Mesa is one of the best Warframes in the game due to her versatility as DPS and support. We all know about her Peacemaker which can easily decimate high level enemies in seconds, but there’s more to Mesa than just that. She also has the ability to crowd control (CC) enemies with Shooting Gallery and block incoming damage with Shatter Shield. Her ability kit makes her an excellent option for medium length survivals (less than 2 hours) and almost all other game content.
In this build guide, we’ll cover two ways to build Mesa Prime and her Regulators: One without Forma and one with Forma. Use the build without Forma to get a feel for how Mesa plays, then optimize the build with Forma to really unleash her potential. As with all Warframes, there are many ways to build Mesa Prime so we’ll explain our reasoning for the choices we make over other styles of builds.
0 Forma End-game Mesa Prime Build
The build above can both survive and clear enemies with ease. At least one Arcane Velocity is an absolute must as it greatly increases the DPS of Mesa’s Regulators. Survival is not an issue until roughly level 100 Bombards enter the picture. Energy management is relatively easy thanks to high duration which reduces the amount of times you’ll have to renew Shooting Gallery and Shattering Shield. Energizing Dash is still key for keeping energy up so make sure you are using Zenurik Focus school.
One aspect of our build that’s different from most is the use of range mods. Many Mesa builds opt to use Narrow Minded without any range mods, leaving Mesa with 34% range. We actually recommend you go this route for any content that’s below level 100. Range affects the distance that Shooting Gallery will stun and jam enemy guns. In lower level content, this crowd control effect is more likely to be annoying so consider replacing Augur Reach and Stretch. Some replacement options include Augur Message, Power Drift or Mesa’s Waltz depending on your preference.
In high level content, however, Shooting Gallery’s CC is extremely useful for surviving. This is because Shatter Shield’s 95% damage reduction isn’t always enough when facing level 100+ enemies. Mesa’s biggest problem is Bombards as their splash damage can kill her through Shatter Shield. Shooting Gallery reduces the probability that a Bombard is able to get a shot off, effectively increasing Mesa’s survival rate.
It may seem odd that we are only using one strength mod, but in our experience this is all you need. Mesa kills extremely fast with Arcane Velocity and the damage scaling on increasing ability strength simply does not justify the mod slots. Our only goal is to increase ability strength high enough that Shatter Shield provides the maximum 95% damage reduction. We recommend you try out a high strength Mesa build and compare it to this if you’re uncertain. But trust us, this is more than enough fire power to get the job done.
A common debate for Mesa builds is whether or not to include Fleeting Expertise. Is trading duration for efficiency a good idea? The argument for duration is that you won’t need to activate your abilities as frequently. That means less energy consumption over the long run and it’s also more convenient having your abilities last for longer periods of time.
In our experience, the answer to this question depends on what type of content you plan on doing. If you intend to bring Mesa on short missions, replace Streamline with Fleeting Expertise. The reduction in energy cost for all your abilities feels great as it allows you to spam Peacekeeper while flying through rooms. Also consider bringing Fleeting Expertise for low-level missions as forgetting to renew your Shatter Shield immediately is far less likely to be a lethal mistake.
For missions with lvl 100+ enemies, trading 60% duration for 30% efficiency is not worth it (replacing Streamline with Fleeting Expertise). You must keep Shooting Gallery and Shatter Shield active at all times in these missions so the shorter duration can easily punish you. We do not recommend using Fleeting Expertise over Streamline if you’re doing long survivals or other similar types of content.
0 Forma Regulators Prime Build
If you’re looking for a simple, no nonsense Peacekeeper build then look no further. The 0 Forma build above shreds through any enemies below level 100 and most enemies above 100. The kill speed only starts to slowdown on Grineer units over level 100 due to their armor, but this is true for any weapon in the game.
