Content of the article: "Equinox: An Advanced In-Depth Guide to the True Jack-Of-All-Trades"
As an Equinox main I've come to notice that most builds featured on reddit, the forums, or popular Youtubers tend to focus on a single ability or two out of Equinox's arsenal per build. While this is a great way to play, I'm sure there are people who want to use all of her abilities without swapping builds. So I wrote this little guide to demonstrate how to utilize every ability in Equinox's arsenal within a single build. This isn't the most efficient way to play Equinox nor the easiest one. Each ability will be a lot weaker compared to builds that focus solely on one or two of her abilities. However this playstyle is unique and a lot of fun. Only with Equinox can you juggle through 6 unique abilities and use them to suit your team's needs. I hope this guide convey the joy of playing Equinox as a true jack of all trades.
(*Everything in this guide is written under the assumption that you understand how Equinox functions and how each ability works. If you want an introduction to her, check out the "An Introduction to Equinox" by TubeAfterDark. If you want a detailed explanation on how each ability functions, go check out the Warframe Wiki.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART 0: Intro
PART 1: The Build
PART 2: The Abilities
PART 3: The Tactics
PART 5: Verdict
PART 1: The Build
My build is from a video made by a Youtuber with the nickname H3dsh0t.
Many people should recognize his name. Here are some variations to his build. After the Corrosive Projection nerf you have a couple alternatives. Growing Power is great if you want to give your abilities more power strength before activating Energy Conversion. Enemy Radar is useful on Equinox since all of her abilities affect groups of enemies. Being able to find the perfect spot to detonate her nuke makes the ability much more effective. As for the build you don't have much wiggle room. One alternative is to replace Umbral Vitality with Energy Transfer. This way you have access to a faster active heal because you always have your Mend heal ready. You also get bigger numbers with Maim because you can hold onto it regardless of the situation. However, aside from the obvious drawback of having only 375 health and 300 shields, Energy Transfer makes this playstyle more energy intensive since you have 4 toggled on all the time. Keep in mind while 3 allows for energy regen abilities like Zenurik, 4 does not. You have to rely solely on energy orbs and arcanes. If you are confident in your ability to scavenge energy, by all means go for it. I mean, it's kind of fun to play with extremely low health. I personally prefer the stability that comes from a high health pool, allowing myself to charge 3 without using too much energy keeping 4 active and not dying.
PART 2: The abilities
In this section of the post I will briefly go over the characteristics of each ability and when to use them.
Now, from here I'm going to be using the word "charge" a lot. It's a word I made up to make things simple. So what do I mean by "charge"?
In this build, there are a couple steps in order to reach the maximum potential of most of her abilities.
Rage is a good example. To reach Rage's maximum potential, first I'll need to activate Energy Conversion by picking up an energy orb. Then, I'll need to activate Growing Power by inflicting a status proc on an enemy with one of my weapons. This brings up my power strength from 145% to 210%.
Then, I can cast Provoke while I have this additional power strength. This gives me 50% additive power strength. And then, if I do enough damage to enemies I gain 30% additional power strength.
At this point I constantly have 225% ability strength in day form even with Energy Conversion and Growing Power inactive. Rage's damage multiplier would be at its maximum potential if I used the ability at this stage.
Most of Equinox's abilities need these steps for the ability to reach its maximum potential. It's a long and repetitive process. So from now on, in this post I will refer to this entire process as "charging".
You choose this aspect when your teammates are dying too quickly.
Really nice crowd control with great range, one-hand casting which means you can cast it while reloading, 8 second duration, and dirt cheap cost of 12.5.
I use Rest as my "oh sh*t" button when I'm surrounded by too much enemies. You can also use it to take out enemies silently. If your melee weapon has high finisher damage like a hammer or a rapier, you can use it to nuke targets.
Rest is also a popular ability for solo affinity farming. You get into a spy mission solo, cast Rest on everyone and kill them with stealth finishers for extra affinity. However I wouldn't personally recommend stealth affinity farming with this build, or playing solo. You are using only one ability in this mission type anyways so there's no point in a build that uses all 6 abilities. Plus the duration for Rest in this build is around 8 seconds which means there's a chance that enemies might wake up before you've killed all of them with finishers. If you plan on doing stealth affinity farming I suggest using a specialized build for Rest with its augment.
