If you are looking for a tanky Atlas Prime build that holds its ground in late game and clears out Nullifier, Scrambus or even sentients other warframes tiptoe around, then this is your build. Atlas Prime is a nice middle ground between a stationary Nidus and an übertanky Inaros with great emergency abilities. To make full use of this build you need to use one Umbra forma, equip all 3 umbral mods and have a rank 3 Arcane Grace.
This Atlas Prime build guide is quite in-depth. If you prefer to jump in a specific topic here is a convenient list of everything covered in this article:
- Is Atlas Prime really a tank in Warframe?
- Atlas inbuild survivability: knockdown immunity & invulnerability
- Atlas playstyle #1: Shock Trooper
- Atlas playstyle #2: Gun platform with sentries
- Atlas brings a second squad to each mission
- Build: 1 Umbra Forma allrounder, late game
- Melee weapons for Atlas
- Umbral Atlas Prime one punch / landslide melee build
- Atlas Kubrow and Kavat synergies
- Umbral Atlas Prime, the sentient slayer
Is Atlas Prime really a tank in Warframe?
Yes, Atlas Prime is a tank.
He is not as tanky as Inaros but Atlas has a kit that makes him more useful in defense & mobile defense missions. Rhino and Chroma get more tanky than Atlas Prime with their abilities. But once large hordes of nullifier, scrambus or combas appear this advantage is easily gone. This makes Atlas Prime more versatile in Corpus missions and especially in Corpus arbitrations.
Atlas inbuild survivability: knockdown immunity & invulnerability
There are two elements that increase survivability of Atlas before you even put a single mod on him.
The first is his passive immunity to knockdown: As long as Atlas has his feet on the ground he cannot be knocked down. No need to equip Handspring, Constitution or Primed Sure Footed. With some boss enemy types Atlas will get a short stagger animation but will keep standing. Pain Threshold will lessen even that. This immunity serves extremely well against blast effect of Grineer bombards, Corpus bursas and most boss fights. It also allows the precise use of high recoil charge archguns like Corvas, Velocitus and Larkspur in ground combat.
There is also an invulnerability phase whenever Atlas is using his Landslide ability. If things get too hairy while fighting huge hordes, bosses or even sentients using landslide for a few swings provides some breathing space.
Atlas playstyle #1: Shock Trooper
Atlas Prime is best used as a frontline brawler similar to shock troopers. In a team he has the following three jobs:
His first and to me most important job is to aggressively hunt down nullifier units. Whenever you see a nullifier, scrambus or comba slam in their middle. The best way to do it, is to bullet jump over them and use a heavy slam attack. That will knock most of the enemies down and you can start working on whatever nullifier unit is still alive. Remember that most warframes depend on their abilities and will not face tank a nullier. You can and you should – always.
Atlas second job is clear up large hordes by smashing into them. He needs to be the classical shock trooper. The tactic is similar to your nullifier hunt. You look for the biggest group of enemies and land a heavy slam attack in their middle. Hammer them for a few seconds and then move on to the next group. Don’t get too attached to a group of enemies. If you play in a squad, then soften up large clumps of enemies will do wonders for your team.
His last job is to revive fallen squad mates. No matter if the place is crawling with nullifying units or full of strong enemies. If possible start with a heavy slam attack from above to provide some breathing space. Depending on the situation you can either Petrify, his third ability, the largest chunk of enemies or put down a Tectonics wall, his second ability. Then start reviving your team mate. You should not underestimate the usefulness of Tectonics because they are invulnerable for 3 seconds and any damage taken is converted into health.
Do these 3 jobs on rotation, summon your rumblers constantly and you will the useful Altas other tenno will come to love.
Atlas playstyle #2: Gun platform with sentries
Playing the shock trooper is not always the right solution. Sometimes you need to shoot enemies from a distance or protect allies. Then it is time to turn Atlas into a resilient gun platform. He already is a heavy armored meat tank who can take a punch.
You have to make sure is to throw out your rumblers, his fourth ability, constantly. They will draw in enemy aggro and soften up enemies.
Next you should try to protect allies with your Tectonics. Just put them down on mobile and static defense targets. It is also useful to use them on choke points to protect teammates for a short while or if you need a few seconds for using a restore.
With all that done you can use your trusted guns or archguns to wreak havoc among enemy troops.
Atlas brings a second squad to each mission
I have mentioned multiple times that you should use your rumblers constantly. They draw enemy aggro and they damage enemy units. Every enemy that is preoccupied with your rumblers is one less to care about and also offers an opportunity to strike from behind.
When you add a Kubrow or Kavat to the mix you find yourself protected by 3 minions. You can increase this number to a full squad by adding a Clem or Ancient Healer to the mix.
In defense missions, especially in sortie and arbitrations, the ability to bring your personal squad to distract the enemy is highly appreciated.
Build: 1 Umbra Forma allrounder, late game
After I went through all the tips and tricks on how to play Atlas Prime in late game we can now look at the actual build. You need just one umbra forma to make it work but I also advise to add an aura forma for more flexibility.
The foundation of this build are all 3 Umbral mods. This combination brings Atlas Prime to 1872 health and 1389 armor. With this amount of armor he has an effective health pool of over 10’500 health.
To further increase his tankiness you need to add Adaptation that will reduce the effect of incoming damage significantly.
Primed Continuity will allow your rumblers to stay out for a long period of time and will keep up you Landslide punch combo even if you take small breaks between punches.
Stretch allows longer distances for enemies you want to punch with Landslide and increases the cone of your Petrify. Thus Petrify becomes a useful emergency AOE.
The stones that petrified enemies drop will form a second layer of armor. But with almost 1400 base armor that additional armor is almost irrelevant.
