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It's been a week since the PTS ended, and I think I played more there than I have in the actual game for the last month. With that experience, I want to take a look at how the new mechs in the Civil War Escalation pack might turn out, and adjust some of the old thoughts I had about the original Civil War pack. The latter is coming out in just a week, but hopefully I can call out a couple interesting builds worth trying out while I work on the review.

The main focus is going to be the Escalation pack, and the PTS itself. I'm personally very excited about the Nova Cat coming in, since it's always been my favorite mech aesthetically speaking (I had it as my desktop wallpaper for years as a kid), but the Nightstar and Arctic Wolf have their own assets to be excited about. Can't say I'm such a huge fan of the Osiris, but I've never been a lights fan anyways.

So let's get it out of the way first.

Osiris

OSR-3D

  • Endo, Ferro (LA Stripped, Head at 7, max elsewhere), XL280 (151.2 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 5x ER Medium Laser
  • 14 DHS
Could be hot, in both senses of the word. It should blow the other 30-ton IS laserboats out of the water, but that's not really saying much, and its job should be done better by 35-tonners like the Jenner and Firestarter. We'll see about quirks.

OSR-4D
  • Endo, Ferro (Arms Stripped, Head at 9, max elsewhere), XL255 (137.7 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 3x Light PPC
  • 11 DHS
This is the build I'm most excited about. The problem is, it's gonna be hot. You can squeeze in an extra heatsink by dropping some jets and/or some speed, but that's it. Still, this should be the killer variant since it can also do all the laser builds.

OSR-1V
  • Endo, Ferro (RA Stripped, Head at 7, max elsewhere), XL255 (137.7 KPH)
  • 3x MRM10 w/ 3.5 tons of ammo
  • 10 DHS
This is an pretty bad build, for a pretty bad mech. There are some SRM builds that would work better, but not by enough to be worth mentioning. And hey, MRMs are cool!

OSR-2V
  • Endo, Ferro (Arms Stripped, Head at 9, max elsewhere), XL265 (143.1 KPH), 2 JJs
  • Snub-Nose PPC
  • 2x Heavy MGs w/ 2 tons of ammo
  • 10 DHS
A super weak poptart with some HMG backup? It's not gonna break any damage records, but it could make for a good harasser and/or finisher if it doesn't ever meet another light mech.

OSR-1P
  • Endo, Ferro (Head at 5, max elsewhere), XL255 (137.7 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 2x ER Medium Laser
  • 4x Heavy MGs w/ 3 tons of ammo
  • 10 DHS
Small Pulses were the original thought process, but it's already running ridiculously cool. It's a pretty similar concept to the OSR-2V build, but with way less of a focus on harassing and more of one on actual late-game brawling.

Sekhmet
  • Endo, Ferro (Head at 5, max elsewhere), XL255 (137.7 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 4x MPLs
  • 11 DHS
How boring is that? Yeah I don't see much potential for new in this variant, unless you want a super-fast double LPPC boat.

Nightstar

NSR-9J
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 67, max elsewhere), STD325 (55.4 KPH)
  • 2x UAC/10 w/ 6 tons of ammo
  • 4 Medium Lasers
  • 16 DHS
I think this is going to be a really hot build, but the damage it can throw out should be pretty great. I wish I could slap in ER Meds instead of regular ones, but I feel like you'd never get to shoot them. Hopefully I'm wrong.

NSR-9FC
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 67, max elsewhere), XL340 (58 KPH)
  • 2x Gauss w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 2x PPC
  • 14 DHS
Here's hoping it's got skinny side torsos! The build's pretty basic, and probably will work better on the King Crab (not to mention the many many Clan versions), but I didn't see much else worth doing.

NSR-9S
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 59, max elsewhere), LFE320 (54.6 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 2x Gauss w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 3x Light PPC
  • 14 DHS
This is one of the variants worth being excited about. And here's the thing - if PGI actually doesn't slap ghost heat on the UAC/20 (and I'm sure they will), that'll instantly make this variant absolutely badass, and not at all worth running Gauss on. This variant also runs most of the other builds I'm gonna be talking about better than on the originally-listed variant, just by virtue of not having as many actuators.

