Shadow Cat

Last Updated: 17-Aug-2015

It’s time for the Shadow Cat! Or, as it’s colloquially (and more accurately) know, the Scat!



A long-time fan favorite, the Shadow Cat jumped onto the scene with more of a whimper than a bang. While many people play it because they like the Shadow Cat as a mech, many more played it because it was new, and some even play it because they enjoy it, it is a notch below mediocre. Essentially, take an Adder – it’ll hit harder without taking up a weight class.

As with seveeral other Clan mechs, the only thing that differentiates the variants is the quirks PGI’s little twister spinner landed on. At least, I assume that’s pretty much how it’s done. BRB gonna photoshop that shit.

OK so the twister board kinda fell apart when I got into it, so it ended up being a little dice rolling thingy.

Anyways! What are the best Shadow Cat CT’s, you ask? Well top of the list in my opinion has got to be the SHC-Prime with its Torso Twist Rate quirk. Next up, I’d say the SHC-A nails it for having slightly more useful quirks than the other two. I’m honestly not sure which is less valuable – 5% reverse speed (which works out to what, 3.5 extra kilometers but only when you’re backing up?) or 5% better turning rate on a mech with MASC (so, turn rate quirks are already washed out and useless) which is utterly incompetent at short range. Ultimately, I gotta go with the SHC-B’s reverse speed quirk for the number 3 slot (and thus the SHC-P for number 4) because it actually adds something you can’t get by just turning on the MASC. Oh wait.


Chassis-Wide Information


ECM. That’s the big selling point of the mech, honestly – it’s better than the Cicada at long range ECM fire, which makes it the best ECM medium in the game at long- or medium-range. Handily beaten at short range by the GRF-2N, but they call it a niche for a reason.

Jump jets! Actually, the Shadow Cat has some of the best jumpjets in the game, with the ability to vault the walls of HPG Manifold with ease. The only mechs that can really beat it on this point are ones like the SDR-5V

MASC. This nifty little feature arguably adds some utility to the mech – 10% extra speed along with some sweet acceleration and turn rate bonuses (175% and 25% respectively). I’ll get to the “arguably” bit in the “Weaknesses” section.

Super high mounts! Even the arms are on level with the cockpit, and the side torsos are above the cockpit (well, except the second and third ballistics in the SHC-P’s LT but who cares about those).

Quirks. Not much else to say but they exist – decent durability and almost acceptable weapon quirks, depending on the omnipod you’re looking at.



MASC is a waste of tonnage. Unlike the Executioner, the Shadow Cat has pretty nice stock acceleration, turn rate, and speed values. It’s like…yeah you get some bonuses. And it’s worth using it. But while the 4 tons is well spent on MASC with the Executioner, the 2 tons is utterly wasted on MASC with the Scat. I mean, you don’t even get the already-reduced-from-TT 18.5% speed boost that the Executioner does, you get barely over half that at 10%. Ugh.

3 tons worth of locked jumpjets further takes up valuable tonnage. Combined with how MASC is locked, you’re losing out on 4 tons of potential pod space (if you kept 2 jumpjets, cuz you don’t wanna lose ‘em all, but also 6 is way overkill). That’s the difference between a viable Gauss Vomit build and the mockery we’re stuck with. The difference between a ridiculously hot laser vomit and one that can put out sustainable DPS. Overall, a pretty big difference. OH YEAH and if that wasn’t bad enough, using the jumpjets actually can cause your heat to go up, so have fun managing your heat on the super hot builds. Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of tonnage for heatsinks, right?

Though what is arguably worse than the wasted tonnage is the massively limited hardpoints. If each energy hardpoint currently on the mech was turned into 2, or if the 3 ballistics in the SHC-P’s LT were energy instead, you could run a really nice 6xERML build and it might have made the mech, like, good. Particularly if combined with unlocking equipment.

What that adds up to, to me, is a massive missed opportunity. It wouldn’t have been the best medium, or even the best clan medium, but it would have been legitimately good. And right now…it’s just not.


Generic Tips

When playing the Shadow Cat, there’s a few things worth keeping in mind.

First off, remember that you’re a 45-tonner, barely more durable than a light mech and with way worse hitboxes. Be careful. Just don’t be a pussy.

To help balance out that, remember that most builds are right-side mounted, and the ECM LT omnipod gives you some crazy structure buffs. Which means you can shield like a mother trucker. So, yaknow, do that.

Also, you got crazy high mounts. Don’t expose any more than you absolutely have to. Even if you get shot back at, try make make most of their damage eat the dirt if you can.



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). I will italicize the variant(s) that the archetypical build fits best in as well. 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!


Laser Sniper

Pretty obvious what the general idea behind this build is. There are two real issues with it. The first is that you can’t alpha strike without breaking ghost heat, which means that your beam duration is effectively half a second longer than it should be, usually. The second issue is that it is goddamn hot. The 5% heat gen quirk helps a teeny tiny bit, but you’re still going to be running super-duper hot, and you can’t really afford to alpha strike, like, ever. I even ended up not using a Targeting Computer.

It’s a cERLL sniper. Sit way back and snipe. Just, pay attention to where your team is (and where they’re going) so that you don’t get rotated on. Your speed, jumpjets and MASC can help you out of a sticky situation, but the faster you notice you’re getting left behind, the better your shot is at survival. Other than that, just hillhump for days and shield with your left side.

