Mad Dog

Last Updated: 25-Jan-2015

I’m a day late for the next beautiful MASTER GUIDE. On the [cue epic music] Mad Dog! Looking back…I really regret this. I mean it’s such a good song and…the mech…not so much…



The Mad Dog was the single most anticipated chassis of Clan Wave 2, and many were disappointed that it wasn’t in Wave 1. The anticipation was actually warranted for once, and the Mad Dog has proven to be a very valuable mech in many situations (though mostly short-ranged). This also made it the first actually viable 60-ton chassis in the game, though since the quirks the Dragon has gotten to the point of “cool”. You’ll need to buy all three variants in order to master the mech, but the MDD-A has the best hardpoints so I’d recommend starting off with that and then the MDD-B.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Tied with the CPLT-A1 for the most possible missile hardpoints in the game, but has additional possible non-missile hardpoints.
  • Standard Clan Heavy strengths, including good speed, CXL engine, and high versatility thanks to omnipods.
  • More pod space than all other Clan Heavies except for the Timber Wolf, and the fourth most possible hardpoints in the game at 11 (behind the Nova, Timber Wolf, and Dire Wolf).
  • Two weapon module slots stock! Doesn’t seem like a huge deal (and it doesn’t matter to those without the right weapon modules), but only having one weapon module to use on my Timber Wolves and Stormcrows can be annoying – yes I know I can use the Master slot for a weapon module, but mech modules are generally more valuable.



  • Hitboxes aren’t great, as it is easy to isolate the CT or side torsos when aiming at it and the arms make pretty poor shields.
  • Low-mounted hardpoints make it weak for mid-to-long range engagements (though they don’t matter so much at short range).
  • Lack of armor makes it easy to kill in a brawl, which is where it suits in best.


Generic Tips

  • Your natural squishiness requires you to stay behind some sort of protection, usually meaning that you’ve got to rely on the protection of your teammates. Try to stick in the middle of them until the fight breaks out, and make sure that you don’t take harass.
  • Other than that, there’s not much that’s super intricate about the chassis. Just play carefully and, when you get the opportunity, open up your included can of 100% whoopass. By the way, I have no idea how to spell that…there’s so many different options.



For those of you who are not familiar with the general format, here’s how it goes (and it is different from the IS ones). We’re going to be identifying build archetypes (generally listed from long range to short) and customizing them to fit the variants, often coming up with a few separate versions of the same type of build which function differently in some way. Some Clan mechs (like the Summoner) share the same CT and so don’t need differentiation based on the variant, but others (like the Timber Wolf) have variants with very different center torsos and so a custom build for each of those variants must be made (if it’s getting a bit confusing, don’t worry it should all become clear momentarily). In general, the builds will be labeled according to their armament, but occasionally I will name a build if it is particularly badass.

Also, the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are best for normal play, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important one out for a UAV, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice).

Now then, on with it!


Now, I have no idea why you would want to run this on a Mad Dog, but the fact of the matter is that it is a possible build and so I’m including it. No judgment. A little judgment. Anyways, it’s got the heatsinks, it’s got the TC1, it’s got everything necessary for 4 cERLL except for the high mounts or jumpjets or durability or any of the things that make laser sniping viable. But if you’re a cERLL addict, you can still do yo thang.

This plays as most any other cERLL boat does – stay way far back and pew pew from outside of the enemy’s optimal range. You may find that you need to reposition a few times if the enemy starts shooting at you whenever you show your face, but you have the speed for that. Generally, you want to be wherever they’re not looking, so try to use your team as a sort of distraction (that may sound a bit mean, but it’s the way to do it). Just don’t hide the whole game, because in order for these sorts of builds to be useful, you need to be putting out DPS throughout all stages of combat. Oh yeah, and don’t alpha strike. 2 at a time, just like Noah said.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERLL Range, cERLL Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved Air Strike


Meh, it’s what half of the people in this game use it for anyways, so you might as well do it right… There are other builds possible for sure, but this is the one that has the best mix of alpha, DPS, tight spread, and general utility.

It’s LRMs. Stay in the back, keep firing at whatever your team was so gracious as to lock for you, and every once in a while maybe go through the effort to tag a target for yourself. Recommend shooting each ST separately to avoid ghost heat, unless you see the enemy has AMS in which case just alpha strike and take time to cool off when you need to. Your cERSLs have decent range and damage and so actually can be used to support at close range (more heat efficiently as well), though I wouldn’t close range just to use them.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Target Decay, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLRM10 Cooldown, cERSL Range

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved UAV

This one goes out to all of you boat lovers. Basically plays the same way but has worse spread, ghost heat and self-sufficiency, but with more DPS and alpha.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLRM15 Cooldown, cLRM15 Range

It’s got decent everything. You could even do 6 cLRM10As, but the ammo gets low on that even if you sacrifice TAG and CAP.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLRM10 Cooldown, cLRM10 Range


This combines two of the most tonnage efficient weapons in the game – cERMLs and cLRM5s – to make a pretty brutal mid-range platform. The heat is a bit painful, especially with the ghost heat on the LRMs, but if you only use one of your two weapon types at a time it’s easily manageable.