NSR-9P
  • Endo, Armor (either arm stripped, Legs at 67, max elsewhere), LFE325 (55.4 KPH)
  • 3x UAC/10 w/ 8 tons of ammo
  • 13 DHS
This is the other variant to look out for. Not only can it do this sweet triple UAC/10 build (assuming they don't slap ghost heat on that too), it can do my personal favorite Civil War tech build:
  • Endo, Armor (either arm stripped, Legs at 67, max elsewhere), STD305 (52 KPH)
  • 2x Heavy Gauss w/ 6 tons of ammo
  • Snub-Nose PPC (either arm)
  • 10 DHS
Which I freely admit isn't the best, but it's still fun as hell.

NSR-10P
  • Endo, Armor (either arm stripped, Legs at 67, max elsewhere), LFE325 (55.4 KPH)
  • 2x UAC/5 w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • 2x UAC/2 w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 2x ER Medium Laser
  • 13 DHS, ECM
This build is actually pretty close to stock. I originally made builds for all the Escalation mechs a while ago and never got around to doing the write-up, and back then the build I was looking at used RAC/2s. Hopefully they get fixed, but in their PTS state I don't think that'd be a great idea.

Wolf Phoenix
  • Endo, Armor (either arm stripped, the other at 30, Legs at 60, max elsewhere), LFE325 (55.4 KPH)
  • 4x MRM30 w/ 8 tons of ammo
  • 13 DHS
I'm still an MRM fanboi, but I wasn't particularly impressed by them on the PTS. I do think they have their value, though, and despite having to stagger fire these to avoid ghost heat, it's a fun build and worked out pretty well for me personally (120 damage is 120 damage).

Arctic Wolf

This is a weird one because there are both omnimech and nonmnimech variants. I think we can make it through.

SRMs (omni)
  • Endo, Ferro (either arm stripped, Head at 17, max elsewhere), XL240 (97.2 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 4x Artemis SRM6 w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • 13 DHS
It's like a slightly slower Javelin with Artemis and extra heatsinks. Could be a great value for the tonnage and one of the best builds, but it's not super new and it's a bit slow for me.

LRMs (omni)
  • Endo, Ferro (either arm stripped, Head at 17, max elsewhere), XL240 (97.2 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 3x Artemis LRM10 w/ 5.5 tons of ammo
  • 11 DHS, ECM
It actually looks like it'd be a half decent LRMer for the tonnage. It's not much more powerful than the Light LRM boats that the clans already have, but the Artemis, ECM, and jumpjets could set it apart.

ER Meds (omni)
  • Endo, Ferro (Max Everywhere), XL240 (97.2 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 6x ER Medium Laser
  • 20 DHS, TC1
This build could be really quite swell! Again, the speed is a bit low for a 40-tonner, but that's a lot of heatsinks, way more than you get out of the other low-weight ER Med boats.

ER Larges (omni)
  • Endo, Ferro (Head at 12, max elsewhere), XL240 (97.2 KPH), 3 JJs
  • 2x ER Large Laser
  • 3x ER Small Laser
  • 18 DHS
If the side torso mounts are high, this could turn out to be a great little sniper, like the Purifier but with way more heatsinks and backup weapons in case for when it gets caught.

ACW-1
  • Endo, Ferro (either arm stripped, Head at 17, max elsewhere), XL270 (109.4 KPH)
  • 7x SRM4 w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • 16 DHS
It's gonna run hot, and there are no jumpjets, but that's an insane build for a 40 tonner. I'm starting to question my math, it's so absurd.

ACW-2
  • Endo, Ferro (Head at 12, max elsewhere), XL265 (107.3 KPH)
  • 3x Streak SRM6 w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 2x ER Small Laser
  • 13 DHS, CAP
It leaves a bit to be desired in terms of firepower, and ideally I'd like it to run faster to catch those pesky lights too, but it should still do a good job of hunting the buggers down.

Blood Kit
  • Endo, Ferro (Head at 12, max elsewhere), XL265 (107.3 KPH), 2 JJs
  • 2x Heavy Large Laser
  • 2x ER Medium Laser
  • 17 DHS
It's simple and not that great, but heavy lasers will do huge damage, though you have to stare for a while. A fast mech like the Wolf might be able to get away with it on some good flanks. Or it might just get killed.

