Last Updated: 10-May-2016
Hey guys. So you may be familiar with my previous pieces on the best drop decks to take as Clan or Inner Sphere, but obviously there are more good options to take than just those. So many other good options that I find myself really not wanting to write a guide for each and every one, as they probably number in the dozens or hundreds altogether. I figured a better option (for us all) would be for me to give you a general list of the most tonnage-efficient mechs in game for each tech base, to help you craft your own dropships with extra input on where I think that you can take mechs to save tonnage. This ranking I will try to keep in the order of what is most tonnage-efficient, but at points it may resemble more of a generic listing. So without any further ado…
The Hunchback IIC’s high mounts and low tonnage make it ideal for CW, trading like a boss at long range and with the damage to shut down anything at shorter range. Its high mounts help it avoid enough damage that its squishiness isn’t the end of the world, even in CW, and it has limitless damage.
I feel that the Timber Wolf is absolutely the best Clan mech for CW, but the extra tonnage simply isn’t worth it unless you have extra tonnage. Fortunately, you almost always do have extra tonnage, since the Clan Assaults are pretty disappointing. It’s more of a combat powerhouse than anything else, but it does that role particularly well.
It’s hard to quantify where traditional light mechs end up in terms of tonnage efficiency, as they are simultaneously the most tonnage efficient and unpredictable mechs in the game. CW games can be long-range oriented with firing lines (not great for a brawling light), turning into short range brawls (great for a light), until the enemy drops 4 Streak Crows (ouch). Not to mention, Clans don’t have great Assaults, so you usually don’t need a light for tonnage purposes.
This build is almost unworkable for heat, but the 42 damage is just too strong to ignore. It is rare that your drop deck would call for a 35-tonner, and most of the time the Cheetah’s utility would be preferable, but just in case, it’s worth considering a build like this.
The Shadow Cat is a surprisingly good mech for CW, with a few options when it comes to builds. Its ECM, speed, and jumpjets all help it keep up the damage for a long time without getting put down itself, and it does all that for a bargain. Usually, you are better off upgrading to a Hunchback IIC, but if you don’t have the room in your deck, this is a great pick.
A combination of ECM, high mounts, and an almost perfect tonnage make this a great choice for CW. The only issue is that its main builds have been the victims of repeated nerfs, and it hasn’t been able to deal with it as well as mechs like the Timber Wolf have.
I don’t think that the Stormcrow is worth the extra 5 tons over the Hunchback IIC (I’d probably take the latter over the former even if tonnage wasn’t a consideration), but its ability to mount 5 streaks keeps it very much relevant at repelling light drops. Though, those are much less frequent nowadays.
It’s really hard to justify taking an Ebon Jaguar over a Hellbringer, but if you just want to do pure hill-humping with no concern for ECM or your team in general, it’s a very solid mech.
Well, efficiency does have to take into account effectiveness, and there’s no mech as brutally effective as the goddamn whale. It may be (tied for) the heaviest mech on the battlefield, but it is worth every ounce. Sort of.
It’s such a great mech, and works fantastically on pretty much every map. Not only does it have fantastic damage at a great range, but it has great structure quirks, jumpjets, high-ish mounts, and does it at a really nice spot for tonnage.
The Blackjack is one of the most tonnage-efficient mechs in the game. But it weighs too little for taking more than 2 to be an option, and it’s not quite as incredible as it once was. Which isn’t to say it’s not incredible – high mounts, good-to-amazing speed, plenty of speed, sometimes jumpjets…it ticks all the boxes.
This competes very closely with the Banshee for being the most powerful CW mech, but 10 tons makes quite the difference when you’re building a drop deck. It may not tick all the boxes like the Blackjack, but the mounts are high and the ranges are long, and it won’t leave you wanting for damage. Maybe heatsinks.
Since the IS has some good Assault mechs, you’ll often want to bring in a light mech or two. And as far as light mechs go, there’s non quite like the Oxide. In fact, taking a combination of Assaults and Oxides seems like the very definition of min-maxing to me. Except, the Oxide is good enough that it’s more like max-maxing.
The Blackjack is oftentimes a better choice, and this mech does weigh a bit more, but it’s a more powerful choice and the lower mounts don’t bite you in the ass that hard. It has all the range you need, great hitboxes, and fits fantastically!
This 60-tonner isn’t the best mech in the game (anymore), but it’s still an absolute beast in CW. It’s maneuverable enough to get to any fight, it’s got the quirks to keep up the deeps, and there’s very little about the Quickdraw that isn’t fantastic. All in all, it’s a pretty sweet machine, and does a great job at being the meat of your deck.
The Black Knight is a great mech, but its low mounts and focus on brutality rather than getting out free (or close to free) damage make it a little sub-optimal for CW. Fortunately, it fits pretty well in a bunch of drop decks, and just because your trades won’t be free doesn’t mean you won’t win them.
This is going to be the most powerful mech in all of CW, but…oh man is it heavy. It’s still a very, very, very good choice for CW and I would often recommend picking it above the Stalker or Battlemaster, but only if you can afford the tonnage regardless.
Any of the top variants are solid choices in community warfare, and are well worth their tonnage, though they fall prey to the same consistency issues as the Arctic Cheetah, and they’re not as good as the Oxide. But if you don’t want to spend MC on the Oxide, the Firestarter is your best choice to round out a chunky drop deck.
The Jester may have been nerfed, but it’s still a pretty damn good mech, at a tonnage point that it doesn’t get much competition for. Unfortunately, it does end up being mostly filler, but it is quite the exceptional filler.