is) was somehow reduced. This is because I decided that only the most powerful weapons out of them all are worth this ultimate tier. Also, please forgive me, but it’s still Christmas, and I was simply too lazy to sort this out into the elegant spoilers and… whatever was that other sorting template I used, I forgot its name. Neither did I proof read the thing. Christmas man, Phwef. Just use Ctrl + f to look for anything of interest - if you don't find it, it's not here (duh). Also, this is meant to be read as a whole, as multiple sections reference to each other, not just as a description for each weapon. The weapons in each category are listed in order which roughly reflects their power levels (no, I won't use the 'OVER 9000' joke here! Must resist the urge! ...crap)
Also, since it's apparently not obvious enough, auras, stances, and elemental mods are, as with all my guides, subject to change when fighting different enemies, and are only used here to show that a mod of the specific category (either 90% elemental or status/damage hybrid fits into the slot). This is why Corrosive and Blast are the only damages used, and why Tempo Roayale is the only stance used.
So, without further ado, let’s begin our journey.
Description: With the new sniper buffs in Update 18, Lanka got better. A lot. Actually, the tweaks it got are so significant that they singlehandedly leveled it to the God-Tier territory and allowed it to fully replace Vectis Prime as the DPS sniper weapon.
With the highest level of zoom, Lanka is now capable of redcritting (albeit rarely), and the damage it can reach with a single shot is insane (let’s just say that it can be over 100k with a redcrit bodyshot). This, alongside Lanka’s trademark 5-meter punch through, makes the weapon extremely well suited for not sniping, but blazing through groups of enemies… And a lot of the endgame Defense strategies like to use the Vauban/Loki/Speed Nova combo to make everything unarmed run towards the Vortex and get sucked into a nice, compact ball. Then, people shoot it using Amprexes and devastate the wave utterly. However, Amprexes are not very ammo-efficient, and need pauses to not run out of it entirely – and that’s where Lanka comes in. Who cares that it’s impossible to aim with the 12x zoom in the close range? When everything is packed right in front of you, you don’t need to. Most snipers are actually surprisingly ammo efficient (due to their high damage/shot ratio), and Lanka is no exception to this. After the new buffs, it can be very successfully used to pour more destruction onto the helpless foes when the Amprex wielders need to rest.
If shooting unarmed enemies isn’t exactly your thing, you can use Lanka for its original purpose – sniping things. Whatever you headshot with it, even the most powerful enemies, just disappear. Not many things can survive well over 500k (on redhead, 130k on headcrit) worth of instant damage. It’s a lot similar to Dread, but even more situational – if you manage to score a redhead, it instakills, but other than that, it’s not that great.
Of note is that while Lanka is very powerful, it is by far the weakest weapon on this list – not just in terms of primaries, but all of the weapons mentioned here in general (except for melee, obviously), mostly because its quirky way of usage. It packs a lot of punch, but putting that punch to real use is easier said than done. Actually, the only reason why it makes into the God-Tier is because of the absurd innate punch through.
Builds: Building Lanka should be always focused on maximizing its incredible critical hit capabilities. Screw utility for this one, it’s pure damage time (well, not really, since it still has over 40% status, but you get my point)! What is also helpful is that since Lanka possesses innate punch through, you don’t need to use Shred on it, and can instead focus on augmenting other stats. Take a look at the following builds:
Full Spike Damage Close Range Build (http://goo.gl/Wo20uI)
This build is used primarily for the aforementioned ball-grouping strategy. You stand over the rolling enemies, zoomed in fully, and unload round after round into them until they all die. Reload, repeat. Doesn’t get simpler than that. Of note is that since most people (myself included) don’t actually have Primed Chamber, you can use a different mod in that last slot (but it will cost some damage, and make the build a lot less worth it).
Long Range Spike Damage Sniper Build (http://goo.gl/eUh0Rx)
Shoot people in the head. Boom. Seven-digit number mayhem ensues. Works best from afar, ideally from a safe location away from the main focus line of the enemies, so they don’t kill instantly (endgame enemies tend to do that… meanies). The gameplay is generally similar to bowplay, but you need to stay a lot farther away from the action – the 12x zoom is really hard to pull off in close quarters.
Long Range DPS Sniper Build (http://goo.gl/JIWPAg)
Sometimes, things don’t die when you shoot them. This could mean that a) you are in the wrong neighborhood; or b) you are not shooting them enough. If it’s the second case, this build is just for you. It trades the sheer annihilating power of the Spike Damage builds and instead offers more stable stream of DPS. Just as with the preceding build, caution when using advised.
Hybrid Status-DPS Build (http://goo.gl/2bIAEU)
Yes, Lanka can actually be used as a weapon combining status procs and damage. With 42k sustained DPS, the build still has more damage than 90% of other weapons in the game, and delivers status procs over long range and on multiple enemies due to the absurd innate punch through.