Nova Cat

Laser Vomit
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 59, max elsewhere), XL280 (64.8 KPH)
  • 2x Large Pulse Laser
  • 5x Medium Pulse Laser
  • 26 DHS, TC1
It's a straight-up mini-Supernova. It's short 3 heatsinks, a MPL, and a jumpjet, but at least it goes faster and weighs 20 tons less. I'm sure it'll be one of the more popular options (if nothing drastic changes tech-wise).

PPCs
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 48, either arm at 34, max elsewhere), XL280 (64.8 KPH)
  • 4x ER PPC
  • 26 DHS
You can swap out some or all of the PPCs out for Large Pulses obviously (and I think I'll be running 2 and 2) for better heat efficiency, but any way you run it should be fantastic.

Poptart #1
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 56, Right Arm at 34, max elsewhere), XL280 (64.8 KPH), 2 JJs
  • Gauss Rifle w/ 2.5 tons of ammo
  • 2x ER PPC
  • 21 DHS
I'm not sure whether or not this will move in on the Night Gyr's turf (better convergence and, I would guess, agility, but less damage and jumpjets), but I'm sure it'll be strong in its own right. Possible competition for the Timber Wolf at the very least (look at all those heatsinks!)

Poptart #2
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 59, max elsewhere), XL280 (64.8 KPH), 4 JJs
  • 2x Gauss Rifle w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • ER PPC
  • 11 DHS
We saw a mini-Supernova before, so here's a mini-Night Gyr. It's straight up identical, save for a few tons that would get spent on a TC, or backup weapons, or excessive ammo, or pointless heatsinks. If the agility's good...

Dakka
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 51, max elsewhere), XL280 (64.8 KPH), 2 JJs
  • 4x UAC/5 w/ 8.5 tons of ammo
  • 11 DHS
It's not as good as the Dakka you can do on the Night Gyr, but it's not bad at all. I'm not a fan of it all being in the arms (and if you want, you can drop a UAC/5 for a PPC to get something in your torso at least), but it's a solid dakka build to be sure.

Streaks
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 59, max elsewhere), XL280 (64.8 KPH), 4 JJs
  • 6x Streak SRM6 w/ 7 tons of ammo
  • 19 DHS, BAP
Certainly one of the strongest streak boats in the game, but the speed makes it almost a non-starter. If you can get a bead on a light, they're toast, but good luck.

Value & P2W

Guys, the Nova Cat might be really good. Like, really really good. Like, Night Gyr-level good. Like a little Night Gyr that does basically the same thing and can also run a sick af laser vomit build. As long as you pre-ordered the reinforcement variants, that is. As such, I definitely recommend going for the reinforcements if you're planning on getting the pack and want to play any of the ballistic builds, but you can skip the Hero.

And the same could be said (though possibly to a lesser extent) of the Arctic Wolf. The crazy SRM build on the ARC-1 could easily be competition-worthy - certainly in any leagues based on tonnage rather than class - but the variants you get in the standard pack aren't that impressive due in large part to their low speed (though they're still pretty good).

The Nightstar also has a few variants that I expect to be significant. For the most part, it's a lighter King Crab (with better hitboxes), but the NSR-9S's energy mounts (particularly on the head and CT) set it apart, and the NSR-9P looks more like a faster Annihilator than anything else. And the ECM Dakka variant looks like it could be pretty good, too.

The Osiris looks fine, but I don't think it'll be something worth worrying about.

So, how do I feel about this pack? Not great. I love the Nova Cat, and most of the mechs bring some cool new stuff, but this is a mix of P2W and P2Optimize that I really don't feel comfortable with. I hate just throwing around the P2W term, and I really don't know if this stuff is P2W (obviously I haven't played with it yet), but the Nova Cat and Arctic Wolf both have the potential to be best-in-class. Though, I'd rate the chance at maybe 30%. Still too high, but the Night Gyr will probably still be better than the Nova Cat, and the Hunchback IIC and Huntsman both will probably be better choices than the Arctic Wolf.

