Blasting, slashing, and flying through the Star Chart with your arsenal of weapons is just the normal Warframe experience that we all know and love. But there’s one warframe in particular that can rely purely on casting abilities to single-handedly annihilate waves of enemies – Protea.
Protea is considered by most to be a support warframe by nature. However, when built correctly, she can empower herself by chain-casting her abilities to easily execute hoards of enemies on her own, all without firing a single bullet from her weapon.
If you’re looking for a rather unique warframe to play around with, then you may want to try out Protea.
“Protea is the method to the madness. When you face her, it’s already too late.” – Lotus
Overview of Protea & Abilities
- Health: 100 (300 at rank 30)
- Shields: 150 (450 at rank 30)
- Armor: 125
- Energy: 150 (225 at rank 30)
- Sprint Speed: 1.2
In terms of base stats, Protea is a rather average warframe for the most part, save for a slightly higher base speed. However, due to her kit, this becomes rather inconsequential for the most part.
Every 4th ability cast is granted +100% ability strength.
Thanks to this passive, Protea can output some truly disgusting damage numbers with her offensive abilities if you build for ability strength. Even better, it’ll trigger often due to the high spamability of her kit, so you won’t have to actively manage it in most cases.
Grenade Fan (1st Ability)
Throw out 3 grenades in an arc.
(TAP) SHRAPNEL VORTEX Creates a slashing, staggering swirl of shrapnel.
(HOLD) SHIELD SATELLITES Protea reconfigures 3 Grenades to work as overcharging shield generators, protecting her, her allies and companions. When Shields break, a Satellite is destroyed to extend the period of invulnerability.
|Strength||200/250/350/500 (Slash damage per second)|
200/300/400/500 (shield restore on attach)
25/30/40/50 (shield per second)
|Range||2/3/4/5m (vortex and pickup radius)|
|Misc.||1m (jump height)|
3 (shrapnel grenades per throw)
100% stagger chance
Grenade Fan can provide either amazing defensive utility to your entire team or absolutely shred everything in front of you. Holding down the ability lets you create some ridiculously strong over-shields for nearby allies that even provide invulnerability after being depleted.
Alternatively, tapping the ability causes Protea to throw out a fan of grenades that create a shrapnel storm upon contact. Besides dealing hefty damage, they also stagger enemies. You can easily set up a deadzone for enemies to walk into and get torn apart.
The best part is that both variants of the ability are spammable. If your team is taking immense damage, you can set up multiple satellites to constantly replenish shields and provide invulnerability. However, you’re more likely to be spamming it offensively, making the aforementioned deadzone even more deadly by layering multiple instances of shrapnel storms.
Since you’ll be spamming this ability often, you’re often and quickly reach the 4th ability cast needed to trigger your passive, making this an even more potent ability.
Blaze Artillery (2nd Ability)
Deploys an artillery unit to blast plasma charges at enemies it faces. Each enemy hit increases the power of subsequent plasma attacks.
|Strength||100/150/200/500 (heat damage per shot)|
|Range||30m (targeting range)|
|Misc.||3 shots per second|
130° firing arc
100% crit chance
100% status chance (burn)
100% damage bonus per hit
Blaze Artillery is the bread and butter of Protea’s kit, dealing the bulk of her damage. This ability sets up an automated turret that fires beams of plasma through enemies, dealing 100% more Heat damage for every successful shot.
You can deploy up to a max of three turrets at once, and each turret can only fire at targets within their range and in front of them. Despite the ability’s rather low base duration, the turrets can fire three shots per second, more than making up for it.
Ideally, you cast this ability in tandem with Protea’s passive to get the extra ability strength buff… but honestly, you probably won’t need the extra damage. The ability is insanely strong on its own, and with the introducion of Archon mods, it can get truly ridiculous when paired with Archon Vitality.
This is quite literally an ability you can cast and then just watch, especially as the damage multiplier goes up and the enemy numbers go down.
Dispensary (3rd Ability)
Deploys a device that generates 3 pickups after a short delay: empowered health orb, universal ammo pack and energy orb.
|Strength||10/15/20/25% (extra drop rate)|
Besides Protea’s shield satellites, this is the other ability that makes people view her initially as a support. When deployed, the dispensary will begin to periodically cycle through spitting out a health orb, universal ammo pack, and energy orb. Notably, these pickups are instanced for each player (so if Player A picks up the supplies, Player B will still be able to grab their own version of the supplies).
Whenever the dispensary spits out supplies, there’s a chance for the amount to be doubled, the likelihood scales with Protea’s ability strength. The dispensary will also stick around longer to spit out more supplies the higher your ability duration is. Do note that it won’t spit out more supplies until you pick up what’s already on the ground.
This ability alone enables invaluable sustain for you and your teammates but even more so when using the Equilibrium mod, as health and energy orbs will also refill the opposite resource respectively. That being said, this is also why people often subsume a Protea and take her Dispensary to use as an infused Helminth ability on other warframes.
Temporal Anchor (4th Ability)
Drops a Temporal Anchor which, after a short duration, Protea rewinds to triggering a temporal implosion. Implosion damage increases based on damage dealt between anchor drop and rewind. Everything lost or expended in that time is returned. Dying while Anchor is active rewinds Protea to the anchor, saving her. Protea is knocked down and the anchor vanishes.
|Strength||10/15/20/25% (recorded damage conversion)|
|Duration||5/6/7/8 (anchor duration)|
|Range||8/10/12/15 (implosion range)|
|Misc.||3s initial invulnerability|
100% enemy knockdown chance on implosion
100% status cleanse on rewind
This ability allows for some incredibly powerful maneuvers. Using it will create a “snapshot” of Protea at the time of activation, making a note of her position, ammo, energy/health/shields, and combo counter.