Description: Contrary to popular belief, Vaykor Hek is actually a lot more powerful than Sancti Tigris is (which doesn’t make Sancti Tigris a bad weapon, it’ still the second best shotgun and probably in the overall top 20). This is due to several reasons – it sports higher both sustained and burst DPS (by the margin of 6k and 23.5k respectively), has better ammo management (less ammo efficiency, but also much less reloading and overkill damage), and is a crit weapon and thus can deal significantly higher damage on headcrits.
Vaykor Hek, just like it’s base variant, is an excellent weapon, especially in terms of dealing with high-priority single targets (it sports the highest burst DPS in the game, stunning 172.1k). While in theory it should be also very good at dealing with crowds (due to high sustained DPS), the problem is that a lot of its damage comes in short bursts of massive spikes of damage that follow closely one after another (most other high sustained DPS weapons like Quanta deal it fluently over time, and not in sudden quantums), which means that great portions of the damage will be lost as overkill damage on single targets (and sadly, this is no Borderlands 2, where overkill damage can actually be useful).
The damage falloff on Vaykor Hek is just about as insignificant as it is on the original Hek – you can use it at medium range without any problems (which is intended, as the weapons are supposed to fill the ‘sniper shotgun’ niche). What also makes Vaykor Hek better at medium range is the Justice proc that staggers everything and provides somehow relevant defensive boosts (restores max HP and provides 25% base armor increase). At lower levels, the 1000 Blast damage should be enough to either directly kill or at least heavily damage most lesser enemies, allowing the wielder to focus on the greatest threats. This works with higher levels as well, since the stagger time should be sufficient enough to either dive for cover (read, pray that Frost re-sets the Snowglobe in time so you don’t die), opt for further CC (the animations of most crowd control abilities tend to be rather short), or just plain shoot the enemies (the Corrupted Heavy Gunner ) to death.
Builds: Sadly, Vaykor Hek cannot utilize the Hek-exclusive Scattered Justice mod (+200% multishot). Luckily, it doesn’t really matter. If you opt for pure damage, you will be able to kill just about anything you set your sights on, or if you opt for punch through, you will shred (or rather seeking force… okay, I will stop, this was a weak pun even for Ordis) the crowds easily.
Pure Damage Build (http://goo.gl/KvMkir)
I refuse to call this ‘Burst DPS Build’, since it (in addition to absurd burst DPS) sports absurd sustained DPS. It’s best used against single targets, especially if you aim for weakspots. The damage this build will dish is absolutely outstanding and is comparable to a tactical nuke loaded into a sniper rifle with four barrels.
Punch Through Anti-Crowd Build (http://goo.gl/yP68Wk)
At the cost of massive (and I mean massive) damage loss, your Vaykor Hek is now capable of wiping an entire wave in a single shot if the foes align stupidly enough. Don’t worry though, they always do that. What is absolutely essential to note is that when shifting to this build from the pure damage one, never swap Blaze or Accelerated Blast for Seeking Force. Get rid of one of the 90% elemental mods instead, the damage loss will be significantly lower.
Description: The Stalker’s favored killing tool (not anymore really, he’s got a lot of new tools since the days when he hunted us with just his weapons and not much else). It’s incredibly powerful; red crits, Slash Damage, focuses on immense burst DPS – it has all the tools to be a top-tier weapon, and it is. Not as high in terms of power as it used to be before (there were even times when Dread was the best weapon in the game), but it still is the best sniper-type weapon that we have (when used for actual sniping).
It no longer is the best bow in the game, as was proven by a recent analysis conducted by Rhionhi, Rakta Cernos holds that spot, but it is still dominant in terms of spikes of damage. However, this is very inconsistent, as it requires you to headshot something (which is a lot harder than people like to claim, especially considering the super-quick-paced playstale that WarFrame has), and redcrit on that headshot (25% chance). So, on one out of four headshots, Dread is the second best burst damage weapon in the game (after Lanka). Other than that, there are other, better tools for the job.
Builds: There are multiple ways one can build Dread, but in the end, Rakta Cernos is superior in each and every one apart from the pure spike damage one (which is my favorite one – high risk, high reward).
Pure Spike Red Crit Damage Build (http://goo.gl/GlCJfu)
Extremely powerful and extremely unreliable. You can score a headshot for over a 100k damage (a lot more if you are facing a properly armor-stripped enemy), which will kill most things, unless you are somewhere really, really deep in the endgame. However, due to Heavy Caliber, you can only utilize it for engaging enemies very close to you.
Pure Spike Damage Build (http://goo.gl/F3Tyn1)
Mostly useful in close range due to Heavy Caliber. Unlike the red crit build, it doesn’t use Hammer Shot and instead replaces it with Fanged Fusillade, because Hammer Shot isn’t worth going for unless you can redcrit (due to the way redcrits interact with critical hit damage). It’s a bit more reliable than the previous build, but it still can’t compare to Rakta Cernos.
Pure DPS Build (http://goo.gl/h5cp9C)
The most balanced build out of them all. Can dish out sustained damage with 100% crit chance and an occasional absurd spike of damage on a red crit, but it’s not worth going for. When you bring Dread to a mission, you do so because of the occasional redcrits, which give you chance for an utter annihilation of any enemy if you are lucky enough for them to appear at the proper time. There are better tools for sustained damage.
