Is Hildryn a Good Warframe?


With the right equipment, Hildryn can be practically invincible, allowing you to focus your attention entirely on offense with no regards to survival. Her Balefire weapon is capable of heavy area damage, and Pillage both fuels her abilities and softens up durable enemies for easy eradication.

Built properly, Balefire’s damage output can match or surpass most normal weapons, while also dealing its damage over a relatively huge area. The Balefire Surge augment can make the ability practically free to use, as well as make Nullifiers not only trivial to encounter, but beneficial.

Pillage makes survival incredibly easy, softens up difficult enemies, and eliminates the frustration of status effects like Cold and Toxin for you and your entire squad. With the Blazing Pillage augment, its softening abilities are made even more potent, and it can even act as a sort of nuke power in low- to mid-level content.

Haven is, honestly, the least impactful of Hildryn’s abilities, but still has its uses. It will stagger most enemies when they’re first affected by the ability, and can substantially increase the durability of your allies. It’s also an essential part of using the Blazing Pillage augment, and that alone makes the ability worth using.

Aegis Storm is helpful for locking down an area when enemies become overwhelming, and the energy orbs the ability spawns can be extremely useful for allies. In some situations, the flight component of the ability can make your time much easier, such as fighting the Jackal on Venus or clearing the Agility Drift challenge on Lua.

Hildryn’s tremendous survivability (when built well) makes her quite easy to play even in very difficult missions. This durability isn’t terribly dependent on abilities, either, making Nullifier-heavy missions far less frustrating than they may be for other Warframes.

Special Mission Types

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Elite Sanctuary Onslaught?

Somewhat, but not on her own; Hildryn’s greatest strength in Elite Sanctuary Onslaught is providing lots of energy to other nuke frames via Aegis Storm. She can do decent damage with Balefire, but the limited area coverage makes her unable to carry the team like a proper nuke Warframe.

Using Pillage, especially with the Blazing Pillage augment, can make Grineer stages far easier for nuke Warframes that may have trouble, like Volt or Gara.

When the team’s nuke Warframe has Arcane Energize, Aegis Storm can ensure that they never run out of energy to cast. Even without Arcane Energize, the amount of energy orbs dropped is typically enough to keep most allies topped off, though bad luck or excessive casting of extra abilities may make Aegis Storm lag behind the demand for energy.

While Balefire can often knock out groups of enemies, it generally isn’t enough to last into later waves as the Efficiency drop gets faster. Furthermore, enemies begin getting durable enough to withstand the explosions. Because Balefire launches enemies while Hildryn has overshields, this can make the ability into a hindrance rather than an asset, sending enemies out of range of nuke abilities or simply disrupting allies that are trying to fire on them.

If you’re only tackling normal Sanctuary Onslaught rather than Elite, Balefire and Blazing Pillage can carry you comfortably to round 8 and beyond, but won’t net as many kills as more suited Warframes. Elite Sanctuary Onslaught can be handled up to about round 4, but past that point, it will be difficult to keep up with the Efficiency drop.

Overall, Hildryn can be pretty beneficial for an Elite Sanctuary Onslaught run, but takes a more supportive role rather than leading the charge.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for The Index?

Yes; Hildryn’s high shields and long-duration shield gate passive, along with Pillage’s overshield potential, make her a very effective point carrier. With some habitual casting, she can be as durable as meta Index Warframes like Rhino and Revenant, without relying on energy orbs.

Pillage can be scary to use in Index, as it can cost over half of your total shield value once you’ve picked up a lot of Index Points. However, the high shields of the brokers means that it will almost always give you the highest possible amount of shields, and overshield values aren’t reduced by Financial Stress like normal shields are. This means that you get at least an extra 1200 shields to work with every time you cast the ability, making it very easy to stay alive.

