Stance Mods are special mods exclusive to Melee weapons that provide bonuses and additional attack capabilities.
Similar to Aura mods, Stances can be slotted into a special Stance slot on melee weapons, and they increase a weapon's mod capacity. Stance mods of matching polarity with their slot will double their mod capacity bonus, while non-matching polarities will have reduced capacity bonus. Levelling up Stance mods increases the amount of additional mod capacity they provide, as well as unlocks additional Melee Combos for use.
When equipped, Stances change a melee weapon's animation set, and unlocks the ability to perform Melee Combos that initiate different attack patterns with your weapon. Many Melee Combos allow weapons to perform attacks they are incapable of doing without Stances, like giving single-target melee weapons like the Skana the ability to hit multiple enemies. They may also enhance a melee weapon's attacks with special effects, from increasing the weapon's damage per hit, to 100% Status Effect procs, to enhancing mobility via lunges and jumps. Melee Combos are only available when a melee weapon is drawn, and cannot be performed via Quick Melee attacks when using a Primary or Secondary weapon.
Melee combos are initiated by inputting different sequential inputs of the Melee key (Default Fury can shorten this window, making the timing of combos more difficult.) and various other keys, for example , where the key is tapped three times in succession, followed by tapping the key before tapping two more times. Many combos have a short window of time in which to input the next step of the combo to initiate it, often timed from a particular attack animation. Different weapons have different timings on when to input the next key, thus practice is required to determine a particular weapon's combo timing; i.e. a longsword may have a much tighter combo timing compared to a heavy weapon. Certain mods that improve attack speed like
An equipped Stance's Melee Combo list can be seen on the "Melee Combo" button underneath the weapon's Stance Slot in the Arsenal, or in "Melee Combos" under Options while in a mission. Many Stances have a single basic combo consisting of simply pressing the Melee Keyin sequence, and 1 or 2 longer and more advanced combos requiring multiple timed inputs from different keys.
- Many Melee Combos deal varying amounts of damage from a single combo, for example Crimson Dervish's Crimson Orbit combo has a damage multiplier of 400% (i.e.: ) whilst some deals less.
- Many Melee Combos perform multiple strikes from a single key press, for example Swirling Tiger's Winding Claws combo hits up to six times (i.e. ). Melee Combos are thus a good way to conserve stamina, as multiple successive strikes can be performed for the stamina cost of a single attack, consuming less stamina for more hits. Many melee combos also feature long animations that allow stamina to regenerate in-between hits.
- Combos feature stagger resistance during their animations, which helps in fighting units with powerful knockdown moves like Heavy Gunners or Shockwave MOAs. Similar to blocking, hits by knockdown attacks during a combo animation in mid-swing will push the Warframe back, but prevent the knockdown. Animations that have reached the end of a swing will not block knockdowns however.
- In the event that a Warframe is knocked down in the middle of a melee combo chain, the combo can still be resumed once the Warframe initiates melee as its first move upon standing up.
- Some combos feature forced Status Effect procs on certain attacks, which have a 100% chance to initiate regardless of the weapon's actual status chance or availability of damage type. Many combos, like Iron Phoenix's Wings & Beak and Sundering Weave's Flash Flood feature forced Impact proc (i.e.: ), while others like Tranquil Cleave's Beyond Reproach and Gnashing Payara's Pincer Strike have forced Slash proc (i.e.: ).
There are currently 34 available stances, which are divided among 19 different melee weapon types. Stances can only be used on the weapon type they are labeled for, i.e. a Sword Stance cannot be used on a Polearm, and vice versa.
- Equipping Stances will modify the amount of Stamina consumed per swing. Many Stances like Crimson Dervish increase the amount of Stamina consumed, while others like Tranquil Cleave reduce it.
- Stances appear to have a consistently good chance of being acquired via Transmutation.
- As with Aura slots, Stance slots can be repolarized using Forma to give the slot the desired polarity for a particular stance mod. This is most essential for the Grim Fury and Homing Fang stances, which have no matching polarities on the weapons they can be equipped on.
- All Stances provide a bonus mod capacity of 5 when maxed, doubling it to 10 when placed on the matching polarity.
- Introduced in Update 13 with the release of Melee 2.0.
- All Stance cards have portraits set within a Dojo garden, with the Garden Arch decoration in the background.
- Among stance mods equippable on weapons, the longest stance combos belong to Cleaving Whirlwind's Broken Bull with having 9 inputs, and Eleventh Storm's Striking Thunder with having 8 inputs. The longest stance combo overall however belongs to the ability-exclusive Hysteria's Madness combo, at 10 inputs.