Knell – Headshot Machine, but at what cost?

by Inn0x

Overall Grade: A- / B+

Knell

The Knell is Harrow’s new signature Pistol, released in the Chains of Harrow Patch (U21), and has a rather unique playstyle. It has a magazine size of one, but if you manage to aim decently and headshot, you gain a 3 second buff (Death Knell) which grants you 100% ammo efficiency–which basically means infinite ammo. This buff can be replenished during the 3 seconds, but sadly doesn’t stack, so you have to headshot at least once every 3 seconds, otherwise you’ll have to reload. The pistol works especially well on Harrow, because of his first ability (Condemn). It stuns all enemies in front of him completely, making headshots rather easy to achieve.

First of all, if you want to use this weapon, get your Formas ready. This weapon comes without any polarities and needs quite a lot of Formas–up to six depending on your build! The Knell has a physical damage of 150, which, compared to the Vaykor Marelok’s 160 is still pretty good, though the fire rate of the Knell is with 4.00 rounds/sec twice as high as the Marelok’s. They have the same crit chance of 20%, while the base Crit Damage is the same. This however isn’t for long, since the Knell gains Critical Damage multipliers for each headshot, 0.5x per, up to 1.5x damage. The status chance of the Knell, however, is 5%–miserable compared to the Marelok’s 35%. Recoil is also kind of important: the Knell has basically none, while the Vaykor has huge recoil, making the Knell’s ammo usage usually a lot better, since it’s missing less shots.

Now, the Knell seems like it would be good to use if you’ve got decent aim and can manage to headshot a lot. While yes, this is partly true, it gets really annoying to aim for headshots after the first 2-3 hours. Especially in Warframe, where the AI likes to just do its own thing, making it sometimes impossible to headshot. On Defense Missions, this weapon is somewhat worth considering, since it’s fairly easy to predict where to aim at and headshots become rather easy. Since it’s possible to get the reset from corpses, you can simply sit on the point and keep the buff up for almost the entire wave, most of the time. On other missions, I’d probably take the Vaykor Marelok, since it’s simply a lot more reliable, though it does get outperformed after the Death Knell buff gets stacked about 3-5 times, depending on crit and stat luck.

After all, I would recommend you try this thing out, it’s quite a lot of fun and damage. If it’s viable for late game content depends on your aim, but for Defense Missions it’s usually outperforming the Vaykor Marelok. For other types of Missions, the Vaykor Marelok usually outperforms the Knell, because you don’t have to aim for the head and can continue shooting after missing.

Knell Build:

I recommend playing the Knell like this:knell updated build

(Picture provided by Xalren-o Xiovanna, thanks :3)

Stats At A Glance

Statistics
Mastery Level 10
Magazine Size 1 rounds/mag
Max Ammo  10 rounds
Reload Time  1.0s
Normal Attacks
Crit Chance 2.00%
Crit Multiplier 1.5x
Status Chance 20.00%
Impact 63
Puncture 69
Slash 18