If you run out of shields at some point, the three seconds of invulnerability gives you plenty of time to react. You can use this time to duck around a corner so your shields can recharge, or enter Operator form if you have it. Take care not to lose all your health in this form, as that completely depletes your Warframe’s shields unless you have Magus Glitch equipped.

Rakta Dark Dagger can also keep your overshields maxed out, though it’s generally weaker than other melees, and Pillage tends to be enough for staying healthy. If you bring along a well-built primary or secondary for taking out brokers, you can always keep the dagger available just for topping off your shields if you take a few light bumps.

Overall, Hildryn is a great Warframe for Index that doesn’t suffer from the anxiety of racing for energy orbs when her survivability skill is about to run out.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Eidolon Hunts?

Not really; the lack of damage buffs means Hildryn is relatively ineffective at destroying Eidolon Synovias. Haven can provide extra shields to Eidolon Lures, but unlike with allied Warframes, her 3-second shield gate is not shared with the Lures, making Haven weak compared to other support options.

If you’re desperate for reasons to use Hildryn for Eidolons, Pillage can clear the Magnetic status effect from allies during the Eidolon’s scream. However, because the scream applies this effect multiple times, it’s unlikely that Pillage can save much (if any) energy from being lost.

Aegis Storm can be used when Vomvalysts are nearby in the hopes of getting energy orbs to spawn. This will not hinder the Vomvalyst’s movements, however, and they may drift out of range of the ability.

If you find an Eidolon’s attacks too difficult to survive on most Warframes, Hildryn’s durability can make it easier to keep up your assault. Ultimately, time spent dodging and healing is time not spent attacking, so if you have trouble getting your own attacks in normally, Hildryn could be useful option.

Overall, Hildryn could potentially be useful for a casual or beginner Eidolon hunt, but there are much better options for clearing the mission quickly.

Core Mission Types

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Defense?

No; Defense maps tend to have many obstacles to prevent enemies from firing on the objective from their spawn areas. These obstructions prevent Hildryn from easily eliminating enemies, as well. Furthermore, Hildryn lacks any protective abilities except Haven, which makes very little impact.

While Haven and Blazing Pillage can clear mid-level enemies quickly, you’ll need to move around the map constantly to get line of sight so that it can take effect. Balefire suffers from the same problem despite its ability to deal damage through walls, as its area-of-effect is hardly large enough, even at maximum potential, to eliminate the need for aiming at least a little bit.

Haven’s shield boost is a drop in the ocean when applied to Defense objectives that actually need the help. The extended shield gate doesn’t apply to them, either, eliminating one of Haven’s most impactful benefits. At the very least, enemies newly affected by Haven will stagger for a moment, and a beam will connect the enemy to you so you can see where they’re coming from. You can potentially use this while staying with the Defense objective to deal with enemies that slip past allies’ defenses, but there are just so many better options.

Aegis Storm could possibly be used to provide energy orbs for your allies, but if a good nuke Warframe is present, it’s unlikely that enemies will make it to the middle of the map where that player will be stationed. You would have to go to the edges of the map to catch enemies in the ability, and then the ally has to go to the edge as well to actually pick up those energy orbs.

Overall, Hildryn’s abilities just aren’t suited to Defense missions, especially if more optimally-built allies are present.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Disruption?

Yes; Hildryn’s shields makes it easy to last into late waves of Disruption, and since this doesn’t depend on abilities, Demolishers’ nullifying pulses aren’t a threat. Pillage (especially with its augment) can make durable highly-scaled enemies much easier to defeat in order to drop their keys.

Bear in mind that Hildryn’s shields alone aren’t necessarily enough to keep her alive into later rounds; her survivability at this level depends on having effective equipment such as the Adaptation mod and Arcane Aegis/Barrier. I’m simply stating that she has the potential to be very good at Disruption, but it can be expensive to make this so.

Good weaponry is also required for dealing with Demolishers before they can destroy each console. Hildryn lacks any inherent means of slowing them down, so you’ll either need a lot of damage output, or some other means of stopping Demolishers such as Magus Lockdown.

