|Ron Swanson has nothing on this when it comes to manliness (image source: Lordred)|
When I saw MechWarrior Jalik asking for a manly heavy 'Mech to brawl with on the forums, I just couldn't help but present him a truly honest and objective picture of the Orion. I had to make sure he's on the right path to being another suicidal brawler.
As an ON1 enthusiast, I second the Orion motion. They have good hitboxes (when you get used to them), tons and tons of armor and the ability to face tank entire teams and come out alive (albeit losing a few things). Their weaknesses are their XL unviability and therefore being forced to bring STD engines and low-mounted hardpoints, forcing them to come out to fight. Another minor weakness is the inability to boat a specific weapon, although some variants come with up to 4E or M hardpoints.
Being forced to bring mixed weaponry makes them a perfect candidate for brawling (in an ideal brawler you'll want all three weapon systems), but this also bars them from participating in whatever meta is prevalent properly (currently laser vomits and lots of dakka) so the public has taken a dislike for them. Not to mention brawling is probably one of the hardest playstyles out there.
With a STD300 engine (the most balanced engine for it), you can have 32.5 tons of space for weapons and equipment, which is pretty respectable. A STD ON1 will absolutely wreck anything (bar some crazy DPS builds like UAC5 Dires) at close range. They also come in all flavors:
- K for the best brawler. 4xML+AC20+2xASRM4 (or drop the SRMs for bigger engines) for example, is ridiculously strong and the quirks make this 'Mech run pretty cool.
- VA for the missile master. With the module, SRMs on this thing can reach out to 374m, which is insane. Not that you can hit anything fast with it, but you can perfectly harass Assaults with it. LRMs can also be hilarious on this thing if that's your preference.
- V for dual dakka and ridiculous laser quirks (-25% duration). It also gets a 25% ballistic speed bonus which makes aiming AC20 a breeze.
- M for balanced builds. It has 40% cooldown quirk for the LBX, but its usefulness is debatable. With a 3M+3E+B layout you can pull off decent generalist builds.
It's a tough 'Mech to run compared to a TBR, but it's extremely rewarding at the same time. Also a good 'Mech to master a few concepts (spreading damage, positioning, managing exposure) since it's not very forgiving. BUT when you start to do well with it, you'll not only get much respect from others but you'll also be instantly good in any other comparable well-rounded brawler.
- Protector for the "best of" Orion. 2B+2M+3E. The LT E is high mounted and combined with the ballistics it can be a decent sniper/peeker. It can also be a beastly brawler or a second-line 'Mech. A true Swiss-Knife 'Mech in MWO.