I really don't like the P2Optimize, though. For the Nova Cat, you're stuck with 1 or 2 interesting laser builds without the reinforcements, which add Gauss poptarting (which I expect to be some of the most popular Nova Cat builds, probably a tie with Laser Vomit really) and Dakka. And the crazy Arctic Wolf build that sets the chassis apart requires you to get the Reinforcements. As for the Nightstar, 2 of the 3 variants that I'm excited about (and which are probably going to be the best) are Reinforcements.

It's rough, dude.

Civil War Pack #1 Adjustments

After getting some exposure to the new weapons on the PTS, I wanna give a brief revision to my prior thoughts.

First off, if RACs don't get some love (and honestly, even if they do) my main Annihilator build I'm looking forward to is as follows:
  • Structure, Light Ferro (either arm stripped, Legs at 64, max elsewhere), LFE300 (48.6 KPH)
  • 5x UAC/5 w/ 9.5 tons of ammo
  • 10 DHS
At long last, I'll get to achieve my dreams of 5 UAC/5s on an IS mech. Unfortunately, it's exactly as slow as a Dire Wolf. Some other notable mentions include 6 UAC/2s, various mixes of UAC/20s and UAC/10s, and of course, my best friend H.G. Snubs.

Also, most of my Mad Cat MKII builds don't look like they'll be that great. I'm still a believer in ATMs (the damage is insane in the right situation), but I'm not liking the current state of Heavy Lasers. On the bright side, double Gauss double Peeps will still be alive and well, as will the crazy brawling build.

As for the Uziel, a lot of those builds require modification. The Heavy Gauss isn't strong enough to be the only weapon on the mech, so I'd replace that with an LFE UAC/20 build, maybe with some energy backup. 2 MRM40s produce ghost heat, so that build would go to 2 MRM30s. Also, the Heavy PPC build will be way too hot, so I'll revise that to use an XL280, only 2 jumpjets, and drop some armor to net 2 extra heatsinks. It probably will still be really hot, but at least it'll be better, and that still sounds like a damned good build.

I hope the Cougar gets some decent quirks.

PTS Thoughts

Just thought I'd write down a few things I've got kicking around my brain. Some of which you've probably figured out if you've read through this whole post.
  • Builds using Heavy Gauss & Snub Nose are super fun (Sleipnir is the best at them of the mechs currently in the game). The ridiculous max range on these weapons means 2 of each (70 damage at 200m) still does 50 damage at, like, 400m, and 25 at 600m. Still not competitive, though.
  • 2 UAC/20s without ghost heat is ridiculous. Especially now that they have ammo.
  • ATM min range is still really rough and I don't think it needs to be that long (I'm still a 90m advocate), but their damage at short range is insane. But their tracking is terrible. Honestly I wish they would just replace the LRM flight pattern with the one for ATMs, and then make something new for ATMs.
  • RACs feel super buggy and don't last for nearly long enough.
  • MRMs are really fun, but I think they need to go faster to be good.
  • I don't like heavy lasers.
  • I kinda like ER Micros.
  • A stealth armor CDA-3M with 3 LPPCs is hilarious.
Anyways, thanks for reading.



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!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBJ7fbbTDA0" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"><strong><span style="color: red;" class="bbc_color">!</span></strong> No longer available</a>

So we've got 3 upcoming packs that are full of exclusively hero mech variants of existing chassis. I'm not totally sure about whether or not its helpful for me to be making these pieces for the hero packs, but I need a break from Skill Tree math, so it'll be good to think of something else for a while. Something with slightly fewer decimals.

Now, these are a lot of mechs spread over multiple packs, so I'm gonna be doing things a bit differently. I still am including a specific build for each that I think illustrates its unique potential, but I'm not gonna spend a full paragraph telling you about how the Shadow Cat gets an extra missile hardpoint.

That being said, some of these require...a bit of discussion.

IS Lights

Urbanmech K-9

  • Endo, Ferro (RA stripped, Head at 5, RT at 12, max elsewhere), STD180 (97.2 KPH), 2 JJs
  • 5x MPL
  • 11 DHS
I think this will probably be the best Urbanmech (depending on quirks), but we'll see. Shouldn't be exactly OP.

Wolfhound Grinner
  • Endo, Ferro (Arms stripped, Head at 7, max elsewhere), XL285 (131.9 KPH)
  • 1x LPL
  • 3x ML
  • 12 DHS, ECM
The ECM is nice, but I can't say I'm super impressed in general. Still, not bad for a Wolfhound, and again that'll depend on quirks.

