Last Updated: 20-May-2016

It’s not quite as cool as the jaguar, but it’s still a pretty cool cat.



Inspired by the Terran wildlife, the Panther exhibits many similar features as its namesake – it’s not quite as fast as its relatives, there’s no defining trait that links the different kinds together besides aesthetics (seriously, “panther” is just a word for melanistic cougars, jaguars, and leopards), and it gets its ass kicked by a Dire Wolf. Quirks have brought the Panther into viability (if not relevance), and it is certainly a unique light mech.

Recent quirk changes have made the PNT-10K an intimidating mech for PPC boating, edging out the PNT-9R which has historically held that role. The PNT-9R is still the second best, though, as it does most of the same things a bit worse. Following these is the PNT-8Z, which is meant to be the laser boat of the bunch, but is a bit lacking at that role. And finally, there’s the PNT-10P, which is one of the worst mechs in the game.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • The Panther variants have the best quirks of all the 35 tonners, which helps to make up for its numerous shortcomings.
  • In my experience, the Panther also has the best size and hitboxes of the 35 tonners, which do help with its survivability to an extent.



  • The engine cap is in a really low and awkward place. I suppose you could think of it as an Inner Sphere Kit Fox, but the Kit Fox isn’t great either. Despite having pretty decent hitboxes, its speed still makes it one of the most vulnerable light mechs in the game.
  • The hardpoint quantity and locations are absolutely atrocious, preventing you from boating a serious amount of smaller weapons. Most builds also run the risk of getting stripped when they lose their arm.


Generic Tips

  • You can’t scout effectively due to your low speed, you can’t stick in the enemy’s backline due to your low speed, and you can’t try to tussle with enemy lights due to your low speed. This means that you kind of have to stick to the edges of the fight and play like a super-fragile medium, using your exception speed for a medium to reposition with ease.



If you’re not familiar with my Inner Sphere Master Guides, each pretty much follows the same formula. Each variant gets its own section; within that section I try to include at least two main builds, each with a few variations on the core principle (if applicable).

Each build has one paragraph about the build itself – going over anything I feel is relevant to understanding it such as quirks, tonnage issues, how it fits the meta, my general feeling about it…just whatever. And then there’s a paragraph about using the build, going over tactics, tips, and whatever I feel is relevant to that, including links to L2P guides, on occasion.

I may miss a build that you like, or my builds may differ slightly from what you find works best for you because our philosophies may differ – I strongly encourage that you experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.

The modules are listed in order of which one is most important and the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are generally the best, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important consumable out for a UAV. That is, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice, and if you’re low on C-Bills they’re not necessarily worth it).

On with it!



This variant comes with incredible quirks for PPCs. It has 25% total PPC heat gen (20% of which is generic), 50% PPC velocity, 10% energy cooldown, and 10% missile cooldown and velocity. It also gets the largest defensive quirks, with 10 extra structure across the torsos and legs and 16 armor in each arm.

This build just takes 2 PPCs into the fight and unloads repeated 20-damage alphas into the enemy team. The heat gen and velocity quirks make the build downright pleasant to play, and you can even do some poptarting with 3 jumpjets (though they don’t provide as much lift as I’d like). The big downside is that this variant can’t do much else, but of course you can feel free to swap in ER PPCs if you feel the desire.

You want to be poking constantly in this mech, keeping as much range from the enemy team as you can stand. You do want to be able to reliably hit your shots, but if an enemy light mech gets close to this thing, it’s toast. The range also helps you avoid return fire. As such, you’re going to want to stick to two main tactics – poptarting and corner-peeking. Use these methods to get free trades on the enemy while you stay out on their flanks – far enough from your own team that the enemy won’t see both you and your mates on the same screen, but not so far that you get isolated. It’s a tricky dance, but practice makes perfect. For more on PPFLD builds, check out the guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: PPC Range, PPC Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

This is the classic Panther build that I used before the quirk changes. It’s not nearly as good as double PPCs, but it still works suprisingly well.




This is the old PPC variant, and it still does them quite well. It gets quirks for 15% energy cooldown and heat gen, 40% PPC velocity, 10% laser duration, 15% missile cooldown, and 10% missile velocity. It also gets 10 structure over the torsos and legs, and 10 armor on each arm. And to top it off, it gets 10% for accel/decel and turn rate.

