[Top 10] Warframe Zaw Combinations

Warframe, the old blood, best warframe zaws, warframe zaws, cetus
"Keep swingin' until they're more red than, well, anything else." - Hok

Your blade, Tenno. When you name them, you bring them to life.

When I say the names Thor or King Arthur, their iconic weapons are easy to recall. It’s impossible to separate thoughts of Thor from his thunderous hammer Mjölnir gliding through bolts of lightning on the battlefield. In Warframe, an industrious Tenno can make their own melee weapon specially designed around their play style. Come! Let us explore some of these options together in the top 10 Warframe Zaw combinations after the drop of update 26: The Old Blood. 

What is a Zaw?

The Cetus marketplace is always bustling. The vendors each calling out their wares in hopes to draw in a customer. Today, one catches your ear, "You have dreamed of your perfect blade! Well, dream no longer! It resides in the space between yourself and HOK, master craftsman, waiting to be born!" His stall has various types of weapon parts on display, but why should you be interested? What is this zaw anyway? A zaw is a melee weapon that is composed of three parts, a strike, a grip, and a link. A Tenno can mix and match any of the three parts to create the perfect melee weapon to match their play style.

The strike will determine the weapon and type of damage you will be dealing. The second part of the Zaw, a grip determines the damage bonus and attack speed of the weapon. The grip also determines the type of weapon you will create. And finally, the link determines various stats with some examples being Critical Chance, IPS, and Status Bonuses. When you see IPS, this stands for Impact, Puncture, and Slash, the types of physical damage. 

It’s important to note that when you create your zaw, you will not gain any Mastery Rank until it has been gilded. This requires 5000 Ostron reputation and 2 Cetus Wisps once a zaw has been initially leveled to 30 the first time. From then on, you can use Formas, Orokin reactors and arcanes as normal. It’s important to also remember that the Mastery Rank is only granted from the strike. The only way to avoid this process is to purchase a pre-built zaw from Hok in his “Today’s Special” selection which rotates daily and includes an Orokin Reactor already installed.

Note on Mods

I’m not going to be focusing on mods too much here as I feel that is personally left to flavor and access of mods, which can take time and change. Overall, my suggestion is to find sets and mods which make up for which you are choosing to lose. If you decide to use a grip that lowers your attack speed but increases your damage, take that and grab a (Primed) Fury mod and/or Berserker to go with it, for example.

For the Budding Footpad

Before we get started, don’t panic! If you’ve got your towel and you aren’t quite sure where, to begin with, the combinations, you have to actively try to make a bad zaw. The first one you make may not be the best possible combination, but you can turn in old zaws for Ostron standing and try again when you have access to more parts. As long as it fits your flavor of play in the end, there is no real wrong answer.

Right from neutral standing with Ostron, you have access to two links, eight grips, and all of the non-event strikes (see Operation: Plague Star later in this article). This gives you quite a few options to start playing with and I strongly encourage you to do so.

Slicing things, ninja style.

10. Sepfahn strike, Korb grip, Jai link

Pretty much every Nikana is a great melee weapon in Warframe, and this Nikana zaw is no exception. I wouldn’t want to be caught at the end of this hooked blade. Tenno tested. Lotus approved.

  • Weapon Class: Nikanas, 1-handed
  • Attack Speed: 0.867 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 20.0%
  • Range: 2.50
  • Status: 20.0%
  • Total Damage: 250.0
    • IPS: 25.0, 62.5, 162.5

Effective for tree branches and grineer ankles.

9. Mewan strike, Seekalla grip, Ruhang link

A mean-looking polearm that can more than hold its own, the saw-like blade is an excellent tool for cutting through your enemies. 

  • Weapon Class: Polearms, 2-handed
  • Attack Speed: 0.867 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 18.0%
  • Range: 3.00
  • Status: 18.0%
  • Total Damage: 255.0
    • IPS: 63.8, 89.3, 102.0

Maximum Ostron Reputation

You don’t quite have to reach max rank (5 - Kin) with Ostron to gain access to all of the non-event Zaw pieces. Once you have reached reputation rank 4 - Surah, you will have access to your full menu of choices.

A beautiful red slash crit.

8. Mewan strike, Shtung grip, Ekwana II Jai link

Another sawblade polearm, this monster is to help those that are looking to proc status chance with a bit of reach on top.

  • Weapon Class: Polearms, 2-handed
  • Attack Speed: 0.800 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 10.0%
  • Range: 3.00
  • Status: 32.0%
  • Total Damage: 270.0
    • IPS: 67.5, 94.5, 108.0

For the Tenno looking to make a point to their enemies.