Sniping Build (http://goo.gl/YaR3fO)
Trades damage for range. I would recommend it over any other build if you are planning to engage over any distance greater than a few meters. The damage is just not cutting it, but it’s still better than nothing.
Description: The new ultimate bow, superior in almost everything to Dread – Rekta Cernos. It has excellent charge time which is so fast that the whole charging mechanic is basically rendered irrelevant, and very powerful Syndicate proc. Packed with kickass looks that would find home even in the wildest fantasy novel (I was about to write Malazan Book of the Fallen here, but then I realized that most extremely powerful weapons here have very mundane look – a result of Steven Erikson being an archeologist, I suppose).
When Dread redcrits with a very particular build (described above), it can deal more damage in a single spike, but barring that, Rakta Cernos’ damage is just more consistent and generally more potent. This fact actually puts it in a strange spot – a weapon that is supposed to be used for absurd burst DPS is praised for having sustained damage instead. Life is Strange at times, indeed.
Builds: Unlike Dread (I feel I am writing only ‘unlike Dread’ in this weapon description), Rakta Cernos can only really use one build (and its derivations), and that is the pure damage one. Just like with every other bow, it has infinite innate punch through (although the projectile
Pure Spike Damage Build (http://goo.gl/AU3YHP)
Lots of damage, especially on crits (unlike Dread – haha, this time it was intentional – this bow doesn’t always score a critical, just with vast majority of the shot). Due to Heavy Caliber, it’s best used in close range.
Sniping Build (http://goo.gl/oJllhb)
Less damage, more range… copypaste the description for Dread’s variant of the build.
Machine Gun GX2000 (http://goo.gl/TfXQ2U)
This is absolutely great. It’s friggin’ ridiculous. If you did not try this before, it’s the single thing you should do before you die. I mean, who wouldn’t want a bow with less than one tenth of a second charge time. You can dish out damage like crazy (300k+ burst DPS), but you will also run out of ammo just as fast, so you can’t reliably have 500k sustained DPS… mostly because it’s actually impossible to precisely fire an arrow and hit a headshot each time. If you want to engage enemies at range, swap Heavy Caliber for Crash Course (or Primed Fast Hand if you want to be truly insane). Another hilarious thing is adding Thunderbolt to the mix, especially when playing Mirage. It's even more ridiculous than the Attica-Mirage build.
Description: It’s funny how many weird weapons actually make it to the God-Tier… just look at Amprex, at Tysis, at Kulstar… or at Torid. Despite working quite differently, the key to Torid’s immense power is the same the one Amprex uses – stacking. While Amprex stacks with more enemies present, Torid stacks with more rounds fired.
When you shoot someone directly with the cartridge of Torid, they are dealt some damage and probably die (since Torid’s rounds are in fact capable of dealing nearly 50k burst DPS). And even though that the damage from the base shots alone would be enough to make it an excellent weapon, it doesn’t just stop at this. When the shell hits the ground, it creates a cloud of toxic gas, which deals damage every second to everything standing in it.
Now, while this is cool, it’s still not what makes this launcher so good. Remember when I talked about Amprex and Torid being similar? It’s because the toxic clouds stack. Gas from one load might not deal all that much damage, but when you have two of them… or ten of them… You get my meaning. This makes Torid the best weapon in the game in terms of chokepoint control. For example, look at the classic main gate in the Orokin Defense tileset. About a third of the enemies of each wave pass through there. With Torid, it’s possible to make it entirely impossible for them to ever get through that door (since AIs are generally very stupid and will run into the toxin and die a horrible and humiliating death). And of course, things get even better when more people have Torids.
Builds: Three things should be the main focus when building Torid, each of about equal importance: elemental damage, crit stats, and fire rate. While the first two are rather obvious, the last one is a bit more complicated. The reason why fire rate is a lot more valuable on Torid than it is on most other weapons is that the toxin pools only last 10 seconds each. If you want to reach as high degree of stacking as possible, you will need a way to shoot rapidly. Also of note is that the clouds actually can trigger headshot damage on enemies (don’t ask me how or why), which makes the crit build all that more effective and basically eliminates non-crit builds.
Fire Rate Stacking Cloud Crit Build (http://goo.gl/ZyNYXB)
This is the most commonly used Torid build. Extremely powerful when enemies are forced to stand inside the clouds (I am looking at you, Vauban), or when they have to pass through a certain, well-stacked chokepoint (I am looking at you, front OVD gate). When in dire need of more instant damage, it’s possible to shoot enemies in the face instead.
Firestorm Stacking Cloud Crit Build (http://goo.gl/2ctT1u)
While I am not a fan of this build, I feel like it deserves a mention here, since Torid is the only weapon in the game that can make at least some use out of the launcher-exclusive mod (unfortunately, Kulstar is a secondary and thus doesn’t have access to it). It offers significantly lower damage, but on the other hand can lock down areas easier. It’s better when facing low level content, and worse in the lategame and endgame content, basically.