Build 1:

This build lacks the extra velocity and heat gen quirks that you get on the PNT-10K, but it’s still the best build for the variant.. And while its quirks may not be quite as good for this overall, it does get an extra 5% cooldown in addition to the mobility quirks which the PNT-10K lacks entirely. Other than that, it plays just like the PNT-10K, so you can refer to that and the PPFLD guide for more info.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: PPC Range, PPC Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

It’s a bit hotter and a bit faster, but it can’t jump.


Build 2:

This variant has the most energy hardpoints, and this is the best build to take advantage of that. You have some pretty nice ranged pokes with your large lasers, and your medium-range alphas aren’t half bad. That is, as long as you don’t mind having roughly the same build as an Urbanmech.

This mech will want to zip around the battlefield, firing as frequently as possible. Due to the speed difference between this mech and other lights, you will need to take more cautious positions in general; corner-peeking on the enemy’s flanks rather than just running up and blasting them. You can certainly get in some more aggressive, shorter-ranged pokes, but it’s best to do so if you have a wolf-pack with you, or there’s a full engagement going on somewhere.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, Medium Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

You lose a lot of range with this, but the lower duration could be worthwhile if you feel confident in your ability to survive that close.




This variant abandons the PPC quirks to focus on lasers, taking a spectacular 25% boost to laser duration and large laser cooldown (with a 20% generic energy cooldown component), and 10% to energy range. It also gets the same defensive quirks as the PNT-9R, with 10 structure on the CT and legs, and 10 armor per arm. It also gets 15% to accel/decel and turn rate.

Build 1:

Three large lasers and that’s it. With almost 50% extra medium range firepower over the double PPC builds, this build is focused entirely around poking until you can’t poke no more. It is hot as hell, but the duration is insane, and you can get some crazy high bursts if you manage to poke a few times in a row before moving.

So yeah. Stay to the edges of the fight, poke whenever possible, don’t die, blah blah blah. I think you get the gist of it by now . For this, the only uniqueness is in just how hot it gets while poking. It may have a cooldown quirk, range quirk, and beam duration quirk, but it has no heat generation quirk. And boy does it generate heat. On the bright side, that serves as plenty of incentive to reposition often, which is a good habit to get into, because you won’t have much else to do.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Build 2:

Probably the best brawling build for the Panther, this couples some heavily quirked medium lasers with the efficiency king known as “SRM4” to act as a…serviceable brawling light mech. It’s still just as squishy due to all the factors we’ve gone over 7 times, but it has the firepower to make it worth it anyways, if you’re lucky.

This build plays similarly to a lot of other brawl-type lights, jumping on mechs that are isolated or hurt to get kills and help out your team. Your lower speed inhibits your ability to scout or dart in and out of combat, but it doesn’t preclude these options. And you can do little pokes with your meds as long as you’re sure the enemy isn’t watching your position.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, MPL Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike



This is, without a doubt, the worst variant. Do not buy. But if you do…well, it does have 25% to ballistic cooldown & range, 20% for ballistic velocity, 10% for missile range, cooldown, and velocity, and 5% srm spread. It’s also got 10 armor on the CT and legs, and 24 armor on each arm. There really aren’t any good options, so I’ll just briefly go over some do-able builds.

This is a weird one, which at least tries to take advantage of the quirks. Focus on plinking for the early game, and close to bring all your weapons to bear when you get the chance.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, SRM4 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike



Oh man, it’s wimpy. You barely have any guns, and the speed and tankiness don’t really compensate for that at all. Oh, jeeze…

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, Machine Gun Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


Again, it’s pretty wimpy. But the quirks are pretty insane, and so having 2 AC/2s will give you a good amount of DPS, at least until you run out of ammo or overheat.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/2 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


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. The Panther doesn’t have to emphasize unusual pilot skills though – if anything it emphasizes the existing order even harder due to how important they are to it.

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. They’re all relatively equal in terms of how useful they are, I suppose, but it’s up to you in the end exactly which ones to keep. Personally, I like the PNT-10K the best, but I could see an argument being made for the others over it.


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


Did I miss your favorite build? Let me know!

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