Panther Katana Kat
  • Endo, Ferro (Head at 12, max elsewhere), XL250 (115.7 KPH), 2 JJs
  • 2x LL
  • 2x ML
  • 11 DHS
Eugh. This one really depends on quirks, but I doubt it'll come close to the PNT-9R.

IS Mediums

Crab Florentine
  • Endo, Ferro (Arms stripped, Head at 12, max elsewhere), XL300 (97.2 KPH)
  • 2x PPC
  • 2x SRM4A w/ 1.5 tons of ammo
  • 13 DHS
I like the idea of this mech, but it's really gonna depend on hardpoint locations (I'm pretty sure that picture is just of an existing Crab's head and CT hardpoints). If the ST mounts are high, this could be a really cool machine. If not, I think it'll still be fun.

Enforcer Ghillie
  • Endo, Ferro (RA stripped, Head at 16, max elsewhere), XL280 (90.7 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 3x ERLL
  • 17 DHS, ECM
Basically, it's like the sniper Phoenix Hawk but with way less speed and more heat sinks. I think it could be pretty damn good.

IS Heavies

Grasshopper Mjölnir
  • Endo, Armor (RA stripped, Legs at 49, max elsewhere), XL325 (75.2 KPH), 1 JJ
  • Gauss Rifle w/ 3 tons of ammo
  • LPL
  • 4x ML
  • 16 DHS
I like that you can cram all the energy into the torso sections on this and pair it with a ballistic, but I can't see it getting used over the GHR-5N or any existing Ballistic/Energy heavies.

Black Knight Partisan
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 49, max elsewhere), XL350 (75.6 KPH)
  • AC/20 w/ 3.5 tons of ammo
  • 6x ML
  • 17 DHS
I think it's really cool that there's no lower arm actuator on this thing, since there's not a lot of AC/20 arms in the game outside of the gun-arm dudes (Jagermech, Rifleman, Blackjack, etc.) I'm not sure it'll be any good, but it could be a decent skirmisher.

IS Assaults

Zeus Skokomish
  • Endo, Armor (LA at 6, max elsewhere), XL340 (68.8 KPH)
  • 4x SRM6A w/ 5.5 tons of ammo
  • 2x MPL
  • 16 DHS
This is the first Zeus with 4 missile hardpoints, making it ideal for an SRM boat. And if it gets any SRM quirks at all reall, it could be quite good at that. But as is, it's looking pretty slow and 4 SRM6s isn't a lot to rely on for an Assault.

Mauler Knockout
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 67, LA stripped, max elsewhere), STD325 (58.5 KPH)
  • 4x SRM6A w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • LB10 w/ 2 tons of ammo
  • 16 DHS
I could kinda copy and paste everything from the Zeus, but the beefed up survivability and backup weapons is a big help. Still, that's a really slow brawler.

King Crab Kaiju
  • Endo, Armor (Legs at 69, arms stripped, max elsewhere), STD300 (48.6 KPH)
  • 2x UAC/5 w/ 6.5 tons of ammo
  • 2x LRM10A w/ 5.5 tons of ammo
  • 14 DHS
I feel like this thing just has so much potential, but...I couldn't squeeze anything really special out of it. Everything I wanted to do ended up being too heavy or too lame. But if the ballistic hardpoints are high, it should be workable.

Clan Lights

Mist Lynx w/ ED & G Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (Head at 12, max elsewhere), CXL175 (113.4 KPH), 6 JJs
  • 4x cERML (RT, RA)
  • 13 DHS
I think this is actually pretty cool that you're able to side-load this stuff.

Arctic Cheetah w/ SH & E Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (max everywhere), CXL240 (129.6 KPH), 6 JJs
  • 8x HMG w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 2x Flamer
  • 12 DHS
This could be crazy good, or crazy bad. But 8 Heavy Machine Guns is...it's a lot of Heavy Machine Guns. But since they're probably no good against armor, you might want to swap out the flamers and heat sinks for something like small pulses.

Jenner IIC Fury
  • cEndo, cFerro (Head at 10, max elsewhere), XL295 (136.5 KPH), 2 JJs
  • cLPL
  • 6x HMG w/ 2 tons of ammo
  • 10 DHS
This one's pretty underwhelming, but I'm not upset about that and a ballistic Jenner could be cool.

