Warframe is a game about constantly experimenting and comparing hundreds of different builds across hundreds of hours of content. One question is still asked; which is better an Adaptation or a Rolling Guard warframe build? It all comes down to personal preference, but there are some situations where both mods can shine and fall flat, especially with specific playstyles.
Pros of Adaptation
Adaptation gives 10% Resistance to whatever damage type you recently were hit with, stacking up to 90% for 20 seconds. Where this mod shines is when taking multiple hits of damage to slowly build up a tolerance to the point where you will barely feel most attacks. It turns tanks into an unstoppable force and makes even the squishiest build into a mildly resistant powerhouse. Of course, this applies to all types of damage, from physical to elemental damage like Viral or Magnetic. Adaptation shines in Excavation, Survival, and Defense mission types where you are always staying in the thick of the fight. Using your melee weapon to also block attacks can still give you stacks of Adaptation and can be a blessing in disguise sometimes.
Cons of Adaptation in Warframe
There are often situations where Adaptation is a mix-up when it comes to choosing when to bring it, as Adaptation requires you to build up resistance slowly. Situations like Steel Path, where you will get immediately burst down by cataclysmic levels of damage, makes Adaptation feel entirely useless. Adaptation requires you to balance taking damage in small bursts to grow your resistance. If you’re in a mission with many different damage types, the mod might fall flat on its face. You need to take nine hits of damage to get your full stacks, and the buff only lasts 20 seconds. Playing in a wave-based game mode might prevent Adaptation from ever activating for long, to begin with.
What Warframes are Good to Use Adaptation
While this mod does help reinforce a lot of Warframes to tank hits more efficiently and continue to support their playstyle, it’s not for everyone. Characters that stay in the thick of a fight like Valkyr, Gara, or even Gauss would benefit from this mod with their close-range focus of gameplay. Some tanks love this mod, such as Atlas or Nidus or Warframes with natural healing like Sevagoth.
However, I wouldn’t recommend bringing Adaptation for Warframes with reinforcing buffer abilities. One of the newest Warframes, Caliban has Adaptive Armor as their passive. Therefore, taking Adaptation on them would only result in whichever one has a higher value to be active. It’s overkill. Rhino’s Iron Skin and Nazha’s Warding Halo are not affected and take priority over Adaptation.
Pros of Rolling Guard in Warframe
On the other hand, the other popular defensive mod is Rolling Guard; whenever you dodge, you become invulnerable for 3 seconds and remove all Status Effects with only a 7-second cooldown. This mod pairs well with any Warframe but shines especially with moving in and out of combat type of playstyle. Typically, Warframes never stop moving. Adding the ability to negate all damage or shrug off any status with your standard movement set is fantastic. Unlike Adaptation, you can afford to roll right into a fight and ignore massive amounts of damage in a small-time window. Even without the invulnerability, a way to shake off any Status Effects, especially Magnetic. The invulnerability period from Rolling guard also prevents Knockdown. It even works while using an Archwing.
Cons of Rolling Guard
Of course, with tons of reasons to use this mod, there are some holes in Rolling Guard’s defenses. The invulnerability window is only 3 seconds, and the cooldown only starts once the buff wears off. Using Rolling Guard can sometimes be a detriment when having the ability to activate with your standard dodge. Often dodging is used to continue a lot of movement rotations. Furthermore, it can result in either not having the ability ready or you can move a bit slower. Additionally, it can take some extra time to get acquainted with using Rolling Guard or needing to think more actively when to use your dodge instead of Adaptations more passive style.
What Warframes are good to use Rolling Guard
Rolling Guard works great with Limbo for moving in and out of Cataclysm safely or Loki whenever they get caught without Invisibility. Typically glass cannon-style Warframes are great to take Rolling Guard on, allowing them to roll into the open and get off lengthy cast time abilities or do their standard rotation without danger. It is worth mentioning that Rolling Guard is great on Titania in Razorwing mode. This is because this mod still works in Archwing so that the buff is still activated with the dash move.
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Conclusion on Which is Better: Adaptation in Warframe or Rolling Guard
Both mods have their strengths and disadvantages and perform better in certain mission types. In a rare case like Rhino or Nazha, you should pick Rolling Guard; or for Nidus to take Adaptation. But at the end of the day, you can still determine which mod fits your playstyle or around the way your Warframe operates the most.