Gara is my favorite frame. I’ve loved her since I first got her, but I notice people rarely use her for how good she seems to be. Some people don’t seem to understand the nuances of her abilities. She is capable of outputting ludicrous amounts of damage while remaining incredibly durable, and I intend to explain exactly how you do this. Prepare to becoming a giant tumbleweed of glass and pain.
Understanding Her Abilities
This is not all of the information on her abilities, you can read the wiki for that if you so desire. This is just the important information. The most relevant information is bolded.
Passive – Glint
- While standing in light, Gara has a chance to blind nearby enemies.
- Largely uncontrollable, but a nice bonus. You’ll probably be instantly killing anything that close to you anyway.
 – Shattered Lash
- Gara does a forward strike with a glass sword. Tapping the ability causes her to do a thrusting stab, while holding the key causes her to do a sweeping slash.
- All targets hit by this ability are knocked down.
- The thrust does 100% Puncture damage while the sweep does 100% Slash damage.
- THIS ABILITY INHERITS MELEE WEAPON DAMAGE MODS, INCLUDING RIVENS. Mods inherited include damage, melee damage, elemental damage, and Puncture OR Slash damage depending on which swing you use. If you have a Slash mod and use the Puncture stab, it will not gain any extra damage from the mod, and vice versa.
- Synergizes with 4, explained later.
 – Splinter Storm
- Gara places an orbiting field of glass on herself, an ally, or an enemy. Allies take reduced damage while enemies take increased damage. All enemies within the glass field take ticking damage every second.
- Damage is evenly split between Slash, Puncture, and Impact.
- Breaks nearby containers/boxes/resource nodes open.
- Ally damage reduction is hard capped at 90%, while damage amplification has no cap.
- Can be placed on Sentinels/Kubrows/Kavats, as well as defense objectives like Excavators and Terminals.
- Synergizes with 4, explained later.
 – Spectrorage
- Gara sets a circle of mirrors that taunt nearby enemies. Each mirror has health and can taunt one enemy at a time. When the mirror takes too much damage, it shatters and deals damage to the taunted enemy. If half of the mirrors shatter, the circle collapses and deals damage to all enemies within the circle.
- If a mirror shatters while within Splinter Storm’s area, 50% of the shatter damage is added to Splinter Storm’s tick damage.
- THIS ABILITY IS WORTHLESS AND YOU WILL NEVER USE IT. The damage is negligible, the mirrors have very little health, and the taunt seems unreliable in my experience. Any relevance it may have is wholly surpassed by Mass Vitrify. But on the off chance you do use it, stand in the circle to buff Splinter Storm a bit.
 – Mass Vitrify
- Gara channels and a wall of glass expands outward and downward from her position. Any enemies the wall touches crystallize. When Gara ends her channeling, the wall solidifies and becomes impassable for enemies. The wall has 12 segments, each with their own health. When a segment runs out of health, it explodes outward, dealing damage in an area.
- Gara is invulnerable while channeling.
- Crystallized enemies are frozen, take increased damage, have all status effects on them extended indefinitely, and cannot receive new status effects. Crystallizing enemies increases the wall’s total health.
- Casting Mass Vitrify refreshes the duration of Splinter Storm on Gara. The wall passing over a target with Splinter Storm refreshes the duration as well. Depending on latency, this may take a moment to refresh. Don’t stop casting until it refreshes.
- Using Shattered Lash on Mass Vitrify causes all segments to explode outward, dealing damage based on Shattered Lash’s damage. This includes the damage type involved in the swing used (Puncture or Slash).
- If you destroy a wall with Shattered Lash and Splinter Storm’s radius is within the explosion area, 50% of the explosion damage is added to Splinter Storm’s tick damage. THIS STACKS INFINITELY AND IS NOT RESET BY REFRESHING THE DURATION.
In short, Splinter Storm inherits damage from Mass Vitrify. Mass Vitrify inherits damage from Shattered Lash. Shattered Lash inherits damage from your melee mods. Splinter Storm also reduces the damage you take by up to 90%. Its damage also stacks infinitely. You can imagine how this can quickly reach absurd levels. And even disregarding the Splinter Storm damage, Mass Vitrify + Shattered Lash can help clear huge areas.
Gearing Out Gara
So with all of the above information taken into account, you’re going to want to understand exactly how to build Gara.
- Range lets you clear hallways by existing, as well as making Mass Vitrify + Shattered Lash a room-clearing combo.
