The Cernos is a high impact primary bow of Tenno origin with 3 variants additional to the standard model to suit your mission parameters and play style: the Mutalist Cernos, the Rakta Cernos, and Cernos Prime. Common across all 4 variants, the Cernos family deals most of their damage as Impact with their mace-head arrows. Of course, this won’t keep your enemies from being flung across the map and pinned to a wall. With it’s high impact bias, the Cernos is well suited for Corpus missions, being able to deplete enemy shields quickly. How quickly you then deplete their health will depend on how you mod or if you bring a complementary alternate weapon.
Like all bows, you’ll need to charge each shot for full strength and account for an arcing flight path. With no noise apart from the twinge of the bow string, these all fall under the silent category, making them great for stealth situations. It’s also worth noting all 4 variants only have a max ammo capacity of 72 arrows. Coupled with that, you’ll be relying on the rarer sniper/bow ammo drops, and thus you may often find your quiver depleted. Equipping an ammo maximum, scavenger, or ammo mutation mod will help counter this and keep arrows in the quiver.
How to Acquire
Obtaining the Cernos family has varying degrees of difficulty, although for the most part it will be more of a question of time over hard to acquire resources.
Starting with the base Cernos, the blueprint can be obtained from the Market for 20,000 credits, or bought prebuilt for 225 plat. Buying prebuilt is not recommended, especially considering the requirements for Cernos Prime and Rakta Cernos, but more on that in a moment. Also, the weapon is MR6 locked and will require some plastids that you won’t find as drops until at least Saturn, so keep an eye on those alerts if you are not that far yet, or call a taxi.
- Credits 15,000
- Gallium 3
- Plastids 700
- Polymer Bundle 600
- Ferrite 1,750
Once you have mastered the base Cernos, do not sell it. It is one of the materials for the next variation, the Mutalist Cernos. Like the base version, Mutalist Cernos’ blueprint may be purchased from the market for 20,000 credits, or prebuilt for 250 platinum, but you’ll need to rank up to MR7 first. Resource-wise Saturn is your gating planet again, so progression/means are the same here.
- Credits 15,000
- Cernos 1
- Plastids 1,400
- Cryotic 1,200
- Nano Spores 2,300
The Rakta Cernos is not a foundry build. On this one you’ll need to build up the reputation of Exalted, Tier 5, with Red Veil and then cash in 125,000 points worth of reputation. Being a weapon reward, it can not be claimed as your free offering when you first reach Tier 5, so the grind is not avoidable. In the event you are not aligned with Red Veil, it can be traded to you by another player as long as it has not had a forma or catalyst installed. If trading, my personal experience has been that there are often players who will trade for weapons of a syndicate you are aligned with which they are not. A final note for Rakta is that it is MR12 locked, so to use or trade for it you’ll have to reach this mark to make it yours.
And last but not least, we have Cernos Prime. Like all prime weapons, its blueprint and components are obtained from relics, some of which do fall under the gold/rare drop chance. Compared to the other 3 variants, Cernos Prime will likely be the hardest to obtain, as it was vaulted on Sep. 25th, 2018 alongside Valkyr Prime and Venka Prime. Cernos Prime is one of the larger prime builds if you do find it unvaulted, requiring 5 drops to complete, but given its strength it would be one to keep an eye out for. Once you have your hands on a set then you’ll need to reach MR12 to bypass the mastery lock and you’ll be able to rock this Orokin treasure.
Stats by Variant
Each of the Cernos variants build upon the base version and differ most in the abilities they add into the mix. The Mutalist Cernos will trade some of your Critical Chance for Status Chance and also adds a Toxin spore cloud to each shot. On impact, the arrow creates a cloud that lasts for 10 seconds, dealing Damage to those in its radius. Coupled with that, this is the second highest Status Chance bow currently in the game and is capable of reaching 100% Status Chance for handing out Toxin procs. The spore cloud does have a cost in that it will alert nearby enemies, negating the silent nature of the bow. Additionally, the cloud is not affected by Status Duration mods but the procs produced are. The Mutalist Cernos also trades the base Cernos’ Madurai (V) polarity for a Naramon (-).
The Rakta Cernos trades a bit of both Critical Chance and Status Chance in exchange for increased Damage and Red Veil’s signature Blight effect. It is tied with Daikyu for fastest arrow flight speed, reducing your arrow’s arc and also adds an additional Madurai (V) and Naramon (-) giving 3 polarized slots to work with.
For base damage, Cernos Prime is the strongest of the family and currently the third strongest bow overall. In place of an effect modifier, each shot from Cernos Prime unleashes a volley of 3 arrows that can be toggled between a horizontal or vertical spread. Because of the multiple arrows, like shotguns your Status Chance will be divided up across the 3 arrows until you mod for 100%. Primed with two Madurai (V) polarities, Cernos Prime starts off with higher Status Chance and Damage bonus on headshots.
Crit or Status?
The Cernos family allows you to play toward Critical Chance or Status Chance depending on which variant you decide to equip. Cernos and Rakta Cernos do boast a high Status Chance, but are more biased toward Critical Chance. The Mutalist Cernos starts off with 49% Status Chance and with its Toxin cloud will benefit greatly from a Status Chance build. Cernos Prime has the potential to be built for either, as it starts off with high stats in both categories.
Though you may not be able to obtain Cernos until mid-game, it is definitely a family worth pursuing that can grow in power as you progress into late-game. It’s hard for a bow to compare to the fire rate of an auto rifle, but being able to deliver a single massive blow can more than make up for it. As the family is biased toward Impact, depending on how you build, complementing it with a Secondary or Melee can be a powerful combo and can make quick work of those in your path. Even if you stick with just it though, pinning enemies to the ceiling never gets old. Once you get your hands on Cernos and have it mastered, turn it over to the infestation, and later on when you can add Rakta and Prime to your arsenal you’ll have a great variety of play style between the three.