Firestorm Stacking Cloud Status Build (http://goo.gl/ClmNdk)
Now we are getting somewhere real with Firestorm. Since this build does not care about damage at all (although when stacked properly it still outdamages almost every other weapon in the game), it can fully utilize the increased lockdown capabilities that the mod offers. Status procs off the clouds as well, so stacking them is a great idea (to a certain degree, you will generally want to cover as many chokepoints as possible, so people with Tonkors, Amprexes and similar anti-crowd weapons can fire freely and to the weapons’ fullest power), especially if you to proc multiple elemental damage variants on a single enemy (most likely a Corrupted Heavy Gunner , or something like that). The basic idea of this build is to create multiple zones that are impossible to pass through not due to damage, but rather sheer CC power of the weapon. If you want to forsake damage fully and focus purely on status, swap Serration for another fire rate mod, or perhaps for Continuous Misery so that status persists even after the zones themselves disappear.
Punch Through Direct-Hit Crit Build (http://goo.gl/llZetv)
As mentioned above, Torid has surprising amounts of damage when the shell actually hits someone. This fun gimmick can be abused with this build to turn it into a DPS machine on top of the already absurdly powerful annihilation zones. While this sounds cool as heck on paper, it’s in fact absolutely terrible and should not be attempted. Still, it’s too funny and unique for me to not be mentioned.
Description: Aaaawww, my baby. If you didn’t know, Amprex is – apart from Dakra Prime – my most favorite weapon in the game. Unlike Dakra Prime, it’s not because of the looks, but because the mechanics. You probably know that Amprex’s lightning spreads from the main beam to surrounding enemies. Most people know that. Less people know that if you slap punch through on the gun, it gets way, way funnier. With punch through, the spreading occurs on every target. If you hit three enemies, your damage… gets multiplied by three (since the secondary bolts spread to the previous targets, usually). This mechanics allows Amprex to get really, really high damage and also spread absurd amount of status on everything in sight.
This is put to great use in the classic ball combo (I talked about it in detail in the description for Lanka), since everyone is nicely grouped here and can be zapped easily. You can imagine the chaining that occurs in this situations. Even when this strategy is not used, Amprex still shines. Point it at a wave and the wave disappears. It doesn’t need aiming all that much (unlike some other weapons on this list), so it’s good especially for scenarios where you need to run around a lot (like Interceptions, for example, assuming that the rest of your team isn’t able to stand their own on a capture point).
If your team lacks enough CC capabilities (which should never happen, especially since one can always take Nyx and eliminate all need for CC singlehandedly), Amprex can be built for full status (because it’s innate damage is not physical). I’ve seen people consider this a waste of the weapon’s potential (and regarding just damage, it is), but one should not disregard it: the ability to spread status over the whole wave instantly is incredibly valuable, especially if you are getting flooded (happens a lot in the endgame and Sorties, mostly when not everyone is able to fulfill their role perfectly), as it can buy a lot of time. To fully utilize this tactic, fire in bursts – status procs on continuous weapons have a chance of occurring per second, so if you fire a brief blaze every second, you will conserve a lot of ammo while retaining the same status chance as if your fired continously..
Builds: There are two mains ways to build Amprex, as was mentioned before – pure damage and full status. You can of course go for a hybrid build, but it will generally underperform when compared to the offensive/defensive capabilities of the other two ways. Punch through is absolutely mandatory (on almost every weapon, but Amprex takes it to a whole another level), since it’s where the weapon gets most of its power.
Punch Through DPS Build (http://goo.gl/iIWFy6)
The most common Amprex build. It reaches absolutely absurd DPS against waves of enemies. Always try to hit more than just one enemy with the main beam, since your damage stacks additively with each additional enemy hit. Also don’t be too much trigger-happy with it. Amprex is incredibly ammo inefficient and the added fire rate from Shred doesn’t really help either.
Punch Through Full Status Build (http://goo.gl/8PyDK5)
Amprex has even more freedom with the status build than Tysis does, since primaries only get one multishot mod and it doesn’t need more fire rate. Instead, you can (and should) opt for all four hybrid mods and add Sinister Reach for more range and thus more chaining. And don’t get fooled, Hammer Shot is here only for the status chance, damage is discarded with this build.
The chaining mechanic gives Amprex an incredible advantage – usually, a single tap will instantly reapply the status to the whole waves. With proper management, this will usually make all the enemies just stop and freeze the whole onslaught.
Punch Through Hybrid Build (http://goo.gl/NZn4tW)
Uses the main frame of the DPS build but swaps 90% elemental mods for hybrid mods. As said before, it underperforms when compared to the other two builds, but it’s good for people who enjoy the jack-of-all-trades kind of playstyle (also play Equinox if you like that, her kit is overloaded as heck). Can be further focused on the status side by swapping Heavy Caliber for Hammer Shot, or to the damage side by swapping one of the hybrid mods for a respective 90% elemental mod.
