Disclaimer here that all of this is of course anecdotal evidence, based on my personal preference and playstyle. I also played through all of this SOLO and have done 7 planets in their entirety at the time of this writing.
So, let's get into it. I was really excited for Steel Path and can honestly say that I'm pretty happy with what DE put out for us. No, it doesn't really have great recurring rewards, but what it does have is much more fulfilling missions. Tougher enemies from the get go and the increased spawn rates just make Warframe feel fun again. Just last night I totally lost track of time and was up until 4am playing Steel Path. I haven't had that happen in Warframe in a looong time. Now, on to the real point of this post!
I love testing things. I'm an engineer, I have a scientific academic background, so I of course always love to see how things perform. Unfortunately it's pretty hard to really rate Warframes on a good metric outside of how well they could complete missions. There are also a ton of variables at play. Still, I wanted to try every frame in the Steel Path at least a few times to get a feel for who really excelled in the new environment. I find these discussions really interesting since Steel Path has made a lot more frames much more fun to play, imo.
On to my (anecdotal) results:
The good – Baruuk. Holy moly, what can I say. This guy is just a monster. RIP Xoris but just switch to Venka P, it doesn't even matter. Unkillable levels of DR, unstoppable amounts of damage. Yes Khora, Saryn, etc. are all amazing, and I'm sure it's because I have a soft spot for monk boi, but damn did Baruuk make Steel Path feel trivial as Hek. Minimum duration build to spam Lull decreased your Restraint extremely quickly with the amount of enemies and then his 4 with Reactive Storm just tore everything apart.
The bad – Zephyr. My sweet, sweet birb girl. I love Zephyr. I'm not a "normal" WF player in that I didn't get Rhino as my second frame. I got Zephyr and then Banshee and used those two frames as my mains for ages. It taught me a lot about using abilities and positioning, etc. I really want to play Zephyr, but I can't find a single redeeming quality about her for Steel Path. Her 3, which is her best ability by a significant margin, only gets worse and worse with every update. The new Corpus units with their cracked out aoe supras go right through her shield, and there are enough Grineer units that spawn that do aoe that it gets through there as well. She doesn't really cast enough to benefit a ton from the shield gate meta (Brief Respite + Augur set to reset shields) and so relies a lot on her 3. I used to run a kinda memey but effective build with her 1 augment but enemies in Steel Path just have too much armor. I'm sorry Zephyr, I love you but you need help. :'(
The ugly – This actually isn't a bad category, but rather the most surprising frame performance by a mile. The thiccccccest of bois, the consumer of ice cream and planets, Grendel. I could not believe how well he did in Steel Path. Completely blown away. I basically made a "hit me while I eat you" build with Arcane Grace and Energize, Adaptation, Rage, max efficiency and then strength. Sat on defense points and nommed everything in sight. It was amazing in its gluttonous efficiency. Seriously, give Grendel a try, he is way better than I ever thought possible for Steel Path. Edit: I pointed this out in a comment but it's kinda important. Use Naramon, not Zenurik. You're constantly draining energy so it doesn't really do much for you and Naramon will let you keep up your combo counter while eating. Then you can spew enemies out and melee the less consumed ones. Most of the time the earliest enemies you eat will have already died from the armor strip and toxin damage. Oh, also, if you really hate particular enemies (Nox, Prosecutors, etc.) you can use his 3 to yeet them off the map, never to return.
So yeah, those are just my musings so far. Honorable mention to Khora, who is probably the most broken frame in the whole game, and Nyx (both Chaos build and invulnerable Assimilate/armor strip build) and Banshee (melee neg range Resonance sonar/silence melee build) who both performed extremely well.
Good luck out there Tenno, make Teshin proud!
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