Hello everyone, I’ve seen some talk about Grendel recently and I wanted to share some things that have been on my mind as a long-time Grendel player. I made a comment similar to this post in u/BurroDevil‘s post here. Here’s what I said, but cut some parts to make the post more relevant:
Hey all, resident MR 30 Grendel main here. I’ve got ~2700 hours in the game, and 30% of that has been spent on fat boy, so I think I might throw my two cents into this conversation. Let me preface this by saying I have spent way too much time theorycrafting and simulacrum testing with Grendel to find “the build,” which ultimately required 15 forma, 2 of which were Umbral. First I’ll go over ability usage, then my build, then my thoughts on changes.
Feast: Tap 1 to eat enemies, hold them inside to strip armor per second, hold 1 to vomit them out, dealing toxin damage. This is BY FAR Grendel’s strongest ability. With adequate range, Grendel can vacuum up enemies from end to end of most tiles. Additionally, people don’t like sitting still in Warframe, so keep in mind that you can preserve your momentum by bullet jumping, aim-gliding, and then casting Feast while continuing to aimglide. Normally, Feast keeps you grounded and standing still, so it’s best to use it as a fly-by. You want to eat as many enemies as you can in a short period of time, because the energy drain is brutal, and gets more punishing the longer you hold onto enemies. General rule of thumb for Feast is to never hold on to enemies for longer than 10 or 15 seconds to save on energy. With 200% ability strength. Enemies are completely stripped of armor in 10 seconds. A final note on this ability is that the damage on expelling enemies scales not only with the number of enemies eaten, but the levels of each of the enemies as well.
Nourish: I have found myself most often using Nourished Energy (NE), more rarely using Nourished Strike (NS), and never using Nourished Armor (NA). NE gives you percent increase to all energy gain for the duration of the ability. NE is exceptionally good when paired right before expelling enemies by holding Feast to get more value from energy orbs, or prior to entering Pulverize to help you keep the ball rolling. NS is a very valuable damage buff that affects you and your allies. It adds toxin damage to your weapons and some abilities. The consistency with this is strange. For example, with 200% ability strength, NS doubles the damage of your toxin ticks from expelling enemies with Feast, but it does NOT increase the damage of Pulverize. It will double the damage of enemies hit by Regurgitate, but not double the damage dealt the enemy that was used as the projectile. From what I’ve seen, NS only seems to increase damage dealt by elemental abilities. I’ve tested this with quite a few subsumed abilities, and it really stood out when I used Breach Surge from Wisp. The sparks were occasionally inflicting toxin procs as well as increasing the damage dealt. NA is a very underwhelming ability. It makes enemies near you take toxin damage up to once per second when they attack you. The damage on it is so incredibly low that it struggles to kill even some low level enemies. I recommend avoiding NA.
Regurgitate: Fun ability, but not incredibly useful. Enemies that you have previously eaten with Feast can be shot out like a toxic rocket launcher. It will deal minor toxin damage to enemies directly in front of you, and a large amount when impacting an enemy or object. This ability seems appealing due to its lack of energy to cast it, however expelling enemies with Feast has monumentally higher damage potential. Firstly, Feast deals a guaranteed toxin proc on every enemy expelled, as well as on all enemies in front of Grendel (Kind of like a toxic shotgun). On the other hand, Regurgitate deals a single instance of toxin damage with no toxin proc, meaning they won’t continue to take damage after the initial impact. This is my most used ability slot when using subsumed abilities.
Pulverize: There are a few quirks about this ability. Firstly, eat up to 10 enemies to maximize the radius and damage of Pulverize. Like Feast, Pulverize also scales its damage with enemy level, you typically only want to cast this ability when you have at least 10 enemies stored. Pulverize has 2 radii: the smaller, visible radius of energy surrounding your ball form deals significant impact damage when you hit enemies, ragdolling them with it as you roll around (note: does not deal damage when sitting still; you must be moving). The second radius is the “shockwave,” and it is significantly larger than the inner radius. When you jump and land on the ground, you send out a shockwave, dealing a good amount of damage to all enemies around you and staggering them. This ability is quite useful for map traversal with the Catapult mod, as you can reach high speeds rather quickly. It takes some practice to get used to the momentum, though. This ability is ideally used against Corpus and Infested, but is very weak against higher-level Grineer due to their armor scaling.
Glutton (Passive): You get 50 armor for each enemy eaten.
– Here is a link to my build. Now, I know that not everyone has a 5/5 Arcane Grace and Arcane Energize, and I recognize that these two Arcanes a very large part of the build, and are not to be ignored. Grace provides very easy healing so you don’t have to heal with Nourish all the time, and Energize gives enormous amounts of energy. Grendel is by far an energy-economy frame. You need to keep an eye on your energy frequently to keep from running dry. When you start to get low, expel all enemies with Feast and unfurl from Pulverize to stop the drain.
– Steel Charge is mainly for mod capacity when I wanted to test out builds; this can be swapped for whatever works best for you.
– Catapult is a nice-to-have for mobility within your 4th ability. It allows you to traverse the map very, very quickly. With some practice, navigating the map in ball form can be faster than even some gauss players.
– (Primed) Flow is necessary to be able to manage your energy economy. You need a large pool to get things going and keep things rolling.
– Stretch is useful to get that extra bit of range to make your Feast pull in enemies from 36.25 meters away, which is enough range to cover most tiles.
– Streamline is necessary to keep energy burn in check. Grendel runs through energy extremely quickly, so mitigating that is top priority.
– Fleeting Expertise lowers energy drain even further, allowing you to cook enemies for longer to armor strip them with Feast.
– (Primed) Continuity is there to counterbalance Fleeting Expertise, as energy drain will actually ramp up quite high from the negative duration.
– Transient Fortitude is a solid increase in strength at the cost of some duration.
– (Umbral) Vitality for tankiness.
– (Umbral) Intensify for more strength.
These mods bring Grendel to 350 Armor, 638 Energy, 2975 Health, 75 Shield, 68% Duration, 175% Efficiency, 145% Range, and 210% Strength.
The reason I prefer high max efficiency is so that I can hold onto as many enemies as possible in order to nuke them when I expel them with Feast. I have tried many other builds that were lacking in efficiency, and it just became too aggravating to manage the energy economy in those conditions. I sacrifice a bit on duration, as I consider it to be Grendel’s least important stat. The only ability that really suffers from duration is Nourish, however Nourished Energy is to be used right before expelling enemies with Feast, so the duration doesn’t really matter there. With Nourished Strike, you still get a solid 17-second buff, but if you want more duration you’ll likely have to drop off some damage mods.
TL;DR: Grendel good, people don’t know how to play him or don’t have the right mods. Feast is busted OP, Nourish is an excellent team buff ability, Regurgitate bad, Pulverize good vs all but Grineer. Some consistencies with Grendel’s kit could use a touching up, specifically the Nourished Strike buff working on some things but not others. Nourished Armor needs a rework, as it’s practically useless. I play too much Grendel.