Description: Still the best weapon in the game… which is fairly impressive, considering that its damage got recently butchered to about a quarter of what it used to be, since it doesn’t autohit headshots anymore. You who never used it before the nerf can only dream about that level of power, because I am very certain that it will never come to WarFrame again. Even these days, when you point it at something, it simply ceases to be.
Tonkor beats literally every other damage-based weapon due to three factors – it has absolutely absurd damage, which makes everything else look like a water gun, very wide AoE, and it doesn’t do self-damage (well, technically, it does deal 50 damage to you, but whatever), unlike basically every other explosive weapon in the game. The last part is very important, because it allows you to shoot the gun in point-blank, which is invaluable when you are getting flooded by countless enemies. Additionally, to make the already insane weapon even more powerful, it has tracing system, so it can be aimed with very easily (the gun calculates the arc for you), and it can also be used as a mobility tool.
If something equals pure power, it’s Tonkor. Literally everything in it is incredibly advantageous to you. Other launchers and explosive weapons have some sort of drawback – self damage, slow charge time, poor accuracy… Tonkor has nothing of that sort. Just pure, sweet power.
Builds: Strangely enough, Tonkor is a grenade launcher that is great for attaining critical strikes… I repeat… a grenade launcher… that is good for striking the weakspots of your enemies… make what you will out of that information. This is the core of what it makes so powerful – headcrits add a lot of damage to anything they are on.
Pure Burst DPS Build (http://goo.gl/QcDgJr)
The most common Tonkor build. Reaches absurd values of burst DPS (134k…) in a huge AoE. The need to reload all the time is annoying as hell, but it’s the small price you pay for flattening everything into the ground. By the way, you don’t shoot the ground and wait for the loads to explode, you aim at the enemies (not necessarily directly, but make sure you hit them in the end – the projectiles explode after way too long to be really useful that way – although it’s possible to predict the enemy movement and abuse the delay, especially in choke points).
Sustained/Burst DPS Hybrid Build (http://goo.gl/Ve3WXM)
This build sucks. Don’t use it. I am only showing it here because I have seen a lot of people use it and it’s not worth it. Sustained damage is not what you are looking for with a grenade launcher – you want people to die now, not over prolonged periods of time while babbling their last words of satisfaction and revenge. The problem is that the sustained DPS is not all that higher (meager 2k or so), but the burst DPS drops by whooping 40k… which is a lot. About a third of the damage in fact. And that trade is not worth going for in any way.
Description: Clem, Clem! Our very special guy uses this weapon, and there is a good reason for this – they are among the absolute top in terms of burst DPS, as they can reach near 100k with the proper build. Of course, you might say, they are akimbo weapons, so they must be ammo inefficient as hell, right? Well, you are correct… kind of. It is true that with the most common build (described below), it empties the mags in about two seconds (which is kind of impressive, given that the magazines contain 120 rounds), but, unlike other akimbo Secondaries, it’s ammo pool is not limited to 210, but instead 1200.
This makes the Grakatas and excellent tool for taking down high-priority targets, especially since they are a crit weapon and thus benefit immensely from headshots. Actually, using Twin Grakatas is similar to how you use bows – annihilate the few greatest threats on the field, then switch to a board-sweeping gun and finish off the lesser enemies (or just use Tonkor, since it combines both of this things).
In addition to being a kickass good damaging tool, Twin Grakatas also happen to be very, very good as spraying status on people. Sure, they might only have 10% base status chance, but since they can shoot up to six bullets per trigger pull, this is not a problem at all. Solo Grakata was already a status powerhouse due to high fire rate and good status chance, but Twin Grakatas take it to a whole new level, making a status or a hybrid build a great possibility to be explored.
Builds: Since you are going to use this weapon mainly for dealing with high-priority targets and not the crowds, it is possible to forsake punch through on it in favor of more single-target DPS. Alternatively, you can wait for the enemies to line up neatly before shooting them all at once. This requires some skill to do, but it’s pretty rewarding.
Pure Burst DPS Build (http://goo.gl/AFv4Bp)
The best at making things not be. Point it at something’s head, preferably a Corrupted Heavy Gunner ’s, and watch it die instantly. Since this build lacks punch through, it’s not that good at dealing with crowds, but if you manage the trigger properly, it can still be worked out, although it’s not what it’s best at.
Punch Through Burst DPS Anti-Crowd Build (http://goo.gl/oJ2yY5)
Much better at dealing with crowds (especially enemies aligned in a line). It works the same way as the previous build does with single targets – point it somewhere and everything in the line of sight in that direction dies. This build is also a bit better suited for dealing with lone lesser enemies, since it can still dispatch them with ease, but does not waste as much ammunition while doing so. Caution when encountering heavies advised though, the lowered burst DPS might now be enough to deal with them in time.
