Last Updated: 15-May-2016

The name isn’t exactly accurate anymore.



The Victor is an 80-tonner Inner Sphere mech. Unlike the Awesome, it has some incredible maneuverability with a very high engine cap, jump jets, and hitboxes which make using an XL viable. Overall, it is a fairly balanced mech, and a very fun one to play.

The first variant worth mentioning is the old king of the meta, the Dragon Slayer. It is still the strongest variant at medium and long ranges, but has lost its dominance. This is one of the chassis where I would recommend buying the hero variant, though if you’re not interested in dropping MC (it’s not really worth it in its own right) you can still have a lot of fun with the C-Bill variants. And the sweetest C-Bill variant is the 9S; it can do lots of the more popular Victor builds and some more unique stuff too. Other than those two variants, you have the 9B and the 9K. I would probably recommend the 9B over the 9K, but you can decide for yourself after reading about them further down.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • You can get away with an XL engine most of the time, thanks to its hitboxes and ability to shield.
  • Hands-down the most maneuverable assault mech in the game, none of the rest even come close.


  • It’s an 80-tonner with an 80-tonner’s armor, so it’s not the most durable assault mech out there (though the aforementioned strengths do mitigate this)
  • The XL is all but necessary, and while it’s relatively XL-safe, it’s still a risk.
  • The arm-mounted hardpoints are quite low and most builds will need to utilize both arms, meaning you have to expose pretty much all of yourself to alpha strike.
  • A focus on arm-mounted weaponry in most variants means that you can’t shield as effectively, as losing even just an arm will hurt your firepower badly.
  • Doesn’t have the raw DPS to keep up in the current meta.

Generic Tips

  • You have got to master shielding for this mech. In most builds worth running, you will be using an XL engine. This does hurt your shielding ability, but if you combine the glitchy jump-jet spamming hitboxes and constant torso twisting, it will be difficult for the enemy team to successively focus either of your side torsos. Which side to shield with generally depends on the build, but in general you want to shield with whichever arm has less power on it, and switch sides when the armor on that side’s side torso starts to turn orange or so…you’ve just gotta feel it out really.
  • This mech was an integral part of creating the tactic of rotating counter-clockwise around a central pivot point in an attempt to catch an enemy’s tail. The infectious nature of this tactic led it to take on the name of BESM (big engine stop meta), though it is more colloquially referred to by nicknames such as “NASCAR” and “ring around the rosie” (which is my personal favorite). Though the Victor (and to a lesser extent, this meta) has fallen out of fashion, this tactic is still seen throughout the PUG queue, particularly on maps like Caustic Valley and River City. The basic idea is that you are your team are moving around a piece of cover which will allow you to both expose only your right side (where your guns are mounted) so that you can fire and then will let you torso twist to shield your more important bits with your left arm. Whichever team does it better and/or quicker will catch the trailing mechs of the other side and snowball to win the game. Common techniques including “cutting the circle”, which has the tail end of your formation cut through the circle (if it’s possible, so for example cutting through the caldera on Caustic Valley if both teams are racing around it) so that they can catch up with the lead of the formation, though the timing on this has to be very careful as it often leaves the mechs who cut in the open. There is further nuance to this, but the basic idea is that you have to jump, shoot, turn, and repeat while also rotating to the right.



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!


Dragon Slayer

The Dragon Slayer is one of the most infamous mechs in the game, a key player in the stalest meta that MWO has experienced, but its modern quirks aren’t enough to keep it relevant. It gets 5+5% ballistic+gauss cooldown, 5% laser duration, and 10% missile cooldown and velocity. It also has 10 extra structure in the side torsos, 17 in the legs, 40% accel/decel,

Build 1:

This build uses the classic Gauss/PPC combination for that brutal 35-point damage. For the last few years, that number has been a bit underwhelming, but it runs very cool, can get free trades a lot of the time, and your range is plenty to keep most brawlers at bay. The reason this sort of build works best on the DS as opposed to the other Victors (which can all run the same build), is that it is asymmetrical and has those PPCs in the Right Torso. This means your convergence will actually be pretty good and relatively effective at getting all 35 points onto the same location. The flip side of this, though, is that the Gauss Rifle projectile speed is almost double that of the PPC, which can cause issues at long range.

If your team is set up for it (all acceptably fast mechs), you’ll want to go for the BESM for sure. However, you can’t rely on that and will often have to resort to right side peeking/poptarting. In this case, you are 100% support for your team, following them and running from bit of cover to cover so you can continue harassing the enemy at any chance you get. Make sure that the enemy doesn’t get a firing line set up to stare at you, though, or your trades will be unfavorable to say the least. In the pre-engagement, your role isn’t to trade damage but to avoid it and harass them as much as possible. Which means popping out from odd angles to distract the enemy team, using your jump jets to make them miss you, and melding back into your team. Keep the enemy firing line guessing at where you are, and you’ll be able to get some nice free hits in before they can aim at you. For more on this sort of build, check out the PPFLD guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Gauss Rifle Cooldown, PPC Cooldown

Consumables: Air Strike, Cool Shot

This is the main alternative Dragon Slayer build, trading a bit of the maneuverability, popability, and alpha strikability for raw DPS and projectile sync-up. You’ll often want to play less like a poptart and be willing to join your team in a firing line in this mech, as your AC/5s can indeed put out the hurt. But keep around a bit of cover, just in case.

