So all my tier lists have been me listing and ranking mechs and their best builds. Which I’m happy with. But I wanna do something else too. Looking at the most powerful mechs gives you a good idea of what specifically is powerful, but I want to look at the games balance at a higher level. So right now, I’m looking at doing a tier list of build archetypes in general. I came up with 10 basic build types and looked at how effective each is at the game, and for each class. The reason I decided to include differences between classes is that each class does have different options open to it. For example, in the Gauss Vomit vs. Laser Vomit area, you just end up with too much tonnage for pure Laser Vomit in most Assault mechs, but not enough in most Mediums, with heavies generally being the sweet spot (and lights totally incapable apart from the Adder). You can see my original non-class-based list here.
This will be much smaller than my other tier lists (there are only so many ways to play the game), and I’ll include a description of each build archetype below the list. Eventually, they will all also link to a L2P guide about them, but I haven’t created most of those yet.
Bushwacker Patch (27-January-2017)
Tier 1: Dakka, PPFLD
Tier 3: Gauss Vomit, Sniping, Hybrid LRMs, Hybrid Brawl, LRM Boat
Tier 4: Streaks
Tier 1: PPFLD, Dakka
Tier 3: Gauss Vomit, Skirmishing, Hybrid Brawl, Streaks
Tier 4: Hybrid LRMs, LRM Boat
Tier 1: PPFLD, Brawl
Tier 3: Streaks, Hybrid Brawl, Gauss Vomit
Tier 4: LRM Boat, Hybrid LRMs
Tier 1: Brawl
Tier 2: Mid-Range Lasers
Tier 4: Gauss Vomit, LRM Boat, Hybrid LRMs, Hybrid Brawl, Dakka
- Sniping: This style of play focuses on boating weapons such as the Gauss Rifle and ER Large Lasers, to get a lot of damage out at maximum range.
- Long-Range Lasers: This is based around getting out DPS at long range with weapons like the Large Laser and cLPL, sometimes with shorter-range backup lasers.
- Mid-Range Lasers: These builds boat mid-range weapons like the LPL, Medium Laser, cER Medium Laser and cMPL, usually with a focus on high alpha strikes.
- Gauss Vomit: Combines the medium/long range lasers of Laser Vomit with a Gauss Rifle for extra precision and heat-less damage.
- Skirmishing: Plays at a sweet spot between short and medium range, sometimes even using brawling weapons but mainly with more niche weapons like the AC/10 for great DPS.
- PPFLD: Stands for pinpoint front-loaded damage, uses such weapons like the Gauss Rifle, PPC, and the Autocannons 5, 10, and 20 to get focused damage on a specific spot.
- Dakka: Lays down high DPS using rapid-fire autocannons like the AC/2, AC/5, U-AC/5, and all clan U-AC’s short of the 20.
- Hybrid LRMs: Uses mostly medium-range weapons with some backup LRM launchers.
- Hybrid Brawl: Uses mostly medium-range weapons with some backup brawling weapons (usually SRMs or Streaks).
- Streaks: Boats a lot of streaks (almost always clan) and not much else. If the streaks are more supplemental, the build is usually Brawl or Hybrid.
- LRM Boat: Boats a lot of LRMs and not much else. If the LRMs are more supplemental, the build is usually Hybrid.
- Brawl: Uses short-range weapons such as (c)SRMs, (c)Streaks, (cU)AC/20, ML, MPL, SL, SPL, cERSL, cSPL, (c)MG, and any LBX to do super-high damage at very short range (usually sub-200).
The meta seems to be oriented around brawling and jump sniping right now, with LRMs thrown in for good (bad) measure. Could just be my own experience, but I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve experienced (except for the LRMs).
- Moved up: Brawl. It’s getting easier to get in range, even if your mech is slow.
- Moved down: Mid-range lasers, gauss vomit. The face time and heat on these makes them a liability vs. popular dakka and brawling options.
- Moved up: Brawl.
- Moved down: Mid-range lasers, gauss vomit. Sniping hasn’t really gotten less effective,
- Moved up: PPFLD. Too many mediums are getting good at PPFLD to not consider it one of your best options.
- Moved down: Dakka, long-range lasers. The weight requirements on dakka make it a bit of a niche style, and the long range is a bit harder to do these days.