7. Dehtat strike, Kwath grip, Vargeet II Jai link 

This one is a personal favorite of mine and this rapier can lay out the criticals with the best of them. Perfectly paired with the Berseker mod. For best results, apply pointy end into your enemy. Repeat as needed.

  • Weapon Class: Rapier, 1-handed
  • Attack Speed: 1.02 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 32.0%
  • Range: 2.50
  • Status: 10.0%
  • Total Damage: 234.0
    • IPS: 23.4, 117.0, 93.6

Operation: Plague Star

November 2017 and Update 22.3 saw the introduction of a recurring event called Operation: Plague Star. This also introduced a few new options which are uniquely purchasable while the event is going. Don’t fret, it seems to have happened at least four times so far and I’m sure we’ll see it again.

In the meantime, you can keep an eye on Hok’s “Today’s Special” store tab as the pre-built zaws can contain these parts at any time. When it does arrive again, it’s highly suggested that you grab multiples of each part to allow you the ability to play with options. All of the plague pieces add viral damage and are a wonderful building block for adding additional status effects.

An explosion of numbers before Saryn.

6. Plague Kripath strike, Plague Bokwin grip, Ekwanna II Jai link

This monster is the best status chance melee weapon in the game at the time of writing this. With mods, you can easily bring it to a 100% status chance! Paired with the Condition Overload mod, your screen with be exploding with numbers.

  • Weapon Class: Polearms, 2-handed
  • Attack Speed: 1.00 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 14.0%
  • Range: 3.00
  • Status: 32.0%
  • Total Damage: 233.0
    • IPS: 35.1, 75.1, 54.1
    • Viral damage: 69.1

Valkyr is prepared for battle.

5. Plague Keewar strike, Plague Bokwin grip, Jai II link

This staff has some of the highest base damage available out of the zaw weapons. While not as favored as the previous entry, it is more than capable of holding its own.

  • Weapon Class: Staves, 2-handed
  • Attack Speed: 1.02 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 18.0%
  • Range: 3.00
  • Status: 22.0%
  • Total Damage: 259.0
    • IPS: 76.3, 45.3, 79.3
    • Viral: 58.3

More Powerhouse Combinations

Remember, in Warframe just about any weapon can be made to be to work at any level of play. That being said, there are a few that rise above the rest. This section will include all zaw pieces available regardless, locked behind an event or not.

Swift strikes create a dead foe.

4. Balla strike, Plague Akwin grip, Vargeet Jai II link

These daggers are no joke when it comes to laying down the damage and with amazing speed to boot, you’ll find yourself not looking for another weapon.

  • Weapon Class: Daggers, 1-handed
  • Attack Speed: 1.20 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 25.0%
  • Range: 1.70
  • Status: 14.0%
  • Total Damage: 214.0
    • IPS: 10.7, 128.4, 74.9

This weapon is sure to leave an impact on your enemies.

 3. Kronsh strike, Peye grip, Vargeet II Jai link

Looks may be deceiving, with this machete, but this weapon is just that.  Machetes are some of the most reliable crit weapons in Warframe and will serve a valuable tool for any Tenno.

  • Weapon Class: Machetes, 1-handed
  • Attack Speed: 1.02 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 32.0%
  • Range: 2.40
  • Status: 10.0%
  • Total Damage: 226.0
    • IPS: 158.2, 0.0, 67.8

Blade not suggested for cutting vegetables.

2. Mewan strike, Plague Akwin grip, Vargeet II Jai link

This mean-looking polearm can slice and dice through most everything. Its critical chance is some of the highest possible and does not take much to bump it to the orange and red crit levels.

  • Weapon Class: Swords, 1-handed
  • Attack Speed: 0.967 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 32.0%
  • Range: 2.50
  • Status: 10.0%
  • Total Damage: 218.0
    • IPS: 54.5, 76.3, 87.2

Tenno tested. Lotus approved.

1. Cyath strike, Seekalla grip, Ekwana Jai II link

This polearm is for those looking to pump out those red crit slash procs. It will be hard to find a melee weapon geared to helping you to do just that as well as this one.

  • Weapon Class: Polearms, 2-handed
  • Attack Speed: 1.17 (1.0 default)
  • Critical Chance: 14.0%
  • Range: 3.00
  • Status: 25.0%
  • Total Damage: 235.0
    • IPS: 47.0, 11.8, 176.3

I highly encourage you to try out your own ideas. Test which works best for you! To help your own planning, you can go to this link: https://semlar.com/zawcalc. It’s a community made calculator which allows you to easily see the weapon statistics and get to that ‘just right’ Goldilocks zone for you. When you come up with a build for you, come back and share it with me so we can compare notes!

Stay awhile and listen! If you enjoyed what you saw here, take a look at these articles to sate your appetite for more:

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