Let’s go to the Maul, everybody!



The Mauler has always been a personal favorite – it has always looked badass, been badass, and generally evoked strong positive feelings. And in MWO it is still very…fun. And it’s pretty good. It’s one of the best IS mechs in the game, and while it is going to be difficult for it to compete with Clans, that’s hardly surprising. This is further reinforced by its nature predilection for dakka over more modern meta-centric builds. Though it remains one of the best mechs at its job in the game.

Each Mauler variant has 1-3 ballistic and energy hardpoints and 1 or 2 missile hardpoints per side, limiting the amount of build diversity on one hand, but also allowing extra flexibility per variant. Despite this, the different hardpoint quantities and quirks do create clear differences in terms of variant specialty and viability. The winner comes out to be the MAL-MX90 due to its ridiculous dakka potential and cool name. Next up is going to be the MAL-1P because its balanced hardpoints and relatively sweet quirks give it some particularly nice builds. In third place is the MAL-2P for having the most meta potential, though the Mauler is one of the few mechs which performs better with non-cookie cutter builds. Lastly, the MAL-1R is my pick for least useful due to its niche(s) being super shitty. But it’s also my personal favorite. More on that later.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Crazy ballistic madness fun happy time! The King Crab is its equal in hardpoints and superior in tonnage, but the hardpoint positions on the Mauler and its natural animal magnetism just make it so good at this stuff. Maybe even better.
  • Slender profile is super nice. Its arms aren’t perfect for shielding and its torso does jut out a bit, but it’s still pretty good at spreading damage.
  • Hardpoints so nice I mention them twice. Not just the sheer quantity (each variant has 10 in total), but how spread out they are. And the symmetry makes my OCD swoon, despite it maybe not being the best in action…



  • Side torso ballistics are great for dakka, but they’re a big no-no for Gauss Rifles, making the Mauler relatively weak at cookie-cutter builds.
  • Hardpoints are almost universally low, with the exception of the third ballistic slot on the MX90. But everything larger than a UAC/5 is forced into the bottom slot, destroying any shot at making real use of that high mount. Oh and LRMs have high mounts. Yippee.


Generic Tips

  • Even on dakka builds, you gotta know when to shield. A good rule of thumb is to do so whenever you feel you’re taking more damage than you’re putting out, but if you’re about to get a kill or something…use your best judgment.



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!



Seriously I love saying this mech’s name. Sounds like an experimental jet fighter…or an exercise regimen. 6 ballistic hardpoints is the big feature of this variant, and is the main thing worth doing with it.

Build 1:

This may not be the most extreme example of dakka you can get out of the Mauler, but don’t worry I’ll get to that later. It’s still probably the best build for the chassis in general and shows you just what a measly 25 alpha can do. It has great range, velocity, and if you manage to overheat with it you win a trophy. Just don’t fuck with a Dire Wolf.

Hold down the triggers till there’s no more bad guys. That’s pretty much all there is to it. You can take a surprising amount of punishment, but you’re still a 90 tonner (and not one of the tankier ones) so don’t get too cocky. Shield with your right side, keep your aim steady on vulnerable components, and wreck shit.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

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

Consumables: Artillery Strike, Cool Shot


Oh man how can you not love this build! It’s just amaaazing. Except for the whole fragile-as-fuck thing. But that’s no big deal.



This is the most balanced variant of the bunch in terms of hardpoints, just middle of the road all around. Fortunately, you don’t need an insane number of ballistic hardpoints when you’ve got solid quirks for ballistics and PPCs.

Build 1:

(Stands for pinpoint front-loaded damage) Seriously, 2 years ago, this would have been soooo good. Sort of. Hard to say. But right now it’s actually pretty decent. If it had higher hardpoints, it would easily be an upper Tier 2 mech, but as is, it just has too many usability issues. Low hardpoints, convergence issues, and the awkwardness of the weapon mixture leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling, but it makes for a great mech regardless.

This build has a real crisis of identity. On the one hand, your dakka is comparable to that of a JM6-DD (though slightly worse for DPS and much worse for mount locations). But you’ve also got a pretty sweet pinpoint alpha. Switching between modes so frequently can cause issues with aiming and shielding, but in general I’d focus on using PPFLD tactics when you’re trading or taking heat, and dakka when you’re left mostly alone, but you’ve got to use your own judgment depending on the situation. You can check out extra PPFLD info here.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: UAC/5 Cooldown, PPC Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

This gives up the extra alpha from 2 PPCs and the bursty fire of the UACs for more reliable ballistics and extra ammo. Personally, I’m not a fan of only using a single PPC, but it’s a decent balance.