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

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

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



So, did you try that last build and say “I wish it was hotter, and required me to use jumpjets to further hinder heat dissipation”? If so, then I’ve got the build for you! Seriously though, this shit’s brutally hot, doesn’t have the DPS to contribute to a fight in a major way, and will have all but the best pilots slamming that O key (or R if you have super-cool customized key bindings like me). Despite all that, this is actually one of the better and more fun builds available.

Despite this being a poptart, avoid using your jumpjets whenever possible if you’re not on resting heat. And when you do use your jumpjets, hold the space bar down for as little time as possible. 2 cERPPCs are hot enough as is with only 14 double heat sinks. Other than heat management, just make sure that you pick your targets well, nail the right component, and avoid damage whenever possible.

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

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

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


Laser Vomit

In my opinion, this is the best build – and by a pretty wide margin. Same damage as the cERLL build but with 4 less heat per alpha (before quirks), like a 20% shorter duration, and you don’t break ghost heat by alpha striking. And all it sacrifices is one heat sink and 150 or so meters of (usually unnecessary) range. I wouldn’t really recommend this, buuut if you feel this is too hot, you can drop the cERML and LA armor for a couple extra heat sinks.

It’s laser vomit! You look at the enemy, pull the trigger, and keep looking at the enemy till the funny light beam goes away. Hill hump and corner peak as much as possible, and stick to the cLPLs when your heat is getting a bit extreme. If possible, you may want to keep at around your cLPL optimal range (like 600 meters-ish), and further if necessary. This is in large part because it’s a bad idea to trade, given your low damage and durability when compared to other mechs. For more on Laser Vomit, check out the guide I wrote about it.

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

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

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Super weak in my opinion, but it’s super easy to manage the heat. Would recommend the 2xcLPL version over this too.

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

The MGs really aren’t worth it in my opinion…but it is kind of funny. Still some solid ranged poke, and you can crit absolutely everything if you get in range. I wouldn’t go out of your way to get in MG range though.

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


Gauss Vomit

A classic combination, tragically undershot by the Shadow Cat. 1.5 tons extra, could run ECM and another ton of ammo. Though even when you have ECM and enough ammo, it’s gotta be said that a Gauss Rifle and 2 cERMLs isn’t exactly a powerful build. I’d probably put it on par with the low-heat version of Laser Vomit. Sad but…oh well. The laser and ballistic cooldown quirks do help though.

Plays a lot like Laser Vomit really. You’ll want to do the same hill-hump and side-peak strategies, the only real difference being the need to pre-charge your Gauss. I go over most of the differences in my guide on Gauss Vomit.

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

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

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike



This one’s…actually sort of powerful. But the streak damage is a bit short range and it spreads, like, a lot. Still, you can run at almost 120KPH with MASC on, and the range is enough to keep lights within your grasp for quite a while. In general, this isn’t as strong as laser vomit but it’s definitely one of the top builds.

You’re a streak mech, and you’re particularly squishy. What this adds up to is the need to focus on light mechs big time, as long as you can choose. A good way to accomplish this is to stick with your bigs, giving them ECM cover and scaring away pesky light mechs. Protecting your team’s flanks is a good idea too. That being said, you can’t just not shoot at any big mechs, and should take any shots you get. Try to make sure that you don’t get shot back though – hitting from a flank is one good way to do this. Using jumpjets to clear cover and sort of do some fake poptarting with streaks can be pretty successful too, as long as the enemy is targeted already.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSSRM6 Range, cSSRM6 Cooldown, cERML Range

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike



Now this is some full-on short-range mayhem kinda shit. Crazy good DPS (well, relative to the other Shadow Cat builds at any rate) pairs really nicely with the high speed and maneuverability you get from the engine and MASC. The range is your obvious limitation, but smart play can help mitigate that. Can. Oftentimes you’re kinda boned by it no matter what you do, buut yeah…you can get a feel for it after a while.

This kind of plays as a cross between typical brawling medium play where you gotta stick with the team and wait for an opportune moment, and light mech play where you can strike off on your own to flank. The end result is that you do have to stay close enough to your team that you can run back to them if the bad guys come after you, but you have a bit of a leash so that you can get some side shots if possible. Using MASC to poke helps a lot here, as does playing with a small group so that you can wolf pack it. In the end though…sometimes you do kind of have to stick with your team and be patient. It’s a judgment call.

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

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

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


Miscellaneous Builds

These don’t really fit into a category and I don’t feel they’re really worth going into detail about, buuuut they’re worth an honorable mention.

It’s sort of interesting. Weird middle ground. Not full meta or anything, but it can definitely be fun.

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

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cUAC10 Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


Meh. The chassis really just doesn’t have the tonnage to boat LRMs…but I did it anyways. Sort of. Your cERMLs are your main weapon, but LRMs are solid backup.

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

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

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


Healthy serving of wubs with a side order of woosh. Plays at a funky intermediate range between short and medium range, can beat either in that small window but kinda gets shat on if you get too close or too far from your target.

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

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

Consumables (In order of importance): 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. While the Shadow Cat is certainly unusual…it doesn’t require anything special.

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. You can keep as many or as few variants as you like – I’d just recommend holding onto the Prime as it has the best quirks.


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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