- Duration lets you get Splinter Storm to a 100% uptime. If it falls off, you lose all of the damage you stacked and have to start from scratch. It’s also for the convenience of not casting Mass Vitrify as often.
- Strength is unimportant for damage because melee mods add far more. However, you want 30% Strength. That gets the Splinter Storm damage reduction up to the 90% cap.
Here is an example build. Maximum range, high duration, enough strength to reach 90% reduction. Steel Charge adds melee damage but Corrosive Projection adds significantly more damage on higher-level enemies. The important part about this build is you can self-sustain with maxed Energizing Dash in Zenurik so that Splinter Storm will never fall off if you keep on top of it. You only need to spend 94 energy every 40-45 seconds and Energizing Dash will restore 225 in that time. I highly recommend Zenurik when playing Gara. If you want, you can put in Narrow Minded somewhere to reduce the range but worry less about upkeep, and Vitality in case you’re scared of Toxic procs.
As for your equipment, you will want:
- A strong one-shot weapon for enemies too strong for your Splinter Storm’s current damage. Opticor, Tigris Prime, Euphona Prime, etc.
- A rapid-hit weapon for Nullifier bubbles. Soma Prime, Twin Grakatas, etc.
- A melee weapon kitted out with as much melee, elemental, and slash OR puncture damage as possible. As it is a stat stick, try to pick one with a 5-star riven disposition. Here is my Furax Wraith build as an example. I was informed that Jaw Sword is the best weapon for Gara because it has a +100% melee damage syndicate mod and a 5-star Riven disposition.
- A Sentinel, preferably with Medi-Ray and Guardian for maximum tankiness. I’ll explain in the next section.
The Gara Game Plan
You’ve got yourself kitted out with the best mods and weapons money can buy. Now what exactly do you DO during missions? Well, it’s simple:
- Cast Splinter Storm on yourself.
- Cast Splinter Storm on your Sentinel. You will need to be moving to do so, because otherwise they’ll hover directly overhead out of your cursor range.
- Cast Mass Vitrify.
- Run outside of Mass Vitrify and cast Shattered Lash on it. Make sure you use the correct Lash damage type your weapon is modded for (Slash or Puncture).
- Whenever Splinter Storm reaches <5 seconds duration OR you have energy to spare and want to buff it, repeat from step 3.
After one single buff stack, you’ll be able to one-shot just about anything that touches your bubble so long as it’s not Sortie-level. Two stacks will take care of almost anything except Sortie-level Bombards/Heavy Gunners/Nox. The specific frame + weapon builds I posted were capable of 2-shotting level 100 Corrupted Bombards after 10 stacks, which is easily achievable over the course of a mission.
Having a Sentinel is important because of how they behave. They hover over your head 99% of the time, which means their Splinter Storm aura overlaps with yours and effectively doubles its damage. Moreover, because of their proximity to you, the Mass Vitrify wall does not need to pass over them to refresh the duration – it is refreshed the moment Gara’s is refreshed because they are directly overhead. If you had a Kavat/Kubrow, they’d be running around with their own separate damage aura that is uncontrollable and difficult to refresh. You also can’t revive Sentinels so them having 90% damage reduction is great. Even ignoring the whole Vacuum thing, Sentinels are far better for Gara.
So what do I use Gara for? Almost everything.
- She can do any Sortie that doesn’t remove Melee weapons or have Energy Reduction, although she is prone to teamkilling with Radiation Hazard and is obviously not optimal for things like Spy and Hijack.
- I use her to solo High Index. You’ll probably want maxed Energy Pulse and Vitality for that.
- She rocks any general mission since one damage stack will kill anything. Juggernauts? Dead. Bursas? Dead. Bosses? Dead (probably). Everything between you and the objective? Dead.
- Even though Mass Vitrify got nerfed, she’s still good for Defense and Excavation due to a massive-range CC and burst damage on top of a 7m death bubble. And the wall still blocks SOME damage.
- Because her Splinter Storm breaks containers, she’s even good for light resource gathering since all nearby boxes/resource nodes are automatically broken open. But be aware that aura will also cause many a Corpus ship lockdown because it also breaks windows, explosives, and cryo containers.
Gara used to be Ember 2.0 and Frost 2.0, now she is merely Ember 2.0. World on Fire can’t hold a candle to this. Gara is still fantastic, and I would say she’s the frame equivalent of a Nullifier; anything that steps within her bubble ceases to be, regardless of what it is or what it was doing. And bare in mind you can also buff all of your teammates in exactly the same way if you’re coordinated.
Original Link – Continuation of discussion