Heya folks, GMan129 from Steel Jaguar
here. I've partnered up with NoGutsNoGalaxy to write some articles, an arrangement that I'm confident will benefit both sites. To preface this, I want to say that if you're worried about this taking content away from MetaMechs, don't - if anything this will result in more MetaMechs content. Right now the plan is to release an article on NGNG every week or two (probably on Fridays), including things like this review format and just other stuff I want to write about. So, let's get on with it.
The Ebon Jaguar and Executioner were released the other day, and I've spent most of my MWO time just playing all the different builds I could think of and having a ton of fun. I'm going to start with the Ebon Jaguar though.
The Ebon Jaguar (or Cauldron Born as some of us are more used to calling it) is my new favorite mech. Its combination of better-than-average hitboxes, high (kind of too high) mounts, and pretty crazy pod space & hardpoints make it a seriously awesome mech, and nothing like the Awesome. My personal favorite build is the one displayed in the above video, with a Gauss Rifle, ER Medium Laser, and 2 Large Pulse Lasers (put in the cERML before the cLPLs in orcLPLs into the higher slots), but there are so many other options (a more-or-less complete list will be in its upcoming Master Guide).
To top it off, despite its offensive and defensive advantages, it seems like PGI was able to balance it using its model pretty effectively. Side-peeking is risky due to how much the arms stick out (the enemy will always have a pretty big warning before you expose your torsos), and for hill-peeking you have the same problem if you use the high mounts, due to just how high above the cockpit they are. This puts just enough of a challenge into using it correctly to make it satisfying to play well, and it really feels unique.
I'm going to also use a rating system for these reviews, based on its offensive and defensive abilities, as well as its mobility and generally how fun it is.
The Executioner is another unique mech (at least for now), particularly due to it being the first mech with MASC in the game. It's already become a favorite of a few of my teammates - the nature of MASC is such that making optimal use of it is challenging enough to keep the mech interesting. It also has a few other notable things about it, including a natural inclination to run old school laser vomit, and 4 locked jumpjets that eat up all your available tonnage. As such, I've been running the above pure laser vomit build.
The Executioner's severe lack of damage when compared to its 5-ton heavier cousin, the Dire Wolf, means that it is better compared to the Timber Wolf. For the most part, it is a favorable comparison, as they each perform similarly. Aside from the low weapon mounts on the arms, the Executioner feels very much like a plus-sized Timber Wolf, but despite the extra armor it's roughly as durable due to the worse hitboxes, less maneuverability, and, well, it's really big.