Feature Photo credit: RIBs.HAVOC
As an EV replacement: D-
Don’t try using him for this role, he’s not good at it.
As a damage boosting support that can heal and restore energy: A-
While good at it, he has some core flaws that hold him back from being an A or A+.
As a solo frame: B+
He can do it, but there are better options.
Harrow’s Passive grants him double the overshields one normally may have, allowing him to reach 2850 shields without Redirection or Vigor. This effect lets him function as a tankier frame than the likes of Mag or Nova, but due to the nature of shields he is no Inaros or Nidus. This passive synergizes with his second ability strongly.
- Condemn is very potent for a first ability, but compared to the rest of his kit it falls short; it is used as a means to empower the other abilities most of the time. Condemn causes a line of chains to erupt from the ground in a path towards the cursor and incapacitate enemies, while also granting Harrow shields, which can become overshields if at maximum capacity. An important thing to note, this does not grant allies shields. Range affects the length and width of this ability, strength affects the overshields one receives, and duration affects how long a target is incapacitated.
- Penance is where things get interesting. Penance consumes all of Harrows shields and overshields–the more shields consumed the longer the duration of the effect. While active, it grants Harrow a massive attack speed / fire-rate and reload speed steroid, the likes of which are comparable to Volt’s Speed buff. In addition to attack speed/fire-rate and reload, 5% of all damage Harrow deals while this is active is converted into health for all allies within affinity range (50 meters). This part is important for creating builds for Harrow. Strength affects the firerate/attack speed, reload speed buff, and the lifesteal amount. Duration affects how long it lasts. However, range has no positive effects on this ability.
Thurible is Harrow’s means of gaining energy to fuel the machine that is his kit. Upon activation, Harrow channels this ability, making him unable to use other skills or attack, but his movement options are still in place–you can still freely Bullet Jump, etc. Harrow can recast Thurible to stop the channeling, after which every kill that Harrow gets grants himself and allies within range energy. The longer Harrow channels this ability, the more energy that is granted upon a kill. On a headshot kill, the energy gain is quadrupled (4x). This ability is contradictory to his role as a support for reasons explained 2 paragraphs down. Strength affects the amount that the channel goes up by each second, duration affects how long it lasts after channeling finishes, and range affects the range at which killing a target grants energy to allies.
- Covenant, Harrow’s ultimate, is almost two abilities. After casting Covenant , Harrow and allies within affinity range gain invulnerability to damage, and damage that would be taken is stored up in a battery visible to Harrow via a graphic on the HUD. At the end of the invulnerability, a duration double the length of the invulnerability is enabled, where the damage that Harrow and his allies would have taken is converted into raw crit chance. On a headshot this crit chance is amplified four times. This ability has a cap of +50%, meaning that a headshot can reach +200% crit chance. This crit chance bonus is added at the end of all equations regarding crit chance. So if a weapon has 5% crit chance after mods, then it now has 55% crit chance. For example; the Dread has 125% crit chance after including Point Strike, then with the 50% crit chance buff the Dread now has 175%.
With these tools at his disposal, Harrow is capable of many things. For instance, should an ally fall Harrow can activate his 4, Covenant, to become invulnerable and revive them easily so long as nullifiers are not present. On a defense map, Harrow can stand by the objective and grant his allies tremendous energy restoration. Harrow’s true strength shines not in the individual power of his skills however, but the strength in which they are used in unison. At a glance, a frame that has only a measly 300 health sacrificing all of their shields for an ability is ludicrous, they would be shot down in seconds. But Harrows kit already deals with this issue. A common combo for a Harrow to perform is activating Covenant and then sacrificing his shields with his 2, Penance. During this time of sacrificing his shields, Harrow is invulnerable due to the lengthy duration of Covenant. During this time, without shields, Harrow would be vulnerable if he wasn’t immune to damage. So during this time, Harrow can regain all his lost shields with the use of his 1, Condemn, so by the time Covenant wears off he will have a large amount of overshields ideally. Harrow’s 3, Thurible, is an interesting ability because it contradicts the very nature of supports.
Harrow’s Penance does as well to a smaller extent due to the requirement being that Harrow deals damage to heal, but the reason Thurible contradicts the nature of supports is that for the ability to function Harrow himself has to achieve the killing blow on enemies. No one else. And unlike Trinity who needs a single enemy to be able to draw energy from and can keep them alive for an extended duration with Well of Life, Harrow is required to kill the target to get any energy at all from them. The time this ability shows its flaw primarily is when Harrow is matched up with heavy damage frames, such as Ember, Equinox, and Saryn. If a Trinity energy vampires a target, and an ally kills them, the remaining energy the target would give is given off in a burst all at once. But with Harrow, if an ally kills a target that Harrow was intending to kill, then no energy is rewarded. Worse yet, Harrow is rewarded for achieving headshot kills, but the ability to line up a shot takes longer than simply aiming in the general direction of an enemy to kill it. This extra time further goes against the idea of him needing to kill his targets, because during that extra time an ally is more likely to kill the target Harrow would shoot. This causes Harrow to have an anti-synergistic relationship with damage frames. Rather, Harrow prefers being with frames that can crowd control and support aswell, such as Banshee, Octavia, and Rhino.
Harrow’s best friends:
-Banshee: Her Sonar does well when used in unison with Harrow’s Covenant, allowing tremendous damage to be dealt.
-Octavia: She increases the damage dealt via her Amp, while Harrow increases crit chance. These abilities work in unison to great effect.
