Author Topic:  Piranha Theorycraft, with special guests Thanatos, Hellspawn, and Ranting  (Read 3980 times)

3 Oct 17

Read 3980 times

Offline GMan129

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My computer breaking may have stopped me from doing any reviews, and I might have procrastinated the hell out of the Hellspawn and Thanatos theorycrafts, but damnit, PGI announced the Piranha. The second most meme'd mech of MWO's mythos. I've gotta talk about it. And I'll address the Hellspawn and Thanatos too, while I'm at it.

Piranha Variants

  • Endo, Ferro (arms stripped, 9 on head, max elsewhere), XL180 (145.8 KPH)
  • 12x MG or LMG with 4.5 tons of ammo
  • A single ER Micro Laser
  • 10x DHS

Since you have all those machine guns and not much ammo, you'll want to conserve it as much as possible. As such, I've incorporated a single ER Micro Laser into this design, which should allow you to easily take care of any armor that the enemy might decide to put on their mech.

Kidding. But yeah, the build's not gonna surprise anyone, but it's what we're all gonna be playing. I haven't gotten the chance to experience the nerf'd LMGs, so I'm not sure if they're still a better value than the standard option, but who knows what'll happen before release anyways. And sure you could drop the laser for head armor, but why would you!

  • Endo, Ferro (either arm stripped, 7 on head, max elsewhere), XL180 (145.8 KPH)
  • 14x ER Micro Laser
  • 14x DHS

Oh man, micro lasers might not be great, but they were made for this mech. The damage isn't anemic in these numbers, the range isn't horrible for your speed, and the DPS should actually be pretty good.

  • Endo, Ferro (arms and head stripped, max elsewhere), XL180 (145.8 KPH)
  • 5x ER Medium Laser
  • 13x DHS

Head armor? Who needs it! Despite that omission, it's a pretty solid looking build. Not super exciting or unique, but it should have some nice, high mounts.

  • Endo, Ferro (arms stripped, 9 on head, max elsewhere), XL180 (145.8 KPH)
  • 7x MG or LMG with 2 tons of ammo
  • 4x LAMS
  • 10x DHS

Even without any heat-producing weapons, I'm worried about heat issues with just the LAMS. Still, it'll be an asset to its team and the MGs make it so you don't have to compromise damage for the sake of AMS or AMS for the sake of damage.

  • Endo, Ferro (14 on head, max elsewhere), XL180 (145.8 KPH)
  • 6x Small Pulse Laser
  • 11x DHS

Micro lasers and small pulses, all the worst hits! But it seems like it just fits the mech in this case. But I also think this is the least exciting mech of the bunch.

  • Endo, Ferro (14 on head, max elsewhere), XL180 (145.8 KPH)
  • 7x ER Micro Lasers
  • 6x MGs with 2.5 tons of ammo
  • 12x DHS

It's not nearly as exciting as a couple of the other variants, but the mix could prove to be terribly effective. Comparing it to the Arctic Cheetah build, the alpha is similar but at a lower range and higher DPS. It could be a thing.


The Piranha could be a super strong mech with its absolutely insane hardpoint count and positioning, but the lack of jumpjets, the (probably) extreme fragility, and the non-ludicrous speed could compromise it.

Still, it'll get played a lot at release, it'll be a great performer for its tonnage (such as in group queue or CW), and it might be really good even when compared to other lights. I'm predicting a Tier 2 placement.

Thanatos & Hellspawn

I feel like the ship's kind of sailed for a full theorycrafting post dedicated to these two mechs, but I want to give my hot take on the most exciting builds offered by each.

Thanatos TNS-5T
  • Endo, Light Ferro (53 per leg, max elsewhere), XL340 (73.4 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 6x Stream SRM6 with 5 tons of ammo
  • 13 DHS, ECM

Regular SRMs are cool too, and you can do that with an LFE300, 7 tons of ammo, and 13 heatsinks, but this streak build made more sense to me with the way that the Thanatos is set up. Fits the ghost heat profile better, fits the mount positions better, just works in general a bit more goodly.

Thanatos TNS-4P
  • Endo, Armor (RA stripped, 57 per leg, max elsewhere), LFE280 (60.5 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 2x AC/5 with 4.5 tons of ammo
  • 2x PPC
  • 15 DHS

The UAC version could be better, but it basically requires an XL. We'll see how the side torsos turn out for that. The same basic philosophy applies, though, and it's a philosophy that we know works. Not as strong as it once was, but it's sure to be good nonetheless.

Hellspawn Paralyzer
  • Endo, LFerro (head at 17, max elsewhere), LFE295 (106.2 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 6x ER Medium Laser
  • 16 DHS, ECM

Clearly the best Hellspawn variant. Like, it's not even close. In terms of hardpoints it's basically a BJ-3 with ECM instead of high mounts, and missile hardpoints instead of ballistic. Honestly, it'll probably be a pretty good little mech.

Hellspawn HSN-9F
  • Endo, LFerro (LA stripped, head at 11, max elsewhere), XL255 (91.8 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 4x Artemis SRM6 with 4.5 tons of ammo
  • 11 DHS

It's a serviceable little brawler, but it doesn't really match up well against its competition in the medium class. Not only are the bigger mechs better at this exact build (extra heat sinks, ammo, and jumpjets), but the Assassin is likely going to remain the better choice at the lower end of the weight spectrum.


At the end of the day, PGI's mechpack-driven approach to revenue is notably less appealing post-skill tree. Even when 3 of a chassis was a requirement for mastery, the inability to choose which three C-Bill variants you wanted was a huge issue. Now that you can one-and-done it, the lack of choice is indefensible.

Obviously, this doesn't really matter for PGI as long as people pay for it anyways. But perhaps it's time to change the pricing structure to something like having single variants cost $10, and if you buy 2 you get one free. Still not a great value proposition, but...the current system is really not the best.

Really it should be more like $5 per variant, and if you buy 3 you have the option to get all the bonuses (like premium time, camo, etc.) for another $5.

But I'm not holding my breath.

GMan129 is an officer of the Steel Jaguar competitive team, he is the owner of and writer for MetaMechs, and he does some writing for NGNG as well. He has been playing MechWarrior Online since the early days of closed beta, and has spent far too much time and money on this crap. If you're interested in supporting his self-destruction, consider checking out his Patreon!

4 Oct 17

Reply #1

Offline Mirtma

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Thank you for Theorycraft. Hope you'll get your PC in order soon. ;)

6 Mar 18

Reply #2

Offline wayeward

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I just realized how many months ago this article came out. I hope you are still with us, Gman. If not, well, it has been a pleasure reading your articles and using metamechs, so thank you for that. Cheers~