In general, you’re better off sticking to your lasers when you need to do real damage (especially if there are components you need to focus), but then you can back off and add your LRMs to the mix. Personally, I’d open with a few combined volleys to get early damage off, then do lasers until my armor starts to show some wear, and then back down and do some LRMing while I cool off and while the enemy switches targets. If you split up your torsos, your LRMs actually are heat neutral, though with ghost heat they will slowly make your heat climb. Take any chance to peek out with your lasers that you get, but try to play a bit carefully. You’ve got a mix of weapons, so it’s a bit more difficult than pure LRMing (maybe even more difficult than laser vom), so just keep an eye on both your ammo and heat and try to make everything last.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Target Decay

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cLRM5 Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved UAV

This definitely puts more of a focus on the LRM part of the built, sacrificing two cERMLs and some heat sinks for Artemis, CAP, and ammo. Play accordingly.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLRM5 Cooldown, cERML Range


This should be familiar to anyone who has played Clan mechs, or read any of my Clan Master Guides. The Mad Dog is hardly the ideal platform for these weapons, as it lacks the armor to properly trade, the asymmetry to properly shield, the maneuverability to properly outplay, or really anything special, but it at least is capable of mounting the right weapons with plenty of heatsinks and a TC1.

Play it as you would play any other laser vom, but maybe less aggressively. You can try to make sure that you have a firing line joining you when you poke, or use your teammates for distraction in some other way, but you don’t ever want to be the enemy’s primary target (well, unless it’s coming down to the wire and you’re the only fresh mech of course). Poke from the outskirts, get as much DPS in as possible, and just generally make sure that you’re doing more damage than you’re taking.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cLPL Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved Air Strike

You sacrifice some alpha strike (and get extra alpha heat and a longer beam duration), but you also gain quite a few heatsinks and some good range.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cERLL Cooldown


Goddamn I just wish it could carry extra heatsinks. This is a truly brilliant build, with great medium range potential (about as much as your standard hybrid Timmy), and absolutely amazing brawling ability. Combined, you get that crazy maximum DPS of over 24 with an alpha of 83. The only thing that will hold you back is heat, but if you manage your weapons well you should be alright.

Start out with some medium range poke. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to out-trade most enemy mechs, so try to stay hidden or keep the heat off of you in some other way, because you do want to remain at least sort of fresh for the brawl. Once the brawl does begin, that’s where you really go crazy, and I’d recommend to stop firing the medium lasers entirely (maybe shooting one arm for when there’s a super hurt component that needs to be blown up right now), and just run rampant with your SRM4s until your heat starts pushing the threshold. Keep in mind that you do have ghost heat, so I’d recommend firing each side torso separately unless you know you’ll have time to cool down.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cSRM4 Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved Air Strike

This focuses more on the brawly aspect, but the cMPLs aren’t quite fully brawl weapons, so I’m keeping the build in hybrid brawl. Otherwise, it plays very similarly, though I wouldn’t worry about the SRM2 ghost heat (seriously PGI? Ghost heat on SRM2s? C’mon).

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cMPL Range, cSRM2 Cooldown

If only it had one more energy hardpoint, I’d make this its own section. But no, it’s just inferior to the Timber Wolf in every way. Still, it’s a very cool (both literally and figuratively) built, and maybe you’ll enjoy it.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cMPL Range, cMPL Cooldown


This is the Holy Grail of Mad Dog builds, of streak builds in general. Massive firepower, enough ammo to put out 1100 damage from just your streaks, and even a few pitiful backup weapons should the worst happen? Yes please! This is the bane of all light mechs, and even against larger mechs it is nothing to scoff at (I don’t care how spread it gets, 87 firepower is formidable).

Your job is to kill light mechs. That’s pretty much your only job. You want to stay near or behind your bigs, just lying in wait for an enemy light mech to show its ugly little face so that you can smash it in. There are lights in the game that you can literally one-shot with just the slightest bit of help from RNGesus, and the rest will be forever traumatized by a single alpha that they will try their hardest to stay away from you. Which is good enough, as long as you stay with the bigs, because that means that they can do their job without enemy lights distracting them. As long as you’ve got ammo to spare, you might as well throw in a few alphas at enemy bigs too, but always watch out for juicy lights. Save your lasers for when you’re on resting heat, or need to finish off a component.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): SSRM6 Cooldown, SSRM6 Range

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved UAV

Yeah, I was considering just saying fuckit and going for 9 full tons of ammo, but…I figured that might be a bit overkill, so I went for extra heatsinks instead. Maybe for CW you can do 9 tons though.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): SSRM6 Cooldown, SSRM6 Range

You get some real backup weapons and extra heatsinks, but I don’t think it’s really that worth it to be honest. Still, maybe you’ll like this playstyle better.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): SSRM4 Cooldown, SSRM4 Range


Following the supremacy of the Streak Dog over the Streak Cat, the Splat Dog proves once and for all that dogs are better than cats (expulsion from SJR incoming) by completely putting the Splat Cat to shame. It has more heatsinks, more speed, real backup weapons…just, everything. Also, note how much maximum and sustained DPS these builds (this one and in particular some of the alt. versions) have. Shit’s absolutely nuts.

