Warframe: Pillage Ability Explained

Surprisingly more useful on other frames than Hildryn herself.

Warframe Hildryn Prime
Image via Digital Extremes.

While many abilities exist across Warframe, oftentimes you need to do some research to understand their full effects. Here’s a full explanation of Warframe’s Pillage ability, and how you can get the most use out of it.

What is the Pillage Ability in Warframe?

The Pillage ability is the second ability for the frame Hildryn. Upon using the ability, you will “pillage” a portion of the shields and armor of nearby enemies, replenishing your own shields and overshields. This costs shields for Hildryn, but can restore the shields lost if enough enemies are hit. When it pillages the armor from enemies, it will also lower their overall armor.

That last part is what makes Pillage an incredibly strong ability, and easily Hildryn’s best ability. Since the amount of armor removed from nearby enemies is affected by your frame’s Ability Strength, it’s theoretically possible to strip 100% of enemy armor. This is massive, especially in higher-level missions like Steel Path which still benefit heavily from complete armor removal.

As if that wasn’t enough, Pillage is also the ability that you can subsume from Hildryn. If you’re unfamiliar with the system, subsuming is when you sacrifice a frame to take its ability and swap another ability on a frame out with it. It’s extremely useful in this case, for reasons that’ll be clear in a moment.


When subsumed onto other frames, Pillage will cost energy instead of shields.

Which Frame Can Use Pillage the Best?

Due to the nature of Pillage, the ability works best on a frame that’s already building for Ability Strength with their mods, along with having an ability slot that underperforms. While a lot of frames can fit this category, I’ve found that Wisp is the best for it. She’s already building for Ability Strength so her Reservoirs can give as big of a passive as possible, and her fourth ability, Sol Gate, is about as useful as spraying an enemy with a hose.

This makes this topic especially unique for me since I use the ability on my (mostly) end game build myself. I’ve included an image of the build above but to explain it a little better, I use the three Umbral mods so that they increase the benefits of each other. They also provide plenty of tankiness, along with that crispy 77% Ability Strength. Combine that with Blind Rage and Power Drift, along with Corrosive Projection to instantly remove 18% of enemy Armor, and we’re almost at enough to do 100% armor strip.

To top things off, I’ve added Molt Augmented to give permanent Ability Strength for every kill up to 250 kills. This will get us above the 100% armor strip needed if Molt Augmented is at max rank, but mine isn’t yet. I’ve also added Arcane Energize which can be used with whatever rank you have available.

Other than purely going for that armor strip, I’ve also included Archon Stretch and Archon Continuity. Archon Continuity can easily be swapped for Primed Continuity or Continuity if you don’t have it, but Archon Stretch is a huge help. It provides energy when your abilities do Electricity Damage, and since the Shock Reservoir provides just that, it’s free energy for days. Adaptation is nice for the damage resistance, while Fused Reservoir could be swapped out if you don’t care much for its benefits.

All around, Pillage can be a huge ability on the right frame. From my experience with the ability, it makes it so enemies die in a single shot from my Nataruk. They were mostly doing that anyway since the Nataruk is extremely broken, but at least this guarantees it.

If you’re looking for more help with the game, check out our guide on how to get Infested Catalyst in Warframe.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.