In Renaissance literature, Oberon (or Auberon, depending on whose works you read) was known as King of the Fairies and by extension, the guardian of forests and those who dwell within them. Of course, while Oberon became notable through Shakespearean works, that’s hardly the reason why he’s now here in Warframe.
Debuting in Update 11.5, Oberon seeks to fill the role of the paladin classes of old, with a combination of damage and support skills to provide a good balance between crowd control through Smite and Hallowed Ground, as well as direct team support through Renewal. To top it off, Oberon’s ultimate ability, Reckoning, lifts all nearby enemies (within a generous radius when modified properly) into the air, and violently slams them into the ground, with enemies killed this way having a chance to drop red healing orbs.
With his blueprints dropping from Councilor Vay Hek on Earth, Oberon brings a new play style to the battlefield, involving prancing around prairie meadows and calling rabbits “Flower.”
Much like Nekros’ Soul Punch, Smite requires you be aiming precisely at an enemy before letting loose with a devastating blast of energy. Where Smite gains an edge over Soul Punch, however, is in two key places: it can be used while mobile (the biggest edge it has, as Soul Punch’s heavy damage requires you stand still during casting), and it leaves behind rays of rays of energy that ricochet off of walls and deal damage to all enemies they impact. It’s a great skill to use indoors (especially in hallways), but not so great outdoors. Smite seems like a rudimentary skill, but its utility is very much present in the form of staggering enemies it strikes and dealing heavy impact damage (with a dose of the radiation element). You can improve Smite with Power Strength and Range mods to increase the number of energy rays generated and the distances from which you can trigger the skill.
Sanctifying a patch of land in front of him, Oberon’s Hallowed Ground skill leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, the prospect of DoT over a visibly affected area sounds nice, but when you start using it, you realize that roughly 125 damage per second to everyone standing in the rectangular patch of land doesn’t compare to Nova’s Molecular Prime, which has proven time and time again to be the absolute best skill to take for defense and survival. While Molecular Prime can clear a room with the press of a key and click of a mouse, Hallowed Ground just leaves a short-lasting patch of “ouch, that kinda hurt” on the battlefield. To say the least, it’s underwhelming. That’s not to say that it’s not useful, but there are far, far better skills out there for this sort of situation.
Never before have I taken pity on a skill for being so downright lame. Renewal is a sound concept in theory. You cast the ability, and three healing orbs seek out teammates to heal some hefty wounds. If they die while they’re being healed, then they automatically get back up (albeit with only 5 hit points) and continue to heal, no questions asked. Of course, the orbs are so slow that unless a player deliberately slows down for them, they will never catch up. In a game all about speed, this single, minute detail is all it takes for this skill to be completely broken.
Bring enemies up, then slam them into the ground. If it kills them, they might drop healing orbs! If it doesn’t, they’re lying there on the ground, easy pickins’ for the rest of the team. Simple to use, cool to look at, and good for one three-second long power trip – there are better ultimate skills, but this one combines team support with pure heavy damage. It’s hard to complain about that. If you want to make it even better, just add Power Strength and Range mods.
Oberon is far from perfect. With two fairly solid skills (and two middling ones), he brings an odd mixture of “sorta Paladin, sorta Druid, not really good at either of those things” to the game. Combined with the large amount of resources it takes to craft him and the odd taste he left in my mouth (figuratively, thankfully), Oberon is in need of a serious reworking after not even a week of being available. He’s got a cool concept, but he’s sorely lacking in almost every department. Reckoning is still really cool, though.