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Warframe Zaw Guide: Customizing Melee Weapons to Another Degree

Warframe Zaw Guide
By | November 28th, 2018 | Categories: Warframe

With hundreds of melee weapons to choose from, Warframe has quite a selection when it comes to how you want to slice, dice, and bash your enemies. But what about those of us who want an even greater degree of customization for our melee weapons? For us, there are Zaws. What are Zaws and how can you craft one perfect for your playstyle? Our Warframe Zaw Guide will answer these questions and more.

What are Zaws?

A Zaw is a special kind of melee weapon that you can build in Cetus on Earth. What makes Zaws so unique is that each one is made of three separate components of the player’s own choosing. Each of these components confers different advantages and drawbacks to the final weapon, giving the player a huge amount of freedom in building a weapon that suits their playstyle. How much freedom exactly? Well, given the number of components currently available, there are 1,760 unique variations of Zaw you can craft! So how do you build a Zaw that’s right for you? Read on to find out!

How do I build a Zaw?

To unlock and purchase Zaw components and assemble them into a completed Zaw, you’ll have to visit Hok in Cetus on Earth and spend Standing with the Ostron faction. Not only can you use this Standing to buy the various components, but you’ll need a higher and higher reputation rank with the Ostrons to unlock new parts for purchase.

Once you have the necessary Ostron Stranding, you’ll need to buy three blueprints for each of the different components: a Strike, a Grip, and a Link. There are currently 11 different kinds of Strike, 10 different kinds of Grip, and 16 different types of Link, so choose carefully! Once you’ve purchased the blueprints, you’ll need to build each component in your Foundry before you can assemble them. Once you’ve crafted each component and have it in your inventory, simply return to Hok in Cetus and select the “Forge a Zaw” option. At this point, you’ll be asked to select each component and review the stats of the final product before assembling it. Once you’re happy with your Zaw preview, you can instantly make it a reality by clicking the “Build Weapon” option. And voila! You are now the proud owner of a shiny new Zaw.

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What effect does each Zaw component have on the final product?

As we mentioned earlier in our Warframe Zaw Guide, you need a Strike, a Grip, and a Link to construct a Zaw. Each of these components has a different effect on the weapon type and stats of the final product. To start, the exact combination of Grip and Strike you use will determine whether your Zaw is a staff, polearm, hammer, machete, scythe, sword, nikana, or heavy blade. Make sure to check that you’ve created the weapon type you prefer during the Zaw preview phase of construction.

As for each individual part, the Strike determines the type of damage your Zaw does, along with its critical chance, critical damage, status chance, and its base attack speed. The Strike is also the component that earns Mastery Rank points, meaning you can gain Mastery Rank points once for each Zaw using a different kind of Strike. The Grip also affects the Zaw’s base attack speed and damage bonus, with faster Zaws dealing less damage and vice-versa. Finally, the Link grants bonuses and penalties to attack speed, critical chance, status chance, and damage, with each Link boosting some aspect at the cost of another. These varying effects allow you to make a weapon suited to your specific needs, whether you’re looking for a slow but devastating critical killer or a devilishly quick status slinger. Just make sure you know what you want before spending that Standing!

How and why should I gild my Zaw?

When you first create a Zaw, it will be ungilded. This means that you can’t name, recolor, Polarize or earn Mastery Rank from it. You also can’t upgrade it with an Orokin Catalyst, Focus Lens, or Exodia Arcane. To do any of these things, you’ll need to gild your Zaw.

To gild your Zaw, you’ll need to have a reputation rank of Trusted or higher among the Ostron and the Zaw you wish to gild must be Rank 30. When those prerequisites are met, you can visit Hok and select the “Gild” option under “Other services.” The gilding process will cost 5000 Ostron Standing and two Cetus Wisps, which can be acquired through Cetus Bounties or rarely be found floating around the Plains of Eidolon. Once you’ve gilded a Zaw, you’ll be given the option of naming it and adding a Polarity to one of its mod slots. Its Rank will be reset to zero, but worry not: you can easily level it back up to Rank 30 and its gilding will even confer a 10% increase to critical and status chance, a +12 boost to base damage, and a 0.6x boost to the weapon’s critical multiplier. In other words: gilding your Zaw is definitely worth the trouble.

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How can I further upgrade my Zaw?

Like all weapons, Zaws can be upgraded with mods in your Arsenal and their mod capacity can be increased with Orokin Catalysts and Forma. However, Zaws are unique in that they can also be equipped with Exodia Arcanes, special enhancements that trigger unique effects when certain conditions are met. For example, Exodia Hunt pulls in nearby enemies whenever you perform a slam attack with your Zaw, while Exodia Might adds a Lifesteal effect whenever the Zaw is used to perform a finisher. Exodia Arcanes can be purchased from Hok for 12,500 Ostron Standing once you’ve reached the reputation rank of Kin with the Ostrons and can make your Zaw into even more devastating of a weapon.

Shock and Zaw

Zaws bring a whole new level of customization to Warframe, allowing you to build a melee weapon perfectly suited to your own preferences. With the number of options available in both components and Arcanes, you’ll be unlikely to run into any Tenno with the exact same build as you. We hope our Warframe Zaw Guide will help you build a Zaw that’s a truly unique extension of your playstyle.

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