best ember prime build warframe
Ember is one of my favourite Warframes in many ways. The element of fire is really awesome, she’s got great aesthetics (well, at least Ember prime does) and after her kit got its most recent rework she became a solid caster with in my opinion one of the best sets of abilities from a design standpoint (more on this later).
Unfortunately in just about every thread I read, Ember is considered a very low tier frame. In fact damage abilities and frames in general are seen as unusable in higher leveled content outside extreme cases like Molecular Prime since abilities scale poorly and utility is simply more useful (even Molprime derives a lot of its power from its utility). For a long time even I believed this, but I eventually realized Ember was different.
Most people find Ember to be a low tier frame because they play her with low tier builds and play her incorrectly. Instead, I’ve cooked up the following build:
This build is different from many others because instead of spreading Ember thin and trying to min-max all of her abilities at once, it only focuses on her two strongest: Fireball and Accelerant. I often see people pass over fireball and sometimes even accelerant when in fact this combo is one of the most potent in the game.
First, let’s break down the two core abilities.
|Fireball Base Damage||400|
|Fireball Damage after Max Blind Rage (+99%) and Max Intensify (30%)||944|
|Accelerant Base Bonus||250%|
|Accelerant Bonus after Max BR + Max Intensify||572.5%|
Note how power damage increases are simply insane on Ember. Since it affects base damage and the accelerant bonus, each point of power strength translates to multiplicative increases to fireball overall. With these figures, we find that fireball used against an enemy primed with accelerant does a warm 5404.4 damage.
But that’s just the start. Fireball also applies a guaranteed fire status proc. The proc does a minimum of 50% of the initial damage per tick. The proc ticks 7 times over 6 seconds for searing total of 24319 damage. And we’re still not done.
If you manage to land a headshot on an enemy, the fire proc is increased to 100% initial damage per tick. That’s a blistering 43234 damage!
Still not satisfied? Upon impact, fireball explodes into an inferno and engulfs surrounding enemies for a base of 150 damage and each enemy hit with a 50% chance to take their own status proc. The fire proc itself acts as a stun for its entire 6 second duration, giving the ability that utility everyone craves. Accelerant itself will also stun enemies for about 2 seconds, buying you time to weave your way in and out of cover.
Armour: Cutting through that Insulation
The crux of this build is that powers get severely reduced by armour and in end game missions enemies have a ton of armour.
Corrosive projection is thus absolutely vital for this build to work. Ideally, you would have a party with maxed corrosive projections for complete removal of armour, but that’s often hard to coordinate. What can be done?
Ironically, my solution to this problem is the Glaxion. Perhaps I should call this purged by fire and ice!
Everyone’s favourite ammo guzzling freeze ray works remarkably well with the way I play Ember. For once, it’s my weapon that provides the utility and my frame supplies the damage! Corrosive procs are vital for melting away the armour and make enemies feel the heat. The glaxion does mediocre damage, but has a great reload and steady accuracy.
Unfortunately, it requires 3 event mods to get that sweet 98% status chance which a lot of players don’t have. However, even at 56% or 77% status chance per second you’ll be getting corrosive procs often enough. Cold damage is less useful, but the bonus against shields and the slow effect is still welcome (I don’t think it’s possible to get corrosive and viral at the same time – this would be optimal though).
What’s interesting about this build is it actually takes quite a bit of skill and understanding of the game to play well.
First of all, Ember is a fragile frame. This fact alone forces you to play tactically by hugging cover and CCing and killing enemies correctly. Next, since you don’t actually have that much energy efficiency (only 35%!) you actually need to be careful with how and when you cast fireball and accelerant.
Main thing you’ll be doing is running into a room, casting accelerant, and then lighting enemies up with fireball. Hitting priority targets like gunners, bombards, and ancients is key and landing headshots is necessary for max damage. Given that accelerant is a very short CC, you need to be fast and accurate with your fireballs or else you’ll get chewed up.
The neat thing about fireball is that it can be cast while doing pretty much anything, including firing and reloading your weapon. This means you can sweep a room with your glaxion getting procs all over the place while launching fire balls in their face.
Sometimes it’s also necessary to launch a fireball before using accelerant. Lots of enemies will grab their face upon getting stunned and this blocks the chance for headshot proc.
Playing this build optimally requires good aim and timing since fireball is a projectile (with infinite range mind you). It also requires knowing your limits: how much damage you can sustain, how far fireball’s explosion and accelerant will reach, and how and when you should be casting at all given that energy will be limited at times.
Leveling Builds and Variations
This build is centered around getting the maximum possible damage out of Ember. However, sometimes this isn’t necessarily, practical, or even desirable. People may not have the right mods, lower tier content might be attempted, or certain arrangements in team compositions will affect how exactly you mod Ember out.
Mods For the aura, corrosive projection can be replaced with energy siphon, rifle scavenger, or even steel charge. Energy siphon is always solid and the glaxion is consumes a ton of ammo. The reasoning behind steel charge is that in mid tier content, armour isn’t quite as bad and a full 18 bonus mod energy as opposed to only 14 can be nice wiggle room for leveling, mismatched slots and build changes (and it also saves one forma for those who don’t have many to spare).
The main frame mods have the following rough priority when leveling up Ember between formas or making incomplete builds:
- Power Efficiency
- Power Strength
- Redirection/Vitality/Other Survivability
- Natural Talent
It’s completely reasonable to drop Blind Rage to lower levels. I personally keep two copies, one maxed and one only at half. The lowered strength is sometimes all you need for mid tier content and in turn it lets you spam fireballs even more which is always fun.
Weapons and Elementals
If you manage to get that perfect corrosive projection lobby, viral damage is ideal. As for alternative weapons, anything with a good chance to status is what you’re looking for. The boar prime and amprex are great. The tysis is worse overall as it fires slowly, but it gets the job done. The ignis is also pretty fun with accelerant. If nothing else, you can just use any pair of dual pistols for that sexy Ember pose :p.
I also like using Dual Ichors as coptering helps with the low mobility Ember has and the fast attack speed makes it a reasonable backup weapon to try and get status procs with when your Glaxion inevitably runs out of ammo.
Hopefully my guide has convinced you that not all damage frames are worthless and that there’s a better way to set the World on Fire