When the ability expires or you manually re-trigger it, Protea will deal a massive AoE implosion around her, dealing more Blast damage based off how much damage she inflicted while the ability was active, and rewinding to her initial “snapshot”. The rewind will even clear any negative status effects!
Ideally, you use this ability while at full resources (especially energy) before you dive into a major fight. While Temporal Anchor is active, spam all of your offensive capabilities to deal as much damage as possible, before getting close to any surviving enemies and ending the ability.
If done correctly, you’ll nuke the enemy forces and rewind to safety with all of the resources you just spent. However, if you’re downed during while the ability is active, the implosion will not trigger. Luckily, you’ll still rewind to your initial position with all of your resources except health (which will be at 5%).
As you can imagine, this is an incredibly unique ability that opens up a lot of possibilities. It scales off of ability strength and duration, so it works perfectly fine with a general-purpose Protea build. However, despite being a really cool and unique idea, this ability is realistically the weakest part of Protea’s kit. You’ll most likely get more value by swapping this out for a better infused Helminth ability.
How to Get Protea in Warframe
Protea’s main blueprint can be instantly obtained upon completion of The Deadlock Protocol quest. The Chassis, Systems, and Neuroptics blueprints can all be obtained from the Granum Void, but they each drop from different difficulties.
- Neuroptics blueprint drops in the base Granum Void
- Chassis blueprint comes from the Extended Granum Void.
- Systems blueprint drops in Nightmare Granum Void.
All Protea parts have a static 11.11% drop chance, which means an average of 9 runs of each Granum Void difficulty give or take.
Alternatively, if you’re strapped for time, you can just outright buy Protea from the Market for 325 Platinum.
Best Protea Build – General Purpose
- Requires 4 Forma
While the meta endgame build for Protea allows her to disintegrate enemies in a matter of seconds, she doesn’t lack in the support department either. Just being able to spam Fan Grenades to keep your team shielded, while having a Dispensary down, is more than enough to ensure you and your team are able to survive.
Just throw down floating fire cannons that automatically target enemies, and you have easily one of the stronger and more well-rounded warframes in the game with a playstyle so unique that she isn’t required to shoot her weapons at all.
A meta build for Protea consists of a good amount of ability strength, range, and duration – with the main focus being strength and range. Her efficiency doesn’t necessarily need to be great, since she can self-sustain with her Dispensary, giving you a lot of room to play around with mod and stat combinations.
- Molt Efficiency is a top pick for Protea because of all the overshields from spamming her Grenade Fan (1st ability). Keeping Molt Efficiency up should be fairly trivial.
- Molt Augmented paired up with Protea’s passive and the ramping multiplier from Blaze Artillery (2nd ability) is a combination that should not be overlooked. This combination will help you clear out rooms of enemies in the Star Char and Steel Path alike. Can be replaced with Molt Vigor if you don’t mind hopping in and out of operator mode when you want to use Blaze Artillery.
Mod Choice Explanation
- Growing Power really complements how Protea’s overall kit works, as her main source of damage has a 100% chance to apply burn status and also scales off of ability strength.
- Preparation allows you to come out of the ship swinging. You should have more than enough energy to get a dispenser down to help sustain all your energy needs while mowing down enemies with your Blazing Artillery. This is left at level 7 to make it fit within a 4-Forma build. You can replace this with something like Cunning Drift if you bring energy pads.
- Equilibrium can be seen as the most important part of the puzzle when it comes to making Protea’s build work as intended. Having the Synth Fiber mod equipped on your companion allows you to pick up health orbs while at full health, essentially turning health orbs into energy with Equilibrium. This whole interaction works perfectly with Protea’s dispensers and is the staple of her incredible sustainability.
- Primed Flow just gives breathing room to play with when it comes to energy management since you’ll be casting abilities often on Protea. Can be replaced with the normal Flow.
- Primed Continuity for more duration. Can be replaced with normal Continuity.
- Transient Fortitude / Umbral Intensify for ability strength.
- Augur Reach / Stretch for range.
Given how Protea is primarily a caster warframe, feel free to use whatever weapons you like. If you’re not quite sure which weapons work well in high level content and endgame, feel free to check out some of the weapon guides and tier lists we have here at the High Ground!
Protea’s Temporal Anchor (4th ability) should be the only option to replace for an infused Helminth ability. Abilities that help with crowd control or help buff ability strength synergize very well with Protea.
Here are a few good options to try:
- Roar (Rhino) – A very great ability with no downsides. Cast it for a pretty significant boost to ability strength, boosting Protea to even greater heights.
- Ensnare (Khora) / Larva (Nidus) / Airburst (Zephyr) – Great for grouping mobs of enemies for your Blazing Artillery to mow down.
Join the High Ground!
Hopefully our guide helped you better understand and build your Protea in Warframe! It may take a little bit of time to manually farm all of the parts with such a low drop rate, but it’s well worth it in the end!
Or maybe you have your own Protea builds that you enjoy using? Feel free to share them in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to the High Ground for the latest news, guides, and articles on all things gaming.
Be safe, traveler.