Weapon Modules: AC/5 Cooldown, PPC Cooldown

This is a speedier version, with decent DPS too. Unfortunately, it also loses 5 points off of its alpha strike, and doesn’t get the Gauss Rifle which is indeed devastating in its own right.

Weapon Modules: PPC Cooldown, AC/10 Cooldown


This is a more modernized version of the poptart build, but I could never get with it. The split up weapons make it really rough, but it’s still a decent mix of weapons. For more on this type of build, check out the Gauss Vomit guide.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, Large Laser Range



This is my favorite Victor, mainly because of a few of the super-fun builds it can run. Its quirks give it 5% ballistic cooldown, 25% velocity and range, and 10% to missile cooldown, heat gen, and velocity. It also comes with 10 structure in each side torso and 17 in each leg, with 30% accel/decel, 40% turn rate and torso twist speed, and 15 torso twist angle.

It’s a fun brawler, but it’s certainly limited by speed, survivability, and a slight lack of raw power. You will have to deal with the SRMs coming out in a group of 12 and then 4, but it is worth it, and is the main downside to this mech. In a full-on brawl, you really want to be relying on your SRMs and AC/20 for multiple reasons. First of all, your medium lasers are not nearly as heat efficient and will just end up creating more heat instead of letting you use your heavy hitters. Second of all, holding those beams on target will leave you more exposed because you can’t be shielding for the split second that the beam is burning. Your main use for the mediums will be during the start of the engagement when you’re still below 50% heat, and when you need to finish off that one guy with a cherry red CT. As with most things, it’s situational and you will need to get a feel for it. A brawler has to satisfy a few requirements, in my mind, in order to be good at it. The first is being able to put out enough DPS at short range to be worth taking in the first place. The second is being able to take enough hits to not just go down at the first sight of the enemy. The third is that it has to be able to close the gap on an enemy team which is not so eager to brawl. The Victor is ok at all three of these, but it’s nothing super special.

if you’re with a large group of brawlers, you may be able to just charge right in and dish out the damage alongside your mates, but if not there are a few things you have to be cautious about. First, you want to be patient and hold solid cover until there is a chance for you to engage in a good trade (usually means unloading your alpha strike into a mech without getting shot back by more than one enemy). Second, if there is a full mid-range engagement going on, you’ll want to play as a hit-and-runner, stay in the midst of a brawl for a few seconds before returning to an escape route (try not to block friendly lines of fire in this process).

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, SRM6 Cooldown

Consumables: Artillery Strike, Cool Shot

Alright, so I get that some people are a little scared of XLs, and I made this specifically with them in mind. It still plays the same way, though slightly less fast and brutal.

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, AC/20 Range




The only difference between this variant and the 9S is that it gives up a missile hardpoint for a ballistic one. This does mean that you can run the same exact short-range poptart build on this mech as on the 9S, and you may even prefer it to the 9B’s custom alternative…

Build 1:

This mech uses an AC/20 and 2 PPCs to lay down a brutal short-range punch, akin to that of a Misery. Unfortunately, unlike the Misery, the Victor has very low-mounted arm hardpoints, a dearth of heatsinks, and is pretty goddamn symmetrical which cripples its shielding ability and means that its weapon convergence is pretty shitty. On the other hand, it jumps. It jumps pretty well, actually. All that being said, it’s still 40 front-loaded damage on a poptart, and even if it’s not the scariest thing out there, it’s fun and not a threat to be ignored.

But you do want to be ignored. Oh god you do. Sticking to the fringes of the fight and just pulling the trigger on the biggest thing you see (shitty convergence, so you wanna make sure all your weapons hit) tends to be the best way to go. You’re definitely not fighting in the front line, but you can back up whoever is and take some damage for them if they get worn down. Alternatively, you could play this as a BESM mech, like the DS, and just chase their tail. You’re not the fastest mech out there, but if they don’t turn around to deal with you they’re going to have some serious issues. As far as defensive play goes, if it’s still early in the game and you gotta shield, I recommend doing so with the PPC arm because then you’ll at least have an AC/20 which you can fire heat neutrally (and at super short range), but if it’s getting late and you’re running low on ammo, you would definitely rather give up the AC/20 than the PPCs. Don’t be afraid to corner poke either if you think you can get away with it, you won’t do as much damage but ideally you won’t take nearly as much either. For more on this sort of build, check out the PPFLD guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, PPC Cooldown

Consumables: Air Strike, Cool Shot

This takes out the PPCs for Large Pulses, resulting in a much cooler and higher DPS build. Many people prefer it to the other VTR-9B builds, in part because it doesn’t have to deal with the convergence issues (at least, not to the same extent).