Clan Mediums

Ice Ferret w/ RC & P Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (max everywhere), CXL360 (129.6 KPH)
  • 5x HML
  • 15 DHS, ECM
The Ice Ferret gets a whole lot of new options from the Hero and new C-Bill omnipods; the Hero gives you 4 missile hardpoints, and the C-Bill one gives you 6 energy. I think this could make the Ice Ferret pretty good, since its lack of hardpoints has been one of the biggest issues it has had.

Shadow Cat w/ MI & H Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (max everywhere), CXL270 (97.2 KPH)
  • 4x SRM4 w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • 2x SPL
  • 12 DHS
The Shadow Cat's really only getting an extra missile hardpoint (the Hero RA is no big deal) and it's coming from the C-Bill variant, which is nice. But it's not gonna revolutionize the chassis.

Hunchback IIC Deathwish
  • cEndo, cFerro (Head at 14, legs at 44, max elsewhere), CXL255 (82.6 KPH)
  • Gauss Rifle w/ 2.5 tons of ammo
  • 5x cERML
  • 17 DHS
If this thing just had jumpjets, it would become such a good poptart. As is, it looks like a pretty cool gauss vomit platform, serving as legit competition for the heavies. Again, not revolutionary, but pretty cool.

Clan Heavies

Mad Dog w/ BA & H Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (Head at 12, legs at 42, max elsewhere), CXL300 (81.0 KPH)
  • 2x UAC/20 w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • 12 DHS
It's not enough ammo or heat sinks, but it's so cool anyways. I think swapping the 20s out for UAC10s and slapping on a few lasers would be a better option, but this is so much cooler. Unfortunately, it's limited to the Hero omnipods...

Ebon Jaguar w/ EC & D Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (LA stripped, legs at 51, max elsewhere), CXL325 (81.0 KPH)
  • 2x Gauss w/ 5 tons of ammo
  • 2x cERSL
  • 13 DHS
This is the most problematic bit of the packages. The extra side torso ballistic hardpoint for the Ebon Jaguar does mean that it's absolutely pay-to-optimize, and potentially p2w. This example doesn't do a great job of illustrating the latter point (dual gauss on a JJ-less heavy isn't the end of the world, regardless of how high the mounts are), but you can also fit dakka builds and all sorts of new and improved ballistic/energy hybrids with high mounts and loads of tonnage.

Hellbringer w/ VI & P Omnipods
  • Structure, Armor (arms at 1, legs at 56, max elsewhere), CXL325 (81.0 KPH)
  • 2x cLPL
  • 4x cERML
  • 21 DHS
Thankfully, both new variants of the 2 Energy RTs, which means you don't need to shell out for this build. I'm a big fan of the tight weapon grouping and armless weight savings you get out of this build, not to mention the high mounts.

Orion IIC Sköll
  • cEndo, cFerro (LA at 1, legs at 58, max elsewhere), CXL360 (77.8 KPH)
  • Gauss Rifle w/ 3 tons of ammo
  • 2x cERPPC
  • 20 DHS
It's basically a Clan Protector, but with one less ballistic hardpoint. So we're looking at way too many heatsinks for the weapons we actually have.

Clan Assaults

Gargoyle w/ KW & E Omnipods
  • cEndo, cFerro (RA stripped, legs at 58, max elsewhere), CXL400 (81.0 KPH)
  • 4x SRM6A w/ 5.5 tons of ammo
  • 4x cSPL
  • 18 DHS
Finally, 4 missile hardpoints on the Gargler. I think this is basically what it'll look like, and I think it'll be really badass. Unfortunately, you're gonna need the Hero LT to truly optimize this thing, but with it this will be a nasty little machine.

Executioner w/ CH & E Omnipods
  • Structure, cFerro (RA stripped, legs at 65, max elsewhere), CXL380 (64.8 KPH), 4 JJs
  • UAC/20 w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 4x SRM4 w/ 4.5 tons of ammo
  • 17 DHS
This is a pretty cool-looking fast brawler, like a slightly weaker Spirit Bear with jump jets. It does require the Hero omnipods, though, and the C-Bill variant doesn't seem like it'll be too valuable.