Hunter Adrenaline works similar to Rage by converting damage done to Atlas into energy. If you ever get damaged too much you will have more than enough energy for Landslide to punch your way out of it. And while “landsliding” you will be invulnerable.
If you put just one umbra forma on his base build you will be limited to Steel Charge as only useful aura mod. I highly recommend to add an aura forma on his aura slot. With that you have more flexibility in terms of auras to choose from. I prefer to run Rejuvenation most of the time to provide additional healing for my companion, my squad mates and also myself. But I swap that out for Steel Fiber, Corrosive Projection or Enemy Radar depending on the mission.
To provide another layer of survivability I prefer to a rank 3 Arcane Grace equipped. The second arcane can be chosen to your liking. I like rank 3 Arcane Strike because it increases melee speed by 40%. And that allows me to wield slower heavy weapons. A second rank 3 Arcane Grace, Arcane Fury or an Arcane Tanker for the orb fight would also be highly useful alternatives.
Melee weapons for Atlas
Atlas Prime is made for sparring weapons like Tekko Prime, Furax Wraith or Prisma Obex. But the downsides of all sparring weapons are limited range and stances that can be very disorienting.
You should be looking in melee weapons with more range and more punch. Hammers are a very solid choice. Fragor Prime, Volnus or a Kuva Shildeg work wonders with an aggressive Shock Trooper playstyle.
The Volnus with a hybrid crit-status build is the option with least punch but with the highest attack speed.
Fragor Prime with a similar hybrid build but leaning more towards crit than towards status will quickly wreak havoc among enemy troops.
The Kuva Shildeg is the best of its class and will, even without a riven or Steel Charge, mow through sortie and arbitration hordes with ease.
If you prefer polearms or heavy blades instead of hammers feel free to use them.
Umbral Atlas Prime one punch / landslide melee build
If you really want a boring one-punch build then you have to understand that damage for Landslide comes to the most part from damage increasing mods on your melee weapon. Power strength does play a role but a weapon modded exclusively for landslide will increase your damage output by factor 10. Damage mods on your melee weapon provide an amazing multiplier for the base damage of Landslide.
Your melee build has to get rid of any form of utility mods including range, attack speed or combo counter. A pure damage melee build optimized for Landslide aka one-punch should include the following mods:
- Primed Pressure Point (+1.65)
- Primed Heavy Trauma (+1.65)
- Collision Force (+1.2)
- Spoiled Strike (+1)
- Primed Fever Strike (+1.65)
- Shocking Touch (+0.9)
- North Wind (+0.9)
- Molten Impact (+0.9)
The numbers after each mod represent the increase to the corresponding damage multiplier. This is how you calculate the damage of your first punch.
350 x (1+ damage mods) x (1 + elemental mods) x (1 + power strength)
After inserting the numbers from above we get:
350 x (1 + 5.5) x (1 + 4.35) x (1 + 0.66)
350 x 6.5 x 5.35 x 1.66 = 20.204
That means, with our Atlas Prime build you do 20’204 impact damage on your first punch, 40’408 impact damage on your second punch and 80’816 impact damage on your final punch. If you still need more overkill, you can add Steel Charge increase those numbers a tiny bit.
I would advise to mod a weapon exclusively for Landslide damage because you need to spend 4-5 forma depending on the number of initial slots.
I personally do not use the one-punch build because it forces me into a rather boring playstyle.
Atlas Kubrow and Kavat synergies
Atlas Prime was released together with Dethcube Prime. Although they work pretty good together it is the beasts that really shine with Atlas Prime. The reason for this are the Link Health and Link Armor mods that make proper use of umbral tank Atlas’ large health and armor pool. This in turn creates extremely tanky kubrows and kavats that can safely be brought to sorties, arbitrations or the Profit-Taker orb heist.
You need three mods to fully profit from Atlas’ health pool and the above mentioned shock trooper playstyle. Link Health will bring your Kubrow or Kavat to 3300-3700 health. Link Armor will back up the health with 1600-1700 armor. That means any incoming damage will receive a damage reduction of over 80%. To ensure constant healing of your beast equip it with Pack Leader. This will heal your beast according to the melee damage Atlas does.
Your beast’s build can and should also heal your Atlas. Hunter Recovery is the proper mod to equip because any melee damage your beast does will be used to heal Atlas.
The next two mod slots of your beast should include Fetch to collect loot and Animal Instinct to detect loot and enemies. That leaves you with 4 mod slots for damage or utility mods of your choice.
A kubrow with Bite, Maul and two additional elemental damage mods is a capable battle beast.
The same goes for tanky Adarza “Battle Cat” that churns out crit buffs.
To make full use of your beast’s capabilities you have to invest many forma. But any forma invested in your favorite kubrow or kavat is a good investment. These cute quadrupeds not only help you in missions but are also a joy to look at.
Umbral Atlas Prime, the sentient slayer
One final thing: The Atlas Umbral build is perfectly suited to hunt down and slay sentient enemies. The umbral mods increase Tau resistance and using Landslide against sentients will keep Atlas invulnerable. If you put all Sacrificial mods on you melee weapon you will also do +41% more damage to sentients.
Atlas Prime will stand his ground against all enemy factions and does not depend on his abilities to survive. He works well as nullifier hunter, sentient slayer and shock trooper. Combined with a Kubrow and his two rumblers he is a worthwhile addition to every squad to deal damage and revive fallen squad mates.
This guide is a guide of love. I had been playing the base Atlas for almost three years before I could finally get my hands on Atlas Prime. I like underdogs and this neckless warframe punched his way into my heart. I proudly enjoy playing Atlas as one of probably only a handful of other tenno.