My "optimized" Banshee builds

As I stated in my previous post, I'm nearly done with my Banshees. Admittedly, it was a lot of pain getting used to them and I spent ridiculous amount of time just theorycrafting on Smurfys. The end result and the builds I've settled upon are totally worth it though. I will try to keep this short and cut straight to the builds.

I favoured this one over the usual 2xPPC+3xAC5 build, just because it's much more fun and as effective/if not better to play with. The mech feels surprisingly responsive with elite efficiencies and tracking stuff isn't that much of a problem. 

This build goes against the "make a big gun turret" strategy I explained in the previous post, simply because 3E can have ridiculous amounts of DPS. Any mech will melt under the fire of your cannons and if they're smart, they'll disengage quickly but not without major damage. This build also makes it nearly impossible to retaliate, simply because the constant explosions block their view and the impact sounds confuse/stress your opponent. 

Without even much effort, you can pull 600+ damage easily and with some effort you can break 1000+ almost regularly(a recent example with no arty/airstrike). This build is all about wearing mechs down though, you will not get many kills but help your teammates with high-powered weapons quickly finish off the enemy. If you need well placed burst damage, then you can single fire the AC2+AC5 combo at close range, applying 14 damage instantly to a location. This is really useful fighting lights as they just cannot handle 14 damage every 1.5 seconds.

The obvious weakness is the "ammo arm", where I store 6 tons of AC ammo. It doesn't usually get shot off since this is a "stare at the enemy" build, but when it does it's demoralizing. I also experienced violent ammo explosions a few times where my mech proceeded to disentegrate in arm>RT>CT order, so I placed a CASE on RT to stop the damage from reaching CT.

What's not to like? Hits like a truck, has 5xML for close range defense, keeps up with the team easily and has 20 heatsinks to keep everything cool. Especially the staggered 2xPPC-1xPPC barrage keeps the enemy at bay and forces them to take cover. It does overheat eventually, but until then, you're guaranteed to do some serious damage.

This was the mech that I struggled the most. Use all hardpoints? Your heat efficiency is totally gimped and you feel like you're not being useful at all. Forgo hardpoints? Then you're in 3E terroritory and 3S loses its uniqueness. Besides, I really hated the PPC/AC builds for the better part of last year(who didn't?) and I was reluctant to "meta this shit".

Anyways, I took the advice of a Reddit commenter and tried the AC20+2xPPC build just for laughs. I still remember that match, it was on  Manifold HPG and we were losing badly. I was down in the basement, braced for a last stand. First a poptart Cataphract dropped and was instagibbed in the CT. Then came an Atlas, which I promptly stripped off his AC torso and took out his CT. Next came a Shadowhawk and again one shot in CT. Then came a Banshee and a Wolverine, I managed to take out the Banshee's side but eventually I was overwhelmed. Holy crap.

That got me excited and I quickly switched to a 2xPPC+AC20+6xSL build. It was great and my K/D started going up considerably. The SL's were mostly dead weigh and just a slot hog though, so I got rid of them and upped the engine. Being fast didn't feel useful with this mech, so I dropped the engine and came up with this build. Missile hardpoint? I came to the conclusion that LRMs are utterly useless on this mech, playing against its advantages and crippling its heat efficiency and firepower severely. An SRM6 takes too much tonnage for little use.

Let me introduce you; this build still sports 40 damage with 3xPPC and an AC10. AC10 is contantly coupled with 2xPPC and PPC groups, adding a lot of damage to these without creating much heat. I admit this build can be easily done in 3E, but you still have that arm mounted PPC for those torso twisting moments. 18 heatsinks can sufficiently keep this mech cool and unlike the 3M which has to disengage completely to cool, you still have your AC10 to keep fighting during these moments.

With this, I'm wrapping up the Banshee chapter. This mech is now one of my all-time favourites and takes its place in the "Hall of awesomeness". I'm looking forward to what PGI will bring next and if I like it, expect another article spam in quick succession!
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About Rak

I'm an engineer who likes to write extremely long articles about games that border simulation and mainstream.
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