Highlander IIC Keeper
  • Structure, Armor (legs at 61, max elsewhere), CXL325 (58.5 KPH), 1 JJ
  • 2x UAC/10 w/ 6 tons of ammo
  • 4x SRM6A w/ 4 tons of ammo
  • 18 DHS
I think this could be a pretty cool variant. Easily the best Highlander IIC, like the HGN-IIC-C on steroids. Plus, you can do builds that use 2 LB20s or Gauss, with missile backup weapons.

Sum-Up

It's hard to make predictions about a lot of these because of the lack of quirk info, but there is cause for concern about that Ebon Jaguar, and I'd estimate about half of these Heroes are either the best variant of the chassis, or have the omnipods required for the best builds on the chassis. Can't say I'm too pleased by that, even though PGI is releasing a buttload of C-Bill variants alongside those Hero Omnimechs.

Still, enough of the new options are cool rather than good for me to still be looking forward to their releases, in general.



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!

Man I didn't get hyped on the Javelin when I saw it. It was a new light mech, and that along kept me going, but it never struck me as being terribly cool.

But I'm having a good tiiiime! I'm not a "light player", but I've just been having so much fun with this dorky little mech (and it is a real dork), and it might even be one of the better light mechs out there. But why?!

Let's talk about physicality first. It's a 30-tonner, so it's smaller than some of the other lights you see out there. But let's be real, its boxiness and height should not inspire confidence. Its legs are slim (which is a big plus), but there's nothing spectacular here.

But then we get to hardpoints. In comparison to other 30-ton IS mechs (the Spider and Urbanmech) there's no comparison! None at all. It's the only one with missiles (the Anansi DOES NOT COUNT), and it's got more energy too. You won't necessarily be using all of them, but the freedom is there. And even when you compare it to the 35-tonners, it holds its own on hardpoints. Hell, even the JVN-10P (spoilers: this is easily my favorite) kicks all they asses with its missile stacks.

There's an elephant in the room, and I think we all know it. The Skill Tree. For my brief opinion, I made a quick post on MetaMechs), and there'll be more to come. For now, I'm going to try to include the skill trees I've been using for each mech in PUGs (meaning no extra UAVs because greed), but these aren't like Word of God or anything. So let's just get to the

Builds

JVN-10N



Now, I know what you're thinking: not nearly enough ammo. And you're totally right. But the skill tree I used alleviated this problem (though it didn't really solve it):

JVN-10N Skill Tree

Even with the extra ammo for your SRMs, you'll run out of ammo if you live for very long at all. But in spite of that, this was a great variant to run, just a ton of fun.

JVN-10F



JVN-10F Skill Tree

It's fast, it hits hard(ish), and it's just great. I think this might be a favorite of a lot of contemporary light pilots, but it wasn't for me.

JVN-10P



JVN-10P Skill Tree

Oh hell yes, this was easily my favorite variant. The SRM2 has always been a pet favorite of mine, and I believe they've been buffed pretty recently. Skill tree's basically the same as the JVN-10N, but I just made a few tweaks. This is a great assassin, and the precision DPS it can put out in a fight is nuts. Just loads of fun.

JVN-11A



JVN-11A Skill Tree

It's fine, but it's not interesting. Might be good in light battles, but I feel like the FS9-A probably still has it beat. Probably my last favorite of the variants.

JVN-11B



JVN-11B Skill Tree

I wasn't a huge fan of this variant (no JJs), but it was cool to run around in a little light-hunter. Streaks just ain't what they used to be, but the intimidation factor is through the roof!

HI THERE!



HI THERE! Skill Tree

Everything about it is preeeetty similar to the JVN-10F. I give the edge to the 10F for its extra speed, but the arm mounts are pretty nice.

Is it good?

It's pretty good. One of the best light mechs in the game, though I still give the edge to the current kings. I think Tier 2 is a good place for it in general, but it is just a super fun mech.

The JVN-10P is my favorite, and I think the best, but the JVN-10F fills the traditional light role very, very well.

Score

Good: 7
Fun: 9

I know these scores are silly, subjective, and just about irrelevant. Just kinda feels good to put abstract concepts into numerical form. Tickles part of my brain.



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.

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