If I had to pick the most powerful ability in Equinox's arsenal, I would go with the fully charged Pacify with the Peaceful Provocation augment. I just LOVE the slow aura. It allows you to move safely out of enemy sight, while making it incredibly easy to headshot them. It boosts everyone's survivability by a margin.
Use it when enemies kill you too quickly, when you're defending a fragile objective, or when you're dealing with big, boss type enemies. Pacify works especially well on big enemies with temporary weak spots. The sortie level Lephantis giving you a hard time with its pesky opening and closing weak spots? Toggle 3 and they'll be open for as long as you need! Do those Tusk Thumpers annoy you with their constant jumping and turning? Use Pacify and lock it in place!
Pacify also makes easy work of Disruption and the index. In Disruption you'll always have enough time to kill the Demolishers(or Demolysts, those self-destructing monsters). Pacify's slow aura works on variants with nullifying bubbles as well. The bubbles may temporarily disable the effects but no longer than a second. Be careful not to get too close to the Demolysts/Demolishers tho. The nullifying bubbles do disable all your abilities. You won't have time to charge your 3 in the pinch of battle.
It's the same for the index. Notice how in pub squads one or two enemies go under the players' radar and score? Pacify makes short work of those sneaky units. Since their movement is reduced to a crawl you won't miss any of them. Not to mention the reduced rate of fire makes them far less deadly!
Sidenote: Although it is ideal to charge 3 and get the maximum damage reduction and slow, Pacify is a powerful ability even when it's uncharged. With base power strength of 155% Pacify has 75% damage reduction and 60% speed decrease. This is already enough to cripple most enemies! So don't hesitate to toggle 3 any time you want. The charge really is just a bonus to make things easier in longer missions.
Mend contributes greatly to you and your team's survivability. Due to the addition of shield gating overshields are now quite useful at keeping teammates alive. So start every mission in Night aspect and toggle 4. Allies will appreciate the 1500 overshield.
Mend is also a powerful heal… on paper. Most of the time a charge from a single kill will be enough to bring even the tankiest frames to full health. However it lacks utility compared to heal abilities like blessing. A lot of the time you will feel like your allies are out of range when they need the heal. Also, it takes a lot of time to set up. You need to 1)switch to night form, 2)kill some enemies and 3)activate the ability. Again sounds simple enough on paper. However Warframe is a very fast-paced game. Your teammates lose health in a blink of an eye. If you can't complete all these steps in time your heal becomes obsolete. Often times the heal from Mend won't be quick enough. Think of the heal as a nice little bonus, not a integral part of her kit. Heal allies with it when you can, but don't obsess over it.
You turn into this aspect when you want to kill enemies more quickly.
Underrated ability number one. With this build enemies are about 120% more vulnerable to damage. This means your squad's weapons and abilities will do more than twice as much damage on enemies affect by Rage, which means enemies die twice as quickly! On top of this the ability's energy cost is dirt cheap- 12.5 – so you can spam it everywhere. Groups of enemies and dangerous targets like bombards or ancients are a priority. However the best way to use 2 is to cast it on everything until your energy is too low to sustain your 3 and 4. Your squad will kill enemies much faster thanks to you. But beware, the ability does boost enemy speed as well. So if you aren't confident in you and your team's ability to stay alive, it's better to save the ability for later.
Underrated ability number 2, albeit for a good reason. Additive power strength isn't visually noticeable unless your team keeps a close eye on their own ability damage numbers. Regardless, an aura that provides additive power strength is pretty good. It's like giving a rank 8 blind rage mod to all your teammates without the efficiency debuff! So charge it and keep it up. Since it only drains energy on ability cast the energy cost is barely noticeable.
Arguably Equinox's most popular ability. There are two ways to use Maim- you either focus on the bleed procs, or the stored nuke.
First, the instant bleed procs. You need to charge 3 and 4 consecutively in order to maximize Maim's bleed proc damage. In a low level mission bleed procs alone will enough to kill everything. It's probably one of the most efficient room clearing abilities in low levels.