Punch Through Hybrid Anti-Crowd Build (http://goo.gl/iSJVWb)
When you need more things to be unable to do anything for a while. While it’s possible to also swap Primed Heated Charge for Scorch, I advise against it – the loss of damage is way too remarkable when you opt for it. It’s better to stay with a single hybrid mod, or go all the way for a full status build. It’s also possible to switch Seeker for Anemic Agility and turn this build from anti-crowd to single-target-oriented, but it’s not worth it either. While the damage is significantly higher (and the effective status chance as well), there are better weapons than Twin Grakatas to use for single-target status.
Full Status Punch Through Build (http://goo.gl/sa5OTn)
I am not a very great fan of this gimmick, since what you are building is basically a weaker Tysis (it seems a lot better than Tysis on paper, but remember that Tysis has actually an effective 280% status chance per trigger pull, with each of the multishot projectiles also having an assured proc, while Twin Grakatas rely on multishot to actually provide the status chance, and thus don’t get as many procs per second as Tysis does, even with the insane fire rate), but it can be used, especially when you are someone who dislikes Tysis (which is a lot of people). The status chance per trigger pull is very good (as said before, not Tysis levels of very good, but still very good), and the high fire rate assures that you will eventually get all the procs on your enemies. The greatest problem of course remains that Twin Grakatas are a physical damage weapon and thus suffer from needless physical procs popping rather often.
Description: I bet you did not expect this weapon here (because if you did, you wouldn’t need to be reading this paper in the first place). If you want to annihilate everything on the face of a planet through seer destructive force, Tysis is exactly not the weapon for you. Why? Because it has no damage whatsoever. “Why is it considered one of the few best weapons in the game then?”, you might ask. Well, the answer is rather simple. Because utility beats damage (unless you can instakill the target). Every. Damn. Time.
In the end, many things like to kick major ass. Actually, unless you have some serious defense measures ready (like being invincible, for example), you will find yourself dead very soon after entering the endgame. CC helps to prevent that. Utility helps you to fight back. Luckily, Tysis offers a lot of both, since it’s the best status weapon in the game.
What makes Tysis so good is that it is incredibly versatile – you can mod it for literally anything. CC, armor shred, confusion… anything. You can swap loadouts to fit what your comp needs, as Tysis can fit literally any role.
Builds: When building Tysis, forget all you know about ordinary mandatory mods. Tysis is the only weapon in the game that doesn’t need them in any way. Hornet Strike? Who wants that crap… 90% damage mods? Please… why are you even trying. Instead, you mod for multishot, punch through, status chance (obviously), and fire rate. Instead of DPS (damage per second), Tysis uses SPS (status per second).
Important thing to note is that the probability of a status proc of a certain elemental damage type occurring is calculated based on the percentage of the damage amongst the rest of the damage types. So, if you want to use mainly Radiation procs, you should add a bit more of either Heat of Electricity (use the crappy 90% damage mods, you get 100% status chance from two hybrid mods anyway).
Fire Rate Build (http://goo.gl/UvsRNB)
The basic Tysis build. You fire fast and can hit many things at once. It’s good for everything.
Status Duration Build (http://goo.gl/BSntNo)
In most circumstances not worth it, but some status procs are worth having a bit longer (like radiation), especially in situations when you are unsure whether you will be able to reapply them later. Basically, with this build, you shoot less people but you can control those few people better. Works good if your goal is to CC down high-priority targets. (Like those pesky Corrupted Heavy Gunners  who like to ruin everyone’s fun. Meanies.)
Description: When I talked about stacking, I mentioned how powerful it makes the weapons that possess it. Well, here comes another example. While a bit different, the stacking is still here. Instead of using enemies or rounds, it abuses environment. To explain: when Kulstar fires and its shot hits an enemy or a surface, the main projectile deals full damage and then three (always three, even with multishot) smaller bomblets appear and can deal the damage again to anything they hit.
This makes the main use of the gun clear – focus on clearing groups of enemies (normally I would say lesser enemies, but with Kulstar and the damage it can potentially dish out if the main cartridge and all the smaller projectiles hit it doesn’t really matter) in tight areas. Luckily, most classical chokepoints (doors and gates generally), offer exactly that.
However, this is no Tonkor, and it does not come with its special treatment – it still deals full damage to you when you unfortunately happen to be too close to the blast, which will result in an instant death in 10/10 occurrences (at least it will be safe to revive you though, since everything else will be dead as well). This somehow limits the use of the weapon, as it’s too dangerous to utilize in close quarters (I am sure you all know how awesome it is to fire Tonkor at point blank and annihilate everything – well you can’t do this with Kulstar). While a lot of people will use things like Iron Skin to prevent the self-damage, with an endgame build, you could as be Robo-Jesus, and it still wouldn’t save you when the fire comes down.
Builds: Even though Multishot does not offer anything for the additional projectiles, it is still a must (and until it’s rework, it will remain a must on every weapon). Sadly, Kulstar is a secondary and thus can’t utilize the launcher-exclusive Firestorm, which is an utter shame, since it would be the best weapon to use it on (for as long as you wouldn’t kill yourself with it). As with all launchers, punch through is almost entirely useless and shouldn’t be opted for under any circumstances.