As the mission scales, normal enemies become harder and harder to kill as well. Pillage can remove huge chunks of their armor and shields to make it easier to bring them down and get their keys. The Blazing Pillage augment will make this even more effective, as the forced Heat status effect instantly reduces armor by half on top of the amount that Pillage steals as part of the base ability.

Overall, Hildryn is very well-suited to going deep into Disruption missions, where reward rotations are at their most efficient.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Excavation?

Not really; Haven isn’t enough to provide any meaningful durability to Excavators, and Hildryn must be present to defend it. She can defeat enemies effectively, but this is true of many other Warframes that have extra advantages in Excavation missions.

If you plan to stay in an Excavation mission for a long time, Hildryn does become a little bit more helpful for her personal survivability and offensive capabilities. Pillage’s shield- and armor-ripping functionality make it much easier to deal with fuel carriers that have become more durable as the mission has scaled. However, this generally isn’t too much of a problem regardless of Warframe choice, and is thus a rather minor benefit.

Balefire can eliminate groups of enemies firing on Excavators up to mid-high levels, but becomes less capable as enemy health scales higher and higher. When this happens, Balefire can instead take on a crowd control functionality, as it gains immense knockback when Hildryn has overshields. They can’t attack the Excavator if they’ve been sent into the stratosphere.

Aegis Storm can be used to lock down nearby enemies and prevent them from attacking, but it chews through your shield reserves pretty quickly, and if the Excavator isn’t in a sheltered location, enemies can still fire on it from outside of the ability’s range.

Haven will cause a stagger on enemies coming into range, giving the Excavator very brief respite from their attacks. Blazing Pillage can expand upon this, making enemies flail for a moment any time you cast Pillage. However, the flailing period is very short, requiring substantial commitment to keep the Excavator safe. At the very least, it’s effectively free to cast so long as there are enemies in range.

Overall, Hildryn has a few ways to help protect Excavators and defeat enemies, but they make very little impact relative to what more suitable Warframes are capable of.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Exterminate?

Somewhat; though Hildryn needs line of sight on enemies to defeat them, she can do so quickly. Blazing Pillage alone can easily dispatch low- to mid-level enemies, while making higher-level enemies easier to deal with using Balefire.

With Enemy Radar, it’s decently easy to ensure that Blazing Pillage passes over every enemy as you progress through the map, though some may end up hidden behind obstacles that take you far enough off-route to add noticeable time to the length of the mission. This isn’t terribly impactful in high-level missions where proper nuke Warframes must divert to deal with durable enemies that survive their nuke damage, but it can certainly be felt at lower levels where those nukes would reliably eradicate all enemies in the area.

Very high-level Grineer, such as in Steel Path, are made much easier to handle with Pillage and its augment. However, Balefire becomes more of a hindrance at such levels, as Pillage will keep Hildryn topped off with overshields, making Balefire deal huge knockback. It’s unlikely that Balefire can defeat level 100+ Grineer, even with so much armor stripped, so using it will just scatter enemies around the map making it harder to deal with them. You’ll need a powerful weapon to handle the actual killing side of the mission.

Overall, Hildryn is decently effective at all levels of Exterminate, even pulling ahead of most nuke Warframes at extremely high levels, but she’s never the best choice.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Interception?

Not really; Hildryn can get enemies off of Interception capture point consoles with Aegis Storm or Balefire while overshielded, but these both require her immediate presence. She has no abilities allowing her to defend capture points remotely, putting her at the same level as any other Warframe.

Pillage with its augment can give enemies a brief pause in their dash for the console as they flail from the Heat status effect, but it won’t stop enemies that are already performing the hack. The short length of the effect means that you don’t have time to go handle another capture point after casting.

Aegis Storm only needs a quick tap to get enemies off of the console. Upon ending the ability, all affected enemies are knocked down, but this is once again a very brief effect and will not help you to leave and deal with another capture point.