Secondly, the nuke. Arguably one of the most satisfying abilities in the game, Maim's nuke doesn't require a lot of setup. Either you kill a lot of enemies or you stay next to a player who kills a lot of enemies until your Maim gets those big juicy numbers. Activate Maim and stay close to your teammates. Collect your charges until you've collected enough to one-shot all the low-level trash mobs around you. Keep in mind that timing your 4 depends on enemy armor as it greatly reduces maim's effectiveness. Usually the grineer faction needs about 10 to 20 kills for the nuke to be effective. Same for infested units with the armor buff. Try not to hold onto it for too long as you'll be missing out a lot of potential kills.
PART 3: TACTICS
Before I go into the 4 scenarios I want to talk about the mindset you need to adopt for this playstyle. You are playing a SUPPORT Warframe. Your number one objective is to make things pleasant for your team. The general mindset you need to adopt is "what does my team need right now?" Now with that in mind, let's talk about the 4 most common scenarios you'll be facing.
Your tactics will depend on the skill level of your teammates and the difficulty of the mission you're in. There are roughly four scenarios:
1.Easy mission with low level players
This scenario is common in Lith relic missions or the occasional quest nodes. Here enemies are so weak that even a drop kick can kill. Their bullets feel like mosquito bites. It's your time to obliterate everything in the map without lifting a finger. Change to day aspect, charge your 3, then charge your 4. Keep 4 active while taking a stroll through the map.
2.Easy mission with high level players
When I say high level, it means other players kill enemies at a faster rate than you do. This scenario is common in starchart levels of difficulty, which is level 20~60. This is when Maim's bleed procs lose its effectiveness. Enemies do more damage, but not enough that you should care. Your teammates are armed with meta weapons and god rivens. Enemies disappear in the blink of an eye. In this scenario toggle your 4, charge your 3. When your 3 is done charging, spam 2 on every enemy you see. Activate 4 when you see a group of enemies BEFORE your allies kill them.
3.High level missions with high level players.
This scenario is similar to 2 that you don't have enough time to kill anything with your weapons. But here you need to start worrying about your own survival. This scenario is common in popular endless missions such as Arbitration or Kuva survival. Start by toggling 4 and 3 in Night aspect. Max out everybody's overshields. Whether to charge 3 or not depends on the mission type. If it's something like mobile defense, defection, arbitration, or a defense mission with one of those annoying human objectives, your team will appreciate the slow effect. However if the objective is to kill enemies as quickly as possible and your teammates are capable enough, the slow will be a nuisance. Choose wisely.
If enemies die faster than they can touch you, change into Day aspect and repeat tactics from scenario 2. You might have to shift into Night form if you get surrounded by enemies without your teammates though. Dying is worse than losing your charged ability, so don't hesitate to shift aspects.
4.High level mission with low level players
In this scenario enemies kill you in the blink of an eye. Your team's weapons don't do enough damage to kill the enemies in time. As a support your performance will stumble if your teammates can't do their jobs so don't blame yourself too much. Let's try to make you and your teammates die a little less.
Start by toggling 4 and 3 and max out overshields. When energy conversion is active charge your 3. If you've successfully charged your 3, it should be more than enough to prevent the enemies from killing your team. In infested missions take out energy leech eximus on time so they don't deplete your energy pool. Beyond this, you can be extra helpful in a number of ways. Cast 2 on high priority targets like heavy gunners or corpus tech. Charge your 4 so it gives more overshields. If a teammate is losing health tap your 4 to release Mend's heal.
In conclusion, here's how I play Equinox: You can either boost your team's survivability or their damage output. Shift to night form when they die too much, or Day form if they do better damage than you.
The guide looks a bit complicated because there is a lot of words. But in essence, the paragraph above is all that it is. Anything beyond that are just tips from experience.
I hope you've found this long-ass guide to be somewhat helpful. Hopefully after reading this guide you'll be more excited to play Equinox. Stay safe guys!
Edit: added information about Rest's implications in stealth affinity farming
- How to fix Grendel: HUNGER BAR!
- Either get rid of power level grind or make it actually meaningful
- Namu, The Wood Spirit Bounty: Team Spirit
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