Pure Burst DPS Build (http://goo.gl/c2DYfp)
Offers a bit over 200k burst DPS when you hit a target will all four explosions on each of the three shots (which is not very likely, but it is possible). Since you will fire the projectiles extremely fast (in less than a second), you must be very cautious to no accidentally yourself.
Spike Damage Build (http://goo.gl/6nWC2o)
Offers over 250k burst DPS, but it is even harder to manage properly. With the added loss of accuracy, you will need to be absolutely sure that you won’t shoot your feet randomly, as that would result in a severe syndrome of no body. Actually, this build is so dangerous to use, that its only real use is to abuse focus-counter (in other words, press 5 instantly after firing) to escape the damage backlash. Being on TS with a good Limbo can work too (unless they are a troll… been there, felt that). You can try to Hysteria-counter or Rift Walk-counter, but it’s a lot harder to do than the focus-counter, since the abilities have cast times (albeit very brief ones).
Status Build (http://goo.gl/UMP5XH)
As with all stacking weapons, a status build is possible, due to the multiple instances of damage applied. However, out of all the three weapons (Amprex, Torid and Kulstar), this is the worst one, since you can’t aim with the bomblets reliably. Still, it’s possible to do, and can be a fun gimmick.
Daggers equipped with Covert Lethality will not be considered here, since the power lies in the mod, and not the weapons themselves. But yes, Covert Lethality does make daggers (and especially the ones with quick animations) very, very powerful.
Description: Even though that this is a heavy melee and I hate heavy melees, I still have to say that the blade is rather graceful and look very elegant, which provides it with at least some bonus points. Also, Tempo Royale looks extremely good when used as the stance, especially with lower attack speeds.
Other than its coolness factor, Galatine is basically less powerful little sister of Scindo Prime. It deals a bit less damage, has a bit worse crit stats, but on the other hand has better attack speed and status chance. Conclusion of this? Slap Cleaving Whirlwind on it and spin to win, like with every other heavy melee ever. Or, be a classy gentleman and go with Tempo Royale. (There is also a possibility to become a weirdo and use Rending Crane. Nobody uses Rending Crane. Period.)
Builds: There are two ways to mod Galatine (or Scindo Prime) – either full elemental or crit. Status build isn’t really all that much worth it, as the status chance is not high enough (this isn’t spring 2015 anymore, where 20% was considered excellent and 25% the Holy Grail) to justify it, especially since Galatine is a physical damage weapon.
Full Damage Crit Build (http://goo.gl/wLWmUY)
A lot of people hate Spoiled Strike. A lot of people also don’t apparently understand the concept of DPS. Since it reduces attack speed by 20% and increases base damage by 100%, it means that the overall benefit for DPS is +80%. People will argue that it will reduce your burst DPS (which is in a way true, since the initial attack will have a little slower animation), but in the end-game, you will need the enemy to die instantly when you point your gun/blade/gunblade at it, else it will be you who dies instantly. Sadly, even with the powercreep that Cleaving Whirlwind provides, it’s impossible for melees to produce large amounts of burst DPS in the way that launchers/bows/snipers/shotguns do (because there is actually a pretty significant delay before the spin for win kicks in, as it takes two presses of E and a brief pause). Melee weapons are best suited for situations where you want to slash or bash your foes more than just once. If you are in need to attack your enemies repeatedly, you are either dead (which means that you don’t need the burst DPS – or any DPS at all), or you have the enemies under some form of sufficient CC (which means that having high burst DPS is not that much an advantage as it usually is). TL;DR melee sucks, but it sucks less when you have CC and high sustained DPS.
“Burst” DPS Crit Build (http://goo.gl/IpzEUT)
In theory, this build should provide a lot more burst damage than the previous one could. In praxis, it fails to offer anyhow significant burst DPS just as much as any other way of using melee, since you can’t channel with quick melee and switching to the actual melee weapon takes time (well, it takes less than a second, but in less than a second, Tonkor would already kill the enemy… and probably the rest of their bloodline). Of course, you can run around with holstered weapons, ready to burst-channel-melee your foes… but it just doesn’t have the kick. Probably the best way to use this build is to spin around with Broken Bull (that’s how the spin to win “combo” is called) and hope for crits, since the channeling damage multiplier gets significantly better when used alongside crit (since it has more damage to multiply, duh). This way, it actually gets better than the Spoiled Strike build.
Full Damage Elemental Build (http://goo.gl/1f2HtB)
Probably the most consistent one. You will get decent (read: extremely high for a melee weapon) sustained damage, especially with the Cleaving Whirlwind stance.
Channeling Elemental Build (http://goo.gl/YF0scm)
Damage at the cost of energy. Yay…
Description: The only non-heavy blade melee weapon on this list, and, unfortunately, the weakest one out of this category (and thus the list overall). Fortunately, even having it on this list makes me happy, as it means that he heavy blades still don’t have monopoly in terms of… everything, basically, since status-melee is not a thing and will never be a thing (unless they buff the hell out of it… but I can’t even fathom the degree of the buff that would be needed).