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, Large Pulse Range


Build 2:

The numbers are fairly underwhelming on this build, with the DPS being the sole redeeming one, but they only tell half the story. This mech spits bullets at an absurd rate, which has the dual effect of getting some serious DPS in, and shaking the hell out of the enemy cockpit which makes it much more difficult for them to return fire. The medium lasers are purely there as backup, and should be mainly ignored in favor of poking out from behind the right side of a rock and spamming your ballistic trigger. In fact, without the medium lasers you’ll be damn close to heat neutral, hence why I opted for a larger engine instead of filling it with heatsinks like I usually do.

This build does fit in fairly well with firing line strategies, and excels at suppressive fire. There’s really not much to it, other than practicing aiming your targets and shooting at big things first to try to get all your damage onto the same component. Mainly, it’s just a bitch to deal with if you’re being targeted by it, but if there are multiple enemies, the ones you aren’t wasting are going to rip you apart pretty quickly if you don’t have backup, and shielding with that left arm suddenly becomes a very attractive proposition as you GTFO. This is another reason for why you want to target the enemy’s biggest DPS machine – messing his aim up is worth way more than messing up the aim of a smaller threat. To make it even worse, try aiming for their cockpit so that it shakes and gets covered by a wall of fire. Of course, running this build comes with the risk of being an annoying-ass cunt, but such is life.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/5 Cooldown, UAC/5 Cooldown

Consumables: Air Strike, Cool Shot

Running this build completely asymmetrically is another option, which allows you to shield fully with that right side. However, that does mean you’ll be going slower and won’t have the medium lasers to get you out of tight jams – and if you lose your right arm, you’re fucked.

If having all those different wacky weapons doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always the long-range AC/2 fire support version. It accomplishes the same general result, but in less hectic (though less effective in my opinion) of a way. It also focuses harder on long-range support, as opposed to the medium-range focus that the Chainsaw has.

Weapon Modules: AC/2 Range, ERLL Range




When compared with the other Victors, the 9K comes up short. It’s quirks give it 5+5% ballistic/gauss cooldown, 10% energy cooldown, and 5% laser duration. There’s an extra 17 structure in each leg and 10 in each side torso, as well as 25% turn rate and 40% accel/decel and torso twist speed.

Build 1:

The saving grace of this build is that it has some goddamn ups. Probably the most fun build you can put on the chassis, you can just hop around and alpha people far below you for 30 easy-peasy. It still has the same flaws as the 9S and 9B poptarts, namely low-mounted arm hardpoints and shitty weapon convergence, but soaring over the heads of your foes can be quite fun.

Mainly this plays like a cross between the 9S/9B short-range poptart and the DS, with a serious focus on BESM if at all possible. Its jumpjets give you plenty of options for bits of cover to hide behind/pop from, but you will frequently find yourself losing trades so your best bet is to just stick in the herd, and find somewhere in there to pop from.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: PPC Cooldown, AC/10 Range, AC/10 Cooldown

Consumables: Air Strike, Cool Shot

This alteration gives up some maneuverability and the AC/10’s spamability for the more powerful Gauss Rifle. I prefer the AC/10 version, but I know there are some that vastly prefer to use the Gauss.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, PPC Cooldown, PPC Range


Build 2:

This build fully embraces the motto of “stay the fuck away from me!” It is simply not as effective as other long-range camping builds, but it has more maneuverability and similar firepower to most of them. Generally, you’ll want to fire the Gauss Rifle and ERLLs separately at the ranges that you’ll be trying to engage at so that you can lead the Gauss properly, and if there’s no pressure on you, you’ll want to split up the ERLLs into two weapon groups to fire about a half second apart to avoid ghost heat (though the penalty isn’t terrible so if you’ve got a good shot, take it).

Stay back, and try to wear them down. That’s really your only goal with this mech. In a push, you still want to be in the back or out to the side where you can use your superior range as an advantage. In a firing line, you want to be next to (or on top of) something which can give you cover. Generally, you want the game to last as long as possible so that you can get through all of your Gauss ammo and thoroughly exhaust your reactor from firing all those lasers, though in a quick match on a small map, just stick with the team and keep your DPS as high as you can (which isn’t gonna be great, but whatever). For more on this type of build, check out the Gauss Vomit guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, ERLL Cooldown, ERLL Range

Consumables: Air Strike, Cool Shot


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 Victor is not one such mech.

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. If you get the DS, definitely master that, and other than that the 9S can do almost anything worth doing on the Victor chassis. Though if you want to keep it set up for the brawling build with the missile placement trick, it might be worth holding onto and maybe leveling the 9B so you can play around with any other builds that you enjoy.


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