tl;dr Secura Penta + Cyanex on Mag, viral + heat + slash is good, melee is broken, Kuva Nukor op
I love patches like this because it's always super fun to test things out, especially in a game like Warframe. So, let's get to it. I did all my testing on lvl 130 Corrupted Heavy Gunners, since that is the highest I could spawn, also I rarely see higher than this in a non-arbitration/endurance mission. I have every prime weapon, although I am missing a couple random normal weapons here and there. I was mostly curious what archetypes of weapons would be most successful though, rather than individual weapons themselves. I only tested ranged weapons because it took only one test of a Blood Rush, Weeping Wounds, Condition Overload Nikana Prime to realize that yes, melee is still the unquestionable king. I also tested every ranged weapon with my favorite girl Mag to see what had the most synergy since, spoiler alert, Mara Detron is no longer her best friend.
So, after testing basically every weapon with every elemental combination, full crit, hybrid crit, full status, etc. the winner by a complete landslide was… viral + heat +slash! This was for high lvl Grineer, I haven't tested Corpus out yet. Also, I'm not including Kuva Kohm here because I think something is broken, it was performing far too well.
Any ranged primary that had enough crit to make Hunter Munitions work or enough base slash to proc it reliably was very strong. This included old favorite like Fulmin and Acceltra. Some weapons I was surprised by were Cernos Prime, Baza Prime (yes really), Battacor, Nagantaka, Quellor, Komorex, Zenith, Kuva Hind, Opticor/Vandal. And the biggest suprise of all that absolutely destroyed was Zhuge Prime. All of these weapons I just listed were capable of killing a 130 Corrupted Heavy Gunner in a few shots, or at most one clip. I was super impressed with Baza Prime since I was able to pop 3 targets in one clip, which are fairly small. Overall, any primary that could do a crit/status hybrid setup and benefit from HM was amazing. The only "status" primary that performed decently was Scourge, since you can get Heat + Viral + Corrosive.
Weapons that performed at a decent level once I was able to finalize a build were things like the Kuva Quartakk, other snipers (I don't have a riven for these), Shedu, Tenora, Supra Vandal, Amprex, Ignis Wraith, Kuva Ogris, Kuva Chakkhurr.
Alright, here are the weapons I was honestly just disappointed in. I have every weapon mod in the game, including primed mods, so I really tried to make these weapons work, and I wanted them to so badly. Basically any shotgun I tried was doodoo, like very bad. The crit based ones like Corinth and Vaykor Hek were passable at best the rest were hot garbage. My poor Phantasma, one of my favorite weapons, was unbearably bad. The Synoid Simulor, which I had high hopes for due to its high status was extremely bad. Now this last weapon, is not actually that bad. I just had unreasonably high hopes for it I think, but I was somewhat disappointed with the Glaxion Vandal. It performed okay, but I thought yes! your cold damage is no longer bad! it's your time to shine Glaxion! But it was… just okay. Which made me sad since it's one of my favorite weapons.
The Mag special:
Now for the good stuff my Maglads. What weapons performed crazy well with our best girl's newly buffed 2. Aaaaand *drumroll sounds* the winners are Secura Penta and Cyanex! Either of these thrown into a bubble decimated a group of 130 Corrupted Heavy Gunners. And when I say decimated I mean seriously decimated, like minced up, like people from my clan didn't believe me, came in and swiftly said "yo wtf this is broken" kind of decimated. Special mention to Zhuge Prime, which was a close second to Secura Penta for bubble dmg, plus is a much better weapon outside of Magnetize shenanigans. I will be sticking to Secura Penta/Zhuge Prime, Cyanex and Telos Boltace (that sweet spin attack pull in has such nice synergy with Magnetize now).
Okay this will be much shorter since we don't have Hunter Munitions making a lot more weapons viable. There were precious few secondaries I tried that really shined. Many of the utility secondaries I like such as Pox and Hikou Prime were still great at applying status effects and combining with a CO melee, but that seemed about it. Basically any very high status secondary (no crit at all) didn't seem capable of doing damage.
Kuva Nukor. Need I say more. I don't think anyone else is surprised that this weapon is a complete monster. Gaze and Rattleguts kitguns also seem very strong still. Huge surprise for me… Akjagara Prime. God damn these little pistols absolutely shredded. I was consistently killing 3 targets in one Magazine, they were very impressive.
Crit based secondaries did perform decently well. Things like Euphona Prime, Pandero, etc. did decent. I could kill a target in sometimes just two shots with Euphona Prime, but disclaimer here that I have a riven. Otherwise high crit secondaries, pistols and the like, did okay. For the other prime hybrid dual secondaries, Aksomati Prime and Akstiletto Prime, they probably would have made it to amazing if Akjagara Prime wasn't just that good and outclassed them so hard. Surprisingly not bad was the Staticor spam fire, as long as you were accurate. It actually had solid time to kill. The stagger is what is killing the weapon for me though.
Okay these weapons are not actually that dead, but boy did they fall far from the top. My sweet Mara Detron, how much I've used you, is just not as good anymore. Extremely poor performance from Pyrana Prime, with both a full crit or hybrid setup, it was just bad. Also the Kuva Brakk seems to be similarly under-performing. I was also a bit disappointed in Quatz. I had high hopes for that little gun, but it didn't do so well.
Thoughts on secondaries:
My biggest issue with secondaries is that unlike primary weapons you can't just get Hunter Munitions and Point Strike and do pretty well. Secondaries need a lot of mods and forma to work. Almost every secondary build I have has 3 primed mods and 4-6 forma, depending on base polarities. That's a lot of investment so choose wisely. For Mag, Cyanex is a beast and will be my go-to. For anyone else I'll be sticking to the Kuva Nukor, that thing is stupid.
Now for melee:
It's just straight up better than anything else in every way, period. Unless you're using a frame that has some serious synergy with particular ranged weapons (e.g. Mag), melee is just amazing. I spent all this time testing ranged weapons, then I grabbed my Pennant. No riven, not even 8 mods equipped, walked up to a group of 130 Corrupted Heavy Gunners and one shot all of them with a standard heavy attack build. If anything the hybrid CO/BR/WW melee builds are just that much better. I will note that pure status secondaries like the Lacera felt a ton better now that they can go to very high status. I won't list any tiers for melee since frankly, they were all good.
Well that's a brain dump of my thoughts after testing for like 7 hours last night. Also DE please when can we get a Simulacrum rework for the love of kuva.
Edit: Thank you for the award kind stranger! I love doing this stuff and I wish I had more time to do thorough comparisons of all the weapons, but there are so many to get through. I'll probably be doing more testing tonight especially on synergies with other frames and I'll add anything interesting I find!
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