Overshielded Balefire is the only option Hildryn has for dealing with faraway capture points. With lots of ability range, she can send enemies flying away from the consoles by shooting nearly anywhere within the capture point’s ring. Unfortunately, this won’t help much in Interception maps with a lot of obstacles between each capture point.

Overall, Hildryn just has no real advantages over other Warframes for Interception missions.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Mobile Defense?

Somewhat; Hildryn has many options for preventing enemies from attacking. Aegis Storm disables enemies entirely, overshielded Balefire throws enemies far away from the area, and Pillage with its augment can repeatedly cause enemies to flail from its Heat status effect.

However, she lacks any impactful way to bolster the objective’s defenses directly, and requires a far more active playstyle than more suited Warframes. Haven can technically boost the shields of the defense objective, but at any stage where enemies are dangerous enough that extra durability is needed, the shield boost will be negligible. Non-Warframes don’t receive any benefit from the 3-second shield gate aspect of Haven, making it a mere buff of 500 shields at base. By the time you start needing specialized Warframes in Mobile Defense, the objective is going to have tens of thousands of shields.

Hildryn’s main method of defending the objective is by taking a proactive approach using one of the abilities mentioned in the first paragraph. Aegis Storm can get quite expensive to fuel when there are a lot of enemies around, but you can reduce your shield expenditure by only briefly activating the ability; when it ends, enemies are knocked to the ground, giving some time where they’re unable to attack, but you aren’t actively funding the ability.

Ultimately, however, my favored method is using Blazing Pillage, as there’s little to no risk of running out of shields as you spam the ability to keep enemies panicking. You can keep Balefire equipped while using this method, using it to scatter enemies that are becoming a problem. The constant overshields from Pillage spam when practically guarantee that every Balefire shot has its knockback component.

Overall, Hildryn has the ability to protect the Mobile Defense objective, but must work harder to do so than more suited Warframes.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Rescue?

No; Hildryn has no precise manner to deal with wardens, using many area-of-effect abilities that can easily alert other wardens to her presence. Haven is her only method of bolstering the hostage’s durability, which is relatively weak and depends on constant line of sight.

Aegis Storm is able to lift wardens if they’re on the console, but given the casting time, it’s typically too late to get the ability out if the warden is already mid-hack. Pillage with its augment can make wardens pause and flail with its Heat status effect, but this won’t stop a warden that’s already at the console.

Overshielded Balefire can throw wardens away from their position, but if the shot doesn’t kill them, it can be hard to find where they went. When you’re trying to keep track of three or four wardens at once, this can lead to enough confusion for them to start the execution sequence without catching them in time.

Haven isn’t likely to provide much, if any, benefit. Constant line of sight must be maintained to keep the hostage’s shield capacity buffed, and they are incapable of having overshield. As soon as line of sight is broken, their shields drop back down to their original value. Given how often hostages lag behind, line of sight will break unless you’re moving at a snail’s pace, and even then, they may decide to dart behind a wall at complete random, breaking line of sight anyway. The biggest benefit Haven provides is staggering enemies the first time they’re touched by the ability, briefly preventing them from firing on the hostage.

Overall, Hildryn has almost nothing to help with Rescue missions, making her no better than any other Warframe for the mission type.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Sabotage?

No; Hildryn has no abilities for getting through coolant rooms, no speed boosts for meltdown paths, and very little to offer for the defense-oriented paths. Balefire modded for explosion radius can help clear storage containers for hunting resource caches, but there are far better options for this.

Aegis Storm, Blazing Pillage, and overshielded Balefire can help to prevent enemies from attacking the objective in defense-oriented paths, but the former two require line of sight on the enemy, which is difficult to attain given the reactor in the middle of the room, and the pipes on each corner. A range-modded Balefire can usually be enough to hit through any walls in the way, but that’s the extent of Hildryn’s capabilities for this game mode.

