[Edit: I shared this post to the r/warframe subreddit to see what people there thorught of it, and it turns out I was wrong about a couple of things, so I’ve done an editing pass. Edits will be highlighted in the square brackets like this.]
Baruuk is today’s newly released warframe. His “spiel” is that he’s a pacifistic martial artist who can be provoked, so his powers focus on self-defense and crowd control, but culminate in an exalted weapon that he uses to strike back once his “restraint” is exhausted. And while you might think that as an Eastern-themed monkish type that his signature weapon would be a staff, kama (or two), or perhaps even tonfas, you would be wrong — he gets the “Cobra and Crane” which is a sword/shield combo. Here’s what he looks like (with my color scheme, and his alternate helmet. Yes, I bought his “collection” with plat.):
For his abilities we have this screenshot:
Elude is simply a damage shield. It’s in effect only so long as you aren’t actively attacking anyone, which falls in line with the frame’s pacifist lore. The angle on it starts at something like 160 degrees when the frame is unranked, and at rank 3 the skill’s got about a 260 degree protection angle. Modding for range increases this, and you need 200 range to get the full 360 degrees of coverage. Overextended + Augur Reach will more than get you there. The shield seems to go back into effect about 1 second after you make an attack, so the vulnerability window isn’t very big, so long as you aren’t spamming out attacks. His abilities aren’t attacks, so you can cast them without fear of being hit. The shield “avoids” both direct fire and melee attacks but it does *not* prevent AE, so a Heavy Gunner’s ground slam will still inflict damage and knock you down, as will an Arson Eximus’s fire wall. A Bombard’s rocket will fly through you, but its explosion will still affect you if you’ve got a wall (or a groupmate?) behind you or something. This is a constant energy drain ability, so you can’t use Zenurik’s Energy Dash nor energy pizzas while it’s active. [Someone said I sound like I was complaining about this ability. I’m not — I think it’s an amazing defensive ability with a fun twist on it (unlike Wukong’s “press 2, never die”), and I think you should have this up 100% of the time. The energy use mention was simply to point out that if you want to use Zenurik or a pizza you need to turn it off 1st.]
Elude has a nice “blur” effect and you also hold yourself “exposed” like you’re inviting them to hit you, as seen here:
The 2nd ability is a large radius sleep effect. Unlike Ivara or Equinox, however, *any* damage on a mob will wake it, though it still acts “groggy” for about 3 seconds and kinda stands there for that time. The sleep takes a long time to affect the mobs (seems to be about 5 seconds) and there’s an energy-colored border that appears around affected mobs and works its way from their feet up to their heads. Once their “bar is full” so to speak, then they finally fall asleep. I thought that reducing duration on the ability would make it take effect faster, but it doesn’t seem to. The sleep effect travels outward from you in a wave after you cast it, and the duration seems to simply be how fast the wave goes out to the effect radius, so shorter duration means the mobs start to be affected sooner, but the time to make them fall asleep still seems unchanged. They are subject to finishers while asleep, as you would expect. At rank 30, the wave takes 5 seconds to travel to its max distance and the sleep effect lasts for 20 seconds (or until a mob is hit), and then your duration modifies those values.
[Apparently I wasn’t clear on how duration affects this ability. I don’t see how I can change that last sentence to be more clear, though. Duration makes the 20 second sleep time shorted or longer, and the “wave pulse” takes either less or more than the base 5 seconds based on your duration. The time taken to put the mobs to sleep, however, didn’t seem to change based on the duration stat at all. I could be wrong, but that’s how it felt, both when ranking the skill in the “real game” and also in the simulacrum.]
The 3rd ability summons 4 “daggers” at base, and 8 when at max rank. Increased power strength increases the number of daggers summoned. They give you damage reduction of up to 90% if they stay around you, but they do like Nova’s #1 and actively try to go out and hit mobs. They seem to give preference to mobs with guns and will destroy the gun for a permanent disarm on the mob. Melee mobs are unaffected — the daggers only go for guns. They do a small amount of damage, but not enough to actually notice. The reason to cast them is for the damage reduction to yourself and for the disarm. Not that you really need it since your #1 makes you essentially invulnerable . . .