This is definitely one of those mechs that you want to play like a scaredy cat to start, because you really have nothing that you can do at range. Just wait behind your teammates and/or in hard cover until someone gets close enough for you to blast them with your brutal alpha strike. In the brawl itself, though, you’re best off separating your side torsos into their own weapon groups so that you don’t get hit by ghost heat, saving alpha strikes for when you’re on resting heat and your lasers in general for when there’s a cored component that needs to go bye-bye.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM6 Cooldown, cSRM6 Range

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved Air Strike

You sacrifice your backup weapons for the ability to run much cooler and have extra ammo. Whether or not it’s worth it is up to you.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM6 Cooldown, cSRM6 Range

This starts to focus more on having real energy weapons as backup weapons for your high DPS, low spread SRM4s with Artemis.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM4 Cooldown, cERSL Range

If this looks familiar, it’s because it’s exactly the same as the standard Hybrid Brawler build, but with cSPLs instead of cERMLs.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM4 Cooldown, cSPL Range

And this build is just nuts about heat sinks, also gaining some ammo over the previous build.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM4 Cooldown, cERSL Range


You can switch the side of the ballistic and/or missiles of this and all subsequent builds if you have the MDD-C, and personally I would prefer that due to it having better counter-clockwise potential.

So named because this (series of) builds is the mad brawlers that use all sorts of weapons to accomplish their brutal end. Even though that’s not actually what Pit Bulls are really like. Seriously, I adopted one of my own and she is the sweetest, most playful, and biggest wuss of a dog I’ve ever seen. So actually, I’m just calling it “Pit Bull” because it’s my favorite, and sort of my pet build. But enough about Kasha, on to the build!

Some people have called my love of SRM2s unnatural, heretic, insane, even debaucherous. I prefer to think of it as eccentric. After all, according to the math, it has the best DPS/ton of any weapon in the game, even after you factor in ammo. Plus, how annoying is it to get hit in the face with two groups of 3 SRM2s in addition to a double-fired UAC/20? Answer: incredibly. It’s just a bit difficult to manage those weapons together is all. But the 22 effective DPS is just so totally worth it.

This build will play very similarly to the SRM brawler builds in that you have to chill out for the first while until the fight really gets going. But once the fight gets going, any target you get on will just disintegrate. For maximum heat efficiency (and annoyance) fire your SRM2s in two groups of 3, and spam the hell out of your UAC/20 – it will distort the enemy’s aim to no end. This also makes you a very effective duelist, if you can manage to jump on a single enemy in the brawl without being targeted by all of his friends. The main failing of this build is that you really cannot shield, except for when you’re pushing the heat threshold and/or have a jammed autocannon. This means that instead of fully twisting, you just have to jiggle around to your less damaged side whenever your weapons aren’t actively going off. It’s tough, and is a definite weakness of the build, but sometimes you just have to make do.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM2 Cooldown, cUAC20 Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot 9×9, Improved Air Strike

TIL “saner” is actually a word; I thought it was “more sane”. Anyways, this version lets you shield, has almost as much potential DPS, and is generally easier to use. Not a bad idea at all, and if you’re not a fan of the SRM2 craziness, I highly recommend this.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLB20X Cooldown, cSRM4 Cooldown

Not the best DPS or anything like that, but its shielding potential, cooling, spread, and weapon sync-up is unmatched by any other build. Just don’t get your LT blown off.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLB20X Cooldown, cSRM6 Cooldown


Pilot Skills

I’ve figured that this is the best skill order for pretty much any mech, and so I’m just going to customize it for mechs that have to emphasize unusual pilot skills.

Basics: Cool Run – Heat Containment – Hard Brake – Kinetic Burst – Twist Speed – Twist X – Anchor Turn – Arm Reflex

Elites: Speed Tweak – Fast Fire – Quick Ignition – Pinpoint

Then just master it. I’d recommend mastering and holding on to at least two of these (one with artemis and one without) or even buying an extra one so you can run a CW deck with 4 Mad Dogs, but in the end it’s up to you.


And that’s that. I hope you enjoy your mech, let me know if you have any questions, and as always glhf

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