This goes for pure PPFLD and gives up any notion of having dakka involved at all. I’m really not a fan of dual gauss builds on mechs that only have side torso ballistics (outside of like, the CPLT-K2) but this is about as good as it gets for side torso gauss.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, PPC Cooldown

And this goes for pure dakka! I really do feel that just 4 UAC/5s is a bit underwhelming for a 90-ton mech (you could get it done on a 75-tonner if we had the hardpoints), but it’s still solid and the convergence is tight, both figuratively and literally.

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


Build 2:

As if 4 UAC/5s wasn’t underwhelming enough, right? Still it’s super punchy and it is the fastest (decent) build you can run on the chassis. Again, if only it was 2 years ago… But the convergence is way better than it is on the King Crab and it goes decently fast for an Assault mech, plus it’s very durable and heat efficient if you pay attention to what you’re shooting. Obvious limitations are range and ghost heat, though.

For the most part, this mech will play like a typical brawler. Use whatever means necessary to safely (hopefully) close on your enemy and blast them with a big alpha. If you think you can afford the heat, don’t be scared to alpha both AC/20s, but in an extended engagement that is a big no-no. For that matter, using your medium lasers in a knock-down drag-out brawl is a bad idea unless you need to destroy a component on its last points of health. Shield as much as possible, and you’ll be ok.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

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

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

This build just trades in some of that speed for a big boost in real firepower. The medium lasers are nice backup weapons and all, but this is the real deal for true PPFLD. Super hot though, if you’re gonna alpha strike.



The energy build is the most suited to the modern meta, but in practice I feel that it’s been falling short. It has great laser quirks and it has…ballistic hardpoints, but they’re just soooo goddamn low, you lose trades all the time.

Build 1:

It’s ahh…better than Gauss/PPCs on the MAL-1P, but not by much. Despite the great firepower and quirks, having both Gauss Rifles in low side torso mounts on a slow as fuck mech is a huge problem when it comes to viability. I almost want to do an XL but you’re fucked if you get shot at all in that build.

For the most part, you just want to focus on getting out as much damage as possible. Spread out the damage as much as possible in the early stages, but once you’re risking open components, make damn sure that your RT isn’t the first to go. And after you do lose a side torso, shield with the CT until that shit’s almost open, cuz as soon as a side torso opens up you just know that you’re gonna lose the Gauss. Other than that, it just plays like a normal Gauss Vomit build, which you can read more about here.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, Large Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

If you can’t find your balls, you might wanna try this one out. Pulls back on the awesome levels for extra speed, survivability, ammo, all those things that real badasses don’t need.

If, on the other hand, you’re trying to get insurance to cover your penis en-smallment surgery, you might want to try this bad boy out. You’re gonna die a lot but you’ll look so cool!

I actually had a really surprisingly good time with this build. But it’s just…the opposite of juicy. It’s devoid of all moisture. And I can’t live like that.

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown


Build 2:

It’s like a Boar’s Head that you don’t gotta pay for! Well actually you do cuz right now the Mauler is $$ only…so it’s like a Boar’s Head that you gotta pay at least 35 schmeckles for! But yeah, if you can get over the heat, this actually works as a pretty decent brawler. It’s just…there’s no reason to play it when the Boar’s Head is in the game, or even just the BNC-3S.

This build just plays like a typical ballistic/energy brawler. There is very little special about it. Play it safe until you get the opportunity to brawl some faces off, and then, like, brawl their faces off. You’ve got plenty of ammo, just shield with your right side and everything will be just fine.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, MPL Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



This variant doesn’t really do anything better than the others that’s worth doing. Unless you’re a baller, in which case…

Build 1:

Credit for the name goes to Scrandom. This is my favorite version of build for this style of play because it’s just super-duper awesome-town! But yeah it’s fucking horrible don’t do it.

The closer you are to the target, the better. And if you can somehow convince the enemy team to not shoot you while you’re humping their buddy, that’s even better! And you can’t really shield that well in this cuz your cooldowns are in the 2.5 second area. Have fun.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: LB10X Cooldown, SRM4 Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Way more alpha damage but it’s even more spread (if that’s even possible) and hotter. Still fun, though.

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, LB10X Cooldown

It’s slow and it’s gross.

Weapon Modules: LB10X Cooldown, LB10X Range


Build 2:

It breaks my heart that one of the coolest chassis in the game has arguably the best LRM boat as one of the variants. Sigh. Just sit there and skill it up.

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: LRM15 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air 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.

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. All the variants have their own shit going on, so focus on mastering whichever ones you like first, and we’ll see what gets obsoleted with the next quirk pass!


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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