-Rhino: His ability to CC large numbers of enemies while also buffing the damage of the team synergizes with Harrow’s accuracy and buff-based play. While enemies being knocked up might make it harder to land headshots in some cases, it might make it easier in others depending on how the victims of Rhino’s Stomp fall. Rhino’s Roar, like Amp from Octavia and Sonar from Banshee, benefits from Covenant’s crit chance buff as well.
-Frost: In a game where sitting still is often a death sentence in higher level missions, Frost enables Harrow to do just that–sit still and line up accurate shots very easily. On top of this, Frost can freeze targets, meaning Harrow does not have to make use of his Condemn anywhere near as often if he wishes to immobilize enemies to allow easy headshots.
-Mesa: An odd relationship, but after her rework Mesa does not annihilate all enemies on the map instantaneously anymore which lets Harrow to get kills to fuel himself and allies. While Harrow does not give Mesa energy while she is in Peacemaker, he does grant her an additional 50% crit chance to her Regulator Pistols, which by default have a 25% crit chance and 3x crit damage multiplier.
-Any beefy tank: Inaros or Nidus in particular, due to Harrow healing them very efficiently if they are nearby. In a game where dealing 30,000 is considered normal, Harrow can fully heal the both of them in seconds so long as they are within affinity range.
-Ember: Harrow gives nothing to Ember. While World on Fire is active, Harrow cannot give her energy, and her abilities can’t crit, which means they will not benefit from the bonus crit chance from Covenant. In addition, Ember is prone to killing all enemies near her rather quickly in content below level 40, making Harrow’s life much harder.
-Equinox: Similar to Ember, Equinox simply kills every enemy around her, and her abilities do not benefit from Harrow’s crit chance increase.
–Saryn: Harrow only has energy to offer Saryn because she can heal herself with her augment, and neither her Spores nor her Miasma benefit from additional crit chance. These abilities have the added bonus of eliminating the vast majority of enemies from the map, neutering Harrow’s ability to make the most use of his kit.
-Scourge: this weapon allows Harrow to achieve headshots much easier with its alt fire. This synergizes heavily with his abilities. That grant 4x the effect.
–Sniper Rifles: Due to the emphasis on accuracy in Harrow’s kit, sniper rifles seem an obvious choice due to a similar emphasis in their use.
-Slow-firing, high-damage, high-accuracy weapons: Among this list would include the likes of the Sybaris Prime, Vaykor Marelok, and the Lex Prime. Due to the importance of accuracy while using Harrow, weapons that fall under this category work wonders in conjunction.
-Melee stances with overhead vertical swings: This is due to the fact that headshots can be achieved with melee weapons. A warning, this is inconsistent due to Warframe’s, uh, interesting hitboxes.
–Weapons with a low base crit chance: Thanks to Covenant’s crit chance buff, these weapons can become high crit chance weapons while retaining their previous strengths.
Harrow supplies himself with energy, meaning efficiency is of little value so long as one has a Flow or Primed Flow equipped. Duration is of utmost importance, however, second only to power strength. Power strength increases his shields gained from Covenant, increases his attack speed / fire-rate and reload speed buff of Penance, and increases the speed at which Thurible charges energy. Duration is important because the less time you spend casting abilities (Thurible has a particularly brutal channel time), the better. His 3 has a long cast time to get respectable energy per kill, and needing to do it repeatedly is the least of a Harrow’s desires. High duration also causes his Covenant to last long enough to perform the 4-2-1 combo and revive allies with ease. Range is necessary seldom, because of how most of his abilities are hard-locked to a range of affinity, meaning range does not affect his 2 or 4, only his 1 and 3. Running negative range on Harrow during defense is perfectly acceptable, while on survival missions more range is required.
If one is intending to bring Harrow into a raid, this build changes drastically. In a raid, Harrow is largely outclassed by Trinity–since her Energy Vampire does not require the killing of a target to provide energy (and Law of Retribution does not focus at all on killing enemies), and during Jordas Verdict his low health of 300 is doing him no favors. If you do decide to bring Harrow to a raid, he can be built as a healer (similar a Blessing Trinity) or as an energy restorer (similar to an EV Trinity). To perform the former, the build remains unchanged. To perform the latter, the build becomes centered around maximum power range, and a good mix of strength and duration. The reason Harrow performs sub-optimally in raids is due to the necessity of killing multiple targets, while Trinity only requires a single target.
Something to note: Redirection does not increase your overshields cap, meaning all Redirection does is increase your base shields. This is less important when you realize your Condemn builds shields incredibly quickly.
Strength duration build:
Corrosive Projection — Power Drift
Stretch / Narrow Minded / Intensify / Primed Flow
Blind Rage / Primed Continuity / Transient Fortitude / Natural Talent
With the above build, one has more than acceptable duration and maximum strength possible, meaning your shield restoration, fire-rate, attack speed, reload speed, and energy gain per kill are all tremendously high. During a survival mission, replacing Energy Conversion/Constitution with Stretch is assumed for the additional range, making it easier for allies to stay near you and gain energy when they desire it.
Range raid discount EV build:
Corrosive Projection — Cunning Drift
Natural Talent / Overextended / Stretch / Primed Flow
Energy Conversion / Primed Continuity / Intensify / Blind Rage
The mentality behind the above build is to grant energy upon kill to as many allies as possible, due to LoR being so spaced out and JV not exactly being claustrophobic enough for less range to be warranted.