Since this is practically the only circumstance where Peacekeeper starts to slow down, Corrosive is necessary for reducing enemy armor. We’re using Pistol Pestilence + an unranked Pathogen Rounds over a single maxed Pathogen Rounds here because the 15% difference is less significant than the 60% status chance increase for Corrosive procs.
Alternatively, if you are with a squad that is using Corrosive Projection, consider a Viral or Radiation build. The Regulators fire so quickly that they can inflict status effects on an entire room of enemies in seconds. Viral halves enemy HP temporarily which significantly reduces kill time on high level enemies. Radiation works well against Alloy Armor (e.g: Corrupted Bombards) and also has a status effect that causes enemies to attack each other. This confusion status proc is great for crowd control at high levels.
3 Forma Regulators Prime Build
We’re showing the Forma’d Regulator Prime build before Mesa Prime because it’s far more important to Forma the Regulators. The DPS increase from adding Barrel Diffusion and Anemic Agility is insane. In Warframe builder, burst DPS increases from 120k to 317k and our in-game tests saw kill times on Corrupted Bombards cut in half. The addition of both Barrel Diffusion and Anemic Agility also increases the amount of Corrosive procs per second which makes a massive difference against high level Grineer.
The power of this build is that it is extremely versatile. Veterans might notice that we are not using Jolt or Pistol Pestilence, both of which are valuable for taking down high level enemies. If you switch Anemic Agility to one of the Naramon Polarity slots, you have the freedom of adding one or both status elemental mods by replacing one or both 90% elemental mods. There is space despite being forced to put one of the status mods in a Naramon slot thanks to their low mod capacity.
We’ve tested both 90% mods and 60/60 mods and found that kill times are almost the exact same for any content below level 150. Since that covers the vast majority of content in the game, it’s better to use the 90% mods in most cases. Inflicting status only becomes relevant in long survival runs, so make sure to make adjustments accordingly if that’s where you intend on bringing Mesa.
This build also has the freedom of switching to a Radiation or Viral build if desired. For Radiation, simply swap Pathogen Rounds with Primed Heated Charge. For Viral, move Anemic Agility to where Convulsion is and then replace Convulsion with Deep Freeze. As mentioned previously, Radiation is excellent against Alloy Armor while Viral is excellent in missions where your team has 100% armor reduction from Corrosive Projection.
4 Forma Mesa Prime Build
The only benefit to Forma’ing our Mesa build is that we can now use Corrosive Projection, add an Exilus mod and use a rank 10 Umbral Vitality. The most important of these changes, by far, is changing the Aura polarity slot for Corrosive Projection. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, Mesa only struggles with killing high level Grineer thanks to their armor so Corrosive Projection goes a long way to solving that problem.
As for the Exilus slot, there is quite a bit of debate on whether or not Mesa’s Waltz is worth the space. We’re not going to get into this debate: Forma according to your preference. In our experience, flying through rooms and shooting everything in sight is more than adequate. If you prefer to walk / roll while using Peacekeeper, then go ahead and use Mesa’s Waltz. We like using Enemy Sense as knowing where enemies are spawning and where to use Peacekeeper is a nice quality of life addition to the build.
It’s also worth noting that the only reason we’re forced to use this amount of Forma is because of the Umbral mods. You can replace these with regular Vitality and Intensify, opening more freedom for how you Forma the build. We recommend considering this first so you can test a few variants of Mesa builds (e.g: Quick Thinking / Hunter Adrenaline builds or low range builds) to see how you like them. Personally this is the build we like most, but it’s always worth testing yourself!
Wrapping It Up
Mesa is excellent almost regardless of how you build her. However, the builds listed above have served us well in all levels of content so we recommend checking them out. The 0 Forma builds are excellent ways to be “introduced” to how overpowered Mesa Prime can be, then you can move into adding Forma when feel confident in how you want to play her.
The Regulator builds are fairly rock solid and are the most important part for dishing out heavy damage along with Arcane Velocity. If you have any tips for how to build Mesa (or just want to share your own build), please do so in the comments below. Thanks for reading!