The main perk of Jat Kittag is actually not the damage itself (let’s be real here, if you wanted to use melee for damage, you would use Scindo Prime instead), but the huge radius of its jump (leap, slam, call it however you wish) attack, and the fact that inflicts forced Blast procs on your enemies, making them roll (and if you proc it on someone near a group, the group will be affected by the knockdown as well, since Blast proc is actually an AoE). Of course, the reason why this is so good is because it comes on top of high damage. Without it, it wouldn’t be nearly as good, since status melee is not a thing, as mentioned earlier.
Builds: Your stance is going to be Crushing Ruin, not because it is stylish or powerful (it is), but because it is a Cleaving Whirlwind wannabe (Raging Whirlwind? Really? I sense a strong disturbance in the naming department), and all the cool kids use Cleaving Whirlwind. Jokes aside, it’s probably the best stance after Cleaving Whirlwind (which is broken af, I was told) and Crimson Dervish (which used to be broken af before something else transcended its broken-afness, I was told). Collision Force is a must, despite what people say.
All of the builds used for Galatine can be used here as well, simply replace Buzz Kill for Primed Heavy Trauma.
Leap Attack Build (http://goo.gl/H5n958)
This build doesn’t work. It looks incredibly cool and synergistic (15k dmg AoE nuke on top heavy CC for everyone in 10m radius around you? Yes please), but it dies with the fact that the mod this build relies on (Seismic Wave) doesn’t proc the additional damage on the splash, so no AoE boost, sorry. I felt like this was worth pointing out.
Status Build (http://goo.gl/4nTAqi)
People like to use hybrid builds on Jat Kittag, but it’s just not worth it (not that the full status build would be anyhow highly worth either… it’s still a physical damage weapon). You will end up not proccing status reliably while having inferior damage (and as melee already has horrible damage, it’s not worth it in any way). If you want to go for status, go all the way. Like this.
Description: The newest toy for all sword lovers and spin-to-winners. The looks of this blade are absolutely magnificent and are probably worth God-Tier alone, but that’s not the only awesome thing about Hunhow’s gift to stalker (I was about to write an incredibly funny joke about Hunhow here, but then I realized that it was a spoiler and that it’s still too soon to get away with it… welp, remind me to use it next time I write about War). The stats it possesses are even higher than those of Scindo Prime (because DE correctly assumed that if they want a cool piece of lore in the game as a melee weapon, they should better make it “broken af”, else nobody would use it). Sadly, the stats alone can’t battle Scindo Prime’s superior damage type, so it remains the second best melee weapon for now. When I said that Galatine looks incredible with Tempo Royale, I wasn’t joking. Now imagine this beauty using it, and drool.
Builds: Not that different from Scindom Prime or Galatine, really, but the fact that it deals Impact Damage (because reasons) actually spawned an interesting build that differs from the common builds (described in the Galatine part, just replace Buzz Kill with Primed Heavy Trauma) that the heavy blades like to use.
Heavy Impact Build (http://goo.gl/lAtb4z)
The highest non-channeling damage a melee weapon can have on a single strike is brought by this build (barring crits – you can always make it a crit build, but it’s less consistent). Of course, it’s still inferior to the Berserker build in DPS terms, but it’s an interesting thing to note. It also highlights how much the melee weapons lack a multishot variant (or rather, how absurd concept multishot truly is), as the only reason why both Prime Heavy Trauma and Collision Force can be used at the same time here is because melee weapons lack sufficient amount of useful damage mods (instead we have things like Rending Strike, which is a cool idea, but sadly, no weapon has a damage type spread that would allow its usage).
Berseker Crit Build (http://goo.gl/5r13t6)
Loads of damage, and it comes the closest to Scindo Prime with this build – 1k base DPS difference, but sadly, not enough to beat Slash.
Description: Here it is, the pinnacle of all melee, the ultimate slasher, the best tool we have at our disposal. For all our inner Garens, this is the thing to long for. Not much more can be said, as it’s basically just a re-skin for Galatine with slightly better stats and more slappage power.
Builds: While this is a Galatine re-skin (you can use all the builds described in the Galatine part), it’s stats are different enough to allow one unique (not exactly, War can use a variant of it too) build.
Berserker Crit Build (http://goo.gl/SKK6vm)
Slappage. Yay. Now coming even faster than ever.
A few runner-ups that didn't make it to the list for various reasons, but still deserve an honorary mention (listed in no order in particular): Synoid Simulor, Latron Prime, Latron Wraith, Sancti Tigris, Brakk, Vectis Prime, Rubico, Lex Prime, Vaykor Marelok, Paris Prime, Soma Prime, Dakra Prime (sleep well my princess), Lacera, Mios, Bo Prime, Synoid Gammacor, Dual Ichor, Dual Kamas Prime, and many others I probably forgot.
So, this is it. I hope you liked this blog, and that it will serve you well in selecting what weapon to max out the most. You are welcome to comment, but if you want to ask a question, please, do it here instead. I simply can’t be bothered to regularly check two threads, especially since there are still multiple responses daily in the original tier lists. Gomen.