Overall, Hildryn’s lack of specialized abilities for any of the challenges faced in Sabotage makes her no better than any other Warframe you could bring.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Spy?

No; while a couple of Hildryn’s abilities can be awkwardly useful for Spy missions, they’re hardly enough give her an advantage over more suited Warframes. Haven might destroy Corpus cameras before they can see her, and Pillage can soften a Grineer drone for the kill, but those are minor benefits.

Aegis Storm has occasional value in helping to traverse Spy vaults with floor traps, but these are typically set up in such a way that skilled parkour can get you the same result much more quickly than Hildryn’s slow float. Additionally, Aegis Storm will immediately trigger Grineer camera drones, making it difficult to impossible to use in vaults that contain them.

Haven will also set off Grineer camera drones, so if you have a habit of keeping the ability active (as I do), you can very easily set off the alarms as soon as you enter the room if you forget to turn it off beforehand.

Hildryn fares a bit better in Corpus Spy missions, where Haven and Aegis Storm will destroy cameras as soon as they come into view, usually before you can be seen by them. If the camera is directly facing you as you come in and spots your legs before your torso (where Haven emanates from) makes it in, the alarms can still be triggered.

Overall, Hildryn lacks any truly effective benefit for Spy missions, and can even be a liability in Grineer Spy missions if played absent-mindedly.

Is Hildryn a Good Warframe for Survival?

Yes; with the Blazing Pillage augment, Hildryn can kill enemies in low- to mid-level Survival missions almost as soon as they come into view. At high levels, the ability strips the majority of an enemy’s armor, making them much easier to defeat. Her durability lets her play to very high rounds.

While the line-of-sight requirements on Haven and Pillage are a weakness in missions like Exterminate and Sanctuary Onslaught, they are actually beneficial for Survival. Life support will only drop in nearby locations, eliminating the need to leave the room, which can disrupt enemy spawn behavior and force them to take a longer path to reach you.

If you wish to stay in the Survival mission for an extended period of time, such as for Void Fissure missions, Hildryn’s survivability makes it easy to play recklessly. Pillage (especially with its augment) can ensure that kill counts remain high, keeping the life support flowing.

Unfortunately, for Kuva Survival specifically, Hildryn can have a difficult time keeping Kuva Siphons alive. If you’re specifically after a Kuva Survival frame, Hildryn might not be the best choice.

Overall, Hildryn fares very well in Survival missions, handling both durability and destruction very effectively.

1 thought on “Is Hildryn a Good Warframe?”

  1. It’s rare that you see Hildryn guides out in the wild, and as a Hildryn main, I thoroughly approve. Thanks for a detailed and very well-thought-out blogpost.

    My experiences playing her have largely lined up with your observations. At Steel Path levels, I’ve found Balefire drops off in usefulness. With Balefire Surge it remains useful for popping Nully bubbles, but that’s a somewhat niche use case.

    Blazing Pillage is the lifeblood of my playstyle, practically turning Hildryn into a CC frame. That said, I’ve found it to hold up worst against Infested. Typically the amount of shields I’ve been able to Pillage back isn’t enough to maintain overshields, which in turn means that the omnipresent Infested toxin procs eat away at the fragile health pool. Even Balefire Surge only goes so far.

    Finally, Aegis Storm. You’ve been getting a lot of good use out of it, and I’ve seen players swear by it, but truthfully I’ve never gotten a whole lot of use for it. It’s been the ability I’ve replaced with Subsumed abilities the most often. Roar is a classic, but I’ve found that Elemental Ward/Electric works exceptionally well. The constant damage stacks with Blazing Pillage and adds an elemental damage type, so that everyone is sporting Electric and Fire procs just by being near Hildryn. So it doubles as a primer for Galvanized status mods or Condition Overload, on top of stunning whole rooms—an excellent ability mix all around. (Once I get a subsumable Wisp I plan to experiment with Breach Surge plus Blazing Pillage, for something of the same idea.)

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