The build dump of the Week

I've been neglecting the "Build of the week" posts lately. In order to make up for it, I decided to make a post with the builds I've been experimenting with last week. These are mostly the results of the quirks or my silly experimentations, and I've been having lots of fun dropping with these bad boys. Maybe they'll inspire you to use something different. Here we go:

BLR-3S — "The Zapmaster"

This is one of the rarest Battlemasters out there, and rightly so. With a price tag of 11,760,000 space shekels, it doesn't make much sense to buy this thing if you're not already swimming in C-Bills and absolutely bored with the lack of C-Bill 'Mech releases. Fortunately I fall into both of these categories and bought one. Instead of the guilt of paying such a ridiculous amount for a Battlemaster which I already own 3 variants of, I was greeted by facemelting wub goodness.

The 3S is one of the rare 'Mechs that is quirked for MPLs. It has 20% heat generation, range and cooldown bonuses for these bad boys. We all know what quirked MPL's can do thanks to the mass profileration of Thunderbolt 5SS' last month. When it comes to a wub-down between these two, the 3S actually bests the 5SS at both cooldown and heat generation, but is bested by 5SS' ridiculous MPL range. Considering MPL heat was also decreased recently, the amount of damage you can dish out without overheating is just ridiculous. The placement of the lasers also makes aiming and shooting a breeze, you can almost always shoot what you see. Even the usual blocks by the team mates isn't a huge problem like the other Assaults since you can simply shoot over them. Lastly, this is the only Battlemaster with 6 torso energy hardpoints without the low twist range. MPLs hit really hard with 6 of them firing at once for 36 damage per alpha. They also deliver their damage so fast that you don't need to aim very carefully. It truly "zaps" what you see almost instantly.

This is one of the most underrated IS 'Mechs at the moment. If you can afford it, buy it and enjoy it. Just make sure you make enough sacrifices to MM gods so you won't drop to Alpine.

Summoner — "Slappy"

I'm sorry for all the Summoner fans, but the Summoner is unfortunately does not live up to its fame in MWO. Yes, it tanks like a beast. Yes it can poptart well with an ERPPC and Gauss. The good things end here though. It's chubby. It loses its arms at the slight morning breeze and has a problem with boating energy weapons. A fatal flaw, considering by far the best Clan weapons are their lasers.

There are already a few decent SMN builds around (for example 4xERML+Gauss and ERPPC+Gauss), but honestly I wanted something more brawly to take advantage of its tankiness. In an act of defiance, I set out to find a "different" Summoner build that I'm comfortable with. The theme of that evening was "classical brawlers with lasers, AC's and SRMs", so I made something that fits that description.

I really like the high mounted torso ballistics on the Summoner. Unlike its arms which are blocked by something else almost all the time, you can hit what you see with those torso mounts. I try to use them in my builds as much as possible.

At first, I made a build with UAC10+2xSRM4+2xML and dual AMS to boot. Honestly, that's a better build for CW and the solo queue just because you have more range. Though as I was still experimenting with the build, I realized that I haven't touched the UAC20 for months. It sucks on a Dire and a Warhawk, and it's just silly to mount on a Timber because it has far better builds. But how about the Summoner? Would an extremely high mounted hardpoint make UAC20 usable?

Well it turns out, it can. This is especially effective in the group queue where matches tend to be deathballs clashing into each other in a decisive manner. In this "Get to the enemy before it dies!" environment, you need serious firepower to make an impact. The UAC20 slaps for 4 damage per bullet, and if you manage to double tap, that's 40 damage in about 4 seconds. Anything melts away under this much damage. However the UAC20 forces you to stare at your target, so you'll also be melting away, but unless your target sports massive SRM racks, at a much slower pace. If you must exchange fire from cover, or simply need to peek for a second, the extremely high mounted ballistics hardpoint has you covered. Pop/peek and slap someone around a bit, then go back into cover.

Stormcrow — "All in one brawler"

The Stormcrow is without a doubt one of the best 'Mechs in MWO. Its strength comes not only from paper statistics like hardpoint count, its massive empty weight and speed; but also from high hardpoint placement, its slim shape and favorable hitboxes. Whatever you do with it, you just can't do wrong. It'll take your worst builds and still run them like a boss.

While I was experimenting with my Summoner build above, one of my friends (Keilaaja) suggested that I try a similar build on a Stormcrow. His message was short but straight to the point: "Try 5xSL, 2xSRM4 and an UAC20". Damn, that sounded sexy. Fitting the UAC20 with decent cooling and ammo proved hard, so I just dropped down to UAC10 for much better range and cooling. 

The resulting build just feels good. It's even better than the SMN build above. If you manage to close the range (not that hard with a SCR), this puts the fiercest IS brawlers to shame. 4xSL is great for precision cutting while 2xSRM4 and the UAC10 are great at softening enemies. The UAC10 has some decent range and will let you do some suppressive firing while you get into position. I even dropped a few times with this in CW matches and it did pretty well at both defense and attack.

If you're into brawling and would like to try something different than the usual ML+SRM combo on your SCR, I highly recommend you to check this out.
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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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