[Nobody mentioned this ability in the replies on reddit, but I also want to add that the daggers will hit any mob, they just prefer to hit ones that need to be disarmed first.]
Finally, we have the ultimate ability, which summons his exalted fist weapons. They have a 50% critical chance as a base, so tossing True Steel or better yet the umbral mod Sacrificial Steel takes the crit chance up nice and high. Hitting your melee attack button while the exalted fists are equipped sends out a giant blast wave in front of you, doing ok-ish damage (about 7K per critical hit on level 100 mobs, more like 4800-ish on level 160 mobs). It’s enough to 1-shot mobs up to about level 50, anyway, even armored units. though not Nox. Even level 30 Nox mobs were only taking about 140 critical damage, and you can’t get a headshot (that I noticed) with the blast wave, even with aiming high. Being that he’s a martial artist, the weapon combos throw in kicks as well as punches, so that’s nice to see. And the blast wave is literally a blast wave, throwing mobs down and/or back, so if it doesn’t outright kill them, then it does some good crowd control too.
The weapons look like this:
Summoning the weapons costs no energy, but you must 1st drain your “Restraint” meter to zero.
[Apparently I misread the ability description — You can use this whenever your Restraint is below full — it does *not* need to be zero. I never tried this, as it never occurred to me to do so…. Bad me! ] This is done by letting the mobs shoot at or swing at you with your #1 active, putting mobs to sleep with your #2, or disarming mobs with your #3. The quickest method by far is getting in the middle of an enemy swarm and letting them attack you while you don’t do anything. Once you’ve summoned the exalted fists, the restraint bar begins to fill back up (which you can see in the screenshot above with the red meter). It fills slowly, so you can use them for quite some time. Or you can hit 4 again to turn them off whenever you want and the bar will stop filling at whatever point it was at, so you have less Restraint to drain back out before you can use them again. [Again, no need to drain, as long as it’s below full, you can pop your 4 back on. Sorry! ]
I didn’t have any trouble when using Baruuk in Helene or Hydron when leveling him up. In the simulacrum, he was just fine using just his abilities vs level 100 trash mobs, though armored units were largely unaffected by his 4. The blast wave doesn’t really seem to hurt the armored units much, just tosses them around. I also tried out level 160 mobs, and the trash… he could take them out with his 4, but even the trash took several hits. For the armored units at 160 there wasn’t much point to his 4 (I built corrosive, but status chance is low so there wasn’t very little armor-stripping happening), it was far better to simply sleep the mobs and then take them out one by one with headshots. Obviously this is solo play. In a group it might be better to simply run out in front of your team and draw fire leaving your team able to do more unmolested, assuming you’re in a mission that supports that kind of play.
As it was, in the defense missions that I used to rank him up casting 2 and 3 was a waste of time, since the AOE group damage output would instantly wake mobs up, and things would die in the lower levels quickly enough that the limited number of disarmed mobs per cast of #3 was completely irrelevant. #1 was good for self-defense, and #4 was excellent for clearing large groups of mobs (other than Nox, at least), so in missions up to level 100 or so, I can see him being a rather good dps character using his #4 — it’s just a matter of using his #1 and then letting himself be attacked and hoping your groupmates don’t clear them off too quickly so that you can drain your Restraint resource so you can actually use your #4. [And again, this apparently isn’t that necessary since you can use it a lot more often than I previously thought.]
Overall verdict: Middle of the Road. He’s fine, but I just can’t really see a place I’d rather use him than several other frames instead, so he’s more one to bring out when you want a little variety and he’s “good enough,” not becuz he’s the best frame for the job. [My overall rating hasn’t changed, in spite of knowing that his 4 is up a lot more. Sure he’s able to kill low level things easily with his 4, but any frame can do that, so this doesn’t make him stand out.]
Happy gaming out there!